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Monday, July 6, 2009

Civilians die in China riots


Three civilians have died in rioting in the regional capital of China's far west Xinjiang region, the official Xinhua news agency has reported.

The report said the dead were "three ordinary people of the Han ethnic group".

"More than 20 others were injured in the incident and many motor vehicles were burned," the Xinhua said.

Activists said that police fired shots in the air and used batons to disperse the crowd of about 1,000 people on Sunday.

Tension between the Han Chinese and Uighurs are common in Xinjiang province.

Protest

Adam Grode, an American Fulbright scholar studying in Urumqi, said he heard explosions and saw injured protesters carried off on stretchers as well as a bloodied Chinese man entering a hospital.

Grode also said the police used tear gas, fire hoses and batons to disperse the crowd.

"Every time the police showed some force, the people would jump the barriers and get back on the street," Grode said. "It was like a cat-and-mouse sort of game."

Gulinisa Maimaiti, a 32-year-old employee of a foreign company who took part in the protest, said the violence was set off by a protest in People's Square to demand an investigation into a brawl on June 25 between Uighur and Han Chinese workers at a toy factory in southern China.

A 23-year-old woman belonging to the Hui, another local Muslim minority, said the public bus she had been on was attacked by dozens of Uighurs.

Uighur separatists have waged an intermittent campaign for independence for several decades, prompting the constant presence of armed police and riot squads in the region.

In 1997, a protest against religious restrictions by several hundred Uighurs ended with at least 10 dead.

Pelihara ketuanan Melayu-Islam, pulihkan perpaduan — Utusan Malaysia

JULAI 6 — Mufti Perak, Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria sekali lagi menyentuh soal perpaduan di kalangan masyarakat Melayu-Islam. Nadanya kelmarin bagaimanapun lebih tegas apabila beliau turut memperkatakan soal ketuanan.

Katanya, umat Melayu-Islam negara ini akan hilang status ketuanan sekiranya membiarkan unsur-unsur perpecahan terus membelenggu hidup mereka.

Harussani pastinya sedar dengan sejelas-jelasnya apa yang berlaku. Beliau pasti tidak akan mengeluarkan kenyataan itu jika situasi semasa tidak menjurus kepada kemungkinan terjadi apa yang dibimbangkan olehnya.

Sepatutnya nasihat tokoh agama seperti beliau disambut baik oleh semua pihak tidak kira penyokong kerajaan atau pembangkang.

Tiada guna jika kita memperkatakan soal pembangunan negara tetapi tidak menghiraukan perkara dasar yang mampu membawa kepada kejayaan yang lebih besar.

Gesaan agar umat Islam kembali kepada dua perkara utama yang mendasari ajaran Islam perlu dihayati oleh semua pihak.

Kita — umat Islam daripada kalangan rumpun Melayu — perlu menghayati Rukun Iman yang menyentuh pembentukan sahsiah, selain Rukun Islam yang berkait rapat dengan pembentukan masyarakat.

Tegasnya, jika kedua-dua asas utama ajaran Islam itu tidak dihayati dan diamalkan, lambat-laun umat Melayu-Islam akan hilang ketuanan di bumi sendiri.

Saranan Harussani itu tidak sewajarnya dilihat daripada konteks sokongan politik. Beliau bercakap daripada sudut neutral. Beliau bimbangkan masa depan Melayu-Islam.

Mungkin bagi sesetengah pihak, kenyataan itu tidak perlu diberi perhatian kerana beliau "tidak mewakili mereka". Namun ia seharusnya dilihat dalam konteks yang lebih luas dan secara lebih rasional.

Memang benar soal perpaduan dan perpecahan umat Melayu-Islam bukan satu isu baru. Tetapi ia juga bukan isu yang telah selesai. Sebaliknya ia semakin menjadi barah dalam masyarakat kita.

Umat Melayu semakin berpecah-belah. Semuanya gara-gara fahaman politik yang berbeza. Namun perlukan kita menyalahkan politik sekiranya mereka yang di sebaliknya tidak mahu bertindak secara rasional?

Seperti kata Harussani, tidak salah untuk berbeza pendapat. Malah perbezaan itulah yang akan menjana pembangunan negara. Tetapi jangan sampai perbezaan itu membawa kepada perpecahan.

Mungkin kita tidak terlambat untuk mencontohi parti-parti Cina apabila menyentuh soal perpaduan ketika berdepan dengan isu berkaitan hak dan kepentingan kaum mereka sendiri.

Gesaan ini juga pernah disuarakan oleh Harussani baru-baru ini. Tindakan DAP yang berundur dari pakatan kerajaan negeri Kedah mungkin boleh dijadikan contoh.

Apabila menyentuh soal kebajikan kaum Cina — isu pusat penyembelihan babi — DAP bertindak tanpa mengira sama ada pusat itu dimiliki oleh penyokongnya ataupun tidak.

Mengapa parti-parti Melayu-Islam yang sepatutnya dibajai semangat Rukun Iman dan Rukun Islam tidak menjiwai hakikat ini? Mengapa perlu berpecah-belah dan membiarkan orang lain mentertawakan kita? — Utusan Malaysia

Anwar's Long-Delayed Trial to Begin

Monday, 06 July 2009 Image(Asiasentinel)
Malaysia's judicial system is under as much scrutiny as the defendant


Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister leading Malaysia's resurgent opposition coalition, is to go on trial Wednesday on year-old sexual perversion allegations that again will put the country's judicial system in the spotlight.

In June 2008, a 24-year-old former aide to Anwar, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, filed the charges in a police kiosk at Kuala Lumpur Hospital, accusing the 61-year-old Anwar of forcibly sodomizing him in a posh neighborhood just minutes away from Parliament. Sodomy in Malaysia is punishable by caning and up to 20 years in prison.

The case has been heavily criticized. Almost immediately after the charges were filed by Saiful, the doctor who examined him said there was no evidence of anal intercourse. Anwar has supplied an alibi for the night in question. The charges have been reduced from forcible rape to consensual sex, which is illegal under Malaysian law, but Saiful hasn't been charged despite his claim that he was a participant.

Anwar has repeatedly said the charges were engineered to wreck his political career. Raja Petra Kamaruddin, the controversial editor of the popular internet political blog Malaysia Today, has repeatedly tied Saiful to Najib Tun Razak, who was deputy prime minister when the charges and was named prime minister in April. (It should be pointed out that Raja Petra has been notoriously unreliable on some of his charges, deeply well informed on others.)

