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Monday, September 28, 2009

MESSAGE FROM TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN'S GREAT GRAND DAUGHTER

Tunku Abdul Rahman's great granddaughter
Sharyn Lisa Shufiyan, 24
Conservationist

"Both my parents are Malay. My mum's heritage includes Chinese, Thai and Arab, while my dad is Minangkabau. Due to my skin colour, I am often mistaken for a chinese.

I'm happy that I don't have the typical Malay look but I do get annoyed when people call me Ah Moi or ask me straight up "Are you Chinese or Malay"

Like, why does it matter? Before I used to answer "Malay" but now I'm trying to consciously answer Malaysian instead.

There's this incident from primary school that I remember till today. Someone told me that I will be called last during Judgement Day because I don't have a Muslim name. Of course, I was scared then but now that I'm older, I realise that a name is just a name. It doesn't define you as a good or bad person and there is definitely no such thing as a Muslim name. You can be named Rashid or ALI and still be a Christian.

I've heard of the 1Malaysia concept, but I think we don't need to be told to be united. We've come such a long way that it should already be embedded in our hearts and minds that we are united. Unfortunately, you can still see racial discrimination and polarisation. There is still this ethno-centric view that the Malays are the dominant group and their rights must be protected, and non Malays are forever the outsiders.
For the concept to succeed, I think the government should stop with the race politics. It's tiring, really. We grew up with application forms asking us to tick our race. We should stop painting a negative image of the other races, stop thinking about 'us' and 'them' and focus on 'we', 'our' and 'Malaysians' .

No one should be made uncomfortable in their own home. A dear Chinese friend of mine said to me once, "I don't feel patriotic because I am not made to feel like Malaysia is my home, and I don't feel an affinity to China because I have never lived there.
I know some baby Nyonya friends who can trace their lineage back hundreds of years. I'm a fourth generation Malaysian. If I am Bumiputra, why can't they be, too? Clearly I have issues with the term.

I think the main reason why we still can't achieve total unity is because of this 'Malay rights' concept. I'd rather 'Malay rights' be replaced by human rights. So unless we get rid of this Bumiputra status, or reform our views and policies on rights, we will never achieve unity.

For my merdeka wish, I'd like for Malaysians to have more voice, to be respected and heard. I wish that the government would uphold the true essence of parliamentary democracy. I wish for the people to no longer fear and discriminate against each other, to see that we are one and the same.

I wish that Malaysia would truly live up to the tourism spin of Malaysia truly Asia. Malaysians to lead - whatever their ethnic background. Only ONE NATIONALITY -MALAYSIAN. No Malays, No Chinese, No Indians - ONLY MALAYSIANS. Choose whatever religion one is comfortable with.

WELL SAID LADY.......YOU JUST DID YOUR GREAT GRANDPA PROUD.

Iran tests missiles amid nuclear tension

(CNN) -- Iran tested a missile-launching system and several types of short- and medium-range missiles Sunday, the state-run Press TV said.

A short-range missile is test-launched during war games in Qom, Iran, south of Tehran, on Sunday.

A short-range missile is test-launched during war games in Qom, Iran, south of Tehran, on Sunday.

Earlier, the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had said it would stage missile exercises beginning Sunday to promote the armed forces' defense capabilities.

The tests, which are expected to last until Monday, are code-named "Payghambar-e Azam 4" or "The Great Prophet 4," Press TV said.

The missiles, fired at targets around the country Sunday, included the Fateh-110, a short-range ground-to-ground missile, and Tondar-69, a short-range naval missile, the station said. Several models of medium-range Shahab missiles were tested at night, Press TV reported.

The final stage of the tests will be held Monday morning, when Iran plans to test the long-range Shahab missile, the station said.

In May, Iran said it tested a surface-to-surface missile that is capable of reaching parts of Europe.

At the time, a White House official said actions in Iran were noteworthy.

"Of course, this is just a test, and obviously there is much work to be done before it can be built and deployed. But I see it as a significant step forward in terms of Iran's capacity to deliver weapons," said Gary Samore, special assistant to the president on nonproliferation.

The latest test follows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disclosure Friday that Iran was building a second uranium enrichment facility.

The United States and Israel believe that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear energy program.

Iran has denied the allegation.

Ops Sikap Degenerating Into “Oops! Silap!

by M. Bakri Musa

It is now a practice that with every festive season the authorities would go into high gear aimed at reducing the horrifically high rates of traffic accidents and fatalities. Judging by the results however, these initiatives are more show than substance. These “Ops Sikap” (a contraction for Operasi Sikap – Operation Attitude, as in changing the attitude of road users) are now more “Oops! Silap!” (Oops! I goofed!)

There has been no change to the dreadful trend since the series was stated over eight years ago. That should not surprise anyone. We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect to have different results. The surprise is that the authorities have not yet figured this out; this latest Ops Sikap essentially replicated what was done during previous twenty operations. There is minimal effort at learning from earlier experiences; the program lacks innovations.

This latest edition began on September 13 and just ended two weeks later today. It registered 238 fatalities. As with past years, the overwhelming victims were motorcyclists.

The Ops Sikap I over Christmas Holidays of 2001 saw 223 deaths, averaging about 15 per day. At the midpoint mark, Ops Sikap X covering the Chinese New Year Holidays of 2006, there were 226 deaths. Again, the average was about 15 deaths per day. With this latest Ops Sikap XX over the current Hari Raya season, the average is already 17 per day. That figure may yet climb as we expect deaths from those currently hospitalized for their injuries.

There you have it: three different festivities but same tragic consequences!

No matter how we look at the figures, there is no denying that they tell a grim story, and with no relief in sight. Yet that did not stop the Director-General of the Road Transport Department (RTD), Solah Mat Hassan, from reassuring the public that based on per 10,000 vehicles registered, the accident rate has actually declined!

The Director-General is obviously misreading the statistics. He is basing his conclusion on the annual and overall number of accidents and fatalities, not on the atrociously high spikes during the holiday seasons. To get a clearer picture of the impact of the heavy traffic of the holidays, he should be looking at the comparable two-week period immediately preceding and following the Ops Sikap. Unfortunately neither his department nor the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (MIROS) collects or publishes such figures.

In America, heightened traffic surveillance over holiday periods extends only over a three-day period, as Americans do not have the luxury of extended holidays. Nonetheless the figures are illustrative. Take the typical three-day American Labor Day weekend. From 2003 to 2008, the fatalities nationally ranged from 473 to 508, with an average of 490. The fatalities over that three-day period represent about 13 percent of the month’s total, only slightly over the 10 percent that would be expected based simply on the prorated number of days (3 days out of 30). That represents a percentage increase of only 30 percent (from 10 to 13 percent).

The statistics look even more impressive if we look at the number of deaths in the comparable three-day period immediately before and after the holidays: they average about 423 over the six-year period. Meaning, the long holiday weekend saw the accident numbers spiked from an average of 423 to 490, an increase of only 15 percent. That is remarkably low increase considering the visibly much heavier traffic volume during the holidays.

