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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Before it used to be MIC Mandores only, now we also have DAP Mandores doing the dirty work for their bosses for peanuts

Rayer: Kampung Buah Pala man must apologise to Guan Eng
PENANG, Aug 16 — Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer has given 48 hours to Kampung Buah Pala villagers association assistant secretary C. Tharmaraj to make a public apology to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng over defamatory remarks he allegedly made or face legal action.

Speaking to reporters today, Rayer said Tharmaraj had claimed that gangsters in Air Putih, which is under Lim's constituency, were involved in the attempt to demolish houses in Kampung Buah Pala on Thursday.

On Thursday, the villagers had formed a human barricade to stop four bulldozers and a demolition team brought by a developer to evict them. Later a decision was reached after negotiations between police, representatives of the villagers, the court bailiff and the developer to postpone the demolition to Sept 1 to give time to the residents to vacate their homes. — Bernama

Lambs under the throne — Aliran

AUG 16 — Many believe judges are the natural protectors of liberty. Tommy Thomas debunks this myth, pointing to the Griffith thesis: judges will lend their support to government measures to preserve “stability” and they will not be overly concerned if such measures require the invasion of individual liberty.

In Malaysia’s political system, the Federal Constitution is supreme. Fundamental liberties are enshrined in Part II of the Constitution. Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Executive governs the nation, the Legislature enacts the laws, and the Judiciary acts as the arbiter of disputes between citizen and citizen, and State and citizen.

The Judiciary, as the third branch of government, is also entrusted with the heavy responsibility of interpreting the Constitution, including deciding whether laws presented by the Executive and passed by Parliament are constitutional. Hence, the celebrated remark by Chief Justice Charles Hughes of the US Supreme Court: “We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.”

One of the major casualties of the never-ending Perak crisis is the institution of the judiciary. When unprecedented and inexplicable decisions are made by our courts such as denying a litigant the right to choose his own lawyer, the leap-frogging of proceedings straight to the Federal Court without a hearing before the High Court and the Court of Appeal, and the disregard of clear provisions in the Constitution, as judicially interpreted in previous Malaysian cases, one can well understand the decline of confidence of the average Malaysian in the judiciary as an independent, neutral arbiter between State and individual.

But do Malaysian judges act differently from their brethren in other jurisdictions? After all, even the Indian Supreme Court, which probably enjoys the distinction of being the greatest protector of civil liberties among courts across the globe, only grew in reputation after the defeat of Indira Gandhi’s regime in 1978.

In the first two decades after its establishment, its performance was lack-lustre and during the Emergency the judges were sycophantic to Indira Gandhi. Another example is the US Supreme Court, which in the Bush v. Gore case in 2000 and in the subsequent 9/11 and Guantanamo cases decided blatantly in favour of the Bush administration, at the cost of its prestige.

The British experience Professor John Griffith, formerly of the London School of Economics, first published the “Politics of the Judiciary” in 1977 which entered its fifth edition in 1997. It became an instant classic on how the senior judiciary in Great Britain, constrained by their own self-imposed limitations, frequently fail in their duty as protector of liberties.

Griffith argues that the traditional view of judges deciding disputes between individuals and State impartially and with neutrality is a myth. “Neither impartiality nor independence necessarily involves neutrality. Judges are part of the machinery of authority within the State and as such cannot avoid the making of political decisions.”

Griffith refers to a survey conducted in the United Kingdom in 1994 which revealed that the average age of a Law Lord was 66 years, a Court of Appeal judge 63 years and a High Court judge 57 years. There was no woman Law Lord, only one in the Court of Appeal and six in the High Court. Their educational background was 80 per cent public school and 87 per cent Oxbridge.

Judges are thus the product of a class, and share the characteristics and felt necessities of that class. This is not the stuff of which reformers are made, still less radicals or non-conformists. According to Griffith, the judges of those three Courts which make up the higher judiciary, have by their education and training and the pursuit of their profession as barristers, acquired a strikingly homogeneous collection of attitudes, beliefs and principles, which to them represent the public interest.

“They do not always express it as such. But it is the lodestar by which they navigate.”

The Griffith thesis is that the judges see themselves as occupying a key position in the struggle to enforce the law, and are always conscious of the dangers which they believe will follow if they do not support the powers of the police. He cites a study in 1994 which analysed 13 appeals from Northern Ireland and showed that the House of Lords found for the government in all but two cases.

The brevity of the judgments, the small amount of authority cited and the swift dismissal of arguments based on human rights were common features in the 13 appeals. The study concluded: “By consistently upholding governmental action in Northern Ireland, the House of Lords has ruled itself out of playing a role in the conflict”.

In Griffith’s view, judges value stability above all as necessary for the welfare of the people and the well-being of society. Government represents stability and have a very considerable interest in preserving it. Wherever governments or their agencies are acting to preserve that stability — call it the Queen’s peace, or law and order, or the rule of law, or whatever — the judges will lend their support and will not be over-concerned if to do so requires the invasion of individual liberty.

Griffith argues that on every major social issue which has come before the British courts in the final decades of the 20th Century, the judges have supported the conventional, established and settled interests. And they have reacted strongly against challenges to those interests. The result is a “conservative” political philosophy.

Judges are concerned to preserve and protect the existing order. “In the societies of our world today, judges do not stand out as protectors of liberty, of the rights of man, of the unprivileged, nor have they insisted that holders of great economic power, private or public, should use it with moderation”.

Regardless of whether a society is democratic or otherwise, the judiciary has naturally served the prevailing political and economical forces. Whether it is matter of lacking personal courage or otherwise, judges are certainly not lions under the throne, as Francis Bacon aspired centuries ago. Griffith’s final words are an eye-opener:

“That this is so is not a matter for recrimination. It is idle to criticise institutions for performing the task they were created to perform and have performed for centuries. The principal function of the judiciary is to support the institutions of government. To expect a judge to advocate radical change is absurd. The confusion arises when it is pretended that judges are somehow neutral in the conflicts between those who challenge existing institutions and those who control those institutions.”


The Malaysian judiciary

Without even taking into account the performance of the judges in the Perak crisis, it is easy to apply the Griffith thesis to the Malaysian judiciary. The 50-year track record of the courts since Merdeka as the constitutional bulwark between Executive and citizen has been dismal. The pragmatic conservatism of the judges, resulting in a very strict “hands-off” policy, has been perceived as their abdicating their constitutional duty in dispute resolution.

Whether it is their reluctance to protect detainees under the harsh provisions of the Internal Security Act, 1960 and other preventive detention laws, or the Salleh Abas and five judges cases, the Ayer Molek case, the Anwar Ibrahim prosecutions or the latest Perak constitutional crisis, both informed opinion of the Bar/international legal bodies and public opinion have been critical of our judges. But we must take comfort from Griffith’s study. This is a worldwide phenomenon. As pillars of the establishment, it is a universal principle that judges cannot be trusted with the liberties of the citizen!

Since they have life-time appointments through constitutional security of tenure, judges are not concerned with public opinion as members of the two other branches of government are. Members of the Executive who are also members of the Legislatures in democracies have to face the electorate periodically.

Thus, even if Malaysia does not enjoy a true and functioning democracy, at least the electorate has an opportunity every four to five years to vote their politicians. In the politically awakened post-March 2008 Malaysia, where opinion has significantly changed, perhaps our best hope is in the ballot box of 2012 or 2013 and not in the Courts. Expectations of the judges should be lowered. The citizen’s na├»ve idealism should be replaced by realpolitik.

Ambition, elevation to the higher tiers and promotion to the four heads of the Courts — all of which lie in the gift of the Prime Minister and the Conference of Rulers — should be kept in mind when cases that go to the heart of Government are heard by judges with human foibles.

The tragedy is that no other branch of government can either properly discharge the judiciary’s duty as constitutional arbiters or resolve individual grievances like Courts can, which therefore remain unfulfilled by default. — Aliran

Guan Eng questioned over role in Kampung Buah Pala affair

LGE was questioned in the Dewan Negeri but his answers were lame, lame duck. He talk cock....accepting "the premium’s final instalment had exceeded the time limit, indicating that the validity had lapsed." as valid. Why he and his govt was so in a hurry to collect the not valid premium and issue the title knowing well there is fraud, irrugularities, a team is investigating and the Federal Court is in the middle of hearing the case.. is this what LGE is preaching us about law and order? AS CM, he could have stop the deal and wait for the outcome, why LGE failed to do the needful, bcos he did not see the rakyat first, wanted to hide his mistakes and start negotiaiting compensation. What nonsence he should be fighting nail & tooth to preserve the heritage land BUT he went against and wanted to see the villagers kicked out as squatters and a Condo built. Say it is done and not reversable, fine, what about the condition laid on the title, why LGE did not take action using his power to stop the Kop from demolishing, developing & alienating which was clearly stated in the title. Why he became a toothless tiger, or he failed to read PJ City Coumcillor Derek Fernandez pointing out the condition.

