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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hindraf leaders to attend July 4 gathering

By G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: R Kenghadaran, one of five Hindraf leaders detained under the ISA, has confirmed his attendance at gathering of Indian Malaysians at Dewan Hamzah on July 4.

Former MIC central working committee member KP Samy, the organiser of the event, said the elusive leader has kept a low profile after being released from prison.

“Kenghadaran agreed to brainstorm with us at the gathering in the interest of the Indian community who he said are a disunited and disgruntled lot,” said Samy.

Kenghadaran was one of the key leaders detained under the Internal Security Act in the aftermath of Hindraf's huge Nov 25 demonstration in 2007.

He was released from prison in April 2009 and had remained elusive. Samy added that being a professional, Kenghadaran is highly regarded by Indian Malaysians.

“He is also one prominent figure who has not affiliated himself with any NGO or political bodies to date,” added Samy.

Another one of the famous Hindraf 5 leader who had already confirmed his attendance is V Ganabatirau. After his release from prison, he continued serving under the DAP platform.

The upcoming Indian unity gathering is expected to start at 2pm in Klang with the theme: 'Dawn for the Indian Community'.

Welfare home on the brink of destruction

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Nine years ago, 17-year-old B Praveendran stumbled upon an orphan boy scrounging for food at a dumpsite in Banting. He took him home and his parents agreed to care for him.

Today, the boy is 22 and pursuing a medical degree in Russia.

Recounting how he "adopted" his first orphan and subsequently founded the Sinthamani welfare home, Praveendran said he now takes care of 45 orphans and unfortunate children from broken or poor homes at Rumah Panjang Jinjang Utara in Kepong.

However, the one-acre welfare home with three separate structures, including a small temple, is slated to be demolished.

On June 3, the City Hall served a notice for Praveendran to vacate the premise by June 29 or face enforcement action today (June 30).

This morning, some 40 children dressed in their school uniforms skipped school in preparation to protest against the demolition.

Praveendran, together with his staff and activists, were ready with protest signs but City Hall officers were nowhere to be seen.

"We are seeking help so that the authorities do not destroy this place because the kids are living comfortably here. Please help us," said Praveendran.

City Hall playing hide and seek

Human Rights Party (HRP) coordinator W Sambulingam urged the authorities to allow the orphanage to continue operating at the site.

"Without this house, where would these children go? They go back to the streets. If not for the noble work of Praveendran, many of these children would have become addicts, drug pushers or criminals," he said, asking the government to provide RM200,000 per annum in aid for the home.

"This home existed without a single sen from the government. So Mr Prime Minister, if one cannot help, the least one could do is not do damage. Yes it is erected on government land, so what?

“Will demolishing this place solve the problems for these children? No. They (the authorities) don't bother about what happens to these children," he said.

Sambulingam also revealed that 10 of the children do not even have birth certificates.

The HRP coordinator alleged that City Hall was playing "hide and seek" by not coming today but may suddenly show up with their bulldozers when there are no protesters.

Praveendran, a dog breeder, works with 20 volunteers and funds the welfare home solely from his own pocket and from contributions.

Contacted later, a City Hall officer said the demolition exercise has been put on hold but did not give any reasons for this.

Dr M takes a swipe at Najib for dilly-dallying on bridge

By FMT Staff

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today took a swipe at Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for pussyfooting on the scenic bridge project linking Johor Straits to Singapore.

“Why is he delaying the matter? Is he bound by some agreement he made with the fifth premier (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) who was instrumental in cancelling the project in the first place?” asked Dr Mahathir in his blog.

The outspoken former prime minister also took a swipe at Abdullah for cancelling the project in the first place.“As far as I know, he was the only who was adamant on keeping the causeway. Even the then Singapore premier Goh Chok Thong was not against the bridge project,” he added.

In April 2006, Abdullah scrapped the scenic bridge project linking Johor Straits to Singapore, saying it was a political decision.

His decision unleashed Mahathir's fury against him as the idea was mooted by the former during his premiership. He went on a crusade against Abdullah till the latter left office in April 2009.

On June 26 this year, Najib said that he will look into reviving the project after the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, requested the government to revisit the cancelled project.

Mahathir urged the government to get the project going as the people are waiting for the government to make a decision and its dily-dalying tactics do not reflect well on the administration.

“I believe the people have the right to know if the project will be revived,” he said.

26 troopers killed in suspected India Maoist assault

New Delhi, India (CNN) At least 26 armed police were killed in a Maoist ambush in eastern India on Tuesday, authorities said.

The assault occurred in the Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh state, one of the regions worst-hit by Maoist attacks in recent months.

Ajay Chaturvedi, spokesman for India's Central Reserve Police Force, told CNN that at least eight personnel of the federal security group were injured in Tuesday's attack. CRPF officers were on a routine road patrol when they were ambushed by the insurgents, he explained.

India's Maoists, which the government acknowledges as the country's gravest internal-security threat, have been blamed for some of the most ferocious attacks on paramilitary troops over the past few months.

In one of their deadliest strikes on Indian forces, the rebels killed more than 70 officers in Chhattisgarh two months ago, officials said.

The left-wing guerrillas have claimed since the 1960s to be fighting for the dispossessed.

In February, India's home minister, P. Chidambaram, said more than 900 people, including almost 600 civilians, were killed in Maoist-related incidents in 2009.

Some 200 suspected rebels also were slain as government forces moved into areas under insurgent control, he said. "I am confident that the state governments concerned will gradually gain the upper hand and re-establish the authority of the civil administration," Chidambaram said at an internal security conference on February 7.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, however, conceded last year that the nation's fight with the Maoists had fallen short of objectives.

Maoists enjoy support not only in the poorest areas and in tribal communities but also among youth and the intelligentsia, officials suspect.

"We have not achieved as much success as we would have liked in containing this menace," Singh said in September.

"It is a matter of concern that, despite our efforts, the level of violence in the affected states continues to rise."

In 2008, 1,591 Maoist rebel attacks killed 721 people, according to government officials.

In addition to targeting police, alleged police informers and people they call "class enemies," the rebels are also believed to be attacking infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railways, and power and telecommunication networks.

Lock death won the case

suzana urlRM 1.4 Million award ‘justices for death in police custody victim Anuar Bin Sarip.

This morning at 11.30 a.m High Court Kuala Lumpur Judicial Commissioner Lee Swee Seng delivered. This unprecedented judgement and sent strong message to the police force not to take the law into their own hands.

This case is unprecedented in the history of Malaysia.

Full story to follow.
suzana suzana 1 suzana newspaper suzana notes suzana photos

Perkasa unhappy over Mara's decision

By Zainal Epi - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Perkasa opposes Mara’s decision to reduce its sponsorship of students pursuing first-degree courses overseas.

Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali said the decision seemed to have been taken after the issue was raised by MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong.

Last week, Wee has asked whether the government would reduce the number of Mara scholarships following the Public Service Department's (PSD) move to scrap scholarships.

Mara director-general Ibrahim Muhamad announced the move (to reduce the sponsorship) when launching the Mara financial operation guidebook and finance division website here yesterday.

However, Mara would increase its sponsorship for students pursuing master's degree in critical courses.

Early this month, PSD had announced it would scrap scholarships for first-degree students pursuing courses overseas.

Considerable disadvantage

Expressing his sadness, the Perkasa president said the PSD decision would put Bumiputera students at a considerable disadvantage.

“My question is, what is left of the Malay privileges that have been guaranteed under Clause 153 of the Federal Constitution?”

“We have been advised not to be rash for the sake of globalisation. Is it because of the Malay privileges that the non-Malays did not vote for Barisan Nasional (BN)?

“And when the Malay privileges are being sidelined by the Malays themselves, what is the guarantee that the non-Malays will support BN?

“I would advise that we prepare an umbrella before it rains,” said Ibrahim, the Independent MP for Pasir Mas.

Ibrahim had crossed swords with Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin recently over the scholarship issue when Khairy defended Wee in raising the Mara issue.

The verbal spat intensified with Ibrahim calling Khairy stupid for the latter’s failure to “read in-between-the-line” of Wee’s statement.

Said Ibrahim yesterday: “Am I right to question Wee’s motive in raising Mara’s sponsorship? If I am wrong, how come Mara made such a decision (to reduce sponsorship)?”

