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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bagan Serai MP joins PKR exodus

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — Bagan Serai MP Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri (pic) became the latest MP to quit PKR and turn independent today, even as party leaders moved to quell fears of an exodus of lawmakers.

He made the announcement at a press conference together with former PKR secretary-general Datuk Salehuddin Hashim.

Mohsin said he was quitting the party today because of concerns about Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) politics, especially over the “Allah” row.

He claimed that he had raised some of his concerns through the party’s internal channels but no action had been taken.

“In the name of Allah, I would like to announce my resignation from PKR,” said Mohsin.

He said that he contested in Election 2008 after a request made by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“The trust and confidence that I have placed in PKR’s and Pakatan Rakyat’s struggle especially in restoring the special position of Islam has faded with the latest development in the party,” he added.

Mohsin also revealed that he has not been able to perform his duties due to sabotage and internal problems in the party.

“I have raised these issues and questions through internal party channels, but no action or positive step was taken,” he added.

Mohsin is the third PKR MP to quit the party since last month.

With his resignation PKR now has 27 MPs, DAP, 28, PAS, 23, PSM, 1 and SAPP, 2. There are four independents.

Barisan Nasional (BN) controls 137 seats in the 222-member Parliament.

While Salehuddin has denied behind the spate of resignations, his appearance at press conferences of MPs announcing their decisions to quit has fuelled speculation about his involvement.

Following the resignations of Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim and Nibong Tebal MP TanTee Beng, Salehuddin had predicted more than ten other MPs could leave the party.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and other PKR leaders have accused Salehuddin and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak of being instrumental in enticing PKR MPs.

PKR deputy president Senator Syed Husin Ali responded yesterday to Salehuddin’s prediction of future resignations by revealing that the former secretary-general was paid RM9,000 a month and had quit in a huff at not being named head of Selangor investment arm Perangsang

Syed Husin’s riposte appeared to be part of a campaign to discredit party rebels as he had also disclosed that former Penang deputy chief minister Mohd Fairus Khairuddin was paid RM4,000 a month despite quitting his state post and Penanti seat.

Former PKR sec-gen warns against personal attacks

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — Former PKR secretary-general Datuk Salehuddin Hashim warned his former party colleagues not to resort to personal attacks over the defection of its lawmakers.

“They want to strip me, but let us see if it is better to have your underwear on or to be completely naked,” said Salehudin at a press conference to announce Bagan Serai MP Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri’s resignation from PKR today.

Salehudin was commenting on the attempt by PKR deputy president Senator Syed Husin Ali to discredit him after he predicted that ten lawmakers from the party will quit soon.

Yesterday Syed Husin alleged that Salehuddin had been unhappy with the party after his application to become the chief executive officer of the Selangor investment arm, Perangsang Group was rejected.

Syed Husin also claimed that Salehuddin was paid RM9,000 per month when he was serving as PKR secretary-general since March 2008.

In his response, Salehuddin dismissed the allegations adding that he had spent enormous amounts of money while serving in the party.

“There will be allegations, that those who left the party are full imperfections, as if those who remain in the party are perfect specimens of human beings,” said Salehuddin.

He also denied that he was behind the resignation PKR MPs but reiterated his claim that more of the party lawmakers will quit.

“I’m not a Prophet, although some people like to claim to be a Prophet or angel, but I did expect about one-third will leave,” said Salehuddin.

On the move by 12 PKR MPs to declare their loyalty to the party this morning, Salehuddin said it is up to them to make such declarations.

“I did not say everyone will leave, I only said 10, the rest they can make their pledge of loyalty or declaration,” he said.

Salehuddin was present at the press conferences held by Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim and Tan Tee Beng to announce their resignation.

On Mohsin’s resignation, Salehuddin said it shows PKR’s failure to manage the diversity of opinions in the party.

He said that Mohsin’s stand on the “Allah” issue should have been handled better.

The first term MP had said that he was disappointed that the party has backed the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.

“For me personally what’s wrong with using the word Allah in Christian books, so in this room there is a difference of opinion,” said Salehuddin adding that the party has failed to convince those who are unsure about the party’s stand.

“One or two persons cannot decide on such a sensitive issue, I am not asking for a referendum, but it should be thoroughly debated at the political bureau, this did not happen and has caused uneasiness among the grassroots,” he added.

“This is not a party for one or two people, not a private limited company or a family party, this is a party for all Malaysian,” said Salehuddin.

On whether the decision by Mohsin to quit PKR is a betrayal to the voters, Salehuddin said he shares the view of his former party that has always endorsed the defection of lawmakers.

“On Sept 16, 2008, they were supposed to get 30 MPs to defect, would that be considered betrayal?” he asked referring to Anwar’s plan to topple Barisan Nasional (BN) government soon after Election 2008.

He added that only DAP chairman Karpal Singh who believes that elected representatives should resign if they choose to join another party.

With Mohsin’s resignation PKR now has 27 MPs, DAP 28, PAS 23, PSM 1 and SAPP 2. There are four independents.

BN controls 137 seats in the 222-member Parliament.

Lim wants oil royalty documents declassified

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — Lim Kit Siang said today that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must declassify and table all documents on the oil royalty issue and explain why such payments had been made to Terengganu until 1999.

“What Najib should do is to present a White Paper on the oil royalty issue on the first day of the forthcoming meeting of Parliament on March 16, 2010 and schedule a special parliamentary debate on the issue.

“In the White Paper, Najib should declassify all documents and papers to fully explain why for 35 years the Federal Government honoured the states’ rights to 5 per cent oil royalty with regular payments to Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak and the legal history of the change of stand of the Federal Government in 2000 to withdraw such recognition and to pay instead “wang ehsan” (compassionate payments) to the Terengganu state government — all because of PAS’s capture of the state in the 1999 general elections,” he said in a press statement.

Lim also said that Umno’s gag order over Kelantan’s oil royalty claim showed that the party was willing to sacrifice historical accuracy for “political expediency.”

“Can the sons of the second and third Prime Ministers of Malaysia explain why they have turned their backs on their father’s joint legacy of 5 per cent oil royalty to the states and instead embraced the fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir’s distortion and violation of the petroleum agreements with the various states?

“Najib and Hishammuddin should not allow political expediency and considerations, even Umno’s survival, to dishonour their father’s joint legacy to give 5 per cent oil royalty to the states, particularly Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johore,” he said in a press statement.

Yesterday Umno barred its members from speaking about the Kelantan oil royalty issue while it compiles the views of its grassroots.

The Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the party did not allow its members to issue statements that could damage its image.

Lim said that Umno’s gag order is aimed at silencing Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as the veteran Umno man has openly clashed with his party over this issue.

Tengku Razaleigh has been campaigning for Kelantan’s entitlement to the five per cent oil royalty under the Petroleum Development Act 1974.

“It is no more a question of who and what is historically right or wrong but who has the present power to impose his views on the country at the moment, right or wrong.

“What the second and third Prime Ministers, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn, intended some 35 years ago, as ordering Razaleigh as the first Petronas Chairman ‘to design the Petroleum Development Act in such a way that the Malay heartland states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor and especially his beloved Pahang, would benefit directly from offshore oil beyond 3 nautical miles through the mechanism of 5 per cent cash payments made directly to the state consolidated fund’ (Razaleigh’s statement) do not matter today.

“Even Razak’s categorical and unequivocal commitment in Parliament on Nov. 12, 1975 in reply to my parliamentary question that ‘Under the agreement, each state will receive 5 per cent of the value of petroleum found and extracted from each of the states, whether onshore or offshore, that is sold by Petronas or agencies or contractors’ is now regarded as utterly of no consequence or value,” Lim said.

Lim also criticized those who have attacked Tengku Razaleigh.

“Those who are baying for Razaleigh’s blood, like Umno Supreme Council member Dr. Mohd Puad Zarkashi demanding for action to be taken against the Gua Musang Member of Parliament for speaking out on the Kelantan oil royalty issue, have personal political axes to grind.

“They are neither interested in historic rights and wrongs nor the legacies of the first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia.

The PAS-controlled Kelantan state assembly on Monday made a landmark vote when three out of six Barisan Nasional assemblymen, unanimously agreed with the assembly to take the state’s oil royalty claims against Petronas to court.

The trio are state opposition leader Datuk Mohd Alwi Che Ahmad (BN-Kok Lanas), Mat Yusof Abdul Ghani (BN–Nenggiri) and Datuk Abdul Rashid Aziz (BN–Kuala Balah).

However, they later withdrew their vote on the pretext that the motion had been amended.

Several Umno supreme councillors had recently questioned Tengku Razaleigh’s apparent “immunity” in discussing the controversial issue and had urged the leadership to take action.

Najib, the Umno president, had said he would ask the members to decide what should be done about the maverick politician’s public outbursts.

Tengku Razaleigh had led Semangat 46, after the old Umno was deregistered in 1988 following his challenge for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s presidency. He also challenged Najib for the Umno presidency but failed to qualify, having received just one nomination.

He has also continued to express loyalty to the party while saying he is ready for any hearing or punishment.

12 PKR MPs pledge loyalty

By Clara Chooi - THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — Twelve PKR MPs pledged loyalty to their party as a third lawmaker quit to be independent, shrinking the opposition bench to 80 in parliament.

The 12 blamed Umno and Barisan Nasional for attempting to divide the party by spreading rumours that more PKR representatives would be jumping ship.