Guan Eng questioned over role in Kampung Buah Pala affair

Himanshu Bhatt and Opalyn Mok


Lim Guan Eng

GEORGE TOWN (Aug 11, 2009):
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Ayer Putih) was questioned in the state assembly today about his own role in the Kampung Buah Pala controversy when it was pointed out that his administration had collected the final instalment payment for the land’s purchase even though the validity of the premium had lapsed.
State opposition leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim (BN-Penaga) took Lim to task for having the land title issued to the Penang Government Officers’ Cooperative under his tenure on 27 March 2008.
Azhar said the premium’s final instalment had exceeded the time limit, indicating that the validity had lapsed. The maximum time given for the purchaser to settle the full amount was three months.
But according to the state executive council minutes, the cooperative had made its first payment of RM963,000 on 22 March 2007 and its next payment a year later, of RM2.247 million on 14 March 2009.


Azhar Ibrahim

In reply, Lim said it was the state executive council under the Barisan Nasional (BN) that had approved the alienation of the land twice (on Aug 18 2004 and June 8 2005). "The development approval had also been given by the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP)," he said.
"Once the premium was settled, the title had to be issued. This was an administrative procedure," he added, noting that the BN government had approved the deal and collected the initial payment.
He also asked why the the cooperative had been given a discounted premium of only RM10 per sq ft, which he said was akin to rompak (a robbery).


RSN Rayer

Azhar responded: "The BN government may have taken RM1 million. But it was the bapa perompak (father of robbers) who took RM2 million." Syed Ameruddin Syed Ahmad (BN-Bayan Lepas), who was a member of the previous state executive council that approved the deal, said the subsidised land transfer to the cooperative was as a compensation for land it had given to the federal government for a new court building next to Dewan Seri Pinang.
Meanwhile RSN Rayer (DAP-Seri Delima) pointed out that the MPPP had approved the demolition of the houses on the land on Dec 8 2006, long before the title had even been issued to the cooperative.
He said that such questionable practice showed the need for councillors to be elected, and for the federal government to amend the Local Government Act to allow elections at municipal level.




Counter Statement-Star N3 counter Statement! 16.08.09

Rep: No point continuing land probe on Kampung Buah Pala..


-Buah Pala residents does not signed the letter stated that they will give way for demolition on the 1st Sept ( I have the proof).

-Nusmetro will build a condominium illegally in the land that is not suitable for Highrise Building which has been confirmed by Koay Har Hwa (former ADUN of Seri Delima)

-The villagers that has signed the agreement has done it out of fear and been harrased by the state government and the agreeement is an invalid one!(I Have proofs too)

-Lim Guan Eng and Prof.Ramasamy has promised to revoke the development project using

sec116(1)(d) of the National Land Code for the past one month to the residents of Kg.Buah Pala which has been reminded by C.Tamaraj the Villagers Ass.Secretary!

-The demolition of Kg.Buah Pala should be ordered by the state government of Penang and or the Koperasi Pegawai Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang, and not by Nusmetro as the developer which has nothing to do with the Villagers or the Land!

-RSani Rayer@Liar said 12 temporary occupancy license holder has accepted double storey terrace houses, which is not been offered to the villagers at all, which valid agreement is he talking about? There is no valid agreement or offer letter given to the resident at all( Please refer to the legal Documents of Buah Pala that I have posted earlier).

RSN Liar!, Dont make the life of the Villagers of Buah Pala as dark as you! Black History will be remembered generation by generation and the curse is on your generation too!


-Rayer is talking nonsense in his statement on not to continue the probe against the Sale of the Land to Koperasi, which falls in a totally different Issue, Building and evacuating the villager has nothing to do with the Probe on the Sale of the Land and the Probe has to be carried out by a special team with Integrity!

-Rayer came into the picture like a mushroom after rain, and suddenly appeared to be the hero and releasing press statements as if he is existing here! He has been doomed and cast-away by the villagers in Buah Pala! Where was he for so long? He is not eligible to speak anything about Buah Pala and sorry to say, this is his last term in his life as an Assemblyman.

Conscious and Unconscious!

Rwindraj@Cryingvoices

If BN wins, PR will lose more than a seat

(NST) The integrity of the Pakatan Rakyat administration and the public’s faith in the coalition will be put to the test in the Permatang Pasir state by-election, writes ZUBAIDAH ABU BAKAR

VICTORY in a political duel in one's home ground should usually come easy.

The route to victory, however, can be a bumpy one for Pakatan Rakyat in Permatang Pasir, a state seat in Penang in the backyard of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibra-him.

Recent tiffs between its components -- Pas, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and DAP -- have put the loose opposition alliance under considerable pressure, with cracks appearing.

Troubles and conflicts that remain unresolved are causing uneasiness on the ground in the states they administer, despite a united front by their leaders.

With a resurgent Umno capitalising on the internal bickering, it may not be easy to maintain a record of winning all by-elections held in Peninsular Malaysia when it goes to another electoral battle soon.

The opposition coalition has made a clean sweep in all six held after last year's general election, failing only to wrest the Batang Ai state seat in Sa-rawak from Barisan Nasional.

The three opposition parties collectively humbled BN last year and formed a new pact, styled like Barisan Alternatif, which they failed to maintain after the 1999 general election.

Pakatan Rakyat managed to pull through, attesting to their commitment to each other. The support it received 16 months ago has been maintained, reflected by performances in the by-elections.

But, of late, Umno, the leader of the 13-member BN, has started showing signs that it has rebounded under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Najib, who took over as Umno president in March and succeeded Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as prime minister on April 3, has been working hard to gain support for his 1Malay-sia concept.

The response has been positive to this and to measures he introduced to attract domestic and foreign investments.

Yet, on the other side of the political divide, unresolved issues are becoming irritants.

Pakatan leaders have taken steps to contain internal fights, pledging to rise above divisive issues by working towards a formal coalition by the next general election due in 2013.

This could remain elusive since the coalition must first meet regulations set by the Registrar of Societies; it needs to have at least seven parties in its fold to achieve this aspiration before Malaysians go to the polls again.

The alliance also set up a mechanism that would allow it to resolve problems without airing them publicly.

But the electorate remains fluid, hence there is no guarantee that a by-election from now on will be a walk in the park for Pakatan.

This also applies to Permatang Pasir, although are not giving Umno the edge in the showdown for the state seat, mainly because it is one of the three seats under Permatang Pauh, the parliamentary constituency that has been alternately held by Anwar and his wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail since 1982.

Since Pas' 65-vote majority win in Manik Urai, Kelantan, observers have wondered whether Pakatan is losing its grip.

The outcome of that by-election is encouraging to Umno, making it believe that Malay voters are swinging back to the party. So it will be a tough fight to keep the momentum alive in Permatang Pauh.

Unlike Manik Urai, which is an almost exclusive Malay constuency, Permatang Pasir has 72.36 per cent Malay voters of the 20,290 registered electors.

Chinese voters make up 25.85 per cent, Indians 1.63 per cent and others 0.16 per cent. It has 300 new voters.

Malaysians know it is not easy for PR to rule without experience.

They are seeing too many public outbursts, more often due to the inability of PR leaders to see eye to eye over issues concerning the public.

PKR leaders in Penang feel that the state government led by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has been riding roughshod over them, the latest being Guan Eng's aide Jeff Ooi branding a PKR municipal councillor an extremist for being part of the missionary Jemaah Islah Malaysia.

Ooi has since withdrawn the statement.

Many in Pas felt slighted when the party's sole representative, the late Datuk Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman, who-se death had precipitated the by-election, was not appointed a state executive councillor.

In Kedah, sole DAP state executive councillor Lee Guan Aik declared himself independent in protest over the demolition of an illegal pig abattoir.

PR leaders resolved the issue, not without the cracks showing.

A similar issue cropped up in Selangor when the state Pas chief Datuk Hassan Ali demanded that state executive councillor Ronnie Liu of DAP quit for interfering in the operations carried out by the Shah Alam Municipal Council, in particular the sale of beer.

Hassan had wanted the municipal council to enforce religious laws and prohibit shops in Muslim-majority areas from selling beer.

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (PKR) has asked shops to practise self-regulation.

A victory or defeat in Permatang Pasir for Pas may not affect the state administration in any way but an Umno victory will be a serious blow to Pa-katan, worsening its internal conflicts.

