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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Introducing Jakarta's 'polygamy club'



(CNN)
-- Doctor Gina Puspita greets our crew with a warm, genuine smile on the balcony outside the headquarters of Indonesia's "polygamy club."

As a strict Muslim she's not allowed to touch a man, so she presses her hands together as if to pray and gently bows towards the male members of our party.

We're on the outskirts of the country's capital, Jakarta, to interview Puspita, president of this controversial club that's been operating for the past 12 months. It comes under the control of its parent organization, Global Ikhwan, a company that supports its polygamous members around the world economically and socially.

Puspita wears purple-framed glasses and a cream headscarf pulled together at the chin with a diamante pin. On her black jacket she wears a pearl brooch that was made by some ladies who work in one of the businesses associated with Global Ikwhan.

46-year-old Puspita doesn't fit the normal profile of a polygamous wife. Born and raised in Jakarta, she went to university in Toulouse, France and has a PHD in aeronautical construction engineering and has worked for Airbus. She lived in France for 11 years and says she hung out with her European, western-minded friends.

She says entering a polygamous marriage had never crossed her mind. But this highly-educated, multi-lingual woman changed her views when she heard a lecture at her university by Islamic spiritual leader Abuya Ashari. It was then her views began to change. "Polygamy is coming from God," she says.

"What Abuya Ashari taught us is that we have to know about God first, love Him first, then whatever you choose, either monogamy or polygamy, it will bring goodness for people and for ourselves."

Abuya, a 72-year-old preacher based in Malaysia, began lecturing on Islam and polygamy in 1968. He set up the company Global Ikhwan in 1997 and it has thousands of members around the world with clubs similar to the one in Jakarta in Europe, the Middle East and North America.

"Polygamy is beautiful when it's done properly. All the wives strengthen each other.
--Gina Puspita
RELATED TOPICS
  • Indonesia
  • Islam

The company provides homes, jobs, businesses, schools and medical facilities to its members. While being a polygamist is not compulsory, most people in the company practice it.

Puspita is the first of four wives and believes polygamy is the law from God and that is how Muslims should live their lives. She and her husband decided five years into their 18-year marriage to adopt the practice. When asked how she felt when her husband decided to take on a second wife, she says: "It wasn't my husband's decision, we discussed it together.

"It's based on the fight for Islam, the fight for Allah and the prophet. It was me myself who went to the woman's family and told them why she should become a polygamist."

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country and the practice of polygamy is extremely rare.

Puspita and her husband asked Abuya for his guidance when they selected a second wife. He suggested a 25-year-old woman from Aceh who was part also part of Global Ikhwan. He also chose the third wife, a widow, and the fourth wife who was 34 years-old, which by Indonesian standards is too old for marriage.

Puspita says their new shared life was very difficult at first and she had to fight against feelings of jealousy. "Of course there's a lot of adjustment in the beginning," she says. "But because we feel that this is our project together, God easily solved the difficulties." Puspita now offers counseling to other women on how to overcome their own jealousies.

We're shown a photo, taken on the wedding day, of the fourth wife and her husband, Rizdam. Rizdam is pictured with the other wives as well as Puspita's three children. It's the only time in the four hours that we spend with her that Puspita seems different. Perhaps it's just the way she looked in the photo but there appeared to be emptiness, a sense of sadness in her eyes. I ask her if she was happy that day and she says she was. "Polygamy is beautiful when it's done properly," she adds. "All the wives strengthen each other. We are sisters, very good friends and we support each other."

At the end of the interview Puspita asks me whether I find polygamy strange. "As a westerner I find it quite foreign," I reply. "As human beings we are instinctively jealous and I'm amazed at how well you cope." She says she thought exactly the same way and that there was no way would she would ever be in a polygamous marriage.

Now Puspita believes she is carrying out God's will and making the world a better place.

Kapitan Lim Guan Eng abandons poor Indian estates workers in Nibong Tebal.

Despite two years in power in Penang, this DAP Chief Minister has refused to attend yet another Indian settlement problem. And when the time is ripe this Kapitan Lim Guan Eng will demolish all these poor Indian man’s houses like what he did in Kg. Buah Pala and then get his DCM II Indian mandore and the other Indian ADUN and MP mandores to make false promises, for example of double storey houses worth RM 600,000.00 for Kg. Buah Pala etc.

But to date despite almost six months since the last traditional Indian village in Penang has been demolished there has been nothing for the displaced villagers. Neither is there anything in writing by the Penang State government. Let alone given the land titles to these 24 houses.

Admin

Last Indian village Sentul destroyed Kg Baru Malays get RM 4 Million each

Just a few days ago the UMNO Federal Territories Minister Raja Nong Chik announced up to RM4 million for all the Malay occupants of land in Kampong Baru. But zero millions was offered to the Indians poor in the last traditional Indian village in Sentul.

UMNO has taken no efforts to preserve if not to enhance and recognize these Indian Railways workers who were the backbone of the setting up and operations of the Malayan Railways from the British Colonial days. Even the key Ring that is posed from station to station is also written in Tamil in addition to English. Res Ipsa Loquiteour. (The facts speak for itself.)

To add insult to injury these poor Indians are being evicted and not even given a low cost flat by UMNO (Star Metro 22/2/10 at page M6).

But in the news report immediately below this article reads “(UMNO) DBKL takes pride in beautifying Petaling Street.

P. Uthayakumar

RM 3 Billion from rich Chinese schools. Zero Indian rich. (The Star 26/1/2010 at page 7)

(The Star 26/1/2010 at page 7)

“The total amount spent on Chinese secondary education in the last ten (10) years alone was a hefty RM 3 billion.” “The expenditure included the cost of school expansion facilities, etc”.

But there are no history of any Indian rich enough in Malaysia who has forked out even half a million for any of the 523 Tamil schools in Malaysia.

Unlike the corporate and business Chinese community, there are almost none from amongst the Indians. UMNO projects like Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan as having earned RM 20 billion, Tan Sri Gnanalingam and Dato Seri Tony Fernandez are promoted as being the top 20 Billionaires in Malaysia.

From the Income Tax they pay they could have been donated to these 523 Tamil schools and secured the tax exemption accordingly. But these three Indian “Billionaires” are mere proxies for some UMNO linked personalities, and so unlike the Chinese Billionaires they are unable to donate even the money they pay for their taxes to these 523 Tamil schools, with which would all have had fully air conditioned and multi storied modern buildings.

P. Uthayakumar.

UMNO left Indians in refugee camp like longhouses next to affluent Subang

Sixteen years ago in 1984, 118 ethnic Malaysian Indian minority families were uprooted and relocated “temporarily” in longhouses to make way for the affluent malay muslim majority Subang housing estate project.

Had these 118 poor Indian minority families been the poor majority malay muslims, they would have been long ago granted land under the Racangan Kampong Tersusun (RKT) or the ten acres of land under the Land Ownership Scheme in Felda, Felcra, Risda, Fama, Agropolitan kesedar etc as had been given out to half a million of the majority malay muslims.

But then again this is Malay-sian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malay-sia. And even the 82 PKR, DAP and PAS Opposition MP’s and Justice for All malay leader Anwar Ibrahim, Kapitian Lim Guan Eng and PAS for All muslim leader Hadi Awang in particular and their eleven Indian Mandore MPs’ would never ever champion this Indian poor issue because these Indians are poor, weak both politically and economically and are soft targets.

Even now that Selangor is ruled by Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR and and this Indian settlement being almost absolutely in the Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid’s hands even this PKR led coalition government with DAP and PAS cares a damn.

How then are this PKR, DAP and PAS ruled Selangor state government any much different from the previous UMNO regime.

P. Uthayakumar.

Umno leaders question Ku Li’s ‘immunity’ on oil royalty

Tengku Razaleigh will leave it to Umno to decide his fate in the party. - Picture by Choo Choy May

By G. Manimaran - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Some Umno supreme council members openly grumbled at their meeting two days ago that Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah appears to have ‘immunity’ to dispute the federal government’s stand on oil royalty for Kelantan, and recommended action against the party veteran.

The Malaysian Insider understands some supreme council members want action against the Kelantan prince and have, for the first time, asked the party rank-and-file to provide feedback against the long-serving Gua Musang MP.

