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Monday, August 17, 2009

Questions for Lim Guan Eng



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Reporters rushed to the Demonstrators.

Reporters rushed for the updates from the Demonstrators in the Demonstration by the Kg.Buah Pala villagers at Butterworth Terminal area. Speaking to the press members yesterday, Mr.Maran, one of the advisor for the commitee said ; There are a total of 4 Indian aduns in Penang but they are more worried for the Pig farms and Graveyard than the plight and sufferings of the villagers in Kg. Buah Pala. If Kg.Buah Pala fall, then the DAP regime in the state will fall too, he said it in the stern voice, I feel that it sounded very serious and the villagers has counter plans on supporting whoever in the other side that supports the Villagers. He added that this demonstration will not stop here and will be at all the places and function that Lim Guan Eng attends. RM600,00 house that DAP is claiming is just a castle built in the air to the villagers and it has not stated in any documents from the State Government. Since the Incident in the village on the 13th Aug, no Assemblyman from the state government has visited the village. In another topic, Maran also stressed that a detailed report has to be published from the Dept.of Environment stating that this area is safe for highrise development. The Villagers stresses that they want whatever they deserve and not asking more than their demands, " we are not demanding for the cash or houses as claimed by the local media or the state government, just a decent valued house, in a real document, stamped,signed and guaranteed by the state government will be sufficient for the villagers to co-operate with the state government, and not a document by the developer Nusmetro who has no right towards the Land and the people here.
Every visit to Lim Guan Eng's office and officials were answered as "State Government is powerless!" but the reality is, Lim Guan Eng's signature in the contract with Nusmetro is the cause of all this mess, and it is very doubtful, which we demand the inteference of MACC.

He demand Lim Guan Eng to expose to the public on who is the actual culprit in this Land Scandal and Controversies, dont just blame Koh Tsu Koon or the former state government, who ever it is, just expose the person behind the whole scene, no matter who it is.
He also added that the DAP government, does not appreciate the voters at all and Lim Guan Eng indirectly quoted that he dont need the votes from Kg.Buah Pala. Which is very arrogant for a politician and the son of a senior politician. The offer letter that media and state government claimed that it has been signed by the Villagers is a false information, non of the villagers signed the document.
How is it possible for the developer to shrink the plan of their project in order to build more houses for the villagers?
Conscious and Unconscious!
Rwindraj@Cryingvoices

Nizar in Penang

Demonstration On Lim Guan Eng's Constituency!


17 Aug 2009

A short Demonstration has been organised in a function headed by Lim Guan Eng about 6pm yesterday. The Villagers of Kg.Buah Pala relesed their frustration on lies and false promises by Lim Guan Eng!

Lim Guan Eng arrived at the scene at about 6.10pm, and noticed the Demonstration by the villagers and tried to read the wordings in the banner flash to him. He is on the ugliest look with red face and shame runs on his face throughout the demonstration. One of the speaker in the function by the name of Dato.R.Arunachalam (Known as RA) called the demonstrators Anjedi Kare Samuthayam(In Tamil) which roughly means Street dwelling Society and it is a very sarcastic word equivalent to Bastards in Tamil.

He is a well respected Leader and a chairman in the Mariamman Temple in Butterworth. He is also from the same society when he mean it, I feel that he is trying to impress Lim Guan Eng and he is famous for his Ball Carrying attitude! He was a normal labourer in the textile shop and he is an Uneducated person without the knowledge of English and he does'nt know how to read and write! from his conduct and gesture while visiting Kg.Buah Pala is very doubtful siding the developer as if he has a share in the project. Whatever it is the way he expresses that word in front of the crowd with such words are very sarcastic and he dont deserve to be called a leader and an Indian.

Is DAP anti-Islam and anti-Royalty? - Malaysiakini

Comment: The pro-Umno media's smear campaign to tar brush DAP as anti-Islam and anti-Royalty seemed to be gaining momentum with the police investigating the allegations.

Police decided to call upon DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) National Chairman and MP for Rasah, Loke Siew Fook, and MP for Jelutong, Jeff Ooi for investigation under Sedition Act 1948.

The police action followed immediately after Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak 's open request for the concerned authorities to probe such cases as widely reported and played up by the mainstream media.

They are not isolated incidents against the DAP only, more probably component parts of a larger Umno/BN strategic offensive, aimed at seizing the Selangor government power from the Pakatan Rakyat.

In fact Anwar had earlier sounded the alarm about the existence of such a plot, and Najib too, has not hidden his agenda to recapture a state of such paramount importance.

Najib's agenda for Selangor power seizure

The accusation against DAP, just like Anwar being labelled a traitor to his race and religion, or PAS is invited to form a Unity Government with Umno; is just part of another manoeuvre to split the PAS, DAP and PKR coalition under the pretext of Malay / Muslim unity, to take over Selangor similar to the earlier Perak government power grab.


Now let us examine more closely the alleged anti-Islam and anti-Royalty cases against DAP leaders.
In Jeff Ooi's case, he is blamed for labelling Jemaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) an extremist organization.

Although he has withdrawn his criticism following Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's instruction, he remains under pressure to apologize for insulting Islam.

Whether or not JIM is an extremist organization is a matter of opinion.


What is important is that we must be liberal enough to respect the right to freedom of expression for every individual and organization.

It is undeniable that in a mature democracy, criticism and counter-criticism are encouraged as normal practice.

To resort to draconian laws such as the Sedition Act or the ISA to suppress freedom of expression, under whatsoever pretext, is harmful and unacceptable to the fundamental principles of democracy.

Leadership of DJZ once labelled Communists and Al'maunahs

During the 2000 Suqiu Incident, the leadership of the Dong Jio Zong (DJZ) was labelled Communists and Al'maunahs by the then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The DJZ leadership,forced to defend itself, adopted the democratic means of refutation and counter-criticism.

When PAS and Umno were engaged in accusing each other of infidel (kafir-mengkafirkan), the acid test was not using the Sedition Act or the ISA to suppress the weak by the strong, but by convincing their followers through implementation of activities and policies true to the tenets and teaching of Islam.

PAS's spiritual leader Tok Guru Nik Aziz had once told Umno to go to hell, but when he held out an olive branch by offering the Kelantan government's cooperation to the Federal Government, it was twisted into appearing as a proposal of cooperation between PAS and Umno.

Yet the Tok Guru was not accused of insulting the Malays or Islam.

The logic is simple: Criticizing Umno is not equivalent to criticizing Malay and Islam.

Hence, criticizing JIM also is not equivalent to criticizing Islam. Therefore, even if the party concerned feels insulted, it should be confined to the party concerned.

To exaggerate that Islam in its totality has been insulted is untrue and misleading.

J
IM not equivalent to Islam

Since Jeff Ooi has withdrawn his criticism, it is unbecoming on the part of the police to stir up the issue again under the Sedition Act, which can be considered as blatant suppression of the freedom of expression with the ulterior motive of political persecution.

Another case of so-called insulting Islam was the incident in which Selangor DAP State Executive Councillor Ronnie Liu was accused of interfering with the Shah Alam City Council's (MBSA) decision to confiscate beer from a convenience store. That accusation also couldn't hold water.

According to Liu, the Excise Act 1976 stipulates that there is no need for a liquor license for selling beverages with less than 8.8 percent alcohol content.

In other words, the raid and confiscation of the beer was in fact unlawful and abuse of power.

As an Exco member of Selangor State Government responsible for such matters, Liu was duty bound to advise the enforcement officials concerned to return the wrongly confiscated beverages to the owner.

