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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kg Buah Pala: The controversial deal - Anil Netto

Here’s an article that should be essential reading in understanding the background to the Kg Buah Pala issue.

In particular, how did Penang state government sell the land to the Koperasi when the trusteeship is believed to have passed to the Federal Government?

Can you sell something that you don’t own?

How could the Penang state government under the BN sell the Kampong Buah Pala land when “the available evidence seemed to show that the land is still vested in the Federal Lands Commissioner”, wonders a bewildered P Ramakrishnan.

Negative elements - greed, corruption, abuse of power and judicial indifference - have conspired to wipe out part of Penang’s history and destroy its heritage.

History and heritage are assets of a nation and they should be preserved for posterity. All civilised nations take pride in their history and heritage and accord them the rightful place in honouring these assets.

But we in Malaysia do not attach as much affection and concern for our history and heritage. There was a time when we even considered getting rid of the Merdeka Stadium to make way for commercial projects.

Merdeka Stadium is best remembered as the place where our beloved first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, declared this nation’s independence. It represents so many memories and so much history but that meant nothing to human avarice. Thank God it did not take off but the point is we were even prepared to commit this sacrilege!

Then there was an attempt to shift the well-known St Michael’s Institution in Ipoh somewhere else just because it was in the middle of a fast growing township. But St Michael’s was there long before so-called development caught up with it. Thank God it did not take place!

But Bukit Bintang Girls’ School in Kuala Lumpur was not that fortunate. This famous school, which was a landmark in the history of our education, had produced so many brilliant students and leaders but that notable achievement did not spare it. It eventually lost to development and greed. It was demolished to make way for commercial purposes. Though the school was shifted elsewhere, they made sure that its history would not continue. They got rid of that famous name: BBGS. They did not even bother to retain the old name of the school to honour its history and contribution to our education.

I’m sure there are numerous other examples of indifference and sacrilege.

But the latest example to wipe out history and a legacy that goes back nearly 200 years and make way for greed and corruption is taking place in the Pearl of Orient: Penang’s version of High Chaparral is facing extinction within a matter of weeks.

How did the Penang govt acquire the land?

Much has been written about the history of this community that has been occupying this parcel of land which has been home to more than five generations of descendants. Therefore it is unnecessary to dwell on this.

What I’m interested in is how this land was acquired by the Penang Government Officers Cooperative – Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang. How was the cooperative able to obtain this parcel of land below market value? Did the officers who were influential and closely linked to the Barisan Nasional Government and Umno just help themselves to it with the blessings of the Penang state government? After all it was Umno that was effectively running the government and who would have dared to question it or oppose whatever that was done by the Umno Exco Members?

Did the land actually belong to the Penang state for these officers to grab it on behalf of their cooperative?

According to legal circles, this land was under a trusteeship. But this trusteeship was dissolved by an Act of Parliament in 1976. When this took place, we are told, this parcel of land reverted to the federal government. The ownership of this land, it is believed, is still with the federal government.

It is a mystery why the BN government deprived these poor Kampung Buah Pala residents of their land by passing this Act of Parliament. The BN with its majority simply took over this land – nay, it just robbed them of their land.

There is no evidence that the Penang state government had ever paid a premium to buy back this land. There is no evidence when this land reverted back to the state of Penang. In all probability, the land is still vested in the Federal Lands Commissioner.

A repeat of the Nizar case

That being the case, how was this land transferred to the cooperative? There appears to be a fraudulent transfer of land which is a very serious matter. Why did the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court totally ignore this vital point when the residents turned to these courts for justice?

It is significant to note that the High Court Judge had ruled that the villagers and the residents of Kampong Buah Pala have a claim to this land.

In a well-argued judgment, Justice O’ Hara had clearly established that there are points to be tried before the courts and there are issues for the courts to weigh and consider before arriving at the truth as to the ownership of the land.

In upholding the decision of the Deputy Registrar (DR), Justice O’ Hara referred to the DR’s ruling, “There is no evidence before this court that the land in question had reverted back to the state under the operation of the old Article 84. The ownership of the land when it was purportedly alienated to the 2nd defendant - Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang - is an important issue to be considered and for that reason I am not prepared to grant summary judgment as sought by the 2nd and 3rd defendants.”

The Court of Appeal totally ignored the valid points raised by the High Court and, without any legally established basis, ruled in favour of the defendants in setting aside the High Court ruling.

This decision seemed to be a repeat of Nizar’s case in which the High Court in a sound judgment had ruled that Nizar was the legitimate Menteri Besar of Perak at all material times. But the one-man Appeal Court set aside this finding without any written judgment. This scandalous situation was re-enacted in the case of the Kampung Buah Pala case.

In both cases the Federal Court was a total disappointment. In the Buah Pala case, it ruled that the plaintiff had no locus standi. How could this be so when the residents of Buah Pala can trace their ancestry to more than five generations!

It is this vital and critical point that has to be addressed. Whose land is it? Does it belong to Penang? If so, what is the evidence and where is it?

If “the available evidence seemed to show that the land is still vested in the Federal Lands Commissioner, regardless of whether the Commissioner is aware of that fact” as contended by the Deputy Registrar, how could this transaction have taken place?

Can you sell something that you don’t own? Or transfer something that you don’t have? That is the only question that deserves an honest answer.

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Video clip of Teoh’s ‘torture’ a hoax, says IGP

By Sira Habibu, The Star

Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin is in trouble again because a video clip allegedly showing “Teoh Beng Hock” being tortured has appeared on his blog long before Teoh’s death.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the same video clip that appeared on Raja Petra’s blog claiming police brutality has been renamed “Teoh Beng Hock tortured to death” on YouTube.

“We will take action against Raja Petra for slander and instigation.

“We are also getting the Multi-media Commission to trace who renamed the video clip to spread lies that Teoh was tortured prior to his death.

“The person on the video clip is certainly not Teoh,” he said, adding that stern action would be taken against the perpetrators.

He said this in response to a 5.09-minute video clip showing a man being tormented by several people, including men wearing guard’s uniforms.

“Those in the video clip are guards. We have been investigating the video ever since Raja Petra uploaded it on his blog, claiming police brutality months ago.

“Now, the same clip has re-appeared in YouTube implicating MACC (Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission),” he said.

MACC has lodged a police report over the video clip falsely implicating the institution.

Musa said the same video clip was given different titles to suit the culprits’ intentions.