To me, that is the more meaningful figure on which to gauge the effectiveness of the measures instituted during the festive season. Although RTD and MIROS do not collect these comparable data, nonetheless we can get a rough estimate from newspaper reports. My guess is that the figures of the comparable two-week periods before and after the Ops Sikap are considerably lower, more likely in the region of about 50, or about 3 a day. Thus the increase during the holiday season is a horrific jump from 3 per day to 15, a five-fold (500 percent) increase, in contrast to the 15 percent we see in America.

That figure that should shock everyone and push us even harder at reducing it.

There are three variables to traffic safety: the road users (drivers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists), the road, and the vehicle. MIROS listed the four E’s to better road safety: education, engineering, enforcement, and the environment. Certainly, attention to these factors would enhance overall road safety and reduce accident rates. These measures have been successfully introduced elsewhere; they are well tested and highly effective. We need not reinvent the wheel; just follow the best practices set elsewhere and modify them appropriately to suit local conditions and audience.

Take education for example. All too often public service announcements and billboards carry and repeat the same annoying message that has the effect of turning people off. “Be careful!” “Be considerate!” “Be patient!” “Use your seat belt!” I have yet to see a public service announcement that would educate drivers on what is the safe space to keep between your car and the one immediately ahead of you if you are going at 40 MPH as compared to 60 MPH. That is one example. Another would be to educate drivers on entering merging traffic and in avoiding distractions, as in using hand phones. In California it is illegal to use hand phone while driving.

Also along the line of education, in view of the disproportionate number of accidents that are alcohol related, in addition to frequent sobriety roadside checks, many judges now sentence drunk drivers to spend time visiting the morgue to see the mangled bodies caused by drunk driving. Along the same line, a night in jail is now mandatory for drunk drivers.

We have however, to differentiate between those measures that would reduce the overall accident rates (as with attention to the four E’s) versus those that are specific to days of especially high volume traffic, as during festive seasons.

Consider enforcement. On any holiday weekend, an hour’s drive on an American freeway and you are likely to meet at least three police patrol cars. Such high visibility of law enforcement personnel keeps drivers on their toes. On one particularly heavy holiday period, the highway patrol resorted literally to having convoys on the freeway, with a police car with all lights flashing leading the way. That kept everyone in line; nobody dared to speed up or overtake.

A few years ago the Malaysian police instituted a novel experiment of actually having a policeman (or woman) ride on express buses. That was highly effective. Today all lorries and express buses are mandated to have speed monitors, thus obviating the need for an on-board human monitors.

Roadside sobriety checks are now a common feature on American roads and streets during high traffic days, as with holidays and special events. It seems that if you have been “stopped checked” or seen someone subjected to it when you are driving, that has a salutary effect that seems to last. You tend to be more cautious for the rest of the trip, and perhaps beyond.

I suggest that at the next Ops Sikap, the authorities introduce some innovations. One would be to have highway convoys and another, random police checks at toll booths. I would also urge the collection of better statistics so we could draw meaningful conclusions and thus devise better strategies and interventions to ameliorate the situation. Again we need not reinvent the wheel. There are already many models in place, the one used by the American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (www.nhtsa.gov) is one.

The tragedy to the lives lost and bodies maimed in these accidents is that the victims are almost always previously healthy and productive citizens, often in the prime of their life. The nation cannot afford such losses. While to the bureaucrats and statistic keepers Ops Sikap may be Oops! Silap!, to the families of the victims, they are needless tragedies and the beginning of their nightmares.

A day with the “deviants”

By Shanon Shah
thenutgraph.com

Sign on street saying 'Qadiani bukan agama Islam'

"FROM what we see, Islam [in Malaysia] appears like a one-way religion. But in the Quran, it's not like this. Even if someone apostates, it's not another human being's right to persecute them," Ainul Yakin Muhd Zin, 41, tells The Nut Graph. Perhaps this is why the sect that Ainul leads, the Jemaat Ahmadiyah Muslim of Malaysia, was branded a "threat to national security" in a 3 Aug 2009 Kosmo! report.

In fact, Ainul says that in 1975, a fatwa by the Selangor Islamic authorities declared Ahmadiyah to be outside Islam's fold. The fatwa also asked for Ahmadiyah followers to be killed by the sultan. Why indeed are Muslims and the Islamic authorities so afraid of Ahmadiyah?

After all, according to Ainul, there are only around 2,000 Ahmadiyah in all of Malaysia. In the Klang Valley, there are maybe 600 Ahmadiyah followers only, and most of them are Malay Malaysians. This, then, was what The Nut Graph aimed to find out on 4 Sept 2009 at the Ahmadiyah headquarters in Batu Caves, Selangor.

Difference in beliefs

Perhaps before answering the question of why there is so much hostility towards Ahmadiyah, we must look briefly at how Ahmadiyah differ from Sunni Muslims who make up the dominant group of Muslims in Malaysia.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (pic courtesy of Jemaat
Ahmadiyah Muslim Malaysia)

Ahmadiyah believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, their founder from late 19th century Qadian in present-day Pakistan was a prophet in his own right. However, they acknowledge Muhammad as the last of the law-giving prophets sent by Allah. Sunni Muslims, however, see this as an unforgivable deviation — there can be no prophets after Muhammad in Islam, full-stop.

Ahmadiyah also have their own caliphate. Their current caliph is the fifth succeeding Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whom they count as their first caliph. In terms of doctrine, they also differ by arguing that the prophet Isa, or Jesus, died a mortal death and was not raised to heaven by God.

Ahmadiyah also believe in Darwinist evolution to a certain extent — to them, Adam was not literally the first human being, but rather the first evolved human being.

Unverified allegations

So in this sense, it is easy to see why Sunni Muslims have problems with Ahmadiyah doctrine. But the allegations against Ahmadiyah practices and beliefs do not stop here. "They say our prayers are mixed-gender. They say our kiblat (direction of prayer) does not point towards Mecca. This is all untrue," explains Ainul. In fact, none other than Selangor religious exco Datuk Dr Hassan Ali claimed that Ahmadiyah "do not need to pray, do not fast during Ramadan and do not perform the haj".

pullquote

Ainul, however, says, "First of all, there are Muslim governments that prevent us from performing the haj in Mecca when they find out we are Ahmadiyah." During the asar (late afternoon) congregational prayer, The Nut Graph also observed the Ahmadiyah's kiblat was no different from the conventional kiblat. When asked if any journalist from the traditional media came to verify this fact, Ainul said they hadn't.

"And do you see any women praying beside us? We observe purdah (gender segregation) very strictly," says Ainul. That was indeed clear. In fact, The Nut Graph had to request repeatedly to interview some women Ahmadiyah because they were nowhere to be seen.

"All just a misunderstanding"

Afiatunnur
Afiatunnur

But Ainul is good-natured enough to entertain this request. On 9 Sept, The Nut Graph met with two women Ahmadiyah leaders in Malaysia — Afiatunnur, 34, the Kuala Lumpur women's chief, and Najmul Laila, 38, the moral outreach secretary. Najmul is also Ainul's wife. Both women are Indonesians married to Ahmadiyah Malaysians.

