Share |

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

UMNOs’ Higher Education Carnival “Jom masuk U” excludes Indians.


It is only advertised in Utusan Melayu 30/1/2010 at page 25 from 6th to 7th February 2010 because UMNO intends to exclude especially the poor and working class Indians from the National Education Policy of Malaysia.

UMNO intends to keep, maintain and retain the Indians as unskilled and uneducated security guards, plantation workers, salaried van, bus, taxi and lorry drivers, toilet cleaners, office and house cleaners and maids, factory workers, office boys, general workers, ALam Flora workers etc.

Why didn’t UMNO also advertise this in the three Tamil dailies? UMNO’s racist, religious extremist and supremacist agenda in excluding the Indians from the National Education System of Malaysia. And the 82 PKR, DAP and PAS’ MPs’ especially the 11 Indian mandore MPs routinely observe pin drop silence, as if it’s an adat! WHY? Because the Indians are soft targets with no political or economic clout. Because in all the 222 Parliamentary seats, not a single seat is Indian majority.

P. Uthayakumar

umno-higher-1

umno-higher-2

UMNOs’ RM 1 Billion Indians excluded (refer NST 4/2/2010 at page 2).

Tabung Haji gets to buy prime properties, preferential blue chip shares and with insider information, on the best and most lucrative land, shares and other investments. Tabung Haji makes their billions and share it with the Malays.

But what about especially the poor and underprivileged Indians?

Why are especially the poor Indians excluded from this share of Malaysia’s wealth.

This is how racist, religious extremist and supremacist UMNO is, in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malay-sia.

P. Uthayakumar

umno-1-billion

PM holds key to prevent ethnic strife, says Y1M chief

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Feb 23 — The recent signs of religious conflict are just some manifestations of a deeper problem within the Malaysian psyche today, says Dr Chandra Muzaffar.

The root of the problem lies in “the way people see themselves and see the other”, said the Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) professor in global studies, who is also heads Yayasan 1 Malaysia (Y1M).

“In the last few years, the issues that have dominated Malaysian society concerned religion,” the academic told The Malaysian Insider in a recent interview.

And when religious consciousness becomes more pronounced, it leads to tensions among the different communities, he added.

The existing tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims over the use of the word “Allah” is but one example of the kind of conflict going on in Malaysia right now, Chandra noted.

The author of books such as “Rights, Religion and Reform”, “Religion and Governance” and “Islamic Resurgence in Malaysia”, said that the real issue raised in court over the use of the word “Allah” concerned the power of the Ministry of Home Affairs in stopping someone from publishing something on the basis that it could threaten national security.

Chandra said that the Malay-Muslim community feared the use of Allah would jeopardise their faith.

He explained that while Christians and Muslims share a history in their belief that there exists only one God, the difference lies in their definition of the concept of unity.

Christians subscribe to the belief that the one God can be separated into three aspects, which they call the Trinity, but Muslims do not.

“Allah is central to their belief. They cannot understand why the word ‘Tuhan’ cannot be used. Their fear is that when others use the term Allah, it will lead to misunderstanding among Muslims and tensions,” he said.

“To dismiss these people as fanatics is superficial,” he warned.

“Religion is a social marker. If we don’t get people to understand each other, because of the lack of understanding and religious intolerance, people will become more obsessed,” said Chandra, who also heads the board of trustees of Y1M, an independent foundation promoting national unity.

“We need a mechanism [to resolve the differences]. It’s very urgent. We must get the state involved. If not, they won’t feel a sense of responsibility, which is something very important for the future of the country,” he stressed.

Founded last July, the Y1M has been actively pushing the federal government to set up a national roundtable to be chaired by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself and with the authority to resolve religious disputes.

But its proposed National Inter-faith Council for Religious Harmony was shot down by the second-most senior Cabinet member, the deputy prime minister.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was reported to have said there was no urgent need for an inter-faith council and that disputes could be resolved as they arise.

“It’s a pity the deputy prime minister came out with that statement,” said a visibly disappointed Chandra.

He related that Muhyiddin had indicated his support when the Cabinet was first briefed about the council.

Chandra had confidently told The Malaysian Insider previously that the council would be set up and ready to go by April this year.

Confronted by Muhyiddin’s latest statement, the don admitted it was a setback but stressed the foundation would continue to pressure the government to establish the council.

“I don’t know if we can talk in terms of a specific time frame, but I don’t think it’s an idea we should abandon just because of the deputy prime minister.

“I think it’s a question of trying to persuade. It’s the most sensible idea,” he noted that some Muslim groups, such as the formerly radical Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim) had openly vowed support for the council.

“We can’t run away from them,” Chandra said, referring to the rising number of inter-religious disputes over conversions, marriages and burial rights.

“I feel we are sweeping things under the carpet. We must decide. We must provide some sort of mechanism to resolve the disputes. Right now, there is none,” he stated.

The “Allah” case, he said, would not have become an issue if the parties had sent out a clear message to the public.

“There is no problem if the use of the word is restricted... if Christians use it within churches and if they are praying and citing passages from the Bible.

“What we should be concerned about is the misuse of the term in the public domain. For example, a group of Christians having a public meeting open to everyone and they say Jesus is the son of Allah. If people of other faiths hear it, it could create misunderstandings,” he said.

A long-time social activist, Chandra explained that discussions between non-governmental organisations and the federal government have been going on over the years with many solutions proposed, but never succeeded in being cast into law or policy.

“For example, a proposal for the deceased. I was part of a meeting with religious leaders and groups like the Bar Council with the Attorney General in 2005. But not everyone agreed.

“The position many of us took was when a person converts, there should be proper documentation to state that he or she is now a Muslim. And that document of his or her conversion should be made known to the family. Make it obligatory to inform [the family].

“In Islam, when one converts, it should be with full knowledge of everyone and there’s documentary proof to avoid problems,” Chandra said.

Asked why the idea never took off, Chandra said some Islamic religious leaders who wielded high influence had strongly opposed the suggestions.

He said it showed that society must continue to pile pressure on the government to “persuade” them to change their mindset and attitude.

Chandra stressed it can be done, and pointed to the policy changes over human rights, women’s rights and environmental protection which are given more attention now compared to when activists first mooted them in 1970s.

“Human rights; twenty to 30 years ago, even the word was anathema. Now, we’ve got Suhakam. Women’s rights. Back then, equal pay for equal work was something that did not exist. Now, the three most important financial institutions in the country — Bank Negara, the Securities Commission and Income Tax —are headed by women,” he said.

He added that the prime minister was the key to making it all happen and highlighted that his suggested inter-religious council stressed the government’s No 1 must be the head.

The council must also be able to investigate religious allegations and carry out punitive action to make it all work.

Chandra recounted a past incident involving a mufti — “I won’t say his name” — who had spread baseless rumours that a local church had converted 300,000 Muslims to Christianity, leading to uproar among certain people within the Malay-Muslim community.

“We need enforcement if such things like this happen. People who spread baseless allegations must take responsibility. They must be made accountable for their words and deeds,” he said.

“What’s more important is to educate people on what’s happening so they won’t be taken in by such baseless allegations,” he said, adding that today’s communication network was wider, moved faster and allowed anonymity, making it harder to control.

