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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sendawara mahkamah hangatkan Isu Dalam Kartun vol 3


Sambutan hangat masyarakat terhadap karya kreatif kartun dan penulisan humor alternatif mengkritik penyelewengan dan salah guna kuasa pemerintah mendorong Zunar, kartunis politik tanahair menerbitkan buku terbaru Isu Dalam Kartun vol 3. Di bawah syarikatnya Sepakat Efektif Sdn Bhd, Zunar bersama barisan kartunis dan penulis tanahair menggegarkan lagi dunia politik tanahair dengan isu-isu terkini yang menjadi bualan hangat rakyat Malaysia di semua peringkat.
Istimewanya, jumlah karyawan yang menyumbang semakin bertambah. Selain daripada karyawan yang biasa menyumbang, ada kartunis muda yang masih baru turut berkarya dan juga kartunis veteran terkenal seperti Rossem.

Keluaran kali ini memfokuskan isu utama tentang kepincangan ‘sandiwara’ perbicaraan mahkamah kes liwat Anwar Ibrahim. Dari muka surat 3 hingga 15, “Sendawara Mahkamah” garapan Zunar dan ilustrasi oleh Enot, Jonos dan Art membongkar konspirasi ini sejak mula ia dirancangkan bagaimana laporan polis yang dibuat oleh Saiful Bukhari berbeza dengan pendakwaan di mahkamah.
Laporan polis Saiful menyatakan ia diliwat tanpa kerelaan sedangkan Anwar didakwa di bawah seksyen ‘diliwat dengan rela’. Berbagai peristiwa lucu di dalam mahkamah dibongkar dalam bentuk kartun untuk mendedahkan kepada rakyat yang tidak tahu apa sebenarnya berlaku.
Dimuatkan kisah bagaimana hakim tidak membenarkan pihak peguam Anwar mendapatkan senarai saksi, Saiful menyatakan dia tidak dapat melihat punggungnya sendiri dan bermacam-macam lagi perkara ‘lucu’ tetapi benar.

Isu Apco turut menjadi topik kritikan. Ada lukisan kartunis Art yang menggambarkan tentera zionis sedang membelasah rakyat Palestin dan pada masa yang sama pemimpin Malaysia menuangkan wang ke dalam beg tentera tersebut. Kartunis Jonos mengkritik kerajaan Malaysia yang meniru konsep 1 Israel dalam 1Malaysianya.

Isu Dalam Kartun Vol 3 juga mengetengahkan isu keganasan polis yang kerap bertindak keras dan mengancam keselamatan rakyat. Tragedi adik Aminul Rasyid ditembak polis dipuisikan Abdullah Jones dan ditegur oleh seniman Pyanhabib dalam kolum “racau”nya.
Begitu juga kartunis Enot dengan cerita “Sarjan Kamis dan mertua”, kartunis Haili pula mencuit dalam kartunnya bagaimana seorang ibu berpesan kepada anaknya berhati-hati ketika memandu, jangan lupa pakai talipinggang keledar dan “jaket kalis peluru”.

Penipuan dalam pilihanraya adalah isu yang tidak pernah mati. Keluaran kali ini juga membongkar beberapa strategi tipu yang dilakukan kerajaan dengan menggunakan SPR sebagai kuda tunggangan melakukan penipuan untuk memenangkan tuan mereka. Jenis-jenis pengundi hantu dan bagaimana mereka bekerja telah dibongkar dalam bentuk kartun.
Di dalam isu ini juga turut dimuatkan perbandingan di antara negara luar dan negara kita dalam konteks mengendalikan pilihanraya secara adil. Ketika badan penganjur pilihanraya negara lain cuba memberikan erti demokrasi yang telus, SPR di Malaysia bersungguh-sungguh menjadi pecacai bagi memastikan kerajaan BN terus berkuasa.

Selain itu, isu-isu seperti katak menjadi senatak (senator katak), isu larangan berpolitik dalam masjid, isu rakyat tolak ‘rasuah gula-gula’ Najib dalam pilihanraya kecil Sibu turut disentuh dengan pedas dan kritis.

Selain kartunis Zunar sebagai kartunis dan ketua editor, Isu Dalam Kartun vol 3 juga menampilkan kartunis seperti Ronasina (editor/ kartunis), Jonos, Enot, Haili, Art, Oly, Nur, Abdullah Jones, Ubilepih, Madsein, Warih dan lain-lain serta penulis kritis seperti Hishamuddin Rais, Pyanhabib, Pusparos, Benludin dan Fared Ayam.
Harga RM10 senaskah. Dapatkan di pasaran atau secara online di cartoonkafe.com atau hubungi Saufi, Koordinator SAMM 0172344849 juga boleh diperolehi perbagai cenderamata yang menggunakan tema satira politik yang dikartunkan.

Protests at US embassy; BN opts for Wisma UN

Some 300 Pakatan elected reps and supporters have gathered outside the US embassy at noon to protest at the Israeli attack on the humanitarian aid flotilla heading for Gaza. It is the fourth protest today.

Photo credit: Sim Tze Tzin
Pakatan MPs are demanding that Najib summons Parliament within 48 hours to debate the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla. The situation warrants immediate action, they say.
They condemn the Israeli aggression and demand that Najib terminates the Apco contract within 48 hours.
Earlier protests this morning by Perkasa (along with Malay-based NGOs) and Lifeline For Gaza at separate locations in front of the US embassy, drew several hundred people.
Meanwhile, several dozen BN Youth submitted a protest memo at Wisma UN in Jln Dungun. Strange that the BN group didn’t go to the US embassy. Didn’t want to rock Najib’s relations with Obama?
It was only just after midnight last night that Najib tweeted, “Just made a hard hitting statement against the Israeli govt for their heartless attack against the humanitarian convoy. I am so angry.”
Tell that to Apco as well.
Quick facts: 80 per cent of the people of Gaza rely on humanitarian aid; 45 per cent are unemployed.

Palestinian attempts suicide in anti-Israel protest

FMT ALERT KUALA LUMPUR: About 500 people protested in front of the United States embassy here against the action of Israeli commandos yesterday in attacking humanitarian aid ship Mavi Marmara which resulted in at least 19 deaths.
A protestor, believed to be a Palestinian, also attempted to slit his throat with a pen knife but this was stopped by the police. He was then arrested and taken to the police station.

The man, Moin Mohamed Habib, had earlier removed his shirt and tore his pants. He then swallowed a razor blade.

He was part of a group of Palestinians, most of whom who were students, who had joined in the protest this morning. They appeared emotional by the killings and set fire to a photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The protest was organised separately by Malay nationalist movement Perkasa and Lifeline For Gaza, the organisation which had sent humanitarian aid to Gaza, and joined by several well-known Malay-based NGOs, including Abim and JIM.

Both the protest organisers submitted memorandums to the US embassy to urge American president Barack Obama to take action against US' close ally Israel. They then dispersed at about 11.25am.

A small team of about 50 light strike force police personnel were on standby to monitor the situation.
The morning protest was followed by one organised by Pakatan Rakyat, also at the US embassy. Pakatan leaders give Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak 48 hours to call for an emergency Parliament sitting to condemn the Israeli government.
Also this morning the Barisan Nasional Youth wing submitted a protest note to the United Nations office here to protest against the Israeli action.
Led by Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, the protestors numbering about 50 shouted “Hancur, Hancur, Hancur Israel” and set fire to an Israeli flag.

They want UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon to take harsh action against Israel.
Mavi Marmara was in a convoy of six vessels bound for Gaza to deliver aid to the 100,000 Palestinians still without shelter. The Israeli navy stopped six ships ferrying 700 people and 10,000 tonnes of supplies and forced them into the Israeli port of Ashdod, killing and injuring scores in the process, and provoking a diplomatic crisis.

