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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Militant issues threats over Uyghur unrest - CNN

(CNN) -- A militant leader whose group has links to al Qaeda denounced Chinese treatment of Uyghur Muslims in western China and threatened to seek "revenge."

Police patrol Urumqi, China, on Saturday, July 11.

Police patrol Urumqi, China, on Saturday, July 11.

The leader of the Turkistan Islamic Party, in a video that appeared on Islamic Web sites, blames the Chinese for "genocide" against people in East Turkistan -- what some Uyghurs calls the region of Xinjiang province in western China where they live.

Earlier this month, Uyghurs demonstrated in Urumqi, the Xinjiang capital, to protest the killing of two Uyghur migrant workers at a toy factory in the southeast Chinese province of Guangdong in late June after a brawl between Uyghur and Han people.

The Urumqi protest turned violent, and fighting ensued in that city and elsewhere, with Uyghurs and Han attacking each other.

The remarks were delivered by Seyfullah, commander of the Turkistan Islamic Party and dated July 8. They came after the violence erupted between Uyghur Muslims and Han Chinese.

The speaker urged his people to "kill the Chinese Communists where you find them, take them and besiege them and ambush them wherever you can."

"Let them know that these Muslim people have men who will seek their revenge and they are about to do that very soon, before the horses of God will reach you, God willing, so be prepared for that moment because we are too getting prepared."

The U.S. State Department said the group has taken credit for violent incidents in the past.

Justice For Beng Hock

Memorial services draw hundreds

Teoh's death: The answer is in the next elections!

OPINION Our nation has produced varying responses to the violent death of one of her young sons, Teoh Beng Hock. These reactions shed some light on our political system and collective conscience.

Ordinary Malaysians have expressed shock, dismay, and anger. Demonstrations and candle-light vigils have begun, symbolising an outpouring of sympathy for Teoh’s fiancée and family, and anger that the MACC has washed its hands in public and shrugged off any responsibility.

Leaders spanning the political spectrum, from the MCA’s Dr Chua Soi Lek, Umno Youth’s Khairy Jamaluddin, to PAS Vice-President Salahuddin Ayob, the PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim, the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang, and the national human rights commission Suhakam, have called for an independent Royal Commission to reveal the truth.

A glance at the huge number of readers’ comments on news portals like the Malaysian Mirror, and blogs like Malaysia Today, reveals an explosion of rage and mourning. Readers demand an unfettered investigation. Some call for divine justice. A few call for retaliation.

Some, including blogger Rocky’s Bru, condemn politicians such as the DAP’s Lim Guan Eng for trying to gain political mileage from the young DAP aide’s death. Yet it is undeniable that Teoh’s death is deeply political, for Teoh died during an MACC probe targeted at Pakatan Rakyat (PR) representatives.

The MACC has not answered allegations of corruption among Barisan Nasional representatives, such as Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, with nearly the same fanatical hounding the MACC has given PR reps. After Teoh’s death, Khir blurted out disingenuous claims that he thought the MACC to be even-handed. He alleged that he, too, had been questioned by the MACC, for eight hours, a “similar treatment” to Teoh’s. It can be assumed Khir’s “similar treatment” did not involve a fall from a tall building.

mohd nazri abdul aziz.jpgOne or two readers of news sites and blogs said Teoh “must have been guilty” of some unspecified crime. They claimed that otherwise, Teoh would not have been called in for questioning. One reader said Teoh must have felt guilty after being interrogated, and, as a result, jumped to his death. In response, other readers directed furious tirades at the abject stupidity of these remarks.

But then the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nazri Aziz, sprang to the MACC’s defence. The minister said the MACC had told him they had released Teoh after questioning him. “Don’t just accuse MACC for being responsible for this, wait for the investigation… (Teoh) should have gone home. We couldn’t have known he wanted to jump from that building,” he argued.

Angry readers and journalists poured scorn on the minister’s purported telepathic knowledge that Teoh had jumped, and had not been pushed. Perhaps the honourable minister felt he should be appointed as chairman and sole member of the investigative commission, since he seems to have superhuman insight.

