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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nuclear energy "in 2021" - but no decision yet? - Anil Netto

Najib gives the impression that he is open to ideas regarding alternative sources of energy including the nuclear option – so why did his Cabinet Minister say a nuclear power plant is expected to be operational in 2021?
Najib’s latest blog entry:
As we consider all sources of energy, there has also been some attention given to nuclear energy. Nuclear is arguably efficient and cost effective. The question is this: is it the right one? Before embarking on such an important decision we must conduct a comprehensive study on it. As such the Government is undertaking feasibility studies on nuclear energy use for electricity generation. I am eager to understand better and to know the findings. If we press ahead with nuclear, 12 to 15 years could elapse before energy is produced using small reactors.
Of course, if we do go down the nuclear energy route, we would not be alone. And this is why we are looking around globally to learn from other countries and take note of the advancement in technology of this industry/sector. All this said, I would like to obtain your thoughts on our future electricity generation in Malaysia, especially any views regarding nuclear. Are there alternatives not yet considered, that could firmly establish Malaysia as a global green revolution leader?
Bloomberg reported him as saying that no decision had been taken. And Najib gives the impression that the government is still considering alternative options.
So why was Energy Minister Peter Chin reported yesterday as saying the nuclear power plant would start operations by 2021?
The first nuclear power plant is expected to start operations in 2021, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui.
He said his ministry has been given approval by the Economic Council to start identifying suitable sites for the plant, adding that the countdown for nuclear power began three weeks ago.
“Once the site is identified, we will roll out stakeholders consultation,”…
Is Najib backtracking in his blog post today in the face of strong public opposition (even the readers’ comment on his blog seem critical of the idea) to the announcement yesterday?
Or is the nuclear option already a done deal, as Peter Chin seems to suggest, and Najib’s soliciting for public opinion is just a public relations strategy to defuse public disquiet?
I see, there is still no decision now and they are just looking at options. But it sounded like a done deal yesterday, no? Testing the waters (of public reaction), perhaps?

Ongoing struggle for Penans & human rights defenders

By Nathaniel Tan,

Heading out the door, so I thought I would shamelessly copy paste a letter from Malaysiakini that seemed worth highlighting.
The nature of news headlines makes lots of cases no longer in the limelight easy to forget, but it’s to try and keep remembering injustices big and small.
The following is by activist Hillary Chew, regarding her ongoing efforts to highlight the plight of the Penans. Check out her website!
On April 14, three days before a film-screening intended for a Malaysian crowd was scheduled in London, the Sarawak-based newspaper, Eastern Times, front-paged a story drawing attention to the event. It was to be the screening of my documentary film – Penusah Tana (The Forgotten Struggle).
In a highly unusual publicity of the event, the article implied that the film presented a false picture of the Penan’s long-standing resistance against logging. Interestingly, it included an interview with Ajang Kiew, the protege of the film, of which the senior Penan admitted to his involvement in past blockades – the peaceful protest method employed by the Penan that has come to symbolise their defence of their forest home in the high-profile international campaign to save Sarawak rainforest.
Notwithstanding the fact that Ajang Kiew has decided that he has enough of the confrontational ways and now preferred to engage in ‘give and take’ discussions, the historical facts remain that he was a veteran blockader as depicted in the film.
As I won’t pretend to be able to comprehend the hardship that Ajang has suffered all those years, so I would not judge him for his decision in his old age. However, I did make it a point at the screening in London to mention that Ajang has abandoned the struggle and no longer heads the Sarawak Penan Association.
Never did Eastern Times contact me to verify if indeed their interpretation of the event was correct. Neither did they check with the host of the event that the screening was a campaign against Malaysian timber and oil palm plantation industries as they virtuously proclaimed. I have never met their journalist and couldn’t have possibly offended them to warrant such a personal attack that was so apparent in the following article the next day in the same newspaper, again on the front-page.
In the second article, they wrote: ‘Failing in her attempts to sway local public opinion by raising emotional issues such as the alleged rape of Penan schoolgirls, Chiew is now treading on the trodden path of foreign NGOs bent on attacking Malaysian primary industries’.
As was typical of mainstream media reporting, particularly timber company-owned Sarawak newspapers, on conflicts arising from commercial logging in the state for the last quarter century, the Eastern Times pointed its finger at Western media/NGOs evil interference.
Alas, it would be disappointed. Neither was the Western media invited to the screening nor was there presence of Western environmental NGOs.
As for the Penan rape case – public outrage was evident from the number of letters, SMS-es, local NGOs and official responses carried in major newspaper and online publications. The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry promptly set up a task force and the police launched an investigation.
The task force’s report acknowledged that sexual violation of Penan women and young girls was indeed a problem afflicting the marginalised Penan community. Until today, the police have neither officially announced its investigation results nor decisions on the matter.
The Eastern Times surely is aware of the Ministerial Penan Task Force Report which incidentally included the testimonies of the two young victims highlighted in my articles. In the last few years, the plight of the Penan has also been documented by the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) in the agency’s own independent investigations which showed that the Penan are worse off today than they were 20 years ago and the underlying cause being the unsustainable logging practices sanctioned by the state.
The said documentary was premiered in Malaysia in 2007 and screened at numerous venues and is viewable here.

Rumblings over MIC senatorship

By B Nantha Kumar - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Embattled MIC president S Samy Vellu has yet another storm brewing in his cup.

The latest on the grapevine is that Petaling Jaya Selatan division chairman V Subramaniam (better known as Barat Maniam) is seething over how often he has been overlooked for senatorship.

A veteran MIC strongman aligned to Samy Vellu, Barat Maniam is said to be eyeing the senate seat which fell vacant in April following the end of MIC treasurer-cum-lawyer G Logachitra’s term.

Said a highly placed party source: “Barat Maniam is upset. He has been waiting for a long time. He is a strongman of the president but until now has been overlooked.

“There are two senator positions that came vacant this year – one in January and the latest in April.

“(G) Palanivel (MIC deputy president) is now senator. Samy Vellu has named T Mohan (Youth chief) for the second seat. But Barat Maniam has objected to this.

“There will be trouble this time if Barat Maniam does not get the senatorship,” said the source.

The source said Barat Maniam had declared that he would raise a ruckus if Samy Vellu persisted in nominating Mohan for the senate seat.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that MIC has already sent Mohan’s name to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

Maniam could not be contacted for comment.

More emerge to back boy’s story of fatal shooting

SHAH ALAM, May 5 — More witnesses have come forward to corroborate the testimony of Azamuddin Omar, the boy with Aminulrasyid Amzah the night the 14-year-old boy was shot dead by police.

“Their account verifies what the 15-year-old witness had said during a press conference on Monday,” said Khalid Samad to The Malaysian Insider today.

The Shah Alam MP said the two witnesses confirmed what happened prior to the shooting and car chase with police.

Azamuddin’s account differed from that of the police, who claimed Aminulrasyid had tried to ram them with his car and prompting them to open fire.

He had claimed his friend was in a state of panic after fleeing the scene of a minor accident and that they were being chased by motorcyclists.

According to Khalid, the new witnesses who have come forward include the owner, along with the driver of a parked car which was grazed by the Proton Iswara Aminulrasyid was driving.

“They were in a restaurant when the accident happened and when the Proton Iswara didn’t stop, three of their friends got on their motorcycles and gave chase.”

However, one of the motorcyclists hit the back of the Iswara and fell, before police joined the chase.

They did not see what happened next, but their account shows that the boys were just afraid and had panicked. They were not criminals fleeing from police.”