Afiatunnur and Najmul attest that things were once peaceful for them in Indonesia — Ahmadiyah even had protection from the state. But all this changed in 2005, when the Indonesian Ulama Council issued a fatwa calling for a government ban on Ahmadiyah. Violence then ensued. In July 2005, the Ahmadiyah headquarters in Bogor was attacked, causing it to be shut down. Attacks then spread all across Java, until today.

In 2008, even former President Abdurrahman Wahid appealed for calm and for protection of Ahmadiyah, but his plea was ignored. In June 2008, Religious Affairs Minister Maftuh Basyuni, Home Minister Mardiyanto, and Attorney-General Hendarman Supanji signed a decree outlawing Ahmadiyah from spreading their faith.

But Najmul and Afiatunnur are nothing if not forgiving of such persecution. "It's all just because they misunderstand Ahmadiyah teachings," says Najmul.

Najmul
Najmul

"Even here in Malaysia, my family was renting from a house owner who was not happy that we are Ahmadiyah," says Afiatunnur. "But once they saw that we are just like anybody else, they became okay with us."

Najmul elaborates, "But then the others in their community think these people are suddenly nice to us because we have bewitched them!"

But is this forbearance and humour from these two women too good to be true? When asked, for example, if women are obliged to cover their hair, both women agree fully. But are there Ahmadiyah women who do not cover their hair?

"Yes, a few," Najmul admits. Are these women then encouraged to cover their hair? "Yes, we advise them." What if they still do not cover their hair after this advice? Are they forced to cover their hair? Najmul is scandalised. "Of course not," she says. "But we just keep advising them, that's all."

Just another day

people eating
Breaking fast

This chill-out attitude pervades other aspects of Ahmadiyah life as well. Yes, they fast. And when they broke their fast, the meal was simple, and they did not dilly-dally before performing maghrib (dusk), and then isya (night) and terawih prayers in congregation. And yes, they have a 10-point pledge of allegiance, or baiat, that followers have to accept, calling for strict observance of morality, piety and worship.

But Ahmadiyah are not fussed if there are those who do not accept the creed, or who want to leave the community. As Jariullah Ahmad, another Ahmadiyah spokesperson in Malaysia, explains, "If I leave the Ahmadiyah community, then I leave. The Ahmadiyah community will survive and go on. God will find a replacement for me among Ahmadiyah."

In fact, Ahmadiyah claim they have nearly 200 million followers worldwide. Their communities flourish especially in secular Canada and the UK, where they are recognised and visited by ministers and Members of Parliament.


Ahmadiyah Quran translation

How do they deal with negative attitudes towards them, though? Ainul gives an example. In December 2008, he says the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) ordered them to remove the kalimah syahadat, or Islamic creed — "There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God" — from their headquarters.

"I said we cannot bring ourselves to do this, because this is truly what we believe. But if you believe we are wrong, then you need to be the ones to remove the kalimah yourselves," he says. According to him, MPS then left the kalimah alone.

There are, of course, even more sinister threats, and Ainul says that he has made several reports to the police and other authorities about these threats. He says, though, that until now no action has been taken based on these reports. "Why is this so? And if we are considered non-Muslims from the 1975 fatwa, why do the authorities continue to harass us? Why do they not leave us alone like the Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, and other non-Muslims in Malaysia?" asks Ainul.

Jariullah takes this questioning a step further. "Can the authorities just declare openly if they are able to protect our basic rights? If they admit they truly can't, then at least we can plan our lives accordingly."

Kg Buah Pala: Release Pakatan exco minutes too - Anil Netto

There’s still quite a bit of unfinished business in this saga.

Why is it so important? First, land which is now said to be worth RM80-100 per sq ft was alienated to the Koperasi for RM10psf or RM3.2 million by the previous BN administration. Millions of ringgit that could have gone to the people of Penang was effectively handed over on a silver platter to the Koperasi-Nusmetro in exchange for peanuts. The big issue was, could the Pakatan state government have stopped the deal in its tracks?

Was the new state government in Penang unaware of the Kg Buah Pala crisis during the crucial period from when they came into power on 8 March 2009 until the land transfer was effected on 27 March 2008? Let’s zoom in on this period.

March 2008

8 – Opposition parties sweep to power in Penang.
13 – Buah Pala villagers meet the new Penang Chief Minister and inform him about their situation.
14 – But the very next day, the state government accepts final payment of RM2,247,000* for the Buah Pala land, nearly a year after the last payment, and almost 10 months after the Land Office asked for final payment.
15 – The villagers are tipped off that final payment has been made.

16 – The villagers alert their lawyer that final payment has been made.
17 (or thereabouts) – Their lawyer meets a senior DAP national leader.
21 – The villagers meet the Penang Chief Minister again. They alert the state government that final payment was made and are informed that a panel of inquiry would be set up to look into such dubious deals. They are given assurances and they come away from both meetings feeling euphoric.
22 – Penang state government announces a special panel to investigate land scams comprising deputy chief minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, deputy CM II Dr P Ramasamy and exco member Phee Boon Poh.
27 – The Land Office registers the transfer of Buah Pala land to the Koperasi giving it a temporary title, which prohibits transactions with third parties.

* First payment of RM642,000 made on 16 March 2006, second payment of RM321,000 on 22 March 2007

The state government says by the time it took over, it was a done deal and it couldn’t do much. Really?

It is obvious the state government was already aware of the deal in March 2008. Did it try to delay the final land transfer? After all, the issue of compensation to the villagers had not been settled and the Koperasi had received a RM3 million discount mainly for this purpose. Moreover, two high-level state investigative panels were set up to probe the deal, one in March 2008 to probe land scams in general and the second one this year to probe the Buah Pala case. What are the outcomes of those investigations? Had the investigative committees done their work, they might have found out that the land was not the Penang state government’s to sell, as the High Court had indicated. In which case, could the deal have been aborted – before the transfer of ownership was registered with the Land Office – on the grounds that the BN exco’s approval was null and void?

And did the last payment (on 14 March 2008) require exco approval – as some have claimed – as it was received so late? A full disclosure of the Pakatan state government’s exco minutes would help to clarify some of these lingering questions. In the interests of transparency, that’s the least the administration could do.

Move on Dr Chua, there is still life after politics

Malaysian Mirror
By Paul Sir

OPINION DR Chua Soi Lek has made headline news for quite a while now. The on-going MCA saga has put him in the limelight, for good or bad.

But nothing can be more worse for him than the re-surfacing of his sex video. No matter who was responsible for it, that video has put him in the news again in very uncomplimentary fashion.

I wouldn’t say it’s for the wrong reason because to politicians, whether it’s right or wrong, it’s good to get into the news and be talked about.

If a politician is not in the news and not a subject of public discussion now and again, he or she ain’t much of a politician. To most politicians, no news is bad news while it’s the opposite for most of us.

I do not know Chua personally. I recall only two occasions when I had the chance to exchange pleasantries with him at official functions. But friends who know him well describe Chua as a well-meaning guy though not particularly friendly but a highly ambitious politician. There is also a fighting cock inside this politician-doctor.

I believe that Chua would prefer to be the health minister today, spending his time and energy in fighting the H1N1 virus and dengue plaguing the nation rather than fighting for his political survival in the MCA.

