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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mishandling muslim women

http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2009/11/23/under-the-islamic-veil-faces-disfigured-by-acid/

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Shahnaz Bibi, 35, poses for a photograph in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. Ten years ago Shahnaz was burned with acid by a relative due to a familial dispute. She has never undergone plastic surgery.




Kanwal Kayum, 26, adjusts her veil as she poses for a photograph in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. Kanwal was burned with acid one year ago by a boy whom she rejected for marriage. She has never undergone plastic surgery.



Munira Asef, 23, poses for a photograph in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. Munira was burned with acid five years ago by a boy whom she rejected for marriage. She has undergone plastic surgery 7 times to try to recover from her scars.



Bushra Shari, 39, adjusts her veil as she poses for a photograph in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, July. 11, 2008. Bushra was burned with acid thrown by her husband five years ago because she was trying to divorce him. She has undergone plastic surgery 25 times to try to recover from her scars.



Memuna Khan, 21, poses for a photograph in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Dec. 19, 2008. Menuna was burned by a group of boys who threw acid on her to settle a dispute between their family and Menuna's. She has undergone plastic surgery 21 times to try to recover from her scars.



Zainab Bibi, 17, adjusts her veil as she poses for a photograph in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008. Zainab was burned on her face with acid thrown by a boy whom she rejected for marriage five years ago. She has undergone plastic surgery several times to try to recover from her scars.



Naila Farhat, 19, poses for a photograph in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008. Naila was burned on her face with acid thrown by a boy whom she rejected for marriage five years ago.. She has undergone plastic surgery several times to try to recover from her scars.



Saira Liaqat, 26, poses for the camera as she holds a portrait of herself before being burned, at her home in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, July 9, 2008. When she was fifteen, Saira was married to a relative who would later attack her with acid after insistently demanding her to live with him, although the families had agreed she wouldn't join him until she finished school. Saira has undergone plastic surgery 9 times to try to recover from her scars.

Convert goes to court to nullify conversion - Malaysiakini

S Banggarma, who claims to have been converted unwittingly to Islam at the age of seven, has filed a civil suit seeking a High Court order to nullify the conversion on grounds of illegality.

Her lawyer, Gooi Hsiao Leung, filed the suit at Penang High Court this morning.

banggarma convertion suit 231209The 27-year-old Banggarma, whose Muslim name is Siti Hasnah Vangarama Abdullah, was accompanied by her husband, fisherman S Sockalingam and two children - Kanagaraj, eight, and Hisyanthini, two.

Gooi said his client wanted the court to declare her conversion to Islam on Dec 28, 1989 by Islamic authorities as "unlawful and unconstitutional."

In her affidavit, Banggarma referred to the Federal Constitution, the Penang Islamic Affairs Administration Enactment, and the Age of Majority Act 1971 to back her case.

Banggarma named Malaysia Islamic Welfare Organisation (Perkim) president Dr Mahathir Mohamed, Perkim representative Raimi Abdullah, Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Council (Mainpp) and Penang City Kadi in the suit.

banggarma convertion suit 231209Gooi said Dr Mahathir and Raimi were named as respondents in the suit because of Perkim's alleged involvement in converting Banggarma 20 years ago.

Banggarma also wants the High Court to order the National Registration Department to cancel her identity card which carries a Muslim identity and issue her a fresh identity card with her Hindu identity.

'Unlawful from the start'

Without a Hindu identity card, Banggarma is unable to register her marriage to Sockalingam in 2000.

Gooi said under Article 12.4 of the Federal Constitution, a minor could only be converted to another religion with consent of the person's parents or guardian.

"It's unconstitutional and unlawful to convert a minor without parents or guardian's consent," he said, and added that this was a case of involuntary conversion of a person to Islam.

NONE"Banggarma is seeking to nullify the conversion, which was unlawful from the very start," said Gooi (right).

Banggarma claimed that she was unwittingly converted to Islam, together with several other minor inmates, while she was placed under the care of welfare home, Rumah Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Taman Bakti, Kepala Batas.

However, the welfare department claimed that the housewife was converted to Islam when she was one-year-old by her natural parents - plantation worker B Subramaniam and Latchumy Ramadu.

The department claimed that the conversion was done on Nov 30, 1983 in Rompin, Pahang.

In response, counsel Gooi argued that the welfare department claim was "inconsistent and contradictory" as to the contents of the conversion certificate issued to Banggarma in 1989.

Gooi, who is also PKR Kedah Youth deputy chief, said his client decided to go ahead with the court action after she had exhausted all diplomatic channels to find an amicable solution to her predicament.

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Today’s Indian Demolishment: Cowshed, cemetary and estate workers houses

Today’s Indian Demolishment: Cowshed, cemetary and estate workers houses

This morning alone three demolishments have been scheduled by the Malay-sian authorities against the Indians follows:-

1) Shanmugam the third generation Indian cowherd’s farm with no alternative land given is scheduled to be demolished this morning by UMNOs’ DBKL. This is despite HRP having formally applied on Shanmugam’s for a farm land from the Prime Minister as has been given out liberally to almost all the needy malay muslims.

2) The demolishment of scores of former Indian plantation workers houses at Bukit Jalil, Wilayah Perseketuan by UMNO’a DBKL despite UMNO’s Plantation Workers Housing scheme that was denied to these former plantation workers.

3) The demolishment of the Hindu cemetary at Ladang Batu Pekaka, Kuala Ketil, Kedah by the PAS “for all muslims” state government and with no protection by UMNO’s Kedah police. This does not happen to a muslim or Chinese cemetary. The Indian hindus are soft targets.

