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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

NEM is not to remove NEP, says Najib

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said the New Economic Model (NEM) is not about removing the New Economic Policy (NEP) but more towards "progressive liberalisation" of the economy. He said in implementing the NEM, the government would consider the interest of all Malaysians, including that of Bumiputera.

"We are very measured in what we do because at the end of the day, we have to consider the interest of all Malaysians. The Bumiputera interest will be taken into account," he told reporters after receiving a book containing Merdeka Day wishes from the students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, here.

Last week, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed said that pro-Bumiputera and NEP-style policies were still necessary, saying it would not be possible for the community to be on par with other races within the 20-year NEP timeline.

Najib also said the 1Malaysia concept was based on the constitution of Malaysia.

"It is predicated on us being fair and for us being considerate in policies and for us to be inclusive as far as possible," he said.

Najib was also asked on claims that the palm oil industry threatened the orang utan habitat.

It was an inaccurate assumption, he said, adding that the issue had been blown out of proportion by certain groups.

"Our record in the conservation of the orang utan is good and is acknowledged by many. In Malaysia, the orang utan exists only in Sabah and Sarawak but most of our oil palm plantations are in the peninsula," he said.

- Bernama

No plans to give up MIC top post by December: Samy Vellu

"I don't deny that I will be leaving but it will be at the date that I have set."

SEREMBAN: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has refuted speculation that he will give up the post by December, saying such talk was merely the imagination of those behind it.

"I would like to congratulate those who have been saying that I would go by December for their plan.

"I don't deny that I will be leaving but it will be at the date that I have set," he told reporters after witnessing the signing of agreements of understanding between Tafe College and the Germany's Air-Tech Bildung and DNest Aviation Services Sdn Bhd here Wednesday.

Samy Vellu was responding to an article in an English daily Wednesday which said he had apparently told his inner circle that "we would not be around after December".

The daily had also said that a farewell was being organised for the longest-serving MIC president. It further said Gerakan Anti Samy Vellu, a movement set up by a group of disgruntled party members who had been pressuring the president to go sooner, had also been told to go easy on him as he would be leaving soon.

"Some people do not like me and they want me to leave during the night (quietly and without much fanfare). I have my own plan and I will go when I desire and that too during the day (to exit in style)," he said.

The former Works Minister previously said he would leave when his current term expired in 2012.

However, he subsequently said he would vacate his position before September next year.

Samy Vellu said since the party now had a minister and four deputy ministers, he would need to discuss with the respective branches on the need to bring stability to the party.

"Our leaders must do better than me...they need to formulate a plan on how to achieve the party's objectives," he said. - The Star

MIC Youth: We feel you Namewee but...

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC Youth said while it understands local rapper Namewee's frustration, he however should not have taken matters into his own hands.

In view of this, the wing's chief T Mohan said if Namewee, whose real name is Wee Meng Chee, was found guilty of hurting the feelings of other races, action must be taken against him.

Namewee, who is no stranger to controversy, is being investigated over a video he posted on YouTube in relation to the case where a principal in Johor had allegedly uttered racist remarks agaisnt her non-Malay students.

He has since removed the video.

"We understand Namewee’s frustration and his decision to come out with the video clip following the non-action against the principal,” said Mohan in a statement.

Although MIC Youth shares his disappointment, he said, Namewee should not have resorted to criticising others.

On the same note, Mohan urged the government to take stern action against the principal in Johor as well as another headmaster in Kedah, who also allegedly made similar remarks.

The Johor incident caused an uproar after several students claimed that the principal, during a Merdeka celebration speech, had told Chinese students to return to China and likened Indians to dogs.

MIC president S Samy Vellu had also condemned the principal, calling for her to be charged under the Sedition Act.

Following a litany of police reports, an investigation was launched into the matter.

Meanwhile, Mohan also noted that there were several instances where political leaders had made racist remarks for political mileage and got off the hook.

He said the government must put its foot down and charge those who played up racial sentiments to show that it was against racism.

'Black September' for Kg Buah Pala

By Athi Shankar

GEORGE TOWN: Come Malaysia Day on Sept 16, former residents of Kampung Buah Pala will gather to mark a sombre event, the first anniversary of the demolition of their village.
Dubbed 'Black September', the ceremony would be held at an open space near the former village site.

Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association chairman M Sugumaran said Malaysia Day was chosen in order to refresh the memory of Malaysians about the demolition of the 200-year-old village.

“Thanks to the Pakatan Rakyat state government and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Penang Indians lost their final Indian heritage village last September. We aim to organise Black September as an annual event,” he said, adding that an application would be filed for a police permit.

“We hope the police will be considerate and kind enough to give us a permit,” he told FMT.

Sugumaran said he expected at least 100 people to turn up for the ceremony, where a prayer session would also be held.

Kampung Buah Pala was once known to locals, especially Indians, as the Tamil High Chaparral due to its high population of Indian cowherds and livestock as well as unique cultural features and festivities.

The village was flattened to make way for a posh condominium project - the Oasis - undertaken by landowner Penang Civil Servant Cooperative Society and developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd.

Originally, some 33 families lived in the village when the Oasis project was hatched by the previous Barisan Nasional state administration some five years ago.

The 6.5 acres was sold to the cooperative for only RM3.21 million.

However, the Gerakan-led state government inserted a clause to compel the developers to settle the compensation issue with the villagers first before the land title could be transferred.

Court case pending
Nine families agreed to the original compensation package, which was either a flat unit in the Oasis or cash, and vacated the village.

But 24 others stayed put to fight for the land, which they claimed was given to their ancestors under trust by their colonial plantation master, the Brown Family.

When the village was demolished, the Pakatan government agreed to compensate the families with a double-storey house each, to be built on a 1.5 acre plot of land at the project site.

However, nine out of the 24 families did not get the house. The houses were instead given to villagers who had already left after agreeing with the original compensation package.

According to the official version, the nine families failed to ink the documents for the houses in time. However, Sugumaran and the rest pinned the blame on Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“The DAP-led state government wanted to exact revenge on us for standing up for our rights,” he claimed.

The nine families have already initiated court action to seek an order to have a full trial over the Kampung Buah Pala land status.

They have argued that since the land was under a federal trust, the state government had no right to transfer the land to a private developer.

Moreover, there had been no documented evidence to show that the federal government had ever transferred the land title to under the Penang government, read the affidavit.

No third extension for IGP Musa

Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan has not been given a third extension and will be replaced by his deputy Ismail Omar.

According to a SMS alert by Utusan Malaysia, the matter was announced by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein today.

This has put to rest months of speculation about Musa's future, as his contract is slated to expire on Sept 12.

Musa, 59, reached retirement age in 2007 but had his tenure extended twice, much to the chagrin of the opposition and human rights activists.

53 years of no Merdeka for Indians . End racial and religious supremacy in bi racial neo colonialist UMNO & One Malaysia will naturally resurface.

