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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

HINDRAF – the modern day bashing boy with a tinge of conscience

Wouldn’t you agree with me? Everything they do seems racial-based or does not fit the agenda that us individual hope to achieve although their actions have been the catalyst for us to actually to think and act.

We had Semangat 46 in early 1990’s, then we had Reformasi in 1999, what happened? Nothing happened, it was good old BN and the people continue to accept and brood in silence. Then you had MGG Pillai, MKini, Malaysia Today and all the ultra vires elements yet nothing happened because in 2004 BN still triumph over us.

If you were thinking and acting for all this years, how far did it go, question yourself? Get real as you are the unleashed devil within yourself for everything else to prevail and survive for you own individual need.

Hey!!! I am not gloating about HINDRAF, but it is a simple fact that holds true that they are fighters for the under classed no matter how you seem to depict it because they are truly the voice for the voiceless in action.

Today, the main media is having a field day because HINDRAF challenges DAP on the Kampung Buah Pala issue which sits comfortably in the seat of the BN. Suddenly BN seems to be in their side, naturally for their own political gain, but the sad part of the whole affair is, you the so called public and bearer of justice, conscience and what is rightful will defend the opposition who is in control on what can be done, why it can’t be done, rule of law and the and endless parade of justification for your own dome. It is not you, who have been displaced, but some 300 villagers who had their ancestral home demolished.

We, the so called great minds can throw our words and mince it in a moment, yet again because you are not in their situation or predicament for a cause on humanity and conscience for the betterment of the society that only HINDRAF would pursue.

Balance and objectivity creates an idea where both sides are balanced, yet when we know there is no such thing exist in Malaysia for the society although it may exist for yourself, then you must realize that profound changes can only occur in a crisis to invoke the truth and conscience that lies in us.

HINDRAF is a crisis because it can go in either direction as long as the truth surfaces to assist the defenseless and helpless public. Whether it is racist, communal begs an answer based on your individual perception, as this is not an issue if you decide to act humanely.

Effective communication within ourselves requires not simply an understanding of the facts, but how those facts will take place in our mind for the public’s benefit. HINDRAF’s communication no matter how crude and bold it maybe, but it an act for a segment of the society that has been neglected far too long for its obeisance and obedience to lead a peaceful life in Malaysia.

Today, we all hope to seek a social reform that seeks for the truth and self criticism, yet it is only possible if individually we can decide what is humane and just.

We don’t have to descend into the world of the forgotten, to write, photograph, paint, sing, act, blog, video and film with anger and honesty that have been blunted by the parameters of traditional individualism but only by our act to act collectively.

The lines between artists, social activists and journalists have to be erased when we can actually act for a humanity cause without “much ado”. These lines individually diminish the power of reform, justice and an understanding of the truth for the truth will always be the truth. And it is for this purpose that these lines are there to dictate your action, or we will continue to live through another 100 years with a thought for the society.

As an individual, I try to think rationality is just and fair, not to educate you, but what good is it if the truth itself defies you and will not set you free for your own individual needs for your own perceptive that means nothing more than commenting on this article minus the action. You are the change that you desire only if you chose to be it for the society.

Blah! Blah! Blah!, another anecdote for your escapism. You chose how long this will persist until you can unite for the humanity it serves.

R.Shan (Human Being)

PKFZ Scandal Forum: Charles Santiago 27/06/2009

Umno Youth members fined over Karpal fracas

Yemeni plane crashes with 154 aboard

(CNN) -- A Yemeni jetliner with more than 150 people aboard has crashed in the Indian Ocean off the island nation of Comoros, aviation officials in Yemen said Tuesday.

An Airbus 310 like the one pictured has crashed while on the way to the capital of Comoros.

An Airbus 310 like the one pictured has crashed while on the way to the capital of Comoros.

The jet was en route to Moroni, the capital of Comoros, from Yemen's capital Sanaa when it crashed about an hour before reaching its destination, officials from the national airline Yemenia said. There was no immediate news of the fate of those on board.

Yemenia Flight 626 left Sanaa at 9:30 p.m. for what was expected to be a 4½-hour flight. The airline has three regular flights per week to Moroni, off the east coast of Africa about 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) south of Yemen.

Most of the 143 passengers aboard the Airbus A310 were Comoran, an official at Sanaa's international airport said. The aircraft also carried a crew of 11, for a total of 154 people on board.

There has been no indication of foul play behind the crash, the officials said.

The crash is the second involving an Airbus jet in a month. On June 1, an Air France Airbus A330 crashed off Brazil while en route from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France. All 228 aboard are presumed dead. The cause remains under investigation.

Najib slashes Bumiputera equity quotas, FIC role

Changes are here, Najib telling investors today. - Picture by Choo Choy May

By Neville Spykerman and Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Malaysia today made sweeping changes to its capital markets to boost foreign investments, cutting Bumiputera equity quotas for share offerings and in fund management firms while trimming the role of a powerful but conservative panel overseeing such investments.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dropped the 30 per cent Bumiputera equity requirement for Malaysian firms seeking public listing, the cornerstone of the New Economic Policy (NEP), but they will now have to offer 50 per cent of the public shareholding spread to Bumiputera investors.

“The 30 per cent requirement remains but it is a macro objective,” the prime minister told reporters after announcing the changes while launching the InvestMalaysia week and meeting with senior fund managers.

He said the Bumiputera equity condition within the public spread will reinforce the competitiveness of Bursa Malaysia.

The audience at Invest Malaysia checking out the PM's speech. - Picture by Choo Choy May

Najib also cut the powers of the Foreign Investments Committee (FIC), immediately repealing its guidelines covering the acquisition of equity stakes, mergers and takeovers.

The FIC will no longer process any share transactions nor impose equity conditions on such transactions — which has been its mainstay up to yesterday.

Najib also said FIC approval for property transactions will now only be required when it involves a dilution of Bumiputera or goverment interest for properties valued at RM20 million and above, while other transactions, including between foreigners and non-Bumiputeras, will not require approval.

“In addition, to further ease raising funds from the capital markets, post listing fund raising exercises will no longer be subject to any equity condition,” Najib said in his speech, adding this deregulation will immediately support existing listed companies seeking to raise funds and reduce the friction cost of compliance.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, also liberalised ownership in the wholesale segment of the fund management industry, allowing total ownership for qualified and leading fund management companies seeking to be in Malaysia.

He also raised the limit for foreign shareholding in unit trust management firms to 70 per cent, from 49 per cent previously.

To boost the local markets, Najib has set up a private equity fund, called Ekuiti Nasional Berhad (Ekuinas), with an initial capital of RM500 million to invest in private sector funds, to promote genuine partnerships and a fully commercial approach.

He disclosed that Bumiputera participation through Ekuinas will be based on merit. The fund will eventually grow to RM10 billion.

A revisit to Uthaya's interview with Malaysiakini - Dec 2007

Hindraf Uthayakumar Interview
http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/75675

Soon Li Tsin
Dec 5, 07 2:26pm

In an interview with Malaysiakini two days ago, he spoke at great length about his self-proclaimed vendetta against Umno, his Kelantanese heritage and his interpretation of ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Indian Malaysians.

Edited excerpts from the interview follow, although his manner of speech has been retained in the interests of authenticity.

Can you gauge the success of Hindraf rally - did you achieve what you set out to achieve?

To us it was a success. It was above my expectations because we targeted 10,000 but towards the end we knew that the numbers were a lot more higher. Our estimate was about 100,000 although Malaysiakini estimated it to be 30,000 and the local press made it 5,000-10,000.

The floodgates were broken.

We didn’t expect that [...] there was a lot of excitement on the part of Indians in particular to attend the peaceful assembly I do not know why but it was the talk of almost every Indian in Malaysia. They felt that they had a duty to attend the assembly and it was a historical day in Malaysia in a sense that people in such large numbers turned up.

Do you think the poor coordination led to the violence and people getting injured?

No, I think the police attack on innocent peaceful assemblers was what caused the violence.

But that was to be anticipated wasn’t it?

No, to me we have warned the police that we are assembling peacefully, our big banner said kami aman, polis jangan ganas (we’re peaceful, police don’t be violent’). We were exercising our right pursuant to Article 10 of the Federal Constitution (right to freedom of assembly). Who are the police to tell us not to gather? Who is the government to tell us not to gather?

So are you saying you’re placing constitutional superiority over people’s safety?

No, the people came against all odds. The prime minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), the deputy PM (Najib Abdul Razak) , the Inspector-General of Police (Musa Hassan) had warned them not to come every day for the past week with the media going full blast with their headline news on the radio, TV, the press in particular the Tamil press (all saying) ‘Don’t go’ but yet 100,000 [sic] people defied the PM, the DPM, the IGP.

Normally the media propaganda works but this time it did not work. The floodgates were opened. People came out in large numbers because they have been suppressed, oppressed, marginalised for 50 years. We are against the practice of racism by Umno [...] on the Indians They have already been pushed to the wall and they come out in large numbers to peacefully register their protest against the Umno-led Barisan Nasional.

