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Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Pig in a Poke

High Chaparral, the pig abattoir, the race card, double standards…. What you see is not what you get. It seems as if many politicians – and I use that term to also include some activists – have gotten all hot under the collar about the DAP’s failings in the Kampung Buah Pala and for locking horns with PAS on the pig abattoir matter in Kedah.

Get a grip people. First, Hindraf and Uthayakumar needs to cool-off; perhaps have some refreshing chendol and think through the High Chaparral matter a bit more constructively. Does he really think Lim Guan Eng is in bed with the developers? For a lawyer, he must know better the potential implications of a breach of contract – in this case, a contract the former state government – had undertaken - under the former chief minister’s watch. Yes, perhaps a stroke of the pen by the current chief minister may save the homes of the residents of Kampung Buah Pala. But at what cost to the rest of the residents of the state? Now that the current DAP state government finds itself in a dilemma like this, does it not matter what it might cost the rest of the residents of Penang to go back on their word?

As I’m sure we all – including Hindraf and Uthayakumar – surely understand, the former state government under Gerakan/BN was supposedly acting on behalf of the welfare and interest of the state when it undertook the agreement the developers. This is where Gerakan has put the residents of Kampung Buah Pala and the people of Penang. No, unlike what some might like to think, it doesn’t just take a stroke of the pen, to undo the BN’s mess. Indeed, Uthayakumar ought to know better. If he’s worried about the marginalised Indians in Kampung Buah Pala – as is understandable – just imagine the legal and financial bind a stroke of the pen by the current chief minister to undo the agreement with the developer may cost the state government. The multi-millions that this will cost the people of the state will inevitably impact lots of other marginialised people who again will have to endure the consequences of further depletion of the state’s resources.

Am I suggesting the residents of Kampung Buah Pala should therefore just become sacrificial pigs? No. They’ll have to accept the reality that the former Gerakan/BN state government did them in. And they have to be willing now to work with Lim Guan Eng and find a solution that can be a win-win situation for them, the developers (who now have a legal stake in the property), and the rest of Penangites who also have a big stake in the matter.

Probably much like the hullabaloo about the pig abattoir controversy in Kedah, what you see about the Kampung Buah Pala is not all that simple and straight forward as some would make it out to be.

So, Hindraf, here's my advise to you: Have some chedol, sit down with your one hope - the DAP and Lim Guam Eng - and find a compromise where the residents can be reasonably compensated and relocated while the rest of Penangites are also not unduly screwed by your intransigence due to a situation created by the DAP's predecessor.

G. Krishnan

Hisham's lies leave Waytha fuming - Malaysiakini

Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy is furious with the continuous lies being perpetuated by the government that he had sought the support of terrorist organisations to back his own movement.

The latest false charge by the government came just last week when Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had informed the Parliament that Waythamoorthy left Malaysia on Nov 28, 2007 to lobby international support and to make efforts to meet leaders of Tamil Tigers.

p waythamoorthy and police 231107"This is absolutely ridiculous. I challenge the minister to provide proof of this openly, if he has any," Waythamoorthy told Malaysiakini today.

He is presently in New Delhi, India and will be back to his base in London later this week.

He left Malaysia when the government started its crackdown on Hindraf at the end of 2007. Since then he has been leading the movement from London.

"For the government to keep repeating that I have sought the support of terrorist groups is baseless and unfounded. And last week Hishammuddin had said the same based on information apparently obtained from intelligence reports.

"I find it strange for the government to keep repeating this same old accusation but without giving any evidence. If they have proof, why not just release it," he asked.

He said that that he was ready to return home and urged Hishammuddin to charge him in court with treason over the alleged contacts with Tamil Tigers.

Waythamoorthy also urged the Home Ministry to issue him a fresh passport so that he can return to Malaysia.

His passport has been revoked by the government and he is presently travelling using a special United Nations travel document which was given after he was granted a political asylum by the British government.

Baseless accusation

He added that the seeds of Hindraf's links with terrorist organisations, especially with the Tamil Tigers, were first publicly planted by Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail on Dec 5, 2007, and this was further cemented by the Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan on Dec 13, 2007.

This was also a justification used to arrest five Hindraf leaders under the Internal Security Act in December 2007. They were released in May this year.

Waythamoorthy said that until today no one in the government could back up their claims of the alleged Tamil Tigers link.

"Charge me in court on the terrorist links and that will give me an opportunity to prove that this government had no evidence whatsoever," he said.

Hindraf became the main public enemy after the movement had highlighted cases of temple demolitions in the country in 2007.

The movement's public rallies became hugely popular, emanating in a mass rally in Kuala Lumpur in November 2007 where almost 30,000 people had taken part.

After that the government started its crackdown by arresting the main leaders, culminating in the ISA arrests, and during which time Waythamoorthy had left for the UK to continue the movement from there. The government banned Hindraf last October.

Hishamuddin's latest response on Waythamoorthy's alleged links with terrorists came in the form of a written answer to PKR's Kapar member of parliament S Manikavasagam.

Toll protest: BMC folks want free road

Open letter from P.Waythamoorthy to Lim Kit Siang

P.Waythamoorthy , Jul 05 2009

Dear Mr Lim Kit Siang,

As much as HINDRAF respects you as an elderly veteran statesman, I am surprised that
you are actually echoing similar statements of your son LGE in regards to the Kg
Buah Pala issue and continue to admonish HINDRAF when the core accountability issue
is still not solved.


HINDRAF is an ardent supporter of your party’s cause for competency, accountability
and transparency for all Malaysian but it cannot sit quietly and watch when the
state government in Penang has not done all that is necessary to safeguard the
interest of the Kg Buah Pala residents.

Sir, Kg Buah Pala is not a new issue, but that had been in existence prior to your
party’s governance. Yes, we are aware that the BN administration abetted by Koh Tsu
Koon had acted mala fide for its own interest against the interest of the public,
but, my question is why the current government didn’t do more than sit and wait
until the whole issue exploded this week with the involvement of HINDRAF.

Sir, Are you telling me that the state government could not have initiated an
investigation on the questionable sale and transfer that actually took effect after
your party came in power. Did the state government ever make a report to MACC? No!!!
What attempts did the state government conduct either through its executive and
legal power to support the residents in establishing the allegation of power abuse
and corruption that lead to the illegal sale & transfer of the land. None!!!

Sir, you ask us pursue after Koh Tsu Koon, but wouldn’t it be just and fair that
your party that currently holds the power in Penang should have been doing this from
the day you took over the helm as a segment of your state have been victimized. Did
LGE ever once raise the issue of Kg Buah Pala residents and the questionable land
transfer issue in Parliament? Not a chance.

The residents of Kg Buah Pala were left alone to fight their own battle against the
mighty corrupted machineries of the government. If only they would have had your
assistance and guidance through your resources then the whole transaction could have
been invalidated and those residents would not be living out of fear for losing what
is rightfully theirs. DAP fought tooth and nail in Perak for New Villages and Kg
Tersusun but Kg Buah Pala residents slipped through its radar.

A simple independent investigative journalism as seen here at
http://anilnetto.com/accountability/lifting-the-corporate-veil-on-nusmetro-ventures-part-1/
by a citizen cast a doubt on the affair of the sale and transfer of the land, yet
why did the state government fail to flex its muscle in the state of Penang to
assist these residents?

