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Monday, June 28, 2010

KP Samy Video

KP Samy: MIC president's daily misleading Indians

By G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Sacked MIC central committee member KP Samy today lashed out at a local Tamil daily for branding a gathering on July 4 at Dewan Hamzah, Klang as an anti-Barisan Nasional event.

“Tamil Nesan carried a quarter-page advertisement on June 24 and June 26 urging Indian Malaysians not to take part in the gathering, calling it an anti-BN gathering.

“The advertisement is misleading and we want to know who placed the advertisement in the first place and why Tamil Nesan saw it fit to accommodate it,” said Samy.

“We had clarified earlier that the gathering will be a dialogue session to get into the bottom of Indian Malaysians' problems and there will be no character assassinations of anyone at the event.

“I have lodged a complaint with the Home Ministry on the matter and I hope the ministry will take action against Tamil Nesan for misleading the public,” added Samy.

Tamil Nesan belongs to MIC president S Samy Vellu's family. KP Samy and several other sacked MIC leaders had previsously launched anti-Samy Vellu campaign (GAS) to remove the veteran leader from the party. They are now embarking on a new platform to highlight the plights of the Indian community in this country.

Threatening the police

Samy also said that apart from the advertisement accusing his group of being anti-BN, the Selangor MIC has also threatened to bring 5,000 people to the gathering.

“Based on the Tamil Nesan advertisement, people will see that the 5,000 MIC people are attending an anti-BN gathering, which will work in favour of the opposition.

“We urge Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in his capacity as the BN chairman to advise MIC accordingly as Tamil Nesan is owned by Samy Vellu,” he said.

Samy also slammed Selangor MIC information chief L Siva Subramaniam for allegedly threatening the police to take action against the July 4 Klang gathering, failing which his people will gate-crash the event.

“I will lodge a complaint with the Inspector-General of Police on the matter and I will leave it to the police to act against Siva Subramaniam who threatened the police,” he added.

PKR buying time with Selangor changes

By Zainal Epi - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPRU: PKR is buying time when it made the changes in the Selangor line-up, with PKR vice-president Azmin Ali taking over as the party's new Selangor chief from incumbent, Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

According to party insiders, the decision to separate party matters from state administration is to allow both leaders – Khalid and Azmin – to function according to their capabilities.

“It was also a move to ‘cool down' the resentment against Khalid’s administration among the Malay MPs and assemblymen in the state,” said a party insider.

Another insider said the spat between Khalid and Azmin dated back to 2008 when Khalid was appointed menteri besar after the general election.

At that time, there were talks that Khalid was just an interim leader as Azmin, favoured by party de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, would take over soon.

However, with problems plaguing Khalid’s administration in the early years, Azmin was kept away to allow Khalid to solve them.

Party insiders said the arrangement was that Azmin would take over the reins of the state government once Khalid had ironed out the various thorny issues.

But this did not materialise as economic and political challenges and internal dissession kept PKR in a state of constant turmoil.

Besides, its other partners in the state are also not having a smooth time. Selangor DAP is entangled with the federal authorities such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over various issues, while PAS has to contend with two camps in the state.

Selangor PAS chief Hasan Ali is said to be heading one camp while the other is led by Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad. The former is believed to be keen to get out of PKR dominance while the latter does not mind playing second fiddle to PKR since he is on the same side as Anwar.

Gloomy background

Given such a gloomy background, the PKR leadership seems to be contented with just letting Khalid overcome these challenges before handing the state with a “clean slate” to Azmin.

However, with the next general election looming, PKR MPs and assemblymen are rushing against time to deliver their promises to their constituents.

Party supporters are in need of projects to survive after having financially supported the elected representatives and more money is needed for the coming polls.

Fellow politicians are in a fix as to how to finance the next electoral battle since there are no more funds flowing in.

Khalid, it seems, is running the state in a business-like manner which does not benefit party supporters in anyway and this is not good politically.

On the other hand, Azmin, a political strategist and politician by nature, knows how to take care of the supporters and voters but since he is not helming the state, he is handicapped as far as filling up the supporters' cofffers is concerned.

Party insiders described the decision to appoint Azmin as Selangor PKR chief as one of buying time until the next general election since the party is not in good shape.

In fact, PKR is in a bad shape all over the country made worse by Anwar's sodomy trial, said one party insider.

“Whatever the outcome of the (sodomy) case, PKR is not strong to face the next general election

“There are already talks that two or three more PKR assemblymen might jump ship and remain independent in the coming months,” he said.

“When this happens, PKR may just slide into oblivion in Pakatan Rakyat while PAS and DAP take on the leading role in the state.

PI Bala's London date with MACC

By FMT Staff

SHAH ALAM: Private investigator P Balasubramaniam, whose two statutory declarations have caused ripples in the Altantuya Shaariibuu case, will meet with representatives from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) next Monday at Holiday Villa in London’s Baywaters district.

According to his counsel, Americk Sidhu, Bala will be be giving his statement involving the murder of Shaariibuu, a Mongolian model-cum-translator.

“We are scheduled to meet with MACC officials at 10am at Holiday Villas in Leinster Gardens, Baywaters next Monday.

“As requested by MACC, Bala will bring along the documents linked to the investigations,” Americk said.

As late as Friday last week, Bala had refused to meet with MACC after the commission imposed restrictions on his lawyers.

Americk said MACC investigating officer Abdul Rahman Bachok had said in an e-mail dated June 21 that the commission would not allow Bala’s lawyers to be present at the questioning.

But Americk disagreed with the conditions imposed, stating that Bala had a right under the constitution to have his lawyers present during investigations and that “that right over-rules any protocol instituted by MACC”.

Last Saturday, Americk was taken by surprise when MACC investigations director Mustafar Ali reportedly said that three officers from the commission’s nvestigations department would go to London to record Bala’s statements.

Mustafar reminded Bala to bring all his documents.

“We’ll be there, now that Mustafar has been magnanimous in allowing the presence of (Bala) lawyers during the questioning as was reported in the Star on June 26,” said Americk.

RM5 million offered

Balasubramaniam created controversy on July 3, 2008, when he distributed a sworn deposition in connection with Altantuya’s murder.

His statement alleged links between Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s close friend Abdul Razak Baginda and the deceased.

The next day, the private investigator retracted his statutory declaration and subsequently left the country with his family.

On Oct 27 last year, in the presence of three prominent lawyers, Balasubramian came out of hiding and reaffirmed that his first statutory declaration was true and that he was offered RM5 million to retract it.

In the no-holds-barred interview, he named businessmen Deepak -- who is said to be an associate of Rosmah Mansor, the prime minister's wife -- as the person who met him at a Rawang restaurant and made the cash offer.

He also claimed that Najib’s brother Nazim offered him RM5 million to retract the first statutory declaration, a charge which the prime minister has rubbished.

MACC had already recorded statements from Nazim and Deepak.

NS is ours for the taking, says state PKR chief

By Faizal Ezzany - Free Malaysia Today

SEREMBAN: Negri Sembilan is ripe for the taking provided Pakatan Rakyat shows good governance in Selangor, Penang and Kedah, said state PKR chief Kamarul Bahrin Abbas.

Commenting on the recent "G15" debacle in Selangor, he said a key factor which will convince voters is an effective and efficient PKR administration and election machinery.

"We must also ensure that the party machinery is shipshape from top to toe and show good governance (in other Pakatan states) and efficient administration of PKR,” said Kamarul Baharin.

In the March 8, 2008 general election, the opposition coalition made significant inroads in Negri Sembilan, which was once considered a BN fortress.

The Pakatan coalition won 15 state seats to BN’s 21. BN wrested five parliamentary seats in the state compared with Pakatan’s three.

Kamarul Bahrin, also the Teluk Kemang MP, said the mood among the people was changing and they were becoming comfortable with Pakatan and found its leaders easier to approach.

“Pakatan coalition leaders here are always present whenever and wherever there are people programmes and DAP, PAS and PKR leaders are ever willing to resolve issues.

“We are seeing real support on the ground and it is not surprising that membership in the parties is increasing," he told the inaugural state Pakatan convention here yesterday.

No to control by one race

He said the coalition cannot afford to be complacent, and its leaders must collectively work towards winning the hearts and minds of the nation's multiracial community.

“We have come together under one banner with the common aim of changing the political dominance of the current BN government, which is controlled by one race.

“The people have seen the difference and are thirsting for more.The Pakatan coalition in Negri Sembilan has matured since the 2008 election.

“We are focusing on our commonalities and leaving the differences to BN,” he said.

