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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

First woman prime minister in Trinidad

By Linda Hutchinson-Jafar

PORT OF SPAIN, May 24 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Patrick Manning was ousted on Monday in Trinidad and Tobago's general election, with a coalition of opposition parties winning at least 27 of 41 seats in Parliament, according to preliminary results.

Former Attorney General Kamla Persad-Bissessar is set to become the first woman prime minister in the energy-rich Caribbean nation. She heads the United National Congress (UNC), which put together a coalition to oust Manning's People's National Movement (PNM).

Manning conceded defeat after an election that saw him accused of mismanaging funds and spending exorbitantly on public buildings, charges that he denied.

"I take full responsibility," Manning said. "We have lost and we have conceded."

Manning called snap elections midway in the five-year term of his administration to thwart an opposition motion of no-confidence in him.

The UNC-led coalition won the right to form the government for the next five years in the twin-island nation.

Manning, 64, has ruled the country for 13 of the past 17 years and his biggest accomplishments as prime minister include poverty reduction and attracting billions of dollars in investment in Trinidad and Tobago's petrochemical industries.

The country is the biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas to the United States. The change in government was not expected to produce any significant change in energy policy.

Trinidad and Tobago's population of about 1.3 million is almost evenly divided between descendants of African slaves and those of Indian indentured workers brought over when the territory was a British colony.

Govt mulls gradual subsidy cuts to avoid backlash

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will hold a cabinet meeting on Wednesday to discuss plans that may see the struggling government coalition extend over five years plans to cut politically popular subsidies.
Three government sources said the meeting would likely adopt a longer timeline on reducing the subsidy bill in order to fend off a possible political backlash. The cost of subsidies has more than doubled since 2006 and the Southeast Asian country last year recorded its largest budget deficit in over two decades.
Analysts said a gradual approach could give Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak more room to manage voter discontent following the government's record losses in 2008 polls and reassure investors let down by previous policy u-turns.
Najib has tasked a government thinktank to come up with a series of reforms to reduce Malaysia's bill from food, petrol, electricity and gas subsidies. Those proposals presented had envisaged cuts starting in June, with price rises every six months over a five-year timeframe, the government sources said.
"The feeling here is that the June 1 timeframe may be too soon. It has to be done moderately and in stages," said a government source.
The effect of price rises is likely to be offset by support payments for poorer Malaysians, said the sources, who declined to be identified.
The thinktank has put the total cost of subsidies at RM74 billion annually, although that includes social welfare, health and education transfers, according to advertisements placed in newspapers.
"One issue of concern is whether to cut all in one go, or sector by sector, and the timeline," said a second source.
Economists say a gradual approach may convince markets that Najib's government has the political will to manage subsidy spending that rose to RM24.5 billion in 2009.
That figure was 15.3 percent of total federal government spending and more than double the RM10.1 billion it spent in 2006, according to official figures.
"It will be a sensible move, in my view. They have to start gradually cutting down on subsidies now or they will be forced to show their hand when its too late," said Kit Wei Zheng, a Citigroup economist.
Reform reluctance
Najib, who took power in April last year pledging economic and political reforms, wants to rejuvenate the coalition that has ruled this Southeast Asian country since independence in 1957.
It has lost a string of by-elections including one this month in Sarawak, its stronghold on Borneo island.
Since taking office, Najib has rolled back parts of a four-decade-old affirmative action policy favouring the country's majority Malays to promote competitiveness, but met with protests from conservative Malay rights groups.
Some in Najib's Umno have voiced concern that the cuts could affect poorer Malays, about 55 percent of the population of 28 million, ahead of general elections that could be held by next year.
"This is not going to down well with the lower to middle income earners, which is why Najib is being cautious because it is not only the economic landscape that has changed but the political climate as well," said political analyst Khoo Kay Peng.
- Reuters

Is Tanjung Pagar swap another Limbang?

By FMT Staff

SHAH ALAM: Will the swap deal between Malaysia and Singapore regarding Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd's (KTMB) land in Tanjung Pagar end up like the Limbang crisis?
That’s the question uppermost in the minds of Pakatan Rakyat leaders, said PAS' Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad.
He said the sudden announcement yesterday by the government was a reminder of the hush-hush manner in which the Limbang deal was carried out.
“After swapping Limbang with two oil blocks L and M in Sabah and Sarawak waters (in a pact with Brunei), there are questions regarding the Tanjung Pagar exchange,” he said.
He urged Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to explain the benefits behind the exchange of six land parcels in Tanjung Pagar for two areas in Singapore.
“We would like to know how this compromise was reached between Najib and Lee Hsien Loong (Singapore Prime Minister). We don’t want another Limbang,” said Dzulkefly.
News reports yesterday said that the KTMB railway land could be swapped for land parcels in two of Singapore's most expensive districts, including the site of the multibillion-dollar Marina Bay Sands casino complex which opened in April.
Najib in a meeting with Lee had agreed to shift the contentious KTMB presence in Tanjung Pagar to Woodlands, an industrial zone located just across a narrow strait from Johor by July 1, 2011.
Malaysia will also place its customs, immigration and quarantine complex at the industrial zone.
According to reports, a company known as M-S Pte Ltd will then be established to take ownership of the vacated area and other parcels of land, with 60% equity held by Malaysia's investment agency Khazanah Nasional Bhd and 40% by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.
'Era of leaders know all is over'
Meanwhile, Dzulkefly reminded Najib that the era of “only the leader knows everything” is over.
He said the government must take into consideration the opinions of others in ensuring the sovereignty and interest of the country are given priority.
“The era when only the leadership knew everything, especially in the areas of sovereignty, national and public interest is long gone.
“So don’t just decide without analysing and doing a detailed study of the situation,” he said.
Dzulkefly added that Najib must be transparent and open on the terms of the agreement with Singapore.

Yong: MyKad taking away Sabahans' identity

By Queville To - Free Malaysia Today,

KINARUT: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) plans to issue Sabah Identity Cards to all Sabahans, should it come into power in the next election, in a move to stop the erosion of Sabahans' unique identity.
Party president, Yong Teck Lee, said this is crucial because many Sabahans are fast losing their identity and ties to the state.
He cited cases of children whose parents are Sabahans but who are born in other states and thus would no longer have the all-important “12” (code for Sabah) on their MyKads.
“For example, the MyKads of children born in Kuala Lumpur would have the number '01' to signify they are non-Sabahans.
“This would pose problems at the immigration counter for these people as they are not considered Sabahans according to their MyKads and thus have no right to reside in Sabah.
"This raises the question of whether they will have to use passports to enter Sabah in future, even if both the parents are Kadazans," said Yong.
He said SAPP, if it takes over the reins of power, wants to issue Sabah ICs, given that thousands of Sabahans are venturing out of the state to work.
Yong was speaking at the Tadau Kaamatan (harvest festival) celebration in Kampung Labak here over the weekend.
Past glory
Meanwhile, SAPP also wants the status of the Sabah Native Court to be returned to its past glory.
Yong concurred with Sepanggar MP Eric Majimbun who, during his speech at the same function, regretted that the status and power of the Native Court had eroded and was no longer respected.
“In the past, OKK (Orang Kaya Kaya, the title of a native chief) was even more highly regarded than a YB (elected representative), but now they are facing challenges due to the lack of resources and the existence of the Civil Court and Syariah Court,” said Majimbun, who is also SAPP deputy president.
Yong said the state government should raise the profile of the Native Court instead of letting this once important institution slowly vanish.
“The cultural values of the KDMs (Kadazan, Dusuns and Muruts) and other Sabah natives are being jeopardised,” he warned.
Yong said the government should encourage the publication of more books documenting these values and give due recognition to the authors promoting the tradition and culture of Sabah natives.
He added that works like those by former civil servant Amde Sidek documenting his Kedayan culture had gone unnoticed by the government.
The work of authors like Roziah Uji Rozalie (Dusun Riddles of Sabah), Dr Danny Wong and GC Wooley (Murut Timugon of Sabah), Irenena Obon (Sama Horsemen) and others should be given due recognition and support.
“For SAPP, the efforts of these writers must be recognised to encourage them to write more and complete the documentation of our culture... if not, we will lose our sense of identity as Sabahans and sense of belonging to Sabah,” he said.
Yong added that the on-going Kaamatan celebration in Sabah was similar to the other major festivals like Deepavali, Chinese New Year and Hari Raya.
All these festivals, he said, shared a common theme: overcoming hardship through sacrifice and the triumph of good over evil.