_44431647_protestors_ap_416bToday Malay-sia celebrates it’s 53rdIndependence day . Even right up to 1969, One Malaysia existed naturally from the hearts and souls of the people. There was then no need for the One Malaysia propaganda because there was existing genuine One Malaysia . But today because of the 53 year old racial and religious supremacist rule by UMNO,multiracial One Malaysia has evolved to become Bi racial One Malay-sia,
The Malaysian Chinese who control up to 50% of the Malaysian economy were forced to be taken in as partners in the national mainstream development on Malaysia. The orang asli ,Kadazan and Iban are bumiputras and have their special position according to the Federal Constitution. Plus the poor Malays,poor orang asli ,poor Iban ,poor Kadazan have thousands of their traditional heritage villages and ancestral heritage land as their social safety net. Why, even the poor Chinese have their hundreds of Chinese New villages as their social safety net.
Even the much touted abused foreign workers have their respective governments and embassies in KL and many highly funded NGO’s like Tenaganita etc to speak up and offer them same form of protection.
For example the Indonesian government is demanding a minimum wage of RM 650 per month for Indonesian maids and the Philipines government RM 1,300 . But for the poor Indian rubber plantation workers UMNO has set RM 325.00 per month as the salary or RM 10.58 per day even in the UMNO Sime Darby estates which has now replaced the British colonialists.
New Scan-20100831172852-00001 One Malay-sia does not cry for these poor Indians.
From the above said Malaysian society the only community that is left out of the national mainstream development of Malaysia is even the sixth generation poor Malaysian Indian community.
The poor Malaysian Indians did not have a head start unlike what the Chinese had some 53 years ago. Even then the few Philanthropists,Traders ,businessmen,shopkeepers etc were the Chinese. The Corporate,Industrial,Banking,businessman and rich Chinese and their guilds and associations had helped the Chinese poor come out of poverty in these 53 years .
New Scan-20100831172652-00001The UMNO led Malay-sian government has helped the poor malays out of poverty. For example at least 442,000 poor Malays have been given a ten acre land ownership scheme in Felda , Felcra and Risda to come out of poverty.Through the UMNO racial and religious supremacy the Malays control about 98% of the 1.2 million civil service jobs and about 40% of the economy.
Today the Chinese control of the Malaysian economy and need no or very little government help. Indians have been denied government civil service jobs and the appropriate promotions. For example the Indians in the civil service has been reduced from as estimated 70% before Merdeka to a mere 1% or so after this 53 years of Independence.
And the trampling of the oppressed Indians under the racial One Malay-sian UMNO regime continues with impunity, the tip of the iceberg of which is recorded on a day to day basis in especially
The only way forward to end this UMNO bi racial One Malay-sia
is HRP’s Project 15/38. Until than there is no merdeka for the Malaysian Indian poor under the 53 year old rule of the neo colonialist
bi racial UMNO regime rule.
Old wine in new bottles.The British colonialists are now replaced by the neo colonialists malay muslim UMNO.The helpless and politically powerless poor Indians are left to rot in the present day
bi racial One Malay-sia by the UMNO controlled Malay-sian government and the Malaysian Chinese capitalists who practice racism.
From womb to tomb and from cradle to grave the poor Indians are politically engineered by UMNO to become the new underclass in Malaysia to do bi racial One Malay-sia’s dirty jobs like toilet cleaners,office cleaners. 95% of the UMNO DBKL Alam Flora garbage collector workers are Indians and similiarly in other such establishments nationwide.Also as unskilled plantation and general workers,office boys,security guards,daily salaried taxi,bus,van and lorry drivers etc..
An estimated 150,000 even sixth generation Malaysian born Indian children are maliciously denied their birth certificates by UMNO. Another estimated 300,000 Indians have been maliciously denied their identity cards.
Hundred of thousands of Indians were and are denied even the very basic skills and vocational training in these 53 years . For example unlike the Giatmara which is literally available to all and any poor malay and also available literally
at their doorsteps.
Hundreds of thousands of deserving Indians were denied higher and tertiary education ,JPA,Mara,Petronas etc scholarship ,matriculation places ,teachers training oppurtunities etc.
Hundreds of thousand of deserving Indians have been denied licences,permits to even open up scrap metal and car wash outlets.
Let alone the opportunities to operate food and other stalls,petty trading,Petronas,KFC,Mc Donald ,Highway rest area business opputunities,low rental local council shops,taxi express bus and heavy lorry permits,projects and contracts,business loans and hundreds of thousands of business opportunities.
The British colonialists on this 53rd Merdeka day have obviously been replaced by the neo colonialist UMNO.

Kit Siang says Dr M ‘major obstacle’ to 1 Malaysia


The Malaysian Insider,

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — The DAP’s Lim Kit Siang claimed today that Tun Dr Mahathir was a “major obstacle” to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia concept, with the ex-premier pushing for an indefinite continuation of pro-Bumiputera New Economic Policy (NEP)-style policies.

The former prime minister had, in a Merdeka blog post two days ago, predicted that there would be an escalation in racial tension and division should NEP-style policies be removed, likening the situation to the Communist revolution in Europe.

Dr Mahathir added that the time was not right to introduce policies which would “disregard the disparities between races in the interest of equity and merit”.

“Clearly, on the occasion of the 53rd National Day, Mahathir has crossed the Rubicon to become Najib’s biggest antagonist in Umno and the major obstacle to Najib’s 1 Malaysia and National Transformation Agenda,” said Lim in a statement today.

Dr Mahathir had also justified his arguments for maintaining NEP-based policies, claiming that during his tenure as prime minister and under the implementation of the NEP, Malaysia enjoyed stability and good economic growth.

He said that despite increased talks about “meritocracy,” the races in the country are more divided today than ever before.

Today, Lim demanded that Najib respond to Dr Mahathir’s claims, as Najib had occupied key government posts as well as top Umno positions during Dr Mahathir’s tenure as prime minister.

“Here we have the country’s longest-serving prime minister in fact telling the current prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, that despite this year’s Merdeka Month theme: ‘1 Malaysia: Transforming the Nation’ and the latter’s 1 Malaysia policy and National Transformation Programme for 18 months since assuming the highest office in the land in April last year, national unity and inter-racial relations had never been so bad at present as compared to any time in the 22 years Mahathir had been prime minister, from 1981 – 2003.

The Ipoh Timur MP said that Dr Mahathir had “virtually dismissed” Najib’s National Transformation Programme, in particular the 1 Malaysia concept and the New Economic Model (NEM).

According to Lim, Dr Mahathir’s attacks on Najib’s reform policies began early last month, when the former prime minister demanded that Najib provide a further explanation on the 1 Malaysia policy to prevent it from being interpreted differently by various races.

The DAP stalwart claimed that Dr Mahathir had now broadened his offensive to also encapsulate Najib’s National Transformation Agenda, after the former prime minister openly opposed the merit-based NEM and warned that dismantling pro-Bumiputera policies in favour of needs-based approach would put the country at risk of a revolution.

