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Friday, March 26, 2010

Underdog Tee Keat sees fortunes turning

Saiful to be cross-examined on May 10

HINDRAF and its cause in London with East Malaysia natives. - by Mydin Baharuddin

The latest agenda of HINDRAF with the natives of East Malaysia inLondon is definitely a welcome gesture for Malaysia. Many have skepticism about the objectives of HINDRAF yet many fail tounderstand the root cause which is predominately their ability toredress the issue of human rights for a certain segment of the societythat has been neglected. Frankly speaking, have we West Malaysian havenever given a two hoot of the East Malaysians until and unlesspolitically, it cause the necessary tilt to upheaval and unleash usfrom UMNO for those political masters.

Now when HINDRAF sheds some light for the East Malaysian issues, theyare still looked upon as a racist organization with their effort toengage and bring along the plight of our brothers/ sisters in EastMalaysia to the international forum. Seriously, either we are seriousof change or we are hoping to ride on platforms that we seek a changewithout understanding the plight of the less unfortunate within ourown sphere. Every effort made by HINDRAF on its own is seen either seen politicalor racist after March 08 but never the benefit of our doubt for humanrights issues as we all seemed be to be engulfed with politicalaspirations of the political parties rather than the need of thesociety. Many applauded HINDRAF in its heyday prior to March 08, but now it isseen as a racist organization although all they fought for is for asociety that had deteriorated over the last 30 years through unjustand unfair macro policies that only benefited the elites in UMNOneither those Malays in our kampongs nor any other Malaysians.

Racism does prevail in any society and that is something you cannotavoid but let truth prevail above selfishness and lies that we getswayed away as time passes by to understand their agenda for thegoodwill of nation. UMNO which itself clearly states its cause as a Malay nationalistparty as oppose to Malayan Union that stirred its gear towards amulticultural society that never survived. Eventually it iscommunalist as that has ruled us for the last 53 years when it isslipped through by UMNO with its twelve (12) race based coalition orshall I say bed mates without a concern at large for the public. Looking at the opposition, seriously we need to see it with a clearobjective. Pakatan with a Malay dominated party in PAS, DAP, with anIndian founder is now Chinese dominated party with their nominalelection of Non Chinese and PKR with the rejects of UMNO and itscoaliations claims to be a multi racial party. Take a close look atit and it is all race based but a marriage of convenience to prolongits political life. So, now HINDRAF comes along and everyone classifies it as a racistparty when it has been racist through out the length of our life sincethe independence as long as politics are concerned and otherwise in aday to day live.

HINDRAF is classified as racist as they only undertake the MalaysianIndian cause, but isn’t it factual that this segment continues to bebranded and classified as the new under classed society at leastwithin our society. Forget that 100 Indians who hold 1.3% of thecountry’s wealth similar to what you would see within the Malaycommunity and the natives as well, but majority of those Indians,Malays and natives who happen to be Malaysian are today totallyannihilated through the due process of segregation by the UMNO ledgovernment as oppose to the progress of the nation on the sake of itspeople. Just being a Malay does not offer me all the luxury and benefits ofthe government but I need to rub the right balls within UMNO and ofcourse now Pakatan to progress without any effort. This is theproblem. HINDRAF in contrast without rubbing anyone’s balls is able tochallenge those within the corridors of power, as they were pushed tothe wall without any option as nothing materialiazed with the UMNOgovernment and now of course with PAKATAN.

Whether the indigenousnatives in East Malaysia joins with them in their battle similar tothe middle average class Malaysians is of course is their choice butthe truth is, they face the same predicament as this marginalizedsociety in such an oppressive and selective system against the growthof the nation. The Malay does not need defending in Malaysia as we are the majorityand the Non Malays have never questioned policies to enhance theirposition. We, the Malays need to understand that the Non Malays ofthis generation is Malaysian, not Malay, Chinese, Indian or lain-lain,therefore it is only fair that we listen to HINDRAF and those alikethem to ensure that that their welfare is taken care for as much asours to move towards a Malaysian nation. The racist that we have in our pluralistic society should be confinedwhen it infringes our own practice, race, religion or belief but notwhen humanity is trampled all over for the political desires and selfindulged pursuit in anticipation.

As a pluralistic society, we allowedand sat by the infringement of our fellow Malaysians’ practice, raceand religion or belief for all this while. Now that HINDRAF has wokenus up, but are we awake or rather take a narrow perspective in theirapproach when it has been all along tolerated either within UMNO ledcoalition or even those in PAKATAN? A better understanding of HINDRAF on their pursuit of human rightswould be forthcoming only if there is hindsight for the people inMalaysia rather than the political ploys and agenda that keep usdivided.

Royal panel chief replaced in Kelantan palace crisis

By Adib Zalkapli and Mohd Zuharman - The Malaysian Insider

KOTA BARU, March 26 — The Kelantan palace crisis deepened with a new royal panel chief being named to replace the Sultan's choice of a regent while his private secretary remains in police custody.

Tengku Abdul Halim Alhaj Sultan Ibrahim has been named to chair the State Succession Council (MPN) which decides on the Kelantan monarchy, replacing Tengku Abdul Aziz Hamzah whom the Sultan had appointed as Regent.

MPN secretary Datuk Mohd Aiseri Alias had said Tengku Abdul Aziz's appointment was illegal and the Ruler’s son, Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra Sultan Ismail Petra (top), is still the Regent.

Police are still holding the Ruler's private secretary, Datuk Wan Hashim Wan Daud, after he announced that the Sultan had replaced his heir as Regent in favour of Tengku Abdul Aziz.

“We are still investigating him (Wan Hashim),” a source told The Malaysian Insider.

However, the source declined to reveal the royal aide’s actual location.

The palace crisis was earlier sparked off when Wan Hashim had announced that the investiture ceremony as well as the celebration of the Ruler’s 60th birthday on March 30 and 31 have been cancelled.

The Comptroller of the Kelantan Royal Household, Datuk Abdul Halim Hamad, refuted Wan Hashim's announcement, saying the royal aide was not authorised to make such announcements.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the confusion over the Sultan's birthday celebration had resulted in the palace sending out the invitation cards twice to ensure that guests were not influenced by news of the cancellation.

State lawmakers have acquiesced to a royal decree to attend the investiture, but did not want to be drawn into the controversy.

“I have ordered all representatives to attend the celebration, we all have to listen to the right directives,” said the Kelantan PAS backbenchers chief Abdullah Yakub.

Another lawmaker insisted that their presence at the Sultan’s birthday is not a political statement.

“It is not a celebration held as a show of support to anyone, it is an official state function; I have confirmed my attendance,” said a Kelantan MP, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the subject.

“As far as I am concerned, the Regent is now performing the duties of the Sultan,” he added, commenting on the removal of the Regent.

Another Kelantan lawmaker, who had also confirmed his attendance, hoped the crisis would be resolved soon, saying that it has not only caused confusion among the public but also among politicians.

“This is a very straightforward issue; based on the constitution, Tengku Faris is the Regent so he acts as the Ruler of Kelantan,” said the MP, adding that all his colleagues will turn up and ignore the palace crisis.

The decision to proceed with the celebration had resulted in the removal of Tengku Muhammad Faris as the Regent yesterday, which was also announced by Wan Hashim on behalf of the Sultan.

“Following his defiance to not proceed with the investiture ceremony as well as the celebration of the Sultan’s 60th birthday, and due to his failure in undertaking his responsibilities to protect His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Kelantan has decided to remove Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra as the Regent of Kelantan,” Wan Hashim announced at a press conference in Istana Mahkota, Kubang Kerian yesterday.

Wan Hashim was later picked up by the police after a report made by Kelantan Administrators Association chairman Shafien Ismail in relation to Tengku Muhammad Faris’ removal as Regent.

Bernama has reported that he is being investigated under section 419 of the Sedition Act.

After Wan Hashim's arrest, the MPN met last night with the express purpose of removing Tengku Abdul Aziz, who was only yesterday confirmed as the head of the council, and to appoint a new chairman after yesterday’s developments.

Tengku Muhammad Faris was appointed Regent in May last year after his father was admitted to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

Sultan Ismail returned to Kelantan on March 4 amid the crisis within the MPN.

Meanwhile, according to executive councillor, Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan, the change in succession council’s leadership was not against the state constitution and was, therefore, valid.

“The Regent, in assuming the duties of the Sultan, is empowered to appoint or remove (the council head).

