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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Press Conference: Another Death In Police Custody

On 16th July 2009, another Malaysian died whilst in police custody.

The next-of-kin were informed that the deceased succumbed to a drug-related death.

However, the next-of-kin have received information that the deceased was assaulted at the time of arrest and almost immediately upon being taken to the police station and lost and never regained consciousness.

The family of the deceased will proceed to lodge the requisite police report on this today and thereafter will hold a press conference the same day (28 July 2009), details of which appear below :

Venue : KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

Time : 1.30pm

Money being splurged to boost image of Najib administration

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — The Malaysian government is continuing a Barisan Nasional (BN) tradition of spending big bucks to get positive publicity for the administration overseas.

The Malaysian Insider understands, however, that some senior government officials are not pleased that the Najib administration is considering spending large amounts to buy good publicity.

A number of companies, including renowned international public affairs and media relations company Apco Worldwide, are pitching for a new round of government-related work believed to be worth some RM20 million.

The contract has not been signed yet but the administration is understood to be leaning towards giving Apco Worldwide a big pay day.

Typically the scope of work will involve getting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Malaysia onto slots on major news channels such as CNBC and CNN.

Bylined articles in foreign newspapers such as the one which Najib wrote for the Wall Street Journal when he took office are also targeted.

There will also be a lobbying element, especially in the United States which has traditionally been sympathetic to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration is not averse to digging into government funds to ‘buy’ a more positive image. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Najib’s recent telephone conversation with President Barack Obama was a major coup for the foreign experts already working in the PM’s office.

It is understood that the Najib administration is also working hard to secure an official visit from the US president to Malaysia, as this would boost the PM’s international image and undermine Anwar’s influence in Washington.

Apco Worldwide is understood to have had an official based in Najib’s office since the early days of the administration.

Apco and other public relations specialists from the United States have also been helping Najib craft his 100 days strategy.

This includes his 1 Malaysia message and other key platforms of his administration.

While the results so far of the foreign public relations firms have been mixed, some senior government officials are understood to be unhappy with their further involvement, especially if it comes with an escalation in costs.

But supporters of these foreign public relations teams point out that they also work to neutralise the opposition’s impact outside Malaysia by reaching out to opinion makers in countries deemed important to Malaysia.

Najib is not the first prime minister, however, to have used expensive foreign help to boost his image and that of his administration.

Tun Abdullah Badawi also used a foreign-based public relations firm to help project a positive image of himself as a progressive Muslim leader, and Malaysia as a modern Muslim nation.

The Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad administration had used disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

To reduce crime the IGP must go, Kit Siang demands

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 – Lim Kit Siang today slammed the Prime Minister’s crime reduction target saying that it was four years too late, and demanded the country’s top cop be held accountable for the high crime rate.

“Najib’s KPI for crime prevention to reduce street crime by 20 per cent in 2010 is late by four years and should have covered all categories of crime as proposed by the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission in its report in May 2005,” said Lim, referring to the commission formed in 2004 to improve the force.

The commission had then proposed for the crime rate to be reduced by 20 per cent in 12 months, he added.

Lim was speaking at the opening of a round-table forum entitled, ‘New Inspector-General of Police for a Safe Malaysia’ at Parliament House here this morning.

Yesterday Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced a target to reduce the street crime rate by 20 per cent in 2010 as one of the key performance indicators (KPI) of the six national key results area.

The roundtable was convened to call on the government to appoint a new IGP and not to extend Tan Sri Musa Hassan’s service.

“When the Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission submitted its final report in May 2005, it said that Malaysia’s reputation as a safe country was ‘seriously dented’ by the ‘dramatic increase’ in the incidence of crime in the past few years,”said the Ipoh Timor MP.

“Instead of achieving the Police Royal Commission’s target of reducing the intolerably high incidence of crime of 156,455 cases in 2004 by 20 per cent in 12 months (i.e. 125,164 cases), the reverse took place,” he added.

Lim pointed out that from 2004, when the commission report was tabled to last year, the crime index has increased by 35.5 per cent.

The veteran parliamentarian added that based on the increased crime rate alone Musa should have resigned and his contract should not be renewed.

“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,” said Lim.

Musa reached his retirement age in 2007, but has continued to serve for another two years with his extension scheduled to expire in September.

It is understood that the Police Commission has recommended another extension for him.

Pakatan Rakyat ‘will not crumble’

All genial... Lim (left) shaking hands with Najib (right) at a meeting in Putrajaya. - Bernama pic

SINGAPORE, July 28 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng expressed confidence yesterday that the three-party Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance will not break up despite the pressures of “growing under a magnifying glass” of its political enemies.

He said that even if opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, the glue of the disparate opposition alliance, is somehow removed from the political scene, PR is unlikely to come apart.

“Nothing can be further from the truth than to say that the political obituary of Pakatan Rakyat can be written,” he said.

Lim was speaking to journalists from Singapore Press Holdings, at its auditorium, on the topic Winds Of Political Change In Malaysia: Can The Opposition Alliance Hold? He spoke on a wide range of topics in the two-hour session that included questions from the floor.

PR won the state assemblies of five of Malaysia’s 13 states in last year’s general elections, the best-ever showing by the opposition parties. The alliance comprises the multiracial Parti Keadilan Rakyat, the Chinese-based DAP, and PAS.

Several questions from the floor were about the state of the opposition alliance after a series of intra-party and inter-party disputes in recent months.

Lim, DAP’s secretary-general, said that differences in opinions were normal in any political organisation and did not portend a break-up as predicted by leaders of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).

He was also asked whether PAS will stay loyal as some of its top leaders seem keen to get close to Umno. Lim predicted that a firm move by this group towards ethnic-based politics would cause a break-up of PAS because a “significant” number of its other leaders and members want to stay with PR.

There have also been questions on what would happen to PR if Anwar, who is facing a sodomy trial, is found guilty and thrown into jail.

Lim’s reply: “The legacy of Anwar will be that even without him we can go on. We have gone past the initial stage of fragmentation.”

Lim also explained the strength of the opposition alliance in another way: “We are growing under a magnifying glass (of BN). Any shred of suspicion (of wrongdoing) and they will throw the whole kitchen cabinet at you, yet nothing has stuck.”

He said that in the end, the administration of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have to accept that a two-party system has emerged in the country.

Chief Minister Lim said PR wants to replace the concept of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) promoted by Umno, with its own Ketuanan Rakyat (people’s supremacy), in which leaders help the public without looking at ethnicity.

The Umno model, he claimed, merely distributed wealth and shares among its members, not among the Malay masses.

Asked whether a state run by a non-BN government, like Penang, could expect much help from the federal government, Lim said the Najib administration knows that it cannot allow Penang to fail.

Penang is the second most industrialised state in Malaysia, after Selangor, which is also controlled by a PR state government. Some of the biggest industries in Malaysia are located in these two states.

“There is a realisation that you cannot play politics in these types of national issues. We have to work together,” he said. — The Straits Times

High Chaparral battle gets French connection

Athi Shankar


Kampung Buah Pala representative K Murugan (below) has arrived in London on Monday evening (British time) to take his village fight for survival to the international level - the Unesco heritage head office in Paris.

London based Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairperson P Waythamoorthy will accompany the 46-year-old village cowherd to Unesco's Paris Desk tomorrow to raise the issue of Kampung Buah Pala to international heritage officials.

The move, it is hoped, will exert international pressure on relevant authorities in Penang, especially Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to preserve the traditional Indian village.

Murugan's representation, it is beleived, would deal a severe blow to the embattled DAP-dominated Penang government as it could jeopardise the status of George Town as living human heritage city, an accolade it shares with Malacca.

Murugan however, denied that the villagers were compromising George Town status just to preserve Kampung Buah Pala as a heritage village.

"We have no intention to damage George Town's world heritage city status. But we want the state government to know that it failed to do enough to preserve our village as a state heritage.Many Penangites failed to realise that Kampung Buah Pala is actually located in George Town," he told Malaysiakini from London.


The villagers hope that Murugan's mission to France will turn the world's attention to the 6.5 acres of village land in Bukit Gelugor, Penang.