It is unimaginable how Liu could be accused of insulting Islam when he essentially upheld the principle of the rule of law.

PKR man's hidden agenda

It was astonishing that Liu was not set upon by Umno/BN's members as usual, instead, he was verbally roughed up by a Pakatan Rakyat colleague, another Exco member of Selangor State Government and PAS Selangor Chief, Dr Hassan Ali.

He openly demanded that Liu be dropped from the state cabinet or his portfolio be changed for alleged interference with MBSA jurisdiction.

It was widely believed that Dr Hassan Ali could have had his own hidden agenda beyond the liquor issue.

The third case created even greater hue and cry in the mass media and in cyber space, where DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) National Chairman Anthony Loke Siew Fook was denounced for allegedly writing articles insulting Islam, the Perak Sultan and his son, Raja Nazrin.

Without verifying with Loke, MP Kulim, Zulkifli Noordin from PKR vehemently condemned for publishing Loke's press statement followed by comments insulting Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee, in crude, obscene and vulgar language, tantamount to insulting Islam.

Loke admitted he had issued a press statement entitled "Ridhuan Tee Must Apologize to Teoh Beng Hock's Family" to condemn the former for issuing "cruel and heartless remarks over the issue of Teoh Beng Hock's unborn child" and "calls on Dr Mohd Ridhuan to immediately apologize to Teoh's family and to China Press and Nanyang Siang Pau".

But he denied any connection with the irresponsible owner of the web site and the related comments.

Reproduced without verification

In ROCKY'S BRU, the "original article" allegedly written by Loke was reproduced, again, without verifying if he was the author.

There ensued a wild outburst of racial curses, soon developing into a tangled warfare (over 200 comments up to now) comprising people of different background, political affiliations and motives, divided largely into pro-Umno and anti-Umno factions.

In a letter addressed to Rocky, Loke strongly denied the allegation that he had authored the article that allegedly insulted the Sultan of Perak and Raja Nazrin.

He said he had no prior knowledge of that content on that particular blog http://sjsandteam.wordpress.com/.

His one and only blog is lokesiewfook.blogspot.com

He added "I have NEVER written anything that insults the Royalty, Malays or Islam in my life. There is an effort to slander DAP Youth and myself and spread lies that we are anti-Islam and anti-Royalty.

"I do not know who is behind that blog and I have nothing to do with it. As a responsible blogger, I hope you can first verify the facts before making any assumptions. I will be lodging a police report today to deny the article and I hope you can publish my explanation to clear the air later. Thank you."

Rocky has reproduced the letter in his blog as requested, and Loke also has lodged a police report at Dang Wangi District Police Headquarter that he had never written articles to insult Islam, Sultan Perak or Raja Nazrin as alleged.

However, Police are now investigating Loke and Jeff Ooi under the Sedition Act.We hope that justice will prevail eventually.

The Royal Malaysian Police farce

AUG 17 – As a Member of Parliament, I used to defend the police when faced with numerous complaints from my constituents in Johor Baru.

I told my constituents to have faith in the police as their alternative would be to pay for expensive personal security guards. No more.

More than a month ago, my trust and belief in the police force evaporated when my wife was mugged in broad daylight in her car at the front gate of my house by two men on a motorcycle.

I had spent a lot of money protecting the perimeter of my house from all forms of intrusion and expected the police to provide a safe neighbourhood beyond it. I certainly did not expect my wife to be violated right in front of my house.

I live in a middle-to-upper-class neighbourhood of Damansara Heights in Kuala Lumpur where many senior politicians, top civil servants and businessman already pay for a private security service.

This extra layer of private security may have lulled the local police force into such a false sense of security that they are able to spend more time erecting roadblocks to catch speeding cars along Jalan Bukit Kiara in front of the Intan campus every day, rain or shine, instead of securing my neighbourhood a kilometre away.

I need not remind the public of the free time the traffic police have to set up the many unnecessary “cari makan” speed traps and roadblocks on major public and tolled highways.

Over the years, the public have been assured by the police that they are implementing various strategies to reduce crime in the country. And they have produced statistic after statistic to show that reported crime in the country is down.

However, the feedback I get back from the public in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru is that crime is on the rise in their neighbourhood.

When I told them that the statistics point to a reduction in crime, they dismiss it and say many of them don’t bother to report petty thefts as they have no confidence that the culprits would be caught anyway. In fact, when they did make reports, many of them were told exactly that by the investigating police officers.

Back to my wife, she was told that the two men fitting the description she gave to the investigating officer were reported to have robbed many other lone women drivers in the Bangsar area over the last few months.

Coincidentally, a good friend of mine was also attacked by a group of Mat Rempits in front of the Bangsar Shopping Centre at 2 am a few weeks ago.

In my opinion, the main reason why the police have failed to reduce crime, or at least reduce the perception that that crime is pervasive in the country, is that they have little idea of strategies to be used against this new wave of disorganised crime.

Gone are the days when the police were managing organised crime by holding the local crime boss responsible for the wayward actions of his downliners.

The country was perceived as being safe back then.

Another reason could just be that the police chiefs are greedy or in the pockets of the local gangsters, funded by the lucrative DVD pirating business amongst others and are too busy protecting them to bother about tackling petty crimes and protecting the public at large, ironically echoing the Police hit “Wrapped Around Your Finger”.

Can anyone tell me different? Because this is all public perception.

Someone asked me, “do you remember the last time when a big time crime boss has been indicted in the last 20 years?” I can’t, can you?

Coincidentally, the crime rate had worsened over this period.

The bottom line is, the police managed to keep the country safe in the past by managing organised crime.

The gangsters running organised crime ran a tight ship. The top gangsters would ensure that the downliners in their network did only what they were told to do.

A “good” gangster wouldn’t want to suffer any embarrassment or loss of face in his area of control and would dish out harsh punishment if the underlings misbehaved.

Maybe the police force can learn something from the gangster system to ensure their own downliners tow the line.

They can learn from the Hong Kong Police force on how to manage organised crime. Hong Kong crime gangs regularly have turf wars but Hong Kong residents can still feel relatively safe walking on the streets at night.

Recently in Hong Kong , a major crime boss was brazenly murdered in front of the Shangri La hotel. He was run over by a car and subsequently had his limbs chopped off by his attackers, in full view of the public. Despite this, the citizens of Hong Kong still feel safe.

But I suspect over the last decade, the underworld network has broken now with new would-be criminals bypass the traditional crime networks.

They operate at the lower level of the crime chain and are not controlled by a higher authority.

The public cannot expect the police force to stop these new criminals. The police have failed to change their highly bureaucratic organisational structure to respond to the new democratised criminal environment.

As a result, these new criminals are allowed to operate wantonly without fear of the police.

With that in mind, I am not surprised at the growing opposition to the second contract extension for the Inspector General of Police , Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

He has been given four years to transform the police force and restore people’s confidence, and he has failed thus far.

I think the current bad crime situation warrants extreme action.

Maybe the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should emulate his father’s action in catapulting a junior officer to like Tun Haniff Omar to the top position of IGP to shake up the police force.

Tun Haniff was just 35 years old when he was appointed as the nation’s top cop and he was given enough time to transform the police force then.

The police force should be reorganised from a top-heavy bureaucracy into a flexible people-friendly organisation.

The police force currently has more than 90,000 personnel. However only 30,000 of them are actually working the street beat.

The other 60,000 are higher paid administration level staff filling paperwork in the office.

Maybe its time the organisation structure of the police force is turned on its head and the larger administration staff are ordered to leave their comfortable office and patrol the streets.

I am sure they would be more effective in ensuring the streets are safe than sitting in the office.