Teluk Kemang MP Datuk Kamarul Baharin Abbas, who led the press conference at the PKR headquarters here and spoke on behalf of the 12, said that they strongly rejected the allegations that some of them would soon defect.

“The reality here is that Umno and Barisan is feeling threatened by the second wave of support for Pakatan Rakyat’s leadership, especially with PKR de facto leader (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy trial,” he said.

He added that all the 12 MPs had signed a statement pledging their loyalty to the party, a move that was made voluntarily.

“We would like to stress that our struggle is to defend Pakatan’s principle of justice. We would also like to declare that our support for Anwar as the PKR de facto leader is undivided,” he said.

The 12 comprised PKR backbenchers who do not hold posts in the party’s top leadership.

Among them are Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff, Kelana Jaya MP Gwo-Burne Loh, Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid, Indera Mahkota MP Azan Ismail, Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishnan and Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam.

Gobalakrishnan and Loh were not present at the press conference due to other commitments.

The other MPs are Kuala Kedah MP Ahmad Kassim, Ketereh MP Ab Aziz Kadir, Merbok MP Datuk Rashid Din, Tanah Merah MP Amran Ab Ghani and Petaling Jaya South MP Hee Loy Sian.

Just as the 12 were pledging their loyalty, Bagan Serai MP Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri announced his departure from PKR to become an independent at a separate function.

He is the third PKR MP to leave the party, after MPs Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim and Tan Tee Beng made their respective announcements.

Talk is rife that more are expected to follow soon.

When asked if the other remaining 16 MPs in the party were expected to hold similar press conferences to pledge their loyalty, Kamarul said, “Suffice to say that for today, they are with us”.

He said that he “did not think” more MPs would leave PKR but added that even if it happened, none of the 12 who made their pledges today would be the ones defecting.

He also noted that the controversial Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin had not signed the pledge for the latter was still under inquiry by the party’s disciplinary panel.

“His case is still pending with the board so we will let the process be carried out first,” said Kamarul.

He would not commit if the rumours that Zulkifli would likely be the next in the party’s lengthening list of defectors were true but said that “as a team, we hope that Zul will be with us”.

Kamarul also rebutted claims by the recent defectors that there was no room for dissent in the PKR.

“I do not think there are constraints there. The expression of opinion is open and problems can be resolved through discussions. The expression of our views is acceptable to the leadership of the PKR,” he said.

Yusmadi, who was one of the MPs speculated to leave, pointed out that the present spate of defections was a result of fault-finding and framing.

“As an inexperienced MP, I think that we have plenty to learn. We must remember that our voters gave us their trust,” he said.

Meanwhile, the departure of the three MPs to date has led to the dwindling of PKR’s representation in the Parliament from an initial 31 MPs, the most among the three Pakatan parties, to a mere 28 - same with that of the DAP.

Although questions have been raised over Anwar’s position as Opposition Leader, statements made by PAS and DAP yesterday showed that the former deputy prime minister would remain in the post.

Kamarul reiterated that point again today and said that Anwar’s position as the Opposition Leader would not be taken away.

PCM eyes potential seats for election

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — The secretive Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) is now quietly preparing for the next election by recruiting potential candidates and identifying seats to contest, but denies it’s behind the spate of PKR defections.

“We are building a strong support base and we will give both PR and BN a good run for their money,” said its vice-president Huan Cheng Guan in an interview with The Malaysian Insider recently.

Huan was a former Gerakan vice-president who joined the PCM in December, six months after he was suspended by the Barisan Nasional (BN) party for criticising its leaders.

He assumed the role of PCM’s de facto spokesman soon after joining the party and has become more prominent than its president Tang Weng Chew.

PCM, said Huan, is eyeing at least two parliamentary seats and five state seats in Penang.

“We can’t contest all. We are not like other political parties with strong financial support. We are on our own, all our leaders are working or running their own small business, we don’t have big corporate figures supporting us,”

“We are also looking at the Batu constituency, in case a by-election is called. We will seriously consider fielding our candidate there,” said Huan.

PKR’s Batu MP Tian Chua was sentenced recently to six months jail and fined RM 3,000 after he was found guilty of biting a policeman. He will be disqualified if he loses an appeal.

In Sarawak the party is now represented in the state assembly after the Ngemah assemblyman Gabriel Adit Demong quit PKR to join PCM.

The party is making inroads into rural Sarawak, after a successful launch of the state’s chapter last January, said Huan. The state’s election must be held by the middle of next year.

“We give them autonomy to run the party in Sarawak. They are independent of the headquarters in Semenanjung unlike PKR, the Sarawakians don’t like to be dictated from here,” said Huan.

Huan claimed that thousands have applied to join PCM since then, but did not give the exact figure.

Its 15 central committee members meet almost every week at their headquarters in Chai Leng Park, Butterworth.

PCM was set up quietly by a group of friends in Penang after Election 2008 but it gained popularity when MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat last year accused his deputy Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek of being behind the party.

Recently, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also alleged that the PCM along with Malaysian Ambassador to the United States Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis were behind the attempts to lure PKR lawmakers to defect.

Huan dismissed the allegation that PCM is the tool for BN to split votes or to break Pakatan Rakyat (PR) via defections.

“Why should I do that if I can fight and win on my own? In Malaysia, politics is now being monopolised, we want to open up the space, and competition is always good for the people,” said Huan.

He said rumours of PCM being behind the defections emerged because of his past working relationship with some of the PKR MPs.

In the 1990s Huan was an aide to the then Penang Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saat who was an ally to Anwar.

He was also the Penang Gerakan Youth chief and Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng was his deputy.

“They are all my friends, Tee Beng, Zahrain. In PCM we treat everyone as our friend, whether they are in DAP, Gerakan or PKR, we all must learn to appreciate friendship and look beyond politics,” he said.

Huan added that he is also aware of the perception that the PCM is backed financially by Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

“The only link the party has with Tiong is me, I am still working as the executive secretary of BBC which Tiong is the president, but we are not getting any money from Tiong. He didn’t even know about the party when it was set up,” Huan told The Malaysian Insider.

PCM’s major concern said Huan is national unity, which he said both BN and PR have failed to promote.

“One thing very important is unity. We have been together for so long since before independence. Malaysia is one big family,” said Huan.

The newest Malay dilemma

Will a hundred Perkasa-type NGOs solve the Malay dilemma? Or is it a moot question? Rather, what is the Malay dilemma, if there is any?

A REPUBLIC OF VIRTUE

Azly Rahman

on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Azly-Rahman/689079971
on twitter: http://twitter.com/azlyrahman
on blog: http://azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com/

It must be a difficult time for the common and insignificant Malay; this beautiful people whose psyche has been consumed not only by feudalism but also by the ideology of cybernetic-neocolonialist feudalism in the form of party politics funded by big 'glocal' corporations. The poor Malay in the urban slum and in the kampong will continue to enjoy the spectacle of dynastic wars that are designed, like the idea of Vision 2020 that was crafted to blind the consciousness.

The common Malays are victims of slogans - from the cleverly crafted legend of Hang Tuah (allegedly a Chinese warrior transplanted by the court historian of the decadent Malacca sultanate) to the story of fantastic 'imagined communities' such as Vision 2020 that requires 'human capital' (modal insan) as its obedient labourers.

The authoritarian self

Our political leaders wish to become emperors. In the process of building empires, we let our leaders gain control of the ideological state apparatuses and we let them own the Fourth Estate (the media) so that it is easy for them to feed us with propaganda daily. We let these emperors make themselves bigger than life and more fictional than factual.

We let our leaders become autocrats - 22 years was a long time. We cannot continue this tradition if we are to evolve into a more humanistic polity. Because we allowed that long of a reign, we cannot undo this political-psychological mess.

Our cultural system is now operating based upon who gets to control the most strategic resources; who owns the material and cultural capital. It is the utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill (the ends justify the means) that forms the basis of our political-economic psyche. Our politics continue to cement the ideology based on the structure of inter-locking directorate-ships and the political-economy of transnational capitalism that feeds the elite with wealth and weapons to guard territories and to build personal empires and new Malaysian dynasties.

Our nation was borne out of the womb of colonialism and inherited the ills of neo-colonialism, moving into a difficult period of coming to terms with the 'Balkanisation of Malaysian politics in the Age of Post-Hegemony created by the Mahathir administration'. The Malays are experiencing the phenomena of the fall of the Berlin Wall right in their own backyard. We must be prepared for its ramifications. We must read the graffiti on those falling walls.

Silver platter

The handing over of Independence, on a silver platter, after a convenient post-colonialist arrangement of power relations, in the form of the formation of the National Alliance, prepared a transcultural flow of a somewhat 'flawless' political design that exacerbates and alleviates, in a nationalistic form, the divide-and-rule political economy.

The practice of keeping political leaders the longest in power and installing the variegated systems of control, from the traditionalism of cultural politics to computer-mediated systems of controlling human beings, has its price.

This practice has cost us the growing up pains we are experiencing - from the way we build our highways to the way we architecture the mind of our children and we broadcast 'live' the ingredients of our state propaganda.

And now, we have this 76 or so Perkasa-type of NGOs that will continue to shape the direction of Malay politics. It signifies the “subcontractor-isation” of Malay protest movement no longer being dome by Malay-centric political parties.