Illegal sand-mining: The buck-passing begins

By Patrick Lee and Ken Vin Lek - Free Malaysia Today,

FMT FOCUS PETALING JAYA: The illegal sand-mining issue in Selangor has kicked up a storm, with many ducking for cover in the aftermath of its expose by Kapar MP S Manickavasagam.
While state-owned company in charge of sand-mining operations in Selangor, Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB), has been largely silent on the issue, several have come out to pass the buck.
One of them is Selayang MP William Leong, who has been blamed by the residents of Kampung Orang Asli Hulu Kuang for not taking appropriate action to stop the sand mining.
Leong shed some light on the matter in an interview with FMT, and came to the defence of the land office.
“The land office can only send enforcement agents from time to time. When they go, they (the illegal operators) stop their sand-mining operations,” he said.
Leong said that it was the responsibility of KSSB to take possession of these sites and prevent illegal operations from taking place.
“The onus is on KSSB to quickly take possession and control the situation by appointing contractors,” he added.
“It's like putting a saucer of milk there and you don’t watch it. [The] land office [has] limited resources [and] cannot guard all the areas.
“In Kuang and Kundang, the people there are very upset and they have held demonstrations to protest these activities. It is causing security concerns.”
Leong said KSSB is “inefficient” and if it does not take responsibility, "we have to rethink how the entire sand business is managed in Selangor”.
'Difficult to catch them red-handed'
Selangor state exco Yaakob Sapari, however, defended KSSB and instead laid the blame squarely on the land office.
“KSSB is responsible for the operations (giving out the licences). The group (that should be) in charge of cracking down on illegal operations is the land office.”
When asked if he was involved in organising any crackdowns, Sapari was evasive and told FMT to “go publish the story”.
Arfa'eza Aziz, press secretary to the Selangor menteri besar, said the state relied on the district office to act against illegal sand-mining operations.
“Whenever we get a complaint through the public complaints bureau, be it from the media or the public, we would refer it to the local council,” he said.
Arfa'eza, however, admitted that the follow-ups to complaints made on illegal sand-mining operations were a problem, especially where enforcement was concerned.
“Enforcement also involves the environment and irrigation departments and not only the local council. It's quite difficult to catch them red-handed.
“The enforcement officers very rarely catch them on the spot. When we go after the illegal operators, they run and leave their excavators behind,” he added.
Due to logistical problems, the officers are sometimes unable to seize the excavators and have had to settle on confiscating the engines.
Arfa'eza also denied allegations that Hajiman Ibrahim, the Selangor MB's brother, was also involved in the illegal operations.

Samy, it's time to go, says Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said last night it was time for MIC president S Samy Vellu to retire."Samy, it's time to go," he said.
"In my (era of) leadership, almost everybody has retired," Mahathir added, "even me."
"He is the only one left," he told reporters after watching the "Mulan & Mushu" theatre performance here last night.
Mahathir said Samy Vellu had set the record for being the longest-serving leader of a political party in the country.
He was asked to comment on the latest development in the party in the wake of the sacking of MIC secretary-general S Murugessan for demanding explanation over the removal of four party members who called for Samy Vellu's immediate resignation.
- Bernama

Major airlines giving RM190m Melaka Airport the miss

By G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today,

MALACCA: The historical Batu Berendam Airport, upgraded at a cost of RM190 million and now renamed Melaka Airport, seems to have not met its objective of attracting major airlines.
Officially launched in February this year by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, the airport has yet to live up to its fullest capacity despite the fanfare prior to the start of the upgrading exercise in 2008.
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes had then proclaimed that his carrier will start operating from the new international airport by end of the same year.
Malacca state exco for Transport, Information and Consumerism R Perumal said the cause of the setback in the arrivals of major airlines is the delays in getting certain approvals.
“The international airlines are still working on getting permission from their countries to operate here and we are still in talks with the transport ministry to settle certain issues,” he said.
Perumal added that as of now, the airport is servicing Indonesian carrier Riau Airlines, which is operating daily, covering the Malacca-to-Pekan Baru route.
“Firefly will start its charter flight operations on a weekly basis soon while another Indonesian carrier Lion Airlines will start at the end of June, covering Padang, Pekan Baru and Malacca,” he said
Perumal said when the upgraded airport was officially launched, it was about 90% complete. The entire renovation had just been completed.
Ready to operate at full capacity
Perumal dismissed suggestions that the airport has been idle since its launch.
“We had about 6.8 million local and foreign tourists coming in through this airport last year itself. A flying academy is using the facility as well.
“As far as the state government and the airport are concerned, we are ready to operate the facility at its full capacity,” he said.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd's managing director Bashir Ahmed gave an assurance that the airport will offer better services and facility to its users.
AirAsia, in an official statement, said that despite recognising Melaka Airport as a potential tourist and medical tourism hub, it does not have plans to operate from the facility for now.
“We have to consider many factors like operational facilities, transfer of assets, required workforce, route planning and other important features relating to flight operations and ground services,” it said.
Melaka Airport and particularly its control tower bear historical significance as it was the very same tower which guided the plane of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister, to land from London on Feb 20, 1956, after talks on independence.
It was in Malacca that Tunku announced the date for the independence of then Malaya from the United Kingdom.

Businessman files report over 'dubious' court judgment

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today
SHAH ALAM: A prominent businessman has lodged a police report over a 'dubious' court judgment ordering him and his partner to pay a timber company RM848.14 million.
Hamid Man, 67, and his partner Abu Bakar Rahmat, 48, also filed a summons at the High Court here yesterday to set aside the above-mentioned judgment.
The duo claimed Judicial Commissioner Zaleha Yusof did not pronounce such a judgment when she struck off their defence on April 9.
Hamid and Abu Bakar, directors of a timber logging company, Anjakan Wawasan Sdn Bhd (AWSB), were defendants in a RM848.14 million suit brought by Kaohsiung Timber Products (KTP) Sdn Bhd.
KTP had filed the suit against Hamid and Abu Bakar, claiming the duo had sabotaged the company from getting an approval order by the Pahang government to supply raw acacia wood.
Hamid said that the plaintiff’s lawyers Majdah Muda and Azlinda Baroni of Messrs Azlinda Baroni & Co and had sent him a copy of the court judgment through mail on May 25.
However, his lawyer,Vadivu Perumal, later told him that the judge had made only the order on April 9 but no judgment was delivered.
  • Hamid said that the judgement, dated May 11, among others, ordered that he and Abu Bakar pay KTP:
  • RM748,144,000 in general damages and future loss of income; and
RM100,000,000 in specific damages, aggravated damages and exemplary damages.
A seven-day deadline for the payment to be made expired yesterday (May 31).
A deviation from court procedures
According to Hamid, as told to him by his lawyer who attended court on April 9, their defence was struck off and they were asked to pay only RM1,500 in costs.
Hamid wants the police to investigate how Messrs Azlinda Baroni & Co, representing KTP, could obtain a sealed court judgment said to be made by Zaleha on April 9.
The sealed copy of the judgment served on the two showed that it was signed by High Court senior assistant registrar Sri Pracha Nanthini Balabedha on May 13.
Hamid’s lawyer Mohd Haaziq Pillay said: “We are applying for a stay. We were not told of any application made for an assessment of damages for this so-called judgment.”
Haaziq said when the plaintiff’s lawyers Azlinda Baroni and Majdah Muda sought a judgment, they were told by Zaleha to make a formal application.
Haaziq also claimed that plaintiff’s lawyers had met with the court staff at the registrar’s office with regards to the case without informing anyone from the defendant’s side.
“This is highly improper as a defendant’s lawyer must be informed of any date set, in line with the Rules of the High Court, 1980," he said.
"This judgment is void and should be set aside as, among other things, it deviated from court procedures.”
The case has been set for mention on June 11.
It was widely reported on April 9 this year, Judicial Commissioner Zaleha Yusof had in chambers ordered Hamid and Abu Bakar to pay RM848,144,000 to the plaintiff.
Haaziq added the matter was wrongly reported by certain media after the defence was struck off on April 9.

RM50b toll takeover plan for Cabinet to view

(TMI) KUALA LUMPUR : Asas Serba Sdn Bhd is hoping to present their plans to acquire the nation’s toll concessions before the Cabinet tomorrow to get the government’s backing, sources say.
Asas Serba is proposing to take all of the nation’s 23 toll road concessions private for RM50 billion and in exchange is promising to give a 20 per cent discount on toll rates as well as no further rate increases.
But the unsolicited proposal has not seen much traction within the Najib administration, government sources say.
When contacted, Asas Serba director Ibrahim Bidin didn’t deny that it aims to present their case before the Cabinet at its weekly Wednesday meeting. Such papers are normally submitted through the Finance Ministry or the Economic Planning Unit within the Prime Minister’s Department.
“No confirmation yet,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
In contrast to Asas Serba’s RM50 billion bid, government think tank Pemandu, as part of its subsidy rationalisation exercise, estimated that it will cost the government RM383 billion to nationalise the 23 toll concessions.
Asked about the difference between Pemandu and Asas Serba estimates, Bidin said that Pemandu’s figure appeared high but declined to elaborate as he hadn’t seen how it was derived.
Ibrahim said that Asas Serba has yet to appoint a financial advisor but has engaged a strategic consultant.
“The moment the government says that they want to see the final proposal then we will appoint a merchant banker,” he said. “I heard that the government is favourable to us.”
Local research house OSK Research said in a report that the Asas Serba bid to acquire toll concessions from a combination of public and private sector entities is complex and gaining approval from shareholders will be “daunting”.
Asas Serba has not approached the toll concessionaires directly but Ibrahim said that they will do so if the government gives them the “green light”.
READ MORE HERE.