“There was proposal for action against Tengku Razaleigh... but it wasn’t a proposal for strict action,” an Umno supreme council member told The Malaysian Insider on condition of anonymity.

“There was also the view questioning the inaction against Tengku Razaleigh when the party had used to take strict against members who act against party policies,” another supreme council member said.

But both said issues related to the politician popularly known as Ku Li was not the main agenda at the Thursday night meeting. The founding Petronas chairman had insisted Kelantan was entitled to the 5 per cent royalty but the federal government said no, as Petronas was extracting oil and gas beyond the state’s territorial waters.

“They touched on it but it wasn’t the main discussion,” one of them said, referring to the roiling debate over oil royalty demanded by the PAS-ruled Kelantan government.

“Some members felt the issue should be handled carefully,” he added, saying this is due to the Gua Musang MP’s position as he is a party veteran and not just an ordinary member.

On Thursday night, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said any potential action against Razaleigh would be taken after getting feedback from party members. “We want to hear from the members first,” the prime minister said.

A few hours before the supreme council meeting, Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reiterated he was surprised at Razaleigh’s statement which was not in line with the federal government’s decision and explanation about the oil royalty for Kelantan.

Muhyiddin had once said Razaleigh should openly state his stand on the issue. Apart from the deputy prime minister, other members and leaders particularly from Kelantan have urged the Kelantan prince to quit his Gua Musang parliamentary seat while asking the party to punish him.

It is understood that the Umno management committee chaired by Muhyiddin has yet to discuss the issue that has festered in the past few months.

Umno executive secretary Datuk Abdul Rauf Yusoh told The Malaysian Insider that the party will not set a time-frame for members to give their feedback on Razaleigh’s stand.

“Any members or the branches can send in their opinions... we will not set a time-frame. The branches can send to the divisions, divisions can send to state liaison committees and onwards to the headquarters,” said Abdul Rauf.

He said all views will be considered by the party’s top leadership, reiterating the views can be submitted at any time and not just during the annual meetings for branches between May 1 and June 15.

Razaleigh, who has been in the limelight over the issue since the Pakatan Rakyat offered him to lead a caucus on the oil royalty last November, has said he will leave it to Umno to decide on his punishment, which includes being sacked from the party if they find him guilty of any offence over the issue.

Cuepacs insists female majority bad for civil service

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Cuepacs secretary-general Ahmad Shah Mohd Zin is sticking to his guns over his controversial statement that the increasing number of female civil servants would create a negative impact on the service’s delivery system.

He claimed that his statement, published on Monday, had been taken out of context by female groups and leaders who were merely trying to “politicise the issue” when they lambasted him and called him “sexist”.

Amongst the groups were the Wanita MCA and Wanita Gerakan wings which claimed that Ahmad Shah had shown clear disrespect and disregard to women.

Even Prime Minister Datuk Seriu Najib Tun Razak had stepped in to assure women that it was their delivery service that mattered and not their gender.

Ahmad Shah also insisted that he had no intention to threaten the gender and had only been pushing for “gender equality” between the two sexes as it was lopsided in the civil service.

“Why should I threaten women? My mother is a woman. I also have two daughters.

“I never said it was a problem that women are working in the civil service. What I said was that in the long run, the dominance of female presence in the service would have a negative impact on the growth and progress of the country,” he told The Malaysian Insider last night.

He explained that the negative impact would be due to women’s general working attitudes which tended to be inflexible and rigid as well as the fact that they needed to take long maternity leaves.

Ahmad Shah added that the government not only should adhere to its policy of reserving 30 per cent of decision making posts for women, but should also tweak the criterion for qualifying candidates into the posts.

“At the present moment, candidates are chosen based on their academic qualifications — at least 90 per cent of the criterion is based on academic achievements. But this does not suffice in the real world.

“In that case, even a blind person can get the job, so long as he or she fulfills the relevant qualifications,” he said, adding that most women were generally better than men in academics.

Ahmad Shah suggested that the criterion be expanded to include emotional strengths, ability to cope under pressure, leadership skills and other skills.

“There must be a mechanism proposed to measure these things before a candidate is selected. Only then is the candidate suitable to hold the respective post,” he said.

In his statement earlier, Ahmad Shah had also said that almost three quarters of the new posts in the administrative and diplomatic service were currently being filled by women.

His claim however was contested by the Public Services Department, which revealed that female presence on the higher management, management and professional as well as support staff roles in the service was 53 per cent in comparison with men at 47 per cent.

According to its figures, women made up 28 per cent of the higher management workforce, 61 per cent of the management and professional fields and 50 per cent in the support staff group.

Ahmad Shah however insisted that the 61 per cent ultimately meant that in the coming five years, females would dominate the majority of the higher managerial posts in the service.

“It is this way now and the same group would be promoted and will form the team for the higher managerial posts. As mentioned before, this affects the delivery system of the service,” he said.

When questioned on whether the present female dominance in the service merely meant that the men, especially the youths, were not interested or incompetent, Ahmad Shah again blamed it on the qualification criteria.

“Woman are better at academics somehow,” he said.

According to the 2007 statistics from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, the female labour force made up for only 36 per cent of the total labour force of about 10.5 million people.

Of the female population at 13.34 million (46 per cent of the total population), the female labour force made up for 46.4 per cent. A majority of them work in the service and shop and market sales workers.

According to the Gender Gap Index 2009 (on gender equality), which rates Malaysia at the low rung of 101 out of 134 countries, the female adult unemployment rate was still higher than men at 3.43 per cent to 3.22 per cent.

Figures from the PSD show that there are 1.29 million jobs in ministries and state administrations up for grabs and more than 250,000 still remain unoccupied.

Sabah relocates elephant away from people

A young elephant trumpets in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. Their home is highly fragmented leading to conflict with humans. - Picture by HUTAN/Dzulirwan @ Jolirwan bin Takasi

KOTA KINABALU, Feb 27 — A young male Bornean elephant was recently relocated from the Sabah east coast to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Centre to prevent conflicts with human population that has encroached on the habitat of Sabah’s remaining 1,500 elephants, the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) said.

The SWD said although Sabah retains about 49 per cent of its permanent forest cover and is the second biggest state in Malaysia, a lack of habitat for its unique wildlife is leading to more human elephant conflicts.

“Sabah is blessed with wonderful wildlife from orang-utans, rhinos, elephants, sun bears, clouded leopards that are unique to this State but we have a forest that is broken up by agriculture without corridors linking them and this leads to conflict,” said SWD director Laurentius Ambu in a statement today.

In the latest case handled by the Department a young male elephant had to be removed from the East Coast and sent to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park for its own safety.

Sandakan wildlife officer Roland O. Niun said the elephant entered the plantation next to the Tangkulap Forest Reserve last December searching for food close to the dwellings of plantation workers.

“He was looking for plants like banana trees, yams and coconuts but in the process he damaged the water tank and fencing. Naturally, the plantation workers did their best to keep him away but this can lead to a dangerous situation for both the elephant and the people,” said Roland.

A baby elephant and its mother in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. Their home is highly fragmented leading to conflict with humans. - Picture by HUTAN/Dzulirwan @ Jolirwan bin Takasi

The decision was then made to capture him for translocation to another area, however once he was captured the SWD was able to identify him as an elephant that was previously translocated for causing similar conflict the month before.

“When we realised he was the same elephant we had captured December, 10th 2009 along Kilometre 18 of the Beluran Road and translocated to Tangkulap we knew that moving him somewhere else would led to the same conflict,” explained Roland.

Roland also stressed that such behaviour was not common among Sabah’s gentle elephants but seem to be increasing over the last three to five years due to development of the natural habitat without providing for forest corridors. A decision was then made to move him to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park for humane reasons as the alternative would be to put him to sleep.

“This issue is not new and will only become more and more common unless we address the underlying problem which is being faced by all of Sabah’s wildlife which is the lack of connectivity between their different habitat range. People also need to understand that unless this is settled and private companies make real efforts to reforest corridors we will reach the stage of having to put down these gentle creatures,” Laurentius added.

Unfortunately, the SWD expects that human elephant conflict will continue to increase with the next five to ten years.

