Share |

Friday, September 25, 2009

HINDRAF - Parti Makkal Sakti Malaysia is not HINDRAF

There seems to be convoluted agenda to draw simiarility on Parti
Makkal Sakti Malaysia (PMSM) to HINDRAF.

PMSM is headed by one Thanethiran, formerly a coordinator for the
HINDRAF movement briefly during the height when HINDRAF leaders were
in ISA and in exile. There is a clear distinction between the
objectives of both organization as one is political and the other a
NGO.

PMSM of course being a political party has chosen itself to align to
BN for their speedy registration as a political party but HINDRAF
remains an "illegal" non partisan NGO with its sole objective to voice
the truth and question any political power whether it is BN or PR for
the voiceless and defenceless society.

In the forefront, HINDRAF addressed the issue of the Malaysian Indian
marginalized state of affair and will continue to champion the same
cause, but eventually it will transpire for the community as what it
seeks is just and fair under the current scenario.

The apartheid concept that is practiced against the Malaysian Indians
need to be confronted and dealt with as this society has regressed to
an underclassed society due to the practice and policies of the UMNO
led government. HINDRAF does not need to be a bedfellow with either BN
or PR to achieve this but be truthful to its cause.

The public need to understand as an NGO, our battle is with the
policies and status quo that is implemented either by the BN or PR.
The divergence of race, religion and creed is always used and
manipulated by politicians to create the animosity within the public.
That has been the standard operation either whether it is BN or PR.
They never seem to learn or they just underestimate the capacity of a
Malaysian for all the fictitious political will.

What HINDRAF seeks is the truth, reality and awareness should emerge
in our conscience individually irrespective of the origin and an
opportunity for all in the socio-economic development for all
Malaysian in a fairly and just manner.

Many political parties come by, but the objectives ends up being self
serving for individual battle and glory but never for the goodwill of
the public. HINDRAF believes that only when we individually in a non
partisan way can revolt through our awareness for our surrounding for
the truth and betterman of the society, will we be able to get rid of
the unbalanced and prejudical operations of system through fear and
favor against our own Malaysians.

HINDRAF and PMSM are world apart in their objective and only time will tell.

Certain quarters are deliberately linking HINDRAF with Parti Makkal sakthi with the view to confuse
our supporters into believing that HINDRAF is now a toool of BN. No doubt that Parti Makkal Sakthi
is currently led by our former National Coordinator but I have no part with this political party and
will never allign myself with BN which is led by UMNO, the main force behind the oppression
suppression and marginalisation of Malaysian Indians.
HINDRAF’S affliance is for the society’s need to understand and comprehend the
truth to create an objective society for the goodwill of the society
in whole in an unbiased stand.

Thank you.

P. Waytha Moorthy

Hindraf – Chairman

Selamat Datang Makkal Sakti Party

By al-brangi

Sebuah lagi parti baru muncul. Demi demokrasi marilah kita sama-sama raikan. Parti itu bernama Makkal Sakti Party yang ditubuhkan oleh bekas pemmpin Hindraf.

Nampaknya sekarang kaum india cukup 'terbela' dengan banyaknya 'indian-based party' dalam lanskap politik tanahair seperti MIC, KIMMA, IPF dan PPP.

Apakah ini satu rahmat dalam konteks demokrasi atau bibik-bibik perpecahan atau munculnya sekutu baru bagi UMNO / BN?

Walaupun kaum india adalah minoriti dan BN serta PR merupakan tunggak untuk memperjuangkan semua kaum termasuk kaum india, tetapi nampaknya, seolah-olah trend kearah 'satu orang satu parti' yang menggambarkan ketidakpuashatinya kaum india di Malaysia.

Penubuhan MSP dikhabarkan kerana katanya, "It is true the BN did not do much for us in the past 52 years but the Pakatan Rakyat has done even less for us in the past two years,”

Parti ini dikatakan bebas tetapi akan bergerak seiringan dengan BN dan telah menjemput PM untuk membuat pelancaran, bahkan akan berkempen secara aktif di Bagan Pinang.

Bagi Pakatan Rakyat, sedikit pun tidak tersentuh dengan 'kemunculan' parti tersebut, kerana PR amat yakin, apa yang PR dapat sumbangkan kepada semua kaum di Malaysia termasuk kaum india.

Gelanggang sudah terbuka, sesama kita mengatur langkah agar tarian tidak sumbang.

Make up your mind, Subra told

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: Former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam's silence is deafening after his defeat in the Sept 12 party elections.

His supporters have issued him an ultimatum.

He should decide immediately to form a new party, join the opposition or retire from politics completely.

Some 5,000 of his supporters are scheduled to gather on Sunday to press him for a decision on his political future.

Subramaniam is overseas and is expected to return today. He is expected to make a stand upon his return.

Former Selangor MIC Youth leader P. Subramaniam, who contested a vice-president's post and lost, said the gathering would be held simultaneously in Teluk Intan and Klang to show support and exert pressure on him to decide soon.

"The gathering will be done according to the law. A permit has been applied for. This is a peaceful gathering... not a street demonstration and we are expecting some 5,000 supporters to turn up."

Subramaniam's position in the party is in limbo as the CWC is expected to meet next Tuesday to determine the fate of the party stalwart.

Subramaniam faces disciplinary action over two incidents. The first is related to his statement on the party election process in 1977 which was said to have been rigged to favour Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu who was then vying for the deputy president's post. The other is over an allegation that Subramaniam had brought 500-odd youths, apparently, to disrupt the polls on Sept 12.

Sack 'runaway train' Hasan, says Jelutong MP

(The Star) PETALING JAYA: Selangor executive councillor Datuk Dr Hasan Ali should be sacked as he has proven to be a problem for the Pakatan Rakyat government in Selangor, said Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi.

“Nobody will discount the possibility Hasan will help Umno stage a Perak-like coup d’etat that Najib had openly called for,” said Ooi, who is the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s chief-of-staff.

In a strongly-worded blog entry entitled PAS should give Hasan Ali a pass, sack him, if it isn’t too late, Ooi said that in Dr Hasan’s attempt to rid Selangor of corrupt political practices, he had misadventured to protect the corrupt.

“From his holier-than-thou stance in fanning the beer-banning self campaign, to his recent unilateral empowering of non-enforcement officers from mosques to nab Muslims for consuming alcohol, and now, openly ordering the dissolution of Selcat (Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency) that was formed via the very legislative process he took part in, these are indisputable proofs that Hasan Ali belongs more to Umno than PAS and Pakatan Rakyat combined,” said Ooi.

Calling Dr Hasan a “runaway train who defies the spirit of Pakatan Team”, Ooi stressed that Hasan must be asked to leave Pakatan for the larger good.

“A recalcitrant bent on destroying the fledging Pakatan like him should be sacked if welcome is overstayed,” said Ooi.

He added that Dr Hasan, the Selangor PAS commissioner, was not indispensable, and should a by-election be called in Gombak Setia (where Dr Hasan is the state assemblyman), “the seat can be retained if the cancer of Hasan Ali is to be ridden off”.

Johor likes no quotas but not Umno rule changes

JOHOR BARU, Sept 25 — Umno’s birthplace, bastion and biggest contingent Johor has agreed to proposals scrapping quotas for nominations in the fight for the party’s top posts but wants a thorough debate on all other rules changes it considers detrimental to the grassroots.

Johor Umno is also asking for a special assembly, beyond next month's 2009 assembly, to discuss the disputed rules such as limiting the fight for posts to supreme council members, designating the supreme council to conduct party elections and the number of branch and wings' delegates eligible to vote.

The fiery debate by Johor Umno, which echoes those in other states, took place on Wednesday with among those against the new rules being division chiefs Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar (Kota Tinggi), Datuk Shahrir Samad (Johor Baru) and Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (Pulai). The first two have been Umno supreme council members and ministers.

"We can only agree to scrapping the quotas but not the other rules," Nur Jazlan confirmed with The Malaysian Insider.

Party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak had proposed scrapping the nomination quotas and opening the vote to branch delegates at the 2008 assembly held last March when he took over from former president Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who stepped down a year after his Barisan Nasional ruling coalition's disastrous electoral performance.

A technical committee led by vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein proposed the rule changes that is now being presented to all divisions ahead of the party assembly between Oct 13 and 16. Hishammuddin was not present at the Johor briefing.

It is understood that Johor Umno liaison committee chief Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman will present the state's views at a party supreme council meeting.

"It is best that we hold a special assembly, an extraordinary general meeting, to go through the changes line by line," said Nur Jazlan, the outspoken leader who had asked Abdullah to step down after the Election 2008 debacle.

