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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Government, Church at impasse in ‘Allah’ talks

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Talks between the federal government and the Catholic Church over the “Allah” issue have reached a stalemate, with both parties not backing down on their respective stands.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers have now gone ahead to file a formal appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruling which allows the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of its Herald newspaper.

Representatives from the AG’s office, Cabinet Ministers Idris Jala and Koh Tsu Koon, have been engaging in regular talks with Father Lawrence Andrew, the priest-editor of Herald and lawyers from the Catholic Church.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the AG has been trying to convince the Catholic Church to drop its claims to be allowed to use the word “Allah.”

Church officials have refused to do so, citing the fact that it had won the original High Court ruling, which has since been suspended pending appeal.

It is understood that the Church is willing to abide all future court rulings even if they were to lose.

The government is keen on finding a compromise solution to the dispute because of the racial and religious tensions the dispute has sparked.

Earlier this year, several churches, mosques and a Sikh gurdwara were hit by a series of attacks that followed close on the heels of a High Court ruling upholding the Herald’s constitutional right to use the word “Allah” to refer to God in a non-Muslim context.

According to sources, certain Muslim groups are lobbying the government to pressure the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur to withdraw the church’s case despite the fact that the ball is now in the government’s court.

The next step is for the Court of Appeal to set a suitable date to hear the case, said counsel for the Church, S. Selvarajah, but the AG, who has the power to push the legal suit along, has delayed doing so.

The court registry may also step in to set a date.

But Lawrence, who is also in charge of the St. Anne’s Church in Port Klang, is worried that the longer the case drags out, the greater the risk the dispute will spiral out of control and truly become the threat to national security as the government claims.

“The recent controversy of Biro Tata Negara (BTN) is indeed a case in point. Are we training our young to respect people of other faiths?” the Catholic cleric questioned in the Herald’s latest issue out last Sunday.

He noted reports from students who were obliged to attend the controversial courses over the high-handed way some lecturers taught certain subjects, including on Islamic civilisation, where they mocked other religions.

“Such pedagogical methods of ridicule have hurt the feelings of Christians and created unnecessary polarization and tension.”

Guan Eng calls EC to discuss third vote before making decision

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has called on the Election Commission to hold off on its decision in the local council election issue and urged its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof to discuss the matter with him first.

Lim told a press conference at the Parliament lobby here this morning that this was to show whether the EC would be truly unbiased in making its decision and not seem as if it were bending to the will of certain parties.

The Penang government, in a state executive council meeting earlier this month, had decided to invoke its powers to restore the “third vote” and had sent a letter to the EC on March 4, urging it to conduct the elections. The Selangor state government had subsequently joined the Penang government in its bid bring back local council elections and also communicated this to the commission.

The Prime Minister has since said that restoring local council elections, which was abandoned since 1965, was unnecessary and would only create further politicking.

Abdul Aziz said in a press conference yesterday that the EC would announce its decision on the matter earliest by next week.

Can Ong Ka Ting or any other ex this or that save MCA?

(Aliran) Bringing back the former MCA president might actually resolve the three-cornered leadership struggle in the party - but for how long, wonders Francis Loh. And can it actually save the MCA?


Former MCA president Ong Ka Ting’s possible comeback is generally viewed as a welcome solution to the party’s acrimonious leadership crisis. Bringing back the former president might actually resolve the three-cornered leadership struggle - but for how long? And can it actually save the MCA over the medium and long term?

In discussing the current leadership crisis, an important question that has to be considered is: what are the issues that separate former president Ong Ka Ting from serving president Ong Tee Keat? from former deputy president Chua Soi Lek? from former vice president Liow Tiong Lai? What are the differences among them over important issues that confront Malaysians today? Over the critical issue of separation of powers between the Executive, the legislative, and the judiciary? Do they differ over cutting down the powers of the PM and his cabinet? Isn’t it time to have a makeover of the judiciary? Do they remember the recommendation to establish an IPCMC? Do they agree or differ over reforming the centralised federal system and granting the states more autonomy over finances and decision making? And what about restoring local government elections?

And as far as the economy is concerned, how do we make Malaysia more regionally and globally competitive? Do we go CAT over the awarding of contracts and tenders? And what about human resource development and reforming our educational system at all levels? Or do they all agree that the KPIs and the KPAs under the charge of their nemesis, Koh Tsu Koon, former Penang chief minister and now senator, will do the job? And what about the GST and minimum-wage legislation?

What about the Allah controversy? How do they propose we build bridges across the ethnoreligious divide? By 1Malaysia??? More open houses?

The fact is the on-going leadership crisis has almost nothing to do with these critical issues. At best, the only issue that the MCA has taken up seriously over the years is with regard to its relationship with Umno. Some critical stances were taken immediately following the March 2008 general election, when the MCA was wiped out in many Chinese-majority seats. But with Najib replacing Pak Lah, the critical edge has turned blunt.

We need to locate the current leadership crisis within the context of the MCA’s own fractious past, which used to be caused by disagreements over seeking more concessions from Umno in the early days. But it later descended into fierce personal contests for top positions as a result of the MCA’s venture into business via KSM and MPH initially, and now Huaren Holdings, resulting in control of a media empire, the running of a university and college with several campuses, Kojadi, etc, not to mention the Jalan Ampang headquarters in downtown KL.

In the late 1950s, a group of Young Turks led by Dr Lim Chong Eu, Too Joon Hing, Yong Pung How, Tan Suan Kok and Ng Ek Teong allied themselves with H S Lee and challenged the party stalwarts comprising Ong Yoke Lin, Tan Siew Sin and the towkay leaders gathered around Tun Tan Cheng Lock, who was in his waning years. The issue was about getting more seats to contest in the 1959 election. By 1959, the party was badly divided and the conflict was only overcome when Lim and his allies departed from the party (to form the United Democratic Party, and subsequently with others, the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia).

In the mid-1960s, one of the founders of the Youth wing, Sim Mou Yew, also head of the Chinese Schools Teachers Association, led a group of radicals out of the party.

From 1971-73, yet another group led by Lim Keng Yaik, Alex Lee, Paul Leong, Tan Tiong Hong and T C Choong, were also branded as the Young Turks for calling for reforms and the democratisation of the party, in order to achieve Chinese unity so as to gain more concessions from Umno. But they were outwitted by the old guard led by Tan Siew Sin, Lee Siok Yew, Kam Woon Wah and Lee San Choon, who controlled the party machinery and maintained close ties with Umno. These Young Turks then left the party to join Gerakan. One of them, Michael Chen, who remained behind in the MCA later challenged Lee San Choon for the presidency in 1979. Chen lost but took the matter to court. Chen too left the party and joined Gerakan.

Between 1983-1985, after Lee had resigned as president, a protracted struggle between acting president Neo Yee Pan and Federal Territory chief Tan Koon Swan split the party right down the centre. Neo resorted to expulsions and suspensions of members and even entire branches. Tan filed legal suits and court injunctions. Allegations of phantom members and phantom voters came from both sides and an extraordinary general meeting was called in 1984 wherein Tan’s faction emerged victorious. But Tan did not last long as he was prosecuted and jailed over the Pan-El affair. In the wake of this crisis, Ling Liong Sik and Lee Kim Sai, who had allied with Tan, emerged as the new president and deputy president respectively in 1986.

In 1990, Lee mounted a challenge against Ling. A no-holds-barred contest was in the offing but it was averted in the eleventh hour. In 1996, Lee was eased out and replaced by Lim Ah Lek as MCA’s new deputy president.

Then there was the party feud that festered between Ling Liong Sik and his deputy, Lim Ah Lek. Ling’s allies include two vice presidents, Ong Ka Ting and Fong Chan Onn, secretary-general Ting Chew Peh, Wanita chief Ng Yen Yen, and Penang MCA leader Sak Cheng Lam. Closely linked to Lim were his protégé, vice-president Chan Kong Choy, and Fu Ah Kiow and others from Pahang. Intially it was a fued regarding succession to the party leadership and who ought to become minister. This carried over and came to the fore in the struggle over taking over the RM250 million Nanyang Press Holdings Bhd. Apart from Lim and his loyal stewards, the ‘Gang of Eight’ included Chua Jui Meng, Yeap Pian Hon and Ong Tee Keat.

And now this!

