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Monday, September 14, 2009

Fresh round of Buah Pala demolition

The police have blocked off all entry and exit points in Kampung Buah Pala, Bukit Gelugor to facilitate the lucrative Oasis project developer to demolish the village homes today.

Residents said a big police team had arrived at the village as early as 6.30am and immediately put up road blocks at the entry and exit points to prevent outsiders from coming in.

NONEThe developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd's demolition team, armed with sledge hammers and other demolishment equipments, arrived at the site at 7.30am and an excavator soon followed at 9am.

At 11am, the demolition team started to tear down 17 houses belonging to residents who had agreed to move out. A Light Strike Force unit was on standby while national power supplier TNB had cut the electricity supply to the houses.

Unlike the previous attempts by the developer to demolish the village homes, this time neither the residents nor outsiders formed any human barricade to resist the demolition.

Many residents were seen leaving for work and they were not in the least perturbed by the presence of the police and demolition team.

NONEThe developer was unsuccessful in demolishing any houses when the demolition team came twice to flatten the village on Aug 3 and 13.

However, the demolition managed to demolish three vacant houses and a small extended portion of another house in its third attempt on Sept 3.

This will be the company's fourth round in the demolition exercise.

Originally 24 house owners and some 300 residents have objected and protested against the state government's decision to sell their village land to civil servant cooperative society - Koperasi Pegawai Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang.

However, after months of struggle, most of the house owners have accepted the double-storey terrace house compensation made by the developer and agreed to move out.

All must move out by today

Negotiations were held between the developer, police and association representatives on the impending demolition of the more than 200-year-old village.

NONEIt's learnt that the association wants the developer to demolish only houses vacated by owners, who have accepted the compensation offer.

The association is resisting any attempts by the demolition team to tear down the remaining houses still occupied by owners.

Some of these house owners have already dismantled their own houses and moved out from the village.

The remaining 12 house owners, who have not accepted the compensation, have instead counter proposed for a RM300,000 cash compensation.

NONEThe 12 house owners plan to relocate and redevelop their village on another nearby plot of land, which has already been identified.

However the developer's director Gary Ho has refused to give any more concessions to the 12 house owners and has asked them to move out from the village by today.

These villagers have been given an hour-long to make a decision on the 'move out' order.

As it stands, these 12 will be given alternate homes and provided with transportation to transfer their household items.

Meanwhile George Town OCPD Azam Abd Hamid said that no more grace period will be given to the residents as "they have been granted three-months to move out".

He said all the affected residents will have to move out to the alternate homes provided by the developer - these temporary homes were built by Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB).

He however did not state the specific area to where these villagers will be shifted.

Proposal for a new village

Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association chairperson M Sugumaran has counter proposed to Ho to give the villagers another week to give them enough time to perform rites and rituals according to their Hindu tradition and move out without any further hitches.

NONESugumaran also plans to submit a written request to the state government to allow the 12 house owners to stay in the western part of the project site for at least two years until their new village is ready.

He claimed since only the project plan for the eastern part of the site had been approved, the villagers' stay in the western part would not disrupt the Oasis construction.

However, Nusmetro executive director Thomas Chan has rejected the association's 'two-year stay' proposal, saying the developer would not entertain anymore requests from the villagers.

NONEKampung Buah Pala is famously called as Tamil High Chaparral by the locals due to its population of Indian community, cowherds, cattle, goats and other livestock. It hosts lively Indian cultural features and festivities.

Residents and many civil society groups have long called on the government to gazette the village as an Indian heritage village.

However, their appeals have been unsuccessful so far and today the village faces permanent extinction.

Will Samy Vellu stop screaming!

Image

Samy Vellu should stop screaming about the sorry state of affairs of the Indian community. Granted, many Indians are still very poor. But many Indians have also become super-rich at the hands of Samy Vellu. This, Samy Vellu does not tell the Indian community.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

The MIC annual general assembly has just ended and ‘all the president’s men’ got in. Going by the speeches over the last two days it appears like MIC is becoming more ‘militant’ compared to before. That is good. After all, what use are political parties if they do not do anything for their supporters?

This is not the first time that the MIC president, Samy Vellu, accused the government of not doing enough for the Indian community. He said this back in November 2007 when HINDRAF first took to the streets in protest. Samy Vellu explained that this is because the Indians are angry with the government for ‘marginalising’ them.

Malaysians of other non-Malay ethnicities like the Chinese and the natives of East Malaysia say the same thing. The fact that some Malays in the remote areas of the country still use wells and rivers for their water supply and do not have electricity even after 52 years of independence seems to have escaped them.

The critics of the New Economic Policy point out that many Malays have become millionaires and billionaires because of the NEP. There are 16 million are so Malays in Malaysia. But there are no 16 million Malay millionaires and billionaires. There may be some Malays who have become millionaires and billionaires. But they are millionaires and billionaires not because of the NEP. It is because they are cronies of those who walk in the corridors of power.

And there are also Chinese millionaires and billionaires. There are also Indian millionaires and billionaires -- as there are millionaires and billionaires from Sabah and Sarawak as well. And these ‘non-Malay’ citizens of Malaysia are millionaires and billionaires in spite of the pro-Malay NEP and because they are cronies of those who walk in the corridors of power.

Let us not just look at how poor the Indians are. There are also very poor Malays -- as there are poor Chinese and poor natives of Sabah and Sarawak. Many, I agree, have been ‘left behind’. But many have also made it into the big-time because of their links to those who walk in the corridors of power.

Samy Vellu should stop screaming about the sorry state of affairs of the Indian community. Granted, many Indians are still very poor. But many Indians have also become super-rich at the hands of Samy Vellu. This, Samy Vellu does not tell the Indian community.

There may be many poor Indians in Malaysia, I agree. But there are also many extremely rich Indians who benefited from their relationship with Samy Vellu. And the same goes for those Malays, Chinese, and citizens of Sabah and Sarawak who are cronies of Barisan Nasional.

Bagan Pinang vote on Oct 11, N-day Oct 3

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 14 — The Elections Commission (EC) has fixed October 3 for nominations while Bagan Pinang voters will make their way to the ballot box on October 11.

The death of Umno assemblyman Azman Mohammad Noor a few weeks ago had paved the way for the country’s ninth by-election since the March 8 polls last year

In the last general election Azman won the seat by defeating PAS’ Ramli Ismail by some 2,000 votes.

There are about 14,000 voters in the constituency with the Malays making up 66 percent of the votes, Chinese 10.5 percent and Indians 19.9 percent.

Bagan Pinang is an Umno stronghold situated within the Teluk Kemang parliamentary constituency, represented by PKR’s Datuk Kamarul Baharin Abbas.

PKR leaders have backed PAS to contest there while Umno will definitely defend its stronghold.

Kampung Buah Pala demolition begins

PENANG, Sept 14 — The demolition of Kampung Buah Pala has begun this morning, with the presence of riot police. The remaining residents at the site were muted except for an attempted self-immolation episode towards noontime.

An unidentified female — just when the third house of the day was to be brought down — poured kerosene over herself and almost lit a match before other residents stopped her before dragging her away.

As early as 7am approximately 100 police personnel — with a mobile police base — set camp for the events to follow.

There was a discussion inside the mobile police base, involving court bailiff, developer and village reps.

At 11am, after TNB cut-off power supply, the demolition proper commenced.

Nusmetro Ventures, the developer, restated its offer of compensation to those residents who have not taken up their previous offer of a double-storey home worth RM125,000. However the residents have to process their application through the Penang government.

Cabinet on Wednesday should ask for Musa Hassan’s resignation as IGP in view of the 25-rank drop of Malaysia’s security indicator

By Lim Kit Siang,

The Cabinet on Wednesday should ask for Tan Sri Musa Hassan’s resignation as Inspector-General of Police in view of the 25-rank drop of Malaysia’s security indicator resulting in a three-point drop in Malaysia’s global competitiveness ranking in World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010 released last week.