“In the case of cyber media, one can be totally anonymous and create stories and people will believe you,” he said, before heaving a sigh, “I don’t know why Malaysians get duped so easily.”

Despite the desecration of places of worship, Chandra remained upbeat that Malaysians would overcome the fears of an “ethnic quake”.

“No Malaysian wants trouble. Malaysians don’t want an ethnic quake,” he said, drawing an analogy to the Japanese dread of earthquakes.

“I think it’s remarkable, the way Malaysians have responded, but it’s not been highlighted by the media.

“Malaysians are generally well-behaved,” he added.

“The torching of churches and the wild boar heads in mosques... things like that in other countries can lead to riots but that didn’t happen in Malaysia,” Chandra marked how ordinary citizens of diverse faiths had swiftly stepped to the fore in the aftermath of the attacks to lower the rising mercury, by giving out flowers bearing peace messages to passers-by on the street.

Religion is not the only social marker and Malaysians cannot generalise when talking about the country’s maturity level, Chandra said.

He said Malaysia has evolved but the changes are differently paced in different areas.

The economic gap has yet to be properly addressed because the New Economic Policy (NEP) was originally an affirmative action plan to help the poor regardless of their racial background.

But on the bright side, Malaysians have embraced and celebrated their cultural differences over the years, Chandra said.

“Food has, by and large, crossed boundaries. You see Malays eating with chopsticks and eating foods associated with Chinese and Indians and vice versa.”

Chandra related that those habits are taken for granted now but had caused an uproar in the past.

He recounted how Tan Sri Khir Johari, who had been a minister from the start of the first Cabinet under Tunku Abdul Rahman, had nearly lost the Malay vote in the 1969 general elections over Chinese New Year greeting cards he had sent out showing him and his Chinese wife in traditional Chinese costume.

“Pictures of Tunku eating with chopsticks were also made into an issue,” the history buff claimed.

He added that in the 1970s, there was a big debate in regards to the traditional Chinese lion dance. Some quarters insisted, in all seriousness, that the lion head should be replaced with a tiger head because the tiger was our national symbol.

Chandra stated that the biggest challenge facing Malaysia today is “how to make Malays and non-Malays understand one another on a deep, psychological level”.

He noted that the major issues that have cropped up — the open name-calling perpetrated by Umno leaders like Nasir Safar and Ahmad Ismail, and behind closed doors, such as the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) programmes — are “manifestations of something much deeper within the psyche”.

“People carry historical memories. It is a constant battle to get them to see both sides,” Chandra explained.

He said Malaysian society is unique among its regional neighbours because it is not homogenous.

“In Vietnam, Vietnamese nationalism gave birth to a Vietnamese nation; in the Philippines, Filipino nationalism gave birth to a Filipino nation.

“In Malaysia, Malay nationalism did not give birth to a Malay nation,” he said.

“It gave birth to a multi-ethnic nation.”

In his view, Malaysia’s course would have been charted much differently if the Malay majority had been given a say in the formation of the country back then, instead of it being decided by the Malay elite.

Chandra noted that in the 1950s the country’s population then was about seven million and when the Malay elite agreed to open up citizenship to other races, suddenly there was an influx of non-Malays who were accorded the same rights of the Malays.

“The Malay elite, people like Tunku and Tun Razak, they were the aristocrats. Their status would not be jeopardised by welcoming non-Malays like the Chinese and Indians.

“At that time, the middle-class, which is your professionals like doctors and engineers, were mostly Chinese and Indian. If there were more Malay professionals then, the Malays would not have been so accommodating to welcome non-Malays because they would feel threatened.

“But now, many Malays have entered the middle-class and they feel threatened and have given rise to manifestations like BTN,” Chandra told The Malaysian Insider.

“A lot of times, when we talk about justice, we see justice from our ethnic position and not from the other perspective. The challenge is to understand each other,” he said.

“Things like these need to be handled quickly. The solution is to speak up. But the ones who speak up have to get their facts right,” he added.

Chandra said his foundation is committed to that cause.

Among the projects undertaken by the Y1M are the “1 Malaysia story” which publishes essays on national unity on its website and “My Kasih”, a joint venture with a citizen group network which helps the poor to buy groceries at a discounted price from supermarkets using their MyKad.

The Y1M has this year submitted two more proposals to the federal government for support.

The first is a joint venture with Khidmat Negara to set up an alumni association for former participants of the national service programme to enable them to continue community service with projects like gotong-royong.

The other, which Chandra sees as having the biggest impact on the country’s future, is to “strengthen the idea of national schools as schools of choice”.

He stressed on the need for the government to fully understand that schools are important instruments towards national unity but the trend for the past few years has seen non-Malays leaving the Bahasa Malaysia medium schools for vernacular education, which worries him because it lowers the opportunity for children from different ethnic backgrounds to socialise with each other.

As a result, ignorance about cultural and religious practices is established from an early stage, and this leads to insensitive statements and attitudes.

“We must make our national schools work so over the next 20, 30 years, the majority of parents will send their children to national schools where Bahasa is the medium of instruction but where English and Chinese and Tamil can be studied within the school curriculum and not after school hours,” Chandra said.

He declined to disclose further details of the idea but said the proposal paper has been handed in to the prime minister for consideration.

Kit Siang Googles ‘Malaysia Muslim Caning’, gets 6.5m hits

Lim says Malaysia cannot afford all the bad publicity. — file pic

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — The recent caning of three Muslim women in Malaysia for illicit sex has bruised the idyllic image of a united, multi-ethnic and progressive nation in the world’s eyes, warned a senior federal lawmaker.

The DAP’s Lim Kit Siang, in a Chinese New Year speech, said the caning incident was the latest in a series of bad publicity “flooding Malaysia” since Datuk Seri Najib Razak became prime minister 10 months ago, which has severely undermined the country’s image and competitiveness worldwide.

“Before I came, I Googled the two words ‘malaysia caning’ and there were 257,000 search results.

“I next added another word, to Google the three words ‘malaysia muslim caning’, and the finds multiplied by 30 times to return 6.45 million results,” the tech-savvy Ipoh-Timur MP told well-wishers at his party’s Chinese New Year do in Ipoh last night.

“Malaysia cannot continue to be in adverse international spotlight if we are to restore our international competitiveness by regaining national and international confidence in good governance; the rule of law; a democratic, progressive and model multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious modern nation to be ideal destination for FDIs, haven for tourists and hub for international students,” the veteran opposition leader stressed.

The 69-year-old father of Penang’s chief minister listed several incidents he claimed were cancelling Najib’s own efforts at cultivating his 1 Malaysia policy: the “Allah” dispute; the attacks on places of worship; the 5-0 Federal Court judgment upholding the power grab and topple of Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as the lawful Perak mentri besar; the mysterious death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock; and a campaign painting his son, Guan Eng’s administration as anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

“The vicious campaign to falsely paint the Penang chief minister and Penang Pakatan Rakyat state government as anti-Malay and anti-Islam is indeed a great test for Guan Eng and the PR Penang State Government,” Lim said.