It is learnt the main grouse was limiting the contest for top posts to just supreme council members instead of widening it to all members, as previously done in the nationalist Malay party.

"That is not quite democratic," an Umno division chief told The Malaysian Insider, asking for anonymity.

He added the rules appeared to have been thought up in a rushed manner without consulting the grassroots.

"It is a bit like 1 Malaysia. The top decides this one day and we have to follow the next day. Well, we don't," he said.

Most of the 26 Johor Umno division leaders were also against agreeing to have the party supreme council conduct the elections without putting the election rules in black and white. It is learnt that the new rule requires amending the party charter. Next to Johor, Sabah has the most divisions at 25.

"We can't just surrender all powers to the supreme council. They are powerful already but we need the rules to be clear, especially in conducting party election," said the division leader.

Another Johor division leader said the technical committee also did not consider the composition of the new electoral college voting in the party leadership.

In scrapping the quotas, Umno will widen the voting from the current 2,500 divisional delegates to some 60,000 comprising delegates from all branches in its 191 divisions.

However there is concern that the delegates from the main Umno body will be overwhelmed by the combined representation from the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings.

"Realistically, only the top four from each branch will get to vote apart from two each from Wanita, Youth and Puteri. You can see that such a scenario means the Umno leadership is voted in by the wings, not the main party," the division leader said.

He said the consensus from Johor was supporting Najib to reform the party election system but it will not be at the expense of the grassroots' rights.

The quota system was put in place when Umno reconstituted in 1988 after it was declared illegal to ensure popular challenge to the party leadership.

The party supreme council is expected to meet soon to discuss, among others, concerns about the rules changes and the candidate for the Bagan Pinang state seat by-election.

Kampung Tanjong Tokong folk want Najib to intervene

Some of the homes in the village which have been demolished. — Pictures by Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 25 — While Hari Raya festivities may still be lingering in the air, a walk down the village roads of Kampung Tanjong Tokong here suggests a feeling that celebrations have been subdued by more pressing concerns.

This Sunday, the residents association of the kampung will be organising a press conference to collect signatures from various NGOs in Penang as well as several academic institutions such as USM, in an attempt to highlight the impending takeover of their land.

“We want Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself to solve this issue because we are talking about the issue of Malay heritage here. This is where the first Malay community in Penang started. All the past prime ministers have not done anything to help us in our plight,” said Mohd Salleh Yahaya, a former lecturer who is also the residents association chairman of the 200-year-old village.

Similar to the case of Kampung Buah Pala, villagers here are opposing a mixed development project by UDA Holdings which some of them claim have “no social responsibility to the people and to the Malay heritage of the area.”

According to Salleh, UDA Holdings was given a 99-year lease of the land on May 30, 1974 on the condition that any development would be solely for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and renewal of Kampung Tanjong Tokong and not a profit-based project.

“The federal government has neglected the needs of the people and has not fulfilled their responsibilities. We want the matter to be dealt with at federal level since UDA Holdings is a government-linked company (GLC), and the land concerned belongs to the federal government,” said the association chairman.

The residents association wants the area to be recognised as a National Heritage Site. As of right now, the residents have no say over the matter because UDA has categorised the people still staying in the area as squatters.

Among the demands made by the residents are:

1. The Prime Minister himself should propose a special allocation for the reconstruction and development of Kampung Tanjong Tokong under the Ninth or Tenth Malaysia Plans;

2. UDA be removed from involvement in the development of the area;

3. A special agency should be appointed by the federal government, and this agency should focus on handling the problems of poverty of the people in the area, and have no other agenda besides being fully socially responsible; and

4. That out of the 1,000 acres of reclaimed land in the area, 10 per cent of it to be returned to the villagers in the form of positive development.

A banner put up by Suara Penduduk claiming that the residents committee does not represent the interests of all the villagers

Salleh blamed UDA Holdings, whom he claimed had roped in unsuspecting villagers with its “sweet talk” and allocation of transit houses for those who had agreed to move out of the village.

“Ever since Datuk Jaafar Abu Hassan (managing director of UDA) paid a visit to the village on March 5, a total of 40 of the 60 houses scheduled to be demolished have taken up UDA’s offer. They have moved into transit homes provided by UDA. The remaining 20 families are adamant on staying put although we have been told to vacate our homes by October,” said Salleh.

At this point, there are a total of 1,026 families living in 260 houses in the village.

UDA has purportedly offered the temporary occupation licence (TOL) holders, their extended families and even those living in houses with no addresses a free flat of 800-850 sq ft.

What complicates the situation further is that some of the villagers are said to be willingly complying with UDA’s development plans, and are against the residents association.

This quarter of the village divide is known as the Suara Penduduk Tanjong Tokong and they are in direct monetary negotiations with the developers for a sum of RM5,000.

When asked to comment about this section of the village population, Salleh stated that certain sections of the community are only concerned with getting money and a free apartment, and have no regard towards preserving heritage.

If first you don’t succeed, whore yourself to the UMNO fatcats

By Haris Ibrahim,

27th September, last year, some of us gathered at Dataran Merdeka to light a candle and wish RPK, who was then being detained under the ISA, ‘Happy Birthday’. You can read about that HERE.

Later, some of us moved on to join the Hindraf folk who were also holding an anti-ISA candle light vigil that culminated in a gathering at the Sri Ganesha temple in Jalan Pudu.

A huge crowd had built up at the temple but one man, all fire and brimstone, had my attention.

Former Hindraf national co-coordinator R.S. Thanenthiran is the man circled in yellow

Former Hindraf national co-coordinator R.S. Thanenthiran is the man circled in yellow

I could not understand most of what Thanenthiran said, but he certainly roused the crowd to constantly break into a chorus of ‘Makkal Sakti’ and ‘Mansuhkan ISA’.

Just eleven days before this vigil, Thanenthiran was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying that Hindraf ‘backed Anwar Ibrahim to become the country’s sixth prime minister for it believes that the opposition leader is the only person capable of putting the country back on the right track’.

Thanenthiran was quoted as saying :

“Anwar has assured that he will ensure a free and fair country based on equality, justice and democracy for all, something that Barisan Nasional has not given to Malaysians in its unbroken 51-year rule. He is now the best bet to instill some order to our political uncertainty. Hindraf wants him to become prime minister and safeguard the Indian community from marginalisation”.

Well, Thanenthiran appears to have vindicated the adage we hear again and again that there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics.

And the perception amongst many that to get anywhere in the world of politics, one has to whore one’s own soul.

Thanenthiran in his dapper suit, a far cry from his street activism days. Photo courtesy of Malaysianinsider

Thanenthiran in his dapper suit, a far cry from his street activism days. Photo courtesy of Malaysianinsider

In May, this year, Thanenthiran and his merry men moved to register a new political party. The stated objective of the new party, as reported by Malaysiakini, to spearhead “a political struggle for the betterment of the Malaysian Indian community”.

At that time, sources close to Thanenthiran indicated that this new party would not incline to either BN or Pakatan but would steer its own course.

However, the speed with which the new party, Parti Makkal Sakti Malaysia, secured registration by the Registrar of Societies was, for many, telling.

Malaysianinsider reported yesterday that Najib has been invited to and has agreed to be the guest of honour at the official launch of this new party this coming October 10th.

According to this report, Thanenthiran made many curious statements.

Whilst insisting that the invite to Najib should not be seen as detracting from the independence of this new party he nonetheless candidly shared that “We are working together with him as partners… we walk together for the benefit of the Indian community”.

This ‘working together’, as Thanenthiran disclosed, includes actively campaigning for the Barisan Nasional in the forthcoming Bagan Pinang by-election.

Why this about-turn?

Thanenthiran explains.

“It is true the BN did not do much for us in the past 52 years but the Pakatan Rakyat has done even less for us in the past two years. BN under Datuk Seri (Najib) is beginning to do for the Indians in major areas and we welcome it. We want to work with him to get a fair share of the nation’s resources”.

Getting a fair share of the nation’s resources is all well and good, but for whom?

The marginalised Indians?

Isn’t that what MIC and Samy Vellu have been saying all these years?

So is Thanenthiran and his new party, as Malaysianinsider suggests, merely filling in the seeming vacuum in BN’s divide and rule scheme brought about by MIC’s increasing irrelevance and inability to reform?

Three days before that vigil last September, Malaysiakini reported that Thanenthiran had challenged Samy to seek the forgiveness of Malaysia Indians.

“Samy Vellu should kneel and beg for (forgiveness) for his wrongdoings (against) the community if he is sincere and honest about seeking freedom for our leaders”.

Samy did better than that.