More importantly, Khalid said, their accounts proved Azamuddin was not exaggerating when he said they were pursued by motorcyclists.

“It strengthens his account of what happened. If he is telling the truth about this, we must also believe what he said about what happened later.”

During Monday’s press conference which was organised by lawyers representing the Aminulrasyid’s family, Azamuddin had also said his friend was scared and only wanted to return home because he was driving his sister’s car before police opened fire.

He also described how Aminulrasyid was shot in the back of the head, before his friend’s body fell in his lap and how the car kept moving forward because the dead schoolboy’s foot was still on the accelerator.

He said the police then kept shooting until the car hit a wall. He made no mention about Aminulrasyid trying to reverse the car to ram policemen.

Azamuddin then said he managed to crawl out of the car and had wanted to surrender himself but claimed he was kicked in the head and assaulted by no fewer than five policemen, before he escaped.

Meanwhile, Khalid said the latest witnesses had come to see him yesterday and had expressed fears about going to the police.

However, Khalid advised them to lodge police reports, which they did last night.

“I did not accompany them because, of late, I had been accused of trying to politicise the case.” he concluded.

Aminulrasyid to blame, says psychologist

By Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: A clinical psychologist has stepped out to defend the men in blue following the shooting death of teenager Aminulrasyid Amzah.

Professor Dr Teoh Hsien-Jin, once an officer in the Territorial Army, said it was a clear-cut case -- Aminulrasyid was at fault and that the police were just discharging their duties.

“The situation has been blown out of proportion,” said Teoh, who is now the head of the School of Natural Health and Sciences in Sunway University College.

“People are overlooking a most important issue, which is that a minor was behind the wheel. As far as the law is concerned, he was in the wrong.”

According to him, Selangor's crime rate has risen and additional police personnel have been deployed in the state who are primed to immediately react to any perceived threat.

“A speeding car pursued by a group of motorcyclists in the dead of night fits the bill,” said Teoh. “A lot of violence takes place after midnight.”

“And police on this shift are usually armed with automatic firearms because they don't know what they will be up against.

“The usual procedure is to pull a suspicious car over and shine a torchlight inside, but they didn't have a chance to do that in this case. So, they opened fire,” added Teoh.

“An automatic weapon sprays bullets. It is likely that a stray one hit the boy. I have handled firearms before and I can tell you an object moving quickly in the dark is almost impossible to shoot at.

“You just have to react and that is what the police did. They did not shoot to kill,” said Teoh.

Why was a minor driving a car?

Teoh, who was also a Search and Rescue Base Warden in Australia, said cases of minors operating vehicles are becoming rampant all over the world.

He recalled a particular incident in Australia when a group of people took a ferry for a joyride and crashed it into his base.

“People are capable of all kinds of madness,” he said. “We usually get angry when the police don't do anything to stop this madness. But in this case they acted and now they are being condemned for it.”

“The questions that should be asked are: Why was a minor driving a car? Why was another minor in the car and did he also take to the wheel?

“From my experience, the passenger always wants to have a go, too. And where did they learn to drive? A lot of crimes are caused by civilian negligence,” he said.

Teoh empathised with Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan who has been slammed for threatening to take his men off the streets following public outrage over the shooting of Aminulrasyid.

“He is frustrated. The police are understaffed and underpaid. The fact that this matter has become highly politicised is making them angrier. I really don't blame the police for any of this.”

On the special panel set up to conduct an inquiry into the case, Teoh has his doubts. “What would it (the panel) uncover that the police haven't already?” he asked.

“We like to use the word 'independent' but what does that really mean? The panel will be going over the same reports, the same witnesses and the same facts.”

“There will just be more chaos and I'm intrigued to see how all this will end.”

Sibu polls: Victory in the hands of Foochows

By Stephanie Sta Maria and FMT Team

KUALA LUMPUR: Simmering beneath the placid Sibu facade is a tale of coded streets, smoke-filled backrooms, blood pacts, bookies and trade-deals.
In what is seen as a subtle below the line battle for the Sibu parliamentary seat which fell vacant on April 9 following the demise of its MP and deputy transport minister Robert Lau Hoi Chew, the inside word is that even before nominations this Saturday (May 8) , the deal would have been sealed.

And if the word on-the-street is anything to go by, it will be Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) candidate Robert Lau Hui Yew (better known as Robert Lau Junior) who will be walking in his uncle’s shoes.

A Sibu city councillor and lawyer, the fresh faced 44-year-old heir apparent to Sibu’s political dynasty is of a milder demeanour than his uncle, who is believed to have held a tight reign over the workings of both, the boardroom and underworld, in this logging county.

But younger Robert’s youthful disposition and people-friendly disposition is expected to cut across Sibu's 54,695 voters who comprise of 67 percent Chinese, 22 percent Ibans, 10 percent Malays and the remainer others.

The Lau clan have an extensive known commercial reach with deals in timber, log exports, plywood manufacturing, oil palm plantations and shipping.

According to political analyst James Chin, Sibu is Foochow county and timber tycoons like the Lau's rule.

James Chin
James Chin
A snap of the finger could raise the dust and fielding a young face like Robert Lau Junior is a plus point, said Chin, a professor at Monash University.

“The Foochows,” he said are “parochial and only care about local issues.”

“The Sibu by-election is very different from the Hulu Selangor by-election because it is dominated by the Foochows.

“They are very parochial and only care about localised issues. This is a fight between the Foochows,” he told FMT.

Coded streets

According to one insider even the streets in Sibu have a ‘loyalty code.

“You don’t monkey around with the people here and the DAP knows this. At the end of the day, its going to be the bookies and the odds offered that will determine the winner,” said the insider.

He added that there were rumours that Foochow ganglords  from the peninsular had descended in Sibu.

“There’s also word that opposition leaders from the peninsular are being discouraged from being in the frontline in Sibu. The is seen as localised war. They don’t want outside interference,” said the insider. 

Against this tapestry is DAP Sarawak’s decision to field veteran election campaigner Wong Ho Leng, 50.

Questions are being asked if this is a wise move. Chin doesn’t think so.

“I don’t think it is going to go down well... the DAP may have fielded the wrong candidate.

“It should have chosen a younger, more professional looking and good looking candidate.

“The last one makes a difference! Why do you think people are talking about Hannah Yeoh?” quipped Chin alluding to the Subang Jaya state assemblywoman.

He said due to its internal problems, DAP had no choice but to choose Wong, a lawyer who is also Bukit Assek assemblyman

“This won't make the Foochows happy as they will consider DAP greedy for more seats since Wong is also Bukit Assek state assemblymen.

“They will also complain that instead of taking care of drainage issues, Wong will be busy flying off to KL,” he said.

Sibu is in fact a tycoon town, with both parliamentary and state seats held by timber lords, according to Chin.

“BN has no advantage except for the money they will throw,” he said.

Corruption

In the 2008 general election SUPP battled it out in a three-cornered fight with DAP and PKR, winning with a  majority of 3,232 votes.

SUPP, one of Sarawak’s oldest party, is predominately Chinese and essentially comprise timber tycoons.

Sibu town
Sibu town
According to Chin, SUPP's weakness is its disunited machinery and problems in its Dudong branch.

It is also seen as too close and subservient to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.

“In Sibu, PBB is the Umno and SUPP is the MCA. Right now, SUPP is being seen as kowtowing to PBB.

“In this scenario what the DAP needs to do is to concentrate its campaign on the alleged corruption and business domination of Taib's family.

“Only then will it have a strong chance of winning. It will lose if it fights on local issues because it doesn't have enough resources,” reasoned Chin.