If they refuse, then they should be given early retirement so that the police force is able to hire newer, more dedicated staff.

The increased numbers of beat cops would strengthen the police network at street level and allow the police to start building community partnerships and strengthening neighbourhood watch schemes like Rukun Tetangga to deter the perpetrators of petty and small crimes.

The police should strive to create a “kampung” environment especially in city areas like Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru.

This would enable the police force to identify the residents in local areas and make it easier to identify outsiders.

The extended network of the kampung would, in effect, ring fence the local community and put fear into the would be criminals and deter them from entering the community.

The force should also use the generous allocations given under Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration to use technology and build a network sharing local intelligence information to be directly available to the policemen on the ground.

From what I understand through information given by police officers in my area, the plan to build the database and network has been discussed but never implemented. All I see is some patrol cars with Toughbook laptops but policemen going around without any direction.

Perhaps the Home Minister can make that his key performance indicator (KPI) and priority for his ministry.

If the Minister and the new IGP can implement my suggestions above, maybe then I would believe I would start to have faith in the police force again.

Maybe.

The Perfect Murder That Wasn’t

I do not imply that this is the case with Teoh’s death. I doubt whether MACC’s officials have heard of the Olson case or read Starrs’ book. However, we have seen many ‘accidental’ deaths involving Third World opposition leaders. Locally, Anwar Ibrahim’s notorious bludgeoned face was initially dismissed as “self-inflicted!”

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

M. Bakri Musa

The revelations from the coroner’s inquest into the death of DAP political activist Teoh Beng Hock eerily reminded me of a similar tragic death of a CIA bio-scientist Frank Olson in 1953. Olson was found dead sprawled on the street outside a New York high-rise hotel where he had spent the night with his colleagues.

The official report was that it was a suicide. Two decades later, as a result of disclosures from the Rockefeller Commission, President Ford apologized to the deceased’s family, accompanied by a sizeable monetary settlement, over the ‘tragic accident’ of Mr. Olson.

Still not satisfied, the family secured a court-ordered reexamination and Olson’s body was exhumed in 1994. Despite being over four decades later, through expert independent forensic examination the gruesome truth was finally revealed. His death was neither an accident nor a suicide; it was plain cold-blooded premeditated homicide. His colleagues murdered him. They did it by knocking him unconscious and then threw his body out.

The lead investigator, James Starrs, recounted the details in his book, A Voice for the Dead: A Forensic Investigator’s Pursuit of the Truth in the Grave. More significantly, prior to Starrs’ investigation the Olson case was celebrated in the annals of the CIA, as well as the Israeli Mossad, as the example of how to execute (pardon the morbid double entendre) the “perfect murder” so as to be seen as either an accident or suicide.

I do not imply that this is the case with Teoh’s death. I doubt whether MACC’s officials have heard of the Olson case or read Starrs’ book. However, we have seen many ‘accidental’ deaths involving Third World opposition leaders. Locally, Anwar Ibrahim’s notorious bludgeoned face was initially dismissed as “self-inflicted!”

As Starrs stated, forensic science can be superior to a confession and even eyewitness accounts. It is the most empirical and objective of all judicial methods in finding the truth.

That notwithstanding, if Teoh was murdered, the murderer would not likely leave obvious clues around unless he (or she) was unbelievably stupid, or very brazen and thus wish to make a point. Meaning, there would not likely be any dramatic revelations or Perry Mason moment during the inquest. That however would not necessarily discourage the Perry Mason pretenders from among the many participating lawyers.

The path to the truth in this case, as with Olson’s, will be long and arduous, with many twists and turns as well as false passages. We may never know what really transpired. Nonetheless that does not discourage many amateur ‘forensic scientists’ especially in the local blogosphere. Their exuberantly confident analyses suggest that they have been reading too many medically-related articles from Reader’s Digest and viewing too many CSI series.

Also as with the Olson case, the pivotal clues (at least initially) would not necessarily come from the autopsy table but from careful interviews of the involved personnel, examining their phone records, and carefully accounting for their activities on that fateful day.

Wise Move to Videotape the Proceedings

The Attorney-General has been much criticized lately, and deservedly so. However in this instance I compliment him for videotaping and then posting the tapes unedited on the web. This singular move does more to demonstrate the government’s commitment to transparency than all the ministerial speeches and assertions.

I would have gone further, and put all the exhibits including the photographs (subject to the next-of-kin’s consent) on the web.

I was impressed with the professionalism of the coroner, Azmil Mustapha Abas, and lead counsel Tan Hock Chuan. I was less so with the other lawyers representing the various interested parties. Azmil’s calm demeanor reassured the various witnesses, a key to getting the most out of them. Tan skillfully led the expert witnesses, in particular forensic pathologist Khairul Azman Ibrahim, to describe the clinical findings in understandable layman’s terms and to consider each of the three possible causes of death – accident, suicide or homicide – despite the pathologist being under the weather. I hope he was screened for H1N1 before his court appearance!

There was a brief digression in court on the National Language Act. It served no purpose except that I wished our language nationalists were present to witness how inadequate our national language still is even in a relatively non-technical court setting. Imagine litigations involving complex finance!

I brought up this language issue for another reason. It is obvious that even highly educated Malaysians (like lawyers) are unable to string simple sentences in either complete English or Malay. Thus, counsel for Teoh’s family, “Can you beri tahu kami maana Perunding Kanan ….”

There was nothing technical there, just simple ideas, yet they could not coherently articulate them using a single language, confirming that ‘rojak Malay’ and ‘pidgin English’ are our two official languages.

Apparently the counsel for Teoh’s family confuses an inquest with a criminal trial. In the former you want your witnesses to agree (or at least not disagree) with your interpretations of the evidences. With the latter you want to chip away at the credibility of your adversary’s witnesses. Badgering and belittling an expert witness may make you look smart to the gallery but would not advance your cause.

Teoh’s counsel’s suggestion that the government provides pathologists with tape measures so they could hang themselves precariously outside windows to measure the height of buildings is simply laughable. If you want to know the height, get the architect’s drawings! Besides, after you have fallen through 13 stories, what is the difference of a few feet? Precision without meaning! Such precise measurements would be relevant if you had fallen from a tree.

A key to undermining or at least challenging an expert witness’s testimony would be through careful questioning of his or her credentials and experiences. Teoh’s counsel tried this, but not very effectively. He asked how many such similar forensic cases Dr. Khairul had done. More appropriate would be to ask when was his last similar case, and the effect of his findings on the final verdict.

I am never impressed with credentials and titles, especially the Third World variety. When I was in GHKL, there was a Sikh surgeon with the imposing title of “Director of Casualty Department.” He also had the prestigious (I assume) “Senior Consulting Surgeon” appellation. All he did was sit in his office and never saw a patient; he was waiting out his “medical board” (disability retirement).

Similarly you may have an imposing title of Professor of Surgery, but if the only ‘cutting’ you had done recently is carving your wife’s turkey dinner, that fact could only be established through a careful cross-examination.

I was an expert witness once when the opposing attorney tried to undermine my credibility by asking whether I was being paid to testify. I unhesitatingly replied, “Definitely!” and then quickly added, “But not enough to compensate for my being away from the operating room!” His attempt to portray me as a professional armchair ‘expert’ backfired. He had obviously not learned what skilled trial lawyers intuitively know, that is, never ask your witness a question you do not know the answer ahead of time!

