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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Soon, a calmer, gentler Hindraf

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMOUR, June 14 — Now that they have got the government’s attention the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) movement will be changing strategy.

The leader of the banned movement, P.Uthayakumar said the movement will adopt a less confrontational stance to get their message across.

He said Hindraf will use more peaceful and democratic means to bring changes for the Indian community.

“We will only use peaceful gathering or what the government term’s illegal assembly as a last resort.” he said during a phone interview with The Malaysian Insider.

However anyone who thinks Uthayakumar has been “tamed” or even rehabilitated by his stint in Kamunting under the Internal Security Act should think again.

His first words at the start of the interview were “I have no regrets”.

“We have achieved what we set out to do. Local Indian issues are now national issues.” he said defiantly.

Among them, the plight of Tamil schools, Hindu Temples and poverty among the community.

He said Hindraf will soon have a new platform to raise issues but declined to elaborate if it will be a new political party.

Uthayakumar said an announcement would be made on July 19.

In the meantime, he has been busy setting up his office in Bangsar which will be more of a service centre rather than a law firm.

“My first love was legal practice but I have lost interest because Umno does not follow the law or the constitution.”

He cited the government’s move to link Hindraf to the Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) movement, to justify the detention of the movement’s leaders under the ISA as an example.

The mainstream media was used to paint a totally false picture of the movement before and after the arrest of Hindraf leaders on Dec 13, 2007, he claimed.

Detained with him were M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan, V. Ganabatirau and T. Vasanthakumar, all who have since been released.

He said the government labelled them as terrorists without a shred of evidence and were now attempting to set aside his defamation suit against the authorities.

“How am I going to clear my name?” he asked, adding he had little faith in the judiciary which he described as subservient to Government.

While at the Kamunting detention centre in Perak, he learned how to read and write Tamil, which he could only speak previously.

Detainees also got to share copies of the New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia.

From the newspapers he recorded 4,932 instances in 25 categories where Indians were left out from national development policies in Malaysia .

Uthayakumar said he kept his sanity by writing 11 diaries during 542 days in detention.

When asked about his “rehabilitation” under the ISA he retorted “What rehabilitation?”

He said rehabilitation is only for people who are wrong and he refused to attend classes conducted by the Special Branch and university professors.

Since his release after 542 days in detention in Kamunting, Uthayakumar joked that he has had to get used to being mobbed and even kissed on the cheeks by men.

'Kg Buah Pala issue can end with a stroke of a pen' - Malaysiakini

The Kampung Buah Pala village impasse in Bukit Gelugor, Penang can easily end with a mere stroke of a pen by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, said Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar.
MCPX

p uthayakumarHe said the Pakatan Rakyat state government could secure and preserve the state’s only Indian cultural heritage village by acquiring its land from the current owner on the grounds of public purpose and interests.

Uthayakumar stressed that Lim has an absolute power to do so under Section 76 of the National Land Code 1965 read together with the Land Acquisition Act.

He ticked off Lim for failing to do it despite holding the state powers for the past 14 months.

“Even the prime minister and the federal cabinet have no power over the land acquisition,” he said.

Uthayakumar warned Lim that Hindraf would hold him solely accountable if he were to let slip the opportunity and allow the developer to evict the villagers and usurp their traditional village.

He said Lim can acquire the land for the villagers and compensate the land owner, Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang, and developer, Umno-linked Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd, with money or an alternate development site.

“Whichever way, he should preserve and conserve this Indian traditional village,” he said during a visit to Kampung Buah Pala yesterday.

He warned Lim that he would face the wrath of Hindraf if he failed to exercise his power and shattered the villagers’ hopes.

Villagers to submit petition to chief minister

“We will hold him personally responsible for the disappearance of the only Tamil Hindu living cultural site in the state,” said Uthayakumar.

“All Chief Minister Lim has to do now is sign an order to acquire the land for the villagers, notwithstanding whether a legal proceeding was pending in court or not.

“With just a stroke of a pen, he can easily secure and preserve the one and only Tamil Hindu cultural heritage in Penang,” Uthayakumar, a lawyer, told the villagers

He suggested the state government to secure a RM50 million federal grant to beautify and upgrade the village’s traditional features.

Quiet Tamil Hindu village, Kampung Buah Pala, sits on a 2.6ha prime land in the heart of the rapidly developing eastern part of George Town.

The current 300 villagers and their ancestors, mostly of Tamil origins, have been living in the village for nearly 200 years.

Uthayakumar called on the villagers to submit to Lim a petition next week seeking him to acquire the land according to NLC.

The village residents association together with several civil societies will submit the petition to Lim next week.

Meanwhile, the villagers have appealed to the Federal Court for a stay of execution and leave to overturn the Court of Appeal decision on May 11.

In the decision, the appellate court overturned an earlier High Court decision in Oct last year, which favoured the villagers, and issued an eviction order effective June 11 on the villagers.

The case is up for case management hearing at the apex court in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

Current Judges' Code of Ethics

(NST) JUST as much as a judge applies the law and rules upon the common man, there are rules by which the judge himself has to live by.

The current Code of Ethics was drawn up in 1994 and amended in 2000, and is to be found in Clause 3(A) of Article 125 of the Federal Constitution.

The code applies to a judge of the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Federal Court, throughout his period of service, and the breach of any provision in this code may provide a ground for the removal of the judge from office.

On the day that a person is appointed a judge, he has to cease having any connection with the firm where he was practicing as a lawyer prior to his appointment.

To do this, he has to ensure that his name is removed from the firm's name, that it does not appear in the firm's letterhead, and that he does not have any dealings with the firm or any member of the firm.

Once a person becomes a judge, he would have to declare in writing all his assets, if asked to do so by the Chief Justice.

