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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Huan threatens to go — Again

By Shannon Teoh - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Accusing the central working committee (CWC) of ignoring the party’s constitution, Gerakan vice president Huan Cheng Guan has revived his threat to leave if his three-year suspension for what the party calls “openly attacking the party and the party leadership,” is not retracted.

Huan’s on-again-off-again threats to leave Gerakan amid rumours he will join PKR had initially led to a show-cause letter being served on the leader, who claims to be highly influential in mainland Penang.

But it is unclear if Huan’s actions will have much of an effect even though he is a vice-president.

Since losing Penang in last year’s general elections, Gerakan has been reduced to a bit-part player in the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Huan’s self-proclaimed influence did not help prevent his party from a total wipe-out last March in their former stronghold.

On Friday night, the party’s CWC decided on the disciplinary action, which secretary-general Teng Chang Yeow said should have been harsher due to the “severe nature of his misbehaviour.”

Speaking to The Malaysian Insider today, Huan said that he wants a proper hearing by a disciplinary committee — which should have been set up in the first place to hear his case.

“Instead, the CWC has unilaterally made the decision behind closed doors where nobody knows what they discussed,” he said of the committee, which only includes the top leadership and not the 23 ordinary members of the central committee.

The length of the suspension means that Huan cannot contest the next party polls scheduled for 2011, effectively eradicating his influence in the medium term, so the former air force major believes there is no point staying if this is the case.

He also accused the Gerakan leadership of double-standards for not pursuing further action when Penang Umno members loyal to former Bukit Bendera chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail had torn pictures of Gerakan president Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon but who were now clamping down hard on him for raising grassroot issues.

The episode between Ahmad and Koh had arisen after the former was reported to have called ethnic Chinese “squatters”, leading Koh to dissociate Gerakan Penang from its Umno counterpart.

On whether he will make a formal appeal to the central committee, which he is allowed to do under the constitution, he said he had not decided but would first and foremost defend himself by explaining the situation through the media.

“I want to defend myself and attack this decision first. They accused me of pressuring members to leave the party but they are smart and can make up their own minds,” Huan said.

His unhappiness with the party leadership also appeared to have been sparked by a relatively minor issue over the appointments of branch coordinators, particularly in the Machang Bubok divison in Penang.

But stating that he had received over 1,000 text messages last week asking him to stay, he decided to stick it out in Gerakan.

Huan’s backers feel that he is highly influential in Penang and would be an asset to Gerakan’s attempts at recapturing the state from the DAP and PR.

But Huan has been at odds with Penang chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan over the appointment of coordinators for parliamentary and state seats traditionally contested by Gerakan, leading to Huan being served a show-cause letter.

Last week, the former Batu Kawan MP also apologised for any offense his recent actions had caused to party leaders and said he would accept the decision of the top leadership, even if it decided to give him the sack.

Several branch and division leaders have also threatened to leave the party should Huan decide to do so. Branch and division leaders from the mainland of Penang have claimed that 1,000 members would follow him.

Huan, who works in Parliament as a special officer in the chief whip’s office and was the only top leader elected in party polls last year not aligned to president Koh, had contested the Bukit Tambun state seat in the last general election but lost to a PKR candidate.

PKR is understood to be courting Huan, who also works for the BN backbenchers’ club as its executive secretary, and his supporters.

Murugiah tells Kayveas not to ‘jump the gun’

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Datuk T. Murugiah today urged PPP President Datuk M. Kayveas to respect the prime minister and not “jump the gun” in attempting to replace him (Murugiah) for the post.

“Kayveas should be patient and wait for the outcome of the Registrar of Societies’ (ROS) investigations before seeking the replacement,” Murugiah told Bernama here today.

He was commenting on the announcement by Kayveas that the party would soon submit the replacement’s name to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for his consideration, after the party’s full supreme council members were finalised by Wednesday.

Murugiah was sacked by the party’s disciplinary board for allegedly tarnishing the reputation of the party.

On June 7, after officiating the PPP General Assembly, Najib had announced that Murugiah could continue as the deputy minister until the outcome of the ongoing ROS investigations into the party’s affairs. Najib had also said that “it was the prime minister’s prerogative to appoint a minister.”

Murugiah said it was wrong for Kayveas to show disrespect to Najib, who is the chairman of the Barisan Nasional, of which PPP was a component party.

Kayveas had said that the party would choose one of the five vice-president to replace Murugiah. PPP’s incumbent vice-presidents are: Datuk Maglin D’Cruz, Dr. K.D.Siva, Datuk Chiw Tiang Chai and Dr. Loga Bala Mohan, who is also the Penang PPP chief.

The fifth would be appointed on Wednesday. — Bernama

Pakatan Rakyat foremost task – resolve first crisis of confidence by sending out clear message that PR parties committed to “new politics” and reject

By Lim Kit Siang,

Tomorrow, Pakatan Rakyat parties must resolve the first crisis of confidence faced by PR in 14 months after the political tsunami of the March 8 general elections by sending out a clear and unmistakable message to Malaysians that Paktan Rakyat rejects the old Malaysian politics based on “divide-and-rule” and the fear factor by standing up solidly for “new politics” in representing the interests of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or territory.

Recently, UMNO strategists have been very successful in planting doubts among Malaysians who had created the political tsunami which saw Pakatan Rakyat winning five state governments and ended the Barisan Nasional two-thirds parliamentary majority and terminated Umno political hegemony in Malaysian politics whether they had made the right choice.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders’ foremost task and greatest challenge at the PR leadership council meeting tomorrow is to assure these architects of the 2008 political tsunami that they had not made the wrong choice, that PR is prepared to move forward to give meaning to the “new politics” of the future and to put the old politics of the past 52 years solidly behind us.

It is indeed shocking that in less than 100 days, the new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s slogan of “1Malaysia” is openly trampled upon by none other than the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who unabashedly announced two days ago that Umno will not impose any conditions for Umno-Pas unity government talks and is even prepared to “accept whatever terms set by PAS”, hoping to railroad such a meeting “in the next few days, anytime, no problem”.