“Even if serious efforts are made for forest corridors we will still have to manage human elephant conflict in the interim. In fact, there is an urgent need for a Rapid Response Rescue and translocation team to be set up to deal with his issue which is why we are currently working with the private sector to establish such a team,” he said.

The setting up of such a team is extremely costly as rescuing and translocating a single elephant can cost up to RM100,000 or more.

The Bornean Elephant is a distinct sub-species from the Asian Elephant and is only found in Sabah, although some individuals roam in Northern Kalimantan (Indonesia). This makes Sabah the sole custodian of this unique sub-species of elephant.

In Sabah they are protected under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment of 1997. The unlawful killing of an elephant carries a fine of RM50,000 or a jail term of five years or both under Section 25 (3) (b) under the Enactment. However, it also provides that the SWD is allowed to put down individuals as it sees fit to control the population.

“Today, we estimate that they are fewer than 1,500 individuals left in Sabah and we take their protection and survival very seriously,” according to Laurentius.

Sabahans Want CHANGE - PKR Must Start With Itself

http://advocateviews.blogspot.com/

Sabah will continue to be administered by UMNO/BN after the 13th General Elections unless Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is able not just to reinvent, re-brand and repackage itself but repair itself and restore confidence to be a force to be reckoned with.What the rakyat want, is to be part of a tsunami, to wipe out corrupt individuals, institutions, installations and ideologies that have become part of the Malaysian political landscape

Society is becoming more and more chaotic while politics is in a mess. Politicians are either confused about their identities or simply suffer from amnesia. They talk about this today but can't remember about that tomorrow. Eventually, they forget about the State's needs as well as the people's interests.

Self-interest leading to betrayal, back-stabbing and deceit are, today, a norm in Sabah politics. Sabah is the only state in Malaysia that has been governed by four (4) different political entities - USNO, BERJAYA, PBS and now UMNO all, at one time or most times, under the mere symbolic Barisan Nasional. But the people continued and continue to be betrayed by politicians corrupted to the core.

Sabah has an over-supply of politicians but NO TRUE LEADERS nor ANY STATESMAN.

PKR Sabah is no different, having gone through State Chief after State Chief since it's inception.What irks the people is that there has been no improvement to the strength of the party.And why not, with the continuous in-fighting for leadership and power?

The leadership has no HALATUJU or sense of direction and they are still claiming and dreaming to be the "government in waiting". Late last year a group of renegades from PKR forwarded an application to the Registrar of Societies to form a new political party, calling themselves PARTI CINTA SABAH (PCS). There has been blatant denials from these traitorous individuals

These renegades are still members or claim to be members of PKR but no disciplinary action for their deceitful act of betrayal to the party has been taken.What's even more shocking is the state leadership has not done anything,reluctant or haven a clue what to do. Recently a copy of a bonafide document (click image attached) was obtained from reliable sources identifying 12 Supreme Council members of PCS. Ironically, these 12 "disciples of a mahaguru" still hold important positions in PKR, as Division Chiefs and Branch Chiefs among others. Some were even PKR candidates during GE12. Eyebrows are now raised as to their continued presence within the party. Will any action be taken by PKR against these "Judas"? Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim should "wake up" and overhaul PKR Sabah or the party will be irrelevant at the GE13.

Will Anwar Ibrahim finally accept the facts that PKR Sabah is in turmoil and will self-destruct unless he acts now to revamp the leadership?

On the 20th & 21st of February the charismatic, dynamic and much-loved and respected PKR President, Dato'Seri Wan Azizah visited Kota Kinabalu. At her meet the people session, 600 people were invited to attend. There was a commotion outside the venue as unknown individuals had been engaged to distribute flyers with malicious intent against Anwar Ibrahim. What was more shocking was that 70% of the "invited guests" in attendance were UMNO members. Was this an UMNO event or was it a mass conversion or baptism of UMNO members joining PKR? Either way, all the wrong signals were sent. I thank God that nothing violent occurred and the safety of the President was not compromised.

PKR Sabah is full of weaknesses. The people are craving for change and if this is how PKR Sabah is going to conduct itself as a 'government in waiting', we might as well fold-up and just pray for divine intervention.

The leadership needs to be hauled up for its incompetency and in-fighting. Some of the present leaders need to be admitted to homes for old-politicians. Let them savour or repent in style and time.

The citizens particularly the young seeking and crying for change cannot wait.

I still hold PKR in high esteem as a party capable of effecting changes for the better.

But to bring meaningful changes PKR Sabah in particular and PAKATAN Sabah as a whole must be brave enough to get out of the Sabah Syndrome - new parties always being formed by out-of-favour or discarded old politicians who play up genuine grouses of the people but after coming to power go back to business as usual - rape, rip and ransack the wealth of the state while feeding the people with rhetorics and sweet parochial slogans such as 'Sabah for Sabahans'.

We should not turn away people seeking membership of the party but we must learn to discern and pick the leaders wisely. As goes with materials - some leaders can be re-used, some repaired and some re-cycled but we must be daring enough to refuse, reject and remove those that are only good for the septic tank.
Though it is the people who vote-in the government it's the leaders who run the government. The people of Sabah had been voting for change all the while but they failed to change the leaders and have had to pay a heavy price.

This has been the sad story of Sabah.

I believe and most learned and caring Sabahans would agree with me - PKR / PAKATAN Sabah can and is the only hope for Sabah.

What Sabah needs is a new breed of leaders to lead us and carry us through without fear, favour, fame or fortune.

Ku Li sticks to his guns

(The Star) - Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is sticking to his guns on the oil royalty issue, despite severe criticism from his Umno colleagues.

The former Petronas chairman maintained that Kelantan should receive cash payments for oil extracted off its shoreline, regardless of the distance of the oil well from the coast.

Tengku Razaleigh, a former finance minister, was writing in his blog in response to full-page advertisements in Malay dailies by the Federal Government, explaining that Kelantan was not entitled to royalties as the oil and gas were extracted more than three nautical miles from the state’s shoreline.

“Yet last year, according to its annual report, Petronas paid out RM6.2bil in petroleum cash payments, with RM3bil going to Terengganu, RM2.3bil to Sarawak and RM0.9bil to Sabah.

“One wonders what basis this payment was made on, since none of this was for petroleum found within three nautical miles offshore of these states,” Tengku Razaleigh said.

He said the Petroleum Development Act was drafted on the instructions of former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak to ensure that Kelantan, Terengganu and potentially, Pahang and Johor, benefited from the 5% royalty, although these states did not have oil onshore or within their territorial waters.

“The device that we used was a Vesting Deed, by which the states vested, in perpetuity, all their petroleum resources to Petronas, onshore and offshore. In return for this, Petronas guaranteed the cash payment of 5% from oil found anywhere, offshore or onshore, of the state.

“This rendered any consideration of federal/state boundaries, whether at three or 12 nautical miles or whatever, irrelevant for the purpose of reckoning the payment,” he said.

Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim was reported as saying that Tengku Razaleigh’s stand now was contradictory to his statement in October 2000.

“There was an agreement, and if the oil well is in the state, then they can ask for the royalty. But the well is not in its (Kelantan’s) borders,” said Dr Rais.

On Thursday, Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the party would decide if action should be taken against Tengku Razaleigh after getting feedbacks from Umno members.

Earlier this month, Tengku Razaleigh remarked that state governments were entitled to a 5% royalty for petroleum extracted off their waters, which was in contrast to the Federal Government’s stand that states such as Kelantan qualified only for wang ehsan (goodwill payment) and not royalty.

An aide to the Gua Musang MP said Tengku Razaleigh was not perturbed by the possibility of the party taking disciplinary action against him.

The SABM message goes to ground

This is how it works.

You attend one of the SABM forums, and the message delivered at the forum resonates with all that you feel.

Or if you haven’t attended any of the forums, but you’ve seen video clips of messages delivered or heard of the same from friends and you think “Why our politicians don’t think and talk like that, ah?”.

Whichever, you now want to share that message with your family, friends and colleagues.

Get in touch with SABM. e-mail us at events(at)sayaanakbangsamalaysia.net or call us at 03-2095 0435 from Wednesday to Sunday between 12noon-7pm.

Or you can send me an e-mail at thepeoplesparliament@gmail.com.

Organise some teh tarik at your home, your office, or at some stall. Get your family, friends and colleagues to come round.

