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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Self Interested Ganabatirau

By Smart Bloggers,
Yesterday on 19th August 2009 Mr.V Ganabatirau has given a special interview how Hindraf outlawed movement's Mr.Waythamoorthy collected millions of ringgits from people for his personal use while in exiled in London.

Mr Ganabatirau also accused the money didn't reach Hindraf 5 families but he forgot that his own brother had the money in his hand and he was paying for other expenses such as court payments and necessaries.

The initial reason the money collected for Hindraf 5 as he claimed did reach the families which suffered. He also mentioned millions of Ringgit was collected. As a reader of the article thinking that Mr Ganabatirau lost his sense. How could he knew about millions of ringgit while he was in ISA? It shows that someone from his side gave wrong info. As a smart lawyer he should address more details to public than just a word.

He said "My family did not receive a single sen". Sir, why are you so eager to have public money for your family? Can't your family members work like other grassroot Indians who is suffering daily for their meal. As my idea he is desperate because could not have public money for his family. Sir, we respect you for being in ISA and fought for Indians rights but now you being so frustrated about someone's money. You spoke about civil suit, May be you have joined the rest of the Hindraf leaders to get million from English government.

You have mentioned that Mr.Waytha deliberately allowed the suit to expire so that he can enjoy the money. I think most of your contacts or family member didn't update the news properly. As far as we Malaysian read, Mr Waytha went to many International organization such as UN and other countries to deliver you from the ISA atonement. We Malaysian have read how Mr.Waytha lobbied our government as a prime interest to release 5 of you.

Personally speaking I see you as ungrateful or thankful. A friend should be someone whom you can rely on in happiness and distress but Mr. Ganabatirau showed his true colour. The basic matter why Hindraf became successful or famous due to their fight for poor and marginalized Indians. Most of the Indians became happy due to supported our unity . We didn't support Hindraf for financial purpose. I think you and the other friends of you supported for money.

After your release from ISA till today, I have never seen you helping our Indian plight or speak out for our Indian struggle. Did you ever gave any media statement to say how Indians should be unite or how we can go further in our struggle? I think so far no.

Even after your release you have seen many media statements from Mr.Waytha regarding our community and our struggle. For example in Kg. Buah Pala the villagers are struggling between many parties such as developer and local government. You as so called an Indian leader should meet them and try to help them out but you smash them by supporting your party which you are being a member now. So how can we trust you for our struggle?

I don't see your question is relevant when you ask why Mr.Waytha must go for a pilgrimage to India on Nov 27, 2007? Can you tell me why someone should go for pilgrimage? It is everyones rights to do so. You are an educated lawyer should know that interference in others personal life is a offence or unkind.

Mr.Ganabatirau did you ever contacted other Hindraf leaders to understand better how the situation was when you were in ISA? Did you ever try to follow up our struggle again? Cowardly you just signed the police contract and you remain yourself without finding out the truth. Other than being helpful for us but you are just accusing one and another. Is this what you call unity? It is enough, Mr Samy did the same to Malaysian Indians almost 30 years. We didn't had any other alternative to speak for ourselves. Now after long time we have been united but people like you are breaking the unity and poisoning the people. For god sake could you please contact all the Hindraf leader and get a clear picture rather than accusing in the media. It is just showing our weakness to other races and our enemies.

As far as I read in newspapers Mr.Uthaya and Mr.Waytha started to help Indians many way last 10 years ago but you mentioned in Malaysiakini report that you met Uthayakumar on December 2006. For my view you have just born as a 3 years old baby and now you are trying to fly in the sky. According to me you are the joker of the year.

Don't politicise every issues. You said you and Vasanthakumar organized the rally and both of you played the key role in the rally.

If that is the case why you didn't agree this to the police or court by saying you are the man behind the rally? I didn't read anything like that. What I notice was, The police force and AG targeted Mr. Uthaya. Police knows very well who was the man behind it but now you are making Malaysians stupid.

You said Mr Waytha was a chicken in movement because he was always afraid of special branch police officers. A chicken doesn't go to court and will not refuse to pay its bail. Mr.Waytha stayed in jail as a sign of protest toward Malaysian government. I feel he also protested for our rights in the prison.

"Hijacked movement' "Waythamoorthy also appointed himself as the chairperson of Hindraf and appointed Thanenthirran and S Jayathas as coordinators. Who made him the boss? There was no election. Who gave him the right to appoint and dismiss coordinators?"

Mr.Ganabatirau claimed that other leaders of Hindraf was self appointed and there was no election. I am very confuse with your statements, earlier you said Hindraf was registered as a business company and now you are talking about election. Even a secondary school student can answer this question. When you are not a registered body how can you elect someone offcially? further more it is a company not a society. I think you are real power craze and money craze.Finally I think Malaysian Indians should understand right now that he(Ganabatirau) is just simply example of a self interest person and not working for the community but trying to gain some media attention.A coward that is trying to be the self-claimed leader!

Caste shadow in MIC elections - Malaysiakini

The revival of the caste system of voting that has been dormant for the past 20 years in the MIC, is set to split the party along caste lines and further segregate its members.

Former veteran party vice-president M Muthuppalaninappan (left) told Malaysiakini that the double jeopardy of caste selection of candidates and money politics will see the election of weak leaders who may not live up to party or community expectations.

"They may be better leaders in the marginalised castes of the Indian community where everyone is treated with equal rights in the say of the party," Muthuppalaniappan said.

"But these talented party members' have a weakness. They do not have a say and voice because of their small number and they do not have the financial means to call the shots at party elections," he said.

Mahatma Gandhi, he said, had fought against the caste system in India and had and today people from the lower castes as political leaders, statesmen and successful businessmen."

Muthu wondered rhetorically, why the same could not happen to Malaysian Indians.

"Why must Malaysian politics be always nurtured along the divide and rule principle of race, caste and religion that has divided Malaysians for the past 52 years?" asked Muthu.

He sees some hope in Prime Minister Najib Razak's 1Malaysia policy which is really a Malaysian Malaysia policy, to unite the various races under one political umbrella.

He criticised party leaders whom , he said were going a step back to a caste-based elections this year, adding that every party member could contest any party post as an Indian no matter what caste he belonged to.

He said that MIC does not mean `Malaysian Indian- caste Congress', which seems to be the direction the party is heading for and is against Najib's proposed policy of uniting all Malaysians.

Muthu said the March 8 tsunami had jolted the Indian community to look for new dynamic leaders who could address the grouses of the marginalised members of the community.

"The mistake that all BN component parties, including MIC, did during the last general election was not listening to the views of the grassroots in picking the right candidates to contest." Muthu said

Intelligent feedback ignored


He also said that the feedback from the special branch, military intelligence and other government information agencies were not taken into consideration by the BN leaders on the political climate of the country before calling for the general elections last year.

He said that "the results showed that they paid heavily for their short- sight in wrongly assessing the country's political climate."

The MIC veteran also believes that all party state posts should be contested to ensure that elected leaders are answerable to the branches and divisions and ultimately to the Indian community.

Muthu said that the present policy of appointing state leaders has made them complacent and they were not committed to the party's political struggle of uplifting the community's social status in society.