Well-rehearsed response

Leading Cabinet ministers recited identikit lines in a well-rehearsed response: the police were mounting an investigation, and no one should reach premature conclusions (except, it seems, for one psychic Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department).

muhyiddin-yassin-1.pngDeputy PM Muhyiddin Yassin told Malaysians to “stay calm” and not to over-react. He set a proud example of not over-reacting himself, appearing impassive and completely unmoved by the death of a young MACC witness – a young man planning to be married that day.

At first, Muhyiddin paid scant attention to demands for a Royal Commission. The next day, he backtracked, and said the Cabinet, at its meeting next Wednesday, would “consider” a royal investigative panel.

The strength of public feeling must have shaken his earlier stand that the public would have to await the results of police investigations. Muhyiddin had claimed the police would be “hands on” and would “leave no stone unturned.”

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak offered his condolences to Teoh’s family. Najib said, "The government hopes that the people will remain calm and patient. Let's leave it to the authorities to investigate."

Is this a tenable proposition?

Teoh died after falling from the building where he had been interrogated by the MACC for almost eleven hours. The MACC were the authorities, and the authorities were already investigating. They were investigating PR members of the Selangor State Assembly.

The MACC must have placed enormous pressure on Teoh, the young political secretary to the DAP’s Executive Councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, during that long night.

Teoh could not be reached on his mobile telephone: he had been isolated and deprived of communication with the outside world. The MACC officers questioning Teoh have not been named. The MACC have not offered an official version of the events of that night. There was no camera coverage of the interrogation.

Tan Boon Hwa, Kajang Municipal Councillor, was interrogated by the MACC on the same evening as Teoh. He accused MACC officers of trying to extract a fake confession from him. He says the MACC forced him to stay on his feet from 10pm to 2am, and threatened him with physical violence.

teoh-beng-hock.gifTeoh must have been deprived of sleep too, and may have been deprived of food and water. The MACC admitted Teoh had been “tired”. It does not require any stretch of the imagination to deduce that Teoh may well have been harassed and abused, as Tan described.

Teoh’s lawyer, M Manoharan, said the MACC would not allow him to accompany Teoh. Even if Teoh had been a criminal suspect in police custody, rather than an MACC witness, he would have had the right to seek legal advice. The MACC violated the rule of natural justice.


Who guards “the authorities”?

The question remains: who guards the guardians? If the police investigation is to be “hands on”, as Muhyiddin boasted, will this bring us closer to the truth?

The police left plenty of evidence of being “hands on”, when they beat Kugan Ananthan in police custody in January. The police have been silent on the result of the investigation, classified as murder. Kugan, a previously healthy and strapping 22 year old man, died bearing signs of having been flogged by police. The police then confiscated material evidence from Kugan’s post-mortem examination in Universiti Malaya. The “authorities” also fell back on technicalities in court, slowing down efforts by Manoharan, also Kugan’s lawyer, from retrieving the seized evidence.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office, the MACC, the police, and the judiciary have become profoundly politicised. The public perception is that they have become organs of state-sanctioned violence, and that the “authorities” have lost their moral authority.

“Leave it to the authorities”? Malaysians may provide a resounding answer to this question in the next elections.

Malaysia’s police, judiciary and civil service were once respected throughout the world. We have now become an international anomaly. Malaysia is a self-declared democracy, with a proud history of independence and self-determination. Yet our nation is now wracked with unprecedented, catastrophic scandals, hobbling our constitution, such as in Perak, and our state institutions, such as the police and the MACC. Our state institutions can be returned to health, but only if voters insist on accountability and new blood.

In the final analysis, though, these state institutions exist merely to serve people; to serve Malaysians. The most abiding and memorable response to this tragedy, the response that matters most, is not to be found in the politicians’ speeches, the blogs, or in the headlines. It is to be found in the image of Teoh’s grieving fiancée and family, burned indelibly into our collective memory.

