Monday, November 30, 2009
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak will reveal a new peace plan for the crisis-ridden MCA upon his return from abroad, his deputy has said today.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who met MCA leaders last night, said the new peace plan will help the Chinese party out of the leadership crisis.
The prime minister is currently attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2009 in Port of Spain and is scheduled to return tomorrow.
“I will brief him on the outcome and I saw there was a strong commitment from almost all the (MCA) leaders that I met to resolve the political crisis,” Muhyiddin told a press conference here.
“I made some proposals and almost everything was accepted, but whatever it is, the final decision will be announced after the prime minister has studied the plan,” he added.
Last night senior MCA leaders met Muhyiddin for almost three hours at his private residence to draw up a new peace plan.
Present were MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng, and all four vice-presidents Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Tan Kok Hong and Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat did not attend the meeting as he was unwell.
Last week, Muhyiddin was tasked by prime minister to find a solution to the MCA crisis.
Muhyiddin had said that he would make, finding a solution to the MCA crisis, part of his key performance index (KPI) and hoped that he could find a solution to resolve the crisis by the end of this month.
The MCA crisis has become a major concern for the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership as it fears the problem could jeopardise Chinese support for the ruling coalition.
MCA plunged deeper into a leadership crisis after the Oct 10 extraordinary general meeting (EGM) which later saw it split into two major factions — one headed by Ong and the other led by Liow — after Ong and Dr Chua reconciled.
The situation worsened after Ong sacked Wanita chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong from the presidential council.
Liow’s faction, at a gathering last Saturday, had passed the declaration, called “Declaration 1128”, pushing for the party leadership to hold a fresh election at the central committee level within 60 days.
The declaration was dismissed by Ong, who argued that it needs to be supported by the majority of the central committee members.
By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — The Federal Court today postponed hearing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s suit against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the federal government for his 1998 sacking to Thursday.
This was after one of the three judges on the Bench agreed to withdraw from hearing the case. Judge Datuk Hashim Yusoff volunteered to recuse himself after Anwar’s lawyer, Karpal Singh, said they had reservations there may be bias.
Hashim had in 2003 sat on the Court of Appeal panel in Anwar’s first sodomy case. The former deputy prime minister, who is suing for damages over his sudden sacking from his government posts a decade ago, was present in court today.
Anwar (picture) later remarked that Hashim’s recusal was “very unusual.” He told reporters that the judge had offered to step down three times, which he noted was very suggestive of admitting bias.
Hashim’s replacement will only be announced on Thursday. The other two judges in the case are Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff and Datuk Abdull Hamid Embong.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz announced today that the Cabinet has agreed to revamp the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) following rising pressure to shut down the programme, which has been called a tool to spread racist propaganda.
The Minister in the Prime Minister Department disclosed that the Chief Secretary to the Government has been instructed to oversee BTN’s revamp
Nazri, speaking to reporters in Parliament lobby, said the recent Cabinet meeting saw it necessary to do away with BTN co-curriculum which government leaders, including the prime minister, saw was racially divisive and destructive.
“We agree to revamp BTN because the co-curriculum is against Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia concept,” said Nazri.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has found himself in a pickle over his alleged transfer of RM10 million to London, due to the perception that he should have known better than to send the money through a money changer.
The Negeri Sembilan Mentri Besar’s use of a money changer has thrown up a host of questions, most of which involve corruption allegations that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) — and even his enemies in Umno — are already exploiting.
Mohamad’s predicament has invited comparisons to another Umno politician — Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, the former Selangor MB — who was caught in Brisbane in 1997 for failing to declare nearly RM4 million worth of Australian dollars.
Muhammad admitted in court later that he had bought several properties worth nearly RM17 million. He was eventually acquitted after he claimed ignorance of Australian laws because he could not understand English.
But Mohamad does not have the same option.
Before he was made Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar in 2004, he was the managing director of Cycle & Carriage.As a major corporate figure, Mohamad is familiar with the laws surrounding money transactions.
The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday that Mohamad is understood to have privately blamed his own staff for making him use the services of a money changer.
But the questions surrounding him now is not just that he used a money changer instead of a bank, where he would have had to make an official declaration, but why he chose the illegal option.
Mohamad, who became mentri besar in 2004, is currently under Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) probe for allegedly transferring funds amounting to RM10 million to London through a money changer, Salamath Ali.
Mohamad’s illegal transaction surfaced because of Bank Negara’s drive to go after hot money sent through Indian-Muslim money changers in the system known as hawala — which financial authorities and even the United Nations had promised to eradicate as a conduit for financing global terrorism and crime.
Mohamad had avoided answering questions about the transaction from DAP lawmaker Anthony Loke in the Negri Sembilan state assembly sitting last week.
But he cannot stay silent for long, now that the knives are out for him in his own party.
Yesterday, The Malaysian Insider reported that Negri Sembilan Umno warlords are using allegations of the illegal money transfer to unseat the unpopular Mohamad.
PR lawmakers are also pressing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to initiate an investigation.
In 1997, Muhammad was forced to resign as Selangor Mentri Besar after his failure to declare the cash he was carrying surfaced.
Mohamad’s enemies in Umno will want him to do the same as Muhammad, and possibly install the popular Tan Sri Isa Samad as his replacement.
But The Malaysian Insider understands that Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not likely to push for his removal.
The original plan
But both Mohamad and Najib will have to come up with convincing arguments to appease the state’s party warlords and also to avert a potential backlash from the public.
By Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
The Government has now responded to Kelantan’s claim to a portion of the profits derived from petroleum resources extracted offshore by PETRONAS.
Its response violates the letter and the intent of a solemn agreement signed between each State Government and PETRONAS under the Petroleum Development Act.
That agreement is made out in language simple enough for a schoolboy to understand, in both Bahasa Malaysia and English.
The Constitutional rights of the people of Kelantan are denied. However this has implications far beyond Kelantan:
1) It negates an agreement signed between the Kelantan Government and PETRONAS. By implication, it negates identical agreements signed by PETRONAS with every other state and deprives the people of their constitutional rights.
2) The Government’s refusal to recognize a straightforward contractual obligation on PETRONAS’s part puts a question mark over the status of oil payments due to the other oil-producing states. The States’ rights to 5% of profit derived from the extraction of any petroleum resources is based on a quid pro quo according to which the States vested entirely and in perpetuity all their rights and claims to petroleum resources to PETRONAS. In return for this PETRONAS is legally bound to pay the states the 5% directly
3) If PETRONAS no longer recognises its legal obligation to pay the States what is due to them under the Petroleum Development Act, the States, and in particular Sabah and Sarawak, will now wonder if the corresponding Vesting Deed by which they vested all their rights in their petroleum resources to PETRONAS remains in force.
