Share |

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

When will we change?

Here are the facts:
1. Why we need 1700 temples for only 3 million Indians in Malaysia? Its does not makes sense but we still continue to build temple and fight for it. We only have 450 Tamil schools in Malaysia and its getting lesser.
2. Every Friday, temples in the cities earn minimum of $500 ($2000 per month), no electricity bill and no water bill. Tamil schools get $50 per child per year and pays electricity bill, water bill, teacher’s salary and maintenance every month.
3. Most temples in cities are renovated, air conditioned and owns a beautiful wedding hall. Tamil schools was build in 1970's and still remain the same with broken table and chairs, spoiled fan and lights, buku pinjaman thorned, bad environment for student and teachers. Have you seen one Tamil school fully air conditioned except the HM room?
4. $2 million Batu Caves Lord Muruga Statue build by Indians with donation money by Indian people, minimum $10 million spend every year during Thaipusam by devotes (this is the reason the Devotees are worse ignorant person). Why blame government for not giving allocation fund for Tamil school, why can't we just pay $1 for praying and $9 for Tamil School?
5. Minimum $200 spend by Indian alcoholics on every weekend for clubbing and entertainment. When ask for donation of $5 for Tamil School, we ran away or ignore.
6. In every Indian house there is TV, HI-FI Radio, CD/DVD player and the classic Astro. They have watched all the latest Tamil movie even it's not out in theatre yet. Our children have to get buku pinjaman, no revision book, never or maybe once been to bookstore, never encourage them to take up piano class, violin class, swimming or language class other than those offered in school. No computer at home with reason can't afford one.
These are some of the issue that we ignore and still doing it. Some of you might have considered Tamil Education is a waste of time, for the rest of Indians are we still going to ignore it or make a change?
Please don't forget that in the 80's, Chinese schools and Tamil Schools were in the same level as Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan. There were more students in Tamil Schools and the infrastructure was same for both schools.
But today, look at Chinese Schools and compare it with our Tamil Schools (sigh). Please take note that Chinese Schools most of it are 100% non-government support. For your info, our government is trying their level best to abolish these two schools, their dream are coming true for Tamil Schools but not for Chinese Schools.
If you really care, just spend 2 minutes and take a look at any Chinese Schools nearby your house. You can see the parents will be waiting in their Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, Honda and even motorbike to pick up their kids from school back home.
I have never ever seen any Indian parents with their Mercedes, BMW, Honda or Toyota waiting for their kids outside Tamil Schools. Maybe there is, we can't see them.....Invisible.
Please think.........and do something

Makkal leader: Silence is best

KUALA LUMPUR: Embattled Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party president R.S. Thanenthiran yesterday broke his silence on the call for an extraordinary general meeting, saying his deputy and secretary-general were using "jungle rule".
"Who are they to call for the EGM? Do they have the list of central committee members who support the EGM?

"If they have, show me the proof. They cannot have jungle rule."

Last week, deputy president A. Vathemurthy and party secretary-general R. Kannan said the party would hold its first EGM in 90 days to elect a new president as members felt the party was lifeless under Thanenthiran's leadership.

They said a resignation letter would be sent to Thanenthiran and the EGM would convene whether the president agreed or disagreed to step down.

The decision was made after 15 of the 27 CC members held a meeting under a canopy in front of the party headquarters in Shah Alam where three motions were passed, including the decision to hold the EGM.

Thanenthiran said the group did not follow the party constitution and he would put a stop to the problem when all CC members were in the country.

"I'm taking steps to correct the situation and will meet everyone soon. Most of the CC members are abroad and will only be back tomorrow.

"But for now, silence is the best truth," he said, adding he would not quit as it would seem like he was condoning an illegal meeting if he did.

Earlier, when contacted, Vathemurthy said the party had posted two letters and sent another two by hand to Thanenthiran's house and shop, demanding that he resign as president.

He claimed that Thanenthiran accepted one letter at his house in Penang but immediately tore it up and used vulgar words on the senders.

"He even called them dogs and told them not to come to his house," said Vathemurthy.

He said the EGM was expected to be held in February.

Thanenthiran denied receiving such a letter, saying his deputy was spreading lies.

"I have never spoken dirty words in my life. Moreover, this is my fasting period."

Obama team more closely linking al Qaeda to terror attempt

On Tuesday from Hawaii, President Obama addresses the latest developments in the failed terror attack.

On Tuesday from Hawaii, President Obama addresses
the latest developments in the failed terror attack.

Honolulu, Hawaii (CNN) -- In a marked shift from previous positions, senior Obama administration officials now say they are starting to see an al Qaeda connection to the attempted terror attack on a U.S.-bound airliner.

In the days after the failed attempt on Christmas Day, administration officials steadfastly shied away from linking the incident to the terror group and, in some cases, said there was no evidence of such a connection.

But one senior administration officials said late Tuesday that "some of the new information that we developed overnight does suggest that there was some linkage there" with al Qaeda.

The senior administration official was referring to intelligence that White House officials obtained late Monday night and then briefed President Obama about on Tuesday in a secure conference call.

The secure call, which included National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones and top homeland security adviser John Brennan, took place shortly before the president delivered public remarks suggesting there were "systemic and human failures" that prevented the government from stopping the attempted terror attack.

Without being more specific, the senior administration official said there were "bits and pieces of information in the hands of the American government" relevant to the suspect.

The official said had that info "been assessed and correlated" it could have helped "disrupt the attack" earlier in the process.

Pressed on CNN reports that the suspect's father had gone to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria to warn the U.S. government about his son's ties to extremists, and perhaps that information had not been shared throughout the government, senior administration officials refused to confirm or deny it.

The senior officials added that in the spirit of candor and transparency the president decided to unexpectedly come out a second time on Tuesday to address the American people in order to share some of this new information with them.

Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian man, is accused of attempting to detonate an explosive on an Northwest Airlines international flight as it was approaching Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day.

PAS, PKR and UMNO destroys hindu cemetery in Kedah. DAP won’t disturb Chinese cemetery in Penang.


In fact the DAP has bent backwards to protect the Chinese graves that even went beyond the Chinese cemetery boundaries and spilling onto the adjoining land (refer The Star 23/12/09 at page N16 below). But when it was the Indian Village Kg. Buah Pala this very same DAP destroyed the last traditional Indian village in Penang in October 2009 while PAS last week destroyed the local 100 over year old hindu cemetery, the last piece of history and heritage of the Indian plantation workers of Ladang Pekaka, Kuala Ketil, Kedah. And PKR destroyed the Ampang Hindu temple in early 2009. UMNO has a record of destroying one hindu temple in every week during the terror reign of former Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo (reply by Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid to ADUN for Kota Alam Shah, Maoharan Malayalam at the Selangor State Assembly early this year). And all these atrocities by UMNO, PKR, PAS and DAP done with impunity.

This is the UMNO, PKR, PAS and DAP rulers set of justice when it comes to the Indians and Hindus in Malaysia. Why the double standards?

The bottom line is the Chinese and the Malays both have the economic and political clout which the Indians don’t. So the Indians are both the soft targets and easy prey to be bullied and to be pushed about and around by both UMNO and also PKR, DAP and PAS. This is the race based political reality in UMNOs’ Malaysia vis a vis PKR DAP and PAS.

P. Uthayakumar.

29/12/09

pkr-pas

Poll shows strong Umno backing for Najib

By Leslie Lau - The Malaysian Insider
Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak appears to have won overwhelming support from his own party, with a recent poll showing 93 per cent of Umno delegates saying the country was headed in the right direction, largely because of the “quality of national leadership” and “good administration”.

A total of 95 per cent of Umno delegates surveyed also expressed satisfaction with Najib since he took over as party president. Notably, 66 per cent of party delegates polled felt that Umno had recovered from the problems that led to its poor performance in the last general election.

The results of the survey by the independent Merdeka Center, commissioned by a local research house, suggest Najib is on a much stronger footing compared with his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi prior to Election 2008 as he prepares plans to go to the polls, most likely either in 2011 or 2012.

