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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pointless To Be Popular Only Among Party Members - Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Saturday reminded all Barisan Nasional (BN) component party leaders that it was pointless for them to be popular only among party members but not among the people, to the extent of losing their support.

Najib, who is the BN chairman, said in a parliamentary democracy, the people had the absolute power and it was they who determined the BN's fate in every election.

"Whether we are leaders of Umno, MCA, MIC or other BN component parties... we should ask ourselves whether we are popular among the people and not just among party members.

"If we are popular among party members, we can win party posts, but whether our party is relevant or not, it depends on our ability to win the hearts of the people to support the BN," he said when opening the 63rd MIC Annual General Assembly at the Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre, here.

"It is for this reason that Umno, MCA, MIC and other BN component parties should remember to see things from this perspective, for if we forget, we will be punished by people during elections," he said.

Also present was Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

In a spirited speech that was greeted with thunderous applause from the 1,464 MIC delegates and over 1,000 party members and observers, Najib said the people of today were much more well-informed owing to the policies of the BN government.

"The minds of the people are wide open. That is why, to be a party that is relevant, and for the BN to be relevant and continue to be relevant, we must be connected to the rakyat. We must keep in touch with the people... when we are in touch with them, we will get the their support," he said.

The prime minister also said that if BN leaders made it a practice to visit the grassroots often and to be humble to the people, "we will never lose anything."

"I have given a clear signal that this is the approach that we should take because BN is a good product," he said.

Najib also stressed that it was important for BN leaders to demonstrate the kind of leadership valued by the people.

"The people hate us if we are arrogant, despise us if we show off our wealth and adore us if we truly fight for their causes," he said.

Najib also said that to be close to the people, he introduced the "walkabout" concept which he started in Petaling Street, Lembah Pantai and Brickfields on the third day after he became the prime minister.

"I enjoyed it because I can be with the people of Malaysia. If I, as the prime minister can do it, other leaders can also do it. Go down, be with the people, be humble and be simple," he said.

Najib also said that the BN was an institution and a political structure that had done a lot of good deeds to the people since the era of the Alliance Party, and stressed that only through an political institution like the BN could the country be developed as a successful nation state.

"BN is not a 'marriage of convenience'. It is a political structure based on political unity," he said.

In his speech, Najib also spelled out the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for the MIC -- to regain the support of the Indian community which it lost in the 12th general election last year.

He called on MIC leaders and members to work diligently and "to refrain from doing what should not be done."

"Go down, serve the Indian people, serve the people of Malaysia. Be loyal servants to the people," he said to the cheers of those presence at the event.

The MIC lost six out of nine parliamentary seats it contested in the last election, including the Sungai Siput seat held by MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

The party also lost 12 out of 19 state seats, largely attributed to the dwindling support among the Indian community.

Referring to Samy Vellu's speech earlier, Najib said he had fulfilled almost all of what the MIC president had requested for the Indian community.

This includes allocating RM100 million for Tamil schools, RM15 million for the Tekun fund, RM20 million for skills training and RM1 billion of allocation each for the Amanah Saham Wawasan and Amanah Saham 1Malaysia.

Najib said the government would continue to give more assistance and allocation of fund to develop the Indian community but stressed that members of the community should also reciprocate in one way or another by giving support to the government.

"We have given a lot and we will continue (to give). But we need the Indian community to respond, to show that you are with the BN," he said, a remark that prompted a standing ovation among the delegates and observers.

The prime minister also called on the Indian community to be with other communities in turning Malaysia into a great nation under the BN government and to work together to achieve the 1Malaysia concept of "One People, One Nation and One Dream."

On the 1Malaysia concept, Najib said the government would be fair to all and that the concept was also based on the Malaysian constitution and Rukunegara (National Principles).

"We want to be fair to all; to be fair to all races is not only socially right, it is also very Islamic. Islam is a universal religion. Islam says be fair to all... it's in the eighth verse of the Surah Al-Maidah. If you dispute what I say, read the Quran, read the translation of the Quran," he said.

Najib also said that being fair was not about taking from the Malays and give it to others.

"Not at all. We have the wealth in the country, and we respect our constitution."

He also said that that poor people, irrespective of whether they are Malays, Chinese or Indians, should be assisted in line with the 1Malaysia concept.

"If we can do this, I believe we will be able to regain the people's support and restore the confidence in the BN, because the BN is a proven institution," he said.

The situation was very much different in the opposition pact which consisted of parties with conflicting ideologies, with one member pushing for a secular government, the other wanted a theocratic Islamic state while the stand of another was not clear, he said.

"They cannot really govern Malaysia... the are just making more promises," he said.

Najib also questioned the promises given by Pakatan leaders to the people of Kampung Buah Pala in Penang.

"In Kampung Buah Pala, who told the priest 'don't worry, if we win you will stay here forever'? Where is the leader who said this? Until now he has not shown his face there because he has not fulfilled his promises... his broken promises," he said.

Najib said the BN would not make promises it could not fulfil.

Meanwhile, Najib had the audience in stitches at the beginning of his speech when he spoke about Samy Vellu's statement several days ago that he (Samy Vellu) had a "hydrogen bomb", to which former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam replied by saying that he too had a bomb -- a "nuclear bomb."

"I heard of these bombs and asked the police bomb disposal unit to carry out a sweeping; and they said that there was no bomb in PWTC.

"So we can now proceed with the general assembly safely," he said. The audience responded with a hearty laughter.

Najib: More goodies if Indians 'repond'

One Malaysia or two Malaysia's? - Anil Netto

Do we really have OneMalaysia or “two Malaysia’s” – one for the rich and the other for the lower-income group. Here’s something I wrote for Aliran:

The Najib administration has touted its One Malaysia slogan in the weeks leading up to the Merdeka and Malaysia Day celebrations.

Certainly, the objectives of One Malaysia are noble enough. After all, who – except for a small minority bent on promoting racial and religious discord – wouldn’t want national unity? This is not to say that an imposed uniformity – rather than a healthy plurality is a good thing. But most of us can agree that overcoming barriers and promoting better understanding would be positive.

But in reality, One Malaysia is going to be be hard to achieve especially when in quite a few spheres we have two or more Malaysia’s in practice. (And I am not even talking about the entrenched bumiputera – non-bumiputera dichotomy here.) Full article here.

160909 : Launch of the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia initiative - Haris Ibrahim

Next Wednesday, 16th September, 2009, Hari Malaysia, my friends and I who have been working on the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia initiative will launch the same.

At the Rumah Anak Bangsa Malaysia, No.66, Lorong Setiabistari 1, Bukit Damansara.

Don’t know where that is?

No problem.

The map is HERE.

We’ll share with you what took us almost two months to put together : the Anak Bangsa Malaysia Charter.

We’ll launch our website.

And we’ll share with you our plans to take the message of One People, One Nation far and wide.

We’d like to see you at the launch.

If you’re joining us, please note that registration of attendees starts at 6pm.

The launch presentation is slotted to take off at 6.30pm, followed with a press conference and thereafter the sharing of a simple buka puasa meal with all those present.

We’re catering food.

Not a whole lot of food because, quite honestly, we haven’t got much money.

Truth is I’m hoping that we won’t have enough food for all of you who turn up, because that might mean we underestimated the numbers who care.

Should that happen, I’m banking on the love, tenderness and respect that I am certain you will all bring to the Rumah more than making up for any lack of food.

SABM T-shirts and badges and buttons will be on sale so don’t forget to bring your money which, I will shamelessly tell you, we need to push our programs forward.

Please treat this post as a personal invitation from my friends and I to you.

Do I love Lord Ganesha? - Haris Ibrahim

Commentator Zainal did not approve of my “The beautiful Malay” post.

This is the comment he sent in yesterday :

zainal Says:
September 11, 2009 at 9:41 pm e

I think you are munafik…I don’t think you practising islam…is better for you to declare yourself as murtad so that all the malays knows that you are non muslim. By doing this we can distinguish either you kafir laknat or kafir dhimmi. Kafir laknat or munafik, Allah promise you the lowest level of hell. When you declare yourself murtad, at least you “tak melagakan orang2 islam”. Please if you love very much the Lord of Ganesha…just practise hindusm.

