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Friday, May 28, 2010

MIC sec-gen joins chorus of discontent - Malaysiakini

MIC secretary-general S Murugessan has become the second major party figure in as many days to have expressed dissatisfaction with the unilateral expulsion of four party leaders by party president S Samy Vellu.

Murugessan said he has to answer to his conscience and to the MIC delegates who voted for him and not just to one person, in reference to Samy Vellu.

"Summary dismissal is not the first option but should be the last option... The members should be given a chance to defend themselves at the disciplinary committee,” he said, during a press conference in Petaling Jaya.

Murugessan was referring to the expulsion of two Central Working Committee members KP Samy and G Kumar Amaan, along with MIC Youth wing deputy chief V Mugilan and Petaling Jaya division veteran V Subramaniam.

All four were sacked by Samy Vellu without a disciplinary hearing.

His criticisms against the dismissals follows similar remarks from Central Working Committee member P Palaniappan yesterday.

Both Murugessan and Palaniappan made the symbolic move of holding their press conferences either before are after similar events by Gerakan Anti-Samy (GAS) movement at the same venue.

However, both figures did not pledge allegiance to GAS.

Murugessan added that he is not arguing Samy Vellu's tenure nor the merit in asking for his resignation.

"What I am against the use of Presidential Powers to expel a member. That is not what Article 61.2 of the Constitution was intended for," he said.

Murugessan said that Samy Vellu himself had set the precedent 40 years ago by calling for the resignation of then MIC president V T Sambanthan.

"History is repeating itself or you can call it karma," he said, adding that joining the chorus of discontent is his contribution towards safeguarding MIC's democratic principles.

"I have stood up and am willing to face the consequences, whatever they are," he said.

While he admitted that many MIC leaders were unhappy with the sacking of the four CWC members, Murugessan could not say if they will step forward to protest.

At a press conference immediately after, Mugilan urged other CWC members to follow suit, "if they are brave".

He also said that not standing behind the ousted four will mean the end of their political career, as delegates will not vote them in again in 2012 to punish their silence today.

And KP Samy added that the CWC members had 24 hours to convene an emergency meeting "if they are concerned about (GAS's mass gathering due on Sunday)".

The gathering, which was originally meant to be held at Umno-owned Putra World Trade Centre has been moved to the Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

According to Mugilan, Murugessan's statement was a "slap to (his) detractors" and that he is confident that 15,000 MIC members will be present on Sunday.

He also called on Samy Vellu to step down within the next seven days to honour the challenge he made to his former deputy S Subramaniam earlier this week.

"He said Subramaniam should resign with him, and Subramaniam has relinqushed his position as branch head of Seputeh, so Samy Vellu should be a gentleman," he said.

He also waved away the counter movement by MIC Youth, Gerakan Anti-Mugilan (GAM), saying: "Why are they being copycats?"

Vell Paari apologises to Umno - Malaysiakini

MIC central working committee member S Vell Paari has apologised over his claims that Umno was employing “political assassins” to rid of MIC president S Samy Vellu.

Vell Paari told news portal Free Malaysia Today on May 24 that Umno was backing the Gerakan Anti-Samy (GAS) movement, which is aggressively pressuring Samy Vellu to step down.

“Given the recent developments, it is clear to me that Umno was not involved in any way with the GAS movement. Many Umno leaders have clearly stated that they have not encouraged or worked with V Mugilan in any way.

“Therefore, I would like to say sorry to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Umno for my earlier statements,” said Vell Paari in a statement today.

'Lets put this behind us'

Vell Paari said that it was his duty to defend Samy Vellu, who is also his father, in face of the attacks by GAS leaders, who are led by recently expelled MIC leaders V Mugilan, KP Samy and G Kumar Amaan.

“Furthermore, I was also reacting to the fact that Mugilan and Kumar Amaan had repeatedly and publicly dragged UMNO's name into their recent statements and actions.

“I have also explained my position to the Prime Minister earlier today. Moving forward, I hope we can all put this behind us and work together as we always have in the BN family,” he said.

Previously, deputy premier and Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin had remarked that Vell Paari was biadap (uncouth) for suggesting that Umno was interfering in the ongoing MIC crisis.

Kuang folk fight back

By Stephanie Sta Maria and B Nantha Kumar - Free Malaysia Today,

KUANG: Taman Rahmat Jaya in Kuang was once like any other residential area – friendly and peaceful. But now an angry vibes ripples through it.
One year ago, sand-mining contractors began illegal operations just a stone's throw away from the neighbourhood on private land belonging to the Seri Kundang Lakes Golf Club. Before long, the residents discovered cracks in their walls and drains. The excavation was causing the land around their houses to sink at an alarming rate.
They immediately lodged a complaint with a host of authorities, including the Gombak Land Office, the Drainage and Irrigation Department, the Selayang Municipal Council, the Road Transport Department and Kuang assemblyman Abdul Shukor Idrus. All turned a deaf ear to them.
When word recently got around that the contractor was planning to expand his operations to a patch of land opposite the country club, the residents decided that they had had enough. Last Sunday, 100 residents gathered to protest the illegal operations which are now being carried out around the clock instead of just at night.
“That is reserve land meant for neighbourhood facilities like football field and community hall,” resident Zawawi Muhammad told FMT during a visit earlier this week. “We've already had to call off work to erect a water storage tank on that land because the ground isn't solid enough. The people are very angry.”
According to Mohd Noor Ismail, the village head of Seri Kundang, the contractor claims he is working for Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB).
“But when we demanded to see his permit, he showed us an application letter instead,” he said. “We have come to physical blows before over this matter. And now he has the gall to hire Malay youths to act as liaisons between him and us.”
Our hands are tied
Residents of Kampung Orang Asli Hulu Kuang, meanwhile, blame an Umno leader for bringing in the contractors who are illegally mining for sand in the river behind their village. The leader, whom they referred to as “Encik Jamal”, resides in the village and oversees the operations.
“They are a menace!” fumed Asri. “The operations start at 3am which disrupts the people's sleep. Every fortnight 20 lorries come by to cart the sand away, which has left deep potholes and badly damaged roads. Just last week two teenagers were killed when one of the lorries hit their motorbike in its haste to deliver the sand.”
Asri said that he had lodged a complaint with the District Land Office as well as Selayang MP William Leong. The officers from the land office visited the site but the machines “mysteriously vanished”, only to resurface a week later.
“I pushed the officers to return but they told me that their hands are tied,” he said in frustration. “Even Leong is reluctant to take action.”
When contacted, Leong defended the land office explaining that limited manpower prevents it from stationing enforcement agents at the site.
He also pointed out that the state government has given KSSB full responsibility for curbing such operations and taking action against those involved. The onus, he said, lies with KSSB and not him or the land office.
“I have spoken to (Selangor state executive councillor) Elizabeth Wong who is doing her part in requesting the authorities to look into the matter,” he added. “But KSSB has to stop being inefficient and start taking control of the situation. Otherwise, we have to rethink how the entire sand mining business is being run in Selangor.”
Residents warned not to be village heroes
Elsewhere in Kampung Gombak, irate villagers are threatening to destroy the contractor's machinery to prevent him from moving it when enforcement officers come by.

According to resident Haji Hamdon, the contractor here was also reportedly hired by an Umno leader. And similar to Taman Rahmat Jaya, this contractor too claimed to be hired by KSSB but could only produce an application letter instead of an approved permit.
“He has widened the river so much so that it is literally creeping into our backyards,” he protested. “He has asked me to persuade the residents to allow him to work here but we have refused. I have even alerted KSSB to this matter but KSSB didn't seem interested in pursuing it.”
Haji Hamdon also sought help from Selayang Municipal Council member Abdul Rahim Wahab but met another dead end when he (Abdul Rahim) ordered the residents to not “overstep their boundaries”.
“He told us not to behave like 'jaguh kampung' (village heroes),” Hamdon said. “When we warned him that a mainstream newspapers had already highlighted the matter, he laughed and said that the newspaper was only good for toilet use.”
Part 4 will appear on Mlonday

