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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Samy to Dr M: Butt out of Bagan Pinang by-election - Malaysiakini

MIC president S Samy Vellu has asked former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to stop interfering in the selection of a Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election,
slatted for Oct 11.

"The MIC believes in the wisdom of Prime Minister Najib Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also BN election director) in selecting the right candidate for the seat.

NONE"The Prime Minister has the capability to appoint someone who can bring victory to BN. Only the Prime Minister has the final say on who should be the candidate," Samy Vellu told Bernama, when asked to comment on Mahathir's statement yesterday.

The former Prime Minister in an interview with Bernama had said that Mohd Isa Samad should not be nominated for the seat as he was suspended from Umno for three years since June 2005, for his alleged involvement in money politics.

'Dr M's view causes havoc'

Mahathir had said Umno's image would be affected and it would be regarded as not serious in fighting money politics if the party chose a candidate who had already been found guilty of such action.

Several Umno branches and the Teluk Kemang Umno division are said to have submitted Isa's name to the BN top leadership for consideration as a candidate for the by-election.

The Election Commission has set nominations for Bagan Pinang by-election on Oct 3 and polling was fixed for Oct 11.

The seat fell vacant following the death of BN's incumbent, Azman Mohammad Noor on Sept 4.

Samy Vellu also said Mahathir should not interfere in every by-election as his public views was causing "havoc" for the BN election machinery during the polls.

"The MIC will abide by anyone selected by the Prime Minister, who is also the BN head. Mahathir should not interfere in too many things which might put the BN in a difficult situation," he added. - Bernama

More temples updated successfully- The Hindu Places of Worship Database Project

More temples updated successfully.

Come and visit at www.myhindutemples.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------

After 52 years of Independence, the actual"number of Hindu places of worship(temples,shrines, etc) in Melaysia are not known. Without availability of data needed, it has proven difficult to develop strategies on the future of Hindu places of worship in Malaysia, especially on matters related to the defending against demolitions of Hindu places of worship.

The Temple Committee of the Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS), in the context of looking out for the needs of Hindus in Malaysia now initiated a community-based nationwide joint project together with Shakti Foundation to collect data on Hindu places of worship in the country.

To develop a truly comprehensive database, we invite ALL INDIAN in Malaysia, to participate – all one would have to do is to visit this website: www.myhindutemples.com, and complete a survey online.

You can also send the information to our email id : myhindutemples@yahoo.com or by sms. The details needed are Temple name, Address and Contact No, Temple Festivals’ / Activities Photos and Videos.

For further inquiries please contact :

Off No : 03 6092 2248 (Anusia)

Mr. Param : 012 2406154

Mr. Kannan : 012 6240637


Suhakam: Can't sing Negara-ku, so no freedom for you - Malaysiakini


Suhakam (Human Rights Commission) wants the last remaining nine Internal Security Act detainees in the country, released as soon as possible as "there are no rational grounds to continue holding them indefinitely without trial".

This will be the recommendation that Suhakam vice-chairperson Simon Sipaun and commissioner N Siva Subramaniam will be making to the federal government soon in a report.

Besides the ISA Detainees Review Board, Suhakam can also make recommendations to the government on behalf of ISA detainees and visit them periodically.

"Three of them - a Bangladeshi, a Pakistani and a Thai - should have been brought to trial in an open court or deported straight away," said Sipaun after a visit yesterday to the Kamunting Detention Centre for ISA detainees and the Taiping Prison.

"But this was not done for some reason and they have been incarcerated for nearly two years."

simon sipaunSipaun said that they should have been charged in an open court based on their alleged crime which was falsification of documents.

Sipaun does not rule out the possibility that there might not be sufficient evidence to charge the three foreigners in an open court.

In that case, they should not have been held at all but simply deported, he added.

"Why hold them for no rhyme or reason? What public or national interest is served by continuing to hold them? As a deterrent to others? That's not the way to go about it."

'Too lazy to prosecute'

Again, Sipaun does not rule out another possibility - that "the authorities in fact might be too lazy to bring them to court".

This happened in a similar case in Sabah several years ago when seven people - including employees of the National Registration Department and Umno - were held under the ISA, he added, for being involved in the fraudulent issuance of the MyKad and other Malaysian personal documents to illegal immigrants.

"They were not charged either, although all the evidence was reportedly there, and instead they were simply locked up under the ISA and released after two years.

One Filipino ISA detainee, an illegal immigrant, was deported.

hindraf kamunting prayer 161207 entranceHe's now back in Sabah and came to see us to complain that the authorities are withholding his MyKad and that of his family members."

The Filipino was told by the NRD, according to the complaint lodged with Suhakam, that the department "cannot release his and family members' MyKad as he has been held under the ISA".

The episode has been duly recorded in the 2008 Suhakam annual report.

In the case of the Pakistani, Sipaun finds it odd that he has been charged with falsification of documents.

He was given to understand the man is illiterate. The question that arises is how an illiterate man was able to falsify documents despite this obvious handicap.

'Mas Selamat prefers Malaysia'

Two other foreigners who got the visiting Suhakam team's attention were a Sri Lankan and Mas Selamat Kastari, a Singaporean member of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI).

He escaped from detention in the republic and was nabbed in Johor on April 1 after being on the run for two months from the authorities in both countries.

The interview notes on the Sri Lankan were with Suhakam officials who accompanied the two commissioners and Sipaun could not elaborate on the matter.

mas selamat alleged ji terrorist captured by malaysia authorities 080509 04"Mas Selamat (left) is an interesting case and I spent 30 minutes of our two-hour visit with him," said Sipaun.