“According to the constitution, the Sultan has absolute say in the matter, thus the Regent is carrying out the functions of the Sultan when makes the appointment.

“Legally, the Regent also has absolute power,” said Takiyuddin, who added that there was no recourse to challenge the Regent’s decision.

He also declined to comment on Wan Hashim’s detention, but briefly said “the police were simply doing their duty after receiving a report.”

Kelantan police chief, Datuk Rahim Hanifi also refused to elaborate on the matter when met at the state secretariat building this morning, brushing off questions by saying: “Sorry, I cannot comment on the matter.

Mad scramble for Hulu Selangor

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, March 26 — Hulu Selangor MP Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad’s death last night has sparked a scramble among likely candidates to stand in a seat crucial to both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) confidence ahead of the next general election.

It is understood that BN might give the seat — with a significant Indian vote — to Umno, and will provide a different seat to MIC, whose deputy president, Datuk G. Palanivel, stood there in Election 2008.

PR will stick to PKR contesting the seat that Zainal Abidin had won with a wafer-thin majority of 198 in the last elections. But the party is keen to present a strong candidate to keep the seat and stem its loss, following the departure of four federal lawmakers, who are now independents.

The Malays make up 53.9 per cent of the more than 60,000 voters in the constituency. The Chinese vote pool there stands at 26.7 per cent, and Indians, approximately 19 per cent, while other races are at 0.41 per cent.

It is understood that, with the Malay vote is evenly split, PKR is hoping to retain the Indian support that it received in Election 2008.

PKR won the seat two years ago on the back of ethnic Indian uprising, which saw the formation Indian rights group, Hindraf.

The Malaysian Insider understands that PKR had identified an Indian professional to contest the seat even before Dr Zainal Abidin’s death.

Another name, PKR political bureau member, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, also emerged last night as a potential PKR candidate but his name is unlikely to appear on ballot paper, said a party insider.

But Selangor PKR election director, Abdullah Sani, dismissed any talk of potential candidates for the seat.

“The party leaders have not even met on this issue, so any name mention now is merely speculation,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Abdullah also played down the race factor in candidate selection.

“If it is such an important factor, Dr Zainal would not have won in the last election. Furthermore, he was already very sick during the campaign,” he said.

For BN, the sentiment among the Umno grassroots leaders is the seat should be contested by candidate from the Malay party, despite the hard work put in by Palanivel in the constituency for the last few months.

Palanivel’s candidacy and the expected BN victory would give the MIC deputy president the much-needed legitimacy to take over the party leadership from Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

“The demand by Umno for the seat is not new, it started since the era of Tan Sri Muhammad (Muhammad) Taib. When I was the division Youth chief in the 1980s, we even sent a memorandum to the leadership,” said Hulu Selangor Umno division chief, Datuk Mohamed Idris Abu Bakar.

“But the division will listen to the top leaders; if they field MIC we will follow, but if they give [the seat to] Umno we will be happier,” said the Hulu Bernam assemblyman.

Palanivel has been campaigning in the seat despite his narrow loss in Election 2008.

“I will work even harder to wrest the seat back for BN,” he said when contacted last night.

“I am ready, I have been working and serving the people non-stop.”

BN has 137 lawmakers in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat, while PR only has 78, after three PKR men turned independent and another was kicked out of the party. There are now five independents and two SAPP lawmakers in Parliament.

“This will be an interesting by-election to watch, especially in the current situation,” political analyst, Associate Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, told The Malaysian Insider.

A senior PR leader admitted as much, saying, “There will be a lot of horse-trading in both coalitions for the best candidate, whose victory will boost the winning coalition’s confidence.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said the Indian electorate’s unpredictability will complicate the campaigning in the seat.

“The Indian vote is difficult,” the leader conceded, alluding to the coalition’s loss in the Bagan Pinang state seat by-election, where the Indians swung to support Tan Sri Isa Samad’s political comeback to win for Umno.

Zainal Abidin, who suffered from brain cancer, passed away last night at his home in 9, 1/2, Jalan Cheras, Kajang, and leaves behind a wife, Datin Siti Zaharah Mohd Zin and four children. He was 71.

The Dewan Rakyat Speaker will have to inform the Election Commission, which will then call for a by-election within 60 days,

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had launched Umno’s Juara Rakyat campaign to win votes there last February, promising RM15 million to repair the roofs of public flats in the constituency.

Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has also spoken there at ceramahs and promised services after the PKR MP fell ill.

Analysts say the Malay vote is evenly split between the rival coalitions, so the significant Indian minority will be crucial to both.

Zainal Abidin was an Umno Hulu Langat state assemblyman from 1990 before being dropped from contesting the 2004 election.

He served as deputy mentri besar from 1995 to 1999 and was also in the state executive council under the then-mentri besar, Datuk Seri Khir Toyo.

Zainal Abidin crossed over to PKR in 2005 following a fall out with Umno.

Indian businesses seek foreign worker extensions

A foreign worker from India works at a barber shop in Putrajaya January 8, 2008. — Reuters pic

PUTRAJAYA, March 26 — The Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) has proposed to the government to allow the extension of the permits of about 90,000 of their existing foreign workers in the country.

Its president, Datuk KK Eswaran, said this was because they were short of workers, which could affect their businesses.

If the government could not meet the request, they wanted to be allowed to recruit new workers as replacements, he said after meeting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.

“At the moment, after five years, the permit won’t be renewed and what we ask is to allow an extension. We are not asking for additional foreign labour,” he said.

The MAICCI has 14 trade organisations comprising Indian restaurants, Indian Muslim restaurants, scrap metal operators, news vendor, textile and hair dressing salons as members.

Eswaran said they also hired local workers but they did not stay long because they could not bear the heavy work.

He said Najib said that he would seriously look into the matter and take it up to the cabinet. — Bernama

Oil row: Zaid tells a tale of greed and dishonour

By Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The federal government had failed to honor the original intention of the oil agreement by sticking its fingers into Petronas' coffers, said PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim.

Political differences and legal technicalities aside, Zaid said this is the root cause of the dispute concerning oil royalty.

In a recent exclusive interview with FMT, the former law minister noted that the agreement inked between Petronas, the federal government and the state governments stipulated the percentage of revenue that each party would receive from oil found in any of the 13 states.

Petronas would be awarded 90 percent, while the federal and respective state governments would receive five percent each.

Zaid explained that Petronas was given the lion's share of the revenue so that the state-owned company could invest the money for the nation's future generations.

“Yet the federal government dipped into its coffers to build the Twin Towers and Putrajaya.

“And in helping itself to more than its allotted five percent, the government dishonoured the intention of the oil agreement,” he added.

This, Zaid stressed, was the crux of the dispute.

“Not the stupid, irrelevant argument about territorial waters, which was not included in the agreement and had no relevance to the ownership of oil,” he added.

Zaid said the current government was attempting to find flaws in the agreement in order to justify its actions, “but none of it holds water when you look at history”.

“The previous governments didn't pay Terengganu for 22 years not because it misunderstood the law but because it honoured the intention of the agreement.”

The former Umno leader also slammed the government for keeping a tight lid on the agreement, and urged it to disclose the document.

“But I doubt it would. Because doing so would mean exposing its abuse of Petronas,” he said.

'Dr M blatantly abused Petronas'

Meanwhile, Zaid also lambasted former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad for allegedly abusing the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) and manipulating its original intention to suit his plans.


Our economy is tottering and all we've got is Petronas. Once we lose it, we are finished. And we would lose Petronas if nothing changes.

“When (the country's second prime minister) Tun (Abdul) Razak created Petronas, he wanted to protect it from internal corruption. Therefore, he crafted the PDA in a way that gave him full control of Petronas.

“But Mahathir saw this as an opportunity to use Petronas for other means without being found out. He blatantly abused the PDA's noble intention and this is unacceptable,” he said.

“The government now runs everything in private as if it's their own money. It could create 20 funds and withdraw RM20 billion tomorrow and no one would know until all the money is gone,” he added.

According to Zaid, it is for this reason alone that the government would never utter a word on the supposed 'big oil find' by Petronas. (The national oil company earlier this week denied making any big oil find)

He claimed that the government did not want to reveal Petronas' revenue so that no one would know how much of that revenue was being squandered.

Zaid also painted a bleak picture of the country's future should the current government continue running Petronas.

Although economists had given Petronas another 20-year shelf-life, he however felt that it was a very generous forecast.

“This is very serious. Our economy is tottering and all we've got is Petronas. Once we lose it, we are finished. And we would lose Petronas if nothing changes,” he warned.