Here’s my response, Zainal.

If you are unable to remain emotionally neutral, and if love or hate are the only two options available, love would be the better, don’t you think?

I mean, hate is so, so, negative, don’t you think?

Hate eats at your innards leaving you all ugly on the inside, can’t you see?

And if you can’t see this, I won’t fault you because you did not have the benefit of a lifetime with a woman who had the ability to see the beauty in everything the naked eye, and more, could perceive.

So let me say this loud and clear.

I do love Lord Ganesha and I do try to practise all that is beautiful and good that I perceive of the Hindu faith.

Just as I do love and try to practise all that is good that I find in all the other faiths, without exception.

You know, the kindness, compassion, charity, equality, justice, annihilation of the ego thingy that the Holy Qur’an extols on its adherents.

It’s there, in all the other faiths, if you’d only allow yourself the chance to discover this.

Does this make me a murtad from Islam?

That’s a matter between God and I, don’t you think?

So why don’t we leave that vexing question to God so that you and I can continue to live in peace?

That would be better than you or I hating each other, don’t you think?

If you can’t quite understand all that I’ve written here, don’t lose sleep over it.

You may, in time, God Willing.

I’ll pray for you.

As MIC delegates vote, Najib's call for change weighs on party

Datuk S. Subramaniam casting his vote. – Picture by Jack Ooi

By Baradan Kuppusamy- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 – No Prime Minister has ever spoken so directly, so openly and so emotionally at a MIC general assembly or received such a spontaneous and sustained standing ovation as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak did today.

His speech sent out a strong signal for reform and change to the 1,500 delegates.

Najib drew huge applause when he said that “being popular in your own party is not good enough”.

“It is more important to be popular with the people,” he said in a clear reference to MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who sat fidgeting on the stage, his face in a permanent scowl.

“I have never heard such an open and direct exhortation for action coming from an Umno leader at an MIC assembly,” said veteran MIC delegate Datuk Seri V .K. Visvanathaan.

“The speech is an eye opener,” he told The Malaysian Insider. “This is his first MIC assembly as a Prime Minister and he went into the core of the issue immediately."

Najib talked about relevance – how the BN and the MIC can survive by being relevant and staying in tune with the people.

“I have KPIs for ministries, for government agencies and for GLCs,” Najib said.

“I have a KPI for the MIC - win back the support of the Indian community.”

He expanded on the theme: “Go back to the Indian people. Be humble, be courteous, work hard and regain their trust."

The speech comes hours before the delegates begin voting to pick either a “official” line up fielded by Samy Vellu or a change for the better team fielded by arch rival Datuk S. Subramaniam.

The speech, Subramaniam supporters say, is a clear signal for change.

“I don’t see how he can be more clear then this,” said S. Periasamy, managing director of the Makkal Osai newspaper which supports Subramaniam.

Supporters of Samy Vellu appeared taken aback.

“This speech and the strong signal for change and reform is unexpected,” said a supporter of Datuk G Palanivel.

“But we think the signal is directed at Samy Vellu and not Palanivel who is also for change and reform.”

Delegates have started voting and results are expected at about 7pm.

BN must deliver its promises, says Samy Vellu - Malaysiakini

MIC president S Samy Vellu said BN must deliver on its promises collectively as one coalition, and not individually as component parties in a veiled reference to the lack of support from Umno.

He said the people regarded the BN as "one" and not as separate entities.

"The people only see us as BN and the 1Malaysia government. So let us partner to prosper the people," he said in his address at the opening of the 63rd MIC General Assembly here.

The two-day assembly was opened by Prime Minister Najib Razak. Also present was Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Samy Vellu said the MIC could not deliver the expectations of the Indian community individually as it needed the government's intervention.

Although Samy Vellu was not referring to any particular situation, the MIC had in recent times, especially after the BN's poor showing in last year's general election, was blamed for not doing much for the Indians.

The MIC chief had in the past mentioned that the MIC could only recommend action plans for the Indians but it needed the government's intervention to implement them.

However, Samy Vellu said since Najib became the prime minister some five months ago, he had put in place a proper mechanism for the implementation of programmes for the Indian community.

"There is now greater confidence towards the BN," he said, adding that many decisions were being made through the Cabinet Committee for Indians.

Indians' plight must be addressed

He also said that the MIC had proposed that a Scheduled Investment Trust Fund be established by the government for the Indian community to achieve the three per cent equity target by 2020.

"The current equity position of the Malaysian Indians is only 1.1 percent. We need to increase this by another 1.9 per cent to achieve the three percent target by 2020," he said.

He also proposed that the intake of Indians into the civil service be expedited to achieve the 7.4 per cent quota for Indians set by the government.

"We also would like to seek the assistance of the government to instruct government-linked companies to provide adequate employment opportunities for Indians. We are also aware that many Indians are employed on contract basis; hence, we urge the government to ensure they are absorbed as permanent staff," he said.

He said the party also wanted the government to expedite the conversion of partially-aided Tamil schools into fully-aided schools.

Samy Vellu said it was also important to accelerate national unity initiatives as proposed under the 1Malaysia concept.

"We propose that every ministry and government agency should develop and incorporate a National Unity KPI which must be implemented and measured in a timely manner right up to the district level. Allocation of KPI weightage up to 30 per cent must be encouraged for national unity," he added.

MIC will be holding balloting for its party polls - considered as the most tense and most watched in the 63-year history - after the opening ceremony.

Results will be known at about 6pm today.

- Bernama

Najib: Win in party, but lose in polls gets BN nowhere - Malaysiakini

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has urged all Barisan Nasional component party leaders to not only be popular in their own respective parties but with the people too.

Najib (left), who was addressing the 1,464 MIC delegates at the opening of the party's 63rd Annual General Meeting, said it is pointless if BN leaders are popular only within their parties.

"Umno, MCA and MIC must evaluate how far we are popular with the rakyat, not just in the party.

"If we are popular among party members, and we can win party posts, but whether our party is relevant or not, it depends on our ability to win the hearts of the people to support the BN.

"We within Umno, MCA and MIC must not forget this. Or else we will be punished in the next general election. The people's voice is 'keramat' (sacred) and let us not forget this," he said.

In a spirited speech that was greeted with thunderous applause from the 1,464 MIC delegates and over 1,000 party members and observers, Najib said the people of today were much more well-informed owing to the policies of the BN government.

"The minds of the people are wide open. That is why, to be a party that is relevant, and for the BN to be relevant and continue to be relevant, we must be connected to the rakyat. We must keep in touch with the people... when we are in touch with them, we will get the their support," he said.

Also at the function were Najib's deputy Muhyiddin Yassin and MIC president S Samy Vellu and other BN component party leaders - Dr Koh Tsu Koon (Gerakan), Ong Tee Keat (MCA) and Malaysian United Indian Party (MIUP) president S Nallakarupan.

'Good product, good leader'

While Najib did not mention who the component party leaders who were only popular within the party but not with the people, he could be referring to Samy Vellu who has seen MIC losing its popularity in the Indian community.

He urged that the MIC's key performance index (KPI) to be geared towards regaining the full support of the community.

Getting repeated standing ovations for most parts of his speech, Najib said "you must 'buat kerja' (work hard), go down and serve the Indian people, serve the people of Malaysia.

"You must be loyal servants of the people. There is a Malay proverb 'kalau ular menyusur di akar tak hilang bisa'. If we go to the ground we will never lose the support of the people."

"The signal is clear we need a good product, a good leader... a leader who has the characteristics who is easy and is easily accepted by the people," the prime minister said.

He said being the country's leaders means one must be humble to the people.

"The people like humility and simplicity. They (the people) hate leaders who are arrogant who want to show off their wealth.

BN unity, Pakatan diversity, 1Malaysia


Najib also spoke on the role of the nation's forefathers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, his father Abdul Razak Hussein (Umno), Tan Cheng Lock (MCA) and VT Sambanthan (MIC) who played crucial roles in achieving the country's independence.