No World Cup betting outlets in S'gor

By FMT Staff
SHAH ALAM: Selangor will not allow new gambling outlets to be opened in the state in conjunction with the World Cup. It will also tighten its grip on existing outlets.
Chempaka assemblyman Iskandar Abdul Samad, in denying rumours that the Selangor government had approved 10 gambling licenses in I-City, said while the federal government can issue gambling licenses, outlet or premises permits came under state jurisdiction.
“I received a call from PAS Selangor secretary Khairuddin Othman saying that an MP had alleged that the state council meeting last month approved 10 gambling licenses for I-City near Shah Alam.
“Let me state that no such approvals were made during the council meeting,” he said in his blog.
He was alluding to the federal government's recent issuance of gambling licenses to Berjaya Corp Group allowing it to carry out related activities in conjunction with the World Cup. The move is expected to earn the federal government RM60 billion in taxes.
Iskandar said the executive council meeting last month had discussed the gambling issue but no approvals for licenses were made.
“Even a suggestion to extend the operating hours of entertainment arcades was shot down by PAS councillors what more the issuance of gambling licenses to I-City. It’s malicious rumours by Umno feeders," he said.
Iskandar said during the meeting he had raised the issue of outlets selling numbers which were patronised by Muslims.

He said in regards to this, Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim had suggested that the state hold back on issuing premise licenses for such operations in Muslim-majority areas.

He also explained that the only way the state could contain the gambling issue is by barring the opening of new outlets.

“The federal government can give away gambling licences but the state’s local councils decide on the license for premises.

“If all the council members agree not to issue premise licenses to operators than there will be no kedai nombor or kedai kuda in Selangor,” he said.

Sultans urged to intervene
Meanwhile, PAS has urged the Council of Rulers to step in and encourage the federal government to rescind its decision to issue gambling licenses for the World Cup.

Vice-president Mahfuz Omar said PAS was confident that the Council would take the appropriate action.

“The rulers had in the 1960s, after a public outcry, set an example when they told Umno-BN to cancel the Welfare Lottery.

“The late Raja of Perlis was vocal in censuring Umno leaders then. I believe the rulers will be wise in their decision,” said Mahfuz who is also Pokok Sena MP.

The Council of Rulers is scheduled to meet on June 26 and will, incidentally be chaired by the Raja of Perlis.

MCA is Still Stuck in Politics 101

MCA President Chua Soi Lek wants his party to champion the rights of Chinese Malaysian community. Chua said MCA has been too conservative, which has led to the wrong impression that the party "does not dare speak out".
By Khoo Kay Peng
As usual, the party sends a 100-page memorandum to the PM articulating the needs of the community. Chua said that he was willing to risk being scolded for requesting RM1 billion for vernacular Chinese schools and new villages.

The proposals in the memorandum include:
  • RM15 million in development funds and RM15 million in maintenance allocation for Chinese Independent High Schools

  • Recognition of the UEC certificate
  • Build 10 new Chinese primary schools and identify 15 sites for the relocation of such schools
  • RM500 million for new villages, for local development, and activities to bridge the gap between the government and Chinese Malaysian youth
  • List all sub-service areas that don't require the 30 percent bumiputera quota, and prevent civil servants from imposing this restriction privately
  • Implement a minimum wage for various industrial sectors
  • Set a limit on foreign workers in various industries, based on needs
  • Reshape the subsidy mechanism, assuring that only the poor benefit from this
  • Draft a law stating that marriages under civil law can only be relieved under civil law, thereby preventing disputes arising from religious conversion
  • Amend the Universities and University Colleges Act to allow students to participate in politics, although they should be prevented from holding party posts
The content of the memorandum suggested that Chua and his party are outdated and are still stuck in Politics 101.
Chua should be ashamed of his leadership if he gets a tongue lashing from the PM for requesting a miserable sum of RM1 billion. It is minuscule compared to the PKFZ financial fiasco which allegedly involved a number of MCA top leaders. Ironically, Chua was successful in the party power grab when the incumbent president was toppled partly for his role in trying to unmask those who were involved in the scandal.
MCA should not even send a memorandum. It should send an ultimatum to the coalition government which it is enjoying a cozy power sharing with UMNO. Ignore the Chinese Malaysian community at UMNO's peril.
Read more at: http://khookaypeng.blogspot.com/2010/05/mca-is-still-stuck-in-politics-101.html

Umno denies backing Mugilan in MIC crisis

 
Vell Paari has accused Umno of helping those trying to oust his father, Samy Vellu. 

KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — Umno has denied sponsoring or supporting the Anti-Samy Vellu Movement (GAS) that wants to end the MIC president’s grip on power, warning the party not to drag it into a growing leadership crisis.

The dominant party in the ruling Barisan Nasional has been accused by Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s son, Vell Paari, of sponsoring the movement to topple his father.

“Don’t drag Umno into the MIC crisis,” party secretary-general Datuk Rauf Yusoh told The Malaysian Insider.

Rauf stressed that Umno was not partisan and would not go against Barisan Nasional’s (BN) interests to generate a following or increase its membership.

“MCA has also faced such problems and we have offered support to solve them,” he added.

He said Vell Paari’s accusation was unfair as they did not employ strategies and plans to end the party president’s time in Umno.

“No, no... it is just an accusation. We have our own issues that need solutions,” Rauf added.

Vell Paari, who was named central working committee (CWC) member, yesterday said Umno was using “political assassination” to get his father to step down under the movement started by sacked youth leader, V. Mugilan.

The chief executive officer for Maika Holdings Sdn Bhd said Umno was showing bad habits by quietly backing someone else when political ties cooled down between the allies.

The MIC Youth advisor claimed that Umno had been using party leaders to “kill” Samy Vellu’s political career since the latter took office in 1979.

“When you are not happy, you use those inside the party to run it. This affects the basis of democracy and Barisan Nasional’s spirit to determine leaders,” said Samy Vellu’s only soon.

Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, have urged MIC to solve the crisis so that it would not weaken the BN coalition in the next general election. MIC has been wary of Umno since the Hulu Selangor by-election, when both parties clashed over the choice of candidate.

Samy Vellu’s choice of his deputy, Datuk G. Palanivel, was not well received by his Umno peers, who later compromised on MIC publicity chief P. Kamalanathan.

Asked if Umno supported Mugilan due to the Hulu Selangor campaign, Rauf said the party had good relations with all its counterparts.

“Umno is not just friendly with Mugilan only... Umno is good with people, all BN component parties, we work together as a team,” he said, adding Umno had no need to explain itself to MIC

“I don’t care about the baseless claims,” he added.

MIC has been in crisis over the past two weeks as Samy Vellu used his wide presidential powers to expel four CWC leaders: Mugilan, V. Subramaniam, KP Samy dan G. Kumar Aamaan.

Both Samy and Kumar were sacked yesterday, three days after asking Samy Vellu to step down immediately rather than late next year.

Najib’s call to the media

thenutgraph.com

Is Najib serious? (pic courtesy of theSun)
"BUT to shape society's knowledge, so that we are more intellectual, critical, and can think objectively, this is also the role of the press. You can't report only stories that are sensational, hot or about conflicts only." These were Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's words during the 20 May 2010 groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Utusan Melayu (M) Ltd's new headquarters. Najib also said, "[The] integrity of your reports is important, because there is no point if you constantly need to apologise for your news."
Reporters from some other independent media outlets have characterised this as Najib "reprimanding" Malay-language daily Utusan Malaysia, or "calling for change". Najib seemed to be making a general assessment of the national media. But his remarks are certainly pertinent as president of the party that owns Utusan Malaysia, Utusan Melayu's flagship publication.
But more importantly, is Najib serious about encouraging a more critical and responsible press? Since his party owns or controls several national news outfits, what concrete steps can he take to keep to his word? And what can journalists working within these organisations do to rise to Najib's call?
Najib's options with Utusan
Perhaps as the leader of Utusan's largest shareholder, Najib is worried about the decline in the paper's circulation figures. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Utusan's circulation dropped from 213,445 in 2006 to 181,346 in 2009. Another Umno-controlled Malay daily, Berita Harian, also saw circulation drop from 203,704 in 2006 to 183,187 in 2009. This slide cannot be attributed to overall weak newspaper circulation. Other dailies have seen marked increases in circulation during the same period. These include Malay-language Kosmo and Harian Metro, Chinese-language Sin Chew Daily and China Press, and English-language theSun.
Said Zahari
Said Zahari
More important, though, is the intensity of public opinion against Utusan's coverage, which critics see as Umno and/or Barisan Nasional (BN) propaganda. This analysis is at least five decades old. When then Umno president and Prime Minister of Malaya Tunku Abdul Rahman wanted to take over Utusan Melayu in 1961, its editor-in-chief, Said Zahari said:
"Tunku, you want Utusan to serve only Umno; it can no longer be the Malays' voice. Slowly, people will understand. Even if they buy the newspaper, it will not be because they support you, but because they have no alternative."
According to Said, Tunku replied, "No, no, we'll make sure it won't happen." Singapore-born Said then led a historic strike at Utusan Melayu against this political interference, resulting in him being barred from entering Malaya. He marks this as the beginning of the "death of press freedom" in this land, and even told then New Straits Times editor-in-chief, Leslie Hoffman:

Will Najib reverse Tunku's historic action against Utusan?
(public domain | Wiki Commons)
"Mark my words. Now that they are taking over Utusan, they are taking over our freedom to run a newspaper as genuine journalists, like you and I feel it should be. In the next few years, even the Straits Times will be taken over by them."
The question to Najib then is, is he aware of this piece of history? As a self-proclaimed reformist, will Najib reverse Tunku's historic action against Utusan? If yes, will he lead Umno's divestment, or at least remove political control, from all the media companies it owns? Can he do it? Why would he, anyway?
Utusan's options with Umno
There is a high likelihood that Utusan will not be released from Umno's control, at least not during Najib's presidency. So would that mean that therefore Utusan will be unable to live up to Najib's calls for media reform? Indeed, maintaining independence from those we report on is a key principle of responsible and ethical journalism. This is why government or political party control seems to dominate any critical discussion on press freedom in Malaysia.

Joshua Wong
Nevertheless, in our recent interview with former ntv7 producer Joshua Wong Ngee Choong, it is clear that ethics and responsibility do not fly out the window for journalists who work in government or party-controlled environments. Political ownership of the media and other legislative restrictions are only part of the equation when talking about the lack of press freedom, says Wong. The other part is a crisis of values within newsrooms. Wong concludes that journalists should constantly interrogate themselves about why they are in the profession.
And so from this perspective, the following might be some editorial possibilities for Utusan to take up Najib's challenge, political control notwithstanding:
  Be loyal to citizens
Political control might dictate certain no-go zones in the traditional media. But even if journalists there need to prioritise reporting on the government (as opposed to reporting fairly on both the government and the opposition), reports can be framed such that they inform the public interest. Would the newspaper ask questions of its political owner with the public's needs in mind, or is it merely being its political owner's loudspeaker?
  Verify all facts and quotes
Just because an outfit is owned by the ruling party does not mean journalists should have the license to quote opposition party leaders out of context. If even opposition leaders, among other stakeholders, can be assured that their views will be accurately and fairly reported in a government-controlled outfit, credibility can be swiftly regained.
  Provide space for public criticism and compromise
Journalists are not only brokers of facts and truths to the public. They are also facilitators of public opinion. And public opinion does not just cover the extremes in arguments on any given issue — it also includes the many positions in between. For example, alongside its pro-establishment Muslim columnist Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, would Utusan allow column space to other writers from, say, a conservative, secular, and liberal Muslim group? Only after understanding a variety of views, expressed critically, truthfully and in a civil manner, can the public be informed enough to develop its own stand on important issues.
  Keep the news comprehensive and proportional
Utusan frontpages comparisonComparison of Utusan's frontpage during the BN's Hulu Selangor by-election victory, and Pakatan Rakyat's
Sibu by-election victory
If journalism can be seen as a map of issues, it is then possible that citizens could get lost if journalists do not fully represent the overall landscape. How do editors judge newsworthiness? How did Utusan's editors decide that the BN's Hulu Selangor by-election victory deserved the front page, while the Pakatan Rakyat's Sibu victory did not? Was that a decision made by the editorial team, or was it politically dictated?
  Minimise harm
How then would journalists minimise harm — to themselves, to the public, and to their sources — if such political interference were inevitable? After all, journalists are first and foremost human beings, as are the people they work with, speak with and critique. What would editors do if they were politically instructed to demonise or persecute a particular individual or group?
These are not impossible principles to live by. For example, Wong's interview with The Nut Graph showed that he tried to live by these principles for seven whole years at the network. Neither are these principles archaic nor merely conceptual. They have, in fact, been compiled by experienced media practitioners in consultation with fellow journalists.
All these mean that Najib's exhortations are entirely achievable — neither Umno nor its vast media empire need to reinvent the wheel to regain credibility. Question is, are they up to the challenge? Or is it just posturing we're seeing from the Umno leadership?

Another case of police shooting death involving 18-yr old Mohd Afham – PR proposes to convene another Parliamentary Roundtable on fatal police shootings as well as to revisit Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission Report 2005

By Lim Kit Siang,

Another case of police shooting death has surfaced – and I fully support the demand of the aggrieved mother Sapiah Elah, 52, from Simpang Waha Felda, Kota Tinggi for an independent commission to investigate into the fatal police shooting of her son on Mohd Afham Arin, 18, October 20 last year.

Sapiah said Mohd Afham was a good son who did not have any previous criminal record.

Mohd Afham, who was believed to be involved in snatch thefts, was riding the motorcycle with 19-year-old Mohd Firdaus Marsani as pillion rider, in Taman Johor Jaya after having dinner.
Mohd Firdaus, who also demanded justice in the case, refuted the police allegation that he had waved a machete at the policemen, thus forcing the policemen to shoot at them in self-defence.

He related yesterday that he and Mohd Afham were chased by three men on motorcycles. He said the three men were in plainclothes and did not show their authority cards, and out of fear Mohd Afham sped off towards Pasir Gudang with the three men giving chase.

“On reaching a corner near the bridge on the route to Seri Alam, I heard a gunshot from behind followed by two more shots which caused us to fall from the motorcycle,” recalled Mohd Firdaus who managed to flee the scene after falling into some bushes.

He claimed that the death of Mohd Afham who was a student of the Ledang Community College and was undergoing training in Larkin, Johor Bahru, was due to police negligence.

Mohd Firdaus gave a statement to the police on the incident in January but until today had not received any feedback from them.

Only last Wednesday, a police report was lodged by Port Klang operator, 25-year-old Sharil Azlan Ahmad Kamil, who was shot at a roadblock in Shah Alam in April last year.

The Port Klang Northport worker said the bullet slug, which hit his arm and penetrated his ribcage, remains lodged close to his spine. He said doctors told him there was a high risk of him being paralysed if surgery is performed to remove the slug.

Sharil said he was driving back home to Kapar with a friend after a drink at a restaurant in Section 7, Shah Alam at about 12.30am on April 16, 2009 when he came across a police roadblock.
Realising his road tax had expired, he said he panicked and pulled over to evade the police.

Sharil alleged that two plainclothes policemen armed with sticks approached them and on seeing this he turned off at a lane. He said he then heard at least three gunshots fired and he and his friend ducked inside the car to avoid the shots.

However, the last gunshot which went through his car door hit him.

These two accounts of police shootings last year sound very familiar with cases of police abuses of firearms and remind Malaysians of the totally inexcusable fatal police shooting of 14-year-old Form III student Aminulrasyid Amzah in Shah Alam in the early hours of April 26, 2010 some 100 metres from his house.

Two weeks ago, just before the Cabinet meeting of 12th May 2010, I sent an Open Tweet to the Prime Minister and all other Ministers asking the Cabinet to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to end the spate of trigger-happy police shootings which have resulted in unacceptable fatalities, and that such a Royal Commission should inquire into all cases of police shootings as well as fatal police shootings from 2005.

The surfacing of the case of the fatal police killing of teenager Mohd Afham Arin October 20 last year has strengthened the case for such a Royal Commission of Inquiry, and if the Cabinet reminds blind and deaf to public concerns about deteriorating standards of police efficiency, accountability and professionalism, especially on trigger-happy police shootings, DAP and Pakatan Rakyat will make this a top priority issue in the forthcoming meeting of Parliament beginning on June 7 till July 13.