All in UMNOs’ One Malaysia and silently watched over if not also by PKR, DAP and PAS.

P. Uthayakumar

Fear of superior BN machinery caused third vote rejection

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) officials had raised concerns that even Kota Baru in the PAS stronghold state of Kelantan could fall into the hands of Barisan Nasional (BN) if local council elections were restored.

These concerns caused PR to water down its commitment to restore local council elections should the fledgling coalition take federal power.

PR officials from DAP, PAS and PKR who spoke to The Malaysian Insider confirmed the coalition's technical committee, responsible for putting together its common platform, had grappled at length with the issue amid fears that the BN machinery, which they considered far superior to that of PR’s, would grab the lion's share of local council seats.

And in doing so, it was felt that BN could cause problems even for the administration of PR-held states.

These "tactical considerations" were understood to have been brought up by PAS.

"In terms of resources, certain quarters fear that they will not be able to compete with the BN machinery and major cities within PR-controlled states," said one senior PR leader.

"One of the major concerns raised during PR's secretariat meeting on this issue is that Kota Baru will fall into BN hands," he added.

The fall of Kota Baru — the administrative capital of PAS-ruled Kelantan — into their political rivals' hands would be disastrous for the party, it was argued.

Another senior leader from PKR concurred with this tactical view, saying that in Selangor itself the pact faced various technical problems pertaining to the third vote.

"In principle I will tell you that nobody in PR disagrees with the view that the third vote should be implemented."

The senior leader explained that there was a pervasive fear that BN would have the upper hand should the third vote be restored, given their superior resources and also the fact that civil servants within local councils "are tied to the BN-led federal government".

Another problem PR is facing, said the PKR leader, is with how the municipalities are carved out.

PR-led state governments are losing out to the BN-led federal government in terms of cash and while maintaining municipalities should be done by local councils, the federal government is also pouring in money into them in a bid to woo voters.

"So our supporters on the ground feel that we often lose out to BN. While we struggle to maintain the big municipalities with our limited resources, they can easily pour in cash," said the leader.

Karpal writes to A-G, seeks authority to prosecute Lingam

By G Manimaran - The Malaysian Insider

Karpal may only prosecute Lingam if the A-G authorises him to do so. — file pic

PETALING JAYA, Dec 23 — Veteran lawyer Karpal Singh, who had previously urged the Attorney-General’s Chambers to authorise him to prosecute Datuk VK Lingam on behalf of the government, today voiced his intentions to meet with Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to discuss the issue further, via an open letter.

Karpal also wrote that, should he be appointed to conduct the prosecution against Lingam, he would do so on a pro bono (free of charge) basis.

“I am writing to you (Gani) with the hope that you will issue the necessary authorisation letter for me to proceed.

“If necessary, I am ready to meet with you to discuss in detail why it is imperative that Lingam be prosecuted and for you to issue the requisite authorisation,” Karpal wrote in his letter to Gani.

“Please respond as soon as possible,” ended the two-page missive dated today.

Before this, Karpal had accused the government of besmirching the honour of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong through its failure to act against Lingam despite the strong recommendation to do so by the Royal Commission which had investigated the “Lingam tapes” scandal.

Karpal’s offer to run the prosecution came as a response to a challenge from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, prosecute Lingam himself since he felt so strongly on the issue. Nevertheless, the necessary authorisation from the A-G’s Chambers has not been forthcoming.

Nazri has said that he would advise the A-G to issue the said letter so that Karpal may begin with the prosecution.

Lingam had been implicated in the judge-fixing scandal after a video recording of him apparently negotiating the appointment of judges was released to the public. The video subsequently became the centre of an investigation by a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Last week, Nazri had told The Malaysian Insider that the matter had been forwarded to the A-G for further consideration.

“I have informed the A-G about this and it is up to him to make his decision,” said Nazri.

In his letter today, Karpal stated that Nazri had declared in Parliament last week that the matter of issuing the authorisation letter was in the A-G’s hand.

But he cast doubt on Nazri’s sincerity in advising Gani to issue the letter as he had claimed.

“As such, I am writing to seek the issuance to the said authorisation to me as it is a matter of public importance,” Karpal wrote, before reiterating that the Section 379 of the Criminal Procedure Code makes an allowance for the A-G to produce this authorisation.

Apcet II raiders repent and relieved by court decision

Saifudin feels a sense of huge relief. — File pic

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — Two PKR leaders, who were part of an unruly Umno Youth mob that stormed the Asia-Pacific Conference on East Timor II (Apcet II) in 1996, say they feel relief after a court awarded damages yesterday to 29 participants of the conference who were arrested by the police.

Saifudin Nasution and Datuk Johari Abdul are now PKR supreme council members. In 1996, they were part of a group of Umno Youth leaders who disrupted Apcet II. The police subsequently arrested the participants of the conference instead.

Today, they both claimed to The Malaysian Insider that they had stormed Apcet II on the instructions of the then-Deputy Home Minister Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayub and then-Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, who is now Defence Minister.

They also denied Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was then the deputy prime minister, had any role in the storming of the conference.

Saifuddin, who was then Umno Youth secretary, said yesterday's High Court decision had exonerated him from his guilt over his role in the raid.

"Personally, I feel a sense of huge relief. After 10 years of court proceedings, it is finally over. Now, I would take the approach of looking forward and not look back," he said.

Saifuddin, who is Machang MP and elections director for his party, was the ace for the plaintiffs in the Apcet II trial.

He had testified in court that the raid was instructed by the late Megat Junid, whom Saifuddin alleged had also instructed the police to back the raiders.