4) The Government’s response substitutes for PETRONAS’s legal obligations under the Petroleum Development Act an arbitrary “compassionate payment” from the Federal Government. This casts serious doubt on the Malaysian Government’s respect for the sanctity of contracts and the rule of law. Let’s not talk about spurring investment to take our economy to a higher level if we fail to understand the importance of abiding by contractual obligations.
I helped craft and negotiate the Petroleum Development Act. As Chairman of Petronas, I signed separate and identical agreements in respect of these payments with each of the Mentris Besar of the States. I must insist that PETRONAS is bound by them and that the Federal government should not interfere in their fulfillment.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
Member of Parliament, Gua Musang
I will discuss my response to the proposed parliamentary caucus on this issue in my next posting.
I last wrote on the issue of Kelantan’s right to oil payments in my letter to the Mentri Besar of Kelantan in July this year. PETRONAS was formed to unite the country under a single and simple formula for sharing the bounty of our petroleum resources. Any unraveling of this formula could have serious consequences for our Federation.
By Baradan Kuppusamy, themalaysianinsider.com
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — A unique showdown is on the cards between MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and his longtime rival Datuk S. Subramaniam at the first ever formal meeting of the MIED, the party’s education arm, on Thursday.
The MIED has never had a formal meeting since its founding by Samy Vellu, Subramaniam and three others some 25 years ago.
The meeting will be especially stormy and laden with emotions, with former MIED CEO P. Chitrakala Vasu, the former blue-eyed-girl of Samy Vellu, scheduled to attend Thursday’s meeting and confront Samy Vellu.
What would be more galling for the party president is that Chitrakala will be against him and siding with his arch rival Subramaniam.
Although sacked as MIED CEO, Chitrakala is one of the 33 life members of the MIED board and has a right to attend the meeting.
In May, she broke ranks with Samy Vellu whom she had once admired but now despises.
She had also openly admitted to benefitting from Samy Vellu’s patronage and is understood to own and manage numerous business enterprises.
Samy Vellu and Chitrakala are also engaged in a running battle, with each claiming the other had swindled MIED of millions.
They are also suing each other for fraud and defamation.
Samy Vellu sacked her as CEO in May after blaming her for the loss of RM18 million allegedly missing from MIED coffers.
She shot back by alleging hanky panky in the construction and maintenance of AIMST University to the tune of millions of ringgit.
Several police reports were also lodged by both parties against each other and the authorities have frozen several bank accounts of the parties involved.
“I can imagine the sparks flying between them at the meeting,” said a MIED life member, one of the 33, who asked not to be identified. “In fact, this is the first formal meeting of the MIED that I am attending… I am curious what will happen.”
MIED has been in the spotlight because it was revealed that the AIMST University — valued at RM1 billion — is owned by MIED, not MIC.
It was also revealed by Samy Vellu that MIC and MIED are separate legal entities.
Samy Vellu had also announced plans to bring together MIED and other projects he had started as MIC president under one private organisation to be headed by him upon retirement.
The announcement sparked a furore, with Subramaniam now leading a major campaign to “save” MIED and Chitrakala assisting in the campaign by revealing numerous allegations of inside deals involving Samy Vellu and MIED.
Thursday’s meeting, sources said, would also see Samy Vellu, who is MIED chairman, tabling the annual accounts for at least five or six years at one go, something clearly unacceptable under company law.The meeting would in fact be divided into “several meetings” for each year from 2004 to 2007.
By Deborah Loh
What would the fisherfolk think of the government's plan for a high income nation?
IT'S a grand announcement, but what would a fisherfolk or a padi farmer think about the government's plan to make Malaysia a high income nation by 2020? What would a single mother doing odd-jobs think of the goal to raise per capita income from the current US$7,000 to US$13,000 in the next 11 years? Probably that it would not be in her wildest dreams.
There's the rub about announcements like these. Focusing solely on high-income figures provides an incomplete picture of a country's well-being, and glosses over disparities. Even the World Bank, which classifies nations according to per capita income, acknowledges this.
There are also foundational questions about whether the 2020 goal, which hinges on an annual 6% gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, is achievable. And if it is, at what cost to other aspects of life?
Sharing the wealth
Per capita income is the easiest indicator to quantify and communicate when gauging a country's standing. At a glance, Malaysia does appear healthy enough with a sizeable middle-class.
"A large middle-income group is the hallmark of stable and sustainable societies. This group should be the one that provides the per capita income figure. If the average income is raised because of a small group of very rich, that is not desirable," RAM Holdings group chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng tells The Nut Graph.
Therefore, closing the social gap through equitable income distribution is just as important as raising per capita income.
"Per capita income is just personal income figures and not a measurement of the standard of living. You may have per capita income increase, but the income of the majority of Malaysians may have gone down or increased only very marginally," says Centre for Policy Initiatives director Dr Lim Teck Ghee in a phone interview.
A common feature, Lim adds, is stunted social development if higher income growth is not accompanied by equitable distribution. Additionally, a widening class and income gap also contributes to an increase in crime and other social problems.
Thus, there are other, more subjective indicators that need to be assessed, like the environment, public health, education, gender equality, media freedom, crime rates, and more. There is also the Human Development Index, used by the United Nations Development Programme to assess human development according to health, knowledge and decent living standards. Malaysia ranks at number 66 out of 182 countries in the 2009 Human Development Report and is considered a "high human development country".
Stuck in the middle
Certainly, Malaysia has made strides in poverty eradication and in raising living standards and incomes, especially for the rural poor through various agricultural programmes and subsidies.
But foundational building blocks, like education and the public delivery system, remain problematic due to politically-influenced decision-making. And so Malaysia, having come so far and with so many resources, seems unable to push beyond mediocrity. It is the phenomenon of being stuck in the middle, of having achieved upper-middle income country status as per World Bank standards, but of not progressing further.
The New Economic Policy has often been blamed for this mediocrity. The DAP says the affirmative action policy for bumiputras is the trap that has kept Malaysia stuck in middle-income position.
But in less harsh and less political tones, this view is actually echoed in varying descriptions by academics and economists. Meritocracy is the way out of mediocrity.
YeahIn the different prognoses offered, market deregulation and the need for competition feature strongly. "Just employ market forces, be competitive and the rest will take care of itself," RAM's Yeah notes. "High efficiency is normally present in competitive markets."