"He does not deny that he's a member of Jemaah Islamiah."

Mas Selamat has been accused by Singaporean authorities of planning to bomb the Changi International Airport and carry out other attacks in the republic.

He did not mention these allegations to Sipaun. However, he has plenty of complaints about his detention in Singapore.

He prefers to remain in Malaysia which apparently refuses to hand him over to the authorities there.

Presumably in retaliation, the Singapore authorities refuse to allow his family members to visit him.

They have also confiscated their travel documents and they are also reportedly being watched around the clock.

"Although Mas Selamat did not mention the various allegations made against him by the Singapore authorities, he did say that he must fight for democracy and freedom, in accordance to his beliefs.

He claimed he was drugged in S'pore

"Both these conditions are absent in Singapore, according to Mas Selamat," said Sipaun.

Mas Selamat complained to Sipaun during his interview that he never felt normal during his entire detention in Singapore.

He suspects that the authorities there must have been administering drugs to him through his food ever since he was detained.

Mas Selamat said he did not know why the Singapore authorities kept "drugging" him, if that was what they did.

He suspects that it might have been to make him talk or to tell them what they believe to be the truth.

mas selamat alleged ji terrorist captured by malaysia authorities 080509 05In any case, he always felt dizzy, and tried to eat as little of the food as possible and escaped at the very first opportunity that he got in February.

According to media reports, he climbed out through a toilet window in his high security prison and swam across the Johor Straits to Malaysia.

Mas Selamat did not go into the details of his escape but Sipaun is sure that the Malaysian authorities know all about this by now and other things as well.

Sipaun does not know what will become of Mas Selamat in time to come.

The remaining four detainees held under the ISA, all Malaysians, have also been accused of being members of JI.

They include three detainees who were held just a month ago.

Mentally challenged among those detained

Two of these detainees have two wives each.

One of these men has 17 children and both his wives are not working, forcing the families to depend on the generousity of neighbours, friends and strangers for their daily survival.

The first of the four Malaysian detainees has been under ISA detention for the last seven years.

He has lost all contact with his family. No one comes to visit him.

Sipaun could not interview him during his visit since he ran into a toilet and locked himself in and refused to come out.

"From what we can gather, he seems to be under a lot of stress," said Sipaun.

"I suspect that he must be a mental case by now. I wonder why he's being left alone just like that.

His medical condition should be evaluated and proper treatment given.

"It's bad enough that his family doesn't visit him. On top of that, he has been in detention for seven years."

A strange discovery

On why this particular detainee has been in detention so long, Sipaun made a strange discovery.

Apparently, he refuses to sing the national anthem and so the ISA Detainees Review Board has declined to recommend him for release.

"How can a man who is not in his right mind sing anything?" asks Sipaun.

"Even if he can sing and refuses, that should not be held against him to deprive him of his right to freedom and personal liberty."

Sipaun also wonders how many Malaysians can really sing the national anthem in full or even partly.

All nine ISA detainees are being held in six huge dormitories.

Two the Malaysian detainees are being held in the first dormitory, the second dormitory holds Mas Selamat and another Malaysian detainee, the last dormitory holds the Malaysian detainee who has been held seven years, the third dormitory holds the Pakistani and Thai, the fourth dormitory the Bangladeshi and the fifth dormitory the Sri Lankan.

The Kamunting Detention Centre also holds about 300 prisoners.

The Suhakam team didn't visit them, having already visited the Taiping Prison earlier in the day.

The Taiping Prison, which will get a thumbs-up in the Suhakam report, has space for 700 prisoners but currently holds a little over 600.

SIS files to stay Kartika’s caning

PETALING JAYA, Sept 19 — Muslim women’s rights group Sisters in Islam (SIS) has asked the Syariah court in Kuantan to delay Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno’s caning sentence for drinking beer until all legal avenues are exhausted.

SIS filed for the revision yesterday, saying it was acting in the public interest so as to resolve the controversies and to provide clarity for what would be the first-ever caning of a woman for any offence in Malaysia.

"SIS filed for a revision at the Syariah High Court in Kuantan on Friday morning asking for a stay of execution of Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno’s sentence of whipping," its executive director Dr Hamidah Marican said in a statement.

"SIS urges the authorities to refrain from executing the sentence on Kartika until all legal and other avenues have been exhausted," she added.

Mother-of-two Kartika (picture) was due to be caned six times in the first week of the Ramadan fasting month in late August but it was called off at the last minute after a public and international outcry apart from the Prisons Department's inability to carry out Islamic-style caning. Malaysia's civil laws also prevent women from being punished with caning but the Syariah court insists that the sentence be carried out.

The former nurse turned model was fined RM5,000 and six strokes after she was caught drinking beer in Cherating, Pahang with her Singaporean husband, who as a foreigner was not charged. Only Pahang, Perlis and Kelantan prescribe caning for the alcohol-drinking offence.

Both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Women and Family Affairs Minister Senator Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil have asked the 32-year-old Kartika to appeal against the sentence but she has refused, and turned around asking for public caning.

The government has asked the Syariah court to examine the case but the Pahang religious authorities have now pushed the caning to after the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebrations next week.

SIS said it understands from some newspaper reports that the Chief Syarie Judge of Pahang has also filed for a revision of Kartika’s sentence.

"But we have not been able to verify this officially. Should this process be in place, we are surprised by the statement issued by the Pahang Religious Department today of its intent to execute the sentence on Kartika, and to do so without any prior notice," Hamidah said.

"Since Kartika’s case has generated much public concern, nationally and internationally, the insistence on executing the sentence when legal avenues for revision and clarification have not been exhausted shows an utter disregard of a matter of great public and international interest," she added.