According to a summary of the poll provided by Merdeka Center, satisfaction with the party president among delegates was very high at 95 per cent, with 60 per cent of them saying they were “very satisfied” with his performance since taking over the leadership of Umno.

"The main reason for the strong approval stems from the perceived improvement in leadership qualities," said the Merdeka Center.

Merdeka Center conducted the poll between Nov 4 and 11 of 358 Umno delegates from the most recent recent party assembly.

Coverage of the survey included at least one individual from each party division.

The poll also showed strong backing from party delegates for Najib's policies and ideas, including his 1 Malaysia concept and moves to liberalise the economy.

A total of 83 per cent supported moves to liberalise the economy while 94 per cent backed the 1 Malaysia concept.

Overwhelming backing for Najib in his policies suggests that the prime minister will not have to watch his back in pursuing reforms in government and in his party.

Crucially, the poll shows the Umno president has secured strong support from his party in facing off a strong opposition in the form of Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

The survey also found that 83 per cent agreed that “Umno should be inclusive of all Malaysians, not just Malays”. However the Merdeka Center noted that support for the idea was somewhat lower among those delegates below 30 at 77 per cent.

Notably, the poll found that 64 per cent of party delegates supported the remarks made by Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who has been the target of heavy attacks from conservatives in the party, that "Malays should break out from the siege mentality". But among younger delegates below 30, only 38 per cent supported Khairy's views.

However, the poll also found that 70 per cent of delegates agreed that "Malay rights and interests were being threatened by other ethnic groups in Malaysia". Younger delegates below 30 agreed most with this statement, with 76 per cent backing the idea.

An overwhelming number of the Umno delegates polled believed that the party's public image was generally positive, but at the same time 85 per cent felt Umno still needed to change or reform.

When asked what reforms were needed, 32 per cent said "continued improvement in party leadership qualities”, followed by 14 per cent who said “the attitude of party members”, while 12 per cent felt that party members needed to work harder to “strengthen the party”.

Only two per cent of those polled suggested “ending cronyism and nepotism” as a type of change needed by the party.

Asked about the specific problems faced by Umno, only 13 per cent of delegates felt the party was "too Malay-centric”, 27 per cent agreed that the party “favoured its own members over others”, 33 per cent agreed that it was not “taking public views seriously”, 47 per cent agreed that “money politics among office bearers” was a problem and 52 per cent agreed that there was “corruption in government”.

KL to wait for Vienna UN envoy’s contract to expire

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — The Foreign Ministry will not be taking any further action against Datuk Arshad Hussain, the diplomat who controversially voted against censuring Iran.

The envoy will remain in Vienna so he can attend to "personal matters" until further instructions from the ministry.

The Malaysian Insider has learned that the ministry has opted to wait for Arshad’s contract to run out. It is due to expire on March 8 next year. Arshad had retired last year and was given a contract extension.

The ministry will also ask the ambassador to resign from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) because he is contracted to the IAEA Board of Governors until 2011.

Arshad was recalled by the ministry after he voted against an IAEA resolution criticising Iran for ignoring UN Security Council and nuclear watchdog demands by continuing to build its nuclear enrichment programme.

Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman confirmed to The Malaysian Insider that the envoy had been recalled because "he did not follow procedures and consult the minister".

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.

The ministry’s Department of Information and Public Diplomacy (JPDA) also sent a circular to the country’s entire foreign mission that it was conducting a comprehensive report on the international media coverage on the incident.

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.

This is the second time in recent months that Malaysian officials are scrambling to minimise damage over diplomatic mistakes and gaffes.

Last month, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had praised former US President George W. Bush for his policies on free trade during the prime minister's visit to Singapore while attending the Apec leaders’ summit.

The implication, as noted by some US officials, was that in Najib's view Barack Obama was against free trade.

Government officials were forced to reassure their US counterparts that Najib did not mean any slight towards Obama.

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

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

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.

Opposition slams EC’s ‘cosmetic’ reforms

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUPMUR, Dec 30 – The Election Commission’s (EC) proposed reforms – a 24-hour cooling off period prior to polling day and three-day nomination period – got mixed reviews from politicians today.

Both recommendations are aimed at preventing violence and chaos during elections.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd, who was quoted in today’s Utusan Malaysia, said the proposals are being studied carefully before they are tabled in Parliament next year.

MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the party must study the recommendations in greater detail but in his opinion, they are unnecessary.

“The present rules are all running well. If a small minority wants to create trouble, a cooling period won’t work anyway.”

Currently the cooling off period starts from midnight of polling day while nominations have a two-hour objection period.

According to the EC this has led to clashes, during nine previous by-elections, when supporters from both parties arrive in droves in a show of force.

Chua, however, said he was not convinced that there was a need for a three-day nomination period adding that the current rules were just fine.

Umno’s Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo said he fully supported the EC recommendations.

The Selangor Opposition leader said he made the same suggestions in his blog over a year ago.

“I believe too much time and resources are being spent on crowd control during nominations.”

Besides the police, personnel from the Federal Reserve Unit and District Office have to be on standby, said Khir.

He said there would be less chaos and cost if parties were allowed to nominate their candidates on separate days before the EC declares who is eligible.

DAP’s Tony Pua said it’s impractical for EC staff to wait three days for nominations but points out the process could be divided between the morning and afternoon to keep supporters from both sides from meeting.

“As for the extended cooling off period, I don’t believe it can work.”

The PJ Utara MP points out that currently campaigning is still being carried out over the Internet or via short text messaging (SMS).

“News never stops and you cannot prevent people from campaigning via mobile phones, Youtube or e-mail.”

He also thinks the reforms are not necessary and added the EC should concentrate on cleaning up the electoral roll, ensuring fair and balanced coverage for both the government and Opposition in the mainstream media.

PKR’s election director Saifuddin Nasution said the proposals were not new.

The Machang MP said Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders who met the EC prior to the Penanti by-election had already raised both proposals.

“These are not real reforms, but cosmetic changes.”

Like Pua, he said the EC should clean up the electoral roll because issues, such as dead voters or voters who are registered in two different constituencies, keep cropping up.

“As for postal voters, the EC currently waits for the military to inform them when a soldiers retires, which takes as long as a year before names are removed from the electoral roll.”

More importantly, the EC should ensure fair reporting for all parties in the press he said.

“Our neighbours such as Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines are ahead of us because their newspapers give fair coverage to all parties but over here the EC says it’s not their responsibility.”

Saifudin adds the EC should also use permanent ink to stop individuals from voting twice.

The system was nearly implemented in the last general election but was called off four days before polling day.

Saifudin said the Inspector-General of Police, Attorney-General and Election Commissioner, in a joint press conference, said three men were arrested for trying to sabotage the system.

“However, subsequently in Parliament then-Home Minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar denied anyone was arrested while the ink, purchased at a cost of RM2 million, was destroyed.”

He adds the EC should strive to be independent and ensure incumbent politicians do not use government machinery for campaigning.

Disappointment of the decade: Pak Lah as fifth prime minister

By Justin Ong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — “Don’t work for me, work with me.”

That one sentence heralded what was supposed to have been a New Age for Malaysians. After over two decades of iron-fisted rule by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a prime minister who cared about what the country thinks was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Most Malaysians thought as much.

Together with the promise of a softer approach towards running the country was Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s image as “Mr Clean”. An image that he played up further by vowing to come down hard on a culture of corruption so entrenched that, far from being a crime, it was treated as an entitlement.

More than just giving Pak Lah — as he is popularly known — the benefit of the doubt, Malaysians handed him the keys to the country. In Election 2004, Barisan Nasional was given its most convincing mandate yet, winning 198 out of the 220 parliamentary seats. Whatever gains the opposition made during the 1998 Anwar Ibrahim debacle was all but wiped out.

But despite the overwhelming support of the electorate, it did not take long for it to be obvious that instead of using this mandate to implement policies that might have taken the country somewhere, anywhere, Pak Lah seemed content to rest on his laurels.