Sir, you talk about compensation and so forth when the issue here is not about that
but why did Penang state government fail to rise to the occasion and challenge the
fraudulent misappropriation of the land but rather watch the misery of these
residents from the sideline.

Sir, on humanity stance, you may realize that the generation of Kg Buah Pala goes
back to 200 years where they were even the first milk supplies to the Penang
hospital. They have grown from one generation to another and live as a family union
from the parents, children, brothers, sisters, grandchildren and great grand
children within their own respective land running and playing around their compound
along with the cows, goats and chickens. Those houses there were erected by
themselves to fit the enlarged family members with at least each joined family
owning close to 15,000 sq feet. Now the Developer steps in offers around 850 sq feet
flat for each house, not the household with meager compensation. Can you expect them
to buy a place similar to the quiet enjoyment that they had within their joined
family, notwithstanding the fact the said sum need to divided between the household
members. Where is the justice or fairness and can you consider this as
adequate & fair compensation. Why has the Penang state government not paid any
attention to these residents at least on the basis of humanity? I can understand if
the supercilious BN ruled as this things does not matter to them as long as the
nepotism, cronyism, corruption and inept system keeps them there, they will even
sell their soul but definitely not from DAP along with their Pakatan partners who
thrived on popular support to ensure a real change for the public.

The actual issue on the ground is more complex than what it appears in the media and
lip service politicians to exculpate themselves from responsibility and
accountability when all the residents seek is to continue the quiet enjoyment of
their live with their families.

It is very convenient to come out and picture HINDRAF in a bad light and side track
the whole issue but at the end of the day the truth is the consequences is faced by
the poor and defenseless residents against the might of the government and the
developer due to the failure of the Penang state government to protect its public in
Kg Buah Pala.

HINDRAF wages a battle for the truth to emerge for the poor and defenseless
irrespective of whichever is the governing party rather than doing what seems to be
politically right.

Thank you

HINDRAF

P.Waythamoorthy
Chairman

Your Sunday sermon

Image

Are you really a good person who has earned the right to preach or are you actually a hypocrite who is not really good but is just a coward who does not dare become a bad person like how you would rather be if given that opportunity?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

They say there are two types of people. There are leaders and there are followers. 1% of the people are leaders while the majority are followers.

Within these two categories are further sub-categories. There are good people and there are bad people.

Within the good people category, they can again be subdivided into two more categories. There are people who are good by nature and there are people who are good because they are scared of being bad. If they were not scared of being bad then they would certainly not be good because being bad is more fun than being good.

And within the bad people category there are people who are bad because they are bad by nature while others are bad because they feel they can get away with being bad without getting caught or that later they can always repent and become good whereby they would be forgiven for all the bad they have done.

And this is why people need religion. Religion stops you from being bad and forces you to be good. Without religion there would be no stick and carrot. You get the stick when you are bad and you get the carrot when you are good. It is a form of punishment and reward system. You get punished when you do bad and you get rewarded when you do good.

In short, religion works on the concept of the bribery system. You are bribed through the punishment and reward system when you do bad and good respectively. And since most people are susceptible to bribes they would conduct themselves accordingly depending on whether they wish to be rewarded or whether they do not fear the punishment and do not care much for the rewards.

Over thousands of years mankind has had to conduct itself based on what religion tells them they should do. Religion has been the guideline for our conduct long before the invention of the police force and the legal system comprising of laws and courts.

The history of religion, however, is a history of violence, persecution, cruelty and brutality. In the name of religion mankind has been subjected to much suffering.

The question is who invented religion? And is religion something that God sent us or something that man created to conveniently oppress and suppress fellow man?

I do not wish to engage in a debate as to the existence of God or otherwise. There are some who believe that there is a God (or Gods). Others believe in the existence of a higher power although they are not quite sure what it is and whether God is the correct word to use for this higher power. Then there are others who believe that man is the product of nature and not of a higher being named God or whatever.

I leave it to you to decide how you came to be.

All religions have what we could call holy books. The ‘main three’, also called the Abrahamic religions, have the Old and New Testaments and the Quran. A study of all three holy books would reveal that there are a lot of similarities and overlapping doctrines. You would not be mistaken if you were to think that the three Abrahamic faiths are actually one faith divided into three sects. Of course, these three ‘sects’ are further divided into many sub-sects who are at most times in conflict with one another.

Man has a natural instinct to be bad. But they are forbidden from being bad basically because the religion they believe in forbids it. If the religion they believe in were silent on the issue then most would choose to be bad rather than good. But they have no choice but to be good because they fear that if they are bad they would receive punishment and not receive the rewards promised to good people.

You could say that most people are not good by nature but are reluctantly good. It is not that there are no good people who are good by nature. There are, although they would be in the minority. And you will find that most of the people who are good by nature do not have any religion. Some do not even believe in God. They are good just because they are, by nature, good and for no other reason -- in particular not because they believe in the system of rewards and punishment that religions propagate.

Has religion succeeded in its job of turning us into good people? Or has it instead turned us into hypocrites? How many of us are good because it is in our heart and how many are good because we have no choice but to be good? If religion were silent on what constitutes good and bad and if there are no rewards and punishment for being either what kind of person would we become?

That is something to ponder upon this Sunday. And before you adopt that holier than thou attitude and start moralising, ask yourself: are you really a good person who has earned the right to preach or are you actually a hypocrite who is not really good but is just a coward who does not dare become a bad person like how you would rather be if given that opportunity?

RM500 sejam pertama tabung ‘anti-Rosmah’ di lancar

Selepas sejam pelancaran tabung bagi membantu individu yang dituduh dalam kes contengan protes di Universiti Malaya, dana telah mencapai RM500.

Tabung yang dilancarkan pada pukul 10.00 pagi tadi ialah atas inisiatif mahasiswa universiti berkenaan yang prihatin dengan nasib tertuduh.

Pemilik akaun bank berkenaan, Ahmad Fahmi Mohd Salleh melancarkan tabung dana berserta poster dalam blog beliau dengan prasa ‘Derma-lah DEMI Menentang Rosmah’.

Beliau juga meminta orang ramai untuk menyebarkan poster berkenaan bagi meningkatkan nilai kutipan dana.

Pelbagai pihak juga memberikan respon positif dengan pelancaran tabung dana tersebut.

Dalam pada itu, dipercayai tertuduh dalam kes tersebut, Mohd Izzuddin Hilmi Mohd Zaini dan Shahrul Deen memerlukan sekurang-kurangnya RM25 ribu setiap seorang bagi membiayai yuran guaman.

Wakil keluarga tertuduh meminta pelbagai pihak untuk membantu dari sudut kewangan disamping sokongan moral.

READ MORE HERE

Anwar moves to end Pakatan bickering

Always in the lead for PR, Anwar mediating PR coalition members. - Picture by Jack Ooi

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

PENANTI, July 5 — After weeks of blood-letting, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) switched to damage control today and claimed an end to hostilities in the Kedah and Penang state coalitions.

After a private meeting between PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Kedah PAS Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan this morning, the latter told a press conference here that the DAP was still very much part of his government.

He claimed that no official letter informing him of the “secession” by DAP from the PAS-led Kedah government had been tendered, meaning that the DAP’s lone representative, Lee Guan Aik, was still very much part of Azizan’s government.

