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Sunday, December 13, 2009

THE DAY THAT THE GLOVES CAME OFF FOR UMNO AGAINST THE INDIANS

THE DAY THAT THE GLOVES CAME OFF FOR UMNO

AGAINST THE INDIANS
13TH OF DEC 2007

The 4 Hindraf lawyers were arrested on that fateful day.

On that day, the main protagonist among the power elite, UMNO now began a phase of open assault on the Indian community. Before the 13th of December, they had operated in a behind the scene conniving relationship of the Tuan-Mandore type. Tuan UMNO and Mandore MIC. On the 13th of December 2007, all that changed. The Tuan’s hand lay exposed.

Before that day, they had used subtler and I daresay treacherous methods of

control of this ‘noisy Keling’ community . They had slanted the perceptions of these ‘Kelings’ using the media by creating illusions of a benevolent government. They had bought influence through bribing and throwing crumbs at the impoverished and marginalized ‘Kelings’. They had kept the ‘Kelings’ ignorant and misinformed, They had taken away any modicum of true leadership for these otherwise ‘noisy Kelings’.

The Indians had awakened to this grand drama of 50 years and it was all upturned on the 25th of Nov 2007. On that day the Indians saw a way to marshall their discontent in one synchronous flow. Getting together and throwing away all illusions, they united and in one grand stand that day, they showed a very strong hand. A hand that reverbrated and had the capacity to change the political landscape.

That was too threatening to the ruling power elite of the country. Their 50 year, Tuan Mandore game was up. There was to be no more waiting. The gloves came off 18 days after the Grand Hindraf Rally on the 13th of December 2007. The ‘kecoh Keling’ had to be dealt with and disposed off as had been done to various other rebellions in the past – through force, through fear, through intrigue and through treachery directly and openly by the Tuans themselves now..

That was the starting point for the “now-not-so invisible hand” of the power elite to begin its machinations against this restless Indian populace.

  • Put away the leader, Uthayakumar using the Internal Security Act
  • Introduce a special branch mole into the rebellion, and elevate him to the status of a leader.
  • Create an illusion of a split among the 5 arrested on the 13th by manipulating them during the detention.
  • Confuse the awakened Indians by reporting in the media the damage being done by the mole barely a month into the detention period.
  • Give the power elite controlled mainstream media, full latitude to spread falsehoods by playing up the cooked up claims and allegations of the mole against the true leader of Hindraf.
  • Link the Hindraf movement to the LTTE with fabricated evidence – ala Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.
  • Persecute the movement that started all this by more arrests and more unjust charges un court.
  • Outlaw Hindraf altogether.

The 13th of December signified the beginning of this assault which continues till today two years after, in so many ways. I project the assault will continue till there is a completely new concept of the Malaysian Nation and of completely new National policies. Policies which fully recognizes the rights of every citizen regardless of ethnicity and makes reparation for the damages and neglect of the Indian marginalized over the last 50 plus years.

As Uthayakumar says in the video before his ISA arrest, he is prepared to lead the Indian community till the objectives are reached. He is not intimidated by threats to his personal liberty. He will continue to struggle because there is just no other choice to throw off this mantle of tyranny and injustice. The privileged few are not going to change just for the asking. So Uthayakumar will continue his struggle and we will be there with him in that struggle as will many of you . There will therefore be more Dec 13th s until this system based on tyranny and injustice is totally demolished.

We will see more December 13ths………………..

Viva la Makkal.

Al Qaeda offers 'condolences' for innocent victims

Image released by al Qaeda-linked group on January 6, 2008 purportedly shows Adam Gadahn.
Image released by al Qaeda-linked group
on January 6, 2008 purportedly shows Adam Gadahn
.

(CNN) -- On the heels of a U.S. announcement of a massive troop surge for Afghanistan, an al Qaeda spokesman Saturday appeared to be trying to improve the group's image in the region with a new audio message in English.

Adam Gadahn, also known as Azzam the American, appeared in a 17-minute video released on Islamist online forums late Friday, offering condolences to the families of innocent people killed in al Qaeda attacks.

