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Sunday, June 6, 2010

SPM 11 A: Seremban Indian Girl denied Opportunity by UMNO racist govt

P1000292Pengerusi HRP Negeri Sembilan S.Siva dan rombongannya ziarah seorang pelajar cemerlang yang memperoleh 11A dalam Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia telah dinafikan peluang untuk menyambung Pelajarannya dalam bidang yang dicita- sitakannya sejak kecil lagi; iaitu bidang perubatan. Walaupun Negara kita kini kekurangan pakar perubatan, kerajaan memilih untuk tidak membenarkan Pelajar Cemerlang dari kalangan masyarakat India untuk mengambil bidang ini.
Gomalah a/p Ganeswaran yang berasal dari Bandar Seremban Selatan, 7km dari Bandar Seremban, berkata kegembiraan beliau yang ada pada waktu beliau mengambil keputusan SPM kini sudah hancur kecai dan sudah menjadi sesuatu yang mendukacitakan apabila mengetahui bahawa pelajar Melayu lain dari sekolah beliau yang mendapat 4 atau 5 A sahaja telah diberi peluang untuk belajar di Kolej – kolej Matrikulasi di serata Negara. P1000301
Gomalah juga dengan sedih memberitahu bahawa semua kawannya yang dari masyarakat India mengalami nasib yang sama dengan beliau, iaitu diminta untuk belajar di Tingakatan 6, yang mana peperiksaannya dikatakan ketiga tersusah di dunia. Beliau ternyata gelisah dan resah dengan masa hadapannya kerana, selepas keluar STPM, dia masih kena bersaing dengan pelajar Melayu yang lain dari Matrikulasi yang mana peperiksaannya jauh lebih senang.
P1000315 Apabila menghubungi seorang guru dari sekolah Gomalah, guru itu mengesahkan bahawa Gomalah seorang pelajar yang cekal dan kuat berusaha untuk mencapai cita-citanya iaitu menjadi seorang doctor. Bapa Gomalah, Ganeswaran seorang duda, sambil mengesat air mata menyatakan beliau bersusah payah selama ini untuk melihat anaknya Berjaya dalam akedemi jesteru itu menjadi  doctor perubatan. Tapi kini takut akan kehilangan semua impian itu akibat sikap rasis kerajaan UMNO.
Mathavan Velayutham
HRP Negeri Sembilan
P1000287

Israel: Seized ship's passengers to be deported Sunday

Ashdod, Israel (CNN) -- All 19 passengers and crew members of the Rachel Corrie have signed deportation papers and will leave the country Sunday, an Israeli interior ministry spokesman said.

The cargo ship, loaded with humanitarian aid, had been heading for Gaza on Saturday in defiance of an Israeli blockade when naval commandos seized it -- the second such shipment to be blocked in recent days.

However, Saturday's action had a peaceful ending, and Israeli officials said they expected the deportation process to go smoothly.

"I don't think any of these people will resist deportation," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Saturday. "The scenario is either you agree to be deported or you claim that you have a right to stay. I don't believe any of these people will petition a judge to allow them to stay. They did not show any resistance on the boat."

The Israeli military said it boarded the Irish-owned MV Rachel Corrie by sea with the compliance of the crew, 22 miles off the Gaza coast.

The group on board included six Malysians, one Cuban, one Briton, six Filipino nationals and five Irish nationals, according to Israel's interior ministry.

The seizure of the Rachel Corrie contrasted with drama in international waters on Monday, when nine Turkish citizens were killed after violence erupted on one of six ships in a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Q&A: Aid and Israel's Gaza blockade

A number of other people were wounded.

Israel said the passengers initiated the attack; the passengers blamed the troops.

That incident drew widespread condemnation and cast a spotlight on the dynamics of the Gaza crisis.

Israel said its naval blockade is in place to stop weaponry from reaching militants in Gaza intent on attacking Israel. But many people are incensed that the three-year blockade -- imposed after Hamas took over Gaza -- has deepened poverty in the Palestinian territory.

According to the United Nations, 80 percent of Gaza's population depends on food aid.

The voyage of the Rachel Corrie on the heels of the raid put the international community on edge until the events unfolded peacefully on Saturday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel "used the exact same procedure" aboard the Rachel Corrie as it did on the Mavi Marmara ship, the ship where the raid occurred.

"Today we saw the difference between a sail of peace activists, with whom we don't agree but honor their right to express a different opinion, and a hate sail organized by terrorism-supporting violent extremists," he said.

Free Gaza Movement spokeswoman Mary Hughes sharply criticized Israel's seizure of the ship.

"This is unacceptable to be happening in international waters," she said.

Reflecting the sentiment of many across the world, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was pleased the incident was "resolved peacefully," but he renewed his stance that Israel needs to lift its closure of Gaza.

The Free Gaza Movement, which owns the vessel, said the ship was carrying 550 tons of cement to help rebuild schools, homes and other buildings destroyed in Gaza.

Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire, who was aboard the ship, said Friday that the Rachel Corrie was also carrying "tons" of writing materials donated by Norway, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment -- including wheelchairs donated by Scotland -- and toys.