What has happened to all the talk about Bangsa Malaysia and a united Malaysian nation, especially during the 50th Merdeka Anniversary two years ago?

What would be the reaction of Umno leaders if political parties in the country, embracing both those in government and opposition, call for national conferences and talks to promote “Chinese unity”, “Indian unity”, “Kadazan unity” or “Iban unity”?

The MCA’s response to Umno’s promotion of “Umno-Pas unity government talks” is that it could also hold talks with DAP on Chinese unity. DAP is not interested in holding talks with MCA on Chinese unity, as the DAP is a multi-racial Malaysian party though we can have talks with MCA on corruption, injustices in the “annual begging session” for Malaysian top-scorers to get Public Services Department (PSD) scholarships, the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, lack of judicial independence or even on Umno hegemony.

But would Umno allow this? I can still remember that in 1987, when MCA and Gerakan leaders met DAP leaders and Chinese educationists on the controversy over the sending of headmasters and senior assistants not conversant with Mandarin to Chinese primary schools, Umno reacted in rage and MCA and Gerakan leaders were severely punished! It even became justification for the notorious Operation Lalang mass Internal Security Act arrests, with over 100 people detained.

Malaysians are entitled to ask how Najib’s 1Malaysia call could be reconciled with “Malay unity” and Umno-Pas unity government talks.

After 52 years of nationhood, isn’t it time that everyone talk about Malaysian unity instead of Malay unity, Chinese unity, Indian unity, Kadazan unity or Iban unity?

When DAP was formed 43 years ago, we made it very clear right from the beginning our commitment to a Malaysian Malaysia, where all political parties should work towards Malaysian unity rather than Malay unity, Chinese unity, Indian unity, Kadazan unity or Iban unity.

When will Najib, Muhyiddin, UMNO and other Barisan Nasional leaders follow in the footsteps of DAP 43 years ago?

In the ongoing psy-war, Umno leaders accuse Pas leaders of being afraid of DAP and PKR leaders while MCA and Gerakan leaders accuse DAP of kow-towing to Pas leaders. This shows the utter hypocrisy and dishonesty of the political wiles of the leaders from Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC.

I call on Najib to come out strong and clear that his 1Malaysia stands for Malaysians unite and not Malays unite, Chinese unite, Indians, unite, Kadazans unite or Ibans unite. If Najib is not prepared to come out with such an equivocal stand, then his 1Malaysia concept is utterly meaningless.

Royal Commission Report on Police: Another look at the 125 proposals

The New Straits Times
By : Koh Lay Chin

PUTRAJAYA: There will be a revisit of the 125 recommendations in 2005 put out by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police, which were meant to create a world-class police service in the country.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said in line with aims to enhance the image and operations of the force, he will be retracing steps to see if the recommendations had been carried out and if they had made an impact.

Without going into detail as to which recommendations he wants to address, he said he was aware that the people still had negative perceptions when it came to the force and that police officers still had grievances that had to be looked into.

“I think we need to revisit those recommendations together with the Inspector-General of Police, look at them carefully again.

If there are proposals that have not taken off yet, we want to expedite them.” Four years ago, the commission’s report looked into three main areas of reform for the force — crime reduction, the eradication of corruption and observing human rights.

Among its key recommendations were the setting up of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, which never saw the light of day, as well as proposals to solve problems like dilapidated police stations, inadequate facilities and atrocious living quarters.

Last year, the government said it had implemented more than 80 per cent of the recommendations put forward, and the rest, which were not taken up, were still being studied.

Asked if he felt the recommendations had not been carried out properly, Hishammuddin said hewould be looking at the matter closely again.

“I think if it had been implemented properly, the public would feel it. All I can say is that I am revisiting it, and I will keep the public informed.” He said in his recent discus - sions with police officers, grievances were still rife and that the ministry had much to do to improve their welfare and alleviate constraints.

“I’m working very closely with them. I got this outpouring (from them), because they had been trained to take orders, to be disciplined and accept what is thrown at them.

“I look at them in a slightly different perspective than most people, and theirwelfare must be taken into account.” He was very enthused about possibilities of change for Rela and the Civil Defence Department (JPAM) under his portfolio, and about the two arms supporting and collaborating closely with the police force.

Alongside the improvements to the police force, he aims to reposition the 500,000- strong Rela and JPAM, with 65,000 officers, as forces to reckon with.

The voluntary Rela, he said, was formed to address the chaos of the racial riots and the Confrontation in the 60s, but it was time for a repositioning to help the public and the police effectively.

“Under the police’s current plans, there should be 60,000 new policemen by 2012, but perhaps that will take too long.

So in the meantime, Rela could take up the call, but with guidance of course.” However, Hishammuddin was aware of the negative perception among the public about Rela officials, who in recent years have been more known for their controversial raids to nab illegal immigrants.

“I totally agree it is not their core business to be going around catching illegals, or doing work they were not trained to. But at that particular point in time, I suppose that was the best we could do.” He is also looking into boosting JPAM, 80 per cent of whom are volunteers.

JPAM, a department handling multi-emergency sevices, would soon register with the Geneva-based International Civil Defence Organisation, which brings together and trains national civil defence authorities, Hishammuddin said.

This means Malaysia’s JPAM officers will receive topnotch training and cooperation based on internationally recognised standards. Their green uniform, which is similar to military uniforms, will also be changed to a more people-friendly blue.

The idea, Hishammuddin said, was to have cohesion between all these forces under the ministry to alleviate manpower issues and to better ensure the safety and security of the public.

Anwar Ibrahim hangatkan kempen pilihan raya Manek Urai

Dari Harakah

Oleh M Faqih

KUALA KRAI, 21 Jun - Kehangatan pilihan raya kecil Dun Manek Urai kini semakin terasa apabila kempen kedua-dua parti semakin agresif.

PAS sudah memulakan gerak kerja kempen sejak akhir Mei lalu di Kampung Manek Urai Baru yang disempurnakan Mursyidul Am PAS, Tuan Guru Dato’ Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Begitu juga Pengerusi Perhubungan Umno Kelantan, Dato’ Mustafa Mohamed sudah beberapa kali datang ke Manek Urai.