SIS's action also came after the Syariah court in Selangor on Wednesday sentenced a couple to six strokes of the cane after they pleaded guilty to trying to have sex out of wedlock in their car.

Syariah prosecutor Shafezan Rusli said religious police caught Mohamad Shahrin Abdul Majid, 29, and Nadiah Najat Hussin, 24, with only their undergarments on in a car at an office parking lot last May.

He said the couple are appealing the caning as they plan to get married soon, though they have paid the court-ordered fine of RM5,000 each.

Earlier this week, the Syariah court judge who had sentenced Kartika also ordered an Indonesian Muslim man to be caned six times and jailed a year for drinking liquor at a restaurant.

It is not known if the Indonesian was a visitor or a permanent resident to enable him to be subject to Malaysian Syariah laws.

Schoolgirl is 77th H1N1 death

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — A 15-year-old schoolgirl became the latest victim to succumb to the influenza A(H1N1) in the country, bringing the death toll so far to 77.

Director-general of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said the student, who stayed in a hostel, died on Sept 11 but the case was only reported to the Health Ministry yesterday.

He said the student, who was asthmatic, received outpatient treatment for influenza-like-illness (ILI) at the Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital on Sept 7.

"However, after four days she did not show any signs of recovery and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where she was given the antiviral.

"She succumbed to the illness six hours later and the cause of death was verified as severe pneumonia with H1N1 infection with secondary bacterial infection," he said in a statement today.

Dr Mohd Ismail also said that 69 new ILI patients were admitted to hospital while 150 others were discharged.

"So far, there are 740 ILI patients who are still receiving treatments at 98 hospitals including 11 private hospitals nationwide, with only 190 patients tested positive for H1N1," he said.

Of the 190 H1N1 cases, 29 patients were still in the ICU, comprising mostly those in the high-risk group, namely children, pregnant women as well as those with obesity, chronic diseases and respiratory problems, he added.

More updates on H1N1 can be obtained by contacting the hotline at 03-8881-0200 or 03-8881-0300 or via the website at http://www.moh.gov.my. — Bernama

Why didn’t AG Gani prosecute previous Transport Ministers Ling and Chan for unlawfully issuing 4 Letters of Support causing the RM12.5 billion PKFZ sc

By Lim Kit Siang,

Today’s media report top government leaders virtually falling upon one another in their competition to denounce and declare action being taken against fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Malaysia-Today website under the Official Secrets Act for leaking on the Internet an 18-page Treasury Memorandum to the Cabinet in June 2007 on the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

Led by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, those who had spoken of action under the Official Secrets Act include the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin, the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar and Director of Commercial Criminal Investigation Department, Datuk Koh Hong Sun.

However, none of them has shown any concern about the right to know of Malaysians about the hows and whys the taxpayers are being burdened with the “mother of all scandals” – the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal running through three Prime Ministers, three Finance Ministers and four Port Klang Authority Chairmen.

Najib said: “We will inform the people what we should concerning the case and we will do so later but that is no excuse to reveal cabinet papers.”

The question Najib has failed to answer is why the Cabinet papers on the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal should continue to be kept as secret documents instead of being declassified, unless the Barisan Nasional has skeletons in the cupboard which must be kept hidden from public knowledge and scrutiny.

As former member of the Cabinet, the Chairman of Public Accounts Committee, Datuk Azmi Khalid would have access and digested the Cabinet documents on the PKFZ scandal.

Why didn’t the PAC, under his chairmanship, summon the Chief Secretary Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan to appear to help the PAC inquiry into the PKFZ scandal and testify as to the information given to the Ministers and the decisions taken by the Cabinet on the issue?

Shouldn’t the PAC take a stand that all the Cabinet documents and papers relating to the PKFZ scandal should be declassified not only for full study by the PAC buit also by all MPs and the Malaysian public – unless there are skeletons which must be kept hidden?

In the PAC hearing on August 12, the Attorney-General Gani Patail had made clear his position that the four Letters of Support issued by the two previous Transport Ministers Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy from 2003 – 2006 for the RM4 billion bonds by the PKFZ turnkey contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd (KDSB) – and which has landed the government with the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal – were in fact Letters of Guarantee and had been unlawfully issued.

The next logical question is why the Attorney-General did not prosecute the two former Transport Ministers for unlawfully issuing the four Letters of Support landing the taxpayers with the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal?

This is the question which the Attorney-General and the government leadership should be answering instead of running after Raja Petra and Malaysia-Today under the Official Secrets Act for their role as whistleblowers.

Revitalising Prangin Canal - Anil Netto

If Seoul can courageously dismantle a highway carrying 180,000 vehicles a day and revitalise a stream in the city centre, there is no reason why we cannot restore Prangin Canal in Penang.

Today’s guest writer is Chau Loon Wai:

A good city always provides local residents and visitors alike with quality public realms that invite people to be there – people opt to be there, instead of being there out of necessity. The Prangin Canal is one very important water body in George Town, which had unfortunately been transformed into an open sewer, then conveniently covered, which then led to it being forgotten for too long a time; perhaps many young Penangites may not even be aware of its existence.

More and more cities around the world have become aware of the importance of water bodies in the city and have taken positive steps to right past wrong actions of turning the city’s back on the waterways in the city. Steps towards revitalising water bodies oftentimes involve demolishing even expensive structures (such as freeways and bad buildings). I hope the Penang state government can be persuaded to clean up and uncover the canal, conserve and adaptively reuse historical buildings around the area (crucially for residential or accommodation purposes) and transform the area into a major urban public place that belongs to the people – a living, sustainable urban community. Unless the state government is not serious about the long-term socioeconomic and ecological benefits to countless future generations of Penangites, they should seriously consider the potential and opportunities for creating better people-places in the city.