WHAT A JUDGE CAN'T DO

1. Put his private interests before his judicial duties.

2. Behave in a way that might bring his private interests into conflict with his judicial duties.

3. Behave in a manner that might cause a reasonable suspicion that he has allowed his private interests to come into conflict with his judicial duties, to the extent of impairing his usefulness as a judge.

4. Behave in a way that might cause a reasonable suspicion that he has used his judicial position for his personal advantage.

5. Conduct himself dishonestly or behave in a manner that would discredit the Judiciary or bring it into disrepute.

6. Be lacking in efficiency or industry.

7. Be late in disposing of cases, delivering decisions, and writing grounds of judgment, without reasonable explanation.

8. Refuse to obey a proper administrative order or refuse to comply with any statutory direction.

9. Be absent from his court during office hours without a reasonable excuse or prior permission from the Chief Justice, President of the Court of Appeal, or Chief Judge.

10. Be a member of any political party, or participate in any political activity.

I told you so – Mukhriz on Zaid

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 – Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir was probably grinning from ear to ear when he received the news that his rival, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, had joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

The son of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad probably played a mental slideshow of all the Umno leaders who backed Zaid when his father’s arch-foe, former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, made Zaid the law minister.

And, the thought foremost in Mukhriz’s mind must have been: “I told you so.”

Before anyone floated the possibility that Zaid might join PKR, Mukhriz had already made a “prophetic” statement in the last Parliament sitting, that Zaid was, in all but name, already a PKR member.

Back then, instead of getting support from his fellow Umno and BN MPs, he was instead given the cold shoulder when he accused Zaid of being “an Umno minister who is working for the opposition and especially PKR leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.”

But the news of Zaid’s applicaton for membership with PKR yesterday has been vindication for Mukhriz, who was only an MP back then and now the international trade deputy minister.

“I feel exonerated. My criticism of him from before has proven to be prescient,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Zaid resigned from the Barisan Nasional (BN) cabinet last year in protest against the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and was subsequently sacked from Umno.

During his short tenure as minister, he attempted to introduce reforms to the judiciary and pushed for compensation to be paid to judges sacked during the 1988 judiciary crisis, which was blamed on Mukhriz’s father, Mahathir.

The move was also seen by the remnants of Mahathir’s old guards in Umno as a way for Abdullah to damage Mahathir’s credibility, in retaliation for the latter’s constant sniping against his administration.

And while many Umno and BN leaders held their tongues, Mukhriz became the Umno leader who shouted loudest against Zaid’s “liberal” policies, which he accused of being very pro-opposition.

While some might have thought Zaid had gotten what he deserved when Umno sacked him, Mukhriz is not done with him yet.

“For one who had benefited greatly from the ruling party, he has shown his true colours –that of a person devoid of a sense of gratitude,” he said, concluding, “Good riddance.”

Kit Siang says Najib an utter failure as PM

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 – The failing economy, rising crime and crisis of confidence were among the litany of shortcomings of the prime minister raised by DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang during a dinner last night.

The Ipoh Timor MP who was speaking at the Serdang DAP Branch’s 42nd anniversary in Seri Kembangan said the PM had been in office for nearly two-and-a-half months but was still dogged by a deepening crisis of credibility, integrity and legitimacy.

“He does not seem to be able to do anything right. Whether on the political, economic, educational or nation-building front, he has yet to deliver.”

Lim repeated his challenge for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to ask for a vote of confidence when Parliament reconvenes tomorrow.

On the political front, Lim claimed, Najib inflicted on himself a deep and grievous wound in orchestrating the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak.

On the state of the economy, Lim slammed the prime minister’s two RM67 billion economic stimulus packages as failures.

This is demonstrated by the downward revision of 3.5 per cent GDP growth in 2009 when the first RM7 billion package was announced last November, to the current estimate that the economy will shrink by 4-5 per cent.

He said in a period of just nine months, the Malaysian economy has plunged from a government forecast of 5.4 per cent for 2009 when this year’s budget presented in Parliament on Aug 29 last year to a contraction by 4 or 5 per cent which was just announced by Najib, on May 28.

Meanwhile he said Malaysia’s streets have never felt so unsafe with the ever-rising crime rate.

“Yet we have an Inspector-General of Police who is so cut off from the people’s basic needs that he could misallocate scarce resources to harass peaceful demonstrators lighting candles, wearing black or even singing birthday song instead of going after the real criminals.”

He said meritocracy is still a bad word in the local education and human development front.

“Annually SPM students with 11As, 12As, 13As, 14As have to beg for Public Services Department scholarships which are denied to them compared with applicants with just 6As.”

Lim says evidence of Malaysia becoming a failed state is everywhere, including the recent roof collapse of the RM300 million 50,000-capacity Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak and the ongoing RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

He said Najib has failed to send out the right signals that his motto of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” which has become an empty slogan.

He added that Najib could not even unite Barisan Nasional and should not be talking about 1Malaysia.

Lim pointed out that 78.1 per cent or 2,409 out of 3,084 persons polled in the blog of the MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, wanted MCA to get out of the Barisan Nasional.

Will Ong Tee Keat drop everything in France and take the first flight back to discharge his paramount duty as Minister – to fully account to Parliamen

by Lim Kit Siang,

My three questions (No.46 to No. 48 on the 16th day in the current series) to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat on the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal today are:

No. 1. – I commend Ong for the prompt answer to my third question yesterday, viz: “As Parliament is periodically asked to approve allocations for the multi-billion ringgit bailout of PKFZ, is Ong ensuring that every MP gets a copy of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit report of PKFZ, together with the appendices, to ensure that there could be an informed debate and discussion of the issue in Parliament?”

The government portal on the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal, www.pkfznews.com.my, announced today that “All MPs to have a copy of the PwC report, including the appendices”.

I am glad that Ong had changed his mind. At the two-day Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday (June 10/11), Ong had refused to revoke his directive to the Port Klang Authority (PKA) Chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng restricting the access of PAC members to the four-inch high appendices only during the PAC meeting.

