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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Musa, you're disgaceful! Kit Siang returns fire

By Free Malaysia Today,

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition stalwart Lim Kit Siang fires a verbal salvo against Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan, accusing him of “gross insurbodination”.

This afternoon, Musa had threatened not to enforce the law in response to the criticisms over the fatal shooting of 15-year-old schoolboy Aminul Rasyid Amzah.

“This is a most disgraceful statement from the IGP as it tantamounts to an open and public insurbodination against the Malaysian people who pay for his salary,” Lim said in a statement.

The DAP veteran noted that it was not the first time Musa has done this.

“Musa was involved in the public challenge of the previous prime minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), threatening a police revolt if the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission was implemented,” he said.

All over the world, Lim added, developed nations are graduating to the concept of democratic policing, subjecting police forces to principles of public responsibility and accountability.

“But this is clearly very alien to Musa,” he said, adding that the IGP has overstayed his welcome.

“Important sectors of society, including a parliamentary roundtable, have opposed the extension of his contract as IGP and their reservations and objections have now been vindicated with this threat by Musa,” he said.

Hishammuddin must explain

Lim also called on Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to declare if he had given the green-light to Musa to make such an outrageous statement.

If not, the opposition leader asked what action would the minister take against the IGP.

“Musa’s threat today transgressed acceptable and tolerable limits and is a great disservice to the majority of police personnel who are disciplined, conscientious and hardworking.

“The country cannot wait until September when Musa’s tenure expires,” he said.

Lim said Malaysians need a new IGP who can inspire confidence in the professionalism of the police force to fight crime.

'Tun' Samy's sweet deal with Najib

By M Kumaran - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president S Samy Vellu has purportedly struck a sweet deal with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, which would see the 74-year-old politician being conferred a Tunship and appointed as an ambassador at large.

In return, Samy Vellu would step down and also sideline his deputy G Palanivel, in order for fresh faces to take over the helm before the next general election.

Putrajaya sources said the deal consisted of several “sweetneers'' - Tunship, the ambassador's post, and the extraction of the Maju Institute Educational Development (MIED) and Aimst University from the party.

The sources claimed that MIED, the party's education arm, and Aimst University have a combined worth of around RM1 billion.

Also part of the deal is that the government would solve the protracted Maika Holdings fiasco, and this is how business tycoon G Gnanalingam came into the picture.

“Najib had roped in Gnanalingam to buy the shares at RM106 million, above its value, and the 66,000 shareholders are expected to get between 80 sen and RM1.

“Samy Vellu is also a major shareholder, and should he decide to sell his stake, he could make a handsome return,” said the sources.

They said Gnanalingam is scheduled to reveal more details about the deal on Saturday.

The Maika Holdings scandal has been a sore point with the Indian community for decades, and the opposition never fails to exploit this issue during elections.

Enter Vell Paari and Sothinathan

MIC sources, who confirmed that a deal was struck, said Samy Vellu's son Vell Paari and the president's blue-eyed-boy S Sothinathan would play a big role in managing MIED and Aimst.

“Sothinathan will not be playing a major role in MIC politics after this, but he will return to his original role of managing a company.

“He has patched up with Samy Vellu since the last party election, and the two were inseparable during the recent Hulu Selangor by-election,” they said.

During last year's party election, Sothinathan irked his mentor by contesting for the number two post against Palanivel, the president's preferred choice then.

The sources said with the Tun title, Samy Vellu would also be given a bodyguard, diplomatic passport, police outrider and driver, “things which the president is fond of.”

Dr Subra for president

According to the sources, the plan now is to promote current vice-president and Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam for the number two post. He would then succeed Samy Vellu.

Najib wants Samy Vellu and his “problematic legacies” out of the picture before the next general election, so that he could present a “clean and rejuvenated” MIC to the Indian community.

The sources claimed that these changes would take place over the next few months, which could even see MIC holding a fresh party election where Subramaniam would take on Palanivel.

In the interim, Palanivel would be made a senator in return for giving up the Hulu Selangor seat for MIC information chief P Kamalanathan.

The candidate fiasco had severely dented Palanivel's reputation and standing among MIC members, when he was sidelined in favour of a more junior party man.

On the surface, the former deputy minister has not complained, but he is said to be vexed over what had transpired.

After the Hulu Selangor by-election result was announced on Sunday night, Palanivel had remarked that he was prepared to take over MIC if Samy Vellu stepped down.

He was responding to Samy Vellu's comments in an exclusive interview with FMT, where the veteran politician said he was willing to hand over the reins at Palanivel's request.

However, Palanivel's response has irked the president, who is said to have embarked on a move to villify his deputy, telling other leaders that Palanivel would destroy MIC if he comes to power.

Bali´s Gigolo

Indonesian police have detained 28 young men suspected of selling sex to female tourists in Bali. The detentions come after the release of a documentary called "Cowboys in Paradise" by Singaporean filmmaker Amit Virmani.

Stop using mosques for politics, Selangor Sultan warns

SHAH ALAM, April 29 — In a repeat of his earlier call, the Sultan of Selangor today reminded politicians against misusing mosques as platforms for politicking.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah went on to describe those who continued to do so as to be in direct defiance of his Royal Decree.

Speaking further at an event at the SM Agama Tinggi Sultan Hishamuddin in Klang, the ruler of Selangor said that those who could not abide by this ruling should simply keep away from the state

Today’s statement comes after recent political speeches by PAS spiritual leader, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, and the party’s Selangor chief, Datuk Dr Hasan Ali, which were delivered in mosques.

The two had done so despite last week’s warning by the Sultan that mosques were an inappropriate setting for political activities and speeches.

'Perhaps it was sabotage'

By Rahmah Ghazali

EXCLUSIVE PETALING JAYA: PKR's chief excuse for its defeat in Hulu Selangor is that the contest was a buy-eletion, where its rival Barisan Nasional had purportedly purchased the votes.

Some, however, have attributed it to the party's campaign machinery, which was running on an empty tank while BN accelerated towards the finish line.

A more serious allegation is that PKR candidate Zaid Ibrahim, who lost by 1,725 votes to BN's P Kamalanathan, was a victim of internal sabotage, which party leaders have been quick to dismiss.

But when the question was posed to Zaid himself during an exclusive interview with FMT yesterday, he did not discount the possibility.

“There were some people in the party who did not want me to win,” he said, refusing to name them.

"I am not interested in blaming anyone but I felt that there were some elements in the machinery that obviously was not keen on me winning. I could tell by their conduct, and by the things they did, or didn't do,” he added.

Yesterday, FMT published a report, which quoted PKR sources as claiming that the defeat was a result of internal sabotage.

They said Zaid's presence in the party was not welcomed by certain ambitious leaders, and a victory in Hulu Selangor would only fortify his position.

The sources pointed the finger at PKR vice-president Azmin Ali, but the latter has not responded to the allegation.

'I don't pick easy seats'

Meanwhile, Zaid said he suspected something was amiss when the by-election campaign did not get off to a good start.

However, the former law minister added that he managed to pull through due to the assistance provided by his men.

"It is either (sabotage) or other things. I don't know. Maybe they were not interested (in campaigning for me)... If I did not have my own team and resources, it would have been worse.

"Maybe they did not want me to win because they were worried about their positions in the party,” he added.

Although some claim that Zaid would have stood a better chance in an urban seat, the PKR supreme council member, however, believes that he was the best candidate for Hulu Selangor.

"I was the best candidate, otherwise I wouldn't have come that close (to winning). There is no question that I was the best candidate," said Zaid, who polled an impressive 23,272 votes.

The former Umno leader and Kota Baru MP also said that it does not matter where he would contest in the next general election.

"I am not afraid to contest anywhere. I am not the sort of person who would pick easy seats. There is no such thing as an easy seat,” he said.

Reiterating his earlier accusation that Barisan Nasional had played “dirty”, Zaid said: "If (Prime Minister) Najib (Tun Razak) did not bribe like that, I would have probably won.”

The 59-year-old politician stressed that he did not regret his decision to contest in Hulu Selangor.

