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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Zul Noordin: I'd quit PKR today - Malaysiakini

exclusive Defiant PKR parliamentarian Zulkifli Noordin has gone on the offensive in the face of impending disciplinary action, saying he is ready to quit the party any time.

He said politics are not his priority and that he would "willingly quit" if the situation reaches a point where he is seen as a bad apple in opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat.

"People know that I have love and respect for Anwar and this has never wavered...but my love for my religion (Islam, goes beyond that) and I cannot compromise on this.

"If it reaches the stage that I could be a cause of problems in (Anwar's) quest to (take over) Putrajaya, I would withdraw. I would even quit the party today.

"If Anwar says he cannot compromise with me, I can quit. I have no qualms about this because I never expected to become a state representative or a YB (Yang Berhormat or member of parliament).

NONE"My life would continue (as usual). I am pretty sure they have made up their mind. Come 2013, they would say I should forget becoming a candidate."

Zulkifli (right) has come under fire for lodging a police report against PAS parliamentarian for Shah Alam Khalid Samad, for urging amendments to the Selangor Islamic enactment in light of the furore over the use of 'Allah' by non-Muslims.

Deeming that Zulkifli had gone too far with his latest act of provocation against Pakatan, the PRK political bureau referred him to a disciplinary panel and slapped a gag order on him, pending the hearing.

This did not stop him from giving an hour-long interview to Malaysiakini.

Zulkifli started his career in the party after 'parachuting' to contest in Kulim Bandar Baru parliamentary seat - an Umno stronghold - in the 2008 general election.

He said he was asked to do so at a short notice. Up to then, his main claim to fame was having acted as a lawyer for PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim in the latter's 1988 sodomy trial.

'I too have a choice'

Zulkifli, a Syarie lawyer turned politician, is known to take a conservative approach to Islam that has often run contrary to PKR's liberal stance.

He lamented the way some PKR leaders, especially Zaid Ibrahim, openly attacked him, after the political bureau made a collective decision on handling the complaint.

"I have been gagged. How can they attack me (when I cannot respond)? (The bureau has) every right to take action within its jurisdiction. But I also have the right to defend and explain myself.

If (disciplinary panel thinks my explanation) is unacceptable, it can always suspend me, expel me or strip me bare. That is up to them. But I too have a choice - to either accept the decision or quit the party."

In any case, he said the party's more liberal approach to the 'Allah' issue has dampened his spirits.

NONE"All this while I survived in PKR because I had (the belief that I could speak about religion). Now doubt has overtaken (that belief) although I've always believed in Anwar's struggle.

"(PKR has) always said that there are bigger things to worry about like corruption. But if there is no more room for me to fight for Islam, then that's it. I have nothing left to fight for (here).

"For me, if you fight for aqidah (faith), you can fight corruption, no matter how big it is...I just want to save Muslims. This has nothing to do with politics, but is (a matter of religion)."

Excerpts follow from the interview. These have been edited for language and clarity.

Malaysiakini: Tell us more about yourself.

Zulkifli Noordin: I was born in Baling, Kedah, and my parents were both police officers. But I was brought up in Ipoh for 25 years. That is why I am not really good with the Kedah dialect.

I had my early education at the Anderson School, Ipoh, and then King Edward School, Taiping, before doing a pre-university course at the Maktab Tentera. Then I pursued my A-levels in Oakland, New Zealand, and earned a law degree from Victoria University, New Zealand.

I provided legal aid services to start my law career. I have been involved with Muslim-based NGOs since student days.

My dad has passed away and my mum is still in Baling. I have three elder brothers and four younger sisters. My wife and I have four children, two boys and two girls. Now I have a great passion for horse riding and do this every weekend.

You were in PAS before, so how did you end up in PKR?

I am still a PAS member. I was a commissioner until the 2008 general election. Because of my close association with Anwar, I was asked to be the PKR candidate for Bandar Baru Kulim.

I thought it was suicide to put me there because it was an Umno stronghold and I did not expect to win. I contested, not as a PKR member but as Anwar's lawyer. And I won.

What do you think will happen in terms of disciplinary action against you?

I (don't know). I told the top leaders that I have my views and do not regret lodging the police report against Khalid because I think he has crossed the line.

I have the right to defend myself and explain myself. If they still feel that (what I've done) is unacceptable, then (they can) take the necessary action. I told (Anwar), 'You have made a decision and imposed a gag order on me, but there are certain quarters who keep attacking me'.

What happened to him when he was put in jail? They handcuffed him and beat him up when he was defenseless. This is exactly what is happening to me now. Just be fair to me. If they can talk, why can't I? What makes (PKR) any different than Umno?

pkr meeting 310110 anwar 01I am not scared of anything...I am not scared of losing my position. I don't even hold a party post. I don't even know whether I am a (PKR) member or not. Frankly, I don't know. All I know I am a PKR MP and Anwar's lawyer.

Let's say I quit the party or am told to quit - my support for Anwar (left) will always be the same...my message is very simple, Anwar should be the PM, period.

How I do it, within or outside the party or even in BN, it's the same. Don't ever threaten me and say I will be kicked out of the party, I don't give two hoots about this.

Which party is closest to your ideology?

I am not interested in political parties. I prefer Islamic-based NGOs because I know the world works like this: If you join an (opposition) political party, half of the Muslims will not be with you because they are with Umno.

(It would be the same if you join Umno because half of the Muslims would be with opposition parties.) So (membership) would be a disadvantage.

12 reports lodged against PM's aide - Malaysiakini

A dozen police reports has been lodged against the prime minister's special aide, Nasir Safar, for his alleged racist remarks, according to federal Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director Mohd Bakri Zinin.

NONEMohd Bakri (right) said the 12 reports were lodged in various locations throughout the country, which he assured would be probed in detail.

Asked if Nasir would be apprehended and hauled to court over the matter, Mohd Bakri said it would be premature to comment on pending investigations.

"Let us investigate first. We must gather all the facts and witnesses. Only then will we decide whether to detain him,” he said.

Mohd Bakri was speaking to reporters today after presenting badges to canine handlers at the Malaysian Police Training Centre's canine unit in Kuala Lumpur.

Yesterday, Nasir was alleged to have labelled Indian and Chinese Malaysians pendatang (immigrants) while speaking at the 'Rapat 1Malaysia' seminar in Malacca.

Muar surau attack

Nasir was also alleged to have threatened to revoke citizenship of Indians who insist on allowing students to take up 12 subjects for SPM examinations.

Hours after Malaysiakini broke the news, the Prime Minister's Department announced through a three-paragraph press statement that Nasir is due to resign over the incident.

The statement added that Nasir's opinions does not reflect those that of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

In another development, Mohd Bakri said police findings on the arson attacks of two surau in Muar, Johor have been submitted to the Attorney-General's Chambers, who will decide on further action.

He said the four suspects in the case are still under remand. They have been held since Jan 23.

MIC Youth to meet Indian NGOs on racial unity - Malaysiakini

MIC Youth will convene a meeting with Indian-based non-governmental organisations to discuss the latest developments in the country, especially on racial unity, the movement's advisor S Vell Paari said today.

He said MIC Youth chief T Mohan has been entrusted with organising the meeting by next week and to invite as many NGOs supporting both the political divide.

"The meeting is important for us to discuss and explain the latest happenings in the country with regards to several incidents that may have an effect on the racial unity," he said in a statement.

