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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Samy sees short exit, no long goodbye - Malaysiakini

MIC strongman S Samy Vellu is said to be seriously considering going on leave for two months from his presidential duties. This would perhaps be in three months' time at the very earliest.

This is part of his tentative exit strategy, he disclosed, during two telephone calls late yesterday to Malaysiakini.

He intends to be extremely careful with the timing in order to prevent the MIC from descending into a prolonged state of "chaos, disunity and instability" after his departure.

"I will take the two months off from my duties as MIC president to let (G) Palanivel, my deputy, fill in for me during my absence," said Samy.

"I won't be trying him out during the two months like what Mahathir did with Anwar Ibrahim."

NONESamy Vellu (left) was following up on a statement by Palanivel that "the ball is now in Samy Vellu's court".

Earlier, underlining that a transition was more imminent than ever, Samy Vellu had told the media figuratively: "I will ask Palanivel whether he is ready to take over as MIC president. If he says he's ready, I will go the next day, perhaps even the same day itself".

Palanivel responded with his much talked about "ball" idiom but added, "I am sure the president knows what to do. It's not as if someone has to tell him. I am ready to take over anytime he says so. Meanwhile, I will continue working as usual".

'Won't destroy successors like others'

Samy Vellu reiterated that he has no plans to come back after the proposed two months and find fault with Palanivel, again referring to the Mahathir script with Anwar.

For better or worse, Palanivel will step into the president's post, assured Samy, "and I have no intention of destroying my deputy like what Mahathir did to all his potential successors and even his successor, all hand-picked by him, not the party members".

NONE"Even if Palanivel (right) is found wanting, I will hold my peace. Whether he fares well or does badly is up to him," said Samy Vellu in defining the importance of loyalty and standing by his men through thick and thin.

"I cannot support him for the deputy presidency and then later turn around and claim that he's not really suitable to be the MIC president. I don't play such evil games. We are people with human feelings."

His veiled reference to his former boss, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was unmistakably clear although no names were mentioned.

The tentative exit strategy, as laid out by Samy Vellu, sees him going on leave probably during the January-February period next year.

He is expected to resume his duties as MIC president before his birthday on March 8.

Asked what he would be doing "over the next three months" if all goes according to plan, Samy stressed that he has loads of work to clear so that Palanivel's planned two-month takeover of his presidential duties would not be too taxing "since he has to carry on with the deputy president's duties at the same time".

No long goodbye

It has not been decided whether Palanivel would be acting president as well during the two-month stint besides being deputy president or would just continue in his elected role while merely standing in for the president.

The party will be guided by the MIC constitution on the matter, added Samy Vellu.

"This is a first for MIC. We haven't had this situation for a very long time."

The MIC president recalled that he only became acting president in 1979 when the then president, V Manickavasagam, suddenly passed away half-way through his term.

The MIC president has not worked out a firm date for stepping down from his post after he resumes his presidential duties after the two-month stint envisaged for his deputy.

All he knows is that it would be somewhere in between March next year and 2012 when his term as president ends.

mic election 120909 crowdHowever, he envisages his departure would not be too far off from March next year and not near the end of his term.

He does not plan to hold out for the kind of long goodbye that Mahathir tearfully negotiated with Umno.

It will be a dignified exit, according to Samy Vellu.

"Palanivel would need a reasonable time as acting president before he seeks his own mandate," said Samy.

"Since he's new he can't expect to be returned unchallenged. There would many willing to take him on. So it would help if he can quickly establish a track record in the presidential office. For that, he has to be seen as the president in the eyes of the members."

Dr M, Umno kept MIC down

Samy Vellu agrees that he has been in the MIC president's post longer than he or anyone else intended but makes no apologies for this.

He genuinely believed he could make a historic difference.

"I had a deputy president who was just willing to be my number two for 25 years," said Samy Vellu.

"That's because he doesn't really see himself as number one. I figured him out a long time ago.

"He lacks the drive to be number one. If at all he went for my post it was simply because of betting groups around him pushing him into the arena."

"If I had my way, I wouldn't want someone being my deputy for such a long time but that was what the party members wanted. In the MIC, we don't destroy people for the sake of destroying them. The same thing with me staying on for three decades."

It was to re-create a party in perpetual renewal that future MIC presidents' term of office would be limited, after recent amendments to the party constitution, to three terms or nine years, said Samy Vellu.

"This would create a more dynamic leadership environment where there would be the possibility of upward mobility in leadership and change all the time to create opportunities for newcomers."

He agrees that he has not made as much a difference as he would have liked in the Indian community but says his hands were tied by the system and blames Mahathir and Umno for this.

The reaction as everybody knows, according to Samy Vellu, was the arrival of Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Front) on the scene.

'Dr M did least for Indians'

dr mahathir mohamed pc 140307 serious"I am not trying to make up stories just as he (Mahathir) has been casting me as a liability to BN," said Samy Vellu.

"The fact is that he as the prime minister was not at all interested in any of the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Indian community and in fact did the least of all the prime ministers for the Indian community. So I did what I could for the community on my own through my NGO networking."

He is confident that historians and future generations will be able to judge him better.

Samy Vellu said he has no defence whatsoever against Mahathir's constant accusations against him - "and he knows that" - because the cabinet papers are classified as official secrets.

These papers, it is said, provide all the solid proof on what transpired during cabinet meetings and "what I brought up on behalf of the Indian community".

mic elections 120909 palinivel mobbedMahathir however told the people of Sungai Siput on the eve of the general elections last year that "Samy Vellu did not even open his mouth on Indian matters during cabinet meetings".

Eventually, many did not believe Mahathir's statement on Samy Vellu's silence, seeing it on further reflection as a gross exaggeration but the damage was done because of the timing.

The net effect was that Samy Vellu lost his parliamentary seat for the first time in his political career but isn't crying over spilt milk.

There's life after retirement

Apparently, Samy won't be walking off into the sunset after he leaves his duties as MIC president.

He sees himself being busy with "the six or seven NGOs" - not related to MIC - which he has set up over the years.

He has no intention to give up his duties here for the moment and will continue to be very actively involved especially in matters of education and the co-operative movement.

The NGOS will also be his refuge during his planned two months leave from his duties as MIC president.

Samy Vellu, elsewhere, has plans to pen his memoirs in English and Tamil, with translations to follow in Malay, Chinese, Iban and KadazanDusun.

"This would be my contribution towards the education of our younger and future generations in the history and politics of Malaysia," said Samy.

"Many things are yet to be written. One idea is to first serialise my memoirs every two weeks in the newspapers. I have a lot to tell."