Apart from accessing the ministerial positions and the MCA’s business and educational assets, the victors will also have access to the MCA party machine. Through the years, the party president has been able to concentrate power. Like in Umno, the MCA president is also empowered to appoint the secretary-general, treasurer-general, national organising secretary and his deputy, five other central committee members, the heads of the national-level bureau, the chairpersons of the 13 state liaison committees, and of course, the key persons in the disciplinary committee.

Are any of the contenders for the MCA presidency calling for the democratisation of the party?

Dr Francis Loh is honorary secretary of Aliran

Nazri: Write to speaker

(NST) DE FACTO law minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said a select committee could look into the recommendation of abolishing the quorum and voting by division requirements in Parliament.

The suggestion was made by Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Council (BNBBC) deputy chairman Datuk Bung Moktar Radin following the near defeat of BN's Budget 2010 last December.

"They can write to the speaker. But for now it is just a suggestion which was mentioned off-the cuff," he said after announcing the appointment of Sundra Rajoo as the director of the new Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration.

Nazri also welcomed a plan by Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim (Independent -- Bayan Baru) to set up a minority caucus made up of all independent MPs.

"I see them as a third force. They can criticise and support either the government or the opposition."

Mustapa misses the point

mirror-says-2VARIOUS phrases, taken at random, from the Tourism Malaysia site make attractive reading. The words "free to practice his own faith, Islam in Malaysia is tolerant, gentle mannerism of the Malays, diligent Chinese, fearsome Ibans" complement what we see in everyday life.

Left to our own devices, all the races do get on. That is until politicians obstruct us and scupper all the goodwill and harmony created, by making various issues political.

When International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed asked Malaysian restaurateurs in Holland to improve Malaysia's image, he should have directed that request to his Cabinet colleagues. It might also be judicious to extend that charge to all politicians in Malaysia.

Suspicious deaths of people in custody, caning of women, ban on the word 'Allah', torched churches, boars heads in mosques, journalists desecrating the Catholic church, Penan rapes, trumped up charges of opposition politicians, are some of the more serious issues.

And quite rightly, the Dutch government was alarmed, as in all of these, justice was denied.

In truly democratic societies, people are allowed to openly discuss issues that concern them. But Malaysians do not have the luxury of freedom of expression or intelligent discourse.

mustapa-mohd-restaurantAfter 52 years of independence, we have achieved much, when we compare ourselves to other nations of a similar age. We have made our mark on the world in various fields. However, we did not achieve all this by mistake or by luck.

We accomplished this through hard work and the collective determination and commitment of our citizens, to make what we can proudly call brand "Malaysia". We had hiccups and a few tragedies during the journey, but we hoped to learn from our mistakes.

All these shaped us, as individuals, and the country, as one nation. We learnt to lean on each other and in turn, we were generous enough to share our skills with lesser developed countries.

Mustapa is correct when he describes Malaysia as peaceful. But he is wrong and naïve to ask the restaurateurs to inform customers that the local media was wrong in its reporting. People can obtain up to the minute information from friends and colleagues in Malaysia. Best of all, the net can beam into every Dutch sitting-room, a blow-by-blow account of torching of churches, or of barricades set up by protesting Penans.

He has every right to be concerned that our current troubles will ultimately influence investors from the Netherlands. And his Dutch counterparts have been very diplomatic to express satisfaction with the explanation provided.

But Mustapa should not be content with that. He and his colleagues should not be like the proverbial ostrich and bury their heads in the sand. The problems we currently experience will not go away. Politicians need to open their eyes, listen hard and take stock of their surroundings before things worsen. It is time they were in tune with the population, engaged with them and worked towards a resolution that will benefit all Malaysians.
MM

Islamic or not, caning women is just not right!

By Jeswan Kaur

COMMENT Something has gone wrong, if speaking on behalf of oppressed Muslim women by non-Muslims is seen as an “offence”.

The truth of what is wrong is that bigotry has become the order of the day. And women, Muslim women, that is, have always been treated as less than human by the Muslim men, who use the syariah law as a “textbook” approach to making the women submissive and devoid of any right.

The caning of three Muslim women last month for engaging in illicit sex, an offence under the syariah law, unfortunately set a precedent for such punishment to be carried out for the first time in this country, which prides itself as a nation practising moderate Islam.

Not enough, these women were also imprisoned and one is still in jail and will only see the light of the day in June.

Time and again, women become the easy target for chauvinistic males. Why were these three women caned? Because the syariah law dictates so? What happened to the men they had sex with? Why were these men not caned too?

By using syariah as an excuse to persecute the women, the message has been sent out all too loud and clear that Islam is not a religion that is “all merciful and benevolent”.

If it is, then this recent caning of the women would not have taken place. Instead, the three would have been pulled aside and reprimanded and sent for counselling, all for the sake of sending the message that Islam does not condone illicit sex.

But then which religion allows illicit sex?

What exactly has the syariah law achieved by caning women who engage in illicit sex? It has perhaps succeeded in creating fear among Muslim women and certainly disgust among the non-Muslims, be it women or men over such inhumane law.

Understanding syariah

The syariah, according to authentic Islamic doctrines, is the concrete embodiment of the Will of Allah. Author Seyyed Hossein Nasr in his book A Young Muslim’s Guide to the Modern World puts it succinctly by saying: "The syariah or the divine law of Islam is central to the Islamic religion to the extent that one can define the Muslim as one who accepts the legitimacy of the syariah even if he or she is not able to practise all of its teachings."

Seyyed Hossein hits the nail on the head when he says: "Allah alone is ultimately the legislator, the Syarie, He who creates laws, and only His laws are ultimately binding and permanent in human life.

"This does not mean that the syariah cannot be applied and 'grow' according to different circumstances like the growth of a tree whose roots and trunk remain firm and whose nature does not change although its branches grow over the years."

The caning of the three women calls for the need to reassess the true effectiveness of the syariah law.

To misuse the law to morally police an individual’s personal behaviour is certainly an act in bad taste. Engaging in sex before marriage is an issue between the doer and Allah? To claim to champion Allah’s teachings and that too in an absolute cruel manner goes against all grains of what Islam is all about.

To treat the Muslim women at the men’s convenience is no teaching of Islam. To practise polygamy because a man has never ending “appetite” is not what Prophet Muhammad preached. But in the name of Islam polygamy is given such importance by bigots.

Is it a sin for a Muslim woman to resist polygamy, for the sake of her well-being and that of her children? Is it wrong for her non-Muslim sisters to speak up against polygamy, to voice out the unfairness that results from polygamy? Likewise, is it a sin if a Muslim wife cries against marital rape?

Under the civil law, caning is prohibited in the case of female offenders. Then why does a law which is based on the word of God, that is Allah, take the opposite stand? Why does the syariah law come across as a much harsher form of legislation? Why has compassion, which is the cornerstone of Islam, been compromised under the syariah law?

Compassion and empathy

Is illicit sex a phenomenon in Malaysia? Let us not pretend to be holier-than-thou, giving those dirty stares at those accused of committing it.

Have we forgotten that “to err is human, to forgive divine”? Is it any of our business to hide behind bushes armed with cameras and torchlights, preying into the affairs of others?

Is it the business of anyone to break open the doors of an individual’s house and accuse them of close proximity or berkhalwat? No one likes to make mistakes but mistakes happen and that is why another name for mistakes is experience.

To merely focus on castigating the wrong-doer using religion as the pretext is not what any religion asks of.

Instead of using religion to play judge, jury and executioner, it will do the legislators of such laws, all the good to understand the real principles behind such a divine rule and empathise with the wrong-doer, working at “punishing” them by way of making them do community service.

Because of the harsh approach adopted at punishing those caught for close proximity, many Muslim women, upon realising their mistake, are afraid of coming forward to seek help when they get pregnant.

These women resort to the worst act anyone can only imagine, that of disposing of their newborns in any way possible, be it flushing the little one down the toilet bowl or leaving the baby in the open as a meal for wild dogs.

When we speak of religion, compassion and forgiveness go hand in hand.

Coercion never works and before more babies of unwed mothers end up as carcass devoured by stray canines, it is going to be in the interest of the religion concerned that a humane approach is taken to help “correct” the mistakes done, be it engaging in illicit sex or consuming alcohol.

Stop persecuting using religion

When a woman by the name of Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno decided she “deserved” to be caned after being caught consuming beer in 2007, it was given that caning was the way to teach Muslim women, who misbehaved, a lesson.

But Islam does not promulgate harsh punishment towards women just to send the message across that what was done is wrong.