WHY ROYAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY A MUST

There are two ways in which a public inquiry may be held over the circumstances leading to the death of Teoh Beng Hock.

As already suggested, the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry would go a long way in finding ways and means by which incidents like these are no more in future. Its terms and reference should be cast wide. It should look into things like the interrogation techniques used, the time and conditions under which a person may be interrogated.

Second, we should be looking the places where interrogations take place. There should be CCTV camera’s placed there and the footage of these recordings must be made available to those interrogated upon request.

I have done a case in which a restaurant owner was taken to a police station in Johor where he was beaten whilst tied up and then he was hung upside down from an iron bar, his pants removed and chemical liquid poured onto his private parts in the course of interrogations. The defendants denied it. We won the case. The prosecution did not appeal. A video would have helped indeed.

I am currently doing a case in which a young girl was allegedly raped in an interrogation room in a police station early one morning by a policeman in uniform. Again the defendant denies it. He claims it was consensual. A 17 year old girl. In a police station. At 5am. Consensual. A video would help.

And of course, we have the case of A.Kugan where a suspect was beaten to death in police custody. Gani Patail is not very sure of what to do. A video would help him.

These are just a few examples. There are other horror stories of hot water treatments in police stations, threats of death and so on. Well, that for another time.

Third, we should be looking at the rights of families where a death occurs. In Kugan’s case it is quite clear that but for the family’s barging into the mortuary and taking photographs and video’s of Kugan, no one would have realized the severity of the beatings which reflected as bruises and marks all over his body.

Likewise in Teoh’s case, a request to look at the body at the scene by lawyers was denied. We know the scene of the crime must be preserved for the best forensic results. But we can surely have rules for the family and their lawyers or experts to view the body from a distance so as to decide whether or not they want to have a second opinion.

Further, I feel it is very important for the law to demand that forensic personnel be compelled to speak to the family of the deceased at the scene after they have completed their investigations before removing the body. They should inform the family of their preliminary findings. This is never done. The families are left in a lurch as to what is the cause of death and they have no way to actually decide whether a second opinion is needed. It’s quite simple. How do you ask for a second opinion if you don’t know what the first one is?

Third, the law must make it a point to distinguish between ordinary deaths and deaths in custody. Where a death occurs in custody, then the police or the other investigating body becomes suspect. The law must give the family the option to have a second autopsy after they are appraised of the findings of the first. If they are satisfied with the initial report there is no need to go further, but if they are not, they have a right to a second opinion.

The other point is this. The family should be permitted to get any government or private pathologist to help them. It Teoh’s case, the family was asked to get a pathologist at the very last minute. This made it very difficult and we were only able to secure help from Thailand. And in Kugan’s case, we were given the runaround by the police up to a point that demonstrations needed to be held.and ultimately, we got Dr Prashant to help. Now, the AG has roped him into the prosecution team as well.

And, whilst on this topic, we should make sure that if the family opts for a government pathologist, then the state should bear the costs of the second autopsy. In Kugan’s case, we collected donations to foot the bill of RM3000.

There is also the question of formulating laws which protect the police or other officials in investigations of this nature. Ordinarily a lot of speculation and theories are channeled against them but we must understand that that is because of the problems I have spoken about above. Given the way in which the family and public are left in the dark about these very sensitive and important details, temperatures would indeed be expected to rise.

Quite apart from a Royal Commission of Inquiry, the law provides for inquests to be held in cases of sudden death. Take the Sujatha inquest as an example. Here a Magistrate will hear all witnesses in public before coming to recommendations as to the possible causes of death and also if anyone is to be held responsible. The terms of reference are narrower in that the Magistrate sits to merely ascertain the cause of death and proposed suspects. It does not go further in terms of what is discussed above, which a Royal Commission of Inquiry can look into.

