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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sri Lanka arrests General Fonseka - AL JAZEERA

General Fonseka challenged Rajapaksa in January's vote and has accused the government of election fraud

General Sarath Fonseka, the defeated candidate in Sri Lanka's presidential election, has been arrested at his office in Colombo on charges of plotting to overthrow the country's government, defence officials have said.

General Prasad Samarasinghe, a military spokesman, said the arrest related to "military offences" from Fonseka's time in the army, which ended in November when he quit and entered the presidential race.

"General Fonseka has been arrested on charges of committing military offences," Samarasinghe said in an official statement on Monday.

The former army chief "was dragged away in a very disgraceful manner in front of our own eyes", Rauff Hakeem, Sri Lanka's Muslim Congress leader, told the Reuters news agency.

'Coup plot'

Al Jazeera's Minelle Fernandez, reporting from Colombo, said: "The director-general of Sri Lanka's Media Center for National Security, Lakshman Hulugalle, has confirmed the arrest of Fonseka by the military police.

in depth

Profile: Sarath Fonseka

Profile: Mahinda Rajapaksa

Rajapaksa's minority report

Sri Lanka opposition cries foul

Video: Sri Lanka votes in Rajapaksa
"Hulugalle said Fonseka will face trial before a military court on charges of conspiring to overthrow the government, violating military laws and sowing dissension among members of Sri Lanka's armed forces."

Many credit Fonseka with winning the war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May.

However, he fell out with Rajapaksa soon after and the pair fought a bitter election campaign.

Fonseka was defeated by Rajapaksa last month by six million votes to four million.

The former army chief has refused to accept his election defeat, saying his supporters were intimidated and the result fixed. He vowed to challenge them in court.

General Fonseka has been accusing the government of trying to frame him. He also alleges there is a plot to kill him. Several senior military officials, close to him, have also been purged since his defeat in the election.

The government has been seeking legal advice to bring a court martial against the general on charges of plotting to overthrow the administration.

PERAK MB - comments from Malaysiakini

  • by SusahKes - 29 minutes ago

    As bad as it seems the decision today, perhaps it is a blessing in disguise. If Nizar had won, UMNO wouldn't have given him/PR team an easy life for remainder of term. And I doubt the Palace would be accommodating either. All of these has shown us, that the most important plan of action is to capture the Federal Gov. With that, we can address the many other bane that afflicts the entire democratic structure in Msia. We can also amend the laws to deal with political frogs. For now, let UMNO win. They may have won the case; they certainly did not the hearts of the ppl. And as Ku Li put it, UMNO practices a sham democracy. It is a matter of time before the house of cards drop permanently. It is also good to note the Fed Crt decision; it confirm to us UMNO's reach. And that lends credence that Anwar's trial is meant to be all but doom for him. Now we know.

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    by Krishnamoorthy a/l Rajannaidu - 34 minutes ago

    black day for malaysia not today it started 52 years back ,but it is black out today with out light any more ,force ordinary civilian who is not UMNOPUTRA to adapt to live in dark until GE 13 .if the rakyat especially malay want this way keep continue support UMNO,this judiciary abuse might occur to any body other then UMNOPUTRA.

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    by Rejoice for now - 36 minutes ago

    Let the robbers and thieves rejoice for now. Justice will be served on them at the next election. Nizar and gang must continue to engage the public frequently till then. Your people understands. Accept this verdict and move on.

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    by luk - 40 minutes ago

    To kill a mosquito, UMNO burned the mosquito net. Watch how this ruling that "it is not necessary for a vote of confidence to be done in the state assembly, the sultan can sack the MB" come back to haunt the UMNO MBs one after another from state to state soon.

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    by Multi Racial - 52 minutes ago

    My only comment is this is the darkest hours of Malaysia judiciary. If you look at the Judges who decided on this case, two most senior judges also presided the Zambry vs Sivakumar case which they decide the same. That why I am not surprise with the outcome. NH Chan must be feeling extremely sad with the results and so are majority of the Malaysians. Now the only hope is for the people to rise in the next general election to put back Malaysia into the right track. Yes Mr NH Chan we shall remember these five Federal Court Judges. Thanks Malaysiakini for posting their pictures on their website. This decision means we are going back to feudal era where Kings can decide to fire MB or PM. God saves us.

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    by Perakian - 53 minutes ago

    Where did these judges get their degrees? I wonder how those institutions of higher studies where they graduated from see this matter.

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    by omarmohdnoh - 56 minutes ago

    Whenever you got more than one learned and very experienced judges of the highest court in any respected judiciary in this modern world, under normal circumstances,the understanding and interpretation of the law,would never be the same.Why?Each and every one of them shall put in writing,to justify his/her judgement.In simple words,a high court judge could deliver one version of the law and the top five,together,came out with another one. I may be wrong,hoping somebody,somewhere could share with us,if at all,could get all five written facts that made the score lima kosong.