He points to monopolies over certain industries by government-linked companies (GLCs), such as utilities, car manufacturing and agriculture, and suggests that these sectors be made more "contestable". The same should go for the mobile and broadband services, he adds.
Fair competition should also exist in more basic areas like education. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia economist Prof Dr Ragayah Mat Zin, who is with the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (Ikmas), disagrees with the political motives behind the awarding of scholarships to all top performing students.
"A means test to check the income levels of a student's family should be conducted. Full scholarships should only be awarded to students from poor families, and maybe partial scholarships for the wealthy," she tells The Nut Graph.
Opening up sectors and letting the market forces in will help solve another problem — the brain drain. Competition will force merit-based recruitment, improve workforce skills, create the environment local talent overseas desire, and raise salaries accordingly.
"All these are basics when wanting to achieve higher per capita income," CPI's Lim says.
Graduating from the middle class
Ragayah (courtesy of Ragayah
Mat Zin)Ragayah, who is working on a research project for Ikmas on the ways Malaysia can "graduate to developed status", feels that the challenges are mounting. "We just dropped lower in the Corruption Perception Index. That's not going to encourage people to invest here," she notes.
Other problems she identifies: over-dependence on foreign workers in the labour market, and manufacturers' reluctance to spend capital on high-technology methods of production. At the same time, Malaysia has lost its competitive edge as a cheap-labour destination to neighbouring countries which are also providing better investment incentives.
The World Bank has also identified that Malaysians are not investing locally but preferring to go abroad. The brain drain has not been resolved. Subsidies are not targeting the poor and leaking out of the system.
For DAP economic adviser and parliamentarian Tony Pua, graduating from the middle in many ways means going back to school.
"The overall quality of education in the country has dropped with the proliferation of universities and university colleges without the corresponding increase in quality of students gaining entry for degree studies," he tells The Nut Graph.
In other words, Malaysia needs an education system that can be reformed to produce a mass of graduates who can think critically. If not, the government's talk of using innovation in information communication technology and building human capital using the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), will remain a vague ideal.
Most of all, if selective treatment of human capital, whether students, entrepreneurs or industries, continues, the best of Malaysia's money and brains will continue to go overseas.
"Innovation and creativity will naturally be stunted if the mediocre are protected and favoured in Malaysia. This will naturally result in those who are able, to seek greener pastures overseas where their talents are given full room to grow," says Pua.
Too often, views in support of meritocracy have been countered with unending cries that the playing field among the ethnic groups is not yet level. But will there ever be a time when the ground is level or when bumiputras feel they are ready?
What Malaysia clearly needs to push itself out of a rut by 2020 is to have a combination of needs-based subsidies and affirmative action, merit-based competition and foundational reforms.The task ahead is daunting if the government's objectives are to be met by 2020. For certain, making grand, headline-grabbing announcements alone is the easy part.
KOTA KINABALU: Families started burying those drowned after a wooden cargo vessel capsized in waters off the northern Kudat district three days ago just as another body was fished from the waters Sunday.
Kudat district police chief Deputy Supt Dawi Ossen said villagers at Pulau Molleoangan found 19-year-old Akmal Nazirah Sudin’s body at about 7.30am and immediately alerted the Fire and Rescue Services Department.
He said Akmal’s body was found close to shore and about 25kms from where the boat with 28 people sank in rough seas while on journey between Kudat and Pulau Banggi on Thursday.
Among those on board the overloaded craft were three crew members and the 21 relatives of former Sabah Assemblyman Yahya Othman, 61.
With the recovery of Akmal’s body, the number of those still missing is nine with six bodies recovered so far.
Thirteen other people, including Yahya, survived the ordeal.
On Sunday, Dawi said the search and rescue effort mounted by Marine Police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, firemen as well as villagers was called off at sunset and will continue at 7am Monday.
By Tim Leonard
KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 29, 2009): The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is giving more bite to its Anti-Money Laundering division to strengthen its investigation procedures and processes.
theSun learnt that the MACC is increasing its expertise in this specialised field, especially to beef up investigations and enhance its technical processes, especially for cases involving intricate financial details and trails.
A senior management official of the MACC said the division would be given more bite with increased powers to carry out investigations and be on par with international anti-graft bodies.
The MACC is also in the process of hiring more officers to strengthen the division.
"The division will liaise directly with statutory bodies such as Securities Commission, Bank Negara, Companies Commission of Malaysia and commercial banks, and will operate with greater level of powers," said the official.
He said while the division would work within the general scope of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001, it will also work with a broader scope to curb corruption and nabbing those involved in corruption by using the financial systems.
"The division will also work closely with those involved in the banking and financial sectors, including company secretaries, lawyers, remisiers, stock broking firms, fund managers and even bank clerks," he added.
The official said many cases today were no longer straight-forward corruption cases but those involving the use of sophisticated methods that were usually carried out by those with good knowledge of the financial systems.
He cited a case where the suspect was investigated for receiving kickbacks but no traces of money were found in his account. However, subsequent probes by the division found financial trails that ended in a company belonging to the relative of the suspect.
The money received as "kickbacks" was camouflaged under different receivables and "parked" in the relative's company. The money was planned to be channeled to the suspect under different guises.
The official said MACC lost many cases, some were even thrown out before the accused's defence was called, because many a witness turned "hostile" and brought down the prosecution's efforts.
"The MACC wants to rely more on technical aspects and equip itself with the highest technical skills to be able to successfully prosecute a case," said the official.
MACC deputy commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed was quoted recently as saying MACC lost cases because of problems with witnesses.
Out of 107 cases the MACC prosecuted as of Sept 30, it only won 82 and lost 25 cases or 23%.
Out of the 25 cases, 21 cases saw those accused being released without having their defense called.
2. Beliau telah berkata yang beliau sedang memikir untuk menyokong PAS. Beliau juga berkata beliau telah bertemu ramai pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO yang telah bersara dan mereka speendapat dengannya.
3. UMNO busuk daripada peringkat terendah hingga ke peringkat tertinggi katanya. Di cawangan, ketua cawangan hanya berjuang untuk mengekal dirinya sebagai ketua sahaja. Kenapa? Sebabnya majoriti ketua cawangan dapat jadi pengerusi Jawatakuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung dengan elaun tertentu dan kuasa untuk mengagih peruntukan. Berpeluang juga untuk jadi kontraktor Kelas F untuk projek kecil di luar bandar.