Malaysia has dropped three positions to 24th from 21st ranking last year in the latest WEF GCR announced just before the WEF’s annual meeting of the New Champions, dubbed “Summer Davos”, in Dalian China.

This was essentially the result of a much poorer assessment of its institutional framework – with every indicator in the area exhibiting a downward trend since 2007, causing Malaysia to tumble from 17th to 43rd position in this dimension in just two years.

Security in Malaysia is of particular concern with its ranking dropped 25 levels to 85th.

The WEF GCR sub-index on “Security” is made up of four indicators and Malaysia scored very poorly in everyone of them, viz:

Business cost of terrorism 97
Business cost of crime and violence 95
Organized crime 83
Reliability of police services 48

This is what the WEF GCR 2009-2010 stated:

“According to the business community, the potential of terrorism (97th) and crime (95th) both impose significant costs.”

A comparison with the WEF GCR 1999 highlights the worsening of the crime situation of the country in the past ten years, which was supposed to be rectified by the Royal Police Commission as the first initiative of the former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi five years ago – but the reverse has taken place, with the country in the throes of the worst crime-and-order situation in the country’s history.

There are only two indicators on the security sub-index in the WEF GCR 1999 report, one on “Effectiveness of Police Force” and the other on “Organized Crime”.

Malaysia was ranked No. 25 out of 59 countries in 1999 on “The effectiveness of police force” index to measure “what extent can police service be relied upon to enforce law and order in your country” with “1=cannot be relied upon at all; 7= can always be relied upon”.

Malaysia scored 5.14 and was ranked No. 31 out of 59 countries in the WEF GCR 1999. Ten years later, in the WEF GCR Report 2009-2010, Malaysia was downgraded to 4.7 and ranked No. 49 out of 133 countries.

Countries which ten years ago were regarded as less safe and secure as their police force were not as reliable, competent and professional have overtaken Malaysia in the estimation of foreign investors – including countries like South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan.

The index on “Organised Crime” for Malaysia in the past decade is most shocking and outrageous.

This indicator poses the question whether “organized crime (mafia-oriented racketeering, extortion) impose costs on business in your country” with “1=significant costs; 7=no costs”.

Malaysia scored 5.76 and was ranked No. 22 out of 59 countries in 1999 but ten years later, the score went down to 5.0 and plummeted 61 places to be ranked No. 83 out of 133 countries.

Among the countries Malaysia has overtaken in the past ten years in having a more serious problem of “organized crime” in Asia are Hong Kong, South Korea, India, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan.

The WEF GCR report on the security situation in Malaysia is an indictment on the service record of Musa Hassan as he must singly bear the greatest blame for the worsening security situation in the country which has undermined Malaysia’s economic well-being and international competitiveness as he was the nation’s top cop in the past three years.

If Najib is serious about efficiency and productivity of public service delivery, we should be having a new IGP as there can be no worse KPI for Musa Hassan as IGP in the past three years than the WEF Global Competitiveness Report citing worsening security as a major reason for Malaysia’s three-point drop of Malaysia’s global competitiveness.

It is most shocking that Musa should have his tenure as IGP renewed for another year. Will the Cabinet now ask for Musa’s resignation as IGP in view of the blistering WEF GCR 2009-2010 on the dismal security situation in the country under Musa’s watch?

MCA rivals meet tomorrow over EGM resolutions

The Sun
Giam Say Khoon

PETALING JAYA (Sept 13, 2009): The pro-Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek's MCA central delegates' extraordinary general meeting (EGM) action committee headed by Datuk Seri Tan Chai Ho says it is meeting party secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng over the resolutions for the EGM.

When contacted, Tan said he was personally informed by Wong today that the meeting would be held at the party headquarters tomorrow afternoon without being told the exact time or the identities of those representing the president.

"I have no idea what will be discussed in the meeting but we have one main agenda for the meeting which is to preview and discuss the (proposed) resolutions," he said.

The committee submitted 921 signatures of central delegates and a requisition for an EGM on Friday. The move is to save the political career of Chua who was expelled from the party on Aug 26 for his involvement in a sex DVD scandal.

According to the party constitution, an EGM can be called by a third of the central delegates and the secretary-general must respond within five days upon receiving the requisition. If not, the delegates have the right to convene the EGM.

The party presidential council had also decided on Friday that only one EGM would be held to avoid inconveniencing delegates although president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and the committee had called for their own EGM after the sacking of Chua.

It is widely speculated that the EGM would be held on the weekend after Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, which is either Sept 26 or 27 as required by the party constitution that once the party president has exercised his privilege to call for an EGM, the meeting must be held within 30 days.

It was also reported that after verifying the signatures by the party secretariat on Saturday, it found at least 100 of the total 921 signatures were believed to be dubious.

A source was quoted by an English daily on Sunday that "some of the signatures don't match. Some membership numbers in the requisition forms are different from the database.

"In some cases, there were multiple staple marks on the documents. Legal experts say this isn't legal," the source said, adding that many delegates who allegedly signed for the EGM also wanted to withdrawal the requisition.

There are also talks that delegates were allegedly paid for their signatures and these are the ones who withdrew after their names were submitted by the committee to the party secretariat as they had chosen to remain "neutral" to avoid "offending" the incumbents.

Asked on the allegation, Tan said: "I do not want to comment on sources' stories unless it was Wong who made the statement. I believe that all signatures we collected are authentic because the delegates signed in front of lawyers and commissioners of oath."

On whether he was worried that after the verification process, the committee would have fewer than the minimum 800 signatures to call for an EGM, Tan said: "I am confident. I am not worried about the numbers for the EGM."

Although the resolutions from both camps have yet to be officially made public, it is learnt that Ong wants the endorsement of the delegates on the sacking of Chua and a motion of confidence supporting his leadership. The committee wants Chua to be reinstated as a party member and deputy president as well as to move a motion of no-confidence against Ong.

Wong was not available for comment.

Anwar Ibrahim – he cannot sing, he cannot dance

520x

By Hussein Hamid (MCKK – Class of 1964)

Anwar Ibrahim was born in August 1947. Me in October 1947. Two months separates us at birth-enough for me to be able to say that he is older, but possibly two or three lifetimes separates us knowing what he has gone through in his life.

I remember the time when I wanted to meet up with him to find out what he was doing with his life. He was then teaching at one of the shop houses along Jalan Pantai – possible with Yayasan Anda if I am not mistaken. I did find him and he was indeed teaching and in slippers. At home that evening I casually told my father that I had met Anwar that afternoon. My father was then Director of CID. He stopped, looked at me and said sternly “Engkau tak ada kerja lain?” Whenever my father uses “engkau” when addressing me I knew that he was not amused. And he then went on to lecture me as to why it would be in my best interest to keep away from Anwar!

Then I was away in Australia for a while and he became DPM. I was at Ampang Shopping center with my Family patiently letting my kids wander around Toy R Us. As we walked up to the counter to pay there was Anwar. We hug and he smiled that smile that light up his whole face and then he was gone again out of my life for a few more years. But always the familiarity of old classmates made for easy banter every time we meet.

Then this time he was away for a while – six years I think – as the British like to say – At her Majesty’s pleasure in Sungai Buloh. I was with one of UMNO ex Ketua Bahgian who had joined Keadilan when we heard that Anwar had been released and was at home. My friend wanted to immediately head for Anwar’s house in Damansara to pay his respect. Would I like to come along? He asked. I said ok. We arrived and there were people everywhere. We got into line and waited our turn. We were told that Anwar was not well – that he was sitting down and that anytime he might need to rest. One hour of waiting in line I eventually stood in front of him. He looked up from his chair, again with that smile of his, stood up and gave me a hug oblivious to what pain he must have felt –we talked for a few seconds and mindful of the others waiting to see him, I excused myself and walked on.