On the issue of racism, people allege that Hindraf is racist in nature. Why do you take such a communal approach when poverty affects Chinese, Malays and other minorities as well?

Umno’s racial mindset has in fact spilled over to the opposition, NGOs and civil society in Malaysia (which have) begun to play to the gallery. They don’t go according to the seriousness of violation of human rights or the issue (but) by what gets them political mileage (because) the Malays and Chinese form 90 percent of the population.

If you take the latest example of the Hindraf peaceful assembly, people were arrested and beaten up and remanded for three days [...] and they were charged immediately. None of the other supposedly multiracial opposition parties, NGOs or civil society (groups said anything) - there was pin-drop silence from them because the victims were Indians

If you see the issue of temple demolition - if only Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Wan Azizah (Wan Ismail), Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Nasharudin (Mat Isa) and (Abdul) Hadi Awang condemned the Umno government for demolishing temples [...] they put their foot (down) strongly and tell (Abdullah), ‘Look this is wrong How can you go and demolish somebody’s temple’, I am sure the Umno government will back off.

But DAP, PAS and PKR will lose Malays votes so they don’t want to make a stand. If at all, they should be more multiracial. Maybe I shouldn’t use the word ‘racist’ against them, they should be multiracial. (When) the temple in Padang Jawa was demolished Kulasegaran moved an emergency motion (in Parliament but) why couldn’t it be Lim Kit Siang (as the parliamentary opposition leader)? [...] it is a national issue, it is not n Indian issue.

[...] So if the opposition party, NGOs and civil society doesn’t want to do (Indian issues) [...] if we don’t do, nobody would do it. So we are left with no choice but to focus on Indian issues, temple demolitions, Indians schools not being fully aided [...] many schools look like a cow shed. I have not seen one Chinese or Malay school which looks like a cow shed.

The press don’t highlight the issue according to the gravity or the seriousness of it. So here we are we are saying it’s a serious problem, please pay attention to it but it is unfortunate that we are Indians and we champion Indian issues because the other communities are not interested so we are left with no choice but to do it ourselves. So who is racist-lah?

I was brought up in Kelantan where 99 percent (of people) are Malays, 0.9 percent Chinese and 0.1 percent Indian. Until today I speak fluent Kelantan Malay; not many people know that and I don’t look like someone who can speak Kelantan Malay, I was brought up with the Malays. I’ve got nothing against the Malays.

You want to know a little secret? I once went out with a Malay girl for five years. I have got people who say I’m a racist, I’m anti-Malay, but no I’m not. But because of religious considerations I could not convert to (Islam). She is a wonderful lady [...] converting was something I could not accept. I told her from the beginning and we went our separate ways. It was sad, very sad but it had to happen. But I am no racist. Hindraf is no racist.

Do you think you could broaden your struggle, fight for rights of all poor people and not polarise races?

You see when it comes to the poor, the Chinese poor they have their guilds, associations and they are taken care of. The Malay poor is taken care of by the government. Chinese control 50 percent of the business in this country, they own a certain amount of political clout, they own about 30 percent of the votes. The Umno-led government takes the Chinese seriously. The orang asli they have an (Orang Asli Affairs Department), international bodies and NGOs which take care of aborigines. There are groups that take care of the foreigners.

But if a local Indian suffers some form of violation, these people will not speak up. I think that is not right. I think the onus is on the multiracial community to address the most serious violations of human rights. So if the Malay and Chinese communities do not want to support the Indian poor, there’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t help it. It is beyond our power. It is up to them now.

This is criticism in a blog that describes Hindraf as "sheer idiots" for thinking they can change Indian Malaysians by walking [...] to the British High Commission on a Sunday. People are saying Indians can be changed by education, eradicating toddy, eradicating gambling and others. What do you think of that?

To me, if the writer has a better solution he should have put it in his comments. Anybody and everybody can criticise. They should have come up with constructive criticism saying ‘don’t walk on a Sunday, this is what you should do’. To me we’ve talked about it, we are on the ground, we’ve been doing work for the last 10 years we do not have any other choice but to stage a peaceful assembly. I wish the writers and other commentators have better solutions for us, we would follow that, we would listen to them.

What do you expect out of the lawsuit against the British government?

The British are not like Malaysian. They do not have the Malaysian mindset. We have confidence in the British courts. We cannot say the same about Malaysian courts. [...] So these people who have doubts about our suit, they are basing it on a Malaysian mindset. If at all we lose the suit, so what? So be it. We have got the best chance at justice.

What has happened to the 10-member delegation to deliver the petition to the Queen?

On Nov 27, the PM threatened us with the Internal Security Act and there was a real danger of Hindraf leaders being arrested. We had to devise a new strategy (for) one person to leave the country to carry the torch on the assumption that the others will be detained under ISA. So now (Hindraf chairperson) P Waythamoorthy (photo) is on an international lobby to India [..] he will then proceed to London, Geneva, Brussels, Washington DC, New York, Atlanta.

For the sake of transparency, how much does Hundraf get through donations? How much is being spent on Waythamoorthy’s lobby?

We will take it as it comes. We have never done this before. Maybe about RM50,000? Since it’s public funds, I think until yesterday we have collected about RM150,000 already. We were surprised. We wanted to take stock of the exact amount before we make the announcement because we are accountable to the public. We have got almost zero foreign funding. This is also good because we maintain our independence.

Are you going to meet with the PM?

If he gives us an appointment, we will meet him.

What is this vendetta against Umno about?

You see Umno has been very successful, (it) has been trained by the British who are very good and astute politicians. They conquered three-quarters of the world, they trained the Umno leaders [...] to be very good politicians; they divide and rule.

They way they rule the Indians is that they create a system with MIC (and) leave the two million Indians’ problems to Samy Vellu (photo), the MIC, Hindu Sanggam. They’ve got a structure [...] so any problems regarding the Indians, Umno will say ‘ go see your MIC leader’. The MIC leaders are powerless. Samy Vellu is the most senior cabinet member; he qualifies to be the PM but he is not because of his ethnicity. He cannot be PM.

During the Padang Jawa temple issue Samy went to the ground (and told) the enforcement chief, ‘please don’t break the temple’ and the enforcement chief told him pergi dah (go away). I’m breaking the temple’. What powers does Samy Vellu have (if) even the enforcement chief of the Shah Alam City Council doesn’t want to listen to him? To me that enforcement officer is more powerful than the most senior minister in the cabinet. That’s the reality because (the officer) is a Malay and Samy Vellu is an Indian. That’s a fact.

You can say I’m a racist but you see in Malaysia, people avoid talking about the realities about race. So Samy Vellu is a proxy of the Umno government. He is suppose to cheat and mislead the community. Samy Vellu has no power, he’ll only tell you three things: ‘I will bring this up with the cabinet’, ‘I will bring this up with the PM’ or ‘I will bring this up in Parliament’ because beyond this he cannot say anything.

To me even if you remove Samy Vellu and place me in his position, I will not be able to do anything. I’m powerless. Only PM and Umno have the power. Umno rules this country not Barisan Nasional. It’s a game Umno has played for 50 years so the Indians will end up fighting among themselves, it’s exactly what Umno wants.

Have you tried engaging Umno?

Of course. We have written over 1,000 letters over the past 10 years to the PM, chief ministers, mayors, Attorney-General, IGP (about) all the atrocities (done) to Indians (but) they just don’t (give) a damn. They don’t even bother replying save for a few letters acknowledging they have received our letters, thank you very much, full stop. That’s the first and last we hear from them.

The PAS-led government in Kelantan has not broken a single Hindu or Buddhist temple. In fact the largest sleeping Buddha in Southeast Asia is not in Thailand but in Kelantan in Kampung Neting, Tumpat, where I grew up. The PAS-led government does not break temples, only the Umno-lead government breaks temples.

Why didn’t Hindraf raise the issue of that surau the was also demolished and show you are not racist?

Because the surau was already replaced with a bigger surau, fully funded by the government. It is a non-issue. [...] Until today, none of these groups - political parties, NGOs or even Umno - have said anything (about the fact).that no Hindu temple has been given government land or is fully funded by the government. There is zero. Nobody talks about it.

But there are also claims that there are many temples built illegally.

Most of these temples were built before Independence. Similarly mosque and suraus were built before Independence [...] but they have all be legalised. So they become legal. Now these Hindu temples you do not legalise it and then you say they are illegal. Where is the justice? Article 8 of the Federal Constitution states there is equality before the law. Why one rule for the surau and one rule for the temples?

There is a Tamil proverbs saying that ‘you should never live in a village with no temple’. The Encyclopedia of Britannica define the Tamils as a ‘temple-building race’. It is their culture, it goes to the heart and the core of their culture. So (over) the issue of illegal temples, just make them legal, like how you make mosques and suraus legal, the problem is solved.