Having once been a government doctor in Malaysia, I have great sympathy and empathy for the government’s expert witnesses. I am certain that when Drs. Seah and Khairul left the courtroom, they had a mountain of work waiting for them at their respective labs. They have other pressing priorities than to appear slick and confident in court. And especially with Dr. Kahirul, as he was feeling miserable! Besides, they do not have the luxury of time or resources to prepare for such appearances; nor are they paid extra to do so.

What the seekers of truth and justice for Teoh should have done was not to demand an inquest or a royal commission but the right to a court-approved independent and independently-funded forensic investigation, a qui tam inquest as it were. Such investigations are not cheap, and the government rightly has other priorities. So it would not be fair to ask them to devote its scant resources to that pursuit. However there should be sufficient support from NGOs, friends and supporters of Teoh as well as those who seek truth and justice to fund such an endeavor.

Short of that, we should not expect a Perdana quality on a Perodua budget.

Pathologist admits facts do not support suicide theory

By Debra Chong

SHAH ALAM, Aug 17 — The government pathologist, who last week suggested that a DAP political aide had committed suicide, admitted today in the coroner’s court that he did not find any facts to support his theory.

Dr Khairul Aznam Ibrahim from the Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) in nearby Klang told the inquest into Teoh Beng Hock’s death that he knew the 30-year-old was due to register his marriage the day he was found dead on a 5th-floor landing at Plaza Masalam here, nine floors below the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office.

The senior medical forensic expert had interviewed Teoh’s elder brother and younger sister as well as his 29-year-old teacher fiancĂ©e on the same day.

It was so he could find out the deceased’s psychological background and whether there had been any suicidal tendencies or substance abuse.

Khairul said the facts showed that Teoh was not susceptible to suicide.

Teoh’s elder brother told him that the deceased was an “open and talkative person”, the pathologist added.

But Khairul admitted, under intense grilling from Gobind Singh Deo, the lawyer for Teoh’s family, that he did not interview any of the anti-graft officers to check the possibility of a motive for murder, despite knowing that the political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah had been subjected to an interrogation before he died.

“That is the duty of the police. Not me,” Khairul replied.

Anwar and Pakatan on the defensive in Permatang Pasir vote

Anwar emphasising a point to the audience last night. - Picture by Jack Ooi

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

PERMATANG PASIR, Aug 17 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim kicked off Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) campaign last night for the by-election in this village located in his parliamentary stronghold clearly on the defensive, in what is perhaps a sign that he is concerned that Umno has made gains among the Malay electorate.

The charismatic leader of the opposition was forced to defend his “Malay credentials” in a clear acknowledgement that Umno’s unrelenting attacks against him — calling him a traitor — and PAS — calling them stooges of the DAP — has set the tone in this mainly Malay state constituency.

Issues like the sale of beer in Selangor, a sensitive and vote-influencing issue among many of the country’s Malays, became the dominant choice of topic for Anwar’s ceramah here.

Speaking before some 500 voters at a rally here last night, Anwar accentuated the stand of Muslim PR leaders on the issue of beer sales, pointing out that as Muslims, they agree that beer should not be sold to Muslims.

Hands of unity... Anwar with PAS candidate Mohd Salleh Man (right). - Picture by Jack Ooi

“But we cannot encroach and must respect the rights of our non-Muslim friends,” said Anwar adding that his party, PKR, which is ruling Selangor, had implemented a “self-regulation” policy on beer sales instead.

Anwar pointed out that beer sales and gambling outfits were pervasive in Umno controlled states like Pahang and Johor, the states where the Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister are from.

“This is what we call politics of hypocrisy,” blasted Anwar.

The Permatang Pasir vote will be of great significance to both PR and Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN). The by-election will either confirm or discount the swing of Malay votes to the ruling coalition, as evident in the case of the Manek Urai by-election recently.

Umno is fielding 38 year-old Rohaizat Othman, a syariah legal advisor, and he will face Penang PAS commissioner Mohd Salleh Man. Nomination is today while polling falls on August 25. Observers believe this battle will be fiercely fought.

“We must not let them win here. That is the only way,” said Anwar last night, in what is perhaps a sign that the opposition is concerned what a BN victory here could mean.

BN’s Permatang Pasir choice of candidate : Keeping to its tradition

By Haris Ibrahim,

Lawyers do not get struck of the rolls for getting speeding tickets.

Section 94 (2) of the Legal Profession Act, 1976 provides that any “advocate and solicitor who has been guilty of any misconduct shall be liable to be struck off the Roll…”

“Misconduct” is defined in subsection (3) of section 94 to meanconduct or omission to act in Malaysia or elsewhere by an advocate and solicitor in a professional capacity or otherwise which amounts to grave impropriety and includes -

(a) conviction of a criminal offence which makes him unfit to be a member of his profession;

(b) breach of duty to a court including any failure by him to comply with an undertaking given to a court;

(c) dishonest or fraudulent conduct in the discharge of his duties;

(d) breach of any rule of practice and etiquette of the profession made by the Bar Council under this Act or otherwise;

(e) being adjudicated a bankrupt and being found guilty of any of the acts or omissions mentioned in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (e), (f), (h), (k) or (l) of section 33(6) of the Bankruptcy Act 1967;

(f) the tendering or giving of any gratification to any person for having procured the employment in any legal business of himself or any other advocate and solicitor;

(g) directly or indirectly procuring or attempting to procure the employment of himself or any other advocate and solicitor through or by the instruction of any person to whom any remuneration for obtaining such employment has been given by him or agreed or promised to be so given;

(h) accepting employment in any legal business through a tout;

(i) allowing any unauthorised person to carry on legal business in his name without his direct and immediate control as principal or without proper supervision;

(j) the carrying on by himself, directly or indirectly, of any profession, trade, business or calling which is incompatible with the legal profession or being employed for reward or otherwise in any such profession, trade, business or calling;

(k) the breach of any provision of this Act or of any rules made thereunder or any direction or ruling of the Bar Council;

(l) the disbarment, striking off, suspension or censure in his capacity as a legal practitioner in any other country or being guilty of conduct which would render him to be punished in any other country;

(m) the charging, in the absence of a written agreement, in respect of professional services rendered to a client, of fees or costs which are grossly excessive in all the circumstances;

(n) gross disregard of his client’s interests; and

(o) being guilty of any conduct which is unbefitting of an advocate and solicitor or which brings or is calculated to bring the legal profession into disrepute.

Malaysiakini reports that BN candidate for the Permatang Pasir by-election Rohaizat Othman, a lawyer, has been blacklisted by the Bar Council.

Actually, there’s no such thing as a Bar Council blaclist.

Not as far as I know, anyway.

I checked with sources in the Bar.

There is a Rohaizat Othman who had been struck of the rolls of the Malaysian Bar.

And this Rohaizat and the BN candidate are one and the same.

Again, lawyers do not get struck off the rolls for getting speeding tickets.

On Malay Heroes and Traitors

By M. Bakri Musa
Malaysiakini.com August 13, 2009

It is truly despicable that Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Muhyiddin would see fit to label the leader of the loyal opposition Anwar Ibrahim a traitor. I expect such infantile name calling and boorish behavior from the likes of UMNO Youth leaders and mainstream media editors, not from a DPM.

Muhyiddin has yet to learn that as DPM he is leader of all Malaysians, not just of UMNO and Barisan supporters. In mentality and behavior he remains a parochial UMNO politician, not a national leader. He has yet to make the necessary transition to being the occupant of the second highest office in the land, and literally a heartbeat away from being Prime Minister.

Muhyiddin is now clearly way over his head. His is the classic personification of the old Peter Principle, of someone finally rising to his level of incompetence. Not that he was particularly capable in his previous role as Agriculture Minister.