Pope deplores abuse raid on Belgium church HQ

Pope Benedict XVI adresses the crowd during his Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican.
Pope Benedict XVI adresses the crowd during his Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican.
 
(CNN) -- A raid at the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Belgium by police investigating child abuse was "deplorable," Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday.

The pope expressed his "closeness and solidarity in this moment of sadness, in which, with certain surprising and deplorable methods, the searches were carried out" in a letter to the head of the Belgian Bishops Conference, Andre Joseph Leonard.

Police were searching for documents related to allegations of child abuse, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor said Thursday.

The Vatican said Friday it was shocked by the raids, alleging that two cardinals' tombs were violated in the raids in the town of Mechelen.

"We also express our regret at some of the infringement of confidentiality, that those victims on whose name the raid were conducted have the right to," the Vatican said in its statement Friday.

The Vatican also reaffirmed its "strong condemnation of any sinful and criminal abuse of minors by members of the Church" and cited "the need to repair and confront such acts in conformity with the law and teachings of the Gospel."

Police raided the headquarters of the Belgian Catholic Church and searched for important documents in relation to their

investigation into the abuse of children by church figures, prosecutor's spokesman Jean Marc Meilleur said on Thursday.

The Catholic Church faces allegations of child abuse by clergy across at least half a dozen countries, including the pope's native Germany, as well as Belgium, Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands and the United States.


CNN's Caroline Paterson and Hada Messia contributed to this report.

Sports betting: 'Let’s hear it from the Cabinet'

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s announcement revoking his decision to legalise sports betting is still “unofficial”, according to anti-gambling movement GMJ.

GMJ chairman Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid said this was because the decision was arrived at after an Umno supreme council meeting and not a decision made by the Cabinet.

Azmi said while the movement welcomes Najib’s decision, it, however, must be announced clearly to the public that it was a decision made by the Barisan Nasional government and not just Umno.

He was commenting on Najib’s announcement on Friday night that the government would not be issuing the sports betting licence to Ascott Sports Sdn Bhd.

Najib, who is also Umno president, said the decision was agreed upon unanimously by members of the Umno supreme council.

“We accept the Najib's decision but it must be announced as a Cabinet decision and not made by one political party alone,” Azmi said yesterday.

He said that although Najib had rescinded his earlier decision on gambling, GMJ will not dissolve itself but would instead continue to voice its objection to the vice.

July 3 rally to continue

This, he said, was because the revoking of the licence was a “small decision” when compared to the reality of a rapidly expanding industry in the country.

“We, GMJ, will continue to object to any form of continued gambling activities because the Prime Minister’s decision is only a small part of a bigger issue of an expanding industry.

“We will consolidate GMJ at national and state levels and develop more aggressive campaigns to educate the public on the vice and will continue to do so until we achieve our objectives,” he said.

As such, Azmi added that the July 3 anti-gambling protest by GMJ will not be cancelled.

“The only difference now is that the July 3 rally will not have a procession. We will still go ahead with the handing over of a memorandum to the Yang diPertuan Agong.

“We will still have leaders of NGOs and political parties speaking out on the issue,” Azmi said, adding that GMJ expected some 10,000 people to join the demonstration.

Relieved women

Meanwhile, Najib’s announcement has eased the concerns of women in the country.

Said a woman spokesperson for Pakatan Rakyat’s anti-gambling secretariat (Sendi), Salbiah Abdul Wahab: “It’s a huge relief to hear the announcement.

“We were concerned for the women whose husbands have a tendency to gamble. Legalising gambling during the World Cup would have made it worse.

“For those whose spouses are habitual gamblers, it would have been suicidal. Most affected would be the women and children.”

Lawyer’s presence now hurdle to MACC quizzing PI Bala

KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 — The presence of P.Balasubramaniam’s lawyer in his highly anticipated questioning by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has turned into a stumbling block.

Bala’s lawyer Americk Sidhu said the MACC has objected to the presence of his lawyer when they interview the former policeman who claims of a conspiracy in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2007.

The interviews have been set for July 5 and 6 in London.

Yes, we are in the final stages of negotiation at the moment.

"All has been agreed accept the MACC will not allow our lawyer to be present when they are interviewing the subject,” Americk said in a text message to The Malaysian Insider.

“We do not agree to this so we should know the outcome by next week,” he added, saying the venue for the interview has been booked for July 5 and 6.

Americk said Bala was waiting for the MACC officers to turn up in London to conduct the interview which he himself requested early this year.

He added the MACC did not agree to its request for a video transcript of the questioning.

“They don’t agree, but if one of our lawyers is present in the interview, then that lawyer can record longhand everything that is said so that would solve the problem of no recording allowed,” Americk said.
Grab a Celcom Blue Bear(TM) and stand to walk away with RM10,000!

The MACC had said last May that it was ready to question Bala.

They were receptive then to recording the interview but since have changed their minds, says Bala's lawyer.
Bala disappeared in 2008 after issuing two contradictory statutory declarations about the conspiracy.

Gambling: It’s in Malaysia’s genes

By Lim Teck Ghee - Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT The cabinet decision not to issue a sports betting licence to Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd is the right one but it was made for the wrong reasons. According to prime minister Najib Tun Razak, the reason for not legalizing sports betting was “the impact it will have from the perspective of religion and politics.”

To get a proper perspective of the issue, it is necessary to get off the religious and political high horse and acknowledge that we are a nation that loves the occasional flutter. And also let us admit that there’s nothing wrong with gambling so long as it is not taken to extreme lengths and becomes a pathological, compulsive or destructive habit.

In a sense, all of life and the various decisions that we make are gambles. Although it may be too much to say that we all have gambling in our genes, scientists have been debating on the extent to which gambling is a manifestation of human behavior for a long time – at least during the last 200 years or so.

In an article, ‘Human Behavior and the Efficiency of the Financial System’ (February 1998) Robert Schiller, the noted financial economist, wrote that “a tendency to gamble, to play games that bring on unnecessary risks, has been found to pervade widely divergent human cultures around the world and appears to be indicative of a basic human trait.”

Further he pointed to studies that estimated that 61% of the adult population in the United States participated in some form of gambling or betting in 1974. They estimated that 1.1% of men and 0.5% of women are “probably compulsive gamblers,” while an additional 2.7% of men and 1% of women are “potential compulsive gamblers.” These figures are probably much higher today.

Similar numbers are recorded in all the highly developed countries whose status the country aspires to. All the countries that our elite regard as role models whether in the East or West, North or South take a liberal position on gambling or gaming as it is sometimes referred to.

Dr Mahathir: Nation’s No. 1 gambler

Even if we do not view gambling as part of normal human behaviour, it has certainly been part of Malaysian culture and politics – not only of the Chinese or non-Malay communities but for the majority of the country’s inhabitants, especially amongst the elite and leaders.

When Dr Mahathir Mohamad stated that he would have approved the sports betting licence for his long-time buddy Vincent Tan, he was being unduly coy and modest in leaving out his own addiction to trying to beat the odds.

In fact, gambling has long been a part of Dr Mahathir’s strategy to make Malaysia a developed nation. It is well known that Mahathir in his first year as prime minister gambled in the tin market with disastrous results. Speculating in tin caused Malaysia – then the world’s leading tin producer – about RM660.5 million in losses.

This staggering loss does not appear to have cooled off the gambling habit of our prime minister at that time. Using Bank Negara money, Mahathir speculated in currency, principally on the British pound which resulted in an even bigger multi-billion ringgit loss when the sterling collapsed in 1992. Estimates of this loss have placed it at over RM30 billion.

The details of Mahathir’s super high stakes betting which went dreadfully wrong have been given some attention in Barry Wain’s book, ‘Malaysian Maverick’. It could be that it was this content rather than any other part that led the Malaysian authorities to think twice about permitting the book’s distribution in the country.

In Mahathir’s defence

In the former prime minister’s defence, it may be pointed out that some analysts see his ill-timed gambles as part of his attempt to take on Western economic dominance. On a more personal note, it should also be pointed out that he was not betting his own money – only the nation’s money. Also that whatever gains that could have been made would have gone into the national treasury – or at least one expects that was the honorable intention.

Finally, as part of the mitigating factors, it may be noted that Mahathir was engaging in a national pastime.

Gambling takes place everywhere in the country – as raffles where prizes are given in the form of goods, services or cash; on golf courses as friendly bets between fellow golfers; as part of sales promotional services where you make a purchase on your credit card in the hope that you may end up with a free vacation; and in the stock market where it is glorified as speculation.

In short, it is part of our national culture though it has not yet been enshrined into our national cultural policy.

Despite the poor track record of our former prime minister in gambling and this latest decision by the current prime minister, let us approach the subject rationally.

