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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

BTN portrays Indians as 'violent' and 'dangerous'

Hindraf is dead set against the National Civics Bureau (BTN) courses as it demonises the movement's chairperson P Waythamoorthy in its modules as Public Enemy No 1.

It's political wing, the Human Rights Party's pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar alleged that the Nov 25, 2007 Hindraf protests are screened at BTN courses, and an image of Waythamoorthy is shown, captioned as 'musuh utama negara' (public enemy number one).

hindraf btn 151209 manoharan uthayakumarMeanwhile, DAP's Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson, M Manoharan said he feared for Indian Malaysians as BTN trainees have systematically implemented Umno's racist, religious and supremacist policies.

"The standard operating procedure is to implement (what is) taught at BTN courses. They are attemping to portray Indians as dangerous and violent people," said Manoharan.

He said he "now understood" why a backlog in citizenship applications exists, alleging it was for the "for the benefit of the Malays".

He suggested that to undo the damage by BTN, an alternative course be held which reflects a fair and accurate picture.

'Khalid has repented'

When asked Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim's speeches for the BTN, Manoharan said that Khalid has realised his mistake and has regretted since.

Uthayakumar called for formation of a truth and reconciliation commission, which he said "would allow us to undo the past and move on."

BTN courses have been under scrutiny following revelations that the courses promote racial supremacy instead of national unity. The bureau comes under the preview of the Prime Minister's Department.

Pakatan Rakyat-ruled state have banned their staff from attending the courses. Selangor is holding a public forum to discuss the ban tomorrow.

The heated debates over the matter prompted Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to instruct all parties, ministers included, to halt the polemics as he plans to review the BTN modules.

Timbalan Menteri Wilayah didakwa ugut penghuni setinggan

Dr M slams Najib’s ‘pro-US’ policy

Dr Mahathir Najib’s administration today for changing the country’s foreign policy. — File pic

By G. Manimaran and Leslie Lau -
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed his disappointment at what he described as a change in Malaysia’s foreign policy to back the United States, following a recent flap over how the country voted against an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution criticising Iran for its nuclear programme.

The Foreign Ministry was forced to recall the country's envoy to the United Nations in Vienna after he voted against an IAEA resolution criticising Iran for ignoring UN Security Council and nuclear watchdog demands by continuing to build its enrichment programme.

It is understood that Wisma Putra and the administration are concerned over international public perception after Malaysia, along with Venezuela and Cuba, voted against the IAEA resolution.

But Dr Mahathir, known for his strident views about Western powers, criticised Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration today for changing the country's foreign policy.

"We have changed. Previously we defended countries against oppression by the United States. Now we are backing the US in oppressing Iran," he said in a posting on his blog today.

Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman said this week that a decision will soon be made on whether action will be taken against the veteran envoy, Datuk Mohd Arshad M. Hussain.

Dr Mahathir is, however, unhappy that the envoy was recalled.

"Now our envoy is recalled and is being questioned for not backing America. Is this our new policy?" asked the former PM.

By not consulting with Wisma Putra before going ahead with the vote, the envoy had put Malaysia's top diplomat Anifah in a difficult position.

Since his appointment Anifah has gained a reputation as the hardest-working Cabinet member, making regular trips round the world to put forward the country's position on various issues and establishing Najib's credentials as a reformist committed to international trade in Washington.

But the IAEA vote threatens to put Malaysia in the same category as Venezuela and Cuba, two countries well known to be at odds with Washington.

The IAEA resolution criticises Iran for defying a UN Security Council ban on uranium enrichment — the source of both nuclear fuel and the fissile core of warheads.

It also censured Iran for secretly building a uranium enrichment facility; and noted that it could not be confirmed that Teheran's nuclear programme was exclusively geared towards peaceful uses, and expressed "serious concern" that Iranian stonewalling of an IAEA probe means "the possibility of military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme" cannot be excluded.

In criticising Najib's foreign policy, Dr Mahathir is sending a strong signal to the prime minister that he wants the country to maintain his policies in dealing with the US.

The former PM suggested in his remarks, however, that Barack Obama had been disappointing because the US president had not changed his country's foreign policy, and that Malaysia should not back Washington.

"Far from making changes, he is adding more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Guantanamo detention camp also remains open," said Dr Mahathir.

He added that it was the US and Israel which continue to use nuclear weapons.

"They are using depleted uranium from nuclear products. We allow it. Officially we are not protesting.

"India has nuclear weapons. So does Pakistan, Why not Iran?" he said.

Dr Mahathir's comments could put Najib in a spot, especially among the more conservative front in Umno.

The Malaysian Insider understands that missteps such as the IAEA vote and the vocal stand of some Malaysian leaders like Dr Mahathir against the US have not helped in the Najib administration's courtship of Obama.

When Obama expressed interest earlier this year to make an official visit to Indonesia, government officials here had started lobbying Washington for the US president to make a brief stopover here to meet with the PM.

Obama has since postponed his visit to Indonesia.

US officials are understood to be perplexed by Malaysia's position on issues such as the recent IAEA vote.

Rosmah issues rallying call

Rosmah and Najib are known to work as a team. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — Many explanations have been offered for the recent global financial crisis, and yesterday the wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak offered another: Men.

Speaking at the third Asean Women Leaders Forum in Singapore, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor mused that the crisis might have been averted if women had been in charge.

The feisty speaker, known as a force to be reckoned with in Malaysian politics, made the statement to drive home her point: women should be seated at the tables of power, whether corporate or political.

This is because they possess “intrinsic” leadership qualities, such as the power to persuade and the willingness to rethink arcane rules, that men do not, she argued.

The keynote speaker at the forum, Rosmah took the opportunity to issue a rousing call to arms to the 150-strong audience of mostly women.

“We must stop waiting for opportunities to fall into our laps. We must seize opportunities with our own hard work, ideas and drive,” she asserted.

The patriarchal institutions and culture of Southeast Asia have not stopped women from “infiltrating” male-dominated governments and corporate arenas, she noted, citing as examples Corazon Aquino and Megawati Sukarnoputri.

The former was president of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992, and the latter president of Indonesia from 2001 to 2004.

Even when men control the levers of power, “there will be a woman or two who play pivotal roles in making that male leader excel”, said Rosmah, to appreciative laughter.

Najib and his wife are known to work as a team.

Rosmah also noted that while women's leadership abilities come from their role as caregivers, the same responsibilities can also prevent them from taking up the gauntlet of governance.

This was a point emphasised by her fellow keynote speaker, Lim Hwee Hua, Singapore Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport, who was the first woman to become a full Cabinet minister in Singapore.

Persuading women to enter politics is especially difficult, she said, because “women juggle a whole lot more than men”.

The loss of privacy as a politician is hard to bear for women, she said, more so because the scrutiny women in power are subjected to is often worse than what their male counterparts face.

“You get people asking women leaders questions about (their) children and families that they will never ask the men,” she said.

This double standard was also decried by Rosmah.

“If a woman works hard to succeed, she is often said to be pushy and bossy. The same characteristic in a man is determination and drive,” she observed.

Both women emphasised the role of policy in smashing glass ceilings for women. Childcare facilities at the workplace and the flexibility to work from home are measures both the Malaysian and Singapore governments have encouraged companies to take up, they noted.

But the ultimate driver of change must be women themselves. Women must “cease and desist” to be one another's worst enemies, said Rosmah.

Instead of competing, women must show solidarity and support one another.

In this spirit, she called for a global summit of First Ladies to be held in Kuala Lumpur in the middle of next year.

No formal invitations have been issued yet, but when she brought up the idea to fellow First Ladies during last month's meeting of Commonwealth heads of government in Trinidad and Tobago, “they were very excited”, she said.

Asked if Ho Ching, the wife of Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, would be attending, Rosmah said that she had not spoken to Ho at length about the event.

“But knowing her, I'm sure she would be very supportive.”

The one-day forum was organised by the Asean Business Forum and the Kuala Lumpur-based Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute.

Among the other speakers were Jannie Tay, executive vice-chairman of luxury watch retailer The Hour Glass, and Singapore's Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Yu-Foo Yee Shoon.