I will also propose that Pakatan Rakyat convene another Police Parliamentary Roundtable on police shootings inviting participation of NGOs and the civil society during the 22-day parliamentary meeting which also revisit the the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission Report 2005 and its 125 recommendations to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional and world-class police service focusing on the three core functions of keeping crime low, eradicate corruption and uphold human rights.

The destruction of SMILES in the Land Below the Wind

Letters
by P.S. Nathan

I served as the Timbalan Pengarah Kesihatan (Pergigian) for Negeri Sabah from August 1987 to Nov 1990, In short I was posted from Johore to Sabah to take charge of the Dental Service there.

In 1985 a Survey of Dental Health of the School Children in Sabah was carried out, and I was part of that team that conducted that survey. My team covered mainly the East Coast area of Lahad Datu, Semporna and Padang Tunku area.I was also a member of the Committee that drafted the Survey report, and the Committee made Recommendations for the improvement of the Status of Dental Health of the School Children of Sabah.One of the main recomendations was that all Public Water Supplies should be Fluoridated.

In 1989 the then Sabah State Government took the most Unfortunate step of ‘discontinuing the Fluoridation of Public Water supplies in the State of Sabah’ Because “Water” was a state matter, the Ministry of Health could not do anything besides presenting the Report of the Special Committee of the World Health Organisation’ that did indeed recommend the “Fluridation (the optimisation of Fluoride levels) of the Public Water Supplies.That Special Committee of the World Health Organisation also noted that ‘Fluoridation of Public water supplies was the Most Cost-Effective Public Health Measure known to man’.

Recently I received an e-mail from one of the Dental staff informing me that there was still no Fluoridation of Water Supplies in Sabah!!….even after a 20 years! That was SHOCKING NEWS to me!….for the following reasons:

*All the other states in Malaysia have long since enjoyed the Benefits of Fluoridated Water supplies, including Sarawak…Singapore,Hong Kong,Australia, New Zealand etc; have been enjoying the Benefits of Water Fluoridation for some 50+ years now.

*The Sabah Population has the WORST Dental Health in the Whole of Malaysia!…and the ‘Caries (tooth decay) levels are easily Twice that of the the rest of MaLAYSIA! The Dentist to Population ratio is also the Worst in Malaysia!

*I estimate that in the last 20 years some 300-350,thousand Permanant Teeth have probably been Extracted among the school going population of Sabah.\ and probably another 700,000 Milk teeth extracted,among the Children of Sabah!!…and maybe another One Million teeth among the rest of Sabah’s Population!

I doubt if anyone in his right senses would consider this Dental Care because such astounding levels of Extractions can only mean the destruction of SMILES of the people of the ‘Land Below the Wind’!!

So here I am a non-Sabahan, e-mailing this appeal, hoping to highlight the URGENT Need to Re-Think, and re-introduce the ‘Fluoridation’ of ALL Public Water Supplies in the State of Sabah,as soon as possible. I think that WE Owe the Children of Sabah at least this Social Responsibilty and to Help Them Keep Their Smiles for Life!!

So let us stop this destructive Health Care, Stop the Pain, The Blood, the Tears, and the anguish, that has been going on for far too long!!

Let us l not let down the some 450,000 School Children of Sabah .

I would also like to draw attention to an article entitled “Towards a State of Toothless Citizens” that appeared in Daily Express, Sabah sometime in the year 1988/89 on this same problem. Unfortunately nothing seems to have changed since then.

This message must be got across to the very people that would really matter – the politicians of Sabah and the people of Sabah.

KL Urges Asean's Dialogue Partners To Assist In Labour Issues

KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 (Bernama) -- Malaysia hopes that Asean's dialogue partners will assist the grouping's members in streamlining the employment policies while promoting social dialogue and strengthening their labour administration system.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr. S.Subramaniam said the need to strengthen Asean's labour administration system was critical in times of crisis.

"I am of the view that an effective labour administration system is the key for enhanced governance in the labour market," he said when addressing the 21st Asean Labour Ministers Meeting in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi today. The text of his speech was made available to Bernama here.

In this context, Subramaniam said, Kuala Lumpur hoped that more technical and financial assistance would be extended to the Asean member states in implementing programmes and activities under the proposed Work Plan of Asean Labour Ministers 2010-2015.

Asean's dialogue partners are Australia, Canada, China, EU, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

Subramaniam said 2009 had not been an easy year for Asean.

"What began as a credit turmoil in the US has intensified into a global financial crisis, leading to a protracted slowdown and severe financial problem in many countries," he said.

He said the Asean region was affected in different ways, with factory closures, reduced investment and some flight of investors, while migrant workers had to return home, and thousands of locals were out of work, with the unemployment rates rising rapidly.

"For Malaysia, the global financial crisis has had severe ramifications for the real economy. The decline in the economies of our major trading partners had led to a consequential impact upon our business operators.

"Retrenchment exercises and instances of pay-cuts escalated and many of our employers had to implement various cost-cutting measures."

He said athat lthough a year or so had passed since the brunt of the economic downturn was felt and there were now some signs of visible recovery in certain economic sectors, Malaysia still persisted in its efforts to secure persistent and enhanced economic sustainability.

"The government's main concern is to secure jobs for our citizens, in particular those who lost their jobs due to retrenchment, besides ensuring their continued employability," he said.

The minister said Malaysia had taken steps to transform its skills training initiative from shop floor or manual skills to skills ranging from professional, conceptual, managerial, operational behavioural to interpersonal and inter-domain skills.

"This is to ensure that these skills are relevant to the emerging economic environment as it is important for Malaysia to move progressively towards becoming a knowledge and high-income economy as envisaged under the New Economic Model," he added.

July 1 set for Karpal's defamation suit against newspaper

The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has fixed July 1 for case management of Karpal Singh’s RM10mil defamation suit against Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd over an article on his comments on Islam.

Deputy Registrar Anisah Normah Muhammad Nor fixed the date in chambers after meeting with both parties at the court complex here yesterday.

Karpal, who is DAP national chairman, was represented by Sangeet Kaur Deo while M. Mohana Kumar appeared for Utusan Melayu.

Sangeet, who is also Karpal’s daughter, told reporters that the both parties still needed to decide on the issues to be tried in the case.

Karpal, a lawyer himself, is suing Utusan Melayu over an article in its Malay-language newspaper Utusan Malaysia dated Aug 25, 2008.

He claimed that the article, titled “DAP Diingat Jangan Bakar Perasaan Melayu (DAP reminded not to inflame the sentiments of the Malays)”, contained defamatory words which were understood to mean that he was a politician bent on creating ill-will among the different communities.

Karpal, who is also the Bukit Gelugor MP, claimed that the alleged defamatory words were false and malicious and were meant to ruin his professional and political careers.

He is seeking RM10mil in damages, interest, costs and other forms of relief deemed fit by the court.

In its statement of defence, Utusan Melayu said Karpal had accepted an apology published in the newspaper after the article appeared.

Another High Court also fixed June 11 to give its decision on whether Karpal Singh needs to enter his defence in the sedition trial involving the Perak Sultan.

Justice Azman Abdullah set the date after hearing submissions from both parties yesterday.

Karpal is charged under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act with allegedly uttering seditious words against the Perak Sultan at his legal firm Messrs Karpal Singh & Co in Jalan Pudu Lama on Feb 6.

He is alleged to have said that the removal of Datuk Seri MohamadNizar Jamaluddin as Perak Mentri Besar and the appointment of Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir by the Sultan could be questioned in a court of law.

Massive Umno puppet show: CSL's 'scripted' bravado, Samy/Mugilan

By Nathaniel Tan,

A quick post on some recent BN dynamics and patterns that may be emerging.
We see Chua Soi Lek now stepping up to market himself like some champion of the Chinese (once again going on about money; reinforcing the negative stereotype that that’s all the Chinese care about – even though Sibu clearly debunks that), while on the MCA side, the GAS movement seems stronger than ever.
For my money, I say Umno is really just pulling the strings of a massive puppet show.
It is clear Samy is a liability they are just dying to hang out to dry. I mean, would a political nobody like Mugilan have the guts to take on the granddaddy of MIC politics by himself with no solid backing?
As for MCA, my suspicion is that Najib and Chua have already colluded and written a script, where Chua will bang the table, and then Najib will pretend to be wow’ed by his oratory and ’stature’ – where in actual fact, all the deals will have already been pre-planned and arranged.
All this merely = a desperate attempt to restore some credibility to MCA, a party no one gives two hoots about any more.
So yes, we have many signs that Umno dominance has in fact reached the stage where they are truly behind anything and everything, the single player calling all the shots (remember Kamalanathan?).
Is Pakatan ready to capitalise on this? Time will tell.