This is a most ridiculous and unacceptable directive totally contrary to all concept of accountability and transparency as well as the important principle of responsibility to Parliament.

I had proposed to ask all MPs on Monday to support a joint motion to censure Ong for contempt of Parliament in refusing to give unrestricted access of the appendices of the PcW Report on PKFZ to the PAC members.

I am confident that this will get the support not only of the 83 Pakatan Rakyat MPs but also Barisan Nasional MPs who cherish and understand the principle of Ministerial responsibility and accountability to Parliament, as the PwC Report and its appendices should not only be made available to PAC members but to all MPs as well!

Ong’s last-minute change of mind has saved the MCA President from the ignominy of a parliamentary censure motion which is not only supported by 83 PR MPs but also by conscientious BN MPs as well, who could differentiate and understand the importance of the distinction between party and parliamentary roles.

The last-minute intervention by Ong is proof that Ong is micro-managing every decision affecting the Port Klang Authority and the PKFZ issue and he should drop all pretences claiming otherwise to indulge in the hypocrisy of claiming credit where he could and disclaiming responsibility when faced with embarrassing questions.

My first question to Ong today is whether he would issue immediate directive for the three-and-a-half-inch high appendices to be put up online, giving easy access to every Malaysian interested about the “mother of all scandals” to scrutinise and give their input on the documentation involved.

Question No. 2 – The PwC audit report on the PKFZ, which was put online by PKA for two weeks from May 28 to June 10, was taken off the PKA website on Wednesday evening (June 10).

The very next day, Thursday June 11, as a national service, I had restored online the PwC report on the PKFZ scandal which is available on a site available on my blog entry “The PwC report on the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal which PKA has taken off the Internet”.

This greatly embarrassed Ong and the PKA and the PwC report was surreptitiously put back online on a new PKA website on Friday.

However, the PwC report on the PKFZ available from my blog is more user-friendly and in accordance with the principles of accountability and transparency than from the official PKA website, because the official website does not allow the PwC report to be downloaded, printed or copy-and-paste, which can be done from the PwC report available from my blog.

My second question to Ong today is: will he instruct the PKA to remove all the user-unfriendly features of the PwC report on PKFZ on the official website so that interested members of the public can download, print or copy-and-paste. Furthermore, whether he will instruct the PKA to do the same when the PwC Report Appendices are placed online to ensure that they are equally user-friendly.

My third question to Ong is why he had slipped overseas in so stealthy and secretive a manner as if he has a lot of things to hide, when any overseas trip by a Minister should be a very public and transparent affair.

In view of advent of the era of information and communications technology, where information travels at the speed of light in an 24/7 age, these three questions can reach Ong wherever he has travelled to on this planet.

Is he now aware that his paramount duty as Transport Minister is to give satisfactory accounting to Parliament when it meets on issues of national interest, and as the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal is now one such issue, whether he will drop everything in France and take the first flight back to discharge his paramount duty as Minister – to fully account to Parliament on the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal?

MCA going solo

My Sinchew

Recently, a "sensitive" opinion poll was going on in the MCA president's blog. The question was: Should MCA pull out from Barisan National?

In my opinion, we do not need to overinterpret this matter; neither does it hint that Ong Tee Keat really harbours such an intention. However, other people, including those in UMNO, may not think the same. At least it will trigger a great deal of conjectures.

No matter what, Najib has said it was just an academic research, and he did not think MCA would actually withdraw from BN.

In this matter, UMNO seems to be full of confidence, knowing that MCA would not fly away even if it has been endowed with a pair of wings. As for MCA, the party is much accustomed to its old nest, and we are not sure whether it can really fly away even with those wings!

Having said that, as an academic research, the outcome of this poll still warrants some serious studies. From the 2,500 replies received, some 75% of respondents think MCA should quit BN.

I don't know the backgrounds of these respondents, but based on common sense, visitors to the MCA president's blog should be predominantly MCA members or supporters.

So, when even MCA's supporters feel that the party should pull out, the direction is clear enough: there is really problem with BN!

MCA leaders often find it tough to defend even many of BN government's policies.

The unequal relationship between UMNO and MCA makes it very hard for MCA leaders to explain to the public.

Although a new president is now taking charge in UMNO, and a new president has also been elected for MCA, we still don't see major changes in the existing policies, and the old relationship remains much the same.

With BN and UMNO still clinging on to their old self, MCA's crisis could only get further entrenched.

MCA lost a big chunk of its parliamentary seats in the general elections last March. How well can its existing 15 seats withstand the impact of the next general elections remains unknown.

The greatest challenge faced by MCA does not come from DAP or Keadilan, but UMNO. The space for the party's survival doesn't come from the decisions made by the voters, but the bosom and vision of UMNO.

If UMNO does possess any respectable measure of political wisdom, it should be well aware that a frail MCA is not going to augur well for UMNO or BN.

Now that Najib has admitted that MCA is a senior partner in BN, he should allow MCA to play a more important role within the ruling coalition.

MCA, meanwhile, must also harness its "senior partner" status and exert its full potentials.

For instance, when UMNO and PAS are trying to woo each other into a unity government, MCA should be the first to jump out and declare: "I am a senior partner in Barisan Nasional. You need to get my permission first. Such a unity government will only disrupt the nature of BN, and if you insist to go ahead with it, MCA will pull out from BN as a protest."

Such a MCA will surely garner more votes and applause. (By TAY TIAN YAN/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)

Memaknai Semangat Demokrasi KeADILan

Hari ini, lebih 1000 perwakilan KeADILan hadir ke Kongres Khas di Kolej Universiti Islam Selangor. Hari istimewa ini menjadi asas, inshaallah, dalam melakar masa depan yang gemilang, bukan sahaja untuk memperkasa parti, akan tetapi juga memaknai haluan perjuangan bangsa Malaysia.