The real Malay dilemma

But for thinking Malays, there is an alternative view to the advancing new Malay dilemma, beyond the Perkasa shadow-play. It concerns not only the political fate of the Malays, but of Malaysians as a people yearning for a republic of virtue. We have lived in epochs of mind control - from the mythically-useful idea of daulat in the clever invention called the divine rights of kings to the mantra of cybernetic technology, installed and institutionalised through the smart partnership with international profiteers skilled in the design of the post-modern slavery system.

If one analyses the system of international labour in Malaysia since we were granted independence, one may conclude a similar pattern of modern slavery on a global scale - international capitalists collaborate with the local elite in transforming the natives and imported natives into indentured servants.

We continue to switch masters, in accordance with the flow of 'paxes' - Pax Brittanica, Pax Americana, to Pax Nipponica, to Pax Corporate-Crony Malaysiana. The nature of our either-or politics, as I see it, is navigating us towards another form of hegemony; one that might be even more dangerous that what is currently prevailing in its most corrupt practice. It is taking shape in the form of 'illiberalism' grounded in the politics of vengeance, and alliance based on the insatiable urge to impose some form of cybernetic-theocratic rule that is scaring those of us who are strong believers of radical and social multi-culturalism.

We are charting our future ruins based on the politics of desperados inspired by a decadent ideology no longer in synchrony with the real issue of the day - the emergence of cultural classes of people, silently reproduced by the post-industrial and hyper-modernising state.

The real Malay dilemma lies in its inability to realise that Vision 2020 was a strategy to blur the masses of the political-economic nature of controlling interests in Malaysian politics; that Vision 2020 built by robber barons and emerging dynasties. It is our own Orwellian document of doublespeak.

What then must the silent spectator Malays do? Where will this Malay-Perkasa dilemma lead this country to?

Will we fester like a raisin in the sun -- or will we explode?

Najib a Malay hero for making Umno a 'tong sampah' ?

Wong Choon Mei, Harakah Daily

If Prime Minister Najib Razak believes that by engineering the latest round of political defections, he can emerge as a hero to his Umno party and salvage political ground with the Malays, then he is in for a surprise.


According to PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar, not only the majority of Umno members but also the Malay community could see through the desperation in his attempts to buy over members of Parliament from the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

“What sort hero to the Malays can Najib be? We can only view his lack of morality and ethics with the greatest contempt,” Mahfuz told Harakahdaily.

"In the end, what has he done when his so-called legacy is to make Umno the tong sampah (rubbish bin) and tong najis (excrement bin) for the waste materials of the Pakatan Rakyat."

Tarnishing
his own party and community

Earlier this week, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's PKR party lost two federal lawmakers to the ruling Umno-BN coalition. Both men had quit PKR to become independent MPs, but friendly to Umno-BN so as to help it achieve its dubious plans.

There is red-hot speculation that Najib intends to lure at least 10 opposition MPs to the BN so that his coalition can muster the two-thirds majority needed to redraw constituency boundaries.

His aim from the gerrymandering exercise is to gain an illicit advantage over the Pakatan, rather than face his fate in a free and fair election.

“If Umno doesn 't mind being dragged down by his actions, that is its business. But Najib should not tarnish the honor of the Malay race with such dishonest behavior, which is against the principles of our religion," Mahfuz chided.

"Somehow, Najib doesn't seem to think Malaysians will mind. But he and his cohorts are making the fatal mistake of underestimating the intelligence of the rakyat (citizenry) and the fair-mindedness of the Malays in particular."

Malays must lead other races in fighting corruption

Nevertheless, there are already attempts in the top Umno echelon to hail Najib as a hero.

According to Umno vice preisdent Hishammuddin Hussein, who is also Najib's cousin and the Home Minister, their party could take heart from the latest cross-overs.

“This shows that it is not that easy to run a party or even a state. So to me, this is not only a sign, but it can also give a little spirit to us in Umno and Barisan,” Hishammuddin told reporters.

Meanwhile, top blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin has dropped a bombshell, stunning the country with revelations that Najib had given a lucrative Independent Power Plant contract to another cousin, Hamdan, so that they could finance the Pakatan crossovers and their family could cling to power at Umno.

According to Raja Petra, a budget of RM50 million was set aside for a targeted 10 defections. Calls from irate taxpayers are already building up nationwide for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the allegations.

“It is time for the Malays - the biggest community in this country - to lead all other Malaysians in saying enough is enough. Our nation must never condone a leadership that depends on corruption and bribes to win elections or to buy votes,” said Mahfuz.

"Otherwise, we will be seen as a people that thrives on dishonesty and lies. Immorality, treachery and scandal will become the new hallmarks of our culture."

Sleight of hand in PKR resignations?

By Chan Kok Leong (The Edge)

PETALING JAYA: It has become a norm to blame Barisan Nasional whenever there is a resignation from the opposition party.


After all, when the first three “independents” — Hee Yit Foong, Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Osman Jailu — left their parties this time last year, BN profited by bagging Perak.

Although never proven, speculation that the three had benefited financially from their “coming-out” party continues to be bandied about by conspiracy theorists.

The latest departures of Bayan Baru and Nibong Tebal members of parliament from PKR are no different. But for Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia associate professor of political science Dr Mohamad Agus Yusoff, the allegations remain unfounded and cannot be relied on.

“Nothing has been proven so far, and there are many different factors causing the resignations of Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim and Tan Tee Beng,” said Agus yesterday.

“They are likely to have left as a result of the dissatisfaction, disillusionment and personality clashes within the party,” he explained.

Umno supreme council member Datuk Idris Haron was equally dismissive about the suggestion that the two had been paid to leave their party.

“Why would we want to do this? If we can offer RM1 million for them to leave their party, who’s to say they won’t repeat it for a higher sum. There is also no advantage to BN for them to cross over as we are the government after all,” said the Tangga Batu MP.

“It is more likely that they left due to anger and frustration with the leadership. It’s not easy to leave a party when the mandate comes from the people,” he added.

Unlike the previous cases in Perak, Zahrain and Tan had openly clashed with Penang Chief Miniser Lim Guan Eng over the issue of funding for their constituencies.

While Penang state assemblymen are given allocations to manage their constituencies, MPs are not provided with any funding to run theirs.

Following a very public spat with Lim, PKR instituted disciplinary proceedings against the two. While Tan had initially apologised for his actions before quitting on Monday, Zahrain had resigned before facing the disciplinary board.

Another MP, Zulkifli Nordin (Kulim Bandar Baharu) similarly faced the disciplinary board on Monday.

For Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong, quitting over funding was silly. “They are not the only ones struggling over allocations for their constituencies. DAP’s federal legislators face similar problems,” said Liew, who is from DAP.

The DAP strategist was less sure about whether BN had a hand in the duo’s resignations.

“While there doesn’t seem to be any direct advantage for BN in this case, more resignations could hand the two-thirds control of parliament back to them,” said Liew.

“With two-thirds majority, BN can then amend the Federal Constitution on federal-state relationship and seize more power. They will also have the advantage in a delineation exercise of the parliament seats.”

Another reason suggested by Idris for Tan and Zahrain’s resignations relates to their leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Maybe, they have become disenchanted with Anwar after the latter failed to become the prime minister in 2008. Anwar’s pre-occupation with the sodomy trial could have further distanced him from their problems,” said Idris.

Liew said that it was a case of “damn if you do and damn if you don’t” for PKR.

“It was a no-win situation for PKR. If the party had conducted a surgical strike on the duo by sacking them, Anwar would have been accused of being a dictator. But by not sacking them, the party has to brace for all these problems,” said Liew.

For Agus, the resignations only proved that it is high time that an anti-hopping law was instituted. Or at the very least, an amendment to Article 48(6) of the Federal Constitution.

“Under the current laws, a disgruntled legislator can quit only the party while maintaining his seat. But by amending the law or having an anti-hopping legislation, the choice is returned to the voters.

“Allowing the unhappy MP to quit and re-contest is only fair to the voters and the party,” said Agus.

One more quit PKR, 12 others affirm loyalty

By Marc Jitab and Jaynne Koh

FMT ALERT KUALA LUMPUR: A third PKR member of parliament - Bagan Serai's Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri – announced this morning that he was quitting the party to become an independent.

He is the third PKR MP to quit in the last two weeks, following Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng and Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Mohamed Hashim who had left after losing confidence in the party leadership.

Mohsin's announcement to leave the party came just when 12 other PKR MPs were affirming their loyalty to the party.

These 12 were widely speculated to be on the verge of leaving the party as well.

Speaking to the media at the PKR headquarters in Tropicana this morning, the group of MPs led by Teluk Kemang MP Datuk Kamarul Baharin Abbas said they had no intentions of leaving the party.

Apart from Kamarul, the other MPs were: Ahmd Kassin (Kuala Kedah), Azan Ismail (Indera Mahkota), Abdullah Sani (Kuala Langat), Ab Aziz bin Ab Kadir (Ketereh), Yusmadi Yusoff (Balik Pulau), S Manikavasagam (Kapar), N Gobalakrishnan (Padang Serai), Rashid Din (Merbok), Loh Gwo-Burne (Kelana Jaya), Amran Ab Ghani (Tanah Merah) and Hee Loy Sian (Petaling Jaya Selatan).

Ten out of the 12 parliamentarians were present at the press conference, except for Loh and Gobalakrishnan were unable to attend as they were not in town.

Two other MPs who were also strongly rumoured to be on the verge of leaving PKR - Wee Choo Keong (Wangsa Maju) and Zulkifli Nordin (Kulim-Bandar Baharu) – had not signed the loyalty statement.

