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Monday, February 22, 2010

Serial Killings in Indonesia

Room where Kugan's body found now divided in two

The interrogation room where a doctor found A Kugan showing no signs of life at the Taipan police station last year, has now been divided into two - the first being a reception room, leading into the second, an office.

Petaling Jaya Sessions judge Aslam Zainuddin found this out as he visited the police station for half an hour today, to familiarise himself with the scene of the crime.

A partition, 10.15cm thick, separates the two rooms. It was put up last July, seven months after the incident. The partition has been built on the spot where Kugan was found dead.

The office, measuring 1.83m by 3.66m, is now occupied by Chief Inspector Harun Abu Bakar

Police constable, V Navindran, 28, is charged with two counts of causing grievous hurt to Kugan, 23, who died while in police custody, at the interrogation roon of the D9 office of the Taipan police station between 7am and 4pm on Jan 16, last year.

On Friday, second prosecution witness, Dr Baldev Singh Gill, 43, testified Navindran had asked him to go to the Taipan USJ police station in Subang Jaya where Kugan, who was being questioned over a car theft in January 2009, needed treatment.

Baldev said he checked Kugan's pulse on the neck and wrists but found no signs of life.

"I then shone a torchlight into his (Kugan's) eyes and there were no reaction. I also used a stethoscope to check his heartbeat but again there were no signs of life," he testified.

Glass door covered

Aslam arrived at the Taipan police station at about 10.42 am. He arrived with DPP Mohd Abazafree Mohd Abbas. They were met by the chief of the station's D9 (serious crimes) unit ASP Rodney Pasla Harris.

Rodney is also the accused's immediate superior. They spent 30 minutes at the interrogation room where Kugan was found.

Navindran's lawyer, PM Nagarajan was also present.

Reporters who were also allowed to see the scene also found the glass door to the entrance of the room being covered with black paper.

It was learnt that initially, it was supposed to be a place where the officers could rest but had been made into an interrogation room.

Outside of the room is an open office area, which Harris said is occupied 24 hours a day.

The case had cause an uproar over the tactics employed by police in interrogating suspects.

Hearing on the matter will resume at 2.30pm at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court, with Harris taking the stand.

PKR to let Zaid off with a warning

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (picture) will not have to appear before PKR’s disciplinary board, as the body has recommended that the party supreme council member be given severe warning.

According to a party leader familiar with the disciplinary process, the PKR disciplinary board made the recommendation before the Chinese New Year holidays.

“It is almost certain that the decision will be endorsed by the supreme council as Zaid’s offence is not serious,” a supreme council member said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to discuss the disciplinary board’s findings.

The Kelantanese politican was referred to the disciplinary board late last month along with Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin, Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim and Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng.

Zaid, who was de facto law minister in Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration in 2008, had openly criticised the party for not taking immediate action against Zulkifli who had lodged a police report against a PAS MP Khalid Samad over the “Allah” row.

“Zaid’s action did not cause major problems to the party or Pakatan, other than the remarks he made, he has largely observed party discipline,” said the party leader.

The former Kota Bahru Umno division chief joined PKR last year to help in formalising the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition and to draw up its common agenda, which led to the inaugural convention in December last year and the launch of its common policy framework.

Questions on Zaid’s disciplinary case were first raised by Zulkifli last week who claimed that the party has never planned to take action against the former Umno man.

Zulkifli was supposed to appear before the disciplinary board on Feb 18, but alleged conspiracy to sack him, claiming that the date was chosen to coincide with a leadership conference in Korea which he is attending.

PKR had denied nominating Zulkifli for the trip and has rescheduled his hearing date to Mar 1 while Tan received the show-cause letter last week and is scheduled to attend the disciplinary board proceedings tomorrow.

Zahrain left the party on Feb 12 to turn independent citing loss of confidence in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and disappointment with the leadership of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Both Zahrain and Tan have been the most vocal critics of the DAP-led Penang government, claiming that they have been sidelined by the administration.

Teoh’s ‘wife’ in hospital to deliver baby

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — “Baby Teoh” may be born today.

Soh Cher Wei (picture), the 28-year-old teacher who was engaged to be married to Teoh Beng Hock, was taken to Hospital Batu Pahat in Johor at 9am for an operation to deliver their baby by Caesarian section, a source close to the family told The Malaysian Insider.

“May not have delivered yet but should be in operating theatre,” the source added, but was unsure about the reason behind the C-section delivery.

The late Selangor political aide’s sister, Teoh Lee Lan, was unable to shed further light on the mother’s condition when contacted.

“I’m not really sure about this right now. Clarify with you later” she replied through a text message.

Soh was inducted into the Teoh family according to traditional Chinese rites last October, and was two months pregnant when her fiancé was found dead.

The couple was scheduled to register their marriage last July 17, which was dashed following Teoh’s untimely death.

The 30-year-old political secretary to Selangor executive councillor, Ean Yong Hian Wah, had been questioned overnight by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating claims his boss had misused state funds.

His body was found sprawled on a 5th-floor corridor outside the MACC office in Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam the next day. The mysterious circumstances surrounding his death are still being investigated by the coroner’s court.

Oil royalty fight puts BN in a fix over Terengganu payments

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — The Barisan Nasional federal government yesterday argued why states in the Malay peninsula are not entitled to oil royalty, but was silent about its decision to resume paying the 5 per cent cash payment direct to oil-rich Terengganu.

The Information, Communication and Culture Ministry took out full page advertisements in Malay weeklies listing eight questions and answers to rebut Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s argument that Kelantan and all other states are entitled to the 5 per cent oil royalty under the Petroleum Development Act 1974.

The federal government’s main argument is that oil and gas are extracted from waters that are beyond the three-nautical mile limit prescribed as territorial waters under Malaysia’s Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) No 7 1969.

However, Petronas had been paying Terengganu the 5 per cent oil royalty since offshore production began in 1978 but stopped after PAS captured the state in the 1999 general elections. It promised to resume twice-yearly direct payments from March 2009 after the earlier payments were converted to compassionate payments disbursed by federal agencies.

“Kelantan or any other states in the peninsula are not entitled as the oil and gas wells in the peninsula are located outside the three nautical miles limit. Therefore, anything obtained beyond the three nautical mile limit belongs to the Federal Government,” said the ministry advertisement.

Oil was first discovered in the South China Sea off Terengganu in 1973, a year before Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein directed Razaleigh to form Petronas and become its founding chairman.

The argument in the advertisement could raise the ire of the Terengganu government which is now controlled by BN. The federal government had promised to channel the oil royalty to the Terengganu Investment Authority, the first state sovereign fund in Malaysia, which was later renamed 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

The advertisement also explained that oil royalty payments for Sabah and Sarawak was due to agreements made prior to 1974 and through the Continental Shelf Act 1966.

“It is historic and a special right acknowledged when they joined Malaysia in 1963,” the advertisement stated, taking the popular misconception that both Borneo states joined Malaysia rather than forming it together with Malaya and Singapore.

The advertisement also took great pains to explain the term oil royalty does not appear in the Petroleum Development Act, stating it is called cash payments.

It added compassionate payments are made at the discretion of the federal government and is outside the scope of the Petroleum Development Act or the vesting deeds signed between the states and Petronas in 1975 and 1976.

“The aid is given based on the awareness and responsibility based on the federal government’s care for the welfare of the state and the people.”

It stressed the federal government was offering Kelantan RM20 million in compassionate payment due to gas being extracted in the Thailand-Malaysia joint development area in the deep waters off the Kelantan coast.

“The Kelantan government has no rights in that area as it is beyond the three nautical-mile limit,” it added.

The government also argued that Razaleigh, who is Gua Musang MP, was only expressing his own opinion but not facts of the matter under relevant laws. It pointed out the Kelantan prince popularly known as Ku Li had once said Terengganu was not entitled to oil royalty.

“Although Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has changed his mind this time, the position in law has not changed. The people and the nation must respect the country’s laws,” it said.

The advertisement also claimed the parliamentary opposition leader, which it did not name, had realised current laws do not provide the states with the right to get cash payments or oil royalty for oil and gas extracted outside their territorial waters.

“Because of that, the parliamentary opposition leader tried to propose amendments to the Petroleum Development Act 1974 in the parliamentary session last December 2009.