All these will come into play as Umno attempts to wrest the seat from Pakatan. It may face an uphill task to counter the opposition's onslaught, especially on corruption allegations involving BN leaders.

The fight will be tough, for both sides.

Just who is a traitor?

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — Ground reports cobbled together by Umno suggest that the Malay political party is facing a crisis of sorts: a sizeable number of Malays no longer identify the party as defenders of Malay interest.

Worse yet, there is a growing perception that Umno has not been able to stanch the tide of demands from the non-Malays since Election 2008.

Hawks in Umno believe that if allowed to take root, the political party’s one last reliable supportbase could be an Achilles Heel in 2013 when the next general elections are scheduled. (Note: Umno’s share of votes in 2008 among Malays was largely intact despite the unprecedented showing by the Opposition).

So strategists have advised Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and other Umno leaders that they need to adopt three approaches: attack Opposition icon Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as a politician who is willing to sell out the Malays to gain political power, a modern-day traitor; hammer Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) as a stooge of the mainly Chinese Democratic Action Party (DAP); and finally to show Umno as uncompromising defenders of race and religion.

The face of a traitor? Umno is on an offensive to convince Malays that Anwar Ibrahim (right) is no friend to their race. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Of the three approaches, Umno leaders appear to be relishing the chance of rubbishing Anwar as a traitor, alleging that he is more interested in defending the rights of Chinese and demonising him as someone who will barter away the special privileges of the Malays for the support of Indians and Chinese.

The curious thing about using the “traitor” card is that it is a double-edged weapon. Here is a fact: if we go by the common definition of the word traitor, many Malaysian politicians will be considered traitors.

After all, a traitor is someone who betrays his country, a cause, a trust, even a set of principles.

Is Anwar more of a “traitor’’ than:

Muhyiddin Yassin.

— Is the Deputy Prime Minister a traitor to the 1 Malaysia cause introduced by his political boss and adopted by the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition because he chooses to encourage incendiary rhetoric and plays to the Malay gallery?

— Is the Deputy Prime Minister a traitor to his race by flip-flopping on the policy of teaching Mathematics and Science in English?


Khairy Jamaluddin.

— Is the Umno Youth leader a traitor for betraying the trust of Malaysians who expect young and better-educated politicians not to get involved in the unsavoury world of money politics?

— Is the Umno Youth leader, who promised to speak for all Malaysians, a traitor to the cause of building a better and more competitive Malaysia, a traitor because he choose political advancement over principles?


Najib Razak

— Is the Prime Minister (PM) a traitor to the Malay cause because he is liberalising the economy and opening up more sectors to foreign ownership?

— Is the PM a traitor because he is openly courting the United States and Singapore, two countries which many Umno members pigeonhole as unfriendly.


Umno politicians.

— Are senior Umno politicians traitors to their race because they accept largesse from Chinese businessmen in the form of monthly stipends, all expenses paid holidays, and commissions as quid pro quo for granting the Chinese businessmen permits and contracts?


BN leaders.

— Is a BN component party leader a traitor when he remains silent in a meeting and does not defend his race and religion from chauvinists?


Nik Aziz Nik Mat and PAS leaders.

— Is Nik Aziz Nik Mat a traitor to his race and religion because he allows non-Muslims to build their places of worship without impediments?


Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng.

— Are the Lims traitors to the vision of a Malaysian Malaysia because they have not done enough to make their political party representative of all the major races in the country?

The list of “traitors’’ in Malaysia can go on and on. For it is a fact that the political landscape here is littered with individuals who have strayed from their ideals, principles and values. The sad truth is that we call many of them our leaders.

‘Our People’ power rises to oust Samy Vellu

By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

Samy Vellu faces yet another challenge from within his party. — Picture by Jack Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — A new grassroots force has emerged that could potentially influence the outcome of the hotly contested MIC elections and, party insiders say, possibly defeat the “official line-up” and hasten the departure of longtime president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

The movement is called Nammavar, or Our People, and refers to the lower rungs in the Hindu caste hierarchy who are the majority in the MIC but lack the political or economic clout wielded by the upper caste who dominate the party and the perks.

Their battle cry is Matram or change.

They want to send the current MIC leadership packing, abolish caste-based politics and open the party to all Malaysian Indians irrespective of religion, ethnicity or caste origins.

The way they hope to achieve the desired change is to influence and persuade the majority of the 1,500 delegates to the MIC elections to vote against the official line-up fielded by Samy Vellu.

Instead they want the delegates to vote for a new “Matram line up” they are choosing, led by former MIC Deputy President Datuk S. Subramaniam.

Specifically, the Nammavar movement is targeting an estimated 480 “Our People” delegates said to be of lower caste origins among the 1,500 delegates.

“We can influence them and with their support added to support from Subramaniam’s gounder caste followers and together with others sympathetic to change, we are confident we can defeat Samy Vellu’s lineup,” said one of the founder members of the movement. “They are playing caste politics to divide and rule but we are only rallying our people to defeat them and create a new and inclusive MIC for all Malaysian Indians,” he said.

Nammavar leaders are openly campaigning across the country to rally lower caste “Our People” delegates to their cause.

Nammavar was founded in April last year, at a gathering of over a dozen successful businessmen, all from the lower caste group, at the Le Meridien Hotel here.

Some are MIC members but others are not.

It was learned that the gathering was chaired by Datuk Vyran T. Raj, 49, an “Our People” businessman who made his millions in waste management.

The group includes other millionaire businessmen and is sometimes referred to as the S-Class Group because most of the members drive brand new S Class Mercedes-Benz cars.

Vyran did not deny Nammavar when contacted by The Malaysian Insider.

“All I can say is that the time for change has arrived. The time is now and we, the better off individuals among our people, are the catalyst for that change,” he said.

He declined further comments saying the struggle for the emancipation of the “oppressed and suppressed” class in the MIC and the Indian community is the priority.

Other Nammavar leaders who declined to be named said the movement is confident of winning over at least 80 per cent of the 480 “Our People” delegates they have targeted.

“We are actively campaigning among the ‘Our People’ group and the response is very encouraging,” said one leader. “We want Samy Vellu to depart the scene immediately after the MIC election on Sept 12. He should not stay one day longer.”

Samy Vellu has indicated he might retire about a year or two after the elections because he needs to “teach” the newly elected leaders how to manage the party.

In July, Nammavar leaders separately met two of the candidates in the deputy president’s race — Subramaniam and Datuk S. Sothinathan — to discuss and assess what these two upper caste leaders can offer to their people.

“Sothinathan’s attitude and answers to our questions were not encouraging,” a Nammavar leader who attended the meeting said. “Subramaniam was more forthright and promised to abolish caste politics and open the MIC doors to all Indians.”

“That’s why we are supporting Subramaniam in the MIC elections,” the leader told The Malaysian Insider.

Palanivel did not meet the Nammavar leaders but sent a representative to the meeting, a move that did not go down well with the Nammavar leaders.

“We see both Sothinathan and Palanivel as Yes-men to Samy Vellu… if they win then Samy Vellu would continue in power and change would be impossible,” he said.

The Nammavar movement has a central leadership and at the state level, a state chairman with a committee assisting him.

All are of lower caste origins but successful and have thrown their financial powers behind Subramaniam’s campaign.

“We are backing him because we see the best chance for change through him,” a Nammavar leader from Selangor said. “After him, we hope to see one of our own as MIC president.”

Samy Vellu, a party insider said, is aware of the Nammavar movement and has moved to neutralise their appeal by fielding P. Wilson, the Ampang MIC leader of similar origins to the Nammavar, to counter them.

Wilson is campaigning among “Our People” in the MIC arguing that staying with Samy Vellu — whose strengths and weakness are known — is better than backing Subramaniam, who may promise the heaven but might not deliver.

“He will only help his Gounder caste people,” the Wilson counter campaign line goes. “We would be left out… at least Samy Vellu has helped our people... I am an example!”

Samy Vellu to up MIC Youth’s age limit

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — The age limit for MIC Youth members and those holding positions in the movement will be raised from 40 to 45 to enable more people to join the movement, said MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu today.

He said with the extension of the age limit, the MIC would have more people from the younger generation who could provide second echelon leaders.

A committee formed to study the necessary changes to be made to the MIC constitution had prepared its report, to be tabled at the 63rd MIC Youth Delegates Conference on Sept 12 for approval.

“This move is important so that the MIC Youth will be prepared to face the 13th general election where more than two million new voters from the younger generation are expected to vote for the first time,” he said when opening the simultaneous General Assembly of the MIC Wanita, Youth, Putri and Putra movements here.

