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Monday, May 3, 2010

Oil 'sell-out': All avoiding answers says Lim

By FMT Staff

PETALING JAYA: The statements by Wisma Putra, Petronas, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi regarding the oil “sell-out” to Brunei all have one common purpose – to avoid answering two important questions, said DAP leader Lim Kit Siang.

The two questions are:

When and why Malaysia ceded away Malaysian sovereignty to two oil and gas-rich offshore areas in South China Sea, namely Block L and Block M, in favour of Brunei? and When did Brunei surrender its territorial claim of sovereignty to Limbang and recognise full Malaysian sovereignty instead? Lim said although Wisma Putra, Najib and Abdullah knew fully well that their statements would be scrutinised for answers to these two most pertinent questions, all their verbiage have one common thrust: to avoid answering them.

He added that this could only raise suspicions to crisis point.

He urged Najib to release a full chronological order of the events resulting in the ceding of Malaysian sovereignty to Blocks L and M to Brunei and the position of Brunei's territorial claim to Limbang.

Lim said the people also want to know whether and if so when, Brunei had surrendered its claim of sovereignty to Limbang.

White paper

Mahathir had estimated that the worth of oil and gas rights for the two blocks are RM320 billion and this, according to Lim, was no paltry sum for any prime minister or government to trifle with to avoid full public accountability.

In his blog, Lim pointed out that as prime minister for 22 years, Mahathir's statement that blocks L and M had been claimed by Malaysia based on historical facts and that based on Malaysia's sovereignty, Petronas had entered into a production sharing contract with Murphy Oil to start drilling to produce oil estimated at one million barrels, cannot be ignored.

“Was Mahathir misinformed when he blogged last week that Abdullah had negotiated with the Sultan of Brunei to get back Limbang in Sarawak in return for the surrender of the two blocks to Brunei?

“Had Brunei beaten Malaysia in the diplomatic game in securing the sovereignty for the two blocks without surrendering its sovereignty claim to Limbang?” he asked.

Lim said Najib should issue a White Paper to shed full light on this matter without any further delay.

“The battle of prime ministers over Malaysia’s sovereignty to Blocks L and M and to Limbang is not doing the Najib administration and Abdullah’s reputation any good,” he said.

Ezam, Palanivel deny senatorship is a compensation

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Anwar Ibrahim strongman Ezam Mohd Noor and MIC deputy president and veteran leader G Palanivel have denied that their appointments as senators were a form of reward.

Both were sworn in as senators in Dewan Negara today.

Speaking to reporters after the swearing-in ceremony, Palanivel rubbished claims that his appointment was a "compensation" for giving way to newly-elected MP P Kamalanathan to contest in the recent Hulu Selangor by-election on April 25.

Palanivel, who was a four-term MP in Hulu Selangor until PKR wrested the seat in March 2008, was initially positioned by MIC president S Samy Vellu to make a comeback by contesting in the constituency following Zainal Abidin Ahmad’s death on March 25.

However, a tussle between Umno and MIC eventually led to Umno-approved Kamalanathan.

Palanivel described his appointment as a "continuing role" for him to be effective in politics.

When asked whether this would pave the way for him to be in the Cabinet, he merely described it as "speculation” and declined to comment further.

On his senator's post, he said: “I was a bit confused initially on whether to accept the senatorship.

"I was thinking of many things, then the party president (Samy Vellu) told me to accept it so I followed his directives."

He refused to comment on rumours that MIC is seeking a second Cabinet post after swinging the Indian votes towards BN in the Hulu Selangor by-election.

Senator post not a reward

Meanwhile, Ezam, the former PKR Youth chief who is now back in Umno fold, said he was never a position-oriented person.

"I don't go for any positions because I am speaking based on my principles.

“Even when I was an opposition leader, I only contested once in 1999 (under Keadilan ticket). I could not contest in 2004 because I revealed the corruption documents (on Umno)," said Ezam after his appointment as senator.

Claiming to have received many offers by various political parties to contest in "safe seats" in the 2008 general election, Ezam said he had to reject them as he wanted to remain in Gerak, an anti-corruption non-governmental organisation.

"I believe corruption is the main enemy of the people. I am not someone who would do something for position. For me, this position is more than enough to work even more effectively," he said.

On his stand against Official Secrets Act (OSA) and Internal Security Act (ISA) -- which put him behind bars during his “reformasi” days -- Ezam said his principles will not change with his newfound clout.

"People say it (the senatorship) is a reward, but I remind them that I have put a lot in this struggle as I am the only Malaysian who has gone to jail for fighting against corruption.

"It is not a reward... as I am still much committed to reform. I have not backed down on my principles and my beliefs in (my fight against) OSA and ISA," he said.

In an immediate reaction, PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar sarcastically said he sympathised his friends in Umno who had struggled for a long time but were not chosen to be senators.

"But I want to tell them the method to get is to lawan taukeh (go against your boss). So you have to fight against your party first. That way you could become a senator," he said, in an apparent reference to a fallout Ezam had with Anwar.

Meanwhile, PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali declined to refused to comment on the matter.

Samy-Palanivel war imminent

By M Kumaran - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC is sitting on a time bomb that could explode in a matter of days.

