Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, has suffered a broken nose and lost two of his teeth after being attacked at a rally in Milan.
The injuries came after a man struck Berlusconi in the face with a souvenir statue of the Italian city's gothic cathedral Duomo as he left the main square on Sunday evening.
With blood splattered across his face, aides bundled Berlusconi into a car and rushed him from the scene in the northern industrial city.
The 73-year-old prime minister was taken to the San Raffaele hospital where medics said he also had cuts to his lip requiring stitches and bruises.
Paolo Klun, the hospital's chief spokesman, said Berlusconi was "very shaken and demoralised ... He didn't understand very well what happened to him".
"He wanted to go home right away, but he is being held as a precaution," Klun said.
"I'm fine, I'm fine," the billionaire prime minister later told the ANSA news agency.
A 42-year-old man who had a 10-year history of mental problems, was arrested following the attack, police said.
He shouted back; "Shame on you!" and drowned out their heckling with the help of the sound system.
The attack comes at the end of a difficult year for the controversial prime minister.
His popularity recently plummeted after accusations of sexual encounters with escorts, a separation from his wife, the loss of immunity prosecution and the re-start of two corruption trials.
On Friday in Milan, one corruption trial in which Berlusconi is accused was adjourned until January 15.
The prime minister faces allegations that he paid his British former tax lawyer, David Mills, $600,000 to give false evidence in two trials in the 1990s.
Mills, who was tried separately, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail over the case in February.
Earlier this month, about 350,000 Italians called for his resignation in what they dubbed the "No Berlusconi Day".
In 2004, an Italian bricklayer hurled a camera tripod at Berlusconi, injuring him slightly on the head.
Monday, December 14, 2009
One of the poll observers, Stephen Gatignon, Mayor of the City of Sevran in whose area around 1800 voters turned out, welcomed all democratic moves of Eezham Tamils.
In Paris, the booths in the area called '93 Department' alone polled around 12,000 votes. This is a locality where many Eezham Tamils live. "Voters flocked in as families and we watched it with awe," said one of the French election officials.
Voters came with identities to prove their Eezham Tamil origin and since the voting took place for two days, date of birth and place of birth details were entered in a centralised database to prevent duplication. Indelible ink that can stay for 48 hours was also applied.
Enthusiastic voters from neighbouring countries also tried to participate in the polling, but they were all turned back by the election officials as the poll was exclusive to Eezham Tamils of residential status in France.
The poll was officiated and supervised by independent French election officials drawn from the members of local government bodies.
Results of two centres, far away from Paris and the postal votes, are awaited Monday noon.
Of the available accounts, 99.32 per cent said 'yes' to the following statement based on the main political principle of the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution of 1976 that was mandated by Tamils in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka in 1977:
"I aspire for the formation of the independent and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam in the north and east territory of the island of Sri Lanka on the basis that the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka make a distinct nation, have a traditional homeland and have the right to self-determination."
Only 43 voters said 'no' and 169 votes were invalid.
The grand success of the referendum was due to enthusiastic participation of all generations of Eezham Tamils, said the organisers. Senior citizens and youngsters were in the forefront in organisation. Braving harsh weather, many senior citizens took a special interest in distributing pamphlets and in door-to-door campaign, Mr. Thiruchothy, one of the organisers, told TamilNet.
The referendum was organised by the formation committee of the country council of Eezham Tamils called "The House of Tamil Eelam," supported by 61 Eezham Tamil organisations in France and two NGOs, Mouvement de la Paix (Movement for Peace) and Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'amitié entre les peuples (Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples).
Masy India: Tanah ternakan di Semenyih ditolak, kandang mahu diroboh DBKL. Tetapi 75% daging lembu, 95% susu dan 90% daging kambing diimpot. RM 6 Bill
Photos of HRP central committee members A. Sugumaran, Jeevindra Kumar and Shan with and cattle former Shanmugam presenting thier appeal letter for cattle farming land to the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur. This letter was received by Dr. Zainal, Timbalan Ketua Pengarah Bahagian Kesihatan DBKL.
DEC 14 — Di antara kebaikan yang berlaku di Malaysia selepas tsunami politik 8 Mac 2008 ialah banyak isu-isu yang selama ini diklasifikasikan sebagai “sensitif” telah menjadi perbincangan umum.
Perbincangan dan perdebatan secara terbuka akan menghilangkan “misteri” isu-isu sensitif tersebut. Diantara perdebatan yang belum berakhir semenjak kuasa majoriti dua pertiga Barisan Nasional (BN) hilang di parlimen adalah isu mengenai konsep ketuanan Melayu.
Ketuanan Melayu adalah satu konsep yang telah menyebabkan BN yang dipimpin oleh United Malays National Organisation (Umno) tidak pernah kalah dalam pilihanraya umum semenjak pakatan tersebut ditubuhkan oleh Perdana Menteri kedua, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein bagi menggantikan Perikatan.
Yang lebih hebat lagi, ketuanan Melayu telah menyebabkan BN menguasai majoriti dua pertiga di parlimen Malaysia daripada pilihanraya tahun 1974 sehinggalah pilihanraya 2004. Tiga puluh tahun lamanya BN memimpin Malaysia dengan mandat yang begitu besar. Sebab itu konsep ketuanan Melayu begitu penting bagi BN terutamanya Umno.
Oleh kerana orang Melayu merupakan penduduk yang teramai di Malaysia iaitu sebanyak 14,494,900 juta orang (50.9 peratus) daripada 28,457,600 juta orang penduduk Malaysia (sumber Jabatan Statistik Negara, suku ketiga 2009), konsep ketuanan Melayu begitu penting bagi Umno dan dipercayai boleh meraih sokongan daripada penduduk majoriti ini.
Konsep ini hangat diperkatakan selepas pilihanraya umum ke 10 pada tahun 1999. Dalam pilihanraya tersebut trend pengundian orang-orang Melayu condong kearah pembangkang. Umno hanya memenangi 72 kerusi parlimen pada ketika itu.