Lee quit after the local council demolished an illegal pig abattoir in Alor Star and both the DAP and PAS have been publicly having a go at each other, openly accusing each party of playing the race card.

The absence of any DAP leaders at the press conference here today suggests, however, that wounds are still raw in the aftermath of the open quarrel between PAS and DAP.

However, Azizan appeared adamant in portraying a united PR in Kedah, and pledged that his government was now looking for an alternative location for the abattoir.

This is the second time in just a month that the PR alliance has been forced into an uncomfortable defensive position and having to plaster the cracks.

From the pig abattoir demolition issue in Kedah to the Kg Buah Pala drama and power tussle in Penang, to the recent fresh unity talks approach made by PAS Youth to its Umno counterparts, the ideological differences in the opposition coalition has been openly exposed.

Speaking on this, Anwar urged PR supporters to remain calm and not to blame Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and his administration as he was currently seeking a “formula for a win-win situation”.

As for the Penang DAP-PKR fallout following the sacking of PKR’s Johari Kasim as a councillor by Lim’s government, Anwar said PR’s leadership would try to solve this matter amicably.

Johari was sacked after he and ten other PKR councillors boycotted the swearing in ceremony of the new Seberang Prai Municipal Council head, a civil servant, a position Johari lamented should have been given to politicians such as himself.

Anwar said “since the appointment of a councillor is a political one, we will have to solve it through political means”.

Today’s press conference once again demonstrated how Anwar has again been put to the test as the mediator and the Parliamentary opposition leader again proved to be the sole anchor binding the alliance together.

How long Anwar can play that role is becoming more uncertain.

The PKR leader is facing his second sodomy trial this week and could face jail time again if the charges stick.

Nik Aziz to Najib: Let’s meet to set debate terms

KOTA BAHARU, July 5 — PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat is ready to meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to discuss the proposed debate between them.

The Kelantan menteri besar said the meeting, however, was not a pre-condition for the debate but more towards discussing its guideline.

Speaking to reporters at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport here on his return from Kuala Lumpur, Nik Aziz said the official letter inviting the Najib to the debate had already been sent.

“We have not received any response yet,” he added.

Asked to comment on claims that the debate invitation was to divert attention from the collapse of the proposed unity government talks, Nik Aziz said, the call for a debate with Umno was not new.

“We have been wanting to debate with Umno since PAS’ inception in 1951,” he said.

He added that his invitation to Najib for the debate was made following a police report lodged by the Umno Youth claiming that Nik Aziz’s ceramah was seditious as he likened Umno to communism and deviant teaching.

Nik Aziz said there would be no end to the standoff between PAS and Umno if the two parties did not come face-to-face in a debate.

“I just want to ask two things — why reject Islam and embrace nationalism, and what is wrong with the policy implemented by PAS, especially in Kelantan,” he said. — Bernama

Penang to ask Najib’s help to acquire Kampung Buah Pala

PENANG, July 5 — The Penang government will write to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to seek assistance from the federal government to take over a piece of prime land in Kampung Buah Pala here.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government could not afford the high cost of taking over the land to enable 23 families to continue occupying the area.

He hoped the federal government could assist in acquiring the land from Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang and pay compensation to developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd.

Lim told reporters here that the government was sympathetic to the plight of the residents but could afford to take over the land as the cost was too high due to its freehold status and the approval given for its development.

Lim did not state the cost of acquiring the land.

Kampung Buah Pala residents would have to vacate the land after the Federal Court dismissed their appeal to remain in the area which they occupied for so long.

They refused to move out, however, and had asked the state government to intervene to resolve the problem. — Bernama

Why Najib’s 1Malaysia will fail – Final

By Haris Ibrahim,

On 15th June, in Parliament, Najib purported to explain his 1Malaysia.

This is Malaysianinsider’s Hafidz Baharom’s take on that explanation :

“Personally looking at it, I still don’t understand just what exactly the 1 Malaysia concept is. I mean, even Mahathir’s Vision 2020 and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s Islam Hadhari had better explanations.

If there was one thing our beloved Prime Minister has done, it’s to confuse everyone in Malaysia with a policy that isn’t “too rigid” but unoriginal, unexplainable and downright incomprehensible to anyone but himself”.

Hafidz, in his article, alluded to his penchant for referring to Hansard. If you would like to refer to Hansard to get a blow-by-blow account of what Najib said on his 1Malaysia, you can access the same, in PDF, HERE. Go directly to page 8 for that account. Take it from page 1 if you want to read about the antics that followed Nizar’s swearing-in.

Personally, I preferred to try and make sense of Najib’s 1Malaysia, if at all possible, from his dissertation that was uploaded on his blog on 15th June and 18th June.

He starts off in the second paragraph by declaring that the ultimate goal of 1Malaysia is national unity which, he says, has been the vision of the leaders before him.

Tunku, I believe so. Hussein Onn, perhaps.

Razak?

Mahathir?

Pak Lah?

A bit of Mahathir’s ‘distortion’ creeping into 1Malaysia, don’t you think?

1Malaysia, Najib says, differs from the aspirations of earlier leaders only in its approach and implementation.

Let’s see.

In the next paragraph, with regard to his proposed approach, Najib tells us that the approach he proposes is to run in tandem with and to complement government policies thus far.

Government policies thus far?

Read that to mean a continuation of the policies put in place during Mahathir’s 22 years and Pak Lah’s 4.

The immediate objective?

Reinforce our solidarity!

The end objective?

Guarantee stability towards achieving higher growth and development for Malaysia and her people.

Hold on!

Didn’t he say earlier that the ultimate goal of 1Malaysia is national unity?

Now its higher growth and development?

In what remains of the third paragraph of his first post, Najib or whoever wrote this up for him got so confused and inadvertantly let the cat out of the bag.

See what he says :

.…1Malaysia is a formula conceptualised as a precondition in ensuring the aspirations of the country to secure a developed status by 2020 are met”

It gets better.

“If the idea of “Bangsa Malaysia” which was engendered through Vision 2020 becomes the final destination, then 1Malaysia is the roadmap that guides us towards that destination. This definition is built upon the argument that in order achieve the status of a developed nation in the predetermined time frame, the key requisite is a strong and stable country, which can only be achieved when its people stand united.

If I understand this man, he would have us believe that his 1Malaysia is the roadmap to the Bangsa Malaysia that Mahathir spoke of and, again, with developed-nation status as the ultimate goal!

Put simply, we must all strive for national unity to achieve developed-nation status by the year 2020 because that is what we all desire!

Are you getting a sense of the jiwa of the man who now proposes to unite us all as a nation of a single people?

Not yet?

Read the rest of his posts.

1Malaysia is not about assimilation but about acceptance, “where one race embraces the uniqueness of other races”.

The bedrock of his 1Malaysia is “justice for all…welfare of all Malaysians will be looked after, leaving noone behind”.

For this, he says, “government policies…that protect the interests of disadvantaged groups will continue to be implemented”.

Really?

Go and tell that to the 30,000 who took to the streets on 25th November, 2007. They’ll be so, so relieved.

In the seventh paragraph of his first post, where he seems to link nation-building with “the Rakyat must be the first to be developed”, I got a little hopeful.

