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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Indian issues: BN, Pakatan the same - Malaysiakini

Human Rights Party supremo P Uthayakumar has accused both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat of lacking the political will and determination to help poor Indians.

"Both treat Indians as insignificant. Both are virtually a lame duck vis-à-vis Indian issues," said the Hindraf leader and former Internal Security Act detainee.

He said Pakatan state governments could have resolved half of the Indian problems by allocating lands for Tamil schools, Indian settlements, Hindu crematoriums and temples.

NONEHe brushed aside arguments by Pakatan leaders that the state governments were new to administrative politics, alleging that "they were quick to demolish Indian establishments, settlements and structures within a short period, but slow in fixing them."

Citing the Kampung Buah Pala fiaso in Penang as one of the examples, Uthayakumar said although PKR and PAS were not directly involved, "both parties watched silently while the DAP government executed the village's destruction."

He said the argument that Pakatan was new to administration does not hold water since the coalition, when ruling Perak, was quick to set aside land for Orang Asli, Malays and Chinese for their settlements, farms, temples and schools.

"But none for the Indians," he said, adding that the Kedah, Selangor and Penang governments practiced the same policies.

Boycott by-election

Inspired by Hindraf, Uthayakumar said Indians voted for change in the last general election hoping that Pakatan would provide the change they desired to end their predicament.

However, he said Indians felt shortchanged now, thus Hindraf had been put in a quandary because the community was now questioning the movement's strong electoral backing for Pakatan last year.

Uthayakumar said this was reason why his party has called on Indian voters in Bagan Pinang to boycott the by-election on Oct 11.

The by-election would see a straight fight between the BN's Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, who is also former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar, and Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, the Negeri Sembilan PAS commissioner.

Uthayakumar said HRP and Hindraf would never back the Umno-dominated BN but felt obliged to call on Indians not to vote for Pakatan as well.

"We want to send a message to both blocks that they cannot take Indian voters for granted - wooing therm during elections but abandoning them after that.

"We will explain our stand to the Indian voters in Bagan Pinang. It's up to them to accept or reject our arguments," he added.

Isa Samad: Phoenix rising from the ashes?

Only Umno can lose Bagan Pinang, they say. In other words, the party can only be beaten by itself - by intrigue, infighting, internal sabotage. But not by the opposition.

Malaysian Mirror

Old politicians never die, they just fade away. Nope, this won’t apply for Isa Abdul Samad, the man chosen by Umno to represent it in a crucial by-election despite a glaring corruption and vote-buying record.

A phoenix rising from the ashes.Yup, this is could be more appropriate. Not only is the 60-year former Negeri Sembilan mentri besar poised to snap his party’s losing streak, many believe he is en-route to his old post – the chief ministership of the state of nine.

bagan-pinang-umno.pngNo wonder, there has been so much bickering over his selection.

Not only does it pave the way for him to rebuild his power-base at the party, as part of zero-sum game, it would require someone else to be displaced.

And that would have to be his successor Mohamad Hasan, the current mentri besar.

But the wily Isa has been careful not to get dragged into the speculation, neatly sidestepping the issue of the No. 1 post in the state.

“I only want to serve my kampung people. I have been in politic for more than 20 years and this is the first time that I will be contesting in my own place. I believe they choose me as their leader,” Isa told the press on Saturday.

Ambitious still

Yet his words and his confidence in himself belie his ambition.

“I believe that I can win because I have the experience. I know Negeri Sembilan and I believe that I can help in solve the problems being faced by the people,” he said.

For someone who was mentri besar for 22 years from April 1982 to March 2004, it won’t be easy to stay content minding a constituency of just 13,664 voters.

Indeed, his caliber as a politician well-versed with national issues has started to show as campaigning for the state seat kicks off in earnest.

“I will use both defensive and offensive strategies,” said Isa.

“Although the opposition is always saying there is no problem at their side of the fence, everyone knows it is not that rosy there. Just look at all the states that are under their governance, and you will understand why I say this.

“They have many unsettled issues among themselves. They are also unable to deliver their promises that they made during the general election. I hope the people will not be lulled by those who do not practice what they preach.”

isa1.jpgOnly Umno lose Bagan Pinang

Balloting won’t take place until next Sunday Oct 11 and his rival from PAS Zulkefly Omar could well spring a giant-beating feat.

But it is not expected by pundits.

Only Umno can lose Bagan Pinang, they say. In other words, the party can only be beaten by itself - by intrigue, infighting, internal sabotage. But not by the opposition.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Hasan has rubbished the talk, pledging his full support for the diminutive Isa. But already the rumour mills are running on over-time.

The latest scandal is a letter bearing the official letterhead of Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan. Circulated widely and in cyberspace as well, the bombshell it contained was that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, the head of Umno, had wanted Isa to be picked.

As such, the nominees recommended by Mohamad Hasan’s committee were binned - an omen of what's to come. Tengku Adnan has rushed to deny ever issuing such a letter but that is unlikely to stop the rumblings on the ground.

“This is a lie. It is a forgery by the opposition to try and cause disunity in Umno specifically in Bagan Pinang,” said Tengku Adnan.

Not really a local boy

The bespectacled Isa was actually born in neighbouring Malacca state. But he studied at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Bagan Pinang in Port Dickson during his early years.