“The Parliamentary Opposition leader himself realises that the Kelantan government has no rights over any oil and gas wells within the Federation,” it added.

Be a man and state your stand, Kit Siang dares Muhyiddin

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang challenged Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to stop acting coy and unequivocally declare if he truly supports his boss’ 1Malaysia policy.

The Ipoh-Timur MP alleged that Muhyiddin has been making public statements that conflicted with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s concept.

Instead, the second-most senior Cabinet member appeared to be acting as the “custodian and surrogate of the Mahathir legacy in the Najib premiership”, Lim said in a statement today.

“Signals were flashed when Muhyiddin was suddenly coy in declining to comment as to whether groups like Perkasa would be among NGOs to be admitted into the Barisan Nasional as part of the ruling coalition’s expansion plan to incorporate admission of NGOs and BN-friendly groups,” the father of Penang’s Chief Minister said, sounding the alarm.

Lim highlighted that Perkasa championed for the very opposite of Najib’s 1 Malaysia cause celebre and former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s “Bangsa Malaysia” concept under Vision 2020, even as the latter had openly given the ultra Malay movement his stamp of approval.

“The time has come for Muhyiddin to declare whether he is the right-hand of Najib or Mahathir in the present administration.

“Is Muhyiddin with Najib’s 1Malaysia or Mahathir’s withholding of support or blessing for the 1Malaysia concept?” Lim quizzed.

“Maybe one good test of Muhyiddin’s true stand on Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and concept is whether the Deputy Prime Minister is prepared to support the proposal for the establishment of an Opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap,” he said, throwing down the gauntlet at Muhyiddin’s feet.

By doing so, the veteran opposition leader appears to have put Muyiddin in a leading role in the clash of two leadership styles that will determine the country’s future

Petrol price expected to increase by 10sen

(The Sun) KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 21, 2010) : The government is expected to announce a price increase of 10sen a litre for RON95 petrol and diesel when the new fuel price mechanism is revealed in mid-March, Sin Chew Daily reported today.

The price of RON97 will also be increased but there is no decision yet on the quantum.
RON95 is currently retailed at RM1.80 a litre, RON97 and diesel at RM2.05 and RM1.70 a litre respectively.

Finance Ministry sources said the government has decided to raise fuel prices as it cannot provide more subsidy needed to maintain fuel prices at current levels following a spike in global crude oil prices.

The government believes an increase of 10sen a litre is acceptable to the public.

The sources also told the daily the government has yet to come up with a fuel price mechanism that is acceptable to all quarters, and as a result it may put off or may even be forced to abandon some new measures that are already in the pipeline.

“Plans were afoot for the registration of vehicle owners and their MyKad through Maybank and petrol kiosks to begin in April under the proposed ‘one vehicle owner, one subsidy’ fuel subsidy mechanism. It looks like the plan may not take off.”

The sources said the cap on selling 20 litres of petrol to foreign cars near Malaysian borders will continue to be implemented.

Meanwhile, Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia president Datuk Hashim Othman believes that foreign car owners will pay the market price when the new fuel price mechanism is introduced next month.

He said the government’s main intention is to provide subsidy to those who qualify for it, to protect the interest of the lower and middle-income groups as well as save on expenditures.

Drawing the line in PKR

thenutgraph.com


Saifuddin Nasution

PARTI Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) clearly has problems. No less because of its poor candidate selection process for the 2008 general election.

Even as PKR formalises its union with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners DAP and PAS, it finds itself at odds with certain party members whose aspirations may not be in line with PR's politics and personalities. Never has PKR experienced such attacks from within, with rebel parliamentarians openly criticising the party and PR colleagues.

In an exclusive interview with The Nut Graph on 11 Feb 2010 at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, PKR's newly-appointed secretary-general, Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, admits not all problems are caused by rival Barisan Nasional (BN). Indeed, he stresses the need for the line to be drawn so that party discipline will not be jeopardised including in cases like Zulkifli Noordin's.

TNG: As PKR's new secretary-general, what are some challenges you face in party administration?

Saifuddin Nasution: The biggest challenge is dealing with basic things like respecting disciplinary matters. Once you're a registered member, you have to bind yourself with the party's ethics and rules.

You might disagree with certain policies, but you have to learn how to put yourself within the party framework. Outsiders are looking at the party as if we are not firm in tackling disciplinary problems. My challenge is to have a proper plan to educate members to love the party, respect the party constitution and accept the fact that we are part of Pakatan Rakyat. People have given us solid support and have high hopes of us.

From the organisational point of view, we currently have about 400,000 members. We expect to have 700,000 members by the end of the year. This is based on the number of applications — every month we approve about 40,000 to 50,000.

What are the demographics of these new members?

Malay [Malaysians] comprise about 60%, Indian [Malaysians] about 23% and the balance includes Chinese [Malaysians] and those from Sabah and Sarawak. The largest age group of new members is 30 to 45. I'm very relieved when I look at these figures. This is the younger generation and they ensure the future of Keadilan as a multiracial party.

Does PKR face the problem of infiltrators in the party, people sent in to lie low and stir up trouble at the opportune time?

I'm not sure if we have this problem. But we are a big organisation which welcomes everyone.


Irene Fernandez
People like to note that some of our leaders are ex-Umno. People like me, Azmin (Ali), and (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim). We also have activists with non-governmental organisation backgrounds like Elizabeth Wong, Tian Chua, R Sivarasa and Irene Fernandez. And we also have former members of Parti Rakyat Malaysia like Dr Syed Husin Ali and Latheefa Koya.

We also have leaders who have never been involved in politics before, like William Leong who was formerly a corporate lawyer. When you bring everyone together with their different worldviews on politics, different sets of values, and different expectations, the challenge is to ensure that only one united voice comes out.

So you can't always blame the BN-controlled media then, clearly some of these problems are PKR's own problems.

I don't deny this. This is part of the struggle and we need to be brave enough to admit it. We have problems that are serious to a certain extent. I worry most about people's perception of the party.

What about alleged favouritism of Zulkifli Noordin by Anwar, which is said to be the reason why PKR is slow in disciplining him?

Zul was in the legal team for Anwar's first sodomy trial in 1999 and they had a close relationship. But now, we're talking about another level of relationship which is in the context of the party.

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It may be hard to draw a line between friends and party relationship. Perhaps Anwar might be having some difficulty in imposing certain things on Zul because of their past working relationship, and the sacrifices Zul might have made for Anwar as part of his defence team.

But to me that is a separate thing altogether. I would like to differentiate between Zul and Anwar as friends, and Zul as PKR MP with Anwar as Ketua Umum of PKR. We have to draw the line. Otherwise, there is the risk of people taking advantage of having close relationships with the top leaders and then trying to make use of those relationships. It puts the party in a very difficult situation. It's very unfair to the 400,000 party members.

Zul is a very good friend of mine. As secretary-general, I had to write formally to him. I've known him for the last 10 years but that doesn't mean when the party decided to refer him to the disciplinary board that I don't write the letter to him. I have to draw the line so that I can fulfil my responsibilities. I also texted him; I said if you have any love for the party, please, control yourself and stop attacking the party.

But he's still talking despite the gag order.

Exactly. We have to proceed with the due process.

Zulkifli says his presence in PKR is a benefit because he brings in Malay Muslim support. Could that be why he continues to be defiant?

It's normal for some people to think that way. That because of people like them, they can get support for the party. I think that's too good to be true. I have a lot of reservations about that kind of statement.

Also with statements like, if they don't allow me to talk about the interest of Malay [Malaysians] and Muslims, then PKR is not the platform for me. As if PKR is not fighting for the interest of Malay [Malaysians] and Muslims.

That is totally wrong. If you study the 17 points of PKR's policy, we've stated clearly our stand on the position of Islam and the Malay rulers, on Bahasa Malaysia and the Malay special position. So how could you claim that you alone are the only one fighting for these things? That kind of statement is not fair to other party leaders. favicon

Part II tomorrow: What wrong did Zaid Ibrahim do?

PR Believes Some BN Reps are For Dropping Sodomy II

From The Edge
by Yong Min Wei

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is optimistic it can get the support of a handful of Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers for its memorandum to call upon the government to drop the “Sodomy II” case against Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, a high-ranking official from the opposition pact said.