Could it be that this man just might understand what needs to be done to begin the process of undoing the ‘divide-and-rule’ that his predecessors had crafted and to slowly but surely build a nation of a single people?

More importantly, does this man care enough to begin that process?

I read what was left of his first post and all of the second.

A lot of fancy words with no concrete ideas about how “the Rakyat must be the first to be developed” , about how to go about changing hearts and minds so that Malaysians see each other as just Malayisan and not Malay, Chinese, Indian, etc.

In both of his posts, he never touched, even in passing, on what, in my view, is the most important change that we need to see happen if the government of the day is serious about national unity.

Education.

Leslie Lau, in an article in the Malaysianinsider, shared his thoughts on this :

“The idea of national unity cannot be forced on a people. It really depends on one thing. And that is whether people believe in a country. For the most part, that probably happens when there is a sense of belonging, fair play and opportunity. And that comes from our attitudes toward each other. Education is ultimately about providing the opportunity for knowledge. If Malaysians think our education system is failing us, we must examine why and then fix it. I do not know whether the answer is to maintain the system we currently have or to have a single school system. What I do know is that schools are not the place to fix the distrust and suspicion we have of each other as Malaysians. To fix that, we have to change our attitudes”.

I’ll add to that and say that you don’t use the schools to sow the seeds of distrust and suspicion.

You use the schools to buiild the minds and hearts of our young so that they see themselves as one people of this nation.

More specifically, teach our young the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about how all the races contributed to the early development of the Malay states before independence and how those same people worked collectively to achieve independence.

Remember Kelana Jaya MP Loh Seng Kok complaining in Parliament that the syllabus of history textbooks ignored the contribution of non-bumiputeras, that “the fight against the Japanese Occupation during World War II is portrayed as only the effort of the Malays but ignored the role of Chinese and Indian Malaysians”? Malaysiakini has the report HERE, if you don’t remember.

Make the Federal Constitution a compulsory part of the history syllabus.

Teach our young that all are equal under the constitution, and that all disadvantaged Malaysians must be helped without discrimination on grounds of ethnicity or faith.

I do not suggest that this alone will cure the ills that we see in our society inflicted by the divisive policies of the past and present government.

Ignore this, however, and all other measures at forging real national unity will come to nought.

It is not that Najib is clueless.

Indeed, his recent readiness to hold talks with PAS on Malay unity and the possibility of forming a unity government is most telling.

As one commentator said in Malaysianinsider : “…when confronted with the choice of Malaysian unity or Malay unity, you would plump for the latter but attempt to wrap it as a option which would be consistent with your 1Malaysia concept”.

Like Mahathir, Najib’s jiwa is not with the people.

He does not care.

3-point formula to resolve the Kedah Pakatan Rakyat crisis – resolution of outstanding complaints by Kedahans, a committee headed by Dr. Goh Cheng Tei

By Lim Kit Siang,

Yesterday, I had a 90-minute meeting with the Kedah DAP State Committee followed by a two-hour dialogue with the people of Kedah in the Kedah Chinese Assembly Hall, with overflowing capacity crowd, over the Kedah DAP State Committee’s decision on Wednesday to pull out of the Pakatan Rakyat Kedah state government.

I had my hands full in Parliament on Wednesday, with a host of burning issues such as the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal; the urgent need to have a new Inspector-General of Police to provide new police leadership and vision to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service which is regarded as friend and protector of the people and capable of performing the three core functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and uphold human rights; and Parliament becoming a kangaroo court to punish eight Pakatan Rakyat MPs when the subject is the punishment of Umno Youth leaders who had obstructed and threatened wheelchair-bound DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor Karpal Singh from discharging his parliamentary duties in the precincts of Parliament on February 26, 2009.

I was shocked when I heard the news about the Kedah DAP State Committee decision to pull out of the Pakatan Rakyat Kedah state government, subject to the final decision of the DAP Central Executive Committee.

At that time, it was alleged that Kedah DAP had acted very irresponsibly in pulling out of the PR Kedah state government over a trivial issue of pigs and the demolition of the abbatoir in Alor Star.

I would agree that Kedah DAP State would have acted most irresponsibly, heedless of the far-reaching impact of such a decision not only in Kedah but also nation-wide when Malaysians are expectantly waiting for Pakatan Rakyat to spearhead political changes in the country particularly in the next general election, if its harsh decision was just over an abbatoir and pigs.

From my 90-minute meeting with the Kedah DAP State Committee and two-hour dialogue with the people of Kedah last evening, I have been able to get a fuller picture of the reasons for the harsh decision for the pullout from Pakatan Rakyat Kedah state government –as the abbatoir issue was just “the last straw that broke the camel’s back”.

There was a host of issues over which the DAP Kedah state committee felt frustrated and marginalized in unable to get their views taken seriously by the state government, which is reflected by deep-seated grievances among the people of Kedah including those who had fully supported and voted for the Pakatan Rakyat parties in the general election last year.

I do not want DAP Kedah to pullout of Pakatan Rakyat Kedah state government for it would affect Pakatan Rakyat’s credibility nation-wide. However, if the legitimate grouses of DAP Kedah and the people of Kedah are not addressed, resulting not only in an ineffective DAP Kedah but also discontented Kedah electorate, this will also impact far and wide outside Kedah.

The Pakatan Rakyat Kedah crisis is best resolved at the Kedah state level, which is why I said at the public dialogue last night that I propose to meet with the Kedah Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak and that I was even prepared to meet with him today. This had been communicated to Azizan last night.

I have in mind a three-point formula to resolve the Pakatan Rakyat Kedah crisis:

• resolution of outstanding complaints by Kedahans such as the 50% housing quota for bumiputras, Kedah Buddhist centre controversy, pork selling in the Alor Star market, temple demolitions, etc.

• a committee headed Dr. Goh Cheng Teik to resolve the abbatoir problem. Dr. Goh was formerly Deputy Agriculture Minister and had considerable experience in resolving problems in this field when holding this portfolio. I have spoken to Dr. Goh and he is prepared to help if such a state committee is set up by the state government.

• a Pakatan Rakyat trouble-shooting state mechanism to resolve all emerging issues, problems and controversies in Kedah.

Barisan Nasional parties particularly Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC are hoping that the Pakatan Rakyat Kedah crisis is the beginning of the end for Pakatan Rakyat and it is incumbent on everyone in Pakatan Rakyat, whether national or state, to prove Barisan Nasional wrong.

Kenyataan Media SUA Berhubung Tuduhan Bank Malaysia Terbabit di Dalam Transaksi Penjualan Senjata Oleh Korea Utara

—Kenyataan Media Untuk Edaran Segera—

5hb Julai 2009

Parti Keadilan Rakyat memandang serius perkembangan mutkahir di Laut Timur. Korea Utara telah pun melancarkan 7 peluru berpandunya ke arah bahagian pantai timur negaranya. Tindakan ini jelas menyalahi resolusi 1874 Majlis Keselamatan Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu yang berusaha mengendurkan ketegangan di rantau itu. Komuniti antarabangsa melahirkan rasa kesal dan mengecam keras pelancaran peluru berpandu tersebut.

