Government officials and aid agencies are warning of food shortages in India in the aftermath of deadly floods that swept several of its southern states.
With large tracts of farm land inundated and crops damaged, agricultural production is set to plummet, they say.
Food production in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh is expected to decline by more than 900,000 tonnes, officials have said.
"Rice and other crops in an area of 260,000 hectares (642,000 acres) have been destroyed," Raghuveera Rao, the state agriculture minister, has said.
Last week's floods - after a long dry spell of drought - in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Karnataka have killed at least 300 people and displaced more than a million people.
"Floods and drought have set back India's fight against poverty by years," said Jayakumar Christian, director of World Vision India, an aid agency working in the region.
Besides destroying standing crop, the floods have also contaminated grain stocks in millions of homes.
Though the government has not announced any plans yet to help residents deal with food shortages, Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, has announced plans to visit the affected regions on Friday.
The floods came at a critical time when many farmers had sowed their winter crops and much of this has been washed away or damaged, Rao said.
Friday, October 9, 2009
PETALING JAYA, Oct 9 — A new twist into the death of A. Kugan, who died while in police custody, emerged today when lawyers representing his family told the magistrate's court they had evidence he may also have been poisoned.
N. Surendran, who is one of the family's three lawyers seeking the return of toxicology samples obtained from Kugan, told the court he had post-mortem pictures which a medical expert believes show an injection mark on Kugan's arm.
The toxicology samples were seized by the police on April 6 during a raid on the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) where a second post-mortem on Kugan was carried out on the insistence of his family.
Surendran argued that the return of the samples was vital because the family intends to send them for analysis in Australia to determine if Kugan was poisoned.
“His family wants the test to be conducted because they believe he died not only because of brutal beatings but from an injection of a substance into his body.”
Magistrate Ho Kwang Chin will deliver his decision on whether the samples should be returned to UMMC on Monday.
PORT DICKSON, Oct 9 — The listless PAS campaign for the Bagan Pinang by-election shifted into higher gear last night with the arrival of Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat to attract support, after days of playing catch-up with rival Barisan Nasional.
The PAS spiritual adviser addressed two DAP-organised rallies in the state constituency — both of which were well attended — as party supporters from neighbouring states began flocking this coastal town to campaign with fence-sitters.
The Umno bastion is proving hard to crack even for PAS as its vaunted grassroots network is not that established in Negri Sembilan, despite growing popularity among ex-servicemen who have settled in the town that houses a major army camp. Most analysts agree the lack of a strong PAS network here could lead to Pakatan Rakyat's first loss after a 100 per cent win record in seven by-elections in the peninsula since Election 2008.
At a dinner with the Chinese community near here, Nik Aziz shared the stage with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng where he spoke against what he called Umno's divisive politics.
“I came here today not as a Malay, but as a Muslim bringing the message of peace,” said the soft spoken Nik Aziz to the multi-racial crowd.
“We may look different but we all came from the same man,” said the religious scholar.
Just before midnight, he arrived at the DAP's main operation centre where he made passionate appeal to thousands of people who attended the rally to vote for PAS.
The Kelantan mentri besar ended his speech with a long prayer in Arabic asking for God's help to ensure PAS's victory this weekend.
Earlier yesterday, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) campaign also received another boost when dozens of the coalition's elected representatives joined the party machinery making their rounds at all PAS's operation centres across the constituency.
The arrival of Nik Aziz in Bagan Pinang was part of PAS's strategy to begin their show of strength ahead of polling this Sunday.
At every by-election it is customary for Nik Aziz to make a special written appeal to voters to back the party.
But the Barisan Nasional (BN) machinery was also fully prepared this time to welcome the highly-respected PAS leader.
Billboards showing the picture of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak visiting Nik Aziz in hospital began making its appearance yesterday to replace billboards put up earlier in the campaign accusing PAS of rejecting development.
This latest billboard advertisement also carries the message by Prophet Mohamad which promotes brotherhood in Islam.
PORT DICKSON, Oct 9 — The Barisan Nasional (BN) recognises the contributions of the Chinese community in the nation's progress, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said this was because the community shared a major portion of the national economy.
"In terms of value, 47 per cent of the nation's wealth is controlled by the Chinese, the Malays 18 per cent and Indians about one per cent," he said at the 2009 Lantern Festival held at Dataran Kemang, Telok Kemang here last night.
Also present were MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
"That is why I say to the (Malays) that if they want to succeed, they have to work hard. We cannot be envious if a Chinese, Indian or Malay attains success because in Malaysia, the government's policy is that who works hard, he or she gets the just rewards," he said, adding that the government never blocked anyone from striving to attain success in life.
"We do try and help those who need it. We help the Malays so that they too can be as progressive as others. We want all Malaysians to contribute to the nation's progress," he said.
On the festival, Muhyiddin said it was a Malaysian heritage which was not only celebrated by the Chinese but also other races as well.
He added that Malaysians were blessed in that the various races in the country were able to live together in harmony. — Bernama
Who stands up for the 4 youths killed by the police the other day? Why do we have these incidents in the first place?
The police can shoot and kill anyone and then call them criminals to justify their shooting. This is inspite of the fact that the police are indeed a law unto themselves, as a result of which they render our country lawless. Never mind, I give you all that.
Now consider this - The Indian boys who were shot in Kulim the other day, were from the age group of 20-29. Once the Human Resource Minister Dr.Subramaniam said 200,000 Indian youths are involved in crime. The number of Indian youth in the age group 15 -29 years is 35% of the total Indian population (of 1,800,000) or about 630,000. Let us assume a male female ratio is 50/50. That will make it 315,000 male Indian youths in this category. Let us also make an assumption that most of those involved in criminal activities are males - say 90%.
There are therefore 180,000 Indian male youths out of 315,000 who are involved in crime. That is about 60% of the Indian male youth in the population. That is for now 2009, what about the children they are going to have and their grandchildren. What is going to be the net the impact on the Indian community as a whole in the next 50 years. Not a bright future for the coming generations of Indians in the country, is it?
These young chaps were born between 1980-1989 not very long ago. They were born into circumstances that led them to crime. Just what are these circumstances that lead to crime, why do we have these circumstances,. why do these circumstances persist and who is doing something to turn this situation around - who? UMNO, MIC, PKR,DAP,PAS ?
Don't you think that any Party that wants to provide leadership for the Indian community must deal with this extremely serious problem, head-on. This is directly a result of the governing policies of the last 50+years. These policies must change, we do not want a repeat. Shooting our way out is not an answer at all. If that is the answer , it means potentially shooting 60% of our Indian youths to rid ourselves of the problem of crime. But then again, will the problem go away. The processes in society that breed crime remain, so more will be produced to replace those that have been shot and killed. On top of all that , there is a concerted effort to keep Indians ignorant and confused about the root causes of this misery. The killing will continue, until we all understand the real causes and begin to hold the people who govern this country accountable for these problems.