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    by Perak Boleh - 57 minutes ago

    ENCORE.. great perfomance by the Royal Malaysian Circus Clowns. My apology for those who cannot get a ticket to see the greatest show on Planet Earth but this is our last show and we are moving out of town for our New Zealand vacation. Uncle Lingam just confirmed our six star Holiday Retreat in Wellington c/w Written Judgement well prepared.

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    by ahmad iqhbal - an hour ago

    "When money(position)speaks,Truth is silent"Justice just went from ICU,now DEAD.Constitution is bellyup down the Perak river past the Sultans Palace.Dont shed a tear...cry for the Frogs and Pirates,for they know not that they shall pay for their Sins to the masses.wasalaam.

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    by BTN - an hour ago

    I'm not surprise at all at this unpopular judgement. The obstacle for a fair judgement is too huge to overcome. The BN government machineries which spread across all level of organization or agencies is too influenced to show any fair judgement. The only way for all this to stop is the next GE and that's where all the pretenders and corrupted will wipe out. It's really a sad day for democracy in Perak and let this be a lesson to all voters there in the next GE. That women Hamidah must be a nut case to say the decision is victory for all Perakian. Correction - victory for BN and the 3 frogs.

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    by neders - an hour ago

    The three frogs who brought about this situation had better go into hiding as wherever they go they will be spat upon. It's a sad day indeed for this country and in particular Perak. I hang my head in sorrow and fear for the future of this country. 1Malaysia my foot.

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    by Ozzie Jo - an hour ago

    No surprise here! Getting a fair judgment, now THAT would be a surprise... No need to be disappointed over an outcome that is already expected. Don't expect the judiciary to give you back what has been been stolen from them all those years ago. Just take it back at the GE - just make sure that is a resounding victory!

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    by Habib RAK - an hour ago

    This is not a defeat. This forced retreat will enable PR to realign its fulcrum to get a better leverage. The judiciary has forced itself to a conner now. The only opening left to the judiciary is the door to shame that will come in time. Remember the blatant Adorna case. Justice will prevail eventually.

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    by Maha Yoni - an hour ago

    Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, Arifin Zakaria, Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff and Abdull Hamid Embong... welcome to the judicial Hall of Shame. You have bent over without a whimper of protest and let yourselves be Mahathirized, Najibized, Azlanized and neutered!

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    by Rentap - an hour ago

    It's a sad day for democracy. If the power from the people being taken away then it become dictatorship rule. It show that our country don't respect the people chosen government. But nevertheless, such government won't last long; History Shown. When the trust is LOST, no matter how you going to bring on; it's impossible. Unless the power is given back to the people.

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    by Jeffrey Yew - an hour ago

    We, the knowledgeable people of Perak, reject this decision. We shall demonstrate this with the results of the next election in Perak.

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    by Anarchy - an hour ago

    There is no more constitution nor rule of law anymore. There is only anarchy. It will from now onwards be a free for all. It is also a time when Malaysia will ultimately have to remove governors/the monarchy for a fully republican democracy. The Brits should have stuck to the Malayan Union. This country will now quickly slip into lawlessness.

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    by Kris - an hour ago

    Malaysiakini reports that "President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, led a five-member bench in delivering the verdict.The others were Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Arifin Zakaria and Justices Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff and Abdull Hamid Embong of the Federal Court." The federal court recently lost Augustine and now it is confirmed that these 5 judges are in the same category and in the same class as Augustine.

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    by Louis - an hour ago

    BN wins Perak, but looses the people's confidence! Zamri should dissolve the DUN and face up to the verdict of the rakyat and not the court.

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    by Robert L - an hour ago

    Come on, you couldn't have expected a different verdict - this verdict was obvious right from the start. This decision puts more power in the hands of the Sultan, less in the Rakyat.

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    by daniel tan - an hour ago

    Looking at the 5 monkeys faces of the judges, its without a doubt a kangaroo court. another chapter of black malaysia where the beruk of palace of the justice complement the power crazy umnoputeras.

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    by jayamaran a/l mayavan - an hour ago

    unacceptable decision.

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    by Geronimo - an hour ago

    It was already a foregone conclusion that the Federal Court will rule in favour of Zambry. What can one expect when five UMNO judges are hearing the case. To Datuk Nizar, it is time for a strategic retreat, this time to focus on reaching out to the rakyat in Perak so that you and your team will administer Perak again. What we now have is an illegal state government made legal.

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    by Perak Boleh - an hour ago

    With the Malaysian Judiciary still using "saya mengikut perintah" kerajaan (UMNO) what justice do you expect? Happy New Year .. G0D bless 1 Malaysia.. MALAYSIA BOLEH

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    by Ramachandran Muniandy - 2 hours ago

    This is the Federal Court headed by former UMNO's underdog lawyer. Good we respect the decision but we the RAKYAT WILL GIVE OUR DECISION BY THE BALLOT BOX. Zambry Mamak dares that Pakatan Aduan resign, well Mamak why not you tell your corrupt Aduans to resign and face the people. You are a Gutless guy.