Muhyiddin as DPM does not necessarily alarm me except that our recent history has shown that even incompetent DPMs do ascend to the top post. Were Muhyyuddin to succeed likewise, it would truly be a horrifying prospect for Malaysia. As he has so clearly demonstrated, this character simply does not have what it takes to lead our great nation.

In calling Anwar a traitor to Malays, and ipso facto to Malaysia, Muhyiddin is treating the millions of Anwar supporters, Malays and non-Malays alike, also as traitors. In so doing Muhyiddin exacerbates the already deepening and increasingly dangerous polarization of Malaysians, especially Malays. This is no way to further the aspirations of “1Malaysia.”

Muhyiddin is clearly not ready for prime time, and he has not shown that he will ever be. With the economy tanking and the escalating health threat from the H1N1 influenza, I would have thought he would have his hands full helping Prime Minister Najib Razak. More specifically, as Education Minister he has enough on his plate in rescuing our pathetic national schools. If he has been diligent in attending to his official duties he would have little time to indulge in such infantile behaviors.

As DPM and also the minister in charge of education Muhyiddin has all the opportunities to rise to the occasion and prove himself a hero. Instead, unable or incompetent to deal with the myriad pressing problems, he resorts to ugly name calling.

If Muhyiddin truly believes that Anwar is a traitor, and thus a threat to the nation, then he (Muhyiddin) should act on his conviction. There are enough statutes on the books to deal with traitors. That Muhyiddin is satisfied only with name calling shows the true character of the man and the silliness of the charge.

Part of A Greater Problem

Alas Muhyiddin is only part of a much greater problem, and that is the pathetic lack of talent in UMNO, and thus the government. The party’s top leaders are knaves rather than heroes.

As non-Malays still see UMNO as representing Malays, many would not unreasonably conclude that the Malay race itself lacks talent, and that we are essentially a community of dumbbells. Consequently no amount of special privileges, enhanced opportunities, and molly coddling would or could change that reality. That is the scary and destructive part. More pertinently, that hurts – deeply.

One cannot really fault these non-Malays for their erroneous conclusion. After all, hardly a day goes by without us hearing something silly coming from these senior UMNO leaders. A few days ago there was Information Minister Rais Yatim wanting to censor the Internet. A few months back there was his predecessor Zainuddin Maidin foaming at the mouth eager to demonstrate his utter stupidity in front of a worldwide Al-Jazeera audience by complaining about those ‘traitorous’ HINDRAF demonstrators and defending the abusive behaviors of the police.

I yearn to hear something sensible emanating from our top leaders.

In my earlier book The Malay Dilemma Revisited, I suggested that then Prime Minister Mahathir revamp UMNO’s top leadership by totally bypassing the next (now the current) generation of leaders as represented by Muhyiddin Yassin, Rais Yatim, and Zainuddin Maidin.

Mahathir then was (and perhaps still is) the only UMNO leader capable of undertaking such a massive transformation of his party. Had he done that, he would have spared the nation the agony of half a decade of wasted opportunities under the inept Abdullah Badawi, Mahathir’s chosen successor.

Worse, the nightmare continues, to haunt not only Mahathir but more significantly, Malaysia. For succeeding Abdullah was the equally inept though more polished Najib. Compounding that, we now have the specter of a moronic Muhyiddin taking over after Najib.

Mahathir is today pathetically reduced to a cranky old man continually bitching on the sideline on the fate of his party and country. And if I may add, ineffectually too! Mahathir’s recent passionate calls for not abandoning the teaching of science and mathematics in English were essentially ignored by Muhyiddin and the cabinet. Mahathir’s success in bringing down Abdullah was an aberration, contributed greatly by Abdullah’s own spectacular ineptness.

With Najib and Muhyiddin however, we have a pair of rapacious politicians not at all shy in abusing the powers of the state to silence their critics. The only difference between the two is that Najib is more polished and thus presents a seemingly more sophisticated image, while Muhyiddin’s brute utterances only reinforce his thuggish looks.

With Muhyiddin set to succeed Najib, and tired characters like Rais Yatim, Hishamuddin and Nazri Aziz permanently ensconced in the cabinet, the future for Malaysia is bleak.

UMNO is incapable of self-renewal. The party’s upcoming October General Assembly purportedly to revamp its constitution will not alter anything. Increasing the number of delegates to select the top leaders, one of the proposed changes, will only result in more sharing the loot. As they all have the same insatiable appetite for avarice, ‘money politics,’ UMNO’s notorious euphemism for corruption, would only expand.

There is no reason for Malaysians to remain fatalistic and meekly accept such a fate. We are a democracy; citizens have the power to change their government, and thus alter the fate of our nation. So come the next election throw these bums out, the whole lot of them.

Once these characters are out of power, watch them resort to ugly name calling. At least then those tirades would be directed at their fellow UMNO leaders. They deserve that, and each other. That is the fate of knaves.

Merdeka and the Malay rulers

By Clive Kessler
thenutgraph.com


Map of Malaya (Source: britishempire.co.uk)

LOOKING forward, at the conclusion of the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka's recent Prof Syed Hussein Alatas Memorial Seminar, to Merdeka Day, the Raja Muda of Perak recalled another anniversary.

On the threshold of independence on 5 Aug 1957, the Malay rulers issued a declaration, their last political testament before the nation and their subjects achieved national sovereignty.

Consenting to Merdeka

The constitution of the emerging independent nation had already been formally enacted by legislation in the British Parliament and the Federal Council of Malaya. But on 5 Aug, the nine Malay rulers agreed to affix their signatures signifying their assent to the new constitutional arrangements. In doing so, they issued their wasiat, meaning primarily a legal will or testament, but also with connotations suggesting a sacred heirloom or legacy.

They bestowed this wasiat, they said, upon the Malay rakyat, their original subjects. In it they affirmed several points. The name of the land was Persekutuan Tanah Melayu; one-half of that land would be set aside for Malay Reservation; the Malay Regiment would be their instrument to protect the Malay future, their subjects' and their own; they guaranteed the sovereignty both of the government and their own royal position; Islam was to be the religion of the new federation; Malay was to be its language; and the rulers undertook to guarantee the special position of the Malays, together with the legitimate rights of the nation's other citizens. These points from Raja Nazrin Shah's speech on 6 Aug were the front-page highlight in Utusan Malaysia the following day. The full text appeared on the editorial page.

This wasiat was issued on the rulers' initiative to assert the historical continuity of Malay political power and sovereignty residing with them and now through them within the new nation.

Whatever the original legal standing of this royal affirmation, issued after the formal enactment of the constitutional instruments of Merdeka, it has now been declared sacrosanct. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that solidarity between rulers and rakyat was inscribed within Malay history itself. Umno vice-president and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi characterised the wasiat as the pre-independence rulers' last word and binding injunction to the entire people, non-Malay as well as Malay.


Raja Nazrin Shah (Public domain)
It was different and distinct from any negotiated intercommunal "social contract". Barisan Nasional-installed Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir insisted that, as the foundation of nationhood, this wasiat is itself the basis of any "social contract". Any attempt to deny it would imperil national stability.

Consent in context

One may read the rulers' wasiat literally, in isolation. This view would imply that Merdeka could not have been achieved without the issuing of the wasiat signifying the rulers' consent. National sovereign independence exists only by virtue of royal grace, favour and beneficence. Yet where its words correspond with those of the constitution these matters were already decided, and where they do not (as when they declare that Islam is the religion, not the "official religion", of the federation) the constitutional wording is authoritative.