As for the Monday violence, it continues to spark official and grassroots rage in governments and streets inside and outside the Middle East and led to even further deterioration between Israel and Turkey, the one-time close allies who have grown apart over the Gaza crisis.

In Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, thousands took to the streets to protest Israel's actions in Gaza. Protests were also staged in London, England and Paris, France.

At the United Nations, the Security Council called for an inquiry into the flotilla raid and the Human Rights Council voted for a probe, but Israel said it alone -- and not an international entity -- should be investigating.

The Israel Defense Forces military advocate general said Israel's interception of the flotilla was legal because international law allows a country to stop a vessel in international waters if it attempts to breach a naval blockade -- even before such a blockade is breached.

The MV Rachel Corrie was named for a 23-year-old American woman who was killed in Gaza in 2003 while attempting to keep the Israeli military from bulldozing the home of a Palestinian.

Samy Vellu promises major changes in MIC within six months

KAJANG, June 6 — Major changes are expected to take place in the MIC in the next six months, including an overhaul of the party’s machinery, party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said today.

Without elaborating on the changes, the MIC supremo said he was determined to hand over a stable party with an efficient and effective machinery to his successor.

However, Samy Vellu hinted that the changes would include replacing branch leaders who were performing poorly and not to the expectations of the party members and the Indian community.

“Every leader has to prove the worthiness of his or her leadership. If we fail to do that due to our own negligence, then we are only failing our community. We will lose our right to represent our community,” he said when opening the 64th Selangor MIC Convention, here.

Samy Vellu said: “There must be a complete overhaul of our party machinery. It is being done now, and within the next six months, there will be major changes to the way we execute our plans and policies.

"The government is prepared to help us bring development for the Indian community, provided we change. When I say change, I mean changing the mindset and attitude in discharging our duties,” he said.

He said the way forward was to adopt new and innovative ways of doing things.

“We must be brave to do things creatively, beyond our imagination. We must adopt new approaches that will make people understand that we are serious in doing our business,” he said.

Samy Vellu said the changes would start in Selangor MIC, headed by MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel. It has 107,735 members in 939 branches.

“Selangor MIC must now act fast and think of doing a major overhaul to its machinery. Selangor MIC can be a major force to lead the other state MIC. You must be a leader by example but first you must change.

“If we do this, there is a better chance to survive in this challenging political climate. We will succeed in representing the Indian community. If we are weak and fight among each other, then other Barisan Nasional component parties will not respect us. We will not have any honour and will lose our dignity,” he added. — Bernama

Heroes' welcome for 12 after Israeli ordeal

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today,

SEPANG: Twelve Malaysians, including two journalists, today received a heroes' welcome at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), days after the deadly attack on the aid boat MV Mavi Marmara by Israeli commandos.
The boat was part of a flotilla carrying some 700 activists and 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid that was heading for the blockaded Gaza Strip when it was stormed by the commandos on international waters.
The 12 “survivors” of Mavi Marmara were welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, family members, friends and supporters at about 6am.
"We welcome the 12 Malaysians home after going through the Zionist attack against their humanitarian mission that saw some nine people dead. But we are thankful that all of them (Malaysians) are safe," he said at a press conference.
Although their mission to send the humanitarian aid to Gaza was halted halfway, said Muhyiddin, they should be commended for their efforts to help the Palestinians under siege in Gaza.
"It is very cruel of Israel to do such a thing and we, through Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, have issued a strongly-worded statement [denouncing] the attack," said Muhyiddin.
He also urged the United Nations to take sterner action against Israel, whose cruel act on the high seas also drew heavy flak from the international community, including Israeli citizens themselves, who have labelled it as “inhumane”.
"We want the UN to take sterner action against Israel, instead of just releasing statements [condemning the attack]. We think that is not enough," he said. He also said Turkey and Jordan should be praised for seeking the release of the aid workers.
Six more to be back soon
Muhyiddin also said the other six Malaysians on board another aid ship, Rachel Corrie, will be brought back home "as soon as possible".
Israeli commandos boarded the ship peacefully yesterday after it ignored orders not to head for Gaza
"The six Malaysians will be reaching Amman, Jordan, at 6pm Malaysian time today and we will ensure that they will come back as soon as possible," he said.
The 12 who arrived this morning included Noorazman Mohd Samsuddin, chief of Malaysian delegation (UIA lecturer); Dr Mohd Arba Ai Shawal (medical doctor); Dr Syed Muhamad Haleem Syed Hassan (medical doctor); Dr Selamat Aliman; businessman Jamaluddin Elias (Klang councillor); Al Hilmi Husain Suhaimi (religious teacher); Mohd Nizam Mohamad Awang (engineer); Abd Halim Mohd Redzuan (executive with Syabas); Hasanuddin Aqsi Assarip (full-time NGO worker); Ashwad Ismail (Astro Awani journalist) and Shamsul Kamal Latip (Astro Awani cameraman).
'Malaysia cannot act alone'
To a question whether Malaysia will initiate talks with the United States to take action against Israel, its closest ally, Muhyiddin said the country cannot act alone.
He said such an initiative should be made in concert with the other UN members.
"At the UN Security Council, there is already a resolution [on this] but, as we all know, the US did not take a strong stand. Even Israel has ignored the resolution. So we need a more effective measure.
"I don't think pressure from Malaysia alone is enough; we need help from the other countries too," he said.