Perubahan trend pengundian orang-orang Melayu pada ketika itu berkait rapat dengan isu pemecatan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim oleh Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pada tahun 1998.
Kehilngan sokongan daripada orang-orang Melayu telah menyebabkan isu ketuanan Melayu dimainkan semula untuk menakut-nakutkan orang Melayu akan kembali menyokong Umno.
Dalam konsep ketuanan Melayu, orang-orang Melayu adalah tuan kepada bangsa-bangsa lain di Malaysia. Bangsa-bangsa lain seperti Cina dan India dianggap sebagai pendatang di Malaysia.
Ertinya kekuasaan negara perlu berada ditangan bangsa Melayu dan bangsa-bangsa lain seperti Cina dan India hanya perlu mengikut kepimpinan Melayu.
Dalam erti kata lain, konsep ini mengajar orang-orang Melayu bahawa mereka lebih suci daripada bangsa-bangsa lain di negara ini.
Di dalam konsep ini juga, orang-orang Cina dan India perlu berterima kasih kepada orang-orang Melayu kerana kewarganegaraan diberikan kepada mereka dengan bantuan orang-orang Melayu.
Sebab itu ada pemimpin Umno seperti Datuk Ahmad Ismail dalam kempen pilihanraya kecil di Permatang Pauh untuk membantu calon BN, Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah mengatakan bahawa orang-orang Cina adalah kaum pendatang, oleh yang demikian, mereka tidak boleh mendapatkan hak samarata di Malaysia.
Kenyataan beliau yang turut menyebabkan kemarahan parti komponen BN seperti Parti Gerakan, telah menyebabkan dirinya digantung daripada Umno selama tiga tahun.
Akan tetapi baru-baru ini hukuman penggantungan Ahmad Ismail telah ditamatkan berikutan dengan pengampunan yang diberikan oleh Majlis Tertinggi Umno.
Malaysia adalah diantara negara yang tidak mengiktiraf kewujudan negara Israel. Ini adalah kerana, Malaysia menganggap penubuhan negara Israel adalah tidak sah kerana telah merampas hak dan menindas rakyat Palestin.
Malahan di mukasurat kedua pasport Malaysia, tertulis “PASPORT INI SAH DIGUNAKAN UNTUK SEMUA NEGARA KECUALI: ISRAEL”. Begitulah setianya Malaysia menyokong perjuangan rakyat Palestin sehinggakan sesiapa sahaja yang menjadi warga Malaysia tidak akan berpeluang untuk masuk ke negara Israel dengan menggunakan passport Malaysia.
Negara Israel dikuasai oleh fahaman Zionisme. Apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan fahaman Zionisme? Di dalam fahaman ini, bangsa Yahudi dianggap sebagai bangsa yang terpilih. Bangsa-bangsa lain dianggap sebagai kelas kedua.
Fahaman Zionisme memberikan keistimewaan kepada bangsa Yahudi di negara Israel. Penduduk berbangsa Arab di negara Israel tidak mendapat keistimewaan yang sama dengan rakyat berbangsa Yahudi di Israel.
Terdapat persamaan diantara konsep ketuanan Melayu dan fahaman Zionisme. Konsep ketuanan Melayu mengutarakan bahawa orang-orang Melayu adalah tuan di Malaysia sementara fahaman Zionisme juga berpendapat bahawa bangsa Yahudi adalah tuan di negara Israel.
Jika Malaysia menentang dan tidak mengiktiraf negara Israel, Malaysia juga harus menentang amalan yang sama dalam negara. Jika tidak, apa yang dilakukan oleh Malaysia adalah sama dengan pepatah Melayu yang mengatakan, “kuman diseberang laut nampak, gajah didepan mata tidak nampak”.
Sumbangan bukan Melayu terhadap konsep ketuanan Melayu
Saya tidak bersetuju jika kesalahan diletakkan terhadap Umno dan orang-orang Melayu semata-mata terhadap “kepanjangan umur” konsep ketuanan Melayu di Malaysia.
Seperti yang dikatakan oleh editor Malaysia Today, Raja Petra Kamarudin, tanpa sokongan daripada parti komponen BN seperti MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PBB, UPKO, SUPP, PBDS dan lain-lain lagi yang mewakili kaum Cina, India, Iban dan Kadazan, tidak mungkin konsep ketuanan Melayu akan dapat bertapak dengan begitu lama di Malaysia.
Perlu diingat, pada ketika orang-orang Melayu menolak konsep ketuanan Melayu pada pilihanraya umum ke 10 pada tahun 1999, bangsa-bangsa lain seperti Cina, India, Iban dan Kadazan lah yang memenangkan Barisan Nasional.
Kebanyakkan calon parti-parti pembangkang di bawah Barisan Alternatif (BA) tewas dikawasan yang mempunyai penduduk campuran dari pelbagai bangsa. Manakala di kawasan-kawasan yang mana orang-orang Melayu menjadi undi penentu terutamanya di Pantai Timur dan Utara tanah air, calon-calon parti pembangkang menang.
Orang-orang Cina menolak DAP pada ketika itu dan memilih MCA dan Gerakan. Jaguh-jaguh DAP seperti Lim Kit Siang dan Karpal Singh tewas dalam pilihanraya tersebut.
Ini telah mendorong persempadanan semula dilakukan dimana banyak kawasan-kawasan yang undi Melayu menjadi penentu dicampurkan dengan bangsa-bangsa lain agar undi Melayu tidak menjadi penentu.
Persempadanan semula yang mencampurkan penduduk pelbagai bangsa dalam sesebuah kerusi parlimen atau Dun telah menyebabkan BN menang besar dalam pilihanraya tahun 2004.
Akan tetapi, formula ini akhirnya “memakan BN” dalam PRU 8 Mac dimana calon parti pembangkang menang dikawasan yang mempunyai campuran penduduk.