If you’re interested, please search in the Internet for “San Antonio Walk” (Texas, USA) and “Cheong Gye Cheon Restoration Project” (Seoul, Korea) for two quick examples of how cities invest(ed) in revitalising the city centre by capitalising positively on available waterways in the city (there are of course many more outstanding examples from which we can learn).

The Cheong Gye Cheon (a stream in the Seoul City Centre) project is especially worth looking into because it is a recent project that involved the demolition of an expensive 5.9km expressway that was built over the length of the stream late in the 1960s and completed in 1971. The elevated 5.9km expressway carried over 180,000 vehicles per day before its demolition and sceptics were hoping that traffic chaos in the city would result from the dismantling of the expressway but it turned out all well! The people celebrated its demolition in 2003 and by 2005, clean water flowed again in the stream and it was open to the public.

The stream is now among the most celebrated public places in the city and even more importantly, it becomes the seed that spawns even more revitalisation projects in the CBD of Seoul, which will see the city becoming a network of high quality, vital places for people.

We mustn’t repeat and perpetuate past mistakes of conveniently visually concealing dirty and ugly waterways in the city, which is like throwing the baby out together with the dirty water. What needs to be done is to clean up the Prangin Canal, sensitively redesign its surrounding environment (especially with respect to its historical context), and eventually open it up to the people. In the long term, the canal should become part of the blue-green network of high quality public places in George Town, and even the whole Penang Island.

The scale (width, length) and context of the Prangin Canal are of course different from the Cheong Gye Cheon in Seoul. The eventual design for the Prangin Canal should be of a more moderate scale, that may allow small boats to sail up to Komtar. (I remember seeing old pictures of boats being moored around “Sia-Boey”?) If Seoul can demolish 5.9km of elevated expressway that carried 180,000 vehicles with polluted water flowing below in the CBD and replace the corridor with a stream of clean water in which children can play, it would be a shame if we are unable to clean up the (perhaps 2km?) Prangin Canal, solve the traffic issue of narrowing Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong (for more pedestian spaces or widening of the canal) and revitalise the whole historical enclave on both sides of the canal.

By the way, could anyone advise whether there had been any public consultation prior to the construction of the “mall-like” project (whatever it is) over the Penang-Road-end of the Prangin Canal? I just had a glimpse of the structure when I passed by on my brief return to Penang a while ago. We really need a more holistic and context-sensitive approach to revitalising George Town.

I have more ideas which I would love to share especially if we eventually are able to persuade the people and state government to grab this hard-to-come-by opportunity to do something for the long-term good of Penang.

24 Deaths, 1,688 Accidents Recorded On Sixth Day Of Ops Sikap

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (Bernama) -- Twenty four deaths were registered on the sixth day (Friday) of Ops Sikap and 1,688 accidents were recorded throughout the country.

The 24 deaths recorded Friday raised the number of deaths to 93 since the Ops Sikap started on Sunday.

Bukit Aman public relations superintendent Supt. Rasdi Ramli said in a statement Saturday that deaths due to car accidents accounted for 16 of the 24 deaths while eight others were motorcyclists.

Municipal roads registered the highest number of accidents with 666, followed by Federal roads with (471), highways (277), state roads (213) and other roads (61).

On Friday, police had also issued 10,739 summonses.

The 20th edition of Ops Sikap this year would go on until Sept 27, as part of efforts to reduce accidents during festive seasons.

Dr M strikes again: Samy a liability to BN

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has once again lashed out at MIC president S Samy Vellu, describing him as a liability to the Barisan Nasional coalition.

In an interview with Bernama, the 84-year-old statesman showed little mercy in ripping apart his long-time friend, who only yesterday had reiterated his admiration for the former premier.

Mahathir said he was concerned that support for BN would decline in the coming elections because Samy Vellu continued to helm MIC.

mahathir 0980409The former premier said the 73-year-old MIC president should relinquish his post for his party's failure in the last elections, where Samy Vellu was also defeated in his parliamentary stronghold of Sungai Siput.

"In other countries, when a leader fails, he resigns voluntarily. In Japan, he would commit harakiri (suicide). We are not asking him (Samy Vellu) to commit harakiri.

"You have failed to lead MIC to the point that you lost yourself," he said.

Comparing Samy Vellu to his successor and former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Mahathir said Abdullah had resigned due to his poor performance.

"Samy's performance is worse than Pak Lah (Abdullah), but he still does not want to give up his post," he said, adding: "He should have resigned before things got to this stage."

Mahathir stressed that he had a right to criticise anyone for the sake of BN, and added: "I've criticised Pak Lah, who's Samy Vellu that I cannot criticise?"

The former premier said leaders must realise that the post they held was not for life. "This is not directed at Samy Vellu alone because there are others who are like him," he added.

As for himself, Mahathir said he had wanted to resign in 1998 but because of the economic crisis and the Anwar Ibrahim issue, he had to continue leading the nation until 2003.

"I resigned not when people criticised me. I resigned because I had stayed too long.

"Malaysian leaders still do not understand that when they fail they should resign of their own volition, no need for others to tell them. When you fail, your party fails. You are responsible," he said.

BN leaders should interfere

Asked what BN could do in view of its principle not to interfere in the affairs of component parties, he said when the matter became a problem for BN, the coalition would become the victim if it did not intervene.