An administration paralysed by indecision, it was painful to watch what was essentially the most powerful man in the country being unable — or unwilling — to decide which direction the country should be heading. Instead, Malaysians were treated to mere rhetoric.

If ever there was an example of how indecision can be as harmful — and perhaps even more so — than bad decisions, this was it. National policy — when they made any — seemed to change on a whim, before being reversed soon after if objections were raised.

Pak Lah's years will be remembered as a lost opportunity to reform Malaysia. - File pic

Dr Mahathir, “recalcitrant” as he was, was at least decisive. And once he made up his mind, for better or worse, he stuck by it. Pak Lah, in contrast, ruled with all the consistency of a limp noodle. And before long, some quarters even began pining for the return of his predecessor.

Anecdotal accounts now seem to suggest Pak Lah was more than happy to let the country run itself, rather than be bothered with the minutiae of administrating the day-to-day affairs of the nation.

It also did not bode well that the man who was in charge of the country brought more than a metaphorical meaning to the phrase “sleeping on the job”. In any case, rather than running itself, the country was quickly running aground.

Besides residing over periods of harsh “unofficial” inflation, when the rakyat was increasingly feeling the pinch yet kept being told that everything was, is, and ever will be all right, it was also obvious that Pak Lah was failing miserably at his earlier promise of combating national graft.

Not only was he not doing much to cut down on corruption, merciless insinuations and accusations of cronyism by Dr Mahathir also ripped Abdullah’s “Mr Clean” reputation to shreds. Allegations of corruption in the UN Oil for Food programme certainly didn’t help matters. Nor the unfortunate discovery of a nuclear smuggling network involving Scomi Group.

Given carte blanche to run the country, Pak Lah chose to play the bureaucrat at a time when the country needed a strong steward to guide it into uncharted waters. Promises of fighting corruption, an Islam Hadhari that no one understands till today, and stillborn economic progress all lie in the wake of possibly the country’s most ineffectual prime minister to date.

What had started with so much potential ended as a major letdown. Hounded out of office by the man who put him there and the man who would be there, Pak Lah cut a lonely and forlorn figure in his final days.

In the end, Pak Lah's years will be remembered as a lost opportunity to reform Malaysia by a man who was paralysed by indecision and manacled to the status quo demands of his own political party.

Latif: RPK has sponsors

(The Star) - The person or organisation sponsoring Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s stay in London is “somebody that he constantly supports in his articles”, said Umno supreme council member Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Ahmad.

He alleged that the reason for sponsoring Raja Petra – commonly known as RPK – was due to him being “special” to the particular individual or group.

“How can a bankrupt man afford to stay in a luxury apartment and use a foreign passport?

“He is obviously financed by someone and I am wondering if other bloggers are being sponsored as well,” said Dr Abdul Latif yesterday.

He was commenting on Raja Petra who is suspected to have exited Malaysia using a foreign passport.

It was recently reported that he is currently holed up at the posh Trinity Court Apartments in Glou­cester Terrace, Bayswater in London.

Dr Abdul Latif also likened Raja Petra’s escape from Malaysia to a Hollywood spy movie, in which passports were given to secret agents in order for them to hide out in other countries.

“We can tell who Raja Petra supports by reading his blog. It is somebody he is aligned to or perhaps he is being used by this person or organisation,” he said.

Dr Abdul Latif urged the police and Immigration Department to intensify their probe in exposing the sponsor’s identity.

He also claimed that other bloggers could be part of a syndicate to tarnish the country’s good name but that only Raja Petra was special enough to have been sponsored on an overseas trip.

Dr Abdul Latif said that although there was freedom of speech in the country, bloggers should not “force” people to accept their views.

“When others oppose their views, the bloggers accuse them of not being democratic. There must be a balance,” he added.

What is Dr Mahathir hinting at?

By Yong Min Wei, The Edge

Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has hit out twice in less than two weeks at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration although the latter was instrumental in bringing him back to Umno earlier this year.

Dr Mahathir's occasional vocal criticisms of Najib are not new but a succession of salvos within a short space of time would surely raise some eyebrows in the prime minister's nine-month administration which might potentially see a cabinet reshuffle towards the end of the first quarter next year.

Some may question whether Dr Mahathir's remarks would have any bearing on the fate of the cabinet ministers despite all ministries having submitted their key performance indicator (KPI) reports on time for evaluation.

The former premier, who has been critical of Western powers, in mid-December expressed disappointment about what he perceived as a change in Malaysia's foreign policy to one of being pro-US after Kuala Lumpur's envoy to Vienna was recalled for voting against an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution criticising Iran's nuclear programme.

Dr Mahathir, who was irked by Wisma Putra's decision, commented that previously, Malaysia had defended countries oppressed by the US but was now backing the US in oppressing Iran instead.

According to him, the US and Israel continued to use nuclear weapons and were using depleted uranium from nuclear weapons but Malaysia was not officially protesting such actions.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, however, said Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna Datuk Mohd Arshad M Hussain was recalled for consultations as his action in the voting process "was not in accordance with the procedures of the government".

Then on Monday, Dr Mahathir called the administration's decision to replace the Russian-made MiG-29N jet fighters that were less than 20 years old as a waste of money.

"Many other countries, including India, are using this aircraft. Are they not able to use their MiG-29 more than 20 years? Have they also condemned the MiGs as early as this?" Dr Mahathir said in his blog posting.

He opined that although the Russian military aircraft were cheaper than the American-made ones, a lot of money had been spent, adding that hundreds of millions of ringgit would be lost if the MiGs were now condemned.

Dr Mahathir pointed out that with the sale and purchase of aircraft, the government could provide large benefits in profits to the middlemen, and questioned whether the interests of middlemen were influencing the decision to buy new replacements.

"I believe there are ways to overhaul fighters and other aircraft. Why can't we repair the MiG-29? If we cannot, the Russians may be able to. Maybe the Indians also can," he added.

"If fighter jets costing hundreds of millions can only last 20 years, it would be better we do not have fighter aircraft," said the 84-year-old former prime minister.

The government had in June announced the phasing out of 18 units of MiG-29Ns, which were bought from Russia for US$380 million (RM1.27 billion) in 1994 and delivered the following year. The package, which included training and spare parts, cost US$1.6 billion.

The move to phase out the MiG fighter jets is said to have been able to save the government RM260 million a year in maintenance cost.

Early this month, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the MiG-29N would be phased out by next year and that the government had shortlisted aircraft from five countries to replace them.

"The new asset to replace the MiGs will be the multi-role combat aircraft, which is cost-efficient and can be used for at least 20 years," said Ahmad Zahid, adding that the MiG-29N would be sold "lock, stock and barrel" and that two companies were keen to buy them.

Dr Mahathir's latest salvo was on the backdrop of ongoing investigation into the theft of the two Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) F-5E fighter jet engines, worth a total of RM50 million.

Dr Mahathir had also recently traded barbs with Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz over the cabinet's decision to overhaul the national civics bureau (BTN) courses, resulting in the minister branding him "father of all racism" for defending BTN.

In April, the former premier singled out Nazri as one of those "unsavoury characters" that Najib had appointed into his cabinet.

When Najib took over the reins of power from Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi earlier this year, some political analysts believed that Dr Mahathir could actually become a liability to the current leadership.

It was argued then that Najib could be torn between accommodating Dr Mahathir's requests and direction, and coming up with his own decisions and policies.

Malaysia no longer “Tanah Melayu”,we're all citizens of Bumi Malaysia now. Notes dedicated to Teo Beng Hock

The idea of “Tanah Melayu” must be reflected upon — of its relevancy and whether it is a kind of ideological thinking that will help develop a culture of peace or help nurture inter-racial hatred.
A REPUBLIC OF VIRTUE
Azly Rahman
http://azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com/2009/12/azly-rahman-lecture-on-culture-and.html
I dedicate these notes to Teo Beng Hock, a young Malaysian who ought to be an inspiration to many wishing to call Malaysia home.