"Why should I regret? For someone who had to fight (former premier Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) and Najib combined, I think I did well," he said.

Mahathir had also hit the campaign trail and joined other Umno leaders in branding Zaid as an alcoholic and gambler.

However, there is one thing which Zaid wished he could change – have more time to explain the allegations against him to the voters.

"It was just too much to answer within seven days (of campaigning). I had no time to explain to the people. If I had a few more days, I would have probably won," he said.

Below are excerpts from the interview:

FMT: Is this the end of your political career?

Zaid Ibrahim: No, this is part of my struggle, it is just one of those events in the struggle.

Why did you pick Hulu Selangor?

I would have contested anywhere in Malaysia except where there are 10,000 postal votes. I am not afraid to contest anywhere. I am not the sort of person who would pick easy seats. Let's say, in the next general election, if I'm sent to a particular place, I would go. It doesnt matter to me. There are no easy seats.

On losing Malay votes

I think my message got through to the Chinese, Indians and even the Malays. But some communities are more susceptible to bribes than others. Some communities are more susceptible to lies than others. It is part of the process that we have to go through.

If they (BN) think this is what it takes for them to win (in Hulu Selangor), I am sure they will have a tougher time in other places. This is the seat where they won with 5,000 votes in 2004 and this is an Umno stronghold. The 2008 general election was a bit of a fluke but in 2004, it was the true strength of BN. But now, the PM himself had to spend three days there to campaign to win the seat.

Can you explain the swing of Indian votes to BN then?

There is no swing. Like I said, 2008 was a peculiar situation. So whatever percentage (of Indian votes) I got, was good enough. They (BN) have the Orang Asli votes, I could not see them (Orang Asli) because of the blockages, and the postal votes which I had no access to, they have Felda. So overall, I did very well.

Umno is mulling legal action against you for calling it a “corrupt” by-election.

(Laughs) Please do so, by all means.

What about Mahathir's scathing attack against you?

Mahathir is a vicious man. He is an evil man. That is all. People have judged him. I am quite confident that people willl see him in the true light when things have settled.

MIC president S Samy Vellu said you are a reserved person, who lacks in the area of human relations, and that you never spoke to him even once in Parliament when you were MP (of Kota Baru).

Samy Vellu was not even in Parliament most of the time, how would he know? As far as being reserved, I think the people can judge for themselves. I don't need to respond to this.

You said that there were PKR leaders who did not support you, do you feel let down by your party?

I don't want to say too much on that. I don't want to make accusations about party leaders. I just want to say, like I said before, there were certain unsatisfactory aspects during the campaign period.

If there was an element of sabotage, would you quit PKR?

I am not here to judge PKR, I take it as an organisation that has to change in order to be more effective and that is constructive criticism. That is not trying to bad mouth the party. I don't do that.

How did your family take the smear campaign against you?

My wife, my family. They know me. I have hidden nothing from them. Of course, they felt sad but that is part and parcel of being in the opposition. All the stuff they said about me, when I was with them (in Umno), they never raised it. It is just when I joined the opposition, suddenly I became the bad guy, but they are no angels either.

How do you think Kamalanathan would perform as an MP?

We will wait and see. I don't want to say anything now as I only met him on a few occasions.

Cast(e) in iron MIC fears Palanivel

By FMT staff

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin found himself trapped between a rock and a hard place when opposition stalwart Lim Kit Siang asked if he was a Malay, or Malaysian first?

Some MIC members later joked that if the same question was posed to their party president S Samy Vellu, he would have replied, “I am Devar (a caste) first.”

On a serious note, although MIC and its leaders claim to champion the Indian community in Malaysia, the political organisation, however, operates along caste lines.

Samy Vellu is always said to give special preference to those of his caste, except in certain cases such as his protege and former vice-president S Sothinathan, who is a Gounder.

Caste has always played a central role in MIC politics, a poignant example being its former vice-president, the late MG Pandithan, who went on to form a splinter party called the Indian Progressive Front (IPF) after being sacked.

Pandithan was given a show-cause letter for practising caste politics, prompting him to stage a hunger strike at the MIC headquarters with a coffin to symbolise the death of democracy in the party. This earned him the boot.

While Samy Vellu and his men publicly admonish caste politics, the issue never fails to rear its ugly head during party elections and plays a pivotal role in determining the votes.

According to some sources, this is one of the reasons why Samy Vellu and like-minded leaders are uncomfortable with the idea of MIC deputy president G Palanivel taking over the leadership reins.

Palanivel would open up the party

The sources claimed that Palanivel rejected the idea of caste politics.

“This is one of the reasons why they fear him, he is not a caste man. The old guards and some younger leaders are worried that he would open up the party.

“If Palanivel comes to power, he would allow all to have an equal standing. There would be no such thing as caste domination,” they added.

The sources also pointed out that caste politics is a main factor why the more educated middle-class Indians and youths shun MIC.

“It is an archaic order which has no place in a globalised world. The prime minister is talking about uniting all races under the 1Malaysia concept, but MIC is dividing the Indian community itself.

“Palanivel realises this, and he knows that in order for MIC to remain relevant, it must shed its old ways and embrace new ideas,” they said.

Presidential term limit

Furthermore, the sources said some leaders in MIC are also afraid that Palanivel might introduce other radical reforms should he helm the party.

“He is mulling the possibility of limiting the presidential term to two terms to prevent the party from having presidents who sit there for decades, and some disagree with this,” they added.

The sources were responding to a report in FMT yesterday, which claimed that Samy Vellu was attempting to oust Palanivel.

The 74-year-old president is said to have been irked by Palanivel's comment that he was ready to take over MIC, based on what Samy Vellu had told FMT in a recent exclusive interview.

Now, Samy Vellu is apparently backing vice-president and Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam, a fellow Devar, for the number two post.

The MIC president is also hoping that his successor would help his son Vell Paari rise up in the party hierachy.

“He can trust a Devar to do so, but would he be able to trust Palanivel?” they asked.

The sources also said that Samy Vellu is pressed for time because Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak wants the veteran out before the next general election and had pressured him to put in a transition plan.

“He is being sidelined by the BN leadership, especially Najib. Even in the issue of senatorship for Palanivel, everyone was caught by surprise that the swearing-in would be on Monday,” they said.

The senator position is part of the compromise package for Palanivel to allow MIC information chief P Kamalanathan to contest in the recently-concluded Hulu Selangor by-election.

The talk is that Palanivel would also be made a deputy minister, but this puts him in an akward position, given that the more junior Subramaniam is a full minister.

The writing gets clearer on MCA's wall

By Stanley Koh

COMMENT The MCA presidential council will probably have to open its Pandora’s Box when it meets this Thursday.

Little appears to have changed in terms of Chinese support for the party after one-and-a-half years of leadership squabbling and fierce debate on the leaders’ diligence and integrity. The recent change in the leadership has done nothing to change MCA’s image in the eyes of the Chinese community.

This is all unsurprising and telling at the same time.

Nevertheless, the political reality that should be sinking in fast is that the party’s very survival is at stake.

Some party watchers interpret the leadership’s failure to deliver Chinese votes to BN in Hulu Selangor as a snapshot of the national scenario.

Indeed, the party is facing problems that go far deeper than suggested by the handy word “image”. Underlying its most serious problems is its relationship with Umno. How it handles this will undergo further tests in the coming months and might even determine its future.

The party’s top brains are likely to deal with numerous issues, beginning with the whys, whats and hows of the failure in Hulu Selangor.

Although top-ranking MCA leaders tirelessly trudged the trail during the Hulu Selangor campaign, voting support from Chinese majority areas dropped to nine to 28%. It was 37% in the 2008 general election.

Could this be a red blinking light warning the 62-year-old party that it is already stumbling on a slippery path?

Pressing issue

MCA has dissected and analysed its electoral performance in 2008, and the findings show that it has scant ground for optimism.

In the 2008 debacle, the party won only 15 of the 40 parliamentary seats it contested. As for state seats, it captured only 31 of 90.

The pressing issue is that the Pakatan Rakyat coalition has broken BN’s stronghold over mixed seats.