The last time I saw him was at a class get together in Bangsar – at Fauzi’s house, a school mate of ours who was the host – a few years back. As always his arrival was greeted with good nature ribbing and for the son of one of our classmates who had not seen Anwar before – that was a real treat. We sat and talked and I could see that age had caught up with all of us – Anwar included. He looked not as robust as I though he would be- after all he has always looked good whenever he was on TV and photographed well. But sitting beside me he looked vulnerable.

Was the pressure of living constantly under public and media gaze getting to him? Was UMNO getting to him? I could not imagine what he had to go through on a daily basis in what he chose to do – POLITICS. It is one thing to be DPM where everything is laid out for you, another to be in the opposition. He constantly referred to Azizah in conversation with us and we could see that Family meant a great deal with him. As we talked I found myself thinking what more has he got to endure before his work is done. I did not envy the situation he was in.

But he had no regrets. No wanting to take his pound of flesh from those that have done him ill. A more spirited discourse came from him when we talked about Mahathir – but either he was in control of himself or that he did not think it worth his while to think to much of times gone by. The present was what mattered.

At 63 I will not run if I can walk. Stand if I can sit. Talk if I can be quiet. Anwar has chosen the path less traveled. This path requires an uncommon resolve to move relentlessly ahead no matter what. He stands in front of crowds everyday. He meets more people then he can remember everyday and all this he does with a willingness that belittle his age. He could be anywhere he wants to be in the world and be welcomed by world leaders and acquaintances. He could be in business and be rich beyond our wildest dreams. Instead he chose to serve the nation. He chose to take us to the next election because if Anwar does not do so, who will take us? I am sure sometimes in his moment of solitude he must question his capacity to physically last the distance but his commitment to our cause is great. That will see him through and he has said that Azizah has done enough while he was away.

This is a good man. As we all know he cannot sing well, neither can he dance well even if his life depended on it but he is decent man. I wish Najib and UMNO will do battle with him on a level playing field. I wish they could have enough compassion in their hearts to accept that Anwar had gone though more that a baptism of fire – a baptism that neither Najib or Muhyiddin could ever imagine or endure. But then it that would be like asking Bush to go fight Saddam one on one. No shock or awe, no overwhelming force meeting defenseless people, no doctrine of Rapid Dominance, no weapon of mass destruction on stand by just in case they are needed….none of the above. Bush would never survive.

We know that Anwar was with UMNO many years back. We do not know what he will be in the future. But this I know now. He and the other leaders in Pakatan Rakyat are the leaders we now have to lead us to the next General Election and they give us our best hope for a new beginning – without an UMNO that has already abused the trust we Malays placed in them many times over, without a corrupt PDRM, a cowered MACC, without a Government that steals from its people, without a Judiciary that does the bidding of its Political masters, without many of the injustices and unfairness that we now have. Are these not reason enough for us to give them the opportunity to do so?

Altantuya's Father Withdraws Application Against Razak Baginda's Acquittal

SHAH ALAM, Sept 14 (Bernama) -- The High Court here Monday struck out the application by Altantuya Shaaribuu's father relating to the Attorney-General's decision not to appeal against the acquittal of Abdul Razak Baginda in the murder of the Mongolian woman.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Hinshawati Shariff made the order after Karpal Singh, counsel of Shaariibuu Setev, informed the court that his client was withdrawing the application.

Cheaper passport, anyone?

Good news for infrequent travelers. A little thing like the Alternative International Malaysian Passport could produce a huge sigh of relief. Yes to this move to make it cheaper for the majority of us infrequent travelers. Now you need to pay only RM100 for a passport that lasts 2 years. Hishammuddin should make it even cheaper. Read Infrequent travelers can opt for cheaper passports. The Star's story didn't state that Malaysian international passport fees were increased to RM300 and RM600 in 1998 by our Finance Minister then, Anwar Ibrahim. - Rocky's Bru

Hindraf plans action in support of cow-head clips

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) plans to organise protests if the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) were to charge Malaysiakini for airing the videos relating to the cow-head demonstration.

London-based Hindraf supremo P Waythamoorthy said the MCMC's probe on Malaysiakini under the Multimedia and Communications Act was an act of intimidation.

“We will organise various forms of campaigns in and outside the country to protest against the government if Malaysiakini or any of the media group's personnel face charges in court for airing the videos.

Malaysiakini had only carried out its duty to report a news subject of public importance. The online media has merely upheld the professional ethics of journalism.

“By probing Malaysiakini, the government is trying to intimidate the online media group to compromise its principles of justice, truth and fairness,” Waythamoorthy said in a text message.

According to the Hindraf leader who is in self-imposed exile in Britain, the probe had also infringed the rights of every Malaysian to have access to “correct and truthful” information.

“It's a calculated, malicious and ill-conceived prosecution aimed to undermine our right to freedom of information,” he said.

The public demand the probe

Yesterday, Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Culture Joseph Salang Gandum defended the investigations, arguing that the public had demanded such actions.

The MCMC began its investigation after Malaysiakini refused to remove two videos which were deemed to be offensive from its website.

The commission interrogated 14 Malaysiakini staff members including editor-in-chief Steven Gan, chief executive officer Premesh Chandran, editors, journalists and members of the video and technical team.

MCMC investigation officers, who have visited Malaysiakini four times over the past week, have also demanded for the original videotapes while its forensics experts copied parts of servers' hard disk to establish a digital trail.

ISA 101

Raja Petra was detained twice under the ISA. The first time was in April 2001 when he was held with a group of Reformasi supporters; he was released 52 days later.

The Star

THERE are three phases during an ISA detention.

Phase one covers the first two months and focuses on building discipline. During this period, the detainee is not allowed to watch TV or mix with other detainees.

After two months, the detainee “graduates” to phase two, which focuses on group activities such as religious classes, counselling, and building up inner resilience and spirituality.

This lasts for six months and during this time the detainee is allowed to mix with others in the camp.

Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin’s claim that he had been kept in solitary confinement is mistaken, say Kamunting prison authorities.– AFP file photo

Phase three is about skills training. This phase could go on indefinitely until the detainee is released.

Kamunting Detention Centre commandant Ramli Osman stresses that the detainees are not subjected to any punishment or abuse.

“They are merely being kept here to prevent them from carrying out activities that could jeopardise the country’s security.

“They have far greater freedom than prisoners.

“Our approach is humane. Our facility is to help and rehabilitate them,” he says.

Ramli denies that the camp would deliberately keep some detainees in solitary confinement.

Asked about blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin’s case, he says it is not true that the blogger was kept in solitary confinement, as he has claimed in his blog.

“When he was brought in, he came in alone and, as a newcomer, he was put under phase one, which means that for two months he was not allowed to mix with others,” Ramli says.

“But because he was in the dorm alone, he felt isolated and lonely and wrongly thought he was being kept in solitary confinement,” he explains.

Raja Petra was detained twice under the ISA. The first time was in April 2001 when he was held with a group of Reformasi supporters; he was released 52 days later.

His second detention was on Sept 10, 2008, when he was taken in for purportedly insulting Islam.

He was released on Nov 7, so he was still in phase one.

Ramli also refutes Hindraf legal adviser P. Uthayakumar’s claim that he was denied medical treatment, which endangered his life, the grounds used in his habeas corpus application earlier in the year seeking his release.

Ramli says it was Uthayakumar who refused medical help.

In one incident, he says, Uthayakumar told the guard in the middle of the night that he was in pain and insisted on seeing the prison director.

The officer-in-charge offered to send him to the in-house doctor or the government hospital but Uthayakumar refused to go, says Ramli.

“During the period he was detained, we made 18 appointments for him at the Taiping Hospital but he refused to go,” he adds.

Uthayakumar was released from detention on May 9. He will face a sedition trial on Sept 28.

Making Mas Selamat safe

THE most “famous” inmate at the Kamunting Detention Centre at the moment is Mas Selamat Kastari from the militant Jemaah Islamiah (JI) group’s Singapore chapter.