Buddhism and human evolution

By Stanley Koh - Free Malaysia Today,

COMMENT Gautama Buddha walked the earth in the sixth century as Prince Siddhartha in northern India, passed away at the age of 80 and left a legendary path for the 21st century with 500 million faithful followers calling themselves Buddhists.
Buddhism, ranking sixth among the world religions in terms of number of adherents, is a timeless path, a spiritual way of life in human evolution.
On this day, May 28, millions celebrate the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the historical Buddha (meaning “awakened” or “enlightened”), whom many also revere as Sakyamuni or Bhagava (Blessed One).
On this day, Buddhists all over the world rejoice and celebrate in remembrance of a human being extraordinaire who searched for truth and found the answers to the riddle of life.
Gautama Buddha was a role model during his time, a living example of the noble eight-fold path (middle path) encompassing a foundation of morality, cultivation of the mental faculties and transcendence from material existence with right understanding and wisdom.
It continues to be a non-dogmatic teaching and a guide that gives advisory precepts so that the follower may become compassionate, peace-loving and in harmony with himself or herself as well as with others.
Buddhism is a spiritual guide to the divine process of human evolution from the material realm to the spiritual planes of existence.
Every Buddhist must walk the spiritual path alone, just as each and everyone evolves at his or her own pace and according to his or her intellectual and spiritual capacity. For none can piggyback on another or walk the path on somebody’s behalf.
Universal laws
No Buddhist can attain enlightenment by merely worshipping the Teacher day in and day out without avoiding evil, performing meritorious deeds and cultivating wisdom in the process of practising the teaching.
If indeed the universal truth of man is all about an evolutionary path, the constitution of man, with his physical, mental and spiritual faculties, must operate within the confines of the universal laws.
The universal laws on love, logic, space, time and spirit pervade the cosmic plan of the Creator that many speak of as “universal consciousness and One-ness of Being”.
Buddhism speaks of the cycle of birth and death and karma, or the cause and effect of impersonal natural laws governing all forms of human behaviour.
We are then accountable only to ourselves, each one of us individually, for each is embarking upon this evolutionary journey not by choice, but by the natural progression of the spirit-form.
Buddhism, like other esoteric teachings compatible with it, teaches that the purpose of life is to gain knowledge and evolutionary progress (rather than process), absorbing life experiences after each reincarnation.
In 1975, it was exposed to the world that a spiritually extraterrestrial human-like race, called the “Plejarans” from the planet Erra (within an open cluster of stars in the constellation of Taurus, almost 420 light years, on average, from our planet Earth), had been contacting a Swiss farmer named Billy Miere in what has been called the Pleiadian Mission.
Material lives
The Plejarans gave Miere hundreds of discourses and left him with a thousand pages of notes on earth’s living science, tracing the origins of earth and the fascinating history of the human race.
One of the notes says the teaching of Buddhism is closest to the truth of the human evolution. It speaks of the laws of karma, the natural phenomenon of reincarnation, and countless spiritual planes or dimensions with different space-time configurations.
According to the Plejarans, well versed in the history of Buddhism and knowledge of the universe, there are seven levels for the human spirit beyond the earthly dimension. Two of these levels are called the “pure conscious” spirit forms and five levels are for human spirits undergoing the process of reincarnation through material lives.
On average, a human being requires 60 billion to 80 billion years to master the lessons of material life (that is, on earth or another similar planet) for the evolution of the spirit.
This is also mentioned by Gautama Buddha in some of his discourses on the existence of many worlds with forms and others without forms, that is, the spiritual worlds.
Hence, on Wesak Day, Buddhists should remember that the human spirit’s evolutionary progress is to gain “truth, knowledge and wisdom”. This is the true commemoration of Buddha’s Day.
Furthermore, as human beings, we create our own heaven or hell, and it is the duty of Buddhists to create an environment of wellbeing not only for themselves but for others as well.
On behalf of Free Malaysia Today and its staff, I wish all Malaysian Buddhists a happy and joyous Wesak Day. May all beings be well and happy.
Stankey Koh, a former head of research at MCA, is a Free Malaysia Today contributor.

PKR promises 'explosive disclosure' on TUDM deal

By B Nanthakumar - Free Malaysia Today,

KOTA BARU: The highlight of the PKR Youth congress here today is expected to be the 'explosive revelation' of the Sungai Besi air forces (TUDM) land development deal which has been linked to an ‘associate’ of first lady Rosmah Mansur.

Disclosing this last night youth wing, Angkatan Muda Keadilan (AMK) chief Shamsul Iskandar Mat Akin said the free-spending associate was a wealthy 28-year old Chinese with ties to Hollywood.
Shamsul said the young businessman, a graduate from University of Pennsylvania in the USA, has been spotted on the Hollywood social scene with blockbuster movie, Transformers, star Megan Fox.
Promising to reveal more at today’s congress, he said: “Tomorrow (today) I will reveal things about a particular personality, a graduate of an overseas university.”
The sixth PKR national congress begins today. The three-day congress began with the joint official launch of the Young and Women’s wing congress by deputy PKR president Syed Husin Ali at the Kelantan Trade Centre here.
The congress proper, for both wings, is currently underway.
In their official addresses last night, both Shamsul and women chief, Zuraida Kamaruddin, touched on the defections of party members and the need to consolidate and prepare for the general elections.
Syed Husin in his speech stressed on the need for the party to posses credible candidates with a pronounced sense of value.
He said the process of creating a group of leaders with calibre involved training and grassroot work.
Syed Husin said while PKR was successfully increasing its supporter base what was now essential was quality of membership.
“We need members who are disciplined, politically aware and committed to the party’s struggle.
“We need members who understand and uphold the points of this struggle, and not lose their compass (bearing) when they find themselves alone,” he said.
‘Utusan Malaysia not welcome’
Meanwhile Bernama reported today that that Utusan Malaysia is "not welcome" at the three-day PKR national congress in Kota Baru.
Quoting Syed Husin, it said PKR would not chase reporters from the Malay daily out of the congress hall.
"We won't stop them. They are not invited but we won't chase them away," Syed Husin told reporters when asked about a text message received by several media represe

Congress to re-ignite fire of reformasi

By T. Pushparani and Fazy Sahir - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The sixth national PKR congress today will be an affirmation of solidarity even as rival Barisan Nasional (BN) continues to cast its insidious shadow over the party.
The slew of BN-fingered defections have, in truth, deeply dented the 12-year-old party’s credibility, especially the betrayal of de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s trusted lieutenants Salehuddin Hashim (former party secretary-general), Zulkifily Nordin (Kulim Bandar Baru MP) and Zahrain Hasim ( Bayan Baru MP).
All three and more claim to have been privy to Anwar’s innermost thoughts and have had field-days revealing their insight and PKR strategies to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
The gathering in Kota Baru, which begins today, is seen as an opportunity to come clean on several of these issues, including the electoral defeat in Hulu Selangor and the triumph in Sibu.
It will attempt to reassure disillusioned members and re-ignite the fire of “reformasi” and patriotism, which fuelled PKR’s dramatic growth following the unprecedented 2008 political wave.
The Pakatan Rakyat coalition – to which PKR is a partner – wrested five states from the ruling BN regime.
The humiliation of defeat, more so at the hands of Umno nemesis, Anwar, has since whipped BN into waging a no-holds-barred war lending credence to the adage “all's fair in love and war”.
Bearing this in mind, Kota Baru is probably the safest place for PKR to hold its national gathering.
Here, the likelihood of BN stooges in the civil service, hotel, convention centre and transport hub undermining PKR’s every move is minimalised.
This is PAS fortress, which the BN has been unable to breach for more than 20 years.
This will also be the platform to reiterate PKR’s commitment to its Pakatan partners – DAP and PAS – and its shaky alliances in Sabah and Sarawak.
Troublesome third sibling
Next to its big bold brothers, PKR is a troublesome third sibling in the Pakatan coalition.
It is constantly in trouble and a target of BN’s tireless attempt to break the filial bond within the coalition.
But DAP and PAS are unfazed and have reiterated their commitment to PKR and the Pakatan agenda.
The three-day congress will see 1,500 delegates – from the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak – and over 1,000 observers in attendance.
The Women and Youth conventions, to be held simultaneously today, was officiated last night by deputy PKR president Syed Husin Ali, while the national convention on Saturday will be opened by PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
According to PKR’s youth wing chief Shamsul Iskandar Akin, they will be putting forth some constructive criticism targeted at the leadership.
It will address several defects in the Pakatan policy which was detailed during its conventions on Dec 19 in Selangor.
The Women’s wing is taking a firm stand on the immediate need for a structured action plan to consolidate the administration of the party in readiness for the 13th general election.
Women’s chief Zuraidah Kamaruddin said the wing’s thrust would be on discipline in view of the defections and sacking of errant members from the party.
The main event, the PKR national congress, on Saturday will be graced by top Pakatan leaders - Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guang Eng and DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.
The same night will see a series of ceramah by the same leaders
On Sunday, Anwar is scheduled to close the convention with a biting reminder that "reformasi" is very much alive!