A check on YouTube showed that the same video clip that appeared two months ago under the title “Alleged Rapist in Malaysia Ruthlessly Beaten by Cops in Jail” was renamed “Teoh Beng Hock Tortured to Death” about two days ago.

Other titles given to the same clip are “The Death of Mr Teoh Beng Huat”, “Malaysian Police Brutality – Beating Up Suspect in Custody”, “Death of Teoh Beng Huat: A Mystery Waiting to be Solved”, and “Teoh Beng Huat Hit by People”.

Teoh, 30, was found dead on July 16 on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam hours after giving statements to MACC on the 14th floor.

Teoh, who was the political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was said to be a key witness to alleged abuse of constituency development fund by several Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen.

Teoh inquest: No match to unknown DNA found

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, Aug 5 — The inquest into DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock's death began this morning with lawyer Tan Hock Chuan, who is leading the Attorney-General's team, disclosing that swabs from 157 people were analysed but none matched the DNA of the unknown male found on Teoh's jacket and belt.

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, representing the Teoh family, then asked the court to note that samples of Tan Boon Wah and Lee Wye Wing, who had earlier refused to give their DNA samples, were also not a match.

Earlier, Hock Chuan gave a list of 97 witnesses and suggested that the inquest start with 12 including three chemists and three pathologists. He also said the toxicology, criminology and DNA reports were ready.

Mohd Ridzuan was the second witness called in the inquest. — Picture by Jack Ooi

The coroner then called two witnesses — the female security guard who found Teoh's body and a male technician from Plaza Masalam. The technician, Mohd Ridzuan Samsuri, said there were only two ways to access the fifth-floor balcony where Teoh was found — through the rooftop or a grilled window on the same floor.

He said the grille was always locked and only maintenance and security had the keys and there was a record kept of who accesses the area.

The 30-year-old political secretary was found dead on the rooftop of a five-storey building next to Plaza Masalam, where the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has its Selangor head office on the 14th floor, last July 16.

He had been taken in as a witness in a probe into alleged misuse of state funds. He was due to register his marriage to his two-month pregnant fiancee Soh Cher Wei the day he was found dead.

The Cabinet has formed a royal commission of inquiry into MACC's investigation procedures after it was revealed that Teoh was questioned from 6pm to 3.45am the next day.

MACC chief gets death threat linked to Teoh’s death

Ahmad Said is now under tight protection due to the death threat. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — Top anti-graft buster Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan was threatened with being shot to death in a letter received on July 24 from unknown persons seeking revenge for the mysterious death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said yesterday.

News of the threat came in tandem with strong sentiment among top brass in MACC that the Najib administration is not supportive enough of the agency, with some displeased that the government acceded to a royal commission to investigate its methods.

There is also a growing view that MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed is more qualified to lead the national anti-graft body than Ahmad Said, who is now under tight protection due to the death threat.

The threat to the MACC chief commissioner was contained in a letter addressed to the commission's Selangor head office in Plaza Masalam, where Teoh was found dead on July 16 after 10 hours of questioning as a witness in alleged abuse of state funds.

Selangor MACC director Jaafar Mahad said the writer not only threatened Ahmad Said's life but also linked his family and the rest of the commission staff to the case.

"The handwritten letter used foul language to express anger towards Ahmad Said, his family and MACC officials following Teoh's death. A police report was made at the Shah Alam police district headquarters a few days after the letter was received," Jaafar was quoted as saying by the Malay-language Berita Harian newspaper.

In the letter, the writer blamed Ahmad Said and the MACC for the 30-year-old political secretary's death and threatened to shoot them while scolding them repeatedly and expressing dissatisfaction that the MACC had not investigated Barisan Nasional leaders but only focused on DAP politicians.

Teoh's death is the subject of an on-going inquest with the findings to be part of a royal commission of inquiry into the investigation methods of the MACC, which assumed the former Anti-Corruption Agency's (ACA) duties on Jan 1. Ahmad Said was the ACA director-general who then became MACC chief commissioner.

Ahmad Said told Berita Harian that the threats are part of the risks in carrying out duties for the country.

"All MACC officers and staff have been advised to be careful and be prepared to handle any eventuality without being pressured or lose focus because of the threat. Instead, they should carry out their duties while taking care of their personal safety," he said.

Commenting on a video clip on the Internet that purportedly showing a man being beaten up by uniformed officers linked to the MACC, Ahmad Said denied his men were involved, saying it looked more like an office in a supermarket.

He said the MACC condemned such action and hoped the police would investigate thoroughly, hoping people would not be influenced by allegations that smear enforcement agencies.

- The Malaysian Insider

Thai court jails Malaysian drug dealer for 30 years

BANGKOK, Aug 5 — A 40-year-old Malaysian has been sentenced to 30 years' jail and fined 500,000 baht (RM50,000) for drug trafficking and overstaying in Thailand.

The Criminal Court, however, halved the sentence due to David Goh Chee Leong's confession.

The Bangkok Post reported that Goh was arrested on Jan 5 at a rented apartment in Bangkok's Laksi district with 2.58g of crystal meth (known as "ice"), 71.97g of ecstasy, 44.71g of ketamine and 8.01g of nimetazepam, a party drug marketed under the name Erimin.

He also faces a related charge of possession with intent to supply.

The daily also said that another Malaysian, aged 31, was arrested on Monday with a Thai accomplice in the southern province of Satun for allegedly smuggling 2.88g of crystal meth.

A number of Malaysians had been arrested in Thailand over the past few months for smuggling in synthetic drugs, including a marketing manager with a foreign workers agency who was nabbed at a luxury condominium here and three others in Sungai Golok, Narathiwat. — Bernama

PDRM instrument of their political masters

By Hussein Hamid

I will not refer to the Police as PDRM – it is an affront to our Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong to do so. There is nothing Royal about the Police.

PDRM is an instrument of the state. PDRM takes instructions from their political masters and what they do reflects the instructions given to them by their political masters who are the legitimate authority of our country (at least for the time being).

But I am getting ahead of myself here. Let us back up a bit.

Have you not seen a mata mata jump to attention when an Inspector comes into his peripheral vision? What about the Inspector jumping to attention when an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) casually walks by? Then you go past the Superintendent grade. When the mata-mata is privileged (and I use this term loosely…very very loosely!!) enough to come into the same rarified air as a Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police you will see him stand rooted to the spot standing at attention…not daring to breath, eyes front and just wishing that the earth would swallow him for having the nerve to be born on the same planet as the SAC in front of him….get my drift?