Why no MSRM Tamil for 825 high achieving 7As’ Tamil school pupils.

See the joy in the children’s faces but the headlines and one whole full colour page wayang kulit paper politics in Tamil Nesan and also in Makkal Osai.

But where do these 825 Indian cream of students go after this?

Why has UMNO not created a special MRSM Tamil for these 825 high achieving Tamil school children like the MSRM ATM (army) MRSM (police) MRSM Felda and the scores of other MRSM and fully residential schools with enrolment of 12,440 students. (BH 21/11/09 at page 7)

a special MRSM Tamil for these 825 high achieving Tamil school children like the MSRM ATM (army) MRSM (police) MRSM Felda and the scores of other MRSM and fully residential schools with enrolment of 12,440 students. (BH 21/11/09 at page 7)










RM 700 Million excluded to Indian kindergardens and school children (refer NST 28/1/2010 at page 4)

Tip of the racist, religious extremist and supremacist UMNO agenda packaged as UMNO Prime Minister’s One Malaysia. Have the Indian representatives in Pakatan raised this issue?

P. Uthayakumar


Schoolbag politics only reflects height of Indian poverty

The MIC mandore party of UMNO in wanting to be seen to be doing something engages in “schoolbag politics” dished out by their UMNO Tuan State Assemblyman Dato Haji Hamdi.

We hardly read about the Chinese and Malay Standard One children being given school bags. It would perhaps insult them if school bags are “donated” to them.

But for these Indian minority, children in Malay-sia, this schoolbag donation only reflects their height of poverty. (TN 19/1/10 page 3).

Why not permanent and lasting solutions like putting these poor Indian children in fully residential schools or offer their parents the 10 acre land ownership schemes given to the Malay muslim poor like in Felda, Risda, Felcra, Fama, Agropolition and the tens of state government land schemes. Have the Indian representatives in Pakatan raised this issue?

P. Uthayakumar


PKR : Indian neighbourhood in Shah Alam left in stinking condition.

This is the complaint by P. Punita and P. Vegneswary of Kampong Bunga Raya in Shah Alam a predominantly Indian settlement.

Had this been in a malay muslim majority area just by the mere complaint by an UMNO branch committee member would have done the job. But even under the present PKR rule in Selangor it had not made much of a difference where the poor Indians are concerned. Have the Indian representatives in Pakatan raised this issue with the Selangor government?

P. Uthayakumar



Scholarships @ top overseas Universities. Indians excluded

For the 2010 National Budget RM 2.8 Billion was allocated for overseas and local Public Services Department (PSD) Scholarships (NST and The Star headlines 23/11/09).

Our estimate is that a mere 0.5% of the overseas scholarships, are given to the Indian to make them mere showcases and to create an impression that many Indians are getting these scholarships.

UMNO could direct their Higher Education Minister to publicise the list of recipients their names and the courses etc. But UMNO would not do it because the truth of the exclusion of the deserving Indians would surface.

This is yet another of UMNOs’ racist, religious extremist and supremacist policies that is no longer practiced in any other part of the world, the last having been in apartheid South Africa.

P. Uthayakumar.


Whatever court decides, Perak crisis will continue

Today’s judgment is likely to prolong the political tussle instead of ending it until and unless the state assembly is dissolved for fresh elections, something the BN has said it will not do. – Picture by Jack ooi

By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — The decision of the five-member bench of the Federal Court today as to who should be the rightful Perak Mentri Besar is unlikely to end the fierce political tussle between the Pakatan Rakyat and the Barisan Nasional coalitions.

Political uncertainty has gripped Perak since the PR government fell on Feb 5, 2009 after three of their assemblymen abandoned the coalition, crossed the floor and became BN-friendly lawmakers.

They remain BN-friendly until now and any hope they would return to PR, as speculated earlier, has already disappeared.

Lawyers say today’s judgment is likely to prolong the political tussle instead of ending it until and unless the state assembly is dissolved for fresh elections, something the BN has said it will not do.

For BN, the longer elections are delayed the better as it gives them more time to persuade voters to back them.

PR is hoping to dissolve the assembly for a snap election to strike while the momentum is with them.

“Long delays are fatal for us,” said one PR assemblyman.

“The Perak voter profile — 51 per cent Malay and 49 per cent non-Malay — is working against us.”

“Even a five per cent non-Malay voter swing to Barisan will be bad for us…it’s that close,” the assemblyman said while requesting anonymity.

“We agree with opinion polls that show Malay and Indian voters are gradually drifting back to the Barisan. We can’t take back Perak just on Chinese voters alone.”

Chinese voters, many of whom have benefitted considerably — in terms of land deals and governance — in the 11 months that PR ruled, are solidly behind former MB Nizar.

If the court rules that Nizar is the rightful Mentri Besar, that would mean a major and climactic battle ahead for PR to get back on the saddle especially since it remains a minority in the 59-seat state assembly.