Kelmarin Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin mengadakan pertemuan dengan penduduk di Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Sok.

Dun Manek Urai akan tambah sendat malam ini dengan kehadiran tokoh-tokoh pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat pada program ceramah perdana di Padang Majlis Daerah Laloh.

Kehadiran Menteri Besar bersama Ketua Pembangkang, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim tentunya menarik perhatian penduduk tempatan.

Anwar juga dijangka menziarahi keluarga Adun Manek Urai, Allahyarham Ismail Yaacob di Kampung Manek Urai Lama sebelum menyampaikan tazkirah di sebuah masjid.

Anwar dikatakan akan mengadakan pertemuan dengan Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz sebaik sahaja tiba di Kota Bharu petang ini.

Beberapa penduduk di Laloh ketika ditemui petang semalam menjangka kampung tersebut akan sendat dengan limpahan manusia malam ini.

Beberapa peniaga termasuk dari Pulau Pinang sudah tiba sejak semalam.

Manakala petugas bahagian keselamatan PAS sudah memulakan gerak kerja sejak beberapa hari lalu bagi memastikan program tersebut berjalan lancar.

Pasukan polis juga sudah memasang khemah besar di simpang tiga Laloh yang difahamkan akan dijadikan markaz taktikal.

Oh Jibby, thank you for the sharing. We are so moved!

By Haris Ibrahim

Did you all read about how Tun Razak’s prompt replies to Jibby’s aerogrammes whilst the latter was away at boarding school left such an indelible mark on our current pee m?

Malaysianinsider has the story HERE.

Quoting from that story :

Najib urged Malaysians who are fathers to continue trail-blazing paths that their children may follow.

“A father’s active and positive participation in a child’s life will increase the likelihood of his or her development into a valuable adult.

“It is not about lavishing gifts and material wealth. Rather, it is about equipping the child with the right tools, values and upbringing to manage their well-being after they leave the comfort of the parents’ care,”

Thank you, Jibby, for inspiring us.

Here’s hoping the video clips below will inspire you, Jibby.

Judging from the same, Dr Shaariibuu Setev’s father, too, must have left a trail-blazing path for him to follow.

For what it is worth, Happy Father’s Day, Dr. Shaariibuu.


Police and the people

Editorial, NST

THE boys in blue have never been under such fire before and the overzealous members of Rela have had their bad press.

There have also been rumblings about the conduct of prison warders and sullen frontline Immigration officers. Understandably, protective government ministers and senior civil servants have always jumped to the defence of these uniformed bodies and departments under the Home Ministry.

The reality, however, is that people are complaining, and the complaints are mostly directed at the police for their indifference or their inaction or their overzealousness. The list is long, with the Mat Rempit and Ah Long menace highlighted regularly.

The increasing incidences of snatch thefts and the weak, or absent, police presence in troubled neighbourhoods figure prominently on the list. Other complaints include corruption in the force and the rough handling of suspects in custody.

That there are rogue and corrupt policemen in the force has not been denied, though excuses of being understaffed and under-paid have sometimes been proffered.

The good news is that the government is listening to the people and engaging them. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, knowing public support is crucial, wants people to come on board to wage war against the criminals.

The Home Ministry has set up an interactive portal which highlights crime hot spots and other matters. Hishammuddin wants people to make their views known via the portal; he wants them to write to him or to the newspapers.

It is refreshing to note that Hishammuddin has taken the unprecedented step of opening up public discussion on his ministry. Refreshing because, for long, the Home Ministry has been spoken of in hushed tones and any open talk or discussion about weaknesses in the departments under it has often been deemed taboo.

While he has declared "zero tolerance" for the malevolent members of society, Hishammuddin says he will look into the recommendations of the Royal Commission to enhance the operation and management of the police force, revamp Rela and the Civil Defence Department, and review the ISA and other statutes under the ministry.

There is also a push for inter-agency and inter-ministry co-operation, a welcome exercise at engaging the people for a better and more efficient public service.

But make no mistake, while the ministry wants more open discussion about areas where it can improve, there will be no compromise when it comes to the peace and security of the nation. And that is how it should be.

Iran protestors clash with police defying ultimatum



Iranian police sit on motorcycles as they face protesters during a demonstration in Tehran. Thousands of Iranians clashed with police on Saturday as they defied an ultimatum from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for an end to protests over last week's disputed presidential election.


Non-Muslims cheated over proposed 'unity gov't'

Jules Ong | Jun 19, 09 4:15pm I find the proposed ‘unity talks’ between PAS and Umno so disturbing. The principle behind these talks is based on religious and racial lines.
MCPX

In essence it is - ‘let's talk to our brothers of the same faith and skin colour. Maybe we can have a Muslim-Malay government’.

Well, what happens to principles based on justice and equality?

March 8, 2008 showed that the people are moving away from Umno-BN because they are angry about all the corruption, racial supremacy and mismanagement of the country.

Then PAS came to offer itself as an alternative party for Malays who do not agree with Umno’s politics of patronage, corruption and arrogance.

PAS had garnered plenty of votes from non- Muslims as well who believed it would be fair in protecting their interests.

This is good news for a multiethnic-multi-religious Malaysia that no longer vote based on skin colour or religion. But now, PAS wants to talk about a ‘unity government’ with Umno - the antithesis of what it champions.

You know what non-Muslims now feel, especially those who voted for PAS? Cheated.

After garnering their votes and becoming a more powerful party, some in the party are turning around for a possible ‘marriage’ against the very reason why people voted for PAS.

Perak was so inspirational because it saw all the ethnic groups rooting for Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin of PAS for menteri besar because they believed he was the rightful MB.

It was on the principle of justice - not race, not religion - that people voted him in as their member of Parliament.

Where is Nizar in denouncing these racial-religious-based unity talk?

I am glad Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat is standing firm by his principles.

I support his call to kick out the people who are talking about these ‘unity talks’ without regard or respect for its partners, PKR and DAP and the people who supported them.