Were the mata mata baton hitting the demonstrators for personal gain? No. Were they doing it out of hatred or in defense? No. These mata mata had nothing against the demonstrators. It was a case of obedience to the orders given to them. They could not be faulted because they were simply following orders.

If he is instructed to contain a situation he will do so – if that involves tear gas, baton hitting a demonstrator – anything – he will do so because that action of his has been cleared by his superiors in the briefing before the act. The average mata mata simply do not have the capacity or ability to think further then the length of his nose and certainly incapable of promoting good governance by doing the right thing for the demonstrators who are simply exercising their democratic right to show that they do not agree with the ISA.

Now why would the Police allow themselves to be use as instruments of the state? Are they not drawn from the same stock – cultural and racial – as those that they have been asked to subjugate? At the least would that not make them unreliable instruments of state with the probability of them turning against the very people that is attempting to use them?

The answer is simple. Quid proco. For doing the bidding of their political masters against their masters domestic enemies their Political masters will turn a blind eye to what the Chairman of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police describe as “ rampant corruption in the force’s traffic, commercial crimes, narcotics and internal investigation divisions” and “excessive use of force used against detainees” resulting in a number of deaths in police custody (an understatement to say the least!!). He also said that the commission inquiry into the Malaysian police has been inundated with allegations of corruption and brutality.

When all is said and done this has manifested itself in the failure to establish critical aspect of the commission’s recommendations: “An Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) aimed at dealing with complaints regarding the police and seeking to improve the professionalism of the force and to ensure that doctrines, laws, rules and procedures are observed and implemented by the police”.

The powers that be condones and turn a blind eye to the massive corruption that pervades all levels of the Police and in return the Police will rid the country of all organized opposition to the Government. Political opponents are held without trial and under conditions of cruelty – even death. You need only see what had happened to Anwar Ibrahim – a Deputy Prime Minister while under Police Custody and the perpetrator of that crime against Anway was the IGP himself. I shudder to think what could happen to others below the level of a Deputy Prime Minister.

Scandals at UM's Indian Studies Dept

The Star, Aug 05 2009

PETALING JAYA: More scandals are being exposed at the Indian Studies Department of Universiti Malaya which was tangled in a leadership crisis recently.

Investigations have found misconduct in the marking of PhD thesis papers and the higher number of students being awarded first class honours degrees at the department.

UM vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Ghauth Jasmon said the issue is “something that could not be accepted”.

“This has happened for a long time and it seems that the faculty is not capable of correcting it,” he wrote in a report to the Higher Education Minister.

“After assessing the situation of the department, I have made a conclusion that this department, with its current leadership, is not capable of correcting this unacceptable situation.”

The Star’s Malay news portal mStar learnt that in the report, Dr Ghauth had attached the statistics of bachelor’s degree honoured by the department that has showed a 50% increase.

In 2006/07 session, the number of bachelor degree graduates with first class honours was more than 64%.

Dr Ghauth also said an investigation by the Literature and Social Science Faculty dean found the examiners of the PhD thesis papers were from two universities in India.

He said one of the examiners, who was appointed to supervise this, was forced to complete his report in three days.

He said they have suggested that the thesis papers be re-checked.

Review Liu's position in state exco: S'gor PAS

SHAH ALAM, 4 Aug 2009: Selangor PAS today urged that the position of the DAP's Ronnie Liu as State Local Government, Study and Research Committee chairperson be reviewed following allegations that he had interfered in enforcement by the local authorities.

"It is apt due to past incidents ... maybe [we will] shift the portfolio to somebody else. This may to some extent mitigate some of the problems that we are facing," state PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Hassan Ali told a press conference in Selangor today.

Liu (Source:
Hassan, who is also state Islamic Affairs and Malay Customs, Infrastructure and Public Facilities Committee chairperson, said he was informed by some state government officers that they were unhappy with interference by certain individuals, including Liu, in efforts to prevent the sale of liquor to Muslims in Selangor.

Liu had disputed the action of the Shah Alam City Council in seizing 70 cans and bottles of alcoholic drinks from a 7-Eleven outlet in Section 8 here on 30 July. A press report said the items were later returned to the convenience store.

Liu was also reported to have said the existing ruling on the sale of liquor in Selangor remained until a new guideline was issued by the state government.

Hassan, however, said the decision to prohibit the selling of alcoholic drinks in areas Muslim-majority areas was made at the Shah Alam City Council full-board meeting recently, following pressure from the local community.

Selangor PAS information chief Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir said Liu had also questioned the raid by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council and Selangor Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jais) on an entertainment outlet in Bandar Sunway where Jais arrested Muslim patrons caught consuming liquor.

He said Liu had contacted and questioned the officers involved in the raid for taking the action, even though the Selangor Syariah Criminal Enactment 1995, which came into force in 1996, had categorised consuming and selling liquor as a syariah offence for Muslims.

Hassan said with these developments, Selangor PAS urged the state government to be serious in the matter by expediting the drawing up of a suitable guideline for the whole state in line with the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995 to avoid any future controversy.

He stressed that the ruling only applied to Muslims as PAS had never demanded that the consumption by and sale of liquor to non-Muslims be curtailed.

Trespassing rule of law

Meanwhile, DAP National Publicity Secretary Tony Pua criticised Hassan's comments in a media statement today.

Pua said Liu was only carrying out his duties responsibly, and Hassan's public rebuking "openly [trespassed] the rule of law both in Selangor and in Malaysia".

"As a member of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government under the leadership of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, [Hassan] should resolve this matter with fellow executive councillors during the state exco or PR meetings.

"Any decision arrived at during these meetings, based on the principles of justice, accountability and transparency, should be adhered to in the spirit of a coalition government. No attempt shall be made to unilaterally impose one's views in the state government's policies," Pua added. — Bernama

Teoh's Inquest Resumes

SHAH ALAM, Aug 5 (Bernama) -- The inquest into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock resumed at 9.10am on Wednesday, with the security guard who found Teoh's body, Siti Zabedah Yahya, being the first to testify.

Lawyer Tan Hock Chuan, who was appointed by the government and is assisting coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas in the inquest, said his team would be calling 97 witnesses.

Six witnesses would be called in today, followed by six more comprising three chemists and three pathologists, he said.

