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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Kampung Buah Pala - "Not a matter of race"

Custody of Pathmanathan raises questions about recognition to state terrorism

The manner in which Selvarasa Pathmanathan was 'arrested' and ended up in the custody of the Sri Lankan state that is widely accused of war crimes, genocide and state terrorism, raises serious concerns about the world outlook to political justice, Tamil circles said. Mr. Pathmanathan who denounced violence was engaged in re-organising the LTTE and in consenting the formation of a transnational body for the Eezham Tamils. Meanwhile, acknowledging Pathmanathan’s custody, Colombo’s minister and spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwela said Friday: “There was some false hopes that after the LTTE was crushed that movement could be revived with Pathmanathan. But we have proved that we have the capability of getting to them from wherever they emerge.”

Mr. Pathmanathan, a senior member of the LTTE was appointed in January as the head of its international relations and was recently named by a committee as its chairperson.

According to Tamil circles, Mr. Pathmanathan was mysteriously kidnapped in Malaysia on Wednesday and was sent to Colombo.

There were earlier reports that he was arrested in Thailand but the Thai Prime Minister refuted them.

Colombo refused to identify the country where he was arrested but said that its personnel were involved in the act.

For quite some time now, certain intelligence and journalistic sections were pressing for the arrest of Pathmanathan. Some of them were dubious with seeming sympathy to him in order to deviate blame and ultimately to confuse the course of Tamil nationalist struggle, said Tamil circles.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said Friday that his government would "allow any country to question Mr Pathmanathan now in custody keeping with the agreements and conventions with those respective countries."

India and Sri Lanka have registered cases against him with the Interpol long back.

Colombo’s track record about Tamil political prisoners is notorious for more than quarter a century, ever since the 1983 brutal prison killings of the leaders like Kuttimani and Thangadurai and humanitarian workers like Dr. Rajasundaram.

Sri Lankan state has graduated now, with what seems to be international assent, to incarcerate cadres of the liberation struggle in tens of thousands and civilians in hundreds of thousands as war prisoners without any guarantee to their lives.

Currently there are fears about the lives of hundreds of senior LTTE leaders.

As war criminals and terrorists hide behind the banner of state and the world doesn’t care for a whole nation incarcerated, a revealing news was the Reuter reporting that stock market significantly went up in Colombo with the arrest of Pathmanathan.

Sources: Wanted terror suspect Top killed

Police investigate the aftermath of a bomb blast at a restaurant in the Marriot hotel in Jakarta.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- Noordin M. Top, one of Asia's most wanted terrorism suspects and linked to several Indonesian bombings in the past decade, was killed Saturday, ending a six-year manhunt, two law enforcement sources tell CNN.

A poster in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, has under "dicari," or"wanted," Noordin Top.

A poster in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, as under "dicari," or"wanted," Noordin Top.

He was killed during an 18-hour firefight with an Indonesian anti-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, in Indonesia's Central Java town of Temanggung, a security forces source and a police source said.

Top, a Malaysian-born explosives expert, is believed to have been behind the twin hotel bombings in Jakarta last month. A statement attributed to him claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing attacks against the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels where seven people and the two suspected bombers were killed, and more than 50 were wounded.

It was the first major terrorist attack in Indonesia in more than three years.

Top was also suspected in the 2004 attack on the Australian Embassy in Jakarta where 16 people were killed and more than 200 wounded, national police chief Bambang Hendarso said.

Top, who was to turn 41 next week, was reportedly an officer, recruiter, bomb-maker and trainer for a small splinter group of the militant organization Jemaah Islamiyah, which has ties to al Qaeda. He allegedly was involved in a previous attack on the Marriott in Jakarta in August 2003, as well as attacks on a Bali nightclub in 2002, and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, according to the FBI.

In February 2006, the FBI added Top to its list of 10 suspected terrorists who have not been charged in the United States and officially are wanted only for questioning.

Indonesian police took into questioning one of his wives, Arina Rohmah, last month, but according to her lawyer, she did not know she was married to Top but rather to a teacher known as Abdul Halim.

The firefight began Friday afternoon, with witnesses telling Indonesian television about gunfire and explosions coming from the direction of the house where Top and three to four people were believed to be holed up.

Security forces had launched the raid after two people believed to be nephews of its owner were arrested earlier in the day, according to Indonesia's official ANTARA News Agency.

"Police officers entered the house and fired profusely inside the house while other policemen surrounded the house and opened its windows by force," ANTARA reported.

After the gunfire ended, local television showed police with their helmets off, shaking hands and carrying caskets into the house, suggesting that those inside the house had been killed or captured.

In another victory Saturday, Indonesian police killed two militants believed to be connected with the 2004 embassy bombing and found a cache of explosives on the outskirts of Jakarta, the national police chief said.

Police found about 100 kg (220 lbs) of explosives along with bomb-making materials and a truck, which they did not immediately open out of fear it might have been rigged to explode, Hendarso added.

Also on Saturday, a man identified as Suryana, who uses the aliases Yayan and Gepeng, was arrested in north Jakarta on suspicion of terrorism charges, said police Inspector General Nanan Soekarna.

Soekarna could not say if Suryana was connected with last month's Jakarta hotel bombings or other incidents.

INQUEST: Murder angle 'never investigated'

pix_middle

(NST) SHAH ALAM: The possibility that political aide Teoh Beng Hock was pushed out of the building, which led to his death, was never investigated.

Instead, police had only focused their investigations on whether Teoh could have fallen out the window or had committed suicide.

This was the allegation from counsel Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh's family in the inquest to determine how he died.

"The possibility that Teoh was pushed out of the window of the 14th floor (the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's state office occupies the 14th and 15th floors of Plaza Masalam) was not investigated" he said after visiting the scene yesterday.

"This dampens our case."

He said he believed that Teoh was murdered and would elicit this evidence during the inquest.

"If necessary, we will make an application to coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas to order the police to carry out further investigations on this angle.

"So far, witnesses in the inquest have testified based only on the possibility that he had fallen from the building or had committed suicide.

"The police may have overlooked the murder angle."

After the site visit, Gobind said they wanted the police to investigate two items. He, however, did not reveal what they were.

Counsel Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said parties involved in the inquest were given a "guided tour" of the scene by investigating officer ASP Ahmad Nazri Zainal.

"The I.O. brought us to the places where Teoh was that night and to the site where he died."

Malik said the window from which Teoh fell could be opened wide but he would not speculate on how Teoh had died.