It is important that this refusal to grant the gambling licence is not a precedent leading to religious norms being further imposed on the population – not only on the larger gambling issue but also on other facets of life and behaviour targeted by killjoys and hard-line religious zealots who are determined to show off their lily white credentials.

Also, by closing the door on sports betting (temporarily, I hope), let’s hope it does not open the Pandora’s box of religious and political taboos to extend to other aspects of entertainment, relaxation and culture that are part of the life of modern society everywhere in the world – everywhere that is except for a few nations that continue to deny their nationals their full freedoms and rights in the name of ‘piety’ and ‘moral virtue’.

Future policy on gambling licences

The right way for the prime Minister and his Cabinet to handle this – and all future gambling issues – is not to deny Malaysians the right to spend their money as they please but to ensure that lucrative gaming licences such as the sports betting one are given to recognized charities and non-profit organizations and not to cronies.

Various religious or ethnic groups are of the view that they should not partake of such “tainted” money. These groups are of course entitled to this view and should refrain from sharing or taking any part in the “dirty” profits associated with gambling. But there is no reason why the other communities that make up 1Malaysia should be made to toe the strict religious line.

In fact, given the limited resources of the government and the perennial financial constraints in funding schools and other projects for minorities, it makes sound economic sense to tap this source for the national good.

There are many good practices that we can emulate such as the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s non-profit gambling operations and the casinos in the United States that are operated by the native Indian communities on Indian reservation lands and where the employment opportunities and profits accrue to the marginalized communities.

For a start though, let’s not show the red card to legalized sports betting prematurely.

Lim Teck Ghee is the director of Centre for Policy Initiatives. This article first appeared at CPI website.

Nasihat tentang PMR

Oleh Shanon Shah | The Nut Graph
NAMPAKNYA cadangan untuk memansuhkan Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah dan Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) menimbulkan debat yang hangat. Lihatlah saja surat dari seorang pembaca kepada Kak Nora yang baru saya temui:
Assalamualaikum Kak Nora,
Angelina Jolie (© Chris_natt | Flickr)
Angelina Jolie (© Chris_natt | Flickr)
Saya tengah stress yang tidak terhingga, Kak Nora. Umur tak sampai 15 tahun pun sudah ada uban, nasib baiklah muka saya lebih ayu bila bertudung. Tahun ini saya akan menduduki PMR. Entah kenapa, saya sungguh cemas. Seolah-olah saya PMS sepanjang tahun. Lebih teruk daripada abang saya setelah mengetahui kepincangan pasukan bolasepak Perancis pada Piala Dunia Fifa tahun ini.
Kenapa, kak? Kenapa manusia perlu menghadapi peperiksaan? Kenapa tak mansuhkan saja PMR dan ujian-ujian lain di Malaysia? Why, kak, why? Saya nak rambut saya hitam kembali sepertimana rambut Angelina Jolie dalam filem Salt.
Kembar tak seiras Angelina Jolie
Kampung Pandan
Waalaikumussalam adik Angelina “PMS” Jolie,
Mula-mula sekali, akak berdoa semoga rambut adik sentiasa cantik, hitam dan sihat. Tapi janganlah adik mengidolakan sangat si Angelina Jolie dalam Salt — itu rambut palsulah, dik.
Akak memang faham tentang isu stress di kalangan murid-murid sekolah sekarang tentang pelbagai ujian and penilaian yang perlu dihadapi. Jangan kata budak PMR, bila akak tengok budak-budak Darjah Satu sekarang pun akak sudah sayu. Akak tidak faham kenapa mereka perlu membawa beg sebesar-besar alam ke sekolah. Yang mengheret beg di atas jalan semuanya nampak macam jemaah nak pergi umrah. Yang menggalas beg di atas bahu pula akak tengok macam Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
A bird has two eyes? Two kidneys? Two hatchlings? (© Felix Neumann | Flickr)
Dan akak sudah tidak faham dengan apa yang mereka pelajari di sekolah. Baru tempoh hari akak menjenguk kerja rumah anak saudara akak yang belajar Darjah Tiga. Soalan matapelajaran Sainsnya bertanya, “A bird has two ______.” Anak saudara akak menjawab: wings. Tapi cikgu memangkah jawapannya salah! Jawapan betul ialah “legs”! Jadi sekarang akak pun sudah keliru. Kalau jawab burung ada sepasang sayap, salah. Kalau jawab burung ada sepasang kaki pula, betul. Jadi akak sekarang manusia atau burung? Wallahua’lam.
Jika sistem kita mengutamakan soalan dan jawapan peperiksaan seperti ini, sudah tentulah ramai yang akan berkata, “Mansuhkan saja kesemuanya.” Tapi sekarang masalahnya ialah soalan peperiksaan yang ada tidak masuk akal, dan jawapannya bergantung kepada hafalan semata-mata. Kalau kita memperbaiki mutu topik-topik yang diuji dan soalan-soalan yang ditanya dalam peperiksaan di sekolah rendah dan menengah, mungkinkah ini juga satu penyelesaian yang berkesan?
Akak beri contoh sikit. Tapi jangan terjezut ya. Akak dari zaman purba — zaman akak, tiada PMR, tapi ada Sijil Rendah Pelajaran (SRP). Dalam banyak-banyak subjek yang akak ambil, akak memang ingat dengan dua subjek — Bahasa Malaysia dan Sains Paduan.
(© yuvi panda | Flickr)
(© yuvi panda | Flickr)
Cikgu BM akak ketika itu memang jelas bosan dengan kerjayanya. Masuk kelas, disuruh kami mengambil nota sahaja. Bila tulis karangan, kena ikut formula. Bila jawab teks pemahaman, kena ikut formula. Akak pula murid yang skema dan cuba mengikut formula yang diajar oleh cikgu. Tapi akak sendiri tidak faham apa yang akak tulis atau baca, sehinggalah akak tidak mendapat keputusan yang baik untuk SRP. Sebaliknya, budak-budak yang mampu mengupah guru tuisyen semuanya skor. Sebab itulah, akak nekad bahawa akak tidak lagi akan bergantung kepada apa-apa formula apabila menulis. Sehinggalah akak menjelma sekarang sebagai penulis kolum nasihat yang ikhlas lagi nakal.
Tetapi untuk matapelajaran Sains, dik, lain pula. Cikgu akak ketika itu sungguh kelakar dan kreatif. Bila dia ajar tentang fotosintesis, dia suruh kami membalas pantun tentang proses tersebut. Bila membuat eksperimen di makmal, dia akan berceloteh tentang asal-usul eksperimen tersebut dan akan memberitahu kami tentang penemuan-penemuan saintifik yang bersejarah. Walaupun dia tegas, memang jelas bahawa dia mengambil berat tentang setiap seorang muridnya. Dan kami sekelas memang skor untuk SRP.
Dua soalan akak di sini ialah: Adakah ujian SRP itu adil untuk rakan sekelas akak bagi matapelajaran BM? Atau adakah memang tidak berguna kami mengambil matapelarajan BM? Adakah ia adil untuk matapelajaran Sains? Atau mungkinkah ujian untuk Sains tidak perlu bagi kami, kerana kami sememangnya berjaya menghayati semua yang diajar?
Untuk generasi adik sekarang, apa sebenarnya yang ting tong? Sistem peperiksaan? Sukatan pelajaran yang dikendalikan oleh kementerian? Kualiti dan kuantiti tenaga pengajar? Adakah masalah ini akan dapat diselesaikan dengan memansuhkan sistem penilaian yang sedia ada?
Tapi akak tidak bercita-cita untuk menjadi ahli falsafah murahan di sini. Adik sekarang menghadapi tekanan mengulangkaji untuk PMR. Biar akak berikan tips ulangkaji untuk beberapa matapelajaran yang tertentu:
Sains:
  1. Binatang apa yang ada kaki di atas kepala?
Matematik:
  1. Kembangkan (a+b)n
Bahasa Malaysia:
  1. Bulatkan penggunaan ting tong yang SALAH:
    1. Ghafar membunyikan loceng di pintu depan rumah Raju: “Ting tong!”
    2. Pasukan Perancis kecundang dalam Piala Dunia Fifa akibat terlalu banyak ting tong dalaman.
    3. Siakap senohong, gelama ikan duri. Bercakap ting tong, lama-lama mencuri.
    4. “Nanti aku ting tong engkau semua!” kata mak nyah tersebut kepada kumpulan lelaki yang menyerangnya.
English:
  1. How many agony aunts does it take to change a light bulb?
Jawapan:
Kutu! (© suneilbasu | Flickr)
Kutu! (© suneilbasu | Flickr)
  1. Kutu
  2. (a+b)n = (   a   +   b   )   n = (       a       +       b       ) n
  3. C.  Ungkapan yang betul ialah: “Siakap senohong, gelama ikan duri. Bercakap ting tong, nanti cepat berahi.”
  4. Dua jawapan yang boleh diterima ialah:
A1: Only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change.
A2: None. The bulb will change itself when it is ready.
OK, dik, semoga berjaya dan sukses selalu!
Salam ikhlas dan nakal,
Kak Nora.