Because we have agreed to become a country rooted in a social contract that ought to give equality, equity, and equal opportunity to all who have given up their natural rights in exchange for “citizenship” and the rights of the State to tax them (with or without representation), we must recognize that Malaysia is for Malaysians. 1Malaysia concept must abolish all forms of discrimination and institionalize good diversity and affirmative action policies.

This will be the most humane perspective we ought to work towards in holding. What is needed is a system of check and balance that will ensure that each generation of Malaysians will progress without the trappings of mistrust, hatred, and institutionalized racism.

But first, we must all fight for the installation of this reality. Political will that will move this agenda of ethical liberalism must be harnessed and be made the driving force for social, cultural, educational, and psychological change.

The idea of “Tanah Melayu” must be reflected upon — of its relevancy and whether it is a kind of ideological thinking that will help develop a culture of peace or help nurture inter-racial hatred.

Communal politics is an old school thinking that cannot survive the wave of cosmopolitanism; just like the any idea that could not survive the inevitability of historical change propelled by changes in material condition and consciousness.

In Malaysia, the days of communal politics are numbered, however well it is packaged and propagandized. Multiculturalism, and in fact radical multiculturalism, or better still radical marhaenism is the next wave. Institutions that promote racism must be deconstructed and abolished; institutions that are funded by the ruling regime to ensure the hegemony of this or that race. Dismantle them before they become yet another layer of complexity in our consciousness; a layer that hides the structural violence inherent in a system of racism and false consciousness called “nationalistic history”.

The only permanent thing is change, as the Chinese philosopher and mystic Lao Tzu said. Man has no nature, what he has is history, said the Spanish philosopher Ortega Gasset.

And there will be beauty in this change if we know how to destroy the beast within.

I am reproducing an essay I wrote sometime ago on "New Bumiputeraism”

--
Time for new ‘bumiputera-ism’

… kini kita cuma tinggal kuasa
yang akan menentukan bangsa
hasil mengalir, ke tangan yang lain
pribumi merintih sendiri…


My loose translation of this 1980s propaganda song by the Biro Tata Negara reads:

“… political power is what we are only left with
one that will determine the fate of our nation
wealth of this nation flows into the hands of others
sons and daughters of the soil suffer in solace..."


I do not think we have a clear understanding of what the lyrics means. I doubt if the songwriter even understand what a ‘people's history of Malaya’ means.

History is a complex syntagmatic pattern of interplay between technology, ideology, culture, inscription and institutionalisation not easily reduced to simplistic lyrics as such sung to the tune of pre-war German-nationalistic-sounding compositions.

History is about the complex evolution of the ruling class who owns the technologies of control. As Marx would say, at every epoch it is the history of those who own the means of production that will be written and rewritten. The winners write history, the losers write poetry or study anthropology.

Back to the lyrics. After more than 50 years of independence, who is suffering in Malaysia? Who has become wealthy? Who has evolved into robber barons?

Language of power and ideology is at play in those lyrics. The definition of ‘bumiputera’ is at play. It has become a problematic word in this age of deconstructionism; an age wherein as the poet WB Yeats said, “the centre cannot hold”.

Rock musicians will recall the Scorpions’ famous song ‘Winds of Change’ to serenade the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of the breakdown of the Soviet Empire. We have to face the ‘wrath’ of the word.

Process of rebirth


There is an old Malay practice in Johor of renaming a child ‘Buang’ if his given name does not ‘suit’ him. My grand-uncle who passed away in the early 1970s had ‘Buang’ as a name. His old name did not suit him. He was often sick when he was a child ‘carrying’ his old name. Buang means ‘discard’. I would call it with a more noble word ‘reconceptualisation’, so that we may now talk about the ‘reconceptualisation of bumiputera-ism’.

Several semesters ago, when I was lecturing an undergraduate class in African philosophy, using Chinhua Achebe's novel ‘Things Fall Apart’, I began to understand how similar my grand-uncle's predicament is with that of the main character , Okonkwo, of that great African novel. ‘The Lion King’ explained the concept even better.

The name ‘bumiputera’ has to undergo ‘reconceptualisation’. The Indonesians had their process of ‘Buang-isation’ perhaps as Bung Karno (Soekarno) had envisioned. It has to undergo ‘rebirth’ or karma, as the Hindus would say.

We indulge in this ritual called ‘election’, another problematic word, commissioned to be executed ‘fairly’. When we are done with the general election, when we have shaken up the illusionary foundation of race that define ‘bumiputera-ism’, when we have begun to realise that it id the unseen hands of local and international corporate-crony-crypto-conspicuous-consuming capitalist class that is corrupting our material, emotional, ideological and spiritual landscape, we will start our post-mortem session on this process of ‘Buang-isation’ or ‘reconceptualisation’ of this idea of ‘bumiputera-ism’.

But the present regime cannot perform this process of Malaysian ‘divining’ and ‘discarding’. It cannot conduct this ‘Buang-isation’ ceremony because it no longer possess a good spiritual core. Its "vegetative soul", as the Islamic philosopher Professor Syed Naguib Alatas would call it, is too calloused with the carcinogens of corruption that its "rational soul" is forever lost and transported into the yuga (spiritual age) of this materially corrupt world - the kali yuga.

The ceremony must be performed by a group of philosopher-rulers whose idealism lies in the establishment of a 'republic of virtue'; one that drives its economic foundation from the accumulation of ‘spiritual and metaphysical’ rather than the material capital. ‘Das Kapital’ of the spiritual accumulation of wealth will be the product of this divination. Georg Hegel would agree with this idea of spiritual revolution. It cannot be performed by investment bankers-cum-politicians.

Names connote and denote something. Words, Pinker or Lacan or any of the bio-semioticians/linguistic anthropologists would say, carry metaphors and manifestations of history, material, power, knowledge and ideology. Worse still these words become institutions and become institutionalised into architectures of power and control.

Writers such as Lewis Mumford and Jacques Ellul have analysed this phenomena of architectures of power as these structure relate to the nature of Man within the context of the language in which he/she is situated.

‘Bumiputera’ is one such word. A problematic word. A word that assumes race and religion as one. To say that a Malay is generally a Muslim and hence a 'bumiputera' and therefore have special rights and privileges is an imprecise way of explaining a concept. It is an old-school approach to defining that word.

We must find ways to enrich the concept better so that it will become inclusive. Who toils for the soil? Labour, more than language, seems to be more a more linguistically just way to look at the definition of bumiputera and how we will go about the ‘Buangi-sation’ process.

We need a premise for this process though. Let’s begin with this phrase: “We hold these truths to be self-evident and Divine-ly sanctioned that All Malaysians are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator the inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, happiness, justice and social equality… and we shall resoundingly declare that from now on we will be constructed as equal and be called ‘the new bumiputera’...

Sounds like a Rousseauin, Lockean, and Jeffersonian ideal locked in one, with a Malaysian ethos as its foundation. Sounds like what the Quran, Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Sutras, Puranas, Tao Te' Chng , Granth Sahib and Tibetan Book of the Dead would advocate.

That can be our premise for this radical change. Now the second stage of the ‘Buang-isation’ process can begin.

Critique the ideology

We must do something different to ourselves if we are to move to the next level of evolution as Malaysians.

Let us reconstruct the old concept of ‘bumiputera’ so that we will have a better foundation in preparation for a redefinition in the Federal Constituition - so that the constitution can now protect all rather that the few. Isn't democracy for the powerful few only good for plutocracy?

Yes - who is a ‘bumiputera’? After more than 50 years this term should have evolved and changed. The base and superstructure, the ideology and material foundation, and the body and spirit of this nation-state called Malaysia have changed.

The old definition has run its course. It is fine to see this as the right time to change. We must remember that words get refined and redefined in the course of history. Ask any linguist in any Malaysian university.