Catch them young , deny them opportunities, stunt their growth in 1Mala ysia – so the Indians can remain where they are

By Naragan

There is so much talk about lack of human capital, about brain loss to other countries,about becoming a high income country. The short sighted policies of the UMNO Government to deny outstanding students work in the opposite direction to these laments. It works not only to keep the Indians out of the intellectual development process of the country, but against the interests of all the peoples of this country as a whole – regardless of race.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzfUr1ZH4Kc

It is not the physical resources which makes a country great. They are necessary but never sufficient. Look around in the world. What makes great countries are its people. Countries like Japan, S. Korea, Singapore have little or no natural resources, but they do extremely well and above all else because of their human resource development, and retention policies and programs. They have outstanding and appropriate policies for the continuous development of the peoples of their nations.

This attempt by UMNO to deny brilliant Indian students due places for Pre-University programs, for courses of their choice, for scholarships and for places in the easier matriculation Pre-U stream all smack of nothing more than basic racist policies, aimed at maintaining the UMNOputras in their position of privilege. The UMNOputras are playing a very shortsighetd zero sum game.

In the name of being the protectors of the majority community in the country, this UMNO regime is doing every one in this country great harm, by stunting the development of the young in the country. When we stunt the growth of a significant section of the bright students, we lose a lot more than is recognized. In countries like the US, the rule is to allow in the best students from all over the world into their post graduate programs, and then to give them employment after they graduate, and give them permanent resident status in a year or two and keep them permanently in the US. That is one of the ways by which they work at being great.

What is happening in our country is quite the opposite. True progress will not come from simplistic sloganeering. It only comes from concrete and visionary policies. It is in times like these and in situations like these where the slogans of those in power are tested for their truth. So the slogans of 1Malaysia are just that, slogans, and income for the PR firms who conceived this illusion-creating campaign and for all the advertising firms that make money out of these campaigns – nothing more.

Catch them young, deny them opportunities, stunt the growth of the Indian youth in 1Malaysia and then talk about making Malaysia truly Asia, making Malaysia a high income nation, and then some more talk about attracting and retaining talent in the country – but what talent you have, you squander ….

Great stuff 1Malaysia.

Samy Vellu’s resilience

thenutgraph.com
Samy on the edge of a cliff, guns ablaze, shooting indiscriminately at those approaching

Tackling Subsidies And Their Myriad Manifestations

By M. Bakri Musa

Idris Jala, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and PEMANDU CEO, has yet to convince his cabinet colleagues, in particular the Prime Minister, of the need to reduce subsidies specifically and government spending generally. He has to do that first before taking his Subsidy Rationalization Lab road show to the rest of the country.

Responding to the first “Open House,” Prime Minister Najib indicated that he would “leave it to the people to decide on whether they [the subsidies] should be maintained or abolished.” In doing so he abrogated his leadership on a critical economic issue. He is following instead of leading public opinion; a wet-finger-in-the-air type of leader.

While I do not share Idris Jala’s dire prediction of Malaysia becoming bankrupt in nine years – nations, unlike corporations and individuals, cannot do that – nonetheless the grim picture he painted is not far from the likely reality. His likening Malaysia’s future to today’s Greece may or not be valid but there are enough useful lessons from the current Greek tragedy.

Greece is not bankrupt, nor will it ever be; the Greeks are suffering because of economic mismanagement by their leaders. Subsidy for the poor or for essential goods was only a minor part of the mess. The Greeks were borrowing beyond their capacity to pay; they borrowed just to keep their bloated government afloat.

The other pertinent lesson is that even when faced with a catastrophe, people who have long enjoyed subsidies and special privileges would not readily give those up. This is true of the Greeks (the ugly mass demonstrations and strikes there attest to that) as well as others. Americans long used to generous subsidies for their home mortgages and health insurances would severely punish their leaders at election time should they dare even touch either issue. And America has a deficit much worse (twice as bad, as a percentage of GDP) than Malaysia.

As a reminder, the current global economic turmoil was triggered by the American expansion of its housing subsidy through “sub-prime mortgages.” Again, this was facilitated primarily through two government-sponsored (and thus subsidized) corporations, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. It was done with the best of intentions, making housing affordable to the poor.

Those factors notwithstanding, in the many deliberations on the current economic crisis, I have yet to hear an American leader or economist suggest doing away or even trimming the housing subsidy. And America does not lack for wise leaders or smart economists!

So if Idris Jala or anyone thinks that Malaysians would readily give up their subsidies, he is blind to the universal precept of human behavior. Likewise with special privileges, which after all are subsidies manifested differently; so do not expect Bumiputras to give that up easily either.

Choosing An Easy Target

Idris Jala showed the frightening and unsustainable trend of rising debt and increasing deficits. There are only two ways out: increase revenue through economic growth, and reduce spending, or more accurately, curtail expenditures that do not contribute to economic growth. As any businessman knows, you sometimes have to spend money to generate money.

I wish Idris Jala had concentrated only on those two central themes. Instead he focused on ending subsidies, specifically on petroleum and essential food items. Thus he is being portrayed as targeting the poor, and not without good reasons. That distracts him. It is easy and tempting to prey on the poor; though large in numbers they lack economic and political clout.

Of the record RM74B spent on subsidies in 2009, about 57 percent were on social services; 33, fuel and energy; 7, infrastructures; and 3, foods. As for the beneficiaries, only 2 percent were farmers, fishermen, and the poor.

Those subsidies on social services and infrastructures could be viewed as investments as they could potentially enhance our human and physical capital, and thus the nation’s productive capacity. Even here we could increase the efficiency by plugging the leakages.

Ending subsidies for foods would address only a tiny part of the problem (3 percent). Besides, the per capita consumption of such staples among the poor is comparable to or only minimally less than the rich, but the poor has to expend proportionately more of their income.

Idris purported to show that Malaysians enjoy the cheapest price in the region, with cooking oil costing only RM3.30 as compared to RM8.70 in Singapore. In making that comparison, Idris used the exchange rate instead of the purchasing power parity (ppp) or the Economist’s Big Mac Index. Had either been used, the price differential would be less impressive. I do not know whether Idris is disingenuous, trying to mislead, or being intellectually dishonest in using the exchange rate.

Idris proposes mitigating measures to help the poor. That would inevitably require massive administrative machinery, thus consuming whatever savings being generated. For the amount involved, it would be preferable as well as politically wise to leave things where there are, except for sugar. I would remove its subsidy not for economic but public health reasons. With rampant obesity and diabetes, any initiative that would lower sugar consumption would be good. Likewise I would hike taxes on alcohol, tobacco and gambling, but not high enough to stimulate a thriving contraband industry.

Petroleum however is different; its per-capita consumption among the rich is considerably higher. Consequently, its subsidy disproportionately benefits the rich. Again here Idris proposes cash rebates to motorcycle and small car owners. Another bureaucracy!

I am for ending petroleum subsidy, phased in slowly to minimize dislocations since it is such a crucial fuel literally and figuratively in a modern economy. However, instead of cash rebates I would eliminate taxes on buses, taxis and other conveyances to transport passengers. That would effectively half the price of a Proton to be used as a taxi, making it easier for owner-operators.

I would subsidize season tickets for bus and rail to ease the burden on commuters, as Canada is doing. Vancouver has a per capita income many times that of Malaysia, yet its car-ownership figure is considerably lower. Consequently the air in that city is not polluted with car exhaust, and the streets a pleasure to stroll. Singapore uses differential toll rates and efficient mass transit to discourage city driving.

Ending subsidy on petroleum would save not only money but also the environment. Focusing only on petroleum and sparing food subsidies (except sugar) would also make the exercise an easier sell. Besides, petroleum subsidy is massive, while food subsidies are small change in comparison, and evoke considerable emotional response. It is just not worth expending political capital and risking public wrath for the promised minuscule returns.