NONEHe said the meeting would give the opportunity to the NGOs to speak their mind and have frank and open discussions on sensitive issues.

"We will then compile their views and suggestions and submit to the government.

"Through this way, our views will be channeled to the government orderly and without causing any uneasiness or unhappiness among the various races in the country," Vell Paari said.

Vell Paari said he had received some 800 emails via the Facebook in just over two days over the recent incidents involving race and religion.

"Most of the emails are from the youths and NGOs. The meeting with the NGOs is necessary so that we can let them vent their frustration on us (MIC) being the representative of the Malaysian Indians in the government," he said.

Appoint Indian officer

Vell Paari also suggested that cabinet ministers and deputy ministers from all political parties appoint an Indian officer to brief them on the latest happenings and the needs of the Indian community.

"For a start, we (MIC Youth) will request MIC's three representatives in the government to appoint at least two Indian officers from amongst the Youth, Putera or Puteri wings of MIC," he said.

The party's three representatives are Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam, Deputy Minister in the PM's Department SK Devamany and Federal Territories Deputy Minister M Saravanan.

He said the Prime Minister has already appointed an Indian officer to handle all matters relating to the community's affairs.

MACC report by HRP, Batu Caves rail, road works & bridge @ RM 100 Million? Batu Caves quarrying? Majlis Perbandaran Selayang, Selangor and Federal Sta

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 Email: info@humanrightspartymalaysia.com

Your Reference :

In Reply : Misc/Feb/10

Date : 2nd January 2010

Y. Bhg. Dato Abu Kassim bin Mohamed

Ketua Pesuruhjaya

Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia

SPRM Block D6, Fax : 03-88889562

Complex D, E-mail : abukassim@sprm.gov.my

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,

62007 Wilayah Persekutuan,

Putrajaya

Dear Sirs,

Re : MACC report by HRP, Batu Caves rail, road works & bridge @ RM 100 Million? Batu Caves quarrying? Majlis Perbandaran Selayang, Selangor and Federal State government’s dubious approval of planning, building permission and construction.

______________________________________________________________________

We refer to the above matter. Please treat this as our official MACC report.

During and after the Thaipusam festival, we have received numerous public complaints about the undue and unlawful separation and segregation of the historical traditional, heritage and ancestral 500 over year old hindu ritual riverbed from the main Batu Caves hindu temple (reference NST 28/1/10 at page 12).

Further to the dubious planning and building permission that was approved by the Selayang Municipal Council, the Selangor State Government and the relevant Federal Agencies we now raise the following fifteen points for your real and serious investigations and prompt prosecution accordingly:-

  1. The Sentul Railway station is a dead end. If only this Railway station had been shortened and brought forward by about 100 meters or so and built on the empty piece of land just before the main road leading to Batu Caves, a whole long stretch of this Batu Caves ancestral riverbed could have been preserved and maintained as part and parcel of the Batu Caves Heritage and which is to be in line with Batu Caves becoming a World Heritage Site.

  1. Was the closure of the main road from the said riverbed to the Batu Caves Hindu Temple to make way for some giant construction companies to undertake the estimated One hundred million Ringgit Malaysia (RM 100 Million) construction works by the building of the spiraling elevated bypass road across the railway tracks, the new Batu Caves Railway station, the “unfit and unsafe” bridge to the Batu Caves Tamil School etc.

  1. Why wasn’t an overhead railway bridge built instead which would have cost a fraction of the spiraling elevated bypass road and in order to maintain this ancestral and heritage walkway from the said riverbed to the Batu Caves hindu temple.

  1. In the alternative why wasn’t an underground railway passageway not built to maintain this walkway from the said riverbed to the Batu Caves hindu temple.

  1. The whole row of about 20 traditional up to fifth generation Indian flower shops leading to Batu Caves has now been by passed with the building of this new spiraling elevated bypass. These shops risk closure anytime now due to lack of business.

  1. Why didn’t the Selayang Municipal Council or the Selangor State Government or the relevant Federal Authorities order a Stop Work Order with the view to maintain, preserve and restore this original historical, traditional, heritage and ancestral walkway to Batu Caves.

  1. Why didn’t the PKR led Pakatan Rakyat Selangor state government lodge an MACC report on the possible acts of corrupt practices in the planning, building and construction of this project.

  1. The Batu Caves Tamil school has now been cut off from the riverside part of Batu Caves and this new development is also causing grave inconvenience to even the fifth generation Malaysian Indian minority parents and school children who are forced to cross the steep, dangerous and unsafe overhead bridge across the railway lines to get to their school.

  1. Why couldn’t the original Railway gate crossing be preserved and the then existing road been maintained if not enhanced which would have cost a fraction of the cost of this spiraling elevated bypass and the related development.

  1. Was this whole undue development intentionally designed to segregate Batu Caves from their traditional riverbed site.

  1. Was this whole undue development project to save if not to cater for the private interest of the cement factory at the end of the railway line?

  1. Why is this cement company still allowed to operate next to a potential World Heritage Site and in a residential area.

  1. We have been informed and now request your goodselves to investigate if and /or why quarrying works are still believed to be allowed to go on at Batu Caves when the same had been ordered to be stopped even as long ago as 1980 by the then Selangor State government. (Starmetro 26/1/2010 at page M9). If there is no massive quarrying works why then is there the cement factory at the end of the Railway Line requiring huge railway containers to transport the “harvested” cement.

  1. We are not aware of any advertisements in especially all the three Tamil newspapers notifying especially the ethnic minority Malaysian Indian public of the eventual closure separation and segregation of this ancestral walkpath from the riverbed to the Batu Caves hindu temple.

  1. Even now we demand for the restoration and the further enhancement of the original road to the main Batu Caves temple and the maintanance and preservation of the original walkpath to Batu Caves. The present PKR led Selangor state government even at this juneture can act at least to undo these injustices.

In the circumstances we suggest that your goodselves propose to the Federal, Selangor State governments and the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang that as a matter of general public importance this whole development be torn down the original status quo be maintained, all (suspected) quarrying works be stopped and the ancestral riverbed not only be restrored but the river be made clean, purified and also enhanced to become the Ganges of One Malaysian Batu Caves.

Kindly keep us posted on the status of these investigations and also revert to us accordingly.

Thank you,

Yours faithfully,

……………………….

P. Uthayakumar

Secretary General (pro tem)

Mounting controversies in the way of Najib’s right moves

By Neville Spykerman -The Malaysian Insider

Najib is banking on his Government Transformation Programme to win over the hearts and minds of the people. - Picture by Jack Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak is betting on his Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and the recovering economy to win his Barisan Nasional (BN) enough votes to win the next general elections.

But commentators and analysts say that such a strategy can work only if he is not sidetracked by race rows and other controversies.

And with yesterday’s racist comments by a senior aide severely embarrassing the prime minister and the ongoing “Allah” row not going away, it remains a “big if.”

“The GTP is a vote winner but the key to it’s success is BN’s ability to avoid another issue such as the ‘Allah’ controversy,” said James Chin, a political science lecturer at Monash University here.

He noted the prime minister has carefully based the GTP on key bread and butter issues faced by the public and BN’s calculation is that as long as these issues are addressed other factors will have no major impact on the results of the next general elections.

Chin said he expects the GTP to be successful because most of the measures for the transformation programme were already in the pipeline even before the GTP plan was put in place.

His optimism is supported by ING’s recent quarterly Investment Dashboard Survey which was released last week.