On 1st April this year, Samy visited a recuperating Thanenthiran in hospital. Thanenthiran was recovering from a heart attack and, quite possibly, the disappointment of being overlooked by PKR as the candidate for the Bukit Selambau by election. Malaysiakini has a report of this HERE.

Was this the turning point for Thanenthiran?

Some two weeks after this visit, Waythamoorthy purged the Hindraf leadership by suspending several who reckoned themselves as the top guns, including Thanenthiran.

Had Waytha got wind of some wheeling and dealing by those within the ranks of Hindraf to further their own agenda?

In a Malaysiakini report dated 21st May, this year, Thanenthiran, speaking on the formation of this new party, admitted to having led a delegation to meet PM Najib a month before.

This would place that meeting with Najib some three weeks after that visit by Samy at the hospital.

Political deals, it would seem, were being made at lightning speed.

And lo and behold, what emerges today is a re-branded and re-cast Thanenthiran, now perfectly kosher for Najib and UMNO.

And the police.

In June, Malaysiakini reported that Thanenthiran said that his new party would not follow in the footsteps of Hindraf in going to the streets to pressure the government to look into the needs of the marginalised Indians in Malaysia.

In rationalising this change of strategy, Thanenthiran, in my view, let the cat out of the bag.

“Going to streets may make one popular, but it will not necessarily resolve the problems at hand”, is what he is reported to have said.

And that, it would seem, was what his street activism was all about.

Profile building.

The question that must now be asked, is whether the Malaysian Indian community will submit itself to another 52 years of marginalisation by being taken in by this poliitical whoring?

Bagan Pinang may provide an early answer come 11th October.

Hope lives on in Malaysia: The Hassan Mat Yaacob story.

By Augustine Anthony

Rural folks have many land problems. The safest way to find lasting and meaningful solutions to their problems is to first eliminate all the politicians, bureaucrats and even the office boys who behave like lords of the lands, lording over many of these rural folks who lack confidence to confront them.

Those who had abused the existing laws, particularly the land acquisition legislations with utter disregard for the welfare of the affected people must never forget that their tryst with insidious tyranny has a half life that will soon end.

I say this with confidence not because of the many stirring speeches of great leaders and orators but inspired by the display of resilience by ordinary village folks who are now awakening to a belief system that they can stand up for their rights even as they journey to free themselves from a state of mind that had been shackled by a long train of abuses and usurpations.

One such inspiration is Hassan Mat Yaacob, a padi farmer who refuses to take ‘no for an answer’ to reclaim what was legitimately his.

This padi farmer had only one possession in his life. His padi field. It was cultivated with “padi tabur”. He had the original land title to prove ownership of the padi field. Unknown to him a new land title was issued to a third party even though the original land title is still in valid existence. Soon this “new land owner” prevented Hassan from cultivating padi in his own land.

Hassan believed in the system within the government so much that he thought that it will resolve his weighty problem and bring justice to him but little did he realize that it is this very system that will cause grave injustice to him.

Hassan had lost his land and his one source of income. He confronts the “new land owner” who in turn taunts him because the “new land owner” is well connected. He meets up with the employees of the land office and they ridicule him that he is a kampung man who does not understand law. He makes a police report because someone had “stolen” his land but the department does little or nothing to determine the possible culprits who are responsible for the predicament of Hassan.

Hassan complains to the Anti Corruption Agency (now MACC) but they too display inaction. He thinks his elected representative will help but he is too busy with other matters. Hassan is such a simple man and without the slightest show of anger, says that he can only see the elected representative during election time.

Hassan had lost his land but not hope.

Rural folks are such simple people. Some of them think that meeting the Menteri Besar is like dropping by at the neighbors’ orchard. With this mindset, Hassan goes to the Menteri Besar’s office and personally meets up with the Menteri Besar and pleads for help but the door slams hard on his face.

Next he dares himself to meet the Prime Minister but could only reach as far as the then Biro Pengaduan Awam (Public Complaints Bureau) with no positive outcome. His hopes are near destroyed. Heartbroken it finally hits Hassan that the system within the public sector had failed him miserably.

While this is only a simplified account of his struggle, only Hassan and a few others know how many strange places and how many strange stairs and lifts and corridors this poor farmer had to pass through just to reclaim what was legitimately his. How many lonely nights and how many anxious days, all were his and his alone to shoulder.

Fresh out of the betrayal that he had suffered in the hands of the public sector, he now looks for other avenues with his critically asphyxiated hope. He looks to the private sector now. He had by now heard of the “noble” profession called the legal profession.

But here lies the problem with the legal profession.

It was the 1990’s and a boom time for the private sector including the legal profession. This noble profession was fast turning into a money making ‘business’. Employees from the public sector and a good number of people from other professions including retirees were lured by the sweet songs in the streets that there is plenty of money to be made in the legal profession.

Ridiculous land acquisitions that displaced farmers, fishermen, plantation workers and poor rural folks who lived and toiled in these lands and that were subsequently replaced with luxury hotels, private gated communities, villas and golf courses required lawyers among others to do the job.

The country has turn into a corporation. Profit driven and all else secondary or irrelevant. It is now a Malaysia Incorporated. People who stood in the way of profit driven entities were trampled in this glorious stampede for a photo finish to Vision 2020.

The country was preparing for glory with a perfect vision in 2020. Every man in the street had a vision, so the saying goes. From the tallest building to the longest national flag ( you can even see one concrete flag along the road to Batu Ferringhi), to growing padi on roof tops that would cost 50 sen a grain, to bringing Masai warriors to act as cover for the barren lands carved out from our depleted forests, all things were possible in Malaysia.

Thus, the birth of the catchword, Malaysia Boleh! or the Boleh land.

Hassan Mat Yaacob an innocent rural farmer was caught in this quagmire.

A bitter and heart broken Hassan now readied himself to take on the very system he had trusted all his life. He is now prepared to battle the government in court.
Hassan now turns to lawyers for help. But it requires money, sometimes it takes a lot of money to engage a lawyer. Even if people like Hassan are ready with whatever money that they have to fight on, they need to overcome the next hurdle. The hurdle of whether the lawyer is part of the very system, where he is dependent on the government and quasi government bodies, banks, insurance companies and a whole lot of entities with government interests for the lawyer’s personal survival. Hassan had experienced a good number of lawyers declining to act for him on the basis of conflict of interests.

Do not antagonize the guys who control the system or you will not have enough to maintain your lifestyle, such is the warning.

An insidious tyranny veneered as a guided democracy is now cleverly in place. Its various tentacles of power are ever ready to immobilize unacceptable dissent.
Having crossed the hurdle of engaging a lawyer, Hassan is now in court to take on the government and its well entrenched system that suffocates many ordinary people like him.

Now here lies a strange and interesting twist to the system of governance that had seen much condemnation as being unfriendly and corrupt to the point of its near collapse.

Within this system there are still people who are honest, courageous and dedicated in service to the nation. With a system that is still scattered with good people, there is redemption.

Those witnesses, men in service within the system who took the stand in court and spoke the truth, the witness who courageously announced his faith in Islam and boldly uttered that Islam teaches him to speak against oppression and help the oppressed in a brotherhood, the senior federal counsel who proudly addressed the court that he is in court not to win at all costs but to ascertain the truth, the brave judge who stayed true to his oath of office and pronounced a judgment against the government, are part of this system too.

Hassan has won!

News travelled fast in places where rural folks lived that Hassan had beaten the mighty system in its own killing field. His hope that flickered in all the dark days had now spread across the rural land as a beacon of light bringing optimistic tidings that the end is near for the insidious tyranny masked by sly smile of those thick faced people within the system of governance.

It is this once flickering hope of many people like Hassan that is now the fire that burns in the younger and incisive generation that is demanding change in our decaying system of governance.

Seasons come and go, people live and die but hope lives on in Malaysia and ordinary people like Hassan and the good souls within the system of governance bear testimony that the chain of hope will forever be unbroken and that this nation will one day see the coming of better times.

(NB: In the year 2006 I wrote an article titled Freedom in Midheaven seeing Malaysia in the future and spoke of Sdr Lim Guan Eng, Tunku Abdul Aziz, and the Seenivasagam Brothers etc. It was published in The Malaysian Lawyers at Yahoo Group Forum. Some harbored hope while others ridiculed it by saying there is no hope in this country. Then, the 12th General Election in March 2008, the new Chief Minister of Penang and the many changes that are taking place now).

Upholding diversity in Islam

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com

Hamidah
Dr Hamidah Marican

SISTERS in Islam (SIS) has a new executive director, Dr Hamidah Marican, who took over the helm from Zainah Anwar on 6 July 2009.

