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Monday, October 5, 2009

PM: Isa's offence a technical matter - Malaysiakini

Defending Barisan Nasional's decision to field Isa Samad for the Bagan Pinang state by-election, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said the former has already paid his dues.

isa samad bagan pinang 290909 02Isa, a former menteri besar of Negeri Sembilan, was suspended from Umno in 2004 after being found guilty of practicing money politics.

Speaking to students in Paris, Najib said: "The question here is whether he deserved a second chance or not."

"In our system, even a criminal gets a second chance and can contest the post after serving his or her punishment."

"This (Isa's offence) is only a technical matter in the party and he has already paid for his deeds," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Furthermore, he added that Isa was only contesting a state assembly seat and not a minister or menteri besar's seat.

Popular among locals

Najib, who is also Umno president, explained that the party chose Isa to contest in the Oct 11 by-election because he is popular among the locals and is capable of winning.

He said the veteran politician had remained faithful to the party and served the people well, despite being punished.

NONEThe premier, who is currently on a four-day official visit to France, explained that Isa's offence was only a technical matter within the party and did not involve the judiciary of the country.

The Bagan Pinang seat fell vacant after the death of Umno incumbent Azman Mohammad Noor on Sept 4.

The contest would see a straight fight between Isa, 59, and Negeri Sembilan PAS commissioner Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, 45.

Previously, Umno veterans like former president Dr Mahathir Mohamad and ex-vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah opposed the idea of fielding Isa on the grounds that he was a 'tainted' leader.

Government has no plans to sell PLUS

By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — The government has no plans to sell PLUS Expressways, the nation’s largest toll concession.

Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, said today the government has no plans to sell tolled roads.

He, however, declined to confirm or deny news reports that a private company, Asas Serba, was scheduled to brief the prime minister on a RM50 billion takeover of PLUS and other toll highways and also declined to confirm or deny whether the government had received a proposal.

"The government has no plans to sell the tolled roads. If anyone has plans to buy, good luck, but we have no plans to sell," he told reporters at a press conference at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum. "Even if we've received a proposal or not, it is academic as we have no plans to sell."

PLUS is controlled by the government via its investment arm Khazanah, through its wholly-owned United Engineers Malaysia which in turn has a 64 per cent stake in the highway concessionaire.

It was reported in August that a proposal was submitted by a group of businessmen to take over PLUS but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak denied a potential sale in the same month, citing the importance of the over RM1 billion in profit that the expressway generates each year.

But a news report emerged last week that a company, Asas Serba, had been cleared to meet the prime minister to discuss a proposed takeover of the nation's 22 toll expressways which would provide the government with cash and result in lower toll charges of up to 20 per cent.

Defending Isa, Najib says even a criminal deserves a second chance

PARIS, Oct 5 — Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad, who has served the punishment that was meted out by Umno, was chosen as Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election because he is capable of winning and very popular among the people, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The Prime Minister, who is also Umno president, told a group of students in France that candidates for by-elections were chosen based on their ability to serve the people effectively and whether they were liked by the people.

Najib said former Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Isa, who was found guilty of breaching party rules, was punished for his offence while he also lost the mentri besar's post and Umno vice-president's post.

However, Isa had remained faithful, served the people and party well throughout that period and that his offence was only a technical matter within the party and did not involve the judiciary, he said.

"The question here is whether he deserves a second chance or not. In our system, even a criminal gets a second chance and can contest the post after serving his or her punishment.

"This (Isa's offence) is only a technical matter in the party and he has already paid for his deeds," said Najib when asked by a student on the decision to pick Isa for the Bagan Pinang by-election.

Najib added that Isa was only contesting a state assembly seat and not a ministerial or menteri besar's seat.

The Bagan Pinang seat, which fell vacant after the death of incumbent Azman Mohammad Noor on Sept 4, will see a straight fight between Isa, 59, and Negri Sembilan PAS commissioner Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, 45. Polling has been fixed for Oct 11.

‘In Isa we trust’

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

PORT DICKSON, Oct 5 — Even though he voted DAP’s Tan Kok Wai in the last general election, he would back Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad if he has the chance to vote in Bagan Pinang.

“I am from Lukut so I am more familiar with Isa, I don’t know about other people,” said a Chinese shopkeeper as he arranged cans of what appears to be China-made, “fake” European beer at his shop in a commercial centre situated some 10km from here.

He has been a Cheras voter all his adult life, and had only recently applied to be transferred to the constituency so he is most likely not able to vote on Oct 11.

For him, Isa is a nice man who has brought a lot of development to his small former mining town when he was the mentri besar.

“I am not sure what PAS is up to these days,” said his wife, referring to the recent actions of the Islamist party in Selangor in attempting to ban the sale of beer in convenience stores.

About 4km away in an all-Malay village called Kampung Baru Si Rusa, PAS almost has no presence.

“There are some PAS supporters here, but they are the minority,” said teacher Suhaili Ahmad, who also runs a stall in the evening selling what she calls Soup Power, along the village’s main road.

“When I got married in the year 2000, Tan Sri Isa attended our wedding,” she added.

Isa talking to teachers at SK Telok Kemang. — Pictures by Choo Choy May

The mother of two is hoping for Isa to win big this time, as she is in need of government assistance to expand her business which she jointly manages with her husband.

“We applied for a Tekun loan and received RM20,000, which I have used to enlarge the shop,” she said, referring to the micro-credit scheme run by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry.

Suhaili took out her camera to show us what the stall used to look like; a humble wooden structure only one-fourth of its current size.

“The highway was built during Isa’s time, it helps to ease congestion in the village; before that during Chinese New Year there was no way we could drive out of this place,” she said.

The Port Dickson Highway, opened in 1997, which was meant to shorten the travel period between the state capital and this coastal town, also opened accessibility to the village.

Suhaili now uses the highway almost every day to get to the primary school in Lukut town, where she teaches English.

Isa’s influence runs deep in the whole of the Teluk Kemang parliamentary constituency, within which Bagan Pinang is situated.

Suhaili runs the Soup Power stall.

At a dialogue session with local teachers just before nomination, the former Umno vice-president was seen as a problem solver.

“I hope the declaration of Port Dickson as an Army town will bring business opportunities to my husband,” said a teacher from Sekolah Kebangsaan Teluk Kemang, who is married to a retired soldier and has settled in the town.

“My housing area needs more street humps,” said another teacher.

When giving his speech, while promising to solve the teachers’ problems, he gave a list of projects planned for Port Dickson — some of them mooted during his administration, like the flood prevention system.

“I remember all of them, like a teacher who remembers whole textbooks,” said Isa.

And to the Indian community, Isa promised to revive the six-year-old low-cost housing project at Siliau Estate.

“If you vote for me that will be a very easy thing for me to solve,” said Isa.

Bagan Pinang…there is no Plan B (part two)

by Hussein Hamid

UMNO’s championing of Ketuanan Melayu from the time of Mahathir is not the result of its beliefs in the superiority of the Malay race nor was it looking at raising the lot of the Malays to what was promised in the context of the NEP. It was simply a ploy for the rise and rise of UMNO’S to its dominant position in Malaysian Politics so that they could enrich themselves to their hearts content….and their hearts are not content yet! .And so with Mahathir begun the divide and rule of the Malaysian people.

But now the Rakyat has seen that the rot has set in. We can see how precisely this policy was being used. In the enriching of the UMNO elite but not the Malays.

UMNO could not.

In the injustice and sufferings it had caused to the non-Malays by denying them basic rights and decency in a country they call home.

UMNO could not.