The High Court, however, dismissed the involvement of Megat Junid in the incident.

Another former Umno Youth leader who also took part in the storming was Johari, who, like Saifuddin, has turned against their former party and joined the opposition.

Johari was in the Umno Youth mob which stormed Apcet II. — File pic

Johari, now the MP for Sungai Petani, told The Malaysian Insider that he too felt relieved by the High Court decision.

But Johari said it was important for him to stress that those behind the raid must be held accountable for their actions.

"It was Megat and then Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who instructed us to storm the conference.

"But I remember that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was the deputy prime minister at the time, called us and told us to 'stop this nonsense at once'. It is important to put this on record," said the PKR leader.

Speaking on the incident itself, Johari said even though he was among the mob, just like the Apcet II plaintiffs, he too felt that the police had acted beyond their powers when they made the arrests.

Both Saifuddin and Johari have now become close friends and comrades of some of those arrested at the conference, including current PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa and strategic director Tian Chua.

"This court decision will act as a closure to this episode for me," said Saifuddin.

Not all judges are slime-balls and scumbags

How many of you remember what happened almost 14 years ago back in 1996? Some of you were probably too young then. Well, in 1996, a very brave judge exposed the serious corruption in the Malaysian Judiciary and was eventually forced to resign for this ‘crime’. Yes, even back in 1996 the whistleblower and not the criminal gets punished. Anyway, for those ‘not around’ in 1996 and who may have missed the fireworks, today, Malaysia Today will take you down memory lane.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Courting Controversy

A flurry of questions about Malaysian justice

By Roger Mitton, Asiaweek, July 1996

THE MALAYSIAN JUDICIARY IS in a state of crisis. In the recent past, several court decisions have provoked allegations of interference. Government leaders felt obliged to try to quell the unease; Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad himself cautioned judges about associating with businessmen. On July 1, in an unprecedented move, a High Court justice, Syed Ahmad Idid, resigned after publishing a 33-page pamphlet accusing colleagues on the country's highest benches of corruption, abuse of power and personal misconduct.

Last week Attorney-General Mohtar Abdullah revealed that police and the Anti-Corruption Agency had questioned 12 top judges, including Chief Justice Eusoff Chin, and had examined their assets in light of the pamphlet. It contained 112 allegations: 39 charges of corruption, 21 of abuse of power, and 52 of misconduct, immorality or other indiscretions. There were claims of payments of RM 50,000 ($20,000), with recipients graduating to taking millions from named business entities.

The AG said police found the judges clean; he described the accusations against them as "highly seditious, defamatory and derisive." But he was not prosecuting Idid, whom he did not name in his statement. The judge's resignation, Mohtar explained, was sufficient punishment. The matter was closed, he added: "I hope the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary will not be doubted henceforth." Chief Justice Eusoff echoed the AG's position.

No dice. The government-aligned domestic media, including the influential vernacular press, carried comments critical of the AG's handling of the matter. Some critics saw it as an attempt to skirt the concerns raised by Idid. "The judiciary must be clean -- and must be seen to be clean," said government MP Fauzi Rahman. "I'm glad the CJ says it is clean. On whether it is seen to be clean, I don't want to comment." Lawyer and legislator Khaled Nordin, also of the dominant UMNO party, declared: "To sweep things under the carpet like this will only make matters worse." Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang added: "The public reaction has been one of widespread disbelief and dismay. It has not restored confidence in the judiciary, but has further undermined it."

Of the ex-justice's charges, Lim says: "We want to see how they are found to be untrue. Idid is generally respected by the bar, so the question is: why did he feel impelled to author such a pamphlet?" Mohtar said the judge made a full statement explaining his reasons, but that it could not be made public. In parliament, a request by Lim for an emergency debate on the accusations against the judiciary was rejected. For its part, the Bar Council called for an urgent "independent Royal Commission to look into the administration of justice and propose, if need be, radical reform." Mahathir said there was no need for a further inquiry since the allegations had been found to be false.

The issue, however, continues to reverberate in the legal fraternity. Bar Council chairman Hendon Mohamed says: "We have always believed [the pamphlet] was the work of more than one person." Idid, asserts lawyer and opposition MP Karpal Singh, "is just the fall guy. Obviously, he was pressured to resign." The judge has vanished; his family says he has gone abroad, the local press reports that he left for London on July 2.

"Poison-pen letters" are common in Malaysia and tend to be quickly -- and rightly -- dismissed as malicious nonsense. But Idid's missive was different. Like some epistolary neutron bomb, its shock waves are still causing casualties, partly because it appeared amid mounting concern over some judges. Malaysian lawyer Param Cumaraswamy, who is also the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, says: "There was already public disquiet about the judiciary well before this letter."

The concern arose over several judgments, culminating in the Ayer Molek Rubber Co. share dispute. In that complex commercial case, the second-ranked Court of Appeal called a lower court's decision "an injustice perpetrated by a court of law." But the nation's highest bench, the Federal Court, overruled the appeal chamber and berated it for "bringing the administration of justice into disrepute."

Mahathir pacified the quarrel, but the damage was done. "The affair badly affected public confidence in the judiciary," says former MP and lawyer Wee Choo Keong. Param adds, echoing others in the legal profession: "That case brought to the surface allegations about some business quarters influencing the system of justice."

Matters cooled off briefly -- until Idid's pamphlet appeared. Judicial practice seems set to remain a big issue despite the AG's statement clearing the 12 judges. A flurry of defamation charges made by tycoon Vincent Tan and lawyer V.K. Lingam (both named in Idid's pamphlet and involved in the Ayer Molek case) will further stir the controversy. The two are suing, among others, a senior member of the bar, Tommy Thomas, and a leading law firm, Skrine & Co.