In the post-independence temples, the government has not made any allocation of land, so they (Indians) built temples which are (located near their) houses, whatever. But if the government had given them land, as it gave to Muslims, there would be no issue of illegal temples.

Why isn’t Hindraf lobbying to legalise the temples?

That is what we’re doing now. We are asking the government to gazette all Hindu temples. Take stock of all the Hindu temples, give them the land, gazette them as Hindu temple reserve and let’s move on from there. Any new temples, we deal with separately. The power is not with Hindraf, the power is with the government. (The Umno-led government) insults Hindu temples by relocating them next to sewerage ponds. Really demeaning, really insulting. If you don’t call that ethnic cleansing, then what is? They are insulting us saying, ‘that’s where you belong’.

What is Hindraf’s relationship with Parti Reformasi Insan Malaysia (PRIM)?
PRIM’s registration has never been approved. We at all times have been operating under Police Watch. It was only because of the recent Hindu temple demolitions that we started doing work under the Hindraf platform. That’s all.

Past Umno ministers have said we are doing it because of political motivation [...] but because of the Umno-led government manoeuvering and gerry-mandering of parliamentary constituencies, there is not a single parliamentary or state constituency with an Indian majority. There is none. We can’t contest anywhere in Malaysia; we will lose because we do 99.99 percent Indian issues. So we can’t win.

As you can see I criticise Umno and I also criticise the opposition, so we are non-partisan. If we fight for Malay issues, it means we are fighting Umno’s racist policies. We are fighting against Umno’s Malay supremacy thinking. Of course PAS and PKR will not support us because they will lose Malay votes but that is not our concern. We are fighting for justice, equality, fairness for all communities.

As we see it now, politics is not important to us. The issues are more important. And I think we will lose credibility if we join a political party. We will support candidates who are sympathetic to the Hindraf cause and we will work behind them.

Maybe you can win if you become a political party by taking a less communal stand…

Maybe we will take a less communal stance and focus less on Indian issues when the Malays and Chinese fill in the blanks and take up Indian issues on a serious and equitable basis. If they had done it before, we would not be focusing on Indian issues [...] we would (strike) a natural balance. People do not know about the non-Indian work we do. Even my lawyers friends have told me, ‘eh this is a Chinese case, a Chinese victim of police brutality, eh, you get Chinese papers coverage you know, you must do’. I don’t go by that. I don’t go by the mileage we get. I go by the seriousness of the issue.

How do you feel about the PM’s statement that Hindraf is spreading lies and causing hatred? He wants proof that genocide and ethnic cleansing have taken place in Malaysia.

I started off my letter (to British PM Gordon Brown) with (a reference to) Kampung Medan. Six people were killed, (more than a) hundred (were) injured (in May 2001).

But your letter states ‘100 over Indians were slashed and killed’ but you just said only six were killed …

No, the 100 over includes the six. Six were killed but 100 were slashed and (sustained) grievous bodily injury.

Aren’t you worried that this statement ‘100 over Indians were slashed and killed’ is misleading people to think hundreds were actually killed?

I’ve made this allegation about genocide and ethnic cleansing seven years ago and I have repeated it many times but it (only) caught fire at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala, Uganda (last month). It caught the attention of the British PM and the press in Kampala, the (Malaysian) government is upset. But to me Hindu temples being relocated next to sewerage tanks - that is ethnic cleansing a la Malaysia. Every three weeks, a temple is demolished. If you don’t call it ethnic cleansing, what is it then? In Bosnia, you kill people. (But ethnic cleansing) a la Malaysia is worse because you are living and suffering on a day to day basis.

Don’t you think your choice of words is what’s getting you in trouble?

No, if they want to charge me for sedition, then so be it, but the court must give me a chance. I would like to produce hundreds of documents and media reports to justify that it is ethnic cleansing. Let the court decide whether it is ethnic cleansing or whether it is sedition but the court must hear me out. I have the evidence, I have the proof.

Is it true you got your law degree in United Kingdom through MIC-owned Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) loan?

Certainly not. My mother sold a house in Brown Garden in Penang for RM91,5000. MIED gave me a subsidy of 10 percent which is about RM12,000 - it was given to me by MIC (for) which I was thankful. But upon completion of my studies, I paid it back in full.

Why did you say Umno leadership was behind your car tyres being slashed recently?

Because they are now attacking me. Currently, who is attacking me? I have no enemies except Umno and the police. So it’s either one of them. I have no other enemies. Who else would do it?

But you don’t have evidence. It is because of such statements that people attack you and calling you an extremist.

Then you tell me who else? No. I don’t have any enemies. At all. I have zero enemies. I maintain a very low profile because of my work - I go home, I have no social life. I don’t go to pubs, I don’t go to disco, I don’t go for birthday parties. I don’t interact much with society, I’m a homely person.

Tell us more about the political asylum you tried to seek in UK in 2004?

It was at the height of the Francis Udayappan (missing police detainee) case. There was an attack on me, done with razor-sharp precision. That kind of thinking can only come from the police. [...] They smashed my car windscreen and I hit a lamp post and somebody pulled out a gun and pointed it at me. I had all the evidence.

I would have easily qualified for asylum but in the meantime the (de facto) law minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz told me to come back, ‘Malaysia is your country please come back’ and he assured me my safety. I came back to Malaysia [...] and the asylum application was withdrawn.

But with the current (situation) my life is back in danger again. But if you ask me whether I will seek asylum again, the answer is ‘No’. I will stay back and fight this time

Penang High Chaparral Issue, statement by Penang CM

By Lim Guan Eng

Hindraf Must Wake Up And Realise That Kampung Buah Pala Is Still Standing Today Because The Penang Pakatan Rakyat State Government Had Successfully Prevented Them From Being Evicted In The Middle Of Last Year.

The Penang Pakatan Rakyat state government has never consented nor approved any demolition of Kampung Buah Pala. Any action taken is by the private developer via a court order issued by the relevant courts.

Up to RM200,000 per family was offered by the developer to the residents which was accepted by many families but not by those remaining in Kampung Buah Pala. The state government respected the decision of those remaining in Kampung Buah Pala to reject any compensation offer and to fight it out in courts.

If the state government had not been sympathetic to the plight of the residents, then the developer would have evicted the residents in the middle of last year when a court order was obtained. Only the determined preventive efforts by Penang DCM2 Professor P Ramasamy and Penang State EXCO Abdul Malek stopped the developer from entering the village with bulldozers several times last year.

All parties must therefore realise that it is only because of the efforts of the present Pakatan Rakyat state government that the Kampung Buah Pala residents are still living there.

Koh Tsu Koon Owes The Public A Full Explanation Why He Sold The Kampung Buah Pala At A Cheap Price Of Only RM10 Per Square Feet In 2007 And Without consulting the residents.

The state government land of Kampung Buah Pala was approved to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang twice by the BN Penang state EXCO led by Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon on 18.8.2004 and 8.6.2005 with a premium of RM6.42 million or RM20 per square feet. I can not understand neither the rationale of approving this project without consulting the residents nor selling it at such a low price.

Worse Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon’s EXCO reduced the premium further by 50% to RM3.21 million or only RM10 per square feet on the recommendation of the UMNO Deputy Chief Minister. Koh Tsu Koon owes the public a full explanation why he sold Kampung Buah Pala at a cheap price of only RM10 per square feet in 2007 when the market price in this prime area is many times over and without consulting the residents.

The Penang State Government Should Not Be Unfairly Victimised And Targeted By Hindraf For Helping The Kampung Buah Pala Residents.

It is BN, Gerakan, MIC, UMNO & MCA that are the main culprits for causing, abandoning and even selling out Kampung Buah Pala residents.

The Penang state government regrets the highly irresponsible and irrational actions of Hindraf in targeting the Penang state government over the actions taken by the developer to evict residents in Kampung Buah Pala. Hindraf wants the state government to act against the court order obtained by the developer to evict the residents. This the state government can not do as Pakatan Rakyat governs under the rule of law and is compelled to respect any court order issued.

On the other hand, there have been suggestions that the Penang state government forcibly acquires the land under for a public purpose under the Land Acquisition Act. Doing so would play into the hands into the developer who would be able to reap enormous profits without putting in a single cent. Much as the Penang state government would wish to do, cancelling the project and forcibly acquiring the land would incur costs beyond the financial capability of the state government. We are NOT talking about millions of ringgit or tens of millions of ringgit here!

Clearly Hindraf is unable to distinguish who its friends are by likening such actions to UMNO’s tearing down of Hindu temple. And yet Hindraf does not organise nation-wide protests for the recent tearing down Hindu temples in Kuala Lumpur. The Penang state government should not be unfairly victimised or targeted by Hindraf when we have assisted the residents and also not involved with the tearing down of any Hindu temple in Penang.

Why is Hindraf not demonstrating against UMNO or Gerakan or MCA or even MIC who are the main culprits and perpetrators behind Kampung Buah Pala? This begs the question whether Hindraf has now been infiltrated by collaborators of MIC and BN when it should be demonstrating against those who demolish temples and not the Penang state government seeking a fair deal for the Kampung Buah Pala villagers.