An Act that will fix the racists - Malaysiakini

Kua Kia Soong | Jun 20, 09 6:31am Anyone who had attended the talk by Prof Aneez Esmail on ‘Race Relations in Britain’ organised by Kita (Institute of Ethnic Studies) in UKM will be left in no doubt as to the efficacy of the Race Relations Act 1976 in dealing with racism and racial discrimination in Britain.
MCPX

malaysians 050905Twenty-four years ago, I wrote in The Star, “The need for race relations legislation” (Nov 28, 1985) because there was an alarming incidence of “institutional racism”, a point stressed by Aneez.

In that article, I elicited many examples of racism and racial discrimination in Malaysia which could be dealt with if such an Act existed in our country.

It was not taken seriously for the obvious reason that if we had such a law, many Umno politicians including the present prime minister would have been dealt with under such a law; many policies such as the enrolment of “bumiputera only” students into institutions - for example, UiTM - would have been declared racially discriminatory long ago.

The British Race Relations Act 1976 has a section on ‘Incitement to racial hatred’ which said:

“A person commits an offence if he publishes or distributes written matter which is threatening, abusive or insulting; or he uses in any public place or at any public meeting words which are threatening, abusive or insulting, in a case where, having regard to all the circumstances, hatred is likely to be stirred up against any racial group…”

In 1987, Umno Youth organised a rally at the Jalan Muda Stadium in Kuala Lumpur at which banners read: ‘May 13 has begun: Soak the keris in Chinese blood’, among others.

This is not the invention of the opposition. It can be corroborated in the government white paper, ‘Towards Preserving National Unity’, 1988. It was also covered by the Chinese-language press at the time.

Play transcript of Najib’s 1987 speech


On stage to fan the flames of such flagrant racism during that fateful rally was the Umno Youth chief and present prime minister.

Of course, he has denied in Parliament that he uttered the exact words as those on the banners. But as the police often warn us, the organisers must bear the responsibility for any utterances and banners displayed.

If we had a Freedom of Information Act, we would be asking for a transcript of the Umno Youth chief’s speech at that rally.

Since we do not have a FoI Act, the prime minister can try to clear his name by asking the authorities to make public the transcript of his 1987 speech. At least, if no one else, our Special Branch should have a copy. They told me during my ISA detention that they were one of the best intelligence outfit in the world and their library had more information than any other resource centre in the country.

Is there any wonder why such a FoI Act will meet the same fate as a Race Relations Act under such a government?

No action was taken against the main rabble rousers on stage at that rally. The main targets of the police were people like me who had nothing to do with this racist rally. More than a hundred of us were subsequently arrested and detained without trial under the ‘Operation Lallang’.

Since then, we have been treated to nauseating racist taunts by delegates at the Umno general assemblies and the ritualistic flaunting of the keris by the Umno Youth chief.

I remember a few years ago, an education minister tried to play to the gallery at an Umno general assembly by saying that, as long as he was the education minister, he would not allow a single non-bumiputera to be admitted into UiTM.

This is the reality of racial discrimination in this country. When we bear in mind that UiTM has a total enrolment of some 100,000 students and that it is a public-funded institution, it is shocking that the government can get away with such blatant racial discrimination by justifying it as “affirmative action”.

If we had a FoI Act, we would be able to get the statistics on other areas of such blatant racial discrimination.

Set up a Race Relations Court too

The statistics I got in Parliament in 1990 were as follows - an average of 90 percent of loans for polytechnic certificate courses, 90 percent of scholarships for diploma of education courses, 90 percent of scholarships/loans for degree courses taken in the country, almost all scholarships/loans for degree courses taken overseas were given to bumiputeras.

Regarding the enrolment of students in residential schools throughout the 80s, 95 percent were bumiputeras; the enrolment in Mara Lower Science College, Maktab Sains Mara was almost 100 percent bumiputera throughout the 80s... do you call this affirmative action?

Is there any wonder the government has not ratified the United Nations Convention Against Racial Discrimination up to the present day?

A Race Relations Court will be able to determine and define the legality or illegality of such actions and a Commission for Racial Equality could be formed to work toward the elimination of racism and racial discrimination; promote equality of opportunity and harmonious ethnic relations, and keep under review the workings of the Act.

I concluded my article of Nov 28, 1985 thus:

“While such a Race Relations Act may not strike at the roots of racial polarisation, at least it should ensure that the limits of the implementation of government policies are scrupulously delineated, and just as importantly, the Malaysian public is not treated to racist garbage, which should be spurned with all the contempt it deserves.”

Anwar Ibrahim: Bandar Baru Bangi 19/06/2009

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4

Najib, Please Don't Do A Mahathir


Now that Saiful's medical report has been released (or leaked like the Pusrawi version?) showing no signs of him ever being buggered, I hope that the government will do the right thing - that is to boot the charges against Anwar out of court and spare the nation the sandiwara of the hearings. Besides, it is also a waste of taxpayer's money if the prosecution do not have a case.

Najib and gang now have 2 weeks to think about this matter. I doubt if anybody can guess what their final decision is going to be. After all, history shows that BN and UMNO are quite persistent in pushing forward their master plans. Even if it requires them to pusing sana and pusing sini.

But for the good of the nation and the rakyat, the charges against Anwar must be dropped. Kuala Lumpur should not be allowed to be turned into another Bangkok. And it is not within the means of the Malaysian government to decide this. The government just cannot fight off the might of the rakyat.

A quick re-visit of the late 1990s; the ousting of Anwar is nothing but a tiny version of what can take place today. Malaysia has changed a lot since. Back then, the internet as a medium for information was at its very infancy with limited access. Malaysians generally believed the media and bought the spins only to see the farce in it years down the road. The media is not going to be able to spin UMNO's sandiwara this time around. In fact, I am certain that most rational Malaysians have already made up their mind that this Saiful episode is nothing but another conspiracy against Anwar. But today, the rakyat will not accept this conspiracy and watch by the sidelines like they did in 1998 because Anwar now represents much more. He is now the hope for a new Malaysia to be led by a new government. Whether he will be the Prime Minister is something else all together. What is clear is that he is now a symbol for change in this country. To quash him is to quash the hopes of these rakyat. Hope is a very dangerous element in men. Hope is the reason there is a tomorrow. Never take on anyone who has lost hope for men without hope are very dangerous. And I am fearful of this.

