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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pakistani security offices attacked - Al Jazeera

Three attacks have taken place on Pakistani police and intelligence buildings on Thursday, killing at least eight people.

In the eastern city of Lahore, four gunmen broke into a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) building and opened fire, with at least two of assailants being killed, on Thursday morning.

"Reportedly, four men attacked the FIA building and initial reports are that two of them have been killed," Nadeem Hassan Asif Punjab, the province interior secretary, said.

An attack also took place on a police academy the outskirts of Lahore.

The same academy, the Manawan Police Academy, was attacked by a group of gunmen earlier this year, with 12 people dying in an eight-hour standoff.

Unconfirmed local television reports said that two people had been taken hostage.

Kohat suicide attack

A suicide bomber in a vehicle struck outside a police station in northwest Pakistan, killing at least six people.

Civilians are believed to to have been killed in the blast on Thursday morning in Kohat near Peshawar, Habib Khan, a police official, said.

"It was a suicide attack," Dilawar Bangash, a district police chief, said.

"The bomber ploughed his car into the outer wall of the police station" he said, adding that the building was badly damaged.

In recent weeks more than 100 people have been killed in suicide attacks, mostly claimed by the Taliban.

Imran Khan, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Islamabad, the capital, said that the style of attacks pointed to the work of the Taliban.

He also said of the FIA attack: "The real question is how were these people able to get into the building.

"This is an intelligence agency headquarters. It is a secure building that has been attacked before."

Drone attack

A suspected US drone attack also killed four people in North Waziristan, on the Afghan border on Thursday.

Two missiles struck a house 3km north of Miranshah, the principle town of the region, intelligence officials said.

At least three of the dead were Afghan Taliban members, the officials said.

"The owner of the house is a member of the Haqqani network," said one of the officials, referring to Jalaluddin Haqqani, a veteran Afghan commander.

The Haqqani network carries out attacks on foreign forces across the majority of eastern Afghanistan.

Alleged US drone attacks have increased since September 2008, as frustration has grown with Islamabad failing to eliminate Taliban hideouts on Pakistan's side of the border.

Hundreds of people have died, mostly opposition fighters, in the 42 drone attacks undertaken this year, including Baitullah Mehsud, a Pakistani Taliban leader.

Last year, 32 drone attacks took place.

How The Indians Are Excluded From The Agricultural Sector Systematically

KBP cowshed 2JPG.JPG
KBP cowshed 2JPG.JPG

Yesterday and today the last remaining structures of Kampung Buah Pala are to be torn down – the cow barns. The cattle farmers of Kampung Buah Pala have no alternative land yet. The cows are going to be stranded, literally in the streets. But who cares?

When a pig slaughterhouse was demolished in Kedah recently, the sole DAP rep in the Kedah State Government there caused an uproar by threatening to resign and the issue was immediately resolved. If the affected farmers had been Malay cattle farmers they would have been courted and alternative land would have been provided by one of the several government agencies set up expressly for this purpose. But this is an Indian farmer and no one really cares.

This is marginalization in real life and blood. This has been going on right from the beginning of Malaya, then Malaysia. Very systematic marginalization. Till today there is still no political will in the governing coalitions both at the Federal and the State level to resolve these critical problems. The only way we can see that these problems will be resolved is when the Indians get into the mainstream of National Development.

Let me try and briefly explain how the Indians have been blocked systematically from getting into the mainstream of National Development - in this scenario in the Agricultural sector contributing to the marginalization we so often speak out about. The real world effect of all this is what we see happening in front of our very own eyes – in KBP.

From the 1950s there has been significant development in the Agricultural sector spearheaded by government agencies such as FELDA, FELCRA, RISDA, FAMA and many others (see list of these agencies at the footnote)1

And for these 50 odd years we all know how the rural Indian population mainly from the estates have been systematically pushed out and excluded from benefiting from any of these efforts. This was through the period of the fragmentation of the plantations (from the 50s through to the 80s) and then massive eviction from land as a result of the development of the land for various purposes (from the late 70s through to now). They have all been turned over into the urban poor.

All of this, through the working of the racist UMNO policies. In fact the NEP of the last 40 odd years, was supposed to erase identification of race with occupation. It has done exactly the opposite in the Agricultural sector. The estate Indians were thrown out of that sector and that sector has effectively been turned into a monopoly almost of the Malays. Billions and billions of our National resource has been spent in this sector over this period, but the Indians gained nothing from it all. This is a direct result of the policies of the racist UMNO -a Malaysian version of Apartheid.

Now a new and even more significant chapter is opening up in the Agricultural Sector and I suspect many of us are not aware of the significance of what is happening or about to happen. In just the last 2-3 years the development policy of the government has changed to accelerate development in the Agricultural sector to make it the 3rd engine of growth, besides Manufacturing and Information technology, the other engines of economic growth.

What this means is that there is going to be a tremendous amount of expansion in this sector. A further large amount of the national resource is going to be invested to develop this sector into the engine of growth – like the Multimedia Super Corridor effort, the e- Government effort, the CyberCities and so on to develop the Information Technology Sector. A total ecosystem is going to be created to facilitate the development of this sector. Billions and billions are again going to be spent to develop the potential in this sector.

The functions of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Base Industry has been increased and related agencies have been restructured to support and facilitate this strategic initiative. The stated objective is to evenly develop all aspects of supply chain management within the agriculture and agro-base industry – from seed production, production, post-harvest handling, storage, logistics, grading, labeling, packaging, transporting, retailing, wholesaling, marketing, branding, processing, up to the point where the goods are sold to consumers (from farm to table).

A ‘Cluster’-based development of zones of production not unlike the Fruits Production Zones, the Target Area Concentration, the Aquaculture Zone Industry and the Modern Agriculture Project and Permanent Food Production Park are also in the making. The same cluster based development effort as in the Manufacturing sector.

Marketing, Research and Development and Business Development are all slated for expansion in this sector. To enable all of this the Entrepreuner and Cooperative Development Ministry has been folded into the Rural and Regional Development (RRD) Ministry and new functions have been introduced into the RRD Ministry and its various units.

The Tekun program has been converted from an Enterpreuner financing agency to a strategic Entrepreuner development agency, now within the RRD Ministry. This is a significant program with budgets in the Billions of Ringgits.

The SMIDEC ( Small and Medium Industry Development Corporation) has been expanded and renamed to become the Small and Medium Enterprise Corporation. The National SME Development Council Secretariat Function of Bank Negara has been folded into the SME Corporation.

Bank Pertanian has been corporatized and now operates as the Agro Bank, the official disbursement agency for the government of all the funds going into the sector.

Special Bumiputra only financing schemes have been rolled out by various banks. One example is the SPED scheme of the Bank Rakyat. They give out loans from RM 30,000 to RM 500,000. One of the eligibility is unashamedly that the applicant must be a Bumiputra.

Various educational Institutuions such as University Putra Malaysia, UiTM, Risda College, Felda Academy are collaborating strategically to produce the skilled manpower needed for this expansion.
All of the above, without exception is meant only for Bumiputras with a few crumbs thrown out to the partner political party local heads and their relatives and cronies for their connivance to maintain status quo. Tell me if I am wrong.

I know several small Indian livestock farmers, a few aspiring young farmers and I can see that at best they get cursory assistance, not the womb to tomb kind of assistance that the Malay farming community gets or is about to get with all of this. These small livestock farmers operate on TNB land under power cables or on railway land or on some land like KBP, all waiting to be evicted someday destroying even that little participation in this part of the economy. There is very little benefit for the Indian farmers or aspiring farmers or Entrepreuners from any of these programs, in fact they are about to be obliterated from this sector totally, given what we see going on.

From all of this, you can see on the one hand, the scale of things that is happening in the country for the development of the Agricultural Sector – in what we call the mainstream of National Development. On the other hand,we know from whatever little is published or from our own experience that the Indians have been totally excluded from this mainstream of development.

This is how the system operates to to block Indians from the development process. They are left to be where they are and to use the little resources they have to try and get out of their predicament.

All of this must change. The only organization in the country that can speak up in these terms for the Indians now is Hindraf and the Human Rights Party. Please see the proposal for the 2010 Budget by the HRP-

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2009/10/12/2010-budget-proposals...

Let us all get together in a way that will get us the change we all seek. There is a lot of trickery and lies around. We have to work against all of that to get to the truth, but we will get there.