5. Sebab itu tidak ramai ahli profesional yang dapat menjadi ahli UMNO. Sebaliknya semakin ramai daripada pemimpin PAS terdiri daripada doktor, peguam, jurutera dan lain-lain profesyen.
6. Oleh kerana ketua cawangan biasanya tidak memiliki pelajaran yang tinggi dan beliau menentukan ahli lain dalam cawangannya mempunyai ilmu pengetahuan yang lebih rendah daripadanya, maka apabila ketua terpaksa berhenti kerana sebab-sebab tertentu, maka penggantinya akan terdiri daripada yang kurang berkebolehan daripadanya. Dengan itu kualiti kepimpinan akan merosot sepanjang masa.
7. Tentu ada cawangan yang tidak seperti ini tetapi pengecualian hanya mengesahkan keadaan yang sebenar.
8. UMNO, kata bekas pemimpin kanan ini sekarang dipimpin oleh perasuah. Mereka menjadi ahli Majlis Tertinggi kerana sogokan wang. Orang ramai tidak akan serah nasib mereka kepada perasuah.
9. Penempatan perasuah dalam Kerajaan dan badan-badan lain juga memburukkan lagi imej UMNO. Sudah tentu perasuah akan dipilih sebagai calon UMNO dalam Pilihanraya Umum ke-13. Jika mereka diberi kemenangan maka negara akan dapat Kerajaan perasuah. Sebab itu beliau tidak akan sokong UMNO sebaliknya akan menyertai dan menyokong parti lawan. Katanya lagi hingga kini separuh daripada orang Melayu tidak merasai nikmat kerana Kerajaan-Kerajaan pimpinan UMNO menidakkan hak mereka sedangkan mereka juga orang Melayu walaupun mereka menyokong parti lawan. Mereka yang menyokong parti lawan bertambah sejak (Tun) Abdullah kerana ramai daripada ahli UMNO sendiri sudah tidak percaya kepada UMNO.
10. Yang tinggal katanya ialah orang yang berkepentingan yang berharap mendapat sesuatu kerana menyokong UMNO. Mereka ini bukan nasionalis dan mereka tidak boleh diberi kepercayaan.
11. Banyaklah lagi hujah-hujahnya akan sebab-sebab UMNO tidak lagi akan diberi peluang untuk memerintah negara yang disayangi olehnya. Saya tidak akan hurai lebih lanjut. Hanya yang saya ingin sebutkan ialah pendapat beliau sudah menular ke semua peringkat orang Melayu, bahkan ahli UMNO juga.
12. Rakan-rakan dalam Barisan Nasional semuanya berpecah dan lemah. Mereka tidak mampu menjayakan Barisan Nasional.
13. Masa semakin singkat untuk memperbaiki keadaan ini. Saya mencatat maklumat ini untuk pengetahuan umum sahaja.
The meeting, held at Muhyiddin's residence in Bukit Damansara here, lasted almost three hours.
Present were MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng, and all four vice-presidents Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Tan Kok Hong and Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat was absent as he was warded at the Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) with stomach ailment.
Met by the media outside the residence, MCA leaders declined to divulge the outcome of the meeting.
Asked to comment on Ong's condition, Dr Chua merely said that the party president ad sms-ed him and the deputy prime minister (on his condition).
Earlier this week, Muhyiddin was tasked by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to find a solution to the MCA strife. The deputy prime minister had said that he would make, finding a solution to the MCA crisis, part of his key performance index (KPI) and hoped that he could find a solution to resolve the crisis before Najib returned from overseas on Dec 1.
The MCA crisis has become a major concern for the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership as it fears the problem could jeopardise Chinese support for the ruling coalition.
MCA plunged deeper into a leadership crisis after the Oct 10 extraordinary general meeting (EGM) which later saw it split into two major factions -- one headed by Ong and the other led by Liow -- after Ong and Dr Chua reconciled.
The situation worsened after Ong sacked Wanita chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong from the presidential council (PC).
Liow's faction, in a briefing yesterday, had passed the declaration, 'Declaration 1128', pushing for the party leadership to hold a fresh election at the Central Committee (CC) level within 60 days, but the declaration was later rejected by Ong who cited that any decision made should receive the majority support from CC members.
LANGKAWI, Nov 30 (Bernama) -- Countries in the region should utilise the might of air power surveillance which has proven to be effective in combatting non-traditional threats, said defence minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said statistics from the "Eye in the Sky" (EiS) operation launched in 2005 to monitor the Straits of Malacca had shown a marked reduction in acts of piracy in the busy straits.
"It proves the point that the characteristics of air power can still be effective against non-traditional threats, and combined with proper coordination with civil agencies, can be a very formidable one," he said when launching the Air Chiefs Conference held in conjunction with the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition here today. This year's LIMA begins tomorrow and ends on Saturday.
The EiS operation was launched by Straits of Malacca's littoral states including Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia as a measure to safeguard the vital chokepoint from piracy or other crimes.
According to Zahid, non-traditional threats including piracy, illegal trafficking of goods, people and drugs as well as illegal fishing, could influence and shape maritime security.
These non-traditonal threats if left unchecked, he said, could be detrimental to good order at sea.
The Defence Minister said using cost effective Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as a platform to conduct maritime surveillance should be the way forward for countries.
Speaking to reporters later, Zahid said several local companies including Sapura and Composite Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM) had designed and tested their own UAVs.
These locally-made UAVs, which could endure up to 20 hours of operation and be controlled within a radius of 200km, had been tested by the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) during "Ops Pasir" in eastern Sabah, he said.
As the locally-made UAVs were currently under testing, the government, he said, had no intention to buy them yet.
Meanwhile, ATM Chief Gen Tan Sri Azizan Ariffin, who was also present during the media conference, said besides tactical ones, ATM was also looking to procure strategic UAVs, which can fly higher and longer also can be weaponized.
Two years on, the focus is clearer for Hindraf by G Narayanan and Anwar, who are Hindraf's real heroes?
A sea of aggrieved humanity descended to the center of Kuala Lumpur on that historic day on Nov 25, 2007 and that was the day Hindraf was born.
Even though it had existed as a loose grouping of just over 30 NGOs, the Hindraf we all recognise today was indeed born then. It was more of a phenomenon than an organisation on that day.
Many of us were swept along into that phenomenon because of what it meant to all of us. What happened that day was a crystallisation of something that had been brewing for a very long time in the minds of the Indians in the country.
These include emotions of seething anger, disgust, bitterness, alienation and helplessness. All these deriving from a lifelong experience of being put aside, being put down, being treated with indignity, being sidelined, being discarded, being treated like sub-humans, being denied the most basic of rights, being denied equal opportunities and being given reasons and excuses which we felt totally helpless to do anything about.
