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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

PKR beri ahli ‘notis’ 1 bulan jika mahu keluar parti...yang nak keluar tu..cepat keluar...!!!

KUALA LUMPUR, 19 Mei — Ekoran siri tindakan keluar parti kebelakangan ini, pemimpin dan ahli-ahli Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) diberi nasihat — sesiapa yang masih berhasrat mahu meninggalkan parti itu agar berbuat demikian dalam tempoh sebulan ini.
PKR memberikan ‘nasihat mesra’ ini bagi membolehkan parti itu menjalankan proses penjenamaan semula, dijangka dilaksanakan selepas kongres nasional hujung bulan ini.
Proses penjenamaan semula ini dilihat menjurus kepada usaha memperkukuhkan parti dan menepis sikap negatif ekoran serangan bertubi-tubi sejak kebelakangan ini.
Kongres Nasional PKR akan diadakan di Kota Baru mulai 27 hingga 30 Mei.
Nasihat ini diberikan oleh Pengarah Pilihan Rayanya, Fuziah Salleh yang mahu memulihkan imej parti yang dilihat tercalar dengan serangan bertubi-tubi termasuk laporan tindakan keluar parti segelintir wakil rakyat dan pemimpin cabang dan negeri.
“Selaku pengarah pilihan raya, saya berpendapat mereka yang merasakan tidak lagi dapat memenuhi kepentingan peribadi mereka... mungkin mereka ini menyertai PKR (dulu dikenali sebagai Keadilan) atas alasan boleh mendapat manfaat peribadi, tetapi sekarang merasakan sebaliknya, wajar meninggalkan parti,” kata beliau.
“Saya beri notis kepada semua yang hendak melompat dari PKR untuk berbuat demikian dalam tempoh satu bulan. PKR akan membuat ‘rebranding’ (penjenamaan semula) selepas ini.
“Saya juga memaklumkan bahawa ‘we mean business’ dalam parti. Kita mahu PKR seiring dalam Pakatan Rakyat dan sesiapa yang hendak main-main (tidak serius) dalam PKR tidak diperlukan,” kata Ahli Parlimen Kuantan ini kepada The Malaysian Insider.
Fuziah yang mengetuai portfolio pilihan raya sejak Februari lalu melahirkan pendirian tegas ini beberapa hari selepas Ahli Parlimen Wangsa Maju Wee Choo Keong keluar PKR.
Wee mengumumkan keluar PKR Jumaat lalu atas kerana kesal dengan kepimpinan parti itu dan Pakatan Rakyat yang gagal mengambil tindakan terhadap skandal pasir di Dengkil, Selangor.
Pada Februari dan Mac lalu, PKR kehilangan tiga Ahli Parlimen yang memutuskan untuk keluar PKR.
Sejak Februari 2009, PKR juga melalui pengalaman lima Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) meninggalkan parti itu yang ditubuhkan pada 1999 selepas Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dipecat dari Umno dan kerajaan.
Anwar kini berhadapan dengan kes mahkamah melibatkan tuduhan liwat.
PKR juga kehilangan satu lagi kerusi Parlimen selepas wakil rakyat Kulim-Bandar Baharu Zulkifli Noordin dipecat dari parti atas masalah disiplin.
Sambil melihat tindakan Wee keluar parti sebagai yang terakhir membabitkan wakil rakyat, Fuziah berkata, nasihat ini diberikan kepada ahli akar umbi dan pemimpin semua peringkat.
“Saya yakin tindakan Wee keluar parti yang terakhir (membabitkan wakil rakyat).. jadi saya berikan tempoh (sebulan( ini,” katanya.
“Saya memberikan nasihat ini kerana jika mereka mempunyai sebarang rintihan dan rasa tidak puas hati, dan jika mereka benar-benar mencintai parti, saya lihat masih ada ruang untuk duduk berbincang dan menyelesaikan dan menguruskan konflik yang wujud,” kata beliau.
Ditanya sebab memberikan tempoh sebulan, Fuziah memberitahu, beliau merasakan tempoh sebulan ini memadai untuk mereka berfikir.
“Saya merasakan tempoh sebulan ini memadai (untuk membuat keputusan)... jika mereka benar-benar merasakan perjuangan parti ini menjadi keutamaan, mereka akan kekal bersama parti untuk menghadapi cabaran masa depan,” kata beliau sambil tidak menolak pihak lawan menggunakan situasi semasa untuk menyerang parti.
“Pihak lawan menggunakan ahli dan pemimpin (yang melahirkan rintihan) untuk menyerang parti. Sebagai pengarah pilihan raya, saya secara peribadi mahu mengakhiri serangan ke atas parti,” katanya.
Selain tindakan wakil rakyat keluar parti, PKR juga berhadapan dengan fenomena yang sama membabitkan pemimpin peringkat cawangan dan negeri yang keluar parti baru-baru ini khususnya ketika pilihan raya kecil.
Ia disaksikan secara bertali arus menjelang hari pengundian pilihan raya kecil Hulu Selangor pada 25 April lalu dan minggu lalu semasa berlangsungnya pilihan raya kecil kerusi Parlimen Sibu.

Vui Kong to be put to death – keep hope alive to commute “cruel, degrading and inhuman punishment”

It appears some Singaporeans probably care more about this young man than we do.
Mr. M. Ravi, a lawyer down south and a good man, has been campaigning tirelessly for this young man.
I wrote a bit about Vui Kong’s story and his brother’s heartfelt letter of appeal last November – and all through this time and longer, the poor boy has had death hanging over his head.
A statement by the Singapore Anti Death Penalty Campaign includes this most recent development:
While the Court acknowledged that the mandatory death sentence (MDP) is considered a cruel, degrading and inhuman punishment in other countries, it added that Singapore’s constitution does not provide for a prohibition against cruel, degrading and inhuman punishment.
O.O
Our good natured Singapore bashing aside, surely this is a perversion of the law. Are they saying that in Singapore, it is ok to inflict cruel, degrading and inhuman punishment?? :( :(
A boy’s life is at stake here – surely reason can prevail? :(
I am reminded of something I saw briefly on Loyarburok by Amer Hamzah, who helped me with my case:
Before I take my seat, I seek Your Lordship’s leave to read out an excerpt from the book “Letters to a Young Lawyer” by Professor Alan Dershowitz.
“Don’t love the law. It will inevitably disappoint you. Understand the law is a tool, a mechanism, a construct. It is a false idol like so many others in life
Don’t respect the law, unless it merits your respect. The law in Nazi Germany or in apartheid South Africa or in the Jim Crow South did not deserve respect. The Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v Gore should be followed ? that’s what it means to live under the rule of law. But it should not be respected, any more than the robed cheaters who wrote it should be respected. [The] law today sometimes deserves respect, other times it deserves condemnation. It must be always be obeyed, but it need not be admired. Honesty is more important than respect.
If you don’t love the law, what should you love (aside from your loved ones)? Love liberty. Love justice. Love the good that law can produce. Aspirations don?t disappoint, so long as you realize that the struggle for liberty, justice and anything else worth pursuing never stays won.
Vui Kong’s story:
10-year old Vui Kong was unable to continue with his education…. Initially he became a kitchen help and he fell into bad company. Vui Kong was used by the so-clled “Big Brother” to be a runner to collect bad debts….
Vui Kong himself did not consume drugs, but from collecting bad debts, he was slowly tasked to delivering gifts. The young Vui Kong obeyed the instructions of “Big Brother” who said that delivering a little bit of drugs would not lead to death. Vui Kong fell into the trap of the drug trafficking syndicate.
While Vui Kong lives and breathes, we should not give up our hopes or efforts to save this young man.
Please Malaysia, help pass the word around. And please Singapore, we humbly ask for mercy.

Thai troops enter protesters' area

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- Military troops on Wednesday morning began entering a park in central Bangkok, where thousands of opposition protesters have been camped out in defiance of a government order to vacate the area.

Armored personnel carriers were seen smashing into bamboo and tire barricades lining Lumpini Park, the site of the main demonstration area for the so-called Red Shirt protesters. Soldiers were also seen shooting sporadically as they entered the northwest edge of the park.

The large show of force appeared to be the beginning of a large military operation to root out remaining protesters two days after a government-issued deadline expired with many Red Shirts still holding ground.

"This will be the last operation by the government," Thai senator Lertrat Ratanavanich said on local television. "It is impossible to avoid the loss."

The prime minister's office issued a statement blaming the crackdown on failed talks between the two sides.

"Negotiations failed because core (opposition) leaders are not to be able to make decisions by themselves," the statement said, alluding to an outside force influencing the protesters. "(We) ask core leaders to stop the rally and surrender."

A government statement read on Thai television announced that the operation will continue throughout the day and sought to assure residents that security officers were working to secure their safety.

"The Royal Thai government would like to inform the residents of Bangkok that today the security officers will operate in several areas to secure a perimeter," the statement said. "We are going to make sure that within the perimeter security and safety will be provided to the public."

Earlier Wednesday a CNN correspondent positioned on a building overlooking the park said it appeared that most of the protesters had dispersed by the time the troops entered around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday (9:30 p.m. Tuesday ET). The park had been housing as many as 5,000 protesters just a day earlier.