As the state administration works overtime to explore ways and means to resolve the crisis, Kampung Buah Pala faces the possibility of total destruction on Aug 3, courtesy of an eviction order issued on July 2.

The village has to make way for a lucrative project, the Oasis, developed by Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd.

Revocation order not enough

But Lim's government has already revoked the development plan a few days ago, apparently to stop the eviction and compel the developer to agree with its plan to settle the issue amicably.

However, not only the villagers, many civil societies, including Hindraf, Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit) and Suaram, have demanded that the state acquire the land and declare the village as a an Indian traditional land.

As Kampung Buah Pala faces eviction and demolition next Monday, civil societies have warned the state government that Penang would lose a 200-year-old historical, living human culture and heritage village in George Town.

Thus, it's understandable that the villagers have taken their fight for survival to the international level.

Waythamoorthy has apparently arranged the Unesco meeting for tomorrow through the help of British parliamentarians.

He believes Lim lacked the political will to resolve the villager's predicament and preserve the Indian traditional village.

"Lim should stop playing politics with the life and livelihood of the villagers," he said.

He accused Lim of giving a false impression that 'all was well' by revoking the developing order.

He argued that the revocation order was merely an eye wash that would not end the plight of the villagers and it would not deter the developer from demolishing and flattening the village.

"All Lim has to do is just to acquire the land under the relevant laws and return the village to the residents, who are the legitimate rightful owners," said Waythamoorthy.

He pointed out that it was Lim who transferred the land to the cooperative society despite the fact that the villagers had already made representations to him earlier.

"Lim's owes a political responsibility to acquire and return the village to the people," he said.

The land was transferred to Koperasi Pegawai Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang on March 27, 19 days after the DAP-dominated Pakatan Rakyat took over the Penang government on March 8.

"If the village were to be flattened, the DAP and its Pakatan Rakyat allies would face a severe backlash from the Indian community," warned the Hindraf leader.

CM: Don't blame us, its BN's mistake

Chief Minister Lim had previously explained that his state government's hands were tied as a result of a Federal Court ruling on the matter.

The Federal Court had ruled that the land belonged to the Penang Government Officers Cooperative and developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd and that the villagers had to vacate it.

Lim had also said that it would be too costly for his government to acquire the land from the cooperative and the developer.

"What can the state government do? Like the Kampung Buah Pala villagers, the state government is also a victim in the case because it was not us who started the issue. Therefore, do not blame the state government," he said.

He had also declassified files relating to the land sale and pointed fingers at the previous Barisan Nasional government of robbing "the residents of their land without consulting them".

"The chronology of events prove beyond a shadow of doubt that Koh Tsu Koon and his Umno, MCA, MIC and Gerakan cohorts had robbed Kampung Buah Pala residents of their land without consulting them," Lim said in a July 9 statement.

"So far Koh Tsu Koon has not explained why he approved this project without consulting the residents or selling it to Koperasi at such a low price," he added.

"Why is this aggression targeted against the Pakatan government that is trying to help them? In contrast, not a single demonstration or action is taken against the BN land robbers who deprived them of their rights," he said.

He also said that "a group of opportunists" who were not aware of the full picture had worsened the situation.

Malaysia needs a new IGP to create a safe Malaysia and break away from colonial past by introducing democratic policing to protect the people and not

by Lim Kit Siang,

On December 4, 2008, my motion to censure the Tan Sri Musa Hassan as Inspector-General of Police with a RM10-cut salary motion was defeated by a 48 to 30 votes.

I had moved the motion against Musa on two grounds, viz:

  • For being more of a lobbyist for police mega deals instead of being the police leader to keep crime down and the country safe for Malaysians, tourists and investors; and

  • For the “great lie” that the real crime problem in Malaysia was not worsening crime situation but a problem of misperception.

It is not my purpose to revisit the debate and the undeniable documentary evidence that I produced during the debate in Parliament about Musa lobbying for the RM20 billion Asiacopter proposal to rent out 34 helicopters to the police for 30 years and the RM4.2 billion “E-Police Force Solution” proposal.

In the letter on behalf of Pakatan Rakyat convening this Parliamentary Roundtable on a new IGP for a safe Malaysia, I had given two grounds:

  • 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 September5 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.

There is an additional reason. After 52 years as an independent, sovereign parliamentary democracy,the time has come for the Malaysian police make a complete break from the colonial past mentality and embrace democratic policing to protect the people and not the regime in power.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) 2005 report on “Police Accountability: Too Important to Neglect, Too Urgent to Delay” has rightly stressed:

“Democratic nations need democratic policing. Democratic policing is based on the idea the police are protectors of the rights of citizens and the rule of law, while ensuring the safety and security of all equally. It rejects any resemblance to the regime policing of colonial times. Colonial style policing was based on the idea of police as protectors of a government foreign to the people.”

As the report said, “Increasingly, the fundamental of policing is seen as being the protection and vindication of the human rights of all.”

Such a concept is completely alien to Musa in his three years as IGP – which is why Malaysians, tourists and investors feel even more unsafe now than before he became IGP, losing the two most fundamental human rights in any civilized society – the right to be free from the crime and to be free from the fear of crime.

It is precisely because of the utter lack of understanding and commitment to the concept of democratic policing that there is a grave crisis of confidence in the efficiency, incorruptibility, professionalism of the Malaysian police force.

This has been confirmed by the Home Ministry website poll seeking public feedback as to whether they feel safe from crime in the country.

Right from the beginning, there had been a sustained 97% of those polled who feel unsafe and 95% who hold that their security is not assured.

As at 9.15 am this morning, 97% of 8,761 of 9,044 respondents felt unsafe while only 1% or 76 respondents felt safe. What an indictment of the utter failure of policing 52 years after Merdeka.

Out of 8,320 respondents, 94% or 7,861 felt that the government had not done its best to ensure the safety of the people, while only 2% or 162 felt the government had done its best.

On these two results alone, from the Home Ministry’s own website, any serving IGP should have resigned in ignominy!

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s yesterday announced KPI for street crime, a reduction of the crime rate on the streets by 20 per cent in 2010 as one of the KPIs (key performance indicators) of the six National Key Results Areas (NKRA).

Najib’s KPI for crime prevention to reduce street crime by 20% in 2010 is late by four years and should have covered all categories of crime as proposed by the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission in its report in May 2005?

When the Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission submitted its final report in May 2005, it said that Malaysia’s reputation as a safe country was “seriously dented” by the “dramatic increase” in the incidence of crime in the past few years and that “Malaysians in general, the business sector and foreign investors grew increasingly concerned with the situation”.

The Royal Commission warned that “if the trend continues, there would be major social and economic consequences for Malaysia”.

The Royal Police Commission was referring to the “dramatic increase” in the crime index from 121,176 cases in 1997 to 156,455 cases in 2004, which registered an increase of 29 per cent in eight years.

As a result, the Royal Police Commission proposed a sustained nation-wide drive against crime “until crime levels have reached a point considered no longer alarming”, with an immediate target of “a minimum 20 per cent decrease in crimes” in all categories of crime within the first 12 months after the Report.

Instead of achieving the Police Royal Commission’s target of reducing the intolerably high incidence of crime of 156,455 cases in 2004 by 20 per cent in 12 months (i.e. 125,164 cases), the reverse took place.

In the seven years from 1997 to 2004, crime index increased by 29%, but in the four years from 2004 to 2008 crime index increased by 35.5%.

From the latest statistics given in Parliament, crime index have galloped to break the 200,000 mark, with the incidence of crime shooting up to 209,582 in 2007 and 211,645 in 2008.

I had suggested at least five prerequisites for Najib to demonstrate he has the political will to break the back of the problem of endemic crime which has given Malaysia an international notoriety of a nation where citizens, tourists and investors are not safe from crime, viz:

  • Appoint a new Inspector-General of Police to provide new police leadership to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional police service to carry out the three core police functions identified by the Dzaiddin Police Royal Police Commission, viz to keep crime low, to eradicate corruption and to protect human rights.

