Monday, February 8, 2010
The Anwar trial continues but is then abruptly adjourned to tomorrow after Karpal Singh applies for the judge to be recused.By Anil Netto
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 – The Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sodomy trial was adjourned to tomorrow after lead defence counsel Karpal Singh applied to disqualify presiding High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah, citing dissatisfaction with the way the court has dealt with Utusan Malaysia’s coverage of the case.
Karpal made the application at the start of Day 4 of the trial in which the 62-year-old Opposition Leader is accused of sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at the Desa Damansara Condominium on June 26, 2008. Anwar has denied the charge, the second time in 12 years he has faced similar charges.
In filing his application, Karpal said it was based on dissatisfaction over how the judge deal with the Utusan Malaysia coverage which “brings to surface an element of danger on the part of the learned trial judge.”
According to the affidavit, Utusan had on February 4 published on its front page an article under the heading “Tak rela diliwat lagi” with the photograph of Anwar and Saiful on either side. On page 3 of, the newspaper also wrote “Berhenti kerana tidak mahu diliwat lagi.”
On the next day, Utusan also carried a photograph captioned “Mohd Saiful menunjukkan katil di bilik tidur utama tempat beliau mendakwa diliwat Anwar Ibrahim kepada Hakim Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah ketika melawat kondominium tempat kesalahan itu dilakukan...” (Mohd Saiful shows the judge the bed in the master bedroom where he was alleged to have been sodomised by Anwar.”
Karpal had applied to court to cite Utusan for contempt of court as he argued that what was published on Feb 4 was tantamount to contempt of court.
However, Zabidin had dismissed Karpal’s application on the grounds that “the said reports were not carried with the intention of being mischievious and to disrupt trial proceedings when clearly there was no evidence on affidavit or otherwise to show such intention or mischief by Utusan Malaysia.”
Similarly the judge had with regards to the Feb 5 coverage by Utusan declined to caution the newspaper despite the defence’s contention that the news report was misleading.
Zabidin’s basis of reasoning was that the publication of the picture as evidence regarding the bed had been given in open court the previous day, which Karpal argues did not actually occur.
“I respectfully state as a result of the rulings made by the learned trial judge, there has been a departure from the standard of even handed justice upon the applications made by my counsel with an independent mind.
“With respect, a fair-minded and informed bystander would, under the position obtaining, entertain a fear of real danger of bias on the part of the learned trial judge,” said Anwar in his application filed today.
He told reporters shortly after the trial adjourned for the day that the main reason for the application was that he wanted a fair trial.
“Political tricks and intentional damage to my character which is continually being done by Umno owned newspapers is being allowed.
“The statements published are blatantly inaccurate, yet the judge had not taken any action,” explained Anwar.
The former deputy prime minister has denied the accusations hurled by Saiful, describing it as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power” when the charge was read out to him. He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code and can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping upon conviction. The trial is taking place 18 months after Anwar was charged in court in August 2008.
Anwar was charged with sodomy and corruption in 1998 after he was sacked from the Cabinet and was later convicted and jailed for both offences. He was freed in September 2004 and later resurrected his political career by winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in a by-election in 2008, which had been held in the interim by his wife.
He had earlier led the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, to a historic sweep of five states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.
The trial will proceed tomorrow morning at 9.30am where the court will hear the details of Anwar’s application.
By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — It’s a make-or- break week for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s defence starting today when his lawyers, led by courtroom veteran Karpal Singh (picture), begin their cross-examination of the opposition leader’s accuser Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
The Parliamentary Opposition Leader, 62, is charged with sodomising his 24-year-old former aide at the upper-class Desa Damansara Condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008. This is Anwar’s second sodomy trial since 1998, when he was sacked as deputy prime minister and later convicted and jailed for the offence.
Last week, the prosecution, led by Solicitor General II, Datuk Yusof Zainal Abiden, introduced Saiful as its first witness in open court but the defence managed to convince the court to continue a part of the testimony in-camera at the first sign of overly graphic details of the sex act.
Even so, lurid descriptions have leaked out detailing what the accuser and the accused allegedly wore – and took off – at the time and place of the supposed incident.
Saiful even shocked the court when he claimed that the PKR de facto leader had used profanity in propositioning him for sex.
Anwar has consistently maintained that the prosecution is acting on a trumped up charge and has repeatedly sought to get the court to drop the charge against him.
The Court of Appeal has fixed Feb 12 to hear Anwar’s case to strike out what he claims is an “evil and malicious” mistrial.
But the public can expect the defence to pounce on certain points of Saiful’s evidence, such as the fact that the former aide chose to see a doctor for help only two days after the supposed act, and claimed not to have passed motion for some 48 hours after being sodomised.
Lawyer Sankara Nair told The Malaysian Insider the defence team had huddled up over the weekend and were still busy “brainstorming”. He promised that the defence would leave no stone unturned to punch holes in Saiful’s evidence.
“We are looking at various angles,” said Sankara, adding that cross-examining Saiful will be a lengthy process that could last two days.
He declined to disclose the defence’s strategy but admitted they would try to show that Saiful is not a credible witness among several others.
“That would be included,” replied Sankara, who also acted for Anwar in his first sodomy trial.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — Tunku Zain Al-Abidin Muhriz remembers the story of how the country’s first Prime Minister, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, had stopped “Umno ultras” from burning the Royal Lake Club here “for being too white.”
The Tunku had prevented its destruction by appointing himself as the club’s president, he said at the launch of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas), a new think-tank set up by him to promote democratic ideals and rooted in the Tunku’s vision for the country. Today was chosen to launch Ideas to coincide with the Tunku’s birthday.
“And today, there are those who want to burn down places of worship and here Tunku’s words are visionary,” he said referring to the note the Kedah prince once sent to the St Andrews Presbyterian Church on its fiftieth anniversary.
Zain said the former PM had written that “all men of goodwill and peace must fight against poverty. I know that St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is doing all it can to spread the message among Malaysians in all corners of this country and I have no doubt it will succeed. May I wish the church in the coming years all success and the blessing of God.”
“And when he officially opened a seminar of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism, he said: “One day I hope that a Muslim religious body might join in, as the objective of this organisation is very good and farsighted. It is the duty of each and everyone of us, living in this country, to ensure peace for all time,” said continued the Negri Sembilan prince.
To him, the Tunku was a man and leader that believed in unity and a Malaysia for all.
He had wanted to steer Malaysia in that direction, towards building a foundation of liberty and justice when he fought for independence, said Zain.
But amid the “Allah” row and the raging communal politicking, Zain said the country “has taken the wrong direction”.
Zain said that the country is now plagued by patronage politics which makes “seeking for political office for the suicidal and the deranged.”
“It is clear that Tunku was a proponent of Malay unity, but it was unity in conjunction with Malayan and Malaysian unity. Today, so many who champion “Malay unity” do so in opposition to perceived threats, for the purpose of intimidating others or for Machiavellian politics. I fear that this important distinction has been lost as the term has bandied about by those with divisive agenda,” he said.
Zain then said there have been many slogans employed by the Tunku’s successors, the latest being current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia concept, an idea similar to the Tunku’s Malaysia for all.
“To my mind these are all mere reaffirmations of what was an articulate vision for the country from the moment Tunku read out the Proclamation of Independence. Despite these slogans, the standing of our institutions has withered. Tunku could never have imagined there to be such cynicism and distrust,” he said.
By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (picture) called Malaysia a democracy which only existed in name only, and said that reforms could not be expected from the incumbents in power, in an apparent attack against Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN).
“To modify Tunku’s words, we now have a democracy existing in name, but grievously compromised in substance, reality and fact,” Tengku Razaleigh said today when launching Ideas, a new think-tank set up to promote democratic ideals, at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Memorial today.