Foot notes:

1. Bank Pertanian, MARDI, National Paddy and Rice Board (LPN), Fisheries Development Authorities, Malaysia (LKIM) , Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) , Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority KADA, Farmers’ Organization Authority (LPP), KEJORA, KEDA, KESEDAR, KETENGAH to name a few among the notable ones.

The Malay dilemma of special rights

By Zubaidah Abu Bakar, NST

HAS the time come for the Malays to stop dwelling on their constitutional special position?

Should the community instead channel its energy and focus on becoming leaders through achievements in various fields?

These are questions worth pondering, whether the Malays are in Umno or not.

It is the modern Malay dilemma.

It makes sense when Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin suggested that Umno and the Malays consider a paradigm shift in charting their future.

After 52 years of independence, there is hardly a strong reason for the Malays to allow themselves to be looked down upon and be perceived as slow, lazy or stupid.

Khairy, in his maiden policy speech at the Umno Youth assembly, thinks that the Malays should not feel as though they are constantly under siege and channel all their efforts towards protecting their special position.

Khairy could have caused uneasiness or even angered some people in the wing when he challenged Umno Youth to embrace competition based on merit.

This is because many older party members are still stuck in their mentality and want to remain in the comfort zone, hiding behind the ketuanan Melayu (Malay dominance).

It is for this reason that many who champion the special position of the Malays use terms such as "special rights" or "special privileges", invoking the Federal Constitution as the back-up.

That aside, Khairy's contention that the special constitutional provisions do not make Malays special and that it is the performance and achievements of Malays that will determine if they are special is undebatable.

Yes, why fear others?

Why do the Malays not strive to be better than people of other races in a level playing field, throwing away the crutches that have been helping them?

Is there no end to the spoon-feeding?

When Malay leaders issued repeated warnings to the non-Malays to stop questioning the special Malay position, it reflected their feelings of helplessness, victimisation and defensiveness.

There can be no doubt that the "special rights" of Malays included in the Federal Constitution should not be questioned.

The "special rights" are well-protected under Article 153 of the Constitution. As the Constitution guarantees this special position, while respecting the rights of other Malaysians, there is no reason to fear that the rights will be taken away.

Rights and privileges of the Malays may be important. But more important is how the Malays are empowered in order to truly succeed in all fields.

It is pointless for the Malays to think they are dominant when in reality, they need to progress socially and economically.

RPK Speaks His Mind - Second ISA and Sedition Part 1

MCA struggles for answers to power struggle aftermath

Delegates at the MCA general assembly last Saturday rejected both Ong and Dr Chua. — File pic

By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — The MCA central committee will attempt today to find an answer to the issues arising out of last Saturday’s extraordinary general assembly. The outcome of that meeting sent the party into a tailspin even as its relevance is being questioned.

The party constitution provides no clear-cut solution to the quandary that MCA has found itself in following the general assembly's rejection of both president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and his bitter rival and former deputy Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

The extraordinary general assembly has also further broken up the party by splitting the Ong camp into two — with his loyalists now questioning the motives of vice-presidents Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, who are said to have struck a deal to take over as president and deputy and pursue a power-sharing deal with Dr Chua's camp.

Sources in MCA say that Dr Chua's backers have been approached with offers of power sharing but no agreement has been reached.

The most immediate question that needs to be answered today is whether Ong will resign as widely expected. News reports quoting sources say that he will. However, it is learnt that his loyalists are still lobbying for him to stay.

The next question that needs to be answered is if the central committee will appoint a new president and deputy or hold elections.

On Dr Chua's side, he and some of his backers have made it known that they prefer the poll option.

Ong is not constitutionally bound to resign as he can only be forcibly removed by two-thirds of the general assembly. Instead, the motion of no confidence was narrowly passed by only slightly over half of the delegates.

Nevertheless, many have noted that Ong had made it an all-or-nothing affair and indicated he would resign if any of the motions were passed by the general assembly, and despite the tiny margin of the vote of no confidence, he would have no moral standing if he chooses to cling to his position.

Also, according to the party constitution, a fresh election is only possible if two-thirds of the central committee resign, an unappealing prospect to many of the central committee members as they would risk losing their positions.

However, proponents of fresh polls are asserting that an overturning of Dr Chua's suspension was in effect a vote of no confidence in the central committee which had endorsed the suspension, and thus they should all resign.

No matter the outcome of the meeting today, the future of the party is looking difficult.

Umno is demanding that it delivers the votes, a goal that looks out of reach as Chinese Malaysians have grown sick and tired of racial politics in general and MCA in particular.

And the recent power struggle has not helped its image any.

Early birthday surprise for Chin Peng

Friends held an early birthday celebration for Chin Peng yesterday. — Picture by Debra Chong

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

BANGKOK, Oct 15 — Ong Boon Hua, or more commonly known as Chin Peng, got an early surprise last night when several friends threw a dinner party for his 85th birthday at a Japanese restaurant here.

The former secretary-general of the outlawed Communist Party of Malaya was born on the 21st day of the ninth lunar month in 1924, according to the Chinese calendar. By his family’s reckoning, the date is equivalent to Oct 19.

Ong grew up in a large working-class family which did not believe in celebrating birthdays, let alone having cake. Surprisingly, Malaysia’s former Public Enemy No.1 has a sweet tooth.

He received a box of Godiva chocolates and was treated to a fruit meringue cake, which he heartily devoured.

Eyebrows were raised, however, at the choice of restaurant.

But the anti-colonialist who also waged guerrilla attacks against the Japanese during World War Two, said: “This is not my first time eating Japanese food. I can eat both Asian and European.”

RM1 MILLION WORTH BUNGALOW FOR BUAH PALA VILLAGERS EACH!

WHERE IS THE DOUBLE STOREY HOUSE WORTH RM600,000???? LIM GUAN ENG, RAMASAMY AND RSN RAYER... CHEAP LIARS!!! MACC SHOULD INVESTIGATE ON THEIR KEEN INTEREST IN THE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN KG.BUAH PALA LAND! THIS PHOTO IS THE PROVE OF THEIR LIES~!! SHOW ME WHERE IS YOUR DOUBLE STOREY HOUSE???

By Crying Voices

Is Malaysia a Racist Country

By Hussein Hamid

Is Malaysia a racist Country?
YES 455 (94%)
NO 29 (5%)

Vote on this poll
Votes so far: 484
Days left to vote: 1

With one day to go the above is the result of the Poll we had recently on steadyaku47. Number of Votes cast: 484. Of this number an overwhelming 94% were adamant that Malaysia is a racist country! Why do they think so?

Are the people racist towards each other? NO! Are the Malays treating the Chinese as second class citizens? NO! Are the Chinese preventing the Malays from going into their shops because they are Malays? NO. Are the Indians being prevented from riding in Public Transport because they are Indians? NO! We are free to go anywhere we like, do anything we want and between the races we are equal.

Malaysia is a racist country because of the policies of its Government whose Prime Minister ironically claims that its 1Malaysia is bringing the people together!

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the 1Malaysia concept is nothing unusual as it is a continuation of the concepts to strengthen solidarity among the people which had been introduced by past leaders.?

Najib said that as a multi-racial and multi-religious country, the concept of solidarity certainly could not be ignored or treated lightly because it could pose a problem and destroy the inter-racial ties that had been nurtured all this while. “My predecessors had emphasised on national solidarity as one of the main pillars that would ensure Malaysia’s success and survival,” he said.

Amazing. If our Prime Minister and the Prime Ministers that came before him have all emphasized national solidarity as one of the main pillars to ensure Malaysia’s success and survival – then why did 94% of the 484 people that participated in this poll is of the opinion that Malaysia is a Racist country?

Here again I think our leaders need too be clear on what they perceived is the situation and what really is the situation. Yes we hear our Prime Minister talk up national solidarity many times but as the Malays say “cakap bukan serupa bikin”. In all seriousness Najib’s recent pronouncement “Umno for all” brought more laughter then a feeling of hope for better things to come in the future.

This is the sad thing about our country. Whereas in other countries the government would have to legislate to ensure that there is racial equality this is not the case in Malaysia. Here it is the government that is quietly or covertly putting into practice policies and practices that discriminate and place those who are not Malays and who are in the minority at a disadvantage – in education, in seeking employment, in business – in all things Malaysians. And it is the people that is taking the lead to learn to live with each other in spite of these polices and practices by the government of the Barisan Nasional. What a sad commentary of the realities that exists in our country. We know it so and yet we have Najib declaring our national solidarity through 1Malaysia to a Global audience. When will he ever learn? When will he ever learn?