If these allegations reach court, they may again call into question the decision not to prosecute Idid. Statements cited in the defamation charges, which claim $144 million in damages, appear less inflammatory than those in the judge's pamphlet. For his part, Idid told Asiaweek he may write a book about the whole affair.

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Chief Justice says 'Flying Letter' issue closed

The issue of the anonymous letter written by former High Court judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid Syed Abdullah which alleged corruption in the Judiciary is closed and need not be mentioned again, said Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.

He said all necessary action on the "flying letter", which was written 10 years ago, had been taken and it was over.

"I don't know about this case. It happened a long time ago but I believe all the necessary action had been taken by the parties involved," he told reporters here Friday.

He said he was told that the investigation was over and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Aziz had also told him that the case was closed.

However, he said, anyone with information on wrongdoings by judges should come out in the open to give evidence instead of writing "flying letters".

He also said a proposal by the Bar Council to set up a royal commission to investigate the allegations of corruption in the Judiciary was unnecessary.

The Chief Justice recently revealed that he had received several anonymous letters that accused some judges of being corrupt. – Bernama, 23 June 2006

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I’ll do it again, says ex-judge Syed Idid who blew whistle on corruption

Former High Court judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid, who resigned after a 33-page letter on corruption in the judiciary was circulated 11 years ago, said yesterday he would “do it again, but differently.”

“But I want to clear something up: I did not distribute the letter to the public.

“I sent it to seven people and one of them must have printed copies and distributed them,” he said at a public lecture titled Addressing Corruption in Malaysia organised by the International Institute of Public Policy and Management at Universiti Malaya.

Syed Ahmad said this when asked whether he would do the same today if he were still a judge.

“I was trying to get the Government to realise there was a problem and the need to address it.”

“Life has been hard (since his resignation) but at least I’m still alive unlike in some other countries where informers are killed,” said Syed Ahmad, who made it public last year that he was the author of the letter.

In 1996, Syed Ahmad resigned and there was no prosecution.

Although he was never officially identified as the author, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, then Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, had told Parliament: “Everyone already knows that only one judge has resigned.”

Asked later at a press conference how he would do things differently since there are still no laws today to protect whistleblowers or for the public to have access to information that could substantiate allegations of corruption, particularly in light of the authorities maintaining that his allegations had been investigated and proven untrue, Syed Ahmad said: “If that’s what they say, I can’t say anything more. The government machinery is very strong.”

He commended Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the government’s campaign to combat corruption. – The Star, 23 May 2007

Umno masih bermain dengan perkauman

(Harakah Daily) - Perjuangan Umno Pulau Pinang disifatkan masih berlegar dalam kitaran perkauman apabila membangkitkan perbalahan dalam isu perebutan jawatan Pengerusi Barisan Nasional (BN) di negeri itu.

Naib Presiden PAS, Datuk Mahfuz Omar ketika diminta mengulas perkara itu berkata, jawatan itu tidak membawa sebarang makna kepada Umno tidak seperti mana jawatan Ketua Menteri yang mengetuai pentadbiran negeri itu.

Mahfuz yang juga Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena turut mempertikaikan dakwaan pemimpin-pemimpin Umno Pulau Pinang yang menuntut jawatan itu hanya kerana kemenangan mereka dalam pilihan raya yang lalu.

Tindakan pemimpin Umno di negeri itu dilihatnya cuba meraih sokongan pengundi melayu yang makin terhakis kepada parti itu kebelakangan ini.

“Saya hairan kenapa tiba-tiba jawatan Pengerusi BN itu yang menjadi keutamaan mereka setelah BN gagal di negeri itu, kenapa tidak tuntut jawatan Ketua Menteri ketika mana mereka mempunyai majoriti dalam pilihan raya dulu.

"Sepatutnya Umno memberi keutamaan kepada isu yang lebih besar, bukannya mencetuskan isu remeh yang sering berkisar dengan isu perkauman seperti ini," katanya pada sidang media dipejabatnya semalam.

Katanya, perjuangan yang ditegakkan Umno di negeri itu disifatnya hanya lebih untuk menegakkan kepentingan politik perkauman mereka sahaja dan bukannya untuk kepentingan rakyat di negeri itu.

"Tidak ada apa yang nak direbutkan, Pengerusi BN Negeri itu hanya jawatan kecil sahaja, di peringkat nasional yang Umno pegang pun banyak masalah dan tidak boleh diselesaikan, inikan pula hanya jawatan di peringkat negeri,” katanya.

Mahatir dan Pak Lah, kedua-dua perlu disiasat

(Harakah Daily) - Naib Presiden PAS, Datuk Mahfuz Omar mahu kedua-dua mantan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr mahathir Mohamad dan Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dihadapkan ke Suruhanjaya Diraja untuk disiasat berhubung dakwaan penyelewengan wang sewaktu pemerintahan zaman masing-masing.

Mahfuz yang juga Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena berkata, satu Suruhanjaya Diraja harus ditubuhkan bagi menyiasat dakwaan itu kerana siasatan melalui Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) dan Polis Diraja Malaysia tidak dapat dijamin ketelusannya.

Beliau berkata demikian kepada Harakahdaily ketika diminta mengulas berhubung dakwaan Tun Mahathir bahawa Pak Lah telah menghabiskan sebanyak RM270 bilion dalam masa lima tahun untuk kegunaan peribadi beliau.