Makkal Sakthi Party - Hindraf cries foul - Malaysiakini

Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Front) chief P Waythamoorthy is livid over news reports that attempts are being made to connect the strictly apolitical human rights and equal rights movement with the newly-registered Malaysian Makkal Sakthi Party (MMSP).

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will be officially launching MMSP, which is headed by a former Hindraf leader, on Oct 10.

“There seems to be a convoluted agenda to draw similarities between Hindraf and MMSP and this is being encouraged by the powers-that-be,” said Waythamoorthy in a statement to Malaysiakini.

“It is strange that the prime minister agreed to launch a party which is not a member of the ruling Barisan Nasional. The speed with which MMSP was registered speaks for itself.”

NONEWaythamoorthy (left) pointed out that MIC, a founder member of the BN, has also warned several times that it would veto any application by the MMSP to join the BN. Admission to BN must be unanimous, while expulsion is by a simple majority.

“The Hindraf pair behind the MMSP were ordinary members, if the term can be used, of Hindraf,” said Waythamoorthy.

MMSP is headed by RS Thanenthiran (below), who is party president, and Kannan Ramasamy, the party secretary-general.

makkal sakti party pc 060609 thanenthiranBoth men were active with Hindraf after the government crackdown where a number of the movement leaders were arrested, noted Waythamoorthy.

Hindraf legal advisor P Uthayakumar, Waythamoorthy's elder brother, the movement's organising secretary T Vasanthakumar and three other lawyer sympathisers of Hindraf were incarcerated at that time under the draconian Internal Security Act after a Singapore paper linked the movement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE).

'Makkal sakthi' expropriated

Explaining the differences between Hindraf and MMSP, Waythamoorthy stressed that the latter is trying to capitalise on the term “makkal sakthi”, Tamil for people power, which was made popular by the rights movement in late 2007.

That was when Hindraf supporters took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur in the thousands to press “for the legitimate aspirations of Malaysians of Indian-origin”.

Makkal sakthi also helped unleash the political tsunami on which the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition rode to power in five states and Kuala Lumpur in the general elections last March, added Waythamoorthy.

“Hindraf will continue to be an umbrella NGO for 30 Indian-based groups which agreed and contributed towards its formation,” said Waythamoorthy. “We are neither pro-Pakatan or anti-BN despite our support for the opposition in the last general election.”

brickfields uthayakumar hindraf 280209 water cannonThe thrust of Hindraf, according to Waythamoorthy, is to support whoever is pledged towards dismantling the apartheid-like structure of race and religion which has descended on Malaysia.

At the same time, he pledged, the movement will oppose anyone who wants to divide the people of Malaysia along racial and religious lines in politics.

“In short, we are for the truth, regardless of how some people may feel about it,” said Waythamoorthy. “The truth cannot be politicised or sacrificed for reasons of political expediency.”

Drawing a distinction between BN and Umno, the Hindraf chief vowed that his movement will have nothing to do with the Malay-based party, which he blames for all the woes of Malaysians of Indian origin and other Malaysians too.

He does not see Umno redeeming itself ever in the eyes of the Indian community “because it is too set in its ways and politics, and will continue on its death-wish path and implode sooner rather than later”.

Elder brother has right to form own party

The MMSP, claimed Waythamoorthy, is like many other Indian-based political parties who want to emulate the MIC and bring in the Indian votes for the BN to shore up Umno in power “in return for some crumbs from the spoils of office”.

“MMSP is not even a splinter group of Hindraf,” stressed Waythamoorthy. “Neither is the Human Rights Party which is headed by my brother P Uthayakumar and still awaiting registration, unlike the MMSP.

“Uthaya has never been a Hindraf activist. He was only the legal advisor.”

hindraf dataran vigil 050909 uthayakumar wifeUthayakumar thinks that the objectives of Hindraf need to be given a political platform, according to Waythamoorthy.

While he has no quarrels with his brother, he begs to differ since “it's not his call to make on Hindraf”.

However, Waythamoorthy concedes that his brother has a right to form his own political party to at least drive home to the electorate the lessons that he has learned during his years in detention under the ISA.

He declined to dwell further on the Human Rights Party,which he was given to understand has no links either with the MMSP.

Waythamoorthy is in self-imposed exile in London where Hindraf has an office, in addition to India, Australia and New York.

The movement's main work is to release the Malaysian Indian Minority and Human Rights Violations Annual Report at the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin and Pravasi Bharathiya Divas international conference every year.

The latter is a gathering of the Indian diaspora where Hindraf and MIC, among others from Malaysia, are represented.

PM wants to optimise national security

(Bernama) PUTRAJAYA: The assets of the Malaysian Armed Forces should be upgraded to ensure that national security is at an optimum level, said its chief Jeneral Tan Sri Azizan Ariffin said.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak conveyed this message when he paid Najib a courtesy call at the Prime Minister’s Department on Thursday.

Jen Azizan, who assumed his post on Sept 1, said Najib expressed the hope of seeing the nation’s defences upheld by committed armed forces with assets capable of warding off any external threat.

“The prime minister also wants members of the armed forces to work together with the police to eliminate any threat from within the country,” he told reporters after the visit.

Jen Azizan said the meeting also discussed the management of armed forces assets and infrastructure development, as well as plans for existing assets.

“I have presented to the Prime Minister our views to develop the armed forces’ capability and its defence assets.

“We are using the 4DMAF document (agenda to transform the MAF) as a basis for developing MAF capability,“ he said.

Asked about a blog report which stated that the Malaysian battalion under the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon needed new armoured cars urgently, Jen Azizan said no report on such a matter had been received.

“I have to study the blog report first before making any statement,” he said.

According to the blog, the Malaysian battalion was in need of new armoured cars to replace the existing ones.

The blog writer said the Condor armoured cars being used by the Malaysian team were in poor condition, and the MAF was expected to replace the vehicles in the coming months.

PAS wants Hasan Ali to explain Selangor controversies

Dzulkefly sits on PAS’s powerful central committee.

By Neville Spykerman- The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, Sept 26 — Datuk Dr Hasan Ali's string of controversies with his Selangor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) colleagues, now rocking the fragile coalition, has prompted PAS's powerful central committee to ask him to explain himself.

PAS central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said they intend to haul the Selangor PAS commissioner before the party’s central working committee so he can explain his repeated open attacks on his PR allies.

“I’ve spoken to most of the other central committee members and we are of the view he has gone too far,” the Kuala Selangor MP told The Malaysian Insider.