There is talk that a full-scale war is shaping up between party president S Samy Vellu and deputy president G Palanivel, who takes his oath as senator today.

Party sources said the first shots could be fired soon after Samy Vellu returns from a trip to India. He is due back tomorrow.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak decided against fielding Palanivel in the recently concluded Hulu Selangor by-election although he was widely speculated to be the Barisan Nasional candidate when the seat fell vacant with the death of Zainal Abidin Ahmad of PKR.

As a trade-off, BN offered Palanivel a senatorship and a deputy minister’s post so that he could eventually take over the reins of the party, which is struggling to win back the support of the Indian community.

MIC is the largest Indian-based political party in the country, claiming a membership of 630,000.

A party insider said: "Samy Vellu is not happy with Palanivel getting the senatorship. He was not even informed about it. He got to know about it through aides and other sources.

“He got the confirmation only when Palanivel sent him a SMS thanking him for the Dewan Negara seat. Samy Vellu knows Palanivel's elevation as a senator is just one of the many steps the BN leadership is taking to ensure that he resign as president.”

"One of the first things we expect him to do once he gets back is to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Palanivel in an attempt to throw a spanner in the works of the BN leadership, which wants a smooth transition of power in the party.

"He is not keen on letting Palanivel take the helm.”

The source said Samy Vellu would prefer party vice president and Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam since they belonged to the same caste.

He said talk was rife that the party’s disciplinary board would haul up Palanivel and charge him with sabotaging the Hulu Selangor by-election.

Getting ready for battle.

Several sources said Samy Vellu had laid the groundwork for killing off Palanivel's political career and had directed several party leaders to gather evidence of his alleged wrongdoings during the Hulu Selangor polls.

Sources also said that Palanivel was getting ready for battle.

However, there is speculation among grassroots leaders that Palanivel would not take on Samy Vellu directly, but would instead let his lieutenants draw first blood.

Sources said several divisional leaders and central working committee (CWC) members, mainly from Selangor, would hold a press conference this week to call on Samy Vellu to step down to allow Palanivel to take over.

"This group wants Samy Vellu to leave and allow Palanivel to become acting president,” a source said.

“The deputy president’s slot would be filled by either S K Devamany (MIC veep and deputy minister in the prime minister's department) or Dr Subramaniam.

"Palanivel, according to their plan, has about two years to consolidate his position as president until the party polls in 2012. By then, he would be able to deal with any contender for the presidency.

“What is surprising is the number of CWC members silently campaigning and egging on Palanivel to go for the kill. They were once Samy Vellu diehards. He was the one who brought them into the party and gave them positions."

Unless something drastic happens earlier, the face-off between the two MIC heavyweights is expected to come to a boil at the Selangor MIC annual general meeting slated for this weekend. Palanivel is the Selangor MIC chief.

On another front, party insiders said Umno was favourable to "anyone except Samy Vellu" and that several Umno leaders had told Najib what they wanted him out of MIC.

The insiders claimed that Umno leaders were not keen on Samy Vellu being rewarded with the title of “Tun” in return for his stepping down. They said a “Tan Sri” would be sufficient.

“The Umno leaders feel that he was one of the major causes for the BN’s loss of Indian support,” said an insider. “They also feel that if he is awarded a Tunship, then the opposition would use it as campaign material.”

FMT reported recently that the Samy Vellu-Najib deal would also see the MIC president being made an ambassador-at-large and that there would be several other sweeteners.

Umno leaders are also said to be growing tired with BN component parties that drag their feet in initiating reforms and have impressed upon Najib that “if they don't want to do it, then BN should do it for them.”

Ezam, Palanivel sworn in as senators

The new senators meet the press. (Left to right) Noriah, Abdul Rahim, Palanivel and Ezam
By Adib Zalkapli - Free Malaysia Today
 
KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — Former PKR Youth chief Ezam Mohd Noor was sworn in as a senator today, less than two years after rejoining Umno.
Ezam quit PKR in 2007 and joined Umno about a year later after Election 2008.
Since joining Umno, Ezam has been actively speaking up against his former boss Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during elections campaign.
Ezam was a political secretary to Anwar when the de facto PKR leader was finance minister in the late 1990s.
He was arrested under the ISA in 2001 for his involvement in the “reformasi” movement and for fighting for Anwar’s release after the former deputy prime minister was jailed for corruption and sodomy.
At an Umno-organised rally recently, Ezam had apologised to the public for his criticisms against the government while in PKR.
His appointment as senator has been seen as a reward for his continued campaign against Anwar.
Also sworn in today was MIC deputy president, Datuk G. Palanivel, who was dropped as Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate at the Hulu Selangor by-election last month.
Palanivel was the MP for the semi-rural constituency from 1990 until his defeat in Election 2008.
Prior to losing the seat, he was the deputy minister for women, family and community development.
Also made senators today were Rahim & Co executive chairman, Datuk Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman, and Pagoh Wanita Umno chief, Noriah Mahat.

