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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MIC Should Make An Open Apology To Dr Mahathir, Says Mukhriz

PETALING JAYA, Sept 15 (Bernama) -- MIC should make an open apology to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and all the people hurt over the "slippers garland" issue," said the former prime minister's son Datuk Mukhriz.

Although MIC had taken action to suspend the membership of the delegate who hurled the insult against Dr Mahathir at the party's just-concluded annual general assembly, Mukhriz, who is also Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister and Member of Parliament for Jerlun, said this was not enough to pacify things.

"It's not only Tun (Dr Mahathir) who is hurt by the remarks," he said when breaking fast with members of the media at Restoran Khadijah's Kitchen in Jalan Bukit here today.

Mukhriz said only an open apology would prove MIC's sincerity in wanting to maintain good ties among Barisan Nasional component parties and that something like this should not have happened because it was hurtful to many.

He said this when asked to comment on MIC's decision to suspend the membership of the delegate concerned pending a full inquiry for suggesting a garland of slippers be hung around a potrait of Dr Mahathir.

Earlier, in KUALA LUMPUR, Mukhriz had said MIC members did not share the sentiments of the delegate who had made the "garland of slippers" suggestion for Dr Mahathir.

He said he had received quite a number of messages on the short-message service (sms) and calls from friends in MIC on the matter.

"They assured me that they do not share the sentiments of the person who had made the comment in the (MIC) assembly and that it does not represent the majority.

"So, I hope this is true and we can move forward," he had told reporters after officiating a seminar entitled "Opportunites from AFTA and Regional FTAs", organised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation.

He said that it was unfortunate that his father's statements had brought about some emotional reaction from one of the MIC members.

Mukhriz said Dr Mahathir had only asked MIC to undergo changes as demanded by the people who wanted a fresh new look in the party.

"He (Dr Mahathir) himself after helming UMNO and the Barisan Nasional (BN) for 22 years felt that he should not wait until he was thrown out before retiring," said Mukhriz.

Other component parties within the BN, like Umno, were undergoing changes and MIC was no exception, he said, adding that the BN had only about two and a half years to change before the next general election.

"We are always looking at MIC as a major partner in BN representing the Indian community. Therefore, we hope that the changes demanded by the people will be carried out by MIC," he said. Meanwhile, Wanita Umno has also demanded that the delegate concerned apologise to Dr Mahathir and people of Malaysia for passing such remarks.

Its head Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said the remarks were unacceptable and did not fit into Malaysian culture.

Shahrizat, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said she welcomed the party's action in suspending the membership of the delegate pending a full inquiry but the wing insisted that the person meets Dr Mahathir to apologise.

"If we look at the true Indian culture, they will kiss the feet of their elders. In this respect, Dr Mahathir is a father figure in this country," she added.

Kampung Buah Pala debate continues - Malaysiakini

'In the heat of any election campaign, be very careful of what you say and promise. If you can't deliver, it will come back to haunt you.'

Fresh round of Buah Pala demolition

Geronimo:
Whatever promises made by the DAP prior to the 2008 election, they would have thought that it was a simple matter then. All they knew was that Koh Tsu Koon have signed off the land and it would be easy to either acquire it back or rescind the sales.

It was only after the takeover of the state administration that they realised that it was not that easy. Lim Guan Eng is a decent person and I believe he did all he could to resolve the matter but the forces were just against him. Anyway, it is a learning point for Lim. In the heat of any election campaign, be very careful of what you say and promise. If you can't deliver, it will come back to haunt you.

Suhaimi Said:
This is just a case where the former BN state government had disposed of the land to a cooperative at a low price. The cooperative appointed a developer to develop the land, by then residents had exhausted all legal channels.

Kengan: What heritage value does Kg Buah Pala have? I've asked many times but nobody can answer me. There is nothing unique about their wooden and zinc shacks. No noteworthy architectural features unlike pre-war shophouses. They are unsightly structures that you can find all over rural Malaysia. The excuse of heritage value to preserve this squatter colony is very thin.

Tg Tokong residents who have stayed even longer than Kampung Buah Pala residents are only offered a RM45,000 apartment to make way for development. Kampung Buah Pala residents are offered a double-storey terrace house but apparently this is not enough for some.

Let's be realistic. The villagers have no land title, they have lost the court case so staying put is not an option.

Sdc: Two wrongs do not make a right. Yes, BN sold the land and DAP finalised the sale. There is no consideration for the residents of the land for 200 years to whom a righteous government would have alienated the land and sell it off.

Wira: MIC, where is the promised RM3.2 million? If there were 32 families, each of them could take home RM10 000 or a nice apartment in Butterworth. Maybe the money wasn't there in the first place or already used up in the MIC elections concluded recently.

Dingy: The residents are between the devil and the deep blue sea. BN is the devil while Pakatan Rakyat is the deep blue sea. They are in a lose-lose situation. The fact is in Penang, the Chinese play the important role in election. Ask them: should the state government take out hundreds of millions to save Kampung Buah Pala at the expense of the rest? Why didn't MIC, as promised, take out RM3.2 million and give it to the people there? It's still not too late, Samy Vellu!

Bagan Pinang residents will vote on Oct 11

Toyo: The EC must give us a transparent accountability of the postal vote. Where did such a big number suddenly appear from?

Rocky: Looks like voting is on a Sunday. Maybe it is an Umno area or perhaps Umno supporters are the ones not turning out for voting on working days? I hope no one brings a live cow to the nomination.
P Dev Anand Pillai: Well, we can only hope that the Indians in Bagan Pinang do not disappoint. With the new 'dream team' at the helm in MIC, the Indians will once again be carried away with the hope and rhetoric that their beloved MIC is the party where their future lies with.

Jakarta beri jaminan pelajar Malaysia selamat

Samy Vellu's Malay dilemma

By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Seri S. Samuy Vellu holding up his vote towards the media before casting it during the recent election for the post of Vice President at the MIC general assmbly in PWTC on Septemeber 12, 2009 - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Flushed from a major victory, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu is now twitching like a beached fish under Umno's glare over an emotional outburst by a MIC delegate who had wanted to garland Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with slippers for criticising the party president.

Umno leaders and Malay organisations have taken umbrage over the remark and have demanded a personal apology from Samy Vellu.

It is now a dilemma for the veteran Indian leader who is caught between appeasing the former prime minister and Umno or staying firm with the anti-Mahathir grandstanding he himself had created.Samy Vellu has offered to sack the offending delegate, believed to be from Selangor hoping the storm would blow over. But that offer conflicts with comments made by other MIC leaders responding to the Malay demand for a personal apology.

The president's son, Vel Paari, who is also a MIC Youth wing co-coordinator, has tried justify the anti-Mahatihr invective by saying the delegates were worked up by Dr Mahathir's criticism of his father.

MIC Youth chief T. Mohan added his two cents in a statement carried prominently in the Samy Vellu-owned Tamil Nesan asking Umno to take disciplinary action against Dr Mahathir for “interfering” in the internal affairs of the party. By all accounts, Samy Vellu appears to want to settle the prickly issue of Dr Mahathir by sacking the delegate but is reluctant to offer a personal apology to keep is “tough and afraid of anyone” image among his diehard supporters.

Dr Mahathir was seen as an “interfering enemy” by Samy Vellu and his camp ever since the former prime minister told the Makkal Osai, a Tamil daily owned by losing deputy presidential candidate Datuk S. Subramaniam’s supporters, that the long-serving party president was destructive, had failed the Indian community and was the reason they abandoned the Barisan Nasional for the Pakatan Rakyat in Election 2008.