In the abuse perpetuated on its own people through PDRM, the Judiciary etc necessary to ensure effective imposition of its divide and rule policies – resulting in the death in custody of many many of it’s citizens, the ISA and the deliberate imposition of an all consuming passion to stifle dissent and opposition to its rule.

UMNO could not.

While we the Rakyat understood the inevitability of change as borne out in the last General Elections. .

UMNO could not!

Despite the last General Election results UMNO was adamant that it faced no immediate danger that would result in its demise. What has ‘helped’ UMNO cope with the crisis of losing 50% of the Rakyat’s votes was it’s inability to look within itself for renewal, for rejuvenation, for change. To UMNO the fault lies without.

This is what UMNO parrots. The Malays were being played out by the rantings of Anwar who will sell religion, race and country for political power. The Indians are not grateful for what President Samy Velu and UMNO has done for MIC. The Chinese are always against the Malays and they are instigating the Malays to go against UMNO so that political power will be in the hands of DAP. UMNO has been misunderstood. It had all the while been fighting to protect the rights of the Malays, the honor of the Malays and the wealth of the Malays….and UMNO tirades against it’s own people goes on and on.

Here comes the irony of UMNO’s calling ‘wolf’ too many times….we the people have become immune to these kind of talk from UMNO.. ….and now the icing on the cake, Bagan Pinang!

All the king’s horses, all the king’s men….all that they have said….. Expediency is still the prime consideration for UMNO. Always the need to make a quick profit from business opportunity overcomes all other consideration. The inability to wait made it all right for Najib to work with one pliant and two corrupt MP in Perak to grab that state from it’s rightful elected government. It also made it all right for Najib to meet and collude with that sorry excuse for a human being to conjure up another sodomy charge against Anwar. Najib with Altantuya? No he denied it in the name of ALLAH! Let me tell him this – an accusation like that made of you and Altantuya – if not answered in court becomes true within days!

And now Isa. When will they ever learn? From the moment they decided on Isa there have already lost the war. What is one battle in a war of attrition that will culminate in the next General Elections not too far away? It might be one battle but we want to win this battle at Bagan Pinang! Not by reducing UMNO’s majority but by ensuring that Pakatan Rakyat will win – even if it is with one solitary vote!

And so that is why you who are close enough to go to Bagan Pinang for Pakatan Rakat – you must make the time and go. Go and do what you can if it is even to just stand amongst our people and our cause.

A few minutes ago I received this email from a friend: “ The guy who takes care of my house here, when I am away, tells me that BN will win here for sure. And, he looks depressed. He says that voters each are getting RM100, a huge tin of Milo, and something else that I can’t remember. How lah like this, he asked me! Opposition cannot lawan if like this. The people here are very poor lah!”

Najib this is what your people are doing in Bagan Pinang…as if you do not know!

One thing we know now friend. UMNO focus has now shifted to survival mode. The naming of Isa confirms that. But UMNO is not on life support yet….we have to work harder! Our best defense is offense. And the only offense is relentless!

High stakes in Bagan Pinang

By Shanon Shah
thenutgraph.com


Outside the BN headquarters in Bagan Pinang prior to nomination day on 3 Oct

"IF the Barisan Nasional (BN) loses, it will be catastrophic," Umno Youth chief and Rembau Member of Parliament Khairy Jamaluddin tells The Nut Graph in a phone interview.

Talk about high stakes. But he is right. The BN has lost six out of the eight by-elections held after the historic 8 March 2008 general election. It only managed to retain Batang Ai in Sarawak, and technically did not lose the Penanti seat to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) because it did not contest. And so, as Khairy says, "this is a crucial victory" for the BN to keep its hopes up for the next general election, which is due by 2013.

A victory in Bagan Pinang is no less crucial for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR). Of the six by-elections it has won since March 2008, five have been in PR incumbencies. The only constituency that the PR managed to wrest away from the BN was the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat in January 2009.

Negeri Sembilan may hang in the BN's favour, but it hangs rather precariously. It is to the BN what Perak was to the PR prior to the state assembly takeover in February 2009. The BN currently rules Negeri Sembilan with a simple majority. Before this by-election, it held 21 out of the 36 seats, while the PR had 15. Granted, it is not as insecure a gap as what the PR faced in Perak, but the BN probably does not want the gap narrowed in any way.

So, what are some of the crucial issues that stand in the way of victory for both the BN and the PR, which they are likely to exploit during the campaign?


PAS paraphernalia

The Isa factor

PAS vice-president and the PR's Bagan Pinang election director Salahuddin Ayub tells The Nut Graph what his party intends to highlight. "We do not plan to play with personal issues, but we really need to ask if the BN is serious about upholding integrity?" he says in a phone interview.


Rohaizat Othman (Courtesy
of theSun)
"It does not matter who the candidate is. The BN did it in the Permatang Pasir by-election, and is repeating it in Bagan Pinang," he explains.

By Permatang Pasir, Salahuddin is of course referring to the BN's mind-boggling decision to field Umno's Rohaizat Othman as the candidate, a lawyer who was disbarred by the Bar Council for swindling a client. Rohaizat eventually lost by 4,551 votes — not a close call.

And by Bagan Pinang, Salahuddin is referring to the BN's candidate from Umno, former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad. In 2005, Isa was found guilty of money politics by Umno's disciplinary board and was initially suspended by the party for six years. Upon appeal, the sentence was commuted to three years and eventually ended in June 2008.

Even Umno veterans Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah have voiced their disapproval of the BN fielding a tainted candidate like Isa.

Khairy, however, disagrees. "This is very, very different from Permatang Pasir. Isa Samad is very different — he is the godfather of Teluk Kemang politics. The tainted candidate in Permatang Pasir was an unknown."

At least one study, by research firm Ilham Centre, backs Khairy's claim. The survey found that 52% of 594 respondents said voters would reject the BN because of the perception that Umno was corrupt.


Isa Samad
But look at what else the survey unearthed: 81% said Isa was Umno's best bet for Bagan Pinang. About 44% agreed that the BN would win by a bigger majority this time, as opposed to 17% who disagreed. Furthermore, 65% gave the thumbs up to Datuk Mohammad Hassan's performance as the current menteri besar from the BN.

Here's the other thing the survey found: only 33% agreed that Teoh Beng Hock's death would affect votes, while 39% agreed that the cow-head protest in Selangor would sway votes.

But surveys will be surveys, and this one was conducted from 15 to 16 Sept on a sample of respondents who form only a fraction of the total number of registered voters. Still, it seems as though the PR faces an uphill battle in Bagan Pinang.

The Indian Malaysian vote

The Indian Malaysian vote is expected to tip the scale in this poll. Political analyst Prof Dr James Chin tells The Nut Graph: "The interesting phenomenon here is that the Indian Malaysian vote will hold the key for both the BN and PR."

According to Chin, 80% of the Chinese Malaysian vote is still behind the PR, and analysts suspect that 60% to 70% of the Malay Malaysian vote will go to the BN. This is why the Indian Malaysian vote is so crucial, he explains in a phone interview.

However, according to Chin, the Indian Malaysian vote will probably be influenced by the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party (MMSP) and the MIC trying to outdo each other. He says the BN-friendly MMSP will be trying its best to prove to Prime Minister and BN chairperson Datuk Seri Najib Razak that it can get the Indian Malaysian vote. The MMSP's fervour might threaten the MIC, though, which could then be incentive for the MIC to "disturb" the vote.


Khairy (File pic)
But what about the colossal number of postal votes — 4,604 in all, or 33.7% of the number of registered voters? "You can assume that virtually all the postal votes will go to the BN," he says.

