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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Protest marred Thanenthiran’s function

By Athi Shankar - Free Malaysia Today

BUTTERWORTH: A protest by rival faction marred the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party (MMSP) embattled president RS Thanenthiran's function in Dewan Mariamman, Butterworth today.

The small protest led by rival Group of 14 (G-14) faction central committee (CC) member S Sanjeeviramah @ Sanjay nearly turned ugly when several Thanenthiran’s supporters attempted to attack certain protestors.

A Thanenthiran supporter AK Anand threw a punch at one protestor - S Krishna Nair, 47, who is also known as Mak Mandin Kumar.

However, Kumar was not hit as timely intervention by plain clothed policemen and uniformed personnel managed to diffuse the situation and disperse the protestors.

Following police advice, Sanjay and some 10 protestors left the place.

During the 10-minute protest held outside the hall, Thanenthiran was in the hall launching the party’s ‘IMalaysia’ education fund for Tamil school pupils in Penang.

The protestors arrived at the site at 10.30am and chanted anti-Thanenthiran slogans and held up placards against the beleaguered MMSP president.

This agitated Thanenthiran supporters, who were outside the hall, triggering a shouting match between the rival supporters.

But police swiftly brought the situation under control by dispersing the protestors to leave the place before any untoward incident could take place.

No one was hurt or arrested in the commotion.

The G-14 group’s political, strategy and election bureau head Sanjay said the protest was organised to publicise to the people in Butterworth that Thanenthiran was no longer MMSP president.

Sanjay pointed out that the CC meeting ‘sacked’ Thanenthiran on Jan 17 as party member.

“He could no longer claim to be party president when he isn’t even a member,” said Sanjay.

Thanenthiran in turn has ‘sacked’ the rival G-14 as party members a few days later, which Sanjay described as a “bad joke.”

The political crisis had split the party, launched by Barisan Nasional chairman and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak last October, into two.

Both teams A & B are now staking claim of party leadership.

Both teams have both sought the intervention of Umno president Najib to resolve the crisis amicably.

But the solution has not been forthcoming until today.

Talking to press later, Thanenthiran said the people can now see for themselves the low mentality of his rivals for holding a protest during a noble function for school children.

He dismissed the protest to have been “carried out by small fries without people’s support.”

“I can crush them easily,” he said

Initially MMSP was hailed as the new political movement for the Indian Malaysian community.

However, after only a few months, the party is now in shambles.

Critics warned the crisis would be the beginning of the eventual demise of MMSP, which was formed by Thanenthiran-led splinter group from the Hindu Rights Action Force.

suren.mp4

Penang acquires land for Tamil schools

People losing faith in PKR, says Najib

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

HULU SELANGOR, April 3 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak marked his first year as prime minister today by slamming his main political foe PKR, saying that people have lost faith in the opposition party.

He spent the day touring Hulu Selangor, ahead of the official campaign period for the April 25 parliamentary by-election there following the death of its PKR MP.

“So many of former members of PKR’s inner circle have lost faith in the party. Look at Sallehuddin Hashim, the former secretary-general of PKR... at one time he was one of main figures in PKR plotting to take over the Barisan government. He left the party, lost faith in the party,” Najib told the 2,000-odd crowd of mostly Malay and Indian folk at Felda Sg Tengi here.

The Barisan Nasional chairman appeared animated and proceeded to list down the names of PKR leaders who had left the party such as Mohd Ezam Md Noor, Zulkifli Noordin, and Mohd Fairus Khairuddin (former Penang Deputy Chief Minister 1).

“Ezam, who was once PKR youth chief, who once went to prison for (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim, left PKR. Anwar asked him to fight me, to fitnah against me but he wouldn’t do it.”

“Another one is Zulkifli Noordin, now that is a principled man. You can tell he is principled because he is wearing a ketayap... asked Zul about Altantuya. He said it himself. Datuk Seri Najib was not involved in the murder. And he should know, because he was the lawyer representing one of the accused in the case.”

The prime minister, who was flanked by Agriculture Minister Datuk Noh Omar and MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel, went to great lengths to prove his innocence in the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, which the opposition has attempted to link to him.

“I took an oath. I swore in the mosque that I had nothing to do with Altantuya. Can he (Anwar) do the same with his own case?” said Najib referring to the opposition leader’s on-going sodomy trial.

Despite the big turnout, there was a sense of nonchalance among the audience as they hardly clapped or cheered during his speech.

The PM took the opportunity to remind the people in attendance why they should vote for BN, as it did not matter if it was Umno, MIC or MCA, a vote for any of these is still a vote for BN.

“The area has always been a BN area. If you vote for BN, you are voting for a better future. We have Datuk G. Palanivel here.”

“Within Umno, MIC, MCA, there has always been an understanding, a victory for any of us is a victory for BN. That is what’s important, and this is something which has been done for generations since the time of our former Prime Ministers.”

Najib also said that the allocations given out today was not because there is an upcoming by-election, but because he is a man that kept to his word.

“When I announce something, I will keep to my word. Sixteen million ringgit has been given out for infrastructure purposes ... RM650,000 will be given for mosque repairs as well as public facilities,” said Najib.

Najib’s programme started this morning with the launching of Kelana Ehsan Foundation and meeting Felda settlers at Sungai Tengi Felda multi-purpose hall at 10am. He was scheduled to travel around the constituency the rest of the day.

BN is expected to field Palanivel, who lost the seat in Election 2008 to PKR’s Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad.

Zainal Abidin, who was formerly a Selangor deputy mentri besar, died last week of a brain tumour.

Nomination is set for April 17 while polling will be held on April 25.

It is understood that Palanivel is the only MIC candidate named for the seat while some 10 have been shortlisted by PKR. The later needs to retain the seat after the party was rocked recently by a spate of resignations of MPs and one expulsion.

There are 64,500 voters in Hulu Selangor, with the Malays making up 52.7 per cent of the total while the Chinese constitute 26.3 per cent, Indians approximately 19 per cent and other races at 1.7 per cent.

Perkasa holding Najib to ransom, claims opposition

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Perkasa, seen by some as the conscience of Umno, is holding Datuk Seri Najib Razak (picture) to ransom for his liberal policies and 1 Malaysia platform, opposition leaders say.

They say Perkasa’s popularity with right-wing Malays is a reminder to the prime minister to cut back his reformist zeal and pander to the “not so extreme” rights group as he had described them in an interview aired by the Al-Jazeera satellite news channel last night.

“Nobody is surprised by Najib’s defence of Perkasa. To many, it is seen as such that Perkasa is holding Najib and his 1 Malaysia concept to ransom,” DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang told The Malaysian Insider today.