The latest controversy was ignited when Hasan lashed out at the select committee for competency, accountability and transparency (Selcat) for “bullying” civil servants during a public inquiry into the misuse of millions of ringgit in state allocations by Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen for campaigning during the general election last year.

The state government watchdog has been grilling district officers, who are responsible for ensuring the annual allocations are disbursed according to regulations, to explain why the funds were almost completely used up by most BN lawmakers in the first two months of last year.

Hasan’s remarks in the press were seen as an open attack on Selcat and the Selangor legislature which established the watchdog to check abuses in the state administration.

Previously, Hasan clashed with PR colleagues over the sale of beer at convenience outlets and a plan to empower mosque committee members and workers to prevent vice in the state. The Selangor sultan has also asked Hasan to explain himself as religion is under royal purview.

The executive councillor has come under pressure from within his own party and from other PR lawmakers to resign from the state administration if he cannot be a “team player”.

Hasan is to be hauled up by his party.

In retaliation, PAS state liaison committee secretary Mohd Khairuddin Othman on Thursday released a controversial statement which claimed the party was fully behind Hasan and was considering pulling out of PR in Selangor.

However, Selangor PAS lawmakers have collectively denied this. They added the matter was never even brought up in the state liaison committee and Mohd Khairuddin had no business making such a statement.

Dzulkefly said Mohd Khairuddin will also be hauled up to explain his actions.

He said both men were playing into the hand of BN and this cannot be tolerated.

“A clear message must be sent to all PR leaders that such actions are not acceptable,” said the PAS chief strategist.

Dzulkefly said it was too premature for him to comment on whether both men would be referred to the party’s disciplinary committee.

However, he said one way or another both men would be dealt with by the party.

“Fortunately our PR partners have been remarkably restrained and are leaving this matter for PAS to resolve internally,” Dzulkefly added.

But Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim last night described the latest controversy as a miscommunication and will chair a meeting on Monday to resolve the festering issue.

Describing the issue as “one of miscommunication between the parties”, Khalid said the matter would be addressed internally.

He added that during the meeting he would allow everyone to raise concerns and clarifications on the matter.

McBattle winner the toast of Kuala Lumpur

Customers arrive at McCurry Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Since restaurant owner P. Suppiah won an eight-year legal battle against fast-food giant McDonald's three weeks ago, which allowed McCurry Restaurant to keep its name, his life has changed.

Suppiah, 55, has been busier than ever, receiving congratulatory messages and phone calls from all over the world. Half of them came from interested investors who wanted to open a McCurry franchise in their country.

Indeed, the Indian restaurant owner disclosed that he would be opening branches in Sri Lanka and Maldives by the end of the year.

“So many investors called me after the case, and they said that McCurry food looks very good,” he told The Straits Times at his shop in Jalan Ipoh on Tuesday.

“But I choose to open in Sri Lanka and Maldives because the investors are restaurant operators themselves, so I don't have to worry much.”

Suppiah, who has been running McCurry Restaurant since 1999, said he had just returned from a meeting with some investors in Hong Kong last week. They were interested in developing his business in Hong Kong and Shanghai but the plans were still at a preliminary stage.

His restaurant became world-famous after it won a case filed by McDonald's in 2001 to stop it from using the prefix “Mc”.

The US fast-food chain argued that McCurry had infringed its trademark and the restaurant could mislead people to associate its products with McDonald's.

McCurry lost the case in 2006 when the High Court ruled in favour of McDonald's, and the restaurant was forced to change its name to MCurry while appealing against the ruling at the Court of Appeal.

On April 27 this year, the Appeals Court overturned the High Court's decision and allowed Suppiah to re-attach “Mc” to the name of his eatery.

The David and Goliath battle finally ended on Sept 8, when the Federal Court dismissed McDonald's appeal and upheld the Appeals Court's decision.

Suppiah told The Star that “Mc” was merely an abbreviation for Malaysian Chicken.

McCurry Restaurant is a small and simple shop, without much decoration, in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

It serves typical Indian food — 35 different types of chicken dishes such as chicken curry, pepper chicken, chicken varuval and ginger chicken. It is also famous for fish head curry and Australian goat intestine curry.

The self-service restaurant also has vegetarian dishes, chapatti, thosai and roti prata on its menu.

Suppiah recalled the joyous day when the court upheld the decision.

“The events were phenomenal, they were like a tsunami,” he said. “On the day after the court's decision, my website crashed because it couldn't take the traffic. I received over 300 e-mail messages and at least 50 phone calls from as far as Nigeria and Germany.

“People — locals and even tourists — came to see the shop and congratulated me. My wife even placed a guestbook in the restaurant.”

Suppiah said he has no plans to expand his business in Malaysia at present. For now, he wants to refurbish his shop and widen the variety of food.

McCurry is not the only restaurant in Malaysia that shares a name with a giant organisation.

Another restaurant in upmarket Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, uses the same HSBC abbreviation as the international bank.

The restaurant HSBC, which stands for Hot & Spicy Bangsar Cuisine, was not dragged to court by the bank.

The restaurant is owned by an Indian family but it serves Chinese food. — Straits Times


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• There are 35 children orphanage (all Indian Malaysian) at the Ashram; youngest being just few weeks old and oldest 20 yrs (who is now studying for MBBS at USA).
• There are also 6 volunteer worker and an old folk man age, +70 who had taken shelter there as their home.
*The Ashram was started by Dr Vijaya Laskshmi 30 years ago taking care of only few kids then, but later grew to these large numbers.
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It's time to move on

By Jeff Ooi,

This blog was started on January 2, 2003. Socio-Political blogging has never been more interesting in Malaysia ever since.

After six-and-a-half long years, it's time to move on to another dimension.

Jeff Ooi's Screenshots will embark on another experimental journey come October 15.

A contract has been signed. It's to reach more eyeballs and touch more hearts on a global scale.

It's also to coincide with the next session of the Parliament sitting when Budget 2010 will be delivered and debated.

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

Stay tuned.

Kugan's mother to appeal to Agong - Malaysiakini

It has been nine months since 23-year-old Kugan Ananthan died in police custody and despite a post-mortem report revealing that he was severely beaten up resulting in kidney failure and death, no prosecution has taken place.

Kugan case 020709 05Annoyed and weary by the lack of haste on the matter by the authorities, some 200 people will gathering at Istana Negara tomorrow to submit a petition to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong calling for action to be against his assailants.

Human rights lawyer N Surendran, who is representing Kugan' family told Malaysiakini today that the palace is their last avenue to pressure for prosecution.

Kugan's mother, N Indra, will be submitting the petition to the Agong.