  • Name the capitals of crime in Malaysia, which will include Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, and the time-line to get rid of endemic crime in these capitals;

  • Ensure that the Home Minister is personally answerable to Parliament for the war against crime, with a progress report at every parliamentary meeting followed by a debate;

  • Revive and establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as proposed by the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission, after suitable amendments; and

  • Establish an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee on Police and Crime to issue half-yearly reports on the police and crime situation in the country.

This Parliamentary Roundtable is the first step to ensure the arrival of democratic policing in Malaysia.

How losing might help the BN

By Shanon Shah
thenutgraph.com

BARELY 48 hours after the Barisan Nasional (BN) was nearly brought to its knees in the March 2008 elections, Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the coalition would "learn its lesson" and "improve".

Nearly 16 months after that fateful general election, Malaysians can be forgiven for being confused. Political temperatures have been rising, not cooling. Even a quick listing of the major political events in this period would leave any citizen breathless: the second round of sodomy charges against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim; the BN's controversial Perak takeover; the targeting of Selangor exco Elizabeth Wong's private life to discredit her; the unity government talks between Umno and PAS; and the dizzying succession of seven by-elections.

Although BN leaders have brushed off accusations that the coalition has not learnt the lesson of March 2008, many voters think otherwise. And these voters might ask: does the BN need to be taught a bigger lesson during the next general election? Will the BN lose the federal government after the 13th general election, which has to take place before March 2013? More importantly, if this happens, will the BN be forced to truly reform for the better, and will it be able to make a comeback in the general election after?

Good news for Pakatan Rakyat

Monash University Sunway Campus's Prof Dr James Chin tells The Nut Graph that at this time, it is difficult to predict whether the BN can remain in power after the next elections.

"It depends on whether Najib can improve the economy, and this in turn will depend on whether the world economy will recover by the first quarter of 2010," he says in a telephone interview.

Chin cautions that there are many variables to look out for. The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) could be easily defeated if parliamentary Opposition Leader Anwar loses control of his coalition. It also depends on which coalition manages to woo the support of the millions of young, yet-to-be-registered voters.


Francisco Labastida (Source:
comunicacion.senado.gob.mx)
"Generally speaking, however, the BN is set to lose the next general election," Chin says.

His analysis tallies with the experiences of other electoral democracies that were for a long time dominated by a single party or coalition. For example, Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) didn't lose a presidential election for 71 years until its presidential candidate Francisco Labastida was defeated in 2000.

As with the Umno-led BN government in Malaysia, the PRI-ruled Mexico saw little distinction between "government" and "ruling party" for several decades. The PRI was also famous for suppressing opposition parties and engaging in several dubious measures to win votes, including vote-buying. From the 1960s onwards, however, an increasingly literate electorate began demanding for democratic reforms. The regime tried to pacify voters by introducing a series of electoral improvements.

Mexico's democratisation was cut short when an opposition candidate's near-certain victory was nullified by the mysterious "crashing" of electoral computers in the 1988 presidential elections. But the clamour for reforms continued until the National Action Party (PAN)'s Vicente Fox was elected president in 2000.


Vicente Fox (Public domain; Wiki
commons)
Chin paints a grim picture of a post-BN Malaysia. "If the BN loses the next general elections, the coalition's components will be reduced to the pre-1974 Alliance. The other components are most likely to leave the BN. The MCA and MIC will [continue to exist and remain in the BN] only because they will have nowhere to go; the PR will not take them in."

Hence, he says a PR-ruled Malaysia could have a very weak opposition — a worrying sign for a growing democracy.

Good news for the BN

From his analysis of trends among Malaysian voters, Merdeka Center for Opinion Research programme director Ibrahim Suffian thinks otherwise.

"If the BN is defeated (in 2013), they can definitely make a comeback, especially the older parties in the coalition like Umno, the MCA and MIC, and perhaps Gerakan," he tells The Nut Graph.

"This is because they already have strong structures and resources to win the people back to their side."

Ibrahim points towards Taiwan's Kuomintang party. Like Mexico's PRI, the Kuomintang all but dominated Taiwan's political scene for several decades. But the formation of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the 1980s began posing the island's ruling party a serious threat. The DPP's presidential candidate, Chen Shui-bian, eventually ended the Kuomintang's one-party dominance in 2000, and was even re-elected for a second term in 2004.

Like the Umno-led BN in Malaysia, the Kuomintang seemed unbeatable. It was and still is corrupt, and had money to throw, state institutions to manipulate, and years of experience in government.


Chen Shui-bian (Pic by Jamalij /
Wiki commons)
The good news for Malaysia's PR, however, is that the DPP was also embroiled in internal bickering, and many of its leaders were also accused of corruption, including Chen himself. Yet, this did not seem to deter voters; in fact, it was the Kuomintang that could not get its act together and had its leaders jumping ship regularly.

But behold the 2008 presidential and legislative elections — the Kuomintang came back with a vengeance. According to Ibrahim, the Kuomintang was smart: it used the island's local government elections to build itself back up and slowly gauge support levels for its candidates.

"Local government elections actually increase competition among political parties, [which] makes them sharper," he says. In other words, if the BN were smart, it would introduce local government elections as an effective strategy to stay in power.

Political scientist Dr Mavis Puthucheary tells The Nut Graph that there are also other regimes in which former dominant parties have returned more resiliently after the countries were democratised.

"There are many examples of post-communist countries that have managed to reform for the better and come back to form effective governments after suffering electoral defeats. I would suggest we examine countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland," she says in an e-mail interview.

But she differs from Ibrahim in that she thinks the BN will not have such an easy time returning to power if it is defeated. "In my opinion, the only way BN can survive is for the coalition to reform itself now, rather than wait until it is defeated in the next elections," she says.

Pack of playing cards with the ace of hearts revealed
(Pic by nighthawk7 / sxc.hu)
The regime's trump card

Chin says these analyses are valid only if we are assuming a smooth transfer of power should the BN lose.

"We still have to take into account the role that the unelected institutions will play if the BN is ever defeated at the federal level," he says.

He says the civil service, for instance, is populated with BN loyalists who have benefited from the coalition's policies. As part of the state apparatus, they could make it very difficult for the PR to govern effectively.

"Many in the civil service are also conservative Muslim-Malay [Malaysians] — if they were to even support the PR, they would limit themselves to PAS.

"Besides, we have seen in Perak how the state civil service and the police were openly biased [in favour of] the BN," Chin says.

The monarchy is another institution that will determine whether or not there is a smooth transition of power if the BN is defeated. Already, many have speculated that the Perak palace played a part in facilitating the reversal of power not even one year after the PR formed government there.

Therefore, according to Chin, the analyses of Malaysian politics must not only project the outcome of the next general elections. It must also predict its aftermath.
ImageThe Sun
by Himanshu Bhatt

PENANG (July 27, 2009): The Kampung Buah Pala issue may finally find a resolution - the developer of the condominium project on the disputed land is considering a state government proposal to allocate an adjacent plot for the villagers there who are facing eviction.

Penang Deputy Chief Minister (II) Prof Dr P Ramasamy said today, the state government had met up with developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd, to discuss this latest proposal as a solution to the villagers' plight.

He said the new settlement for the villagers would consist of a double-storey terrace house for each of the 24 households.

He also stressed that upon receiving feedback from Nusmetro, the state would revert to the villagers first before pursuing the matter further.

It is understood that Nusmetro is now engaged in technical consultations to assess the proposal.

Ramasamy said the state could also take into account the heritage characteristics of the 100-year-old community in developing the new settlement while also getting a space to house the villagers' cattle.

The meeting on Saturday with the developer was attended by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Ramasamy and state executive councillor Abdul Malik Kassim.

Meanwhile, the chief minister took to task MIC leaders for using the Penang government and the Kampung Buah Pala issue for personal leverage as the party’s elections approach in September.

At a press conference at his office today, Lim expressed apprehension at having the state dragged into the MIC’s internal politics.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had announced at the Penang MIC’s 63rd Convention meeting on Sunday that he had called Lim and was willing to meet with him in an effort to sort out the Kampung Buah Pala problem.

Lim, however, said Samy Vellu had spoken to him on Sunday morning but that it was an "unusual conversation" as the former works minister had used the mobile phone of a journalist.