If Kartika Sari feels she can only face herself with dignity, if she is caned as a way to redeem a sin committed, then this decision is between her and Allah.

The indoctrination of religion as seen in Kartika’s case is worrying. Remember that Allah never asked that you be whipped for you to realise what you did was and is wrong or against his teachings.

Unfortunately, society in a perverted way looks up to the likes of Kartika Sari who vehemently claimed the right to be caned.

Had the punishment not been stalled, she would have made history by becoming the first Muslim woman in Malaysia to face caning. If this was her way of looking for publicity to fulfil an agenda, then sadly it is a very sleazy way of doing so.

As Seyyed Hossein in his book says: "In Islam man does not himself decide what is just or generous but relies upon God’s injunctions while there is also an important role for the conscience which Allah has placed within the being of each person.

"The norms are determined by the syariah for certain basic actions while in each type of human activity, room is left for man to apply the Islamic ethical teachings according to the dictates of his conscience. There is, therefore nothing mechanical or blindfolded in Islamic ethics as some have claimed.

"Islam does provide concrete directives for man to follow but also leaves a vast area of human life open for man to apply Islamic moral principles as a servant of Allah bestowed with conscience, ‘aql' and the sense of discernment.”

Courage to speak up

Fighting for what is right or speaking against injustices takes a lot of courage and conviction in standing up against wrong doings.

In the case of The Star's managing editor P Gunasegaram’s article entitled “Persuasion Not Compulsion” where he spoke against the syariah law vis-a-vis the caning of three women for illicit sex, it was his right to speak up against what he feels is not right.

The Star claims to be “The People’s Paper” but does Gunasegaram have no clout as a managing editor in particular and a columnist in general to talk to his readers and share his concerns? The fact that The Star wasted no time in publishing an apology over his concerns shows that the mainstream media will always kowtow to its political masters even if it means belittling the truth.

I realise there is a reason why they say “truth hurts”. The Star displayed this by disrespecting its columnist and pandering to the whims of the “powers that be”.


Jeswan Kaur, a freelance writer, is a contributor to Free Malaysia Today

Cheah Wing Yin in accident

I just read the forwarded email below pleading for blood donation. Hope it's not too late and hope MT can spread the plea.

By Caring Citizen

14th March 2010

Dear all,

I just spoke to Wing Yin's son in Sunway Med. Wing Yin was very badly injured in a car accident yesterday morning (reported in today's paper). He is now in and out of ICU. Apparently lost almost all his blood and now needs fresh blood type O+.
Pls spread word around for those who can donate blood.


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News Flash

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Dr Cheah Wing Yin sustained serious injuries in a road traffic accident this morning, as he was going about on his official duties. He is now in hospital.

Dr Cheah is not one to broadcast the challenges that come his way, but I will say that the past few weeks have not been easy at all - his medical practice was subject to an income tax audit extending back a few years, and his clinic was broken into shortly after that. Of course, it is public knowledge that files and documents were removed from his service centre in an inquiry last year.

I ask for your prayers and moral support for this dedicated and steadfast ADUN and his family.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Update on Dr Cheah's condition

Monday, 15 March 2010

Dr Cheah underwent a second operation to fix another leg (femur) fracture yesterday evening. He is receiving intensive care in hospital.

Please continue to uphold Dr Cheah with your prayers.

Keeping Perkasa on track

thenutgraph.com

IT just has to juggle it all, Perkasa pro-tem president Datuk Ibrahim Ali says of the government and its duties. These include protecting Malay Malaysian privileges, maintaining subsidies while managing depleting oil resources, and providing for other poor communities.

In the second of a two-part interview on 9 March 2010 with The Nut Graph in Kuala Lumpur, the independent parliamentarian says he believes in a guided democracy and guided economy which "by hook or by crook" must prioritise Malay Malaysians. He also says Perkasa members can be "scary", but is so far confident of being able to restrain the group.

TNG: How should meritocracy be introduced in the Malay Malaysian community?

The 30% of projects the government allocates for bumiputera have been given through selected tender. A group of bumiputera contractors will compete among themselves. The problem with this is the lack of transparency. There was still a lot of pilih kasih.

We want the same policy to continue, for 30% to be allocated to bumiputera to compete among themselves. The government must ensure that there is transparency and no favouritism. I don't know how true this is, but people say some contractors go to Umno leaders who give them the project. This is what people are complaining about.

Do you think the government is more transparent now?

It's still too early to say. It is trying to be, but bear in mind that this year, the budget is not so big, and so there might not be so much hoo-hah over tenders.

So what does Perkasa want: more allocations, more quotas, or just an improved process?

Retain the 30% quota for bumiputera and let them compete among themselves with transparency, professionalism and without favouritism. And have other instruments, like agencies or funds, to uplift the Malay [Malaysians], the native people, and also the poor of other races.

We just want to close the gap, as stipulated in the NEP (New Economic Policy), to reach the 30% target. Come 2020, let the statistics show that we have achieved this, whatever the non-bumiputera are holding then.

In order to achieve this, affirmative action must continue. They say bumiputera share is now at 18%, but in reality, it's hardly 4% after you minus GLC (government-linked companies) ownership. Look at property ownership in Kuala Lumpur — few commercial shoplots are owned by Malay [Malaysians]. No way can they buy because the price is too high and they can't borrow from the bank.

This is another wrong perception, [that] people think Melayu mudah dapat loan dari Mara. Padahal, dapat loan RM2,000 pun susah. Mesti ada guarantor, mesti ada collateral, nak tengok income tax forms ... the majority of Malay [Malaysians] cannot afford [it]. For me, property ownership is most important in bumiputera participation. Shareholding is number two.

Isn't the government in a difficult position and finding it a strain to sustain subsidies?

The people's welfare is the government's priority. They have to think, they have all the experts. It could be done in 1997 when our currency was attacked; things were worse then, but we came out from that difficulty. So it can be done.

Things like petrol, rice, sugar, cooking oil, water and electricity are basic to the people, and things like these can cause havoc in the country when prices are raised. The government says it has no money for subsidies, but it is prepared to spend money on bridges, expensive projects and lavish celebrations. It's crazy. Cut the wastage first.

So you disagree with plans to abolish subsidies?

I don't completely disagree. It must be structured. I believe in a guided democracy and guided economy. Some elements of subsidy must continue. In the first place, we are making money from oil. We are an oil-producing country. We should be benefiting with some amount of subsidy.

But our oil reserves are depleting, and we may become a net importer in a few years...

That's just what the government says. Talk about what's the order of the day first. Like scholarships for bumiputera. It is guaranteed in the constitution for the native people. It is also given to non-bumiputera because they qualify, and that's fair enough. We're not saying don't give to non-Malay [Malaysians]. But it means the places for Malay [Malaysians] are less. If there were 100 places available before, now it is 49 places for non-bumiputera, 51 places for bumiputera. What we want is that by hook or by crook, the government has to give all 100 places to native people.

And for non-bumiputera, the government also has to find money somehow. It's their responsibility. Find a way. Get those big corporations, those philanthropists to pool their donations together. Even if it's RM10 million, it's nothing when they are making millions more. Ask them to pool their donations, then the government tops up with a matching figure. Then use this money to help all the non-Malay [Malaysians]. But don't take what the majority is still fighting for and give it to others.


Mahathir
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also critical of the weaknesses of Malay Malaysians. What can Malay Malaysians do to help themselves?

Yes, I agree. I don't mean that Malay [Malaysians] are perfect. I also feel upset over Malay [Malaysians] who abuse the benefits given to them. There are some who live a lavish life. But that doesn't mean they represent all Malay [Malaysians].

Every race will have irresponsible people, but you don't say the entire race is like that. In my speeches wherever I go to launch Perkasa, I say we have to be more responsible and disciplined. We have to work hard, we have to be transparent, we have to be good and true Muslims. Having good race relations is a priority for a Muslim. Islam says we should take care of other people. You get more pahala if you help other races.

Is Perkasa a peaceful group? How far would it go to defend its ideals?

Do you see us taking to the streets? Are our resolutions extreme? We confine ourselves within the laws of the country. And we avoid hurting other races. I try my best. But I am only the president. At the moment I'm able to handle things.

Because if you go to our closed-door meetings and listen to the members talking, I'm also scared. The way they talk, you will be scared, I'm telling you. This I have to control. If non-bumiputera know what I'm doing, I think they will thank me.

What can you do about that?