Para perwakilan pada sebelah petang nanti akan mula membahaskan usul pindaan perlembagaan, yang sekiranya diluluskan, pasti melonjakkan kedudukan parti serta perjuangan kita ke persada amalan demokratik yang tidak tergugat lagi. Anjakan ini mustahak sekali dijayakan kerana ianya menzahirkan iltizam kita untuk mewakili semangat perubahan yang sekian lama didambakan rakyat.

Pentas ini juga menjadi kesempatan terbaik kepada saya untuk mengingatkan anggota parti agar jangan sesekali mengkhianati amanah dan tanggungjawab yang dipikul. Mandat dari rakyat lah menjadi dian ilham untuk merumuskan makna Ketuanan Rakyat dan berjuang dalam kerangka muafakat Pakatan Rakyat.

Sudah tentu kita tidak menghalang perbincangan walau dengan pihak mana sekalipun terutama jikalau ianya isu yang berkait rapat dengan kepentingan nasional. Namun pendirian kita jelas, sebarang perbincangan hanya mampu berhasil sekiranya isu asas menjadi keutamaan; kehakiman mesti bebas dari kongkongan penguasa, suruhanjaya pilihanraya serta suruhanjaya pencegahan rasuah harus dikendalikan secara telus dan krisis Perak hanya mampu diselesaikan melalui pilihanraya.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Ex-Umno minister Zaid joins PKR

Do Malaysian Indians need changes?

During my childhood days, many shop houses in the town which I lived was owned by Chettys . Not only my town, but also Kuala Lumpur in early 70s, many shops where owned by Indian business men. This shows that Indians where the main economy holder of Malaya and now known as Malaysia. After 13th May 1969, there was big riot. Officially, 196 people were killed between May 13 and July 31 as a result of the riots, although journalists and other observers have stated much higher figures. Other reports at the time said over 2,000 were killed whom are rioters, police and Malaysian Army rangers, mainly in Kuala Lumpur. Many of the dead bodies were buried in Kuala Lumpur General Hospital grounds, in the unmarked graves quickly by the soldiers of Malaysian Engineers. All those sickening incidents made many Indian Business men or Chettys sold their properties to Chinese and ran away from Malaysia.

Most of the Chettys had credit business and as I mentioned earlier many of them ran away to India. After that, some Chinese business men took over those businesse. In the other you can say that Indians have opened ways to Chinese and to many races in Malaysia.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3d/Rajendra_map_new.png

Lets go back to the another history, The grey and purple colour in the map above shows that 1000 years ago, Raja Chola have been ruling many countries including Malaysia. Ramayana is saying that King Dasaratha ruled the whole world. We have a lot proof of it. Maya and Inca in South America. Worshiping sun god in Scotland, Wikipedia is says the Indus Valley Civilization (mature period 2600–1900 BCE), abbreviated IVC, was an ancient civilization that flourished in the Indus River basin. Primarily centered along the Indus river, the civilization encompassed most of Pakistan, including its Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan provinces, and extending into modern day Indian states of Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. Remains, have been excavated from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Iran, as well. The mature phase of this civilization is technically known as the Harappan Civilization, after the[1] first of its cities to be unearthed: Harappa in Pakistan.

Where are the Indians now? We have been ruling many countries in the past. What happen to our strength? This article will be based on your answers.

I feel tremendously sad for my dear Indian nation. Are we just a slaves for some people who taking advantages from us? Why we are not unite at all??? The Map above is just a simple proof. Do you know that we have been never united under political parties. The history showing that we have been peacefully united only under religion. The real dharma which we followed long time ago made us united. Now, there are many new parties . Mr Nalla went away from party keadilan and opened his own party, Mr.Govindaraj went out from MIC and opened a new party, Mr.Pandithan sacked out from MIC and opened a party and lately we have a new party called Mindraf. Do you think all those parties are helping and feeding the grass roots? The answer will be never. Even there is 100 MICs or 1000 Hindraf appears, but when you are not united under your religion then you are nowhere my dear Indians.

In Malaysia, we are seeing Muslims always shaking hands when come to religious practise. Can we do this? They are converting many of our Hindu brothers and sisters.
Why can’t we uphold Hinduism for our unity? The answer is 95% of you are not interested and don’t even know your religion well. When Christians and Muslims give their beautiful girl to you, we will be blind by their offer . Also many are converting every year for money. My estimation each year 100 people or more, converting to their religion. All of this people failed to know their religion. If they knew some basic or in another word the Hinduism, they will never go anywhere.

How the unity will come? India was ruled by European and Muslim emperors not to make us happy. They came to steal all our properties and wealth. How they stole it from India?
First they divide us, by creating jathi or caste. Then divided us according to caste which was not mentioned in Hinduism. In Vedas or religious book there are only 4 caste which are Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra. Other than the 4 four caste which I mentioned there isn't new caste like Mudaliar, Kaunden, Thevar, Malayalam, Telegu and etc.
The foreigners use this caste as a weapon to divide us and rule. By this, the door was open to steal our properties. In Malaysia and India there are still people who follows the nonsense caste which are dividing ourselves for not giving a space for unity. Our religion is saying that our soul is part and parcel from the Lord. So when the soul come from the lord, how could we be divided by the caste?

Those days Kings and their army were protecting their kinsmen by great religious rules. Never there was irreligion. Now days in Malaysia many of our brothers who are using gangs to collect from young group of boys. We have 08, 18, 24 and many other numbers. Ultimately non of them are protecting us. Where were those gang leaders when Indira Ghandi(Perak) lost her 3 children? Where are they when Shamala has a problem? Where were they when Moorthy’s body was taken away by Muslim authority? From here we can see the example they are just a snake without venom. Are they going to protect our fellow Indians? We have to think this wisely.

Once upon a time we were money lender or did some wealthy business in Malaysia. Now many of us are being a debtor to Chinese money lender who is always killing many of our Indians. Why every time we are in problems? Don’t we have intelligent to be stabile?