At least four people were injured in the initial crackdown, medical officials said.

Several hundred troops began amassing just as dawn broke over the city. It was the largest movement of forces since clashes broke out last Thursday between opposition protesters and government security officials.

The troops, many of whom were armed, were seen walking in a long column and carrying razor wire and fire extinguishers near the park where the protesters have been launching demonstrations.

Armored personnel carriers also were spotted near the protest site, and gunfire could be heard nearby.

A large plume of black smoke billowed into the sky from one of three large tire fires the opposition was using as shields. A bank building was also reported to be on fire on the main road where protesters and security forces have traded gunfire for the past six days.

Meanwhile at the main staging area in the middle of the park, opposition operations apparently continued as normal with speeches going on, music being played and leaders telling protesters they can stay as they please, even while saying they want to continue negotiations with the government.

Local television reports said protesters were being told to seek shelter at a nearby temple if they were concerned about the growing troop presence.

At least 36 people have been killed since clashes intensified Thursday.

The violence prompted the United Nations' top human rights official to implore anti-government protesters and government officials to resume talks.

Satit Wongnongtoey, the Thai prime minister's office spokesman, said negotiations can be held when the opposition, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, ends its protest.

iReport: Are you there? Send your images, video

"I can confirm that the government has always wanted to talk, but it has been let down by the UDD, due to the intervention of a mastermind abroad," said Satit, who didn't identify the person.

The opposition members, also known as Red Shirts, support former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 bloodless military coup.

The capital was notably calmer Tuesday. But after more than five days of violent standoffs, debris and piles of tires littered battle-scarred streets, and the sound of gunfire still regularly punctuated the air.

Police spokesman Col. Songphol Wattanachai told reporters Tuesday that police had seized 9,021 tires from the city's streets. Burning tires have been used by protesters to create shields of black smoke during recent clashes.

Songphol said police had arrested and were interrogating a Red Shirt protester who was a close aide to Maj. Gen. Khattiya Sawatdiphol, better known as Seh Daeng -- a renegade leader of a violent anti-government faction who died this week after being shot in the head by a sniper.

As troops continued their crackdown on protesters, Amnesty International criticized the government's approach.

Timeline of Thailand's political crisis

Benjamin Zawacki, the organization's Thailand specialist, told CNN that 35 of the people killed since Thursday were unarmed, including a 17-year-old boy and two medics.

"Our concern is that the government is using live ammunition or live rounds preemptively, rather than as a last resort, and using them against persons who are unarmed and present no credible threat to the soldiers or anyone else," he said.

iReport: Video sparks discussion

But government officials maintained that they were following rules of engagement. Troops only use live bullets when first attacked by terrorists with war weapons, Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd told reporters.

Two main groups of anti-government demonstrators have been demanding that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolve the lower house of Parliament and call new elections: the Red Shirts, whose leaders claim that protesters are peaceful, and the Black Shirts, who advocate a more violent approach.

What are the protests about?

The government ordered all demonstrators to leave their protest site by 3 p.m. Monday, but thousands continued to hold their ground.

"As the latest government deadline passes, there is a high risk that the situation could spiral out of control," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Monday.

iReport: Tending to a sniper wound

"To prevent further loss of life, I appeal to the protesters to step back from the brink, and the security forces to exercise maximum restraint in line with the instructions given by the government. Ultimately, this situation can only be resolved by negotiation."

The Ministry of Public Health reported that 65 people have died and more than 1,000 have been wounded since the Red Shirt anti-government protesters began flooding the streets of Bangkok on March 12 to demand new elections.

Shot K'tan palace guard dies - Malaysiakini

The Kelantan palace guard who was shot earlier this month by unknown assailants has died at the Raja Perempuan Zainab Hospital in Kota Bharu.
Ramli Mohamad, 50 died at about 3.30am today, 19 days after he was admitted to the hospital.

A family member told Bernama that Ramli died after his condition became critical yesterday following infection of his major organs.

Kelantan royal household comptroller Abdul Halim Hamad, who was reportedly at the hospital, confirmed the death.

Yesterday, the Regent of Kelantan, Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, donated RM100,000 to Ramli's family.
azlanTengku Muhammad Faris Petra (left) is expected to attend the funeral in Tumpat.
The cause of death has yet to be announced but Abdul Halim had been quoted as saying that Ramli suffered infection in his lungs, heart and kidneys and slipped into a coma again on Sunday.
He was shot on May 1 while on his way home in Palekbang, Tumpat and went into a coma a few days after admission.

He regained consciousness three days after surgeons removed the bullet on May 5.
Ramli, a former soldier who had worked with the Kelantan Royal family for 17 years, was then able to interact with family members but lapsed into a coma last Sunday.

He leaves a wife and five children.
The Kelantan royal household has been in turmoil over succession issues, with a number of incidents reported in recent weeks.

Tackling poverty issue tops Kamalanathan's agenda

By Ken Vin Lek - Free Malaysia Today,

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly elected MP for Hulu Selangor P Kamalanathan said addresing the plight of plantation workers living below the poverty line in Kuala Kubu Baru is his priority.
“I've been in discussions with Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam and the National Union of Plantation Workers (NUPW) regarding this matter," said Kamalanathan.
"We are looking into the possibility of implementing a minimum wage scheme to tackle the issue."
FMT reported yesterday that there were plantation workers in Hulu Selangor who were earning an average RM400 a month, and may end up taking home as little as RM33 after various deductions are made from their salaries.
A huge proportion of votes from the recent by-election in Hulu Selangor were from plantation workers and could well have been pivotal in ensuring a win for BN.
Kamalanathan, mindful of their contributions, said he will do his utmost to fulfil his campaign promises.
'Inhumane to be paid less than poverty level'
Meanwhile, DAP's Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said the government should seriously consider implementing a minimum wage scheme.
This is because the current wage system based on collective agreements had resulted in many employees to live below subsistence levels.
Pua described as "inhumane” for someone to be paid wages below the poverty level by plantation companies raking in huge profits.
The poverty line index in Malaysia is RM720 in Peninsular Malaysia, RM830 in Sarawak and RM960 in Sabah.
About 5.2% of the population in the Peninsula and 28.6% in Sabah are living below the poverty line.
Pua suggested that the minimum wage be pegged at a competitive level to prevent exploitation of workers and at the same time prevent job cuts.
"These plantation companies make a lot of profit and it is only right that they treat their workers fairly and pay them what they deserve,” said Pua.
"Look at Singapore. It subsidises the wage bill of employees in the private sector to prevent a cut in jobs and maintain a minimum wage level," he added.
'The sooner the better'
Meanwhile, the chairman of Asli Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) Ramon Navaratnam said that the sooner the minimum wage is implemented the better.
"If we want to raise income and the standard of living, we must first increase the minimum wage of our workers," he said.
He added that the key element to a minimum wage structure is the ability to drive productivity and deliver what is required of them in their jobs.
"We cannot tolerate the subsidy mentality too long because it will undermine our prospects of achieving the objectives of the New Economic Model. Besides, they run the risk of getting stuck in their jobs," he said.
Ramon said although initially, productivity will be slow for the wages they will be paid, this step was necessary to ensure that we become a high income, high productivity nation.
"This will also discourage cheap unskilled foreign labour from being brought in as domestic and plantation workers and reduce the effects of the brain drain from our country."