“Mahathir even equated and condemned meritocracy as racism — when meritocracy is one of the principles of Najib’s ‘1 Malaysia. People First. Performance Now’ policy,” added Lim.

The DAP man said that Najib needed to respond to Dr Mahathir’s assaults, and questioned whether Najib would still push his reform agendas or “back down.”

“Will Najib back down from his 1 Malaysia and National Transformation Agenda?

“If not, who will win the battle in Umno and Barisan Nasional for allegiance — the Najib or Mahathir forces?” said Lim.

4 Israelis shot dead in West Bank

Israeli soldiers inspect a settlers' car after it was ambushed by Palestinian gunmen in the southern West Bank Tuesday.

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Four Israelis -- including a pregnant woman -- were killed Tuesday near Hebron in the West Bank in a shooting for which the militant wing of Hamas claimed responsibility, officials said.

The incident occurred near Bani Naim junction, the largely Palestinian territory where Jews have settled in places like Hebron, Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibowitz said. The victims were in a car on Route 60, the IDF website said.

Guy Gonen, a paramedic who was one of the first people on the scene, said the car was sprayed with bullets.

More than a dozen bullet holes were found in the left side of the white Subaru station wagon in which they were driving.

The attack comes ahead of direct talks scheduled to begin Thursday in Washington between Israeli and Palestinian leaders -- the first such talks since 2008.

Izzedin Al-Qassam Brigades -- the military wing of Hamas -- claimed "complete" responsibility for the attack, according to a statement on its website.

Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the group, confirmed responsibility for the attack in an interview with the Hamas radio station.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, congratulated the attackers, saying the attack was a normal reaction to what he called "the crime of occupation." Hamas, which controls Gaza, opposes direct talks and the continued existence of Israel.

The four killed -- two men and two women -- were from the settlement of Beit Hagai.

IDF forces were searching for the attackers, the IDF website said.

"This is a serious incident," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a written statement. "The IDF and the security forces will do all that is needed to catch these murderers. Israel will not allow any terror element to raise its head and it will collect the price from these murderers and those who sent them. This is an apparent attempt by base terrorists to harm the efforts to move the peace process and to harm the efforts of the talks that are due to begin in Washington."

The IDF spokeswoman said in a phone briefing Tuesday that the army sees this attack as "very severe," and noted that the security situation in that area had been better in the past 24 months.

"For the last two and a half years there has been a long list of easing of measures. The security situation in the area was very stable in the last two years," Leibowitz said.

The incident is a blow to the efforts of Palestinian leaders to prove that they are doing what Israel has most demanded of them -- preventing attacks and providing tough security.

In response to the attack, settlers from a number of settlements in the north of the West Bank gathered near main road intersections and attacked passing Palestinian vehicles, according to Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian official in charge of monitoring settlements in the area.

In addition, some settlers were cutting Palestinian olive trees near Burin village south of Nablus, he said.

In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attack after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "This kind of savage brutality has no place in any country under any circumstances," she told reporters. "The forces of terror and destruction cannot be allowed to continue. It was one of the reasons why the prime minister is here today, to engage in direct negotiations with those Palestinians who themselves have rejected a path of violence in favor of a path of peace. We have to not only stand against the kind of horrific murders we saw today."

Netanyahu called the killings "a savage murder" and vowed to punish the killers. "We will not let terror decide where Israelis live or the configuration of our final borders. These and other issues will be determined in the negotiations for peace we are conducting. And in these negotiations, I will set clearly the security needs that are required precisely to address this kind of terror."

The U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, issued a statement saying he "is shocked" by the report. "We condemn this murderous act and call for those responsible to be brought to justice." He called on all parties "not to allow the enemies of peace to affect the negotiations about to be launched, and to progress with determination and courage on behalf of both peoples, towards a final settlement."

Door to any house of worship is open

 By Azly Rahman - Malaysiakini,

“I sincerely and genuinely reiterate that my visit to the Surau Al-Huda was not politically motivated, and had no motive to put into question the sanctity of suraus and mosques,” Serdang Mp Teo Nie Ching said on Saturday...

Teo explained that she had visited the Kajang surau on Sunday, Aug 22, as their MP, in order to hand over to them the state government's monetary contribution for repairs to the surau fence... She had timed her visit in order to break fast with the surau's committee members and congregation…

NONE“Since I was invited to say a few words, I in all sincerity gave a brief explanation of the state's education programmes that benefit the people of Selangor,” she said, adding that she welcomed advice from all parties on better execution of her duties... (Malaysiakini report, Aug 28, 2010)

The Perkasa panic over Teo's visit to a surau in Kajang intrigues me. The latter had gone there in humility to present a state donation to repair the fence. She is now a sensation and forced to mend fences. She may be meeting with the biggest religious head of the state - the Sultan. There will be repercussions. There has already been.

To be equating what she did with the fate of the American modern revolutionary leader Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabbaz) - that 'Brother Malcolm' was supposedly assassinated because he was preaching to Christians - is to be totally ignorant of what happened in the history of the American Civil Rights movements.

It signifies that one does not have any clue at all to the close relationship between Malcolm X and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, a Southern Baptist minister in the Christian and Nation of Islam struggle for equality and equal opportunity. But then again, perhaps some Malay ultra-fascist nationalist groups do not read much of anything to exist as anything.

At a time when Malaysia is celebrating its “Merdeka”, or whatever one may call this nationalistic ritual, we are seeing the continuation of the absurdity of arguments over religion, by way of crises manufactured so that attention can be taken away from the larger issue of the present regime in the process of being dismantled.

malaysia merdeka 50th anniversary 280807Malaysia's “Merdeka … Merdeka …” cry will be greeted elsewhere - buried in the psyche of the nation - with chants of “diperhamba … diperhamba...” or “enslaved .. enslaved...”, referring to the closing of the captive mind and the notion of Hang Nadim (who saved Singapore from the swordfish) in chains.

Because the manufacturing of crises and the bogeyman called race and ethnicity is no longer a working tool of structural violence to be deployed as a reason to create havoc and chaos come the 13th general election, religion becomes the next available sharp object to pry open the mind of Malaysians so that fear of another riot can be filter-funneled into them.

I hope Malaysians will in no way buy into this script a la Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massace, or even Pontianak Gua Musang, written by those who wish to deface Islam by way of associating visiting its house of worship as a “blasphemous” act. Only simple-minded people masked as sophisticated racists, handsomely paid and in need of cheap publicity, will resort to such orchestrations.

Opening doors to understanding

Let us leave this “tabloidic” notion of what is ailing Malaysians religiously. There is a larger concern of how much we have progressed this Merdeka when it comes to understanding each others' religion.

There is an urgent need for peaceful dialogue on the universality of religion and the common destiny of humankind charted via different paths, before violences become a norm for conflict resolution. Only through education can respect and tolerance be made a culture, although in Malaysia this will take a few more generations, assuming that ten steps back are not orchestrated in this difficult but desired path to peaceful agenda towards developmentalism.