After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Malaya, he worked as a teacher in Seremban from 1973 to 1978.

isa3.jpgLife changed when he decided to go into active politics. He won the Linggi state seat in 1978 and never looked back, becoming the Negeri Sembilan mentri besar in 1982.

He held this powerful post until 2004, when he contested and won the Jempol parliamentary seat. For this, he was promoted to the federal cabinet as Minister of Federal Territories.

And if his cup was not filled yet, he also won one of Umno’s coveted vice-presidencies during the September 2004 party election, scoring the highest votes.

Recycled

Then suddenly almost everything went wrong for him. The sky darkened and heavy thunder clouds followed him everywhere.

He was accused of money politics and vote-buying at the Umno election. Nine charges including offering food and monetary bribes to delegates were preferred against him.

In 2005, he was found guilty of five of these charges and sacked as vice-president. His party membership was also suspended for six years although it was later reduced to three years.

That same year, his wife Hazizah Tumin died after a long battle with cancer. They had four children Mohammed Najib, Megawati, Lelawati and Juhaida.

“Even though the opposition is saying that I am a recycled product, that doesn’t matter. It is up to the voters, the Bagan Pinang people to decide whether I am a recycled product or not,” said Isa.

PAS defends Zulkefly’s candidacy, vows to reveal Isa’s failure

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

PORT DICKSON, Oct 4 — PAS today defended its decision to field its Negri Sembilan chief Zulkefly Omar who is not from the Bagan Pinang constituency, adding that Umno’s Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad had failed as the mentri besar despite being a local boy.

“In my hands here, is one of the abandoned projects under the leadership of Isa as the mentri besar and when he was the assemblyman for Linggi,” PAS Bagan Pinang by-election director Salahuddin Ayub told reporters.

The Islamist party vice-president warned Barisan Nasional (BN) campaign machinery that the party will reveal all the weaknesses of the Isa administration if the ruling coalition continues to harp on Zulkefly’s origin.

Isa represented Linggi, situated just outside Bagan Pinang, when he was the Negri Sembilan mentri besar until 2004.

“The Pasir Panjang main road to Linggi is still under repair since Isa was the MB until today,” said Salahuddin, adding that PAS campaign will focus on the long list of abandoned government projects in across the state.

“For your information our candidate in the last by-election, Mohd Salleh Man is not a local too unlike BN’s Rohaizat Othman, but the people rejected an untrustworthy candidate,” he said referring to the Permatang Pasir by-election in Penang last August where BN fielded a disbarred lawyer.

He noted Umno has been promoting Isa as a local boy because the Malay nationalist party has been unable to defend the former federal territory minister who was found guilty of vote-buying in 2005 by the party disciplinary committee.

The decision to field Isa who was suspended from Umno for three years, was also opposed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

On the allegation by Umno supreme council member Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim that he was beaten up by PAS supporters yesterday, Salahuddin said it was a lie.

“I met him yesterday and he looked okay, let him say whatever he wants, so he can get all the publicity he wants,” said Salahuddin.

The Bagan Pinang by-election was triggered by the death of BN’s Azman Mohammad Noor on Sept 4. In March last year, Azman defeated Ramli Ismail, of PAS, by 2,333 votes.

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

This crucial by-election is expected to end PR’s winning streak in all elections in the peninsula since last year.

It will also mark the return of Isa to mainstream politics since his suspension.

Most of the 14,000 Bagan Pinang electorates will cast their votes on Oct 11, while some 4,600 postal voters will go to the polls on Oct 8.

Samy Vellu's MIED claims could benefit Pakatan in Bagan Pinang vote

By Baradan Kuppusamy The Malaysian Insider

PORT DICKSON, Oct 4 — MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu may have given Pakatan Rakyat (PR) its best weapon yet to win over the 2,800 Indian voters in Bagan Pinang who are playing kingmakers in a tight contest.

An October 3 statement by Samy Vellu that there is no connection between MIC and MIED — which was always understood to be the MIC’s education arm — has shocked the Indian community and sparked a furore, with his political rivals and others all rising to condemn Samy Vellu.

The PR campaign has seized on the issue as campaign fodder against Umno, whose candidate in Bagan Pinang Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad is facing Negri Sembilan PAS chief Zulkefly Mohamad Omar in a straight fight.

The Indian votes are important because PAS had a majority of votes in all five saluran or voting streams in the constituency that had predominantly Indian voters like in Bradwell and Atherthon estates.

Umno won in all voting streams where Malay voters are in the majority — a situation that leaves Umno to woo Indian voters, who are still smarting from alleged marginalization and discrimination, if it wants to increase its winning majority.

There is a danger that more Indian votes could flee to PAS, if PR intelligently exploits the issue, because of the furore that has been sparked by Samy Vellu’s statement that MIED is independent of MIC.

The Indian public is outraged by the statement because huge amounts of cash were raised from the Indian poor for the MIC’s education efforts.

In addition the government gave millions of ringgit in cash for the building and management of the educational institutions that all came under the MIED umbrella.

Indian voters are somewhat taken up with the actions of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak since he became Prime Minister in April and the promises he has made to right the wrongs in good time.

But these warming up to Najib is at risk as realisation sets in that the Indian public has been, in the words of a former MIC vice-president, “taken for a ride” over the MIED matter.

The October 2 report which made the front pages of the Tamil newspapers quoted Samy Vellu as saying there were no links between MIED and AIMST University.