According to Khairy, though, it is the bigger picture that's important. "The PR is almost schizophrenic in its inconsistency. Not just between a secular party [like the DAP] and a party like PAS, but even within PAS," he says. "How can you have one party member going to a church [to reach out to non-Muslim Malaysians] and another wanting to ban a soft-rock concert?"

He says although the BN is often inconsistent, the "inconsistencies are managed better in the BN than in the opposition."

Salor state assemblyperson and ex-PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa disagrees. On nomination day on 3 Oct, he told reporters: "There is no split in the PR. Our candidate has a multiracial curriculum vitae. He has a clean track record, and is accepted by all races."

Polling is on 11 Oct.

As past election campaigns have demonstrated, internal problems in rival parties and coalitions and the candidates' flaws are often dredged up in such contests. Bagan Pinang will be no different, especially when the stakes are this high for both the BN and the PR. Will voters be swayed by questions on Isa's, and Umno's, integrity, or on the PR's inconsistencies?

Bagan Pinang seat profile
Ethnic composition
(Source: Election Commission)
Malay Malaysians 8,577 (62.77%)
Chinese Malaysians
2,834 (20.74%)
Indian Malaysians
1,498 (10.96%)
Other Malaysians
755 (5.53%)

SINK YOUR TEETH AND BITE THIS OFF

My Sinchew
By Mohsin Abdullah

Let’s talk food today. For starters, Mee Bandung .No I am not referring it as appetiser (it’s too heavy). Mee Bandung is a main dish. Noodles with gravy or kuah cooked Malay style. But the most mouth watering Mee Bandung, is not in Bandung Indonesia. In fact you can’t get Mee Bandung in Bandung or the whole of Indonesia for that matter. Ask Indonesians in Indonesia what Mee Bandung is chances are they won’t be able to give you an answer. Unless they have come to Malaysia. Or live here.

So the most tasty Mee Bandung it is said, is in Muar Johore. Don’t take my word for it as I am just echoing some folks. But the point here is the (Mee) Bandung is not Bandung Indonesia. So too is Sirap Bandung. A sweet cold drink pink in colour as the result of mixing red syrub and evaporated milk. You cannot get it in Bandung Indonesia. Only in Malaysia but some how we deem it nice just as the noodles dish to associate it with the Indonesian city of Bandung.

We credit Bandung for it. As if the birth place of Mee Bandung and Sirap Bandung is Bandung Indonesia .Then there’s Mee Java. Yes, you can’t get it in Java.

The same goes for Rojak Singapore. A potpourri (for want of a better word) of salad, eggs, meat, crab, squid etc and served with thick peanut and chilli gravy. It’s not Singaporean , can’t be found or hard to find in Singapore but we give the honour to Singapore. Why? Don’t ask me.

Naming dishes using the names of towns and cities has always been the case and will always be the case. Hence, we have Ipoh kway teow, Penang nasi kandar, Tanjung Malim pau etc. But these delicacies can be found in the places they are named after (and all over Malaysia also ). So that can be considered normal.

But calling a dish after the name of places outside Malaysia where the dish can’t be found in the first place , as in the case of Mee and Sirap Bandung, Rojak Singapore is,well, different. But still considered “normal”. At least to us Malaysians. Biasa lah.

However Bandung and Singapore are not exactly basking in the glory of the noodles, the pink sweet drink and the rojak. But they are not complaining either.Perhaps they are not aware of their names being used. What ever. Important thing is they are not making noise or “demanding copy right charges”.

But should the dish somehow gets blamed for some illness, surely they will disassociate themselves in a jiffy. That ought to keep our food handlers on their toes all the time. Keep it clean and hygienic. Bagus.

Right now I’m sure many of us are aware of the controversy between us (Malaysia) and Singapore regarding, of all things, food. We, Singapore say, are claiming as ours their cuisine, dishes or simply food. In other words, they say Malaysia say chicken rice, chilli crabs just to name two, originated in Malaysia. This to them is wrong. They say the birth place of chicken rice and chilli crabs is the republic of Singapore.

I am not going to try to reason that out. We can argue till the cows come home or in this case till the crabs walk straight. I don’t know about chilli crabs. But as for chicken rice… well, some stalls in Kuala Lumpur’s Kampung Baru and other parts of the city have signs announcing out loud that they serve “sedap Nasi Ayam Singapura”.
Now isn’t that acknowledging Singapore as the place as far as chicken rice is concerned ?

Anyway I don’t know what’s the difference between Nasi Ayam Singapura and the other nasi ayams. But then I’m no gourmet. But I love the (halal) Hainanese chicken rice. Prepared by members of the Chinese community. I’m not sure if the chicken rice Singapore are claiming to be theirs is the Hainanese chicken rice .Now we hear of Malacca staking a claim that the state is the birth site of the Hainanese chicken rice. Shouldn’t it be Hainan China ? But as I have not been there, I don’t know if Hainanese chicken rice is available in the Hainan region.

Anyway the controversy continues. It all started when our Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen, Tourism Minister, was said to have said Malaysia is to lay claim top several dishes synonymous with the country’s identity as tourism products. She named nasi lemak, laksa, bak kut teh hainanese chicken rice, chilli crabs. And many more. Of course when that erupted into the current, controversy ,Ng claimed she was misunderstood. Whatever it is she ought to get us out of this mess.

Bad enough we been accused of stealing Indonesian culture. Now we stand accused of stealing Singapore’s food pulak…

(By MOHSIN ABDULLAH, MySinchew)

Practise What You Preach, Dr Koh Tells Guan Eng

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 5 (Bernama) -- Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon has asked Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to practise what he preaches, especially in matters concerning transparency.

"He (Lim) champions transparency but he himself is not transparent. All I wanted was transparency and accountability," Dr Koh, the former Penang chief minister, said after opening the Public Complaints Management Seminar here on Monday.

He was asked to comment on the spat between the two leaders, which began after Lim challenged Dr Koh last week to a debate on alleged land scams during the latter's administration of the state.

Dr Koh picked up the gauntlet three days ago but said that first he wanted the current state government to declassify the state executive council meeting minutes on the Kampang Buah Pala saga so that things could be done in a transparent manner.

Yesterday, Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, accused Dr Koh, the Gerakan president, of being insincere as he was imposing conditions for the debate.

"I have already stated my conditions but this does not mean that I am insincere. He should be prepared to be transparent. I have asked him to open the (Kampung Buah Pala) exco minutes and he should be prepared to do so. This looks like the champion of transparency himself is not transparent after all," Dr Koh said.

Earlier, he said the Public Complaints Bureau received an average of 11,000 complaints against civil servants monthly.

"And 40 per cent of the complaints are through the electronic medium such as e-mails and short messaging service. This also shows that people are starting to lodge complaints if they have ways to do it.

"With these two media, it is easier to lodge a complaint. The bulk of these complaints concerns the local councils, the police, the National Registration Department and the Immigration Department," he said.

He said these agencies and departments received the highest number of complaints because of their high exposure to the public.

Most of the complaints were about delay in replying to various applications like renewal of licences and permits.

Isa Was Chosen Because He Was Popular And Had Served Punishment

PARIS, Oct 4 (Bernama) -- Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad who had served punishment that was meted out by the party (Umno), was chosen as Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election, because he is capable of winning and very popular among the people, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister who is also Umno President told a group of students in France that candidates for by-elections were chosen based on capabilities of the candidates to serve the people effectively in their constitution and liked by the people.

Najib added that former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar, Isa who was found guilty of breaching party rules, was punished for his offence while he also lost the menteri besar's post and Umno vice president's post.