'We are not the real heroes', says volunteer

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today,

SEPANG: Although the 12 Malaysians and volunteers on board the aid ship attacked by Israel while on its way to Gaza have been called 'heroes', they feel they do not deserve such accolades.
Noorazman Mohd Samsuddin, who was among those held by the Israeli army since Monday's deadly attack on their humanitarian flotilla MV Mavi Marmara, said: "We are not the real heroes.
"The real heroes are the ones who prayed for us, those who helped to free us. They are the heroes," he told a packed press conference at KLIA after arriving from Istanbul, Turkey.
Noorazman also said that their freedom was "not the real issue" although they went through the "most difficult times" of their lives.
"We were handcuffed for more than 15 hours and not allowed to go to the toilet. Their guns were always pointed at our heads. We were not given food or drinks for almost 24 hours.
"But the people in Palestine are in a worse situation than ours. They are constantly being confronted by the Israeli army who are prepared to kill at any time," he said.
Noorazman, a lead delegate for NGO Lifeline4Gaza, expressed his gratitude to Malaysian and Jordanian government for their efforts in securing their freedom.
The 12 who survived the deadly Israeli attack which took nine lives and injured many others were on their way to send humanitarian aid to Gaza and sailing on international waters.
Attacks came without warning
Recalling the tragic incident, Noorazman revealed that several Malaysians were also shot, but with rubber bullets. According to him, the attack came without warning.
"We were on international zone, 74 nautical miles from Gaza. They were no warnings before they raided our ship using a helicopter. We didn't know who they were.
"We were instructed to defend the ship and ourselves. Before the first raid, they threw smoke bombs and flash bangs to blind us temporarily," he said.
"Three commandosm abseiled down a rope from the helicopter on to the ship but before they could set foot, we managed to hold them so they could not shoot us
"The helicopter left the area following the swift reaction from the volunteers," added Noorazman.
The second attack caught them off guard as it happened too quick."The commandos started shooting first before coming down. A journalist from Turkey was shot in his head and died soon after.
"During that attack, four to five people were shot dead in front of our eyes," said Noorazman.

Political rehabilitation... not on Singapore’s Nelly

By Maxwell Coopers - Free Malaysia Today,

COMMENT There will simply be no ‘rehabilitation’ for those who have dared the Singapore state in offering alternative political ideas.
The city-state is not in any kind of a flux.
But for most of the country’s young born after 1987 the controversy surrounding the denial of a request from an ex-Marxist (or presumed Marxist) Vincent Cheng must come as something of a non-starter in the nation’s discourse.
Just why someone whose ‘sins’ against the state was never proven in the first place in a court of law, and who cannot be allowed to speak and set the record ‘straight’ about his incarceration is something that must also be befuddling aplenty.
And just why it took more than 20 odd years to take him out of the cold, is yet the other big poser.
There probably is no dearth of political opponents who gone against the Singapore state.
And the ‘harshest’ punishments if anecdotal evidence is any clue, is usually reserved for Marxist conspirators and their fellow travellers. One only needs to know to what happened to former legislator Chia Thye Poh and his banishment and consequent ex-communication from the Singapore state to know that the city-state despite all its outward manifestations of wealth and progress has little stomach for the Che Guvera type revolutionaries, of which Vincent and his cabal seemingly exuded.
Yet there is no denying that even as Singapore is known to have ‘pardoned’ former Marxists such as its former state president CV Devan Nair and the current chancellor of the Singapore Management University (SMU) Ho Kwon Ping, that magnanimity is only on condition they admit publicly of their guilt of being ex-members of the Communist Party and completely sever whatever links they still retained of their discredited political credentials.
But for those who profess otherwise such as Vincent whose guilt was never proven in a court of law it becomes increasingly untenable what to make of a case and a man whose rights as a citizen are denied all because of a lapse some two decades ago and which under the institutionalised provisions granted the Republic’s security should technically be a free man.
According to Vincent’s friend and perhaps confidante Fong Hoe Fang, “He (Vincent) was alleged to be one of the leaders of a “Marxist Conspiracy”, an allegation that he never had the opportunity to address in an open trial despite his many expensive and legal efforts to secure such a hearing. Mr Cheng was released 20 years ago on restriction orders and subsequently the orders were not renewed. I take that to mean that the authorities are satisfied that Mr Cheng has been rehabilitated and to all intents and purposes should be a free man enjoying all the privileges and performing the duties of a Singaporean”.
Dangerous malcontent
The question is not how much of a free man Vincent is, but how much freedom he should be accorded.
There has never been an occasion in living memory when Singapore had allowed former Marxists, agent provocateurs and detained racial chauvinists to speak in public for nothing more than the provocations their supposed ‘sermons’ may potentially cause.
Though that fear is more imagined than real, the problem with Vincent as it was Chia Thye Poh is neither has made a public recanting of their beliefs to completely assuage concerns.
That makes it difficult for Vincent because like Chia he is maintaining a presumed sense of ‘innocence’; a recourse he has no chance of proving in a court of law as he was detained under the draconian Internal Security Act which provides for detention without trial.
And such detentions cannot be contested in a court of law. It is a dilemma no less to say.
Vincent may be in the spirit of freedom and righteousness. But in the eyes of law, he is a dangerous malcontent.
And that’s despite him being technically in ‘the clear’ of his role more than 20 years.
And so long as that holds, Vincent like Chia Thye Poh before will languish; not because they were guilty of what they were charged and detained for, but because they have dared not to admit to their guilt.
Maxwell Coopers in a Singapore-based freelance writer and Free Malaysia Today contributor.