Dr Mahathir, who spoke to the vernacular newspaper in the run-up to the Sept 12 MIC election, had also urged party delegates to elect good leaders like Subramaniam.
Once a close ally of Dr Mahathir, Samy Vellu worked quickly and hard to head off the impact of the statement on delegates by using his Tamil Nesan newspaper to attack the former leader as a person unfit to advise the MIC because he had disposed off his own deputies.

He also attacked Subramaniam as “disgraceful” for bowing to Dr Mahathir and using him to get votes in the MIC. “Shame!” was the one-word headline of the Tamil Nesan newspaper on the eve of the poll to reflect Samy Vellu's opinion of Subramaniam, who was once his deputy.

After the president's men swept through the party polls last Saturday despite criticisms from Dr Mahathir and Umno-held newspapers, MIC delegates on Sunday criticised the former prime minister in what was seen as an organised manner with Datuk A. Muneandy from Ampang wanting to pass a resolution condemning Dr Mahathir for interference. But Samy Vellu interjected to say such a resolution was unnecessary adding Dr Mahathir, although interfering in MIC affairs, should be respected because he had brought the country to great heights.

However other delegates keep coming back to the subject and the “garland of slippers” speech was made when Samy Vellu was not in the party assembly ironically held in Umno's Putra World Trade Centre.

Incensed with the attacks, Dr Mahathir renewed his criticisms of Samy Vellu in his blog - although not naming him - saying “there are politician who think if they as party president then they can win in the general election.” “So they try to win by sacking members opposed to them using money to buy support or use their power to threaten or offer any promises to win support,” said the Umno veteran who was prime minister for 22 years.

He noted that they can win through this means but will lose support among the people because the people would notice their abuses.

Whipping judge hands out 2nd caning for drinking

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 – The Syariah court judge who sentenced Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno to be caned for drinking beer has served up a similar punishment on an Indonesian man for consuming alcohol, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The New Straits Times said that Nazarudin Kamaruddin, 46, had become the first person to be caned for consuming alcohol in Pahang state in central Malaysia.

Judge Abdul Rahman Mohd Yunos triggered criticism from rights groups and concerns over the growing influence of tough Islamic punishments in Malaysia when he sentenced Kartika, a 32-year-old mother of two, to caning for consuming beer.

“The sentence meted out to him (Nazarudin) is not meant as punishment but to serve as a lesson,” Rahman said, according to the paper.

Kartika’s case is being reviewed by an Islamic appeals court judge and her caning could be carried out once the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan is over.

Pahang is the home state of Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, who has pledged to modernise the economy of this country of 27 million people and to win new foreign investment. – Reuters

The Star muzzles the truth about kampung Buah Pala

The Star muzzles the truth

I was shocked to see the way the The Star had treated the destruction of Kampung Buah Pala yesterday. Outright and blatant violation of Human Rights was occurring here in a large and ugly way, right in our midst and what does THE Star Report. Nothing at all in today’s copy. THIS IS AN OBVIOUS BLACKOUT. In this 21st century, every where you are hearing shouts of democracy and change, but here in our modern WIMAX city of Penang, what do you get, Bulldozers razing the houses of the poor and defenceless, trampling on our fundamental rights.- continuing to treat the Indians as coolies and rubbish. And nothing reported by the largest selling English daily in the country. Yes, and that makes my blood boil.

Why does the Star take this line. This is clearly an orchestrated position. They have blacked out the incident totally – go and see for yourself and they think they are smart. Compare with the reports in Malaysiakini. Why is this happening?

The answer in my mind is simple and plain – what these treacherous DAP guys have been saying about media manipulation by Utusan and the NST is exactly what they are doing with The Star – where they have some influence, and they put tremendous pressure of biased reporting on the online media that dares to publish the contrary truth.

DAP further has thrown in its lot with the Developer community. They are fast becoming the Chinese version of UMNO. We need a people sensitive government, not a heartless and insensitive repeat of what we have been trying very hard to change. DAP just does not have the DNA for sensitivity. They only now know greed and power. The Star is fast becoming an active participant in DAPs play and they have to be exposed and they have to punished. The Indians may not account for a large portion of their revenues, but they account for a sizeable portion of their readership.

For a start, I suggest we stop buying The Star. They must be punished by reducing their reach which they so boast about. If they do not publish the truth with all its nuances, they are no better than the NST. The Star has become the Chinese version of the NST. We can switch back to NST or to the SUN – not much lost. This may look somewhat of a kneejerk response – it is, but it is maybe what may be needed to for these goons and their media lackeys to stop the bullying of the minority Indian community, thinking what can you do – with your piddly 7.4%? It is time we find independent ways.

Ong Tee Keat Not Viagra Chua Should Join The Opposition / RC Updates

By Sheih Kickdefella,

Do not be romantically swayed by the youthful grandpa Chua Soi Lek. The opposition should pray for the MCA President, Ong Tee Keat to be removed as MCA Party President in the MCA coming EGM and Chua Soi Lek will not just be reinstated by promoted to the position as President.

With Soi Lek as President, the older generation of Malaysians will be glad to know that they still have someone who has proven to be the ambassador of ‘performer’ high on the BN hierarchy, furthermore, Malaysians might have another chance to be exposed to another round of volume of DVD consisting lurid visuals of grandpa’s performance.

Meanwhile, the fly for free Tee Keat will have more time to spare to go around town talking and explaining about the Port Klang Free Area scandal. PKFZ is something that UMNO wants to sweep under the carpet. PKFZ project has by far looks like another cash cow for BN. PKFZ contractors was where the went to in order to squeeze political funds for their respective parties.

It will be very interesting to see Ong Tee Keat joining his buddy, Chua Jui Meng in PKR.

RC2009 Updates

RCE

RM6,600 has been spent so far. Due to the rise in good prices and lack of stocks amongst wholesalers, we have decided to give cash instead of goods like the last two years.

Two session has been organized with the first session held in Kubang Kerian on last Saturday afternoon. During the first session, RM3000 were given directly to 30 families amongst the poor and needy in within the Kubang Kerian vicinity. The programme was led by YB Sallahuddin Ayub, MP for Kubang Kerian who help to give away the cash.

The second session was held last night at Ar Raudhah in Kota Bharu. RM3,600 we given to 50 orphans and 22 foreign students from China and Cambodia who are studying in KIAS. It was held during the breaking fast programme handled by Tabung Amanah Tok Kenali. Sdr Khir, the Director of Tok Kenali helped to give away the cash.

Penans – Last of our Mohicans?

By Hussein Hamid

In September 2008 The Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) media release said in essence that:

“Penan women from the Middle Baram area of Sarawak are launching a cry of alarm to the international community over cases of sexual abuse by logging company workers in the East Malaysian state’s rainforests.

The Penan are accusing workers from Interhill and Samling, two Malaysian logging companies, of harassing and raping Penan women, including schoolgirls. They come on an almost weekly basis, but the situation is worst during the school holidays when they know the students are in the villages.

In other cases, school transports operated by company vehicles had been arranged in such a way that schoolgirls had to stay overnight at a logging camp, where they were abused.

Complaints by the Penan to those in charge of the logging camps and to the Police have so far had no effect.The Bruno Manser Fund is asking the Malaysian government to start a formal enquiry into these serious criminal offences. In particular, the government is being asked to ensure that the victims are protected and that the harassment of Penan women by company workers is brought to an end immediately”.

On 8th October 2008 cabinet set up the Jawatankuasa Bertindak Peringkat Kebangsaan untuk Menyiasat Dakwaan Penderaan Seksual on Wanita Penan – to investigate the Sexual Abuse of Penan Women and Girls as contained in The Bruno Manser Fund media release of September 2008.

Here are some of the cases of those sexual abuses that came to the attention of the Jawatankuasa pertaining to the sexual abuse of the Penan Women and Schoolgirls.

AGE GROUP: FROM AS YOUNG AS 10 ONWARDS.

