Thursday, February 25, 2010
Patahiyah set to become first women council chief of Penang Island replacing Tan Cheng Chui. We are happy for Patahiyah as this is a meaningful executive position, intended to score points and political mileage.
But Kapitan Lim Guan Eng would never appoint Ramasamy s/o Amasamy or any other Samy or some Kuppusamy as the first Indian MPPP Council Chief. Whereas the Speaker of the Dewan (as in Perak) and DCM II (as in Penang) are ceremonial and non executive positions with no power, and representative and the people should not fall for these positions, which are mere decorations to score political mileage. Get the point?
(Singapore Straits Times 4/2/2010 at page A 22).
Hindraf/HRP has never made any promises save and expect promising to continue to struggle for the Indians and against the injustices and tyranny of the UMNO led Malay-sian government. Let alone not delivering their promises. In any event Hindraf/HRP’s not in the government to deliver any promises.
There have been repeated claims that there are too many Indian based political parties. But all nine of them from MIC, PPP, IPF, Punjabi Peoples Party, Kimma, Mindraf, MMSP, MCC and MUIP are all in with UMNO or UMNO support political parties. And it is because this is where the honey is.
The one and only Indian based political party in the Opposition against UMNO is HRP. This is because HRP is driven by principles and struggles for the Indians not to be excluded from the national mainstream development of Malaysia.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has questioned Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s loyalty to Umno and accused the Kelantan prince of trying to confuse the public over the oil royalty dispute.
He also defended the federal government’s refusal to pay oil royalty claimed by Kelantan, saying that it was in “accordance with law.”
“I know of the move taken by Tengku Razaleigh and some opposition leaders to make people believe what is not legally right. I think that is not the proper way to do it. This is not political but the constitutional and legal way of whatever Act enacted by Parliament,” the deputy prime minister told reporters today.
Muhyiddin (picture) also questioned the Umno veteran’s loyalty to the party.
“We are studying the situation. As everybody is aware of the statements and actions that he (Tengku Razaleigh) has taken. Even though they are his personal opinion but it is not in line with the decision made by the government and party leadership. So we must look at what will happen next and maybe he will realise in the end. This is not a question about bringing hardship to the people of Kelantan or anybody. We have given explanations based on facts.
“I have been informed that he has met the prime minister but what I do not understand is why he is still continuing with his actions. As if he is the only one fighting for the people of Kelantan and that we are not considerate. Actually leaders from Barisan Nasional have given explanations and will continue to do so,” he said.
Muhyiddin said that educated professionals from Kelantan understood the government’s position.
“Many of the people from Kelantan are lawyers and professionals and can analyse the matter. I have heard statements from the people of Kelantan, especially academicians and those with certificates, saying that the actions taken by the government do not go against the law,” he said.
He argued that the allocation of compassionate payments instead of oil royalties was in accordance with the law.
“The term is not royalty and that has been explained by the government and also through the advertisements for the general public’s knowledge which was well received. I think what we have done (in giving compassionate payment) is in accordance with the law.
“Since Kelantan requested for some help then we considered and agreed to give them compassionate payment. So this is all according to the Petroleum Development Act and whatever interpretation has been well explained by the adverts that we have put in,” he said.
The federal government had over the weekend taken out advertisements in Berita Minggu, Mingguan Malaysia and Sinar Harian, listing eight reasons to deny Kelantan its claim for oil royalties.
But Tengku Razaleigh and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have been campaigning hard to force the federal government to pay oil royalties claimed by the state.
Tengku Razaleigh, who is Petronas founder, had earlier this week rubbished attempts by the federal government to explain, through newspaper advertisements, its refusal to pay the Kelantan government oil royalties.
“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.
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 earlier this week.
“The argument for depriving Kelantan of 5 per cent cash payments on the basis of its petroleum resources being found beyond three 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.
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider
PUTRAJAYA, Feb 25 — The Federal Court has dismissed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s request to review its own Jan 29 decision barring his legal team from getting more key evidence from the prosecutors in his ongoing sodomy trial.
In a unanimous decision, the court dismissed the review application on grounds that it was not a suitable case for re-examination by another panel of judges.
Earlier, the three-men panel led by Justices Zulkifli Ahmad Makinuddin, Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff and Heliliah Mohd Yusof heard arguments from Anwar’s lawyer Karpal Singh (picture) and Solicitor-General II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden.
Mohd Yusof had argued that the court is not empowered to review its decision. A review can only granted if the applicant manages to prove that "there was an error in law" and only in extremely rare cases is a review granted.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — It has emerged that the wife of the Indonesian-born taxi driver charged with murdering Malaysian consulate driver Mohd Shah Saemin had worked together with the victim and were described as “close”, the Sydney Morning Herald reported today.
The newspaper also reported that she has now been charged as an accessory after the fact, following the arrest of her husband Hazairin Iskandar.
Her son Andrew was also detained in Singapore after arriving there after a flight from Sydney.
The newspaper claimed from interviews with colleagues of Mohd Shah and Nita Eriza Iskandar, an accounts clerk at the consulate, the two were very close and would often have lunch together.
According to an account of events published by the Sydney Morning Herald, the last time Mohd Shah spoke to Nita, he was screaming for help down the telephone after being set upon by two men with a hammer on Sunday night outside his home in Marion Street, Leichhardt, Sydney.
The newspaper reported that he called to a woman standing nearby, who threw her body over him in the hope it would stop the attack.
Nita would arrive later at the scene as police tried in vain to revive him.
Nita was charged yesterday with being an accessory after the fact to murder and hindering a police investigation, the newspaper reported.
She was refused bail and will appear in Newtown local court today.
Colleagues and neighbours were said to have been taken aback at the developments in what was first thought to be a road rage investigation.
The details emerging from the case will also put to rest suspicions that the incident was a hate crime linked to racism, which the New Straits Times suggested in an editorial yesterday.
The NST had written that Mohd Shah’s murder had brought home this rising scourge (of race hate).
In the Sydney Morning Herald story, it was reported that Nita, an Indonesian-born Australian citizen, had worked at the consulate for about 10 years and has been on leave since Monday.
Mohd Shah began working at the consulate three years ago after moving to Australia in 2000.
‘‘All these twist of events are confusing,’’ the consulate director Mohd Nasir Abu Hassan told the newspaper.
‘‘We’re not suspicious of people when they hold hands or whatever. That’s how we’re taught.
‘‘They had no other relationship that we know of, but out of work we do not know.’’
The newspaper also reported that Nita had attended an embalming service to prepare Mohd Shah’s body at Lakemba mosque before her arrest.
She had told workmates she would pay for the body’s repatriation and accompany it home to Malaysia. Her husband had said that he planned to go with her.
He elected not to face the magistrate, Christopher Longley, at Burwood local court yesterday. Bail was refused and the matter adjourned until April 20.
‘‘If he did that I never forgive him,’’ Nita also told Channel 10 of her husband yesterday.
By the time the interview went to air, she too was under arrest and police were arranging for her son’s return to Australia.
The wooden coffin was carried into Lakemba mosque last night where it was prayed over before being flown to Malaysia today, the newspaper reported.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Fed-up with the federal government’s attempts to dodge out of paying oil royalties, the Kelantan state government is fighting fire with fire.
Earlier this week, Kelantan sent out copies of its eight-point stand of its claims for payments for oil produced off its coast to several Malay-language newspapers to counter the federal government’s eight arguments.
According to lawyer Tommy Thomas, a member of a team of lawyers engaged to act for the state government, the papers have yet to publish the state’s version.
The federal government had over the weekend taken out pages in Berita Minggu, Mingguan Malaysia and Sinar Harian listing eight reasons to deny Kelantan its claim.