If we take the result of the Hulu Selangor by-election as a sample for future scenarios, the uncomfortable but pertinent question is, “How many more mixed seats is MCA in danger of losing?”

What about urban seats? Will the party be able to win back support from urban voters given that Hulu Selangor is only semi-urban?

If MCA cannot deliver Chinese votes to BN in Umno seats, what will be the political consequences?

What are the structural weaknesses that the party needs to rectify to make itself more relevant to urban Chinese?

Even if MCA has all the answers, time may not be on its side. Worse, not all the money and multi-million projects that BN is capable of doling out can buy dignity and integrity and, least of all, votes.

Having bagged only 819,924 (43.3%) popular votes in MCA parliamentary seats—even less than its total membership of 1.23 million — in 2008, it should raise this devastating two-fold question: what happened and what to do?

Alarm bell

Yet, two years down the line, the same writing remains on the wall. There are large pockets of disenchanted Chinese voters who are adamant in rejecting BN.

Indeed, since 1959, MCA has been on a roller coaster track when it comes to electoral wins.

The party’s 2008 failure was not the only glaring defeat it has experienced in its electoral history. In 1969, its parliamentary win, at 39.4%, was almost as bad.

But looking at past statistics alone will not help us accurately predict the party’s future performance because the political landscape, while it has already changed drastically, continues to evolve.

Non-statistical contributing factors are more crucial in determining the voter swing in the parliamentary seats in which it fared badly in 2008.

MCA took a serious beating in parliamentary seats in Selangor (voter swing of -26%), Kedah (-23.3%), FT (-17.3%), Negeri Sembilan (-17.4%), Malacca (-10.7%) and Johor (-17.0%). It should be noted that Selangor, where the vote swing was sharpest, has a large Chinese voter population. The voter swing against MCA state seats, however, was worst in Penang (-26.1%).

Despite all of these, the party leadership has not accomplished much since 2008. One should therefore ought not to be too surprised about what happened in Hulu Selangor.

Nevertheless, the alarm bell must now be rung.

Besides the two-year MCA leadership crisis, the Chinese are also frustrated over issues beyond the control or making of the MCA leadership. These would include the Perak coup, the Teoh Beng Hock case, chauvinist remarks by Perkasa and Umno leaders, crime rates, rising prices, religious issues and bullying tactics against the parliamentary opposition.

Were these the underlying reasons for the Chinese refusal to support BN candidate P. Kamalanathan in Hulu Selangor? Or was it more of a show of protest against Umno?

Dirtiest tactics

Despite the presence of the Prime Minister in Chinese majority areas in Hulu Selangor, and the RM3 million thrown in for a Chinese school, MCA still failed to pull in the votes for the BN candidate.

BN employed its dirtiest tactics ever in Hulu Selangor and showed that money is the mother’s milk of politics.

In Hulu Selangor, the Chinese proved that money-electioneering politics could not faze them. This was despite the finding from a 2006 Merdeka Centre survey that most Chinese were greedy.

Did the Chinese feel that their dignity was insulted? Perhaps, they resented being treated like a small kid who can be bribed with an ice cream to shut up whenever he is noisy or complaining.

In the past, the Chinese community voted against the BN for different reasons.

Perhaps, after decades of being bullied and made a whipping boy by Umno warlords, the community has politically matured and become more conscious of civil liberties, their minority rights and the values of justice and social equilibrium.

The Chinese have often voted against MCA candidates because of the failure of the party’s leadership to protect their political interests and rights. A more important factor, however, is the MCA’s being on the side of a mediocre government perceived to be excessive in power abuses, mismanagement and bad governance and outstandingly vicious.

1Malaysia, like past lofty slogans, sweet talk and charming but rhetorical manifestoes, does not attract the Chinese. It is not credible to a community already disappointed with Pak Lah’s tenure, with its illusionary definition of what is equal and fair.

Malaysian history shows that Chinese political consciousness has been taking repetitive beatings and the majority of older Chinese voters are hardcore supporters of the opposition.

This trend has been gathering momentum since the 1964 general election.

Chinese voters, like those of other non-Malay communities, have been becoming more restive. Over the decades they have been showing more and more willingness to fight alongside civic-minded NGOs or to vote against BN in the interest of a colour-blind nation.

Ever the whipping boy whenever Umno or one of its satellite organisations needs to shore up Malay support or to divert attention from internal problems, the Chinese community has often been threatened and insulted as MCA stood silently watching.

In debt forever?

The older generation has been witnessing this living history and quietly passing over the record to the younger generation.

The Chinese, especially the young, wonder why their community deserves to be the target of these attacks despite its being only one of the 214 ethnic groups in the country.

Will the MCA leadership be able to muster the courage to defend non-Malay interests and toss its political-eunuch image into the proverbial dustbin of history?

This is not the first time nor will it be the last that MCA been placed at a crossroads. But now is the moment to do some serious soul-searching.

It is logical to assume that the emergence of a mellow, more moderate, more reasonable and magnanimous Umno under Najib Abdul Razak would make it easier for MCA to pull back Chinese support.

But what if the opposite scenario takes place, and we find a stronger Malay bias in all facts of Malaysian life and a tightening of Malay dominance?

Will MCA be forever indebted to its political master?

The choice is not easy. It is catch-22. After all, Umno was politically MCA’s greatest asset, but is proving to be an enormous liability.

Malaysian Malaysia: 2Malaysia

I still remember last time when West Malaysian my friend asked me, "Is it true if a West Malaysian go and work or do business in East Malaysia, the East Malaysian will dislike or to certain extent hate?"

I never thought of that issue before but from the people I know, the answer to this question is Yes.

Why the hatred?

Well, you have to thank our government's policy. They have been treating their two brothers on the other side unfairly. No I don't simple speak without proof.

1. In West Malaysia, you have all the freeview channels such as NTV7, 8TV and TV9 but in Miri (I am not sure about other part of Borneo) we don't have that! Yes, our representative (not mentioning name) has promised to put NTV7 in the air but after a few times delay, he said that well we don't need NTV7 cause everyone in Miri has Astro!

No, not everyone in Miri has Astro, I for one don't have. Do you mean that those who can't afford Astro will have to stick back to the 3 traditional channel (i.e. TV1, TV2 and TV3)? Take care of everyone's feeling not just the rich ok?

2. The oil royalty issue is one of the big factors. Miri has been producing oil but our state government only receives 5% of it. Anyway, recent revelation shows that originally the oil royalty was 12%?

“At the beginning, Sarawak was to have received 12 percent in oil royalties. But because Petronas was still a fledgling company at the time, a compromise was struck.
"Petronas agreed to give both Sabah and Sarawak five percent in royalties. The aim was to help Petronas consolidate its financials," said Husam.
“This goodwill gesture was eventually buried. Petronas funds were channelled to projects like the RM1 billion Formula One event, which has brought little benefit to the people. - Source
Sad case for Sarawak (and Sabah and Terengganu) because we have to subsidise the whole Malaysia's petrol but in terms of groceries, we have more expensive once due to shipping but no one gives a shit about subsidising those.
3. Scholarship and other opportunity are also one good reason. A lot of poor talented bumis (we side out the Chinese in this case) didn't get scholarship although they are same or better than their rich West Malaysia counterpart. No joke, you can see the examples in the news and everywhere.
Then, the opportunity we have in East Malaysia is less. We have no idea about most of the scholarship (like ASEAN Scholarship). Then the top post in federal department in Malaysia is filled by West Malaysians. Why can't Sarawakians admin their own state? After 50 years, you still don't trust us?
I can go on and on about the unfair treatment we have but that doesn't solve the problem. I am a voter just like you. I am not a Pro-Pakatan fella or BM Fanatics. I am just a voter who will choose the best party who will develop my hometown. I am just as selfish as you all. I want the best for my hometown. I grow up here and I love it very much.
Any candidate who wish to contest in Sarawak, if you are reading this, you better start doing something. *Wink*
Anyway, not ALL the West Malaysians are evil as portrayed by some East Malaysian staying under tempurung, that is just plain stereotype. I have nice West Malaysian friends and I love them. Only those who are in power have to improve themselves.
This is not a racial issue, this is a state-ial issue. I don't want to cause hate between East and West, I just want equal treatment, that's all.
This is the first of few parts I will write about Malaysia.