Federal Court delays hearing controversial conversion case

By Debra Chong - Free Malaysia Today

PUTRAJAYA, May 3 — The Federal Court here today put off hearing a case on the controversial conversion of two young children to Islam, after the father challenged the practicality of proceedings in the absence of the mother, who has left Malaysia.
A five-man panel of judges, led by Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Azmi, made the decision this morning in the bitter tussle between S. Shamala and her estranged Indian-Muslim husband, Dr Muhammad Ridzwan Mogarajah, after he objected to the hearing.
His objection came after noting an outstanding High Court order for her to return their two children, Saktiwaran and Theivaswaran, now aged 11 and nine respectively, to Malaysia.
“I think the issues are not so easy. It’s quite complicated. We would like to read through all the cases and understand all laws properly,” Zaki said in open court.
He added that he would deliver a decision on the preliminary objection after a careful study of the points raised, in about two weeks.

Press freedom at all time low, says global index

By FMT Staff
PETALING JAYA: The level of press freedom in Malaysia has eroded and this reality is supported by the freedom of press index released by international organisation Reporters Without Borders.
According to the index,  freedom of press in Malaysia in 2009 was at its all time lowest. Malaysia had dropped to 39.02 points compared with 44.25 in previous year.

The drop is attributed to several measures by the federal government to suppress media voice.

This view was expressed by The Sun’s political editor Zainon Ahmad at a forum -- "Is It Necessary to Regulate the Print Media in Malaysia" -- organised by the National Union of Journalists yesterday.

In his talk, Zainon suggested the setting of a press council to supervise the media without interference by the ruling government.

Zainon said he had sent a proposal paper to former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when he was in office but received no reply. 

According to Zainon, a press council’s role would be to oversee matters such as freedom of information dissemination, improving the quality of journalists and ensuring ethical reporting as practised in developed countries.

“The press council is not only meant to set out rules and policies but includes training of journalists about ethics and proper reporting practices,” he said.

The same forum also addressed the obstruction faced by the media when reporting certain cases.

No changes in 52 years

Zainon said the tightening of media leash was often attributed to the government’s concern over inter-racial harmony.

“We must not disturb or touch on sensitivities and civil harmony... but this is only an excuse. It has resulted in many unsolved issues although it's been 52 years since independence," Zainon said.

UiTM emeritus professor of law Shad Saleem Faruqi, meanwhile, said the 52 years had not seen any change or amendment to the regulations governing press freedom.

He said although in principle the federal constitution allowed individuals to challenge a minister in court, it was almost next to impossible to do so in this country.

Citing the case of the Aliran publication, he said, the tabloid was not issued a permit to publish in Bahasa Melayu by then home minister Sanusi Junid.

“Aliran took the case to court on Sept 2, 1987, but the court favoured the ruling government.

“In the entire 52 years of independence, there has not been a single law related to the media that has changed,” he said.  

Another panellist at the forum, Harakahdaily chief editor Zulkifli Sulong noted that although the federal constitution ensured individuals the right to receiving information, views and suggestions, the existence of other associated laws such as the Sedition Act and Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA)  hampered the media's work.

Citing Harakah’s own experience in 2000, he said the home ministry had dragged him as chief editor to court under the Sedition Act.

“It happened on Jan 12, 2000, because Harakah had in 1999 hit 400,000 copies print-run per issue. It had become the most popular publication in Malaysia, “ he said, adding that since then it had not been a quiet walk for Harakah.

Noting that the situation had not changed, he said the most recent incident involved senior ntv7 journalist Joshua Chong and TV2 Mandarin programme producer.

Must be guided by the constitution


Earlier, Dewan Negara president Abu Zahar Ujang, who launched the forum, said the government should give the Malaysian press enough latitude to do its job.

Bernama reported that he, however, stressed that this freedom (to report and publish) must be guided by the constitution.

“To me, I always believe that freedom must be guided by responsibility.  Responsibility to the country and the people in maintaining peace and harmony.

"The government should be quite open to allow the media to air their views, be fair and reasonable to the press," he said.

‘I'm not fighting for deputy presidency’

By Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim has refuted reports of him eyeing the deputy presidency position in the party, saying that it is completely untrue.
Reiterating his stand, Zaid said his sole political mission is to help strengthen Pakatan Rakyat by shaping and communicating its policies in a way that will garner more support among the people.

“I have no interest in PKR's internal affairs and who is holding what post,” he wrote in his latest blog posting.

“But I think everyone should be concerned if there is any turbulence within PKR that becomes a threat to Pakatan,” he added.

According to an earlier report on another news portal, a party insider claimed that Zaid was tipped to run against the PKR vice-president Azmin Ali for the role of deputy presidency in the December party polls.

The party insider also alleged that both Azmin and PKR strategist Tian Chua were engaged in a tug-of-war to get Zaid on their camp in order to vanquish the other side and push their agenda later this year.

Responding to the claims, Zaid said: “I will not be contesting for any position within PKR but I am fully prepared to help the party for as long as my assistance is required.”

“Having said that, I also believe that any such matters within PKR should be handled by the party's leaders and should not become my personal concern.”

Meanwhile Azmin has admitted that there are differences among individuals within PKR, but denied there were camps or factions within the party.