“The question that all Malaysians want answered now is whether Najib plans to stick by his concept and take middle ground or succumb to the pressures of Perkasa,” he asked.

The Ipoh Timur MP accused Najib of procrastinating since he came into office a year ago and blamed Perkasa as one of the main reasons behind the policy delays.

“It is a crucial task now for him to see whether his 1 Malaysia, his New Economic Model, is going to be a meaningful and a major transformation progress for the country,” he said.

When asked if he felt Najib could afford to ignore Perkasa’s cry for the protection of Malay rights in the NEM, Lim said, “This is Malaysia in 2010. This is not Malaysia 40 or 50 years ago. It is time. The NEM has already documented the economic decline and the stagnation of the country.

“In fact, the NEM says there is no option; time is of the essence and that the nation cannot wait.”

In his speech earlier this week on the NEM, Najib had spoken of the need to roll back affirmative action policies which encouraged rent-seeking and patronage and claimed that in the NEM, affirmative action would be needs-based and not race-based.

Perkasa, which has the patronage of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has been fighting for the present affirmative action policies to be maintained, citing fears that Malay rights would be sidelined in the government’s more liberal policies.

Lim said that Najib needed to be bold and not allow himself to be bound by the wishes of a single group.

“Why not? I think he can indeed shore up more support for himself if he is brave enough to show he is a statesman and that he is committed and able to stand the test of time, rather than to just be a Prime Minister who mouths off slogans like the previous ones,” he said.

PKR’s strategic director Chua Tian Chang took his criticism of Najib’s defence of Perkasa one step further by suggesting that the right-wing Malay rights group was really the brainchild of the Prime Minister.

“It could be one of two things actually. For one, you can see that Perkasa is holding the ideological ground of Umno while Najib’s 1 Malaysia is the Machiavellian plan to attract external Umno votes.

“So when Perkasa came out in contradiction and is holding the very core values of Umno, Najib is in an awkward position. He cannot reject Umno’s core values,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

He said that the other possibility was that Najib and Perkasa were playing “a game” together, at the expense of the people.

“Perkasa holds the Malay ground so it will always help to deliver support back to Umno eventually by warning the Malays that they need to be united or risk losing all to the Pakatan Rakyat.

“So Najib is crusading on one side to gain support and at the same time, he is getting support from the other groups... it is just a part of the strategy to cover more ground,” he said.

If this were truly the case, said Chua, then it showed that Najib was not sincere in transforming Malaysia.

“It is similar to what the deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said about being Malay first and Malaysian next. He is saying that not because he is truly committed to the Malay identity because I can respect that but he is saying it because he claims that he cannot say he is Malaysian first or he would risk being shunned by the Malays.

“It is the same argument here... he is designing it such that he can cover lost ground in Malay extremist support,” he said.

Hulu Selangor: Samy leaves it to PM to decide

IPOH, April 3 — MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu is leaving it to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to decide on the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election.

He said that in every by-election there were bound to be overlapping in requests for candidacy.

“It’s for the prime minister to decide. As for the MIC, we are fully prepared to face the by-election on April 25,” he told reporters after attending a seminar organised by the state MIC here today.

He said that from feedback received so far, it was clear that the BN had a bright chance to win back the seat.

“The signs from the voters are good indeed. Our election machinery has been going round to villages and Felda settlements. The voters are returning to the BN,” he said.

The Indian community in the area also supported the BN, he said.

Samy Vellu has previously proposed that MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel be fielded as the BN candidate in the by-election.

Palanivel was the four-term MP of the area until his defeat in the 12th general election in 2008.

Several Umno leaders have requested that someone Umno be chosen as the candidate and among the names being bandied about was that of the former Selangor menteri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhamad Taib.

The seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent MP Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad of Parti Keadilan Rakyat on March 25.

The nomination day is on April 17. — Bernama

How Ketuanan Melayu has dispossessed the Orang Asli

By Dr Boo Cheng Hau & Helen Ang - Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT Malaysia is the Asia-Pacific’s “best model” in dealing with the rights of indigenous peoples – or so it is claimed. Last Saturday (incidentally the same day Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched the Perkasa inaugural congress), BN MP Makcus Mojigoh said, in his paper presented at a regional conference, that the government is serious about the plight of the Orang Asli.

Really? The Orang Asli don’t think so.

Mojigoh’s comments follow on the heels of the march by more than 2,000 Orang Asli from all over the country on March 17 in Putrajaya. They had gathered to demand recognition of their customary rights to ancestral land – “Tanah kami, maruah kami” was the rallying cry.

The protest is not surprising as the Orang Asli have increasingly been pushed to the margins by Ketuanan Melayu – since the infamous Malay Dilemma of Mahathir and long before that.

Mahathir argued in his 1970 book that the Orang Asli are not the definitive people of the peninsular as they did not form the first effective government, and moreover “at no time did they outnumber the Malays”.

Furthermore, he brushed off the notion that Orang Asli might have prior claims above “the right of the Malays to regard the Malay peninsula as their own country...” and cited his own reading of history to bolster the Malay contention.

Today, learning from school textbooks, pupils would be left with the impression that Malaysian history started from the Malaccan Sultanate, and that before the conversion to Islam of the prince Parameswara, the country was some kind of no-man’s land.

The Malay Dilemma also contended that “in fact, there are no more than a few thousand aborigines”. Contrary to Mahathir’s assertion rubbishing their numbers, in 1969 there were 52,943 Orang Asli.

Orang Asli are not a single ethnic group but collectively composed of 18 (official) tribes. The biggest grouping is classed Senoi, who are the Semai, Temiar, Jah Hut, Che Wong, Mah Meri and Semoq Beri tribes, while two other groupings are Negrito and proto-Malay. All are indigenous people.

Similar to apartheid

According to historians, Orang Asli had been victims of the slave trade by the Malays and Bataks. Despite official denials of slavery, Orang Asli oral literature has indeed recorded slave raids. The English colonial official JWW Birch had documented their enslavement since as early as 1874.


...one fact remains the same for all Orang Asli: they are the descendants of the earliest inhabitants of the peninsula.

Totalling some 147,500 in 2003, Orang Asli comprise about 0.6 percent of the population, and are disenfranchised on many counts.

Commenting on the demonstration in Putrajaya, Suhakam vice-chairman Simon Sipaun said: “It is expected that the Orang Asli community would protest as they have been marginalised in a system similar to apartheid."

Previously in South Africa, the white Afrikaner nationalists used an ideology almost identical to that propounded by Mahathir to justify their own indigenous status above the black Khoisan, who, according to the white supremacists, had never established a "civilised government".