But the royal wasiat cannot be read simply in its own terms, literally and out of context. It came at the very end of, even after, a long process. Initially the rulers had been wary of Merdeka. They feared for their standing as heads of the Islamic religion that underpinned their position in their separate states.

Very late in the process, they accepted assurances that their accustomed positions would not be diminished by the creation of an independent national federation with Islam as its official religion. Satisfied that Merdeka would not encroach upon their prerogatives as state heads of Islam, they agreed to the constitutional proposals that emerged from the Reid Commission. The British government was delighted (published documents note) that, late in the day, the rulers had "changed their tune" on these matters, ensuring a smooth process of political evolution.

New power, and old

The British government had made it clear to the rulers that power was shifting from them. Britain was now dealing with the popularly supported leaders of a new and prospectively modern nation. The rulers were given to understand that they had a clear choice: to go along with the creation of a new political order or to be sidelined.

The issuing of their wasiat, once they had agreed to terms on the virtual eve of independence, was the proud action of dignified, tradition-conscious men in the face of the inevitable, of dramatic and far-reaching changes. Britain had no objection, or any interest in preventing its declaration. Nor, from Britain's standpoint, did it have any constitutional status.

The formal statements of such focal people carry great cultural weight and authority. Their wasiat affirming their consent and giving their blessing to Merdeka was stamped at the time with their great prestige. It can still be made, by contemporary politicians, to convey great force even today.

Malaysian flag billowing in the wind
(Pic by Chris2K / sxc.hu)
Clarifying the foundations of nationhood

But if the Malay rulers' final pre-independence admonition is to enjoy the great prestige, and carry the enormous political weight today that some political leaders now wish it to bear, it is strange that until now it has remained so little known. Raja Nazrin's recent reminder sent leading historians scurrying to their documentary sources, fruitlessly.

The royal wasiat does not appear in the published British archival sources of key documents on the "Merdeka process". Its omission is not surprising. In the independence negotiations, Britain was mainly concerned to resolve technical constitutional matters, including such questions as nationality, citizenship and legal appeals as well as defence arrangements. It preferred not to become involved in "local matters". These it left to be worked out by the local players themselves. They could be settled in open politics between Umno and its Islamic and radical Malay rivals; and more politely between Umno and its Alliance partners, especially the MCA, in intercommunal matters, and between the Umno leadership and the Malay rulers over matters of Malay political tradition.

Those who now wish to invoke the 1957 wasiat and make it render important political service might well make that document, its provenance and transmission and all relevant related materials publicly available. That would allow all Malaysians to fully comprehend the processes that led to this nation's independence and the role that the Malay rulers played towards achieving it. The foundations of modern nationhood cannot be left shrouded in mystery.

ZUBAIDAH ABU BAKAR: If BN wins, PR will lose more than a seat

New Sunday Times
by Zubaidah Abu Bakar

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.

zubaidah@nst.com.my

Straight Fight Between BN And Pas In Permatang Pasir By-election

BUKIT MERTAJAM, Aug 17 (Bernama) -- The Permatang Pasir state by-election will see a straight fight between the Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS.

Rohaizat Othman, 38, is the BN candidate and Mohd Salleh Man Mat Aji, 52, better known as Salleh Man, is the PAS candidate.

Returning officer Roslan Yahaya announced the candidates after nominations close at 11am. He said there were 15 objections but all were rejected.

Rohaizat, a businessman and a newcomer in elections, is the Permatang Pauh Umno division secretary.

Hailing from Mengkuang Titi, he holds a law degree from the International Islamic University and is actively involved in social work in Penanti and Permatang Pauh.

Pengkhianatan Muhiyuddin di Johor

By Chegu Bard,

Ini adalah antara JASA Muhyiddin kepada rakyat di Johor:

1. Sewaktu Muhyiddin Yassin jadi Menteri Besar dan waktu itu Musa Hitam jadi Timbalan Perdana Menteri tiada siapa pun didedahkan bahawa pada tahun 1981, kerajaan Johor di bawah Muhyiddin telah menyerahkan tanah di kawasan Sungai Lingu iaitu di Bandar Tenggara Johor sebanyak 51,170 hektar kepada kerajaan Singapura.

Kawasan berkenaan dipajak kepada kerajaan Singapura selama 60 tahun dengan kadar bayaran RM350 juta dan tidak dibenarkan sesiapa pun memasukinya sekarang ini.
Empangan yang dibina setinggi 193 meter dan jika pecah atau dipecahkan seluruh Kota Tinggi termasuk Bandar Tenggara boleh tenggelam.

2. Kekayaan org Johor-Kakitangan Kategori C,D kerajaan Johor duduk kuarters kerajaan Gred C (Di Jln Kolam Ayer)- kereta dua buah, satu mercedes,satu alphard.

3. Muhyidin yang tukar cuti dari Jumaat kepada Ahad kononya untuk maju, maju betul maju kat perut. Ini kerana hakikatnya gelagat Kakitangan Kerajaan Johor Hari Jumaat-Lepas baca Al-Quran (9.30am) berdedai pergi makan, kalau nak cam yang bersamping tulah diorang. Pendek kata hari Jumaat ni langsung tidak produktif. Beliau telah mengubah cuti am pada hari Jumaat kepada hari Ahad, sekaligus menjadikan amalan cuti itu seperti amalan orang-orang Nasrani. Apakah ini satu pembelaan terhadap Islam?.
Semasa cuti hari Jumaat ditukar kepada hari Ahad, ada cakap-cakap yang mengatakan kubur bapa Muhyiddin dikencing orang..wallahualam.

4. Isu tanah Melayu yang dirampas UMNO di Kg Plentong Tengah pada tahun 2008. Malang sungguh nasib melayu Plentong Tengah apabila mahkamah menolak rayuan lebih 200 penduduk kampung dari terus menduduki tanah yang telah diduduki semenjak lebih 20 tahun lalu.

Untuk mendapatkan tanah itu penduduk bukan saja telah ditipu peguam yang dilantik mereka sebanyak hampir setengah juta ringgit pada tahun-tahun 1989-1993 tetapi juga terpedaya sekali lagi apabila mengeluarkan lebih lapan ratus ribu kepada firma guaman milik Oakfeild Ent ( syarikat yang dikurniakan tanah tersebut).

Lebih malang lagi penduduk dipaksa menandatangani akujanji unytuk tunduk pada kehendak mahkamah walau jauh disudut hati mereka menentang keputusan tersebut.Begitu malang sekali nasib insan-insan kecil dalam negara ini.Mereka menjadi umpama durian dengan mentimun.Duit hilang harta habis dan jiwa terus menjadi sengsara tanpa terkira.

Penghakiman muktamad keputusan : SEMUA RUMAH DIROBOHKAN.
Hakim memutuskan bahawa penduduk Kg. Plentong Tengah wajib merobohkan sendiri rumah mereka pada atau sebelum 31 Dis. 2008. Angkatan Muda Keadilan Johor menasihat penduduk agar bersabar dan menerima hakikat bahawa dikalangan mereka ada Ahli UMNO menjadi penghianat bangsa sendiri.

4. Kira-kira 50 penduduk Kampung Sentosa Dalam di Sungai Tiram telah mengharungi kehidupan tanpa bekalan elektrik dan air bersih sejak 40 tahun lalu. Mereka banyak kali telah membuat aduan kepada pihak bertanggungjawab tetapi tiada satu usaha pun dilakukan untuk membantu penduduk kampung itu. Aduan yang dibuat tidak pernah diberi perhatian oleh pihak berkuasa.

Seorang penduduk, Hussin Mohd. Lana, 55, berkata, pembangunan pesat yang dicanangkan sedikit sebanyak mengguris perasaan mereka.