"If it were not for the unity and hard work shown by our forefathers, we would not have achieved independence from the British," he said.

Attacking the Pakatan Rakyat coalition as a marriage of convenience, he described the BN as a political institution based on political unity.

"One party is theocratic state (PAS), one is really secular Malaysia (DAP). Can they really govern Malaysia?" Najib asked.

"Look at the promise they made to Kampung Buah Pala. They made promises, don't worry if we win, you all will stay here forever. But looked what happened."

Najib said that he is promoting the 1Malaysia concept to promote national unity as it is also in line with Islam to be just to all races.

"We must be fair to all. If you do not believe me look at the Surah Al-Maidah chapter verse 8."

Najib also said that being fair was not about taking from the Malays and give it to others.

"Not at all. We have the wealth in the country, and we respect our
constitution."

Support BN and you will get more help

He also said that that poor people, irrespective of whether they are Malays, Chinese or Indians, should be assisted in line with the 1Malaysia concept.

"If we can do this, I believe we will be able to regain the people's support and restore the confidence in the BN, because the BN is a proven institution," he added.

Referring to Samy Vellu's speech earlier, Najib said he had fulfilled almost all of what the MIC president had requested for the Indian community.

He pledged that more assistance will be passed to the Indian community if they show their support to BN.

"We have already allocated RM100 million for Tamil schools, RM2 billion for the Indian community, another RM15 million to assist young Indian entrepreneurs. We will continue to provide if the response is good.

"We need the Indian community to show their support to BN. Show us that you are with BN. We have given a lot and we will continue (to give). But we need the Indian community to respond, to show that you are with the BN."

Hydrogen bomb vs nuclear bomb

The prime minister and BN supremo called on all the community to work together.

"Let us be one family, and share one dream, one nation, one people, and one Malaysia," Najib said ending his speech which was met with a standing ovation.

Earlier, Najib had the audience in stitches at the beginning of his speech when he spoke about Samy Vellu's statement several days ago that the MIC president said had a "hydrogen bomb", to which former MIC deputy leader S Subramaniam replied by saying that he too had a bomb - a "nuclear bomb".

"I heard of these bombs and asked the police bomb disposal unit to carry out a sweep, and they said that there was no bomb in PWTC.

"So we can now proceed with the general assembly safely," he said.

MIC Elections 2009: Police Chief Warns Against Trouble-makers At MIC AGM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 (Bernama) -- Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Muhammad Sabtu Osman has warned of stern action against trouble-makers at the MIC annual general meeting (AGM) tomorrow.

He said the police had received reports that certain groups of people would create a commotion at the two-day meeting where party polls would be held.


"Those going in and out will be screened thoroughly by the police...we take this matter seriously," he told reporters after launching the Hari Raya crime prevention programme at the Jusco Taman Maluri Shopping Centre in Cheras here Friday.

"For those of you who think that you are big gangsters, please don't be big-headed and presume we will not take any action against you," he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will open the AGM.

-- BERNAMA
****

MIC Polls Result Expected From 6pm


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 (Bernama) -- The first results of the closely- watched MIC polls tomorrow are expected at 6pm, beginning with the outcome of the tussle for the central working committee (CWC), election committee chairman Datuk K. Vijayanathan said on Friday.

The winners of the 23 CWC seats would be announced first, followed by that of the three vice-presidents and deputy president, he said.

Vijayanathan, who heads a six-member committee, urged delegates to be calm and restrained and to vote without fear.

"The election committee assures delegates and members that it will be very transparent and fair. Nothing to be worried about. I expect a smooth election," he told Bernama.

The battle for the deputy president's post contested by incumbent Datuk G. Palanivel, former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam and Datuk S. Sothinathan is the climax of the election.

Palanivel is backed by president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu who was returned unopposed for a record 11th term which will end in 2012.

Vijayanathan said, voting would start at 11.30am and was expected to end about 2.30pm, at the Putra World Trade Centre, adding that results would be announced after the votes for all posts were counted on the third floor of the centre.

More than 100 people would be involved in the counting process and the candidates and their agents are allowed inside.

The votes would be tallied first for the CWC contest where 63 are vying for 23 places, followed by those for vice-presidents in which seven are battling for the three positions, and lastly, the deputy president.

Vijayanathan explained that delegates must tick the right number of names, according to the number of posts being contested.

Any less or more would make the vote invalid, he said.

The election committee would be "flexible" if there was request for recounts, he added.

Vijayanathan reminded candidates that campaigning ended at noon today, and if there was evidence of any candidate flouting that, they would be referred to the disciplinary committee.

-- BERNAMA
*****
MIC Youth Members Can Air Complaints Online


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 (Bernama)-- MIC Youth members can now air their grouses online to the movement's portal through the "e-MIC Youth", as part of its Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

Its vice-chief, V.Muligan said the service was not meant to punish national and state leaders, and division heads but was rather aimed at solving problems raised by members at the grassroots level quickly.

"All divisions must strive to solve problems posted to the e-MIC Youth within three days.

"If they can't, the complaints will be brought up to the state or national level to be solved within one week," he told reporters at the launch of the e-MIC Youth here on Friday.

Muligan said he would monitor all reports on the complaints made through the e-MIC Youth every week.

"We will analyse every report from major cases to small ones like scholarships, birth certificates, single mothers and aid for the poor.

"This will enable us to understand problems faced by the Indian community better," he said.

-- BERNAMA
****
MIC Elections Test Of Samy Vellu's Grip In His Final Term


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 (Bernama) -- The MIC polls on Saturday will decide the direction of the party and will be a test of Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's grip on the party going into his final term after 33 years almost unchallenged as the president.

A determined Samy Vellu has assembled his own team in incumbent deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel, who is defending his post, Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, Datuk S.K. Devamany and Datuk M. Saravanan to clinch all the three vice-president tickets and any 23 of 27 candidates for the 23 seats in the central working committee (CWC).

Former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam and vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan, both of whom are going for the No. 2 post, and several other candidates have called for change and they believe that that can only be possible if Palanivel is defeated to weaken Samy Vellu.

The losses suffered by the MIC at the last general election could weigh on the balloting pattern.

This makes the election probably the most tense and most watched in the 63-year history of the MIC.

Campaigning officially ended at noon today but the wooing of the 1,464 delegates is expected to continue into the wee hours of tomorrow right until voting time.

A Selangor delegate who declined to be identified said MIC members and the Indian community in general wanted leaders who can boldly voice out the aspirations of the Indian community and also work well with other component parties so that the party would regain its respect.

Another Klang Valley delegate said the MIC faced the task of regaining the support of the Indian community.

"In the last general election, the MIC lost many seats because the community turned to vote opposition candidates," he said.

Party veteran and vice-president Datuk S. Veerasingham is for Samy Vellu's team. "Everyone wants to try the catchy word 'change' which has been used by (US president Barack) Obama. Samy Vellu's request to the delegates is to vote those he endorsed so that they can work with him," he said.

Universiti Putra Malaysia lecturer M. Neelamegham said that while change was the key word for most of the candidates, they had failed to focus on what type of change they were talking about.

He said whatever the change, emphasis must be on more opportunities for youth members and empowerment of MIC state leaders.

"Even until now MIC has come out with so much of planning, (but) they have to implement it and focus on their future programmes," he said.

Universiti Sains Malaysia senior lecturer M. Sivamurugan said that in making their decision, the delegates should look at the characters of the candidates and focus on the need to strengthen the party following the near wipe-out at the last general election.

"The changes are very important and should be drastic ... the party and members have to prepare for the next general election," he said.

Another attention grabber will be the race for the 23 CWC slots for which the president has endorsed 27 of the 63 contenders.

"This election is going to be a disappointment for Samy Vellu because many candidates who are not in his list will likely win," said a woman delegate.

Samy Vellu retained the top post unopposed in March for a record 11th consecutive term that will end in 2012.