BN diverting public attention

Kamarul said that PKR was aware that Umno-BN was working hard to break the party by enticing MPs who did not hold posts in the central party leadership.

“Those who have (defected) did so because of personal problems which they did not bring forward to the party," he said.

He also said that BN was reacting to the new wave of support enjoyed by Pakatan as a result of the second sodomy trial against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Umno-BN is also trying to divert the public attention from the degradation of the national economy and other chronic national crises which show no sign of improvement,” he added.

“(To those who have defected), I wish them selamat pergi (goodbye), take care," said the Teluk Kemang MP.

Unhappy with Pakatan politics

Meanwhile at a separate press conference, Mohsin, who won the Bagan Serai seat with a majority of 3,413 votes over Umno's Zainal Abidin Zin, said he decided to leave PKR following his concerns over the Pakatan Rakyat politics.

“In the name of Allah, I would like to announce my resignation from PKR,” said Mohsin. He said he was especially disappointed over the stand taken by Pakatan on the 'Allah' issue.

The press conference was also attended by former PKR secretary-general Datuk Salehuddin Hashim who had quit the party two weeks ago. Another big name to have left the party in recent days was former Penang Deputy Chief Minister 1 Mohd Fairus Khairuddin.

“The trust and confidence that I have placed in PKR’s and Pakatan Rakyat’s struggle, especially in restoring the special position of Islam has faded with the latest development in the party,” he added.

Mohsin also accused certain people in the party of being involved in sabotage and internal problems, resulting in him being unable to perform his duties.

Following the latest resignation, both PKR and DAP have 28 MPs each while PAS has 23, PSM (1) and SAPP (2). There are four independents while BN controls 137 seats in the 222-member Parliament.

Of jumping frogs, 2/3 majority and rising of prices

Opposition, the war is on. Your soldiers neglect your commands and have began to surrender over to the other side. To make thing worse, they took their ammunition along and are now using it against you. Your food supply is low, your resources limited, and the very people that you tried to protect are forced to work for the other side. What further plans can you come up with to free them?

By avancc

Dear Malaysia Today,

I'm writing this to show my disappointment with the PR coalition, and the sinking hope that I am feeling right now. Besides thanking YM RPK for enlightening us on many issues, I am upset that PR care not doing anything better to tackle and resolve those issues. And I am hoping someone from PR would enlighten me on the things we the rakyat can do. Now, these "things" have to be "concrete" things.

Please allow me to give a very shallow view on the recent news that prices of things have been increasing. I'm sure many have heard about the plan of increasing petrol prices in May this year. Corresponding to the recent crossover of many MPs from the opposition, as well as rumors that our PM hired image consultants to rebuild his reputation, all I can say is this:

WE THE RAKYAT ARE THE ONES SPONSORING ALL THESE EVENTS.

We pay tax. We pay a high price for our petrol. We pay a high price for locally made cars that probably aren't worth half their price, not to mention the hundreds of percent tax on foreign cars. We pay a high price for Techs. And part of that money is of course used to pay MPs' salaries, as well as allowances for Royal families. But, it is highly possible now that we are also paying for the evil acts being imposed on us.

Our money could be used for "buying" votes; buying "maruah" and trust of our elected MPs. As well as possibilities of it being used in plots to tarnish and destroy opposing forces. One good example is the Sodomy 2 case. How many people were "bought" for that case? How much money is being wasted to make a clown story for the world to laugh at? And the saddest point is, we are paying for the clown show to be made upon ourselves!

Now we are told about "gerrymandering". It means they will continue to win and be in power no matter how we oppose them. That would also mean that we will have to continue paying for clown shows. Paying so that we ourselves can be tortured further. Paying so that we continue to be suppressed. And the price we are paying is increasing day by day. We pay to destroy ourselves.

That very thought makes me shiver. It really seems like there is no other choice for us. We have MPs with a maruah that can be easily bought; we have rakyat that support the call to have themselves suppressed, tortured and humiliated; we have rakyat that are afraid to follow the lead of freedom and justice activists; etc etc. It seems that we are cornered from every side. It's tiring and upsetting to feel this way, in the very own country that one was born, that one loves, that which promised you a better future, only to strip that dream further away from you.

Looking at the current crossovers by many MPs, as well as the character and attitude of some reps who still think that they should get special privileges with their position, where they could get contracts by being who they are. It brings tears to my eyes. Because our trust in them to make a better future for us is betrayed.

At first, I thought that with the cleaning up of the party, we could reduce or eliminate that issue. Now with the “gerrymandering” tool, it would seem that all our efforts might be futile. Whatever we do will never give the result we desire. The more we oppose their evil acts, instead of turning over a new leaf, the leaf rots. They become more evil, more cunning. And eventually we continue to suffocate under their unchangeable habits.

Every now and then, the thought of migration would spring up. At one point, I even said to myself – “Even if I have to settle for a job of lesser pay, or do odd jobs out there, it would still be better than dying away here”. It is up to that state that we are upset with the government and the political developments here.

What other things can we do? The federal ruling party continues to grow in evilness, the opposition continues to dwell in their comfort zone, and the rakyat continues to be upset. We need more concrete actions from the opposition, more trustworthy reps, and better plans, if we are to continue the drive for justice and freedom. Else, it will still be old tunes in new packaging and eventually everything would fall back to square one and all our efforts go down the drain.

Opposition, the war is on. Your soldiers neglect your commands and have began to surrender over to the other side. To make thing worse, they took their ammunition along and are now using it against you. Your food supply is low, your resources limited, and the very people that you tried to protect are forced to work for the other side. What further plans can you come up with to free them?

The Chinese once used the moon cake baked with instructions hidden within to rebel against the suppressing government and they succeeded despite having a much lesser army. What plans do we have? We the simple rakyat need guidance.

“The most corrupt institution in the country”

Umno is rotten to the core; it is rotten from its lowest level to the highest, observes Martin Jalleh, echoing the sentiments of many Malaysians.

2009 began with the chairman of Umno’s Disciplinary Board, Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen, proposing a radical (or desperate) solution to reduce rampant money politics in Umno – get rid of its Youth and Puteri wings! The Umno elite, Najib included, found the proposal ridiculous and rejected it.

Zaid Ibrahim advised Rithauddeen to retire and resign from the Tribunal since his efforts in reining in corruption in Umno had proven to be futile. Lim Kit Siang went one step further saying, as a result of Rithauddeen’s failure to weed out corruption, the whole of Umno should be uprooted altogether!

On 30 January 2009, a group of Umno Youth members protested against both Rithauddeen for his proposal and also the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for its intervention in “party matters”. It rattled Rithauddeen so much that he resignedly replied: “We will do our job; MACC will do theirs.”

In March, two Umno members threatened to apply for an injunction to postpone the Umno general assembly until all allegations of money politics were investigated. They highlighted their report on the misuse of power on the (then) PM and Deputy PM and the more than 1,000 reports of graft in Umno.

Nine days before the Umno elections, the Umno Disciplinary Board barred Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam from contesting the post of party deputy president after three of his “agents” were allegedly found guilty of being involved in money politics in the run-up to the elections.

But Ali Rustam continued as an Umno member and CM. Even Dr Mahathir was stumped by this: “Isa was thrown out because he was involved in money politics…he also lost his position as a minister. But here we have a very strange decision. He was found to be corrupt but he can remain as the Chief Minister…”

Khairy Jamaluddin, who was a candidate for the post of Umno Youth head, was also found “guilty” by the Board, but was only given a warning. He won the post and was heckled by an Umno mob who yelled, “Khairy! Rasuah!” and “Penipu!” during his acceptance speech.

Another candidate for the post of Umno Youth head, Mohamad Khir Toyo, was cleared by the Board of all corruption charges. People expected Khir Toyo to be found clean, or Umno would be without an opposition leader in Selangor of his calibre and he would not look good in his new role as a “champion of good governance”!

Several MBs and CMs who lost in the party elections blamed it on money politics. They claimed that delegates seemed more drawn to the “distribution of gifts” than what they had done for their states. (Only one of the MBs and CMs succeeded in securing a place on the 25-seat supreme council.)

It was also time for Pak Lah to retire. As a parting shot to the party that ended his presidency/premiership prematurely he warned that “…materialism has seeped into the party, making a number of party members greedy and avaricious, hence creating the negative perception that Umno is a corrupt party”.

When setting up his new Umno Supreme Council Najib sought to be “inclusive” – he included the losers in the Umno elections and whose integrity had been questioned, such as, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (of V K Lingam video clip fame), Ali Rustam (money politics) and Rafidah Aziz (Approved Permits)!

In April, Najib became the PM. Many agreed with the assessment of Tengku Aziz - a former chairman of Transparency International - of Najib’s People’s Cabinet, as a team “totally uninspiring (and) of recycled political expendables, many with personal records of integrity that will not bear close scrutiny.”

Indeed, Najib’s supposed strong resolve to start afresh with his new cabinet was in reality a successful spin by his camp for about 80 per cent of those appointed ministers were spent characters, self-seeking sycophants with stained records, or what Dr M called “unsavoury characters”.

Umno’s anti-corruption charade continued in full force. In August, Umno fielded a disbarred lawyer in the Permatang Pasir by-election. It prompted Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to ask: “Is Umno so short of people that we have to find a lawyer disbarred for financial dishonesty to stand?”

In October, Mohd Isa Abdul Samad became Umno’s candidate in the Bagan Pinang by-election. Najib’s nebulous defence of the decision was that “the offence committed by Isa was not an offence under the law”. The Chief Commissioner of the MACC had in January 2009 declared categorically that “money politics is corruption”!