He said the memorandum would be passed to BN frontbenchers and backbenchers for their consideration, adding that any support from the ruling coalition’s lawmakers would be “meaningful and appreciated” in the wake of Anwar’s sodomy trial that has drawn international concerns and criticisms.

“There are several BN MPs who have verbally agreed to put down their signatures. This is on their own accord and belief. They should not be affected by the party whip system,” the official told The Edge Financial Daily.

Stressing one is greater than none, he said it would not be a futile effort if only a handful of the 137 BN MPs ended up endorsing the memorandum, adding that MPs formed the highest law-making body in the land and must be given freedom to express opinion and concern on Anwar’s sodomy trial.

“We hope to convince BN and independent MPs that supporting the memorandum does not mean they are supporting PR. They are answerable only to themselves,” he said, noting that MPs should view the matter in a rational manner.

An anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) petition spearheaded by PR in late 2008 managed to garner 85 signatures from lawmakers, including three independent MPs and BN’s Hulu Rajang MP Billy Abit Joo.

Meanwhile, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said all 81 PR MPs should have no second thoughts about signing the memorandum, which is expected to be ready this week.

He said the memorandum would not be an academic exercise even if no BN MPs were to support it.

“This (memorandum) is a test of conscience, a sense of accountability,” he said.

Lim, who is Ipoh Timur MP, said the memorandum was an initiative by PR lawmakers and would be submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail once signatures had been gathered.

“I have no idea. I don’t know,” he said when asked if he was confident some BN and independent MPs would endorse the memorandum.

Lim added that it was not necessary now for an emergency parliamentary sitting to discuss Anwar’s sodomy trial since the case had been adjourned to March 25 for re-mention while parliament would reconvene on March 15.

DAP’s international bureau secretary Liew Ching Tong said Anwar was being “prosecuted and persecuted” with a clear objective of disarming him politically.

He added that his sodomy charge should be dropped for Malaysia to mature as a democracy.

“The trial has further eroded Malaysia’s international standing,” said Liew, who is Bukit Bendera MP. He could not tell if BN reps were willing to support the memorandum.

New Deal For Felda Under Pakatan

From Malaysiakini
By Terence Netto

Felda settlers will enjoy a new deal under a Pakatan Rakyat government, one that would incorporate elements of social democracy as distinct from the capitalist thrust of present arrangements under an Umno-led BN administration.

PKR deputy president senator Dr Syed Husin Ali told a national convention of Felda settlers at Kampong Temin in Jerantut yesterday that new swaths of land will be opened up for cultivation in contrast to the existing policy of no new land openings.

He said priority for cultivation of this new land would be accorded to the landless and unemployed among second and third generation descendants of the original settlers.

“This is to overcome the twin problems of unemployment and poverty among this group,” said Syed Husin to some 1,000 settlers who attended the one-day convention in this town in the Pahang interior, surrounded by Felda schemes.

At its incorporation in 1956 and actual launch two years later, Felda was a scheme to enable small and impoverished farmers who usually owned uneconomic plots of less than two acres to open up new land and progress towards ownership of viable plots of 10 acres in size.

The plots were cleared by this pioneering band and planted with rubber, with the produce providing them with a living. From the profits, the pioneers paid the holding agency (Felda) installments towards eventual ownership of the land.

But in 1960, Parliament passed the Group Settlement Act which changed the way Felda schemes were managed. Land clearing and seed planting were undertaken by the Felda board which then charged the costs to each settler, who had to clear the debt over a 15-year period at 6.25% interest per annum.

With the Felda board deducting at source these dues from the monthly earnings of settlers, the latter were frequently mired in debt, especially in periods when the price of rubber nosedived.

Settlers’ woes were worsened by their being barred from transferring ownership of the land during their lifetimes or willing it to heirs at death.

In short, the Group Settlement Act transformed Felda’s band of settlers from the status of aspirant owners to permanent tenant farmers.

Ownership of land issues became more complicated in 1995 when Felda Holdings was incorporated. Ownership in most of the 323 Felda schemes in the country was now subsumed under Felda Plantations.

Many of Felda’s pioneers were cajoled, persuaded, and even coerced, to give up their ownership rights to Felda Holdings, in return for shareholding rights.

Thus the original purpose of setting up Felda schemes to combat poverty by enabling impoverished small farmers opportunities to cultivate, and later own, land on economically viable scales was lost.

A more equitable system

All this would change under a Pakatan government, said Syed Husin.

“We will give priority to the second and third generation descendants of Felda pioneers to acquire the skills and qualifications to become important in the ownership, cultivation and management of Felda schemes,” he asserted.

“A more equitable system of distribution of profits garnered by Felda holding companies would be devised such that settlers would obtain better returns on their labour,” said Syed Husin.

He said an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 people comprised the second and third generation of descendants of Felda’s pioneering settlers who were now the flotsam of rural society.

He said many of the unemployed were involved in social ills, like theft, drug abuse, and other destructive behavior, that commonly characterise the shiftless.

“Under a Pakatan government, Felda would return to its original aim which is to uplift rural society by empowering small farmers to work in economically viable agricultural schemes to boost income, reduce unemployment, and promote ownership,” said Syed Husin.

He said a Pakatan government would do all this not because it viewed Felda settlers as a potential vote bank, but because these measures conformed to the imperatives of the new economic agenda espoused by PKR under the common policy framework of Pakatan.

Is Muhyiddin the right-hand man of Najib or Mahathir in the Najib premiership?

Tun Abdullah tried to distance himself and tinker with the Mahathir legacy, without really daring to dismantle it when he was Prime Minister – but that was enough to ensure a swift and ignominious dismantling and end to Abdullah’s hapless premiership.

One great difference between the Najib and Abdullah premierships up to now is over their stance on the Mahathir legacy – in the Abdullah premiership, the Cabinet Ministers stand mute on the subject but in the Najib administration, the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has emerged as the custodian of the Mahathir legacy with a powerful following!

This is why Muhyiddin’s utterances and actions are not only important for one who is only half-a-heartbeat away from the premiership but as a surrogate of the Mahathir legacy – undoubtedly of the most powerful former Malaysian Prime Minister in the nation’s history.

Just look at some the media headlines on Muhyiddin in the past few months:

  • “Syariah caning is mild, says Muhyiddin” (Feb. 19); );
  • “Kit Siang doesn’t understand separation of powers, says DPM” (Feb. 19);
  • “Muhyiddin claims Penang not backing Muslim aims” (Feb. 12);
  • “Muhyddin says PERC report is nonsense” (Feb. 11);
  • “Muhyiddin wants Pakatan to drop conditions for co-operation in Perak” (Feb. 11);
  • “No need for interfaith commission, says DPM” (Jan 30);
  • “Muhyiddin refutes Human Rights Watch report” (Jan 22);
  • “Muhyiddin: ‘Allah’ issue not political” (Jan. 16);
  • “Muhyiddin: No more ‘Allah’ contention in the future” (Jan. 14);
  • “Muhyiddin says ‘extreme’ to call Dr M racist, maintains BTN good” (Dec. 8);
  • “DPM defends BTN courses against racist brainwashing charges” (Nov. 26);
  • “Muhyiddin warns of traitors to the Malay race” (Aug 10); and
  • “Muhyiddin – Chinese ungrateful to BN” (April 13).

But what are Muhyiddin’s true credentials on Najib’s 1Malaysia concept when the Deputy Prime Minister could attempt to mitigate the Nasir Safar outrage claming that it could have been “a slip of the tongue” when Najib’s senior political aide labelled Indians and Chinese in Malaysia as “pendatang”, alleging that the Chinese came as beggars and the Chinese women as “prostitutes”; or was conspicuously silent when the racialist rantings of Umno executive secretary Datuk Abdul Rauf Yusoh at an Umno club function in London earlier this month was exposed.

Signals were flashed when Muhyiddin was suddenly coy in declining to comment as to whether groups like Perkasa would be among NGOs to be admitted into the Barisan Nasional as part of the ruling coalition’s expansion plan to incorporate admission of NGOs and BN-friendly groups.