On the fourth day of the inquest yesterday, the court visited the MACC's office in Plaza Masalam to give parties a chance to visualise and to get a better understanding of the surroundings.

They were first taken to the MACC offices at levels 14 and 15 and then to the fifth floor where Shorga Sdn Bhd was located and through which they went to the site where Teoh's body was found.

They also went to another office, Tuah Tankers Sdn Bhd, also on the fifth floor, before the "tour" ended at the Plaza Masalam control room at the lobby.

The court authorities arrived at 9.30am and left some two hours later. Some 30 policemen escorted the entourage.

Senior judge Gopal Sri Ram in legal tussle over law books

Sri Ram is taking on his former legal partners. — File pic

By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Federal Court judge Datuk Gopal Sri Ram has filed a civil suit against his former partners in their legal firm over the right to claim a collection of law books that he says belong to him until he left in 1994.

Submissions were made by both sides at the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday afternoon before Judicial Commissioner Harminder Singh and a verdict is expected on Aug 14.

At stake are law-related materials consisting of books, reports, journals and others that are part of the law library of the law firm of Sri Ram and Co up until Sri Ram's retirement from his partnership of that firm on Sept 17, 1994.

Sri Ram is the sole plaintiff while eight defendants have been named — Datuk C. Vijaya Kumar, C. Sri Kumar, R. Mohana Krishnan, Umadevi Govindasamy, Sabriya Khan, Balvinder Singh Kenth, Elizabeth Verghis and Godfrey D'Cruz.

Top lawyers Raja Aziz Addruse and Manjeet Singh Dhillon are representing Sri Ram in the suit and while his former partners have assigned Datuk Param Cumaraswamy, Nahendran Navaratnam, Alex D’Silva, N.V. Sree Harry and Chetan Jethwani as their lawyers.

According to court documents, Sri Ram claims that he built up the library as a sole proprietor of the law firm up until 1983 and partners who joined subsequent to that date were only profit and not asset-sharing partners.

"Although purchased from its fund of the law firm, it was agreed and/or accepted and/or acknowledged between the partners for the time being of the law firm: — that the law library was to belong to the plaintiff and that he alone was to have the proprietary interest and absolute ownership over it; and that for the purposes of assessing the profit of the law firm to be shared between the said partners (according to their agreed proportions), the cost of the purchase of the law library was to form part of the expenditure of the law firm," said Sri Ram in his amended statement of claim.

But his former partners are disputing this claim.

In a written submission, the defendants cited three former partners — Datuk Zulkifly Rafique, Shahul Hameed Amiruddin and C. Sri Kumar, who is also the second defendant — as denying the existence of the alleged special arrangement with regards to the law library.

"I did have an interest in the assets. It included the law library and everything else including typewriters and a number of items. I was never told that the law library was the sole property of Datuk Gopal Sri Ram," said Shahul Hameed in the written submission.

Police, Home Minister and Prime Minister will not be able to hold their heads high in international community if Musa Hassan is renewed as IGP when un

by Lim Kit Saing,

The 10,000-strong Malaysian police force, the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak will not be able to hold their heads high in international community if Tan Sri Musa Hassan is renewed as Inspector-General of Police next month when under his three-year leadership as the country No. 1 Cop, only 1% of the people feel safe while 97% feel unsafe from the high crime rate.

This result of the latest opinion poll of public feedback about the crime situation in the country could be dismissed as anti-police propaganda if it had been conducted under the auspices of opposition political parties or NGOs concerned about crime.

But this is not an option open to the Prime Minister, Home Minister and the Malaysian police force for this is the result of a poll conducted itself by the Home Ministry official website, http://www.ikdn.gov.my/.

Malaysia will become the laughing stock of the world, particularly the international policing community, if an IGP whose three years’ police leadership resulted in only 1% of respondents who felt safe while 97% felt unsafe because of the high crime rate in an official Home Ministry website could be rewarded with another extension of his renewal as IGP!

The sense of public safety of citizens, tourists and investors have deteriorated over the years according to official polls.

The Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission conducted a public opinion survey between 22nd November 2004 and 1 December 2004, and found that 89% of the 575 adult respondents from various parts of the country were “worried” to “extremely worried” about the occurrence of crime in their neighbourhood. Only 11% or a ratio of one in ten of the respondents were not worried. The level of worry was broadly similar across ethnic groups in urban areas from all 13 states and the Federal Territory.

The Commission published the details of the public opinion survey, viz:

Table – Ethnicity and Level of Worry

Ethnicity Level of Worry Total
Worried to Extremely Worried Not Worried to Not Very Worried
Number % Number %
Malay 215 89.2 26 10.8 241
Chinese 157 87.7 22 12.3 179
Indian 70 92.1 5 7.9 76
Other Bumiputra 25 86.2 4 13.8 29
Others 19 86.4 3 13.6 22
TOTAL 486 61 547

The Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission in its report of May 2005 observed:

“This very high level of worry is also a cause for deep concern, and should be addressed by PDRM.” (Ch. 3 Sec. 6.8 p. 62)

Instead of addressing and reducing the very high level of worry about public safety in his three years as IGP, Musa has achieved the opposite – cranking up the public worry about the lack of safety from crime and their fear of crime from 89% at the end of 2004 to the present 97%! In his three years as IGP, the crime situation has deteriorated from one in ten of the respondents who felt safe from crime to the dismal and scandalous one in 100 of the respondents who felt safe from crime!

The findings of the Home Ministry website opinion survey from 20th to 28th July 2009 are as follows:

20 Julai 2009 – 28 Julai 2009
Crime perception in Malaysia

What the crime perception is based on

Level of safety of Malaysians

Govt have done its best or not

Crime is global issue - agree or not

Unless the Home Minister and the Prime Minister are to rubbish or discredit the findings of the Home Ministry official website opinion poll, how can they justify the renewal of Musa as IGP when:

  • 97% or 9,729 out of 10,060 respondents felt unsafe because of the high crime rate, with only 1% or 89 respondents felt safe and 2% or 242 respondents in the “uncertain” category.

  • 95% or 8,883 out of 9,319 respondents felt that the safety of the people was not guaranteed as compared to 3% or 248 respondents who felt it was still guaranteed, with 2% or 188 respondents in the “uncertain” category.

  • 94% or 8,743 out of 9,261 respondents felt that government had not done its best to ensure that the safety of the people was at the best level with 2% or 185 respondents felt that the government had done its best, and 4% or 333 persons “uncertain”?