Essentially - all religions are monotheistic, and even in evolved philosophies and folk religion too, the submission of the self is to one the great force of peace.

Every summer, I have been teaching comparative religion as well here in the United States and nothing like what is reported in some tabloidic news media is happening. The door to any house of worship is open to anyone to learn from each other, provided that the intent is right and the visitor respects the ethics of visiting.

multiple religious religion icons 181207It is necessary for the visitor to first find out what are the dos and don'ts of visiting the place. I assign my students to visit masjid, Buddhist temples, synagogues, Catholic and Protestant churches, Hindu temples, and even the Church of Scientology and the Native American reservation, to get them to learn about something they have never known before.

The result - fantastic opening up of doors to further understanding the beauty of the varieties of religious knowledge - and strengthening one's own belief.

In Teo's surau visit incident, Malaysians are learning to differentiate between rational and ridiculous arguments. I would go for an all-out promotion of the teaching of comparative religions as early as in our high schools and especially in our universities. There is tremendous value in such a course offering.

Our hope as Malaysians is to taste “Merdeka” (freedom) in the way we think about religious tolerance and not to continue to be “diperhamba” (enslaved) by any well-paid ultra-nationalistic-fascist group, out to close shut the Malaysian mind - especially that of the Malays.

DR AZLY RAHMAN, who was born in Singapore and grew up in Johor Bahru, holds a Columbia University (New York) doctoral degree in International Education Development and Master's degrees in the fields of Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies, and Communication. He has taught more than 40 courses in six different departments and has written more than 300 analyses on Malaysia. His teaching experience spans both in Malaysia and in the United States and in a wide range of teaching context; from elementary to graduate education. He currently resides in the United States.

Selangor Sultan suspends Ling’s, OC Phang’s titles

Dr Ling still retains use of his federally-awarded Tunship. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 1 — The Sultan of Selangor has suspended the state titles awarded to former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and ex-Port Klang Authority (PKA) general manager Datin Paduka OC Phang pending the conclusion of their ongoing court cases over their roles in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

The decision to suspend their datukships was made after consultation with the Dewan di-Raja Selangor on August 19, the state secretary said in a statement today.

Dr Ling was awarded the Darjah Kebesaran Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Selangor (DPMS) which carries the title “Dato’” in 1992, while Phang was granted the Darjah Kebesaran Dato’ Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (DSSA) with the title “Datin Paduka” nine years ago.

However, Dr Ling, who was awarded the Seri Setia Mahkota (SSM) by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong in 2004, will still be able to use his “Tun” title.

The suspension of the titles will be reviewed after their respective court judgments and if they are acquitted of their charges, the statement added.

Dr Ling, 66, was charged under Sections 418 and 417 of the Penal Code on July 29 with cheating the government by misleading the Cabinet, then helmed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the land acquisition for the PKFZ project in Klang.

The PKFZ project was mooted during his term as transport minister and the cost of the project, initially estimated at less than RM2 billion, more than doubled to RM4.6 billion by 2007.

The total bill for the project is expected to swell to as much as RM12.5 billion due to interest costs from deferred payments, if the trans-shipment hub fails to perform.

If convicted, Dr Ling faces up to seven years in jail and a fine.

Phang, 63, was charged last December with three counts of criminal breach of trust involving RM254.85 million over the PKFZ scandal between October 1, 2004, and May 9, 2006.

If convicted, she faces a maximum of 20 years’ jail and liability of a fine for each charge.

Her trial, which was scheduled to start on August 25, has been delayed to October 26 at the Klang Sessions Court following the defence’s request for more time to study newly submitted documents.

- The Malaysian Insider

BBC: No political pressure to drop RPK

The enigmatic but highly controversial Raja Petra
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — The BBC denied today that it was pressured to drop Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin from its influential Hardtalk programme this week.

The network said its research found out that interviewing the Malaysia-Today website founder would affect an ongoing court case in Malaysia.

Given that the BBC and most major news organisations usually invite newsmakers after research is done on them and the subject, the answer from the BBC appears peculiar.

An interview date had also been given for RPK to appear and the cancellation came late last week after the interview had been publicised by the blogger's fans.

“The BBC researches many different stories, it is the normal process of news and current affairs throughout the media that not all make it to air for a variety of editorial reasons,” said the network in a statement issued via its senior press officer Peter Connor.

“In this case, it became clear in our research that any comprehensive interview with former Malaysia Today Editor Raja Petra Kamarudin would prominently feature issues that are currently the subject of a current court case in Malaysia, which raise issues of defamation,” it added.

The BBC however did not specify the court case.

Early this week, Malaysia-Today posted that Raja Petra was informed by BBC’s Bridget Osborne that the interview had been cancelled as it “would upset the Malaysian government and may even expose the BBC to legal action.”

But the BBC insisted today that the network was not under political pressure and the decision was in line with its editorial policy.

“The suggestion that the item was dropped due to political pressure is untrue. All BBC programmes adhere to the same strict editorial guidelines which ensure complete editorial independence and impartiality,” said the statement.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and former Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar have appeared on Hardtalk, a 30-minute interview programme.

Raja Petra, who was facing a criminal defamation trial, was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal in November last year by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court after the police failed to serve warrant of arrest.

He was believed to have fled the country in May last year after he was charged with defaming Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the wife of the prime minister.

He allegedly published an article linking the murder of a Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu to Rosmah.

Raja Petra made his first public appearance in London last July with Pakatan Rakyat leaders where they spoke to over 200 people. - The Malaysian Insider

Zaid to contest PKR polls if Khalid stays out

Zaid: But I will only do so if Tan Sri Khalid does not want the post.
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Datuk Zaid Ibrahim declared today he’d contest a top party post in the upcoming PKR election, but only if Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim does not vie for the same post.

Zaid did not state the specific post he had in mind.

The PKR supreme council member said he made the decision following continuous attacks against his political beliefs and allegations that he would not protect the interest of the Malays.

“So I have made a new decision. Since I have been under constant attack, I might as well enter the ring,” said the former de facto law minister in a statement posted on his blog.

“But I will only do so if Tan Sri Khalid does not want the post. If he wants, I will be more comfortable to let him contest as he is more experienced and can help the party,” he added.

Zaid has been speculated for the deputy presidency which incumbent Dr Syed Husin Ali is likely to vacate.

Those seen to be in the running too are two vice-presidents—Azmin Ali and Mustaffa Kamil Ayub — and PKR religious understanding bureau chairman Dr Muhammad Nur Manuty.

Some 400,000 members will vote between September 17 and November 21.

The party amended its constitution last year allowing all members to vote for divisional leaders and the 25 members of the central leadership council — including the president, deputy president and four vice-presidents.

The party’s 218 divisions will hold two separate meetings: One for the annual general meeting and election of divisional leaders, and a second meeting to vote for national leaders.