We’ll come and partake of your fellowship and share our message.

________________________________________________

After the KL Roadshow and forum on 23rd January, a young student who attended the forum contacted us.

This led to a “lepak session” between about 12 local university students and 4 SABM core-groupers, myself included.

For me, personally, it reinforced my conviction that the hopes of this nation rest with our young.

A second “lepak session” is scheduled for later this month.

Yesterday, an anak Bangsa Malaysia who had also attended the KL forum played host to a teh tarik session in Cheras.

She contacted me through Facebook last week and it culminated in yesterday’s fellowship.

Robert and I attended.

We shared the 5 SABM key messages and then there followed a sharing of thoughts, concerns, fears and hopes.

As always, for me, it was an enriching experience meeting new people.

And like so many other similar fellowships that I’ve attended in the past, I was left with the impression yesterday that there are good people in our midst who have for a long time languished under a sense of hopelessness, who want so much to come forward and help make a difference and make our country a better place for all, but succumb to the fears that the best from amongst us have.

Family.

Putting food on the table.

Job.

We all need a reason to believe that any effort by us to help take this country back from the ugly forces that now sit in the driving seat of this nation will not be in vain.

I offer you two reasons to believe.

First, anchor our effort to bring justice and equality to this nation in an unshakable faith that God is with us on this difficult journey.

To my brothers and sisters of the Christian faith who made time yesterday to share their thoughts with Robert and I, allow me to share with you a verse from your scripture that has always inspired me to overcome my own fears.

“Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me” – Psalms 23 verse 4.

Second, know that we have it in ourselves to set this nation right.

Know that collectively, the good people of this nation are an insurmountable force to be reckoned with.

Acknowledge our faults of the past in allowing the nation to slip into the state that it is in now and say “No more”.

Resolve to work together with all fair-minded anak Bangsa Malaysia to take our country back for our children and their children.

I want to reproduce here an excerpt of something I posted here when this blog was but 5 days old, entitled “Set the picture frame right”.

“Imagine a picture frame hanging on the wall which appears lopsided to you, as you observe it seated in your armchair. Try as hard as she does, the adjustments to the same by the maid just does not seem to get it right. Either it is too much to the left or too much to the right.

You have a choice.

Sit there and gripe until death brings an end to your misery.

Or get off that armchair and set the picture frame right.

You and I have the same set of choices about the state of mismanagement of this country. Sit and gripe or get up and set things right.

…I believe that Malaysians by and large are decent, caring people who, in truth, are greatly concerned about the wrongs that are being inflicted to a great many of our fellow Malaysians. I believe that the seeming silence of the greater number is not out of indifference to those wrongs but is brought about by an unfounded fear to dare to stand up and ‘set the picture frame right’.

It is my hope that this blog may help to rally together like-minded Malaysians to dare to stand up and ‘set the picture frame right’.

What is my aspiration for this country?

The comment by A. Williams to my first post sums up so succintly, the problem that grips us as a nation and, that which must come to pass if we are to emerge from this national crisis as a just and caring people. I pray that we have the strength and courage to ’set the picture frame right’.

“The government meant to serve us, the people of this land, has hijacked the power that belongs to us to fire those that have disgraced the sacred seats of Parliament. Our rights over the years have been whittled down by draconian laws. The wealth of this country that belongs to the citizenry has been squandered by irresponsible men and women.

And we, the people, have been sleeping, lulled into thinking we are the servants of the government we chose. We have accepted false measures of what a nation should be, what our rights and responsibilities are, and many of us have turned the other way rather than face our failure to be a people faithful to the truth, protective of our children’s future and loyal to our Constitution.

We voted in our government servants and promptly became subservient to them. We have such a low opinion of ourselves as a people able to bring dignity back to our Parliament and able to change the destiny of our nation. Why? Because we are on the whole self-serving too, at our own level. We live in enclaves of self-preservation and want the other man to fight for us.

The time has come to change. And change must begin with us. We need to change our mindset of apathy. We need to forge a new alliance among ourselves, a unity founded on a love and respect for all peoples of this nation. We need to carve on our hearts that every man not given justice is our brother and every woman shackled by the discriminatory laws and customs is our sister .

There is no other road to restoration but that of commitment. We must rise as a people if we want a People’s Parliament”.

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia heads out to Sabah & Sarawak

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND THESE EVENTS.

You can register via:

email: events(at)sayaanakbangsamalaysia.net

tel: +603-2095 0435 (Wed to Sun; 12noon-7pm)

FOR DETAILS OF THE FORUMS AT THE SABM WEBSITE, CLICK ON THE POSTER ABOVE.

__________________________________________________

KOTA KINABALU PROGRAM

Date: March 13, 2010, Saturday

Venue: Beverly Hotel, Lorong Kemajaun

6.00pm-6.50pm: Registration

7.00pm-7.30pm: Federation of Malaysia 20 point Agreement by Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan

7.30pm-7.40pm: Q & A

7.45pm-8.15pm: How the Federation has failed Sabahans by Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan

8.20pm-8.40pm: Screening of the Perak Crisis

8.45pm-9.00pm: Refreshment break

9.00pm-9.30pm: Are we a nation in distress? Where did we go wrong? by Haris Ibrahim

9.30pm-10.15pm: This is our home. We care. We want to make it better by Dr Chong Eng Leong, Hasbeemasputera and Jayanath Appudurai

10.15-11pm: Q & A

______________________________________________________

KUCHING PROGRAM

Date: March 14, 2010, Sunday

Venue: Harbourview Hotel, Lorong Temple

1.00pm-2.00pm: Registration

2.00pm-2.30pm: Federation of Malaysia 18 point Agreement by Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan

2.30pm-2.40pm: Q & A

2.45pm-3.15pm: How the Federation has failed Sarawakians by Encik Baru Bian

3.15pm-3.25pm: Q & A

3.30pm-3.50pm: Screening of the Perak Crisis

3.50pm-4.10pm: Refreshment break

4.10pm-4.40pm: Are we a nation in distress? Where did we go wrong? by Haris Ibrahim and Cobbold John

4.40pm-5.25pm: This is our home. We care. We want to make it better by YB Voon Lee Shan, Flora Peter and Jayanath Appudurai

5.30pm-6.15pm: Q & A

UMNO/BN betrayed its pledge of power-sharing by rotation of Sabah Chief Minister’s post

It is coming to a year since Datuk Seri Najib Razak became the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia bombarding Malaysians with his multi-million ringgit “1Malaysia” slogan and campaign.

It is sad and ironical that despite such high-intensity 1Malaysia publicity campaign in the past 11 months, Malaysians have never been more polarized both on race and religion, reminding Malaysians that they are even further from the goal of a united Malaysian nation, as illustrated by issues such as the Allah controversy, the burning of churches and attack of mosques and other places of religious worship, the cow-head and pig-head incidents; irresponsible politicking of race and religion as the mischievous attempt by Umno leaders and Umno-controlled media to paint the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Penang Pakatan Rakyat state government as anti-Malay and anti-Islam; the racist brain-washing courses conducted by Biro Tata Negara of the Prime Minister’s Department, resulting in “ultra” statements like dismissing the Chinese and Indians as “pendatang” and defaming the Indians as coming to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese women coming as prostitutes; the rise of what UMNO elder statesman Tengku Razaleigh has described as “rabid racism” like the surfacing of organizations like Perkasa, etc.

Everywhere and everyday in Malaysia, there are more evidence of the absence of 1Malaysia rather than its presence.

In Kota Kinabalu today, I saw new evidence of the absence rather than the presence of 1Malaysia – with two conflicting and competing sets of billboards, banners and advertisements of Chinese New Year greetings by MCA in Sabah.

There is one set of Chinese New Year greetings by the “stand-alone” Sabah MCA Chairman Edward Khoo, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister competing with another set of Chinese New Year greetings featuring the lame-duck MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat accompanied by his Sabah MCA claque of supporters.

When under his leadership, the Barisan Nasional and its component parties cannot present a united front, like having 1MCA, 1Umno, 1Gerakan, 1Barisan Nasional, what credence and credibility can there be for Najib’s 1Malaysia?
Is there 1Sabah?