Any self-respecting and honourable IGP in these circumstances would have resigned or leave at the end of his tenure instead of lobbying for another term as IGP, blocking a new start for the police under a new IGP to revamp the entire police force to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police force capable of fulfilling the three core police functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and protect human rights.

Politically correct doesn’t mean economically correct

My SinChew
by Lim Mun Fah/ translated by Soong Phui Jee

Not long ago, the Prime Minister’s approval ratings among Malaysians have sharply risen. Perhaps, it was closely related to a series of good news and people-friendly measures announced by him. However, it is undeniable that after Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak took the office, one after another good news and people-friendly measure has been announced, it seemed like Santa Claus was giving away gifts that made us too busy to make proper responses.

Ultimately, however, everything has to return to the fundamentals. All new measures and policies have to face the tests of time and practices. The next three and a half years will be the performance check season and the effect will be reflected on the ballot papers.

The new trust fund, Amanah Saham 1Malaysia, with a maximum size of 10 billion units did not cause a mass fervor. To a certain extent, it might have reflected that the public’s passion to “receive gifts” has begun to subside. They no longer follow the trend but have calmed down and think about the potential risks, advantages and disadvantages of the investment. From the positive point of view, it is something good.

Reform does not mean only to shout out pleasant slogans or just focus on doing good in economy. Of course, economy is one of the most important components of the people’s lives. But never forget that in addition to economy, the people are concerned about education, cultural and political issues, too.

Really, Malaysians today are worried not only about the economic crisis, but as well the confused social order, ever-changing education policies and the racial polarization tendency.

The “One Malaysia” concept is good, but to really achieve the objective of “One Malaysia”, it requires not only economic improvements or it does not mean that the more special economic zones the better. Take China as an example, instead of hastily taking the second and the third steps, China first had a successful experience from Shenzhen Special Economic Zone before taking the following step of reform to open up.

“More” requires “better” as a basis. In other words, quantity is not the most important element. More importantly, we must have excellent quality, follow-up works, the ultimate practical effect, as well as whether the principle of fairness is truly reflected along the process.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. Instead of distributing “red packets” to the people during the economic downturn, it is better to find out a way to create more job opportunities for them. Instead of giving them a cane, it would be better to teach them how to be self-reliant. Therefore, whether it is the BN Federal Government or the Pakatan Rakyat State Governments, they should think twice before giving away any present to gain the people’s support and never make an “economic mistake” that brings endless flow of disastrous aftermath just for “political correctness”. (By LIM MUN FAH/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)

(The opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of MySinchew ) MySinchew 2009.08.07

Teoh Beng Hock inquest: Lawyer wants probe on whether Teoh was "pushed"

The Sun
by Giam Say Khoon

SHAH ALAM (Aug 7, 2009): Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh Beng Hock's family in the inquest on his death, said today he will apply to coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas to direct police to investigate on the theory that the political aide was pushed from Plaza Masalam.

He lamented that police investigation had been limited to the possibility that 30-year-old Teoh had either fallen or committed suicide and might have overlooked the possibility that he was murdered or pushed off the building which houses the state Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office on the 14th floor.

"The witnesses when interviewed by the police, were only asked based on the theory the police had developed. We will try to establish the theory that he (Teoh) could have been murdered or pushed off the building and apply to the coroner so that the police will also investigate based on this theory," he said.

Gobind was speaking to reporters after the coroner and lawyers had visited the MACC office and other parts of Plaza Masalam this morning. Today's the fourth day of the high-profile inquest.

Azmil, government lawyer Tan Hock Chuan and Gobind Singh Deo, Ram Karpal Singh and Lim Lip Eng, lawyers for Teoh's family as well as Selangor government lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and Bar Council representative Cheow Wee, arrived at the complex at 9.45am and immediate visited the MACC office, in particular the room where Teoh was questioned, and where he went after that.

At 10.50am, the group went to the balcony at the 5th floor where the 30-year-old political aide's body was found on July 16 to get a better idea of the layout of the place.

After spending about 20 minutes there, they moved to the security room at the 4th floor.

Gobind said the lawyers had asked the police to conduct further investigation on certain areas that they thought were significant to the case and the team had also found two new details, which he was unable to divulge.

"I cannot give any details on the two new findings now because we hope that further investigation can be carried out. We will tell the court later (about the details)," he said, adding that the inquest will hear from the pathologists on Monday and the police's forensic experts, who had examined the building, on Wednesday.

Gobind disclosed that the pathologists' reports and relevant documents had been sent to two specialists in Thailand and Australia for a second opinion and that he may request for the two to testify in the inquest if necessary.

When approached, Cheow said the team was brought around to visualise the MACC office and to where the suspects and witnesses were taken to when they were brought in and the place for interrogation as well as the place where Teoh had purportedly rested and the place where he was last seen.

He said Azmil had also interviewed four MACC officers on duty today but refused to say what was asked by the coroner.

On the description of the window, which Teoh had allegedly fallen from, Malik Imtiaz said the window was at waist height and "it could be open very wide" when asked if a person could fall from the window.

The 15-day inquest is being held to find the cause of Teoh's death. Teoh was found dead on the fifth floor of the building, after earlier being questioned for about 11 hours by the MACC as a witness in a case of alleged misappropriation of allocations for several state assemblymen. Teoh was political secretary to state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah.

Indonesian Police Shoot Dead Terrorists, 600kg Explosives Found

JAKARTA, Aug 8 (Bernama) -- Indonesian police have shot dead two terrorists and found 600kg of explosives early Saturday at the Bekasi housing area in Tangerang near here during a massive counter-terrorism operation since 4pm Friday.

Indonesian police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri named the two as Irawan and Eko.

In Temanggung district in Central Java, police were involved in an overnight shootout with five men who holed up in a house in Desa Kedu.

One of the men was believed to be Malaysian-born Noordin Mohd Top, Indonesia's most wanted man and the suspected mastermind behind several bombing incidents, including the latest on July 17 at the J.W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels here.

Police did not enter the house for fear that it might have been booby-trapped with explosives.

Bambang Hendarso told reporters that the explosives found on the house were believed to be for use in a planned terror attack on an important event two weeks from now.

He did not mention what the event was but on Aug 17, Indonesia would celebrate its independence day with a special reception at the presidential palace here.

Indonesian police had also launched similar operation in Solo, also in Central Java but had yet to release any reports.

High Chaparral rejects 'double-storey house' offer - Malaysiakini

Kampung Buah Pala residents did not meet a noon deadline to accept the 'double-storey terrace house' offer made by developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd

Kampung Buah Residents Association chairperson M Sugumaran said they are rejecting the offer as it is riddled with unacceptable conditions.