“But what is little realised is that it is an even greater test for Najib and the Barisan Nasional — Umno, MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties — whether they are serious about the 1 Malaysia slogan and concept,” he stressed, pointing to Najib’s inability to rein in the negative elements and get his own men from Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) to solidly back his 1 Malaysia policy.

Khalid tells PAS to punish those subverting Pakatan

By Neville Spykerman- The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Feb 23 — Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad has asked PAS to punish those subverting the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition, saying his party was being judged for suspending him for six months while letting off Datuk Hasan Ali with a mere warning.

The PAS disciplinary board meted out the punishment on Jan 29 against Hasan for complaining publicly about the Selangor government watchdog Selcat and Khalid for allegedly spilling party secrets when clashing with the state party chief.

“It’s not only me that’s being judged but the party because people are watching how we handle ourselves,” Khalid told The Malaysian Insider last night.

The Shah Alam PAS chief, who returned last Friday after three weeks abroad, said the party had failed to ensure justice was done.

Khalid noted that he has yet to be informed of the party secrets allegedly disclosed in his blog when he accused Hasan of undermining the state government.

“I was just expressing my opinions since when are those party secrets?” he asked.

The first-term lawmaker pointed out the letter sent to him by the disciplinary board merely stated he was found guilty, but gave no indications of what he had really done wrong.

“If I were accused for murder, as least I would be told who I killed as well as how and when I did it,” he added,

Khalid reiterated he would not appeal against his sentence because it was a small price to pay and he achieved his purpose which was to get Hasan to toe the line.

However, he would appeal to the PAS leadership to prove their sincerity and commitment to PR which was being questioned.

He pointed out Islam called on believers to keep their word once an agreement had been reached.

“They can start by taking sterner action against those who are trying to subvert the coalition,” Khalid said, in reference to party factions which had succumbed to on-off flirtations with Umno.

He pointed out party spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat himself had, in 2008 called on PAS to have both feet in the same sampan (boat) and not a foot in two different sampans.

He called on PAS leaders to realise their aspirations to become a mainstream party which fights for justice as this will be scrutinised by the electorate.

“We must be able to prove that we ourselves can uphold justice,” Khalid said.

He noted that previously PAS could tell it members not to question their leaders but that was no longer true as they are now seeking support from a bigger audience whose trust must be gained.

“Otherwise people will doubt the party will be able to uphold justice and lose confidence in us,” the PAS leader said.

Kugan injuries not reported, court told

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Feb 23 — The injuries sustained by A Kugan while under police custody were not reported despite requirement by standard operating procedure (SOP), the Sessions Court here was told today.

ASP Rodney Pasla Harris, who took the stand again today, said it would be SOP for police officers to lodge a report should any harm come to a suspect under their supervision.

However, in the case of Kugan’s death, no police report was made although the 23 year-old’s death was duly reported.

Harris, the serious crimes branch chief for the Taipan police station, is the first witness in the trial of R Navindran, the police constable charged with causing grievous hurt to Kugan.

Did you pray today?

By Haris Ibrahim,

At the mosques, and the churches, the gurdwara, and the temples, did you pray today?

Were you in conversation with the Almighty?

Asked for His blessings?

His bounty?

His forgiveness for your transgresses?

Forgive your excesses?

Pray for world peace and the brotherhood of mankind?

No more starvation?

No more injustice?

And, did the the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the Ever Loving speak to you?

Yes?

What did He say?

Flog the fornicator?

Break the sinner?

Silence the voice of dissent?

Really?

Do us a favour?

Stop praying.

Keeping PKR disciplined

thenutgraph.com

SEVERAL Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leaders are to face the party disciplinary board for disparaging remarks about the party and other Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders. But why is the criticising of leaders by some PKR Members of Parliament (MPs) handled with more urgency than actions that contradict party policy and undermine public interest?

For instance, it has taken PKR more than a year to act against Kulim-Bandar Baru MP Zulkifli Noordin, who stormed a Bar Council forum. Even then, the party is only taking action because Zulkifli lodged a police report against a PAS MP.

Meanwhile, for criticising PKR's inaction, political bureau member Datuk Zaid Ibrahim will face the disciplinary board.

In part two of an exclusive interview with The Nut Graph, newly appointed PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail talks about how the party views these "offences". He reiterates that commitment to the PR is paramount.

TNG: What do you think of Zaid Ibrahim's advice to suspend Zulkifli pending a disciplinary inquiry?

Saifuddin Nasution: Zaid is an asset to the party. He captures support for the party from liberal, middle-class Malay [Malaysians] and non-Malay [Malaysians]. I value Zaid for that, and that's why he has a role in the party presidential council and the political bureau.

But in this case, Zaid blogged about the matter. He raised [the suspension] in the meeting, but he also wrote in his blog, criticising the decision and the party, and this was reported by other media.

So it's as if Zaid undermined the party?


Zaid
He said Keadilan is like another Umno. It's fine for him to propose in our meeting that action be taken against Zul. But then he wrote in his blog criticising the party's decision. To be fair, he did not issue any press statement. Nor did he repeat his views or make further statements to the press. So the gravity of the offence is not as serious as others who keep on attacking the party openly using the media.

Which is a more severe offence: criticising the party's leaders or leaders of fellow Pakatan component parties, or making statements that are ideologically different from the party line?

The party constitution defines in broad terms the actions that constitute a breach of discipline. These include [breaches against] loving the party, following its constitution, abiding by party decisions, following party policies, protecting the party's secrets, upholding the good name of the party, and displaying civil behaviour. These have very broad interpretations. That's why disciplinary offences are a matter for discussion.

But some things are fundamental. If you challenge the policy of the Pakatan Rakyat or question the existence of the DAP as a PR member, that is touching on policy. If you just criticise the style of leadership, that's less serious.

What about earlier things Zulkifli has done, like storming the Bar Council forum?

What triggered the move to refer Zul to the disciplinary committee is his police report [against PAS MP Khalid Samad]. Once the presidential council refers him to the disciplinary committee, it is up to the committee to come up with a charge sheet. That, we have no control over.

They might only refer to the police report or they might also charge him based on other things, like his question and answer in the New Straits Times, for example. They could go as far back as the (2008) Bar Council forum. Whatever the committee thinks fit to bring against him.

Are his previous attempts to amend the constitution so that the country is an Islamic country a problem for PKR?

Obviously, because this is a matter of policy. As an MP of a party, you also have to be in line with party policy. And the party's policy on this matter is very clear as stated in PKR's constitution.


Zulkifli
We go for the substance rather than the form. We don't talk about an Islamic or secular state, but we elaborate on what sort of elements we want in this country. The freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, distributive justice, the independence of institutions.

So if Zul wants to push his own private members' bill on things that contradict the party policy, then he has to make a decision. We can't amend the party constitution just to fulfill one [person]'s wish.

Is PKR willing to lose him?

The party's policies and struggles are for a bigger agenda. If in fighting for this, we lose certain individuals, we are prepared. I wish we didn't have to face this problem, but if it happened, I would choose to carry on with the party, even if I lose friends. This is my position.