After many years research, I came to an conclusion that we are not less intelligent citizen. We are always very rich in ideas and hard working people. Two important things are lacking in us.

a)30 years ago there was a Tamil song called Unnai arinthal nee unaai Arinthal ulagathai poradalam. If you trust in yourself you can face the world bravely. How to trust in ourselves? We are just lacking of self motivation. We are grown up dependent on the system of Malaysia and dependent on people surrounded by us.

b)We are neglecting our mother so called Hinduim. What ever Hindusm saying we are just doing the opposite. When it says do not kill other animals for food and we will do it because we are following other religion followers. When it says do not lie we will do it following our mind, when it says do not intoxicate and we will do it specifically on Deepavali which supposed to celebrate in vegetarian way. Now if you read this and you will know that we are breaking every single religious practice. How can we unite under one umbrella?

If you could answer to me and check your answers, It will be a great success for my hard working of this article. Thank you

Greetings
Saravanan
Saravanan.my@gmail.com

Poll results prompt Iran protests (Al Jazeera)

Protesters battled police and started fires, but their actions appeared not to be co-ordinated [Reuters]

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Tehran to protest the outcome of the country's elections, the biggest unrest since the country's 1979 revolution.

Riot police were deployed in the capital after supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated reformist candidate, took to the streets on Saturday.

Up to 3,000 Mousavi supporters took part in the protests after Mousavi was defeated by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the incumbent president.

Protests intensified following a televised speech by Ahmadinejad in which he said the vote had been "completely free" and the outcome was "a great victory" for Iran.

"Today, the people of Iran have inspired other nations and disappointed their ill-wishers," he said.

"This is a great victory at a time when the ... propaganda facilities outside Iran and sometimes inside Iran were totally mobilized against our people," he said.

He praised the country's youth, but made no direct mention of the protests.

'Running battles'

Al Jazeera's Teymoor Nabili, reporting from Tehran, said major streets in the north of the capital had come to a standstill.

"Coming up the street there were running battles happening between riot police and students and there were refuse bins alight in the middle of the road," he said.

"I saw riot police hitting student's with sticks. I saw students - or young people - throwing stones at the riot police, trying to knock them off their motorcycles.

"But you didn't get a sense that there was any kind of organised movement in this."

Mohsen Khancharli, Tehran's deputy police chief, said the force would "strongly confront" any gathering or rally held without permission.

"Police are not confronting people but only those who are disturbing public order or who make damage to public places," he told Iran's official IRNA news agency.

Fearing the protests might spread, authorities blocked access to some news websites and Facebook, the social networking site.

"Text messaging has been closed all day and now its very difficult to even get a mobile telephone line," our correspondent said.

'Provocative behaviour'

Ahmadinejad won a landslid victory in the polls on Friday, with figures from the interior ministry showing he had taken 62.63 per cent of the vote, with Mousavi garnering only 33.75 per cent.

The scale of Ahmadinejad's triumph upset widespread expectations that Mousavi might win the race.

But supporters of Ahmadinejad also took to the street following the annocunement of his victory, waving Iranian flags and honking car horns in celebration of his winning a second, four-year term.

At least three people were injured in the clashes between police and Mousavi's supporters.

Mousavi said members of his election headquarters had been beaten "with batons, wooden sticks and electrical rods".

he appealed directly to Khamenei to intervene and stop what he said were violations of the law.

But Ayatollah Ali Khameini, Iran's supreme leader, appeared unlikely to intervene.

He told the defeated candidates and their supporters to avoid "provocative behaviour".

In a statement read on state television, Khameini said: "The chosen and respected president is the president of all the Iranian nation and everyone, including yesterday's competitors, must unanimously support and help him."

Time to come clean: the real story behind the unity government

But this does not mean that DAP, PKR or PAS joins Barisan Nasional. The opposition parties would still remain outside Barisan Nasional. And neither would those who joined the government resign from DAP, PKR or PAS and become members of one of the 14 component parties of Barisan Nasional.


THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is in the midst of amending its party constitution to allow its members to appoint its leaders direct. Currently, PKR is structured almost like Umno where the leaders are appointed by its 2,000 or so delegates to the general assembly, and those who can contest the leadership must be nominated by the division during the division meetings.

This is how Umno does it. It is not the 3 million or 3.5 million Umno members who appoint their leaders. It is the 2,500 or so delegates to the general assembly. But the nominations that will determine who can and cannot contest the party leadership must come from the 191 Umno divisions.

Most times the 191 divisions will nominate those whom the division leaders support. In short, it is not the 3 million or 3.5 million Umno members who make that decision but the 191 division heads. And whom the division heads support will be whomsoever the Umno President supports.

The bottom line is, one man, the President, decides who gets nominated and the 191 division heads make sure that the 3 million or 3.5 million members endorse the President’s wish by nominating these people. Nominations are normally based on block-voting or chais. Very seldom can those not on the chai get in although a few have been known to get through the 'roadblock' in the past -- especially if they are popular ‘independent mavericks’ like Shahrir Samad. But this would be the exception rather than the rule.

It is good that PKR breaks away from the ‘Umno tradition’ by allowing all the members to have the right of direct voting instead of the current ‘nominee’ system where their votes are 'engineered' through the delegates to the general assembly who in turn are ‘guided’ by the handful of division heads. This not only eliminates block-voting based on ‘the President’s wish’ but it will also eliminates ‘money politics’ where aspiring candidates can buy votes. Buying 2,000 delegates is easier than buying a couple of million members.

Nevertheless, while we may applaud PKR’s or Anwar Ibrahim’s move to allow ‘proper democracy’ to prevail -- where all members get to choose their leaders rather than a mere 200 division leaders or the 2,000 delegates -- we must give credit where credit is due. This idea was actually mooted by Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah long before the 8 March 2008 general election.