One of them, he pointed out, was the villagers were asked to withdraw all their court cases against the land deals pertaining to their village.

Another demanded virtually all 24 house owners in the village to vacate the land and handover possession to the land owner, Koperasi Pegawai Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang.

"One must understand that we are not fighting against Nusmetro, the state government or the cooperative society.

"We are challenging the land alienation marred by fraudulent land deals," said Sugumaran (above, left) at a press conference in the village this afternoon.

He said the offer letter was issued to all house owners during last Tuesday's meeting between the villagers and state government leaders in Komtar.

The villagers were given until noon today to accept the offer.

Sugumaran, however, said perhaps two residents may have accepted the offer, without naming them.

Villagers face demolition of homes

Kampung Buah Pala is also commonly known as Tamil High Chaparral due to its population of cowherds, cattle, goats, other live stocks and lively Tamil cultural features and festivities.

Despite the land being sold by the state government to the cooperative society last year, the villagers have refused to shift from their homes.

They, instead, demanded the authorities gazette their village as an Indian heritage living human village in Georgetown city.

They also submitted a memorandum to the Unesco heritage unit in Paris last week to add more steel to their struggle.

Georgetown and Malacca were given a combined world heritage city status by Unesco in July last year.

Armed with a court order, the developer warned residents that the village would be demolished and flattened if the residents failed to meet its Friday noon dateline by accepting its offer.

The developer plans to build a luxury condominium project called Oasis in the area.

Sugumaran said the state government should not have allowed Nusmetro to make the offer given that Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had said that the land alienation exercise carried out by the previous Barisan Nasional administration was tainted with fraud.

"When the chief minister himself has raised such allegations, it's only logical for the state government to right the wrong.

"If the state government continues to facilitate Nusmetro's offer, then the current government was clearly colluding with the previous administration to endorse the fraud.

"This is unbecoming of a responsible government," he told newsmen.

Ramasamy asked to explain RM500,000 claim

Meanwhile, the villagers adviser A Thiruvenggadam demanded the state government to explain its claim that villagers would be made owners of RM500,000 worth of properties through the Nusmetro offer.

He questioned how the state government can possibly assess the property value when the proposed double-storey terrace houses were yet to be built and given to the villagers.

The former councillor of Petaling Jaya municipality said the state government was wrong in evaluating a land that is yet to be developed.

"This is blatant act by the state government with a malicious intention to portray the villagers as greedy people.

"Truth is the villagers are the legitimate land owners and their village had been stolen from them by the state authorities," said Thiruvenggadam.

He was commenting on a statement by Deputy Chief Minister 2 P Ramasamy (left) in Tamil daily Makkal Osai yesterday.

Ramasamy was quoted as saying that "due to the relentless efforts by the Penang government, the villagers have been upgraded to owners of a half-million ringgit worth of property."

Malaysiakini could not reach Ramasamy for comment despite several attempts.

Coroner visits MACC office

Buta sebelah mata, pelajar saman polis 10 juta

Buah Pala residents agree in principle, but...

By Anil Netto,

In the confusion that surrounds the Kg Buah Pala crisis, a different version of events over the last 24 hours has emerged.

About 80 per cent of the villagers participated in a meeting last night along with several activists. The villagers are understandably upset – there is a strong sense that they have experienced a grave injustice.
The meeting was witnessed by Sungai Siput MP Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, who revealed some of the villagers’ main reservations over the developer’s offer.

According to him, the villagers have agreed in principle to the developer’s proposal – but subject to further fleshing out and clarification to ensure they are given a decent deal that protects their interests.

They are willing to dialogue and negotiate further with the developer and the state government on these points.

  • Their main reservation centres on the number of houses: 24 terrace houses is simply not going to be enough given the number of extended families, which could be over 40 families (perhaps not as high as the 60-odd families mentioned by some villagers). So they need more terrace houses.

  • They are also asking for temporary rental reimbursement for each family of about RM1,200 until the houses are ready.
  • They want the offer to be made in a proper legal document to each family, that is enforceable with details such as the housing specs and delivery date (two years?) shown.
  • They also need to know what happens if Nusmetro goes bankrupt or turns into a shell company or is unable to complete the project. What happens if the company doesn’t get all the necessary approvals? Will the state government stand as guarantor or could there be another mechanism to protect their interests? This should not be impossible to accommodate.
  • Some alternative grazing land provided for their cows.

Now, if for some reason the developer is unable to accommodate some of these points, the villagers are urging the state government to allow them to use the 2.4 acres of adjacent land, which is state reserve land. This could be divided into 24 lots (a similar number to the existing lots in the village) and the money that the developer was going to use to build the 24 terrace houses could be given to the villagers to build their own homes.

The state government, however, appears to be reluctant to allow this for fear that it would set a precedent – a fear that may be legitimate.

But what sets this case apart are the alleged elements of fraud in this particular deal – several MACC reports have been lodged. The state government could cite these as extraordinary circumstances that deserve an extraordinary solution – a real win-win solution.

If the Penang government is really interested in seeing justice done and the villagers’ interests protected, then it should seriously look into these reservations to ensure that an acceptable and just settlement is reached.

The residents agreed that Jeyakumar would convey these reservations and recommendations to the state government for it to consider. This he has done: this morning, he submitted a letter containing some of these points to the Chief Minister (Guan Eng was not in, so the letter was passed to his office) and personally to Deputy CM Ramasamy.

All is not lost if the state government could only look at the issue from the lens of the villagers and really understand their fears and insecurities. Few outsiders can feel their anguish at being wrenched apart from the land they have called home for generations – and all because of a land grab under dubious circumstances.

“They must be given a decent deal,” says Jeyakumar. “There are so many different people saying different things. I would take last night’s meeting, which was well attended, as reflecting what the villagers want.”

The above need not be seen as absolute demands but as the starting point or building blocks for further negotiations to arrive at a more just solution.

Meanwhile, the developer should be told once again that if there is forced eviction/demolition, the state government would stick to its pledge of revoking the development order.

Why I don’t need the NEP

Image

As I said, I would hate it if people say my success is because I happen to have been born Malay. I would prefer people say I am successful because I am smart. Why can’t other Malays share my pride? Why can’t other Malays take on Malaysians not of Malay ethnicity and fight them on a level playing field?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

It was more than 30 years or so ago, back in 1977. My Terengganu based company had tendered for the Ministry of Finance contract to supply marine engines to the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture. The Minister of Finance then was Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and the Minister of Agriculture, Sharif Ahmad

It was a RM30 million tender. At today’s purchasing power I really don’t know what that would be but I suppose we can easily multiply that by five. The biggest contract I had ever secured before that was for a value of RM750,000 -- so RM30 million was certainly a great leap forwards.