Another speaker was Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who is also head of Wanita Umno. — The Straits Times

Wanted: A compliant Indian for the job of party president

By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — The post of president of a newly-formed and officially recognised political party is vacant and on offer to any individual qualified to head and lead the party, according to key members of the party who are offering the post to various individuals.

Some individuals see the offer as a unique opportunity to join the exclusive “president’s club” and rub shoulders with the country’s political elite and especially to get to know Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

They also see the post as an opportunity to move up the business ladder.

Others, however, are shying away after being told the prerequisites that come with the post.

Although nominally multi-racial, only Indians are offered the post. Experience is unnecessary but the candidate must have roots in the Hindraf movement.

Other requirements include one that the successful candidate as president must follow the advice of the party’s deputy president. He must also be pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) but also appear to be standing up to Umno.

He must not hog the limelight but share the stage with the deputy president and his supporters especially during party functions like when garlanding Najib and his wife.

Businessman R.S. Thanenthiran (picture) might be the nominal president of the Malaysia Makkal Sakthi Party (MMSP) but a major breakaway faction led by deputy president A. Vathemurthy is finding him wanting on many fronts and ready to remove him.

But before that they have approached several individuals offering the president’s post.

“I don’t want to be the president,” Vathemurthy said, adding he is happy being a deputy president. “We have a majority on our side and we will remove him.”

“We need a new president to forge ahead,” he said recently.

He said the party is firmly united and ready to serve the Indian community and help BN recover lost support but the problem is Thanenthiran, whom he says is unfit for the job.

Thanenthiran, on the other hand, has dismissed Vathemurthy’s entire allegation, saying “outsiders” were using him to overthrow him.

The rebels have called for an emergency meeting of the 27-member central committee of the MSSP on Dec 19 when they hope to remove Thanenthiran and install their new president.

The showdown can go either way. In the meantime the job as president is now on the market.

According to secretary-general Kannan Ramasamy, the meeting will hopefully settle the issue once and for all. “We want to move on with our mission and not be sidetracked by the leadership tussle.”

Among the dozen or so people offered the job are Klang businessman Omms Thiagarajan and former Federal Territory MIC chief Datuk V.K.K. Teagarajan, Hindraf founder chairman P. Waythamoorthy and his brother Uthayakumar, who has formed his own Human Rights Party Malaysia but is said to be attracted to the Makkal Sakthi banner because of the name and legal status.

The job was also offered to other Hindraf leaders like Vasantha Kumar, who has since joined PKR, and Ganapathy Rao, nominally with the DAP.

The leading contender however is a political novice, Omms Thiagarajan, who has been fingered by Thanenthiran as the main culprit behind Vathemurthy’s rebellion.

Omms is close to MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam and MSSP sources said he wants to take over the MSSP and keep it for Subramaniam in case the latter is sacked from the MIC or decides to resign.

Subramaniam however is unpopular among supporters of the Hindraf movement who see him as a “say nothing, see nothing and hear nothing” leader.

“He is a spineless and clueless leader and we want to have nothing to do with him,” a senior MMSP leader said. “But if Omms (Thiagarajan) wants the post we are willing to help him.”

The reasons, he said, is that Omms is wealthy, popular among Indians for his philanthropic deeds, is young and has grassroots support.

“We can forge ahead with him as president but not Thanenthiran or Subramaniam,” said the MMSP leader. “Subramaniam is a spent force and Thanenthiran is all out for himself not us, the party or the community.”

But for their grand plans to mature, the Vathemurthy faction has to overcome the first hurdle — remove Thanenthiran first before they can offer the post to anybody.

MSSP sources said the Dec 19 showdown can go either way because both factions are feverishly wooing the 27 members of the party's central committee.

Both factions are confident they have a majority to remove the other side.


1. Presiden Amerika Syarikat Barack Obama berjanji akan tukar (change) dasar-dasar Amerika Syarikat.

2. Tetapi jauh daripada menukar Obama sudah tambah tentera Amerika di Iraq dan Afghanistan. Kem tahanan Guantanamo pun masih diteruskan.

3. Tetapi kita sudah tukar. Dahulu kita pertahan negara-negara yang ditindas Amerika Syarikat. Sekarang kita sokong Amerika Syarikat menindas Iran.

4. Kononnya kerana Iran hendak membuat senjata nuklear. Kononnya dunia akan diancam oleh Iran dengan perang nuklear. Setakat kita tahu yang mengancam ialah Amerika Syarikat dan Israel. Dan Iran menjadi sasaran mereka.

5. Amerika Syarikat mempunyai 10,000 nuclear warhead. Israel mempunyai beratus senjata nuklear.

6. Yang sudah guna senjata nuklear ialah Amerika Syarikat dan Israel bukan sahaja di Hiroshima tetapi di perang Teluk dan di Gaza. Mereka guna "depleted uranium" daripada bahan nuklear. Kita relakan. Secara rasmi kita tidak protes.

7. India punyai senjata nuklear. Begitu juga Pakistan.

8. Kenapa Iran tidak boleh? Gilakah Iran hendak lancar perang nuklear dengan dua biji bom nuklear? Amerika Syarikat, Rusia dan Israel sudah tentu akan balas serangan Iran dengan 25,000 bom dan roket nuklear yang dimiliki mereka. Iran akan hancur dan hilang daripada muka bumi ini.

9. Jika India, Pakistan, China, Peranchis, Britain, Amerika Syarikat dan Israel boleh memiliki senjata nuklear kenapa Iran tidak boleh?

10. Sekatan sanction sudahpun dikenakan keatas Iran. Kita tidak membantah. Tetapi kita tidak pernah sokong sanction.

11. Tetapi sekarang duta kita dipanggil balik untuk disoal kenapa tidak sokong Amerika.

12. Dasar-dasar lama memang patut dihapuskan. Tetapi inikah dasar baru kita?

Learning about “hak istimewa orang Melayu”

By Shanon Shah

(Pic by lusi /
DR Harvin Kaur, 25, attended the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) pre-employment induction course in October 2008. A recent medical graduate who started her house officer year in Malaysia, Harvin has since resigned to follow her husband to Australia.

With the ongoing controversy regarding the government-run BTN, Harvin agreed to an exclusive e-mail interview, from India where she currently is, with The Nut Graph about her experiences during the programme.

The Nut Graph will be running a series of three exclusive interviews with former BTN programme participants from a variety of backgrounds. Their testimonies will help paint a picture about what the BTN programmes are really about. Are they racist or do they promote national unity? Are they geared at demonising the opposition? Are they fun and inspiring?

In the past year, The Nut Graph actually approached numerous former participants, but they all declined to go on the record for fear of losing their scholarships or positions. It is therefore timely and important for us to now publish the testimonies of those who agree to go on record. Here, then, is part one of our series on the BTN blues.

TNG: Where did you attend your BTN course?

Dr Harvin Kaur: It was at Kem Bina Negara Besut, Terengganu.

How long did it last?

Five days, four nights.

What was it for?

Pre-employment. The rule is that all new house officers must attend BTN and "kursus induksi" before starting work. However, the date that you start BTN is the date that you officially become a government servant, and you are paid starting from that date.

What would you say was the racial composition of the participants? How many participants were there?

[My estimate is] not less than 100.

At my BTN camp, there were many more Indian [Malaysians], almost 60%, and around 20% Chinese and 20% Malay [Malaysian]. I think the reason for this is that the allocation is done based on university, and I was with a group of Russian and Ukrainian medical graduates — many Indian [Malaysians] go to Russia and Ukraine to study medicine.

What was the racial composition of the trainers and facilitators?

All the facilitators were Malay [Malaysian]. Also, they were all male. I would have preferred it if there was at least one female facilitator.

Did you know the trainers' background or qualification? Were they BTN staff or external consultants?

There were some BTN staff there all day and night. But we also had some other facilitators for when we were split into smaller groups. The facilitator assigned to my group was a teacher.

Describe a typical day's programme during the course, from the time you woke up until the time you went to sleep.