Kugan died on Jan 20 after being detained in connection with several car theft cases for five days at the Taipan police station in USJ.

The first autopsy conducted by the Serdang Hospital concluded that Kugan had died from liquid accumulation in his lungs.

Dissatisfied with the report his family demanded that a second post-mortem to be done, as a video clip taken at the Serdang Hospital mortuary revealed severe bruises on Kugan's body.

Following massive public outcry accusing the police of foul play, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail reclassified the case as murder and a day later 11 officers from the Taipan police station were moved and put on desk duty.

Moreover, in April the police had seized Kugan's blood and tissue samples, documents and even the second pathologist handwritten notes from the University Malaya Medical Centre's Pathology Department.

No probe despite evidence

Currently, the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) is probing Dr. Karim Tajuddin's professional conduct in relation to the cause of Kugan's death in the first post-mortem report.

Kugan case 020709 04"Until now nobody has been arrested and nobody has been charged... on top of that the police have seized the samples," lamented Surendran (left).

"Kugan's mother has got no where else to turn to... in hopes that the Agong is the final frontier of justice, we are going there tomorrow," he said.

The family is currently pursuing for the return of Kugan's seized blood and tissue samples.

Surendran said that the several civil rights groups and opposition members of parliament will also be present at the vicinity.

He added that the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities is taking a toll on Kugan's family.

"His mother may be terminated soon as she has to take off every time we have to go to court, however, she is determined to go on and she is not giving up until the matter is resolved," he said.

Three-cornered debate on Buah Pala mooted

The High Chaparral fiasco takes another turn today as the Penang Gerakan Youth challenged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for an open debate over the demolition of Kampung Buah Pala.

Hindu rights movement Hindraf followed this up with the suggestion to turn the event into a three-cornered debate.

Gerakan Youth chose the village as the venue for the proposed debate, and mooted a date and time - Oct 4 at 8.30pm.

The movement chief Oh Tong Keong today handed an invitation letter for the open debate to the chief minister through Lim's special assistant Ong Beng Guat at Komtar.

In an immediate response, Lim rejected the invitation saying that it was inappropriate for him to debate the issue with Gerakan Youth leaders.

He said he preferred to debate Gerakan president and former chief minister Koh Tsu Koon.

Lim and Penang Gerakan chairperson Dr Teng Hock Nan has been involved in an on-going public spat over who was to be blamed in the Kampung Buah Pala fiasco.

Teng accused the DAP government of finalising the land deal and selling off the village land to Koperasi Pegawai Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang without resolving the residents' predicament.

He said the previous Barisan Nasional government had inserted a contractual clause in the land deal compelling the landowner and developer to settle all issues pertaining to compensation, relocation and resettlement of the affected residents.

The Gerakan leader accused Lim of not complying with the clause when he effected the transfer of the village land title to the cooperative society on March 27 last year.

Lim: Koh a 'land robber'

Lim in return has accused that the previous government of being the real culprit behind the fiasco and described Koh as a “land robber”.

In its invitation letter, the Gerakan Youth stated that the debate be conducted in Bahasa Malaysia to allow all parties, including the village's residents committee, former residents, political parties, civil society groups and general public, to fully follow the discussion.

He also dared Lim to reveal his administration's executive council meeting minutes pertaining to the village land deals.

H'ng said the village was chosen as the debate venue was appropriate and ideal given that “Lim has never set foot in Kampung Buah Pala.”

“If Lim is brave enough to accept this challenge, he will be meeting our youth members at the debate. We have sufficient information and qualification to take him on in this matter," he told journalists after handing over the invitation letter.

H'ng said Lim should not be debating Koh as the Gerakan president was no longer active in local politics.

"Let us take Lim on," he said, adding that Lim should accept the challenge to show he had the guts to tackle the party's youth wing.

The developer and landowner have since early this month begun demolishing the houses in Kampung Buah Pala early this month after the villagers agreed to leave in return for compensation.

Lim said he wanted to debate the issue with Koh although he was not an elected representative and had even lost to Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy by some 10,000 votes in Batu Kawan parliamentary contest in the last general election.

'I respect him as the Gerakan president and would like to debate with him over the issue. If Koh dare not debate by himself and sends his assistants instead, I don't think that's the quality of a leader," he said, recalling that it was Koh who debated him on another land matter last year.

Hindraf wants in too

Meanwhile, the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) wants to be included should the debate materialise.

Hindraf national advisor N Naragan said it was important that civil movement be given the chance to argue their side of story over the whole Kampung Buah Pala imbroglio.

He said among the questions that Hindraf would seek clarification are:
  • Was the government right in allowing the demolition of Kampung Buah Pala?
  • Was there any heritage lost in the destruction of the village?
  • Did the villagers deserve what they got?
  • Was the demolition of Kampung Buah Pala unavoidable?
  • Were there other social or moral issues - and not just legal and commercial issues - involved in the village demolition?
Comments from Malaysiakini:-

by Poor Indian

LG, do not fpuck around just cos u got angry over this KBP issue. Are you another goons from umno or mic trying to throw oil on his issue. If you are an umno/mic goons i can accept that you just been malicious. Bu if you are a member of the marginlised ordinary man on the street, then I said you are a real stupid indian who do have the slight sense of rationalisation. Indian like you is going to cause more hardship for other indians. So i say to you "porah"

by LG

PORR is the next issue where we are going to see LGE's deceit at work again closely

by 1penang

Who are these Oh & H'ng to call for a debate against CM, and a stupid excuse that KSK should not be involved as he is "no longer active in local politics" speaks volumes of the kind of maturity and mentality of these so-called party leaders....I wonder how many members are still in the Gerakan youth as your Gerakan President is now "more active in national or international or foreign politics....any difference!

by LG

Again kapitan lge is beginning to show his deceiving tactics in the tanjung bungah case. He now says the zoning map from the previous government is the authoritative document for determining the prmary corridor boundary. it is all so convenient for this conniving and deceiving CM. I wonder how long his party can last.

by LG

Kgen, Lim Guan Eng lies through his bloody nose. He lies, he twists, he deflects, he is devious - why don't you say something about all of that, you appear to know a lot. But I guess like everything else you write about, your approach will be selfserving and totally bankrupt of anything intelligent. DAP is nothing but a treacherous and chauvinist party now masquerading as a multi racial party by having some stupid window dressing mandores. Why don't you write about that. You surely must know about the inside thinking within DAP on these issues, the real inside thinking. Let us see some of that please.

by Jln Pemanchar

LGE, please don't waste time anymore with this issue. Gerakan just making noise so people will think they are still relevant. Just get on with governing the rest of Penang.