-- BERNAMA
Samy hits out at Dr M, Utusan, malaysiakini
author_photo("RK Anand")
RK Anand
Sep 11, 09
5:19pm
MIC president S Samy Vellu today lashed out at former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia daily for interfering in his party polls.

In a brief exclusive interview with Malaysiakini, the 73-year-old president said it was the 84-year-old statesman who excelled in the art of 'destroying deputies'.

Samy Vellu said while he had one deputy for 25 years, Mahathir had four during his 22-year tenure.

This is the first time Samy Vellu had openly criticised the former Umno president despite the latter's negative comments about him in the past.

He was responding to an article published in Tamil daily Makkal Osai yesterday which quoted Mahathir expressing support for the MIC supremo's arch nemesis S Subramaniam.

The daily is linked to Subramaniam, who is attempting to reclaim his deputy president post which he lost to incumbent G Palanivel in 2006. The party elections is tomorrow.

'He sat beside me for 25 years'

Samy Vellu said he was tickled by Mahathir's accusation that he had never allowed any other leader in his party to grow.

"When I took over the presidency, there was one man who sat there for 25 years next to me. (It was) none other than the same Subramaniam.

"If I would finish people with a vengeance (as alleged by Mahathir), I don't think he would have been there for 25 years," he added.

The veteran MIC president also disagreed with Mahathir's accusation that he never groomed leaders in the party.

"I only had two leaders (as deputy president) during my total period of 29 years (as president). Ninety percent of the time, it was Subramaniam and he is still not satisfied.

"He is not happy about they way we treated him like a Maharaja. He was really like a prince in MIC. The latest... three years Palanivel was there," he said.

'Master of destroying deputies'

However, Samy Vellu pointed out that there was a trail of destruction in terms of deputies when it came to Mahathir's track record.

Apart from his three deputies who were given the boot, the former premier was also credited with playing a pivotal role in engineering the downfall of his fourth deputy Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who succeeded him in 2003 and vacated the post this year.

"Look at the history of Mahathir. Who was his first deputy... Musa Hitam. What happened to Musa? I know the story as I was in the cabinet," said Samy Vellu.

"After that (it) was Ghafar Baba. What happened to Ghafar Baba? A man who was a nationalist was thrown out of the cabinet just like that," he added.

"The third Anwar Ibrahim, there was a time when Mahathir said Anwar is the only man who can control the country... He praised him so much. But what happened to Anwar?

"Who really destroyed the deputies? He is a master in destroying his deputies. I don't destroy any deputies, they stayed there for such a long time," he stressed.

In the past, Samy Vellu said that he bit his tongue out of respect when Mahathir criticised him.

"I still consider him as a great leader and a builder of a modern nation. So I didn't want to make any unnecessary comments about him even though when I stood for elections (last year), he said don't vote for Samy Vellu.

"I would have trashed him. I am not afraid of anybody... man lives once and he dies once. It doesn't matter, I am prepared for anything," he added.

Was Umno behind it?

As for Utusan, Samy Vellu labelled the Malay daily as a 'racist' publication which went against the 1Malaysia concept espoused by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The daily had carried a report on its front-page today quoting political analysts saying that Samy Vellu should quit.

Although the MIC president said he did not know if the Umno leadership was behind the report in an attempt to sway votes in the party elections, observers claimed that the agenda was obvious.

"I don't know how much of Umno's intervention is involved. But it is usual for Utusan to act like the big brother and hit everyone flat and they feel happy about it...," said Samy Vellu.

"I don't know if this Umno leadership would stoop down to this level (of masterminding such a report)... in any case, whatever Utusan has done is not going to disturb us," he added.

Samy Vellu stressed that MIC members and the Indian community do not believe the news that appear in the daily.

"I give you an example, the cow-head incident, we all condemned the demonstration thinking that it will bring about racial misunderstanding and brew trouble in the country

"But that news, they don't carry. They carry news in support of the cow-head demonstration, they are determined to do something that is (detrimental) to others rather than what is true," he said.

"Secondly, as and when you give them some news, the news must be to their taste and not the truth, then only they will publish.

"Nowadays, I don't call their reporters anymore because we feel it is sort of a very racial paper which does not contribute to national interests," he added.

'Hydrogen bomb'

Samy Vellu was also asked to comment on whether a MIC leader who came into power riding on the support of Umno would be subservient to that party and not be effective in defending the Indian community.

Training his guns on Subramaniam, the president said: "He is already subservient to Mahathir, I don't know to what extent he is subservient to Umno... he needs somebody to push him forward. He can't stand on his own legs."

"Is this the type of leadership that the Indian community needs... a community that is suffering from poverty and just attempting to come up... it needs a leader who can talk and bring about change," he added.

Asked on the 'hydrogen bomb' (damning evidence) which he claims to have against Subramaniam, Samy Vellu said: "He actually thought he is blasting a hydrogen bomb... he comes out with this and that about Samy Vellu.

"I have got many things about Subramaniam. If I detonate that, it will become a hydrogen bomb... how irresponsible he behaved when he was in government positions," he added.

On why he had not detonated the bomb as yet, Samy Vellu said: "I don't want to do that ... unless it is extremely necessary."

********

themalaysianinsider.com

Attacks on Samy not meant to stir MIC polls, says Dr M

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

PETALING JAYA, Sept 11 - Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad denied accusations that his scathing criticism against MIC president Datuk Seri Samy Vellu was intended to influence the outcome of tomorrow’s party polls.

The influential figure also shrugged off suggestions that he was backing Samy’s enemy, Datuk S. Subramaniam for the party’s deputy presidency post when he sang praises about the former MIC deputy president in an interview with Makkal Osai, a Tamil daily belonging to the latter.

“My statements are my personal opinion. I am not backing Subramaniam but as I said before, MIC will fall if Samy is still president and what I say has nothing to do with the party polls,” he told a brief press conference here.

The public squabble between Dr Mahathir and Samy started when the former openly called for his one time staunch ally and supporter to be removed from the helm of the Indian-based party which is suffering from a collapse of confidence from the country’s Indian electorate.

The former premier had said, and reiterated today, that Samy who was “elected” unopposed for the 11th time as president six months ago, is the cause behind the loss of support towards MIC.

“I have said it before the general elections last year, if Samy is still the president of MIC, the party will lose,” said Dr Mahathir today.

Samy retaliated by accusing Dr Mahathir of neglecting the Indian community when he was in power and today said the former premier was notorious for his “skills in destroying his deputies.”

He also accused Subramaniam of playing dirty, alleging that his enemy had seek external forces to canvass for support, an accusation Subramaniam vehemently denied.

Observers note that Dr Mahathir’s statement would cause a “staggering” effect and would in a way influence the outcome of the party polls tomorrow.

Should Subramaniam be elected, party insiders believe his victory would be the first step towards the party’s effort to oust Samy who has been clinging to power for more than two decades now.


*****

Subramanian Denies Getting Outside Help In Mic Election Bid


KLANG, Sept 11 (Bernama) -- Former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam has denied he is banking on external influence to canvass for votes in his bid to recapture the deputy presidency in the party elections on Saturday.

He said it was beyond his control should any political party leader outside the MIC make favourable statements about him.

"He (MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu) gets upset whenever somebody praises me ... everyone has the right to speak," Subramaniam told reporters after attending a gathering with about 900 members and delegates of the Klang MIC Divison near here on Thursday night.

An online news portal yesterday carried an article published on the front page of a local Tamil daily which had quoted former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as praising Subramaniam, among other things.

In a statement later published on the portal, Samy Vellu was reported as saying that Subramaniam had lost whatever credibility that was left in him by seeking the help of people outside the MIC.

"Subramaniam is so desperate that he has to seek the mandate from Mahathir to win in the party elections. He has brought shame to the MIC members and the party," he was quoted as saying.

Subramaniam said Dr Mahathir spoke his mind without fear or favour and the paper just published what he had said.

"I had nothing to do with it. I am grateful to him (Dr Mahathir) because he had said something nice about me," he said.

Subramaniam is challenging incumbent deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel for the post of deputy president. Another candidate for the post is vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan.