We had to wake up at 5:30am to attend a talk in the surau. The Muslim participants would have arrived earlier for morning prayers, and then we would join them. They talked about religion mostly, but tried to pass it off as "moral education". Males and females were separated by a screen, and the men sat in front, women at the back.

After that, we went to our rooms and got ready, to shower and so on.

At 7am sharp we had to line up according to our groups, very military style, and sing the national anthem. Then we had some kind of sporting activity — one day we ran 1.5km; another day we had a physical test, the kind where you have to bend over and touch your toes, and so on.

We adjourned for breakfast and then had a short break to change clothes, and "classes" started. There were some talks in the main hall, and some days we had our group discussions.

In the evenings, we had some activities. One of the days we went rock climbing, another day we went to the beach, and one of the days we had this challenge trail, where we had to climb over walls and crouch in sand, like a mini military training. The evenings were always fun.

At night we had showertime, dinnertime, and then we met again in the main hall for another ceramah. We usually ended our day at around midnight, [and] went straight to bed.

Military style (Pic by Shariffc / Dreamstime)

Outside of the sessions, was there inter-racial/inter-religious/mixed-gender mingling?

Everyone mingled well. However, every single minute of our camp was in the itinerary, and we had to stick with our group members at all times — during dining, the ceramah, activities. Group members were allocated by the facilitators, and [racially] they divided us as equally as they could.

Were any of the lectures racist in nature? Can you describe one that was particularly disturbing?

There are a few things that stand out in my memory.

One of them was during the smaller group discussions — we were given a task which was something along the lines of: "If there were RM6 billion left to three families, and the will states that it should be divided fairly, how would you divide it? Family A has six children, Family B has three children and Family C has one child."

(Pic by Kuanchong / Dreamstime)
A lot of people said it should be divided such that 60% goes to Family A and 30% to Family B and so forth ... I, on the other hand, stated that just because Family C has one child doesn't mean that they should get so little of the money. Each family still needs the basic things — house, car — and half of the money should be divided equally among the three families and the second half should be divided according to the number of children they had. Another participant also had a similar idea, that there shouldn't be such a big discrepancy in the amount of money given.

The facilitator seemed very distressed that we had such ideas and even said to me, "Saya risau tentang Harvin." This might have had something to do with a personality test we did earlier on in the day, but I'm pretty sure it was also due to [my] answer. He stated at the end that the money should be divided according to the number of children, and also that this reflected the proportion of races in Malaysia, and how we allocate the budget, and so on.

Later, when I spoke to some of these participants, they said they had already anticipated such [questions], and didn't want to complicate things or get into trouble.

Also, during one of the ceramah, the process of Malaysia's independence was one of the topics. One point they repeatedly stressed was that during Independence, the Malays agreed to the jus soli principle — those born in Malaya would immediately gain citizenship — and in return the non-Malays agreed to "hak istimewa orang Melayu".

They said non-Malay [Malaysians] should be grateful that they were allowed to stay on.

During the group discussions, the definition of orang Melayu/bumiputera [based on Article 160 of the Federal Constitution] was drilled into our heads.

Were any of these lectures documented? Was there a written syllabus for the course? Or was the content communicated verbally or through other means?

Yes, there was a written syllabus, and we were allowed to borrow the notes to study for our test on the last day. It had a lot of stuff on Independence, and structure of the government, and so on.

The lectures were presented to us in Powerpoint.

For the group discussions, there wasn't a written syllabus. In my opinion, the group discussions were an opportunity for them to kind of tap into our minds and see what we felt about certain issues. The facilitator kept stressing that nothing would leave the room, I think to make us open up more.

How did the course impact you? How did it impact the other participants, from your observation?

Well, the course left me feeling angry, especially about the "hak istimewa" thing. I know what it is, but the way they tried to justify it was ridiculous. I think some people did share the same feelings as me, but we did not discuss this at length so I can't elaborate.

One newfound friend, an Indian [Malaysian] girl, was complying completely with everything our facilitator said. Later I found out she had received scholarships from MIC since [she'd been] in school, and also throughout her medical course. Both her parents were government servants.

Are there any positive things about the course?

Yes, everyone got along well; we made lots of new friends.

Malaysia current ills and future solution?

By Michael Yeo

There are reports of mass migration of Malaysian to overseas, and the Malaysian per capita income is decreasing. The country economy lacks foreign investments due to incorrect policies taken in 1989. The Asian Tigers – Thailand, China, Taiwan, S Korea, Japan, and Vietnam is all vying for foreign investments and aggressively pursuing value-added export market. With the potential oil production in Cambodia from 2011 (estimated), Malaysia will be relegated to the bottom in the ladder. Globalisation does not discriminate against any nation, but they will shy away from countries where her Governments have acted against the flow of capital. The oil asset is fast dwindling in Malaysia.

Malaysia is going backward; this is not a surprised as bad policies in educations, corruptions, cronyism, political systems that give rise to self imposed racism are all present in this dysfunctional state. Let me elaborate:

Present political divides

With the formation of Malaysia we have political parties that were established to serve sectorial population – the MCA, MIC and BN. In Malaysia we have political parties that are solely race or religious based – MCA, MIC, BN, PAS, DAP, PKR. Within these parties they form coalition government or coalition opposition.

Though the Constitution Article 153 provides for the Malays it must be seem that their provisions have indeed marginalised all non Malays that have at present give rise to current discontents, but with the exception of the super rich.

I acknowledged the cultural diversities of Malaysia, but this segmentation of political parties on race is and will continue to be the source of discontents. In USA their political systems are not race orientated, yet USA is a country of immigrants of various nations. The American does not have MCA or MIC or BN equivalent but they have Democrat and Republican parties. Malaysian political race based parties are itself a self imposed problem. I do not see the race problem solve by merely forming a coalition. There will never be equitable dissection of the spoils in the events of a victory in the next election. How long will it get out of hand before one party accused the other of unfair policies – it is 50 years and yet the MIC and the MCA is losing their traditional ground support, not to mentioned their living standards has stagnated.

Segmentation of School by race

To compound the problem we have schools that are also race based – Chinese school, Tamil school and Malay school, religious school – and these schools caters from day one of a child education. Imagine of the indoctrination the child gets in his or her education. They seldom mixed with other races except the few who chose to send their children to the school of their choice and not according to their race. It is therefore a segregation of races at the tender age.

The current Malaysian leadership is advocating 1Malaysia, to me it is a Sisyphean task. In the past 50 years they have not succeeded and under current political and economic environment it will be a futile attempt.

Cohesion is when all races gather together, they communicate and respect each cultural difference. The only way to overcome the problem is to start a free primary and secondary national school that caters for all races rich or poor, with English as a medium of instruction, fully funded by the ruling Government with curriculum comprising compulsory on science, maths, social science, Malay language and English language with optional language subject Chinese (Mandarin), and Tamil and Islamic Studies. In order to convinced parents of the national school, the optional Mandarin or Islamic Studies or Tamil classes is open to all students year on year until they finishes their secondary school. These national schools are to be staff by qualified teachers and are paid 20% above their counterpart in current sectorial school and where local teachers are in short supply, overseas qualified teachers are to be appointed. In order to maintained a desired standards KPI are to be set for the teachers,

One might asked what happen to the current schools. To me I will say let them be as time will prove to the old mindset that change is inevitable. If we are sincere about change the parents of today will vote with their feet.

If Malaysia is sincere in their search for long term solution for racial harmony and economic growth, they must begin with education of the young that must be in non race based school so the young will mingle and enjoy their cultural diversities. These schools will be creating future productive citizens of the nation that can articulate and communicate with the rest of the world. And most importantly the population of the future will eventually rid themselves of the MCA, MIC, and BN mentality but instead form political parties that are relevant to all races.

Justice hurried is justice buried

The Sun
comment by G. Mahendran

THE initial joy the legal profession had experienced when the new chief justice took office was short-lived as we soon began to realise that he intended to re-introduce a failed system of track management into the judiciary.

