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Monday, July 12, 2010

'Military intelligence officers tortured me'

(Malaysiakini) EXCLUSIVE A solitary bulb hangs from the ceiling, barely lighting the blackened walls of the cell that trap him like a rat.

In the tiny, windowless room, he battles madness from within and relentless chill from without.

He has lost all sense of time, of how long he has been left to freeze in this hole, how long he has gone without sleep.

A loud rap or a kick against the door ensures he is kept on the brink of consciousness and reason.

Ironically, he holds on to his fragile sanity by virtue of the physical pain visited upon him by the man whom, to the victim, has come to embody fear itself.

Fear runs down his spine with every blood-curdling scream he hears from beyond his confines, every sickening thud that echoes through the walls. It's only a matter of time before 'he' comes back for more

A year has passed, but N Tharmendran, 42, can vividly recount every detail of the internal military investigation that he claims he was subjected to, as if it was just yesterday.

Tharmendran, a former RMAF sergeant who has been charged over the theft of two jet-fighter engines, claimed he was detained and tortured by military intelligence for three weeks in connection with the case.

Tharmendran alleged that the favourite method of his interrogators - allegedly led by a major and his assistant, also a major - was to make him wear a crash helmet and repeatedly hit him as hard as possible.

“They used a golf stick and something long like a cricket bat. The reason is that when you hit me with a helmet (on), there's no mark. You can't find any mark, but the pain is internal pain,” he told Malaysiakini.

“That's what Major (name withheld) told me. (He said) 'I can hit you how hard I want, but there won't be any mark. Even (if) you go to the doctor he will say you only have (a) headache'.'”

And because of the physical abuse, Tharmendran said he suffered severe pain in his neck and shoulders and was barely move his left arm for a few days after the interrogation ended.

He also claimed that he was repeatedly stripped to his underwear, made to stand on a block of ice for up to an hour at a time, and threatened with death.

“I was told by this major, he has friends in the UTK (special forces) and KDN (Home Ministry) and it won't take him much time to get some men to shoot and kill me.

“Another thing he said was that nobody would believe me (if I report the torture), because he is the IO (investigating officer) and he has the authority. He said that, even if I go to the hospital and say I was being tortured by these people, he said nobody would believe me.”

Tharmendan said he was not allowed to contact anyone to inform them of his whereabouts during the three weeks of his detention.

His father N Nagarajah filed a police report last month to report Tharmendran's alleged torture while under military detention.

'Lost pride, dignity'

Tharmendran said he lost 20kg after being tortured and during the six months he was detained in the Sg Buloh Prison for not being able to post the initial bail of RM150,000 in connection with the charge.

He believes he is not the only one being tortured by the intelligence officers, claiming at least 30 others were also experiencing the same ordeal for reasons unknown to him. He does not know what has happened to them.

Tharmendran said he is grateful for his release on reduced bail of RM50,000, but that adjusting to life after six months of detention is hard.

“I've lost my dignity, my pride... I'm very, very embarrassed to face the public because it's been (publicised) that I am the one who was involved in the theft of the engine(s), but actually I am not the one,” he said.

He expressed his gratitude to prison officers and warders who had taken care of him and helped him with his problems.

Now that he is back in society, Tharmendran said he needs to pick himself up and deal with the debt facing his family, who had to borrow money to post bail.

“They (his family) were very happy to see me, but now I have to look for a job. I'm jobless now, and it doesn't matter what (kind of work)... I can do anything,” he said soberly.

“As long as I can get a job... I need to pay back whatever money my family borrowed. My mom's jewellery has all been pawned and it's not fair to my relatives.”

Tharmendran said he feels most for his daughter, who deserves an explanation for his absence.

“I have to go and see my daughter, but I don't know how I am going to face (her). She's 12 years old. I'm divorced so she's living with my ex-wife in Ipoh,” he said.

“I saw her last November during the school holidays. I used to get her for the holidays and she'll be with my mom for three weeks... I need to do a lot of explaining to her.”

Tharmendran has been charged with company director Rajandran Prasad Kusy over the theft of two F-5E engines at the air movement section of the Subang air force base in December 2007.

If found guilty on charge under Section 380 of the Penal Code, he faces up to 10 years in jail and whipping.

He faces another charge of abetment under Section 109 of the Penal Code for allegedly collaborating with senior airman Mohamad Shukri Mohamad Yusop to steal the engines from the Sungai Besi air force base.

Mohamad Shukri was not charged with the theft and is likely to be one of the main prosecution witnesses.

PKR newspaper out under new name

A PKR Youth member distributes copies of “Keadilan” to passers-by at the Masjid Jamek LRT station in Kuala Lumpur, July 12, 2010.—Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — PKR’s Suara Keadilan finally hit the streets today — 12 days after the party newspaper’s annual printing permit expired — and under a new name, “Keadilan”, to avoid seizure.

The government had refused to renew the permit pending explanations over an article, “Felda Bangkrap”, but PKR vowed to defy authorities and continue printing the weekly.

PKR Youth leaders distributed about 400 copies of Keadilan to city dwellers at the Masjid Jamek LRT station this morning.

The newspaper will also be sold nationwide beginning today, PKR Youth said.

Among those distributing Keadilan today were PKR Youth information chief Lee Khai Loon, Wilayah Persekutuan Youth chief Mad Zaman Mad Tasi, Batu Youth chief Rozan Azen and PKR Youth exco member Ramlan Roes.

Lee told The Malaysian Insider that PKR has printed a total of 100,000 copies despite not having a publishing permit for the weekly.

“We all know that the home ministry had not renewed the publishing permit of Suara Keadilan. However, it is a very important party organ as it reports views often shunned by the mainstream media,” said Lee.

“PKR Youth will fight for as long as it needs to distribute the party’s organ to tell the truth to everyone,” he added.

Suara Keadilan’s printing permit expired on June 30 and it can no longer be printed or published under Section 5(1) of the Printing Presses and Publication Act (1984), after the home ministry refused to renew the permit, citing the unsatisfactory reply from the weekly over its front page “Felda Bangkrap” article.

Incidentally, Keadilan’s “Ada Niat Jahat” front page article accuses the government of not renewing Suara Keadilan’s printing permit to “protect Barisan Nasional’s interests”.

Lee also vowed to fight till the PPPA is abolished.

“We urge all Malaysians to support our fight and follow the truth from all alternative channels that are available,” he added.

Ramlan, on the other hand, urged the home ministry to “act professionally” when granting printing permits to newspapers.

“From what I can see, the home ministry is not professional. A Malay daily pits one race against another on a daily basis, but we don’t see anything being done to it,” he said.

Suara Keadilan editor Dzulkarnain Taib, who was also present at Masjid Jamek LRT station this morning, stressed that the party will continue to print the weekly with new names, even if they do not obtain a printing permit from the home ministry.

The law is silent on newspapers that are not published regularly. All other scheduled publications require annual permits before going to the presses.

A police patrol car was spotted at the scene, with two policemen keeping a close watch on the situation.

PKR chief strategist Chua Tian Chang had said last week the newspaper will be published, though it had failed to appear until today.

The law is silent on newspapers that are not published regularly. All other scheduled publications require annual permits.

Another Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party organ, PAS’ Harakah, is publishing without a permit under the assumption it will be issued soon.

Party leaders had said home ministry officials usually dragged their feet when it came to permit approvals.

PM's defence of Singapore raises more suspicion

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s call to Malaysians to keep an open mind on his decisions involving Singapore in the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) land swap deal and investments in Iskandar Malaysia (IM), has drawn flak from the opposition and raised even more suspicion.

Jerai MP Mohd Firdaus Jaafar said as long as Najib does not explain the true reason behind his decision to surrender the KTMB land in Tanjung Pagar to Singapore and the deals struck with the island republic over investments in IM, “there will always be suspicion”.

“Najib wants us (PAS) and the rakyat to maintain an open mind and attitude towards IM when he has not revealed to the people his motive for being pally with Singapore.”

“As such, it is only fair that the rakyat question his (Najib's) actions. Why is he so concerned about safeguarding Singapore’s interest in the Iskandar region?”

"If you look at IM, what kind of profit will the rakyat enjoy when their land is being sold to foreigners? Why is Najib encouraging Singapore’s interference in IM?” he asked.

Firdaus, who is also the PAS election department Youth chief, said Najib’s actions, which appeared to sell the nation’s sovereignty, had led to increased awareness among the people, especially the Malays.

Last month, several Pakatan Rakyat leaders had alleged that Najib’s decision to surrender Tanjung Pagar to Singapore was not legal because the issue was not raised in Parliament and brought before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Arbitrary moves

Firdaus said, given these arbitrary moves by the government, it was now important for the people to set aside their political differences and view the actions of the leaders rationally.

“It is time we set aside our political differences and defend our sovereignty. We cannot allow certain leaders to betray the country for their own selfish ends.

“We must collectively, irrespective of whether we are supporters of BN or the opposition, send a reminder to the leadership by voting for change in the 13th general election,” he said.

Najib had, while officiating at the Pulai Umno division delegates convention in Johor Baru last night, reportedly urged Malaysians to maintain an open attitude in evaluating the federal government’s dealings with Singapore.