"Pemimpin menguar-uarkan keselesaan rakyat perlu diutamakan, namun bagi kami ia tidak memberi sebarang makna berikutan kemudahan air bersih dan elektrik masih belum kami nikmati.

Pembangkang cakap tak serupa bikin - Agendadaily

Peguam Negara diarah membatalkan arahan pentadbiran yang dibuat oleh Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim yang mensyaratkan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) hanya boleh menjalankan siasatan pada waktu pejabat sahaja. Sambil menyifatkan pembangkang ‘cakap tak serupa bikin’ Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Abdul Aziz berikrar akan melawan habis-habisan hasrat Khalid itu kerana ia jelas menyekat kebebasan SPRM sebagai sebuah badan bebas.

NGOs ready to battle to save Indian dept - Malaysiakini

A group of Indian-based non-governmental organisations want the government to immediately intervene and solve the controversies surrounding the problematic Indian Studies Department (ISD) of University Malaya.

A meeting was held this morning to discuss on the ways to save the department which has a long cultural attachment to the Indian community.

Some 60 people participated in the briefing today and various suggestions were mooted on how to overcome the present set of problems besieging the department.

While memorandums and meetings were agreed as the first phase of action, the participants did not rule out holding a peaceful assembly to press their case.

The main aim of the group today was to ensure that the department remained as it was in University Malaya and not absorbed into a newly formed department.

Secondly, they also want the department to be headed by someone from within the department and not an outsider as is the case now.

And finally, they want the department to be cleared of any hanky-panky, including the instances of giving out easy marks.

The ISD is seen as a vital body for the continuation of Tamil education in Malaysia.

In recent weeks the department has been mired in controversy after the university appointed a non-Indian as its head of department following an acrimonious split among the staff members in the department.

UM vice-chancellor Ghauth Jasmon has been reported in the media to justify the appointment on the grounds of internal squabbles for the position of department head.

Seeking a meeting with the PM

Spokesperson for the group which met this morning, K Arumugam (above) said that they would first submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin on the issue. The memorandum is expected to be handed in on Aug 21.

These representatives are also hoping to have a meeting with both the leaders on this issue.

"We would also be having a meeting where we'll submit a memorandum to University Malaya's vice-chancellor (Professor Ghauth Jasmon) on Aug 24th," added Arumugam.

The memorandum is jointly authored by K Arumugam and S Nagarajan of Tamil Foundation (left).

During the briefing session, Arumugam highlighted some of the issues pertaining to the department.

He claimed that there had been irregularities over marking of a PhD thesis, believed to be a staff member's.

He also said that there had been a lenient approach taken by the some of the staff members in marking the papers of the students, resulting in a large number of unqualified first class holders.

Arumugam also objected to the decision by the UM to change the name of the department to South Asian Studies Department.

If that happens, the long-established Indian Studies Department will just be a part of the larger new department.

Malaysia Indru editor Jiwi Kathiah, who was present at the briefing, said that the move to close the ISD was a first step towards realising the one language policy which was mooted - but dropped subsequently - during the Razak administration.

Dr M: Leaders shouldn’t have skeletons in closet

(Bernama) - Aspiring politicians or leaders should not have skeletons in their closet, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He said the people would get to know about them sooner or later.

"If any wrong has been committed, the people will get to know about it. We cannot hide it. That is why, if we want to be in politics or a leader, we must not get involve in anything that is bad," he told reporters at the 9th convocation of Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) here.

He was commenting on the controversy involving Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) issue, which he described as tarnishing the image of the government and Barisan Nasional.

"Washing dirty linen in public. It is very bad, but the opposition parties are also like that," he added.

In another development, Dr Mahathir, who is UTP Chancellor, said the government should study the statement by the Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah that premature retirement among public service officials could lead to a brain drain in the public service.

The Sultan, when opening the Malaysian Government Retirees' Association's 22nd Annual Delegates Conference at Wisma Samudera in Lumut last night, said that although the retirement age was raised to 58 in July last year, it was still a young age and constituted a loss to the public sector, especially in areas which needed intellectual inputs from experienced officers such as learning institutions, health and medical services, engineering, architecture and science .

A total of 1,169 graduates received their scrolls at the convocation. A graduate in chemical engineering, Hanisah Abdul Halim, was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Award, while Indonesian Muhammad Assad, who obtained a degree in business information technology system, received the best international bachelor's degree student award.

MACC and PDRM: crooks in uniform

Image

Today, we are publishing the 12th Statutory Declaration, six which were signed by police officers. And all the SDs same the same thing: that the PDRM and MACC work hand-in-hand to cover each other’s criminal activities. Remove their uniforms and it would be very hard to differentiate between the criminals and the law enforcers. In fact, the law enforcers are worse than the criminals, as recent developments have proven beyond any shadow of doubt.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Previous reports:

Part 1: Screw you, IGP. Reply to this! (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/25328/84/)
Part 2: MACC is PDRM’s baruah goon squad (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/25462/84/)
Part 3: The MACC's job is to cover PDRM's backside; and vice versa (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/25633/84/)






Mohan is new MIC Youth chief

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — MIC Youth coordinator T. Mohan won the MIC Youth chief post, defeating his opponent S.P. Muthu Velloo after garnering 321 votes to Muthu Velloo's 148 in the party's polls today.

Meanwhile, Datin Paduka P. Komala Devi retained her position as Wanita MIC chief when she won by a 26-vote majority in a straight fight against her deputy S. Thangesvari.

Komala Devi obtained 238 votes while Thangesvari received 212.

The results were announced by MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu at Dewan Merdeka in the Putra World Trade Centre here at 6.10pm.

The MIC Youth deputy chief position was won by Youth political bureau chief V. Mugilan who garnered 266 votes while his opponent R. Vidyananthan, who is the Kahang assemblyman in Johor, obtained 204 votes.

The Wanita deputy chief post went to Dr C.V. Prema from Perak who obtained 279 votes. She defeated Negri Sembilan Wanita MIC chief Dr P. Thanaletchumi who only managed 172 votes.

Both wings also voted 12 people into the National Youth Council and 35 delegates to the MIC general assembly and two people for posts in the central working committee. — Bernama

Selangor government to explain Hindu temple relocation

KUALA SELANGOR, Aug 16 — The Selangor government will explain its decision to relocate the site of a Hindu temple at Section 19, Shah Alam, to an industrial site near Taman Ixora in Section 23.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim hoped that the people, especially residents in Section 23, would understand and accept the government's explanation on the matter.

"The decision (to relocate the temple) was made after several discussions with the parties involved, including the temple committee," he told reporters after distributing aid to the poor in conjunction with the coming Ramadan and Aidilfitri at Batu 8, Ijok, near here.

He said this in response to objections raised by 200 residents of Taman Ixora on the relocation of the temple to their area.

On Friday, the Section 23 action committee against the temple construction sent a protest memorandum to the chairman of the Selangor state committee for welfare, women's affairs, science, technology and innovation, Rodziah Ismail, saying the temple was just 160m from houses, 50m from a playground and 150m from the Surau Al-Jannah at the housing estate.

The committee also asked why there was no public hearing on the matter and that 70 per cent of the residents there were Muslims.

Khalid said it was a problem for the government to find a place which was not densely populated in Selangor for the construction of a house of worship.

"We live in a multi-racial society. So we have to be considerate in this matter," he added. — Bernama

MCA ‘donation’ scandal worsens as Tiong slams Wanita chief

Tiong says he has given ‘donations’ to many people.