The system had initially failed in 2001/2002 when Datuk James Foong had introduced it while serving as a High Court Judge in Kuala Lumpur. But our fears were allayed when the CJ promised a trial run and to give due credence to feedback from the Bar. That was in February.

When introduced, the system seemed to work. Cases started to move faster, more judicial appointments from the Bar were made ensuring the introduction of fresh ideals into the judiciary and a general sense of an increase of judicial fervour was seen. It did not last long.

To ensure the new system worked and self-managed itself, the CJ and his team (which included Foong, Datuk Raus and the chief justice of Malaya) brought into play a KPI system for judges, magistrates, registrars and court personnel.

The system, like in corporate and governmental entities, seeks to evaluate the productiveness, effectiveness and quality of employees and management by way of statistics derived from targets set by upper management. Normally the system would have been designed by human resource teams. The judicial KPI, however, is illusive, with its designers and targets a closely guarded secret.

One must note that the judiciary is not a branch of the government. It is a pivotal pillar of democracy and constitutionalism and thus remains a guardian and support structure of our way of life. Viewing it in a way as to make it part of a government structure or corporate entity is the first step towards the collapse of democracy and constitutionalism.

Herein lies the origin of the problems with the judicial KPI system. It intends to value judges, magistrates, registrars and court personnel’s performances with a corporate structure and system based on quantity rather than quality. It essentially converts the judiciary into a highly inefficient corporation, which shall be explained further.

The content and targets of the system are a "state" secret. While the Bar has been promised a publication of it in the light of transparency, as of Dec 12, the Bar has yet to see it and only rumours exist on the targets. Having qualified that the following is a rumour, legal practitioners understand the judicial KPI system to require judges in the High Court to finish and close a minimum of four cases a month. As for the other subordinate courts, the targets are unknown.

While many a lay person would be happy to hear that finally the courts are doing something about the backlog of cases, they should celebrate with caution. The quick disposal of cases is hardly synonymous with fair disposal of the same. This is a disturbing issue primarily because it affects both the criminal and civil divisions of the judiciary.

Given that it would be wrong and impossible for the judicial KPI system to base its calculations on the quality of judgments by a relevant judicial officer, the system must inevitably be basing its evaluations on the quantity of files closed. This remains the greatest argument to why the judicial KPI system can neither be used for the judiciary nor tolerated.

If the former is the way the system is geared, the judiciary has indeed failed miserably, I hope not. Essentially the use of the former would mean the judgment of a particular judge has been, upon its award, evaluated on quality long before any appeal is decided on. This simply means the team deciding on the quality of the judgment makes a decision, before hearing of an appeal, of whether the appeal can succeed or not. This is a miscarriage of justice.

If the latter is true, then the judicial KPI system works with the principle of better evaluations for judicial officers based on the number of files closed. This would explain the seeming trend of justice being subject to, after a long time freedom from, preliminary objections and non-substantive non-compliances leading to dismissals of cases and appeals. This means simply "the more files a judicial officer closes the better said person is rewarded".

If the system came into being to remove the backlog of cases, it has not done so. The quality of judgments that achieved the same is, to a greater number subject to appeal. That in itself should speak volumes, preferably not of the wealth of litigants or the burgeoning wealth of legal practitioners. The system has chosen to stay despite the backlog having been relieved greatly by transferring it to the appeal courts.

Sometimes the best way to clear an attic is to take the junk out and set fire to it. That analogy may fit the current dilemma.

Of course, like most else, the system also suffers from bad execution. While intending to ensure speedy resolution of disputes through trials, no court in Malaya has any stenographers to assist the court in logging evidence from witnesses. After trials, lawyers are required to make legal submissions, normally aided by the notes of evidence (obtained from court to ensure parties have the same transcript of what witnesses have said). To ensure speedy trials today, the courts now simply refuse requests for notes of evidence and require lawyers to return several hours after completing the trial to make legal submissions. Without proper notes of evidence, the accuracy of the submissions based on the testimony of the witnesses is doubtful. The fair outcome of the trial, in both civil and criminal cases is greatly affected.

Even in criminal cases, with particular focus on capital punishment cases, some High Courts have surprisingly managed to dispose of 60 cases this year, averaging a decision on the life of a person to five decisions a month a court in some courts. It would be preposterous to think that the life of a person can be summarily determined in four working days a month. If this is read in tandem with the above paragraph, can fair trials in criminal cases with death penalties or lesser be guaranteed.

To a larger extent, the CJ has blamed the backlog of cases on delays caused by postponement and adjournment requests by lawyers. This is hardly accurate. Justice cannot be hurried. The nature of justice, obtainment of evidence and witnesses cannot be hurried. The examination of witnesses cannot be hurried. The submissions after trial cannot be hurried or done without the benefit of the notes of evidence as recorded and understood by court. Justice must be allowed a reasonable time to be decided on.

Of course, like any other government body, which inevitably is how the judiciary behaves, many practitioners have had their cases postponed, numerous times, by the courts because judges were on leave, attending courses or simply too busy to hear you. This cannot be the fault of lawyers. The statistics of these adjournments are roughly equal to the amount of adjournments requested by practitioners.

There was nothing wrong with the old system of judicial management and hearings. It required fine tuning and more skilled manpower. Giving it that would have simply solved the problem. Taking it out, introducing the fear-causing element of the judicial KPI system to the judiciary and speeding trials to breakneck speeds have done absolutely nothing but to make terminal an ailing system.

G. Mahendran is a practitioner with the Malaysian Bar. Comments:

UMNO Ns kuat atau PR NS lembek.....?

By Chegubard,

Mungkin ramai yang terkejut baca tajuk atas.... tapi itulah persoalan yang ingin ditimbulkan....

Kita dikejutkan dengan aksi demo Bn di Pulau Pinang dan aksi serangan Bn ke atas Tok Guru di Kota Bharu..... isunya kecil dan 'simple' tetapi diperbesarkan oleh Bn sebagai isu politik.... bagi cheGuBard itu 'tak salah' kerana biasalah Bn sebagai parti politik menggunakan semua ruang yang ada untuk menyerang dan mempolitikkan semua isu....

Namun di N.Sembilan isunya cukup besar.....

ADUN Bn dalam dewan mencarut , menghina wanita dan kaum India.... Dalam sidang dewan yang lepas baru ini, ketika YB Wong May May, ADUN DAP Mambau bangun bahaskan belanjawan negeri, adun Bn ganggu ucapan beliau dengan perkataan yang mempunyai maksud berganda lucah dengan sengaja. Adun Bn secara lucah dengan secara sikap 'seksis' menyebut masuk...masuk...ha..sudah masuk ka..ada rasa ka....

Kedua ADUN Bn juga secara sengaja bangun dengan aksi hendak membaling botol air mineral kepada ADUN KEADILAN PD Bandar, YB Ravi dengan berkata 'PUNDEK ! diamlah.....' perkataan ini diucapkan sebaik sahaja Ravi bangun untuk bangkitkan masalah masyarakat India di N.Sembilan....

Ketiga .....sah!!!...tak boleh nafi dah...penglibatan Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan dalam transaksi RM10 juta yang melibatkan sebuah syarikat pengurup wang sehingga menyebabkan syarikat tersebut dibatal lesen oleh Bank Negara. Ini kegiatan sabotaj ekonomi .....

Namun atas ke tiga - tiga isu ternyata Pakatan Rakyat Negeri Sembilan gagal bertindak.... SAMM dan buat report di Bukit Aman... ia mobilisasi sederhana untuk menarik perhatian media.... cheGuBard selaku Ketua Keadilan Rembau sudah menulis surat rasmi terbuka juga untuk tarik perhatian media....

Bagaimana dengan mobilisasi rakyat, bagaimana dengan risalah penerangan yang seharusnya bertaburan di Negeri Sembilan negerangkan isu ini.......

Mana pimpinan utama Pakatan di Negeri Sembilan, kenapa tidak ada tindakan bersama secara besar - besaran... Isu seludup wang ini setaraf malah lebih besar dari yang dilakukan oleh bekas MB Selangor.......