Chinese to BN: We are not concubines

By Stanley Koh - Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT You tolong saya, saya tolong you. You’ve probably heard this expression before, especially if you’ve been caught committing a traffic offence. It’s the opening line in a negotiation for a reduced fine, to be paid on the spot.
The English translation of the expression has lately been gaining currency, thanks to none other than Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister was recently caught on video saying: “Let’s make a deal... you help me, I help you.” He was negotiating with voters in Rejang Park during the campaign for the Sibu parliamentary by-election. [see video here]
Ini bukan tipu (This not a trick),” he said. “If you deliver me (BN candidate) Robert Lau on Sunday (polling day), on Monday I will ask for the cheque to be prepared.”
Pakatan Rakyat has cried foul, alleging that Najib was offering to buy votes and was therefore in violation of election laws. Yet, to the pussycat authorities, the PM has done nothing wrong.
So the pertinent question is: How much are the Chinese votes worth? The answer depends on whether you are the recipient or the giver. The cash value can range from RM3 million to RM160 million.
Normally, the infrastructure needs of the contested constituency would determine the quantum. However, the amount can also depend on the degree of Barisan Nasional’s desperation for an electoral victory.
In Sibu, as in Hulu Selangor before it, the desperation was high indeed, judging from the amounts offered. And from both by-elections, Najib and BN have found out that not every Chinese can be bought.
It must be hard for corrupt politicians to understand why money cannot buy a person’s integrity, dignity and pride. Perhaps the orientalists are right about the Chinese being inscrutable. One the one hand, they are stereotyped as worshippers of money. On the other, they are notoriously loyal to the traditions of the ancients.
The majority of Sibu’s Foochows and Hakkas have certainly made their ancestors proud. They chose righteousness and rejected dubious electioneering tactics.
Old legend
The Sibu election results remind us of a legend that has been told for thousands of years. It is believed to have originated during the reign of the Zhou dynasty (551-479 BC), and the events were supposed to have taken place in one of the fragmented Seven Kingdoms.
The emperor had two concubines — Ha Ying Chun and Chung Mo Yin. He adored Ha for her stunning beauty, although she was ambitious and vindictive. She was the younger sister of the emperor’s prime minister and had set her mind to be crowned empress.
Chung was famous for her intelligence and good nature. But she was born ugly, with a birthmark covering half her face.
Both were indispensible to the Zhou emperor, but Ha of course spent a lot more time with him. He would summon Chung only when he needed to exploit her tremendous thinking skills for strategic solutions to problems of state.
He showered expensive gifts on Ha, but treated Chung shabbily despite her invaluable contributions to the state.
BN treats Chinese voters as if they are concubines like Chung, marginalised during good times but courted when their votes are needed.
Are the Chinese awakening to find that the rot has gone too deep and they can no longer stomach the politics of greed, corruption and unfair policies that have enriched only a few?
A stern reminder
Recent polls show that only 30% of Chinese voters support BN. Is this a stern reminder to the ruling regime, or merely a sign that the Chinese no longer like to be treated like concubines?
Will this voting trend of the Chinese community hold until the next general election or is it just a passing phase?
Whatever the case, Chinese Malaysians have spoken loudly through the ballot box. They are not content being treated like slaves dependent upon a hypocritical government that dictates their lifestyles, how much freedom they deserve, and the quota they deserve in education and business.
They want to put a stop to money politics and are pressing for reforms and a level playing field in politics.
In short, the spirit of the Chinese community for a two-party system is burning, and they will make known their feelings against an oppressive government that bullies the elected opposition.
Is ours a government that respects the right of voters to choose their representatives democratically? The answer is an obvious “No.” The Chinese are angered and frustrated by the arrogant and unethical ruling regime that has toppled a state government and is planning to topple a few more — with money, of course.
And they have had enough of official bigotry and insults against their community by individuals or groups acting as proxies to the regime.
If the regime continues to encourage party hopping, what is the use of elections? Why should voters respect a regime that does not respect their choices?
Any Chinese voter worth his rice porridge and claiming to inherit Chinese culture would not sell his soul to the devil, who has lately assumed the form of politicians making insincere promises.
Indeed, it is becoming clear that the Chinese are waking up to the importance of their vote; they are using it to weed out traitors and to punish racists and chauvinists. To them, a vote is more than a token that gives legitimacy to an elected body of representatives. Those elected should be behaving as servants and trustees of the people and not as warlords or masters. They elect their representatives not in order to give them bigger and bigger mansions, but in order for them to push for restoring the independence of all the estates of government.
The dramatic shift of Chinese votes to the opposition is expected to escalate at the next general election as long as an ineffective government continues to support racist and extremist organisations. And their anger will rise with every attempt to topple a state ruled by the parliamentary opposition.
The survival of BN and its component parties really rests in their own hands.

S
tanley Koh is a Free Malaysia Today contributor.

Sibu voters roar, BN whimpers

By Maclean Patrick - Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT Sibu started with a bang from Barisan Nasional. Now there's barely a whisper. The BN team packed their bags and quietly left before the results were announced on Sunday evening. There was minimal coverage of the results in the main media, as with a nightmare BN were eager to forget.
Left behind in their wake are promises that may remain unfulfilled. But promises not kept will become lies: were Najib Tun Razak and crew lying when they promised RM18 million for Chinese schools, RM1.7 million for churches and RM5 million for flood mitigation projects?

If Hulu Selangor was a show of the democratic process gone right (in the minds of the Barisan Nasional) what then is Sibu? Democracy gone wrong, all because Barisan Nasional lost? Perhaps that is why, acting like sore losers, they left town without so much as a squeak.

If past records are anything to go by, little will remain of BN promises after losing a vote. The reality is that defeat turns promises into instruments with which to punish hapless voters who voiced their views through the democratic process.

In fact, Sibu voters showed the democratic process at its finest: rising above "money politics", the voters  chose justice and good governance, opting for change in the only way they knew possible, via the ballot box.

Rather than being sore losers, the BN should be benevolent winners even in defeat.

The message was clear. The people of Sibu had had enough. The rhetoric of the SUPP failed to show up the other story, the disparity between Chinese and non-Chinese. Why were there paved roads into Chinese communities and gravel roads to the rural Iban longhouses? Why were urban Malays sidelined in business deals? And even among the Chinese, why was favour shown to those affiliated to the Sarawak Chief Minister? Where was the development promised from the previous election?

Blatant abuse of power, and corruption among the leaders, had left a bitter taste among Sibuans. The rally for better governance and an end to corruption was building slowly and the whisper campaign reached Najibs' ears.

Najib knew all about this. He was very much forewarned that this was the sentiment of the people in Sibu.

They were not against 1Malaysia or the Prime Minister. In fact he was a favorite of Sibuans. It was not the federal government (in general) that they did not favour, the state authority  and specifically its head, Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. This was a feeling strongly held among voters, both in urban Sibu and rural Sibu.

Taib has been in power for 29 years, too long for the liking of most residents of Sarawak. And this had been privately conveyed to Najib in a close-door meeting. No amount of promising could quell the growing resentment of Taib. Too long, too much. The DAP motto of "Vote for Change" was a welcome respite from the over-used BN cry of "Vote for development".

Sibuans voted for justice, for equality and an end to the economics of disparity. The 4% drop in Iban votes was cushioned by the 3% increase in votes to DAP from the Malay-Melanau voters. Among the Chinese, DAP's support increased by 10% to 68%, from 58% at the previous election. Lim Guan Eng said "the people created this miracle for Sibu".

Najib should now own up to all that he promised, and show that the Federal Government has the welfare of the people at heart, regardless of political affiliation, and that of any political party. Most of all it must be clearly seen that the money should not benefit Taib Mahmud.

This will be the test for Najib, with the eyes of the people of Sarawak firmly fixed on him. Otherwise Sarawak voters will roar even louder at the next general election, with the call for change and good governance sounding in the other cities of Sarawak and among the king-makers in Malaysia.

That roar, when it comes, will turn many a wealthy politician into paupers.

Ex-Sabah CM says no reason for BN to panic

By Michael Kaung - Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah Chief Minister Salleh Tun Said, the state Umno deputy chief, says there is no reason for the ruling Barisan Nasional government to panic over support for the coalition in Sabah and Sarawak.
He is confident that the BN parties can deliver the seats to the coalition in future elections despite their shock defeat in the Sibu, Sarawak by-elections on Sunday.
Salleh, who himself spent a lengthy period cooling his heels on the sidelines of the state government, took fellow BN leader Chin Su Phin, the deputy president of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), to task for advising BN leaders to stop treating the two states as their 'fixed deposits' in elections.
He said the BN's defeat in the just concluded Sibu parliamentary by-election cannot be used as a barometer to judge support for the ruling coalition.
“Sabah and Sarawak are still and will continue to be the fixed deposit for BN. In fact Sabah BN's support is solidly behind state Chief Minister Musa Aman who has been chosen by the central leadership,” he said.
Salleh, who is currently the science advisor to the chief minister, said he was taken aback by Chin's candid statement and questioned his motive for disclosing it to the media.
“We (BN) have channels and ways to forward any opinions like in the case of the state leadership, a component party will go through the state BN chairman. Making open statements is not healthy and against the BN spirit."
He argued that the BN need not fear for their grip on power in the two east Malaysian states based on the outcome of the Sibu by-election.
The election, he said, did not represent the majority of people in Sabah and Sarawak and it was an isolated case because the issues raised were 'localised' problems.
"It is unfair to say that Sabah and Sarawak are no longer BN's fixed deposit just because it lost in a by-election. The people in Sibu will vote for BN again in the next general election," he assured.
Salleh also dismissed Chin's assertion that a crisis is brewing in the state BN leadership.