Zaid’s not my ‘golden boy’, says Anwar

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR de factor leader Anwar Ibrahim has dismissed claims that party supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim was given preferential treatment with his recent appointment as Federal Territories PKR chairman.

He denied that Zaid was his “golden boy” and had usurped other more senior PKR officials for the coveted position.

Said Anwar: “This is a PKR issue… there are some top leaders who have not been assigned to specific responsibilities. We have now assigned them.

“There are now leaders overseeing Penang, the Federal Territories and Selangor. The appointments are not linked to anything in particular.”

He was speaking at Pakatan Rakyat’s media session in Parliament yesterday. Also present were DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

Pressed further by reporters, Hadi interjected with a quip: “What’s the fuss... even Umno Youth chief is not in the Cabinet.”

Following PKR’s weekend retreat, several party leaders were assigned to specific responsibilities. Among them were Zaid who was made responsible for the Federal Territories and Mohamad Azmin Ali to helm and secure Pakatan fortress, Selangor.

Umno has used the appointments to imply unrest within the party leadership, with former Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo saying that having his successor Khalid Ibrahim as state administrative head, Azmin as Selangor’s PKR chief and Anwar as Selangor economic adviser was one leader too many.

'Umno is worried'

On Umno’s latest attempt to stir “trouble” with the Malay and non-Malay voter registration ratio, Hadi said: ‘The EC (Election Commission) is trying to ensure Umno’s political agenda, which is to remain in power after the 13th general election.”

He reasoned that it was obvious that the EC is purposely allowing the ratio of voter registration reportedly at 1:40 in favour of non-Malays to perpetuate.

“The EC is doing this on purpose because it doesn't want to institute an automatic registration process. This is clearly in support of Umno’s political agenda to remain in power.

“Umno is worried that it will lose power. It is afraid that the voters Malays and others will back a new force, which is Pakatan,” he said.

Hadi was commenting on a Berita Harian report on Monday which quoted Umno Youth’s membership registration chairman Hishamudin Yahya as saying that the ratio of Malay to non-Malay registered voters was 1:40.

Hishamudin said the scenario should awaken the Malays to the fact that their political power would be lost and destroyed if they continued to avoid registering as voters or abstaining from voting in the next election.

Najib tackles head-on the BN storm in Sabah

By Michael Kaung - Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak ran smack into a brewing political storm in the Sabah Barisan Nasional over the allocation of seats in the next general election.

He got a grilling from the media about statements by Sabah Umno leaders who have questioned the status quo in the distribution of power among BN component parties"It's not the right time yet for us to make any decisions... why should the people overreact now?" he asked reporters, after a walkabout at the Lido market near here yesterday.

"Leave it to me to decide what is best for Sabah. At the moment, we should not get too excited about it," Najib said when asked if he would consider political changes in Sabah.

"There's a lot of politicking internally, my advice is to concentrate on serving the people... we must show we are a party that cares for the people of Sabah, that is of utmost importance."

He did, however, indirectly acknowledge that the BN was caught off guard by Sabah Umno leaders demanding that component parties vacate seats currently held by them.

The spark that ignited this unseeming quarrel among the state BN component parties began about a month ago when Kalabakan Umno division head Ghapur Salleh demanded that the Merotai state seat held by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) for two terms be returned to Umno because it had failed to bring any development to the constituency.

LDP officials replied to the slight by criticising the state BN leadership led by Chief Minister Musa Aman for allowing the matter to get out of hand.

“It contradicts the Prime Minister and BN concept of 1Malaysia ... this is not 1Umno,” said Albert Kok, the private secretary to the deputy minister in the PM’s department VK Liew Kok.

He said LDP, the most senior BN party in Sabah, has been continuously victimised. "It is unfair considering we have been loyal and dedicated to the struggle of BN since 1989."

“We were one of the few parties who helped Umno when it set foot in Sabah in the early 1990s. We do not deserve to be mistreated by certain Umno state leaders who are out to discredit and victimise us to satisfy their greed and fulfil their hidden agendas,” he said.

CM's performance under scrutiny

Matters came to a head last Sunday when Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Yahya Hussin also suggested that the Putatan parliamentary seat be given to an Umno candidate in the next general election.

The constituency is currently being represented by the candidate from the Pertubuhan Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Bersatu (Upko), Marcus Majigoh.

Yahya, who is also the state Umno liaison secretary and Putatan Umno division head, said the move was appropriate because Umno was the pillar of strength for the BN in the parliamentary constituency.

"We can control the problem. Although there is a slight difference of opinion, I believe they will adhere to whatever decision is made by the top BN leadership," said Najib.

"At this stage, there may be pressure at the grassroots level, there are various views as well as demands. But whatever it is, they must uphold the BN spirit and consensus.

"According to our constitution, anyone can make demands, but the final decision lies in the hands of the BN supreme council and chairman," he added.

Citing the contentious Hulu Selangor by-election seat, Najib said: "Like in Hulu Selangor, initially there were also calls for Umno to contest and so on.

“But I took the decision to hold on to the BN consensus and the Hulu Selangor seat remained with the MIC candidate.

"Although Umno did not contest, Umno had worked very hard to ensure victory for the MIC candidate. What was utmost importance was that the candidate was a BN candidate.

“Whoever contests, eventually it must be seen as not a candidate of any BN component, but a BN candidate as a whole."

Testy disagreements

The current political quandary in a state the BN national leadership views as a 'fixed deposit' is being seen as an assessment of Musa’s leadership.

Top Umno officials says the state BN's cohesiveness has always been shaky at best and the sudden open split reflects poorly on Musa.

The testy disagreements between the coalition partners comes at a time when the MACC is reportedly investigating close business associates of Musa for alleged money laundering.

The open demand for the seats does not have the blessing of the national BN leadership which is trying to strengthen the support base of non-Muslim parties.

Some within Sabah Umno may be obstructing these efforts to detract from other problems faced by the state BN under Musa whose leadership style has come under increasing scrutiny.

Thrown into the mix is the issue of projects in the 10MP and those under the Rural Development Ministry headed by another Sabah strongman and Musa's rival, Shafie Apdal.

Najib who is also the national BN chairman was in Sabah to open the 53rd National Quran Reciters Assembly.

Pig farms: MCA yet to bring home the bacon

By Stanley Koh - Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT If pigs could fly, would they be considered a national security threat? Would there be officially sanctioned seasons for shooting winged pigs as there are for shooting crows? Would Porky Pig be banned along with Zunar’s cartoons to preserve social equilibrium and national unity?

If pigs could fly, would it change the culinary tradition of non-Muslim Chinese or affect their belief in the yin-yang of pork consumption?

Unfortunately, it is as hard to imagine pigs soaring in the heavens as it is to imagine Malaysian authorities coming to a decision on the setting up of green pig farms, or PFAs, short for Pig-Farming Areas (PFAs).

It has been more than 10 years since the tragic outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis and the Nipah virus, but efforts to control pig-farming areas through the proposed setting up of PFAs remain in limbo.

The Malaysian swine industry faces challenges that seem insurmountable — land scarcity, cultural and religious sensitivities, unenthusiastic financial institutions and a federal ruling regime bending towards a policy to phase out pig farming in the country. As a result, Malaysian consumers are likely to have to pay more for pork in future.

Pig farming is part of the livestock industry, but unlike the production of beef, mutton and poultry, the production of pig meat has been falling, with the pig population decreasing from 2.44 million in 1997 to 1.8 million in 2008.

Official lethargy

Traders in processed pig meat products are already complaining of price increases, claiming that big pig-farm operators were gradually forming cartels and syndicates that determine prices dictatorially.

But up to this point, who should we really blame for the official lethargy that is preventing the swine industry from getting better?

What should be done? How can this industry be modernised while safeguarding both the physical environment and communal sensitivities?

For almost 11 years, this issue has been treated like a soccer ball; it has been kicked around between the federal government and the affected state authorities with no goals to show.

Indeed, there has been complete silence in recent years. The MCA has been more concerned with who should be its party president and Umno has been busy battling the Pakatan Rakyat. Meanwhile, the pig farmers have been carrying out their business as usual and maintaining their vigilance against the once-in-a-blue-moon enforcement authorities.

There is no nostalgic warmth for either the farmers or the pigs as rapid urbanisation continues to encroach into the farms and pollution problems continue to hog the environment.