The DAP’s Wong Ho Leng gives an accurate implication of Isa’s win: “Isa’s win would translate into an endorsement of corruption within Umno and the government that it leads. It lays bare the fact that Umno has no better leader to win a by-election than one who has been condemned by Umno itself to have been corrupt.”

PKR’s Azmin Ali sarcastic take on Isa Samad’s victory was that Umno does not have to do any reform nor worry about money politics anymore. They can still win anyhow!

Consider columnist M. Bakri Musa’s invaluable insight: “To Umno folks, the party has replaced Allah as the source of bounty and benevolence… Corrupt leaders are forgiven not by Allah but by the party. Isa Samad had his political corruption sentence reduced, and then he was rewarded to be the party’s election candidate. Khairy had his ‘money politics’ conviction essentially pardoned, and then blessed by being head of Umno Youth”!

The year ended with Dr M quoting in his blog a former senior Umno leader’s lamentation: “Umno is rotten to the core. It is rotten from its lowest level to the highest. What’s left are remnants of people with self-interest who still hope of being rewarded for supporting Umno. They are not nationalists and cannot be trusted.” According to Dr M, this leader intended to jump ship to Pas!

Martin Jalleh is a well known political commentator.

Mission: Democratisation

thenutgraph.com

I HAVE no doubt that a two-party system is better than the one-party state we currently live in. However, what is desirable is not necessarily viable.

As I have argued, blind faith in the feasibility of a two-party system may lead to either one-party predominance (under the Barisan Nasional [BN] or Pakatan Rakyat [PR]), or a palace- or military-backed regime.

Three conditions

In brief, the establishment of a two-party system in Malaysia requires three conditions:

1

The majority of voters must support only two parties (or coalitions), and the parties' electoral strength must be comparable, if not roughly equal. To put it bluntly, there can be no two-party competition if the majority of voters concentrate their votes on only one party.

2

The political system must be sufficiently fair for the weaker of the two parties (the opposition) to win representation and control some political resources. This requires a clear separation between party and state, as well as a fair and reasonably proportionate electoral system.

3Democracy must be accepted as the only game in town; all political parties and elites must respect election outcomes. This state of democratic consolidation is in fact a condition that can be universally applied to any form of representative democracy.

The second and third conditions are interrelated, in that they determine how the competitors would behave in democratic or undemocratic environments. In other words, if losing the game means losing everything, the players are likely to pursue victory at all costs.

What emerged on 8 March 2008 was only the fulfilment of the first condition for a two-party system. The second condition was hardly fulfilled as PR lawmakers and state governments are still marginalised or undermined by the BN. The third condition is still absent, as manifested by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's 16 Sept government-by-defections plot, the BN's Perak takeover, and the recent defections of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) lawmakers.

Dangerous assumptions

The danger of treating a two-party system as a fait accompli is that voters may vote as if they are living in a real democracy. Voters may form their choices based on various issues and may be driven by local concerns or personalities.

This may result in a somewhat close match, which would fulfil the first, "equal strength" condition for a two-party system. However, it is a huge disadvantage to be in the opposition as the second, "fairness" condition remains unsatisfied. Therefore, the loser may not be willing to accept the outcome and thus resort to undemocratic means of grabbing power leaving the third, "democratic consolidation" condition unsatisfied.


Both parties should be of equal strength

To prevent such a scenario, the winner might entice the losing party's lawmakers to cross over. If necessary, the winner might also court the support of the palace, military and likely the religious authorities. In the end, there will only be either a one-party state (under the BN or PR) or a coup-installed regime. The two-party system thus ceases to be a viable option.

What if the winner wins a comfortable seat margin, either because of increased votes or electoral manipulation? As long as political parties and elites still do not see the voters' verdict as supreme, the winner may still try to entice the loser's lawmakers to defect. So, again we will not end up with a two-party system. This is in fact what seems to be happening to PKR now, with its lawmakers' defections and resignations.

To recap, as long as the federal opposition parties are discriminated against, the "fairness" condition for a genuine two-party system will remain absent. And as long as the parties and politicians refuse to accept election outcomes as final, the "democratic consolidation" condition for a two-party system will remain absent. Therefore, even if the voters' collective choice results in two-party competition, like what happened post-March 2008, this may eventually give way to either one-party predominance (via defections) or, worse, a coup-installed regime.

Two-party road map

While a two-party system is unattainable in the short run, it is possible in the longer term — after democratisation.

The first question before Malaysian democrats is: of the BN's one-party predominance, the PR's one-party predominance, and a coup-installed regime, which would most likely facilitate a two-party system? By a process of elimination, the answer cannot be a coup-installed regime, which would inevitably divide the population bitterly. So we are left with the choice between a dominant BN and a dominant PR.


(Map pic by virsh / sxc.hu)
The second question is: how can we ensure the chosen coalition will uphold democratic transition? The answer is, we need a political contract with the chosen coalition that explicitly promises democratisation.

The pact must contain the coalition's explicit and categorical commitments to:

1

Federalism and local elections. This would ensure that even if the coalition fully controls the federal government and Parliament, it may still be checked by lower-level governments. You can't have an electoral one-party state if different parties run the federal, state and municipal governments.

2Protecting civil and political rights. One-party predominance cannot do too much harm if we have a vibrant civil society and functioning public sphere. And so, the coalition must spell out its plan of action to repeal all anti-human rights laws, not only the Internal Security Act.

3

Democratic candidate selection and representative recall. Election candidates cannot be subjectively decided by only the top leadership of the coalition. There should be a primary mechanism so that the public can be consulted and the most qualified individuals are able to offer themselves as candidates. The electorate must also be allowed to initiate a recall of representatives who underperform or betray their mandates. This would effectively curb defections.

In brief, I am proposing that the next general election should have only one theme for voters: democratisation. The coalition that is willing to commit to the highest degree of democratisation should be adopted as the vehicle of change and supported fully by all Malaysian democrats.

Considering the BN's appalling democratic track record, it seems at the moment that the PR is the only viable choice for our preferred "democratisation alliance". But would the PR be willing to sign a contract with Malaysian voters to democratise this country? I don't know.

So far, the PR has been very much a "good governance alliance" with little interest in democratisation. If they are still not keen, then civil society should seriously consider building a third force, even if it means risking a coup.

Why have the sons of the second and third Prime Ministers turned their backs on their father’s joint legacy on 5% oil royalty to the states?

End-game to the silencing of Umno veteran leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah or his expulsion from Umno.

This is the import and intent of the gag order announced by Umno vice president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on Umno members on the Kelantan oil royalty issue which could affect the party’s image.

It is no more a question of who and what is historically right or wrong but who has the present power to impose his views on the country at the moment, right or wrong.

What the second and third Prime Ministers, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn, intended some 35 years ago, as ordering Razaleigh as the first Petronas Chairman “to design the Petroleum Development Act in such a way that the Malay heartland states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor and especially his beloved Pahang, would benefit directly from offshore oil beyond 3 nautical miles through the mechanism of 5 per cent cash payments made directly to the state consolidated fund” (Razaleigh’s statement) do not matter today.

Even Razak’s categorical and unequivocal commitment in Parliament on Nov. 12, 1975 in reply to my parliamentary question that “Under the agreement, each state will receive 5 per cent of the value of petroleum found and extracted from each of the states, whether onshore or offshore, that is sold by Petronas or agencies or contractors” is now regarded as utterly of no consequence or value.

Can the sons of the second and third Prime Ministers of Malaysia explain why they have turned their backs on their father’s joint legacy of 5% oil royalty to the states and instead embraced the fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir’s distortion and violation of the petroleum agreements with the various states?

Najib and Hishammuddin should not allow political expediency and considerations, even Umno’s survival, to dishonour their father’s joint legacy to give 5% oil royalty to the states, particularly Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johore.

Those who are baying for Razaleigh’s blood, like Umno Supreme Council member Dr. Mohd Puad Zarkashi demanding for action to be taken against the Gua Musang Member of Parliament for speaking out on the Kelantan oil royalty issue, have personal political axes to grind.

They are neither interested in historic rights and wrongs nor the legacies of the first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia.

Puad, for example, is hoping that in the impending Cabinet reshuffle which Najib had long been mulling over, he would make the lightning elevation to become full Cabinet Minister although he is not yet a full year as a Deputy Minister – allowing him to make a record-quick ascent up the Cabinet ladder.

There should be no gag order on the legacy of Razak and Hussein on the oil royalty issue for the states.

What Najib should do is to present a White Paper on the oil royalty issue on the first day of the forthcoming meeting of Parliament on 16th March 2010 and to schedule a special parliamentary debate on the issue.

In the White Paper, Najib should declassify all documents and papers to fully explain why for 35 years the Federal Government honoured the states’ rights to 5% oil royalty with regular payments to Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak and the legal history of the change of stand of the Federal Government in 2000 to withdraw such recognition and to pay instead “wang ehsan” (compassionate payments) to the Terengganu state government – all because of PAS capture of the state in the 1999 general elections.

Rwanda ex-president's wife arrested - Al Jazeera

A picture taken in 1977 shows President Juvenal Habyarimana, left, and his wife, Agathe [AFP]

French police have arrested Agathe Habyarimana, the widow of Rwanda's assassinated former president, who is wanted in her home country in connection with genocide charges.