The survey reported that the investment scene in Malaysia was stabilising, with investors remaining optimistic over the current economic outlook.

It also indicated stability in the local jobs market and measures to sustain the property sector was boosting investor confidence that Malaysia will be able to achieve a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of three per cent this year.

Policy analyst Khoo Kay Peng also agreed that most Malaysians were concerned with economic well being while issues such as democracy and rule of law only concerned a small segment of society.

“Sadly the majority will put the economy ahead of social issues.”

However he said the success of the GTP would depend on a cumbersome civil service and Najib’s leadership, which he said has so far been unconvincing.

Khoo points out that Najib’s handling of a slew of recent controversies such as the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, the theft of Royal Malaysian Air Force jet engines, Teoh Beng Hock’s death and the recent ‘Allah’ row were missed opportunities for him to demonstrate his leadership.

“These were opportunities for him to show his leadership but instead it hurt his credibility. ‘‘

Prof Shamsul Amri Baharuddin remarked that the GTP has so far been a ‘top down’ effort with limited participation from the public.

He described the GTP as a grand design but said that what was lacking was an inherent mechanism where the public can be consulted.

“Yes it can work provided the public can participate.” said the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) director of the Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation.

His UKM colleague Prof Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff agreed that the GTP and economy were steps in the right direction to win over the public.

However he said transforming policies into real benefits would be key to the GTP’s success.

“The people must experience real impact,” he said.

Political scientist Wong Chin Huat said the GTP and a recovering economy may have been enough to win over the public in the past but was unlikely to be enough today.

“It may have worked ten or 20 years ago but ever since the last general elections, Malaysians have woken up.” he said adding that the public was now more demanding.

No date set for Anwar’s review of application

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani - The Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 3 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial will proceed this afternoon even as his defence team continues to try all legal avenues to compel the prosecution to provide additional evidence.

Anwar’s lawyer Karpal Singh said that the president of the Court of Appeal will decide the date on the review of Anwar’s application by the end of the week.

Karpal, together with his legal team and the prosecution met with Chief Judge Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff to get a date to review the Federal Court ruling that upheld earlier decisions to disallow him from obtaining additional evidence for Anwar’s sodomy trial.

“He (Alauddin) said by this Friday, Insya’Allah,” Karpal told reporters here.

Karpal confirmed that the trial will commence at 2.30 pm later today.

Karpal said that they will also file an appeal to the Court of Appeal by tomorrow on the decision made by the High Court to not strike out the sodomy charges against Anwar.

The High Court yesterday refused to strike out the sodomy charges against Anwar, stating that “no conclusive clinical findings suggestive of penetration to the anus/rectum cannot be used as a basis for the Court to use its discretion to strike out the charges.”

Karpal reiterated the importance of having the documents and evidences to ensure a fair trial.

“We want a fair trial and a fair trial can only come about if the defense is given every opportunity to obtain which is necessary for the defense.

“Getting the documents in the middle of a trial, that would prejudice the defense. The defense must get the documents so that the defense can plan its strategy. That is how it works for other countries. Some how it does not work that way here,” he said.

Anwar is accused of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan on June 26, 2008 at a posh condominium in the exclusive Bukit Damansara suburb in Kuala Lumpur.

He has denied the charge, saying it’s a conspiracy similar to his first charge in 1998.

The 63-year-old Opposition Leader was freed in September 2004 and later resurrected his political career by winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, that was held in the interim by his wife, in a by-election in 2008.

He had earlier led the opposition Pakatan Rakyat to a historic sweep of four states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008 .

But he was then mired with the accusation from 24-year-old Saiful, whom Anwar dismissively said was just a “coffee boy”.

Anwar's sodomy trial to proceed this afternoon

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 3 – The sodomy trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will proceed this afternoon, his lead counsel Karpal Singh said.

He told reporters after meeting Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff here that Alauddin would set a date by this week for a review of the Federal Court's decision to strike out the appeal by Anwar to obtain certain documents from the prosecution to prepare his defence.

Anwar's legal team had yesterday morning filed the application for a review of the Jan 29 Federal Court decision.

Yesterday, High Court Justice Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, who was informed of the review application, fixed the hearing of the trial at 2.30pm today after rejecting a bid by Anwar to stay the trial.

Anwar, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor and Permatang Pauh MP, is accused of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at Unit 11-5-1, Kondominium Desa Damansara, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code which carries a maximum 20 years' jail and whipping upon conviction. – Bernama

Racism hinders Najib’s 1 Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — Race relations, already aggravated by the ‘Allah’ row, attacks on places of worship and the Biro Tata Negara controversy, is in danger of spiralling out of control in Malaysia despite the resignation of Datuk Nasir Safar last night as special officer to the prime minister.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng, writing in his blog yesterday, called Nasir’s remarks that “Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese especially the women came to sell their bodies” at a 1 Malaysia seminar in Malacca a symptom of ugly racial politics.

“The question is why are we not surprised by Nasir’s allegations. Nasir is a symptom of ugly racial politics,” Khoo wrote.

While Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was quick to disassociate himself from Nasir’s remarks, he should not be surprised as well with what his special aide had said that caused a furore and led to allies MCA and MIC walking out.

Najib has been working hard to push for a 1Malaysia. - Picture by Jack Ooi

The tone of Nasir’s remarks, especially when he allegedly warned Indians that the government could revoke their citizenships if excessive demands were made by the community, reflects a growing intolerance among many in Umno with the non-Malays particularly after the Hindraf 2007 march that put the government in bad light.

And Nasir cannot be considered a maverick speaking out of turn or a fringe minority within Umno. He was part of Najib’s team in government and was also a former Umno lawmaker from Johor, well-versed in government policy and the need to implement effectively and efficiently without a doubt.

The remarks made by Nasir is also not the first time an Umno official has caused major embarrassment for the party and the government with racist remarks.

Penang Umno warlord Datuk Ahmad Ismail had labelled the Chinese “pendatang,” during a campaign rally in 2008, and was suspended three years by his party. That suspension was lifted late last year, as Umno moved to win back Malay ground from Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

But Najib’s push for 1 Malaysia has now become even more difficult with the remarks made by Nasir at a multi-racial seminar.

The question now is how many of Najib’s officers and those in Umno are still stuck in a racist and chauvinistic warp.

The common refrain from the likes of Nasir, Ahmad and some racist BTN course facilitators appear to be the view that non-Malays, particularly the Indians and the Chinese, are to be perpetually classified as immigrants.

The thinking appears to be that as perpetual immigrants the Chinese and the Indians should not make excessive demands and should be grateful for citizenship.

Yet, anecdotal evidence suggests that Najib does not believe in nor does he subscribe to such views. But like many other senior Umno leaders, he appears to have tolerated such views in his party.

However, by acting swiftly to demand Nasir’s resignation within hours of his divisive remarks, the PM has contained some of the damage caused.

But he must now act speedily to purge his party of any suggestion of racism. He must resolve to quickly put down any hints of racial extremism, such as Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s recent remarks against “disrespectful non-Malay leaders’’ who are questioning the dominance of the Malays.

Or else his 1 Malaysia dream could be a nightmare.

A personal touch to the PM’s aide’s remarks

I did not have the honor of being in the seminar but reading the news I have noticed that the mainstream newspapers omitted the statement made by the PM’s Aide. They just mentioned his quitting. I believe the government is ashamed to even let it be published. For we all know, here in Malaysia, the government only paint beautiful, perfect pictures of our history. All flaws should be removed and hidden.