Writing is on the wall

Despite the pledges of politicians (including the vague promises of MCA leaders) to work towards the goal of cleaning up the swine farming industry, the record leaves scant ground for optimism.

It was in October 2000 that MCA appointed a special committee to deliberate on government policies governing pig farming. But despite all those overseas trips to Denmark, Germany and London and all those feasible studies pertaining to land sizes, buffer zones, management techniques and waste treatment, only the project — in Negri Sembilan — may actually see the light of the day in the near future.

The issue came up again in Malacca in 2007, when more than 100 villagers including pig farmers had a tense stand-off with authorities threatening to cull the pig population in Paya Mengkuang, Manlok, Bukit Beruang and Air Molek.

Some claimed it was a political move to reduce the pig population from 140,000 to 48,000 though the excuses given were pollution and public complaints about the stench from the farms.

The writing is probably already on the wall. At best, the authorities will eventually allow only enough pig meat production for local consumption.

MCA’s ambitious rhetoric of 2000, in which it proposed one PFA zone each for Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Malacca, Penang, Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan, Perlis and two PFA zones for Perak and Johor, has yet to be translated into any appearance of reality.

The JE-Nipah epidemic of the late 1990s put some 950 small farms out of business and they will never recover their flourishing levels of production.

Yes, it may be a blessing that pigs, no matter where they are, cannot fly. But that does not mean that pigs are not allowed to use elevators. Dutch architect Winy Maas has proposed a 600-metre skyscraper to be filled with pigs. He believes it will supply all the European countries with their pork needs.

Australia and many other countries have moved beyond installing modern and hygienic farms. They are conducting advanced researches to improve the quality of pig meat in order to reduce heart diseases and other ailments associated with pork consumption.

It is hard to imagine that pigs can fly, but it is harder to imagine that this government will eventually stop fiddling with how to allocate land for pig farming.

Stanley Koh is the former head of MCA research unit.

Jeffrey: Musa has lost control of Sabah BN

By Dominic Legeh - Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Musa Aman has lost control of component parties in the state, said PKR chief for Sabah and Sarawak Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

He said it is evident that cracks between the component parties and their principal partner Sabah Umno are becoming more visible by the day.

This, he said, had forced Musa to advise state BN members to stop going to the media about domestic political issues.

Kitingan said the split among the BN component parties appeared to stem from recent intemperate demands by Sabah Umno leaders who risked alienating their coalition partners.

“I sympathise with the Sabah BN component parties which appear to have been belittled by Umno. The problem in the coalition is basically between Umno and all the other partners,” he said.

Jeffrey said this after chairing a press conference at his home here yesterday in conjunction with a one-day forum themed “Formation of Malaysia Revisited” to be organised by Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF) and the Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMa) on July 31.

Jeffrey helms both BHF and CigMa.

Radical path

The PKR leader was commenting on Musa’s statement on Monday advising BN component party leaders and members in Sabah to refrain from disclosing to the media domestic problems which can be settled through negotiation and discussion.

Musa was responding to a spate of statements sparked by Sabah Umno leaders who had caused consternation among BN coalition partners who feared the state BN leadership had approved strident calls by the Umno leadership to cut a radical path away from the so-called BN spirit.

The Sabah chief minister said he was prepared to listen to any problem faced by Sabah BN component parties so that it could be resolved immediately.

Musa said exposing domestic problems to the media would only invite certain quarters to take advantage of the situation and fan disunity in the coalition.

“The State BN component parties are not happy and they were just expressing their unhappiness.

“Look at what Umno is doing, it is trying to grab everybody’s seats,” said Jeffrey, who is the younger brother of Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

“If I were the component parties, why not have a free contest and let the people decide,” he added.

Mongolia to fund Altantuya family’s compensation suit

click to zoom

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The Mongolian government has remitted RM60,000 as security costs to fund a civil lawsuit against the Malaysian government over the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The family of Altantuya, who was killed by two special action squad officers and had her body blown up with explosives in a jungle near here four years ago, is seeking RM100 million in compensation from Putrajaya and her ex-lover, Abdul Razak Baginda, a former political analyst said to be a close friend of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Grab a Celcom Blue Bear(TM) and stand to walk away with RM10,000!

But Altantuya's father, Shaariibuu Setev, was reported to be struggling to put up the security bond. He claimed his efforts to get financial help from his country's government had failed, despite an earlier pledge.

Lawyer Karpal Singh, who is representing Altantuya's family, confirmed with The Malaysian Insider the amount was transferred into his firm's bank account last Monday.

“I will send someone to deposit the money at the Shah Alam High Court registry today, otherwise the case will be dismissed,” said Karpal, also a veteran lawmaker.

The Bukit Gelugor MP said the case must go on in the interest of justice and had vowed to help Shaariibuu get the money from Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers.

The Mongolian model was only 28 when she died, leaving behind two young sons, one who is disabled. Her father claimed the single mother was the sole breadwinner in the family.

Abdul Razak was charged with abetting in the murder but was acquitted two years ago.

Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, who had been part of Najib's security detail when he was deputy prime minister, were found guilty and sentenced to the gallows. They are appealing the death sentence.

Shaariibuu has alleged Abdul Razak and the federal government were involved, a claim they deny.

Both Abdul Razak and Putrajaya said Shaariibuu should bear the cost of the civil suit if he insists on pursuing the charge.

The High Court agreed and initially fixed the security bond at RM1.25 million, but lowered it to RM30,00 per party in March after Shaariibuu protested.

Shaariibuu is also required to pay Abdul Razak and the federal government a further sum of RM5,000 each for the cost of the court application, but Karpal explained there was no time limit on that payment.