The divisions will vote for national leaders on weekends, from October 29 to November 21.

Zaid, a former Kota Baru MP, previously denied that he’d contest in the party election adding that he would only campaign for young candidates.

“I realise that many Keadilan leaders are not comfortable with my views on many issues. In the current party election campaign, I have heard various accusations, that I would sell the rights of the Malays. I am perceived as a liberal Malay who likes to be popular among the non-Malays in the party,” said Zaid.

“I was also accused of trying to undermine Anwar Ibrahim’s struggle and perhaps sell Keadilan to Umno one day if I am in power,” he added.

Zaid said the attack continued despite his insistence that he would not contest in the election.

Today, Zaid also named Nurul Izzah Anwar as his ally, saying that the Lembah Pantai MP is an example of credible Malay leader.

He praised Nurul Izzah for extending an invitation to Perkasa to debate on Malay rights.

“Her willingness to discuss the difference between rights and privileges has made me happy,” said Zaid.

However he said Nurul Izzah’s views might subject her to attack from conservative Malay leaders.

“Leaders such as Nurul Izzah would be accused of being too liberal or in contradiction with the views of the Malays,” said Zaid.

“She would be attacked by Perkasa, Umno and some leaders in Keadilan. She would be reminded that ‘liberal’ views would not be accepted by the Malays as the Malays are still ‘feudal’,” he added.

IGP sidesteps contract extension talk


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan today refused to comment on whether his service contract has been renewed, despite the fact that it ends this month.

Musa claimed today that he was not in a position to answer the question, amid growing uncertainty over his tenure.

“As I’ve said before, I cannot answer the question. You know I cannot answer the question, so please don’t ask me that question,” Musa told reporters today.

Musa appeared visibly annoyed when asked if he will still be IGP after this month.

Speculation has been rife about Musa’s impending retirement in recent months, with even Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein unable to verify whether Musa would be replaced as the country’s top policeman.

Musa, 59, reached retirement age in 2007 but had his tenure extended twice, with the latest extension scheduled to expire this month.

Hishammuddin said last month that an announcement would only be made when it was necessary.

“It is not the right time to talk about it. It can be very soon or earlier. When the time comes we will make an appropriate announcement,” the minister had said then.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers have demanded that Musa step down as IGP, claiming that crime and corruption have escalated under his watch.

Reports over Musa’s retirement came into the forefront after suspended Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Yusoff was acquitted of three corruption charges by the Sessions Court in March.

Ramli’s acquittal had sparked intense speculation surrounding his future because his relationship with Musa is understood to have been soured by events leading up to his prosecution.

A number of uncorroborated reports had also emerged on the Internet in recent years alleging the involvement of the criminal underworld leading up to Ramli being charged with corruption.

Ramli, who was the nation’s third-most senior police officer until his suspension, confirmed that he would report for duty soon and lashed out at being treated badly by his colleagues.

He also pointed out that Musa had once served directly under him for six years as the head of prosecution, when he was deputy director of the CID. - The Malaysian Insider

Deputy Chief Minister Pang resigns from LDP

By Michael Kaung

FMT ALERT KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Chief Minister Peter Pang today resigned from the Liberal Democratic Party after its leaders declared that the party could no longer work with his boss, Chief Minister Musa Aman.
Announcing his decision at a press conference this morning, Pang, who replaced Raymond Tan as deputy chief minister in May last year, said he would be meeting Musa later today and tendering his resignation as deputy chief minister.

This is because he would be without a party to continue holding on to that post.

He said he made the decision to resign because of LDP's stand against Musa.

It is understood that Pang had met with Musa and other BN leaders on Sunday.

LDP leaders had declared war on Musa last week when they announced that they could no longer work with the chief minister due to various issues, including his cold shouldering their pleas for dialogue.

Anwar's chief of staff vying for Youth chief post

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - Free Malaysia Today

FMT ALERT PETALING JAYA: PKR supreme council member Rafizi Ramli announced today his intention to contest for the Youth chief post as the party heads for elections by year-end.

The announcement confirms FMT's report last week that Rafizi will mount a challenge against incumbent Shamsul Iskandar who is under severe criticism for his alleged inability to lift the party's Youth wing to greater heights.

Although lacking grassroots support, Rafizi, who is also the CEO in the Selangor Economic Adviser's office, is backed by youth leaders closed to Anwar Ibrahim's inner circle and is said to be the main contender for the post.

Anwar is the Selangor economic adviser which means Rafizi is working closely with the party's de facto leader, a clear cut advantage for the UK-trained engineer-turned-accountant.

Present at the announcement were influential young leaders like PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Batu Caves assemblyman Amirudin Shari who will be vying for the Youth deputy chief post and Pantai Jerejak assemblyman Sim Tze Tzin.


Youth power can topple Taib

By Maclean Patrick

COMMENT "If the people don't need me, then I will step down." And with that, Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud has set into motion the oldest political trick in the book.
Scan the local newspapers and you will catch the outpouring of support for Taib to remain as the chief minister and leader of the state Barisan Nasional (BN). A fervour of support seems to have erupted from the masses for Taib. They all want to keep Taib at the helm.

It seems without Taib, Sarawak will go the way of the Titanic; without Taib, Sarawak is doomed.

Or so we are made to believe.

Read between the lines and you will see a pattern. The ones who are dancing round the totem of Keep-Taib-In-Power are those directly involved with the many political parties in the state BN.

The leaders are making the statements, and passing these statements off as a blanket opinion that the state's voters are of the same mind too.

The state leaders cannot voice the true sentiment of the people. To do so would mark the demise of their own political reign. And rightly so, since it was Taib who put them there in the first place. As said by Mahathir Mohamad, "What we give, we can also take back."

BN candidates are nominated by the various political parties and endorsed by Taib. The candidates then are voted in by the people and hence are now indebted to Taib for their very existence. There is something wrong with this and it is a fundamental flaw.

The people's vote should be the most powerful element in any democratic government. The whole government is indebted to the mandate given by the people. It is the people who have full ownership of the government. What the people give, they can rightfully it take back. The elected candidates owe the people (not Taib) their allegiance.

So when Taib said, "If the people don't need me, then I will step down," it should be the people who have the right of say on whether they want him or not. The BN component leaders and their various Youth wings should just keep their mouths shut and allow the people to have their say.

Have a referendum and put the vote to the people. Let the people choose the government they want. Let the people decide in an out-right vote if they still want Taib to remain as chief minister.

Time for change

Tall order indeed, especially in Sarawak. The current administration will never allow the people to blatantly speak out their views. Instead, we are treated to cowardly party members making the assumption that ALL the peoples of Sarawak still want Taib in power.

And all this in light of revelation after revelation of Taib's covert activities -- amassing riches for himself and his associates; stripping natives of their customary land rights and Taib's total monopoly of every business deal in Sarawak. It is an open joke in Sarawak that the Taib establishment has its tentacles in every industry conceivable except the funeral industry.