He had planned to bomb Changi airport and carry out other attacks on the city but was captured by the Singaporean authorities. In February last year, he thoroughly embarrassed them when he made a spectacular escape from a high security prison by climbing out through a toilet window and swimming across the Johor Straits.

He remained in hiding in Johor for more than a year before he was finally caught on April 1 by Malaysian authorities and sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre, where he has been incarcerated since June, after the 60-day interrogation period.

So far, it has not been made clear why he has not been sent back to Singapore. “We would also like to know why,” mutters a prison official in response to a question from a journalist during a media visit to Kamunting last month.

At the same press briefing, Prison deputy commissioner (Security) Thang Ah Yong says special measures are in place for Mas Selamat to prevent a repeat of the Singapore escape. (He also says no prisoner has ever escaped from Kamunting.)

“We have put him in a special area where his activities are constantly monitored, including a daily chronology of his movements. We also have hourly reports on him,” Thang says, adding that there are other measures taken “but we can’t disclose them”.

However, these do not include leg irons or handcuffs, assures camp commandant Ramli Osman.

Neither is Mas Selamat in solitary confinement, it seems – he is even allowed to borrow books from the library. In the three months that he has been at Kamunting, he has not had any visits from his family.

The Last Emperor of MIC

By humblevoice.blogspot.com,

The result of Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) election did not take me by surprise. I had thought that if MIC delegates have any sense at all, they would at least get Subramaniam elected as the deputy president. But frankly I couldn’t care less what happens with MIC. If Subramaniam is worthy of being elected at all then there is no sense for him to stay with MIC. What can one person do when practically the whole party machinery is being controlled by Samy Vellu?

Today’s MIC election result is only another indication confirming the irrelevance of MIC. Yes, Samy Vellu reigns supreme again - but to what? Isn’t the past 8 by-elections, where over 85% of Indian voted for the opposition party - Pakatan Rakyat, a good enough indications that MIC should just be dissolved?

The fate of MIC can be compared to the late Ching Dynasty of China. During the last days of Ching Dynasty the child emperor Pu Yi was confined to the Forbidden City while the whole country descended in utter chaos. His emperorship was maintained by the warlords for political and diplomatic manipulations.

Pu Yi was confined in an imaginary world, left behind time and out of touch with reality. He was surrounded by an entourage of concubines and eunuchs who have no where else to go. Many stayed behind to plunder whatever left of the imperial treasures amassed through centuries of exploitations.

Such is the fate of MIC now. Tell me that Samy’s candidate lineup is not a bunch of eunuchs and concubines. Tell me that the delegates who voted for Samy’s lineup are not a bunch of eunuchs and concubines. Tell me that this bunch of eunuchs and concubines are not there to share Samy’s 32 years of loot. Tell me that these bunch of eunuchs and concubines are there to serve the Indians.

The sorry state of MIC could also be said of the rest of Barisan Nasional component parties. The whole Barisan Nasional government has gotten so stinking rotten that one just wants to flush it down the toilet and forgets about it like a bad dream.

I don’t want Pakatan Rakyat to feel congratulated by what I wrote. I can very honestly say that I don’t think Pakatan Rakyat is worthy of being a political party. I don't think it is able to form a shadow cabinet without causing major split in the party. I don't think it has done a great job in governing the states under its control as well. I would be very reluctant to give Pakatan Rakyat a 50% passing mark.

But at least Pakatan Rakyat is not a pile of complete bullshit. If the recent Japan election were to serve as an indicator – Pakatan Rakyat may just well win the next general election, and I think more likely than not that it will.

I don’t believe that the answer to the profound ills that humanity is suffering now lies in the political arena. Humanity needs a new beginning. The current chaos is but a time of awakening. A new type of leadership needs to arise. It will happen as a matter of necessity for humanity continued survival.

"Only everybody-all-at-once can change the current chaos."
Adi Da

Samy Vellu under fire again ...

(Malaysian Mirror) - MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu today came under criticism from several delegates who debated on the presidential speech, during the second day of the party's annual general meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

A delegate from Selangor said the party president had sent a birthday card to a branch leader who had already died about four years ago.

samy vellu 2.jpgAccording to Bernama, The delegate said the wife of the deceased had approched him expressing regret that Samy Vellu had sent such a card and asked that the party president avoided doing such things in the future.

Another delegate from Kubang Pasu, Kedah said that it took nine years for the Indian community there to buy a piece of land to build a Tamil school and had approached Samy Vellu for financial assistance to built it.

Buah Pala issue angers Samy

However, he said that despite sending letters and meeting Samy Vellu three times, nothing positive had come from Samy Vellu so far.

Another Kedah delegate pointed out that the root causes of the Kampung Buah Pala problem in Pennag was due to the "failure" of the MIC leadership to address the issue from the beginning.

This prompted Samy Vellu to challenge the delegate to prove his allegations, saying that he (Samy Vellu) was willing to resign from party post if the delegate could prove them.

mahathir-samy.pngAnother delegate said that while the influenza A(HINI) pandemic was new -- affecting the country for the past several months, neverthless, he said it had "affected" MIC since March 8 2008, when the party went through the most humiliating defeat in its 63-year history.

Meanwhile, despite Dr Mahathir Mohamad's strong denial that he had interfered in the affairs of MIC, he too came under fire from several delegates.

"No need for advice" said one delegate from Negeri Sembilan and another had this to say: "Please mind your own business. We know what we are doing".

A woman delegate asked the party to come out with a new design for their uniform for offical use during party function, as they had been using the current outdated design for the past 10 years, and Samy Vellu said that a new design was in the planning.

'Don't praise Samy too much'

Another woman delegate urged delegatse not to praise too much Samy Vellu and other leaders as all praise belonged to the God.

"MIC members should discard this attitude...it is a bad habit," she said.

A delagate from the Klang Valley said that the government should come out with financial assistance to help the Indian community to buy unit trust shares offered by the government.

Several delegates also reminded the new team whivh won yesterday's party election to go to the ground and strengthen the party at all levels, and respect the grassroots in order to bring back support from the Indian community.

Permanent Chairman G.Vadiveloo also had a "rough day" as he had to keep reminding delegates to concentrate on the debate and not on reading newspapers inside the hall.

A delegate from Pahang who supported the 1Malaysia concept introduced by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said that any future leaders of Malaysia should continue to promote this concept as it would ensure Barisan Nasional's rule in this country for many decades to come.

A woman delegate from Shah Alam expressed dissapointment that despite attending four MIC conventions, she observed delegates asking the same questions and raising the same issues, and urged them to change their mindset and also respect Samy Vellu, describing him like a "father" for everyone in the MIC.

Samy, Samy, Samy...why you lie ah?

Image

The MIC President, Samy Vellu, said that the government has done nothing for the Indian community. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that the government gave the Indians a lot, through the MIC. Maybe the following report by MIC itself can explain what happened to all that wealth that passed through the hands of the MIC.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Mirzan says San Miguel stake is just business

By Leslie Lau - The Malaysian Insider,
Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 – Mirzan Mahathir has defended his investment group’s stake in Philippines conglomerate San Miguel Corp (SMC), saying the company was well on the way to diversifying substantially from its brewery business.

In a letter to The Malaysian Insider yesterday, Mirzan said San Miguel Corp had decided to shift its attention to the infrastructure, public utility and energy requirements of the Philippines, from its core brewery business.

“Since Kirin Holdings of Japan acquired a significant direct ownership stake in the brewery division, this will result in a dramatic change in SMC’s revenue mix, with beverages expected to contribute less than 15% of total sales by next year,” he said in the letter.

The Malaysian Insider had reported this week that Mirzan, the eldest son of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was recently appointed to the board of San Miguel Corp, the biggest food and beverage conglomerate in the Philippines and the owner of San Miguel Brewery Inc.