Meanwhile, Teoh's family, including his father Teoh Leong Hwee, mother Teng Shuw Hor, elder brother Beng Kee, younger sister Lee Lan and fiancee Soh Cher Wei arrived at 8.30am.

The courtroom where the inquest is held is packed with members of the media who came as early as 6am.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang arrived at the court at 9am while Teoh's employer, Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah arrived five minutes later.

Teoh, 30, was found dead on July 16 along the corridor outside the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam here, after being quizzed by the Selangor MACC pertaining to alleged abuse of state funds in the Selangor government.

The Selangor MACC's office is located on the 14th floor of the building.

Nusmetro Kg Buah Pala

MIC will buy up Kampung Buah Pala

Kampung Buah Pala - Respite from demolition

Pakatan condemns detention of minors

Court deals blow to Kugan's mother - Malaysiakini

Deceased police detainee Kugan Anathan's mother suffered a setback today when the High Court allowed a preliminary objection by the government against returning the post-mortem samples which police had confiscated from the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).

With the preliminary objection allowed, the court decided not to hear the merits of the case but allowed the mother to file a proper fresh application.

Judge Ghazali Cha allowed the preliminary objection by the police on a technicality when he ruled that the application should not have been filed via a notice of motion.

Lawyer N Surendran said they could appeal against today's decision.

"The decision would not stop us in seeking the samples and also seeking justice for Kugan," he added.

N Indra is seeking the return of her son's post-mortem samples, including bodily fluids and tissue samples, photographs, documents and other materials relating to the procedure done by a UMMC pathologist.

Kugan, 22, who was detained in January for alleged involvement in car theft, died after five days in police custody.

His family had rejected the initial post-mortem conducted by Dr Abdul Karim Tajuddin of the Serdang Hospital, which stated that the Kugan had died from "fluid accumulation" in his lungs.

A second autopsy was done at UMMC at the request of the family, after which pathologist Dr Prashant N Sambekar Prashant concluded that Kugan was severely beaten resulting in kidney failure and death.

Indra named four police officers in this action, including inspector-general of police Musa Hassan and criminal investigation department director Mohd Bakri Zinin, as respondents.

The other two are Petaling Jaya district police chief Arjunaidi Mohammed and the officer who raided the pathologist's office, ACP Mohd Marzukhi Mohd Mokhtar.

Application did not state provision

In his decision, Justice Ghazali said Indra's notice of motion did not state under which provision the court had the jurisdiction to hear the application.

"I agree with the respondents (represented by the Attorney General's Chambers) that the applicant should state under which provision this notice was filed. This is to facilitate the court to study the relevant provision.

"Without stating the proper and correct intitulements, it would result in the court to question or be kept guessing on which law provision and Act is being referred to," he added.

He said because the proceeding started with this notice of motion, and an accompanying affidavit, it must follow the provision which supports civil proceedings in nature, by stating the correct and accurate intitulements to prevent confusion.

"Although this may be technical, it is emphasised by the court to ensure a just hearing. Intitulements is not only important for the court but also to the opposing side to prepare its reply or for them to prepare their case," he added.

He pointed out that the counsel for the applicant had argued that the court has revisionary powers.

"The court does not deny its revisionary powers to call up papers from the lower courts in exercising this jurisdiction. However, when I studied the prayers sought, its title and the contents in the notice of motion and the affidavit, there was no mention of 'revisionary'.

"It is only when submission was made by the counsel, he mentioned revisionary. It is clear that the absence of the intulement has confused me," he said.

"Following this, I am satisfied with allowing this preliminary objection by the respondents and this notice of motion is hereby struck out with liberty to file afresh," he added.

Commenting the decision, Surendran said they have two options - make a proper revision application or appeal today's decision at the appellate court.

"I will discuss this with my client before deciding on the next course of action," he said.

"We want the samples for a toxicology test to be done to determine what is the cause of Kugan's death. Was he poisoned or anything. That is why Indra is seeking the samples," he added.

Deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin represented the police.

Kg Buah Pala: Human shield confronts sledgehammers - Malaysiakini

A human chain stood in the way of about 50 members of a demolition team who were supposed to tear down Kampung Buah Pala today.

Both sides stood down after the demolition exercise was subsequently called off following discussions between villagers and developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd.

At about 11am, the situation became tensed after a demolition team arrived, armed with hardhats, crowbars and sledgehammers.

Upon noticing their presence, some 300 male villagers formed the human shield and began chanting slogans.

More than 100 police personnel stood watch. The police later brought representatives from the developers and villagers into a police van for discussions.

After a brief negotiation, the workers left and villagers breathed a sigh a relief.

Court hearing

The workers had come despite Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy visiting the village earlier this morning and reassuring residents that no demolition would take place.

According to the agreement reached in the police van, developer Nusmetro would not proceed with the destruction of the 23 houses until after a Federal Court hearing on the status of the land.

The villagers have filed an appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision which ruled in favour of the developer.

In the decision, the appellate court overturned an earlier High Court decision, which favoured the villagers, and issued an eviction order effective June 11.

But the state government has since negotiated with the developer to hold off the demolition.

The Federal Court will hear the appeal on Aug 18.

Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusof said since the villagers have obtained a date from the court, the developers have agreed to wait for the hearing to conclude.

"All parties have agreed to respect the court process. The villagers have always used legal and peaceful means," he said.

He said the developer's workers might not have known about this and were about to perform the demolition today. Villagers in tears

As early as 8.30am today, scores of women and children formed a second human barricade at the main entrance to the village.

Ramasamy's appearance at about 9am did not seem to relieve the villagers of their anxiety.

He had told them that the developers would not be taking any action today and the state government would hold a meeting with villagers at 7pm tonight.

Despite this, the villagers, many of whom were in tears, pleaded with Ramasamy to persuade Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to purchase the land from the developers.

At one point, an elderly villager was so overcome by despair that he knelt in front of Ramasamy, who quickly lifted the man up.

Other than the disgruntled villagers, Ramasamy also had to face several MIC Youth members at the scene who jeered at him.

Kg Buah Pala: The compensation offered - Anil Netto

From a source, I hear that the following compensation was offered to the villagers at tonight’s meeting:

Two-storey cluster houses: upstairs – 600 square feet; downstairs – 600 sq feet; outside porch, etc – 200 sq feet.

The developer would allocate 0.7 acres of the 6.5 acres for the villagers’ houses.

No compensation for temporary rental reimbursement while the project is ongoing.

A few may have agreed; others, who may have a few families living under one roof, are uncertain.