“We disagree with the answers given in the recent advertisement made on behalf of the federal government,” Thomas said, and provided a copy of the state’s basis for its oil claims for contrast.
He noted that the Petroleum Development Act (PDA), which is the document referred to by both state and federal governments in the oil dispute, had come into force on Oct 1, 1974, and had set up Petronas, giving it rights to oil sourced from land or in waters in the country.
“Under the PDA, each of the 13 states signed identical agreements and vesting grants at different dates between 1975 and 1976 with Petronas, vesting their respective ownership of oil in Petronas,” the lawyer said, giving a brief background of the case.
The national oil company was to pay each state where oil was produced “a yearly sum equivalent to five per cent of the value of petroleum produced onshore and offshore of the state concerned”, Thomas added.
He also pointed out that Kelantan’s neighbour on the east, Terengganu, had received yearly payments for oil from the federal government from the start while the state was in the hands of the national coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), but the payments stopped almost immediately after the state fell to PAS in 1999.
Kelantan’s response to the eight questions raised is reproduced below alongside the federal government’s answers to the same questions, for comparison.
1. According to the Petroleum Development Act 1974, what is the term used for payment made for oil and gas production?
State: The PDA, the 13 Agreements and the 13 Vesting Grants all use the term “cash payments”. The popular word used by all concerned is “royalty”. However, nothing turns on the description of the payment.
Federal: The term used is “cash payment” of 5 per cent. The word “royalty” is not being used anywhere in the Act.
2. According to the agreements between Petronas and the state government in 1975/1976, what are the requirements to entitle the state governments to the 5 per cent cash payments?
State: The terms used in the PDA, the 13 Agreements and the 13 Vesting Grants are “on-shore” and “off-shore” to denote petroleum produced from land (on-shore) and from water (off-shore). Neither the PDA, the 13 Agreements nor the 13 Vesting Grants contain any limitations on the right of any state to receive cash payments for petroleum produced off its coast based on the length from the coast. Hence, neither the PDA, the 13 Agreements nor the 13 Vesting Grants restrict the payment of cash payments for petroleum produced 3 miles, 12 miles, 200 miles or any other distance from the coast of the 13 states because distance is not specified in the PDA, the Agreements and the 13 Vesting Grants. Instead, the generic word “off-shore” is used.
The Emergency (Special Powers) Ordinance No. 1969 does not govern the ownership of petroleum, whether on-shore or off-shore. The Ordinance also does not deal with the legal obligations of Petronas to pay cash payments to a state where petroleum is produced on-shore or off-shore. Only the PDA does. Thus, the Ordinance is not the relevant law on the matter.
Federal: The oil or gas wells must be within the state boundaries, that is, the state land and its territory waters which is 3 nautical miles measured from the ebb level (Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance No.7 1969).
3. Does the Kelantan state government or any other state governments in Peninsular Malaysia have the right to claim from Petronas the said cash payment?
State: Yes, provided petroleum is produced on-shore or off-shore the state concerned. Thus, in March 1978, Petronas informed Terengganu that petroleum had been produced in the Pulai oil field, which is located about 150 miles from the coast of Terengganu. In June 1978, Petronas made the first ever cash payment to Terengganu for petroleum produced off-shore Terengganu (in Pulai). For 22 successive years, that is, from 1978 to March 2000, Petronas made cash payments to Terengganu twice a year under the PDA, the Agreement and the Vesting Grant, although petroleum was produced hundreds of miles off-shore Terengganu. Only when PAS formed the state government of Terengganu after the general election of November 1999 did Petronas cease making cash payments to Terengganu, although Petronas is still producing petroleum off-shore Terengganu without paying Terengganu for it.
Federal: They have no right to do so as at this moment, all productive oil and gas wells in the peninsula are situated beyond the 3 nautical mile zone. Therefore, any production from the wells situated beyond state waters, which is beyond the 3 nautical mile zone, belongs to the federal government.
4. What is the position of Sabah and Sarawak on the issue of royalty payment?
State: Until the PDA came into force in October 1974, the legal basis of royalty payments to Sabah and Sarawak were laws passed by the British colonial power. After the PDA’s enactment and the establishment of Petronas, Sabah and Sarawak are treated in an identical manner as the peninsula states. Thus, the sole legal basis of payment of cash payments to Sabah and Sarawak since October 1974 is the PDA, their two Agreements and their two Vesting Grants. They are in the identical position with Kelantan, Terengganu and the other nine states of Peninsular Malaysia. All are treated equally under the PDA to avoid discrimination among the 13 states of Malaysia.
Federal: Before 1974, the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak already had their own positions on the royalty rights through enforcement of agreements as well as the enforcement of the Continental Shelf Act 1966. It is historic and special privileges acknowledged when they joined Malaysia in 1963.
5. What is meant with the payment of “Wang Ehsan”?
State: This is the political label invented by the Mahathir administration in 2000 when it directed Petronas to cease making cash payments to Terengganu after PAS formed the state government. The term “wang ehsan” has no legal basis. It is not found in the PDA, the 13 Agreements and the 13 Vesting Grants.
Federal: Wang Ehsan is a contribution or aid channelled to the states including Kelantan based on the discretion of the federal government. This contribution is beyond the scope/ jurisdiction of the Petroleum Development Act 1974 and the agreement signed between Petronas and the state government in 1975/1976. This aid is given solely based on the federal government’s awareness and responsibility for the welfare of the state and its people.
6. Why is the federal government offering Wang Ehsan to Kelantan in the amount of RM20 million only?
State: We cannot answer this question as it is a sum arbitrarily picked out by the federal government and without any legal basis.
Federal: The federal government is giving this allocation based on courtesy with regard to gas produced in federal waters. The Kelantan state government has no right in the area as it is outside the 3 nautical mile zone.
7. What is the position of the statement made by former Petronas chairman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah that royalty should be paid to Kelantan based on the petroleum production obtained from outside the state waters as well as questioning the giving of the Wang Ehsan?
State: We support the recent public statement by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. Much weight must be given to Tengku Razaleigh as he was the first chairman of Petronas, and signed the 13 Agreements on behalf of Petronas with each of the state governments. He is very conversant with these matters. He also enjoyed the trust and confidence of the late Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia’s 2nd Prime Minister, and the architect of our petroleum policy.
Federal: The statement by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Gua Musang MP, needs to be seen as a mere personal opinion from him. Any decision taken with regard to the right to royalty payment needs to be made in accordance with the relevant laws as well as agreements signed between Petronas and the state governments.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah needs to explain that the PAS Terengganu government cannot question the position of Wang Ehsan as the money that has been channelled all this while, although in the name of oil royalty, does not belong to the state.
He also stated that when Petronas was formed, there was no state in Peninsular Malaysia that had the right to the oil production found in the area outside the state’s “territory” (Bernama, Nov 1, 2000).
Although today Tengku Razaleigh had changed his position, the position of the law has still not changed. The people and the country are obliged to respect the laws of the country.
8. Is the opposition leader informed of the position of the rights of the state government in this issue?
State: Again, we cannot answer this question because Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the opposition, does not officially represent Kelantan in the petroleum royalty issue.
Federal: Based on the position of the existing provisions of law, the opposition leader is aware that the state government has no right to any cash payment or royalty in relation to the petroleum production which are being explored beyond state waters. That is why the opposition leader had once tried to make a resolution to amend the Petroleum Development Act 1974 in December 2009.
Therefore, the opposition leader himself is aware that the Kelantan state government has no right on any oil or gas wells within federal territory.