By avancc

What stunned me was, how could a person who is close to the PM, who spent more time than anyone of us (except his wife and children of course), not understand the PM’s plan of unity?

You know, Humans are very interesting creatures. If we get to watch someone long enough, we will copy some of their attitude, character, speech and gestures. And we copy the good ones as well as the bad. This is called Mutual influence.

So I wondered. A person who’s so close to the PM, to be given the “Special Officer” post, to be saying such remarks in a seminar. Either he’s gone against his superior’s plan, or he was merely repeating what his superior told him.

You know. Teachers will usually be able to guess what a parent is like by looking at the student.

That has been bad enough an image to display. But what made it worse was that he denied making that claim. Only to have his dismissal announced from his office, BUT NOT BY HIMSELF.

Well, he performed a serious offence which, in normal practice, should be treated with ISA or the Sedition Act. However, he was only slapped with a quick dismissal. And that too was not on his own accord.

As Malaysians are a forgetful lot, we easily forget things. And a quick dismissal will make 2 impacts:

1) They will claim that the “culprit” has been penalized/punished.

2) To close away any other dispute/speculation about him. If they left him to linger a little more, reporters may start asking questions and he may let out more hints of what’s behind the wall of the PM's office.

So, damage has been done. The person did not even admit wrong but had to be quickly dismissed to close away the focus of the public. What’s going to happen after this? I am expecting – NOTHING.

When you think properly, you might be able to catch a glimpse. Considering the above “mutual influence”, your common sense would tell you … Either something went wrong with BTN (as all officers would have to attend it right?); or SOMETHING’S GOING ON IN THE PM’S OFFICE. For if the government's top officers themselves are not clear about the goal of the PM, what more with us?

And your common sense would also tell you, if as a leader of a country your subordinates make a contradictory action to yours which will jeopardize your goal, would you just dismiss him, or punish him properly? And after that? Make a cleanup in your team to make sure your message is direct and clear where there will be no more of such in the future. Also, the selection of team members will be tightened. Common sense, right?

Such inaction/lack of enthusiasm only shows me one thing …. PUNISHING HIM WOULD BE UNFAIR AS HE WAS MERELY REPEATING WHAT HE WAS TAUGHT.

Well, looking at the situation, it suggests that either there’s a serious problem with the leadership (poor management and leadership skill), or a serious problem with the leader (his unity plan is a mockery as he keeps teaching his subordinates about disunity). Either way, the (dis)credit will still go back to the top, wouldn’t it? Now, still fancy such leadership? Are they changing? I would say - YES. They are changing to the worse.

Will Sodomy Charges End Malaysia's Opposition?

On Tuesday, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, a little more than a decade after he was arrested, beaten and jailed on sodomy charges, walked into a Kuala Lumpur courtroom to face the same charges once again. In August, the government charged the politician with sodomy for the second time in his career, in this case, with a 23-year-old former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Under Malaysian law, consensual sodomy or sex acts "against the order of nature," as it is described in the law here, is punishable with up to 20 years in jail.

By Baradan Kuppusamy (Time)

"I don't believe in this charge at all," Aziz Maanan, a 36-year-old food vendor, says as he prepares double-layered, toasted roti at a night market in Kuala Lumpur. "They are all afraid of [Anwar] because if he wins and becomes Prime Minister, they will all end up in jail."

Whatever the word on the street in the Malaysian capital may be, the government denies any political motivation for the charges, saying Anwar committed a crime and must face criminal trial. Saiful, who was taken into protective police custody after he first made the allegation on June 26, 2008, has not been charged in the alleged act, and has written on his blog that he can't wait to confront Anwar in court. "I have waited for justice and hope to finally get it," he wrote in a recent posting.

Anwar, for his part, has always maintained his innocence. "It is a sad day for the country. Let's hope justice will prevail," Anwar said as he entered the packed courtroom on Tuesday morning with his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and key political allies, including the venerated Muslim cleric Nik Aziz Nik Mat. In January, Anwar took his case to the people, holding rallies around the country where he claimed that the new sodomy charges had been trumped up to stop him from running for Prime Minister in the upcoming general election, an accusation the government denies. Though plenty of constituents like Aziz Maanan support him, the reception Anwar got from Muslim-majority Malays was not so warm. Anwar steadfastly supports a Dec. 31 court ruling that Christians can legally use the word Allah to refer to their own God. The aftermath of the ruling saw at least 11 churches and several mosques attacked and desecrated.

This is the third time that Anwar will face trial on criminal charges. In 1999, he was sentenced to prison for corruption, which was quickly followed by sodomy charges in 2000, of which he was also found guilty but later acquitted in 2004. Some of the key players in that case figure again in the current trial, which started on Tuesday with preliminary arguments after a delay of nearly 16 months. The 63-year-old politician will once again face Gani Patail, the lawyer who prosecuted him in 1998 and is now Attorney General, as well as Musa Hassan, the man who investigated the first case and is now Inspector General of Police. Anwar has accused both men of fabricating evidence against him, charges they strenuously deny.

Anwar has vowed to topple the current Prime Minister, Najib Razak, who took office in April last year, in the next general election, which is widely expected to be held next year. His defense plans to subpoena Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor, alleging that the couple met with Saiful before the aide made the allegation against the Prime Minister's opponent.

Anwar has dominated Malaysian politics for more than four decades — first as a student leader in the 1970s and then as a rising minister in the government of Mahathir Mohamad. Eventually, as a powerful and charismatic Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar was poised to unseat Mahathir and take the reins of government when he was cut down in the fallout over how to tackle the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. As a prisoner, Anwar continued to influence national politics, turning his plight into a global cause, forming a multiracial political party and putting together an opposition coalition — all from behind bars.

And though he is no stranger to scandal, this trial, many say, may well be terminal for Anwar's ambition to become Prime Minister, derailing his sterling comeback and damaging the chances of the multiethnic, broadly secular Pakatan Rakyat coalition he leads. "In short, this is a make-or-break event for Anwar," political scientist Sivamurugan Pandyan tells TIME. "Everything is at stake ... his ambitions to become Prime Minister, his political career, the future of his Pakatan Rakyat. It's over for Anwar if he is found guilty and jailed even a few years."

By most counts, Malaysia, too, goes on trial on Tuesday. The judiciary, which was showing some independence in recent years, has come under attack again for bias and for pandering to political masters. Neither the Attorney General nor the police are widely seen as independent or impartial institutions, and opposition lawmakers constantly accuse them of selective persecution. Ramon Navaratnam, former president of Transparency International, says most Malaysians are against the trial and against charging Anwar with sodomy. "The public perception is that the trial is politically motivated," Navaratnam tells TIME. "Most people think this trial is unnecessary and it is selective persecution." Malaysian Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan says it is unfair to prejudge the judiciary. "The trial just started, and I can't say for sure whether Anwar will get a fair trial or not. We have to wait and see." Anwar's political ally veteran lawmaker Lim Kit Siang, who was first elected to parliament in 1969, says the charges are political and nothing else. "They want to bury him," he says. "The Pakatan Rakyat might be badly hurt by this, but we will soldier on."