HRP is the first Indian based Political party, a wing of Hindraf, that has dared to stand up and ask for this accountability in very clear and no nonsense terms.. Let us understand that this is what they are trying to do. And they are just beginning. Let us all support their efforts. They are our hope for a better future in this country.There is no other way. There just is no other way for all of us Indians in this country. Unless some among us are willing to sacrifice. Hindraf/HRP leaders have shown they will sacrifice for the rest of us. Let us all now strongly support them.
“ It is by the struggles of the weak, made under compulsion, to resist the reign of force and wrong that we secure, extend and preserve justice"
United we stand
United we act
Pakatan Rakyat will seek registration as a coalition under the Societies Act 1966 with the stand taken by the Registrar of Societies Datuk Md Alias Kalil that the law requiring at least seven political parties to register as a society does not apply.
Section 2 of the Societies Act 1966 defines “society” as including
“any club, company, partnership, or association of seven or more persons whatever its nature or object, whether temporary or permanent, but does not include—
(a) any company registered under the provisions of any written law relating to companies for the time being in force in Malaysia;
(b) any company or association constituted under any written law;
(c) any trade union registered or required to be registered under the provisions of any written law relating to trade unions for the time being in force in Malaysia;
(d) any company, association or partnership formed for the sole purpose of carrying on any lawful business that has for its object the acquisition of gain by the company, association or partnership, or by the individual members thereof”.
This has been interpreted as requiring any coalition of political parties to have at least seven constituent political parties to be registered under the Societies Act.
However, as the Registrar of Societies has now taken the position that a coalition of political parties does not fall under this provision, Pakatan Rakyat will seek registration as a coalition under the Societies Act to work for the national reforms and political changes if Malaysia is to restore her national unity, sense of purpose and international competitiveness.
By Shanon Shah
Strange (and dishonest) BN math
THERE is a ubiquitous campaign billboard in Port Dickson now. It says, "For 63 years, Barisan Nasional (BN) has protected you. Don't destroy the country's security."
The arithmetic is baffling. The BN was officially registered as a coalition in July 1974. As at October 2009, this would make the BN only 35 years old. Yes, the BN is only as old as Posh Spice a.k.a. Mrs David Beckham. Former US President George W Bush is 63 years old, not the BN.
But the number quoted on this billboard is intriguing. Perhaps a cursory look at the BN's three biggest peninsula-based parties is in order. We can eliminate the MCA from this equation since it was formed in 1949, making it a youthful 60 years old only. Both the MIC and Umno, however, were formed in 1946. Just on a hunch, the billboard is probably not referring to the MIC. No, the billboard's subliminal message seems to be that Umno is the BN, and voters had better not forget this.
Setting aside the subliminal message, such dishonesty is only a small part of the BN's Bagan Pinang by-election campaign rhetoric. Take BN candidate Tan Sri Isa Samad's campaign trail. He piggybacks incessantly on government functions as part of his campaign platform.
For example, on 4 Oct 2009, he attended a function at Politeknik Port Dickson and delivered a campaign speech. The event was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry's entrepreneur funding body, Tekun.
The minister was there, as well as the Negeri Sembilan menteri besar. But when journalists asked Isa if his appearance at the function was an abuse of power and an election offence, he said no. "I am actually part of the agricultural development council for the Teluk Kemang parliamentary constituency, so I have a role to play here, too," he explained calmly.
PR banner "bringing up" Isa's history of corruption — "wo ai ni" translates as "I love you" in Mandarin
Does this explanation even hold water? Isn't it the point that election campaigns should never abuse government amenities and public funds? And Isa's dishonesty does not stop here. When the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) brings up his history of corruption and negligence as menteri besar, he throws up his favourite red herring. "Ask them to look at Kelantan first and say whether Kelantan is more developed than Negeri Sembilan," he says.
This is another non-answer, because never at any point is he actually being transparent about responding to allegations of negligence and corruption. Instead, he diverts attention away from himself by pointing fingers at and making fun of his political opponent.
Isa is also not averse to playing the religious card. He criticises PAS leaders for not Islamising Kelantan, and Terengganu from 1999 to 2004, enough. The thing about Isa, though, is that he is such a charismatic, funny and approachable figure that these seem more like witty retorts than the deceit and manipulations that they really are.
And in this corner ...
But is PAS, and by extension the PR, any more honest and congruent than the BN? One just needs to look at how the coalition purports to tell voters the whole truth about issues of public interest. These include Isa's abuses of power, Isa's corruption, and a tainted electoral roll, in addition to the tragic deaths of political secretary Teoh Beng Hock and suspected car thief A Kugan.
And yet, the PR seems uncharacteristically silent about other public interest issues that point at deeper problems in the coalition. There is not a peep about PAS's support for the whipping sentence against Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarnor for drinking alcohol, its Selangor commissioner's campaign against the minority Ahmadiyah religious community, its youth wing's obsession with banning concerts, and cracks within the Selangor PR government. There is not even an attempt to explain the coalition's side of the story regarding these issues. Why?
Like Umno, PAS also cannot help pouncing on religious rhetoric as part of its campaign. In an informal meeting with retired army personnel on 6 Oct, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang could not help but spin the army's main role as defenders of religion first and foremost.
The battle between PAS and Umno in this constituency is indeed escalating, but it abuses facts and evidence. Instead, both parties seem to be resorting to religious legitimacy to gain the upper hand. And in this battle, it seems as though Umno is willing to stoop lower than PAS.
After all, it is in PAS's political DNA to politicise religion. The party is an Islamist party, for heaven's sake — if it honestly does not want to Islamise Malaysia or impose Islamic laws, then that would be news. That it is trying to walk the tightrope of upholding the PR's non-communal, democratic vision is a breathtaking lesson in the art of the double discourse — one discourse for anti-BN Islamists, and another for anti-BN multiculturalists.
Anti-PR flyer. Doesn't fit into 1Malaysia concept. It's a
mystery who put it up.
But what is Umno's excuse? Could it not, in theory, be the secular, or at the minimum, non-Islamist Malay Malaysian alternative to PAS? Could it not clean up its act in terms of corruption and misrule and yet not take the Islamic bait in its campaign rhetoric? This is the million ringgit question. It is a strategy Umno has not even thought to try in recent memory.