It is high time that the people of Sarawak made it clear that it is time for change. It is time for Taib to leave the scene and for his underlings to accept it. Nothing last forever and this also includes Taib.

It is interesting to note that Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) has yet to issue a statement (as of the writing of this article) in support of keeping Taib in power and rightfully so.

As seen in Sibu, the Chinese have had enough. Would this translate into a bigger picture when the state election comes round? It would surely be a death note for SUPP to endorse Taib for another term because clearly the thoughts of the Chinese are different from that of their leaders.

But if BN thinks that by winning the Chinese over it has a clear shot at winning the coming election, then it is in for a surprise. The kingmakers for the next election, the ones that can topple Taib, do not belong to any exclusive ethnic group.

The kingmakers are the youths of Sarawak -- educated, young Sarawakians who are capable of judging for themselves what is right and wrong and are not afraid of voicing their opinions.

And it is clear that Malaysian politicians do not have any inkling of the impact of this “hidden nation”. It is a nation of citizens sophisticated in social networking systems, readers of alternative media and who communicates via SMS and chats.

It is one that is fuelled by information, a nation that longs for the ideals of democracy after witnessing the mockery that Malaysian politics has become.

Suffice to say, the growing voice for reform will come from this hidden nation. It will be loud and clear.

Yes, the people do not want Taib. Yes, it is time he stepped down. And to think otherwise, to think that retaining Taib for another term would be beneficial to Sarawak would be pure mockery of the entire democratic process.

Maclean Patrick, a webmaster in Kuching, is a contributor to FreeMalaysiaToday.

'SUPP is scared of Taib'

By Joseph Tawie - Free Malaysia Today

KUCHING: The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) is in a quandary – should it continue to support Taib Mahmud as chief minister and the leader of the state Barisan Nasional or not?

“To continue backing Taib will mean losing the support of the Chinese voters. Not doing so will incur the wrath of the chief minister and its members will lose their positions and businesses with the state government,” said an observer.

“SUPP is really in a fix,” he said.

Early this month, SUPP wanted to meet with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to exert pressure on Taib to resign or the party would pull out of the state BN.

Meanwhile, Sarawak DAP treasurer Violet Yong accused SUPP of being scared of Taib when it failed to make its stand on his leadership.

“SUPP leaders are afraid of the chief minister and do not dare to make their stand. As a party, it cannot claim to represent the Chinese community because it has lost its credibility,” said Yong, the state assemblywoman for Pending.

“Other leaders of Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) have expressed their support for Taib’s continued leadership, but SUPP leaders have remained silent.

“The people, especially the Chinese, want to know its stand,” she said in response to a statement by SUPP secretary-general Sim Kheng Hui.

'Not her business'

Sim had accused Yong of being too vocal and that she might be pushed aside the way it was done to Batu Lintang state assemblyman Voon Lee Shan.

“Yong is undergoing a similar situation which Voon faced before he was suspended,” Sim said, adding that he could not understand why Yong had to ask SUPP to make its stand following public support for the chief minister by PBB, PRS and SPDP.

“Like these three parties, SUPP is also a BN component party.

“This is not her business, but BN’s business. I suggest she gives due attention to Pakatan Rakyat, particularly the states it is now ruling.

“There are so many problems in the Pakatan governments and it is time for her to stop directing SUPP what to do,” he had said.

Reacting to Sim’s statement, Yong accused Sim of trying to divert attention away from the real issue – the issue of whether it would support Taib’s leadership or not.

“Clearly Sim is scared of Taib,” she said, adding that it was not Sim’s business whether she was going to be sidelined or not.

“Nobody sidelines me. I am still the DAP state treasurer,” she said.

Asked whether DAP wanted Taib to be replaced, Yong said Pakatan’s aim is to change the whole government, which is already rotten.

“That is our ultimate aim. Whether we can do it is up to the people,” she added.

Thank you, Tun

We need clarity on who is supposed to have these privileges. Are only Malays and Bumiputras entitled? Definitely, yes. But, why are mamaks requesting to enjoy the same?

By Jamiliah Kassim

Being a Malay, I must say "thank you" for advocating to let the Bumiputra quota stay, albeit your much embarassing, ridiculous and amusing criticisms on meritocracy.

However, we need clarity on who is supposed to have these privileges. Are only Malays and Bumiputras entitled? Definitely, yes. But, why are mamaks requesting to enjoy the same?

Why can mamaks be made Malays? Where on earth can a person convert his race through religion? Obviously this is unacceptable. UMNO is for Malays, and Malays are exclusive of mamaks. UMNO, being fighter for Malays' rights, should rectify this false definition.

Jamiliah Kassim

Feeble-minded BN

By Mariam Mokhtar

Three BN ministers were not speaking from a position of strength when they labeled PKR politician Nurul Izzah Anwar a traitor and a sinner for saying in an Indonesian newspaper, that Malaysia’s new, multimillion ringgit submarine is defective.

She also highlighted the problems plaguing our navy and expressed doubts about the New Economic Policy (NEP).

?Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom said, Those who tarnish their country’s image with the aim of causing turmoil are regarded to have sinned.

The truth hurts, but Jamil is mad to brand people who are critical of the Malaysian government as ‘sinners’.

He then said: We should love our country and be prepared to defend it, as defending our own country is a jihad (holy war) which carries a big divine reward.

Calling the defence of one’s country a jihad is wrong.

The las?t idiot who used a similar pejorative term was George W Bush. He used the expression ‘crusade’, to describe his country’s response to the Sept 11 attacks.

Terms like ‘crusade’ and jihad produce a negative reaction in both Christian and Muslim communities.

Bush’s use of the word ‘crusade’ evoked a visceral reaction worldwide because it portrayed bloody, violent images of the battles between Christians and Muslims in the Middle Ages.

So, whose sentiments is Jamil appealing to? He is trying to discredit Nurul Izzah and deflect attention from the faulty submarine.

At some point or other, most of us have condemned corruption, abuses of power, nepotism, racism, cronyism, injustices and cover-ups. Are we the sinners or are the corrupt politicians the sinners?

Jamil’s use of jihad alienates the Chinese, Indians and Malays. He is defending patriotism as a Muslim trait.

But if ?Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi can call on politicians to stop politicising national defence issues, then Jamil should stop making these religious issues.

When he branded Nurul Izzah a penderhaka (traitor) who has damaged Malaysia’s image in the eyes of the world, he was wrong.

The country’s reputation has already been tarnished by the protracted sodomy trial of Anwar Ibrahim, Teoh Beng Hock’s suspicious death, the farcical cross-examination of Dr PornthipRojanasunand at Teoh’s inquest, the Port Klang Free Zone scandal, the impotence of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the denial of justice for Penan girls who were raped.

By accusing Nurul of ‘exaggerating the problems in this country’, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein only managed to raise the ire of the public.