Najib’s qualification instead of endorsement of Idris Jala’s warning that Malaysia could become next Greece and go bankrupt unless it saves RM103 billion in next five years to reduce the nation’s huge debt proof of lack of political will to address subsidy syndrome

By Lim Kit Siang,

Four things stand out in yesterday’s Subsidy Rationalisation Lab Open Day of the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) where the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and CEO of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu), Datuk Seri Idris Jala made his presentation on the country’s proposed five-year subsidy rationalization roadmap.

Firstly, the absence of Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, the Minister in charge of the 1Malaysia GTP and Chairman of Pemandu. Why is he on leave in the United States on such an important event in the Government Transformation Programme or is he seriously considering, according to reports quoting Gerakan sources, relinquishing the post as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department after the humiliation in the last meeting of Parliament where he dared not stand up to vouch for what 1Malaysia stands for – that he is Malaysian first and Chinese second?

Secondly, Idris’ failure to address the root causes of the national economic crisis instead of just dealing with its symptoms.

Idris warned that unless Malaysians bite the bullet and wean off subsidies to save the government RM103 billion in five years to reduce the nation’s deficit and huge debt, Malaysia could become another Greece and go bankrupt in nine years.

Although Idris said the government would focus on big ticket items such as fuel, electricity and toll to achieve the savings, he failed to focus on the biggest ticket items – corruption, mismanagement, extravagance and lack and accountability.

When corruption, mismanagement, extravagance and lack of accountability cost the government from RM10 billion to RM28 billion a year, what credibility has the government to talk about slashing subsidies affecting the rakyat when it has nothing to show to end the rampant and worsening state of corruption, the gross abuses of power and public funds like indiscriminate issue of APs and various forms of “piratisation” in the name of privatization?

Thirdly, the coincidence of the release of GLC conglomerate Sime Darby’s third quarter results, ending March 31, 2010, recording a net loss of RM309 million mainly due to its energy and utilities division; admission that for the nine months ended March 31, 2010, the total provision for four projects namely Qatar Petroleum project, the Maersk Oil Qatar project, the MOQ Marine project and Bakun dam amounted to RM1.3 billion; but no answer as to whether Sime Darby had incurred cost overruns for the Bakun contract amounting to RM1.7 billion and that the government has agreed to reimburse around RM700 million to Sime Darby, leaving the GLC with around RM1 billion to deal with.

With more questions than answers as to how the global conglomerate changed the meaning of “GLC” from Government-Linked Company to Government Losing-Concern with its billion-ringgit losses, raising grave questions about accountability, transparency and integrity, this is not the best backdrop to convince Malaysians that the government has the political will to set a good example to slash expenditures to save the country from the fate that befell Greece.

But the fourth item is most telling of all – in less than 12 hours of Idris’ apocalyptic speech that Malaysia can go bankrupt by 2019 if the government fails to cut its burgeoning subsidy bills, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak played down and distanced himself from Idris’ warning.

Najib said after the Umno Supreme Council meeting last night that the figures quoted by Idris were merely based on Pemandu’s studies and there is no firm decision by the government.

He said more studies were needed before subsidy cuts could be introduced.

He said: “We are still waiting for information and feedbacks from the rakyat on this.

“Idris’ remarks are just estimates… When it comes to matters which involve the well being of the people, we will consult the rakyat first.”

One can envisage that Idris would not have been discussed in very flattering terms in the Umno Supreme Council meeting.

Najib’s qualification instead of endorsement of Idris’ warning that Malaysia could become next Greece and go bankrupt unless it saves RM103 billion in next five years to reduce the nation’s huge debt is proof of the lack of political will of the Najib administration to address subsidy syndrome.

Are we back to square one before Idris’ apocalyptic warning yesterday morning?

Nurin case suspects win suit over wrongful arrest

The New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: A textile shop owner and his brother-in-law who were arrested for their alleged involvement in Nurin Jazlin Jazimin's abduction and murder won their suit against the police and the government.

Mohamad Zamri Ibrahim, 36, and his brother-in-law Mohd Suhaimi Yusoff, 31, were detained in 2007 as suspects in the case.

Zamri, who was present at the Sessions Court yesterday, said he was happy with the court's decision and hoped it would clear his name as well as the public's misconception about him and his family.

"It's now proven that the truth is on my side," Zamri said, adding that he had filed the suit to uphold the dignity of his family.

The suit, filed on June 19 last year, was for wrongful arrest and trespass. Suhaimi was not present yesterday. The plaintiffs named investigating officer ASP Loh Pei Pei, the inspector-general of police and the government as defendants.

In her judgment, judge Sabariah Othman ruled that the police had wrongfully detained Zamri and the arrest was made without reasonable grounds. As for Suhaimi, Sabariah said although the arrest was not wrong because he was the suspect that the police was looking for, there was evidence that he had been injured while being detained.

She awarded each of them RM1,500 in general damages, RM30,000 in aggravated and exemplary damages, and costs.

Zamri was awarded an additional RM10,000 in damages for wrongful arrest.

In their statements of claim, Zamri and Suhaimi said they were hit, slapped, stepped on and kicked by the police. They said the action by the police had left them injured and traumatised, and they were subjected to humiliation. They were represented by counsel Azmer Md Saad while senior federal counsel Natrah Mazman appeared for the defendants.

Nurin, a Year Two pupil of SK Desa Setapak, was abducted some 500m from her house in Wangsa Maju here on Aug 20, 2007, after going out alone to a night market nearby.

She was sexually violated and brutally murdered before her body was found in a sports bag outside a shoplot in Petaling Jaya, 28 days later. No one has yet been charged with the murder.

Dr M: Najib still has unresolved issues with S'pore

Idris Jala: Country will be bankrupt in 9 years - Malaysiakini


Malaysia risks becoming the next Greece unless voters swallow subsidy cuts that will see the price of petrol, food, electricity and other staples rise, a government minister warned today.

idris jala pemandu subsidies powerpointA government think-tank charged with producing plans to cut the country's subsidy bill presented its plans to the public in
a bid to win acceptance for painful cuts, which have yet to be voted on by the government.

Idris Jala, a minister in the prime minister's department who heads the body advising the government, said that Malaysia's debt would soar to 100 percent of gross domestic product by 2019 from 54 percent of GDP at present without the cuts.

"We don't want to end up as another Greece," he told a roadshow, referring to the European Union member whose debt woes have unsettled global markets.

pemandu subsidies subsidy presentationMalaysia spent 15.3 percent of total federal government operating expenditure on subsidies in its 2009 budget when its deficit surged to a 20-year high of 7 percent of the GDP.

The cabinet discussed the subsidy proposals on Wednesday, but any decision on cuts could be months away, a government source told Reuters.

Political analysts and economists say the failure of the government to push through previous subsidy cuts casts doubt on whether it can do it this time, especially with state elections looming in Sarawak, a government stronghold that is under threat from the opposition.

The proposals presented would see petrol prices for the benchmark RON95 blend rise by an initial 15 sen per litre from their current price at some stage this year.
RM2.60 per litre by 2015

The benchmark RON95 grade currently costs RM1.80 ringgit per litre.

idris jala pemandu subsidies crowdReuters reports the proposals presented by the advisory body, the price of petrol would be pushed up some time this year followed by two more totalling 20 sen per litre in 2011 and another two totalling 20 sen per litre in 2012.

In the 2013-2015 period, the price hikes would slow down and by the end of 2015, RON95 would cost RM2.60 per litre, according to the plans that have yet to be approved by the government.

The forecasts were based on a crude oil price forecast of $73.06 per barrel for 2011 and $79.41-$94.52 for 2013-2015.
'Plug leakages first'
Meanwhile, a panelist at the roadshow from opposition DAP hit out at the government for only proposing to remove subsidies for consumer staples and not corporate subsidies.

"Some big companies such as independent power producers enjoy gas subsidies every year. It can be as high as RM13 billion.

"NONEBut for the people, the food subsidy merely amounts to RM3.4 billion," said Tony Pua, who is also Petaling Jaya MP.

Pua argued that the government's priorities appear to be misguided.

"The government is burdened by all kind of subsidies, but one fo the biggest problems is corruption and leakages," he said.

He said that should these two problems not be resolved, even the austerity drive would not resolve the budget deficit.
- Agencies

PKR gazette all 25 orang asli villages. But all 98 Tamil schools, Hindu temples & cemeteries and Indian villages are refused to be granted land and gazette by PKR Selangor.