Since Saiful publicly accused his former boss of sexual misconduct, the growing momentum that Anwar had enjoyed in the aftermath of the 2008 general-election victories, in which his coalition won five states and took 82 seats in the 222-seat parliament, has been gradually dissipating. The Pakatan Rakyat coalition formed in that cycle has been hit by defections, internal squabbles and major differences over how to treat Islam, Malay special privileges and, more recently, the Allah issue. The differences are shattering unity in the coalition. Prime Minister Najib, who still enjoys majority Malay support, is on a major charm offensive to steal away the minority Chinese and Indian voters — who together are 35% of the electorate of 13.7 million voters — who supported Anwar in 2008. "Najib is winning the hearts and minds of the people with his campaign," says Pandyan, referring to the "We Are One Malaysia" campaign, which is based on mending the nation's fractured race relations.

Ketuanan Melayu – The Real Chinese Puppet

When one thinks of Tuan, the image that comes to mind is a person of high caliber and good leadership. At least that is the modern image. The medieval image is one of imposition of force, denigration and rude suppression. To which category does Ketuanan Melayu belong?

By batsman

That the modern image has supplanted the medieval image is no accident. The barbaric methods of use of violence and force have been relegated to the past precisely because they are obsolete. Leadership and respect these days have to be earned, not imposed or demanded. That is also why Muslims all over the world are supremely confident that US barbarism and violence will lead to its eventual downfall.

In Malaysia, unfortunately the medieval way of thinking still pervades. Ketuanan Melayu is not only imposed by force but demanded as a birth right. That leadership and mastery must be of high caliber to be respected is not even an issue. Respect instead is demanded as a birth right and when that is not forthcoming, force is used to get it. This can only lead to the weakening of Malay culture in the long run and the destruction of the country that Ketuanan Melayu is master of.

This is why it is hypocritical of TDM to keep complaining that the Malays are not strong enough to exert true leadership when Ketuanan Melayu itself keeps Malay culture backward and uncompetitive. No, not just backward, but with a high level of tolerance for dirty tricks and the most heinous crimes against human rights and human dignity. This is not a culture of strength and decency that TDM promotes but a sinful one that practices the vilest of dirty tricks and violence that corrupts and makes miserable our everyday living environment.

This is also the reason why absolute monarchies all over the world have given way to constitutional monarchies. Monarchs have to be popular and exert good leadership qualities to survive the ravages of modern life and competition. Kings such as the Nepalese one have been forced to abdicate because they do not have the capability and leadership to stay on their thrones. Force and violence delayed the inevitable only for a short time, but did not avoid it altogether.

All empires that are based on force alone have vanished. Force can create empires but cannot sustain them. The British and Americans have used force to build their empires, but they also control mastery of medicine, art, engineering, commerce, finance, science and technology to mention just a few. But as weaker nations catch up in these fields, US barbarism and violence in warfare and suppression will make it lose its respect and leadership among equal nations. Britain is already in deep trouble and needs to print money to stay afloat. The US has been printing money as a monopoly under Bretton Woods for years but now needs to borrow trillions of dollars to stay afloat.

The reason for this is simple and it is not just a matter of ethics or morality or philosophy (whether medieval or modern) or even divine birth right. It is basically due to the fact that there are billions of ordinary people in the world and the assets as well as skills and talents they control (even though tiny when counted in an individual way) outweigh the assets and talents of those who claim leadership by birth right or by force. Once the whole people become united, no force that hereditary leaders can impose can match the power of an enraged and united people. This was what the US found out in Vietnam and is continuing to find out in other parts of the world even though it continues to engage in futile denial; thinking that its superiority in propaganda, money and weapons of war can delay the inevitable forever.

In fact, the simplest thing for the people of the world to do to regain their dignity and control of their lives is to make the simple decision to reject British and US influence and hegemony.

In Malaysia, there is a twist to the story. The Malays constitute the majority. The elites of all races depend on Ketuanan Melayu to impose their rule and get what they want. Even the Chinese elites support Ketuanan Melayu. This is because they can offer the technical and commercial skills still lacking among ordinary people to rake in stupendous profits while depending on the Ketuanan Melayu police and judiciary to protect their dirty deals.

Malaysia is like a luxury hotel for them to stay in and do business. Eventually when their advantage starts to dry up, they even use Ketuanan Melayu as an excuse to take their money out and emigrate to foreign countries, claiming the very discrimination that they have helped put in power for the last 52 years. Ketuanan Melayu is the real puppet of the Chinese elites, not PAS or Anwar Ibrahim.

The ordinary Chinese on the other hand also suffer exploitation under the Chinese moghuls. Ask any Chinese that works for nasty Chinese moghuls to see if it is easy or pleasant. The money that ordinary Chinese earn working under the big Chinese moghuls is earned through blood, sweat and tears over several generations.

But as is the facts of life, nothing is ever easy or clear cut. Many Malays still delude themselves that Ketuanan Melayu benefits them and many Chinese still delude themselves that Britain, US, Canada or Australia are Shangri-La’s that they aim to migrate to.

That is why patriotic Malays, Chinese and Indians still need to play it smart in politics. While maintaining equality amongst themselves and respect for each others’ right to organize and build up powerful political bases within their own communities, they still cannot afford to give credence to UMNO’s political accusations that PAS and Anwar Ibrahim are puppets of the non-Malays.

Among the opposition, it is still necessary for the Malays to lead the fight against UMNO. In the meantime, the Chinese and Indians do not just sit still. They must organized powerful support within their own communities in the fight against UMNO. They must be equal partners in this fight. It is of no use to patriotic Malays if the non-Malays are weak, cowardly and pliable when UMNO applies the pressure.

When UMNO whacks the non-Malays it must be made to feel as if it is whacking rock hard concrete and sharp hardened steel spikes. In the meantime, patriotic Malays must be sniping at UMNO from the side in coordinated campaigns.

I believe that the PR coalition will then be able to maximize its cooperation and coordination instead of just having a common political platform. In this way, there is a good chance for building a Malaysia that is free of corruption, incompetence, abuse of power and discrimination as well as having effective checks and balances and a politically neutral civil service.

Fool the Rakyat once, shame on you. Fool the Rakyat twice? Shame on the Rakyat!

Just as surely as Mahathir stupidly signed UMNO’s death warrant more then a decade ago when he went for Anwar on charges of sodomy, so has Najib now signed his own and confirmed UMNO’s death warrant when this son of Razak decided to go after Anwar for this second sodomy case on Anwar Ibrahim.

By Steadyaku47

THINK! If Mahathir had, in hindsight, understood the repercussion of going after Anwar – that ten years after the deed he would find PKR taking over 50% of the Rakyat’s vote from UMNO, that PKR will take five states from UMNO, that all his and UMNO’s pillaging and plundering of the National resources would be itemized in detail for all to see, that the Rakyat would know of PKFZ, of Petronas bailing out of his son’s business, that the ostentatious and outrageous splendor of his children’s houses and their hideous wealth would be displayed for all to contemplate in the internet, that Toyo’s palaces would be there for all to see…if he had known all this – do you not think he would have dealt with Anwar’s dismissal in a different way?

And yet these idiots in UMNO have not learnt! Who in UMNO advised Najib to go after Anwar for sodomy? The same person who advised Najib to do what was done in Perak? The same person who advised Najib to handle Bala the way he did? The same person who handled the Altantuya fiasco the way it was done? My God when will this Najib ever learn?

It takes a lot of courage (most likely desperation!) for Najib to try and conduct what is obviously a politically motivated prosecution of Anwar Ibrahim in these days when the internet will instantly bring to the world’s attention, if not the Rakyat, any instance of a contrived or arranged move by the powers that be, especially the Judiciary, to give Anwar anything less then a fair and open trial.