Hindraf should realise what the Penang state government has done for the Indian community, temples and Tamil primary schools. Not only was the first Indian Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang appointed but the 28 Tamil primary schools were given a yearly allocation of RM1.5 million along with other Chinese primary, Sekolah Agama Rakyat, missionary schools and Chinese independent secondary schools. Further Penang put up the FIRST Tamil road signs in the country alongside with Arabic, Chinese and English bilingual road signs in Georgetown. Even Hindraf never even raised the issue of Tamil road signs.

By going against the Penang state government, Hindraf is indirectly helping UMNO and BN and putting all the achievements made by the Penang state government at risk. There will be no Indian DCM2, no yearly allocation of funds to Tamil primary schools and no more Tamil road signs or bilingual road signs. Hindraf should use reason not emotions of rage or anger and think again who are the real opponents and the real friends of the Indian community.

Most important of all, the Penang state government treats all Indians together with Chinese and Malays as Malaysian citizens, where a Chinese leader can look after Malays a Malay leader can look after Chinese and an Indian leader can look after all citizens. DAP and the Pakatan Rakyat government will not back down or be cowed by BN, UMNO or Hindraf who continues to look at problems from a narrow racial spectrum of Chinese, Indian of Malays. DAP and the Penang Pakatan Rakyat government believes that the issues of Indians are not Indian problems, the issues of Chinese are not Chinese problems nor the issues of Malays not Malay problems but a Malaysian issue.

We should be uniting together as Malaysians around the principles of justice, truth, freedom, democracy and welfare of the people to ensure that we fight corruption to both generate growth and prosperity as well as ensure that everyone shares equitably.

However despite regretting the unwarranted targeting of the Penang state government, Hindraf leaders have the right to exercise the basic human rights of peaceful assembly by demonstrating no matter how unreasonable they are. I have instructed my officials to respect their rights and accept any memorandum submitted in line with non-violent principles of Mahatma Gandhi that, “violence begets violence, an eye for any eye would leave everyone blind.” I also urge the police not to take any action that would lead to untoward actions.

The state government will also not be affected by the actions of the residents in suddenly turning against the state government despite all the assistance offered. The state government will continue to assist the remaining residents of Kampung Buah Pala, including if the residents so wish, that the developer of Kampung Buah Pala continues with its offer of up to RM200,000 compensation per registered family to the residents. The state government has also not given any consent or agreement to the developer to demolish any buildings as the developer is acting on his own under the court order from the High Court and Federal Court.

“We cannot afford another Anwar prosecution”

By Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan
thenutgraph.com

The following is an excerpt of a public lecture by Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan titled Democracy, Law and Human Rights in an Era of Globalisation that was delivered on 23 June 2009 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Chevening Scholarship Programme

THE Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim prosecution is seen by many as the political persecution of the leader of the opposition. The question is, can we, as a nation, go through a second Anwar prosecution?

Lawyer Tommy Thomas had this to say in an article titled A Second Prosecution of Anwar Ibrahim — Is it in the national interest?: "The starting point is the previous prosecution of Anwar for sodomy in 1998[,] which imposed incredible strains on our legal system, and made Malaysia the laughing stock in the legal world.

"It would be sufficient to remind ourselves of the conduct of the prosecution in the 1998 case, the unfair publicity given by the mass media, the denial of bail, the 'irrelevant' rulings by the trial judge, the conduct of the trial itself, the amendment of the charges, the shameful parading of the mattress, the expungement of 'inconvenient' evidence, the finding of guilty, the lengthy sentence, the appeal to the Court of Appeal, and finally the appeal to the Federal Court."

I personally recall being utterly horrified and disgusted by the charges against Anwar the first time round. The initial charges carried wording I cannot repeat in good company. I also remember the terrible injustice done to Sukma Darmawan. And then to Dr Munawar Ahmad Anees, who to this day has not been vindicated by our courts although they have had the opportunity to do so. We must not forget these and other unfortunate people who all became innocent victims in this political war against Anwar.

The whole prosecution was a disgrace. I remember someone saying then that the trial robbed this country's citizens, in particular our children, of their innocence, as we had a daily fare of sodomy, semen-stained mattresses and the like.

Thomas argues, and I agree, that since those disgraceful events, the judiciary has taken steps to repair itself. He argues that a second prosecution would (I'd say could because, of course, the court could throw out the case) undo all the repair the judiciary has carried out to improve its image.

And it is no coincidence that Anwar is the opposition leader who has brought sweeping changes to the political landscape.


Tommy Thomas
Thomas argues: "If Anwar were not a potential prime minister, and only an ordinary citizen, he would not face this prosecution. It is as simple, plain and obvious as that."

The prosecution, Thomas argues, is economic and political suicide. He adds that the people of Malaysia are deeply divided on this issue, and that Malaysia's international image will, no doubt, suffer.

He then concludes with these words: "History is replete with examples of leaders who refused to learn from past mistakes, and were doomed to repeat them. It would be a tragedy of ancient Greek proportions if our leaders do not learn the lessons from 1998.

"It is abundantly clear that all the factors point in one direction: it is not in the public interest to subject the nation and its citizens to the trauma of a second trial..."

Ultimately, the powers-that-be must appreciate the consequences of this prosecution. If they win, they lose; if they lose, they lose. Actually, the nation loses. If you were a betting person, what would you do with those odds?

One thing must be made clear, it is my opinion that what we are doing to Anwar Ibrahim is starkly similar to what is happening to Aung San Suu Kyi. I ask, show me the difference between the two. I ask, how can we condemn the latter and do the former?

I call on the government to immediately review the Anwar prosecution in the public interest and because it is the right thing to do. If the government takes this step, it will certainly regain some credibility.

The AG's role

It is important in our justice system to appreciate the duties and responsibilities of the Attorney General, particularly in criminal prosecutions.

The Attorney General cannot act arbitrarily. In a judgment relating to the Attorney General's discretion over prosecutions, the Federal Court held that:

"The public of whose interest he [or she] is the guardian has a right to expect him [or her] to act honestly, without fear of powerful national and local figures or of the consequences to him [or her] personally or politically, and without favouring his [or her] relatives and friends and supporters, his [or her] principal concern being to maintain the rule of law so that there will be no anarchy and to maintain standards in public life and the private sector."


Aung San Suu Kyi (Public domain; source:
Wiki commons)
Our institutions must work to regain their credibility. I started my speech with a quote from Aung San Suu Kyi that fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it. I hope this is not what we are seeing today in Malaysia.

Rule of law

You would have appreciated by now that democracy, rule of law and human rights are all interlinked. The essential distinction between rule of law and rule by law must be noted.

Many dictatorships or military regimes can quite honestly say that everything that they do is in accordance with laws they have passed. Does our Internal Security Act, for example, accord with the rule of law? No that is rule by law.

Laws passed by Parliament must accord with the rule of law. They must encompass basic fundamental liberties and values. These laws must be acceptable to a large number of people. They must be fair.

In Malaysia, even after 50 years of Merdeka, there are still in existence four declarations of emergency! We still have the archaic Sedition Act, Official Secrets Act, and Printing Presses and Publications Act. It is time for us to review all these pieces of legislation.

Within our borders

So, if there are human rights abuses outside our borders, can we in today's world fail to act? The answer is no. We must reach across our borders on issues of human rights.

But more important is what we do within our borders. Do we have the right to condemn apartheid, as we did, when we allow racist rhetoric to abound in our country? What about the right to condemn Aung San Suu Kyi's suffering while we treat Anwar Ibrahim the way we do? Can we criticise the kidnapping and disappearance of people overseas when it happens in our country?

We must have the moral authority to criticise others by ensuring we do not behave in the same way.

Watching Malaysia change

By Zedeck Siew
thenutgraph.com

Updated 22 June 2009, 5.16pm

Ambiga between Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama
US first lady Michelle Obama (right) and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hand Ambiga the
Secretary of State's Award for International Women of Courage, on 11 March 2009

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images North America, Source: Zimbio)

DATUK Ambiga Sreenevasan's reference point for how aware Malaysians are about issues is the taxi driver. The respected lawyer and former Malaysian Bar president is no stranger to being scolded by taxi drivers while she is dressed up in her courtroom garb.

"'Aiya, this judiciary, can buy,' one told me," Ambiga says. "They are very critical, and are very clear on what is right and wrong."

The Malaysian taxi driver is one of her gauges of public awareness, and the senior lawyer is convinced that nobody should underestimate the Malaysian public's understanding of issues.

Indeed, Ambiga's seen quite a lot in her own life. The Nut Graph talked to her on 26 May 2009 at her office in Kuala Lumpur about growing up through 13 May 1969, watching the 1988 judicial crisis unfold, and the changing attitudes of Malaysians.

We are all pendatangs. Where are you from?