He however said to DAP’s advantage is a local fact that the “Foochows don't regard the parliamentary seat as important as the state seat”.

“DAP may benefit from this fact and the effect of the March 2008 political tsunami. West Malaysians have thrown their lot behind Pakatan and PKR and East Malaysians will likely do the same with DAP.

“BN has no real advantage influence here besides the money it can throw around,” said Chin.

Oil blocks fiasco: SAPP blames Umno

By FMT Staff
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Progressive Party president Yong Teck Lee has claimed that the ceding of Sabah’s oil-rich territories in Blocks L and M to Brunei was the price that the state had to pay for being the “fixed deposit” of the Barisan Nasional.
Putting the blame squarely on Umno, he said: “It seems that Sarawak, which has no Umno in their state, is doing far better than Sabah which ironically is dominated by Umno.
“It is also time for the federal officials to stop insulting the intelligence of Malaysians in Sabah for thinking that we can be easily taken in by their flimsy arguments,” said Yong.
The former Sabah chief minister also accused the BN-led federal government of trying to justify an illegal and unconstitutional act in the ceding the territory to Brunei.
“Our Foreign Minister Anifah Aman also tried to justify the loss of Sabah’s three million acres in Blocks L and M by relying on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) which gave the areas to Brunei.
“If UNCLOS 1982 is so clear cut that the three million acres belong to Brunei, then why did Malaysia award the same area to an oil company (Murphy Oil) in January 2003?” he asked.
The explanation by the foreign ministry that Petronas has been given commercial rights to operate oil Blocks J and K in Brunei under commercial arrangement CA1 and CA2 (also known as Blocks L and M in Malaysia) has exposed the fact that the federal government has sacrificed Sabah’s rights and interests, he said.
“The ministry is trying to explain an illegal and unconstitutional act. Does the ministry think the people have forgotten that the previous month (December 2002), Malaysia had just won the Sipadan/Ligitan case at the International Court of Justice?
“Malaysia was already an expert on international law on territorial disputes. Surely our government and Petronas lawyers were already convinced about the Malaysian status of Block L and M before awarding them to Murphy Oil.
“Were our foreign ministry officials, our government’s lawyers, our mapping department, Petronas and other agencies so incompetent not to have known whether the areas were within Malaysian or Brunei territory?” Yong asked.
The assertion that the key elements of the Exchange of Letters in Brunei on March 16, 2009 between Malaysia and Brunei was the delimitation of maritime boundaries, maritime access, commercial arrangement for oil and gas and land boundaries was also questioned by the former chief minister.
Yong said the then prime minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) did not mention anything about oil and gas and the loss of maritime territories when he proclaimed that Brunei had agreed to drop their claim on Limbang after the Exchange of Letters on March 16, 2009 between him and the Sultan of Brunei.
In fact, immediately after Abdullah’s declaration that Brunei had dropped their claim on Limbang, the Brunei Second Foreign Minister issued a vehement denial that Brunei had dropped their claim on Limbang.
Said Yong: “There was no response from Malaysia. So, at the time, I thought that it was the Bruneians who had got themselves a bad deal. I was doubtful that Malaysia would make such a mistake in bilateral negotiations.
"As we now know, our then prime minister had told only half the truth by disclosing the Limbang issue but not the loss of the oil blocks. Instead of disclosing the loss of our maritime territories, the then prime minister chose to declare only that Brunei has dropped its claim on Limbang.
Musa denies loss of territory
Meanwhile Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman has denied ceding any state territory to Brunei.
He said this after chairing the second state security committee meeting yesterday.
He said the state government had been briefed about the matter by Wisma Putra twice, but he did not say when the meetings took place.
Local media also quoted him as saying that the state attorney-general had advised that no Sabah areas had been ceded.
He said that there was no need to bring the issue to the state assembly given that no territory had been surrendered as has been demanded by state opposition leaders.

Democracy and the power of the mind

By Stanley Koh
COMMENT Why do Malaysians continue to support a government that has been abusing its power for so long that its credibility has become thinner than toilet paper?
Are Malaysians really too naive, gullible or blind to see that it is their failed collective political will that is the stumbling block to any real national progress?
One may of course argue that there is no such thing as a perfect government, that Utopias exist only the minds of idealists and romantics, or that the human mind, as played out in the real-world political arena, is far from being plain, perfect or even honest.
Cynics say we deserve the government we elect. But Barisan Nasional apologists tell us to look into what they vaguely refer to as “the statistics,” as if to say that these would show BN’s legitimacy as the ruling coalition in Malaysia.
Still, does it make sense that in 2008 only 4.08 million of 7.94 million voters chose BN to rule over a population of some 27 million? Is it fair for a minority to determine the future of the majority or the nation’s destiny?
The sad truth about the Malaysian majority is that its collective mindset is so passive—some would say deformed—that it does not seem interested in bringing about the revolutionary changes our nation needs for its betterment.
General elections reveal another shortcoming of the collective Malaysian mindset: it lacks focus on national issues. Most of us are foolish, naïve, apathetic and gullible, distracted by side issues thrown at us by power players.
Nevertheless, our national consciousness continues to be shaped by recent political trends and the increasingly strident voices of public interest organizations against the BN regime’s excessive control over civil society and its undemocratic tactics in undermining the opposition coalition.
Is the BN a good and credible government?

Most ordinary Malaysians have yet to learn how to choose leaders with integrity and credibility, progress towards democratisation will remain a distant dream.
Most ignore the regime’s propensity to depend on draconian measures against political opponents: the Internal Security Act, the Sedition Act, the Printing Presses and Publication Act, the Sedition Act, the ban on rallies and a host of other instruments of power abuse.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said that ninety percent of politicians gave the other ten a bad reputation, raising a serious question about human mindsets. This remark also points to the danger of electing mediocre politicians to office, especially in a country like Malaysia, where democratic progress has been painfully slow. These mediocre minds can actually retard national progress, if they have not done so already.
It is therefore imperative for the Malaysian mindset to evolve so that we are predisposed to elect a deserving government. But can this happen?
Malaysians should no longer return a government every time it goes to the people unless its policies are democratic or serve the ends of democracy. We should no longer allow BN to claim that democracy is alive and well in Malaysia just because there are regular elections.
“Once re-elected, the government again claims it has a mandate, even a blank cheque, to do as it pleases, unhindered and unchallenged,” writes Askiah Adam of Sisters in Islam in her article “Islamic NGOs and Electoral Politics.”
Human mindsets are difficult to change because humans are creatures of habit and generally resist change. It gets even more difficult when the mindset is coloured with prejudices and biases and tainted with selfish interests.
Chinese wisdom has it that it is easy to change one’s occupation or profession, but enormously difficult to reverse a stubborn mindset, particularly one poisoned by negative perceptions and mediocre thinking.
Some mindsets do evolve in time, but most remain stagnant, obstructing growth and progress and impeding human evolution.
In the realm of politics, mindsets determine the quality of leaders and thereby whether they would lead their people towards progress or bring them misery.
It is nothing short of a tragedy that some nations are governed by unscrupulous and greedy leaders with mediocre mindsets.
Leadership mindset
Some convincingly argue that the difference between a poor country and a rich one has nothing to do with the age of the countries but a lot to do with leadership mindsets. Countries with little or no natural resources can be wealthier than those rich in natural resources, especially if the ruling elites squander that natural wealth. And some nations with civilisations stretching back thousands of years are today economically backward because of poor leadership. Yet there are countries hardly 150 years old that have developed in a short time and are today among the wealthiest.
Political analysts take Switzerland as an example of a small country that stands tall in the community of nations. It is a country famous for high quality dairy products, including chocolates, despite not having a single cocoa plant on her soil.
Other good examples of successful nations are Japan and our immediate neighbour, Singapore. Both have quality leaders and exceptional human resources. Their labour populations are well respected for their hardworking and positive attitudes. These two countries are the very image of social order and economic security.
Most ordinary Malaysians have yet to learn how to choose leaders with integrity and credibility, progress towards democratisation will remain a distant dream. The power wielders will continue to exploit this major weakness in the Malaysian mindset.
Perhaps we should pay attention to Sharaad Kuttan, co-founder of the Centre for Independent Journalism, who wrote:
“Politics as usual in Malaysia these days seem increasingly to inspire little more than political boredom, mute disaffection and apathy among everyday citizens.
“Periodic elections, with their now familiar routines and rituals, arguably play an important role in habituating citizens to the idea that perfunctory and dutiful voting, on the rare occasions when it is required, is the sum total of the citizen’s political participation, involvement and responsibilities; after duly reinstalling, with their votes, an elected autocracy, all they should and must do is to go home and fall inert again for another four to five years.”
We should regard those words as a reminder that we as citizens must change if we want to see change in our political landscape. The Malaysian mindset must be invigorated and incited to constructive action so that we will make wise choices at the ballot box.