2013 in three years’ time mark Sabah’s 50th anniversary in the formation of Malaysia. It is appropriate in preparing for the occasion to seriously assess whether the dreams of Sabahans in 1963 to form Malaysia together with Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed.

Have the people of Sabah been granted their full citizenship rights as Malaysians in the past five decades?

Let the debate and soul-searching begin as to how one of the richest states in Sabah had been reduced in five decades to become the poorest state in the federation.

In the nineties, the Barisan Nasional promised Sabahans that poverty in Sabah would be eradicated in the year 2,000. However, instead of abolishing poverty in 2000, Sabah’s poverty rate became the worst in the whole of the country.

Barisan Nasional next promised that hard-core poverty in Sabah would be abolished in 2010. This is another candidate heading for the mountainous dump heap of Barisan Nasional broken promises, in Sabah and in Malaysia!

Sabahans and Malaysians remember that to topple the PBS Sabah government, Umno and Barisan Nasional pledged that if they come to power in Sabah, they would be genuine power-sharing through the rotation of the post of Sabah Chief Minister among the three major communities in the state.

What is the Umno/Barisan Nasional record of their rule of Sabah in the past 16 years since 1994?

UMNO/BN had betrayed their pledge of power-sharing by rotation of Sabah Chief Minister’s post as in the past 16 years, the Chief Minister’s post was held by a Kadazan native for 9 months, Chinese for 4 years and Umno for more than 11 years!

Nothing could be more eloquent than this episode to highlight the enormity of the breach of faith and betrayal of pledge of Umno/Barisan Nasional to the people of Sabah in the past 16 years of their rule of Sabah.

This is a far cry from the great promises shared by Sabahans in the early decades of nationhood.

Earlier today, together with DAP MPs Hiew King Cheu (Kota Kinabalu), Teo Nie Ching (Serdang), Lim Lip Eng (Segambut) and DAP Kadazan leaders Edward Muji and Jeffrey Kumin, I revisited the “Double Six” Mausoleum to pay respects to the great Sabah sons who perished in the Triple Six tragedy of June 6, 1976 – Chief Minister Tun Fuad Stephens and State Ministers, Datuk Salleh Sulong, Datuk Peter Mojuntin and Chong Thien Vun.

Almost exactly 32 years ago on February 25, 1978, I had first visited the “Double Six” Mausoleum as well as the grave of Peter Mojuntin at St. Michael’s Church, Penampang.

Sabah history would be very different today if not for the tragic air crash of June 6, 1976 wiping out the core of the Sabah cabinet.

It is time that Kadazans and Sabahans reflect what went wrong that the rights of Kadazans and ordinary Sabahans had become so emasculated and marginalized while the vast rich resources had been monopolized by a few.

In this connection, the time has also come for the Federal Government to lift the ban on the biography of Peter Mojuntin, “The Golden Son of the Kadazans”, written by my old friend and DAP comrade, Bernard Sta Maria, who was Malacca State Assemblyman.

The book was banned on June 22 1978 on grounds of public security and order. This is utterly unacceptable. Those who disagree with the interpretation of events in the life of Peter Mojuntin can write a rebuttal or come out with their own publications – but there can be no justification or excuse for the ban of the book “The Golden Son of the Kadazans”.

[Speech at the dinner with Kadazan representatives at Windbelll Restaurant, Kota Kinabalu on Friday, 26th February 2010 at 9 pm]

Who Will Succeed Taib Mahmud?

By Alan Ting

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- The triennial delegates conference of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) starting in Kuching on Monday may be a humdrum affair as there is no contest for key positions except for some seats in the party's supreme council.

Still, for political reasons, this conference will still generate much interest among political analysts and party members as the long-serving party president and Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud may choose the occasion to indicate his possible successor, at the very least.

Some in the party's inner circle are speculating that Taib will provide some hints on his possible next-in-line as this might be his last term to head PBB, the most powerful political party in Sarawak.

But will he really? Many are also doubtful that he will do so at this juncture.

"He should have an exit strategy by now but there's no evidence of this," said Datuk Seri Daniel Tajem, an Iban who served as deputy chief minister to Taib in the early 1980s.

Tajem, who is now an advisor to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak, said Taib should have just taken the bull by the horns and publicly announce that he would quit

Political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian believes that Taib will relinquish his top party position only after the next state election because if he steps down now, it might trigger be a power struggle within the party.

"He has to groom someone to take over. We may see some indication who is likely the person after the PBB convention," he said.

Dr Sivamurugan said from a political strategy perspective, it would not be wise for him to step down before the state election as the party might be focusing more on who is going to be the next chief minister instead of winning and retaining power in the state election.

"Which issue would they want to focus, the state leadership or state election? Taib would not become an election issue if he stay on and lead the campaign in the coming state election. The thinking of the people in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak are all different. That's why, it would be better for Taib to step down only after the state election," he added.

The potential successors are likely to come from those in the party's deputy president position, who are normally being groomed to take over the top leadership. But then again in Sarawak politics, it does not mean that this would happen for sure.

Taib, 74, is believed to be seriously looking for leaders to lead the party. He has helmed PBB since March 26, 1981, a period of about 29 years.

What is interesting is that whoever succeeds him as PBB president is going to be the chief minister of Sarawak.

In the past, Taib has eyed a number of PBB leaders who could take over from him, including Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Daud, Datuk Seri Effendi Norwawi, Datuk Bujang Ulis, Datuk Abang Abu Bakar Mustapha and Datuk Seri Adenan Satem.

However, all of them had somewhat disappeared into political oblivion, for a number of reasons. Some were said to be impatient, some just gave up waiting.

PBB was formed following the merger between Parti Bumiputra and Parti Pesaka in January 1973. In the party's history, no one has ever challenged the party president and most of the party's top positions went uncontested, except on two occasions, in 1998 and 2005, but it only involved the deputy president's post.

In 1998, both Adenan and Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg challenged each other for deputy president, which was reserved for the Malay/Melanau section of PBB. Abang Johari triumphed following strong backing from the Dayak members despite the fact that Adenan was strongly backed by Taib at that time.

Adenan, the vanquished, was later appointed by Taib as the party's senior vice-president. Seven years later, Adenan mounted another challenge on Abang Johari, but the delegates conference was postponed when it was reported that some of Adenan's supporters were found to have allegedly duplicated branches in some 40 constituencies.

PBB was later advised by the Registrar of Societies to have the election or risk being de-registered like the now defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS).

Taib hinted in 2006 that he would have one last shot as the chief minister. The term of the current state administration will expire by July next year.

But, as early as last year, Taib sent a signal that he was preparing to step down and was reported to be looking for someone regardless of race to be trained to take over from him.

Talk of Taib preparing to pass on the baton picked up momentum in April last year after the demise of his wife, Puan Sri Laila Taib, who had been described as the pillar of support for Taib in his political career.

Thus, the focus of interest will be on the current batch of senior leaders -- Deputy President I Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Deputy President II Abang Johari and Senior Vice-President Datuk Seri Awang Tengah Ali Hassan as possible successor.

Alfred Jabu, an agricultural graduate and experienced politician, has been tutored by two of Sarawak's best known politicians -- Tun Abdul Rahman Yaakub, the former chief minister and Yang Dipertua Negeri, and later by Taib himself.

Since having been elected as state assemblyman for Layar in 1974, he has been appointed to various ministerial posts, including deputy chief minister under Rahman, and since March 1981 under Taib.

Another chief ministerial candidate is Abang Johari, who comes from an illustrious family where his father, Tun Abang Openg, was the first governor of Sarawak. Holding an MBA degree from a British university, he is said to have shown his capability as industrial development minister before being moved to the tourism ministry. In the recent state Cabinet reshuffle, he was tasked to look after the state ministry of housing and urban development.

Taib's son, Datuk Seri Sulaiman who recently resigned as deputy tourism minister, has also been mentioned as another possible candidate as there is speculation that his father wants him to return to Sarawak and be "trained to take over".

Political observers who have closely monitored Sarawak politics said although Sulaiman had not offered to contest any position in the party's election, it did not mean that he would not be picked as a candidate in the next state election.

Another aspirant for chief minister is Awang Tengah, the minister of public utilities and the second minister of planning and resource management, which is considered by some as be the most powerful ministerial position after Taib in the state Cabinet.