Gadahn said al Qaeda "have condemned and continue to condemn" all attacks by Western powers or "secular political forces."

"We express our condolences to the families of the Muslim men, women and children killed in these criminal acts and we ask Allah to have mercy on those killed and accept them as shohadaa (martyrs)," he says in the video.

"We also express the same in regard to the unintended Muslim victims of the mujahedeen's operations against the crusaders and their allies and puppets, and to the countless faceless and nameless Muslim victims of the murderous crusades" in Afghanistan, Pakistan's Waziristan regions and Swat Valley, and elsewhere, he said.

It is a rare example of al Qaeda offering condolences to the families of those killed in the group's own attacks.

The video comes nearly two weeks after U.S. President Barack Obama announced the deployment of 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, as part of a strategy to reverse the Taliban's momentum and stabilize the country's government.

Obama said he would begin sending the additional troops in early 2010, with the goal of starting to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan by July 2011. The additional forces, Obama said, will help accelerate the handing over of responsibility to Afghan forces.

U.S. commander: We cannot have endless surge

The video did not address the troop surge, but Gadahn had a general warning to any countries partnering with the United States in the region.

"Those who have made the foolish decision to stand with America and its allies in their losing war against Islam ... you have not only betrayed Islam and Muslims and left the fold of faith, but you have also caused the destabilization of nations and the displacement ... of thousands of weak and oppressed people," Gadahn said.

"The blood of countless Muslims is on your hands, and the security and very future of the countries you claim to defend and serve has been placed in jeopardy because your external enemies are taking advantage of your heedlessness as you fight and kill your fellow countrymen for American dollars."

The al Qaeda member is an American-born Muslim convert who has released video and audio statements in the past.

Gadahn is on the FBI's list of most-wanted terrorists. The FBI says Gadahn was indicted in the Central District of California for treason and material support to al Qaeda, charges related to Gadahn's alleged involvement in a number of terrorist activities, including providing "aid and comfort" to al Qaeda and services for al Qaeda.

Pakistani news outlets reported twice in 2008 that Gadahn had been killed by a predator drone strike, but al Qaeda then released a video message by Gadahn to prove he was still alive.

Al Qaeda uses Gadahn to issue messages to a wider and English-speaking audience. His whereabouts are unknown. Many analysts believe Gadahn remains in touch with al Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Forum speakers flay 'Ketuanan Melayu'

The concept of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) and the Social Contract is a political ploy used by the ruling coalition to remain in power, argued DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim.

“If there is such a thing as a Malaysian social contract, it is one that has nothing to do with (Malay) privileges but instead outlines the government's responsibility to protect its people,” he told an audience of about 80 people at the Annexe Gallery in Kuala Lumpur today.

Abdul Aziz were one of four speakers at a 90-minute forum alongside UKM social scientist and Sisters in Islam stalwart Noraini Othman, Malaysian history expert Clive Kessler and Petaling Jaya city councillor Richard Yeoh.

The forum entitled 'The Myth of Malay Supremacy' was organised by Research for Social Advancement (Refsa), which is also headed by Yeoh.

According to Abdul Aziz, what people perceive as the social contract is actually an understanding by the country's founding fathers that to “live together, we must work together”.

“Our founding fathers were men of liberal ideas and never thought of special privileges for Malays,” he said.

Abdul Aziz also noted that Malaysia, as a nation, is still a work in progress as the country has yet to find its own identity due to non-inclusive policies.

“There is only a reasonable chance for everyone to have a common Malaysian identity if we all feel fairly included by the policies which govern us… not when people feel that Malaysia is largely a Malay-centric place,” he said.

1Malaysia concept 'vague'

When asked if the 1Malaysia concept addresses the issue of a shared identity, Abdul Aziz said the idea championed by Najib Razak is very vague and that even the prime minister has failed to explain.
Tunku said that DAP's 'Malaysian Malaysia' is one that “does not discriminate nor endorses the torturing of its citizens.”