The authorities made the arrest at Habyarimana's home in Paris on Tuesday, but later freed her on bail.

Her detention comes just a week after Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, visited Rwanda where he admitted that Paris had made serious errors of judgement over the 1994 genocide.

Rwandan authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Agathe Habyarimana last year, calling on France to pursue genocide suspects living there.

Rwandan authorities welcomed the arrest, with Tharcisse Karugarama, Rwanda's justice minister, saying: "At long last the long arm of the law is finally taking its course."

Agathe Habyarimana has steadfastly denied involvement in the genocide.

Extradition 'unlikely'

The death of her husband, Juvenal Habyarimana, Rwanda's former president, in April 1994 when his aeroplane was shot down, marked the beginning of the Rwandan genocide.

In less than 100 days, 800,000 people were killed, most of them Tutsis, while most of those who perpetrated the violence were Hutus.

Agathe Habyarimana left Rwanda three days after her husband died and moved to France, but Rwandan authorities are convinced she played a key role in plotting the killings.

The head of Rwanda's genocide fugitive tracking unit said it had asked for Agathe Habyarimana's extradition.

"Our priority is to have her tried in Rwanda because this is where she committed crimes against the Rwandan people," Jean Bosco Mutangana said.

But a French foreign ministry spokesman said there had been no formal extradition request from Rwanda.

International tensions

A French judicial source, who declined to be named, said it was unlikely that the French would send Agathe Habyarimana back home for trial.

Although Rwanda has abolished the death penalty, the central African country's prison system could well be viewed as incompatible with European standards, the source said.

France and Rwanda broke off diplomatic relations in 2006 after a Paris judge accused Paul Kagame, Rwanda's current president, and nine aides of shooting down Habyarimana's aircraft.

Sarkozy's visit to Rwanda last week was aimed at trying to improve diplomatic relations after years of acrimony.

Rwanda has accused the administration of Francois Mitterrand, the former French president, of having trained and armed the Hutu fighters who were behind the killings.

During his trip to Rwanda, Sarkozy stopped short of apologising for any French actions, but said Paris had failed to understand the situation.

"Errors of assessment and political mistakes were made here, and they led to absolutely tragic consequences," he said.

Malik on Fairuz joining UMNO

Who will succeed Anwar?

Ibubapa terperanjat kerana tadika di Ladang Bagan Pasir ditutup.

Bagan Dato, Mac 2- Tadika Bagan Pasir telah ditutup secara tiba- tiba tanpa sebarang pemberitahuan terlebih dahulu telah memranjatkan pihak ibu bapa kata K.Jayaganthan (28 tahun). Beliau seperti biasa telah membawa dua orang anaknya ke tadika pada pukul 8.00 pagi. Tetapi terperanjat kerana melihat tadika tersebut telah ditutup. Malah ramai ibubapa turut hairan dengan penutupan tadika. Tadika ini sedang berfungsi selama 34 tahun di ladang ini. Penutupan tadika ini oleh pihak pentadbir serta koperasi ladang masih menjadi tanda soal kepada mereka.

UMNO: Sivasangkari merana penyakit barah otak

Sivasangkari, 11 tahun, menghidapi penyakit barah otak dan kini merana kerana memerlukan belanja perubatan. Dia yang tinggal bersama keluarganya di Tanjung Karang amat memerlukan pertolongan dari segi kewangan bagi membiaya perubatannya. Orang awam yang ingin membantu diminta memasukkan wang ke dalam akaun Agro Bank keluarganya. (Makkal Osai 2/3/2010 di muka surat 12). Terdapat satu lagi kisah dimana seorang ibu miskin berusaha menyelamatkan suami yang terlantar di katil kerana tidak sihat serta lima orang anaknya. (Malaysia Nanban 25/2/2010 di muka surat 18).

HRP: Kenapa Jabatan Kebajikan di bawah pimpinan UMNO enggan memberi bantuan tambahan sebanyak RM500 kepada keluarga ini sebagai bantuan kebajikan dan memberi tanah di bawah program Felda, Felcra, Risda, Fama, Agropolitan, Kejora, Kesedar dan lain-lain lagi dan memberi peluang supaya keluarga ini dapat mengatasi kemiskinan hidup yang telah diwujudkan oleh sikap berat sebelah UMNO. Walaupun kerajaan di bawah pimpinan UMNO telah memperuntukkan RM48 Million (surat kepada Perdana Menteri bertarikh 27hb Mac 2009) untuk bantuan kebajikan namun ia tetap tidak sampai kepada masyarakat India di negara ini yang amat memrlukannya dan kisah Sivasangkari adalah salah satu bukti yang tidak dapat dinafikan.

Suara HINDRAF, Febuary 2010 Buletin (Malay)

Three teens detained under EO, family cries foul (Malaysiakini)

Vasugi Supramanian

Family members of three teenagers are crying foul over their detention without trial at the Simpang Renggam detention centre under the Emergency Ordinance 1969.

Accompanied by representatives of human rights group Suaram, the detainees relatives took their case to the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) today, pleading for intervention.

“Please help me to bring back my son. He is a good boy and I want him to be successful in his studies,” said M Gowri, 42, who was among the 15 relatives present.

According to Suaram’s memorandum to Suhakam, the trio from Semenyih, aged between 15 and 17, are suppose to sit for PMR and SPM examinations this year.

They were detained on Dec 21 last year on allegations of being a public nuisance and being in possession of a stolen vehicle.

The trio were held in several police stations for a total of 21 days until their remand period expired. They were then transferred to Simpang Renggam detention centre.

Their parents claim they were only notified of their children’s fate after they were held at the detention centre. The detention order expires on March 9.

The two-page memorandum also urged the commission to take immediate action on the matter and appeal to the Home Ministry for the three teenager’s release.

The memorandum was handed to Suhakam commissioner N Siva Subramaniam.

Suhakam to appeal

Suaram director S Arutchelvan said the detentions was an violation of Article 16 (1) and (11) of the Federal Constitution, Article 42 of the Child Act 2001 and Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“We would like to urge the government to take immediate action and release the teenagers. They are supposed to be sitting for major examinations this year and the detention would affect their future,” said Arutchelvan.

Addressing the family members and Suaram later, Siva Subramaniam criticised the authorities for placing the teenagers in Simpang Renggam detention centre, noting that it is a place where many “serious criminals” are being held.

“I would say to place them under the surveillance of Henry Gurney prisoners school (in Malacca), would be a better option,” he added.

The Simpang Renggam detention centre has often been criticised as a ‘training school’ for criminals because of the high concentration of hardcore criminals held there under the Emergency Ordinance.

The commissioner also promised to immediately submit a written appeal to the Home Affairs Ministry and locate the three detainee’s school records.

Siva Subramaniam later turned his attention to discipline problems among youths and urged the authorities to step up action.

“I believe the police and NGO bodies should cooperate in a bid to combat the discipline problem among the teenagers as the issue is really alarming,” he added.

RM100 for Indians, RM150 for Chinese – Why this discrimination by BN in Temerloh?

http://charleshector.blogspot.com/

Well, with regard to that gathering of old-folks in Temerloh Parliamentary constituency, area for the purpose of receiving government allocation/contribution for Chinese New Year and Deepavali, only the Malaysian of Chinese and Indian origins were invited.

And, there was discrimination between what the Indians received, and what the Chinese elders (Warga Mas – Golden Citizens) received.

RM100 for the Malaysian Indians

RM150 for the Malaysian Chinese..

Why? Why is the UMNO-led BN government practicing discrimination based on the ethnicity/origins of one’s forefathers?

S0, when they call the Malaysian Malay old folks to receive their Hari Raya contributions, how many will they be given? RM200…RM250…RM500…RM1,000?

Will the Orang Asli get anything?

The letters were issued by the Temerloh District Office, and as mentioned earlier, the monies could have just came with the letters without requiring our aging fathers and mother going to the Dewan on a very hot afternoon, and having to wait for about 3 hours plus just to receive RM100 (If Indian) and RM150(If Chinese) [See earlier post:-BN tidak hormati Warga Mas - Warga Mas diminta pergi Dewan, tunggu 3 jam, tanpa air minum, untuk 'sumbangan' RM100 selepas dengar ucapan YB.

The lack of transparency has led to a lot of questions and speculations, and some of the things that I have heard are:-

* Actually, the government gave RM500 to be given to every old folk (i.e. those 65 and above) but the MCA and the MIC took some for themselves, and MCA gave the Chinese RM150, but MIC took more and gave the Indians only RM100.

* Actually the government allocated RM1,000 to be given to every old folk (i.e. those 65 and above) but the BN politicians took a lot and only gave a token sum to the people. I heard that in Klang, they got RM500 - do not know why in Temerloh only RM150/RM100...

* The money is given only for the old folks (i.e. those 65 and above), who voted for the BN [or are BN party members], and that is the reason why many old people did not receive the money…

* Surely, there were a lot of old folks that day who were not even from Temerloh area that took the money since the envelopes did not contain the names of the recepient – surely the BN people also took a lot of the money. I am certain that if you looked at the accounts, they would say they gave out maybe 10 or 20 times more than was given out.

* They wanted to pocket the money that was allocated for all the old people of Temerloh (i.e. 65 and above), and that is why they just did not send to all those old people in Temerloh(using maybe the Electoral Roll) to their own address with a check/wang pos in the name of the old people. That way there will be proper records, and difficult to ‘put some money in your own pocket’. Now, you call them to come to the hall in Mentakab – only a small number will be able to come — so you pocket the money of all who did not come. Some would never have been invited – and these also you can pocket the money [How? Cash was given - so no records of who actually received - if wang pos/check, then it will be in the name of the old folks - more difficult to take the money for your own.