Of course I talk to them lah. I say, you don't shout. You also have weaknesses. We are a multiracial society living together for the last 52 years. It's a difficult job to lead. I will listen to their views, but if it goes against the law and if it's not good for the country, I will not do it.

When the Barisan Nasional opens itself for direct membership, will Perkasa join?

Personally, I want to see Perkasa remain as an NGO and not belong to any political party. Let Perkasa remain like this, friendly to the government but not a tool of the government. We have to be friendly if we want our opinion to be heard. Without engagement you cannot put across your message.

People say Umno is funding you.

No, tak betul. That's just perception. It's not true. I can swear by the name of God, I can take an oath. Umno people know me very well. Not everybody likes me. They're scared of me. Even if they want to give me money, they are scared of me.

Seksyen tetap usia minimum kahwin tak perlu dipinda

Berita Harian

KUALA LUMPUR: Enakmen keluarga Islam negeri, terutama berkaitan seksyen yang menetapkan usia minimum 16 tahun bagi perempuan yang hendak berkahwin tidak perlu dipinda, kata Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.

Sambil merujuk kepada kes kanak-kanak perempuan, Siti Nur Zubaidah Hussin, 11, yang dikahwinkan dengan seorang lelaki tabligh berusia 41 tahun, beliau berkata, kes itu wujud disebabkan berlaku perlanggaran permohonan menerusi Mahkamah Syariah.


Jamil Khir berkata, enakmen keluarga Islam yang berkuat kuasa di setiap negeri juga tidak ketinggalan zaman sehingga sebahagian peraturannya perlu dipinda bagi mengikut perkembangan semasa. “Enakmen berkenaan menetapkan kebenaran bagi perempuan yang hendak berkahwin adalah mereka yang berusia 16 tahun ke atas manakala perempuan bawah 16 tahun perlu mendapat kebenaran Mahkamah Syariah.

“Dalam hal ini, berlaku pelanggaran permohonan mahkamah. Undang-undang ada tetapi orang tidak mematuhi peraturan.

“Sebab itu kita mengharapkan siasatan dan tindakan perlu diambil. Ia tidak sepatutnya berlaku kerana perlu memohon mahkamah terlebih dulu,” katanya pada sidang media selepas menangguhkan Persidangan Ketua-ketua Jabatan/Majlis Agama Islam Seluruh Malaysia ke-82 di sini, semalam.

Hadir sama, Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim dan Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim), Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz.
Siti Nur Zubaidah, dikahwinkan bapanya Hussin Mat Salleh, 54, dengan Shamsuddin Che Derahman, lelaki tabligh berusia 41 tahun selepas diperdaya bahawa perbuatan itu mengikut Sunnah Nabi Muhammad. Enakmen Keluarga Islam Kelantan menetapkan syarat usia berkahwin bagi perempuan minimum 16 tahun ke atas.

Jamil Khir bagaimanapun berkata, sebarang pindaan jika perlu dilakukan akan dibuat selepas mendengar pandangan dan keputusan Mahkamah Syariah berhubung status perkahwinan kanak-kanak perempuan berkenaan.

Beliau turut menegaskan yang kes ini tidak membabitkan isu kematangan seseorang wanita kerana kematangan bergantung kepada perkembangan hidup seseorang dan bukan kepada usia.

Dalam perkembangan lain, Jamil Khir berkata, pelukis potret, Ismail Ariffin atau Lepat boleh membuat semakan di Mahkamah Syariah berhubung kes penjagaan anaknya, Sunni Sazali yang dilarikan bekas isterinya, Aishah Jane Brummit, 13 tahun lalu.

Katanya, Lepat berhak membuat semakan atau menyaman kerana ia adalah hak kepada mana-mana individu untuk menuntut keadilan bagi dirinya.

“Tindakan Lepat itu bagaimanapun tidak akan menjejaskan integriti Mahkamah Syariah kerana kita perlu melihat semula perkembangan kes itu. Lepat boleh membuat semakan kerana mungkin ada pro dan kontra dalam kes beliau,” katanya.

Kg Terentang win round one!

By Nathaniel Tan

I’m happy to report that the Kg Terentang villagers have prevailed – if only for this morning.

The residents had been blocking all three entrances to the village from 7.30am, but dispersed at 11.50am as there was no sign of the TNB team as anticipated.

The residents had waited outside the main entrance, across which they have parked a bulldozer, and kept up their spirits with songs and speeches.

Their solidarity and bravery have carried the day (so far) – and scared a regime probably unwilling to bear any more bad publicity.

(hope they don’t come back later and try to sneaky sneaky, when less people are there)

We still hope for a just solution to this problem, that does not adversely affect the lives of good Malaysians just trying to get by.

With innovativeness, sincerity, and a willingness to put people before pure profit, I’m sure we can settle the matter amicably.

நாம் ஒன்றுபட வெண்டும்

Gov't says no to GST referendum

Emergency motion on oil royalty rejected

Anwar withdraws recusal bid in Sodomy II trial

MIC 29 year Minister Mandore “solving” peanuts in 10 B.C cases

In the very same Malaysia Nanban today 16/3/10, on the front page the 29 year MIC Minister mandore acclaims his success in dishing out Birth Certificates (B.C) for 10 Indian children all in one family, and five others. How is this an achievement for a Minister mandore of 29 years standing? Who is going to solve the maliciously UMNO created problem of 150,000 Indian children being denied Birth Certificates? Going at this rate even assuming every week it would take another 312.3 years to solve all the rest of the 149,900 Indian children being denied Birth Certificate! This is not having taken into consideration the hundreds of Indian children born on a day to day basis but denied their B.C by UMNO.

Karuna Nithi

PKR Mandore “solving” peanuts 10 B.C cases

Just before the March 8th 2008 general elections, the immediate past UMNO Menteri Besar of Selangor announced that 50,000 Indian children in Selangor do not have (have been denied) their birth certificates.

Within one month of coming to power the new PKR Selangor Menteri Besar announced RM 100 million and 1,000 acres of land in Sepang for pig farming. But this PKR Menteri Besar has refused to alienate land to all 98 Tamil schools in Selangor for a start, let alone all Hindu temples, crematoriums, Indian Settlements, land for the poor and landless Indians to rear cows and goats which was never done in UMNOs’ 50 year rule of Selangor, and now two years under the PKR rule. Is PKR saying pig farming gets priority over allocation of land for schools?

Getting to the point, this new PKR Selangor state government have been urged by HRP to set up a special Unit in the Selangor state Secretariat to undertake the task of ensuring Birth Certificates are given to all these 50,000 Indian children within a targeted six month timeframe, using the services of one executive director, five managers for five zones in Selangor, twenty supervisors and 100 full time staff to go full steam to get this job done as scheduled.

Why not this project “Selangor Sifar Dinafi B.C” when there has previously been “Selangor Sifar Setinggan 2010” project?

When Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR led Selangor state government together with DAP and PAS refuses to address this very critical Indian problem, they get their Indian MP, Exco and ADUN mandores to do a one by one Wyang Kulit paper politics in the tamil newspapers, Birth Certificate (B.C) and Identity Cards (I.C) giving ceremonies, to keep themselves “politically alive and afloat” within the Indian community. And in the case this Indian MP mandore advertising nine Indian children and one adult having been given their BC and IC. Wow! Bravo!

But what about the balance of the 49,991 Indian children being denied their Birth Certificates? Even going by this ten B.C. cases assuming even in every week, it would take another 104.1 years to solve the existing B.C being denied by UMNO cases What more the scores of new cases escalating on a day to day basis!

We need a serious, comprehensive and permanent solution to address these injustices which only requires the political will of Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and Hadi Awang. As opposed to the present MIC mandore of UMNO style of politics by these Indian mandore PKR MPs, Excos’ and ADUNs.

If not, how then is PKR, DAP and PAS any different from the 53 year old fascist UMNO regime vis a vis the critical Malaysian Indian problems, let alone the other problems.?

Karuna Nithi

UMNO Fama’s RM1 billion food project 6,000 new farmers but Indians excluded and designated for unskilled and the dirty jobs

The hundreds of thousands of poor, underprivileged and landless Indians further compounded by their denial to equal opportunity to education has created them as the underclass under UMNOs’ racist, religious extremist and supremacist policies. From the new underclass UMNO intends to create for the country a pool of unskilled general workers, factory workers, toilet cleaners, security guards, office boys, Alam Flora workers (90% of the Alam Flora workers in K.L are Indians) and the other dirty jobs.