The report quoted Samy Vellu as saying: “Both — MIED and AIMST — are NGOs set up by me in my personal capacity when the (Tun Dr Mohamad) Mahathir government excluded the Indian community from the mainstream and MIC could not do anything about this.”

Just because I happened to be MIC president, it does not mean MIED and AIMST belong to MIC,” said Samy Vellu.

Samy Vellu said he would spend “all his time” with the NGOs including MIED and AIMST after he steps down as MIC president “before his term ends in 2012.”

The report said that he was expected to bring all the NGOs headed by him into a foundation headed by a board of trustees of prominent and international non-politicians including representatives among non-Indians.

Samy Vellu's chief rival Datuk S Subramaniam however accused him of telling lies by claiming there was no link between MIC and MIED, which is said to be worth RM1 billion.

“I am shocked at this blatant lie,” he said when contacted today. “He cannot bury the truth just like that. Don’t cheat the Indian community.”

“AIMST, MIED and MIC are all intractably linked,” Subramaniam said. “The MIC and Indian community are worried.”

MIED was started in 1989 and the first funds were raised with MIC members by selling lottery tickets.

The MIED report was always tabled at the MIC CWC meetings since 1980, said a MIC CWC member who declined to be named.

He added that MIED was always introduced as the “education arm” of the MIC.

MIC members were mobilised to support MIED, he said, adding that Samy Vellu negotiated with the government to get cash aid and land at premium by arguing MIED was part of MIC.

“For him to say the two are not related is a blatant lie,” he said.

Samy Vellu’s son Vel Paari has written in the Tamil Nesan today that MIED is separate from MIC because MIC is not allowed to own business entities.

“It is the same with other political parties,” he said accusing Subramaniam of making an issue out of something that was “clearly different” and not connected.

Subramaniam is expected to come out in the open fighting over the issue that is so emotive that Indian voters in Bagan Pinang, where Samy Vellu is campaigning, may be enraged.

Now that his feud with Umno over his retirement plans are well known, MIC leaders are wondering whether it is an accident that Samy Vellu has raised such an emotive issue just days before the by-election.

3/9/09- Pournami Pooja, P.Uthayakumar meets supporters & spoke about Kota Raja Parliment

3rd Oct, 2009. Pourmani Pooja at Sri Subramaniar Temple, Pandamar Indah, Padamaran, Klang. P.Uthayakumar meets HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi supporter and spoke that the the struggle of minority rights continues and how to create Kota Raja as Indian Majority seat, so that we have political power to voice our rights as Malaysian. There was Q&A in regards of lattest issue and P.Uthayakumar explain all the issue brought and the supporter understand and they gave thier full commitment to build Kota Raja as Indian Majority seat.

Valga HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi

Valga HRP Manitha Urimai

S.JAYATHAS

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Grassroots – The other definition, the destructive definition

by Augustine Anthony

This is awful!

And I mean awful by the decision of UMNO and Barisan Nasional in fielding Isa Samad (Tan Sri) as the candidate for the Bagan Pinang constituency by-election. I will say no more about the Barisan Nasional candidate or the Bagan Pinang by election but let us explore election time in Malaysia in general.

During election time, it is common to see and hear voters being promised with all kinds of frills in the coming days before polling. It will be the same re-run of the past election campaigns with no thrills of a nation building agenda. For too long, too many politicians from the ruling coalition have engaged Malaysians in this primitive barter trade shamelessly. “You give me the votes and I will give you the roads, boats, goats, dough in loads etc. etc. etc.” This scheming scheme had even turned some opposition politicians into tricky toads.

And the usual ceramahs with a generous dose of hate message. One will be disappointed if the expectation is that the speakers will engage in topics of nation building issues like creating new leaders out of the younger generation, eradication of corruption, improving the system of governance, encouraging better race relations, a promise of better education for our children, assurance of more job opportunity for voters that brings security for families, dedication in fighting escalating crimes, etc.

Election period is all about throwing moldy breads and greasy butter and the expectation that people will always run unabashedly and scramble for it like hungry Tilapias in polluted ponds. The previous by elections are proof that the people are biting less and less of these barter baits. However for politicians who are bankrupt of nation building ideas, brute strength and primitive patronage lyrics of a bygone feudal system are the only songs left in their iPods.

The usual excuse for fielding these old (but more importantly) political personalities of questionable character as opposed to the more deserving younger candidates is always punctuated with a creepy catchword that the so called candidates with questionable reputation still enjoy grassroots support.
So let us try to understand what grassroots support means in this context.

Let us look at grass, its roots and how to create grassroots.

First one must identify a plot of land. Then remove any shade giving trees by cutting them down. Then plant the grass. And why would someone plant grass in a given area. The answer is simple, for the grass satisfies the needs of the one who plants it and makes him its master. He can trim it the way he likes it (unlike towering shade giving tress), walk on it, step on, roll on it, run on it, play on it, jump on it, stomp on it, use it and even abuse it. The grass will always be there for the master to do whatever the master wants to do to with it. These are the simple reasons as to why he keeps a lawn. It becomes the home turf of the master to do whatever he wants with it.

But there are always conditions for the master to enjoy and even abuse the grass.

The grass is forever dependant on the master’s handy work. The master must cut the grass to keep it neat, water it from time to time and ensure a seasonal fertilization to keep it healthy. But above all, the master must ensure that if there is a single plant in the lawn that is likely to grow up as a tree, that plant must be immediately destroyed otherwise the potential shade giving tree might ‘kill’ all the grass around it.