I have advised Teoh’s family to call for both. A royal commission of Inquiry would be broader in its terms of its reference. It would look at the cause of death and more importantly the circumstances surrounding interrogations and the rights of suspects and their families. If a Royal Commission of Inquiry is not set up then we would ask for an inquest to be held.

July 19, 2009

GOBIND SINGH DEO

MP for PUCHONG

Umno papers slam MACC critics in Teoh’s death

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — Umno-controlled newspapers, Berita Harian and Mingguan Malaysia, today slammed critics for demonising the country’s graft-busters over Teoh Beng Hock’s death, with one suggesting there is an agenda to weaken Malay-controlled institutions.

Both newspapers accused the opposition of politicising the political secretary’s death on July 16, with Mingguan saying the federal opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) was using the incident to divert attention away from internal problems and weaknesses.

But Berita Harian suggested the agenda was to weaken Malay-controlled institutions in the article, “Kematian Teoh timbulkan pelbagai spekulasi politik”, written by the New Straits Times group managing editor Zainul Ariffin Isa.

He wrote that political opportunism can turn grief into political capital, and death can be made a catalyst to stoke anger and racial sentiments.

“It is not just the Chinese or supporters of the Pakatan Rakyat who know anger and seek justice.

“Suspicions have been raised especially among the non-Malays that MACC, which like other departments have many Malay officers, selectively chose non-Malays to be investigated,” he wrote.

The new boss of the Umno-owned New Straits Times group did not, however, address complaints raised by two DAP men who were also, like Teoh, brought in for questioning.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang hold a press conference near the MACC office. Umno-owned media have accused the opposition of politicising Teoh Beng Hock’s death. — Picture by Choo Choy May

The two DAP men, one a Chinese and the other a mixed Malay-Chinese, claimed racial insults were hurled at them by the MACC officers.

Like Teoh, both men were not suspects, but “witnesses,” according to MACC officers.

So far, leaders of the PR alliance, led by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, have not referred to race in their statements demanding the MACC be held responsible for Teoh’s death.

Zainul appeared to suggest that Teoh’s death was an accident and that the MACC officer involved was Malay when he wrote in Berita Harian that “when a victim of an accident was non-Malay, who was previously investigated by a Malay, the speculation is great.”

By suggesting anti-Malay sentiment in Teoh’s death, he also appeared to suggest that government departments were Malay-based institutions rather than a non-partisan civil service.

“Why did the Selangor MB, a Malay, question those of his own race to act fairly?” Zainul wrote.

Mingguan Malaysia, which is also owned by Umno, also attacked the PR alliance for politicising the death.

The newspaper said the controversy could not be resolved through demonstrations or wild accusations.

Mingguan suggested instead that the opposition was using Teoh’s death to distract attention from its own problems.

Uthayakumar sets out to create Indian clout with new party

Uthayakumar (front, third from left) is mobbed by his supporters during today’s launch of the latest Indian-based party, Human Rights Party Malaysia. – Picture by Baradan Kuppusamy

By Baradan Kuppusamy-The Malaysian Insider

KLANG, July 19 — P. Uthayakumar today launched his Human Rights Party Malaysia (HRP) before 3,000 cheering hardcore supporters by lambasting Umno for sidelining Indians for 52 years, while also training his guns on Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for winning on Indian votes but failing to help the community.

He said the cavalier attitude of Umno and PR towards Indians was because the community lacked political clout, and he is now offering a unique scheme where marginalised Indians could create this clout as well as pressure for public resources to uplift the community.

Under the scheme, Indians in certain states should re-register as voters in select constituencies where there are about 20 to 30 per cent Indian votes, he said.

“By doing this they would create Indian majority parliamentary and state seats in the country and can, if united, win the seats easily,” he said.

“We will use the clout created by controlling these seats to bargain for the community,” Uthayakumar said.

“We will no longer be political beggars,” he said to a standing ovation from supporters, who arrived from across the country, many of whom wore Hindraf’s saffron-coloured T-shirts. Uthayakumar, who wore a similar T-shirt with his fiancée, was mobbed by his supporters.