Thus UMNO intentionally and maliciously excludes about 70% of the 2.2 Million Malaysian Indians from the national mainstream development of Malaysia.

The latest example as reported in today’s Star, 16/3/2010, at page N21, of Indians being excluded from the national mainstream development of Malaysia in the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority’s (FAMA) RM1 billion National Food (Production) Terminal (Teman) in Simpang Pulai, near Ipoh. This project is to benefit 6,000 (Malay muslim) farmers and as almost always the poor and landless Indians are excluded (refer The Star 16/3/2010 at page N21). At best a Wayang Kulit of one or two Indian families about (0.001%) would be paraded in the 3 Tamil newspapers and the mainstream media to showcase the Indian poor participation in line with the Malay proverb “ayam telur sebiji rioh sekampong”.

The poor and unskilled and suffering on a day to day basis. Indians could instantly be taken out of poverty in this and the scores of other ten acre land ownership schemes in Felda, Felcra, Risda, Mardi, Agropolitan, Kesedar, Ketengah etc., simply by their proportionate inclusion.

But UMNO intends to retain this 70% of the Indians in the poor and hardcore poor category, and silently watch by if not aided and abetted by omission by the PKR, DAP and PAS top leadership and their 82 MPs’ (minus five) including their 11 Indian mandore MPs’.

P.Uthayakumar

Desperate S’gor PKR Exco mandore’s second bite at cherry, Oscar style

This Selangor Indian PKR Exco mandore just last week in the Makkal Osai tamil newspaper made the “grand” Oscar style announcement that the Ampang Tamil School would not be moved out.

And today this very same Selangor Indian Exco Mandore under his “tuan” Anwar Ibrahim and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s instructions takes a second bite at the very same cherry by making the very same Oscar style grand announcement (MN 16/3/10 at page 5).

But the land title to this Ampang Tamil School was never handed over to this school. Similarly land to all 98 Tamil schools have been refused to be granted in Selangor, all in one go and as a comprehemsive and permanent solution to this problem.

To add insult to injury this Selangor Indian Exco mandore now tries to divert attention by also announcing that the Sentosa Tamil School has been given a 2 ½ acre land. But the land title to this school was never made public or handed over to the said Tamil school.

This Selangor Indian Exco mandore furthermore does an MIC mandore number by insulting the Indians with a kosong “announcement” of 15 computers for this said Tamil school. Maybe he plans a second bite at the cherry when he actually hands over five computers and maybe the third and fourth bites respectively there after.

Karuna Nithi

Desperate S’gor PKR Exco mandore's

60% prisoners are Indians when they comprise 8% of the population

48% of the prisoners in Malaysia are Indians when the Indians form only 8% of the population on or about 2007. The Malaysian Human Rights Commissioner Dato Siva Subramaniam quoted a figure of 60% of the prison occupants being Indians.

UMNOs’ racist, religious extremist and supremacist social engineering policies has created this disproportionately large number of Indian prisoners in the 24 prisons nationwide (refer The Star 16/3/2010 at page N40).

UMNO has spent hundreds of millions of ringgit on building new prisons to keep their crony rent seeking UMNO RM2.00 companies afloat in maintaining and sustaining their 53 year old political power in Malay-sia.

If only these hundreds of millions of ringgit given as business loans to these Indians they would never have ended up in prisons in the first place.

But UMNO uses their MIC mandore party to dish out RM2 million in Tekun loans for the 2 million Indian population in Malaysia for the year 2009 @ RM1.00 per Indian on average as their Wayang Kulit strategy of “ayam telur sebiji rioh sekampung”.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of the racist, religious extremist and supremacist policies UMNO has been practicing over the last 53 years.

P.Uthayakumar

Jakim and the religious extremist UMNO government denies Hindu wife her 22 month old baby

Last year the IPOH High Court gave an interim order for the muslim convert father to surrender Indra Ghandi’s 22 month old daughter to her. But the muslim husband fully backed up by the Islamic authorities Jakim and the UMNO controlled government machinery refused to revert the baby to her mother. And today 12/3/2010 the mother was on a rare occasion in Malaysia given custody of her said child but this same muslim husband, Jakim, and UMNO authorities are still refusing to hand over the baby to her natural mother. (refer NST 12/3/2010 at page 2, and The Star 12/3/2010 at page N2). Why? Height of religious extremism by UMNO in the face of Article 11 of the Federal Constitution which guarantees freesom of religion.

P.Uthayakumar

Poverty keeps 90% of Tamil school children out of kindergartens

To the contrary the National Key Result Areas (NKRA) set by the Education Ministry targets in the reverse order nearly 90% pre-schools students by 2012.

This is evidence that UMNO is trying to keep the ethnic minority Malaysian Indians out of the national mainstream development of Malaysia. By denying these Indian children Tadika, Tabika and Permata Kindergartens, etc., UMNO intends to breed Indians as poor academic performers, school dropouts, unskilled workers, general and factory workers, toilet cleaners, general office and other cleaners, security guards, office boys, disproportionately large number of drug peddlers, gangsters, high divorce rates – 500% higher than in the Chinese community, high mortality rate, suicide rates at 600% higher than in the Malay community and leading miserable lives right up to their dying days most often within their 40s’ and 50s’. All because of poverty and poverty related issues that are ignored. From Womb to Tomb, Compliments of UMNO, the world’s most racist, religious extremist and supremacist regime.

P.Uthayakumar

MIC top mandores peanuts Wayang Kulit RM500 cash to an Indian elephantitis patient

MIC top mandores peanuts Wayang Kulit RM500 cash to an Indian elephantitis patient

UMNO’s One Malay-sia Prime Minister Najib Razak assigns two of his top Indian MIC Indian mandores to dish out peanuts cash of a mere RM500 to Munusamy (68) an elephantitis patient.

But in the 2010 RM191.5 billion budget, this very same UMNO Prime Minister had allocated RM48 Million for welfare assistance and RM174 Million for senior citizens and the e-kasih cards (NST 24/10/09 at page 10).

This RM222 Million will never reach the Indian poor however deserving they are. So UMNO gets these their MIC top mandores to create the illusion that these Indians are actually benefiting from the Malaysian National Budget while dishing out these peanuts of RM500. The Indians now in the post 25th November 2007 100,000 Hindraf Rally can see through this racist religious extremist and supremacist UMNO policies.

P. Uthayakumar

Jealous man kills wife and hangs himself

The Star, Mar 16 2010

ALOR GAJAH:
It was a tragic and violent end for a couple caught in a love triangle when the 41-year-old husband brutally murdered his wife before hanging himself at their home in Taman Seri Redan, Masjid Tanah, here. A. Ilangathil, a lorry driver, is believed to have slit the throat of his wife, N. Jayaletchumi, 38, and stabbed her while she was asleep in their bedroom before taking his own life.

Two of the couple’s four children were at home when the incident was believed to have happened between 10pm on Monday and 6.30am Tuesday.

Police recovered a two-page note written by the husband accusing his wife of infidelity and requesting that relatives take care of the couple’s children.

According to a close family member, the couple’s 15-year-old son noticed Ilangathil tying a rope near the dining hall’s air-well area next to the living room.

However, he was told by his father to mind his own business and go to bed when he asked about the rope.

At the time of the incident, only the 15-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter were at home as their 16-year-old sister was away in Seremban while their 13-year-old brother was staying with an uncle in Kampung Jeram, about 5km away.

The youngest daughter made the gruesome discovery when she woke up at 7am.

She and her distraught brother immediately sought help from neighbours who later informed their relatives.

When met at the scene, I. Thanesh, 13, said he was shocked over the loss of his parents as they did not argue much and their relationship seemed normal.

It is learnt that the couple, who were from Seremban, settled down in Malacca about four years ago. It is also learnt that the husband lost his job about a month ago.

State CID chief Asst Comm Mohd Adnan Abdullah said the case has been classified as murder-cum-suicide.

Police have recovered two knives and a rope from the scene. Both bodies were sent to the Malacca Hospital for post-mortem.

Based on initial investigations, ACP Mohd Adnan said jealously was the motive.

Anwar says graft causing FDI drop

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has claimed the Barisan Nasional government’s poor governance and “endemic corruption” are behind falling foreign direct investment (FDI) in Malaysia.

The parliamentary Opposition Leader made the accusation in Parliament when asking the international trade and industry minister to explain the reasons behind the FDI drop despite liberalisation in several service sectors.