Hidden Subsidies

Idris should not stop with the obvious and massive petroleum subsidy. He should pursue other equally expensive and rapidly growing but hidden ones. They are pernicious precisely because they are not overt; the public is not apprised of the costs. There are no available figures to be put on fancy graphs and pie charts for your Power Point presentation.

One is the preferential awarding of contracts to Bumiputras. However noble the objective may be, unless we know what the added costs are, we cannot begin a cost-benefit analysis or assess the program’s efficacy. Few would quibble with the extra 5 or 10 percent to have a contract awarded to a Bumiputra in the name of social equity and correcting past inequities, but many would grumble if that figure were to balloon beyond 30 percent.

It is customary that contracts below a certain amount be awarded exclusively to Bumiputras. Even if the added costs were only 10 percent each (a very conservative estimate!), in the aggregate they would impose a considerable burden on the government. I suggest that Idris’s “lab” do a study on this.

Then there are the overt as well as hidden subsidies to the myriad GLCs. Many are perennial “corporate welfare bums,” forever hooked on government bailouts. The Malaysian corporate scene is littered with the carcasses of the likes of Bank Bumiputra. Again I challenge Idris to analyze that!

Such studies would require much thought and wise analysis; they cannot be done by posing simplistic questions via SMS.

The only difference between the recipients of cooking oil subsidy versus those preferred Bumiputra contractors and “corporate welfare bums” like Bank Bumiputra is that the former are weak while the latter, powerful.

If Idris Jala had been diligent and fearless in analyzing the twin problems of ballooning deficits and increasing spending, he would begin with the obvious and massive petroleum subsidy, then flush out the hidden subsidies represented by non-competitive bids of government contracts, and then get rid those money-losing GLCs. That would definitely make a dent on our deficit and spending problem. That would also invigorate our economy, thereby enhancing the revenue side.

He does not need a road show for that; all he has to do is convince his colleagues in the cabinet, beginning with the Prime Minister.

I'm Not Hiding, Says Palanivel

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 (Bernama) -- MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel on Tuesday refuted a claim in a newspaper report that he had "mysteriously disappeared."

"For your information, my party leaders and branch chairmen and members know I have been going on the ground, not merely attending state conventions but also meeting grassroot leaders.

"I take my politics seriously. I have stated my stand on all party issues clearly, including my loyalty to the MIC and the president (Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu). On the matter of the sacking of the MIC leaders, I have also discussed my opinions directly with the president.

"These are party matters and where transparency is required I have made public the necessary issues but where confidentiality is required, I have also respected the decision," he said in his blog this morning.

A newspaper report today quoted a veteran leader, who did not want to be named, as calling on Palanivel to come out in the open to state his stand on the party president's retirement plan, saying that his silence did not augur well for the party as he would be the man to suceed Samy Vellu.

Palanivel, who has been named as the successor after the MIC president's proposed departure from active politics in Sept 2011, said he would not compromise on party procedure but would "make public what concerns the public."

He said the party leaders and members were well informed of his actions and plans through party communication lines.

"I have never been one to jump onto a public bandwagon for publicity and make mileage of conflicts and crisis. One does not have to be busy in the newspapers to express his views.

"I am travelling from one MIC division to another in Selangor to explain the current political situation. Yesterday, I was in Puchong, the other day, Gombak, and in the next few days I will be visiting some other divisions," he added.

The former deputy Women, Family and Community Development minister also said that he had been attending the MIC state conventions and the last statement that he had issued to the media was very recent.

"So where is the mysterious disappearence. We have always been supporting the president and fighting all the party battles with him and for him. Anyway, keeping silent and calm is a very difficult job, especially when you are the second in command.

"As for the president, he is well qualified to handle all eventualities and is not craving for support. He knows the stand of all his supporters and loyalists," added Palanivel.

Netanyahu: Hippies wrested guns from crack Israeli commandos :|

A Canadian news site:
Conflicting reports of what happened emerged from the military and the activists riding in the flotilla.
The Israeli government said that when commandos landed on the ships, they were attacked with sticks, knives and hit with gunfire. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the soldiers had no choice but to defend themselves.
“They had to defend themselves, defend their lives, or they would have been killed,” he said.
The army said five soldiers were injured in the raid, including two who were shot with pistols seized from Israeli forces.
:| So you expect us to believe that these super elite, maximally trained, crack Israeli commandos boarded a hippie ship, had their pistols stolen, and then were fired at?
Who were on these flotillas anyway? Jackie Chan? Robot ninjas? Geez.
I’m more inclined to this version myself, from the same article:
But an Al-Jazeera reporter said Israel fired upon one of the ships before boarding, and that the ship’s captain was wounded.
Adam Shapiro, a member of the Free Gaza movement, a Pro-Palestinian group that helped organize the flotilla, said the Israeli military video may have started after soldiers opened fire. Organizers of the flotilla also had a live feed broadcasted online.
“The Israelis have not indicated at what point in time they are showing their soldiers being hit. We know from our own live feed … that the initial soldiers who came aboard the ship opened fire immediately upon coming on the ship, and by the time anybody picked up a club there was already one dead, many injured.”
He also said activists aboard the ships had only been trained in non-violent resistance.
“We have to prepare them to face Israeli soldiers who will use violence against them,” he said.
Netanyahu seems to be going into ‘defending the indefensible’ mode (perhaps he is getting bad PR advice, ahem).
Note that the whole incident occurred in international waters, making it totally unjustifiable not only in moral, but also legal terms.
Our thoughts with all those on the Flotilla, and especially in the protests today, the Malaysians who stand with them.

9 dead as Israeli forces storm Gaza aid convoy



(CNN) -- The international community on Monday condemned an Israeli naval commando raid on a flotilla carrying aid for Palestinians in Gaza, leaving 9 people dead.

Israel claimed it was defending itself, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) saying the soldiers' lives were in danger after they were attacked with "severe physical violence, including live fire, weapons, knives and clubs."

The Free Gaza Movement, one of the organizers of the aid, said that Israeli commandos dropped from a helicopter onto the deck of one of the ships early Monday and "immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians."

A senior Israeli military official, speaking on condition of anonymity in an independent account cleared by military censors, said Israeli troops were planning to deal with peace activists on a Gaza-bound flotilla, "not to fight."

The military official said most of the nine deaths were Turks. Twenty people were wounded. Seven Israeli soldiers were also wounded, one seriously.

All six boats in the flotilla were boarded according to the IDF but only one, the Mavi Mamara, offered resistance; the other five surrendered peacefully, the military said.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said the United States "deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy."

On Monday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled Tuesday's scheduled meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, according to Israeli government officials.

World reaction

The United Nations Security Council began an emergency meeting at 1 p.m. ET Monday on the incident.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday he was "shocked by reports of killing of people in boats carrying supplies to Gaza. I condemn the violence and Israel must explain."

The Spanish and French governments called the action "disproportionate." The Italian foreign minister asked the European Union to investigate, and several nations, including Greece and Sweden, were summoning their Israeli ambassadors.

An indignant Turkey recalled its ambassador from Israel, canceled three planned military exercises with the Israeli military and called home its youth national football team, which had two games scheduled in Israel, said Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in Chile, but will return after meeting with the Chilean president, Arinc said. The chief of the Turkish military was cutting short a trip to Egypt. The Turkish foreign minister, in Venezuela, was calling the United Nations Security Council to an emergency meeting, Arinc said.

"This operation will leave a bloody stain on the history of humanity," Arinc said. A Turkish group, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation or IHH, was one of the organizers of the flotilla, but people from various nations were aboard.

In a statement, Bahrain called it a "barbaric attack" on the part of Israel.

Israeli military gives version of flotilla incident

The British Foreign Minister William Hague said: "We have consistently advised against attempting to access Gaza in this way, because of the risks involved. But at the same time, there is a clear need for Israel to act with restraint and in line with international obligations."

The flotilla was being taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod, according to IDF.

Fifteen of the people captured were transferred to an Israeli prison in Beer Sheva, a spokesman for the Israeli Prison authority said Monday.

The Free Gaza Movement, one of the groups sponsoring the flotilla, disputed Israel's claim of violence by people aboard the ships.

"At about 4:30 am, Israeli commandos dropped from a helicopter onto deck of Turkish ship, immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians," said a post on the group's Twitter page.