Razaleigh appeared to also single out Umno and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his remarks about the current political situation, and for the attacks against democratic institutions and the judiciary.
He said original founding ideals laid down by Malaysia’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had been warped.
“We have left it to the deranged for too long ...To expect change from the incumbents is to expect, in the Malay saying, the mice to repair the gourd…‘Bagai tikus baiki labu.’ ”
“Tunku Abdul Rahman was the founder of Malaysia…He brought together a Malaysia that had come together ‘through our own free will and desire in the true spirit of brotherhood and love of freedom’, in a union arrived at ‘by mutual consent by debate and discussion…through friendly argument and compromise,’ and ‘in the spirit of co-operation and concord’,” Razaleigh said in his speech at the launch of the new think tank set up and rooted in memory of the visionary late Kedah prince, fondly called Tunku.
“That basis has been replaced by something alien to it, his memory has been suppressed, and our history revised,” he added.
Razaleigh, more popularly known by his moniker Ku Li, bemoaned how the “founder” would not recognise today’s Malaysia because it has been replaced with the “cult of the great leader”.
“Tunku built up a system of good civil service in which ordinary citizens did not need to see so-and-so to get things done. This has been replaced by a domineering style of leadership in which what you get done depends on who you know.
“In place of the protection for ordinary citizens guaranteed by popular representation, rule of law and the checks and balances of independent institutions, we have the cult of the great leader,” said Razaleigh, who was a close friend of Tunku.
“It is no accident that the erasure of his memory has gone hand in hand with the erosion of our institutions,” he noted further.
Razaleigh pointed out that Tunku did not help Malaysia achieve independence alone but did it with “an entire class of individuals schooled in the culture and practice of parliamentary democracy.”
Is using the Sedition Act and Internal Security Act the best approach to Nasir Safar's
DATUK Nasir Safar's alleged racist remarks have sparked calls by Barisan Nasional component parties for Nasir to be charged with sedition and even detained without trial under the Internal Security Act. Buckling under such pressure, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced on 4 Feb 2010 that the now former special officer of the prime minister would be investigated under the Sedition Act 1948.
But will an investigation under the Sedition Act help to foster national unity and promote democracy? Is silencing those who speak ill of other races, by threatening arrest and detention without trial, the best approach in managing and responding to different views?
The Sedition Act is an antiquated, pre-independence law that was introduced post World War II in Malaya to quell dissent against the re-established colonial British government. Under the Act, causing hatred or contempt or exciting disaffection against the Rulers or the government is illegal. So is promoting feelings of ill will and hostility between different races or classes, which is probably the section Nasir is being investigated under.
Sure, respecting national leaders and other races is desirable. But jailing someone for criticising the government or making racist remarks could be detrimental to the country in the long run.
Many established democracies such as Australia, New Zealand and the UK have either repealed or amended their sedition laws due to their severe restrictions on freedom of expression. Remaining laws in countries such as the US focus on curbing violent overthrow of the government instead of subjective matters like "disaffection" or "feelings of ill will".
As convenient as it may be to jail government dissenters or racists, this is however not the best form of building a democratic society or maintaining public order. As the Supreme Court of South West Africa (Namibia) has noted: "Because people may hold their government in contempt does not mean a situation exists which constitutes a danger to the State's security or the maintenance of public order. To stifle just criticism could as likely lead to these undesirable situations."
So are we then saying that Nasir should get off scot-free, even if it's eventually proven that he said Indians came to this country as beggars and Chinese women to sell their bodies? Yes, as far as fining or jailing him for sedition goes. As the oft-quoted saying goes, we may completely disagree with what Nasir is saying, but in the interest of democracy, we should nevertheless defend his right to say it.
Of course, if he had threatened violence, he should be charged with assault under the Penal Code. But really, it should no longer be a punishable crime to hurt one another's feelings.
Malaysians have lived too long under "enforced politeness", to quote a term by a Singaporean blogger about his own society. We keep our grouses to ourselves for fear of supposed sensitivities. Genuine dialogue between races or religions seem to be reserved only for political leaders, to be done behind closed doors. As if the rest of us are too immature to deal with such discussions.
As a result, the knee-jerk response to comments such as Nasir's is for the hurt community to scream, "Shut him up!" or "Lock him up!" instead of calling for dialogue and rational debate to set matters straight.
Jailing every Malaysian who has expressed racist sentiments is not a constructive solution
Truth be told, it seems Nasir's alleged comments are not unique to him, and racist sentiments are expressed by Malaysians of all races. How then do we deal with this constructively instead of locking everybody up?
So if not jail or criminal proceedings, then what? Distancing itself from Nasir's alleged remarks and announcing his resignation were good first steps by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's office.
Nasir's public apology, albeit with qualifications, was also a good move. To date, however, Umno has made no mention about taking disciplinary action against him for undermining the prime minister's 1Malaysia campaign.
Beyond that, the Najib administration actually have other options that they are not exercising.
Instead of just saying how this incident should be a lesson to all and that citizenship cannot be questioned, Najib could be much more forceful in spelling out why Nasir's alleged remarks were so wrong. Instead of highlighting the need, yet again, to be "racially sensitive", the prime minister should instead be stressing that all citizens are equal, regardless of when our ancestors came to the country or who they were. Indeed, it was MCA's Datuk Ti Lian Ker who demonstrated the ability to express this much-needed sentiment, instead of the prime minister.
Khairy wants to set aside Malay
Najib could also educate the public on Malaysian history and reiterate the many contributions of non-Malay Malaysians since the country was founded. He could promote equality for all Malaysians under the constitution, regardless of race. Like his Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, he could tell the people it's time to set aside the Malay dominance rhetoric and be more inclusive, if we want Malaysia to progress.
If he said all these, he would demonstrate his ability to take a principled stand, regardless of whether such remarks would make him unpopular in certain quarters. Indeed, it would be more reassuring and convincing if the prime minister showed leadership and stood up for all Malaysians, instead of using police action to punish and intimidate.
Perhaps Najib and all Malaysians could also learn from then presidential candidate of the United States Barack Obama, when the blatantly racist comments of his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, were aired during his campaign.
(Jeremiah Wright public domain | Wiki Commons; Obama © Bbsrock | Wiki Commons)
In a speech that challenged Americans to deal with long-term racial issues, Obama said, "The fact is the comments have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through — a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American."Shutting down difficult conversations through fear of punishment is but an inferior response in a democracy. There are other ways to respond. Question is, can we trust ourselves and our political leadership to know any better?
[Presented at the Third Annual Alif Ba Ta Forum, “1Malaysia Towards Vision 2020,” Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, December 5, 2009, organized by Kelab UMNO NY-NJ. The presentation can be viewed at www.youtube.com (search under “Bakri Musa RIT”) or through this link]
Part One of Six: Definition of A Developed State
Thank you, President Shahrir Tamrin of Kelab UMNO-NY/NJ for inviting me again. I still savor the many pleasant memories of last year’s event. To President Arif Aiman of the Malaysian Students Association, RIT, your warm welcome and generous introduction more than made up for the chill of a New York autumn! To Nur Fauzana and her committee, I congratulate you for your grit in holding this forum in December when American campuses are typically gripped with term paper deadlines and final examinations.
To fellow panelist Dr. Azly Rahman, it is good to see you again! I was in Greece recently and imagined you conducting a Socratic-like seminar on the meaning of truth, wisdom, and knowledge, under those imposing columns! To Ambassador Jarjis, it is a pleasure meeting you and your wife again. That was an impressive picture of you with President Obama, a portrait of a Malay hulubalang (knight), fearsome yet elegant, with his tanjak (keris) discreetly tucked underneath the samping. You effectively demonstrated that a genuine hulubalang need not brandish his keris to convey his message!