He claimed that he was instrumental in bringing about the election system for the Youth and Wanita wings.

Of late, Muthu has been seen to have patched up with party supremo S Samy Vellu after his aborted attempt to contest the party's top post.

He has also said that he will not be contesting for any posts in the upcoming party elections.

However, a party source said that Samy Vellu may consider him for the treasurer-general's post when the president announces his party line-up next month.

Sidang Media Datuk Mahfuz Omar berhubung menang kes saman Berita Harian

Mystery letter fingers senior MACC officer over Teoh’s death

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — The mystery letter delivered two days ago to Gobind Singh Deo, the lawyer for Teoh Beng Hock’s family, was sent by anonymous parties claiming to be “MACC officers” who urged the authorities to probe a senior anti-graft officer for corruption and involvement in the DAP political aide’s death.

The letter, written in Bahasa Malaysia and allegedly sent by unnamed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers, appears to give lawyers for the family ammunition and a roadmap to investigate Teoh's death.

The Malaysian Insider understands that a senior official of the MACC is named as someone who was personally involved in questioning Teoh in the final hours before he died.

An account of what happened during questioning is also suggested.

But the letter does not say how Teoh actually died, which is the subject of the ongoing magistrate’s inquest.

Besides the description of the senior official, a string of allegations against him are also contained in the letter.

The letter accuses the senior official of widespread corruption involving previous investigations.

Gobind is representing Teoh’s family in the inquest. — File pic

Details of the investigations are listed.

The letter also calls for an “independent investigation” of the senior official over the corruption allegations and his involvement in Teoh’s death.

Yesterday, magistrate Azmil Muntapha Abas, who is acting as coroner in the inquest, ordered the police investigating officer, ASP Ahmad Nazri Zainal, to immediately look into the contents of the letter and check all its claims.

Azmil also told the lawyers involved not to disclose the details of the letter to anyone but did not issue a “gag order” as requested by Tan Hock Chuan, the lawyer heading the Attorney-General's team and assisting him in the inquest.

Tan asked for the “gag” to prevent putting the police follow-up at risk, as several notable people are said to be named in the controversial letter.

But Gobind, who is representing Teoh's family, said a gag would not necessarily prevent the details from leaking out.

Gobind said the letter was handed directly to him late Tuesday afternoon, just as he was leaving the court here.

The envelope it came in was not addressed to him, he said. He refused to say who it was directed to.

He admitted there was an “insignia” on the cover of the letter, but clammed up when quizzed further.

The inquest yesterday was postponed without any witnesses called to testify. It will resume on Monday at 2pm.

What’s happening, man?

By Hakim Joe

In 1965, D.R. Seenivasagam of PPP (then in Opposition), made allegations of corruption against the education minister Abdul Rahman Talib of UMNO in Parliament. ART challenged DRS to repeat these accusations outside Parliament which DRS promptly did. ART took DRS to court for defamation. After a long trial, DRS lost and resigned from Parliament. He was then posted to Egypt as the Malaysian ambassador.

In 1977, former UMNO Youth Chief and Selangor MB, Harun Idris was arrested on corruption charges relating to the Muhammad Ali-Joe Bugner boxing match in Kuala Lumpur in 1975. He was found guilty on various charges of corruption and was sentenced to six years' imprisonment. In 1981, Harun was released after receiving a royal pardon from the Agong on advice from TDM.

In 1981, Malaysian government’s failed attempts to corner the world tin market caused the Malaysian taxpayers in excess of RM1.6 billion. To cover the losses, Makuwasa was secretly setup in 1984 as a Bumiputera trust company and allocated allotments of public share issues at preferential prices, allotments that should have gone to EPF instead. However Makusawa, despite such favourable intervention by the federal government, lost money instead of making a massive profit.

Also in 1981, Malaysia purchased 26 units of the British Alvis Scorpion tanks. First, its recommended Rolls-Royce gasoline engines were replaced with slower diesel ones making the 90km/h vehicle now only doing a top speed of 60km/h. Secondly, the .75mm guns were replaced with .90mm guns making it so heavy that the aluminium turret had to be replaced by a steel turret. This in turn made the vehicle so top-heavy that troops using it were scared that it will topple over. The tanks had also had to be stopped every time it fired its gun, making it literally a sitting duck.

In 1983, there was the BMF scandal involving Bank Bumiputera in Hong Kong. Its losses were the largest of bank failures in the world then. BMF gave loans after loans to Hong Kong property group Carrian and ended up losing over RM2 billion in all. To top it off, a Bank Bumiputera internal auditor sent to Hong Kong was found murdered and his body dumped in a banana plantation. Tengku Razaleigh (BBMB Chairman) and Musa Hitam (DPM) were both implicated in the BMF scandal and during Hisham Shamsuddin’s (BBMB Executive Director) subsequent trial in Hong Kong, his lawyers claimed that he was merely following direct instructions from TDM and MH.

Also in 1983, Malaysia took first delivery of its 186 SIBMAS armoured personnel carriers. This was supposed to be a rapid deploying vehicle that can be loaded into an airplane and flown to East Malaysia in case of trouble with Indonesia or Singapore. However, this carrier was so big that its tires had to be deflated before it could be loaded into an airplane. When the local media reported on the vehicle’s lack of combat effectiveness, they were threatened with prosecution under Malaysia’s Official Secrets Act.

In 1987 during the Kampung Baru rally, then UMNO Youth chief Najib Razak vowed to bathe the keris with Chinese blood. He is the current PM of Malaysia.

In 1989, the Parliamentary deputy speaker D.P. Vijandran from MIC was accused of starring in a few home-made sex videos which he denied. He was however convicted in 1994 on a perjury charge relating to the tapes, and was jailed and fined. He lost his appeal in the High Court, but the Court of Appeal ruled in his favour in 1998.

In 1994, the Malacca CM Rahim Thamby Chik was accused of having sex with a minor. He denied the accusations but had to quit as CM after photographs surfaced on the media. RTC was cleared in the same year by the Attorney-General. He is now a member of the UMNO Supreme Council.

Also in 1994, BNM made the biggest losses (over RM30 billion) from foreign exchange trading. Nor Mohamed Yakcop was implicated but never charged. He is now the Minister in the PM’s department.

In 1995, Stamford Holdings sued former Johor CM Muhyiddin Yassin for alleged conspiracy in acquiring land in Johor through the Land Acquisition Act. In 1999, Stamford Holdings was awarded RM405 million. MY is now the DPM of Malaysia.

In 1996, Eric Chia and government-owned Perwaja Steel made a loss of RM10 billion of which 40% were bailout money infused by the Federal Government. ACA’s report on this scandal was never released and the Auditor-General’s report was never made public. Eric Chia was later charged with CBT to the amount of RM76.4 million when he allegedly authorised NKK Corp of Japan to deposit that amount into the account of Frilsham Enterprise Inc instead into Perwaja accounts. He was later acquitted.

In 1997, Mat Taib was forced to resign as Selangor MB after he was charged in Australia over currency irregularities amounting to RM3.8 million. He was however found not guilty after he pleaded that he did not understand English and therefore did not understand the currency regulations. Mat Taib is currently the UMNO Information chief.