He however added that while the phrase has been used heavily by DAP, it has been his personal belief even before he joined the party last year.

Tunku also said that the Malaysian Malaysia concept when it was first introduced by then People's Action Party leader Lee Kuan Yew in the 1960s, there was still a lot of distrust among the various ethnic communities due to vast economic disparity.

This is a view shared by Noraini, who said that the concept is appropriate now as there is a large proportion of middle-class Malaysians who are “ready… to be a part of a nation as equal citizens.”

She conceded however that there is still a psychological barrier, in which many Malays still feel they are not ready to let go of their crutches.

“This is a vicious cycle where people are kept in a sort of feudal captive mindset,” she said.

Noraini, who is the co-author of the book 'Sharing the Nation', added that the very concept of Ketuanan Melayu make her cringe as it evokes “notions of enslavement”.

“In Malay classical terms, the word 'ketuanan' implies lordship over captives, which is a pre-feudal concept that is out of sync in 1957, 1963 and today,” she said.

Like Abdul Aziz, she warned against falling into the “trap” of Ketuanan Melayu, which she deemed as a “political project.”

Origins of Ketuanan Melayu

According to Yeoh, the term 'Ketuanan Melayu' first came about in a speech by former aide to then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah Ahmad, who in 1989 said that Malays should be dominant in political leadership.

“It was a fairly benign speech and most of us have no problem with it, but it has been to mean Malay supremacy by some Umno leaders who don't necessarily know what it means,” he said.

He also said that the term should also be taken in context, as it came at a time when Umno was “at the throes of dispute” with Tunku Razaleigh Hamzah actively challenging Mahathir's leadership.

Yeoh added that the constitution only provides for special privileges for Malays in areas which already existed prior to independence, and that no new special preferences were to be added.

He contended that such affirmative policies may have actually weighed the Malay community down.

“Malays would achieve all that they have achieved, and maybe even more, without this divisive term that is Ketuanan Melayu,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kessler added that what the country is currently experiencing is the third dispensation of the Merdeka agreement made by the founding fathers, the first of which came in 1969 and the third in 1972 with the New Economic Policy.

“(The second dispensation) began to die in 1999… but continued to live on unnaturally from 2004 when the government thought all was forgiven, until what happened in (the) 2008 (general election),” he said.

It is therefore the hope, he said, that this third wave will “embody the spirit of the Merdeka agreement”, which had the purpose of developing an “inclusive and pluralistic” nation.

Indeed, Klesser argued that the second deputy prime minister, Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman had once said that “the unnatural continuation of (affirmative policies in aid of the Malays) would be an affront to Malay dignity.”

Sivarasa Rasiah: Bringing A Smile To The Child

Aids: Lack of Regulation Blamed for HIV Upsurge among Women

By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 (IPS) - Melinda Teoh, 42, had a life that could easily be the envy of many except that it took an unexpected turn just when she thought she had it all.

Two lovely children, a well-paying, high-profile job, a suburban home in an upscale neighbourhood, expensive cars and just about all the comforts she could ask for.


Then the death knell began to toll. A routine visit to the family doctor in June 2008 revealed Teoh (not her real name) had early-stage HIV infection.

"I have been married for 15 years and never had sex outside marriage," she told IPS in a rare interview arranged through her lawyers. "It is tragic but true … my husband infected me," she said. "I am crushed."

Teoh is just one of a growing number of Malaysian women infected with the dreaded disease. A World Health Organization (WHO) report released in November revealed an alarming rate—30 percent of all new HIV cases in Malaysia are women, mostly married, who contracted the infection from their husbands.

Married men are bringing home the disease and infecting their spouses, said health experts.

The figure—representing a whopping jump of 400 percent from five years ago—has set the alarm bells ringing among government officials, medical professionals, HIV/AIDS activists and WHO. Homosexuals and drug users have been displaced by women as the groups considered most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

"It has brought a new set of issues that we need to deal with and it is becoming more complex and urgent now," United Nations resident coordinator for Malaysia Kamal Malhotra said at the press briefing during the launch of the Red Carnival, an annual event marking World AIDS Day, early this month.