Although Samy Vellu did not state the rationale for extending the age limit for the MIC Youth, an MIC official said it was based on the fact that the MIC now had the Putra movement which also targeted the younger generation.

The MIC president also disclosed that the MIC membership application would be widened where those wishing to join the party could apply on-line after discovering that many people who were highly qualified from the younger generation found it difficult to join the party because of several obstacles.

He also called on the MIC Youth to set up a think-tank comprising highly qualified people to draw up an effective strategy in tackling several problems faced by the younger generation of Indians, including social issues.

“Youth members can create their own blogs and use the Facebook facility to interact with each other, and at the same time provide information on the activities and achievements of our party,” he said. — Bernama

It's 15 Malaysia, not 1 Malaysia

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

Singer-songwriter Pete Teo is undertaking a major project addressing the issue of racial politics. — peteteo.com pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — If you’re expecting to see or hear Pete Teo headlining any gigs sometime soon, you will be sorely disappointed. The singer-songwriter’s plate has been pretty full lately.

For the past three months Pete has been working hard on a secret project, something big, stupendous, major, gigantic, and enormous.

Yes, the project deserves to be shouted out loud. Subtlety does not go well with notoriety, especially if one wants to announce something significantly arresting and interesting.

Pete Teo, of course, is a veteran at taking on the difficult task of addressing a serious issue as racial politics with music and humour. His previous project, the collaborative song effort by Malaysia’s most renowned artists and performers, was MAFU (Malaysian Artistes For Unity) with its aptly-titled “Here In My Home” song and video.

If you thought that was inspiring, wait till you hear what Pete has to say about his latest venture, called 15Malaysia. It explores similar themes as MAFU, but this time around it utilises the medium of film to talk about a lot of things — food, race, politics, religion, bank loans.

Every little thing that Malaysians come across in their daily lives is touched upon here. No stone is left unturned.

Fifteen short films, directed by famous directors such as the late Yasmin Ahmad, James Lee, Amir Muhammad and Ho Yuhang as well as fresh faces like Liew Seng Tat and Johan John promise a Malaysian-ness like no other.

The Malaysian Insider recently spoke to Pete about the project which will be launched tomorrow:

Q: What inspired you to start this project?

Pete: Well it basically started shortly after the MAFU music video was released last year. I had many people come up to me and ask “Pete, what are you going to do next year?”

I also felt that on a certain level, there are limitations when it comes to making music videos. Short films are appealing, and it can be utilised to address issues. I mean I was not going to start a project where I would get people to carry the Malaysian flag and sing patriotic songs.

I believe that people have to be frank, and these are some of the issues that 15 young voices have successfully addressed in their respective films.


Q: How did you manage to gather so many directors and actors from such diverse backgrounds? Did you have a specific vision or idea in mind?

Pete: Well, it started with a handful of people who were basically winning awards overseas. They were the ones who formed the core of the project. A lot of these directors are underappreciated and tend to be more famous abroad than here in their own country.

There are also new faces too. I tried to get a big spread of people from different genres. It was quite an effort in the beginning to get people to participate.


Q: Were there any major obstacles along the way?

Pete: Not at all. Surprisingly the only real issue was some technical glitches, and trying to get the cast to pick a date to shoot, especially since some of them are influential political figures. (chuckles)


Q: That brings me to my next question. I’ve noticed that there are a number of famous politicians who took part in this project. Were there any differences in views/opinions made by the politicians during the course of production?

Pete: Absolutely not. You’d expect a politician to use this film space as a platform to boost their image, but none of them did. They were really supportive from both sides of the political aisle. At the end of the day the need to combat racism is much bigger than party politics.


Q: How long is each film?

Pete: On average each film runs to about 3-5 minutes.


Q: Did you oversee each film?

Pete: I was only involved in pre-production and post-production. I don’t go to every set because that would be counter-productive to the creative process.


Q: Which was your favourite film?

Pete: (Laughs) Watch the films and decide for yourself.


Q: Do you think films/songs can effect change, or an understanding of the current socio-political situation in Malaysia?

Pete: Not by itself. Film and the arts have the power to rally forces within society who want that change. It reaffirms values within a society.

It isn’t about changing the world. We’ve got 27 million voices in the country, and so far only 15 are heard. My job is to make this platform even bigger.


Q: How are the films going to be released?

Pete: The release runs from August the 17th right to September 16th, which is Malaysia Day. Each week we will release around three films on Mondays, Wednesdays as well as Fridays. Films will be made downloadable for free and viewable via YouTube.


Q: Last question. Do you think 15Malaysia promotes Malaysia’s current 1 Malaysia theme?

Pete: Well, if the idea of 1 Malaysia is one that strives for understanding, tolerance and unity, then yes 15Malaysia aims for that, too. But the idea of 1 Malaysia is not something new. It has existed for many years before and 15Malaysia is the avenue in which the underlying theme of cultural diversity can be explored and be better appreciated.

HINDRAF - Executives have failed; Will judiciary save Kg Buah Pala?

The Penang executives have definitely failed in their attempt to
protect Kg Buah Pala by their failure to use operations of laws that
are enacted through legislative.

It is a failure because, they have many option to exercise various
forms of acts right from stopping the transfer, investigating the
fraudulent transaction, and of course using certain power mandated by
the legislative but all to no avail. The only answer that the
executives could come up with it is the fault of the previous state
government and they can’t do anything more.

Instead of pursuing lawful attempts which are readily available to
remedy the wrongdoings that has befallen the residents, the executives
ran a ‘soap opera’ trying so hard to depict and establish the
residents in Kg Buah Pala as being unreasonable, greedy and selfish
whereas the executives are dedicated and are working for the people.
The irony about the whole incident is that the residents had truth on
their side but the executives kept distorting the truth away and was
only interested in running a fake populist agenda claiming it to be
the expression of the people’s will.

All that has spewed out by the executives over the last month and half
has nothing to do with trying to resolve the residents’ problem in
equitable terms but rather exercising their executive powers to
silent, tarnish and corner them into accepting the terms that has been
dictated by the Developer.

It is a sad turn of event for the residents, who had so much hope that
with the change, the present government will undo all the wrongs since
they had the power to do so. Yet nothing happened. Even on the day of
the demolition, not even one of the executives was there to show moral
support in the residents’ defiance against the demolition team. So
much for a so called people’s party.

The residents now have another shot to save their village through the
judiciary when their hearing comes up on August 18, 2009. Well one
institution of the democracy ie Executive power had let them down, now
let’s see if the judiciary will be more just and equitable in their
ruling for the truth.

I am pretty sure with the tainted image that prevails; the general
public would be pessimistic that any ruling that would favour the
residents. Sometimes in pessimism, lays the great hope of justice for
them.

The Federal Court being the highest court in the land and the flag
bearer of justice for the common man when other organs of the
government had failed them can now act and show their independence for
what is the truth and equitable for the residents. The issue is
currently a national issue and closely related to the politics of the
country. By ruling for what is truthful, the judiciary may establish
itself again its independence from the executive powers.

HINDRAF sincerely hopes that the judiciary will provide the
opportunity for the residents to have a full trial in an open court so
that the residents will be able to seek justice by providing documents
and evidence of their rightful ownership of the land and establish the
mala fide conduct of executive powers.

Thank you

P.Waythamoorthy

HINDRAF – Chairman

KJ, thanks for the reminder of just how evil UMNO is

By Haris Ibrahim,

Just got off the phone with Zorro.

We’re in agreement.

Khairy and UMNO Youth’s latest play of the race card, as reported by Malaysianinsider, obviously to lay the foundation for a vile by-election campaign in Permatang Pasir, served a timely reminder for us as to how evil UMNO really is.

Yes, Pakatan Rakyat still leaves much to be desired.

However, KJ and his bunch of gangsters in UMNO youth have highlighted again why every effort must be made to bring this monstrosity called BN, led by an arrogant, robbing, unrepentant UMNO, must be brought to its knees.

The Barisan Rakyat Bloggers will make their way up to Permatang Pasir to do what little we can to aid the effort of Pakatan Rakyat in this by-election.

And we’ll come back from Permatang Pasir, hopefully with Pakatan Rakyat’s scorecard in Semenanjung still intact, and continue to badger the Pakatan Rakyat leadership to get their act together.

Zaid, we’re holding you to account.

The Blue Blitz leaves tonight for Permatang Pasir bearing Zorro, Duke, Gus and Shanghai.

God Willing, I will join them later.

What’s RABM, did someone ask?

By Haris Ibrahim,

Our signage went up on Friday, so there's no reason for anyone to get lost anymore

Our signage went up on Friday, so there's no reason for anyone to get lost anymore

A Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) e-group has been running for some time now where those who had, through this blog, offered to lend a hand with the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia initiative, been interacting with those who have been working hands-on for the last seven months or so.