The question is, why? Are Umno leaders equally intent on setting the Islamic agenda on their own terms? Or are they merely using Islamic rhetoric as a political strategy to steal votes from PAS?Whatever their motivations, it seems to make virtually all contests between Umno and PAS degenerate into an orgy of dishonesty and holier-than-thou Islamism. Perhaps this is what Malay-Muslim Malaysian voters want and enjoy, and what non-Malay, non-Muslim Malaysians are willing to put up with in their quest to choose the lesser evil. But is it good for the future of democracy in Malaysia? This is a question too big for Bagan Pinang alone to answer, but it must be asked nevertheless.
By James Chin
OCT 8 — Latest reports suggest that Umno is worried that the weak link in BN is the component parties. In particular, Umno is worried that parties like MIC and MCA cannot win any non-Malay votes, and these parties will win on Umno votes. If these reports are true, it will mark a major turning point in Malaysian politics.
One of the unspoken rules of BN politics is that a certain number of “safe seats”, i.e. Malay majority, are allocated to key leaders in MIC, Gerakan and MCA to ensure that there will always be “Chinese” and “Indian” leaders in government. That is the reason why DAP often challenges key leaders of MCA to stand in 90-plus per cent Chinese seats to show who really represents the Chinese voters. In other words, Umno provides the basic votes for these key leaders to get elected.
One could look at Umno’s strategy in two ways. The benign way is to see it as Umno showing its commitment to multi-racialism by allowing some safe Malay seats to go to non-Malays. The other way of looking at it is to see it as Umno guaranteeing a façade of a multi-racial government by claiming that it will always have minorities represented in the government.
Unfortunately there is every indication that things will get worse for MCA, Gerakan and MIC. One can imagine MCA getting 10-15 per cent of the Chinese vote while MIC will end up with less than 10 per cent of the Indian vote.
In such circumstances, Umno will be doing the right thing by taking back these “loan” seats from the MCA, Gerakan and MIC. There is no point in helping a dying party.
The question then is what are Umno’s options? The first thing to bear in mind is that the collapse of the vote for the component parties is largely due to Umno’s own doing. Its ideology and rhetoric before and after 2008 GE confirmed that the Malay Agenda is the only game in Umno. Voters know that under this scenario, there is no point in even voting for the component parties since they will be totally marginalised even if they win. The logical vote will go to the opposition who are in the midst of trying to create a fairer coalition. The second thing to bear in mind is that Umno holds all the cards. MCA, Gerakan and MIC do not hold any cards — in fact they are not even invited to play. You thus have a strange situation like a rat running around in a maze where there is no exit. The game goes like this:
*Umno to MIC, MCA and Gerakan: You must work harder to win back the Chinese and Indian votes.
*MIC, MCA and Gerakan to Umno: We can only win back the non-Malay votes if you genuinely share power with us and give the non-Malay a place in the Malaysian sun. We feel marginalised.
*Umno to MIC, MCA and Gerakan: You already have a place in the Malaysian sun. You are just not doing a good job in explaining the situation to the non-Malay community. You are not marginalised since we appoint you ministers and even loan you some Malay seats. We have 1 Malaysia.
*MIC, MCA and Gerakan to Umno: If 1 Malaysia is genuine, then drop the Malay Agenda, NEP and go for meritocracy.
*Umno to MIC, MCA and Gerakan: The Malay Agenda is the national agenda. Period. If the Malays are unhappy, there will be political instability. Therefore the Malay Agenda promotes political stability. There is nothing wrong with the NEP, there are still more Chinese and Indian millionaires than Malay millionaires. You have to make the Chinese and Indian community understand and get them to be grateful for a peaceful environment created by BN.
In other words, as long as Umno thinks there is nothing wrong with the current set-up, the component parties will get weaker and weaker.
Since the component parties have no real input into the policy process, they are left with only one option to gain some political legitimacy and “save face”.
This option is to set up “service centres” to solve the day-to-day problems of the working class. They will do anything but make government policies. They will get involved in hawker licence issues, rubbish collection issues, runaways, dirty drains, cannot get Telekom phone lines, etc, you name it, they will do it. But if you ask them to change government policy, they will hide under the desk and pretend you are not there.
Thus the dilemma is simple; since they have no power they cannot bring about reforms and change in government. All they can do is talk about reforms and change. Real reforms and change can only take place if Umno takes the lead, and on Umno’s terms. They have to work within the parameters established by Umno. Umno knows this and all the BN component parties know this. That’s the bottom line.
By Mohsin Abdullah
Today 8 Oct 2009 postal voting begins for the Bagan Pinang by election. It will continue tomorrow. This according to Datuk Ngah Senik, the Election Commission secretary “is necessary as there are 4,604 postal voters in the constituency”. Polling proper as we know is on Sunday.
Anyway since nomination last Saturday, many have been using the word “when” instead of “if” in referring to Tan Sri Samad’s bid for the Bagan Pinang state seat. In short, many believe Isa will win. They have their own reasons for coming to an early conclusion, all of which we have heard many times before.
So let’s not go there. But with such conclusion comes this -- a logical question which was and still being asked:“ What do you do with a senior party man when he wins?” What this simply means is “How do you reward him?” Some are speculating Isa will be given an exco portfolio. Isa has declared that he wasn’t promised anything if he wins.Many are not convinced. The Menteri Besar Mohamad Hassan is keeping mum, only wanting to say:”Let Isa win first”. Hence the speculation continues. Many still firmly believing Isa will be made a senior exco befitting his stature.
Word have it that Mohamad Hassan does not enjoy the full support of Umno Negeri Sembilan. Such talk has been heard for a long time. An Umno watcher put it as five out of eight Umno divisions in the state as not supporting the MB. It seems that Rais Yatim and Shaziman Mansor , big names in Umno Negeri Sembilan are also not keen on Mohamad Hassan. True of false ? It all depends on who you talk to.
Some say when Mohamad Hassan became MB, he incurred the wrath of Isa by chopping off Isa’s men. Now it looks like it’s pay back time. According to an Umno watcher, the day Isa was officially named BN candidate for Bagan Pinang, many of Mohamad Hassan supporters abandoned him and jumped onto the Isa band wagon.
Now some are boldly speculating that Isa will be made, no not senior exco but Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar, replacing Mohamad Hassan. The Umno watcher who claims to have been following Negeri Sembilan Umno politics for a long time feel there’s a possibility PM Najib Razak will appoint Isa as MB. He went on to state the reason why, which I feel should be omitted at least for now.
All this however cannot be independently substantiated and remain speculative . Maybe hear-say even .
Still it’s safe to assume supporters of Isa will push, shove and prompt that their boss be made MB. But Mohamad Hassan is no pushover. He too have his own supporters (although some said to have jumped ship). And as Menteri Besar he is the incumbent despite being junior to Isa, in age and experience. He won’t give in easily. His band of supporters will make sure of that, if not for anything else.