"It is no longer multiple-sex partners or homosexuals (that are the sources of infection). What was once considered safe sex in the home is now the main source of infection," said Hisham Hussein, chairman of PT Foundation, an activist group involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and which was behind the event.

Although no in-depth research has been undertaken yet on the new alarming trend, medical experts and rights activists are pinning the blame on poor HIV/AIDS awareness among young people and husbands engaging the services of sex workers.

While the overt sex business in the country is loosely regulated, a huge unregulated, underground sex industry has evolved in Malaysia, fueled by women from across Asia and Eastern Europe entering the country as tourists only to end up as sex workers.

"They enter, leave and return in a regular cycle," opposition lawmaker Kulasegaran Murugesan told IPS. "There is very little medical check, regulation or information, unlike in Thailand, where the industry is very strictly regulated."

"Men resort to their (women’s) services as part of business, networking and socialisation," he said, adding they take the infection home and infect their wives.

Malaysia has a lax entry policy that facilitates the entry of foreign sex workers, said sources. Tourism is the country’s second biggest money- spinner, with up to 20 million people visiting the country annually.

According to WHO about 85,000 people have been infected with HIV/AIDS in Malaysia since the virus was discovered among homosexuals in the mid- 1990s. Some 15 new cases are recorded daily and approximately 300 die from the disease annually.

There are at present 33.4 million people around the world who are living with HIV/AIDS. Nearly three million cases were registered in 2008, WHO said.

Together with genuine tourists, undocumented migrant workers and sex workers disguised as students also enter the country in large numbers, exploiting legal loopholes in the country’s immigration policy and helped by official corruption.

Student visas are easy to obtain and some colleges merely exist to enroll "students" for money yet hold no classes.

Another source of male/husband HIV infection is cheap, organised tours that take advantage of budget airline tickets offered by numerous low-cost airlines that dot the Asian skyline.

Return air tickets can be bought for as low as 18 ringgits (5 U.S. dollars), said a HIV/AIDS activist, adding there was nothing but "pure, unregulated sex" in the city.

Health experts said a former airbase in a South-east Asian country is a hotspot for HIV/AIDS and is a popular destination exclusively for Malaysian men.

"Our own early investigations show a connection between infection of ignorance housewives, cheap Asian travel and unregulated sex in foreign countries," he said, declining to be named because of the official anger.

"The findings are preliminary but changing demography, cheap travel, an unregulated sex industry and a new generation ignorant of HIV/AIDS are all coming together to infect innocent housewives," said a former health official and a leading HIV/AIDS expert.

"There is an urgent need for in-depth research at a regional level," he said. "The new infection trend is fueled by national and regional factors…. It is unique."

While on one hand sex workers are entering the country from across the world and with ease, Malaysian males – married and otherwise – are like the Japanese three decades ago, leaving the country in huge numbers looking for cheap sex, he said.

Health experts said that while ignorance is a contributory factor to the upsurge of HIV/AIDS, the major culprit is still the lack of regulation by authorities across the region over the factors triggering the spread of the disease, especially among innocent victims like Teoh.

Dr M: Don't pick on bumi issue

(Malaysian Mirror) - Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that the opportunity given to more bumiputras to enter public universities should not be disputed as a racist act which prioritises one race at the expense of others.

The former prime minister said the move was to ensure a balanced racial development so that the bumiputras were not left behind in mainstream education, which could have negative repercussions.

Seeking a balance

He said that at the private institutions of higher learning, which now numbered nearly the same as the public institutions of higher learning, the bumiputra enrolment was very small, only in the region of 10%, while the rest was made up of the other races because many bumiputras could not afford the fees.

"If we conduct a census of the number of students in the government and private universities, there are more non-bumiputra students. That's why we give attention and more places to bumiputras," he said in his keynote address, entitled "UUM 25 Years Expectation vs Reality", at the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Alumni Convention 2009 here.