But desperation knows no rationality in persuading one do what is right. If Najib was rational he would have not met Saifal under ANY circumstances. If Najib was rational he would not have SMS-ed Razak Baginda in the midst of the Altantuya case. If Najib was rational he would have waited to make his move on Perak.

Desperation compelled him to take the Prime Minister ship early from Pak Lah - the man who trusted him enough to make him his heir apparent. Desperation made him bring in a convicted corrupt politician, Isa to contest – because failure was not an option for UMNO then. Desperation made him do the foolhardy deed of trying to “selesai” with Bala. And now in his and UMNO thinking, Anwar had to be put away and it is in the manner that Anwar was to be put away that Najib has faltered again.

Mr Prime Minster Sir, do you think you can control the judiciary to make them totally do your bidding? Even with the CJ as an active and compliant servant to do your bidding do you not think that there are forces within the judiciary that will leak out what the public should know? Do you not think that there are people within PDRM that are sympathetic enough of Anwar’s cause, of PKR’s cause … aware of the rakyat's need to know – that these people will not leak out what the police part is in this conspiracy to put Anwar away on trumped up charges again? Do you not fear that things might get out of hand as we know they will eventually?

You, Najib, will not be able to control, direct, guide and decide on the final outcome of this trial - and even if you did as Mahathir was able to do then for a while, eventually all will be out! We know enough about you own father to embarrass your Family now – but respect for the late old man prevents us from doing so – respect that has been earned through his many years of service for his country. You by contrast have been Prime Minster for how long? Not even longer then the gestation period for an elephant! And you think that you can carry this prosecution of Anwar to a triumphant conclusion?

Be afraid Najib! Even with Perak there were glitches. Did you not remember that a "renegade" judge did rule in favor of PKR’s man? Panic reign for a moment until you were able to “correct: things through a compliant judiciary again!

MACC- again glitches there. Did you not remember that for a few days a "renegade" again ruled that MACC could not conduct their interrogations outside office hours … again panic reigned until the judiciary was again brought to heel.

And now Anwar! Already he is being denied evidence necessary to conduct his defense effectively. We already know what the doctors have said – that there is no evidence of sodomy! Like the Altantuya case where we know of your involvement and ties to Razak Baginda – we also know of your meetings and discussions with Saiful in regards to this case.

Yes, so far you have been able to push this along on your terms with a view to putting Anwar away. Now what happens when there is another "renegade" that will not do your bidding? Maybe because you have not threaten him enough. Maybe not paid him enough. Maybe because he has had enough of seeing innocent people being prosecuted to serve the vile needs of UMNO, of Barisan and of you – and most likely because he has had enough of all these excesses that he sees around him perpetuated by those goons from UMNO. We live in hope that there will be many of these people who will put themselves – even their life – to defend that of the Rakyats.

Be afraid Najib. Be very afraid. You went for broke in Perak. You got your way – but are not the price too high to pay knowing that eventually the costs of buying over the opposition will cost you the next general elections?

You allowed PDRM and MACCC to do your dirty work for you. And again do you not think that a PDRM and MACC running amok does damage to your and UMNO cause more then it helped? Because the people do not condone and will not tolerate such excesses? And it is the people that will vote!

You allowed PKFZ to fester until nobody was able to contain the greed and avarice that made it a malignant disease that is already killing MCA and eventually UMNO as it advances relentlessly through everyone that had gained form it – namely Barisan and your cronies!

And now Anwar! If you think putting him in Sungai Buloh again solves your problems - then you have not learned from what happened over a decade ago when Mahathir used the police and the judiciary to try and neutralize Anwar. Already you and I know that this sodomy 2 is a "durian runtuh" for PKR.

The coming trail of anwar is able to focus all things PKR, all forces against UMNO and Barisan, all people wanting justice and a decent government – all these forces are now being concentrated on Anwar Ibrahim and his trial. You are giving him the same ability to move the people as Mahathir did in those Reformasi days - thank you! If you put him away you are damned. If you release him you are damned. Damn if you do, damn if you don’t. You cannot win. Either way he becomes the rallying point again. Back to reformasi days. Back to those days when Mahathir gave him the ability to bring together the Rakyat against the might of UMNO!

Can you still not remember what KL became in those days? A battlefield of reformasi vs what have you ... and for a time it was touch and go as to whether the Rakyat would totally heed the call for Reformasi to take root totally in Malaysia then. And at that time there was only Anwar! Today we have PKR … and what is more telling – we have the Malays, Chinese, Indians backed totally by the “other races” that will put their will, their beliefs, their commitment and even their lives to prevent what you are trying to do – putting away their symbol of hope for a brand new day for us all in Malaysia – Anwar Ibrahim!

Biro Tata Negara’s “real” message

thenutgraph.com

MOHD Khalid Mohd Nor, 27, attended the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) programme in 2002. Back then, he was a Public Services Department (JPA) scholar about to be sent to Germany to attend university. Khalid is now in London finishing his PhD in advanced manufacturing technologies. He is not on a government scholarship anymore.

The Nut Graph will continue to publish testimonies of former BTN programme inductees for as long as we receive these public testimonies. We believe these stories remain important until the government takes responsibility over how the publicly funded programmes were run to disunite Malaysians.

Indeed, these stories provide important documentation of a programme under the Prime Minister's Department that until recently was shrouded in secrecy. Here is Khalid's testimony of his BTN experience, sent to The Nut Graph via e-mail.

TNG: Where did you attend your BTN course?

Mohd Khalid Mohd Nor: Ulu Sepri, Negeri Sembilan.

How long did it last?

Four days and three nights, if I am not mistaken.

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

The participants were only those in my batch who had qualified after their A-Level examinations. We were students from the Overseas Preparatory Programme (PPP), now known as the International Education Centre, located on the Universiti Teknologi Mara campus in Section 17, Shah Alam.

In my batch, around 120 students qualified. If I am not mistaken, there were around 40 non-Malay [Malaysian] students at least. We [Malay Malaysians and non-Malay Malaysians] were all JPA scholars.

What was the racial composition of the trainers/facilitators?

The facilitators were all Malay [Malaysian]. They looked like former police or military personnel. They were really strict.

Other than the facilitators, I cannot remember if there were other outside speakers. But for sure, those who gave the motivation talks or trash talk were all Malay [Malaysians].


The BTN facilitators looked like former military personnel (Pic by Shariffc / Dreamstime)

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

For the Malay [Malaysians], the day might have started slightly earlier as we needed to do our morning prayers first. The day started before sunrise — everything was still dark. Once we finished bathing and had breakfast, we would assemble in the main hall.

In the hall, the day would start with us singing Negaraku and I think there was a camp song — I have totally forgotten the lyrics. We would then start listening to a whole series of ceramah about nationalism as we were all bound for Germany. Aside from the talks, there were group activities. We normally ended the day at midnight.

On one of the days, the Malay [Malaysians] had qiamullail, where we stayed in the surau the whole night reciting verses from the Qur'an and performing optional prayers until [the time for obligatory dawn prayers].

Where did the participants sleep? In big dormitories or small rooms?

We all slept in dormitories with bunk beds. The camp in Ulu Sepri looked relatively new.

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

Yes, there was mingling among the races and sexes, since we had all studied at the same place for the previous two years. When I was [in the course], I overheard one of the facilitators saying they were surprised to see other races, [since we had come from] UiTM. When they thought of UiTM, they assumed only Malay [Malaysians] were attending.