He said BN leaders must admonish Samy Vellu because as BN leaders they were responsible not only for the performance of their own parties but also that of BN as a whole.

samy vellu exclusive on tamil schools 080708 06"If I know that a person will cause BN to lose, that is already a BN problem, no longer a MIC problem. We cannot keep saying don't interfere. This is a BN affair. Because of him, the BN lost.

"Previously there was no Hindraf. Now there are scores (of pressure groups from the Indian community.) It's him that the people don't want but he still wants to be president," he added.

He said leaders who resorted to money, pressure, abuse of power and threats could remain as party presidents but would not win elections.

On Samy Vellu's chosen leaders winning the party elections last week, Mahathir said they could win party elections but would lose in general elections because the people would not support them.

He also criticised Samy Vellu for not playing a role to stop the building of temples without approval despite having promised to do so.

According to Mahathir, Samy Vellu became popular because he (Mahathir) had helped him.

"He wanted to build a university, I persuaded the government to give a RM50 million allocation and I've helped in many more of his projects," he said.

Mahathir said he had to persuade the Malays to allow BN to place MIC candidates in Malay-majority areas because no constituency in the country had an Indian majority.

"Besides that, I also strove to get MIC candidates supported by the Malays. Without support from Umno members and the other Malays, MIC could not win. So that's is my service to MIC.

"But when the MIC does something that will cause it not to be supported by the Indians, Chinese and Malays, I have to criticise," he said.

Don’t name Isa Samad as candidate, says Dr Mahathir

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 18 — Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad should not be nominated as the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Bagan Pinang state by-election.

He said Umno's image would be affected because it would be regarded as not being serious in fighting money politics if it chose as candidate someone who has been found guilty of political corruption.

"Isa has already been found guilty. If Umno fields him, it means that Umno is not serious about such cases.

"Even if he can win there, (we) have to consider what the whole of Malaysia thinks of Umno," he said in an interview with Bernama yesterday.

He was asked to comment on talk that Isa, the Teluk Kemang Umno division head, was among those listed as candidates for the Bagan Pinang by-election.

Dr Mahathir said although the Teluk Kemang Umno division wanted Isa to contest, it must remember that the by-election involved not only representatives from the division.

The people would view him as representing Umno nationwide and reflecting Umno's stand.

"One can win to become Umno president but it does not mean that he can win elections," he said.

Isa was suspended for three years from June 24, 2005, for money politics in the 2004 Umno elections. He was originally suspended for six years but it was reduced after he appealed.

Nomination for the Bagan Pinang by-election has been fixed for Oct 3 and polling on Oct 11. The seat fell vacant following the death of Barisan Nasional incumbent Azman Mohammad Noor on Sept 4.

On the MCA crisis, Dr Mahathir said it could be resolved if party leaders placed the interest of the party above self.

"A leader will not do anything to destroy the party. If you know that you are no longer qualified, for whatever reason, you stop. Don't cling on (to the post)," he said.

He said leaders should realise that it they owed their status to the party.

The MCA crisis escalated following the sacking of deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek for his DVD sex scandal in 2007 which was said to have tarnished the party's image. The party will hold an extraordinary general meeting on Oct 10 to resolve the matter. — Bernama

If you can’t kill the news, silence the messenger

By Haris Ibrahim,

hummingbird1Lil Hummingbird dropped by this morning.

“Can you get through to Malaysia Today?”, he asked.

Tried to get into MT.

“Can’t”, I replied.

“Had dinner with an UMNO snitch last week. He warned me this was going to happen. He said that Malaysiakini was not the real target of MCMC, but Malaysia Today, as there are people in government who are shitting bricks about what RPK is going to reveal through his series of videos starting 10th September. Also, given the all-important impending Bagan Pinang by-election, the last thing they want is RPK raking up all the dirt on the government and on UMNO. They’re looking for any excuse to justify blocking certain news portals and blogs. But if they can’t find any excuse, they’re going to do it on the quiet”.

Tried to get into Malaysiakini and could not. Got into Malaysianinsider and Staronline with relative ease.

“Can they do this on the quiet?”, I asked.

“Where have you been? Of course they can, you dumbass lawyer!”.

Tried again and this time, managed to get into both M-Today and M’kini, but it took an awfully long time. Again, got into Malaysianinsider and Staronline almoost instantaneously.

“The clampdown on the internet may just be starting. And that, dumbo, may be a sign of other things to come.”

Raja Petra’s Malaysia-Today website not accessible – any connection with disclosure of the PKFZ Cabinet documents?

Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s Malaysia-Today website is not accessible.

Has it anything to do with the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) documents, including Cabinet papers, on the website in the past three days?

New Straits Times reported today that investigations have been ordered into Malaysia-Today’s disclosures of secret official government documents showing how the Port Klang Free Zone issue had spiraled into disaster.

The Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail was quoted as saying that if the document was genuine, action could be taken against the editor of the website under the Official Secrets Act.

The time has come for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to honour his pledge of public accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance which must include a commitment to freedom of information and respecting the right of Malaysians to information about the entire process as to how Malaysia could be landed with a RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal through three Prime Ministers, three Transport Ministers and four Port Klang Authority Chairmen.

To do this, it is essential that the Prime Minister should declassify all relevant PKFZ government documents, including Cabinet papers, to public scrutiny as there can be no security justification to continue to protect these information as “official secrets” under the Official Secrets Act.

This is why I said yesterday that the best Hari Raya present Najib can give the country is to declassify all government official documents, including Cabinet minutes and papers relating to PKFZ scandal to demonstrate his commitment to accountability, integrity and good governance.

Are there Ministers whether from Umno, MCA, MIC, Gerakan or the other BN component parties who are prepared to come forward publicly to support the call for the declassification of all official documents, including Cabinet papers, on the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal, for the country to move towards accountability, integrity and good governance?