We felt it was time to meet in the real world; to put faces to hitherto mostly faceless names.

A week ago, a pot luck get together was announced in the e-group.

Many brought food and drinks, whilst others brought glassware and crockery and a whole host of other things as their personal contribution towards RABM.

All brought love and hope for this our nation.

SABM launched its new T-shirt last night.

Nanda modelling our latest merchandising product

Nanda modelling our latest merchandising product

No, the print is not lop-sided

No, the print is not lop-sided

The front print captures all ( we hope ) the various ethnic groups in the country.

For a clearer view of the front print, I’ve linked the same, in PDF, below.

SABM-ethnic1D- Front

The T-shirts will, for now, retail at RM20 each.

They come in sizes XXXL, XXL, XL, L, M, S and Baby-T.

Once RABM is fully operational with our permanent staff in place, you may call at RABM to purchase your T-shirts. Until then you may make your purchase through a friend’s marketing website, which will including shipping charges, by clicking on the image below.

firstklik

I’ll leave you with photos from last night.

The early birds

The early birds

guests4

guests5

Anak Bangsa Malaysia doing what we do best. Makan!

Anak Bangsa Malaysia doing what we do best. Makan!

food3

guests7guests8

guests6

guests12

guests10

For those who could not make it last night, see you at the next pot luck, ya.

All 5 MACC advisory panels should convene emergency meetings to halt the MACC abuses of power in declaring war against Pakatan Rakyat instead of decla

By Lim Kit Siang,

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director of investigations Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdul announced yesterday that the MACC will stop indefinitely investigating politicians across the political divide for corruption and money politics, including the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

He said his men felt that they could not carry out their duties effectively in cases involving politicians as they were being slammed no matter what they did.

Shukri has evaded the burning crisis of confidence confronting the MACC – why in a matter of seven months, public confidence in the MACC has plummeted to a level never plumbed by its predecessor the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) in 41 years from 1967 – 2008 although MACC was established on 1.1.2009 with unprecedented powers to be Malaysia’s version of Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) of Hong Kong?

The answer is obvious to all Malaysians except the MACC – it has failed to act as an efficient, independent and professional anti-corruption body declaring an all-out war against corruption but instead declared an all-out war against the Pakatan Rakyat, being the catspaw of Umno and Barisan Nasional in the various states under Pakatan Rakyat, whether in the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak or most recently, in trying to topple the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Selangor.

The MACC denied that their officers were responsible for the injury sustained by Wong Chuan How, 51, aide to DAP Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu after a scuffle at his Sungai Pelek service centre on Friday morning. – which is eerily similar to the denial by MACC for any responsibility for the mysterious death of another Selangor Exco aide, Teoh Beng Hock, at the MACC headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16.

Are Malaysians to believe that Wong inflicted the injury on himself just as they are asked to believe that Teoh committed suicide by plunging to death from the 14th floor of MACC Headquarters at Plaza Masalam?

Up to now, MACC has not answered why its officers had acted in so high-handed, rough and gangsterish a fashion akin to Gestopa tactics in Wong’s case, including:

• Why did MACC decide to “arrest first and investigate later” as Wong had agreed to meet MACC officers in their investigation into alleged constituency allocation improprieties at his Sungai Pelek service centre on Friday morning?

• Did the MACC treat everybody alike and in the same fashion acted on “arrest first and investigate later” into the various Barisan Nasional leaders in major scandals like the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, the RM24 million “Istana” Khir Toyo scandal; Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd. CEO Datuk Tiong King Sing’s RM10 million donation to MCA President and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Ong’s “free” jet rides or the unprecedented allegations of money politics in the recent Umno party elections?

• Did the MACC “arrest first and investigate later” any Umno or Barisan Minister, Deputy Minister or leader?

• Has the MACC one law and standard operating procedure for the Pakatan Rakyat leaders and activists while a totally different one for the Barisan Nasional?

It is significant that Shukri’s outburst about MACC stopping investigating politicians is tied to stop of investigations into the “mother of all scandals” in Malaysia – the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal, which the MACC (and its predecessor ACA) had failed miserably to flush out all corrupt and improper practices although various anti-corruption reports had been lodged in the past four years.

Can Shukri explain why he deliberately mentioned the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal?

Pakatan Rakyat is not asking for any immunity from anti-corruption probe by the MACC but MACC should conduct independent and professional investigations and not act as catspaw of Umno and Barisan Nasional to declare war on Pakatan Rakyat, using Gestapo-like tactics.

Has the MACC any remorse that it has directly or indirectly caused the death of Teoh Beng Hock just as it is directly or indirectly responsible for the injury sustained by Wong?

DAP and Pakatan Rakyat are prepared to fully co-operate with MACC in an all-out war against corruption, as an anti-corruption camopaign must be a national commitment involving all Malaysians and not just MACC, if it is to succeed. But how can MACC expect any full co-operation from DAP or Pakatan Rakyat when it has declared an all-out war against Pakatan Rakyat at the behest of Umno/National Front, which has nothing to do with any anti-corruption drive?

All the five MACC advisory panels should convene emergency meetings to halt the MACC abuses of power in declaring war against Pakatan Rakyat instead of declaring war against corruption or all the five advisory panels should resign collectively at their failure to perform their statutory role as effective check-and-balance mechanisms of the MACC as evident from the worse crisis of confidence ever faced by an anti-corruption body in the nation’s 52 year history.

This is not a good way to mark the nation’s 52nd National Day in two weeks’ time!

The five MACC advisory panels are:

• Anti-Corruption Advisory Board headed by former Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad;

• Special committee on corruption headed by former Home Minister, Datuk Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad;

• Complaints committee headed by former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Nor Abdullah

• Operations review panel headed by former Auditor-General Dr. Hadenan Abdul Jalil

• Corruption consultation and prevention panel headed by former Transparency International President Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam

It is time that the 42 panel members for these five bodies act to salvage and restore public confidence in MACC’s credibility, independence and professionalism and even more important redeem Malaysia’s international reputation which had been battered by recent reports about MACC becoming a Gestapo-like outfit running riot in a war not against corruption but against the Pakatan Rakyat.

If the five MACC advisory panels are incapable of exercising effectively their statutory roles as check-and-balance mechanisms, they should resign collectively and ask for an emergency meeting of Parliament to take immediate action to remedy the fatal weaknesses and catastrophe in the MACC Act.

Open burning at Bakun site, claims watchdog

Source: anilnetto.com

Contractors have been carrying out open burning at the site of the Bakun Dam, claims a Sarawak watchdog network.

The Sarawak Conservation Action Network (Scane), which brings together about half a dozen indigenous and environmental groups in the state, said in a statement:

The contracts for clear-cutting forest have been commissioned to some contractors since the beginning of the year. The forest area which will be cleared for the dam is 80,000 ha, that is, roughly the size of Singapore Island.

Recently the Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd managing director Zulkifle Osman announced that the impoundment of water catchments would start in October; by then the whole dam reservoir will be flooded. By July 2010, testing for electricity transmission from Bakun dam will start.

Scane wonders how the Sarawak Natural Resources and Environmental Board (NREB) is monitoring the site. My phone calls to the Board this afternoon were unanswered – as it is probably closed for the weekend.

Scane is also asking if Sarawak Hidro is following an Environmental Management Plan (EMP), if any, as stated in the Bakun EIA.

When contacted, Scane national coordinator Raymond Abin said the network had received reports of such burning from the dam site. He said the last report he received was on Wednesday.

The watchdog network was set up in April to monitor development projects in Sarawak especially their impact on the environment.

Of late, Sarawak has been hit by a dry spell as a thick haze blankets parts of the state. On 12 Aug, the NOAA reported 37 hotspots in Sarawak, with Miri recording an unhealthy level, according to Asean’s haze watch.

The Bakun Dam project is owned and developed by Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd, wholly owned by the Finance Ministry.

Tiong: RM10m was donation for MCA activities!

ImageMy SinChew
by Kok Ss Chin/translated by Dominic Loh

PETALING JAYA: Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd chief executive Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said the RM10 million he offered to MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat was donation.

On Thursday, Tee Keat wanted Tiong to explain whether the RM10 million was a loan, donation, or bribe.

Tiong told Sin Chew Daily on Friday that the money was donation for MCA's activity fund.

He said if he knew things would develop this way, he would have insisted to issue a cheque instead of paying out in cash.

"I helped you. So I was willing to donate RM10 million and didn't ask for repayment. However, your people said I didn't give you the money and were trying to ruin the reputation of you and MCA. I feel that is very unfair.