There is also talk that Taib has also sought the views of people close to him, including some Dayak and Chinese ministers regarding his possible successor.

So, who will succeed Taib? The guessing game continues.

Is the worst over for the Malaysian economy?

Najib says the Malaysian economy is out of the woods and we are poised to do better this year. From what you see around you, do you agree?

A bunch of bananas in Penang is now RM1 more expensive, char koay teow and roti canai servings have shrunk, and many workers have lost out on increments over the last couple of years. And now we have the spectre of GST looming over us.

The economy did not do as badly as anticipated last year because of the pump priming and fiscal stimulus packages.

Over 113,000 projects worth RM17 billion under two stimulus packages are being pushed through. So far, the govern­ment has paid out RM14 billion of public funds on these projects.

Can such pump priming be sustained?

What about confidence in the political leadership?

What do you think?

Is the worst over for the Malaysian economy?

View Results

Amirah Ali's Katakanlah - Anil Netto

Amirah Ali’s soulful Katakanlah, the first track of a work-in-progress EP (Extended Play), has been released online. The haunting lyrics reflect her anguish over what is happening.



EPKQuantcast
I believe that we cannot rely on politicians alone to change our country. Others too have a crucial role to play.

Socially conscious singers may touch vast numbers of people with haunting melodies, poets may inspire thinkers and dreamers, talented musicians can sweep us off to a different realm, gifted artists caressing their canvas can open up new vistas for us, while satirists and cartoonists can raise our morale through their humour… and of course, we the people can be agents of change, transforming the world around us.

Religious War: One Daughter's Faith

UMNO Land – grant “ ang pow” for 82 residents. Zero ang pow for Deepavali.

Year in and year out goodies in the form of land titles are given out during Chinese New Year and hundreds of thousands of acres of ten acre land ownership schemes like Felda, Risda, Felcra, Fama Agropolitan Kesedar ketengah Kejora, etc to the Malay Muslims all year round. But never for poor and under privileged Indians during Deepavali. Why? Because the Indians have no or very little political or economic clout? And therefore are soft targets?

This is UMNO Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malaysia.

This extreme of racism, religious extremism and supremacy by UMNO does not happen in any other part of the world.

P. Uthayakumar

Malaysian Indian protestors fuming over racial slurs from gov’t staff “Balik India”

Protestors fuming over racial slurs from gov’t staff (Malaysiakini)

Humayun Kabir

Two political parties have lodged separate police reports against a Cameron Highlands district office staff for uttering racial slurs against a group protestors who were unhappy with the performance of the district officer.

PSM Cameron Highlands branch spokesperson Suresh Kumar told Malaysiakini that the first report was lodged by DAP Pahang state deputy chief J Appalasamy @ Simmathiri at the Kampung Raja police station Tuesday morning immediately after the incident.

The second police report was filed by six PSM Cameron Highland branch members led by Suresh at Tanah Rata police station at 11am yesterday.

According to Suresh, PSM’s report stated that one employee of the district office had uttered ‘balik India (go back to India)’ at the protestors while they were attempting to hand a protest memorandum to the assistant district officer Shaffirul Amree Awang Kechik.

The memorandum list out the grouses faced by low-income workers who are facing problems with obtaining Temporary Occupation Licences (TOL), petty-trader licences and low-cost housing.

Suresh claimed that the Cameron Highland district police chief Wan Mohd Zahari Wan Busu, who witnessed the incident, was also a party in their police report.

Demands suspect lineup

Suresh said he had assured the police that despite not knowing the name of the offending district office staff, the group is confident they could identify him in a suspect lineup.

“Besides, the district police chief was at the scene and he can also identify the suspect,” added Suresh.

He described the employee’s insult as “seditious in nature” and called on the police to initiate criminal action.

Suresh lamented that there were still government employees who were racist despite Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak attempt to promote his 1Malaysia concept aimed at unifying all races.

The protest on Tuesday saw about 40 protesters consisting of Indian vegetable farmers, plantation workers, hawkers and PSM members marching to the Cameron Highland district office to present their grievances to the District Officer Mohammad Noor Abdul Rani.

Police officers and personnel, numbering around 100 people, tried to dissuade the protesters from marching.

However, the group insisted on walking to their destination to present the memorandum and the police relented.

While dispersing, the alleged racial slur was allegedly uttered. Suresh then turned to the district police chief who advised him to lodge a police report over the incident.

PKR top leader following UMNOs’ race based Felda scheme. But poor and landless Indians excluded.

The PKR No 2 Chief announces before 1,000 almost all malay muslim Felda settlers at Kampong Temin Jerantut of the new deal for malay muslim second and third generation Felda settlers.

But PKR and P.R. has zero plans for the poor, landless and displaced Indians especially the pre existing Indian plantation workers.

It is two years now that PKR, DAP and PAS has come to power.

As a sincere gesture to undo the injustices by UMNO for over the last 53 years we have written to the top PKR, DAP and DAP leadership and the Menteri Besars and Chief Minister of Selangor, Kedah and Penang to allocate 1,000 acres in each state for the aforesaid poor and landless Indians especially for the pre-existing Indian plantation workers who have been displaced. But there has been no reply from PKR, DAP and PAS. As it stands there is no difference between UMNO and this PKR, DAP and PAS.

S. JAYATHAS

HRP Information Chief

MIC mandore politics with burnt down Labu Tamil school (TN 12/2/2010 at page 13)

Last week the MIC N. Sembilan Chief Mandore visited this school. This week the MIC Minister mandore has a second bite of the same cherry and does another wayang kulit.

But this UMNO’s mandore party had never questioned this school having been infested with white ants.

Despite having been a coalition of the ruling government with their tuan these mandore political party has to go on their knees and beg the DPM and Education Minister for this school to be built. And UMNO did not urgently put the six temporary cabins but the MIC did. The law under Section 27 and 28 of the Education Act says that the UMNO government has to provide for this primary school.

No commitment or a time frame has been made by UMNO as to when this school would be rebuild. From our monitoring we estimate that it may take years of begging UMNO, up to even 16 years as in the two Tamil schools in Pahang. That too if they are lucky. One wrong move and this Tamil school may not be rebuilt at all and UMNO would have succeeded in “ethnically cleansing” this Tamil school as they have done from the 888 to the now 523 Tamil schools.

Despite having been a coalition partner of the ruling UMNO government for 53 long years this MIC mandore party is so “impotent” that they are even unable to secure fully financially aided school status for all 523 Tamil schools in Malaysia like any other Malay muslim school.

P. Uthayakumar.

BN bound for defeat, says Ku Li

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

Umno will lose if it fails to reform, charges the Kelantan prince. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has predicted that Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) will be voted out of power if concrete reforms are not introduced.

“Mark my words. If they don’t change in the next three years they are going to lose the next general elections,” the Kelantan prince and Umno veteran told The Malaysian Insider in an interview earlier this week.

The Gua Musang MP, whose views seem increasingly at odds with his own party, pointed out that following Election 2008, BN remained in power only because of support from politicians in Sabah and Sarawak.

In Election 2008, the Umno-led coalition suffered its worse result since Merdeka. It managed 140 parliamentary seats, with Sabah and Sarawak accounting for 55, while the opposition Pakatan Rakyat took 81 seats.

However, the parliamentarian said BN may not always have the support of MPs from East Malaysia.

“They can sway either way, and will support the winner,” said Tengku Razaleigh, who added that Umno was established in Sabah only between 1988 and 1989 while Umno did not exist in Sarawak.

He was also of the view that politicians from East Malaysia joined BN because it was strong and could assure them of their rights.

“Why should they continue to back us? We’re dependent on them,” he said, before adding that they would “watch and see”.

According to him, BN was also facing an uphill battle to regain the support from Malays who were divided, as well as the Chinese.

Right-wing Malay Nationalist group Perkasa’s association with Umno was not helping BN, Tengku Razaleigh pointed out.

“There’s no place for rabid racism,” he said, and claiming that even young Malays were rejecting it.

“The more hard line you are, the more frightened people are.”

As for the opposition, Razaleigh said it “appears to be in disarray” but he has been told that such impressions were because of the way Pakatan was being portrayed in the media.