UMNO’s Opportunistic Ulama

by M. Bakri Musa

Like his predecessors Abdullah Badawi and Dr. Mahathir, Prime Minister Najib Razak endlessly proclaims Malaysia to be an Islamic state. Now with 40 young ulama joining the party, Najib must feel that his assertion to be the truth. He could not be more wrong.

Yes, ulama play a central role in an Islamic state. In his book, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, Noah Feldman attributed the longevity and eminence of earlier Islamic states to the critical role of the ulama and scholars.

The Islamic governing principle is simple. Rulers are to govern according to God’s law, as stated in the Quran and elaborated in the hadith (sayings and practices of Prophet Muhammad, s.a.w.). The central tenet is, “Command good and forbid evil!” As long as the ruler fulfills this obligation, his power and authority are legitimate and deemed divinely-sanctioned.

It was a tribute to their political skills and intellectual prowess that those early scholars were able to formulate from the Quran and hadith a set of laws – the Shari’a – that today still governs the everyday lives of Muslims, even those not living in Islamic states. At its time the Shari’a represented a quantum leap in the recognition of basic human dignity and rights. As Feldman noted, “For most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world.”

The central precept of the Shari’a is that all, rulers and the ruled alike, are governed by it. No one, not even the sultan, is exempted. That is the rule of law at its core.

The ulama’s other major contribution was that they exerted the necessary checks and balances on the powers of the rulers. It was the scholars, not the rulers, who determined what was “good” or “evil.” A ruler had to abide by the decisions of the ulama, for not doing so would mean deviating from God’s law, a sure route towards de-legitimatizing the ruler’s authority.

These two central elements (fidelity to the rule of law and institutionalized checks and balances on the powers of the rulers by the ulama) accounted for the remarkable success and endurance of those early Islamic states.

The absence of both is what dooms many so-called Islamic states today, or indeed any state. Show me a backward society, and I will show one that has no respect for the rule of law and without an institutionalized system of checks and balances. This is true not only in the Islamic World but also elsewhere. Sadly, Malaysia is fast headed there.

The most “Islamic” state today is Iran. There the clergy class has assumed absolute power; there are no checks and balances. Criticizing the mullahs is viewed as criticizing Islam; they thus effectively put themselves above the law. Those who view Iran as the model Islamic state obviously missed the essence and beauty of Islamic principles of governance.

UMNO’s Ulama

As for the 40 ulama joining UMNO recently, the charitable part of me would like to believe that this was a noble move on their part, an attempt at emulating their illustrious ancient predecessors. That is, they saw the excesses of UMNO and felt compelled to step in to save a venerable institution by providing much-needed checks and balances.

Alas that was not the reason, at least not the one stated by their representative, Fadlan Othman, a junior academic at a local university. His primary reason for joining was to “proselytize from within, for the benefit of UMNO members whom I feel are ripe to have their knowledge, religiosity and spirituality uplifted.” (“Tujuan utama kami memasuki UMNO adalah untuk berdakwah dari dalam, untuk kebaikan ahli-ahli UMNO yang kami rasakan amat subur untuk proses peningkatan ilmiah, keagamaan dan kerohanian.”)

Well, at least he read UMNO members well. I would have been satisfied if he had a more modest goal, like trying to make UMNO and its members more honest and less corrupt.

I am heartened that the announcement of the ulama joining UMNO coincided with the party’s rescinding its earlier decision to legalize sports gambling. If the two were indeed related, then that certainly was a good beginning. Now if as the result of their joining the party, UMNO would also declare “money politics” and corruption haram, then they truly are on the path of rehabilitating the organization and its members.

The realist in me however, saw something else; a bunch of folks with otherwise unpromising careers spotting an opportunity to advance themselves. I see no difference between them and the many not-too-talented young Malays who, unable to advance on their own prowess, sought the patronage of UMNO.

UMNO is inundated with lawyers who cannot draw up a coherent contract and engineers more adept at building a bridge with more water flowing over than under it. This latest crop of recruits is no different. Google their names and their meager scholarly output becomes apparent. As for their khutba (sermons), that too are canned, produced by a committee at headquarters.

Just as these ulama are using UMNO to advance their careers, so too is UMNO exploiting them to enhance the party’s tarnished Islamic image, what with its unwise earlier decision to allow betting in sports. These ulama are there to sanitize UMNO. “Whitewash” is the more appropriate term.

These ulama ought to be reminded that exploitative relationships, personal as well as political, rarely endure.

The game that UMNO is engaged in and where these ulama are only too willing participants is a very old one. Throughout history, locally and elsewhere, the powers-that-be had successfully co-opted willing ulama. Ulama, like other mortals, can be bought; only the price varies. For some, the promise of a steady salary, government-issued car and quarters would do it; for others, an impressive title. However, whether the price is a penny or a pot of gold, a hooker is still a hooker.

Prime Minister and UMNO President Najib Razak is certainly well attuned to these corrupt relationships. Consider his bald statement during the recent Sibu by-election, “You help me, I help you!”

In Malaysia, the market for ulama is saturated. Seen in that light, their eagerness to join UMNO is understandable. They are certainly doing themselves some good, at least in this world, but whether they are also doing the community any good is another matter.

These political ulama, whether in UMNO or PAS, are a far cry from those illustrious earlier ones for whom the prophetic saying, “Scholars are the heirs of the Prophet!” was apt. Likewise, today’s Islamic states, Malaysia included, are a far cry from those earlier ones, which Feldman describes as “so Islamic that they did not need the adjective to describe themselves.”

No wonder Malaysian Prime Ministers from Mahathir to Najib are obsessed in calling Malaysia an Islamic state. They have to, for Malaysia has nothing to show for it but the label.

NGOs call for sex education

The Star
PETALING JAYA: Many teenagers are having sex and this calls for an urgent need to introduce sex education in schools, said leaders of several non-governmental organisations caring for children.

Shelter Home executive director James Nayagam, who has been assisting pregnant teenagers for 30 years, said no amount of campaigning and counselling would prevent teenagers from experimenting with sex.

“A comprehensive sex education will be a better source of information than their friends,” said Nayagam, adding that preventing unwanted pregnancies and abandoned babies was its ultimate goal.


He had come across cases where girls had sex when they were having their periods, as they wrongly assumed they would not get pregnant this way.

James also assisted a 14-year-old who had three abortions, all of them in back lane ‘‘clinics’’. She had since moved in with an aunty.

Dr Hartini Zainudin, the general manager of the Nur Salam halfway house for single mothers and children in Chow Kit asked: “Which is the bigger problem? Us being shy to teach our kids about sex, or having to deal with rising cases of abandoned babies?”

OrphanCARE president Datuk Adnan Mohd Tahir said sex should be a topic to be discussed openly with the youths to help them obtain more accurate information.

Christine Alphonse, a counsellor at the Ti-Ratana Welfare Society’s welfare home, said youths should also be taught about the consequences of having sex – and if they were prepared to handle issues such as unwanted pregnancies.

In Petaling Jaya, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abd Jalil said a 2004 survey on 1,700 young adults ages between 13 and 24 showed more than 50% of the respondents did not know in detail about the functions of reproductive organs.

“Teenagers lack information and access to birth control methods. Many teenagers are also not taught about ways to deal with peer pressure and how to say ‘no’ to sex before they are ready,” said Women, Family and Community Development Minister.

Between 2005 and 2009, the police reported 407 cases of child abandonment, nationwide.

“The statistics up till April 2010 recorded 24 cases. The statistics are increasing every year,” said Shahrizat in response to a report in The Star on Saturday about the higher number of teen pregnancy recorded by the Welfare Department.

Shahrizat said her ministry would propose to the Government to include Social and Reproductive Health (SRH) as part of the co-curriculum programmes in primary and secondary schools.