I am also quite sure that most of the participants in the street riots to protest against the government's brutality against Anwar back in 1998 were mostly young Malays. Today, a repeat of street protests will see the other races of all age groups joining in although I will have to say that the number of Chinese on the streets will remain small. The mindset of Malaysian Chinese is such that such open protests are 'inviting trouble'. Please don't judge the Malaysian Chinese's patrioticism, but if you understand them, you will see that they have been adapting and adapting to all sorts of challenges thrown at them since 1969 to the extent that they have been forced to learn to survive on their own. So to openly 'invite trouble' is totally against the survival mode they have been brought up with.

Back to the streets. Hindraf has shown that the Malaysian Indians are ready to take on the government heads on. There are now more Malays against the UMNO led government then ever before and many are not fearful to show the government their thoughts. The Bersih rally is a sampling of what Malaysians are capable of. Malaysians are a peaceful lot. But there are always the emotional ones. And as is the herd mentality, it is these emotional ones who will ultimately lead to trouble. Again, I am fearful of this.

And what about the international medias? Many have been following Anwar since his release from the prison. Honestly, nobody believed that he was guilty then. And I am also pretty confident that none believe that he is guilty now. The term 'trumped up charges' is so freely used. A combination of suppression of freedom of the people, hard handed tactics against opposition leaders, civil unrest, and government tyranny is not going to go down well with international medias and leading countries such as the US and the UK. Censorship of news out of the country is not going to work in Malaysia. We are not Myanmar. Be well assured that Malaysians at every level will keep the international medias well informed even if international journalists are barred from getting off their planes. Dissemmination of information in the 21st century is a different ball game.

And it is also no secret that Anwar is very popular in the international scene. His friends on the international front is aplenty. If Najib pushes ahead with this ill plan, he should be expecting harsh international criticism. But is Najib prepared for economic sanctions? Economic sanctions imposed upon Malaysia may seem like a laughable idea now. But not when the country is topsy turvy upside down with chaos ruling the day. Like I said, the scale of retaliation from the rakyat this time will not be one we have previously seen in this country. And it will not be Anwar's fault but Najib's.

I am a Malaysian who wants to see changes in this country. But I am also a Malaysian who wants to live peacefully. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, please don't turn our country into a Pakistan. Are your personal gains and political ambition more important than the welfare, livelihood and safety of 27 million rakyat Malaysia? You have the mandate to run the country but you do not have the mandate to put our lives at risk. There are times when you just have to accept that your time is up. In this case, your's come 2012/2013 along with UMNO's and BN's. Of course you are allowed to fight for your survival all the way to that time but please do it in a fair and just manner. Learn when to say no to your aides and advisors. Learn when to say no to UMNO's warlords. And the rakyat will thank you when your time to step down comes.

-saltpepperandalittlekicap.blogspot.com

How you wish there were no heaven and hell

Image

Sheesh! So not only will you not go to heaven if you support Barisan Nasional. You will also not go to heaven even if you support PAS. This is because PAS is also involved in an un-Islamic system of government. PAS is as un-Islamic as Umno or Barisan Nasional is.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Mad fish?: scientist warns that farmed fish could be a source of mad cow disease

Jeremy Hance, news.mongabay.com
June 17, 2009


In a paper that shows just how strange our modern world has become, Robert P. Friedland, neurologist from the University of Louisville, warns that farmed fish could be at risk of Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, or Mad Cow Disease.

Currently, farmed fish are fed cow by products—a food source they would never find natural environment (unless society started dumping cow carcasses in oceans or lakes).

Friedland and co-authors raise the issue in the Journal of Alzhemier’s Disease and call on food regulators to ban feeding cow bone or meat to farmed fish until it can be determined if the practice of feeding fish cow-parts is safe.

“We have not proven that it’s possible for fish to transmit the disease to humans. Still, we believe that out of reasonable caution for public health, the practice of feeding rendered cows to fish should be prohibited,” Friedland said. “Fish do very well in the seas without eating cows.”

Mad Cow Disease is a fatal disease that can be contracted by eating parts of a cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). After an outbreak in Britain due to infected beef, 163 people died.

“The fact that no cases of Creutzfeldt Jakob disease have been linked to eating farmed fish does not assure that feeding rendered cow parts to fish is safe,” warns Friedland. “The incubation period of these diseases may last for decades, which makes the association between feeding practices and infection difficult. Enhanced safeguards need to be put in place to protect the public.”

Along with cow, farmed fish are also fed significant amounts of antibiotics to keep them disease-and-parasite free. Farmed fish pose additional health hazards due to the possibility of mercury contamination.

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0617-hance_madfish.html

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So there you have it. You thought that by avoiding beef and by just eating fish you can avoid being inflicted with Mad Cow Disease. Then you suddenly wake up one morning and a scientist or doctor tells you that you can still get Mad Cow Disease by eating fish, not to mention mercury poisoning.

So what do you do? You become a vegetarian. But just as you thought you are now safe and will live to a ripe old age of 100, another scientist or doctor tells you that the vegetables you are eating have been sprayed with insecticide to prevent plant pests from attacking them. And these insecticides can’t be washed off even if you soak the vegetables for hours before cooking them.

No wonder the vegetables looked so perfect and when you buy your vegetables you always choose the most perfect looking ones and avoid those that look like they have been attacked by plant pests. Now you find out that the more perfect they look the more harmful they actually are.

Okay, I have a solution, you may think. I will grow my own vegetables in my garden plot and will make sure that they are not sprayed with anything harmful. I will also rear my own chickens and goats and feed them with natural food that do not contain any chemicals. This will ensure that only the safest food gets into my belly. That will offer me the guarantee that I get to eat only contaminated-free food.

Then a Blogger starts writing articles telling you that the food you are buying and eating may be medically safe, but they are not halal. They are still ‘contaminated’ with elements of haram.

“How can they be haram?” you argue. You never touch anything that does not have a ‘halal’ sticker on them. But lo and behold, you suddenly discover that the halal turkey costs more than the turkey that does not have a halal sticker on them. You then ask the turkey supplier whether this is a conspiracy to discriminate Muslims. Why is the halal turkey more expensive than the non-halal turkey?