Just think what this country would be like if we the people did not take it upon ourselves to live with each other in harmony and goodwill? If we all did not understand that whatever racial problems we had was not of our doing but that of our government? If the Chinese, Indians and others were not able to accept that the Malays are in their ‘privilege’ position in Malaysia not because they asked to be so but because our government deem it fit to divide and rule and create a racial divide for their own vested interest. It hurts me so much when I think of this…this unnecessary racial divide that is artificially imposed upon us all by UMNO. Enough of this. We wait for the next GE to do what we must so that we can all live together as one!

Kg Tanjung Tokong villagers ponder their fate - Anil Netto

These images from Kg Tanjung Tokong were taken during a Raya event on Sunday, 11 October at a time when the villagers are facing an uncertain future.

Photos by Kim MK

The residents’ association is concerned about UDA Holdings’ declaration that they are “squatters” without taking into consideration their livelihoods and the historical significance of their 200-year-old village. They note that UDA came in under the pretext of the NEP to improve their area.

“To counter this, the association now wants the village to be declared a heritage zone so that the residents themselves can decide what form of development and upgrading is most suited to their needs,” says Cikgu Salleh, the resident’s association chairman.

Penghapusan perlindungan serlah keterbukaan Najib

Berita Harian
Oleh Kamal Ahmad

Ahli, pemimpin muda perlu lalui proses pembelajaran semula

DATUK Seri Najib Razak sanggup mempertaruhkan karier politik beliau khususnya jawatan Presiden Umno apabila sedia berkorban bagi membuktikan kesungguhan dan keikhlasan mengetuai transformasi dalam organisasi Umno serta ahli parti. Ini beliau buktikan selaku Ketua Biro Politik Umno, apabila dengan tegas mahu sistem kuota dihapuskan dan menolak sebarang syarat dikenakan kepada mana-mana calon mahu bertanding jawatan, termasuk pada peringkat Majlis Tertinggi (MT) termasuk kerusi Presiden.

Jelas, Najib menunjukkan teladan yang perlu dihormati sehingga sanggup menolak semua perlindungan yang dicadangkan dalam bentuk 'syarat' untuk melindungi jawatan Presiden. Ini juga bukti, beliau seorang demokrat dan perlu diteladani segenap pemimpin yang berasakan terancam dan bimbang kehilangan status quo apabila sistem kuota pencalonan dihapuskan melalui usul yang dibentangkan Naib Presiden Umno, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, hari ini. Apa dibimbangkan hilang jawatan ketua bahagian jika Najib sendiri sedia mempertaruhkan jawatan presidennya bagi melaksana dan melihat parti melakukan transformasi yang bertujuan memastikan parti kekal pragmatik merentas zaman.

"Datuk Seri Najib sebagai Presiden dan saya sebagai Timbalan serta yang lain-lain (ahli MT Umno) beranggapan sudah (tiba) masanya kita hapuskan sistem kuota kerana ia antara lain menyumbang kepada amalan politik wang. Keduanya, ia macam kekangan yang menyekat hak ahli yang sebenarnya," kata Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. Beliau antara anggota Biro Politik Umno yang mengakui Najib menolak sebarang syarat bagi melindungi jawatan tertinggi itu daripada ditandingi.

Cuma ada tanggapan bahawa jawatan presiden dan timbalannya ada kaitan dengan kedudukan jawatan dalam kerajaan. Ia ada rasionalnya, tetapi perlembagaan parti tidak menyebut Presiden Umno mesti menjadi Perdana Menteri. Perlukah ada satu penjelasan mengenai persepsi atau tradisi penyandang jawatan ini kerana demokrasi yang baru dinikmati ahli Umno menjadikan keadaan serba mungkin.

Hari ini, Najib akan menggariskan beberapa hala tuju baru parti menerusi ucaptama sulung beliau sebagai Presiden Umno Ke-7 pada perhimpunan Agung Umno. Ucapan itu bagai kembar yang akan memacu proses transformasi melalui usul pindaan perlembagaan berkenaan. Sama ada ucapan itu mengandungi hala tuju atau kaedah melaksanakan transformasi, beliau sekurang-kurangnya akan memperlihatkan ke mana atau di mana Umno dalam tempoh jangka sederhana. Namun, apakah Najib akan memberi gambaran satu imej atau personaliti baru Umno – sama ada semakin liberal, sedikit ekstrem atau memberi kiasan parti turut ditunjangi pemimpin ultra dan nasionalis Melayu kerana keperluan atau tuntutan semasa?

Mungkinkah gambaran personaliti baru Umno itu seperti kenyataan Muhyiddin dalam ucaptama beliau ketika Majlis Perasmian Serentak Persidangan Perwakilan Wanita, Pemuda dan Puteri 2009, kelmarin bahawa: "....Pemikiran baru ini perlu dibina dan digembleng tanpa mengorbankan matlamat perjuangan asal Umno. Prinsip perjuangan Umno, iaitu berjuang demi agama, bangsa dan negara adalah tetap luhur dan relevan. Kita tidak perlu apologetik dalam soal ini. Tetapi dalam suasana pemikiran politik yang sudah berubah, maka ia perlu disampaikan, diterangkan dan diuar-uarkan dengan cara yang lebih jelas dan agresif."

Transformasi ini adalah proses pendemokrasian parti. Ia mengubah corak Umno daripada elitis kepada demokrasi. Transformasi itu boleh dianggap revolusi besar Umno mempersiapkan tubuh, jiwa dan minda ahli serta pemimpin memasuki fasa kedua landskap politik tanah air. Fasa pertama berlaku sejak awal prakemerdekaan sehingga 2008 apabila Umno bergerak secara tradisi dan jarang tergugat sebagai parti memerintah. Namun, selepas pengalaman pahit dalam Pilihan Raya Umum (PRU) Ke-12, Umno ternyata tidak bersedia dengan perubahan yang sebenarnya sudah berlaku pada akar umbi, tetapi tidak disedari rata-rata kepemimpinan.

Fasa kedua landskap politik Umno perlu penyesuaian supaya mampu memenuhi tuntutan dan perubahan kontemporari. Ia jelas berdasarkan ucaptama sulung Muhyiddin selaku Timbalan Presiden Umno semalam, yang menggariskan empat asas membantu menjayakan transformasi parti.

Menteri Besar Perak, Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, berkata pindaan ini adalah langkah paling keterhadapan (advance) dan langkah berani apabila Najib tidak mahu ada syarat untuk melindungi kedudukan beliau sebagai presiden daripada dicabar mana-mana calon. "Ini sangat menarik dalam sejarah Umno," katanya sambil memberitahu demokrasi baru dalam parti boleh dikawal dengan kematangan ahli dan pemimpinnya.

Hishammuddin menyifatkan usul pindaan yang beliau bentangkan hari ini begitu mudah, tetapi kesannya begitu bersejarah dan bermakna kepada parti. Justeru, ia perlu diperjelas dan diterima bulat oleh perwakilan. "Pindaan ini sekadar satu proses transformasi dan ia akan disusuli dengan pindaan lain pelaksanaan transformasi lebih kemas dan lancar," katanya sambil mengakui pindaan itu tidak akan menyelesaikan semua masalah dalam parti.

Naib Ketua Pemuda Umno, Datuk Razali Ibrahim, berkata pergerakan itu akan melaksanakan beberapa pendekatan untuk mencapai Petunjuk Prestasi Utama (KPI) Politik seperti digariskan Muhyiddin. Antaranya, melaksanakan program bagi mengekalkan dan menambahkan sokongan.

"Kayu pengukur kepada kejayaan dan keberkesanan transformasi Umno ialah apabila rakyat dapat merasai bahawa Umno benar-benar berubah. Ini adalah satu 'tall order' (perkara besar) untuk Umno buat. Tidak guna jika hanya ahli Umno yang merasai transformasi itu kerana akhirnya pengundi akan membuat keputusan pada PRU Ke-13," katanya.

Dalam perbahasan Pemuda Umno semalam, beberapa wakil membangkitkan kenapa pemimpin pergerakan itu tidak diberi banyak ruang dalam kerajaan. Peringatan itu jangan dinilai sebagai mendesak, tetapi Umno perlu membuktikan bahawa keterbukaan parti menyediakan 25 peratus ruang perwakilan kepada golongan muda mesti dibuktikan melalui pelbagai medium mulai sekarang.