Over the past 21 years, the outspoken organisation which promotes justice and fairness in the name of Islam, has often been targeted for attacks by those who deem them either too liberal or deviant. They continue to be the subject of criticism at a time when Malaysia is dealing with the issues of syariah whipping for women, moral policing of beer-drinking Muslims, and proposed bans on pop concerts.

And yet, Hamidah notes that old issues such as the lack of justice for wives and children under Islamic family law, and violence against women, remain unresolved.

Hamidah has a doctorate in organisational development and has dealt extensively with workplace diversity and human resources. She has managed diversity issues in Intel, Shell and BP. In an interview with The Nut Graph on 14 Sept 2009 at the SIS office in Petaling Jaya, she talks about her high-flying career in the corporate sector and why she traded all that for a non-governmental organisation job with SIS.

TNG: Tell us more about your professional background and how you got involved in diversity work in the corporate sector?

Hamidah: I was a school teacher and then a lecturer before joining the corporate sector where I've spent close to 20 years. In Intel, where I spent seven years, I was chosen to lead a new group on organisational development (OD). Intel was my introduction to diversity in the workplace. Learning this field, which was totally new to me, took a toll as it required a lot of travelling and I had a young daughter. For the record, I've been a single mother for close to 16 years. There's no way I could have done it without support from my parents and siblings.

My training in OD and diversity was on the job, and as I went through it, I was reminded of my growing-up years in the school system. I [am of] mixed heritage with Indian, Pakistani and Malay blood. I went through the system feeling second class. It was when Malaysia was going through transition after 13 May 1969, so affirmative action was in place. I felt like I didn't belong to any group. I didn't look Malay. I wasn't typically Indian [Malaysian] because I was Muslim by faith. I felt neither here nor there and it made me go through school always at loggerheads with somebody or the other.

Over the years I've looked deeper into the larger diversity arena. It's not just about Asians and westerners. I learnt issues surrounding gays and lesbians at the workplace, and ensuring that the systems and processes do not discriminate against them. Initially, I had my own reservations based on the way I was educated. But as I learned more, I began to understand that they [are just] a different group of people, and it really is their preference, and who am I to judge?

WTC
Firefighter looks at remains of New York's World Trade
Center after 11 Sept attacks by terrorists
(public domain / wiki commons)

Interacting with people without passing judgement is important in diversity work. Sometimes, it's not the other but it's just you and your personal bias getting in the way. Diversity is about letting people bring their whole self to the workplace.

New dimensions opened up when I joined the oil and gas industry.

Then 9/11 happened. And all of a sudden I, Hamidah, became much sought after because I was a Muslim female who wears the hijab. Everybody wanted to know more about Islam. The oil and gas industry has workers from the Middle East and the last thing we wanted was quarrels and upsets in the workplace.

From here, I learnt a new dimension which was religion in the workplace. I was required to lead conversations with regards to Islam. This also meant I had to relook my early grounding in religion. I had to go back to the text to understand the substance so as to create an environment where people could talk about religion in a non-threatening manner, without labelling.

How do you view SIS's work in today's Malaysia where the lines between religions and even within Islam, are drawn more deeply than ever?

SIS's work is becoming even more important. While we talk about diversity, let's not forget there's also diversity of thought. Islam, from its early days, has always promoted diversity of thought and opinion.

But we hear the same arguments that a group of learned scholars have interpreted the Quran a particular way and that is what everyone should follow, and those who disagree are labelled un-Islamic. What new element could you bring to this argument?

I've always believed in the principle of engagement and dialogue. It means talking with and understanding others. I always remind myself that I could be wrong, and I will not know until I sit down and engage. There is a gentler way to win the war.

Looking at the strong support for Kartika's whipping, do you find that positions are more entrenched and that there is no interest in dialogue?

Kartika's case is a problem where certain behavioural codes or requirements are codified and turned into crimes against the state. Islam is a religion of compassion. There are 107 verses in the Quran that talks about compassion and forgiveness, clearly indicating that God views us as mortal beings who are bound to make mistakes. And He's given us space to reflect and reform.

quote

The syariah maximum sentencing provision of 3-5-6 [three years' jail, RM5,000 fine, and six strokes of the cane], is only a guide and should only kick in if you are a repeat offender who is causing harm to others. There is no evidence that Kartika was causing harm to others, so why the extreme punishment?

The situation that has emerged shows that many Muslims seem to confuse the concept of syariah with the content of syariah. The concept refers to syariah being a "path" or a body of law based on the Quran. The content, however, is the outcome of human interpretation. As such, interpretations will differ as we are mortal beings. Hence we see many schools of thought and law in Islam.

My invitation for dialogue and discourse is to examine this very content. Dialogue must involve all stakeholders, not just ulamak and scholars, using the same rigour and intellect used by earlier ulamak. Dialogue must also keep in view the current constitutional provisions, gender perspective, universal human rights, equality at large and the lived realities of today. We must ensure that we leverage the diversity of thought that has been a common thread in Islam.

What do you think about the challenges facing Muslim women over the years? Are they facing new challenges or old ones that have not been resolved?

pullquote

The issues are the same but they are becoming more challenging. When laws are codified based on one interpretation, it is problematic. We need to keep engaging and bringing in the lived realities of women. The realities of women today are very different from the time of our Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.

How do you view PAS? Their recent muktamar passed a resolution to investigate and ban SIS.

I'm convinced they don't really know us. So I invite them to talk to us and know our work. We can have a dialogue without labelling and judging the other.

SIS is perceived by critics as too liberal. You are now the first executive director who wears a tudung. Have you received any comments on that?

I've not heard any. It's also not fully out in the open that I'm the new executive director. But I think it will be a surprise to some. In the past, SIS has been accused of forcing its staff to remove their hijab.

What was your early religious grounding like, since you mentioned that you had to revisit it in the course of your organisational development work?

pullquote

My late father was a religious man. I had a good balance of religious teaching from school and my father's guidance. The frustration for me when growing up and in my years as a teacher was being told that as a Muslim, you could not do this or that, and these become the yardstick for whether you are a good Muslim. That was a source of conflict for me especially since my father always taught that in Islam there is no compulsion and that things ought to be done in love.

As I did OD work, I also found the difference between what was cultural and what was religious. And when I could differentiate, I was able to read the Quran with a new perspective. There were also certain habits, like how my childhood ustaz said we were not to underline or mark in the Quran at all, but as I grew older, I realised that if I'm going to study the Quran, I'll have to make notes in the text.

Care to share the circumstances of becoming a single mum?

I was in a marriage that wasn't working. If I were unhappy, I would raise an unhappy child. In order for that not to happen, it meant getting out of the marriage. It was my first exposure to how unfair the syariah court system can be.

From Malaya to Malaysia

ImageContributed by Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi

SEPTEMBER 16 was hardly noticed by Malaysians in the peninsula. It was “Malaysia Day” - the day in 1963 when the Federation of Malaya joined destinies with North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore to constitute the enlarged Federation of Malaysia.

Evolution: The process of conversion from Malaya to Malaysia was by no means trouble free. In favour of reconstituting Malaya were the Resolution of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee (1961), the Resolution of the Legislative Council of North Borneo (1962), the Report of the British-Malayan Cobbold Commission (1962) and the Twenty-Points Manifesto of the Sabah Alliance (1962).

In addition, the General Elections held in North Borneo in 1962 and in Sarawak in 1963, pointed to the desire of the people of the Borneo States to join Malaysia on the condition that their special interests were safeguarded in the new federation.

The Governments of the Philippines and Indonesia were, however, vehemently opposed to Malaya’s reconstitution. They rejected the legitimacy of the above self determination processes. A Tripartite Summit was, therefore, held in Manila which invited the UN Secretary-General to ascertain the wishes of the peoples of North Borneo and Sarawak.

The Secretary-General’s mission spent three weeks in Borneo to conduct a survey and released its finding on 15 September 1963 that the Malaysia proposal had the wide backing of the peoples of Borneo States.

Still, the Indonesian and Philippines governments were not appeased. Indonesia resorted to an undeclared war dubbed “the confrontation”. The Philippines laid an international law claim to Sabah.

Within the country the State of Kelantan commenced proceedings in the High Court to declare the Malaysia Agreement null and void. A few days before Malaysia Day it laid two arguments before the court.

First, it argued that it was a founding member of the Federation of Malaya and as such its consent must be obtained before any changes are made that alter drastically the character of the Federation. It complained that bringing Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore into the Federation would reduce the majority Malays into a minority in their own country.