Ku Li’s aspiration was to see reforms in Umno. He wanted to see a one-man-one-vote system prevail, almost like how things are done in the US. Why should just 191 division leaders or 2,500 Umno delegates decide the future of this country of 27 million Malaysians? The contestants whom 191 division heads or 2,500 Umno delegates choose as their leader will not just become Umno leaders but leaders of Malaysia as well. Should a mere 191 division heads or 2,500 delegates of one political party decide what happens to 27 million Malaysians?

Now, while on the subject of Ku Li, the controversial unity government idea was also mooted by Ku Li. And this was also mooted long before the 8 March 2008 general election.

Two fasting months ago, back in 2007, a meeting was held in Ku Li’s residence cum office to discuss this matter. About 30 to 35 Bloggers and civil society movement leaders from both sides of the political divide attended this meeting, which ended in a buka puasa that evening. There were people from Umno as well as the opposition in that meeting, some of those Umno Bloggers who of late have become my adversary.

The 2007 buka puasa meeting was actually the highlight. Prior to that many meetings were held with Ku Li in what could be considered exploratory meetings to see in which direction Ku Li was going to take Umno and what reforms he was proposing for that dominant party that will be running the government and which will decide all its policies.

Back in 2005-2006, when the meetings were first held, we were not naïve in thinking that the opposition would be taking over come the next general election, whenever that was going to be. The latest the elections would have to be held would be March 2009. But we did not see yet, at that time, the possibility of an opposition alliance the likes of Pakatan Rakyat.

The 2004 general election was a disaster. It was the worst the opposition had ever performed. It did not appear like the opposition would even agree to an electoral pact, let alone a coalition. We expected three- or four-corner fights in many constituencies with Barisan Nasional against more than one opposition candidate. This was what happened in 2004 and the opposition candidates, because of the three- or four-corner fights, not only lost but in some cases lost their deposits as well.

The alternative, back in 2005-2006, appeared to be some form of unity government. But it was not meant as a unity government with Umno per se. It was supposed to be the opposition entering into a unity government with Ku Li.

That was the initial idea.

No doubt, the unity government with Ku Li would be with Ku Li as the head of Umno. We did not think, at that time, Umno would be wiped out in the general election. Umno would still be the main player in Barisan Nasional and Barisan Nasional would still form the federal government as well as the state government in most states. And the opposition would remain the opposition. The only thing we did not know yet at that time was whether the opposition be a strong opposition like in 1999 or a weak opposition like in 2004. Whatever it may be though, the opposition would still remain the opposition and the only way it could be in the government would be in the form of a unity government with Ku Li.

Along the way, things developed beyond our expectations. First, Ku Li did not get the nominations required to make it as Umno’s President. His people had earlier told us that Ku Li had more than enough nominations to contest the Umno Presidency. We had in fact written many times that Ku Li would have no problem winning the Umno Presidency if he can obtain the required nominations. It is getting the nominations that would be difficult.

Back in 2004 Ku Li got only one nomination. And that nomination was from his own Gua Musang division. Even then the Gua Musang Wanita chief voted against him so in that sense you can say he got only half a nomination. How can he be assured of getting 60 nominations this time around instead of just one like in 2004?

Well, he ended up, again, getting just one nomination like what happened in 2004. This means he would not become the new Umno President and all his plans for the reformation of Umno, including the one-man-one-vote system, was going to be a non-starter. And this means the idea for a unity government would also be a non-starter. There was no way the opposition would form a unity government with Umno without Ku Li as its head. This idea was personal to holder. It was supposed to be with Ku Li as head of Umno. Not with Umno whoever may be the head.

Anyway, the 2008 general election proved better than expected. Umno and Barisan Nasional were not kicked out but neither was the opposition wiped out like in 2004. And the opposition did not engage in three- or four-corner fights. Furthermore, they did better than just enter into an electoral pact. They actually formed an opposition coalition.

What was perceived viable back in 2005-2006 is no longer viable today. The uncertainties of 2005-2006 made the idea of a unity government a very viable proposition. But it was not an open proposition. It was a proposition with terms and conditions attached. And the first condition was that Ku Li would become head of a reformed Umno where amongst the many reforms would be the one-man-one-vote system like what PKR is pushing through today.

There were many in PAS, PKR and DAP who, of course, opposed the idea of the unity government, even if it was with Ku Li as the head of Umno. There were some who felt that if it was with Ku Li then they would agree to it, but anyone other than Ku Li and it would be no-go. Then, of course, there were those who did not see any light at the end of the tunnel unless it was on the basis of a unity government -- seeing that the three opposition parties could never sit down and agree to anything.

If we wanted to see changes in this country there were only two alternatives open to us back in 2005-2006. Either the opposition takes over, or, Umno and Barisan Nasional reforms. Now, back in 2005-2006, we did not see any possibility of the opposition taking over. DAP said they would not even sit at the same table with PAS, let alone form an opposition coalition with PAS, unless PAS agrees to publicly declare that it is abandoning the Islamic State agenda. PAS, on the other hand, agreed to drop the Islamic State agenda and no longer talk about it. But they will not openly declare that it is abandoning the agenda.

PAS even bought a full-page advertisement in The Star (I know because I had arranged for it and even went over to The Star’s office to pay for the advert) to show that its party constitution does not even mention an Islamic State. This means the Islamic State is not in the party’s constitution. It is an aspiration just what the New Economic Policy is to Umno, an aspiration. It is not ‘law’.

DAP wanted an open and public declaration from PAS. PAS would only agree to quietly bury the issue and no longer raise the matter without making a public declaration. This means the idea of an opposition coalition is a non-starter. Where, then, do we go from there? How would the opposition be able to play a role in running this country? The next best thing, the second prize, would be to team up with Ku Li in the form of a unity government where some of the opposition leaders could join the government and help play a role in running this country and push for reforms.