The tender committee met, chaired by Tengku Razaleigh. I, of course, had my eyes and ears in that meeting room, as I always do until this very day. And the decision of the tender committee was to award the entire contract to UMW, which was then headed by Eric Chia, with Datuk Dr Mokhzani Abdul Rahim as one of its Directors.

Invariably, Dr Mokhzani was a high profile and well-known Malay personality while I was a young unknown punk doing business in a remote fishing village called Kuala Terengganu. UMW was a star of the Malaysian corporate world with links not only to various Ministers but also all the way up to the Prime Minister. It was the only Malaysian company that enjoyed a Japanese government guarantee on all its purchases made from Japan on credit.

My company was a mere RM10,000 paid-up capital papa-mama outfit.

The tender committee allowed every member of the committee to have his say. Then the Minister spoke. The RM30 million contract would be awarded to the more stable and reliable UMW.

Then the Secretary spoke up. He was a short unassuming man. In a crowd he would probably blend with the wallpaper and go unnoticed. He was a hardcore ABIM member. He refuses to meet contractors and businessmen. If you made an appointment to see him he would never say yes and you would be left waiting months for the appointment to be confirmed. If you tried to gatecrash his office and attempt to get in without an appointment he would shout at you to get out of his office, like what I personally discovered.

This ABIM man, Secretary of the tender committee, spoke up. He said that the government should not give the entire contract to one company. There should not be any monopoly. At least two companies should be awarded the contract. UMW is offering Mitsubishi. This small papa-mama outfit in Terengganu is offering Yanmar. Give both these companies the contract.

Yes, said the Minister. But the Terengganu company’s price is higher. UMW is cheaper by 7%.

What if we negotiate with the Terengganu company and ask them to reduce their price, suggested the Secretary of the tender committee. Only if they can match UMW’s price will we give them the contract.

Okay, ask them to reduce their price and offer them 30% of the contract, ruled the Minister.

Why 30%, the very stubborn Secretary asked. By now my ‘eyes and ears’ in that meeting room was absolutely amused and quite puzzled as to why the Secretary, who did not know me from Adam, would go out on a limb to oppose his Minister in favour of me.

Okay, then give UMW and this Terengganu company 50:50. Each company will get RM15 million. But the Terengganu company will have to first reduce its price and match UMW’s offer. If not then UMW gets the entire contract.

I received a call from my ‘eyes and ears’ who told me what happened. Great, so I will soon be called and asked to reduce my price. And if I reduce it by 7% then I will get half the contract. A few days later that was exactly what happened. And as to why this ABIM man, the Secretary of the tender committee, fought for me I do not know until today. I can only assume it is because he wanted to do the right thing. He was, after all, an ABIM member and someone who holds Islam as his guiding principle. I am sure he too was equally surprised as to how come I offered a 7% discount, which ‘coincidentally’ brought our price down to exactly what UMW was offering.

Anyway, UMW and my company each got half the RM30 million contract. But whether we will really get RM15 million worth of orders in the end was left to be seen. The contract was a two-year contract. But the amount would all depend on which engines the fishermen chose.

UMW brought in RM6 million worth of engines, confident that they can sell all. I had less then RM1 million in stock and would have to contact Singapore and Indonesia in the event I needed more. But which brand will the fishermen choose? Yanmar or Mitsubishi?

UMW started giving away a few engines free of charge so that the fishermen could try them out. They were hoping that this would be a great endorsement for their Mitsubishi engines whereby more fishermen would demand their brand. They even gave all these fishermen who agreed to try out their engines ‘cash rewards’. And they of course got to keep the engines as well.

I realised that UMW was an aggressive company -- always has been -- and they would probably sweep the market. I could not afford to do what UMW was doing so I went back to Yanmar and negotiated two free engines from them so that we could do what UMW was doing. Yanmar agreed.

I went to meet two of those fishermen who had received free Mitsubishi engines from UMW and offered them these Yanmar engines, also free of charge. But the condition was, they would have to first sabotage their Mitsubishi engines in the middle of the sea and get rescued by the Fisheries Department.

Invariably, when word spread throughout the fishing villages that two brand new Mitsubishi engines broke down in the middle of the sea and the two boats spent the whole night drifting aimlessly and had to be towed back to port, no one wanted to touch Mitsubishis.

UMW was stuck with unsold Mitsubishis worth RM6 million. My RM15 million contract ended up as a RM30 million contract because UMW could not sell anything. And I laughed all the way to the bank, the double pleasure of defeating the great UMW at its own game.

Now, at this stage, you may be asking what the point of this whole story is. Simple really. I won. UMW lost. No matter how much bigger, powerful and influential they may have been, I still beat them. And I beat them not because I had contacts with the Minister or Prime Minister like UMW. I beat them not because of the NEP. I beat them not because I bribed the government officers and politicians. I beat them not because I was an Umno member. I beat them not because I am Malay. I beat them because I was more devious and dirty than those devious and dirty people in UMW.

I would hate it if people say that I won the RM30 million contact because I am Malay or because of the NEP or because I am an Umno member or whatever. That would be implying I am not really that smart but was given a crutch or handicap. Even a blind man can walk on the streets if you hold his hand and guide him along. I would like to believe that I won the contract because, while I knew UMW had friends in high places, I kept tabs on what they were doing by infiltrating the Ministry of Finance tender committee with my spies. And because of this I was able to monitor what my enemies were doing.

After getting the contract I had to ensure that UMW did not get any orders. And to ensure this I sabotaged their engines on the high sea and gave Mitsubishi a bad name. After that they could not even give away those engines free let alone sell them. And this is not because I am Malay or because of the NEP or whatever.

I am opposed to the NEP in its present form -- that is no secret. However, I do feel that a special poverty alleviation programme must replace it so that the have-nots and less fortunate can be assisted. But I don’t believe the Malays need special protection and handicaps to win the game. I, for one, resent it if someone says my success is attributed to the fact I happen to be born Malay. This is the same as saying if I was not born Malay I would be a failure.

Who says we Malays are weak and stupid and that we need crutches? I beat the biggest and most powerful Chinese public company called UMW back in 1977. And I beat them using their own strategy. And UMW is not the only big company I whacked. Fusan fishing net company got whacked by me. Pernas got whacked by me. Shamlin got whacked by me. The Bank Pertanian trading company, can’t remember its name now, got whacked by me. I took on the big boys, those with loads of money and political connections, and beat them. And it is not because I am Malay or because of the NEP. I would honestly like to believe it is because I have brains.