Malaysia, the model Muslim country - Nut Graph


Malaysia?

BACK when he was deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak pledged that Malaysia would become "a role model to the Islamic world". He said this in the middle of the 2009 Kuala Terengganu by-election, which Najib's Barisan Nasional (BN) eventually lost to Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Najib's pledge was poetic, since a "role model" is supposed to be an outstanding example of its kind, or an example of excellence that others might want to emulate. Could Najib have foreseen events such as the infamous cow-head protest, the "Allah" controversy, the ensuing arson attacks on churches and other houses of worship, and the syariah caning of three Muslim women when he promised this? It would be unfair to expect Najib to be clairvoyant. Still, he is now the prime minister.

And as premier, surely Najib has to reconcile these events which happened under his watch with the lofty promise he made more than a year ago. After all, a model Muslim country cannot be one where citizens' rights and liberties, including the right to be safe from violence, are trampled on by the state or non-state actors in the name of Islam.

Violence and silence


Malaysia, land of violence in the name of Islam, a role model to the Islamic world?

Malaysians had a taste of violent threats in the name of Islam in August 2009 when the cow-head protesters threatened bloodshed over the planned relocation of a Hindu temple to a Muslim-majority area. And then in January 2010, several churches, and also other houses of worship, became targets of arson and vandalism in the midst of the "Allah" controversy.

It could be argued that these violent incidents were the work of fringe community actors, which exist even in the most democratic of countries. The troubling thing is that Malaysia's state authorities, too, appear complicit, or at the very least immobile in handling violence in the name of Islam.

Take the legitimate public outcry over the syariah caning of the three Muslim women for "illicit sex" including in the media. The Star's piece by one of its editors, P Gunasegaram, was one such example of the media voicing out concern over how religion was being used by the state to perpetuate violence and compulsion. For speaking up, several police reports were lodged against Gunasegaram for "insulting Islam", and not just by fringe community actors.

Indeed, even state bodies descended into the ring. The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) was one body that lodged the report. The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) upheld Mais's actions via Friday sermons in mosques all across Selangor.

If one were to be cynical, perhaps Malaysia truly has become a model for other "Islamic countries". In an electoral democracy and plural society such as ours, it is an achievement indeed for Islamic religious authorities to increasingly influence the justice system, government and public opinion.

But on the other hand, this influence has not spread as a result of reasoned and open public debate. It has rather been the result of Islamist groups — both within state and community spheres — telling all those with doubts or differing opinions, "Shut up, or else."

Happy Kelantan

We could put this down to the BN government's authoritarian strategy. But are the Pakatan Rakyat (PR)-led states better Islamic role models for Malaysians? Take the Selangor government. In 2009, state religious exco Datuk Dr Hassan Ali wanted mosque officials to nab alcohol-consuming Muslims. He also tried to squeeze the minority Ahmadiyah community out of its Selayang headquarters.

Nevertheless, the PR maintains that it can be a better role model than the BN when it comes to Islamic governance. Take the PAS-led Kelantan government. During the 2009 Bagan Pinang by-election, PAS held an expo, Kenali Kelantan, to sing the praises of happy, Islamic Kelantan. According to the expo, Kelantan is peaceful, corruption-free and devoid of immoral activities.


Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat

And yet, strange things in the name of Islam have been happening in Kelantan, too. Although Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat questioned their motives, two under-aged Muslim girls were married to adult men in Kelantan recently. In 2005, Kelantan was also in the headlines when it emerged that a 20-year-old Muslim woman was taken away by a bomoh after she was allegedly forced to marry someone else. In 2000, a 17 year-old girl, raped by her 36 year-old father, was prosecuted by the Kelantan Syariah Court for zina — the court considered her a willing partner rather than a rape and incest survivor.

Surely there is a disconnect here somewhere. After all, the Kelantan government has not let up in strictly policing personal morals, especially of women. Yet these disturbing instances of violence against women and girls — Muslims at that — continue. Incidentally, Kelantan also has the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases in Malaysia, although the link between this and the state's Islamic policies remains unproven.

Real Islamic role models

Advocates of greater Islamisation in Malaysia will likely see this analysis as an attack on Islam. It is not. All across the Muslim world, we can witness inspiring, or at the least encouraging, developments where Muslim governments and societies have elevated the rights of their citizens with Islam as their inspiration.

Take the sweeping, egalitarian reforms to Morocco's Islamic family law in 2004, or the pronouncement by Saudi Arabia's grand mufti in 2005 that forced marriages are un-Islamic. And even as syariah advocates in Malaysia defend child marriages in Islam, the Yemeni government is trying to eradicate the practice despite staunch opposition from Yemeni Islamists.

Certainly, if Malaysia were at the forefront of these bold, Islamic reforms to make society more just, we could pat Najib on the back for a promise well kept. Sadly, we are not.

The reality is that Malaysia's version of Islamisation is leaving too many of its citizens out in the cold. What's worse, Malaysia's nascent Islamic state is actually propagating violence and discrimination against Muslim girls and women. And yet, non-Muslims are expected to trust and have confidence in an Islamic state.

And to top it all, when these instances of violence, coercion and injustice in the name of Islam are highlighted by concerned sectors of civil society, they are told, "Shut up, or else." Even when their criticisms are about the human application of Islamic laws and policies, and not about insulting or slandering the religion itself.


(pic by circo de invierno @ Flickr)

Perhaps that is just the Malaysian way, for now. Church arsons, child marriages, canings, and threats against public debate notwithstanding, we are a role model Islamic country. Agree, or else...

Clearly, calling Malaysia a model Muslim country is off the mark, no less because the intensifying Islamisation of Malaysia has been accompanied by divisive controversies and even threats of violence towards dissenters. And those who continue to insist that we are a model Muslim country are not just disingenuous. They are also complicit in perpetuating the perception that Islam is a religion that exhorts violence, discrimination and hatred.

Is Musa currying favour with the Prime Minister hoping to override Hishammuddin and get another year’s extension as IGP?

by Lim Kit Siang

The Inspector-General Tan Sri Musa Hassan has acted with unusual alacrity when he announced in less than 24 hours that the police will investigate claims made by the independent Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin in Parliament on Wednesday that he was asked to implicate the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibu.

This is in complete contrast with the foot-dragging and procrastination that top police leadership would indulge in when police reports are lodged against prominent government leaders from Umno and Barisan Nasional.

What is especially extraordinary with Musa’s high-speed response is that no police report had yet been lodged over Zulkifli’s allegation – a pre-condition always insisted on by the police before there could be any police investigation.

As MPs enjoy parliamentary privilege, they have immunity for what they say in Parliament, which bars not only prosecution but also being subject to police investigations for their parliamentary speeches – unless this is waived by the MP concerned or the MP repeated his allegation outside the precincts of Parliament as lodging a police report.

In the circumstances, shouldn’t police investigation be contingent on Zulkifli lodging a police report? It is also useless for Musa to order a police report be lodged on Zulkifli’s speech, as the speech is protected by parliamentary privilege and immunity!

In any event, will Musa announce initiation of police investigations if an allegation is made in Parliament that the Prime Minister has murdered someone or some Minister has committed various crimes under the laws of the country? If not, again why the double standards?

Musa’s alacrity in springing to action when there is no basis whatsoever for police action raises the question whether he is really trying to curry favour with the Prime Minister hoping to override the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammdudin Hussein and get another year’s extension as Inspector-General of Police when his one-year contract expires in September.

On 15th March, Hishammuddin had told the press in Parliament that Musa would be replaced as IGP.

He said:

“It is not only specific to the IGP but four out of the seven division directors of PDRM. I already know who is going to replace the IGP. I already know who will replace the commercial crime investigation department director.

“I already know those who will take over, so there is no use speculating or reporting without basis.” (Sun March 16, 2010)

But Musa does not know, as for almost a week later, Musa was still hoping to get another extension as IGP when his one-year renewed contract expires in September, as obvious from Musa’s interview in the Mingguan Malaysia dated 21st March 2010, viz:

“Q – Mungkin terdapat kemungkinan Tan Sri menyambung perkhidmatan selepas September depan?

“Musa – Itu saya tidak tahu. Saya tidak boleh bercakap apa-apa. Kena tanya kerajaan atau Perdana Menteri kerana beliau saja yang tahu.

From this answer, it is clear that Musa has not taken Hishammuddin’s announcement as the last word, despite the Home Minister’s statement that “I know who is going to replace the IGP. I know who will replace the commercial crime division director.”