What happens under ISA detention

By Gan Pei Ling | The Nut Graph,


(Corrected 12:30pm, 30 June 2010) THE Home Ministry is expected to table amendments to the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the current July parliamentary sitting. However, it remains unclear whether judicial review will be included among the amendments. Without the inclusion of judicial review, the ISA remains a law that allows for detention (corrected) without trial.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak promised to review the ISA when he came into office in April 2009. But the government continues to defend the need for detention without trial in the interest of “national security”. In the meantime, those who have been detained under the ISA tell stories of state abuse of power and torture.
In this second of a series of interviews with former ISA detainees, The Nut Graph speaks with Mat Sah Mohd Satray and his wife, Norlaila Othman, about his arrest and detention under the ISA in April 2002. Mat Sah, a technician from Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka, was arrested together with 13 other suspects for allegedly being involved in terrorist organisations.
Mat Sah and Norlaila, separated for seven years during his detention
Mat Sah and Norlaila were separated for seven years during his detention
Mat Sah was only released from the Kamunting detention centre in September 2009. And it was only on 12 June 2010 that police removed all restrictions on his movement. Mat Sah and Norlaila, who became an active member of Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI), spoke to The Nut Graph on 16 June 2010 at their Gombak home.
TNG: Mat Sah ditangkap pada 17 April 2002. Boleh ceritakan apa yang berlaku pada masa itu?
Mat Sah: Polis datang rumah pada pukul 12 malam, masa itu hanya ada saya, isteri, dan anak saya yang berumur lapan tahun dalam rumah. Saya belum tidur lagi, dengar ada bunyi depan, saya pun pergi tengok. Masa itu gelap, tetapi saya nampak ada seorang polis pakai uniform. Dia tanya saya, “Boleh cakap dalam?” Saya pun buka pintulah, lepas itu tujuh, lapan orang terus masuk dan gari tangan saya.
Saya tanya mengapa gari saya, dia cakap, “Saya terima maklumat bahawa awak terlibat dalam aktiviti yang mengancam keselamatan negara.” Dia tak cakap di bawah ISA atau tunjukkan waran pun.
Lepas itu?
Norlaila: Lepas itu mereka mula menggeledah rumah kami sampai pukul empat pagi, buka almari, buka laci, baju dalam pun mereka semak, bawah katil, bawah cadar sampai bilik ketiga. Kami letak banyak buku dalam bilik ketiga, mereka seronok jumpa banyak kertas, setiap buku mereka semak, lepas itu mereka jumpa artikel saya, dalam artikel itu ada gambar Saari Sungib, seorang pemimpin NGO (badan bukan kerajaan) yang ditahan di bawah ISA pada tahun 2001. Mereka nampak gambarnya, terus kata, “Ini! Ada link dengan Saari Sungib!” dan terus ambil artikel saya. Artikel itu saya punya, tetapi yang kena tangkap suami saya.
Mereka juga ambil CD games seperti Star Wars, CPU komputer, telefon bimbit, dan kamera. Saya ambil gambar SB (Special Branch) dengan kamera filem itu. Saya tak tahu mereka takut kamera. SB rampas kamera padahal sebenarnya mereka boleh ambil filem sahaja. Apabila saya ambil balik barang-barang tersebut tiga minggu kemudian, semuanya sudah dirosakkan dan terpaksa dibuang.
Mat Sah: Selepas mereka habis geledah, saya dibawa ke dalam sebuah van putih, depan duduk dua orang polis, belakang dua orang, sebelah satu orang, escort ada satu van lagi. Mereka bawa saya dari rumah pergi ke IPD (Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah) Ampang. Selepas lebih kurang setengah jam, saya dibawa ke balai polis Sentul, ambil gambar di sana, mereka tak tanya soalan pun.
Sampai hampir terang, naik van sekali lagi, mata saya ditutup degan kacamata hitam, sampai destinasi baru dia buka.
Report on Mat Sah's arrest in 2004; he is pictured bottom right
Mereka bawa you ke mana ni?
Mat Sah: Pada masa itu saya tak tahu, saya dikurung selama 59 hari di sana. Selepas itu, baru saya dapat tahu tempat itu Police Remand Centre dekat Jalan Ipoh.
Sampai sana, dia suruh saya buka baju, semua pakaian ditanggalkan termasuk seluar dalam, dia check lah.
Lepas itu, dia bagi satu baldi, baju uniform lockup, cawan plastic untuk minum, sabun sebiji, tuala kecil, itulah untuk lap muka dan mandi, berus gigi dengan Colgate. Berus gigi itu dia potong sampai pendek sahaja; dia kata, “Takut nanti you bunuh diri.”
Dalam bilik yang saya tinggal itu ada satu katil simen, tak ada tingkap, hanya lubang-lubang kecil di atas dinding, kena selalu mandi kerana panas. Makanan yang dibaginya, macam apa yang YB Teresa [Kok] cakap, memang teruk. Ada satu kali dia bagi makanan basi.
Saya diberi nombor 095 di sana, selama saya di situ, dia tak panggil nama, saya sudah tak ada nama, dia panggil nombor saya sahaja.
Dalam dua bulan itu, hanya tigu minggu saja saya dikenakan interrogation, yang lain itu hanya duduk dalam bilik itu. Mereka panggil saya pada pukul sembilan pagi, dibawa ke sebuah bilik, dalam bilik kecil itu ada dua, tiga air-con pasang kuasa penuh, beberapa jam duduk situ. Mahu buang air pun mereka tak bagi pergi ke tandas, bagi botol.
Selalu ada tiga officers, seorang buat kita senang, pujuk-pujuk: “Mau makan apa? Minum apa?” Seorang lagi buat kita marah, dia akan tanya soalan macam: “Bagaimana you buat seks dengan isteri?”
So selepas dikurung dua bulan di sana, baru you dihantar ke Kamunting?
Mat Sah: Ya, semasa di sana, tiap-tiap pagi kena bangun pada pukul tujuh nyanyi Negaraku. Dua tahun pertama saya buat, lepas itu saya tak ikut lagi.
Mana ada pemulihan? Saya di sana dua tahun pertama, mereka tak tahu nak buat apa dengan saya, mereka selalu tanya saya, “Nak buat program apa?”
Ada bacaan tak di sana?
Mat Sah: Sana ada suratkhabar, Utusan (Malaysia) dan NST (New Straits Times). Pada masa saya masuk ada perpustakaan tetapi tutup. Selepas beberapa tahun baru dibuka balik.
Renewal of two-year detention period in 2004, 2006 and 2008
Renewal of Mat Sah's two-year detention period in 2004, 2006 and 2008
Bila isteri boleh jumpa you?
Mat Sah: Tiap-tiap minggu boleh, tetapi untuk 45 minit sahaja. Itupun bercakap guna interkom dan dipisahkan dengan dinding cermin.
Pernah masuk cell confinement?
Norlaila: Dia pertama kali masuk cell confinement pada tahun 2005 kerana akak. Masa itu saya ambush (Menteri Dalam Negeri) Pak Lah (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) untuk menyampaikan surat memintanya membebaskan semua tahanan ISA. Hari berikutnya, dia dimasukkan ke dalam cell confinement.
SB juga marah apabila saya menulis tentang penahanan Tan Hoon Cheng, Teresa Kok, dan RPK (Raja Petra Kamarudin) dalam blog saya. Apabila SB marah, suami saya didenda SB!
Mat Sah: SB akan bagi warning: “Isteri awak terlalu aktif dengan GMI, nanti you lambat bebas.” Tetapi bila saya tanya mereka kenapa tahanan-tahanan lain yang isteri mereka tidak aktif dengan GMI tidak dibebaskan pun, mereka tak dapat jawab.
Pernahkah mereka menggunakan kekerasan terhadap you?
Mat Sah: Pernah sekali, pegawai-pegawai kem memukul dan mendenda semua tahanan JI (Jemaah Islamiyah) dan KMM (Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia). Mereka tuduh kami simpan senjata bahaya dalam kem. Tetapi pisau lipat, gunting, dawai dan klip kertas yang mereka temui semasa pemeriksaan blok sebenarnya adalah alatan yang kami gunakan untuk program handikraf kita. Peralatan itu semua disediakan oleh pihak kem.
Dalam kejadian itu saya ditumbuk, disepak, ditolak ke lantai dalam keadaan kedua-dua tangan saya digari ke belakang dan tercedera. Dada saya berasa sakit dan saya minta nak pergi jumpa doktor tetapi tidak dilayan. Saya dibawa berjumpa doktor hanya setelah tiga hari.
Norlaila: Apabila di Hospital Taiping, doktor cakap tulang rusuk kirinya ada retakan selepas tengok x-ray, tetapi bila peguam nak pastikan betul ke ada retak di tulang, doktor kata tak ada apa-apa masalah. Dia pun tunggu luka itu sembuh sendiri.
Document declaring Mat Sah's release
Document declaring Mat Sah's release
Ada apa perbezaan dalam layanan terhadap tahanan-tahanan?
Mat Sah: Peraturan sama sahaja, cuma nak dapat apa-apa kena request lah. Bukan setiap kali dapat, mahu telefon pun susah. Tetapi apabila tahanan Hindraf masuk, mereka semua boleh dapat macam-macam kemudahan, termasuk buat panggilan telefon. Selain itu, dalam kantin, tahanan Melayu atau Cina [kerakyatan Malaysia] kongsi guna satu dapur, tetapi Hindraf ada dapur sendiri kerana mereka tak makan daging.
Norlaila: Semasa Hindraf ditahan, bila saya pergi sana, kami kena cakap melalui interkom. Hindraf di sebelah sana pulak, boleh pegang, boleh kiss, kemudian boleh pesan makanan yang dijual di kantin kem, pesan roti canai, chapati, semuanya boleh.
Saya pandu dari Kuala Lumpur ke Taiping selama lapan jam pergi balik setiap minggu untuk jumpa suami tetapi hanya berpeluang bercakap melalui interkom selama 45 minit. Tetapi Hindraf, kalau mereka dua minggu tidak jumpa, mereka boleh jumpa selama tiga jam.
Apa yang berlaku selepas Mat Sah dibebaskan?
Mat Sah: Memang banyak berubah. Balik rumah rasa terlalu banyak barang, ada sofa, meja. Dalam kem tak ada apa-apa pun. Isteri sibuk dengan aktiviti GMI dan anak juga sudah ada fikiran sendiri, tetapi saya boleh faham lah. Cuma semasa bertemu dengan orang luar, rasa kekok dan lain. Saya rasa macam orang lain sudah tahu saya tahanan ISA. Saya khuatir orang itu akan anggap saya orang jahat. Mungkin orang lain tak fikir begitu, tetapi saya sendiri akan fikir begitulah, kena adjust lah.

Can Malaysia escape a trap of its own making?

By Peter Drysdale | East Asia Forum

Malaysia’s recently presented New Economic Model is, on paper, a hugely ambitious strategy for changing the country’s economic and social direction and, hopefully, its economic and political fortunes.