Difficult to give up power

By all accounts, Chua was an able health minister. He performed well in his four years in the Cabinet until his sex scandal brought him down. He paid a heavy price for it by resigning from all public and party posts.

Honestly, if I were Dr Chua, I would have retired from politics. After all, he is not young anymore. In his sixties, he could have continued with his public service by getting involved in social and charitable work.

But for politicians who had tasted power, it’s very difficult to give it up. Many had tried to reach the top but only the lucky few would get there.

Chua would love to be the MCA president but he is not. He did not contest against Ong Tee Keat for the party presidency in the MCA election last year when he should have. The other Chua (Chua Jui Meng) from Johore did and wisely for Jui Meng, he left MCA to seek his political fortunes in PKR recently. He knew there was no place and no future left for him in MCA.

I suppose Jui Meng must be a contented man today. He tried to reach the top of his political career by contesting for the MCA presidency, not once but twice. He failed against Ong Ka Ting in 2005 and again, last year against Ong Tee Keat.

I managed to read Jui Meng’s manifesto and found that the man actually had some good plans and programmes for the party and the Chinese community.

Jui Meng can proudly hold up his head high today and say, “It’s not that I didn’t try. I did and I’ve failed. Now, I can leave MCA quietly without regrets”.

Jui Meng moved on well

I find Jui Meng’s political style quite admirable. He remains a friend of the man who defeated him and in one of his last acts as the Bakri MCA division chair, he even invited Ong Tee Keat to officiate at the division’s function.

Whether Jui Meng chose the correct path or not in joining PKR is left to be seen. What is clear, however, is that Jui Meng has moved on. He had wisely untangled himself from the MCA fortress, which had served him well in the past but must have been a little too suffocating for him by now.

But that could not be said of Chua Soi Lek. Unfortunately for Soi Lek, he chose to cross swords with his party president. Unfortunately for him too, Ong Tee Keat is another fighting cock who is ever ready for a bloodbath. We all know what will happen in the end when two fighting cocks meet for a duel. It’s a fight to the finish – only one is left standing.

And to top Soi Lek’s list of misfortunes, he has a heavy baggage – his unforgettable sexual escapade in a Batu Pahat hotel caught on film. How on earth could such a high profile guy be so careless in conducting his private affairs? Honestly, I’m dumbfounded although it’s none of my business.

Shouldn't have 'shitted' at home

It’s an unwritten rule for most men ‘never to ‘shit’ at home’. But Soi Lek was foolish enough to do so in his hometown in Johore. Now, that is literally ‘shitting’ at home.

Of course, Soi Lek is not the only politician involved in extramarital affairs but the difference is that the others were not caught with their pants down.

This ‘baggage’ of his was the MCA disciplinary committee’s top reason for asking Soi Lek to go.

The disciplinary report said the board had "no difficulties" in arriving at its conclusion that Dr Chua could no longer be an asset to the party.

"What the respondent had done in failing to uphold the image and reputation of the party has not only 'haunted' and hurt the party and the government, but is going to continue to 'haunt' and hurt the government in the future, especially in every forthcoming by-election and general election, unless some drastic action is taken by the party," the report explained.

"In short, it is safe to conclude that, for the general Malaysian public, a public figure in Malaysia is expected to behave like a public figure," the report said.

"He cannot be a public figure and enjoy the luxuries of a private person at the same time, and when he is caught, he will not be allowed to defend and excuse himself by saying that it is my private life," it added.

The elusive White House for Edward Kennedy

Ironically, Chua Soi Lek was sacked (now suspended) from the MCA on the day Senator Edward Kennedy breathed his last. Edward could have made it to the White House if not for his ‘baggages’.

But he never fulfilled what many had seen as his political destiny, his White House hopes dashed after his name was tainted by scandal, drinking problems and a messy divorce.

In 1969, he drove off a bridge at Chappaquiddick in Massachusetts, killing a female companion - Mary Jo Kopechne - and leaving the scene of the accident.

The scandal doused his presidential hopes and he subsequently lost the Democratic party nomination to incumbent Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election.

Back home, perhaps the case of former Deputy Parliament Speaker DP Vijandran of the MIC had a similar parallel to Dr Chua’s messy situation. Vijandran faded away from the political scene soon after he was linked to videotaped sexual activities and never made it back again.

Leave unpleasant past behind

To continue whatever his political struggle may be after another major unhappy episode would be too much to ask of Dr Chua. With so many political opponents around, it would be futile for him to attempt a political comeback, either in MCA or other parties.

They will make sure that the public will never forget Dr Chua’s tainted past. Perhaps the good doctor should take note of the statement by Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein who said that “while I empathise with Dr Chua, an offence is still an offence and it is difficult to defend a person who had been found guilty”.

Seriously, Dr Chua should consider retiring from politics. That could be the best route to take in order to move on and leave the unpleasant past behind. There is still life after politics - probably a better one and definitely, a less stressed and happier one.

MIC Still Has The Support Of Indian Community - Subramaniam

SUNGAI PETANI, Sept 28 (Bernama) -- The emergence of the new party, Makkal Sakhti as an alternative political party for the Indian community, will not affect the MIC, said MIC Vice-President Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said the MIC still had the support of the majority of the Indian community in the country and that its members would not join the new party.

"The Indian community realises and knows that only the MIC had brought development to the Indian community in the country," he told reporters, here Sunday night.

The Makkal Sakthi, led by R.S. Thanenthiran, is expected to be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Oct 10.

The party claims to have more than 50,000 members and would be joined by many MIC members and former leaders.

Only Isa can win it for Bagan Pinang?

Doing the right thing. Isa Samad was found guilty by his own party for money politics. Umno, that party, has not cleared him of the crime. Therefore, the idea that his supporters wanted Isa Samad to be the candidate for Bagan Pinang by-election is an absurd one. Most absurd, I mean. Bagan Pinang is not a party election, it is a national election. It's not just about Umno or Isa Samad's supporters, it's about the people.
So even if Isa Samad wins big at Bagan Pinang, it will be an absurd victory.
We don't know if Umno will pick Isa or someone else, but Isa should be doing the right thing and not wait for that potential mistake by Umno. As Dr Mahathir said, the former Negri Sembilan menteri besar should say he did not want to be nominated and instead and throw his support behind whoever the BN leadership chose.

That way, Isa would endear himself to all.

The full report Isa should be reading is here.

The 'conspiracy' against MIC - Malaysiakini

A political wedlock that has spanned for more than five decades is now at the brink of a divorce. More than a year ago, the very mention of this would have been dismissed to the bins of preposterousness.

But the March 8 general election last year had tipped the scales for Barisan Nasional and the nightmare of losing power grows more dreadful with each sunset.

The ruling coalition, especially Umno, appears to be desperate.

According to observers, the denial syndrome is waning and the reality on the ground has left its leaders terrified of what the future might hold.

As the clock ticks down for the next general election, Umno is said to be looking for a 'quick-fix' solution even if this means burning bridges with its partners.

samy vellu micAnd MIC insiders believe that Umno has hatched a conspiracy against their party and its president S Samy Vellu, one that has been in the making even before the last general election.