The grass serves no useful purpose to any others except its master. It is not like a big tree that provides shade and home for nestling birds that are hardworking, fruits for hungry animals which risk searching for it, create a healthy fauna and flora around it and even sometimes acting as protector for weak animals by allowing them to grip its bosom thus protecting them against the advancing stronger animals.

The grass has its constant needs and is ever dependent on its master unlike a towering tree which only needs some care in its early growing stage but after sometime it grows independently without the need for a constant care and the tree eventually goes on to create a healthy ecosystem around it.

And what if the master fails to trim, water and fertilize the grass? Rest assured that the lawn and its surroundings can turn wild and dangerous even for its own master.

The lawn full of grassroots that is ‘not cared for’ will see thorns and thistles. If the master walks on it, he may suffer the needles chill. Slowly the lawn that the master had once stepped on with ease will now give way to lalang. And lalang is a very dangerous type of grass variety. The lalang itself is sharp edged and it can literally injure the master in masterful ways. And if it is not injuring the master, it can be dangerous in other ways. It can sway according to the direction of the wind; cause a wild fire that can turn the landscape ugly. You can burn it but it will quickly grow back. A lalang dominated lawn can invite poisonous snakes that are a safety hazard for everyone including the master.

This far, I had metaphorically described the other definition of grassroots and how dangerous it is for this nation and its nation building agenda. It dries up our national coffers. It strips mother earth, bare and bleeding, her tears turn to bloody polluted rivers. And she is raging and all those depending on her will one day run to a standstill if urgent efforts are not taken to arrest this occurrence.

A grassroots concept by this definition is a society that is forever dependent on politicians whose crumbs sprinkling sleight of hand is an old trick that still blinds a sizeable voting population. These politicians behave like feudal lords; they refuse to nurture a younger generation of leaders and cannot be dislodged because of their vast material wealth though suffering from intellectual bankruptcy.

These politicians do not seemed to have it in their apprehension that we are living in critical times in which this country is in a fierce urgency to push for a highly competitive nation to withstand the threats of a global economic onslaught that advances to our shores in waves of different shape, size and strength.

For sure many Malaysians who are now politically astute are no longer doing their experiments in political laboratories to produce the best solution for the current Malaysian malady. They had made up their minds of whether to be part of a grassroots system that is ever dependent on its masters or to be associated with leaders who bring promises of “tree” planting mission that will certainly create a healthy flora, fauna and a wonderful ecosystem around it that is long lasting.

Be it democracy tree, democracy under the tree, democracy in tree or tree democracy; let us see more “trees” than grass and grassroots support by the above definition.

(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – “A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a political movement) is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it is natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures. Often, grassroots movements are at the local level, as many volunteers in the community give their time to support the local party, which can lead to helping the national party. For instance, a grassroots movement can lead to significant voter registration for a political party, which in turn helps the state and national parties.”)

The big BN gamble

Image Malaysian Mirror
By Kenny Gan

KUALA LUMPUR - Why would a person gamble? Putting aside those who gamble for the thrill of it, to gain something the fast and easy way without having to work hard for it is one answer.

The act of gambling means there is a chance of something to gain the easy way and something to lose as the outcome is beyond one’s direct control. But it need not be left entirely to lady luck as an appraisal of the odds will determine if one is a wise gambler or a foolish one.

What does gambling have to do with BN? Well, this how many describe BN’s or specifically Umno’s bid to put Anwar Ibrahim behind bars for a second time on another charge of sodomy. And pehaps, it is the most concise description.

casino.pngTo some, it is a high-stakes gamble because they could neutralize Pakatan Rakyat without having to carry out any painful reforms at all, which could well lose them their throne.

But how do the odds stack up? Has Umno gambled wisely or foolishly? Let’s examine.

Will PR break up without Anwar

Naturally, Umno hopes that by removing Anwar from the political scene, PR will break apart without him to provide the glue to hold the parties together.

Anwar continues to play an important diplomatic role between the parties. His ability to get the partners to sit down together to thrash out sticky problems and come out with a joint consensus is legendary. It may have saved PR when Umno was aggressively courting PAS over unity talks.

But would PR break up without Anwar? In the early days, may be. But as time passes, PR has shown remarkable resilience in staying together.

No doubt PR was formed with Anwar’s political skills, but it has now grown beyond one man’s personality and may no longer require his personal involvement either.

With each crisis that it overcomes, the coalition has become stronger. It may have now passed the critical newborn stage where survival depended on a nurturing mother.

For example, the PAS-DAP crisis in Kedah over the demolition of a pig abattoir was resolved by DAP national leaders talking directly to PAS Kedah leaders without Anwar having to intercede.

Selangor’s Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim has proved himself capable of being able to contain and diffuse numerous controversies involving PAS-DAP without Anwar having to step in.

Giving the enemy a lift to Putrajaya

Yet what may seem like a blatant injustice to Anwar supporters may well be just what the PR component parties need to rally around and further forget their differences. It is actually a good stand for them to unite behind and to reinforce their common distaste for the BN.

Therefore, Umno should tread carefully. When an action intended to weaken the opposition turns out that it may actually strengthen them instead, it is certainly time to pause and reconnoiter.

There is also another reason why a PR without Anwar may be even more united and willing to commit to each other.