San Miguel Corp told the Philippines stock exchange last week about Mirzan’s appointment which is to represent the interests of Q-Tech Alliance Holdings Inc on the board.

Q-Tech, a Manila-based investment company in which Mirzan has a stake in, recently acquired a 19.9 per cent share in San Miguel Corp for 39.61 billion pesos (RM2.9 billion).

It bought the stake from Japan’s Kirin Holdings, which used the funds to help finance the acquisition of a 43 per cent stake in San Miguel Brewery Inc.

With this latest corporate exercise, San Miguel Corp still maintains a 51 per cent stake in San Miguel Brewery Inc.

San Miguel Brewery controls 95 per cent of the Philippine beer market. The company has made San Miguel Beer for more than a century. The beer is brewed in the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, and is sold in 60 markets worldwide, according to the company’s Web site.

Mirzan’s involvement in the deal, while a sound investment decision, has raised some eyebrows among Malaysia’s conservative Muslim community.

Since news of Q-Tech’s acquisition of San Miguel Corp shares began circulating here, a number of news blogs have used it to attack Dr Mahathir’s Muslim credentials.

“Unfortunately, certain parties are keen to turn this exciting positive change in a well?managed Philippines corporation into an assault on the reputation of my father, even though he has nothing whatsoever to do with my business interests.

“I can only provide a rational explanation for my actions and it would be a pity if facts are twisted to gain dubious points from a straightforward business decision,” said Mirzan.

He said San Miguel Corp’s major diversification move was a major reason for his participation and starts a new era for the conglomerate.

Mirzan went on to list down some of San Miguel’s diversification acquisitions in recent years.

These include an option to acquire a controlling interest in Petron Corp., the largest Philippine oil refiner which owns 1,400 retail stations, and a substantial equity stake in Manila Electric Co., the largest distribution utility in the Philippines that has a base of over 4.5 million customers.

SMC has also announced its intention to venture into the telecommunications industry through their stake in Liberty Telecom Holdings Inc. with Qatar Telecommunications Co. to initially build a Wi?Max network and potentially a full?scale national cellular operation.

The company also recently won in a public auction, two major power plants with a combined generation capacity of 1,600 MW.

“Your article covered the beverage aspects of San Miguel but ignored the company’s recent purchases and strategy moving forward.

“As a Malaysian, I am looking forward to assisting San Miguel chart this new course and hopefully, its success will reflect well on our country and people,” said Mirzan of the report in The Malaysian Insider.

Mirzan’s corporate forays have not been without controversy.

He once controlled Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd when Dr Mahathir was prime minister, but was forced to sell its shipping assets to Malaysia International Shipping Corporation (MISC), in what critics said then was a bailout.

The 30 votes that changed Samy Vellu/MIC history?

26-vote margin still fresh in my mind, says Subra
The Star
Wednesday September 9, 2009

PETALING JAYA: Datuk S. Subramaniam has hit out at his nemesis MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for claiming that the 30 “pocketed votes” in the 1977 party elections was an impossibility.

The former party deputy president also brushed off Samy Vellu’s claim that he and Datuk V. Govindaraj were “pathological liars”.

“Govindaraj told me he did it. He was Samy Vellu’s man and led his campaign then.

“I can’t recall off-hand the total number of votes cast in 1977 but I know that the difference was 26. That is still fresh in my mind.”

Govindaraj told an English daily recently that he took the 30 votes cast for Subramaniam during the party polls that saw Samy Vellu defeating Subramaniam for the deputy president’s post by a mere 26 votes.

He was quoted as saying that he did it at the spur of the moment without instigation.

Expressing regret over his actions, Govindaraj, who was Samy Vellu’s one-time ally, said he realised that the party’s leadership in the last 30 years would have been different had he not taken the 30 votes.

Samy Vellu eventually became party president after the death of Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam in 1979.

Asked to comment on Samy Vellu’s retort that there were no unaccounted-for votes in the election, Subra-maniam said only the delegates list for the election would prove the total number of votes cast.

“Maybe Samy Vellu would like to swear in a temple that he is right.”

On Govindaraj’s actions, Subramaniam said he forgave him a long time ago and that they had remained good friends.

“But when I found out about the incident, it was past the time for any challenge or complaint.

“I realise that with the 30 votes I could have won but we can’t do anything about it now.

“Time has passed. At least he (Govindaraj) had the courage to admit it publicly and apologise for it.”

Malaysia’s three-place drop in WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010 because of worsening crime is powerful reason why Musa Hassan should not

By Lim Kit Siang,

Although the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak kicked off his premiership five months ago with a pledge to raise efficiency and productivity of the public delivery system, even appointing the Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to be the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Minister, the new Prime Minister has not been able to convince Malaysians that he is prepared to do whatever is necessary to check the rot in public service standards.

This hard truth was illustrated by the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2009-2010 released a few days ago which saw Malaysia’s global competitiveness ranking dropped three positions to 24th from 21st spot last year.

This report was released ahead of WEF’s annual meeting of the New Champions, dubbed “Summer Davos”, in Dalian, China.

The drop in Malaysia’s international competitiveness was the result of a much poorer assessment of its institutional framework – with every indicator in the area exhibiting a downward trend since 2007, causing Malaysia to tumble from 17th to 43rd position in this dimension in just two years.

Security in Malaysia was of particular concern with its ranking dropped 25 levels to 85th.

In the past decade, DAP leaders both inside and outside Parliament had been making a major issue of the worsening crime situation, which was one reason why the Royal Police Commission was set up by former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2004 to reform the Malaysian Police to reduce the incidence of rampant crime in the country and to make the country safe for Malaysians, tourists and investors.

Despite the Royal Police Commission’s 125 recommendations to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service with three core functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and protect human rights, the crime situation has got from bad to worse in the past four years since the Report of the Royal Police Commission – until it became a major factor in Malaysia’s four-place drop in global competitiveness in the WEFs GCR 2009-2010.

The person who must bear the greatest blame for the worsening security situation in the country as to undermine’s Malaysia’s economic well-being and international competitiveness is none other than the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

If Najib is serious about efficiency and productivity of public service delivery, we should be having a new IGP as there can be no worse KPI for Musa Hassan as IGP in the past three years than the WEF Global Competitiveness Report citing worsening security as a major reason for Malaysia’s three-point drop of Malaysia’s global competitiveness.

This is a powerful reason why Musa should not continue as IGP.

Vel Paari’s wife turns heads at MIC assembly

Shaila Nair with her husband Vel Paari. - Picture by Jack Ooi

By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 – It was not all politics at the 63rd MIC general assembly after minor celebrity Shaila Nair, a former singer turned lawyer, mother and event manager, walked into the PWTC with husband Vel Paari, and attracted numerous stares from the delegates.



Dressed in a red saree, Shaila, who saw some controversy in 2007 after a sex video clip allegedly depicting her appeared on the Internet, sat quietly with Paari among delegates near the entrance to the hall.

“People should have a heart … they should not target people,” she said when asked about the clip that had caused some embarrassment for, Paari and his father, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

His political enemies circulated the clip widely and made political capital but for Shaila, 35, all that is behind her now.

“I am busy as a mother, wife, entertainer and event manager and, now, in politics,” she told The Malaysian Insider in an interview.

Controversy continues to dog her as her election as deputy chief of Puteri MIC caused controversy last month. Apparently Shaila lost in the election but was somehow “re-elected” according to Tamil newspapers hostile to Samy Vellu.

Another urban legend, she says.

“I was elected … it is that simple,” she said.

However she does not plan to develop a political career for herself although she can get significant help from her powerful father-in-law Samy Vellu who only a day earlier demonstrated his grip on the party ensuring his team of “official candidates” all won.

“It is not that I am a political greenhorn … I was a council member of Puteri for one term. But I just want to help and serve, not be a politician,” she said. “The family is already in politics.”