The turkey supplier then whispers a little secret into your ear. They have to pay the people who issue these ‘halal’ stickers under-the-table money. Yes, that’s right. Those Muslims in white robes and skullcaps take bribes. You have to bribe them to get them to certify your turkey as halal. If not they will not give you permission to stick those ‘halal’ stickers onto your turkey.

So now you avoid halal food altogether. Instead of buying your food from the halal section of the supermarket you buy them from the non-halal section. The turkey, chicken, lamb and beef mixed amongst the pork, ham and bacon is more halal than those sold with ‘halal’ stickers on them. Okay, they may not have been slaughtered the ‘correct’ way, but at least they are not ‘contaminated’ with bribery, which is worse than eating ‘not properly slaughtered’ meat.

You want to be a good Muslim. You want to avoid anything that is considered haram from ever touching your lips. You avoid food that will endanger your health because Islam is against you doing anything that endangers your health, smoking included. You also avoid food that is considered haram from the Islamic perspective. So you avoid food that have ‘halal’ stickers on them knowing that the supplier has to bribe the government officers to get this halal certification.

You are a good Muslim. So you are now assured of going to heaven.

To strengthen your case when you one day die and finally get to meet your Maker, you do not drink or gamble as well. You lead a very pious life. But hold on a minute. You work for the government. And the government taxes gaming and liquor. And this money is used to pay your salary. So you are actually ‘eating’ haram money, money procured from taxes on gaming and liquor.

Furthermore, according to one-time Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 90% of the personal and private businesses taxes is paid by the Chinese. And the Chinese are involved in all sorts of non-halal businesses. They run lotteries and gambling outlets. They run bars, pubs, nightclubs and discos. They run brothels, massage parlours and karaoke centres that are actually fronts for the ‘China Dolls’ racket. They run banks, finance companies and money-lending businesses. You name it and the Chinese run it. And all these are haram according to Islam. And they pay taxes on all this and this tax money is used to pay the salaries of the government employees.

Sheesh, what do you do now? There is only one option open to you. You resign from the government and run your own but small business. You set up a driving school. But none of your students pass their driving test. They will never pass unless you pay the Road Transport Department tester a bribe, the usual under-the-table money. So you will have to bribe the tester or else none of your students will pass their driving test and you will eventually have to close down because no one will come to your driving school any longer.

So you close down your driving school and open a tuition centre instead. But you can’t get a licence to operate a tuition centre unless you also pay a bribe. Okay, forget about the tuition centre. You will instead set up a small stall selling cakes and nasi lemak. But you can’t get your hawker’s licence unless you also bribe the local authorities.

Sheesh, forget about the whole thing. You decide to go back to your kampong to become a padi farmer. Your late father left you a piece of land, which he used to grow padi on. It has of course been neglected all those years because you chose to work for the government instead of becoming a padi farmer. Now you decide to grow padi on that neglected land. You also sell your house and car and surrender your credit cards to avoid having to pay haram interest on your loans and credit cards.

You will become a true Muslim by just planting padi.

You apply for fertilizer from the government but are told you need to become an Umno member to qualify for fertilizer aid. If not you will have to buy your own fertilizer from the Chinaman supplier and that would mean your production cost would be too high. The only way to keep your cost down would be to get a fertilizer subsidy but you must first become an Umno member. Furthermore, you need to sell your padi to Bernas and they will pay you a low price if you do not pay the purchasing officer a ‘commission’ and show him your Umno membership card.

It troubles you that you must become an Umno member to get government subsidies. It troubles you even more that you must bribe the purchasing officer to get a fair price on your padi. Your late padi-farmer father once told you that you must support PAS if you want to go to heaven. Now you have to become an Umno member to get the fertilizer you need for your padi field. And you still can’t escape bribery even as a padi farmer.

Will that mean you will be going to hell instead?

Lo and behold, the Deputy Prime Minister said you could still go to heaven even if you vote for Barisan Nasional. You need not vote for PAS to go to heaven after all. Barisan Nasional too can help send you to heaven. You just pray that it will be later rather than sooner.

Halleluiah! Your soul has been saved. You can now safely become an Umno member to get your fertilizer and still go to heaven. You need no longer support PAS. Allah is most kind and merciful after all.

Then you discover something most depressing. The Westminster form of government and western-style parliamentary general elections are not Islamic after all. The so-called western concept of democracy is an un-Islamic concept. There are no such things in Islam. Islam does not choose its leaders in this manner.

This is most depressing. Islam says you are not supposed to choose kufurs, mushriks, fasiks and whatnot as your leaders. And in the Westminster system of general elections the worst kind of people are elected as the country’s leaders. You are supposed to choose noble and pious people as your leaders. The current system allows only slime-balls and scumbags into office.

Sheesh! So not only will you not go to heaven if you support Barisan Nasional. You will also not go to heaven even if you support PAS. This is because PAS is also involved in an un-Islamic system of government. PAS is as un-Islamic as Umno or Barisan Nasional is.

Aiyah! So better you don’t become a member of any political party. And better still, you don’t vote as well. But if you don’t then you are allowing bad people to get into power. By doing nothing you are aiding and abetting sin. So you must do something. But what can you do? Every option available to you is haram and un-Islamic.

What a dilemma! The whole problem is you were born a Muslim. No, the real problem is you were born, full stop. If not then you would not be faced with any dilemma. This is actually the REAL Malay dilemma. You can never be a proper Muslim in this modern world, especially not in Malaysia. You start to wonder what it was like in the old days before we saw ‘progress’. You always suspected that progress is bad for you, especially as far as your soul is concerned.

Mahathir in the dark about new Petronas chief

IPOH, June 20 — Petronas advisor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he had heard that another person would be appointed chairman of the national oil corporation, to take over from Tan Sri Hassan Merican but he did not know how far this was true.