Now after two years of struggle as an organisation, we have found a clear direction and a firm basis by which to engage in what will be a prolonged struggle - for the inertia of status quo is very strong.
We have removed the chaff from the wheat. Most of those who do not belong have found their way out. We have cleared ourselves of many wishful thoughts. We have a better understanding of reality.
We know what the real issues are, who our true friends are and who our fair weather friends are and who our enemies are. Two years have given us much opportunity to engage the issues and to learn from the various struggles. We can see our mission clearer now for all that. And it is a historic mission.
Hindraf is a working-class movement and the Human Rights Party (HRP) is a working-class party. Hindraf and the HRP lead the Indian poor and marginalised. This is where we originated from - the fight against a convergence of racism by the Umno regime and economic exploitation by the power elite of the country.
Hindraf and HRP will lead the Indian poor and marginalised today to realise a new life for them.
This is our mission. The Indian marginalised and poor are factory workers, service workers, manual workers and often contract workers.
Constant struggle for only the basics
They are drivers, they are security guards, they are the cleaners, they are the gardeners, they are the helpers, they are washerwomen in restaurants, they are the criminals in prison, they are the dregs of Malaysian society.
They form the majority of the Indians in the country. What characterises the Indian society at large in Malaysia today is a constant struggle only for the basics of life. Compared with the other segments of society, you see a contrasting, vibrant, forward-looking set of programmes for them but this basic struggle for the Indians.
The Indians are also the dispossessed in our society. They have no 'kampung' to go back to. They have no ancestral structures to fall back on. They only have their working power to live their lives by. And that too is being blocked in so many ways by the working of this racist system.
And to top this all, the poor and marginalised Indians have been kept in a state of ignorance for as long as they have existed in this country. This makes them a group that is most desirous of change and most in need of change.
To bring about change is their historic role. But they do not yet recognise this role. Hindraf and HRP now have set themselves the agenda of creating this recognition and in the process, uniting this group under one umbrella and forcing change in the system. Forcing change through empowered participation in the political processes of government.
The Indian poor and marginalised have the most to gain from a change to the system and they have the least to lose by any change. Thus, they have the potential for leading change in this country like no other single group.
Hindraf has evolved over these two years to become that organisation that discovered this historic mission for itself and this historic role for the Indian poor and marginalised. This role requires political clout - something which cannot be realised through any existing arrangement.
The needs of the Indian working poor can only be met by a re-engineering of the basic groupings within the government, by restructuring the constitution of those holding the reins of power.
HRP, the political wing of Hindraf, has taken on as its objective to participate in all levels of government to bring about a change to the basic policies. This will mean a change for all the poor and marginalised, not just for the Indians.
But the Indian working poor, organised well and led well, have the potential for leading the charge and creating change for all the working poor and marginalised in the country.
The work of HRP has just begun. Hindraf forms the mass base and HRP becomes the wing that will take on the struggle for national policy changes. This is so clear now after two years of struggle. A journey of a thousand miles starts but with a single step.
Anwar, who are Hindraf's real heroes?
Gandhi: I can only say that P Uthayakumar and some hardcore believers in Hindraf did a sensible and meaningful commemoration of the historical event two years ago.
Where are Thanenthiran, Vasanthakumar and Ganabatirau? Is holding a dinner to commemorate the solemn event a fitting move? Get down in the trenches like Uthayakumar to go all the way to submit the memorandum and keep the fire alive. Knock on the doors of the corridors of power to act on the plight of Indians.
Ranjit Singh: Anwar Ibrahim should take the trouble to do some background checks on this character (Vasanthakumar) before endorsing him. Anwar doesn't seem to learn from his lessons as he keeps recruiting hapless and suspicious candidates who eventually backstab him.
Imhindraf: Hindraf members, please set aside your differences for the benefit of Indians. Hindraf came about to protect the Indians worst-hit by Umno discrimination.
DC: Here we go, another one attempting to gain political mileage for his own benefit. Why didn't he raise the Kampung Buah Pala issue to Anwar? We are not going to see change until and unless these so-called Indian champions openly, and with indignation, raise our issues.
Lvbala: That should be the way, Anwar. "Our political landscape has changed. Indian, Hindu and Tamil problems must be seen and projected as a Malaysian problem."
We should stand as one. United regardless of race, ethnicity and religion. United we must stand and free this holy land from corruption. Make Malaysia proud. Be a proud Malaysian.
Murali: First Thanenthiran sold his soul to Umno and now Vasanthakumar and Ganabatirau have sold theirs to Pakatan for political mileage. These are the selfish people I have seen after Samy Vellu. We will see whether they will highlight and solve the Indian issues.
Let It Be: Hey guys, if Vasanthakumar is going to be a frog there's nothing all of us can do here. Whether he's a true Indian or a frog, only time will tell. The Indians are not blind and you can cheat them only once.
To be frank, the defining moment for Malaysia was when Anwar was sent to prison because the powers-that-e believe they can continue to mislead us. It made Anwar a better person, when otherwise he would be sucked into Umno's politics of deceit and corruption.
Hindraf did the right thing to come to Pakatan Rakyat and let all Indians rally together for a long and meaningful road ahead. Hope, trust, perseverance, loyalty and lastly sacrifice is needed for this journey.
Reaching out to all, Hindraf's theme for third year
Kris Khaira: Timber companies in Borneo steal from the vulnerable through illegal logging because of profit. For the same reason, oil palm plantations pay their workers of all races, including Indians, obscenely low wages. The common enemy here is capitalism, a system that prioritises profit over people.
Gibran: Hindraf is not racist; it started by taking up the plight of the suppressed Indians. If they are successful, the ramifications will be great because this allows other marginalised communities like the disabled, single mothers and the like to bring up their issues.
Hindraf's success is pertinent - we could best equate it with the civil rights movement in US in the 60s, once the African-Americans obtained equal rights other marginalised groups started fighting for their rights too. Let us support this movement.
Paradox: Dear Penan brothers, be prepared! Hindraf will join forces with you to help your struggles. Now, this is what we call the real 'Bangsa Malaysia'. Kudos to Hindraf!
Pau Line Yaacob: Hindraf is on the right path. Many misunderstand them as being a race-based organisation but there is no harm in raising the issues of your community.
Pairin raises KadazanDusun issues as well. Would you call him racist and not seeing larger Malaysian issues? Similarly Hindraf speaks for the marginalised Indians. In fact they are going a step further to incorporate the natives from Borneo. Well done.