She practised as lawyer for six years before switching to singing and event management and managing a bridal house and boutique.

MIC Puteri’s challenge, she feels, is to bring in new members into the wing as many are also young voters and if they enter MIC they would also be convinced to vote for the MIC and Barisan Nasional.

“This is our main challenge … to convince young people, to attract them to get political with the MIC,” she said.

Her daughter Bhavya Vel, 10, is studying in Alice Smith, an elite International school, and is keen on design and drawing just like granddad Samy, who is an architect.

Shaila came into prominence as a singer when she was 16 and sang Tamil, Malay and Hindi songs. She recorded one album before she got married and moved into event management.

A search on the Internet shows various blurry unrecognisable clips under the title “Shaila” still circulating on some websites along with nasty comments.

But for Shaila the nightmare is all behind her. “I was victimised,” she said.

*******

Samy’s MIC on collision course with BN

This assembly is clearly tickled... Delegates during lighter moments at the MIC assembly closing session in Kuala Lumpur today. - Picture by Jack Ooi

By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu basked in the glow of victory today, looking on appreciatively as one delegate after another attacked the government and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for interfering in MIC matters.

The delegates at the MIC general assembly singled out for criticisms Mahathir and other leaders for condemning Samy Vellu and praising his rival Datuk S. Subramaniam, in the run up to yesterday’s election.

A day earlier, Samy Vellu-backed candidates all but swept the board, taking the lion’s share of posts contested, and cemented his grip on the party, despite some pressure from Umno and the public for some change in MIC.

Mahathir was criticised severely for doing nothing for the Indian community while the Umno/Barisan Nasional (BN) government was attacked for favouring only the Malays and ignoring the woes of the Indians for many years.

The depth of the criticism, sometimes tedious, was best illustrated after one delegate from Johore stood up and said: “They can see the woes of the Palestinians and the Bosnians but they can’t see our suffering right here before their eyes.”

“For them to tell us who to pick as our leaders is an insult,” he said.

While they attacked the “government” and Tun Mahathir, they held back on criticizing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who had them on their feet yesterday in a stirring speech urging them to reform to win back Indian support.

He issued a warning, seen as being directed at Samy Vellu, that being popular in the party was useless if the people you claim to represent hate you.

But Samy Vellu appeared to shrug off the advice, seeing it as interference in MIC affairs.

He has also allowed delegates to speak up against a government, of which he was minister for nearly 30 years, and in which his party is still represented by a minister and two deputy ministers

“The die is cast…he is on a collision course with the government…Umno,” said a newly elected MIC leader on the sidelines of the MIC general assembly today.

“We are either in Barisan or out. We cannot be in the tent and attack our own,” he said, adding that in his desire to continue as MIC president, Samy Vellu, was now on a collision course with the federal government.

“It is the classic disease of individuals in power for one too many years,” said the MIC leader. “He believes without him the MIC would collapse and without him he Indian community would suffer.”

“The community that the MIC had represented has long fled to the opposition and the party is just a shell of what it once was but the Samy Vellu party and same script goes on,” he said.

The Najib administration is going the extra-mile to woo the Indian community, aware that the government had alienated them and that the level of frustration is deep.

But it needs a vehicle to take forward the transformation, and was hoping the MIC could reform, elect a new leadership and be the harbinger of a “new deal” for the Indians.

With Samy Vellu still around, there is little choice for Umno/BN but to support other stakeholders in the community and gradually start making a direct approach to Indian voters.

Labuan residents suffer as taps run dry

By Anil Netto,

Is this a sign of things to come as our planet contends with water shortages aggravated by competing demand from the public and demand from industry (to cater to ever-increasing production of consumer goods, which in turn requires more raw materials)?

Why haven’t we heard more about the Labuan water shortages? Some 80,000 Labuan residents, including 4,000 students, have been faced with a serious water shortage since July.

Bernama reports that demand for water in Labuan is about 56 million litres a day but supply (from the mainland) is only at 42 million litres, a shortfall of 25 per cent. But 10 million litres (about a quarter) of the water supply is consumed by Petronas’ mega methanol plant (photo here).

And the people suffer.

In February 2008, The Star reported:

Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s subsidiary, Petronas Methanol (Labuan) Sdn Bhd had commissioned its mega methanol plant in Labuan with the firing up of the package boiler, the biggest in Asia. Petronas said Friday the commissioning would enable the plant’s eventual commercial production scheduled for September this year (2008).

The boiler, with a 260-tonne/hour capacity, was delivered to Labuan by MISC Bhd in June last year and installed by local contractors. The boiler is supported by high quality feed water produced by a reverse osmosis system, while electrical power is supplied from a 14MW gas turbine generator.

In a media release for the financial year ended 31 March 2009, Petronas reported that production of commercial methanol at the mega methanol plant began in January 2009. The plant has a total capacity of 1.7 million tonnes a year and it has raised Petronas’ capacity from 2,000 tonnes per day to 7,000 tonnes per day.

The larger dilemma is, what are our priorities? To produce methanol, which is often used in making other chemicals, or to conserve water and ensure adequate water supply for the population?

This report from Bernama:

The water woes are also giving a lot of stress to some 4,000 students at two institutions of higher learning here — Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Matriculation College — as water supply to their hostels have slowed to a trickle.

They now rely on tankers from the Water Department for additional supplies, just like the rest of the islanders here.

“Not even a drop of water to drink from the pipe, what more to bathe?,” asked a UMS student from Sarawak’s interior, who wished to be known as Abdul Wahid.

“I never thought I would face this kind of problem when I enrolled into UMS early this year. I want to look fresh each time my class starts. Unfortunately, there is no water to bathe, wash my face or even brush my teeth (in my hostel),” he said.

He added: “Labuan is not an isolated place as compared to my area in Sarawak. I am not living in the interior here. Whoever gets up early will have a chance to bathe (before the water runs out). The worst part is that the toilets stink because there is no water to flush.”

A staff at the Student Affairs Unit of Matriculation College said there were 2,348 students studying at the college. The majority come from Sarawak and Sabah, with a small number from Peninsular Malaysia.

“Many parents of the students have been calling us, following the water problem in our college but there is nothing much we can do. It is beyond our control. This is an unexpected problem, we have never had this problem before,” she said.

Some lecturers had even asked for transfers, citing the water dilemma as their reason for leaving and students had also told the college that they too want to quit.

UMS Senior Assistant Registrar of Students Affairs Zamri Haji Mohd Tuah said there were some 1,900 students currently staying in the UMS hostel.

“What we are worried about now is that the lack of water supply could lead to other diseases. The Health Department is now monitoring the situation, day and night,” he said.

How bad is the situation there? If you are a Labuan resident or student or have visited the island recently, share your experience with us in the comments below. And water or methanol?

Indian head count after UMNO's cow-head blunder

My Sinchew
by Mohsin Abdullah

While the Indians are hurt over the cow head incident, the community find itself getting star attention in Bagan Pinang.

They could very well be the king maker in the Bagan Pinang by election the date of which is yet to be announced.

Bagan Pinang, in Negeri Sembilan, is a Malay majority area. According to official statistics 57.6 % of its 14,000 plus voters are Malays. Chinese make up 14.3 %, Indians 25% and others 2%.

To anyone aspiring to be the new YB there, the simple political calculation is -- get half of the Malay votes and a solid non-Malay support and the state seat is won. And that calculation seem to favour the Pakatan Rakyat candidate. At least on paper and based on current situation or the political mood so to speak.

The seat was won by the BN through UMNO in the 2008 General election. Azman Mohd Nor beat PAS' Ramli Ismail by a 2,333 vote majority. Azman passed away recently and by election must be held soon. And it will be a showdown between UMNO and PAS or PKR (but strong possibility a PAS candidate will be representing the Pakatan Rakyat again, just like in the March 2008 GE).