Instead of this 0.7 acres, the residents had asked the state for two acres of adjacent land, but were told that that was state reserve land.

Meanwhile, they have a date with the Federal Court on 18 August on one side, while on the other, the developer has given them until Friday to leave.

Reprieve for Kg Buah Pala!

Photos by a kind soul

ISA detainees are tortured under interrogation


“The behaviour of the defendants is inhumane, cruel and despicable, as the plaintiff was not just arrested and detained unlawfully for 57 days but was also subjected to a vile assault, unspeakable humiliation, prolonged physical and mental ill-treatment.”


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Ex-ISA detainee gets RM2.5mil in landmark decision
By Chelsea L.Y. Ng, The Star
19 October 2007

In an unprecedented move, the High Court awarded RM2.5mil in damages to an ex-ISA detainee for having been unlawfully arrested, detained and beaten up while in police custody in 1998.

High Court Judge Hishamudin Mohd Yunus granted the award after ruling that Abdul Malek Hussin had succeeded in suing former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor, a police officer and the Government for the misdeeds done to him during the detention.

“The behaviour of the defendants is inhumane, cruel and despicable, as the plaintiff was not just arrested and detained unlawfully for 57 days but was also subjected to a vile assault, unspeakable humiliation, prolonged physical and mental ill-treatment,” the judge said in his judgment yesterday.

SEE VIDEO: Malik Hussin reveals how he was tortured under ISA detention


He added that the arrest and detention were unlawful because Abdul Malek was not told of what he had done or intended to do that would pose a threat to national security.

Apart from ruling that the arrest and detention smacked of mala fide, the judge also said they were done for political purposes rather than for the sake of national security.

The case is the first where a former ISA detainee has won millions in damages.

In 1996, a former ISA detainee, Guracharan Singh, won his case for unlawful detention but was awarded nominal damages of RM1.

Yesterday, when Justice Hishamudin spoke of the inhumane acts, he was referring to Abdul Malek’s account of how Special Branch police officer Asst Supt Borhan Daud had slapped him thrice during the arrest at 10pm on Sept 25, 1998, blindfolded him and taken him to the police contingent headquarters here.

At the headquarters, Abdul Malek had told the court, he continued to be blindfolded and was led into an air-conditioned room before being stripped naked, verbally abused, hit in the face and body as well as having urine-like liquid poured into his mouth which was forced open.

He had testified that he knew Abdul Rahim was one of those who assaulted him in that room because at one point his blindfold slipped and he was able to see his assailants.

Justice Hishamudin said the practice of torture of any kind was to be detested.

“The Special Branch Department must not only be neutral but must also be seen to be neutral and non-partisan. It must be above politics,” he said when awarding RM1mil in exemplary damages.

“The despicable conduct of the then IGP was shameful and a disgrace. He showed an extremely bad example to the thousands of men under his charge,” he said.

The judge stressed that the award of exemplary damages was necessary to show “the abhorrence of the court of the gross abuse of an awesome power under the Internal Security Act.”

“Any gross abuse of this power, therefore, must be visited with an award of exemplary damages to ensure that the extent of abuse is kept to the most minimal, if not eliminated completely.

“The practice of torturing detainees by the police can never and should never be condoned by the courts. The court must show its utmost disapproval,” said Justice Hishamudin.

He said he believed Abdul Malek's story rather than that of the police officers because there were glaring discrepancies, as if it was “being concocted to present some kind of chronology of events” to cover up what had happened in the first four hours of Abdul Malek's detention.

Apart from the exemplary damages, the judge also awarded general damages of RM1mil and RM500,000 for false imprisonment and the assault and ill-treatment, respectively.

Abdul Malek, 51, is now the chairman of a non-governmental organisation called Malaysians For Free and Fair Elections.


Dissent is democracy’s twin

The Sun, 27 October 2007

THE Internal Security Act (ISA) is defended as a necessary evil for containing potential threats to national security. Under that broad objective, however, a whole range of civil liberties have been compromised ever since the law was promulgated in the early 1960s to contain the threat of communist terrorism.

Over the decades, the long list of ISA detainees have included opposition politicians, academicians, trade unionists, women’s rights leaders, environmental activists, social reformers and members of religious groups, among others. How these dissidents can be considered threats to national security is a question that has been posed time and time again, without being satisfactorily answered.

However, the scope for challenging the use of the ISA has been extremely constrained, since the police are empowered to detain anyone on the mere suspicion that he or she may be a threat to national security, the maintenance of essential services or to economic activity, as stated in Section 73(1) of the Act. Moreover, the minister is empowered to extend the detention order for up to two years, and in effect, indefinitely, without judicial review.

Last Thursday, a ray of hope emerged with the High Court decision to award RM2.5 million to former ISA detainee Abdul Malek Hussin for his detention for 57 days in 1998. Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus found that Abdul Malek’s arrest was unlawful because he was never told the grounds for his arrest, a right protected under Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution. Furthermore, the judge found that Abdul Malek’s claim that he was never interrogated concerning any planned or actual violent act had been unchallenged. This made the use of the ISA unlawful, the judge said.

This judicial finding creates the space for peaceful dissent without fear of a reprisal from the state, a fundamental liberty that is the hallmark of developed democracies. It is time to recognise that the freedom to exercise basic human rights is integral to a maturing democratic tradition. And not until the people are free to express their views within the limits of a wholesome social order will we qualify to take our place among the nations whose opinions matter to the rest of the world.

Anwar’s lawyers accuse prosecution of trial by ambush

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Aug 4 – Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyers today accused the prosecution in his Sodomy II trial of misconduct for omitting evidence required by law, including two medical reports which showed the complainant did not have any signs of anal penetration.

Speaking to reporters at the PKR headquarters here today, Anwar’s lawyers Sivarasa Rasiah and Edmund Bon stressed that a recent certificate under Section 51A(1)(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) signed by the public prosecutor and which is needed before the trial proper can start, was defective.

Under the law, the prosecution is required to mention the existence of all relevant evidence, including that which is favourable to the defence, as part of the discovery process.

Bon claimed the existence of two medical reports from a private hospital and the government-run Hospital Kuala Lumpur, on Anwar’s sodomy complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, showed there was no anal penetration.

He cited this as an example of evidence which was favourable to the defence.

“The Section 51A(1)(c) submitted is an illegal certificate which does not comply with the law,” Bon said.