If one were to look at Article 153 of our federal constitution, it says that the "special position" is extended only to Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak. Omitting mention of the Orang Asli in the said article excludes them from the guarantee of quotas.

[But] ‘We are not Malays, we will always be Orang Asli’ – declare the placards hoisted in Putrajaya on March 17. How then?

‘Refugees’ in own country

Not too long ago on Feb 24, a group of Orang Asli held a demonstration outside the Orang Asli Affairs Department (JHEOA) hospital in Gombak. Speaking to reporters, their spokesman Sokyen Man said the hospital is dominated by non-Orang Asli who are incapable of fulfilling the needs of the community.

The group submitted a petition against the hospital which said, among other things: “A lot of us have faced medical staff who are uncomfortable with the Orang Asli. Sometimes, they pass comments on our features and skin colour.” This particular complaint infers that they are considered an ‘out group’ or ‘inferior group’ (implied by the derogatory connotations of ‘sakai’) by the mainstream.

The term ‘Orang Asli’ was first used by the post-Independence federal government and means "the original people". Colin Nicholas of the Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) notes, “one fact remains the same for all Orang Asli: they are the descendants of the earliest inhabitants of the peninsula".

It is they whose fate could well be equated with that of aborigines in Australia, Maoris in New Zealand and Native Americans in the United States. This is a more compelling comparison than Utusan Malaysia’s constant, tiresome refrain that Malays are like Palestinians in their own homeland.

It is the Orang Asli who are akin to displaced refugees!

Most destitute group

Going by any socio-economic indicator, the Orang Asli are the worst off among all the local ethnic groups. About half live below the poverty line – according to the government’s most recent statistics. Relative to the other races, their children are malnourished and have high infant mortality rate; and Orang Asli have a lower life expectancy.

A bitter irony is that the authorities insist on perpetuating the myth that Orang Asli are "nomadic". According to Robert Dentan, most of the Orang Asli have in fact settled in stable lifestyles although a small number remain semi-nomadic.

There are about 870 Orang Asli settlements (as at December 2003) mainly in Pahang, Perak and Kelantan. More than 500 of these villages are considered to be located in the fringe and 323 in the interior. About 400 villages are categorised as "backward".

If at all Orang Asli can be regarded as nomadic foragers roaming in the forest or “tanah rayau” – a dismissive phraseology adopted by the government – it is this very government that is forcing them to move from place to place.

The Temuans in Sepang and Bangi had their land taken from them to build KLIA and UKM respectively. In Stulang Laut in Johor, the Orang Seletar were relocated to make way for a commercial and customs complex.

The “regroupment” – an euphemistic official doublespeak – of Orang Asli settlements has resulted in even their resettlements again giving way to logging, mining concessions, highway projects, industrial parks and golf courses.

National Land Act

The federal government expects to table amendments to the National Land Act in Parliament by June. It is learned that the new legislation will give the Orang Asli only 50,000 hectares of the 128,000-ha land they live on, which ultimately amounts to “a policy of planned poverty”.

The Bar Council has recommended the following legal measures on the Orang Asli land issues to empower the community:

  1. the issuance of individual land titles to every indigenous family;
  2. the gazetting of communal land parcels by the state governments under Section 62 of the National Land Code 1965;
  3. the gazetting of communal land parcels under the Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954 with perpetual and unlimited foraging rights extending beyond the gazetted communal land parcels; and
  4. in exceptional cases of certain semi-nomadic indigenous communities, who are the most vulnerable of indigenous peoples, perpetual and unlimited foraging rights (with concomitant and greater opportunities for education and vocational training towards sustaining their livelihood).
The authorities tend to take a narrow reading of the Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954 (revised 1974) and regard the Orang Asli’s rights to their land as being one of ‘tenant-at-will’. And that their right to remain in a particular area is at the pleasure of the state authority which can, if it so wishes, remove the Orang Asli from their lands without having to pay compensation for it.

The courts, especially in the Sagong Tasi case, have however deemed such thinking as archaic and unconstitutional. The Orang Asli do exercise native title rights over their traditional lands under common law. But it appears the government is not about to accept this legal precedent.

Writing in Aliran, Yogeswaran Subramaniam observes, “If past records are anything to go by, the states’ performance for gazetting Orang Asli reserves has been nothing short of dismal."

Changing the face of Orang Asli

The policy that the government is now putting on the table does not recognise customary lands but instead proposes to change the face of Orang Asli land into plantations.

Orang Asli who accept the government’s deal offering 50,000 ha (amounting to just over one hectare per household and with no forests) will not be able to bring any claims later to the courts for customary lands or loss of such lands.

The Aliran article calculated that even assuming Orang Asli want to operate oil palm smallholdings at one hectare, each household will only be able to produce around 15 tonnes annually.

The cash crop sold at RM500 a tonne would bring net earnings of RM5,000 a year, or average income of just over RM400 a month – a poverty level income!

The Orang Asli are a vulnerable minority who have been physically removed from their traditional source of livelihood in the forests. Government coercion has additionally caused the erosion of their traditions, customs and values – and its attendant side-effect of mental stress.

They did not venture to the swanky Putrajaya for “school-holiday sightseeing” as gibed by the condescending Rural Development Minister Shafie Apdal. The Orang Asli descended on the administrative capital because the community has reached a crisis level.

An ulu fellow on Hulu Selangor

I may be an ulu fellow but I don’t agree with the road being taken by the Human Rights Party especially when it comes to its relationship with Pakatan. Ironically, what the HRP is doing is leading itself down the path of the same flawed logic - and consequently paralysis - of the parochial race-based politics of BN.

I may be an ulu fellow but for me it’s about time Uthayakumar recognized the need to forge a non-race-based approach to uplifting the marginalized and disenfranchised - a formula that Pakatan is so critically trying to nurture in an environment so infested by BN-style communal politics.

I may be an ulu fellow but it’s time to see that parties such as the Human Rights Party and other such narrowly-race based parties do nothing more than reinforce more of the same thing among so many of us: the tendency to rely on and accept race-based politics as the only approach to governance. In order to change this kind of race-based politics of BN, we must be willing to go the extra step in supporting those who reject purely race-based politics.

I may be an ulu fellow but the HRP needs to understand how to become a constructive force for real change for Malaysians by supporting those who reject racist-based politics rather than another brick in the wall that supports and cements the racist style of race politics that has been practiced by BN.