Quoting a Bernama report, Firdaus said: “Najib said if we want to see Iskandar Malaysia and Johor succeed, then we must keep an open attitude towards all investments.”

Najib had also said that “investments in the commercial Iskandar region should prioritise profits irrespective of whether the investments were from the US or Singapore”.

“What is the difference between American and Singaporean investments?

“There is no difference... as long as both are profitable (to us),” Najib had said.

'No pushover' Orang Asli ready to fight back

By Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today,

KUALA LANGAT: Mukim Tanjung 12 in Kuala Langat is the largest, richest and last piece of native land in Selangor. Its sprawling 17,800 acres received the Federated Malay States (FMS) Government Gazette in April 1927, which gave its inhabitants full rights to the land's natural resources of timber, tin and even gold.
The six villages thrived on the land's abundance as well as from the spoils of their crops and orchards.
Barely half a century later, however, an omnious shadow fell upon them in the shape of the state government.
Recognising the wealth that Mukim Tanjung 12 contained, the government decided to help itself to little pinches of it. Those pinches gradually grew into handfuls and soon, government projects were mushrooming across the land. It wasn't long before the land began to suffer.
Polluted water from the mining ponds seeped into orchards and forests to destroy these two sources of livelihood. In one area, an entire gazetted forest reserve was wiped out. To add insult to injury, the Orang Asli never saw a single sen from the government's tin mining operations.
Just as the vilagers had adjusted to the painful drop in income, another village set up home on the land. The seventh village had been forced to relocate from Sepang to Mukim Tanjung 12 when the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) project commenced.
Mukim Tanjung 12 found itself with 4,000 mouths to feed and barely enough resources. Once again, the villagers struggled to make ends meet. And once again, just as they had found their footing, the state government dropped another bombshell. It was plundering the land's last plentiful resource – its sand.
The real sand-mining scandal?
“We've had enough!” thundered Dewi Malam, a representative of the village head of Kampung Orang Asli Pulau Kempas. “The government has been robbing us of income from our own land for years and we're not standing for it anymore.”
Dewi has a particular axe to grind with the government. According to him, the Orang Asli had set up their own sand-mining company late last year called Sambutan Mewah. The company intended to sell sand to the state government in the hope of creating an alternate source of income.
As Sambutan Mewah waited for its permit to be approved, Dewi was tasked with guarding the stockpile of sand. During that period, he had urgent matters to attend to in Negri Sembilan and left for three days.
His return was greeted by frantic villagers who told him that a government company had carted their precious sand away. That company was none other than Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB).
“KSSB came here in December 2009,” Dewi recalled. “Its contractor's permit has expired in March but its operations haven't ceased. In the past three months, it has transported RM1 million worth of sand every day. That's how much we have lost so far.”
KSSB was recently slapped with allegations of graft in the sand-mining industry, which led to a public inquiry early last month. Despite reports of rampant illegal sand-mining activities occurring throughout Selangor, the inquiry only found KSSB guilty of mismanagement of funds.
According to a source familiar with the sand-mining operations in Mukim Tanjung 12, the sand is being funnelled towards three big projects – the LCCT, the Pulau Carey highway and the Jenjarom highway.
He alleged that the state government had been secretly feeding other sand-mining sites to the media and possibly even to Kapar MP S Manikavasagam – who made the graft allegations against KSSB – in a bid to divert attention away from Mukim Tanjung 12.
Dewi agreed, saying that operations in other areas like Sungai Rampai, Hulu Selangor and Kuang were child's play compared to what was taking place on their land.
“How can the government hold an open tender for a project on land that doesn't even belong to it in the first place?” Dewi asked, with bitterness. “And how can it exclude the owners of that land from that process?”
A deaf government
Dewi's brother, Jafrin, is equally frustrated. He claimed that the village heads and Tok Batins have approached and written to many government agencies and authorities but to no avail.
“I have filed five reports since last year and not one has spurred the government into any action,” he said. “We don't want to dramatise the situation, but the state government is refusing to cooperate so we have no other option.”
“And we're not just talking about the Pakatan Rakyat government but the previous Barisan Nasional government as well. Our troubles only heightened with the sand-mining operation but it started way before that.”
Dewi pulled out a thick folder of documents he had paintaksingly collected over the years as evidence that Mukim Tanjung 12 belongs to the Orang Asli.
Among those documents were letters of acknowledgement by the State Executive Council, the Kuala Langat District Office and the Department of Orang Asli Affairs. But those letters turned out to be mere pieces of paper in the Orang Asli's fight for their land.
“I went through so much trouble to get the original copy of the FMS Government Gazette,” Dewi said. “But when I showed it to the officer at the district office, he scolded me for being too smart for my own good.”
“Look, our income today barely sustains us on a daily basis, but we have never asked the government for money and we are not about to start now,” added Jafrin. “All we want is to feed our families and raise our standard of living from the resources of our land. But the government isn't giving us that opportunity.”
When asked whether they had approached the Kuala Langat MP, Abdullah Sani, and the chairman of the Selangor Orang Asli Land Task Force, Elizabeth Wong, the brothers exchanged sardonic smiles.
“Do you think it would make a difference?” Jafrin asked. “Don't you think they would be in a position to already know about this? If they haven't done anything before, why would they do something now?”
A prophecy
Since the government began staking its claim on Mukim Tanjung 12, the Orang Asli have discovered that their space of land has considerably shrunk. From having free rein over a luxurious 17,800 acres, they now only have access to 4,000 acres. And this has made them very angry.
“I don't have a lot of money but I will fight this matter in court if I have to,” Dewi swore. “When I was young, I didn't understand the full gravity of the matter but now that I do, I am not going to sit back and watch this continue.”
Dewi also prohesised that the Orang Asli would be the country's next social problem within two years if the government continued sidelining them.
“Few of us are university graduates,” he pointed out. “We know how to survive on the land that we have and and if that is taken from us, we will have to find other means of survival or escapism like prostitution, begging and drug addiction. This will happen, mark my words.”
The Orang Asli are a peaceful people by nature but they are not pushovers. And when pummelled into a corner, they will fight back.
“We are this close to the corner right now,” Jafrin said, holding his thumb and index finger an inch away from each other. “And taking the matter to court is just one avenue.”
Dewi extracted an old but pristine photograph of a keris from his folder. Tapping it thoughtfully with his finger, he said, “This keris was given to our previous penghulu by the late Sultan Abdul Samad, who told him to use it to fight any threats upon our village or community. Perhaps the time has come.”

Rural 'uprising' to tear into Taib’s ‘fixed deposit’

By Pushparani Thilaganathan - Free Malaysia Today

KUCHING: Riled by the smug confidence displayed by Barisan Nasional leaders here recently, a newly empowered agrarian network of rural planters is set to “seriously puncture” Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s “Bumiputera vote bank".

Fuelled by the immense success of their three-year-old economic outreach project – Project Ekonomi Rakyat Sarawak (PERS) – the state-level network of farmers have boldly declared that they will contest in the next state election.

The project involves the cultivation of the Jatropha Curcas (oil plant) that saw hundreds of thousands of Sarawakians develop a sustainable income.

“We have been working with the rural community since 2008. We have shown them a sustainable income through our shared-plantation programme.

“We now have a one-million strong network. Many are now self-sufficient and earn between RM400 and RM500 a month.

“This is something the BN has not been able to do... even Pakatan Rakyat cannot achieve this,” Mohamad Noh Bakeri, the pro-tem secretary of the soon-to-be-registered Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sarawak Bersatu (PERSB), told FMT.

Taking a swipe at Taib, Noh said the “shared-plantation” concept had helped pull many rural Bumiputeras out of the poverty cycle, which Taib alleged had kept them dependent on BN.

Billionaire Taib had last month shocked the nation when he admitted that Sarawak Bumiputeras were poor.

To add salt to wound, he had reportedly said: “Sarawak Bumiputeras know they are poor and in difficulty” and are “humble enough to recognise that they still depend on a working government for their fate".

On the heel of his painful revelation came a statement by State Land Development Minister James Masing who confidently declared that rural voters were “BN’s fixed deposit and would never vote for the opposition”.

To which, Noh sarcastically said: “It’s no more a fixed deposit… the situation is changing.”

Success and hope


Perusing the project website recently, FMT picked up a telling comment by a reader, Magdalene.

In her posting, she wrote: “I have done some background checks on PERS… It is hard to believe they have actually helped the poor in Sarawak for the past two years to uplift their economy.

“My own relatives planted Jatropha in Miri and are now making at least RM500 per month for two acres in less than eight months only. If they keep up this noble work, this is no doubt a
big hope for the people in Sarawak.”

Riding on this hope, Noh said these “sums of consistent money” were something many had not seen in more than 30 years under the BN regime.

Sarawak, like Sabah, shares the dubious honour of being the richest in natural resources but possesses the poorest populations.

In contrast, latest reports circulating in cyberspace have exposed Taib to be a millionaire many, many times over, with an extensive portfolio of properties abroad acquired purportedly on his RM20,000 a month salary.