However, Isa had remained faithful, served the people and party well throughout that period and that his offence was only a technical matter within the party and did not involve the judiciary of the country, he said.

"The question here is whether he deserved a second chance or not. In our system, even a criminal gets a second chance and can contest the post after serving his or her punishment.

"This (Isa's offence) is only a technical matter in the party and he has already paid for his deeds," said Najib when asked by a student on the decision to pick Isa for Bagan Pinang.

Najib added that Isa was only contesting a state assembly seat and not a minister or menteri besar's seat.

The Bagan Pinang seat which fell vacant after the death of incumbent Azman Mohammad Noor on Sept 4, would see a straight fight between Isa, 59, and Negeri Sembilan PAS Commissioner Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, 45.

The Election Commission has set Oct 11 for polling.

Assault claim: PAS VP calls Umno man a liar

DAP slams racists books on S'gor MB

As PM flies into Paris, Altantuya statement surfaces

(Malaysian Mirror) - As Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak flies into France for a four-day official visit, an organization calling itself the Altantuya Shaariibuu Foundation has issued a statement in an apparent bid to embarrass the Malaysian leader.

The statement (see below) published in the Malaysia Today website did not contain any new information but was mainly a rehash of the high-profile Altantuya murder case.

altantuya.pngIt also mentioned the commission allegedly paid out to Najib’s associate Abdul Razak Baginda for three French submarines bought by Malaysia during Najib’s tenure as Defence Minister.

"What was omitted from mainstream reports in Malaysia and France is that Najib since assuming Premiership in March 2008 is easily the most controversial Prime Minister since political independence in 1957 as he has been linked, through two policemen in charge of his protection and according to the statutory declaration of a private investigator, to a murder case," the statement alleged.

"And we are not talking of any “normal” murder case but the gruesome murder of a beautiful Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu connected to the purchase of French submarines worth a billion euros."

Unfazed

Nevertheless, it has not fazed Najib and he has flown into Paris as scheduled to work on forging closer cooperation between the two countries.

According to the Star, the private jet carrying the Malaysian delegation from Dubai touched down at the Le Bourget Airport at 8.52am (2.52pm Malaysian time) on Sunday.

Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor were received by Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Mukhriz Mahathir and Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi who had arrived earlier.

najib7.jpgMalaysian Ambassador to France S Thanarajasingam and senior government officials were also present to greet the premier. The official welcoming ceremony will be held on Tuesday.

1Malaysia open house

The entourage later proceeded to the Four Seasons Hotel in the city, where a hectic programme awaits the Prime Minister over the next few days.

Among others, Najib will hold discussions with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Francois Fillon during his first official visit as Prime Minister to France.

He is also scheduled to address the 35th United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) General Conference’s first plenary session on Tuesday.

This is the first time in Malaysia’s 51-year history with Unesco that a Prime Minister has been invited to deliver a keynote speech at the world body’s opening plenary session.

Najib will also meet Malaysian students and attend a 1Malaysia Hari Raya open house at the historic Pavilion Dauphine this evening.

“The thrust of the open house is the 1Malaysia spirit in Paris,” said Thanarajasingam.

Malaysian Mirror appends below the full text of the statement from the Altantuya Shaariibuu Foundation :

Sunday will mark the start of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s first official four-day visit to France to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues with top French leaders including President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

France is one of Malaysia's key trading partners with bilateral trade in 2008 reaching a total of RM13.91 billion. Currently, several French companies operate in Malaysia including Lafarge (cement), Technip (infrastructure for gas and oil exploration), Alcatel (telecommunications), Alstom (energy and railway equipment) and Carrefour (retail).

However what was omitted from mainstream reports in Malaysia and France is that Najib since assuming Premiership in March 2008 is easily the most controversial Prime Minister since political independence in 1957 as he has been linked, through two policemen in charge of his protection and according to the statutory declaration of a private investigator, to a murder case. And we are not talking of any “normal” murder case but the gruesome murder of a beautiful Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu connected to the purchase of French submarines worth a billion euros.

How is Najib linked then? Apparently, she was introduced by Najib to Abdul Razak Baginda, a close friend and defense analyst from the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre think-tank, to work for the deal Baginda was brokering for the Malaysian government to buy three submarines from France for one billion euros. According to the same private investigator, the duo quickly became romantically involved.

In October 2006, Altantuya was informed that the commission of 114 million euros was paid into the account of Perimekar, a company Baginda controlled. Altantuya then went to Kuala Lumpur to demand her share of the commission, which was to have been US$500,000. She went missing on 19 October 2006. In the last letter she wrote before her murder, she said that she had been blackmailing Baginda. The private investigator who linked PM Najib to Altantuya a few days after reneged on his first statement and then disappeared.

The Malaysian police found fragments of her bone in a forested area in Shah Alam, some 30 km from Kuala Lumpur . Police investigation revealed that she was shot twice before C4 explosives were used on her remains. Baginda and two members of the police force were arrested and charged for her murder. The two murder suspects Azilah Hadri, 30 and Sirul Azhar Umar, 35 are members of the elite Unit Tindakan Khas (the Malaysian Police Special Action Force or counter-terrorism unit) and were both assigned to the office of the then Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who was also the Defence Minister. Both policemen were found guilty and sentenced to death while Baginda was acquitted. The Malaysian Attorney General has not appealed on Baginda’s acquittal and he is now a free man.

The father of Altantuya, Professor Shariibuu Setev who had tried but failed to seek satisfactory justice and accountability in Malaysia will issue a statement in Paris to highlight his daughter’s murder and how its linked to the Malaysian Prime Minister and the billion euro French submarine deal.

MIED: Jumpa di mahkamah, kata Samy kepada Subramaniam

Samy Vellu: Subramaniam keluarkan kenyataan memfitnah saya

Presiden MIC, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu pula memberi amaran akan mengheret bekas timbalannya, Datuk S. Subramaniam berhubung kenyataan beliau petang tadi yang meminta agar pemimpin itu tidak mengeluarkan sayap pendidikan MIED dan AIMST dari MIC.

Dalam reaksi segera yang dikeluarkan selang sejam selepas sidang media Subramaniam, Samy Vellu berkata, beliau telah mengarahkan peguamnya menguruskan tindakan mahkamah ke atas Subramaniam.

"Berhubung dakwaan terhadap saya dan MIC pada sidang media hari ini, saya telah pun mengarahkan peguam saya untuk memfailkan kes terhadap beliau (Datuk Subrmaniam) kerana memfitnah saya.

"Saya tidak mahu memberi apa-apa komen lain kecuali biarkan beliau membuktikan di mahkamah jika benar wujudnya perkara-perkara sedemikian dalam fikiran saya," katanya.

Pada sidang media yang diadakan di rumahnya di sini pukul 4 petang tadi, Subramaniam memberi amaran tiada mana-mana pihak yang harus mengeluarkan MIED dan AIMST dari MIC, sekali gus dijadikan sebuah badan berasingan atau yayasan.

Samy Vellu juga berkata, Subramaniam sudah hilang pertimbangan sejak beliau tewas dalam pemilihan 12 September lalu buat kali kedua-dua berturut-turut kepada Datuk G. Palanivel, sekali gus melancarkan siri serangan terhadap MIC dan ke atas kepimpinannya.

The tale of two former IGPs

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 – One is the longest-serving top police officer Malaysia has ever known, someone who left the force with his reputation and image intact. The other is a former top cop who left the force in disgrace after an assault on former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in 1998.

One is a former top cop who reached the peak of the corporate world here, and who looks the part in society pages and roundtable discussions on law and order. The other is a former top cop who shuns publicity like the plague and is shunned by the movers and shakers in government.