A political analyst from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, told Bernama that the chances were there for Subramaniam to get sympathy votes in the party elections following the decision of the MIC Central Working Committee (CWC) to refer Subramaniam to the disciplinary committee.

Samy Vellu had said the disciplinary action against Subramaniam and legal action against former vice-president Datuk V. Govindaraj were for making a media statement that he (Samy Vellu) defeated Subramaniam in the election for the MIC deputy presidency in 1977 by using dirty tactics.

-- BERNAMA
******

themalaysianinsider.com

Can Subramaniam make it?

By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — The focus of the MIC election tomorrow is the fierce three-cornered contest for the deputy president’s post in which incumbent Datuk G. Palanivel is being challenged by former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam and newcomer Datuk S. Sothinathan.

For party president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu, who is backing Palanivel, 60, the battle is what Tamils call maana perachanai or an issue of personal pride.

If Palanivel loses it is not only the end of his political career but the defeat would put the final nail in his coffin.

After dominating the MIC since 1979 it will be the exit door for Samy Vellu following his defeat in Sungei Siput in 2008, the loss of the Works Ministry and his sidelining by the political establishment.

Samy Vellu is going all out to help Palanivel win, seeing in his victory a chance to hang on for more years as MIC president.

In the unlikely chance that Sothinathan is victorious, Samy Vellu is likely to easily dump Palanivel and embrace his former blue-eyed boy through whom he could also extend his tenure.

But he would face unrelenting pressure to quit if Subramaniam upsets his plans and emerges victorious.

What is Subramaniam’s chance for victory?

It is a question in the minds of many Malaysians, not just MIC members but also Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat supporters.

The Subramaniam today is different from the leader who contested Palanivel in a straight fight in 2006 and lost miserably by polling only 495 votes to Palanivel’s 933.

After March 8, after Hindraf and after Makkal Sakthi, Subramaniam is emerging as the only MIC leader able to stand on his own and is seen as the one person in the Indian community who can give the MIC a future.

Large crowds of Indians, many of them expelled from the party, had gathered to hear Subramaniam speak during his campaign stops across the country.

In Klang last night nearly 1,000 Indians, many of them not even MIC members, gathered to hear Subramaniam speak for change and why the MIC needs to change now or face death.

A specially made video of Subramaniam – his rise, work, contributions – were shown to the crowd who clapped and cheered at every turn.

Earlier when Subramaniam arrived they carried banners depicting his slogan Change for the Better, and shouted Subra! Subra! At one point they hoisted him onto their shoulders.

It was the kind of Indian grassroots welcome given to lawyer P. Uthayakumar in the wake of the Nov 25, 2007 Hindraf protest.

While he might he attacked and sidelined in the MIC, Indian community support for Subramaniam is growing among former party members who had supported the Pakatan Rakyat.

The enthusiastic reception he got on his campaign rounds is evidence of this, his supporters said, pointing to fact that his campaign promise to reunite the MIC and take back all individuals expelled from the party, has touched their hearts.

“They want to come back but they have no place to come to, no home unless the MIC opens the door to them again,” said Datuk K. Tangavellu, who was part of the crowd in Klang on Thursday night.

Subramaniam may be gaining ground in the Indian community as perception of him as rebel leader gains credence but to win in the deputy president’s contest he needs to convince at least 720 of the 1,450 MIC delegates to back him.

Subramaniam supporters claim they started the contest with 500 votes in hand. These are hardcore Subramaniam supporters.

“We need another 250 votes and victory is ours,” they said adding that they expected Sothinathan to split the remaining 1,000 votes and give Subramaniam a chance slip through.

“It would be a narrow victory,” his supporters said adding the winning majority would be about “50 or 60 votes.”

Such an optimistic prediction belies the fact that Samy Vellu has been working hard criss-crossing the country to win support for Palanivel.

He has been working the telephone for up to 18 hours a day, his senior aide said.

“We are confident of victory but a narrow one,” he said adding that at least 800 of the delegates are “diehard” Samy Vellu supporters.

“They will vote as directed by Samy Vellu…without question,” he said.

In addition Samy Vellu’s camp is euphoric over their belief that the support given to Subramaniam by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would backfire as the party rank and file did not like it.

“This is clear interference in MIC politics to help Subramaniam…it will backfire,” a senior MIC leader said.

“Mahathir did little for Indians in the 22 years as Prime Minister and for him to support Subramaniam now does not go down well without delegates.”

Samy Vellu has been capitalising on the issue, attacking Subramaniam for bending over backwards to betray the MIC with an “outsider.”

Samy Vellu has another chance to go for the jugular on this issue after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak opens tomorrow's assembly.

“That’s when Samy traditionally gives a speech in Tamil just before voting starts,” said the veteran MIC leader. “He might use the Tun Mahathir-issue to move delegates to reject Subramaniam for inviting outside interference in the MIC election.”

Subra & Palani & Sothi

MACC, lay off the opposition, investigate this instead!

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MACC wants to clean up it's extremely tarnished image. MACC wants to make a police report against anyone who accuses it of wrongdoing or abuse of power. MACC wants to investigate all the opposition leaders -- basically a 'fishing expedition' to try, with some luck, to catch opposition leaders who may have committed wrongdoings. But MACC refuses to take action on clear-cut crimes with documents to support the allegation of these crimes.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Samy Vellu's bank account the subject of police report
Susan Loone, Malaysiakini, 7:03pm Mon Jan 12th, 2004

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (Keadilan) today lodged a police report on documents purportedly linking MIC president S Samy Vellu to the controversial misplacement of nine million Telekom shares intended for Maika Holdings.

In the report lodged at federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman this morning, Keadilan deputy Youth chief Faisal Sanusi claimed that the party had received documents containing allegations against Samy Vellu involving the Telekom shares.

Faisal told reporters that details of the allegations came from a letter dated Sept 15, 1994 written by the former chairperson of MIC public relations committee, V Subramaniam. He added although the information was available in 1994, no action seemed to have been taken by the police and Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).

"The documents show him of having assets far beyond what a minister would hold on his normal salary," Faisal told reporters outside the police headquarters.

Malaysiakini has obtained photocopies of Samy Vellu's bank statements issued by the Bank of Commerce, which showed the transfers of millions of ringgit between March and May 1992 - at the height of the Maika's Telekom shares scandal. However, the veracity of the bank statements could not be determined. Subramaniam, who is not available for comment today, had since withdrawn the 1994 letter, which subsequently put a stop to the issue then.

"GK Rama Iyer, a much respected former Treasury official ... and chairman of Maika at the relevant period of 1990 has recently in a letter published in the Malay Mail on Dec 10, 2003, called for a reopening of the investigation by the ACA into the issue of how these 9 million shares never reached Maika," said Faisal. "We agree with and endorse his call."

Chief Inspector Mariapan Manikam from the public relations department received the 19-page report and documents attached from the complainants.

Mariapan said he would forward the documents to the relevant authorities immediately. In his 10-year-old letter, Subramaniam, who is also former PJ Barat MIC chief, alleged that investigations in 1992 on the matter was "frustrated due to fabricated documents and accounts and a false trail". The letter accused Samy Vellu of allegedly hijacking the Telekom shares which were intended to benefit Maika and the Indian community.

Samy Vellu, who is the works minister, has vehemently denied this. He is currently in New Delhi on official business and is unavailable for comment. Meanwhile, PKR vice-president R Sivarasa called on the police to immediately re-open an investigation into the allegations and forward the matter to the ACA, for re-investigation.

Sivarasa, who was also present during the press conference, urged Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to explain to the Indian community how Maika lost the nine million shares, originally meant for its betterment.

"The Indian community, of which the shares should have benefitted, needs an immediate answer to this long-standing issue," he said.

In 1992, Maika Holdings was reported to have failed to account for much of the RM10 million worth of Telekom shares offered by the Finance Ministry for the benefit of the Indian Malaysian community. Only RM1 million worth of shares were retained by the investment arm while the remaining RM9 million shares were diverted to three private companies, two of which are RM2 companies and said to be proxies of the works minister. The controversy subsided after police and ACA investigations cleared Samy Vellu.