Education Ministry weeding out below-par institutions

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: The Higher Education Ministry is coming down hard on private universities and colleges that failing fail to take their role as educators seriously.
Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the ministry found that some of these institutions were unable to provide quality services due to financial reasons.

“Many of the institutes did not have the financial capacity to operate as they relied too much on payments by students from their National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans,” he said.

Last year, the ministry de-registered 22 of such institutions.

them. Similar action was taken against 56 of them between in 2007 and 2008.

Saifuddin said this to reporters after the opening of the two-day National Association of Private Educational Institutions’ (Napei) 29th Malaysian Education Fair at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.

Saifuddin said the ministry also had to de-register several universities and colleges because they were not taking the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) seriously.

He said when there was insufficient interest in a course, some institutions would drop it and offer a different one.

"We cannot tolerate this such practice because it spoils the market and won’t do justice to the serious industry players.”

he added.

Saifuddin said the ministry was striving to ensure the standards of the private institutions were upheld to bring in quality international students.

He said that both the public and private institutions of higher learning still had difficulty in attracting students from certain parts of the world, like Europe.

With the cooperation of the private education sector, the ministry will be holding roadshows overseas to invite foreign students to study in Malaysia.

In reply to a question, Saifuddin said that he was willing to meet the 500 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) students who had complained about not getting places in universities. The students wanted to meet him at Parliament House tomorrow. on Monday.

“SPM results are improving, which is good, but this makes it very competitive
as we have limited space in the public and private institutions of higher learning.”

He also said in the public institutions, entry is was granted not just based on academic excellence but also on co-curricular activities.

“The universities take in students based on their needs, too. As such, , so there may be some who will not get a place.

“We cannot increase the space but the universities they we are trying their best to accommodate as many students of them as possible.” he said.

Napei president Associate Professor Elajsolan Mohan said the education system must be able to identify students who were not academically inclined and provide them with alternativee paths.

“First, we need to find out how many students get a minimum of three to five credits for SPM every year and develop a bridging curriculum for those who do not meet entry requirements.” he said.

Elajsolan said this would give all students the opportunity to for further their education and at the same time, enhance the human capital needs of the country.

Napei awarded three private education institutions with the Napei Academic Excellence Award.

They are Smart Reader Worldwide for the pre-school category, Sekolah Seri Suria for the schools category and Masterskill University College of Health Sciences for the university-college category.

Hari Daftar Undi June 5 – 6

There are about 3.5 million unregistered voter in Malaysia. If you are one of them, register as voter NOW to make your voice counts! Hurry! Don’t miss the boat for the next General Election. Be part of Change Agents for this country! Together we can change the country for better!
Pls FWD this email or put these info on your FB and blog! TQ
Date: June 5 – 6 (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 10.30am-8.30pm
Venue: QueensBay Mall (near CoffeeBean)
Contact Person: Martin 016- 474 1283

RM525m donation is chicken-feed...

… compared to the enormous potential market for sports betting.
Consider Vincent Tan’s donation – of the RM525 million proceeds from the sale of his 70 per cent stake in Ascot to Berjaya Corporation – as a small investment. The proceeds will be donated to the Better Malaysia Foundation.
The donation comes in the wake of growing disquiet about the impact of sports betting especially among low-income workers.
Some random thoughts come to mind:
  • The sports betting market is worth anywhere between RM7 billion to RM20 billion annually. So what is a one-off RM525 million donation compared to that?
  • How much is Robin Tan’s 30 per cent share in Ascot now worth? Will he sell it to the public and donate the proceeds to charity too?
  • Ascot is likely to be another cash cow for Berjaya Corporation. Even after the sale of his 70 per cent interest in Ascot, Vincent Tan holds a 25 per cent direct interest and a 28 per cent deemed interest in Berjaya Corporation, according to Berjaya Corp’s 2009 Annual Report.
  • Vincent and Robin Tan are among the five trustees of the Better Malaysia Foundation.
  • Vincent Tan has promised that the accounts of the Foundation will be audited and transparent with more independent board members to be roped in. So where is the website for this foundation (formerly VTCY Foundation), which was established in 1995? The audited accounts should be put on this website, and in the interest of transparency, an audited list of the previous recipients of aid from the foundation should be uploaded as well.