The government of Prime Minister Najib seems inclined to embrace its principles and try to forge a new direction in Malaysian economic and social policy. In the 1980s Malaysia was among the brightest stars in the Southeast Asian economy, with growth around 8 per cent a year and a huge transformation away from its comfortable plantation and minerals past towards a new industrial future, driven by foreign investment and rapidly growing exports of consumer electronics to regional and global markets. Mahathir reigned supreme, dispensing patronage and securing UMNO’s political base under the camouflage of the long-established New Economic Policy, put in place after the racial disturbances of the late 1960s to lift up the bumiputera Malay population and in the process embedding race-based politics into the fabric of political culture.

After the Asian Financial Crisis Malaysia has faced a far less certain future, not only because of the political dark-side that it exposed under Mahathir, but also because of the way that cosy politics had come to sap the vibrancy out of the economy and good economic policy. Economic performance has gradually stagnated, Global Financial Crisis aside. A race-base political culture has become less and less tenable: it’s not only Anwar Ibrahim that challenges with an alternative political model; the government itself is grappling within itself and against the ghosts of its past for a new way, ditching the old New Economic Policy. Malaysia is on the cusp of a profound turning point in its national development.

As Shankaran Nambiar explains in this week’s lead the New Economic Model, were it implemented, would seek to sweep aside many of the shackles that have held Malaysia back, economically and politically. It would tackle the failure of economic policy to provide a foundation for lifting Malaysia out of its lower middle-income malaise. It would also, necessarily, tackle the related problem of Malaysia’s suppression of civil and political freedoms. The most important problem, he argues, centres on ‘the institutional framework in Malaysia. The way people interact, their expectations, and the norms and conventions that govern these interactions must change. The norms, habits and conventions in society must support efficiency and competitiveness, and not give way to lassitude and indifference…There is evidence that civil liberties and a more liberal political and social fabric helps promote economic development. Institutional reform of this nature involves guaranteeing: freedom of speech; freedom of assembly and demonstration: equal opportunity; freedom from excessive governmental intervention; respect for minorities; and a fair, independent judiciary.’

It’s a brave call but if heeded there is promise of realising the Malaysian dreams of once again being the strong country of Southeast Asia and a future among the industrial democracies of the OECD.

——

What’s behind Malaysia’s New Economic Model
June 27th, 2010
By Shankaran Nambiar, MIER

Malaysia’s New Economic Model (NEM) is a framework that promises to bring the country out of its middle-income status, and push it into the realm of a high-income economy. The NEM proposes to do this through eight Strategic Research Initiatives (SRIs). These SRIs include re-energising the private sector, developing a quality workforce, and creating a competitive domestic environment. Growth is also considered, both in terms of enhancing the sources of growth and ensuring the sustainability of growth. Other initiatives target the public sector, affirmative action and building Malaysia’s knowledge-base and infrastructure.

Given the multiplicity of the SRIs, if one were asked to select the key factors, what would they be? These key factors must be foundational in driving the economy to higher growth, and have a sufficiently far-reaching effect to influence other factors contributing to the rapid shift of the economy.

The three most important issues for the NEM, I would suggest, are: education, entrepreneurial skills and institutional reform.

Education is a pervasive factor that lies at the source of many problems that plague the Malaysian economy. This is also an issue that stifles the growth of investment.

For its success, the NEM depends on technology upgrading, the creation of a knowledge-economy and the development of a highly skilled workforce. It also hopes to move up the value-chain by emphasising technology-intensive methods of production and by relying on innovation and research and development (R&D). All of this depends on a sound system of education.

When it comes to the question of reforming education in Malaysia, tertiary education receives the bulk of the focus. Indeed, innovation and R&D require good universities. Moreover, if the private sector is to be energised, benefiting from high quality human capital, and drawing upon R&D, universities must be the root source.

But, universities only have about three years to work on students who have been formed by their primary and secondary education over a period of 13 years. If intellectual curiosity and creativity have not been instilled during this period, the chances of acquiring them in university are bleak.

There are more basic problems that need to be sorted out. Students need to learn to effectively read and write in English. Teachers, it has been commented, need to be taught to teach English correctly and with confidence. Presently, the focus is on safeguarding ethnic interests and the government is preoccupied with the difficult task of balancing the demands of different ethnicities, leaving little time to worry about fundamental issues.

The second crucial issue pertains to entrepreneurial skills. This is the concern of SRI1, which at its core has the re-energisation of the private sector as its goal. The growth of small and medium enterprises will not flourish in the absence of entrepreneurship.

A more sensitive and important issue relates to the presence of entrepreneurship among bumiputera (indigenous Malay). Their lack of ownership of equity is a nagging concern that threatens ethnic stability. The New Economic Policy was put in place to address the lack of bumiputera representation in national wealth. Indeed, the NEM will not be safe unless this issue is adequately addressed. This implies the creation of a corpus of skilled bumiputera entrepreneurs, who can flourish, but without resorting to dependence on government handouts. This, truly, would be a challenge.

The third and most important problem centres on re-orienting the institutional framework in Malaysia; the way people interact, their expectations, and the norms and conventions that govern these interactions must change. The norms, habits and conventions in society must support efficiency and competitiveness, and not give way to lassitude and indifference. This ambitious goal, because it involves the fabric of society, could well take more than a decade to achieve.

Institutional reform of a more limited, but no less significant order, should also be initiated. There is some evidence that civil liberties and a more liberal political and social fabric helps promote economic development. Institutional reform of this nature involves guaranteeing: freedom of speech; freedom of assembly and demonstration: equal opportunity; freedom from excessive governmental intervention; respect for minorities; and a fair, independent judiciary.

The NEM is silent on state capture. State capture is a form of corruption that may be defined as the undue and illicit influence of the elite in a country formulating or influencing the laws, policies and regulations of the government. The zero-tolerance for corruption that the NEM propagates is only one of a longer list of concepts that good governance subsumes. It may be argued that state capture is not present. Nonetheless, a broader notion of corruption and governance is required.

Education, entrepreneurship and market-friendly institutions demand reform. These are core but extremely slippery issues that have to be caught by their horns. The NEM is right in correctly identifying them, but they have to be adequately addressed if the NEM is to be meaningfully implemented.

Shankaran Nambiar is a Senior Research Fellow and the Head of Policy Studies Division at the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research.

The views mentioned in this article are his own and do not reflect the official position of MIER.

Amnesty Urges Australia To Lift Sri Lankan Asylum Restrictions

CANBERRA, June 30 (Bernama) -- Amnesty International on Wednesday called on the Australian federal government to lift its suspension on processing the claims of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, saying the troubled nation is still a dangerous place.

Amnesty has written to Prime Minister Julia Gillard asking her to protect the rights of Sri Lankan asylum seekers and begin processing their claims, reports China's Xinhua news agency.

The human rights group's Sri Lanka researcher Yolanda Foster said more than 10,000 people were still in detention without charge in the country, suspected of links to Tamil rebels, following the end of a long-running civil war.

"No area in Sri Lanka is entirely safe if someone has run afoul of an armed group or a powerful politician, been identified as a critic of the government or is suspected in some way of being ' anti-government'," Foster said in a statement.

There were reports of torture and disappearances, and allegations of people being killed.

The three-month suspension set by the Australian government ends on July 8.

Villa ends Portuguese dreams

David Villa of Spain celebrates scoring the opening goal

A 63rd-minute David Villa goal proved enough for Spain to beat Portugal and reach the quarter-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. The highly-anticipated meeting between these Iberian rivals, the first in six years, lived up to expectations, certainly in the first half when Carlos Queiroz's side were unlucky not to be rewarded for their endeavour in Cape Town. La Roja were dominant after the break, however, and El Guaje's close-range finish ensured they will now meet Paraguay for a place in the last four.

Both teams went into the match protecting proud records, with Spain having won 29 of their last 31 matches. Portugal were on a 19-match undefeated run dating back to November 2008, with 20 clean sheets in 24 matches since Queiroz assumed their reins.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque named an unchanged side from the one that beat Chile in their final group game, with the inclusion of Xabi Alonso allaying initial fears that an ankle injury would prevent his inclusion. Portugal, conversely, were forced into two changes as injuries to forward Danny and defender Duda afforded starts to Atletico Madrid's Simao and Hugo Almeida of Werder Bremen.