Snap election has nerves on edge in Trinidad and Tobago

AFP, PORT OF SPAIN,
http://guardian.co.tt/files/Kamla%20Persad%20Bissessar.png 
A female lawyer appeared poised to make history yesterday in Trinidad and Tobago’s high-risk snap elections called by Trinidad Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who heads a five-party coalition, led in the last opinion polls, after a close campaign in the energy-rich Caribbean nation.

The 58-year-old is hoping to become Trinidad and Tobago’s first woman prime minister while Manning is seeking a fourth term.

Lines of people began forming outside polling stations before they opened at 6am as the Elections and Boundaries Commission called for voting to take place peacefully. About 3,000 police deployed to oversee the vote.

Some 1.1 million eligible voters in the nation of 1.3 million are allowed two hours off work to cast their ballot until polls close at 6pm.

Persad-Bissessar tapped into voter concerns about rising crime and corruption after Manning called the elections mid-way through his five-year term.

The winner needs a simple majority of seats in the 41-­member parliament, where the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) now holds 26 seats and the main opposition United National Congress (UNC) has those remaining.

Foreign observers expected little change in energy policy in the oil and gas-rich nation, regardless of who wins.

Politics in the former British colony have long been divided along lines of Indian or African descent, and a handful of swing seats were expected to be key.

Manning’s PNM mainly draws support from Afro-Trinidadians and has dominated politics for half a century.

Persad-Bissessar, from the UNC which largely relies on Indo-Trinidadian backing, is seeking multi-ethnic support in her “People’s Partnership.”

She has a former campaign strategist for US President Barack Obama helping promote her message for change.

The Manning administration has been under fire for spending millions of dollars on giant building projects and for hosting two major summits last year, including the Summit of the Americas attended by Obama.

Critics deplore what they see as wasted resources as well as a lack of much-needed spending on healthcare.

Manning’s supporters laud the 63-year-old’s policies such as free higher education and his long experience.

It was not exactly clear why he decided to dissolve parliament last month, shortly before a vote of no confidence he was expected to win, but also amid corruption allegations — which have hurt both main parties in recent years.

Unrest spreads in Jamaica

Police patrol Monday in Kingston, Jamaica, as unrest spreads over 
the planned extradition of an accused drug kingpin to the U.S.
Police patrol Monday in Kingston, Jamaica, as unrest spreads over the planned extradition of an accused drug kingpin to the U.S

Kingston, Jamaica (CNN) -- Violence in Jamaica surrounding the planned extradition to the U.S. of a suspected drug kingpin continued Monday, with shots fired at police officers as they sought to clear roads in Kingston, police said.

Residents have blocked roads, primarily in West Kingston, to restrict access to police and military.
The violence then spread about 20 minutes outside the capital to Spanish Town, where armed thugs blocked a major road and a bridge that serves as a link between Montego Bay and Kingston, police said.

Looting occurred in downtown Kingston.
Are you there? Send stories and images to iReport

There were no immediate reports of casualties Monday, but two police officers were killed and six others were wounded in a shooting late Sunday near Norman Manley International Airport outside Kingston, police said.

The airport's main entrance remained open, and flights were arriving and departing on schedule, said Paul Hall, senior vice president for operations at the Airports Authority of Jamaica.

The unrest revolves around U.S. attempts to extradite suspected drug kingpin Christopher "Dudus" Coke, who was charged last year in federal court with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine and with conspiracy to traffic in firearms illegally.

Coke's whereabouts were not made public.

His attorneys were to meet with the charge d'affaires officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston.
Coke's attorney Don Foote said he will listen to U.S. authorities but insisted his client should face any charges in Jamaican courts.

On Friday, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding said citizens should "allow the courts to deal with the extradition matter," the state-run Jamaica Information Service reported.

In a statement Sunday afternoon, Golding announced an emergency meeting of his Cabinet in response to the heavy gunfire and blockades, the Jamaica Information Service said.

A state of emergency extended to the St. Andrew section of Kingston, according to the information agency.

The U.S. State Department is "monitoring the situation closely," a spokesman said Sunday evening.
Coke was charged in August 2009 by the U.S. attorney's office in New York, which accused him of leading an international criminal syndicate known as the "Shower Posse."

"At Coke's direction and under his protection, members of his criminal organization sell marijuana and crack cocaine in the New York area and elsewhere, and send the narcotics proceeds back to Coke and his co-conspirators," the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency said in a release accompanying the charges.

"Coke and his co-conspirators also arm their organization with illegally trafficked firearms," the DEA said in a statement at the time.
Coke is on the Justice Department's list of Consolidated Priority Organization Targets, which the department says "includes the world's most dangerous narcotics kingpins."
The State Department issued a travel alert for Jamaica on Friday.

Buying properties like rolling dice?

Foreign spouses can enjoy 'My Second Home'

Zaid moves to invalidate Hulu S'gor results

Ex-Perak speaker's application dismissed

Sports betting: Rulers urged to intervene

Samy vs MIC: Two more bite the dust - Malaysiakini

Two MIC leaders who recently spoke out against party chief S Samy Vellu's delayed plans to step down have been sacked from the party.
 
This brings to three the number of leaders evicted from the party for daring to open their mouths against the party supremo. 

The duo are MIC central working committee members KP Samy and G Kumar Amaan who last week had held a press conference to voice their dissatisfaction against Samy Vellu for not stepping down earlier.

azlanThey two were informed in writing today of their sacking with the reason being that they were working against the party's interests.

"I was sacked because I told him (Samy Vellu) to leave the party for the sake of the community," KP Samy told Malaysiakini this evening.

Their expulsion comes just five days after MIC Youth deptuy chief V Mugilan was sacked for publicly urging Samy Vellu to step down immediately and describing him as a liability to BN.

"Some of the CWC members are sad over what has happened," said KP Samy adding that he will relate his next course of action at a high noon press conference tomorrow in Klang. 

This is KP Samy's second sacking from the party for lashing out at the president. He was booted out from MIC in 1988 together MG Pandithan, then an MIC vice-president and who was accused of practising caste politics. 

PM asked to step in

Meanwhile, Kumar Amaan said that his expulsion letter was sent to his house in Negri Sembilan.
"Samy Vellu has expelled me from the party but I only have this message for the people. I leave my fate at their feet and in the hands of God," said Kumar Amaan, adding, "These are the circumstances 'real fighters' have to face in their duty to the people.

"The prime minister is the one who can solve the problem because we are all depending on him," said Kumar Amaan. 

samy vellu cooperative interview 060709 02Samy Vellu's retirement from the political scene has long been a matter of speculation stretching back to his disastrous March 8, 2008 general elections outing when he dramatically lost his Sungai Siput parliamentary seat which he had held for 10 consecutive terms.

The MIC strongman (right) has steadfastly resisted intense pressure from both within and without the party to vacate the president's seat with his only concession being that he will retire sometime in 2012 or 2013.

Last Tuesday, however, Samy, 74, announced that he would quit his post eight months before the next party polls, scheduled for May 2012. 

"I will leave eight or nine months before my term expires in May 2012. I will hand over the leadership to the next generation of leaders then.

"This is what I had told the prime minister (Najib Razak) when I met him prior to the Hulu Selangor by-election," he said.

Making way for Palanivel

On Thursday, Mugilan had said that should Samy wait until September next year to retire as planned, his anointed successor would not have enough time to reform the party in time for the next general election.

NONE"He must say why he should stay and I will debate why he should go," Mugilan said. Asked to respond, Samy said: "You ask him (Mugilan) to go to hell."

The next day, Mugilan (left) said he received a letter from the party informing him that he had been sacked. 

On Saturday, the expelled MIC Youth deputy chief launched a movement called GAS (Gerakan Anti-Samy) to mobilise public support for the resignation of the long-time MIC party president.

Kumar Amaan and KP Samy had yesterday backed Mugilan in his effort to push Samy Vellu from his position and pave the way for his deputy G Palanivel to take over the mantle.