My father was born and bred in Malaysia. My mother was from South India, and my father married her and brought her to Malaysia.

My paternal grandfather was also from South India. I think it was a question of looking for opportunities, for him. He was an assistant commissioner for labour.

My parents have three children. I was born in Seremban, on 13 November 1956; my father, who was a doctor, was posted there.

My father, Datuk Dr G Sreenevasan, was one of our pioneer urologists. He was the main person behind the Institute of Urology and Nephrology in Hospital Kuala Lumpur. I remember him spending longs days and nights planning this.


Ambiga's father and the staff of the Institute of Urology Nephrology on his retirement
from government service at the age of 52 (Courtesy of Ambiga Sreenevasan)

Growing up, I remember that my father was very inspired by Tunku Abdul Rahman, and his call for all races to unite. My father had many opportunities abroad, but he decided to stay here; he wanted to build something up in Malaysia. And he did.

All my father's friends and colleagues were like that. Those people who lived through independence really had the spirit of nationalism in them. The drive that they had — unfortunately we've lost that now. Comparing them with Malaysians today, I understand when people of that generation tell me: you don't know what it is to want to build up our country.

What was school like?

I went to Convent Bukit Nenas from Form One to Upper Six. I remember that my friends and I had a strong sense of "Malaysianism".

This was after 1969. It's true that 13 May destroyed a lot of trust. But then there was the Rukunegara, which we all had to learn — seemingly real attempts to bring people together. We were happy to strengthen our command of Bahasa (Malaysia), for example.

It felt as if — in my school, at least, where the student body was mixed — there was a coming together of the races. It was a healing period.

Let's backtrack. What was 13 May like?

I was 13 at the time. On the day it happened, we got a message from the school authorities: Go home early. My mother came to pick me up.


Father G Sreenevasan and mother Visalakshi (Courtesy of Ambiga Sreenevasan)

Well, we lived in Kampung Baru, at the time. On Jalan Putra — now Jalan Raja Muda 1. This was not far from the then-Selangor menteri besar's home. We were there because it was close to the General Hospital, so it was easy for my father to get to work. Ours was the last house on the row. My father was overseas at the time, so it was just mother and us children, my uncle and aunt, and the household cook.

At 6pm we saw people running past, wearing headbands. Soon after, we heard screams. Later, there were cars being burnt in the field. The house behind us was burnt. We were always safe, though. I don't know why. Maybe it was because we had lived there so long, so everyone knew us. Or maybe it was because we were Indian [Malaysian].

When my father got back, about a week after 13 May, he helped out at the hospital, treating people with injuries. He said: "I read about the riots, but I never imagined it would be this bad."

It was bad. We had never before seen anything like that. For a long time after, whenever I heard fireworks going off, I would feel nervous.

What was university like?

When I went to university in the UK, my horizons expanded and I learnt about freedom of thought and speech — and what these concepts meant in real terms. When I visited the Bar there, I saw how a functioning democracy operated. This time was a very important part in moulding my views on human rights and fundamental freedoms.

I came back and joined the Malaysian Bar in 1982. It was a wonderful organisation, even then. Being a young lawyer, I remember being petrified to appear before people like Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader — he would chew you up if you didn't know your brief. He was so respected because he knew your brief, and the law, and was of the highest integrity and intellect.

Ambiga and Tun Salleh Abas talking
Ambiga and Tun Salleh Abbas

In fact, I'd appeared before all the judges who were later suspended in the judicial crisis.

What was it like, being a young lawyer during the 1988 judicial crisis?

It was a real shock to the system. Our first three prime ministers never touched the judiciary; probably this was because they were lawyers themselves. Our judiciary was a very respected institution.

I remember, as the tribunals were in progress, a group of us lawyers sitting at the back of the courtroom and watching. To see these men, who had so much self-respect, to be treated in that shabby way — we couldn't believe it.

I remember going home and bursting into tears. It was like someone demolishing your house while you're standing in it.

Things are getting better since those dark times. But, ultimately, when it comes to the judiciary, it is up to the judges themselves to act courageously, now.

When did you become aware about race?

Ambiga NEP pullquote

Race was always there. We were always aware of it, but it wasn't as divisive as it is today. The New Economic Policy worked quite well, initially.

Then the abuses started: the enrichment of a few at the expense of the many who actually needed it. And these few became arrogant. Playing the race card suited them, because it solidified their positions.

I think, very frankly, that politicians are responsible for bringing so much racism into our society. I think it suited the politicians to play on our differences instead of what unites us.

But the arrogance that grew with this has been rejected by the people. I'm talking about the March 2008 elections. What we saw was a rejection of racist rhetoric. People were fed up. Previously, the 13 May bogey used to work — but that's not working any more.

Where do you think we are going, now?

I like to think of Malaysian history as being divided into three phases.


R Gopal Ayer, Ambiga's grandfather (Courtesy of Ambiga
Sreenevasan)
The initial years, during my father's time, when there was this nationalistic feeling, this drive to show the world that we could be an independent and united nation.

Then a long period, during which things became more divisive. A time when we appeared to have economic prosperity, but also had so much corruption and racism.

And now, a third phase: the push for change.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but a lot of young Malaysians now feel no connection with 13 May. They don't come from that past. There is a disconnect between the youth, and old politics.

My father's generation adored Tunku. I don't know whether we will get that feeling again. But you need this generation saying: the world has moved on, so let me move on, too.

Villagers: “We want our land which is our life”

By Anil Netto,

The Kampung Buah Pala residents have released a statement today, expressing dissatisfaction with Pakatan politicians who had promised to defend their right to the land during the general election campaign last year.

The villagers, who had earlier filed a complaint with the MACC over the land deal, are also claiming that not all families and households were offered compensation.

Some excerpts from the statement:

If the present State Government cannot stop the demolition then it is adopting the abuse of power by the previous government and is a party to it.

…We ask the state government to act now and at least stop and postpone the demolition. It can direct the developer and the police to do so. It should not abdicate its responsibility and shirk its responsibility.

Act now or forever be condemned. Please don’t give us platitudes. Don’t blame the previous BN government; you have the power now. Are you useless?

You can act to set aside the (highly questionable) transfers without paying a cent. Why are you not doing so? Are the developers tying your hands?

Are you now collaborating with and an accomplice of the previous government’s abuse…?

Are you friend or enemy? Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?

The offer by the developer is an eyewash. It is only for the few registered houses. What about the other unnumbered houses? What about the other extended families? Each house is occupied by several families. What about them? What about the tenants? They have been offered nothing.

We want out land which is our life. Please don’t mislead the public and side with the developers and Umno.

Do not use sweet promises to fish our votes and gain our support.

This village has historical and heritage value which cannot be bought by mighty capital and high force

There are over 23 registered houses, over 11 unregistered houses and 41 families and other residents. Compensation was never offered per family at all till now.

If the State Governement does not act now, it will only assist the developer to wipe out the only historical and heritage Tamil village in Malaysia.

Once our houses are demolished and we are thrown out and scattered, wherever we may be we will campaign against those who made false and empty promises…

Anwar - Khairy clash during EAIC debate

The Sun
by Husna Yusop

KUALA LUMPUR (June 29, 2009): " Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR-Permatang Pauh) claimed the government had rejected the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as it wants to protect the image of the police.

The opposition leader said should the government have the political will, the IPCMC would be good enough to improve the police force so that it can play its role effectively especially in curbing crimes.

“The government is responsible for upholding the people’s sanctity of life and property. Our country is relatively peaceful but we cannot accept the increasing crime rates as well as poor police performance.

“The government has given in to the protest by police for the IPCMC to be set up just because it can affect its image. The royal commission (Royal Police Commission of Inquiry) report was clear evidence that our country is in dire condition due to police negligence,” he said.

Debating the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) Act in the Dewan Rakyat today, Anwar said efforts should be taken to enhance the effectiveness of the existing enforcement agencies instead of having new laws.

He added that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) could also play its role accordingly.

Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) intervened to say he was also disappointed with the EAIC but, although it is not as comprehensive as IPCMC, it has investigative power.

“It is not proper to say the EAIC is superfluous just because we have MACC.

No one in BN has ever brought up the racial issue. We were only worried about the rejection by the police because they may not accept IPCMC and this may affect their morale in carrying out their duties,” he said.

Khairy said the EAIC is an alternative to IPCMC to safeguard against the abuse of power by the police and other enforcement agencies.

“Let’s hope Permatang Pauh (Anwar) will not be too suspicious. This is a small but important step,” he said.

Anwar agreed that it was a small step, but said that after 51 years of independence, it should be a big step and there must be a really effective commission.

“People had high hopes on the IPCMC. And the public perception now is, the police stoop to the executive power and political leaders,” he added.

The EAIC Act calls for a commission authorised to investigate and decide on complaints against 21 federal enforcement agencies including Immigration, Rela, Customs, Road Transport, National Anti-Drug Agency, National Registration, Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board as well as the enforcement divisions or units under the ministries of Health, Tourism, Housing and Local Government.