Gaza aid ship taken to Israeli port

Israeli soldiers stormed an aid convoy five
days ago, killing nine Turkish activists [EPA]
Israeli soldiers have boarded an aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip and forced it to head to the Israeli port of Ashdod instead.
The Israeli military said in a statement that troops boarded MV Rachel Corrie on Saturday after the activists aboard the ship ignored warnings to divert to Ashdod.
"There was no violence or injuries amongst the soldiers or crew ... and no shots were fired," the statement said.
Jacky Rowland, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Ashdod, said the Rachel Corrie arrived at the port, escorted all the way by Israeli military vessels.
"The aid will be taken off and inspected," she said.
"It is not clear how much of it will be taken to Gaza. We can expect the passengers to be deported fairly promptly."
Activists on board the Malaysia-funded Irish ship were attempting to break the siege of Gaza imposed by Israel, five days after its troops killed nine activists while raiding a flotilla of aid ships carrying humanitarian aid for the coastal Palestinian territory.
Israeli statement
Israeli naval vessels trailed the Rachel Corrie for several hours before boarding it. The ship's radar was jammed, cutting off all radio communication.
Miri Eisin, a spokeswoman for the Israeli government, told Al Jazeera that the vessel was boarded by soldiers at the edge of the maritime zone of Gaza in agreement with those on board.
IN DEPTH
"The people on board will be taken care off in accordance with Israeli law, as they have approached Israel illegally, so they will be asked to leave voluntarily," she said.
Eisin said the cargo would be offloaded at Ashdod and then transferred to Gaza.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said naval forces involved in Saturday's operation had followed exactly the same procedures as they had done earlier in the week, but the difference lay in the attitude of the activists on board the vessel.
"We saw today the difference between a ship of peace activists, with whom we don't agree but respect their right to a different opinion from ours, and between a ship of hate organised by violent Turkish terror extremists ... waiting for our soldiers on the deck with axes and knives," Netanyahu's office cited him as saying.
Raising awareness
On the other hand, Mukhriz Mahathir, head of the Perdana Global Peace Organisation, a Malaysian non-governmental organisation that sponsored the Rachel Corrie, said people would be willing to contribute to further aid ships.
"These actions have finally succeded in raising lots of awareness," he said.
"But for the moment, we are upset that these aid goods have not reached their destination."
The Rachel Corrie, which carried 11 activists and eight crew members, is named after an American womanwho was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003, while protesting against a house demolition.
Israel's raid of Gaza-bound aid ships has led to global protests against its siege on Gaza [AFP]
Pro-Palestinian activists on board the ship had earlier said they were determined to press ahead towards the Gaza coast, despite the Israeli warnings.
"We are not afraid and we are all advocating non-violence… and we will just sit here and go if they insist on commandeering our boat and forcing us into Ashdod," Mairead Maguire, an activist and Nobel Peace laureate aboard Rachel Corrie, said before radio contact with the ship was lost.
The Israeli military had cautioned that troops would consider storming the ship, if it continued its journey towards Gaza.
In a statement, the Israel navy warned the ship that it was "approaching an area of hostilities which is under a naval blockade. The Gaza area, coastal region and Gaza Harbour are closed to all maritime traffic."
Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, told Al Jazeera that the military had a government directive to make sure the ship does not reach Gaza.
Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston, reporting from Gaza, said the Rachel Corrie had hundreds of tonnes of aid, including medical supplies, wheelchairs, cement, building materials and even note pads for children.
UNRWA appeal
Speaking to Al Jazeera on Saturday, Chris Guinness, a spokesman for UNWRA, the United Nations Palestine refugee agency, underscored the need for Gaza's land and sea blockades to be lifted.
"The World Health Organisation needs 20 million dollars worth of aid to enter Gaza, there is 44 per cent unemployment and education is in crisis," he said.
"We are turning thousands of five and six year olds away from our schools [and] 39,000 children in Gaza are not receiving United Nations education because we cannot get our building materials in.
The UN human rights chief said Israel could face prosecution for its raid on aid ships [AFP]
"We also want to see exports coming out of Gaza. It is already 80 per cent aid dependent. What we don't want is to make it more aid dependent."
The developments surrounding the Rachel Corrie came as the UN human-rights chief said that Israel could face prosecution for Monday's flotilla raid, and that she was following requests for a referral to the International Criminal Court [ICC] in the Hague.
"I am following very closely the very many calls that come particularly from civil society and from all the people who are suffering in Palestine for that kind of action to be taken," Navi Pillay, the high commissioner for human rights, said on Saturday in Kampala, Uganda, where she was attending the ICC's ongoing review conference.
She said she believed Israel's blockade of Gaza violates international law.
"International humanitarian law prohibits starvation of civilians as a method of warfare ... It is also prohibited to impose collective punishment on the civilian population, so it is [for those reasons] that I have consistently reported to member states that the blockade is illegal and must be lifted," Pillay said.
"Even if it is demonstrated that the blockade is legal under international law, Israel's current military operations against the flotilla must be analysed from the perspective of its obligation to allow humanitarian aid to be brought into the Gaza Strip."

Kempen anti-judi dilancar secara sederhana

Berjaya boss donates entire RM525m to own foundation

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: The people against gambling, Gerakkan Membantah Judi (GMJ), campaign, launched this afternoon, was overshadowed by tycoon Vincent Tan who announced he would donate all of the proceeds from the sale of his stake in Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd to charity.

Tan who holds 70% equity in Ascot Sports said he will donate the entire RM525 million from the sale of his stake to Berjaya Corporation Group (BCG) to his Better Malaysian Foundation.