HRP demonstration against UMNO discrimination, Mega Rally to Come

url hrp
The UMNO Kerian District Council has persistently denied Indians in Parit Buntar and the surrounding areas trading lots, market and food stalls, government jobs and land for animal rearing. The Star 24/5/2010 at page N47.
Even when the Indians are called in for an interview for the trading stalls etc, their application is rejected for the smallest, illogical or “unknown reasons”.
Our finding is that this is only the tip of the iceberg of UMNO’s direct discrimination against the Indians nationwide that is being implemented by UMNO’s 1,016,799 racist Biro Tatanegara graduates who are mostly civil servants (See UM Buliten 21/6/09 at page 19).
Parit Buntar Branch Human Rights Party Chief M. Sivakumar’s Memorandum submitted to the UMNO authorities had been ignored. UMNO’s racist religious extremist and supremacist agenda is to deliberately exclude the Indians from the national mainstream development of Malaysia.
Hundreds of our Memorandum and letters running into thousands of pages had been completely ignored by UMNO for over 16 years in a row. This led to the bubble bursting and the banks breaking it’s seams and which led to the 25th November 2007 Hindraf Rally which was during the election season of 2007/2008.
Today with this very small peaceful assembly, the seeds has today been planted for another peaceful assembly against UMNOs’s racism by commission and also against PKR, DAP and PAS’ racism by omission, which has jointly and severally led to the Indians being excluded from the national mainstream development of Malaysia, even direct discrimination against the soft target Indians at every level of life and even death in Malaysia for 53 long years.
The coincidence is that it may happen again just before the 2012/2013 general elections but targeted at both UMNO/BN and also PKR, DAP and PAS/PR.
P. Uthayakumar

Unlawful arrest of HRP member yet another continuing abuse of police powers.

url
 police

Re: 1) Unlawful arrest of HRP member yet another continuing abuse of police powers.
2) Police arrest first and investigate later policy has to stop
3) Urgent implementation of IPCMC
clip_image002NO.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245
Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.comEmail: info@humanrightspartymalaysia.com
Your Reference :
In Reply :
Date : 24/5/2010
Y.B Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein,
Menteri Kementerian Dalam Negeri,
Kementerian Dalam Negeri,
Blok D1 & D2, Kompleks D,
Pusat Pentadbiran,
Kerajaan Persekutuan, Fax: 03-2693 3131
62546 Putrajaya E-Mail: menteri@moha.gov.my
Dear Sirs,
Re: 1) Unlawful arrest of HRP member yet another continuing abuse of police powers.
2) Police arrest first and investigate later policy has to stop
3) Urgent implementation of IPCMC
This afternoon at about 2.10p.m. we had received a call that our pro-tem member one Mr.Rajalingam a/l Maniam I/C No 751221065113 of Mantin, N.Sembilan was arrested by the Seremban police.
p Mr.Rajalingam informs us that the end of March 2010, he had left his former employer a Car workshop Operator. After checking the things he was taking out on his last day of work, his employer issued his last pay cheque. Rajalingam had no problems in the three years he had been employed there. Now some one and a half months later, this employer is accusing Mr.Rajalingam of stealing some shock obsorbers and demanded the “return” of the same which Rajalingam has denied. Rajalingam then had told the employer to lodge a police report if he was still not happy. Rajalingam believes a police report was lodged.
However instead of investigating first and then arresting, the Seremban police and the police nationwide as they have been doing as p2per our 20 years of monitoring under the NGO Police Watch and Human Rights Committee the police even in this latest case has arrested first and then and only then want to investigate. In fact upon arrest, Rajalingam had asked the arresting police team why he was arrested. The police had replied that the Sergeant was not available and so he has to be arrested and detained for (7) days. We believe this employer to get back at Rajalingam for leaving his job had solicited one mandore Inspector Krishnan to arrest and detain him.
Our P.Uthayakumar had immediately telephoned to speak to the OCPD of Seremban ACP Saiful Azli bin Haji Kamarusin but was told by his good Personal Assistant Puan Aminah that he was on an “outside assignment”. The Deputy OCPD is on a “kursus”. And that she would try and get the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) or his deputy to call us back but we are not surprised we had never received the call as this is not the Polis Raja di Malay-sia culture.
In the circumstances we urge your goodself to order the police to take Rajalingam’s statement and to forthwith release him.
p3If there is criminal case against Rajalingam, he must be prosecuted in a Court of Law and according to the law.
After my ISA release I do no enjoy watching T.V anymore. But last night I had unusually watched Crime Investigation on Astro. A murder investigation took six years and only when there was enough evidence against the suspect did the United States District Attorney order his arrest and was he accordingly prosecuted. We are far from this judicious standards of policing and prosecution but we could certainly expect that the police do not arbitrally arrest and then only investigate. This has to stop.
This Malaysian Police above the law mindset and arrest first and investigate later practice can only be put to an end by the urgent implementation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as was recommended by the Police Royal Commission headed by Tun Dzaiddin way back in 2006.
Kindly revert to us accordingly.
Thank You.
Your Faithfully,
______________
P.Uthayakumar
Secretary General (pro tem)
c.c 1)Tan Sri Musa Bin Tan Sri Hj. Hassan,
Ketua Polis Negara,
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja,
Malaysia,
Bukit Aman, 50560 Kuala Lumpur Fax: 03-20707500
2) Dato’ Osman bin Salleh,
Ketua Polis Negeri Sembilan,
Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen,
Negeri Sembilan,
Jalan Cambell,
70710 Seremban,
Negeri Sembilan Fax: 06-7623506
3)ACP Saiful Azloi bin Haji Kamaruddin,
Ketua Polis Daerah Seremban,
Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah,
Seremban II,
70300 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan Fax: 03-6012624

40 Indian families get piped water after 80 years. Well done UMNO! Earlier this village used well and rain water.

url 40 indian
This does not happen to any other Malay or Chinese village (See The Star 18/5/2010 at page N 49).

14,568 affordable homes costing RM 840 million, but many Indian poor homeless

url 14
The Government National Housing Company (SPNB) excludes the Indian poor. The tip of the iceberg being the wayang kulit One Malaysia picture by the UMNO propaganda machine. Last week where we had reported a mentally ill single mother and bright student daughter sleeping, cooking and living in one small room.
But SPNB will choose not to see this family for the simple reason that they are the soft target Indians.
How come there are no mentally ill Chinese or Malay mother and daughter who live in one room?
The poorest Malay, Orang Asli, Kadazan or Iban at the very least have a roof over their heads in their very own kampong ancestral village or land. Even the poorest Chinese have their 200 over Chinese New Villages to fall back on.
But for the poor Indians they do not have their Indian village social safety net unlike the poor Malay, Orang Asli, Kadazan, Iban and Chinese.
P. Uthayakumar

75,000 foreign students doing Degree and Masters, but no 75,000 opportunities for Indian students

url 
75000
So says the higher Education Minister Khalid Nordin.
But for the Indians only 0.1% to 1% are allowed into the 20 local public universities which has 163,779 students, 62,000 diploma and 60,000 degree places in Polytechnics (NST 22/11/09 at page 25).
Zero Indians are allowed in the 200,000 Malay muslim only UiTM.
P.Uthayakumar

3,000 new taxi permits, 1% for Indians

url 
3000
Sinar Harian on 18/5/10 at page S 14 reported that the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board has approved 3,000 new taxi permits for individuals in the Klang Valley from 13/7/09 to 31/12/2010 by advertising the same in the (Malay) press.
But the same has never been advertised in the three Tamil newspapers simply because UMNO has no intention to grant these taxi permits on a needs basis but only on a 1% quota basis or so wayang kulit.
The criteria is one must have at least four children, no criminal records and no JPJ or police summons.
But as usual under UMNO’s racist religious extremist and supremacist policies implemented by their 1,016,799 Biro Tatanegara civil service racist graduates they grant an estimated 1% of these permits to Indian taxi drivers, just for theatric wayang kulit.
P. Uthayakumar