Namun katanya, apa yang berlaku sekarang ini, kedua-duanya saling tuduh menuduh berhubung jumlah yang dihabiskan pada zaman masing-masing.

Mahathir juga sebelum ini didakwa menghabiskan 100 bilion dalam masa 23 tahun pemerintahannya.

"Kedua-dua mereka harus dihadapkan ke muka pengadilan iaitu perlu kepada satu proses penyiasatan yang telus ke atas kedua-dua bekas perdana menteri itu. Ianya perlu kepada satu penubuhan Suruhanjaya Diraja.Bagi saya kedua-duanya ada masalah dan mereka perlu menghadapi satu siasatan dan siasatan itu perlu telus, bukan polis, bukan SPRM," katanya.

Menurut Mahfuz juga, jika Suruhanjaya Diraja tidak dapat ditubuhkan, satu jawatankuasa siasatan di peringkat Parlimen harus ditubuhkan dn laopran siasatan berkenaan diletakkan di bawah biang kuasa Speaker Dewan Rakyat untuk dibahaskan," katanya lagi.

"Paling kurang pun satu jawatankuasa siasatan peringkat parlimen yang dianggotai pelbagai latar belakang, diletakkan di bawah parlimen dan laporan (siasatan) dihantar ke parlimenuntuk diperiksa dan dibahaskan," tambahnya.

Mahfuz juga menyifatkan kedua-dua mantan Perdana Menteri itu sebagai penyamun yang saling menuduh sedangkan kedua-duanya terlibat dalam salah guna kuasa dan penyelewengan wang rakyat.

"Sekarang ni penyamun sedang tuduh penyamun.Seorang kata hang yang samun lebih, seorang lagi kata hang yang samun lebih.Dua-dua pun penyamun.

"Kalau Tun Mahathir kata Pak Lah habiskan 28 bilion, sudah tentu beliau (Tun Mahathir) habiskan lagi banyak sebab beliau 22 tahun memerintah berbanding Pak Lah yang hanya lebih kurang 4 tahun," ujarnya.

Mahfuz turut menegaskan, siasatan terhadap projek pembinaan rumah Pak Lah yang berjumlah RM12 juta juga perlu disegerakan kerana pembinaanya dibuat sewaktu Perdana Menteri sekarang, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Ini katanya membuktikan Najib juga terlibat dalam penyelewenagn dana awam.

"Siasatan ini juga termasuk rumah Pak Lah RM12 juta.Tapi rumah Pak Lah itu dibina di zaman Najib. maksudnya dalam pengetahuan Najib." katanya.

FORM ROYAL PROBE ON DR M'S SQUANDERING


1. I welcome Lim Kit Siang's proposal for Najib to set up a royal commission on whether I burned RM100 billion on grandiose projects and corruption during my 22-year reign.

2. Such a commission should not be made up of Government nominees but should have as members impeccable people including foreigners and members of Transparency International.

3. The commission should not confine to one Prime Minister only but to Tun Abdullah Badawi's regime.

4. It should include how RM270 billion of Petronas money paid during Abdullah's five-year term was spent; what projects were financed by this huge fund and the cost of all these projects.

5. It should include how much money was lost due to the cancellation of the crooked bridge and the Johore Baru to Padang Besar railway.

6. What is the cost over-run in the construction of the Bakun Hydroelectric project.

7. The financing of the second Penang Bridge and the procedure followed when giving out this contract.

8. I also agree with Lim Kit Siang that the investigation would reflect Najib's commitment to "combating corruption".

9. In order that the enquiry by the commission would be successful, Government must give the undertaking to give full access to the commission of all the documents and accounts of the Government over the period 1981-2009. There should be no cover-up of any kind.

10. Barry Wain must provide documentary proof of any sum that he alleged I had burned.

11. I will co-operate fully with the commission.

12. Depending upon the result of the commission, I reserve the right to sue Barry Wain, Lim Kit Siang and Malaysiakini.com for libel for a sum to be disclosed later.

13. If the Government is witholding the book: "Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times", I would request that the book be released forthwith. I am not in need of Government protection.

“Why are Chinese [Malaysians] dangerous?”

By Shanon Shah
thenutgraph.com


Arif Johny Abdullah

ARIF Johny Abdullah, 34, attended his Biro Tata Negara (BTN) programme back in the 1990s when he was in secondary school. He has blogged about his experiences at the camp, including an escape from camp grounds to find replacements for participants who had broken their eggs.

Arif is a Sino-Kadazan from Sabah and officially converted to Islam in his early teens. He tells The Nut Graph that his interesting position as an East Malaysian bumiputera might be why he resisted most of what was taught during the BTN programme. He is now an operation manager at a company that manages cybercaf├ęs.

The Nut Graph sat down with Arif in Cheras on 21 Dec 2009 for this final instalment, for 2009, in our series of interviews on the BTN blues.

TNG: When and where did you attend your BTN programme?

Arif Johny Abdullah: I know it was in Perak, and I know we passed by Kellie's Castle to get there. Tapi nama penuh kem saya tak ingat. I think it was in 1994. I was in Sekolah Menengah Seri Perak, Parit Buntar, and I think I was in Form Four.

How long did the programme last?

Itulah, saya pun tak ingat sangat. It was definitely not longer than five days. I think it was four days and three nights.

How many participants went for the programme?