"He did not call me using his phone. I got a call from a reporter who suddenly said that Samy Vellu wanted to talk to me," Lim said.

He said Samy Vellu did not seem to be aware of Kampung Buah Pala's status and legal position as he had asked about filing an appeal with the courts, when in fact the Court of Appeal had already rejected the residents’ application.

"I was surprised that this conversation was then used by him in the MIC state assembly," the chief minister said.

"I do not want to be used or dragged into MIC’s internal politics."

On a claim by MIC youth chief T. Mohan that the party could provide RM3.2 million to help the state acquire the land, Lim said the sum was not workable as the current owner and developer would ask for a much higher sum.

The prime land was sold at a discounted rate of about RM10 per sq ft, amounting to RM3.2 million, to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang, by the previous Barisan Nasional state administration in 2007.

The cooperative then entered into an agreement with developer Nusmetro Venture to build a condominium on the site.

The MIC waded into the Kampung Buah Pala controversy last week and helped to organise a protest march against the state on Thursday, resulting in the detention of 10 people including Mohan for illegal assembly.

Lim had announced over the weekend that the Penang government was revoking approval for the project based on its powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976.

The decision was made ahead of an Aug 2 deadline set by Nusmetro for the eviction of Kampung Buah Pala residents following the service of a writ of possession on July 2.

ADUN Bn Negeri Sembilan terima rasuah

SEREMBAN, 27 Julai (Hrkh) - Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Lenggeng, Mustafa Salim dituduh menerima rasuah RM2,000 daripada seorang lelaki di sebuah restoran di Mantin, dekat sini. Mustafa dituduh meminta wang suapan dari M.Manimaran, 37, untuk mengeluarkan surat sokongan untuk kelulusan permit menjual pasir.

Beliau dihadapkan di Mahkamah Sesyen Seremban di hadapan Hakim Amran Jantan. Dia didakwa mengikut Seksyen 10(b) (aa) Akta Pencegahan Rasuah 1997 dan boleh dihukum mengikut Seksyen 16 akta sama yang memperuntukkan hukuman penjara sehingga 20 tahun dan denda lima kali ganda daripada jumlah suapan atau RM10,000 atau mana yang lebih.

Mustafa dituduh menerima wang tunai RM2,000 daripada pengadu M. Manimaran, di Restoran Jabrin Maju, No.17, Jalan Bunga Raya 2/1, Taman Bunga Raya 2, Mantin pada pukul 5.00 petang, 31 Ogos 2008.

Manimaran yang juga merupakan salah seorang saksi dalam kes ini, mendakwa Mustafa Salim melalui seorang lelaki bernama Mustafa Pendek, juga pernah meminta wang tunai RM3,000.00 di Lot 1321, Mukim Pantai di sini pada pukul 11 pagi, 28 Ogos 2008, atas alasan untuk mengeluarkan surat sokongan untuk kelulusan permit menjual pasir.

Mustafa juga mengahadapi tuduhan yang ketiga iaitu meminta wang tunai RM2,000 dari Manimaran di Badan Pencegah Rasuah (Kini Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia), di Jalan Dato' Kelana Makmor pada pukul 9.05 malam, 30 Ogos 2008.

Mustafa diwakili oleh peguam Ahmad Rosdi Ahmad Idrus, Dato' Taqiyuddin Yahya dan Mohd Faisal. Manakala John Fernandez bertindak sebagai peguam pemerhati Manimaran.

Manimaran juga menolak cadangan peguambela Mustafa, bahawa pemberian wang tersebut adalah untuk program bantuan orang miskin dan ibu tunggal.

"Sumbangan bermakna pemberian ikhlas, tetapi saya diugut dan diminta memberi wang tunai secara paksa," kata Manimaran.

Sementara itu Pegawai Penguatkuasa Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM), V. Mahendran, 25, menjelaskan bagaimana sebuah telefon bimbit Sony Ericsson K700i yang diubah suai digunakan untuk merakamkan perbualan audio dan visual tertuduh dan saksi di Restoran Jabrin Maju pada hari kejadian.

Katanya, telefon bimbit itu diletakkan di atas meja dalam keadaan sedia untuk rakaman sebaik tertuduh duduk dan selepas tertuduh ditahan, telefon bimbit itu diserahkan kepada pegawai SPRM, Asisten Suprintendan Mohamad Ashraf Zamari.

Ketika menjawab soalan Timbalan Pendakwa Raya SPRM, Dato' Abdul Razak Musa, Mahendran memberitahu wang perangkap sebanyak RM2,000 telah direkodkan nombor siri terlebih dahulu di pejabat SPRM Negeri Sembilan sebelum serbuan diatur.

"Sejurus Mustafa menerima wang tersebut dari Manimaran, dan selepas Manimaran meninggalkan meja untuk membasuh tangan, beberapa pegawai SPRM telah menyerbu Mustafa.

"YB mengambil kunci kereta dari meja dan cuba lari, walau bagaimanapun pegawai SPRM berjaya menahan beliau," kata Mahendran lagi.

Pada prosiding di sebelah petang, mahkamah telah ditunjukkan rakaman DVD perbualan dan transaksi tuduhan tersebut yang berlaku di restoran Jabrin Maju, yang dirakamkan menggunakan telefon bimbit tersebut.

Walau bagaimanapun rakaman tersebut terpaksa dihentikan selepas beberapa minit kerana sistem audio televisyen yang digunakan kurang jelas.

Peguambela MUstafa, Mohd Faisal mempertikaikan bahawa salinan rakaman DVD yang diberikan kepada barisan peguamnya adalah lain daripada apa yang ditayangkan di mahkamah.

Mohd Faisal memohon kepada mahkamah agar mereka diberikan salinan DVD yang dijadikan sebagai bahan bukti di mahkamah dengan alasan ada kemungkinan pihak pendakwa akan menyunting rakaman tersebut selepas Pegawai Penguatkuasa SPRM memberikan keterangan tadi.

Hakim Amran Jantan menetapkan bahawa rakaman DVD ini akan diteliti semula ketika kes ini bersambung lagi pada 3 dan 5 Ogos depan. - mns_

Law Asia granted watching brief at Karpal sedition trial

Another DANAHARTA scam revealed

Image

Is DANAHARTA a saviour or robber? How many pieces of property have DANAHARTA taken by force at way below market prices just to be sold to 'middlemen' at even lower prices so that they can make a huge profit. You will be surprised to discover how many millionaires and billionaires are created through DANAHARTA.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

DANAHARTA SDN BHD / PROKHAS SDN BHD
Tingkat 9, Bangunan Setia 1
15 Lorong Dungun, Bukit Damansara,
50490 Kuala Lumpur

Attn: Encik Fadzlur Rahman Ebraheem
BY HAND

Dear Sirs,

RE: DISCUSSIONS ON SETTLEMENT ON MARINARA

I refer to your faxed letter dated 20th July 2009 with regards to the discussions on Marinara..

We are very disappointed that the discussions between us have come to nothing. If you had told me that you had already made up your mind on the matter I would not have bothered to discuss the matter at all.

1. Regretfully I do not agree with your contention that “MARINARA has been successfully sold and transferred to the new owner, Danaharta Hartanah Sdn Bhd”. It is a subsidiary of Danaharta and fully owned by Danaharta Nasional Bhd and also controlled by you. Clearly it is conflict of interest.The principal of both these companies is the Minister of Finance.

2. A sale of the property to one of Danaharta’s subsidiaries does not constitute a proper sale as Danaharta are only custodians of the property which has to be returned to the rightful owner as soon as the shareholders are able to repay the sum owing. It was never the intention of the Danaharta Act to make profit in this manner. As such any surplus on a sale should be returned to the owners. According to Danaharta’s Board decision made in 2002 it was decided as a matter of policy that there shall no longer be any sale to Danaharta’s subsidiaries but only direct sale to buyers be made as the chances of getting a higher sale price was found to be better.

3. The Danaharta Act clearly states the functions upon taking over a company to which you have not complied. You are supposed to act in the best interests of the shareholders but instead you have acted contrary to the Act. Selling well below the market value is also against decided cases and the Courts will frown on your action in doing so. You are well aware there are two Court cases pending which has been fixed for trial. We are unable to withhold the legal actions at this stage and will leave it to the lawyers how best to handle these matters.