Perkasa, which stands for the very negation of Najib’s 1Malaysia and the former Prime Minister’s “Bangsa Malaysia” concept under Vision 2020, has nonetheless received the patronage of Mahathir. The former Prime Minister has given his stamp of approval to Perkasa, saying that it is increasingly popular within the Malay community because Umno is being seen as incapable of protecting their rights.

When Barisan Nasional component parties like MCA, Gerakan, MIC and parties from Sabah and Sarawak could agree in principle to the expansion of the coalition to include NGOs like Perkasa, it is understandable that statements of despair are being made their veteran leaders or “elders” like the recent one by former Gerakan President Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik that “Gerakan has lost Penang for good” as they only reflect the terminal marginalization and irrelevance of these Barisan Nasional component parties in the face of Umno’s unrepentant political hegemony in the coalition.

The time has come for Muhyiddin to declare whether he is the right-hand of Najib or Mahathir in the present administration.

When it comes to the crunch in any fundamental difference between Najib and Mahathir, where would the loyalty of Muhyiddin, as the custodian and surrogate of the Mahathir legacy in the Najib premiership, lie?

For instance, Mahathir has publicly declared that he does not know what Najib’s 1Malaysia is about. Mahathir withholds support for Najib’s 1Malaysia but has no hesitation in giving his blessings to Perkasa.

Is Muhyiddin with Najib’s 1Malaysia or Mahathir’s withholding of support or blessing for the 1Malaysia concept?

May be one good test of Muhyiddin’s true stand on Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and concept is whether the Deputy Prime Minister is prepared to support the proposal for the establishment of an Opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap.

Five myopic judges in Federal Court

By NH Chan

On Feb 9, the five-member Federal Court panel handed down a unanimous decision on Nizar Jamaluddin versus Zambry Abd Kadir. The judgment of the court was read by Chief Judge of Malaya Arifin Zakaria.

The judgment is 40-pages long and if you have the stamina to persevere to the end of the judgment you would have realised that these judges of the highest court in the land have, under the pretext of interpretation, decided that the Perak sultan has the power to dismiss the incumbent Menteri Besar Nizar when the Laws of the Constitution of Perak does not confer any executive power on the sultan for so doing.

If the sultan has no power to dismiss Nizar then, we should ask, how could the Federal Court commit such a devastating error to their reputation as judges of the highest court in the land?

That is why the ability to pick out the one real point that matters is so important. That is why young advocates learnt how to spot it very early in their career if they are not to bore the judge, whom they are addressing, to tears.

This is what Sir Patrick Hastings – he was one of the great advocates of his day before and after World War II – had to say about the ability to seize upon the one vital point that is to be found in any case; see his book Cases in Court, p 333:

“The ability to pick out the one real point of a case is not by itself enough; it is the courage required to seize upon that point to the exclusion of all others that is of real importance.”

In the case of Nizar vs Zambry, the only point that matters in the appeal is whether the Perak sultan has any executive power to remove a menteri besar who had been appointed by him under Article 16(2)(a).

Yet these five myopic Federal Court judges were unable to see that this is the only point that matters in the appeal when every budding young lawyer knows about it instinctively.

Lost in a quagmire

These five myopic judges were lost in a quagmire of confused thinking caused by their own incompetence. They found themselves deep in the forest unable to see the wood for the trees. Does this mean that we have a bunch of incompetent judges who sit in the highest court in the land?

Article IV of ‘The Laws of The Constitution of Perak’ says, “the Menteri Besar” means the officer appointed by virtue of Article XII. Article XII says:

(1) His Royal Highness shall appoint by instrument under his sign manual and State Seal, a Menteri Besar pursuant to paragraph (a) of Clause (2) of Article XVI.

And paragraph (a) of Clause (2) of Article XVI says:

(1) His Royal Highness shall appoint an Executive Council.

(2) The Executive Council shall be appointed as follows, that is to say -

(a) His Royal Highness shall first appoint as Menteri Besar to preside over the Executive Council a member of the Legislative Assembly who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly; and

(b) He shall on the advice of the Menteri Besar appoint not more than 10 nor less than four other members from among the members of the Legislative Assembly;

That was how Nizar came to be appointed the menteri besar. He was appointed by the Perak sultan to be the MB by the application of the provision of Article 16(2)(a) of the Perak constitution shortly after the 2008 general election.

The provision of Article 16(2)(a) gives the Perak sultan the executive power to appoint a menteri besar “who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly”.

Article XVIII (2) is the only other provision in the state constitution where the sultan “may act in his discretion in the performance of the” functions stated in Clause 2 of Article 18. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of Clause 2 read:

(2) His Royal Highness may act in his discretion in the performance of the following functions (in addition to those in the performance of which he may act in his discretion under the Federal Constitution) that is to say -

(a) the appointment of a Menteri Besar,

(b) the withholding of consent to a request for the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly.

Sultan has no power to sack MB

After the sultan has appointed a menteri besar under Article 16(2)(a), then, has he the executive power to remove him?

The answer is definitely no, because the only executive power left for the sultan in which he “may act in his discretion” – after a menteri besar has been appointed under Article 16(2)(a) – in respect of the menteri besar can only be found in Article 18(2) (a) and (b).

Apart from Article 18(2)(a) and (b) there is no other executive power bestowed on the sultan concerning the position and status of the menteri besar. The sultan, therefore, has no executive power under the Perak constitution to remove a menteri besar.

Nor has he any power under Article 16(6) and (7) to dismiss or remove him.

Article XVI (6) and (7) say:

(6) If the Menteri Besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, … he shall tender the resignation of the Executive Council.

(7) Subject to Clause (6) a member of the Executive Council other than the Menteri Besar shall hold office at His Royal Highness’ pleasure, but any member of the Council may at any time resign his office.

By Clause (6) a menteri besar who ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the Legislative Assembly “shall tender the resignation of the Executive Council”. But what if any member of the executive council or all of them including the menteri besar – for the menteri besar is also a member of the council – were to refuse to resign?

Clause (7) provides the answer to this question. It says, “Subject to Clause (6) a member of the Executive Council other than the Menteri Besar shall hold office at His Royal Highness’ pleasure, but any member of the Council may at any time resign his office.”

Clause (7) clearly says that members of the executive council hold office at the pleasure of the sultan. The sultan can remove them from the office of executive councillors if they refuse to resign.

Hold office at the ruler’s pleasure

But the menteri besar, once appointed by the sultan, does not hold office at the ruler’s pleasure. Therefore, Nizar, once he had been appointed the menteri besar by the application of paragraph (a) of Clause (2) of Article 16, cannot thereafter be removed from office by the sultan. This is because Clause (7) says the menteri besar does not hold office at the pleasure of the ruler.

Therefore, even if the menteri besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, the sultan has not the executive power to remove him as menteri besar.

That being the case, the only way to remove a menteri besar is to obtain a vote from the Legislative Assembly to remove him. Alternatively, the sultan may dissolve the Legislative Assembly if requested by the appointed menteri besar – who is Nizar as he cannot be removed by the sultan – to do so under Article 16(6).

Therefore, the legitimate Perak MB is still Nizar, and not Zambry. Then, how could the Federal Court give such a perverse decision in favour of the usurper Zambry when the Perak constitution does not confer any executive power on the sultan for him to do so? This is especially so when Nizar is still in office as the MB – a position he still holds in accordance with the law.

Towards A Developed Malaysia – Part 3

By M. Bakri Musa

[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]

Encouraging Malays Entrepreneurs and Scientists

The Malaysia of today under the leadership of Tun Razak’s son is a very different country. With the overall elevation in the level of the education, the needs and aspirations of the citizens have also changed; the curve has shifted to the right. We have to respond to this new reality of higher needs and much greater aspirations.

Today our major dilemma is the lack of Malays in science and technology, as well as in business. Actually these are old dilemmas but because they have been incompetently handled, they are again resurfacing, over fifty years after independence.

I was young during Tun Razak’s time. Yes, the lack of Malays in science then was palpable, with fewer than a dozen Malay science graduates. The prevailing wisdom – and not just among non-Malays – was that we Malays did not have what it would take to handle science and mathematics.

Let me review how our leaders handled the issue then. In my Form Five science class in Kuala Pilah in 1960, there were 22 Malays out of 35, a good reflection of the community. However, because of the severe limited slots in Form Six, only four of us managed to get in, of whom two were Malays. All four went on to university.