By Terence Netto
Comment “Make them the object of ridicule. Nothing succeeds like laughter where the masses are concerned,” offered M J Akbar, a renowned Indian journalist and communications expert while on a visit to Kuala Lumpur last week at the invitation of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
Akbar, who is also an author, was sharing his insights with Pakatan Rakyat-aligned media practitioners. His audience had little difficulty agreeing with their erudite interlocutor that the deepest cuts in political debate are wrought by barbs leavened with humour.
Three decades ago the Conservatives in Britain, led by Margaret Thatcher, campaigned to victory in a general election against Labour by employing the pithy slogan: “Labour - it doesn’t work.”
Few political contests before and since have displayed the devastating wit and concision encapsulated by that bon mot.
Akbar’s listeners hardly needed prompting that the exertions of local powers-that-be in portraying themselves as worthy of merit can sometimes border on the absurd; they were just wondering where to locate the genius who can transmute the absurd into the evocatively fabulous.
Take the decision to send de facto law minister Nazri Aziz, former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamed, and Attorney General Gani Patail to Washington for a conference on the rule of law and transparent governance.
Excepting Abdul Hamid, under whose brief tenure as chief justice the courts in the country improved marginally, sending Nazri and, particularly, Gani to the Washington conference was like asking Jacob Zuma to be presenter at an international conference on Aids prevention.
Incorrigible Zuma, who some years ago was charged with rape after having unprotected sex with a young woman who was HIV positive, has just now admitted to having unprotected sex with yet another young woman with whom he has fathered a child. (Zuma is the president of a country which has some of the highest rates of HIV infection.)
Sending anybody from the government to a Washington conference on good governance would be as futile as raising your tone when addressing the deaf. Listing the grounds for absurdity in the government’s presumption of its own merit would bore the seat off your pants.
Suffice loose canon Nazri is the sort of fellow you only send into battle if you are minded to take on the charlatanry of Dr Mahathir Mohamed: He can swing roundhouse hooks the way a prizefighter desperate to put bread on his kids’ table can be expected to.
His vociferous branding some time ago of Dr Mahathir as “racist” and as the “father of all racists” was patently indiscriminate until Nasir Safar’s remarks about the immigration into Malaysia of Indian beggars and Chinese whores occasioned the response from the former premier that this was a “truth” you bandied about only in private. Seldom could the flailing Nazri been so spot-on.
After the fiasco of Sodomy I, you would think Gani would have been chastened enough not to try something as feeble again. Think again.
A lawyer who must surely overrate his persuasive powers, Gani’s best use would be as counsel if Sudan’s Omar Bashir were to submit to the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur.
This is not such a stretch. Bashir was once in Malaysia in the 1980s studying some course. He must have picked up some esoteric science.
He would need that if he elects to go to the Hague, though if he were to commission Gani, he would have to forget the Malaysian’s performance in the case of who owned Pedra Banca, the island off Johor that Singapore out argued Malaysia at the International Court of Justice two years ago. But then Gani never knows when he is beat.
It’s like the lines from the ditty:
Three blind mice
Three blind mice
See how they run
See how they run.
And so on and so forth...
The Star is a joke. Why I still read it on a daily basis is as much an unresolved mystery to me as to why rich and all powerful Najib is unable to get a better looking wife. (Ok you feminist out there, so I am being a sexist here, sue me!)
Yesterday's paper was another day of reporting on Malaysia and her nonsense.
From the front page:
Power supply for 95% of Sarawak by 2012
KUCHING: Ninety-five percent of Sarawak will be connected with electricity supply and 90% of the state’s households will enjoy treated water by 2012, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the RM3.4bil allocation for infrastructure projects in Sarawak under the 10th Malaysia Plan and National Key Results Areas (NKRAs) was testimony to the close ties between the Federal Government and the state.
“This is our commitment to Sarawak. We have forged a good understanding that development projects be implemented smoothly, not only in the rural area but throughout the state,” Najib said at the launch of the rural electrification scheme at Rumah Juliana, Saratok, some 350km from here yesterday.
There are 3 ways to react to the headline grabber above.
If you do not have a brain and is a die hard BN supporter, this report will only strengthen your belief that BN is god's gift to man. In times when the country is suffering economically and bleeding financially, the PM has squeezed some money to the tune of RM3.4 billion to help the poor in Sarawak. Long live PM Najib!
If you are a fed-up Malaysian and has Anwar's poster in your bedroom, you will see this as scumbag Najib bribing his way into retaining Sarawak. And you swear that with such a move, the Sarawak state elections cannot be more than 6 months away.
Now if you are of sound mind and rational, you will be asking 'What the fuck?! You mean in Malaysia still got many people with no electricity and water ah? Sarawak not the richest state in the country meh? They have so banyak oil and timber you know. Are the Sarawakians stupid or do they enjoy pretending to be stupid to be buggered left, right and centre? '
Mr. PM is so proud that he is bringing basic living necessities to these poor bastards (of whom some are still clothed in nothing but loin cloths). Any other decent human will be so ashamed to have neglected this part of the country that he will be getting them Sarawakians the facilities in super hush hush manner. And yet this shameless queen-controlled freak of the nature is strutting his belly all over town pretending to be the people's saviour. Had I been a headhunter, I would have had my field day!
Sarawakians are supposed to be rich. The Sabahans are supposed to be rich. Yet they are poor beyond recognition. And they are not even an ordinary state to Malaysia. They are a partner to the Malaysian 'coalition'. Why the Sarawakians and Sabahans never revolted to get themselves out is another mystery in life. To me, it ranks pretty much high up there with Atlantis, UFOs and Yetis. (And again, Rosmah).
I also found this article sending the blood pressure meter a tick higher too.
Get CP 500 notice cancelled if you don’t earn extra income
PETALING JAYA: If you receive a notice of instalment payment (CP 500) from the Inland Revenue Board, do not panic!
The notice, which states the amount, due date and number of instalments, is meant for taxpayers with earnings other than monthly salaries such as income from business and rentals as well as commissions from multi-level marketing or insurance.
Those with a fixed salary, but without other earnings, should go to the branch handling their income tax files to have the notice cancelled.
IRB public relations officer Masrun Maslin admitted that IRB had received many complaints from taxpayers without side income who were issued with such notices.
“Do not panic. If you do not have any other means of income other than your monthly salary, just go to the branch handling your file for the notice to be cancelled immediately,” he said. However, he said taxpayers would still have to provide supporting documents such as the EA form to show that they did not have income other than their monthly salaries.
Masrun said taxpayers without side income were being issued with such notices due to possible errors in their income tax return forms. “For instance, they must have wrongly put dividends, bonuses or pensions in the other earnings column instead of the salary column.
“The system automatically captures the data on the other earnings and thus, the taxpayers will be issued the CP 500 notices.”
He said previously, the IRB would look at the list of those eligible for the tax liability on other earnings before issuing the notice.
A complainant who declined to be identified said he was upset upon receiving the notice.
He said he contacted the IRB branch handling his file and was advised to ignore it.
However, he was asked to call the branch again next month to check whether he would still have to settle the instalment payments.
“The officer told me that he had been receiving a lot of queries and complaints pertaining to the notice,” he added.
I can tell you for sure that IRB screwed up on this. And yet they have the guts to come out and say that the taxpayers 'could have filled up the forms wrongly'. Fuck you! Is it that difficult to simply say 'we messed up'. Is it that difficult? Instead of apologising, you turn it around and blame us. 'Us' because I receive the similar form too.
I could not even be bothered about the form when I received it. Simply put it, it is somewhere in the rubbish truck already. And to be really honest with you people, I didn't even open the form packed in a plastic envelope. I know what a CP500 is and I am not even interested in knowing how much they want me to fork out each month for god knows what reason they cook up.
I am not going to pay. Period. So why bother opening or calling for clarification.