The BN’s culture of “balas budi”

(Gift image by iprole, gift tag image by modish /
CHINESE Malaysian community leaders and MCA politicians are reacting strongly to Perkasa's calls for the government to "punish" Hulu Selangor voters who didn't vote for the Barisan Nasional (BN). I believe we are in store for more of such rhetoric, this blaming and defence of Chinese Malaysians. It's bound to happen as the government tries to balance between political and economic pressures.
I am sure Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration is convinced of what needs to be done. The economy needs to be unshackled from uncompetitive, race-based policies. 1Malaysia needs to be actualised without racial bias. But I am not sure if the government has the will to do it. Witness how the New Economic Model (NEM)'s unveiling was delayed from the end of 2009 to recently. Even now, we only have the skeletal framework with few details.
Even as Najib tries, he'll have a sceptical public to deal with, just as I expect his able deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, to play "bad cop" with more of his ethnocentric remarks. For as long as there are players in government who will echo the views of groups like Perkasa, I expect such views to gain currency.
Why do I think that Perkasa's views will gain traction after this? Because for too long, the BN has drummed it into voters that they need to "balas budi" and show gratitude for what is really the government's responsibility and citizens' rights.
Confusing gratitude
What folks in Perkasa and many conservatives in government fail to realise is that gratitude is no longer a premise for the BN to win votes from Chinese Malaysians. The era of "buying" votes through development promises and election goodies is gone among Chinese Malaysians.
In the first place, such expectations of gratitude were wrong when development is the government's responsibility. Yet, in all past 10 by-elections, we've heard this rhetoric about "being grateful". The BN, known first as the Alliance, won independence for you. Through the Alliance, you non-Malays were given citizenship because the Malays made concessions for you. Then the BN built you roads, schools, houses, and created jobs. The BN gives aid to temples and churches, too, not only mosques. The BN gives money to upgrade or rebuild Chinese-vernacular schools. So be grateful. Show your gratitude by voting for BN if you want your future guaranteed.
In Hulu Selangor, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who joined the campaign, told a ceramah in Serendah: "Under BN, everyone gets something, at the very least, tarred roads."
Wow. And I thought my tax money paid for that tarred road.

Road lined by BN and PKR flags in Hulu Selangor
In Hulu Selangor, the BN pledged funds for Chinese-medium schools in Rasa and Bukit Beruntung, but still the bulk of Chinese Malaysians voted for Parti Keadilan Rakyat. Now, political parties are cracking their heads over just what it is Chinese Malaysians want.
Clearly, they are no longer interested in being wooed by piecemeal assistance. And noting the portentous trend of this community's votes, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin's analysis of the by-election results reveals that support for PKR was higher among Chinese Malaysian youths than among Malay or Indian Malaysian youths.
If these are the youths today, will our future be even more polarised? Khairy is pressing the government not to punish any group that didn't vote for the BN, and to continue doing the politically principled, "right" thing, which is to serve all regardless.
Of gifts and rights
Does the government have any idea where to begin with Chinese Malaysians? NEM and 1Malaysia are still broad concepts. And does the government realise how distant and irrelevant the NEM seems to the rural Chinese Malaysian shopkeeper in Hulu Selangor?
As a Chinese Malaysian voter myself, let me make some suggestions. You will find that most of them have little to do with race or affirmative action.
For the working class and rural segment, they would like the selection criteria for public scholarships to benefit the poor, and not straight-A students from rich families. They would like the Unified Examination Certificate from Chinese-medium secondary schools to be recognised for entry into public universities. They would like job opportunities in their constituencies to transform their quiet new villages. They would like a minimum wage so they don't have to hold at least two jobs. They would like a fair chance when applying for licences, without having to spend extra money on kopi duit.
Aren't most of these things what the other races would want, too?

Parliament has to be more than just a
rubber stamp
(Pic by brokenarts / sxc)
For more sophisticated voters, they want efficient and unbiased local councils so that Members of Parliament aren't distracted from lawmaking. They want a change in the way laws are made, by empowering Parliament with select committees instead of a Parliament that rubber-stamps executive-sponsored bills. Increasingly, more also want policies based on ethics and principles, like gender equality, religious freedom, and environmental stewardship.
And everyone wants a corrupt-free civil service, a clean judiciary, honest cops, and heck, public transportation that is efficient and punctual.
Few of these things have anything to do with race, but will in fact benefit all of society. And none of them require concessions, and therefore the public's gratitude, because frankly, these are the government's duties.
However, I am not confident that things can change anytime soon. Too much is at stake in the patronage system that keeps the wheels of government and politics turning. And not enough of the electorate, the majority of whom is rural, is ready to distinguish between favour and responsibility.

Malaysia Should Reform to Earn UN Rights Seat: HRW

From Malaysia Kini

Malaysia must urgently introduce reforms to justify its bid for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

It called on the government to abolish security laws that allow detention without trial, overhaul legislation limiting freedom of expression, protect migrant workers, and ratify international rights treaties.

“Malaysia needs to show a stronger commitment to human rights if it wants to be taken seriously at the Human Rights Council,” said Phil Robertson, the US-based group’s deputy Asia director.

“We don’t want to see a repeat of 2006, when Malaysia made a series of promises while seeking a seat, then broke them all,” he said in a statement.

Malaysia previously served on the UN council from 2006 to 2009, and announced plans last year to seek a place for the council’s 2010-2013 term in elections that take place on May 13.

Msia’s election likely

Human Rights Watch said Iran’s withdrawal last week left only four candidates for four Asian seats, making Malaysia’s election likely, but added that it still has to win the support of a majority of the UN General Assembly.

It called on Malaysia to issue a standing invitation to UN rights experts to visit the country, saying there were eight pending applications for visits, some dating back to 2002.

The watchdog called for the removal of the tough Internal Security Act (ISA), which dates from the colonial era and has been used to detain political opponents as well as suspected terrorists.

“On and off promises to tinker with the ISA are not enough, it’s time the law was scrapped,” Robertson said.

The government said late last year it would amend the ISA during the current parliamentary sitting but announced last month that the changes would be delayed.

In its annual report last year, leading Malaysian rights group Suaram criticised Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s performance since he took office in 2009, including the arrest of nearly 600 people in an anti-ISA protest.


Praises for Najib for honouring RM3 million pledge to SRJKC Rasa and Rasa voters for being pioneers of New Politics towards a New Malaysia of justice, freedom, excellence and prosperity while insisting on their rights as citizens and taxpayers

By Lim Kit Siang,

I commend the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak for honouring his RM3 million pledge to SRJKC Rasa for the construction of a new building for the 81-year-old dilapidated school which was made on Hulu Selangor by-election polling eve on Saturday.

I will not quibble that the RM3 million cheque was only handed over to the Chairman of the SRJKC Rasa Ng Tek Kui yesterday when it should have been on Monday as pledged.

Greater praises are in order to the voters of Rasa who have demonstrated that they are worthy pioneers of New Politics in Malaysia to usher in a New Malaysia of justice, freedom, excellence and prosperity for all, regardless of race, religion or region, while insisting on their rights to development as citizens and taxpayers.

In the March 8 “political tsunami” of the 2008 general elections, the successful PKR candidate Datuk Zainal Abidin secured 56.74% of the Chinese votes in Rasa.

Will the Rasa voters be influenced and intimidated by the Prime Minister’s RM3 million carrot-and-stick tactics, resulting in a lower voter turn-out in support of the Pakatan Rakyat candidate, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim as compared to 56.74% polled for Zainal two years ago?