Jangka hayat ketuanan Melayu di Malaysia
Jangka hayat ketuanan Melayu di Malaysia adalah ditangan rakyat Malaysia. Jika rakyat Malaysia terdiri dari bangsa Melayu, Cina, India, Iban, Kadazan dan lain-lain mahukan ia terus hidup, ianya akan terus hidup. Jika rakyat di negara ini tidak menyokong konsep ini, maka matilah ia.
Di Israel terdapat juga orang-orang Yahudi yang menentang Zionisme. Begitu juga di Malaysia. Ramai juga orang-orang Melayu yang menentang konsep ketuanan Melayu.
Malahan terdapat juga orang Umno seperti Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz yang menentang konsep ketuanan Melayu.
Mahukah kita satu hari nanti terdapat negara yang meletakkan di passport antarabangsa mereka klausa yang berbunyi: “PASPORT INI SAH DIGUNAKAN UNTUK SEMUA NEGARA KECUALI: Malaysia”. Tepuk dada, tanyalah selera.
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — The real property gains tax (RPGT), which takes effect in less than a month, is likely to hit long-standing homeowners and foreign investors the most.
The five per cent tax, which was announced in October, is normally imposed to curb speculation but due to its flat structure does not differentiate between homeowners who have been holding a property for 20 years or those who are flipping properties within one or two years for a profit.
The property sector was also taken by surprise by the announcement and worries that it will send a message to potential investors that the government has not been consistent in its policymaking.
An exemption on the RPGT was given in 2007 by the then-Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi administration in order to boost the property development industry.
Its removal two plus years later with little warning could heighten the feeling of uncertainty among investors.
Real Estate and Housing Developers Association of Malaysia (REHDA) president Datuk Ng Seing Liong said the RPGT should be structured so that it curbs short-term speculation and take into account interest paid on the property as well as inflation.
"The RPGT will hit those who hold property for more than 10 years the most," Ng told The Malaysian Insider. "It also does not ensure that the interest that was paid is tax deductible like in Australia. If you pay a housing loan over 20 years, the interest you pay is substantial and it should be deductible."
Ng said the RPGT has also introduced an element of uncertainty for foreigners looking to invest in property in Malaysia, noting that the exemption was introduced fairly recently.
"They will now feel that government policy is not consistent and the five per cent tax can be increased anytime in the future," says Ng.
One leading property developer told The Malaysian Insider that the impact will not be as bad as it originally seemed right after the announcement.
"The government has clarified some things since then," he said. "However, it would be good if they can keep their policies consistent."
This perception of "flip flopping" in policymaking could pose a challenge for the Najib administration which is trying to chart a new growth path for the country with an emphasis on private investment.
The sudden lifting of the RPGT exemption could have similar effects as the Clob saga where thousands of Singaporeans who invested in Malaysian shares via Singapore’s Central Limit Order Book (Clob) system found their investments abruptly frozen in 1998.
In a recent interview, Bursa Malaysia chief executive Yusli Mohamed Yusoff had to reassure Singapore investors who were burnt by the sudden imposition of capital controls in the late 1990s to put the Clob experience behind them.
Property website thinkproperty.my says that investor confidence has fallen as a result of the RPGT.
Its Property Outlook Index dropped to 29 per cent at the end of November 2009, down from its all-time high of 68 per cent on the day before the re-introduction of RPGT was announced.
"The level of RPGT at 5 per cent is de minimis. However, people are concerned that this will make Malaysian real estate less attractive relative to other options for both local buyers and foreign investors, the latter of whom have plenty of other countries where they can invest their money. In addition many are worried that this is the first step towards further increases in RPGT, something that the government has not ruled out," said thinkproperty CEO Asim Qureshi.
Bahasa Malaysia Editor
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) edged closer to a formal coalition after PAS, whose Islamic credentials have often been at odds with its partners PKR and DAP, gave the green light to the alliance's common platform which will be tabled at this Saturday's special convention.
The decision by PAS is seen as a major step in PR's attempt to surmount the various obstacles surrounding the alliance of PAS, DAP and PKR.
"Yes, we agreed to accept it. This is a significant achievement. We did not accept unanimously but the PAS leadership had made a thorough study of the contents of the common platform before we approved it," PAS central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (picture) told The Malaysian Insider.
PR's technical committee is expected to complete the common platform's contents today before the alliance's leadership council meeting tomorrow endorses the policies.
Without revealing details Dzulkefly, who is also a member of the technical committee said a few attractive measures can be expected from the common platform which will be unveiled by the end of the week.
"This will be the axis of understanding in Pakatan in facing the next general election.
"The policy touches on the supremacy of the Constitution, democracy, the economy and so on, to reflect our stand after 20 months.
"It is now time for us to be seen as being more earnest and to be more authoritative in facing the future," he said
Meanwhile, PKR elections director Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said this Saturday's convention will begin with the tabling of the common platform.
"This will be followed by the speeches by the three leaders of Pakatan Rakyat and the debates before the final declaration," he said.
The PR convention will see the tabling of a 10-point declaration, he said.
"The PR platform will be based on the issues of democracy, rule of law and the institutions of state, the economy, language and religion.
"We took the simple approach in formulating this platform which is to emphasise the interest of the rakyat," said Saifuddin, who is also the convention coordinator.
He said each PR component party would be sending 500 delegates to the convention.
This first PR convention will take place at the MBSA auditorium in Shah Alam and will see discussions centre around the alliance's common platform.
The convention is also expected to make decisions about the registration of PR as a formal coalition and the use of a common logo in the next general election.
(Bernama) - The feud between People’s Progressive Party (PPP) president Datuk M Kayveas and former party supreme council member Senator Datuk T Murugiah deepened when Kayveas lodged police reports against Murugiah and four others today.When met at the district police headquarters here, Kayveas said he made the police reports against Murugiah and former supreme council members, Dr NA Shanmuganathan, M Jeyaratnam, SG Jothi dan R Rajendran, for filing a false report on him.