Words like democracy, freedom, justice and equality get reconceptualised after every social revolution. Words like Malays, Indians, Chinese, East and West Malaysians used as classification systems are good during the colonial period and in the early years of independence. They have lost their connotative and denotative power as pass the 50th year of independence.

Language is reality - words become flesh, inscriptions become institutions.

Redefine what ‘bumiputera’ means, so that we will not be forced to sing more propaganda songs.

After more than 50 years of Merdeka, aren't we all bumiputera now?

Najib Razak: A New Prime Minister Facing an Uncertain Future

Reading a booklet from Barry Wain, ‘Najib’s Challenge: Glory or Oblivion’ published by Research for Social Advancement (Refsa), it gave us an understanding that the newly appointed Prime Minister has a lot of hard work to do to gather the support of the people.

Being a politician who have faced pressures from the oppositions and bad impressions from the international media, he must find a way, urgently, to arrest the erosion in the government’s electoral appeal, or he will make history as the man who led one of the world’s longest-governing parties to defeat.

Moreover, Najib brings to the job so much political baggage that it has threatened to derail his prime ministerial ambitions. He has been linked to a Mongolian woman, 28, who was shot and blown up with specialized C4 plastic explosives in Malaysia in 2006. The woman’s former lover, an adviser to Najib, was cleared of ordering her death in a protracted court case that drew harsh public criticism and left vital questions unanswered. Two members of an elite police bodyguard unit assigned to Najib, who were asked by the adviser to “do something” about the woman because she was blackmailing him, had to answer murder charges.

Barry who is Writer-in-Residence at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies also mentioned how well the allegations on Najib’s corruption history. For example, the 114.96 million euros “coordination and support services” fee for Malaysia’s purchase in 2002 of two new Scorpene and one reconditioned Agosta submarine for 1.04 billion euros was paid to Perimekar Sdn. Bhd. Perimekar at the time was owned by a company called K.S. Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd.

UMNO, of course, is not Najib’s only immediate concern. With limited experience in finance, he must prepare to steer Malaysia through the global recession that is engulfing the region. He also is under pressure to address the extremely sensitive issue of affirmative action, still known colloquially by its original name, the New Economic Policy (NEP), which is a source of acute unhappiness among not just ethnic Chinese and Indians, but also increasing numbers of Malays without UMNO connections.

Significantly, it was when Najib was acting head of UMNO Youth in 1987 that he sounded a discordant racial note, which raised questions about him in the minds of non-Malays and dogged him for years. It came as communal tension had been building for weeks and he led a huge rally in Kuala Lumpur to confront what was perceived as a Chinese threat to Malay special rights. In the air were ethnic grievances on both sides, though the immediate issue was the government appointment of non-Mandarin-speaking Chinese to administrative posts in Chinese-medium primary schools. As party barriers were overrun by ethnicity, two National Front members, the Malaysian Chinese Association and Gerakan, joined with the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) on occasions in defence of Chinese interests.17 Najib was photographed at the demonstration with several other UMNO Youth leaders, wearing white headbands with their arms raised, above a banner naming four high-profile opponents, all ethnic Chinese and Indian (though one was a Muslim) and the words, “destroy them”. Followers waved other banners bearing racially provocative slogans. “Our elders should not compromise anymore”, said Najib. “We are simply fed up.”

Although Najib pronounced himself happy with the response to his direct appeal to the public, it did little to improve his image. Three months after the website appeared and three months before Najib was due to replace Abdullah, only 41 per cent of Malaysians thought he would be a good prime minister. Even the inept Abdullah had a 46 per cent approval rating in the poll, conducted by the independent Merdeka Centre. Voters were worried about the usual panoply of issues: the economy, race relations and equality, corruption and governance. After waiting more than three decades for his moment to lead the nation, Najib Razak is taking over “without the burden of overly high expectations”, as one report put it, but burdened on almost every other score.

Najib rejects royal commission to probe Dr M

Prime Minister Najib Razak said there was no need for a royal commission of inquiry to look into allegations hurled at former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the book ‘Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times’ authored by Barry Wain.

“There is always this call for a royal commission, everything you want royal commission, but (this) is not appropriate to call for a royal commission just because somebody has written a book.

“What is important for us is to look forward to the future. Each prime minister has made a lot of contribution, otherwise we wouldn’t be what we are today, Malaysia will not be a successful nation and regarded as a role model if all the PMs in the past had not made their contribution,” he said.

On Dec 21, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang in his blog had urged Najib to set up a royal commission to probe the allegations contained in the book, which among others had claimed that Mahathir had squandered up to RM100 billion during his 22 years as prime minister.

In an immediate response, Mahathir in his ‘Chedet’ blog welcomed the call for a royal inquiry and said he would cooperate fully with the commission.

Wain, who is the former managing editor of Asian Wall Street Journal, has estimated that Mahathir had squandered up to RM100 billion in his years as PM.

- Bernama

The myth of the indispensable hero Tee Keat

By Thomas Lee

The PKFZ issue has been branded about by certain people as the reason Ong Tee Keat should remain the MCA president and transport minister. These people seem to think that if Tee Keat is not holding these positions the probe into the multi-billion ringgit PKFZ scandal will grind to a stop.

Such thinking is simply simplistic and utterly uncanny, especially when many of those arguing in support of Tee Keat are supposed to be educated and intelligent people, some of them being leaders in political parties and non-governmental organisations.

Such people should know and understand that the PKFZ buck does not stop at the desk of Tee Keat but at the table of Umno boss and Prime Minister Najib Razak. The ultimate decision on what to do with PKFZ issue is not in the hand of Tee Keat but that of Najib. It doesn’t matter who the transport minister is as it is the prime minister who will finally call the shot and make the decision. The transport minister is merely his executive officer for carrying out his will and decision.

Another argument in support of Tee Keat is that he is supposedly one who could stand up to Umno and be able to make demands from the Umno-controlled government to serve the Chinese community which the MCA claims to represents in the government.

Such a fanciful fantasy is believed only by the gullible goons and macabre morons. Anyone with even some semblance of political insight and maturity will know and realise that almost all the concessions won for the people are the result of the massive inroads made by the opposition parties like the DAP. The overwhelming support the people gave to the opposition parties during the general elections has forced the Umno-controlled Barisan Nasional coalition federal government to concede to the demands of the people. It is not that Tee Keat and the MCA or, for that matter, Koh Tsu Koon and Gerakan or S. Samy Vellu and the MIC, that had been successfull in their bargaining for the concessions.

So the myth of the indispensable hero Tee Keat being the saviour of the MCA and the Chinese community is just that — a myth. And it is not a good and justifiable reason to insist on having him remaining at the helm despite losing a vote of no-confidence against him by the MCA grassroots leaders.

The contention that Tee Keat could only be removed as the party president by a two-third majority of the general assembly delegates is certainly legally valid, but morally void as he had, prior to the no-confidence vote, vowed that he would step down if he were to lose by a simple majority. The failure to honour his public pledge has resulted in him losing his credibility and integrity for which he would have a difficult time to redeem. No wonder he is reluctant to hold a fresh party election now as he will certainly be thrown out by the party delegates.

On the issue of a fresh party election, I believe that Tee Keat and many central committee members are not willing to take the risk and put their necks on chopping board. This is in view of the most likely scenario of many so-called written-off party leaders will take the opportunity to stage a comeback by contesting for the key positions. People like Ong Ka Chuan, Fong Chan Onn, Donald Lim, Tan Chai Hoe and even Ting Chew Peh are no political lightweights within the MCA, and a fresh party election in the midst of a choatic struggle will afford them the chance to be resurrected into the party leadership hierachy.

If a fresh party election is held, I expect the three possible presidential candidates of Tee Keat, Chua Soi Lek and Liow Tiong Lai to be overwhelmly thrown out by the delegates, for the simple reason that they are perceived to be an embarrassment and a liability to the party.