With Anwar’s incarceration the Moghul splendor of Putrajaya – a distant dot a year ago – suddenly begins to appear tantalizingly near.

Because sending Anwar to jail on what most Malaysians perceive to be trumped-up sodomy charges will galvanize public opinion against BN.

This happened in 1998. In the 1999 election, Umno’s share of the Malay vote fell to 49%, a drop of 6% from the previous election and it was only the non-Malays who saved the BN then.

The BN’s share of the Malay vote is now a tenuous 55% and a drawn-out Anwar trial will push it below 50%.

anwar-saiful-2.gifThis will be calamitous for BN as given the present state of non-Malay political inclination, it risks being wiped out in the peninsula. Even Sabah and Sarawak may not be enough to help them stay in federal power.

For PR, the Anwar sympathy factor is truly a poignant booster that can help it overcome its current inability to win more of the rural Malay vote.

If ever there is a case of getting help from the enemy this is it!

Convince the public, not the judge

Of course, BN will not suffer a public backlash if it can present an ironclad case against Anwar and convince the public that no injustice was committed.

But let’s call a spade a spade. How many Malaysians really believe that the current sodomy charge against Anwar is a sincere attempt to get justice for alleged victim Saiful Bukhari Azlan? Very few and these would mostly be the hard-core BN supporters.

The charge of consensual sodomy itself smacks of selective prosecution as nobody else has been so charged, despite Malaysia having its fair share of homosexuals.

In any case, both independent medical reports - one from a private hospital and one from a government hospital - have confirmed that Saiful’s back orifice was not penetrated.

So the prosecutors’ biggest task will not be to convince the judge, but to convince a doubting Malaysian public.

Sadly, this is like the MACC trying to convince the country that it treats BN and PR politicians alike and equally.

If Anwar is convicted without an ironclad case, no amount of spinning in the mainstream media will persuade the public that he received a fair trial.

It did not work in 1998 when Mahathir had much tighter control of the press and the online world was still at its infancy. And it will not work now.

Foolishness or arrogance

It is an age-old adage that one should never gamble what one cannot afford to lose - no matter what the odds.

If the odds are stacked against you, then to do so is the height of foolishness. And this is the trap the Umno-BN may unwittingly be falling into by jailing Anwar - gambling its political power away because the odds are highly unfavorable and against it.

To others, it is not so much about the BN taking a foolish risk but an arrogant one. Only a party with 52 years of unbroken rule can believe it can do as it likes. Or try to ride roughshod over public opinion without fearing for its political survival at the next poll.

A desperate person may gamble if there is no other way but BN is not in that position. Therefore the BN should not feel compelled to act as if it is indeed desperate.

There are many other ways of staying in power. Malaysians would gladly re-elect them as long as they undertake reform. But it looks as if the hard work and commitment required to walk this road is beyond the Umno-BN. Instead, they prefer to take a gamble – the easy, short-cut way.

Truly, the BN should think again. Why not practice good governance and accountability? Why not stop abusing the institutions and clamp down on corruption? Why not reform discriminatory racial policies?

Won’t that take the wind out of the opposition’s sails? Is that a surer way to defend Putrajaya?

Positive Feedback From Indians On Several Government Initiatives

PORT DICKSON, Oct 4 (Bernama) -- The Indian community has responded positively to the many initiatives announced by the government for them, especially through the Cabinet Committee on Indian Affairs, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said on Sunday.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who chaired the committee's meeting last Sept 28, had promised to ensure the MIC's recommendations were studied and implemented where possible.

"It is not merely proposals but practical measures that would be met by the government, and the prime minister was very receptive to (these measures)," he told reporters at the MIC Operations Centre here.

He said the measures were carefully drafted by a team of MIC leaders and experts in the economic, educational and social fields led by MIC vice-president and Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam.

"Many of the recommendations made by the MIC in previous meetings of the cabinet committee have been implemented," he said.

Samy Vellu said among the recent recommendations made by the party was to ensure adequate government funding for Tamil schools irrespective of whether they were partially-aided or fully-aided schools.

Other recommendations include speeding up recruitment in the civil service and government-linked companies, opening up more opportunities for Indian businessmen and contractors, and increasing opportunities for Indians to do matriculation courses.

He said the MIC would follow-up on the recommendations to ensure their implementations by the various departments and agencies.

On the Oct 11 Bagan Pinang by-election, Samy Vellu said the MIC machinery was in full swing and had started a door-to-door campaign.

He said the Youth, Wanita, Puteri dan Putera wings of the MIC had also launched their campaigns by targeting their respective groups.

"We will hold a Deepavali open house on Oct 8 and we invite all Bagan Pinang people to attend in the spirit of 1Malaysia," he added.

It's Umno vs PAS in Bagan Pinang

Penamaan Calon

Reject racist leaders, says Ku Li - Malaysiakini

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah says only the people have the power to end racial politics in the country by rejecting leaders who harp on racial sentiment for their own political survival.

The veteran Umno leader added that Malaysian politics is deeply rooted in the ethnic policy started by the British to divide and rule and was continued by the three major racial parties of Umno, MCA and MIC after Malaya had achieved its independence from the British.

"Racial politics started when we formed the alliance of segregated parties of Umno, MCA and MIC."

He said that the mindset of Malaysians is still based on racial lines although superficially lip-service is given to unity of the various races to think as Malaysians.

tengku razaleigh ku li interview 190309 04"As such politicians are too afraid to be seen as compromising on racial issues as they fear the whiplash from their community will end their political carriers," said Razaleigh (right).