But the scandal erupted again a month ago following a row between the MIC president and his political rival and MIC splinter party - Indian Progressive Front - president MG Pandithan. Discontented Maika Holdings shareholders recently held a gathering to air their grouses. The company responded that the allegations were part of a plan to tarnish its image by those who were seeking to buy shares at a depreciated price.

Penan Support Group media statement on the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Penan Girls and Women in Baram

By Penan Support Group

The police, it appears, are still in denial. Or at best, are ineffectual.

In September 2008, news broke out that Penan girls, some as young as 10 years, were being sexually abused by logging workers in the Middle Baram area of Sarawak. However, local politicians and the police were quick to dismiss these as mere allegations without any basis.
Such lackadaisical attitudes compelled the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to establish a National Task Force comprising ministry officials and women NGO representatives to investigate the ‘allegations’. Aided by local activists in Sarawak, they were able to meet with some of the victims and their families in November 2008.
Ten months later, on 8 September 2009, the report was finally made public. The findings, however, were not surprising – the rapes and sexual abuse did occur and the Penan girls are still vulnerable because of the lack of policing and development in their area.
The police, it appears, are still in denial. Or at best, are ineffectual.
The Associated Press reported that Huzir Mohamed, the head of Sarawak's police criminal investigations department, probed three complaints last year but found "nothing with proper evidence for us to proceed in court." Huzir also insinuated that this was due in part because “the activists did not give specific details to support their claims”.
We take offence to this statement and perception. We maintain that it is the police who have dragged their feet in this matter before back-pedalling on their earlier willingness to work with NGOs on this matter.
For the record, it should be stressed that it was the police who invited us to the meeting with the IGP and other senior police officers at Bukit Aman on 2 January 2009. The police knew they were unable to get the victims and the witnesses to come forward to give information and statements simply because the Penans did not trust the police. Instead, they trusted the NGOs more.

At this meeting, the IGP pledged that Bukit Aman would give its fullest support to a Police-NGO joint investigation mission.

Towards this end, Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin, the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), together with senior police officers from Sarawak, met with Sarawakian NGOs on 20 January 2009 in Kuching. The purpose was to discuss logistics and terms of references for the joint investigation mission.
As requested, a draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for the joint investigation mission and a proposed itinerary for a week-long mission were subsequently submitted for their approval. The Sarawak NGOs gave an assurance that the police team would be able to meet the Penan victims and witnesses, but in neutral venues that were acceptable to the Penans.
It took the police seven (7) months to respond. At another meeting on 17 August 2009 in Kuching with SAC Huzir Mohamed of the Sarawak Police, the Miri Resident Officer and some others, we were told that the RM100,000.00 allocated for the joint-investigation mission by the Sarawak Police Contingent was only for their use and not for the NGO’s participation.
In short, we got the impression that they did not want the NGOs to be involved in the investigation. Our role was only to make sure the Penan victims and witnesses turned up at the place and date of interview as appointed by the police. The official written reply from the CID Director dated 27 August 2009 suggested that this was so.
It was also clear from the meeting on 17 August 2009 that the police and the authorities were incapable of appreciating the fact that the crux of the whole issue at hand is the distrust the Penans have for the police and the authorities, let alone the loggers.
So, to entrust the Resident's Office to provide personnel such as interpreters and to depend on the logging companies for transport, as suggested at the meeting, is as good as saying you are not interested in getting to the truth of the matter.
The police may cite procedure and laws for not going ahead with the IGP’s pledge to have a joint Police-NGO investigation mission, but their willingness to work with parties that are a part of the problem, leads us to suspect the sincerity of the police in their handling of the sexual abuses cases among the Penans.
The Penan Support Group considers the long-occurring sexual abuse of the Penan girls a hideous crime. It is also a distressing symptom of the overall situation the Penans and other vulnerable indigenous groups in Sarawak are facing today. We are committed to seeking justice for the victims and to expose and correct the wrongs being committed in Penan society.

What if the UK applies the same principle as the Shah Alam Malays?

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What if the UK applies the same principle as those propagated by the Shah Alam Malays? Meaning: places of worship should not be built in majority residential neighbourhoods of those not of that religion (like no temples or churches in Muslim-majority areas). Should, therefore, British Christians allow mosques in their non-Muslim-majority neighbourhoods?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

In mid-2008, the estimated resident population of the UK was 61,383,000, up by 408,000 from the previous year -- out of which 2,000,000 are Muslims. And there is a ratio of one mosque for every 4,200 UK Muslims.

Source: http://www.statistics.gov.uk

*************************************************

This is the most comprehensive list you could find online of mosques and masjids in the United Kingdom

Source: http://www.islamicguide.co.uk/Mosques/Europe/UK

*************************************************

UK's Muslim population has risen to 2 million

Alan Travis, home affairs editor, Guardian, UK

The Muslim population in the United Kingdom may now number as many as 2 million, the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, disclosed yesterday during an official visit to Pakistan.

The last published official estimate of the size of the Muslim community in Britain was 1.6 million, based on the findings of the 2001 census. The updated Whitehall estimate confirms the position of Islam as the second largest faith community after Christianity, and means that Muslims now make up 3.3% of the UK population.

The 400,000 increase in the size of the Muslim community in less than seven years demonstrates its position as the fastest growing faith community in Britain, and also reflects the age structure of the community, with more than one-third under the age of 16 at the time of the 2001 census. Outside London, Pakistani Muslims make up more than 43% of the community, with Bangladeshis accounting for 17%, and those from India at 9%. In London, the Muslim community is more evenly split between Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims.

Smith, who was making a speech in Islamabad which highlighted Anglo-Pakistani counter-terrorist cooperation, stressed the Muslim contribution to British society. She quoted a new estimate of 10,000 Muslim millionaires in Britain and an overall community contribution of £31bn a year to the economy. Smith is the first British minister to visit Pakistan since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the elections in February and is holding ministerial meetings on counter-terrorism and immigration.

The home secretary acknowledged in her speech that there are four Pakistani Muslim MPs in the Commons, including two ministers, and more than 200 local councillors throughout the UK.

Smith said that "there is nothing Islamic about terrorism" and urged the majority Muslim communities in Britain and Pakistan to challenge the advocates of violent extremism and protect those most at risk of recruitment to their cause.

"We also need to support the institutions where these individuals operate, making them aware of and more resilient to the apologists for violent extremism. In my country that includes parts of our education system, our prisons, our youth clubs, and our community centres," she said in a speech to Pakistan's National Council of the Arts.

"We also want to ensure our universities provide high-quality learning about faith and Islam and to establish the UK as a centre of excellence outside the Islamic world for Islamic studies."

She highlighted the role of a Foreign Office programme which is designed to remove misconceptions about what it means to be a British Muslim. This programme, which has been running since 2005, creates opportunities for British Muslims to travel from the UK to Pakistan and elsewhere in the Islamic world to talk about Islam in modern Britain.

Kelemahan MIC disebabkan Samy Velu

MT setuju mansuhkan kuota pemilihan

Poll: Pakatan scores on reforms, but lacks experience

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — They have a mixed bag of politicians. They often are at loggerheads with each other over ideology. And governing the states under their control has not been a walk in the park.

But what is the public perception of Pakatan Rakyat — the alliance of Parti Islam SeMalaysia, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and the Democratic Action Party – vis-a-vis Barisan Nasional?

A survey conducted in mid-August shows that the Opposition coalition’s public posture on human rights and democracy is gaining some traction with voters.

The objective of the poll covering 1,000 registered voters was aimed at gauging how the public perceived the Opposition 16 months after Election 2008 where Pakatan Rakyat made unprecedented gains.

Since then, Malaysians say that PR's biggest strength is that it fights for democratic reforms (31 per cent), fights for transparency and is against corruption (29 per cent) and advocates fairness for all races ( 27per cent).