Tee Keat’s reneging on his pledge to quit if he lost the no-confidence vote has caused him to be a subject of ridicule, not only among the party members, but also among the Chinese community and within the Barisan Nasional. One of the fundamental principles of the Chinese ethos is the word of honour (“hou jee” in Cantonese), and anyone who does not honour his vow or pledge loses the respect and honour of the people. Hence, I doubt Tee Keat will be able to survive if a fresh party election is held.

As for Soi Lek, his soiled moral misadventure, although forgivable, is not easily forgotten. He may be an excellent grassroots leader, but his indiscretion may become a big liability to the MCA as he may be blackmailed into toeing the Umno line to accept and implement policies and programmes which may not be favourable to the party and the Chinese community.

Tiong Lai is perceived by many in the party and the community to be an impatient upstart who had betrayed his former boss Tee Keat to climb to the top of the party leadership hierarchy. The allegation of a gift of a luxury car to his wife by a private company purportedly awarded a contract by his ministry, although yet to be proven, has already taken a toll on his reputation. Obviously, his support in the party has eroded, and I doubt he will be able win in the party election.

I expect Fong Chan Onn or Ong Ka Chuan, or even Donald Lim to stake a claim on the MCA presidency, and one of them will like be elected to give the party a completely fresh start to reform, regenerate and rejuvenate itself.

Chan Onn, a former don with a Ph.D in economic who had served as a cabinet minister, has an almost impeccable credentials compared to many MCA leaders, and will stand a very good chance of getting elected if the delegates are non-partisan in their voting and want a renewed life for the party following the mess under the Tee Keat regime.

Ka Chuan is another presidential material but have the disadvantage of being former party president Ong Ka Ting’s brother. I said disadvantage because many party grassroots leaders have reservation on whether Ka Ting will be pulling the puppet strings if his brother is the MCA president. I believe Ka Chuan should consider being the running mate of Chan Onn. The duo can be a formidable force to provide the general assembly delegates with a viable alternative to Tee Keat, Soi Lek and Tiong Lai.

As it is, it seems unlikely that the required number of central committee members will resign to pave the way for a fresh party election. If that is the case, the ball should be thrown into the court of the general assembly delegates. The delegates should move a motion at the impending party general assembly to have the central committee dissolved for a fresh election to be held.

Quo vadis, MCA?

Investigation Papers Into Missing Jet Engines Re-Submitted To AG's Chambers

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 (Bernama) -- Police re-submitted the investigation papers in connection with the two missing jet engines belonging to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) to the Attorney-General's Chambers on Tuesday after being asked to carry out a more detailed probe, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

"We sent the papers back after updating the investigation report as requested. We are awaiting further instructions," he told Bernama here today.

Musa also confirmed that only two jet engines, which are the powerplants for RMAF's ageing F5E jetfighters, had gone missing and not four as mentioned in news reports that quoted sources.

As such, he urged all quarters to stop further speculation on the matter.

He added that no more arrests would be made for now and that any further action would depend on the instructions of the AG's Chambers.

Four people including three junior RMAF officers have been arrested in connection with the case and have been released on police bail.

The AG's Chambers returned the investigation papers last week to enable the police to carry out further investigations and obtain relevant documents, besides ascertaining how the engines could have been brought out of the country.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had described the case as very serious and pledged to the get to the bottom of it.

On the baby-for-sale racket uncovered in the Klang Calley recently, Musa did not dismiss the possibility that more individuals would be hauled up.

So far, police have saved 10 babies, aged between two weeks and nine months and a three-year old girl, who had been put up for sale.

An elderly woman and her two daughters have charged in court in connection with the case.

Nut left in woman's body during spinal surgery

The Sun
Karen Arukesamy

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 29, 2009): A private hospital here left a nut in a woman’s body during spine surgery with metal implants using nuts and bolts last year.

"I am disappointed with the negligence and irresponsibility of the doctor in treating my injury," Tan Khai Yien, 29, told a press conference at the MCA Public Complaints Department today.

Relating her experience, Tan said she underwent surgery to treat a spine injury in October 2008 after she was involved in a car accident.

"After the surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon informed me that a nut had accidentally fallen into the operated area, very close to my spine where the metal implant was placed," she said.

"However, the surgeon assured me that the nut is not harmful and can be removed together with the fixture of the metal implant a year later without complications," she said, showing her x-rays and CT scan to reporters.

In October, a day before Tan’s scheduled surgery to remove the metal implant, the surgeon claimed that the fallen nut, which has shifted from its original position, could not be removed as it is located very close to a blood vessel.

Only the metal implant was removed while the fallen nut remained in around her spine.

"The doctor told us there was nothing else he could do. When my family and I said it was his mistake and he had given an assurance to remove it, he refused to do so," Tan said.

"When we said we could take legal action against him and the hospital, the doctor said we could go ahead and sue him but we will only be wasting our time."

Dissatisfied with the orthopaedic surgeon’s response, Tan sought a second opinion at Gleneagles Hospital here and was advised to undergo surgery to remove the nut.

"The doctor, who asked me to do a CT scan, said the nut is only 1cm away from my blood vessel and since it is moving in that area, it may very harmful to me later on," she said.

"We did not know who to turn to after the surgeon washed his hands over the case, so we sought MCA’s help and spoke to Datuk Michael Chong," she added.

Chong said Tan’s family is considering legal action against the doctor and the hospital but a decision can only be made after Tan’s operation, scheduled tomorrow, to remove the nut.

He added that he will raise the matter with the health minister.

Nazri against single stream school system

The Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 29, 2009): Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz says he is against the proposal for single stream school system as "we cannot force other (non-Malay) races to sacrifice their characteristics and become Malays (Malaynised)".

What is more, he said, the 1Malaysia concept allows the non-Malays to use and preserve their languages.

"What we want is a united people and country, not forcing all races to become Malays (Malaynised).

"Chinese and Tamil primary schools can continue to to exist, as long as these schools teach Bahasa Malaysia as it is the national language with which (Malaysians of) various races communicate and interact with one another to promote unity."

Nazri, who is currently overseas, told Sin Chew Daily that Chinese and Tamil schools are not meant for only the Chinese and Indians respectively, the Malays can also enter these schools.

Malay parents should encourage their children to study in Chinese schools to learn an additional language, he said.

"To acquire another language, be it Chinese, Tamil, Arabic, Japanese etc is to gain an advantage.

"I am now in Chengdu, China, and because I don't speak Mandarin I feel I am at a disadvantage.

"We should regard language as a subject and there are benefits to gain from learning additional languages. Education should not be racialised."

On writer/poet Eddin Khoo's remark that he missed the chance to learn Chinese because his father, historian Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim who raised the ire of many with his single stream school remark recently, was too patriotic, Nazri said such thinking be discarded.

Nazri said the government cannot compel all the races to learn only Bahasa Malaysia, forcing the non-Malays to give up their own languages.

"Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country where the various races enjoy the right to learn their own languages. Multi-culture and multi-lingual are the strong points of Malaysia, something which cannot be denied," he added.

NO NEED FOR ROYAL PANEL

Malay Mail
Azreen Hani

PETALING JAYA: Minister in Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz has rubbished Pakatan Rakyat's call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the theft of military jet engines as well as claims made about former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the book Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times.

Nazri, who was in China when contacted by The Malay Mail, said, "We don't have to entertain such demands. We have the relevant authorities to investigate this. If everything has to go through a Royal Commission, then what's the use of the A-G's (Attorney-General's) Chambers?" he asked.

"They (the Opposition) keep asking for royal commissions to be set up. Don't they have anything better to work on?"

Investigations were still in progress in the case of the jet engines theft, he said, adding that the people should wait for the findings before making any conclusion.

"We should just wait and let the investigation be completed."

On Sunday, it was reported that Pakatan Rakyat wanted a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the theft of two F5 jet engines and the related components-for-sale racket, as Pakatan leaders deemed the latest scandal an indication of the "corrupt" Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

"We are asking for a royal commission to investigate the scandal," an online news portal quoted Pakatan leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as saying.

Two J85-GE-21 jet engines that power the F5 fighters were stolen from two Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) facilities in 2007 while some components from the same planes are also unaccounted for.