But this does not mean that DAP, PKR or PAS joins Barisan Nasional. The opposition parties would still remain outside Barisan Nasional. And neither would those who joined the government resign from DAP, PKR or PAS and become members of one of the 14 component parties of Barisan Nasional.

This is probably what many of those opposed as well as supportive to the idea of a unity government do not comprehend.

Of course, that was in 2005-2006 when we saw no hope of any form of opposition alliance. In fact, back in 2005-2006, we did not even know when the general elections would be held let alone how the opposition would fare in that election. So the next best thing, the only alternative that appeared open to the opposition, would be to team up with Ku Li and help him not only reform Umno but reform the government as well. If the opposition can’t get in to bring about these reforms then at least let us assist Ku Li in bringing about these reforms. Either way we shall see the reforms that we seek.

On hindsight we now know that the unity government idea will not work. But it will not work because it is no longer Ku Li we are talking to. And it will not work because Umno will certainly not reform since Ku Li will not be able to bring reforms to Umno -- in fact, Umno appears to be taking the country backward rather than forward. Furthermore, we now appear to have some resemblance of an opposition coalition in the form of Pakatan Rakyat -- which we did not have back in 2005-2006 and which, going by the statements by DAP and PAS, we would probably never see.

I hear what many are saying. And what most say is that they are opposed to any form of unity government with Umno or Barisan Nasional. That is fine now, after the 8 March 2008 general election. Now, people see the possibility of Pakatan Rakyat taking over the government one day and Umno and Barisan Nasional being sent into the opposition aisle.

But that is taking advantage of hindsight. Everyone is an expert on hindsight. In 2005-2006 we did not know this. We did not even know whether there would be a Pakatan Rakyat. And from what DAP and PAS were saying it seemed to point to the possibility that there would not be a Pakatan Rakyat.

So, what other alternative did we have, back in 2005-2006, other than to explore the possibility of forming a sort of unity government with Ku Li, on condition he makes it as the Umno President, and on condition he brings about those reforms he talked about, which includes but is not restricted to the one-man-one-vote system that PKR is going to introduce today?

Let this be my shortest piece ever

Image

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, today, confirmed that more than 1,500 cases of racial fracas are reported every year. That’s almost five race-related cases per day, at least as far as those REPORTED are concerned. This is what the Minister said, not what I say. I rest my case and will allow the Bernama report below do all the talking.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Koh Tsu Koon praises police

KULIM, June 13 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon today praised the Royal Malaysian Police for its efficiency in handling racial fracas.

He said the police had done a good and commendable job in safeguarding public order and security, resulting in the country to remain safe.

“The spirit of unity remains strong among the people in the country, despite more than 1,500 cases of racial fracas reported every year,” he said at the launching of the state-level Unity Week here yesterday.

However, Dr Koh, said the cases reported were not serious and the number was still low compared with other countries.

“Cases of these petty fights were normally started by two individuals, which then escalated into a racial fracas, but the police, through their moderate approach, were able to solve them," he added.

He said there were differences in opinions on certain issues, but the people should stay united and together find ways to find solutions for problems.

He urged the Rukun Tetangga (RT) community in the country to play a role in promoting the 1Malaysia concept by organising various programmes and activities in their respective neighbourhoods.

The move, he said, would be in line with the setting up of the RT sectors, which was to foster closer relations among the people of various races in the country.

“The objective is relevant until today and synonymous with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s desire to see the people united under the 1 Malaysia concept,” he added.

Later at the function, Dr Koh presented awards to eight individuals for their contributions in fostering racial harmony among the people in Kedah.

They are Datuk Chong Kim Wah (Kubang Pasu), Murah Draoh (Langkawi), Supramaniam Muthusamy (Kulim), Jamaluddin Hashim (Pendang), Ramasamy Ariaputran (Baling), Rashid Hussein (Kota Setar), Hashim Chik (Yan) and Azizan Md Isa (Kuala Muda).

Also present at the function were National Unity and Integration Department Director-General Datuk Azman Amin Hassan abnd its Kedah director, Mohd Yunus Mansor. – Bernama

UMNO is no bully in BN? Then why instant removal of poll on MCA President’s blog where 78.1 per cent or 2409 out of 3084 persons want MCA out of Baris

By Lim Kit Siang,

The instant removal of the poll “Should MCA leave BN” on the blog of the MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat where 78.1 per cent or 2,409 out of 3,084 persons polled want MCA out of the Barisan Nasional reminds me of last October’s MCA General Assembly.

In his opening speech, the then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi denied that UMNO was a “bully” party in the Barisan Nasional.

Abdullah’s denial, responding to the earlier speech of the outgoing MCA President, Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting’s “Umno is bully in Barisan Nasional”, made the newspaper frontpage headlines like “UMNO IS NO BULLY” (New Sunday Times 19.10.08) and “Umno bukan pembuli: PM” (Berita Minggu).

If UMNO is no bully in BN, then why the instant removal of the poll “Should MCA leave BN” on MCA President’s blog immediately after the UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak expressed his displeasure at such a poll in the MCA President’s blog?

Although Najib was very diplomatic, saying that the MCA President’s online poll “Should MCA leave BN” was “an academic exercise” and that “As far as I am concerned, MCA has no intention of leaving the BN”, there can be no mistaking of his displeasure.

What have both Najib and Ong to say about the one-sided result in the poll, with 78.1 per cent or 2,409 out of 3,084 persons polled want MCA out of Barisan Nasional?

The latest poll results were published in today’s Utusan Malaysia before the poll was unceremoniously removed from Ong’s blog!

Bong who?

peace1

Photo courtesy of www.sriamanro.sarawak.gov.my

Or how Sri Aman in Sarawak got its name…

It’s now Anwar Ibrahim’s turn to call on the government to allow the former Communist Party of Malaya leader, Chin Peng, to return home.