Uthayakumar, who is secretary general of the party, announced the names of state leaders at the function and vowed to fight on until the “last drop of my blood.”

“I will not betray you, I will not sell you for some crumbs and I will never give up the struggle,” he said to huge applause.

Elaborating on his scheme, he said DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and party secretary general Lim Guan Eng were classic examples of politicians who have “migrated” from their hometowns to fight and win and hold office in other states.

“We should be like them. We must create Indian power centres in all states, re-register ourselves in those constituencies and elect our own representatives to parliament,” he said.

“Only in that way can we create clout,” he said, adding that currently Indians were members in numerous political parties. “Our votes are split and we are dismissed as non-entities.”

He said the new party can win 15 parliamentary and 38 states seats if this scheme was implemented successfully.

“This is what we are going to do for the next two years …to get Indians to re-register in selected constituencies to create Indian community power centres,” Uthayakumar said.

Among the areas he identified are Padang Serai in Kedah; Ipoh Barat, Sungei Siput and Bagan Datuk constituencies in Perak and Ulu Selangor; along with Kota Raja and Klang in Selangor.

Uthayakumar spoke for nearly two hours, listing out all the grievances the Indian community suffers from – poverty, neglect, and marginalisation – and laid the blame at the feet of Umno.

“It is Umno that rules the country, it is Umno that decides who gets what and how much, not Barisan Nasional (BN),” he said. “Umno is the enemy but it is a very smart enemy and we have to watch out for it.”

Also present were DAP Teluk Kemang MP M. Manoharan, human rights lawyer N. Surendran and PR supporter David Balla who is the key financier of the new party.

Manoharan said he was there as counsel for Uthayakumar and added he takes the criticism of PR in his stride.

He urged party supporters to beware of Umno, which will work with the Special Branch to sow disorder, confusion and splits within the party.

Uthayakumar also lambasted the DAP for failing to resolve the woes of the villagers of Kampung Buah Pala in Penang.

About 30 Buah Pala residents were also in the audience cheering him on.

“Guan Eng can, with one just signature, settle the Buah Pala issue but he has refused to do so giving all kinds of excuses,” Uthayakumar said. “The reason is we are politically weak.”

He cited as example the sole DAP representative who could bring the PAS-led Kedah PR government to its knees by pulling out of the coalition over an abattoir to slaughter pigs.

“Just one man can do that…imagine 15 or 20 MPs (of our party) walking out. How much we can achieve,” he said.

First and only Indian based multi-racial political party? - Harris Ibrahim

Malaysianinsider reports that Uthayakumar explained that his spanking new party, Human Rights Party Malaysia is the “first and only Indian based multi-racial political party which is in the opposition and which is not aligned to Umno/BN”.

Indian-based, yet multi-racial?

Er, how does this work?

If any of you can figure this out, do write in and share with the rest of us, will you?

In the opposition?

Since when?

All I will say is, Uthaya, you just undid all the good that came out of that rally on 25th November, 2007.

Well done.

UMNO will be drinking to your good health!

Musa Hassan given 48 hours to announce that he will not seek another renewal of term as IGP or a parliamentary and civil society roundtable for a new

BY Lim Kit Siang,

I am giving Tan Sri Musa Hassan 48 hours to announce that he will not seek another renewal of term as Inspector-General of Police and will give way to a current serving police officer or a Parliamentary and Civil Society Roundtable for a new IGP to create a safe Malaysia will be convened.

The reasons why the country needs a new IGP would have the support not only of the Malaysian public at large, but also the majority of the police personnel, and would include the following:

  • Failure of Musa in Key Performance Indicators (KPI) as IGP in the past three years, in all the three core police functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and protect human rights. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that under Musa, Malaysians are even more unsafe from street crimes now than when he became IGP in September 5, 2006.
  • The re-appointment of Musa for another term of IGP cast an adverse aspersion on all the senior police officers, as if there is not a single one out of the eight top police officers occupying key police positions below the post of IGP who are qualified or competent enough to become the new IGP to provide a new police leadership and culture to roll back the tide of crime in the past five years.