This revelation, compounded with the simmering discontent over Native Customary Rights (NCR) land, deforestation and mega projects, which are displacing communities throughout the state, has lent weight to the emergence of new forms of opposition.

PERSB is not the first newbie to announce its bid to contest in the Sarawak state election.

Last month, another group announced the formation of the Peace Party led by grassroots leader Julian Petrus Jout.

Noh is unfazed

Despite its yet-to-be registered status and the fact that PERSB may not get the approval on time, an optimistic Noh said the “party is prepared for whatever outcome”.

“A lot of the candidates who will be contesting under the PERSB party label are former Parti Pesaka Bumiputera (PBB) members.”

‘We know the process…we know how they (government) work. Twice before, we had to re-submit our application because they found some fault... but we will not let this stop us.

“If they delay our approval or reject us, our people will stand as independents in all the constituencies and we are prepared for this.”

Apart from contesting in all the 71 state constituencies, PERSB is also expecting to field 31 candidates for the parliamentary polls in the 13th general election.

Already, several of the faces of the 71 candidates are available on the www. pers.com.my website.

MIC AGM: Anti-climatic finish after Samy's silence on successor

By S Retnanathan, B Nantha Kumar and G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today MIC AGM round-up The much anticipated announcement by MIC chief S Samy Vellu on his departure from active politics at the end of the party's 64th annual general assembly, which concluded here yesterday, turned out to be anti-climax after the long serving party chief failed to speak on the touchy subject.
Failure to provide a full explanation on the issue by Samy Vellu has also raised questions if deputy president G Palanivel would indeed succeed the president who has announced that he would quit from the post which he held since 1979, in September 2011.

He was widely anticipated to announce his successor at the end of the assembly to clear the air on speculation if Palanivel would takeover the MIC presidency in the future.

The 74-year-old veteran leader in his winding-up speech spoke on various issues ranging from economy, Tamil schools, higher education opportunites for Indian students and social problems but left out party politics.

Instead he took a swipe at ineffective MIC branch members who failed to carry out their duties but wanted positions in the party.

Disciplinary action in the form of a show cause letter would be issued to some 358 delegates to the assembly, who failed to show-up for the assembly despite taking up accomodations prepared by the party.

“These are the kind of leaders we have. They would be issued show cause letters on Wednesday. I want an explanation on why they did not attend the assembly,” said Samy Vellu.

While he spoke on various issues, the closest he came to naming Palanivel as his successor was when he answered as query from a delegate who wanted the party to provide financial aid to branch chairmen.

Presently the party subscribes to an insurance scheme which provides RM10,000 to widow of a branch chairman who had passed away.

“Instead of providing money after we die, it would be better if the money was given when we are alive,” the delegate had requested.

To this Samy Vellu replied:” I cannot decide on that. I will leave that to the next president...Palanivel will see to that.”

Another hint dropped by Samy Vellu, that he would relinquish the post, was when he spoke about the role of the media and how some newsmen went to great length to tarnish the image of the MIC and Samy Vellu.

“But don't worry about that, soon they will not write anymore,” he said.

Samy Vellu in his opening address at the assembly on Saturday had fuelled speculation that he would name his successor at the end of the assembly.

Tribute from Najib


Departing from the norm, the MIC chief spent a good amount of time thanking all those who had helped him throughout his 30-year journey as president and admitted that some decisions he made during the tenure as difficult.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who opened the assembly also paid tribute to the veteran leader, pointing out how Samy Vellu was always vocal at cabinet meetings fighting for Malaysian Indian community.

However, Najib also said that not only the Barisan Nasional was at crossroads but also all component parties including MIC, indicating on the need for a change of leadership in the party.

He has been calling for change in the party leadership since the party polls last year but to date the party had maintained its status-quo.

Since the 2008 general election which saw the ruling coalition suffer a devastating defeat, losing its two-thirds majority in Parliament, Samy Vellu has been under pressure to quit and hand over the party to a younger leader in an effort to woo Indian voters who had deserted the BN in the polls.

The failure of the MIC chief to explain the leadership transition would definitely raise to further speculation on who the next MIC president would be.

The assembly was the best forum for Samy Vellu to tell MIC members what was in his mind, however it is uncertain if the MIC supremo left out the topic on purpose.

When approached by reporters at the end of the assembly he declined to answer to queries about his presidency only saying,” I do not want to talk about my presidency.”

Chinese Perkasa = All that’s wrong w/BN & Stupidest Idea Ever

vs.
I think “stupidest idea ever” pretty much sums it up.
If you need the ‘serious’ explanation, this is exactly what is wrong with the BN race-based model.
This ridiculous zero-sum model of fighting fire with fire looks to bring our country backwards in time instead of forwards.
The Chinese in this country do not need someone frothing at their mouth ‘defending’ Chinese rights (especially that short fler pictured above) – they, like ALL Malaysians, just need a clean government whose belief in Malaysian unity goes beyond some bullsh*t slogan.
ps- travelling for a few days again, sorry!

Iniesta puts Spain on top of world

Spain's midfielder Andrés Iniesta celebrates after scoring
Champions of Europe and now champions of the world, Spain captured football's Holy Grail for the first time with a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands thanks to Andres Iniesta’s 116th-minute strike at Soccer City.

The solitary goal came with penalties looming as substitutes Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas combined to play in Iniesta and the little Barcelona midfielder drove emphatically across Maarten Stekelenburg and into the far corner. With this victory – their fourth successive single-goal win in South Africa – Spain became the eighth name on the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy and also the first European team to have triumphed on a different continent. For the Netherlands, who lost defender John Heitinga to a red card in extra time, there is only the heartache of another tale of what might have been after completing a hat-trick of Final losses.

This was a match preceded by much talk of two like-minded footballing cultures, of the influence of Dutchmen like Johan Cruyff and Rinus Michels on Barcelona, of 'tiki taka' and Total Football. In many ways, as the first 116 minutes showed, it was also a case of the irresistible force versus the immovable object. The Dutch had won 14 straight games to get to the Final, in qualifying and the tournament proper, and Spain 15 out of 16, their only slip the defeat by Switzerland in their first game here in South Africa.

It was the Spanish found their stride first, living up to their pre-game billing as favourites. Vicente del Bosque's side, playing in navy blue, dominated possession and fashioned the early chances. With the Dutch penned inside their half, Maarten Stekelenburg had to make a save after five minutes, diving low to stop a Sergio Ramos header from Xavi's free-kick in from the right. Gerard Pique looked poised to follow up only to be denied by a combination of Joris Mathijsen and Dirk Kuyt.

Ramos came again in the tenth minute, beating Kuyt on the right and driving in a low centre that Heitinga deflected behind. From the corner came another scare for the Netherlands. Xavi played the ball back to Xabi Alonso whose ball went beyond the far post to David Villa but the in-form No7 sliced his volley into the side-netting.

After those near things, however, both defences got on top with none of the flair players on either side able to take a grip on proceedings. Instead the yellow-card count began to rise with Nigel de Jong becoming the fifth player in Howard Webb’s notebook by the time we reached the half-hour mark, the Netherlands midfielder, newly returned from suspension along with Gregory van der Wiel, having clattered into the chest of Xabi Alonso.

With the orange sections of the 84,490 Soccer City crowd finding their voice, their favourites almost gave them something to sing about from a corner in the 37th minute. Robben rolled the ball to Mark van Bommel on the edge of the box and although he failed to make a clean connection he unwittingly diverted the ball on to the unmarked Mathijsen but the defender missed his kick. As half-time approached, Iker Casillas had barely had a save to make but entering stoppage time, Spain’s custodian had to be alert to deny Robben at his near post as a spell of Dutch pressure ended with the winger spearing in a low shot from the corner of the box.

Puyol, Spain's semi-final matchwinner, showed his aerial threat once more minutes after the restart when he rose above Heitinga and headed to the far post but Joan Capdevila failed to make contact. The game was gradually opening up and Dutch spurned a golden opportunity in the 62nd minute when Wesley Sneijder sent Robben running clear. Casillas came to Spain’s rescue, deflecting the shot behind with his right foot when falling the wrong way.

Spain coach Del Bosque had already sent on Jesus Navas for Pedro on the hour and the winger helped pick a hole in the Dutch defence in the 70th minute. Xavi sent him flying down the right and into the box and when Heitinga failed to deal with Navas’s low cross, the ball fell to Villa who looked odds-on to score only to see his effort deflected behind. Ramos was equally profligate after 78 minutes when he headed over a Xavi centre when unmarked, after Villa had forced another corner.

Spain were looking the more likely winners and it took Sneijder of all people to foil Iniesta with a smart tackle after his jinking run into the box. Yet Robben’s pace is a persistent threat and the Oranje No11 almost embarrassed Puyol in the 82nd minute, speeding clear of the Spain defender when second-favourite to reach a through-ball. Resisting Pique’s attempt to tackle too, he was foiled only by Casillas, the captain saving at Robben’s feet as the Dutchman sought to round him.