Hence the speculation whether Musa was trying to curry favour with the Prime Minister hoping to override Hishammuddin and get another year’s extension as IGP come September.

But is it possible for a decision to be taken about the appointment of a new IGP come September without the present IGP knowing?

Under the Constitution and the law of the land, this is not possible.

Article 140 (4) of the Constitution on “Police Force Commission” sets out the manner for the appointment of the Inspector-General of Police and all top police posts.

Article 140 (4) and (5) read:

(4) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may designate as special posts the posts of Inspector General of Police, Deputy Inspector General of Police and any other posts in the police force which in his opinion are of similar or superior status; and the appointment to any post so designated shall not be made in accordance with Clause (1) but shall be made by the Yang di- Pertuan Agong on the recommendation of the Police Force Commission.

(5) Before acting in accordance with Clause (4) on the recommendation of the Police Force Commission, the Yang di- Pertuan Agong shall consider the advice of the Prime Minister, and may once refer the recommendation back to the Commission in order that it may be reconsidered.

Article 140(3) provides that the Police Force Commission shall comprise:

(a) the Minister for the time being charged with responsibility for the police, who shall be Chairman;

(b) the officer of police in general command of the police force;

(c) the person performing the duties of the office of Secretary General to the Ministry under the Minister for the time being charged with responsibility for the police;

(d) a member of the Public Services Commission appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong;

(e) not less than two nor more than six other members, appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

As the IGP is statutorily a member of the Police Force Commission which must initially make the recommendation for the appointment of a new IGP, how could Musa be unaware of who will replace him in September if the Police Force Commission chaired by the Home Minister had already met to decide on the matter, as implied by Hishammuddin.

Or was Hishammuddin merely stating that he has his candidate for the post of new IGP although the Police Force Commission had not yet met on the matter – but this will be most improper as under the Constitution, it is not the Home Minister who finally decides on the appointment of the IGP but the Yang di Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister, with the option of one reference back to the Police Force Commission for reconsideration of its initial recommendation.

If a new IGP has been decided and the present IGP has no inkling of it, it is not only an unlawful and unconstitutional decision, it will the strongest proof that the speculation of a serious rift between the Home Minister and the IGP is not smoke without fire.

Is this why Musa is keeping his hopes open for another renewal as IGP – which would be in the hands of the Prime Minister, who has to make the recommendation of the appointment to the Yang di Pertuan Agong?

Hishammuddin should clarify the issue and state clearly whether the Police Force Commission has decided on who should be the new IGP, why the present IGP knows nothing about it and most important of all, who will be the next IGP.

THE KUGAN CASE: Suspect 'gave info about car thefts'

The New Straits Times

PETALING JAYA: A police witness told the Sessions Court that he managed to get information from suspected car thief A. Kugan on his involvement in car thefts in Puchong and Subang Jaya.

Lance Corporal Sani Mohd Sarip, 42, who was previously with the Subang district police headquarters' serious crimes unit, said this yesterday when questioned by DPP Mohamad Abazafree Mohd Abbas.

Sani, one of the 11 officers who was rostered to guard and question Kugan during his detention at the Taipan police station, was testifying at the trial of police constable V. Navindran, who is charged with two counts of causing grievous hurt to Kugan on Jan 16, 2009. Sani's evidence contradicted with that of his supervisor on Wednesday, when Detective Sub-Inspector Loh Voon Chye testified that only the team of Navindran and his supervisor, detective Corporal Avtar Singh, managed to elicit information from Kugan when he was detained for questioning at the Taipan police station between Jan 15 and 20 last year.

Loh had said that he only got updates on the progress of investigations from Avtar as Kugan had not cooperated with the other teams that questioned him.

Sani, however, said that Kugan was cooperative the second time he was on duty to guard the suspect.

He added that when he questioned Kugan on Jan 15 last year, the first day he was brought to the Taipan police station, he did not want to reveal anything.

However, Sani said that Kugan gave information when he and detective Corporal Paramasiban Masilamany questioned him the following day at 10am.

Abazafree: You said he (Kugan) did not want to speak on the first day. How was he this time around?

Sani: He was cooperative and confessed to car thefts and their strategy of bumping into cars from the back.

Sani also said that on Jan 17 last year, when he took over the 8pm shift with Paramasiban to guard Kugan, they had "interviewed" the suspect, although it was not the time for questioning.

Sani said that when he was on duty again with Paramasiban on Jan 20 from 8am to guard and question Kugan, they did not question him.

"Siban (Paramasiban) and I were joined by Avtar and Navin (Navindran) and we were just chit-chatting in the office. Then Kugan called out to Siban, asking for water."

Sani said that after Paramasiban gave Kugan water, Kugan called for him again, and this time, all four of the officers rushed in as they felt something was amiss by the way Kugan had called out.

"When we saw him, he was having difficulty breathing and asked us to lift him up as he was lying down on a mattress," Sani added.

Hearing before Sessions Court judge Aslam Zainuddin continues today.

Bush uses Clinton's shirt as handkerchief

He’s out of office but he still manages to do some pretty dumb things. Bush wipes his hand on Clinton’s shirt after shaking hands with a local during a recent trip to Haiti.

Moral of the story: In this Internet age, politicians had better be prepared for intense scrutiny of their every public action.

Hulu S’gor early outlook – stats, candidates, strategies

With all respect to the late Dr. Zainal Abidin (who I remember as a very pleasant, friendly man), let’s start having a look at the fight ahead.

Hulu Selangor is quite an interesting seat. We won it by the skin of our teeth indeed, a 200 vote majority in an electorate of about 67,000 (still need persuasion that your vote counts?)

Here’s the thing – there are three state seats within this parliamentary constituency, and BN won them all – two convincingly (Hulu Bernam, 3,549 majority; Batang Kali, 2,179 majority), and one closely (Kuala Kubu Baru, 448 majority).

One line I hope Umno will use is that the big wins were all Umno wins, whereas the small majority win was MCA and the (parliament) loss was MIC.

This is going to be a massive fight, and my personal prediction is that BN will go all out – by hook, (and more likely) by crook. I expect massive shenanigans. Simply because BN cannot afford to lose.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Uthayakumar makes a play, and I’m not sure how it will affect things – though overall, I doubt for the better.

Candidates are going to play a key factor here. Dtk Zaid’s name has already been bandied about. He’s a good man, though I am not sure how much his appeal extends to semi-rural/rural Selangor.

BN will take a big internal risk if someone besides Palanivel runs, but then again, they take a big risk running him too.

In any case, I think all have had plenty of time to prepare, and I suspect candidates has already been chosen.

Many things are up in the air, but as always – lawan tetap lawan!

Zul Noordin: He is a dinosaur; an extinct dinosaur

Zahrain threatens to sue Guan Eng

Anwar vexed by reporter's question

Penduduk Kempas: 3 hari tak cukup!

Ex-ISA detainee loses RM2.5 mil court award

Hulu Selangor MP passes away

PKR's Hulu Selangor member of parliament Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad, 71, passed away this evening paving the way for a crucial by-election in the Pakatan Rakyat-ruled state.

azlanZainal Abidin (left), who succumbed to brain cancer, passed away at about 9.30pm at his home at along the ninth mile, Jalan Cheras, Kajang, according to Bernama.

Zainal Abidin was the former Selangor deputy menteri besar.

According to election laws, a by-election must be called for the constituency within 60 days after the Dewan Rakyat speaker announces a casual vacancy.

This will be the country's 10th by-election since the 2008 general elections.

Zainal's death comes at a time when PKR is reeling from the departures of three of their MPs and the sacking of a fourth.

Nevertheless, PKR is expected to announce its candidate for Hulu Selangor soon while Barisan Nasional is expected to field a candidate from MIC.

Litmus test

There are rumours that BN's backbone Umno is also eyeing the seat lost by MIC deputy president G Palanivel by a wafer-thin majority of 198 votes in the 2008 general elections.

NONEPalanivel fell victim to the political tsunami which swept Malaysia resulting in MIC losing 18 of its 28 seats, where almost all its top leaders, including party president S Samy Vellu, were trounced.

This will be the opportunity that Palanivel is looking for to make a political comeback. Should he win, Palanivel is likely to replace party vice-president Dr S Subramaniam in the cabinet.

Subramaniam, who is human resources minister, is currently the sole MIC representative in the cabinet.

Will HRP join the fray?