Now that Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim has quit PKR, what are the chances of more MPs quitting after him?

I don't want to speculate on that.

Are you in touch with those speculated to be quitting?

Yes, I am. We talk about common party interests, the party's future, the next Parliament sitting, and (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim)'s trial.

Anwar has apologised for fielding poorly chosen candidates in the 2008 general election. What can you do, as party secretary-general, to ensure a better selection process?

We will have to be more stringent in selecting candidates in the future. We will develop better criteria with regards to their involvement and participation in the party. They must have a good network [and] vast experience; they must follow the party's principles and policies; and they must strengthen the Pakatan Rakyat. They must be loyal to Pakatan and not just PKR.

Recent caning of three Muslim women latest in series under Najib’s premiership flooding Malaysia in adverse worldwide spotlight inimical to our intern

By Lim Kit Siang

The recent caning of three Muslim women for allegedly participating in illicit sex is the latest in a series of events flooding Malaysia in adverse worldwide spotlight inimical to our international image and competitiveness in the ten months Datuk Seri Najib Razak has taken over as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Before I came, I googled the two words “malaysia caning” and there were 257,000 search results. I next added another word to google the three words “malaysia muslim caning” and the finds multiplied by 30 times to return 6.45 million results.

Malaysia cannot continue to be in adverse international spotlight if we are to restore our international competitiveness by regaining national and international confidence in good governance; the rule of law; a democratic, progressive and model multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious modern nation to be ideal destination for FDIs, haven for tourists and hub for international students.

There had been a series of adverse publicity for Malaysia world-wide since Najib became Prime Minister negating all his efforts to project a new slogan, 1Malaysia – such as the divisive “Allah” controversy, the sacrilegious burning of churches and attacks on mosques and other places of worship; the 5-0 Federal Court judgment seeking to legalise the undemocratic and unconstitutional ouster of Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin in the Umno power grab in Perak; the mysterious death of DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock at Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters last July, the recrudescence of dangerous politics of race and religion, like the irresponsible campaign to falsely and viciously paint the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Penang Pakatan Rakyat state government as anti-Malay and anti-Islam etc.

We are thankful that this morning in Batu Pahat, the baby of Teoh Beng Hock has been born and both the mother and baby boy are safe. Malaysians of goodwill and good heart, regardless of race or religion, not only wish both of them well but want those responsible for Teoh Beng Hock’s death to be brought to justice without any delay.

But the question that must be uppermost in the minds of thinking Malaysians is why the new Prime Minister seems to be so helpless that he is not only incapable of checking these adverse developments for Malaysia, he could not even get Umno and Barisan Nasional solidly behind him to give unequivocal support to his 1Malaysia campaign.

The vicious campaign to falsely paint the Penang Chief Minister and Penang Pakatan Rakyat state government as anti-Malay and anti-Islam is indeed a great test for Guan Eng and the PR Penang State Government.

But what is little realized is that it is an even greater test for Najib and the Barisan Nasional – Umno, MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties – whether they are serious about the 1Malaysia slogan and concept.

Malaysia's 2009 Economic Performance Better Than Expected, Says Najib

KUCHING, Feb 22 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's 2009 fourth quarter performance that will be announced this Wednesday is better than expected, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Without giving further details, the prime minister said the economic performance during the period was beyond expectation.

"In other words, we have recovered from the global recession" he said at the 1Malaysia dinner here Monday night.

The dinner was held at the new State Legislative Assembly building here in conjunction with his two-day official visit to Sarawak starting Monday.

Najib said the good perfomance was due to the courageous efforts of the people of this country and various pro-active steps taken by the government in tackling the economic problem last year.

Najib described his visit to several longhouses here Monday as a very touching experience.

The prime minister visited Iban longhouse in Saratok and Lachau,Sri Aman as well as a mixed population of Simunjan town.

"I can feel the warmth and the sincerity of the people," he said adding that this was an indication of their strong support for the government.

The prime minister also said he would continue to support the development of Sarawak in terms of infrastructure.

He said this development would be done together with the state government.

Meanwhile Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud who was also at the event called on the people of Sarawak to support the 1Malaysia concept.

Najibullah Zazi pleads guilty to conspiring in terror plot

Najibullah Zazi intended to strike more than one subway target in New York, a source says.
Najibullah Zazi intended to strike more than
one subway target in New York, a source says.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Terror suspect Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to detonate explosives in the United States.

In an appearance before a federal judge, Zazi, 24, admitted his role in the conspiracy, saying, "In spring 2008, I conspired with others to join the Taliban, to fight along with the Taliban against the United States."

He pleaded guilty to three counts: conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support to a terrorist organization.

Zazi was arrested in September in a plot to build and explode bombs in New York City around the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

He intended to strike more than one subway target in New York, a law enforcement source said.

Federal officials have said the conspiracy involving Zazi represents the most serious terror plot since 9/11 and the investigation is intense and ongoing.

Since Zazi's arrest last year, two acquaintances of his have been indicted in connection with the case as well as Zazi's father and uncle.

Zazi's father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, initially was charged with lying to investigators, but in January a federal grand jury in New York charged him with conspiracy to obstruct justice by helping to discard bomb-making chemicals when he learned of the government's investigation.

Najibullah Zazi's uncle, Naqib Jaji, was indicted on a single felony charge and was arraigned in a sealed proceeding in Brooklyn in January. The charge wasn't specified, but a source said the uncle participated in the attempt to dispose of evidence.

The indictment against Zazi said he twice checked into a motel in the Denver, Colorado, area -- in August and September -- and was experimenting with heating chemicals that could create a bomb. The indictment said chemical residues had been recovered from a vent in the motel room.

CNN obtained closed-circuit video from beauty parlors in the area that authorities said showed Zazi buying large quantities of chemicals that can be used to make bombs. The indictment against the younger Zazi said he was also in contact with other individuals as he experimented with the chemicals and tried to make the high explosive TATP.

Authorities said Zazi planned to be in New York with the intent of using an explosive device around September 11, 2009. The alleged plot, which came to light after raids in New York in mid-September, may have been targeting a major transportation center, sources said earlier.

Authorities have indicated that Zazi had been under surveillance for months before his arrest in September. Agents had followed him as he drove from Denver to New York.

The other men indicted in connection with the case are Zarein Ahmedzay, a New York taxi driver, accused of lying to the FBI, and Adis Medunjanin, 25, originally from Bosnia.

Medunjanin has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and receiving military-type training from al Qaeda.

Ahmedzay pleaded not guilty to lying to special agents about locations he visited during a trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan and about discussions he had with an unidentified man about military training in Pakistan in 2008.

Pakatan Rakyat to form disciplinary committee

Room where Kugan's body found now divided in two

'Allow ISA detainees to meet family members, lawyers'

Najib RM 500,000.00 urgent fund to relocate burnt church (Sunday Star 10/1/10 page N2)

But there is no history of Malay-sian Prime Minister Najib Razak making such offer to the thousands of hindu temples that were indiscriminately and sometimes illegally demolished (to be relocated).

Najib, ministers, NGOs’ offer of assistance to churches, call for calm (NST headlines 10/1/10), playing to the Sabah and Sarawak christian voters and the Western World.