Bung Mokhtar gets jail

Bung Mokhtar had pleaded guilty last month. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — Syariah Judge Wan Mahyuddin Wan Muhammad today sentenced Kinabatangan Member of Parliament Datuk Bung Moktar Radin to one month's jail for committing polygamy without the consent of court.
Wan Mahyuddin said that court needed to impose severe punishment so that that the public would respect the institution of marriage, and to serve as a lesson for those that did not respect the Islamic legal system.
“The court hopes that this case will be an important lesson for the public in understanding the concept of polygamy in Islam and also the importance of the institution of marriage. Even though the court has previously given a maximum sentence but many still commit the same offence.
“The court has decided that it needs to hand a severe punishment in the case for the betterment of the society. The court hopes that this punishment will give a clear picture and encourage the public to follow the procedures provisioned in the Islamic legal system,” he said.
Wan Mahyuddin added that Bung Mokhtar and Zizie Izette, as “icons” in the country, must lead by example and respect the Islamic court.
“Bung Mokhtar should have respected the law because he is a lawmaker and represents the people. Zizie Izette is popular Muslim actress and both are idols. Their actions will be reciprocated by the public. If they don’t follow the rules... the rules can belittle by the people,” he said.
Bung Mokhtar and Zizie Izette had pleaded guilty at the Gombak Timur Lower Syariah Court to the charge of committing polygamy without the consent of court and a marriage registrar on April 20.
Zizie was slapped with a RM1,000 fine, or one month's jail inlieu, for the offence.
The couple were also handed a RM1,000 fine, or six months jail in lieu, for abetting in polygamy.
Zizie’s siblings Ahmad Shahazmi Abdul Samad, Sazmy Fuzette Abdul Samad, Saheizy Abdul Samad and Sam Abdul Samad were each sentenced to a RM1,000 fine or six months jail in lieu for similar offences.
Bung’s friends, Sahari Ahmad and Titing Putang, received the same sentences for abetting in the polygamy.
The lawmaker's counsel was currently requesting for a stay of execution of the custodial sentence.
Earlier, members of the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) had caused a ruckus and tried to force their way into the court room.
The members complained that they had to line up and wait for the reporters to arrive before they were allowed in.
“This is a strategy by the court and family to not let us in. How can they let the media in first? We were here first! There are so many of them here. How can we expect them not to be biased? We need to be in,” said one member.
The session is currently in recess and will resume at 12pm.

RPK like HINDRAF is a tool not the solution

What do we gain by picking bones with HINDRAF when we, the public, will be at the losing end with one less party to fight for the community?

By R. Shan (Human Being)

The tool here in a literary sense may confuse some but basically it means that someone out in their own efforts to harness and sharpen the public's awareness on the general state of the nation for the well-being of the public.

No matter how multiracial we want to be, we must accept that there are major malfeasances done in Malaysia. Not one that is based on race, but one that is motivated by power & greed by the politicians. Just look at Kamalanathan who can be Alan, Nathan & Kamal. He capitalised on this multiracialism and will do and say anything to appear or rather portray himself as such. How phony can he be in order to maintain power & greed whether it is for UMNO or MIC.

RPK and HINDRAF are not motivated by power or greed nor can they be manipulated by the ever eager opposition. They work as a tool to awaken the public from our slumber to find a solution for the community. RPK will continue his conspiracy theories and whatnot for public scrutiny; HINDRAF will continue to fight for human rights and equality for the Indians. But again, they are
only tools. The solution lies in us as the public to embrace and enhance the struggle.

The majority of us are still unable to face the truth and reality that out there are many in despair like those without options like a large segment of the Malaysian Indians and those neglected through political insouciance.

What do we gain by picking bones with HINDRAF when we, the public, will be at the losing end with one less party to fight for the community? Sure, HINDRAF is seen as an Indian cause. But HINDRAF is a tool to question and raise issues relating to the marginalized and discriminated Indian that nobody bothers about. What is wrong with helping the most needy first? Before GE12, all opposition political parties used it as a tool and its Makkal Shakti call to create the tsunami never seen before. Now post GE12, the same political parties crucify it. Let’s be realistic. The tool served its purpose but the solution never came about. Of course, UMNO and its mini mandores are a no-go zone, but did we not know that for the last 53 years?

Let’s look at RPK. Thre are a zillion evidence of his never-ending crusade to highlight and wage war against the government, yet the man is in exile. Again, the tool served its purpose, but the solution did not materialise. With all his disclosures, why does the solution still seem so far away as when Kamalanathan could still win in Hulu Selangor? We all make our comments and praise the Lord for someone like RPK, but the solution lies not with him as a tool but us collectivelty on how we can be part of the solution.

We can all see the deplorable tactics engineered by UMNO and its goons whereby they feel they can conquer the subjugated masses. I can, like you, provide all the justifications that seem all rosy and real on why there is nothing I can do. But the pertinent issue that escapes our perception is, we do not see beyond ourselves. We fail to heed strategy tools such as RPK and HINDRAF for the solution that would benefit the society at large. And it can only prevail if we work together.

Arrogance Par Excellence

There for us all to see was a classic moment of Umno’s arrogance on display. He did not see the need to actually make the case of why his candidate was better qualified, more suited and capable of serving the public. Rather, like a master talking down to his subjects (or pets), he stood before them and reminded them of their subservient position: they would get help but they had to first show allegiance to the master.
By G. Krishnan
“Can we have a deal, can we have an understanding or not?”“The understanding is quite simple…you help me I help you”“Ini bukan tipu…if you deliver me Robert Lau on Sunday, on Monday I will ask the cheque to be prepared.”“This is our deal tonight…I don’t know how much it cost…okay lah, Robert Lau menang, I ask the 5 million to be prepared Monday.”
These were some of the words uttered by our prime minster in Sibu recently. Our very Najib Abdul Razak, who is, incidentally, most interested in a so-called ‘1Malaysia.’ I have to say, I have been very confused since the beginning about this ‘1Malaysia’ idea of his. Quite frankly, it really struck me as very empty and shallow. I just did not get it how there could be so many policies of this government that were deliberately divisive and discriminatory, but yet he tries to sell us this slogan of ‘1Malaysia.’
But his speech in Rejang Park during the Sibu by-election campaign, where he was unambiguous in his choice of words, clearly captured and encapsulated for me what this government – and his ‘1Malaysia’ slogan - is all about. In his ‘1Malaysia’ we the people and his party are one (meaning together), only when we vote for his party. Apparently, we give him what he wants, and then we are eligible for retribution in the form of a cheque. Alas, he gets the one candidate of his picking, and we get one cheque! Could this be what his ‘1Malaysia’ is all about?
Well, this is about as close as I can get to seeing what his slogan translates into in practice. This got me wondering: under our laws, can a politician actually indulge in such political horse-trading for votes? I know we’ve seen numerous previous instances of enticements and monies distributed on behalf of certain political camps to influence voters. But this blatant, shameless and unadulterated bargaining for votes is truly shocking.
Beyond the mockery that this makes of the election law, it also reveals the extent to which Zaid Ibrahim’s remarks, that the various enforcement agencies are nothing but mere facilitators of the prime minster’s agenda, ring so true.
But closer scrutiny of the prime minster’s horse-trading that day in Rejang Park actually provides more evidence of the frequently heard charge of Umno arrogance. Rather than appealing to voters for why his candidate is deserving of the voters’ trust, like a master teasing his pet, Najib toyed with and mocked the desperation and vulnerability of the voters. Sarcastically asking the crowd if they badly needed funds for dealing with the flooding problem, he dangled them some meat, if they would only roll over, so to speak.
Read more at: IMAGINE...

Pst, Musa, RPK akan muncul,lah. Confirm. Kat Lon Don. Pi tangkaplah

By Haris Ibrahim,

Musa, dengar khabar RPK akan berceramah kat Lon Don pada hari Sabtu, 22hb Mei, ini.
Betul, Mus, berita ni berani dia tu sebarkan kat MalaysiaToday.
Nampak sangat seolah-olah dia mencabar mu, gertak satu PDRM dan tampar muka si Kerisdin tu untuk pi tangkap dia kalau berani.
Mu berani, kan?
Mu tak takut dia, kan?
Kalau tak pi tangkap dia, mesti dia khabar macam-macam yang busuk pasal mu dan si pembunuh pempuan Mongolia itu.
Mu jangan caya dengan sibahlul-sibahlul kat PDRM, Mus. Mu pi sendiri ke Lon Don tangkap si RPK ni. Kalau hantar dema, silap-silap mat salleh kena tembak mati, macam adik Aminul. Takda pasal, jadi hal lain kat Lon Don.
Mu pi sendiri, Mus.
Mu pi tempat ceramah tu buat derama Hindustan sikit, lah.
Buat kecoh sikit, lah.
Baru satu dunia tahu sapa hero Malaysia.
Ku caya sama mu, Mus.

“Don’t self-censor”