He said the action was necessary to stop these individuals from further tarnishing his name.
“I have been keeping quiet all this while, but they have become increasingly bold and continued to make disparaging statements against me.
“I will no longer keep quiet but will take action against them in accordance with the law,” he said.
Kayveas said all four police reports were made in his capacity as a PPP official, party president, partner of the legal firm Messrs Blanche & Kayveas, and as an individual.
“I also lodged a police report on behalf of my wife Datin Blanche Olbery who is now the Malaysian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea,” he said.
On June 23, Shanmuganathan lodged a complaint with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over alleged irregularity by Kayveas in producing the PPP financial report.
According to Shanmuganathan, the report sent to the Registrar of Societies in May this year contained false and confusing information.
He also alleged that Kayveas had used the party’s money for his legal firm.
With regard to this, Kayveas said the MACC had on Sept 25 informed him in a letter that the complaints were not valid, hence the case was closed.
“This proved that the report made against me was false and aimed only at tarnishing my good name. “Murugiah should no longer hold any government position as he was sacked from the party. But how could someone who is in government create trouble in a party of the ruling government?” he said.
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — The Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker rejected the urgent motion to debate the worrying plunge of Petronas’ profit moved by parliamentary opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today.
Datuk Wan Junaidi Jaafar told the House that although the issue is of public importance, he found it was not urgent to be debated.Opposition lawmakers led by Anwar objected, saying that it was important for the House to debate an issue which would have adverse impact on the country's economy
By Deborah Loh
PETALING JAYA, 14 Dec 2009: MalaysiaCrime, possibly the first local crime-mapping website, is hoping to get official crime data from the police to arm the public with information on crime patterns in their neighbourhoods.
However, the Home Ministry has yet to give its official approval to let police share data with the website developers.
Online since April 2009, MalaysiaCrime is based on a crowd-sourcing model where people can post information about crimes using a Google Maps display.
Screenshot of MalaysiaCrime
Its creator, Kegan Gan, said including police data in the crime map would enable the development of filters so that crimes can be categorised by type, location, and other ways to spot trends and identify crime-prone areas.
"Without police data, we won't have the confidence to speak about trends in a particular crime or area. The map's results will not be so useful for the public," Gan told The Nut Graph.
At the moment, the crime map is updated mainly with reports culled from newspapers, which makes for a random overview of crimes committed.
More interesting are posts contributed by people about a crime they either experienced or witnessed. For example, a user with the pseudonym AFZ shares details about having his or her car window smashed at a traffic light stop in Sungai Buloh and bag stolen.
Reducing street crime by 20% by the end of 2010 is one of the government's national key result areas (NKRAs). Street crimes reportedly make up 17% of all crimes in the overall 2008 crime index.
"The main goal of the crime map is to empower the public with information and create a sense of urgency about crime. The intention is to move policy makers to action as they have control over the factors that cause crime to happen," Gan said.
He created the website after a friend was attacked by motorcyclists in Petaling Jaya and had a finger severed in the incident.
Sharing government data
Public crime-mapping using police data is a new concept to Malaysia. But it has gained popularity and proven useful in the United Kingdom and the US in recent years, where the police and website operators have established partnerships.
Gan is hoping to replicate that kind of collaboration with the Malaysian police. Also a member of online funding platform group UnReason, Gan is using the Data.gov.my initiative, which is a proposal to develop data-sharing between government agencies and web developers.
Gan showing the injuries sustained by his friend that prompted him to start MalaysiaCrime
The idea is for web developers to come up with applications using government data that can benefit the public. Most times, such data when released, are in the form of press statements or as government publications which provide little context for the public.
Besides crime data, UnReason is also working on obtaining urban planning, environmental and health data, group co-founder Fu Ching Yee told The Nut Graph.
UnReason has received help from the Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDeC) to spearhead the Data.gov.my initiative with government agencies. Together with MDeC representatives, Fu was able to present the proposal for crime data sharing to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein last month, who responded to the idea positively.
"In subsequent meetings between MDeC with other government officials like the chief secretary to the government, I hear that the response is always good. However, the concept is very new here, and many people may not understand why it is important. We need to explain to different levels of government why the sharing of data with the public is good for society," she said.
MDeC chief executive officer Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said they are waiting for the Home Ministry's official approval, expected in early 2010, to let police share data with MalaysiaCrime.
In the meantime, the ministry has asked for more details on how police data will be used and how to protect certain aspects of confidentiality and security.
"Minister Hishammuddin showed enamoured interest in sharing data with MalaysiaCrime, and the government is impressed that this initiative came from citizens. On MDeC's part, we are happy to support new creative online industries and the sharing of data which can enhance societal involvement," said Badlisham.The MalaysiaCrime website can also be accessed on iPhones by downloading the application at http://www.apptivitylab.com/released-apps/malaysia-crime/.
RANG UNDANG –UNDANG
Suatu Akta untuk meminda Akta Pembangunan Petroleum 1974.
DIPERBUAT oleh Parlimen Malaysia seperti berikut:
Tajuk ringkas dan permulaan kuat kuasa
1. (1) Akta ini bolehlah dinamakan Akta Pembangunan Petroleum (Pindaan) 2009.
(2) Akta ini mula berkuat kuasa pada tarikh yang ditetapkan oleh Menteri melalui pemberitahuan dalam Warta.
Pindaan seksyen 10
2. Seksyen 10 Akta ibu dipinda dengan memotong tanda noktah pada penghujung seksyen tersebut dan memasukkan perkataan-perkataan berikut: “dan perkataan ‘di luar pantai’ bermaksud sebahagian kawasan di tengah laut terbuka di luar pesisir pantai yang berada di dalam had Zon Ekonomi Ekslusif bagi Persekutuan dan diukur menurut undang-undang yang diterima pakai oleh Persekutuan pada masa berkaitan”.