If the speculation and conspiracy theory become a reality, then a bigger war is in store after Sunday’s by election in Bagan Pinang. Like Karen Carpenter said in her song “We’ve only just begun..”
But first thing’s first. Isa must win. Can he ? Will he?
Perihal persidangan “Common Word” disentuh sabelum ini dan inshaallah akan saya kupas lagi lantaran keistimewaan ikhtiar jalinan kerjasama Muslim-Kristian.
Yang ingin disentuh kini ialah dua pertemuan khusus dengan sarjana terkemuka Profesor Seyyed Hossein Nasr dari Universiti George Washington.
Beliau menyerahkan naskah ucapan di persidangan tersebut berjudul – A Common Word Initiative: Theoria and Praxis. Tetapi di sepanjang perjalanan pulang, selesai mambaca International Herald Tribune, Financial Times, Economist dan beberapa lapuran mengenai Pakistan dan Afghanistan, saya terus menelaah buku tebal hadiah dari Profesor Seyyed Hossein Nasr berjudul – The Sage Learning of Liu Zhi: Islamic Thought in Confucian Terms, karya Sachiko Murata, William C. Chittick dan Tu Weiming.
Maka berenanglah kami dengan alunan hujah mengenai syari’ah, tariqah dan ma’rifah – berbanding dengan dao dan jiao; mengupas karya Liu Zhi and the Han Kitab serta karya alim China yang ulung mengenai Nabi Muhammad SAW, iaitu Tianfang Zhisheng Shilu!
Saya kira demikian persiapan terbaik menghadapi hiruk-pikuk dan kegilaan politik di Bagan Pinang.
He said it reflected the support of the Indian community towards the Barisan Nasional (BN) ahead of Sunday's by-election in the Bagan Pinang constituency, near here.
"We did not expect such a huge turnout but we were well-prepared," he told Bernama here.
The open house, held at the Sua Betong estate here, was graced by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
In his speech, Muhyiddin said the gathering was a success and congratulated the MIC.
Also present were Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, BN candidate Tan Sri Isa Samad, top MIC leaders, Gerakan deputy president Datuk Chan Ko Yuan and Indian Progressive Front (IPF) president Puan Sri Jayashree Pandithan.
Before addressing the audience, the deputy prime minister accompanied by Mohamad, Isa, Samy Vellu and other top MIC leaders took to the stage to be photographed and later garlanded by several local MIC branch chairmen.
Samy Vellu said most of the Indians who attended the open house were from the four estates in the Bagan Pinang constituency and many were voters.
"We are encouraged by their presence and value their support," he said.
He also said that that the MIC would work extra hard to woo more Indian voters until the campaign period ends at midnight tomorrow.
The MIC was confident of delivering the Indian votes to the BN, he said. "Our feedback is that the Indians are back with us (the BN)."
The "Najib factor" has given the Indians a new hope, he said, referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Now almost everyday, we can see Thanenthiran of Makkal Sakthi Party got bashed up by outlawed Hindraf / PAHAM, MIC, Bolger’s columns, PAKATAN RAKYAT and everyone who fears they got something to loss from Thanenthiran’s political move.
But who is Thanenthiran in the first place? He was the National Coordinator of HINDRAF. The man who led HINDRAF for more than 514 days when the Chairman Wathymoorty ran to London and the Secretary General Regu ran to India. The rest of the committee members went ‘underground’. The four HINDRAF Legal Counsel plus the then National Coordinator Vasantkumar got arrested under ISA Act. Thanenthiran who was the most trusted Lieutenant of Utayahkumar was asked to ensure the light and spirit of HINDRAF lives on until Utayah comes back to lead the movement again.
So he was the “brave heart “who stood the ground when the rest went hiding or got impounded. He was the man who got kicked, beaten, dragged, arrested and detained in full public view when he fought for the rights of ISA detainees and public especially Indians. He was the man who said ‘Syed Albar bodoh’ in the parliament lobby even when he knows about the dangers of him getting arrested is imminent .He was the man who marches to the police stations to protest and got sprayed with chemicals. Because of his continue ‘harassment’ there was change in UMNO leadership. He was the reason that HINDRAF‘s name stood until now.
So my question is where the civil society and all the critics were when he was championing the rights of the public or when he was arrested? When Thanenthiran and team were fighting in the frontline, who supported them? I know for a fact that they were using they own funds. When he was traveling all around Malaysia, galvanizing support for Indians cause and then for PAKATAN’s in general election; who cared about him and his team? When he slept by the road side in his car, why nobody commented? He and his team work selflessly.
And isn’t seeing the prime minister and telling him the predicament of Indian was the reason for the all the rallies. So what is so wrong in Thanenthiran meeting the PM and got something done for Indians? What if Prime Minister Badawi has agreed to meet Thanenthiran then? Should he have said no? Then why have the memorandum? Surely you want to discuss about it with the person in authority. The argument that Utayah should be allowed to discuss with government is without merit. Any government clearly does not what to discuss with detainees. It is against government policy and Utayah have yet to come clean with public fund his girlfriend is holding under her name. I see the government is doing something for Indians directly after Makkal Sakti was formed. For example, the Indian IC problems are looked into seriously. This is the same issue that Thanenthiran was working on.
On the other hand what have PAKATAN done so far, other that putting some Indian faces in their goverment departments and destroying the last Indian heritage village. What about policies changes. Why not the problems of IC looked into? Whenever you ask them why you didn’t do it, they kept on saying we will do upon getting the federal government. When are you gone get the federal? 16 September? What about state level, surely you can do something at state level. But even at this level there were many hanky pankys as highlighted by ex PAKATAN’s Councilor a Thiru. PAKATAN should prove itself at state level first before it asks for federal.
When a close friend of mine meet Thanenthiran and asked about allegations that he have take money from the public; Thanenthiran asked the person that have given the money to him to come forward and prove it.
Some alleged that he is causing Indians to split by having Makkal Sakthi but did they forgot that it was Thanenthiran who ask all the five HINDRAF ISA ex detainees to take over the leadership of Makkal Sakthi , a legal political platform and that he is willing to step aside. Why didn’t they take up the offer? Ego? Indians were united during 25th rally because they all agreed to work as a team but when Wathymoorty and his brother Utayah decided to hijack HINDRAF from the committee then when things get splitting. The HINDRAF fund should have been held in trust under the supervision of a committee but when it goes under one persons name and supervised by family members that when credibility goes flying.