Copy of Copy of orang asli 3  When we state that the Bumiputera, orang asli, Kadazan, Iban and poor Malays are in effect better off than the Indian poor as they have their social safety net ie their traditional villages and ancestral land and the sky being the limit for their opening up as much land as they want to engage in agriculture and animal and poultry farming, we are in turn very conveniently labeled as racist even by PKR, DAP, PAS, NGOs, Bloggers, Indian elite, etc.
Just to divert attention from the critical Indian problems, these parties do not want to be a part of this uphill Indian battle They would rather go for the more populist orang asli.
Indian elite top lawyers like Cyrus Das and Gerald Gomez with great ease take up this latest orang asli land unjustly seized. These lawyers magnanimously stood by the orang for 14 long years until victory at the Federal Court. RM6.5 million was finally recorded as settlement. (The Star 27/5/10 at page N3).
Pray tell us of one Indian village that any Indian elite lawyer or any of the Malay and Chinese lawyers or the PKR, DAP and PAS top leadership that has taken up Indian issues to this extent? This is racism by omission while UMNO’s is racism by commission. This is the pseudo-multiracialism!
And today the Selangor PKR led state government announces that 25 orang asli villages are gazetted as orang asli villages by the PKR Orang Asli Land Task Force Chairman.
To start off with why isn’t there an Indian Land Task Force to protect the villages of the Indian poor, their Hindu temples, cemeteries and their Tamil schools? Why? Instead to do an MIC style wayang kulit the Indian Selangor Exco mandore is used by Anwar Ibrahim to cheat the Indians. Not populist enough? Why has all 98 Tamil schools in Selangor similarly not granted state land and gazetted? Copy of orang asli 3
To us this is racial discrimination by PKR, DAP and PAS top leadership. But when we question this racism, we instead get accused of being racists.
The PKR led Selangor state government is even prepared to break the green belt which would bring about pollution by building the new PKNS H.Q at a cost of RM90 million. (See picture of green lung to be destroyed in Star metro 27/5/2010 at page M2).
PKR ruled Selangor is the richest state in Malaysia. Last week they gave  1.2 hectres  of land to a Chinese school (see The Star  21/5/10 at page N38). Today for 25 orang asli villages. The Malay muslims have their hundreds of Malay villages.
In effect it is land for all other communities in Selangor except for the Indians. Why?
It is plain and obvious that all what PKR, DAP and PAS wants from the Indians is their votes. PKR, DAP, PAS are not interested in the critical problems of the Indian poor.
Indian poor temples, cemeteries, 98 Tamil schools, Indian villages, will never be granted PKR state government land and gazetted accordingly. How they is PKR, DAP and PAS any different from the previous UMNO regime?
P.Uthayakumar
Orang asli 1orang asli 2orang asli 3

Statelessness – the bane of the indian poor

I have spoken of Mariappen in my articles on Marginalisation sometime earlier this year. After almost a year and a half of working with him and the NRD office in Kulim, we were able to finally make the submission necessary to get Mariappen and his wife their ICs. The submissions have been accepted at the Kulim NRD office , and I will tell you this was no easy task . Consider that there are so many poor indians out there who do not know how to read and write and who surely do not know the ways of officialdom.  Now the submission goes to Putrajaya and then what will happen there,we do not know. Your guess is as good as mine.
The constitution clearly states and let me quote:
1. (1) Subject to the provisions of Part III of this Constitution and anything
done thereunder before Malaysia Day, the following persons born before Malaysia
Day are citizens by operation of law, that is to say:
(c) every person born within the Federation after September 1962, of
whose parents one at least was at the time of the birth either a citizen
or permanently resident in the Federation, or who was not born a
citizen of any other country;
Mariappen’s and Pechai’s parents –all deceased, were clearly citizens of the country and they had all their documents of identity well in place. They got all theirs done when they lived in an era of stability – they lived their early years in the estates, before they all got dislodged lock stock and barrel, at around the time of Mariappen and Pechai.
By operation of the law Mariappen and Pechai  are citizens -period. They have been summarily denied this basic right by the UMNO government and UMNO established Administration of the country. Watch the video and know for yourself.
This is the bane of the Indian poor in our country
Naragan


HRP Selangor letter to P.M. Future World Class Cardiologist and hundreds of top Indian students “ethnically cleansed” by UMNO.

Selvam
YB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun RazakPrime Minister Of Malaysia ,
YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled bin Nordin,The Minister of Malaysian Higher Education ,

With all respect due, I wish to bring to your attention a matter of injustice that is causing great disappointment and deep concern to many Malaysian Indian Students including Ms.Sugentha Subramaniam for being denied her rights as citizen of this country to further her higher education in Malaysian Public Universities despite her excellent SPM results and Co-curricular participation. Please refer to the attachments for evidence.
She scored 10 As in SPM examination. These As never came rolling to her. She worked hard day and night . Her days began at 3.00am , her parents sacrificed a lot in order that she may get through the SPM exams with flying colors to achieve her ultimate dream of becoming one of the finest cardiologist in this country.
However Prime Minister sir , her dreams and hard work were shattered by the “dukacita” replies, denying her rights from entering Matriculation colleges , Malaysian Public Universities or being awarded government scholarship (JPA).
She was a top student among 197 in her school . She was the only Indian student. Almost 95% of her fellow Malay Muslim friends who scored lesser then her were given a choice to choose their option to continue their higher studies in Matriculation colleges or Public Universities whereas Sugentha Subramaniam’s applications were turned down completely.
“I am not in envy of my Malay Muslim friends continuing their studies , my heartiest congratulation to them , but I cannot accept that I am being denied my right to further my studies in this country !” Says Sugentha Subramaniam.
“I spent the last 5 year among Malay Muslim friends. They were such wonderful people, we had no problem among us, we were like sisters
but, when my applications were rejected I can think nothing other than that I am different. For the first time I realize I am being discriminated for merely being an Indian” was the exact words of a young victim who was racially discriminated by your UMNO Barisan Nasional Government !
Is this the One Malaysia concept that you are propagating through out this country?
Prime Minister sir , I do not know how else a middle class child like Sugentha Subramaniam should get qualified to obtain a seat in Malaysian Public Universities. Her parents are not in anyway able to afford higher education for her in any private or overseas colleges.
Prime Minister Sir , I appeal to you to remedy this problem which I really believe you can.
With all respect and appreciation of your attention,
I am yours sincerely disappointed Malaysian ,
K.Selvam
Selangor HRP Chaiman.
Cc:
Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin
Deputy prime Minister Of Malaysia
YB Dr. Hou Kok Chong ,Deputy Minister Of Higher Education I,
YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, Deputy Minister Of Higher Education II
Y.Bhg Datuk Dr Zulkefli bin A Hassan ,Secretary General Ministry Of Higher Education.

SOS: Latest UMNO “ethnic cleansing” Bukit Jalil estate workers homes, hindu temple & Tamil school to be demolished on 2/6/10

Kpt.Bala
bkt jalil 1 bkt jalil 2
bkt jalil 3      DSC02612 DSC02613 DSC02614 DSC02615 DSC02616

UMNOs’ MIC filling up welfare forms , etc is UMNOs’ ploy in diverting attention away from Billions & Millions of Malaysia’s mainstream development opportunities.

umno logo Good Day,
Mr vimalan, Can you tell me in the 1st place, why do you as a NGO need to fill up the form for kebajikan and submit and do a follow up somemore? Why.
Not end with that,
You are pulling us too to do the same mandore job to busy filling up the form to help 67, 79 or 100 depends and do follow up to getting only for“more than 50 of Indian family
This is not our job to filling up the form to submit and do the follow up.because.
Mr vimalan
1.2 million civil servant in the government sector is more than enough to work full time to track the hardcore poor, low wages Indians families and to do the “fill up form and to do follow ups” works but they still wants the Mandores, NGO’s to do the clerical job and busy in following up. Why?
Why is that so difficult for both UMNO & PR government to form a special team stand with executive, managers, director to work full time to address Indians welfare and settle the problem once and for all. Why is that so difficult yet they still wants the NGO mandores, Mic, PKR, DAP, PAS mandores to busy doing grassroots’ works?
  Stop blowing your own trumpet by just getting only 50 out of 67 of Indian families a welfare help of RM 550 and claiming your done so much for the Indians. May be this is your best achievement of the century but anyway… You’re not our target.
We are asking for hundreds of thousands of others.
We(HINDRAF/HRP)are against for the mandores who do the same “ground work” by giving hampers, mock cheque, stationeries for school students, lands here and lands there(without black n white)welfare help for 50 families.etc but forgets/diverts from demanding the higher studies, MRSM, MARA, UITM seat for Indian student etc for our Indian children’s’. http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/05/23/indian-top-spm-student-denied-matriculation-university-and-jpn-government-scholarship-umno-malay-sia-truly-racist/
Enough is enough. 
We don’t want the same mandore politic and being toothless from questioning the UMNO (real culprit). Stop diverting the Indians focuses….Think….
Thank you.
Thiagarajan Sasayapillai
Hindraf/HRP
Thiagarajan Sasayapillai…stop condeming……u dont sit infront the computer and comment……can u tell me for how many ppl u fill up kebajikan  forms and do follow ups…..I not doing this under any political body…but just from NGO…Kelab Bell Belia Tamil Yong Peng, we submitted more than 67 form…and the end resuld more than 50 our indian family get the wellfare fund….if the case is serius they add the fund untill RM 550 not anly stop at Rm 300, so do the work before comment and complain….its how u work and do the follow up….just dont condeming UMNO and Barisan for all  mistake that we the grassroot leaders doing…as grassroot leader are we doing enaf to our indian community……think…..
Thank u.
Vimalan
RM 300.00 per month in welfare help which is not even enough to pay this poor Rajeswari (83) monthly rentals.
Imagine only at 81yeras of age this Indian lady is given RM 300.00 (SH
17/5/2010 at page S 12). And UMNO expects the Indians to be grateful to
them for these piecemeal peanuts.
But for how long? We know of many cases where it had been stopped in just
a few months. And thereafter the Indian poor has to go on begging UMNO!.
This way UMNO keeps the Indian minds diverted away from the big things ie
from the RM 191.5 Billion 2010 national budget 200,000 places in UIRM but
Indians excluded 100% Indians only allowed an estimated 0.1 to 1% of the
local University places only 0.1% of the overseas government PSD, MARA,
TNB, Petronas & state governments scholarships, 99% needy and deserving
Indians being denied licences, permits, business opportunities, franchise
business opportunities places in 12,440 places MRSM and the fully
residential schools.
100% excluded from MCKK and Institute Aminuddin Baki etc.
All these diversion by UMNO of the mere RM 300.00 peanuts not only no more
tenable but has become obsolete especially after the 25th November 2007
100,000Hindraf Rally.
P. Uthayakumar
www.humanrightspart ymalaysia. com