Six of my Malay classmates who did not get into Sixth Form eventually also managed to get their degrees though various circuitous routes. On received a graduate degree from Cornell, another, an Australian PhD. Additionally, if I were to compare my other Malay classmates in Kuala Pilah to my fellow undergraduates in Canada, at least another half a dozen could have easily handled university work.

Thus had there been enough Sixth Form slots then, we could have increased the number of potential Malay science undergraduates from 2 to 14, a seven-fold increase. Transformational if not miraculous!

Instead, what happened was this. The government responded to the community’s anguish by establishing a royal commission headed by the then new Minister of Education. After months of hearings, the Rahman Talib Report blamed the poor performance of Malays in science to our culture, and our students being infested with worms!

At another level, the response was equally unenlightened. Feeling that the then University of Malaya was insensitive to the needs of Malays, we agitated for a new “national” university, one that would presumably appreciate our aspirations.

Thus the Universiti Kebangsaan was born, at a cost of hundreds of millions of ringgit, real money then. At its first graduation ceremony in 1973, there were only a few Malay science graduates.

A Sixth Form at Kuala Pilah a decade earlier would have cost a tiny fraction and would have produced more potential Malay science undergraduates. It would be 14 years after I left in 1960 before my old school had its Sixth Form. The building of a university catered to the top percentile, while having more Sixth Form slots would have met the needs of considerably more students (a shift towards the center of the curve).

Consider the other pressing issue: the lack of Malays in business. We have obviously not learned anything here too, for we still approach the problem in the same ineffective manner. We poured hundreds of billions into government-linked companies in an effort to jumpstart Malay participation in the private sector. The results only embarrass us; most GLCs are perennial money losers.

Meanwhile stroll down any street and you would be hard pressed to see signs like “Tahir Tailoring,” “Salmah Saloon,” or “Mahmud Mechanic.” If the pipes in your home were to burst or if you were in need of an electrician, chances are the repairman who showed up would be non-Malay. This is the sorry state today despite the government, controlled by Malays, pouring billions of ringgit to help Malays enter the private sector.

This dismal failure is predictable based on my fish story analogy. The government focused on the top percentile instead of the huge middle. Those huge sums of money were expended not on small and medium enterprises, or to equip Malays with skills needed in the marketplace, rather on creating mega billion-dollar corporations like Pernas, Petronas and other ‘Nases. Earlier you heard Ambassador Jarjis’s struggles to borrow RM50K to start his engineering consultancy business. This was at the time when the likes of Tajuddin Ramli and Halim Saad were given mega loans to acquire our GLCs without even having to sign any loan papers!

All we have to show for the billions spent on those GLCs are the many ersatz entrepreneurs and crony capitalists who survive only through repeated bailouts. We were and still are repeating Nehru’s mistakes. At least Nehru’s IIT’s graduates thrive elsewhere and the Indians get to share in the reflected glory of their achievements. Our crony capitalists sans bailout are back in the kampong with nothing to show for all the billions expended on them.

Yet those precious billions lost were not the most expensive part of the failure. There are other more damaging and long-lasting consequences. For one, it reinforces the negative stereotype that Malays cannot handle businesses more complicated than the roadside kedai kopi (coffee stall). Conveniently forgotten is that the failures of these GLCs do not reflect the failure of Malays rather of those who depend on their political connections for their success and not their entrepreneurial skills. Similar pseudo entrepreneurs, whether in China or India, suffer the same fate.

The most destructive damage they wreck upon our community can best be illustrated by my resorting to a kampong metaphor. The constant scourge facing kampong farmers is that their fields would be inundated by the tenacious weed lallang. They suck out the nutrients from the soil, leaving it barren for generations. Once a field is inundated with lallang, that land is gone; no other useful crop could be grown again.

Our strategy with these expensive money-loosing GLCs is akin to what my late father used to say, membajakan (fertilizing) lallang. These lallang would be destructive without our help; when we nurture them by adding fertilizer we would ironically be hastening the death of the land and its useful plants. The pernicious influence of the likes of the Tajuddin Ramlis and Halim Saads is analogous to membajakan lallang. It sets back the cause of genuine Malay entrepreneurs for generations.

There are many other ready examples of such flawed strategies. The government through Petronas pays extravagantly to attract foreign musicians for the KL Philharmonic Orchestra. Again, we are focusing on the top percentile. Had that money been spent on music education in our schools, it would not be long before we would have our own Itzhak Perlman or Sergio Ozawa. It may be slower but a more sure, genuine and enduring strategy.

A Strategy for Developing Malay Scientists and Entrepreneurs

If I were to allocate our scant resources towards developing Malay scientists and entrepreneurs, this is what I would do. I would allocate 10 percent towards the low end of the population, 20 percent to the top decile, with the bulk (the remaining 70 percent) spent on the large middle group.

Is this fair? Fairness, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. In per capita terms, the bottom decile gets the fairest deal; ten percent of the resources spent on about ten percent of the population. The middle would get less than its fair share (70 percent spent on 80 percent of the people), but then they get the biggest chunk.

The super achievers would get the most favorable treatment on a per capita basis, getting twice as much (20 percent of resources spent on 10 percent of the population), but not the bulk of the allocation. That is the way it should be. They are our best, our talent seeds; when they excel they bring glory to the group and inspire others. They will set the trend and establish the standards for our society.

Let me apply these considerations to our old twin dilemmas: the lack of Malay scientists and entrepreneurs.

To encourage Malays to pursue science, I would spend the bulk (70 percent) of the funds on science teachers and laboratories, especially in rural areas. I would even air-condition the labs so students would linger after class. I would have them perform their own experiments and not be satisfied with merely watching the demonstrations. Science is like sex, the fun part is in doing it yourself, not in having it demonstrated!

Today, many of the experiments that used to be done by the students during my days are now merely demonstrated because “we cannot afford those students breaking the test tubes!”

In the universities I would ensure that the science-related faculties would get the biggest allocations and their professors the best paid. Similarly, the students would get the most generous scholarships and other support.

I would support the top decile differently. Any Malay student (undergraduate or graduate) who gets admitted to any of the top-ranked universities would automatically get a scholarship. I would go further and grant them the freedom to pursue their own path. I would not demand of them to serve in any particular government entity or even to return home. If we provide them with fulfilling opportunities at home, they will return, with little need for onerous contractual obligations.

To reward those science professors and other scientists, I would appoint them to the boards of the GLCs. That would be the best way to supplement their income. The companies too would benefit from their technical knowledge and generally higher intelligence. A scientist would contribute more as a director for Petronas than a retired civil servant or worse, a discredited politician.

Imagine the impact! Every Malay student would work very hard to secure admission to top universities and a chance to go abroad without the fear of being indentured to the government. Malay scientists would now have a great incentive to remain productive so they could be appointed to the boards of our GLCs.

Likewise in developing Malay entrepreneurs; I would spend the bulk of the funds training Malays to be chefs, carpenters, electricians, and skilled tradesmen. When they have acquired those skills, I would grant them credit facilities to start their own businesses. Then I would make sure that school canteen contracts be awarded to these chefs, and Petronas grants its gas station franchises only to these certified mechanics and not to incompetent UMNO chiefs.

I would demand of our GLCs to groom their suppliers and subcontractors from among these Malays. These GLCs could emulate Fed Ex, for example, in having its drivers own the trucks and then contract to the company for delivery and transport. That made those drivers not employees but self-employed businessmen and women. Many of them would later venture out on their own, starting their own trucking companies. How many employees of our GLCs have ventured out on their own? Then just to remind these GLCs of their mission, they would be banned from competing against Malay entrepreneurs.

We have failed in developing Malay scientists and entrepreneurs because we subscribe to Nehru’s strategy instead of our own Tunku’s.

Anwar, Allah and the caning of women

By Jema Khan | The Malaysian Insider

FEB 18 — I have been a loyal member of Umno since they came to Sabah in the early nineties. I have served in the Umno Youth exco, as Umno Youth chief of Sabah, as Umno Youth chief of Tuaran and even as a branch leader in my division.

I retired fully from politics in 2000 to focus on my business with a sense of satisfaction in having done some good both in Sabah and in Malaysia. That was good enough for me and I felt I had done my duty and could now concentrate on my business, family and myself.