There were three polling streams in Rasa and the results of the voter turn-out in the Hulu Selangor by-election on Sunday are as follows:

Rasa (Hulu Selangor by-election 2010)
Stream PR BN
Saluran 1 205 (77.36%) 60 votes
Saluran 2 301 (80.05%) 75
Saluran 3 319 (88.61%) 41

As a result, for the Rasa area, Zaid received a massive support of 82.42% of the Chinese voters as compared to 56.74% for Zainal in 2008 – a great tribute to the maturity and political consciousness of the voters of Rasah.

Rasa leads all areas in Hulu Selangor in producing the highest percentage turn-out in support of Pakatan Rakyat candidate, viz:
Rasa 82.42
Kalumpang 77.16
Hulu Yam Lama 71.1
Batang Kali 80.53
KKB 78.4
Kerling 67.9
Hulu Yam Timur 71.13

This is why at the announcement of the DAP/PR candidate for the Sibu parliamentary by-election in Sibu on Tuesday night, I commended the voters of Rasa as a national example for all Malaysian voters in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah as pioneers and leaders of New Politics in Malaysia to create a New Malaysia of justice, freedom, international competitiveness and prosperity for all Malaysians.

At about 1 pm yesterday, Deputy Education Ministers and MCA Youth leader Datuk Wee Ka Siong tweeted to my twitter page: “Hi YB, I m in PM’s ofis for the cheque presentation for Rasa Sch. Interested to join as witness?”

This led me to tweet back: “U think I am Superman can fly? Wld love 2b there if given advance notice. At present at ShahAlam over police killing 14yrold student. U want 2come here?”

When there was no reply, I added another tweet: “Since in PMO ask Najib come 2ShahAlam 2visit Norsiah aggrieved mother #Aminulrasyid n angry neighbours at heinous police killing of student. U r deputy education aren’t u?”

I did not get any tweet from Wee for the next 12 hours.

I had in fact together with the Penang Chief Minister and DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng on our return from Sibu rushed straight from the KLCC in Sepang to Section 11 Shah Alam to get first-hand account of the heinous police killing of 14-year-old Aminulrasyid and to express our condolence to the bereaved family and public outrage.

Elections at grassroots level

The Star

It makes sense that people be given the right to vote, including at local government level, to say that the democratic process has actually been exercised.

DEMOCRACY commonly refers to a political government carried out by means of elected representatives. In our country, the government is divided into three broad categories — federal, state and local governments. The earlier two are elected; the third is not.

Following the Indonesian confrontation in the early 60s, local council elections were suspended by the Emergency (Suspension of Local Government Elections) Regulations 1965. Later, the Local Government Act 1976 abolished local government elections altogether; local councillors were no longer elected but appointed by the state government.

Recently, the Penang government called for local government elections to be restored. The Selangor government echoed this call. If this materialises, local governments — which broadly consist of city councils, municipal councils and district councils — will move towards a more democratic process as elections will be held at the grassroots level.

While it may be argued that local government is a reflection of the mandate given by the people to the state government, it cannot be said that local government will always be the people’s choice if no direct elections have taken place.

It only makes sense — and should be seen to be done — that the people exercise the right to vote at any given level of government to say that the democratic process has actually been exercised.

Some have commented that local government elections will only lead to politicking and not raise the level of services, as well as being a waste of public funds.

The counter argument is that politicking and public spending are already part of the electoral process for the federal and state governments. They are necessary to instil public confidence in the democratic system practised in our country. So, why not restore what was originally in place before the 60s in today’s democratic process?

Some political scientists argue that local government elections lead to decentralisation of power and the opportunity to use local knowledge to meet local needs. Logically, this elected council would be better and more effective as what is best for the local community would be determined by the local community.

Reviving local elections will provide us with choices to decide the most efficient option. Who is efficient can then be decided by action and subsequent results from that action, not speculation. Unless and until we put into motion an election process to decide who runs the local governments, we cannot truly make comparisons to see who is doing or has done a good or bad job.

With better education, people today are more aware of the policies and actions carried out by the government of the day.

Elections bring out the best in dissemination of information when candidates battle out their manifestos at election campaigns. The people can weigh the information before deciding who can best serve their welfare.

This means there is indirect participation by the people in implementing policies that affect their daily life from urban and rural planning to approval of business licences, and so on.

Elections will also serve, to a certain degree, to reduce collusion, nepotism and corruption.

Accountability is perhaps the most important aspect of having local elections. The government of the day must account to the public for its actions. If power is given by the people, then the government answers to the people. But now, power to the local government is given by the state government. So, does this mean the local government answers first to the state government and then the state government answers to the people? It sounds ridiculous, but that seems to be the logical deduction.

For example, in the Highland Towers and Bukit Antarabangsa tragedies, who should be held responsible when the local government approved permits for construction of structures which led to the collapse, causing damage and personal injury (and even death)?

The local government or the state government? Accountability merely becomes a blame-pushing exercise. Moreover, the High­land Towers case has demonstrated that under section 95 (2) of the Street Drainage and Building Act 1974, the local governments enjoy much immunity from liabilities.

Of course, local governments are subject to judicial review by the Judiciary in the High Courts but this is limited to situations where an act of the government is ultra vires (outside of) its powers.

Furthermore, when cases can be properly heard and disposed of in the courts this is not only cumbersome but also time consuming.

Needless to say, if the local government has been inefficient or has acted to the detriment of the public, the people should have the choice to change it.

It is crucial that the people have more room to decide whom they want to exercise the power, and be responsible for the repercussions of the exercise of such power. This is only possible with elections.

Whoever pays, decides. Since we, the public, pay taxes — income tax to the federal government through the Inland Revenue Board, quit rent to the state government through the land office, assessment to the local government — we should get to decide who should be the ones spending our money.

That is why we get to elect the federal government and the state government.

There is no reason why the same should not apply to local government. Power lies not in who is the “favourite” of the people. Power is given by the people to the “favourite” of the majority of the people. The “favourite” of the people merely carries out the exercise of this power for the good of the people.

The writer is a young lawyer. Putik Lada, or pepper buds in Malay, captures the spirit and intention of this column — a platform for young lawyers to articulate their views and aspirations about the law, justice and a civil society. For more information about the young lawyers, visit

Tougher days ahead for BN, Pakatan

Something I wrote on the Hulu Selangor by-election for IPS.

Tougher Days Ahead for Ruling Coalition, Opposition
Analysis by Anil Netto

A closely contested by-election over the weekend, which saw victory for the ruling coalition, shows that the political terrain in multi-ethnic Malaysia remains divided and raises searching questions for the opposing sides.

The by-election for a seat in the Federal Parliament took place in an ethnically mixed area – Hulu Selangor, a district in central Selangor state that is fairly similar in composition to the overall population of the Malaysian peninsula.

Selangor is considered the richest state in this South-east Asian country, where 60 percent of the 28 million population consists of Muslims. Full story here.

“Joshua effect” spreads: Brave Chou Z Lam & Najib/Rosmah hypocrisy

By Nathaniel Tan

Let the “Joshua effect” spread!
I must salute both Joshua Wong and Chou Z Lam – the second producer to speak up against political censorship of television comment, quoting how his documentary on the Bakun dam was prevented from airing.
If you haven’t yet, I really hope you will read the full statements from both Wong and Chou.
I cannot tell you how inspiring it is to see Malaysians stand up and risk their livelihoods to uphold journalistic integrity.
I have often said that two simple things are almost enough to ensure more than half the battle against corruption and bad governance – a truly free media, and a truly independent judiciary.
If I had to choose one between the two, I reckon it’s almost easier to get an independent judiciary via a free media than the other way around.
If Malaysians from all backgrounds and industries were as brave as these two men, imagine the dirt we could reveal!
Also, you remember when Najib was giving his nice sounding (APCO written?) speeches in America?
In his speech titled “A New Vision for Malaysia”, the Prime Minister made clear that he was not opposed to dissent or opposition because he believed legitimate views deserved to be heard.
Yeah, well. Apparently, Joshua Wong tells us on that very same trip, while husband was spouting this bull, wife was:
Tan (Joshua’s boss) added further, “On Monday, the First Lady complained about your Penang roadshow – all the way from Washington… I hope you will change the topic.”
I later found that the First Lady had received complaints from other people, and she re-directed the complaint to the top management. Tan said the content of the complaint is more or less the same as the complaint received after the airing of the roadshow in Kuala Lumpur.
Such liars and hypocrites!!!
If Mr. Chou’s documentary cannot be aired, I really hope he will send the footage elsewhere – VCD’s for all of Sibu!!