It is wider compared with only four agencies under the Special Complaints Commission, proposed based on recommendations from the royal police commission but was scrapped after reservations from some quarters.

Anwar said while he disapproved illegal immigrants, he also condemned the legal agencies which had been suppressing the poor foreign workers.

“Our system allows for a legal modern slavery. We can send them (illegal immigrants) back, but it should not be by means of torturing them.

“When I was in the Sungai Buloh prison, for example, foreign workers claimed their things were confiscated by the enforcement authorities and they were left only with what they had on. This calls for an investigation by the government,” he added.

CAN THE KING DISMISS THE PRIME MINISTER


1) A lawyer sent me a long article on the above subject. He seems to be upset about some decisions made by the courts.

2) I cannot reproduce his long article but some extracts relevant to Malaysia merit attention by the Malaysian public who may be worried that the people's right to be governed by leaders of their own choice has been eroded.

3) Can the King dismiss the Prime Minister? The answer is;

4) No, if the political framework is that of Constitutional Monarchy and there are no express provisions in the Constitution. Additionally, Constitutional Conventions provides no precedent for the exercise of such a power.

5) The Malaysian Constitution;

Article 40 expressly provides that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall act on advice, and by Article 40(2), may act in his discretion in the performance of the following functions, that is to say;

a) the appointment of a Prime Minister;

b) the withholding of consent to a request for the dissolution of Parliament;

c) the requisition of a meeting of the Conference of Rulers concerned solely with the privileges, position, honours and dignities of Their Royal Highnesses, and any action at such meeting;

and in any other cases mentioned in this Constituion.

6) But the relevant article that will close the debate on whether the Agong can dismiss the Prime Minister is contained in Article 43(5) of the Constitution.

7) It provides as follows;

Subject to clause (4), Ministers other than the Prime Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, unless the appointment of any Minister shall be revoked by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister but any Minister may resign his office.

8) But, since the Prime Minister does not hold office at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, it must follow that he cannot be dismissed by the King, but he has to resign from office if he fails to command the majority of the members in the House of Representatives

Blogger Penarik Beca called in for police questioning, again!

by Nathaniel Tan

Grr.

Well, it’s just questioning, so we remain hopeful that it’s not a huge deal, but I definitely want to keep tabs on this. Sheih has the details:

Blogger Penarik Beca atau Bakaq Haq hari ini menerima panggilan telefon dari Bukit Aman memintanya hadir ke Ibupejabat Polis tersebut. Tiada alasan yang diberikan tetapi beliau diminta hadir bersama,

* Isterinya
* Seorang anaknya
* Nombor Telefon Tuan Rumahnya
* Bil Streamyxnya

That’s pretty odd. But I won’t try to make any prejudgments, we’ll see what happens.

Sheih goes on to speculate that bloggers who wrote extensively against Umno-Pas talks/’unity’ like Pak Bakq and himself may be being targeted.

Sounds a tad out there, but you never know with these crazy guys - so let’s keep vigilant, and Pak Bakaq in our thoughts and prayers.

Anwar: Suruhanjaya menutup masalah yang sebenar

Kit Siang: 'Pure merit' scholarship award has no merit

Debat Pas Umno, Umno penakut

State wants developer to stop demolition - Malaysiakini

Pakatan Rakyat Penang government wants the Oasis lucrative housing developer to suspend its plan to demolish ‘Tamil High Chaparral' Kampung Buah Pala this Thursday pending an investigation into an alleged land scam pertaining to the development.

The head of the state investigating team Deputy Chief Minister 1 Mansor Othman will meet representatives from Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd tomorrow to demand the developer suspend its imminent demolition operations.

mansor othman penanti by election pc 280509 02In a clear move to evade any untoward incident on Thursday, Mansor (right) is taking the initiative to talk with Nusmetro, asking them not to execute the court's writ of possession dated effective July 2.

Hindu Rights Action Force leader P Uthayakumar has already indicated that he and his supporters would join with the embattled villagers to stop the developer from flattening the village.

Mansor's investigating team was set up on June 8 to probe into the village deals carried out under the previous Barisan Nasional administration.

Kampung Buah Pala villagers and civil societies have long alleged malpractice in land deals pertaining to the controversial development.

Police and MACC come in for flak

They even lodged reports about it early this month with the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police.

They alleged the land office alienated their village land originally under the Brown housing trust and transfered ownership to the state, which subsequently sold the land to a cooperative, Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang two years ago.

They also wanted the MACC to probe why the previous state government sold the land for a paltry RM3.21 million, or RM11.33 per sq ft, to the cooperative, which they said was far below market value.

Mansor chided MACC and police for being slow in carrying out the investigations.

penang cm lim guan eng 290609"As government bodies, both enforcement agencies should have fast-tracked their investigations into the villagers' report. It's a pressing issue that needed swift and decisive action.

"It's inappropriate for two enforcement agencies to be remiss in their respective duties," said Mansor.

The committee has also finalised the composition of its team which is made up of DCM 2 Dr P Ramasamy, assemblypersons - Seri Delima's RSN Rayer and Batu Uban's VS Raveentharan, and senior lawyer and former Bar Council Penang chairperson CV Prabhakaran.

Mansor refuted claims that the state government had washed its hands over the issue, assuring that Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (above) was serious about resolving the matter amicably.

Council breached building by-laws

Originally the village was legally gazetted as the Helen Brown housing trust under the Housing Trust Act 1950.

However, in 2005, the land office alienated the land to the state government without dissolving the trust which is a requirement under law.

Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) had allegedly given planning approval in 2007 to Umno-linked Nusmetro before the land was legally transferred to the cooperative.

This is a breach of the council's building by-laws.

The land was only transferred on March 27 last year - nine days after Pakatan Rakyat captured Penang in the general election.

kampung buah pala penang p ramasamy meeting 120609 05The land transfer was done by certain land officers without the knowledge of the current government.

On Hindraf, Mansor refuted the movement's claims that the state government had failed to do enough to save the village, the only Indian urban village left in Penang.

"We respect Hindraf's views and opinions. But not all what it claims is true," he said, stressing that the state government was sincere in helping the villagers.

Hindraf will organise nationwide rallies tomorrow evening outside Komtar, and DAP head offices in Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Malacca, Johor Bahru to protest against what it alleged as Penang DAP-dominated government's incompetence to end the villagers' predicament.

'High Chaparral': Mexican standoff between Hindraf, DAP, developer - Malaysiakini

A furious Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) will hold simultaneous rallies in front of all DAP headquarters across the country tomorrow evening.
MCPX

The rallies are to protest against the Penang government's ineptness and failure to declare the 'Tamil High Chaparral' Kampung Buah Pala in Bukit Gelugor, George Town as a living cultural heritage.

kampung buah pala penang demo protest adun delima house 270609 03The movement will mobilise some 10,000 of Hindraf activists across the country to demonstrate outside Komtar, which houses the Penang state government office, and the party offices in Ipoh, Damansara, Seremban, Johor Bahru and Malacca.

The demonstration, scheduled at 4pm, will underline Hindraf's seriousness to force the state government to protect the minority communities' interests, rights and benefits in Penang.

The rally is also expected to highlight the state government's ineptness in resolving other issues related to Tamil schools, employment, business opportunities and housing allocations.

However, the Kampung Buah Pala quandary, currently a major controversy in the state, will feature prominently in the mammoth rally.

The rallies, the first by Hindraf against a Pakatan Rakyat ally, is a blow to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's government, which had positioned itself as a people's government based on competency, accountability and transparency.

Confirming this, London-based Hindraf leader P Waytha Moorthy said Hindraf was fed up with Lim's apathy to the villagers' predicament.

Enough is enough


"We have tolerated enough with the DAP government's inaction at resolving outstanding issues," he said.

Social activists from various groups are expected to join the rally.

Also tomorrow morning, Waytha Moorthy's seven-year-old daughter, Vwaishhnnavi will hand over an appeal note to the Chief Minister asking for his help to save Kampung Buah Pala.

Tomorrow's rally is set to pave the stage for a series of Hindraf-led protest against the state government.

On Wednesday, another group of Hindraf supporters led by S Jayathas is expected hold a rally outside Komtar.

Hindraf's Penang island coordinator K Kalayselvam recalled that the perceived marginalisation of the Indian community was a dominant issue during the last general election.

uthayakumar in kampung buah pala penang 150609 10However, over the past 15 months, he said the DAP government had yet to produce a blueprint to tackle constructively problems pertaining to the community.

"It's time to give the DAP a wake up call. It must protect Kampung Buah Pala, the only Tamil urban village left in Penang today," said Kalayselvam.

Hindraf advisor K Maran said Hindraf campaigned against Barisan Nasional because the Indian community wanted a better caring government to help them.

However, he slammed the DAP government for not showing any difference from the previous one.

"If the DAP government cannot protect a village of 300 people from the rich, then our support for Pakatan is meaningless," he said.