  • Case One:
    Age 17 years old. Rape at 12 while walking outside the school compound during school holidays. Not surprisingly at that age she was not able to identify her attacker. She was raped once again by a worker from the logging company while getting a lift from the company’s vehicle from her village at Long Kawi to her school at Long Lama. When she realized that she was pregnant she stopped school and married a fellow Penan.

  • Case Two:
    First raped in 2005 by a worker from the logging camp of Inter Hill. She knew him when her Family got a lift back to the village after sending her sister to school. (Walking to school would have taken two days.) He entered her house at night and raped her in her room. She gave birth to a daughter. Second rape was in 2007. The same guy again entered her house at night when she was by herself and the result was another daughter in February 2008. She did not make a Police Report as she was not able to read or write. This same guy claimed her as his wife – but she refused to accept him as he had two other wives – one of which was a Penan.

  • Case Three:
    She knew of two Penan girls – one age 15 and another 20 that had had sexual relationship with two logging workers while getting lifts to leave their village area. This became the talk of the village and both these girls eventually married Penan men and left the village in 2008.

  • Case Four:
    A student age 14 of Sekolah Menegah at Long Sam whose breasts were fondle while getting lifts to school by the driver of the logging camp vehicle. This is a normal occurrence and the girls reported it to their parent but not to the school authorities. They were worried that the school would accuse them of lying and finding an excuse of not coming to school and then be caning them. There were claims that members in uniform were also involved in these sexual abuses but the girls were not able to substantiate these claims.

  • Case Five:
    She said that she was regularly abused during lifts to school in the vehicles belonging to the logging company. They were even attempts at rape by these drivers. At the age of 10 she and four other girls’ students, while on the way to school in the company lorry, was almost raped by the driver. They managed to free themselves but were injured and did not attend school on that day.

    In another instance she said that the Lorry Driver asked the male students to disembark. They did so and managed to get all the other girl student out except for one girl. The driver drove off with her and to date no one has asked her what happened that day.

    At the age of 13 she was introduced to an Iban man who was a logger while visiting her mother in Miri. She was abducted by him and raped. A police report was made. The Police found her at Kem Kilometer 10 with the man and they were brought to Balai Polis Bakong, Beluru and then to the Miri Polis station. She stopped schooling after this incident.

    Next she got involved with another logger who plies her with cigarettes and alcohol. Other workers from the logging camps often joined them with their Penan girlfriends to party at their boss house. This relationship lasted two years until he lost interest in her. She then got involved with another logger with whom she had a child out of wedlock. She stopped seeing him after his wife beg her to stop the relationship.

    She then met a businessman who came to buy rattan and gaharu. He gave money and food to her family. She had a child out of wedlock with him now aged two. He soon met a Penan girl and tire of her.

  • Case Six:
    She was almost raped while on her trip with her Father and Family to apply for her ID Card at Long Bangan, Baram. In the middle of the journey the driver stopped the vehicle and asked her family and the other passenger to disembark while holding on to her hand. Then he sped of with her. She struggled and he had to stop the vehicle. Then he dragged her into the bush but by that time her Family and the other passengers caught up with them and he did not have the time to do anything.

  • Case Seven:
    She was aged 17 and had just given premature birth at Hospital Miri. The baby survived. She was said to have had relations with a logger but she denied this – however she was shaken and almost cried while denying that it had ever happened.

These are the cases investigated at length by the Jawatankuasa. It is a fact that the workers from the logging camp repeatedly took advantage of the very people who depended on them for transport, food and money. The Penans were taken advantage off by workers of these logging companies that resulted in the abuse of their women and girls.

To take advantage of girls from the age of 10 onwards is despicable and deserved to be punished severely.

The biggest problem in Sarawak is that loggers and government are one and the same,” said William W. Bevis, an American academic. Sarawak’s chief minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud, also serves as the forestry minister, grants logging concessions and approves environmental impact statements. Wong, the environment minister, personally holds a large concession and pioneered hill logging with bulldozers.

Malaysia is one of the worlds if not the world’s largest supplier of tropical wood.

Therein lies the Penan problem. How will the Ministry of Women, Family and Community development plead the case of the Penan women and girls against the might of the Sarawak State Government – against Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud unless international condemnation of these bastardly acts are forthcoming. We know that the Federal Government will be reluctant to act against Taib. The result of the last election when Sarawak made the difference to Barisan continued stay in power is good enough reason for Najib not to do anything. But our condemnation and international pressure will make a difference. So please my friends think of what we can do. Demonstrate, write letters to anybody who can make a difference locally and internationally, hold aloft slogans supporting the Penans….anything to make this shame done by the logging companies and the others to the Penan known first in Malaysia and then the world. In a multiracial country such as ours it is how we look after our minority that will be the mark of our ability to respect and live with each other well. We should not fail the Penans.

Power, politicians and brutalit

By Dr Farish A Noor
thenutgraph.com

Montage of cowheads with a bloody smear on it
(Cow head image source: sabceducation.co.za)

FOR a region that prides itself for its so-called Asian values, we in Southeast Asia don't seem to practise what we preach. We talk about how the region's peoples are peace-loving, but we forget — and we continue to erase and forget — the historical fact that Southeast Asia has been one of the world's most violent parts.

It was here that the Khmer Rouge murdered hundreds of thousands of people in their bid to take Cambodia back to Year Zero. It was here that hundreds of thousands of alleged communists were massacred in the anti-Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) purges in the 1960s. It was here that the Vietnam War was fought with napalm and chemical weapons.

So where, pray tell, was the peace in the region?

Of late, tempers have flared again in Malaysia and Indonesia for the wrong and most absurd of reasons. Indonesian vigilantes now claim that they will unilaterally invade Malaysia with samurai swords and ninja-throwing darts. How will this invading force land on Malaysia's shores? Fly over via Air Asia?

And in Malaysia, a dispute over the building of a Hindu temple in a predominantly Malay-Muslim neighbourhood led a group of nobodies to parade with a severed cow's head in hand. What an apt reminder that this is the month of Ramadan when Muslims are supposed to exercise moral and emotional self-restraint and composure. These are brutish times indeed.

Power of the media

Should we be surprised by any of this? The historian will remind you of the facts of our bloody and violent history and tell you that in relative terms, we seem to be slightly more civilised than before. It would be surprising, to say the least, if the region witnessed another round of bloody genocide akin to that by the Khmer Rouge.


Photos of genocide victims of the Khmer Rouge regime
(Source: Wiki commons)

Yet this does not, and should not, be a cause for celebration for us. The tempering of tempers in the region has less to do with a Southeast Asian community that has matured and renounced our ancestors' violent ways. Rather, it has more to do with economic and geopolitical realities, which dictate that states can no longer massacre their own populations and get away with it. The global media is there to see to it that mass killings, pogroms and the systematic demonisation of communities will not be carried out in full public view. The only thing that seems to hold back this tide of unreconstructed primordial violence is the fear of the loss of international recognition and much-needed foreign capital investment.

But if and when the international media is not looking, the thugs and gangsters who infest our political landscape will come out of the woodwork and do their dirty business. The cow-head protest in Shah Alam was a relatively small incident that, despite making international headlines, did not stay there for long. Likewise, the vigilantes in Jakarta who are sweeping the streets of the city of Malaysians probably realise that they, too, being insignificant themselves, will get their 15 minutes of fame and then be forgotten.

Power, politics and brutality

But more worrying is the convoluted relationship between power, politics and politicians, and the culture of brutality that we have cultivated here for too long.

Today we hear politicians in Malaysia and Indonesia harp on about civil behaviour and good relations between neighbours. But have we forgotten that some of these politicians have themselves led demonstrations where the clarion call to kill their political opponents were uttered? Have we forgotten that these were the very same bloody words that were shouted aloud in public at the demonstrations orchestrated during the Perak state assembly crisis not too long ago?