Stagnant politicians

Thus, it seems facetious of the Royal Malaysian Navy to wade in and lodge police reports against both Nurul Izzah and Malay Mail reporter Marhalim Abas over the claims that the country’s first submarine, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, was unable to dive.

The job of this journalist was to disclose the failings of the submarine, just as Nurul Izzah was doing her job as a politician.

?The three ministers condemned Nurul for not mimicking the actions of past and current politicians, who keep quiet about indiscretions.

Are we to heap praise on the former defence minister, Najib Abdul Razak, for his two-year silence over the theft of two fighter-jet engines? These engines surfaced in Paraguay, and were returned, after attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail flew there to secure their ‘release’.

Jamil’s talk of traitors reminds us of the service personnel who sold state secrets to foreign agents. What happened to them?

Nowadays, Malaysians are more critical and are not afraid of asking probing questions. But instead of embracing change, some politicians and NGOs, like Perkasa, are happy to stagnate.

No inner peace

On the eve of the 53rd Merdeka celebrations, our attempts to demolish the walls between the races are hampered by the people who don’t like change.

We have chosen to move forward instead of looking back, like Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Ibrahim Ali and Ahmad Ismail, who have all lost their bearings.

We should focus on the needs of all, so that everyone can contribute. This is impossible because of the unfair quota system in our public universities, which hampers development. Or, the preferential business terms which stunt growth.

After decades of autocracy, our politicians have forgotten to listen and engage. They keep the non-Malays at arm’s length and fail to acknowledge that able Malays are confident of abandoning the worn-out NEP, to embrace change.

People who are absorbed in their own problems, like Ibrahim Ali, will not make a difference or leave the world a better place.

Are we prepared to do what is right? While some of us demanded justice for Teoh, A Kugan and Aminulrasyid Amzah, others were content to look the other way.

?Racist comments were recently uttered by two school principals. A swift response under Najib’s new policy of zero-tolerance has not materialised.

Many politicians only pay lip service to important issues, so does this mean they lack discipline?

Bung Moktar Radin broke the law with his illegal polygamous marriage. His disregard for Syariah law and contempt of court only fuelled resentment.

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarnor’s ‘s life disintegrated because of a pint of beer but the brewing deals of Muslim politicians would leave many in a drunken stupor.

Malaysians appear to be more religious today, but we seem to lack inner peace.

Muslims claim ownership of the word ‘Allah’ and force people to behave. The moral police run wild and wreak havoc. Their constant checks on behaviour, endanger those who risk their lives trying to escape from the raids. In an effort to prevent teenagers having underage sex and the ensuing problem of abandoned babies, child marriages have been made legal.

On the eve of Merdeka, it is a shame we still have these problems of corruption and disunity.

Nurul Izzah is right to highlight these problems. Is the feeble-minded BN elite aware of the deplorable role it played in these sorry affairs?

Have a Happy and Peaceful Merdeka!

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘realspeak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.

Disturbed in heart and mind

The Star 
Musings By Marina Mahathir

The Shah Rukh Khan hit movie ‘My Name is Khan’ holds a pertinent message for us: there are only good and bad people in this world; there are no other differences.

IT’S very strange, but as we enter our 54th year of independence, what I least feel is independent. It so happened that I had to travel far recently, to a land where the air was a lot cleaner.

I felt that I breathed a lot easier but I don’t think it was just the air. Once you get away, the air just feels so much less toxic.

Indeed, in the month of Ramadan – the month of reflection and restraint – we find instead more toxicity than ever.

From school principals who spout racist nastiness to politicians and media who insist on poisoning what is already a poisoned well.

Instead of the serenity one hopes to feel at this time, in order to feel closer to God, all I can feel is the disturbance in the heart and mind that comes from living in an environment of hate.

It’s not that I’m lacking in loving friends, family or neighbours.

I live in a lovely street where we know one another and help each other out.

My friends are the kindest in the world. I feel blessed to know all of them.

But I open the newspaper or switch on the TV and there is nothing but anger and sadness.

How can we call ourselves independent when we are so caught up by hate, none of which seems to have any real foundation at all?

A few thousand kilometres away, the rhetoric of hate has become mainstream.

In the United States, Islamophobia is reaching fever pitch, fuelled as always by politics.

No American politician worth his salt, especially if he’s standing for election this November, will avoid talking about religion, affirming his own and besmirching others.

A rally by the most rabid right-wingers to supposedly “reclaim honour” drew 87,000 people.

The direct result of all this hate-mongering was the stabbing of a New York cabbie after he told his passenger he was Muslim and the burning of a mosque in Tennessee.

When we look in horror at these events on the other side of the world and feel indignant and self-righteous about them, do we think how we might ourselves contribute to the same treatment to others?

We see how badly minorities are treated in those countries and see no irony in treating our minorities the same way.

Is our empathy only meant for those of the same faith as us?

In Surah 21, verse 92 of the Quran, God speaks: “Verily, [O you who believe in Me,] this community of yours is one single community, since I am the Sustainer of you all: worship, then, Me [alone]!”

And again in Surah 33, verse 35: “Verily, for all men and women who have surrendered themselves unto God, and all believing men and believing women, and all truly devout men and truly devout women, and all men and women who are true to their word, and all men and women who are patient in adversity, and all men and women who humble themselves [before God], and all men and women who give in charity, and all self-denying men and self-denying women, and all men and women who are mindful of their chastity, and all men and women who remember God unceasingly: for [all of] them has God readied forgiveness of sins and a mighty reward.”

In both these verses, and in fact in the entire Quran, God does not speak of particular races but simply to all humankind. We are all equal before God.

How is it that we missed this simple message?

If we knew it, would we be spreading toxins instead of love and respect for one another?

Do we have the independence of mind to believe, rather than to follow those who claim to know what’s good for us but in fact are poisoning us bit by bit?

I just watched the Shah Rukh Khan hit movie My Name is Khan for the second time.

In Malaysia, someone saw fit to censor a lot of it, particularly whenever it showed a Muslim being bad.

Everyone, regardless of race or religion, has a chance to be good and bad in the movie.

Censoring it, in fact, was a great disservice to Muslims and missed its central message.

When the Shah Rukh Khan character was a child, his mother told him a truth that he held onto all his life: there are only good and bad people in this world.

There are no other differences between human beings.

Perhaps we should make all our politicians watch it.

They might learn something not very new. They might learn that most of us can tell who’s good and who’s bad.

'Converts should go public'

The New Straits Times 
by Maizatul Ranai

KUALA LUMPUR: Religious leaders have urged the government to go ahead with the proposal to get Muslim converts to publicly announce their religious status.

They said the move, which would require converts to update their religious status in an open automatic system, was necessary as the religion required them to declare their new religious status openly upon conversion.

"They (converts) should inform everyone, especially their family members, that they have embraced the religion," said Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria.

Harussani, however, said the system should also be extended to cases of apostasy or those who renounced Islam.