“The prosecution has failed in its duty to carry out the law and the Attorney General’s guidelines,” he added.

Bon explained that under the Attorney General’s own guidelines on prosecution, the prosecution is required to give the defence a written statement pointing out facts that were favourable to the defence three weeks before the trial is scheduled to start.

The lawyers said they filed a new application to counter the prosecution’s latest move yesterday at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry.

The defence wants the high court to review the prosecution’s certificate and set it aside on the basis that it has broken the law which clearly provides an accused person a fair chance to defend himself in a trial.

They also want the court to order the prosecution to come up with a new certificate detailing all the facts in favour of the defence and a stop-order barring the prosecution from continuing their case against Anwar until they’ve handed over the new certificate.

They named deputy public prosecutor Hanafiah Zakaria, one of the seven prosecution members who signed the certificate, in their suit.

Sivarasa, who is also the MP for Subang, explained that Parliament had amended criminal law two years ago making it compulsory for the prosecution to tell the defence there are certain facts favourable to the accused person before the trial begins.

While the new provision of law does not create a completely level playing field, it is still a fairer chance for the accused to defend himself in court, he said.

Before 2007, he said the accused was only entitled to the police report against him.

“It’s literally a trial by ambush,” said Sivarasa on his client’s current status.

Pakatan condemns racist Utusan article, calls it seditious

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Aug 4 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders scoffed at an opinion piece published in Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia today accusing the multi-racial three-party opposition bloc of deliberately working to undermine the special rights and privileges of the Malays.

“I think it's an article which shows the severe desperation of Umno apologists,” PAS central committee member Dr Hatta Ramli told The Malaysian Insider in an immediate reaction to the scare-mongering piece written by Noor Azam.

“I don't think Malays will be influenced by such racist articles which are intended to split the unity of the Malaysian people,” he added.

The Kuala Krai MP noted that the public was well-aware of the duplicity of the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership which had failed to create unity among the different ethnic and religious groups.

“The three main parties in BN are trying to create opportunities for their own leadership, not create a prosperous Malaysia for all Malaysians. That's why the people are angry at them,” he said.

He sighed when asked to comment on Noor Azam's declaration turning public institutions such as the courts, the police and the military into Malay institutions.

It seemed a familiar and frequently-asked question he had faced before.

“That's the whole problem. It's as if they are all Malay racial institutions when they are actually Malaysian institutions upheld by everyone,” Dr Hatta said.

He added that even if the institutions were presently staffed more by the Malays than Chinese or Indian, it is “all preferential; these people want to be there.”

“It is unwise and it is dangerous to classify the institutions as Malay. Any criticism to these institutions will then be taken as a challenge to the Malay position, which is a lop-sided view and may have been the wrong strategy used in the past to get bigger support,” he said.

Dr Hatta assured the Malay community that all their rights and privileges would be protected under PR leadership, a point which his fellow PR national lawmaker from the Chinese-dominated DAP highlighted, referring to the Utusan journalist's claims that the Malays had lost their special position in three states governed by PR after their landslide win in the March 8 general election last year.

DAP's Tony Pua claimed that Penang Malays had benefitted the most out of all the three main races after Lim Guan Eng's administration ran a programme to give families hit by hardcore poverty a monthly allowance.

“We're the first state to increase kafa allowances for religious teachers,” he said. Pua is also the Penang chief minister's investment officer based in the Klang Valley.

“This shows that it does not take a Malay government to benefit Malays,” he added.

The DAP publicity secretary objected to the Utusan commentary painting his party as an evil Chinese organisation puppeteering its Malay partners in order to reach its own political gains, including top government posts.

“If Pakatan comes to power, the chief posts may be given to non-Malays. But such posts are not the monopoly of any one race, not in our Constitution,” he said.

Pua added that the DAP was not “challenging” the special rights of the Malays, and especially not the royal institution.

In his view, the Attorney General should review the “racist and more important than that, seditious”article, which Pua feels really threatens the security of the country.

“In this case, there should be no selective prosecution,” he concluded.

Is Najib giving an undertaking that if inquest is unsatisfactory to Teoh family, the RCI will be empowered to probe into the causes and circumstances

By Lim Kit Siang

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is reported as saying in Pekan today that the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) set up by the government following the mysterious death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock will take into account the findings of the n ongoing magistrate’s inquest.

He explained to reporters that the RCI’s full scope, which includes looking into the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation procedures, is pending the completion of the inquest into the death of Teoh.

“We have to go through the inquest first which will determine the cause of (Teoh’s) death.”

Najib said the RCI, which will look into the procedures of the MACC, would also take into account the findings of the inquest.

“The sequence has to be right,” he said.

I do not know what is this “sequence” that Najib is talking about as he seems to be have been given the wrong advice a second time by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, who had earlier given the Prime Minister and the Cabinet the wrong advice that there could not be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the causes and circumstances of Teoh’s mysterious death when under the law there has to be an inquest.

Professor Dr. Shad Faruqi of the of the Faculty of Law, UiTM in his article in the Star “Ferreting out the Facts” (29th July 2009) had dismissed Gani’s contention that a Royal Commission of Inquiry could not be established pending an inquest as “not convincing”.

In fact, Shad Faruqi supported the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry, stressing that “On the peculiar facts of this case, a Commission would have been most appropriate because of the legitimate expectations of the people created by assurances and proposals from many top politicians”.

As Shad Faruqi appreciated, “What is crucial is that justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done. Public skepticism is acute because despite considerable passage of time, no decisive evidence seems to have emerged”.

The Attorney-General should have briefed Najib by now of the case of the mysterious death of Dr. David Kelly in the United Kingdom in 2003 which caused a nation-wide uproar.

Kelly, a Ministry of Defence scientist, was found dead after appearing before a parliamentary committee investigating the political scandal of the UK war against Iraq as he was accused of leaking sensitive information to the British Broadcasting Corporation.

A judicial inquiry headed by a judge, Justice Hutton was established to inquire into the causes and circumstances of Kelly’s death.

The inquest into Kelly’s death by the Oxfordshire Coroner was adjourned while the inquiry proceeded. The inquiry reported on 28th January 2004 and the Oxfordshire Coroner announced in March 2004 that the inquest would not be reconvened.

There have been other cases of mysterious deaths which evoked great public concern where inquests into the deaths concerned were stood down until the outcome of high-level independent inquiries, after which the coroners concerned would decide whether to continue or terminate inquest proceedings.