I am going one step further, and am asking the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to emulate his father, the second Prime Minister Tun Razak to appoint a new Inspector-General of Police still with four or five years of service brimming with ideas to plan out and implement police reforms instead of the current practice of appointing senior police officers left with one or two years’ service more interested about post-retirement arrangements.

Justice for Beng Hock Memorial Vigil

Venue : Stadium Kelana Jaya

Date : 19 July 2009, Sunday
Time : 4.30pm
Attire : Black

Enquiries: 03-79578022

Top Pakatan Rakyat leaders, NGOs leaders will be present

(Sticky post – scroll down for new posts)

Show cause letter to IPF

Sunday, July 19, 2009
The troubled Indian Progressive Front (IPF) split into four factions is in further mess. The registrar of societies issued a show cause letter, dated July 10th, why the party cannot be deregistered, according Makkal Osai daily report.

 IPF
makkal osai
Greedy Jayashree wants the million dollar IPF building at any cost


The registrar sited seven reasons:

1. Puan Sri Jayashree’s appointment on April 20 2008 as acting President at the extra ordinary Central Committee meeting breached clause 77 of party constitution.

2. The sacking of deputy president Senggutuvan a/l Veeran breached clause 71.

3. The sacking of Vice President Mathiyalagan a/l Veeraiya breached clause 71.

4. Annual General Meeting must be held by September every year. The party held the AGM on December 14 2008 breaching clause 84.

5. The notice given for the AGM on December 14 2008 to the members was less than 60 days breaching clause 87.1

6. The appointment of two deputy presidents for the year 2006 – 2008 violates clause 63 of the party.

7. Instead of five vice presidents, the party elected three vice presidents breaching clause 74.5

 IPF

makkal Osai

 IPF

 IPF

Jui Meng's entry into PKR: A reason to celebrate?

By Anil Netto,

While many Pakatan supporters were rejoicing over Chua Jui Meng’s entry into PKR, I had this nagging feeling.

The Pakatan probably needs a psychological boost after Pas’ reduced majority in Manek Urai.

But isn’t there a danger that if more BN types, sidelined by their respective parties, are welcomed to the Pakatan fold, the Pakatan could one day end up becoming “BN Lite”? In the case of Chua, he looks set to be invited to sit on the PKR Supreme Council.

Already there is concern in some circles about some of the ex-Umno types in PKR. Will the party now have to wrestle with ex-MCA types? Remember, race-based politics is not something that is easily shed.

My concerns over such political “catches” were confirmed when I got a late night text message from a political analyst who said he was not euphoric over MCA members joining PKR after suddenly seeing the light. Why does Anwar keep courting such people, he asked. Why not citizens with no political baggage – but with a proven track record in struggling for justice and freedom along multi-ethnic lines?

Don’t ordinary citizens count? Are the Pakatan leaders so desperate for BN leaders to jump like ‘kataks’ into their ranks?

Aside from that, how are we to change the course of Malaysian politics, economics and other spheres when a future Pakatan government could very well see a number of ex-BN leaders from race-based parties in positions of influence? Where are genuine meaningful reforms going to come from then?

Of course, people can change and evolve over time. It is good that Jui Meng says he wants to work to preserve a two-party system and work for change.

But Pakatan leaders must exercise greater “quality control”. What is Jui Meng’s stand on the ISA and other oppressive laws, for instance? What progressive policies did he introduce when he was Health Minister to improve the affordabilty and accessibiltiy of quality health care for all – and to make sure that no Malaysian is denied quality health care due to lack of means?

It is not enough to just focus on attracting “talent” or big names. Future leaders must be those who have shown over time that they are 110 per cent committed to human rights, democracy, social justice, workers’ rights and people-centred, ecologically friendly development before they can be welcomed with open arms as fellow travellers in the reform process.