According to them, Umno employed the antiquated strategy - the enemy of my enemy is my friend - to ensure that the MIC president was defeated in the polls.

"This was proven when a local Indian businessmen aligned to a former top MIC leader admitted that he and a former Umno minister conspired to ensure the defeat," they said, without naming those involved.

Back then, it was said that Umno wanted to seize control of the powerful Works Ministry and to do so, Samy Vellu had to be ousted.

True enough, in the post-March 8 cabinet, MIC was given the more junior human resources portfolio much to the chagrin of the president.

Severe repercussions

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the insiders alleged that the 'conspiracy' has now moved into high gear.

However, they warned that it could lead to severe repercussions, including the possibility of MIC leaving BN to operate independently or even joining forces with Pakatan Rakyat.

They also claimed that Umno was attempting to "split and confuse" the Indian community by approving and associating itself with many Indian-based parties.

malaysia makkal sakti party official launch 190509 06This was in reference to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's open support for the Makkal Sakthi Party, which he is scheduled to launch on Oct 10.

"This is the divide and rule policy of the British that Umno has used since independence," said the insiders.

Another strategy was to use the mainstream media, especially the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia and Tamil papers aligned to Umno, to tarnish MIC's image.

These media outfits are given the task of continuously publishing or airing negative stories regarding MIC and its president, said the insiders.

Stage three of the conspiracy was to paint Samy Vellu as the chief culprit for all the shortcomings related to the Indian community.

"They shift the blame to the MIC leadership for the government's failure to look after the Indian community by constantly saying that Samy Vellu did nothing for the Indians and he is to be blamed solely," alleged the insiders.

'Spreading hate messages'

The party insiders claimed that Umno was also "spreading hate messages through the media and public speeches" in order to achieve its aim.

mic election 120909 najibAs an example, they cited Najib's opening speech at the recently concluded MIC general assembly where the premier openly called on party delegates to back change.

"However, this approach backfired similar to the one by (former premier and Umno president) Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the eve of the MIC elections on Sept 12," they said.

The insiders also accused Umno of "colluding with a certain former MIC top leader to popularise him through the media in an attempt to take control of MIC."

This was an obvious referrence to defeated deputy presidential candidate and Samy Vellu's political nemesis S Subramaniam.

The insiders stated that Umno leaders found it hard to digest Samy Vellu's "outspokenness and direct confrontation against Umno" and therefore were attempting to weaken his grip on MIC.

"This move was intensified after they realised that Samy Vellu still had a strong command in MIC when the majority of his team won in the party elections," they said.

In view of this, the insiders said the powers-that-be want to ensure that the president exits the party as soon as possible and be replaced with a leader who would "kow-tow" to Umno.

Justice for Kugan petition to DYMM YDP Agong 26/09/09 - what I observed

This is what I observed at the peaceful assembly in front of the Istana Negara on 26 September 2009, which was called by Hindraf and the Human Rights Party Malaysia to deliver a petition to the the DYMM Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. The petition, which you can download and read here, pleads to the YDP Agong for justice for Kugan and his family. Eight months after his death in police custody, the killer/s of A. Kugan, have yet to be arrested and brought to justice.


I tried to get to the Istana Negara at about 10.30 a.m., but there was a police roadblock where Jalan Dewan Bahasa joins Jalan Istana, and the police were not allowing any cars to get past. I made some calls and found out that the petitioners were meeting at Naga's Restaurant in Brickfields, which is where I headed to.

Members of Kugan's family were already there, including Madam Indra (his mother), sister, brothers and uncle. With them were a small group of Hindraf and MHRP folks; MP for Kapar YB S Manikavasagam, MP for Puchong YB Gobind Singh Deo, and ADUN for Kota Shah Alam YB M. Manoharan were also there. Soon, Human Rights Party Malaysia pro-tem secretary-general P. Uthayakumar and Hindraf coordinator Mr. Jayathas arrived, and the group organised themselves for the trip to the istana.

Some of Kugan's family members waiting for transport to the Istana

I hitched a ride in one of the cars carrying some of Kugan's relatives. We set of towards the Istana, but somehow got separated from the lead cars. We parked before the roadblock at Jln Dewan Bahasa, and began walking towards the Istana proper.

Members of the police manning the roadblock blocked our way and told us that we could not pass.

The police stop us from proceeding

We told them that we were going to deliver a petition to the Istana, and that Kugan's relatives were with us. The policeman asked us to wait while he radioed his superiors for permission. He took an inordinate amount of time doing this.

Asking for instructions, or delaying tactics?

After about ten minutes of waiting with no indication of any permission forthcoming, our group decided not to wait there any longer, but to get back into our cars and try another route. By 11.30 we were walking towards the group of petitioners in front of the Istana.

The petitioners outside the Istana, outnumbered by the police, reporters and cameramen. By what stretch of the imagination could they have been considered a threat to public security?

As I approached this group at 11.33 a.m., a policeman was already ordering the crowd to disperse. This is what I managed to record:
video

Thus the people's attempt to express their plea for justice to their King was foiled by the police. The people there made their way back, and as you can see in the video above, their frustration and disappointment was evident.

The petitioners leaving the Istana area


The leaders of the petitioners had a quick discussion, and decided to hold a press conference back at Naga's Restaurant.


These are the people who prevented the rakyat from presenting their petition to DYMM YDP Agong. They are supposed to protect and serve the rakyat, but whose interests are they protecting now? Whose orders were they following?


Kugan's mother and other family members waiting by the roadside of Jalan Istana, having been chased away from the Istana area itself. Don't they have a right to plead for justice from their King, when the Malaysian AG and police have denied them justice for eight months? Why must they be treated so?

We got back into our cars and headed back to Naga's, where the impromptu press conference was held. Here are some video clips from it (apologies for the poor audio quality):

video
YB Gobind Singh Deo

video
YB M. Manoharan

video
Mr. Uthayakumar, YB Manickavasagam, YB Manoharan and lawyer Mr. N. Surendran

[Video to be uploaded here]
Madam Indra, with YB Manoharan translating for her. Kugan's mother still grieves.

[Video to be uploaded here]
YB Gobind Singh Deo again

[Video to be uploaded here]
and again

During the press conference, there were three gentlemen who were hanging about the restaurant, with a video camera. here they are, numbered accordingly:
Align Center

I cannot verify this, but I was told that they were special branch officers. Here is another shot of them:


Here is number 3 recording the press conference from up close:


According to this Bernama report of the event:
Brickfields police chief ACP Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said police managed to disperse the gathering without any untoward incidents.

"No arrests were made. Police were on duty in front of Istana Negara to prevent incidents as the group comprised Hindraf members and politicians.

"The public should respect the residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the laws of the country," he said when contacted today.
Reading his statement, and having seen the events unfold for myself, these are the questions and thoughts that come to my mind:

1) What "untoward incident" was he expecting? Was he afraid that Kugan's mother was going to assault him with a deadly petition?

2) Why are Hindraf members and politicians singled out for "special treatment", when the cow head protestors get a free pass? Blatant double standards at work!