Zaid was recently defeated in the Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election. His defeat sparked off talks that he was allegedly sabotaged by his own party people who feared that he be closer to become party leader Anwar Ibrahim's heir in leading the party.

Press freedom at all time low, says global index

By FMT Staff
PETALING JAYA: The level of press freedom in Malaysia has eroded and this reality is supported by the freedom of press index released by international organisation Reporters Without Borders.
According to the index,  freedom of press in Malaysia in 2009 was at its all time lowest. Malaysia had dropped to 39.02 points compared with 44.25 in previous year.

The drop is attributed to several measures by the federal government to suppress media voice.

This view was expressed by The Sun’s political editor Zainon Ahmad at a forum -- "Is It Necessary to Regulate the Print Media in Malaysia" -- organised by the National Union of Journalists yesterday.

In his talk, Zainon suggested the setting of a press council to supervise the media without interference by the ruling government.

Zainon said he had sent a proposal paper to former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when he was in office but received no reply. 

According to Zainon, a press council’s role would be to oversee matters such as freedom of information dissemination, improving the quality of journalists and ensuring ethical reporting as practised in developed countries.

“The press council is not only meant to set out rules and policies but includes training of journalists about ethics and proper reporting practices,” he said.

The same forum also addressed the obstruction faced by the media when reporting certain cases.

No changes in 52 years

Zainon said the tightening of media leash was often attributed to the government’s concern over inter-racial harmony.

“We must not disturb or touch on sensitivities and civil harmony... but this is only an excuse. It has resulted in many unsolved issues although it's been 52 years since independence," Zainon said.

UiTM emeritus professor of law Shad Saleem Faruqi, meanwhile, said the 52 years had not seen any change or amendment to the regulations governing press freedom.

He said although in principle the federal constitution allowed individuals to challenge a minister in court, it was almost next to impossible to do so in this country.

Citing the case of the Aliran publication, he said, the tabloid was not issued a permit to publish in Bahasa Melayu by then home minister Sanusi Junid.

“Aliran took the case to court on Sept 2, 1987, but the court favoured the ruling government.

“In the entire 52 years of independence, there has not been a single law related to the media that has changed,” he said.  

Another panellist at the forum, Harakahdaily chief editor Zulkifli Sulong noted that although the federal constitution ensured individuals the right to receiving information, views and suggestions, the existence of other associated laws such as the Sedition Act and Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA)  hampered the media's work.

Citing Harakah’s own experience in 2000, he said the home ministry had dragged him as chief editor to court under the Sedition Act.

“It happened on Jan 12, 2000, because Harakah had in 1999 hit 400,000 copies print-run per issue. It had become the most popular publication in Malaysia, “ he said, adding that since then it had not been a quiet walk for Harakah.

Noting that the situation had not changed, he said the most recent incident involved senior ntv7 journalist Joshua Chong and TV2 Mandarin programme producer.

Must be guided by the constitution


Earlier, Dewan Negara president Abu Zahar Ujang, who launched the forum, said the government should give the Malaysian press enough latitude to do its job.

Bernama reported that he, however, stressed that this freedom (to report and publish) must be guided by the constitution.

“To me, I always believe that freedom must be guided by responsibility.  Responsibility to the country and the people in maintaining peace and harmony.

"The government should be quite open to allow the media to air their views, be fair and reasonable to the press," he said.

Selangor to move motion on Freedom of Information Act

By FMT Staff - Free Malaysia Today

SHAH ALAM: In support of press freedom, the Selangor government will re-categorise several state documents which are now under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
In conjunction with the world press freedom day today, Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim said the process of reclassification of certain documents had already begun as provided for under the “authority of the Menteri Besar”.
This will enable the rakyat to access actual information on issues handled by the state government.
“The state government will move a motion for the Freedom of Information Act in support of media freedom.
“Up till now some documents classified under the OSA have been re-categorised using the powers allocated to the Menteri Besar to ensure the rakyat have access to actual information on several issues handled by the Selangor government,” he said in a statement.
May 3, is celebrated worldwide as international press freedom day.
International organisation, Reporters Without Borders, has in their recent report noted that press freedom in Malaysia had deteriorated to 39.50 as compared to 44.25 previously. (0.00 points is ranked the best and 100 worst). Malaysia is two points ahead of Zimbabwe and Nigeria.
“Here in Malaysia, we are aware of the extreme grip that the federal government has on the media.. the latest case being NTV7 producer Joshua Chong who was forced to resign.
“We also know that there are some media who are being pressured and journalists who have been detained without trial.
‘Worse still are documents relating to corruption which have been stamped Official Secrets and as such cannot be processed, “ he said.
Khalid added that such practices can only be changed through political will which the state government under the Pakatan rule will ensure.
“The Selangor government believes that a free media will be able to aid the government to improve and support its move towards a fair, transparent and responsible administration and management of the state,” Khalid said.

Flashmob for press freedom

Be fair to police, says Hishammuddin - Malaysiakini

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein wants the people to be fair and not have negative perception of the police force.

NONEHe said the death of Aminulrasyid Amzah, 14, on Monday should not have been extensively discussed by the public and it had created prejudice towards the police.

"An independent panel to monitor police investigation will be formed. We symphatise with what happened and want justice to take its course," he was reported by Bernama as saying in Raub, Pahang, today.