“Some important considerations have to be taken into consideration. Based on an Unctad report on December last year, the ability of Malaysia to attract foreign investments has dropped from number 62 to 66,” Anwar (picture) said after the ministry’s reply.

He then cited reports which, he claimed, proved Malaysia’s drop in standing.

“Malaysia’s figure stands at RM22.1 billion, while Singapore RM75.5 billion. Thailand and Indonesia have recorded RM27 million each.

“Why is Malaysia now trailing behind countries which were once behind Malaysia in development?” asked Anwar.

The minister, Datuk Mustapa Mohamad, charged that Anwar’s claims were misguided and that Malaysia’s economy was steadily improving.

“The economy of the country is stabilising. The unemployment rate dropped 3.6 per cent last year,” he replied.

He maintained that what is happening in the country is an increase in competitive spirit.

“Things have become more competitive, but this does not mean the economy is declining,” said Mustapa.

The minister then pointed out that positive measures have been taken by the government to ensure foreign investors come and invest in the country.

“If there is no pull factor, why do so many Japanese companies want to invest here?” asked Mustapa.

Muhyiddin: NEM will be fair to all

Muhyiddin receives a gift of a banner from the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall at the dinner. The Chinese characters mean ‘Honest, Incorrupt and Gentle’. — Picture by Jack Ooi

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — In a bid to regain straying non-Malay support, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin said tonight the government’s New Economic Model (NEM) will provide equal opportunities to all regardless of race.

The deputy prime minister said the NEM will focus on nurturing individual creativity and innovation on the back of reviving the ailing low-income economy.

“It must be ensured that all races will have the same role and equal opportunities to nurture their potentials fairly in the economic sector,” Muhyiddin said at a dinner held by the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall.

“I believe that when everyone, regardless of race and religion, receives equal rights, real racial harmony can be realised. Therefore the NEM is not just an economic model but a vital instrument to tear down the walls of racism,” he added.

Muhyiddin said the NEM was construed in line with the Najib administration’s all-encompassing catchphrase of 1 Malaysia, a slogan designed to heal and unify a nation frayed by communal politics.

The NEM will be launched by the end of this month but the government said full details will be outlined in the 10th Malaysia Plan after getting public feedback.

“Realising this, the government is always looking for ways to move forward to cultivate the spirit of unity, understanding and acceptance of one another,” said the Umno deputy president.

He claimed that the 1 Malaysia concept, a brainchild of the country’s sixth premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak, will not leave behind anyone based on race and religious differences.

But Najib’s 1 Malaysia is not selling well, particularly to the non-Malays, say opposition leaders.

His effort to revive the country’s once credible moderate image has been marred by ultra-nationalist sentiments from within his own party who, among others, are rejecting his NEM.

Unlike the race-based affirmative action-driven New Economic Policy (NEP), the NEM plans to open up the economy from widespread Malay largesse.

This spurred the growth of groups like Perkasa, which enjoys the backing of hawks from Najib’s own Umno.

The strong anti-Chinese sentiments within groups like Perkasa and its Umno link have further alienated support from the country’s second biggest race, says the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

Najib himself has attacked the DAP’s Middle Malaysia slogan as another version of the Malaysian Malaysia concept that was first aired in the 1960s by the People Action Party’s Lee Kuan Yew, who brought Singapore to help form Malaysia and later cried when Kuala Lumpur ejected the island state.

PAS claims has proof to get Kelantan oil royalty

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — PAS today claimed to have proof of Kelantan’s right to oil royalty payments from Petronas, after the Dewan Rakyat Speaker rejected an emergency motion to debate the issue.

PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub (left) said he had the evidence, after he revealed that the emergency motion was rejected.

“I sent an emergency motion under standing order 18(1) on March 10 to debate on the oil royalty issue because I found several new discoveries after Parliament was adjourned last year, and we don’t at all agree with the answer of prime minister,” Salahuddin told reporters outside the Dewan Rakyat.

He said the federal government’s excuses fell flat against the evidence in the party’s hands.

“On the issue of the nautical miles, which is stated in the Petronas letter to Terengganu on Sept 16, 1978, if the matter of the three nautical miles is questioned, then the oil wells are beyond three nautical miles.”

“And in this letter the Petronas officer has written to the officer in charge of finance in the state, the estimate payment of oil royalty for 1979 was RM3.2million was stated as royalty payment,” he said.

The Kubang Kerian MP also stressed that, at the time, the issue of goodwill payment or whether the oil wells were beyond three nautical miles did not arise.

Additionally, Salahuddin also asserted that there was another agreement, made between Petronas and the Kelantan mentri besar back then.

“Another matter is the agreement between Petronas and the Kelantan mentri besar on this issue. The agreement was signed May 19, 1975, and if we scrutinise the whole agreement, it doesn’t at all mention the matter of three nautical miles off shore or onshore.”

Instead, it was stated then that Petronas had pay the state a royalty.

“The motion was denied because it was apparently not urgent. We promise to bring this topic as one of the important topics in debates during the debate on the oil royalty address and we will show documents on our claims,” he said.

Last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had stated that the federal government would only be according the state “compassionate payments” and not oil royalty, citing the fact that Kelantan had no rights to these as the oil reserves were beyond three nautical miles of the state’s shores.

Zahrain, Zul Noordin deny meeting PM

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Independent MPs Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim and Zulkifli Noordin today denied having met the prime minister last week, with the latter blaming the rumour on the “little pharaohs” in PKR.

When approached in Parliament today, Zahrain (picture) frowned and shook his head when he was asked to confirm if the meeting had taken place.

“No, we did not meet. Not true,” he said.

Zulkifli, on the other hand, laughed and said the rumour was just the work of PKR’s “little pharaohs”, the same people he had claimed were behind his recent sacking.

“No, no meeting. Rumours by little pharaohs. They love these sort of rumours,” he said.

He added that he would never consider joining Umno no matter what but would fully support the government on any policy changes that were good for the people.

“Umno is a big no. U-M-N-O... a big ‘N-O’,” he said.

In the meantime, Zahrain also agreed that he would willingly back the government on policies of reform, saying he fully supported Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia concept.

“Well of course, any reform that is good for the country we will support. For example, 1 Malaysia. It is good so I support. The GST, I do not believe in it so I do not support. But if it is the ISA then I do not agree with it too,” he said, referring to the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill that the government withdrew from Parliament.

Zahrain also joined Najib in the latter’s insult of DAP’s Middle Malaysia, saying that it was just political rhetoric and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s ploy to mislead the people.

“It is all just rubbish. It is Lim’s game to confuse people. Malaysian Malaysia did not work so we move on to 1 Malaysia. But I do not want to talk about Guan Eng.... I have said enough,” he said.

PKR’s Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff also moved to support his former colleagues but made it a point to say that it did not mean he was “not yet convinced” enough to support 1 Malaysia.

“They (Zahrain) may support it but not me. I am not yet convinced. But it is true, reform, in any form, can come from anyone,” he said.

Although he recently pledged he would remain loyal to the PKR, Yusmadi further fuelled rumours of his possible defection one day by saying that he wants to be “on the right side of history”.

“I always want to be on the right side of history. And history tells us that the work of reform must be done and it can come from anyone,” he said.

Yusmadi said this when Zahrain told The Malaysian Insider to ask the “bright young politician” if he still planned to be an opposition MP in the next term.

Yes, I am a stubborn bastard

Yes, The Malay Mail has got its version to the story of my Statutory Declaration. I also have my version. And my version is: I will not be put on trial and I refuse to pay bail. The government had its chance to send me to jail. I gave them that chance. I agreed to forfeit both my trial and bail. But they wanted to impose bail on me and put me on trial.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

“Raja Petra went missing after two warrants of arrest were issued for failing to attend a court hearing on April 23 and May 23 for publishing seditious words and defaming Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the prime minister, on his portal, Malaysia Today,” said The Malay Mail (read the full report here). Then they inserted a wrong link that takes you to another website instead of to Malaysia Today (very devious of The Malay Mail).

The Malay Mail is run by a pro-Umno Blogger who also runs the Blog known as Rocky’s Bru. So The Malay Mail is certainly far from independent although it presents itself as ‘mainstream media’. It has a certain agenda and it writes whatever suits this agenda. And Rocky’s running mate is Big Dog, the chap who first triggered this whole business that resulted in the shit hitting the fan.