Anwar, of course, has been here before. In September 1998, he was sacked by then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad from his post, ending his role as Mahathir's protégé and heir apparent. He was arrested soon after on similar charges of sodomy as well as corruption. As with the current round of charges, numerous discrepancies emerged and legal experts called the charges into question. Nonetheless, Anwar ultimately served six years before the charges were reversed after Mahathir left office.

An Anwar spokesman, Kim Quek, charged that “the conduct of the [current] case thus far seems to be aimed at humiliating him and ruining his reputation rather than fulfilling the requirements of the legal process.” Quek pointed out that some of the main players in the prosecution are the same as for Anwar's 1998 ordeal, including Gani Patail, then the prosecutor, who has since been elevated to Attorney General, and Musa Hassan, the police official in charge of the earlier investigation, who now holds the top police post. Anwar is how suing Patail for fabricating the evidence in the 1999 trial that put him behind bars.

Anwar's lawyers expect the current case to be argued on the basis of DNA evidence. On his arrest last July, Anwar refused to give a sample of DNA, claiming the evidence could be manipulated. However, in September last year, the government moved a new bill through the parliament that would allow it to compel suspects to give DNA samples. Anwar has continued to refuse, saying there is no case against him and that the sample will be used to fabricate evidence.

During his imprisonment on the 1998 charges, Anwar was beaten and kept in solitary confinement frequently. He was photographed during court proceedings with a black eye and bruises, and he continues to suffer back pains from the beatings. Human rights organizations from around the world condemned Anwar's treatment and criticized the charges as trumped up. Then US Vice President Al Gore insulted his Malaysian hosts during a visit to the country in 2000 by denouncing the trial as a mockery.

After his release Anwar returned to politics to lead the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition, made up of the ethnic Chinese Democratic Action Party, the Islamic Parti Islam se-Malaysia and Anwar's own urban-based Malay Parti Keadilan Rakyat, to a strong victory in March 2008 elections, breaking the two-thirds hold on parliament enjoyed by the ruling National Coalition for the first time in the country's history and winning six statehouses. Since that time, the opposition has won five of six by-elections across the country.

Malaysia's judicial system has been repeatedly criticized as flawed and subject to political interference, going back to the 1980s when Mahathir fired most of the country's Supreme Court judges after a series of adverse decisions and engineered the appointment of more sympathetic jurists. In May of 2008, a royal commission appointed to investigate the system in the wake of a scandal concluded that the courts had been subject to widespread fixing of judicial appointments at the behest of politicians. The report included allegations of judicial abuses by Mahathir, who angrily left the United Malays National Organisation after former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi indicated he might be investigated on the charges.

Badawi has since been cashiered by his party amid the economic downturn and election losses; Mahathir was never investigated.

Likewise, Najib was the subject of widespread reports of tying him to the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old Mongolian translator who was the jilted lover of one of Najib's closest friends, Abdjl Razak Baginda. Neither Najib nor his chief of staff was ever called as witnesses or asked to give evidence despite the fact that two of Najib's bodyguards were convicted of killing the woman, and one of them, in a confession that was never introduced at the trial, said they were to be paid up to RM100,00 for the murder.

After a flawed trial in which the prosecutor and judge were changed abruptly, evidence was suppressed and other oddities were noted, Razak was freed without having to put on a defense. He has since left the country. The two bodyguards were sentenced to hang. Their case is being appealed.

Punjabi man declared Muslim after conversion row

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — The Shah Alam High Court has declared deceased art director Mohan Singh a Muslim at the time of his death, despite protests from his Sikh family, in a ruling which could reignite fresh controversy over Islamic conversion cases.

Today’s ruling comes a week after the Malay Rulers decided to put off until further study the Najib administration’s plans to amend some laws on conversions which would have gone some way in assuaging concerns especially from among the non-Muslim community.

The court ruled today that Mohan had converted to Islam and that the Syariah court had the jurisdiction to determine if he was still a Muslim when he died on May 25.

The Syariah High Court had on June 4 ruled that Mohan was a Muslim when he died and should be buried according to Muslim rites.

Syariah High Court judge Mohamad Khalid Shaee @ Shaii ruled that Mohan’s conversion was valid after hearing testimony from five witnesses and examining the documents brought before the court.

The order was issued following an application by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais).

Mohan was apparently also known as Mohammad Hazzerry Shah Mohan Abdullah. He was said to have converted to Islam in 1992 in Penang. However, the deceased’s family claimed that the 41-year-old who died of a heart attack, had neither converted nor practised Islam.

They said he had practised Sikhism and had performed the last rites for his late mother three years ago.

The family had filed for a judicial review here against the Sungai Buloh Hospital’s decision not to release the body to them to be cremated according to Sikh rites. - The Malaysian Insider

High Chaparral: High Chaparral update

Murugiah in bid to help High Chaparral folk
By : Phuah Ken Lin
NST, Jul 06 2009

GEORGE TOWN: The Federal Government is looking at how it can help the residents of Kampung Lorong Buah Pala.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk T. Murugiah said: "I will read the memorandum submitted by the residents before working out an amicable solution.


"I will discuss the available options with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak."

He did not rule out the possibility of giving financial assistance but declined to commit himself further.

"The ministry can only decide on providing monetary help after it completes a financial viability study."
Murugiah said Barisan Nasional leaders would do what they could to help the residents of the settlement who have to make way for development.

But he said the issue of the land title came under the state government, so it was difficult for the Federal Government to intervene.

The village residents' association committee said the land on which Kampung Lorong Buah Pala in Bukit Gelugor stands is not freehold, as claimed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Committee assistant secretary C. Tharmaraj, in rebutting Lim's statement reported by Bernama yesterday, said a search at the state Land Office revealed that the land was held on a leasehold.

"Lim does not even know the status of the land. Is he getting accurate facts from his people?

"If he cannot get such details right, I think he should go back to Malacca and leave Penang to someone more capable," he said at a press conference.

Tharmaraj distributed to pressmen copies of the document which showed the 99-year lease on the land expired in March 2107.

He also alleged that the state government had on Saturday instructed one of the village residents, who was a Parti Kedilan Rakyat member, to read out a statement praising its handling of the issue at a press conference.

"The statement read out to the press was prepared for her. Such action does not help us. Instead, it has made matters worse and confused residents.

"Such false remarks have affected the state government's integrity."

Despite all that, Tharmaraj said the residents still wanted to meet Lim to find a solution to their problem.

He said an official letter seeking an appointment to see Lim would be delivered by hand to his secretary today at Komtar.

"We will also bring two cows to Komtar with us to show him we are serious."

Committee chairman M. Sugumaran said what the residents wanted had been made clear to the state government many times.

"We just want to remain on this land. Compensation is an issue that does not arise."