P. Uthayakumar.

najib-11

najib-2

najib-3

DAP : Why piecemeal. Why not all 28 Tamil schools alienated land in one go stop mandore politics.

The Penang Chief Minister Kapitan Lim Guan Eng instead assigns his DCM II Indian mandore to do the usual MIC-type wayang kulit in the Tamil press by playing (kosong) Tamil paper politics of empty promises, land here and land there for Hindu temples, crematoriums, Tamil schools, etc. This is exactly what his predecessor MIC mandores have been doing in Penang over the previous 50 years until 8/3/2008. The Star 19/2/2010 at page N 37 and TN 18/2/10 at page 5.

The Chief Minister of Penang Kapitan Lim Guan Eng and also the Menteri Besars of Kedah and Selangor can jointly solve half the Indian problems in Malaysia by the mere stroke of their pens, by alienating land to all Tamil schools, Hindu temples, crematoriums, Indian villages and settlements all in one go, and not piecemeal basis politics played by their mandores under the tuan and towkay’s instructions.

S. Jayathas

dap-1

dap-21

dap-3

Lucrative RM 10,000.00 p.m petty trading business denies to Indians.


Mohd Affendi Ibrahim (36) a lorry driver was earning a RM 1,500.00 per month. But he has given the opportunity to a lucrative avenue and now earns RM 200.00 net per day and up to RM 800.00 net per day on a weekend. Not having academic qualification Affendi earns about RM 10,000.00 per month now.

Similarly Khairuddin (30) a pasar malam operator earns RM 600.00 per day by selling iced drinks. Within two years he has bought a semi detached house in Kota Kemuning.

Nik Azura (35) sells rice and food outside the Sungai Buloh Nurses College between 3.30 p.m to 4.30 p.m and then moves to another housing estate on Saturday and Sundays. She earns RM 300.00 per day from a stall she had just opened just two years ago. (Sinar 24/1/2010 at page N 15 and N16).

But no Indian has ever been the licence, stall or opportunity to do this lucrative chempedak or such petty trading opportunities in Prime Minister Najib’s One Malay-sia. They are often denied licenses to operate such stalls in such areas.

This is the latest case of the Indians having been excluded from the national mainstream development of Malaysia.

P. Uthayakumar

lucrative-1

lucrative-2

lucrative-3

lucrative-4

Kg Railway last Indian village, K. L demolished by UMNO


The UMNO linked Sentul Raya Developer despite having delayed the building of low cost flats for 16 years is now sending SMS to the MIC Indian Deputy Federal Territories Minister mandore and not a formal letter. This is how much respect UMNO has these MIC mandores.

As it stands the UMNO linked developer has refused to preserve this last traditional Indian Railway village which has been in existence since the 1920s’ despite the Indians having built the Railways in Malaysia.

Having “ethnically cleansed” and wiped out this last traditional Indian Railway village UMNO is now also refusing to give the poor and ageing ex Railway workers even their very basic housing needs ie shelter and a roof over their heads.

P. Uthayakumar

kg-railway-1

kg-railway-2

Oil royalty explanation is insult to intelligence, says Ku Li

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Petronas founder Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today rubbished attempts by the federal government to explain, through newspaper advertisements, its refusal to pay the Kelantan government oil royalty.

“The advertisement fails to point out that almost all the oil found in Malaysia is located more than three nautical miles offshore, and Petronas has nevertheless been making oil payments to the states,” said the Gua Musang MP in a statement today.

The Information, Communication and Culture Ministry yesterday took out full-page advertisements, in Malay weeklies, consisting of a list of eight questions and answers to rebut Tengku Razaleigh’s argument that Kelantan, as well as other states, are entitled to the five per cent oil royalty under the Petroleum Development Act 1974.

In late January, Tengku Razaleigh (picture) had spoken in support of Kelantan’s demand at a rally in Kota Baru. Apart from the advertisement, leaflets discrediting the Kelantanese have also been distributed in the state to counter his arguments.

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.

“By the argument deployed in the advertisement, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak too are not entitled to the 'cash payments' of 5 per cent of profit from oil,” said Tengku Razaleigh.

“The argument for depriving Kelantan of 5 per cent cash payments on the basis of its petroleum resources being found beyond 3 nautical miles is an insult to the intelligence,” he added.

The Gua Musang Umno chief said that the implication of the argument is that Terengganu has no right to receive the cash payment which was reinstated early last year.

The royalty was revoked in 2000 after PAS won control of the Terengganu state government a year earlier.

“All of Terengganu’s oil is found very far offshore. In this matter whatever holds for Kelantan holds for Terengganu and vice versa,” said Tengku Razaleigh.

He also claimed that he had never supported the federal government in revoking the Terengganu oil royalty a decade ago.

“In fact, as a BN backbencher at the time I opposed the federal government’s intervention to prevent Petronas from making oil payments to Terengganu and the move to channel those funds instead into ‘wang ihsan’,” said Tengku Razaleigh.

“Tun Salleh Abbas and I offered ourselves as witnesses to the Terengganu state government in the suit it filed against the federal government to recover those oil payments,” he added, referring to the former Lord President.

Tengku Razaleigh said the Petroleum Development Act was designed to protect the interest of the poor states as was the intention of former Prime Minister Tun Razak Hussein.

“I traversed the country to sign this agreement with each chief minister of each state government. Tun Razak was driven by the nation-building concern that these poorer east coast areas, which are also predominantly Malay areas, should benefit directly from offshore oil, and I drafted the Petroleum Development Act to reflect that concern,” said Tengku Razaleigh.

“It is this benefit to the people which Umno Kelantan opposes 34 years after the death of Tun Razak,” he added.

He urged the federal government to set political differences aside and let payment be made to the Kelantan government.

Under attack, Pakatan moves to tighten discipline

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Feb 22 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim moved today to contain the fallout from squabbling among Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers by announcing the revival of plans to quickly set up a disciplinary panel for the opposition coalition.

His announcement comes in the wake of open criticisms against DAP by lawmakers in his PKR party.

The show of open dissent has open up the coalition to attacks from its rivals in Barisan Nasional (BN) who have criticised PR of being an unstable coalition incapable of leading any government.

Following a PR leadership council meeting today, Anwar said that the coalition’s secretariat was also willing to provide better avenues for members to voice their grievances against the leadership.

While maintaining that there were enough opportunities for disgruntled MPs or state assemblymen to voice their views, the PKR de facto leader said that if members felt otherwise, the PR leadership was willing to improve itself.

He noted however that rebel MPs like Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin and Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng should have maintained more decorum when voicing their opinions against PR leaders.

“The impression created by some of the MPs that they cannot criticise for example the Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng or the Selangor Mentri Besar (Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim) is not true.

“There is a weekly committee for MPs to air their views where they can bring up any grievances against any leader whether from PAS, DAP or PKR. However, if they feel we need to expand that, then we can. I have no issues,” he told a press conference.

Anwar added that at present, the PR had at least seven ongoing committees involving MPs and non-MPs.

“Then each party has its respective leadership meetings. The MPs have a forum too and the PR secretariat itself has about five to six committees.