That raises the question which the Pakatan should mull over: is it seeking power as an end in itself or as a means to realise social justice, democracy and human rights?

Utusan - the newpaper

My Sinchew

OF LATE many readers of Chinese newspapers, ask a lot of questions about Malay language paper Utusan Malaysia. I won’t repeat the questions. Suffice to say they been asking “why Utusan do this, do that?” I think we all know what “this and that” means. And I’m not going to try to answer the queries either. But what I want to do is to take readers on a journey back in time. Through a book published in 2001 and written by Said Zahari, one of the greatest journalists in the world.

Said Zahari or Pak Said as he is fondly known was editor of Utusan Melayu in 1959 (the paper as we know today is called Utusan Malaysia but the original name has been retained for the company running it ie Kumpulan Utusan Melayu or the Utusan Melayu Group .)

The book I am talking about is entitled “Dark Clouds At Dawn, a political memoir. ” What better way to know Utusan than to read a book written by its former editor, especially as illustrious as Pak Said. To many, Pak Said is a symbol of press freedom.

“Dark Clouds At Dawn ,a political memoir ” is not only about Utusan, the newspaper. It’s ,well, a political memoir as its title suggest, written by a journalist and not a historian. In the words of Pak Said, “I have written this book as a journalist , reporting and commenting on what I saw and experienced ,what I felt from my own perceptions and observations of people, the situation and events of the period”. The “period” was in the 1950s and 1960s in Malaya and Singapore. And one of its defining moment was the Utusan Melayu strike of 1961.

From the pages of “Dark Clouds At Dawn , a political memoir”, we learn that “ Utusan Melayu was a thorn in Britain colonial flesh.” We readers are told that “ Utusan Melayu was an independent paper ” but had angered UMNO and incurred the wrath of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak Hussein, Syed Jaafar Albar the ‘Lion of UMNO and others.

Needless to say, UMNO wanted control. We read in one of the pages of “Dark Clouds At Dawn, a political memoir,” that Syed Jaafar Albar had demanded that “ Utusan Melayu must refer to us first before writing it’s editorials”.

The book tells us that a four pronged policy was drawn up by UMNO, dubbed “ surrender terms,” for Utusan Melayu to follow.

An UMNO strongman from Terengganu, Ibrahim Fikri , was assigned by the party leadership to hand over the “surrender terms” to the Editor of Utusan Melayu, Said Zahari. It was July 1961.

As we read on, we learn that Pak Said and his journalists “wanted to ensure Utusan Melayu continue to be an independent national newspaper, not controlled by any political party”.

“ Our stand was that only an Utusan Melayu that was free from such control could truly serve religion, country and all Malay people, not just a handful in a political party.

Only with a free policy could Utusan Melayu be the voice of the people, fighting for the interests of the people with sincerity, integrity and courage”, wrote Pak Said.

He went on to write. “ But UMNO wanted Utusan Melayu to be totally different. That Utusan Melayu should belong to UMNO and should only serve that political party”.

Hence on July 21 1961, Pak Said led his journalists and other workers of Utusan Melayu to go on strike and fought against the UMNO take over plan. After days went by, Pak Said left Kuala Lumpur to visit the Utusan Melayu staff who were also carrying out the strike at the newspaper office in Singapore. But when Pak Said wanted to return to Malaya, he was prohibited from entering Johor Baru. By order of the then Foreign Minister of Malaya he was instructed to turn back to Singapore.

“From that day, I lost contact with the strikers’ camp in Jalan Chan Sow Lin ” (the Utusan Melayu office in Kuala Lumpur,) wrote Pak Said. Thus the Utusan Melayu strike failed. It lasted 90 days. UMNO had won.