The Malay Mail had reported that some personnel implicated in the F5 jet components for sale racket had accepted RM200 "to look the other way" when the components were taken out of the Sungai Besi air base.

They were said to have been bribed by a man working for a local aviation company, described as the mastermind of the racket.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department in Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur.

The same news portal also quoted DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as saying a royal commission was needed because RMAF had admitted the theft was just the “tip of the iceberg”.

“Up to now, we do not know how many such engines or other military equipment were stolen. That is why a Royal Commission of Inquiry must be established (to look) into the RM50 million RMAF F5E fighter jet engine theft, integrity of arms purchases and security of our military bases,” said Lim, who is also Penang Chief Minister.

On Dec 21, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang in his blog urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to set up a royal commission to investigate whether Dr Mahathir had “wasted or burned up” RM100 billion on grandiose projects and corruption during his 22 years as prime minister.

The claim was made in Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times, authored by Australian Barry Wain. Copies of the book are with the Home Ministry, which is yet to decide whether to ban it.

However, on Dec 22, Dr Mahathir in his blog Che Det welcomed the call for a royal inquiry and said he would cooperate fully with the commission.

In order for the inquiry to be successful, he said, the government should give the commission full access to all documents and accounts of the government over the period 1981-2009.

"There should be no cover-up of any kind," Dr Mahathir wrote, adding that at the same time, Wain should provide documents to prove that he had "burned" RM100 billion on corruption and wasteful projects.

Iran rally leaders 'enemies of God'

Clashes between protesters and security forces on Sunday left at least eight people dead [AFP]

A representative of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said opposition leaders were "enemies of God" who should be executed under the country's sharia law.

"Those who are behind the current sedition in the country ... are mohareb (enemies of God) and the law is very clear about punishment of a mohareb," Abbas Vaez-Tabasi, the representative of Khamenei, who possesses ultimate authority in Iran, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Under Iran's Islamic sharia law the sentence for "mohareb" is execution.

The statement coincided with rallies by tens of thousands of government supporters calling for opposition leaders to be punished for fomenting unrest after June's disputed presidential election, state media said.

Meddling

Earlier, Iran called on the British ambassador to respond to accusations of his government's "interference" in the Islamic Republic, as pro-government rallies continue.

Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister, told a news conference that the ambassador had been summoned over Britain's interference in Iran's domestic affairs.

"If Britain does not stop talking nonsense it will get a slap in the mouth," he said.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president, also said that recent opposition rallies in the country are "masquerade" backed by the US and Israel.

The UK said that the envoy would be robust in the face of any Iranian criticism and reiterate that Tehran must respect human rights.

The summons came hours after the Revolutionary Guards security force said opposition groups were working with Tehran's foreign enemies, implicating London.

Iran's primary reformist party has said that the government is not respecting Iranian law in battling opposition protesters.

"The Green Movement is peaceful and law-abiding. It avoids any violence and will press ahead on its path," the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) said in a statement carried by an opposition website.

"The IIPF condemns attacks on defenceless people and believes the incidents after the presidential election and especially on Ashura indicate the complete failure of the coup d'etat and not the strength of government."

State television reported that tens of thousands of people rallied nationwide in support for the government of Ahmadinejad, stating that the demonstrations had taken place spontaneously.

'Maximum punishment'

Earlier, Iranian MPs called for opposition protesters arrested following clashes with police on Sunday to face the "maximum punishment" allowed by law.

Hundreds of people were arrested as fierce battles were fought on the streets of the capital Tehran.

Many more, including aides to opposition leaders and pro-reform clerics, have reportedly been detained since.

Shirin Ebadi, the country's Nobel prize-winning human rights activist, said on Tuesday that her sister was among those arrested.

Intelligence officers reportedly raided Dr Nooshin Ebadi's house as part of its sweeping clampdown on the country's opposition.

"My sister Dr Nooshin Ebadi was arrested at 9pm [16:30 GMT] on December 28 by four intelligence agents at her home and sent to prison," Ebadi said in a statement carried by the opposition Rahesabz website.

"I am not aware of the place of her detention or the reason for her arrest."

'Counter-revolutionaries'

MPs accused the protesters, who poured onto the streets in the latest display of anger at the disputed presidential election in June, of being "anti-religion" and "counter-revolutionaries".

"Over the past six months, violence has been used, a lot of people have been arrested, tens of people have been killed, but yet you don't see any decrease in the level of demonstrations"

Muhammad Sahimi, University of Southern California

Ali Larijani, the parliamentary speaker, said the legislative body "wants the judiciary and intelligence bodies to arrest those who insult religion and impose the maximum punishment on them without reservation".

He also said parliament condemned "disgusting comments" of foreign governments after Sunday's unrest.

Barack Obama, the US president, has called on Monday for Iran to release those rounded up in the crackdown and "to respect the rights of its own people".

Larijani responded on Tuesday saying Obama should be more concerned about "the behaviour of his troops in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Iraq".

"Your admiration for the opposition movement protesters will ruin your reputation and will also reveal where the movement of this anti-religious group is linked to," he said, reading from a statement prepared on behalf of the Iranian parliament.

Tear gas

Clashes broke out after police used teargas, batons, and eventually live rounds to try to disperse thousand of protesters.

Muhammad Sahimi, an Iran expert at the University of Southern California in the US, said the government's crackdown was unlikely to stop the opposition.

"If they were going to be cowed, they should have been by now," he told Al Jazeera.

"Over the past six months, violence has been used, a lot of people have been arrested, tens of people have been killed, but yet you don't see any decrease in the level of demonstrations," he said.

Sahimi said that as the government sought to suppress the movement by force, support for the opposition instead grew, expanding across the country.

"The demands have gone way beyond cancellation of elections, and now people are demanding fundamental change in the system" of government, he told Al Jazeera.

"The goal right now, is at the minimum, to weaken the position of [Iran's ] supreme leader, to make him sort of a figure head ... if not outright elimination of the supreme leader, and the writing of a new constitution."

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Online poster appears to be Chrismas Day bomber

Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab is accused of trying to blow up an airliner as it landed in Detroit on Christmas.
Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab is accused of trying to
blow up an airliner as it landed in Detroit on Christmas.

(CNN) -- "Let me tell you a little about me."

"Farouk1986" introduced himself to a Muslim online community with these words in February 2005.

"My name is Umar but you can call me Farouk," the poster continues, detailing biographical information that appears to match the life of Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian man accused of attempting to detonate an explosive on an international flight into Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day.

The failed terror plot put airports on high alert and refocused American attention on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which claimed responsibility for the attempted attack.

Internet postings for Farouk1986 -- apparently a combination of his name and birth year -- reveal a young man who fought feelings of loneliness and struggled with balancing his life as a Muslim with the temptations of the secular world around him. He wrote about his desire to attend university, possibly in the United States, and his thoughts on love and marriage.

Officials have not confirmed that Internet postings by Farouk1986 were made by AbdulMutallab, but the many detailed biographical points made by the poster match what has been reported about AbdulMutallab's life.

"I will describe myself as very ambitious and determined, especially in the deen," Farouk1986 wrote in February 2005, referring to the Islamic way of life. The poster writes about being in boarding school, with possibilities of attending Stanford University or the University of California-Berkeley.

Eventually, AbdulMutallab studied mechanical engineering at University College London.

Besides being ambitious, Farouk1986 also described himself as lonely.

"First of all, I have no friend[s]," he wrote in another online post with informal, imperfect grammar. "Not because I do not socialise (sic), etc but because either people do not want to get too close to me as they go partying and stuff while I don't. or they are bad people who befriend me and influence me to do bad things.

"i have no one to speak too, no one to consult, no one to support me and i feel depressed and lonely. i do not know what to do."

Somewhere along the way, AbdulMutallab turned toward Islamic extremism.