Kampung Lorong Buah Pala residents have until Aug 3 to vacate the land to make way for development.
**********
A Pig in a Poke

by G. Krishnan, Limlitsiang.com, Jul 05 2005

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, 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.

The Star

Monday July 6, 2009

Buah Pala villagers refute Guan Eng’s freehold claim

GEORGE TOWN: Kampung Buah Pala residents have hit back at Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, claiming that their village sits on leasehold land and not freehold as stated by him.

They passed out certified copies of a state land registry document detailing the transfer of a 2.6ha piece of land on which their village is located.

All quiet: Aerial view of Kampung Buah Pala, which the residents claim sits on leasehold land.

“The document clearly says that the property has been leased to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang Bhd for 99 years until March 26, 2107.

“Lim claimed that the land is freehold and too expensive to be bought back. We give you proof that it is a leasehold property,” said Kampung Buah Pala Association assistant secretary C. Tharmaraj.

“I don’t know if his officers are giving him the wrong information or he just isn’t doing his job. Maybe he should go back to Malacca,” he told a press conference yesterday.

When shown a copy of the document, Lim said he would “check and see” before commenting.

On Saturday, Lim stressed that the land on which Kampung Buah Pala stands was freehold and earmarked for development and therefore very expensive to buy back from the developer.

At the press conference, residents also claimed that there was foul play in the transfer of the land alleging that the state cooperative was linked politically to an ex-personal assistant of former state Land Committee chairman Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

Yesterday, Lim said he would write to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, asking the Federal Government to consider paying for the cost of acquiring Kampung Buah Pala.

The state government, he said, could not afford to pay for the prime land as the sum was much higher compared to the original selling price of RM3.2mil by the previous state administration.

“All those fighting for the residents must work together and put pressure on the Federal Government, especially (former chief minister) Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon who should raise the matter in Cabinet,” he told a press conference after a meeting with former ISA detainee V. Ganabatirau and six other members of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) at his office yesterday.

Lim said he was willing to meet the residents without any outside influence for a heart-to-heart talk.

Ganabatirau who is also Hindraf’s legal adviser, said the victims were the residents, and that the Federal Government, the state and the developer should give the residents other options and draw up proper plans.

“My humble request is for all the relevant parties, including Barisan National to solve the issue,’’ he added.

In Bukit Mertajam, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said it was not necessary for Lim to visit the residents as he was already helping them find a solution to their problem.

“If he (Lim) has the time, I am sure he will visit the place.

“But if his deputies and state exco members go there, I personally would not make it a rule, even from my past experiences, to be on site every time there is a problem,” he told reporters at PKR’s operations centre in Yayasan Aman here yesterday.

******

Monday July 6, 2009

DAP under extreme pressure

Comment by BARADAN KUPPUSAMY

The controversy in Kampung Buah Pala has given DAP’s enemies – and its allies – the chance to attack the party for failing to live up to the ideals it had championed before it seized power.

PERCEPTION is everything in politics and the DAP, which has a sound record on this score, should know this.

But with the Kampung Buah Pala controversy dragging on, the party is taking a big hit on the perception front.

The DAP is facing concerted opposition for “failing” to save the village from demolition.

Even its own political allies in Pakatan Rakyat – PAS and PKR – are lined up with the 200 residents of the village along with Hindraf, NGOs like Suaram and Aliran, and not to mention the BN – especially the MIC – and three Tamil newspapers that are giving front-page treatment to the issue.

The same type of anguish was seen during the demolition of the Mariamman Temple in Shah Alam a week before Deepavali in 2007, an inconsiderate act that sparked the Makkal Sakthi movement that eventually toppled the BN Selangor government.

Within the DAP too, a debate is raging between the top leadership and its Indian leaders who are taking the heat from their community for failing to speedily resolve the controversy.

They are discussing several solutions but nothing firm has emerged as yet except that residents should accept compensation and vacate the 2.6ha land.

Party sources said even veteran DAP veterans like life adviser Dr Chen Man Hin and DAP chairman Karpal Singh are worried the party would be seen as “cold and heartless” if a humane solution is not found.

The 200-odd villagers have been issued with eviction notices and face forced expulsion if they don’t vacate the land they and their forefathers have lived on for over a century.

The developer has given a lifeline – a one-month extension - before demolition takes place.

Among the general public, Indians especially, there is rising clamour for DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and his deputy Dr P. Ramasamy to come out of their comfort zones and grapple with the real issues of unequal and lopsided development.

NGO critics ask whether Penang needs another massive development that would alienate the people and turn this resort island into a concrete jungle.

They say the state can use its inherent powers to enforce just, fair and humane solutions instead of blaming the eviction order, previous government and the developer.

What is at stake is a traditional way of life which cash cannot buy – arguments made famous by the DAP at numerous forums pre-March 8.

Part of the reason that DAP is not sticking its head out to “save” Kampung Buah Pala is Guan Eng himself.

He goes strictly by the book and is famously adamant in demanding his way on any given issue, believing it is the fit, proper and right way.

Most of the time, he is right and the party defers to him because he goes by the book – he’s tough but fair.

In the Buah Pala case, he has rejected acquisition as a solution because the court has already ruled for an eviction and acquisition would cost a bomb.

He is wrong in taking such a narrow view.

The issues in Buah Pala – repossession, dispossession and alienation of helpless people – are all issues familiar to Guan Eng and his deputy, Dr Ramasamy.

A former academician who devoted much time trying to give voice to the voiceless, Dr Ramasamy was elected to high office with the expectations that the poor would also get the attention and protection like the rich and powerful.

Likewise, Guan Eng had championed the voiceless, promoted holistic development and protection of the marginalised.

Both are under attack now from various quarters for failing to live up to the ideals they had preached. The MIC and the Tamil media are lambasting Dr Ramasamy for “doing nothing” to save Buah Pala, accusations that he himself had levelled against the MIC pre-March 8 over numerous issues.

The Buah Pala controversy offers an opportunity to the Pakatan Rakyat generally and the DAP especially to show compassion to people caught on the wrong end of development.

Previously when people and capital clashed, most of the time the people lost.

They were either evicted or offered cash as compensation. They were uprooted and their traditional way of life destroyed and they ended up thoroughly alienated.

These are the same people who had backed Pakatan Rakyat, expecting better treatment and protection from eviction, desperation and alienation.

Lim’s competency, accountability and transparency principles are truly admirable and is bringing great benefits to the state but it is missing another element – compassion.

Cold efficiency in politics and administration is just not enough to win the hearts and minds of the people.