I would say 150 to 200 students, boys and girls, from secondary schools throughout the Kerian district. Sebenarnya, the programme was meant for students from Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM), now Universiti Teknologi Mara, Manjung. I remember this because (former Prime Minister Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) was supposed to come and speak to them. But then Mahathir had something to do in Langkawi at that time.

aeroplane
Makes you special.... (source: morguefile.com)
So they postponed the orientation for the ITM students and substituted the programme with us instead. We were told the ITM students were special, because they were going to "fly" (go to university overseas), but we were told we were special too, I don't know why.

The participants semuanya Melayu and Muslim. I was considered Malay (Malaysian) too, even though I don't consider myself Malay.

What about the trainers?

There were two groups of trainers. There were the facilitators who were there watching over us every day, around 15 to 20 of them. Some of them looked like former police or army personnel.

And then the second group consisted of the external speakers who came in to give us lectures. There were around five of them, including lecturers from public universities, I can't remember which ones, and the former speaker of the Dewan Rakyat. All the trainers were Malay (Malaysian) Muslims, and most of them were men.

What was a typical day like during the programme?

Biasalah, we all had to get up before subuh (dawn prayers). On one of the nights, we had to stay up and do qiamullail (doctrinally, these are optional night-time prayers). The strange thing is that one of the days of the camp was a Friday, and we didn't go to the mosque for (obligatory) prayers. Maybe they were trying to isolate us that strictly, saya tak tahu.


Warisan

The activities, macam biasa — lectures, group activities, and don't forget the singing. We all had to learn that song, Warisan, you know? It's a very sweet song, tapi I realised its true meaning (about Malay supremacy).

They turned off the lights in the room and taught us the song. It was very psychological. After singing the song, some of the participants started crying, especially the girls.

Was there anything else about the programme that was racist? Was there opposition-bashing?

Of course. At that time, PAS wasn't as strong as it is now, but they were still accused of ajaran sesat. The speakers said PAS was using religion to gain power, and it was mixing religion and politics. DAP also of course kena — apparently it was anti-Melayu because of its "Malaysian Malaysia" slogan. At that time, I didn't even know what the DAP was.

During one of the lectures, one of the external speakers asked us, "Do you know why Chinese (Malaysians) are dangerous?" He continued, "The Chinese (Malaysians) in Melaka bury their weapons in one of their cemeteries, and are waiting for the day when they can gali these weapons and lawan 'us' for real." Of course, I don't have a voice recording of this or anything, but I remember it very clearly.

How did you feel when you heard all of this?

kampung house
"I don't equate kampung culture with Malay
culture" (© sophokles / Wiki Commons)

Conflicted, of course. I had never considered myself Malay, even though I'm familiar with Malay culture and kampung culture. I don't equate kampung culture with Malay culture. For example, when my friends taught me how they eat with their fingers and so on. To me, that's cara orang kampung, that's all.

But I was lucky because I wasn't alone in feeling this way during the programme. I had Malay (Malaysian) friends who were angry, too. They were not exactly angry about the content at that point, but more because we were all forced to attend against our will. You know, we were only told the day before we went that we needed to attend the programme. That was during the weekend, and my friends and I were all hostel boarders. Our plans for the weekend, including those who wanted to balik kampung, were ruined just like that.

So how did you change after the camp?


Shamsiah Fakeh's memoirs were published
in 2004

I don't know, but maybe this experience aroused my curiosity and has caused me to fight back until now. I was an ordinary student before attending the camp. In school, orang yang kami tak suka kami akan momok-momokkan by calling them Chin Peng or Shamsiah Fakeh. But I don't know, maybe BTN changed me and made me want to find out more about them.

I still did not consider myself Malay even after attending the programme. I mean, at that time I didn't know what "racism" was, I just knew that I didn't like what was being taught during the programme.

And like I said, the good thing is there were those of us who didn't agree with the camp and stuck together. We couldn't fight back openly, we still had to mengalah in front of the facilitators. But we stuck together even after returning to school. I ended up getting involved in the Reformasi movement during the 1999 general election. And when I voted in March 2008, I voted for Dr Lo' Lo' Mohamad Ghazali from PAS.

Do you think the programme had anything good about it?

The group activities, the marching drills, the motivational talks — these were actually good. But then, the facilitators would justify every single activity by saying, "This is why Malay (Malaysians) must work hard, otherwise 'they' will rob us of this country." The activities were good, but their motivations were racist.

MMA Slams 1Malaysia Clinics

From The Sun Daily

by Meena L. Ramadas

PETALING JAYA (Dec 22, 2009) : The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has criticised the government’s decision to implement 1Malaysia clinics which are to be manned by medical assistants and nurses, calling it “wasteful” and “illegal”.

“The MMA believes such clinics in urban areas would be redundant and shortchange the rakyat,” its president Dr David K.L. Quek said in a statement today.

“Furthermore, getting unregistered medical doctors to man these clinics is also wrong and undermines the healthcare service which leads to a possible poorer standard of care,” he said.

Quek said the employment of medical assistants and nurses to man clinics is against the Medical Act 1971 which prohibits medical assistants from prescribing “any more than some very simple medicines”.

Last week, Bernama quoted Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai as saying the clinics would be allowed to prescribe medicine for minor illnesses like fever, cough or minor cuts and could also handle referral cases.

A total of 50 1Malaysia community clinics will begin operation next month to provide basic health treatment for urban residents.

However, Quek said there are already many “under-utilised” general practitioner clinics.

He said there are many doctors in the country but they are poorly distributed.

“If the government feels the 1Malaysia clinics have to be established, the least it could do is ensure these clinics are manned by registered medical doctors,” he said.

“The standard of medical care should not be compromised.”