Hishammuddin (right) urged all quarters to wait for the outcome of the investigation and to stop speculating or politicising the issue.

He criticised some quarters for never once having issued statements in favour of the police.

"People are angry when a member of public is shot but the same can't be said when police are shot. They have no sympathy at all. Is there a difference between the life of the public and police officer?"

NONEAminulrasyid (left) was shot dead in the early hours of Monday, April 29, after allegedly acting 'suspiciously' and refusing to abide by police orders to stop.

Senior police officers initially said the teenager was shot after it looked like he was trying to reverse into members of the patrol unit.

This, however, has been denied by a witness - Aminulrasyid's neighbour Zafrullah Ahmad Zainal Abidin - who said the car the teenager was driving did not move after it was shot at and crashed into a tree 100 metres from his house.

Aminulrasyid's friend, who was with him at the time of the incident but managed to escape on foot, later that day lodged a police report.

Primary witness recalled

He was interviewed the following Wednesday by police for about three hours in connection with the case.

The same witness was today recalled by the police to record his statement for the second time.

Also called was the deceased's sister - Tuty Shaninza Anom Amzah - for her statement to be recorded at the Selangor police headquarters in Section 9, Shah Alam, at 11.30am.

Confirming this today was the first witness' lawyer, Farhana Abdul Halim, who accompanied him and two other lawyers, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and N Surendran.

NONELast Wednesday, the police had taken the statement of Aminulrasyid's mother - Norsiah Mohamad (right) - and his sister - Norazura Amzah - as well as the latter's husband Muzaffar Mahali.

It was reported yesterday that attorney-general Abdul Ghani Patail had returned the investigation papers on the April 29 incident to the police for further investigations.

Meanwhile, New Straits Times reported sources saying that almost 20 shots were fired at the Proton Iswara Aminulrasyid was driving, though only one hit the teenager.

A source familiar with the case said most of the shots hit the bottom part of the car and the car tyres, said the report.

“Forensic personnel are believed to have recovered more than 10 bullet casings from various locations during the 6km chase from Section 7 to Section 11 in Shah Alam,” said NST.

NONEIt also said that the Iswara was not involved or related to any criminal case.

“There was one corporal and one auxiliary police constable in each of the two mobile patrol vehicles that pursued Aminulrasyid in the chase.”

Witnesses claimed that the tyres were already flat during the chase and there were sparks from the left rim, the report said further.

It is understood that an official forensic report will be released tomorrow.

'A tale of two protests' - Malaysiakini

A little over a week ago, on Saturday, April 24, 2010, a group of concerned Malaysians living in London came together outside the Malaysian Tourism Office in Trafalgar Square to protest peacefully against Malaysia's Internal Security Act (ISA) and the rampant social injustices being perpetuated by the current ruling regime.
azlanThis marked the beginning of a series of monthly demonstrations planned to remind the Malaysian government and the international community of Malaysia's appalling human rights record, and the need for Malaysia to take its human rights obligations and responsibilities seriously.
This gathering arose out of a new sense of urgency and purpose as Malaysia appears to be approaching a tipping point. The deaths and abuse in police custody, cover-ups, brazen corruption and impunity with which the ISA is used to detain and silence anyone who challenges the status quo have awoken the rakyat to the fact that at some point we have to say enough is enough.
Many of Malaysia's overseas diaspora continue to share a concern and passion for Malaysian affairs, despite living thousands of miles away. For many of us, the desire to return home someday is a common thread, yet many of us know that we would find many things about the way Malaysian society and government is currently run difficult to swallow.

Abroad, we take many basic civil liberties and human rights for granted. Twelve thousand miles away we are free to think what we want to think, free to say what we want to say (by and large), free to move, meet and associate, free to be whoever we want to be.
Twelve thousand miles away, in the main, we are protected from arbitrary arrest and detention, protected against torture, cruel, humiliating or degrading punishment, and have the right to recourse in an open and independent court of law in case of any alleged wrongdoing. We are the lucky ones.
Twelve thousand miles the other way, 28 million other fellow Malaysian often appear to have no such rights, or so the state will tell them.