Long wait for truth in submarine scandal expected

Carving out space, KTM-style

Pt 2 Genting Valley: Bob Steedman on irregularities?

Why are our children denied matriculation seats? Ask Indian Malaysian parents.

malay graduan Why are our children denied matriculation seats? Ask Indian Malaysian parents
Malay students who perform well in SPM are given matriculation seats, but not for top performing Indian Malaysian students. When asked, they are told to reapply before the 30th of this month.
Parents ask why the UMNO controlled Petronas and Bank Negara deny scholarships to Indian Malaysians with no reason given.
Parents have no where to go, because when it is Indian Malaysians being denied opportunities, no one speaks out, Not BN-UMNO-MIC, Not PAS-DAP-PKR no or NGO’s. This country will rather see Indian Malaysian potential be wasted.

matriculation 1 matriculation 2

Malaysia capai negara tua 2035 : Bagaimana nasib orang India tua?

Malaysia capai negara tua 2035 : Bagaimana nasib orang India tua?
kanniappan Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (UN) menjangkakan bilangan warga emas (orang tua) di Malaysia akan mencecah 15% pada tahun 2035.
Dalam masa 25 tahun lagi, mereka yang berusia dalam lingkungan 30-an hari ini akan bergelar orang tua. Banyak orang India dalam lingkungan usia 30-an hari ini berdepan dengan pelbagai masalah seperti tiada kad pengenalan (kerana tiada sijil kelahiran), pengangguran, masalah perumahan, gejala sosial dan sebagainya. Bayangkan nasib mereka apabila mereka sudah tua dan berpenyakit!
Kita pasti akan melihat lebih ramai orang India meminta sedekah dalam 25 tahun lagi. Hal ini demikian kerana pada hari ini mereka dinafikan pelbagai peluang oleh kerajaan UMNO. Tiada sebarang dasar yang dirangka setakat ini untuk mengubah nasib mereka. Yang ada hanya janji-janji pilihan raya dan cakap-cakap kosong! UMNO atau PR, jika menolong orang India akan kehilangan undi Melayu! Kehidupan dan nasib orang India terus menjadi perjudian politik parti-parti UMNO/BN dan PR.
Orang India yang tua pasti lebih miskin daripada orang tua Cina, Melayu, Iban, Kadazan, atau orang asli kerana golongan ini rata mempunyai tanah sendiri, tidak perlu membayar sewa dan mampu meneruskan kehidupan. Tetapi orang India yang miskin di bandar, pinggir bandar, dan kawasan pedalaman berdepan dengan masalah yang lebih rumit.
Siapakah yang akan mengubah nasib India? Satu Malaysia mampu melahirkan Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela atau Mother Teresa?
Nampaknya orang India tiada jalan keluar !
Human Rights Party Malaysia

malaysia capai negara tua

aminul Polis tembak remaja Melayu, KDN tubuh panel. Kalau remaja India, siapa peduli?

Kita bersimpati dengan nasib yang menimpa remaja Melayu, Aminulrasyid Amzah, 15, yang ditembak polis dalam satu insiden di Shah Alam. Takziah diucapkan kepada keluarga mangsa. Kenapa boleh terjadi demikian? Mengapa polis terus mempergunakan alasan yang sama setiap kali seseorang ditembak. Banyak kes India ditembak sebelum ini tidak mendapat perhatian walaupun diperjuangkan oleh Hindraf / HRP seperti yang baru-baru ini di Taiping, kes Kugan dan banyak lagi dalam masa 15 tahun yang lalu.
Nyawa rakyat Malaysia tidak bernilai di hadapan pistol polis. Polis dulu nampaknya lebih cekap, pada 1970-an polis berjaya menjejak penjenayah paling dijkehendaki ketika itu, Botak Chin. Botak Chin ditahan, dibawa ke mahkamah, didakwa akhirnya dijatuhi hukuman gantung pada 1981. Ampun daripada Yang DiPertuan Agong dipinta, akhirnya barulah dia digantung!
Kini, polis cari jalan mudah menyelesaikan kes jenayah – tembak saja, apabila suspek mati, polis buat cerita sendiri, orang yang mati tidak mampu mempertahankan diri! Dakwaan polis diperkukuh oleh sikap masyarakat sendiri yang melabelkan remaja India sebagai penjenayah dan bermasalah. Soalnya, kenapa remaja India menjadi penjenayah? Adakah itu cita-cita mereka? Berapa banyak dasar, program atau peruntukan kerajaan selama 50 tahun ini ditujukan kepada mereka yang benar-benar memerlukan?
Semua pihak yang berwajib termasuk UMNO dan Pakatan Rakyat hanya berdiam diri setakat ini. Hanya kerana kes terbaru ini melibatkan seorang remaja Melayu maka semua mahu turun padang! Inikah Satu Malaysia namanya? Bilalah mereka ini hendak berubah?
Sedarlah, semua manusia sama di sisi Tuhan Yang Maha Esa !
Human Rights Party Malaysia

Malaysian Police Shoot to Kill Policy- 2 Ethnic Indian youth shot dead-HINDRAF HRP

aminul 2 1

Yet another temple demolished by developer/ Land owner with UMNO led police protection

Copy of 
temple demolishment 1 Yet another temple demolished by developer/ Land owner with UMNO led police protection
But no protection for the rights of 2000+ Hindu devotees in Damai Perdana Cheras near Taman Desa Cheras as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
The Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple was demolished yesterday by the developer with no advance notice under the protection of BN-UMNO police and Rela during working hours when the majority of devotees were at work.
The developer did not attend DBKL mediated talks between the devotees, and the land owner but manages to get Rela and UMNO police protection to trample on the religious belief of Hindus, because they remain soft targets under this Malay-sian regime.

temple demolishment 1 temple demolishment 2

“Ethnic cleansing” of Tamil school into cabins

“Ethnic cleansing” of Tamil school into cabins
23-04-2010 - Ethnic cleansing 4A Tamil school located in a rubber plantation near Kuantan and was told to move out temporarily as the rubber estate was sold to make way for development.
The existing wooden Tamil school in the estate is now downgraded to a makeshift cabin. We have read about an overcrowded Tamil school, cabins serving as an additional classroom, the Tepi Sungai Tamil school is located in a JKR store, white ant infested Tamil school roof caving, in Seremban a school getting flooded as it was deliberately built in a low lying area.
But today we learn of a whole Tamil school in cabins. Cabins were originally used in the most remote parts of Canada by the loggers. But in UMNO Najib’s One Malaysia this is what happens to the Indians.
This is UMNO’s regressive policy and is only the tip of the iceberg, Hundreds of such schools are either in such cabins or in dilapidated cowshed like wooden structures.

 23-04-2010 - Ethnic cleansing 1 23-04-2010 - Ethnic cleansing 2 23-04-2010 - Ethnic cleansing 3

Neighbours’ anger over trigger-happy cops

Norsiah Mohamad (right) looks at a photo of her son Aminulrashid Amzah who was shot dead in a police operation in Shah Alam. With her is her daughter Norazura Amzah. — Bernama pic

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, April 28 — Neighbours who knew Aminulrasyid Amzah today could not contain their emotions as they expressed outrage over his shooting by police.

The Form Three student was driving his sister’s Proton Iswara and is alleged to have attempted to ram a police road-block in Section 11 here, before the fatal shooting occurred early Monday morning.

“This is not Manchester or Los Angeles, this is bloody Malaysia,” said Nadzimuddin Pip, who added the police should have been better trained to differentiate between criminals and boys.

The retiree, along with businessman Wan Rahim Tajuddin, whose house in Section 11 is exactly at the spot where the Proton Iswara eventually crashed, said they had initially assumed police has scored a major success against a criminal.