Stanley Koh is a political observer and a contributor to Free Malaysia Today.

Mafrel to ignore EC’s order, will monitor Sibu polls

By FMT Staff
KUALA LUMPUR: Irrespective of the Election Commission's views, polls watchdog Malaysians for Free Elections (Mafrel) will continue to monitor the by-election process in Sibu.
Mafrel chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said the issue of whether there is a need for monitors or not does not arise.
“Mafrel is an independent organisation and we will continue to observe and monitor election processes in the country. The question of ‘no need’ as indicated by the EC does not arise at all,” he said.
He was responding to a statement by EC's deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar that there was no need for Mafrel or similar non governmental organisations to be independent observers for the May 16 by-election.
He also said that Mafrel had failed to submit any reports of nine previous by-elections.
Credibility at stake
However Syed Ibrahim remain unperturbed, saying that it was important for independent bodies such as Mafrel to monitor the by-election.
“There will be many questionable actions during voter registrations, ceramah and other incidences that require monitoring to ensure the the election process is conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
“The EC should in fact be encouraging Mafrel for filling the democratic space. Mafrel does not need EC’s permission or sanction to monitor the process. We are an independent body.
“Although we have limited funding resources, Mafrel will send its team to monitor the process from the nomination day (May 8) until polling day,” said Syed Ibrahim.
Meanwhile Mafrel’s credibility came under scrutiny at the Senate sitting yesterday when senator Idris Buang from Sarawak revealed that Mafrel was a RM2 company.
Accusing Mafrel of deceiving the public, he said the organisation had consistently attacked the EC and the BN, giving the impression that the commission was a BN agent.
He also questioned Mafrel’s source of funding and who it actually represents.

Hindraf: Arrogance from Delusions

By Kenny Gan

Hindraf’s National Adviser, N. Ganesan’s claim that Zaid Ibrahim lost the Hulu Selangor by-election because Hindraf/HRP did not campaign for him is both arrogant and delusory.

Micro-analysis of the results shows that the actual swing of Indians to BN was marginal and could be explained by the rampant vote buying. There would be little that HRP could do to counter the pernicious influence of BN’s deep pockets on the poor estate Indians.

In the first place, how much influence does Hindraf and its political offshoot HRP still have among Indians? There is evidence that its influence has waned tremendously as they are unable to muster any meaningful crowd size for any event these days. For example a scant 15 Indians turned for Hindraf’s 2nd anniversary fast and less than 100 Indians turned up when Uthayakumar led a HRP demo against PKR’s HQ in PJ in March 2010.

The reason for their declining support is clear. The original movement has split into a few factions which have gone separate ways such that the original spirit has been diluted. Both Hindraf and HRP have also lost touch with the grassroot Indians. While poor Indians are concerned with bread and butter issues the Ponnusamy brothers are still championing emotive issues like Tamil schools, Hindu temple and Hindu cemeteries for political mileage.

Despite this, Uthaya and his cohorts still speak as if they represent all Indians and arrogantly assert that PR will never reach Putrajaya without their help. This is the delusion of people who have not adjusted to the present. Hindraf continues to live in the faded glory of its past and have never stopped claiming that they caused the 2008 political tsunami. This is not true as the tsunami was caused by all races responding to a complex matrix of factors against BN. To claim that Hindraf single-handedly caused the tsunami is like saying that Hishamuddin’s keris waving was solely responsible for Chinese turning against BN.

HRP should test its strength by fielding its strongest candidate in a by-election with sizable number of Indian voters. It has not contested in the Bagan Pinang and Hulu Selangor by-elections despite a sizable number of Indian voters in those seats. Is it afraid of losing its deposit? HRP should stop claiming that it represents the majority of Indian if it has no confidence to stand in any by-election.

Uthaya’s unrealistic demand that Selangor gives land to all Tamil schools in the state before he supports Zaid Ibrahim in Hulu Selangor shows his arrogance and lack of common sense. With land being such a complex matter his demand is impossible to fulfill although everything involving land seems to be able to be solved with a stroke of the pen to this new politician. Do the Indians really care whose land the school sits on as long as it can operate?

PR should not give in to HRP’s racial demands in a futile bid to get Indian votes. It would be like working with Perkasa to get Malay votes. To do so would be to destroy its multi-racial foundation and drive away other races. PR must reach out to Indians on their own instead of pandering to extremists and indulging in racial politics like a BN clone.

Hindraf’s overbearing arrogance stems from 3 overriding presumptions, namely (1) Hindraf caused the 2008 political tsunami (2) Hindraf speaks for the majority of Indians and (3) PR will never reach Putrajaya without its help. None of them are true but to Hindraf leaders and their small core of fanatical supporters these untruths have become written in stone. Unless they can divest themselves of these delusions they will continue to be unreasonable and arrogant.

HRP is still clinging on to the foolish delusion that it can be a third force to play kingmaker between BN and PR. This is irrational as there is no way it can win any seat in Malaysia based on the Indian vote alone. Its best bet is to try to join BN which is a better fit to its race based model. Meanwhile it should stop barking at PR for its political survival. People are tired of hearing that ‘PR has done nothing for Indians’ and ‘PR is no better than BN’ so when will it sell itself to BN like MMSP?
As for HRP, the so-called ‘Human Rights Party’ it is best to rename itself “Hindu Rights Party” so as not to mislead Malaysians. Where is its voice in the human rights violation of Teoh Beng Hock, Norizan Salleh and Aminulrasyid? If it wants to fight only for Tamil Hindu rights, that is its right but at least it should name itself appropriately. It should also accept the racist label.

Blowing your own horn

If all Malaysia has is its silly "Ketuanan", then perhaps it is in more serious trouble than we all imagined!!
By John Doe
Bernama reported 20,000 visitors in Beijing for the World Pavilion. This sounds like a decent number of visitors. However, a quick check on the stats as reported by Voice of America News shows that the World Pavillion attracted more than 600 thousand people. And the 20,000 as per reported by Bernama is not even 3% of the Visitors. Not bad, if one considers that all Marketing Textbooks tell us that achieving 5% is "good enough". However, 3% is still short of 5%.