hindraf london demo 060208 waythamoorthyOne thing that amused the UK chapter of the Abolish ISA Movement in the lead up to the picket was the stark contrast in the way public demonstrations are handled in the UK compared to Malaysia. The way the Malaysian police handled the May day anti-GST protest in KL yesterday and the handling of the 40,000 strong anti-ISA demonstration in August 2009 are further worrying illustrations.
Two weeks before the picket, we rang the London Metropolitan Police to notify them of our intentions. We received a polite answer from the on duty officer informing us of the correct contact person to notify. A day later we received an efficient and polite email from an events co-ordinator, asking for more information on the purpose of the picket and what our requirements would be in terms of crowd size, location and props.
Each step of the way we half anticipated questioning and potential opposition to our plans. Instead we received only polite queries and efficiency. 'Can we picket against Malaysia's cruel Internal Security Act outside the Malaysian Tourism Office?' we asked. 'Yes, of course that's fine,' we were told.
We were sent written instructions on how to manage the crowd and standard operating procedures that needed to be followed. 'We'll erect a nice barrier for you outside the Malaysian Tourism Office so that you'll have enough space,' came the polite reply when we said how many people we were anticipating. We nearly fell off our chairs.
NONEOf course it's ok to demonstrate? We'll erect a nice barrier for you so you'll have enough space?
Where was the rude obstructive behaviour we would come to expect if we were organising a picket such as this in KL? Where were the red tape and legislation? Where were the waterguns? Where was the teargas? Where were the intimidating FRU marching towards us with their menacing batons and shields?
Instead we got a friendly bobby called Ian who stopped by to check that everything was going ok. He asked us questions about what we were demonstrating against and even asked if he could have an information leaflet. Then he wished us well and went on his way.
NONEWhen was the last time we remember a member of the Police Diraja Malaysia behaving like that at an abolish ISA rally? And yet they should, so why don't they? And why as a society have we come to accept bullying and intimidating behaviour as the norm so much so that we feel a sense of awe when things are done in a fair and proper manner?

What it brought home to us though is that freedom of speech and the right to peaceful demonstration is a basic civil liberty and our constitutional right (both in Malaysia and abroad).
In a way it was strangely sobering. It gave us a new sense of respect for the enormity of what the ordinary (but extremely brave) men and women in Malaysia who choose to exercise this right in Malaysia often go through.
tourism malaysiaWhile the Malaysian government is busy flogging their tourism and hospitality industry in the UK and Malaysian ministers are hob-knobbing with celebrity chefs in London, the rakyat is rotting in Kamunting and facing the brunt of police batons and FRU waterguns.
We need to send them a clear message that the world has not forgotten…..we are watching….and we are going to keep speaking out till the government finally sits up and listens.
The ISA is a relic of a bygone era, any government that fails to see that and respond is out of touch with the rakyat. It's time the ISA was consigned to the history books.
It's also time that the Malaysian police force underwent a radical reform in the way it conducts itself in the dispensation of its duties, least not in the way it interacts with peaceful demonstrators and attempts to maintain law and order.
If we allow the ISA and the heavy handed Malaysian police force to perpetuate a further 50 years of fear and tyranny we will have failed our country and our children. Perish the thought.

The Abolish ISA Movement UK is organising monthly demonstrations on the last Saturday of each month outside the Malaysian Tourism Office in Trafalgar Square, London between 12-1.30pm. Our next picket is on Saturday, May 29. Please join us if you can. For more information please email us.

Labour Day : Minimum wage of RM 1,300.00 per month in all sectors and for all including the Indians.


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Yesterday marked Labour Day in recognition of the sacrifices and contribution of especially the Indian labour in Malaysia who in those days literally worked with their bare hands to build the Railways ,roads, bridges , work in interior rubber estates etc. Indian labour has been and is crucial in what Malaysia has become today , the wealthy prosperous country with the world’s tallest twin towers. This is the reason why UMNO in most of Malaysia’s 53 year history has made an Indian the labour minster to perform the Indian Mandore duties to UMNO . The present day labour Minister is Dr.Subramaniam . Similarly in all of the state Exco positions in Kedah , Penang , Perak , Selangor , Johor and N.Sembilan.
The Labour portfolio is and has always been held by an Indian including by the present day PKR , DAP and PAS state governments in Kedah , Penang Selangor and earlier in Perak ( as if they do not qualify to hold other senior Exco positions).
“ We helped build this city.’ And we helped build Malaysia.
But today after 53 years of independence,especially the Indians are yet to be given a minimum wage.
In point 16 of our 18 point demands to Prime Minister Badawi dated 12/7/2007 we had demanded a basic monthly salary of RM 1,000.00 per month.
With a RM 100.00 monthly increament per year we today after 3 years demand in 2010 RM 1,300.00 per month.
But the Labour Minister is indicating (being selective) proposing “ setting a minimum wage for targeted sectors under the New Economic Model (NEM) electronics , textiles , gloves and furniture industries ( NST 2/5/2010 at page 8)
Why? Because the overwhelming majority of the beneficiaries thereto would be the malay muslims?
And this Indian mandore Labour Minister under UMNOs’directions seems to be permanently “ studying ‘ the minimum wage proposal even after 53 years of independence (The Star 2/5/2010 at page N5).
We have recorded plantation workers in Cameron Highlands earning RM 13.00 per day ( approximately RM 260.00 per month) living in near slave like living conditions. Even lower than the RM18.00 per day earned by the Bangladeshi workers.
Indian dish washers ( as per our February video) earn as low as RM 350.00 per month .
After about a 50 year struggle the plantation workers salary has been set at RM 350.00 per month in 2006 or so.This “insulting”monthly salary is modern day slavery.
On this Labour Day 2010 we call upon the UMNO led One Malay-sian government to pass legislation to set a minimum wage of RM 1,300.00 per month for all workers in particular the Indian workers with effect from 1/5/2010. And with all arrears of wages to be paid backdated and from this date onwards
P.Uthayakumar

UMNO Welfare Department denies 75 year old Indian senior citizens and mental patient welfare help ( see SH 30/4/2010 at page S 10)