All eyes will also be on the newly-formed Human Rights Party led by former Hindraf ISA detainee P Uthayakumar.

azlanThe Indian-based party has made known its intentions to make its electoral debut in that constituency.

For PKR, Hulu Selangor will be a litmus test for the party's de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and party-anointed Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

Anwar is currently on trial for sodomy charges while Khalid's leadership in Selangor has been the subject of intense attacks from within and without.

PKR will also have to face the tough choice of whether to field an Indian or Malay candidate.

Both Anwar and Khalid are due to visit the constituency tomorrow night and will be speaking at the Stadium Mini Kuala Kubu Bahru at 8.30pm.

‘IGP Musa lied about his law degree’

A police report has been lodged against Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan for giving false testimony about his educational qualifications during Anwar Ibrahim’s corruption trial in 1998.
MCPX

NONEAccording to the report lodged today at the Damasara police station in Kuala Lumpur by Anwar’s lawyer R Sivarasa, Musa, the investigating officer for Anwar’s case then, had allegedly told the court that he had a law degree.

However, in 2009, Sivarasa said that during the corruption trial of former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department chief Ramli Yusuff, Musa had told the court that he, in fact, held a ‘diploma in law and management studies’.

“The IGP had given a false statement during cross-examination in Anwar’s case by stating that he holds a law degree while in reality he only has a diploma in law,” said Sivarasa, who is also PKR vice-president and MP for Subang.

“I believe the motive behind Musa’s statement was to increase his credibility during Anwar’s trial,” he added

Interview repeats alleged untruth

Sivarasa also revealed that Ramli Yusuff ‘s case was dismissed last year by Justice Supang Lian on the grounds that the evidence provided by the 75th witness, Musa Hassan, was ‘unreliable and to be disregarded’.

NONESivarasa said the inspector-general of the police should be charged under the Section 193 of the Penal Code for lying to the court.

The lawyer further alleged that Musa (right) had also lied in an interview conducted by the The Star newspaper in 2006.

The article had then referred to Musa as ‘a law graduate from the UK’.

“I hope the police will carry out a fair investigation on this matter without fear or favour,” said Sivarasa.

Also present were Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian and Sivarasa’s personal secretary Peter Chong.

UMNO PM’s Broadband boost – Indians excluded

UMNO PM’s Broadband boost – Indians excluded

The UMNO controlled Malaysian government’s Broadband boost to serve 615, 000 Malaysians in 246 locations at a cost of RM 60 Million (NST Head lines 25/3/2010).

From past experience we are aware the poor Indian areas have been excluded from this and almost all other such government outreach programmes for the poor, save and except for the UMNO wayang kulit in the print and electronic media creating the illusion that the Indians are also benefitting by broadcasting and publishing some showcases.

UMNOs’ 1,016,799 Biro Tatanegara “graduates” (UM(B) 21/06/2009 at page 19) plan to implement UMNOs’ racist, religious extremist and supremacist policies with impunity and to intentionally and maliciously keep the ethnic minority Indians out of the national mainstream development of Malaysia.

P. Uthayakumar

Sack IGP Musa Hassan for high and escalating crime rate, who detains Indian teenagers without trial is proof of his incompetence

This Inspector General of Police (IGP) says IGP: Big dip in crime rate by 13.2%.

(The Star 25/3/2010 at page 31)

This Big Dip in crime rate does not reflect the ground reality. People especially in the cities no longer feel it safe to go out at night. This IGP even detains without trial Indian small boys (teenagers) under the emergency laws. This is the height of the police and UMNO’s incompetence.

P. Uthayakumar

Indians denied JPN scholarships to study overseas

We estimate a mere 0.1% of Indians have being given the government JPN scholarships to study overseas even if they are more than deserving students. Year in and year out we receive and read of the very same complaints of equal opprtunity denial and this problem persists with impunity. To UMNO it does not matter that the country’s best brains are not tapped as UMNO has a racist, religious extremist and supremasict agenda. As it stands today Malay-sia is the most racist country in the world.

P. Uthayakumar.

Indians form 21,600 (60%) of 36,000 prisoners in Malaysian jails, arising out of poverty and denied equal opportunities

The Star 16/3/2010 at page N40 reported that 48% of prisoners in the 24 prisons in Malaysia are Indians. In 2006 a Suhakam Commissoners said that 60% of the prison occupants are Indians.

This is a disproportionately high crime rate among the Indians in Malaysia who form only a mere 8% of the population, is as a direct result of UMNOs’ 53 years of racist, religious extremist and supremacist social engineering, by specifically excluding the Indians from the National Mainstream Development of Malaysia.

Million of deserving Indians in these 53 years have been denied equal opportunities in jobs, business, education, licences, permits, projects tenders, etc,and gain upward mobility opportunities. Thus the high crime rate among the Indians in Malaysia. Very few Indians would want to be in a world of crime if they were given the due business opportunities for example. The crime rate is due to frustration in the community of being left out of mainstream development and opportunity. In some ways they are saying, ‘we don’t care anymore about this racist nation’!

P. Uthayakumar

Ex-UMNO Anwar Ibrahim’s Indian Exco mandore’s MIC peanuts trick – no land titles to 98 Tamil schools, Hindu temples and cemeteries

This Selangor Indian Exco mandore does the same old 50 year old MIC trick and does the MIC style propaganda in the Tamil press again presumably under ex-UMNO Anwar Ibrahim and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s instructions.

We have to yet again repeat to these ex-UMNO and now turned PKR “tuans” and their Indian mandores to get to the point and offer real and permanent solutions to the Indians in Selangor, i.e., grant these Hindu temples, cemeteries and Tamil schools’ permanent land titles. It has been two years since PKR has been ruling Selangor. And land in Selangor is the almost absolute purview of the Selangor PKR State government.

PKR should stop cheating the Indians as 50 years of cheating under UMNO is enough. PKR can cheat some of the Indians all the time and all the Indians some of the time. But PKR cannot cheat all the Indians all the time especially the Hindraf Makkal Sakthi and HRP Indians

Karuna Nithi

Kelantan Sultan’s aide arrested

KOTA BHARU, March 24 — Police tonight arrested the private secretary to the Sultan of Kelantan, Datuk Wan Hashim Wan Daud, hours after he announced the removal of the Regent Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra without the state succession council’s authorisation.

Wan Hashim, who was named private secretary to Sultan Ismail Petra last week, was seen being brought into the state police headquarters here at 8.40pm.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Wan Hashim was picked up at his home before he was brought to contingent headquarters.

Wan Hashim’s appointment and the statements he has been making since last week has complicated the Kelantan palace crisis.

State news agency Bernama reported that Tengku Muhammad Faris remains calm amid the attempt to remove him as the state ruler.

The prince who arrived at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport at 6pm from Singapore was seen smiling and waving to his subjects who were waiting for his arrival.

State Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakub and several state executive councillors were also seen at the airport to welcome him.

“I cannot, I cannot. Let us get over this, send my regards to everyone,” said Tengku Muhammad Faris when approached by reporters who asked for his comments over the palace crisis.

Wan Hashim had announced this morning that the regent had been replaced by State Succession Council chairman Tengku Abdul Aziz Hamzah, who is the elder brother to Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

However, the new appointment was dismissed by council secretary Datuk Mohd Aiseri Alias who said it was not made according to the state constitution.

He said Tengku Abdul Aziz had failed to convene a council meeting prior to the removal of Tengku Muhammad Faris.

Ahmad also said the state government had lodged a police report against Wan Hashim in an attempt to end the palace crisis.

'Why wait four years to drop this bombshell?'

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP veteran Karpal Singh today asked why Zulkifli Noordin waited four years to drop a 'bombshell' that he was offered a hefty reward to implicate the prime minister and his wife in the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

He also challenged the politician to reveal the name of the alleged 'third party' who made him the offer.

"I challenge Kulim Bandar-Baru to reveal who this third force is and who is the person who instructed him to make the statutory declaration (to link Najib and Rosmah to the crime).

"I also challenge him to lodge a police report about the third force and if it turns out to be a lie, he could be charged for defamation," he told the Dewan Rakyat.

The Bukit Gelugor MP also pointed out that the Altantuya murder trial commenced four years ago.

“So what took him four years to reveal this?” he asked, adding that Zulkifli, who was recently sacked from PKR, has now transformed into a “traitor”.

Zulkifli, a lawyer-turned-politician, was representing one of the accused, police officer Azilah Hadri in the case. The MP said he rejected the offer and subsequently withdrew as Azilah's lawyer.