4. Your claim that we still owe you a sum of RM41.2 million is ridiculous. The fact that Danaharta bought both MARINA SDN BHD and PEKELILING TRIANGLE SDN BHD for only RM35 million should have some bearing on what you are claiming from us. You yourself stated that ” being a Government organization you should not be making profit” is certainly contrary to what you are saying in your letter.

5. Please bear in mind that Pekeliling Triangle Sdn Bhd’s loans were NOT A NON-PERFORMING LOAN at the time of vesting in Danaharta. As such the wrongful freezing of the accounts and the Project would result in our claiming for Liquidated and Ascertained Damages calculated at RM47,000 per day multiplied by 8 years would result in approximately RM 137 million payable by Danaharta and or it’s agents to all Pekeliling Triangle Sdn Bhd’s shareholders.

6. The alleged sale price of RM171million ( objected to by the shareholders right from the beginning) decided on private negotiations between you and the “Receiver” was exceptionally low as the market value by then was RM430 million as at that time the services were all functioning and rented out. There was sabotage and manipulation in the three “tenders”.

7. We deny that we still owe a further sum of RM41.2 million to you. Danaharta. purchased all the assets of Marina Sdn Bhd and Pekeliling Triangle Sdn Bhd for only RM35 million. At the time of acquisition by Danaharta the total sum owing by Pekeliling Triangle Sdn Bhd was only 59 million (37 million principal and RM22 million interest). As it was NOT A NON-PERFORMING LOAN Danaharta cannot now charge any further interest during the period when Danaharta wrongly took over and froze all the assets since 2001 and refused to allow us to sell the building, contrary to the Loan Documents.

8. MARINA SDN BHD had completed the building at a cost of RM25 million and obtained the Certificate of Completion. In February 2006 a Sale and Purchase Agreement between Marina Sdn Bhd and Pekeliling Triangle Sdn Bhd was made whereby the building was sold to Marina Sdn Bhd. The sum of RM25 million was agreed to be the deposit to be paid to Pekeliling Triangle Sdn Bhd as a consideration and were accepted by all the shareholders and Directors. You were informed at the meeting we had with you at your office in February 2006 and copies of the Agreement were sent to you and your lawyers. Marina Sdn Bhd was at all times willing and able to pay the balance owing to Danaharta and informed you of the intended redemption.

9. MARINA SDN BHD went to great effort to rent out the building to Embassies and Diplomats and high profile businesses and was already getting a good income. Without justification you instructed the “Receiver” Duar Tuan Kiat of Ernst & Young to cut the Electricity and water knowing there were tenants in the building, and instructed them to take out an Injunction against me knowing very well I had to be at the building to complete the final touches requested by DBKL for the issuance of the final Certificate of Completion. You even rang and threatened DBKL not to issue the Certificate of Completion.

10. The closing down of the building has caused irredeemable damage to the mechanical and electrical fittings and great loss and humiliation to the shareholders. The guards chased out all the tenants including the diplomats, Embassies and occupants without giving them due notice. Marina Sdn Bhd incurred great losses, damages and humiliation.

11. Your proposal of refurbishing the building at a budget of RM100 million is a sheer waste of good money as there is nothing wrong with the building or design done by a Gold Star Architect Dato Baharuddin Kassim. What you have to rectify is the damage and losses caused by the security guards in cutting the electric cables and stealing the electrical fittings and assets and jamming the electrical devices and lifts. They were employed as agent for Danaharta on your instructions. These should be rectified immediately

As such my counter proposal is that :

A) You accept the redemption sum of RM59 million as settlement . In consideration of that we are willing to waive claims of the LAD incurred for freezing the project for the last 8 years and to withdraw all legal actions.

b) To allow the shareholders to sell the building on an ‘as is basis” immediately as we already have ready buyers

I trust you will consider my proposal seriously and give an affirmative reply within one week from date hereof.

Thank you. WASSALAM.

Yours faithfully,

Hajjah Marina Yusoff,
for and on behalf of all the Directors and shareholders
of Pekeliling Triangle Sdn Bhd


c.c.1. Miinister of Finance I
2. Minister of Finance II

Selangor appoints Malik Imtiaz for Teoh’s inquest, royal commission

SHAH ALAM, July 27 – The Selangor government has appointed leading human rights lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar to act for the state administration at the Teoh Beng Hock inquest.

Malik will also be representing the state when the Royal Commission of Inquiry starts its proceedings.

“The state is determined to ensure that the rights of the late Teoh, his family and other state officials who will be testifying at both proceedings are protected at all times,” said Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim today in a statement released by his office.

The inquest into the death of Teoh, a DAP political aide will be held from July 29 to August 12 at the magistrate’s court in Shah Alam.

Teoh, the political aide of Sri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16 outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office here.

The day before, he had been taken in for questioning by MACC officers as part of their investigation into the misuse of state allocations by DAP assemblymen.

His death – the circumstances surrounding it and how he died – has left many questions in the minds of Malaysians and a huge outpouring of grief and outrage continues till today.

Despite Teoh’s family, Opposition politicians and the people in general calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate his death, the Cabinet decided otherwise.

There will be a royal inquiry but it will look only into MACC’s interrogation procedures and whether Teoh’s human rights were violated, while his death will be left to an inquest.

Hindraf It is a national issue

Perpaduan Antara Kerajaan Ya, Antara Parti Tidak – Nik Aziz

Sheih Kickdefella,

Tok Guru 27709_0008Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat hari ini menafikan sekeras-kerasnya dakwaan bahawa beliau telah mahukan perpaduan dan kerjasama diantara UMNO dan PAS.

Ketika bercakap kepada PAS TV pagi ini di pejabatnya, Menteri Besar Kelantan itu berkata beliau mahukan Barisan Nasional menunaikan tanggungjawabnya sebagai Kerajaan Pusat seperti yang diamanahkan dan atas dasar itu beliau bersedia mengetuai usaha menjalinkan hubungan antara Kerajaan Negeri dengan Kerajaan Pusat.

“Saya usulkan hubungan dua kerajaan (Negeri dan Pusat) dipulihkan sesuai dengan semangat federalisme,” kata Nik Aziz.

Semangat Federalisme

Menteri Besar Kelantan itu menegaskan apa yang beliau mahukan ialah Barisan Nasional menjunjung semangat federalisme seperti yang diterima pakai dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang dipersetujui dengan penubuhan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu dan kemudiannya Persekutuan Malaysia.

Kelantan adalah salah satu negeri yang membentuk persekutuan tersebut dan hak Kelantan terjamin didalam perlembagaan. Bagaimanapun sejak Kelantan kembali ditadbir oleh PAS bermula 1990, Barisan Nasional sebagai Kerajaan Persekutuan telah menyekat hak-hak Negeri Kelantan dalam banyak aspek.

Tindakan diskriminasi dan pelbagai tekanan bersikap politik ke atas negeri-negeri yang tidak ditadbir oleh Barisan Nasional adalah sama sekali tidak mengikut semangat federalisme. Tindakan sebegini telah berjaya menumbangkan kerajaan PBS di Sabah tetapi tidak di Kelantan.

Selepas pilihanraya umum ke 12 bila 5 negeri di Semenanjung Malaysia tidak lagi ditadbir Barisan Nasional, pihak Kerajaan Persekutuan tidak insaf dengan penolakan rakyat terhadapnya sebaliknya semakin galak menyalahgunakan kedudukannya sebagai Kerajaan Persekutuan untuk menumbangkan negeri-negeri tersebut secara tidak demokratik.

Kerajaan Negeri Perak berjaya ditumbangkan pada Februari 2009 dan kini Barisan Nasional menggunakan jentera-jentera Kerajaan Persekutuan untuk menumbangkan Kerajaan Negeri Selangor.

Kerjasama Negeri dan Persekutuan penting

Sehubungan dengan itu menurut Tuan Guru, intipati kehendaknya ialah memperkasakan semula hubungan Kerajaan Negeri dan Kerajaan Persekutuan.