To Ali Iqbal, you significantly lower the average age of the panelists. I enjoyed your panoramic take on the current economic crisis. It was thankfully free of economic jargons and thus very informative.
To many, “1Malysia” is one of those slogans Malaysian leaders are so fond of coining. Before that there was Malaysia Boleh (Malaysian Can!), and more recently, Cemerlang, Gemilang, dan Terbilang (excellence, glory, and distinction), and, as it turned out, all temberang (hot air). To others, 1Malaysia is Prime Minister Najib Razak’s website. Or is it that of a web-hosting company?
That last remark is unkind, of course, a lousy attempt at humor on my part! That done with, I now turn to the topic at hand.
“IMalaysia” is Najib’s vision of a united Malaysia. The eight values of his 1Malaysia are perseverance, culture of excellence, acceptance, loyalty, education, humility, integrity, and meritocracy. I am sure you were grilled on that at your scholarship interviews back home.
I do not know what the difference is, if any, between a culture of excellence and meritocracy, or between acceptance and loyalty. My hunch is that Najib is superstitious, and eight is an auspicious number in his scheme of things.
Vision 2020 is former Prime Minister Mahathir’s inspiration, first articulated in1991, to propel Malaysia towards a developed state by 2020. His original title was, “The Way Forward,” but that did not have quite the same zing.
One dictionary defines a developed state as one with a high degree of industrialization and standard of living brought on by wealth and technology. Being the iconoclast that he is, Mahathir has his own ideas. To him, a developed state is one that is, among others, “psychologically liberated,” “fully moral,” and “fully caring.” Then perhaps unsure of what those fuzzy terms mean, he added the traditional economic criterion of “doubling of real gross domestic product every ten years between 1990 and 2020.”
Mahathir’s reference to GDP is both inadequate and misleading. What is relevant is the size of the economy relative to the population: the per capita GDP. A developed nation typically has a per capita income in excess of $18K, adjusted for purchasing power parity. That too has its limitations. Brunei’s per capita GDP is nearly $50K, way ahead of Canada, but no one would suggest that Brunei is developed. The figure for Malaysia is about $12K.
The United Nations has a more inclusive measure with its Human Development Index (HDI). It factors in the health of the population (as reflected in life expectancy), level of education (as measured by adult literacy and school enrollment rates), and standard of living (per capita GDP). Developed nations generally have an index greater than 0.900; Malaysia’s at 0.826. If you believe in HDI, Malaysia is more developed than Russia!
I have a simpler definition. A developed state is like pornography; I know it when I see it, to borrow Justice Potter Stewart’s famous phrase. When I drive south from San Diego, California, to Tijuana, Mexico, I know that I am leaving a developed country and entering a developing one. When I drive into Montreal, Canada, from Plattsburgh, New York, I know that I am entering another developed country.
In Tijuana, if the police were to stop me, I would grab my wallet to see how much cash I have to bribe him. If a similar incident were to happen in Canada, I would check my driver’s license and car registration papers.
If I were unfortunate enough to have an accident in Tijuana, my first thought would be how to get back across the border as quickly as possible. In Canada, I would not hesitate being sent to the nearest hospital. When dining out in Montreal, my only consideration would be the choice of cuisine, ambience, and of course, cost. In Tijuana I would have to choose very carefully, and even then I would stay away from the ice and salads.
I leave it to you to judge where Malaysia is, closer to Tijuana or Montreal.
My late father had an astute observation on what is meant by a developed society. I was visiting him after a long absence. It was in 1969, right after the deadly race riots, and the streets of Kuala Lumpur were deserted. I was driving him and we came to a stop sign. I duly stopped. He asked me why I did that, and thinking that he did not see the sign, replied, “There was a stop sign.”
“But there were no cars,” he protested.
I did not reply. After a long pensive pause he added, “That is why the West is advanced. People there obey the law even when no one is watching!”
He may not have realized it, but my late father was on to something profound. That is, respect for the rule of law is the feature of a developed society. This is precisely what is lacking in a developing country, and more importantly, what keeps it trapped in its backward state.
The prevailing ethics in a developing country is that the law applies only to ordinary people, not the leaders. Those in power have nothing but contempt for the law. It is there to serve their purpose, and they never hesitate using it against their enemies. On a mundane level, I have a picture of a limousine, with the title “Ketua Hakim Negara” (Chief Justice) emblazoned across its license plate, parked illegally and blocking the traffic at Sepang International Airport.
Of course even in America cars of cabinet secretaries and congressmen are exempt from the usual parking restrictions, but you would never see their cars blocking traffic at Reagan National Airport.
In New York, the biggest traffic violators are diplomats from developing countries. There is a definite correlation between those diplomats and the World Bank’s index of public corruption in their home country. Merely living in a developed country does not make you a developed person. This supports my contention that you should focus on developing your people, not your country.
The Quran reminds us to “command good and forbid evil!” as if Allah is watching over us at all times (“closer than our jugular vein”). In a developed country, they obey the law as if someone is watching over them all the time. Of course today there are surveillance cameras at traffic intersections. Better not run the red light!
The challenge is to ensure that Malaysia is headed towards Montreal and not sliding back to Tijuana. If we do not get to Montreal, we will automatically slide quickly towards Tijuana. Make not mistake about that; standing still is not an option.
PUTRAJAYA, Feb 8 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Monday underlined four main factors to carry out the government's agenda.
The Prime Minister said the four factors were the 1Malaysia (People First, Performance Now), Government Transformation Programme (GTP), New Economic Model and 10th Malaysia Plan (RMK-10).
He added that two other factors that would be part of the four 'pillars' was creative, innovative thinking and making quick decisions, policies and implementation.
"I hope civil servants will give their full commitment, which is important to fulfill the expectations of the people.
"Our agenda for the year and the right mindset when blended together can result in a successful year for the country," he said at the Prime Minister Department's monthly gathering here.
Najib said the 1Malaysia was not just a slogan or just rhetoric but brings a deep meaning from the aspect of policy, unity and changes aspired by the government.
It is an effort to propel national integration which can bring about stability and help the country, march forward as one big family, towards the desired goal.
"There are groups and individuals who are out to undermine unity and the harmony of the country. Though their burning desire may be small, it can bring about serious damage to us if not doused early.
"If churches and surau are set on fire, heads of pigs thrown in mosques, it is a serious issue that must be addressed together.
"The 1Malaysia concept is important and we must instill togetherness among us. Although we may be from various ethnics, religion and culture but we are 1Malaysia," he said.
Najib said the (People First) concept was introduced because the government must be seen as a people's government, a government for the people, and it must reflect in our policies and programmes.
"If not, the people will be slighted when one policy or programme is announced but the implementation raises many questions.
"So is the GTP, it must be carried out according to the promises made to the people," he said.
Najib said the New Economic Model that would be announced by end of next month, was aimed at providing an impetus for economic development so that the country can become more competitive.
"It will provide a change from a middle income population to a country that will be more competitive and successful. This (New Economic Model) will charter the strategic economy path for the country," he said.
The Prime Minister said the RMK-1O would contain various aspects outlined under the GTP, National Key Result Areas (NKRA) and New Economic Model.
He added that civil servants must possess a creative and innovative mindset which is a process of value creation that need to be absorbed into the system, economy and development and not just restricted to Science and Technology or Research and Development.
Making the right decisions quickly, is also related to productivity and the competitiveness of the nation, that would be gauged by the World Competitiveness Report.