Political observers feel the Pakatan candidate (doesn't matter PAS or PKR) is capable of getting at least half of the Malay votes and should garner good support of the Chinese. The UMNO man will be banking on Malay support and a reasonable good showing in Chinese areas. Thus the Indian votes will tip the scale. Hence both candidates will be out to woo the Indians.

Definitely events hundreds of kilometres away from Bagan Pinang will be played out as election issues to win the hearts and minds of the Indians. Thus Penang's Kampung Buah Pala and the Shah Alam temple relocation issue will be central.

For both the BN and Pakatan Rakyat, Kampung Buah Pala is one issue which is a 50-50 situation i.e. you win some you lose. Votes that is. But the Shah Alam temple relocation issue can see Pakatan getting the votes.

Many Indians are angry and sad over the cow head protest and will throw their support behind Pakatan. After all the Selangor government is a Pakatan administration, one seen as trying to solve a long standing problem. That's an advantage. But the Selangor government has also been accused by their detractors of kow towing to the demands of the non Malays. Now that can be a disadvantage.

However, many blame UMNO for the cow head incident. And although some of those involved have been charged in court many are not satisfied, eyeing the action suspiciously.

The Bagan Pinang by election is the ninth since the March 8 2008 GE. So far Pakatan has won 7. The BN's only victory was Batang Ai Sarawak. Out of the 7 by elections in the Peninsula, Kuala Terengganu was the one seat UMNO was defending when by election was held. It failed to keep the seat losing to Pakatan's PAS candidate.

Now it's Bagan Pinang. It must and will do all it can to not only defend the seat but to stop the Pakatan's splendid run thus far.

In Bagan Pinang, racial issues sadly will be used. Accusations will be thrown. Accusations such as one is neglecting one's own race in favour of others. I pray I am wrong.

While UMNO work on the Malay community, it expect its partners in the BN coalition to deliver the non Malay votes. But the MCA are in crisis. Can they get the job done?

Are they willing to work hard now that they have got problems of their own? The MIC are also seeing internal squabbles among the various camps. And that aside, confidence in the party among the Indian community has eroded. Can they convince the Indians?

But the Pakatan too have its own problems which will be exploited by the opponents. The BN through UMNO are the incumbent in Bagan Pinang. Being incumbent many things are at their disposal. All can be turned into their favour. And one advantage is the big number of postal votes. Traditionally postal votes from the police and Armed Forces go to the BN.

Still its early days. A battle is in store. Interesting and ferocious as well.

Lapor siasatan rumah mewah Khir, SPRM diberi tempoh 7 hari

Dari Harakah Daily

Oleh Dzulfikar Mashoor

Gerakan Rakyat integriti dan Anti Korupsi (Gerak Malaysia) memberi tempoh tujuh hari kepada Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) menjelaskan perkembangan sisatan kes kediaman mewah bekas Menteri Besar Selangor, Datuk Seri Mohd Khir Toyo yang didakwa bernilai RM20 juta.

Pengerusinya, Mohd Nazri Mohd Yunus semalam berkata, SPRM dilihat lambat bertindak sehingga tiada apa apa laporan dikeluarkan sejak kes itu dibangkitkan sejak tiga bulan lalu.

“Kami beri tempoh 7 hari untuk menyatakan perkembangan kes atau dakwaan, jika tidak Jumaat ini Gerak Malaysia akan hantar memorandum pada SPRM. Saya tuntut pendakwaan segera.? katanya.

Ujarnya lagi, SPRM perlu bertindak secara adil dan saksama; tanpa mengira seseorang yang didakwa itu dari Pakatan Rakyat atau pemimpin penting Umno sendiri.

Ditanya mengapa perlu tunggu tujuh hari untuk mengantar memo tersebut, Nazri menjelaskan bahawa pihaknya akan bersemuka dengan SPRM bukan untuk membuat pengaduan atau laporan, sebaliknya menunggu maklum balas siasatan berbangkit.

“Berkaitan banglo mewah Khir Toyo ini, kita sudah hantar dakwaan pada 7 Julai lalu; termasuk beberapa pendedahan laman web berkaitan dan sebagainya,” jelasnya.

Sambil melahirkan kekesalan atas pendakwaan terpilih SPRM dalam kes Khir Toyo itu, beliau mempersoal komitmen luar biasa SPRM sebelum ini apabila agresif menyisat beberapa kes pendakwaan yang dikaitkan dengan pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat.

“Tentang kes Tan Sri Khalid (Menteri Besar Selangor) dan kes peruntukan Dun yang kita (Gerak) hantar, saya kira dalam tempoh dua minggu siasatan terus dimulakan. Mengapa tidak dalam kes Khir Toyo ini?” soalnya lagi.

Bercakap pada sidang media di Hotel De Palma, Nazri berkata, keengganan SPRM menyiasat kes Khir Toyo bukan sahaja mengakibatkan kredibiliti suruhanjaya itu terus dipertikai khalayak, malah turut mengakibatkan Gerak sebuah badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) bebas juga terpalit difitnah sebagai “buat laporan terpilih” dan proksi Mohd Ezam Mohd Noor (Umno).

Beliau juga menjelaskan bahawa pertubuhannya mempunyai beberapa dokumen bukti berkaitan kes tersebut.

Pun begitu, beliau masih menunggu mana-mana saksi kes tersebut tampil bersamanya dalam pendakwaan kes Khir itu.

Beliau turut mencabar Khir menafikan segala pendedahan terbuka yang dilakukan oleh beberapa laman web termasuk oleh mereka yang bergelar Umno Reform.

Artikel berjudul Khir Perlu Jawab! dalam Umno Reform 2, 6 Julai lalu mendedahkan Istana gaya Bali yang terletak di Jalan 1/7L, Seksyen 7 Shah Alam bernilai lebih RM20 juta.

Walaupun SPRM masih belum membuat sebarang pendakwaan kes terbabit, khalayak amnya percaya seseorang ahli politik yang bersih sebenarnya tidak mampu memiliki rumah bernilai RM20 juta, dengan menjawat jawatan Menteri Besar Selangor selama dua penggal pemerintahan sahaja._

Power Of People Determines BN's Continuity In Government - Najib

TAWAU, Sept 13 (Bernama) -- In Malaysia's parliamentary democratic system, it is the power of the people that will determine Barisan Nasional's (BN) continuity in government, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

So, he said, to ensure that BN continued to receive the mandate to rule this country, it must be fair to all citizens regardless of race and religion.

"This is because if we can protect the rights of all races and be fair to all, then the people will be with us and this is also the BN government's principle.

"We will consider the interest of all groups so that no group feels it is being marginalised or hurt, instead, each group, each community is taken care of as best possible through the BN government's policies."

Najib said this before about 15,000 people from various ethnic groups at a breaking of fast and handing-over of charity contributions to orphans and the poor here.

Also present were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, other BN component party leaders and former Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Sakaran Dandai.

Najib said the principle of fairness outlined in 1Malaysia was also in line with Islam which taught its followers to be fair to all communities and religions.

He said the 1Malaysia concept mooted by him was also in line with what Prophet Muhammad practised when he established the government of Medina with Islam as the pillar of the administration.

"At the same time, the Prophet was fair to all the communities in Medina, he protected the minorities and gave religious freedom to the non-Muslims.

"If we look at the 1Malaysia concept, the essence is fairness which is based on the principles of mutual respect and accepting diversity as our strength and not as a problem.

"If we accept diversity as our strength, then our country will become even more successful and dynamic in future."

Najib, who is also Umno president and BN chairman, also reminded BN component party leaders and members to be close to the people and not just being popular among party leaders.

He said there was no point in only being popular, even if one was the party president, but the party lost, and in this regard, the BN government under his leadership would get close to the people.

Najib said he started going to the ground to be close to the people when he took over the helm of government and wanted the other BN leaders to do the same.