People need a caring and sharing government that is humane and compassionate in its policies and that protects the helpless from the powerful and rapacious.

In Buah Pala village, the DAP has an opportunity to show compassion before it is too late.

After all, politics is all about perception and the DAP should know.

High Court refers Mohan Singh's conversion to syariah court

thenutgraph.com

SHAH ALAM, 6 July 2009: The High Court here today decided that it has no jurisdiction to determine if Mohan Singh died a Muslim.

Judge Rosnaini Saub says the matter needs should be referred to the Syariah Court which had declared the former art director a Muslim convert. In making her decision, Rosnaini also rejected a request for a stay of her decision pending an appeal by Mohan's Sikh family.

She also ordered for Mohan's body, which has been kept in the Sungai Buloh Hospital mortuary since his death on 25 May 2009, to be released to the Selangor Islamic Council (Mais).

Lawyer for Mohan's family, Rajesh Kumar, however said the family would be allowed to take Mohan's body back home for awhile before Mais claims it for a Muslim burial. Rajesh said he would appeal the High Court decision in the Court of Appeals today.

Suhakam to lodge complaint over mistreatment

The Star
Reports by LESTER KONG, YUEN MEIKENG, ZALINAH NOORDIN and DESIREE TRESA GASPER

JOHOR BARU: Suhakam will visit the Taman Sinar Harapan home in Selangor and forward a formal complaint on the mistreatment of the home’s residents to the authorities.

Commissioner Datuk N. Siva Sub- ramaniam said Suhakam would also talk to visitors to the home and get a clearer picture of the situation.

“Everyone deserves to be treated humanely, even those who are mentally unwell,” he said when commenting on the condition of the Taman Sinar Harapan home residents in Kuala Kubu Baru.

He said besides it being demoralising to treat residents like animals, the environment itself was not conducive for the patients who could not speak up for themselves.

Siva Subramaniam said Suhakam, which had received a verbal complaint about the home two days ago, was particularly concerned over the well-being of the children there.

“Feeding them cough syrup to keep them docile is terribly wrong as children should be treated with extra care,” he said, expressing his shock at both the quality of the food served there and the ratio of employees to the number of residents.

Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) councillor Anthony Thanasayan said the mistreatment of the residents reflected on how clueless the centre’s staff members were on the rights of the disabled.

“This case may only be the tip of the iceberg. The Government should thoroughly check both private and public welfare centres whether they provide basic needs such as the right to be treated properly,” he said, adding that untrained welfare workers should not be allowed to care for disabled patients.

Independent Living and Training Centre president Francis Siva called on Social Welfare Department director-general Datuk Meme Zainal Rashid to resign from her position.

“We just want a good quality of life with the basic necessities,” Francis said.

It's BN VS PAS In Manik Urai

KUALA KRAI, July 6 (Bernama) -- The Manik Urai state by-election on July 14 will see a straight fight between Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat and Mohd Fauzi Abdullah of PAS.

Returning Officer Adnan Hussin announced the list of candidates at 11.10am outside the nomination centre at the Dewan Petra, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Yahya Petra 1, here.

The announcement was greeted by thunderous applause from the sea of BN and PAS supporters.

Tuan Aziz, 39, was the first to file his papers at 9.05am followed by Mohd Fauzi, 50, shortly after.

The nomination process proceeded smoothly despite the presence of thousands of partisan supporters.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin earlier led BN supporters in a 2.4km march from the Kuala Krai Umno division office to the nomination centre at about 7.20am.

Pemuda Umno pukul petugas PAS dan DAP di Melaka

By Chegubard,

Ketika pemuda Umno dan Pemuda PAS saling ikhlas untuk berwacana secara ilmiah lain pula halnya di Melaka.

Teman aktivis termasuk Pimpinan DAP Melaka dan PAS Melaka telah dipukul oleh Pemuda Umno di Melaka kerana tindakan mereka membuka meja pendaftaran pengundi baru di sebuah pasar malam di Melaka. Ini bukan kali pertama mereka membuka kaunter pendaftaran pengundi dengan cara begitu. DAP Melaka telah pun membuatnya dua kali, minggu lepas oleh kerana sambutan yang baik PAS Melaka telah menyertai DAP Melaka dalam kempen tersebut.

Mungkin oleh kerana 'sakit mata' melihat sambutan menggalakan dari orang ramai maka Pemuda Umno telah hadir dengan diketuai oleh pimpinan Pemuda Umno Bukit Katil mengarahkan kaunter tersebut ditutup. Apabila petugas DAP dan PAS Melaka enggan takut dengan ugutan mereka kira - kira 40 gangster pemuda Umno itu terus memukul dan memecahkan kerusi meja yang digunakan.

untuk mengetahui lanjut sila klik tajuk di bawah ;
Keganasan memang rapat dengan pemuda Umno, petugas PAS pernah direkodkan mati terbunuh dalam kempen pilihanraya kerana keganasan pemuda Umno pun. Petugas keadilan pernah parah dipukul pemuda Umno ketika Kempen Pilihanraya Kecil Indera Kayangan.

Adakah wajar kita duduk bincang untuk 'berpadu' dengan penganas seperti ini ?

che'GuBard percaya pasti ada tangkapan tetapi mereka pasti dapat layanan istimewa dan dibebaskan cepat.....kalau ada pendakwaan pun kes tersebut pasti dikenakan hukuman minima ....

Contohnya seorang pemuda Umno Sendayan (dalam Rembau) pernah ditangkap kerana menjadi suspek ragut tetapi dilepaskan dan menurut dakwaan dia sendiri bawaha dia dibebaskan hasil campur tangan pepimpin tertinggi pemuda Umno. sila klik sini untuk baca lanjut.

Menyentuh mengenai kenyataan che'GuBard 'istihar boikot aktiviti DPPP' adalah seperti dibawah ;
  • hanya program dibawah Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat sepanjang bulan Julai (berdasarkan perkembangan semasa)
  • kerjasama bersama untuk program PAS yang lain termasuk dewan muslimat dipertingkatkan.
  • kenyataan dan tindakan ini secara peribadi.
Banyak respon panggilan telefon, sms, email dan komen di blog mengenai kenyataan tersebut. Ada segelintir yang menyatakan sikap tidak bersetuju dengan tindakan tersebut tetapi tidak kurang ramai yang menyokong. Malah ada yang datang dari teman pimpinan PAS akar umbi termasuk pimpinan pemuda PAS bawah.

Harap perbincangan terbuka mengenai ini tidak dilanjutkan nasihat semua berhenti di sini. Tindakan lain harus dibuat berdasarkan saluran dalaman parti.