Selangor Swap

I suppose I’m unlikely to successfully avoid talking on the topic, so let’s see.
I’m going to be honest and say that my first reaction to the switch was a bit weird.
Having two somewhat parallel chains of command is not really the way I would go about things.
What are the implications regarding competing interests in the state? The signal it sends to PAS & DAP?
I have never been a fan of the Star, and I daresay today’s headline is misleading, but to cry bloody murder and expect them to have treated this issue kindly and with kids gloves is perhaps not the most… reasonable. What would one expect, after all?
I might not agree 100% with every single point, but I think much of what Kian Ming wrote today is relevant and not too far off the mark. Note his ending.
Sigh.
All that said, I suppose the deed is done.
I aspire to sufficient humility to say that maybe the bosses have it right.
Who knows? Maybe this will really take a whole bunch of headaches of the MB’s hands, allowing both men to thrive and focus on the areas best suited to them.
Wallahu’alam.
Update: some info via @niknazmi: @NatAsasi @rastom @tianchua @elizabethwong @triciayeoh in UK parties at constituency level, constituency chairman and MP is always different

'Pakatan will suffer without Indian votes'

By Athi Shankar - Free Malaysia Today

GEORGE TOWN: Pakatan Rakyat will not capture its holy grail – the federal government – if the coalition continues to lose Indian support in the next general election, a long-serving DAP member warned today.

Pahang deputy chairman J Apalasamy, a DAP member since 1970, warned that Pakatan indeed could well lose its state governments in Selangor, Penang and Kedah if Indians drift away from the coalition.

He warned that Pakatan could also lose its current parliamentary one-thirds strength if the coalition fails to initiate immediate and effective steps to regain the fast-dwindling Indian support.

“Pakatan can ill-afford to lose Indian votes and dream of capturing Putrajaya with just Chinese and Malay votes.

“Without Indian support, Pakatan would suffer severe electoral losses in the next polls, including being dislodged as state governments, let alone capturing Putrajaya,” Apalasamy told FMT.

He warned that Pakatan's task of regaining Indian support would become even more complicated with the inevitable entry of the Human Rights Party (HRP) led by former ISA detainee P Uthayakumar in the next general election.

Based on campaign experiences in recent by-elections in Bagan Pinang and Hulu Selangor, he said that Indian voters were slowly and surely moving away from Pakatan.

According to him, incompetence and inefficiency of Pakatan elected representatives and state governments to address pressing Indian issues have frustrated the community.

Deeply perturbed

Apalasamy noted that the Kampung Buah Pala demolition was a major event that has shaken the Indian community's confidence in Pakatan governance.

He said other major issues were destruction of Ladang Batu Pekaka Hindu cemetery in Kuala Ketil, Kedah, Pakatan states’ indifferent attitude to resolving the landless status of Tamil schools, Hindu temples and cemeteries.

He said Indians were also deeply perturbed by the persistent practice of Indian “mandore” politics ala Barisan Nasional in Pakatan.

Thus, he said the frustrated Indian voters were discarding Pakatan.

Given that BN was the only alternative available, he said Indian voters were seen returning to the coalition fold.

“But truth is, they are not keen to return to BN.

“They are frustrated with Pakatan's performance,” claimed Appalasamy.

But the most frustrating part, he said, was Pakatan's blatant arrogance, ignorance and negligence to check the downslide.

“Many Pakatan leaders seemed to be contented with Chinese and Malay support, and don’t want to acknowledge the importance of Indian votes.

“The Pakatan state governments could actually check the slide by implementing comprehensive policies in the respective states to address and resolve pressing major Indian issues.

“But the problem is that the state governments and Pakatan elected representatives, even those in power, have chosen to turn a blind eye to the issues to safeguard their selfish interests,” said Appalasamy.

He slammed Pakatan Indian elected representatives for failing to champion the Indian cause within the coalition to protect their built-up multi-racial facet.

“To them, Indian issues don’t come into Pakatan multi-racial agenda, unlike Chinese or Malay issues,” he said.

Unwarranted public quarrel

Since the country’s first general election in 1959 until the last one in 2008, Indians were traditionally BN backers.

However, in the 2008 general election, inspired by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), the Indians moved away from BN and voted en bloc against the ruling coalition.

Some election observers noted that the Indian vote swing has contributed to BN's worst electoral showing.

Indian votes helped the Pakatan coalition capture four state governments in Penang, Kedah, Selangor and Perak and deny BN its traditional parliamentary two-thirds majority. (BN recaptured Perak via defections early last year.)

Appalasamy pointed out that Pakatan could even lose all if the coalition continued to underestimate and undermine Indian votes.

He rebuked Pakatan leaders, especially Indian elected representatives, for picking up unwarranted public quarrel and political squabbles with Hindraf/HRP.

If wisdom were to prevail, he said Pakatan should have forged close ties with Hindraf/HRP for a win-win situation.

Instead, he said that Pakatan leaders preferred “to eat the same hands that fed them with Indian votes in the last election”.

“Pakatan leaders are committing political suicide.

“Their continued hostility against Hindraf/HRP will only benefit BN,” he said.

He suggested that Pakatan set up national and state-level Indian bureaus to carry out the Indian agenda within the context of the coalition's multi-racial concept.

“The bureau would collect and provide grassroots feedbacks across the country.

“It can propose policies to Pakatan to resolve Indian issues and win over the community,” said Apalasamy.

'Ignorant' Pak Lah courts flak from Hindraf

By Athi Shankar - Free Malaysia Today

GEORGE TOWN: The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has slammed former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of being “naïve and ignorant” for suggesting an end to secular human rights practices.

Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy rebuked Abdullah for failing to understand the basic perspective of human rights.

He said it was “shocking and appalling” that Abdullah claimed that secular human rights practices be abandoned because their principles contradicted religious virtues and values.

“The former premier was talking gibberish in criticising secular human rights as hedonistic and comparing it with human rights in the form of Islam,” he told FMT.

He said religions would create a society based on a deep sense of moral responsibility and justice to preserve human dignity.

But he noted that without practical recognition of basic individual rights and civil liberties, all talks of human dignity would remain empty verbiage.

Waythamoorthy said demolition of temples, unlawful conversions, restraints on freedom of speech, and manipulated state actions against certain segments of society were major violations of human dignity and religious obligations.

“However, these violations were prevalent during Abdullah’s premiership,” he said.

Abdullah said this week that secular human rights practices should be discarded as they would eventually lead to the irrelevance of spirituality, divinity and morality.

He claimed that many did not realise that the concept and practice of human rights movements based on the philosophy of humanism, secularism and hedonism were enemies to religions.

Abdullah said this when speaking at a seminar on religion and human rights organised by the Malaysian Institute of Islamic Understanding, which he presides.

'How could this man become PM?'

Waythamoorthy, however, argued that human rights, whether secular or religious, emphasised on individual dignity and level of self-esteem that secured personal identity.

“Human rights would promote human community to co-exist,” he said.

While the pursuit of human dignity was universal, he said its forms were designed by religions, cultures and traditions.

He chided Abdullah for placing more importance on abstractions like state, political and religious ideologies at the expense of human dignity.

Waythamoorthy said the main task of a state and its leaders was to protect the rights of citizens.

“They should not divide and diversify human rights and its dignity by bringing religion into the same equation with human rights,” he said.

He said Abdullah should realise and recognise that secular human rights were imperative social conditions necessary to uphold and enhance human dignity.

“Hindraf wonders how a man with so much antagonism towards secular human rights could have led the country,” he added.

Tevez shines as Argentina oust Mexico

Carlos Tevez of Argentina celebrates scoring the opening goal

Argentina have set up another FIFA World Cup™ quarter-final against Germany after overcoming Mexico 3-1 at Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium. Carlos Tevez emerged as the hero with a brace of goals, while Gonzalo Higuain was also on target as Diego Maradona’s Albiceleste set up a rematch against their 2006 conquerors.

The Mexicans ultimately proved no match for their clinical South American opponents, yet it all started so promisingly for Javier Aguirre’s side, with Carlos Salcido rattling the crossbar with a stunning long-range drive after just eight minutes. There was another lucky escape for Argentina just a minute later, when Andres Guardado drilled in a shot from the edge of the box that spun away from the far post just as the net looked set to bulge.

Maradona’s side were hardly lacking in attacking menace themselves, however, and Lionel Messi soon embarked on one of his trademark elusive runs before attempting a chip over Oscar Perez that the Mexico keeper judged well. Messi’s hunt for a goal at South Africa 2010 continues, but it wasn’t long before the Barcelona talisman played a key role as another of Argentina’s star forwards opened his tournament account.

Carlos Tevez might have thought his chance had gone when Perez raced out to block bravely at his feet, but Messi was quick-witted enough to return the ball towards goal, where the Manchester City striker was waiting to head home. Breaking the deadlock enabled Argentina to take a firm grip on proceedings, and within seven minutes that hold was strengthened as Mexico reached for the self-destruct button.