3) What did any of the petitioners do there, which can be construed as disrespecting the YDP Agong or his residence? Palace officials had already been informed and were prepared to accept the memorandum. Isn't DYMM YDP Agong the King for all Malaysians, including for Kugan and his family? Wasn't His Majesty's palace built and maintained with their blood, sweat and tears as well? What laws did they break? Why is the Brickfields police chief slandering them?

4) Why aren't Malaysians allowed to exercise their right to assemble peacefully? Were these folks in any way or form a threat to public safety and security? If peaceful assemblies like these are broken up by the police, how else are Malaysians going to express their views and feelings? IMHO, all the while our 1Malaysia government is embarking on a "feel-good" PR campaign, they are severely eroding our rights to assemble peacefully, amongst many others. We need work urgently to re-establish our rights, before we lose them altogether.

5) Why was it that the people who showed up in support of the petition were virtually all Indians? In the past (for example during Kugan's funeral), there was heartwarming and encouraging support from all communities; we must never let such cooperation and understanding die away. Kugan's case, just like Adi Anwar Mansor's and Teoh Beng Hock's, is a serious issue for all Malaysians. If we only fight for justice when our own race is involved, then Umno/BN will win, because we cannot defeat them by ourselves. Civil society and progressive groups must work together to find common ground and strive for change with a united voice. This will require high quality, principled leaders. United we stand; divided, we'll all die with Umno/BN in power for the next 52 years. Please people, we must break down the racial walls that Umno/BN have built between us!

6) We must ensure that the IPCMC is formed. IMHO, the police have become an instrument for the oppression of Malaysian's political expression and aspirations. If we are to have any hope of change in Malaysia, we must reform the police into an organisation that serves the rakyat, and not the political purposes of the party which happens to be in government.


The pain and anguish that our mothers bear for us, transcends time, language, race, and religion. Paradise lies beneath their feet, but all we give them in return is suffering. May God have mercy on us.

Sincerely,
Malaysian Heart
http://malaysianheart.blogspot.com/2009/09/hindrafs-petition-to-dymm-ydp-agong.html

Please read more reports of the event here, here, here and here.

Some questions for LGE

YB Lim Guan Eng. I have issued a request directly by mail and through the media to you for a debate with me on the Kampung Buah Pala issue. You have not acknowledged it yet in public, though you have refused me privately. Why don’t you want to take up my challenge? Is it that it is too low for you as the CM of Penang, to debate with a lowly member of the rakyat, like me. Let me tell you, it will only show how great you are as a leader if you accept my challenge. If you refuse there will be many interpretations for your refusal but only one, if you accept, that is, you are a great individual and leader.

The topic of the debate surely will not be whether you signed any documents or not, but how in the first place you allowed this fiasco to happen. You behave now, as if you had no choice.

I do not believe that at all. I believe there was much you could have done.

What you did not have and still do not have, in my opinion, is a political will to have acted more circumspectly on this matter. It is an Indian heritage village of just some 24 cowherd families which has no political value for you. That is why you allowed this thing to happen, not expecting that it will blow up in your face, as it has. You just did not care at that time when you made the decision.. Knowing the kind of personality you are, you must think we are naïve, know nothing idiots to take your argument that you had absolutely no choice available to you at that time.

In any case, since you have now broken your silence on the matter after a long while, and regardless of whether you accept my challenge for a debate or not, I have several questions for you which I challenge you to respond to in this forum. If you truly have nothing to hide, then the least you will do is respond.

1) Was the sale of the Kampung Buah Pala Land not a lapsed deal by the time your Government took over in March 2008 - in that the date for the full settlement was way past due? There was about a 12 month gap between the deposit payment of RM 963K by the Koperasi on the 22nd of March 2007 and the final settlement of RM 2,2247K on the 14th of March 2008. This automatically would have resulted in the expiry of the deal. So was this not a case of an expired deal going through?

2) If that was the case, then surely it cannot be a standard administrative procedure of issuing the land title on payment of the balance amount. It would have come up for a decision at the higher levels. Why do you keep insisting that it was a standard administrative procedure on a large and controversial deal?

3) Did the villagers not come and see you personally soon after the 12th GE on the 13th of March 2008 and did you not tell them that if the deal was not through, you would stop it? On the 14th of March 2008 the balance was paid by the Koperasi and the title issued on the 27th of March 2008.

4) Why did you not stop or delay the transfer of the title given these circumstances – the deal was a lapsed one, the villagers reminded you before the final payment was made, you would have known about it clearly, so why did you not do anything at that point?

5) Is there a stipulation in the State Exco deliberations of the 18th of August of 2004, that the developer can only begin the development project after he settles the villagers resettlement and compensation issues?

6) If so, how is it that you have allowed the developer to go ahead with his development project now,without settling all the villagers as stipulated? You have been very circumspect about the Federal Court order, but you have been rather sloppy with regards to the Exco stipulations which has equal legal binding – this being land matter, over which the State Government is the final authority.

7) Why did you refuse the villagers proper legal representation during your heart to heart meetings? Is it not their right? DAP claims to be a socialist party standing for social justice and you are the Secretary General of DAP. Where is the justice in your action? You had 2 PhDs in the room and a few lawyers in the room during these heart to heart meetings with the villagers, but these poor villagers were denied their lawyer. This is a gross violation of their rights. There were many points of law that were discussed and the poor villagers had no way of understanding all of that because you denied them their right?

8) After the meeting with the villagers on the 24th of July 2009 in your heart to heart meeting, did you not issue a public statement that you were immediately revoking the development order of the developer if they went ahead with the demolition of the village. You would not allow even one brick to be put up you said, did you not?

9) If so, how is it that the developer has gone ahead with the demolition and proceeding with his project and all you are doing now is to mop up for him with a group of the villagers. What does that publicly recorded statement mean?

10) You say you never gave any promise and never broke any promise, then what was that statement on the 24th of July – was it not a public promise and your inaction on that, is it not a break of that promise?

11) Did you not tell the villagers all through the 4 heart to heart meetings where they did not have their lawyers present that you would seek a declaration from the courts that the developer did indeed need state government consent for the demolition exercise per Section 116 1(d) of the national Land code, but you never did ?

12) Why did you mislead the villagers about this?

13) You set up a committee to investigate the “land robbery” as you called it with Dr.Mansor your DCM1 and Dr.Ramasamy your DCM2 to investigate the “robbery” along with a few others. What happened to the investigation? Did you actually perform the investigations or was it just another one of those VKLingam type of episode? If you had completed the invcestigations what is the outcome and what have you done about it all?

14) You are so convinced there was a land robbery, because you have said it so many times, how is it that you did not work with the villagers, who were saying the same thing and requesting you repeatedly to work with them, to bring to book the land robbers?

15) All you have done is issue statements about the previous governments complicity in this whole deal, but you have not taken any positive steps all these months to investigate and lay out the truth of the matter – something that would have been befitting a new people orientated government. Why have you not acted on the land robbery at all, yet?

There are many more questions that require answers from you, but these will suffice for this exercise. What will be needed in your response dear CM, is not a selective answering of the questions here, but a comprehensive response to all these questions.

Over to you YB.