Kampung Buah Pala is known among locals as 'Tamil High Chaparral' because of its population of cowherds, livestock and Tamil traditional cultural features.

The villagers face forced eviction from their village, which they and their ancestors have stayed for nearly 200 years.

Mexican standoff

The city police have informed the villagers that the developer, Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd had obtained a court's writ of possession to seize the village, demolish homes and flatten the site to construct a lucrative mega housing project -named the Oasis.

Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar and his supporters are expected to join the villagers on Thursday in what can be described as a 'Mexican standoff' between the developer's demolition team and the residents of 'High Chaparral'.

hindraf penang kampung buah pala dap protest 290609 01Hindraf advisor N Naragan criticised Lim for his so-called personal crusade, including having a debate with former Chief Minister Dr Koh Tsu Koon to eliminate corruption and malpractices in the previous administration.

However, he chided Lim for being a hypocrite by being a lame duck on the Kampung Buah Pala issue when it was clear the village land deal were tainted with fraud.

He said Lim must now prove his sincerity by stepping in and prevent the demolition on grounds that there was malpractice in the whole deal.

Whether or not the DAP government intervenes, Hindraf will go ahead with its rallies tomorrow and on Wednesday.

It also plans to organise more rallies against Lim's government until the controversy is resolved.

"The state government has already incurred our wrath. We will show our rage," said Maran.

What is there to be proud of?

Image

So, does it really matter whether Lady Diana became a Muslim before she died? Would Islam benefit if Prince Charles or the Queen herself became a Muslim? Does this really enhance the image of Islam, as most Muslims believe it would?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

There are many who are pleased with the revelation brought on by the death of Michael Jackson. This is of course the revelation that he may have converted to Islam. These happy people were also pleased that Cassius Clay became a Muslim (and is now called Muhammad Ali) and in most likelihood Princes Diana and astronaut Neil Armstrong did as well -- although I don’t think these personalities concerned actually publicly said so.

Why is it so important to Muslims that these superstars converted to Islam? So they died as Muslims. Or maybe they never became Muslims and died as Jews or Christians or whatever. Does it really matter one way or another what religion they professed before they died? What is it to us anyway? Would it not be their business more than ours?

I suppose to some this would be very meaningful. To know that extremely important people like Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali, Princes Diana and Neil Armstrong may have all become Muslims gives us that feeling of winning. This proves that we were right all along. And everyone likes to feel that he or she was right and enjoy the satisfaction of being able to say, “I told you so!”

Would it mean anything to Muslims if one million poor and starving Africans converted to Islam? Probably not and we really don’t care if it were 100 million poor and starving Africans who had converted. It is not the numbers that count. We don’t care about quantity. We are concerned about the ‘quality’ of the converts.

One million or even 100 million poor and starving Africans converting to Islam is not something to be proud of. But if Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, was to become a Muslim then that is cause to celebrate with the slaughter of 100 camels and 300 sheep. That proves beyond any shadow of doubt that Islam is the correct religion and it further proves that I was right all along in subscribing to Islam. Hey, even Prince Charles agrees with me and Prince Charles is no ordinary human being.

This ‘we won’ and ‘we were right all along’ is not only a Muslim obsession but also an obsession of all religions. So before you take this as a cue to start your Islam-bashing please note that the word ‘Islam’ can be replaced with the word ‘Christianity’, ‘Hinduism’ or whatever. No religion is exempted from this ‘competitive spirit’ and the obsession to ‘prove itself’ by the converts it attracts -- and the higher the profile of the convert the higher your win and the stronger your message of being ‘right’.

Instead of harping on the number of new converts you are able to attract and the high profile or high quality of these converts, I would rather focus on the high quality of your existing practitioners and ask whether they are doing justice to the religion they are supposed to be professing. What does it matter if Queen Elizabeth herself converted to Islam if the rest of the five million or so Muslims in Britain leave much to be desired as far as their conduct is concerned.

Why are properties in non-white areas in Britain lower than in an all-white area? Well, basically this is because in a non-white area the crime rate is very high. Even your car insurance is higher if you live and park your car in these ‘black’ areas -- especially if you don’t own a garage and park your car on the street.

Granted, not all the non-whites are Muslims. Some are Christians, Hindus, or whatever. Nevertheless, if that particular Briton happens to be a Muslim rather than a Jew, Christian or Hindu, you can safely bet that that person would be non-white rather than white. So, while not all non-whites are Muslims, most Muslims are non-white. And the crime rate is higher in non-white areas (as it is in ‘white’ council areas).

So, does it really matter whether Lady Diana became a Muslim before she died? Would Islam benefit if Prince Charles or the Queen herself became a Muslim? Does this really enhance the image of Islam, as most Muslims believe it would? What would really enhance the image of Islam would be if property in non-white areas are exactly the same price as property in the white areas and your car insurance is not loaded because you live and park your car in a non-white area.

If Michael Jackson really did die a Muslim then well and fine. Good for him. It does not do anything for me anyway. The same as far as Lady Di is concerned and for the rest of the British Royal Family as well. The fact that these high profile people became Muslims does not add value to Islam. What would add value to Islam would be when you buy a car in Britain and you don’t end up paying double the insurance premium because you live in a high-crime rate ‘Muslim’ neighbourhood’ or that your home is cheaper in value because all your neighbours are non-white Muslims.

Now that would make me real proud indeed.

Conference Of Rulers wants to get views of religious councils first

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 – The 217th (special) meeting of the Conference of Rulers, which was held Istana Negara here today, has decided to get the views of the respective state religious councils first before arriving at a decision on the matter of conversion of minors to Islam.

As such, the Conference of Rulers decided to defer its decision on proposed amendments to state enactments on the matter, said a statement issued by the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal.

The meeting which lasted over two hours was chaired Raja Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail. Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin also attended the meeting.

All the sultans and the Yang Dipertuas Negeri attended the meeting except the sultans of Kelantan, Pahang and Perak.

Kelantan was represented by the Regent, Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra Sultan Ismail Petra, Pahang by the Tengku Mahkota, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, and Perak by the Regent, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah Sultan Azlan Shah Terengganu was represented by the President of the Regency Advisory Council, Tengku Seri Panglima Raja Tengku Baderulzaman Sultan Mahmud.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the Sultan of Terengganu.

On April 22, the Cabinet made a decision that minors could remain in the religion of their parents at the time of their marriage, even if their mother or father later converted to another religion.

The Cabinet was of the view that conversionS could not be used as an excuse to automatically dissolve a marriage or to get custody of children.

It also agreed that any individual wishing to change religion should first settle any outstanding issues with his or her spouse, to avoid innocent parties, especially children becoming victims.

Matters concerning Islam come under state jurisdiction in the federation. The Rulers are the head of Islam in their respective states. – Bernama

Barisan MP attacks government Bill on enforcement oversight

By Shannon Teoh - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 – The government’s reform bill on enforcement agencies came under friendly fire today from a senior backbencher who called on all MPs to study the bill clause by clause instead of working according to the political divide.

Barisan Nasional’s (BN) backbenchers deputy chief Datuk Bung Mokhtar attacked the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (Siap) Bill, the last in former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi’s reform package, saying that it could not guarantee that the 21 enforcement agencies, including the police, customs and immigration would be free from corruption.

Calling it a “waste of time and money,” he said that the added layer of checks by such a commission would only cause “difficulties” to the public as most enforcement officers were doing their jobs with integrity.

“Even with this commission, we cannot say for sure if crime will go up or down,” he said, referring to Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) repeated call for a stronger commission to probe the police.

“Siap should be an investigative body and not just a complaints department. If all it does is forward complaints to the Public Prosecutor, then it will just be delayed like other cases,” the Kinabatangan MP added.

But when pressed by opposition MPs if this meant he supported their stand that the body would not have sufficient power to operate, Bung evaded the question, insisting instead, that he was simply stating that he would not support a law that had no benefit to the public.

Abdullah’s reform package, which includes the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Judicial Appointments Commission have come under heavy but expected criticism from the opposition.

However, today’s attack by Bung reflected the unhappiness of BN MPs at what is perceived to be a capitulation to Pakatan Rakyat and a restriction on the status quo in the country where business and politics mix freely.

While the backbenchers may join the opposition in punching holes in Siap, it is still unlikely that they are ready to cross the floor when the bill comes to a vote.

URGENT EVENTS LINED UP TO PROTECT KG BUAH PALA BY HINDRAF

30th June 2009. 10.00 am Penang Chief Ministers Office Komtar Building

Vwaishhnnavi Waytha Moorthy would be presenting an urgent appeal to the Penang Chief Minister to intervene and protect the poor and defenceless Indian Families in Kg. Buah Pala.

Vwaishhnnavi represents the future generation and is taking the bold step to HUMBLY APPEAL to the DAP that they should not destroy and be part of the destruction of the heritage which is very meaningful to the Malaysian Indians.