Recently Vasantkumar said that Thanenthiran have hijacked HINDRAF. Which HINDRAF? HINDRAF Enterprise is still his and two female comrades whom HINDRAF’s Wathy and Vasantkumar left to die in the battlefield. They not only have lost their jobs but have suffered humiliations and lost contact with their family members. And their rights have yet to be defended by Vasantkumar and brothers Wathy and Utayah. More that two years now they are yet to be visited by these heroes of HINDRAF. And Vasant, isn’t your wife who were begging like a beggar for money from the public and to the PM for your release? And it is you who have hijacked HINDRAF from the real HINDRAF under Ramaji. So shut your b…… mouth.
The new Hindraf / PAHAM lead by brothers Utayah and Wathy were among the vocal critics of Thanenthiran. Ironically they can join hands with MIC in many issues like Buah Pala and bashing up Thanenthiran. But Thanenthiran, a former fellow comrade seems to be their arca enemy for working with government for the betterment of Indians. Why? Have Hindraf / PAHAM joined PAKATAN or do they have some sort of pact with MIC?
The MIC’s attack against Thanenthiran is also because they were worried that after all the attempts and Tsunami to unseat Samy Velu (who still holding on to the power); he may finally been bought down by Thanenthiran through his cooperation with the government.
Thanenthiran have repeatedly asked people to give him a chance to prove himself. If he can’t deliver then he will without saying ‘close shop’ himself.
Give the man a chance.
Mahalingam, who was the former MIC treasurer, said Samy Vellu had in his pronouncements in the past repeatedly indicated that the All Asian Institute of Medicine, Science, and Technology (AIMST), MIED and MIC were one. And page 9 of MIC's Minutes of the 19th August 1985 Central Working Committee meeting says it all.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
(NST) - The Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) is part and parcel of the Malaysian Indian Congress, one of its former trustees said yesteday.
Tan Sri M. Mahalingam said the MIED was the successor to the MIC's education fund.
"We did away with the education fund as members were complaining that they were required to contribute money to the fund while raising funds for MIED.
"As a result of this, the party decided to close the education wing and transfer all its assets to the MIED."
He was responding to the statement by MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu last week that the MIED is an entity of its own and has nothing to do with the MIC.
Mahalingam, who was the former MIC treasurer, said Samy Vellu had in his pronouncements in the past repeatedly indicated that the All Asian Institute of Medicine, Science, and Technology (AIMST), MIED and MIC were one. (READ MORE HERE)
PAGE 9 ON THE RM10 MILLION MIC EDUCATION FUND
Isa Samad, Umno's candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election, did not commit a corrupt act, says Umno. Money politics is not corruption, argues Umno. It is…well…money politics. In that spirit, Malaysia Today reveals the letter that was sent to one-time Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi about all those who indulged in…well…money politics…in the 2004 party elections. Clearly, it is the Umno culture to dabble in…well…money politics, as this letter reveals.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Santhya Gunasekeran, i/c no 940311-05-5384, a smart 15 year old student of Sek Men Keb Mantin, (Ketua Sekolah: Dr Chia Keng Boon), Mantin, Negri Sembilan desperately needs help to undergo chemotherapy and medications, Santhya was diagnosed to be suffering from throat cancer 2nd stage (Hodgkins Disease) in May 2009, this year. Santhya who is currently undergoing treatment and care by Dr Suzanna (Hematology Dept.) at HUKM hospital in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, R/N 2500527 needs RM10,000.00 urgently for her chemotherapy sessions and other medical treatments..
Her mother, Mageswari Subramaniam, a factory worker and unemployed father, Gunasekeran, are in desperately seeking financial help from you, kind hearted Malaysians for Santhya to undergo treatment at HUKM on 1st Oct 2009, Let's all chip in RM10.00 each if it is permissible, for Santhya to undergo treatment. may god bless this poor child, So far some generous kind hearted souls have donated RM 2800.00
According to Santhya’s specialist, Dr Suzanna, cautioned that Santhya needs to be treated soon as the disease may spread to her other organs, Santhya is weak, the poor child needs your prayers, blessings and kind generous help.
Kindly forward your financial help, if you may, to Mageswari Subramaniam (mother) at No.56, Jalan Satu, Taman Bunga Raya, 71700 Mantin, Negri Sembilan, hp no. 016-6619721 or kindly bank in to: Maybank a/c no. 105082253934.
This patient has been verified as true and genuine case at HUKM ( Hematology Dept), Cheras, K.L.
Thanking you in anticipation.
(i/c no 710605-05-5562)
hp no. 016-6619721
PENANG, Oct 8 – The father of a 14-year-old pregnant girl today claimed that the police were dragging their feet in the investigation into his daughter’s rape case.
The 44-year-old businessman, who spoke to reporters at his house here, urged the police to show more concern and speed up their investigation, saying his daughter was six months pregnant and the rape suspect was still at large.
“It has been three months since I lodged the police report but the investigating officer has failed to settle my daughter’s case,” he said.
The man said his daughter was raped by a 23-year-old man who was in a relationship with her sometime last year and as a result she kept skipping classes and finally dropped out of school early this year.
He said that when he called up the officer to ask for an update on the case two weeks after lodging the report, the investigating officer told him to wait, saying there were “too many cases to investigate”.
However, he said, he was told by a policeman that the police had raided the man’s house near Paya Terubong a day after he had lodged the report but the man no longer lived there.
“I would not want anyone to suffer the same fate as my daughter and hope that the police will seriously investigate and bring justice for my daughter,” he said.
He also said that the man was still trying to contact his daughter by sending SMS messages to her mobile phone which was now kept by him.
Georgetown OCPD ACP Azam Abd Hamid said he would question the investigating officer.
“Action will be taken against the officer if he is found guilty of the offence (of delaying the case),” he said. – Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 – Prime Minister Najib Razak heads into his party’s annual meeting next week promising reforms to stem corruption in a bid to reignite the waning appeal of a government that has ruled for 52 years.
Najib is also hoping for victory on Sunday in a safe state seat to stem a series of by-election losses his governing coalition has suffered since last year’s poll debacle, in which it stumbled to record losses in national and state polls.
Umno will applaud Najib if a former Cabinet minister, sacked in 2004 for buying votes, wins the seat – before they turn their attention to party reforms aimed at eliminating the kind of “money politics” and corruption that has long tainted Umno’s image.
Corruption has seen a generation of young Malays desert Umno, the party of their parents, in favour of the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), which promotes both an Islamic state and a strong anti-graft stance in this ethnically mixed Southeast Asian nation of 27 million people.
Although Najib, who has enacted economic reforms to boost foreign investment, initially saw a spike in his approval ratings to 65 per cent in July from 42 per cent before he took office in April, those numbers have not held up.