"If the country is ranked among the top 10, definitely people will see the country as an highly efficient nation," he said.
Poll-winning Pakatan-Hindraf combo
Eyes Wide Open: I personally find this academician terribly insipid, primarily because he still feels that only Indians can represent Indians. Pakatan has good politicians who can serve everyone. Not all are up to the mark, however, but there is a genuine effort in that direction.
It is not about appealing to the Indians for votes but empowering them to make wise choices about the government they wish to elect. Negotiating wisely and getting their demands met.
Hindraf should be about raising the consciousness of the oppressed Indian underclass. Their concerns have still not been attended to.
Maroondah: On it's own, Hindraf's struggle is meaningless, as they represent a minority group . They can only forward their cause if there exists a government that is fair and just. Hindraf must decide as to whether it's BN or Pakatan that is capable of providing that base to operate on.
KayKay: This partnership will never happen. Pakatan and Anwar Ibrahim, in particular, betrayed the Indian community after the last general election. Pakatan will not win the next general election. In fact, they will even lose some of what they have now, but not necessarily to BN.
Paradox: Pakatan shouldn't work with Hindraf just to win Indian votes. If that is their objective, then forget about it. Hindraf is genuine in its struggle and will continue to pressure both BN and Pakatan for the sake of the marginalised poor.
Winning the next election is not the Human Rights Party's (HRP) main agenda. Its agenda is to reach the poor and educate them to rise as a force so as to pressure the corrupted politicians to perform for them at maximum level.
Kleo: I disagree with Hindraf joining Pakatan. People approved of PAS in Pakatan because it has always maintained that it's an Islamic party, not a racial one. But Hindraf is a self- professed race-based party for which modern Malaysia has no room.
Even in its short history, we've witnessed ugly infighting in Hindraf. It has issued threats and blackmailed both BN and Pakatan even though it's not part of either coalition. What will happen when it is married to Pakatan? Having Hindraf in Pakatan will be its death wish.
Blackeye: Don't over-price Hindraf. It may have had a part to play in the last general election with its surprise/shock-the-electorate rallies and so on. But not any more.
Hindraf is slowly disintegrating and the people who started it are the same people now to be blamed. They could have been a power to be reckoned with. Not a lot, but still worth their salt.
Now it is nothing but a name. Even the BN does not need them in their corner as Hindraf has splintered into many pieces. The original leaders have gone in different directions.
Even Pakatan is beyond any help. I predict that at least eight to ten of their MPs will jump to other parties soon and that will finish off the opposition coalition.
Gandhi: To get a landslide victory in the 13th general election, I don't see any other option but for Hindraf and Pakatan join and become a formidable force to capture Putrajaya. Hindraf has become a household name in Malaysia. It eclipsed the 52-year old MIC.
No right-thinking person would trust MIC after it lost the Indian community's respect and its president failed to serve the community honestly. MIC is now in the wilderness and on its way to a natural death.
If it were not for Hindraf no one would have brought out the issues of marginalisation into the open. It is only asking for Indians to be treated equally and for their dignity to be restored. They are fighting for an egalitarian society in which all Malaysians can enjoy a decent life.
Concern Citizen: PKR's Anwar Ibrahim, PAS' Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP's Karpal Singh should work together with the Human Rights Party (HRP) and Hindraf to achieve the goal of taking Putrajaya.
LG: Not only are Hindraf and HRP a clear voice for the Indian poor and marginalised, but they also show the greatest integrity compared with other politicians.
The present leadership cannot be matched on that count. The Indian poor, in particular, as well as the Malaysian polity as a whole, need such leadership.
The fight within both the Umno and Pakatan is about who gets the projects, not about what benefits the people. The country really would do better with truly people-orientated leaders.
Manusia: Consistency is the answer. If you are interrupted, it's just a minor inconvenience but not a disaster because it's easy to get back to where you started. Pakatan Rakyat needs to understand that consistency for the sake of the people, not for one's political agenda, will lead it to be embraced by the people.
Dhan: I have not heard any Indian Pakatan MPs speaking up on Indian issues. Everybody expects Indian MPs to speak up on Malay issues, Chinese issues, church burnings, etc, but not Indian issues. To speak up on Indian issues, such as the Kuala Ketil crematorium issue, land for Tamil schools, or custodial deaths, is considered racist.
Pakatan Indian representatives might just as well not exist as they have no support base of their own. They are only decorations for PKR and DAP to provide a false veneer of multiracialism. Thank god Hindraf is there.
Waythamoorthy: We're not racist
Peter Chen: 'If I am a racist, surely I won't lift even a finger to help others fight for their place in the sun'. But he had earlier said: 'I know that other Malaysians are also being systematically marginalised as well by the system. It's not my business to speak up for them'. So are you lifting a finger to help others or not?
For heaven's sake, Malaysia has enough of race-based politics. Let us struggle as Malaysians, not as Indians or Chinese or Malay or Iban or Orang Asli, etc.
LG: Hindraf arose out of the need for effective representation of marginalised Indians. None of the so-called multiracial parties ever achieved anything for marginaliseed Indians.
BN is overtly racist. DAP is predominantly Chinese. PAS is predominantly Muslim. PKR is a largely Malay-based party with some non-Malay representation at the leadership level.
You can say that they all need the votes of various communities to win but you cannot say that they represent the interests of all the different ethnic groups.
Matahari: If we are to move away from race-based politics, then PAS must drop its Islamic state agenda and DAP must be willing to adopt an Indian or a Malay as chief minister in Penang.
Is that possible? If it is, only then we are moving away from race-based politics. Until then, we are all entangled in race-based politics though we pretend to claim otherwise.
Photos: Taiping Forum Malaysian Indians excluded from National Mainstream Development of Malaysia.6/2/2010
6/2/2010- 7.30pm Tan Kongsi Hall, Jalan Simpang,Taiping, Perak. P.Uthayakumar presented in Taiping,Perak how Malaysian Indian excluded from National Mainstream Development of Malaysia.
HRP/HINDRAF Taiping Forum organising committe with P.Uthayakumar, S.Jayathas & Perak Cheif Ramesh
Speech by Taiping Chief S.Siva
Speech by Perak Chief P.Ramesh
DAP Aulong YB welcomes HRP Malaysian Indian Empowerment Strategy in Taiping Forum
Q&A from the floor
PETALING JAYA, Feb 7 – Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo-Burne (pic) has dismissed rumours that he intends to leave PKR and took great pains to declare his unequivocal support for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition.
Famous for being the man who captured the Lingam video clip, Loh’s name is among several named to jump ship as PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim faces a potentially career-ending sodomy trial.
“Over the past week or so, there have been rumours regarding PKR MPs leaving PKR, either going independent or joining Barisan National.
“I cannot comprehend how my name has been mentioned many times as one of these MPs. My friends who know me well know that there is no truth to this,” Loh told reporters at his Sunway Mentari office.
The first-term MP was accompanied at the press conference by DAP Senator S. Ramakrishan and PKR Kapar MP SM Manikavasagam, who both affirmed Loh’s allegiance to the coalition.
Loh maintained that “under no circumstances” would he even consider leaving his party, and assured the public that his working relationship with PKR and PR as a whole was good.
“I want to state clearly that there is no truth in these allegations and speculation. I am not, not going to leave PR or PKR,” explained Loh, who said that Ramakrishnan’s presence today solidified the fact that the opposition coalition was still “intact.”
He also took the opportunity to remind PR leaders that they were given a “mandate” by the people to usher the nation into a new direction, and that the “bickering” among some leaders had to stop for the sake of the country’s future.
“I believe that this is their egos talking, fighting among themselves. I urge all PR leaders to please put your egos aside, stop being childish and behave in a more mature manner.”