Kerajaan Negeri dan Persekutuan dipilih oleh rakyat yang keluar membuang undi dengan demikian ia harus membelakangkan soal parti dan mengutamakan hak rakyat dalam pentadbirannya.

Dari sudut Negeri Kelantan, Nik Aziz melihat banyak isu yang tidak diselesaikan oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan seperti isu tuntutan royalti, isu geran kewangan persekutuan kepada negeri, isu projek pembangunan persekutuan kepada negeri dan sebagainya, “sebab itu saya nak pulihkan hubungan ini,” kata Nik Aziz.

“Ini bukan urusan parti, saya tak minat nak pulih soal parti sebab itu isu lain,” tegasnya.

Mencabar media kemukakan bukti

Menurut Nik Aziz, beliau tidak pernah sekali-kali berganjak daripada pendiriannya sebagai Mursyidul Am PAS bahawa kerjasama antara parti UMNO dan PAS tidak perlu diadakan bahkan beliau tidak setapak pun berganjak dari tentangannya terhadap gagasan Kerajaan Perpaduan.

“Itu mainan UMNO, bukan datang dari PAS”, tambahnya.

Dengan kalimah itu, Nik Aziz pagi ini mencabar semua wartawan akhbar dan wartawan penyiaran yang hadir di dalam sidang-sidang medianya beberapa hari kebelakangan ini untuk membuktikan menerusi rakaman audio atau video bahawa beliau mengusulkan kerjasama UMNO-PAS.

Hikayat Laila dan Majnun

Menteri Besar Kelantan itu merumuskan UMNO didalam keadaan amat terdesak dan menyamakan sikap UMNO terhadap PAS seperti Hikayat Laila dan Majunun.

“Nak sangat bersama, sampai kalau orang dah tak mau pun dia nak jugak, jadi boleh tulis nama atas pasir pun jadilah,” kata Tok Guru.

“Sebab tu UMNO dok suruk media ini tulis soal perpaduan soal kerjasama macam cerita Laila Majnun,” tambahnya lagi.

Nik Aziz juga menegaskan segala-galanya bermula selepas majlis perlancaran Fiesta Kelantan di sebuah hotel terkemuka di Kuala Lumpur pada hari Jumaat lepas apabila Menteri Besar Kelantan itu duduk semeja dengan Dato’ Mustapha Mohamed, Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan juga Ketua Perhubungan UMNO Kelantan.

Selepas majlis tersebut, kedua-dua mereka menghadiri sidang media.

“Dalam sidang media itu, saya kata Kerajaan Persekutuan kena berbaik semula dengan Kerajaan Negeri, saya akan terus usahakannya,” kata Nik Aziz lagi.

“(Dato’) Mustapha Mohamed yang duduk bercakap pasal nak jalin hubungan antara parti (UMNO dan PAS), saya bercakap pasal Kerajaan,” tegasnya.

Nik Aziz turut berkata beliau tidak pernah serik walaupun sudah hampir 19 tahun berusaha untuk memulihkan hubungan Persekutuan dengan Negeri dan beliau tidak pernah berhenti berusaha ke arah itu demi kepentingan rakyat Kelantan dan Negara Malaysia.

Satu Lagi Projek Barisan Nasional

Selepas sidang media tersebut, Astro Awani pada malam Sabtu telah bertungkus lumus mengenengahkan isu kesediaan Nik Aziz menjalinkan kerjasama UMNO dan PAS. Astro Awani juga menemuramah pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO yang rata-rata mengalukannya.

TV3 pula dalam Buletin Utamanya semalam turut menghangatkan lagi isu tersebut.

Berita tentang kononnya Nik Aziz sudah lembut hati didalam isu kerjasama UMNO PAS juga mendapat liputan meluas media cetak.

Ianya dilihat sebagai sebuah projek Barisan Nasional mahu menjatuhkan kredibiliti Musyidul AM PAS yang sebelum ini konsisten menentang Muzakarah UMNO PAS dan gagasan Kerajaan Perpaduan. Dengan apa yang berlaku sejak Jumaat lalu, ia pasti mengelirukan penyokong PAS dan rakyat jelata seterusnya menampakkan Nik Aziz seolah-olah tidak konsisten dan sering berubah-ubah pandangan.

Menghancurkan kredibiliti Nik Aziz dikalangan ahli PAS adalah taktik UMNO bagi melenturkan pengaruh Nik Aziz dikalangan akar umbi PAS dan seterusnya menghuru-harakan suasana didalam PAS dan Pakatan Rakyat.

Walaupun Nik Aziz cuba memberikan persepsinya yang sebenar didalam sidang-sidang media selepas itu, kenyataan-kenyataannya terus diceduk diluar konteks bagi memperkuatkan niat jahat BN.

Dengan kenyataan yang dibuat dipejabatnya pagi ini menerusi TVPAS, diharap segala-gala usaha jahat BN ini berkubur.

Kota Darulnaim,

Kota Bharu, 27 Julai 2009.

Memorandum Rakyat Negeri Johor - Menuntut Keadilan untuk TEOH BENG HOCK.

Memorandum Rakyat Negeri Johor - Menuntut Keadilan untuk TEOH BENG HOCK was launched yesterday at South Johor Press Club. Please visit SUARAM JB Blog regarding our Johor campaign. The memorandum will be sent to the Prime Minister when the signature campaign is completed.

At SUARAM JB Blog, you can download the memorandum statement for viewing. There are also signature form collection venue of major Johor towns where you can show your support by signing this petition.

There you can also find today's chinese newspaper clipings showing their coverage of the press conference to launch this campaign.

NST and The Star journalist was also to there to cover the press conference. However we have yet to locate any article in today's NST and The Star of our press conference. We will try again tomorrow with the use of a magnifying glass.

For those who have close friends and relatives in Johor area, please help to convey our request for their signature in support of seeking justice for Beng Hock.


Thank you,
Kaki Tambak

Will the Parliamentary Roundtable tomorrow support Najib’s KPI for crime prevention to reduce street crime by 20% in 2010 as it is late by four years

By Lim Kit Siang,

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has announced the reduction of the crime rate on the streets by 20 per cent in 2010 as one of the KPIs (key performance indicators) of the six National Key Results Areas (NKRA).

Will the Parliamentary Roundtable for a new IGP to create a safe Malaysia support Najib’s KPI for crime prevention to reduce street crime by 20% in 2010 as it is late by four years and should have covered all categories of crime as proposed by the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission in its report in May 2005?

When the Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission submitted its final report in May 2005, it said that Malaysia’s reputation as a safe country was “seriously dented” by the “dramatic increase” in the incidence of crime in the past few years and that “Malaysians in general, the business sector and foreign investors grew increasingly concerned with the situation”.

The Royal Commission warned that “if the trend continues, there would be major social and economic consequences for Malaysia”.

The Royal Police Commission was referring to the “dramatic increase” in the crime index from 121,176 cases in 1997 to 156,455 cases in 2004, which registered an increase of 29 per cent in eight years.

As a result, the Royal Police Commission proposed a sustained nation-wide drive against crime “until crime levels have reached a point considered no longer alarming”, with an immediate target of “a minimum 20 per cent decrease in crimes” in all categories of crime within the first 12 months after the Report.

Instead of achieving the Police Royal Commission’s target of reducing the intolerably high incidence of crime of 156,455 cases in 2004 by 20 per cent in 12 months (i.e. 125,164 cases), the reverse took place.

In the seven years from 1997 to 2004, crime index increased by 29%, but in the four years from 2004 to 2008 crime index increased by 35.5%.

From the latest statistics given in Parliament, crime index have galloped to break the 200,000 mark, with the incidence of crime shooting up to 209,582 in 2007 and 211,645 in 2008.

The endemic crime situation is no surprise except to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who have to learn of the severity and magnitude of the problem from public feedback that Malaysians have lost all confidence in the police force to carry out its most elementary duties, i.e. to keep the streets, public places and the privacy of homes safe for Malaysians, tourists and investors.

In the last four days, the Home Ministry website has sought feedback from the public as to whether they feel safe from crime in the country.