The other thing to note, is that Malaysia is promoting the typical West Sumatran home. FOr those involved in the Padang/ Pariaman Earthquake relief work, would be quick to note that this Design is obviously of Minangkabau Origins. Hence, Indonesian in nature. No wonder the Indonesian people keep screaming at Malaysia for identity theft. First, it was Rasa Sayang, Pendet, the Balinese Dance, then it was the National Anthem, from Mamula Moon, and Terang Bulan. And now the Minang Roof-Design.
Minangroof
When will Malaysia learn not to take stuff from their neighbours, and start using their own?
What does Malaysia actually have as original? As we know it, there is no Architectural originality. As it is very clear that everyone migrated here from elsewhere, and with the "Pendatangs", all foreign elements were gladly "imported". Showing off this Minang Design is merely reinforcing the obvious.

The only item which is endemic to Malaysia is Bak Kut Teh, but as we know it, it will never become the National Food, no matter how hard MCA tries to push it.

On the other hand, the Baba's and Nyonya's have ceased to be Bumiputra, despite them actually carrying "malay" blood in them.
nyonya
On the other hand, the Portuguese in Malacca are still Bumiputras, despite arriving circa 100 years AFTER the Baba's were in place.
What is Malaysia going to claim next? The Kebaya?
kebaya
or perhaps batik?
batik
If all Malaysia has is its silly "Ketuanan", then perhaps it is in more serious trouble than we all imagined!!
Void of original Culture, this Third-World Country is but a mish-mash of foreign cultures, and icons, and UMNO expects her Citizens to be grateful, or face the ISA?

Get real. Get a life.

Late-night visit of Special Panel to Aminulrasyid murder site “a circus, just PR show” – an insult to Aminul’s memory and concerned Malaysians

The late-night visit of the eight-man Special Panel headed by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Abu Seman Yusop to the Aminulrasyid murder site in Shah Alam yesterday was a circus, just a public relations (PR) show to assuage public outrage rather than substantive investigation and is therefore an insult to Aminul’s memory and the intelligence of concerned Malaysians.

I watched the 14.26 minute Malaysiakini video clip of the Special Panel’s visit and I am reminded of my visit, together with DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to the bereaved Aminul family in Shah Alam Section 11, particularly the suffering mother Norsiah Mohamad last Wednesday, directly on touchdown from our flight returning from Sibu.

The video of businessman, Wah Rahim Tajuddin, whose house was the exact spot Aminulrasyid had finally crashed into, and whose son is a good friend of Aminulrasyid, showed him still very distraught emotionally when narrating to members of the Special Panel the events of the tragic early hours the previous Monday eight days ago.

At least Rahim did not break down and wept as he did when he recounted to me the shocking killing of Aminulrasyid which he did not know until the next morning, believing that the corpse he saw slumped head-down in the car was a criminal whom the police had killed.

As Rahim recounted, Aminulrasyid was a good friend of his son and that he used to send the two boys together to their part-time jobs in McDonald’s.

They also used to play futsal until late to the point where he had to drag both of them home.

It was Rahim who expressed the worry of the Shah Alam residents and their fear of the police who, instead of ensuring their security and safety, are now a threat to their security and safety – particularly concerned that youngsters who watch football games at mamak stalls into the early hours of the morning risk dangers like the fatal one which befell Aminul.

It was also at this encounter at the Aminulrasyhid murder scene last Wednesday that one of the neighbours shouted in anger, sorrow and despair “”This is not Manchester or Los Angeles, this is bloody Shah Alam” !

But when I watched the video of the Special Panel’s visit, one question bugged me: What was the purpose of the site visit as it served no purpose apart as being a circus and a PR exercise to deflect public anger not only at the police trigger-happy shooting and killing of a Form III student whose only offence was to drive underaged and without licence but also at the hamfisted mishandling of the Aminulrasyid killing by the authorities, particularly the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and the Home Minister Datuk Seir Hishammuddin Hussein.
What is the use of the Special Panel’s visit to the murder site unless it has the powers to take over all investigations into Aminulrasyid’s killing and murder?
At first, Abu Seman had said that the Special Panel had no powers to inquire or even to make recommendations to the police; but after severe public criticisms, the Special Panel suddenly claimed super powers: to call up witnesses, to review the procedures involving the discharge of firearms and even to scrutinize the investigation papers at any time without needing the approval of the police or Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Under what law did the Special Panel derive all these “quick silver” powers – turning into from a powerless to a super-powered Special Panel?
If the Special Panel is a genuine and not a fake high-powered monitoring and investigating body, the first thing it should have done is to demand explanations why the police had been so sloppy and slipshod in their investigations that their investigation papers into Aminulrasyid’s killing was sent back by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, demanding further investigations?

Abu Seman said clearly on video during the visit that the Special Panel hopes to meet once a week on every Friday. This is outrageous. If the Special Panel has become the most important body in the investigations into Aminulrasyid’s killing, it should be meeting every day and not every Friday!
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein must end this rigmarole of the weekly Friday meeting of the Special Panel headed by Abu Seman.

If they are serious about the Special Panel and serious in their assurance to the bereaved family and the country on wanting to get to the bottom of Aminulrasyid’s killing, then the Special Panel should take over all investigations of the case from the police in the form of a public inquiry.

It was better late than never – just convert the Special Panel into a Royal Commission of Inquiry with former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Hanif Omar replacing Abu Seman as Chairman, and expanding its terms of reference from Aminulrasyid’s killing to all police shooting deaths since 2005.

Treating religious minorities with respect

thenutgraph.com
REV Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), was recently in Kuala Lumpur for the 13th general assembly of the Christian Conference of Asia. Tveit has been heavily involved in interfaith dialogue as moderator of the Church of Norway-Islamic Council of Norway. He was also co-chair of the WCC Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum core group, and has called on churches to support a just and sustainable peace to the conflict.
In an exclusive interview on 15 April 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Tveit shares with The Nut Graph his experience in crafting a joint declaration on religious freedom together with his Muslim partners in Norway.

Tveit during the Christian Conference of Asia's general assembly
TNG: Tell us about the joint declaration on freedom of religion and the right to conversion. How did this document come about, and why was there a need for it?
Olav Fykse Tveit: [The right to change one's faith is central to freedom of religion.] In this context, we raised the question: is missionary activity disturbing or even a problem for religious freedom? Can missionary activity be conducted in a way that doesn't really give people a free choice? Are there unethical methods used to try to convince people to change their faith?
As we were doing this, some of our Muslim partners [in the Oslo Coalition on freedom of religion] said they knew of some Muslim groups conducting missionary activities in a non-ethical way. And they also knew of Christian groups doing the same. So we realised that this was not just about us being self-critical as Christians, but also a theme that many of us were interested in.
[In developing this declaration], we saw it as a national Norwegian issue and also an international issue. In Norway, it is not so much legal issues, but more of attitudes and behaviour. Whether families accept their children making another choice of religion, whether as Christians or Muslims ... But if we want Norway to be a society where we can live well together, we as religious leaders have to be very clear in saying we have to accept the individual's choice.
This is in accordance with our different faiths. Neither for Christianity nor Islam is there legitimacy in trying to make people hypocrites. We want people to be honest followers.
From a more international perspective, we also wanted to challenge the international context and discussion on this. Is religion really something you can regulate by laws? What kind of religion will that be in the end? We found that we had a common understanding of this as Muslims and Christians.
What was the international response to the joint declaration?
It received a lot of attention. Some responses have been, "This is very important, and also theologically right, thank you for raising this." In some Muslim contexts, there have been discussions on whether [religious freedom] is possible or advisable.
In many other cultures, conversion is seen as disloyalty to the country, and not only a matter of faith. So some have said, "In Norway you can have this declaration, but in other countries it's more complicated."
Still, I think, both Muslims [and Christians] in Norway find it appropriate to say, "Well, this is how we see it, why are you not willing to discuss it?"
How does interfaith dialogue occur when one party is dominant in the dialogue? For example, if they are a majority in the country or have more political power?
My conviction and my experience is if the majority does not understand that the value of the dialogue is dependant on how valuable it is for the minority, then there is no sense in it. Otherwise, as long as it is seen as another expression of majority ruling over the minority, it makes no sense, and can also be devastating and destructive.
That means the majority has to believe in the power of humility, and not in the power of majority. To have another dimension in dialogue, not about numbers, but about what our values are, what kind of fellowship we want to have together, and what kind of solidarity we need if we want to live together in one society.
Another dimension is that we really have to apply the golden rule. What we want others to do for us, we should do for them. So we need to try to imagine ourselves in the others' shoes. Muslims in Norway need the same rights as Christians to have their prayer rooms in public buildings, to express their faith publicly, to have access to halal food in the military service — all this is important.
If we as Christians say, "Well, that's their problem", we are not really following the golden rule. If we follow it, because we are also believers, we should fight for Muslim rights to have their religious expression.
I was very concerned about the debate and referendum on the right to build minarets in Switzerland. I realise that some argued, "Well, Christians don't have the right to build churches in many Muslims countries either, so why should they have these rights in our countries?" It's exactly that attitude that's not bringing us further. Even if someone else is doing something wrong, we should not do the same.
I think Muslims also hear and see if you try to express that — that you are welcome here, be yourself, there is a way we can live together. Maybe that is also the best help for Christian minorities [in Muslim-majority countries]. Then, Muslims [in these countries can] see that Christians are really supporting Muslims and their rights in other cultures.