Penan sexual abuse: Piling trauma upon pain?

In response to the official investigative report confirming the sexual abuse of Penan women and girls, the Sarawak Women and Family Council appears to be ready to take action – and carry out another probe!

This from The Borneo Post:

Council ready to probe Penan women rape claim

KUCHING: Members of the Sarawak Women and Family Council are prepared to go to the ground to investigate claims that Penan women were raped or sexually exploited following the findings of a taskforce set up by Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

Council chairperson Datin Fatimah Abdullah said yesterday she was still waiting for the taskforce report from the government and the police.

The taskforce report has indicated that Penan women and students were indeed sexually exploited by timber workers because they are very vulnerable and also partly due to consequences of imbalanced development.

So, the Sarawak Women and Family Council are about to pile trauma upon hurt and pain.

What is there to investigate? Does the Sarawak Women and Family Council, and Fatimah Abdullah in particular, disbelieve Shahrizat and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development?

Does Fatimah Abdullah disbelieve all those representatives from the various ministries, and the state government?

The report was the consensus of all of them.

Siapa Sebenarnya Yang Melengahkan Perbicaraan?

Oleh Latheefa Koya

Usaha pihak pendakwaan (DPP) melengah-lengahkan kes pendakwaan fitnah terhadap Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim merupakan tindakan yang zalim. Sewaktu Anwar dituduh di Mahkamah Sesyen di hadapan Hakim Puan Komathy, pihak pembelaan dan Mahkamah telah siap bersedia untuk perbicaraan. Namun pihak pendakwa mengemukakan sijil di bawah S. 418A, bagi memindahkan kes ke Mahkamah Tinggi atas alasan yang remeh.

Pihak DPP memberi dalih bodoh, kononnya Anwar adalah seorang yang berprofil tinggi, atas tujuan menjaga keselamatan awam (sedangkan kedua-dua Mahkamah terletak di Kompleks Mahkamah Jalan Duta) serta kes ini melibatkan isu-isu teknikal seperti DNA. Meskipun, yang hendak dijaga hanyalah keselamatan kerajaan Barisan Nasional dan undang-undang tidak pernah memberikan layanan yang berbeza atas dasar profil individu. Tambahan pula, Mahkamah Sesyen lebih berpengalaman dalam mengendalikan hal-hal teknikal. Misalnya sebahagian besar kes-kes melibatkan jenayah seksual didengar di Mahkamah Sesyen dan bukan di Mahkamah Tinggi.

Keputusan DPP untuk memindahkan kes ini datang dari Peguam Negara, Tan Sri Gani Patail, orang yang terlibat dalam konspirasi kes pendakwaan terdahulu. Malah Gani Patail juga berdepan dengan tuduhan jenayah memalsukan keterangan. Hal ini diperakui oleh bekas Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah (CID) Polis Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim merangkap pegawai penyiasat dalam kes mata lebam Anwar 1998. Gani Patail telah memalsukan keterangan untuk menutup insiden mata lebam Anwar. Cukup jelas tujuan perpindahan mahkamah ini berniat jahat.

Sudah tentu Anwar akan mengarahkan peguam-peguam beliau untuk mendapat satu perbicaraan yang lebih adil dan membuat permohonan membatalkan sijil S.418A.

Hakim Mahkamah Sesyen, Puan Komathy telah bersetuju dengan hujahan pembelaan ini. Beliau telah membuat perintah mahkamah menolak keabsahan Sijil S.418A . Ini kerana ia ditandatangani oleh Tan Sri Gani Patail, orang yang tidak harus terlibat dalam pendakwaan ini.

Tindakan pihak pendakwaan merayu kepada Mahkamah tinggi menunjukkan pihak mereka cuba melengah-lengahkan kes ini.

Kemudiannya, Mahkamah Rayuan mengekalkan keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi atas alasan hanya Peguam Negara yang berkuasa menandatangani sijil S.418A . Anwar dan pasukan peguam beliau terpaksa menerima keputusan dan hadir ke Mahkamah Tinggi.

Mahkamah Tinggi telah menetapkan tarikh bicara dan sekali lagi kedua-dua pihak telah bersetuju dengan tarikh-tarikh tersebut.

Walaubagaimanapun pihak DPP telah dengan sengaja melengah-lengahkan penyerahan dokumen-dokumen kepada pihak pembelaan.

Penyerahan dokumen menjadi wajib dibawah prosedur Kanun Keseksaan. Tetapi pihak DPP hanya menghantar sebahagian dokumen saja. Malah pihak pembelaan telah menulis beberapa kali kepada pihak Pendakwaan untuk menyerahkan kesemua dokumen yang perlu. Namun mereka enggan berbuat demikian.

Motif tindakan tidak profesional pihak pendakwaan ini cukup diragui. Anwar tidak harus duduk diam tanpa jaminan hak beliau untuk mendapatkan satu perbicaraan yang adil dicabar.

Justeru menjadi amat wajar, bilamana para peguam Anwar terpaksa memohon kepada Mahkamah untuk tidak menyerahkan kesemua dokumen yang perlu bagi penyediaan pembelaan. Ini adalah tindakan yang waras dilakukan oleh mana-mana tertuduh untuk menjamin keadilannya.

Apabila permohonan penyerahan dokumen ditetapkan untuk pendengaran, Peguam Kanan Tuan Haji Sulaiman yang mengetuai pasukan peguam Anwar menarik diri kerana beliau telah jatuh sakit. Beliau dimasukkan ke hospital. Tetapi Hakim tidak membenarkan Anwar menangguhkan kes untuk mendapatkan Peguam Kanan yang baru. Ketua Pendakwaan, Datuk Yusof Zainal Abiden sendiri telah mengesahkan dengan Hospital Kuala Lumpur bahawa Tuan Hj Sulaiman memang sakit.