Quite what Ricardo Osorio was thinking when he played a square pass to the feet of Gonzalo Higuain is unclear, but it was a gift the Real Madrid striker readily accepted, coolly dragging the ball around the grounded Perez before side-footing into the empty net for his fourth goal of the tournament.

Even with the best part of an hour remaining, it was difficult to envisage Mexico finding a way back into this match, and Argentina could have been out of sight altogether by half-time had Higuain not headed wastefully wide with the goal at his mercy. Maradona’s men are capable of scoring at any time though, and from any situation – as Carlos Tevez proved six minutes into the second half.

The Albiceleste No11 benefited from a fortuitous break 25 yards from goal, but there was no luck involved in what followed, with Tevez lashing an unstoppable drive into the top-right-hand corner for one of the goals of the tournament. Mexico must have realised the game was up at this stage, but it was to their credit that they continued to attack with conviction, and they should have pulled a goal back on 63 minutes when Javier Hernandez headed over when it seemed easier to score.

The Manchester United-bound youngster made amends with 19 minutes remaining, however, brilliantly turning Martin Demichelis on the edge of the box before rifling a stunning left-foot shot into the roof of the Argentinian net. It would prove scant consolation for the crestfallen Mexicans, but while El Tri return home with their dreams dashed, Argentina can begin plotting revenge against some familiar foes.

Impressive Germany power past England

Thomas Mueller (R) of Germany celebrates scoring with team mate Mesut Oezil (L)

Germany's youthful side delivered a striking statement of intent by overwhelming old rivals England 4-1 in Bloemfontein to take their place in the last eight of the FIFA World Cup™.

Joachim Low's side built a two-goal lead through early goals from Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski and although Matthew Upson reduced the deficit before the break, the Germans made sure of their quarter-final place when Thomas Muller concluded two lightning breakaways with a quick-fire double midway through the second half. While Germany can look forward with confidence to a quarter-final meeting with Argentina or Mexico, England will go home to lick their wounds and reflect on yet another FIFA World Cup defeat by their old nemesis.

It was a lapse of concentration which allowed Germany to take the lead in the 20th minute, the goal coming after a spell of prolonged England possession. Manuel Neuer's long goal-kick upfield should have been dealt with by England’s central defenders, but Klose, back from suspension, got between John Terry and Upson, outmuscling the latter before poking the ball past David James with his outstretched right boot.

While having plenty of the ball, England were creating little in the way of genuine scoring opportunities, with only a Gareth Barry shot from distance which went straight at Neuer. Indeed, Germany should have doubled their advantage on the half-hour when Sami Khedira combined well with Muller to set up Klose, who fired straight at James. Yet Die Nationalelf did not have to wait too long for their second goal as Muller floated a delightful ball into the path of the unmarked Podolski. With England's defence stretched, the Cologne man had the time to recover from a poor first touch and produce a left-footed finish that squeezed through the legs of the goalkeeper and just inside the far post.

England pulled a goal back in the 37th minute when a short Lampard corner from the right was played to Gerrard who crossed into the box. Upson, atoning for his earlier error, rose highest above the Germany defence and with Neuer stranded, powered a header into the net. Meetings between these two sides often provide talking points and this one's came 60 seconds later when Lampard's shot from the edge of the box struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down, with the referee ruling the ball had not crossed the goalline.

England started the second half strongly with Gerrard hitting a right foot shot just wide in the opening minutes and Lampard rattling the crossbar with a free-kick 30 yards from goal. However, Germany increased their advantage in the 67th minute through a counter-attack. Lampard's free-kick hit the German wall and, with England having committed men forward, they were left exposed as Schweinsteiger broke quickly before playing a delightful ball for Muller, who had started the breakaway, to fire past James.

Germany's fourth was more or less a carbon copy of their third. With England deep in their opponents' half, searching for a way back into the game, Germany won possession on the edge of their box and sprayed the ball to Ozil on the left. The midfielder outpaced Barry and played in Muller to sidefoot home from close range. England, to their credit, never gave up and only a fine one-handed save by Neuer from Gerrard stopped them from reducing their deficit – the heaviest in their FIFA World Cup history.

UMNO denies SPM 10 A’s Indian Student JPA Scholarship, Matriculation & University seats.

Anwar, PKR evasive over Khalid absence from party retreat

Anwar explains why Khalid won't show up.
SHAH ALAM, June 27 — PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim explained today that Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim’s absence from the party retreat was a result of other commitments.

“He is now in Kuala Selangor for a programme there,” Anwar told The Malaysian Insider.

“He will be here shortly.”

An aide to the embattled Selangor mentri besar was similarly evasive when contacted.

“His functions are all private. He will go to the retreat to close it,” the aide wrote in a text to The Malaysian Insider.

Khalid is also the party's state chief.

PKR has been thrown into disarray since two of the party’s lawmakers recently confirmed that a “coup” to remove Khalid from office was being led by Teluk Kemang MP Datuk Kamarul Bahrin Abbas, who has denied the accusation.

The alleged revolt is believed to have started from Azmin Ali’s resignation from PKNS three days ago.

Khalid has dismissed the revolt as mere speculation.

Azmin yesterday downplayed rumours that he is party to an anti-Khalid faction within PKR.

“We never said that Tan Sri Khalid should be fired. No. The leadership and I merely feel that the chief minister and his exco must give serious attention to the advice given by party members in Kota Bharu,” he had said.

PKR leaders at the retreat have repeatedly denied that the alleged coup will be discussed behind closed doors.

However, PKR vice-president Mustaffa Kamil Ayub hinted yesterday that Anwar might make talk to the media about the issue today.

It is understood that the PKR retreat, attended by 80 or so party leaders, was convened to discuss preparations for the upcoming general election and this November’s party elections.

The monthly PKR central leadership council meeting will also be held this afternoon.

Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid and Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Khalid’s former political secretary, have both confirmed that the Selangor mentri besar will attend the central leadership council meeting this afternoon.

Nik Nazmi, who recently moved to Anwar's office, said Khalid had dropped by the hotel late last night, but had not been noticed by the media.

'Wrong to fund party using state coffers'

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today

SHAH ALAM: It is wrong to fund party activities with money from the Selangor state and there should not be such expectations, said PKR's Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh.

"It is wrong for the party to be run by state money. It is wrong for anybody to expect that," she told reporters at the sidelines of the party's retreat at a hotel here.

Fuziah said the party should use its own money for administrative purposes and suggested that the media could have given the wrong impression that “we are using or going to use the money”.

She also noted that the problem could have stemmed from Khalid Ibrahim “wearing two hats” as menteri besar and Selangor PKR chief.

"So that's why people get confused, we have to differentiate between the two," she added.

Khalid was today replaced by vice-president Azmin Ali as the Selangor PKR chief amid reports of a plot to oust the menteri besar.

It is said that a group of 15MPs close to Azmin are involved, but the latter has denied any knowledge of such a plot.

Fuziah: No plot to oust Khalid

Commenting on this, Fuziah also dismissed the claim as untrue.

"It is totally baseless. Even I am confused by this episode. Why are you saying 15? We cannot even name them? I believe it is something that the media started," she said, adding that it was
perhaps a "low" media day.

Fuziah also berated party members “who go direct to the media without going to the party leadership first”.

However, she said such issues should be discussed openly in view of Pakatan Rakyat's efforts to win Putrajaya in the next election.

Meanwhile, PKR information chief Latheefa Koya said the agenda for the retreat was mainly on communications, the strengthening of the organisation as well as the formula to win the next general election.

She denied that the retreat was organised to address the Selangor crisis and Khalid's position.

Azmin replaces Khalid as S'gor PKR chief

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid and Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today

FULL REPORT SHAH ALAM: PKR vice-president Azmin Ali has been named as the party's new Selangor chief replacing incumbent, Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

Whereas supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim has been named the Federal Territories chief while Chua Jui Meng is expected to helm the Johor chapter.


Azmin's appointment confirmed speculations that PKR was concerned about its fate in Selangor come the next general election.

Critics have claimed that Khalid has been unable to woo grassroots support despite having led the state for more than two years now.

Azmin, the influential right hand man of PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim, has always been touted as the best candidate to bridge that gap.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the party retreat at a hotel here, Azmin said he was prepared to take on the task.

"I am ready, Khalid would focus on the state and I would concentrate on the party and we would effectively work as a team," said the Gombak MP.

The party's reason for appointing Azmin was to allow Khalid to focus on the state's development and investments, including projects in Kuala Lumpur.

Khalid: Azmin's got the skills

Meanwhile, Khalid himself conceded that he was a political greenhorn.