by truth

guan eng pls be man enough to accept d challenge. bn governm maybe d robber but pkr took d bal ill gotten $, finalised d robbery. if lge is righteous, it doesnt matter who debates with him as long as he/she represents d previous bn governm. v know koh is hopeless which is why penangites voted out bn. lge pls dont kept challenging koh unless lge thinks he is only better than koh. it shd be a 4 party debate to include d residents of kbp. give them a chance to present their side of d story. let d rakyat be d final judge.

by kgen

The blinkered Hindraf supporters who say Hindraf isn't a political party refuse to acknowledge Uthaya's HRM (Hindu Rights Party) as the same coin as Hindraf, just the other side. Hindraf and HRM must continue to bash PR for their political survival to pull support from PR to their own party. If Hindraf isn't a political party what is it, an NGO? What has Hindraf done for Indian? Has it started any social or welfare program, done any studies or surveys to help Indians? Has the 2 brothers even stepped into an estate? All that they do is threaten and demand in the most emotional way possible like half-baked politicians and playing on emotional issues like Tamil schools and Hindu temples. I think most Indians except the hardcore here can see through Waytha and Uthaya as taking them for a ride.

by kgen

Waytha, where is the lawsuits you wanted to file against the DAP Indian reps who asked you to account for the money collected? No guts to file lawsuits means their allegations must be true. Shame on you for using the money collected from poor and marginalized Indians for your extended London holiday.

by LG

Hindraf is not even a political party, so what nonsense is this Kgen guy talking about, milking Kg Buah Pala for the last drop of political mileage. If DAP/PR and UMNO/Gerakan are not responsible for this fiasco, then why worry about what damage Hindraf can do in the debate. It is only when there is fear of something that the parties concerned will use the lamest of excuses to prevent an open and inclusive debate. On another point about Kgen's way of discussion, only individuals who are bankrupt of ideas for an intelligent debate will use petty nonsense like Kgen's nonsense.Using his logic, LGE is a chip off the old racist LKS and they father and son, both are living off Malaysians charity who pay their salaries how does that sound, nor how does that help. The sword cuts both ways. So please cut out that kind of nonsense, argue intelligently.


As usual LGE shall manipulate the situation to skirt his responisibility to debate;rather in advocating the proof of the pudding is in the eating and for the sake of this wantom moron and his norm of comprehension and understanding i reiterate here again ; Action Speaks Louder Than Word Bloke! Enough your bullshit mate especially to the naive Malaysian Indians.

by kgen

Hindraf should stay out of this. Hasn't it already milked Kg. Buah Pala for the last drop of political mileage? Whenever this racist body gets involved it turns everything into an ugly racial affair. Hindraf doesn't bother about the poor Indians it just want to promote its 2 brothers as champions of Indians and live on their charity. Why should Lim even acknowledge this banned extremist organization?

by Kumara

Does Koh Tsu Koon have the guts !!!

by RK

shan, its private project, just like any housing project. it only benefits the buyer and the seller.

by Shan

I wonder whether Guan Eng have the guts to debate on this issue.

by Shan

Also add this question......Does the project benefits the poor in any case?

Makkal Sakti Party to repay PM's favour

Newly-launched Malaysian Makkal Sakti Party (MMSP) has pledged support for Barisan Nasional's bid to retain the Bagan Pinang state seat during the by-election next month.

Bagan Pinang folks will go to the polls on Oct 11, just a day after MMSP's official launch and first annual meeting to be officiated by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in Serdang, Selangor.

makkal sakti party pc 060609 thanenthiranMMSP president RS Thanenthiran said the Indian voters of Bagan Pinang have much more to gain should BN's yet-to-be named candidate win, as the coalition is the ruling state government.

"But if the seat falls to the opposition, it will be a waste for the Indian community there, because they cannot do much in terms of social, educational and economic development," said Thanenthiran when contacted today.

"This (Bagan Pinang) is a test ground. The prime minister has made various promises to the Indian community. We should give him and his 1Malaysia concept a chance," he added.

Indians form a significant 19.9 percent minority of the 13,664 voters in the constituency.

Met PM twice

Thanenthiran said a MMSP delegation has met Najib twice - in March and in July - where the prime minister listened to their grouses and pledged to resolve the woes of the Indian community.

"We appreciate that he made time for us and he realises that something must be done - education, gangsterism, alcoholism and work opportunities - these problems were highlighted and he even took down notes," he said.

mic election 120909 najibHowever, Thanenthiran stressed that MMSP will remain an "independent" party, despite cozy ties with Najib, adding that the latter was invited to launch the party as the prime minister, and not as the BN chair.

"We are greatly honoured because our PM has an open mind.... We are the Makkal Sakti (people's power) party and it is clear that this PM is a people's PM.

"We are attracted to his 1Malaysia concept. This is what we are asking for. We hope by inviting the PM, we can get a clear picture of the 1Malaysia concept," he said.

Thanenthiran said the party aimed to address the woes of the hardcore Indian poor and boasts a membership of 50,000, registered over the past three months.

He said the warm reception his party has received was an indication that the Indian community was unhappy with the current crop of political parties and were looking for another platform.

Wants to contest in elections

However, he said MMSP was willing to form alliances with any political party if they can provide a "clear direction and plan" for the Indian community.

He confirmed that MMSP plans to stand for elections in the future but has yet to identify possible seats, adding that the main priority now was to build the party.

He declined to comment when asked if MMSP was now in direct competition with MIC.

"I am the very, very, very least interested in MIC. We have had enough of their stories. We want change and our own direction... I don't know anything about them and I don't want to talk about them," he said.

The Oct 11 launch will be followed by MMSP's inaugural annual general meeting, held at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park, Serdang.

Thanenthiran first gained prominence as a Penang-based national coordinator for the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) movement while its leaders were either incarcerated or was in self-exile.

He and his followers broke away from Hindraf earlier this year and formed the MMSP, which unlike most parties, was fast-tracked by the Registrar of Societies.

Comments from Malaysiakini:-
  • by md. imraz bin muhammed ikhbal

    The words & actions of Thanenthiran says it all! It leaves one wondering as to whether MMSP is led by a bunch of conniving opportunists or gullible fools. I can only hope & pray that our fellow Indian countrymen are blessed with wisdom so as to not be hoodwinked by this new found stooge of BN.

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    by dood

    Not really surprised at the latest turn of events, given the background history... Anyway, I wouldn't give two hoots about this so-called Malaysian Makkal Sakti Party - seems like an interested contender to replace MIC, nevermind what Thanenthiran says. BN racial politics is so apartheid.