Malaysia is politically only 52 years old and the March 8 general elections last year has changed the political thinking of voters which should continue if the concept of Malaysian Malaysia is to be realised, he argued.

It took United States nearly 200 years to evolve from their racist stand of colour discrimination into the democracy that they are preaching to the world now, he pointed out.

Razaleigh was answering questions from the floor after giving a talk entitled 'Malaysia: The challenge of the Present' organised by the Perak Academy at a hotel in Ipoh last night.

Why 1Malaysia?

Answering a question as to why the government is harping on unity 1Malaysia concept when the vernacular schools are still present in the country which contradicts the unity call.

"This is considered a very sensitive question among Malaysians and as such politicians are hesitating to call for an end to such schools but if the public's will supports such a call than the unity call can materialise," he said.

NONETo another question as to why Malaysia is lagging behind in development status when Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea have achieved this mission.

"Corruption and wastage of funds are the main reasons why Malaysia is lagging behind the other countries.

"Our development will backfire unless the government arrests this growing menace," he replied.

He was also asked why there was still racial parties in the country which is a drawback for uniting all Malaysians and why Umno cannot be renamed United Malaysian National Organisation to unite all the races under one political banner.

Razaleigh replied that "racial politics started even when we campaigned for independence when the three mains races of Malays, Chinese and Indians chose to form their own race parties of Umno, MCA and MIC."

"Although an Umno political leader Onn Jaffar tried to form a multi-racial party of the three races, it backfired because the people were not ready yet and it will take more time to materialise this dream as the mindsets of Malaysians have to be changed for the better," he said.

'May win the battle but lose the war'

"Even DAP and PAS are not multiracial parties although they claim they are, as only a few Malays, Indians and Chinese are sprinkled among the two parties. DAP is Chinese while PAS is Malay based."

NONEWhen asked about his political carrier, he said he will continue to remain in Umno and fight for the changes in within a Malaysian outlook.

To a question whether certain articles in the Federal Constitution can be changed to meet the modern needs, he said, "It can be done if the majority of the people wish for but such demand for changes will start backfiring and a trend will be set when all will start to ask for changes according to their whims and fancies."

"When the Federal Constitution was being prepared, all parties were asked to suggest their recommendations but PAS refused to participate and now they demand that the Federal Constitution being amended to reflect an Islamic state," he pointed out.

bagan pinang by-election nomination 031009 sea of flagsLater, after the function had ended, Razaleigh asked about the nomination of Mohd Isa Samad as the BN candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election in Negeri Sembilan.

"They (BN) may win the battle (in Bagan Pinang) but they will lose the war (during the 13th general election) later on," he replied.

"People now are very concerned about the moral values of leaders today and the long-term interest of the country is more important than anything else.

"However, Umno is not prepared to change for the better and eliminate the corrupted and tainted members," he said.

Racist books distributed in Bagan Pinang

The two books found on the windscreen of a car. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

PORT DICKSON, Oct 3 — Even before the beginning of the official campaign period for the Bagan Pinang by-election, the Pakatan Rakyat received the first blow when books containing various allegations against the coalition's leaders were distributed in the constituency.

The two books were found placed on the windscreen of every car parked along the road in Batu 7 near here, and it is still unclear who was responsible for the distribution.


One book, entitled “Wajah Sebenar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim: Nasib Orang Melayu Selangor” (The Real Face of Tan Sri Ibrahim: The Plight of the Selangor Malays), accused the Selangor mentri besar of sidelining the Malay community in the state.

“They wanted People Supremacy so much after they were fooled by Pakatan Rakyat, and were willing to risk the future of their children,” reads the opening chapter of the 49-page book.

“After ruling the state for 16 months, Pakatan Rakyat led by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has done a lot of things that have disadvantaged the Malays and Islam,” it adds citing, among other things, Selangor's proposal to hold elections for local councils.

“If this happens almost all local councils will be controlled by the Chinese because they live in towns while the Malays live in villages,” said the book.

It accused Khalid of appointing members of the Chinese community to key positions in the local councils.

The book, which does not carry the name of the author or the publisher, also alleged that PAS has become a puppet to the Chinese in DAP and PKR.

It also published personal pictures of Selangor executive councillor Elizabeth Wong that have been widely distributed via the Internet earlier this year.

Another book, also published and written by unknown parties, questioned opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's commitment to the Malay community.

Titled “50 Kemusykilan Tentang Manusia Bernama Anwar Ibrahim” (50 Questions on The Man Called Anwar Ibrahim), it is believed to be inspired by another book, “50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Become the Prime Minister”, published 12 years ago and which subsequently caused his downfall from the government.

This latest book accused Anwar of being unhappy with the success of the Malays.

“Anwar accused the NEP as unfair for sidelining the Chinese and the Indians, which means he is not happy to see the Malays becoming as successful as the Chinese,” said the book.

Bagan Pinang campaign begins today

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

PORT DICKSON, Oct 3 — Campaign for the Bagan Pinang by-election begins today with Umno’s strongman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad facing Negri Sembilan PAS chief Zulkefly Omar in a straight fight.

Returning officer Abdul Wahab Samsuddin announced the acceptance of their nominations at 11.20am, saying that the Election Commission received only two objections and both were rejected.