And now IRB wants me to drive to their office, get a number, wait my turn and proof to their officers that I should not be getting the form of which they screwed up? You stupid dumb arses of the world! You messed it up, you clean in up. Don't involve me, please. Just fuck off and leave me alone.
So ladies and gentlemen, these are some of the latest development in Malaysia; summarised and explained. Enjoy your continued stay in Malaysia.
Note: I am not cheesed off as I was writing this. Choice of language is a very personal thing - quite difficult to explain. Besides, I think certain words drive messages through more effectively. Come on... we all are all grown ups. A little PG 13 won't hurt you. And we all know that no kids are reading these boring political sites la ok.
The courts in Malaysia have ... emasculated themselves by avoiding any form of judicial intervention or activism when the interests of the all powerful executive is at stake.
By Gerard Lourdesamy
The recent Federal Court decision on the Perak crisis confirming Zambry Abdul Kadir as the legitimate menteri besar of Perak raises several questions that have serious constitutional and political implications.
The Federal Court seems to have taken the position that a constitutional monarch has wide discretionary powers in determining whether an incumbent Prime Minister or Menteri Besar continues to command the confidence of a majority of the members of the legislature and therefore whether he can remain in office. In the exercise of this discretion, the Ruler can rely on extraneous circumstances to determine if the Prime Minister or Menteri Besar still commands the support of the majority in the legislative assembly notwithstanding that no vote of confidence is carried against him. The Federal Court was silent as to whether an objective or subjective exercise of discretion by the Ruler is called upon but the Court of Appeal in its judgment seemed to suggest that an objective exercise of discretion is required and that in any event the acts of the Sultan of Perak in assessing whether the incumbent Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin had lost the support of the majority of members of the state assembly amounted to an objective exercise of such discretion.
The Federal Court also concluded that there was no mandatory requirement in the Perak Constitution for a vote of confidence to be taken on the floor of the Legislative Assembly in order to determine the loss of confidence. Therefore, the loss of confidence can be determined by external factors or even by the conduct of the incumbent Menteri Besar himself.
The Federal Court in a rather concise single judgment with which all five members of the bench concurred in such an important constitutional case that would have warranted a full bench of the apex court and separate judgments in any other jurisdiction, came to the conclusion based on the factual matrix of the case and the evidence, that between 1 and 5 February 2009, Nizar had indeed lost the support of the majority of members of the Legislative Assembly following the declaration by three members of the ruling Pakatan Rakyat coalition that they had become independents but friendly to the opposition Barisan Nasional coalition; that they had lost confidence in Nizar and now supported the Barisan Nasional; and most importantly that they continued to remain as members of the Legislative Assembly and had not resigned or vacated their seats. Therefore, the Federal Court concluded that Nizar could and must have sought dissolution of the Legislative Assembly from the Ruler on the ground that he had ceased to have the support of the majority of its members. In the apex court’s view, Nizar could not possibly given the circumstances prevailing at that time, sought a general dissolution of the Legislative Assembly to pave the way for a fresh election in the state. Both situations are provided for in the Perak Constitution.
The distinction here is that a refusal by the Ruler of a request for dissolution on the grounds of loss of confidence entails the resignation of the executive council including the Menteri Besar who is a member of the executive council and in effect its head. On the other hand the refusal of a request for a general dissolution does not entail any consequences to the executive council.
The Federal Court interpreted the clause on a loss of confidence dissolution as one which does not require the fact of such loss of confidence to be established only by means of a vote of confidence but through other circumstances, and once the Ruler refused his consent to the request, then Nizar had no choice but to tender his own resignation and that of the executive council. This in their view was a mandatory requirement the failure to comply with would lead to a situation of democratic chaos and unconstitutional conduct of the highest level that would paralyze the functioning of effective constitutional government in the state.
It cannot be denied that constitutional conventions that cover the exercise of prerogative powers by the Sovereign even in matters such as the appointment of the Prime Minister or Menteri Besar and the request for the dissolution of the legislature do exist. But the application of these conventions must also be considered in the context of written constitutions and their interpretation. If a provision in any written constitution is clear and beyond doubt then effect should be given to it notwithstanding the existence of certain constitutional conventions that come from jurisdictions that do not have a written constitution. Conventions only have a role to play in a written constitution where there is a lacuna or where the provisions in question are unclear or imprecise in their meaning and effect.
The fact that the Prime Minister or Menteri Besar while being a member of the cabinet or executive council is only answerable to the legislature for his constitutional and political legitimacy cannot be overlooked. On the other hand ministers of the cabinet or executive councilors invariably hold office at the pleasure of the Sovereign and can be dismissed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister or Menteri Besar. A reading of the relevant provisions in the Federal Constitution or in this case the Perak Constitution will show that the authors of the constitution envisaged a higher degree of protection for the holder of the office of Prime Minister or Menteri Besar as opposed to members of the Cabinet or executive council. The latter are lesser personages who essentially hold office at the grace and favour of the Prime Minister or the Menteri Besar as part and parcel of the largesse of political patronage. The Chief Executive on the contrary as either the Prime Minister or Menteri Besar, is given a much more prominent role beyond primus inter pares in the exercise of his constitutional role as head of government and as the primary link between the Sovereign and the Cabinet or executive council and by extension Parliament or the legislative assembly in a Westminster system of parliamentary government.
Therefore, after reading the relevant provisions of the Federal Constitution or the Perak Constitution and after considering the applicable constitutional conventions, it can be determined that the Ruler has no power to dismiss the Prime Minister or Menteri Besar or to declare his office as vacant unless and until there is an objective determination that the Prime Minister or Menteri Besar has lost the confidence of a majority of members of the legislature.
The Federal Court also favoured the judgment of the High Court in Amir Kahar’s case that departed from the findings of the same court in Stephen Kalong Ningkan’s case primarily on the methods of determining the issue of loss of confidence. The apex court also relied on the opinion of the Privy Council in the Nigerian case of Akintola to justify its conclusions. It is regrettable that in so doing the apex court gave a literal, narrow and pedantic interpretation to the relevant constitutional provisions while disregarding fundamental principles governing the role and powers of a constitutional monarch, the established conventions applicable to such circumstances as in the Perak case and most importantly the public interest as manifested by the overwhelming majority of the people of Perak who voted in support of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition during the 2008 general election.