Meanwhile, Manikavasagam admitted that tensions have arisen because many of PR politicians had “strong personalities” and some differences of ideas.
“A lot of our MPs have strong personalities, some differences which have resulted in some disagreements, but this is a very small problem,” quipped the Kapar MP in dismissing talk the pact was fraying.
He noted that the success of the drafting of the CPC (Common Policy Framework) showed that the party leaders of PKR, PAS and DAP had agreed to a common manifesto.
However, he conceded that some leaders were still going through an “adjusting period.”
“Gwo-Burne, myself, Tan Tee Beng (Nibong Tebal MP) and Wee Choo Keong (Wangsa Maju MP) are very close, we “turun padang” (do down to the grassroots) and are still loyal to Pakatan Rakyat,” he added.
Manikavasagam’s statement comes amid the controversy surrounding Tan who has openly supported PKR’s Datuk Zahrain Mohd Hashim (Bayan Baru MP) against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and complained of ill-treatment as he did not get allocations from the state government unlike DAP federal lawmakers.
“No MPs will jump the party, it is not that easy. This is all speculative.
“I have been trying to get Tan for the past three days. Even though I could not reach him, I assure you he won’t jump. He won’t cross over.
“We have been conducting ceramahs all over ... we are all solid behind Anwar, we will support him all out,” quipped the Kapar MP.
Manikavasagam also dismissed growing speculation that Zahrain would quit and insisted that the one-time Umno man remained loyal to PKR’s struggles.
He however declined to comment on the PKR’s politicial bureau’s decision to act against Tan and Zahrain.
PKR has decided to haul up the Nibong Tebal MP for his strident criticism of Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng last week, making him the fourth party leader to face its disciplinary board for various offences.
The PKR political bureau made the decision at its meeting last Wednesday and will notify the ex-Gerakan man on Monday to meet the disciplinary board within 30 days, party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail told The Malaysian Insider.
It is understood that the first-time MP is being investigated for not using internal channels to voice his dissatisfaction against the DAP secretary-general.
PKR, DAP and PAS form the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) which captured four more states – in addition to Kelantan which PAS controlled prior to the elections – and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.
No PKR leader has ever been actually punished despite several disciplinary hearings. Tan joins Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin, Zahrain and party supreme council member Datuk Zaid Ibrahim to be referred to the board in the past 10 days.
KOTA BARU, Feb 7 – Political factors are the reasons why the Kelantan government rejected compassionate aid from the federal government, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He said the state leaders were also not accustomed with the legal aspects of oil exploration when they pressed for oil royalty.
“There is no such thing as royalty in oil production. What we have are only cash payments or in the form of compassionate aid,” he said when briefing state civil servants on the oil royalty issue here today.
Mustapa, who is also Kelantan Umno liaison committee chairman, said Kelantan had not produced petroleum as claimed by the opposition leaders but only gas along the border with Thailand, which had been the subject of an overlapping claim.
“Even that, the quantity is very small and the RM20 million compassionate aid announced recently is adequate,” he said.
He said as such the opposition should not hoodwink the people on the non-existent oil royalty and instead clarify the actual agreement with Petronas to the people.
“A claim made by Member of Parliament for Gua Musang Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah on Jan 28 contradicted what he had said in his speech on Oct 2000 on compassionate aid for the Terengganu government,” said Mustapa.
Mustapa said he was saddened by the Kelantan government’s decision to reject the setting up of the state development committee without valid reasons.
On the contrary, he said, PAS wanted to hold a discussion on religious issues with Umno. – Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 – Renegade MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (pic) clarified today he had never said he would boycott MCA’s functions but only stay away from the “individual functions” of party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
He claimed that he was misquoted by the media on the matter.
“When I announced it, I did not say that it’s a boycott, but that we will not participate in programmes organised by the two leaders (Ong and Dr Chua).
“I was misquoted and the thing had gone round and round and out of context,” he told reporters here.
Liow, who is the health minister, had come under fire in the party after having reportedly declared at a news conference last week that his faction would boycott the party’s functions.
This decision of Liow’s faction to stay away from Ong’s and Dr Chua’s functions came in response to the decision of the Central Committee (CC) meeting on Jan 29 that fresh polls could not be held as there was not enough quorum.
The party’s constitution requires that two-thirds (21 members) of the 31 elected CC members must resign in order for fresh polls to be held but, so far, only Liow and 12 others have tendered their conditional resignations.
When asked whether his faction would attend the party’s Chinese New Year celebration next Sunday, Liow said: “We’ll see”. – Bernama
(Bernama) -- The sodomy trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the High Court here, which will enter its fourth day today, will see the defence team cross examining the complainant in the case, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Mohd Saiful is expected to be cross examined by counsel Karpal Singh, who is heading the defence team comprising Datuk Param Cumaraswamy, Datuk C.V. Prabhakaran, S.N. Nair, Ram Karpal Singh Deo, Marisa Regina Fernando and Mohd Razlan Jalaluddin.
Mohd Saiful is the first prosecution witness in the trial of Anwar, who is accused of sodomising Mohd Saiful at Unit 11-5-1 Kondominium Desa Damansara, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.01 pm and 4.30 pm on June 26, 2008.
Anwar, 63, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor and the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh, is charged under Section 377B of the Penal Code and could be sentenced up to 20 years in jail and whipping upon conviction.
The case is being heard by High Court Judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.
Meanwhile, the prosecution led by Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden concluded the examination-in-chief of Mohd Saiful, on Friday.
Mohd Yusof is being assisted by deputy public prosecutors Datuk Nordin Hassan, Wong Chiang Kiat, Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, Noorin Badaruddin, Farah Azlina Latif, Mira Mirna Musa and Naidatul Athirah Azman.
Mohd Saiful, 25, began his testimony on Wednesday.
Queensland University political scientist David Martin Jones, currently working in Malaysia, says: “There is now an interesting collection of scandals dating from the first Anwar case in 1998 that coincides with the fragmentation of Umno-controlled politics.”
What’s happening with Malaysia? The country has long been viewed in Australia as not only an especially friendly Southeast Asian neighbour — the “recalcitrant” Mahathir Mohammad excepted, though he’s been retired six years — but also a model of middle-class success and tolerance in that region.
Today, however, the country is having a hard time holding things together, in the face of religious and ethnic divides, political battles, and economic challenges.
Michael Danby, who chairs Australia’s foreign affairs subcommittee, told parliament last Tuesday night that “fellow democrats around Asia are flabbergasted at events unfolding in Kuala Lumpur.”
He was referring to the second trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy.
“For the second time,” Danby said, “the Malaysian legal system is being manipulated by supporters of the incumbent government to drive Malaysia’s best-known leader, Anwar Ibrahim, out of national politics.
“For the second time, documents are being forged, witnesses are being coerced, and evidence is being fabricated. This trial, like the first trial, is a disgrace to Malaysia, a country that aspires to democratic norms.”
Danby said it was long past time that Malaysia repealed these British colonial laws, which could not then be used for such political purposes.
“In the second place, everyone in Malaysia, and everyone in the international legal community, knows that Anwar is innocent of these charges.”
The underlying problem is that Anwar, leader of the People’s Justice Party, is the first charismatic Malay opposition politician with sufficient appeal for Malay voters to pose a real threat to Umno’s 52-year hold on power.
This episode indicates that it’s also long past time Umno took a spell in opposition, as Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party is doing.
Declared a middle-income country by the World Bank several years ago, Malaysia has grown accustomed to patronising its giant neighbour Indonesia — even though it still rankles that Malaysia itself continues to be patronised by its tiny neighbour Singapore.