Former PKR member Shahruddin Abdul Wahab, who had announced his intention to stand, failed to submit his papers as his proposer is not a voter in the Bagan Pinang state constituency.

PAS is expected to manipulate Isa's tainted past and the fact that the former Negri Sembilan mentri besar's candidacy was also opposed by Umno veteran Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“The basis of a clean government is a clean candidate,” said PAS's Datuk Husam Musa, adding that he does not see bringing up Isa's past as a personal attack.

“If it is related to governance, the public has the right to know,” added the Kelantan state executive councillor.

Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told the press the party will handle all issues raised by the federal opposition including on corruption.

He reiterated his stand that Isa is the best candidate who understands local issues.

“I am not a recycled candidate, I only did not contest in 2008; the PKR leader did not contest for six years, so who was recycled,” said Isa, referring to opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was imprisoned for six years.

“I'm here only to serve the people,” he added when asked if he will seek to be reappointed as mentri besar if he wins.

Zulkefly, who had contested and lost three times before, also defended his candidacy just minutes after it was confirmed.

“I was born and raised in Negri Sembilan,” he told reporters when asked about his chances as he is a registered voter in the Lenggeng state constituency.

BN and PAS supporters outside the Bagan Pinang nomination centre in Jalan Pantai, Port Dickson. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Earlier, supporters of both parties started gathering as early as 7am at their respective meeting points just outside Port Dickson to march to the nomination centre at the municipal council building.

Police too started blocking the road leading to the nomination centre and traffic along the major federal road connecting this coastal town to Malacca was reduced to a crawl.

The thousands of supporters who were marching to the nomination were then greeted by heavy rain just before the nomination began at 9am.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim arrived with Zulkefly at about 8.30am amid heavy rain.

While Isa arrived just a little before 9am accompanied by BN election chief Muhyiddin, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and BN component party leaders Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

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

In March last year, Azman defeated Ramli Ismail, of PAS, by 2,333 votes.

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

This crucial by-election is expected to end PR's winning streak in all elections in the peninsula since last year.

It will also mark the return of Isa to mainstream politics since his suspension from Umno in 2005 after he was found guilty of vote buying by the party's disciplinary committee.

Most of the 14,000 Bagan Pinang electorates will cast their votes on Oct 11, while some 4,600 postal voters will go to the polls on Oct 8.

Uthayakumar claims proof Hishammuddin lied

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

Hishammuddin claimed that Waythamoorthy had surrendered his passport to the Malaysian High Commission.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — Human Rights Party leader P. Uthayakumar claims he has proof that Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had blatantly lied about the status of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) founder P. Waythamoorthy’s passport.

Uthayakumar, who is the elder brother of the self-exiled Hindraf leader, claimed to have a copy of a letter sent by the UK Border Agency indicating that Waythamoorthy’s passport had been confiscated by the British government following instructions from the Malaysian authorities.

Hishammuddin had said in a press conference on Sept 30 that Waythamoorthy had “surrendered his passport” to the Malaysian High Commission and refuted claims that the government was victimising the Hindraf leader by revoking his travel documents.

The letter, allegedly documented evidence of correspondence with the British immigration authorities dated Sept 23, stated that the Malaysian government had sent a letter dated March 14, 2008 to its High Commission instructing the confiscation of Waythamoorthy’s passport.

“The passport was cancelled as the Malaysian authorities were seeking your client’s (Waythamoorthy’s) arrest to face criminal charges,” the letter stated further.

No information was given as to which ministry or department had instructed the confiscation.

Copies of the letter were distributed to the media during a press conference held at the party’s office here today.

“The letter contradicts the statement made by the minister. He and Umno are liars and they have been doing that to the people for 52 years now,” said Uthayakumar.

Hindraf lawyer, N. Surendran, who was also present at the press conference, said the letter was of grave seriousness.

“This is a serious incident between the two countries if the government was really telling the truth about Waythamoorthy’s passport.”

“Why would the British government confiscate his passport without any reason? I don’t believe they would go as far as lying about this,” he added.

Najib dismisses Dr M protests over Isa candidacy

Service level is most important, claims Najib (right) — Picture by Jack Ooi

PEKAN, Oct 3 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said voters in Bagan Pinang should choose wisely and pick the candidate who would be best able to serve them.

He said the by-election for the state seat on Oct 11 was not one that could alter the government but was only to choose an elected representative to serve them.

“As expected, it is a straight fight (in Bagan Pinang). As such, we urge voters to evaluate wisely as to who among the candidates can best serve them.

“In a by-election, what is important is the service an elected representative can render. He should be able to resolve the problems voters face, this is the yardstick. Like in Bagan Pinang,” he told reporters after presenting aid to 161 people from the Pekan parliamentary constituency who will be performing the Haj, here today. Najib is also the MP for Pekan.

The Bagan Pinang by-election will see a straight fight between the Barisan Nasional’s Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, who is also former Negeri Sembilan mentri besar, and Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, the Negeri Sembilan PAS commissioner.

Asked about comments by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Isa should not have been picked as the BN’s candidate in the by-election, Najib: “I do not think the matter arises any longer, we must look forward. What is important is the service the assemblyman can offer the constituents.”

On untoward incidents that happened during the nomination process today including an incident which involved Putera Umno chief Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahimm who claimed to have been punched by a supporter of the opposition, Najib said such incidents would not happen if everyone showed respect for the law.