"So we should not feel guilty (just) because we have places for the bumiputras. We have a right to attain a position that is on par in this country. We want reasonable rights," he said.

You can't call it racism, says Dr M

Dr Mahathir said the affirmative policy under the New Economic Policy to bring the bumiputras into the country's mainstream development in various fields, including education, was not something extreme because although bumiputras made up about 60% of the population, the set quota was only 30%.

"This is not racism...we only ask for half of what we should be demanding. This shows that we are not racist...in fact to get 30% is not easy."

If there was no balance, those left behind would feel hatred and jealousy and might act irrationally, and this was what the country wanted to avoid, he was quoted by Bernama as saying.

He added that the extra attention and opportunities given to the bumiputras did not mean that the other races were sidelined.

He also said that it was important for the bumiputras to have the knowledge in running a business because many of them did not use the money as capital or to invest but to shop.

"We must change the bumiputra mindset. The money will bring returns when invested and this can enhance their wealth. Normally, they spend when they have money...often more than the money available and this causes problems."

Advice to set up university town

On UUM, Dr Mahathir said the aspiration of its establishment had been achieved as was evident from the success in producing bumiputra graduates as well of graduates of other races in management but it was still not enough.

"The UUM's future still hinges on efforts in capacity building, especially for the bumiputras, in business," he said.

He said students in management finance and accounting must be taught to have the right mindset, strong resilience as well as other traits to be successful in business and other fields.

Dr Mahathir also hoped that one day there would be a university town in Sintok, where the UUM is located, like the university towns in Cambridge and Oxford.

SPRM digesa siasat segera Setpol Najib

(Harakah Daily) - Rakyat sama ada penyokong PAS atau Umno akan merasa senang hati sekiranya orang kuat Umno sendiri yang terbabit dengan kesalahan didakwa sama ada yang dikaitkan dengan rasuah dan penyalahgunaan kuasa, bahkan imej pihak pendakwaan itu juga dianggap telus.

Mursyidul Am PAS Dato’ Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat ketika mengulas isu dakwaan penyalahgunaan kuasa yang dikaitkan dengan Setiausaha Politik Perdana Menteri Datuk Mohd Shafei Abdullah dan gesaan supaya dijalankan siasatan segera berkata kalau orang kuat Umno turut disiasat atas dakwaan itu, rakyat di negara ini merasa senang hati.

“Kalau orang kuat Umno kena siasat juga maka itu menimbulkan rasa senang hati di kalangan rakyat, tanpa mengira (sama ada mereka itu dari) PAS atau Umno, kena belaka.

“Bahkan imej pihak jawatankuasa siasatan pun dianggap telus,” katanya kepada media selepas menyampaikan kuliah mingguannya di Medan Ilmu di sini pagi ini.

Mengenai isu dakwaan berkait dengan Setiausaha Politik Perdana Menteri itu, Gerakan Rakyat Integiri dan Anti Korupsi (Gerak Malaysia) dalam satu kenyataan medianya 10 Disember lalu menggesa Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) memulakan siasatan segera ke atas dakwaan salahguna kuasa oleh Setiausaha Politik Perdana Menteri itu agar dapat diadili sebaik mungkin.

Pengerusi Gerak Malaysia, Mohd Nazree Mohd Yunus berkata Gerak memandang serius dakwaan itu oleh kerana ianya telah pun disebutkan secara langsung di Parlimen Malaysia.

“Jika tidak ada tindakan daripada pihak SPRM, maka dakwaan yang disebut di Parlimen itu telah dianggap remeh.

“Demi menjaga kemuliaan Dewan Rakyat dan Parlimen Malaysia khususnya adalah amat wajar siasatan SPRM dilakukan segera,” katanya.

Menurut Nazree, fenomena kewujudan “Mr Political Toll” seumpama itu sebenarnya menggalakkan budaya rasuah dan korupsi dalam pentadbiran.