Kalau che'GuBard mulakan ada yang kata ia kerja bodoh... tak ikut saluran rasmi..... tak ikut itu tak hormat ini........kalau che'GuBard buat terus ada yang bukan setakat tak nak ikut tapi bagi arahan tak tentu arah arah jangan ikut.... tetapi mana.... mana..... apa tindakan secara rasmi.... mana ?

Memang negeri ini beza Bn dan Pakatan cuma 4 kerusi namun ketahuilah jika kita tak susun gerakan bukan empat kerusi yang nak dikejar tak dapat tetapi yang ada akan hilang.... Jangan sibuk main politik sesama sendiri....

Bangkit !!! Bangkit!!!! Umno , Bn makin lemah tapi kita tak cukup kuat untuk belasah regim yang makin melemah....

Maaf atas posting ini kalau ia menyakitkan tetapi ...........

Deadly bombing hits Pakistani town - Al Jazeera

The car bomb exploded destroying several buildings
in a busy market in Dera Ghazi Khan [AFP]

At least 33 people have been killed and 70 injured in a car bomb blast in the town of Dera Ghazi Khan in Pakistan's Punjab province, local officials have said.

The blast on Tuesday occurred in a market, close to the house of Zulfiqar Khosa, an adviser to the chief minister of Pakistan's Punjab province.

The house was damaged in the blast but he was not among the injured, officials said.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

"There are many people trapped in the rubble after the powerful blast demolished some 10 shops ... The rescue work is under way and we fear the toll may go up," Hassan Iqbal, the town commissioner, said.

"It was a terrorist activity, similar to those being carried out in other parts of the country."

'Direct attack'

Raza Khan, a local resident, told The Associated Press: "The whole market has collapsed.

"There is smoke and people running here and there.''

In depth

Pervez Haider Altaf, a district health officer, told AFP news agency that people were frantically searching for survivors.

"The hospital in the town has been crowded by people looking for their relatives. Rescue efforts are still going on," he said.

An emergency has been declared at all local hospitals.

Zulfiqar Khosa's son, Dost Mohammad Khosa, told The Associated Press that the bombing was "a direct attack on us" and that two of his cousins were among the wounded.

But Imran Khan, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, said that it was unclear whether Khosa was the target of the bombing.

"Zulfikar Khosa is a close confidante of Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister of Pakistan and the PML-N leader. It is the Islamic holy of Muharram right now, and Dera Ghazi Khan has seen violence take place [during that time]," he said.

"Muharram is a very holy month for the Shia community here in Pakistan. Ever since Muharram started, Shia community leaders have been saying that [they] need to have more security around holy sites.

"Shia leaders had said that Dera Ghazi Khan was one of the targeted areas and should be more secure."

More than 500 people have been killed in bomb blasts in Pakistan since October, in violence blamed on pro-Taliban fighters who are battling an army offensive in the country's northwest.

The US government has called on Islamabad to step up its efforts against Taliban- and al-Qaeda-linked fighters who cross over into Afghanistan.

However, Pakistan has said that it has to focus on a rising domestic insurgency which has killed more than 2,680 people in the last two-and-a-half years.

Hindraf 2nd year commemoration after Dec 13, ISA arrest

6 videos in commemoration of Dec 13th - the ISA arrest of the 4 Hindraf lawyers,
Sent by Waythamoorthy to be forwarded to as many people as possible.
Please forward the videos to all you friends and family - all over.

Where's the CF PNSB?

Anwar’s PKR Kedah Indian mandore abetting Hindu crematorium demolishment

The Batu Pekaka Kuala Ketil Hindu crematorium is a part of the history and heritage of the Kedah Indians. But now PKR Chief Anwar Ibrahim is using this Kedah Indian EXCO Mandore to divert attention away from this issue and to divide the local Indian community just to wipe out this last piece of history of Kuala Ketil estate.

Now this Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR Indian EXCO mandore gathers half a dozen or so cronies and declares that this matter has been resolved by the peanuts payments of RM 3, 000.00 per burial plot (Malaysia Nanban 14/12/2009 at page 3). This is exactly what the previous UMNOs’ MIC mandores used to do for 50 long years.

Why is it that it is always the Indian and Hindu structures namely Hindu temples, Hindu crematoriums, Tamil schools and Indian settlements that is demolished, to be demolished, relocated or to be relocated which is reported on an almost daily basis in the three Tamil newspapers. But we do not hear of one Muslim or Chinese burial ground being threatened like this in Kedah, the other P.R. states of Penang, Perak (ealier), Selangor or anywhere else in Malaysia.

Why is it always the Indian/ Hindu structures that is being targeted? And it is always the PKR, PAS, DAP and MIC Indian mandores and not their “Tuan” Menteri Besars or “ Towkay” Chief Minister that addresses the issue. This is so that the Indians would end up fighting with another Indian ie these Indian mandores and their “Tuans” and “Towkays” get away scot free. It is plain and obvious that UMNOs’ racist, religious extremist and supremacist policies has had a spill over effect on PKR, DAP and PAS.

How then is PKR, PAS and DAP any different from the 50 year rule by the UMNO regime?

P. Uthayakumar.


Where the fuck were the Pakatan Rakyat leaders?

This is the reason why we should not blindly vote for Pakatan Rakyat. As much as we may want change and would like to see Barisan Nasional ousted, Pakatan Rakyat has to earn our votes, not expect to get it without any effort. I want to start by demanding an apology from those 20 Pakatan Rakyat Parliamentarians who are earning their salary without working for it. Then, and only then, will we consider whether they are worthy of our votes.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Fright for BN as Budget passed by 66-63 votes

It was fright night for the BN as the national Budget was passed by a wafer-thin 66-63 majority in Parliament last night.

That’s 48 per cent attendance for the BN MPs and a 77 per cent turnout for the Pakatan reps.

Najib and Ong Tee Keat reportedly had to rush to Parliament to vote – and this was for their “1Malaysia Prosperity for All” Budget.

The Malaysian Insider has the story here (Najib’s budget passed by a narrow 66-63 vote).

It just goes to show how much importance these missing MPs place in Parliament when they can be absent during such a crucial debate and vote.



Tapah MP saves the day for BN

Tapah member of parliament M Saravanan turned saviour for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday with his vote ensuring the approval of the Supply Bill 2010, better known as Budget 2010.

The drama began late last night when the Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia called for voting for the passing of the bill, deemed to be an important component of the government's expenditure for next year.

The ruling coalition managed to get the bill approved with a one-vote majority, 64 against 63 votes of the opposition bloc, thanks to Saravanan's late-minute vote.

"I had a function to attend in the city last night. During the event, I got a call from someone in Parliament asking me to rush to Dewan and that a voting is being conducted in the Supply Bill.

"It was about 10.40pm when I managed to relieve myself from the function and rushed to Parliament.

"I was in the nick of the time as the Speaker allowed me to cast my vote. To my relief later I learnt that the Bill was passed by a single vote majority," Saravanan, who is also Federal Territories and Urban Well-being deputy minister, told Malaysiakini when contacted.

Najib was called back too

He also thanked his lucky stars, because the function he attended was close-by to the Parliament, enabling him to rush to the Dewan Rakyat within minutes after getting the alert.

The failure to pass the Bill, which is basically the 2010 government budget, would have resulted in the ruling coalition needing to retable the entire budget, resulting in throwing a spanner in the works of development projects planned by the ruling government.

It would also have been as major embarrassment for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who were both in the Dewan Rakyat until late yesterday, as this could have been the first budget not passed by Parliament in the nation's history.

Both Najib and Muhyiddin too had to rush to the Parliament to ensure the budget was approved in their favour.


Najib wants more 1 Malaysia modules in BTN

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak met with officials from the controversial National Civics Bureau (BTN) early this morning and directed them to include more of his 1 Malaysia ideas in their courses to promote racial unity.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister Department and BTN chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan disclosed the latest development, adding Najib was also briefed on claims that BTN was promoting racial hatred.

However, Ahmad Maslan refused to divulge the contents of the meeting held in Parliament nor the prime minister’s response to the allegations.