Now, though, it is Indonesia — the raucous democracy with a rapidly acquired capacity to change leaders and governments peaceably, the world’s largest Muslim country renowned for its moderation and pluralism — that is receiving international praise, with US President Barack Obama flying across the world to visit (with a side-trip to Australia).
In 2008, last year and — as estimated by IMA Asia — this year, Malaysia’s economic growth figures are 4.6 per cent, -2.8 per cent, and 4 per cent. Indonesia’s are 6.1 per cent, 4.5 per cent and 5.6 per cent.
Since taking office last April, Prime Minister Najib Razak has started to dismantle the 40-year-old New Economic Policy, Sydney-based business consulting firm IMA notes.
It says: “While the NEP did little for ordinary Malays, its supposed beneficiaries, it enriched a handful of businessmen and contributed to corruption in Umno.”
Najib also has to tackle the over-reliance on oil money — for more than 40 per cent of government revenues — while just 2.3 million of the 28 million population pay income tax. And he needs to open more sectors of the economy to foreign investors.
That’s hard to do, while at the same time grappling with the plethora of problems resulting from Malaysia’s restrictive religious laws, reflecting Islam’s role as the state religion.
Queensland University political scientist David Martin Jones, currently working in Malaysia, says: “There is now an interesting collection of scandals dating from the first Anwar case in 1998 that coincides with the fragmentation of Umno-controlled politics.”
One such scandal comprised the tragic case of Lina Joy, aged 45, who was born into a Muslim family but began attending a church in 1990 and was baptised in 1998, and naturally wished to marry her Christian fiance. But marriage between Muslim women and non-Muslim men is forbidden under Malaysian law, and after years of battling the authorities in the courts, in 2007 she was refused permission to convert formally.
This year, Malaysia has seen its simmering religious and racial conflicts boil over after a ruling of the High Court that the Malay language pages of the Catholic Church’s weekly newspaper, the Herald, could use the term “Allah” as a translation for “God”.
Malaysian Christians say they have used “Allah” for God for centuries.
The government is appealing the decision. But in the meantime, it has triggered violent protests from Muslim Malays who comprise 60 per cent of the population, and who claim exclusive rights over the Arabic word “Allah”. Christians comprise just 9 per cent of Malaysians.
Eleven churches, a Sikh temple and two Muslim prayer rooms have been attacked so far, as a result of the row, and the severed heads of three wild boars — considered unclean by Muslims — with their mouths stuffed with bank notes, in plastic bags, were found outside two mosques.
The High Court last April sentenced to death two policemen who were assigned to the office of Najib Razak, the then deputy prime minister and defence minister. They were found guilty of murdering a Mongolian woman who had had a relationship with Abdul Razak Baginda, a defence analyst for a think tank, and had translated for him on a deal to buy submarines from France.
Abdul Razak, arrested for abetting the murder, was acquitted. But the motives for the policemen to have killed Atlantuyaa — by explosives — remain murky.
Martin Jones says: “Malay political scandals and the cynicism they engender, together with the bitter debate over the ‘Allah affair’, are seriously fragmenting the Malay community, whilst minority communities are increasingly rejecting the Umno model of Satu Malaysia (1 Malaysia). I suspect this portends some trouble ahead for the Malay political process.”
Razak has launched a multimedia 1 Malaysia campaign to promote the virtues of “perseverance, a culture of excellence, acceptance, loyalty, education, humility, integrity, and meritocracy.”
This looks to be a hurdle too high for a political establishment whose credibility is too low, for an economy that for two years has suffered net outflows of foreign investment, and for a culture suffering some confusion.
Jones points out: “It’s somewhat ironic that an ostensibly puritanical political culture that won’t contemplate a Beyonce concert seems to lap up details of Anwar’s alleged penetration of his aide.”The singer Beyonce last October cancelled a second planned concert in Malaysia after accusations by Islamic conservatives that her show was immoral. She scored a huge hit when she flew instead to a Muslim neighbour with less stringent rules on dress or behaviour: Indonesia.
Written by Yong Min Wei, The Edge
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in Perak will have to tidy up certain legal issues pertaining to state administration before it calls for a snap poll should the Federal Court decide tomorrow to reinstate Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful menteri besar.
State assemblyman for Setiawan and Perak DAP chief Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said PR would have to work with legal advisers to determine if such state matters as remuneration and land titles were valid before seeking the ruler’s consent to dissolve the state assembly and pave the way for a new election.
“If reinstated, we will need a few days to sort things out. After that, we will seek dissolution. We will fulfil our promise to Perakians to dissolve the assembly,” he told The Edge Financial Daily.
Ngeh, a senior executive councillor in PR’s Perak government, said the resolutions and state budget passed by the state assembly last year must be ratified or else the legitimate administration would face a situation in which provisions were considered “ultra vires” or not in accordance with proper procedures.
For example, he said, the PR government would have to determine whether the appointment by Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir of three special advisers with executive councillor status was valid and thus they should be accorded such wages.
Nevertheless, Ngeh said PR would not go on a witch-hunt if it was restored to power and that its priority was to ensure peace and development prevailed in the state.
Asked what PR would do if the ruler withholds consent for dissolution, he replied: “Under normal circumstances, His Royal Highness would not withhold consent. We will cross the bridge when it comes.”
Ngeh, a trained lawyer, said he was optimistic from a legal point of view that the apex court’s decision would favour Nizar as the legal precedent in the “Stephen Kalong Ningkan” case, where a chief minister could only be dismissed by a vote in the Council Negri, had never been challenged in more than 40 years.
“It must be reminded that the duty of the judges is to interpret laws and not to make laws,” said Ngeh, who is also Beruas MP.
He added that PR and Nizar had maintained there was a deadlock in the 59-seat assembly.
The lawmaker said if the Federal Court’s decision were to favour Zambry, then it would be the duty of parliament to amend the laws to clearly provide for a chief executive of a government to be removed without having to go through a vote in the House.
Speculation in the PR camp is that the apex court would reinstate Nizar tomorrow after a prolonged deliberation of the case. Zambry, meanwhile, has hinted that he has no intention of calling for a snap election in Perak.
A political analyst said he believed that the Federal Court’s delay in handing down judgment in the Nizar vs Zambry battle would likely see a majority decision, instead of a unanimous one.
He noted that the five-man bench could have meticulously deliberated on whether their judgment would lead to the notion that the head of a state administration holds office under the pleasure of the ruler. However, he said fresh polls would seem fair to voters in the state as they had seen Nizar administer the state for 11 months and Zambry for one year.
Asked whether Zambry would also opt for fresh polls if the court decision favoured him, he said: “The signs are weak but I believe Perak will see fresh polls before MCA have theirs.”
He added that if Nizar was named the legitimate MB, there could be a compromise by the two parties and Zambry would seek the ruler’s consent to dissolve the assembly.
“This is politics... They (politicians) are not always on tenterhooks,” he said.
Following is a chronology of the events which unfolded during the political crisis in Perak after the 12th general election on March 8, 2008, leading up to the ruling tomorrow of the Federal Court on who will be the rightful menteri besar of Perak — the current Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir of the Barisan Nasional (BN) or his predecessor Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin of PAS.
March 17, 2008: Mohammad Nizar, the state assemblyman for Pasir Panjang, is sworn in as the menteri besar of Perak.
Feb 1, 2009: Perak State Assembly Speaker V Sivakumar announces he has received the resignation letters of Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Jailu of PKR. Both assemblymen deny they have resigned.
Feb 3, 2009: Election Commission (EC) decides Behrang and Changkat Jering seats are not vacated and as such by-elections are not required for the constituencies.