Extra time began with opportunities for Spain. Xavi failed to connect when well positioned and when the ball ran to Villa, his shot went wide off an orange shirt. Substitute Cesc Fabregas then broke clear on to Iniesta’s through-ball but was foiled by Stekelenburg. Mathijsen headed wide from a corner but like waves, Spanish attacks kept rolling on to the Netherlands back line and Navas was close with a shot deflected into the side-netting.

Fernando Torres replaced Villa midway through the extra period and Spain gained a man advantage four minutes late with Heitinga’s dismissal for pulling back Iniesta on the edge of the box, the offence earning him a second yellow. Iniesta would not be denied, however, as his late strike put Spain in the history books and shattered the men in Oranje.

Mengapa Malaysia tidak pernah layak ke Piala Dunia?

WRITTEN BY ZAKI SAMSUDIN
Pertandingan Piala Dunia Bolasepak 2010 di Afrika Selatan sudah hampir ke penghujungnya. Sudah hampir sebulan peminat bolasepak di Malaysia bersorak menyaksikan pertarungan antara negara-negara selain daripada negara tanahair mereka sendiri. Dalam keghairahan bersorak pasti ramai yang tertanya, ‘Bilalah agaknya pasukan kebangsaan Malaysia akan beraksi di pusingan akhir Piala Dunia?’

Melihat pada prestasi pasukan kebangsaan sepanjang beberapa tahun yang lalu, agak mustahil Malaysia dapat beraksi di pentas Piala Dunia. Senarai ranking mutakhir Persekutuan Bolasepak Antarabangsa (FIFA) meletakkan Malaysia di tangga 146, setaraf dengan ‘gergasi’ bolasepak yang lain seperti Turkmenistan, Burundi dan Madagascar.

Walhal, kurang 30 tahun yang lalu pasukan bolasepak kebangsaan duduk setaraf dengan Jepun dan Korea Selatan yang sudah berturut kali layak ke pusingan akhir Piala Dunia.  Saya sempat menyaksikan pertarungan antara Malaysia dan Jepun sebanyak dua kali di Stadium Merdeka pada tahun 1980-an. Pertamanya di peringkat separuh akhir Pestabola Merdeka 1986: Malaysia menang 2-1 dalam masa tambahan. Perlawanan kedua ialah di pusingan kelayakan Piala Asia 1988: Malaysia tewas 0-1.

Sekarang, sekiranya Malaysia berjaya menewaskan Jepun ataupun tewas tipis di tangan mereka, pasti dianggap kejayaan yang sangat besar.  Walaupun tewas 0-1 pada tahun 1988, hakikatnya Malaysia pada perlawanan tersebut menguasai pasukan Jepun sepanjang tempoh perlawanan.  Kekalahan tipis ketika itu dianggap cukup mendukacitakan.  

Kemerosotan pasukan bolasepak kebangsaan boleh dilihat daripada pelbagai sudut.  Yang pasti, kemerosotan ini banyak mencerminkan beberapa perkara  ‘pelik’ yang berlaku di dalam negara.

Pertama, jika dilihat pada barisan pemain kebangsaan sekarang, sudah tidak ada lagi pemain berbangsa Cina yang menyarung jersi kebangsaan. Malah, hanya S. Kunalan, pemain dari Negeri Sembilan yang merupakan pemain bukan Melayu tunggal yang sering turun dalam kesebelasan utama pasukan kebangsaan.

Sudah pasti kemerosotan prestasi pasukan bolasepak kebangsaan bukan kerana tiadanya pemain berbangsa Cina. Cuma, apa yang berlaku ialah menularnya polarasi kaum dalam arena sukan negara.

Bolasepak kini boleh dianggap sukan untuk kaum Melayu sahaja, manakala kaum Cina lebih tertumpu pada acara sukan lain seperti bola keranjang dan bola tampar . Dalam bersukan pun sudah kurang integrasi antara kaum! Bukankah ini sesuatu yang amat menyedihkan?

Saya percaya kepelbagaian kaum dalam sebuah pasukan bolasepak ada manfaatnya.  Lihat saja pada pasukan Jerman dalam kejohanan Piala Dunia kali ini. Dalam kesebelasan utama pasukannya yang membenam England dan Argentina, ada permain yang berbangsa Turki, ada yang berasal dari Ghana dan Tunisia, dan di bangku simpanan ada pemain-pemain yang berasal dari Sepanyol dan Brazil. 

Pemain-pemain ini membawa pembaharuan dalam corak permainan pasukan Jerman.  Jika sebelum ini mereka dianggap hanya bergantung kepada disiplin dan organisasi permainan yang tinggi, pasukan Jerman kali ini dilihat mempamerkan aksi menyerang yang baik dan kreatif.

Jangan dipolitikkan sukan


Pasukan kebangsaan Malaysia dahulunya punya kelebihan ini.

Pemain-pemain Melayu dan India lebih exspresif mempamerkan skil permainan manakala pemain-pemain berbangsa Cina dan Sikh punya daya tumpuan dan disiplin yang tinggi. Maka, tidak hairan jika dilihat pada senarai pemain kebangsaan pada tahun 1970-an dan awal 1980-an, tembok pertahanan negara dibarisi pemain-pemain seperti Soh Chin Aun, Santokh Singh, Lee Kin Hong dan Serbegeth Singh; dan tonggak serangan digalas pemain seperti Mokhtar Dahari, Shukor Salleh, Hassan Sani dan Zainal Abidin Hassan.

Budaya yang berbeza membawa gaya permainan yang berbeza, dan ini membawa manfaat bila diadun dengan sempurna. 

Seperkara lagi yang menyedihkan dalam bolasepak negara ialah penglibatan ahli-ahli politik. Memang benar, daripada sudut kewangan penglibatan ahli-ahli politik itu membawa manfaat. Mereka mampu menarik dana yang diperlukan untuk mengurus persatuan bolasepak tempatan. Selain daripada itu, penglibatan mereka sebenarnya tidak perlu. 

Saya tidak faham misalnya mengapa jawatan presiden persatuan-persatuan bolasepak negeri sering dipegang menteri-menteri besar. Tidak cukupkah kerja di pejabat menteri besar sehingga perlu mencari kerja tambahan mengurus persatuan bolasepak?  Mengapa tidak dibiarkan sahaja pentadbir profesional mentadbir dan membuat keputusan?

Saya percaya ramai menganggap penglibatan ahli-ahli politik ini tidak lebih daripada usaha mencari publisiti murahan.        

Kita tidak mahu ahli-ahli politik masuk campur kerana tidak mahu ‘penyakit politik’ meresap dalam bolasepak. ‘Penyakit’ yang paling ketara ialah kurangnya fokus pada rancangan jangka panjang. Banyak dana dan tenaga lebih tertumpu pada kejayaan serta merta. Siapa di kalangan ahli-ahli politik yang mahu membuang masa merancang pelan jangka panjang seperti ‘Malaysia ke Piala Dunia 2018’? Tahun 2018 itu sangat jauh dan jangka hayat politik mereka mungkin tamat sebelum itu.

Sekiranya perancangan rapi dibuat, saya percaya pasukan bolasepak kebangsaan mampu bersaing di peringkat antarabangsa. Saiz dan tubuh pemain yang kecil tidak lagi boleh dijadikan alasan. Pemain-pemain Jepun dan Korea Selatan sudah membuktikan ia bukanlah penghalang untuk mengecap kejayaan. Kejayaan pasukan kebangsaan merangkul pingat emas Sukan SEA tahun lalu perlu dijadikan asas kejayaan yang lebih besar pada masa hadapan.

Bersorak untuk pasukan Brazil, Sepanyol dan Argentina dalam pertandingan Piala Dunia banyak membawa kepuasan. Namun, bagi setiap peminat bolasepak di tanahair, tidak ada yang lebih memuaskan dan membanggakan daripada bersorak untuk pasukan Malaysia dan mendengar lagu Negaraku berkumandang di stadium. Bilalah agaknya impian ini boleh menjadi kenyataan?