The Federal Court in my opinion fell into error on the following grounds in the Perak case:
a. The Ruler while having a discretion in the matter of the appointment of the Menteri Besar does not have any such discretion when it comes to the determination of whether the incumbent Menteri Besar still has the confidence of the majority of members of the legislative assembly. This distinction is clear from the different wordings in the Perak Constitution regarding the powers of the Ruler in these two differing situations;
- The Ruler as a Constitutional Monarch does not have any role to play in determining whether the incumbent Menteri Besar has lost the confidence of the legislature as that is a matter for members of the legislature to determine. This is simply because the Menteri Besar does not hold office at the pleasure of the Ruler and he and the Executive Council are responsible to the legislature and not the Ruler. I will go so far as to say that the Ruler in this case had transgressed into the jurisdiction of the legislature and eroded its rights and privileges. It is a cardinal and sacred principle of constitutional government that the peoples’ representatives in the legislature are the only ones who have the right to prematurely determine the life of any government prior to a general election. The Ruler merely has a dignified role to play in constitutional government but the efficient parts are for the executive and the legislature to exercise and determine (see Dicey);
- Extraneous circumstances whether objective or otherwise is a dangerous basis and precedent on which to determine if an incumbent Menteri Besar ought to be forced to resign or dismissed from office or to declare vacant his office. If allowed to flourish, it can be open to abuse and misuse at the hands of unscrupulous politicians and destroy the very fabric of constitutional government and the public interest;
- The extraneous circumstances in the Perak case were unreliable and disputed because of the differing views taken by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the Election Commission as to the status of the three assemblymen who had declared themselves independent. The Speaker argued that they had vacated their seats by virtue of the resignation letters that he had received from them. The three assemblymen disputed the purported resignation letters and denied their validity. While the Election Commission declared that it was unable in the circumstances to declare their three seats as vacant and that they remained as the duly elected assemblymen for the three seats. Between 1 and 5 February 2009, there were conflicting views on the status of the three assemblymen with the Speaker contending that he had the final decision and the Election Commission saying otherwise. At that point in time the Federal Court had yet to determine whether it was the Speaker or the Election Commission who had the power to declare a casual vacancy of seats in the Legislative Assembly. There was a provision in the Perak Constitution to the effect that the power lay with the Election Commission but this provision had not yet been tested in the Federal Court at the material time by either contending party. The Court of Appeal in its judgment in this case, with remarkable hindsight concluded that the power lay with the Election Commission. But this crucial fact was not known to the Ruler on 5 February 2009. Therefore, it could not be established mathematically beyond doubt on 5 February 2009 that the Barisan Nasional had a clear majority of 31 seats as opposed to the Pakatan Rakyat’s 28 in the Legislative Assembly despite whatever assurances that the Ruler received from the three impugned assemblymen. The fact that the Barisan Nasional did not ask for the Ruler to convene the Legislative Assembly to determine its strength supports the conclusion that there was a possibility that the Speaker would not have allowed the three assemblymen to take part in the proceedings. Therefore, it was most likely that neither coalition with only 28 seats each would have a majority in the Legislative Assembly and the vote of no confidence would not have been carried as the Speaker would have voted against the motion following convention;
- The word “confidence” referred to in the Perak Constitution as opposed to “support” is a term of art as the High Court Judge in Ningkan’s case opined. In Amir Kahar, the Judge felt that there was no difference. The word “confidence” connotes a degree of trust and acceptance beyond question whereas the word “support” can be interpreted to mean transient agreement or lack of objection. “Support” can be impermanent as opposed to “confidence”. That is why the floor of the legislature is the best place to determine whether an incumbent prime minister or menteri besar has the “confidence” of the majority in the course of a confidence motion taken on a division in private. Despite the assurances given by the three assemblymen to the Ruler in private audience, the fact that two or all of them had “disappeared” from the state prior to their appearance at a press conference in Putrajaya on 4 February 2009 with the then Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to show their support for the Barisan Nasional should have alerted the Ruler to the possibility of some improper or coercive pressure being put on them. This was confirmed further the next day when all of them were bussed to the palace for the audience under the watchful eyes of the police and minders of the Barisan Nasional;
- Amir Kahar’s case can be distinguished on its facts as the petition sent to the Sabah Governor was signed by a very clear majority of the members of the legislative assembly just like in Akintola’s case and in Amir Kahar’s case the then incumbent chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan did not dispute the loss of confidence and tendered his resignation to the Governor. In Nizar’s case, he never conceded that he had lost the confidence of the majority and neither did he resign. Furthermore, it would seem that neither the Barisan Nasional nor the Pakatan Rakyat had a majority in the Legislative Assembly between 1 and 5 February 2009. It was a deadlock at 28-28 between the two parties. In any event it is my view that Akintola and Amir Kahar are not good precedents to be followed as they effectively deny the legislature the right to vote the incumbent government out of office thereby rendering the constitutional role of the legislature illusory in such circumstances;
- The Ruler in such a charged atmosphere of political uncertainty and chicanery in Perak between 1 and 5 February 2009 should not have been allowed to become the “football of competing parties” but instead the matter should have been determined by the legislature in an open and transparent manner. The Federal Court by allowing the introduction of extraneous circumstances to determine the loss of confidence has in effect vested the Ruler with a discretionary power that will invariably expose the Ruler to allegations of political bias and eventually in any future case involving the Barisan Nasional at the federal level open the apex court to criticisms for bias or unfairness if they rule otherwise under similar circumstances involving the Pakatan Rakyat; and
- Lastly, by vesting the Ruler with a discretionary power to determine the loss of confidence issue by relying on extraneous circumstances, the Federal Court has in effect changed the nature of the role of the monarchy from a Constitutional one to an Executive one. The danger here is that the exercise of any discretionary executive power by the Ruler in person in determining the loss of confidence issue will subject that decision to the purview of the High Court by way of judicial review and therefore challenge the hitherto held view that the exercise of the royal prerogative in person in matters of state such as the appointment of the Prime Minister or Menteri Besar and the request for the dissolution of the legislature are not amenable to judicial review (see the speech of Lord Roskill in the GCHQ case). The Supreme Court of India and the Supreme Court of Canada have in several decisions argued that the exercise of executive prerogative powers even in matters of national security and foreign relations can be reviewed by the court. By allowing the Ruler to exercise his personal discretion in determining the loss of confidence issue, the Federal Court has expanded the powers of the Constitutional Monarch to the point of vesting Executive Powers on the Ruler to dismiss the Menteri Besar or declare his office vacant without reference to the legislature and thereby subjecting the decision of the Ruler to review by the High Court.
It is also a cause for concern that the Federal Court has consistently subscribed to a very narrow, conservative and pedantic view when it comes to the interpretation of the Federal and State Constitutions. It has more readily and wrongly in my view fallen into the trap of interpreting the constitution from the standpoint of Parliamentary supremacy as opposed to Constitutional supremacy which is the most important feature of any written constitution.
Most judges in the superior courts are more than willing to interpret the Constitution as if it were an ordinary piece of legislation and subject to Federal Laws to the extent of qualifying fundamental rights and liberties in the Constitution by reference to ordinary laws passed by Parliament. The courts in Malaysia have not only emasculated themselves by avoiding any form of judicial intervention or activism when the interests of the all powerful executive is at stake but they have also consistently differed to the views of the government in most matters to the point that constitutional safeguards are negated or diluted altogether.
This is because a vast majority of judges either consciously or unconsciously subscribe to the view that the government is right in most circumstances and knows best and that they are merely public servants with concerns about promotions, pensions, appointments after retirement and their families’ well being. Somewhere in this confusion principles and integrity is sacrificed and a constitutional oath to defend the rights and liberties of the people is conveniently forgotten. At the end of the day until and unless the judiciary is fundamentally reformed from top to the bottom and there is a paradigm shift in judicial thinking, there will remain a serious public perception that there are only two types of judges in this country: those who know the law and those who know the government.
THE Selangor government's November 2009 announcement banning state employees from attending Biro Tatanegara (BTN) courses due to racist elements triggered a flurry of public testimonies. Many former BTN participants shared their own encounters with racism during the course, including on The Nut Graph.
The government was quick to defend the BTN programme while agreeing that there should be a review. But despite the shocking stories that BTN participants have made public, the government has remained silent about what exactly it plans to do about the programme.
Thus far, what has the government actually said about the programme that is run by the Prime Minister's Department?
"It should be revamped," said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz on 30 Nov 2009. No, not revamped, "upgraded", clarified Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan a day later. But wait, it will be revamped, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin a few days after that.
Why show interest in an issue raised in November 2009?
The apparent confusion aside, when The Nut Graph attempted to follow up on how the government was going to rectify the BTN programme, the response we got from the BTN director-general was: "Why the sudden re-interest in BTN?"
Others like National Unity and Integration Department director-general Datuk Azman Amin Hassan admit that there are problems with the programme. But he is quick to add that there have also been positive responses from BTN participants.
"The government is concerned and we would like to review the course in terms of curriculum and personnel," says Azman in a telephone interview. "There may have been facilitators that went overboard when conducting the course. Sometimes BTN has to depend on other officers to assist in the programme," he adds.