Guan Eng: Umno will win with Isa

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani - The Malaysian Insider

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (L) greeting Selangor Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim at the DAP open house in Cheras today - Picture by Jack Lee

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng believes that it would be impossible for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to dislodge Umno from Bagan Pinang if Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad is nominated as the candidate.

Lim explained that chances for Isa, who was Negri Sembilan mentri besar for 23 years, to win is 70 per cent.

“I’ll be honest, the opportunity for BN to win is bright. The opportunity for them to win is 60, 40 per cent but if they choose Isa then their chances will increase to 70, 30 percent,” he said after the DAP national-level Aidil Fitri open house in Kg Cheras Baru here.

However the Penang Chief Minister stressed that even if Umno and Barisan Nasional are able to retain the Bagan Pinang seat, they might risk losing in the next general election.

“You can win the battle but lose the war. You can win Bagan Pinang but can lose the whole Malaysia. They also cannot lose in Bagan Pinang because they will also lose the whole Malaysia. It depends on Umno strategising. There is a lot of calculations and considerations that BN has to do,” he noted.

Lim added that a win for Isa will have an effect on BN’s perceptions among Malaysians.

“If they choose Isa, it is certain that they will win. Almost guaranteed but this will have a negative consequence for Umno and Barisan Nasional in Malaysia.

“I am referring to what Mahathir said. If they choose Isa it would look bad for Umno and Barisan Nasional. For Najib, if he places Isa then they are in trouble, if he does not place Isa then they are also in trouble,” he added.

During the party election 16 years ago, Isa contested the Youth chief post against the then Malacca Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik, who was backed by the then newly-minted party deputy president Anwar.

Isa lost the contest by 44 votes.In 2004, he obtained the highest vote for the vice-president contest only to be suspended months later for six years over corruption charges. The sentence was then cut to three years.

If Isa is fielded in Bagan Pinang it will be his second attempt at making a comeback after failing to defend the vice-president post during the party elections last March.

The Bagan Pinang by-election came following the death of BN’s Azman Mohammad Noor on Sept 4.

In March last year, Azman defeated Ramli Ismail of PAS, by some 2,000 votes.

BN is currently ruling the state with a simple majority after winning only 21 out of the 36 state constituencies

Some questions for LGE

YB Lim Guan Eng. I have issued a request directly by mail and through the media to you for a debate with me on the Kampung Buah Pala issue. You have not acknowledged it yet in public, though you have refused me privately. Why don’t you want to take up my challenge? Is it that it is too low for you as the CM of Penang, to debate with a lowly member of the rakyat, like me. Let me tell you, it will only show how great you are as a leader if you accept my challenge. If you refuse there will be many interpretations for your refusal but only one, if you accept, that is, you are a great individual and leader.

The topic of the debate surely will not be whether you signed any documents or not, but how in the first place you allowed this fiasco to happen. You behave now, as if you had no choice.

I do not believe that at all. I believe there was much you could have done.

What you did not have and still do not have, in my opinion, is a political will to have acted more circumspectly on this matter. It is an Indian heritage village of just some 24 cowherd families which has no political value for you. That is why you allowed this thing to happen, not expecting that it will blow up in your face, as it has. You just did not care at that time when you made the decision.. Knowing the kind of personality you are, you must think we are naïve, know nothing idiots to take your argument that you had absolutely no choice available to you at that time.

In any case, since you have now broken your silence on the matter after a long while, and regardless of whether you accept my challenge for a debate or not, I have several questions for you which I challenge you to respond to in this forum. If you truly have nothing to hide, then the least you will do is respond.

1) Was the sale of the Kampung Buah Pala Land not a lapsed deal by the time your Government took over in March 2008 - in that the date for the full settlement was way past due? There was about a 12 month gap between the deposit payment of RM 963K by the Koperasi on the 22nd of March 2007 and the final settlement of RM 2,2247K on the 14th of March 2008. This automatically would have resulted in the expiry of the deal. So was this not a case of an expired deal going through?

2) If that was the case, then surely it cannot be a standard administrative procedure of issuing the land title on payment of the balance amount. It would have come up for a decision at the higher levels. Why do you keep insisting that it was a standard administrative procedure on a large and controversial deal?

3) Did the villagers not come and see you personally soon after the 12th GE on the 13th of March 2008 and did you not tell them that if the deal was not through, you would stop it? On the 14th of March 2008 the balance was paid by the Koperasi and the title issued on the 27th of March 2008.

4) Why did you not stop or delay the transfer of the title given these circumstances – the deal was a lapsed one, the villagers reminded you before the final payment was made, you would have known about it clearly, so why did you not do anything at that point?

5) Is there a stipulation in the State Exco deliberations of the 18th of August of 2004, that the developer can only begin the development project after he settles the villagers resettlement and compensation issues?

6) If so, how is it that you have allowed the developer to go ahead with his development project now,without settling all the villagers as stipulated? You have been very circumspect about the Federal Court order, but you have been rather sloppy with regards to the Exco stipulations which has equal legal binding – this being land matter, over which the State Government is the final authority.

7) Why did you refuse the villagers proper legal representation during your heart to heart meetings? Is it not their right? DAP claims to be a socialist party standing for social justice and you are the Secretary General of DAP. Where is the justice in your action? You had 2 PhDs in the room and a few lawyers in the room during these heart to heart meetings with the villagers, but these poor villagers were denied their lawyer. This is a gross violation of their rights. There were many points of law that were discussed and the poor villagers had no way of understanding all of that because you denied them their right?

8) After the meeting with the villagers on the 24th of July 2009 in your heart to heart meeting, did you not issue a public statement that you were immediately revoking the development order of the developer if they went ahead with the demolition of the village. You would not allow even one brick to be put up you said, did you not?

9) If so, how is it that the developer has gone ahead with the demolition and proceeding with his project and all you are doing now is to mop up for him with a group of the villagers. What does that publicly recorded statement mean?

10) You say you never gave any promise and never broke any promise, then what was that statement on the 24th of July – was it not a public promise and your inaction on that, is it not a break of that promise?

11) Did you not tell the villagers all through the 4 heart to heart meetings where they did not have their lawyers present that you would seek a declaration from the courts that the developer did indeed need state government consent for the demolition exercise per Section 116 1(d) of the national Land code, but you never did ?

12) Why did you mislead the villagers about this?

13) You set up a committee to investigate the “land robbery” as you called it with Dr.Mansor your DCM1 and Dr.Ramasamy your DCM2 to investigate the “robbery” along with a few others. What happened to the investigation? Did you actually perform the investigations or was it just another one of those VKLingam type of episode? If you had completed the invcestigations what is the outcome and what have you done about it all?

14) You are so convinced there was a land robbery, because you have said it so many times, how is it that you did not work with the villagers, who were saying the same thing and requesting you repeatedly to work with them, to bring to book the land robbers?

15) All you have done is issue statements about the previous governments complicity in this whole deal, but you have not taken any positive steps all these months to investigate and lay out the truth of the matter – something that would have been befitting a new people orientated government. Why have you not acted on the land robbery at all, yet?

There are many more questions that require answers from you, but these will suffice for this exercise. What will be needed in your response dear CM, is not a selective answering of the questions here, but a comprehensive response to all these questions.