As I said, I would hate it if people say my success is because I happen to have been born Malay. I would prefer people say I am successful because I am smart. Why can’t other Malays share my pride? Why can’t other Malays take on Malaysians not of Malay ethnicity and fight them on a level playing field? It is so much more satisfying when you win that way rather than you engage in a boxing match with an opponent whose hands are tied behind his back and a blindfold over his eyes. Anyone can win that type of contest.

Khairy to PAS youth: Come join us to defend Islam

(Bernama) - The Umno Youth movement today invited its PAS counterpart to be together with the movement in a ceramah to be held in Shah Alam on Aug 14 to lash out at certain parties that had been insulting Islam.

Umno Youth head Khairy Jamaluddin said the movement wanted to see to what extent PAS Youth would go to criticise its coalition partner, the DAP, which was becoming more bold in insulting Islam lately.

“Umno Youth will organise a ‘ceramah perdana’ in Shah Alam, Selangor next Friday to counter the (DAP) insults against Islam and I am inviting PAS Youth to be with us on the Umno Youth stage that night.

“This is has nothing to do with ‘muzakarah’, it has nothing to do with any discussion or ‘wacana’, it has nothing to do with any unity government, that is later...I don’t care if PAS wants to go against Umno in Permatang Pasir.

“We still have differing approaches, we are still not united, but on this issue (religion), the Muslims are offended at their (DAP leaders’) attitude and this needs a joint effort,” he said.

Khairy, when approached by reporters after the opening of the Marang Umno Youth division meeting, here today, said he had personally contacted PAS Youth chief Nasaruddin Hasan Tantawi on the matter.

Khairy said he had been informed that the matter would be discussed and decided at a meeting of the national PAS Youth movement to be held tomorrow or the day after.

91pc in Home Ministry web poll want ISA abolished

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani- The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Aug 7 — A week after a mammoth anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) rally in Kuala Lumpur, results of a two-day old Home Ministry online poll shows that 91 per cent of 8,722 respondents want the security law abolished.

The rest want a review of the ISA which allows detention without trial and first introduced in 1960 against communist terrorists. The results of the poll at 6.15pm is available at www.ikdn.gov.my.

DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua today commended Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein for taking the steps to gauge public perception over what the opposition calls a draconian law.

“We hope that the minister will not only make this polls for show only and take this a real important feedback to ensure that ISA is abolished. The voice is very clear,” the Petaling Jaya Utara MP told reporters.

Critics and opposition parties say the law is now being used against political rivals. Some 80 are still being detained under the law at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak.

Those previously detained include religious extremists, currency forgers and a nuclear parts middleman apart from opposition politicians and other activists.

But Pua criticised the website for a question that is aimed to mislead the public about ISA. The poll asked if Malaysians know that Britain and America referred to ISA to gazette their Anti-Terrorism Act and Patriot Act.

“I feel that this question has misled the public because firstly they did not refer to ISA and the ISA Act is not the same as Anti-terrorism and Patriot Act. In UK, when the anti-terrorism act is used they have to go to the courts.

"The detention they use is the same with the police act in Malaysia, that is detention of not more than two weeks. But even when they want to have detention for two weeks, they must after two days to go to the courts and request for the detention. So the terrorism act in UK is like the police act in Malaysia,” Pua explained.

He also pointed out that the Patriot Act and Anti-Terrorism Act can only be used when the crime is clearly connected to terrorism.

“But in Malaysia, matters not related to terrorism can be detained under ISA, writing blogs can be brought to ISA, and writing newspapers can also be brought to ISA,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has promised a review of the ISA but it is still unclear which provisions will be amended.

Opposition politicians and activists have demanded the law be repealed and marched through Kuala Lumpur last Saturday to hand a memorandum to the King.

But police locked down the capital city and crushed the protest, briefly detaining some 600 people of which 63 were charged in court.

Noordin Mat Top believed to be in shootout with Indonesian police

JAKARTA, Aug 8 - Police from Indonesia's anti-terrorism unit exchanged gun fire on Friday with suspected militants in Central Java on Friday after a raid targeting the perpetrators behind deadly bomb attacks in Jakarta last month.
Police believe the prime suspect behind the near simultaneous suicide attacks on two luxury Jakarta hotels last month, Malaysian-born militant Noordin Mohammad Top, was among those holed up at the house.
"Hopefully it's Noordin's group because they are our main target," national police spokesman Nanan Soekarna said.
A source at Indonesia's anti-terrorism unit Detachment 88 told Reuters the raid on the remote house in rice fields had
started at about 5 p.m (1000 GMT) and was still going on, with sporadic exchanges of automatic weapons.
The online news site detik.com quoted an intelligence source as saying Top was shot dead but that needed to be confirmed
through a DNA sample. The report could not be independently confirmed.
The July 17 attacks on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton killed nine and wounded 53, including Indonesians and foreigners, and broke a four-year lull when there had been no major attacks after police had arrested hundreds of militants.
The Detachment 88 source said police did not know how many suspects were in the house in Kedu village near Temanggung, Central Java, and were not entering because of concerns it was booby-trapped with explosives.
"Yes, it's possible it's him and his men," the source said when asked whether it was likely that Top was in the house.
TV footage showed the house lit up by bright search lamps and Metro TV said police had sealed off an area of about one square kilometre around the house.
Metro said two men had been arrested in a workshop before police raided the house belonging to a teacher in a Muslim
school.
Soekarna said he could not immediately confirm any arrests.
Police have been focusing much of their search on Central Java, where Top is believed to have a network of sympathisers to help shelter him.
Top is believed to have planned previous bomb attacks on the JW Marriott in Jakarta in 2003, on the Australian embassy in Jakarta in 2004, and in Bali in 2005 -- attacks designed to scare off foreign tourists and businesses so that JI could create a caliphate across Southeast Asia.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has vowed to track down the bombers and if it is confirmed that Top has been captured it would be major coup for security forces and could help reduce the chance of further attacks.
Top, a key recruiter, strategist and financier for JI, has been on the run for years, eluding capture on several occasions.
Police put it down to Top's reluctance to use easily-tracked mobile phones and his reliance on a close network of sympathisers who guard his whereabouts and act as his couriers when he needs to send messages to his cells.
Top was a close ally of Azahari Husin, a Malaysian bomb-maker, who was killed during a police raid in 2005 in East Java. He is thought to have escaped a raid in Central Java in 2006 when two other alleged militants were killed.
Analysts said Top has been acting on his own since 2003, and has gained a near mythical status among some younger, more radical members of JI and other groups. - Reuters

Tis what you get when you apply harsh laws rather than kindness and compassion

I’ll wager a Balvenie that she’s Muslim, dealing with the police and religious authorities all on her own and scared out of her wits right now, and getting very little love and kindness from anyone.