Oleh itu, kata Nazree, demi usaha kerajaan untuk memperkasakan integriti dan kredibiliti SPRM, maka amat wajar untuk SPRM sendiri secara segera memulakan siasatan setelah Parlimen menubuhkan jawatankuasa khasnya untuk menyiasat isu tersebut.

Dalam perkembangan lain, PAS Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur baru-baru ini telah menghantar laporan serta memohon dakwaan tentang salah laku Setiausaha Politik Perdana Menteri itu sagar disiasat Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rakyat Malaysia (SPRM).

Menurut Ketua PAS Wilayah Kamaruzaman Mohamad, sekiranya SPRM tidak membuka kertas siasatan, maka pihak PAS Wilayah meminta supaya ianya dibangkitkan semula di Parlimen.

Menurut Kamaruzaman, kertas laporan yang diserahkan kepada SPRM Wilayah Persekutuan itu dilampirkan sama hansad Parlimen 7 Disember 2009, halaman 35 hingga 38 yang tertera butiran ucapan Ahli Parlimen Wangsa Maju Wee Choo Keong mengenai isu tersebut.

Sementara itu, Dato’ Nik Abdul Aziz yang juga Menteri Besar mengulas dakwaan yang menyatakan Umno parti rasis dan perkauman, oleh itu harus ditolak.

Beliau berkata, memang PAS sudah lama mempertikaikannya.

“Memang sudah lama ditimbulkan. Satu daripada yang kita sebut (timbulkan) ialah bahawa (parti) Umno kena tolak.

“Ini kerana Umno menolak Islam dan mengambil kebangsaan (sebagai dasarnya). (isu ini) bukan benda baru, benda lama.

“Selagi orang Melayu ‘sebut’ Melayu, (maka) selama itulah orang Cina akan ‘sebut’ Cina, dan selama itu pula orang India ‘sebut’ India. Memang hak mereka. Justeru menimbulkan perbalahan selamanya.

“Oleh sebab itu (hendaklah) ditolak belaka. Tolak belaka ‘Melayu’, tolak belaka Cina dan ambil Islam, yang mana Islam itu bukan hak orang Melayu, bukan hak orang Arab (tetapi) hak Allah. (dengan itu) tenang hati.

"Nak cari lebih senang daripada penerimaan Islam, tidak ada di dunia ini oleh kerana ianya sampai ke akhirat. Melayu, Arab itu hanya setakat dunia saja (menyebabkan) bertelagah, tidak selesai,” katanya.

Selangor Sultan worries politic overdose

Sultan Sharafuddin also advised Selangor royal families to protect the good name of the royal house

(Bernama) -- The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has expressed worries over the situation in the state as the political agenda had gained the upper hand rather than the development agenda. He said sometime petty matters were blown out of proportion, thus causing confusion among the people.

"State leaders should not only talk but implement programmes for the benefit of the people.

"I believe the people are now questioning about development and their well-being than being engrossed on political issues.

"As such, the Selangor state government is responsible in laying the foundation for harmony," he said at an investiture ceremony in conjunction with his 64th birthday celebration at Istana Alam Shah here today.

The Sultan urged Selangor Menteri Besar and state executive councillors to carry out their duties with dedication, and trust and cooperate with civil servants.

"The time of finding faults and weaknesses have ended and now is the time to implement plans and election promises and solve the problems faced by the people for the sake of progress and prosperity of the state," he added.

Sultan Sharafuddin hoped that ideological differences should not be an excuse for the people not to respect one another and strive for unity.

"I would like to advise the people of Selangor that if they are not happy, they should voice their opinions and grievances through proper channels and abide by the law," he added.

Urging the police to carry out their duty with resolve and commitment, he said the people should not be scared to move about and worried about their safety.

Sultan Sharafuddin also advised Selangor royal families to protect the good name of the royal house and refrain from doing anything that would bring disrepute to their positions.

"The reputation and good name must be guarded from negative activities as it is a valuable asset to the individuals concerned and Istana Selangor," he added.