The former prime minister said he was only an advisor without executive powers and, as Petronas came under the jurisdiction of the prime minister, appointments to any post in the corporation would depend on the decision of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“Perhaps, this other person is more efficient than Hassan Merican. Perhaps, he can bring in more profits. How do we know?” he said when asked whether it would be the right move to replace Hassan as the chairman. Hassan is also the Petronas president and CEO.

There has been talk over the last several months that Omar Mustapha Ong, the special officer to Najib when he was the deputy prime minister, would be appointed a director of Petronas while former home minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar would be appointed chairman.

Asked whether he was satisfied with Najib’s leadership, Dr Mahathir said: “I did not say that I am satisfied; I did not say that I am not satisfied. I commented on the election of people involved in corruption to the party leadership. That is what I am not agreeable with,” he said.

Meanwhile, when asked to comment on an article in his blog, www.chedet.cc, where he had likened Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew to a little emperor, Dr Mahathir said Lee was an arrogant leader who tried to teach the leaders of neighbouring countries.

“He gives priority to his country and tells us that we are the hinterland. Even from before, I have not been that compatible with him,” he said.

On Lee’s recent eight-day visit to Malaysia, Dr Mahathir said he would not know whether former leaders of Malaysia would be accorded similar treatment in the republic as was given to Lee during the trip to Malaysia.

Earlier, in his speech at the function, Dr Mahathir said the future of the Malays would be bleak if Umno leaders continued to place their own interests above that of race, religion and country.

“Umno no longer champions the interests of the Malays but has become a platform for people to seek status and titles. That was why the Malays did not vote for Umno in the 12th general election because they were disappointed with such a situation,” he said. — Bernama

PKFZ showdown expected to bring house down on Monday

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — The battle between Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) is set to explode in Parliament on Monday.

The two politicians, who have been trading barbs and comments in the media and cyberspace for the past weeks over the issue, are set to face each other when Ong presents his ministerial statement on PKFZ.

Lim has taunted the Transport Minister in Parliament for what he termed as “failing to be in Parliament to take questions on the ongoing PKFZ scandal” as he wants answers over how the project’s initial development cost of RM2 billion could swell to over RM12.5 billion.

The Ipoh Timur Member of Parliament even accused Ong of running away from his duty to explain and “deliberately making travel arrangements to go abroad to avoid a grilling in Parliament”.

“Where in France have you gone to Tee Keat, that you dare not reveal to Parliament and the Malaysian public your actual programme of activities in Paris and your travel plans?” Lim asked in his blog.

Lim also equated ministerial overseas visits as sheer pleasure or holiday trips and escaping from answering to issues in Parliament.

This warranted a strong rebuttal from Ong, who was on a week-long visit to France, when he asked Lim whether he did not have better things to pursue rather than dabble in cheap publicity stunts.

“My present visit to France is to attend the prestigious Paris AirShow and to meet up with my French counterpart. Its dismissal by Kit Siang is an insult to his own credibility as well as the wisdom of all his blog readers,” Ong said.

However, Lim in his reply upped the ante by launching a website www.pkfz-scandal.org to rival the official www.pkfznews.com.my, as part of the party’s move to intensify its “assault” on the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

The website featured articles on PKFZ which was compiled from various sources including press statements from DAP leaders on the issue to rival the official explanations and reports of PKFZ by the Transport Ministry.

The government has established three committees to deal with the PKFZ – namely an ad-hoc committee on corporate governance, a special task force of legal, accounting and project experts and a third team, called the executive committee to take charge of PKFZ’s business development.

However, this was not enough for Lim as he continued to raise the issue by expressing his scepticism over the appointment of Transparency International Malaysia (TIM) president Datuk Paul Low as head of PKA committee on corporate governance.

“Low is an MCA life member and former chairman of an MCA think-tank when Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik was MCA president,” he said, referring to the fact that Ling has also been linked to the scandal.

Following that, Low has announced that he has left the MCA.

Lim also tried to table an emergency motion to have a royal commission of inquiry into the PKFZ but was rejected by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, who said it was not urgent.

His efforts did not stop there and Lim went on to demand Ong explain whether he (Ong) “pressured the prime minister” to approve a RM1.2 billion payment as variation of costs for the PKFZ.

The demand was made after a website posted a letter dated May 10, 2008, where Ong had apparently asked the then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to approve RM1.2 billion payment as variation of costs for the PKFZ project to its turnkey developer Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd.

Lim had asked why this information was omitted in the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit report on PKFZ.

However, in his immediate response, Ong said he was merely relaying the PKA board’s decision, which was made even before he became a minister to the then prime minister.

At that time, he said the PwC had not even started their position review work and the variation order was approved by the PKA board in 2008 where they had written to him, asking him to write to Abdullah to apply for the additional funding.

At that time, Ong said PKA was also at risk of defaulting payment as the deadline to meet its financial obligations was approaching.

Ong reiterated that he had nothing to hide on the matter and pointed out that it was he who had directed PKA to commission an independent report and asked for the findings to be made public.

“It is unfortunate that there are quarters who are uncomfortable with this and have chosen to spin unfounded lies about me. Many of them hide behind online anonymity to tarnish and discredit me and even leak out official letters,” he said.

“It is deplorable that a mere representation made to convey the PKA board decision to the prime minister could be spun by (Lim) Kit Siang as pressuring the PM.

“If this is not blatant spinning, what else would better befit this?” he asked.

Whatever it is, according to Ong’s aide, the Transport Minister will take the opportunity on Monday to answer the points raised by opposition MPs on the issue while outlining the measures taken by the government to save the project when he delivers the ministerial statement.

In fact, The Transport Ministry has even agreed to distribute the PwC audit report, together with its appendices, to all Members of Parliament on Monday following a request from the Parliament secretary.

Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, said the normal practice for a ministerial statement in the Parliament was that there would be no limit of time for the presentation but there would be no question and answer.

“It’s up to the speaker and minister concerned. It will definitely start after the question and answer session is completed at 11.30am on Monday,” he said, adding that it had been sometimes since the last ministerial statement had taken place in the Malaysian Parliament.

A ministerial statement is made in order to tell the truth, to explain and to clear the air, he added. – Bernama

The rally that wasn’t

Yesterday, during lunch in PJ, I was alerted to a massive rally that was to take place today at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng in KL.