A poll by the independent Merdeka Center published on Friday showed Najib’s rating had fallen to 56 per cent in September and there are few signs younger voters are now embracing Umno.
“Now that another Malay party (PAS) is in power, they (Umno) seem to be sabotaging them, creating all sort of problems,” said Yusuff Ismail, a 35-year old sales clerk in northwestern Kedah state, one of the four states to fall to the opposition in 2008.
“This divides the Malays more,” Yusuff said. “More people will vote for PAS because at least we know they are cleaner.”
While Najib’s economic reforms have chipped away at a three-decade old affirmative action programme that gives Malays – 55 per cent of the population – preferences in company ownership, government contracts, education and housing, tough areas have not yet been touched.
The government has recently been hit by a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal over the construction of a free trade
“What worries me is that Najib worries there could be more (corruption) incidents in Umno. Then it will be a problem he can’t control,” said a senior Umno official who leads one of the party’s 191 divisions, the frontline units of Malaysia’s biggest mass political party.
MONEY HAS NOT FOLLOWED PRAISE
Najib, who has pledged to return Malaysia to six per cent annual economic growth and to draw in more foreign investment, has won plaudits from investment banks for the economic reforms he has announced so far.
These reforms include reducing requirements that Malays own 30 per cent of listed companies, opening up the insurance and fund management industry and other service sectors.
While praise has flowed, money has not and foreign ownership of the equity market remains mired at a touch over 20 per cent, according to stock market data, its lowest level since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
An Oct 4 report from Deutsche Bank noted that despite what it termed “bold” reforms from Najib, some investors had reduced Malaysia’s equity market, once a regional leader, to a “rounding error” when making their portfolio allocations.
“Politics matters more than ever for this market, especially when investors’ confidence in Indonesia’s political system has improved significantly over the last month,” the report said.
Indonesia’s stock market is Asia’s best performing this year and has gained 86 per cent thanks to the re-election of reformist President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono while Malaysia’s market is Asia’s worst performing.
According to the Deutsche Bank report, government-related entities own 39.4 per cent of Malaysia’s equity market and that reduces the country’s attractiveness to fund managers.
Bolder reforms, such as moves to reduce the ownership of the state and state-linked pension funds in major companies, and slashing an overmanned civil service, will be much harder as they will have a direct impact on jobs for Malays, Umno’s voter base.
Bridget Welsh, a Malaysia expert at Singapore Management University, said bolder reforms risk alienating Umno’s core voters.
“The reason for the failure to bring about reform is Umno’s dependence on race and goodies for its survival.”
WEAKENED COALITION PARTNERS
Najib also faces huge problems rebuilding Umno’s coalition allies who also lost heavily in the 2008 elections.
The MCA, the second biggest government party, is mired in a leadership battle that will climax at a special party meeting this weekend.
The MIC has just been through a leadership fight and shows few signs it is reconnecting with its voters after being annihilated in the 2008 elections.
Ethnic Chinese account for around 25 per cent of the population and ethnic Indians around 8 per cent.
Najib has sought to defuse racial tensions by launching a racially inclusive campaign called “1 Malaysia”, dismissed by critics as little more than a branding exercise.
“The strategy is to pledge a yet unsubstantiated programme of ‘1 Malaysia’ while on the ground running campaigns based on the outdated model of race and money,” Welsh said.
The Umno leader does not see much chance the Barisan will fare any better at the 2013 general election than it did in 2008, raising the prospect of a prolonged period of political uncertainty that will further unnerve investors.
“I foresee there will not be a change of government, but it will not be a strong vote for both sides and that is bad for the country.” – Reuters
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 – Umno appears headed for victory in this weekend’s Bagan Pinang vote, but a huge majority of voters in peninsular Malaysia disagree with Barisan Nasional’s (BN) choice of a tainted candidate, a new poll shows.
A poll by the independent Merdeka Center shows a whopping 87 per cent of voters surveyed disagreed with the choice of a candidate previously charged with vote buying.
The result of the survey suggests that a majority of Malaysian voters agree with the view put forward by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Tan Sri Isa Samad should not have been nominated as BN’s candidate for the Bagan Pinang vote.
The former PM has been a vocal critic of the nomination of the former Negri Sembilan mentri besar who was punished with a three-year suspension after the party’s disciplinary board found him guilty of vote buying during the Umno elections in 2004.
But Isa has proven to be a popular choice in Bagan Pinang, a BN stronghold where the ruling coalition can count on a large bank of postal votes from army personnel.
Umno leaders are hoping that a convincing win this weekend will give the party a much needed boost as it would be BN’s first by-election victory in peninsular Malaysia since Election 2008.
Party leaders are hoping that a win would help rally the party faithful to help fend off Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) challenge to BN rule.
But critics, chief among them Dr Mahathir, have argued that winning with a tainted leader like Isa would send out the wrong message to voters nationally.
Prior to Isa’s nomination, Dr Mahathir had said that nominating Isa would show that Umno had not learned its lessons. He also added that having a candidate like Isa, who had been involved with corruption, did not speak well for Umno and BN.
The Merdeka Center suggests voters agree with him. The same poll also showed that voters are intolerant of sex scandals. A whopping 75 per cent of those polled said they did not agree that a leader tainted by a sex scandal should lead a major political party.
This comes as MCA holds an EGM this weekend in which party delegates will ultimately choose whether to back Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat or Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek. Dr Chua was secretly filmed having sex with his mistress and the recording was leaked in late 2007.
Ong has also been affected by allegations of graft after he was accused of accepting a RM10 million donation and taking free rides on private jets owned by a company being investigated by his ministry.
According to the Merdeka Center, a total of 846 registered voters were randomly selected for the poll. The margin of error was 3.4 per cent.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 – Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s approval rating has fallen slightly, with 56 per cent of Malaysians satisfied with his performance as Prime Minister, compared with a high of 65 per cent in June, according to a new poll released today.
The poll, conducted by the independent Merdeka Center to mark Najib’s sixth month as PM, showed that many Malaysians found his efforts at reducing corruption and crime still wanting.
But a majority of those polled are satisfied with Najib’s efforts in improving the education system, managing the economy and raising government efficiency.
Overall, the survey found that the number of people dissatisfied with Najib’s performance as PM remained about the same at 23 per cent, compared with 22 per cent in June.
The Merdeka Center said the poll was conducted by telephone among 1027 randomly selected registered voters from Sept 4-14. The margin of error is 3.06 per cent.
A total of 60 per cent of the respondents were Malay, 30 per cent Chinese and nine per cent Indians.
Overall, 47 per cent of respondents felt the country was headed in the right direction and 34 per cent said it was headed in the wrong direction. The rest, at 19 per cent, did not respond.