UMNO : Indian teenager detained without trial-height of UMNO, AG & police inefficiency.

url umno
(Refer Malaysiakini on May 26, 2010 & The Star 27/5/2010 at page N 18)
The Civil High Court today allowed a father leave for a revision of his son’s detention order under the Emergency Ordinance (Public Security and Crime Prevention) 1969 for alleged involvement in robbery and motorcycle theft.
Judge Mohd Zawawi Salleh also allowed M Panir Selvam’s application for a writ to release and free his 18 year-old son from the restrictions imposed and ordered on him.
Zawawi made the decision in chambers after senior federal counsel Mohd Zin Ismail for the Deputy Home Minister, Negeri Sembilan police chief, Inspector-General of Police and the government, did not object to the application.
The applicant’s counsel Daniel Albert told reporters that all parties would have to file their affidavits before hearing begins.
He said the case had been fixed for mention before the deputy registrar on June 28. The application was filed on April 19 in the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Panir Selvam filed for a declaration that the order under Section 4A(1) of Emergency Ordinance (Public Security and Crime Prevention) 1969 dated March 11 by first respondent (Deputy Home Minister) was invalid, illegal and unlawful.
He claimed that his son was detained on Dec 21 last year and taken to Beranang police station and to Kajang police station the next day where he was beaten up on Dec 26 while under remand.
The youth was taken to Rawang police station and on Jan 5 taken to Seremban police station before ending up at Kajang police station on Jan 12 where he was detained 60 days under the Emergency Ordinance.
He was detained at Semenyih detention centre and on March 11 was taken to Kajang police station where Panir Selvam was told that his son was slapped with a restriction order.
The applicant argued that the ordinance could not be used on non-adults based on the Child Act 2001.
- Bernama
malaysiakini

MIC VP Urges Members To Stay Away From Anti-Samy Vellu Rally

PUTRAJAYA, May 27 (Bernama) -- MIC vice-president Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam has called on party members to stay away from the planned rally organised by the Anti-Samy Vellu (GAS) movement on Sunday.

Subramaniam, who is Human Resources Minister, also said that holding a rally to force a leadership change was an unhealthy political culture.


In any case, he said, even if there were people attending the rally, it did not mean that party members supported the movement.

"Having a crowd is not an indication of support. Sometimes during a by-election, when you go to a ceramah organised by the opposition, you would find a crowd of 20,000 or 30,000 people.

"Sometimes, we have a crowd of 1,000 people but it doesn't mean we are less popular nor does it mean that we must give up our present (position) just because they have a larger crowd," he told reporters after chairing the National Labour Advisory Council meeting at his ministry here Thursday.

The rally, to be held at Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, is to put pressure on MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to relinquish his post in July this year and not in 2011 as planned.

GAS is headed by V. Mugilan, the former MIC Youth deputy chief who was sacked from the party for calling on Samy Vellu to resign immediately.

Subramaniam said power transition could not take place overnight as it had to be carried out systematically, taking into consideration the party's long-term stability.

"If the act of toppling a leader through pressure from someone outside the party is allowed to become a culture, it could undermine the country's stability in many aspects," he said.

On MIC central committee member S. Vell Paari's allegation that Umno had used "political assassination" to divide the MIC, Subramaniam said Umno had explained that it had nothing to do with the situation in the party.

"We accept the explanation and I hope that there will be no more of such issues after this," he said.

On calls that Vell Paari, who is Samy Vellu's son, apologise for the remark, Subramaniam said: "I think he has stated his stand on the matter."

-- BERNAMA

*****

BN State Assembly Backbenchers Club Hits Out At Vell Paari, Mohan
IPOH, May 27 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional (BN) State Assembly Backbenchers Club has hit out at two MIC leaders over statements which it feels can undermine the stability of the coalition and cooperation among the component parties.

Club chairman Datuk Nadzri Ismail addressed his remarks at MIC Central Working Committee (CWC) member S. Vell Paari and MIC Youth chief T. Mohan.

Vell Paari should apologise to the BN and Umno leadership for having blamed Umno as being behind a move to oust his father, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, as the MIC president, he said, adding that his statement was unfounded.

The MIC president's son had alleged that Umno was involved in the move by former MIC Youth deputy chief V. Mugilan in initiating the so-called Gerakan Anti Samy Vellu (GAS) movement to be launched on Sunday to demand Samy Vellu's resignation as MIC president earlier than the announced date of September 2011.

Nadzri said the BN was a movement built on the spirit of cooperation and a common struggle and was not, as Vell Paari had metaphorically alleged, a bus driven by Umno with the other component parties as mere passengers.

"Although Umno is the dominant partner in the BN, it does not exercise monopoly but compromises with all parties for power-sharing to be implemented well," he said.

Nadzri said all leaders of BN component parties should exercise caution when issuing statements, adding that in upholding the spirit of 1Malaysia, everyone should be sensitive of the political environment and respect partners of the common struggle.

He also urged Mohan to withdraw his statement calling on the MIC to review its position in the BN.

"As a young person, Mohan should realise that the MIC and the BN (previously the Alliance) have come a long way in political history and the MIC, as the representative of the Indian community in the BN, had championed the struggle of the Indians over the past six decades," he said.

The MIC would have been unable to champion the plight of the Indian community if it had acted on its own and not as part of the BN, he said.

-- BERNAMA

*******

Vell Paari Must Show Proof Over Umno Allegation, Says Dr M
KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Thursday MIC Central Working Committee (CWC) member Vell Paari should adduce proof instead of merely alleging that Umno was behind a move to topple MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

He said Vell Paari, who is Samy Vellu's son, should come up with evidence that Umno was involved in the so-called Gerakan Anti Samy Vellu (GAS), a movement initiated by former MIC Youth deputy chief V. Mugilan, to be launched on Sunday.

Vell Paari should not point fingers without proof, he said when asked to comment on the allegation by Vell Paari that Umno was involved in GAS.

Mugilan had initiated GAS to demand the resignation of Samy Vellu ahead of the MIC president's announced schedule to step down as the party chief in September next year.

Dr Mahathir spoke at a news conference after delivering a keynote address at the fifth Malaysian Conference on Healthy Ageing, here.

Commenting on Samy Vellu, who had been a Cabinet minister for almost three decades, Dr Mahathir said it was time that the MIC president stepped down.

"I'm not representing Umno but, long ago, I had said that one must not overstay one's welcome. This is one reason why I stepped down. I think he has served longer than I.

"I think he has established a kind of record. I think one should be satisfied with establishing that record," he said.

In his keynote address, Dr Mahathir said one should strive to achieve healthy ageing.

"You don't get anything for free. You have to work hard, but do not work too hard. People who work too hard will age quickly," he said.

Dr Mahathir said the secret for one to look healthy and young was to be always happy in whatever work one did.

He said refraining from smoking and consuming alcoholic drinks as well as eating in moderation also helped one to keep at bay dangerous diseases and made one look young.