Ceiling of a church (left) and a mosque (Pics by beriliu and ctkirklees / sxc.hu)
What would your response be to those who say that having interfaith dialogue is legitimising other faiths and putting them on the same level as your own religion, and diluting claims of truth in your own religion?
What is the alternative to dialogue? That we don't speak to one another? That we fight, or ignore or hurt one another?
If we are going to live together as human beings, we have to try to understand one another. We dialogue because we are different, not because we have the same thoughts and principles. It's also important to identify what we have in common. These are ways to build fellowship.
I don't see that the aim of dialogue is to agree on everything. Sometimes, it's more important to understand: well, this is your perspective, I have another one. Sometimes, through dialogue, I can have a better understanding of my own religion because some things become clearer to me.
I don't think that we should be in dialogue as a [method] of evangelism. Of course evangelism always means that we talk to one another and share with one another. But if dialogue is used as a kind of effort to convert, then it's not real dialogue. In any dialogue, we have to be open to being convinced that there is something else I should know, and understand that I haven't understood before.
Some say that only experts should talk about religious issues and the rest should not. Who should participate in interfaith dialogue, and how does this occur? Does the government have to initiate attempts at dialogue?
Everyone should participate in interfaith dialogue. The leaders have the responsibility to bring theological expertise and reflection into dialogue, and also to take leadership and show that dialogue is important. [Leaders should] try and stimulate people who live together on the same street to talk to one another.
I'm quite sure [such people] are very qualified to dialogue. They have their faith, conviction and experiences. They also know what the conflicts and problems are. In some way, sometimes they are more qualified to dialogue because they experience the daily life of being together or being in tension with one another.
On the other hand, some political problems have dimensions and perspectives that are related to religion. So politicians should involve religious leaders in their dialogue; otherwise they may not be able to understand and get the best ideas to solve their conflict.
The most obvious problem is the Israel-Palestine conflict. If there's no dialogue about the holy places, who should have access to them, and the values held by the three main religions there, how can there be a political solution? This is an outstanding example, but there are many other examples where if this dimension is ignored, it causes more problems than you need.
What incentive is there for the majority to want to dialogue, especially if the laws and the state are in their favour?
Is it a good society if there are minorities in that society which are suffering? Is that the society we want to be? I think the quality of a society is defined by how it treats its minorities.
If minorities are suppressed on the basis of religion, how can this be according to the principles of our religions?

Lawyers on warpath with cops over boy’s shooting

The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — The Bar Council today slammed the police for claiming lawyers acting for Aminulrasyid Amzah’s family were unethical for holding a press conference yesterday with a key-witness in the shooting of the 14-year-old schoolboy.

Selangor Police Chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar had also described the move by the lawyers as a cheap publicity stunt to garner public sympathy besides adding more confusion to the case.

“How dare they talk about what’s ethical? Have they been ethical?” asked Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan.

He pointed out that the police had accused Aminulrasyid and the witness of being robbers.

Police also maintain that Aminulrasyid had tried to ram into them before he was shot and that a parang had been found in the car.

“Is this ethical conduct by the police? What do you expect the family to do?”

During yesterday press conference 15-year-old Azamuddin Omar, who was in the car during the fatal shooting, recounted the final moments of his friend’s life.

He disclosed that police had shot his friend in the head, and his body fell onto his lap but the car kept moving because his leg was still on the accelerator.

He added police kept on shooting until the car hit a wall

Ragunath pointed out that statements by the police had only added to the grief and suffering of the family of the dead 14-year-old schoolboy.

“It looks like the police have the sole right to issue statements and they are blaming everyone else instead of facing up to what happened and being transparent.”

He pointed out this happens every time there was a fatality involving police.

Under the circumstances, the lawyers acting for the family and friend were justified in holding the press conference so the boy could tell his side of the story, he said.

“There is no breach of the Bar Council’s rules of professional conduct.”

He added the family had the right to hold the press conference to prevent a possible cover up in the interest of justice.

N.Surendren, who was one of two lawyers who organised yesterday’s press conference said it was held because police had made serious allegations against the dead boy and Azamuddin.

“It cannot be correct that police can defame victims but they cannot respond to clear-up their good name.”

He pointed out that the public were also entitled to know the truth because the statements by the police had been incorrect and misleading.

“This is a case of public interest and they are entitled to the truth.”

Surendran said he was very disappointed in the police for maintaining that Aminulrasyid had tried to reverse his car when they opened fire.

He pointed out that both lawyer Latifah Koya and himself had conducted themselves professionally besides refuting police allegations that Azamuddin’s disclosures can amount to tampering of evidence.

“These are serious allegations against us and we reserve our right to take legal action.” he concluded.

Enough evidence to launch Scorpene probe - Malaysiakini

Was the 114 million euro (RM534.8 million) paid to Perimekar a "commission"?

The Malaysia government has argued that the huge sum was not a commission but for the provisions of "support services" to the RM3.7 billion Scorpene submarines bought from France.

That's the crux of an on-going Parisian investigation as under French and international laws, giving commissions on such deals are illegal.

suaram french submarine case 280410 lawyer joseph brehamAccording to French lawyer Joseph Breham, who is part of a team investigating the scandal, there was enough "prima facie evidence" to justify a probe.

"How did this company suddenly obtain 114 million euro (RM482 million) in their bank account?" he asked in an interview with Malaysiakini last week.

"Also, the main shareholder of this company, is the wife (Maslinda) of a close associate (Abdul Razak Baginda) to the (then) minister of defence (Najib Razak)."

Breham's team hopes to unearth enough evidence to convince the French court to institute corruption charges.

Excerpts from the interview follow:

Malaysiakini: You said in media reports that you have sufficient evidence to proceed in the case. Can you reveal what kind of evidence you have?