thenutgraph.com

Joshua Wong holding up promotional material from his No political interference! campaign
NEWS savvy Malaysians now probably know Joshua Wong Ngee Choong, 42, as the ntv7 producer who quit the network on 20 April 2010. The headlines, however, focused on the alleged political interference by the Prime Minister's Office and the prime minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. In this 17 May exclusive interview in Kuala Lumpur, Wong explains to The Nut Graph that the trigger for his resignation was actually self-censorship within the network.
In this first of a two-part interview, Wong details the progression of his career in journalism, and offers us insights into how he tried — with varying degrees of success — to practise ethical journalism within a traditional and controlled media outlet.
TNG: Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you begin your career in journalism? Did you always want to be a journalist?
Joshua Wong Ngee Choong: I studied in the accounting stream at Chung Hwa Independent High School. After graduating, I thought I automatically needed to study accounting. So I took my London Chamber of Commerce and Industry diploma, and then worked as an accounts clerk at a travel firm. But I had no interest in my job.
At the same time, I worked as a volunteer editor for a Chinese-language Christian publication. Later on, a friend asked me if I wanted to study journalism instead. That's when I quit my job as an accounts clerk and studied for my diploma in journalism at the Hanxing Academy of Journalism and Communication, Cheras.
After graduating, I worked at China Press as a crime reporter for two years. Then I went to Sin Chew Jit Poh and worked at their weekly youth magazine. After about a year there, I decided to pursue journalism further and did my journalism degree at the Hong Kong Baptist University. This is where I became educated about subjects such as journalistic ethics and investigative journalism.
While in Hong Kong, I also did a part-time internship at Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK). After graduating, I worked full-time as an assistant producer for a Mandarin-language station of RTHK. I liked some of the documentary programmes on RTHK and watched them every week. Soon, I believed that I could be that kind of journalist, too.
So when I came back to Malaysia, I jointed RTM for one-and-a-half years. Then I got an offer from ntv7 to produce a show called Finding Angels. I joined ntv7, but soon discovered that my interest wasn't really in the programme. I was more interested in (the Chinese version of) Edisi Siasat.
OA interview
Interviewing the Orang Asli for Siasat Mandarin (pic courtesy of Wong)
At that time, Siasat Mandarin was very sensationalist on certain issues. They'd do reports on ghosts and things that were of no public interest. So I tried to redirect Siasat Mandarin, by reporting and featuring marginalised groups and social issues, for example transsexuals, Orang Asli, homosexuals and so on.
Wasn't the Malay version of Edisi Siasat also accused of being sensationalist?
Yes, they would also do shows on similar issues, but sometimes they'd be judgmental and sensationalist, for example on homosexuality and sex workers.
Actually, two or three years ago, ntv7 discontinued Siasat Malay because of a lack of human resources. There were also just too many complaints from the public about the show's sensationalism, bias, and its use of religion to make moral judgments on different groups. Even the network's top management didn't like the Siasat Malay style of reporting.
Actually, Siasat Malay was an excellent platform to explore public interest issues. A different producer might have been able to redirect the show that way.
So for the past seven years at ntv7, did you feel that you managed to do the kind of journalism you wanted to do?
Yes, I was happy at ntv7, especially at the beginning. The top management seldom asked us what topics we wanted to explore.
For example, in the 2008 protest against the Bar Council forum on conversions, we tried to convince our superiors that we would shoot a fair episode. We told them we'd speak to both syariah and civil lawyers to get different points of view. Our executive producer said okay, but the Film Censorship Board wouldn't approve the episode.
But you see, my superiors started trusting me and my team because we consistently did a good job with the show over the years.
In 2008, you produced a Siasat Mandarin episode, The Power of Civil Society, which was banned by the authorities. Why did you not resign then? What's the difference between the censorship in 2008 and in 2010?
At that time, at least we knew the rules of the game. If we did a show on the impact of religion on politics and society, we knew there might be a chance the authorities would censor us. The important thing is that we didn't self-censor, and we always tried to make our reporting fair.
And in working like this, we actually managed to get some things through that we didn't expect to. For example, on our show on transsexuals, we interviewed academic Prof Dr Teh Yik Koon, who told us that sex reassignment surgery is actually allowed in Iran, which is also a Muslim country. The Censorship Board actually approved this content!
[As] a television journalist, I have to submit my work to the Censorship Board and that's part of the system. The thing is, my own superiors should not also practise self-censorship.
You see, now it would be difficult for me even if I had chosen to stay on as producer of Editor's Time. The network's bosses said we had to follow the three restrictions: no political issues, no opposition politicians on the programme, and no Hulu Selangor by-election coverage temporarily. But the show itself is supposed to run for 13 episodes. How would I know when the restrictions would get lifted?
Some of my colleagues said, "Why not just close one eye now and wait until Siasat comes back [later in the year]? After all, that's the show you really care for."
But I felt that what the network did to my programme and my team was not fair. Those allegations that were made against my show, top management did not even conduct any investigations before they imposed this self-censorship. In fact, I think they were not only punishing my programme, they were also punishing the audience.
But surely in your seven years at ntv7 there must have been instances before this when there was censorship or interference. How did you manage to work in such an environment for so long?
I have a recipe. (Laughs) I emphasise the process of fighting for what is right. For example, there was a shampoo company that gave the network a big amount of money for product placement on Siasat Mandarin. So we had to do an episode on hair loss, on why the shampoo could be good for this problem and so on. The company even sponsored a trip to their Japan factory.  Management also promised the company that we'd interview one of their celebrity product endorsers.
But in a subsequent meeting with the shampoo company, I argued that this would be a lose-lose situation for both them and our network. I told them audiences now are clever. They'd watch the Siasat episode, see the blitz on the shampoo brand, the commercials and the celebrity endorsement and would think badly of the brand. Also this would destroy ntv7's credibility. The shampoo company said, "But your bosses have already agreed to this."
But I kept on pursuing this line of reasoning, and in the end the shampoo company agreed that we didn't need to interview their celebrity endorser.
You see, interference can come in this way, too, when an external party dictates whom we can interview as journalists. So in this case, we decided to compromise and still do the show on hair loss, but we decided on the experts we would interview. We also changed the angle of the show. Instead of it becoming an issue on women's hair loss only, we decided to cover hair loss issues for both men and women. We made it a general, public interest issue. In this sense, we tried to minimise harm.
But in such cases of interference, a journalist has two options — either quit or compromise. So it's an ongoing process, minimising harm and protecting editorial independence. But sometimes I failed also lah. (Laughs)
Wong during graduation day at Ateneo
(pic courtesy of Wong)
Did you think of quitting before this?
Many times! (Laughs) It was always a struggle. I'd SMS my media ethics lecturer at Ateneo de Manila University [where I did my Masters in journalism], and consult her opinion. She'd then ask me a series of questions, such as, "Have you trained a successor at the network if you were to leave?" If the answer was no, then she'd tell me that leaving would not be a wise decision. It's important for journalists to build a layer of credible successors to ensure that the process of responsible journalism is not interrupted.
So do you have a successor now?
(Laughs) I don't know. There are other questions to consider also, for example, "If you give up on this platform as a journalist, will you be doing a disservice to the audience?" Or, "Is this only a temporary setback?"
Did any of these questions involve a question of income or your rice bowl?
No. I never stayed at any organisation because of rice bowl issues. I stayed at ntv7 because of Edisi Siasat and the platform it offered, and because of the network's overall support.
What was different this time round that you decided you needed to quit? What was the thing that made you decide, "This is it."?
It really was self-censorship, and also the external interference this time was just too obvious.
I have to be fair to the external actors, though. I really do not know if the Prime Minister's Office merely forwarded third party concerns to us, or if they were actually instructing us. There's a gap here that I cannot explain and I have no evidence to point either way.
But top management should have conducted a thorough investigation of these matters before jumping into self-censorship. You see, this level of interference had never happened in the seven years I was at the network. If the top management had just bothered to find out the facts and defended me, I don't think I would have resigned.
Have you been receiving many messages of support for your decision to quit ntv7? Who have they been from? What have they been telling you?
Yes, mostly from old friends and my church members. Mostly the messages are, "You're very brave." Or, "You must be very careful, because the people you have taken to task are quite high-level." But I had to take this risk, especially when I called the press conference to expose these things. I don't think of it as brave — I think these are principles every journalist should hold.
You see, if we were to talk about political directives and so on, two Chinese dailies — Sin Chew and China Press — did not report on my resignation on the day it happened. They only published follow-up responses from different leaders later, even then with little prominence. But Nyanyang Siang Pau and Oriental Daily reported on my resignation. How come these two papers could do it? Was there a possibility of self-censorship in the other papers?
Have you been receiving criticisms, including from fellow journalists? What's their point of view?
Yes, they say since I held such a high-profile press conference, I would be affecting the show Editor's Time and so on. But I wasn't condemning my team members or the show per se. I was just saying, stop political interference and self-censorship.
Some of them also consider what I did as individual heroism, or showing off. It's up to them to judge me. To me, time will be the best judge of my actions. If I had continued to work within the system, it would actually be easier for me, and I could try to be a "hero" even in that way.
More importantly, if we care about good journalism, I would rather we gather more journalists to fight for press freedom and against political interference, instead of dismissing individuals.
What will you do now? Will you continue to pursue journalism? If yes, why, and if no, why not?
(Laughs) I'm still looking for a job. I will focus on the No political interference! campaign to educate the public on the state of journalism and also to equip fellow journalists with information.
I will go back to journalism eventually, because I think this is my lifelong calling. Even if I were to become a lecturer in journalism, I'd want to continue making documentaries because it's important to keep giving voice to the voiceless. It is my mission to do this, to tell stories about marginalised groups, environmental issues and so on.

Budaya Menghukum Dan Mengugut Belum Berakhir

Jelasnya politik menghukum dan ugut mengugut belum berakhir. Semalam kita dikejutkan kerana dua ADUN Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak telah digantung. Manakala itu beberapa orang mahasiswa dari Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia kini terpaksa berdepan pula dengan pendakwaan AUKU; kononnya kerana berkempen di Hulu Selangor. Penjelasan dari mahasiswa terbabit, kehadiran mereka di sana adalah kerana berkaitan dengan jurusan yang diambil iaitu matapelajaran sains politik. Munasabah sekali mereka yang mengambil jurusan ini mahu merasai sendiri erti politik dan denyut masyarakat.