Azman however qualifies that he is not directly involved in the BTN review and referred The Nut Graph to the BTN director-general, Datuk Shagul Hamid Abdullah.
Shagul, however, tells The Nut Graph that he cannot speak to the media about BTN and that we should refer to the deputy minister in charge, Ahmad Maslan.
"Fine-tuning sudah siap," is all Ahmad Maslan says during a phone call. Further calls, e-mails and text messages over the next two weeks to find out what this "fine-tuning" involved go unanswered. A check on Ahmad Maslan's blog did not reveal any clues save for a statement that the government might build more BTN camps so more participants can be involved.
But if there are racist elements in a government-run programme, why is the state building more camps for the course without first addressing the issues that have been raised?
E-mails and multiple phone calls to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon's office also did not elicit any response. Koh heads the National Unity and Integration Department, tasked with promoting greater integration amongst the different communities.
The government, it seems, does not want to answer the question of how a course that purportedly promotes "patriotism" became a state-sponsored breeding ground for racism. Neither is it demonstrating that it is holding accountable those responsible for the BTN programme.
But while the government seems to want Malaysians to forget there is even an issue, others have stepped up to the plate.
Gerakan has released a statement with five proposals to improve the BTN courses
In contrast with the government's silence on BTN, Barisan Nasional component party Gerakan released a 6 Feb 2010 statement with five proposals to improve the course.
Gerakan Youth secretary-general Dr Dominic Lau said a representative special working committee headed by the chief secretary to the government was needed to review the programme. Academicians and high-ranking government officials from different races and backgrounds should also be included. Lau also suggested that more non-Malay Malaysian facilitators be hired and that the name Biro Tatanegara be changed to Biro 1Malaysia.
"To us, our stand is clear," says Lau in a phone interview. "If you want to come up with a patriotism or nationalism programme, the task force needs to come from all layers of the rakyat. Government servants must be represented, universities, as well as non-governmental organisations and non-profit organisations...As long as only certain groups of people are involved, there is a possibility of bias and problems. There has been no previous check and balance before this."
Lau says the course cannot be designed purely from the government's perspective and that other views were needed in formulating the course content. "Government servants may not be as aware about what is happening outside [the] government," he says.
However, it appears Gerakan also faces challenges getting an official response from their own government about BTN. "We have not received any feedback [from the government] so far on Gerakan's proposals. We are trying to submit our memorandum officially to the prime minister and we are waiting for the date [to be fixed]," says Lau.
But even if Gerakan's proposals were adopted wholesale along with other helpful suggestions, can patriotism and nationalism be instilled in a three day or one week course?
Monash University's senior lecturer in media and cultural studies Dr Yeoh Seng Guan questions the BTN courses' efficacy. "It doesn't seem very plausible to me that such a powerful and sublime emotion like patriotism can be drummed into young people in such a short period of time," he says in an e-mail interview.
"Reading the testimonies on The Nut Graph thus far, it seems more like a flawed militaristic attempt at instilling love for country and fellow [citizens]."
Yeoh says it is easier for negative feelings such as fear, distrust and suspicion to be conveyed in such camps rather than those of love, acceptance, trust and patriotism. He says these positive feelings are generated more through daily interaction when people practise and experience such values.
Assuming there is no political will to do away with BTN for now, Yeoh says the following must be present to curb racist elements from creeping into BTN programmes:
Allow the respected scholars and trainers from civil society groups to scrutinise the BTN syllabus
Put in place a mechanism for participants to report racist trainers
Carry out "training of trainers" programmes to weed out the [unsuitable] ones
Cease using former soldiers and police officers as trainers
But with the government's reticence to even discuss the BTN issue, can we expect any review to be more than piecemeal? And whether it's an "upgrade" or "revamp", what exactly is the government doing about a programme gone wrong?
Mahkamah Persekutuan hari ini mendengar sama ada untuk membenarkan semakan keputusannya pada 29 Januari, yang menolak permohonan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim memperolehi bukti-bukti utama tambahan seperti rakaman CCTV, laporan perubatan dan kenyataan saksi pendakwa.
Semakan itu didengar oleh panel tiga hakim yang diketuai oleh Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin. Dua lagi hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan ialah Datuk Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff dan Datuk Heliliah Mohd Yusof.
Karpal Singh, peguam utama Anwar, memberitahu mahkamah pagi ini bahawa beliau kesal semakan itu didengar sekarang kerana tambahan bukti itu yang diminta itu, boleh digunakan dalam perbicaraan Anwar sekarang.
Peguam Karpal Singh mengadu bahawa pihak pembela masih belum menerima senarai nama saksi pendakwa dan ini dianggap sebagai “pelakuan tidak wajar” pihak pendakwa bagi memastikan perbicaraan yang adil.
by Raja Petra Kamaruddin in Washington DC
It was a strange scene at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington on Wednesday morning. When the seminar on Governance & Rule of Law in Malaysia began, only one of the speakers came into the room, Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Attorney-General Gani Patail and former Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamed were somehow nowhere to be seen. And in good Malaysian fashion, the seminar started 10 minutes late.
The seminar’s chairman, Ernest Bower, looked tired and nervous, saying that he had received a number of e-mails expressing concern that the seminar would not be balanced. He said that he wants a dialogue on important issues. Therefore he also has invited the opposition to speak at CSIS. He hopes they will accept.
Ernest Bower then shocked the audience of about 40 people by saying that the session was ‘off the record’. The flyer announcing the seminar never said it was an off the record session. It doesn’t matter though. The session was so boring there is very little to report anyway.
Malaysian Ambassador to the US, Jamaluddin Jarjis a.k.a. JJ, spoke for two minutes. He just said that he is working very hard to improve relations with the US (whenever he happens to be in town, that is). He made no mention, though, whether the new US$150,000 Porsche he just bought is paid for by the Malaysian taxpayers or by him personally.
Nazri said that it was just a coincidence that he, Gani and Abdul Hamid happen to be in Washington at the same time. (Sure. If you believe that then I have half a bridge to Singapore to sell you.) He said he didn’t know where the two missing persons were.
He then introduced the “four members of my delegation,” all MPs. (Talk about wasting the taxpayers’ money!) Two of them were PKR turncoats, including the infamous Zahrin Mohamed Hashim.
In a tribute to Malaysia Today, Nazri held up an Internet printout and referred to Martin Jalleh’s article, Malaysian Circus Goes to Washington. He claimed that he had been planning the trip to Washington for nine months because he and the Prime Minister believe it is important to strengthen ties with the US.
Nazri then started his formal speech and spoke for 30 minutes. It was a very academic and therefore a very boring speech. There was no real substance to it and the audience quickly grew bored. Even JJ got so bored as he sat next to Nazri on the podium.
But what shocked the audience was to watch JJ’s antics at such an “important meeting” at such a “prestigious think tank.“
The whole while Nazri was speaking, JJ was sending and receiving messages on his Blackberry and mobile phone. He never turned off the ringer. When he tapped out a message, one could hear the “click, click, click” of the keys. He even called his aide up to the podium twice to have conversations. He also got up and left the room and then came back.
And here is a first for Washington. Then, as Nazri was still speaking, JJ picked up the Washington Post and started to read it — not once, but twice.
Nazri went on and on, quoting Malaysia’s many laws banning corruption. But of course he never said that they apply only to the opposition and not to UMNO politicians or taxi permit holders (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).
Finally, he stopped speaking and said he would welcome tough questions. He got one right from the start from Kumar, the head of Amnesty International’s Washington DC office. Kumar said Nazri and JJ had both just said that they want to improve relations with the United States. But that will never happen as long as people in Washington have concerns about Malaysia’s harassment of the opposition and Anwar’s trial.