I have reserved my comments on the limiting Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) students be allowed to take a maximum of 10 subjects. The rationale given by Minister of Eduction behind the decision was to ensure students had more time for extra-curricular activities. Well how does extra -curricular activities will transform Malaysian into high earning economy?
But why the victim once again, the Indian Language - Tamil Literature. When, their plan to transform Indian Studies Department , University Malaya into Regional Language Department foiled all eyes aimed at Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia. Their ultimate aim is to dissipate Tamil Language from the Malaysian education system.
When, we first sense the government motive of ethnic cleansing by gunning down ” suspected Indian criminals” and selective custodial death , the nation blame us for promoting criminal. Now, they had gone into advance strategy of extinguishing own mother tongue as it’s the core of cultural and religious development of Malaysian Indian.
Recently, the Deputy Prime Minister announces that government plans cottage Industries for addicts. Why , targeting National Narcotics Treatment centre (puspen) and why not similar scheme to train young convicted with robbery and snatch theft. Don’t they too are Human beings that can be trained. That’s double standard as Drug Addicts comprises majority of one race while convicted at Simpang Renggam Prison comprises majority of another one race.
I call up the Barisan Nasional Federal Government to immediately cease their plan of systematic ethnic cleaning by rany means and restoring One Justice for all Malaysian, and allow students freedom to choose subject of their interest.
Felda’s 2,000 ha of seaweed, 1,876 hard core poor to benefit. Indians excluded by UMNO (ref Sunday Star 22/11/2009 at page N10)
PKR S’gor RM380 Million sales. But only RM2 Million for 97 Tamil schools in Selangor. Selangor is the richest state in Malaysia.
PKR S’gor RM380 Million sales. But only RM2 Million for 97 Tamil schools in Selangor. Selangor is the richest state in Malaysia. But just like the previous UMNO Selangor State government it s now PKR’s turn to dish out these peanuts.
PKR Selangor should forthwith grant land to all 97 Tamil schools in Selangor. By doing so the Federal UMNO government would be forced to grant full aid and fully funded status to all this said 97 Tamil schools. UMNO will have no more excuses. Then this said 97 Tamil Schools no longer have to beg from the pre existing poor Indians Tamil school parents for chairs, tables, library, books and extension school buildings and replacing existing cow shed looking Tamil schools. PKR Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim should not divert away from this real issue and give out peanuts like this RM2 Million.
HRP Secretary General
Our estimate is that only about 0.1 % of these places are given to the Indians. UMNO will never publicise the full list of the students with their names, identity card numbers, the critical courses they are enrolled in etc. This UMNO racist and religious extremist policy is specifically designed to exclude the Malaysian Indians from the national mainstream development of Malaysia.
Why exclude especially the poor and working class Indians into government Polytechnics and Universities in Malay-sian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malay-sia
HRP Secretary General
Your Reference :
In Reply :
Date : 28/11/2009
YAB. Dato Seri Najib Razak
Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Block Utama Bangunan Perdana Putra,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
Tel : 03-8888 8000 Fax : 03-8888 3444
E-Mail : email@example.com
Re: Forced to convert to Islam prevalent- Indian poverty link.
S.Banggarma (27) a former occupant of a welfare home says she was forced to convert to Islam as a one year old child by the Penang Welfare Department. This actually arose out of poverty. “ She ran away from the said home at the age of 18 and later found her father who was living like a beggar”. Her poor parents left her to the charge of the Penang Welfare Department. (The Star 25/11/09 at page N26 and The Sun 25/11/09 at page 4). Instead of giving this child the best the said Welfare Department took advantage of this family and the seven year old child by forcing her to convert to Islam.
S.Banggarma denied that her natural father had converted her to Islam when she was one year old. If that was so why was she made to sign a certificate to enter Islam again when she was seven years old.
This sort of forced conversations and/or attempts to do so are quite rampant also in orphanages, welfare homes, fully residential government schools and other educational institutions.
In 2007, a 17 year old youth who was studying at a Vocational school formally complained to us that he was pressured by his peers to convert to Islam which he was resisting. Then one fine day he was taken to the school’s religious teacher (Uztaz) who then took them to the local Islamic religious department where he was duly registered as an Muslim and issued with an Islamic conversation card. This youth was then told not to inform his parents or anyone else.
On hearing this from his Indian school friends his father immediately rushed to the school and at about 11.30 p.m the very same day took his son away from that school even that very wee hours of the morning. And that was the end of his Vocational skills training and so was his future vocational career .
We had then written a letter to the then Prime Minister but up to date his forced conversation status was never reversed even by the present Prime Minister.
But imagine the mysery this family has to go through. This youth right up to this day is a practicing hindu. In fact after this “tragedy” he has become a stauncher hindu then he ever was before. But nobody could help this boy not even the Malay-sian Courts because of UMNO’s thick racist and religious extremist policies.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Most non muslim parents fear sending their children to even the few places allowed to them in fully residential schools and institutions.
Article 11 of Federal Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but on the ground level the UMNO Islamic religious affairs department officers reign supreme and take the law into their own hands. We are perplexed because even the national PAS Spritual leader and Kelantan Menteri Besar, YAB Dato Nik Aziz has said that in Islam there should be no forced conversation. And it is the bounden duty of the majority muslims to protect the minority non muslims especially the 7.5% Malaysian Indians.
How then are we supposed to work towards Malay-sian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malay-sia. How then are we Malaysians supposed to interact, foster genuine national unity and national integration and co-exist as fellow Malaysians or as human beings in the first place.
We hereby urge your goodself to intervene and direct the Penang Islamic Religious Department to undo and reverse S.Banggarma’s forced conversation to Islam. Further we urge the Prime Minister to issue a circular that there shall strictly be no conversation of minors and youths below 21 years of age at all government schools institutions and bodies. And for all Malaysians who claim that they were forced to convert to Islam they be granted their said Constitutional right to revert to their original or any other religion of their choice as is provided under Article 11 of the Federal Condtitution. Mr.Prime Minister, these state of events are completely unnecessary. We could instead optimally utilize our time and energy and focus on nation building in the true One Malaysian sprit championed by your goodself.
Please, let us move on and move forward.
Kindly revert to us accordingly.
Secretary General ( pro-tem)
Pledging a probe into the matter, Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the leak should not have happened.
He said the state government had sent back the document to the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) after doubts were raised if the report could be declassified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
Asked about the appearance of what seems to be the official stamp of a Selangor executive councillor on the the leaked documents, Khalid said the state government “will look into it.”