A high-tempo opening saw Fernando Torres unleash a goal-bound shot that Eduardo did well to parry away, before it was the turn of the in-form Villa to warm the hands of the Portuguese goalkeeper. It was far from one-way traffic, and Tiago's drive from 30 metres was only palmed into the air by Iker Casillas, with Almeida seemingly set to head into an empty net only for the Spain captain to recover and push the ball to safety at the midway point of the first half.

Soon after, Cristiano Ronaldo unleashed a venomous long-range free-kick which Casillas could again only parry, with the ball somewhat fortuitously avoiding a host of lurking attackers. It was proving an uncomfortable opening period for the Real Madrid custodian, who was captaining La Roja for a record 51st time, surpassing goalkeeping predecessor Andoni Zubizarreta at the head of the list.

The early energy gave way to a slightly more measured pace, with Portugal having the better of the latter exchanges in the opening half. A Seleção das Quinas seemingly resumed where they had left off after the interval. Tiago burst down the left flank with an impressive turn of speed, and his cross looped off the knee of Carles Puyol and over Casillas, only to narrowly bounce the wrong side of the post.

Spain's pedigree soon started to shine through and on the hour mark, substitute Fernando Llorente directed a diving header straight at a relieved Eduardo. Within 60 seconds Villa grazed the post with a curling drive, with the momentum having well and truly changed hands. Then came what proved to be the game's only goal. Xavi flicked a short pass from Andres Iniesta to Villa, whose shot was blocked by Eduardo. However, the rebound fell kindly back into the path of Villa who guided the ball home off the underside of the bar.

Spain controlled possession thereafter, as Portugal broke sporadically in their quest to save their South Africa 2010 campaign. Spanish defender Sergio Ramos came within inches of a rare goal after a strong run and shot on the right only to see the impressive Eduardo stick out a strong right hand and turn the ball narrowly around the post. Having joined Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain and Robert Vittek of Slovakia on four goals at the front of the race for the adidas Golden Boot, Villa was looking to go one better, and his thunderbolt from 30 metres would surely have found the net had it been marginally either side of Eduardo.

Portugal's stand-out player Ronaldo was kept largely quiet with a late red card to Ricardo Costa compounding the misery. Two principal stars delivered decisive performances for the victors with Budweiser Man of the Match Xavi making a significant contribution as his side enjoyed 61 per cent of the possession, while Villa left Green Point Stadium having settled the outcome.

Paraguay squeeze into the last eight

Justo Villar celebrates with Oscar Cardozo of Paraguay

Paraguay squeezed through to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup™ for the first time in their history as Yuichi Komano's penalty miss sent Japan crashing out of the tournament. With the game goalless at the end of extra time in Pretoria, South Africa witnessed its first shoot-out and, after Komano had clipped the crossbar, Oscar Cardozo rolled home the winning spot-kick to give the South Americans a 5-3 win and a last-eight tie against either Spain or Portugal.

Neither side had ever reached a FIFA World Cup quarter-final, and perhaps the weight of expectation explained a largely uninspiring contest at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Paraguay enjoyed the majority of possession in the early stages but were struggling to find their range as much as their opponents. The game suddenly, albeit very briefly, exploded into life around the 20-minute mark when both goalkeepers were finally awoken from their slumbers. First, Paraguay's Lucas Barrios turned neatly in the penalty area to escape the attentions of two Japan defenders, before firing straight at Eiji Kawashima. Then, a minute later, Daisuke Matsui crashed a curled long-range effort against the crossbar.

Paraguay almost made their mark in the 29th minute when Roque Santa Cruz found himself unmarked in the area. The Manchester City forward looked surprised to find Claudio Morel's corner at his feet, and that moment of hesitation proved his undoing as he subsequently flashed his shot wide. Shortly after, Honda's ball into the box appeared threatening but Carlos Bonet was able to step in and steer the ball to safety. Yasuhito Endo then whipped in a free-kick at pace but Santa Cruz, now on defensive duty, was able to clear the danger with a diving header.

Minutes later, Japan broke at pace and should have done better in a promising situation, with three advancing forwards outnumbering the Paraguay defence. Matsui squared the ball to Keisuke Honda but the CSKA Moscow star chose to ignore the run of the unmarked Yoshito Okubo to his left, instead opting to try his luck from distance. Disappointingly, his left-footed drive finished wide of goalkeeper Justo Villar's post.

Takeshi Okada's side began the second half with a team huddle, aware they needed to break free of their first-half shackles if they were to make that crucial breakthrough. But it was Paraguay who fired the first statement of intent as Nestor Ortigoza did his best to change the pattern of the game but his mazy run into the box was eventually smothered by the Japanese defence. It was a rare moment of enterprise in a game that had so far failed to inspire. As Gerardo Martino's team picked up the pace, only the outstretched boot of Yuji Nakazawa prevented Edgar Benitez from finding the target, while Cristian Riveros could only plant his header into the palms of Kawashima. Marcus Tulio Tanaka was unlucky not to profit from Endo's dangerous corner or substitute Shunsuke Nakamura's knock-on, while Santa Cruz's looping header was easily beaten away as the game drifted towards extra time.

With another Japan huddle dismantled, Shinji Okazaki looped a header just over and Barrios's firm header was an easy collect for Kawashima, while Nelson Valdez's toe-poke was smothered. Edgar Barretto's hooked shot finished a yard over as both sides finally started to loosen up in the additional 30 minutes but after Okazaki went close with a header in the dying minutes, it was left to penalties to decide the seventh quarter-final place. Only one player of nine missed but victory was Paraguay's by this narrowest of margins.

Hisham: A-G grants green light for ISA amendments

Furore over 'racist slant' on voter numbers

Pakatan to appoint its own state legal advisors

95% of 279 shot dead by police and 147 killed in police custody are Malaysian Indians

Url 95
See The Star 29/6/10 at page N 25.

Why is this (95%) so when the Indians form only 8% of the Malaysian population?

The Indians seem to be 8,400% more or so disproportionately represented in this cruel institutional crime under the UMNO led Malaysian Raja Di Malaysia regime.

Even the very basic right to life as is guaranteed by the Malay-sian Federal Constitution is not granted to the poor, powerless and politically voiceless Malaysian Indian community.

P. Uthayakumar
95

SOS P.M: Stop demolishment of Sintamany Orphanage and Hindu temple, Jinjang, Kuala Lumpur on 30/06/2010.


Copy (2) of New Scan-20100628135626-00001

clip_image002
NO.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245
Your Reference :
In Reply :
Date : 29th June 2010

YAB. Dato Seri Najib Razak
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Chairman, Cabinet Committee on Malaysian Indians.
Blok Utama Bangunan Perdana Putra,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,                     Fax: 03-88883444
62502 Putrajaya                                               Email: najib@pmo.gov.my
Y. B. Senator Dato Raja Nong Chik bin
Dato Raja Zainal Abidin
Menteri Wilayah Persekutuan,
Aras 4, Blok B2,
Menara PJH, Presint 2,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,                Fax: 03-88891411
62100 Putrajaya.                                           Email: datoraja@kwp.gov.my

Y. Bhg Dato Ahmad Faud bin Ismail
Dato Bandar Kuala Lumpur                                  
Tingkat 27, Menara DBKL                
Jalan Raja Laut                                                          Fax : 03-26919664
50350 Kuala Lumpur                              Email : datukbandar@dbkl.gov.my

En. Rolan bin Hj. Abd. Rahman
Pengarah                                                    
(Jabatan Keselamatan & Pengutakuasaan)    
Jalan Tun Razak                                                      Fax : 03-40218260        
50400 Kuala Lumpur                                         E-Mail : jkp@dbkl.gov.my