Menjawab pertemuan tersebut hanya wacana ilmiah.... Wacana Ilmiah memang baik tetapi dari segi kebijakan politik ia harus dipertimbangkan.

Bukankah lebih baik masa yang ada digunakan untuk memperkukuhkan Pemuda Pakatan Rakyat ? Bukankah lebih baik kita memanggil teman DAP, ahli akedemik, ulama dan perbagai pihak lain kita wacana tajuk seperti adakah benar DAP anti Islam dan Melayu...? biar hasil wacana ini menguatkan gagasan politik Pakatan rakyat lagi....

Lim given one-week ultimatum to save village - Malaysiakini

Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar has given the Penang government a week from today to save Kampung Buah Pala and preserve it as an Indian heritage village in Georgetown.

Uthayakumar, who yesterday visited the embattled village which is to be demolished to make way for a luxury condominium project, spelled out three actions that the Pakatan Rakyat government must take.

  • Sign a purchase order to acquire the village land from its current landowner, the Senior Civil Servants Cooperative Society (Koperasi Pegawai-Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang).

  • Disclose findings of its ongoing investigation into the alleged land scam involving the village.

  • Reveal the court order on the dissolution of the legally-constituted Brown Housing Trust, which encompasses Kampung Buah Pala.

uthayakumar high chaparral 040709 uthaya speakSpeaking at a gathering in Kampung Buah Pala, the most famous face of Hindraf has given Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng until next Friday to deliver on those demands.

According to Uthayakumar, a government must get a court order to dissolve a housing trust to take over its land.

“If this was done, then all the valid documents should be in the state land office. The chief minister can reveal them to the public,” he told some 200 villagers, Hindraf supporters, social activists as well as PKR and PAS party members.

uthayakumar high chaparral 040709  mujahid rawaPresent were PAS state deputy chief Mujahid Yusof Rawa (right), PKR Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff and the villagers' legal representative, Darshan Singh Khaira.

This is the first time Hindraf, PAS and PKR leaders have come together in a show of solidarity with the villagers. However, no top DAP representative could be spotted at the meeting.

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

Gov't took over land 'given' to villagers

According to the village senior citizens, their ancestors were given free ownership of the land by the Brown Estate Housing Trust before the government turned it into a temporary occupation licence (TOL) settlement after Merdeka in 1957.

uthayakumar high chaparral 040709 crowdThey recalled that their parents, mostly illiterate, were hoodwinked into signing documents by government officers on the pretext of providing water and electricity to the village.

According to them, their parents were duped by the government to terminate their land ownership and turn the land into a TOL village.

In 2005, the state land office unilaterally stopped TOL collections from the villagers in a move to alienate the land under state ownership and it was subsequently sold to the senior civil servants cooperative.

penang kampung buah pala condominium project  macc report  090609 05The cooperative has hired Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd to build a few blocks condominiums as part of the Oasis project.

Uthayakumar said Lim can invoke Section 76 of the National Land Code and Section 3 of the Land Acquisition Act to acquire the village land for the people.

He said Lim should sign the purchase order before pointing figures at others over the 'High Chaparral' controversy.

“The chief minister should show his commitment to the people by acquiring the land. Then he can fight with Gerakan, Umno or MIC over the issue, and seek federal money to fund the purchase,” he said.

uthayakumar high chaparral 040709 crowdThe Hindraf leader also pointed out that since Lim boasted about his government's accountability and transparency, he should reveal the ongoing probe on the alleged fraud over the sale of the land.

“It should be done before the demolition on Aug 2, not after it,” said the former Internal Security Act detainee, who plans to be at the village with his supporters on the demolition day.

MP to raise issue in Parliament

Meanwhile, Penang PAS deputy commissioner Mujahid said PAS was committed to preserve the country's heritage regardless of ethnic or religious backgrounds.

“Kampung Buah Pala is a national heritage issue. PAS will back the villagers to preserve it,” said the Parit Buntar MP, adding he would ask party leaders to discuss the issue with Lim.

uthayakumar high chaparral 040709 yusmadiPKR state youth leader Yusmadi (right) said he would raise the village issue at the next parliamentary sitting and question the federal government on whether it was prepared to fund the heritage preservation of Kampung Buah Pala.

Uthayakumar has earlier requested both Mujahid and Yusmadi to table an emergency motion to discuss the issue in Dewan Rakyat.

Yusmadi said he would refer Uthayakumar's call to his party leadership.

Reports lodged against Lim, Koh

Meanwhile, seven individuals today lodged police reports against Chief Minister Lim and his predecessor Koh Tsu Koon over the Kampung Buah Pala land deal.

The reports were all lodged at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Hindraf coordinator K Selvam told Malaysiakini that the reports urged the police to investigate Lim and Koh to see if there were any wrongdoings in the sale of the village land to the developer.

"These are not police reports lodged by Hindraf. We are merely helping the seven members of public to lodge them," said Selvam.

Are Chinese newspapers spreading racist sentiments?

The definition of racism according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."

By O. YOUNG/MySinchew

A COLUMNIST of a Malay-medium newspaper was accusing prime Chinese-medium newspapers of racism in a recent article. Sin Chew Daily was singled out in particular.

The article criticised Chinese news journalists of having deviated from the national mainstream thinking to instigate the narrow-minded view of racism. Granted, I agree that Chinese newspapers do support Chinese-medium education. But can this be seen as racism?

The definition of racism according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."

Australia's popular Macquarie Dictionary Online further defines racism as the belief "that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule or dominate others."

The UN does not define "racism," however it does define "racial discrimination." According to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), "the term 'racial discrimination' shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life."

So, judging by the way racism is officially defined, to what extent are the Chinese press journalists, particularly those of Sin Chew Daily, guilty of instigating racism? Who among the top leadership of Sin Chew are holding the belief that the Chinese race is the most superior and must therefore rule the other racial groups? Who among the writers of Sin Chew think that Chinese is more important than other languages, even to the extent that it should replace Bahasa Melayu as the official language for the country?

According to Utusan's ghost writer Awang Selamat, if an independent probe were to be carried out, the Chinese newspapers would be found to be the real racist. I am not interested in finding out who the real racist is. What I am more interested in is the question of whether or not the Chinese newspapers in Malaysia are spreading racist sentiments.

Why would the promotion of Chinese-medium education be considered racist when there has been no attempt to negate the official language of the nation? Is this because Awang Selamat has his own definition of racism, or is it because he does not understand the position and principles of the Chinese newspapers towards Chinese education in the first place?