BN, with the backing of the three defectors, have 31 seats against PR’s 28.

“If Nizar is declared MB the change over would be climatic because the old exco has to leave, the new exco has to take over and there is a big question mark over all the decisions that the Zambry-administration has taken,” said a pro-PR lawyer.

“The whole process of government would come into question,” he said.

Speaking at several political rallies this month, Sitiawan assemblyman and Perak DAP chief Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said, in the event Nizar is declared MB, PR would seek legal advice to determine whether they can re-write some of Zambry’s decisions.

Only after that, he told supporters in Ayer Tawar last week, would PR seek an audience with the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the state assembly for fresh elections.

“We expect the gate to the palace to open but some delay in meeting the Sultan,” the PR lawyer said.

“The ruler might not see us immediately depending on how busy he is.”

PR lawyers expect BN to use the intervening period — between the declaration and audience with the Sultan — to convene an emergency session of the legislature to pass a vote of no confidence against Nizar.

They could then approve a vote of confidence in Zambry.

“They will then proceed to the palace and announce their right to be the government again,” the lawyer said.

If Zambry is declared Mentri Besar, the decision would barely register a blip and the BN state government would continue business as usual.

BN, even if they win the court battle, would not want snap polls.

The thinking in the BN camp is to continue efforts to win hearts and minds right up to the next elections.

Mystery man in Altantuya saga

Among the claims that Bala made in his statutory declaration was that Altantuya told him several things about her relationship with Abdul Razak, including meeting him with (then deputy minister) Najib Abdul Razak in Singapore. She later met them at a dinner in Paris.

S D Idid, Malaysian Mirror

When private investigator P Balasubramaniam made his statutory declaration in connection with the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder, he mentioned ‘a man in a blue Proton Saga.’

The police claimed the man was just another resident in the Damansara Heights neighbourhood who happened to be driving pass the home of defence analyst Abdul Razak Baginda at that time, which was a day before Altantuya was reported missing on Oct 19, 2006.

Fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, however, has alleged that the ‘mystery man’ was none other than Nasir Safar, the special advisor to the Prime Minister who recently caused a storm with his offensive remarks about the early Indian and Chinese immigrants who left their home shores to come to work and settle in Malaysia.

“Nasir has been asked to resign for calling the early Indian immigrants beggars and the Chinese prostitutes. But that is not the icing on the cake.

“The icing on the cake is that Nasir was the man mentioned in item 30 of PI Bala’s statutory declaration,” Raja Petra said in his column, The Corridors of Power in the Malaysia Today news portal.

The paragraph concerned reads:

“Azilah asked me whether the woman was Aminah and I said ‘Yes’. He then walked off and made a few calls on his handphone. After 10 minutes another vehicle, a blue Proton Saga, driven by a Malay man, passed by slowly. The driver’s window had been wound down and the driver was looking at us.”

'Aminah' was Altantuya

To recap, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri was one of the two policemen who were tried for the murder of Altantuya, a Mongolian woman who allegedly had an affair with Abdul Razak, a defence analyst from the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre.

The other cop was Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar.

‘Aminah’ was a name used by Altantuya when she came to Malaysia to look for Abdul Razak, allegedly to demand her commission for assisting in a submarine deal in Paris. The sum she had reportedly asked for was US$500,000.

Among the claims that Bala made in his statutory declaration was that Altantuya told him several things about her relationship with Abdul Razak, including meeting him with (then deputy minister) Najib Abdul Razak in Singapore. She later met them at a dinner in Paris.

Bala claimed that the Mongolian woman also told him she was promised US$500,000 as commission for assisting in the submarine deal.

She allegedly told Bala about a house that Abdul Razak bought for her and about her mother who was sick and needed money for treatment.

She had allegedly also told the private investigator that she and Abdul Razak had married in Korea.

Bala further claimed: “After talking to Aminah for about 15 minutes, a red Proton Aeroback arrived with a woman and two men.

“I now know the woman to be L/Cpl Rohaniza and the men, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azahar. They were all in plain clothes. Azilah walked towards me while the other two stayed in the car.

“ Azilah asked me whether the woman was Aminah and I said ‘Yes’. He then walked off and made a few calls on his handphone. After 10 minutes another vehicle, a blue Proton Saga, driven by a Malay man, passed by slowly. The driver’s window had been wound down and the driver was looking at us.

“ Azilah then informed me they would be taking Aminah away. I informed Aminah they were arresting her. The other two persons then got out of the red Proton and exchanged seats so that L/Cpl Rohaniza and Aminah were in the back while the two men were in the front. They drove off and that is the last I ever saw of Aminah.”

'Yes, that man was Nasir'

Raja Petra is convinced the man driving the blue car was Nasir.

“Yes, that man in the blue Proton Saga was Nasir Safar.

“But the police, who took Bala’s statement, denied it and said that it was a resident from that area and not Nasir.

“How did the police know this immediately without any further investigation and without taking Nasir’s statement?