Rang Undang-Undang ini bertujuan untuk meminda Akta Pembangunan Petroleum 1974 (Akta 144). Pindaan ini memperjelaskan perkataan “di luar pantai (offshore)” agar ia mencerminkan maksud dan semangat sebenar semasa Akta tersebut digubal dengan pemahaman yang sama di antara Negeri-Negeri dan Kerajaan Persekutuan apabila bersetuju menyerahkan hak negeri-negeri keatas sumber hydrocarbon.
Pindaan ini juga bertujuan mengelak kekaburan di masa hadapan agar suatu regim fiskal yang jelas dapat ditentukan dalam industri minyak dan gas – pertikaian masa kini di antara Kerajaan Persekutuan dan Negeri-Ngeri khususnya Kelantan dan Terengganu memberi isyarat negatif kepada pelabur dalam sektor minyak dan gas di masa hadapan. Salah satu ciri yang diambilkira oleh pelabur dalam industri minyak dan gas ini ialah kejelasan, kestabilan, dan kepercayaan kepada sistem perundangan berhubung hakmilik sumber hydrocarbon. Tindakan Kerajaan masa kini yang mengeksploitasi segala kelopongan perundangan bercanggah dengan maksud dan semangat sebenar Akta tersebut dan memberi isyarat negatif kepada industri ini yang mesti dirumuskan dengan segera
Rang Undang-Undang ini tidak akan melibatkan Kerajaan dalam apa-apa perbelanjaan wang tambahan.
He said this was brought up to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who chaired the Special Cabinet Committee on the Development of the Indian Community recently where the Finance Ministry was urged to review and make the terms more flexible.
"It was also proposed that loans or special guarantee be created to help Indian small businesmen to start business," he said after presenting a cheque for over RM1 million under Tekun Nasional Financing Scheme to 109 Indian businessmen here on Monday.
Samy who was a member of the Cabinet Committee said many Indian businessmen were finding it dificult to get loans from commercial banks including SME Bank although they qualified.
Up to Aug 31, some 2,026 Indian businessmen had applied for loans amounting RM20 million from Tekun. Of the number, 830 applications amounting RM5.8 million had been approved with 1,148 applications still pending.
Another 508 applications were stuck at MIC's Social Strategic Foundation office due to lack of funds while another 300 new application were also received.
Samy said the Prime Minister had announced during Budget 2010 that Tekun had been allocated an additional RM20 million for the Indian community.
He was aware that Tekun was facing shortage of RM350 million to meet the 16,000 loan applications approved and hoped it would be resolved soon.
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- As the end of 2009 draws nearer, Umno looks set to close the year on a stronger note following a successful power transition and party elections back in March.
It was quite a turnaround for the biggest Malay political party in the country which some political analysts and observers predicted would crumble following the disastrous results in the March 2008 general election.
Bouncing back on its feet, Umno owed its newly-found confidence to forge ahead following that political tsunami to former president Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his successor Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Abdullah's willingness to expedite the power transition between him and Najib which originally was scheduled for June next year to this year helped soothe ruffled feathers among Umno members and pave the way for its new leadership to plan reforms.
Officially passing the presidency baton to his then deputy on March 28, Abdullah in his last speech as president at the end of the last day of the party's general assembly called on Umno members to close ranks and to forgive and forget.
Meanwhile, Najib who was aware of the party's urgent need for a new lease of life, vowed in front of some 2,000 party delegates to transform Umno and lead them back into the arms of the people.
In his acceptance speech, the seventh Umno president proposed an amendment to the party constitution aimed at curbing money politics in the party as well as making Umno more inclusive.
His speech was well received by delegates as well as Umno's influential former leader Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who made a surprise appearance at the end of the last day of the assembly.
The former Umno president who had been shunning previous assemblies before and eventually quitting the party on May 19, 2008, was also instrumental in bringing about changes in the party leadership with his constant criticism against previous leaders.
In its election three days earlier, Umno saw a change of leadership in all three wings while political pundits won big in their prediction for top posts contests.
As predicted, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin triumphed over Tan Sri Muhammad Muhamad Taib for the deputy president post while the favourites for the vice-president posts -- Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal were all returned. There are three vice president posts in Umno.
The election also saw the end of Datuk Seri (now Tan Sri) Rafidah Aziz's reign as Wanita chief when she was defeated by her former deputy Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil with a 227-vote majority.
However, the Youth movement sprang a surprise when its controversial candidate for the chief post Khairy Jamaluddin upset favourite Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and another candidate Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, while Puteri members elected Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin as their new leader.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir gave his blessings to the new leadership by applying to rejoin Umno on April 4, a move seen by political analysts would further strengthen the party.
In his effort to strengthen Umno at the states level, Najib made an unconventional move by appointing several top leaders to head state liaison committees instead of the usual Menteri Besar or Opposition Leader in the case of Penang, Selangor, Kelantan and Kedah.
It was seen by political observers as a step to resolve internal conflicts in several states such as Kedah, Perlis and Terengganu.
Seven months after the party election, Umno delegates once again congregated at Merdeka Hall, Putra World Trade Centre, and this time to debate and endorse seven amendments to the party's constitution.
In a clear show of a commitment to change, all of the amendments which included the abolishing of the party's nomination quota system and increasing the number of delegates to vote for top party posts, were accepted unanimously without debate.
Although some expressed concern that abolishing of the nomination quota system would enable every Tom, Dick and Harry to contest for the top posts, Najib in his winding up speech at the end of the assembly pointed out that such a move would motivate present leaders to work even harder to ensure they would remain favourites among members.
"I'm not worried I might lose this post for it is up to the members to decide if I'm worthy of their vote. If I'm a good president, able to serve well, I'm sure party members will make the right decision," he had said.
With more than 400,000 members now able to choose their leaders compared to merely 2,500 previously, Umno is confident money politics in the party will be eliminated eventually.