Apa ertinya jika sekadar berteleku di kuliah berhawa dingin tanpa mempunyai kesedaran keadaan sebenar. Pihak universiti jangan bertindak lebih sudu dari kuah! Kita bertanggungjawab mendidik anak-anak mahasiswa agar mereka tajam berfikir dan berani bersikap kritis. Keupayaan ini lah nantinya memacu negara ke haluan tepat, bukannya oleh mereka yang pandai mengampu sahaja.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

‘Deal or no deal’ falls flat

By Mariam Mokhtar

As they say, politicians are like nappies – they should be changed often and for the same reasons. Yesterday, the people of Sibu made history when they elected DAP and rejected BN.

Days earlier, at Rejang Park, the prime minister convinced me that BN does not have the interests of the people of Sibu at heart.

1. He said: “I don’t have to come here…..to Rejang Park……This is not the place for a prime minister to come.”

2. He insulted the intelligence of the people by making deals in exchange for public service.

3. He lowered the tone of his speech by saying “Bull Shine”. Is vulgar slang accepted speech by a prime minister?

Without the involvement of money politics, DAP’s majority could easily have been in the thousands rather than just 398 votes.

Nevertheless, this win has caused a tiny seismic shift in the Malaysian political landscape. Once again, politics has become interesting and dare I say it, fun too?

DAP’s victory is well-deserved but it must be under no illusion, for if the electoral dice had fallen differently, politics in Sarawak and Malaysia would have been business as usual.

Was there one single factor for the swing away from BN? Or was it a combination of factors? There was more money available last week than at any single time over the past 47 years. Was it divine intervention, in retribution for the PM’s fleeting visit to the Tua Pek Kong temple?

During this campaign, only a person with a heart of stone would not have been troubled by the poverty that sits uncomfortably beside the wealth in Sarawak. The state is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. Why then is a sizeable portion of its people living in shanty towns devoid of running water and electricity?

My single defining reason to tick the box for DAP, had I been a voter, would have been Najib Abdul Razak’s speech at Rejang Park.

Who could forget that ’speech’? Some people have called it ‘You help me, I help you’ talk. Those present witnessed the display of arrogance of condescension; how he talked down to people; and disgracefully made the public gesture of money in exchange for votes.

He showed us how NOT to demean people and thus get the backs up of those whom we wish to help us. Surprisingly, Najib overlooked how the Internet beamed his unflattering comments worldwide.

Najib also showed the political elite how NOT to treat the electorate or to make empty promises. To a lesser extent, it revealed how his spin doctors, who stage-managed his campaigns, failed to register the suffering of the Sibu people.

The PM joked about solving the flooding, saying: “Can we have deal or not? Can we have an understanding or not? You help me, I help you. It is quite simple.”

I recall how a policeman once stopped me for apparently going through a red light, even though I had not. He also used similar phrases like, “We got deal or not? We have understanding, yes? I can help you. Easy-lah.” These phrases sound very familiar don’t they?

Needs long neglected

Najib told the crowd he would have a cheque ready to help solve the flooding, only if Robert Lau Jr was elected. He wasn’t aware of the actual cost for the flood defences, but guessed it to be RM3 million.

He insulted the intelligence of the crowd by believing they could be easily seduced. Equally, Lau’s credibility was given little value. If he (Lau) had any pride, he would have been angered that his selection as candidate was not because of integrity, hard work and public service, but only because Najib was feeling generous.

Sibu’s flooding problem is not new and it is impossible to imagine there were never discussions about this at cabinet meetings – RM 3 million or even RM5 million is a fraction of the total cost.
The whole scenario is reminiscent of an auction with shouts of ‘lelong! lelong!’. Have we stooped as low as this?

Then came the shock declaration: “’I don’t have to come here…..to Rejang Park……This is not the place for a prime minister to come.”

I am sorry, Mr Prime Minister but your statements have done you and BN untold damage. What sort of place is suitable for a PM then? We are sorry if Rejang Park is not as luxurious or exclusive as Belgravia in London or the White House, which you visited last month, in Washington DC.

Rejang Park is often flooded, but it is still home to thousands. They live, work and play here. And for the past 47 years, the government has neglected to serve them.

When the PM told us about the security concerns of his visit, he said: “My security boys say there are back alleys…..”

Yes. Sibu is infamous for its gangs. Civil law and order is included in the long list of Sibu’s problems. If the PM was advised to stay away, then it speaks volumes about the law and governance of the place.

Stupefying effect

People will recall how when Princess Diana died, the British premier – then Tony Blair – captured the mood of the nation’s grief and called her the “People’s Princess”.

When Najib amused us with his visits to the Sibu pasar, the people thought he was “really friendly”. He used the term “People’s Prime Minister”. I am sorry, but three trips to Sibu’s pasar does not make him the “People’s Prime Minister”. If only it were that simple.

He then said that his government would “fight for the people”. So, why does it hold the people to ransom? Sibu’s problems include flooding, lack of basic infrastructure, land issues, poverty and economic malaise. Offers of help should not come with a proviso. That is not responsible government. That only creates mistrust in an already maligned political system.

The PM claimed that “people come first” and “people really matter”. However, these ideals are not addressed in Sibu. Withholding peoples’ rights does not win the battle for hearts and minds.

The repeated use of “I never fail to deliver my promises…we honour our commitment” throughout the speech has the same stupefying effect as someone saying, ‘I never tell a lie’ or ‘Honestly speaking’. The opposite effect is achieved.

Body language relays important signals. The regularity with which the PM wiped his mouth with his handkerchief during the speech is disturbing. What is his subconscious trying to wipe off his lips?

Now that the electorate has shown BN the door, what lies ahead for the people of Sibu?

Will Najib’s compassion shine through? Will he solve the flooding and other problems in a calculated move to win back the trust of Sarawakians for the upcoming state elections?

Or will he punish Sibu and cancel the cheques for the schools and leave the people to drown their sorrows, in the floods that wreck their lives?

If he does that, the state elections and GE-13 would create another massive tidal bore, just like the ones the Sungei Rejang – and now Sibu – is famous for.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real–speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.

Election Commission’s professionalism, credibility and integrity plunged to its lowest point

By Lim KIt Siang,

The Election Commission’s professionalism, credibility and integrity plunged to its lowest point in its 53-year history in the Sibu by-election unless it could satisfactorily explain the two-and-a-half hour delay in announcing the results on polling night and the 9.37% or 5,172-voter mistake in voter turnout.

Counting for postal ballot ended at around 8.30 pm on polling day and almost instantaneously, Barisan Nasional and SUPP leaders left the Counting Centre at the Civics Centre – a sign to all that they knew at that time that the BN had lost the by-election.

The mystery remains three days after the by-election as to why the Election Commission delayed for two-and-a-half hours before announcing the results.

DAP leaders did not “storm” the Sanyan Building where the postal ballots were counted, but we went over there from the DAP Sibu Ops Centre to find out what was happening.

When I arrived there with DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, as well as a battery of DAP MPs and State Assembly representatives from all over the country at about 9.30 pm, counting of postal ballots had already been completed for an hour but there was a “standoff” as there was no Election Commission official to issue Form 15 to certify the final tally for the postal ballots counted.

It was then that I decided to launch a tweet offensive to ask the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak whether he recognized the democratic choice of the voters of Sibu to elect Wong Ho Leng as the new Sibu Member of Parliament and raising the question whether there was any attempt to steal the Sibu by- election from the voters of Sibu.

The incredible bungling of the Election Commission about the voter turnout defies belief. It is something that should never have happened – and up to now, the Election Commission has not bothered to explain how it could make such a colossal blunder.

I had on my twitter on polling day tracked the hourly announcement of the Election Commission on the voter turnout and I was very concerned about the low-turnout from the very start, causing me to compare the high voter turn-outs in the recant Hulu Selangor by-election with comments, viz:

9 am – 6.33% or 3,310 voters. Very low!

10am – 20.61% or 11,270 voters.

11am – 28.83% or 15,767 voters. In HuluSelangor, 38.21% voter turnout by 11 am.

12noon – 37% or 20,241 voters- in Hula Selangor 49.04% turnout by noon.

1pm – 42.24% or 23,103 voters. HuluSelangor had registered 56.82% at 1 pm. Ten polling stations closed @ 1pm.

2pm – 46.29% or 25,319 voters. HS had registered 63.74% at 2pm Prospect looks grim unless there is high turnout

3pm – 53.02% or 29,000 voters. HS had registered 67.18% at 3pm. Sibu Miracle?

At 3.48pm I tweeted :
Rantau Panjang closed 1pm 82.5% voter turnout. 1hr 2 end polling. Some urban areas turnout 50%. Not enuf 4 Sibu Miracle

4pm – 56.9% or 31,119 voters. At 4pm HS byelection had 73.82% turnout. 1 hr left. Election commission forecast 80%

At 6.52pm, I tweeted:
5pm – 59.86% or 32,742 voters. The total in postal votes are 2,537.

When making the announcement of the final voter turnout of 59.85 per cent or 32,742 voters, the Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof publicly expressed disappointment over the low turnout – a far cry from the Election Commission’s earlier estimate of 80%.