“You don’t expect me to tell you everything from A to Z?” he replied in response to a question on Najib’s stand on the matter during a press conference at the Parliament lobby.

Ahmad also refused to divulge whether or not the meeting acknowledged the accusations made by their political rivals but maintained that BTN is in no way a racist indoctrination agency.

Just like in the past, he refuted the allegations saying that only few from the 500,000 participants had had complained.

Ahmad had said that the allegations were cases of “minor slip ups” by BTN lecturers.

He reiterated his controversial view again today and took a swipe at BTN’s critics.

“Maybe the one that complained are children of DAP or PKR,” he said.

Umno is divided over the BTN fiasco with Ahmad and many other hawks in Umno including Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin are defending BTN but fellow party leaders like Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has openly blasted the agency’s courses as racist.

It is later learnt that Najib had issued a gag order, instructing all Umno leaders to stop making open statements on the issue.

Najib has been on a vigorous effort to regain Umno-Barsian Nasional’s lost ground through his economic policies and issues like the BTN have been a setback for the prime minister to achieve his goals.

He has approved some 300 programmes proposed in eight labs set up Oct 5 for the six National Key Result Areas (NKRAs), 1 Malaysia and national unity panels to be implemented soon as a means to overcome growing support for the Pakatan Rakyat opposition bloc.

The programmes will be made public on Dec 17 and 18 in Bandar Sunway but critics say the BTN courses are sabotaging his 1 Malaysia ideals.

Rosmah unperturbed by wild allegations

SINGAPORE, Dec 15 — Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is unperturbed by the many bad and wild allegations hurled against her by hostile parties.

She said, as the prime minister’s wife, she was more focused in her work to help the people get a better life and future.

“I don’t have time to entertain them,” she told the Malaysian media at a press conference here today, when asked about how she felt about the negative allegations.

Rosmah said she, and even her husband, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, were not distracted or very particular by the allegations as they were focused in their work.

She said when she met several foreign first ladies, they told her that they too, had become the target of opposing political parties.

“So, this issue is a universal culture, coming from people who are not happy with the government,” said Rosmah, adding that such allegations would be more blatant when the country was nearing an election.

Rosmah was here to attend the Asean Women Leaders Forum where she gave a keynote address on women leadership in the new era. — Bernama

KPI Najib teruji lagi, Anwar tercicir peluang — G Manimaran

DIS 15 — Ketika menanti temu janji di ibu negara malam tadi, seorang Ahli Parlimen dari Pakatan Rakyat (PR) dengan tenang berkata, “kita kalah tipis untuk menolak Bajet 2010.”

“Ini peluang terbaik, jika tidak esok kita akan ada Menteri Kewangan yang baru. Kami kurang bernasib baik.” Sambung wakil rakyat berkenaan.

Apabila mengulas lanjut, anggota Dewan Rakyat itu memberitahu, jika ucapan bajet ditolak bermakna ia petanda undi tidak percaya terhadap kerajaan.

Jika ia berlaku pihaknya boleh akan menghadap Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk mendapat perkenan agar diberi peluang bagi membentuk kerajaan baru. Mengambil kira pandangan beliau memang ia menjadi amalan House of Commons.

Ia biasanya mudah dilakukan apabila sesebuah kerajaan mempunyai majoriti mudah atau tipis. Malah ia juga akan melibatkan siri proses yang rumit.

Dalam keadaan semasa Barisan Nasional (BN) masih ada majoriti besar walaupun bukan dua pertiga di Dewan Rakyat. Walau apa pun kemungkinan-kemungkinan itu tidak boleh ditolak begitu sahaja.

Pokoknya apa yang berlaku semalam merupakan satu lagi senario politik yang tidak pernah disangkakan oleh mana-mana pihak bahawa apa yang lazimnya kita saksikan berlaku di luar negara juga boleh menjadi realiti di Malaysia.

Ini sebahagian kesan landskap politik baru di Malaysia.

Tahun lalu ada diutarakan idea supaya dikaji kemungkinan agar sidang Parlimen diadakan sepanjang tahun. Bukan setiap hari tetapi lebih kerap berbanding sekarang, yang diadakan pada jumlah hari tertentu yang bilangannya kecil dalam selang beberapa bulan.

Apabila pandangan itu dikemukakan oleh Timbalan Speaker Dewan Rakyat ia tidak mendapat respons menggalakkan. Akhirnya idea itu terkubur begitu sahaja. Mungkin ada kebenaran mengapa idea tersebut ditolak begitu sahaja termasuk oleh sebahagian besar wakil rakyat yang dipilih menganggotai Dewan Rakyat.

Selepas kira-kira setahun alasan mengapa idea tersebut ditolak terbukti benar. Situasi yang dialami oleh BN dan PR malam tadi dengan sendirinya mencerminkan sebab kepada penolakan tersebut.

Buat julung kali sesuatu bajet diluluskan dengan majoriti tipis. Bajet 2010, yang merupakan belanjawan sulung buat Datuk Seri Najib Razak selaku Perdana Menteri hampir-hampir ditolak. Boleh dikatakan bahawa nasib menyebelahi Najib selaku Pengerusi BN.

Pada Oktober 2008 Najib yang dilantik sebagai Menteri Kewangan telah membentangkan bajet pertamanya sebagai ketua perbendaharaan.

Pada tempoh masa yang sama tahun lalu kepimpinan BN mengambil langkah cukup berhati-hati ini apabila sebaik sahaja Projek 16 September Anwar gagal mencapai kenyataan.

Keseluruhan jentera begitu cermat dalam menghadapi cabaran sidang Parlimen.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim menjadi Ahli Parlimen menerusi pilihan raya kecil Permatang Pauh. Dua hari selepas dipilih sebagai Ahli Parlimen beliau mengangkat sumpah sebagai anggota Dewan Rakyat iaitu akhir bulan Ogos — dua hari sebelum Bajet 2009 dibentangkan.

PR meneruskan strategi untuk terus menjayakan Projek 16 September mereka dengan mencuri ruang yang sama yang dialami semalam.

Disebabkan BN berwaspada dengan kemungkinan-kemungkinan tersebut suasana cemas dilalui semalam telah dapat dielakkan.

Selepas setahun semua pihak terlupa. BN gagal mengambil langkah berwaspada. PR pula gagal dalam menyuntik semangat tahun 2009.

BN terselamat manakala PR keciciran peluang.

Seorang Ahli Parlimen dari DAP yang dihubungi memberikan pandangan beliau bahawa mereka sepatutnya berjaya dalam menolak Bajet 2010.

Beliau memberikan beberapa senario. Antaranya sesi penggulungan peringkat jawatankuasa Kementerian Dalam Negeri, yang disempurnakan oleh timbalan menterinya sengaja dilewatkan bagi membolehkan kehadiran beberapa wakil BN termasuk Najib sendiri yang menghadiri satu majlis di ibu negara — kira-kira 15 kilometer dari bangunan Parlimen.

Selain itu katanya, Speaker Dewan Rakyat mengambil giliran bagi membolehkan dua timbalannya mengundi. Kedudukan mereka sudah cukup untuk mengimbangi kehadiran wakil rakyat PR.

Apa pun dia mengakui kesilapan dan kelemahan di pihak PR sendiri yang tidak bersiap sedia untuk menghadapi sebarang kemungkinan. PR mempunyai 82 wakil dan tiga wakil Bebas.

Bermakna ada 19 wakil PR tidak berada di Dewan Rakyat ketika Bajet 2010 dibacakan buat kali ketiga.

Wakil DAP ini juga berpendapat sebahagian wakil PR merupakan muka-muka baru yang masih belum memahami selok belok perjalanan Parlimen. Mereka datang ke Parlimen untuk tujuan mencatatkan kehadiran dan tidak serius dalam urusan perbahasan.

Malah itu juga masalah di sebelah BN.

Di pihak BN yang mempunyai 137 wakil di Dewan Rakyat, jika hanya 66 orang mengundi bermakna seramai 71 orang tidak berada semasa kehadiran sangat diperlukan semalam.