“Now, why would the Prime Minister’s special officer be at the scene of the crime? Was it to see for himself that Altantuya is arrested and quickly disposed off?” he asked.

“Yes, the plot thickens. First it was Najib’s ADC, Musa Safri. Then it was Rosmah’s ADC, Norhayati Hassan, and her husband, Abdul Aziz Buyong.

“And now we have Nasir Safar, who drove past Razak Baginda’s house very slowly, possibly to ensure that Altantuya, who was making a nuisance of herself, is picked up.”

Raja Petra asked: “Would Najib like to challenge us on this?

“He can if he so wishes. Then, Bala’s lawyer can arrange for the witness to testify to the MACC (Malaysian AntiCorruption Commission) in London, as what they (Bala and lawyer) offered to d.

She worked as a translator

According to testimony in the trial of Abdul Razak, the murdered woman accompanied him to Paris at a time when Malaysia's Defence ministry was negotiating through a Malaysian company to buy two Scorpene submarines and a used Agosta submarine produced by the French government under a French-Spanish joint venture, Armaris.

Altantuya had reportedly worked as Abdul Razak’s translator when he was brokering for the Malaysian government

She went missing on Oct 19, 2006 and a report was lodged by her cousin,who also sought help from the Mongolian embassy in Bangkok.

The Malaysian police found fragments of bone, later verified as Altantuya’s, in forested land near the Subang Dam in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam.

Police investigation of her remains revealed that she was shot twice before C-4 explosives were used on her remains, although there has been later suggestion that the C-4 explosives may have killed her.

When her remains were found their identity could only be confirmed with DNA testing. The provenance of the C-4 remains unclear.

On Oct 31, 2008 the High Court acquitted Abdul Razak of abetment in the murder of Altantuya, with the prosecution saying they would appeal the acquittal.

However the Attorney General's office had decided not to file an appeal against Razak’s acquittal.

Verdict after 159-day trial

On 14 Sept, 2009 Altantuya's father, Dr Shaariibuu Setev, withdrew his bid to force the A-G to appeal against Abdul Razak’s acquittal, after being advised that it would be a long, costly and difficult affair.

Wrapping up the 159-day trial on April 9, 2009, High Court Judge Zaki Yasin ruled that Azilah and Sirul both guilty of murdering Altantuya and sentenced them to death.

In a statutory declaration in his sedition trial in June 2008, Raja Petra accused the PM’s wife, Rosmah Mansor of being one of three individuals who were present at the crime scene when Altantuya was murdered.

The two others allegedly present were her aide-de-camp Norhayati Hassan and her husband, Col Aziz Buyong.

Both the husband and wife are suing Raja Petra for defamation. His current whereabouts is unknown but he is believed to be abroad.

PKR’s strange disciplinary logic

(Stationary pic by ba1969 /

DISCIPLINE within political parties has been in the spotlight recently. In the headlines was PAS's suspension of its Shah Alam Member of Parliament (MP) Khalid Samad. And then there is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)'s trio of male Malay Malaysian leaders — Zulkifli Noordin, Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim and Datuk Zaid Ibrahim — all being hauled up before the party's disciplinary committee. PKR's disciplinary problems also escalated with Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng calling for deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali to quit.

The issue with PKR is particularly complex. With PAS at least, the party's strict power hierarchy could explain why Khalid was suspended after he challenged Datuk Dr Hasan Ali, who is Selangor PAS chief. Hasan, meanwhile, was only let off with a warning, even though the disciplinary body found both men guilty of violating the party's constitution.

With PKR, however, internal dissenters often claim freedom of expression as their excuse for speaking up against the party's leadership.

Notwithstanding their arguments about free speech, the public are understandably baffled by PKR's logic when it comes to disciplining its members. What exactly constitutes a breach of discipline in the leading parliamentary opposition party?

Curious chronology

A quick glance at the chronology of events reveals PKR's inconsistency. On 9 Aug 2008, Zulkifli participated in a 300-strong protest against a Bar Council forum on issues arising from conversions to Islam. Police did not stop the protesters, but instead ordered the forum organisers to stop.

Zulkifli Noordin
On 7 Sept, the party issued Zulkifli a show-cause letter, but he remained unapologetic about his role in the protest. On 29 Oct, Syed Husin, who is also the party's disciplinary committee head, said the party would act against Zulkifli in November. On 1 Dec, Syed Husin said the committee had concluded its investigations, but would escalate Zulkifli's case to the party's political bureau, headed by party adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

However, on 5 March 2009, Syed Husin told the press that Zulkifli's case had been "settled internally", even though he provided no evidence that any action had been taken. Zulkifli, meanwhile, continued making public statements on matters related to Islam, and tried to move parliamentary motions to Islamise the Federal Constitution. Still no action was taken against the Kulim-Bandar Baru Member of Parliament.

Then, on 23 Jan 2010, it was reported that Zulkifli had lodged a police report against PAS's Khalid for sedition. Khalid had previously said a Selangor state enactment barring non-Muslims from using the word "Allah" was outdated. Within three days, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution announced that the political bureau would refer Zulkifli to the disciplinary committee.