I may be an ulu fellow but I will support individuals such as Zaid Ibrahim, Nizar Jamaluddin, Said Husin Ali, Lim Guan Eng, Prof. Ramasamy or R. Sivarasan not because of their race or religion but because they appreciate that Umno’s racially driven politics is shallow and destructive.

Yes, I may be an ulu fellow, but I can see that aside from rejecting the kind of abuse of power and the racially-laden cronyism practiced by Umno, the aforementioned individuals and other like-minded ones represent the future – a future that is not laced by the abject ineptitude of Umno’s enablers such as the MCA and MIC, but a future that will be defined by a commitment to public accountability, our common destiny, and respect for the rights of all Malaysians.

I may be an ulu fellow and not be as smart as Uthayakumar, but I’m sure he understands what I’m saying. And it helps when sometimes we can put our egos aside and be sure that we’re not cutting our nose to spite our face. Uthayakumar must realize that he can make far more progress with Pakatan in raising the quality of life for Indians if he partners with Pakatan to struggle for uplifting ALL Malaysians who have been neglected by BN.

The way I see it, Uthayakumar can join hands with people such as Zaid Ibrahim, Syed Husin Ali and Lim Guan Eng, or he risks making himself into an Indian version of Zulkifli Noordin. For his sake, I wish he’d not go down the road of the latter and instead be a constructive part of that process starting in Hulu Selangor.

Speaking of Hulu Selangor, though I may be an ulu fellow, I hope Pakatan doesn’t select its candidate for the Hulu Selangor seat based on racial criteria. It should select the best candidate who can most effectively represent the ideals and vision of Pakatan.

G. Krishnan

A’s galore – Is this for real?

(Aliran) So many students these days obtain a string of A's in public examinations. And yet, most people who were in school, say 50 years ago, can recall how difficult it was in those days to obtain an ‘A’ for any subject in the study syllabus, observes Inhindsight.

I heartily congratulated my nephew on the seven A’s he got in the 2009 SPM exams. All the family are happy that he can now launch himself into the world of higher education in pursuit of his ambition to become an electronics engineer. Yet, he doesn’t appear overly impressed with this apparently ‘shining’ success. He is glad but still finds an A1 in Add Maths rather unbelievable. Some of his friends share these feelings. My nephew and his friends are not the boastful sort and in a way, they may be rightly suspicious of such “cermerlang gemilang” results, as obtaining A's in major school exams nowadays is becoming rather common.

Being self-critical is a virtue and sometimes students do better than they expect, but to what extent are your instincts usually correct? Most people who were in school, say 50 years ago, can recall how difficult it was in those days to obtain an ‘A’ for any subject in the study syllabus. Those who usually achieved that precious ‘A’ were considered academically outstanding students. Moreover, the pass mark out of 100% was exactly half i.e. 50%. To clear that 50% hurdle, to safely pass, one had to do a lot of brain exercise, especially for those subjects one was the weakest at and liked the least.

I remember getting up in the wee hours of the morning when all the family were asleep to ‘slog’ through my textbooks, maths exercises and essays. But it paid off somehow, when I managed to get through all the school exams, even if most of my successes were not considered ‘brilliant’. Study then, made more sense, as we were fairly examined on what we had been taught and marked more or less accordingly. There was still some sense of realism in the system.

Several years later, after graduating from a foreign university, I returned to this beloved land to find my niece who was then in Form Five filling in blanks in workbooks for various subjects. This was the 1990s!

What on earth had happened to our mature and high standard education system where much more skill was expected of us? Was she in Form Five or primary school? It was unbelievable!

When my nephew and younger niece began primary school, their homework seemed incredibly complicated for primary school children. They had to do research when they could hardly spell or write a complete sentence and read a book without help from Mum, Dad or tuition teacher.

One day, a friend told me that her son’s Standard Four homework included a question on how to mend a broken marriage! What would the child do to reconcile her/his warring parents? What would a child of 10 know about marriage in the first place?

As I watched my nephew and niece progress through school, things got more and more amazing! There are even things such as set answers that one must give and no other answer, according to the marking system for English. It is possible to fail if you do not give the required set answer or if the person marking your work doesn’t like your answer, even if it may be correct.

For example, if one wrote, “She was twelve years of age” instead of “She was twelve years old” which was the preferred answer, it would be marked as wrong. What’s the difference?

Perhaps, the difference lies in the fact that the person marking the work is not familiar with or sufficiently knowledgeable in English grammar or language.

There have been tales of secondary school students correcting the teacher’s grammar from their own general knowledge or based on what they had been taught at tuition classes. So who’s teaching whom?

The school world now seems to be a mad, mad upside-down world and gives students a false impression of their abilities; it is really short-changing them. Professional standards in this country will plummet and ‘glowing’ results will increasingly lose their value if they are so easily achievable.

Employers in some industries seem to have no real choice but to employ the best of those minimally capable amongst the incapable. This has a domino effect on the industry and its image. When customers in a hypermarket encounter difficulty in finding the goods they wish to purchase or if they want to know the duration of warranty for an electrical appliance, they do not expect to be ignored by shop-floor staff. It is embarrassing to the employer that their shop-floor staff and sales assistants know nothing of the products being sold or cannot understand what the customer is saying.

Worse still, when the staff try to avoid the customer to hide their ignorance or scold the customer for asking questions. This has happened to me in a well-known hypermarket as well as the post office. Trying to hide inadequacy does not cure it. It merely turns business away!

The lack of initiative and eagerness to learn - let alone the lack of courtesy or willingness to be helpful - amongst a majority of the younger generation is really appalling. Even at university level, standards seems to have been lowered so much that parents who can afford it prefer their children to take foreign degrees. For this reason, foreign education has become big business.

Thank goodness for the ‘bad’ ol’ days of ‘slave-driving’ study. I can now appreciate how valuable they were. Overcoming the challenge of clearing the 50% hurdle was definitely worth it. I will ever be grateful to the wise teachers and examiners who were less inclined to award ‘A’s unless one did a brilliant job.

Please stop hoodwinking our children into thinking that hard work is unnecessary and that the easy way out is the one to take. Anything worth doing is never easy.

Gerakan National Central Committee should convene emergency meeting to give ultimatum to Koh Tsu Koon to declare he is “Malaysia first and Chinese sec

by Lim Kit Siang

The Gerakan Youth Secretary-General Dominic Lau had rightly come out with a public position criticizing Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for his declaration that he is “a Malay first and then only a Malaysian”, asking him to be Deputy Prime Minister for all Malaysians and not just for the Malays; cautioning him to be mindful of the fact and reality that Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-religious society and warning him not to forget the lessons of the March 8 “political tsunami” in the 2008 general elections where the people have made clear that they wanted a government for all Malaysians and not just for anyone ethnic group. (Chinese Malaysiakini 3.4.10)

This statement by the Gerakan Youth Secretary-General shows that there are still people at least in Gerakan Youth who have not completely lost their sense of idealism and national service in politics, especially as Gerakan national leaders like the previous Gerakan President Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik had repeatedly declared that Gerakan’s mission is nothing less than to achieve a Malaysian Malaysia.