YAB,
SOS P.M: Stop demolishment of Sintamany Orphanage and Hindu temple, Jinjang, Kuala Lumpur on 30/06/2010.
We have been instructed to write on behalf of the Sintamany Orphanage, Jinjang Kuala Lumpur who has been served with a notice to demolish this seven year old Sintamany orphanage and the adjoining Hindu temple.
This home was founded by a 26 year old youth Praveendran a/l Balasamy who was moved to do so when he found a 13 year old Indian boy loitering by a rubbish dumpsite.
New Scan-20100628135626-00001 Today this home has 65 children with the youngest being an eight month old baby, thirty-five of these children are in primary school, 5 in secondary school, 2 old folks, three single parents and the rest being baby sitted at the home. This Sintamany home is also an orphanage to the abandoned, distressed, single mothers elderly and sickly Indians who have no where else to go.
This home is currently occupying an almost one acre unused land in Jinjang Utara belonging to the UMNO led Government of Malay-sia.
Last month some 50 UMNO policemen and welfare officers stormed this home bullied and harassed the occupants there to move out. Two children aged three and five become ill and were hospitalized as a result of this.
Other children sent to the government welfare homes are being forcibly converted to Islam like in the latest cases of Darshini and Banggarama (The Sun 25/11/2009 at page 4) .
Many of these orphans have been denied even their rightful birth certificates and this home is applying for the same for them.
It is the duty and responsibility of any government in any part of the world to take care of or orphans and One Malay-sia seems to be the exception in so far as the poor ethnic minority Malaysian Indians are concerned.
New Scan-20100629124915-00001 This home has never been assisted with a single cent or even a single cup of rice by the UMNO led Malay-sian government despite the RM 850 Million 2010 national budget as social safety net for the poor, disabled and senior citizens (News Straits Time 18/10/2009 at page 23). The pre existing poor local working class Rumah Panjang Indian community and other well wishers help maintain this orphanage. Why should the pre existing poor help this orphanage out financially when it is the duty and responsibility of the government.
This is a Tamil saying Mr . Prime Minister that if one cannot help the least one could do is not to do damage.
So please do not damage and demolish this Sintamany Orphanage on 30/06/2010 at 9.00 a.m.
Instead we urge your goodselves as not only the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on the Indians but also the Prime Minister for all Malaysians not including and segregating the Malaysian Indians to grant this home RM 200, 000.00 per annum and also the land this orphanage is Copy of New Scan-20100629124915-00001 sitting on to be alienated to this orphanage in order for the poor, powerless and politically voiceless up to sixth generation Malaysian born Indians a shelter and a roof they need over their heads.
IF we remember food, shelter and clothing are the basic necessities in the life of a any human being and is about the most basic economic theory.
We call upon your goodselves especially as the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on the Indians to also urgently address of this new critical phenomena of the alarmingly large number of poor and poverty stricken Indian children, single parents elderly and sickly Indians ending up in welfare homes such as these. The latest example being in today’s (The Starmetro 29/06/2010 at page M 15) with pictures of all Indian children and single parents and a 10 year old Indian girl allegedly sexually abused at a welfare home in Gemas. (The Star 29/06/2010 at page N 3). This is a new phenomena which has arisen only in the last 20 years or so as a direct result of the NEP with the excusion of the Indians from the national mainstream development of Malaysia and with no solutions even in the next five year national development plan the NEM.
New Scan-20100629125032-00001 Granting these Indian poor land in the ten acre land ownership schemes like Felda, Felcra, Risda, Fama, Mardi etc as granted to the 442, 000 poor Malay muslims and natives (Berita Harian 25/02/2010 at page 4) would be a sure civil and justiciable way forward.
Your kind, swift, prompt and urgent action in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Kindly revert to us accordingly.
Thank You.

Your faithfully,
P. Uthayakumar
Secretary General (pro tem)
New Scan-20100628135739-00001

Thousands of Refugees Living in Constant Fear of Arrest

By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29, 2010 (IPS) - As Rajoo, 27, makes tea at a rundown shed in Brickfields, a depressed suburb of the capital inhabited by hundreds of Tamil immigrants from Sri Lanka, he evinces no sign of anxiety and a deep yearning for something.


He dreams of returning to his village in war-ravaged Sri Lanka except that it had been razed to the ground by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – an armed group that had waged a decades-long bloody insurgency against the government on the country’s north-eastern coast, home to its largest ethnic minority.

The LTTE was finally defeated by military troops in May 2009.

Despite the war’s end, Rajoo says he is scared of returning to his home country. "My village is gone and my relatives are either dead or in camps," he says. "At the height of the battle, I left my wife and son with an uncle and fled to South India by sea and flew to Malaysia."

Rajoo is one of an estimated 100,000 refugees currently living in Malaysia and who risk arrest by the highly feared People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA), a paramilitary group which has the power to apprehend refugees and undocumented migrant workers and have them jailed or deported.

Rajoo, who declines to give his real name for fear of arrest by members of RELA, says he has an identification card issued by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), "but authorities don’t give it much respect," he tells IPS.

The UNCHR card entitles refugees like him to basic rights such as freedom of movement within the host country in line with the international agreements on refugees.

Resettling former Sri Lankan refugees like Rajoo in their homeland is an uphill struggle even if the war has ended, says opposition lawmaker and human rights activist Kulasegaran Murugesan, who is of Tamil descent and is campaigning in the Malaysian parliament to improve the Tamil refugee conditions in Malaysia.

Refugees are not allowed to work under Malaysian law, but most do anyway to supplement the UNHCR monthly assistance of 300 Malaysian ringgit (around 93 U.S. dollars) that they are getting, says Murugesan.

Malaysia has not acceded to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.

The Convention is an international agreement that defines who is a refugee and establishes their rights and the legal obligations of the states parties.

Although the government has agreed to cooperate with the UNHCR in addressing refugee issues on humanitarian grounds, Malaysian authorities often do not differentiate between refugees and economic migrants, says Murugesan. Such migrants comprise around three million documented and undocumented individuals from poor countries who are trying to make a living in this South-east Asian country

"Malaysia is a dangerous place for refugees who are often abused, arrested and treated like criminals," Ragunath Kesavan, president of the Malaysian Bar Council, tells IPS.

"Refugees and asylum seekers, particularly women and children, are often at risk of arrest, prosecution, detention and deportation. In some cases, they are trafficked upon deportation."

These observations confirm the findings of international human rights group Amnesty International (AI). Instead of finding comfort and protection, the refugees in Malaysia end up "abused, exploited, arrested and locked up," said the AI in its report released this month.

"The abusive way we treat refugees and our refusal to sign the U.N.’s refugee protocols is a shame," says prominent lawyer and rights activist Surendran Nagalingam. "Our human rights record is deplorable among the family of nations in the region."

Murugesan believes Malaysia refuses to sign the Convention and the Protocol for fear it would be swamped by migrants who can easily claim to be refugees such as what happened when Indonesians from Aceh province flocked to Malaysia at the height of the conflict in this northern Indonesian province.

But the Aceh conflict in neighbouring Indonesia is effectively over, he says. "There is no fear of being swamped now," he adds.

"We must sign these protocols and play our part as responsible citizens of the world," he says. Otherwise, "we forfeit our right to decry abuse in other places like the Middle East."

Refugees seeking safety in Malaysia also come from war-torn Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The majority are natives of military-ruled Burma, who fled their country only to be subjected to a litany of abuses upon reaching Malaysia, since the government does not recognise their status.

The refugees’ lack of legal status for refugees in Malaysia means they can be punished with imprisonment of up to five years and whipping for illegally entering the country, says the AI.

To deflect mounting criticism of its alleged violations of the rights of refugees under international treaties, Malaysia has announced that it is considering certain measures to improve the plight of refugees within its borders such as allowing refugees to work while awaiting resettlement abroad.

But a senior home ministry official, who spoke to IPS on condition of anonymity, says these measures are still at a planning stage. "The government has not given the green light to implement (them)," he says.

Until such measures are in place, Rajoo and other refugees like him will live in constant fear of arrest.

(END)

The Star
Tuesday June 29, 2010
Fallout from Khalid’s ouster
COMMENT
By BARADAN KUPPUSAMY

By handing over the Selangor PKR leader’s post to Azmin, Anwar has set a bad precedent and has prolonged internal feuding, not end it.

NEWLY-appointed Selangor PKR chief Azmin Ali has won, for now, in an unvarnished power struggle against the gentlemanly Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, but he has exposed his unbridled ambitions and earned the image of the “ugly, bad man” of Pakatan Rakyat politics.

It is no secret that Azmin, a dynamic and focused politician, covets the Selangor Mentri Besar’s post, which went to Khalid after Pakatan seized power in Selangor during the 2008 general election.

Azmin could have been a dynamic Mentri Besar in the way DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng is in Penang, his supporters say, but PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wanted to reward Khalid, who had bankrolled the incipient PKR and enjoyed an image as a corporate captain and elder statesman.

Besides, the DAP and PAS were wary of Azmin, seeing him as too ambitious, ex-Umno and difficult to compromise, unlike Khalid who is amenable and by nature not cunning or manipulative and willing to hear and share.