And have we forgotten that the very same politicians today who speak of peace and love were also present at rallies where communitarian-minded chauvinists bandied slogans like "This keris will drink Chinese blood?" Are these the same politicians who now want to talk about peace and love among human beings?

While on the subject of nasty politicians and brutish politics, let us be fair and note that practically all the major political parties in Malaysia have resorted to the same dirty and violent tactics in the past. It was, after all, the leaders of PAS who once claimed that Muslims should "sow the seeds of hatred" against liberals and secular-minded Malaysians. PAS has also accused intellectuals and activists of blasphemy at the drop of a hat, aided and abetted by their allies in Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). Indeed, the only two parties in the peninsula I can think of that have never taken the path of violent communitarian politics are Parti Sosialis Malaysia and Gerakan, which is not saying much.

As long as the culture of politics in Malaysia and the rest of Southeast Asia remains one that equates power and authority with state violence, be it real or threatened, then we will probably never see the end of brutish politics in our part of the world.

Southeast Asians tend to adopt a dismissive view of the West. And there are far too many right-wing ethno-nationalist leaders in our part of the world who cannot evolve any further than to continue in their nasty polemics against anything and everything Western.

But let us ask ourselves this simple question, and answer it honestly if we can: Can anyone of us imagine a British politician standing on stage with a weapon in hand? Can anyone imagine a demonstration in Europe against a mosque or a Hindu temple where a pig's or cow's head is dragged out into the streets?

Can we imagine those involved not being arrested on the spot? Can anyone imagine a press conference in any European city where a politician is publicly threatened with rape — and the police do nothing? Perchance, therein lies the difference between us Asians and the so-called secular, decadent, materialistic West.

Long before we stand on our high horse and preach Asian values to the world, perhaps we need to look at the hypocritical state of our own primordial, emotional and brutish politics first; and disentangle its fatal associations with power, authority and violence. Our politics remains brutish and violent, and all the cosmetic make- overs with skyscrapers and shopping malls are not going to change that soon, unless we reject the association between violence and governance once and for all.

Altantuya’s dad to proceed with suit

The Star

SHAH ALAM: The father of murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu has withdrawn his application for a review of the Public Prosecutor’s decision not to appeal against the acquittal of political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda.

However, Dr Shaariibuu Setev’s lead counsel Karpal Singh said his client would go ahead with a RM100mil civil suit against Abdul Razak, the Malaysian Government and two others who would be mentioned at the High Court here on Nov 25.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Hinshawati Shariff then struck out the application without costs yesterday.

Earlier, Karpal told the judge that his client had asked him to withdraw the application after being advised that there were two case laws binding the High Court on the Attorney-General’s discretion as Public Prosecutor.

He said Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution had also given the power to the Attorney-General whether to proceed or not with the appeal.

He then asked the court to set aside an earlier order to strike out the application from Senior Federal Counsel Datuk Kamaludin Md Said, who said he had been informed of Dr Setev’s intention in an e-mail from the Mongolian consular department.

Lawyer K.K. Wong, representing Abdul Razak, did not object.

Shah Alam High Court judge Justice Mohd Zaki Md Yasin had acquitted and discharged Razak, 49, without calling for his defence on Oct 31 last year for a charge of abetting in Altantuya’s murder.

Lead prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah later announced that it would not appeal as the court had made a finding of fact in its decision.

Police Special Action Force members Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar and his co-accused Chief Insp Azilah Hadri were found guilty of the murder.

Outside the courtroom, Karpal Singh told reporters that he would appeal to the Government to settle the matter out of court.

“The Government should accept responsibility as Altantuya was murdered here.
“It is my view that the Government is liable to pay damages as two

Menangani Permasalahan Rakyat

Celoteh di kawasan Parlimen sendiri tidak semestinya isu nasional atau dasar.

Di Seberang Jaya akhir minggu lalu saya diminta menggesa Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai (MPSP) menyiapkan lebih banyak tong sampah di kawasan perumahan, memastikan perairan parit tidak tersekat dengan sampah, dahan pokok terlalu rendang mengganggu keselesaan penduduk ditebang dan permohonan meluluskan bumbung tambahan di kedai kopi sekitar Sama Gagah.

Jawatankuasa Masjid Seberang Jaya pula mengemukakan permohonan agar dibina sebuah bangunan kecil untuk penempatan anak-anak yatim.

Agak menarik ialah pasar Ramadhan yang dikendali pemuda, sekitar 130 gerai semuanya. Ada yang meminta dipertimbangkan samaada dapat dijalankan saban minggu.

Demikian di antara isu yang harus ditangani sebaiknya!

ANWAR IBRAHIM

The Rule of Law and Judicial Independence

Speech by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the launching of “Anwar on Trial – In the Face of Injustice” by Pawancheek Marican in Kuala Lumpur on 14th September, 2009 at the De Palma Hotel, Ampang

———-

Today I would like to share with you some thoughts about a subject which I believe is close to our hearts. Not just to politicians, lawyers or social workers but to every member of society. It is so close that without it the very foundation of a free and democratic society crumbles. It is called the rule of law.

According to F.A. Hayek, this means that government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its coercive powers in given circumstances, and to plan one’s individual affair on the basis of this knowledge. That definition is indeed a powerful formulation of the concept but I would hasten to add a major rider to it, which is, that the coercive powers referred to must be predicated on the basis that the laws in the first place must meet the criterion of justness. Hence the rule of law means the exercise of publicly justifiable power. I emphasise the phrase ‘publicly justifiable power’ because not every law that comes out of Parliament is publicly justifiable. In other words, the rule of law requires the application of moral standards to legislative output. And this is because every individual possesses rights founded on justice which are inviolable. The positivity of law is not sufficient to establish its lawfulness. If laws are unjust then the rule of law itself is in jeopardy.

The Internal Security Act is a classic instance of this injustice. It offends against human dignity and it violates our fundamental rights but it still continues to be used arbitrarily against those seen as possible threats to the ruling elite. We have a written constitution which guarantees our liberties including freedom from arbitrary arrest. Yet the use of the ISA to silence political dissent makes a mockery of this guarantee. Just two months ago, we witnessed one of the largest manifestations of the people’s opposition to this draconian law but tragically, the UMNO-controlled agencies responded with even greater use of tyranny and oppression.

So among the paramount characteristics of the rule of law concerns the judiciary. In this regard, judges must exercise their powers in accordance with the rule of law and not the rule of men. Translated into the real world, this means the judiciary must not be accountable to the Prime Minister. If the rule of law is to mean anything, one of the essential prerequisites is that the judiciary must be independent.

We saw back in 1988 how the institution was dealt a fatal blow by the powers that be then and we saw in 1998 how it was not just me who was given a black eye but the judiciary itself, thanks to the perverse decisions of two High Court judges then. These are the same judges who now warm the seats of our Appellate courts, enjoying the fruits of their perversity, as it were. Is it then any wonder that today history is again repeating itself?

We would have thought that the lessons of March 8th 2008 would have taught the political masters some fundamental truths regarding the legitimate expectations of the people. One of which is that the people don’t want to see the judicial process turned into a circus. We are tired of seeing judges as mere puppets dancing to the tune of the political masters.