"I have a lot to do with the state. The party has recognised my experience in handling such things but my experience in politics is less. Azmin is the best man, with the skills for it," he said.

Aside from Azmin, other appointments announced today were Badrulamin Bahron as the new information director in the MB's office and two other special aides to Khalid, Azman Zainal Abidin and Rozali Bol Hi.

Badrulamin, an uztaz, will be part of the party's strategy for winning over the rural Malay folk.

In announcing the appointments earlier, party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said two other states would be restructured.

Meanwhile, Anwar was quizzed on whether he would contest for the top post, which was being held by his wife.

"I cannot bring myself to (do that)," he said, looking at Wan Azizah with a smile.

However, he stressed that PKR was a democratic party and others were welcomed to contest the post if they wanted to.

The opposition leader also explained that the retreat's main agenda was on how the party could win in the next general election.

As for Khalid, he said that delegates were unequivocal in their support for him as menteri besar but the party has taken into consideration all the views expressed.

Labour law amendments: Workers will be consulted

PETALING JAYA: The government has assured workers that the proposed amendments to the country’s labour laws will be tabled in Parliament only after getting their feedback.

This was conveyed to the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) by Human Resource Minister Dr S Subramaniam at the tripartite National Joint Labour Advisory Council meeting on May 27, said MTUC secretary-general G Rajasegaran.

As a follow-up, the council formed a technical committee comprising government, employers and workers representatives to discuss the finer points of the amendments, he told Bernama today.

So far the committee had met twice and more meetings were scheduled next month.

In April, the government announced its intention to amend the Employment Act 1955, the Industrial Relations Act 1967 and the Trade Unions Act 1959 in tandem with the present labour situation in the country.

"Some of the proposals were very major and would have far reaching consequences on the workers rights and we needed to give our input,” said Rajasegaran.

Prefers talks over protests

He hoped the technical committee would succeed in watering down some of the proposals for the benefit of the workers security and well-being.

Rajasegaran said the MTUC preferred the negotiation table than taking to the streets to get what it wanted.

He denied that the MTUC was behind the demonstration by workers last Sunday in Shah Alam over the proposed amendments although MTUC president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud spoke at the function.

"It did not mean that it was sanctioned by the congress. The official stand of the MTUC is that since it is now negotiating with the government, it will not hold any protest until the conclusion of the talks."

"If we fail to reach a consensus, then perhaps we will decide on the next course of action which may include rallies to explain the situation to our members," he said.

Living in fear of rape and destruction

FEATURE KUCHING: Like all Sarawak’s indigenous people, the Penan are faithful practicing Christians who treat their women with respect and do not take more than one spouse.

Despite the temptations of the modern world they live a simplistic god-fearing life eating mainly from the forest.

Last Sunday, several gun-waving policemen threatened the Penan community in Long Sebayang, who had erected a blockade in protest against the savage destruction of their hereditary lands by Lee Ling Timber Company, which incidentally is linked to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s sister Raziah Mahmud.

The incident is not new.

The fact remains that the Penan are constantly harassed and intimidated by gangs of loggers - armed with heavy vehicles, chainsaws and weapons - and their foreign workers, who rape and destroy not only their rainforest but their women as well.

The Penan women live in constant fear of these intruders who prey on their villages when the men are out hunting or attack hitch-hikers looking for transport to the nearest towns and schools.

Last September, the federal government disclosed a report which revealed strong evidence of numerous rape attacks, many of them on young girls trying to get to school, some of them as young as 10.

A number of babies have been born as a result of this abuse.

Federal investigators also noted a number of cases where logging workers pressured Penan girls to enter into unwilling relationships with them.

The report said that some managers in the logging firms were indulging themselves by keeping up to “three wives” in this way.

On desperate Penan father had told the investigators that he had approached a manager asking that he choose one wife and leave the others alone, “but he dismissed our concerns.”

Said the father: “The loggers have taken away our land, so they think they can take everything even our daughters.”

BN ministers have failed to act

In spite of the findings contained in the official report, Sarawak BN ministers have remained tacit, dismissing these incidents. They have refused to take steps to bring the attackers to justice.

Instead these leaders have continued insulting the Penan and their women, blaming them for these problems.

In an interview with BBC earlier this year, Sarawak Land Minister James Masing had reportedly described Penan women as “naturally promiscuous” and “normally start relationships as young as 12 years.”

To add insult, he alleged that the Penan were “very good storytellers”.

The so-called “stories” told by the Penan community are not isolated. It also occurs in other native communities.

Under the new Score development plans announced in January, over half a million more Sarawakian natives will be pressed from their lands in the same way as the Penan.

All this so that BN ministers can continue to exploit their territories and the loggers their women.

-The original version first appeared in Sarawak Report.

IGP must explain IGP murder probe

Athi Shankar - Free Malaysia Today

GEORGE TOWN: Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan must explain what the police have been doing for the past 36 years concerning their probe into the assassination of former top cop Abdul Rahman Hashim.

DAP stalwart Karpal Singh said the current IGP owed an explanation to the public given that his recent statement contradicted that of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

He pointed out that Musa claimed that the case was closed as two members of the Parti Komunis Malaya allegedly responsible for Abdul Rahman’s murder on June 7, 1974, were arrested.

Musa was referring to Lim Woon Chong and Ng Foo Nam, who were jointly charged for the murder that took place in Kuala Lumpur.

However, Najib commented that it would be difficult to unearth new evidence in the case because it happened nearly four decades ago.

Picking on this contradiction, Karpal said: “Musa claimed that the cased was closed but Najib thinks otherwise. Najib believes that Lim and Ng were not responsible.”

“Musa owes the public an explanation on what the police have been doing for the past 36 years," he told a press conference in Air Itam here today.

He indicated that Musa must also disclose the findings of police investigations into the murder mystery.

Nazri's "no comments" irks Karpal

Karpal pointed out that both Lim and Ng were acquitted and discharged after they categorically denied any involvement in the assassination. The prosecution had also withdrawn the case.

Lim and Ng were also jointly charged for the murder of then Perak police chief Khoo Chong Kong and his driver Sgt Yeong Peng Chong in Ipoh on Nov 13, 1975.

They were found guilty by the Ipoh High Court on March 22, 1978 and were hanged in Pudu Jail in early 1980s.

Karpal, who was the defence counsel for Lim, said that the prosecution withdrew the murder charge on his client before he was executed for Khoo’s murder.

“My client admitted to Khoo’s murder but not Abdul Rahman's,” he said.

Abdul Rahman’s assassination re-generated public interest when the tragedy was recollected in an artile penned by Abdul Rahman's son, retired Berita Harian journalist Najib Rahman. The article appeared in the New Straits Times on June 6.

Abdul Rahman was gunned down by two snipers in broad daylight alsong Lorong Raja Chulan in the backseat of his car while he was on his way to work.

Karpal has raised the subject three times in Parliament in 2004 and again last Tuesday during the debate on the 10th Malaysia Plan.

He rebuked Minister in Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz, who initially announced that the government would re-look the case, for merely replying “no comment” to journalists' when quizzed on the matter for the past fortnight.

“The IGP is the highest ranking police officer, but to date, no one has ever been detained or tried for his murder,” said the veteran politician and MP.

Beware of those who profit from religion




In the past, ulama refused to join the government. Some renowned imam were actually jailed and tortured and some put to death because they refused to join the government. Today, you do not need to threaten the ulama with jail, torture or death to get them to join the government. You just offer them money.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Shafie: Young ulama approve Umno’s Islamic credentials
The interest among young ulama in joining Umno shows that they are comfortable with the party’s brand of Islamic struggle, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said.
He said that Islamic intellectual’s membership in the party would strengthen Umno and help realise its agenda for the people and country.
“Umno constitution states that we uphold Islamic struggle. We are confident that ulama membership in the party would further consolidate our party.”
“They can help explain issues related to religion,” he told reporters when asked on the decision by 40 young ulama to join Umno two days ago.
Shafie, who is Rural and Regional Development Minister, was speaking to reporters after opening the Semporna Umno division meeting here today.
He hoped that more young ulama would join the party.
He also called on leaders at all levels to intensify effort to register new members and voters. – Bernama