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    by Mammen

    God save the Indian community. History repeating..another 'ambitious Uncle Sam' in the making. Hey Ram!

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    by soo chong yew

    Another crap party! Rakyat are not interested with this racial base party. Majority of our matured voters are interested to vote out bn. So see no reason why indians voters are bound to vote mmsp or bn.

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    by vijaya kumar

    Returning favour for what? What BN have done for Indians since last election? I really suspect Thanenthiran's motive in dancing with the devil. Once upon a time he so loud against the UMNO and BN, but now??? If majority Indians votes goes to BN coming election, I would say UMNO had successfully break the Indian's community voice. Hindraf's effort back to zero.

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    by traj

    another BN @@@@ sucker is born

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    by Sinacon

    Not sure what Thenen is up to. Looks like he is power crazy too after have a feel of it during Hindarf on the move. Makkal Sakti is term used by Anuar in 2008 election campaign. Use original idea, do not ‘ciplak’ from others.

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    by Caklempong

    It's a "new" party that sounds like the MIC, looks like the MIC, but it's not the MIC - it's a ball-licking party that's going to be even worse than the forsaken MIC!

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    by Poor Indian

    My goodness gracious. I hope that Indians are not going to be taken for a ride by Thanenthiran. you think you throw your vote for him he will take care of you. No, No, No, when he tasted power, he will be like semi value in the next 5 to 10 years. Will he care for the Indian like he says now. Definitely no, no, no. He is just been very smart to use the hindraf platform to outdo semi value. He may have a problem with semi value. But is he going to be a more pro-indian. Definitely no, no, no. He is going to be very very pro-Thanenthiran, i.e. for himself and his own selfish interest and that of his indian gangs in hindraf. What shall we call them....maybe "Gang of 5"

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    by cheng ooi

    Now the true color is shown. Why must ask for help from Najis? Don't you see all Malaysian should have equal right to enjoy the fruit of this nation. Why must Indian beg? Get rip of this BN support PR atleast we still have hope. What hope do you have from UMNO?

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    by Chandrasekar Krishnasamy

    Knowing Thanenthiran, he would be more of a liability than a vote getter for BN, bcoz, he himself has never given the accounts for all the money collected on behalf of HINDRAF, but anyway, Tha-none-thiran, GOOD LUCK...for the next money venture.

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    by Vikneswaran Munusamy

    Thanenthiran, getting PM to officiate your party is not important at all. As a matter of fact, PM will officiate any Kunji Raman's Party, as long as it's going to benefit his administration in any way. End of the day votes that matter. You've got lots of homework to do!!! All the best!!!!

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    by petestop

    I have no doubt that Hindraf's Human Rights Party will be the next to beg from UMNO.

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    by Ihsham Shah Abdullah

    Mr Thanenthiran is right as working with PR got Indians no where Buah Pala is an example...Did Anwar or Lim the robot's son care....At least with BN and after all the grouses already highlighted you are playing the cards right and getting the benefits for the made a good calculative move and eventually replace Samy Velu as the leader who really did something for the Indians only with the support of BN can you get anything for the Indians don't hope much with PR eventhough they can form a good pakatan and are only interested in fighting among them as DAP supports only Chinese PAS and PKR only Malays and Indians will be a pawn for PR...

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    by wira

    Perhaps Thanenthiran sees opportunities where others see despair. Opportunities to a datoship and a contract, perhaps. :)

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    by Mano

    Tada maruah punya Thanenthiran. Worse than a prostitute.

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    by Yum

    After subverting the words "makkal sakhti", this fellow is now groveling. He shames the memory of those who put their lives at risk to mobilise this movement.

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    by AliBapak

    A very sad day for the Indian community in Malaysia. Some so called leaders are prostituting themselves to UMNO.

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    by faithfull

    Mr. Thenenthiran, you are a traitor to the indian community. You piggy backed Hindraf for your own personal gains. You called Najib Najis and now invite him. Shame on you, you type of betrayers must be shot dead.

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    by KayKay

    MMSP is taking the same aproach that MIC took under Samy Vellu for 30 years i.e. latching on to a PM for some crumbs from the Prime Minister's Department for the community. Of course Najib listened. What else can he do? The problem is the system which is anti-Indian and anti-other minorities too. If the system is changed, there is no need for anyone to see the Prime Minister and brief him on their woes. MMSP will only benefit a handful of leaders just as MIC has only benefitted a handful of the party's leaders. MMSP will not benefit the Indian community just as MIC did not benefit them. What is needed for the Indian community is to back the Opposition Alliance's call for change and reformation. Don't think in terms of some development crumbs from the PM's Department or the Umno-led BN Government. It's important to think big and look at the BIG PICTURE. Malaysia is much more than just the Indian community. Indian woes need to be addressed as part of the national agenda

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    by LG

    Thanenthiran is going to get chased out of Bagan Pinang like I heard Samy vellu got chased out in the last elections - these fellows think that the people are fools.

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    by govindasamy

    Mr.Thanenthran, You are not seeing the bigger picture for the Indian Community.You are alligned with najib for personal gains which I have no doubt.This is the time for you to show BN that they cannot have a free ride on Indians anymore.If any tangible benefits were to come it will only after BN is brought down. I am not a supporter of Pakatan but I do not condone what BN is/was doing for the Indians. Please do not be a spoiler.MIC or Makkal Sakti it does not matter for Najib what matters is the Indian votes , now you are falling into Najib's trap.You are a spoiler and disappoinment for the thousands who took to streets to support Hindtaf. Govindasamy Annamalai

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    Another Indian party and wonder what have been promised to him. So it is ok now for the Tamil party that we have crime on the rise and corruption riddling our Malaysian society from BN rule. Who cares as long as Thanen the great is a new upcoming leader.

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    by Abil Pillay

    We knew all along you were tagging along Hindraf and took an oppurtune time to disassociate and formed a new party using Makkal Sakthi as a platform. Thenindran, we Indians are so fragmented and we have no one voice, how the hell others are going to listen to all the voice. Today you claim to be the voice of Indians. How is your party going to benefit from the BN, if you are not in the BN.