With all due respect to the objector and before proving his thesis wrong, I can't help being curious as to how he actually defines racism. Granted that if he believes in the superiority of the Malay race over all other racial groups, that they have the absolute right to rule others who are inferior, that all who challenge that belief and who believe in human rights for all or who struggle for social equality are racists, then by this "special" definition, I'm afraid he is right. After all, the Chinese newspapers in Malaysia do indeed believe in human rights and social equality for all people.

This is so reminiscent of the days of pre-Emancipation America when the mainstream white society did not view slavery and the ban on black people's right to vote, participate in government or intermarry as an infringement of human rights. It happened because slaves were counted as only three-fifths instead of 100% of as a human being. For this very reason, their policy against blacks did not infringe on "human rights" as slaves were not considered "fully" human.

Naturally the infringement of human rights for African-Americans was never an issue to be debated. Then came the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who struggled for the equality of civil rights by organising protest marches and peaceful demonstrations, only to be accused of breaking the social order, going against the Bible and betraying Christian doctrine.

Are the Chinese newspapers in Malaysia spreading racist sentiments? If Awang Selamat would sit down and talk rationally with a view to seeking a common understanding, we might very well carry on this discussion.

MAS implicated in cargo cartel scandal

Image

According to the Wall Street Journal, all the individuals named in the proceedings were involved in promoting the conspiracy, or they were allegedly in a position to stop the misdeed, but refrained from doing so.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Jerrel Yun, Singapore
http://marketing-interactive.com/

A New Zealand's competition watchdog is suing 13 airlines and seven airline staff in the High Court of Auckland for extensive and long-term cartel activity in the air cargo industry.

The Commerce Commission alleges that Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cargolux International Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, PT Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Singapore Airlines Cargo, Thai Airways and United Airlines colluded to raise cargo prices in and out of New Zealand via fuel surcharge over a period of more than seven years, affecting the price of cargo both into and out of New Zealand.

The Commission says the airlines entered into an illegal global agreement in 1999/2000 under the auspices of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and imposed the fuel surcharges between 2000 and 2006.

The allegations also involve a series of regional price fixing agreements.

According to the Wall Street Journal, all the individuals named in the proceedings were involved in promoting the conspiracy, or they were allegedly in a position to stop the misdeed, but refrained from doing so.

Paula Rebstock, chair of the Commerce Commission said, "Anti-cartel enforcement activity is a priority for the Commission [and] participation in cartel activity is internationally regarded as one of the most egregious forms of anti-competitive behaviour."

Air New Zealand said it would vigorously defend the case.

In a statement, John Blair, lawyer for Air New Zealand said, "This is clearly an approach designed to justify their existence and seems more about grandstanding than about getting to the bottom of the allegations.

A spokesperson for Emirates said, "Emirates denies the allegations and will be defending the proceedings," adding that the Dubai based airline would not comment further as the matter was before the court.

Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and SIA cargo also said they will be defending the charges while Korean Airlines said that it supports free trade and fair competition practices.

Some airlines are co-operating with the Commission, and an early resolution may be possible. Rebstock said she was confident of success as one airline, in exchange for immunity, would give evidence for the commission while two of the 13, British Airways and Qantas Airways have agreed to fully cooperate in exchange for halving penalties.

*************************************************

AND IN ANOTHER SCANDAL

Tribunal orders MAS to pay
2 June 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) said yesterday a European arbitration tribunal has ordered it to pay Advanced Cargo Logistic GmbH (ACL) 6.9 million euros for breach of a cargo-handling contract.

In 2004, ACL had sought to claim 62.7 million euros from MAS after the Malaysian firm breached an agreement to maintain its European cargo hub at Germany’s Frankfurt-Hahn airport for 10 years from 1999.

“Due to prudent provisioning in previous years, and given that the award orders MAS to pay only about 10% of the sum originally claimed by ACL in 2004, the award is not expected to have a material adverse impact on the financial position of MAS,” it said in a statement.

The airline said it is seeking advice to challenge the ruling.

MAS shares closed up 5.8% at RM3.28. – Reuters

*************************************************

Malaysian Airlines loses cargo case
8 June 2009

An ICC tribunal has ruled in favour of a German cargo company but declined to grant it more than a tenth of its original damages request.

Seated in Geneva, a tribunal comprising Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler (Chair), Bernhard Meyer and Paolo Michele Patocchi ordered Malaysian Airlines to pay German cargo company Advanced Cargo Logistic GmbH €7 million, far less than reports suggest the German company wanted. Malaysian reports say it requested €62.6 million.

In 2004, the company accused the airline of breaching a contract to keep a cargo hub at Frankfurt-Hahn airport for ten years. For its part, Malaysian Airlines contended that it was suffering substantial losses operating at Frankfurt-Hahn and cancelled the contract early.

The tribunal issued a partial award in 2007, declaring that Malaysian Airlines had breached its obligations to maintain its European cargo hub at Frankfurt-Hahn. The latest decision concerns damages.

Malaysian Airlines says that given the size of the award, the ruling is not expected to have a "material adverse impact". However, the airline says it may file for annulment.

In the meantime, the airline is taking action against individuals who may be responsible for it incurring losses. According to a Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange filing, Malaysian Airlines has filed an action in Malaysia against "former officers" of Advanced Cargo Logistic for "an indemnity against the amount of the award," as well as for other "losses incurred in connection with its operation at the Frankfurt-Hahn airport."

Counsel to Advanced Cargo Logistics, Thomas Legler of Python & Peter, says the cargo company can see "no basis for Malaysian Airlines to ask to set aside the award."

"The award was scrutinised by the ICC Court. In addition the chances of successfully having it set aside by the Swiss Federal Tribunal are statistically very slim," he says. In regards to the action against former Advanced Cargo Logistic officials in Malaysia, Legler says as the company is not involved, it "cannot take any position regarding these claims."

In 1999 the companies entered into a contract providing for Malaysian Airlines to relocate its cargo operations from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and Frankfurt International Airport to Frankfurt-Hahn airport, a smaller airport situated 175km from Frankfurt city.

After two years operating at Frankfurt-Hahn, Malaysian Airlines cancelled the contract. According to the company's website, it still operates cargo hubs at Schiphol and Frankfurt International.