It all started with the Statutory Declaration that I signed on 18 June 2008. No doubt, a Statutory Declaration signed and lodged in court is not a secret document and members of the public would be able to get access to it. Nevertheless, what I signed was meant for the consumption of the prosecution team in the Altantuya murder trial. And my lawyer did write to the prosecutor with a copy of that Statutory Declaration attached.

Somehow, though, a copy of the Statutory Declaration was published on Big Dog’s Blog within 24 hours or so. Almost immediately the IGP and AG said that I have signed a false declaration and that action would be taken against me.

Now, no investigation was yet carried out as to whether I did or did not sign a false declaration. In fact, they did not even know yet whether I really did sign it or maybe it was a fake. But the IGP and AG announced that I had signed a false declaration and that action would be taken against me.

That’s right, action would be taken against me for signing that declaration. No investigation needs to be carried out. And the people named in that declaration are automatically presumed innocent and they need not be investigated.

Prejudgment was immediately made. They pronounced me guilty of the crime of signing a false declaration and announced that I would be punished for that crime.

How did the IGP and AG know? They are yet to read what I signed. They are yet to investigate what I signed. They do not even know if I did really sign it. But they already know it is false and the decision was made immediately that I would be punished for this crime.

I was then called in for interrogation. In my interrogation the police wanted to know how Big Dog obtained a copy of that Statutory Declaration and whether I had given it to him. The focus of the investigation was on whether Big Dog and I are working in concert, which means I gave him a copy of the declaration so that he can publish it.

It looked like the concern of the police was that the Statutory Declaration was published on Big Dog’s Blog and not so much that I had signed it. They were also not too concerned with the contents of the declaration as much as with the fact that it was made public. But then is not a Statutory Declaration signed in court a public document anyway?

The interrogation also focused on the source of my information. The police wanted to know whom my source is, how reliable he is, how well I know him, whether I have known him for a long time, how far I trust him, and whatnot. I told the police all this will be revealed in court. If they think I have signed a false declaration, then charge me, and my source will then come forward to testify during my trial. I also told the police I have known this source longer than I have known my wife -- and I have known my wife since 1968.

Soon after that I was asked to report to the police station because they are going to charge me for that Statutory Declaration which I signed. Okay, I thought, now the fun is going to start. I was actually looking forward to being charged so that we can ‘revisit’ the Altantuya murder trial and go through all those points the murder trial missed, or intentionally left out.

They did not, however, charge me for signing a false Statutory Declaration. If they do then they will have to prove their case against me. Instead, they charged me for criminal defamation, which means they need prove nothing other than the fact that I had signed the declaration, which in the first place I never denied signing.

My name and signature are on that document so how can I deny it? Why should I want to deny it? If I wanted to deny anything I would not have put my name and signature to something as legal and binding as a Statutory Declaration, what the Malays call a surat sumpah or ‘letter of oath’, almost like swearing on the Quran.

The government did not have the balls to challenge me on the contents of my Statutory Declaration. And by charging me for criminal defamation the government can avoid talking about the contents of what I signed. They just need to prove that I did sign it, which they can prove easily enough since I admit it, and then send me to jail.

Okay, so let’s assume that I did defame the Prime Minister’s wife (who was then only the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife). Can I be charged for that? Is that criminal defamation?

It is criminal defamation only if the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife works for the government and I defamed her in her official capacity as a government officer. Say I accuse Khalid Ibrahim, the Selangor Menteri Besar, of neglecting the Malays in Selangor because he gave land to Chinese and Indians but not to Malays. And, say, this is not true. That can tantamount to criminal defamation. This means I am criticising Khalid in what he does as Menteri Besar and that this allegation is false.

Rosmah Mansor is not a government officer. And I did not criticise her, false or otherwise, because of what she did as a government officer. So whatever I say, true or false, about Rosmah is not criminal defamation. She has absolutely no status in the government. She is just a wife of a politician who happens to hold a position in the government. The wife of a public servant is not a government post. The First Lady of the US is an official position, not the so-called ‘First Lady’ of Malaysia (and at that time she was not even the ‘First Lady’ yet).

Anyway, I was charged for that crime, which is not a crime. And, as Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said, since the charge is frivolous, I did not want to layan (entertain) it. So when the charges were read out to me I told the judge I am not responding to the charges because the charges are mala fide and defective. I will not enter any plea.

The judge told me since I refuse to enter a plea then the court would take that as a not guilty plea. I then raised my voice and told the judge that I did not enter a plea of not guilty. I refuse to respond to the charges and enter any plea. But the judge still insisted that he would record that as a not guilty plea.

The case was then transferred to a higher court. The lower court that I was first charged in cannot impose a higher sentence. So they transferred my case to a higher court so that the sentence can be more severe.

There was no reason to transfer my case to a higher court. The lower court that I was first charged in is legally allowed to hear my case. Only that if I am found guilty then my sentence would be a maximum of two years jail and/or a fine of RM10,000. But if my case goes to a higher court then there is no limit as to what they can whack me with.

It looked like they already knew I was going to be found guilty even before the trial started. So they wanted my case transferred to the higher court so that there is no limit on my sentencing and they can lock me up and throw away the key. If they impose a sentence of both jail and fine, and if the fine is so huge that I can’t afford to pay it, then that would be an additional jail sentence imposed on me.

Smart, no?

Anyway, they recharged me in a higher court and I, again, refused to respond to the charges and enter any plea. And, again, the court insisted that this will be taken as a not guilty plea. And, again, I raised my voice and said that I did not enter a not guilty plea. But the court still insisted that they take it as a not guilty plea. This is the way it works, my lawyer told me.

I told my lawyer I don’t care what the system says. I refuse to face trial on charges of criminal defamation. If they charge me for the crime of signing a false declaration then I will fight the charge. But I am not going to layan a charge of criminal defamation. And the system can go fuck itself for all I care.

Now, on the issue of bail, I told the court that I refuse to pay the bail. I came to court with just a phone call and with no summons or warrant of arrest issued against me, like it should have been. I was not legally summoned to court to be charged. The police phoned me to request my presence in court so that I could be charged.

I could have told the police to go to hell. Since there is no summons for me to appear in court or no warrant issued against me, then I need not go to court. The police can’t do a damn thing. But I came to court anyway, based on just that phone call and the request from the police. So why the need for bail?

But the court still insisted that I post bail. The Prosecution wanted bail of RM10,000 for each charge. I protested and said that I would not pay. My lawyers quickly stood up to negotiate for the bail to be reduced to RM5,000. I scolded my lawyers and shouted at the judge that I am sacking my lawyers. I did not authorise my lawyers to negotiate for bail of RM5,000.

The judge called for an adjournment so that my lawyers could talk to me. My lawyers told me to accept bail and they will try to negotiate for the bail amount to be reduced. I said no. I had walked into court based on just a phone call and with no summons or warrant when I did not need to do that. So I do not see the need for bail. Even Anwar Ibrahim on a more serious charge of sodomy where the sentence is ten times more than the charge I am facing was allowed personal bond. So why treat me differently?

The judge came back into court and, to everyone’s surprise, imposed bail of RM2,000, for all three charges. This was very odd, my lawyers told me. The Prosecution asked for bail of RM10,000 for each charge (so that would be RM30,000 in total). My lawyers asked for bail of RM5,000. But the judge imposes bail of just RM2,000 for all three charges. This never happens, my lawyers told me, so can I please accept this lower bail? It looks like the judge is going out of his way to help me.

I still said no and walked off and surrendered myself to the police and told them to send to the Sungai Buloh Prison.

But the police would not do that. They did not even handcuff me like they should have. And they let me sit in the common area instead of locking me up in the holding cell. The Black Maria then left for the prison without me.

Furthermore, the police allowed my wife and one of my lawyers, Sam, into the holding area. They then opened one of the lockups so that we could sit inside it to discuss our matter in secret and in 'comfort'.

I told Sam to get the hell out of there and go home. But he would not go and my wife begged him to stay. My wife was crying and Sam said if he needs to go down on his hands and knees to beg me to accept bail he would do so. I was adamant that I am not paying bail. In fact, I refuse to even be put on trial. I had refused to enter any plea and the court should have just pronounced me guilty and sent me to jail.

I refuse to respond to the charges and enter any plea but they refuse to pronounce me guilty even after I shouted at the judge. I refuse bail but they refuse to send me to the Sungai Buloh Prison even after I walk into the lockup on my own accord.