The contrast between Tun Hanif Omar and Tan Sri Rahim Noor is not only skin-deep. Both were signatories to two historic agreements between the Government of Malaysia and the Communist Party of Malaya in 1989, watershed agreements that ended the armed conflict between the communists and the government.

But today they occupy opposing sides of the spectrum on public opinion over Chin Peng and the Communist Party of Malaya.

Haniff is part of the strong anti-CPM lobby, the body of Malaysians who do not want Chin Peng to be allowed to step on Malaysian soil.

They argue that the communists inflicted death and suffering on many Malaysians, especially security personnel, and have right to return home.

Rahim is among a group of Malaysians who are guided by the principle that once an agreement has been inked, a line has to be drawn in the sand and the government has a duty and a legal obligation to adhere to the terms of the agreement.

No ifs and buts. No re-opening old wounds.

Hanif made clear his views recently after the High Court ruled that comments made by a former deputy minister against Chin Peng and the CPM were not defamatory.

He pointed out that the former secretary-general of the outlawed Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) had no legal standing.

“It is an illegal operation as it was not registered under the law,” said Hanif.

He said that Chin Peng was in charge of a notorious party which killed thousands of people in the most cruel way, and that a non-registered party had no right making any demands.

This response from Hanif is puzzling, to say the least. If he believed that Chin Peng and others in the CPM were evil and members of an illegal organization, why did he agree to sign the “Agreement Between The Government Of Malaysia and the Communist Party of Malaya.

The agreement reads: The Government of Malaysia and the Communist Party of Malaya, consistent with the common objective for peace, hereby agree to the following:-

Article 1 – Upon the signing of this Agreement, the Government of Malaysia and the CPM shall cease all armed activities forthwith.

Article 2 – The CPM shall disband all its armed units, destroy its arms, ammunition, explosives and booby-traps in Malaysia and Thailand.

Article 3 – Members of the CPM and members of its uits who are of Malaysian origin and who wish to settle down in Malaysia shall be allowed to do so in accordance with the laws of Malaysia.

Article 4 – Malaysian authorities shall assist members of the CPM and members of its disbanded armed units to help them to start their peaceful life afresh.

When Hanif signed the agreement witnessed by among others General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh of the Government of Thailand, did he believe that the Malaysian Government was not interested in honoring its obligations?

Rahim has so far not spoken publicly. He was lined up as a witness for Chin Peng but did not get the opportunity to testify for the 85-year-old because the High Court struck out the former CPM leader’s suit.

Still, Rahim’s friends said that he feels strongly about the sanctity of an agreement. In addition, he feels that he is duty-bound to tell the truth given that he is a signatory to one of the two agreements, and was one of the key players in getting the CPM to come to the negotiating table.

He knows that no amount of reparation or words of comfort can bring back the police and military personnel who lost their lives in the fight against the CPM.

As a former director of the Special Branch, he knows of the countless men and women who went in harm’s way to break the will of the communist movement.

Some of his men and women never returned home to their families.

There is no love lost between Rahim Noor and the CPM. But he was a signatory to the “Administrative Arrangement Between The Government of Malaysia and The Communist Party Of Malaya Pursuant To The Agreement To Terminate Hostilities’’ and believes in the sanctity of the agreement.

One is a former top police officer who seems to have forgotten that he was a signatory to a groundbreaking agreement, a rare occasion where communists laid down their arms.

The other is a former top police officer who still believes that what happened on Dec 2, 1989 in Haadyai has to be respected.

Isa says he is better at running a state than Nik Aziz

The poster war gets more intense in Bagan Pinang. This one is targeted at the electorate’s ‘short-term’ memory. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Adib Zalkapli- The Malaysian Insider

PORT DICKSON, Oct 4 — Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad today urged PAS to advise Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat how to better run the Kelantan government instead of exposing his alleged failure as the Negri Sembilan mentri besar for 22 years.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election was responding to a statement by Salahuddin Ayub, the PAS vice-president, earlier today that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party would use all the abandoned government projects in the state as campaign fodder.

“How is Kelantan better than Negri Sembilan? We have brought a lot of development to the state,” Isa told reporters when met at a campaign stop.

He also denied PAS’s allegation that Umno is harping on Zulkefly Omar’s background as the PR candidate is not a local from the constituency.

“We have never played up the issue of local candidate or outsider. PAS failed to field a local candidate so they try to divert the people’s attention and to hide their weaknesses,” said Isa.

The former Umno vice-president however admitted that he was not born in the state.

“My family is from here, I was only born in Malacca but I was raised here, people know me as a local,” said Isa.

At a media briefing earlier, Salahuddin pointed out that the man considered by many to be Port Dickson’s favourite son was actually from Malacca.

“PAS had promised before not to touch on personal issues, but once campaigning started they only use personal isues,” said Isa.

“They are very good at spinning,” he added.

Isa also denied that he is not in good terms with the Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan.

“We never had the time to fight. When he became the MB, I was a minister only for a short while before I was suspended,” he said.

Isa resigned from his Cabinet post soon after his Umno membership was suspended in June 2005.

“It is not that hard to be a wakil rakyat, I have been doing this for 30 years. I have not been a wakil rakyat only since March 2008,” said Isa who was Jempol MP until last year.

Umno to ask delegates to vote reforms, not debate it

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Showing seriousness in expanding democracy within Umno, the party leadership will ask its 2,400 delegates to forgo further debate but just vote to accept or reject proposals to abolish nomination quotas and expand the voting base.

The amendments propose to expand the voting base from the current 2,400 central delegates to some 146,000 delegates from branches to divisions who will choose the top leadership in one day of nation-wide elections.

“The special Umno meeting on Oct 13 is just tasked with approving or rejecting the amendments. There won’t be any debate,” a party official told The Malaysian Insider.

The special assembly is on the eve of its annual general assembly from Oct 14 to 16.

The influential Umno political bureau has also dropped a proposal to only allow supreme council members who have served for at least three terms to contest for top posts. The current proposals being voted allows anyone to contest top party posts.

The party official said delegates have had more than enough time to digest the proposals and vote rather than continue debating or fine-tuning the amendments.

Najib, along with Datin Rosmah Mansor (right), wave to the crowd before their departure to France yesterday. - Bernama pic

“Datuk Seri Najib Razak proposed the amendments at the end of March and there has been enough time for debate and tweaking the proposals. It boils down to voting, that’s all,” he added.

Najib, who took over the party presidency in March from Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, had pushed to scrap the unpopular nomination quota system as it narrowed the pool of leaders eligible to contest.

Among those who have failed to qualify for the party presidency contest has been veteran party leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who has only been nominated by his Gua Musang division. Former president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad introduced the quota system when the party was reconstituted in 1988 to ensure only popular challenges.

Currently, those eyeing the presidency had to win nominations from at least 30 per cent of the 191 Umno divisions while 20 per cent of nominations was needed for the deputy presidency, 10 per cent for vice-president and 5 per cent for the supreme council.

The proposal to expand the voting base from 2,400 to 146,000 will see elections being done on a single day during which division annual general meetings are held. Each branch will send a full complement of delegates including one each from the wings — Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri.

The Umno technical committee tasked with the amendment is led by party vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who had said the single day voting will make it harder to buy votes and will curb the practice of money politics.

Hishammuddin added that the yearly membership fee will be replaced with a one-off payment so as to do away with the hassle of unpaid fees.

However, there are no proposals to limit the term for top party officials unlike recent amendments made by Umno allies MCA and MIC, both of whom are imposing three-term limits for the party presidency.