Mysteriously at around 9pm, Abdul Aziz sent out word that the voter turnout “may actually be more than 60 percent” and when the official results were announced at about 11 pm after a mysterious two-and-a-half hour delay, the voter turnout proved to be a total of 37,919 voters or 69.23 per cent of the 54,895 registered voters.

What was the cause of the 9.39% or 5,172 vote discrepancy in the voter turnout between in a matter of hours, and why was the Election Commission’s hourly tally of the voter turnout completely wrong and utterly useless?

Who must take responsibility for these two colossal errors of the Election Commission, not to mention other irregularities and improprieties whether on polling day or during the eight-day campaign?

As Election Commission Chairman, is Abdul Aziz prepared to accept full personal responsibility for such colossal errors In the Sibu by-election?

Or is Abdul Aziz going to bury his head under the sand and pretend not to hear or know of demands for responsibility and accountability for the Election Commission’s scandalous mistakes on polling day in Sibu by-election?

Is Aziz prepared to accept full responsibility and recommend to the Prime Minister the establishment of a full public independent inquiry into the two-and-a-half hour delay in the announcement of the Sibu by-election result, the 9.37% or 5,172-voter discrepancy in the voter turnout, the abuses of the postal ballots and other electoral irregularities to demonstrate that the Election Commission is truly Independent and professional and wants a tree, fair and clean electoral system?

Najib Suggests Muslim Nations Have New Economic Model

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has proposed Muslim nations have a new economic model designed to meet specific needs of the Islamic world.

He suggested that the model should be underpinned by a theoretical framework that should not only be inclusive and progressive but also practical with regard to policy formulation and implementation.

"In line with the concept "Gearing for Economic Resurgence", the theme of the Sixth World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), I propose that we plan as an entire ecosystem.

"We need to think anew and move beyond our conventional frameworks. This may require a new economic model for the region, if necessary, that is designed to meet the specific needs of the Muslim world," he said in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the forum here on Wednesday.

Najib said the new economic model needs broad support, taking into account the requirements of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) countries.

Najib, who is also WIEF Foundation patron, also suggested that it was timely for Muslim nations to consider holding an OIC Economic Summit in collaboration with the Islamic Summit Conference.

"In this way, we can focus on pressing economic issues and ways to expedite decisions and actions on behalf of the Muslim world. A dedicated, issue- oriented summit of this type would breathe new life and meaning into the OIC and overcome any cynicism towards it," he said.

On Islamic finance, Najib said Muslim countries must continue to play a leading role in transforming the sector from being considered as niche banking into something that is widely accepted as central to long-term economic stability around the world.

He said the right conditions that need to be put in place include an appropriate regulatory framework and an infrastructure and architecture that promote Islamic capital markets.

"Islamic finance and banking must be systematically put in place with the involvement of all stakeholders. It will require getting a higher level of acceptance of ethical banking as a norm in modern day banking.

"The time is right for this. We see positive trends prevailing for the development of Islamic finance. In some countries, growth is as much as 10 to 15 per cent annually. This is indeed most encouraging and deserves full government support within the OIC countries," he said.

Najib said Islamic financing could serve all -- from small entrepreneurs through micro-financing to large corporations through sophisticated instruments from Islamic capital markets.

He also said Malaysia was prepared to share its experiences and expertise to spur Islamic finance development on a worldwide basis.

"Here in Malaysia, we have spent 30 years developing Islamic finance. I am pleased to say we have successfully developed it in parallel with our conventional banking system.

"It's clear that Islamic finance can co-exist and thrive alongside conventional banking system and it should be promoted further," he said.

Najib also said effective capital deployment was required to spur growth and productivity and to support the development of the Muslim Ummah.

"In this regard, I urge the private sector to take the initiative to mobilise capital through Islamic equity initiatives from regional and global sources and to deploy this capital productively to ensure an appropriate return for investors," he said.

On halal market, Najib said linkages must be established between regional hubs to ensure coordination and standardisation of halal products.

Such linkages would enable efficient sourcing and deployment of halal products by donor countries and non-government organisations when Muslim communities face natural disasters, he added.

'Punish parents for child neglect'

The New Straits Times 
by Annie Freeda Cruez

KUALA LUMPUR: Parents who neglect children, especially those who leave them home alone, resulting in mishaps that cause deaths, should be taken to court.

This is the view of the Bar Council, educationists and several non-governmental organisations that said parents must take responsibility for their actions.

They were commenting on Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil's statement that parents could be held accountable for leaving children home alone, resulting in mishaps that cause deaths.

On Sunday, she had reminded parents that neglecting children was a crime punishable with a RM20,000 fine or 10-year jail sentence under Section 31(1) of the Child Act.

She was commenting on a recent case in George Town, where 10-year-old Kuhesri Nadarajah was found hanging at her flat after being left alone.

It is learnt that the ministry was studying if there was negligence involved on the part of the mother before initiating legal action.

Malaysian Bar Council chairman Ragunath Kesavan said: "The legislation is there as a deterrent and guide. Parents must take the responsibility to ensure their children are safe and protected."

Ragunath attributed lack of enforcement, awareness and education as the root cause for children becoming victims of neglect.

He said parents neglecting or leaving their children alone in the house was a serious problem in Malaysia and in other countries worldwide.

Bung Moktar 'not fit' to be MP

A convert's regret

Najib is PM, not Ibrahim Ali: MCA boss - Malaysiakini

MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek has urged the Chinese community not to punish the government for the verbal excesses of Malay rights NGO Perkasa, led by Ibrahim Ali.

He said the community should not over-react, because Perkasa's views do not represent the BN stance on issues.

NONE“I would say that Perkasa's statements can anger the Chinese. We can imagine the Chinese reacting very negatively towards Perkasa,” he told a press conference at MCA headquarters today.

“But they should not react negatively to the government, because Perkasa is not in the government.”

Chua - who had traded barbs with Ibrahim only last week over the latter's support for a 'May 13' gathering - also urged the community not to “dignify” the Pasir Mas MP by reacting to his antics.

“The more we react, the more dignified he gets, and the more important he becomes. It is the prime minister (Najib Abdul Razak) who leads this nation, not Ibrahim Ali.”

Chua acknowledged that Perkasa's vitriol against the Chinese community had dented BN's campaign in the Sibu by-election, which handed DAP an unexpected victory last Sunday.

He dismissed Ibrahim's characterisation of the Chinese - many of whom voted against BN in Sibu as well as the Hulu Selangor by-election previously - as “ungrateful”, alongside the call to the government to 'punish' the Chinese by withholding development.

ibrahim ali pengkalan pasir byelection by-electionCiting Ibrahim's defeat in the Malay-majority seat of Pasir Mas during the 1999 general election, Chua noted that the Malays were perhaps ungrateful to the government then.

Acknowledging the slide in support for the MCA from the Chinese community prior to and since the March 8, 2008 general election, Chua said this was most likely because many voters are no longer concerned solely with bread-and-butter issues.

Increasingly, he pointed out, they are asserting their views on social issues such as fairness, justice, good governance, access to education and scholarships, career mobility, the judiciary and the crime rate.

“These are the issues that trouble the Chinese when it comes to implementation,” said Chua, who called on the government to be more consultative in taking action as well as in formulating policies.

He said many civil servants who act like 'little Napoleons' have raised Chinese ire against the government.

'MCA still relevant'

Asked about the swing of Chinese votes away from BN in Sibu, Chua said BN component-party member SUPP should carry out a post-mortem on the matter.

NONE“MCA has no branch nor office there, so we are unable to get people-to-people's contact the way we have in Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.

Nonetheless, Chua argued, MCA is still relevant to the Chinese community in raising issues with the government.

“We just have to fine-tune (some things). We have confidence that, under our prime minister, the policies of the government will slowly be reflective of the wishes of the rakyat, including the Chinese community,” he added.

Another convert in bid to renounce Islam - Malaysiakini

Civil servant Faizal Wong Abdullah, 54, wants to renounce Islam - which he embraced on the persuasion of friends on Oct 6, 1999 - and return to Buddhism.

In March he took the rare step of filing, on his own accord, an application with the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court to renounce Islam.

As Negri Sembilan is the only state with legislation to renounce Islam, he immediately ran into a roadblock in the legal process.

In addition, the Federal Territory (FT) Islamic Council entered a preliminary objection to his application, seeking to get him to undergo counselling instead.

This is usual procedure in Malaysia. Apostasy is a serious offence in Islam and applicants are directed to undergo counselling.

NONEWong had told Syariah High Court judge Mohammad Abdullah that he does not want counselling.

When the matter came up for mention today, Mohammad fixed June 2 to hear a submission from the council and told Wong to appoint a lawyer.

Wong was in tears when met outside the court, saying that on his wages he cannot afford a lawyer.

“All I want is to go back to my original religion. I respect Islam and its principles but I have never been able to practise and be a good Muslim. I cannot find peace in Islam, as I was brought up to practise Buddhism,” he said.

“Please help me go back to my faith. As I have told the judge, I do not want to undergo counselling sessions. What is the use of undergoing counselling when I have made up my mind?”