(UMNO) Recites Thevaram but destroys Sivan temple – UMNO the destroyer of Tamil schools, Hindu temples, cemeteries and Indian settlements

url umno recites
This is the celebrated Tamil proverb.
On the one hand the UMNO tuans merely announce that they agree to building Tamil schools but the reality is some 365 Tamil schools having been destroyed by UMNO. From 888 Tamil schools in 1957 when Malaysia achieved independence today this number has been reduced to 523. This is ethnic cleaning of tamil schools!
Similarly destroyed are thousands of Hindu temples cemeteries and Indian settlements.
UMNO sokong bina Sekolah Tamil (UM 15/5/2010 at page 33) and in collaboration with their MIC Indian mandores merely makes the “grand” announcement but never with a time limit to be implemented.
At this very function an announcement was also made again in collaboration with the MIC deputy minister mandore to prepare a database on all the Indian problems to be solved.
For 53 years UMNO keeps repeating this “collecting data”, “timbang”, "studying", etc. theatrics, wayang kulit never implemented.
And the above wayang kulit vis a vis Indian mandorism is fast catching up with PKR, DAP and PAS by the UMNO style use of their Indian mandores.
P. Uthayakumar

Thomas Cup never regained by Malaysia because of UMNO’s race based sports policies.

url thomas cup
In the 1970s Thomas Cup was won by national legends like Tan Aik Huang, Punch Gunalan, James Selvaraj, etc for badminton, Santokh Singh, K. Arumugam for football, Jegathesan, Jeyamani, Yamuna Nair for athletics, Sri Shan, Devedran for hockey, and Mount Everest heroes Magendran and Mogan Dass.
But in the last 53 years of UMNO’s racist, religious extremist and supremacist agenda, Indians have been excluded from the national mainstream sports policies. Indians are being excluded right from primary school to district, state and national levels.
In a Tamil talk show ‘Info Focus’ in early 2009, it was shocking to hear a former Malaysian Indian sports icon encouraged Indians to go on individual sporting events like short and long distance running, etc., and not group sports, so that the winner will be obvious and cannot be ignored, as opposed to for example being excluded in the national football, hockey, badminton team, etc which has become race based as opposed to meritocracy.
As long as UMNO practices racism, religious extremism and malay muslim supremacy Malaysia will never get back the Thomas Cup.
The same applies to all endeavours in society, be it education or business!
P. Uthayakumar

40,000 hectares of new coco plantation to be developed nationwide, Indian poor excluded.

url 40
Some 2,000 planters, almost all malay muslim small holders, are to benefit. What about the thousands of poor Indian plantation workers who have been denied land and never made smallholders?
Why these acts of racism by UMNO by commission, and racism by omission by PKR, DAP and PAS, NGOs’ Bloggers, Indian elite, Malaysiakini.com all of whom failed to point out this racism.
P. Uthayakumar

UMNO welfare help denied to Sarojini, single mother with two children aged 3 and 1, and a 53 year old unemployed mother.

url umno welfare
The one year old is a sickly baby. This is yet again the tip of the iceberg where welfare help is denied to the Indian poor and the elderly (SH 23/5/2010 at page S27). How come the RM 48 million for welfare programmes including for rental payments and the RM 174 million for senior citizens do not reach this thousands of the Indian poor? Is is for Malays only?
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement that an income of RM 687 per month is the Poverty Line Index (NST 24/10/09 at page 10) but again the thousands of the Indian poor have again been excluded! Why? Why this level of racist against in particular the Indians by UMNO by commission, and racial omission by PKR, DAP, PAS, NGOs’ Bloggers, Indian elite, Malaysiakini.com all of whom are silent on these issues, yet make empty wayang kulit bodoh claims of multi-racialism.
P. Uthayakumar

Two more Samy critics axed

By RK Anand and G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today,

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC central working committee (CWC) members KP Samy and G Kumar Amman have been sacked from the party, according to sources.
They told FMT that MIC president S Samy Vellu invoked his presidential powers to expel the two leaders this morning.
This brings the total sackings in MIC over the past few days to three, with former Youth deputy chief V Mugilan being the first to be shown the exit last week.

KP Samy and Kumar Amman had publicly come out to support Mugilan over his call on Samy Vellu to step down by the year-end.
Mugilan has also unveiled a campaign, called "Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu", to press for the veteran politician's exit from power.

'President has to make a stand'
Meanwhile, a source close to the president said: “The two have acted in a manner detrimental to the party's interests, and the president has to make a stand.”

The source said Samy Vellu has already revealed his retirement date and wants to ensure that he hands over a stable and united party to his deputy G Palanivel next year.

Letter to expel KP Samy
Letter to expel KP Samy
“The Indians are now returning to MIC's fold, but now there are those causing problems to serve their own agenda and the president is upset.

“He has made up his mind. He will destroy those who attempt to destroy the party,” he added.

Contacted later, KP Samy told FMT that he had received a letter sacking him from the party. "I will hold a press conference tomorrow," said the CWC member, who is closely aligned to Samy Vellu's nemesis and former deputy S Subramaniam.
KP Samy also said he was informed that the president and his deputy were not on the same page regarding the latest sackings, and a heated argument had taken place between the duo.
Both Samy Vellu and Palanivel could not be reached for comment.
The party constitution requires the president to consult his deputy before sacking any member.

Kumar Amman also told FMT that he has not received any letter.

A senior MIC leader, who declined to be named, said: "We heard that the letters have been issued but we are not sure if they will be sent. There could be a change of heart."

Seeking a venue to quiz Bala



By Shuhada Elis, New Straits Times

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will decide on a suitable place in London to record private investigator P. Balasubramaniam's statement relating to the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

MACC investigation director Mustafar Ali said because Balasubramaniam was abroad, it needed a proper place to carry out the investigation.

"(We need to identify) where to record his statement. Is it at the Malaysian high commission? We cannot simply do as he wishes," he said yesterday.

An online newsportal recently reported that Balasubramaniam was ready to provide his statement after "disappearing" for two years.

On Friday, the MACC released a statement saying that it was ready to meet Balasubramaniam in London in July to record his statement.

Asked why it had to wait until July, Mustafar said it was at Balasubramaniam's request.

"We were ready a long time ago but he said he would only be ready in July. We are accommodating his request."

On July 3, 2008, Balasubramaniam made a statutory declaration related to the murder of Altantuya but withdrew it the next day through a second declaration. He disappeared abroad soon after with his family.

On another matter, Mustafar said the MACC had not opened an investigation paper into Sime Darby as it was waiting for the company's internal inquiry to be completed.

"We also need to analyse various information pertaining to the matter but so far, no statements have been recorded."

However, he said the commission would call up anyone, including company chairman Tun Musa Hitam, to assist in investigations if there was any element of corruption.

Sime Darby recently confirmed the market's worst fears when it announced that it would have to book in massive losses over projects in the Middle East as well as the Bakun hydroelectric dam project in Sarawak.

It is expected to book in close to RM1 billion losses in its third quarter results, which are expected to be released on Thursday.

PAS to appoint non-Muslim senators

By FMT Staff

KLANG: Powered by its acceptance in Sibu, Pakatan Rakyat coalition partner PAS is now planning to appoint non-Muslims as senators and as candidates in the 13th general election.

Speaking to the PAS supporters wing in Klang today, president Abdul Hadi Awang said the largest Islamic movement was looking into appointing non-Muslims to state-held senate seats.

“PAS is happy to appoint non-Muslims to the senate to represent Malaysia’s multi-racial society. We also looking at non-Muslim candidates for the 13th general election.

“In fact this is already being discussed at the party's leadership level,” he said.

On May 16, the Pakatan coalition swept to victory in a nail-biting finish for the Sibu parliamentary seat.

The win has been attributed in part to PAS willingness to discuss the contentious ‘Allah” issue with Sibu's predominant Christian community.

Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad and Kota Raja MP Siti Maria Mahmud had held open discussions with church groups on PAS stand.

At the height of the arson attacks on churches in January 2010 following a high court ruling allowing Christians to use the term “Allah’ in prayer, PAS and its coalition partners had remained firm in support of freedom to practice ones faith.

Committed to unity

Hadi said PAS’s openness in accepting non-Muslims into its fold and its acceptance among the many races proved its commitment to the Pakatan's unity agenda.

“PAS is trying to unite the various races by opening its door to the non-Muslims.

“We reaffirmed our commitment to unity when we decided to upgrade the PAS supporters club to being an equal to the youth, women and ulama wings,” he said.

Meanwhile PAS supporters wing chairman Hua Pang Chow said PAS had achieved its aim of uniting Malaysia, which Barisan Nasional had failed after 52 year of rule.