Ini termasuk sebahagian anggota Kabinet sama ada menteri ataupun timbalan menteri. Di manakah mereka ketika itu?

Pada Julai lalu, BN juga berhadapan dengan suasana cemas seperti itu semasa membahaskan Rang Undang-undang DNA di peringkat jawatankuasa. Pada satu peringkat ia diluluskan dengan perbezaan satu undi.

Mengambil kira perkembangan masa lalu, BN dan PR masih belum belajar daripada pengalaman-pengalaman lama.

Ketika Najib sedang membuat penilaian Indeks Prestasi Utama (KPI), beliau mempunyai alasan kukuh untuk berbuat sesuatu yang drastik — sama ada menggugurkan mereka daripada Kabinet ataupun tidak menurunkan semula ketika pilihan raya umum akan datang.

Begitu juga bagi PR. Ini antara indeks yang boleh digunakan sebagai kad penilaian.

Malangnya, kita sentiasa lupa dan terus lupa. Jika pemimpin BN dan PR boleh terlupa apa yang berlaku kira-kira setahun yang lalu, apakah ia akan dijadikan panduan dan peringatan apabila pilihan raya umum ke-13 dipanggil dalam waktu terdekat ini?

Police quiz Nizar’s counsel over Hee’s resignation letter

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

IPOH, Dec 15 – Police today asked a counsel for former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to give a statement on the allegedly forged resignation letter submitted by Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong earlier this year.

The document had apparently been submitted as evidence in the Nizar vs Zambry (Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir) suit and had been claimed by Hee herself as false.

The now Barisan Nasional-friendly Independent, Hee, had earlier lodged a police report on the matter, claiming that the date stated in the letter, Feb 3, 2009, had been falsified.

Nizar’s lawyer, Leong Cheok Keng, was summoned today to the Sungai Senam police station to give a statement to the commercial crime investigation department on the issue.

After his 45-minute statement, Cheong told The Malaysian Insider that he believed the police had summoned him because he had represented Nizar in the suit, in which the allegedly forged document had been presented as evidence.

“It actually puts me in a very difficult position because I could not offer much information since my client had not given me express consent to reveal the information between himself and me as his counsel,” he said.

Cheong cited the Evidence Act 1950 which states that no lawyer can disclose any communication made to him in the course of his employment on behalf of his client.

“If I had revealed, I would have to face the board of advocates and solicitors. My client would have the right to lodge a complaint against me,” he said.

He added that in giving his statement, he had no choice but to reserve information that he felt would infringe on the act.

“The police were cooperative on the matter however,” he said.

Cheong, however, also voiced confusion that in Hee’s police report, the assemblyman had only claimed that the date on the resignation letter had been falsified and not the entire document proper.

“It is confusing because it is either the document itself that is forged or not,” he said.

Hee’s resignation letter, along with two others — former PKR men Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu — had been allegedly submitted to former Perak Speaker V Sivakumar during the start of the state’s constitutional crisis in February this year.

Sivakumar had then declared the three’s seats vacant, paving the way for by-elections, which however was rejected by the Election Commission.

Why Hishammuddin continue to condone Utusan Malaysia’s utter contempt of the truth, rules and ethics of journalism, and the law in purveying unadulter

by Lim Kit Siang,

The homily by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on what constitutes good journalism and what differentiates local journalists and “some bloggers” is mind-boggling to say the least.

Hishammudin said some bloggers, unlike local journalists, do not adhere to the rules and ethics of journalism in their bid to garner popularity.

“The local journalists adhered to ethics but these bloggers did not, and this was what differentiated the journalists from these bloggers.”

Speaking at the presentation of the 2009 ExxonMobil Journalism Awards in Kuala Terengganu last night, Hishammuddin said journalists in the country would have nothing to fear so long as their reports adhered to the ethics of journalism, adding that they would be accepted by the people.

He said journalists who reported the truth would not be penalised and those who spread slander would not be successful.

Hishammuddin was deliberately not telling the truth as he knew that journalists, particularly from the Barisan Nasional-controlled “MSM” – mainstream media – have nothing to fear even with the most blatant and flagrant violations of the basic canons and ethics of journalism, spouting lies and falsehoods so long as they hew to the Umno and Barisan Nasional agenda.

A good example is Utusan Malaysia which in the past few days had been publishing comment and news reports based on a seditious lie – that DAP wants to abolish the Malay Rulers and establish a republic when the policy of the DAP to uphold the system of constitutional monarchy is on public record.

Why does Utusan Malaysia, which is an Umno newspaper, persist in the lie and falsehood in accusing DAP leaders of wanting to do away with the constitutional monarchy and establish a republic, when they know it is false and untrue – even courting and defying the Sedition Act in such irresponsible journalism?

The answer is simple – like Umno leaders, Umno newspaper Utusan Malaysia is drunk with the sense that it enjoy immunity and impunity to incite inter-racial mistrust, hatred and animosity with gross breaches of the truth, the rules and ethics of journalism, and even the law of the land because they are confident that they can get protection from even the Home Minister himself!

Can Hishammuddin explain why as Home Minister he continues to condone Utusan Malaysia’s utter contempt of the truth, rules and ethics of journalism, and the law in purveying unadulterated venom, poison and sedition to incite inter-racial mistrust, hatred and animosity in falsely alleging that DAP wants to create a Malaysian republic?

Herald verdict on Dec 30

Malaysian Mirror
KUALA LUMPUR - The High Court has set Dec 30 to deliver its verdict on an application by the publisher of the Herald to challenge the ban on the use of the word "Allah" in the Catholic weekly magazine.

On Feb 16, the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, the Herald publisher, had filed for a judicial review naming the Home Ministry and the government as respondents.

He is seeking declarations that the decision by the respondents on Jan 7, 2009, prohibiting him from using the word ''Allah'' in the Herald was illegal and that the word ''Allah'' was not exclusive to Islam.

The High Court will deliver its decision on whether the Catholic Church can publish the word "Allah" to also mean "God" outside the Muslim context, after a full morning spent on submissions.

The church is challenging the Home Ministry decision banning it from using the word "Allah" in its paper as part of conditions for getting an annual publishing permit (Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew today said it had received its 2010 publishing permit on Monday.)

'Church's misunderstanding'

Lawyers for the government today argued that not being allowed to use the word "Allah" in no way infringes the church's constitutional right to carry out its religious duty.

Senior federal counsel Mahamad Naser Disa suggested that the church's "misunderstanding" and misuse of the word "Allah" would create confusion and raise religious tensions in the country.

"Allah is the holy name and a special verse in Islam. Any deviation to the holy verse of Allah is an insult to the religion of the country and the Federal Constitution," he said, and asked the court to reject the church's challenge.

"As far as the proper name Allah is concerned, it has absolutely no plural, reflecting the notion of the One and Only God whose Essence absolutely excludes the purport of consisting of three distinct co-eternal persons, whether in the imagination, in actuality, or in supposition," Mahamad Naser said, reading an exceprt from an article titled "Heresy Arises From Words Wrongly Used" published by the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (better known by its Malay acronym Ikim).

"Furthermore, the fact that it is a proper noun alone renders erroneous the critical assumption that the term Allah belongs to a national language and is an Arabic derivative.

"Indeed, for those who care enough to check the truth, such an absurd claim has long been debunked as inconsistent with the rules of the Arabic language itself by authorities like Ibn al-Barri, al-Layth and al-Khalil (in his Kitab al-'Ayn)," he added.

Mahamad Naser repeated an earlier claim that the home minister's decision to bar Christians using the word "Allah" was in line with provisions protecting the "special position" of Islam enshrined in the Federal Constitution and which the entire government and the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong have sworn to uphold.

Asked to comment on today's hearing, Andrew rejected the federal counsel's earlier claim that Arab Christians subscribe to a different view from Malaysian Christians who believe in the concept of God in three aspects - "God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit".

"All Christians the world over believe in the Nicene creed, which came out of the Council of Nicaea in the year AD 325," said Andrew, referring to the concept of the trinity.