Wong explained that he had embraced Islam after being influenced by friends. He then went to Malaysia Islamic Welfare Organisation in Kuala Lumpur to complete the conversion procedure.

He insisted that the conversion has only been nominal, as he has not followed it up with practice and at heart has remained a Buddhist.

“I remain unmarried. Hence, my application to renounce Islam does not affect anybody except myself,” he said.

NONE“Since, embracing Islam, I have been sidelined by my family. My two brothers and three sisters have shunned me. I have not been able to go back to celebrate Chinese New Year and my parents have passed away since.

“Malaysia prides itself on practising freedom of religion. I just want my right to practise Buddhism. I have been practising Buddhism all this while despite being a Muslim.”

Wong said he hopes to approach MCA for assistance and support, especially in hiring a Syarie lawyer to pursue his case up to Syariah Court of Appeal - the highest in the Islamic legal system - if this becomes necessary.

'Lina Joy' revisited

Wong's predicament will bring to mind the Lina Joy case which saw a landmark decision in apostasy cases, when the Federal Court ruled that the jurisdiction for the renunciation of religion lies with the Syariah Court.

Unlike Wong, Lina took her application to the Kuala Lumpur Civil High Court, taking into account the absence of legislation in the FT Syariah jurisdiction.

vk lingam tape court hearing 290108 ahmad fairuz abdul halim 01Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim (right), in a majority decision, ruled that the National Registration Department (NRD), which is in charge of issuing identity cards, had the right to demand that the Syariah Court certifies Lina's conversion.

"On the question that the NRD has the right to demand a certification from the Islamic court that confirms the appellant's renunciation of Islam, my answer is that NRD has the right," the judge said.

He also said that apostasy is within the powers of Islamic law and that the Syariah Court has jurisdiction, concluding that the civil courts cannot interfere in the process.

Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum ruled that the NRD had no statutory duty to decide on apostasy.

Penang's Syariah Appeal Court had two years ago allowed Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah to return to her old religion after it ruled her conversion, due to marriage, was not valid.

UMNO and PKR: 10 hearses @ RM 1.07 million for Malay muslims in Selangor but orphaned funerals for Indian poor


 url umno and pkr
We have recorded and posted various newsreports on poor Indians so poor that they have no money even to conduct funerals for their loved ones, bodies lying in the mortuary for days, weeks and even months because of poverty and the families unable to afford the cost of funerals.
To solve this “impasse” some Indian “Samaritans” often collect money from amongst themselves and conduct the funeral. This has been going on for decades.
But both UMNO and also PKR, DAP and PAS would not similarly donate ten hearses @ RM 1.07 Million to the Indian hardcore poor to conduct their funerals as is done for the Malay muslims (UM 18/5/2010 at page 27).
But then this is UMNO Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malaysia and PKR Supremo Anwar Ibrahim’s multi-racialism”. This is what they mean by multi-racialism – giving just to one race and excluding the others!
P. Uthayakumar


UMNO and PKR

25,289 Malay muslim graduates and diploma holders get promotion. 0.1% Indians promoted


url 25
From an estimated 50% Indian civil servants even in 1969 (See Dr. Mahathir’s book The Malay Dilema at page 78) today it has been reduced to 0.1% to 1% across the board, just a token presence to create a facade of multiracialism.
And similarly the promotion being denied to Indians follows at between 0.1% to 1%. Also follows is the medical benefits, yearly bonus, pensions etc.
This is UMNO Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malay-sia.
P. Uthayakumar

25

My Response To James Menon : If You Cannot Help The Struggle Against Injustice, At Least Do Not Obstruct With Your Incompetence. By Iraiputtiran

Print

It doesn’t take a genius to see the falsity in the article (Hindraf En Bloc: UMNO Wins hands down) by one James Menon in Malaysia Today. To claim that UMNO had neutralized Hindraf even before the game started, aptly defines his futile attempt to foolishly discount a political phenomenon of historical significance. It is obvious he has very scant understanding of historical processes.

What happened after the Hindraf 4 plus an SB operative were put in detention under ISA was well expected. Anyone in the know , know that these are attempts to kill off a phenomenon by their enemies. This phenomenon, if allowed to develop would invariably mean a shift of the status quo, and more so by a working class group. Now, that would be dangerous, really dangerous, would that not be. But of course our friend Menon has no clue about all of this in his articulate ignorance. His love for his Tuans in PKR is just too great!

Menon seems to have conveniently forgotten that it was the same BN that wrested the Perak state government from PR and is now eyeing to wrest one or two other state governments. Shall we then say it was a KNOCKOUT for PR in Perak and anticipate that there will be more such knockouts in future???

UMNO does not only attempt to destroy Hindraf but also PR , and PR has already fallen so many times! This Menon rejoices and applauds what UMNO did to Hindraf! So, then it justifies that he should also applaud UMNO’s success at the same tricks with PR – does it not? Ouch, that hurt!

Nevertheless, the obedient servants of their Tuans in PR like Menon, harp on that one issue vis-a-vis Hindraf, unable to challenge HRP/Hindraf’s claims of PR’s seriously flawed and ineffective processes and policies. Who could ever deny that in politics, there is/are always one or more bad apples in one barrel! PR has its share, so Menon, why don’t you cry foul over there, too? But you cannot, your slave mentality will not permit you to do that to your tuans , will it?

Just look at the many melodramatic accounts by PR lawmakers, washing the dirty linen in public at media conferences including the latest addition Wee Choo Keong, and the rest, Zulkifli Nordin, Karpal Singh (who even lamented on the national media that Anwar has done enough damage to the PR coalition!), the great Hee, Tan Tee Beng, Zahrain Hashim, Manickavasagam… Uh! Just too many!

What has PR achieved thus far except demonstrating arrogance, ignorance, ineffective administration, poor policies, bad governance, unscrupulous money-mindedness and much more. It will surprise me not if PR loses their act totally in the 13th GE, looking at the breakdown.

PR cannot get to Putrajaya with only Chinese votes as the trend for PR support seems now to indicate. Losing the non-Chinese public support in two by-elections in a row, allegations of serious corruptions in the Selangor state administration, vicious infighting for party positions, unending defections, discriminatory policies on Indians, constant Hindraf bashing and demonizing of the Indians in the alternative media are nothing but symptoms of a miserably failing coalition that is unable to adequately address the issues raised.

Isn’t it more appropriate for Menon to say that PR is in tatters .

Isn’t it plainly obvious that PR leaders are frustrated over the loss of Indian support in the last two by-elections and their inability to bury the spirit of Hindraf which is now steadily regaining momentum, slowed temporarily by the machinations of UMNO over the last two years.

Menon says that Indians had no other choice but to run into the arms of Pakatan Rakyat post-2007! It wasn’t the Indians running to PR, but rather PR leaders exploiting and deceiving them with promises of all sorts including saving Kampung Buah Pala by non-other than Anwar and Lim Guan Eng, that the Indians entrusted PR!

Menon also claimed that socially, many individual bodies and networks were created with no links to Hindraf to help the poor Indians economically. Sure! But which Club or individual bodies or social networks is/are able and willing to do the following:

i) fight for university places for the deserving Indian students with 9, 10, 12 As that they are gravely denied these days

ii) fight for government scholarships based purely on meritocracy for the deserving Indian students that they are gravely denied these days

iii) fight for bigger and better representation of the Indians in the government sector in all fields and at all levels

iv) stop the massive killing of the suspected Indian youth criminals by the police

v) combat the forceful conversion into Islam by the authorities

vi) stop the discriminative policies in issuing of ICs and BCs to the stateless Indians

vii) draw up effective action plans to address the many poverty related social issues

viii) draw up economic policies to help the hard working but opportunities denied Indians

ix) issue land titles to the Tamil schools to transform them into fully-aided government schools to improve its qualities and conditions

x) save the poor Indian settlements from unlawfully being stolen by both BN and PR

xi) save the Hindu cemeteries and temples

xii) get enough FELDA, FELCRA, RISDA, FAMA, etc….lands to uplift the lives of the poor Indians who gave their whole lives to the rubber estates and oil palm estates

xiii) obtain business licenses and permits to the Indians they are being gravely denied

xiv) obtain government loans for entrepreneurial activities they are being gravely denied

HRP/Hindraf knows the Indian problems and the due solutions the best in this country! Their solutions aim at the root causes of the problem, are permanent and most importantly, lawful! HRP/Hindraf is not talking about school shoes, RM 50 scholarships and well water for the schools! HRP/Hindraf is talking about fundamental issues, basic human rights issues, gross violations of the Federal Constitution for 53 years and systematic marginalization issues! No Rotary Club or Lion’s Club or NGOs that Menon talks about can get the deserving Indians the rights they have been robbed of.

It will help if the category of people represented by Menon open up their minds and know that if they do not understand the paradigm of the poor and the marginalized, it is best they refrain from complicating their struggle, and let these people fight the injustices they have to live with everyday, without these unnecessary complications.

If Menon and his like insist on doing what they are doing, they will be doing them, who are already hurt, dispossessed and abandoned just more grievous harm.

The Indian poor in this country really could do without such articulate incompetents.



Iraiputtiran