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    by Victor Johan

    There is this story of two friends at a picnic. Both to share their lunch. After dividing into two halfs, just as they were about to start eating, a monkey on the top of the tree shouted that 1st friend has more than half the share. The 2nd friend gets angry. So the money takes away a portion from 1st friend and eats. Now the 1st friend says the 2nd friend has more quantity. So the monkey takes some portion from the 2nd friend and eats. Now the 2nd friend says his portion is less than the 1st friend. So the money takes away some from the 1st friend..... get the drift ..... Until both friends now have very much less left compared to when they begun .... And the 'smart' monkey is non other than Najib. And there are still some poor dim-witted Indian Malaysian around.

    by Victor Johan

    ...... Thanenthiran stressed that MMSP will remain an "independent" party, despite cozy ties with Najib, adding that the latter was invited to launch the party as a prime minister, and not as the BN chair ..... and like my friend said, "and pigs can fly". Thanenthiran, and his gang remind me of what Donald Trump's favourite saying after a deal won ... "Nothing personal, it is just business".

  • by Maran -

    Dear Mr. Thanenthiran, You are a shameless man and you are the disgrace for the word of 'Makkal Sakti'. Just because you was not selected to contest in Bukit Selembau you join with someone whom you have called as Najis.

  • Lim Kit Siang's 6 May 2008 speech in Parliament on RPK & Altantuya



    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    PART 1


    PART 2


    PART 3


    PART 4


    Pitting Race Against Truth and Facts

    By Thuraisingham Shun

    It is indeed an irony that an Indian representative cannot be compromised for one or two seats rather than a monopoly of one community

    1st January 2008 saw the implementation of the reluctant Malaysia Cooperative Act, with its draconian laws set to scrounge more funds from the people’s organisation - the Malaysian cooperative fraternity. With much dissatisfaction and insecurity, this issue has been taken to the Malaysian courts for redress.

    The Malaysian Cooperative Commission is spearheaded by twelve members, appointed by the King, on the recommendations of the Minister responsible for the cooperative movement.

    No Indian representation was preferred in the 12 member Board. Shortcomings of our non-representation were highlighted by the leader of our Indian community in the media.

    Sad to say, the Executive Chairman of the Cooperative Commission had reasoned to the media that one member of the Board was a Chinese and the rest were Malays. His reasoning was that the Malaysian Indian population was 7% and the number of Indian cooperatives being only 84, was only 2% of the number of cooperatives as such Indian representation is not needed.

    Recapitulating - the first cooperative in our nation was initiated by 9 members of the Ceylonese community and they formed the Jaffanese Cooperative Thrift and Loan Society in 1922 - as it was a communal cooperative, it was only registered in 1924.

    The pioneers of this movement then proceeded to form the Telecoms Cooperative, the cooperative for the staff of the postals, the staff of the railway. In fact this group pioneered the first 20 Cooperatives for our nation, and these cooperatives still continue to exist, viable and strong.

    It is indeed an irony that an Indian representative cannot be compromised for one or two seats rather than a monopoly of one community.

    The recent classification of the multiracial Malaysian cooperative movement in racial overtures by Dato Mangsor Saad, the Executive Chairman of the Malaysian Cooperative Commission, does not augur well for the movement of 87 years. The way the Malaysian Indian population is being quantified in a racial slur is unbecoming of an officer chosen to resuscitate the ailing cooperative movement and is an insult to the community concerned.

    This little napoleon has now stepped on racial sentiments, whilst he was the culprit who was responsible for the drafting of the reluctant Cooperative Commission Act, and the Cooperative Act 1993, which has strayed into the Malaysian Constitution on the rights of forming associations and trying to moblise funds in contravention of the Malaysian Constitution.

    Appointments to the board of the Commission is the prerogative of the King, and the Minister responsible for the department concerned commenting on the appointments by Dato Mangsor is a slur to the Indian community.

    The statements hurled are immature statements by a so-called guardian of the cooperative fraternity. This, again, is in contravention of the Malaysian Prime Minister's idealogy of the 1 Malaysia concept.

    He was the culprit who was responsible for the drafting of the acts, and he has wormed his way to the top position to be Chairman of the Cooperative Commission. And this is a conflict of interest.

    Likewise his making announcements is subjudice when the matters are being contested in the courts. This is deemed contempt of court.

    This little napoleon has stirred up a constitutional matter which is in the Malaysian courts for redress.

    In public forums and documents, he has made degrading statements that members of the Malaysian Cooperative fraternity are inferior to members of “negara negara maju”, who are well informed, know their rights and exercise their rights properly.

    These remarks show how ill informed, prejudicial and colonial minded Mangsor Saad is.

    The amendment to the acts and the implementation of the same has denied the members the right to select their own office bearers.

    Billions of savings of the prudent and successful Indian cooperatives are being compelled to transfer their reserves. Such savings and excess funds are transferred to the coffers of the Cooperative Commission to manage in contravention of the noble constitution.

    He has classified that 95% of the cooperatives are bumiputra inclined and 2% as Indian based and 3% of Chinese and others, which is totally untrue. He has overlooked the fact that 50% of cooperatives are multi-racial based.

    His classifying the movement in a racial sentiment is indeed uncalled for.

    LOOKS LIKE HE IS CREATING A HALAL HUB for the multiracial COOPERATIVE movement.

    Out of the 86 Indian cooperatives classified, it could well be amplified that these cooperatives are SOLVENT and STRONG, HEALTHY and VIABLE.

    It is a known fact that RM150 million was used to resuscitate Bank Koperasi Rakyaat, and Bank Koperasi Rakyaat was involved in the Tinju Dunia episode and had not held their Annual General Meeting for 15 years and they are in a catch 22 situation with fictitious loans. And a major subsidiary is on provisional liquidation.

    Likewise billions of government funds have been infused to resuscitate ailing and bankrupt cooperatives, which are yet to be resuscitated.

    Dato Mangsor has crossed the borders of democracy by creating draconian laws - failing to view the logic that the threat of arrest without a warrant is overboard, drafting laws to provide total immunity to himself and his officers.

    It was stated in Parliament that cooperative officers were privy to allowances from cooperative organisations.

    Over and above the cooperative movements, funds moblised for the Education Trust Fund and the Cooperative Development Trust Fund over the years have seen no transparency and accountability. Funds mobilised from deregistered societies have been misused.

    Now the movement is at the mercy of contributing to a number of funds created by the Cooperative Commission Act.

    The department is in ignorance of government investments in cooperative ventures.

    The cooperative movement which was the 3rd economic sector of the nation has been dragged down as the 4th engine of growth.

    The cooperative movement is in a precarious situation and needs to be resuscitated. The Cooperative Commission is ill-equipped to manage the movement. Millions expended for government sponsored apex organisations are in limbo. Government infused funds are in limbo.

    Management of cooperatives have been ill-advised by the authorities. Ill-experienced consultants have been contracted to study the movement.