The latest instance of this judicial aberration can be seen in the decision just last week in respect of the suit filed by the legitimate Pakatan speaker over the Perak debacle on May 7, 2009. The court held that in accordance with Article 72 of the Federal Constitution, “the validity of any proceeding in any state assembly cannot be questioned in any court”. Well, that indeed sounds very impressive and laudable in the context of respecting the concept of the separation of powers. But then why is it that in the same breath the court also held that the legislative assembly’s decision to remove the speaker and to appoint someone else was conclusive and had been fairly determined by the state assembly? I have heard of judges making wrong decisions based on a misinterpretation of the law but I don’t recall judges blowing hot and blowing cold in the same judgement. In coming to this conclusion, we may say that the court has sunk into the abyss of judicial reasoning displaying in the process clear symptoms of judicial schizophrenia. The question now is not whether we should challenge such a decision. Indeed we must, but I believe even more importantly, there is a moral duty to speak out against such a gross travesty of justice.

In practical terms, judicial independence must mean protecting citizens against illegitimate usurpation of power. Indeed, the travesty of justice that continues to plague us in the Perak debacle remains a stark reminder that the separation of powers envisaged in a democracy remains largely a mirage in the constitutional landscape.

The topic of our gathering tonight is the launch of this important book and recognition of its author, a dear friend of mine, Pawancheek Marican. It is of course rare to find in today’s Malaysia such a comprehensive account of an event so controversial in our nation’s history. Applying no varnish to the entire sordid affair I believe this text will be a signpost for generations of Malaysians on the dangers of absolute power. He has also paid a great tribute to the the legal team that defended not just me but an entire nation against the onslaught of executive power run amok. For those present and absent who had a hand in the trial and particulary the lawyers, words cannot convey the deep gratitude that I, Azizah and my family have for their work – which I might add is not yet done.

Now with reference to the trials prosecuted against me, as so well documented in Pawancheek’s book, suffice it to say that the judges were essentially under the thumb of the Executive. There is a saying that when the law is subjugated to the chicanery of politics, that is, where the judges are subservient to the political masters, the administration of justice becomes both farcical and perverse.

In a real democracy, the use of judicial high-handedness to bring down a political opponent won’t be tolerated because of the existence of a transparent court system and a process of accountability. In a sham democracy, however, judicial highhandedness is given free rein and transparency is irrelevant. Those prosecuted for political reasons are thus condemned even before the trial begins. It is not just about me or some of our friends here today.

There are now a few other high profile cases pending. For example, the persecution of Raja Petra will certainly be top on the list of the study on the breakdown of the rule of law. I emphasise the word ‘persecution’ because the manner in which he is being hounded is no longer prosecution but sheer audacious use of blatant state powers in order to bring down one one of the government’s most strident and vocal critics. These actions violate the dignity and honour of all Malaysians.

Instead of being the ultimate guardians of our liberty from executive tyranny, the judiciary is then transformed into principals in the destruction of the very process it was entrusted to protect. Indeed, the undermining of judicial independence by political interference has negative repercussions not only on society at large but on the nation as a whole. Very often the inability to assert independence seems to be inversely proportional to the degree of integrity. Judges must display competence and expertise and they must be above suspicion. We are by now very familiar with the videotape of the “correct, correct, correct” judicial scandal but have we seen any action yet? And where judges are not seen to be absolutely above board, the establishment of equity and fair play in commercial and economic deliberations will be largely illusory. This would also explain why Malaysia continues to occupy dismal positions in the corruption index, not to mention how much further we have sunk in competitiveness.

Another crucial criterion for the rule of law is that the discretion of law enforcement agencies must not be allowed to pervert the cause of justice.3 We know that not only the judiciary but the police and the Attorney General’s office play essential roles in the preservation of the rule of law, failing which they are easily used to pervert the law. Selective prosecution, police highhandedness and arbitrary arrests, and now of course the actions of the MACC, all collectively serve to pervert the cause of justice rather than uphold the rule of law. And in all these, the ruling UMNO government is not only complicit but blatantly instrumental in perpetuating these gross transgressions. The upshot is harassment, oppression, and in most cases, the extermination of the small fry while the large predators continue to roam free. The Pakatan controlled government of Selangor will remain a classic case study of the systematic abuse by Federal law enforcement agencies under the thumb of the ruling federal clique.

The arrogance of power has rendered them completely impermeable to public opinion. The extension of the IGP’s contract just last week flies in the face of the overwhelming chorus of objections from the people. The increasing incidences of custodial deaths and the blatant bias of the MACC in carrying out its duties are but two examples of this breakdown in the rule of law.

The very root of this problem goes to the question of accountability. We have seen what it is like. Without accountability these agencies literally get away with murder. They are certainly getting away with corruption. The instances are too many to enumerate but it would be accurate to say that the amounts involved get bigger by the year. We know about the billions earmarked for the stimulus packages but where has the money gone? How much longer can we allow public financial resources to be used in complete disregard of the rules of accountability?

The proper application of the rule of law would have meant that those who occupy the seats of power must be subject to scrutiny and held accountable for their misdeeds. They must realise that power and authority are but duty and obligation and not right and privilege. Will they ever be brought to justice?

In the final analysis, the idea of justice to man is so central to the rule of law that you can’t have one without the other. Corruption and the abuse of public office, the absence of transparency in financial dealings, the perversion of justice by the law enforcement agencies and the dereliction of judicial duty – these are indeed characteristics of the rule of men, and not the rule of law. The trappings of democracy cannot mask this perversion.

Reform is way overdue but on the eve our our Malaysia Day celebrations let us renew our commitment to freedom and to justice.

Thank you.

Alcohol: Second caning in Najib's home-state

By Jeff Ooi,

The NST reported today that Pahang-based syariah court judge Abdul Rahman Mohd Yunos had sentenced a second person to caning for drinking alcohol.

This time, the convicted man is an Indonesian, Nazarudin Kamaruddin, 46.

Recently, Indonesian descendant Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a 32-year-old mother of two, was sentenced to caning for drinking beer by the same syariah court judge. [ See over 1,700 items on the subject in Google News. ]

However, after public outcry especially from human rights advocates and the global media, Kartika’s case is being reviewed by an Islamic appeals court judge and her caning could be carried out after the fasting month of Ramadan is over.

Interestingly, both sentences were meted out in Pahang, which is the home state of Prime Minister, Najib Razak.

August 27, Malaysiakini carried an Op-Ed from Agence France Presse (AFP) that highlighted the seeming rise of political Islam in Malaysia, and that the nation's secular status is under threat.

PR Senior Leadrs should make their stand on KBP

Press statement

HINDRAF is appalled by the demolition of the last remaining Indian Heritage village in Penang today aided, abetted and assisted by the Penang State Government.

Malaysians should be aware that Hindraf assistance to help preserve the village was sought on the 26th June 2009 when the villagers have been battling a more than 10 years struggle to preserve their village. Upon our campaigns and questions on the legality of the attempt to demolish the village many eye opening facts surfaced.

Till date Lim Guan Eng has refused and deliberately diverted from answering the real questions posed on him on the saga of KBP.

The final act of wiping out the village would serve as the beginning of the end of DAP rule in Penang and support for DAP nationwide. Hindraf has on its own accord mobilised thousands of supporters to campaign for PR in the last GE without even being invited to do so because we believed the time to rid the evil BN regime has come. But the actions and inactions of DAP in Penang and their subsequent lies, denial and silence on many legitimate questions posed on the issue have caused many Malaysians to lose hope on change and make assumptions DAP is no better than the evil UMNO and BN.

The fact that senior leaders within Pakatan Rakyat- Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Hadi Awang,Tok Guru Nik Aziz, Syed Husin, Karpal Singh and others who have remained silent and tight lipped causes Hindraf to wonder if they are actually held at ransom by Lim Guan Eng for reasons only known to them.

The Rakyat voted for a change- change that they believed would enhance a more democratic Government that is open, transparent and friendly that would take into considerations human factors, fairness, right of the poor, defenceless and marginalised.