Although some of these reforms are yet to be implemented, Umno members seem content under the new leadership as the respective leaders go about their duties to bring changes in the party.
All in all Umno now appears to be heading towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
GEORGE TOWN: DAP chairman Karpal Singh has called on the attorney-general to immediately give him the authority to prosecute lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam, who was caught on a video clip in 2007 allegedly lobbying for the appointment of judges.
Karpal said there had been no word on the matter since Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz requested for volunteers to prosecute Lingam.
"I am willing to volunteer my services as mentioned by Nazri, provided the attorney-general gives me the authority to act.
"The problem is that they have been silent on this matter since then," said Karpal.
He said he expected the attorney-general to give consent for him to act for the government to prosecute Lingam next week.
Last month, Nazri announced that Lingam had not broken the law.
However, he was later quoted as saying that charges would be brought against Lingam if someone could cite a section in the law which allowed this.
Nazri also said he would speak to the attorney-general if there was someone willing to prosecute Lingam and mentioned Karpal as being one of them.
In 2007, the government formed a royal commission of inquiry to investigate Lingam and several others who were implicated in the video.
The commission had found that wrongdoing had been committed and listed the laws that were breached.
The commission had also recommended further action be taken against the individuals involved, some of whom were mentioned in the video clip.
Karpal, who is the Bukit Gelugor member of parliament, said yesterday there was no reason for the attorney-general not to agree to allow him to prosecute Lingam.
"Nazri was the one who called for volunteers.
"I am offering myself and I am ready to prosecute Lingam for an offence under the Sedition Act," he told reporters after visiting his constituents with Seri Delima state assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer at the Air Itam wet market.
(CNN) -- Serving a 26-year prison sentence for the murder of her roommate, American Amanda Knox said Sunday she is scared, but determined to prove she is innocent, according to an Italian lawmaker who visited her cell.
Knox, 22, seemed very pleased by the visit, which included members of the Italy USA Foundation, said Catia Polidori, a member of the foundation and a member of the Italian Parliament. Knox is also grateful for the foundation's interest in her case, Polidori said.
"In my opinion, in spite of the imprisonment, she seemed to be serene," Polidori told CNN. While Knox is aware of the seriousness of her situation, Polidori said, she is "resolute" about proving her innocence.
Knox was convicted earlier this month of murdering British exchange student Meredith Kercher while the two roomed together in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007. During her trial, Knox read a statement to jurors, insisting she is not a killer. She is appealing her conviction, although her case might not reach a court docket for at least a year.
Knox told the visitors she trusts in the Italian justice system to resolve her case, Polidori said. However, she said she was scared, and that "she is often afraid to open [the] newspaper or watch TV," because media reports tend to undermine her confidence, Polidori said.
The Italy USA Foundation "was established to honor the friendship between Italians and Americans," according to its Web site. "The Foundation is an independent institution that intends to play a bipartisan role on both sides of the Atlantic and whose sole purpose is to promote friendship between Italy and the United States of America."
The foundation's president, Rocco Girlanda, said in a statement on the Web site the delegation visited Knox in her cell in Perugia to check on her condition because of the intense U.S. interest in her case. The delegation brought Knox some English-language books as a Christmas gift, which made her "really happy," Polidori told CNN.
Prosecutors said Kercher died during a sex game in which Knox taunted Kercher while Knox's then-boyfriend, Raffale Sollecito, and another man, Rudy Guede, sexually assaulted her. Among the evidence against Knox was a knife found in Sollecito's house with Knox's DNA on the handle and Kercher's on the blade.
Knox's attorneys attempted to cast doubt on those findings, saying the knife did not match Kercher's wounds or a knife imprint left on a bedsheet. They also claimed the DNA sample was too small to be conclusive.
Sollecito was also convicted in Kercher's death and sentenced to 25 years. Guede was convicted earlier in a separate fast-track trial and is appealing his conviction.
The verdict against Knox drew criticism from some who questioned the process. Kercher's family, however, has said they were satisfied with the jurors' decision.
Knox said she misses her family, Polidori said. Her mother, Edda Mellas, told CNN's Larry King earlier this month that her daughter was "completely crushed, devastated" by the verdict against her, but she is ready to fight her conviction.
Kurt Knox, Amanda Knox's father, told CNN she had been a victim of "character assassination." But he said the Italian appeals process is more flexible than in the American courts, noting the appeals court could open the case for a further evaluation of evidence and new information.
"There are many Italians who have told us that, you know, worst-case scenario, the first level rarely works correctly," Mellas told CNN, referring to the jury trial. "'They'll get it right in appeals, she will get out of there.' They will not, you know, put away this innocent young girl for a crime she didn't commit."
It was probably a good thing that the people who invited Tariq Ramadan didn't organise the talk somewhere in PJ. If they had, the venue would probably have been surrounded by the police in order to arrest the Swiss-Egyptian Islamic scholar for not being licensed to speak. Luckily it was held in KL where it is still relatively safe to speak on Islam. Although if religious authorities like JAKIM and the Mufti of Perak had accepted their invitations to attend, who knows what might have happened since Tariq Ramadan is critical. Very critical. So critical that he is barred from entering no less than six Muslim countries ( Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and Libya).
But someone who is critical is, in our intellectually-starved country, a breath of fresh air. And it didn't hurt that it came in an eloquent passionate French-accented package either.
Tariq Ramadan was here on the invitation of a new organisation called the Islamic Renaissance Front which is dedicated to empowering young Muslims especially to use reason to bolster their faith. For two days, under the theme 'For People Who Think' and in dedication to the late renowned Islamic scholar Muhammad Asad, Prof Ramadan gave talks on the need for reform and renewal in Islam.
It is a pity that the audience was mostly from the English-speaking Muslim middle-class as well as some foreign students and scholars residing here because Prof Ramadan's message really needs to be heard by the masses. Not least because it is a radical message for people used to not thinking and blindly following whatever anyone they think of as a religious authority says.