    Two Ministers have come and gone, the rules and regulations are yet to be gazetted, preceded by the vesting orders which have to be first gazetted before the rules and regulations are implemented.

    If the Government can be transparent and accountable, it is hoped that the audited accounts of the Cooperative Commission for the year ending 2008 is made available to the movement at large to gauge the viability of the Cooperative Commission to manage the cooperative funds.

    Private Sector Initiative (PSI) programmes have been long submitted to the Prime Minister, the then Minister of Cooperative and Entrepreneur Development, the Education Minister, the present Minister of Consumers and Cooperative Affairs, the Minister of Women’s Development and other organisations some of which has been hijacked.

    The Malaysian cooperative movement must face the challenges of globalisation and to change towards a new direction of viability to instill confidence to the 6,000 cooperatives with a membership of 6 million snowballing to 13 million with family members included. This organisation cannot be manipulated any more. It is a people’s organisation built over trust, stability and self confidence with the sweat and blood of our pioneers.

    Our team would be initiating discussions with our Prime Minister to resuscitate the ailing cooperative sector soon.

    Thuraisingham Shun is a Cooperative and Management Consultant, he was the first Malaysian to be awarded the Bonow Fellowship award by the International Cooperative Alliance, Geneva and was the only Malaysian amongst nine nominees worldwide for the Rochdale Pioneer Awards in Cartegena.

    Melayu mudah lupa, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad


    So let Malaysia Today remind all those Malays, Chinese, Indians and 'lain-lain' in case they mudah lupa who to vote for this coming by-election in Bagan Pinang. In Islam, a false allegation of sexual misconduct is a mother of sins and such people need to be flogged kau-kau like a cow. Let the Muslims of Bagan Pinang never forget this.


    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Malaysian Bar Council

    No. 13, 15 & 17, Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Tel: 03-2031 3003 (Hunting Line) Fax: 03-2034 2825, 2026 1313, 2072 5818
    E-mail: e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



    Very troubling reports have been published, which reveal the existence of a medical report of an examination done by a doctor on Mohd Saiful Bukhari bin Azlan a few hours before Saiful lodged a police report that he had been sodomised. The medical report apparently shows that there is no evidence that he had been sodomised by anyone.

    Such reports raise some very serious questions that require immediate answers:

    (1) Are the police in possession of such a medical report?

    (2) Was the doctor concerned interviewed by the police and was he detained for any length of time?

    (3) Is the doctor concerned facing any form of intimidation and if so, by whom?

    (4) Is there a medical report by another doctor that either confirms or contradicts the first medical report?

    (5) If it is true that the medical report exists showing a lack of prima facie evidence, what then could have been the justification for the vigorous actions taken against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as well as the public call by the authorities for his DNA sample?

    The answers to these questions are of paramount importance, as they bring into focus the integrity of our law enforcement system.

    These latest disclosures regarding the investigations into the sodomy allegations are not the only ones to raise questions that need answering. There is, for example, also the issue of P. Balasubramaniam's abrupt "disappearance" that has yet to be satisfactorily explained. No one can deny that the circumstances of his first and second statutory declarations are highly unusual. All these show a pattern of events that cause much disquiet to right-thinking members of the public.

    The Malaysian people are deeply troubled. A country that truly believes in the rule of law should not be faced with so many disturbing developments and unanswered questions.

    The credibility of the Malaysian justice system as a whole is therefore at stake. The integrity of professionals, be they doctors or lawyers, must never be interfered with. The public must be left in no doubt that the criminal justice system in this country will not be misused or abused. There must be nothing less than an open and thorough investigation into these cases. This calls for the courage and professionalism of all those involved to do the right thing no matter the consequences. And those who have shown such courage and integrity must know that they live in a country where it is safe to do so.

    Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan


    Malaysian Bar

    28 July 2008

    MIC heading for a split

    By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — An advertisement on page 12 of the Makkal Osai Tamil daily yesterday is likely to have sent shivers down the spine of the top MIC leadership led by Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

    The reason — the advertisement placed by MIC members signals a permanent parting of ways that could lead to the MIC splitting into two as had happened to Umno in 1988.

    That year Umno split, with former Umno vice-president and Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah calling his half Semangat 46 and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad registering Umno Baru.

    The advertisement, under the title “Maperum Perani” or Great Movement, is calling on expelled MIC members and Indians above the age of 18 to gather in Klang this Sunday and launch a reawakening movement.

    They said the movement is to take charge of the Indian future and reject, without spelling it out, the MIC as representatives of the Indian community and Samy Vellu and his coterie of yesmen as community leaders.

    The organisers are simply calling themselves Committee for Reawakening of the Indian community but it is clear supporters of former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam are involved.

    In fact the reason why the top MIC leadership is taking note of the advertisement is that they believe Subramaniam is behind the “new awakening” initiative.

    Subramaniam, after losing the battle to inherit the MIC from Samy Vellu, is looking for a new political platform to stay relevant.

    Subramaniam lost by a slim majority of 62 votes to incumbent deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel in the recent MIC elections.

    While he was defeated the results show his support in the MIC had in fact marginally increased compared to the 2006 contest where he lost to Palanivel by over 400 votes.

    The mood this time for change in the MIC was just not large enough for him to win and the vote was also split, with the third challenger Datuk S. Sothinathan garnering about 18 per cent of the votes.

    MIC insiders say Subramaniam has emerged as a threat to Samy Vellu and his anointed successor Palanivel and they say it is no surprise that the former is facing possible expulsion from the party.

    The MIC central working committee is meeting on Tuesday to decide whether to act against Subramaniam for allegedly tarnishing the party image — a catch-all charge that has been used by Samy Vellu to expel critics over the years.

    The incipient reawakening movement therefore is a dagger pointed at Samy Vellu — if he proceeds to expel Subramaniam he faces a situation similar to Umno in 1988.

    The MIC could split into two, with Subramaniam taking what is left of the party with him, leaving a shell for Samy Vellu to preside over.

    His aim may well be to reconnect with the Indian grassroots that fled to the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) after being inspired by the Hindraf and Makkal Sakti movement.

    But Subramaniam will be competing with others like the unregistered Human Rights Party and the officially recognised Parti Makkal Sakti Malaysia for the loyalties of the Tamil masses.

    The question is: does Subramaniam, 65, have the stamina to start a new and uncertain political journey after a long career in the MIC?

    His supporters are forcing him to choose. In fact, the gathering in Klang is to present him with an ultimatum — form a new party, join the PR or retire from politics.

    Subramaniam is overseas contemplating his fate and is expected to make a major announcement either before Tuesday or immediately after.