Malaysian Airlines is engaged in another ICC arbitration with Air Maldives. The two airlines are battling over a contract that was dissolved after Malaysian Airlines was sold back to the government. - USBS

*************************************************

Arbitral Tribunal

· Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler (chair), (Switzerland)
· Bernhard Meyer (Switzerland)
· Paolo Michele Patocchi (Switzerland)

Counsel to Advanced Cargo Logistic (ACL)
· Python & Peter
Partner Thomas Legler in Geneva and Counsel Christoph Brunner in Bern
· Till Müller-Heidelberg in Bingen

Counsel to Malaysian Airlines (MAS)
· Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill
Partners Rosli Dahlan, DP Naban and Nitin Nadkarni in Kuala Lumpur
· Homburger
Partner Markus Wirth and associates Nicolas Herzog and Melissa Magliana in Zurich

A flashback on the Azim Zabidi affair

Image

Abdul Azim Zabidi also said the issue had nothing to do with his legal battle with Raja Petra Kamarudin over two articles the blogger wrote last year and with him being named as Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd chairman in the ongoing Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

On 20 October 2003, Azim was appointed a Director of Transquay Ventures Sdn Bhd. The purpose of appointing him a Director of that company is so that he can help the company with its listing exercise on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

However, the company would first have to be a Bumiputera company to qualify, said Azim, so half the shares had to be transferred into his name and the balance into the name of another Malay. With the shareholding reflecting 100% Bumiputera equity it would now qualify.

Azim 'paid' Lu Leong Seng for the shares on 5 April 2004 through three RHB Bank cheques. The sale was not a genuine sale of course but just a 'paper' transaction to show that Azim really owned the shares and had paid for them. Lu was supposed to refund the money, but not to Azim, as he did not want the money trail to lead to his door. Instead, Lu was asked to pay the money to Tan Boon Keong, the infamous BK Tan. This was done through four cheques issued through Public Bank Berhad on 8 April 2004.

The listing never happened so Lu called off the deal and asked for the return of his shares. But Azim refused to return the shares or refund the RM1,318,000 that was paid to his nominee, BK Tan. On 31 November 2007, Lu made a police report at the Kajang Police Station. To date, of course, and as expected, no action has been taken by the police. In the meantime, Azim and his partner, BK Tan, own the company plus RM1,318,000 in cash. Not bad for one of the members of the Zulhasnan Rafique inner circle. And this, basically, is what the New Economic Policy is all about.

READ MORE HERE:

1. A scam, by any other name, smells just as foul (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/2535/40/)

The listing never happened so Lu Leong Seng called off the deal and asked for the return of his shares. But Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi refused to return the shares or refund the RM1,318,000 that was paid to his nominee, BK Tan. On 31 November 2007, Lu made a police report at the Kajang Police Station.

2. The new Member of Parliament for Putrajaya, Azim Zabidi (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/3028/84/)

The evidence is clear. Azim Zabidi works for a Chinaman. Azim Zabidi is just an Ali Baba front. And Azim Zabidi is going to be the next Member of Parliament for Putrajaya while the god-fearing, squeaky-clean opposition candidate is not only going to lose, but will probably lose his deposit as well.

3. Zul Rafique and Azim Zabidi, PLEASE go to hell! (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/3272/84/)

4. Umno, AG and PDRM checkmated (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/8276/84/)

The police has to prove that Raja Petra has control over Malaysia Today. Raja Petra does not have to prove anything. But Malaysia Today is not registered in his name plus he does not have access to Malaysia Today. So they can’t prove he has control over Malaysia Today. In fact, it appears like others have control over Malaysia Today.

5. 'Sultan' Zulhasnan, the RM700 million man (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/2386/46/)

Zulhasnan has manipulated RM700 million worth of government contracts in Kuala Lumpur and has given them to his friends and cronies. The Umno division leaders of Segambut, Seputeh, Bukit Bintang (Azim Zabidi) and Kepong have all benefited from Zulhasnan's patronage. Ali Baba had his 40 thieves. Zulhasnan has his four.

Stop comparing Bumiputera policy to apartheid, Hisham warns

KOTA BAHARU, July 5 — Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein today warned of tough action against Skudai (Johor) state assemblyman Dr Boo Cheng Hau of the DAP if he continues to liken the Malay and Bumiputera affirmative policies to apartheid policies.

“Stop it. I will take stern action if the issue of apartheid is raised again. The statement is intended to instigate and cannot be tolerated,” he said.

Boo first made such a statement on Feb 26 this year in the Johor state assembly and then repeated it in his speech at a declamation of the Batu Pahat Chinese Association, which was reported by a Chinese newspaper on June 30.

Hishammuddin spoke to reporters after attending a briefing on security arrangements for the Manek Urai state by-election, nomination for which is tomorrow. Polling is on July 14.

He said such a statement should not have been uttered because it did not reflect the country’s achievements and harmony of the last 50 years or so after attaining independence.

He said Malaysia had become popular as a multi-racial country where the people lived in peace and worked together to develop the nation. The statement made by Boo could destroy the inter-racial unity built up over the years and undermine national harmony, he said.

“We are investigating, and the immunity (in the state assembly) should have its limits. What is the aim of democratic freedom if anyone can utter words which can destroy racial harmony and peace and lead to chaos?” he said.

Meanwhile, Hishammuddin said 1,588 policemen have been deployed under a first phase to ensure an incident-free nomination tomorrow.

Commenting on claims by residents of Manek Urai and Kampung Laloh that frequent electricity disruption recently was due to a temporary police command post in the constituency, Hishammuddin said this was not true as the police command post used its own generator and did not depend on power supply from Tenaga Nasional Berhad. — Bernama

Reforms must be liberal, must promote a competitive and meritocratic society

By Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP Life Advisor

REFORMS BY PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK ARE NOT LIBERAL OR MODERN ENOUGH TO PROPEL MALAYSIA TO BE COMPETITIVE TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF A GLOBAL WORLD

PM NAJIB RAZAK have introduced a series of reforms in an attempt to transform Malaysia to a high income country. He has slimmed down the NEP by reducing the 30% bumiputra equity quota to 12.5%. He has also curbed the powers of the Foreign Investment Committee and substituted it with a smaller committee.

To reassure the bumiputras, he has retained the 30% bumiputra equity target, but will use different modes to achieve the objective.

It is a pity that the PM has not understood why the 40 year old NEP has failed to help poor Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese or Indians. The average poor Malay household only earn about RM3,000 per household or only RM500 per person (in a family of 5). Admittedly, the NEP enriched Umno cronies who became obscenely rich, while the Malays in rural areas are still mired in poverty.

PM NAJIB SHOULD LEARN FROM THE NEP EXPERIENCE

The 40 year old NEP slowed down economic growth since it was implemented in 1971. In 1957 at independence, Malaysia had the second highest per capita income (PCI) in Asia, after Japan. The World Bank has statistics that showed the per capita income slowed down since 1971, and has fallen behind S Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. In 2008, Malaysia has a PCI of US$6,000, while S Korea has US$19,000, Taiwan US$17,000, Hong Kong US$30,000 and Singapore US$34,000.