Samy Vellu TV3

'MP, what's your plan on minimum wage?'

By Patrick Lee - Free Malaysia Today, 

BATANG BERJUNTAI: Introducing a minimum wage is an important matter, given the many plantation workers in the country, PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim said.
“I want to ask MP Kamalanathan and Barisan Nasional: What is their plan on mininum wage?”
P Kamalanathan is the BN candidate who defeated Zaid in Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election.
“Najib wants Malaysia to become a high-income country [by 2020]. If he is sincere, then he should raise [the living standard] to a liveable state,” Zaid told FMT staff after making a visit to the Nigel Gardner oil palm plantation earlier this afternoon.
During his visit, Zaid spoke to some households and asked them about their living conditions.
One resident, Kamala Govindasamy, said that although most workers were given basic healthcare, they do not have enough money for treatment of serious ailments.
She showed FMT her mother, Visalatchi, who had been suffering from a cataract for the past three years without proper treatment.
M Thangachiamah, 43, a field worker, said that she could take home RM21 a day after a hard day's work. However, this dependent largely on the weather. “I don't get anything if it rains,” the mother of four said.
After speaking to both families, Zaid presented them with a small cash donation.
“We have asked before for the federal government to implement a minimum wage, but we received no response,” he said, challenging the federal government to a debate on the matter.
Step-by-step approach
According to Zaid, the question of a minimum wage was also an issue in Pakatan Rakyat. “I hope that both Pakatan Rakyat and the state government can help these people. If we cannot implement a minimum wage, at the very least, we should try and relieve their burdens.”
While Zaid admitted he lacks an official posting, he nevertheless said that he will try his best to relieve the plantation workers' plight.
He also said that a step-by-step approach was needed to implement a minimum wage. “Start with the plantations, then we can go sector by sector. We can show you that we can do it,” he said.
On foreign workers, Zaid said that it was a separate issue, and that it was the responsibility of the government to take care of its own citizens first. “We can buy rockets and submarines, but why can't we help our own people?” the Pakatan coordinator asked.
Asked what should be the minimum wage, he said, “Some people say the minimum wage should be at RM900. Others say RM1,800 a month. I would say RM1,200 should be enough for a family of four to live on.”
Asked about certain groups opposing the minimum wage, Zaid said, “Well, they have to give me the facts and figures. The plantation companies have made so much money. They make huge profits, both here (Peninsular Malaysia), and in Sabah and Sarawak. They will make excuses, and employers will always abuse the system.”

Subsidies: 'We have time bomb on our hands'

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians must bite the bullet and wean off subisidies to save the government RM103 billion in five years to reduce the nation's deficit and debt, said Idris Jala, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.

He said the government would focus on big ticket items such as fuel, electricity and toll to achieve the savings but it would continue to subsidise the poor and disadvantaged.

"The time for subsidy rationalisation is now. Otherwise, we have a time bomb on our hands," Idris said on the open day on the subsidy rationalisation plan proposed by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) of the PM's Department.

Idris, who is Pemandu CEO, told a packed hall at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, that Malaysia was one of the highest subsidised nations in the world and the subsidies must be phased out gradually.

"We do not want to end up like Greece. Our deficit rose to a record high of RM47 billion last year," he said, adding that at the rate, the nation could go bankrupt by 2019 with debts totalling RM1.158 trillion.

He said Malaysia's debt stood at RM362 billion while the deficit was RM47 billion last year.

The subsidy bill was RM74 billion with RM42.4 billion going towards social needs, RM23.5 billion for fuel, RM4.8 billion for infrastructure and RM3.4 billion for food, which works out to RM12,900 per household.

In comparison, the prices of sugar, cooking oil and flour in Malaysia are the lowest in the region while Malaysia consumes more fuel per capita than many countries including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, China and India.

Overall, 97% of subsidies were given out to the people regardless of income level and this has resulted in 71% of fuel subsidy going to the mid-and high-income groups.

Idris also spoke of rampant abuse such as 30% of cooking oil and 70% of liquid petroleum gas subsidies benefiting commercial concerns instead of houeholds.

Malaysia, he said, would likely be a net importer of petroleum by next year at the current consumption rate.

He said the proposed subsidy cuts for controlled items like sugar, flour and cooking oil would be carried out in stages so as not to burden the people.

Subsidies on education, health as well as agriculture and fisheries, the backbone of the rural poor, would continue but the wastage and abuse must be reduced, he said.

Mitigation measures

Pemandu had also recommended a slew of mitigation measures in its proposed subsidy cuts such as cash rebates for motorists in lieu of fuel price increase, discounts for toll users and cash rebates for MyKad and MyKid card holders through post-offices due to high cost of flour, sugar and cooking oil.

"We are reviewing the possibility of introducing a floating price mechanism, mitigation measures and assistance needed to put in place to cushion the impact," said Idris.

"The Cabinet will also be briefed on public feedback received today in regard to the cuts so that they can make the final decision," he told reporters at the Subsidy Rationalisation Lab Open Day at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre today.

Idris also said the government would do its best to renegotiate contracts of independent power producers (IPPs) and toll concessionaires, two sectors which came under fire during a panel discussion.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers past-president Yong Poh Kon, who was among the panellists, proposed that the government engaged a top-notch legal team to comb through the contracts and also suggested the government waive road tax instead of cash rebates for fuel hikes.

The panel that also included Khazanah Nasional managing director Azman Mokhtar generally agreed the subsidies should be phased out over a three-year period but strongly supported an immediate cut on sugar subsidy.

Mohideen Abdul Kader, vice-president of Consumers Association of Penang, drew applause from the floor when he urged for sugar subsidy to be cut not tomorrow, but immediately, to cut down on rising diabetic cases.

Idris said a poll of 191,592 showed 61% were in favour of the subsidy rationalisation and 66% wanted them reduced between three and five years.

-Bernama

Najib evades query on govt's legalisation of sports betting

(Malaysian Digest) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak refused to comment on the government’s legalisation of sports betting when a query on the decision was posed by a reporter at a press conference held by leaders of Umno today.

The Umno president was answering questions relating to the party supreme council committee meeting held earlier at its headquarter. Umno Secretary-General Tengku Adnan Mansor had just pronounced that the press conference had adjourned when a reporter asked Najib to comment on the protests held against the issuing of a gaming licence to Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd, a company owned by Tan Sri Vincent Tan of the Berjaya Group.

Instead of answering the question, Adnan, sitting next to Najib, shunned the query on the prime minister's behalf saying “Okay. Thank you. That‘s enough. We already said that’s it (but you) still want to ask some more. What is this?” and proceeded to get up from his seat.

The rest of the party leaders followed suit indicating the press conference is over instantaneously leaving reporters in the conference room somewhat disgruntled.

The controversial decision to award Berjaya Group sports betting licence including online gaming has led to protests by various religious and civil groups as well as those from the opposition front held on May 15 where 500 people had gathered in the compound of Masjid Kampung Baru.

The move is said to have been made to curb illegal gambling and boost government coffers.

In a statement, Berjaya said Ascot Sports has been re-issued the sports betting licence by the Ministry of Finance which was first issued in 1987. The conglomerate which owns holdings ranging from casino operations to lottery will acquire a 70 percent stake in Ascot Sports by paying Tan RM525 million.

The licence given in 1987 was quickly retracted. Efforts to regain it several years ago was unsuccessful due to strong opposition to gambling, which is forbidden in Islam.

Ascot Sports hopes to begin operating in time for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa which will take place between June 11 and July 11 though reports said it is expected to start business only in August or September.

Do what I say, not do what I do


Dr Mahathir whacked the Malaysian government and said that there is no democracy in Malaysia, Malaysia does not allow its citizens freedom of speech, Malaysia is a police state, the Prime Minister and his family is corrupted, Malaysia is a tool of Singapore and kowtows too much to that ‘red dot’ in the south, and whatnot.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Malaysia’s petrol prices will be increased soon.

Malaysia will become a net importer of oil by next year.

Malaysia may go bankrupt in nine years if subsidies continue.

97% of subsidies are given on a blanket basis and those not entitled to subsidies also receive them.

Anwar Ibrahim admits to fielding ‘Umno’ candidates in the 12th General Election in March 2008.

MIC accuses Umno of being behind the move to oust Samy Vellu.

PWTC cancels the booking for the anti-Samy Vellu rally to be held on its premises.

Umno Youth says the MIC Youth leader is insolent.

MIC threatens to leave BN.

Ibrahim Ali, PERKASA and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad instructed not to oppose the new football betting licence for Vincent Tan.