Over to you YB.

Dr. Teng, why don’t you stroke your own pen?

By Chan Lilian

I had wanted to write this but was caught up with house moving so I didn’t manage to hit while the iron is hot.

Few days ago, there is a report in Malaysiakini where Datuk Dr. Teng Hock Nan openly told media that CM Lim Guan Eng could have saved Kampung Buah Pala with a stroke of pen. I was very pissed with that sort of statement, coming from what was supposed to be one of the candidate vying for the Chief Minister position before the last general election.

Of course, it is open knowledge that I am a fan of CM Lim. But that’s not my main discontentment. It is not about Lim Guan Eng. It is about Penang.

The statement from Datuk Dr. Teng is deemed very mischievous and irresponsible. He, being a Penangite and also in Gerakan should have known that the Kampung Buah Pala issue had been turned into a racial issue. Therefore, if he is responsible and love peace and harmony in Penang, he would have kept his mouth shut instead of adding fuel to fire.

Makkal Sakthi, Hindraf and MIC had gone into Kampung Buah Pala to turn the residents against the Chinese. Their members have added salt to the wounds of the affected residents and put the blame on the Chinese Chief Minister and Chinese developer. I had been there and know what kind of racial tauntings the ‘imported’ demonstrators are capable of uttering.

Instead of letting the issue die down quietly, Datuk Dr. Teng had once again attempted to start another round of animosities and hostilities between the Indians and Chinese.

Therefore, Dr. Teng, I am so very thankful that a person like you had failed to be our Chief Minister. Otherwise, I wonder what our Penang state will turn into with a person like you who have only your own interests and not the whole state.

Oh yeah, Dr. Teng, you asked CM Lim to ’stroke of a pen’ to save Kampung Buah Pala without giving second thought to the repercussion. It would have been RM150 million of our Penangites’ money. You are merely blowing hot air, Dr. Teng. I can bet that if it had been you who is the CM, the Kampung Buah Pala folks wouldn’t even have a chance to see you. Probably, they would have taken the RM75K flat and nothing else. Here, CM Lim and his deputies had endured name callings, barging into his office and all sorts of disrespectful manners and they still open their doors to the Kampung Buah Pala folks.

Many years ago, you refused to stroke of a pen to give me a valid medical certificate because you wanted to remain the ‘clean panel of company doctors who don’t issue MCs’. I was really sick and yet, you refused to sign the MC because you want to remain in the good books of my bosses. I had no voice, a bad inflamed tonsils and had fever and yet, you dare not stroke your pen. Now, you want to act hero and talk big. Come on lah, don’t try to fool us. We are not easily fooled. Remember? We Penangites voted all of you out of Penang?

And to those people who are trying to challenge the Chief Minister of Penang to a debate, I think I have something to tell you. This is CM Lim’s favourite blast to people like that. “Ambil cermin, tengok muka sendiri” Who are you people lah? You think our CM has nothing better to do than to argue with a bunch of kiddoes ah? The only reason he challenged ex-CM is because he could mince the ex-CM like a teppanyaki chef. Chop chop chop, mince mince mince, grill grill grill and swallow.

Moral of the story : Hell hath no fury like an ex-executive secretary who was denied MC because a chicken doc dare not stroke his pen.

Kg Buah Pala: Release Pakatan exco minutes too - Anil Netto

There’s still quite a bit of unfinished business in this saga.

Why is it so important? First, land which is now said to be worth RM80-100 per sq ft was alienated to the Koperasi for RM10psf or RM3.2 million by the previous BN administration. Millions of ringgit that could have gone to the people of Penang were effectively handed over on a silver platter to the Koperasi-Nusmetro in exchange for peanuts. The big issue was, could the Pakatan state government stop the deal in its tracks?

Was the new state government in Penang aware of Kg Buah Pala during the crucial period from when they came into power on 8 March 2009 until the land transfer was effected on 27 March 2008? Let’s zoom in on this period.

March 2008

8 – Opposition parties sweep to power in Penang.
13 – Buah Pala villagers meet the new Penang Chief Minister.
14 – But the very next day, the state government accepts final payment of RM2,247,000* for the Buah Pala land, nearly a year after the last payment, and almost 10 months after the Land Office asked for payment.
15 – The villagers are tipped off that final payment has been received.

16 – The villagers alert their lawyer that final payment has been received.
17 (or thereabouts) – Their lawyer meets a top DAP leader.
21 – Villagers again meet the Penang Chief Minister again. They alert the state government that final payment was received. The villagers say they were informed that a panel of inquiry would be set up to look into such dubious deals. They are given assurances and they come away from both meetings feeling euphoric.
22 – Penang state government announces a special panel to investigate land scams comprising deputy chief minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, deputy CM II Dr P. Ramasamy and exco member Phee Boon Poh.
27 – The Land office registers the transfer of Buah Pala land to the Koperasi giving them a temporary title, which prohibits transactions with third parties.

* First payment of RM642,000 made on 16 March 2006, second payment of RM321,000 on 22 March 2007

The state government says by the time it took over, it was a done deal and it couldn’t do much. Really?

It is obvious the state government was aware of the deal. Did it try to delay the final land transfer? After all, the issue of compensation to the villagers had not been settled and the Koperasi had received a RM3 million discount mainly for this purpose. Moreover, two high-level state investigative panels – one last March to probe land scams in general and the second one this year to probe the Buah Pala case – were set up to probe the deal. What are the outcomes of those investigations? Had the investigative committees done their work, they might have found out that the land was not the Penang state government’s to sell, as the High Court had indicated. In which case, could the deal have been aborted – before the transfer of ownership was registered with the Land Office – on the grounds that the BN administration’s decision was null and void?

And did the last payment (on 14 March 2008) require exco approval – as some have claimed – as it was received so late? A full disclosure of the Pakatan state government’s exco minutes would help to clarify some of these lingering questions. In the interests of transparency, that’s the very least the administration could do.

IPF To Continue Supporting Government Despite Being Labelled As BN Coolie

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 (Bernama) -- The Indian Progressive Front (IPF) on Sunday pledged its support to the government even though it had yet to be accepted as one of Barisan Nasional's (BN) component parties and is being labelled as BN coolie by the opposition.

IPF president Puan Sri Jayashree Pandithan said the party's pledge of support to the government was not made for fun, but was prompted by the commitment shown by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to uplift the status of the Indian community in the country.

"Though the opposition parties have labelled us as BN Gurkha or coolie and said that we will never be part of the coalition, we will wait patiently until our application to join BN is finally accepted.

"In fact, we will submit another application to join the BN soon and we are confident that the BN leadership will give it a fair consideration," she told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the party's 17th general assembly here on Sunday.

When asked whether IPF, which has 300,000 members nationwide, would join the opposition pact if the application was rejected by BN, Jayashree said such an idea had never crossed their minds as they would continue supporting BN.

"We are a strong supporter of BN. No doubt about that because (the late) Tan Sri M.G Pandithan (IPF founder and former president) had supported BN and we will follow in his footstep.

"There is no question of going to any other party or the opposition pact. We are loyal supporters of the BN," she added.