One Malaysia
umno welfare

Racist Majlis Belia Selangor opposes Jalan Barat road name change to Jalan V.David (see UM 1/5.2010 at page page 8)

mbs2
racist majlis belia 
selangor

PKR’s PKNS is Malaysia’s largest housing developer but denies homes to poor Indians (see SH 30/4/2010 at page S25)

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But instead PKR gets it’s Indian Exco Mandore to give out hampers to the Indian poor instead of providing them a roof over their heads ( see SH 30 / 4/ 2010 at page S25). This Mandore politics by cheating illusions must end.
Hamper politics hampers Indian upward mobility!
Mock cheques mocks and insults the poor Indians!
End Mandorism!
Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice.
pkr's pkns is

Kg Pandan Indians living dilapidated houses with no water and electricity ( see The Star 1/5/2010 at page N55)

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kg pandan indians

KG Buah Pala Holy cows becomes homeless cows with courtesy of Lim Guan Eng’s vengeance and revenge (see 1/5/2010 at page 7)

Picture 025 020709-KedahDAP-Anwar-Lim450

kg buah pala holy cows

Letter from a disillusioned Indian Malaysian citizen withdrawing support from DAP because of their hounding and brutalising of the Kampung Buah Pala people. More will follow.

292x300..DAP_0
from:kandiah sinniah mykandiah@yahoo.com
    reply-tomalaysianequalrights@yahoogroups.co.uk
   to malaysianequalrights@yahoogroups.co.uk
   cc mykandiah@yahoo.com
  dateSun, May 2, 2010 at 9:09 AM
subject Re: [malaysianequalrights] Lim Guan Eng is a liar and he must resign as the Chief Minister for the lies he is telling the people and for the hounding and brutalization of the poor in Penang.
isent a letter to my wakil rakyat who is a dap guy
saying that we are withdrawing our support to the dap because he had done nothing
for the indians here.
there are six of us in the family
so he lost 6 votes
more than 100 cows sleeping on the road and the mandore says that it is not their problem
lim guan eng can fighjt for the dead people even if it is one chinese
can fight for the malacca chinese cemetry
but this fool will not lift a finger to help the indian in distress
it was lge s action that put the indians in this dilemma
soory dap is also the same as bn
my}dap lge

Be open on Aminulrasyid shooting probe, police told

Be open on Aminulrasyid shooting probe, police told

SIBU, May 2 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants the investigations into the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah to be carried out in an open and transparent manner.

“We cannot be defensive,” Najib said, “the public wants answers.”

“I am sure that the police will fully co-operate and provide some satisfaction to the victim’s family who wants to know what actually happened,” he told reporters after attending a luncheon and presenting Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) medals to 32 armed forces veterans from Sarawak at Rascom Camp at the Ninth Infantry Brigade in Jalan Ulu Oya near here today.

Aminulrashid was fatally hit in the 2am incident on Monday when police opened fire after he allegedly reversed the car he was driving into police officers while trying to escape a road block in Section 11, Shah Alam.

Asked if Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan should step down over the incident, he said he did not think it was right to call for the IGP’s resignation because of a single incident he was not directly responsible for.

He said the public should look into the issue fairly and not make hasty conclusions or resort to blaming the authorities without knowing what actually happened. — Bernama

Work together to retain Sibu, says Najib

SIBU: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak today reminded the Barisan Nasional machinery to regard the Sibu parliamentary seat by-election as a challenge that should be taken seriously.
He said in the spirit of solidarity in BN and in Sarawak, the BN machinery would run smoothly to ensure victory in retaining the seat.

"We may be facing a stiff contest, so we need to focus on our campaign efforts," he said after attending a luncheon and presenting the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) medals to 32 state veterans of the Malaysian Armed Forces at the Rascom Camp, 9th Infantry Brigade, Jalan Ulu Koya, near here.

Also present were Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin, Army chief General Ismail Jamaluddin and BN candidate for the Sibu by-election, Robert Lau Hoi Yew.

Asked on BN's chances of retaining the seat, Najib said BN would work hard towards that with the cooperation of all its component parties.

On his working visit and his walkabout in several areas here including Sungei Merah town, he said the local residents' reaction was encouraging.

He said he was also happy with the development projects being carried out or in the process of being implemented like the flood-mitigation project in Kampung Nangka.

The prime minister said from the walkabouts, he also received feedback on the needs of the local communities.

Earlier, he said an allocation would be approved to repair and renovate the surau and religious school at the Rascom Camp.

Among the recipients of the PJM medal today was Temenggong Kanang Langkau, 67, from Sri Aman, and also the first Malaysian to receive the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP) and Panglima Gagah Berani (PGB) medals for gallantry.

- Bernama

Nik Aziz not concerned about death threat

KOTA BAHARU: Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said today he is not concerned about a death threat against him that is reportedly posted on the social networking website Facebook.
The PAS spiritual leader said that he was also not concerned about allegations made about him by other people including by the former public relations officer of Kelantan Menteri Besar Inc, Syed Azidi Syed Aziz, who has a blog called Kickdefella.

Asked by reporters about these issues, Nik Aziz said he had no knowledge whatsoever what they were about.