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

I believe our BTN course was catered for Malay [Malaysians], and they were surprised to see other races as well. Therefore the facilitators needed to devise a plan on how to deliver the real message or purpose of BTN.

On the last day, we all assembled just outside the main hall with our belongings. The final speech was given to all of us. Suddenly, only Malay [Malaysian] students were requested to assemble in the surau. We were all surprised. Then it all started. They gave us a piece of paper which I think contained the song Warisan. Before singing, they gave short lectures on [Malayness], ketuanan Melayu and so on.

They [said] other races were not welcome in Malaysia and we must protect our country before we Malay [Malaysians] became slaves or hamba in our own country. I was surprised that they were like this. The worst part was, these hate speeches were delivered in a surau.


Warisan

Most of the [other Malay Malaysian participants] came from boarding schools, such as the Mara Junior Science Colleges. So some of them agreed with what was presented by the facilitators. Another friend and I could not accept what was presented as we were both from day schools, where we had mingled with all races since childhood. I have mingled with all races since I was in Standard One.

Aside from that, there was this one pak cik who commented on Buddhist and Hindu statues and temples. He was making fun of how the statues were, and also I think he made some sexual comments about those statues. He said the statues of Buddha are fat due to eating too much. This, however, was not done in the surau. It was during one of the team-building sessions. I remembered some non-Malay [Malaysian] friends in that group got upset. He apologised to them eventually.

In my opinion, these incidents show that the facilitators were intolerant towards other Malaysians.

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

I think there were some lectures documented, but those did not have racial content. If it did contain racial stuff, the camp might have erupted from day one. I might still have some stuff from BTN at home, but unfortunately, I threw the paper containing the song that was presented to us in the surau [out of] the bus window as we left the camp.

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

The course has impacted me in a negative way — I am now more racist towards [fellow] Malay [Malaysians]. Not to all Malay [Malaysians], but to some. I am unsure of my other friends, but I am really disturbed by this, and this is the true reflection of our country.

There are still [Malay Malaysians] who consider non-Malay [Malaysians] in my generation as not worthy of calling Malaysia their home. If not Malaysia, which place are they supposed to call home? They are not migrants but Malaysians.

I am racist towards Malay [Malaysians] who are racist towards other races. Currently the Malaysian government is sending lecturers abroad to complete their masters and PhDs so as to upgrade the Malaysian education system. These lecturers are from government-funded universities.


(Pic by dfeir / sxc.hu)
In my university here [in London], they [have] started a society, but this society only [comprises] Malay [Malaysians] even though they [know] there are other Malaysians here as well. These lecturers will one day go back and start teaching at various institutions and shape future generations.

[My analogy is], if the mould has rough surfaces or edges, how could this mould shape future generations so as to build a truly [united] Malaysia?

Are there any positive things about the course you observed?

I personally did not gain anything positive from the BTN.

See also:
Losing the BTN plot
BTN's stolen Malaysians
"Why are Chinese [Malaysians] dangerous?"
Anwar Ibrahim, Jewish agent?
Learning about "hak istimewa orang Melayu"

Najib slammed for unfair, un-Islamic trial against Anwar

From Harakah
By Wong Choon Mei

Pakatan Rakyat and leaders from both local and international civil society groups have condemned Prime Minister Najib Razak for forcing through what they say is clearly a sham sodomy trial against reform icon Anwar Ibrahim.

The 62-year old Anwar, who is also Opposition Leader of the Pakatan, is being victimized a second time by Najib’s Umno-BN coalition, which fears his charismatic leadership and growing clout with voters may end their 52 years of political hegemony. In 2008, the Pakatan won control of five states and for the first time denied Umno-BN its long-held two-thirds parliamentary majority.

“The nation is about to go on another round of agony and humiliation,” PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Harakahdaily. “What we are witnessing is a dying regime’s last ditch bid to stay alive at any cost.”

“This trial is unfair and against Islamic law which emphasizes fair play. It certainly will exact a very drastic toll on Malaysia – both on the morale of its people and the well-being of its economy,” Dr Syed Azman, head of PAS’s international bureau, told Harakahdaily.

Unfair trial, against UN guidelines

On Tuesday, the Kuala Lumpur High Court quashed Anwar’s application for a stay of his sodomy trial pending his appeal for a judicial review of last week’s Federal Court decision not to allow his lawyers access to key evidence held by the prosecution. The sodomy trial proper will now resume on Wednesday at 2.30pm.

Although not unexpected – given the Malaysian judiciary’s record of bowing to political pressure – the refusal for more time pending documents still sparked renewed outrage both within the country and overseas.

“Even in 1998, the international community made it very clear the sodomy charges put up by Dr Mahathir against Anwar were rigged. Yet 11 years later, Malaysia is once again on trial for the world to see and for the same reason, which is basically that of having a morally bankrupt government,” Azman said.

“This speaks very poorly about our current Prime Minister Najib Razak. That in 2010, he has to revert to an old script using new actors show firstly, his morals are no better than his predecessors, and secondly, he has no ideas of his own. Definitely, he is not the man to lead Malaysia.”

Malaysia had defied the UN Human Rights Commission guidelines which define a fair trial as one where both defense and prosecution have access to the same key evidence. Although Malaysian lawmakers had last year inserted such a provision into Section 51 of the Criminal Code Procedure to comply with the UN standards, the judges ignored the amendment.

Both the UN Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International have since sent protest notes to Najib, but he has not commented on the matter, passing the hot potato to his former Umno colleague and Chief Justice Zaki Azmi instead. Unsurprisingly, Zaki was incommunicado when Anwar’s lawyers tried to approach him for an early review date. Instead, they were referred to the Chief Judge of Malaya, who agreed to see them on Wednesday.

“The Federal Court in review must put right what is obviously wrong, to ensure a fair trial,” Anwar told reporters. “I want the trial to begin but I must have the documents or my lawyers will be handicapped in their defence.”

“The judiciary is once again pandering to the ruling elite and not to justice and fair play. But it will be the people – the voters in particular – who will be the final judge. And this a warning that Najib and his Umno-BN would do well to bear in mind,” Tian said.

Asian icons Anwar, Suu Kyi persecuted

As expected the High Court was packed not just with supporters and journalists but also scores of foreign dignitaries and embassy staff, who turned up to signal their governments’ displeasure at the way Anwar was being persecuted.

Indeed Anwar and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi are two of Asia’s most renowned democracy fighters. Both have launched fierce battles to unshackle their people from political hegemony. In Myanmar, it is the military junta. In Malaysia, the Umno-BN’s regimented democracy. Both have been widely denounced for massive corruption and suppression of human rights.

But as it becomes clearer that Malaysians will in vote Anwar and Pakatan when the next general election falls due – latest by March 2013 – the scandal-hit Najib has begun playing hardball to stay in power.

According to Anwar, who plans to subpoena both the PM and his wife Rosmah Mansor as witnesses, the country’s first couple had met his accuser Saiful Bukhari Azlan two days before the latter lodged his police complaint.

“They had initially denied the meeting. Now Najib has admitted he had met Saiful and we want to know more,” Anwar said. “If Najib and the government can manage to cover up the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder, what more this? This second round of sodomy charges is a desperate attempt to frame me and stop the Pakatan’s advance.”

Un-Islamic, where are the 4 witnesses?