God have mercy on her and damn you self-righteous, pompous religionists!

Staronline has the report :-

Newborn hidden in bag by student dies


A FORM Five student in Kuala Terengganu who had given birth to a girl in her school’s toilet hid the baby in a bag, resulting in the infant’s death.

The student’s manner of suspiciously clutching her school bag tightly to her chest led her school teacher to suspect something amiss, reported Harian Metro.

She held the bag tightly in her teacher’s car all the way to the clinic and when it was opened by a staff at the clinic, they discovered the newborn baby.

State CID chief Asst Comm Mohd Fauzi Abduri said the teacher took the girl to the clinic after she saw her appearing all pale and sitting in the toilet with her head bent down.

However, he refused to comment further on the matter as it was still being investigated.

> The daily also reported how a Form Four student in Langkawi almost fainted after he was forced to smoke 42 sticks of clove cigarettes by the boarding school’s warden who is also the teacher.

He was being punished that way after the teacher had found a stick of cigarette in the student’s drawer.

Mohd Alif Arifin, 16, was brought to the staff room and was forced to smoke all the cigarettes while being watched by a few teachers.

His lips allegedly turned bluish and his saliva was dripping, the paper claimed.

He claimed the teacher did not allow him to drink even though he complained that he was thirsty and kept on forcing him to finish all the cigarettes in four hours.

A police report was lodged by the student’s uncle at the Kuah police headquarters.


Take a secret poll among the 2,000 top police officers from ASP upwards and an overwhelming majority will definitely vote for a new IGP

Will the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, recommend to the Yang di Pertuan Agong another extension of tenure for Tan Sri Musa Hassan as Inspector-General of Police from next month?

I have said that there are over a hundred reasons why Musa should not have another extension of his tenure as IGP and nobody, whether Musa himself or the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, dare to throw a challenge to me to list out the 100 reasons to subject them to public scrutiny and judgment whether they are weighty and substantive enough to have a bearing on the decision as to who should be the No. 1 Policeman in the country from next month.

I have no personal axe to grind against Musa and am acting purely in the national interests, to roll back the tide of crime in the past five years which Musa had failed to do as well as to inject the Malaysian police force with the adrenaline, dynamism and a reinvigorated sense of purpose that only a new police chief could evoke in another attempt to scale the goal to become an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police force respected internationally for its competence, ability and success to fulfill the three core police functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and protect human rights.

I do not have a candidate to be the new IGP but I believe Malaysians as well as the 100,000-strong police force just cannot believe that the present batch of police leadership are so short of leadership material that the Prime Minister cannot find a single one from the topmost 100 Police officers of Deputy IGP, CPs, DCPs, SACs I and II to qualify to be the new IGP.

I have no doubt that if the issue of whether the country needs a new IGP is put to a referendum in the country or the police force, the result will be an overwhelming “yes” for a new IGP.

Of course, if there is a referendum among the top 2,000 police officers from ASP upwards, it would have to be a secret poll to get the true and authentic voice and vote of the overwhelming majority for a new IGP.

If more reasons are needed to buttress the case for a new IGP, they can be found in the various opinion polls on the Home Ministry website since last month – where 9,729 persons or 97% of 10,060 respondents polled from 20th to 28th July 2009 felt unsafe because of the high crime rate, with only 1% or 89 respondents felt safe and 2% or 242 respondents in the “uncertain” category.

In the same poll, 95% or 8,883 out of 9,319 respondents felt that the safety of the people was not guaranteed as compared to 3% or 248 respondents who felt it was still guaranteed, with 2% or 188 respondents in the “uncertain” category.

To the question whether the government has done its best to ensure that the safety of the people was at the best level, 94% or 8,743 out of 9,261 respondents replied in the negative; 2% or 185 respondents replied in the positive with 4% or 333 persons “uncertain”.

A total of 78% or 7,366 out of 9,406 respondents disagreed with the statement that crime was a global issue and that Malaysia was not the only country faced with the increasing crime rate, while 18% or 1,659 persons agreed with it, with 4% or 831 respondents “uncertain”.

How can the top police officer who had served for three years as IGP, including a two-year extension of his tenure, ask for a renewal as IGP with such disastrous record and abysmal vote of no confidence as illustrated by the Home Ministry’s own website polls?

The latest opinion poll on the Home Ministry website regarding the Internal Security Act, which went up on Wednesday night is another crippling vote of no confidence in Musa as IGP.

As at 1.30 pm today, a total of 6,614 people had participated in the poll, with 5,779 or 87% of the respondents dismiss it as “draconian law”, while 10% or 666 respondents accept it as “preventive law” with 3% or 169 persons “uncertain”.

From the poll, 91% or 6,117 out of 6,752 respondents want the ISA repealed, 9% or 610 respondents want it retained with amendments while 25 were “confused”.

On the question whether respondents were aware that “United States and Great Britain have their own preventive laws. ISA is one of the acts referred to by them”, 57% or 3,369 out of 5,932 respondents clicked “Yes, I know”, 40% or 2,365 respondents answered “This means nothing to me” with 3% or 198 respondents in the “I do not know” category.

All the Home Ministry website polls in the past weeks highlight one imperative – there must be a new start for the police force under a new Inspector General of Police to begin the concept of democratic policing and rewrite the very mission and vision of the police, not to be the protectors of the government regime but to be the friends and protectors of the people, the rights of citizens and the rule law, and ensure the safety and security of all.

You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war

ImageMy SinChew
by Tay Tian Yan/ Translated by Soong Phui Jee

See, it is all right just as expected! Utusan Malaysia is all right.

Did you say that Utusan Malaysia incites racial sentiment and creates confrontation among racial groups?

No, that was “the freedom and rights of the press”. Oh, it should be the freedom and rights of Utusan Malaysia. How could the government intervene? Wouldn’t it be suppressing the freedom of speech?

However, DAP Adviser Lim Kit Siang said that “if any Chinese or Tamil newspaper had published an article of the same nature but replacing the term Malay racism with Chinese or Tamil racism, there can be no doubt that not only the writer would have been instantly arrested by the police and charged for racist incitement and sedition but the newspaper concerned would have been banned immediately!”