"The reward offered to me was a threat to my faith as a Muslim. So I withdrew from the case because there was a third force (involved)," he had told the House.

Zulkifli also mentioned that Najib Tun Razak's move to swear on the Quran that he had nothing to do with the case, was good enough for him.

Najib became embroiled in the matter when his close friend, analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, was charged with abetting two police special force officers in committing the murder.

Abdul Razak has since been acquitted, but the case continues to haunt Najib on the political front and has severely dented his reputation.

The prime minister has repeatedly denied having any links with the muder, which made international news.

Meanwhile, Karpal also lashed out at the 'frogs' who have quit PKR – Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, Tan Tee Beng (Nibong Tebal) and Mohsin Fadhli Samsuri (Bagan Serai).

"It is better for all these four (including Zulkifli) ekor to accept my challenge and resign,” he said, questioning if Zahrain was deserving of the 'Datuk Seri' title which was recommended by the DAP-led Penang state government.

It is the mechanics, not the arithmetic that matters

If you compare what the Malays owned in 1990 to the wealth of the Chinese and Indians in 1970, the Malays may already have a 30% share of the economic pie. But when you compare it to what the Chinese and Indians owned in 1990, it is not 30%. It is just 3%.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Zaid: Clueless Perkasa blames all but Dr M

By Stephanie Sta Maria, Free Malaysia Today

Pakatan Rakyat trouble-shooter Zaid Ibrahim believes that Malay right-wing pressure group Perkasa and its chairman Ibrahim Ali are trapped in a time warp.

According to the former law minister, the “Umno tentacle” appears to be clueless about the bigger picture, preferring instead to indulge in stone-age politics.

“They are worked up about Malay rights being threatened but do not care about what's happening to Petronas' money or about the massive corruption in the system,” he told FMT in a recent exclusive interview.

Zaid lambasted the movement for merely skimming the surface as opposed to diving deep into the issues which the Malay community is confronted with.

“Instead of conducting a serious analysis on the real reasons for the lack of progress among the Malays, they indulge in chest-thumping speeches.

“They blame everyone for the problem except themselves and (former premier Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad),” he said.

However, Zaid is confident that the Malays are much wiser now and will not fall for such political gimmicks.

Creating a sense of alarm

Last week, the PKR leader slammed Perkasa for twisting the facts concerning the special rights of the Malays, and described the movement as irresponsible.

He accused Perkasa of intentionally injecting a sense of alarm into the Malays in order to achieve its political aims.

Zaid also took its chairman to task for repeatedly stressing that Malay privileges as provided for in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution have to be protected.

"Even I am Malay but who wants to take our rights away that he (Ibrahim) has to protect them?" he added.

Perkasa is scheduled to hold its inaugural annual general meeting this Saturday, and was forced to make an eleventh hour change with regards to its guest of honor after the Sultan of Selangor decided to give it a skip.

Ibrahim is also mulling legal action against the Sun newspaper over a report which claimed that the sultan was concerned about Perkasa's image as a "chauvinist" group.

The Perkasa chief was particularly peeved with another report in the English daily which stated that the sultan had told Ibrahim to tone down his ultra-Malay image.

Now, Mahathir is slated to officiate the Perkasa annual meet.

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

For 35 years since the mid-1970s we have been trying to tell the government that the New Economic Policy is not working and unless the powers-that-be do something we are going to see the NEP end in 1990 with no solution to the grouses of the Malays. And when I say ‘we’, whom do I mean? I mean the Dewan Perniagaan dan Perindustrian Melayu Malaysia (DPPMM) or the Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia.

This was back in the mid-1970s, 35 years or so ago. But we did not see Ibrahim Ali then. He was nowhere to be seen. And neither were any of the other PERKASA people. We did not see their faces. They did not see fit to involve themselves in the Malay Chamber that was fighting tooth and nail with the government to correct the shortcomings of the NEP.

I recently wrote about this matter so I do not wish to repeat what I have already said. In that previous article I gave a long commentary about the history of our ‘struggle’ and the frustrations we faced over 20 years from the 1970s to the 1990s. I also mentioned how the government blamed the Malays for this shortcoming and that the government can’t keep giving to the Malays when the Malays themselves have no sustaining power, as the Minister of Trade Rafidah Aziz said.

Let us rewind to 1970 when the NEP was first conjured.

It is said the NEP was the result of the 13 May 1969 race riots. And it is said the May 13 race riots was because of the plight of the Malays and their unhappiness about the wealth of this country being monopolised by the non-Malays, in particular the Chinese. So the Malays, Chinese and Indians from Umno, MCA and MIC respectively -- then under the coalition called the Alliance Party -- agreed that there would be a 20-year ‘correction’ policy so that the Malays can catch up with the rest and the gap between the haves and haves-not can be reduced.

This was a policy -- which was actually an aspiration (hasrat) -- which was agreed by the three parties in the Alliance Party. And it was agreed that it would run for 20 years.

But who were the architects of this policy? Who was the mastermind? Was this policy drawn up after consultation with the Malay business community or the Malay Chamber of Commerce or did some civil servant somewhere just put pen to paper and came out with the marvellous plan?

Back in the 1970s we already asked: why 30%? Someone decided that the target for the Malay share of the economic pie would be 30%. Where did this 30% target come from? Whose idea was it?

Malays make up more than 50% of this country’s population. Some say it is 60%, depending on what you consider Malay. So, if the objective of the NEP is to see a more equitable distribution of wealth according to the racial composition of this country, should the target not be 60% instead of 30%? Or, to be realistic, should the target not be 10% or 12% or 15% instead?

Yes, this was one of the questions we posed back in the 1970s. Is the 30% target realistic? Is it achievable? Is it fair? And whose idea was it that it should be 30%?

No one could tell us. In fact, no one appeared to know the answer. Someone, somewhere, said that the target for the Malay share of the economic pie should be 30% and everyone just agreed without exploring whether this is fair, realistic, achievable and whatnot.

We were not disputing the 30% target or stating that it should not be 30%. We just wanted to know what the basis was for pegging it at 30%. Was research done and did the findings of the research show that it should be 30%? Or was 30% a figure plucked from the air, a ‘look good’ figure, with absolutely no basis whatsoever?

No one could enlighten us. Someone, somewhere, somehow decided that the Malay share of the economic pie should be 30% and everyone went along with this because the figure of 30% looked good. 60% will make the Chinese jump and 10% will appear like Umno is not serious enough in helping the Malays. So 30% just looked like a great figure. It was a ‘look good’ figure.

The problem is, today, we are ‘locked’ in that 30% target. Never mind if it is fair, realistic or achievable. It had already been somehow decided by someone that the target should be 30% so we have no choice but to go along with that figure. It is too late to change it now.

That is the main problem with the NEP. A target had been set but no one knows whether this should have been the target. And now that target can’t be met so there is pressure to extend the NEP, although by another name, so that the 30% target can be met. They can’t change the target. So they change the duration to meet that target.

However, has anyone done any research on this matter? If the 30% target can’t be met in 20 years (and we now know it can’t), if it can’t be met in 40 years (and we know it still can’t because it is already 40 years), then how many more years will we need? Do we know? Does anyone know? Is this going to be a never-ending policy? In other words, will the NEP go on and on for as long as the 30% is not yet met, even if it needs to go on another 100 years or 200 years?

Perkasa wants the NEP to be fixed according to the target and not the duration. It should not be 20 years or 40 years or 100 years. It should be for as long as the 30% is still not yet met. That could be till the end of time.

Is this fair? Is it realistic? Is it achievable?

The next point that we raised 35 years ago back in the mid-1970s is about the implementation of the NEP. The NEP is good in theory even if we can question the logic of the 30% target. But the way it was being implemented would guarantee its failure. Malays are too focused on the arithmetic. No one talks about the mechanics. Even if the arithmetic (the 30% target) is correct, the NEP will not work if the mechanics is wrong. And the mechanics is very wrong, as I pointed out in my previous article.

The Malays blamed Umno and the GLCs. It is the unfair competition from the Umnoputeras and the GLCs that resulted in the problems faced by the Malays. The government, in turn, blamed the Malays. The government gave so much to the Malays but the Malays were not able to hold on to it. The Malays lost it all. And that is why the Malays failed to meet the 30% target, argued the government. If the Malays had held on to what the government gave them then the Malay share of the economic pie could even exceed 30%.