“We never released the document,” he said. “We will look into whether the stamp really came from us. However, I do not think it came from the state because we are still waiting for the approval from the federal government to declassify the document,” he said.
Khalid reiterated his regret over delays by the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Cabinet in approving the declassification of the document.
“MPAJ recently sent another letter” to PWD, he said. “Now we have sent four letters. Then PWD said that we have to send the letter to the Cabinet (instead).”
The document was made available on Saturday by Rapidshare, a popular file sharing website. It has since been deleted.
The 86-page document attributed the landslide to water leaks from a pipe which destabilised a slope.
Khalid had earlier announced that the state government would declassify the report but held it back after the federal government warned that the Menteri Besar would be contravening the OSA.
Leaking an OSA document is a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum of a year’s jail sentence.
25th November 2007 will go down as the greatest demonstration of the expression of a state of hopelessness of the Malaysian Indians living in independent Malaysia. It was a day of showing outwardly years of displacement and marginalization by selective policies, their actual state of mind. It was a culmination of a long journey of neglect that has made many Indians more disadvantaged than others.
By Malini Dass
The irony is the bulk of Tamils who came to Malaysia under the indentured labour system of the British were from the lowest caste stratification of the Indian society. Post independence, India evolved an affirmative action program that has moved this lot up mainstream society, by educational support and government programs.
Those who came to Malaysia lost out on this post Independent Indian program and faced further discrimination and hardship with the UMNO government. With India’s emerging economic growth and the political conviction to create an equitable society, India has become a land of opportunity thus proving the decision of the forefathers' decision to get on that ship to Penang wrong.
The tear gas canisters that were indiscriminately fired on 25th Nov. 2007 was a classic reminder by the government of the day that it has no human compulsion or moral responsibility to those who were thrust upon them by the British colonial masters.
Thus the initiative by Hindaf Chairperson Waythamoorthy to submit a memorandum to the British government on that day was a symbol, to show the world that there is an historical distortion of responsibilities between pre independent Malaya and post independent Malaysia governments.
Today we are still struggling to realize that the issue is not peculiar to Indian causes alone, just because Hindraf has presented an Indian case. If the government (both BN/PR) does not realize its failure to create an equitable society based on pure economic parameters, it will eventually lead to multi-faceted social consequences which will be more difficult and costly in terms of remedy in years to come.
Hindraf is just a forerunner of similar marginal community support groups and they need to succeed because the ramifications will be great as Hindraf’s success will pave the way for other minorities groups who are in a similar plight to seek representation and attention for their cause.
Hindraf is the catalyst for the expression of those who need attention, who need support, who need affirmative programs. Such groups need not be limited to race or religion, it could be the disabled, the single mothers, the homeless, the urban squatters and so forth. Hindaf actions could well be equated with that of the civil rights movement in the 60’s. Once the Civil Rights Bill was endorsed by congress, other marginalized communities were also able to raise their plights and problems too.
It is therefore very pertinent that all level minded, civic conscious true Malaysians look at Hindraf as an expression of the disadvantaged than to look at it from a racial prism. It will be for the nation's good if movements like Hindraf succeed in the democratic space to bring about changes in the socio-economic landscape of this nation of ours. It will set the pace for others to follow and will enable the evolution of an empathetic and caring Malaysian generation.We should also look at the Hindraf rallies as a real cry for freedom. Their success will endorse greater democracy in the country and will turn the page of old politics of misrepresentation and distortion. We will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, ethnic group against ethnic group, religion against religion.
Even though China is still a communist state today, Malaysia's relationship with Beijing is getting better over the years. As the former secretary-general of the Malayan Communist Party, what would you have to say about the development today?
Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily
HAT YAI, Thailand: Former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) chief Chin Peng said he could accept anything, even if the Malaysian government allowed him to "sneak into the country," provided that he was given the opportunity of going back to his native Malaysia in his lifetime.
However he said he would absolutely not accept the condition of an open apology from the government for him to come back to this country again.
He stressed that he had not made any unconditional open apology during a recent interview with the English media from Malaysia, but only a "conditional show of regret."
When answering the reporter's question at that time, he said he was willing to apologise "if it could be proven that the CPM had really been involved in reckless killing of innocent civilians."
He insisted that if the government wanted him to apologise openly and unconditionally in exchange for a permission to come back to the country, he would not accept.
He also stressed that his faith in communism had not swayed even to this day.
He said he didn't feel that he had been taken a ride even with the refusal of the Malaysian government to allow him to return to the country 20 years after the CPM signed a peace treaty with the Malaysian and Thai governments, as the agreement was willingly signed by all the involved parties. He said it was nevertheless a drawback of the treaty looking from political perspectives.
Chin Peng reiterated that his only wish was to "enjoy family togetherness" during a joint interview with Chinese-language print and electronic media from Malaysia in Hat Yai, southern Thailand, on Friday, adding that this desire had nothing to do with whether Malaysia was a communist country or not.
The debilitated 85-year-old former CPM chief, who is currently staying in Bangkok, keeps stressing his desire to return to his homeland, saying his greatest wish has been to return to his hometown and pay respect to his ancestors.
Having learned that prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would visit southern Thailand next month, Chin Peng said, "Is the PM coming here? If he is willing to see me, I really hope I can voice out this request to him personally."
"If the government stresses humanitarianism and would not haggle over the past, be it the Najib administration or any other administration, it should have considered such a personal request."
"I've no other wishes..."
Hat Yai is only a few hours' drive from Sitiawan, but the way home has not been made available to him over the past two decades.
Can he go home one day? Even he has the slightest clue to the answer of that question.
If he were to come back, will he add to the burden of his family here?
He is not sure either.
Chin Peng, who needs a helping hand even to do the simplest thing like walking around, said he was old and all that he had in mind was to return to his hometown.
He said he wanted to be home to pay respect to his departed ancestors, and to feel the joy of being with his family. However, he said if his return would pose any unnecessary trouble to his family, he was willing to leave again.
DPM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently said that the door for Chin Peng to come back to Malaysia had been shut, which to an 85-year-old man is indeed a cruel rejection.
In a rare joint interview with the Malaysian Chinese print and electronic media in Hat Yai, Chin Peng admitted that he could not remember many things the media had put forward to him.
When asked about the most important message he had tried to deliver in this interview, the physically debilitated old man remained absolutely affirmative in his desire: "I want to go home!"
Not worried about money
He said he was leading a comfortable life now and had plenty of cash in hand. Nevertheless, his greatest regret has been his inability to return to his homeland.