“His body was lying face down in the car and surrounded by police. We didn’t realise it was Aminul until the next day,” said Wan Rahim, who broke down as he spoke.

He said Aminul was a close friend of his son, and expressed regret they did not have a chance to see the dead teenager’s face.

The men were relating the incident to MPs Lim Guan Eng, Lim Kit Siang and Dr Lo’Lo’ Mohd Ghazali at the scene of the incident in Section 12 this afternoon.

Kit Siang earlier led a delegation of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers to Aminulrasyid’s home where they spoke and expressed their condolences to his mother Norsiah Mohamad, 60.

Norsiah said contrary to press reports, her son was only 14 and not 15-years-old.

She also lamented how he had been labelled a criminal.

“I don’t want this to be sensationalised but I want the good name of my son and family to be restored.”

Guan Eng said he was shocked when he first heard about the shooting of the youth and criticised the way the victim was made out to be a criminal.

According to his mother, there was no parang in the car as reported, only shoes.

“How can shoes magically turn into a parang.”

He described the incident as a “cruel act” which occurs in places like Israel and should not have happened here.

“We are not anti-police but are against those responsible.”

He repeated the call for an independent investigation to be carried out, so public confidence in the police can be restored.

Kit Siang called on both the Home Minister and Prime Minster to visit the home of the victim and experience the anguish of his family.

“The whole nation condemns this act.” he said.

He also called on Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to issue a guarantee to all Malaysians that this incident will not happen again.

Meanwhile the Selangor government today announced the family would receive RM10,000 from the state to help ease the burden of their loss.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is scheduled to visit the family this evening.

Shahrizat urges parents to be responsible for children’s whereabouts

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (picture) said today that parents

must monitor and be responsible over their children’s whereabouts, in light of the fatal shooting by police of 14-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah.

The Women, Family and Community Development Minister said parents must ensure their children are home at night to avoid harm from befalling them.

“I feel that we as parents must monitor our children. We cannot let go of our responsibility. We must monitor our children not only at night but also during the day because violence can happen at any moment.

“However when it occurs in the early hours then many questions will arise. Like why he was out so late, how can a 15 year old drive a car without a license, and what happened,” she told reporters during a press conference in Parliament here.

Aminulrasyid allegedly tried to ram into police officers in Section 11, Shah Alam, which caused them to shoot him in an apparent “self-defence”, in the incident which happened at 2am on Monday.

The young boy died about 100 metres away from his house.

Shahrizat said that parents must lead by example in ensuring their children are home at night.

“Parents must really not abdicate from their responsibilities. They must monitor their children. It is very difficult in these liberal times. Just take a ride in Kuala Lumpur at 2am when the city never sleeps. But there are implications to this lifestyle where violence will happen. Parents are losing control over their children and I know many parents who are not able to make their children stay at home.

“Kuala Lumpur doesn’t sleep and what worries us at the ministry is that we want our young to be back home. For instance if fathers and mothers are out at night then it is unattainable to ask our young to be home at night,” she said.

She added that Malaysians must also change the culture of frequenting “24 hour restaurants” at odd hours at night, and emphasised that everybody should stay at home.

“We must know the whereabouts of our children in the early hours of 2am and it is best that they are at home. But it has been a culture in our country, that morning has become night and night has become morning. If we drive around KL, the city never sleeps. There are many places that are open until 5am and also 24 hours restaurants,” she said.

She also urged the police to review the standard operating procedures when discharging their weapons which she said should only be used as the last resort.

“The use of firearms must follow the set procedures. The firing of weapons must also be the last resort because the risk and implication is high. Maybe it is time for the police to revise the standard operating procedure when using firearms,” she said.

Shahrizat will also request the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein place a welfare officer on the special panel probing the incident.

The Home Ministry recently announced that it was setting up a special panel to carry out a thorough probe into the shooting of Aminulrasyid.

Who will police our policemen?

NEW Public outrage is rightfully getting louder and more visible after the 2am death in a police shooting this week of 15-year-old schoolboy Aminulrasyid Amzah.

The home minister has quickly made himself prominent by ordering an internal inquiry to be headed by his deputy, supposedly an "open and transparent inquiry without any cover-up or bias". That's what he says. We hope he holds to it.
The public are likely to remember that ministers and others in high places loudly insisting they did no wrong were later found to have lied, as in the royal commission into the VK Lingam videos.

And the public will also remember that the commission recommended action be taken to bring those held responsible to trial. And that where the royal commission proposed, the Attorney-General disposed.

Then there is the continuing high-visibility inquest into the death of Teoh Beng Hock at the offices of a law-enforcement agency.

Going by such past experiences, home minister Hishamuddin Tun Hussein's inquiry will please few except fellow politicians and those concerned merely with upholding a favourable public image of the police force. Unless, of course, it uncovers the truth and firm action results.

So, too, with the Selangor police chief's promise of a "thorough, fair and open" investigation. But it is conducted by the police themselves, behind closed doors.
Another minister, Noh Omar, as deputy Selangor Umno leader, intends to bring the matter up to the Cabinet.

Scepticism over the government's ability to control its own agencies stems from the government's own inadequacies, shown in a variety of events in the past year.
An open question of leadership
Among those that come to mind are the home minister's supine response to a visible threat to public order in the cow's-head demonstration at a mosque in 2009; his feeble responses to events arising from the Allah controversy which were a clear threat to public order; and his near total lack of response to police action against critical publications that pose absolutely no threat to public order.

The Selangor police chief himself has been notorious for finding no wrong in policemen who harrass the public and politicians trying to exercise their god-given right to express themselves freely.

Such government actions clearly smack of seeking political advantage for the ruling administration. They do not provide confidence that the Home Ministry or the police force will uphold as their foremost consideration the interests of the public at large or those of the ordinary citizen.

Will any of these actions quell public suspicions about laxity in the police force, or the administration's lack of will, ability or muscle to bring the police force firmly under civilian control and fully responsible to the task of upholding justice? It remains an open question.

The boy who died this week, Aminulrasyid, had gone out late in his sister's car without the family's knowledge. Depending on whose account you choose to believe, he was shot in the back of the head by police, or struck by a bullet aimed at the car's tyres.

Aminul is only the latest in a string of ordinary people who have died at the hands of the police in suspicious circumstances.

And that is not even taking into account others who died in suspicious circumstances during police action against suspected criminal activity, or while in police custody.

And that is not even taking into account deaths of illegal immigrants or foreign workers.

The death of A Kugan in police custody in January and the sordid and ugly episode of how the authorities handled the family's demands to see his body at the hospital mortuary, the subsequent dispute over post-mortem findings and the horrifying pictures of injuries he suffered are mortifyingly vivid in the public mind.
An open question of accountability
So, too, the accounts of single mother Norizan Salleh in October last year of how she was shot by police five times while travelling in a car with a male friend and another couple.

Two decades ago, another schoolboy, Elmi Tahir, died in a police shooting while out with his girlfriend on his birthday in 1986. Police gave vivid accounts of a wild late-night car chase through the streets of Kuala Lumpur.

They said he died after he was struck by a bullet during the chase. His father revealed that Elmi had been shot at close-range, in the forehead above the right eyebrow. His girlfriend said a policeman standing outside the driver's door had shot Elmi in cold blood.

Few have been brought to account for such deaths.

A decade after Elmi, one policeman faced trial and was later convicted for the death of government doctor Tai Eng Teck in Bandar Tasik Selatan. Tai, like Elmi, died from a police bullet, while in a car, and while out with a woman.

Police officials usually have pat responses. The dead were criminals. They behaved in a suspicious manner. They tried to evade arrest. They resisted arrest. They drove away dangerously. Weapons were later found. Police acted by the rules. The law allows them to defend themselves. And so on and so forth.
The continuing lack of convincing explanations and convincing action by the government will only harden public opinion of the government and its agencies and their motives.

The crux of the matter is whether those in government are willing or able to police themselves. When politicians always seem willing to turn a blind eye to bending the rules when it suits them, what remaining value is there in the word of politicians and officials who promise to uphold law and order?