"I've ended up nowhere. And now the bank is after me."

Tee Keat's second question: If it was donation, as the donor, Tiong should know where the money had gone.

Tiong replied, "I've given you the money. God knows whom you've given it to? Now you ask me where the money has gone!"

"I've given you the money. God knows whom you've given it to?"
Question 3: The fifth ride on the private jet was done on Tiong's invitation.

"Yes, I indeed invited you aboard the jet, because I saw that your flight was delayed, so I invited you, along with Datuk Wee Ka Siong.

"I admit I've given you the wrong message previously.

"From what I've learned from my subordinates, Ong's office knew they had to pay the fuel charges."

He said someone had requested him to offer assistance to Ong and MCA, as he had political influences and network, and could help revitalise MCA. As such, he agreed to unconditionally offer financial assistance to MCA.

"I'm a part of BN. If BN could keep East Malaysia but not West Malaysia, this would affect the entire BN, especially MCA. So I agreed to donate to MCA as activity fund."

Nevertheless, Tiong refused to disclose the identity of the person involved, whether he was a politician or from MCA.

Also a MP for Bintulu, Tiong said he was not really a "close friend" of Ong Tee Keat, but he respected the latter and never questioned him how the money would be spent, because he was MCA president.

Other than political parties, Tiong often provided financial assistance to Chinese associations as well as non-governmental organisations, including sponsoring needy students to study overseas without asking for repayment.

He said when he promised to donate the money to MCA, he did not ask Ong for any project or to endorse him in the PKFZ project, as his company had already completed the contracted works.

"If I was unhappy with him or the authorities for investigating the PKFZ incident, would I have invited him to take the flight with me in April?"

He also said the MACC had contacted his deputy CEO to make arrangements to investigate this matter.

Tiong said he welcomed the MACC's move to investigate the RM10 million donation.

"We're willing to cooperate and assist." (By KOK SU CHIN/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)

Police Nab Car Thieves Within 45 Minutes Of Break-in

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 (Bernama) -- Quick alerting by a victim of a break-in in Taman Pertama Cheras here helped police nab two members of three-man break gang within 45 minutes Saturday. City CID chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah in a short-messaging service (SMS) statement, said in the 4.15am incident, the victim, a 38-year-old man, was awoken from his sleep by noises coming from the living room of his house.

He said when the victim viewed the CCTV installed in his room, three men were in the process of rummaging through the living room before running off with his Mercedez Benz, Honda Accord and Toyota Avanza cars parked in the porch.

After being alerted by the victim, he said police posted an all points bulletin and hardly 45 minutes later a patrol car stumbled on two Toyota Alphard cars having the same number plates as the ones stolen at the victim's house.

Ku said police detained the two drivers in them and recovered a mask and a key believed to be that of the Mercedes belonging to the victim.

Anak Cina Anak Saya,Anak India Anak Saya..


Dear, Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim,

Ini adalah surat dari warga Kg.Buah Pala, Anak Cina Anak Saya, Anak India anak Saya! Anak Melayu anak Saya! Anak Buah Pala Anak HARAM kah? This is what the villagers asking from Dato Seri'Anwar Ibrahim, Until today there is no statement from you, no responds and no attention has been given from your side on this matter at all! Where is your laungan Makkal Sakthi??? You won and you are the opposition Leader now because of Hindraf @ Indians!

Dont try to deny it, I know you cant denied it too... i still remember your story in one of your speech in Brickfields saying that you ate the deepavali tosai while under detention in Sg.Buloh, you were beaten in the jail and you were treated so badly until you realise that you must be neutral and you are not a racist! Remember? What happened now?

Are you still looking for the road to come to Kg.Buah Pala? Do you want me to upload the road map here in this blog so that it will make it easier for you to arrive at the Village as soon as you see it? Why as an Opposition leader, you did not even bother to advise or give press statement on this matter or why dont you advise Lim Guan Eng the traitor, to widraw the whole project or why dont you discuss and find a solution to the Anak India Buah Pala, who is Anak Saya also!

Dear, Anwar, you have forgotten the past so fast, it is actually in your hand since we know clearly that you knew on whats happening around here in Kg.Buah Pala and all the scandals and Corruption.. you have promise to fight Corruption and Cronysm in your administration! We need the answer from you, we demand an answer from you, we demand you to answer us on our suffering here!

Rwindraj@Cryingvoices..

IGP: No info on both Noordin and new LTTE leader - Malaysiakini

Police have not received any information on purported funds from several countries, including Malaysia, being channelled to wanted man Noordin Mat Top, Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan said.

"We are waiting from our counterparts in Indonesia if there are any information on the matter," he told a news conference after attending the completion of training for probationary inspectors here today.

He was asked to comment on claims by an Indonesian crime analyst that Malaysian-born Noordin obtained money to fund his terror activities from several neighbouring countries including Malaysia.

Musa (left) also said that the Malaysian police would cooperate fully with their Indonesian counterparts in exchanging information about Nordin's whereabouts.

He also said that police had not received any information on the purported presence of the new Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, in the country.

"We know that he has been moving about using forged passports," he said, adding that there was no confirmation whether the man said to be detained in Malaysia was indeed Selvarasa.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has on Monday refused to confirm whether Selvarasa was detained on Malaysian soil.

Officials in Colombo have declined to say how Pathmanathan was detained, but the Thai government said he was arrested in Kuala Lumpur and transferred to Sri Lanka through Bangkok.

Police probing MACC report

On the commotion during the arrest of Wong Chuan How, an aide to Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday, Musa said police had received a report from the MACC on the matter.

"We are investigating," he said.

Wong was arrested yesterday to assist in investigations into alleged abuse of development funds worth RM500,000 involving 234 projects.

The 50-year-old political aide, who was injured while he was being arrested, has also lodge a police report yesterday.

A total of 281 probationary inspectors completed their training today with Seah Tiong Seng, 27, named as the best trainee.

Between appearances and substance

Image

If we believe in God then we would believe that God created us. And would God play games with us by creating us of different faiths so that we may kill one another?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

A friend once asked me whether I consider myself a Muslim. I asked him: first of all, what is your interpretation of Muslim? He then asked me what is my interpretation of Muslim. And I gave him my interpretation of Muslim: one who believes in God, the One God, and does what God commands, which is to serve mankind.

Then you are a Muslim, he said.

I know of people who set up Christmas trees every year and place presents below it and get drunk on Christmas Eve. They may even go to church once a year for Christmas Mass. But they believe that whites are superior to non-whites and the genocide of non-whites is no great tragedy to mankind.

These are not Christians.

I know of people who go to Mekah every time they face corruption charges so that they can pray in the ‘House of God’ for divine intervention in beating the corruption charge.

These are not Muslims.

I know of people who perform the pilgrimage to the holiest of temples every year and yet have scores of murders to their credit.

These are not Hindus.

I know of people who place altars and burn joss sticks every morning in their massage parlours that front for brothels.

These are not Buddhists.

To these people, they are ‘religious’ because they perform the rituals associated with whatever religion they believe in. But that is as far as their religion goes. Compassion and service to mankind is not at the top of their priority list. All their actions are guided by greed, lust, vanity, egoism, arrogance, and all those other anti-social attributes you can think of.

It is time Malaysians stopped ‘talking’ religion. Religion is not in the rituals you perform. Religion is not in the clothes you wear. Religion is what is in your heart.

Some Muslims suffer from a very serious fundamental problem. The problem is they do not follow the fundamentals of the religion. Islam is the religion of ‘there is no god but God’. See the small ‘g’ and capital ‘G’ in the two god words? It is spelt that way for a very good reason.

For that matter, many would argue that Islam is not even a religion. It is a way of life. You breathe Islam, so to speak. In other words, every beat of your heart ticking away ticks for Islam. You do not need rituals to prove you are a Muslim. The fact that you are breathing already means you are Muslim because when you breathe in and then out that breath translates to Islam.

If you do not grasp what I am saying then I can’t help you. It just means you look at things from a very superficial and on-the-surface perspective. You need to go deeper than that. You need to feel the pulse on your wrist and be able to say, “This is Islam.”

And that is what happens when religion, any religion, has been reduced to rituals, ceremonies and the manner you dress. You lose the essence of the religion. And this is when we start arguing about trivial issues while we allow the essence of the religion to pass unnoticed.

Does it matter what women wear, or how a man dresses, or whatever, when below those external coverings lies maggots and worms eating away at our soul? I suppose this is a statement many religionists, Muslims included, would not be able to comprehend.