I am not cooperating with the government, I told Sam. I am going to fight this charge. But I will not fight the charge in a trial. I will fight it my way and on my terms, not on the terms of the government.

If the government chooses to enter a plea of not guilty on my behalf then that is their choice not mine. It is the government that recorded a plea of not guilty. I did not enter that plea. And I also refuse bail. If they impose bail on me then I am not going to pay the amount. I will choose to go to jail.

My wife, full of tears, pleaded with Sam to keep me there, by force if necessary, and not allow them to send me to prison while she goes upstairs to post bail.

Sam and my wife said they are going to pay the bail and take me home. They insist. I told them to do what the fuck they want. And Sam called me a stubborn bastard. And I told Sam that it takes stubborn bastards who dare tell the government to go fuck itself to bring changes to this country.

Yes, The Malay Mail has got its version to the story of my Statutory Declaration. I also have my version. And my version is: I will not be put on trial and I refuse to pay bail. The government had its chance to send me to jail. I gave them that chance. I agreed to forfeit both my trial and bail. But they wanted to impose bail on me and put me on trial.

Well, I am not playing this game so they can go play with themselves. That’s my way of telling the government of Malaysia to go fuck itself. Oh, and it is true as what Sam said: I am a stubborn bastard and arrogant to boot. And by the way, Manchester United is playing against Liverpool this weekend so I thought the video below best explains my feelings about the Malaysian legal system.

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics," said the 19th Century British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881). This phrase was later popularised by Mark Twain. Today, the New Straits Times wrote about the Agong’s speech in Parliament and suggested that the ‘new media’ is nothing but a factory of lies. Let us talk about this issue.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

“Great tool... only if we don't let fools use it”, said Azmi Anshar in the New Straits Times. The NST piece starts by saying:

Of all the counsel provided by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong yesterday as he opened the first meeting of the third session of 12th Parliament, this perhaps resonates the loudest -- slander, lies and distortion of facts are still percolating in the new media. The king was, of course, reiterating the feral aspect of this dominion. As much as the technical deployment of email, websites, blogs and the social media Facebooking and Tweeting on either PCs or cellphones has surged in numbers, the human traits of malice and gullibility remain the same. (Read more here).

There is some truth in the allegation that the Internet is sometimes used to spin lies. Of course, many of the so-called ‘lies’ that Malaysia Today publishes later turns out to be the truth. What was denied at first is later confirmed. Then again, sometimes events turn out opposite to what Malaysia Today wrote.

What these people may not realise is, firstly, Malaysia Today is a not a newspaper in the real sense of the word. And it is certainly not a member of the mainstream media. It is a ‘war machine’. It is a ‘machine’ to rebut what the mainstream newspapers write and to attack those who walk in the corridors of power when they do wrong. It is also a pre-emptive strike ‘machine’ that is used to reveal the plans, plots and shenanigans of those who sit in Putrajaya.

Pre-emptive strike means you attack the other side before they attack you. And you use pre-emptive strikes to thwart or frustrate the plans of the other side. You expose them before they make their move so that they cancel or abort their planned move. That is the long and short of what our mission is all about.

On many an occasion Malaysia Today revealed what was going to happen so that it would not happen. Sure, the danger in this would be that Malaysia Today would be proven wrong. But we have no problems with that. We would like to be proven wrong. If we were proven right then that would be disastrous.

For example, we were proven right about the Pakatan Rakyat Perak government being ousted and that Barisan Nasional was going to take back the state. If it is all about ego then we should be happy that Malaysia Today was proven right. But we are not happy that Malaysia Today was proven right because this is not about our ego or about being proven right. We sincerely wish we had been proven wrong.

Then we wrote about the Selangor and Kedah governments being the next two states to fall. And we said it would happen around January 2010. That is yet to be proven right. So, thus far, we are wrong.

I had dinner with some Barisan Nasional people, people close to the very top, who informed me that Vincent Tan had met a few Pakatan Rakyat Parliamentarians and State Assemblypersons from Selangor and Kedah to negotiate their crossover. The meeting was held immediately after the meeting Vincent Tan had with Hee of Perak.

Now, these people I had dinner with are the same people who told me that the Perak government was going to fall and that a deal had been made to buy off the two Malay State Assemblymen from PKR and that Vincent Tan was paying Hee of DAP RM25 million to crossover.

The Perak incident was proven correct. So these sources are certainly reliable as far as Perak is concerned. And these people are not Umno people, mind you. These are non-Malays who are well connected and can afford to slap millions onto the table with no effort whatsoever.

It is the duty of Malaysia Today to reveal the possible collapse of Selangor and Kedah. We did not want to be proven right. We wanted to be proven wrong. And the only way we could be proven wrong would be if Pakatan Rakyat were to lock the stable doors BEFORE the horses bolt and not AFTER like in the Perak case. Locking the stable doors AFTER the horse has bolted is a futile exercise.

Now, Anwar Ibrahim has personally stepped into Selangor by becoming the state’s economic adviser. We certainly hope this is not a title in name only and that Anwar would grab the bull by the horns and grapple with the many problems Selangor is facing. And we all know that Selangor is facing many problems, so no need to go into details.

Maybe it needed for Perak to fall before they would take our warnings more seriously. When we told them about Perak they pooh-poohed it and assured us that everything is under control. But it was not, and just two weeks later what we had hoped would not happen did happen.

Of course, now everyone says: fantastic, you were right about Perak. What they do not understand is that we do not wish to be right. We wish to be wrong. We wish Perak were still under Pakatan Rakyat. And we certainly do not wish to be right about Selangor and Kedah as well. We wish that Pakatan Rakyat would do whatever it takes to secure these two states and not allow them to go the way of Perak.

So there you are. When Malaysia Today makes a revelation you really do not know what is our motive behind it. If we were one of the mainstream newspapers then our motive would be merely to report the news. But we are not in the business of reporting the news. We are in the business of bringing change to Malaysia. And we do what needs to be done to achieve this.

And change can only come about when those who walk in the corridors of power are constantly under threat. They are under threat of their wrongdoings being exposed. They are under threat of losing power and of a new government taking over this country. And they can only fear losing power when there is a strong alternative to the ruling party. So it is our duty to ensure that there emerges a strong alternative to Barisan Nasional. That is our job.

So that, in a nutshell, is what Malaysia Today is all about. And those who walk in the corridors of power who may have any misgivings about this are destined for doom. As what Sun Tzu said: know your enemy. And it appears those who walk in the corridors of power do not know Malaysia Today. And that is the first step to their defeat.

This is war, and all is fair in love and war, the old saying goes. You hit wherever you can find a weak spot. And you hit where it hurts them most. Are there rules in the game of war? Over thousands of years wars have been fought and when were rules ever followed?

BTN, the government agency in charge of brainwashing, spins lies. The government-controlled mainstream media spins lies. The truth is distorted every step of the way. Threats are bandied about. The fear of another ‘May 13’ is constantly planted into the minds of Malaysians.

I am not saying that since ‘they’ lie then there is nothing wrong if we also lie. What I am saying is who are ‘they’ to moralise when their lives are all about lies? 1Malaysia is a spin. The NEP is a spin? Ketuanan Melayu is a spin. Let’s look at the statistics of the Malay share of the economic pie and analyse whether the Malays are really as downtrodden as they say, or is this yet another spin?

Oh, then again, there are lies, damned lies, and there are statistics. So maybe we should not do that after all.

I always joke to my friends by saying that Malaysia Today does not lie. We just present our version of the truth. And is not what would be considered the truth to one, a lie to another? Muslims say that Jesus never died on the cross and that this is a lie. The Jews say that Jesus was not a Christian but a Jew who had deviated from true Judaism. The Christians say that Jesus was the last Prophet, not Muhammad, and that Muhammad was a fake, inspired not by God but by the devil.

Yes, truth and lies. Is it not subjective? You will know only after you die which is truth and which are lies. And so far none who have died have come back from their graves to reveal the truth.

So we take our chances. We hope that we are actually followers of truth and not of lies. And to pacify our tormented minds we call it faith because the truth will only be known after our soul leaves our body and when it is too late to correct our wrong choice of ‘belief’.

So be it. Let our faith decide our path. And if you have no faith in the cause then move on. You are not compelled to read Malaysia Today. You read Malaysia Today by choice. So make your choice. If you have no faith in Malaysia Today, then go. No one is forcing you to stay. But those who lie have no business moralising about others.

Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone. And I can see no one bending down to pick up any stones.