A sceptical public will only ask: whose law, and on whose orders?

Umno's 'hypocritical kakis' to be exposed

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim has embarked on a mission to expose Umno's “kaki botol”, “kaki judi” and “kaki perempuan” – alcoholics, gamblers and womanisers.
Speaking to reporters at his residence in Tropicana here, the former law minister said he is set to open the can of worms on the Umno “hypocrites”.

"You cannot call me kaki botol and spare the other Umno leaders. We will expose this hypocrisy," vowed the prominent lawyer-turned-politician.

Promising to reveal their names, Zaid, with a twinge of sarcasm, called his tit-for-tat the “Let's get to know our ministers better” campaign.

“They have exposed me and all my shortcomings,” he said, referring to Umno's campaign against him during the recent Hulu Selangor by-election, where he was branded an alcoholic and gambler.

Zaid said he could accept the attacks if it were true, but not when the facts are distorted.

“The issue is that (the allegations were) twisted, calling me all sorts of names to influence the voters. That is not right. It's okay, the election is over but there are more to come.

"Since the people know me very well now, I hope they will also get to know their leaders better such as which casinos they frequent, and who are their mistresses,” he said.

This is not revenge

However, the Pakatan Rakyat troubleshooter claimed that he was not seeking revenge.

His campaign, Zaid explained, is to let the people know who are the good leaders in order for them to make the correct decision when choosing them.

Hinting that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's name could also be on the list, he said: “I am willing to be exposed if the allegations (against him) are true. So I hope Umno ministers and the prime minister are willing to be exposed as well."

According to Zaid, his campaign would be on a step-by-step basis after collecting the necessary dirt on these leaders.

The former Umno leader also saw nothing wrong in naming the “kakis”.

"What is wrong in naming them if we have proof, if we have information. That is the whole idea of knowing your leaders.

"What's there to be ashamed of? If (International Trade and Industry Minister) Mustapha Mohamed has a lot of shares in his wife's name, we will have to show-lah. But that is just an example," he smiled.

Responding to a question, Zaid denied that he would be stooping to the level of his opponents with this shame campaign.

"No, no, no. It is okay to know your leaders, but it is not okay to make false accusations. When you say their level, what level?

"When they exposed me it's okay, What's not okay, is the falsehood and the lies. For example (it was alleged that) I am a 'kaki judi'. I just owned one or two race horses in my lifetime. I was never a gambler, you can ask anybody.

"I don't go to casinos like them. But they portray me (like I do) and that is hard. If I am really a gambler, you should expose me. I cannot be a good leader if I am a gambler. I cannot be a good minister," he said.

"So it is not stooping to their level, that's not what I meant. We don't want to slander people, but the facts about your leaders, you must know, otherwise it's not a free country," he said.

Zaid also lashed out at former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had also lambasted the PKR leader's moral shortcomings in the run-up to the election.

When told that Mahathir had denied consuming alcohol, Zaid laughed. "Of course, he is a hypocrite, I am not. That is the difference. What (else) did you expect him to say?"

Zaid, who admitted to drinking in the past, and has claimed to have since repented, said that he did not consume anything more than what Mahathir and other Umno leaders did.

In Sunday's by-election, Zaid was defeated by Barisan Nasional's P Kamalanathan by a 1,725-vote majority.

PKR's campaign, a comedy of errors

By Zefry Dahalan - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR was quick to accuse Barisan Nasional of corruption when its candidate Zaid Ibrahim was defeated in the Hulu Selangor by-election.

However, sources told FMT that PKR itself was in disarray throughout the seven-day campaign period.

The sources said while PAS and DAP were in full throttle, PKR, which governs Selangor, had failed to mobilise its people.

As the host, PKR was expected to lead the assault in Hulu Selangor.

“But they (PKR leaders) were nowhere to be seen,” a vexed Pakatan Rakyat grassroots leader from Johor said on condition that FMT does not name him.

"Our team was completely lost; we are not locals and we do not know the housing areas and villages there. Nobody from PKR Selangor helped us out,” he said.

“Even on the fourth day of our door-to-door campaign, we did not receive any pamphlets, or the candidate's biodata and manifesto. Is this how you run a campaign?” he asked.

To make matters worse, he said there were those linked to the Malay pressure group Perkasa which was roped in to help out in the campaign.

Perkasa chairman Ibrahim Ali was campaigning for BN candidate P Kamalanathan instead.

No food and shelter

Another outstation Pakatan leader complained that they (the campaigners) had to look for their own food and lodging and had to use their money for this.

According to him, all the divisions in his state contributed money to rent three houses, and for food and election campaign work.

"During our stay in Hulu Selangor, nobody from the state PKR assisted us in terms of logistics. We took money out of our own pockets because we believed in the struggle,” he said.

The disappointed leader said the 100 volunteers from his state worked tirelessly to ensure a victory for Zaid.

“We took annual leave, left our jobs and families behind to help PKR. The least PKR Selangor could have done is put a roof over our heads and food on the table.

“Why couldn't PKR Selangor with all its resources, state assemblymen and MPs organise an effective campaign?

“The party has been governing the state for two years, and it has failed to carry out such a simple task,” he added.

Apart from this, there were also reports of how PKR leaders only swung into action whenever their chief Anwar Ibrahim comes around.

In one particular housing estate, a source said that PKR Selangor was not involved in the campaigning work there since day one.

“But on the night before polling day, suddenly a PKR Selangor divison took over the ceramah from PAS. It was running about here and there looking busy.

"When Anwar came (for the ceramah), he was given the impression that his PKR boys have been doing all the work,” added the source.

Why did Indian votes swing?

The Sunday by-election also witnessed a swing in Indian support for BN.

In Bukit Beruntung, a local Indian village head, who declined to be named, also blamed PKR Selangor and the state government for this.

He claimed that state exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar promised funds for a temple in the village during the campaign period.

“Until 7pm on the eve of polling day, the money did not come. However, MIC handed RM10,000 a few hours later.

“If the exco (Jayakumar) had given us the money earlier, I would have tried my best to convince the 213 voters in my area to support PKR. But under these circumstances, I could not do anything,” he said.

The village head, who claimed to be a staunch PKR supporter, said the opposition party lost Indian votes because the state government dragged its feet in providing land titles for Tamil schools in the area.

"The state should have done it at least a year ago. It did provide land title for a Tamil school during the campaign period but it was too late,” he said.

He said another reason was that Pakatan Indian leaders, including the MPs and state assemblymen, hardly did any work on the ground.

“They just showed their faces whenever Anwar came,” he said.

Meanwhile, a PKR leader from Perak told FMT that the entire campaign was riddled with holes and poorly organised, especially in the Malay-majority Felda areas.

“Most of the Pakatan leaders were just interested in being speakers at the ceramah instead of helping on the ground.

“In a battlefield, it's important that the soldiers have a leader. But when the leaders go missing, what can the soldiers do?” he asked.


1. Barisan Nasional won the by-election by a majority of 1,725. It is a large constituency of 63,701. Although the BN garnered 24,997 votes, the opposition Pakatan managed to get 23,272 votes. Obviously Pakatan is still a force to reckon with.

2. Foreign observers and their local counterparts commenting on the results of the 2008 General Election asserted that the rejection of the BN was due to the electorate rejecting race-based parties i.e. rejection of racial politics. I had rejected this assumption. It was wishful thinking.

3. I believed that it was disenchantment with the leadership of the Prime Minister of that time that caused the BN to show such poor results. Malaysians still put race before even national interest.

4. The Hulu Selangor by-election has proven that racial politics is still very much alive. It is obvious that while the Malays and Indians had returned to support the BN, the Chinese had supported the opposition.

5. I believe the Government knows why the Chinese fail to support BN despite the steps taken to downgrade the New Economic Policy and other policies deemed to be discriminatory towards the Chinese.

6. On the other hand quite a substantial number of Malays also supported Pakatan.

7. I am sure BN will study the results thoroughly. The result of the 13th General Election less than two years away will depend on the correct analysis and the corrective actions carried out before then.