*************************************************
No, I am not flustered. I am very relaxed. After all, it’s Sunday, and Sundays are normally very laid back days. Furthermore, I am listening to my favourite radio station as I write this piece (http://player.magic.co.uk/). And this radio station plays very relaxing music.
Malays are mostly Sunni Muslims of the Shāfi‘ī School, the second largest school of the Sunni branch of Islam in terms of followers and representing approximately 29% of Muslims worldwide. The full name for Imam Shāfi‘ī, the founder of the Shafi’i School, is Abū ‘Abdu l-Lāh Muhammad ibn Idrīs ibn al-Abbās ibn ‘Uthmān ibn Shāfi‘ī ibn as-Sa'ib ibn ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Abd al-Yazīd ibn al-Muttalib ibn ‘Abd Manaf, and he was from the most powerful tribe in Mekah, the Quraish.
Shāfi‘ī combined the pragmatism of the Medina school with the contemporary pressures of the Traditionalists. The Traditionalists maintained that jurists could not independently adduce a practice as the Sunnah of Muhammad based on ijtihad or 'independent reasoning' but should only produce verdicts substantiated by authentic Hadith.
Shāfi‘ī devised a method for systematic reasoning without relying on personal deduction. He argued that the only authoritative Sunnah were those that were both of Muhammad and passed down from Muhammad himself. He also argued that Sunnah contradicting the Quran were unacceptable, claiming that Sunnah should only be used to explain the Quran (which many Muslims do not follow). Furthermore, Shāfi‘ī claimed that if a certain practice was widely accepted throughout the Muslim community, it could not then be in contradiction to the Sunnah.
And what has the above got to do with the Bernama report? Nothing, really. I just wanted to demonstrate that more than 1,200 years ago the ulama were already arguing about how Islam should be interpreted. And through the ages this argument became more severe and Muslims became even more divided with so many ulama imposing their version of Islam on Muslims.
Basically, their ‘doctrine’ boils down to “I am right and you are wrong so you will follow what I believe”.
This is not only a problem with Islam. The Jews too had this problem and even the 12 disciples could not unanimously agree whether Jesus was the Son of God or a mere man but Prophet of God.
More than 400 years ago, when Elizabeth I was Queen of England, Christians who insisted on following Rome rather than Henry VIII’s ‘new’ version of Christianity suffered persecution. Jesuits were banned from English soil and those caught were put to death after many days of slow torture. It was an extremely slow and painful death for those who would not follow the ‘new’ Christianity of the Church of England.
And it was not just the rakyat who suffered. Mary Stuart or Mary, Queen of Scots, the ‘leader’ of the Catholics, was incarcerated for 19 years before she was executed for ‘treason’. And, mind you, she was the Queen’s second cousin (or ‘cousin once removed’, as the English would say) plus was the only surviving legitimate child of King James V (while Elizabeth I was the illegitimate child of Henry VIII).
There was, of course, talk that she plotted to grab the throne from Elizabeth because England had abandoned Rome, and Mary, a Catholic, wanted England to discard the ‘false’ religion and return to the ‘true’ religion of Roman Catholicism.

Actually, to digress a bit, Mat Sabu of PAS (picture above) and I discussed this subject last week when we met up. And it was a most interesting discussion on Judaism, Christianity and Islam and the chasms in the three main ‘religions of the book’. I would say we agreed on almost everything so Mat Sabu is not quite the ‘close-minded Taliban-PAS’ that some might accuse him of being.
Anyway, back to the subject, by the year 300 or so, Christianity was in a total mess, for want of a better word, and in 325 the First Council of Nicaea was held to try and streamline and unify Christianity plus ‘restore sanity’ to the religion, again for want of a better word.
The Nicene Creed of 325 explicitly affirms the divinity of Jesus, applying to him the term ‘God’ (the original Nicene Creed of 325). In 381, the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed, however, speaks of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son.
The Nicene Creed was adopted in the face of much controversy, as some Christian ‘ulama’ believed that although Jesus Christ was divine, God had actually created him -- which means he is mere mortal and not ‘God’ or ‘Son of God’. Anyway, might is right, as they say, and the majority, with the power of the Roman Emperor and the Roman army behind him, declared what ‘true’ Christianity should be. And those who disagreed with the Emperor’s ‘fatwah’ were jailed and/or put to death.
Convert or die, became the order of the day. And, 700 years later, during the Crusades, those who still persisted in following the ‘old ways’ were exterminated in many acts of ethnic cleansing over 300 years or so.
And Islam is not spared this same history either. As recent as the Saud-Wahhab revolt against the Ottomans of Turkey (engineered by the famous Lawrence of Arabia) ‘deviant’ Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula were put to death where entire communities were exterminated in a ‘convert or die’ expedition.
And the object of this long history on Christianity and Islam?
Simple, just because they are ulama (Christian or Muslim) does not make them right. After all, many ulama (Christians and Muslims) of the past were exterminated in the interest of standardising or streamlining religion (both Christianity and Islam). How do we know the right ulama were not murdered while the wrong ones were allowed to live? And this would mean the ulama of today are those who now follow the ulama who were allowed to live and not those who were put to death. So this would make them false ulama.
And any wonder why many ulama want to join Umno? In the past, ulama refused to join the government. Some renowned imam were actually jailed and tortured and some put to death because they refused to join the government. Today, you do not need to threaten the ulama with jail, torture or death to get them to join the government. You just offer them money.
And Islam is very clear on this. Islam forbids us from following imams or ulama that profit from religion. You must not pray behind them, not even for Friday prayers. Better you pray alone at home. That is how serious Islam is about so-called religious people who use religion for worldly gains.
That is all I want to say about ulama that participate in and support a zalim, unjust, and corrupt government.

…and the Star Chamber shows its hand…

By Haris Ibrahim,

“Not at all. I fully support Khalid’s leadership as chief minister…there is no fraud, abuse of power and corruption. In this respect, Khalid has been doing good work…Therefore he runs a clean administration … But there are bureaucratic problems. This should be streamlined” , Malaysiakini 
 quoted Azmin, in response to allegations that he was leading efforts to oust Khalid as Selangor MB.


Damn, could almost feel genuine warmth and affection accompanying those words!
He insists that the press have misinterpreted his criticism of Khalid’s administration to depose the MB.

Haven’t we heard this line all too often from the likes of Nazri and Muhyiddin?

Azmin, your UMNO roots are showing through, lah!

The Malaysiakini report carried the denials of 4 PKR leaders.

Forget Wan Azizah’s.
Teluk Kemang’s Kamarul saw fit to get into the ‘No, no, no’ act.

“There is no petition, no memorandum as reported. If there was, I would know…Who says there are 15 of them? Only the journalists – they are the ones speculating. Why are there 15 and not 20?” , he insisted.

Er, bro, why not 11?
Balik Pulau’s Yusmadi reacted like a Rip Van Winkle who’d just been roused from a long, deep slumber.

“…me, I do not know anything about a conspiracy. What I do know is that this meeting is to strengthen the party ” , he said, in reference to the ongoing PKR retreat in Shah Alam.

As for the others named yesterday in the ‘…eye of the PKR storm…’ post, other than Wee, they are probably just waking up to the fact that they have been led like rats by a self-serving piper down a treacherous path.

And have probably reckoned that the wiser course to take is to just shut up.
Now, surely I don’t have to spell out for you in  neon lights who the main players are?

UMNO an extremist Islamic party? When it can’t even be Islamic? Nah!

By Haris Ibrahim,

Najib’s efforts, as reported in Malaysiakini, to assure us that the recent entry of 40 ulama into UMNO would not turn the party into an extremist Islamic party reminded of a hilarious story narrated to me by one of my dearest of friends.


This friend was then still at varsity and one of his friends was to deliver a lecture or something like that along the lines of ‘What is a Muslim’ or something like that. Let’s call my friend’s friend J.

J took to the rostrum and asked the audience to imagine a pig, freshly circumcised, dressed in a green jubah, sitting rather dignified-like, hind legs folded in a lotus position, on a green, velvet cushion.

Imagine, J asked the audience, that you now adorn the head of the pig with a skull cap and throw an ‘Arafat’ scarf around its neck.

J went further.

Now stick a long goattee on its chin.

Then came the most difficult part.

Train the pig, J asked the audience, to scream everytime anyone passed by who was not similarly attired, “Death to the infidels! Death to the infidels”.

And when you’ve succeeded in doing all of this, J posed to the audience, take a step back, look at the pig and ask yourself, ‘Is this a Muslim?’.

My friend tells me that J barely made it out of the lecture hall to a waiting cab!

So, no Jibby, we have no concerns that UMNO might turn into an Islamic party, extremist or otherwise.

You see, all the ulama and all the clergy you entice into UMNO cannot sanitise and render kosher that which you and your ilk rob from the poor rakyat.

There isn’t two sen worth of Islam running through the veins of UMNO.

Seriously, J’s pig has a head start over you lot at ever being Muslim!
It doesn’t lie, rob or murder!