“If he was punched, I hope he makes a police report. We should not be doing anything that is against the law and this includes roughing up someone.

“We should also be showing good examples, showing respect to the democratic process is one of them.” said Najib. — Bernama

Proof of Mr.Waytha's travel document

passport1.jpg

passport 2.jpg

UMNO Cow Head- 1/4 Million hits, HINDRAF candle light vigil

Protesting UMNO Cow Head candle light vigil by HINDRAF/HRP, hits 1/4 Milion hits. Highest ever and most popular in Malaysiakini and within 28 days. Proof of people hatred of UMNO’s atrocities against the Indians/Hindus.

1/4 Million Hits- http://www.malaysiakini.tv/video/17731/16-arrested-at-candlelight-march-in-kl.html

S.JAYATHAS

Valga HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi

Valga HRP

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05b76d8d0a794a8f71335d7e03e2f549shah-alam2

6e697196918947a7813270c7400b36c52kanth-576

kanth-567kanth-562

Proof of lies, claims Waytha's lawyer

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new-scan-20091003154622-000012

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Bagan Pinang nomination day and the Kelab Penyokong BN

By Haris Ibrahim,

Ee Chia, Arul and I got into Bagan Pinang late last night. Zorro, Gus and the others had gotten in earlier.

This morning, we were to assemble at the meeting point at 8am.

Traffic on the road, however, was horrendous, so we parked and joined the others to walk some 5km in the rain to the nomination centre.

The state of the traffic en route to the nomination centre

The state of the traffic en route to the nomination centre

Some of the many who legged it to the nomination centre

Some of the many who legged it to the nomination centre

We got to the vicinity of the nomination centre a little before 9.20am and found that it was going to be impossible to get anywhere close to the centre as the BN supporters had taken up position close to it

BN supporters up on a hillslope taunting the Pakatan supporters below

BN supporters up on a hillslope taunting the Pakatan supporters below

BN supporters closer to the ground level where the Pakatan supporters were

BN supporters closer to the ground level where the Pakatan supporters were

and police appeared to have created a buffer zone between the BN supporters and the Pakatan supporters

FRU facing off the Pakatan supporters. Behind them was the buffer zone and then the BN supporters

FRU facing off the Pakatan supporters. Behind them was the buffer zone and then the BN supporters

and were not allowing anyone other than the politicians through the buffer zone to get to the centre.

The Pakatan supporters just below the hillslope where the BN supporters were

The Pakatan supporters just below the hillslope where the BN supporters were

Just before 10am, BN supporters up on the hillslope started to pelt the Pakatan supporters below with mineral water bottles. Police reacted to issue warnings to the BN supporters.

The Pakatan supporters, in turn responded with a chorus of ‘Altantuya! Altantuya! Altantuya’, ‘Isa rasuah’ and ‘Hancur BN’.

I had difficulty estimating the crowd size of both the BN and Pakatan contingent of supporters.

Sunny reckons that Pakatan supporters numbered in excess of 35,000 whilst the BN supporters numbered around 15,000.

I think the numbers were much smaller.

I’d put it at 15,000, at best, for Pakatan, and around 5,000 for BN.

Kelab Penyokong PAS (KPP) members were there in large numbers, both from within the newly formed Bagan Pinang branch and elsewhere.

Was told they came from all over the country

Was told they came from all over the country

Siva, extreme right, told me that the kelab in Bagan Pinang had just been formed but membership was slowly growing. He couldn't give me numbers, though

Siva, extreme right, told me that the kelab in Bagan Pinang had just been formed but membership was slowly growing. He couldn't give me numbers, though

At about 10.30am, members of the Kelab Penyokong BN (KPBN), replete with T-shirts and a flags, attempted to march in the direction of the nomination centre, but through the end where the Pakatan supporters were.

kpbnkpbn flag

The Pakatan supporters weren’t about to put up with this and blocked their passage.

The KPBN boys finally backed off.

Which brings me to the point that Arul made last night.

One can understand the sense of the KPP, given that membership of the party is presently only open to Muslims, so that setting up a club for non-Muslims to support PAS was a stroke of genius.

But a club for BN supporters?

I mean, if you support BN, just join one of the component parties, no?

Wonder whose no-brainer this was?

After the KPBN fellas gave up, some Puteri UMNO members made their way through the Pakatan side.

Pakatan supporters let them through, but not without first dangling rinngit notes before them in an obvious reference to vote-buying.

Go, on take the money

Go, on take the money

Ambillah. Jangan malu

Ambillah. Jangan malu

Just before 11am, there was a bit of a commotion as police stopped a group of KPP boys from playing their musical instruments, gendang and all.

KPP boys banging away at drums and all. They were asked by the cops to stop. They did, but resumed a little further away

KPP boys banging away at drums and all. They were asked by the cops to stop. They did, but resumed a little further away

Cop explaining to the KPP boys why they could not play the gendang and all. The crowd responded with expletives that I cannot reproduce here

Cop explaining to the KPP boys why they could not play the gendang and all. The crowd responded with expletives that I cannot reproduce here

Later, PAS supporters and the KPP boys got together for a group photographs.

pasnkpppasnkpp1

11.30am, and we were going to head out. Dreaded the thought of having to walk another 5km.

Alan came along and saved the day with the offer of a lift.

Am back in KL for the FreedomFilmFest 2009.

Will be back in Bagan Pinang over the next couple of days.

Posted by Haris Ibrahim