This finding is not surprising given that the Opposition have been calling for the rehabilitation of Malaysia's institutions, especially the judiciary and the police.

Pakatan Rakyat has also been at the forefront of the movement to abolish the Internal Security Act and a slew of other regressive legislation.

Broken down according to race, 65 per cent of those who think that PR's biggest strength is racial fairness are Malays, 24 per cent Chinese and 11 per cent Indians.

Some 59 per cent of those who felt that PR's main selling point was fight against transparency are Malays, 32 per cent Chinese and 9 per cent Indians.

About 63 per cent of those who believe that PR stands for democratic reforms are Malays, 26 per cent Chinese and 11 per cent Indians.

On the flip side, those polled by Vox Malaysia said that PR's biggest weakness compared to BN was its inexperience in governing (38 per cent); bickering and fighting among members of the Opposition grouping (35 per cent) and the absence of a "good candidate" for the premiership. (20 per cent).

Broken down according to race, 67 per cent of those who think that PR's biggest weakness its its experience in governing are Malays, 27 per cent Chinese and six per cent Indians.

Some 62 per cent of those who think that PR's biggest weakness is infighting are Malays (62 per cent), 28 per cent Chinese and 10 per cent Indians. Nearly 70 per cent of those polled who believe that PR's lack of a clear candidate for the PM's is its biggest weakness are Malays, 13 per cent Chinese and 18 per cent Indians.

ADO claims nothing wrong in using state funds for political parties

By Neville Spykerman- The Malaysian Insider

Teng (left) was irritated by Tahir’s claims that there was nothing eye-raising about RM500,000 in allocations being spent in two months.

SHAH ALAM, Sept 11 — An Assistant District Officer today admitted that he took only a minute to rubber stamp applications for state funds amounting to millions of ringgit made by Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers at the Gombak District Council ahead of last year’s general elections.

Tahir Bujang, who is currently serving in the Sepang District Office, told the Special Select Committee for Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) hearing that what the money was used for was not his concern.

Other district officers have testified that applications for funds are usually approved within 14 days, but the process was expedited in the run-up to general elections, when more staff and resources were allocated for the purpose .

However Tahir amused the Selcat panel when he revealed that he could process any surge in applications without increasing his staff strength.

According Tahir, who was testifying on day four of the public inquiry into how state allocations were being used by lawmakers in the previous and current administration, the funds meant for small projects at state constituencies were considered “contributions” from the mentri besar’s budget.

He added that there was nothing extraordinary with BN lawmakers using their entire annual allocation amounting to RM500,000 just before the March general election.

This raised the ire of Selcat chairman Teng Chang Khim who told Tahir he needed to go back to National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN) and lectured him on good governance and financial administration.

“The funds are not good will contributions by the mentri besar but taxpayers’ money, which had been budget and approved by the Selangor legislative assembly, to be spent over the course of one year,” said Teng.

The state watchdog also grilled Tahir and Gombak District Officer Huzaini Samsi over why state funds was used to pay for BN organised activities and for rental of an UMNO service centre in the district.

While Huzaini admitted this should not have happened, Tahir said guidelines issued did not prohibit state lawmakers from channelling state funds to political parties.

He said they could spend the funds on any programmes so long as it was used in their constituencies.

However, when it was pointed out he had also approved a donation to Universiti Malaya, which is in the Federal Territory, Tahir said the money was meant for students from Gombak who were studying there.

Temperatures were further raised when Tahir agreed to a sarcastic suggestion from Teng that funds could also be donated to students from Gombak who are studying at University in London, in Russia or anywhere else in the world.

Tahir received another tongue lashing from Teng who said his answers were illogical.

Meanwhile Huzaini also revealed that RM10 million was allocated to each of the nine districts in Selangor in 2007 for small projects, in addition to the RM500,000 annual allocation for the same purpose, for BN lawmakers.

The projects and contractors were determined by the state government and the role of the District Office was to ensure the money was spent before the end of that year.

He added this was the first time such funds were allocated and agreed with the suggestion that it was part of BN’s campaign effort ahead of the general elections.

The public inquiry resumes on Monday.

Can Subramaniam make it?

By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — The focus of the MIC election tomorrow is the fierce three-cornered contest for the deputy president’s post in which incumbent Datuk G. Palanivel is being challenged by former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam and newcomer Datuk S. Sothinathan.

For party president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu, who is backing Palanivel, 60, the battle is what Tamils call maana perachanai or an issue of personal pride.

If Palanivel loses it is not only the end of his political career but the defeat would put the final nail in his coffin.

After dominating the MIC since 1979 it will be the exit door for Samy Vellu following his defeat in Sungei Siput in 2008, the loss of the Works Ministry and his sidelining by the political establishment.

Samy Vellu is going all out to help Palanivel win, seeing in his victory a chance to hang on for more years as MIC president.

In the unlikely chance that Sothinathan is victorious, Samy Vellu is likely to easily dump Palanivel and embrace his former blue-eyed boy through whom he could also extend his tenure.

But he would face unrelenting pressure to quit if Subramaniam upsets his plans and emerges victorious.

What is Subramaniam’s chance for victory?

It is a question in the minds of many Malaysians, not just MIC members but also Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat supporters.

The Subramaniam today is different from the leader who contested Palanivel in a straight fight in 2006 and lost miserably by polling only 495 votes to Palanivel’s 933.

After March 8, after Hindraf and after Makkal Sakthi, Subramaniam is emerging as the only MIC leader able to stand on his own and is seen as the one person in the Indian community who can give the MIC a future.

Large crowds of Indians, many of them expelled from the party, had gathered to hear Subramaniam speak during his campaign stops across the country.

In Klang last night nearly 1,000 Indians, many of them not even MIC members, gathered to hear Subramaniam speak for change and why the MIC needs to change now or face death.

A specially made video of Subramaniam – his rise, work, contributions – were shown to the crowd who clapped and cheered at every turn.

Earlier when Subramaniam arrived they carried banners depicting his slogan Change for the Better, and shouted Subra! Subra! At one point they hoisted him onto their shoulders.

It was the kind of Indian grassroots welcome given to lawyer P. Uthayakumar in the wake of the Nov 25, 2007 Hindraf protest.

While he might he attacked and sidelined in the MIC, Indian community support for Subramaniam is growing among former party members who had supported the Pakatan Rakyat.

The enthusiastic reception he got on his campaign rounds is evidence of this, his supporters said, pointing to fact that his campaign promise to reunite the MIC and take back all individuals expelled from the party, has touched their hearts.

“They want to come back but they have no place to come to, no home unless the MIC opens the door to them again,” said Datuk K. Tangavellu, who was part of the crowd in Klang on Thursday night.

Subramaniam may be gaining ground in the Indian community as perception of him as rebel leader gains credence but to win in the deputy president’s contest he needs to convince at least 720 of the 1,450 MIC delegates to back him.

Subramaniam supporters claim they started the contest with 500 votes in hand. These are hardcore Subramaniam supporters.

“We need another 250 votes and victory is ours,” they said adding that they expected Sothinathan to split the remaining 1,000 votes and give Subramaniam a chance slip through.

“It would be a narrow victory,” his supporters said adding the winning majority would be about “50 or 60 votes.”

Such an optimistic prediction belies the fact that Samy Vellu has been working hard criss-crossing the country to win support for Palanivel.

He has been working the telephone for up to 18 hours a day, his senior aide said.

“We are confident of victory but a narrow one,” he said adding that at least 800 of the delegates are “diehard” Samy Vellu supporters.

“They will vote as directed by Samy Vellu…without question,” he said.

In addition Samy Vellu’s camp is euphoric over their belief that the support given to Subramaniam by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would backfire as the party rank and file did not like it.

“This is clear interference in MIC politics to help Subramaniam…it will backfire,” a senior MIC leader said.

“Mahathir did little for Indians in the 22 years as Prime Minister and for him to support Subramaniam now does not go down well without delegates.”

Samy Vellu has been capitalising on the issue, attacking Subramaniam for bending over backwards to betray the MIC with an “outsider.”