Perhaps the UMNO victory was imminent. Pak Said had written:

“On the day Ibrahim Fikri walked into my office to hand me his four pronged surrender “terms”, I knew that the Utusan Melayu,the independent national newspaper for more than two decades, was dead. What lived on was a bogus Utusan Melayu. (By MOHSIN ABDULLAH/MySinchew)

(MOHSIN ABDULLAH is now a freelance writer after leaving a TV station as editor-in-chief).
MySinchew 2009.07.18

DSAI Akan Menziarahi Keluarga Teoh Beng Hock

DSAI dan pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat akan menziarahi keluarga mendiang Teoh Beng Hock di Alor Gajah esok, 20 Julai 2009 pada jam 10.30 pagi.

Pejabat Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim

Justice for Teoh Solidarity Gathering Today! Kelana Jaya Stadium, July 19, 4.30pm

by Nathaniel Tan

Don’t forget!

Time to pay our respects, and stand up for justice.

Umno Leaders To Attend Training, Motivation Programme

SHAH ALAM, July 19 (Bernama) -- Umno leaders at all levels are to attend a training and motivation programme in stages beginning next month to help strengthen the leadership and enable the party to continue championing the plight of the Malays and Malaysians, Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

He said the programme, which would inject a new spirit into the participants, would be held first for members of the party's supreme council at the Umno Empowerment Training Institute (ILMU) in Janda Baik, Pahang.

The programme, which had been agreed to by the party's management committee and the supreme council, would be held subsequently throughout the country for Umno divisional and branch leaders, said Muhyiddin, who is the deputy prime minister.

"The programme will involve all levels of leaders because they are the prime movers who will guide party members in the branches, and we want to project a new image," he told reporters after opening the delegates meeting of the Shah Alam Umno Division, here, Sunday.

Muhyiddin said the programme would incorporate modules for people-friendly approaches and actions such as listening to and resolving the people's grouses in an effective manner. He said participants of the programme would be exposed to new approaches to be applied by Umno to enable them make prudent and matured decisions on what they should do at the respective divisions and branches.

Muhyiddin said the chairman of the training committee, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, would prepare the modules of the programme for application by Umno leaders at all levels for a two-year period.

"We realise that the community evaluates Umno from what has taken place so far. We want Umno leaders, after they have attended the programme, to strive not only to get closer to the people but also champion the plight of the Malays and Malaysians," he said.

Meanwhile, in his speech earlier, Muhyiddin urged Umno leaders to take proactive measures to strengthen the party.

He said that the other Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties should also strengthen themselves so that the BN was seen as formidable and energised to continue with its struggle for the people.

Farewell Beng Hock.... you won't die in vain

By Jeff Ooi,

This morning, I joined my party leaders to pay our last respect to Teo Beng Hock at his family home in Alor Gajah.
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All pictures by Paul Choo, LensaMalaysia

I noticed both Umno's Najib and MCA's Ong Tee Keat have sent their wreaths to the Teo's family, expressing their condolences.

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However, it's saddening that the Umno-owned Malay papers have started to paint racial innuendos in their Op-Ed pieces as follows:

1 ) Mingguan Malaysia: Antara misteri dan politiking
2 ) Berita Minggu: Kematian Teoh timbulkan pelbagai spekulasi politik

You may read an English summary of these two devilish Umno-controlled papers's venom in Malaysian Insider.

Through the Chinese press in Malacca, I called for calm to all mourners expected to turn up for Teo Beng Hock's funeral tomorrow morning

We need to respect the wishes of the deceased's parents who wanted a smooth last ride for their son, despite insisting that they wanted truth -- the whole truth and nothing but the truth -- from a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

They won't take any report from the MACC or the Police for an answer.

I hope the Umno-owned Malay papers who incite more hatred towards Najib. MACC and its chief Ahmad Said Hamdan had done much to sabotage Najib's credibility as the agency is parked under the Prime Minister's Department.

I have also discussed with my comrades in Malacca, YB Sim Tong Him and Saudari Kerk Kim Hock, to ensure all banners for tomorrow's funeral are properly filtered so the Malay papers' racial undertones will not be allowed to incite any untoward incidents.

Teo's death is a political murder. We shall avenge all wrongs politically and democratically.

As we bid farewell to Beng Hock, we want a smooth last ride for him.