Bangkok Pundits

Reds-Hunting Watch: Scenes from the Thai Entertainment Industry
by Thorn Pitidol
While on the state's affairs front, CRES extends its emergency rule, and thus,
continues its special power to invite any suspect who threatens national
security (i.e. Reds) to stay under arrest or detention without warrant or
charge (see a post below: CRES has decided again).
What's happening within the Thai society is equally noticeable. The Thai
entertainment industry can perhaps provide a good reflection on this. Today,
I bring you some of the news from Thai media outlets, especially ones from
the ASTV-manager website, the cyber-homeland of the PADs. It's important
to note first that the news and comments on this website cannot represent
the whole picture of the Thai society. Still, the ASTV-manager website is
really famous among the Thai middle class, and the student abroad. In fact,
it's been the most popular Thai news website for the last 7 years (see the
stats here, http://directory.truehits.net/shownewsdetail.php?id=1109).
The entertainment section of the ASTV-manager website has been
instrumental to the web-site's popularity. I remember that 7-8 years ago,
when my friends and I just started using the internet to read news and
stories online regularly, most of us got to know www.manager.co.th through
its celebrities gossiping column called "Sor-Jed", which is famous for its
notorious and sexually-related contents. Nowadays, Sor-Jed is still there,
but the website is perhaps more popular from its association with the PAD.
And it has already been a while that the entertainment section of the ASTV-
manager website, and its readers, has been diligently performing the so-
called PAD's sacred task of Reds-Hunting.
This started from a story of a singer called Mint Mintita Wattnanakul (AF3), a
singer and actress, and a daugther of an actor Kovit Wattanakul.
Mint and her dad was accused of being "Reds" first in the "Sor-Jed" collumn.
And incidents during the Nataraja Award ceremony, the same ceremony
that Pongpat Wachirabunjong made his hugely famous (among the Thais)
speech "if you don't love the father, just get out of here", (please see the
video with English sub-title though the hyperlink, warning: plenty of scenes
with tears) made her life much worse. Her dad, Kovit, was spotted as
leaving the ceremony early, and was rumored to be leaving because of his
dissatisfaction with Pongpat's speech. And Mint was spotted as not being
able to sing His Majesty's Song "Kwam Fun Un Soong-Sud (The Highest
Dream)" while she was performing the song on the stage with other stars
for the ceremony (see min 7.50 of this video http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=OmvYxLDochI). Her response was that she did not have enough
time to prepare for this song, as she was informed of her role in the show
very late. Still, as a result of these incidents, Mint has been a subject of hot
debates among the Thais, and her controversial status already caused her to
lost a starring role in two TV dramas. She recently said "if I have lost all my
opportunities in the Thai entertainment industry, then I will go back to live
my life as a normal student".
In addition to Mint, even one of the all-time most popular singers in
Thailand, "Bird Thongchai McIntyre", is also affected from the accusation of
him being "Reds". Thongchai recently had to come out to refuse the rumor
that he supported the Red-shirt movement. Thongchai said "I have no color,
and I am loyal to the King". Some of the PAD supporters, however, do not
seem to believe him. I recently found him to be still on the list of Reds
supporters to be condemned) on this facebook page; "Please help spread the
words on the Reds' Evilness"
Now, let's come to a more recent event, a story of "Mark Thawkumlue",
a contestant in the present season of Academy Fantasia (AF7) show on
Truevisions.
Mark, a high-school boy from Chiangmai, was found to had criticised another
Mark who is the present Prime Minister on his facebook with something
equivalent to the F-word. Mark.T. rudely criticised Mark.A. (the PM) on his
facebook because he believed that Mark.A. should have resigned, and if
Mark.A. resigned, the protest would not have ended with the Reds' "fires".
This news, and the labelling of him being Reds, was spread through the
ASTV-manager website (see mark1), and there has been a huge pressure
on True AF (the organiser of Thai AF show) to expel him from the AF7 show.
True AF, however, decided to keep him, stating that he did not break any
of the show's rules. ASTV-manager continues to put pressure on Mark and
True AF by spreading another news that Mark.T. once posted his opinion on
his facebook saying that "...when will the picture be taken down from all the
houses" (see mark2). Interestingly, since all these news about him came
out in the Thai media, Mark's popularity on the show rose tremendously.
He has so far received the most popular votes, almost twice more votes
(17% versus 9.5%) than the second most popular contestant (see the AF7
website here).
Finally, the latest incident from yesterday (7th July 2010), the ASTV-
manager website posted a specific attack onBen Anderson's first genuine
genius Thailand has produced since 1960s, Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
The topic of the news posted on the ASTV-manager website read "Jei got
annoyed while on-air because he could not accept a different opinion on the
Red-shirts protest". Basically, the story presented is that Apichatpong (Jeoi)
was interviewed by the manager radio station (owned by ASTV), and was
asked by the DJs questions regarding the interview he gave after he received
the award in Cannes Festival. Apichatpong mentioned that he was simply
trying to explain the truth about Thailand to the foreign journalists, and it's
important for the Thais to be honest in saying things about the country, for
example, to accept that there is a large inequality in our society. Apichatpong
also stressed that it's important to accept that a class struggle is the root
of the present conflict, and the Thais should not see all the Reds as just
simply being "bought". At this point one the manager radio's DJs responded
by lecturing Apichatpong back that the Red-shirts movement has nothing
to do with the issues of class and inequality, and that Apichatpong has a
moral responsibility to help tell this truth to the Thai public. Apichatpong said
what he mention was just his view, and everyone should be able to express
their view. But the DJ argued back using the case of lies related to the Thai
King that some views cannot be withstand. Apichatpong responeded that
the such lies can be dealt with by the legal process, and asked the DJs that
he would like to end the interview there because he felt "terrible" and felt
he was "forced to wear a colored shirt". The comments posted on the ASTV-
manager website on this news is full of criticisms and contempts by the
readers on Apichatpong, for example, Jeoi, you are Reds that pretend to be
neutral; or Jeoi, you are so naive to relate the Red-shirts with class struggles
when it's all about Thaksin.
Like other countries' entertainment industry, the entertainment world can
be a bit surreal. But, certainly, it can also reflect a current taste of the
audiences.

Petition to King DYMM YD Agong call for Royal Commission of Enquiry further to Article 93 of the Federal Constitution on the exclusion and segregation of especially the poor Indian students from being granted JPA Scholarships, PTPTN study loans, Matriculation and University places.