It is very troubling that a senior citizen of the village had attempted to torch herself in order to protect her home. The conclusion that could be made is that the state Government under DAP has turned into an evil regime. We urge senior leaders in PR to break their silence and come in the open on their stand on the KBP issue. Should they fail to do so, a wrong signal would be sent to the public that would erode the confidence of rakyat on PR which would pay a hefty price in the next GE.

If nearby Chinese fishing village – Bang Liau and Chinese jetties Clan in George Town can be recognised as a heritage village what sin has the people of KBP committed to face extinction?

P.Waytha Moorthy

Chairman

HINDRAF

Yemeni girl, 12, dies in painful childbirth

AMMAN, Jordan (CNN) -- A 12-year-old Yemeni girl, who was forced into marriage, died during a painful childbirth that also killed her baby, a children's rights group said Monday.

Fawziya Ammodi struggled for three days in labor, before dying of severe bleeding at a hospital on Friday, said the Seyaj Organization for the Protection of Children.

"Although the cause of her death was lack of medical care, the real case was the lack of education in Yemen and the fact that child marriages keep happening," said Seyaj President Ahmed al-Qureshi.

Born into an impoverished family in Hodeidah, Fawziya was forced to drop out of school and married off to a 24-year-old man last year, al-Qureshi said.

Child brides are commonplace in Yemen, especially in the Red Sea Coast where tribal customs hold sway. Hodeidah is the fourth largest city in Yemen and an important port.

More than half of all young Yemeni girls are married off before the age of 18 -- many times to older men, some with more than one wife, a study by Sanaa University found.

While it was not immediately known why Fawziya's parents married her off, the reasons vary. Sometimes, financially-strapped parents offer up their daughters for hefty dowries.

Marriage means the girls are no longer a financial or moral burden to their parents. And often, parents will extract a promise from the husband to wait until the girl is older to consummate the marriage.

The issue of Yemeni child brides came to the forefront in 2008 with 10-year-old Nujood Ali.

She was pulled out of school and married to a man who beat and raped her within weeks of the ceremony.

To escape, Nujood hailed a taxi -- the first time in her life -- to get across town to the central courthouse where she sat on a bench and demanded to see a judge.

After a well-publicized trial, she was granted a divorce.

The Yemeni parliament tried in February to pass a law, setting the minimum marriage age at 17. But the measure has not reached the president because many parliamentarians argued it violates sharia, or Islamic law, which does not stipulate a minimum age.

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

Editor's note: CNN does not usually identify children of alleged abuse, but in this case the girl and her family gave CNN permission to tell her story and use her name.

Nujood Ali, 10, has been chastised by some in Yemen for speaking out about her arranged marriage.

Nujood Ali, 10, has been chastised by some in Yemen for speaking out about her arranged marriage.

SANAA, Yemen (CNN) -- July 16, 2008 Nujood Ali is 10 years old, but she already has been married and divorced. It was an arranged marriage in which she said a husband three times her age routinely beat and raped her.

"When I got married, I was afraid. I didn't want to leave home. I wanted to stay with my brothers and sisters and my mom and dad," she said, speaking to CNN with the permission of her parents.

"I didn't want to sleep with him, but he forced me to. He hit me, insulted me."

As she plays marbles with her brothers and sister, Nujood is a portrait of innocence, with a shy smile and a playful nature.

But what happened evokes anger and shame. Asked if what she went through was torture, she nods quietly.

Nujood's parents married her off in February to a man in his 30s whom she describes as old and ugly.

Her parents said they thought they were putting her in the care of her husband's family, but Nujood said he would often beat her into submission.

Nujood then turned to her family for mercy.

"When I heard, my heart burned for her; he wasn't supposed to sleep with her," said Nujood's mother, who asked not to be identified.

But, initially, she also told her daughter she could not help her -- that she belonged to her husband now.

Nujood's father, Ali Mohammed Ahdal, said he is angry about what happened to his daughter. "He was a criminal, a criminal. He did hateful things to her," he said. "He didn't keep his promise to me that he wouldn't go near her until she was 20."

When contacted by CNN, the girl's former husband declined to comment.

Nujood's parents, like so many others in Yemen, struck a social bargain when they decided to have their daughter wed. More than half of all Yemeni girls are married off before the age of 18, according to Oxfam International, a nonprofit group that fights global poverty and injustice.

Many times girls are forced to marry older men, including some who already have at least one wife, Oxfam said. According to tribal customs, the girls are no longer viewed as a financial or moral burden to their parents.

"There is always a fear that the girl will do something to dishonor the family: She will run away with a guy, she will have relations with a boy. So this is always the phobia that the families have," said Suha Bashren of Oxfam International.

Bashren calls the tradition of child brides in Yemen a national crisis. She works with young girls to protect them from early marriage, abuse and one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.

The Yemeni government is holding legal and religious workshops to try to deal with the issue of early marriage. But experts say marrying off a young daughter is generally still seen as the right thing to do.

"A lot of people in the public don't think that this is wrong or that what happened to her was abuse," Bashren said.

In Yemen, there is nothing new or extraordinary about Nujood's story because children have been married off for generations. The country's legal minimum age for marriage was 15 till a decade ago, when the law was changed to allow for children even younger to be wed.

But what is most unusual is that this young girl took such an intensely private dispute and went public with it.

Nujood said she made up her mind to escape from her husband, describing how on a visit to her parents' home she broke free and traveled to the central courthouse across town and demanded to speak to a judge.

"He asked me, 'What do you want?' And I said, 'I want a divorce.' And he said, 'You're married?' And I said, 'Yes,'" she recalled.

What unfolded in those few days in April gripped the country on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

Nujood got her divorce, but based on the principles of Islamic Sharia law, her husband was compensated, not prosecuted. Nujood was ordered to pay him more than $200. The human rights lawyer who represented her donated the money.

But for this determined spirit, it was still a sweet victory.

"I did this so that people would listen and think about not marrying their daughters off as young as I was," she said with a shy smile.

Now back at the family home, she said she won't go outside to play -- that all the attention bothers her. Some still condemn the young girl for speaking out, believing that she shouldn't have challenged convention.

Human rights advocates said it will take more than a generation if this practice is to change in Yemen for other children.

"These girls are living in a misery that no one is talking about," Oxfam's Bashren said.

Kampung Buah Pala - Fiery Threat

Get set for a Pakatan surprise in Bagan Pinang

NGOs to MCMC: Stop targeting Malaysiakini

Heart-wrenching sight for oldest resident - Malaysiakini

It was a heart-wrenching moment for octogenarian Draviam Arul Pillay as he witnessed his home and memories violently snuffed out by a demolition team at Kg Buah Pala.

Using sledgehammers and other equipment, developer Nusmetro's demolition team tore down the house of Kampung Buah Pala's most senior resident Draviam Arul Pillay, 84, the father of the village association secretary Joseph Stephen.

NONEVillagers watched in dismay as the rampaging demolition team destroyed Draviam's (left) family house under the watchful presence of a large police squad including a light strike force unit.

His daughter, Thavamani Draviam, 44, was overwhelmed by the sight and could not contain her tears and anguish at witnessing the destruction.

She scolded the workers who went about their task with no regard for the fact, or knowledge, that they were demolishing the home in which she was born.

"We built the village ... it's ours. Now they have robbed us off our home," said Thavamani, who had to be consoled by her family members.

After partially tearing down Draviam's home, the demolition team moved on to residents' association assistant secretary, C Tharmaraj's home.

Tharmaraj's mother R Indrani, 62, caused a stir when she threatened to torch herself as the demolition team was dismantling her house gate.

NONEShe came out from her house with a bottle of liquid, believed to be kerosene, and doused herself with it.

Then she produced a match box and threatened to immolate herself if the demolition team did not leave the place immediately.

Upon seeing her going berserk and shouting at them, the workers quickly left the area.