Menuduh Tuan Hj Sulaiman dengan sengaja menarik diri merupakan suatu fitnah yang kejam dan zalim kerana beliau telah dirawat diwad hospital selama 2 minggu!
Para peguam dalam pasuan pembelaan tanpa melengahkan masa terpaksa meneruskan permohonan tersebut.

Menjadi kebiasaan, selalunya Mahkamah akan membenarkan penangguhan kepada pembelaan atas sebab yang munasabah seperti Peguam sakit. Anehnya, Anwar mendapat layanan yang berbeza.

Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi pula bersetuju dengan hujahan pihak pembelaan dan memerintahkan pihak pendakwa untuk menyerahkan dokumen yang dipohon. Tetapi pihak Pendakwa enggan berbuat demikian. Malah pihak DPP membuat rayuan memohon untuk menggantung keputusan Mahkamah sehingga selesai keputusan di Mahkamah Rayuan. Kini Rayuan bakal didengar pada 23 Oktober 2009. Bahawasanya, pihak pendakwaanlah yang menangguhkan perbicaraan.

Keengganan pihak pendakwa menyerahkan dokumen-dokumen kepada pembelaan menunjukkan ada sesuatu perkara yang ditakuti dan ingin disembunyikan.

Pihak pendakwaan tidak menyerahkan senarai saksi kepada pihak pembelaan. Walhal, menjadi suatu amalan biasa di dalam mana-mana kes perbicaraan jenayah yang lain. Anwar Ibrahim tidak harus duduk diam dan menunggu sehingga satu lagi sabitan dibuat terhadap beliau. Pertuduhan ini hanyalah ulang tayang peristiwa dan konspirasi paling jahat ke atas beliau.

Di sini mari kita perhatikan individu-individu yang jelas mempunyai motif politik dalam membuat fitnah yang kononnya Anwar melengah-lengah kes ini :-

- Peguam Hasnal Rezua Marican sebenarnya telah memberi pandangan tidak profesional kepada Utusan dengan hasad prasangka keji terhadap Anwar. Hasnal, bekas ketua pemuda Umno Selayang, merupakan seorang ahli UMNO yang setia aktif. Hasnal sendiri pernah meminta penangguhan bagi pihak anakguam-anakguam beliau bagi kes-kes yang diwakili beliau. Beliau juga merupakan peguam bagi Ezam yang telah beberapa kali memohon penangguhan bagi kes-kes perhimpunan haram Ezam dari Mahkamah. Kes-kes tersebut ditangguh selama 10 tahun!

- Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, Presiden Persatuan Peguam Muslim, merangkap Presiden Majlis Bekas Wakil Rakyat Malaysia (Mubarak) – kedua-dua Persatuan yang pro-UMNO dan anti-Anwar ini tidak memberi pandangan secara waras tapi penuh dengan syak wasangka dan tidak adil. Peliknya Presiden persatuan-persatuan ini tidak pula mempersoalkan kelewatan pertuduhan Qazaf terhadap Saiful di Mahkamah Syariah. Sehingga ke hari ini, ia langsung tidak dipedulikan. Mereka tidak mempercayai proses perundangan Syariah di Malaysia yang membenarkan Anwar membuat aduan fitnah di Mahkamah Syarie. Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang juga adalah ahli Lembaga Disiplin UMNO dan merupakan bekas calon UMNO.

- Lokman Noor Adam dan Roslan Kassim, bekas ahli PKR yang membelot daripada perjuangan reformasi. Kedua mereka menghadapi pertuduhan menyertai perhimpunan haram di Mahkamah Majistret. Mereka paling kerap tidak hadir ke Mahkamah tanpa alasan yang munasabah. Malah mereka selalu meminta penangguhan. Mereka tergolong dalam kelompok orang yang pernah keluar UMNO lantas merangkak balik kepada UMNO dan menyalak kerana duit!

- Chandra Muzaffar, seorang yang menyamar menjadi kononnya intelektual, bermuka-muka dan bersifat lalang. Komen-komen beliau hanya menjurus kepada satu tujuan khusus untuk menyerang Anwar, dengan mendapat imbuhan lumayan, seperti kurniaan jawatan pengerusi penaung Yayasan 1 Malaysia.

Akhirnya ulasan Profesor Salleh Buang, seorang pakar perundangan dibuat sembarangan tanpa hati-hati meneliti fakta. Beliau ikut menuduh Anwar membuat helah melengah-lengahkan kes dengan membuat permohonan ala peguam-peguam di Amerika. Undang-undang di Malaysia sendiri membenarkan mana-mana tertuduh membuat pelbagai permohonan untuk menjamin hak beliau. Tidak perlulah merujuk kepada Amerika bagi tujuan ini. Misalan, permohonan mendapatkan dokumen sangat jelas dan termaktub di dalam Kanun Prosedur Jenayah, iaitu Seksyen 5, 51, 51A. Perlembagaan Persekutuan menjamin seseorang tertuduh itu berhak mendapat perbicaraan yang adil.

Biarpun tidak ada bukti jolokan (penetrasi) langsung ke dalam dubur Saiful, (dan ini berdasarkan sekurang-kurangnya laporan 4 doktor termasuk 3 dari HKL!) – suatu elemen wajib yang harus wujud untuk mendakwa kesalahan, pihak DPP tetap meneruskan kes ini. Sepatutnya kes ini wajib dibuang saja. Pihak yang dituduh wajib menikmati hak untuk mendapatkan kesemua dokumen bagi penyediaan pembelaan.