* I am sure the government would not have allocated just RM100 (for Indians) and RM150 (for Chinese) because Najib is now talking about 1Malaysia - and surely all will have received the same allocation.


* I am sure the BN government would not have been so mean, and given so little - Taking a Taxi to get to the hall, and to go back itself cost about RM30-RM40, and lunch and drinks would have cost about RM10- and surely, it is non-sense to just give people RM100...RM150. It is so cruel. A reasonable sum would have been RM1,200 (i.e. about RM100 per month) or maybe even RM600 as times are bad.

* What was that money for? I do not know. How much did the UMNO-led BN government allocate for each warga mas? I do not know. How much of the allocated money were wrongly pocketed by the BN ppolitical parties and politicians? I do not know.

This is the problem with a lack of transparency - openness and information. There will always be a lot of speculation. And people always think that someone has taken money allocated for the people ...i.e. that there has been some corruption.

The UMNO-led BN government must immediately disclose how much money was allocated for each Warga Mas in Temerloh? Was there a different amount allocated for Chinese and Indians, and if so, why?

Are we living in an 'apartheid' kind of system in Malaysia? Are there different 'classes of people' based on ethnicity/descendants/forefathers country of origin/religion/...

OR are we really 1Malaysia - where there is only 1 Malaysian, and all are treated equally irrespective of where one's forefather came from (or when they came to Malaysia).

This is after all just a small thing that happened in Temerloh, where our MP is a Minister(or Deputy Minister), and there is one MCA ADUN and one UMNO ADUN. [There is one PAS ADUN - but, I believe he was not involved in this matter at all - as he was not from the BN]

Najib, explain the discrimination, ….and if there was no such discrimination, please clarify matters as this happens in Temerloh, a district in your home state, Pahang…

Umno gag on Kelantan oil royalty issue

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, March 2 — Umno has gagged its members from speaking about the Kelantan oil royalty issue while it compiles the views of its grassroots, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (picture) said today.

The Umno vice-president said the party did not allow its members to issue statements that could damage its image.

“In this matter, the party’s supreme council has already given its clear stand. If the members do not fully understand the issue, they can use existing channels to seek explanations. Making sensational statements that can destroy the party’s image is, even in the past, something that we do not allow,” he said when commenting on Kelantan’s move to take the issue to court.

Three of the six Barisan Nasional (BN) state assemblymen had reportedly voted in the Kelantan state assembly yesterday to support the court motion but later withdrew their vote.

The trio are state opposition leader Datuk Mohd Alwi Che Ahmad (BN-Kok Lanas), Mat Yusof Abdul Ghani (BN–Nenggiri) and Datuk Abdul Rashid Aziz (BN–Kuala Balah).

Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has clashed with his party on the matter, saying his home state was entitled to the 5 per cent oil royalty under the Petroleum Development Act 1974.

The BN federal government said it will provide RM20 million in goodwill payment through its agencies in the PAS-ruled state.

When asked if the party planned to take disciplinary action against its three lawmakers for going against the stand of the federal government that Kelantan was not entitled to the 5 per cent royalty payment under the Petroleum Development Act, Hishammuddin said: “Let us wait first.”

He acknowledged that some Umno Supreme Council members were unhappy that no action had been taken against Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, but reiterated his point that views of the grassroots should first be compiled.

“We first want to get the views of all our members and grassroots leaders before making any decision. We want to know what the people on the ground feel about it first,” he said.

Council members recently voiced dissent over Razaleigh’s apparent “immunity” in discussing the controversial issue and urged leaders to act on the matter.

Party president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, however, said that he would leave it to the members to decide what should be done about the maverick politician’s public outbursts.

Razaleigh recently embarked on a collision course with his party when he insisted that Kelantan was due its 5 per cent in oil royalty payments and not the RM20 million goodwill payment being offered.

Salehuddin, Syed Husin trade barbs over GLC post

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, March 2 — Former PKR secretary-general Datuk Salehuddin Hisham today denied demanding to head Selangor investment arm Perangsang as claimed by Senator Dr Syed Husin Ali, saying the deputy president should “do his homework” before he talks.

Both leaders traded barbs in statements issued to the media after Salehuddin revealed he quit PKR two weeks ago and predicted more resignations in the wake of Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim and Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng’s departure from the opposition party.

“Yes, I am upset over the episode of Kumpulan Perangsang. Let us not go into the specifics as it would be terribly embarrassing to Datuk Seri Anwar who I am sure is not aware of Dr Syed Husin’s press release,” said Salehuddin (picture) in a statement.

Salehuddin added that he had considered accepting the Perangsang job on the instruction of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and wrote to tell the PKR de facto leader that he was willing to take on the job for only RM1 per month.

“It is suffice for Dr Syed Husin to do his homework before he shoots his mouth. It is recorded in my computer plus other evidence, that Datuk Seri Anwar received the e-mail and acted on it,” said Salehuddin.

Syed Husin Ali earlier claimed Salehuddin was unhappy with the party after his application to be the Perangsang chief executive officer which comes with a salary of RM50,000 per month was rejected.

Syed Husin’s allegations appeared to be part of a campaign to discredit party rebels as he had yesterday disclosed that former Penang deputy chief minister Mohd Fairus Khairuddin was paid RM4,000 a month despite quitting his state post and Penanti seat.

Syed Husin also claimed that Salehudin was paid RM9,000 a month as the secretary-general and initially demanded for US$3,000 (RM10,160).

“Yes, I worked as the Organising Secretary and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Chief of Staff for a total of four years, full time, free of charge,” said Salehuddin adding that he wanted to retire after Election 2008.

“Subsequently there was a plea from Dato’ Seri Anwar for me to serve as Secretary-General full time. With much reluctance, I accepted it with many, many conditions, some of which are a proper party headquarters, adequate salaries for the staff and as I have already served 4 years as Organising Secretary using my own money for office expenses, I requested a RM100 a day allowance for incidentals,” he added.

“RM9,000 is a pittance compared to the hours I put in and my last drawn salary before retirement, and compared to the enormous amount paid to various peoples within and outside the Party without having to do anything but simply to make them happy and to keep them quiet,” said Salehuddin without disclosing the details of the payments made.

He also advised Syed Husin not to stoop so low in attacking him.

“I only wish for the sake of all the people who long for change in this country for Dr Syed Husin of such a high calibre background to please at least raise the bar a bit from such childish ways. But then I understand, it would be hard to teach old dogs new tricks,” said Salehuddin.

Khalid Ibrahim dismisses independent MPs

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani - The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, March 2 — Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (picture) has labelled former PKR lawmakers as “temporary” independents before becoming Barisan Nasional (BN) friendly.

The Selangor PKR liaison committee chief reiterated his belief that the party should take this opportunity to “consolidate” itself.

“I think that they are as much independent as temporary but the issue is we regard it as part of a process of consolidation. I think Pakatan Rakyat is facing a situation where it has to find a level of consolidation. Being independent or otherwise is a personal matter for the so-called parliamentarians.

“As I see it, I think there is the risk if they want to continue as parliamentarians. To become a parliamentarian, they have to decide whether they have to be on their own or affiliated with parties that represent the majority of the rakyat. So I think that is how I see it,” he told reporters.

Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng quit the party yesterday, nearly two weeks after Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim resigned to protest against the party leadership. Ex-Penang Deputy Chief Minister Mohd Fairus Khairuddin left the party on Sunday to join Umno.

PKR now has 29 MPs in Parliament while its Pakatan Rakyat allies DAP has 28 and PAS 23. The two resignations have now reduced Pakatan’s bench to 80 while Barisan Nasional has 137 in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat.

There are now two SAPP members and three independents in Parliament.

Former PKR secretary-general Datuk Sallehudin Hashim, who quit the party two weeks ago, had forewarned that 10 other lawmakers would be following the trail of becoming independents in Parliament.

Khalid dismissed the possibility of an independent bloc in Parliament.

“I do not think so because there are a few factions that call themselves independents. I doubt if Ibrahim Ali can sit down together with Tan Tee Beng. So that is an example,” he added.

Hishammuddin says PKR problems renew Umno, BN spirits

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, March 2 — Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (picture) said current developments in PKR not only showed the party’s failure to function as a viable alternative but also gave renewed spirit to Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN).

He said it was clear from the present crisis in PKR that it was not easy to run a party, what more a state or the whole country.

“This shows that even before they are given power to rule the nation, they are already facing problems,” the Home Minister said today.

Two PKR MPs quit the party over the past two weeks while several former leaders have also walked out, with ex-Penang Deputy Chief Minister Mohd Fairus Khairuddin joining Umno.

“They not only failed to stick to their promises and prove they are better than us, they have also failed to obtain the people’s support and now, they are even losing the confidence of their own elected representatives.

“This shows that it is not that easy to run a party or even a state. So to me, this is not only a sign, but it can also give a little spirit to us in Umno and Barisan,” he said.

Hishammuddin added that in comparison, BN had proven its success for the past 52 years.

“To rule a community with such high expectations and of such diversity is not easy but we did it for 52 years,” he told reporters after attending a crime briefing at the Petaling Jaya City Council hall in Kota Damansara here.