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Date : 11th July 2010
To
His Royal Highness DYMM Yang Dipertuan Agong
Duli Yang Maha Mulia Al Wathiqu Billah, Al-Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Almarhum Al-Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah Al-Haj Istana Negara. Jalan Istana.
50500 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia. Tel: 03 20788311 Fax: 03 20704646 / 03 20311535
DYMM Tuanku,
Re: 1) An estimated 2,237 top and high achieving Indian students segregated and denied JPA scholarships, PTPTN loans, Matriculation and University seats.
(2) Call for Royal Commission of Enquiry further to Article 93 of the Federal Constitution on the exclusion and segregation of especially the poor Indian students from being granted JPA Scholarships, PTPTN study loans, Matriculation and University places.
(3) Abolish STPM and One Pre-U for One Malaysia.
(4) United Nations nominated official head the Selection Committee and three (3) others for JPA scholarships, Matriculation and University places for five years.
We respectfully and humbly wish to bring to your kind attention as the guardian and custodian of the Federal Constitution for all your Royal Highness subjects irrespective of race and religion, for the compliance of Article 8 of the Federal Constitution (Equality before the law) and Article 12- rights in respect of education of the Federal Constitution. Article 12(1) reads, "without prejudice to the generality of Article 8, there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the grounds only of religion, race and descent or place of birth."
Year in and year out over the past 40 years or so, thousands of especially top and high achieving poor Malaysian Indian students have been denied JPA scholarships, Matriculation & University places. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s claims One Malaysia policy, but top and high achieving poor Indian students are being denied the opportunities from becoming graduates, professionals and reputable citizens who would take Malaysia into the international arena.
This denial of fair and equal educational opportunities has forced an alarming number of poor Indians into the world of crime.
In any part of the world scholarships and study loans are granted by the government to deserving students without fail but only in One Malaysia is this discrimination, exclusion and segregation against the Malaysian Indian students going on and on.
A prime example is Prahsanna who ever since her childhood days grew up with the ambition to of becoming a medical doctor. Her parents, teachers and the community leaders motivated her to pursue medicine and shine in her academic qualifications. She took up the challenge. She worked hard day and night and proved that she is capable of achieving her ambition of becoming a doctor by scoring 11As in the Science stream. However her dreams were shattered when her applications to enter Matriculation, local Universities and JPA scholarship were turned down without any reason. And when she approached the Putrajaya officials she was told to drop her ambition! How would a sober person justify this! Her father is a retiree and her mother is a housewife. Who would help this poor young high achiever’s dream to come true if not the government? And this is just one and being the latest example and the tip of the iceberg to the even the sixth generation especially poor Malaysian Indian students being segregated and excluded from the national higher education opportunities of Malaysia.
Malay Muslim students from Pasir Salak MRSM who scored 7 Ds and 8 Es managed to secure a place in Matriculation colleges whereas Menaka who scored 8As from the same college is rejected. She was like a beggar knocking every government agencies’ door to get mercy. Is this the One Malaysia concept Prime Minister Najib is advocating?
Niquesan Nair was in the PLKN National Service Training while waiting for his SPM results. At the Camp they were taught of One Malaysia, that we are all One and happily sang the song Satu (One) Malaysia. But when he got his results, he scored 10A’s but was denied JPA scholarship, Matriculation and University places while his Malay Muslim friends in PLKN who scored 2A’s and 3A’s got seats in Matriculation/University and were relieved from PLKN training. At this young and tender age Niquesan Nair for the first time felt that just because of his Indian minority ethnicity he was denied the opportunity to contribute to his country.
While Malaysian Indians are denied their constitutional rights as enshrined in Article 8 and Article 12 of the Federal Constitution, the Higher Education Minister Khalid Nordin allocates scholarships to 363 foreign Muslim students to study in local Universities and upon completion they are to be given the opportunity to work here and the option to take up Malaysian Permanent Residence status (Malaysian Nanban 6/7/2010 page 1). In University Institute Technologi Mara (UITM) out of the 200,000 places, 10% are allocated to foreign Muslim students while even the sixth generation Malaysian born Indian students are completely denied entry. This is Najib Razak’s One Malaysia policy.
About 7,600 students were identified as “Excellent Students” or “Pelajar Cemerlang" upon the SPM results being announced this year (2010). There are 40,000 Matriculation seats available (UM 2/11/08 at page 4). Surely all 7,600 students should have secured places in matriculation colleges at the very least and there should have been zero complaints. But we alone have 67 SPM, STPM and Polytechnic students in our list who have complained to us that they were denied JPA scholarships, Matriculation and University places.
The above cases are only the tip of iceberg. We estimate 2,237 top and high achieving Indian students who have been denied JPA and other Scholarships, Matriculation & University places for the 2010 academic year.
DYMM Tuanku, we request the pre University STPM to be Abolished and create a one pre-university examination in One Malaysia for all Malaysian students so that the higher education opportunities are given out fairly to all deserving students especially so as not to exclude and segregate the Indian poor.
As it is education, which is the responsibility of the federal government (and similarly by any other government in any other part of the world), it is not fair because it is race, supremacy and segregation based as opposed to what should rightly be needs based. Through one Google or Wikipedia search the whole world would know that our education system is not fair. How can it be fair when we have different pre-university programmes? Many qualified poor Malaysian Indian students have been denied their basic rights to higher education in contravention of Article 8 (Equality before the law) and Article 12 (no discrimination in higher educational institutions entry financed by the government) of the Federal Constitution. They have to go through the tougher path of STPM without any guarantee of securing a place in the Universities. They are growing up with inequality and injustices in every corner of their lives. How then do they become a part of the true meaning of One Malaysia?
Whereas almost all Malay Muslim students opt for the matriculation programmes. Almost all of the over 40,0000 places in the eleven Matriculation colleges nationwide are reserved for malay muslim students in the 10 month course as opposed to the two year STPM course (Wikipedia). This has become a source of contention because matriculation students, who will enter university one over year earlier compared with their STPM peers, are considered on equal standing with STPM only in Malaysia for the purposes of University admission though it is significantly easier than STPM with a streamed down Form 6 syllabus.
Not all applicants for matriculation are admitted and the selection criteria have never been made public which has led to the perception that the entry has not been fair. The matriculation programme is not as rigorous as the STPM. The matriculation programme has come under some criticism as it is the general consensus that this programme is much easier than the sixth form programme leading to the STPM and serves to help malay muslim students enter the public university easily. Having been introduced after the supposed abolishment of racial quota based admission into local public Universities, the matriculation programme continues the role of its predecessor, albeit in a modified form. It is considered easier because in the matriculation programme the teachers set and mark the final exams that their students sit for whereas in the STPM the final exam is standardised and exam papers are exchanged between schools in different states to ensure unbiased marking. Also, the matriculation programme adopts a semester basis examination (2 semesters in the programme) whilst STPM involves only one final examination, covering all 2 years’ syllabus in one go. The scope and depth of the syllabus in matriculation is also lesser to that of STPM. The disparity between the programmes does not end there, for it is a known fact that in critical courses offered by local public universities (such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Engineering, Accountant, Law, Bio Science etc), almost 70% of the students comprise matriculation students. On the contrary, STPM students form the majority in courses which are less in demand, such as a Bachelor in Science. Defenders of the matriculation programme have described the two programmes as distinct and different, drawing the analogy of an apple and an orange. However, having served the same purpose (i.e. as an entrance requirement to Universities), we criticize the matriculation programme as a blatant practice of double standards.
The following is a fact – bright Indian students are systematically denied their entitlements for Government Scholarships, for admission to Public Universities especially in critical courses and for the Matriculation programme and this is becoming a more serious problem as more Indian students begin to excel academically as has been highlighted by HRP in the past few weeks.
Our sincere question is why does the UMNO led Government not become transparent about the selection process? Why do we need double standards in 1 Malaysia? Why hasn’t the public Universities and scholarship list and it’s selection criteria not been made transparent and public?
DYMM Tuanku, 70% of the Indians are from the poor and hardcore poor, category and the only way for them to break out of poverty is through education and they are denied even this very basic right.
DYMM Tuanku, we request that the JPA Scholarships, Matriculation, University seats and PTPTN loans selection committee should be headed by United Nation nominated official so that no Malaysian is denied their constitutional rights as per our Federal Constitution.
We humbly request for Your Royal Highness to constitute a Royal Commission of Enquiry further to Article 93 of the Federal Constitution to address the exclusion and segregation of especially the poor even the sixth generation Malaysian born ethnic minority Indian students from JPA, Mara, Petronas, 13 Yayasan Negeri, Yayasan TNB, Telekom Malaysia, Bank Negara, Sime Bank and other Scholarships, PTPTN study loans, Matriculation and University places.
We hereby enclose herewith:-
1) Our list containing a total of 69 SPM, STPM and Polytechnic top and high achieving students who have been denied of their constitutional rights to education.
2) A total of 31 Nationwide Police reports lodged by concerned citizens against the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister (Education Minister) and Higher Education Minister on the exclusion and segregation of especially the poor Malaysian Indian students of JPA scholarships, PTPTN loans, Matriculation and University places.
3) A total of 14,207 signatures from Malaysian citizens supporting this, our proposal to constitute a Royal Commission of Enquiry.
We hereby look forward to a Royal Commission to be constituted within two weeks as this is a matter of urgency and in the general public interest and long outstanding. We look forward to your favorable reply on this critical Indian problem at your earliest convenience.
Daulat Tuanku!
Thank you
Yours sincerely,
…………………………
S.JAYATHAS
Information Chief
Human Rights Party Malaysia HRP (pro tem) and HINDRAF
Note Relevant Article in the Federal Constitution:
93) Inquiries, surveys and statistics.
(1) The Federal Government may conduct such inquiries by Commission, authorize such surveys and collect and publish such statistic.
Article 93 read together with the Commission of Enquiry Act, 1950 (Act 119) – An Act to make provision for the holding of commissions of enquiry.
Act 119(2) Issue of Commissions.
(1) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, where it appears to him to be expedient so to do, issue a Commission appointing one of more Commissioners and authorizing the Commission to enquire into:-
(a)   The conduct of any federal officer:
(b)   The conduct or management of any department of the public service of the Federation:
(c)    The conduct or management of any public institutions
(d)     Any other matter in which an enquiry would, in the opinion of the Yang di- Pertuan Agong, be for the public welfare
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Disappointed, HRP leaves memo for King at palace gates

Gavaskar Brian Raj (Malaysiakini)
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If they had hopes that their memorandum on education aid for high-achieving Indian youth would be accepted by the Agong Mizan Zainal Abidin today, the Human Rights Party (HRP) only faced disappointment as none of the palace representatives appeared to receive them.
About 50 HRP members gathered at the gates of the national palace earlier this afternoon and were met by a palace security official who initially said that memorandum would be accepted.
After several minutes, however, the security official returned to inform the activists that no palace official would receive the memorandum on the King’s behalf.
Speaking to the press at the palace gates, HRP chief P Uthayakumar expressed his disappointment that there was no one at hand to receive their petition.
This despite a palace official’s acknowledgment of having received the party’s letter requesting for an appointment to submit the memorandum, said the lawyer.
“We are disappointed that no palace representatives are here to receive our memorandum. We will just leave it at the gate and disperse peacefully,” said Uthayakumar, who showed to reporters the stamp of acknowlegement on HRP’s letter to the palace. P7110018
HRP information chief S Jayathas then placed copies of the memorandum and other papers containing more information on the issue on the ground at the palace gates.
UN help sought
Among the other documents collated with the memorandum, were the 31 police reports that HRP and other Indian-based groups and individuals had lodged against the BN-led government, a collection of 14,207 signatures in support of scholarships and university placements for Indian youths and a list of 69 high-achieving Indian students.
Wheelchair-bound HRP members were among those gathered at the palace holding banners which called upon the King to intervene and redress the problem of marginalisation of Indian students.
Besides calling upon the King to set up a royal commission of inquiry on the problem, the memorandum also called for the abolition of the higher secondary school STPM examinations and their replacement with a single pre-university course for all.
P7110025 The HRP also called for a United Nations official to head the selection committee for the allocation of public service department (JPA) scholarships as well as matriculation and university placements for the next five years.
“This UN official will ensure that the allocation process is done equally,” said Uthayakumar.

Najib Urges MIC Not To Use Caste System To Determine Leaders

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on the MIC not to use the caste system as a key or determinant factor to choose leaders at all levels.

Leaders must be selected, based on their ability, capability and credibility to serve the Indian community, he said.

"Just because you are from the lower caste, doesn't mean you cannot hold position in MIC. Are you to be condemned forever?

"No. MIC must be a modern progressive party which adopts to changes and not be too carried away by the caste system to choose the leaders.

"We should look at him...is he the best leader for the Indian community? If he is the best leader, doesn't matter where he comes from.

"In Umno, we don't practise that. In Umno, there are a son of rubber tapper, son of nelayan (fisherman) jadi (becoming) menteri besar, ada anak petani jadi menteri (we have a farmer's son becoming minister), that is social mobility.