Fuel cap for foreign cars from tomorrow

The Sun
By Husna Yusof and Timothy Leonard

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 15, 2009): THE government will limit the sale of petrol and diesel to foreign vehicles within a 50km radius of the borders starting tomorrow.

Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Affairs Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the order will be issued to all petrol stations in border towns, and notices will be put up to inform users of foreign-registered vehicles.

Last week, Ismail announced that the ministry had decided that each foreign vehicle coming to border towns would be allowed to buy only 20 litres of petrol or diesel.

Upon leaving, they would also be allowed to fill up to 20 litres of petrol or diesel.

Ismail said Singapore-registered cars were exempted from the ruling because of a policy by the Singapore government.

The Singapore government has imposed a directive that does not allow any Singapore-registered vehicle to leave the republic without three-quarters of a tank of fuel.

"If they (Singaporeans) come to JB (Johor Baru) just for a short trip, they will still have a substantial amount of fuel left when they leave, so they are exempted from the ruling of having 20 litres in their tanks," he said.

“When they leave, they will still have a substantial amount of oil left, so if we impose the 20-litres limitation, it will cause problems because that oil must have been purchased in Singapore.

“However, if they want to refill in any border towns, the stations have been instructed not to fill in more than 20 litres."

He said any petrol station caught disobeying the regulation will be fined RM250,000 while individuals will be fined RM100,000 or jailed for up to three years, or both.

There are 493 petrol stations in border toowns in the peninsula and six in Sarawak.

Bukit Kayu Hitam and Changlun in Kedah, Rantau Panjang in Kelantan and Pengkalan Hulu in Perak are among the three Malaysia-Thailand border towns that are hot spots for foreign cars, taxis and vans to fill up petrol at 'Malaysian' prices.

TheSun learnt that on a daily basis, dozens of Thai-registered vehicles, especially taxis and vans make their way in and out of Malaysia ferrying passengers.

Those coming in from Haadyai, Thailand pass through Bukit Kayu Hitam while those from Sungai Golok pass through Rantau Panjang while those from Betong and Yala through Pengkalan Hulu.

And there are several petrol stations available in these towns, making it easy for foreign-registered vehicles to fill up their tanks.

Since fuel prices in Thailand is 30-40% pricier than in Malaysia, many Thai drivers make it a point to fill up their petrol tanks to the brim with Malaysian fuel before heading back.

Why more woman are petitioning for divorce

The Star

IN order to understand the concept of divorce, one must appreciate the different nature of marriage from the Islamic perspective. The difference in the concept of marriage is reflected in the approach adopted for divorce.

In Western society, marriage is viewed from the perspective of individual happiness. If the notion of romantic love and individual happiness are not realised in a marriage, divorce is seen as an easy option.

In Islam, however, the welfare of the family as a unit is given greater emphasis than individual happiness. In modern Malaysian Muslim society, though the marriage institution still plays an important role, its stability has been challenged.

Various studies have shown that the trend towards individual happiness is more pronounced now due to many factors. These challenges must be addressed seriously by policy makers to ensure that the family, which is the foundation of society, remains stable on all fronts.

Despite the fact that the aim of the Shari’ah is to establish a healthy family unit through marriage, Islam does recognise divorce. Divorce is, however, couched in the context of important moral and human principles. Islam commands husbands and wives to consort with each other with kindness or to part from each other with kindness.

Notwithstanding Qur’anic affirmations of equality and justice, rationality and strong moral exhortation, studies show that women were not given adequate access to the divorce process. Despite reforms in legislation which have been passed in a majority of Muslim countries to correct abuses in Muslim society, there is widespread exploitation of divorce laws, and Malaysia is said to be no exception. It is therefore pertinent to see whether there is empirical evidence to support this contention especially in relation to access to the divorce process.

A national study on divorce conducted by the Department of Shariah Judiciary in 2005 shows that females made up the majority of applications presented in the Shariah courts of all states in Malaysia.

Zaleha in her 2008 research indicated that although the husband may not wish to institute divorce proceedings, neither does he have much interest in the marriage itself. This indifference on the part of the husband may motivate the wife to petition for divorce.

Where women are economically dependent on their husbands, this in many cases acts as a deterrent to divorce in Malaysia. However, since there has been an increase in female participation in the labour market of Malaysia (46.7%), women have gained more economic power. The options open to them also increased with divorce being one such option.

Another factor which may explain why more women are petitioning for divorce in some states of Malaysia is the changing role of women in the family. Besides being economically independent, there is an awakened consciousness of equality and non-discrimination. Women are increasingly becoming more vocal about inadequacies in their marriage. They are choosing to pursue their careers and higher education, thus giving themselves more opportunities to participate in activities outside traditional stereotypes, which confine them to roles as home-makers and mothers.

Legal aid, which was introduced to Malaysia in 1971 with the prime objective of assisting litigants with limited means to initiate legal proceedings, including divorce, has also assisted women to petition for divorce.

Although there are some states with higher incidence of male petitioners, possible explanations for this must be explored. One study (Kuchiba, 1979) which tends to support the trend for males being more likely to institute divorce proceeding in Malaysia shows that in most cases in Malay society, the wife is the one who instigates the divorce by persuading the husband to expedite matters through divorce via talaq. It would appear on paper that the men are petitioning, but, in reality, both parties agree to divorce. Due to the process being expedited via divorce through talaq, the husband seems to be initiating the divorce.

The discrepancy in the percentages of female plaintiffs between states directly correlates with legal provisions, implementation of these provisions, education levels, exposure on marital rights and responsibilities and the socio-economic status as well as the local culture. With the increase in the number of women gaining more financial independence, the percentages of female divorce plaintiffs are expected to increase in the future.

Another factor which cannot be ignored when considering the low number of women petitioning for divorce is linked to economic dependency. Although there are many women currently in the work force, one study on Americans (Weitzman, 1985) reveals that compared to men, there are more unemployed women. Upon divorce, these women are faced with a higher chance of being plunged into poverty. So whilst economic dependency may remain hidden during marriage, it becomes a public problem when women are confronted with poverty.

The financial loss suffered by women upon divorce is more often than not far greater than that suffered by men. Women will be more concerned about division of property, settlement of maintenance, and arrangements regarding children. Since women are more likely to retain the care of children, these matters are of more concern to them.

All the above empirical evidence shows that generally Muslim women in Malaysia do have equal access to divorce. The next important question would be where they would go from there. The future seems so bleak.

CAT scans, mammograms: Be aware of the risks - Anil Netto

Just a little public service announcement regarding what they don’t usually tell you.

Beware the cancer risk of CAT scans. Also read up on the raging debate sparked by a federally funded US task force of physicians which found that the benefits of regular mammography for women between 40 and 50 are outweighed by the risks.

I have always wondered why cancer is on the rise. Might not some of the cancer cases be due to tests/scans like these?

This from the Wall Street Journal:

The risk of cancer associated with popular CT scans appears to be greater than previously believed, according to two new studies published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The findings support caution against the overuse of CT scans and other medical technologies that use radiation. The studies also bolstered the rationale behind controversial new breast-cancer screening guidelines, which pushed back the recommended age for annual mammograms to 50 from 40. Mammograms also use radiation, but in smaller doses. Full article here.

Fright for BN as Budget passed by 66-63 votes - Anil Netto

It was fright night for the BN as the national Budget reportedly was passed by a wafer-thin 66-63 majority in Parliament last night.

That’s 48 per cent attendance for the BN MPs and a 77 per cent turnout for the Pakatan reps. If half a dozen more Pakatan MPs had been there and they had defeated the BN in the vote, it would have sent shock-waves across the country. A missed opportunity if ever there was one.

Najib and Ong Tee Keat reportedly had to rush to Parliament to vote – and this was for their “1Malaysia Prosperity for All” national Budget.

Malaysian Insider has the story here.

It just goes to show how much importance these missing MPs place in Parliament when they can be absent during such a crucial debate and vote. And did those who turned up at the last minute – without participating in the debates – really understand what they were voting for?

If they can’t be there to debate and vote on the national Budget, then why exactly are they MPs?