He said the “buyout” by BCG, which he controls, was completed last month. BCG also owns and operates Sports Toto.

Tan, BCG and the federal government have come under tremendous pressure after betting in Malaysia was legalised in conjunction with the upcoming World Cup, which begins next week.

BCG had last week rolled out its game plan, which includes betting via telephone, for the gaming industry in conjunction with the World Cup.

'Be sensible and fair'

Meanwhile, Tan dismissed claims that the licence was awarded to him in “gratitude” for his support of Barisan Nasional over the years.

Tan was alluding to a Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad’s statement at the GMJ launch this afternoon.

Khalid had said that the awarding of the gambling licence to Tan was an act of gratitude by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

“This licence was awarded as payback for Berjaya’s loyal support of BN,” he had told the crowd which gathered at Sogo.

At a press conference in Berjaya Times Square today, Tan appealed to Pakatan-led states Penang and Selangor to revoke their ban on sports betting, urging them to be “sensible and fair”.

Last month, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guang Eng had directed the local councils in the state to ban all betting operations.

Prior to this, Selangor had also banned betting in the state, saying that while the federal government could approve gambling licences, premise permits were a state matter.

Meanwhile, today’s launch of GMJ anti-gambling campaign sets the ball rolling for a nationwide series of protests which will culminate in a gathering of 100,000 people in Kuala Lumpur on July 3 when a memorandum will be handed over to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Prior to that, GMJ will submit a memorandum to Parliament on June 7 and another one to Najib on June 23.

SUPP sees tough fight in coming state election

KUCHING: A tough fight awaits Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP), especially in the Chinese-majority constituencies in the coming state election, party president Dr George Chan Hong Nam said today.

Chan, who is also deputy chief minister, is worried about the current political situation as far as SUPP is concerned.

"We are going to face a difficult time.

"I'm certain if we don't work hard, if we don't change and if we don't try to do things the people want us to do, then the future of the party is at stake," he said at the SUPP 51st anniversary celebration dinner, here, last night.

SUPP, the oldest Chinese-led political party in the state, failed to retain the Sibu parliamentary seat in the May 16 by-election after newcomer Robert Lau Hui Yew narrowly lost by 398 votes to DAP state chairman Wong Ho Leng.

In the 2006 state election, SUPP lost eight of the 19 seats contested. The seats are Padungan, Pending, Batu Lintang, Kota Sentosa, Engkilili, Meradong, Bukit Assek and Kidurong.

Although a tough fight awaits, SUPP is confident it can wrest back the lost ground if all party members and leaders stand united and fight for the party and people.

Chan urged the party leaders go to the ground, reach out to the people and listen to their views as SUPP must cope with new challenges and meet the demands and aspirations of the people.

"Life is full of ups and downs. The same goes to politics. I hope in the coming state election, SUPP can go up again.

"The fighting spirit of the party members and leaders will restore and strengthen the party to face the challenges in the coming state election," he said.

Chan also urged opposition parties from the peninsula to stop poisoning the minds of the people in Sarawak by bringing unhealthy and bad politics which could destroy harmony in the state.

"The political landscapes in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia are different. We don't need them (leaders from the peninsula) to bring poison into the state," he said.

Reimbursement

Meanwhile, SUPP secretary-general Senator Sim Kheng Hui said the party would seek reimbursement for landowners who paid higher land lease renewal premiums before the revised policy comes into effect on June 1.

He said more than 800 owners of terrace houses in Kenyalang Park, one of the oldest housing areas here, had renewed their land lease by paying about RM2,600 in premium before the new flat rates were announced.

"SUPP will help them to request an average of about RM1,600 to be paid back. We will fight for it," he said, adding that a counter would be set up at the Kenyalang Market and Commercial Centre here to gather details from the landowners concerned.

May 14, Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud announced the revised land policy which uses fixed rates in the calculation of premium for renewal of land lease for residential, commercial and agricultural land without taking into account the balance term of the title.

Under the new rates, for residential use, the premium for renewal of land lease for a terrace house is a flat RM1,000 per unit, RM3,000 for a semi-detached house and RM6,000 for a detached house.