Which other country in the world does the majority surreptitiously and systematically deny equal rights and equal opportunities to its disadvantaged m

Which other country in the world does the majority surreptitiously and systematically deny equal rights and equal opportunities to its disadvantaged minorities other than Malaysia .

Can you name one?

Let me clarify how this works in reality with three reports from yesterdays’s Utusan Malaysia (3rd Oct 2009). These 3 reports are from the IPTA/IPTS special supplement of the paper. It is only from reports in the Malay Media that a glimpse of such usurpation by the majority of the resources of the nation is obtained . The other parts of the media do not feature any of this . This is the design. This is part of the scheme of surreptition.

The first report is about the UMNO government’s plan to produce 100,000 PhDs by 2024. Mara has a post graduate school called IPSis (Institut Pengajian Siswazah) which has been in operation since 1997. They are targeting to have 20,000 students in their various Post Graduate programs by 2024. Given an average stay of 4 years for each Graduate student, that will be an output of some 5,000 per year. Whether it is realized or not is really a different question. My purpose is really to show the embedded injustice in all these government programs. The Institute Dean says one of the factors contributing to the low participation in their Graduate Programs is the fees. So they are considering a scheme of assistanceship programs for the better students of RM 1,300 for a Masters student per month and RM1,800 for a PhD student. That is really good. But here is the catch. This is a 100pct bumiputra participation program and zero non-bumi participation. Not only are places provided but also facilitation. This is something one never hears in any of the programs involving non- Bumis.

The second report is about Kolej Teknologi Timur in Sepang,which has graduated its 4th batch of students on what is called the Kursus Intensif Timur Tengah (Middle East Intensive Course). This is a 3 month program preparing MARA sponsored students selected to do medicine in the Alexandria University in Cairo. They are all SPM level candidates. The point about this program is it is a 100pct Bumiputra participation program. This is only for one course and for one Middle East University. This is a preparatory program . Not only do the participants get to do Medicine on Scholarship, the students also are put through preparatory programs to reduce the fallout rate. This is a good approach. But the point I want to make about this report is this. Not only does this program systematically exclude the minorities of the country , it also shows in contrast, the care that is generally not shown if this were a program for the non bumis and if it were failing. It would just be allowed to fail, no remedial measures or prerequisite or preparatory measures would be planned or done. A failure is a failure, sorry, just try harder next time please. No remedial or preparatory or facilitating programs for you.

The third report is about Kolej Risda in Alor Gajah in Melaka – RISDA run private college, developing middle level management, technical and operative level manpower for the Agro Industry. It runs various Diploma level programs and it runs a variety of programs – Some of the key ones are Diploma in Agriculture with UPM, Diploma in Plantation management with MARA, A pre-Diploma in Science program as a feeder program to the Diploma programs and Diploma in Landscape Management. There are other several Diploma programs offered with UPM. All of this for the Middle Management and Middle level Technical personnel. Then there are programs such as Certificate as a Plantation Conductor and a Certificate as a Palm Oil Mill Operator.. All the students of the college will be assisted to get funding from the National Higher Education Fund and scholarships are provided to second generation small holders . Needless to stay the majority if not 100 pct will be Bumiputra participation. The point is that there are so many skills training programs in the country like this one, but which are systematically and surreptitiously kept away from the non-Bumiputra. So many non-bumiputra youth could be kept away from the clutches of crime, if they had opportunities like this available to them, opportunities for self employment and upward mobility. But no, this is sytematically denied.

Malaysia is the only country in the world where the majority community grabs all the resources of the country to itself to the detriment and neglect of significant minority groups in the country. What I have shown here is from news reports on one day and in a couple of educational programs pertaining to a couple of Institutions in the country. Multiply that several thousand times over the various fields of life beyond education and the scale of this usurpation will become clearer.
The many problems we see in the Indian community which are often attributed to some self induced causes (meaning it is intrinsic and endemic to Indians) can really be shown to be only secondary if opportunities such as these are opened up to the Indian youth. They will have hope and along with it opportunities for upward mobility in the system. The many issues and problems we see today will be pre –empted. We are not asking for more than what should be our share, we are only asking for our share and nobody really should have a problem with that.

The Federal Constitution which is the Supreme document governing the country of Malaysia never said to totally exclude non Malays from all the education programs of the Government like what is happening in our country – what the Federal Constitution says is that

Article number: 8
(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.
(2) Except as expressly authorized by this Constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent or place of birth in any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment.

Article number: 12
(1) Without prejudice to the generality of Article 8, there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the grounds only of religion, race, descent or place of birth -
(a) in the administration of any educational institution maintained by a public authority, and, in particular, the admission of pupils or students or the payment of fees; or
(b) in providing out of the funds of a public authority financial aid for the maintenance or education of pupils or students in any educational institution (whether or not maintained by a public authority and whether within or outside the Federation).

Article number: 153
(1) It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
(2) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, but subject to the provisions of Article 40 and of this Article, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall exercise his functions under this Constitution and federal law in such manner as may be necessary to safeguard the special provision of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable of positions in the public service (other than the public service ofa State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government and,when any permit or licence for the operation of any trade or business is required by federal law, then, subject to the provisions of that law and this Article, of such permits and licences.

The hope for change lies in the hands of our young anak Bangsa Malaysia

By Haris Ibrahim

Was at the FreedomFilmFest2009 at CM last night to catch the screening of the 3 winning entries as well as the announcement of the winner of the Best Human Rights Award from the 3 winning entries.

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia was given a booth at the Fest for its voter education and registration team and to sell our merchandise.

L-R : Jayanath, Eric, Elaine & Nanda. Eric and Elaine have been manning the booth from Friday have been doing a marvellous job

L-R : Jayanath, Eric, Elaine & Nanda. Eric and Elaine have been manning the booth from Friday have been doing a marvellous job

Rahmat Haron’s Al-Fatehah Memali is, as far as I know, the first attempt to document on film the truth behind the massacre of 14 anak Bangsa Malaysia.

When this tragedy occurred in 1985, I was in England.

Three years later, on my return home, I made an attempt to unearth information on this tragedy with little success.

Then, like so many others, Memali faded from my memory, giving way to work and family demands on my time and attention.

Last night, Rahmat explained to the audience that the Memali tragedy must not be seen as a religious issue, but one that spotlights the flagrant breach of human rights norms by the authority of the day that resulted in loss of life and liberty.

A plaque bearing the names of the 14 who lost their lives in the Memali tragedy. Photo borrowed from Rahmat's blog

A plaque bearing the names of the 14 who lost their lives in the Memali tragedy. Photo borrowed from Rahmat's blog

Rahmat expressed the hope that his effort in documenting this sad episode in our nation’s history may be the nudge that civil society needs to push for a truth and reconciliation commission that will look into really what happened that day in 1985.

I join Rahmat in urging civil society to take the lead in pushing for such a commission.

No Silver Lining : The Perak Crisis is a creditable effort by two young lawyers to document the crisis that assailed Perakians when BN displaced the Pakatan state government through the vehicle of three ADUNs from Pakatan first resigning from their respective Pakatan parties and then declaring their preparedness to lend support to a BN state government.

nosilverlining-big_stdThis documentary, for me, was important in that it serves as a reminder for all of us that even as the rakyat are awakening to the need to exercise their power to bring about the changes that we want to see in this, our country, through the ballot box, BN will stop at nothing and will not hesitate to deny and thwart the will of the people.

The final winning entry, Kayuh, by Soh Sook Hwa, documents the JERIT-organised “Cycle for Change” initiative that took off in December last year.

kayuh_big_std

Kayuh also picked up the Best Human Rights Award last night.