Q: You have on a number of occasions expressed your wish of going back to Malaysia, but some have also asked why you want to go back, as it will no longer be the Malaysia which you once aspired it to be. Your ideal Malaysia is one that embraces communism. How would you respond to that?
A: This (going back) has nothing to do with communism. I want to go back to a capitalist Malaysia; more so if it is a communist state. It is my home country, My siblings are still there and both my parents were also buried there. I will fight for any opportunity to go back there to pay homage to them, at least once in my lifetime. Other than that, I have no other purposes in life. I don't want any propaganda. All I want is to discharge my duty as a son.
But if my family does not want me back, that will be another issue altogether.
"Malaysian government compelled to sign the treaty"
Q: Now that the Malaysian government does not want you back, why do you think Dr Mahathir wanted to sign a peace treaty with the CPM back then? Have you thought about that?
A: I think the government had no choice but to sign the treaty, given the situation at that time. If the government refused to sign the treaty, it would be sidelined by the public. In a similar manner, if we did not sign the treaty, we would also be shunned by the people.
Q: Have you ever had the feeling of being cheated?
A: No. Because we were negotiating together. We all agreed to the contents of the treaty before it was signed. As for the developments that have ensued, that is a separate issue altogether.
Q: Can you give a brief account whether the Malaysian government has really fulfilled the spirit of the peace treaty over the past 20 years, especially on the issue of allowing you to come back to Malaysia? Other than returning to Malaysia, what is your second biggest wish?
A: My biggest wish back then was to return to Malaysia, which is also my primary intention today. Other than, I have no other desires.
Let the people evaluate me
Q: Many young people do not seem to know you. Do you feel sorry for that?
A: I don't. They don't know me because of a variety of reasons, but slowly when they get to know more about the truth, they will come to understand.
Q: I would like to ask how you would evaluate yourself having involving yourself in underground activities for decades. How would you like to be evaluated by the history of Malaysia?
A: I think it will be outrageous for me to answer to your question myself. It should be up to the Malaysian people to evaluate how much I have done for the country, whether what I did had been good or bad for the country. Let the people do the appraisal.
Q: What has been the greatest price you have paid throughout your life? What is the most important message you are trying to relay in this rare interview?
A: I'm very old now. My only message is that I want to go back to my homeland to pay respect to my parents and siblings.
I joined the revolutionary struggle out of my own accord. No one had forced me to do so, and it's therefore hard to say how great a price I have paid.
Not getting assistance from China
Q: How is your financial situation now?
A: No problem at all. I'm leading a relatively comfortable life with plenty of cash in hand.
Q: For your effort to fight for the opportunity to go back to Malaysia as well as your living expenses in Thailand, has the Chinese government offered you any assistance? Or have you ever asked for the assistance from China?
A: The Chinese government has never helped me. Yes, they helped out with my expenses when I was in China, but nothing since then.
Will tell Najib personally his desire of coming back
Q: What would you like to say on those who sacrificed in their struggle, as well as Chinese Malaysians who are still concerned about you today?
A: I want to thank them for their concern. I think it should be that kind of gratitude that comes out from the deepest part of my heart.
Q: How about those who have refused to let you come back?
A: Everyone has his own beliefs in politics. It is natural that those unhappy with me would not want to see me back. But whether people are happy or not happy with me, all I want now is to go back to pray to my ancestors, my grandparents and parents. They have no reasons not to let me go back to pray for my departed family members.
Q: Other than legal channels, have you ever tried other channels, such as contacting government leaders in private, to express your wish of going back to Malaysia?
As the Malaysian prime minister Najib will come to southern Thailand next month, will you see him and tell him what you have always wished?
A: Najib is coming next month? If he is willing to see me, I will tell him personally. But if he is not willing to see me, that will be another story.
Q: Even though China is still a communist state today, Malaysia's relationship with Beijing is getting better over the years. As the former secretary-general of the Malayan Communist Party, what would you have to say about the development today?
Q: The good diplomatic relationship between China and Malaysia goes well with the interests of the Chinese people as well as Malaysian people. I hope to see the relationship between these two countries get better and better, as this is good for the people in both countries.
Will fight for chances of coming back
Q: If the government refuses to let you go back, do you feel that this would be a drawback of the Hat Yai Peace Treaty besides your inability to go back to pay homage to your ancestors?
A: I think so.
Q: Do you have the confidence that you will one day get back to your own country?
A: I do, and will fight for it till the end.
Q: What gives you that confidence? Is it the Najib administration? Or the possibility of a change of government?
A: I will voice out to the government. If the government stresses humanitarianism and would not haggle over the past, I believe I'll be given the chances of going back.
Q: Will the chances be higher or lower if there is a change of federal administration?
A: I don't know what kind of new government it will be, but whatever it is, it should give due consideration to humanitarian requests.
Q: If you could turn back time, would you still insist on communism and the armed struggle? Do you still believe in communism today?
A: My faith towards communism has never swayed the least. It is normal to come across setbacks in the course of our advances, and if I could turn back time, I would most definitely choose to walk down the same path.
Q: Some of your family members are still in the hometown, and their lives have been somewhat affected by your involvement in the communist party. Do you have anything to say to them? Are you going to offer your apology?
A: If I have the chances of seeing them, I will first see how my activities have affected their lives. If my activities have inconvenienced them, then I would apologise.
But if they don't feel this way, then why should I apologise?
Will leave if family is inconvenienced
Q: Other than offering prayers to your ancestors after getting back to your hometown, do you wish to enjoy family togetherness in the remaining years of your life? Do you feel sorry for yourself having to beg the government so hard all these years just to let you go back?
A: Actually I'm not feeling sad, only sorry that I'm not given the opportunity of going back. I will fight for such an opportunity in my remaining years.
I have no idea whether I will succeed, but I'll definitely fight hard for it. My son and daughter are doing well now, and have paid me a visit here. This shouldn't be too much a problem.
Q: You not only wish to go back to visit your family, you also hope to be buried there some day. Will you still leave the country again?
A: If my return has inconvenienced my family, I will choose to leave in order not to burden them any further.
But if my return does not bring them too much trouble, I think I would like to spend my remaining years with my family, as my age is really catching up.
Regrets Muhyiddin's "shut door" response
Q: Deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has said "the door for you to come back to Malaysia has shut," meaning it is no longer possible for the government to let you go back. What would you like to say about this?
A: I could only feel sorry that he has come out with such a response, as such a response cannot solve our problems.