Sementara itu, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, memberi pandangan melalui kaca mata beliau sebagai pemimpin generasi muda dalam MT Umno dengan mengharapkan parti mencipta dan mempunyai kerangka pemikiran demokrasi tersendiri. Ia termasuk merungkai hujah kontemporari mengenai tanggapan dan penyertaan generasi muda dalam demokrasi, kesaksamaan jantina serta cara parti sebagai kerajaan menawarkan peranan politik yang saksama kepada kaum, termasuk minoriti.

"Ini adalah perkara baru dalam demokrasi yang perlu diuruskan dengan kefahaman politik atau demokrasi yang kontemporari," katanya sambil mengaku pernah mencadangkan had tempoh perkhidmatan bagi semua jawatan dalam Umno pada ketiga-tiga peringkat bagi memastikan parti menerusi proses 'regeneration' secara terancang.

Justeru, beliau mahu parti memberi ruang generasi muda mengambil bahagian secara aktif dan menyeluruh dalam struktur serta proses membuat keputusan. Ini akan menunjukkan kepada rakyat Umno parti yang benar-benar mahu membuka pintu dan mesra, selain serius untuk meningkatkan penyertaan generasi muda di dalamnya.

Pengarah Akademi Pengajian Melayu Universiti Malaya (UM), Prof Madya Datuk Zainal Abidin Borhan, pula meminta Umno berhati-hati supaya pindaan itu tidak menjadi 'senjata makan tuan'. "Dengan kelonggaran yuran ahli RM2 untuk seumur hidup dan usaha mendaftarkan keahlian dipergiatkan, Umno harus ingat jangan sampai ahli yang ramai nanti 'makan diri'. Ahli ramai, tetapi mereka tidak menghayati perjuangan, tidak faham demokrasi dalam parti dan tidak tahu hala tuju parti," katanya.

Beliau turut mencadangkan Umno memiliki mekanisma yang berwibawa untuk menterjemahkan demokrasi dalam parti itu, termasuk menggariskan kuasa dan hak ahli secara perundangan. "Umno juga perlu ada sistem yang cukup kemas dan berkesan untuk menyimpan data setiap ahli supaya parti boleh memantau status dan keahlian mereka," katanya.

Selepas melalui satu dimensi perubahan dengan meminda perlembagaan, Umno perlu mengorak langkah segera melakukan satu dimensi perubahan, iaitu menyediakan modal politik, iaitu ahli Umno dan organisasi. Ahli dan pemimpin muda Umno perlu melalui proses pendidikan politik yang sistematik dan komprehensif supaya kehadiran mereka dalam parti benar-benar untuk perjuangan seperti dimaksudkan Zainal yang bimbang kegagalan itu akan menyebabkan ahli yang ramai sekadar menjadi beban parti.

Difahamkan, Umno akan melaksanakan program pembelajaran semula untuk ahli pada semua peringkat parti dan tindakan parti membawa semua ketua bahagian dan ahli MT Umno masuk semula ke kelas selama tiga hari di Janda Baik, baru-baru ini mampu mempercepatkan transformasi ini.

Sementara itu, pensyarah Sains Politik, Prof Madya Nizamuddin Sulaiman, yakin pindaan ini mampu membendung politik wang dalam Umno. Ia turut 'memaksa' pemimpin sedia atau yang mahu mencalonkan diri mesti bijak serta ada strategi untuk menambat hati akar umbi dan mendapat sokongan bahagian lain.

Katanya, Umno perlu gusar dalam soal penyediaan logistik, kos dan tenaga kerja apabila 191 bahagian Umno mengadakan pemilihan serentak. "Bagaimana undi dan proses mengundi hendak dipantau supaya ia benar-benar demokratik. Umno perlu ada mekanisme untuk melaksanakan modus operandi pemilihan ini," katanya yang tidak menolak andaian parti akan mengalami kejutan budaya, tetapi ia bersifat sementara dalam satu proses penyesuaian kepada satu perubahan baru.

INFO: 7 usul Pindaan Perlembagaan Umno dibentang hari ini

* Penambahan jumlah perwakilan kepada 146,500 anggota bagi pemilihan pimpinan tertinggi dan barisan pemimpin peringkat bahagian Umno dan menjadikan semua ketua sayap peringkat cawangan sebagai perwakilan secara automatik.

* Memperkenalkan sistem pendaftaran menggantikan sistem kuota pencalonan dengan syarat minimum (akan diumumkan hari ini).

* Pelantikan wakil Pergerakan Wanita untuk mengisi kerusi jawatankuasa peringkat cawangan, bahagian dan MT. (Pindaan ini menjadikan jumlah anggota yang dilantik bertambah, iaitu bagi MT daripada 12 kepada 13 orang, anggota jawatankuasa peringkat bahagian daripada tujuh kepada lapan orang, dan jawatankuasa cawangan daripada lima kepada enam orang).

* Pemilihan bagi peringkat bahagian dan pucuk pimpinan tertinggi akan diadakan secara serentak dan dengan itu sebuah Jawatankuasa Pemilihan Umno akan ditubuhkan untuk menyelia dari segi logistik dan kos. (Anggota jawatankuasa akan dilantik Presiden).

* Penghapusan yuran tahunan keahlian dan digantikan dengan yuran seumur hidup.

* Memberi mandat kepada Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda, Wanita dan Puteri peringkat cawangan untuk mengesahkan keahlian baru.

* Mengiktiraf setiausaha bahagian sebagai perwakilan ke Perhimpunan Agung Umno secara automatik.

Do Not Harbour Any Suspicion Towards 1Malaysia, Says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on all quarters not to harbour any suspicion or be unduly worried over the 1Malaysia concept as it does not deviate from what was agreed upon by the nation's forefathers.

The Umno president told delegates who gathered for the party's general assembly here that 1Malaysia was a celebration of Malaysia's plurality and diversity from which the country drew its strength.

"It is for this reason that the government introduced the idea of 1Malaysia. Indeed, 1Malaysia is not a new concept or formula.

"Instead, the final objective of 1Malaysia is national unity, which has also been the main vision of previous Umno leaders, and translated into the various manifestation of strategic work plans over the past five decades," Najib said when opening the Umno General Assembly at Putra World Trade Centre, here Thursday.

The prime minister said that from the day patriots fought for the nation's independence until today, the effort to forge national unity had been a priority and would continue to be so.

Najib said that everyone was aware that without unity, it would be impossible to realise the objectives and visions the nation had set out to achieve.

He said the 1Malaysia concept was based upon several pillar principles, among them the departure from unity based on tolerance to one that was based on acceptance, social justice and shared values, taking into consideration the nation's historical reality and guided by the supremacy of the constitution and the Rukunegara (national principles).

"I would like to stress that the 1Malaysia concept does not in any way digress from the spirit of the Federal Constitution as the law of the country, either written or unwritten.

"In fact, we will continue to uphold core provisions such as Article 3, Article 4, Article 152, Article 153 as well as Part II and III of the Federal Constitution," he said.

Man Attacks Southwest China Court, Killing Officer

GUIYANG, Oct 15 (Bernama) -- A man forced into a court in southwest China's Guizhou Province Wednesday, killing a court police and injuring three others, China's Xinhua news agency reported quoting the local government as saying Thursday.

The man broke into the Intermediate People's Court in Zunyi City at 4 p.m., stabbed a court policeman, two security guards and a woman clerk with a knife, and fled, said a spokesman with the political and law committee of the Guizhou Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

The policeman died at hospital Wednesday night. The other three injured were still in hospital.

Police are soliciting clues leading to the arrest of the assailant, who witnesses described as a young man wearing a dark hat.

Umno Will Be The People's Champion, Says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 (Bernama) -- Umno will be the champion of the people by putting the people of all races above itself through the changes that the party is currently undergoing, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday.

In his maiden speech as Umno president at the party's general assembly, he said Umno would continue to champion the people's lot in matters relating to their welfare and livelihood and he wanted the party's initiatives to be in keeping with the times.

"Umno can no longer be seen as a party that leans towards only one group," he told the 2,500 delegates attending the assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

As the backbone of the ruling coalition, Umno could not afford to be regarded as focusing solely on big business initiatives or mega projects but instead should be the champion of the people, he said.

"Umno's service must be done evenly. We will definitely be a party that advocates resilient economic growth, just distribution of wealth, comprehensive social security network and controlled cost of living," he said.

Umno, he said, wanted to be seen, felt and be given full confidence as an inclusive party that put the people, and not itself, first.