“The GST issue, for example, we sit and discuss and some agree and some disagree. However if they feel there is need for improvement, we are ready to do so,” he said.

On rebel MPs like Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin and Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng, Anwar spoke of the need for decorum.

“We are not stopping them from voicing their opinions but they should be more patient. When you call a leader a ‘dictator’ for example... that is not good,” he said.

He was referring to Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim, who has since left PKR, and whose relentless criticisms against Lim had sparked off much controversy.

Zahrain left the party on Feb 12 to turn independent and claimed to have lost confidence in Lim and party leader Anwar himself.

Tan, who had joined Zahrain in his open criticism of Lim, is set to attend the PKR board disciplinary board proceedings tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Anwar said that the PR secretariat had decided on reviving its plan to set up the PR disciplinary committee, which would be chaired by PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah.

“Sivarasa will represent all three parties in the PR and will report to the secretariat. The committee will be tasked to handle disciplinary matters especially those that concern the three parties,” said Anwar.

Tee Beng’s disciplinary hearing pushed to March 6

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — The PKR disciplinary board has postponed its meeting with Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng to March 6 but the errant lawmaker insists that his hearing take place on Wednesday.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the decision to postpone was due to Tan’s failure to pick either of the dates — Feb 23 or March 6 — given to him by the board for his hearing.

However, it is understood that Tan, through his aide, has responded to the request late this evening but only after the board had already decided to postpone tomorrow’s hearing.

“Initially, Tan insisted that the hearing takes place tomorrow and even if there is no hearing, he will be at the party headquarters to prove his point,” said a source from the board.

Tan was among PKR MPs from Penang who have been at loggerheads with the party leadership and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, a confrontation which has led to his being issued a show cause letter on Wednesday and a referral to the board.

Action is being initiated against the parliamentarian for a falling foul of Clause 27 of the party charter: insubordination, conduct unbecoming, and bringing the party into disrepute by openly criticising party leaders and PR members.

Another PKR MP, Zulkifli Noordin, had voiced their support for the newly-independent lawmaker Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim when he attacked the Penang chief minister for being “chauvinistic, dictator, and communist-minded”.

Zulkifli was subsequently referred to the party’s disciplinary board but his hearing scheduled for Feb 18, was also postponed as the lawmaker is currently in Korea for a leadership conference.

He alleged that there is a conspiracy to sack him, claiming that the date given for his hearing 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 March 1 while Tan received the show-cause letter last week and is scheduled to attend the disciplinary board proceedings tomorrow.

Pakatan slams recent caning of Muslim women

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Feb 22 — Pakatan Rakyat has slammed the recent caning of three Muslim women for allegedly participating in illicit sex, accusing the Syariah Court of disrespecting Syariah laws.

PR leader and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today that the incident which occurred last week “embarrasses” the Muslims as it did not properly follow Syariah laws.

“This is because our Syariah Courts are still rife with rules that hamper them from carrying out Syariah laws the proper way,” he said after attending the PR secretariat meeting here this afternoon.

Abdul Hadi said that what was important was how the due process of law had taken place the manner in which the perpetrators had admitted to the offence.

“Was it voluntary or not? How were they caught in the act? Was it because of their own doing (that the offence took place)? There are many aspects. It is not just a spontaneous thing (to mete out caning as a punishment),” he said.

He accused the Barisan Nasional (BN) of using the caning punishment to influence Muslim voters who “themselves do not understand the concept of Islamic laws”.

Agreeing with him, PR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim cited an example of his application for a qazaf (criminal defamation) charge at the Syariah Court against his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

“If they are serious about this (using Syariah laws), then why are they, the minister in charge of religion and Jawi trying to throw my case out so quickly?” he asked.

In his application notice, Anwar named Federal Territory (FT) chief syarie prosecutor Shamsuddin Hussain, FT Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Jamil Khir as respondents.

He is seeking for the Syariah Court to force Shamsuddin to expedite the qazaf charge against Mohd Saiful and at the same time stop Che Mat and Jamil from intervening in the process.

The court last week fixed March 10 to hear preliminary objections raised by the three respondents.

“They are using the courts to play their game of cheap politics but God’s will is very clear – it does not matter if the person who commits the wrong is of high rank or a just a layman – he must be punished.

“It does not mean that a person charged with RM1 million corruption gets freed but the man accused of a RM50 corruption gets jailed.

“The process of law must be truly transparent and fair,” said Anwar.

Last Wednesday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced that three women had been caned on Feb 9 at the Kajang Prison under Section 23 (2) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 for having illicit sex.

The trio became the first women in the country to be caned for committing syariah offences.

The case raised international ire especially when the Syariah court had also recently sentenced part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno to caning for drinking beer in July last year. Her sentence has yet been carried out.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said that the issue, and that of Anwar’s Sodomy 2 trial, had created much adverse international publicity for Malaysia.

“(Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib, as the prime minister must give serious personal attention to this and find out why, under his rule, we are having a series of endless adverse international publicity.

“It is bad for competitiveness,” he said.

Lim scoffed at Najib’s claims that Anwar’s trial was a “personal matter” said that this was proved by the fact that the premier has dispatched a mission comprising three top government officials to Washington next week to “win friends”.

The three are Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad.

“Why should the attorney-general go to Washington to win friends for KL? In terms of convincing the international forum that rule of law is followed here, his job is to administer justice to ensure there is international confidence.

“His job is not to go there to lobby legislators or administrators to convince them that he is doing his job properly,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hadi also clarified his statement that appeared to be in conflict with the PR leadership on the interference of a group of Australian MPs who are lobbying for the sodomy charges against Anwar to be dropped.

He explained that as a Malaysian, he felt embarrassed that a foreign nation had questioned the impartiality of the local judiciary.

“I am embarrassed. What we need to do is to clean up our own judicial system,” he said.

Lim called for an emergency meeting of Parliament to canvas opinions from all sides of the aisle on the matter.

Let’s talk cock today

Do you know that 7,000 people die every year without fail on Malaysian roads? That’s 7,000 in a population of just 27 million people. Do you know that 2,700 people die every year on UK roads? That’s 2,700 in a population of 72 million people.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

International gathering of Muslim experts to discuss caning of women

An international Islamic conference would be held soon to discuss whether it is the norm to cane Muslim women found guilty of committing offences under Syariah law.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Senator Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said she hoped the conference, to comprise Islamic experts and ministers from Muslim nations, could be convened within three months.

“I will bring this up with the Cabinet soonest possible,” she said, adding that her ministry, through the Secratariat for the Defence and Empowerment of Women, would organise the conference and the venue would be confirmed later.

Ulamak and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) would also have their forums at the conference, she said after signing a memorandum of cooperation between her ministry and the Sultanate of Oman’s Social Development Ministry on Monday.

On a question by a reporter on whether such debates would create tension, Shahrizat said, “We should not fear debating any issue.”

She said that Syariah laws, when implemented with wisdom and fairness, were “the most beautiful laws” in the world.

On concerns over differences between the various Islamic denominations, Shahrizat said these denominations should learn from one another and she herself would be interested to learn from other Muslim countries.