Khalid might not be decisive but he was popular among the public and the DAP and PAS in his own plodding way.

Besides, the DAP and PAS between them controlled more seats in the Selangor state assembly than the PKR with the DAP having 13, PKR 14 and PAS eight seats.

Any move to remove Khalid and put Azmin in his place would upset the power balance in the state assembly and lead to turmoil.

This is a major consideration for Anwar, what with the next general election imminent and every political party eager to show their best to the voters.

Anwar wants to present a united, strong PKR working hard for the people but this would not be possible by switching Mentris Besar midway.

While Anwar as the PKR leader can replace Khalid with Azmin, the reality of power distribution in the Selangor state assembly requires him to get the DAP and PAS to endorse the move and they would not agree to Azmin as a replacement.

Many in the Selangor PKR too who are popular in the Pakatan coalition and the general public like executive council members Elizabeth Wong and Dr Xavier Jeyakumar, party strategist Tian Chua, party treasurer William Leong and deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali are with Khalid.

“They are unlikely to accept Azmin as a replacement for Khalid,” PKR sources said. “There would be a rebellion if Anwar insists on it.”

“The last thing he wanted was to switch Khalid with Azmin and see the Pakatan Rakyat coalition plunge into turmoil,” said a PKR insider.

“We all think Azmin over-played his hand.”

Even though Azmin has the support of Anwar and a majority of PKR MPs, he could not swing the people who really matter to achieve his ambitions to be Mentri Besar – a combination of DAP, PAS and PKR state assemblymen.

But what Azmin wants he gets, maybe not immediately but later.

Anwar has rewarded his ambitious acolyte Azmin with the state PKR chief’s post, which is his to give or take as the PKR’s undisputed leader.

But by doing that – taking from Khalid and giving it to Azmin, Anwar has set a bad precedent and has prolonged the feud, not ended it.

With his new found position as state PKR chief, Azmin would easily rival Khalid and be another rival centre of political power in Selangor.

He would have a big say in who in Selangor PKR gets selected for posts like directors of GLCs, councillors and even candidates in the next general election.

That’s a lot of influence and clout for Azmin who is likely to use his influence to promote his supporters and relegate his detractors – opening the way for more internal feud in the PKR.

The potential negative toll of the feud on the PKR’s public image can only be guessed coming as it does in the wake of PKR MPs defecting and the constant criticism against “Little Napoleons” who allegedly run the party to the detriment of democratic practices.

While Anwar has for now ended the feud by making Azmin state PKR chief, the fallout of the “Azmin” episode on legions of believers is not difficult to gauge.

They are angry, upset and disenchanted that among the three Pakatan political parties, the PKR, which is the glue holding the DAP and PAS together, still has not got its act together but has been visited by one turmoil after another.

Worse, most of it is of its own making and hardly the type that promotes public confidence in the PKR.

More than the DAP or PAS, the PKR was the big winner of 2008 and achieved on the back of widespread public support – support that can easily be turned to scorn by the endless petty squabbles.

Finance Ministry denies compensating Vincent Tan

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 – Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah denied today that the government had paid compensation to Tan Sri Vincent Tan after withdrawing approval for his company’s football betting licence.
Grab a Celcom Blue Bear(TM) and stand to walk away with RM10,000!

“We have not issued the licence... so questions about compensation should not arise,” he said.

He was responding to questions in Parliament from Rasah MP Anthony Loke about allegations that the government had paid RM10 million in compensation to Tan for withdrawing the licence.

The tycoon had told gaming analysts at a luncheon yesterday that he had been refunded RM10 million following the government’s capitulation to public opinion on Friday.

Sources said Tan had used the money to obtain a bank guarantee worth the same amount as a first-right-of-refusal claim, and suggest that he is biding his time until conditions are more agreeable before attempting to launch the football betting service again.

It was also revealed during the get-together with analysts that after his company Ascot Sports’s licence was withdrawn in 1990, RM8 million in licence fees was refunded to the company by the Finance Ministry and that it was also given compensation of RM10.9 million for sports betting equipment by the Totalisator Board.

Tan’s meeting with gaming analysts was seen as a move to repair his company’s image after Berjaya Corp shares were battered yesterday.

Husni added today that no money exchanged hands because the deal between Tan and the government had not been finalised.

“We were in discussions about the conditions for the licence [re-issuance]. The conditions had not finalised so we did not issue the licence,” he said.

“He (Tan) did not pay a fee but gave a letter of guarantee. That’s all. Not cash but a letter of guarantee.”

He added that the government might review its decision not to re-issue the licence in future but explained to reporters later that the review would probably be done decades from now.

Berjaya Corp reported that the government had last month re-issued the licence to Tan-owned Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd after the original licence was cancelled by the previous Abdullah administration.

The gaming, property and hospitality group had told Bursa Malaysia in a May 12 filing that it intended to acquire Tan’s 70 per cent stake in Ascot for RM525 million. The tycoon’s son — Datuk Robin Tan Yeong Ching — would have retained control of his 30 per cent stake.

Tan had first obtained the licence in 1987 but had “asked the government to take it back” when the venture was unsuccessful while retaining the right to get the licence back.

His most recent attempt to revive long-suffering Ascot — which posted a loss of RM4.6 million at the end of 2008 — ran into a concerted hail of criticism from opposition parties who managed to turn the issue into a national talking point on the back of apparent anti-gambling sentiment.

Tan-controlled Berjaya Corp had planned to offer football betting services through the telephone and at selected Toto outlets nationwide.

It is understood that the tycoon had spent a considerable sum in preparation for the start of play in European football leagues this August.

'Helpless public pays for govt follies... yet again'

By Ken Vin Lek - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP MP Tony Pua has expressed disappointment over another case of the public having to pay for the government's follies.

He was responding to Deputy Minister of Transport Abdul Rahim Bakri's comments in the Dewan Rakyat today pertaining to Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB).

After the winding up speech on the 10th Malaysia Plan, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang said the Port Klang Authority (PKA) should not pay anything on behalf of KDSB.

“Given that there’s a dispute between PKA and KDSB, and now, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) is also claiming money (from PKA), should PKA pay anything on behalf of KDSB?” he asked.

Abdul Rahim, however, said that PKA is “ultimately committed to the bondholders” and refused to comment further on the matter.

Speaking to reporters later, Pua said: “KDSB bondholders are notably upset with the development as there is a likelihood that they may not be paid for the loans extended to KDSB.”

“But based on the deputy minister’s statement today and previous action taken by the Finance Ministry, I am certain they will again insist that PKA make full payments to fulfill the ‘guarantee’ of the bonds provided by virtue of letters signed by then minister of transport Chan Kong Choy,” he added.

PKA which was due to pay the next installment amounting to RM772 million in 2010 to various bondholders on behalf of KDSB was forced to make a U-turn on the decision when it was discovered that KDSB has outstanding taxes due amounting to RM 328.4 million.

PKA is obliged to pay the taxes owed by KDSB to the IRB under the income tax laws.

Under such conditions, PKA accordingly informed the various KDSB bondholders of its intention to withhold two payments amounting to RM350 million for the purposes of settling the outstanding tax.

Last year, PKA was instructed by the Finance Ministry to make an installment payment of RM660 million to KDSB despite the former suing KDSB for fraudulent and excess claims worth up to RM1.6 billion.

In the first place, Pua said, PKA should not have paid KDSB on the basis that they are disputing the claims of work being done on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.

“The issue here is PKA was forced by the ministry to pay despite suing KDSB. As such, they had to fork out the money due to KDSB’s controversial ‘white-elephant project’ PKFZ which may cost the government up to RM12.5 billion,” he added.

Ministry must decide wisely

Pua urged the ministry to “decide wisely” on its next course of action.

“Are they going to let the perpetrators of PKFZ get away scot free with taxpayers money? My only question is why are they trying to defend the perpertrators when they have clearly failed to deliver as required?” he asked.

As an alternative, Pua suggested that the government stop all payments to the bondholders until matters are resolved between the parties involved.

“Why should we guarantee them if work is not done? In a case like this where something happens, the bondholders have to bear certain amount of responsibility.

“The bondholders should take the action of suing KDSB as PKA themselves have already taken that route. PKA only paid the necessary funds last year because it was forced by the ministry,” he added.