If we believe in God then we would believe that God created us. And would God play games with us by creating us of different faiths so that we may kill one another? All religions believe in the beginning of time and the end of time. And the Abrahamic faiths believe that we are all descendants of one man and one woman, the first two beings on earth.

Would this not then make us all brothers and sisters? And we may be brothers and sisters who follow different paths to the same destination but is this not God’s wish and something absolutely beyond our control?

Who are we to question God’s wisdom in making one brother/sister a Jew, another a Christian, yet another a Muslim, and others of the Hindu, Buddhist, etc., faiths? Do we know better what is God’s grand design? Dare we shun God’s wise decision by shunning those who do not follow that same path as us in arriving at the same destination?

Yes, this is certainly food for thought this Sunday morning in a prelude to the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan. God has said He knows better what He has planned for us. Maybe it is time to not question or dispute what this plan is because surely, if he is really God who is the Creator of us all, He would have been able to create all of us of one faith and avoid all these disputes and killings in His name.

**********************************************
Islam at Crossroads: Who's to Blame?
M. Rajaque Rahman

It has become almost fashionable for a Muslim to say 'Islam is in danger'. The religion whose literal meaning is peace is today seen as the root cause of terror and violence. The Muslim world cannot merely dismiss this as a fall-out of a grand conspiracy against Islam by people of other faiths. It has failed to present the real essence of Islam and remained a mute spectator to many atrocities against humanity committed in the name cleansing the world of infidels.

This diffidence to stand up for Islam is mainly due to lack of clarity among Muslims about what their religion truly stands for. The Muslim world is heavily weighed down by its own blinkered interpretation of what's permitted and forbidden in Islam. The most glaring misinterpretation that has led to a distortion of the very essence of Islam is its understanding of the expression 'La Ilaaha Illallaah', which is the first principle of Islam. Literally translated, it means 'there is no god but God'.

However, generations of Muslims have been taught to interpret it as 'there is no god but Allah'. Thanks to this limiting interpretation, Muslims are made to believe that there are many gods, but only Allah is the right one. This understanding totally distorts Islam's real message of tauhid (oneness of God).

A case in point is the recent statement of chairman of National Fatwa Council of Malaysia Abdul Shukor Husin while passing a fatwa against yoga. 'Many Muslims fail to understand that yoga's ultimate aim is to be one with a God of a different religion.' When one has affirmed to 'La Ilaaha Illallaah', how can a Muslim think of another 'God of a different religion'.

If a Muslim thinks there are different Gods for different religions, he is negating the essence of Islam and unwittingly subscribing to polytheist beliefs. 'La Ilaaha Illallaah' establishes beyond argument that there is only one God. However differently we may pray and by whatever name we may call, it goes to that one source. Further, the Quran clearly states that God can be invoked in different names. 'Glory be to God, beyond any associations. He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.' [Al Hashr 59:22].

Despite the clear pointers in the Quran, orthodox mullahs still hold that calling God by any other name than Allah amounts to associating a partner with Him. The biggest casualty of this exclusivity of Allah has been the concept of jehad, prompting innocent Muslims to believe that fighting against 'infidels' who don't call God by Allah is an act worthy for the Quranic promise of heaven for jehad. This amounts to challenging Quran's command to invoke God by any names with a sense of reverence and beauty.

This myopic interpretation of the concept of tauhid has had a domino effect on other spheres of life. Take the case of recent fatwas forbidding yoga for Muslims on the ground that yoga will erode their faith in the religion.

As the Quran and Hadith have nothing specific that will make practice of yoga haram, the ulemas based the ruling on their own fear of supposedly 'Hindu' elements of yoga destroying the faith of a Muslim. The best way to allay their fear is to look at the Hindu philosophy on yoga and see how and where it contradicts the tenets of Islam.

Yoga simply means uniting with the Self. Maharishi Patanjali's Yoga Sutras starts by calling itself an enunciation in union. The asanas, the practice of which is the focal point of these fatwas, are just one way of attaining that union. Is striving for such a union with the Self against Islam? It cannot be. For, Prophet Mohammed has said, 'He who knows his own Self knows his Lord.' Anything done in pursuit of knowing the Lord will count as a meritorious act of following the Prophet.

The best explanation of why yoga is not just permissible, but also desirable for Muslims is to be found in the second sutra of the Yoga Sutras. 'Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodhah.' It means yoga is stopping all the modulations of the mind. Ceasing all the outward activities of the mind and reposing in Allah is the ultimate goal of Islam. So doing yoga asanas as a means of attaining a thoughtless state will qualify as the highest form of ibadat (prayer). Hence contrary to the fatwas, yoga as a spiritual pursuit is very much permissible in Islam.

It's universally proven that yoga brings peace of mind, and on that count yoga is almost obligatory for Muslims. As Islam means peace, peace of mind is a prerequisite for one to be truly following Allah's only religion.

This leaves only one ground for orthodox mullahs to frown at yoga: that yoga stems from polytheist beliefs of Hinduism. But when yoga means union, how can it be linked to polytheist beliefs? In fact, yoga takes one away from polytheism and leads to Advaita, which is in perfect agreement with the doctrine of tauhid.

The time has come for ulemas to dispel this mistaken understanding of the real essence of Islam. Else history will accuse them of doing a great disservice to Islam and unwittingly leading innocent Muslims towards polytheism.

(The author is a former business journalist and now teaches yoga-based spiritual programmes of the Art of Living. He can be contacted at rajaque@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Kit Siang calls MACC ‘Gestapo’, asks for controls

By Neville Spykerman | The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Aug 15 — DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang today slammed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as the Gestapo for its high-handed manner in arresting political aide Wong Chuan How.

The special assistant to Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu for the Barisan Nasional-held Sungai Pelek constituency was injured during a scuffle with MACC officers outside his office yesterday.

Lim said the MACC officers who when to meet Wong at his service centre in Sungai Pelek had gone back on their word by trying to arrest him.

An appointment had been made earlier for Wong to meet the MACC as a witness in ongoing investigations into alleged impropriety in state allocations. But five officers turned up at the service centre said he was a suspect and wanted him to follow them to their office in Putrajaya.

“How did he become a suspect when he was previously just a witness and this shows they are not sincere in their investigations,” the Ipoh Timur MP told reporters.

In light of what happened to Teoh Beng Hock who was found dead last month at the MACC office, two lawyers with Wong insisted he lodge a police report at the Sungai Pelek police station before he followed them to Putrajaya and the MACC officers agreed.

However, three unidentified men tried to handcuff and drag Wong to their car as he walked out of his service centre.

There is no question about Wong resisting arrest because the men did not identify themselves, Lim said.

In the struggle, Wong fell to the ground and injured his right leg while struggling with the men.

Lim noted that MACC had broken their promise again and called on MACC advisory panels to rein in the MACC which seem to have even greater powers than the police.

He also pointed out that the MACC seems to be overly focus on Pakatan Rakyat while ignoring the ongoing RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo’s alleged RM24 million mansion and the RM10 million donation received by MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Kiat.

Wong, whose right leg was bandaged and was seen moving with the support of a walker, confirmed he did not know who the three men were and said he has no confidence in the MACC.

“The MACC is not independent and a tool which is being used by the Barisan Nasional to topple the Selangor government.” said Wong, adding he was not even found guilty yet but was treated like a criminal.

Wong’s boss Liu took the MACC officers to task for refusing to identify the three men involved in grabbing his assistant.

“I asked several officers to provide us their names but they themselves claim they did not know who they were,” Liu said, adding he did meet the men at the police station later.

Liu added there is no doubt the MACC was being selective in their prosecution.

He claimed no investigations has been done on the previous Barisan lawmakers who had spent RM500,000 in annual allocations, in just two months, prior to the March 8 general elections last year.

—————-

Wong tells his side of the story
Andrew Ong | Malaysiakini

What would a rational person do if they were grabbed by a group of unidentified individuals? Escape obviously – and that is what DAP political aide Wong Chuan How said he did.

When several Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers tried to arrest him yesterday, Wong put up a struggle because he was “worried for his life”.

“The tried to put handcuffs on me, but they never once said who they were and where were they taking me,” said Wong, who suffered injuries to his knee during the scuffle.

According to Wong, prior to the incident, he had reached an understanding with five MACC officers that he would not be taken to the commission’s headquarters in Putrajaya until he lodged a police report.

“I wanted to lodge a police report to prove that I was still alive at that time,” said Wong, in reference to the death of another DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock last month in MACC’s premises.

Wong was speaking to reporters today at a press conference at the national DAP headquarters in Petaling Jaya, flanked by DAP top brass.

Yesterday morning, five MACC officers had met Wong at Sungai Pelek DAP’s service centre where he was supposed to be questioned as a witness.