Tambah Dana Untuk Rumah Ibadat Bukan Islam

Dari Malaysiakini

Oleh Rahim Sabri

Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim) menggesa kerajaan memberi lebih perhatian kepada bukan Islam, termasuk menambah peruntukan untuk rumah ibadat mereka.

“Kita memahami apa yang disebut (oleh DAP), dan (ia) bukan berhasrat untuk mempertikaikan agama Islam,” kata timbalan presidennya Amidi Abd Manan kepada Malaysiakini.

“Jadi kita menggesa kerajaan memberi perhatian yang lebih kepada bukan Islam.”

Beliau diminta mengulas kontroversi kenyataan ahli parlimen Taiping, Nga Kor Ming, di Parlimen berhubung peruntukan besar kerajaan dalam membina rumah ibadat Islam dan tetapi kecil sahaja peruntukan untuk bukan Islam.

Kenyataan Nga, juga setiausaha DAP Perak, itu merujuk jawapan seorang menteri bahawa kerajaan memperuntukkan RM748.26 juta untuk membina dan menyelenggara 611 masjid tetapi hanya RM9 juta diagihkan untuk tujuan agama bukan Islam, iaitu 1.2 peratus sahaja.

Susulan kenyataan tersebut, beberapa tokoh dan NGO mempertikaikan Nga dengan alasan beliau tidak wajar mengungkitkan peruntukan untuk membina masjid kerana perlembagaan mengiktiraf Islam sebagai agama rasmi.

Amidi, yang kini memangku jawatan presiden Abim, berkata kerajaan seharusnya mengikut contoh Rasulullah yang bersikap adil kepada penganut agama lain sewaktu memimpin di Madinah.

“Jadi selaku kerajaan yang memerintah, kerajaan juga seharusnya mencontohi Rasulullah SAW, terutama dari sudut peruntukan kepada bukan Islam,” katanya.

Beliau berkata, ABIM menyokong jika kerajaan juga memberi perhatian kepada kesejahteraan agama lain memandangkan masalah sosial yang semakin banyak berlaku.

Disoal sama ada kerajaan harus menambah peruntukan bukan Islam, Amidi berkata kerajaan bukan sahaja harus menambahkan peruntukan tetapi juga perhatian untuk melahirkan masyarakat beragama di Malaysia.

Bagaimanapun pembahagian itu juga harus menepati lunas Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang meletakkan Islam sebagai agama rasmi negara.

“Maka satu masyarakat yang beragama harus menjadi satu ciri kepada rakyat Malaysia,” katanya.

“Ia juga membolehkan masyarakat agama lain mempraktikan ajaran agama mereka tanpa dipengaruhi oleh mana-mana pihak.”

Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) pula menyifatkan “tidak elok” dibandingkan peruntukan untuk masjid dengan rumah ibadat bukan Islam.

“Tidak elok dikaitkan bersama. Permohonan peruntukan (orang bukan Islam) boleh dimajukan tanpa dikaitkan dengan (peruntukkan) umat Islam,” kata presidennya Zaid Kamaruddin.

“Penganut bukan Islam boleh memohon untuk rumah ibadat mereka secara berasingan.”

Ditanya kewajaran kerajaan menambah peruntukan kepada rumah ibadat bukan Islam, beliau berkata menjadi tanggungjawab kerajaan untuk memastikan keperluan rakyat dipenuhi tanpa mengira bangsa dan agama.

Manakala Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia (PKPIM) pula berkata mengikut tafsiran Islam sebagai agama rasmi persekutuan, ia bermaksud kerajaan berhak mengeluarkan dana kepada orang Islam khususnya untuk pusat ibadat umat Islam.

“Jadi tidak timbul masalah ketaksamaan mengeluarkan dana kepada rumah ibadat Islam atau bukan,” kata presidennya Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz.

Mengulas kewajaran menambah peruntukan kepada bukan Islam, beliau berkata ia bergantung kepada keperluan masyarakat bukan Islam dan jumlah pertambahan penduduk bukan Islam di sesuatu kawasan.