And despite portraying itself as the defender of Islam in the country, Najib’s Umno party has pulled out all stops to keep the case out of the Syariah Courts, where Islamic laws decree there must be at least four witnesses before a trial such as this can proceed. Otherwise it is fitnah or slander most foul.

“This is exactly why the Malays and the Muslims are turning away from Umno. They keep talking about championing Islam and yet it is obvious to all that the Syariah Court unnecessarily delayed hearing the case. Why?” Azman said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the majesty and fairness of Islamic law, yet Umno shies away from it. Why? After all, both accuser and accused are Muslims and both are agreeable to having the case tried under Islamic law.

“Could it be that this is because the Islamic courts demand a higher level of evidence for cases of this type – and which both Saiful and Umno cannot produce, hard as they try.”

Nasir Safar outrage latest reason why parliamentary select committee on 1Malaysia GTP is vital and indispensable

The Nasir Safar outrage is the latest reason why a parliamentary select committee on 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap is vital and indispensable if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia slogan is not to become a bogus one, degenerating into a farce and a joke.

In a three-paragraph statement just before 8 pm last night, the Prime Minister’s Office said:

“The remarks allegedly made by Datuk Nasir Safar, Special Officer to the Prime Minister, in Melaka today does not in any way reflect the views of the Prime Minister.

“Datuk Nasir never intended to make any derogatory remarks. He spoke at length on the contributions made by all races in developing the country. Nevertheless, Nasir apologises for any offence caused.

“In light of this, Datuk Nasir will tender his resignation.”

This is a most unsatisfactory statement. Why is the Prime Minister’s Office so protective and defensive about Nasir’s anti-national and anti-1Malaysia speech although Nasir will be resigning from his present post as Special Officer to the Prime Minister.

There can be no denial that Nasir made the following offensive, insensitive and anti-1Malaysia statements

  • Labelling Indians and Chinese in Malaysia as “pendatang”;

  • “Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese especially the women came to sell their bodies (jual tubuh)”;

  • Claimed that Umno was solely responsible in drafting the constitution sidelining the contribution of MCA and MIC;

  • Threat to revoke the citizenship of those vocal about the subject cap for SPM examination.

It is adding insult to injury and rubbing salt into the wound for the Prime Minister’s Office to claim in its three-paragraph statement that Nasir “never intended to make any derogatory remarks” and only “spoke at length on the contributions made by all races in developing the country” as if Nasir’s remarks were not offensive and derogatory enough.

The officer in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for drafting this offensive and insensitive three-paragraph statement should be identified and be asked to resign for equal insensitivity and lacking the 1Malaysia spirit.

When Nasir and the Prime Minister’s Office statement claim that the derogatory remarks were “never intended”, they seem to be blaming those who feel hurt and offended for being overly sensitive!

Are Nasir and the Prime Minister’s Office denying that Nasir had made these insensitive, offensive and anti-1Malaysia statements – of all places, at a 1Malaysia forum organized by Information, Communications and Culture Ministry’s Special Affairs Department at the Malacca International Trade Centre officially opened by the Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam?

Then let the government play the recording, whether tape or video, of Nasir’s speech at the 1Malaysia seminar in Malacca, as nobody would believe that the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry which organized the programme had not recorded it.

Alternatively, let those who heard Nasir’s speech speak up. Nasir addressed some 2,000 people at the 1Malaysia seminar in Malacca – imagine the communal poison and anti-1Malaysia thinking he was disseminating in the guise of 1Malaysia.

This appears to be the most modern version of “Raising the Red Flag to Destroy the Red Flag” – “Raising 1Malaysia to destroy 1Malaysia”.

The Nasir Safar outrage cannot be taken lightly, for Nasir Safar is no ordinary person but a trusted long-time aide of Najib for two decades, who had been delegated to represent the Prime Minister in many functions – like the official launching of the “Sahabat 1Malaysia & UKM 1Malaysia, 1Inspirasi Aspiration Logo” in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia on 18th October 2009.

If a senior and long-trusted aide of the Prime Minister for two decades – tracing back to the time when Najib was in various Cabinet positions such as Education, Defence and Deputy Prime Minister – could make such offensive, insensitive and anti-1Malaysia, the question must be asked: how many in the top leadership of the Umno/Barisan Nasional government really believe in 1Malaysia?

This is why I had read the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap launched by Najib last Thursday with great cynicism, when I should feel happy that many of the things I had been saying about nation-building can be found in it.

For instance, for the first time, the government admitted in the 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap that New Economic Policy had created the grave problem of brain-drain – with an estimated two million “best and brightest” Malaysian emigrating abroad since the seventies to create a Malaysian Diaspora and undermining Malaysia’s international competitiveness.

For the first time, an official government document has admitted that in the past decades, Malaysia’s education for instance has fallen behind other countries – casting an adverse reflection on the record of previous Education Ministers, including Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and even Najib himself!

The GTP Roadmap describes the goal of 1Malaysia as building a nation “where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second” – a definition which I had been advocating but no Umno/BN Minister or leader had ever endorsed or conceded.

While I am glad to read this definition of 1Malaysia, of creating a Malaysian who regards himself or herself as a Malaysian first and a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban, Orang Asli or Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu as second, I also feel sad because of the conviction that the1Malaysia GTP Roadmap is not a mainstream Umno/BN document!

My reservations have been confirmed by the recent spate of events which demonstrate that the “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” slogan and vision are just good branding exercises but do not represent the mainstream thinking, commitment and policy of the Najib government – as illustrated by the Nasir Safar outrage yesterday and last Thursday’s Jakim forum for 800 civil servants with inflammatory, divisive and seditious speeches which was no less than an act of open insubordination and insurrection against the 1Malaysia concept.

Najib should state his stand, whether he supports the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on the 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap – which will be an important pointer whether the Prime Minister is serious in wanting about his 1Malaysia slogan and concept.

Anwar's Sodomy Trial To Proceed This Afternoon

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 3 (Bernama) -- The sodomy trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will proceed this afternoon, his lead counsel Karpal Singh said.

He told reporters after meeting Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff here that Alauddin would set a date by this week for a review of the Federal Court's decision to strike out the appeal by Anwar to obtain certain documents from the prosecution to prepare his defence.

Among those who met Alauddin in his chambers this morning were the defence team comprising Karpal Singh, S.N. Nair, Datuk Param Cumaraswamy, C.V. Prabhakaran and Ram Karpal Singh, and the prosecution, headed by Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden.

"Alauddin said he would try his best to give us the date by the end of the week. In the meanwhile, the trial goes on at 2.30pm. That is the position at the moment," Karpal said.

Anwar's legal team had yesterday morning filed an application for a review of the Jan 29 Federal Court decision.

Karpal also said the defence would be filing a motion in the Court of Appeal by tomorrow for a stay of the sodomy trial pending the hearing by the same court of Anwar's appeal to strike out the sodomy charge.

"At the moment the trial will go on, and in the midst of it, it may be adjourned especially if the court gives us the date by Friday. We want to have all outstanding matters cleared so that the trial could proceed smoothly once and for all.

"Since that is the position, I think we do the necessary and get on with it," Karpal said.

On Tuesday, Kuala Lumpur High Court Justice Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, who was informed of the review application, fixed the hearing of the trial at 2.30pm today after rejecting a bid by Anwar to stay the trial.

Anwar, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor and Permatang Pauh MP, is accused of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at Unit 11-5-1, Kondominium Desa Damansara, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code which carries a maximum 20 years' jail and whipping, if convicted.