In the passing of time since, I have seen many a friend being elevated to the highest level of Government. That pleased me in that at least I knew the main players in Government personally. From time to time, I would give my views to them on this issue or that when the opportunity arose. I would not be writing this if there was a more discreet way to repair the serious damage done to my country.

I consider myself a liberal Malay and have always acted as such even when I served Umno a decade ago. Although I would toe the party line eventually in most issues, I espoused my liberal views often to my compatriots and they listened though not necessarily agreeing. Nevertheless, we all remained firm friends. Today they seem unable to tackle issues which I consider basic and yet having serious repercussions.

The most serious issues today are Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial, the use of the “A” word for non-Muslims and the caning of women under Syariah law. These issues are all fundamental to all of us as they can dilute our rights as individuals in a civilised nation. A decade ago, all these rights remained intact for all of us.

In Anwar’s case a decade ago, he was found guilty for abuse of power only: the sodomy conviction being overturned on appeal eventually. No matter how one feels about it, justice eventually prevailed on appeal as there was reasonable doubt to cause his sodomy conviction to be considered “unsafe”.

Here we are again, putting the nation through another trauma all over again; surely we all know the burden of proof lies with the prosecution and it has to prove its case “beyond a reasonable doubt”. From the press reports, I would say that there are serious elements of doubt. I fear for all of us if we were the ones to be prosecuted in a criminal case and guilt was determined other than by the test of “beyond reasonable doubt”. That can be the first dilution of our rights.

The “A” word to be used by non-Muslims had never been an issue before. especially where I come from, which is Sabah. We have all lived in peace respecting each other’s rights, why change now? Strike two for the dilution of our individual rights.

The issue that breaks the camel’s back for me was the caning of women under Syariah law. It is ignoble, unjust and an affront to my dignity as a man. Caning of women is not even allowed under our penal code and we never did it before, why start now? Strike three.

If the US has a “three strikes and you are out” law, I wonder what it means to us in Malaysia? Is it that our individual rights are no more sacrosanct? Shall we just give up and let the powers that be or want to be, continue to trample all over us? Shall we just cry for our nation as the title suggests? Or shall we strike back?

I propose that we set up a liberal Malay party and call it “Parti Liberal Melayu” and allow all likeminded constitutional Malays and Bumiputeras to join. Although I am very much for “1 Malaysia”, my previous experience has shown me that politics in Malaysia was still along racial lines.

In any event, what I really want to prove is that there are still many liberal Malays who often are hiding somewhere inside themselves. Come out of the closet and join a former “Umno Putra” and show the world that “liberal” and “Malay” are not an antithesis. Any takers?

* Datuk Jema Khan is the former Sabah Umno Youth chief. The original title of this piece is “Cry baby cry”.

Federal Government Compatible With Sarawak

SARATOK, Feb 22 (Bernama)-- The high level of understanding between the federal and Sarawak governments has succeeded in further facilitating development in the state, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Monday.

The prime minister said that this understanding had enabled the federal government to focus on development issues faced by the people in Sarawak, unlike in several states in the peninsula where there was no focus.

"In the peninsula, there are states that are not in agreement with the federal government which are in chaos, unable to manage their own families and are quarrelling among themsleves," he said when launching the Rural Electricity Project at the Juliana Bedus longhouse here.

Najib, who is on a two-day visit to the state, said the people of Sarawak would continue to benefit from the close cooperation between the federal and state governments, including large allocations for development of its rural sector.

The rural folk in Sarawak would get to witness massive changes in terms of infrastructural development through an alloction of RM3.4 billion under the National Key Result Area (NKRA) for the sector from this year until 2012, he added.

He gave an assurance that the structure of the communities in the state would be respected and taken into account in all development projects planned by the government.

"Sarawak is eligible for all the facilities because of the confidence of its people in us and it is our (government's) duty to provide all these facilities," he added.

GMI: Warga Timur Tengah 'dikambing hitam' kerajaan

Bapok Beruk

UMNO’s 5.45 Million skilled workers plan by 2020 but hundreds of thousands of Indians excluded

one-malaysia13

The Pelan Induk Latihan & Pembangunan Kemahiran Pekerjaan Malaysia (PTPK) 2002 to 2020 targets 5.45Million skilled malay muslim workforce by 2020. This PTPK is granted a RM100 Million per annum grant by the UMNO government (BH 16/2/2010 at page 17).

But hundreds of thousands of the ethnic minority Malaysian Indians are excluded from this Plan. UMNO wants the Indians to remain unskilled plantation workers, office boys, cleaners, general workers, factory workers, bus, lorry, van and taxi drivers, security guards, garbage pickers alam flora workers etc (Note: We were informed by one of our supporters Muthu on 14/2/10 that about 90% of the Alam Flora workers are the Indians, 10% Malays, (mostly drivers) and zero% Chinese. But UMNO would never reveal this true figures.

UMNO then gets their MIC mandores to say that the Indian youths are not interested in these skills training opportunities but “prefer becoming gangsters”.

But Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak claims that this is One Malay-sia! And Malaysia Boleh!

P.Uthayakumar

umno-545

Kit Siang: Umno is the enemy of 1 Malaysia

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 – The DAP urged Datuk Seri Najib Razak today to stop his Umno party’s newspapers from playing the race card if he really wanted the Chinese community to give his administration a chance.

Lim Kit Siang also singled out Umno as the biggest enemy of the prime minister’s 1 Malaysia concept of inclusiveness.

“Najib should ask Umno media like Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian and government television and radio channels to give him a chance to prove that he is Prime Minister for all Malaysians by ceasing to play the race and religion card.” said party stalwart Lim Kit Siang today.

He cited as an example what he claimed to be the mainstream media’s campaign to demonise Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as anti-Malay.

The Penang CM and the DAP have been portrayed by some of Umno’s newspapers as being anti-Malay.

The state administration was alleged to have cancelled its official procession to mark Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. This was denied by Guan Eng.

The state’s local authorities have also been accused with targeting Malay traders for enforcement action despite statistics showing otherwise.

Lim said it was obvious the race card was being used by Umno newspapers against the DAP.

The Ipoh Timur MP was responding today to the prime minister’s appeal to the Chinese community in Malaysia to give the Barisan Nasional government a chance to prove itself, which he made at the national Chinese New Year celebrations at the Pandamaran New Village in Klang, last night.

Lim said Najib seemed oblivious to what was being done by Umno’s newspapers and media organisations.

He said the only conclusion that could be reached was that Najib was not serious or fully committed to 1 Malaysia otherwise he would not have allowed the Umno media to continue to exploit race and religion for political gains.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the biggest enemies of Najib’s 1 Malaysia come from within Umno and Barisan National (BN).”

He pointed out that even leaders of BN component parties, such as MCA, Gerakan, MIC or the Sabah and Sarawak parties, do not have the political conviction or courage to tell Najib to stop the irresponsible politics of race and religion.

“If Najib cannot even ask the Umno-owned media to stop playing the race card, what positive answer can he get from his request to the Chinese community to give his government a chance to prove itself?”

Stop passing the buck, Najib, urge Pakatan MPs

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must hold himself and his administration accountable for the recent attacks against houses of worship and work to resolve the problem instead of laying the blame on extremists, two Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers said today.

Najib, who was officiating the national Chinese New Year “open house” celebration in Pandamaran last night said the attacks on houses of worship at the beginning of the year, linked to the “Allah” issue, were the works of extremists and should not be read as a sign that his 1 Malaysia policy has failed.

Instead, it demonstrates how much the policy is needed, he added.

The DAP’s Tony Pua told The Malaysian Insider that the prime minister had missed the real issue at stake.

“This issue is not so much the fact that it was brought about by extremists as the fact that the attacks were encouraged by Umno leaders and Umno media... to create Muslim anger against non-Muslims,” the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said.

Pua noted that Umno leaders had openly made “highly inflammatory” statements spurring certain Malay-Muslim groups to demonstrate their dissatisfaction over the court ruling on the Christian use of the word “Allah”.

In addition newspaper articles in Umno-owned media such as Utusan Malaysia incited individuals to carry out the attacks.