Resolusi 1874 yang diluluskan pada 12hb Jun 2009 itu mengharamkan sebarang ekspot senjata oleh Korea Utara. Langkah ini bertujuan menyekat Korea Utara dari menggunakan dana hasil penjualan senjata bagi pembangunan program senjata nuklearnya. Makanya amatlah penting resolusi ini dipatuhi dengan kerjasama komuniti antarabangsa demi mewujudkan keamanan berkekalan, bukan sahaja di rantau Timur Jauh, bahkan juga di seluruh Asia.

Oleh itu adalah mengejutkan apabila beberapa laporan akhbar dari Korea Selatan mengaitkan bank di Malaysia digunakan untuk transaksi pembayaran penjualan senjata dari Korea Utara ke Myanmar. Tambah membimbangkan apabila rombongan khas perlaksanaan resolusi 1874 dipatuhi yang diketuai Phillip Goldberg, dijadualkan ke Malaysia, bertujuan memastikan negara ini mematuhi perlaksanaan resolusi tersebut. Sekiranya benar tuduhan yang dilaporkan akhbar terbabit (Korea Herald dan Korea Times), kita merasa kesal dengan kecuaian kementerian dalam negeri dan regulasi kewangan negara.

Keadilan menekankan isu keselamatan dan kedaulatan negara tidak boleh dipandang remeh. Kerajaan mestilah bersikap telus serta bertanggungjawab, terutamanya apabila menangani isu sebegini. Kenyataan media yang dikeluarkan oleh Pejabat Setiausaha Akhbar Rumah Putih bertarikh 26 Jun 2009 menyatakan antara butir penting perbualan Presiden Obama dan Dato’ Seri Najib ialah memastikan perlaksanaan resolusi 1874 dipatuhi. Ini jelas bercanggah dengan kenyataan Perdana Menteri Malaysia tersebut kepada media dan rakyat Malaysia berhubung perbualan telefon beliau dengan Presiden Amerika Syarikat itu. Dato’ Seri Najib sewajarnya menyampaikan maklumat yang tepat kepada rakyat. Kita bimbang sekiranya terbukti tuduhan bank di Malaysia terbabit di dalam transaksi penjualan senjata oleh Korea Utara, negara ini akan dikenakan tindakan keras oleh Majlis Keselamatan Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu sepertimana yang nyaris dikenakan apabila syarikat Scomi Precision Engineering dikatakan terlibat di dalam menghasilkan komponen senjata nuklear.

SALEHUDDIN HASHIM
SETIAUSAHA AGUNG
PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT

Indian Scientists Look To Stars To Cure Heart Patients

By P. Vijian

NEW DELHI, July 5 (Bernama) -- Indian astro scientists have become starry-eyed. They are looking to the stars to heal heart patients.

While it may sound out of this world (pardon the pun), scientists at the Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi have resorted to doing exatly that.

They are boldly taking the science of astrology to a new dimension.

The scientists are busying calculating the movements of stars and planets of patients to understand how they can reduce or avert the increasing heart-related diseases -- merely using their horoscopes.

"We have studied about 80 horoscopes of people, their place of birth, time of birth and the position of their planets.

"Then, we advise them accordingly, when a person is likely to suffer heart ailment, under what situation, or the right time for a person to undergo surgery if he is advised by a doctor.

"We refer to ancient astrology books where the knowledge of diseases and its treatment were recorded, ages ago. We have, so far, recorded a 70 per cent success rate," Dr Shatrughan Tripathi, head of the project at Banaras University told Bernama in a recent interview.

Impressed by the celestial findings, India's University Grants Commission has permitted Dr Shatrughan and his team to further the project with a RM45,000 funding for the next three years.

Now, several 'astrology hospitals' have emerged in Varanasi in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where astrologers prescribe suitable gem stones, beads, mantras and herbal medicines to patients.

"Heart disease is a major problem and it is even mentioned in over 60 ancient texts like the Rigveda (Hindu scared book). We are not doing something new, we are only trying to promote traditional astrology in a more scientific method.

"For a start, we are focusing on heart...later, we will move to other diseases related to eyes, kidney and liver," said Dr Shatrughan.

Kg Buah Pala Controversy

by Kula's Voize,

I have received feedback from fellow Indians who are DAP and non DAP members, following my suggestion that polling be conducted among the villagers to consider 3 options .

It does not surprise me at all that the Kg Buah Pala controversy has become a very emotionally charged issue for many.

While some thought the polling is a democratic exercise which can gauge the actual and true feelings and have welcomed the idea, many have expressed their view that the only right thing for the Penang state government to do is to preserve the village as a heritage village.

This is definitely a good solution which our Sdr Lim Guan Eng will be most willing to adopt if it is a straight forward matter.

However, from what has been uttered by him over the last two days, is is very obvious that he is in a predicament just like the villagers.

I have stressed that the culprit of the controversy is the former administration headed by Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon.

An ideal solution will be for the BN federal government to compensate the developer and take over the land and gazette it as an Indian heritage village.

But it is apparent that Koh Tsu Koon and the BN Federal Government will not want to intervene at all.

Many believe that the federal government will not intervene , especially when even groups or people friendly to the DAP , Penang state government and Pakatan Rakyat have started to demand that the Penang Chief Minister solve the problem.

BN politicians are now "enjoying" reading news reports where DAP is pressured and blasted
Nevertheless, from my earlier feedback, I have sensed the general expectation that a government in power must solve the problem, irrespective of whoever is the culprit and whatever is the cause of the problem.

Sdr Karpal Singh hit the right note when he said in Today's Star that " they are ( the villagers) tired of the blame game and want us to act because we are in power- if I were in their shoes, I would say the same";

The Kg Buah Pala issue is the greatest challenge faced by the DAP and Penang state government since the last general election.

And this is one challenge we must be able to surmount.

High Chaparral 'rep' abandons her own PC - Malaysiakini

The Kampung Buah Pala crisis today took a strange twist when a high ranking PKR official apparently 'coerced' one of the villagers to praise the state government's handling of the affair.

During a press conference this morning, Kampung Buah Pala resident KM Shanta, who read out a written statement, showered praises on the Pakatan Rakyat state government.

tanjung pkr division high chaparral 040709 shanta kmShanta's position was in stark contrast to the stand unanimously taken by some 300 villagers who are facing eviction after the land they were occupying was sold to a private developer.

Sensing something amiss, journalists bombarded Shanta with questions, and eventually unable to response, she retracted her statement and abandoned the press conference.

The embattled Kampung Buah Pala villagers, having exhausted all legal avenues, are blaming Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's government for not doing enough to stop the developers from demolishing their homes to make way for a luxury condominium project.

Villagers, mostly cowherds, regard their village as the Penang High Chaparral, in reference to a 70s Western television series, and wants the state government to accord the village heritage status.

Cracked under pressure

Earlier today, a large press contingent gathered at the Tanjung PKR headquarters after a press conference was called claiming that an 'important announcement' was to be made on the issue.

But Shanta's statement left journalist bewildered when she praised several Pakatan legislators for halting developers from demolishing the village over the past 15 months - a fact which the villagers have repeatedly denied.

tanjung pkr division high chaparral 040709 pcShanta also claimed that the villagers have full faith in Lim to resolve the crisis.

Following this, Shanta was repeatedly questioned on whether she was qualified to represent the villagers and why she chose to speak at the Tanjung PKR office, and not at the village.

She stammered for an answer when asked whether she was happy that Lim had not visited the village since taking over the state government 15 months ago.