Then we had the ‘moving target syndrome’. The architect of the NEP and whoever it was that fixed the target at 30% assumed that the world would stand still for 20 years while the Malays tried to catch up. In other words, the Chinese and Indians would go to sleep and would not do business and would not increase their wealth for 20 years. Then, in 20 years, the Malays would have caught up with the Chinese and Indians and would own 30% of the economic pie.

But the Chinese and Indians did not stand still or go to sleep. They continued to do business and make money. And they increased their wealth over those 20 years. So, 20 years later, when the Malays compared what they own to what the Chinese and Indians own, they discovered that they had only 3% of the economic pie and not 30% as planned.

No doubt the Malays started at just 1.5% and therefore managed to increase their wealth 100% over 20 years. But the Indians and Chinese also increased their wealth over that same 20%. So, if you compare what the Malays owned in 1990 to the wealth of the Chinese and Indians in 1970, the Malays may already have a 30% share of the economic pie. But when you compare it to what the Chinese and Indians owned in 1990, it is not 30%. It is just 3%.

Let me put it another way. The Malays were jogging at a speed of 10kph (slow and easy). But the Chinese and Indians were not sleeping under a tree. They were running at a speed of 20kph like there was no tomorrow. But then the Chinese and Indians were already 20 kilometres ahead of the Malays to start off with. So, after an hour, the Malays had gained a distance of only 10 kilometres while the Chinese and Indians were 40 kilometres in front, 30 kilometres ahead of the Malays.

Now, if the Chinese and Indians had stopped running and instead had slept under a tree or had run backwards rather than forwards, today, we would have no more problems.

Malaysia’s shame

The government of Najib Razak sees Mr Anwar as a threat and has been trying to wreck his political career, using a variety of tactics. Aside from the criminal charges that have been brought against the opposition leader, Mr Anwar has been crudely smeared as a tool of “Jewish” interests.

Financial Times

Malaysia presents itself as a modern, successful and democratic nation. Many western leaders have hailed the country as an example of moderate, tolerant Islam – at ease with itself and with the non-Muslim world. Malaysia does indeed have much to be proud of. But the trial of Anwar Ibrahim, which is due to restart this week, is a massive blot on the country’s reputation for tolerance and political pluralism.

Mr Anwar is a vital figure in the Malaysian opposition. The coalition of opposition forces he leads represents the most potent challenge to the ruling National Front coalition in many years. But Mr Anwar, a married man with six children, is on trial for sodomy. He has already served six years in solitary confinement on charges of sodomy and abuse of power – although the sodomy charges were later over-turned by the courts, leading to Mr Anwar’s release in 2004. If he is convicted this time, he could face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

The first thing to say is that – even allowing for cultural and religious sensitivities – Malaysia should be embarrassed that it is threatening to send a man to prison for consensual sex with another adult. But there are also considerable doubts about the case against Mr Anwar. The evidence against him is thin and the political context is very clear.

The government of Najib Razak sees Mr Anwar as a threat and has been trying to wreck his political career, using a variety of tactics. Aside from the criminal charges that have been brought against the opposition leader, Mr Anwar has been crudely smeared as a tool of “Jewish” interests. Asked once whether Mr Anwar would make a good prime minister, Mahathir Mohammad, the former prime minister of Malaysia, replied: “He would make a good prime minister of Israel.” A modern state should be ashamed of exploiting racism and homophobia to head off a legitimate political challenge.

But it is not just the Malaysian government that deserves to be chastised. Malaysia is an important market and an influential voice in the Islamic world. As a result, western governments that claim to place human rights at the centre of their foreign policy have been very circumspect in their comments on the Anwar trial. Respect for the courts, for national sovereignty and for cultural difference are all worthy ideas. But sometimes, it is important to speak clearly. The trial of Anwar Ibrahim is a disgrace and an embarrassment to Malaysia.

Karpal Singh is an expired dinosaur, says Zul Noordin

Written by Chua Sue-Ann, The Edge

Independent member of parliament Zulkifli Noordin on Thursday, March 25 dismissed demands by DAP Chairman Karpal Singh to name the persons who allegedly ordered Zulkifli to implicate the prime minister in the death of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP on Wednesday claimed he was ordered to obtain sworn statements to link Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in Altantuya's murder with Zulkifli revealing that he was offered "rewards" for the "mission".

The allegations were brought up again on Thursday when Karpal (Bukit Gelugor-DAP) used his time on the royal address debate to challenge Zulkifli to expose who had given the orders.

Karpal also challenged Zulkifli to also lodge a police report, warning that making a false report could land the latter with a criminal charge.

When approached for comment, Zulkifli repeatedly maintained, "This has nothing to do with him (Karpal). This has nothing to do with Karpal unless he feels it (terasa)".

To repeated questions, Zulkifli said he would not reveal more details as he had "said enough" on Wednesday and that his intentions were not to embarrass people but to show "the severe culture of slander".

Zulkifli, who was recently sacked from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), also said preparations were underway for him to meet with Najib but declined to reveal what he would tell the prime minister.

"That's between me and the prime minister. Are you the prime minister?" Zulkifli quipped.

While laughing off Karpal's challenges, Zulkifli retorted against the DAP veteran, "Karpal dinosaur luput. You can quote me" and "Karpal naik kapal".

Zulkifli had briefly acted as defence lawyer for Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, one of the two special action force officers accused of murdering Altantuya, while Karpal had held a watching brief for Altantuya's family during the lengthy trial in 2007.

Azilah and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar were found guilty and sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court in April 2009 for the murder.

Cops to probe Zul's explosive claim

By FMT staff

FULL REPORT KUALA LUMPUR: The police will investigate sacked PKR MP Zulkifli Noordin's claim that he was asked to link the prime minister and his wife to the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shariibuu.

"If anything comes out (based on the investigations)... we will pursue additional investigations," Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

Yesterday, Zulkifli ressurected the Altantuya saga in Parliament when he claimed that a 'third party' had offered him a large sum of money to implicate Najib Tun Razak and Rosmah Mansor in the case.

According to the Kulim-Bandar Baru MP, the offer was made when he was the defence counsel for one of the the accused, police officer Azilah Hadri.

The spotlight fell on Najib, when a close friend of the premier's Abdul Razak Baginda was charged with abetting Azilah, and another special operations officer Sirul Azhar.

Abdul Razak was later acquitted, but the two policemen were handed the death sentence.

Altantuya's case, which made international headlines and soured diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Mongolia, continues to haunt the prime minister and never fails to surface during elections.

Certain quarters claim that there were behind-the-scenes political manouvreing to hush-up the matter, but this has been dismissed by the authorities.

Najib has repeatedly denied having any links to the case, and even swore his innonce on the Quran.

Zulkifli meanwhile said there was no criminal element in his statement yesterday, adding that he was merely elaborating on the culture of slander practised by some politicians.

“However it is the job of the police to investigate if they have a police report. I will assist in the investigation if there is a need," the lawyer told reporters in Parliament.

'Let the AG deal with it'

Meanwhile, Musa remained tightlipped about the allegation that he had committed perjury during Anwar Ibrahim's trial in 1998.

"I don't want to comment. Let the AG (Attorney-General) deal with it... the case happened a long time ago,” he said.

Yesterday, PKR vice-president R Sivarasa had filed a police report on the matter.

The Subang MP revealed that when Musa, who was spearheading the investigations then, took the stand, he told the court that he had a law degree when in actual fact, he possesed a diploma.

In another trial involving a senior police officer later, Musa testified that he has a diploma.

In view of this, Sivarasa called on the police to launch an investigation without fear or favour since it is an offence to provide false evidence.

EDM on Anwar Ibrahim: write to your British Member of Parliament

Dear Fellow Malaysians in the UK,

In February this year, Australian parliamentarians showed their support for Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim who is facing a politically-motivated trial that has come to be known as ‘Sodomy II‘. Fifty eight MPs signed a petition condemning the Anwar Ibrahim trial, on charges that resemble the fabricated charges he faced in 1998, from which he was eventually exonerated.

Last week, British parliamentarians led by Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North, began signing a Early Day Motion (EDM) in a show of solidarity and growing concern about political nature and consequences of the trial in Malaysia. (See here: http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=40725&SESSION=903)

As Malaysians living in London and one of us, having seen first-hand, the impact on Anwar Ibrahim’s young family in 1998, we urge you to ask your MP to sign Jeremy Corbyn’s EDM 1092 for Anwar Ibrahim.