He pointed to the public outrage that followed close on the heels of statements made by Nasir Safar, Najib’s former special officer who was forced to resign after he allegedly made derogatory remarks against Malayisan Chinese and Indians at a 1 Malaysia event last month.

“There is no support within his own circle. This is the failure of 1 Malaysia at the very source, Barisan Nasional, itself. They can’t get their act together,” Pua said.

The former CEO added that the solidarity shown by the general public who came together to condemn the desecration of churches, mosques and a gurdwara happened “in spite of the 1 Malaysia programme, not because of it.”

Pua’s fellow PR parliamentarian from PAS, Dzulkefly Ahmad, shared his views.

“Najib is now put to the test on his 1 Malaysia slogan. It’s as simple as that. He’s got to be consistent and coherent and to be seen so,” said the Kuala Selangor MP.

“I’m now saying the extremism in society is in his own party. There are many in his party, including his own deputy, who are lending support to Perkasa...which is undermining the Malaysian social fabric,” Dzulkefly slammed.

“Don’t beat around the bush, Najib. You’ve got the right rhetoric but we want to see the substance of it,” said Dzulkefly, who previously headed the Islamist party’s research centre and is a member of the PAS Central Working Committee (CWC).

Pandamaran folk seek real change, not promises

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

KLANG, Feb 21— Pandamaran residents and community leaders believe Datuk Seri Najib Razak must move beyond rhetoric if he hopes to regain the confidence of the Chinese community.

They lamented at the lack of real change a day after attending the national-level Chinese New Year celebrations hosted by the prime minister in the Pandamaran new village.

“1 Malaysia is just theory to me, there’s been no real action taken,” said Jalan Papan community leader Ang Mah Chai, who campaigned for DAP in the last general elections.

The former Klang Municipal (MPK) councillor who attended the Federal Government’s national level Chinese New Year open house in Pandamaran was responding to the prime minister’s appeal last night for the Chinese community to give the government a chance to prove that it can do its best for the people.

Ang said as long as Umno insists on “Ketuanan Melayu” or Malay supremacy it will not regain the support of the community and this was evident from the lack of enthusiasm at last night’s function.

“I didn’t feel anything and there was just no excitement.”

Ang said the prime minister did not score any points by raising trivial issues about billboards of the event being torn down because the applications were not filled or claiming Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Selangor government had deliberately organised their state Chinese New Year open house to draw people from Pandamaran (picture).

“These are just petty issues which he should have avoided,” he added.

Ang also disputed press reports in the main stream news papers that there were 20,000 or even 40,000 people at the event, adding that Jalan Chang Ah Choon, when the functione was held, could barely accommodate 5,000 people.

Pandamaran resident Tee Boon Hock, who opted to go for the state’s open house at the Dong Zen temple in Jenjarom, said Najib has an uphill task convincing the community, especially the younger generation, why it they should give the Government another chance.

“Talk is sweet but we want to see government institutions and policies being fair to all races.” said the MPK councillor.

Local resident Lim Swan, who did not attend either dinner, said the Chinese community will probably smile and say thank you prime minister but keep what they really feel in their hearts.

“We heard all this before but unless there’s real change its unlikely people here will support BN,” she added.

Opposition’s ploys affecting investments, says Ahmad Husni

IPOH, Feb 21 — The opposition is garnering the support of the international community towards its cause by creating a bad perception of the country, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

He said the ploy indirectly dented investors’ confidence in Malaysia, adding that in other countries, the opposition did not rally the support of the international community to support its cause.

“But why does the opposition here tarnish the image of the country by creating the wrong perception,” he asked at a news conference after opening the 31st branch of the Tambun Umno division here today.

He was commenting on a note handed by 50 Australian members of parliament (MP) to the Malaysian High Commission in Canberra, calling for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial to be dropped.

“This turn of event occurred as a result of relations forged by opposition leaders with the international community, persuading them to interfere in the domestic affairs of the country,” said Ahmad Husni.

He said however, the people could read the opposition’s ploy.

Ahmad Husni, who is also MP for Tambun, said the people’s support for the government had soared as they were confident of the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. — Bernama

Why MPs protested over the Anwar trial

Recently the Wall Street Journal published a first-hand account of how the Malaysian Special Branch police fabricated the charges that led to Anwar’s first trial. Munawar Anees recalled how he had been starved and beaten into signing a false confession which implicated Anwar.

Michael Danby, The Punch

Last week saw an unusual event in Australian politics: backbench members of Parliament from both sides took a foreign affairs initiative, independent of their party leaderships. Sixty Members and Senators – Labor, Liberal, Green and independent – signed a letter which was presented to the Malaysian High Commissioner protesting against the current trial of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on charges of “sodomy.”

The author presenting the petition to Malaysian High Commissoner Salman Bin L Ahmad last Thursday.

The letter was signed by, among others, Laurie Ferguson, Malcolm Turnbull, Greg Hunt, Bob Brown, Nick Xenophon, Duncan Kerr, Deputy Speaker Anna Burke, Jennie George, Gary Gray and Mark Dreyfus QC.

It followed a speech which I gave in the House of Representatives on 3 February, in which I drew the House’s attention to the 2nd Sodomy trial in Kuala Lumpur of Anwar Ibrahim.

I’m very grateful to all the Members and Senators who signed the letter. I can’t recall another backbench initiative like this in recent times.

Why should Australian Members of Parliament stick their noses into the affairs of a country like Malaysia, which is a friend and neighbour? I would say it is precisely because Malaysia is a friend and neighbour that we care what happens there. No-one is surprised at show trials and political persecution in North Korea or Burma. When it happens in a country which is one of our region’s relative success stories, we are shocked and dismayed.

Many Australian’s have spoken for Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s democratically elected leader under house arrest by an authoritarian regime. In some sense these legal torments of Anwar are more egregious as they are happening in a developing democracy that says organs of the state such as the courts or police should not be used to persecute a democratic political opponent.

People-to-people contact between Australians and Malaysians has become very close in recent years, through students studying in Australia, steadily growing tourism in both directions and growing business ties. The persecution of Anwar Ibrahim, however, does not put Malaysia in a good light.

The repeated attempts by Malaysia’s ruling party to drive Anwar out of politics by framing him up on obviously false charges is a disgraceful story which has now been running for more than ten years. Anwar was Deputy Prime Minister in 1998 when he fell out with the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad – no friend of Australia. He was arrested, beaten up, tried on faked evidence and coerced testimony, then jailed for four years, before his conviction was finally overturned in 2004. Now the same charges have been laid again.

Recently the Wall Street Journal published a first-hand account of how the Malaysian Special Branch police fabricated the charges that led to Anwar’s first trial. Munawar Anees recalled how he had been starved and beaten into signing a false confession which implicated Anwar. The same things are happening again now. It would be intolerable in any democratic country for an accuser to front at the home of the Prime Minister before he then went to the impartial Malaysian police. This is what happened to Anwar Ibrahim when has accuser was succoured by Rosman Razak, the Prime Ministers wife, before he went to charge Anwar at the Police station.

These are the tactics which Anwar’s enemies are willing to resort to, in order to eliminate the threat he poses to those currently in power.

The reason the ruling party UMNO fears Anwar is simply that he is the first Malay politician to challenge successfully its monopoly of the Malay vote, which is the basis of its long-standing hold on power. At the 2008 elections Anwar’s People’s Justice Party and its allies won 60 seats away from UMNO and its allies, creating a viable two-party system for the first time. UMNO fears that he will win the next election unless he is stopped, and it seems that at least some elements of UMNO and their allies in the police are willing to resort to any means to stop him. Their nightmare scenario is for the urban, educated Malays together with Indian and Chinese minorities together with deputies from the rebellious Sabah and Sarawah provinces, uniting to form a parliamentary majority.

Malaysia , however is not like North Korea, sealed off from world opinion. The Malaysian people and the Malaysian government care about their reputation in the region and the world. There have been demonstrations by UMNO ‘youth’ outside the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur. A leading supporter of the Malaysian Prime Minister sought to deflect Malaysian opinion by responding that ‘Michael Danby, who organized the petition is a homosexual’. Sad and pathetic though such a reaction is, the response on many blogs and new sites, by ordinary Malaysians who are outraged at the trial, repudiate such prejudice and show hope for a civic discourse as Malaysia’s democratic ethos develops.