So when Najib spoke about getting the “sequence right”, he should have first set up the RCI with expanded scope to inquire into the causes and circumstances of Teoh’s mysterious death, with the inquest standing down its inquiry until the outcome of the RCI.

In any event, what is Najib really trying to say?

Is Najib giving an undertaking that if the inquest into causes and circumstances of Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death is unsatisfactory to family members, the Royal Commission of Inquiry will be empowered to probe into the causes and circumstances of Teoh’s death?

This is in fact Najib’s assurance to the Teoh’s family members, his father, mother, elder brother, sisters and fiancĂ©e when they met in Putrajaya last Tuesday in response to the query by the family whether they could ask for a RCI into the causes and circumstances of Teoh’s death if they are not satisfied with the inquest findings.

If this is Najib’s position, then let him state it clearly and unequivocally and let the Cabinet tomorrow take and make a formal decision on it after the meeting.

Vell Paari crying conspiracy in Selvarani’s fall from 17th. Floor

The Traveler, Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Vell Paari, Samy Vellu’s son, is turning the table on his detractors who previously had a heyday linking him to the drama actress Sujatha’s death.

Vell Paari is married to popular Tamil singer Shaila Nair but was having an affair with Sujatha, showering her with luxury condominium, expensive cars and overseas trips.

Today in his Tamil Nesan daily, he continued to harp on the Selvarani death falling from 17th.floor of her luxury condominium.

“Did she fall accidently or did someone throw her out from 17th. floor?”, Vell Paari posed the question.

“An inquiry must be carried out to find out why and who are those behind the scene for her death”, he added.

OMS Thiagarajan admitted having met Vell Paari to discuss several hot political issues including Selvarani’s death but each of them giving different version of the conversation.

Meanwhile, OMS Thiagarajan has threatened to file a law suit on Vell Paari.

On Manikavasagam, Vell Paari insisted having met Manikavasagam for 2 hours at Jalan Ampang coffee shop which Manikavasagam denied.

Also, denied having any knowledge of the mysteries surrounding Selvarani’s demise. Again, both of them provided different version of the story.

Though, Vell Paari has ulterior motive and his credibility is seriously at stake, -- in the Sujatha’s death inquiry, he said that Sujatha is like his daughter -- one cannot dismiss out rightly the conversations he supposedly had with OMS Thiagarajan and Kapar MP Manikavasagam.

Since powerful personalities are involved, an inquiry by the relevant authorities will be the right thing to do.


From: Malaysian Bar website
OBITUARY: Selvarani Paneerselvam
Monday, 25 June 2007 04:46pm

Contributed by Mary Tan (KLBC Secretariat)

Selvarani Paneerselvam [1978-2007]

KUALA LUMPUR, Monday: The Bar records with deep sadness the passing of Selvarani Paneerselvam. She was only 29.

Selvarani fell to her death from her 17th floor apartment unit in Bukit OUG, Off Old Klang Road early yesterday morning.

Born on 27 September 1978, Selvarani was admitted into the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn on 14 April 2003 and Called to the English Bar on 22 July 2004. Upon her return to Malaysia, she read in the Chambers of Mr. S Gnasalingam of Messrs SG Lingam & Co. and was admitted as an Advocate & Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya on 12 October 2006. She then joined the firm of Kumar Hashimah & Co. as a legal assistant.

Selvarani was very supportive of the activities of the Bar. In her short time with the Bar, she had served on the 2006/07 Relevan Editorial Board of the Kuala Lumpur Bar and had contributed articles to the said publication including a book review Courting Justice by David Boies. Her colleagues in the Relevan Editorial Board describe her as intelligent, kind, thoughtful, eloquent and easygoing. The Bar will miss her greatly and her death is a great loss to the Bar.

Funeral service will be held tomorrow, 26 June 2007 at the Nirvana Memorial Centre at Jalan Kuchai Lama from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. with special prayers from 1.00 p.m. to 2.00 p.m. Cremation will be at 3.00 p.m. at the P.J. Crematorium.


Lawyer falls 17 storeys to death
Monday, 25 June 2007 11:49am

Selvarani Paneerselvam ©The Sun (

A 29-year-old lawyer fell to her death from her 17th floor apartment unit in Bukit OUG, off Old Klang Road, early yesterday.

Selvarani Paneerselvam (pix), who lived with her aunt, was found sprawled on the ground about 7am. She was clad only in undergarments.

It is learnt she had returned home just two hours earlier after an outing with a female friend.

The victim, a graduate from King’s College in London, joined a law firm in Bangsar six months ago but quit the job last week to fulfil her ambition as a United Nations official.

It is learnt Selvarani, whose father is a UN diplomat based in Pakistan, had been accepted as a member of the International
Red Cross and was supposed to report for duty next month.

According to her friend, who declined to be named and was shocked over her death, Selvarani was a bright lawyer who often kept to herself but performed her duties diligently.

Police have ruled out foul play and have classified the case as sudden death.


Tamil Nesan 040809


Makkal Osai 040809

Kg Buah Pala Demolition Postponed Again

PENANG, Aug 4 (Bernama) -- The demolition of houses in Kampung Buah Pala, which was supposed to take place on Tuesday, has been postponed for the second time to enable the problem to be thrashed out by the residents and the developer.

Deputy Chief Minister II P.Ramasamy said the developer, Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd had agreed to postpone the demolition following a meeting with state government representatives last night.

A draft on the solution is being prepared by the state government and the developer, he told reporters after meeting the residents here.

"We have also agreed to meet the residents at Komtar at 7.30pm tonight to discuss the draft solution," he added.

At the meeting today, the residents voiced their dissatisfaction over the delay in resolving the problem.

Expecting the demolition today, about 200 people, most of them clad in orange T-shirt, gathered as early as 6am at Kampung Buah Pala to give their moral support to the residents.

They formed a blockade by sitting in the middle of the road leading to the village under the watchful eyes of policemen and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) workers.

Penang police chief Datuk Ayub Yaakob said the police had set up a mobile beat base in the village and deployed about 100 policemen there as a precautionary measure.

The Kampung Buah Pala land became an issue after the Federal Court issued an order for the 23 families living on the 2.6ha land, dubbed High Chaparral, to vacate it by Aug 2.

The houses were set for demolition on Monday by the landowner, Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang decided to give the residents a one day reprieve to allow them to remove their belongings.

Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association assistant secretary C Tharmaraj called on state Indian leaders to resign if they could not solve the issue and urged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to reclaim the land for the residents.