Video aired on CNN sister network CNN Turk showed soldiers abseiling onto the deck of a ship from a helicopter above. The boarding of the ships took place more than 70 nautical miles outside Israeli territorial waters, according to IHH.

The Turkish foreign ministry said the incident "might cause irreversible consequences" in the nation's relationship with Israel.

"Israel has once again clearly demonstrated that it does not value human lives and peaceful initiatives through targeting innocent civilians," the statement said. "We strongly condemn these inhuman acts of Israel."

Meanwhile, a protest that began outside the Israeli embassy in Istanbul on Sunday continued into Monday. Although largely peaceful, police did use water cannons at one point to keep demonstrators at bay. Israel issued a "serious travel warning" for Israelis visiting Turkey. Those planning to travel to Turkey were asked to postpone their trip, while those in Turkey were advised to stay indoors.

The Israeli PM office has issues a serious travel warning for Israeli travelers visiting Turkey. The warning calls Israelis who are about to travel into Turkey to postpone their trip and for Israelis in Turkey to remain indoors and avoid presence in the city centers.

In Gaza, where the flotilla was headed, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called for global support of the Palestinian cause.

"The Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla is an ugly crime and against international law and this reflects the nature of the criminal Israeli occupation," Zuhri said. "We call upon the free world Arab and Muslim world to stand in support and help and support the international activists who have been subjected to killing in the middle of the sea."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for three days of mourning in the Palestinian territories to honor the lives lost.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev accused the leaders of the flotilla of looking for a fight.

"They wanted to make a political statement. They wanted violence," according to Regev, who said Israel wanted a peaceful interception of the ships trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza. "They are directly responsible for the violence and the deaths that occurred."

The convoy of boats approached Gaza in defiance of an Israeli blockade and had been shadowed by three Israeli warships. Free Gaza had reported Sunday that they had been contacted by the Israeli navy.

The boats left European ports in a consolidated protest organized by two pro-Palestinian groups to deliver tons of food and other aid to Gaza to break a blockade imposed by Israel in 2007.

The maritime convoys were organized by both the Free Gaza Movement and the IHH, a humanitarian relief foundation affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood religious group.

Israel said Sunday that Western and Turkish authorities have accused IHH of having "working relations" with different terrorist organizations.

12 M'sians on ship attacked by Israelis - Malaysiakini

Twelve Malaysians, including two members of the media, are confirmed on board the Mavi Marmara, the lead vessel of a pro-Palestine flotilla that was attacked by Israeli forces today.

NONEThe two media workers are Astro Awani journalist Ashwad Ismail and cameraman Samsul Kamal Abdul Latip.
They are part of an 11-member mission out of Malaysia called Lifeline4Gaza, which participated in a 'Freedom Flotilla' to bring humanitarian aid and supplies to the Gaza strip.
It is understood however that Lifeline4Gaza may not be the only mission from Malaysia, as several other groups are believed to have gone separately on other ships in the flotilla.
Lifeline4Gaza's Hafidzi Mohd Noor said the other nine in their group are volunteers from six Malaysian NGOs.
They include Haluan, Aqsa Syarif, Yayasan Amal, Muslim Care, Palestine Centre of Excellence (Pace) and Jemaah Islamiah Malaysia (JIM).
Hafidzi, who was unable to maintain contact with their group when the attack started, noted that they do not know the identity of the 12th Malaysian on board the Turkish-registered Mavi Marmara.
"We were made to understand that one volunteer from Mapim (another Malaysian NGO) was supposed to join them on the Mavi Marmara, as the Greek ship he was on was facing technical problems, but we don't know if he actually went on or not," Hafidzi said when contacted.
NONEEarlier today, international media reported that Israeli Naval commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara (left) killing at least 16 activists.
The Israeli government had vowed to prevent the convoy, a "Freedom Flotilla" of six ships carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid, from reaching Gaza's shores.
Various agencies reported that the strike was launched while the three transport and three cargo ships were still in international waters.
The flotilla, which set sail from Cyprus on Sunday, carries an international group of 700 activists including 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and an elderly Holocaust survivor.
Dead not identified
Those killed have yet to be identified, as the Israeli Navy has reportedly enforced a communications blackout on the Mavi Marmara.
azlanAccording to Al-Jazeera, the ships are now being towed to the Israeli town of Haifa and not to Ashdod as reported earlier This is seen as a move to avoid the media.
Meanwhile, Meru assemblyperson Abdul Rani Osman who had gone in support of the Malaysian mission, said there are six volunteers and two journalists on board one of the six ships in the Freedom Flotilla.
Abdul Rani, who stayed back in Istanbul, confirmed via SMS that 16 people have been killed and all six ships are being towed to Haifa where the activists are expected to be jailed.

National news agency Bernama carried a separate report quoting the Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO) as saying that their volunteers are safe on the Rachel Corrie, one of the ships in the convoy.
NONEShamsul Akmar Musa Kamal, one of the three PGPO officials on the Rachel Corrie, sent an SMS to officials at the PGPO headquarters in Kuala Lumpur saying they are safe and located some 1,000 nautical miles from Gaza.
"Our next plan is to continue forward and turn back if there is a warning from Israeli forces," he said in the message.
The two other PGPO officials on board are Matthias Chang and Ahmad Faizal Azumu, alongside Parit MP Mohd Nizar Zakaria and TV3 journalist Halim Mohamed and cameraman Mohd Jufri Judin.

UMNO & PAS: Poor and hungry Indian children eat sand and hospitalized.

Copy of umno & pas 2

This is yet again the tip of the iceberg and the height of Indian poverty in Malay-sia under the ‘able” leadership of UMNO. Prime Minister Najib Razak by commission and omission by PKR, DAP, PAS, NGOs’ Bloggers, Indian journalists, Indian elite, etc. Who speaks for these poor Indians? Who cares for them? ‘None of the above’ simply because the victims are merely the Indian poor.
This does not happen even in poverty stricken Africa. But why should this happen in wealthy Malaysia, the country with the world’s tallest twin towers.
These four young children Gengadevi(6), Nageswary (7), Vickneswary (9) and Yogeswary ’s(10) father is an unskilled lorry attendant.
umno & pas 2
Their mother probably is suffering from depression arising out of their poverty or has become a psychotic to allow her four toddlers to actually eat sand because of hunger as confirmed by their grandmother Pathmavathy (70) (MN 30/5/2010 front page and MO 31/5/10 front page). This Indian family like thousands of others are now in a most helpless state. Helpless so as not to be able to stop their very own young children from eating sand because of hunger.
The UMNO controlled JKKK and Welfare Department are instructed by UMNO to become anti color blind, and not to see this poverty in this poverty stricken Indian poor family and thousands of other Indian poor.
Luckily these Indian children happened to attend a medical camp when the doctor heard their complaint, diagnosed and hospitalized them at the Sungai Petani General Hospital accordingly.
This level of poverty does not happen to the poor Malay, Orang Asli, Iban or Kadazan Indian children’s but only to poor Indian children. This level of poverty is the direct fallout of the NEP where the brunt of the discrimination and marginalisation took its toll on the Indian poor.
But when we point out at this level of UMNO’s racism and the PAS ruled Kedah, we in turn are accused of being racist by PKR, DAP, PAS, Bloggers, Indian journalists and the Indian “elite”. Welcome to UMNO’s One ‘hungry sand eating Indian children’ Malay-sia and PKR, DAP and PAS’ brand of multi-racialism by default of that Indians in Malay-sia are doomed to eat sand. Not because they are not prepared to work hard but because of racist Malay muslim supremacy  leading to denied equality and equal upward mobility opportunities.
umno & pas 1
P. Uthayakumar
umno & pas 1umno & Pas 3  umno & pas 2

Najib : “ Work together” “Keep poor Indians out of national mainstream development.

url najib
Happy Wesak Day Prime Minister Najib Razak.
(The Star 29/5/2010 at page N 2)

najib work together

P.M Najib: “Jadikan Malay-sia Negara contoh”……. sehingga anak-anak miskin India kebuluran hingga makan pasir.

Copy of url umno affirmative
Selamat Hari Wesak ala Malay-sia PM Najib.
(ruj SH 29/5/10 dan MN 30/5/10 dan MO 31/5/10 mukasurat pertama)

pm

Najib’s blood sucking drive ……………. Poor and hungry Indian poor eating sand.