You have to watch Kayuh yourself in order to fully appreciate its worth.

I have watched this documentary twice now and each time I was left in complete awe of the young anak Bangsa Malaysia who chose to be part of this “Cycle for Change” initiative to deliver a message from the rakyat to the politicians.

Soh, with her trophy in hand, flanked by the some of the cyclists who were involved in the "Cycle for Change" initiative and who were in the audience last night

Soh, with her trophy in hand, flanked by the some of the cyclists who were involved in the "Cycle for Change" initiative and who were in the audience last night

I urge you to try and catch these three documentaries when the FreedomFilmFest2009 heads up north, south and over to East Malaysia.

And if you can’t, get in touch with KOMAS and buy the CD that has all three documentaries for a mere RM20.

Najib and Muhyiddin should apologise for Umno’s racist muck-spreading and mud-slinging tactics which make nonsense of the PM’s 1Malaysia slogan

By Lim Kit Siang,

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said yesterday he was confident that the 1Malaysia vision has spurred the people to a new level of optimism which will translate into a stronger support for Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Bagan Pinang by-election.

However, the muck-spreading and mud-slinging campaign launched by Umno/Barisan Nasional in Bagan Pinang yesterday even before the completion of the nomination process had in one fell swoop exposed the hollowness and hypocrisy of Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan as an overarching unifying national objective.

Two racist books were distributed in the Bagan Pinang constituency inciting communal hatred and animosities against Pakatan Rakyat leaders with scurrilous and baseless allegations about the sidelining and betrayal of the rights and interests of Malays – one entitled “Wajah Sebenar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim: Nasib Orang Melayu Selangor” (The Real Face of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim: The Plight of the Selangor Malays) and the other “50 Kemusykilan Tentang Manusia Bernama Anwar Ibrahim” (50 Questions on The Man Called Anwar Ibrahim)

Such contemptible and despicable tactics in muck-spreading and mud-slinging make complete nonsense of Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan to unite Malaysians regardless of race, religion or territory.

Are Najib and Muhyiddin prepared to denounce and apologise for such racist muck-spreading and mud-slinging tactics employed by Umno and Barisan Nasional in the Bagan Pinang by-election?

What is the stand of the leaders from MCA, Gerakan, MIC and other Barisan Nasional component parties on such racist muck-spreading and mud-slinging and are they prepared to fully dissociate themselves from such despicable tactics with unqualified condemnation?

Or will their leaders, whether Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu prefer to keep completely still and silent on such blatant repudiation of Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan?

Or are Umno and Barisan Nasional leaders not really that confident about being able to have an impressive victory in the Bagan Pinang by-election despite fielding Isa Samad as the candidate that they have to resort to such desperate, despicable and disgusting campaigning tactics?

Subra vows to stop MIED from falling into Samy Vellu’s hands



By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam has come out guns ablazing by vowing today to fight to the end any attempt by his rival, the MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, to “hijack” the MIED and turn it into a NGO headed by himself.

The MIED, worth RM1 billion, is the property of the MIC which was set up for the benefit of the Indian community, he said. He has refuted an October 2 statement by Samy Vellu that there is no connection between MIED (Maju Institute of Educational Development) and the MIC.

“If this happens it is blatant hijacking,” Subramaniam told reporters at a press conference in his Section 16 Petaling Jaya house. “I will oppose it to the very end. I will take any and all measures to stop this hijacking,” Subramaniam said.

Samy Vellu had said he plans to place the MIED, which owns the multi-million ringgit AIMST University, as well as other NGOs he had established, under a foundation to be chaired by him and other individuals, including foreigners.

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.”

Soon after the press conference Samy Vellu issued a four paragraph press statement that did not mention MIED nor deny his statement saying MIC and MIED were not connected.

His statement below is reproduced in full:

“I refer to the allegations made by the defeated MIC Deputy Presidential candidate Dato’ S. Subramaniam against me over the issue of the Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) and AIMST University at a news conference today.

Since his defeat in the September 12 MIC Elections in the hands of MIC Deputy President, YB Dato’ G.Palanivel, he (Dato’ S.Subramaniam) has appeared to have lost his mind and has launched a series of verbal attacks against the MIC and my leadership in a bid to tarnish the good name of the party and its members, not to mention my leadership.

As per his allegations against me and the MIC at his news conference today, I have already instructed my lawyer to file a case against him (Dato’ S.Subramaniam) in the Court for defaming me. I do not wish to comment further, except to say let him prove if there were such thoughts in my mind in the Court.”

Subramaniam listed today numerous reasons why MIED is and has always been the education arm of the MIC and not an NGO set-up by Samy Vellu.

He said MIED was registered in 1994 as a company limited by guarantee and its members, subscribers and directors have always been senior MIC leaders.

MIED has always been represented in MIC annual reports, in MIC AGMs and to the public as a MIC owned education venture.

MIC-owned assets, such as Vanto Academy, were transferred to MIED with full knowledge and understanding that MIC was the owner of MIED.

Monies raised for construction of various education institutes including AIMST were from the public and government and announced as ventures of the MIC.

The crown in the proposed foundation that Samy Vellu hopes to take with him into retirement is the AIMST University, which Subramaniam said is worth RM1 billion on its own.

Subramanian said the objective of MIED was to monitor and manage all of MIC’s education activities including AIMST.

“As MIED founder member I will fight to ensure the party’s and community’s assets are not hijacked by any individual,” Subramaniam said.

He said he did the concept paper for MIED, raised funds along with MIC branches and division for MIED and AIMST.

“Every MIC member leader in one way or other has contributed to making AIMST a reality,” Subramaniam. “It is a collective achievement of the MIC as a whole and not an accomplishment of any individual.”

Subramaniam urged the community to rise and unite to save what’s theirs before it is lost.

He also urged MIED directors, most of them allied with Samy Vellu, to do their duty and speak up to save the party’s and community’s assets.

*****

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

By Baradan Kuppusamy

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.

Government Will Not Allow Any Group To Disrupt Racial Unity

PORT DICKSON, Oct 4 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government would not allow any quarters to disrupt racial unity in the country and would promptly act against those who played up sensitive racial issues.

He said since the Barisan Nasional (BN) governed the country, it had managed to unite the various races which had different cultures, customs and religions.

"This racial unity must be preserved at all costs...we don't feel ackward about this as history has proven that for such a long time our people have been able to live as a united society," he said at an Aidilfitri gathering in Taman PD Utama, here, Sunday.

Muhyiddin said it was only once, in 1969, that Malaysia went through the darkest part (May 13, 1969 racial riots) of its history and the government did not want such an incident to recur.

The opposition, however, wished to see peace destroyed by making a lot of defamatory statements and creating friction among the races, besides accusing the government of not wanting to help them, he added.

"In BN, we want to focus on fostering racial unity. Alhamdulillah, the racial ties have been forged. If there are people who use racial issues to stoke anger and hatred, and thus create problems, we have the Sedition Act to deal with them so that they don't simply play up such issues."

He said unity had been forged for long in BN and unlike the opposition pact, the BN would use the same symbol -- the scale -- for all its component parties (in the Bagan Pinang by-election) and that BN was set up with a charter and was a registered body.

"The opposition will make baseless accusations because there are no issues. They are bankrupt of political capital to campaign, so they resort to slandering and telling lies. But I believe the voters will not fall for such tactics."

He said as the country practised democracy, the people had the right to vote for any party. "But BN with its excellent record in administering the country should be the best choice for the people and its candidate for this by-election.