It was Malaysia’s natural resources that saved the day, otherwise our pci would be much lower in the company of banana republics.

THE CAUSES

1.The NEP drove away foreign investors, and last year our FDI was only RM46 billion, and estimated to fall by half this year. Thailand has more FDIs than Malaysia.

2. The bumiputra quota system. Bumiputras have been showered with quotas from the day they were born, they were pampered in every field of personal endeavour. The quota system has engendered a dependent psychology which has affected their performance in education, in jobs and in business. In other words, the country is moving at 50% capacity, and resulting in a low per capita income. If all citizens have put their shoulders to the wheel, the per capital income (nominal) should be near US$20,000 as in a developed country.

THE OLD FORMULA OF QUOTAS AND BUMIPUTRAISM HAS FAILED TO BRING PROSPERITY

PM NAJIB has himself admitted that the NEP quota system is outdated and not productive any more. However he did not advocate a new philsophy for the country. Instead, he did say that in the future, the 30% target is still the objective, and a new model is contemplated to achieve that. This is unbelievable. What he is proposing would be equivalent to reviving NEP, in which case, he is condemning Malaysia to another 40 years of economic stagnation and the plight of the poor will get worse.

TIME TO ADOPT A CULTURE OF MERITOCRACY AND COMPETITIVENESS

We live in new global age where race is neutral and where nations interact on the principle of competitiveness, accountability and transparency. We must have good governance, because in the new era the investment climate must be liberal, open, corruption free and judicial independence.

The ability of the indigenous people, whether Malays, Dayaks or Ibans are as good as their Malaysian brothers and sisters. Statistics show that 50% or more are professionals, engineers, doctors, accountants and corporation executives, many are doing well in service industries.

Education is the key to success for all. The next is discipline and hard work. These are the same qualities of successful people in other countries, especially developed countries in the States, Europe, Japan, or India.

China is the classic example of success. from a poor communist country, she has become the third richest country of the world because a former premier, Deng Xiao Peng promulated four modern liberalisation policies of a free market economy. The people put in a lot of hard work and discipline. China, it is predicted that she will overtake Japan in 2010, and become the world’s second richest country.

Malaysia can be a developed country also, if it modernises like China and is united like one people as Malaysians, no ketuanan melayu and no bumi and non bumiputras.

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.

Caste politics set to decide party polls

Suganthi Suparmaniam, NST,

KUALA LUMPUR: Caste politics may be resurfacing in MIC for the first time in 20 years as party elections loom large on the horizon.

Members of lower castes appear to be consolidating themselves to throw their weight behind specific candidates in the race for the deputy presidency, three vice-presidencies and 23 central working committee (CWC) seats.

Sidelined for nearly two decades after the exit of Tan Sri G. Pandithan who formed the Indian Progressive Front, they want their rightful place in the party.

A group of nearly 40 delegates to the annual general assembly scheduled for Sept 12 recently met to discuss the direction they should take -- and the candidates they should support -- in the forthcoming elections.

With about 350 of the 1,500 delegates coming from the community, they are a force to be reckoned with.
A source familiar with the latest developments in the MIC said the group was serious about its intentions and going about them methodically.

"We believe we have between 300 and 350 votes from our community. We are in the midst of identifying them. We will then meet them in small groups of 50," he said.

It is understood that the group will soon identify whether they would support incumbent Datuk G. Palanivel, former number two in the party, Datuk S. Subramaniam, or incumbent vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan for the deputy presidency.

In exchange for their support, they want an assurance that at least a member of their community will be a vice-president with several others represented in the CWC.

"We will support the deputy presidential candidate who can offer us the best deal," he added.

While they realise that party supremo Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu holds the cards when it comes to elections for top posts, candidates still need their support to make it across the finishing line.

This is especially so in light of the fact that Samy Vellu is not openly backing anyone for the deputy presidency and that one of the three candidates will need block votes from the community.

The most powerful caste in the party is the mukkalathur (Samy Vellu), gounder (Sothinathan and Subramaniam), muthaliar (Palanivel), with lesser representation by the chettiar and nadar.

A former party secretary-general said delegates from the community realised that they were a force in the party at this juncture as more than 20 per cent of delegates to the general assembly were from their ranks.

"They used to have about 40 per cent representation in the party but most left after Pandithan was expelled."

Pandithan was expelled as MIC vice-president on July 16, 1988, when he brought a coffin to party headquarters after learning he was to be sacked for indiscipline for allegedly practising caste politics.

In his reply to the show-cause letter issued to him, Pandithan denied the allegation, saying that he was merely championing the cause of the poor.

The MIC has always officially decried the use of the caste system in the party but the issue has always been there.

It has been reported that the 2006 party elections saw a list being distributed to delegates of the caste affiliation of MIC members of Parliament, state assemblymen and senators.

The message which the list tried to convey was that the party leadership was dominated by a certain caste and that several other castes, including the downtrodden had been marginalised.

The party leadership had denied such allegations, arguing that the MIC had always championed the cause of Indians and that caste had never figured in party politics.

Federal govt “ready to help”; Koh: Don’t blame me

By Anil Netto,

Now we hear that the federal government is “ready to help” the High Chaparral residents, says Deputy Minister T Murugiah.

“Although the Barisan Nasional (BN) is not in power in the state, the Federal Government still belongs to BN and we should help the people, regardless of their race,” he said. Check out the Bernama report here.

Meanwhile, former Penang chief minister Koh Tsu Koon has washed his hands off the Kampung Buah Pala crisis, saying he would not interfere to avoid getting blamed.

“He (Lim) always blame me for everything that he cannot do, he either blames the federal government or the previous state government. He always push issues which he cannot solve to the federal government,” he added. See full Bernama report here.

That’s a cop out. Tsu Koon cannot be let off so easily and must be held accountable. He must provide a detailed explanation as to how the Brown housing trust (vested Crown) land for the Kampung Buah Pala villagers was turned to TOL land. Who were the beneficiaries of the trust?

He must also explain why and how the land was sold to the Penang State Government Officers Cooperative for RM3.2 million. Who were the key players in the state government, the cooperative and the developer responsible for the deal? He must answer these questions.

Guan Eng for his part has to explain the circumstances surrounding the transfer of the land that was effected three weeks after the Pakatan took over power in Penang. Was he aware of it - or was it done by the Land Office without his knowledge? Had the new administration issued any instructions to the Land Office not to effect any new transfers without the state government’s approval? Or was it put through by the Land Office without the new state government leaders’ knowledge? We need answers.

I hope Deputy CM Mansor’s investigative committee will be looking into all these issues in his report as well.