One of us who went to school with Nurul Izzah, Anwar’s eldest daughter would like to share a more personal experience of the impact those events had on Anwar’s family:

‘Nearly 12 years have passed since the story of Anwar Ibrahim’s sacking by Dr Mahathir broke on national television. Nurul Izzah, Anwar’s eldest daughter, and I were both eighteen at the time and attended the same school.

I remember our first phone conversation the day after and saying to Nurul, “I am so sorry”

“It is ok,” Nurul replied, “Papa has said it will (somehow) all be ok.”

I could tell she was trying to be strong but her voice shook with the strain. We did not talk for long. The family had to hurry and pack their belongings as they had less than 48 hours to vacate the official residence of the Deputy Prime Minister. The next few days passed in a state of disbelieve. Nothing prepared us all for the darkness and turmoil that was to follow.

On the night of September 20th 1998, armed men with faces hidden behind Balaclavas, forced entry into the Anwar residence by smashing through a glass front door. About 40 officers from the Special Police Force SWAT team came to arrest Anwar Ibrahim despite early assertions by him and his lawyers that Anwar would present himself at the police station if requested, to avoid any unnecessary trauma to his children at their family home.

Once inside, the SWAT team encircled Nurul’s parents in a menacing move aimed at provoking fear. When Nurul’s siblings, Nuha (16) and Ihsan (15) rushed to their father, they had guns poked into their backs.

Anwar Ibrahim was arrested under section 377B of the Internal Security Act (ISA). He was bundled into the back of a white police van and driven off into the night. His youngest child, Hana, was five. For many years, Nurul’s younger sisters would have nightmares and flashbacks of that night, finding it difficult to sleep alone in their own beds.

For nine days, Anwar Ibrahim’s family knew nothing of his condition or whereabouts. The authorities had no obligation to provide any information. The police intimidated Nurul’s mother, Wan Azizah, into calling off demonstrations in support of Anwar, or risk further harm befalling her husband.

Anwar Ibrahim had been taken. The world could only watch.

Nine days passed before a battered Anwar Ibrahim was produced in court. His face was swollen, his left eye bruised. Dr Mahathir made the incredulous claim that Anwar Ibrahim had inflicted the injuries on himself. In reality, he had been severely beaten by the Inspector-General of Police some days before that left him seriously injured and unconscious. On seeing their father in court, Nurul’s sisters could no longer hold back the tears.

In the weeks, months and years that followed, Nurul and her family would be dragged through a sham trial. Witnesses changed their testimonies between court recesses, fabricated evidence included supposed acts occurring in buildings that hadn’t been erected at the time of the alleged offences, a mattress with planted DNA would be carried in and out of the courthouse whilst ‘key witnesses’ would later admit that they were tortured to extract so-called ‘confessions‘.

Malaysia’s kangaroo court of injustice became the ridicule of the world. Anwar Ibrahim would be sentenced to 16 years behind bars, much of it in solitary confinement. He would survive a bout of arsenic poisoning. In another incredulous claim, the Attorney-General remarked that Anwar’s wife may have planted the arsenic in some food the family brought to him whilst on trial. Anwar Ibrahim came close to developing spinal cord compression, with the risk of paralysis, due to a deteriorating back injury precipitated by the beating he sustained.

With Anwar in prison, his children would grow up without a father. Their innocence would be tainted by the mocking of other school children, sometimes even by teachers. His eldest, Nurul Izzah, had to defer a university place to campaign alongside her mother to fight against Anwar’s unjust imprisonment.

The two women and their supporters fought tirelessly for the restoration of justice and truth in a country that was in a spiral of self-destruction. In 2004, their efforts and prayers were answered when the Court of Appeal found Anwar’s conviction unsafe and he was released from prison. This would culminate in the opposition’s momentous journey to the 2008 General Elections and their subsequent success, where Barisan National would lose their two-third majority.

Time is, in part, a healer. Nurul and her siblings have always been reminded by their parents - that forgiveness is the stronger moral position. That, in life - they should be slow to judge, quick to forgive and reluctant to hold grudges. It is nothing short of remarkable (in my humble opinion), that they have been able to move on and lead as normal a life as possible, without malice or resentment towards the perpetrators of their suffering.

But the unspoken, hidden emotional and psychological cost of politically-motivated detention and torture on the lives of the victims families, remain profound and incalculable. Ordinary citizens, activists and opposition office-bearers risk much when speaking up against the government’s abuse of power or in defence of civil liberties in Malaysia.’

International human rights groups and foreign governments have spoken out in condemnation of ‘Sodomy II’. Amnesty International has accused the Malaysian government of using "the same old dirty tricks in an attempt to remove the opposition leader from politics". Human Rights Watch calls for an ‘end (to) the Charade of Justice at the Anwar Trial’. John Kerry has urged the Malaysian government to “settle the case in a manner that builds confidence in the impartiality and credibility of the Malaysian judicial system”.

In the event Anwar Ibrahim is found guilty, he faces a 20-year prison term. He would be forced to relinquish his parliamentary seat. Therein lies the rationale behind the belief shared by many Malaysians that the trial is designed for this purpose. Even if Anwar Ibrahim is imprisoned for a day or fined at least RM2000, he would be barred from standing for election for five years. Through one sham trail, Anwar Ibrahim can be conveniently removed and stopped from leading his Opposition coalition in the next general elections.

A miscarriage of justice is imminent. A family is about to relive a nightmare. A judicial system is at risk of being repeatedly compromised. Democracy is slipping out of the hands of ordinary citizens.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has distanced himself from what he calls a “private trial”. Sir, this “private trial” has the fingerprints of those who operate the machinery of public institutions :

§ In Parliament, the DNA bill was hastily rushed through when Anwar Ibrahim refused to provide a DNA sample.

§ In the Courts, the Attorney-General moved the trial from the Sessions Court to the High Court, thereby, reducing Anwar’s chances to appeal.

§ In public, the Police are investigating Opposition MPs for sedition for speaking about the Anwar trial.

These are just three examples of why the “private trial” is one in name but a “show trial” in all other respects.

Now, more than ever, we need to appeal to the Malaysian government with the help of the international community - to put an end to the matter by dropping all charges against Anwar Ibrahim with immediate effect.

In 2003, International action kept the spotlight on the Anwar case and the crackdown on opposition leaders under the ISA. Many believe the grave concerns of the international community were discussed in a meeting between President George W.Bush and Prime Minster Abdullah Badawi in 2004 that led to justice for Anwar Ibrahim, his exoneration and release from prison.

Please write to your MP now as a matter of urgency to urge him/her to sign Early Day Motion 1092.

Thank you

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Write to your MP

You can contact your MP via the UK Parliament website (*). Enter your postcode

to look up your MP. You can then email him/her using the form provided.

(*) UK Parliament Website http://www.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/index.cfm

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Sample Letter to your MP

Dear [MP’s name], I would like your support for an Early Day Motion (1092) which draws attention to the prosecution of Anwar Ibrahim, the Opposition Leader in Malaysia.

I am a Malaysian and [name of your town] resident who have lived in the UK for the last [number] years.

In 1998, Anwar Ibrahim(then Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia) was charged and convicted for sodomy and corruption. His conviction was overturned 6 years later when Prime Minister Dr.Mahathir stepped down.

Today, Anwar Ibrahim is the leader of the Opposition coalition. He is facing another ‘Show trial’ according to Amnesty International. Foreign Governments and Human Rights NGOs are calling for the charges against Anwar Ibrahim to be dropped with immediate effect. It is widely believed that Anwar Ibrahim's prosecution then and now is politically-motivated to remove him from public office.

Last week, Jeremy Corbyn (MP for Islington North) submitted an EDM for Anwar Ibrahim. MP Corbyyn is familiar with the case, having petitioned against Anwar Ibrahim’s trial in 1998.

I appeal to you to sign EDM 1092 in support of democracy and against injustice, abuse of power and violation of human rights in Malaysia.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

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References

[1] Amnesty International (2010). Malaysia opposition leader Anwar faces 'show trial'.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/malaysia-opposition-leader-anwar-faces-039show-trial039-20100129

[2] Human Rights Watch (2009). Malaysia: Politics Drive Upcoming Anwar Trial

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/07/13/malaysia-politics-drive-upcoming-anwar-trial

[3] The Australian (2010). Australian politicians lodge protest for sodomy trial against Anwar Ibrahim to be dropped

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/australian-lawmakers-lodge-portest-for-sodomy-trial-against-anwar-ibrahim-to-be-dropped/story-e6frg6so-1225829761369