In 2002, Defense Minister Najib’s best friend, Abdul Razak Baginda brokered the purchase of 3 submarines from France and received RM510 million in commissions.

In 2003, just after his ascendancy to the MCA presidency, Ong Ka Ting was photographed together with Ong King Ee aka Jackie Chan, the “dragonhead’ of the notorious Sio Sam Ong triad.

Also in 2003, former Malacca CM and Land and Development Minister Mohamad Adib Adam brokered the purchase of 18 Sukhoi-20MKM jet fighters and received RM384 million as commission.

In 2004 PSC-Naval Dockyard, owned by Amin Shah failed to make delivery of 6 patrol boats. Subsequent investigation by the Auditor-General showed that the ministry had paid out RM4.26 billion to PSC up to December 2006 although only RM2.87 billion of work had been done, an overpayment of RM1.39 billion, or 48 percent. In addition, Malaysia’s cabinet waived late penalties of RM214 million. Between December 1999, according to the Auditor General, 14 “progress payments” amounting to RM943 million despite the fact that the auditor general could find no payment vouchers or relevant documents dealing with the payments.

In 2005, then UMNO Youth Chief Hishamuddin started his annual keris waving at the UMNO Annual General Meeting. This was to be the onset of an annual action until the keris was retired after the 2009 UMNO AGM and presented to him as a souvenir. In 2009, he was promoted from Education Minister to Home Minister.

Late in 2005, 2nd Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop announced that Bank Islam reported a loss of RM700 million. Subsequent investigation reports were never released. No White Paper was ever tabled in Parliament.

In 2006, Zakaria Mat Deros was accused and found guilty of not submitting construction plans of his Istana Idaman. He was then the Port Klang assemblyman and a member of the Klang Municipal Council member. Follow up investigations also revealed that ZMD has not paid the assessment for another property for 12 years and that his family was operating an illegal satay restaurant on government reserve land. ZMD was dropped from the Selangor Barisan Nasional line-up for the following general election.

Also in 2006, then Matrade chairperson and Minister of International Trade and Industry Rafidah “AP Queen” Aziz was accused by former PM TDM of corruption related to the issuance of Approved Permits for importing foreign vehicles. RAA was never charged in court but lost her Wanita UMNO chief position in the 2009 party elections after a handover plan was reneged by the eventual winner.

This year also saw Mohd Said Yusof of UMNO allegedly asked the Melaka Customs and Excise Department for special treatment in the handling of an illegal timber import shipment from Indonesia. When this was denied, MSY told the press that although he felt the decision was right, some discretion should have been exercised in order to aid the Bumiputera entrepreneur whose interests were affected. The affected company Binyu Sof Enterprise was in fact his own company.

The biggest event in 2006 was reserved for Abdul Razak Baginda, a close pal of PM Najib, who was arrested for complexity in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. PM Najib was also accused of involvement as a SMS transcript of his text messages to ARB was disclosed to the press. ARB was acquitted in 2008 but the two personal bodyguards of PM Najib’s wife were charged with the murder.

The Altantuya murder case even eclipsed the Public Works Department’s announcement that the Malaysian government has paid a total of RM38.5 billion in compensation to 20 toll operators.

In 2007, then Health Minister Chua Soi Lek was secretly taped having extramarital sex with another woman other than his legal spouse. He promptly resigned all his political positions but made a comeback in 2009. In the ensuing MCA elections, he was elected as the deputy president of the party.

Also in 2007, Mohd Said Yusof together with Bung Mokhtar Radin made the infamous “bocor” sexist remark targeted at Fong Po Kuan. Both the UMNO politicians were forced to issue a public apology to all Malaysian women a few days later.

2007 also saw Samy Vellu announcing that Malaysian Government compensated Gerbang Perdana to the tune of RM257.4 million for aborting the planned construction of TDM’s crooked bridge over the Singapore Straits. It was later made known that the total cost of cancellation exceeds the actual construction cost by RM164 million. Gerbang Perdana was later awarded another RM470 million road works without an open tender being called.

In 2008, Bukit Bendera MP Ahmad “Mamak” Ismail made racist remarks which led to his suspension from UMNO. He was initially removed as a MPPP councillor after being declared a bankrupt in 2006.

Also in 2008, Deputy Education Minister Razali Ismail announced that the government has spent RM2.21 billion for the purchase of ICT equipment over the past five years. He was however unable to supply a breakdown on these purchases.

In 2009, then SIL of former PM Abdullah fell out of favor of the UMNO Warlords and was accused and found guilty of corruption. KJ was however allowed to contest in the UMNO elections after a reprimand and was elected as the new UMNO Youth Chief.

At the same venue UMNO Chief Minister for Malacca, Mohd. Ali Rustam was also found guilty of corruption but he was not as lucky as KJ. MAR was barred from contesting in the UMNO elections but allowed to keep his CM position but his political secretary Saadun Basirun was suspended for three years.

Also in 2009, TDM accused MIC President Samy Vellu of “killing the Indians in Malaysia”. RM2 million only 50,000sf palatial mansion owner, former Selangor MB and dentist extraordinaire Khir Toyo soon followed suit uttering the same sentiments.

What’s next?

Lawsuit against Tiong on the way, says Tee Keat

Tiong has not retracted his allegations.

By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — The deadline MCA president and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat gave Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing to retract his allegations has passed and Ong said that he will now proceed to sue.

Ong had last week threatened to sue Tiong for criminal defamation if the latter did not retract his claims within seven days that he gave RM10 million in donations for MCA to Ong.

Since then, Tiong, whose company is the main developer of the scandal-hit Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) and is under investigation by Ong's ministry, has repeatedly said that he will not retract his claim nor apologise for it.

At a press conference today, Ong said he will file a lawsuit but declined to give a timeframe for doing so.

"Be a little bit patient. When I say I am going to do it, I am going to do it," he told reporters after witnessing a signing ceremony here this morning.

The embattled transport minister, who has built up an image of being clean and transparent and won some praise for pushing for the investigation of the PKFZ, has seen his reputation take a hit after Tiong's allegations.

Ong today said that he will continue efforts to clear his name and bristled at suggestions that he should lie low on the matter to protect the image of Barisan Nasional (BN) as Tiong is the BN Backbenchers Club chief.

"This is not a personal issue or a personal fight. It is nothing personal. I have no personal dealings with him. It is not for us to assume PKFZ as a personal issue. You think I should keep quiet? That I should avoid making public statements? That is not me," said Ong.

Tiong's allegations are just some of the mounting problems faced by Ong who reportedly said that he is in danger of losing his transport minister job ever since pushing for PKFZ to be investigated.

Supporters of his bitter rival and MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek are also expected to push for an EGM to remove him.

Ong has also been also forced to explain why he "borrowed" private jets linked to Tiong's company and said that the allegations were an attempt by Tiong to deflect attention from the findings of a task force that his company had made at least RM500 million in questionable claims in the PKFZ project.

He added today that he has noticed Tiong "wavering" in his remarks to the media.

"The quantum (of the donation) has been wavering from RM2 million to RM10 million," said Ong.

Tiong, on the other hand, claims no ill intentions in the donations and said he just wanted to help MCA.

Race and religion dominate BN’s campaign

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

PERMATANG PASIR, Aug 20 — Race and religion seem to be the cornerstone of Umno’s by-election campaign here, beginning with the labelling of its rivals as enemies of the Malays.

Deputy Prime Minister and Umno No. 2 Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin, in a ceramah held here last night, blasted Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders as arrogant, claiming that some have dared to question the rights of the Malays and Islam.

"They have questioned the social contract, the status of Islam and the Malays in this country which are enshrined in the Federal Constitution," he said before some 500 party supporters.

"Don't get me wrong, I am a deputy prime minister for all Malaysians. The rights of the non-Malays should be upheld but do not question the rights of the Malays," he added.

Muhyiddin, Umno's most senior leader, claimed that throughout his career, he has never witnessed what he claimed as opposition disrespect towards Malay rights and believes that the March 8 victories have made them "bolder and more arrogant."

Just as in the past, Muhyiddin also chided PAS for defending DAP which has been painted as anti-Islam by Umno leaders.

Earlier, Umno and Barisan Nasional information chief Ahmad Mazlan made subtle hints that PAS was DAP's stooge, citing the beer sale issue in Selangor as an example.

"PAS say takbir, DAP say take beer," Ahmad said, drawing laughter from party supporters.

Despite being heavily criticised for its racial attacks, and even risking compromising Prime Minister and Umno-BN president Datuk Seri Najib Razak's all-encompassing 1 Malaysia concept, last night's ceramah indicated clearly that Umno will continue to use race and religion as fodder against its rivals.

Pakatan leaders, on the other hand, fully anticipating Umno's unrelenting racial offensive, have gone all out to deflect their attacks, blasting Umno as racists and said it was already expected that the ruling party would use the race card against them.

PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, speaking at a Pakatan ceramah, said Malaysians will no longer be fooled by the race tactics played by Umno and that governance in PR-run states acts as proof to his claims.

He added that the differences among the component parties in the opposition pact have been maliciously highlighted by government-linked media.

The dumbass DPM that we have

By Haris Ibrahim,

I’m almost certain that if there was a turnaround in UMNO policy tonight, as a result of which, starting tomorrow, all UMNO members must undergo an independently conducted IQ test as a prerequisite to retaining their party membership, Muhyiddin would wake up the next day to find himself party-less.

This national embarassment now wants BN’s Permatang Pasir by-election candidate and disbarred lawyer Rohaizat Othman to make a statutory declaration to clarify the actual position on the cancellation of his licence to practice law.

Look, Najib swore on the Qur’an that he had nothing to do with ‘that Mongolian woman’ and nobody believes him, so what are we to make of Rohaizat’s SD, if ever he has the audacity to swear out one?

Ignore the findings of an Inquiry Tribunal and a Disciplinary Tribunal established by law to look into complaints against advocates and solicitors?

Ignore the decision, based on the facts, of the Disciplinary Board, to strike Rohaizat’s name off the rolls?

Ignore the decision of the High Court to dismiss Rohaizat’s appeal against his being struck off the rolls?

Because of one SD to clarify the position?

What position?

The ill-gotten gain from the dastardly act has been returned to its rightful owner?

The rightful owner is no longer interested in pursuing the complaint, because there has been restitution?

And therefore, no harm done?

Is that the position?

If so, dumbo, listen carefully as I’ll only explain this once.

Unlike UMNO, the Malaysian Bar does not care to suffer dishonest fellows in their ranks.

With more than 13,000 members on the rolls today, it should not surprise anyone if there are many more ‘Rohaizats’ who have been called to the Bar and who, even as I bang away at my keyboard now, are surreptitiously helping themselves to clients’ monies.

So when a complaint such as the one against Rohaizat is brought to the attention of the Bar, one involving a criminal breach of trust reposed in men and women who hold themselves out as worthy of being trusted by folk unlearned in the law, even if the complainant chooses not to take his complaint any further, the good men and women at the Bar, comprising the majority of the members, step into the shoes of the complainant and will see the complaint through.

Why?

They have a duty to weed out the ‘Rohaizats’ from the roll so that these ‘Rohaizats’ do not go on to fleece other unsuspecting members of the public.

And, again, they do not care to suffer dishonest fellows in their ranks.

We do not expect you to understand this, dumbo.

You are, after all, UMNO.

Were it otherwise, having only lately discovered, as it would seem, that your choice of candidate is unfit to hold any office of trust, you would, in the interest of the good people of Permatang Pasir, have withdrawn from the by-election rather than ask the voters to vote in a rogue and a thief.

Is Muhyiddin for or against Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and why 1Malaysia concept is not the primary theme of Umno/BN in Permatang Pasir by-election?

By Lim Kit Siang,

The 52nd National Day is just ten days away but never before in the nation’s 52-year history have preparations for National Day celebrations been marred and threatened by so many black clouds – the A (H1N1) pandemic which has claimed 67 lives and the almost daily barrage attacking Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia concept in the exploitation of the race and religious cards by Umno leaders.

What is quite incredible is that the person leading the campaign of race and religion representing an open repudiation of Najib’s 1Malaysia concept is none other than the Deputy Prime Minister and Umno Deputy President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, as illustrated by his utterances in the Permatang Pasir by-election campaign.

Let Muhyiddin answer whether he is for or against Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and if he supports the 1Malaysia concept, why is this not the primary theme of Umno/Barisan Nasional in the Permatang Pasir by-election instead of a campaign line which is the very opposite repudiating everything that 1Malaysia stands for?

Even before the Permatang Pasir by-election, Muhyiddin had already spearheaded a vitriolic Umno attack on Pakatan Rakyat by remorselessly and relentlessly cranking up communal sentiments starting with his repeated charge that Parliamentary Opposition Leader and PKR chief, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is “a traitor to the Malay race” (with Umno divisions mobilizing all over the country to support Muhyiddin in calling Anwar a Malay “traitor), as well as other baseless and mischievous allegations that PAS has betrayed Islam by working with DAP and that DAP had insulted Islam by working with PAS!

Muhyiddin may think that he could play the role of a Malaysian statesman after the Permatang Pasir by-election on August 25, saying all the nice, good and proper things about the country’s biggest challenge to maintain unity and racial harmony among its people from various ethnic backgrounds in the few days before National Day on August 31.

Muhyiddin should know that it is the height of irresponsibility for a Deputy Prime Minister to be playing the race and religious cards to the hilt in the Permatang Pasir by-election, straining race and religious understanding and ties to the utmost just for the sake of winning votes, and then hoping to undo the great harm done to nation-building in the by-election in the few days before the 52nd National Day on August 31.

How can Muhyiddin convince Malaysians that he is being honest and sincere about 1Malaysia when the country celebrates the 52nd National Day when he can lead a campaign which repudiates the very essence of the 1Malaysia concept in the Permatang Pasir by-election less than a week before National Day?

What Malaysians want from a Deputy Prime Minister is not a political chameleon but a political statesman and Malaysian leader.

In fact, what Muhyiddin said in the past few days have also exposed the hollowness of the commitment of Umno/Barisan Nasional government to integrity and good governance.

For instance, in response to allegations that Muhyiddin had set a bad example and abused his powers as Deputy Prime Minister in using RMAF Nuri helicopters, not for official purposes, but for officiating Umno division functions in Sabah (which came to public knowledge last weekend when the military helicopter Muhyiddin was flying had a forced landing) was the arrogant retort: “It (the allegations) does not scare me at all”.

That shows Muhyiddin’s utter contempt for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) from the safety of immunity he enjoys despite the MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan’s most recent and lame protestation: “Everybody is the same and no one is accorded special treatment”!

Muhyiddin’s arrogance of power and contempt for integrity were again in display yesterday in his response to the Bar Council’s disbarment of the Umno candidate for Permatang Pasir by-election Rohaizat Othman for personal misconduct last year, likening the Bar Council’s fines to “parking tickets”!

What more need be said? These statements bespeak volumes!

Some unfinished business: Untangling the peoples of Malaysia

By Tunku Abdul Aziz

When Merdeka was granted half a century ago, we inherited a number of items of unfinished business, the most critical of which was the urgent necessity to create a united Malayan nation and, soon afterwards, a Malaysian nation.

The late Tom Harrison, the famous curator of the Sarawak Museum, described Malaysia as “a tangle of peoples” in an article published in the Malaysian Outlook, a small journal I edited in Australia in 1963, in a fit of patriotism. “Konfrontasi” was in full swing then, and, given the dangerously unpredictable and volatile behaviour of Bung Karno of Indonesia, our future as a nation was by no means assured.

Harrison was not thinking so much about the Malays, Chinese and Indians of the Malay peninsula, but rather the often forgotten peoples making up the many different tribal and ethnic groups with their many different customs, religious beliefs and languages inhabiting Sabah and Sarawak. Almost overnight, they found themselves the citizens of a new and, to them, somewhat vague political creation called Malaysia. The Kadazan Dusuns, Bajaus, Punans, Penans, Kayans, Muruts and various others, I fear, still remain very much outside our consciousness, even after more than four decades of Malaysia. Need I say more about this serious lapse of memory? What national unity are we talking about without them?

When the British government responsible for the administration of these two colonial territories decided to bring to an honourable and dignified end of their stewardship and allow the sun to set on these, the last remnants of their Eastern Empire, the newly-proclaimed state of Malaysia took on not only additional responsibilities for her new citizens, but also assumed a new character and identity. National unity with which we had been preoccupied all those years before and since Merdeka took on a new urgency.

Young Malays of my generation, growing up under colonial rule, saw Merdeka as a great opportunity to bring about change, with courage, compassion and wisdom, and rectify those aspects of colonialism that we had considered repugnant to our sense justice, pride and dignity.

Creating a truly united Malayan nation was the number one item on the national agenda, one that was inspired by Tunku Abdul Rahman’s exemplary personal example of inclusiveness in which race was nothing more than an accident in the larger scheme of things Malayan, and later, Malaysian. Tunku saw strength in diversity and did everything possible to drive home the need for all races to unite as one and to show their love and affection for the country of their birth. Those were the early days of independence when the Constitution absolutely guaranteed the citizens their rights. The people felt they belonged and had full confidence in the institutions of government which remained largely unsullied. The same cannot be said of many of our national institutions today.

Looking back now over the last 50 years, we have achieved a great deal in material terms, far more than the most bullish among us would have dared to imagine. If material progress were the only measure of success in creating unity out of diversity, then we could reasonably claim to have arrived. But, have we? Or are we just postponing the evil day by papering over the cracks and glossing over issues that divide us, while ignoring the legitimate concerns, demands and aspirations of our people for a rightful place in the Malaysian sun.

The time to rediscover and re-establish our sense of Malaysian-ness is now and this can best be done by allowing the people of each community, large and small, the freedom to retain their cultural practices, traditions and values, always recognising that with freedom there is a corresponding responsibility to contribute to national unity. In matters of culture and language, people can usually be relied upon to decide for themselves. All cultures must be treated as Malaysian, and celebrated as such. They must not be politicised.

We must, for a start, accept cultural diversity, in the fullest sense, as an article of faith. Merely tolerating the cultural traditions of the other races is simply not good enough anymore for a country that, after 50 years of independence, is still groping for that elusive Malaysian identity. Our aim should be to achieve smooth and seamless integration that will stand the test of time as an essential prelude to achieving the essence of Malaysian- ness, that state of being that defies definition or description, but captures our imagination as nothing else can.

The role of education in nation building and in bringing about social and economic change is not in dispute. We have seen what investment in education has done for thousands of our people, of all races, particularly the Malays who have, within one generation, completely transformed themselves in social and economic terms.

On the debit side, the thousands of unemployable young men and women have hampered efforts to develop and improve our human capital. Our decision to downgrade English more than three decades ago has completely rendered our young people ill-equipped for employment in the new knowledge-based industries. The more serious overall consequence of our policy of neglecting the most important international language makes Malaysia a much less competitive investment destination for the higher-end technologies that could help Malaysia to leapfrog up the knowledge and value chain.

The application of some aspects of the New Economic Policy has not helped in the process of human capital development because by our depriving many non-Bumiputeras of equal educational opportunities and by discriminating against them in public sector employment, there is still today an overwhelming sense of alienation and injustice. I have always subscribed to the view that you could only justify a policy of positive discrimination if it was implemented in strict observance of the aim and spirit of that policy which was, in this case, principally to alleviate the poverty that afflicted many millions of people of all races in our community.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. When it became evident that the spirit of this great social experiment was being violated blatantly to serve the interests of the few politically connected breed of self-proclaimed Melayu Baru instead of improving the lot of the disadvantaged, the NEP tragically lost its legitimacy. But I digress. The point I am making is that unfair policies whether social or political detract from our efforts to develop and enrich our human capital with the result that the essential spirit of common heritage and shared values, of being part of an important national initiative is lost in the politics of discrimination. There is no evidence to suggest that people will give of their best, make sacrifices, and be loyal to the country of their birth when they are made to feel, rightly or wrongly, that they are second-class citizens.

National unity must be predicated on equality of opportunity, justice and equity. Anything less is unsustainable. Fifty years of Merdeka still finds us groping in a tunnel of darkness for that elusive, overarching spiritual experience that defines the essence of “Malaysian-ness”.

It would be unfair to blame the government entirely for the present state of race relations in our country. It must, however, admit that it has not always been energetic and competent in dealing with problems that are largely associated with official policies that are seen as Malay-centric. Policies affecting education, language and culture tend to generate a highly-charged emotional response, and are always divisive. Change has to be managed with compassion and imagination.

A word about our international competitiveness. A stable political system is a prerequisite as is an efficient and incorruptible bureaucracy. We need to ensure a ready supply of trained and trainable human resources, hence the need for investment in developing our human capital. But above all else, we all need to operate in an ethical way, fight and reduce corrupt practices so as to be able to attract investments to sustain our national economic development. Corruption adds a cost to doing business, and it is in our interests to reduce it so that that we can improve our competitive position.

In summary, therefore, the future of Malaysia, given its racial and cultural complexity, depends on our ability to encourage and promote unity in diversity, focus on similarities and values that unite us rather than harping on differences that divide us. We have our work cut out for us as we seek to bring about a convergence of interests as a basis for developing mutual trust, and respect for diversity in all its manifestations.

(First published in my New Sunday Times column in September 2007. It is reproduced, with due acknowledgement, and thanks to the NST.)

Cane me publicly

Malaysian woman caught drinking beer to be caned by next week
By Elizabeth Looi, The Straits Times, Aug 20 2009
Kartika, 32, is to be caned within seven days of the remand at the Selangor prison. This means the punishment will be carried out during the fasting month. -- PHOTO: HARIAN METRO

KUALA LUMPUR - A MUSLIM woman who has been sentenced to six strokes of the rotan for drinking beer has asked for the punishment to be carried out in public, not in a prison in Selangor.



Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, who is set to be caned next week, said she should be punished in public if the Islamic court had intended for it to be a lesson to all Muslims.

But religious experts, including the Malaysian Syariah Lawyers Association and the Islamic adviser to the Prime Minister, said public flogging is unnecessary, as long as the offender has learnt her lesson.

'I think the punishment is fair, but it should be done in public for everyone to see so that people will learn. Let's be transparent,' Kartika, 32, told The Straits Times in a phone interview on Wednesday.

The Pahang Syariah High Court on Wednesday issued a warrant for the mother of two to be remanded in Kajang prison from next Monday.

She is to be caned within seven days of the remand at the Selangor prison. This means the punishment will be carried out during the fasting month, which starts on Saturday. The punishment will make her the first woman in Malaysia to be caned.

Kartika, a Malaysian who is married to a Singaporean, was sentenced to six strokes and fined RM5,000 (S$2,000) for drinking in a hotel in Cherating, Pahang, while on holiday with friends two years ago. She pleaded guilty and paid the fine. Under Malaysian syariah law, an offender who drinks alcohol can receive up to six strokes, be fined up to RM5,000 or jailed for three years.

Being caned under the Islamic law in Malaysia is unlike the civil corporal punishment. Under the syariah law, a male offender stands, while a female offender sits with her feet tucked in, during the caning. The officer must not raise his hand above his shoulder when caning the woman, so that the caning strength is lighter.

In civil punishment, women are exempted from flogging. For men who get whipped, they are hit on the buttocks with a rotan that breaks their bare skin and draws blood with each stroke.

Kartika will not be caned in public as the punishment must be held within the law, explained Pahang state syariah deputy public prosecutor Saiful Idham Sahimi.

BN's offer in Permatang Pasir

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com


Rohaizat Othman

AT 1am on Wednesday, 19 Aug 2009, Rohaizat Othman finally appears for this interview after a day of campaigning. The Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Permatang Pasir by-election looks terribly exhausted as he walks into the sparse media room at the BN by-election headquarters in Permatang Pasir.

The BN command centre is a hastily set up outfit of white air-conditioned tents in a muddy plot of land surrounded by padi fields. One wonders too, if Rohaizat's selection as candidate to stand in this opposition stronghold was just as hasty. Only a week ago, on 10 Aug, the Election Commission announced that nomination of candidates would be on 17 Aug and polling on 25 Aug.

Only two days into the campaign and Rohaizat, 38, was already under siege over his disbarment as a lawyer. Never mind the fact that this poses no legal hindrance to being a candidate. The damage to BN's credibility has already been done.


Introducing himself to voters at a Chinese economy rice stall in Sama Gagah

Rohaizat says he will take no questions on his disbarment for this interview. He had earlier on the Tuesday of 18 Aug fielded questions from reporters while on the campaign trail visiting voters in the Sama Gagah polling district. He put it down to "character assassination by PAS". He did the same on Tuesday night, in an emergency press conference with other Umno leaders to defend his innocence.

The gist of the defence was that Rohaizat's legal firm partner was the one who left the firm with money owed to clients, leaving Rohaizat as the one implicated in the scandal. The Penang Rubber Tappers Cooperative, which lodged a complaint with the Bar Council, withdrew it after reaching a settlement with the law firm. A committee member from the cooperative was also present at the press conference to confirm Rohaizat's innocence.

Whether this adequately clears the issue for voters remains to be seen. "It's a credibility issue which is too late to reverse and it's up to the voters to decide. So long as his standing as a candidate is not illegal, he should just go on campaigning as hard as he can," says political observer Assoc Prof Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff of Rohaizat's situation.

But what does the BN candidate have to offer?

Sizing up Rohaizat

"Kelebihan saya yang tidak ada pada calon PAS ialah, saya mewakili Barisan Nasional yang juga memerintah kerajaan pusat sekarang," he offers.

Right. That much is pretty obvious.

"Dengan itu, saya ada akses atau hubungan direct kepada kerajaan pusat. Saya boleh berhubung dengan menteri-menteri dan ini amat memudahkan dari apa-apa segi; dari segi mendapat biasiswa untuk pelajar-pelajar atau bantuan masuk universiti untuk anak-anak pengundi."

He reiterates Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's promise to make Permatang Pasir the "anak emas" who will get everything he or she desires.

If elected, Rohaizat says he will implement the "one village, one industry" concept here, boost agro-tourism and village homestay programmes, and expand business networks for local entrepreneurs with the help of federal assistance.

Secondly, Rohaizat believes his youth is an advantage given that 40% of voters here are between the ages of 21 and 40. "I am able to understand their aspirations," he says. Local observers say Umno is testing to see if Permatang Pasir will confirm the swing in youth votes back to the BN just as what happened in the Manik Urai by-election.

Thirdly, Rohaizat's vision for Permatang Pasir. "My vision is based on the prime minister's '1Malaysia' concept of 'People first, performance now'. Everybody will be taken care of," he says.

What does he think Permatang Pasir voters want?

"From my campaign rounds so far, I have met elderly folk who say that they did not receive anything under the previous assemblyperson. In terms of infrastructure development, Permatang Pasir is quite complete, but I think the people want an assemblyperson they can approach easily and who can provide them the human touch."


With members of the Chinese Malaysian community in Sama Gagah

We then talk about the "political tsunami" of the March 2008 general election. Given the shift in public political awareness, why should people vote for the BN?

"Because we have had a leadership transition and now we have 1Malaysia to unite the people. Manik Urai has also indicated to us that the rakyat are returning to the BN," he answers.

Wearily, he shifts in his seat and is momentarily distracted by campaign team members who hover nearby waiting for the interview to end so they can plan the following day's programme. It is 1.30am.

Tough pleasing everyone

BN continues to face criticisms for selecting Rohaizat as candidate, whether openly from PAS or from the public through blogs and Twitter.

It highlights certain issues in Umno's selection process that are difficult to undo for as long as the party's patronage culture remains in place.


Rohaizat (left) perusing details on the next day's campaign programme while campaign team members discuss strategies.
On the right is Abdul Razak Baba.

Factionalism and expectations of being rewarded with an assemblyperson's post are some of the pitfalls Umno has to learn to deal with, says party insider Datuk Capt (Rtd) Abdul Razak Baba.

"Umno must look at selecting the right candidate for the constituency, and not limit the choice to the division chief or committee members. The culture and mindset has been that the division chief or someone with rank must be the assemblyperson because he has the most support.

"But the person who may have the best support from within [the division] may not always be the best candidate for the constituency. And yet, the political reality is that you don't want to upset the person's supporters at the risk of jeopardising the election campaign," Abdul Razak says.

Abdul Razak is a committee member of the Bukit Gantang Umno division. He had offered to stand but was not selected as the BN candidate in the constituency's by-election in April 2009. In Permatang Pasir, he is part of Rohaizat's campaign team.

In Rohaizat's case, the Permatang Pauh Umno division secretary was picked from a shortlist of five names. In the end, age was on his side as BN wants to recapture the youth vote, notes political analyst Ong Kian Ming.

Candidate or party problem?

Yet, Agus wonders how Rohaizat's past scandal, even if it does not disqualify him as a candidate, could have slipped through the vetting process.


Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh

If, as Umno's top leaders say, they knew about it and decided that it was a mere legal technicality, it speaks worse of the party's understanding about moral principles.

In January's Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election, Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh may have been the most apt choice as far as the local Umno division was concerned, but he too suffered from perception problems. His were due to his links with then outgoing prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and allegations that Abdullah's cronies were given contracts for mega projects in Terengganu.

Agus observes that in the spate of by-elections since the 2008 polls, Umno appears to have difficulty finding the right candidate who can satisfy public perception as well as internal party demands.

Candidates aside, it could also be that the BN hasn't successfully convinced the public that it has truly changed. If that is the bigger problem, then Rohaizat's embarrassment is but a temporary challenge for the BN. That too, is likely what BN wants to find out from the Permatang Pasir polls after its near win in Manik Urai.

Ask BN for everything, Anwar urges voters - Anil Netto

Photos by Anil

Last night, I thought I would go and check out the scene in Permatang Pasir at random. It didn’t take me long to stumble upon a crowd along Jalan Kubang Semang, near the Permatang Pauh old town centre. Traffic police were doing a good job making sure the crowd did not spill on to the road.

As I approached the ceramah venue, I heard a familiar voice – Anwar’s. He was urging the voters of Permatang Pasir to ask BN leaders to do as much possible for the area.

“As the MP for Permatang Pauh (in which the state seat of Permatang Pasir lies), I urge all of you to ask the BN leaders for whatever you need, whether road repairs or improvements to the mosques or whatever. Take whatever is given, but you know how to vote,” he said to chuckles from the crowd.

But he warned the crowd of 400 at a house along Jalan Kubang Semang not to be too complacent. “I am worried about this.”

Next door, some female campaign workers seated around a table at a BN operations centre ignored what Anwar was saying and beavered away with their own work.

Next up was Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, the MP for Kuala Selangor. He spoke at length about BN candidate Rohaizat Othman’s problems with the Malaysian Bar.

“I am not indulging in character assassination here,” he clarified. “But the issue is important as it involves integrity and accountability. We want all our leaders to be clean.”

As Dzulkifi addressed the crowd, which had dwindled after Anwar left, it began to drizzle. A few in the crowd opened up newspapers and placed them on their heads to keep away the raindrops (see pic above). Nice to see the mainstream newspapers being put to good use!

A large banner in the premises advertised motorbike service checks and free lubricants at an event apparently related to the Pas campaign.

As I walked back after 11.00pm while the ceramah was still going on, the BN operations centre next door looked almost deserted (see pic above). Further along the road, workers were setting up a stage and arranging chairs under a canopy outside a row of shophouses near a cluster of Umno banners.

Just another night in Permatang Pasir.

Karpal’s sedition trial: RTM video admitted despite objections

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: A RTM video recording of Karpal Singh’s press conference has been admitted as an exhibit in his sedition trial despite the defence’s argument over its admissibility, the court heard.

High Court judicial commissioner Azman Abdullah ruled Wednesday that the mini digital tape was admissible after reviewing past cases and hearing testimonials and submissions from both sides.

“The court finds that it is not premature for the prosecution to get a ruling to admit ID6 (the tape) as P6 (sixth exhibit),” he said.

The recording was made by part-time RTM cameraman Adial Singh at Karpal Singh’s press conference on Feb 6 where he allegedly made seditious remarks against the Sultan of Perak.

Azman ruled that there was no doubt that the tape shown in court was the same tape used to record the press conference.

Furthermore, Adial in his testimony, he said, had also confirmed that the tape had recorded well during the press conference and was in good condition.

This, Azman said, was backed by the testimony of the second witness, Eliani Mazlan, the RTM reporter present during the press conference.

“SP3 (Adial) only emphasised the recording and not its contents. The court is satisfied that as a cameraman he need not understand what is being said at the press conference,” Azman said.

The defence, he said, had also referred to the tape when questioning both witness on Karpal Singh’s conduct during the press conference.

On Tuesday, Karpal Singh’s lawyer Jagdeep Singh Deo had questioned the tape’s admissibility, stating that there were safeguards prescribed by the law before it was admissible.

The prosecution had argued that Adial, 36, was the maker of the 37-minute video, which Jagdeep pointed out had several “gaps” in them.

Jagdeep had also said that Adial did not understand Karpal Singh’s press conference but took it upon himself when to record and when not to record.

Adial had said that the tape was not edited and the “gaps” were the result of him stopping the recording to get “cut ways” shots of the press conference to use for background voice.

The prosecution also called its fourth witness Wednesday, Aishah Ahmad Azam, 25, an RTM reporter who transcribed the tape in the office together with a practical student who had since left RTM.

Aishah, who has been in the job for eight months, told the court that was the first time she was doing a transcript, which she took “about 10 days” to do.

Prosecution would continue questioning the witness Thursday.

Crash of the frontline

ImageMy SinChew
by Chong Lip Teck/translated by Dominic Loh

Health minister Liow Tiong Lai said some of the A(H1N1) victims were killed because of delayed treatments, according to the analysis done on flu fatality.

He said his ministry would be investigating why treatments had been delayed.

How to investigate? By what method? I would like to suggest that the minister make a visit to the GH, or demand that hospital superintendents submit accurate and truthful reports in order to find out what actually has happened.

Sungai Buloh Hospital, yes, the one first singled out for treating the deadly flu, is perpetually packed with members of the public seeking treatment. They or their family have recently presented the symptoms of flu such as coughing, fever, etc., and have taken heed of the ministry's advice to visit the hospital for examination.

Whenever a person feels sick, weakened or his resistance compromised, he should visit a doctor and go home to rest with the doctor's prescriptions. The health ministry has also advised the public to avoid crowded places whenever they have fever.

However, some of them cannot help but get squeezed in the crowd, such as patients seeking medical attention in government hospitals.

According to news reports, a patient has to wait an average of three hours to get medical attention at Sungai Buloh Hospital.

They have to wake up early in the morning and wait for their turns until midday. Just imagine, it is already unbearable being sick, yet these people still have to drag along their exhausted bodies waiting in the tightly packed hospital lounge saturated with the stench of medicines for hours. I believe even a healthy person may find it intolerable having to wait for so long, let alone sick people.

Someone points at a notice on the wall which reads senior citizens and children would get priority for medical attention, saying it is nothing more than a decorative poster as his child has been waiting for the entire morning while the hospital has not increased the number of service counters or get the patients' temperatures taken first despite an obvious increase in the number of visitors.

But why don't they go to a private hospital or clinic? A patient says private establishments do not provide flu scanning services and they normally advise the patients to visit government hospitals to do the flu test.

This explains why government hospitals have been packed to the seams.

Given the fact that government hospitals are always understaffed, I'm afraid the patients' illnesses will only get intensified because of the delays.

With the flu getting more and more serious and the number of fatality on the rise, government hospitals cannot be excused for not providing the most comprehensive, effective and prompt services, being the primary, if not the only, treatement centres for the deadly flu.

In addition, from what the public have read in newspaper reports, they find that what the minister has said are differeent from what they have personally experienced.

Even as the ministry has kept assuring the public that adequate preventive measures have been taken, why do the public still feel insecure? Is it because they have been overly anxious or because the minister has been misinformed by our public health personnel? (By CHONG LIP TECK/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)

Fitnah Dan Adu Domba Perkauman Politik Pimpinan Umno-Bn

Selepas saya menjadi sasaran fitnah, serangan pimpinan umno-bn beralih pula kepada Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz. Segala macam tuduhan dihamburkan oleh media milik penguasa kepada ulama tersebut. Pimpinan umno dan konco-konco mereka sanggup memutar belitkan fakta hatta memintal fitnah asalkan matlamat untuk memenangi pilihanraya kecil DUN Permatang Pasir terpenuhi.

Apatah lagi bila tersepit dihimpit kecuaian sendiri ketika memilih calon, segala upaya dan jentera propaganda digembeling merekayasa fiksi politik. Adu domba dilatari politik perkauman sempit biar rakyat terus berpecah, sedangkan pimpinan umno seharusnya sedar, merekalah yang menyebabkan terbit rasa curiga dalam masyarakat. Walhasil merekalah yang terkait dengan pelbagai tuduhan penyelewengan amanah rakyat.

Manakala itu Pakatan Rakyat tetap terus beriltizam untuk membawa Perubahan dan arus Politik baru sunggupun berulang kali tuduhan yang tidak berasas dilemparkan kepada kami. Saya yakin rakyat akan membuat pilihan yang tepat memandangkan mereka tidak sanggup dipermainkan lagi.

KASITAH GADDAM

1. Pada 12 Ogos 2009 Hakim Suraya binti Othman telah dapati Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam tidak bersalah atas tuduhan dibawah Seksyen 417 Kanun Keseksaan (penipuan) oleh Pendakwa Raya. Dia (Kasitah) tidak dipanggil untuk membela diri.


2. Dengan itu tamatlah keseksaan dan kesengsaraan bekas Menteri Persekutuan ini. Selama lima tahun lebih tuduhan ini menghantui kehidupannya.


3. Tuduhan terhadap Kasitah bermula semasa dia menjadi Menteri di dalam Kabinet saya. Oleh kerana jawatannya yang tinggi saya dimaklumkan akan tuduhan terhadapnya. Saya tidak begitu yakin yang dianya bersalah.


4. Dua minggu selepas saya letak jawatan maka tuduhan tersebut telah dibuat terhadapnya. Saya terfikir mungkin kerana Kerajaan hendak menunjuk bahawa dalam kes jenayah tidak ada pilih kasih. Siapa sahaja boleh dihadapkan ke mahkamah jika bersalah.


5. Mungkin Kerajaan telah mendapat bukti yang lebih jelas. Tetapi ramai juga yang berpendapat ada sesuatu yang tersirat.


6. Sebagai rakan dalam Kabinet saya menunjuk simpati kepada Kasitah tetapi tidak mempertahankannya walaupun saya masih percaya dia tidak bersalah.


7. Proses penghakiman mengambil masa yang amat panjang dan dianya tentu terpaksa belanja wang untuk peguam dan lain-lain bagi mempertahankan dirinya. Saya tahu yang dianya tidak dapat bekerja atau berniaga semasa lebih lima tahun kes berjalan. Hartanya terpaksa dijual untuk membiayai kos mempertahan diri.


8. Beliau bergantung semata-mata kepada pencennya.


9. Keputusan mahkamah berbunyi demikian;

In the circumstances the accused stands acquitted and discharged of both the charges against him.


10. Alhamdulillah. Tetapi fikirkan kerugian dan keseksaan yang dipikul oleh yang dituduh selama lima tahun.


11. Bagaimanakah kes ini bermula? Apakah tuduhan dibuat oleh sesiapa? Apakah pegawai yang menuduh atau orang tertentu?


12. Jika atas tuduhan oleh mana-mana pihak maka tentulah selidikan akan dibuat sehingga pihak Jabatan Peguam Negara berpuas hati ada kes terhadap yang dituduh sebelum tindakan mendakwa diambil.


13. Jika setelah selidikan yang mendalam pihak pendakwa raya ragu-ragu, benefit of the doubt patutlah diberi dan kes tidak diteruskan. Dengan itu tidaklah sesiapa dianiayai.


14. Saya perhatikan ada kes yang jelas berlaku tetapi entah kenapa tindakan tidak diambil. Dalam kes seperti ini orang ramai tidak boleh disalahkan jika mereka syak yang cover-up telah berlaku.


15. Dalam urusan keadilan, kita bukan sahaja ingin keadilan berlaku tetapi keadilan ternampak jelas telah berlaku.


Nota: Kawan saya Eric Chia juga telah melalui tuduhan dan pengalaman yang sama. Akhirnya dia didapati tidak bersalah. Tidak lama selepas itu dia meninggal dunia.

1-Malaysia & my neglected daughter

Last Sunday, as I was attending the closing ceremony of a motivation course for UPSR students in Jalan P. Ramlee in my constituency, it suddenly dawned on me that she, too, will be facing the same exam early next month.

I have neglected much of her and the family since becoming a full-time Parliamentarian. Often times, I would remind myself to try to spend more quality time with her to make up. Promises of a D90 or new smart-phone can't ever replace the bonding with a growing smart kid a dad must have.

I know, she had been writing her own blog and reading my blog some four years ago.

"No offence, but you politicians are like mummy's kids, fighting over lame issues. I won't find a career in politics when I grow up," she blasted in a plain natural flair over snacks a few days ago. I was stunned.

On 1 Malaysia, she said we should tell Najib to do something different.

"Not 1 Malaysialah. He should heal Malaysia (instead), and make it a better place (for us)," she said.

Yes, you may say she has been listening too much to Michael Jackson lately.

But I am still stunned at her curt comments about the Malaysia that she is slowly beginning to understand.

It's a reality check for me. No kidding for a 12-year plus, and her generation will form part of the silent majority who can think.