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak recently announced an allocation of RM10 million under Budget 2010 for the clinics

Zaid: Pakatan Perlu Pulihkan ‘Maruah’ Politik Negara


Dari Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Dis 23 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) perlu memperjuangkan semua isu dan kepentingan rakyat tanpa mengira bangsa dan agama bagi mengembalikan maruah kepada perjuangan politik negara ini.

Bekas menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (gambar) yang kini bersama Parti Keadilan Rakyat, salah satu komponen PR berkata, cabaran ikatan itu sekarang ialah membuktikan muafakat sejati di antara pelbagai kaum.

Dengan merujuk kepada kejayaan penganjuran konvensyen sulung PR Sabtu lalu, Zaid berkata PR perlu menjalankan pentadbiran negeri serta negara yang adil dan saksama.

“Inilah sebenarnya cabaran yang menanti kita semua,” kata beliau dalam blognya.

Beliau menambah setiap kaum di negara ini juga perlu membuktikan bahawa mereka tidak hanya memperjuangkan kepentingan kaum masing-masing.

“Orang-orang Cina dalam Pakatan Rakyat mestilah menunjukkan bahawa kita bukan hanya mementingkan isu orang-orang Cina.

“Orang-orang India bukan sahaja memperjuangkan isu sekolah Tamil. Orang-orang Melayu pula tidak harus terus-terusan memperkatakan tentang kelemahan mereka serta meminta pertolongan ekonomi.

“Kita dalam Pakatan Rakyat mestilah memperjuangkan semua isu dan kepentingan rakyat tanpa mengira bangsa dan agama. Kita mesti mengembalikan maruah kepada perjuangan politik Malaysia,” kata beliau lagi.

Zaid menambah apa yang bakal menjadi cabaran kepada PR bukanlah menangani dakyah Umno semata-mata tetapi seperti kata Ketua Pemuda PAS Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi, “kita jangan jadikan konvesyen itu sebagai satu kejayaan satu hari sahaja.”

“Ia perlu disusuli dengan kegiatan bersama dalam usaha bersungguh meyakinkan rakyat bahawa kita akan laksanakan janji tersebut.

“Kita perlu menunjukkan kepada rakyat bahawa kita membawa mesej serta fahaman politik yang berbeza,” katanya.

Beliau menambah, Dasar PR sendiri yang dipersetujui tiga parti komponennya merupakan satu paradigma baru dalam politik negara.

“Kejayaan konvesyen itu memang tidak boleh dinafikan. Sudah tentu Umno dan media miliknya akan terus memperlekehkan usaha murni kita dan mengatakan itu semua cakap-cakap kosong sahaja dan tidak boleh dilaksanakan.

“Ada pula yang berkata, tidak ada perkara baru yang diketengahkan. Ada pula menuduh PAS menggadaikan perjuangan Islamnya. Inilah cara mereka yang biasa kita dengar; merendah-rendah, menghina dan menidakkan usaha baik orang lain.

“Malahan, mereka juga tidak malu mengaku bahawa mereka ini menghayati ajaran dan amalan Islam,” katanya.

Pun begitu, kata beliau, yang paling ketara dan jelas ialah PR telah pun sebulat suara bersatu untuk berpegang teguh kepada empat perkara pokok teras.

Dr Rosli Allani Resigns As Kelantan PAS Youth Information Chief

KOTA BAHARU, (Bernama) -- A day after being ordered by the court to live separately from his second wife as their marriage was in doubt, Kelantan Pas Youth information head Dr Rosli Allani Abdull Kadir, on Tuesday announced his decision to resign from all party posts with immediate effect.

Dr Rosli Allani, 35, a former special officer to Kelantan State Executive Councillor Datuk Husam Musa, who had called for the immediate resignation of Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat's son-in-law as the chief executive officer of the Kelantan Menteri Besar Incorporated, said, however, that he would continue to be a Pas member.

"Although I'm convinced I have done no wrong, for the sake of protecting the image, integrity and public perception of Pas, particularly to avoid the party from being linked to my personal problem, I will resign from all posts in the party with immediate effect," he said at a press conference.

He said his resignation letter would be sent to the Kelantan Pas Youth movement soon.

Yesterday, Dr Rosli Allani was ordered by the Syariah High Court here to live separately (murafakah) from his second wife, Ilyani Mohd Nor, 30, temporarily as their marriage was in doubt because it had engaged the services of a syndicate in Subang, Selangor, in December last year.

He said he had informed Kelantan Pas Youth head, Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman, of his intention.

He also asked the newspapers that had carried news about his personal problems to make a public apology within three days to avoid legal action being taken against them.

Dr Rosli Allani said he had not decided whether to continue his career as a medical practitioner or to venture into other fields.

The good, the bad and the new year

The Star
Musings by Marina Mahathir

Despite the nasty and horrid things that the year witnessed, there is hope yet for us yet as the people become more aware of their rights and are willing to stand up for them.

SINCE this is my last column for the year, I thought I’d do my usual list exercise. It has been a very eventful year to say the least so I thought I would list out what I’ve been happy about and what I haven’t been happy about this year.

Let’s start off with Things I Wasn’t Happy About:

1. The way some people behave so badly with such impunity, as if they know they can do anything and get away with it. Top of the list are those “cow-head protestors” as well as their brethren who declared Malays “first-class citizens” and all others, “second-class citizens”. No throwing the book of sedition at them, not even a sharp rap on the knuckles?

2. The shrinking of public space for debate and discussion especially on matters of religion and race. If anyone tries to give alternative viewpoints, they are immediately shouted down or a police report is made charging them with everything from insulting God, religion, the Sultan and whoever has the thinnest skin. And we call ourselves a modern nation?