Right from the beginning, there had been a sustained 97% of those polled who feel unsafe and 95% who hold that their security is not assured, as illustrated from the following results which I had been tracking:

Feel unsafe Security not assured
23.7.09 12 midnight 96%(866) 95%(894)
24.7.09 7.40 am 97%(1,187) 95% (1,119)
2.20 pm 97%(2,846) 95% (2,619)
25.7.09 12.30 pm 97%(4,905) 95% (4,495)
26.7.09 10 am 97% (6,058) 95% (5,549)
27.7.09 3.10 pm 97% (7,804) 95% (7,117)

Only 1% of Malaysians felt safe while 2% were uncertain.

As at 3.10 pm today, more than half of the respondents (i.e. 63% or 4,720) formed this opinion because they or their family members were victims of crime while 36% of the respondents (2743) were influenced by news about crime.

To a question whether the Government has done its best to ensure that the safety of the people was at the best level, 95% of 7,427 respondents replied in the negative. Only 3% felt that the government has taken the necessary measures to ensure public safety.

Najib’s KPI for street crime and the Home Ministry’s website poll with only 1% of Malaysians who felt safe while only 3% of Malaysians felt that the government has taken the necessary measures to ensure public safety are the most appropriate subjects for deliberation by tomorrow’s Parliamentary Roundtable for a new IGP to create a safe Malaysia.

Among the organizations and Malaysians who will attend the Parliamentary Roundtable in Parliament at 10 am tomorrow are: Ragunathan Kesavan, President, Bar Council; Dr. Lim Teck Ghee and Helen Ang from Centre for Policy Initiatives; representatives from SUARAM, Hakam, KLSCAH Youth and Datuk Seri Yuen Yuet Leng, retired CPO of Perak and Sarawak.

Those who wish to attend the Roundtable can still contact the organising secretariat (Shabrimi 016-4124735; Lim Swee Kuan 016-6266848; Boon Kia Meng 012-5180863).

Let the Parliamentary Roundtable tomorrow be a milestone in the journey to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service regarded as an international model for all polices forces in keeping crime low, eradicating corruption and protecting human rights in Malaysia.

Problems in Penang

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com

THE Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has been busy fire-fighting, no less in Penang.

The PR state government in this northern state recently came under fire from Kampung Buah Pala villagers over their impending eviction. The villagers are aided by sympathisers, including the influential Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), and the state government's image has no doubt suffered a battering.

But even before this, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's administration provided detractors plenty of fodder to speculate that PR would unravel. The resignation of Deputy Chief Minister 1 Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin and the subsequent Penanti by-election to find his replacement was informative of the political tension within the state.

Based on news reports, Lim doesn't appear to have his team's full cooperation. And the problems somehow consistently appear to come from PKR. There was the boycott of the swearing-in ceremony of the new Seberang Prai Municipal Council president by PKR councillors, for one. And then recently, Lim's chief of staff, Jeff Ooi, lashed out at two PKR Penang municipal councillors for being inefficient and truant. Lim is said to be trying to depoliticise local councils, but he clearly faces the challenge of having to juggle the interests of other parties in PR.

The Nut Graph interviewed, by phone on 15 July 2009, Liew Chin Tong, who is adviser to the Penang chief minister, about the challenges the PR government faces in Penang. Liew, who is DAP central executive committee member and also Penang's Bukit Bendera Member of Parliament, notes that PR's baptism of fire in Penang is a result of other forces and events coalescing at the same time.

TNG: What is going on with the Kampung Buah Pala issue? There are complaints that the state government isn't handling it well.

Liew: The whole incident is unfortunate and is a manufactured crisis. People in the state administration feel frustrated because they have done no wrong; it is a mess they inherited and they feel powerless to change things.

Critics say the state can resolve it "by the stroke of a pen", but the question is, at what cost? The state budget is only RM477 million, just half of Universiti Sains Malaysia's budget.

For the Tang Hak Ju land scam, the state government had to pay compensation of RM40 million for undeveloped quarry land. For Kampung Buah Pala, it will cost us hundreds of millions. There just isn't enough money to acquire the land. The state budget is almost all committed to emoluments and very little towards development, so the government is trying to stretch the budget.

But we are feeling that people are using (Kampung) Buah Pala as their platform at the expense of the state government's integrity, when firstly, the current state government has done no wrong. Secondly, it is powerless in that it cannot, by a stroke of the pen, put the state's finances into jeopardy by acquiring the land.

There is a theory that Hindraf has been influenced by the Barisan Nasional (BN) into championing the issue on behalf of the Kampung Buah Pala residents. Lim Kit Siang also posted on his blog a piece by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, lumping Hindraf together with "BN collaborators". Is there really a BN hand in Hindraf?


Guan Eng
The focus has squarely been on Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, which is unfortunate, and that is how the suspicions about Hindraf come in. But I don't mean all of Hindraf or the organisation per se, but only some leaders in Hindraf.

I've written that (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) is being very surgical in his use of power and in his attempts to win over votes from fence-sitters. One part of the surgery is to take some Indian [Malaysian] votes from the Pakatan Rakyat. He knows that the MIC alone cannot win back support of [Indian Malaysians]. Whereas, the DAP has credibility with [Indian Malaysians].
Uthayakumar (Courtesy of theSun)
So, if there is a third force, then the DAP will suffer. The party P Uthayakumar wants to form will get to take some Indian [Malaysian] votes away as a spoiler.

[Editor's note: On 19 July 2009, Uthayakumar launched the Human Rights Party, a multiracial party that aims to help marginalised communities, regardless of race.]

Why is the chief minister so adamant about not meeting the village residents in the presence of their lawyer?

The state government is of the view that the person who claims to be their lawyer is not their official representative. But Guan Eng does want to meet the residents; he has asked them to meet him.

The problem with this crisis is that there is no option left for the state government. Those campaigning against the government are leaving no options but to keep the village as it is. There are arguments that the village should be preserved as a heritage site. In other circumstances, this argument would be valid. But in this case, there is already a court order for eviction. As the state government, they feel it would be wrong to go against the court order and subject themselves to lawsuits. Unfortunately, the court order has become the parameter which limits our options.

So what is the way out?

I just hope the villagers can meet Guan Eng to talk, and find a middle ground in their understanding. I hope there can be a middle position without going against the court order.

On a macro level, I am very uncomfortable with those who depict this as a racial thing. They say it is because the state government is a "Chinese government", so they are taking away land from Indians. There are provocateurs who are pinning it on Guan Eng and saying that all this is because of a "Chinese government".

This is not true at all. I see this as attempts to push the DAP back to the pre-March 2008 situation, as a party with support mainly from Chinese [Malaysians]. It is an attempt to take away Malay [Malaysian] and Indian [Malaysian] support, to force Malaysia to go back [to] before March 2008.

Pullquote: "There are provocateurs who are pinning it on Guan Eng and saying that all this is because of a Chinese government. This is not true at all".

Hindraf has a strong chapter in Penang. Is this affecting how the state government operates?

No, no. Many in Hindraf are our good friends. I never meant Hindraf and their aspirations as a whole. I think only certain leaders have taken a very racial line, which I dislike. It is unfortunate that they focus on Guan Eng and create an image for him, that he is not taking care of [Indian Malaysians].

It's all fishy because I find it happening as part of the current prevailing scenario.

What scenario exactly?

Where Najib is trying to engineer surgery on various Pakatan parties, to take away public support for us.

What other challenges does the Penang Pakatan Rakyat government face?

Firstly, we are new. And some people see us as inexperienced.

Secondly, we want to do things differently.

Thirdly, we don't necessarily have a very loyal and effective civil service, although there are some civil servants who are very good and are getting the hang of working in sync with the chief minister. But we do face incompetency and some uncooperativeness.

But fourthly, state power is also very limited while people's expectations are sky-high. In actual fact, there's only so much a state government can do. It can be a facilitator, but it doesn't control many other things. For example, public transport. Taxis and buses come under the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board. That's a federal agency. The airport and Penang port are also under federal agencies.

There are complaints that the chief minister blames the previous BN administration too much instead of being proactive.