The discrepancy between the 2008/09 investigation and the January 2010 disciplinary investigation against Zulkifli is quite stark. For publicly threatening a civil forum's right to be held and heard, it took four whole months for the disciplinary committee to decide to even escalate the case to the political bureau. And from the time of Zulkifli's protest at the Bar Council, it took seven months for the party to announce, without proof, that "action" had been taken. Indeed, if the media hadn't continued to follow up on the status of the disciplinary action, PKR would likely have kept silent on the matter.

But in Zulkifli's attack on a fellow Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leader, it took less than a week for PKR to decide that he needed to be disciplined. It is hard not to conclude that PKR is more concerned when its members threaten fellow PR leaders rather than when the public at large is threatened.

Lim Guan Eng
PKR's logic

The case with Penang's Zahrain seems to confirm this logic. On 29 Jan 2010, Zahrain attacked Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is also DAP secretary-general. Zahrain called Lim "a dictator, a chauvinist and communist-minded". Barely a week later, on 1 Feb, Anwar said Zahrain would have to face the disciplinary committee.

But it is the decision to haul political bureau member Zaid before the disciplinary committee that has raised eyebrows. Apparently, Zaid's sin was in lamenting the party's inaction against Zulkifli and calling for Zulkifli to be sacked. Zaid did not challenge non-PKR PR leaders the way Zahrain or Zulkifli did. Neither did he pressure for the freedom of expression of any civil group to be silenced the way Zulkifli did vis-à-vis the Bar Council forum.

It can be argued that, well, this is PKR's disciplinary logic, and both the public and its members need to respect it. It could be that the party respects its individual members' freedom of opinion and expression even if it contradicts what the party says it stands for. But it will not tolerate attacks or challenges against individuals.

There are still problems with this logic, however. Respecting freedom of expression is one thing, but party leaders who use this to justify a challenge on citizens' fundamental liberties need to be probed further.

In Zulkifli's Bar Council protest, it was a group of non-governmental organisations and party leaders, claiming to speak for Muslims, which called for the forum to be halted. The protest was therefore part of a larger ideological programme, one that seeks to entrench a particular interpretation of Islam into public policies, perhaps even at the expense of constitutional guarantees of citizens' liberties.

Surely for PKR, which claims to be democratic and diverse, this contradicts the party's ideology. Surely, then, such an act should have been equally significant as a disciplinary issue as sudden outbursts against other PR leaders.

There are many different permutations of how parties discipline their members. Some, like the Australian Labor Party, are very rigorous about who members can or cannot associate with, or how members can or cannot vote if they are elected to Parliament. Others, like the Socialist Party of the USA, are multi-tendency and allow members to publicly disagree with party policy. However, the party is clear that although it accepts a diversity of socialist views, its membership is still not open to liberals. The point is that at least a certain kind of logic has to prevail in how a party manages internal discipline.

Granted, PKR has its own problems now with party adviser Anwar facing a trial of epic proportions. But this should not be an excuse — PKR still needs to be clearer to the public about its logic of internal discipline and also its internal checks and balances. After all, if a political party's internal governance is a predictor of how it intends to govern the country, Malaysians have no reason to believe that PKR can soon be a credible ruling party.

Mandela-isation of Anwar?

by Azly Rahman

“Man proposes, god disposes”
Thomas a Kempis, ‘Of The Imitation of Christ’

While America awaits The Super Bowl, Malaysia awaits The Super Trial II this week to listen to the arguments concerning the predicament of Anwar Ibrahim.
Philosophically, what ought to be the shape of things to come? Where do we go from here, as a nation? Where do we wish to bring this nation that is in need of deep reflection on the meaning of nationhood and democracy?

Maturity after Mahathirism

If we take 1998 as a framework in looking at the changes this country is seeing politically, Anwar can be seen as an embodiment of Nelson Mandela.

His spirit did not die for the six years he was jailed and upon his release a momentum was created that grew in strength to first, become institutionalised in the form of a strong Parti Keadilan Rakyat and next, of Pakatan Rakyat.

Divine intervention and human design propelled such changes – the evolution of a one-party Mahathiristic construct to an emerging two-party counter-hegemonic system that is making the current regime fearful and tremble.

Indeed from 1998 to 2010, Malaysians not also saw an evolution of critical sensibility but waves upon waves of loud protests on the streets, in parliament, in cyberspace, and in the minds of Malaysians against the excesses of the Mahathirist-inspired totalitarianism and autocraticism.

Malaysians have matured, in a way. Only the civil servants and those employed and caressed to obedience by the ruling regime have not fully matured in terms of civil libertarianism. Understandably one cannot bite the hands that feed, as the iron hands will pound violently once bitten.

If twelve to fifteen years ago, Malaysians dared not speak of Malay rights, corruption, controlling interests in Barisan Nasional, definition of bumiputera, and the means and methods of thought-control and sword of Damocles of the ruling regime – the situation has dramatically changed.