In the raging controversy over whether Chin Peng should be allowed to return home, few in the peninsula are aware of the peace treaty signed in 1973 in Simanggang, Sarawak between the then state chief minister, Abdul Rahman Yaakub, and Bong Kee Chok, the director and commissar of Partai Rakyat Kalimantan Utara (Paraku), which was linked to Tentara Nasional Kalimantan Utara (TNKU) and the Sarawak Communist Organisation (SCO). That led to several hundred communists laying down their arms and subsequently returning to society.

To commemorate the occasion, Simanggang was renamed Sri Aman.

Bong today is reportedly a successful businessman.

Check out the full story in a Borneo Post report here.

Water Talks With Selangor Held Up By Assets Value Issue - Najib

SHAH ALAM, June 13 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the delay in concluding talks on restructuring the water services in Selangor was due to the unreasonable value set by the state government on its water assets.

Najib, who is also Umno president, spoke to reporters after chairing a meeting of the Selangor Umno Liaison Committee helmed by him, here.

The Selangor government had offered to sell its water assets to Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB), an agency wholly-owned by the Finance Ministry, for RM9.7 billion.

The state government, through its subsidiary Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd, had proposed a restructuring of the water services in Selangor by taking over the concessionaires - Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Pengeluaran Air Selangor Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd and their assets.

However, the state government's offer to take over the rights of the concessionaires and their assets for between RM5.5 billion and RM6 billion had been reportedly rejected by the concessionaires.

Najib said no force was put on the state government to migrate to the new water management regime or system in the country.

Under the country's restructuring of the water services, PAAB would take over the assets and asset-related liabilities from the existing water companies and the operations would be supervised by the National Water Services Commission (Span).

Najib said: "The Selangor government can remain in the existing regime but it will have to bear the implications of that decision."

He said the federal government had given notice to the state government to resolve the issue.

"We have stated that if anything happens, it is not the fault of the federal government. We have given sufficient notice to the state government," he said.

Najib said that at the Umno meeting he had asked for the water issue to be explained to all Umno leaders so that they could brief the people on the matter.

Bigotry alive for Christian Dalits

Main church, Lady of the Rosary Parish, Eraiyur, southern India
The village came up around the parish church, Lady of the Rosary Parish

(BBC)Centuries ago, as their forefathers faced social and economic deprivation, many low-caste Hindus embraced Christianity.

But in one corner of southern India, their hopes for equality remain unfulfilled hundreds of years on. Called "pariahs", hundreds of Dalit Christians continue to face discrimination - not from Hindus but fellow Christians.

More than 200km (124 miles) from Chennai, the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, is the village of Eraiyur.

Home to about 3,000 Dalit Christians, mostly farm labourers and migrant workers, the area witnessed violence last year when Dalits demanded equal treatment.

The village is dominated by Vanniyar Christians numbering 15,000, who own most of the land and businesses.

They imposed restrictions on Dalits even though they had also converted to Christianity.

Restricted life

A 17th Century church building, Lady of the Rosary Parish, stands tall above the Eraiyur settlement. The village came up around the parish church, with Vanniyar houses closest to it. The Dalits were forced to build their small huts on the fringe of the village.

It did not take long for the divisions within the Hindu social system to be reflected among the new Christians.

The dominant Vanniyars created rules which restricted the movement of the Dalits.

Peraiyamakar, farm labourer
We were told not to touch any upper caste person, not to get too close to them, not to talk to them
Mrs Peraiyamakar

When they visited the parish church they were not allowed to walk on the main street leading to the building. Instead they had to use a side street that led to the church gate.

When Dalits died they were not allowed to be buried in the cemetery. Their burial ground is beyond the village and can only be accessed through a broken path.

In addition, the funeral cart parked inside the church building can be used only by Vanniyars.

"We were told not to touch any upper caste person, not to get too close to them, not to talk to them," says Mrs Peraiyamaka, 60, a farm labourer who has been visiting the parish church since childhood.

"It is no different now."

Mr Thomas, a 60-year-old labourer says there is also a fear of violence as young Dalits refuse to be submitted to such humiliation.

He says this fear prompted the Dalits to build an alternative church.

A single-room, white-washed brick structure with an iron grill for the entrance is set in a small open ground.

Called Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Dalit church has a coloured icon of Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus in her arms. She is flanked by plastic flowers and incense sticks burn on the sides.

The Dalits' demands of recognition for their church were rejected by local Catholic priests on the ground that a village can have only one parish church.

There is no big change after we came to Christianity. We have very good Christian names, we read Bible and got to Church instead of temples.
Mr Mathew, Dalit activist

Mr Mathew is a Dalit activist who graduated from Madras University.

Having faced prejudice as a schoolboy, he has now decided to fight for the rights of Dalits.

His efforts to seek justice have created tension in his village, forcing him to move to elsewhere.

He is angry that although the constitution has banned "untouchability" it continues to be practised in different ways.

"My family may get some minimum help or guidance from Christianity. That's all. There is no big change after we came to Christianity," says Mr Mathew.

Vanniyars disgruntled

Dalit church
Dalits are demanding that their church be recognised

As we walked out of the Dalit quarters towards the well laid-out area where Vanniyar Christians live under the shadow of the whitewashed parish church, we were greeted by a few angry women.

They did not want us to take pictures and asked us to leave.

A few angry residents of Vanniyar quarters gathered around us. They agreed to answer our questions. Emily, 25, was eager to give their version of the story.

"We have allowed them to use the road. They are creating trouble," she says.

We asked her how in a free country one group could dictate to others on the use of a public road.

"I don't know. It's been like this… but we have now allowed them," Emily replied.

Similar responses came from other Vanniyars we spoke to.

Mr Arukadas, a retired government teacher lives next to the parish church and he shared his unhappiness with the Dalit Christians.

Asked about using a common funeral van and a graveyard where all Christians irrespective of their past Hindu caste identity can be buried, he retorted: "It will take a long time for a common graveyard."