There are a lot of things [for] which there is no choice but to do so. For example, Kampung Buah Pala. The sale of the land borders on fraud, and yet there is a court order for eviction. The state is forced between a rock and a hard place. And yet the state has tried hard to prevent the residents' homes from being demolished.

Pullquote: "We don't necessarily have a loyal and effective civil service"

This is a classic case where there is no other way to explain to the people, but that this is a mess which began in the previous administration. Guan Eng is saying we didn't create this mess, we are trying to clean it up, but our hands are tied.

Is the chief minister having problems getting cooperation from Penang PKR? Because there is so much in the news that shows Penang PKR going against the state government.

I'd really rather not answer that question specifically.

But in the big picture, PKR, and for that matter, Pakatan Rakyat as a whole, is facing this question: do we want to reaffirm new politics? Or embrace the old way of Umno politics? Can we reaffirm our faith in new politics and push for reform, or will we let our agenda be hijacked by Najib?

I was stunned when I read that Najib described his "1Malaysia" as justice for all. He's trying to adopt our agenda. So we must reaffirm Pakatan's new politics and push for structural reform and policy overhaul. We can't let Najib get away with populist solutions without structural change

For example, Pakatan's proposal for the government to buy back PLUS Expressways Bhd. If it does that, by 2016 there will be no need to charge toll on the North-South Expressway. We have to keep pushing this to show people that we have pragmatic solutions. If we push for things like these, then Najib will have to reform. If he does all these and gets re-elected, then fine.

Kit Siang lodges police report on Tee Keat death threat

PETALING JAYA, 27 July 2009: DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang today lodged a police report at the Petaling Jaya police headquarters here on the death threat received by MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

"It is Ong who should have lodged the police report, but as he dares not do so, I am performing my public duty to lodge it on his behalf for his safety," Lim said.

"Whatever our political differences, I do not want to see any harm to come to Ong," he told a press conference after lodging the police report at 12.30pm.

Lim also said that he had appended to this police report the Chinese- and English-language media reports on the alleged death threats that Ong received.

"How can a minister be under a death threat? He is saying that the 'dark forces' have also reached the cabinet and the cabinet is being undermined and coerced. This is a matter of great public interest.

"Whether he is telling the truth or not, it is up to him now to cooperate with the police and let them investigate," Lim said.

He hopes that the MCA president will do his bit and provide police with facts and evidence to substantiate his serious allegations.

Yesterday, the Sunday Star reported that the death threat read: "If you're wiped out from this world some day, you should know why this has happened." — Bernama

Sivakumar wants rights and privileges committee meeting

IPOH, 27 July 2009: The Pakatan Rakyat (PR)'s assembly Speaker V Sivakumar still wants to meet and seek clarification from the Barisan Nasional (BN)'s Speaker Datuk R Ganesan through the rights and privileges committee to resolve two issues following the 7 May state assembly sitting.

Sivakumar fixed the meeting for 10am on Thursday after being unable to hold the meeting today.

He said he had earlier sent a notice that Ganesan attend the meeting according to state assembly standing orders.

"I and several state assembly[persons], including one committee member appointed by the BN government itself, Tebing Tinggi state assembly[person] Ong Boon Piow, were not allowed to enter the Perak Darul Ridzuan Building for the meeting.

"We were stopped by police although we had sent a notice to inform of our presence to have a rights and privileges committee meeting," Sivakumar told reporters here today.

Sivakumar, who is also Tronoh assemblyperson, said the meeting had to be held to discuss his removal as speaker during the 7 May sitting, which he claimed was done via a "sub-assembly" in the assembly, which he considered unlawful.

He also wanted to discuss the action of Ganesan directing police to enter the assembly and remove him.

Earlier, Sivakumar and several Pakatan Rakyat members, including Perak DAP chairperson Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, had tried to enter the state secretariat building to convene the meeting.

The group waited for an hour before dispersing after getting an official letter from the state secretary, Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim, which stated that the meeting could not be held as they had not received any notice on the matter. — Bernama

Police block movie screening in Kg Buah Pala - Anil Netto

Police blocked the screening of the movie “Gadoh” at Kampung Buah Pala tonight.0Dozens of police were at the kampung to stop the residents association from showing the movie in the open air along the main lane passing through the village on the grounds that it was an illegal gathering, the movie was controversial, and the event didn’t have a police permit.

The 70-minute movie, produced by media communications group Komas, “explores our perception of identity and challenges our hatred of the other”. Check out the trailer here.

From the Komas website:

Synopsis

Gadoh tells a story of a group of teenagers who fought each other along racial lines; a cycle of hatred and violence further escalated by their environment and school system.

What was to be a quick resolution to improve the school’s bad image, was taken as an opportunity for one teacher who believed that real change was possible. She ropes in the help of an old friend and reluctant maverick theater activist for this arduous task.

Is there hope amidst the cycle of discrimination that surrounds us?

Watch Gadoh for their story, and what it may very well tell us about ourselves.

Movie Info:
Duration: 70 mins
Director: Brenda Danker, Namron
Producer: Anna Har
Production Company: Big Pictures Productions
Supported by Pusat KOMAS
Starring: Namron, Nicholas Liew Davis, Zahiril Adzim, Amerul Affendi and Maya Tan Abdullah
Language: Bahasa Malaysia with English/BM subtitles

So far, the movie has been screened in Penang at D’Space (Weld Quay) and Disted College. It is also scheduled to be shown at USM on Wednesday night.

Kg Buah Pala is believed to be under close police surveillance ahead of a 2 August deadline for residents to vacate the premises in favour of a property developer. The Penang state government, however, has revoked the development order for the developer’s project on the site of the village.

Laila Majnun : Kiasan Tuan Guru Nik Aziz

Terdahulu saya rakamkan ucapan terima kasih kepada sanak saudara dan sahabat handai di tempat kelahiran saya, Sungai Bakap; Sungai Acheh dam Sungai Chenaam serta Jawi kerana memberikan sambutan hangat kepada kami semalam. Walaupun dewan dikunci dan medan agak gelap, namun semangat yang dipertontonkan seolah-olah Nibong Tebal ke arah zaman pencerahan!

Tuan Guru Nik Abd Aziz hari ini secara terbuka menafikan hebahan media Umno mengenai kerjasama Umno-Pas.

Jelas kelihatan Umno semakin terdesak rentetan dukungan yang kian terhakis. Satelah gagal dengan fitnah, ugutan dan sogokan, mereka bersilih ganti untuk mengadu-domba.

Mereka kini sudah sampai ke tahap kegilaan, mengemis perhatian Pas. Anihnya lagi ialah kaedah kotor yang digunakan, rekayasa kenyataan kononnya ’sahih’ daripada Tuan Guru Nik Aziz. Kemudian diatur pula ulasan demi ulasan dan digembar gembur di media mereka.

Sewaktu kempen Pilihanraya Kecil DUN Manek Urai, bertubi-tubi serangan dilancar ke atas batang tubuh Tuan Guru, kini ghairah sekali menjulang Tuan Guru. Wah, telunjuk lurus kelingking berkait.

Nah, sekarang Tuan Guru Nik Aziz menafi keras, menuding media Umno selaku pembelit dan pimpinan Umno yang asyik maksyuk dengan pertemuan hingga ke tahap kegilaan.

Hanya kegilaan Laila Majnun terpancar dari cinta sejati…. Ghairah umno pula bagaimana?

ANWAR IBRAHIM

FT PPP Wants BN Leadership To Take Action Against Murugiah

KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership was Monday asked to take action against Deputy Prime Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk T. Murugiah for organising an illegal meeting in the name of Federal Territory (FT) PPP here yesterday.

Murugiah, who was sacked from the PPP in May, is alleged to have abused a police permit to have a gathering with his supporters at Dewan Somasundram, Jalan Maharajalela here to hold a divison meeting instead and appoint committee members.

FT PPP chairman A. Chandrakumanan said he had no idea of such a meeting until asked by party members about its validity.

"Murugiah has no locus standi to hold a PPP meeting. He was also abusing his powers as a deputy minister to attend the meeting," he told Bernama here today.

Murugiah is involved in a leadership crisis with PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas and is claiming that he is the rightful president of the party.

The matter is now being probed by the Registrar of Societies.