It is as if the release of Anwar from his six years of incarceration signify, as postmodernists such as Fredrick Jameson would say, a ‘rupture’ and the ‘waning of effect of the ruling totalitarian regime.

The Internet, a Frankenstein of postmodern times and an avatar of chaos and complexity and a protean technology of both democratic and demagogic thinking, aided the Malaysian revolution in thinking.

What is revealed on the Internet becomes a launching pad for real-time street protests and many times too, prosecution of this or that person for corruption and other forms of ‘transgressions’ done in the name of politics; transgression ala a political version, Tiger Woods-stylised, in which revelations can become ugly, cancerous and financially disastrous.

Anwar Ibrahim has become a rallying point for this new wave of revolution – not merely a reformation in fact – of a new form of consciousness albeit plagued with consistent cluster-bombing and carpet-bombings done by those who wish to stop it on its tracks, Machiavellian-styled.

Challenging obedience

How has the new consciousness eroded the sense of obedience to authority, particularly of the Malays – often considered the most obedient human beings on Earth?

Like those rallying behind Nelson Mandela (far right) circa apartheid in South Africa, Malaysians are seeing the Mandela-isation of Anwar Ibrahim particularly his second trial.

It is not Anwar who is on trial – it is the will of Malaysians of all walks of life, ethnic groups, religious conviction, class, and caste, that are on trial. It is the growing urge to come together and dismantle the excesses of race-based politics and the ugly manifestations of greed via political creed that is on trial.

Beginning from the political ‘honey-mooning’ years of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his failure to make reforms to all forms of repressive and intolerable acts right up to this day wherein all’s-not-well-ends-not well’ is the feature of the present government that is quite certain seeing its demise.

Beginning from the show of arrogance of UMNO particularly to an even worse show of that same arrogance in issues of combating corruption, fixing the judiciary, improving the universities, egalitarian-ising and equilibrium-ising the education system, teaching religious and racial tolerance – Malaysian have seen enough of a breakdown of what once looked like a showcase of ‘civil society’.

The rallies, the water cannons, the chemical-laced sprays, the deaths of Altantuya, Kugan, Teoh Beng Hock, and the Perak parliamentary plague – all these are amongst the demonic verses of the narrative of this nation that are inspiring the rise of ‘civil disobedience’. “Dissent, is the highest form of patriotism,” said the American philosopher-president-statesman Thomas Jefferson – and this is what Malaysians are embodying as a cultural-political philosophy.

Maybe we are seeing the Mandela-isation of Anwar Ibrahim. And we ought to see that as a philosophical global-positioning-system circa the next general election. The coming election will see total rupture after a fierce struggle over the mandate to rule.

Change can be painful, but change must a nation go through. It is through the regimented swallowing of bitter pill can maladies be cured. For too long, especially during the Mahathirist years, Malaysians have been given Prozac and serenaded with feel-good stories of being grateful and not biting the hands that feed to a point of numbness and total obedience, that it takes this country to the verge of destruction for us to wake up and to smell the Napalm in all its morning glory – as our own ‘Apocalypse Now’.

It will be an interesting week ahead. May we continue to live in interesting times, as what Chairman Mao Zedong would say. How this weeks’ episode will end will depend on how: “Man proposes, God disposes”.

Federal Court Declares Dr Zambry Rightful Menteri Besar

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 9 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir retains the Perak menteri besar's post after the Federal Court here today declared his appointment by Sultan Azlan Shah as constitutional.

A five-man bench led by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff unanimously ruled that the ruler had exercised his royal power to appoint Dr Zambry to succeed his opponent from Pakatan Rakyat, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, after he was satisfied that the latter had lost the majority vote of the state legislative assembly.

Alauddin sat with Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria and Federal Court judges Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, Datuk Wira Ghazali Mohd Yusof and Datuk Abdull Hamid Embong.

Justice Arifin read out the judgment.

The conflict over who is the rightful menteri besar arose last year after three Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen quit their parties to become independents and the fourth jumped back from PKR to Umno, thus leaving the two sides with 28 assemblymen each in the 59-seat assembly.

They were Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) who resigned from PKR on Jan 30 and declared themselves as Barisan Nasional-friendly independents. DAP assemblyman Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) followed in their footsteps four days later.

Mohammad Nizar, 52, who is Pasir Panjang state asemblyman, was appointed menteri besar after the DAP-PKR-PAS alliance won 31 seats in the 12th general election on March 8, 2008.

Sultan Azlan Shah then asked Mohammad Nizar to step down as menteri besar and swore in Dr Zambry in February last year after declaring that the Barisan Nasional had the majority in the state legislative assembly.

Mohammad Nizar did not tender his resignation as menteri besar to the ruler.

He initiated legal proceedings on Feb 13 last year seeking a declaration that he is at all material times the rightful menteri besar of Perak and an injunction to bar Dr Zambry from discharging his duties as the menteri besar.