The court rejected this argument. Kelantan had agreed to the1957 Constitution and in that basic charter, the power to amend the Constitution to bring new States into the Federation was a federal power that did not require the consent of the States.

Kelantan’s second contention was that there was a binding constitutional custom that any major amendment requires the consent of the States. The Court ruled that customs are not laws and are not enforceable in the courts. History may prove Kelantan right but the courts cannot allow a custom to block the legal process.

As we all know history did prove Kelantan right within a very short time in relation to Singapore. But Malaysia went on to become a legal and political reality.

Basis for special treatment: In 1963 the Inter-Governmental Committee headed by Lord Lansdowne with Tun Razak as the Deputy Chairman worked out several constitutional arrangements to guarantee the special position of the Borneo States. This was deemed justifiable due to a number of socio-political, economic, geographical and legal factors.

Sabah and Sarawak were culturally and religiously distinct from Peninsular
Malaysia.

They were bringing huge territories into the federation. Their combined area of 198,069 sq km exceeded Peninsular Malaysia’s 131,681 sq km. Their combined coastline was 2,607 km compared to the Peninsula’s 2,068km.

They had massive potential resources in fisheries, ports, forests, timber, petroleum, river waters, hydroelectric power and tourism.

Despite these resources they had serious problems of poverty, illiteracy, lack of infrastructure and under-development.

The 1963 pact between the Federation of Malaya, United Kingdom, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore was not merely an internal arrangement but an international treaty.

Many other federations are known to have special provisions for constituent units. In India Kashmir enjoys many special privileges.

More autonomy: Malaysia’s federal model provides for a heavy central bias. But in relation to Sabah and Sarawak the federal government’s powers are not so pronounced. For example, Sabah and Sarawak are excluded from Parliament’s power to pass uniform laws about land and local government: Article 95D. Sabah and Sarawak are also excluded from national plans for land utilization, local government and development: Article 95E.

There are special rules about audits in Sabah and Sarawak (Article 112A).

The power of amending the Constitution which belongs to the federal Parliament is not as extensive in relation to Sabah and Sarawak as it is in relation to the peninsular States. Under Article 161E constitutional amendments affecting the specified rights of the East Malaysian States cannot become law without the consent of the Governors of these States.

The legislative competence of the various States is elaborated in the Federal Constitution’s Schedule 9 Lists II and III. Sabah and Sarawak have a Supplementary State List and a Supplementary Concurrent List conferring on them many legislative powers not allocated to the peninsular States.

Financial powers: Money represents power. The Federal government’s stranglehold over most of the lucrative sources of revenue is not as strong in relation to Sabah and Sarawak as it is in relation to other States. This is partly due to the special needs of these states and partly due to the size and potential resources of these regions.

In three areas Sabah and Sarawak enjoy fiscal privileges that are not available to the peninsular States:

Under Article 112B, these States are allowed to raise loans for their purposes with the consent of Bank Negara.

These States are allocated special grants to meet their needs above and beyond what other States receive: Article 112C and 112D.

Sabah and Sarawak are assigned eight sources of revenue not permitted to other States. These include import and excise duty on petroleum products, export duty on timber and forest produce and, subject to a ceiling, export duty on minerals. Sabah and Sarawak are also entitled to earnings from ports and harbors and State sales tax: Article 112C & Schedule 10, Pt. V.

Other privileges: The Federal Constitution is replete with many other provisions for the special position of Sabah and Sarawak.

Under Article 153, the natives of Sabah and Sarawak enjoy a special position similar to that of the Malays.

Customary courts and native law are given special protection.

The High Court has a special wing for Sabah and Sarawak presided over by a Chief Judge for the region.

In the Dewan Rakyat there are 28 MPs from Sarawak and 20 from Sabah. On a population basis this is very favourable.

These States enjoy special protection in relation to the use of English and native languages: Article 161.

The law on Malay Reserve Land does not apply to these States: Article 161A(5).

The Borneo States have special right to regulate immigration into these States.

Sabah and Sarawak lawyers have exclusive right to practise law in these States and in relation to cases originating in these States.

Forty-six years down the road, not all is well with Sabah-Sarawak’s relationship with the Centre. The influx of illegal immigrants and the alleged “naturalization” of thousands of them are being regarded as a violation of Sabah and Sarawak’s rights over immigration. There are murmurs of discontent about the BN’s choice of MBs and Governors. Labuan’s federalization is a sore point.

In the Peninsula, there are concerns that integration is being hindered because of restrictions on freedom of movement and the requirement of work permits in one’s own land. These are legitimate concerns. But one must also remember that in 1963 some concessions were awarded. They must be honoured. Unity and integration, while laudable goals, must not be forced. They must be achieved within and not outside the solemn pact of 1963.

Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi is Emeritus Professor at UiTM and Visiting Professor at USM.

Hope lives on in Malaysia: The Hassan Mat Yaacob story.

ImagePerak Speak
By Augustine Anthony

Rural folks have many land problems. The safest way to find lasting and meaningful solutions to their problems is to first eliminate all the politicians, bureaucrats and even the office boys who behave like lords of the lands, lording over many of these rural folks who lack confidence to confront them.

Those who had abused the existing laws, particularly the land acquisition legislations with utter disregard for the welfare of the affected people must never forget that their tryst with insidious tyranny has a half life that will soon end.

I say this with confidence not because of the many stirring speeches of great leaders and orators but inspired by the display of resilience by ordinary village folks who are now awakening to a belief system that they can stand up for their rights even as they journey to free themselves from a state of mind that had been shackled by a long train of abuses and usurpations.

One such inspiration is Hassan Mat Yaacob, a padi farmer who refuses to take ‘no for an answer’ to reclaim what was legitimately his.

This padi farmer had only one possession in his life. His padi field. It was cultivated with “padi tabur”. He had the original land title to prove ownership of the padi field. Unknown to him a new land title was issued to a third party even though the original land title is still in valid existence. Soon this “new land owner” prevented Hassan from cultivating padi in his own land.

Hassan believed in the system within the government so much that he thought that it will resolve his weighty problem and bring justice to him but little did he realize that it is this very system that will cause grave injustice to him.

Hassan had lost his land and his one source of income. He confronts the “new land owner” who in turn taunts him because the “new land owner” is well connected. He meets up with the employees of the land office and they ridicule him that he is a kampung man who does not understand law. He makes a police report because someone had “stolen” his land but the department does little or nothing to determine the possible culprits who are responsible for the predicament of Hassan.

Hassan complains to the Anti Corruption Agency (now MACC) but they too display inaction. He thinks his elected representative will help but he is too busy with other matters. Hassan is such a simple man and without the slightest show of anger, says that he can only see the elected representative during election time.

Hassan had lost his land but not hope.

Rural folks are such simple people. Some of them think that meeting the Menteri Besar is like dropping by at the neighbors’ orchard. With this mindset, Hassan goes to the Menteri Besar’s office and personally meets up with the Menteri Besar and pleads for help but the door slams hard on his face.

Next he dares himself to meet the Prime Minister but could only reach as far as the then Biro Pengaduan Awam (Public Complaints Bureau) with no positive outcome. His hopes are near destroyed. Heartbroken it finally hits Hassan that the system within the public sector had failed him miserably.

While this is only a simplified account of his struggle, only Hassan and a few others know how many strange places and how many strange stairs and lifts and corridors this poor farmer had to pass through just to reclaim what was legitimately his. How many lonely nights and how many anxious days, all were his and his alone to shoulder.

Fresh out of the betrayal that he had suffered in the hands of the public sector, he now looks for other avenues with his critically asphyxiated hope. He looks to the private sector now. He had by now heard of the “noble” profession called the legal profession.

But here lies the problem with the legal profession.

It was the 1990’s and a boom time for the private sector including the legal profession. This noble profession was fast turning into a money making ‘business’. Employees from the public sector and a good number of people from other professions including retirees were lured by the sweet songs in the streets that there is plenty of money to be made in the legal profession.

Ridiculous land acquisitions that displaced farmers, fishermen, plantation workers and poor rural folks who lived and toiled in these lands and that were subsequently replaced with luxury hotels, private gated communities, villas and golf courses required lawyers among others to do the job.

The country has turn into a corporation. Profit driven and all else secondary or irrelevant. It is now a Malaysia Incorporated. People who stood in the way of profit driven entities were trampled in this glorious stampede for a photo finish to Vision 2020.

The country was preparing for glory with a perfect vision in 2020. Every man in the street had a vision, so the saying goes. From the tallest building to the longest national flag ( you can even see one concrete flag along the road to Batu Ferringhi), to growing padi on roof tops that would cost 50 sen a grain, to bringing Masai warriors to act as cover for the barren lands carved out from our depleted forests, all things were possible in Malaysia.