Referring to the Malaysia Today article, Kumar said if there’s a Malaysian circus, it’s Anwar’s trial. Nazri replied, “Anwar is a friend of mine.” (With friends like Nazri, who needs enemies?). Nazri said he underwent his legal training in the United Kingdom and claimed that if he ever sensed that the Prime Minister was interfering in the case and there is political interference in Malaysia’s independent judiciary, he would tender his resignation.
He added, “When we heard about Saiful’s charges against Anwar, I thought it was unfortunate. For the sake of the country, we don’t want the nation to endure a trial like this again. But Saiful is entitled to justice. Why talk about rule of law if you ignore his report? He had a right to report to the police. In any event, Anwar’s acquittal before shows that our judiciary is independent, and we did not appeal that decision. That shows we are interested only in justice, not political persecution.”
Nazri went on. “We do not have an agenda against Anwar. Why would we want to use the same old charge of sodomy, again? If you don’t believe me, there is nothing I can do.”
JJ was the only one who clapped.
Murray Hiebert then stood up to introduce himself as the former Asian Wall Street Journal correspondent in Malaysia (but politely declined to mention his experience with ‘good governance’ and ‘the rule of law’ in Malaysia when he was the guest of a Malaysian prison).
Murray asked about the Allah issue. Nazri turned to the Malaysiakini reporter in the room and told him, “Don’t you dare report what I am going to say.”
Nazri looked alive and gave a 20-minute history and language lesson, repeating the usual government line. As Nazri finished his long-winded answer, JJ leaned over to whisper to Ernest Bower, who suddenly jumped up and brought the seminar to a halt. It was still only 11:30am and the seminar was supposed to go until noon.
JJ probably thought an early halt would be wise before they put their foot deeper into the mouth. Or maybe he was really getting bored and just couldn’t take it anymore. Or maybe he was hungry. So JJ led Nazri out of the room and the audience followed.
So much for the so-called ‘dialogue’.
JAKARTA, Feb 24 (Bernama) -- The Indonesian and Malaysian navies have agreed to minimize mutual violations of their sea boundaries, especially in Sulawesi waters, Antara news agency reported.
"We have agreed and understand the rules that have been made by the two parties with regard to procedures for conducting patrols in the two countries' sea borders," Indonesian navy chief of staff Admiral Agus Suharto said here.
When asked by ANTARA regarding the result of his courtesy call on Malaysian navy chief Admiral Abdul Aziz Jafar last week he said the two parties had agreed to conduct patrol in their respective sea borders.
"So in case a sea border dispute occurs including in the Sulawesi waters we will refer it to the government to settle. We, the two countries' navies, will safeguard and patrol in our own regions in line with the standing procedures already agreed," Agus said.
Until now the Indonesian embassy has facilitated 13 rounds of talks on the Indonesia-Malaysia maritime border since 2005 with regard to delimiting four segments of the maritime border namely in Sulawesi waters, the Malacca Strait, the South China sea and the Singapore Strait.
In the Malacca Strait Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have conducted patrol cooperation under the Malsindo (Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia) program and a joint Eye in the Sky air patrol.
Indonesia and Malaysia however have not reached an agreement regarding the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) border line in the northern part of the Malacca Strait and in the South China sea.
In the Sulawesi waters the two countries also have not yet agreed with regard to continental shelf, territorial and EEZ borders.
Delimitation of sea territorial segments has been prioritized because it is the main requirement for discussing the continental shelf and EEZ segments.
Cross-examined by defence lawyer PM Nagarajan, he said it was the supervising officer’s duty to report to the officer in charge if any such incident took place.
“The supervisor will then need to report the matter to higher officials,” Rodney said in the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court this morning.
During re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Abazafree Mohd Abbas, he reiterated that no such reports were made in Kugan’s case.
He named Inspector Faezal Munir as the officer in charge and Subang Jaya Criminal Investigations Department (CID) chief Lim Meng Siah as the higher official in this case.
He agreed with the defence’s contention that one could assume that no injuries were sustained by Kugan because no reports were lodged.
As such, he said, the CID chief assumed that no injuries were sustained even if they had occurred.
Rodney was testifying in a trial against his subordinate, Constable V Navindran, who is being tried on two counts of causing “grievous hurt” to Kugan (right) between 7am and 4pm on Jan 16, 2009, while trying to extract a confession or extract any information to secure a conviction.
Alternatively, Navindran is accused of causing hurt to Kugan, 23.
Referring to the duty roster for that day, Rodney said Constable James and Constable Faizal were on duty in the Kugan case between midnight and 4am on Jan 17.
Asked for clarification by Petaling Jaya Sessions Court judge Aslam Zainuddin, he said the roster referred to the wee hours of Jan 17.
He added that on-duty officers must report if there were any other officers present during their shift.
Rodney, however, could not confirm if the roster was adhered to, as he was on leave at the time, and only returned to work on Jan 20.
According to the next witness, lock-up guard Constable Muhidin Deri, Kugan was unhurt when he was escorted by the accused to the Puchong Jaya Police Station lock up on Jan 15.
“I had examined him for injuries and found none,” he said.
But when re-examined by the prosecution he admitted that he did not recall, and was basing his testimony on the records made in the station diary.
He, however, agreed with the defence lawyer’s suggestion that Kugan had sustained injuries in the scuffle during his arrest.
“We could only examine for external injuries. He may have sustained internal injuries,” he told the prosecution when re-examined.
Muhidin, who was on duty from 4am to 8am, said that all 53 detainees that night were placed in the pathway outside of the cells as at least seven of the nine cell toilets were blocked.
Although he was not stationed in the pathway with the detainees, he testified that he could see if any fights took place and there were none.
The trial will resume at 9am tomorrow.
Taking the stand is will be Lans Corporal Mohd Fadil Mohd Said and Lans Corporal Mohd Yasser Mohamad Yamin, who took over from Muhidin on Jan 15.
On Friday, Dr Baldev Singh testified that Kugan, 23, was dead when he arrived at the USJ Taipan interrogation room on the morning of Jan 20.
Yesterday, officers of the court visited the room to find that it has been divided into two, with a partition built on the spot where Kugan was found lifeless.
HRP: Why isn’t the UMNO controlled Welfare Department helping out this family with an additional RM500.00 of Welfare help and secure the 10 acre land ownership scheme in Felda, Felcra, Risda, Fama, Agropolitan, Kejora, Kesedar etc so as to give this family in distress an opportunity to come out of their poverty which arose out of UMNO’s inequality.
Forum on Malaysian Human Rights at the House of Commons - Hindraf and Sabah and sarawak groups lay their case on marginalization
Forum on Malaysia
House of Commons on Tuesday 9th March 2010 at Committee Room 16, between 7pm and 8.30pm.
Mr Virendra Sharma, Member of Parliament for Eating Southall, invites you to briefing at the House of Commons on Tuesday 9th March 2010.
Our Guest speakers include
Mr Waytha Moorthy, Human Rights Advocate & Chair of HINDRAF
Dr. Jeffrey G. Kitingan, Ex- Senator Malaysian Parliament & Ex-Prisoner of Conscience,
Mr Nicholas Bawin, Ex- President National Dayak Union
and Expert Witness on Native Customary Rights.
Posted by "The Monitoring Group"
THE MONITORING GROUP
The Monitoring Group is working towards the eradication of racism, bigotry and religious hatred and their adverse impact on victims and their communities. We are committed to a pluralistic society where human rights are intrinsic and paramount and where cultural social and political diversity is valued.