Hishammuddin, however, warned fellow party members and BN component party members not to allow the developments in PKR to cause them to stray from achieving their goals.

“Whatever happens in PKR, do not allow it to make us stray from our promises to the people. We said ‘people first’ and that we would go to the ground so we must stick to that. We must not rely on the status of the opposition parties to win support.

“I would like to remind this to all Umno and Barisan members,” he said.

When asked if the resignations of the two PKR MPs showed that de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was slowly losing his Putrajaya dream, Hishammuddin smiled and said that things had a way of coming back to a person.

“Anwar has been speaking about Putrajaya since September last year. Do not forget that. The world is round. And in the end, even with all his allegations that Barisan members were going to jump to PKR, look at what is happening now.”

Yesterday, Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng quit PKR, citing disappointment in the party leadership. His departure came shortly after Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim left for similar reasons.

The recent developments have sparked rumours that more PKR MPs and even assemblymen may soon follow suit.

Why the two-thirds is crucial

In a gerrymandering exercise you lump all the opposition voters into one huge constituency and you spread out the government supporters into many seats. So, the opposition can garner 100,000 votes but it will be only one seat while the 100,000 votes that the ruling party wins will be in three or four seats.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Soon after the 8 March 2008 general election, Umno held a seminar at the Holiday Villa in Subang. I invited a few non-Malay friends to join me in this seminar. Initially, they did not see any point in attending an Umno do. However, I managed to convince them to go so that they can get a good idea on what Umno is thinking. There were other seminars held in Petaling Jaya, Johor Bharu, and so on -- some which I also attended with my non-Malay friends in tow and some which I sent ‘agents’.

In the Holiday Villa seminar, amongst those who spoke were Fahmi Ibrahim, one-time political secretary to Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Harun Idris, and Mazlan Harun, Datuk Harun’s son. Datuk Harun is of course synonymous with May 13, the tragic race riots of 1969 that erupted two days after the 11 May 1969 general election.

We all know what happened on 13 May 1969, and why it happened, so we need not deliberate on that matter. What I want to talk about is the seminar in the Holiday Villa, which I have in fact already written about before.

“The reason we lost Selangor in 1969 was because of the non-Malay votes. So we decided to take Kuala Lumpur out of Selangor and turn it into Federal Territory to reduce the non-Malay voters in the state. Then we created a new Malay city called Shah Alam so that we can flood Selangor will more Malays and dilute the remaining non-Malay voters in Selangor.”

That was what Fahmi explained -- the reason why Selangor was split into two with the creation of the Federal Territory and the reason why Shah Alam was created as the new State Capital cum Malay city.

“It worked for awhile as long as the Malays vote Umno and the non-Malays vote opposition. But when the Malays also vote opposition then this strategy no longer works. So we need to think of a new strategy.”

The ‘new’ strategy Umno is talking about is not actually new but is an ongoing strategy. This strategy is called gerrymandering and it was invented by the Americans.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about the matter:

Gerrymandering is a form of boundary delimitation (redistricting) in which electoral district or constituency boundaries are deliberately modified for electoral purposes, thereby producing a contorted or unusual shape. The resulting district is known as a gerrymander; however, that noun can also refer to the process.

Gerrymandering may be used to achieve desired electoral results for a particular party, or may be used to help or hinder a particular group of constituents, such as a political, racial, linguistic, religious, or class group.

When used to allege that a given party is gaining a disproportionate power, the term gerrymandering has negative connotations. However, a gerrymander may also be used for purposes that some perceive as positive, notably in US federal voting district boundaries which produce a proportion of constituencies with an African-American or other minority in the majority (these are thus called "minority-majority districts").

You can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering

Malaysia has turned gerrymandering into an art. For example, when they wanted to topple Ustaz Abdul Hadi Awang, the PAS President, they carved up his Marang constituency in such a manner that areas from across the state, like along the Kuala Berang road, were added to Marang. Hadi, in spite of his stature, lost the election.

The same was done for Lembah Pantai, which was another opposition stronghold. They added Sungai Pencala near Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kampong Pasir along the Old Kelang Road, and Segambut Dalam near Jalan Ipoh, to Bangsar, and the opposition got wiped out -- until recently when Nurul Izzah won the seat.

The above are just two examples of many. It is no coincidence that ‘Malay’ seats like Putrajaya (97%-98% Malay voters) have as low of 5,000 voters while ‘Chinese’ seats like Selayang have more than 120,000 voters.

In a gerrymandering exercise you lump all the opposition voters into one huge constituency and you spread out the government supporters into many seats. So, the opposition can garner 100,000 votes but it will be only one seat while the 100,000 votes that the ruling party wins will be in three or four seats.

And that was why even though the ruling party garnered only 45% of the popular votes in 1969 it still managed to form the federal government, although without a two-thirds majority in parliament. The 55% of the popular votes that the opposition won was not enough for it to form the federal government. The opposition would have needed to win 60% of the popular votes to form the federal government, which was impossible for the opposition to achieve.

Of course, before 2008 it was easier. You just needed to isolate the non-Malay voters into one large seat and spread out the Malay voters into many seats. But in 2008 this changed. In 2008 the Malays too voted for the non-Malay candidates whereas in the past the opposition Malays meant only PAS -- which was in the rural Malay heartland and not in the cities.

The game has changed. So the rules of the game also need to change. And gerrymandering is not that simple any more. You can no longer redraw the constituency boundaries according to race. Malays too will now vote for Chinese and Indian candidates from non-Malay parties such as DAP and PKR.

So it is back to the drawing board for the election commission (SPR). Next year, they need to sit down and come out with a new formula. Barisan Nasional needs to ensure that it can still form the federal government even if it wins just 40% of the popular votes. And it also needs to ensure it can regain its two-thirds majority in Parliament with a mere 50% of the votes. That is the new game plan.

But to do this they need to first get back their two-thirds majority in parliament. And they need to get back this two-thirds this year so that next year the new constituency boundaries can be settled. Then, when they dissolve parliament and call for new general elections, say mid-2011 or early 2012, the new boundaries would apply.

Some say it is not crucial for Barisan Nasional to have a two-thirds majority in parliament to be able to run this country. If it is only about running this country then that may be true. But it is not true if they need to embark on a new gerrymandering exercise. To do this they need two-thirds of parliament.

And this is why Umno is very keen to buy at least ten or so opposition Members of Parliament. This will give them back their two-thirds majority in parliament.

This was that The Straits Times of Singapore said:

The BN needs 148 seats for a two-thirds majority. With support of the three independents, it will get there with just another eight defectors. A two-thirds majority is not just a psychological booster, but is also necessary for smooth passage of the next redrawing of electoral constituencies that will begin next year.

When Anwar Ibrahim said that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor are behind the latest wave of crossovers he was actually not wrong. The man behind this ‘shopping spree’ to buy the opposition Members of Parliament is Hamdan, Najib’s cousin, who was given the Kudat IPP as the ‘cash cow’ to finance the shopping spree.

Of course, the Kudat IPP comes with a ‘commission’ of RM50 million. And this RM50 million is to be used to pay off the opposition Members of Parliament as an inducement to cross over. Hamdan works very closely with the Special Branch and Military Intelligence. His contact in Bukit Aman is Akril Sani while in the Military Intelligence it is Datuk Salleh.

Hamdan’s mobile phone number is +6012-279-5945 and he made the mistake of contacting his key men in the Special Branch and Military Intelligence using this mobile phone so of course we managed to track what he was doing all this while.

The other person in this ring is Zahari Ismail, the man who arranged the meeting between Najib and Hadi Awang. Zahari is one of the directors of Malaysia’s F1 racing team so he has access to a large reserve of funds allocated to ‘research and development’, which he can also use to finance the shopping spree.

So it is actually the taxpayers’ money that is financing all these crossovers.

Another person involved with the ring is the husband of Mumtaz Jaafar. Mumtaz works for Rosmah and also has links with Saiful, the young man who accused Anwar of sodomising him.

If you can remember, Hee of Perak was paid RM25 million. Her price was high because they needed her to topple the Pakatan Rakyat Perak government. So RM25 million can be considered a fair price. Anyhow, Vincent Tan picked up the tab from his ‘special draw’ so it was quite affordable since the Malaysian gamblers were paying for it.

Tan from Penang was paid only RM2 million. It is not much but he has gambling debts up to his eyeballs and the loan sharks or along are camped outside his house so he has no choice but to accept this figure. The along can be very brutal if you don’t pay what they demand so when you are in that situation you are in no position to negotiate for more.

Wee Choo Keong’s problem is more complicating. It involves two mistresses and one who has just given birth and Umno has threatened to expose this scandal. He also has this RM35 million legal problem with Ambank and if this can be settled ‘out of court’ then Wee will certainly become another ‘independent’ Member of Parliament.

Nike’s rallying call is ‘Just Do It’. Umno’s rallying call is ‘Just Duit’. All it takes is money (duit) and Barisan Nasional will get back its two-thirds majority in Parliament whereby the next gerrymandering exercise can be launched. Then it does not matter whether the opposition will win 60% of the popular votes come the next election. Barisan Nasional will still be in power and with a two-thirds majority on top of that.

Now you know what is going on? Yes, that is the real reason these people are crossing over, not all those crap excuses they are giving such as lost confidence, dictator, and whatnot. It is JUST DUIT.

Oh, and before I sign off, keep a close watch on Naza, the Car Czar and AP King of Malaysia. Something interesting is about to happen. And remember, you read it here first.