Asked whether women were caned in the Sultanate of Oman, its Social Development Minister Dr Sharifa Khalfah Al Yahyaeiyah said the country adopted Syariah law as the main law of the country and the issue of caning did not exist because women and men were not caned, whether under Syariah or civil laws.

“As a moderate, progressive and modern country, women and men are treated equally under the law,” she said.

When women or men committed illicit sex, they were imprisoned for a year but not caned and when a person murdered another, he was not only jailed but also had to compensate the victim’s family, she said.

On Feb 9, three Muslim women, aged between 18 and the mid-20s, became the first women in Malaysia to be caned under Syariah laws for engaging in illicit sex.

In July last year, the Kuantan Syariah High Court sentenced part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 33, to six strokes of the rotan for drinking beer, but the sentence has yet to be executed.

The ministries of the two countries would cooperate in fields such as women family and children development, senior citizens and people with disabilities, as well as gender studies, said Shahrizat. – The Star

*************************************************

The Star news report above is as confusing as they come, which is quite normal when it comes to statements made by Malaysian ministers or news reports by government-owned propaganda outfits that masquerade as mainstream newspapers.

The issue here is: are there or are there not Islamic laws in existence, also referred to as Shariah laws? If there are, then what do these laws stipulate?

Muslims who propagate Islamic laws say that these laws already existed since the time of Prophet Muhammad. And they would of course quote various ‘undisputed’ sources to support this view. But that is the Islamist view of course. Historians who refuse to be clouded by religious doctrine but would base their opinions on documentary evidence would dispute this view. They would argue that the Shariah, in the form we understand it today, did not exist yet during the time of the Prophet but was developed as it went along over hundreds of years after the death of the Prophet.

Nevertheless, this is not the objective of my article today. I will leave it to the religious scholars and historians to fight it out and come to an agreement, or continue to disagree, on the origin of the Shariah. After all, history is always written by the victor, never by the vanquished. So the history of the Shariah would also be subjected to the same ‘standards’. The ‘official version’ of those who won the argument 1,000 years ago would prevail while those who lost and were put to death would have their version wiped out.

What The Star reported above, which is quoting a Malaysian minister, gives the impression that there is much uncertainty about what Islamic laws stipulate. Would the Christians need to hold an international conference to discuss what ‘thou shalt not steal’, or ‘thou shalt not commit adultery’, or whatnot, really means? The Christians are clear in their minds as to what Christianity is all about. The Muslims need to hold an international conference to explore what Islam really says.

Let us make it simple. Is drinking beer forbidden or not? Is extramarital sex forbidden or not? What does the Quran say about these matters? And what are the punishments as laid down in the Quran?

What is so difficult about this? Either it is in the Quran or it is not. And if it is in the Quran then surely the Quran has made clear what must be done about the matter. Why complicate matters by holding an international conference 14 centuries after the death of the Prophet and argue till the cows come home?

I can assure you the participants will never come to a consensus. Since the day the Prophet died Muslims have never been able to come to a consensus. What makes you think that now they will, just because someone from Umno who is on the last days of her political career is trying to salvage her career by organising a ‘landmark’ and ‘historical’ international conference that will save the entire Muslim world -- or so she imagines.

Okay, Shahrizat said, “We should not fear debating any issue.” I can bet your sweet ninny that this is absolutely untrue. All it needs is for one overzealous officer from Jakim or Jakun or whatever to make a police report and the very next day the police will be in front of your house to detain you for ‘insulting Islam’. Trust me, I make a living by getting detained for ‘insulting Islam’.

Discussing Islam can be considered a crime of insulting Islam if Umno says so. Even discussing the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and certain Articles in that Constitution is a crime if Umno says so. Umno and not Prophet Muhammad decides on what is right and what is wrong. And Umno can even rewrite the Quran -- figure of speech of course -- if they want to. And going against what the Quran says does tantamount to rewriting the Quran in that sense.

Forget about the matter of consuming beer or fornication. Let’s go to one very simple and basic issue. Let’s talk about the tudung or headscarf for women. In Malaysia it is optional. You can choose to wear it or you can choose not to wear it. In Saudi Arabia it is compulsory. Even non-Muslim women must cover their heads. In Afghanistan they will cane women who appear in public with their head uncovered. And in Turkey they ban women from covering their heads. Universities and Parliament bar women with their heads covered from entering the building.

That is not yet the more complicating issues. That is only the most simple and basic issue. So which ‘Islamic system’ is the correct one? Can the Honourable Minister please enlighten us? Or will she first call for an international conference to discuss the matter of whether women must cover their heads, must not cover their heads, or its up to them if they want to cover their heads or not.

Are beer and extramarital sex that important an issue? So they drink and they fornicate. Who do they harm other than themselves? I am sure many also smoke as well. Is not smoking maybe more damaging to their health than beer or sex? You may indulge in extramarital sex once in awhile, and use a condom when you do. You may drink on Saturday nights. But you smoke from the time you wake up from sleep every morning and smoke two packets a day.

The sex will not kill you if you are protected and if you make sure the husband does not catch you. The Saturday night beer will not kill you unless you drink and drive. But your smoking will for sure. Should not smoking be banned and those who smoke be punished, maybe by caning?

Before the Islamists jump on my case and accuse me of saying that we should legalise beer and extramarital sex for Muslims, what I am saying is why single out certain anti-social behaviour while ignoring others that are more harmful? Why target beer and sex but not smoking when smoking can be worse for your health?

Anyway, why even bother to clamp down on anti-social behaviour that harms only those who indulge in it but no one else? Should we not focus on anti-social behaviour that harms others? You smoke and you die; that is your problem. You drink and you die; that is also your problem. You screw around and you die; that is also your problem. But you detonate a bomb and I die. That is not your problem. That is my problem.

Do you get my drift now? The operational word here is prioritise. Tackle the main issues. Tackle those issues that hurt society. What you do with your body is your business.

Do you know that 7,000 people die every year without fail on Malaysian roads? That’s 7,000 in a population of just 27 million people. Do you know that 2,700 people die every year on UK roads? That’s 2,700 in a population of 72 million people.

Now, are road deaths not as important as beer drinking or extramarital sex? How many people die from drinking beer? 7,000? How many people die from extramarital sex? 7,000? But 7,000 die on Malaysian roads and many of these deaths are the fault of others.

And why do 7,000 people die on Malaysian roads while only 2,700 die in the UK although UK’s population is about three times the size of Malaysia’s?

Elementary, my dear Watson! It is because of corruption. In Malaysia you can buy your driving licence. In Malaysia you can obtain a licence even if you can’t drive as long as you pay a few hundred ringgit. It cost just RM300-RM400 ringgit to kill each of those 7,000 Malaysians every year.

And corruption is forbidden in Islam. It is more serious than beer or extramarital sex. And the majority of those testers who take bribes are Muslims.

Should Malaysia not organise an international conference to discuss this more pressing problem and decide on what punishment we should subject these people to? We should cane these Muslims who kill 7,000 Malaysians every year -- maybe on their genitals. And I do not need to hold an international conference to come to this decision.

Aiyah! Why are Muslims so full of bullshit?