Copy of url najib
Happy Wesak Day Blood Donation drive to PM Najib Razak.
(The Star 29/5/2010 front page and MN 305/5/10 and MO 31/5/10 front page).
P. Uthayakumar

najib blood sucking

Shoe attack on Samy Vellu's picture

Mugilan vows more GAS attacks

Attendees stand in front of an anti-Samy Vellu banner during yesterday’s GAS rally. — file pic

By The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Insisting that his Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu (GAS) rally yesterday was a success, sacked MIC Youth deputy chief V. Mugilan said today he plans to go ahead with a second rally in two weeks.

The outspoken leader, who has emerged as a focal point for the party revolt against Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, said that he would keep holding “rally after rally” until the embattled MIC president finally gets the hint and agrees to an early retirement.

Mugilan even expressed confidence that the party’s longest serving president would listen to the voice of the rising revolt in the party and step down during the party’s annual general meeting on July 10.

“He (Samy Vellu) has already dropped two significant hints to confirm this.

“First, he said he would leave early if he were given a good post. Next, during the MIC AGM in Johor yesterday, he said it was his last time attending the meeting.

“Since the next meet is scheduled for next May, this means Samy Vellu already has the intention to leave even earlier,” Mugilan told a press conference at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters here this afternoon.

He denied that the purpose of the second rally was because of the poor turnout during yesterday’s inaugural gathering, which saw a mere fraction of the 15,000 Mugilan had claimed would attend.

“Our people were threatened and stopped from coming. They were paid to stay away.

“I know that even the bus drivers were paid to abandon their passengers that they were supposed to ferry to the venue,” he alleged.

Mugilan also refuted rumours that those who had attended yesterday’s rally were non-MIC members and that some were even Indian nationals.

“All of them were definitely Malaysians and you can see from yesterday that at least 80 per cent of them were MIC members. We did not pay them to come.

“In any case, I stand to gain nothing from this for this is just what we are doing for the Indian community. They no longer want Samy Vellu as MIC president,” he claimed.

To prove that the anti-Samy Vellu revolt had strength in numbers, Mugilan also challenged the veteran to poll the party’s over 3,000 branch chairmen to gauge support for his leadership.

“If he dares, he should conduct a special poll for this. Get all the branch chairmen together and let them to decide.

“I can say confidently that he would barely win 20 per cent of the vote,” he said.

He addedthat these “upset MIC leaders” were merely frightened to speak out openly and cross Samy Vellu, for fear of suffering the same fate as those who dared to do so.

“They know they will be sacked. So they keep quiet and fight in silence through their votes,” said Mugilan.

He said he would stop fighting if Samy Vellu could prove he still had support from grassroots leaders.

“We will back down if he can do this, if he dares to poll the branch leaders,” he said.

Later, Mugilan lodged a police report here alleging that his Facebook account had been hacked.

He claimed that perpetrators had logged into his account and had sent out messages stating things like thanking Umno members for their support in GAS.

“They also used my account to write that Hindraf supporters are merely demonstrators,” he claimed.

Mugilan said he had discovered that his account had been hacked into early this morning when his friend informed him.

“The last time I logged in was on Saturday,” he said.

He alleged that the hackers were those who wanted badly to severe his relationship with the people.

Mugilan had earlier denied rumours that Umno was backing his rally, who had hopes of ridding the party of Samy Vellu.

He also said today that he had initially no intention to speak with the media after yesterday’s GAS rally.

“This was actually supposed to be a week of peace. I had no intention to seek more publicity.

“We wanted to just sit back quietly and allow Samy Vellu to reflect on the messages we have relayed to him,” he said.

He noted that if Samy Vellu still failed to respond, he had planned for a press conference only next Monday, to announce the second GAS rally.

“We will hold it in two weeks,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mugilan said he would be appealing his sacking this Wednesday.

“I will send my appeal letter, together with the others who were sacked, at the MIC headquarters at noon this Wednesday,” he said.

After Mugilan was summarily expelled by Samy Vellu for speaking out against him, two other MIC members, both with the central working committee, were also sacked for the same offence, G. Kumar Aamaan and KP Samy.

MIC secretary-general S. Murugesan was subsequently expelled after he disagreed with the sackings.

Chinese DPM: Anwar puzzled by the fuss

By S Rutra - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat supremo Anwar Ibrahim fails to understand why Umno has gone berserk over his suggestion to have a Chinese deputy prime minister.


“I don't know why Umno is so hysterical about this issue,” the opposition leader told FMT.

“That was my personal view. It's not Pakatan's stand. The issue will be discussed further and only if there is agreement at all levels, will the matter be considered,” he said.

Anwar said the system has worked well in Penang, which has two deputy chief ministers, and he sees nothing wrong in extending it to the federal level if Pakatan forms the government.

The PKR leader also said that he has explained the matter to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, who was reported to be in the dark about the issue.

“Like I said, it was my personal view and I have clarified the matter with Hadi,” he added.

Karpal is also puzzled

Concurring with Anwar, DAP chairman Karpal Singh is also puzzled as to why this issue is being blown out of proportion.

“There is an understanding among Pakatan parties that the prime minister will be a Malay Muslim. So I don't see how this (Anwar's view) can be a controversy.

“When the PM is a Malay Muslim, how can Malay rights erode just because there is an additional non-Malay deputy prime minister?” he told FMT.

Meanwhile, Anwar also stressed that PKR does not neglect issues concerning a particular race, and warned the party's grassroots leaders not to be baited by Umno on this.

He was responding to the unhappiness of PKR grassroots leaders that Indian issues were not raised during the recently-concluded party convention.

“We always take heed of legitimate demands regardless of race. We are not running away from such issues, we just need more time to address them,” he said.

RPK Speaks in support of Malam Tak Nak Potong 528

Will MIC leadership change benefit Indian community?

If substantive changes to the lives of ordinary peoople are unlikely, what does it matter who heads the MIC; why give the impression that changing the top leadership will change anything substantial for the Indian community, asks Rani Rasiah.

Are the MIC’s troubles that of the Indian community? Or is it irrelevant who is in the leadership of the party?

Whether Samy Vellu once again breaks his oft-made promise of relinquishing his post in September 2011, or keeps it and makes way at last for someone else, will it really have any bearing on the community the MIC claims to represent?

* What changes can the Indian community expect to see if there is a change in the leadership of the MIC?
* Will the more than a century old exploitation of the plantation community cease, and plantation workers be justly paid a wage reflective of their labour?
* Will the multitude of homeless slum dwellers be offered subsidised housing so that they can have a secure roof over their heads?
* Will factory workers and workers in general be allowed to work and earn a decent wage in eight hours to enable them to acquire the basic necessities of life, and spend time with their family and community?
* Will there be sincere measures to address the root cause of the problems of the legions of angry Indian youth created by existing policies, instead of criminalising and incarcerating them?
* Etc, etc, ad infinitum ad nauseum.

If these changes are unlikely, what does it matter who heads the MIC? Why give the impression that changing the top leadership will change anything substantial for the Indian community?

Read more at: http://www.aliran.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1342:will-a-change-of-leadership-of-the-mic-benefit-the-indian-community&catid=96:2010&Itemid=47

Utusan Selangor : Neutralising the lying media & getting the whole truth out to the rakyat



Genuine democracy must provide meaningful space for the people to express their views and to participate in various processes of daily administration and not merely to voting once in five years. All interest groups must be allowed to present and debate their views. Information will be free available subject to strictly defined restrictions. To that end, we will take the necessary measures to ensure and safeguard the freedom of the press and the rights of peaceful assembly, expression and organisation, by amending the appropriate acts and laws and  RTM will be corporatised and subject to an independent Broadcasting CommissionClause B.1 of the People’s Declaration, which was endorsed by the three Pakatan parties on 23rd February, 2008. You can read about this HERE.

________________________________________________
Six minutes into this video clip, you will catch RPK driving home his point that come next GE, if BN wants to remain in power, it will have to depend on the Malay votes.