Najib, who took over the helm of the 63-year-old party in March, said Umno could not be seen as a party that only fought for a small group.

"The perception of Umno as a party to make a living from must be thrown far far away, must be discarded," he said.

Najib, who was dressed in a blue baju Melayu with light blue songket, said it was vital for Umno to be a party which upheld the "wasatan" philosophy, that is, moderation or what is described in political science as a centrist party.

"Umno cannot be an ultra-left or ultra-right party," he said, adding that since its establishment, Umno had not leaned towards a liberal or a conservative ideology.

Najib said Umno would also change the criteria for picking candidates for elections because the key performance indicator for a political party was to win elections and form a strong and stable government.

The candidate must be a person who was acceptable to the local community besides having the quality to serve at three important levels, namely the people, party and country.

"In the final analysis, this is the candidate that the people want and who will win elections," he added.

He also invited all Umno members to discard negative elements like money politics so that that the party could be clean and respected after the constitutional amendments were made at its special general assembly, which would be held after his policy speech.

The amendments were not cosmetic or patchwork but were substantive and significant, he said.

Najib said the amendments, among others, would increase the number of members directly involved in voting for leaders, from 2,500 delegates now to more than 146,000 people.

"This is a sign that the democratic spirit is alive and kicking in Umno. Clearly there is no other party in Malaysia which is brave enough to do this," he said in his 16-page speech which he took 75 mintues to deliver.

Umno had acted courageously to amend the party constitution to make it more transparent, inclusive and democratic, he said, adding that the move had drawn knee-jerk reaction from certain quarters who tried to copy and change their party constitutions without thorough study.

He said this was their trick, making promises in public without any follow-up.

And now... 1Toilet

by Jeff Ooi

The list goes on for branding gurus of 1Malaysia.

This time, 1Malaysia's product extension is where you pee.

The Terengganu state government will introduce a “1Toilet” policy in a move to liberalise education, The Star reports today.

Under 1Toilet, teachers – and even principals – will soon have to share toilets with their students... "and to mingle freely", the country's top-selling English paper says.

Women, bloggers & gays lead change in the Arab World

Octavia Nasr | BIO
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Editor, Mideast Affairs

The Arab Middle East teaches minorities some tough life lessons and shapes them in ways that might surprise you. While the effect of a conservative patriarchal society is expected to keep people under the thumb of tradition, culture and tribal and religious beliefs — sometimes too much oppression and control yields opposite results.

Having lived in several parts of the Middle East as a child, I learned that a woman doesn’t exist except as someone’s daughter, sister, wife or mother. Her opinion is not required, her emotions don’t count and she has no rights whatsoever – except those granted to her by a male.

With a few recent exceptions, an Arab woman’s testimony is not accepted in court. Most Arab women can’t travel outside their countries without permission from a male guardian, and most Arab women still can’t give nationality to their children. In Saudi Arabia women are not even allowed to drive cars. A popular Arabic saying describes it best: a good woman “has a mouth that eats but not one that speaks.”

The Arab Middle East taught me that sexual expression is exclusive to men. Men can have pre-marital sex, and when they’re married, their extra-marital affairs are ignored, justified or blamed on the wives. Their bodies are their own to do with them what they want. A woman’s body, however, represents her family’s honor. So, girls and women are expected to cover their bodies and repress their sexual feelings to protect the honor of the family.

This is such a deeply-rooted belief that, to this day, girls and women are killed by fathers, brothers or cousins at the suspicion of sexual activity. Even if a girl or woman is the victim of rape or assault, she can be killed under the pretext of “cleansing the family’s honor.” The practice known as “Honor Killing” is still common among all religions in the Middle East; it is even justified under the law and carries no penalty.

As someone who grew up and spent my early adulthood in the Middle East, I also learned that men run the show and they run it for life. Imagine that with the exception of a few, all Arab leaders haven’t changed since I was a child; and those who died were replaced by their sons. So far, the customary behavior has been such that if you wanted change, you had to ask men for their permission, their blessing, their support, their approval, their orders, and their actions to bring that change.

The women in my family were very active in the women’s rights movement of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Men listened to them, gave them a forum to express their desire to become equal through conferences, speeches and occasional articles in the media. They even gave them some rights – like the right to vote in some countries and the right to run for office in others. But, women’s rights were always controlled by men’s approval and that didn’t go far at all. As a matter of fact, a quick look at the Arab Middle East shows you that with very few exceptions it remains a region controlled by the ruling few who are unwilling to relinquish power. They resist change as if it were a contagious disease that will lead to their demise if they ever catch it.

Enter the age of the computer and the Internet, the age of blogging and connecting with the world. The only age that will allow a Saudi female cartoonist to draw pictures depicting how a woman feels when her husband takes on a second or third wife. It simply rips her heart out she draws.

A Saudi female cartoonist's rendition of how a woman feels when her husband takes on a second or third wife.
A Saudi female cartoonist's rendition of how a woman feels when her husband takes on a second or third wife.

Islam accepts polygamy and blesses it with a caveat which men enthusiastic about the practice tend to ignore. You can take multiple wives, but “if you want to be fair, marry only one,” the holy Muslim book guides. While not many in Saudi Arabia might care about how Hana Hajjar feels, a whole world outside the kingdom, is paying attention, supporting and perhaps even lending a hand.

The online traffic we witnessed in the aftermath of Iran’s contested elections and the outpour of support Iranian reformists received through social media are perfect examples of the effect of international support on local activism. In the case of Iran, it energized and helped spread the message to far reaching corners of the world.

Other stories that have captured the world’s attention are bloggers jailed in Egypt and Saudi Arabia for speaking up against the Status Quo in their countries and demanding social justice and political reform. We are learning about what’s going on inside the most conservative and most police-controlled countries in the region through bloggers who are not allowing the intimidation of prison, harassment or abuse to silence them.

It is obvious now there is a growing number of Arabs, men and women, who not only want change but they are willing to get to that change on their own. They grew tired of demanding it and not receiving anything in return, so they made the decision to truly become the change and live it in practice.

Now, you have bloggers like Wael Abbas in Egypt who openly criticizes President Hosni Mubarak’s policies and screams out slurs against his country’s secret police that detains him for hours and confiscates his laptop without any explanation or apology whatsoever.

You also have the gay and lesbian Middle Eastern community publishing their online magazine which deals with issues they find important. They discuss their sexual preferences out in the open and provide a voice and an outlet they wouldn’t have even dreamed of a few years ago. Their headlines read, “Who we sleep with is nobody’s business” and “Homophobia and Paranoia: Words that Ryhme.”

The Lebanese Association of Women Researchers ‘Bahithat’ just organized what is dubbed a cornerstone of Arab Feminism through a conference at the American University of Beirut. Women from all over the Middle East — including Iraq and Iran — were there promoting the idea that “change will have to be imposed not demanded anymore” says Lebanese Feminist Zeina Zaatari, one of the most vocal voices at the conference.

The Feminist Collective promoted the event online through social networking sites such as Twitter. They drew the world’s attention to hear the voices of powerful women who gave themselves the right instead of waiting for officials to give them permission to speak or express themselves. Zaatari captured the limelight as she linked a woman’s equality with a woman’s sexual freedom and sexual expression. “A woman can’t be free if she doesn’t own her body and has full control of it and if she doesn’t express her sexuality,” she told me in a phone interview from Beirut.

The December 2008 Issue of Jasad.
The December 2008 Issue of Jasad.

Another example of women taking matters into their own hands is a quarterly magazine called ‘Jasad’ which means ‘Body’ in Arabic. It’s a racy magazine that was launched by a woman in Lebanon at the end of 2008 dealing with the female body and its deepest sexual desires. ‘Jasad’ is banned and its website is blocked from many Arab countries.

“This doesn’t stop subscriptions from being delivered by courier mail,” founder and editor-in-chief Joumana Haddad told me as she was busily preparing the fifth issue. She says the magazine is doing well despite the fact that “no one dares to advertize” in it. She talks about threats she and her editors receive on a regular basis and unending harassment since they all use their real names. She says it is the support she receives from within the Middle East and outside that keeps her going and that “nothing will stop ‘Jasad’ from being published.”

Several new lines are being drawn in the Middle East’s desert sand simultaneously…. If they continue to be drawn at this rate longer and thicker, it’s hard to foresee any governments, censors or jails being able to stop them.