"I am not bothered (about what they have to say), I don't even think about it," he said after receiving a courtesy call by a 50-strong Koperasi Takaful Ibnu Al-'Asr delegation from Thailand at his official residence here today.

Yesterday, PAS' youth wing lodged a police report in Kuala Lumpur over the alleged death threat posted on Facebook.

Syed Azidi, in his blog, had alleged that he had been paid RM4 million by certain parties to tarnish the credilibity of former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration.

- Bernama

The maturity, or lack of it, of some Malaysians


How you do reconcile Malaysia with the United States and the United Kingdom? You don’t. Malaysia is different and unique in how it argues its ‘logic’. You just need to understand how the system works in Malaysia. In the United States and the United Kingdom, there is a method in its madness. In Malaysia, there is madness in its method.


NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Malaysia must retain the Internal Security Act (ISA) because it is needed to defend the special position of the Malays and Malay rights and privileges. This is the argument some use.

And in what way is the ISA able to defend the special position of the Malays and Malay rights and privileges?

Well, the ISA is a detention without trial law. And whomsoever questions the special position of the Malays or opposes Malay rights and special privileges then he or she can be detained without trial under the ISA.

So says the defenders of the ISA.

Is it a crime to question the special position of the Malays or oppose Malay rights and special privileges? Yes, it is, under the Sedition Act, says the defenders of the special position of the Malays and Malay rights and privileges.

Well, if questioning the special position of the Malays and Malay rights and privileges is a crime under the Sedition Act, then why not arrest and charge that person under the Sedition Act? Why detain that person without trial under the Internal Security Act? This would probably be the logical question you and I ask.

This has already been explained by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, PERKASA’s de facto patron, Fidei Defensor or Défenseur de la Foi. And Dr Mahathir explained it as follows:

Not always can the government find the evidence of a crime having been committed. This means it is not always possible to get a conviction. Therefore, the ISA needs to be used whenever there is lack of evidence of a crime having been committed. Furthermore, the ISA is a preventive law. It is no use punishing someone only after a crime has been committed. The government needs to detain a person to prevent that person from committing a crime even while he or she may just be thinking of committing a crime.

That is what Dr Mahathir explained when he was still the prime minister of Malaysia. Now do you understand why we still need the ISA? And now do you understand why sometimes the government needs to use the ISA instead of charging that person in court and putting him/her on trial? And now do you understand what may be considered logic to those in government may be considered hogwash and utter stupidity to others? It’s all a matter of interpretation of facts.

Okay, let’s go to the next point.

In the United States, sometimes Americans vote Democratic Party. Sometimes they vote Republican Party. And sometimes they vote neither -- they vote for the fringe parties or independents. And sometimes they swing from one party to another in each election -- they vote Republican in one election and Democratic in another. But Americans who vote for one party instead of another are not regarded as traitors to their country whose citizenship should be withdrawn.

In the United Kingdom, some British vote Labour Party. Some vote for the Conservative Party. And some vote neither -- they vote Liberal Democrat or for one of the ‘fringe parties’ of Wales, Scotland or Ireland. And in the coming general election this weekend, those who voted Labour in the last election are going to vote for the ‘opposition’ Conservative this election, while some have said they are going to shun both and instead vote for the Liberal Democrats this time around. But none of these British voters who swing from one party to another are considered traitors to their country whose citizenship should be withdrawn.

In Malaysia, if you vote for Barisan Nasional you are considered a loyal Malaysian. If you vote for any party other than Barisan Nasional then you are a traitor to your country whose citizenship should be withdrawn. That is what the government supporters argue when they ask for the citizenship of the ‘traitors’ who voted opposition to be withdrawn.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, if members of the white community or Caucasians fight for the rights of the non-white community such as the African-Americans, Pakistanis, Indians, etc., these people are considered civil rights activists.

In Malaysia, if members of the Malay community fight for the rights of the Chinese or Indians, these people are considered traitors to their Malay race.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, those who vote for the party that is not the ruling party but is in the opposition are merely exercising their democratic right in voting for the party of their choice, as allowed and guaranteed by the constitution.

In Malaysia, those who vote for the party that is not the ruling party but is in the opposition are considered not grateful for what the government has done for them.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, the government is obligated to look after your welfare because you are a legal citizen of those countries and you pay tax. So, as citizens and taxpayers, the government is obligated to look after all its citizens, never mind which party they voted for in the elections.

In Malaysia, the government is obligated to look after the welfare of only those who vote for the ruling party and not those who vote for any other party even though you may be a legal citizen of the country and a taxpayer. And if you vote for any party other than the ruling party, then the government has a right to withdraw all aid even it was promised during the election campaign.

Yes, things are very different in Malaysia compared to in the United States and the United Kingdom, although all three countries are considered democratic countries that choose its government through an electoral process.

How you do reconcile Malaysia with the United States and the United Kingdom? You don’t. Malaysia is different and unique in how it argues its ‘logic’. You just need to understand how the system works in Malaysia. In the United States and the United Kingdom, there is a method in its madness. In Malaysia, there is madness in its method.

Satchithananthan and Logeswaran of Taiping: two brothers; victims of extrajudicial killings