30th June 2009 4.00PM Demonstration by HINDRAF supporters and Kg.Buah Pala Residents

Venue: Penang Chief Ministers Office Bangunan Komtar Penang

At least one thousand people are expected to demonstrate to show their support, solidarity and condemn the DAP led Government which is bullying the residents of Kg.Buah Pala.

LET US UNITE TO CONDEMN THE DAP THE INDIAN VOTERS.

30th JUNE 2009 4.00 pm Simultaneous Massive protests in the States of Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Perak.

Massive protests are planned at the DAP National headquarters in Damansara by Selangor HINDRAF supporters and and at the respective State DAP Headquarters in Negeri Sembilan and Perak by our state supporters .

1st July 2009 6Pm Penang Chief Ministers Office

Burning of Lim Guan Eng's Effigy led by S.Jayathas HINDRAF Co-ordinator. This may be called off unless and until we receive a firm committment from the Chief Minister that the Kg.Buah Pala would not be destroyed on the 2nd July as planned.

In any other part of the civilised world, political parties and civil societies would scramble to protect a heritage but Malaysia being MALAYSIA BOLEH would abandon the rights of the minority especially when it involves Indians.

When HINDRAF rises to protect these defenceless people we are accused of being extreme and racist by the Government and now by the DAP which claims to represent a democratic society.

HINDRAF WISHES TO WARN THE DAP THAT WE WOULD NOT SIT IDLE AND WATCH YOU OPPRESSING THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE VOTED YOU. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE US. MORE ACTIONS ARE PLANNED IF THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE ARE RAPED

Ong Tee Keat has won the right to get into Guinness Book of Records twice, the second time for being the first MCA President in 60 years to be on the

By Lim Kit Siang,

My three questions (No.91 to No. 93) on the 31st 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:

Question No. 1 – In response to my challenge to him yesterday to five public debates on the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang, Malacca and Johore Baru, where he could be assisted by the two former Transport Ministers, Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy as well as MCA leaders who had served as Port Klang Authority (PKA) Chairman, Tan Sri Ting Chew Peh, Datuk Yap Pian Hon and Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, Ong responded that I was not qualified to debate with him.

What arrogance and “high-and-mighty” attitude after becoming a “small Minister”! What would he not do if he becomes a slightly “bigger” Minister?

A day after the release of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on the PKFZ scandal on May 28, 2009 the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak publicly directed Ong to reply to all questions about the PKFZ scandal. Has Ong forgotten the Prime Minister’s public directive, and if not, is he avoiding the 90 questions I have asked in the past 30 “three questions a day” as well as afraid of a public debate on the PKFZ scandal?

Ong has accused me of telling endless lies about the PKFZ scandal. If so, isn’t a five-venue public debate the best place to publicly nail all the lies I have been telling about the PKFZ scandal, instead of running away from such a debate challenge?

In fact, Ong should counter-challenge me to a 12-venue public debate on the PKFZ scandal to fully exploit the opportunity to prove to all and sundry the alleged litany of lies I have been telling about the PKFZ scandal. Let me tell Ong that he if dares to challenge me to a 12-venue debate (say including Seremban, Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Baru, Alor Star, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu), I would accept without hesitation.

Why is Ong running away from such a public debate series to “nail the liar”, when it is the liar who should be running away from any public debate and here Ong is doing running – all the way to Paris!

Can Ong answer this question. This is my first question today.

Question No. 2 – Ong has won the right to get into the Guinnness Book of Records for a second time. Yesterday, I said Ong qualifies to get into the Guinness Book of Records in becoming the first Cabinet Minister not only in Malaysian parliamentary history but in the history of Commonwealth Parliaments, to accuse an Opposition MP for not telling the whole truth about the Cabinet meetings and decisions about a major financial scandal. What is shocking is that Ong could come out with such utter nonsense that an Opposition MP should know everything about what happened in the Cabinet over the PKFZ scandal!

Ong has won the right to get into the Guinness Book of Records for a second time, as the first MCA President to be “on the run” from Parliament and from the country (Malaysians will never forget that he ran away to France, purportedly for the Paris Air Show, so that he need not appear on the first day of the June meeting of Parliament to give a satisfactory accounting for the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal). Of course, he was not the first MCA leader and Minister to be “on the run” to avoid ministerial accountability and responsibility. Former Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy did the same thing, to be “on the run”, in November 2007 – all the way to the United Kingdom – to avoid Ministerial accountability and responsibility to Parliament, but he was only MCA Deputy President.

Can Ong explain why he is setting such a dubious and shameful record for a MCA President – first time in 60 years – and Malaysian Cabinet Minister to be “on the run” from Parliament and outside on the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal?

Question No. 3 – I am still waiting for Ong’s answer whether he agrees with my proposition: that Pakatan Rakyat MPs support his motion, submitted through his proxy Tebrau MP Teng Boon Soon to refer me to the Committee of Privileges for misleading Parliament on the PKFZ scandal about Cabinet meetings and decisions on the PKFZ with the quid pro quo that Barisan Nasional MPs submit my motion to refer Ong to the Committee of Privileges last Wednesday.

I am giving Ong 48 hours to say yes or no, and not to continue to run from my questions, which he had been doing for my 90 questions in the past 30 days.

Murder of former Tenggaroh Assemblyman and Johore MIC leader Datuk S.Krishnasamy

Lim Kit Siang, June 29 2009 -- This is the email from Raj Kumar Krishnansamy on the murder of his father Datuk S. Krishnasamy, former Tenggaroh assemblyman and Johore MIC leader Datuk S. Krishnasamy on 11th January 2008, (with various names deleted).

I want to ask what SIAP could do with such a complaint as it is likely to be utterly helpless and powerless to do anything, unlike the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as proposed by the Royal Police Commission as the key of the 125 recommendations to create a Malaysian police service which is efficient, professional, incorruptible and world-class.

R.K. Krishnasamy’s email on the murder of his father Datuk S.Krishnasamy reads:

Below is a synopsis of the case since Jan 11, 2008.

My father was the state Deputy MIC Chairman. A week before his murder, there was a lot of newspaper articles(Malaysia Nanban) that my father is planning to challenge the current Chairman, Datuk KS Balakrishnan and become the next state chairman. Datuk KS Balakrishnan’s son is Pannir Selvam. He was appointed by Datuk Bala to be the state MIC youth deputy chief. This was a move that my father objected as his son did not have the right character for the position. Both father and son could not go along with my father.

My father went into the lift after lunch at abt 2.20pm. He received a call while he was in the restaurant,then he left the restaurant to the office. Who called him, still a mystery till today as police do not want to reveal it.

Upon arrival, he went into the lift. It was in the lift that he was shot.

We do not know who shot him as the security guard was sent to the next building. Why the next building? The guard was sent to give something to Datuk Bala’s personal secretary. The one who sent the guard was [deleted]. She is also the MIC office clerk and Datuk Bala’s “close friend” for 20 years. She specifically told the guard to sent the letter and buy food for her at 2.20pm. Lunch time was at 12noon, why sent him at 2.20pm. The police does not want to answer to this. Why use the guard to sent a letter to Datuk Bala’s secretary when Datuk Bala would be in the office at 2.30pm, the police do not want talk about it.

Surprisingly, the gunman knew the MIC building very well. Who brought him in there? How did he know about a meeting that is only known to bahagian leaders only? Police does not want to reveal.

She was arrested under remand for 2 weeks and surprisingly, she could afford to hire the best defense lawyer[deleted] along with 8 other lawyers to defend her from the police. Who paid for the 9 lawyers remain a mystery as police do not want to reveal it. Why the “big shot” paid for the 9 lawyers? Why did she send the security guard off at that time, police do not want to answer it. The police has been tight-lipped from day one.

My sister and her husband went to JB police station every week to ask about the case. But during one of her trip there, she was followed by 3 indian guys in a 4 wheel drive. They would park outside her apmt and ask worund the neighbours about my brother in law. The guys were caught in the security CCTV camera and a report was launched with Johor police. But surprisingly, after the CD and report, no action was taken. Who are the 3 guys, why were they harassing my sister and her family, why are the police so quiet about the 3 guys till today?

Then the guy from Kluang, [deleted] a MIC leader was arrested. He was having some problem with my father before and a very close friend to Pannir and Datuk Bala. However, he was released after 2 weeks. This guy, after being released, bragged to his friends in Kluang, how the police was scared of him and how powerful he is in Johor. When we asked police about this, the only answer that we got is that they will look at it again.Till this day, there is no answer from the police.

Then Pannir got arrested under remand and after his remand, he got arrested under EO. Within a few hours of his arrest under EO, he was released middle of the night. But when we called police, they told us “No Comments”. That was when all the other suspects were released and the police told us that they lost the case. They will wait till any new evidence comes in.

The police has never told us anything about the progress of the case. Everytime we meet the police, it must bad news like the fingerprints were not usable, but they do not tell us why. The bullet could not help at all, i do not why as well.

The prime suspect [deleted] was recently appointed MBJB as a city councillor.