The Gerakan National Central Committee should follow up on this statement by the Gerakan Youth Secretary-General to convene an emergency meeting to give an ultimatum to the Minister for 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme Roadmap, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to declare that he is “Malaysian first and Chinese second” or be removed as Gerakan President.

Koh was a pathetic spectacle in Parliament on Thursday night, twisting and turning when he was repeatedly challenged to declare whether he is “Malaysian first and Chinese second” or “Chinese first and Malaysian second”?

Without doubt, before Muhyiddin’s declaration on March 31 that he is “Malay first and Malaysian second”, Koh would have no hesitation in saying that he is “Malaysian first and Chinese second” when asked.

However, after Muhyiddin’s declaration, Koh did not even dare to declare that he is “Malaysian first and Chinese second” when repeatedly asked in Parliament on Thursday night, during the winding-up in the debate on the Royal Address.

In fact, Koh was specifically warned not to give an answer which was different from that given by Muhyiddin and endorsed earlier in Parliament by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, causing Koh to twist and turn to avoid answering when challenged to declare his stand.

The Gerakan leadership must now decide whether they want as a President for their party which claims to have as its mission a Malaysian Malaysia a person who dare not declare in Parliament that he is “Malaysian first and Chinese second” despite repeatedly challenges and opportunities?

Not so Perkasa

The Malaysian Insider
By Nizam Bashir

APRIL 2 — Perkasa is an interesting NGO. Their raison d’ĂȘtre appears to be predicated on the following:

* the right of Bumiputeras to own 67 per cent the nation’s economic wealth because they form the majority;

* the ISA as being integral to 1 Malaysia;

* the word Allah is exclusive to Muslims.

We must salute Perkasa for having the gumption to be pig-headed (or katak puru-headed if you wish) on issues such as the above.


We must salute Perkasa for having the gumption to be pig-headed (or katak puru-headed if you wish) on issues such as the above.

They are certainly being made at a time when the climate appears cold to their views, with the government talking of the New Economic Model, the ISA possibly being amended and the High Court allowing the Herald to use the word Allah in their publications. Still, climate change doesn’t determine the answer to the RM64,000 question — is Perkasa objectively justified in championing those issues? Let’s deal with each of their stand in turn.

Perkasa’s national economic policy proposal makes for fascinating reading. In effect, they are suggesting that a community is entitled to the national economic pie purely on the basis of their numbers within the nation and without any qualifications.

The problem is that their proposal seems irreconcilable with what the Reid Commission had to say on the issue and wherein they noted that:

“… We found that there are now four matters with regard to which the special position of the Malays is recognised and safeguarded:

1. … Malay reservations of land …

2. … admission to the public services …

3. … permits or licenses for the operation of certain businesses …

4. … scholarships, bursaries and other forms of aid for educational purposes …”

“We found little opposition in any quarter to the continuance of the present system for a time, but there was great opposition in some quarters to any increase of the present preferences and to their being continued for any prolonged period.”

and then recommended that:

“… with the integration of the various communities into a common nationality which we trust will gradually come about, the need for these preferences will gradually disappear. Our recommendations are made on the footing that the Malays should be assured that the present position will continue for a substantial period, but that in due course the present preferences should be reduced and should ultimately cease so that there should then be no discrimination between races and communities.

“We recommend that after 15 years there should be a review of the whole matter ...”

In other words, the special position could exist but in a qualified way depending on the subject matter — such as land, education, etc. — and always for a finite term.

Notice what’s missing? Population as a basis to extend or enhance special position is nowhere to be found. So much for that.

Let’s now move on to Perkasa’s other notion, i.e. that ISA is integral to 1 Malaysia. This was premised on a number of subsidiary grounds and which are as follows:

* ISA is crucial in safeguarding the “social contract” between the races;

* the country is not a melting pot of different cultures but a salad bowl fragile to sensitive issues;

* ISA is needed to protect Islam and the Muslim culture.

Simply put, the ISA is a legislative mechanism to detain someone without a trial. Typically, a detention under ISA occurs like this:

A police officer knocks on your door at 2am and tells you that you are being arrested under the ISA because you are involved with activities which threatened and which were detrimental to national security.

A document is then issued, which says that the detention is premised on 2 grounds:

* a police officer believes there are grounds to detain you under the relevant section in the ISA; and,

* the police officer believes that you have acted in a manner which is detrimental to the security of Malaysia.

And, voila, your 60 day detention begins.

Around the 60th day, another document is issued where you are detained for a further two year period because a minister thinks you might be a threat to national security.

At both points where the detention occurs, no trial takes place, a mantra was repeated ad nauseam and no evidence was presented to be tested in a court of law.

To put it another way, the accused was detained because someone had arbitrarily decided that he was a threat. Arbitrary because the mantra of “threat to national security”, taken by itself, can never amount to a valid reason for detention. Yet, Perkasa believes that such arbitrary detentions will further the cause of 1 Malaysia.

More than that, Perkasa appears oblivious to the fact that the ISA was only intended to be utilised solely against communist-terrorists and not against legitimate opposition or to silence lawful dissent. So, save and unless the Malayan Communist Party is still in existence, bent on unravelling the “social contract”, race relations and Islam as well as Muslim culture, Perkasa does not appear to have a leg to stand on vis-a-vis this issue.

Lastly, there is the not so small matter of the intellectual property to the word Allah. Perkasa contends it is exclusive to Muslims. I have written extensively on this matter previously and do not intend to belabour the points made in my earlier article. Suffice to say, a number of Muslims scholars who base their opinions on Quranic verses would beg to differ with Perkasa on this score.

Still, like I said when I began this article, Perkasa is an interesting NGO and I maintain this view for a number of reasons. On the one hand, we should laud the fact that they are trying to present their worldview in relatively civilised fashion. On the other, it also provides us with a suitable opportunity to assess what exactly is the barometer of public sentiment on the issues in question.

If, for example, the absence of the Malay heads of government linked companies is anything to go by, their parochial calls do not appear to be persuading one and all. If nothing else, they provide the perfect foil for those opposed their worldview to present their ideas and their solutions in combating racial-religious issues which perennially bedevil this nation. May the best worldview win.