Feb 4, 2009: Then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announces that Perak BN has a simple majority to set up the state government after two PKR assemblymen and one DAP assemblyman (Hee Yit Foong-Jelapang) quit their parties and become independent assemblymen friendly to BN.
Perak BN and Pakatan Rakyat both have 28 seats each in the state assembly while three assemblymen are independents.
Feb 5, 2009: A media statement issued by the office of the Sultan of Perak states that the sultan will not dissolve the state assembly and has asked Mohammad Nizar and the state executive council to resign or their positions will be deemed to have become vacant.
Feb 6, 2009: Zambry is appointed as the 11th menteri besar of Perak, replacing Mohammad Nizar. BN officially takes over the administration of the Perak government.
Feb 13, 2009: Mohammad Nizar initiates legal action, seeking a court declaration that he is still the rightful menteri besar and an injunction prohibiting Zambry from discharging his duties as the menteri besar.
March 6, 2009: High Court Judge Lau Bee Lan refers to the Federal Court for an explanation of constitutional issues in the summons filed by Mohammad Nizar challenging the validity of the appointment of Zambry as the menteri besar of Perak.
March 23, 2009: Federal Court decides that the Mohammad Nizar vs Zambry case be sent back to the High Court.
April 3, 2009: Mohammad Nizar is given the “green light” by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to challenge the validity of appointment of Zambry as the Perak menteri besar following a ruling by Judge Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim that the application filed by Mohammad Nizar in February was not frivolous or vexatious and that there was a prima facie case to be argued in court.
May 11, 2009: High Court declares Mohammad Nizar as the rightful menteri besar of Perak after finding that he had never vacated his post as he had not lost the confidence of the majority of the state assemblymen.
May 12, 2009: Zambry remains as menteri besar until the Court of Appeal hears his appeal against the High Court decision declaring Mohammad Nizar as the rightful menteri besar following Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Ramly Ali’s decision allowing Zambry’s application to stay the execution of the High Court ruling.
May 22, 2009: The decision of the High Court is dismissed by the Court of Appeal which declares Zambry as the rightful menteri besar in accordance with the constitution.
June 19, 2009: Mohammad Nizar files leave application to Federal Court to challenge Court of Appeal decision.
Nov 5, 2009: Five-man bench of Federal Court adjourns decision to Feb 9, 2010 after hearing submissions.
(Bernama) - Permodalan Yayasan Basmi Kemiskinan Sdn Bhd (PYBK), a subsidiary of Yayasan Basmi Kemiskinan (YBK), on Feb 7 lodged a police report against Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for alleged abuse of power.
Mohamed Tamin Mohd Yusof, a director of PYBK, accompanied by YBK chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Sakom, lodged the report at the Shah Alam police headquarters.
Zainal told reporters that the report was lodged following a decision by the Hulu Selangor District Office to return quit rent paid by PYBK in August 2009, amounting to RM1.28 million via a cheque, on Feb 4.
The RM1.28 million quit rent was for 88.4ha of land owned by YBK in Serendah, the site where a proposed development for the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) campus was to take place, he said.
“One of the basic requirements when allocated a land for development is to pay the quit rent,” he said.
He added that the 88.4ha in question had no connection with the RM5.7 million owed by YBK and the RM5.43 million that Yayasan Melaka came forward to pay.
The Selangor state executive council had on Feb 3 directed the Hulu Selangor District Office to return to YBK the payment that was made.
“What is the reason for returning the quit rent paid? This shows an abuse of power,” he said.
Zainal said the government did not have the authority to return quit rent collected from the people because once the money is collected and banked into the government’s account, the money becomes the property of the people while the government becomes a trustee.
“This is certainly not right. Meaning, the government can return the quit rent paid by the owner and say quit rent on the land was not paid,” he said.
Furthermore, YBK also does not know why the money was kept by the government for so long before deciding to return it, he said.
I am surprised that the opposition, in particular the Chinese leaders in the opposition, do not know this very basic and fundamental Art of War. I would have imagined they would have all read Sun Tzu by now. This is called the Principle of Subversion.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Two days ago, the Penang Malay Chamber of Commerce organised a demonstration against the Pakatan Rakyat state government and burned an effigy of its Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng. It appears the protest was led by ‘opposition’ Member of Parliament Ibrahim Ali -- who won a seat in the last general election on a PAS ‘ticket’.
Yesterday, a police report was made against the Chamber for ‘inciting racial hatred’. The fact that PERKASA, meaning Ibrahim Ali, was behind the protest means it is definitely about race. PERKASA was created with only one objective in mind – to defend Malay rights and privileges and to uphold Malay Supremacy or Ketuanan Melayu.
So the Penang incident is undoubtedly a Malay-versus-Chinese affair.
Lim Guan Eng is Chinese and from DAP, a party perceived as ‘Chinese chauvinist’. And the effort the party has been making to erase its Chinese ‘face’ and to attract more non-Chinese, in particular Malays, into the party has thus far not been very successful. It is an uphill battle for DAP to clean up its image of being a ‘Chinese’ party, not that the party is not trying hard enough to do this. It is just that images are not an easy thing to create or change.
On the surface it is being made to look like this is about the Chinese being unfair to the Malays and that the Malays are merely bringing attention to this ‘injustice’. It is, after all, the business of PERKASA and the Malay Chamber of Commerce to look after Malay interests.
But if you look beyond the race issue you can see that it is not actually about race per se. Race is the whipping boy. It is the Red Herring. Race is used as the issue because race and religion are the two most potent issues in any conflict.
Are not all wars throughout history about race, religion and riches? Societies and nations go to war because of race, religion or domination. And domination could mean land, control over the oil business, trade supremacy, and whatnot. Wars are never about upholding justice or about doing the right thing. It is always about power -- power over race, religion, land, trade, natural resources, and all those things material.
There is no such thing as religious wars. Religion is the excuse to go to war. It gives legitimacy to the cause. Race or nationalities is also a non-starter. Political boundaries change through the ages. What was once the Greek, Roman or Ottoman Empires are today many countries. And what was once one empire are today many countries at war with one another.
So there is no reason to go to war. There are just excuses. And any excuse is good enough if what you really want to do is to go to war. You just need to create a good excuse, give it legitimacy, and call it a reason.
What is the beef against DAP, the Penang state government or Lim Guan Eng? Is it really about the unfair treatment the Malays are getting at the hands of the Chinese? Or is it something else altogether?
The excuse (or ‘reason’) that triggered the Penang protest two days ago is that the Chinese government of Penang demolished the illegal stalls of the Malay hawkers. Yes, that’s right. That was the reason given. The state government demolished the illegal stalls of the Malay hawkers.
Now, note this very important point offered by the protestors. First is that the hawkers are all Malays. Next is that they had set up illegal stalls. And the state government demolished these stalls.
The Malay Chamber admits that these stalls are illegal. But they protest the demolishing of these stalls because they are Malay owned. Does this mean if they are not Malay owned but Chinese owned then it is okay to demolish them? Does this also mean since they are Malay owned then the state should allow them to continue although they are illegal?
Anyway, that is not the crucial issue here. What is more important is that the state did not order the destruction of these stalls. And PAS, what could be considered a ‘Malay’ party, has come out to say so. PAS has come out in defence of DAP and Lim Guan Eng.
But someone did demolish those illegal Malay owned stalls. There is no denying this. And if it was not the state government then who did?
It was the local council of course. It is the local council’s job to demolish illegal stalls and to take action against any illegal activities in their area. But does not the local councils come under the state and carry out the orders of the state? In theory, yes. In practice, no. And this not only applies to local councils but to all other state agencies as well such as the state religious authorities and whatnot. They do what they want and not what the state orders them to do.