The Malaysian media reports what is said about Malaysia in other countries. That’s why an intervention such as our bipartisan letter to the High Commissioner, politely but clearly setting out our strong protest against persecution of Anwar Ibrahim, can be effective, and why it is such an important initiative. Hopefully when Anwar is free of these torments the best answer to those who would like to keep Malaysia a one party state, will be the peaceful transition to power al la Japan, Taiwan and Korea of an Opposition Government.

When that happens, Australia’s politicians will have done more to cement genuine friendship with Malaysia than oodles of “diplomacy.”

- Michael Danby is the Member for Melbourne Ports and Chair of the Parliamentary Sub-committee for Foreign Affairs.

NO Justice in Malaysia, ONLY Divine Retribution

by Din Merican

Today, Bernama reported that MACC Assistant Superintendent, M.Mohan, was charged in the Sessions Court Shah Alam on Friday with bribery involving RM250,000. Bernama’s report is reproduced below:

“An assistant superintendent with the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was charged in the Shah Alam Sessions Court today with bribery, involving RM250,000.

M Mohan, 37, who is charged with two counts of bribery, however, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial to both the charges before judge Azhanis Teh Azman Teh. He is alleged to have solicited RM250,000 from one A. Sinnaiah as an inducement not to proceed with the investigation on him for allegedly bribing officials of the National Registration Department and the Immigration Department. Mohan is also charged with corruptly agreeing to receive bribe of RM200,000 from Sinnaiah for the same purpose.

The offences were allegedly committed at the Selangor MACC office, 14th Floor, Plaza Masalam, Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah, E9/E, Section 9 here, between 11am and 1pm on October 22 last year. Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Asnawi Abu Hanipah suggested bail at RM10,000 in one surety.

Lawyer Ratha Krishnan, who represented Mohan, when requesting for an appropriate bail, said his client, who had a wife and child to support, had been with MACC for 15 years and gave his cooperation during investigation of the case.

Azhanis set bail at RM7,000 in one surety and ordered Mohan to surrender his passport to the court. He set four days, beginning August 23, for trial.” – Bernama (February 19, 2010).

The Persecution of Lawyer Rosli Dahlan


M.Mohan a/l P. Mutaiyah is the same officer named as the 11th Defendant in Lawyer Rosli Dahlan’s RM50 million suit against Utusan Malaysia and the Government of Malaysia. He is the same officer who led a team of other officers who stormed into the lawyer’s office in 2007. He is the same MACC Tua Kau (Big Dog) who came without any warrant and then shouted at and humiliated Rosli Dahlan in front of his staff.

Mohan is the same Enforcer, with a shiny MACC Badge pinned on his black jacket, which he used as a license to manhandle, assault and abuse Rosli. He is the same Intimidator who playfully taunted Rosli with the handcuffs in his hand. He is that arrogant Mohan who then handcuffed Rosli so tightly that Rosli’s wrist bled and swelled almost immediately, and then refused to allow Rosli to make a police report of the injury he had suffered.

M.Mohan of MACC did all that to Lawyer Rosli on the eve of Hari Raya Puasa 2007 so that the government controlled mainstream media could splash on the front pages of all the major newspapers about the arrest of that lawyer as Hari Raya reading for all Malaysians. That, in a nutshell, was the MACC’s game plan, that is, to inflict maximum embarrasment and humiliation to Lawyer Rosli and to wreck and ruin his law practice. This is a SOP (standard operating procedure) when a citizen becomes MACC’s target. And this much admired and courageous lawyer was unfortunate to be that target in 2007.

Why did all that happen to Rosli Dahlan?

It is only because Rosli acted to defend the Director Commercial Crimes Investigations Dept (CCID), Dato’ Ramli Yusuff, against the conspiracy by A-G Gani Patail and IGP Musa Hassan to eliminate Ramli from the hierarchy of the Royal Malysian Police (PDRM) because Dato’ Ramli’s investigations of the Along syndicate was leading to some big names in the Force. It is also because Rosli acted for the CCID against that underworld operator Goh Cheng Poh @ Tengku Goh.

Gani Patail in Washington DC for CSIS Seminar on “Governance and Rule of Law in Malaysia”

In the end, Attorney-General Gani Patail released the criminal but charged 6 police officers including Dato’ Ramli and his lawyer Rosli. It is this same Attorney General who will be at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC together with Malaysia’s de facto Law Minister Nazri A. Aziz and Former Chief Justice of Malaysia and Chairman, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Abdul Hamid Mohamed for a seminar titled “Governance and Rule of Law in Malaysia and Malaysian Legislative Initiatives” on February 24, 2010. Fancy that happening! What has this AG to say in Washington when the world knows that our judiciary is clearly incapable of administering the law and when the Rule of Law has broken down.

That is what happens to all of us, Rosli Dahlan and Raja Petra Kamaruddin and other Malaysians when we take on those in the corridors of power. And Lawyer Rosli had to taste that bitter pill because he thought he was doing national service in assisting the CCID to eradicate crimes and because he believed in the Rule of Law.

Teoh Beng Hock’s Case and Ongoing Inquest

Fast forward 2009, the MACC is deeply humiliated when Teoh Beng Hock died while in its custody. The camera spotlights are now turned on every time the MACC officers turn up in court. It is these officers who now cover their faces and shy away from the cameras. The hunter has become the hunted.

The famous Thai pathologist and forensic expert, Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand, confirmed that Teoh was murdered. After delaying and buying enough time, the government pathologist, Dr Shahidan Md Noor, finally managed cook up a report to rebutt Dr Pornthip’s findings.

Whatever is said now by the Government’s pathologist matters no more to Malaysians. Malaysians no longer believe them. Malaysians no longer believe in the integrity and independence of our government institutions. You can fool some people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all the time. That is the sorry state of our country and its institutions.

In the manner that Malaysians fight over ownership of “Allah”, it shows how devoutly religious the majority of Malaysians are. In that case, there is surely Godly sign in the events that happen or befall us.

MACC humiliated Rosli and killed Teoh. Today the MACC is the subject of scorn and hatred. Today, the MACC is humiliated. Sorry, Dato’ Abu Kassim, no amount of PR exercise can redeem that tarnished image. You need real change. We need change that people can believe in.

IGP Musa Hassan is the chief conspirator who wanted to eliminate Ramli and bring down Rosli to appear as a dishonest lawyer who hid Ramli’s ill-gotten assets. Ramli has since been acquitted in Sabah and Judge Supang Lian has totally discredited IGP Musa Hassan as a wholly unreliable witness in an unprecedentedly scathing language ever used against an IGP of the PDRM. None of that was accidental. Any self respecting person would have resigned. But not Musa Hassan, that son of a religious man.

Raja Petra on IGP Musa Hassan

Recently, RPK reported that Bukit Aman was abuzz with news of an MACC “visit” to the IGP’s house which led to discovery of RM1.5 million in cash. And that IGP Musa Hassan attended at the MACC HQ for 3 hours to be interviewed. He was actually there to cut a deal. I deliberately used the word “discovery” and not “recovery” because the deal was cut and the MACC has since denied that incident, hence no recovery of any case exhibit to warrant any further investigation or prosecution.

MACC Kevin Morais on the brink of being impeached for perjury

In Rosli’s own trial, a certain DPP, Kevin Morais, admitted that Rosli was just a witness and was not a subject of any investigation. Kevin was also shown to have turned and twisted his testimony and lied. Kevin is at the brink of being impeached and has exposed himself to perjury.

Mohan is just a small fish in a big pond

Mohan is now exposed as the crooked officer that he is. But he is not the only one. He is just a small fish amongst other big fishes in a big pond. Among the mid-level ranking MACC officers, Sok One a/l Esen is known to be more “proactive” than Mohan. But Sok One is safe, for now at least, because he has forged alliances- yes more deals.

That is how some people can escape MACC’s investigation and prosecution…..by cutting deals with the MACC raiding team, the Investigating Officers and the Prosecutors. It is the way things are done. But Lawyer Rosli would not yield to any of it and that is why he was abused and charged.

To those who think that they can “fix” everything, be reminded of the saying “Man proposes but God disposes”. To God-believing Malaysians, I say do not give up hope. There is Divine Retribution, God is watching from a distance.