“Populasi bertambah ramai, maka keperluan dana untuk rumah ibadat pun bertambah. Ia bergantung kepada keperluan. Tiada keperluan, tidak wajarlah ditambah.

“Begitu juga masjid atau surau, dana bergantung kepada keperluan pada satu kariah,” kata Muhammad Faisal.

Party Is Priority, Says Liow

PENANG, Dec 12 (Bernama) -- MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has urged the party's Central Committee (CC) members to put the party as their priority, ahead of the fresh polls.

He said many party grassroot leaders had agreed that the quickest way to enable the party to stabilise and solve the party crisis was to have new elections.

He said he was confident that two-thirds of the elected CC members would resign to enable fresh party polls to be held.

"I hope the CC members would put the party as their main priority as their resignation would pave the way for fresh elections which is the only way to solve the party crisis," Liow told reporters after chairing the state MCA meeting in Jalan Pahang here Saturday.

So far, the vice-president said, he and 12 other elected CC members had signed an undated resignation letter, and he hoped others would follow suit.

"We will not put pressure on anyone to do so. I believe they will step down voluntarily for the sake of the party," he said.

However, he said, all 30 CC members had received the resignation letters which were sent yesterday, adding that they needed time to make a decision.

He said the election could only be held if 21 of the 31 elected members in the CC resigned, and they would be given at least two weeks from now to decide whether or not to resign.

"I think within the next 14 days, we will be able to decide on the party's fresh polls," he said.

Under the MCA constitution, a fresh election must be held within 30 days after two-thirds or more of the elected members in the central committee had resigned.

Stop All Polemics On BTN, I Will Decide, Says Najib

PEKAN, Dec 12 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants all quarters, including ministers not to prolong the polemics on the National Civics Bureau (BTN).

He said he himself would evaluate BTN's training modules and arrive at a decision on them later.

"All quarters have given their views or opinions (on the BTN). All kinds of opinions have been voiced, I think it is enough," he told reporters after opening the Pekan Resource Centre here on Saturday.

He said this when asked to comment on the differing views on the subject from ministers, deputy ministers and also from former prime Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.

"Give me a chance to evaluate the BTN modules together with the bureau's officers and the government will take the necessary decisions to ensure its courses are in line with government policies," said Najib.

Unemployed graduates in Malaysia

While the uproar over the BTN continues, let’s look at what happens to some of our university students after they graduate.

The following was the answer received by Selayang MP William Leong in Parliament recently:

In 2004, there were 4,594 unemployed graduates of whom 163 were Chinese, 207 were Indians and 4,060 were Malays;

In 2005, there were 2,413 unemployed graduates of whom 31 were Chinese, 70 were Indians and 2,186 were Malays;

In 2006, there were 56,750 unemployed graduates of whom 1,110 were Chinese, 1,346 were Indians and 50,594 were Malays.

In 2007, there were 56,322 unemployed graduates of whom 1,348 were Chinese, 1,401 were Indians and 49,075 were Malays.

In 2008 (as of June) there were 47,910 unemployed graduates of whom 1,403 Chinese, 1,569 Indians and 49,075 were Malays.

This more or less tallied with the 47,733 active graduate registrants on the Malaysian Labour Exchange in June 2008.

By March 2009, Najib was talking about 60,000 unemployed graduates. This was more or less in line with the 57,701 graduate registrants on the Exchange in March 2009.

By October 2009, we were looking at 81,046 active graduate registrants on the Labour Exchange.

Clearly, we have a problem with unemployed graduates; what more those with diploma and other certificates.

Either we are producing graduates with skills that can’t be used/knowledge that cannot earn them a living or the skills and knowledge they have are not up to employers’ expectations. Or maybe they are not taught how to be independent and self-sufficient and how to put their skills and knowledge to good use. Perhaps they are spoon-fed so much they don’t have the ability to think analytically. Or maybe they are not taught how to do independent research and inquiry either.

Check out how much it costs to re-train these graduates here.