3. The refusal to get out from under the cloak of denial on all social problems. If there is a problem among our people, the answer is always more religion, particularly the form that refuses to entertain any discussion on the subject. Somehow we expect the matter to disappear just like that. Unfortunately, they fester and will ooze slime endlessly whether we like it or not. This would include issues like drug use, Mat Rempit and incest.

4. Related to that is the apparent wish that the Kartika problem will just go away. It is clear now that nobody really wants to whip her. But unless someone comes out and clearly states that she’s been pardoned, her life will remain in suspension. There is nothing just and fair about leaving her in abeyance like that. Some closure for her is needed.

5. In conjunction with that is the apparent belief that the only good Muslim is the one that wants to be punished while those who question injustice are painted as disbelievers. At the same time, those who are disobeying the courts, such as the men who are refusing to pay court-ordered maintenance for their children, are never painted as bad irresponsible Muslims. Are we naming and shaming the wrong people?

6. The complete lack of common sense on the part of some of our leaders is a cause for concern. If there are two groups at odds with one another, you don’t sit down with just one and then declare their grievances are justified. Nor do you express sympathy for someone who’s been responsible for many violent deaths and say that you could have rehabilitated them. Even sillier, you don’t try to equate the “pain” a chair might feel upon being whipped with what a human being might feel.

7. While some leaders talk about eliminating corruption, most remain blind to obvious questions, such as, how come a public official can afford a RM25mil mansion? No wonder cynicism reigns!

8. The increasing racist tone by which we refer to foreigners within our midst, especially those who are from countries less developed than ours. Racist monikers may not be okay for our own people but apparently okay for others. Also despicable are the sweeping generalisations about foreigners as criminals, conmen and prostitutes.

9. The constant politicisation of everything. Really, neither politics nor politicians are the most important things in the world.

Things I Have Been Happy About

1. The increase in the number of people who have become more aware of the issues surrounding them and are keen to express their opinion on it, mostly online.

2. The many young people who are not only increasingly aware of issues around them but will also take action to effect some change. The most impressive is the MyConstitution campaign to educate the public about our ‘Document of Destiny’ but also other smaller projects such as Fast for the Nation which does more for unity than any government project could.

3. The effectiveness of social media especially Facebook and Twitter in connecting like-minded people together so that they can share experiences, learn from one another and get organised. As always young people are way ahead of adults, especially those in government.

4. The fact that we can talk about human rights without the ground opening up and swallowing us.

5. The continued belief in this country, despite all the nastiness, and the willingness to stay and fight gives hope.

There’s probably more I could be happy about if I thought hard enough but the horrid things somehow come quicker to mind.

Whatever comes along, things must get better in 2010. Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Muslim and Gregorian New Year!

Malaysian Bar ‘disappointed’ by court’s decision

The Star
By Joshua Foong

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Bar has expressed its disappointment with the Court of Appeal’s ruling last week that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) can question witnesses beyond office hours.

The ruling last week overturned the High Court’s earlier decision that the MACC could only question witnesses during office hours.

Bar president Ragunath Kesavan described the ruling as being “inimical to the protection of witnesses,” who have the right to refuse interrogation outside office hours.

“The legislation should be interpreted in accordance with the Federal Constitution’s provisions that protect the fundamental liberties of individuals and in a manner that safeguards human rights.

“The reversal of the ruling condones the MACC’s practice of compelling witnesses to appear and be questioned for long hours that may stretch beyond office hours,” he said in a statement.

He said witnesses should be accorded the same protection and rights as accused persons, whose right to be allowed rest is guaranteed by Rule 20 of the Lock-up Rules 1953.

“It is essential that witnesses, whose testimonies are important in court hearings, to not face any actual or perceived intimidation, pressure or coercion during interrogation,” he said while urging the Government to take steps to protect the rights of witnesses.

Najib's KPIs, Jomo's warning and a film in Papan - Malaysiakini

Listen to what UN Assistant Secretary-General K S Jomo, an economist from Malaysia, has to say about the perils of financial liberalisation, as reported in theSun:

A bigger crisis awaits Malaysia if we continue on the path of financial liberalisation and fail to learn the right lessons from the last economic downturn in the late 1990s, warns an economist.

Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram, who is the assistant secretary general for Economic Development in the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said financial liberalisation, as it showed in the 1997-98 Asian crisis, is actually the “bleeding of resources from poor to rich countries” and does not lead to development.

Jomo, who was giving a public lecture titled When Will We Ever Learn? last Wednesday, explained that the last financial meltdown not only prompted some rethinking of how to “manage” financial crises but also stimulated some serious rethinking about the character of the development model in Asia.

Lessons were supposed to have been learnt and new policy and institutional frameworks were put into place to avoid another crisis, he said….

He also had harsh words about recent attempts to liberalise the local financial market, saying that it has been proven that this does not bring about development.

Instead, Jomo said, it bled out the capital resources of Third World countries.

“Half of the capital inflows in the year 2007 went to the US due to financial liberalisation,” he said, adding that it was imperative for Malaysia to start planning the real economy and not look to the US model.

“There is an urgent need for much more original and creative development policy thinking in the region,” he said, and warned that if we continue on this path (of financial liberalisation), “Malaysia’s development status target of 2020 would be delayed by a decade.”

Meanwhile, the quietness and tranquility of the century old mining town of Papan on the outskirts of Ipoh has suddenly become punctuated with the sounds of activity as a film crew prepares to shoot on location, the story of Sybil Kartigasu, the town’s very own World War II heroine, reports the Ipoh Echo in a story here.