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

Ezam terlibat dalam perancangan fitnah 2 ?

Pernah cheGuBard tulis dalam blog ini bagaimana Ezam ketika mempengerusikan Mesyuarat GERAK yang terakhir selaku pengerusi GERAK sebelum GERAK di 'serahkan maruah' ke tangan pemuka Umno lama dulu telah memberi gambaran mengenai akan wujudnya tuduhan liwat kedua ke atas Anwar, ini dinyatakan sendiri oleh ahli mesyuarat yang hadir pada hari tersebut. Apakah Ezam terlibat merencana fitnah dua... ? apabila terbaca blog Nazree bekas pengerusi Gerak ..... rasanya Ezam perlu tampil menjawab. baca petikan blog Nazree di bawah.


Ezam tentu rimas diasak dengan asakan yang dia tidak sangka....Nazree Yunus, Mantan Pengerusi Gerak dalam blognya http://minda-pemuda.blogspot.com/ Anak didik Ezam Mohd Nor dalam tulisannya banyak menentang Ezam dalam isu khususnya mengenai tuduhan liwat ke atas Anwar Ibrahim dan isu Ezam mempersoalkan keislaman Nik Aziz. Malah Ezam telah mengarahkan Zahid Mat Arif (bekas Naib Ketua Pemuda Keadilan) dalam satu ceramah bersama untuk menyerang Nik Aziz secara melampau.

Dalam ceramah bersama dengan Ezam, Zahid menyebut "Nik Aziz bukan ulama tetapi puk_ mak".....

Orang Ezam ada menghubungi Nazree dengan memerahi beliau dengan menyatakan Nazree tak kenang budi.... apa budi Ezam pada Nazree.... ?

Utusan Ezam memberitahu bahawa Ezam kecewa dengan Nazree kerana menyerang secara peribadi tanpa kenal kawan... jawapanya muda Ezam pernah kenal kawan kah ? che'GuBard tidak mengusik Ezam kerana menghormatinya... diamnya cheGuBard terhadap Ezam mengundang rasa ragu teman KEADILAN pada cheGUBard namun Ezam dan juaknya tetap tak memahami mereka serang peribadi termasuk pukul nak bagi mati hingga ke periuk nasi cheGuBard......

Pertanyaan cheGuBard kepada Abang Ezam ..... siapa yang tak kenal kawan.... siapa yang serang peribadi....???? siapa yang berada di landasan ini kerana agenda peribadi....?

This weekend: Voter registration @Cineleisure, Amcorp, Subang Parade

Sorry this is late, but going on all weekend at the places below, voter registration by Do Something Epic! This is how you change Malaysia – it’s the very least any one of us can do! :)

Date: 3rd & 4th April 2010
Time: 10am to 10pm
Location: Cineleisure Damansara, Amcorp Mall & Subang Parade

First things first, to clear all doubts and suspicion, neither EPIC for UNITY or Voice your Choice are tools of any political party. We are strictly non-partisan and not affiliated with any political parties. We have found out that many people cannot comprehend this but YES, we are SINCERELY doing this because we realize as youths we need to take up our responsibility to make our nation something we can all be proud of. Nation development is rather tricky and even though we youths are anxious to make a difference we dare not say we can do it without the wiser more experienced generation. Therefore, all who have asked if there is an age limit or if you are TOO OLD? The answer is NO there is no age limit to dreams.

Voice you Choice is created by youths for ALL Malaysians

This is what it is all about…
This is not about PR or BN or any political parties
This is not about overthrowing the government
This is where corporate and political rivals can work together to meet a common need
This is where our faiths unite regardless of religion
This is about uniting all Malaysians for Malaysia
This is where we obtain the peace that comes from within and is not driven by our environment or circumstance. Peace is with those who can wake up every morning knowing they have done everything to the best of their abilities in making this country a better place.
This is about conquering ourselves, finding our voice and believing that it counts, only then can we know that this government, nation and world will be cured of the diseases that plague it.
This is about using a new yard stick to measure another fellow human, not by his race, status, and profession or academic achievement, but by the same believe that we want a better future and Equality for all.
The marker of success will be met when we successfully organize ourselves as one people, as organizations, and individuals. When we hit the 2 million mark, only then do we know that we have conquered our past and became one Rakyat.
We learn from our past but are never haunted by it. We are dedicated and committed to using our present to shape our future. Join us!

Teenage widow behind Moscow blast - Al Jazeera

Russian media has described Dzhanet Abdullayeva as a 'Black Widow' [AFP]

The 17-year-old widow of a North Caucasus fighter has been confirmed by Russian security officials as one of the suicide bombers who attacked the Moscow metro system on Monday.

The blasts at quick succession at two stations during morning rush hour killed 39 people and injured more than 70.

"One of the female suicide bombers, who blew herself up at the Park Kultury metro station, was Dzhanet Abdullayeva," said a statement from the National anti-terror committee, carried by Russian news agencies.

The committe comprises chiefs of top ministries and state bodies.

"She was born in 1992 and lived in the Khasavyurtsky region of Dagestan," the official said.

"The material has been sent to the investigative committee of Russian prosecutors."

Apartment identified

Neave Barker, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Moscow, said: "Police said that they had identified an apartment building that had been rented out by two suspected accomplices of the female suicide bombers.

"They say these two men may have accompanied the woman to a metro station in the southwest of the city where they handed them the bomb belts.

"The men are then believed to have gone back to the apartment building, as the female suicide bombers went on to their final destination.

"It was the men in the apartment building, at a distance, that then detonated the explosives by remote [control].

"The investigators say they found traces of explosives, some traces of preparation, within the apartment building.

"These men are known to them and they have been put on a wanted list."

'Black Widow'

Abdullayeva had been married to Umalat Magomedov, a high-ranking Dagestani anti-government fighter, who was killed by Russian security forces last year.

Russian media has described Abdullayeva as a "Black Widow", the name given to suicide bombers whose partners have been killed by Russian forces in areas such as Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia.

Photographs published on Friday showed Abdullayeva posing in an Islamic headscarf and holding a gun, sitting next to Magomedov.

Magomedov was killed in an operation on December 31 and was suspected of being close to Doku Umarov, the separatist leader who has claimed responsibility for the Moscow attacks.

The Russian newspaper Kommersant said that Abdullayeva was from the village of Kostek in western Dagestan and that she had met Magomedov when she was 16 after making contact through the internet.

Reports said she had been identified as the bomber after officials compared the photograph with the severed head found at the Park Kultury metro station.

Monday's twin explosions - first at the Lubyanka metro station and the second at the Park Kultury station in the southwest of the city - have been blamed by the authorities on fighters from the North Caucasus.