On May 11 last year, High Court judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim reinstated Mohammad Nizar as the legitimate menteri besar after he ruled that Barisan Nasional did not take a vote of no-confidence against him in the state legislative assembly despite having the majority.

However, it was back to status quo, when the Court of Appeal allowed Dr Zambry's appeal and declared that his appointment as Perak menteri besar was constitutional.

Shit-stirrers and DSAI’s limited window of opportunity

pre-script: feeling sad today, sigh… :(

Read the mainstream media, and it’s nothing but news of PKR internal chaos, infighting, people leaving, etc.

I’ve written about these before, but figured I would explore another conspiracy theory of the day.

It would appear that some opportunists may be taking advantage of the trial atmosphere – where DSAI and many around him focus on this one issue.

Perhaps some may think this is the perfect time to further their political careers, or start jockeying for position in a post-Anwar scenario. Under such circumstances, the selfish-minded have no qualms about tearing the party apart as they do so.

Needless to say, Umno rubs their hands in glee and eggs it all along. Who knows – perhaps this was the plan all along. They may or may not get their conviction, but the chaos they create along the way may (to their twisted calculations at least) still be worth it irregardless.

Far be it for me to tell one of Malaysia’s most prominent politicians (and ex-boss) what to do, but perhaps DSAI should consider putting his foot down while he still walks the streets freely.

This may be the perfect time for decisive leadership, and finding out once and for all who one’s real friends are. It’s clearly a terrible analogy, but if this were Ops Lalang, I think the lalang has grown taller than us by now.

Of course, no one is irreproachable in this mess. I have always believed that true leaders take ultimate responsibility for all mishaps under their watch, and clearly, greater effort is required to put out some of the real fires behind the mass of smoke.

At the end of it, a party will stronger without those who put personal interests before the nation’s, and with bold, improved leadership at the top.

Perak MB - it's Zambry! - Malaysiakini

The Federal Court, the highest court in the country, has delivered a unanimous decision in declaring that Zambry Abd Kadir of BN is the rightful Perak menteri besar.

NONEIn doing so at 11am, it also dimissed the application by Pakatan Rakyat's Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin.

In immediate comments, Nizar said he has not decided whether or not to file a review.

"We will scrutinise the written judgment and then decide," he said, calling for calm among supporters.

"This is the saddest day (for) Malaysia as this shows the judiciary is not indepedent. Our target now is to win back Perak."

Perak BN senior exco Hamidah Osman said: "I am grateful for the decision and hope everyone will accept it. This is a victory for the people of Perak."

However, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang disagreed, saying the "5-0 decision is a shameful moment for the judiciary".

On his Twitter page, he described this as a "black day for justice".

PKR Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye said: "Although we lost 1Perak, we might win 1Malaysia in the next general election."

NONEPerak DAP head and Sitiawan assemblyperson Ngeh Koo Ham said the current Perak government is not the people's government as 54 percent of the voters had chosen Pakatan in the 2008 general election.

Outside the court, the Pakatan Rakyat crowd shouted "Bubar DUN", "Zambry penakut", "tipu" and "rasuah" when they heard the news.

BN supporters, however, celebrated as their leaders came out of court.

The decision

President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, led a five-member bench in delivering the verdict.

azlanThe others were Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Arifin Zakaria and Justices Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff and Abdull Hamid Embong of the Federal Court.

Justice Arifin who read the judgment ruled that it is not necessary for a vote of confidence to be done in the state assembly, and that the sultan can sack the MB. Zambry therefore commands support in the House with 31 seats.

The attorney-general's chambers was represented by the head of prosecution division Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah and Kamaluddin Md Said, the head of the Trial and Appeals division.

Nizar's lawyers were Philip Koh, Chan Kok Keong, Leong, Edmund Bon, Miohd Hanipa Maidin, Ranjit Singh, and Razlan Hadri Zulkifli.

Zambry's lawyers are Cecil Abraham and Sunil Abraham. Zambry himself was not present in court for the decision.

Mohd Hafarizam Harun and M Reza Hassan held a watching brief for Umno.

Judicial decisions

BN was seen to have usurped power in Perak when three Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons switched sides to become BN-friendly Independents in February last year, leading to Pakatan seeking legal recourse.

On May 11, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim had ruled that Nizar is the rightful menteri besar.

"He is, and was, at all material times the chief minister of Perak," Abdul Aziz told the court.

However, the appellate court's three-member bench unanimously overturned the decision in favour of Zambry, saying that the High Court judge had failed to properly and adequately appreciate the entire evidence before him.

"We hold the view that the granting or the withholding of the request for the dissolution of the state legislative assembly is royal prerogative,” ruled Justice Md Raus Sharif.

The Federal Court had, on Nov 5 last year, heard Nizar's appeal and submission for more then six hours but defer its decision

The court had earlier dismissed Nizar's application for a full bench of 11 judges or an enlarged panel.