Tan Sri Isa Abdul Samad, is known to the locals and is experienced in administration."

Muhyiddin said the government was not asking the people to repay its deeds, but their recognition for what it had done for the people would be apt.

Non- Malay Voters The Decider In Bagan Pinang?

PORT DICKSON, Oct 4 (Bernama) -- Even before Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad was named Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Bagan Pinang state by-election, already there were talks that BN would retain the seat, as it had been its stronghold all the while.

Now, with Mohd Isa being the candidate most favoured by the people of Bagan Pinang, there is no doubt that BN can retain the seat without much of a problem. Nevertheless, the ruling coalition is not taking the by-election lightly.

The question now is, how big will the majority be this time for BN, and who among the voters will determine whether a candidate wins big or otherwise.

For political analyst Datuk Cheah See Kian, non-Malay voters are crucial in the by-election.

"To me, the decider will be the non-Malay voters, the 20 per cent Indian and 10 per cent Chinese voters. The Malay votes will likely be split, but I forsee that it might be a 60 per cent advantage for Mohd Isa," he said.

Mohd Isa, 60, a local who served as Negeri Sembilan menteri besar for 22 years since 1982, is facing state PAS Commissioner Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, of Lenggeng.

There are 13,664 registered voters -- 9,060 regular voters and 4,604 postal voters -- the majority being Malay voters who represent 62.8 per cent, followed by Indian (20.7 per cent), Chinese (11 per cent) and others (5.5 per cent).

Cheah said Umno had about 2,300 members who are registered voters in the constituency and the BN was expected to garner between 5,000 and 6,000 of the total Malay votes, as compared to about 4,000 Malay votes for PAS.

Even the postal votes of about 4,600 is considered a safe bet for BN. Non-Malay votes are important as previous trends in several other by-elections had shown that they were in favour of the opposition pact.

"On paper, for BN to win the seat, they need to maintain 60 per cent of the Malay support and at the same time, need to gain at least 15 per cent of the total Chinese and Indian votes, plus a majority support from the postal voters," he said.

Therefore, Cheah anticipates that the opposition alliance would press hard on the non-Malay voters to turn the tide against the BN, particulary as Mohd Isa enjoys popular support and was well-known as "a grassroots man".

"At least, I think the opposition alliance will push for 90 per cent support from the non-Malays by using national issues such as the cow head, to swing the votes, knowing very well that other methods are not likely to be workable after learning that even among the local non-Malays, Mohd Isa is a well-liked person," he said.

However, for another political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, it is not a problem for BN to retain this mixed constituency even with only the Malay votes as the previous result had shown that BN won the seat without much non-Malay support.

"From a political point of strategy, you can't say it openly as you need every single vote. However, the fact from the previous election showed that BN had actually won with a majority of about 2,400, due to the strong support from the Malay voters while most of the Indian and the Chinese votes went to PAS," he said.

Dr Sivamurugan anticipates seeing a different scenario in this by-election unlike previous by-elections as the BN, particulary the Teluk Kemang Umno division, is giving a very solid and united support to the candidate.

"For the first time, the UMNO division is not quarrelling about the candidate or succumbing to factional politics. Instead, there is a solid and united front in their show of support for Mohd Isa," he said, adding that the situation would work to BN's advantage.

Therefore, he said, the opposition would most likely go all out to get as much as possible, the non-Malay support.

BN insiders however, believe that it would be tougher this time for the opposition alliance to have more non-Malay support as some non-Malay voters might vote Isa out of symphathy and friendship.

"If that happens, a swing of between 5 and 10 per cent support from the non-Malays towards BN would be good enough to help BN retain the seat. Don't tell me that Mohd Isa does not have Chinese or Indian friends there...

"In the last election, the candidate was not Mohd Isa but in this by-election, Mohd Isa is contesting. Some of Mohd Isa's Chinese and Indian supporters are likely to vote for him as a token of their appreciation.

"Even if it is only a five per cent swing, it is already good enough," said the insider who declined to be identified.

Meanwhile, state DAP chairman Loke Siew Fook said in the previous result, about 60 per cent of the non-Malay votes went to the opposition but in this by-election, they were targeting about 70 per cent.

"From the political strategy, it only makes sense to get more non-Malay votes as judging from the previous results and trends, the Malay votes are split.

"Even as we are working towards getting support from all races, we still need to garner as much as possible, the non-Malay votes as this can change the tide," he said.

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

Mohd Isa takes on Zulkefly in the by-election on Oct 11.

Opposition Desperate In Bagan Pinang, Says Hishammuddin

KLUANG, Oct 4 (Bernama) -- The slander and poison-pen letters flying around in Bagan Pinang show the Opposition were now in a state of desperation in facing the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the constituency, said Umno vice president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Hishammuddin, who is also Home Minister, said the fact that the Opposition were resorting to desperate tactics like trying to cause a split in the BN leadership in the state and using violence were clear signs that the BN candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election was feared by them because of his huge popularity in the constituency.

"I see PAS are acting like desperadoes. They are resorting to telling lies, trying to cause rifts among Umno leaders. We have seen what they tried to do to Umno supreme council member Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, actions like these show Tan Sri Isa is a candidate feared by the Opposition," he told reporters when met at Sembrong Umno's Aidilfitri open house in Felda Ulu Penggeli here Sunday.

He added that PAS, being the underdogs in the election, would resort to anything in trying to get voters support and the people could expect more dirty tricks from its members in the run up to polling day on Oct 11.

On the incident involving Abdul Azeez, who claimed to have been punched by Opposition supporters during nomination yesterday, Hishammudin said police would carry out a thorough probe into the matter.

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

It is called following the death of its assemblyman Azman Mohammad Noor, of the BN, on Sept 4.

Meawnhile, commenting on the burial of Southeast Asia's most wanted terrorist Noordin Mat Top in Kampung Kayu Ara Pasong, Pontian on Friday, HishammudDin said his ministry was constantly on the watch for terrorist activities and there would no let up in this although Noordin had been killed.

After evading capture for nine years, the Malaysian who headed a splinter group of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI),was gunned downed by Indonesian anti-terrorist forces at his hideout in Kepuhsari, Solo, central Java on Sept 17.

I Was Among The First To Propose Isa To Be BN Candidate, Says Mohamad

PORT DICKSON, Oct 4 (Bernama) -- Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said on Sunday he was among the first people who called for Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad to be named as the Barisan Nasional's candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election.

Refuting allegations by the Opposition that there was a rift between him and Isa, Mohamad said this was purposely being raised by the opposition in a bid to gain political capital.

"There were plenty of witnesses when paying my last respects to Bagan Pinang's late assemblyman Azman Mohamamd Noor at the hospital, I suggested Isa be the candidate. Then itself I had told Tan Sri (Isa) to get ready to contest," he told reporters after holding a meeting with community leaders from around Port Dickson, here.

Mohamad said at the time, Isa did not give any answer and just asked for some time to think about it.

However, he said, in the interest of the people of Bagan Pinang and the Barisan Nasional (BN), Isa agreed to be the coalition's candidate.

Asked about the aggresive approach taken by supporters of the Opposition during nomination for the by-election yesterday with Umno supreme council member Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim claiming he was punched in the neck by some of them, Mohamad said thuggish culture had crept into opposition parties.

He said he hoped such incidents would not repeat and the democratic process would be respected.

The by-election, polling of which will be on Oct 11, will see a straight fight between Isa, who is also former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar, and Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, the Negeri Sembilan PAS commissioner.

It is called following the death of its assemblyman Azman Mohammad Noor, of the BN, on Sept 4 due to a blood infection.