Seems it was being organised by UMNO youth to get Malays to come out and loudly condemn Anwar’s recent public statements on the issue of whether Chin Peng should be permitted to return home.

At least, so the story went, that was the rationale that was being delivered to the ground in an effort to get a decent crowd attendance.

And if that rationale did not get the throngs in, I was told, then a promise of RM100 and food for each attendee was expected to do the trick.

Called some contacts in UMNO to check on this. Most said they had not heard of such a planned rally and did not think KJ would want to involve the youth wing in something like this, given the current public sentiment.

They felt certain that even if such a rally was being planned by the youth wing, they would try to orchestrate it to appear as if it were a spontaneous outpouring of anger by Malays generally, rather than an UMNO Youth organised rally.

By late last night, I had received confirmation from another source that such a rally was being planned.

Then I caught RPK’s ‘Calling all Malay youth and Mat Rempit’ post late last night.

Late, this morning, Nanda headed out to Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.

He alerted me to having sighted a TV3 heli passing over the road on a number of occasions.

I joined Nanda around lunch time.

We were there until about 4pm.

Nothing happened.

Wonder if this was a case of some sinister rumour-mongering akin to that which made its rounds post the Hindraf rally in November, 2007, or one of RPK’s posting throwing a spanner in the works of a devious and devillish UMNO Youth hate programme, which then had to be aborted?

Or could it be that even the Mat Rempit have completely gone off UMNO?

Lee Kuan Yew keeps corruption at bay

By Tunku Abdul ziz
In MySinchew

I BEGIN with a confession. I may be fairly described as a dyed in the wool admirer of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s Minister Mentor. I am pleased that his recent visit to our country went well. He was received and treated as an honoured visitor, in the grand palaces and everywhere else he went, as well he should, because Lee undoubtedly played an important and historic role in the creation of Malaysia as a political entity. That is a historical fact.

I am glad that Lee gave Mahathir a wide berth. It would have left a bad taste in the mouth if he had asked to meet the bitter old man of Malaysian politics. Mahathir could have been relied upon to be obnoxious and boorish as only Mahathir knows how. His reference to Lee as the little emperor from a small Middle Kingdom is vintage Mahathir, dripping with venom and uncharitable innuendoes. The man, Mahathir I mean, is a total disgrace to the Malay sense of gracious hospitality and traditional decorum. I suppose the kindest thing to do is to ignore Mahathir and let him continue to entertain the sad fantasy that he is an indispensable part of our country’s process of governance.

Lee Kuan Yew is far from perfect. His record on human rights and media freedom is well documented, and there is not a great deal to choose between his and ours. We should wipe off that feeling of smugness. On balance, though, Lee runs a tight ship and Singapore’s pre-eminent position as a modern, affluent and corruption free society owes entirely to his vision and his determination. What he has achieved for his country in the face of the hopelessly impossible challenges says a great deal about his single minded devotion to public duty in the public interest. Enriching himself or his family has never been part of his game plan.

He has never wavered in his belief right at the outset that corruption, humanity’s greatest curse, was not going to be a feature of Singapore’s governance model. His administration is both clean and efficient, and Singapore’s economy is among the most competitive in the world. Judged against most indicators, Singapore is among the top global performers. While we wallow in corruption and are daily buffeted by one financial scam after another, the ‘Little Red Dot’ – the highly offensive name former President Habibi of Indonesia gave Singapore – continues to notch one accolade after another. Singapore has shown that size does not matter.

I am often asked the reason for my being such a loyal Lee Kuan Yew fan. It goes a long way. As I have said, he is not without a blemish or two, but no man has done more to curb corruption in public life as Lee, to the eternal gratitude of his people who are well served by a corruption free civil service and political leadership. The benefits for Singapore have been enormous in reputational terms. Investors know that their investments are safer in Singapore than in many other jurisdictions because Singapore operates a justice system that is incorruptible.

Singapore has succeeded in curbing corruption to a degree that is rarely achieved elsewhere in Asia, except possibly Hong Kong. Singapore does not need a bloated anti-corruption bureaucracy such as we have with our ineffectual Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission that is a drain on public funds. But what Singapore has in large measure is political will riding on the shoulders of a remarkable leader whose abhorrence for corruption takes on an almost messianic crusade. When we think of Singapore before Lee Kuan Yew, what comes to mind was a country that was a corrupt colonial backwater, filthy, ugly and smelly, not unlike Hong Kong at that time in its history.

Today, Singapore has shown the world that by confronting corruption decisively, and by putting in place systems and policies specifically to make unethical public behaviour a high risk and low return business, a country will become competitive which is the name of the game in the globalised economy. How do we fare by comparison?

The government, in spite of protestations to the contrary, tolerates corruption in all its manifestations. I am not just talking about money changing hands. That is bribery, but equally insidious is bending the rules and exploiting loopholes with a view to defrauding the nation’s coffers. The Port Klang Free Zone scandal is a case in point, and yet we are being told to move on without any of the perpetrators being called to account for their part in this multi-billion ringgit swindle. The government must do its duty in ensuring that those responsible are brought to justice. A scandal of this order of magnitude even for a country such as ours that is so used to living cheek by jowl with grand corruption on a daily basis beggars the imagination. We wait with bated breath to see what Najib will do in this case. Or is he no different from Mahathir and Badawi?

Through sheer force of character, and leading by example, Lee Kuan Yew has been able to make a difference to the lives of his people. Singapore is able today to punch way above its weight. It is a respected name, human rights NGOs may disagree, and I for one wish Singapore well in its relentless fight against man’s most debilitating social ill.

PAS To Announce Candidate For Manik Urai On June 26

KOTA BAHARU, June 20 (Bernama) -- PAS will announce the name of its candidate for the Manik Urai by-election on Friday (June 26).

PAS' Manik Urai election machinery advisor Datuk Wan Rahim Wan Abdullah told Bernama that he was confident voters in Manik Urai would find the person acceptable.

The by-election is necessitated by the death of its assemblyman Ismail Yaakub, 60, of PAS, who died on May 22.

Nomination is on July 6 and polling on July 14.