While on the opposition, Razaleigh also voiced his respect for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“It’s admirable that he has done so well,” he said, adding that the opposition leader had fired up the imagination of voters, particularly with the young.

Despite the bleak outlook for his own party, Tengku Razaleigh said all was not lost for Umno, provided they listened to the people and introduced reforms.

“It’s not too late. The people are crying for change, not just housekeeping.”

Tengku Razaleigh has been described as the conscience of Umno but when asked about this, he responded “I don’t know if I am.”

The maverick politician said he was only doing what was right and reminisced about previous Umno leaders, such as Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, who were respected even by non-Malays.

As for the first prime minister, he said “Tunku (Abdul Rahman) was not only respected but revered.”

He said these past leaders gained the respect of the people, and even of opposition politicians like Lim Kit Siang, by being fair and upholding the Constitution.

“So it’s nothing new, I am just emulating them.”

Khairy defends AG in Al Islam row

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin (picture) said today the Attorney General’s decision to let two Al-Islam magazine journalists off the hook for allegedly desecrating Catholic Communion hosts should not matter so long as the magazine has “learned its lesson from this episode.”

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders including the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang and PAS central committee member Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, however, believe the decision not to charge the two may send a negative signal that the rule of law can be undermined by politics.

Khairy told The Malaysian Insider that it would be inappropriate to speculate on the reason behind the decision by the AG’s chambers to take no further action.

He, however, argued that the decision may have been reached to “balance out” the racial and religious tension caused by the “Allah” row in a bid to prevent further unease.

The “Allah” row had triggered a nationwide uproar among conservative Muslims. The tension escalated into attacks on houses of worships of both Christians and Muslims.

The attacks also tarnished Malaysia’s moderate credentials among the international community.

“I don’t want to speculate on the reason..but there are things that you can take to court and others best to leave it to other sensible ways for solution,” Khairy said.

“But I feel that whether or not the charges are dropped is not important. What is important is that people learn from this lesson and I am sure that the magazine has learned its lesson from this episode,” he added.

The two Al-Islam journalists had pretended to be Christians and took part in a Catholic Mass to probe allegations that Muslims were being converted.

In their article, the two admitted to receiving Holy Communion — which is in the form of bread which Catholics believe changes to the body of Jesus Christ through the rite. They said they subsequently spat it out in what Catholics consider an act of desecration.

A police report was subsequently lodged against the two journalists.

The duo were then investigated under Section 298A (1) of the Penal Code for causing disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.

It was reported yesterday that the Dang Wangi district police headquarters, through the officer in charge of the case, had sent a letter to the complainant telling him that the AG’s office would not be pressing charges.

No reason was given for the decision.

Lim said the decision not to charge the two indicate the lack of seriousness by the authorities to safeguard domestic religious harmony.

“The decision shows the AG is not serious in protecting and safeguarding religious and racial harmony in the context of a plural and multi-racial Malaysia,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Mujahid on the other hand agreed with Khairy that it was not apt to speculate on the reason behind the decision to drop the charges.

But he regretted the possibility that politics could have been behind the decision to drop the case.

“They might have strong reasons to do so. It may be for security reasons but there has been much doubt about this (even if its true) as many of its (AG’s chambers) decision are done due to political reasons,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

The Parit Buntar MP also agreed that the decision may be connected to the “Allah” row and that it was done to prevent further tension.

But he said the authority should tackle the negative perception that it is upholding the law based on religious and political considerations.

Umno denies behind ‘Selangor Kita’

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, Feb 26 — Umno Selangor has denied all knowledge of the new Selangor Kita newspaper, which Pakatan Rakyat (PR) said was part of a plot to undermine the state government.

“What is that? Is it being printed by the Selangor government?” asked Selangor Umno information chief, Abdul Shukur Idrus, when asked by to comment on the newspaper, which was freely distributed at official Maulidur Rasul functions today.

PAS deputy commissioner, Dr Che Rosli Che Mat had earlier today described the newspaper as being biased against PR and highly defamatory.

The Hulu Langat MP, who picked up a copy as he was leaving the Maulidur Rasul celebrations at the Shah Alam stadium this morning, slammed those responsible for taking advantage of the religious event to distribute the paper.

The tabloid, which had a cover price of RM2, did not appear to have a printing and publication license, which is mandatory for newspapers in the country.

“No, no, no. We’re not behind it,” said Abdul Shukur, who added Selangor Umno did not print any newspapers.

Among the headlines of the Malay language newspaper were “Arak Menu Biasa di Selango (Alcohol freely available on Selangor’s menus)”, “Selangor ‘Darul Urut’ (land of massage parlours)” and “Pengakuan Mangsa liwat Anwar (confession of Anwar’s sodomy victim)”. The newspaper also carried a Sept 6, 2000 Timeasia.com interview with openly gay journalist Ashley Lee, with the headline “During the Anwar Trial it Was Easy to Get Lucky”.

The articles in the newspaper also targeted Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, state executive councillor Ronnie Liu and the PKR’s Azmin Ali.

Liow faction told to drop ‘unconstitutional’ resolutions

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai’s faction in the party has been advised to withdraw its resolutions for the coming annual general meeting (AGM) as they were deemed “unconstitutional, central committee member Datuk Ti Lian Ker said today.

Among the resolutions put forward by the faction was a call for the central committee to be dissolved to pave the way for fresh polls, as well as a suggestion to amend the party constitution to standardise the appointment and removal of executive office bearers and their deputies by the party president.

In an immediate response, Liow told The Malaysian Insider that this did not mean delegates would not have other avenues to voice their grievances against the party’s top two leaders.

“Whether there is a resolution or not, they can still debate on the matter. There are still avenues for them to raise the issue.

“Whatever it is, we want to solve the problem — we are not creating further problems for the MCA,” he said this evening.

Liow also said that if the crisis could be solved before the AGM on March 7, then the issue of the resolutions would not be relevant.

“We want to save the party and make sure that it is intact again. I am voicing out the views of the delegates here.

“Never mind, the AGM is the highest decision-making authority so let us just wait to hear their views. If they want them (president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and deputy Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek) to lead, then they will give them the mandate,” he said.

Liow added that if a new mandate was allowed to be given then “at least he (Ong) can leave the party honourably”.

“I think he thinks this, too. As a leader, he has to make his members proud. If not, then [there is] no point being a leader.

“Do you think the members are proud now?” he asked.

In a press conference here after the party’s presidential council (PC) meeting this afternoon, Ti, who is aligned with Ong, said it would be best for the requisitionists to withdraw the resolutions as they had failed to comply with the party’s constitution. He added that the failure to comply with the provisions in the constitution meant that the PC had no need to decide on the resolutions and that they would ultimately be rejected during the coming central committee meeting this March 5.

“We advise the requisitionists to withdraw in accordance with the provisions in the constitution. Article 168 stipulates that any resolution on amendments to the constitution needs to be duly adopted by the central committee first or by the respective divisional assembly.

“The other resolution (calling for the central committee to dissolve and hold fresh polls) is unconstitutional and ultra vires because as far as the previous EGM (extraordinary general meeting) is concerned, the constitution states that the position of the president and deputy president is still rightful,” said Ti.

He added that if the resolutions were allowed to be put forth in the coming AGM on March 7, it would just “make a mockery of the AGM”.

“It is a frivolous and vexatious act so it is better for the resolutions to be withdrawn.

“We have to be professional here — we cannot make a decision on something that is unconstitutional. A clear example would be tabling a motion in Parliament that is unconstitutional. If the administration accepts such a motion in the first place, it would make a mockery of Parliament,” explained Ti.

During the press conference earlier, Ong told reporters that ultimately, the decision on the resolutions would lie in the hands of the central committee.

“In today’s meeting (PC), it was more like a brainstorming session to exchange views on some of the points raised but we are not in a haste to make any final decisions.

“The party constitution states that a CC meeting must be held before the party AGM so the decision will be made there and then,” Ong said.

Meanwhile, MCA Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong, who is backing Liow, laughed when he was told of Ti’s suggestion.