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, has vowed to hunt down and annihilate those behind the attacks.

Don't sabotage us plea to Umno

Kartika escapes whipping sentence

Norizan shot by police gets Home Minister’s attention but PKR abandons hundreds of such Indians

Norizan

Norizan deserves all the attention from the Home Minister (see The Sun 2/4/2010 at page 6). The policemen who had shot her must be prosecuted for attempted murder. Then and only then will these atrocities stop.

While Norizan is lucky to tell her story the fact remains that up to 95% of the local victims shot dead by the police are Malaysian Indians.

If and only if PKR MPs’ had similarly made such arrangements for these Indians to see the Home Minister, scores of innocent lines would have been saved, injustices, miseries and loss of human lives spared.

A victim of police abuse is a victim. The ethnicity should not matter.

In one of the latest cases of police shooting dead five Indians in Klang including three coffins in one family, one of the victim’s sister Seetha committing suicide after also giving poison to her three children who somehow survived. But this case never saw the light of the day in meeting the Home Minister even though it is a thousand times more serious than Norizan’s case. This case involving Indians being police victims are just the tip of the iceberd. Every day scores of Indians are unlawfully arrested, beaten up, who cannot afford lawyers, and are forced to plead guilty and serve jail sentences for crimes they may or not have committed.

Has racial consideration become such a factor in Malaysia to this extent?

When we start speaking up for these such victims who suffer the most but gets the least attention even Opposition and PKR Leader Anwar Ibrahim says Hindraf is having a racist agenda. Raising human rights issue can never be racism!

In any civilized country the majority will most often bend backwards to champion minority interests because the majority and the powerful minorities will somehow be taken care of.

We call upon the PKR MPs to similarly also bring Seetha’s and other such cases to the relevant UMNO Minister so that justice would also reach the doorsteps of these Indian victims.



After all PKR is a “multi-racial” party with no racist agenda.

P. Uthayakumar

UMNO & PKR

UMNOs’ 13th general election kosong propaganda of One Tamil school land

Primary school education is a basic necessity in any country in the world except in Malaysia. In Malay-sia the allocation of land let alone the building of this one Bukit Katil Tamil School is a cause celebre (cause to celebrate), so thinks UMNO by using the Tamil newspapers in their propaganda.

But we have never heard of this kind of cause celebre propaganda when multi-storey Malay and Chinese buildings are build. When almost 99.9% Malay muslim Mara Junior Science College in Trolak, Perak (MRSM) costing RM 120 million and there being 42 such MRSM nationwide (NST 5/4/09) with 12,440 students (BH 21/11/09 page 4), there is zero announcement by UMNO.

Yet when one Tamil School land is even ‘IDENTIFIED’, UMNO goes by the ‘ayam telor sebiji rioh sekampong’ propaganda.

This clearly proves that UMNO has become obsolete as they still think they can get by their “wayang kulit” politics and refusing to realize that this kind of propaganda does not work anymore since the 25th November 2007 Hindraf Rally.

P. Uthayakumar

PKR Selangor estate workers denied Felda like land

99.9% of the 442,000 ten acre land ownership schemes in Felda, Felcra, Risda, Fama, Mardi, Agropolition schemes where the Malay settlers earn up to RM 4,000.00 per month (The Sun 2/4/2010 page 22), the Selangor equivalent of Felda has been denied to the Selangor Indians.

And now with the low wages given to foreigners (see Star Metro 2/4/2009 at page M9) and the rapid development in Selangor these unskilled Indian workers have been pushed out their estates and have become displaced

This PKR Menteri Besar in his two years rule has done zero to implement the Estate Workers Housing Scheme and to allocate Felda like ten acre land ownership schemes to the Indian poor. But for the (Malay Muslim) Yayasan Basmi Kemiskinan Selangor 526 hectres of land had been alienated in Serendah (NST 2/2/2010 at page 13).

The least the Selangor PKR state Selangor government could do to undo the injustices of the 50 year UMNO rule in Selangor is to offer agricultural land to 1,000 poor Indians, and loans and provide assistance in animal husbandry.

This way 1,000 of the poorest Indians in Selangor could have a farm house, a decent livelihood and be raised out of poverty.

But PKR will never do this but when we raise this proposal for the Indian poor the PKR Supremo will say that this is the “Hindraf racist agenda”.

P. Uthayakumar

No history of PKR, DAP and PAS MPs suspended, walked out of Parliament, filed motions and emergency motions or filed parliamentary questions on critic

Today’s NST 2/4/2010 at page 15 sub headlines is, “Two MPs ordered out of house” and “Opposition MPs stage walkout”.

Today there are 78 PKR, DAP and PAS Opposition MPs’ in Parliament. With the Hindraf Rally on 25th November 2007, even UMNO’s 50 year old history of two thirds majority was broken. But despite the critical Indian problems having accumulated for 50 long years under the UMNO regime, it is not deemed fit by “multiracial” PKR, DAP and PAS to walk out, file motions emergency motions, file Parliamentary questions, let alone get suspended, or ordered out of Parliament to draw attention on a single critical Indian problem as for example outlined in “Human Rights Violations Against the Ethnic Minority Malaysian Indians” – HRP Briefing for foreign and diplomatic missions in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 26/3/2010.



For example the issue of 10,000 Tamil school pupils enrolling in standard one cannot read and write at all because they did not attend kindergarden because of poverty (The Star 15/3/2010 at page N46). Nothing was done on this issue by the ‘multi-racial” 78 PKR, DAP and PAS MPs’ and their leaders. But when we ask why is this so PKR Supremo Anwar Ibrahim replies that this Hindraf’s agenda is racist.

P. Uthayakumar

History

UMNO: Once hardcore poor Felda settlers are taking home RM 3,000 to RM 4,000 a month ( The Sun 2/4/10 at page 22)

UMNO: Once hardcore poor Felda settlers are taking home RM 3,000 to RM 4,000 a month ( The Sun 2/4/10 at page 22)

Felda was formulated in 1956 as a means to eradicate poverty.

Today there are 442,000 (BH 25/2/2010 at page 4) ten acre plantation land ownership schemes but we estimate that 99.9% of the lot owners are Malays and Indian poor have been excluded from these land ownership schemes. Especially the pre-existing Indian plantation workers who were displaced with conversion of estates for housing and industrial use.

Under UMNOs’ racist, religious extremist and supremacist policies hundreds of thousands of Indians have slipped into or remain in the hardcore poor category.

“Multiracial” PKR, DAP and PAS has an almost zero record of raising these injustices because PKR is “above” the Hindraf’s racist agenda.