She appeared particularly shaken when a journalist invited her to accompany the media to the village to issue the press statement there and have her photo taken alongside with other villagers.

“You are on camera ... do you want own up to this statement?” asked the reporter.

Lim-Malik connection

Shanta finally withdrew her statement and admitted to the journalists that she was a Tanjung PKR division women's wing office-bearer, and was “tricked” into issuing the statement by a high-ranking PKR leader.

Sources are pointing fingers at state executive councillor Abdul Malik Kassim as the man behind the press conference. Abdul Malik was among Pakatan lawmakers who initially tried to engage the Kampung Buah Pala villagers.

Abdul Malik, who is Tanjung PKR division chief, is fondly addressed in the Penang political circles as “Lim Mah Lek” due to his close relationship with Lim.

According to sources, Shanta was called up by Abdul Malik to his office in Komtar early this morning where she was told to issue the press statement.

Although Shanta initially refused to play along, Abdul Malik convinced her to do so to protect 'the credibility and image' of the Pakatan state government which is currently under intense fire over the issue.

Ex-ISA detainee flayed by villagers - Malaysiakini

Comments by former ISA detainee V Ganabathirau's over the Kampung Buah Pala crisis in Penang has riled up several of the embattled village residents.

Villagers A Raventhiran, 46, and R Devendran, 23, are among those hopping mad over the ex-ISA detainee's suggestions that the villagers seek an appointment with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to resolve the issue.

high chaparral ganabathi rao 040709 raventhiran“His statement suggested that we had refused to meet the chief minister. It is untrue and a blatant lie,” said Raventhiran (right).

He said the villagers have tried to meet Lim in Komtar on June 30 - both in the morning and in the evening.

However, he said on both occasions the chief minister did not turn up to meet them despite the villagers and Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) supporters waiting for hours to discuss the issue with him.

“Instead, Lim had left it to his political secretary Ng Wei Aik to talk to us,” said Raventhiran.

“There were opportunities for Lim to meet us and understand our predicament. As chief minister, he should have done that. But he didn't. Ganabathirau should check on the facts first before opening his mouth,” he added.

'He seeks political mileage'

ganapathy raoAnother villager Davendran claimed that Ganabathirau (right), a DAP member, was trying to gain political mileage from Lim, who is DAP secretary-general.

“He should not lie about this merely to enhance his DAP career. Instead of asking us to meet Lim, Ganabathirau should question Lim on why he didn't bother to be pro-active to resolve this issue from the start,” said Devendran.

high chaparral ganabathi rao 040709 devendranDavendran (left) also chided Ganabathirau's attack on top Hindraf leaders - brothers P Waythamoorthy and Uthayakumar - who had criticised Lim over the handling of the issue.

He said prior to Hindraf lending support to the villagers, Lim has never spoken about the Kampung Buah Pala situation.

Kampung Buah Pala, better known as Penang's High Chaparral, is home to some 300 people, most of whom are cowherds. It is of sentimental value to the Indian community because it is the sole traditional Indian enclave in the island.

However, the previous Barisan Nasional administration under former Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon sold the land to a private developer at a price widely considered to be undervalued.

Attention is now turned on Lim whom the villagers believe can invoke state powers to acquire the land. Lim however rejected the suggestion, claiming that the government cannot afford to do so.

Uthayakumar keeps us guessing - Malaysiakini

Though only making some eight percent of the Malaysian population, political representation for the small Indian community is an increasingly crowded house.

Currently, Barisan Nasional coalition partners MIC and PPP, along with BN-friendly Indian Progressive Front (IPF), are the biggest players.

They are joined by newly formed Indian-based parties - the Malaysian Indian United Party (MIUP) in 2007 and this year, Malaysian Indian Democratic Action Front (Mindraf) and the Malaysian Makkal Sakhti Party (MMSP).

The newer parties were established without much fanfare but come July 19, a grand welcoming of yet another Indian-based political party is on the cards.

uthayakumar penang waterfall temple hindraf event 160609 02This is because the new party is supposed to be helmed by lawyer P Uthayakumar, leader of the banned, yet highly influential, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

When Malaysiakini caught up with Uthayakumar yesterday, he refused to confirm what was being planned on July 19, but revealed that there would be a mass gathering at the Hokkien Hall in Klang.

Hints of a new party are obvious. To a question, Uthayakumar said despite the saturated playing field, he believed there was still room for a new Indian-based political party.

“The other Indian parties – MIC, PPP, IPF – are all linked to Barisan in one way or another... meanwhile on the opposition's front there isn't really a strong Indian-based party,” he said.

An independent party?


Without a strong Indian-based opposition party, Uthayakumar alluded that this had resulted in Pakatan Rakyat's inability to address the interest of the Indian community.

uthayakumar in kampung buah pala penang 150609 13“Take for instance the Kampung Buah Pala crisis, PKR or DAP MPs could have pushed for a emergency motion in Parliament to debate on the allegedly fraudulent land transaction... but did they?

“Let's say a developer wants to buy over the Weld Quay in Penang, you think they (the Penang government) is going to keep quiet? Definitely not. This is simply because the residents in Kampung Buah Pala are Indians whereas the residents Weld Quay are Chinese,” he added.

“DAP claims it is multi-racial, but when a Hindu temple was demolished in Kedah, they did not threaten to leave Pakatan, but when a pig abattoir was demolished they did... what does this show, pigs are more valuable than human beings,” he added.

Such is the predicament of the Indian community, said Uthayakumar, adding that it had no political clout.

“Therefore, I believe I have the solution that is neither linked to BN or Pakatan Rakyat... but wait for my announcement on July 19,” said Uthayakumar.

No split among Indians


In November 2007, Hindraf made its mark when it rallied tens of thousands of Indians in Kuala Lumpur to protest against discrimination and marginalisation by the government.

A month later, Uthayakumar and four others were incarcerated without trial under the Internal Security Act until April this year.

uthayakumar in kampung buah pala penang 150609 07Uthayakumar argued that the spirit of Hindraf has not fizzled out, and despite the burgeoning number of Indian-based political parties, neither does he view them as enemies.

“(When we started off) everyone was already from different political parties... we just got under the Hindraf banner,” he said, in reference to other Hindraf figure heads such as DAP's M Manoharan and V Ganabatirau as well as PKR's S Jayathas and S Manikavasagam.

He brushed off suggestions that the Indian community was now seriously split along political lines and that this was a scenario created by the ruling Umno-led BN coalition.

“This is their trap to cause confusion and for us to fight among ourselves,” he said.

GMI gesa rakyat turun Himpunan 1 Ogos

Political maturity and civility

Image

I really don’t know what is running through the minds of the DAP, PKR and PAS leaders. Are they really that stupid? Are they really that politically un-savvy? Or is it they lack the political maturity and civility so important in ensuring that political leaders become good leaders?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Seriously, I really don’t know whether I want to write anything today. I also don’t know whether I should write my normal cheong hei article or just deliver a quick and sharp jab to the jugular. And even more so, I don’t know whether I want to write about Pakatan Rakyat and the present internal crisis it appears to be facing. Should I maybe instead just log off and go read a book?