Prof Ramadan's talk challenged many things that we in Malaysia have come to accept as Islamic. He asserts that while Islam is a universal religion, it doesn't mean that there is no room for diversity, both in space and time. Meaning that there should be room for many different interpretations and there must also be room for evolution due to the passing of time. It's not that Islam isn't relevant for all times but we must look at new innovations and challenges based on the same principles. And those principles are always justice and equality.
These principles are found in the Quran and the Sunnah but there have been many confusions. For instance, there is the confusion on the relationship between text and context. Many people do not, for example, place the text of the Quran in context of when and why they were revealed. They dealt with specific problems of the time but there are principles within them for all time.
Secondly, there is a failure to distinguish between principles and models. "Models," he said, "are historical while principles are universal." A model for a type of governance may be fine for a certain time but not for now. But the principles of that governance, based on jstice and equality, should still apply.
Thirdly, not being able to differentiate between laws and the way. He reiterated that syariah means 'the way' towards faith, not a set of laws. If we take it simply as meaning laws, we may well contradict 'the way', and 'the way' is always about achieving justice. If all we do is to make law but forget the way, then we may well lose 'the way'. Punishment which is almost always how we define syariah is far from 'the way' because 'the way' starts always with justice.
Fourthly, we often confuse rules and meanings. We are so obsessed with rules that we forget about meanings. We may pray five times a day but forget God at the same time. We need to distinguish between a religion of only rules, and one which connects spirituality with rules. We pray not just to follow rules but to remember God; if we don't, we miss the point.
In talking about reform, Prof Ramadan challenged us to think about what type of reform we want. Is it one where we have more and more rules, more and more adaptations? Or one where we transform both ourselves and the world? He feels that the essence of Islam is to reform in order to transform. He repeated many times on both days that we should not simply imitate.
Referring Asad, he said that imitation is wrong because it is colonialism.We should not simply take on what other people have done and put an Islamic veneer on it by making it halal (at one point he shocked the audience by saying, "I don't know what it means to eat a halal Mcdonald's"). The point is not so much to ensure things are always halal but to contribute our own input to the world. In other words, why are we eating McD which is from another culture anyway when we have our own foods?
In order to contribute however, we must have a vision of what we want to do and what world we want to live in. And visions have to be far-reaching and beyond what is reality now. We can't do that if we do not know the world. "If you want to change the world, know the world" he said.
It is therefore simply not enough to rely solely on religious texts and scholars. We need experts in all fields, indeed to 'shift the centre of gravity of Islam' away from just scholars. This, he says, is why Muslims have contributed so little to knowledge these days. The only area where we have been quite good is medicine because religious scholars realise that their lack of knowledge in this field could lead to death and therefore they have deferred to medical experts, thus allowing it to advance.But in other areas we are still lacking.
Prof Ramadan also said some things which few Muslims in our country have ever been bold enough to say. "Islam," he said, "has no problems with women, but Muslims have." He elicited applause from us women in the audience when he said that domestic violence is simply unIslamic. (Later on I had the opportunity to relate to him how it took us six years to pass the Domestic Violence Act in 1994 mainly because there were people who thought such a law would be unIslamic.). He said it vexed him that there are Muslim countries today where women are not allowed to enter mosques. Is that a problem of Islam or of some Muslims?
He asked what are our contributions today in culture, the arts, architecture, music? In music, he said he was so happy that Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) has now returned to making music of the highest level, and regrets the low standards of music in the Muslim world today which seems to regard audiences as infantile and only capable of understanding the simplest lyrics. Furthermore he stressed, "to be good Muslims, you do not have to Arab-ise yourself." I could feel an uncomfortable shifting in the audience's seats.
He also said something else which almost made the audience stop breathing. "Anti-Semitism," he stressed, "is unIslamic. We must acknowledge the suffering of the Jews." This is different from Zionism which is a colonial project which must be opposed, just as we oppose all colonialisms (including Arab ones). He deplores the people who, when unable to agree with Asad, said things like, "Don't forget he was a Jew." It is totally unacceptable, he said, to refer to people's past when you disagree with them. Indeed this is something we see very often here; when you can't find a better argument, discredit the other person.
Prof Ramadan's main emphasis in both his talks is that the way to faith, to be closer to God, is to think critically always."It is not because you are Muslim that you get everything. It is the quest for faith involving ongoing critical thinking that is most important."
Principles and ethics are important. Someone asked him a question about the ummah and he urged us not to romanticise the ummah in such a way that we are blind to wrong-doing. "I will not be your brother if, in the name of brotherhood, I am to support injustice...I belong to the principles, not to my community when they betray those principles."
It was really refreshing to hear Prof Ramadan speak because it was so different from the usual stuff you hear all the time but which are almost always unsatisfactory because they don't provide answers to contemporary questions. But there will undoubtedly be many who will not like what he says. Indeed, he himself pointed out the issue of power, where people in power hate to be criticised or challenged. This must be what prompted our own muftis here to object to any invitation to the Grand Mufti of Syria, Dr. Ahmad Hassoun to speak here because he is known to be open and progressive. What could be worse for those in religious power than for their flock to find out that other religious people think very differently from them?
Someone from the audience got up to say that he liked what Prof Ramadan said but he should be careful because he risked being assassinated. He should have mentioned that those most likely to assassinate him are Muslims, not anyone else.
“Global Tamils have to prove the geopolitical significance of the Tamil homelands either side of the Palk Strait, making the powers to listen to reason. It is not that only the Sinhalese can play the card of geopolitics for ages,” says Kirushthi Skathithasan, a Tamil activist in Paris.
On arguments that the diaspora has no business to direct the politics of Tamils in the island, Tamil circles said that the argument is more applicable to a few in the diaspora collaborating with Colombo.
Re-mandating the independence and sovereignty of Eezham Tamils based on the main principle of the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution of 1976 has become more important than it was before May, because what remains today is only a political premises based on the democratic will of the free people, they said.