I think RPK is spot on.
Anwar, in an interview with Malaysiakini, acknowledges that there is much work to be done by Pakatan to reach out to the Malay voters in the Malay heartland.
“We need to do much more in the Malay heartland. We have to address the issues like the small-scale economy, poverty, unemployment, and identifying with their faith as Muslims…We admit that we did not put in enough effort to be with (the Malay voters). We go to the urban and suburban areas, and we can articulate issues that the urban folk are comfortable with, like the judiciary, social justice and human rights” , Anwar is reported to have said.
Anwar also conceded that ‘there are forces working against them, saying that logistics in the kampung will be a perennial headache’.
“It’s difficult to get space. Unless we have a private space like a Markas PAS (PAS centre), where can we (find a place to) ceramah in Felda areas? Sometimes we are barred outright (by locals)” , Anwar is quoted as saying.
The Malaysiakini reporter opines that ‘PKR will have to find a way to placate Malay voters by changing the perception that the party is not doing enough to fight for Malay rights, while at the same time keeping the traditionally fickle and issues-driven Chinese voters happy.
I think she is right.
However, I think it is not only the responsibility of Pakatan.
Each of us who is better informed bears the responsibility of correcting this perception.
What’s creating this perception nightmare for Pakatan Rakyat, and for us?
We’ve just seen the culmination of the Bumiputra Economic Comgress. Malaysiakini reports that it ‘became the arena for NEM-bashing as experts slammed the New Economic Model for sidelining of Malay interests’.
Academician and panel chairman, Kamaruddin Kachar, is reported to have urged speakers to rip through the the NEM because the congress was about defending the “natural rights of the Malays”.
“This is our country, pioneered by our ancestors 2,000 years ago, and defended with their blood in countless battles against invaders. Why should we be afraid? The sultans are our protectors. The Royal Malay Regiment is for the Malays. Should we be afraid of Samy Vellu’s son? Don’t let Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh belittle us. The Malays are not weak” , Kamaruddin is reported to have said.
Honestly, I believe that these lies and historical untruths are deliberately uttered at these events to provide fodder for the mainstream and electronic media to seize, spin them into alarmist messages of Malay rights being under siege and to deliver the same into the Malay homes in the heartland.
By now, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian and the TV channels would have done their dirty deeds.
The “Melayu Bangkit” programme, originally planned for 13th May, is now slated to take place on 14th June.
We can expect more of the racist lies and historical distortions, followed by news reporting of the most dangerous kind.
The minds of the Malays in the heartland are being poisoned on an almost daily basis!
Are we helpless?
Wong Chin Huat and I do not think so.
Shortly after the 12th GE, Chin Huat caught up with me and drew my attention to section 25(1) of the Printing Press & Publications Act, 1984.
It blew my mind.
Section 25 (1) reads : “Nothing in this Act shall extend to the publication or making of any documents or periodical by or for the Federal or any State Government or any statutory body”.
In plain language, what it means is that any or all of the Pakatan state governments, then numbering 5, could publish a daily newspaper without the need of a permit from the Home Ministry, such as is required by Utusan and all the other newspaper publishers.
On 21st April, 2008, Chin Huat wrote in his blog that “Many people wonder if Section 25(1) of PPPA can allow a newspaper exempted by a state government to be circulated nationwide. I believe the answer is yes”. You can read the rest of his posting HERE.
I share Chin Huat’s view.
I ran this proposition by several senior lawyers, all of whom concurred in this view.
Chin Huat and I, independent of each other, have informally proposed a Pakatan state daily newspaper, the task of publishing being outsourced to a third party,  to several people of some  seniority in the Pakatan parties.
Chin Huat informed me that the response was less than enthusiastic, the concern voiced being that the task of printing and publishing resting with a third party, the state government might be open to all sorts of claims should anything go wrong, such as defamation law suits.
The simple solution to that : an all-risk insurance policy taken out by that third party making the state government the sole benefactor.
More alarming, though, was the reason proffered to me by one of those Pakatan people that I spoke to.
The state government would want to have a say in the editorial policy of the newspaper, I was told.
In other words, Pakatan might not be so keen on a wholly independent newspaper, lest they, too, along with BN, get hammered.
My response : that would be in breach of the undertaking by the Pakatan parties to the rakyat, when they endorsed the People’s Declaration, to “take the necessary measures to ensure and safeguard the freedom of the press”.
To renege on this now would be tantamount to having defrauded the rakyat.
This, I said, we would not forgive.
People, Pakatan Rakyat owes us this.
We must call on this pledge they made to us two years ago.
A Malay daily affords us the best chance of getting the truth of what BN has been doing to our nation these last 40 years directly into the Malay homes in the heartland.
Chin Huat’s overseas right now, but he’s putting together a working paper on a proposed state daily newspaper that we want to take to the Pakatan leadership. I’m expecting to receive his paper round about the 13th of next month.
Whilst waiting for that working paper, I think it would be useful if we garnered enough signatures backing this effort so that the Pakatan leadership will take it seriously.
To this end, I am working on a petition to be hosted online.
I will need your help to get everyone you know, and even those you don’t know, to sign the petition.
- Haris Ibrahim

UKM 4: Bangkit Mahasiswa. Menyertai petisyen untuk menyokong mahasiswa kita



To lend support to the 4 UKM students facing charges of alleged violations under the unconstitutional section 15(5((a), University Colleges & Colleges Act, 1971, sign the online petition HERE.
A detailed explanation of the case, from Facebook, is reproduced below.
__________________________________________________
Recently, four students from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia were charged under the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) for showing sympathy or support towards a political party. They were caught with “campaign materials” that expressed support or sympathy to Pakatan Rakyat during the Hulu Selangor by-election where the rakyat of Hulu Selangor had a major party with tons of freebies, complete with police raids and posters of people having a cold one, which sounds a lot like a night at Zouk, minus the hipsters. Unless you count the erroneously labeled “first lady” as being hip. She has quite the following.
These students are now awaiting trial in their university’s very own tribunal which does not allow for proper legal representation. Expulsion from their studies would be the heaviest sentence, which in this case, is quite likely since these students are heavily involved in spearheading student movements related to political activism and to take them out would be to, at least in their view, stunt the growth of such radicalism and deviousness.
One of the said students came out to say, in his defence, that he was merely in Hulu Selangor to observe the process of an election on the ground as an invaluable experience to his field of study, Political Science and that he obtained prior permission, albeit indirectly, from his lecturer.
Now, let us all be honest here since we rarely are. Let us not hide behind this cloak of “for purposes of academic studies” as allowed for under the UUCA. For if we do that, every time a case like this appears, we tend to be more reactive than proactive. When one is reactive, one merely saves a few lives in the present. When one is proactive, one can prevent such things from happening again in the future thereby according students’ more freedom in the form of ideas, expressions, and actions to contribute to a healthy and thriving democracy.
The question here should then be: What exactly is the problem of having students participate in such political activities, even to the extent of supporting or campaigning for a political party?
The answer is – a megaton of problems – to those in power, that is. There is a reason why these university students are treated like criminals while doing exactly what a good student ought to be doing. It is because of fear – and I dare say the fear is justified. The powers-that-be fear the ability of bright, intelligent and passionate young minds for they might change the status-quo and those in power may no longer hold on to it.
They know the weak, corrupt, and unjust among them shall fall if the students manage to rise, to speak, be heard and the worst fear of them all, be understood. All those arguments on separating students from politics to avoid them from straying from their studies are unfounded. In the 60’s and 70’s, some of the best students were political and social activists which included the likes of Khong Kim Hoong and Syed Hamid Ali in Universiti Malaya; even the UKM 4 who are currently being charged, are not your average students. Those arguments are simply brought forth to suppress student activism. Fellow students and youths, do not fall prey to these lies.
The last I heard, we were all still living in a country where the Constitution, and not Parliament, is supreme, despite what people may like to believe. The student movements in the country have been saying that the charges against the UKM 4 students are unconstitutional based on Article 119 whereby every citizen above 21 years of age has the right to vote and with that, comes the implied right to express and participate in politics. Now, I am no law professor or Malik Imtiaz, but I would go on further to say that the UUCA violates Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.
Article 10 allows for freedom of speech and expression except ONLY on 8 grounds which the Parliament may make laws on. These 8 grounds include national security, international relations, public order, morality, protection of privileges of parliament or provide against contempt of court, defamation or incitement to any offence.
Now, carefully look at those grounds and you will find that participation in politics, of which everyone is allowed to except university students, apparently, do not come under any of those grounds. So the section in UUCA where it states that students are not allowed to sympathise, criticize or show support for any political party should be unconstitutional and therefore invalid. Unless of course someone has mistaken national security for government security. Some of you might be confused already.
A student leader in a recent press conference said that if students cannot be around the locations of by-elections as was directed by the Minister of Higher Education, then at the next general election, maybe the Ministry should fly all the University students out of the country. Because if they won’t, Air Asia will – albeit at a small but very reasonable price.
We also need to wonder why the only student activists caught are only from one side of the political divide. Police acting as the state’s machineries to curtail opposition? Don’t be ridiculous! On a more serious note, we have to acknowledge that such a case involving the UKM 4 is not something frivolous.
These students may actually lose their degrees which they have worked so hard to earn, because of being in the right and this is the ticket to their future lives and means of living being taken away from them. It would also be a crying shame to lose such students with something more to give to society than just being mere human capital as many are these days, feeding blindly the mouth of capitalism.
Fellow youths, stop listening to the idea of youths and belia that those telecommunication companies, corporations, and government are propagating. You will only end up losing more prepaid money. Fellow students, we are the threat that could bring change to this country – let us relive the days of student activism.
Let us not fear them the way they fear us and even if we do, let it not be greater than theirs. Our greatest enemy is not them, it is apathy. Do not let them hijack your nation. Come and answer the call to solidarity for our fellow students and demand the charges against the UKM 4 to be dropped. Make no mistake, this is a call to arms, but we use no weapons, except those contained in the hearts and minds of the young.