Chinese newspapers have encountered the experience and we have learned the lesson.

After revising one of the dicta in the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell, it should be: “All presses are free, but some presses are freer than others.”

It is an unrestrained and far-ranging freedom that they can do whatever they like without the restrictions of law and morality. Just like the freedom enjoyed by the American “yellow journalism” 100 years ago.

At that time, in order to achieve his political objectives and to stimulate his paper’s circulation, William Randolph Hearst resorted to every conceivable means. His papers were highly sensational, distorted and provocative.

The Spanish–American War in 1898, which could have been avoided, was started as Hearst launched a lot of propaganda for war as he found that the war could actually bring him personal benefits.

He smeared the image of Spain and played up the anti-Spain civil movement. At the same time, he also stirred up American-chauvinism, calling to declare war on Spain.

He once told his editors that: “You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war.” The extent of his arrogance had flushed law and morality into the toilet.

Under the pressure of civil fanaticism, the United States declared war on Spain. Hearst was immensely proud of his success without caring about the harmful effects caused by the war.

Hearst did not get along well with the then President William McKinley and had always been looking for an opportunity to attack him. In 1901, Kentucky Governor William J. Goebel was assassinated and Hearts took the opportunity and blamed McKinley for Goebel’s death, insinuating that McKinley was the killer behind the scene.

Such means had created hatred over McKinley among the people. Shortly after that, McKinley was assassinated. And when the murderer was arrested, he brought along a New York Journal with malicious articles against McKinley.

After the incident, the people realised that Hearst had seriously lost control to the extent that he could harm the society and the country. Together, they boycotted his papers, causing the circulation drastically declined and ultimately, the kingdom of Hearst’s press collapsed.

Hearst is a notorious figure in the press’s history. His glorious era was the dark times in the press’s history. Since then, the American press use Hearst as a negative example; they carry out social responsibility and are self-disciplined. They avoid repeating the same mistakes.

However, Hearst’s way of journalism can now be found in Malaysia and it rides with a loose rein. It is a misfortune and we have to avoid imminent disasters. (By TAY TIAN YAN/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)

( The opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of MySinchew )
MySinchew 2009.08.06

Forum Pre-Launch: Youth For A Better MalaysiaForum Pre-Launch: Youth For A Better Malaysia

by Nathaniel Tan

We all know that any nation’s hope lies in its young. The following event, organised by Sepakat, looks at young Malaysians already doing great work for the country, and is open to all - especially those even younger (and however much older) who are looking to learn from their example.

This was supposed to be launched earlier, but my being ill a few days held a lot of things up :( To help pick up the slack, we’re gonna need your help to spread the word everywhere!

Despite best efforts, the event website is not fully ready yet, but I wanted to blog it first to get this out there before hitting the weekend. Would greatly appreciate it if you were to check back tomorrow, where we should’ve launched the website and a more active outreach campaign - we’re really gonna need your help.

Thank you everyone!!

Youth to Youth: For a Better Malaysia

This dual-language forum, for youth and by youth, intends to showcase young Malaysians who are making Malaysia a better place to younger Malaysians who are looking to do the same.

Accomplished Malaysian youth from various sectors will provide insight, guidance and networking opportunities to Malaysians only a few years younger than them, in the hope of building relationships and bonds that will result in a stronger, more united group of young people empowered to continuously improve Malaysia.

The forum also hopes to bridge the widening gap between Malaysians who study in different countries overseas and local students by providing a shared opportunity to exchange views and better understand diverse perspectives.

Venue: Sunway University College, Main hall – Auditorium 7 – Level 2, South East Building
Date: Sunday, August 16th
Time: 8.30am – 6.30pm

Program:

The list of speakers are being added to over the coming days.

8.30am: Opening ceremony.

9.00am:
Civil Service / Political Work
Tricia Yeoh, Wan Firdaus, Lee Khai Loon, Dr. Marzuki

10.45am:
Civil Society
Ong Jing Cheng, Faisal Abdul Aziz, N. Surendran, Yati Kaprawi

12.30pm: Lunch

1.30pm:

2 panels will be held simultaneously -

Business
Intan Hashim, Roshan Thiran

Professions
Edmund Bon, Fadiah Fikri

3.00pm:

2 panels will be held simultaneously -

Education / Academics
Wong Chin Huat, Wan Aimran, Neil Khor

Arts / Activism
Fahmi Fadzil, Mark Teh, Mien Lor

4.30pm:

Electoral Politics
Nik Nazmi, Hannah Yeoh, Lim Si Pin, Rahman Dahlan

Censoring the Internet in Malaysia

Updates:
7/8 Najib: The Govt will not censor the Internet as such a move will be ineffective in a borderless world and lead to dissatisfaction among people/STAR

MCMC Clarifies filter study, click here

Original Post:
Rais Damn! Our Information Minister may or may not have been inspired by the Green Damn project of China [Malaysia plans internet filter, tougher controls by Reuters] but what he's doing is, in effect, the same as what the Chinese were tryign to do: censor the Internet.

We all know Rais' intentions are good. We are all against child porno. And yes, we shiver at the thought of our kids getting access to porno on the Net.

But is this "filter" thing the best way to do it?

I really don't think so. In fact, I think there will be a serious backlash on Rais and the Government. Najib's good record as far as media relations is concerned will be blemished big time. This Government will be accused of going back on its word to the world that it would not censor the Internet.

Rais should consider a more challenging role for his ministry and the government, and that is:

Firstly, CREATE AWARENESS among the Netizens about the ills of child pornography. A "Malaysian Parents Against Pornography" campaign would put to good use some of the budget under his Ministry and produce desirable results.

Secondly, the Ministry will EDUCATE the Netizens that they have the power on their fingertips to beat porno on the Net. Make available software and programmes to help parents create firewall against porno-net at home. Employers should be encouraged to also create similar firewalls at workplaces. The point is, let the Net users themselves implement their own "DAM" to stem the negative flow of porno on the Net.

And, thirdly, the Goverment can improve enforcement against porno on the Net and go after offenders. Porno is a crime in this country, and the penalties are spelt out in the law. The government just need to execute them.

In addition, Malaysia should work together with China or Souith Korea and the other countries which are also studying means to fight Internet porno. Inter-governmental approach is better so that Malaysia is not seen as trying to censor the Internet. The least Rais can do is learn from China, which tried to do it on its own .. and failed!