Thus, the birth of the catchword, Malaysia Boleh! or the Boleh land.

Hassan Mat Yaacob an innocent rural farmer was caught in this quagmire.

A bitter and heart broken Hassan now readied himself to take on the very system he had trusted all his life. He is now prepared to battle the government in court.

Hassan now turns to lawyers for help. But it requires money, sometimes it takes a lot of money to engage a lawyer. Even if people like Hassan are ready with whatever money that they have to fight on, they need to overcome the next hurdle. The hurdle of whether the lawyer is part of the very system, where he is dependent on the government and quasi government bodies, banks, insurance companies and a whole lot of entities with government interests for the lawyer’s personal survival. Hassan had experienced a good number of lawyers declining to act for him on the basis of conflict of interests.

Do not antagonize the guys who control the system or you will not have enough to maintain your lifestyle, such is the warning.

An insidious tyranny veneered as a guided democracy is now cleverly in place. Its various tentacles of power are ever ready to immobilize unacceptable dissent.

Having crossed the hurdle of engaging a lawyer, Hassan is now in court to take on the government and its well entrenched system that suffocates many ordinary people like him.

Now here lies a strange and interesting twist to the system of governance that had seen much condemnation as being unfriendly and corrupt to the point of its near collapse.

Within this system there are still people who are honest, courageous and dedicated in service to the nation. With a system that is still scattered with good people, there is redemption.

Those witnesses, men in service within the system who took the stand in court and spoke the truth, the witness who courageously announced his faith in Islam and boldly uttered that Islam teaches him to speak against oppression and help the oppressed in a brotherhood, the senior federal counsel who proudly addressed the court that he is in court not to win at all costs but to ascertain the truth, the brave judge who stayed true to his oath of office and pronounced a judgment against the government, are part of this system too.

Hassan has won!

News travelled fast in places where rural folks lived that Hassan had beaten the mighty system in its own killing field. His hope that flickered in all the dark days had now spread across the rural land as a beacon of light bringing optimistic tidings that the end is near for the insidious tyranny masked by sly smile of those thick faced people within the system of governance.

It is this once flickering hope of many people like Hassan that is now the fire that burns in the younger and incisive generation that is demanding change in our decaying system of governance.

Seasons come and go, people live and die but hope lives on in Malaysia and ordinary people like Hassan and the good souls within the system of governance bear testimony that the chain of hope will forever be unbroken and that this nation will one day see the coming of better times.


(NB: In the year 2006 I wrote an article titled “Freedom in Midheaven” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE: Freedom In Midheaven. seeing Malaysia in the future and spoke of Sdr Lim Guan Eng, Tunku Abdul Aziz, and the Seenivasagam Brothers etc. It was published in The Malaysian Lawyers at Yahoo Group Forum. Some harbored hope while others ridiculed it by saying there is no hope in this country. Then, the 12th General Election in March 2008, the new Chief Minister of Penang and the many changes that are taking place now).

Melayu + Cina + India = 1 Malaysia?

Image©The Malaysian Insider
By Uthaya Sankar SB

SEPT 25 — Akhbar-akhbar perdana pada 21 September melaporkan bahawa bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi berharap amalan rumah terbuka dapat dijadikan satu budaya yang menyerlahkan semangat 1 Malaysia sebagai gagasan perpaduan rakyat berbilang kaum di negara ini.

Foto-foto yang disiarkan pula secara amat sengaja menunjukkan individu kaum Melayu, Cina dan India sama-sama menganyam ketupat atau makan.

Lalu, bagi sekian kalinya sejak April 2009, saya tertanya-tanya, apakah itu sahaja yang dimaksudkan dengan 1 Malaysia?

Saya selalu menulis mengenai konsep “Bangsa Malaysia” di blog saya kerana konsep itu memang menjadi pegangan dan impian saya.

Malah Kavyan mengangkat serta memartabatkan konsep “Bahasa Malaysia, Bangsa Malaysia” sejak ditubuhkan pada Ogos 1999.

Sebab itulah saya tidak takjub dengan konsep baru yang diperkenalkan oleh PM pada April lalu. Apatah lagi memandangkan PM sendiri menjelaskan pada “Selayang Pandang” blog www.1malaysia.com.my:

“[Blog] 1 Malaysia diwujudkan dengan tujuan untuk menyediakan satu forum yang bebas dan terbuka bagi membincangkan tentang perkara yang benar-benar dekat di hati kita sebagai satu bangsa. Ia menyediakan peluang untuk meluahkan dan menerokai kepelbagaian perspektif masyarakat kita. Apa yang menjadikan Malaysia unik adalah kepelbagaian rakyat kita. Matlamat 1 Malaysia adalah untuk mengekalkan dan meningkatkan perpaduan di dalam kepelbagaian ini yang selama ini menjadi kekuatan kita dan akan kekal sebagai bekalan terbaik kita untuk masa hadapan. Saya berharap agar laman web ini akan menjadi permulaan kepada satu dialog yang penting dan terbuka bagi menerokai identiti, tujuan dan hala tuju kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia. Saya menggalakkan setiap orang daripada anda menyertai saya dalam memberikan takrifan kepada Malaysia kita dan peranan yang perlu kita mainkan untuk masa hadapannya. Setiap kita — di sebalik segala perbezaan kita — berkongsi impian untuk satu masa hadapan yang lebih baik. Setiap kita mahukan peluang, dihormati, persahabatan dan saling memahami.”

Nilai-nilai 1 Malaysia yang cuba diterapkan oleh Perdana Menteri — dan didedahkan sedikit demi sedikit melalui blog beliau — adalah Budaya Kecemerlangan, Ketabahan, Rendah Hati, Penerimaan, Kesetiaan, Meritokrasi, Pendidikan, dan Integriti.

Apabila diundang memperkatakan mengenai 1 Malaysia, saya akan sering bertanya kepada hadirin: unsur manakah yang baru dan belum menjadi amalan?

Begitulah juga, pada 3 Mei, sewaktu membaca akhbar-akhbar harian secara dalam talian, saya mendapat gambaran jelas bahawa konsep “1 Malaysia” (atau saya menggelarnya “Bangsa Malaysia”) masih kurang jelas dalam kalangan Rakyat dan pemimpin (wakil kerajaan).

Masing-masing melakukan serkap jarang dan percakapan retorik.

Semua pihak digesa memberi sokongan padu kepada Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak yang mengilhamkan konsep 1u Malaysia kerana konsep itu dikatakan menuntut kerjasama dan penglibatan seluruh rakyat Malaysia.

Ada pula pertubuhan tertentu yang mahu menemui Perdana Menteri berhubung isu 1 Malaysia kerana bagi mereka, isu-isu berkaitan Perkara 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan tidak harus dipertikaikan.

Konsep “Satu Belia” turut diperkenalkan bagi membantu mempercepatkan pelaksanaan gagasan 1 Malaysia!

Rasional yang diberikan adalah bahawa konsep 1 Malaysia tidak akan dapat dibina dalam tempoh yang singkat sekiranya golongan belia di negara ini yang berjumlah kira-kira 12 juta daripada 27 juta penduduk negara tidak disatukan.

Pada waktu yang sama, semua stesen televisyen di Malaysia digesa menerbitkan lebih banyak drama dan program yang berwajahkan 1 Malaysia; di mana stesen televisyen dikatakan perlu memastikan masyarakat sentiasa merasakan mereka juga sebahagian daripada program yang ditayangkan.

Kerajaan — atau wakil kerajaan — juga ketara tampil mengingatkan rakyat supaya tidak terpengaruh dengan usaha beberapa pihak yang khabarnya cuba mengelirukan dan memutarbelitkan konsep 1 Malaysia.

Malah, khabarnya, ramai penulis blog mengemukakan pelbagai pandangan yang kadangkala berunsur negatif serta mampu menggugat kefahaman rakyat terhadap konsep 1 Malaysia.

Wakil kerajaan jugalah yang melaung-laungkan bahawa konsep 1 Malaysia diperkenalkan kepada rakyat sebagai satu strategi baru kerajaan untuk mengeratkan hubungan kaum bagi jangka masa panjang.

Konsep 1 Malaysia dilihat sebagai langkah yang terbaik dan paling relevan bagi masyarakat pelbagai kaum di Malaysia.

Perdana Menteri juga banyak kali menegaskan, gagasan 1 Malaysia adalah konsep yang mempunyai pengisian jitu dan bukannya kenyataan retorik politik semata-mata.

Beliau juga berjanji, konsep berkenaan akan diterjemahkan secara evolusi melalui proses tertentu dan tidak berlaku dalam satu malam sahaja.