"I've gone to several places to meet the people. As leaders, if we go visiting without protocol and without the red-carpet welcome, the bunga manggar or any special reception, but we sit down with the people over drinks and hear their problems, the people will remain with us."

On Sabah which he had all this while regarded as BN's "fixed deposit", Najib said he wanted Sabah to continue strengthening itself to really be BN's stronghold.

Najib also said that the frequent power supply disruption in Tawau would be solved soon with the construction of a coal-powered plant in Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu, as an alternative measure, besides buying more power generators.

The prime minister was also scheduled to meet with Chinese community leaders here before returning to Kuala Lumpur.

Later at a "moreh" feast, Najib said Sabah and Sarawak would be given special attention in the implementation of rural development programmes under the Tenth Malaysia Plan.

He said this would include increasing power supply in both states.

"There are still many areas in Sabah including its east coast region which are experiencing power supply disruptions. Therefore, the government will send a power generator from Sime Darby to Sabah in December, besides setting up two more power plants in the state as a long-term measure."

Najib also called on the state's leaders to take care of the people and be close to them to ensure that the BN government continued to be accepted by the people and remained strong.

Take Beer... PAS overtures & Mirzan M owning San Miguel

By Jeff Ooi,

On one hand, PAS Youth has called for a ban on the sale of alcohol in Muslim-majority areas in all Pakatan Rakyat-held states and Perak. The caveat is: PAS Youth will not call for a total ban because "we respect the rights of non-Muslims to consume alcoholic beverages".

To facilitate that, PAS Youth said sale of alcohol will be banned in Muslim-majority areas. (NB: We really have to define how the statues had defined Muslim-majority areas without dispute.)

'Send Me A Gal'

On the other hand, it was revealed September 10 that Mirzan Mahathir, the eldest son of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was recently appointed to the board of San Miguel Corp, the biggest food and beverage conglomerate in the Philippines and the owner of San Miguel Brewery Inc.

Today, Mirzan came out to defend his investment group’s stake in San Miguel Corp as just plain business. He argued that the San Miguel was well on the way to diversifying substantially from its brewery business.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS... My first taste of San Miguel was in Hong Kong during the early 80s, in between feasts on the famous roast goose drumstick. Folks there, with their funny-slang English, ordered me "Send-Me-a-Gal" as the amber lubricant.

Subra’s options - The Malaysian Insider

Datuk S. Subramaniam being mobbed by supporters as he leaves after the results were announced last night. - Picture by Jack Ooi

By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 – After Saturday’s shock defeat, challenger Datuk S. Subramaniam and his supporters are caught in a heart-breaking dilemma – whether to leave the MIC or stay and fight another day.

The difficult decision is compounded by the fact that MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu confirmed today the party would definitely act against Subramaniam for allegedly “tarnishing” the party’s image – a catch-all charge that usually leads to expulsion.

“It is a heart breaking decision for us,” said K.P. Samy, one of only two leaders not endorsed by Samy Vellu to win in yesterday’s election.

“What ever Subramaniam decides we will accept ... we will follow,” Samy, a prominent Klang businessman, told The Malaysian Insider.

He won as a member of the MIC Central Working Committee along with another Subramaniam supporter S. P. Manivasagam.

Subramaniam told The Malaysian Insider at his home last night that the immediate task was to cool down and calm emotions.

“I want all my supporters to hold on and not to do or say anything rash,” he said.

“I need time to think…I was fully focused on the campaign and was confident of victory.”

“I need time to decide what next,” he said while not ruling out joining a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party or taking over “one of the new Indian” political parties.

His supporters, however, want him to make a quick decision and many want him to join a PR party, an option that is difficult for Subramaniam to make because many of his well-heeled supporters who had underwritten his campaign are pro-BN individuals with large business interests dependent on government largesse.

They are urging Subramaniam to stay put, saying his support in the MIC had actually increased but he lost because the anti-Samy Vellu votes were unfortunately split.

They say the pro-Samy Vellu votes was the 629 votes garnered by deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel while the combined anti-Samy Vellu votes were a combined 827 made up of the 547 received by Subramaniam and the 280 votes that the second challenger Datuk S. Sothinathan got.

The path Subramaniam chooses will be tempered by his age and his willingness to start another long struggle from outside the MIC.

He is pushing 65 and unlikely to start all over again in a new party, said a close aide.

“Besides he is a MIC and BN man and is uncomfortable with the opposition,” he said.

Subramaniam’s support in the MIC had always hovered around 45 per cent of the total number of party delegates in the MIC at any one time despite all forms of persecution.

However he has never been able to increase that support although yesterday’s election shows he had breached that limitation for the first time except that Sothinathan’s entry into the fray had split the votes.

“If it was a straight fight, he would have won,” said S. Periasamy, a strategist for Subramaniam.

Under the circumstances Subramaniam has a tough choice to make as he is facing expulsion in MIC although his popularity is on the rise in the MIC and the broader Indian community despite the defeat.

“He has no future in the MIC because they are going to sack him,” said supporter S. Tangavelu from Perak, on Saturday night.

“There is also no future for the MIC. Even if he joins PAS … we will accept and follow him,” he said.

'Gov't splitting Indian community' - Malaysiakini

Voices of dissent reverberated through Dewan Merdeka in the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur as MIC delegates took to the microphone to air their views.

One delegate slammed the Barisan Nasional government for playing a double game by causing fissures in the Indian community and working against MIC.

"This government wants Indian support but at the same time works on splitting Indians," stressed S Pulikesi from Batu Gajah, Perak.

"If these Indians (outside of MIC) claim that (MIC) leaders didn't do anything, then they should join MIC and change the community," he said.

Earlier, MIC president S Samy Vellu urged the delegates not to train their guns on former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

His call came after Ampang MIC delegate M Muniandy criticised Mahathir for his caustic remarks against Samy Vellu.

"We clapped and welcomed Mahathir whenever he attended MIC meetings. Our president also praised him. Yet now, he (Mahathir) accuses Samy Vellu of not doing anything.

"If we accept that Samy Vellu didn't do anything for the Indians, then what have you (Mahathir) done for the Indians in the 22 years (that he was premier)? Have you fulfilled all of our requests?" he asked.

'He's still a great statesman'

At this juncture, Samy Vellu interrupted the delegate and advised him against raising the subject.

"He is still a great statesman who led this nation," he defended Mahathir.

Fireworks between Mahathir and Samy Vellu erupted recently when the former was quoted in a Tamil daily as saying that the Indian community had voted for the opposition because they were angry with the MIC president.

He also accused Samy Vellu of being a despotic leader who never groomed a replacement or allowed others to grow in the party.

The MIC president then retaliated by calling Mahathir the master of 'destroying deputies'.

'Slap those who question us'

Criticising the intervention of external forces, a delegate from Johor said BN component parties must refrain from meddling in MIC's affairs.

"All of us are doing work on the ground and we have been campaigning more than MCA and Umno," said T Nadesan from Pasir Gudang.

"We are a big party but we still have to beg from Umno for allocations," he added.

Since the March 8 general election, speculations are rife that Umno is unhappy with Samy Vellu's continued presence at the helm of MIC.

During his opening speech at the MIC annual general assembly yesterday, Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak took a swipe at Samy Vellu when he said that leaders should be popular in their respective communities and not just their parties.

Observers saw this as an indirect call on delegates to cast their vote for S Subramaniam who was challenging the president's choice G Palanivel in a three-cornered fight for the number two post.

A day before the MIC elections, the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia ran a front-page report quoting political analysts stating that Samy Vellu should step down.

Despite this, Palanivel emerged victorious while the president's men almost made a clean sweep of all the other posts up for grabs.

Shah Alam delegate S Vickneswari praised Samy Vellu for his leadership, saying that Indians would still be tapping rubber trees in the estates if not for him.

"If our children question what MIC has done for the community, we should give them a tight slap and enlighten them," she said.

As for party members, she stressed: "If we question MIC, we are questioning ourselves."