Breham: We have Perimekar's account statement in 2001 and 2002. And between these years, they have lost about RM75,000. How can a company lose RM75,000 when the only thing the company did was related to some administrative cost? There was no income, and it was just renting an office.

razak baginda acquitted 311008 08How did this company suddenly obtain 114 million euro in their bank account? This is the basis for suspicion. Also, the main shareholder of this company is the wife (Maslinda) of a close associate (Abdul Razak Baginda) to the (then) minister of defence (Najib Razak).

These are strong elements (for suspicion) and if you add to this the fact that Altantuya Shaariibuu was killed by the bodyguards of the prime minister, and if you add to this the fact that the immigration records of Altantuya's entry into the country have disappeared, there is proof that a high official did not want any evidence of her entering the country.

And the fact that the two policemen blew her up with C4 (explosives), it appears as if they completely do not want anything of her to appear.

So, we have the proof that someone who is a high official is involved in this case. We have the proof that the wife of one of the close friends of the PM is involved - (he or she may have) nothing to do with the Altantuya case, but in the issuing of commissions.

I am saying that there is enough evidence, enough prima facie evidence, based on all these elements to make an enquiry.

You are saying that the French prosecutors have accepted your arguments to proceed with the case?

Yes, and there is an key argument that each time (French state-owned shipbuilder) DCN makes a deal in a foreign country, there is corruption. Of course, this does not prove anything but they are not 'white knights' either.

How similar is the Malaysian case to the Taiwanese and Pakistani cases that you mentioned in recent media reports?

I am not the lawyer for the Taiwanese or the Pakistani side. However, the Taiwan and Pakistan cases began the other way around. They both started because there were dissension in the French political parties. For example, the Pakistani case started because there were factions in the conservative party.

One of the factions was running for president in the presidential elections. So, the one in power stopped the other from getting kickbacks. In the end, the Pakistanis were not getting their money from the French.

military malaysia navy french built submarine scorpene classThe Taiwanese case came exactly the same way. It was related to a former French minister involved in another case with the company, and they proved that one of his mistresses bought him very expensive shoes.

They inquired where the money came from, and by tracing the money, they found that it came from a bank account in Switzerland. They also managed to prove that the money came from someone involved in the Taiwanese contract.

The reason why it went to such a high level was because of a provision in the contract that stated that there should be no commission paid and that the French government could ask DCN to pay back the commission.

Taiwan lost a lot of money because of this. They filed a civil case against DCN to make them pay back the commission and they won. So the French judicial system could not just ignore the evidence.

If those involved in the DCN case were found to be giving out commissions, can action be taken against them? Is there a law in France against giving out commissions?

There are three laws against giving out commissions. They are the 2002 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Anti-Bribery Convention, 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption, and the French national law.

[Malaysia is not party to the OECD Convention but it ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption on Sept 24, 2008.]

These conventions are interesting: they have a mechanism to monitor whether a country respects the conventions. In the French system, when there is risk of corruption among prosecutors, OECD can ask the French government to act against these prosecutors.

In France, there is a written instruction that a decision not to prosecute a case of corruption is not only based on technical criteria, but (also on) either quality of fact or consistency of proof.

A decision not to prosecute could not be motivated based on quality of person, or by consideration of national economic interest. A courageous prosecutor can ask in writing if he was instructed not to prosecute a person for corruption. He can say, "Excuse me, you give me instructions against the convention, please tell me which to follow." This, too, he should ask in writing.

What happens if you cannot obtain any information from the Malaysian side to help you with your investigation?

Once a judge decides, he can issue an instruction called 'the international warrant of search' and this warrant of search will be sent to the Malaysian side, saying, "We, the French judiciary, want this company to disclose to us this, and this, and this (information). According to the UNCAC, you are obliged to cooperate with me".

If Malaysia does not deal with the situation, it will at least prove that the government has something to hide. Moreover, if we can find elements showing that Perimekar has parked its accounts somewhere else, the solution in corruption cases is always to follow the money. If we can find the money somewhere else other than Malaysia, then we have some chances.

I, as a lawyer, can ask (apply to) the (French) judge to make such an instruction. It is up to him to decide. If he decides against my application, I can appeal.
If DCN were indicted, you of course expect the Malaysian public or NGOs like Suaram to take up the case against the government.

I am a lawyer and I look for proof. So, if corruption happens involving any of its official in Malaysia, we hope the Malaysian justice system will take care of it. It is not up to the French justice system to do this. It would not be logical. So, for now France must do something against DCN corrupting people outside of France.

NONEBut I hope that as soon as - and if we have proof - that Malaysian officials have received the commissions, the Malaysia justice system must then do its work.

If nothing happens, the only thing that could be done - but this is very theoretical, as far as I know it had never been done before - is that there is an application that is called 'either you extradite or you prosecute' in the UNCAC.

If a country considers that there is a huge problem, that there is such a (corrupted) person in another country, it can ask for extradition and that it is a duty of the other country either to extradite or prosecute.

Can a country refuse to do either?

No, it cannot say 'no' since it is international law. Of course, Malaysia will not be invaded if they decide to do neither. However, there is a way for them (Malaysia) to circumvent this, and that is to prosecute.

But in this case, there is a theoretical possibility - although it has never been used - that France may consider that the inquiry (on the Malaysian side) was such a false one. If they can show enough proof that the Malaysian inquiry was not valid, then it (France) can apply for an 'international binding judgment'.

For example, this applies to an official who must be sentenced to jail. If the official goes out of the country, he can be taken into custody (based on international laws).

Teen bashed up, MP blames cops

Panel visits site of shooting

Tumbuk Estate: How long more to wait?

Karpal: Charge Aminul's killers with murder

TV producers operating in the dark

Sodomy II: Anwar loses final appeal

World Press Freedom Day in Malaysia Wide Coverage for Malays and Chinese victims. Almost zero for Indian victims even by alternative media including Malaysiakini & Bloggers

World Press Freedom Day in Malaysia Wide Coverage for Malays and Chinese victims. Almost zero for Indian victims even by alternative media including Malaysiakini & Bloggers
The world press by a click of the mouse can see for themselves the extent of the wide media coverage rightly received in the case of Teoh Beng Hock and the high profile inquest media coverage on a day to day basis thereafter.
And by the click of the mouse the world could also see the extent of the headlines, front page and day to day coverage of the case Aminurulrasyid Amzah for eight days in a row with the latest being today as follows:-
1) Boy’s version The Star headlines 4/5/10
2) Ajal lepas mimun cerita rakan Aminurulrasyid Berita Harian headlines 4/5/10.
3) IGP : We’ll soldier on New Straits Times 4/5/10 headlines
4) No confidence in police investigations. Royal Commission of Inquiry wanted Tamil Nesan Headlines 4/5/10
5) Pengakuan (Utusan Malaysia front page 4/5/10)
6) Witness to fatal shooting goes public The Sun 4/5/10 front page)
7) Witness breaks silence cops kept shooting as Aminul lay dead (NST 4/5/10 at page 6)
8) Royal Commission required (MO 4/5/10 at page 3)
9) Tubuh Suruhanjaya diraja kes remaja mati ditembak keluarga bantah
cadangan Ketua Polis Negara adakan inkues (BH 4/5/10 at page 6)
10) Buddy: He died in my lap Friend recounts eventful might out with 1
Aminulrasyid (The Star 4/5/10 at page N10).
11) Boy in shooting incident speaks up. The Sun 4/5/10 at page 4).
12)Senate shoots down motion on teen shooting (Malaysiakini 4/5/10)
13)Special panel to call witnesses, review SOP (Malaysiakini 4/5/10)
14)Teen shooting: Police overhaul needed (Malaysiakini 4/5/10)
15)Karpal: Charge Aminul’s killers with murder (Malaysiakini 4/5/10)
16) IGP: Up to government to decide on Royal Commission of Inquiry
(Malaysiakini 4/5/10).
17) IGP Should resign (Malaysiakini 4/5/10)
But just three weeks ago two Indian brothers were shot dead and murdered by the police executionists in a shoot to kill operation. There are at least three eye witnesses.
By the click of the mouse the World Press would know that except for HRP and Hindraf no other members of the Malaysian civil society, PKR, DAP, PAS, NGOs’ Bar Council, Malaysiakini (except one story) Malaysia Today belatedly did cover, Malaysian Insider or bloggers cared (except Haris Ibrahim). Let alone the headlines and day to day basis coverage of Teoh Beng Hock and Aminulrasyid have and are getting. Why?
But when we point out this omission, we instead are accused of being racist by even PKR Supremo Anwar Ibrahim. A cry against racism is deemed racism in no other part of the world except in Malaysia.
This is just the tip of the iceberg scenario. Everyday in scores of other critical problems if the victims are Indians they are almost all ignored and side stepped by both the mainstream and alternative media, and both the BN and PR representatives.
In a peaceful struggle the one and only thing that we can do is to name and shame UMNO’s police force.  But the media including the Tamil media, Tamil Nesan and Malaysia Nanban and also Malaysiakini would not cover simply because the victims were two ethnic minority Malaysian Indians and don’t happen to be a Malay or a Chinese.
And so the atrocities against the Malaysian Indians go on a day to day basis under this 53 year continuous rule by the UMNO regime by commission and by the Malaysian civil society PKR, DAP, PAS and Malaysiakini by omission.
Karunai Nithi
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UMNO & P.R: Two acres Tamil school land disappears in thin air, but zero action!