Paling penting, semua pihak menerima idea Satu Bangsa (1 Malaysia; Bangsa Malaysia) yang merupakan intipati konsep berkenaan tanpa mengira kepelbagaian etnik, sub-etnik dan kebudayaan.

Bagi meningkatkan kefahaman terhadap istilah Satu Bangsa (1 Malaysia; Bangsa Malaysia), maka rakyat perlu mempunyai keyakinan terhadap sikap saling hormat menghormati dan bersikap menerima antara satu sama lain.

Pada masa yang sama, dicadangkan pula supaya semacam “bank idea rakyat” diperkenalkan bagi mengumpulkan cadangan dan pandangan rakyat dalam memastikan setiap pembangunan dilaksanakan secara berkesan dan memenuhi cita rasa akar umbi.

Cadangan itu dilihat sebagai sejajar dengan gagasan “1 Malaysia, Rakyat Didahulukan, Prestasi Diutamakan” yang sedang giat diterapkan di seluruh negara.

Membaca segala laporan media berhubung tindakan dan kata-kata (gesaan, saranan, cadangan) wakil kerajaan, ternyata konsep serkap jarang dan retorik berbahasa masih menjadi amalan.

Siapa yang boleh membantu menjelaskan secara tuntas mengenai 1 Malaysia?

Lebih menarik, pada 5 Mei, Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Mejar-Jeneral (B) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom mengeluarkan kenyataan bahawa Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim) akan mengeluarkan garis panduan mengenai konsep 1 Malaysia sebagai panduan kepimpinan negara ketika berucap pada satu-satu majlis, bagi mengelak salah tafsiran dan tanggapan negatif masyarakat mengenai konsep itu.

Daripada kata-kata beliau, ternyata kepimpinan negara memerlukan garis panduan khusus mengenai konsep 1 Malaysia supaya apa yang diucapkan dapat difahami rakyat.

Khabarnya, sehingga kini, rakyat belum dapat memahami konsep tersebut secara mendalam kerana matlamat dan gagasan 1 Malaysia sering diputar belit pihak tertentu untuk kepentingan sendiri.

Bernama memetik beliau sebagai berkata: “Sebelum konsep ini dipolemikkan dengan lebih parah oleh pihak-pihak berkepentingan, kita perlu menyediakan panduan supaya gagasan ini dapat diperjelaskan dengan lebih terperinci agar ia berupaya membangunkan agama, bangsa dan negara.”

Berikut pula petikan pandangan Senator Datuk Dr Firdaus Abdullah yang sempat saya baca di akhbar Utusan Malaysia, 7 Mei::

“Untuk meningkatkan kefahaman dan penghayatan terhadap gagasan 1 Malaysia, Akademi Pengajian Melayu, Universiti Malaya dan Kerajaan Negeri Terengganu akan mengadakan satu seminar sehari pada 7 Jun.”

Entah berlangsung ataupun tidak seminar berkenaan. Tiada pula laporan yang saya baca mengenai kejayaannya.

Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Mejar-Jeneral (B) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom sendiri berpendapat "sehingga kini rakyat belum memahami dengan mendalam konsep 1 Malaysia itu."

Datuk A. Kadir Jasin dalam ruangan blognya, 17 April juga mengaku dan menulis: "Saya kurang yakin yang saya memahami sepenuhnya gagasan ini."

Ahli akademik terkenal, Profesor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin berkata: "Saya tidak pasti adakah gagasan itu satu 'ideologi politik' (political ideology) atau satu 'strategi tadbir urus' (governance strategy)." Ertinya, Shamsul sendiri juga belum pasti apa sebenarnya yang dimaksudkan dengan gagasan 1 Malaysia.

Menteri Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan, Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim telah mengumumkan beberapa langkah yang sedang dan hendak dilaksanakan oleh kementeriannya untuk memasyarakatkan (dan mengoperasikan) gagasan 1 Malaysia.

Selepas saya membentangkan kertas kerja pada Konvensyen Belia Negara 2009 Peringkat Negeri Sembilan pada 9 Mei di Seremban, tidak kurang yang menyatakan bahawa mereka masih tidak faham dengan konsep “1 Malaysia”.

Secara mudah, saya memberitahu salah seorang peserta bahawa jika beliau “tidak faham”, maka itu tanda positif — kerana beliau telah mendengar pembentangan saya dan juga berfikir tentang konsep 1 Malaysia.

Ada juga peserta yang bertanya — secara amat logik — apa gunanya diadakan sebuah konvensyen jika belum ada sesiapa yang benar-benar memahami apa yang dimaksudkan dengan “1 Malaysia”.

Apatah lagi apabila para pemimpin sendiri perlu diberikan “panduan” oleh Jakim sebelum boleh bercakap mengenainya.

Dikemukakan juga cadangan: mengapa tidak kita semua sebagai rakyat yang sebenarnya sudah sedia mengamalkan semangat “1 Malaysia” tampil “mengajar” para pemimpin mengenai konsep sebenar 1 Malaysia.

Lalu saya simpulkan, itulah tujuan sebuah konvensyen: ada pembentangan kertas kerja, ada pandangan peserta dan akhirnya akan ada resolusi yang akan dicapai.

Resolusi itu nanti akan disampaikan kepada pihak berkenaan. Dan saya percaya perkara itu telah dilakukan pada atau sebelum sambutan Hari Belia Negara pada 15 Mei.

Konsep “Satu Belia” diperkenalkan secara rasmi pada 15 Mei sempena sambutan Hari Belia.

Konsep dan pendekatan “Satu Belia” dipercayai akan menaikkan martabat dan kedudukan belia pada tahap yang lebih tinggi.

Mungkin selepas “Satu Belia”, akan ada pula “Satu Wanita”, “Satu Pemuda”, “Satu Putera”, “Satu Kampung”, “Satu Kedai”, “Satu Kereta”, “Satu Sekolah” dan entah apa lagi sebagai sokongan padu terhadap “1 Malaysia” — walaupun kita sebenarnya masih tidak tahu dan tidak diberitahu apa sebenarnya “1 Malaysia”.

Pasti banyak lagi “Satu” yang boleh dikemukakan — berserta alasan dan rasional serta sumbangannya dalam menjayakan “1 Malaysia”.

Misalnya: “Satu Belia” mampu menaikkan martabat dan kedudukan belia pada tahap yang lebih tinggi.

Dalam pada itu, peraduan Foto Satu Malaysia bertema “Perpaduan Melalui Kepelbagaian” menyaksikan pemenang bertemu Perdana Menteri di pejabat beliau di Putrajaya pada 20 Mei untuk menerima hadiah. Laporannya boleh dibaca di blog 1 Malaysia.

Foto oleh Henry Liew menampilkan beberapa kanak-kanak riang memegang Jalur Gemilang mini. Azrul merakamkan beberapa kanak-kanak riang makan di kantin sekolah. Foto oleh Diyana menampilkan tiga remaja — tentu sahaja seorang Melayu, seorang India dan seorang Cina! — memegang Jalur Gemilang.

Maka, itukah yang dimaksudkan dengan “1 Malaysia”? Hal ini memandangkan Perdana Menteri sendiri di blog 1 Malaysia menyatakan, “tiga penyertaan teratas yang memenangi peraduan ini, pada hemat saya, paling menyerlah dalam menjelaskan semangat 1 Malaysia.”

Maknanya, 1 Malaysia melihat pada kepelbagaian kaum, perpaduan dan kesetiaan pada negara.

Ternyata, konsep 1 Malaysia bukan sesuatu yang baru — walau apapun cuba dikatakan oleh para pemimpin. (Dan jangan lupa bahawa para pemimpin sediri mungkin masih menunggu draf teks/panduan daripada Jakim!)

Berbanggalah kerana kita semua sebagai rakyat memang sudah sedia mengamalkan konsep "1 Malaysia" sebelum Perdana Menteri memulakan blog 1 Malaysia.

Bagi saya, konsep “1 Malaysia” sebenarnya bukan sesuatu yang segar-baru-asli. Dan pada masa yang sama, konsep itu juga belum dapat dijelaskan secara tepat oleh mana-mana pihak.

Kita semua masih dalam “pencarian” makna 1 Malaysia — semata-mata kerana kita tidak mahu, tidak rela dan tidak bersedia menerima hakikat keunikan Bangsa Malaysia.

Kita juga masih bercakap mengenai “perpaduan” (unity) dan belum sampai ke tahap memperkatakan mengenai “integrasi” (integration).

Droughts, melts signal climate change quickens - U.N.