“My response? I laugh. This entire issue here is a matter of principle — we are not here to fight but as a politician, we need to have guiding principles. If upholding our principles is construed as a wrongdoing then... I laugh,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Justice for Dato Ramli Yusuff Overdue

Dato Ramli Yusuff’s Acquittal is called for in the name of Justice.

by Din Merican

Yesterday, Bernama reported that Dato Ramli Yusuff , the former Commercial Crimes Investigations Director (CCID), Polis DiRaja Malaysia will have to wait till March 12, 2010 to know whether he will be acquitted without his defence being called. Reproduced below is Bernama’s report:

KUALA LUMPUR, February 25, 2010 — The Sessions Court here today set March 12, 2010 to rule on former Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department Director (CCIDD) Datuk Ramli Yusuff who is facing two charges of failing to declare ownership of shares and interests in two properties worth more than RM1 million.

Judge M. Gunalan fixed the date after hearing submissions from deputy public prosecutor Datuk Abdul Razak Musa and Ramli’s counsel Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. A total of 35 prosecution witnesses had testified during the trial, including Ramli’s two younger sisters Roslina and Rohmah.

Ramli’s friend, Datuk Ling Keak Ming, who assisted the former senior police officer sisters in acquiring the two shop-lots at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng here, also testified.

Ramli, 57, was charged with failing to declare the ownership of 20,000 Telekom Malaysia Berhad shares, 154,000 Permaju Industries Berhad shares and interests in two office properties worth RM1,032,840. The offences were allegedly committed at the office of the ACA Deputy Public Prosecutor in Putrajaya on September 17, 2007. — Bernama

Dato Ramli and Dato Seri ShafeeThis happened after Dato’ Razak Musa told Judge Gunalan that he wanted to make additional oral submissions although Dato’ Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had already informed the Court that full written submissions had been filed by both sides.

Razak’s insistence on making oral submissions makes one believe that he is such an eloquent and persuasive advocate who could sway the case in the MACC’s favour. But as it turned out, Razak became a jester and an embarrassment in court, just as he did in Teoh Beng Hock’s Inquest in his infamous retort to Karpal Singh – “I can sit down but you can’t stand up” making fun of Karpal for being an invalid.

Sadly, that is how the Malays like Razak have become under the NEP affirmative action policy. Malays have not become smarter; in stead, they have become ” bodoh sombong” (boldly stupid).

It was “bodoh sombong” because by that insistence Razak had just challenged the brilliant and very successful legal mind like my friend Dato’ Seri Shafee to a verbal exchange. And what a mistake that was! Whatever critics may say of him, Shafee is certainly one eloquent and persuasive advocate.

In no time, Dato Seri Shafee showed how foolish the MACC case was against Dato Ramli. He demolished the case made out by Razak. He informed Judge Gunalan that in a related case against Dato’ Ramli in Sabah, Kota Kinabalu Judge Supang Lian had dismissed the ACA’s case and acquitted Dato’ Ramli without even calling for his defence.

In simple layman’s term, that means that the ACA which has since been reincarnated into MACC by statute never had a case against Dato’ Ramli. In layman’s term, Dato’ Ramli was fixed by those who feel threatened by the CCIDD’s competency, integrity and professionalism. As if to add insult to injury, Judge Supang Lian also said that IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan is an unreliable witness whose evidence was suspect. That is a very mild way of saying “ I cannot and do not believe you because I caught you lying!”

During yesterday’s submission, Judge Gunalan showed his displeasure towards Dato’ Razak. Already those in the gallery noted that while Dato Seri Shafee referred to Judge Gunalan respectfully as ” Yang Arif”, Razak did not once use that respectful term in addressing the Judge. Sheer Arrogance of the man. The most he did was to say “Tuan”. Even so, he behaved contemptuously when, in desperation, he said – ” This court must keep an open mind at this stage….” implying that the Judge had closed his mind. Well, no one can blame the Judge for his displeasure after seeing that Razak’s own submission was very weak and showed that he had not made a prima facie case against Dato Ramli.

In evaluating the witnesses, Judge Gunalan observed that the case against Dato’ Ramli started with the s. 32 Notices issued by MACC DPP Kevin Anthiony Morais. Kevin based it purely on the statement of one underworld operator, Moo Sai Chin. This man is a known criminal and a self confessed briber, murderer, pimp and everything else that an underworld kingpin is.

Judge Gunalan noted that Moo had earlier been detained by the CID and upon his release under suspicious circumstances, he had a ” sudden wave of conscience” to voluntarily attend at the MACC HQ to complain against several police officers whom he had bribed to cover up a murder case in Perak. The Judge remarked causticly that Moo never actually named Dato Ramli in any report.

In fact the officers whom Moo had named were not even investigated. Instead, it was the MACC which then lodged several cover reports against Dato Ramli. The Judge also tracked the suspicious reports from No. 098/07 which was based on No. 075/2007, which was based on 072/2006, which was based on 065/2006. Why so many cover reports and who was being covered is a question that only the MACC can answer.

Judge Gunalan also noted that without the basis of a properly conducted or completed investigation, DPP Kevin Anthony Morais, as the Deputy Director of Prosecution for MACC, then served on Ramli two s. 32 Notices requiring Dato Ramli to declare all his assets going back to the day he first joined the police force in 1970.

Without even interviewing the accused, Kevin Morais instructed Dato Ramli to be arrested and charged. That Dato Ramli was arrested and his only statement was recorded on the very morning just before he was charged is significant as it showed that all is not well with the MACC. It showed the recording of statement process is just a “melepaskan batuk ditangga”. It showed that the MACC and A-G Gani Patail had decided to charge Ramli regardless of what he might say in his statement to explain the assets in question.

The Judge also observed that there was “no proper investigation”, hence there was no basis to issue the notice against Dato Ramli when Dato Seri Shafee narrated all the facts that proved that there was no bona fide investigation. The MACC and A-G Gani Patail just wanted to crucify Ramli Yusuff and put him on the stand as a warning against anyone who dared to challenge those in the corridors of power.

For good measure they charged Dato Ramli’s lawyer friend, Rosli Dahlan, regardless that there was no predicated offence to invoke the issuance of the Notice against either of them. This was a display of brute power and arrogance. It was made clear to Judge Gunalan that Kevin Morais had exercised his powers in an arbitrary and oppressive fashion.Why Kevin who is “soft” in many ways would act so vindictively would only be known if Kevin would admit that he was “under orders”.

Hopefully, Kevin would be a good Christian and repent. As it is, many Church goers are already reminding Kevin of God’s punishment on the people of Sodom. Well that seems to be the same logic used by A-G Gani in prosecuting Anwar Ibrahim in the on-going Sodomy II trial.

Back to this case, it was alarming to note that when the issue of the validity of the notice was raised, Dato Razak blandly retorted that even if the notice was bad, that can only be challenged in a civil High Court. He argued that since Dato Ramli did not challenge the validity of the Notice in a separate proceedings in a civil High Court, therefore ,he s forfeited all rights to challenge the notice at all.

This was really warped logic. It is as if Razak had amnesia of the fact that Lawyer Rosli Dahlan had done exactly that, by challenging the Notice in an application for Judicial review in the High Court. And guess what? The same MACC and the same A-G’s office argued that Rosli’s application must be dismissed as it interfered with the criminal case.

To observers who have been following Ramli’s and Rosli’s trial, it is all very clear that IGP Musa Hassan and A-G Gani Patail had used the MACC as a tool in the conspiracy and persecution of Dato Ramli Yusuff and Rosli Dahlan. That happened to these two unfortunate professionals who dared to stand their ground can also happen to any innocent citizen like you and I.

That this same A-G can go on a US tour to lecture the world’s biggest democracy on “Rule of Law and the Malaysian Judiciary” at CSIS seminar in Washington DC is an insult to all Malaysians. But the fact that he never turned up at the seminar is a clear sign that he cannot face questions for the audience with regard to Justice and the Rule of Law in our country.

Let us say to our Prime Minister Najib – look, enough is enough. Please stop this nonsense because not only God is watching from a distance, but we Malaysians will no longer take this insult to our good sense and intelligence. To Judge Gunalan, we have this to say to you, Yang Arif: come March 12, 2010, you must be as brave as Judge Supang Lian to administer the justice and show us Malaysians that there are still judges in our country who can act independent and on the basis of all the evidence acquit Dato Ramli Yusuff without his defence being called.