To help victims of racism and hate crimes seek justice by providing advice and practical assistance. In doing so we seek to raise public awareness of racism and religious hatred and its consequences, and, where possible, influence thinking at a local, regional and international level.
In order to deliver this we will
* Stimulate and develop an understanding of racism and religious hatred and its impact on victims and society
* Promote the health and well being of victims
* Empower victims of race and religious hatred by providing accessible support and information
* Develop and support local projects in order to meet local and grassroots needs
o Develop forums for the exchange of information, ideas, expertise and resources for agencies, communities and victims
o Develop innovative and challenging ideas to provide excellence in all our services
o To provide appropriate legal advice, advocacy and practical assistance
+ Build effective and practical partnerships with UK, European and International organisations and networks
PUTRAJAYA, Feb 24 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today that the economy grew by 4.5 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2009, although GDP for the year still shrank slightly.
The prime minister said the positive growth in Q4 was helped largely by the government’s push to pump some RM1 billion a month into the economy.
This had resulted in the country’s economic performance faring better than expected.
Najib said that overall the country’s GDP for 2009 had still contracted by 1.7 per cent which was lower than the projected -3 per cent.
He set a target for his administration of growing the economy this year by five per cent which he said could be achieved barring unforeseen circumstances.
“Sustained growth in private consumption expenditure and increased public sector spending contributed to higher domestic demand, which recorded a growth of 3 per cent in the fourth quarter,” he said in explaining the economy’s better performance in the last three months of 2009.
Najib said that private consumption growth was supported by better conditions in the labour market, a low level of inflation and higher spending for the year-end school holiday period and festive season.
He added that an increase in public sector consumption also helped push growth into positive territory.
Public sector consumption expenditure expanded further by 1.3 per cent while public sector capital spending increased substantially as the implementation of projects under the quarter kicked in.
During the fourth quarter, the development expenditure of the federal government amounted to RM17.6 billion.
Najib said that this was an increase of 9.5 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2008.
The PM stressed that the implementation of the two stimulus packages were key to the economic recovery.
“Over 113,000 projects under the two stimulus packages have and are being implemented, involving a total value of RM17 billion. Out of that, the government has made a payment of RM13.9 billion. Therefore on average, the government has pumped approximately RM1 billion per month into the market from January 2009.
“As one of the specific measures in the mini
The government has currently filled 38,495 of the 50,000 vacant posts in the federal civil service and recruited 11,131 officers on contract basis in government agencies since March 2009.
The government has also provided 100,000 training opportunities and job placements through its collaboration with the private sector.
Najib said he expected the private sector capital spending to increase this year.
“There are emerging signs of stabilization in the private sector capital spending as business sentiments continue to improve. This together with the higher public sector capital spending contributed to the turnaround in total gross fixed capital formation which registered a positive growth of 8.2 per cent during the quarter.
“On the supply side, all economic sectors recorded improved performance during the quarter. Growth in the services sector was broad based, with almost all sub-sectors recording higher growth rates. The manufacturing sector recovered to register a positive growth of 5.3 per cent, reflecting the improvement in both external and domestic demand.
“Activities in the construction sector expanded strongly by 9.2 per cent, benefiting primarily the accelerated implementation of projects under the fiscal stimulus packages and the ninth Malaysia plan,” he said.
The country’s export also recorded a positive growth of 5.1 per cent compared to -22.4 per cent in the third quarter.
Foreign direct investment also increased in 2009 to RM7.2 billion compared from RM6.7 billion with investments mainly in the manufacturing and services sector.
Najib said he was confident that the country would maintain its economic growth.
“For Malaysia the economy, yes (we can expect that the worse is over). Provided nothing seriously unexpected happens with respect to the global economy. For example any major sovereign collapse.
“Barring unforeseen circumstances of that nature, we could safely say that we have recovered from the crisis and we should be looking forward to a strong growth for 2010,” he said.
Najib said he expected the economy to grow by five per cent this year.
“As you know earlier forecast was four per cent but for this year, I am hoping that I can achieve one or two per cent more than that so we are going all out to make sure that we are able to generate the confidence and speedy implementation of projects.”
By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 – Teoh Beng Hock’s son was named today.
“His name is Teoh Er Jia. Beng Hock is officially listed as his father,” the baby’s aunt, Teoh Lee Lan, told The Malaysian Insider over the phone.
Lee Lan explained that her nephew’s name means “good son” when pronounced in Mandarin, but was extra special as it was also a play on words and carried another meaning when the middle and last names were reversed.
“Jia Er in Mandarin also means ‘son of the Teoh family’,” she said and added that the word “Er” alone means “brother’s wish”.
She also said that “Jia” had to be included because it was the Chinese custom for families to give their children born in the same generation a shared name.
Lee Lan registered Er Jia’s birth earlier today at the National Registration Department (NRD) in Putrajaya on behalf of the three-day-old’s mother, Soh Cher Wei.
Lee Lan said she was met there by the NRD’s director-general and the division chief of the births and deaths registration who both smoothened the process and helped her to get the birth certificate within the hour.
Soh was able to leave the hospital last evening with Er Jia and is currently resting at her family home in Batu Pahat, Johor.
Lee Lan said her family will be paying the Sohs a visit this weekend to hand them the hard-won birth certificate and spend the end of the 15-day Chinese New Year festival together.
The youngest daughter in the Teoh family, Lee Lan was effusive with thanks to the many people who have aided the family to date.
“I wish to thank the prime minister for fulfilling his promise to help... Hisham for exercising his ministerial authority, Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, Dr Wu Yit San, AG, Gobind, Kerk Kim Hock, Datuk Lu Yong Peng, government officers who have helped directly and indirectly in the process.
“Thank you to DAP for setting up the Teoh Beng Hock trust fund and everyone concerned about Cher Wei and my nephew and for contributing to the fund,” Lee Lan said, with relief flooding her voice.
By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
PETALING JAYA, Feb 23 —Errant Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng apologised to his party today for his recent outburst against a senior PKR leader but remained silent about his attacks against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
The Penang-based lawmaker said he will let the party leadership resolve the issue between him and Lim and refused to comment further when pressed.
Tan said he sincerely apologised to PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali for attacking him openly through the media.
“I hope we can now move forward as a family,” he told a press conference after attending his hearing at the party headquarters here.
He said that his apology to Syed Husin should be considered as an apology to the party and hoped that his diplomatic act will be taken into consideration when the party’s disciplinary board decide on his fate.
Tan had questioned Syed Husin’s position in the party when the PKR deputy president defended the Penang CM against the former’s accusation that Lim had been treating PKR leaders in the state poorly.
He had also backed the accusations made by former Penang PKR chief Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim that Lim was a “chauvinist” and a “dictator”.
The accusation was made amid dissatisfaction over the Penang government’s refusal to provide constituency funds to Penang PKR MPs.
He was subsequently referred to the disciplinary board along with Zahrain but the latter resigned to become independent, citing a loss of confidence in the leadership of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lim as the Penang chief minister.
The Nibong Tebal MP maintained today that he would not be leaving the party saying he is “still very much a PKR member.”
Commenting on his hearing today, Tan said he was satisfied with the process.
“I am very satisfied with the hearing. I answered all the questions they asked me and I explained my position and why I did what I did,” he said, adding that the board had asked him to explain the reasons behind his outburst.
The first-term lawmaker said he was convinced of the board’s sincerity to resolve the issue and expressed confidence that it will be fair when deciding on his fate which he assumed will be decided in one to two weeks time.
“So I plead to the media to give me space and let the issue be resolved.I’m tired already lah,” he said jokingly.
Tan was jovial and in good spirits throughout the press conference.
Also present at the press conference were Kapar MP M Manickavasagam, PKR Wanita chief and Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin and Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne, all of whom expressed support for Tan.