Broken down along race lines, 59 per cent of Malays felt the country was headed in the right direction, compared with 18 per cent of Chinese and 70 per cent of Indians.
On the PM’s job approval rating, 64 per cent of Malay voters were satisfied, with 21 per cent dissatisfied while 15 per cent did not respond.
Among the Chinese respondents, 36 per cent were satisfied with Najib, 25 per cent dissatisfied while 38 per cent did not respond.
Among Indians, 68 per cent were satisfied, 27 per cent dissatisfied while five per cent did not respond.
A total of 48 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with Najib’s efforts in reducing the crime rate with only 39 per cent satisfied.
On efforts to reduce corruption, 50 per cent were dissatisfied while only 35 per cent were satisfied.
Najib scored better in the areas of education, the economy and improving government efficiency.
Among respondents, 56 per cent were satisfied with his performance in improving the education system, compared with 29 per cent who were dissatisfied.
On improving government efficiency, 54 per cent of respondents were satisfied while only 29 per cent were dissatisfied.
A total of 52 per cent of respondents were happy with Najib’s handling of the economy with only 30 per cent dissatisfied.
No Extra Deepavali School Holiday on 19/10/09
On 24th September 2009 we have written to the Prime Minister and the Education Minister amongst others as follows:-
1) School and Public Examination date are even held one day after Deepavali but for Hari Raya and Chinese New Year it is school holidays for one whole week, every year.
2) Urgent Education and Higher Education Ministry Circular to direct a similar one week school holiday also for Deepavali from this year onwards and for all other public examinations not to be held during the week of the Deepavali celebrations.
3) This is a recurring problem year in and year out but only when it comes to Deepavali in One Malaysia?
In regards of the above we are disappointed with the Education Minister’s statement ( The Star 8/10/09 page N2) stating that the State education directors have been told to approve request from schools for an extra day off. The schools are to opt to take either event holidays (cuti peristiwa) which need not be replaced, or replacement holidays.
We question why when it comes to Deepavali it becomes a problem. Why during Chinese New Year and Hari Raya it is School holidays and why not Deepavali? For this year’s Hari Raya holiday we welcome this move. But when it comes to Deepavali, the schools have to write in to the State Education Directors for an extra day leave on Monday 19/10/09 as Deepavali holiday. We call upon the Education Minister to sent a directive to make Monday 19th of October 2009 as an official school holiday for all government schools and educational institutions. This would at least the first step towards One Malaysia.
HRP Information Chief
In the Bagan Pinang by election UMNO once again only wants the Indian voters. After the election are over these Indians will be forgotten. These estate workers are still earning wages of RM300 per month. Till today the UMNO led government refuse to set a minimum wage for estate workers. The Indonesian Embassy set minimum wage of RM500 for Indonesian maids working in Malaysia or they would not be granted extention of their pasports. Even foreigners have better deal then Malaysians.
Not only that Malaysian did not get minimum wage but they also left out from the mainstream development of 1 Malaysia such as Felda, Felcra, FAMA, Risda so on and so forth. For instantce Berita Harian dated 8/10/09 on special report on RISDA, Prime Minister Najib holding a mock cheque for dividend in the sum of RM 202,248,566.67 for RTBB ( Rancangan Tanam Baru Berkolompok and TSK Risda ( Tanam Semula Komersial). These RTBB and TSK land settlers had been given 10 acres of land for planting largely Rubber and Palm tree purpose. Why have the Malaysian Indians to the contrary given this opportunity to prosper like the Malay Muslims.
We are disappointed the UMNO led government come with the slogan of 1 Malaysia but in realty it is not implemented especially for the Indians.
HRP Information Chief
Statement (No.50) to the Government of Malaysia for which we expect a reply:
2,203 (almost all working class Indian) children “to get” their right to attend school after they are issued with their birth certificates. So says Home Minister Hishammuddin (UM 08/10/09 at page 4) Primary school education is as of right and there is no compromise on this. So while processing their birth certificates with the target date of year end we ask the Home Minister for:-
1) The list of children who have been issued birth certificates from today onwards to be updated on a weekly basis in the Home Minister’s website to show sincerity that this UMNO Minister means what he said and is not a racist and that it is not merely the usual “UMNO paper politics”
2) What about the balance from the 93,360 applications for late birth registration at the latest by the end of the year that the National Registration Department has been ordered to clear? (The Sun 08/10/09 front page). Why is there no deadline to clear this Mr. Home Minister Hishammuddin. Because 98% of them are “merely” the poor working class and helpless Indian children? We urge your goodself to set a three month deadline and put up the names of those issued with their rightful birth certificates in the Home Minister’s Website within one week from today.
3) And finally issue an urgent Directive to all Primary and Secondary schools to with effect form 01/01/2010 to take in all Malaysian Indian children into all Tamil and National schools and Institutions of Higher learning even if they have been denied their birth certificates.
4) UMNO’s Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin should cancel the earlier Education Minister’s circular for 2008 onwards prohibiting Indian children from being admitted into Tamil schools and sacking existing Indian children from Tamil schools if they do not have birth certificates (actually denied their birth right to be issued their birth certificates) (P. Uthayakumar)
Statement (No.49) to the Govenment of Malaysia for which we expect a reply:
PKR Selangor government refuses to grant proper land for Indian cattle farmers. The land given is too rocky and hilly (NST 07/10/09 at page 23). It is about two years since the Selangor state government is governed by PKR and PR but hundreds of deserving Indian farmers, lifestock farmers have been denied land to even earn a decent living. The Selangor Agricultural and Development Corporation and Selangor Land Development Authority has thus far given almost zero land schemes to the Indians in Selangor under even the PKR/PR led state government. Just like how UMNO had denied hundreds of thousands of deserving Indians land in their Felda, Felcra, Risda, Fama and Agropolitan land schemes. By doing this UMNO has excluded these deserving Indians from the national mainstream development of Malaysia. These Indians especially the plantation workers are 52 years behind time or remain in almost the same state as they were during the British colonial days. How then is this PKR, DAP and PAS state government any different from the UMNO government which has for 52 years excluded the working class Indians form the national mainstream development of Selangor vis a vis Malaysia.
Statement (No.48) to the Government of Malaysia for which we expect a reply:
Bangsar Shan kidnapped by UMNO police UTK (suspected) Zero reply from Home Minister Hishamuddin. Shan was on 29/08/09 at a nursey with his family when he was kidnapped. How can this be allowed to happen in broad daylight in Malaysia. Three police reports have been lodged thus far. Even an official legal letter to Home Minister dated 02/09/09 has not been replied to even after 5 weeks the letter was sent to him. UMNO does not care. The crime rate in Malaysia has passed the alarming rate and is now In the critical rate. We need a new Inspector General of police and also a new Attorney General for Malaysia who can effect a corrupt free and crime free police force. Because what happened to Bangsar Shan can happen to any one of us. We are living in fear on a day to day basis especially when many of the police personnell themselves are suspected to be involved in crime or work hand in glove with criminals. (P. Uthayakumar).
By Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP Life Adviser
The announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recommending his concept of 1Malaysia to other countries to adopt a similar concept and his call for the creation of 1WORLD dream are both astounding and confusing.
Najib must be commended for his inspiration but unfortunately he is quite premature to do so, as back home in Malaysia, the concept of 1Malaysia is not a done thing yet.
In the first instance, his definition of 1Malaysia is unclear. The people want to know whether 1Malaysia means all citizens are equal, that all citizens have the same status of first-class Malaysians.
If it is so, then why is Umno propagating a policy of MALAY SUPREMACY. Umno claims that Malays are ketuanan Melayu (malay supremacy) while the others the Chinese, Indians and indigenous communities are second class.
Najib is the president of Umno. It is incomprehensible for him to sponsor two conflicting concepts — 1Malaysia and Ketuanan Melayu.
The DAP is quite sure that the countries of the world do not subscribe to the philosophies of racial supremacy whether it is white supremacy, Malay supremacy or Aryan supremacy. Apartheid of whatever form stands condemned by the whole world.
The world has embraced the philosophy of a multiracial world, with different culturs, different religions, different mores and habits.
United States which comprises of 87% whites have chosen a black American to be their president. This is a signal for the world that race is no more a racial problem.
Surely, the president of Umno and his cohorts must accept this fact of life. If Umno persists to pursue its objective of ketuanan Melayu, it would be extremely difficult for Malaysia to be accepted as a member of a new global world. 1Malaysia cannot be a reality but will remain as a perpetual dream.
For 1Malaysia to be wholeheartedly accepted by all Malaysians, Najib must demonstrate by policies and practices that Malaysia is indeed a country where all races are equal, who enjoy.
By Jacqueline Ann Surin
PETALING JAYA, 8 Oct 2009: A new Merdeka Center for Opinion Research poll has found that the majority of Malaysians reject political leaders who have been tainted by money politics or sex scandals.
In a press release today, Merdeka Center said a total of 87% of respondents in a poll conducted in Peninsular Malaysia from 29 Sept to 4 Oct did not want leaders who have been involved in money politics to stand for elections.
Whether the same sentiment towards less-than-honest candidates will have a bearing on the Barisan Nasional (BN)'s performance in the 11 Oct Bagan Pinang by-election is left to be seen. The BN candidate is former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Tan Sri Isa Samad, who was previously suspended from Umno for money politics.
The same Merdeka Center poll also found that 75% of respondents rejected leaders who were tainted by sex scandals. At the same time, 25.2% of respondents said Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat should lead the MCA, while only 5.8% threw their support behind Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
Chua was scandalised by a secret video recording of his affair with a woman who was not his wife, and was sacked from the party for damaging the party's image.
OngThe majority of respondents (39%) also said the MCA should resolve the infighting between Ong and Chua. This was followed by wanting the party to focus on winning back the confidence of all Malaysians (27%).
The MIC fared much worse in public perception. According to the poll, 59% of respondents viewed the party unfavourable after its September polls; 26% had no opinion; and only 15% viewed the largest Indian Malaysian party in the BN favourably.
The highest percentage of Malaysians who viewed the MIC negatively was Indians (68%), followed by Malays (63%), and Chinese (49%).
In a survey conducted from 4 to 14 Sept among 1,027 respondents, 56% of Malaysians said they were satisfied with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's performance in his sixth month in office.
While Najib remains in positive territory, his popularity has dipped from the 65% approval rating he received in mid-June 2009, Merdeka Center noted.
Among the respondents, the highest percentage of satisfied Malaysians were the Malays (63%), followed by the Indians (62%), and the Chinese (40%). In fact, more Chinese Malaysians were dissatisfied than satisfied with the premier.
Overall, however, the survey found that the number of people who were dissatisfied with his performance remained similar at 23%, compared with 22% in June 2009.
The survey also found that a majority of people were satisfied with the prime minister's efforts to improve the education system and government efficiency, and in managing the economy. But many found the efforts in reducing crime and corruption still wanting.
At the same time, Malaysians remained split over the country's direction, with 47% saying it was in the "right direction", while 34% saying it was in the "wrong direction".
"With respect to the Pakatan Rakyat, the survey [from 29 Sept to 4 Oct] found that 47% of the people were not convinced that it could be 'a viable alternative' to the BN at the federal level," Merdeka Center said.
At the same time, the survey also found that 46% of the people were satisfied with the performance of the four Pakatan Rakyat-held states of Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Kelantan.With regard to reforms within the BN, the same survey found that a majority of respondents (34%) felt that "unless Umno reforms extensively, changes in other component parties mean little".
It is shocking to see the Penang Development Corporation and Abad Naluri re-negotiating the deal in which the latter was supposed to acquire 750 acres of land in Batu Kawan from the PDC.
The site of the failed equestrian centre project in Batu Kawan – Photo by Anil
This Batu Kawan land was supposed to have been used for a new equestrian centre among other things around the time the Penang Turf Club entered into an agreement with Abad Naluri to sell its Batu Gantung race-course for the Penang Global City Centre project. Neither project (the PGCC and the new equestrian centre in Batu Kawan) took off.
An Edge report says no money has exchanged hands for the Batu Kawan land even though there was a principal agreement between the PDC and Abad Naluri. If so, hasn’t this agreement, which was entered into in 2004, now lapsed? Shouldn’t the PDC be terminating the deal outright?
What is there to negotiate? After all, if the agreement has lapsed, there is no risk of the PDC being sued by Abad Naluri, is there?
People are always complaining there’s a shortage of land in Penang for affordable housing and green lungs. One would have thought this would be a golden opportunity for PDC to re-acquire this vast tract of land and build some affordable houses for Penangites – like it once did superbly – or to use it for other social and public purposes like public parks. Part of the land could also be sold to the highest bidder – in an open tender – to raise funds for the state government.
In the first place, how did an obscure company like Abad Naluri enter into an agreement with the PDC for such a vast tract of land? Was it a coincidence that it secured 750 acres of potential prime land next to the site of the second bridge so cheaply?
Did the state government’s investigative committee panel to probe dubious land deals ever probe the Batu Kawan deal? If so, what is the outcome? And if it did not probe the deal, why not? This was a monster of a deal – 750 acres to an obscure, but well-connected firm.