Samy Vellu has another chance to go for the jugular on this issue after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak opens tomorrow's assembly.

“That’s when Samy traditionally gives a speech in Tamil just before voting starts,” said the veteran MIC leader. “He might use the Tun Mahathir-issue to move delegates to reject Subramaniam for inviting outside interference in the MIC election.”

Misteri pengundi POS

By Chegubard,

N31 Dun Bagan Pinang mempunyai 4,925 pengundi yang mengundi melalui undi pos. Ini tidak termasuk pengundi pos HARAM.

Bukti dan maklumat di bawah ini mendedah bahawa penipuan secara terancang oleh pihak SPR ternyata tidak dapat disangkal lagi. Malah suara-suara yang menyatakan bahawa SPR adalah kuda tunggangan UMNO-BN ternyata benar.

Maklumat ini saya perolehi dari seorang bekas tentera yang telah bersara dari ATM lebih setahun yang lalu. Katanya, secara kebetulan dia ingin menyemak daftar pemilih abangnya secara online di laman web SPR disini Namun dia sendiri terkejut apabila dia membuat semakan dengan memasukkan nombor kad pengenalan semasa tentera yang bermula dengan huruf "T" 1068XXX, namanya juga ada tersenarai dalam undi pos walaupun telah setahun menjadi pesara tentera.

Ini menunjukkan SPR gagal mengugurkan serta membersihkan senarai daftar pemilih bagi tentera yang telah bersara secara menyeluruh yang kini telah mempunyai MyKad. Nombor tentera mereka masih digunapakai sebagai pengundi pos yang sah (dibaca: sebenarnya haram).

Untuk maklumat juga katanya, anggota tentera yang bermula dengan nombor 1068xxx hingga 1070xxx adalah rekrut pengambilan pada bulan November 1986 siri 115 yang berpusat di PLR Port Dickson. Pengambilan ketika itu seramai lebih kurang 1970 orang. Jika dikira tamat tempoh perkhidmatan mereka selama 21 atau 22 tahun bermakna rata-rata mereka ini berpencen pada Nov 2007 dan Nov 2008. Namun sebahagian dari nama mereka, masihdigunakan sebagai pengundi pos secara haram setelah melebihi tempoh perkhidmatan bersara wajib.

Kenyataan di atas hanya merujuk kepada rekrut siri 115 dan belum termasuk rekrut dari perantis putera yang bermula dengan nombor 5337xx hingga 534xxx dimana tarikh bersara hampir sama.

Amat ketara adalah seperti nombor tentera yang berwarna merah di bawah adalah pengundi pos bagi kawasan DUN Bagan Pinang. Terdapat seramai 27 orang tersenarai daripada 362 orang sebagai pengundi pos secara haram. Jika 27 orang tersebut telah beristeri bermakna secara automatik isteri juga pengundi pos dan akan berganda menjadikan tambahan 27 orang lagi. Secara keseluruhannya menjadikan 54 orang pengundi pos haram di DUN Bagan Pinang. Undi ini memberi advantage kepada UMNO-BN.

Anda boleh periksa sendiri mengenai kesahihan sumber ini dengan memasukkan nombor tentera di bawah dengan didahului abjad "T"bagi membezakan tentera dengan orang awam.

1068209, 1068213, 1068217, 1068221, 1068233, 1068236, 1068242, 1068250, 1068251, 1068258, 1068261, 1068263, 1068270, 1068281, 1068283, 1068289, 1068291, 1068294, 1068314, 1068315, 1068322, 1068333, 1068337, 1068339, 1068340, 1068341, 1068343, 1068355, 1068365, 1068367, 1068368, 1068376, 1068382, 1068383, 1068384, 1068390, 1068392, 1068394, 1068399, 1068404, 1068406, 1068409, 1068416, 1068424, 1068432, 1068441, 1068465, 1068467, 1068473, 1068474, 1068477, 1068483, 1068484, 1068489, 1068490, 1068492, 1068498, 1068499, 1068511, 1068518, 1068520, 1068525, 1068527, 1068530, 1068533, 1068548, 1068554, 1068556, 1068559, 1068560, 1068570, 1068573, 1068574, 1068576, 1068579, 1068580, 1068582, 1068589, 1068602, 1068619, 1068626, 1068627, 1068630, 1068637, 1068640, 1068650, 1068654, 1068656, 1068659, 1068666, 1068678, 1068683, 1068687, 1068691, 1068693, 1068694, 1068695, 1068704, 1068709, 1068713, 1068729, 1068731, 1068746, 1068748, 1068750, 1068752, 1068753, 1068760, 1068764, 1068774, 1068775, 1068783, 1068788, 1068795, 1068796, 1068800, 1068802, 1068805, 1068806, 1068808, 1068809, 1068813, 1068816, 1068821, 1068824, 1068825, 1068828, 1068833, 1068836, 1068837, 1068842, 1068847, 1068860, 1068862, 1068870, 1068871, 1068890, 1068891, 1068902, 1068920, 1068934, 1068938, 1068940, 1068941, 1068943, 1068946, 1068947, 1068948, 1068949, 1068951, 1068956, 1068958, 1068962, 1068963, 1068965, 1068967, 1068975, 1068985, 1068987, 1068990, 1068994, 1068997, 1068999, 1069004, 1069005, 1069009, 1069012, 1069015, 1069031, 1069064, 1069078, 1069083, 1069084, 1069093, 1069094, 1069101, 1069110, 1069111, 1069114, 1069121, 1069124, 1069132, 1069133, 1069134, 1069136, 1069142, 1069143, 1069146, 1069148,1069151, 1069155, 1069159, 1069173, 1069181, 1069183, 1069192, 1069198, 1069208, 1069220, 1069227, 1069233, 1069235, 1069240, 1069253, 1069262, 1069265, 1069277, 1069279, 1069282, 1069274, 1069293, 1069297, 1069298, 1069306, 1069315, 1069331, 1069334, 1069338, 1069340, 1069344, 1069354, 1069362, 1069375, 1069379, 1069381, 1069400, 1069411, 1069421, 1069423, 1069424, 1069426, 1069437, 1069438, 1069440, 1069441, 1069442, 1069443, 1069444, 1069449, 1069452, 1069454, 1069456, 1069459, 1069465, 1069468, 1069477, 1069488, 1069494, 1069496, 1069499, 1069501, 1069503, 1069504, 1069505, 1069516, 1069523, 1069525, 1069530, 1069534, 1069536, 1069549, 1069560, 1069561, 1069562, 1069566, 1060571, 1060579, 1069581, 1069584, 1069586, 1069595, 1069597, 1069606, 1069612, 1069621, 1069628, 1069635, 1069636, 1069637, 1069649, 1069651, 1069653, 1069657, 1069668, 1069676, 1069677, 1069678, 1069682, 1069686, 1069690, 1069691, 1069693, 1069699, 1069711, 1069713, 1069714, 1069721, 1069732, 1069736, 1069743, 1069746, 1069742, 1069744, 1069745, 1069777, 1069796, 1069807, 1069812, 1069817, 1069820, 1069822, 1069826, 1069828, 1069829, 1069836, 1069841, 1069845, 1069848, 1069850, 1069853, 1069854, 1069856, 1069858, 1069868, 1069874, 1069875, 1069876, 1069878, 1069880, 1069892, 1069899, 1069900, 1069904, 1069907, 1069908, 1069917, 1069928, 1069929, 1069931, 1069933, 1069936, 1069937, 1069945, 1069949, 1069950, 1069951, 1069952, 1069968, 1069972, 1069983, 1069991, 1069993, 1069998, 1070000, 1070002, 1070014, 1070015, 1070016, 1070024, 1070028, 1070031.

A-I-B: Dengan terbongkarnya rahsia ini, ada kemungkinan SPR akan melenyapkan bukti-bukti tadi dengan membersihkannya secepat mungkin dari pangkalan data mereka. Namun saya telah mencetak keluar serta mendownload maklumat tersebut terlebih dahulu agar menjadi bahan bukti jika dinafikan oleh pihak SPR.