Her son, Thanaselan calmed down the tearful Indrani and took her inside.

A final RM125,000 offer

Resident K Murugan told Malaysiakini that developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd's director Gary Ho today offered a one-off RM125,000 final compensation to some of the villagers who did not accept the earlier double-storey house offer.

NONEHe said Ho also told the residents whose houses were demolished today that they would be relocated for a month to a nearby apartment pending further decisions on the matter.

"It's like we are at the mercy of the developer today because the state government, courts and police are all against us for standing up for our rights," said Murugan.

During the demolition, some villagers vented their anger and frustration against everyone, including Ho, the police, the demolition team and even the village association leaders.

At 3pm, the demolition team were virtually done and had demolished 13 houses of the 17 houses earmarked for destruction.

Residents then started retrieving items of value from the debris of their homes. Several were heard yelling out names of elected representatives for not coming to their aid in their time of need.

"They came here for votes and promised to save our village. They even pledge to stop any demolition attempt over their dead bodies. Now our village is gone, the politicians are not around to stop it," said one of them.

Four house owners negotiated successfully with Ho to allow them to dismantle their homes by themselves.

Earlier, a scuffle nearly took place between cattle farmers and the demolition team when they attempted to flatten cowsheds with a bulldozer.

Timely police intervention prevented a near-ugly situation and the team then dropped the idea when told that cattle rearing ground was not part of the Oasis project site.

The demolition team then left the site with police escort.

Islam & Malay Muslims are not the problem: UMNO, MCA, MIC, GERAKAN and their stooges are

Wong Mun Chee

Only UMNO and its lackies have the means, motive and opportunity in making it appear like Islam and the Malay Muslims are the problem for ‘others’.

Sure, I was out spoken about Kg. Buah Pala issue, with such complimentary remarks, that I am even branded as a Gerakan, UMNO stooge. With all the negative elements, my stand still in affirmation that the LGE-led DAP government of Penang sold their soul for monetary gains and that they have achieved in subjugating those poor folks in Kg. Buah Pala with their media power and falsified events to achieve their own needs. So what is the difference between BN and Pakatan Rakyat when the public is in despair? To me, BN and Pakatan are no difference if what is truthful, fair and just is not served. The change of guard that we observed is superficial if we are superficial ourselves and primarily the critics for their own needs.

On the Section 23 Shah Alam issue, fortunately, the anticipated respond on the cow head incident tilted and has in effect strengthen the belief amongst the Malaysians in our Muslim brothers and sisters that the other races can find solace. It is enlightening that our sensible and level-headed Muslim brothers are able to speak out to maintain a balance in this multicultural society in allowing the freedom to practice each one’s way of live.

Do you think, the UMNO-led BN, having been in power for 52 with Mahathir’s iron fist for 22 years, can be erased within a blink of eye? Not a chance, because with well-planned provocation, the anticipated response can even become a weapon in the arsenal of the agent provocateur.

Those affiliated and pre-staged events to inflame religion intolerance or for the matter what one comments is only possible if it serves one’s own needs. As much as they are the agent provocateur, we the general public are no better when we observe and practice everything in a race and religious outline as opposed to a truthful cause in fairness and equality although sometimes in our mind it is skewed as a racist agenda.

In the Kg. Buah Pala issue, the agent provocateur was the DAP and they stooped so low akin to another UMNO in disguise to defend themselves in malicious ways. Why do you need to defend and justify truth if that was you seek? Truth has no substitute. Truth is truth and that is the reality whether you like it or not you have to deal with it.

I had once the opportunity to spend about seven hours in conversation with the late MGG PILLAI before his demise and his greatest hope for the country was our Muslim brothers & sisters.

We all know that those in power, whether it is Muslim or others, will always cohort to create an atmosphere to maintain their own status quo, but we as the public should slowly drift away intelligently from a race- or religion-based biasness in strengthening our unity. Even in the opposition we have division of a somewhat race-based affiance. It is not a perfect system, but the change can only appear if we are in unity on a humanitarian cause irrespective of origin.

By way of deception and manipulation, the elected members have taken the public for a ride over the last 52 years by supportive policies that lend the appearance of legitimacy and credibility to an operation justified for a pre-determined agenda that only serves their own needs.

Today, the public, meaning you and me, take a bit more trouble to find out what is actually happening to our society for the effort that we put in individually to make sure that we can participate and create the change in our own ways.

To create the change in unity, we first need to be independent and unshackled in our own thoughts for what is truthful, just and fair. Knowledge alone will not suffice but the wisdom to see it once you are truly awaken. Once we overcome this, then it does not matter who says what, as long it what is truthful, just and fair for the community that we intend to create and to live together.

UMNO, MCA, MIC, GERAKAN and their stooges will continue with their antics, but it is us, the public, you and me, that will make the difference when we are in unity for what is fair, just and equal. Once you come in terms with yourself in unity with the public for a society’s concern, then you have the wisdom rather than the half-truth knowledge that appeases you for your own individual collaboration.

If you feel like a truly Malaysian, then you understand the message, not how it is benefiting me, as that has been the modus operandi imbibed in us courtesy of UMNO led scumbags and now we have seen in Kg Buah Pala issue.

Your choice is our society’s need if you can be truthful to yourself.

The Hitchikers' Guide to the MCA Galaxy

Image

During the last lap, the going rate for an EGM requisition signature was up to RM35,000, because he just wanted to meet 921 signatories. "921" refers to the triad "21" - and this was confirmed by his hardcore supporter, Kapar MCA division chief Dato Song Kee Chai.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

I Love Malaysia

Wondering what the hell is MCA going through now? Lost in unfamiliar names? Can't make sense of the "I say this, you say that?". Here's a simple guide to help you stay on top of the MCA Mess.

THE WHAT

The whole battle revolves around one man - Chua Soi Lek - who was caught having sex with a woman who's not his wife, on video. MCA sacked him for that, just as any worker would have been sacked if they were caught with their pants down and it is beamed worldwide, worse still if it is one of the top Internet searches on porn sites. The whole MCA mess revolves around him trying to hang on to power. Can you imagine a crook trying to become the PM?

THE WHO

Let's put this one in simple terms for this one: It's a battle between the New MCA and the has-beens. On one side of the ring is the president Ong Tee Kiat, who's solidly backed by his three other Cabinet ministers and eight deputy ministers and more than two-third of his central committee. On the other side, is a bunch of has-beens. In random order of uselessness:

1) Tan Chai Ho - former deputy Home Minister whose atrocious English and Malay would have made him MCA President for Eternity if they could be translated into votes. He was also linked to the triads, and several years ago, he officiated an office lot of his "friend" in his then constituency, Bandar Tun Razak. Later, his "friend" was found dead after a police shootout near Seremban, and was later identified as head of the brutal M16 Gang.

2) Loh Seng Kok - In MCA's 60-year history, he is the only MP who served only one term (in Kelana Jaya) and was not fielded again. Poor performance would have been an understatement. The voters in Kelana Jaya got so mad at his poor record, they voted for videoman Loh Gwo Burne instead in 2008.

3) Chong Itt Chew - Another has-been whose power base is in Kedah, where he used to be an exco. Now, itching for a comeback. Just ask any housing developers in Kedah. They would tell you that even if all the houses in Kedah were to turn into closets, it still cannot store the skeletons he has. But possibly there may be just enough room to keep his ill-gotten gains.

In simple terms, it's a bunch of losers sleeping on the same bed sharing different dreams, and led by a porn star. Ohhhh.... they're soooo screwed.

THE WHY

One man wants to become the MCA president and Health Minister. The rest just wanna tag along. Not convinced? Look at his EGM resolutions. They include two seemingly disconnected but related points: The first is to get rid of OTK through a motion of no confidence. The second is to reinstate CSL as deputy president. When No 1 is gone, No 2 takes over. Sweet and simple. The rest of the gang just want to hitch a ride on the laughing stock of the international community.