An FBI official said AbdulMutallab was included in the U.S. government's Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, after his father warned the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria of his son's hard-line beliefs and possible ties to militant Islamists. But his name was not pulled from that database and included on lists barring him from U.S.-bound aircraft.

Part of the explosive device that failed to take down last week's flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, was sewn into AbdulMutallab's underwear, authorities said. A preliminary FBI analysis found the device contained pentaerythritol tetranitrate, an explosive also known as PETN.

Investigators were having trouble determining what the accelerant AbdulMutallab allegedly tried to use to light the explosives because "the syringe was pretty much destroyed," a law enforcement source told CNN.

All 300 passengers and crew onboard the Christmas Day flight have been interviewed by authorities, the source said, adding that he expected no one else to be held or charged in connection with the incident.

Farouk1986's online posts show that as early as 2005, he had a serious view of his religion. One of his struggles, the poster wrote, was that the "loneliness leads me to other problems."

Farouk1986 said after fasting, "I felt a shield that prevented evil thoughts coming into my head. I felt closer to Allah."

Being lonely awakened sexual desires that he struggled to control, he said, sometimes "leading to minor sinful activities like not lowering the gaze." His religion instructed him to fast to avoid such temptation, but it didn't seem to be working, Farouk1986 said.

In another online post soon afterward, though, he took his comment back.

PAS, PKR and UMNO destroys hindu cemetery in Kedah. DAP won’t disturb Chinese cemetery in Penang

In fact the DAP has bent backwards to protect the Chinese graves that even went beyond the Chinese cemetery boundaries and spilling onto the adjoining land (refer The Star 23/12/09 at page N16 below). But when it was the Indian Village Kg. Buah Pala this very same DAP destroyed the last traditional Indian village in Penang in October 2009 while PAS last week destroyed the local 100 over year old hindu cemetery, the last piece of history and heritage of the Indian plantation workers of Ladang Pekaka, Kuala Ketil, Kedah. And PKR destroyed the Ampang Hindu temple in early 2009. UMNO has a record of destroying one hindu temple in every week during the terror reign of former Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo (reply by Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid to ADUN for Kota Alam Shah, Maoharan Malayalam at the Selangor State Assembly early this year). And all these atrocities by UMNO, PKR, PAS and DAP done with impunity.

This is the UMNO, PKR, PAS and DAP rulers set of justice when it comes to the Indians and Hindus in Malaysia. Why the double standards?

The bottom line is the Chinese and the Malays both have the economic and political clout which the Indians don’t. So the Indians are both the soft targets and easy prey to be bullied and to be pushed about and around by both UMNO and also PKR, DAP and PAS. This is the race based political reality in UMNOs’ Malaysia vis a vis PKR DAP and PAS.

P. Uthayakumar.

29/12/09

pkr-pas

MRSM BAGI KESEMUA 817 PELAJAR SEKOLAH TAMIL 7A BAGI KEMASUKAN TINGKATAN SATU 2010 (Letter to PM and Education Minister) .

HUMAN RIGHTS PARTY MALAYSIA

NO.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245 Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com

Your Reference :

In Reply : HRP/ DEC/ 09

Date : 29/12/2009

YAB. Dato Seri Najib Razak

Perdana Menteri Malaysia

Blok Utama Bangunan Perdana Putra,

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, Fax: 03-88883444

62502 Putrajaya E-Mail : najib@pmo.gov.my.

Y.B Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

Menteri Pelajaran,

Pejabat Menteri Pelajaran,

Aras 10, Block E8,

Complex Kerajaan Parcal E, Fax: 03-8889 5846

62604 Putrajaya. E- Mail: khairulam@moe.gov.my

MRSM BAGI KESEMUA 817 PELAJAR SEKOLAH TAMIL 7A BAGI KEMASUKAN TINGKATAN SATU 2010 .

Kami rujuk kepada perkara yang tersebut di atas dan ingin membawa kepada perhatian pihak YAB/YB yang seramai 817 pelajar Sekolah Tamil dari seluruh negara telah mendapat keputusan cemerlang 7A dalam peperiksaan Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) dan kejayaan mereka ini telah menjadi tajuk utama dalam akhbar- akhbar Malaysia Nanban, Tamil Nesan dan Makkal Osai pada 20/11/2009 dan seterusnya selama berhari-hari selepas daripada itu.

Menurut laporan akhbar Utusan Malaysia pada 29/11/09 di muka surat 8 dan akhbar New Straits Times di muka surat 20 bertajuk ‘Mara College letters out next month’, kami ingin membawa kepada perhatian pihak YAB/YB bahawa sehingga kini tidak ada seorang pun penuntut dari kalangan 817 penuntut sekolah Tamil tersebut yang telah menerima surat tawaran penerimaan ke Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM).

Kami ingin memaklumkan kepada pihak YAB/YB bahawa kesemua 817 pelajar sekolah Tamil tersebut telah tidak mendapat sebarang pengiktirafan yang sewajarnya sebagaimana yang diberikan kepada pelajar- pelajar Melayu Islam yang lain berdasarkan Sistem Pendidikan Kebangsaan di bawah Polisi Satu Malaysia yang menjadi asas kepada Pembangunan Malaysia.

Pelajar sekolah Kebangsaan hanya boleh mendapat maksima 5A. Tetapi ke manakah 817 pelajar sekolah Tamil ini yang mendapat keputusan cemerlang 7A ini harus pergi sekiranya mereka tidak diberi peluang ini dalam menguatkan dan mengukuhkan lagi kepintaran mereka dan seterusnya pembangunan negara.

Ekoran daripada ini, kami ingin menyarankan bahawa kesemua 817 pelajar sekolah Tamil yang mendapat 7A ini dan juga kesemua murid – murid dari masyarakat India dari Sekolah Kebangsaan yang mendapt 5A harus diberi peluang dan diterima masuk ke dalam 12,440 tempat (BH 21/11/09 page 7) di 42 Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) yang berasrama penuh (NST 5/4/08 mukasurat 7) dan sekolah berasrama penuh bagi kemasukan ke Tingkatan Satu pada sesi persekolahan tahun 2010. Dengan kemasukan 817 pelajar sekolah Tamil ini ke dalam MRSM dan juga di sekolah – sekolah berasrama penuh ini ianya akan membuktikan keikhlasan dasar Satu Malaysia yang diwar-warkan oleh Perdana Menteri Dato Seri Najib Razak.

Kami juga memohon yang apabila mereka diterima masuk kelak, mereka harus diberi jaminan Kerajaan berkenaan kebebasan beragama mereka dimana mereka tidak harus disuruh atau dipaksa memakai tudung, menghadiri kelas agama Islam; menganuti ugama Islam dan mengambil bahagian dalam hal- hal yang berkaitan dengan agama lain selain daripada agama mereka sendiri seperti yang termaktub dalam Artikel 11 (Kebebasan berugama) dan dibaca bersama dengan Article 12 Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang memperuntukkan “ No person shall be required to receive instruction in or to take part in any ceremony or act of worship of a religion other than his own”.

Dalam keadaan ini kami juga meminta Kerajaan agar membina satu MRSM Tamil sebagaimana MRSM PDRM untuk anak- anak Polis, MRSM ATM untuk anak- anak Tentera dan MRSM FELDA untuk anak- anak peneroka Felda.. MRSM Tamil ini juga akan membantu memberi ransangan, semangat dan motivasi kepada 817 pelajar yang mendapat 7A dan juga lain – lain 110,000 pelajar dari 523 Sekolah Tamil di seluruh negara dan juga pelajar lain dari kalangan masyarakat India dari sekolah – sekolah Kebangsaan untuk terus cemerlang dalam pelajaran mereka dan seterusnya menyalurkan kepintaran mereka untuk mengukuhkan lagi pembangunan sejagat negara Malaysia khususnya dari segi intelektual.

Jawapan dan tindakan segera pihak YAB/YB dalam perkara ini disanjung tinggi.

Sekian,

Terima Kasih,

Yang Benar,

____________________

P.Uthayakumar

Setiausaha Agong (penaja)