Both the second generation of Eezham Tamils and the older generation, including senior citizens, were found actively and enthusiastically distributing pamphlets this week, calling for overwhelming participation in the referendum.
The voters are requested to bring in any document of identification just to prove that they are 18 or above 18 and are either Tamil speaking people of the island of Sri Lanka or their descendants.
Sri Lankan embassy in Paris unsuccessfully tried to prevent the referendum organisers getting halls of the local government institutions for the poll centres, circles close to the organisers said.
Postal vote is permitted to the benefit of the few living in the interiors.
I refer to the Malaysiakini report Of noisy Indians and 'keling' blood: Utusan strikes again.
The attacking of fellow Malaysians by the mainstream media Utusan Malaysia because of their race is unwarranted and most uncalled for. I remember in the late forties when I was a little boy living in my hometown of Raub, Pahang.
I used to pass road gangs of Tamil labourers toiling in the midday's scorching sun from dawn till dusk. Armed with only picks and shovels, they would be hacking at solid rocks to carve out roads along the mountain side.
They had no proper attire, just a withered white towel tied in turban form on their heads. They would wrap rags around their spindly legs to prevent the hot molten tar from scalding them as they went about their chores.
Yet they had time to smile and wave at passing cars. They used to be referred to as 'coolies' and their slave-like living quarters as coolie lines. My late father used to tell us that most of the roads in Malaya at the turn of the century were built solely by Indian labour.
They toiled in the malaria-infested rubber estates, living with their families in filthy inhuman conditions. The white 'tuan' treated them like slaves and allowed them to indulge in drinking toddy to forget their woes .
Yet again it was the same coolies called 'toties' who serviced our bucket system latrines until the early sixties as there were no takers for this job from the other races. I have seen for myself these 'toties' cleaning the rubber tubs at a stream not far from my house with their bare hands.
In short, when there was any dirty, menial job to be done, it was this Tamil coolie, then often called by the derogatory term 'keling', that did it for us.
Now times have changed and their offsprings have made much progress in all fields and want to take their rightful place in our society .Let's not pour scorn on them and laugh away their pride.
As a soldier I know that many of my Indian/Tamil friends who fought and died for this country . They all are a part of those who stood by us during the good and bad times, they have helped make this country great.
A country which rightfully belongs to all Malaysians.
The renowned lawyer and politician also claimed that the government has insulted the King for failing to act against Lingam despite a 'royal' commission of inquiry recommending that it does.
Karpal also pointed out that it has been a month since he accepted the challenge by de facto law minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz to prosecute Lingam.
However, until today, he said the AG Chambers had yet to issue him the 'fiat' certificate.
The Bukit Gelugor MP also recalled that Nazri had promised to persuade AG Abdul Gani Patail to issue him the certificate.
He said Nazri, being a trained lawyer, should have persuaded the AG by now to act pro-actively on the issue after he (Karpal) had accepted the minister's challenge early last month.
"I want the AG Chambers to shoot me the fiat by the coming week to let me charge Lingam for various offences revealed by the royal inquiry commission," said the DAP national chairperson.
Charge him with sedition
Karpal also slammed the government for not prosecuting Lingam.
"The government should not have let him off the hook. The royal commission is carried out under the King's order.
"The government"s failure to prosecute Lingam amounts to an insult to the King," he told reporters in Penang.
Last month, Nazri, who is minister in the Prime Minister's Department, said he would persuade the AG to engage Karpal to prosecute Lingam.
He said this when reporters questioned him on why the government did not want to prosecute the senior lawyer for allegedly brokering the appointment of judges.
Nazri stated that although Lingam's alleged brokering of judges may be morally wrong, it is not against any law.
Based on the royal commission's findings, Karpal told reporters today that Lingam should be prosecuted for sedition, for bringing the judiciary to disrepute and breaching professional conduct stipulated under the Legal Profession Act.
"If the AG can issue me a fiat in a week, I can immediately get on with the task of bringing Lingam to court to safeguard public interests.
"Lingam's case is not only of national interest but has also drawn international attention on the state of the country's judicial system,” he said.
Last year, the royal commission had recommended investigations against Lingam and several other prominent figures, including a business tycoon, two former chief justices and a minister.
Amidst mounting criticism against the federal government over the 'closure' of the case, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has also recently expressed interest in reexamining the matter.
Today 13th December 2009 is the 2nd year black anniversary of the detention of four Hindraf lawyers on 13/12/2007 under the draconian ISA.
About 50 Hindraf and HRP supporters gathered at the front of the HRP office at Jalan Abdullah, Bangsar and carrying an anti ISA banner walked peacefully to the nearby Nageswary Amman Hindu Temple with cries of “Hindraf Valga”, “Makkal Sakthi Valga”, “Manitha Urimai Valga” and “Mansuhkan ISA” exercising Article 10 of the Federal Constitution (Right to assemble peacefully).
Since 10.00 am there was heavy police presence in the vicinity of the HRP office.
As the peaceful assemblers were walking one Superintendant Azri stopped and tried to snatch the banner which was pulled back.
He then told us that this was an unlawful procession and the 50 or so crowd walked in groups of three.
After prayers and outside the temple and on the way back to the HRP office, S.Jayathas who was wearing an anti ISA badge was singled out and arrested on the orders of Superintendent Azri. When P. Uthayakumar asked the Supt for the grounds of the arrest as is required to be given under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, the Supt merely said “siasatan awal”. When P.Uthayakumar suggested that the Supt did not know the law he put up a front of being unperturbed. S.Jayathas was handcuffed from behind which is usually done for hardcore criminals.
S.Jayathas an end renal failure kidney patient last underwent his kidney dialysis on Friday morning (11/12/2009). We now fear for his health as he needs urgent dialysis attention as he told us this morning that he had breathing difficulties.
This once again shows UMNOs’ high handedness and exercising of power with impunity.