Ok, point taken about the MCA presidency, but why Health Minister? Why not Transport, Tourism, or even Womens' Affair (hey, at least it's still a Cabinet post)? Someone's got unfinished business there after collecting the loot and making sky-high promises. The triads are angry, they have not received their dues. At least three Ministry of Health-licensed drugs-labelling firms and one hologram manufacturer (for medicine) have effectively signed blank cheques and gotten nothing in return. At that time, no one thought he was going to call it a day so soon. And Maha Global Sdn Bhd, which made some RM19 million clean profit from the land scam (http://mohlandscam.blogspot.com) has all but run out of cash after bribing delegates to sign the EGM requisition and the Malaysian Insider (the PR firm, which tries to pass off as a news portal) to spin lies.

THE WHEN

If CSL had his way, he would have wanted to become the MCA president when he was in his mother's womb. He started the EGM signature campaign DAYS after winning the 18 October 2008 MCA elections (it's like working towards a divorce days after getting married). Let's put it in perspective: if the Ah Longs are coming after you and splashing your house with red paint every other day, would you have killed for that winning lottery ticket your friend now has? Would you have killed your own parents just so you can inherit their wealth earlier?

The MCA EGM has been called. One can almost see CSL lining up at the Wisma MCA in Jalan Ampang now, eager to cast his ballot and trying to imagine the massage rooms and saunas he can build in the presidential office once he takes over and the hot chicks he can hire as secretaries.

THE HOW

If CSL's campaign had a theme song, it would go like this (sang to the tune of "Old Macdonald): "Bribe, bribe, bribe, bribe, let's give bribe. And they'll support me." CSL calls OTK "grandfather of nonsense", but he himself is the "Grand Old Man of Money Politics" in MCA. He gives money like it's a cure for A(H1N1). During the last lap, the going rate for an EGM requisition signature was up to RM35,000, because he just wanted to meet 921 signatories. "921" refers to the triad "21" - and this was confirmed by his hardcore supporter, Kapar MCA division chief Dato Song Kee Chai (http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/articles/04ems/Article/index_html).

Le'ts leave out the triads link for now, as they are massively pissed with CSL.

Next, CSL runs to Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing, who's agreed to bankroll CSL with only one condition: sweep PKFZ under the carpet once he takes over. The deal is sealed faster than CSL gets it up with the blue pill. Then, CSL runs up to PM Najib, who at first bought into all the weeping and whining, but later PM saw through the man, whose screen experience is of pornographic proportions.

What the public was not told: The Secret Cabinet Papers

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That is why those behind the PKFZ scandal are not scared. They did not do anything wrong. They did not commit a crime. They just did what the Cabinet knew all along they were doing and with the full permission of the Cabinet.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

In Malaysia, Federal Cabinet papers and State EXCO papers are automatically protected by the Official Secrets Act -- whether stamped RAHSIA or not. Of course, so are any other papers marked RAHSIA, Cabinet papers or otherwise -- which is why Ezam was found guilty and sentenced to two years jail when he had in his possession ACA (now MACC) investigation papers related to Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz’s corrupt acts. And the irony of it all is that the ACA as well as the A-G had recommended that Rafidah be arrested and prosecuted although this did not happen in the end because the Prime Minister did not allow it.

One of the reasons these papers are marked RAHSIA, other than for purposes of national security, is to hide the corrupt acts of those who walk in the corridors of power. What the public does not know can’t hurt the public, is the warped logic of the government of the day.

What Malaysia needs is a Freedom of Information Act instead of the Official Secrets Act that we now have. Or at least classified papers (RAHSIA) not involving defence or national security should be declassified after, say, 15 or 20 years, so that the public will know what went on behind the scenes in the corridors of power. (And it should be the task of an independent Ombudsman-type committee that vets these papers and not the decision of just one man).

Well, Malaysia Today can’t wait for papers of public interest to be declassified or for the Official Secrets Act to be abolished and replaced with a Freedom of Information Act. That is why, today, we are publishing the ‘secret’ Cabinet papers related to the PKFZ scandal so that Malaysians will know that the Cabinet had actually endorsed the entire fiasco.

There is no corruption involved in the PKFZ fiasco -- at least not as far as the government is concerned. What happened was exactly what the Cabinet wanted to happen. And that is why no action is being taken with regards to the RM12.5 billion disaster. It was no disaster. The Cabinet knew all along what was going on. And the Cabinet approved it.

That is why those behind the PKFZ scandal are not scared. They did not do anything wrong. They did not commit a crime. They just did what the Cabinet knew all along they were doing and with the full permission of the Cabinet.

By the way, you had better not print out these papers as the police might arrest you and charge you under the Official Secrets Act. Tomorrow, we will reveal more. In the meantime take a look at these four pages. They reveal much as to why Malaysia is having to pay RM12.5 billion of taxpayers’ money to enrich a few who walk in the corridors of power, plus some of their cronies.

This is a Malay-Chinese ‘joint venture’ at its best involving those from Umno and MCA.

Stay tuned for more revelations and by the time we are finished you might just decide to pack your bags and leave the country.


Samy Vellu runs damage control over Mahathir insult

Samy Vellu says his party will discipline the delegate who insulted Dr M during the MIC general assembly yesterday. — Pciture by Jack Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — The MIC will take disciplinary action against one of its delegates who had suggested that a garland of slippers be placed on the portrait of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the party’s general assembly yesterday.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said he deeply regretted the statement made by the delegate and would ask the delegate concerned to give an explanation to the party’s Disciplinary Committee.

Samy Vellu said in a statement today that he had asked the delegate concerned to end his speech immediately after making the statement on the “garland of slippers” yesterday, but his instruction was not reported by the media.

He said this to clarify the report in a Malay language daily today on the statement by a MIC delegate who wanted the garland of slippers to be placed on Dr Mahathir’s portrait.

Samy Vellu said he had informed the MIC delegates to give the highest respect to Dr Mahathir who had done a lot for the country.

“I realise that Tun Dr Mahathir’s statement on the MIC had offended many delegates but there was no necessity to criticise him in such a manner,” he said.

Samy Vellu said he respected the delegates’ freedom to debate on any issue but when it touched on a national leader, he had to intervene.

Dr Mahathir had given his views on the MIC, Samy Vellu and the decision of former MIC deputy president Datuk S Subramaniam to contest the post of deputy president at the MIC general assembly held on Saturday and yesterday, which had angered several MIC members.

Meanwhile, the criticisms made by the MIC delegates against Dr Mahathir had drawn brickbats from Umno leaders who described such an act as excessive and rude.

Umno Youth vice-head Datuk Razali Ibrahim said such an act was not part of the Barisan Nasional (BN) culture and that the MIC should be responsible and take appropriate action.

“Action must be taken by the BN if the MIC does not take any action on the matter. It must be taken to uphold decorum in the BN,” he said in a statement today.

Razali, who is also the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, said Umno Youth felt that “such an act does not help to divert public attention from the actual position of the MIC. Respect must be earned and not demanded.”

In Alor Setar, the Kedah Umno expressed regret over the attitude of the MIC delegate concerned and described such suggestion as uncalled for and should not have been made by the member of a BN component party.

The State Umno Liaison deputy chairman, Datuk Paduka Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, said although Dr Mahathir was said to have interfered in the affairs of the MIC by making the statement, there were many other ways to convey their displeasure.

“The suggestion reflects that the Indian community in the country does not appreciate Dr Mahathir’s deeds and contributions to the community. This shows their shallow thinking.

“In this context, Kedah Umno wants MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to tender an open apology to Dr Mahathir,” he said. — Bernama