"We want social mobility in this country and that is important for the Indian community," he said in his speech at the MIC 64th General Assembly here Sunday.

Najib also called on the MIC to emulate the "changes" taking shape in Umno now.

"This is what I mean, change. Umno is changing, you must also change together, we changed for the better. And I promise, as prime minister, I will be fair to all the communities," he said in his speech at the MIC's 64th General Assembly here today.

Najib, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, was confident that MIC could deliver, if the party was willing to change with the times and also recognised the signals of the Indian community.

"What are the signals of the Indian community? That, you have to ask yourself, I don't want to speak on behalf of the Indian community," he said.

He also gave a word of advice to MIC leaders to refrain from internal politics as it could destroy the party.

"Don't get carried away with MIC politics. Internal politics will only destroy MIC. If you realise that, and you realise that you need to serve the Indian community better, then MIC will be the stronger and more respected party," he said.

The prime minister also reminded MIC leaders to solve their party leadership woes in a way that could strengthen the party, and not destroy it.

--BERNAMA

========


"I Did What Was Right For The Community" - Samy Vellu
KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 (Bernama) -- While admitting that some of his decisions might not have gone down well with certain quarters, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said he only did "what was right" for the community and the party.

"There were many instances whereby, my decisions were disliked, but I believe that as a leader, I had done what was right for the people.

"I had to do the right thing, and at the same time, get the things right for the community," he told 3,000 MIC delegates and observers at the opening of the 64th MIC general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre on Saturday.

Samy Vellu, who will call it a day on or before Sept 30, next year, after almost 32 years helming the party, said his leadership era was "tough, testing and challenging".

"There were social, structural changes that were taking place in the community, and predicaments in the education, economic, employment and religious sectors were constantly brought to us in the MIC leadership," he said.

The MIC chief also lashed out at certain individuals for dividing the Indian community, resulting in the formation of many small political parties.

�Many of us are guilty of splitting the Indian community into various small, insignificant and fragmented groups which claim to champion for their narrow-based (minded) causes.

He said, on one side, there were non-governmental organisations which seemed to be championing educational issues, while on the other, there were Indian groups which claimed to represent the voice of the underprivileged.

There were also groups formed solely to gain political support, but were unable to sustain their presence as they did not have a clear road map for the Indian community, he noted.

�As much as many of us love to deny the truth, it is a matter of fact that despite all the challenges faced, the MIC persists to remain strong, relevant, vibrant, and is the one and the only voice of the Indian community,� said Samy Vellu.

The party president then invited all Indian-based political parties to close ranks and work closely with the MIC.

�Let�s unite as a united Indian force as this is essential to see Barisan Nasional through the upcoming general election.

�No matter how distinct our opinions are, let us put our differences aside and let�s harness our uniting factors such as the future of our children, as well as the community�s well-being. Let us also unite to work together as one with the other communities that we must co-exist with, in this prosperous nation,� he said.

Samy Vellu said over the past three decades, the MIC had transformed the Indians from a backward community into a respected community in Malaysia.

�We have built the foundation for the Malaysian Indian children who now have an opportunity to study, compete and achieve supremacy in any field of preference,� he said.

The former works minister said over the past three decades, he had devoted his life for the community, party and government.

�I started as a humble member of the party and with the support of party members, I have been fortunate enough to have the privilege to be given, a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the party and the community,� he said.

He said, there was much to be desired in the party's state of affairs, 30 years ago, and it was then that he decided to embark on a journey of change and transformation for the Indian community to achieve what others had, and at the same time, take charge of their lives and future.

Samy Vellu said he was extremely grateful to the people who assisted him throughout his presidency.

�I am profoundly grateful for the support of so many Malaysians who somehow know that I care about them at great extent, that I care about their problems and their dreams. I am grateful to those who have stood by me in the party and in the Barisan Nasional, and rendered undivided moral support for me.

�May God guide us together, in order to charter the path of success for the people,� he concluded in his speech.

-- BERNAMA
*******

Najib tells MIC to overcome politicking

UPDATED @ 06:51:52 PM 10-07-2010
July 10, 2010
Najib Razak issued a stern warning to MIC delegates today to not let its leadership crisis affect the party’s performance — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak issued a stern warning to MIC delegates today to not let its leadership crisis affect the party’s performance and relevance to the country’s Indian community.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman said the MIC needed to be able to adapt and “change with the times” if it wanted to reach out to the Indian community. The party was badly mauled in Election 2008, losing its usual 100 per cent win record.
“Don’t let leadership problems sap the energy of MIC. Don’t get carried away with MIC politics. Internal politics can destroy (the party).
“My plea is...don’t fight and destroy MIC. You have to choose your leadership to make MIC better and stronger for the Indian community,” the prime minister said when opening the party’s annual general assembly.
In his speech during the 64th MIC annual general assembly here, Najib reprimanded leaders within the fractured Indian party for utilising the media to sow discord and achieve their own political ends.
“I see the Tamil newspapers...when you are using newspapers for your own political ends, you are destroying Barisan Nasional. You have to use the media for the betterment of the Indian community. I can be more specific than this, but I won’t,” said a smiling Najib who chose not to make any specific references to his speech.
The response to Najib’s speech was a stark contrast to MIC president Datuk Seri Samy Vellu’s opening address.
Samy Vellu’s speech had only received a lacklustre response at best from delegates, but Najib had managed to fire up the crowd, wasting no time in addressing the problems that have been plaguing MIC for some time now.
“As you know, we are at a crossroads now, not only for MIC, but also Umno and other BN parties. The results of the 12th general elections have shown that all BN parties have to engage in some self-reflection, look honestly at our strengths and weaknesses,” said Najib.
But the Umno president was also cautious when he spoke about the need for MIC to move forward with a new leadership, and was careful not to upset Samy’s party loyalists.
He told delegates that Samy’s contributions to the party also have to be recognised.
“I, as BN chairman have to acknowledge MIC’s contributions in the context of strengthening BN.
“It cannot be denied that Samy’s role as the MIC president has long supported the BN leadership for all these years. MIC under Datuk Seri Samy Vellu has contributed to the development of the Indian community,” said Najib.
Najib said that Samy had been a champion of Indians’ right for many years, using the example of when Samy had brought up the issue of Indian students studying in Ukraine a few years back.
“I remember when Samy brought up the issue of Indian students in Ukraine, where their degrees were not recognised. Samy had wanted the government to recognise unrecognisable degrees,” said Najib in jest.
But Najib also urged delegates to recognise the party’s shortcomings and rectify its weaknesses.
“We are in the process of rectifying our weaknesses. Maika Holdings, yes we admit we had problems. But those problems will be rectified, the shareholders will get back their money,” said Najib.
The BN chairman said that MIC should not blame its president for all existing problems in the party, and that it desperately needed to “work together as a team” in order to move forward.
MIC delegates applaud Datuk Seri Najib's speech at the party's 64th annual meeting today — Picture by Choo Choy May
In reaching out to delegates, Najib said that MIC could not all the issues concerning the Indian community without the BN, and BN needed MIC as well. “Work with us, we are here to help you. In Hulu Selangor, Umno fought tooth and nail to make sure MIC won, and now we see our Hulu Selangor MP sitting with us (points at P. Kamalanathan.) Likewise, in Bagan Pinang, you helped us win. Umno cannot do it alone, and MIC cannot do it alone. We must be together and focus on overcoming the challenges of the Indian community,” added Najib.
Najib announced that every single student who scored 9A+ in SPM will be offered JPA scholarships, irrespective of background.
“Out of 4,571 Indian students who applied for a place in public universities (this year), 2,499 students had qualified. From that amount, 2,304 secured place in local universities.
“That means 92.2 per cent of Indian students who are qualified were given places in our public universities.
“As the prime minister, I will be fair to all communities,” quipped Najib to a standing ovation from MIC delegates.
else{setTimeout('jsCall()',500);}" type="hidden" /> KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak issued a stern warning to MIC delegates today to not let its leadership crisis affect the party’s performance and relevance to the country’s Indian community.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman said the MIC needed to be able to adapt and “change with the times” if it wanted to reach out to the Indian community. The party was badly mauled in Election 2008, losing its usual 100 per cent win record.
“Don’t let leadership problems sap the energy of MIC. Don’t get carried away with MIC politics. Internal politics can destroy (the party).
“My plea is...don’t fight and destroy MIC. You have to choose your leadership to make MIC better and stronger for the Indian community,” the prime minister said when opening the party’s annual general assembly.
In his speech during the 64th MIC annual general assembly here, Najib reprimanded leaders within the fractured Indian party for utilising the media to sow discord and achieve their own political ends.
“I see the Tamil newspapers...when you are using newspapers for your own political ends, you are destroying Barisan Nasional. You have to use the media for the betterment of the Indian community. I can be more specific than this, but I won’t,” said a smiling Najib who chose not to make any specific references to his speech.
The response to Najib’s speech was a stark contrast to MIC president Datuk Seri Samy Vellu’s opening address.
Samy Vellu’s speech had only received a lacklustre response at best from delegates, but Najib had managed to fire up the crowd, wasting no time in addressing the problems that have been plaguing MIC for some time now.
“As you know, we are at a crossroads now, not only for MIC, but also Umno and other BN parties. The results of the 12th general elections have shown that all BN parties have to engage in some self-reflection, look honestly at our strengths and weaknesses,” said Najib.
But the Umno president was also cautious when he spoke about the need for MIC to move forward with a new leadership, and was careful not to upset Samy’s party loyalists.
He told delegates that Samy’s contributions to the party also have to be recognised.
“I, as BN chairman have to acknowledge MIC’s contributions in the context of strengthening BN.
“It cannot be denied that Samy’s role as the MIC president has long supported the BN leadership for all these years. MIC under Datuk Seri Samy Vellu has contributed to the development of the Indian community,” said Najib.
Najib said that Samy had been a champion of Indians’ right for many years, using the example of when Samy had brought up the issue of Indian students studying in Ukraine a few years back.
“I remember when Samy brought up the issue of Indian students in Ukraine, where their degrees were not recognised. Samy had wanted the government to recognise unrecognisable degrees,” said Najib in jest.
But Najib also urged delegates to recognise the party’s shortcomings and rectify its weaknesses.
“We are in the process of rectifying our weaknesses. Maika Holdings, yes we admit we had problems. But those problems will be rectified, the shareholders will get back their money,” said Najib.
The BN chairman said that MIC should not blame its president for all existing problems in the party, and that it desperately needed to “work together as a team” in order to move forward.
MIC delegates applaud Datuk Seri Najib's speech at the 
party's 64th annual meeting today — Picture by Choo Choy MayIn reaching out to delegates, Najib said that MIC could not all the issues concerning the Indian community without the BN, and BN needed MIC as well.
“Work with us, we are here to help you. In Hulu Selangor, Umno fought tooth and nail to make sure MIC won, and now we see our Hulu Selangor MP sitting with us (points at P. Kamalanathan.) Likewise, in Bagan Pinang, you helped us win. Umno cannot do it alone, and MIC cannot do it alone. We must be together and focus on overcoming the challenges of the Indian community,” added Najib.
Najib announced that every single student who scored 9A+ in SPM will be offered JPA scholarships, irrespective of background.
“Out of 4,571 Indian students who applied for a place in public universities (this year), 2,499 students had qualified. From that amount, 2,304 secured place in local universities.
“That means 92.2 per cent of Indian students who are qualified were given places in our public universities.
“As the prime minister, I will be fair to all communities,” quipped Najib to a standing ovation from MIC delegates.
*******