‘My duty to cooperate with MACC’

However, Wong, flanked by his two lawyers, said he was stunned when the five MACC officers produced a warrant of arrest for an unspecified offence.

After some reservations, the MACC officers allowed Wong to lodge a police report before being taken to the commission’s headquarters, but upon stepping out of the building, several men in plain clothes tried to put handcuffs on Wong.

Wong was heard shouting, “I want my life, I don’t want to die” during the melee where he was grabbed from behind by an unidentified MACC officer, before the 50-year-old fell and injured his knee.

Three X-rays were subsequently performed at the Sedang hospital. He was discharged at about 10pm last night, after his wife posted a RM3,000 bail to the MACC.

Despite the drama, Wong said he will still cooperate with the MACC because it was his responsibility to do so as an aide to Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu.

He appealed to the MACC to be “less hostile” in the future to other suspects or witnesses, adding that even criminals should be treated humanely.

‘MACC akin to gestapo’

Wong is believed to be investigated over irregularities in the use of state funds in the BN-held Sungai Pelek constituency.

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang (left) was incensed with the MACC for going against their word twice during the episode yesterday and likened their conduct to “gangsters and gestapo”.

He said there was no need to use force on Wong when he had already agreed to surrender himself after lodging a police report.

He also chided MACC for the need to arrest Wong, without prior investigations.

“Did they arrest anyone in the RM12 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal? What about Khir Toyo’s RM24 million mansion?… Do they have the power to arrest anyone based solely on suspicion, and thus create terror?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Wong’s employer Ronnie Liu said there was no excuse for the plainclothes MACC officers for not identifying themselves to Wong.

“Even the FRU (riot police) wear their identifications now. Why should MACC officers be an exception?” he asked.

He added that during the last state exco meeting, it was decided that the MACC would only be allowed to have copies of state assemblyperson’s expenditure and not the originals.

“This is to prevent possible tampering,” said Liu.

MACC denies pushing Wong

MACC, in a statement yesterday, denied that force was used against Wong.

“Our officers served the notice of arrest under Section 53(3) of MACC Act 2009 on Wong.

“The officers also explained the notice to Wong and requested him to sign it but he refused,” the statement said.

Wong was escorted to the MACC car which was parked outside the premises.

At this juncture, he refused to get into the car and walked away but the officers tried to stop him and insisted that he got into the car.

“He then fell to the ground by himself at this point,” the statement said.

The MACC officers had lodged a counter police report.

Residents Against Building Of Temple Near Their Houses

SHAH ALAM, Aug 14 (Bernama) -- A representative of Taman Ixora residents in Section 23 here Friday handed over a memorandum of objection over the building of a Hindu temple near their houses to the state assemblyman for Batu Tiga, Rodziah Ismail.

The memorandum was handed over by the chairman of 'the action group opposing the building of the temple', Ahmad Mahyuddin Abdul Manaf, to Rodziah's special officer, Naim Yusri, at her office here.


Ahmad Mahyuddin said they wanted the construction of the 1,800 sq.meter temple, to be built on industrial land belonging to the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS), to be cancelled as it was not suitable to build it on industrial land.

He said besides that, the building site, approved by the Selangor State Economic Action Council, was located 160m from a residential area which had 70 per cent Muslims, 50m from a playground and 150m from the Surau Al-Jannah.

He told reporters that the memorandum was sent on May 26 to the Shah Alam City Council and the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) but there was no reply.

Ahmad Mahyuddin said they were surprised when a newspaper reported that Dr Xavier Jayakumar, chairman of the state health, plantation workers, poverty and caring government committee, said the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Section 19 would be moved to a site at Section 23.

He said Rodziah only gave a 'feedback letter' on the temple move two days ago and said she would refer the matter to Dr Xavier.

Ahmad Mahyuddin said before the opposition took over the previous administration had decided on a site in Section 22 as the replacement not Section 23.

He said no public hearing was held by the state government to get the people's view on the move to Section 23.

Permatang Pauh Cemuh Isu Pengkhianat

From Harakahdaily
By Ali Hashim

PERMATANG PAUH, 14 Ogos: Selepas para pengikut Umno berdemonstrasi menyokong kenyataan timbalan presiden mereka, Tan Sri Muhyidin Yasin, para penyokong Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pula berdemostrasi hari ini bagi membantah Muhyidin.

Mereka mengadakan demonstrasi secara aman itu di hadapan Masjid Kubang Semang, Permatang Pauh selepas solat Jumaat tadi.

Demonstrasi yang disertai para penyokong Pakatan Rakyat (PR) itu diadakan bagi membantah tindakan Timbalan Presiden Umno, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dan kepimpinan Umno yang menggelarkan Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sebagai pengkhianat.

Sepanduk dengan pelbagai luahan rasa oleh penyokong-penyokong PR seperti ‘Siapa Pengkhianat’, ‘Siapa Yang Sebenarnya Mengkhianati Bangsa’ dan juga laungan takbir turut memenuhi ruang.

Demonstrasi tersebut turut disertai oleh penyokong-penyokong bukan Melayu yang turut bersimpati dengan kenyataan yang tidak sepatutnya dihemburkan oleh seorang pemimpin negara.

ImageWalau bagaimana pun demonstrasi aman ini tidak tercalar dan tiada berlakunya kekecohan kerana tiada anggota Polis Simpanan Persekutuan (FRU) yang datang mengganggu dan menyebabkan kekecohan.

Terdapat juga suara-suara yang berkata sekiranya ada pasukan polis atau FRU yang hadir sudah pasti keadaan aman akan menjadi kelam-kabut dan dipenuhi dengan kacau bilau sepertimana yang berlaku dalam program ceramah Mansuhkan ISA di Taman Guar Perahu, Bukit Mertajam baru-baru ini. _

Segera Pastikan Negara Keluar Dari Kemelesetan

Angka dan data yang diumumkan semalam menunjukkan Hong Kong mulai keluar dari bahana kemelesetan. Susulan dari perkembangan baik ini, Pentadbiran Hong Kong akan menyemak semula unjuran Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar sebelumnya yang menjangkakan kemerosotan di antara 5.5 % dan 6.5%.

Memerhati laporan perkembangan ekonomi serantau, ternyata ada berita baik di kalangan negara jiran. Singapura dan Korea Selatan misalnya, secara teknikal, boleh dikira berada dalam fasa selesa. Malahan menurut Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, Indonesia juga memperlihatkan perkembangan positif.

Perkembangan ini membuatkan beberapa persoalan menerjah minda saya. Ada berita baik untuk rakyat Malaysia dari pentadbiran yang acap kali mewar warkan perkataan pencapaian? Sudah tentu pelbagai janji ditabur dengan harapan kegusaran rakyat dapat dileburkan.

Hakikatnya ekspot negara kita merosot sekitar 25%-30%. Dan lebih memburukkan keadaan, tiadanya perubahan sistem dan polisi. Skandal PKFZ, tercalarnya imej SPRM, keganasan polis di perhimpunan aman dan propaganda sentimen perkauman sempit pastinya tidak membantu negara kita keluar dari kemelesetan. Moga bulan kemerdekaan ini menyedarkan pimpinan umno-bn untuk segera melakukan sesuatu yang munasabah demi menyelamatkan negara. Jangan khianati amanah rakyat kerana itulah patriotisme sejati.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Wong will go to MACC HQ after recovery

PETALING JAYA, Sat: State executive councillor Ronnie Liu's aide, who was discharged from the Serdang Hospital after seeking treatment for a leg injury last night, will go to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Putrajaya when he recovers.

Wong Chuan How, 51, sustained the injury after he fell while struggling with MACC officers enroute to the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.

The incident occured at the Sungai Pelek DAP centre yesterday.

In a press conference at the DAP headquarters here today, Wong said that as a citizen, it was his obligation to cooperate with the authorities on any allegation, whatsoever.


"I am not a criminal, even though I was arrested by the MACC, I will continue to help in the MACC investigation and provide any proof or evidence (needed)," he said.

On Monday, MACC officers recorded Wong's statement for alleged abuse of allocations for Selangor state assemblymen.

Wong claimed that the three MACC officers who arrested him before he went to Sungai Pelek police station to lodge a report on his safety, did not identify themselves.

"They were so rude to us and didn't identify themselves, no badge and uniform and refused to give their names to me. They just grabbed without saying anything and took out the handcuffs.

"I was just trying to escape and told them that I wanted to make a police report, so I struggled with them to escape," he said.

Meanwhile, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, who is also Ipoh Timur member of parliament, called on the MACC Advisory Board to discuss the excessive use of force on Wong by MACC officers. -- BERNAMA