Akhbar Utusan sebagai lidah UMNO tambah mengapi-apikan fitnah kononnya Anwar sengaja melengahkan kes pertuduhan. Hakikatnya pertuduhan ini adalah suatu konspirasi jahat untuk memastikan Anwar merengkok semula ke dalam penjara Sungai Buloh. Malah Utusan dalam laporan bertarikh 8 September 2009 memanipulasikan kenyataan Pensyarah Undang-Undang Perlembagaan, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Prof. Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi dan bekas Hakim Mahkamah Rayuan, Datuk Shaik Daud Md. Ismail. Kedua-dua mereka hanya memberi pandangan umum berkenaan proses Mahkamah yang adil sebagaimana termakutub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan serta Mahkamah tidak akan menangguh tanpa alasan. Mereka langsung tidak menyentuh kes Anwar dan tidak memberi apa-apa komen terhadap kes beliau.

Kita sedang menyaksikan, sekali lagi peristiwa konspirasi jahat untuk menjatuhkan Anwar yang menjadi ancaman terhadap kerakusan kuasa kerajaan Barisan Nasional!

Selamat Hari Raya!!

Maaf zahir dan batin to all readers (especially for slacking a bit w/the blogging! (Been a busy time, and so much on mind, sigh..)

I’m attending my high school best friend’s wedding outstation soon, and will be back in KL Wednesday or thereabouts.

Do drive safe, and have a truly wonderful holiday! :)

Improper To Label Malaysia An Exporter Of Militants - Najib

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 18 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Friday it was improper to label Malaysia as an "exporter" of militants because terrorism was a regional or global problem unrestricted by national boundaries.

He said it was futile for countries to point fingers at one another in the matter.

"Even in the case of the Sept 11 (2001) attacks (on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre) in the United States, the terrorists came from outside that country. This only goes to show that we are faced with a global issue, not something confined to any one country," he said.

Najib responded thus when asked to comment on the killing of Malaysian Noordin Mohd Top, Southeast Asia's most wanted militant, in a police raid in Solo, central Java, Thursday.

Noordin, who had been a member of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI), was the mastermind behind a series of bomb explosions in Bali and Jakarta which had claimed hundreds of lives. Najib said problems associated with terrorism required the cooperation of the affected countries and even covered cooperation at the global level.

"Noordin was actually influenced by Abu Bakar Bashir, an Indonesian national. So, to say that we (Malaysia) export militants is not right because he (Noordin) was influenced by Abu Bakar Bashir of Indonesia who had opened a religious school in Ulu Tiram, Johor. That was how it all started.

"As we all know, terrorism is a regional and global problem. It knows no national boundaries. As such, there must be cooperation between our countries and, in fact, at the global level, if we want to stem this threat," he said.

PM Aware Of My Retirement Plans, Says Samy Vellu

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Friday he had already discussed his retirement plan with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last June and would stick to it.

"I had a frank discussion with the Prime Minister when I met him in Sarawak where I told him of my (retirement) plan.

"I will keep to my word to the Prime Minister and I will not change (my plan)," he said when contacted here.

He said Najib was aware of his retirement plan but he declined to reveal it, saying that it was between him and the Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman.

On former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's statement that he was a liability to the BN, Samy Vellu said Dr Mahathir was entitled to his opinion.

"I'm not hurt by his comments and my respect for him will never diminish," he said.

However, he said, he was sad that Tun Dr Mahathir labelled him a liability only now "but when the BN was winning (in general elections), I was considered an asset".

"I'm not at all surprised at his comments but I think he refuses to understand that the BN lost (many seats) in the last general election not due to me.

"An experiencde man (politician) like him should understand that," he said.

Samy Vellu described Tun Dr Mahathir's comments as akin to "telling a young wife that she is beautiful and an asset, but when she becomes old, she is branded a liability".

Tun Dr Mahathir, in an interview with Bernama on Thursday, said Samy Vellu would become a liability to the BN in the next general election because of his failed leadership and he should resign to take responsibility for the MIC's failure in the last general election.

Police Summon Several Individuals In PKFZ Cabinet Paper Probe

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 (Bernama) -- Police have summoned several individuals to record statements on the posting of the Cabinet Paper on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) on a website.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said police were investigating how the Cabinet Paper which involved the Official Secrets Act (OSA) could be exposed online.

"We are investigating to find out who is responsible for exposing information on the Cabinet Paper.

"However, I can't comment more on this as it will disturb our investigation," he told Bernama here Friday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told a press conference that police would investigate the exposure of a document said to be that on the PKFZ Cabinet Paper on the 'Malaysia Today' website.

He said the investigation was not to deny the peoples' right to information but the act of exposing the Cabinet Paper on the Internet was unacceptable.

Bomb attack on Indian governor's home foiled

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- A car bomb was found Friday parked outside the home of a state governor in India's troubled northeast, police said. It was later detonated.

Students in Manipur state protesting about the killing of a social worker in June 2009.

Students in Manipur state protesting about the killing of a social worker in June 2009.

The explosives, suspected to be gelatin sticks, were fitted with two mobile phone handsets, said L. Kailun, a police superintendent in Manipur state.

Bomb detection squads, acting on a tip, found the car in the parking bay of the state governor's home, he told CNN.

"It was then taken to an isolated location and detonated," Kailun added. More than 35 rebel groups are active in Manipur, one of the restive states of India's remote northeastern region, he said.

The state has been hit by street protests recently over allegations of extrajudicial killings by police commandoes.