How Vincent Tan became the Gaming King of Malaysia



Vincent Tan can deny it all he wants. The bottom line is he is the front man for Umno. He is Umno’s nominee. He owns only part of his gambling empire. The rest is owned by Umno but held by him as trustee.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan today said he will appeal to states under Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to rescind the ban on sports betting.
The Selangor, Kedah and Penang governments have already declared that they will disallow sports betting in the states.
“I will appeal to them to be fair minded,” said Tan.
Since the BN government awarded a sports betting licence to Tan’s Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd last month, the DAP has gone on a crusade against them, accusing the ruling coalition of enriching the tycoon but impoverishing the people. – The Malaysian Insider
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The Berjaya Corp chairman and chief executive officer said this to dispel unsubstantiated claims that the money from the deal would go to the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN).
Tan also lashed out at fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin for raising the allegations.
“The allegations are pure nonsense,” he said. – The Malaysian Insider
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First of all, Vincent Tan did pay Hee of Perak millions of ringgit as an inducement for her to jump ship. This was confirmed by three people. One was a senior man from Umno, the second the President of one of the non-Malay political parties in Barisan Nasional, and the third a Chinese Datuk who is also involved in the gambling business. And these three Deep Throats have never before given me false or wrong information.
In fact, these people told me that Perak was going to fall long before the state actually fell. And they also warned me that Kedah and Selangor were next on the list. They warned me that a ‘shopping spree’ was going to be launched to buy over Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament and State Assemblypersons from the Pakatan Rakyat states, Penang included. And they also told me that Vincent Tan was footing the bill.
Today, what I had been told has proven to be true.
Do you know that Vincent Tan does not really own the entire interest in his gambling empire? He owns only part of it. The rest belongs to Umno but held under trust by Vincent Tan. This was the deal struck way back when Ahmad Sebi Abu Bakar, then the CEO of TV3, conjured the scam during the time when Daim Zainuddin was the Finance Minister.
Ahmad Sebi told Vincent Tan that Umno could not park the shares under its own name because, being the so-called largest Muslim party in the world, as Tun Dr Mahathir himself had declared, this would be a sensitive issue. So they needed to hide Umno’s interest under a non-Muslim nominee. And Vincent Tan is that non-Muslim nominee.
Now you know how Sports Toto ended up in the hands of Vincent Tan.
Then what about the tens of thousands of ‘one-armed bandits’ that Vincent Tan is operating all over Malaysia, East Malaysia included (which has the most number of machines per capita)?
Why are the police not raiding these illegal gambling outlets to confiscate the machines and arrest the operators? Well, they do, actually, but the police only raid those outlets not owned by Vincent Tan. Those ‘competitors’ to Vincent Tan suffer police raids and confiscations. Those owned by Vincent Tan do not.
Speak to any Chinese underworld boss. Go have a Chinese dinner in Jalan Imbi at Sakura or one of those places and talk to the Chinese underworld people. I have. And they will be able to tell you how the scam works and why Vincent Tan has kekebalan (immunity) while the others do not.
Vincent Tan can deny it all he wants. The bottom line is he is the front man for Umno. He is Umno’s nominee. He owns only part of his gambling empire. The rest is owned by Umno but held by him as trustee.
How do I know all this?
Let me put it this way. I was there when the deal was struck. Maybe Vincent Tan does not remember me. Well, his Malay directors do because I went to school with some of them and two of them were actually my batch-mates in the Malay College Kuala Kangsar.
Yes, Vincent, I was that Kwailo-looking guy in the bush jacket who was sitting across the table from Ahmad Sebi when you walked into the room without knocking and interrupted our meeting.
Next time knock first before entering. Don’t barge in like you are so fond of doing. You barged into the room and interrupted our meeting without giving me any face. You did not even look at me and acted as if I was invisible. Then you started talking about your scam as if I was not there.
And that was your mistake, Vincent. As Julia Roberts said in ‘Pretty Woman’: big mistake.
So your arrangement with Umno is not something new. It is a very old arrangement since the time when Ahmad Sebi was heading TV3 and when Daim Zainuddin was the Finance Minister. And your one-armed bandits licence was an arrangement since the time when Mohd Farid Ariffin was the Deputy Finance Minister. And when Farid Ariffin tried to end your monopoly of these slot machines, you arranged for his political career to come to an early halt.
But never mind. Farid Ariffin is now heading a more worthy cause. He set up MAKNA (http://www.makna.org.my/) that is helping to fight cancer. You did the nation a great favour by forcing him into retirement for opposing your monopoly on slot machines. Now we have MAKNA (Majlis Kanser Nasional or the National Cancer Council).

Vincent Tan to donate RM525m sports betting stake buyout

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — In a bid to quell a growing uproar over his sports betting licence, tycoon Tan  Sri Vincent Tan today said he will donate the entire RM525 million from the sale of the stake to charity.

The money is proceeds from the 70 per cent stake in Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd that is being sold to his listed Berjaya Corp Berhad.

“I will get zero from this deal,” he told reporters, saying the money will go to his Better Malaysia Foundation which was set up two years ago.

Tan (picture) said after the deal with Berjaya Corp, his son Datuk Robin Tan Yeong Ching will retain the remaining 30 per cent stake in Ascot Sports.

The Berjaya Corp chairman and chief executive officer said this to dispel unsubstantiated claims that the money from the deal would go to the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Following the re-issue of the sports betting licence to Ascot Sports, unsubstantiated and wild allegations have been made by some quarters about how I have been unjustly enriched by this.”

He said it was also insinuated that in the process, some government officials and political parties have also benefited.

“In order to put to rest all these allegations I have decided to donate the entire proceeds that I expect to receive from the sale of my 70 per cent stake in Ascot Sports.”

Tan also lashed out at fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin for raising the allegations.

“The allegations are pure nonsense,” he said.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties today launched an anti-gambling movement, saying the sports betting licence is a payback for Tan’s contribution to BN’s war chest for by-election campaigns.

DAP and PR have also gone on a crusade against them, accusing the ruling coalition of enriching the tycoon but impoverishing the people.

But Tan said his foundation would focus on education and scholarships when the deal is completed.

“With divine blessing I hope to donate more to the foundation,” he said.

Tan disclosed he was inspired by the charitable acts of other tycoons like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.