1Party to rule them all, PM told to prepare - Malaysiakini

A Gerakan Youth leader today lauded Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's statement that with the 1Malaysia concept the Barisan Nasional would one day become a single party without components.

mic election 120909 najibDescribing this as inspiring, Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang proposed to the premier to start making preparations for BN to be a single party in future, when the time is right.

In view of this, Tan suggested three things to be considered.

1. Direct membership of all Malaysians into BN

Tan said existing members from BN's component parties should be allowed to hold dual memberships in both BN and its component parties.

"Non-existing members of BN component parties such as members of IPF, Makkal Sakti or any other Malaysians who support BN's ideology should be allowed to have direct membership into BN," he added.

2. BN convention

The Gerakan leader said this is a general assembly of BN to be held annually at both state and national levels which would be participated by all members from all its component parties.

"This convention was supposed to held in February this year but was postponed due to the transition of our country's prime minister," he added.

3. BN secretariat

tan keng liangTan said all current and future state and national activities of the ruling coalition would be coordinated by this secretariat.

"The aforesaid proposals are not meant to request for immediate merger of all BN component parties but rather to prepare for any eventualities in future," he added.

'Malays swayed by sweet talk, false promises'

Khairy: It's game time!


Proton and GLCs’ excludes Indians in top jobs in Malaysia

Proton and GLCs’ excludes Indians in top jobs in Malaysia. But the USA already has a black president. GLC Proton Chairman is Datuk Mohd Nadmi Mohd Salleh (Refer Star Biz 9/10/09 at page B1 below). Also “Naza keluar Peugot ‘T33’” says Executive Chairman SM Nasimuddin. Also for Bank Rakyat all the top twenty-one (21) jobs are all held by the Malay Muslims (Berita Harian 9/9/09 Bank Rakyat 55th  Anniversary pullout at page 1). The irony is when Malaysia achieved it’s independence in 1957 the the blacks in the USA did not even have the right to vote yet. What a quantum leap the people and government of the USA has achieved. This is only the latest example. Even the top ten of almost all the UMNO led Government linked companies (GLCs’), government Corporations, government Statutory bodies and also the top Chief Secretary to the Government, Secretaries Generals, Director Generals, Directors of the various ministries, Head of Departments, Office Managers,  District Officers and even the Assistant District Officers jobs are excluded to in particular the Indians. To the direct contrary the USA already has it’s first black President. But UMNO’s Prime Minister Najib would insist on his One Malaysia despite all the aforesaid direct racist policies by this UMNO led government. Editor

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UMNO’s Malaysian police murder of mere suspects has now made a comeback

UMNO’s Malaysian police murder of mere suspects has now made a comeback and done with impunity and at an alarming rate (Malay Mail 13/10/09 at page 5). This police murders has reared it’s ugly head again after locking up P. Uthayakumar under ISA at Kamunting Prison from 2007 to 2009. In especially the years 2006 and 2007 these police murders literally came to a halt after intense campaigning by the Police Watch and Human Rights Committee. Perhaps we have to intensify our campaign  all over again once again in upholding Article 5 of the Federal constitution which guarantees the Right to life. As usual as about 60% of these victims are Indians and the rest are almost all Indonesians, even PKR, DAP, PAS almost all NGOs’ and the Malaysian civil society does not care as almost all the Malaysian victims are merely Indians. Editor

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Bagan Pinang RM 900,000.00 to upgrade Chinese school and temple (by UMNO but peanuts for Indians).

Bagan Pinang RM 900,000.00 to upgrade Chinese school and temple (by UMNO but peanuts for Indians). This announcement was made by the UMNO Deputy President Muhyiddin Yasin during the Bagan Pinang by elections (NST 9/10/09 at page 8). But for the Indians in Bagan Pinang the Lukut Tamil school which is the only school in Malaysia and perhaps the world over which is situated on the first floor of a shop house. Yet again like in almost all wayang kulit politics by UMNO and now also ably followed by PKR, DAP, and PAS in Kedah, Penang, Selangor (and up to April 2009 also Perak), this Lukut Tamil school was merely promised a two (2) acres of land. As usual nothing had been given in writing let alone the land little being issued. Even then this peanut 2 acres of land will not cater for a school field, future expansion and assembly Cum Community Hall. Further a mere computer and a fax machine was yet again announced by UMNO’s Indian Mandore Cabinet Minister as goodies for a local Tamil school at the Bagan Pinang by elections campaign whereas the Chinese school gets RM900,000.00 See the different allocations for the mere 10% Chinese voters in Bagan Pinang and as usual the peanuts for the Indians who from 20% of the voters. The Malays do not need any allocations as they get almost everything in the annual Malaysian Budget for example RM 230 Billion for the year 2009 which is almost all targeted at the Malay Muslim community and they are placed in the national mainstream development of Malaysia which the Indians are not. One Malaysia under Prime Minister Najib Razak? Editor

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lukut-tamil-school

Budget 2009 must bring in working-class Indians

Jeevindra Kumar Krishnan, Sukumaran Apparu
Pro-tem central committee members,
Human Rights Party Malaysia.
Oct 14, 09
4:33pm

Dear Prime Minister,

We are a recently formed political party, the Human Rights Party Malaysia (HRP), which is pending registration. We refer to your recent request to the rakyat for proposals to be incorporated in the upcoming Budget for 2010. Our humble proposals, not quantified monetarily due to lack of data and time constraints, are as follows:

1. Minimum Wage

1. We propose that a minimum wage be set at RM1,200 per month, and, RM50 a day (RM6.25 per hour) for piece rate or daily paid wage-earners, for all Malaysian citizens, so as to uplift them from low wages and concomitant poverty. This will, in one sweep move the lowest paid workers' family above the poverty line of RM691 under the 9MP. The average minimum wage of RM325 agreed for oil palm plantation workers from Jan 1, 2001 will give those workers a real wage of only RM258.55 in Jan 1, 2010.

2. Repatriation of illegal foreign workers and cessation of intake of foreign labour

2.1 Simultaneous to the above minimum wage for Malaysians, we propose that it be accompanied with the repatriation of 500,000 foreign workers so as to create and augment employment opportunities for Malaysians.

2.2 The repatriation of foreign workers would largely be confined to the illegal workers who are estimated by sociologists to number 1.5 million in the peninsula alone.

2.3 To ensure that the effect of the minimum wage increase is not diluted but enhanced, the repatriation of foreign workers must be simultaneous to the setting of minimum wages for Malaysians.

2.4 To bring about a restructuring of the Malaysian economy and society, there should be a capping of the intake of unskilled foreign labour so as to force the automation and mechanisation of work.

2.5 Once again this policy would be widespread and could only be a gain to all Malaysians, particularly the marginalised and impoverished bottom strata of Malaysian society.

3. Alienation of one million acres of land for the technologically advanced farming of high- yielding grains, vegetables, fruits, livestock and aqua--culture

3.1 As in previous schemes like Felda, Felcra, Fama, Risda, Kejora, Keda, Kesedar, Ketengah, Agropolitan etc, e propose that one million acres of land be alienated to Malaysians of all races equitably for the technologically advanced farming of high yielding grains, vegetables, fruits, livestock and aqua-culture.

3.2 We rank 8th , 11th and 12th respectively in terms of per capita import of corn, rice and wheat worldwide; this is critical considering that global grain reserves are estimated at 40 days as of 2008. This will also increase the existing agricultural land from 78,700 sq km to 82,746 sq km.

3.3 The purpose of this scheme is to be increasingly self-sufficient in food supply, and if possible for export, as well as to restructure the economy so that no ethnicity is identified with any sector of the economy.

3.4 As previous schemes mostly benefitted the Malay community, further entrenching them in agriculture, we propose this scheme be opened to a larger and more equitable participation by all Malaysians, particularly the working class Indians, without prejudice.

4. Franchise schemes

4.1 We propose that PNB should now extend its mission to provide total franchise solutions to all Malaysians. The time has come for Malaysians, especially working class Indians, to be allowed into all mainstream development programmes that are available.

4.2 We also propose that the licensing requirements under the Franchise Act 1998 be relaxed together with the removal of race-based requirements in submissions of annual Reports for the franchisers or the master franchise.

5. Establishment of an Anti-Race Discrimination Commission and an Equal Opportunities Commission

5.1 We note that in the past, many proposals and schemes did not filter down to the masses as intended, or were not implemented, or were not equitably distributed, or were hijacked by corrupt parties, and this was the bane of the NEP.