ISRAEL THE ROGUE STATE





1. I am horrified at the violence employed by Israel to stop the ships from carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza (read here). The ships are in international waters, yet the arrogant Israelis do not care to respect international laws and convention.

2. The claim that the people on the ships are carrying sharp objects is ridiculous. Are they going to fight the well armed Israeli soldiers with sharp objects?

3. Do Israeli soldiers shoot to kill people carrying sharp objects? The act is most cowardly and deserving only of brutes, not civilised people.

4. What kind of world are we living in when it allows a rogue state to use violence and killings against unarmed people on a mission of charity.

Anwar Urges Strongly-Worded Response to Israeli Attack

Malay Nationalists Trash Premier's Economic Plan

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Perkasa's Ibrahim
(Asia Sentinel) Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak gets a cold reception


Just how difficult it will be to modify Malaysia's affirmative action program for its majority ethnic Malays came clear over the weekend when some 1,500 members of the Malay Consultative Council summarily rejected Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's plans to replace it with what the premier calls the New Economic Model.

Najib was due to unveil his NEM, as he calls it, on June 10 in conjunction with the publication of the 10th Malaysia Plan. But so far no details have been released, with less than two weeks to go before its publication, and it is questionable what will be in it. The consultative council turned it down without bothering with the details.

Since he came into office as premier in April of 2009, Najib has been attempting to get Malays, who make up roughly 60 percent of the country's 27 million people, to give up some of the perks that they have enjoyed since the New Economic Policy was promulgated in the wake of bloody 1969 riots that took the lives of hundreds of Malays and Chinese alike. Modifying the NEP, originally designed to remain in place only until 1990, has become the third rail of Malay politics.

The vote of the council, made up of 76 Malay-rights organizations, amounts to a stinging rebuke of the prime minister's policy even before it is announced. Ibrahim Ali, the head of Perkasa, the most strident of the Malay nationalist organizations and an ally of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, told Najib publicly that the vote amounted to a vote of no-confidence in him. Rather than ratifying in principle Najib's plans, the council instead passed a 31-point resolution demanding that the essentials of the NEP remain in place.

In particular, the Malay Consultative Council is demanding guarantees of what they call the special rights of ethnic Malays in return for granting citizenship to non-Malays – who have been here for generations. Chinese make up about 25 percent of the population, Indians another 8 percent, with the rest other races. Critics say that amounts to apartheid by another name.

The National Economic Advisory Council, hand-picked by Najib to write the new economic framework, came under particular fire. The NEAC, as it is known, is made up of nine academicians, economic experts and consultants including some of Malaysia's most distinguished economists. However, Ibrahim told the conference, some of the members are non-Malays who would have no way of knowing the Malay soul, and the Malays who are there are liberals who have forgotten their roots.

The prime minister's cause probably wasn't helped much by the Saturday release of the annual Forbes List of richest Malaysians. Of the top 10, eight are Chinese and not a single one is an ethnic Malay. Second on the list, after Robert Kuok with US$12 billion in assets, is telecommunications tycoon Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan, an ethnic Indian. At eighth is the only other non-Chinese, Syed Mokhtar AlBukhyary,who is of Arab descent.

The Forbes List of Malaysia's 10 Richest

1) Robert Kuok; US$12 billion
2) T. Ananda Krishnan; US$8.1 billion
3) Lee Shin Cheng; US$4.6 billion
4) Sri Lee Kim Hua; US$3.9 billion
5) Quek Leng Chan; US$3.85 billion
6) Teh Hong Piow; US$3.8 billion
7) Yeoh Tiong Lay; US$2.5 billion
8) Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary; US$1.7 billion
9) Vincent Tan; US$1.6 billion
10) Tiong Hiew King; US$1.2 billion

The vote presents Najib with a seemingly insoluble political dilemma. He needs to eliminate costly subsidies that stifle both personal and corporate competitiveness. According to one account, in 2009 the government spent RM74 billion (US$22.7 billion) in subsidies for sugar, fuel and other items. Subsidy expenditure was 11 percent of nominal gross domestic product according to these figures between 2006 and 2009. But as Badawi learned, cutting subsidies is dangerous. A cut in fuel subsidies contributed to his unpopularity.

Najib's move last year to cut a long-standing requirement mandating ethnic Malay participation in 27 economic sub-sectors and remove another that 30 percent of shares in IPOs go to ethnic Malays was one of the developments led to rising Malay irritation. His weekend comments to the Consultative Congress that the government is still in the process of gathering feedback before implementing his new policy – just 11 days before it is supposed to be tabled – is an indication that he and his advisors have little idea of how to do it.

In particular, while there has been no break with former Prime Minister Mahathir, Mahathir has been attending Perkasa rallies and in some cases leading them, and, witnesses say, some of them have turned pretty ugly. Najib had to step in to cancel one that Mahathir had called on May 13, the 41st anniversary of the 1969 riots that brought about the NEP in the first place. That rally now is to be revived for June 14. Originally expected to draw 10,000 Malays in a state of ferment that resembles the Tea Parties in the United States, the rally is now expected to draw double that. The 84-year-old Mahathir is expected to be the keynote speaker.

The premier is aware that Mahathir's implacable enmity played a major role in bringing down Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Although Najib's public approval rating is now 68 percent, up from a disastrous 44 percent when he took office, he faces the possibility of rivals in UMNO if he pushes too hard – including his deputy prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the deputy president of UMNO.

Najib has repeatedly vowed to clean up corruption in UMNO, which has abysmal public approval ratings, according to an April survey by the respected Merdeka Center, a Kuala Lumpur-based think-tank, and despite his own reputation for questionable contracts when he was minister of defense. The survey found that only 22 percent of Malaysians placed their trust in UMNO, which has largely run the country since its inception. That has been borne out by a long series of by-elections since national polls in March 2008. The Barisan Nasional has lost eight of the 11 by-elections and only won on in Kuala Selangor by a relatively small margin of votes.

Najib has said repeatedly that the country can no longer rely on a few sectors like oil palm plantations and crude oil sales to drive growth, instead calling for diversification and incentives for new strategic industries. The education system – which critics say now gives ethnic Malays virtually blanket passes with little academic rigor – must be reevaluated and improved, he says, to reward excellence and nurture talented graduates who excel in strategic and creative thinking, and entrepreneurial and leadership skills that will drive success in the decades ahead. A flock of bloated state-owned or government linked companies continue to swallow up money – the latest being the plantation giant Sime Darby, which recently reported as much as US$1 billion in writeoffs for bad investments, or the chronically money-losing Proton national car.

But in order to do any of that, he stands a strong chance of alienating his political base – or, in the case of the Proton, Mahathir. He has also demanded an end to practices that support the behavior of rent-seeking and patronage. But doing so would take away a major reason for the existence of UMNO, which is regarded as hopelessly corrupt by a large segment of the population – and thus the 22 percent approval rating for the party.

"Obviously, I as the president of Umno cannot forsake the interests of the Malays who form the majority in Malaysia," Najib said when closing the Bumiputera Economic Congress organized by the Malay Consultative Council.

As the son of the founder of the New Economic Policy (NEP) the late Abdul Razak Hussein -- Malaysia's second prime minister -- in no way would he betray his father's struggle, he said. However, he didn't point out to the crowd that when his father and other UMNO leaders implemented the NEP, they designed it to end in 1990.