Ruxandra Tocito braves a flooded road to head to her nursing job at Emory Hospital from her subdivision, which was cut off due to flooding from heavy rains, in Lawrenceville, Georgia September 22, 2009. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Droughts from Australia to the U.S. Southwest, acidic ocean water and melting glaciers are signs that the pace of climate change is surpassing the worst-case scenarios scientists predicted in 2007, a U.N. report said on Thursday.

Mountain glaciers in Asia are melting at a rate that could eventually threaten water supplies, irrigation or hydropower for 20 percent to 25 percent of the world's population, the U.N. Environment Program report said.

The Climate Change Science Compendium 2009 report analyzed 400 scientific reports released through peer-reviewed literature, or from research institutions, since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its last report in 2007.

"This is the moral challenge of our generation," U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a release.

Global leaders including Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama spoke at a one-day climate change conference at the United Nations this week to try to break a global deadlock on how rich and developing countries will share the burdens of slowing global warming.

Some 190 countries will try to reach an agreement on how to slow global warming at a meeting in Copenhagen in December.

An increase in global greenhouse gas concentrations has raised concern among scientists that a rise of between 1.4 and 4.3 degrees Celsius (2.5 to 7.75 F) above pre-industrial temperatures is likely, the report said.

That is above the range of between 1 to 3 degrees C (2 to 5.4 F), many scientists see as a level that could lead to the end of summer Arctic sea ice and the eventual melting of the Himalayan glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet, the report said.

In addition, increased absorption of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by oceans is leading to acidification of sea water faster than expected. For example, water that can corrode a seashell-making substance is "already welling up along the California coast -- decades earlier than existing models predict," the report said.

The acidification of oceans could threaten shellfish and coral reefs, the breeding grounds for many fish species.

Environmentalists hope leaders will pay attention to the UNEP report as the Copenhagen meeting nears but news about how the global recession is affecting emissions may also be a factor. The Paris-based International Energy Agency, said this week the recession has set the stage for the 2.6 percent drop in global carbon dioxide output this year, the sharpest fall in in 40 years.

Still, the UNEP report said that emissions that have already been released into the atmosphere could lead to the loss of ecosystems and increased desertification. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects U.S. emissions to begin rising again next year as the economy improves.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Bill Trott)

© REUTERS 2009

Gadhafi demands equality, Libyan president Moammar Ghadafi says his country is not seen as an equal in the eyes of the United Nations.





Gaddafi attacks major powers ( AL Jazeera)

Gaddafi said that the Security Council should be reformed to make it more representative [EPA]

Libya's president has attacked the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council during his first ever address to the UN General Assembly.

In a one-and-a-half hour speech in New York on Wednesday, Muammar Gaddafi said the veto-wielding nations of the Security Council were ignoring the views of the full 192 members of the General Assembly and the principles of the UN charter.

"The preamble [of the charter] says all nations are equal whether they are small or big," Gaddafi said in his address.

But he accused the permanent members of the council of undermining other states.

"The veto [held by the five permanent UN members] is against the charter, we do not accept it and we do not acknowledge it," he said.

"Veto power should be annulled."

In a speech that far exceeded the 15-minute slot he was allocated, Gaddafi read aloud sections from a paperback copy of the UN charter; at one point, he held it up and made a small tear in the cover, signalling his disdain.

"The Security Council did not provide us with security but with terror and sanctions," he said.

Council members criticised

Gaddafi's speech

Palestine: Gaddafi called for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, saying Jews and Palestinians should live in a unified democratic state.

Maritime piracy:
He said: "We [the international community] are the pirates, not the Somalis, for what we have done to their coasts and fishing."

Wars and conflict:
Gaddafi called for investigations into major wars starting with the Korean War up to the invasion of Iraq.

Gaddafi said the council, comprising the US, Britain, France, Russia and China, had failed to prevent or intervene in 65 wars that have taken place since the United Nations was established in 1945.

"How can we be happy about the world security if the world is controlled by four or five powers?" he complained. "We are just like a decor."

In his opinion, the General Assembly is the "the parliament of the world" - a 192-member body that should be dictating decisions to the Security Council.

In the past two decades, emerging economic powers such as Germany, India, Japan, and Brazil have called for reforming the composition of the Security Council and creating additional permanent member seats.

Veto power deplored

Gaddafi said adding more permanent seats would be counterproductive.

Instead, he called on regional federations and organisations, such as the Arab League, Organisation of American States, the African Union, and the Non-Aligned Movement to be given permanent seats at the Security Council.

The five permanent members should lose their veto, or the UN should expand the council with additional member states, Gaddafi said.

"It should not be called the Security Council, it should be called the 'terror council'," he said, adding that the permanent members treat smaller countries as "second class [and] despised" nations.

"Now, brothers, there is no respect for the United Nations, no regard for the General Assembly," he said.

'Disaster' for Africa

The US senate condemned the celebrations in Tripoli after al-Megrahi's release [Reuters]

Mohamed Ben-Madani, editor of the Maghreb Review, told Al Jazeera's that Gaddafi's speech was a "disaster" for the African Union and Arab and Muslim delegations at the General Assembly.

"I think the Libyans deserve much better than this. It is a disaster for Arab world opinion. Tearing up the UN charter is shocking, but this should have been expected from the beginning," he said.

"He said nothing about Libyan human rights and better education [for Libyans]. He said nothing about climate change or the environment."

As Gaddafi spoke, the US senate approved a resolution condemning the "lavish" welcome-home ceremony that Libya gave last month for Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, who was convicted of the bombing over a US passenger aircraft over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1989.

The US senate demanded that Tripoli apologise for the celebration, which came after Scotland's justice minister released al-Megrahi, a former agent, on compassionate grounds.

Libya has a temporary seat on the Security Council until the end of 2010.

Compensation urged

At one point, Gaddafi proposed a solution to the problem of illegal immigrants streaming from the North African coast to Europe.

"World colonial powers took the wealth from Africa, Asia, and Latin America so it is to be expected that the new generation of youth will follow that wealth," he said.

"Return that wealth, and you will see illegal immigration drop," he said.

He praised Italy for "apologising for its colonialist venture in Libya [in the 1920s]" and building hospitals throughout his country.

He called for $7.77 trillion in compensation to be paid to Africa from its past "colonial masters".

Obama praised

Gaddafi praised Barack Obama, the US president, describing him as a "son of Africa" and a "flash of light in the darkness".

He said he fully agreed with Obama's UN speech, describing it as unprecedented from a sitting US president.

Gaddafi, who was addressing the General Assembly for the first time since he seized power in his country 40 years ago, appeared to be rambling at times, reading from hand-written notes as he addressed dozens of issues.

At one point, he questioned the assassination of John F Kennedy, the US president.

"The assassination of Kennedy in 1963 - we want to know, who killed him? Lee Harvey? Why was Harvey killed?" he said, referring to the man who was arrested in connection with Kennedy's murder and shot dead while being transferred between jails.

Najib finds new Indian allies, bypasses the MIC

See full size image by cryingvoices

Dear Mr.Thanenthiran, I have nothing against you or your new party which was registered within weeks.. maybe the fasters in the Malaysia Book of Records!, I would like to just comment on some of the facts, because my hands are itchy now, What did u said about Kg.Buah Pala? I was there and i saw and monitor you from the time you came there, the last minute dramas. Any reasonable person would have NOT done what you, Waythamoorty(perak) and Pitchay did on that day! I really cannot understand what you did and why you signed the most unreasonable agreement on earth! after negotiating with the bailiff!

The document supposed to be signed by all the villagers but non of them signed it, remember? Only you, Waythamoorty(Perak) and Pitchay signed it, as a witness. Why? Because the villagers realised that you are doing it without realising the consequences and risks! You just want to gain a name in the issue and postpone the Demolition and claiming you stopped the demolition for the day! Where were you on the 13th Aug 2009 Demolition attempt? You did not even turn up! You said from the beginning that Najib is dealing with you regarding this matter and you will make sure that you can solve the problem in Buah Pala! But what has happened now? You have signed an unreasonable document stated that the villagers agreed to give way and to cooperate with the Developer to demolish the Village on the 1st Sept 2009, you and your allies are the culprit that signed the letter! when the villager realised something is wrong in the letter signed by you! Non of the Villager signed the letter except you and your team! without even thinking about the future of the village and the villagers! So, please do not mention anything about Kg.Buah Pala in your speech and statements! You created more damages to the Villagers than saving them! Don't use them as a bait! They are the victims of all the Political Vultures in Malaysia, Including you!

Rwindraj@cryingvoices.webs.com

http://cryingvoices.webs.com/apps/blog/