“One Malaysia is actually PAS spirit. The aim of making Malaysia a heaven for all races and religion is and has been PAS’s objective since 1951,” he said.

Since 2008, PAS has been actively engaging the interest of non-Muslims in the country.

Also present today were PAS leaders deputy president Nasaruddin Md Isa and vice-presidents Salahuddin Ayub and Mafuz Omar, PAS Selangor commissioner Hassan Ali, Khalid, Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu and Kapar MP S Manikavasagam.

PAS kesal Najib Halang Siasatan Umno Bina Ibupejabat Di PWTC Guna Wang Rakyat

Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) kesal kerana Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menghalang usaha rakyat menuntut satu Suruhanjaya Diraja dibentuk bagi menyiasat dakwaan Barry Wain.

Semalam Barry Wain mempertahan fakta bukunya ‘Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir in Turbulent Times’ dan turut menyatakan beliau mempunyai bukti yang kuat bahawa Mahathir telah menyelewengkan wang negara lebih dari RM 100 Bilion.

Disember tahun lepas Najib menyebut;

“tak wajar dicadangkan Suruhanjaya Diraja ditubuhkan semata-mata kerana ada orang menulis sebuah buku. Apa yang penting ialah bagi kita melihat masa depan. Semua perdana menteri telah memberi sumbangan yang besar. Jika tidak, Malaysia tidak akan menjadi maju seperti sekarang sehingga dianggap sebagai satu contoh,”

Ini adalah satu alasan yang cuba melindungi Mahathir dan kepentingan Umno. Najib bersubahat dalam hal ini begitu juga mantan Perdana Menteri, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi kerana mereka turut menyambung legasi penyelewengan Mahathir.

Sehingga kini Umno gagal menyangkal dakwaan Wain bahawa bangunan PWTC yang mereka duduki sekarang adalah hasil dari wang rakyat yang diselewengkan. Malah dakwaan Wain bahawa ketika Daim menjadi Menteri Kewangan terdapat satu akaun dana politik khas diperuntukan untuk Umno bernilai puluhan juta juga tidak dinafikan oleh mana-mana pemimpin Umno.

PAS persoalkan kenapa Najib begitu takut untuk membenarkan hal ini disiasat oleh Suruhanjaya Diraja?

Rakyat menghargai sumbangan Mahathir, tetapi itu bukan alasan untuk menyembunyikan fakta penyelewengan yang telah dilakukan dan disambung oleh pemimpin selepasnya.

Rakyat menuntut satu Suruhanjaya Diraja dibentuk bagi menyelamatkan wang negara dari terus diselewengkan oleh Umno-BN. Dakwaan Wain harus disiasat dan segala dokumen yang beliau miliki harus didedahkan.

Ust. Idris Ahmad
Ketua Penerangan PAS Pusat

Malaysia's Royals At It Again

Image(Asia Sentinel) Malay royalty present more embarrassment for UMNO

A bit more than a year ago, as a war of words raged over the Sultan of Perak's controversial decision to in effect award the speakership of the state assembly to the United Malays National Organization instead of dissolving the body for new elections, UMNO took the cause of the sultans to heart.

Over the next couple of months, any time criticism was raised over a decision that plainly kept the statehouse in the hands of the ruling national coalition and that probably would have been ruled illegal in a court system not beholden to UMNO, an army of party hacks filed police reports against the critics, alleging they had insulted Malaysia's royalty.

Malaysia has an eccentric system of kingship, with the country's nine sultans rotating the crown among them every five years. As the Perak statehouse squabble grew in intensity, a move – which didn't succeed – was even bandied about to give the sultansthe same protection against lese majeste as that enjoyed by the Thai king. Tengku Zainol Rashid Tengku Yahya, head of the Kedah family association, told reporters at the time that a move would be made "soon"to reverse laws allowing the sultans to be criticized that were pushed through by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Some 250 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) got together to express loyalty to the Malay rulers.

"If immunity is restored, the issue of mocking the Malay rulers will probably not arise," Zainol Rashid told reporters.

So what to make, then, of a continuing, bitter squabble for power in the Kelantan statehouse, where members of the royal family, fighting for months over who will succeed the ailing Sultan Tengku Ismail Petra, are being investigated for murder and mayhem. At least onemurder occurred when a palace guard was shot four times and killed.

It probably means it will be awhile before UMNO will use the sultans as a cudgel to beat up on the opposition. Certainly, the widening publicity over the Kelantan palace squabble has left Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak with little to say. On May 8, Najib was quoted as saying that despite charges of kidnapping and other crimes, the best way for the problem to be resolved was through consultation and negotiations among the parties involved.

"We hope the health of Kelantan's Sultan Ismail Petra Sultan Yahya Petra will be given utmost priority in findinga proper solution," he told reporters.

On May 7, according to Agence-France Press, lawyers representing the ailing Kelantan sultan claimed he was being held against his will in a local hospital and applied to have him released as details of a royal power struggle unfolded. The 60-year-old Tengku Ismail apparently had been prevented from going to Singapore for treatment for long-standing heart problems that had kept him in the hospital for nine months. Other reports indicated that the sultan's first wife, the Raja Perempuan, tried to get to the Kelantan hospital where he had been forcibly installed by rival factions of the family in defiance of his orders to take him back to the palace, but had been stopped by police wearing balaclavas. She later managed to escape from them to get to her husband's side, where she spent the night on the hospital floor. She told the Malay Mail that the police had allegedly abused her and "pulled me like a cow" in an attempt to take her to the police station.

According to AFP, the country's top policeman, hospital officials and the government were accused of conspiring to confine the sultan to the hospital on the orders of the sultan's eldest son and regent, the Tengku Makhota Muhammad Faris Petra, after the aborted attempt by the sultan's consort and his third son to take him to Singapore.

"We take the view that the sultan is in hospital under restraint. He should not be restrained," said lawyer RajaAziz Addruse, adding the ruler was "very conscious and lucid."

The Tengku Makhota and his younger brother Tengku Muhammad Fakhry, the sultan's third son, have been at each other's throats since last September, when the latter was removed from the state's succession council, which determines who becomes the next ruler of Kelantan.

The current controversy follows a huge flap almost exactly a year ago, when a teenaged Indonesian-American model, Manohara Odelia Pinot, escaped from her Kelantan prince husband, Tenku Muhammad Fakhry, and the Sultan's guards by fleeing the Royal Plaza Hotel in Singapore. She later told reporters she had been abused, tortured and subjected to sexual abuse in the prince's Kelantan redoubt. The story stayed on the front pages of Indonesian newspapers and on television for days and made Manohara a celebrity in Jakarta. She told a horrific tale of intimidation and torture including having her breasts sliced with a razor, being forced to endure drug injections and other abuse.

In the current controversy, police reportedly have questioned Fakhry and 10 others including his royal bodyguards in connection with the shooting of the guard, Ramli Mohamed, at the Kelantan state palace. The Malay Mail reported that the police believed the shooting of Ramli was part of a conspiracy to assassinate the crown prince, Fakhry's brother.

The Kelantan controversy is only one of a continuing series of embarrassments up to and including murders and losses of fortunes at international gaming tables by members of the nine royal families. One of the most spectacular was the late Sultan of Johor, Mahmud Iskandar Almarhum Sultan Ismail, who died earlier this year at 77. Iskandar was almost singlehandedly responsible for Mahathir's decision to end legal immunityfor the sultans in 1993.

He was dismissed as the prince regent of Johor, by his father, Sultan Ismail Ibrahim, in 1961 after he reportedly chained two policemen into a dog kennel for a day after they displeased him. He was later reported to have attacked a young couple with Mace after they allegedly offended him. In 1972, he was charged forMacing two men because their car had overtaken his on the highway. In 1971, he shot and killed a trespasser walking near his private helicopter. He was charged with manslaughter but his father intervened, as the sultan did repeatedly at other times, and granted him a pardon despite his disapproval of his actions. Iskandar's family wasn't much better. His eldest son, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail, now named the sultan, shota man dead in a nightclub but was also pardoned.

There have been plenty more cases as well, including fist fights in nightclubs between rival gangs of royal families. In several instances, state governments have had to bail out royal families which have run up huge gambling debts in Las Vegas and London despite the Islamic prohibition against gambling. The Malay rulers by order of the constitution are guardians of the Islamic faith.