Yes, those, amongst others, were the headlines and main news items for today. It certainly is very depressing news indeed but I do not wish to talk about those issues. Let us instead talk about other things.

First of all, PI Balasubramaniam’s lawyers are arranging to be in London on Monday 5th July and Tuesday 6th July 2010. Bala will, of course, also be with them.

Bala’s lawyers have sent a letter via e-mail to the MACC to inform them that Bala is prepared to give his statement with regards to his two Statutory Declarations and the circumstances behind his second Statutory Declaration the following day, which contradicted his first Statutory Declaration.

The lawyers also informed the MACC that they (the lawyers) must be present during the interview and that the entire session must be video-recorded. Furthermore, they do not agree to an embargo or blackout under the Official Secrets Act on what transpires during the interview because what Bala is going to say is already public knowledge and would be no different from what he already said in the three-part video released earlier (see the video links below).

Malaysia’s Special Branch has sent some officers to check out the Holiday Villa at 37 Leinster Gardens, London W2 3AN. This is what I was told by my Deep Throats in Bukit Aman and my Deep Throats have thus far never been wrong.

The Special Branch officers took a look at the meeting room and wanted to know if they could place recording devices (also known as ‘bugs’) so that the entire session with Bala could be secretly recorded. They also want to bug the rooms so that whatever is discussed in the rooms could be recorded as well.

In case you may not be aware, the Holiday Villa is owned by Malaysians -- so rest assured they would have no choice but to cooperate with Bukit Aman.

Bala’s lawyers are not intimidated by this prospect, though. They have already asked someone to speak to Holiday Villa in London about booking a meeting room in their hotel. The Malaysian government would, of course, have to pay the cost, as well as the cost of the airfares and accommodation/food for Bala and the three lawyers -- which will be far cheaper than a two-page colour advertisement in The New York Times.

Unfortunately, the MACC is yet to respond to the e-mail from Bala’s lawyers. Maybe they are worried about the latest news regarding Malaysia going bankrupt in nine years and they are considering whether they can afford the cost of this Bala interview in London after all.

Well, if they want Bala’s statement then they would have to pay for it. There is no such thing as a free lunch -- or a free interview for that matter.

Anyway, to the next matter: Tun Dr Mahathir said that Samy Vellu should leave before the people start hating (benci) him. I remember the Tun saying the same thing about why he decided to retire as Prime Minister on 31st October 2003. The Tun related that his mother had advised him to stop eating before one is full. So he decided to ‘stop eating’ on 31 October 2003 and handed the country over to Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

I know, I know, I know…many of you here hate it when I talk about Tun Dr Mahathir, especially when I talk about the positive side of him. Look, no one is perfect, but there are good and bad sides to everyone…okay, maybe with the exception of me. Even Anwar has his bad side -- and he has admitted that he chose the wrong candidates in the 12th General Election.

While on this subject, Anwar also explained that he had great difficulty in finding the right candidates in March 2008, which resulted in him having to field less than desirable candidates. The problem was that not many wanted to contest the March 2008 General Election. So he was forced to select ‘Umno’ candidates.

We hope, however, to help Anwar solve that problem come the next general election. Even as you read this we are already identifying possible candidates for the next general election. These will be mostly civil society movement activists who may not necessarily be politicians or party members.

It is up to the three coalition members of Pakatan Rakyat (PKR, DAP and PAS) whether to accept or reject these potential candidates. But at least they can’t accuse us of merely criticising without helping to do something to improve the situation. And at least you can be guaranteed that you will not be getting ‘frogs’ like the last time.

Back to what Dr Mahathir said. I remember what my VI (Victoria Institution) teacher told me when he caught me smoking. He was espousing the evils of smoking while puffing on a cigarette and blowing smoke into my face.

When he noticed me eyeballing his cigarette with a smirk on my face, he retorted, “Do what I say, not do what I do!”

I gave him a very blank look, which was worth 1,000 words -- the sort of 'silent treatment' I normally give the Special Branch officers during my ISA detention when they ask me a question I do not wish to answer.

Realising that ‘good advice’ is wasted on me, my teacher handed me a cigarette and we both puffed away in the school canteen, much to the chagrin of the school prefect who thought I should be horsewhipped rather than offered a cigarette.

Yes, Tun Dr Mahathir is, in a way, my role model (sorry chaps). And when Malaysia Today organised that now famous (or infamous) dialogue session in Kelab Century Paradise, Dr Mahathir whacked the Malaysian government and said that there is no democracy in Malaysia, Malaysia does not allow its citizens freedom of speech, Malaysia is a police state, the Prime Minister and his family is corrupted, Malaysia is a tool of Singapore and kowtows too much to that ‘red dot’ in the south, and whatnot.

Well, I too have been saying the same things. And Tun Dr Mahathir is the one who taught me how to say all those things.

And if I am a criminal and a traitor to the country for saying what I am saying, then we have only Tun Dr Mahathir to blame for me becoming what I have become.

THE THREE-PART PI BALA VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXX0l1V_Ms4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZdiTk48400

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tVzHDuyzyE

Bawa pulang segera Raja Petra


Oleh FAIZAH IZZANI ZAKARIA, Utusan Malaysia

Pelbagai pihak hari ini terus mempersoalkan bagaimana pengendali portal berita antikerajaan, Malaysia Today, Raja Petra Kamarudin dapat menjalani kehidupan mewah di Britain jika tidak ada individu yang menaja beliau.

Ahli Majlis Tertinggi (MT) UMNO, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob berkata, justeru adalah tidak salah sekiranya ramai yang melihat Raja Petra telah ditaja pihak tertentu bagi meneruskan misi memburuk-burukkan kerajaan Malaysia.

“Tidak mungkin dia boleh hidup dengan selesa di Britain, yang kita tahu kos hidup di sana sememangnya tinggi tanpa dibantu sesiapa ditambah pula dia adalah seorang yang muflis."

“Ini menimbulkan kehairanan dan kita mahu persoalkan siapakah yang terlibat dalam perkara ini,” katanya ketika dihubungi Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Beliau diminta mengulas kemunculan semula Raja Petra Sabtu lalu yang mencabar kerajaan Malaysia supaya mendakwanya di mahkamah Britain atas segala pertuduhan terhadapnya sebelum ini.

Raja Petra seperti dilaporkan portal miliknya itu dan beberapa portal propembangkang mendakwa dirinya bersedia berhadapan dengan semua pertuduhan itu kerana menganggap Britain adalah ‘wilayahnya’.

Ismail Sabri berkata, pihak berkuasa di negara ini diminta segera mengambil tindakan terhadap Raja Petra dengan meminta bantuan kerajaan Britain bagi membolehkannya dibawa pulang ke Malaysia.

“Sepatutnya kita sudah lama minta bantuan dari Britain. Saya harap kita tidak biarkan kerajaan dimain-mainkan seperti ini,” katanya,

Sementara itu, seorang lagi ahli MT UMNO, Datuk Dr. Latiff Ahmad menggesa Raja Petra sendiri mendedahkan siapa yang membiayai kehidupan mewahnya di London itu.

Katanya, Raja Petra hanya perlu menyebut sama ada pihak tersebut merupakan ahli politik, tokoh korporat atau negara-negara tertentu.

“Raja Petra tak perlu sebut nama penajanya sebab kita tahu jika dia bongkar identiti penajanya maka bantuan kewangan kepadanya akan dihentikan serta-merta. Dia hanya perlu beritahu golongan mana yang menajanya,” katanya.

Mahathir challenges Vell Paari to show proof

(Mysinchew) - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has issued a challenge to appointed MIC central working committee (CWC) member Vell Paari to produce proof that Umno is behind a move to topple his father Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu as the MIC president.

The former prime minister said Vell Paari should come up with evidence that Umno was involved in the so-called Gerakan Anti-Samy (GAS), a grassroots movement initiated by sacked MIC Youth deputy chief V. Mugilan, scheduled to be launched in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Bernama reported Mahathir as saying that Vell Paari should not just make allegations without any substantiation.
Mahathir said this at a press conference after delivering a keynote address at the 5th Malaysian Conference on Healthy Ageing here.

Mugilan had initiated GAS to demand that Samy Vellu steps down as the MIC president with immediate effect instead of his announced schedule to retire in September next year.

Commenting on Samy Vellu, who had been the party boss and a cabinet minister for about 30 years, Mahathir said it was time that the controversial MIC president called it a day.

"I'm not representing Umno, but, long ago, I had said that one must not overstay one's welcome. This is one reason I stepped down. I think he has served longer than I. He has set a kind of record, and I think one should be satisfied with establishing that record," he said.

Earlier in his keynote address, Mahathir said one should strive to achieve healthy ageing.