Meanwhile, the residents' lawyer, Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff said the demolition could not be carried out pending the Federal Court's decision on the residents' application for leave to appeal against vacant possession on Aug 18.

"A court representative raised this point a meeting attended by the developer, the police and residents last night," Mohd Yusmadi, who is also Member of Parliament for Balik Pulau, told reporters here.

The residents had filed for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the High Court's dismissal of their application to set aside the writ of vacant possession and the bailiff's notice.

The residents' lawyer, Darshan Singh Khaira filed the application last Friday at the Court of Appeal registry.

MIC Youth Political Bureau chairman V.Mugilan urged the federal government to intervene and help the residents, and added that the movement would raise funds with the assistance of non-government organisations to buy the land.

"We want the state government to take over the land by gazetting it. It does not cost them any money," he added.

Orang Melayu Bersatu Menegakkan Keadilan Dan Menentang Kezaliman

Apabila terdesak, ada yang sanggup berbuat apa sahaja kendatipun tindakan itu merupakan fitnah melampau dan memperlihatkan kerendahan akal budi. Demikian mahu diperalatkan, maka ada yang sanggup negara ini hangus dibakar api kebencian. Keterdesakan melihat kemaraan rakyat, bersama agenda Perubahan, muslihat jahat mengapi-apikan sentimen perkauman sempit ditiupkan.

Biarlah hatta pembohongan itu menzalimi sesama manusia asalkan umno-bn kekal berkuasa. Momokan disebarkan kononnya orang Melayu diperalatkan oleh Pakatan Rakyat demi kelansungan perjuangan. Alasan yang diberikan kerana orang Melayu turun beramai-ramai menyertai perhimpunan aman untuk menyerahkan memorandum kepada Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong.

Saya dengan rasa rendah hati dan bukan kepalang gembira serta bangga mengakui hakikat sememangnya orang Melayu berduyun-duyun menyertai perhimpunan aman bersama Pakatan Rakyat menzahirkan kebencian mereka kepada kezaliman dan ketidakadilan. Memang benar puluhan ribu orang Melayu bersatu mahukan ISA dimansuhkan. Memang benar laungan Takbir berselang seli dengan Hidup Rakyat dan Reformasi.

Pada hari yang bersejarah itu orang Melayu bersama-sama rakan-rakan mereka, kaum Cina, India, Iban dan Kadazan serta seluruh rakyat Malaysia melafazkan talkin untuk kezaliman, penindasan serta kebencian. Upaya untuk mengelirukan rakyat dengan taktik pecah dan perintah adalah usaha lapok yang sudah mamah dimakan zaman.



1. I would like to thank everyone for the comments on the above.

2. Of course I don't like to be criticised. Anyone who says he likes criticism must be a hypocrite.

3. I admit that ever since I became Minister of Education in 1974, through my period as Deputy Prime Minister and then 22 years as Prime Minister I committed a lot of mistakes. I would not be human if I did not.

4. I am sure my critics also made mistakes in their lifetime. The only difference is that their mistakes affected only themselves. But if they get the chance to be PM maybe they will make the same mistakes I made. And we all will suffer.

5. Now we are seeing the former opposition parties forming Governments in several States. They were before very critical of Government mistakes. Now they seem to be making mistakes too.

6. Malaysians will have a tough time in the next general election. They may not like Barisan Nasional which for 50 years have been throwing tens of thousands into detention under the Internal Security Act, wasting public money building towers, airports, ports, highways etc, muzzling the Press etc etc. But they will find the so-called alternative coalition not much better.

7. Really Malaysia is a most unfortunate country. It has experienced misrule ever since independence. And it looks like it will continue to be misruled whether the incumbent or the opposition wins.

8. Maybe independence was a mistake also. How much better we would be under British rule. No one would be detained under the ISA. Everyone, Communists included, would be able ot speak their minds and contest in elections. Someone should be blamed for making the mistake of fighting for independence.

9. Cry my beloved country.

Malaysia Has To Change To Innovation-Based Economy, Says Najib

KUANTAN, Aug 4 (Bernama) -- Malaysia needs a paradigm shift from a knowledge-based economy to innovation-centred in order to stand in the same row with advanced nations, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today. "This is important especially in efforts to integrate the economy with the global economic network.

"We are determined to continue to bring changes to the economy. Now, we are working towards innovation-centred economy. The three main features are creativity, innovation value and high skills," he said when launching MSC Malaysia Pahang Initiative. Najib said the MSC Malaysia was a crucial initiative in ensuring innovation was at the highest level. So far, MSC Malaysia has set up more than 2,300 MSC-status companies which have provided 80,000 highly-skilled jobs.

On the national broadband penetration plan, the prime minister said Malaysia had achieved 26 per cent so far and aimed to increase it to 50 per cent by next year.

"The government is confident of achieving the target. If we attain the 50 per cent target, a study by the Economic Planning Unit showed it would boost the national GDP by 1.2 per cent," said Najib who is also Finance Minister.

The MSC Malaysia Pahang Initiative is part of the MSC Malaysia's overall rollout plan which aims to spread the MSC Malaysia benefits and value propositions nationwide.

It will complement the East Coast Economic Region development plan through the use of ICT.

MDeC is now the strategic advisor to the Pahang State Government and will be working closely with the Pahang Technology Resources Sdn Bhd (PTR), the One Stop Agency for MSC Malaysia Pahang to plan and implement ICT programmes.

PTR is a company wholly-owned by the Pahang state government.

Najib said the government had approved RM12.86 million to the Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) under the second stimulus package for the implementation of MSC Malaysia ICON programme for the rivate sector.

This is in line with the government's aspiration to increase the national broadband penetration and generating demand through the enablement of online content.

MDeC was tasked to lead the private sector initiatives in the development on online contents while Malaysia Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) has been entrusted to lead the public sector initiatives.

The MSC Malaysia ICON programmes include the award of grants to small and medium enterprises to develop and re-purpose the educational and social networking based content for online enablement, development program targeted at local developers to produce mobile and online applications.

Besides supporting the effort to increase the national broadband penetration, the MSC Malaysia ICON programmes intend to open up opportunities for local entrepreneurs to participate in the development of online contents through targeted support in the areas of project funding, skills development and infrastructural requirement.

Under MSC Malaysia ICON, among the programmes initiated are ICONedu, ICONity, ICONapps and ICONex.