As such we propose that an Anti-Race Discrimination Commission and an Equal Opportunities Commission be established for the specific purpose of acting as a watchdog and ensuring that government policy be implemented as intended, and be distributed equitably, specifically not excluding the working class Indians.

This commission should be similar to the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equality and the Human Rights Commission of the United Kingdom.

5.2 This commission would be set-up with powers to enforce what is already budgetary and government policy, including the following:
5.2.1 Enforcement of minimum wage in the private sector
5.2.2 Monitoring of the repatriation of illegal foreign workers
5.2.3 Equitable distribution of land alienated for the purpose of agriculture, livestock and aqua-culture (as in para 3 above).

5.3 To show transparency and sincerity, an official prime minister's circular should not only be issued but made public and specifically also forwarded to us for our follow-up in the implementation thereto. This would prove the government's commitment and sincerity.

After all, Article 8 of the federal constitution provides for equality before the law and equal protection before the law and Article 12 provides for no discrimination on the grounds of race and religion.

5.4 In addition, the Implementation and Coordination Unit of the Prime Minister's Department must be made responsible for the implementation of the prime minister circulars and the budget as a whole, as well as provide monthly updates on their website (that is, when they are up and running again) on the latest status of what has been achieved vis-a-vis the budget.

An example of long overdue implementation will be the yet-to-be-seen allocation of RM100 million for the re-development of Tamil schools as announced in the last budget, of which not a single sen has filtered down.

This when the monies could have been put to use immediately on a lesser number of schools if the initial allocation had been too small, as it has proven to be.

6. All Tamil schools to be made fully aided

6.1 On this budget, an announcement should be made by the prime minister, reiterating an earlier government announcement, that with effect from Budget 2009, all the 523 Tamil schools are to be fully-aided government schools with equal budgets, facilities, resources and teaching staff.

Simultaneously, a policy should be introduced that Tamil and Chinese be taught in all national schools during regular school hours with effect from Jan 1, 2010 onwards.

7. Micro-credit schemes and small business loans extended to non-bumiputeras

7.1 We propose that micro-credit schemes such as the Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (Tekun) be extended to all Malaysians regardless of race. Right now there is only token assistance to non-bumi small businessmen.

A meaningful extension of the policy to favour all Malaysians would ensure the wide spreading and flourishing of small businesses and a reduction of loan sharks (Ah Longs) and the attendant crimes.

7.2 Licenses must be issued to entrepreneurs in the scrap yard and recycling industries. It is inconceivable that businesses that play such an invaluable role in managing dwindling resources are persecuted because they are unable to obtain the necessary licenses.

8. Amanah Saham Scheme for working class Indians

8.1 The Indians' equity stake in Malaysia has fallen to 1.1%. We propose that the government take concrete steps to rectify this dismal state of affairs by launching a brand new Amanah Saham Scheme in Budget 2010 specifically for the Indian working class.

This scheme is targeted for Indian Malaysians earning less than RM1,200 per month but will be open to all Indian Malaysians earning less than RM3,000 per month.

8.2 The proposed Amanah Saham Scheme must be launched with an initial annual fund size of RM2 billion and be structured with the availability of a government-backed loan scheme at a preferential interest rate of not more than 2.5% per annum (similar to yield of a 3-year Malaysian government security). Current outstanding MGS issues stand at RM229 billion.

8.3 All other terms must be kept similar to that of Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020.

9. Reclassify the plantation sector from the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry to the Rural and Regional Development Ministry

9.1 We propose this transference of the plantation sector from one ministry to another as the plantation population are better served under the rural development ministry which is better able to care of the social needs of the rural population.

Agencies like Felda, Felcra, Risda, etc, come under this ministry and are better able to meet the needs of the rural population particularly when they get displaced when plantations are phased out. This is nothing more than a reclassification of departments from one ministry to another.

10. Resettlement of urban poor into government housing schemes

10.1 Resettlement of all urban poor communities should be carried out on a programmed basis into well-planned government housing schemes rather than in an ad hoc manner, on the occasion of their eviction when private development occurs.

This will avoid all the incumbent conflicts and abuses that are currently associated with private development on land occupied by these urban poor communities.

11. Legal aid for criminal cases

11.1 In order to serve justice to the poor, we propose a fully-funded government legal aid fund for all criminal cases as a fundamental right for all Malaysians earning RM5,000 and below per month. This proposal would be seen as Malaysia taking the steps to ensure justice is served fairly and equitably. This should be modelled along the United Kingdom Legal Services Commission.

12. Conclusion

12.1 We request that working-class Indians be brought into the national mainstream development of Malaysia rather than on ad hoc race-based specific allocations that do not filter down. Kindly therefore provide and announce the necessary allocations for all our aforesaid proposals that benefit all Malaysians and cannot be faulted on any grounds.

The writers are pro-tem central committee members, Human Rights Party Malaysia.

BN embraces Malaysian Indians, Pakatan Rakyat crucifies them

By Wong Mun Chee

Why does the landslide BN win not surprise anyone except those Pakatan Rakyat lobbyist. It is actually a simple conclusion; Pakatan Rakyat just felt that the Indians were not so important anymore as seen in the events that took place in Kg Buah Pala. Even the cow head incident seems to have no effect as that is what is expected from BN but not what is expected with the hoped change in Penang.

We all can condemn as much as we want, but Najib definitely proved to be a better politician than those in the opposition at least in Bagan Pinang as he knew how to embrace and court the Indian society whereas, the opposition became too big headed and discarded the Indian society.

The Pakatan Rakyat thought that through their ineffective Indian mandores, they will be able to harness support. Gosh!!! are they so naïve and blinded. Najib in the other hand inaugurate a runaway organization MMSP and better still, Dr Mahathir endorses it and this has proven that they would rather work with them even it is one of the numerous Indian parties and resolve the issues rather than depending on MIC the so called stalwart Indian representative.

As for Pakatan, it is a simple egoistic run, what can the Indian do. The minute you talk about Kg Buah Pala, it takes a defensive attitude and crucifies those residents rather than working with them for their own deficiency or ulterior motives. For Pakatan, they are after all the minority and those Indian mandores within their sphere will ensure their votes minus the transparency and truth in the people’s mandate for the change. How wrong has this been proven in the Bagan Pinang affair.

Whether Pakatan learns its lesson or not, but definitely BN has learned its lesson after GE2008 and makes concrete efforts to embrace the Indians in whichever manner to ensure that it stays in power even by breaking its own protocols.

Bagan Pinang has been a bellwether for Pakatan when they side track the Indian issues. No doubt the BN government is known for its marginalization and suppression of the Indians, and for that reason, the Indian voted en block under the direction of HINDRAF for the Pakatan coalition in the GE12.

However, if Pakatan thinks that Indian issues can be derailed and put aside similar to that seen in Kg Buah Pala, then they are no different from BN and the Indians rather chose a known devil then an unknown devil.

How Pakatan will move ahead will depend very much on whether they are serious in addressing the Malaysian Indian issues which is far more pressing than the economically sound Chinese and politically assisted Malays at least in their four (4) states.

From what I understand, the Indians still prefer to work with PR but they say, not at any cost. They want to see that there is a real difference between BN and PR. Otherwise, it really does not matter. BN will continue doing the same something crumbs stuff that PR is attempting to do now for the Indians. They do not want crumbs they want to see a crumbling of the old marginalizing order of things.

Let me also explain a thing about myself. Why does a Chinese name talk so much about an Indian issue? Simple, I am a Malaysian, my name does not matter but my intention for what is the truth does for a better Malaysian society.

Apartheid in the Malaysian context

I would confidently say Malaysia's NEP and NDP are more akin to apartheid than affirmative action not only in their morality but also in the way they have been implemented. 

Dr Boo Cheng Hau, Malaysian Mirror 

Apartheid was officially defined in South Africa as 'separate development'. But apartheid is really an elite regime with concentration of power in the hands of a few.

Apartheid involves the complete domination of one race over the other – economically, politically and socially.

South Africa is still struggling with the socio-economic sequels of apartheid itself. I do not think one should be obsessed with the physical aspect of apartheid [segregation] but rather be more concerned about its longstanding socio-economic deprivation and mental humiliation of not only being labelled according to skin colour but more factually to your native status.

umno2.jpgMany have mistaken apartheid as a form of racial discrimination based on white superiority. It has been well-documented that it is actually a preferential treatment for white Afrikaners (South Africans of Dutch descent) following victimisation by the British colonists during the Boer War where thousands of Boer Trekkers died in wartime.