"If we have a system where we can check those who embrace Islam, we should also have the same system to identify those who are murtad (an apostate)."

He also said Muslim converts who did not want to declare their conversion for fear of harm or that their lives might be at risk should seek police help.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom recently said that the government was in the process of reviewing the regulations pertaining to the registration of Muslim converts so that there would be no legal or religious repercussions over the status of converts.

Under the proposal being looked into, upon a conversion, the Islamic Development Department Malaysia (Jakim) and the National Registration Department (NRD) would automatically document the particulars of the person so that the information would be made available to interested parties.

This is seen as the government's alternative solution to avoid disputes over the status of Muslim converts upon their death.

It was reported that at present, Muslim converts were given the choice to either publicly announce or keep mum over their conversion.

Those who want to make known their new religion have to update their particulars at the NRD with support letters from religious authorities. The information will be kept confidential.

Former Istana Negara adviser Datuk Abu Hassan Din Al Hafiz is also for the proposed system, saying that it is a must for Muslim converts to announce their new religious status as required by the religion.

The converts, he said, should not keep their family members in the dark upon their conversion to avoid conflicts that may arise over matters involving death and wealth distribution.

"There are some cases of families being misinformed of their family member's conversion. This makes it hard for us to handle their funeral and deal with the confused family at the same time."

He, however, said converts could choose to keep mum about their religious status if revealing it would lead to negative implications which could bring them physical harm.

Khairy tinggal Umno jika ramai ahli sokong Perkasa ?

Ketua Pemuda Umno yang juga Ahli Parlimen Rembau menyatakan yang beliau akan meninggalkan Umno jika ramai ahli Umno yang menyokong Perkasa menurut laporan akhbar The New Straits Times di bawah ini. Adakah ini merupakan satu ugutan kepada ahli Umno khususnya Pemuda Umno agar jangan menyokong Perkasa ? Adakah isyarat yang hendak dihantarnya ? atau sekadar nak buktikan Umno tak ada hubungan dengan Perkasa ?

Khairy: Support Perkasa and I leave

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin yesterday said he will walk away from Umno if the majority of party members supported Perkasa.
Refuting the claim by Pas Shah Alam member of parliament Khalid Samad that Umno was "hand in glove" as far as Perkasa activities were concerned, Khairy said not everyone in the party supported the Malay rights group.

"If there is a situation that they (Umno) would pick Perkasa over me, I will walk away," he said during a forum on the 10th Malaysia Plan Overview -- "Bridging the political Divide" at a hotel here.

Also participating in the forum organised by the Leaders magazine was Khalid. It was the second time that the MPs participated in a similar forum.

Khairy has spoken up against issues championed by Perkasa led by Pasir Mas MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali on a number of occasions.

Khalid, who spoke earlier, had claimed that the government transformation programme would be hindered if extreme groups such as Perkasa was being supported by Umno.

Khairy, who is also Rembau member of parliament, criticised the group, adding that it only served to wedge a divide in the country.

Other topics discussed at the forum include the 10th Malaysia Plan and the National Key Economic Areas.

RPK, BBC: Defamation? Isn’t the matter, if any, subjudice?

Via MT: the reason why RPK got taken off BBC?
The BBC researches many different stories, it is the normal process of news and current affairs throughout the media that not all make it to air for a variety of editorial reasons.
In this case, it became clear in our research that any comprehensive interview with former Malaysia Today Editor Raja Petra Kamarudin would prominently feature issues that are currently the subject of a current court case in Malaysia, which raise issues of defamation.
The suggestion that the item was dropped due to political pressure is untrue. All BBC programmes adhere to the same strict editorial guidelines which ensure complete editorial independence and impartiality.
BBC Global News
Room 433CB, Bush House, PO Box 76,
Strand, London, WC2B 4PH
Firstly, if this is genuine, isn’t the issue one of subjudice, not defamation? This doesn’t seem the kind of ‘mistake’ an institution like the BBC would make.
Well, we all know how long the fingers of the powerful can reach.
Curiouser and curiouser.

Namewee gives statement to police on 'Nah!' video

Bigger 'mob' for 2nd 1-Muted Malaysia flash

Today 31 Aug 2010, Malaysia is 53 years old. As a nation, we have come a long way, but the life of the Malaysian poor Indians largely remain the same, or worse than 1957.

Today (31.08.10) Malaysia is 53 years old. As a nation, we have come a long way, but the life of the Malaysian poor Indians largely remain the same, or worse than 1957.

To change the current sufferings of the Indian community, Hindraf / HRP was born. Here we list 53 reasons why every Indian should support HRP / Hindraf.

1. For the first time in 50 years (2007), Hindraf created the mass realization of the Indians in this country. 25th November, 2007 rally buried the ‘crab story’ that Indians can never be united! Give them a reason, they will be united. At the right time, Indians will come together to move mountains. Hindraf did exactly that.

2. Since 25th November, 2007, there is no more fear factor among the Malaysian Indians. They do not fear the police, authorities, the UMNO government and this has been demonstrated in all HRP / Hindraf activities to date.

3. HRP is full of fearless leaders, young and old, nationwide. Fear is stupidity!

4. In 514 days ISA detention, Mr. P. Uthayakumar meditated upon and realized the real reason for Indian problems in Malaysia. While many Indians blame Samy Vellu, Tamil movies, and Indian attitude for their failures, Uthayakumar concluded that the real culprit is the UMNO’s racist policies.

5. HRP realizes that MIC / Samy Vellu is a dead horse. There is no point in condemning MIC anymore. All BN component parties have no power. UMNO rules the country in the way they want at all levels. UMNO has well trained Biro Tatanegara graduates to segregate Indians in all aspects of life.

6. HRP realizes that Indians have been systematically segregated from the mainstream development of Malaysia by UMNO’s racist policies and practices. Time has come for UMNO to pay for this karma!

7. HRP understands the real way things work in Malaysia. They realize UMNO’s dirty politics in creating a mandore system and propagating ‘Indian fights Indian’ scenarios. So, they have avoided all ‘Indian vs Indian’ situation to the best of their ability.

8. Mr. P. Uthayakumar realized (in his 514 days in jail) that the only reason Indians were treated badly is because they don’t have political clout and therefore created the 15/38 political empowerment strategy.

9. Hindraf / HRP is bold and courageous. They articulate what should be articulated without fear or favour. They express political ideas in very direct and clear words. They minimize politicking to greatest extent possible.

10. HRP is full of positive energy and good people. Here you see Indians who think and believe that they are crucial in Malaysian politics and have the people power (makkal shakti) to bring change.

11. Mr. P. Uthayakumar’s boldness and character has brought like minded Malaysian Indians and all the forces of good together. Day by day, more and more Indians are attracted to join HRP because of it’s true, bold and selfless nature.

12. Hindraf / HRP have supporters from all over the world. Their message is being heard loud and clear in countries like England, USA, