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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pakatan reps arrested, state secretariat blocked - Malaysiakini


The Perak Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives are determined to proceed with their planned state assembly sitting today despite a police order barring anyone from gathering at the state secretariat.

Ousted menteri besar Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin and some of the Pakatan state reps started arriving to the state secretariat at about 8.45am. Some 150 supporters were present.

The police meanwhile have thrown a heavy security cordon around the state secretariat with Federal Reserve Unit trucks and water cannon blocking the rear entrance of the building.

The police have also cordoned off the tree under which the last Pakatan-held state assembly was held in March. About 100 police personnel are on standby.

At 9.45am, all the Pakatan representatives and their speaker V Sivakumar began walking from the Perak DAP office towards the state secretariat. They were accompanied by some 50 supporters.

Three reps arrested

When stopped by police, Perak DAP head Ngeh Koo Ham argued with them about the court order prohibiting the gathering.

"The court order says the public cannot be in the vicinity, but is silent on state assemblypersons. It is illegal to stop state assemblypersons fromperforming their duties...

"Furthermore, Section 90 of the Criminal Procedure Code says that such an order must be gazetted." [See notice on court order]

The group then attempted to march on, but was blocked by a row of riot police. Ngeh was arrested at 10.10am.

Also arrested was Stanley Tan (below), a photographer with Nanyang Siang Pau, who was said to have been kicked in the process.

He had shouted at the police: "You nak kerja, kita pun nak kerja." (We both have duties to perform.)

Also arrested were Malim Nawar state rep Keshvinder Singh and Simpang Pulai assemblyperson Chang Ming Kai. Three other members of the public were also arrested.

By 10.20am, the Pakatan reps and their supporters retreated to the state DAP headquarters which is located just behind the state secretariat.

Here Sivakumar told reporters that the assembly would be convened at the nearby Heritage Hotel based on the doctrine of necessity.

Nizar meanwhile slammed the police over their high-handed approach in arresting the three state representatives and the others.

"This is the holy month and yet they behave in such manner," said Nizar.

It was also learned that Keshvinder was hurt in the process of being arrested and has been taken to the Ipoh Hospital for treatment.

Pro-BN crowd arrives

Meanwhile a second group of people - pro-royalist/BN crowd wearing yellow shirts - also started arriving at the area at about 10am, shouting slogans in support of the Barisan Nasional state government, Perak sultan and the state assembly's sanctity.

The police quickly moved in to disperse this crowd, which they did, but not before unfurling banners just next to the Pakatan supporters.

The banners generally showed support for BN's Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir and his state government.

"Dr Zambry and BN government are the people's choice," read one banner.

Eye-witnesses reported that the police took a much softer approach in dealing with this crowd.

Seeking to set aside order

In another development, Pakatan lawyers applied to the court this morning to set aside the Ipoh Magistrate's Court order yesterday which prohibits any gathering within a 30m radius of the state secretariat.

The order was obtained by the police to stop the gathering and is effective from 1am today to 11am tomorrow.

Ipoh police chief ACP Azisman Alias said yesterday that only civil servants working in the building would be allowed to enter the building today.

The notice for the meeting today was issued last week by Pakatan's speaker V Sivakumar, who is also the Tronoh state assemblyperson.

BN's speaker R Ganesan had however asked state assemblyperson to ignore the notice as it was issued by an illegal source.

A Merdeka message from Kampung Buah Pala

Jeremiah Mahadevan often finds himself in the strangest situations. He doesn’t trust the political animal, and currently reviews motorhomes for a living.

A Merdeka message from Kampung Buah Pala


AUG 31 — Among the many headaches that Penang’s former Barisan Nasional administration left for its Pakatan Rakyat replacement, Kampung Buah Pala must command a particularly high painkiller budget. As time passes, the hubbub surrounding this small community has twisted and turned so many times that anyone who has paid attention to the issue probably feels like they accidentally wandered into a game of blindman’s buff.

Initially, the reaction from the public was one of general contempt for the machinations of the BN administration, and sympathy for the villagers, but this was turned on its head when the villagers — some say under the influence of controversial Indian rights activist group Hindraf — turned their ire on Pakatan Rakyat, and began making hardline demands which many saw as disproportionate and acquisitive. Their subsequent refusal to accept the house-for-house compensation package brokered by the PR government sealed the general conviction among Jill and Joe Jalanraya that they are just plain greedy.

Those who take this view argue that the villagers have no legal entitlement to the land, and hence it is doubly ungracious of them to thumb their noses at the Pakatan government's efforts. To counter this, the opposing camp has argued that the villagers are not actually illegal squatters, but victims of a land grab perpetrated by the state. It is said that their predecessors were in the employ of British planters, who eventually left the country and bequeathed them the land, but — in typically paternalist fashion — had it held in trust by the government. At some point, this arrangement was altered — the government became the owners of the land, and the villagers were accorded Temporary Occupational Licences (TOL), which are essentially contrivances that allow people to be conveniently earmarked as squatters without alarming them in the short term. The villagers’ champions claim that these licences were forced upon them without adequate explanation or compensation.

So far the debate regarding this issue has centred on the legality of the villagers' claim to the land, but from my point of view what we ought to be discussing is whether or not we have the right laws in the first place. It's possible that Malaysian law ought to allow the villagers to keep their land, and that the entire practice of handing out temporary occupational licenses ought to be abolished in favour of giving occupiers — even informal or illegal occupiers — the right to eventually possess their land. The crux of the matter revolves around an obscure area of property law known as adverse possession.

Property law allows us to form entitlements that are technically everlasting — when you own something, you own it forever, unless you legally transfer your entitlement, by selling something or giving it away. Eternal ownership became a facet of property law because, being generally very possessive creatures, we humans tend to intuitively believe that our property rights are impregnable, and want our intuitions to be reflected in law. However, while eternal ownership is useful in that it inspires confidence in the law, it is also to some degree a phantasm, and can easily crumble when pitted against the hard facts of life. In the physical world, property exists in a state of flux — like everything else, we and our property are transient, and the passage of time necessarily alters our relationships, in ways we would be foolish to ignore. For example, the logical upshot of infinite ownership is that even after our property has disintegrated into its component particles, we continue owning those particles — which is a bit silly, to say the least.

Now, admittedly it takes a long time for something to break down to its subatomics; but once we have admitted the temporal fluidity of property rights, we can perhaps entertain the idea that they can lapse or transfer over much shorter periods, even when no formal or legal transaction has taken place. For example, let's say Muthu owns a bicycle, which he never rides, and which Ah Chong one day steals and uses for his ketupat delivery business. After 12 years Muthu orders some ketupat and feels convinced that something is fishy about the ketupat man's bicycle. He runs into his backyard, works out what's happened, and promptly demands its return. According to the most basic tenets of property law Muthu is in the right; however, much time has passed, and Muthu can't really have needed the bicycle if in all that time he never noticed its disappearance, or the fact that Ah Chong was openly using it. Ah Chong, on the other hand, clearly needs the bike — it's pivotal to his livelihood. So who shall we give the bike to? Scenarios like this raise some thorny concerns about the humanity of our system of property entitlements. Adverse possession legislation is concocted to address these concerns, by allowing Ah Chong to gain control of the bicycle after a certain number of years, provided Muthu has never made a claim for its return, and provided that Ah Chong's use of it has met certain conditions — such as being open and publicly knowable.

For some people all of this will sound plainly ludicrous. In his pre-eminent work “Anarchy, State and Utopia”, the mighty godfather of libertarianism, Robert Nozick, went so far as to write that in an ideal world we would be able to enforce property entitlements indefinitely. In such a world a past act of illegitimate appropriation would be addressed by tracing back all the way to the point of transgression, and putting things right from there. So for Nozick, even if the bicycle made its way down to Ah Chong's great-great-great granddaughter, it would still have to be handed back to Muthu's great-great-great grandson — perhaps with additional compensation. From a bluntly libertarian standpoint, Nozick had good reason to suggest this, because property is at the bedrock of successful free enterprise. Fluid property rights tend not to sit well with the profit motive, so if you subscribe to the rather quaint belief that the free market is humanly possible and that its pursuit will benefit all members of society, then you're likely to be appalled by the idea of the state intervening to sanction stolen land — essentially by handing it over to the thief. How will anyone ever have faith in their property if it can be taken from them when they're looking away? Malaysia got rid of its adverse possession laws altogether years ago, ensuring that the government has pretty much free rein to kick people out once the land they are on becomes desirable.

But the reasoning behind adverse possession laws is difficult to exterminate, because it contains a certain gritty pragmatism that stands counter to the frictionless plane of profit-making; it's a tiny little admission that our elaborate structures of this-mine-you-don't-touch are in fact a bit absurd and entirely temporary. Property entitlements have sell-by dates, they can bleed into obscurity with time and usage, and adverse possession law acknowledges this and as a result also discourages people from sitting idly on their entitlements while there are others who are in greater need.

Obviously, such laws must be formulated with extreme care, in order to ensure that the entitlement holders are not overly compromised. You wouldn't want people's rights to become too fragile, because that would be equally draconian. This is why adverse possession is by no means a universally accepted convention. But in a country like Malaysia, where pockets of land exist which are the subject of disputes dating back to colonial times, legislation can be formulated specifically to sort out the people whom fate has planted on the land, who actually need and use it, from those who are grubbing for it.

In the case of Kampung Buah Pala, even if we ignore the whole backstory involving the British planters, the villagers were clearly using the land and calling it home for many years before they were given temporary occupation licences. It seems to me abjectly inhumane to suggest that that time counts for nothing. However, even if it might be too late to help them — since their village is now so tied up in conflicting ownership claims — there are many more who might be rescued from a similar fate with updated legislation. One thing that has to go is the TOL regime — it is indisputably shameful to give ill-informed people a piece of paper to pacify them while retaining the power to evict them at short notice once potential lucre has been scented.

In Malaysia there exists a strong but less rigorous argument in favour of adverse possession, an argument that has more to do with nation building than jurisprudence. Our nation's history is deeply entangled in property rights. The Malayan Union controversy, and its spiritual descendant the New Economic Policy, are all grounded in a concept of ownership that does not properly acknowledge the transition of entitlements through the passage of time. Some parties conceive of the nation as being fundamentally the property of certain ethnic groups due to a kind of blood right. The land was unjustly taken from them and handed to outsiders, and so it will always be theirs — end of story as far as they're concerned. Dr Mahathir uses a similar argument in his infamous and intellectually flimsy book “The Malay Dilemma”, when he draws parallels between Malays and Native Americans. This argument from eternal entitlement is one of the sources of the NEP's theoretical force — since the land was essentially stolen, anyone living on it now is sort of a squatter, no matter how much time has passed.

I can see few better ways for us — all of us — to make a meaningful start towards ending this parochial and mercenary concept of the land, the very tanah tumpahnya darahku, than by fighting to have the law changed to better protect the rights of the many vulnerable Malaysians who lead borrowed lives on land that will never be their own. Yes, injustices were perpetrated by colonial powers and yes, these injustices involved the appropriation of land, but none of that will change the fact that we are where we are, and the best thing we can do now is move on. Just as we pendatang have slowly lost our moral claim over the places from which our ancestors came, so too must we have gained a moral claim over our present home. Yet despite this, when something like Kampung Buah Pala comes along it is the adversarial minutiae of title deeds and sales documents that occupies us, and not the simple question of who really deserves the land. The history of modern Malaysia is the history of an immense and tangled net of adverse possession — maybe the Kampung Buah Pala fiasco should teach us that, after 52 long years, it's time to stop acting as though this was never the case.

Six months after tree assembly, Pakatan assembles in hotel

IPOH, Sept 2 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Speaker V Sivakumar convened a Perak state assembly “sitting” today at the Heritage Hotel here with 23 other state lawmakers after they were forcibly stopped from entering the state secretariat building this morning.

The sitting, while slammed by Barisan Nasional (BN) as a political ploy, is a move by PR to maintain the stand that it still legitimately controls the legislature nearly nine months after a controversial power grab that is still being disputed.

Sivakumar, who also maintains that he is the legitimate Speaker, presided over the assembly with no BN assemblymen present, even though sitting was arranged for them.

Earlier, police arrested three Perak lawmakers this morning, including state DAP chief Ngeh Koo Ham, as they forcibly blocked a group of PR representatives from entering the state secretariat building here to convene a state assembly sitting.

The PR lawmakers, including former mentri besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, who was ousted by BN in the power grab, were engaged in a scuffle with riot police before eventually dispersing.

Besides Ngeh, others arrested included Simpang Pulai assemblyman Chan Ming Kai; Malim Nawar representative Keshvinder Singh, who was kicked by policemen; and a Nanyang Siangpau photographer.

Three other members of the public, believed to be PR supporters, were also detained.

Keshvinder, who sustained injuries during the scuffle, has been taken to hospital.

Police had rolled out barbed wire and placed riot police with water cannons around the Perak state assembly, brandishing a court order barring assemblies within 30 metres of the area.

PR lawyers had tried in vain this morning to set aside the court order, but could not obtain an appointment with any magistrate.

Sivakumar had called for the sitting six months — as required by law — after the last sitting that was forced to be held under a rain tree.

The Pakatan Rakyat government fell last February when three lawmakers quit to turn independent in the 59-seat assembly, locking both Pakatan and Barisan Nasional with 28 lawmakers each.

The Perak ruler asked Pakatan mentri besar Nizar to quit the post but he refused, saying only the state assembly could force his resignation.

The Sultan also rejected Nizar’s advice to dissolve the assembly and call for fresh elections, and instead named BN’s Pangkor assemblyman Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir as the new mentri besar.

Anwar’s Sodomy II trial on hold... yet again

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II trial date has again been pushed to a later date as has his challenge to get the prosecution to produce a new certificate needed under law for his trial proper to start.

In the criminal High Court today, judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah set November 3 for re-mention of Anwar’s sodomy trial.

The prosecution asked for more time as the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya has fixed October 23 to hear their bid to block the 62-year-old politician from getting his hands on proofs pre-trial.

The judge will also decide on that day when to hear the former deputy prime minister’s bid to strike out the charges against him.

Anwar has maintained that he is innocent and that the charges were cooked up by a prejudiced prosecution to effectively put an end to his political career.

The PKR adviser’s separate suit challenging a compulsory certificate under Section 51c of the Criminal Procedure Code was also postponed today.

The Section 51c certificate is a relatively new provision of law put in in 2007, which must be supplied to the court before trial can begin, to show that the prosecution has given the defence a fair chance to prepare themselves.

Anwar’s lawyers filed the application on Aug 3. They want the judge to set aside the certificate signed by deputy public prosecutor Hanafiah Zakaria, one of the lawyers on the seven-member prosecution team.

They also want the judge to order the prosecution to produce a new certificate stating facts in favour of the defence.

The defence claims the prosecution is misleading the court when there are clearly documents, such as the medical reports from the private Pusrawi Hospital and the government-run Hospital Kuala Lumpur stating that complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan was not sodomised because there was no anal penetration, which is a fact in the defence’s favour.

Coincidentally, judge Lau Bee Lan, from the High Court’s appellate and special powers division, set November 3 to fix a hearing date for the striking out of charges.

Anwar : Siasat Ketua Polis Negara

Dalil Terbaru Hubungan KPN dan Kongsi Gelap

Dakwaan Ketua Polis Negara Musa Hassan terbabit dalam kegiatan kongsi gelap kini diperkuatkan lagi dengan kemunculan satu lagi akuan bersumpah oleh pegawai polis kanan yang pernah berkhidmat di pejabat Musa sendiri.

Akuan Bersumpah oleh bekas pembantu peribadi atau ADC (aide-de-camp) kepada Musa itu didedahkan menerusi blog Malaysia Today.

Kenyataan bersumpah itu adalah susulan daripada akaun bersumpah oleh bekas pegawai polis lain yang tampil mengaitkan Musa dengan kongsi gelap.

Ketua Umum Keadilan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim berkata akaun bersumpah terbaru oleh seorang lagi pegawai yang pernah bekerja rapat dengan Musa harus disiasat dengan bebas dan segera bagi mengelak sistem kepolisan negara menjadi bobrok dan porak-peranda.

"Tidak boleh bertolak ansur dalam hal ini. Kalau kita bertolak ansur, maka keyakinan rakyat terhadap institusi polis, akan terhakis lagi sedangkan ramai anggota polis bersikap profesional dengan prestasi membanggakan," kata Anwar.

Beliau berkata, Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein sepatutnya mengarah siasatan segera dilakukan, bukan cuba menutup tuduhan itu.

"Apakah kini, KPN tutup kes menteri; menteri pula tutup kes KPN?" katanya sambil meminta pimpinan kerajaan Persekutuan supaya lebih serius dalam menghormati undang-undang.

Dalam akuan bersumpah terbaru ini, bekas ADC Musa mendakwa ditugaskan oleh Musa untuk "menyelaraskan arahan mengenai kenaikan pangkat dan jawatan pegawai polis berdasarkan draf dan cadangan yang dibuat oleh BK Tan" - ketua sindiket jenayah terancang yang terbabit dalam pengedaran dadah, pelacuran, ceti haram dan perjudian haram.

Menurut akuan bersumpah itu, Musa turut mengarahkan supaya diwujudkan blog untuk menuduh Timbalan Menteri Keselamatan Dalam Negeri ketika itu, Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum menerima rasuah RM5.5 juta daripada tiga ketua penjenayah.

Pegawai tertinggi polis itu turut didakwa mendalangi tindakan terhadap Pengarah Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komersil, Datuk Ramli Yusof dan pegawai lain kerana menyiasat beberapa ketua penjenayah, dengan mengheret mereka ke SPRM yang ketika itu masih dikenali sebagai Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR).

Bekas ADC berkenaan mendakwa pernah mengadu salah laku Musa kepada beberapa orang kenamaan termasuk Johari dan bekas Menteri Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri, Datuk Sri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad. Bagaimanapun aduan itu tidak diendahkan dan kontrak perkhidmatan Musa dilanjut dua tahun lagi pada 2007.

Kini kerajaan Umno-BN sedang menimbang untuk melanjutkan lagi kontrak Musa.

Anwar berkata Umno-BN tidak harus menutup mata kepada perlakuan Musa kerana ada puluhan akuan bersumpah telah dibuat terhadap Ketua Polis itu yang mengaitkannya kepada pelbagai aktiviti jenayah dan kongsi gelap.

"Terakhir, orang paling dekat dengannya pun menjadi mangsa. Ia mungkin sesuatu yang mengejutkan orang lain tapi bagi kita, ia bukan kejutan," katanya yang dipercayai merujuk kes Datuk Ramli. - (TV Antara)

The Cow-Head Lesson for Merdeka: Delegitimize Violence and Hatred

By Haris Ibrahim,

I am not an indorsee of the civil society joint statement that forms the body of this petition as I was not contactable when it was floated.

I am petitioner No. 331.

You can view and sign the petition HERE.

The 42 MACC Panel members should meet in emergency session on whether Ahmad Said is fit and competent to continue as MACC Chief Commissioner or they s

By Lim Kit Siang,

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Said Ahmad Hamdan has shown himself to be completely callous and heartless over the mysterious death of Teoh Beng Hock who went to the 14th floor MACC headquarters on July 16 to co-operate with its investigations but ended up as a corpse on the fifth floor.

Ahmad Said told Sin Chew that he had been informed that there had been ten cases of people investigated by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) who threw themselves off from high-rise buildings since the establishment of ICAC and there was nothing he could do if people investigated cannot withstand the pressure.

The implication of Ahmad Said’s statement is crystal lear – he is blaming Teoh’s death on suicide for being unable to withstand the pressure of investigation by the MACC, seeking justification in the alleged ten cases in Hong Kong of people “throwing themselves off high-rise buildings” following ICAC investigations.

Ahmad Said should confirm whether there had been ten suicide cases of persons investigated by ICAC in Hong Kong, giving the circumstances surrounding each such suicide – as it will be the height of irresponsibility on Ahmad Said’s part if he is unable to back up his claim.

Furthermore, out of these 10 suicide cases in Hong Kong, how many of them were suspects and how many were witnesses – as MACC had been at pains to declare that it was taking a statement from Teoh as a witness and not as a suspect.

If Ahmad Said cannot substantiate his claim of ten cases of suicide over Hong Kong’s ICAC investigations, he should apologise for making an irresponsible claim.

In trying to absolve all MACC responsibility for Teoh’s death, Ahmad Said is showing utter contempt for widespread public concerns about MACC’s Gestapo operations and interrogation techniques, as well as showing no sense of remorse or compassion whatsoever for Teoh’s death and the bereavement of Teoh’s family.

Ahmad Said should also explain why MACC is so irresponsible as to put out two theories of Teoh’s death – that he committed suicide or he was murdered by people other than MACC.

The 42 MACC Panel members should meet in emergency session on whether Ahmad Said is fit and competent to continue as MACC Chief Commissioner or they should call for his dismissal.

Furthermore, the 42 MACC Panel members cannot continue to be indifferent to the betrayal of the MACC statutory objectives to declare an all-out war against corruption as intended by Parliament as the present MACC had embarked instead on an all-out war against Pakatan Rakyat as catspaw of Umno/Barisan Nasional in the grand conspiracy to the topple the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor State Government.

Walls

By Wong Chin Huat
thenutgraph.com

PEOPLE could be forgiven when watching the prime minister's Merdeka address if they thought they had travelled back in time to 22 years ago and mistook Datuk Seri Najib Razak for Ronald Reagan. Reagan, the then US President, had urged Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Well done for the call, Najib, never mind the lack of originality.

But who is building these walls? I use the present tense because more walls were being built even as the prime minister spoke. A new one was in fact built two days before his speech, after the globally infamous cow-head protest in Shah Alam.


Construction of the Berlin Wall, 1961 (Public domain; source: Wiki commons)

Walls are highly symbolic in politics. Driven by the fear of threats, walls offer security and protection. They are built to keep some people in and others out. Walls are the concrete expression of boundaries, which are to lay claim of entitlement and protect ownership.

The Berlin Wall was built because the East German Communist rulers wanted to keep their subjects in. They feared that ordinary East Germans would vote with their feet and leave the state of East Germany empty. They feared freedom of movement of citizens. And the Russians backed the wall because they wanted to keep East Germany and the Warsaw Pact states from going their own independent ways.

The Golden Shield Project, more popularly referred to as the Great Firewall of China, has been built for a similar reason: to protect the one-party state from free speech and free information. The ancient Great Wall of China was built to keep Hun nomads from rampaging into Han agrarian society.

Why do Malaysians build walls?

So, why do Malaysians build these divisive walls? You can't tear down a wall unless you first address the need for the wall. The Berlin Wall was eventually torn down because Gorbachev realized that the Soviet Union just had to let go of East Germany and larger Eastern Europe.

But contrary to popular belief, Malaysian walls are not built because of the diversity in identities, or competition. Let's just use the analogy of sports for a moment. Sports are characterised by competition, and sporting teams and their fans are passionate about their identity.

For millions of sports fans, support for football clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool or Arsenal is an important identity in their lives. But I doubt many would refuse to live next to, dine with, or date someone supporting another team, let alone someone who likes tennis or classical music more than football.

Of course, the majority of a particular team's supporters won't storm and spit at a mascot of a rival team and threaten bloodshed just to block the rival's entry into the neighbourhood.

The protesters might wave club flags on the field, but they probably wouldn't build walls. In this metaphorical sense, cultural identity is like a sports club flag. It is real, but does not need to be permanent or encompass every aspect of life.

A more valuable characteristic of sports club identity is that diversity and competition are very much at its core. The Arsenal fanatics may fall into depression because of their team's disastrous defeat, but their life mission is not to destroy Man-U or convert all its supporters. In fact, it is only when you can exist alongside your rival teams that a championship can be held, and you have a shot at winning it.

Now, if religions, cultures and languages were supposed to be treasures we want to share with others, and by nature are not zero-sum games, why can't they deal better with competition compared to sports? After all, for some people, sports are merely unsophisticated physical games.

Fear, not diversity


(Silhouettes by mzacha / sxc.hu)
It is quite clear that these "divisive walls" are built by Malaysians because of fear, not a problematic diversity. Malaysians turn to their ethno-religio-linguistic communities not because we don't share common ancestors, the same faith or the same language. We do so because we don't feel secure being individuals. We feel that we would be threatened if we don't have the numbers compared to "others".

We are always in a demographic rat race, or perhaps more precisely a rabbit race of reproductivity. After all, we care so much about our own community's reproductive rate to the extent that making love can be political rather than romantic or sexual.

When we feel frustrated by the decline of our community interests, we turn to our bedrooms and make love to produce more voters 21 years down the line, who can also alter the statistics in the next Malaysia Plan. What a wonderful alternative for democratisation or better public policy!

And is there any wonder why we are so resistant towards interethnic or interfaith marriages unless it is guaranteed that spouses and future children count as "our people" rather than "theirs"?

It's all about the numbers. Why?

The rabbit race

Some reasons are natural. First of all, collective rights require economies of scale. If your community consists of only 50,000 people, you of course can't expect to have an Astro channel catering to just your needs. You may not have even a Wikipedia site in your own language. So, you end up not complaining about not having your People's Own Language (POL) class or being classified as "lain-lain" in census forms. The question is: how big is big enough to be entitled to collective rights in religion, culture and language? This question is important, because the divisive walls are not built by Penan or Orang Laut Malaysians, are they?

Secondly, democratic politics is a numbers game. If we have to divide resources by proportionality, then we need numbers, and we need walls. In fact, we will need to keep on moving our walls outwards to occupy a larger share of the territory, not unlike the Israeli-built wall in Palestine.

The third reason is arguably also reasonable but deeply problematic. We need the numbers from our own ethnic groups or our co-religionists because we are preparing for a showdown with "the others". In this sense, the real problem with the Shah Alam cow-head protest is not about offending religious sensitivities, but the threat of violence employed.

Any mad man or woman may get up to similar antics, but there is no need for society to jump and shout. But by signalling the use of violence to draw the ethno-religious boundary — "we constitute the majority here in this area, we set the rules; you follow or be prepared for bloodshed" — we are at the edge of returning to the barbaric pre-democratic world. We would be chopping heads rather than counting heads.


(Source: kozinets.net)

Tearing them down

To tear down these walls is easy. We need only an impartial state that makes numbers irrelevant to a citizen's right. The day a lone Eskimo Malaysian (if there were one) finds himself or herself enjoying the same rights as a Malay-Muslim Malaysian, he or she would not need to breed to advance his or her interests. He or she need not dream of a divisive wall of his or her own.

Now, is the prime minister willing to build such an impartial state that would treat everyone equally and protect everyone from private violence such as that signalled in the cow-head protest? Are the police willing to pursue the case for incitement of violence rather than the vaguely defined sedition? Is the prime minister willing to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission to stop the conscious partisanship of our police force, which in recent months has behaved more like a police farce? If he refuses to tear down this latest wall, then he shouldn't waste our time.

Truly patriotic Malaysians will fight to free ourselves from these walls, which the prime minister's government and party have helped to build over the years. Selamat Merdeka!

Acceptance over Tolerance : The severed head of sacred cow.

by Augustine Anthony

I must thank a local TV Channel for reminding me about the 8 values of 1 Malaysia in their talk show on the 52nd Merdeka Day with Lee Lam Thye (Tan Sri) and Dr. Chandra Muzzaffar as their guests.

Something that one of the hosts said attracted me more than all other insignificant murmurings and mutterings. The body languages of everyone present seem to suggest that one of the 8 values and that is “Acceptance” as opposed to tolerance should be the new approach that all Malaysians should embrace.

A quick check on the prime minister’s website 1Malaysia.com reveals the following:-

“ACCEPTANCE

On the importance of acceptance over tolerance

ImageI think there's quite a big difference between the two (tolerance and acceptance). I think when you say you tolerate, you don’t quite like it, but you accept it because you have no choice. But if you talk in terms of acceptance, it indicates a state of mind that you are embracing something positively. I think it's important for us to migrate from this concept of mere tolerance to acceptance. Acceptance in the sense that you are ready to accept things. If you’re willing to accept things, if you embrace things willingly, then I think your capacity to look at things in a more positive manner is much better than mere tolerance.”

I am afraid the prime minister though in his heightened consciousness and sharpened conscience endeavors to rebrand and promote a new culture but the prime minister too must understand that there cannot be a universal and total substitute for tolerance by acceptance.

The complexity of a multicultural society complicates the usage, performance and spirit of words and phrases. Some areas are best tolerated as gray area rather than accepting it and we must allow time with an honest reflection to devise a mechanism in which there will be mutual respect for each other.

So when the prime minister said that “I think when you say you tolerate, you don’t quite like it, but you accept it because you have no choice.” perhaps the prime minister had not considered that it is only a state of physical appearance by a deceptive mental projection that reveals a false sense of visual manifestation of “no choice” and any person who observes the physical state would appreciate and understand that there exists a revolting energy vibrating around the person who is in a state of tolerance and given time this energy would eventually translate into a combined, cumulative and potent force that may translate into mental and physical force sufficient to rebel against the elements that break the threshold of tolerance.

The simplistic interpretation of acceptance over tolerance opens up a plethora of colliding questions that touches on personal values on the sophisticated debate between Fate and Freewill.

I can, for now accept somethings as fate, that a child in birth must meet death in old age but this does not mean that I must sit and accept everything that happens to me that brings me unhappiness and this is where I would like to exercise my freewill to tolerate it for a time until it reaches a critical point of unacceptability in which I must make choices in life to confront it.

I can accept that people kill animals for food but as it is not within my power to prohibit the killing of animals for sporting purposes like the slaying of bulls by matadors, I can only tolerate it and at the same time display my displeasure in such a way that one day we may reach a critical mass of people to implement an outright prohibition of killing of animals for sporting events.

But my value of killing of animals for a certain purpose may collide with a vegetarian who for now may tolerate killing of animals for food and may engage in the same process above to attain a critical mass for change but until then he too can only tolerate.

Now it brings me to this final analysis of acceptance over tolerance.

Am I now supposed to sit back and accept the conduct of some individuals parading a severed cow head with blood splattered all around it?

No matter how I look at it, either from a religiously sensitive issue to cruelty to animals, one thing is certain and that is, I cannot accept this despicable act. And as it is not within my power to act against the people involved in this uncouth behavior, I could only tolerate it and translate my unacceptability into writings that may eventually draw like minded people into a critical mass that can demand change for mutual respect.

A state of acceptance may give rise to a phenomenon where the strong and powerful are likely to abuse the weak and meek and the weak and meek can do nothing but accept this predicament.

However an environment where there is mutual respect may promote a society in which the strong and powerful are just and fair whilst the weak and meek are protected and secure.

KOTA SIPUTEH:UMNO tewas kali ke-8?

Dari Harakah Daily

Oleh Abdul Aziz Mustafa

Tindakan Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) mengumumkan tiada kekosongan bagi kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Kota Seputeh akan menjadi bahan gelak ketawa dunia sekaligus menjadikan Umno kalah kali ke lapan walaupun tiada pilihan raya kecil diadakan bagi kerusi tersebut, kata Naib Presiden PAS, Datuk Mahfuz Omar.

“Walaupun tanpa pilihan raya, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) menang kali kelapan setelah menang 7-0 ke atas Umno dan Barisan Nasional (BN) dalam semua pilihan raya kecil selepas pilihan raya umum 8 Mac tahun lalu,” kata beliau.

Keputusan SPR itu, katanya, membuktikan dengan jelas bahawa Umno tidak bersedia menghadapi menghadapi rakyat di dalam pilihan raya.

“Umno amat jelas dilanda ketakutan setelah kalah 7-0.

“Ia semakin menggeletar menghadapi rakyat ketika tsunami revolusi pilihan raya di Jepun yang menyaksikan kemenangan Parti Demokratik Jepun (DPJ) menyingkirkan pemerintahan Parti Liberal Demokratik (LDP) sejak Perang Dunia Kedua,” kata Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena itu.

Tindakan mengelakkan pilihan raya kecil di Kota Siputeh itu juga mencatat sejarah yang memperlihatkan SPR terpaksa memberikan alasan yang akan menjadi bahan tertawa dunia, katanya.

“Alasan SPR itu pasti akan menjadi bahan ketawa dunia. Alasan kartun.

“Selepas ini para kartunis bolehlah mencipta watak kartun ala Upin dan Ipin di mana Umno dan SPR menjadi watak utamanya.

“Amat malang bagi demokrasi negara ini apabila SPR menjadi watak kartun untuk menemani Umno yang menggeletar ketakutan untuk menghadapi pilihan raya dan kuasa rakyat,” katanya.

Mahfuz menyifatkan SPR sengaja mencari-cari alasan apabila mendakwa bahawa Datuk Abu Hassan Sarif masih kekal sebagai ADUN Kota Siputeh kerana beliau tidak menghadiri dua mesyuarat berturut-turut di dalam dua penggal yang berbeza dan bukan dua mesyuarat di dalam satu penggal yang sama.

“Peruntukan mengenai perkara itu tidak langsung memberikan kefahaman bahawa seseorang ADUN hilang jawatannya jika tidak menghadiri dua mesyuarat berturut-turut di dalam satu penggal yang sama,” kata beliau.

Seksyen 51 Perlembagaan Negeri memperuntukkan mana-mana anggota DUN yang tidak hadir sidang Dewan dua kali berturut-turut hilang keanggotaannya dan hendaklah mengosongkan kerusi yang disandang.

Sepatutnya, kata beliau, Umno yang mencabar keputusan Speaker yang mengisytiharkan kekosongan kerusi tersebut dan bukannya SPR pula yang menjadi mahkamah yang mentafsir dan membuat keputusan sebelah pihak.

Mengenai surat cuti sakit ADUN Kota Seputeh ayang diterima oleh SPR, Mahfuz mempersoalkan keengganan SPR menyiasat surat cuti sakit itu.

“Adakah ADUN tersebut mendapat surat cuti sakit? Sedangkan, akhbar Sinar Harian edisi tempatan melaporkan beliau menghadiri satu majlis pada tarikh yang dimaksudkan itu,” beliau mempersoalkan.

Mahfuz mempersoalkan mengapa SPR tidak mengambilkira persetujuan Speaker untuk membolehkan seseoran ADUN tidak menghadiri sidang DUN.

“Kalaupun ada surat cuti sakit, seseorang ADUN mesti menyerahkan surat itu kepada Speaker dan Speaker pula mesti memberi persetujuan untuk membolehkan ADUN berkenaan tidak menghadiri sidang DUN,” katanya.

Sebelum ini Speaker DUN Kedah, Datuk Dr Abdul Isa Ismail telah menghantar surat kepada SPR berhubung kedudukan Abu Hassan dari Umno yang hilang keanggotaannya di dalam dewan itu.

Surat Dr Abdul Isa itu memaklumkan bahawa Abu Hassan hilang keanggotaan setelah dua kali gagal menghadiri sidang DUN pada 19 April dan 9 Ogos lalu.

Abu Hassan, ketua Umno bahagian Jerlun menyandang kerusi DUN Kota Seputeh selama empat penggal berturut-turut.

Idris: Koh the sole KPI minister and "my boss"

Damage control.

Upon swearing-in as a Senator, new minister Idris Jala dispelled media confusion that implied he's, effectively, a sub-minister reporting to a backdoor minister:

"I know the blogs have been quite confused about it. There is no minister reporting to a minister. There is only one minister in charge of KPIs and that is Koh, and I am the CEO of Pemandu, reporting to him."

Idris also clarified his dual role as a minister and as a CEO for a government agency:

"As the CEO of Pemandu, I am not working in the capacity of a minister, as I report to one minister (Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon). There is no duplication of ministerial roles.

However, we are not too sure if Idris will be just a part-time minister with full-pay if what theSun reported implies something outlandish but fiscally outrageous:

Idris said his duties as a minister without portfolio will be assigned to him from time to time.

On the other hand, in The Star, Idris was quoted as saying that Dr Koh is his “boss” in charting the specifics of the KPIs.

Idris was also quoted in the MCA-owned paper as saying that his first task is "to establish what the Government has done so far in its efforts to implement Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)".

I suggest Idris read Aniza Damis (May 2009) to fathom what his "boss" has had in mind. Pick out the excess baggage before he could fly.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS... Anyway, Idris's appointment as a minister has robbed another Umnoputera's chance of becoming a member of Najib's bloated cabinet, the same way Idris was seen as having robbed another Umno's endorsee the chance of helming MAS three years ago.

Candle protest against Religious extremism in Malaysia

Click the picture to make it big

Kampung Buah Pala asks for Najib and police help

The last of CPM's Indian communists

Denied entry to 3rd Floor Komtar.

1st Aug 2009 12noon.

Kampung Buah Pala villagers denied entry to the 3rd floor in Komtar this afternoon without a valid reason. 2 security personnels locked the entrance leading to the SUK office in the reasons of security, Why? Kg.Buah Pala villagers are terrorist? Murderers? or denied entry because they are not the citizen of Malaysia? or have they denied entry because they are not a valid voters? I hope that the Komtar Management Office will release a statement on this matter. We were informed that the securities are controlled by the State Government of Penang, under whose instruction was the entrance locked at the working hours and Buah Pala Villagers denied entry. Why are the State Government alienating this innocent people who are students and parents. Is State Secretariat Office a private place? or is that a secret zone as Pentagon? We want to know the reason why? Was the Villagers carrying weapons? was they come with full LTTE uniform? or what!!!!!!!!! We want to know the reason, Cryingvoices giving 2 days for the Komtar Management to clarify this matter or we would file a case on defamation on humiliation that the Villagers went through.


Rwindraj@Cryingvoices

Kg.Buah Pala Villagers hand over memorandum!


Kg.Buah Pala Villagers hand over a memorandum to state police management division chief ACP Zakri Kamaruddin, who received it on behalf of CPO Ayob Yaacob, at the state police headquarters in George Town at 10.30am.. at Penang Road Police Headquaters(IPK).

Earlier the situation looked tense when some 20 residents arrived at the police headquarters. Estimated crowd will be approximately 50 and the whole program went smooth without any distraction to the public and traffic. We are pleased with the arrangement by the Police personnel today, since we are allowed to hand over the memorandum as soon we explained our intention.


The Memo is not on the Demolition attempts in Kg.Buah Pala, but to request the police to be fair and work with the people and not with the developer.Police have deployed a light strike force squad before the building with some 20 helment-wearing personnel armed with batons and shields.We are not there to create tense or havoc, its just to pass a memorandum to express our disatisfaction to the injustices and harrassment but police personnel during the 13.08.09 demolition attempt and the doubt raised by the illogical arrest of the 3 committee menbers.

It is also stated that Police has no rights to enter the house of any villager here since it is an act of abuse of power. The Developer has to be protected but at the same time the innocent villagers are important and a citizen of this country too. They might have legal standing on the land according to the Federal Court decision but they dont have any rights to enter or demolish the houses in Kg.Buah Pala.


In the memorandum, it is stated that several police personnel were seen following instructions given by the developer company directors Thomas Chan and Gary Ho when the developers attempt was not successful in demolishing the village on Aug 3 and Aug13.

refer : www.malaysiakini.com/news/110437

The dateline for eviction had expired on Aug 31 and the developer had warned that the company?s demolition team would move in any time from today to demolish the houses and flatten the village although the villagers are still seeking a trial in the court and filing an injuction today.

refer : www.malaysiakini.com/news/110473


State police deputy CPO SAC1 Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah told newsmen the police had always been impartial in carrying out its task and would not practice double standards, and told that the accusation that the police is working for the developer as false, but as a writer I am sure there were several officer who was clearly seen working for the developer, Chief Inspector Asree will be one of them.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng must act swiftly to end the villagers? predicament and stop playing the blame political game on the previous administration. The CM should stop passing the buck ? he is responsible for our problem today. He accepted the balance land premium from the civil servant cooperative on March 14 and transferred the land title on March 27. He cannot runaway or hide from his actions and blame UMNO and BN instead of solving the problem here. I think he is not capable of being a good administrator of the state. He is running away from the problem and not striving to solve it and he is only blaming the previous Government and trying his level best to go ahead with the Oasis project!


Soon after handing over the memorandum, villagers proceed to Komtar to show their disatisfaction through a short peaceful demonstration involving about 50 villagers combined with few representatives from the neighbouring villages. About 4 other villages reps were there to see for themselves on the current progress and situation, about 30mins demonstrating peacefully the Villagers were chased out by Chief Inspector Asree the same culprit that is believed and suspected to work for the developer during many demolition processes in Kg.Buah Pala.



*Kg.Buah Pala Villagers denied entry into 3rd Floor in Komtar.. updates soon.


Rwindraj@Cryingvoices

'Cow head' probe done, AG to be briefed tomorrow - Malaysiakini

The police have completed their probe into the controversial 'cow-head' protest and will submit their findings to Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail tomorrow morning.

Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told Malaysiakini that the investigating officer and several others will brief the AG on the matter at his office in Putrajaya.

"We will take further instructions from the AG regarding the case," he said.

The police chief also said more than 60 people, including the organisers, have been questioned over the protest which is being investigated under the Sedition Act by a special team created for this task.

However, no arrests have been made so far.

Last Friday, some 50 residents of Section 23 in Shah Alam staged a protest which received international media coverage and drew widespread condemnation from various quarters including both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat politicians.

The residents, who were protesting against the proposal to relocate a Hindu temple to their area, brought the severed head of a cow to convey their dissatisfaction with the state government.

The resident's action committee chairperson Mahyuddin Manaf later claimed that the appearance of the cow's head was a mystery, and that the protesters did not intend to stir up religious tension.

He also stressed that the act was not meant to belittle the Hindu religion, which considers the animal to be sacred.

Residents to meet minister

Apart from the protesters, the police had also come under fire for not acting swiftly on the day of the protest.

Shah Alam district police chief Noor Azam Jamaluddin later apologised for this during a meeting with Pakatan leaders.

Some of the residents were `o meet Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein tomorrow to voice their grievances.

The minister said the residents, who requested an appointment with him, come from "different political ideology" despite speculation that they were all from Umno.

"We need to look at the angle where a temple is going to be moved there, so we need to go across the political ideology. The relocation could be offensive to anyone," he said.

On Sunday, the minister issued a stern warning against actions that can be detrimental to national security.

Hishammuddin had also said that although there were calls for him to invoke the Internal Security Act in addressing the issue, the Act will only be used as a last resort or in a situation which could harm national security.

On Sunday, Hishammuddin had issued a stern warning against actions that threat national security.

US-based Hindu foundation condemns 'cow head' mob

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has demanded the Malaysian government to conduct a quick and robust inquiry to identify and punish leaders of the mob involved in last week's provocative and insensitive demonstration outside the Selangor state secretariat.

HAF, based in Kensington USA, also wants the inquiry to take stern action on the inaction of the police to stop such an offensive act of religious insensitivity.

HAF public policy director Ishani Chowdhury condemned the demonstration and demanded the Selangor government to rescind the order to relocate a Hindu temple in Section 23 of Shah Alam.

In an Aug 28 letter addressed to Malaysian ambassador to the United States, Ilango Karuppannan, Ishani described the demonstration as "vulgar, religiously provocative, and a racially incendiary act by a Muslim mob."

She also expressed regret that the police stood by and allowed the provocative act to be carried out

Ishani said the mob after Friday prayers threatening violence and bloodshed if the said temple - Sri Mariamman Kovil - was relocated to Section 23 of Shah Alam.

"As if to prove their intent, the mob left the severed head of a cow at the gates of the state secretariat," said Ishani.

She said the cow is considered sacred and revered by Hindus as a "symbol of purity, motherhood and ahimsa (non-violence)."

"We regret that the police failed to stop such provocative act," she said.

Discriminating against minorities

She stressed Malaysia had emerged as a country of particular concern for HAF in wake of numerous Hindu temple destructions and unfair custodial battles in Syariah courts involving single Hindu parents.

She also highlighted the many arrests and persecution of Hindu-Malaysian leaders, and Bumiputra policy laws discriminating against minorities.

"Thus, the countenance by local police of Muslim provocative acts has added cause for alarm in a country that is already facing volatile racial and religious issues," she said.

Ishani said HAF concerned about the law and order situation in the country, and the state's unwillingness to clamp down on religious bigotry.

She pointed such tensions would only bring about a greater sense of insecurity amongst Malaysian Hindus.

"HAF hopes that the Malaysian government would take steps to ensure that interests and rights of Hindus were protected and the temple safely relocated in Section 23 of Shah Alam.

"The leaders of the mob that carried out this heinous act and the policemen, who failed to stop it, must be brought to justice," said the HAF director.

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) condemned the unsavoury incident and accused Umno of having a hand in it.

"I believe Umno and certain police cohorts organised the inflammatory act intended to incite and create racial hatred and ill-feeling among Malaysian Muslims and Hindus," alleged Hindraf's London-based leader P Waythamoorthy (above).

He asked how the perpetrators were able to walk for over 300 metres in public, conduct seditious speeches calling for bloodshed and racial chaos without any interference from the police who were at the scene.

So far, he said police and the attorney-general chambers have done nothing on the contentious issue, except issuing lip service statements.

Fanning racial hatred

Waythamoorthy also slammed Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar for suggesting that the police would only probe the incident if a report was lodged.

"Here we are talking about an outright and outrageous act, fanning racial hatred that could threaten public security and the Selangor CPO says he needed a police report before action can be taken," he said.

Waythamoorthy recalled several instances where police had brutally arrested and questioned peaceful protesters without any reasons.

"To suggest that the police needed a report before they can take any action is absurd and nonsensical," said the Hindraf leader.

The inaction by the authorities, he said was the main reason behind Hindraf's belief that it was the work of Umno and its stooges to create unrest in Selangor.

He said under the so-called 1Malaysia concept, there should be no distinction between Muslim and non-Muslim dominated areas.

Under the concept, he said Malaysia shall be one multiracial and multicultural society with various communities co-existing and living together side by side and respecting each other's religious practices and beliefs.

Instead of promoting harmony amongst Malaysians, he said Umno was fast becoming a public threat by protecting such devious and extremist acts.

"Umno should curtail such irresponsible acts rather than seeding and sowing hatred for their own political survival," said Waythamoorthy.

He said the Prime Minister Najib Razak (above, left) should immediately issue a statement and take a firm stand on the matter.

He said the premier should not delegate this paramount duty to his 'mandores' and eventually hope for the whole issue to be swept under the carpet.

Waythamoorthy plans to lodge formal complaints with the United Nation's Human Rights Council, European Parliament, United Kingdom Foreign Affairs' select committee and the Global Human Rights Defence based in The Hague if the AG's chambers failed to charge these perpetrators.

Waythamoorthy also called on all peace loving Malaysians, who respect and cherish religious freedom and the right to co-exist, to join a Hindraf-organised peaceful candle vigil at Dataran Merdeka at 6.45pm on Sept 5.

What game was the AG playing?

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In 2007, the Commercial Crime Division of Bukit Aman detained a few Chinese underworld bosses said to be linked to Malaysia’s IGP. One of those bosses, Goh Cheng Poh, filed a Writ against the government. The AG, however, refused to prepare an Affidavit in Reply -- meaning that the government would certainly lose its case and Goh Peng Poh would be allowed to walk free. What game was the AG playing? Was he shooting the ball into his own goal to assist the release of a Chinese underworld boss? See the unprecedented AG Chamber's letter to the Deputy Home Minister below.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Selamat Moodeka

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Many Malaysians were born after 31st August 1957. Many were also born after 13th May 1969. Therefore, what they know of history is what has been revealed, or permitted, in the history books. Well, on the aftermath of the 52nd Anniversary of Moodeka, allow Malaysia Today to walk you through a brief Malaysian history lesson.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

The recent development in Shah Alam has changed the entire landscape of the National Day celebration. What used to be known as Merdeka Day has now been renamed Moodeka Day. That will be the day all Malaysians will remember as the day a cow’s head was dragged to the Selangor State Secretariat building as a mark of protest.

Of course, it appeared like the protest was against the relocation of a Hindu temple from section 19 to section 23 in Shah Alam. Actually, the protest was against the Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, PKR Exco Member Rodziah Ismail, and PAS Member of Parliament Khalid Samad. They threw Dr Xavier Jayakumar in just to give it more ‘balance’ even though the good doctor is a Christian and not a Hindu.

The Hindu temple concerned was built 150 years ago at the time when that part of Selangor was still just a jungle. Then the jungle was cleared and turned into a rubber estate and, soon after, the temple emerged to serve the needs of the Indian estate workers. So the temple was built long before Shah Alam ever became a residential area, let alone a Malay residential area.

In that sense the houses that came along 100 years or so later encroached on the Hindu temple. It was not a case of a Hindu temple being built in a housing area, or a Malay housing area. It was a case of the houses being built in the Hindu temple area. So the houses were ‘disturbing’ the Hindu temple rather than the other way around. But the Hindu temple was asked to relocate because it was accused of disturbing the housing area whereas it should have been the Hindus who should have protested against the houses that were now ‘disturbing’ their temple.

Now, what has the above got to do with the National Day celebration? Nothing! But if I don’t bring this up then how can I explain why the National Day will forever be remembered as Moodeka Day?

But Moodeka Day only applies to West Malaysians. East Malaysians did not see independence until six years later on 16th September 1963. But the East Malaysians are also being asked to celebrate Moodeka Day or Independence Day on 31st August since the Hawaiians also celebrate the American Independence Day even though they did not get independence on 4th July 1776 but were in fact colonised much later on 21st August 1959.

But the Hawaiians don’t mind. They know they never got independence on 4th July 1776. In fact, they also never got independence on 21st August 1959 since they were annexed rather than freed. But by becoming America’s 51st state they now could have the US Dollar as their currency and this is more valuable than the beads that they used to use to trade in.

Of course, today, the US Dollar is not as valuable as the beads that the Hawaiians used to use as currency. There are so much US Dollars being printed that the US government has lost track of the actual amount of US Dollars in circulation. Today, the US Dollar has the same status as Malaya’s ‘Banana Money’ during the Japanese occupation. The only thing is the Japanese lost the war while the Americans did not. So the Banana Money is no longer worth anything while the US Dollar is still accepted as valid currency. But if the Americans had lost the war while the Japanese had instead won, then, today, the Banana Money would be the currency we trade in rather than the US Dollar.

No one disputes the fact that the US Dollar is an accepted currency only because we need it to trade in oil. But if the world suddenly switches to another currency for its oil trade then, poof, the US Dollar would go the same way as the Japanese Banana money.

But, of course, this will never happen because all the dictators of the world and the corrupted leaders keep their ill-gotten gains in US Dollars. If the US Dollar suddenly goes the way of the Japanese Banana Money then all the billionaires who plundered their own countries would be broke overnight. So it is to the interest of the corrupted people of the world to ensure that the US Dollar still retains its value so that they can continue being billionaires. Hence, oil will still be traded in US Dollars for the sake of the corrupted and in the spirit of the rallying call; Corrupted of the World Unite.

The Hawaiians, however, are beginning to realise that being colonised by the Americans because of the benefit of the US Dollar is slowly beginning to lose its attraction. A day will come when beads will be more valuable than the US Dollar and the Hawaiians will want to revert to beads as their legal tender. And that will be when the Hawaiians will demand true independence and America will be reduced to just 50 states.

And that is also the case with the East Malaysians. They realise that the Brunei Dollar is more valuable than the Malaysian Ringgit. The Brunei Dollar is at par with the Singapore Dollar and is accepted as legal tender in Singapore. The Malaysian Ringgit, however, not only is much lower in value, can’t be used in Singapore. Singapore shops will not accept the Malaysian Ringgit. And it is very hard to deal ‘under the table’ with the Ringgit since the largest Ringgit is only RM50 while you can get a Singapore Dollar as high as 10,000.

Imagine how many bags you need to pack to bribe a Malaysian politician RM10 million in cash if you pay them in Ringgit compared to using Singapore Dollars. So the Singapore Dollar is more useful if you need to pay off a Malaysian politician. And this is why East Malaysians prefer Singapore Dollars instead of Malaysian Ringgit. So what is the purpose of Sabah and Sarawak being part of Malaysia when it is so difficult to deal in Malaysian Ringgit when bribes need to be paid?

Anyway, East Malaysians resent the fact that they are being asked to celebrate 31st August as their National Day and that the recent National Day was dubbed as the 52nd Anniversary. This is not only because they never got independence on 31st August or, for that matter, never got independence at all, but also because they never ‘joined’ Malaysia in the real sense.

You see; Malaya already existed on 16th September 1963. By then, it had already existed for about six years. So, six years after Malaya’s independence from Britain, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Brunei were invited by Malaya to form a new country called Malaysia.

Brunei, of course, refused because the Sultan realised that they would not be ‘joining’ a new country but would in fact be colonised by Malaya. And the fact that Malaya was behind Azahari who started a revolution and tried to topple the Sultan convinced the Sultan that Malaya’s intention is mala fide. And when Singapore left, or got kicked out of Malaysia, depending on whose history book you read, this convinced the Brunei Sultan even more that his decision was right.

Sabah and Sarawak did not leave though. No doubt, back then, there was talk that a few of the East Malaysian leaders were also contemplating doing what Singapore did. But since all these leaders somehow died in a mysterious plane crash and since ‘dead men tell no tales’ we will never know the truth. And immediately after that the leadership of East Malaysia shifted into the hands of the pro-Malaysia group and those still anti-Malaysia, after seeing what happened to those who mooted the idea of leaving Malaysia, decided to just go along with what the leaders of West Malaysia wanted. It was safer to play along than to also die in a mysterious plane crash.

But why are the East Malaysians so unhappy about being in Malaysia? Well, for starters, 50% of the oil and gas comes from East Malaysia but they do not get 50% of the development expenditure. In fact, the other 50% of the oil and gas comes from Terengganu but they also do not get 50% of the development expenditure. Terengganu does not even get 5% oil royalty like what the East Malaysian states get, at least not since 1990. The money goes to Umno.

The main bone of contention for the East Malaysians is that they never joined Malaysia, and for sure not on 31st August 1957, the date they are being asked to celebrate as their National Day or Moodeka Day. Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Brunei were invited to form a new country called Malaysia based on an equal status with Malaya. So, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Brunei would be at par with Malaya, not become one of the states of Malaysia.

Today, however, Malaysia is said to have 13 states, down from 14 after Singapore left or got kicked out. But that is not true. Malaya originally had 11 states -- Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan. These 11 states were under the Federation of Malaya. Then the Federation of Malaya merged with Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia. So, there were now four member countries of Malaysia -- Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore -- and not 14 member states.

And that is why Lee Kuan Yew still wanted to be called the Prime Minister of Singapore. But the Prime Minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman, did not agree to that. He wanted Lee Kuan Yew to be ‘downgraded’ to the status of Chief Minister of Singapore, just like the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak. Malaysia can’t have two Prime Ministers, argued the Tunku. And if Lee Kuan Yew still insists on remaining as the Prime Minister of Singapore, then Singapore would have to leave Malaysia.

And so Singapore did leave Malaysia though it left because it was chased out over a fight of whether Malaysia can or cannot have two Prime Ministers.

Now, of course, Malaysia has reverted to having two Prime Ministers. And Prime Minister 2, as we all know, is Najib Tun Razak. If Singapore had stayed in Malaysia then we would now have three Prime Ministers. And, knowing Rosmah Mansor, the Singapore Prime Minister would be Prime Minister 3.

No doubt Sabah and Sarawak are still allowed certain ‘extras’ compared to the 11 West Malaysian states. For example, they don’t have a CPO (Chief Police Officer) but a Police Commissioner. And the Sabah and Sarawak Police Commissioners get to drive around with flags on the bonnet of their cars, which CPOs of West Malaysia can’t do.

And the Police Commissioners of Sabah and Sarawak get to fly around in a police plane although they can get arrested and charged for doing so -- like the pervious Police Commissioner of Sabah, Ramli Yusuff -- if the IGP testifies during your trial that you were on leave that day even though you were not.

Furthermore, West Malaysian lawyers can’t practice in East Malaysia unless they first obtain permission while the Sabah and Sarawak Immigration Department can refuse to allow West Malaysians entry into the state. This is meant to give the impression that Malaysia is honouring the 20-Point Agreement that says Sabah and Sarawak are not at par with the 11 West Malaysian states but are, in fact, par with Malaya.

To West Malaysians, whether National Day should be celebrated on 31st August or 16th September is not important and whether this year it should be the 52nd Anniversary, or 52 minus six, is also not important. But to the East Malaysians it is. And this is what West Malaysians are not sensitive about.

Nevertheless, while West Malaysians and East Malaysians may disagree on these points, one thing that all Malaysians unanimously agree on is that 2009 will forever be remembered as Hari Moodeka in the spirit of the cow’s head that was dragged to the Selangor State Secretariat building in Shah Alam in an attempt to duplicate a coup in Selangor like what they did in Perak not too long ago.

Selamat Moodeka everyone!

Soi Lek slams Tee Keat for pushing alternative EGM

By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Deposed MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek today slammed Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat for allegedly abusing his executive power to frustrate grassroots efforts for their own EGM and calling for an EGM of his own.

Ong, who is the MCA president, called an EGM three days ago in an apparent effort to fend off a bid by his rivals to unseat him less than a year into his presidency.

MCA secretary general Datuk Wong Foon Meng today tried to avert a two EGM scenario and has given supporters of Chua until Friday to submit their EGM agenda saying that two EGMs would be a waste of party resources and delegate’s time.

When contacted for a reaction, Chua said that Ong’s EGM, the wish for only one EGM and the deadline was an attempt to put pressure on his grassroots supporters and confuse them.

“It’s grossly unfair and abuse of executive power,” he said.

“Saying that there are too many EGMs is just a flimsy excuse. It was the grassroots who started the ball rolling for an EGM. Then out of the blue Ong calls for an EGM to show that they have the power. It was the same grassroots who put the president into power and because they have a difference in opinion, he tries to deny them their right to call an EGM. It is a blatant excuse of power by the incumbency that will not go down well with the grassroots and will provoke a bitter reaction.”

Chua also alluded to the MCA leadership crisis in the 1980’s where efforts for the grassroots to call an EGM were sat on by the then acting president Datuk Dr Neo Yee Pan, saying that “history is repeating itself.”

Wong told reporters that the date and agenda of the EGM called by Ong will only be available when the notice of the EGM is sent out.

He added that the September 4 deadline for Chua’s supporters to submit their agenda was to enable the party adequate time to prepare as the EGM has to be held by September 30.

He confirmed however that Chua’s supporters still have the right to call an EGM after the Friday deadline expires.

He added that MCA will be holding its annual general meeting on October 11 and the party headquarters wanted to avoid having too many meetings as they will result in the central delegates spending too much time travelling and causing unnecessary inconvenience to them as well as utilising too much time of the headquarter’s human resources.

Datuk Theng Book, who is one of the grassroots leaders pushing for an EGM in support of Chua, told reporters that even if they were to submit an agenda, it might not be approved and that he has no problem with two EGMs taking place.

Supporters of Chua, who was recently sacked for tainting the party image via his extra-marital scandal that was exposed two years ago, are pushing for an EGM to reinstate him and remove Ong.

The two EGM scenario is a reflection of a party that is split down the middle.

Chua still enjoys widespread grassroots support and the backing of two ex-presidents while Ong has the support of the presidential council and many members of the central committee.

Muslims can now enjoy Black Eyed Peas’ Arthur’s Day

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — In an about face, Malaysian Muslims can now attend the Arthur’s Day concert featuring US hip-hop band Black Eyed Peas this Sept 25.

The organisers did not give a reason for the change although its www.arthursday.com.my clearly said the concert at the Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach was for non-Muslims as reported by The Malaysian Insider on Aug 27.

The hip-hop band is headlining the concert organised by Guinness to celebrate the 250th anniversary of its founding in Dublin, Ireland.

Concert organisers Artists World Entertainment said today anyone was free to attend the event which “is open to all individuals aged 18 and above”.

“As a reputable concert organiser with years of experience showcasing international acts in Malaysia, we will continue to adhere strictly to the conditions as stated in our licensing approvals,” they said in a statement.

The ban against Muslims came on the heels of a planned PAS protest against the Michael Learns To Rock concert in Genting Highlands in four days time and last month’s abortive caning of a Muslim mother of two for drinking beer, raising fears of creeping Islamisation in daily life.

The federal government said the punishment was “too harsh” and threatened Malaysia’s reputation as a moderate nation, adding the caning was being reviewed despite the woman asking for a public whipping.

In a statement to celebrity news site TMZ, Guinness said: “The Ministry in Malaysia determines the parameters in which the concert can be handled. We will adhere to whatever the regulations are in the country.

If that is their point of view, that’s their point of view,” but adds “Everybody has a right to go or not go to the concert.”

Sivakumar determined to go ahead with sitting

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sep - Ousted Perak speaker, V. Sivakumar who fears interference from the state secretary, says he is committed to holding an assembly sitting inside the state secretariat building in Ipoh tomorrow.

“I'll go ahead with it,” he told The Malaysian Insider over the phone this evening.

Sivakumar had failed in his bid to get the Ipoh High Court to issue a restraining order against Datuk Abdul Rahman Hashim earlier this afternoon.

Sivakumar said past attempts by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state lawmakers to hold meetings inside the state secretariat building had been effectively blocked by Abdul Rahman — from the last inquiry by its rights and privileges committee, which he also helms, to the March 3 sitting which ended with the infamous gathering by PR assemblymen under a nearby rain tree.

He charges the state secretary, who heads the civil service in Perak, to be biased towards the rival Barisan Nasional (BN) faction.

“During the March 3 sitting, the Ipoh OCPD said that the State Secretary authorised him to prevent the Assembly from sitting,” Sivakumar said in his press statement.

“We didn't want them to do the same thing,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Judicial Commissioner Tarmizi Abd Rahman, who heard the case in his chambers, rejected the bid after Perak state legal adviser Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid opposed the application and asked for 14 days to file affidavits.

Instead, he fixed October 1 to hear the matter, dismissing arguments from Sivalkumar's counsel, Chan Kok Keong, that the issue would be made redundant by then.

Sivakumar, who is also the state assemblyman for Tronoh, was the first ethnic Indian elected to the speaker's seat following the fledgling Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) landslide victory in the general elections last year.

He said he had already notified all the state lawmakers, including from the rival Barisan Nasional (BN) faction, of tomorrow's sitting, and would proceed with “Plan A” — which is to head to the state secretariat on Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang in Ipoh and try to hold the assembly at 10am tomorrow.

He admitted that he does not know what will happen tomorrow.

“I don't want to speculate,” Sivakumar said.

But he added that he had a back-up plan to hold the assembly elsewhere. He refused to reveal further details.