Remember the recent case where the Shah Alam Local Council in Selangor confiscated beer that was being sold in establishments that did not have a liquor licence? The thing is, beer is not classified as liquor so you do not need a liquor licence to sell beer. Therefore, technically, no crime has been committed. But the local council still acted on those selling beer without a liquor licence although no licence is required to sell beer.
What is going on here? In all the states ruled by Pakatan Rakyat the state agencies and local councils are not working in tandem with the state government. They appear to be working against the state government. The right hand does not seem to know what the left hand is doing.
It is really quite simple and you do not need to be a genius to figure it out. The state government is Pakatan Rakyat. But the state agencies like the local councils, religious department, district offices, land offices, the state economic development corporation, etc., are all staffed by Malays who are still loyal to Umno and working for Umno.
The Malays call this kepala tak serupa dengan badan (the head is not the same as the body). So the head thinks one way while the body moves in the opposite direction. That was how Terengganu was brought down in 1999 when the state agencies worked against Umno and the state fell to the opposition. And the same thing happened in Perak last year when the state agencies, including the State Secretary, worked against Pakatan Rakyat and in support of Umno.
I am surprised that the opposition, in particular the Chinese leaders in the opposition, do not know this very basic and fundamental Art of War. I would have imagined they would have all read Sun Tzu by now. This is called the Principle of Subversion.
The name of the game is to subvert the government. Sabotage it all the way. Do things that will make the government very unpopular with the voters. Sabotage, sabotage, sabotage!
But to do this you have to get behind enemy lines, as they would say in the Special Forces of the military. You need to get in there and sabotage from the inside. Then the government will fall.
And this is exactly what is happening in the Pakatan Rakyat states. But the Chief Ministers and their EXCO Members are slumbering away and enjoying the victory of the 8 March 2008 general election. And while they ‘rule’ the states, those in the lower levels of the state government set up bombs and booby traps.
Sun Tzu wrote his ‘thesis’ called The Art of War thousands of years ago. It is so simple and so basic. But then do not most of us get caught on the simple and basic things? Islam says most people will go to hell not because of their big sins but because of an accumulation of many small sins.
Yes, Islam knows we shall always be conscious of avoiding big sins. But we are never aware of the small sins we commit. And because we commit so many small sins, the accumulation of all these small sins is more damaging than the big sin, which we avoided so carefully.
So, the Pakatan Rakyat state government may have avoided making big mistakes. They are very careful so as to not make big blunders. But it is these little things and the accumulation of these many little things that will bring down the government.
Umno does not need to launch an all out frontal attack. That would be too costly and too apparent. All Umno needs to do is to activate its many sleepers in the state government agencies and get them to commit these ‘blunders’ -- which are not really blunders but intentional acts of sabotage.
The impression given to most people is that the opposition is in a mess. Actually, Barisan Nasional and Umno are in a bigger mess. But Barisan Nasional and Umno have very cleverly engineered it in such a way that all these many small issues affecting the opposition translate into one big mess.
The best and most effective way of bringing down the government is from the inside. And this is how they are trying to bring down Pakatan Rakyat -- with minor issues such as beer being confiscated and illegal Malay hawker stalls being demolished, which at the end of the day are made too look like one massive shit hole.
Have we not learned anything from history where the most impregnable wall can be breached with the use of the Trojan Horse?
By Jocelyn Ann Dragon
PUTRAJAYA, Feb 7 (Bernama) -- The conundrum of who is the rightful menteri besar of Perak will be resolved on Tuesday (Feb 9) when the five-man Federal Court bench pronounces its ruling.
The bench, led by Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, will decide whether Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, 47, of the Barisan Nasional (BN) retains the post or his predecessor Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, 52, of the Pakatan pact of DAP-PKR-PAS reclaims the office.
The judgment will also determine the constitutional issue of whether a head of state can look beyond the legislature to decide if the head of government has lost the confidence of the majority of the elected representatives.
Besides Alauddin, the other members of the bench are Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria and Federal Court judges Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, Datuk Wira Ghazali Mohd Yusoff and Datuk Abdull Hamid Embong.
This is the final step in the appeal by Mohammad Nizar in his attempt to reclaim the post of menteri besar. Nevertheless, the losing party in a court case can apply to the Federal Court to review its own ruling under Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court to challenge the constitutional points.
The five-man bench had deferred its judgment on Nov 5 last year after having heard submissions in the appeal from counsel representing both Mohammad Nizar and Dr Zambry.
The conflict over who the rightful menteri besar is arose last year after three Pakatan representatives quit their parties to become independent state assemblymen, leaving Pakatan and the BN with 28 assemblymen each in the 59-seat Perak legislative assembly.
They are Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering), who resigned from PKR on Jan 30, and DAP assemblyman Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) who followed in their footsteps four days later. All of them declared themselves BN-friendly independents.
The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, then asked Mohammad Nizar, who is Pasir Panjang assemblyman, to step down as menteri besar and swore in Dr Zambry in February last year after declaring that the BN had the majority in the state assembly.
Mohammad Nizar initiated legal proceedings on Feb 13 last year, seeking a declaration that he is the rightful menteri besar of Perak and an injunction to bar Dr Zambry from discharging his duties as the menteri besar.
In May last year, the High Court reinstated Mohammad Nizar as the legitimate menteri besar but the Court of Appeal reversed that decision and declared Dr Zambry's appointment as Perak menteri besar constitutional.
Here’s a refreshing antidote to the racial and religious controversies of late: the ‘Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia’ roadshow reached Ipoh on Saturday.
Photos by Jong
Over a hundred Perakians turned up to listen to speakers such as Azmi Sharom and Haris Ibrahim who pepper their talks with humour.
The speakers successfully drove home the message that Malaysians can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to what is going on around them.
The Sarawak state government has found fault with two landmark High Court judgments that upheld native rights towards their customary land – and says it will appeal.
Borneo Post report on 4 Feb 2010
In both cases – Agi Ak Bungkong & Others v Ladang Sawit Bintulu Sdn Bhd and Mohd Rambli Kawi v Superintendent of Lands & Surveys Kuching Division and Another – Justice Datuk David Wong had ruled on 21 January that the respective communities had proven that they have native customary rights over the disputed land. He awarded them damages and costs.
The Sarawak state government’s decision to appeal was not unexpected. But what raised eye-brows was the language the government used in a press statement announcing its decision.
Have a look:
Full text of the Sarawak Government’s press statement:
The State Government has decided to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the Judgments of the High Court delivered last week, in the cases of Agi anak Bungkong and Others v Ladang Sawit Bintulu Sdn Bhd and 4 Others, and Mohd Rambli Kawi v Superintendent of Lands & Surveys, Kuching and Government of Sarawak. Application for stay of execution and further proceedings of the Judgments had also been made.
The Government finds that these 2 Judgments did not follow well established precedents and the customs declared by those precedents and the customs declared by those precedents and the wrong application of Article 153 (on reservation of quotas in respect of services, permits, etc. for Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak). The High Court has, in an earlier case held that Article 153, in its plain language, has no application to land or land rights. The State Government feels that these Judgments ought to be critically reviewed by the Appellate Courts.
The Government will continue with its mandate from the people to develop the State and implement its development plans and strategies in accordance with the provisions of the Land Code and other relevant laws in order to bring about a better future for the rural population. The Government has always recognized native customary rights based upon the written law or customs having the force of law. Its policy remains that of preventing natives being impoverished through the sale of their land or to enable others to buy vast tracts of untitled native land which could leave the natives selling such land to become totally landless.
How will the courts react to this?
A judge is expected to hear the state government’s application for a stay of execution and further proceedings on the Agi Anak Bungkong case early this week.