"You don't get anything for free. You have to work hard, but do not work too hard. People who work too hard will age quickly," he said.

According to Mahathir, himself a model of a fit and healthy ageing person, the secret for one to look healthy and young was to be always happy in whatever one does.

He said abstaining from smoking and consuming alcoholic drinks and cultivating the habit of eating in moderation would help contribute to prevent dangerous diseases and made one look young.

Aye or nay, Waythamoorthy?

Is there any truth in the FreeMalaysiaToday report that Hindraf de facto leader Waythamoorthy has had meetings with ‘mediators’ on behalf of BN leaders to explore the possibility of Hindraf co-operating with BN?
Any truth to the report that Waythamoorthy has laid down stringent pre-conditions to such a possible collaboration?

Fact or BN fiction?

PEKERJA ASING


1. Kita kerap mendengar berkenaan pekerja asing menutup peluang pekerjaan pekerja Malaysia. Saya amat bersetuju pekerja asing tidak dibenarkan masuk negara kita supaya pekerja kita dapat cari makan dengan mengisi tempat-tempat yang dikosongkan oleh pekerja asing.

2. Memang benar pekerja asing menyebabkan wang Malaysia mengalir keluar. Katanya tiap bulan satu bilion ringgit Malaysia dihantar oleh pekerja asing ke negara mereka. Ini boleh menjejaskan kewangan kita. Kita dapat selamatkan wang ini jika pekerja kita yang mengisi semua jawatan-jawatan dalam negara.

3. Walaupun saya bersetuju dengan dasar Kerajaan tidak membenar pekerja asing masuk Malaysia lagi, saya telah didekati oleh peniaga dan pengusaha Malaysia dan asing supaya dilonggarkan sedikit dasar ini.

4. Mereka merayu kerana setelah pekerja asing dihentikan tidak ada pekerja Malaysia yang sanggup bekerja walaupun akan dibayar gaji yang lebih. Syarikat Jepun pula menghadapi masalah kerana pekerja asing ditugas untuk kerja kasar yang tidak memerlukan kecekapan, bergaji rendah dan tidak diminati oleh pekerja Malaysia. Pekerja kita bekerja diperingkat atas untuk memproses hasil kerja pekerja diperingkat bawah.

5. Apabila tidak ada pekerja peringkat bawah, dan tidak ada pekerja tempatan untuk mengganti mereka, maka kerja-kerja awal tidak dapat dibuat. Dengan itu tidak ada barangan untuk diproses oleh pekerja tingkat atas yang terdiri daripada orang Malaysia. Ini menjejaskan perusahaan Jepun. Kalau sudah tidak ada pekerja dan tidak ada produk maka mereka tentulah terpaksa hentikan perusahaan mereka.

6. Apabila mereka berbuat demikian pekerja Malaysia juga akan hilang mata pencarian.

7. Masalah ini melibatkan perniagaan di Langkawi juga. Kedai makan dan kedai bebas cukai sudah tidak ada pekerja. Apatah lagi larangan terhadap jabatan Kerajaan mengadakan kursus di Langkawi menjejas perniagaan hotel tiga bintang bahkan penjual buah di tepi jalan.

8. Saya percaya rakyat Malaysia tidaklah begitu keras hati sehingga sanggup melihat perniagaan dan pekerja Malaysia mengalami kerugian kerana tidak suka melihat pekerja asing bekerja di sini.

India's Starvation Coal Diet

Image(Asia Sentinel) Structural inefficiencies, unrest and environmental concerns restrict supplies as consumption skyrockets

Despite having 14 percent of the world's recoverable reserves of hard coal, India has been unable to meet its domestic requirements and is having to resort to large imports, which were near zero five years back.

However, consumers in the country's fast-growing power, steel, cement and fertilizer industries are becoming increasingly frustrated because of the insufficient supplies from the government-owned Coal India Ltd, which produces 80 percent of the country's output. CIL estimates it will end 2010-11 with a shortfall of 110 million metric tons. Demand is expected to touch 730 million tons by 2011-12 with domestic supply at 520 million tons, leaving a shortfall of over 200 million tons.

As much as 70 percent of the country's electricity is derived from coal, for major consumers including the state-owned NTPC, Reliance Infrastructure, Jindal Steel & Power, Adani Power, Torrent Power, Essar, SAIL and Lanco. Infratech and CIL.

A big part of the problem, analysts say, is that structural changes are needed in the sector to invite foreign and domestic private investment to push up output. Domestic producers now are allowed captive use of coal blocks that are allocated by the government, often to special interests which are not coal producers. These special interests sit on their allocations with no intention of developing them in the hope of selling at a premium should the government allow open sales.

Concerns over sustainable mining, environmental degradation and a Maoist insurrection in the coal-heavy states also mean that output has been cut back. India's federal minister for environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh, said recently that India will prevent top mining firms from tapping 35 percent of the country's coal reserves due to environmental concerns in forested areas.

Ramesh's ministry is the federal authority for environmental clearances that are mandatory for all mining activities in the country. Ramesh has been speaking about his views at various forums and means business. Last November, the ministry rejected coal-mining proposals at a tiger reserve in Maharashtra. Activist groups are praising the minister's efforts to protect India's forests along the Western Ghats, or hills.

Ramesh's Stand

Ramesh recently told local media that "we have identified go and no-go areas, especially in the case of coal mining in nine major coalfields. Almost 35 per cent of coal blocks are in no-go areas, where there is high tree density and forest cover. Coal is serious because we have to double our coal production in the next seven to eight years.''

"I cannot, in clear conscience, clear these projects in the no-go areas. India could no longer afford to approve every proposed mine," Ramesh told another foreign paper. "There are areas where mining has clearly exceeded the carrying capacity. It's all very well to say environment and development have to go hand in hand, but what are the practical implications of that?'' he said, adding he favors applying similar norms to other mineral resources.

"`Mining must go on, legal mining must go on. But even where there is legal mining and if it is in dense forest areas, then we have to have a second look as is in the case of coal. It's a ticklish issue. But unfortunately in our country, mining has not been done in an ecologically sustainable manner so far."

Support For Ramesh

Government sources say Ramesh's views have found resonance with the top establishment, including the Prime Minister's Office, though powerful mining lobbies are clearly not happy.

But rapacious mining in forested and protected areas in the northeastern and central eastern states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh has contributed to India's acute Maoist and Naxalite insurgency.

The rebels are spread over the northeastern and central eastern states, which score very poorly on human development charts as the local population has not benefited from mining activities that have instead filled state coffers, politicians, the bureaucracy and few ``outsider'' businessmen.

Maoist-linked violence has killed 10,000 people in India over the past two decades. New Delhi calls it the biggest threat to India's internal security, worse than terrorism.

Coal Output Lags

Praiseworthy as Ramesh's efforts are for environmentalists, however, India will not be able to sustain its high growth levels if coal supplies do not rise. According to the mid-term appraisal of the Planning Commission, domestic industry will need to buy more foreign coal assets as the demand-supply gap will shoot up to 200 million metric tons by the end of the Twelfth Five Year Plan, which spans 2012-2017.

CIL and NTPC, the country's largest power generator, are looking to import coal or acquire stakes in coal mines in Australia, Indonesia, America, Mozambique and South Africa, among other countries.

Indian coal imports were near zero five years back. They have been officially estimated at nearly 85 million tons in 2010/11, up from 70 million tons in the last fiscal year at a time when competition means rising prices. Crisil Research estimates that the increase in international coking coal prices will be more than 50 percent by the year end. The prices have risen by 35 percent in the period October 2009-May 2010.

"We do not see the strong run for prices ending here," Crisil reported. "The structural shift in China's position, and its emergence as a significant importer of coking coal, will push up prices further."

The competition from China is acute. Although China was self sufficient in coal in 2008, with 16 percent of the world's proven hard coal supplies, the country imported 30 million tons in 2009,which is expected to rise to 50 million tons in 2010, and then to 70 million tons in 2011.

Paradigm Change

There are some moves to unshackle the sector. In budget submissions in February, New Delhi ratified a coal ministry move to auction coal blocks for captive use to ensure higher production. The government also proposed setting up a coal regulator to settle issues such as coal pricing. Both proposals are awaiting Parliament clearance.

A healthy mix of government regulation and private sector participation is needed to push India's coal sector.

Ruling recently on the tussle between the billionaire Ambani brothers, the country's Supreme Court held that sovereign right over the country's natural resources (including coal) rests with the government. The court also said that any production sharing agreement between private contractors has to be honored. That goes some way in providing for long- term stability in investment decisions.

Siddharth Srivastava is a New Delhi-based journalist. He can be reached at sidsri@yahoo.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it