By Neville Spykerman- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — The MCA “donation” scandal worsened today when Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing maintained he had also given money to the party's Wanita chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and “others” in response to her criticisms.

Tiong, the CEO of Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB), the turnkey contractor of the troubled Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ), said he donated the money when requested and they should not reciprocate with attacks.

"I can understand if she wants to defend her party president but she should not have attacked me," said Tiong, who is Bintulu MP and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) treasurer.

Chew has been told to butt out of the Ong-Tiong tiff.

“How much I gave her is not important but I have given her money when she asked and have never demanded for receipts,” he added.

The chairman of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) said he was only defending himself and pointed out that his dispute was with MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, and Chew should stay out of it.

On Saturday, Chew reportedly said Tiong had achieved his objective of shifting the media focus on his alleged RM10 million donation to Ong rather than investigations into KDSB.

A task force looking into the PKFZ scandal last week found questionable claims amounting to RM500 million by KDSB.

Tiong has refused to disclose who else had taken money from him or if there were others from MCA or other political parties.

"Who and how much is not important; I have given money to even non-government organisations and individuals," the influential MP said.

“Many people have asked for help and I help, if I can,” he added.

However, when met by reporters at Wisma MCA today, Chew said she had taken only RM30,000 from Tiong on behalf of the Federal Territory and Selangor Senior Citizens Association.

The association was trying to raise RM3 million for a building and Chew said she helped obtain the donation from Tiong on its behalf.

She added that she had receipt and the donation was accounted for.

MIC Elections 2009: Nammavar (our people) caste factor in MIC elections

The Traveler, Sunday, August 16, 2009

Once again caste is showing its ugly face in the MIC elections. The Pallar and Parayar, so called low caste people, in MIC have set up a joint group in the party called ‘Nammavar’ (literally means ‘our people’) to be a force in the coming MIC elections, according to reliable sources.

 samy

Nammavar chief Dato Vyran


The group Nammavar is spearheaded by Dato Vyran, a contractor of Indah Water consortium.

Out of the 1500 delegates who will decide the fate of the new line of leaders, 400 of them are estimated to be low caste. With a strong financial backing, Nmmavar operating from Brickfields intends to be a deciding force in MIC elections to be held in September12.

Caste politics is not new in MIC. Samy Vellu’s Thevar caste dominated MIC political scene since his ascension to power 30 years ago and caste has been always a criteria in selections for positions. Caste allegiance deemed to be strong when it comes for voting.

The two MIC deputy president contenders, S Subramaniam and Sothinathan, belong to Gounder caste. However, the Gounder association is fully behind S Subramaniam whose staunch supporters, OMS Thaigarajan and K P Samy, are controlling the association indirectly.

Palanivel, the incumbent deputy president, belongs to Muthaliyar castes and other minorities like Nadar, Udayaar and Chettiyar are insignificant in number to be a force in the party.

Thus, any alliance of Nammavar with either Thevar or Goundar will certainly impact the outcome of the MIC elections.

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themalaysianinsider.com

‘Our People’ power rises to oust Samy Vellu

By Baradan Kuppusamy

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!”

Politicians Should Cooperate With MACC - DPM

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 16 (Bernama) -- The people, including politicians, should give their cooperation to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to ensure that the legal process runs smoothly, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

"The MACC should not differentiate investigations on politicians and the common public. The issue is corruption.

"The problem did not arise before as anyone who was called (to give a statement) would give his cooperation. It's only an investigation, not a punishment," he told reporters at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport before leaving for Kuala Lumpur Sunday.

Muhyiddin was commenting on the remarks by MACC director of investigations Datuk Shukri Abdull yesterday that the MACC would stop investigating politicians indefinitely as they were being slammed by various parties on the way the commission conducted its investigations.

Muhyiddin said the MACC, as an independent body, was not subjected to the government's order.

"So, it's up to the MACC to decide on the matter," he said.

The MACC has been accused of acting aggressively in the arrest of Wong Chuan How, 50, an aide to Selangor state executive councillor Ronnie Liu, in Sungai Pelek on Friday.

Muhyiddin said the opposition should not be behaving as though they were not cooperating with the MACC.

"The MACC has had a good track record, so it's not proper for some quarters to doubt its operations," he said.

Meanwhile, in PETALING JAYA, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the MACC should not run from the responsibility entrusted to it, although it had been condemned and pressured by certain quarters, including politicians from the opposition or Barisan Nasional.

"I'm sad because the commission is supposed to be independent and most important is that, every investigation should be conducted in a transparent manner.

"So, I hope the MACC will be patient. I understand the pressure the officers have to put up with. But please do not run away from the responsibility as the commission was set up to tackle the problem of corruption," he told reporters after opening the Lembah Pantai Umno division meeting here.

I'll sue Utusan for defamation

By Jeff Ooi,

To prevent manipulation of facts by the Umno-owned mainstream media, this is the full text of my media statement released from Penang today:

Suit_Utusan_090816x600.jpg
February to August: A consistent pattern in defaming DAP... (from left) Lawyer R.S.N. Rayer, Jeff Ooi and his special assistant B.S. Yeoh
MEDIA STATEMENT

“DAP Hina Islam” allegations:
MP Jeff Ooi to sue Utusan Malaysia for defamation

[ JELUTONG, Saturday, August 16, 2009 ] – Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi will join fellow DAP national leaders to sue Utusan Malaysia for carrying false reports that maliciously defamed him as having insulted Islam.

He said all DAP leaders throughout the country will follow the directive by the party’s secretary-general Lim Guan Eng to immediately file civil suits against any newspapers that had defamed them.

“I did not insult Islam. Obviously, Utusan Malaysia’s reports are politically motivated,” Ooi said in a statement.

“As such, I have instructed my legal team to proceed with the legal action immediately in order to uphold my rights as a legislator and a Malaysian citizen under Utusan’s malicious attacks.”

So far, at least three other DAP MPs had initiated legal suits against Utusan Malaysia for defamation, namely party chairman Karpal Singh, secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and party organising secretary Teresa Kok.

Referring to an Utusan Malaysia story dated February 24, 2009, which carried a frontpage lead story under the headline: “DAP hina Islam?”, Ooi said the Malay daily has established a consistent pattern to defame DAP and its leaders as anti-Islam in order to arouse hatred among the Muslims against them.

“We filed a police report in Kuala Lumpur on the same day the false report appeared,” Ooi said. “However, apart from a statement taken from me by the Sentul police station, there was no action taken against the newspaper.”

He said the newspaper’s reports had since developed into persistent religious profiling of DAP leaders, with the latest targets being Rasah MP and DAP Youth chief Loke Siew Fook, and him.

Utusan Malaysia pursued the pattern by carrying a series of articles over days, branding DAP leaders as anti-Islam, and on August 13, 2009, it published a frontpage story to trigger a series of police investigations on the two members of parliament.

“Using the headline ‘Syor dakwa Siew Fook, Ooi’, Utusan Malaysia obviously had passed the judgment that both are guilty until proven innocent,” Ooi said.

Loke was interviewed by the police at his service centre in Seremban on August 14, while Ooi had his statement taken (as a witness) at his Jelutong service centre on August 16.

Ooi is a member of DAP central executive committee, the deputy director of political education as well as the Chief-of-Staff at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office. He is also instrumental in starting the social-political blogging movement in Malaysia.

END

R.S.N. Rayer, a member of my legal team who accompanied me throughout the police interview this morning, told the media that a letter of demand will be sent to Utusan Melayu (M) Berhad, the publisher of the Utusan Malaysia daily, tomorrow.

If correction and apology are not forthcoming within 7 days, full-scale defamation suit shall follow.