He said his dream is to eventually donate RM1 billion to the foundation, adding that the foundation would be run transparently.

The tycoon, who has diversified interests from hotels to wireless broadband, also lashed out at PR for protesting against sports betting.

He said there been lots of “interest” in sports betting.

“Loud voices of what I believe is the minority,” said Tan, adding he is totally convinced it’s all about politics.

'Embattled MCA boss hiding behind MIC's GAS'

By RK Anand - Free Malaysia Today

UPDATED KUALA LUMPUR: A top level MIC leader has accused MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek of using the Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu (GAS) movement as a "smokescreen" for his woes in the party.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he told FMT that Chua was using the MCA-owned English daily The Star to blow up the GAS issue, giving much prominence to its leaders such as V Mugilan.
“MCA is weak and becoming irrelevant after it underwent a leadership crisis and it hopes to create a similar situation in MIC. Talk is that Chua is facing problems, and a mutiny is brewing.

“To make matters worse, his son's appointment to the cabinet has also set tongues wagging. Apparently, this has not gone down well with some MCA leaders,” he said.

After taking over MCA's leadership reins, Chua repeatedly said that he would not accept a senator post or cabinet appointment as he wanted to concentrate on rebuilding the strife-torn party.

However, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak caught many by surprise when he announced on Tuesday that Chua's son Tee Yong, who is also Labis MP, has been appointed as a deputy minister.

'Samy and gang furious'
Meanwhile, the MIC leader said party president S Samy Vellu and those aligned to him were furious with Chua and The Star for publishing the “negative reports”.

“Even the GAS rally on Sunday was portrayed as a major event when all other news organisations, including the more critical online media, stopped short of calling it a failure.

“But The Star devoted several pages, and hiked the figure to 5,000 when the others reported that only 3,000 or so had turned up for the event,” he added.

The MIC leader claimed that MCA and The Star were also being used by “certain individuals” to condemn Samy Vellu and pressure him to step down.

He said it was surprising that the daily was publishing negative news about another Barisan Nasional component party.

“The newspaper has always been supportive of MIC but all of a sudden, we see the newspaper going for the kill,” he said.

MIC to launch counter attack
In view of this, the leader said MIC would launch a counter attack on MCA and Chua through the media. A campaign would also be started to call for a boycott of The Star.

He said that Tamil Nesan, owned by Samy Vellu's family, would start publishing negative news about MCA and Chua.

“We want to stress that Chua and MCA have become irrelevant to BN, and the longer Chua stays in power, the more difficult it would be for the Chinese community to come back to BN

“Chua is a liability to BN due to his past actions and MIC would stress a change in leadership in MCA,” said the leader, noting the dismal Chinese support during two recent by-elections.

The newly-minted MCA president was previously embroiled in a sex scandal, which had forced him to resign both as a MP and minister.

Despite mustering enough support to clinch the presidency during the party polls this year, Chua is still being roasted by critics on moral grounds.
'No directive from Chua'
In an immediate reaction, an MCA source told FMT that Chua has never issued any directive to The Star to attack MIC or its president.

"We are in the same team and we don't interfere in the problems of other BN component parties. This is an unfair allegation," he said.

The source, who declined to be named, said other media organisations such as the Umno-linked Utusan Malaysia and TV3 have also been reporting on GAS.

"Samy Vellu started the ball rolling when he sacked Mugilan and the others. This paved the way for GAS to be formed.
"It is news, and The Star is merely reporting on it like the rest. It is not right to blame MCA for this," he added.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong At Trooping The Colour


Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong attending the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Dataran Merdeka. fotoBernama
KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 (Bernama) -- Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah attended the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Dataran Merdeka, here, Saturday.

The ceremony held in conjunction with the King's birthday celebration was a show of loyalty by the Malaysian Armed Forces to the King as their commander-in-chief.

Also present at the ceremony were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman.

When the King and Queen arrived at Dataran Merdeka at 8am, the national anthem, Negaraku, was promptly played and 21 gun salutes fired.

Tuanku Mizan then went up the stage to take the salute before the guard-of- honour comprising officers and members of the three branches of the MAF.

Meanwhile, five helicopters from the MAF carrying the Malaysian, MAF, Army, Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) flag respectively took part in the fly-past over Dataran Merdeka.

Accompanied by MAF chief Tan Sri Azizan Ariffin, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong then inspected the guard-of-honour comprising 23 officers and 505 members of the MAF led by Lt Col Habibullah Ismail.

After that, the combined MAF central band led by Lt Mohd Shaharuddin Shaari proceeded with the Trooping the Colour in full military pageantry with fast and slow march steps.

Three calls of "Daulat Tuanku" by the parade members were then heard before the ceremony ended with the reciting of the "doa".

Tuanku Mizan once again took the salute from the guard-of-honour and fly-past by the five MAF helicopters before leaving the venue.

Throughout the ceremony, the combined MAF central band comprising members of the Army, RMN and RMAF played patriotic songs, adding joy to the occasion.

Among those who witnessed the ceremony were senior officers of the three branches of the MAF, defence attaches from several foreign embassies and high commissions here, and the public.

The ceremony which ended at 9.05am was carried live by RTM's TV1 channel.