Did we not severely warn you, Zaid?

And we severely warned Zaid that once he is in a party then he must toe the party line. He cannot continue to speak out. He cannot oppose what he considers wrong. If he does, then they will give him a severe warning, if they do not sack him or suspend him instead.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

PKR to let Zaid off with a severe warning

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim will not have to appear before PKR’s disciplinary board, as the body has recommended that the party supreme council member be given a 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. - By Adib Zalkapli The Malaysian Insider

*************************************************

Yes, Zaid Ibrahim will receive a ‘severe warning’ from Parti Keadilan Rakyat for his ‘crime’ of criticising his own party. He will not be given a show cause letter nor called before the party’s disciplinary board to explain why action should not be taken against him.

Actually, what many may not realise, this is his second ‘severe warning’. The first one he received was about two years ago back in 2008, even before he joined the party. And the first ‘severe warning’ he received was from a few members of the civil society movement cum Bloggers who had lunch with him in the Kuala Lumpur Hilton in KL Sentral.

And we made him pay for the lunch on top of that, even though we had subjected him to the indignity of the ‘severe warning’. This can be considered nothing short of a severe case of adding insult to injury. Or is it adding injury to insult in Zaid’s case? Anyway, in China, they put a bullet in your head and make you pay for the cost of the bullet. So I suppose this can be regarded as ‘Chinese justice’ of sorts.

I was one of those enjoying the free lunch, which, considering my penniless status, I could never afford if I had to pay for it myself. Therefore, since I was present that day, I am fully aware of this first ‘severe warning’ that I am talking about. And it was a most severe ‘severe warning’ indeed.

As you may be aware, we from the civil society movement cum Bloggers do not hold our punches. In fact, we do the opposite. We say it with no holds barred. And it is no coincidence that this column is called No Holds Barred. It is where we call a spade a spade.

I must admit that Anwar Ibrahim is never comfortable with my severe outspokenness. For that matter, neither are the rest of the PKR party leaders. Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, in fact, considers me an eccentric. I really don’t blame her because it is quite true. The Malays would call it tiga suku (direct translation would be ‘three-quarters’ -- or meaning not playing with a full deck of cards) and the Chinese would say tau fung (I think that means ‘crazy wind’ or something like that). I don’t know what the Indians would call it but my best friend in school (Victoria Institution), Rajadurai, used to say mabuk todi (drunk on coconut wine).

Whatever it may be Anwar has finally learned to accept me for what I am. I am what Anwar would consider a necessary evil. Now, whether I should take that as a compliment or otherwise I am still not certain just yet.

I once reminded Wan Azizah that it needs an eccentric or tiga suku person like me to do the job I am currently doing. Who in their sane mind would want to fight against the odds knowing full well that even before you start you are destined to lose miserably? It needs someone not playing with a full deck of cards to embark on such a kamikaze mission of no return.

And I am not alone in this kamikaze venture. Zaid, for all intents and purposes, is another kamikaze individual. Do they not say that birds of a feather flock together? And there are many such birds of our same feather who also share this kamikaze doctrine. And a few of these individuals had lunch with Zaid and me that day in the Kuala Lumpur Hilton in KL Sentral.

If you do not believe that Zaid is what I would consider a loose cannon of kamikaze proportions, why then would he resign from his cushy post as a minister in His Majesty’s government on grounds of principle? Have you ever known of any other Malaysian minister who resigned from his or her post on grounds of principle? Most have had to be kicked out. Even then they refuse to go.

Okay, the reason that Zaid resigned is because he is opposed to the use of the Internal Security Act against political dissenters and Bloggers. But then so are Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Rais Yatim. But Dr Mahathir still sticks with Umno while Rais just ‘changed his mode’, as he is quite fond of doing. Resigning just because your party or the government is doing the wrong thing is a most severe course of action.

Nevertheless, severe or not, Zaid did it. And the opposition leaders applauded him for his principled stand. We need more people like this, screamed the opposition. This is one principled man who stands up for justice and defends what is right and opposes what is wrong, screamed others. Amar maaruf, nahi munkar, said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, much to the chagrin of Umno who now wants that phrase added to the list of two dozen words that non-Muslims are banned from using. Zaid is one in a million, a man who sacrifices personal interest in the interest of the nation, screamed all and sundry. Zaid dares to tell it like it is and is not scared of saying the right thing, drooled Malaysians who swooned at his feet. Zaid must become the Prime Minister of Malaysia, said some crazy people who thought that a prophet had been sent to Malaysians.

Ah yes, but that is because he spoke out against Umno and the government. He did not speak out against the opposition. If he speaks out against the opposition like he speaks out against Umno and the government then Zaid is a chow lang arsehole.

We who had lunch with Zaid that day in the Kuala Lumpur Hilton in KL Sentral knew better of course. Zaid is not a man who can keep quiet when he sees something wrong being perpetuated. And just like he opposed Umno and the government, he would equally oppose the opposition if they too did the wrong thing.

And we severely warned Zaid about this, the first severe warning he received that I mentioned earlier. Zaid is too vocal for the opposition. He is in fact too vocal for any political party. Since Zaid is now party-less, he should remain party-less, we told him. Form an NGO (non-governmental organisation), we advised. Or even became a NGI (non-governmental individual) like Hishamuddin Rais, we suggested. But do not join any political party.

If you still insist that you continue your fight on a political party platform, then form your own party, we counselled him. Or go join DAP, a party dogged by its ‘Chinese chauvinist’ image, and help turn that party into a truly non-racial Malaysian party. It is the duty of the Malays to help DAP shed its Chinese image and to acquire a new non-racial identity.

But no, Zaid thought he could be of service to PKR. And through PKR he would help strengthen the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition and make it truly a marriage of love from its present marriage of convenience -- or rather unmarried status but having an affair with occasional sex thrown in.

And we severely warned Zaid that once he is in a party then he must toe the party line. He cannot continue to speak out. He cannot oppose what he considers wrong. If he does, then they will give him a severe warning, if they do not sack him or suspend him instead.

But Zaid, being Zaid, was adamant. He will give his all and his best to the opposition alliance. He will work towards making Pakatan Rakyat a potent force to be reckoned with. He will put all his effort into offering the voters not only an alternative government but also a better alternative to Barisan Nasional. And much work needs to be done to achieve this.

We disagreed with him. And we severely warned him that we disagreed with him. But we shall support him anyway because we can see he is not only determined about his mission, he is sincere about it as well.

Now Zaid has discovered that the opposition has almost the same culture as the Umno or Barisan Nasional that he abandoned. Actually he did not abandon them but they threw him out for being too outspoken. And the opposition almost threw him out as well for also being too outspoken. Any fool could have told Zaid that all political parties and politicians are the same, never mind which side of the political fence they stand on.

Well, Zaid has now received his second severe warning. He received his first back in 2008 in the Kuala Lumpur Hilton. I suppose this means he has now been given his yellow card. And his next severe warning, which will result in a red card, would mean that Zaid would be sent off the field.

So be warned, Zaid. Don’t later tell us you have not been severely warned. And now you understand what I mean when I say I would rather remain an NGI instead of joining a political party.