Samy Vellu insists MIC only voice for Indians

UPDATED @ 07:13:13 PM 10-07-2010
July 10, 2010
Datuk Seri Samy Vellu pleaded with his party to be united and to ignore splinter groups within the country’s small Indian community — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — In a last ditch attempt to unify a fragmented MIC, party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu pleaded today with his party to be united and to ignore splinter groups or factions within the country’s small Indian community.
Samy Vellu blamed these splinter groups for splitting the votes of the Indian community which resulted in a major loss of votes for ruling coalition Barisan Nasional. (BN)
“Many of us are guilty of splitting the Indian community into various small, insignificant and fragmented groups who claim to champion their narrow based causes.
“In one corner, we have NGOs who laud to champion for purposes of education whereas on the other corner we have Indian groups that claim to represent the voices of the underprivileged,” Samy Vellu said when opening the party’s annual congress here.
The longest-serving MIC president claimed that these groups would not be able to sustain their presence as they did not have a “clear road map” for the Indian community.
“As much of us love to deny the truth, it is a matter of fact that despite all the challenges faced, MIC persists to remain strong, relevant, vibrant and is the one and only voice of the Indian community,” he said at the MIC 64th General Assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here.
In his presidential address, Samy Vellu said that whatever decisions he had made during the last 30 years in the party were “for the people”.
In a swipe at his harshest critics, Samy Vellu said that he was aware that his decisions did not always sit well with some people.
“There were many instances whereby my decisions were disliked but I believe that as a leader I had done what was right for the people,” he said.
The former Works Minister’s remarks come amid strong pressures from within and outside the party to have him removed as party president.
An anti-Samy movement, (GAS), formed in the last few weeks led by MIC members who had been expelled by Samy himself have been going on a campaign to discredit the veteran politician.
But Samy defended himself today by reiterating that the decisions that he had made, though unpopular, were necessary for MIC’s advancement.
“Over the last 30 years, I have devoted my life and exuberance to and for the community, party and the government. The state of the party was much to be desired 30 years ago, and it was then that I decided to embark upon a journey of change and transformation in order to bring the Indian community to achieve what others have and at the same time to take charge of their lives and future,” said Samy.
The MIC man claimed that the party’s various contributions to the country’s growth were evident, using the examples of MIC-owned AIMST University and Tafe College.
Samy told delegates that he would seek the BN government’s support to allocate a quota of 15 per cent of all funds made available for the SMEs to be channelled to Indian SMEs.
The MIC president claimed that Indian SMEs could contribute 1 to 1.5 per cent to the country’s economical growth.
“I take this opportunity to invite all Indian based parties to close ranks and work closely with MIC, from either within or from outside at the national, state and district level for the betterment of the community. Let’s unite as a united Indian force as this is essential to see Barisan Nasional through the upcoming General Election,” added Samy.
But despite all of Samy’s bravado, his speech did not quite receive the encouraging response expected from the 2,000 odd delegates present.
But MIC vice-president Datuk S.K Devamany believes that majority of the party members were solidly behind Samy’s leadership.
“The delegates want a clear blueprint of what is in store for the Indian community. The issue of leadership, everyone is with Samy, the MIC wants a smooth leadership transition and we believe the president has the wisdom to do just that,” Devamany told The Malaysian Insider.
“We recognise that there has been neglect towards the Indian community. The time has now come for us to put it right, to reassure a better future for Indians in the country,” said Devamany.
else{setTimeout('jsCall()',500);}" type="hidden" /> KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — In a last ditch attempt to unify a fragmented MIC, party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu pleaded today with his party to be united and to ignore splinter groups or factions within the country’s small Indian community.
Samy Vellu blamed these splinter groups for splitting the votes of the Indian community which resulted in a major loss of votes for ruling coalition Barisan Nasional. (BN)
“Many of us are guilty of splitting the Indian community into various small, insignificant and fragmented groups who claim to champion their narrow based causes.
“In one corner, we have NGOs who laud to champion for purposes of education whereas on the other corner we have Indian groups that claim to represent the voices of the underprivileged,” Samy Vellu said when opening the party’s annual congress here.
The longest-serving MIC president claimed that these groups would not be able to sustain their presence as they did not have a “clear road map” for the Indian community.
“As much of us love to deny the truth, it is a matter of fact that despite all the challenges faced, MIC persists to remain strong, relevant, vibrant and is the one and only voice of the Indian community,” he said at the MIC 64th General Assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here.
In his presidential address, Samy Vellu said that whatever decisions he had made during the last 30 years in the party were “for the people”.
In a swipe at his harshest critics, Samy Vellu said that he was aware that his decisions did not always sit well with some people.
“There were many instances whereby my decisions were disliked but I believe that as a leader I had done what was right for the people,” he said.
The former Works Minister’s remarks come amid strong pressures from within and outside the party to have him removed as party president.
An anti-Samy movement, (GAS), formed in the last few weeks led by MIC members who had been expelled by Samy himself have been going on a campaign to discredit the veteran politician.
But Samy defended himself today by reiterating that the decisions that he had made, though unpopular, were necessary for MIC’s advancement.
“Over the last 30 years, I have devoted my life and exuberance to and for the community, party and the government. The state of the party was much to be desired 30 years ago, and it was then that I decided to embark upon a journey of change and transformation in order to bring the Indian community to achieve what others have and at the same time to take charge of their lives and future,” said Samy.
The MIC man claimed that the party’s various contributions to the country’s growth were evident, using the examples of MIC-owned AIMST University and Tafe College.
Samy told delegates that he would seek the BN government’s support to allocate a quota of 15 per cent of all funds made available for the SMEs to be channelled to Indian SMEs.
The MIC president claimed that Indian SMEs could contribute 1 to 1.5 per cent to the country’s economical growth.
“I take this opportunity to invite all Indian based parties to close ranks and work closely with MIC, from either within or from outside at the national, state and district level for the betterment of the community. Let’s unite as a united Indian force as this is essential to see Barisan Nasional through the upcoming General Election,” added Samy.
But despite all of Samy’s bravado, his speech did not quite receive the encouraging response expected from the 2,000 odd delegates present.
But MIC vice-president Datuk S.K Devamany believes that majority of the party members were solidly behind Samy’s leadership.
“The delegates want a clear blueprint of what is in store for the Indian community. The issue of leadership, everyone is with Samy, the MIC wants a smooth leadership transition and we believe the president has the wisdom to do just that,” Devamany told The Malaysian Insider.
“We recognise that there has been neglect towards the Indian community. The time has now come for us to put it right, to reassure a better future for Indians in the country,” said Devamany.
*****