I have been whacked and at times despised for treating my enemies with respect. When it was finally confirmed that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is really going into retirement after all, I phoned the then ‘First Lady’, Jeanne Danker, and wished her well. I said I would rather Pak Lah not resign but instead stay on. We may be ‘political enemies’ but I do not like the idea of Pak Lah being forced out of office in such an undignified manner -- meaning by the people he trusted. I also told Jeanne if there is anything I can do for her please do not hesitate to let me know -- not that she needs my help considering I can’t even help my own son who is in jail.

And remember, I was the one who was whacking Pak Lah to kingdom come since the day he took office as Prime Minister on 1 November 2003. And also remember, it was during Pak Lah’s tenure that I was detained under the Internal Security Act in September 2008. Yet I felt sorry for the old man although he would rather see me die in prison.

When Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad retired as Prime Minister on 31 October 2003, I stopped whacking him like I had been doing since 1998. In 2005, I went to Tun’s house for tea and hosted him to a dialogue session that same year at the Kelab Century Paradise. I even kissed his hand in the proper custom and tradition of how a Malay should conduct himself when he has an audience with someone much senior in age -- which disgusted many people. And I paid homage to Tun on Hari Raya -- except last year when I spent my Hari Raya in Kamunting.

And Mahathir too detained me under the Internal Security Act back in 2001. Yet I saw fit to offer him the respect an old man and ex-Prime Minister should be given.

I know many are puzzled with regards to my ‘weird’ conduct. Some even accuse me of selling out and of not being consistent in my stand. One day enemy, another day friend, next day enemy again, and later friend again, they would say.

It is not that I am being wishy-washy. I know who my friends are and who my enemies are. But my friends and enemies come in many categories. Some may be personal friends, some business friends, and others friends of the same cause (rakan seperjuang; meaning comrades-in-arms). And the same goes for my enemies as well.

I know how to treat both my friends and enemies. But I can be enemies with someone in one category and yet still a friend in another. For example, Ibrahim Ali is a friend, a very good friend, although I do not agree with his political moves. I would be the first to whack him on political grounds but I go to his house for dinner and Hari Raya. In fact, I quite like Ibrahim Ali although I can’t stand his politics.

Malaysians still have a long way to go when it comes to political maturity and civility. Seriously, if Najib or Rosmah were to invite me over for tea I would be delighted to say yes. But I would still oppose Najib and Rosmah in the political arena. But once Najib is out of office what is there to whack him for any longer? We may disagree as far as our politics are concerned. But that does not mean I have to hate the guy. In fact, and I have told his brother so, I quite like Najib. I only disagree with what he is doing.

That, I suppose, is one of my many faults -- and I agree I do have many. But is my ‘crime’ of being too ‘soft’ with my enemies really that bad? It could be worse. There are many who not only do not know how to show maturity and civility to their enemies, they also do not know how to do so with their friends. Look at what is going on in Pakatan Rakyat. You would imagine that DAP, PKR and PAS are enemies rather then friends.

Why can’t the three Pakatan Rakyat ‘friends’ sit down and thrash out all the issues? Why the need to publicly whack each other through the government-owned mainstream media? When the government-owned mainstream media twists and spins the issue you scream and shout. You accuse the government-owned mainstream media of distorting the issues with intent to create a rift in the opposition ranks. But that is what they do. It is their job to run down the opposition. And it is you who is giving them the ammunition to do so.

I really don’t know what more to say on this issue. I can say a lot and I am sure many of you know I have the ability to go on and on. But today, somehow, words seem to escape me. I am, for once, speechless. I really don’t know what is running through the minds of the DAP, PKR and PAS leaders. Are they really that stupid? Are they really that politically un-savvy? Or is it they lack the political maturity and civility so important in ensuring that political leaders become good leaders?

The DAP, PKR and PAS leaders no longer appear able to distinguish between friends and enemies. They want to sit down and talk to their enemies while they whack their friends. And in doing so they are making a mess of Pakatan Rakyat. And for me it is too painful to continue talking about the matter. So I might as well just stop here and say no more lest I say something that we may all regret later.

Kit Siang demands Petronas opens its books

By Shannon Teoh - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, July 4 — Lim Kit Siang urged the Barisan Nasional (BN) government today to open its books on Petronas and give a full accounting of how payments from the national oil company had been spent since its inception.

While the veteran DAP man backed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today in questioning how the government spent RM253.6 billion in payment from Petronas, he said the public were also entitled to know how the former PM’s administration had utilised the RM169 billion it received from Petronas.

“Mahathir is right. Malaysians have a right to know how the RM253.6 billion paid by Petronas to the federal treasury in the past six years had been spent.

“But Malaysians have a right to go one step further, to demand how half-a-trillion ringgit contributed by Petronas to the government in the past 33 years – RM4.2 billion under Tun Hussein Onn, RM168.8 billion under Tun Mahathir and RM253.6 billion under Tun Abdullah Badawi – has been spent and to demand a full accounting,” the DAP parliamentary leader said today.

Dr Mahathir, a trenchant critic of his successor Abdullah, wrote in his blog yesterday that “it would be interesting to know what the RM253.6 billion was spent on” since he left office in 2003.

Some of the former PM’s backers have pointed out that there is no physical evidence of just what Tun Abdullah’s government spent Petronas money on, while Dr Mahathir could point to major infrastructure projects from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Putrajaya.

But Lim, in calling a for a public inquiry and full accounting of the RM427 billion contributed by Petronas since its inception, responded today that the Petronas adviser’s point that “prudence was the last consideration in the expenditure of the RM253.6 billion Petronas petro-ringgit” should also be levelled at the influential statesman.

“Mahathir had set many bad precedents of abuse and misuse of the Petronas ringgit in his 22 years as prime minister,” Lim said in a press statement today.

The Ipoh Timur MP said that “Mahathir had not bat an eyelid” to misuse funds from Petronas, set up in 1976 as the national oil company, to “bail out dubious projects”.

“The most infamous being the RM2 billion bailout of his son Mirzan Mahathir’s shipping concern Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd (KPB) in 1998 when KPB was floundering in billion-ringgit debts with its share price falling to RM3.78 by February 1998, a fraction of its pre-financial crisis level of over RM17,” the DAP stalwart said.

He claimed that there were other occasions under Dr Mahathir when “Petronas was used as a national piggy bank” such as the RM2.5 billion and RM1 billion bail-outs of Bank Bumiputra in 1986 and 1989, aiding MAS and Proton in their financial struggles as well as to fund mega-projects such as the Petronas Twin Towers and the shifting of the federal administration to Putrajaya

Lim also demanded a full accounting of the RM15.2 billion royalty owed to the Terengganu government from 2000 to 2009, which he claims were “hijacked by the federal government when the Terengganu state government fell to PAS.”

The doubts over government management of Petronas funds come after the nation’s only Fortune 500 company announced on June 25 that it had paid RM30 billion in dividends to the federal government for the financial year ended March 31, 2009.

A special dividend of RM6 billion was declared last year and this amount is exactly the increase against the previous financial year’s dividends. This is despite a 14 per cent decline in net profit to RM52.5 billion due to lower crude oil prices and higher operating costs.

Apart from the dividends, Petronas also paid RM29.4 billion taxes, RM6.2 billion royalties and RM2.2 billion export duties for the last financial year, totalling RM67.8 billion to the federal government against RM56.8 billion in the previous year.

But the government has in the past stated that money from Petronas goes into the treasury’s consolidated fund and cannot be linked directly to any particular expenditure. There is mounting concern over the management of Petronas as it contributes to 45% of the country’s economy.

As Pakatan squabbles, Malaysians left between a rock and a harder place

Analysis by The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — It is true that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) may not end up being the coalition many Malaysians invested hope in.

God knows the kind of open quarrelling between the partners of the political alliance that Malaysians have witnessed recently is beginning to suggest they are close to having irreconcilable differences.

And yes, the two-coalition system which we hoped for may not take off.

But even PAS, PKR and DAP standing on an individual platform appear to still offer more than what Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) can offer.

Umno has not changed much since March 2008.

It remains arrogant and corrupt. Few of its office bearers can pass the living beyond your means test.

In fact several of its MPs will not be able to account for their cars, houses or wealth they have to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is right.

Several of them should not be in Cabinet or hold positions in the party. But they do.

Despite the prime minister’s promise of reforms, most of his party members from his deputy downwards continue to rely on the old race card.

If anything the words coming out from the mouths of some Umno members have made it hard for Malaysians to believe that the party has changed much since last March.

BN’s component parties have also not represented the interests of the non-Malay communities for years now.

The MCA has been in decline, Gerakan is hobbling, MIC is struggling for relevance and PPP is… well, PPP.

The PKFZ fiasco and the manner in which Umno/BN is trying to paper over the loss and impropriety, the Perak power grab and rampant wastage of funds (RM253.6 billion) all point to a decaying political power.

Dr Mahathir may have done Malaysians another favour when he asked what happened to the RM253.6 billion drawn down by the BN government in the last six years.

Do the maths and one can come up with the conclusion that each and every single Malaysian could have been given a tidy sum if the money was distributed to everyone.

A simplistic analysis would suggest that the multiplier effect of giving away Petronas money to all Malaysians could have had a more positive impact on the economy than whatever the government did.

In the final analysis: Yes the PR alliance looks to be in trouble but let’s ask the question: Who made Malaysia the mess it is today?

Nusmetro Ventures: The Balik Pulau connection - Anil Netto

Who exactly owns Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd, the developer of the Oasis luxury condominium project?

According to the latest records for the developer filed with the Companies Commission of Malaysia, Asia Link-up Sdn Bhd holds 96 per cent of the RM250,000 issued share capital of Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd.

That makes Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd almost a wholly owned subsidiary of Asia Link-up.

But who owns Asia Link-up then? It’s now time to lift its corporate veil as well.

According to the Companies Commmission, Asia Link-up documents registered as at 24 April 2009 show that Mohamad Faridz Karim of Balik Pulau owns 80 per cent of the company’s RM500,000 issued share capital. Faridz has also been director of Asia Link-up since October 2004 and director of its subsidiary, Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd, since April 2005.

So that makes Faridz one of the key men on the developer’s side.

Apart from Faridz, Leow Yin Fun of Setapak is the other director of Asia Link-up and owns the remaining 20 per cent of shares in the firm. Leong Wai Pun of KL is company secretary.

Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly), Asia Link-up’s nature of business - like developer Nusmetro Ventures’ - is described as “dormant”.

Asia Link-up is even smaller than Nusmetro.

Its non-current assets as at 30 September 2008 amount to RM48,000.

Its current assets total RM431,000 while there are hardly any current liabilities.

The issued share capital is RM500,000 while total reserves is negative RM22,000.

The firm made a loss of RM4,000 for the year ended 30 September 2008.

As mentioned above, Asia Link-up controls 96 per cent of the developer.

The other 4 per cent is owned by Nusmetro Development Sdn Bhd, which is involved in “project management”. Its directors are Au Chee Kuan from Damansara Jaya and Ho Yuen Kong from PJ. Lam Chung Fatt from Batu Caves is company secretary. Its latest financial information found with the Companies Commission is for 2003, when it posted a profit before tax of RM1.3 million on the back of turnover of RM47.4 million.

The sad tale of High Chaparral - Anil Netto

old-well

The old well at Kampung Buah Pala where clear fresh water reaches ground level - Photo by Anil Netto

For those of you still unfamiliar with the background to the High Chaparral issue, here’s an excellent write-up by Himanshu Bhatt in today’s Sun:

Kampung Buah Pala holds its breath

THERE is an old well said to have been dug some 100 years ago in Penang’s Kampung Buah Pala, a charming settlement of cowherds and planters, which still provides fresh groundwater for many villagers. So remarkable is this well that during the national water crisis of the late 1990s, it became the lifeline for thousands of Penangites who made a bee-line to collect its water when all other supplies failed.

Which way now… Will Kampung Buah Pala be declared a historic communal settlement or be demolished to make way for apartments?

About five years ago, the inhabitants of this settlement – who trace their ancestry to at least five generations – were shocked when told that the land on which the well and the village stood was earmarked for a development project. The venture, which included four blocks of apartments, was called “Oasis”. Full article here.

Solve DAP Issue At Kedah-level: Lim

ALOR SETAR, July 4 (Bernama) -- The tension involving Kedah's PAS administration and the state DAP will be addressed at state-level to prevent the matter from worsening.

DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang said he would soon meet with Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak to discuss the problem with a view to bring a solution and strengthen the coalition government.

"If we cannot resolve this at state-level, the whole country will question if the coalition was a credible choice," he said at a news conference here Saturday.

Lim said, after discussions with the Kedah DAP today, he understood and felt that the movement had its own reasons for withdrawing from the state's opposition coalition.

"Demolition of an illegal abattoir for pigs is just one reason. They also claim that DAP's views and opinions in Kedah were not considered...whatever the problem, it should be solved at the state-level," he noted.

Kg.Buah Pala- suggest polling among villagers to consider 3 options

By Kula's Voize,

There is no doubt that the cause of the Kg Buah Pala residents' plight is the previous BN state government headed by Tan Sri Koh Tzu Koon.
Our KPI Minister Tan Sri Koh is therefore the culprit who must be held responsible and accountable for his government's decision which created today's controversy.
I had a chance to question him on why he had alienated the Kg Buah Pala land without consulting the villagers as well as at land premium price which was far below the market price at RM10 a sq.foot when he turned up at Parliament on Thursday. The nearly 6 acres of prime land was alienated to a Co-Operative said to be an UMNO stooges. Why the land was not sold or alienated to the residents there?

If he had any sense of accountability, surely he would have stood up to reply or rebut me. But he chose to keep quiet.

Isn't being accountable for one's action and helping the people to solve their problems one of the KPI of a federal minister?

Be that as it may, the Kg Buah Pala I plight should be well and quickly resolved, lest more exploitation by some quarters and the misinformed will continue to happen.

In fact, since the controversy erupted, DAP has been unfairly and inaccurately portrayed as a Party that has abandoned or marginalized the Indians.

I wish to put across my personal view that the DAP state government should conduct polling among the villagers to consider the following options:

1. That the Federal government steps in with the necessary funding to compensate the developer, hence allowing the state government to cancel the project

2. That the state government provides an alternative land for the villagers to build their new homes

3. That the developer's compensation package to include the provision of alternative land for the villagers to build their new homes.

In view of the urgency of the issue as well as to stop the unfair accusation that the Penang Chief Minister is not getting true opinions of the villagers, I will suggest that our Sdr Lim Guan Eng meet the villagers as soon as possible.