P. Uthayakumar

umno once

Najib says Perkasa is not extreme

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak (picture) sidestepped a question tonight on whether he was a Malay or a Malaysian first in an interview on satellite news channel Al Jazeera, while defending Perkasa as “not so extreme.”

“Well technically, if we talk about the constitution, I am a Malay but I’m comfortable being a Malay in a Malaysian society. And I want us to work towards becoming a truly One Malaysia society. But I’m proud to be a Malay. I’m proud to be a Muslim. But the fact that I’m proud to be a Malay and a Muslim, it doesn’t mean I cannot relate to others,” he told Al Jazeera’s Fauziah Ibrahim tonight when asked if he was a Malay or Malaysian first.

The question came after he was forced yesterday to defend his deputy’s declaration that he considered himself “a Malay first”, and only then a Malaysian.

Responding to a challenge from DAP’s Lim Kit Siang, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said earlier this week that it was not proper for him to identify himself as Malaysian first and Malay second.

The PM was also forced to defend his government’s policies amid criticisms from groups like Perkasa.

“No I didn’t say they’ll be taken away,” he said when asked about opposition from Malay rights groups who fear their special privileges and their rights may be taken away from them.

“Perkasa is not so extreme, if you listen to them carefully. They can shout about Malay rights as long as they are not extreme in their views and you know to the extent that we can accommodate Perkasa. And we can accommodate also the non-Malays as well. I do engage the non-Malay groups as well, so as Prime Minster, I’ve always said I’m Prime Minister for all Malaysians.”

Tonight’s interview on Al Jazeera was conducted on the eve of the anniversary of his first year in office, and comes in the same week in which he introduced his New Economic Model (NEM) which he hopes will be the plank of his administration.

During a speech earlier this week, Najib had spoken of the need to roll back affirmative action policies which encouraged rent-seeking and patronage.

He also pointed out that under the NEM, affirmative action policies would be needs-based and not just race-based, but he did not provide any details on how this would be achieved.

The PM was also asked tonight about the growing influence of Perkasa, the group which has been fighting for the current affirmative action policies to be maintained and which has the patronage of former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“No, no, that’s not true. They are by and large supportive of Umno and they believe that Umno is the only vehicle that can really, not only promote Malay interest but really hold this country together. I think Umno is a strong party. Umno is well-established. Umno can deal with the emergence of Perkasa as well as other groups as well”, he said when asked about the recent warning from Perkasa to not make the group an enemy or risk losing their support.

Speaking about his 1 Malaysia platform, Najib denied that the special privileges of the Malays would be trampled upon.

He said that 1 Malaysia was predicated on the constitution and provisions to protect Malay special rights.

“I think if you implement things in a fairer way, you can reach out you know, to the Malays, to the non-Malays as well.

“Don’t forget, when we implemented the New Economic Policy back in the 70s and 80s, and even in the 90s before the Asian Financial Crisis, it coincided with the growth rates in Malaysia being at break neck speed, you know 8 to 9 per cent was the norm in those days. So, New Economic Policy, affirmative action has never really hampered the growth of Malaysia into a modern economy.”

The PM was also asked about Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial, and reiterated the government’s stand that it was not a politically-motivated trial.

“Well, I think we have to make people understand that it’s not the Malaysian government against Anwar Ibrahim. This is not a political trial. It’s about a young, well not intern, but a young officer chosen by him in his office, a 22 year-old man who feel very aggrieved, made a police report against his employer. And that was the genesis of the present case. It’s got nothing to do with the government. If that person did not make a police report, there’d be no case against Anwar Ibrahim,” he said.

He added that Anwar’s trial now should not be compared to his first sodomy trial which happened when Dr Mahathir was PM.

Asked if he thought that the first sodomy trial was political, he said: “I don’t think it was political, the first case. But there was maybe lack of corroborative evidence, if you like”

Two thirds of Malays agree with Perkasa, says new survey

The latest Merdeka Centre survey finds that most Malays agree with Perkasa on the issue of quota for the Malays. - Picture by Jack Ooi

By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Nearly 70 per cent of Malay voters in peninsular Malaysia agree with Perkasa’s demands that the government should not dismantle quotas and economic protection for Malays, while about 20 per cent disagreed according to a recent survey.

Malays surveyed were also roughly split down the middle on remarks by leaders of Perkasa, the right-wing Malay NGO that Chinese are trying to take over the country.

The survey conducted by independent pollster Merdeka Centre suggests that Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak will face substantial obstacles in pushing through his reforms.

The prime minister recently announced his New Economic Model (NEM) which proposes to roll back race-based affirmative action policies to reduce the patronage and rent-seeking associated with the New Economic Policy (NEP).

“My point of view is that what Perkasa is saying mirrors that of those who support Umno,” Merdeka Centre chief Ibrahim Suffian told The Malaysian Insider.

“The split response (on the question of Chinese trying to take over the country) corresponds closely to the current situation.”

He added that Malays appear to support Perkasa on issues related to their economic interests but less on the other issues.

Merdeka Centre polled 883 registered voters in West Malaysia between March 11 and March 27. The survey found that 44 per cent of Malays agreed with views by groups like Perkasa that Chinese are trying to take over the country while 47 per cent of Malays disagreed.

In the case of Chinese voters polled, seven per cent agreed with Perkasa while 80 per cent disagreed, while five per cent of Indians agreed and 89 per cent disagreed.

When asked about demands by Perkasa that the government should not dismantle quotas and protection for Malays in the economic sphere, 68 per cent of Malays agreed while 18 per cent disagreed. As for the Chinese, 8 per cent agreed with Perkasa while 74 per cent disagreed and 30 per cent of Indians agreed while 49 per cent disagreed.

Asked if groups like Perkasa would help Umno and Barisan Nasional win the next election, 61 per cent of Malays agreed while 20 per cent disagreed. Fifty three per cent of Chinese disagreed and 19 per cent agreed with the question while 62 per cent of Indians agreed and 20 per cent disagreed.

Perkasa is positioning itself as a pressure group to the government especially on the continuation of preferential treatment for Malays under the Najib administration’s NEM.

Perkasa’s inaugural congress last Sunday was launched by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who once made Ibrahim a deputy minister of law in his 22-year administration.

The Malay right-wing group has spread to all states since the Independent MP founded it two years ago. It counts many Umno stalwarts among its pro-tem committee officials and has protested the Najib administration’s move to open up the economy and reform affirmative action policies.

Perkasa has warned political parties, especially Umno, not to be “enemies” with the movement if it wants support in the next general election.