Umno's Ketuanan Melayu is race-based dominance in a multiracial country and is the exact ideology employed by the single-race National Party which imposed apartheid rule in South Africa. The National Party portrayed themselves as the champions of 'Afrikaner Sovereignty' and 'white supremacy'.

Similarly, Umno's ideological basis for its political struggle has been Malay nationalism and bumiputeraism. Like the National Party, Umno has also imposed a heavily state-guided capitalist economic system.

Parallel argument to claim native status

White Afrikaners's native status was based on the familiar argument that they set up the 'first civilised government' in their motherland of South Africa.

The African aborigines such as the Khoisan and Xhosa people did not set up any 'civilised government' and the others were later immigrants. And hence they were never considered as 'natives' for special treatment by the state.

umno1.jpgThe exact argument has been deployed by Umno and its Barisan Nasional counterparts to justify bumiputeraism in that the Malays set up the 'first definitive government' in Tanah Melayu - (Dr Mahatir Mohamad: The Malay Dilemma). Thus they are considered as bumiputera despite the historical fact that Orang Asli are the first settlers of this land.

Later immigrants are not considered as bumiputera for special treatment by the state.

False justification for apartheid

As I pointed out earlier, historians have documented that white Afrikaners had been deprived during and after the Boer War.

Apartheid was started out to help 'the poor white natives', meaning to help the white Afrikaners to compete in the job market with the influx of the much cheaper black labour from other parts of Africa.

In Malaysia just after independence, the situation was that while a few Chinese were able to own businesses, the majority of the Chinese and Indians were manual and estates workers.

Statistics even show that the Malays' literacy rate was much higher than Chinese and Indians' at the time of Independence. It was not a question of who was richer than whom.

It was a fact that we were all impoverished, but one ethnic group may have been relatively more impoverished than the others. Nonetheless, this is not a moral ground to justify immoral means such as racial degradation of non-native status.

Historians conclude that under South Africa's apartheid rule, 'race is class, class is race' meaning the ruling elite class was predominantly white notwithstanding the fact that there were collaborators of other races working hand in hand with it to sustain their benefits. Similarly, the BN ruling elite class is composed mainly of Umno leaders notwithstanding their collaborators from MIC, MCA and others.

Affirmative action must be carried out with individualisation and transparency. Affirmative action should be allowed to be challenged in court. Do we have that in Malaysia? On the contrary, the NEP and the NDP have so far been carried out under the umbrella of draconian laws such as the ISA, OSA and the like.

I would confidently say Malaysia's NEP and NDP are more akin to apartheid than affirmative action not only in their morality but also in the way they have been implemented.

One may argue that Malaysia's economy has grown with the implementation of the NEP and NDP for almost a 30-year period. So did South Africa's economy grow for almost two decades without fail under apartheid rule. In both countries, an elite class of all races emerged under preferential treatment but that does not justify the immorality of Umno's and Barisan Nasional's political hegemony.

[DR BOO CHENG HAU is Johor DAP chairman. The above article is the latest condensed version of his original published on March 20, 2009 under the title ‘Immorality of de facto apartheid must go’ and can be read on the Centre for Policy Initiatives website]

Lokman, let’s set the record straight

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I still maintained contacts with Lokman Noor Adam long after he had left the opposition and joined Umno. I even met up with him for dinner a few times. Today, he has raised a five-year old issue and has accused me of being unjust to him. Maybe I need to remind him about what I wrote more than five years ago on 26 February 2004 to set the record straight.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

7 masseuses, 3 clients, all naked, all busted

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 – Three naked men who were in the midst of getting massages offered by three naked masseuses were arrested in a raid on a beauty parlour in Jalan SS 2/55, SEA Park, in Petaling Jaya near here today.

Petaling Jaya police chief ACP Arjunaidi Mohamed said acting on a public tip-off, the vice, gambling and secret society branch of the Petaling Jaya police raided the premises at about 4.30pm.

“During the raid, the three men, who were naked, were being given massage by the three masseuses from China, who were also naked. They were nabbed in three separate rooms,” he said.

“Four other masseuses, of whom three were from Thailand and one from Myanmar, as well as the supervisor of the premises, were also arrested,” he said, when contacted.

He said initial investigations found that the masseuses, aged between 22 and 46, not only offered body massage but also sexual services to the customers. – Bernama

Nothing to stop witnesses wandering around MACC HQ

By Neville Spykerman- The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, Oct 14- A senior officer with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) told the Coroner’s Court today there were no controls at their Selangor headquarters to keep track of the whereabouts of witnesses after their statements were recorded.

State MACC director of investigations Hairul Ilham Hamzah, who was testifying at the inquest into the death of Teoh Beng Hock, initially agreed that the office was a restricted zone.

He was responding to a question by lawyer Rajpal Singh, who is holding a watching brief for the Bar Council.

However when asked if a witnesses could walk around after their statements are taken, Hairul said “there were no controls”.

He had earlier testified that both investigating officer Mohd Anuar Ismail and he had conducted an unsuccessful search for Teoh at the MACC office after they found his bag there, on the morning of July 16.

Teoh was later found dead on the fifth floor that afternoon.

MACC maintains Teoh was released after his statement was taken earlier that morning.

“I want to know how a witness can be released to do what he likes in the area. There must be some procedure, a witness cannot play hide and seek in the MACC office.” said Rajpal.

Hairul said security guards at the front counter could have let him out, adding, however, that they did not check with the guard because his shift ended at 8am.

He said they had checked with the receptionist, who replaced the guard at the front counter, whether she had seen Teoh leaving.

Hairul agreed that Teoh could not have left the office by himself and would have to go through the guard or the receptionist.

He admitted that he did not check what time Teoh had finished giving his statement that morning.

He also denied assertions by Rajpal that they had searched the area because Teoh had not gone out the front door.

Earlier, Hairul told the court he had left the headquarters at 3am, after leaving instructions for his men to record Teoh’s statement.

Hairul returned to Plaza Masalam, where the state MACC headquarters is located, at 8.25 am and was on his way to brief Selangor Deputy Director Hishamuddin Hashim when he was informed that Teoh’s bag was still on the premises.

During questioning by lawyer Gobind Singh, Hairul said he did not check the contents of the bag and was not sure if Mohd Anuar did.

Although it was not normal for witnesses to leave their bags after they were released, he did not try to contact Teoh because, he said, it did not cross his mind.

He said he did not have Teoh’s phone number but Gobind pointed out that the number was on his statement which MACC recorded, and handed the sheet of paper to Hairul.

Gobind said Hairul could have obtained the number if he wanted to, and Hairul agreed.

“So if you really wanted to find him, you could have. I put it to you that you already knew what happened to him and the evidence is concocted,” said Gobind

Hairul said he did not agree.

He said that Mohd Anuar came to him in a state of panic at 2pm and asked him to go down to the 5th floor, where Teoh’s body had been found.

Hairul said he panicked and his mind went blank for the rest of the day and he did not know what to do.

Earlier, during his testimony, Hishamuddin had told the court that he was briefed about what happened by Hairul and Mohd Anuar.

Gobind said the incident would have left a strong impression on Hairul, who should be able to remember most of what happened.

“If there was an explanation by Anuar to Hishamuddin about this incident, you would have never forgotten it. It would have stuck in your mind the rest of your life.”

Hairul replied: “Maybe.”

But Gobind pointed out that Hairul had told the court his mind went blank while Mohd Anuar could not possibly know what had happened since he had testified that he was asleep in the surau most of the night.

“So what kind of briefing could you have given? Both of you could not offer an explanation. You both didn’t see him leave.”

Gobind said Teoh’s bag, handphone and car keys were left behind and there was a good chance he did not leave.

Hairul said he did not know but agreed that, as an investigator, he was interested to know how Teoh died.

However, Gobind contended the reason he could not remember was that there was no explanation and that MACC was responsible for Teoh’s death.

Hairul disagreed.

MACC legal director Datuk Abdul Razak Musa also cause a stir in court today when he asked to tender Teoh’s financial records, including bank statements as evidence.

Abdul Razak argued that the records would assist the court in determining Teoh’s state of mind.

Both Gobind and Rajpal strongly objected to the move.

“How is it relevant to his state of mind? Is a poor man more likely to jump off a building?” asked Gobind.

“Is he really taking the position that because Teoh was poor, he committed suicide? Can we be clear on that position?” asked Gobind,

Abdul Razak argued what Teoh earned was relevant and the records were allowed to be tendered as evidence.

The inquest continues on Friday.