 images UMNO & P.R: Two acres Tamil school land disappears in thin air, but zero action!
The brand new Behrang River Tamil school was originally granted 3 acres of land by the UMNO regime in Perak. But when fully built, the school had only one acre of land. The fence is so close to the school building (see photo below). The balance of the two acres land disappeared into thin air? And neither will the top leadership of PKR, DAP and PAS, their 78 MPs or even their 11 Indian MP mandores will ever seriously raise or champion this matter.
Where is this Tamil school’s football field? Swallowed by some UMNO developer! And knowing that PKR, DAP and PAS won’t bother questioning them because they do not get to play to the majoritarian political gallery? And the Indian MPs naturally, in hoary and hallowed Indian tradition, will maintain maunam (silence).
It would catch headlines in the local racist mainstream and alternative media and the PKR, DAP and PAS leaders and MPs including their 11 Indian mandore MP’s, who would be up in arms had it been a Malay, Islamic or Chinese school! This is the political reality in Malay-sia.
And then this is UMNOs’ One Malay-sia and Pakatan Rakyat’s multi-racialism! But when we point out this racist discrimination and omission, being the victims of racism, we in turn are branded as having a racist agenda even by the PKR Supremo!
Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice.


umno

Why the fuss over Jalan V David?

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(see Malaysiakini.com 4/5/2010) I was surprised and annoyed when I saw the 8pm news broadcast on NTV7 last Friday during which a group of people were shown protesting against the re-naming of Jalan Barat in Petaling Jaya to Jalan V David.
The re-naming of roads is not something new as it has been going on for years since independence where the government has been re-naming many roads, particularly those with colonial names.
These have been replaced with the names of prominent Malaysians to honour them for their contributions to society.
Dr V David was one such person who was a well-known veteran politician who had done much for the cause of workers, particularly the transport workers. He was largely responsible for setting-up the Transport Workers Union (located in their own building in Jalan Barat) of which he was the general- secretary for a long time.
The Selangor government’s action in re-naming Jalan Barat as Jalan V David is a fitting choice to honour this well-known personality more so since the Transport Workers Union building is located along that road.
After all, Jalan Barat is not named after anybody and re-naming it Jalan V David would not be an obnoxious act for some people to make a big hue and cry about.
Even though the Selangor government’s action deserves praise, there are always some people who are out to criticise or condemn such an action.
However, to the Selangor government, I would say syabas as you have done a virtuous act to honour a fellow Malaysian whose contributions to society have remained unrecognised hitherto.
The writer is president, Malaysian Indian Business Association (Miba).

Never a Parliamentary motion to debate Indian killed by police. Never a walkout of Parliament or a suspension from Parliament on critical Indian issues

Never a Parliamentary motion to debate Indian killed by police. Never a walkout of Parliament or a suspension from Parliament on critical Indian issues.
This is the reality in Malaysia today. Fifteen year old Aminulrasyid’s case deserves every attention.
But neither UMNO, MIC, BN nor PKR, DAP or PAS has any history of moving any emergency motion in Parliament when any of the hundreds of ethnic minority Indians were brutally shot dead by the police under their shoot to kill policy or being brutally murdered in police custody.
And neither is there any history of a motion of a walkout or a PKR, DAP or PAS MP being suspended on the Kampong Medan “ethnic cleansing” tragedy or any of the other scores of critical Indian problems.
We have heard of Karpal Singh being suspended from Parliament but never on any of the critical Indian issues. His son Gobind Singh was suspended on the “gallery” Altantuya case and Lim Guan Eng went to jail for 18 months in defence of a Malay girl.
But would Lim Guan Eng do the same if it had been an Indian girl?
PKR, DAP and PAS have staged scores of walkouts after heated exchanges with UMNO & BN. But never on even one Indian issue! Even as late as today 30/4/2010 Lim Kiat Siang rightly called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into killing of Aminulrasyid (Malaysiakini top in blogs 30/4/2010). But there is no history in this very same Lim Kiat Siang calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the killing of the two Indian brothers in Taiping early this week.
Either they do not feel or care for the Indians except their votes or they don’t get to score enough political points or don’t get to play to the 92% Malay, Chinese and natives gallery!
HRP’s letter to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on this very same matter was also to no avail.
Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice.
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UMNO and PKR insults Indians – Tamil school gets piped water only after 50 year and the Hulu Selangor by elections. Big deal and Cause Célèbre!


url umno UMNO and PKR insults Indians – Tamil school gets piped water only after 50 year and the Hulu Selangor by elections. Big deal and Cause Célèbre!
This made headlines news in Tamil daily Malaysia Nanban front page news in Makkal Osai and news at page 14 in Tamil Nesan all today 4/5/10.
This news was also celebrated in The Star 4/5/2010 at page N6 and Sinar Harian page S19 and Utusan Malaysia at page 14 also on 4/5/10).
A round of smiling faces by the Ladang Escot Tamil school teachers and pupils. And for this and through the aforesaid media news UMNO and PKR expects the two million Indians to be thankful and grateful to them.
But what about the racism and injustices caused to this school teachers and pupils for 50 long years, just because they were the soft target Indians, shame on UMNO’s One Malaysia. Shame on PKR, DAP and PAS for never before making this an issue just because the victims were yet again the Indians.
Pray tell us of one Malay and Chinese school which was denied water supply for 50 long years! Just one!
But when we raise point out and expose this level of racism even the PKR Supremo accuses us of having a racist agenda. What a shrewd, sinister and convenient excuse to side step this height of UMNO racism, religious extremism and supremacy and the guilt by omission by PKR, DAP and PAS.
Until 8/3/2008 when we raise these injustices UMNO would shrewdly say that this is “sensitive”.
But UMNO has since 8/3/2008 almost stopped labelling it ’sensitive’, but only to be ably continued by 18 year standing ex UMNO stalwart Anwar Ibrahim by accusing Hindraf of having a racist agenda.
Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice.
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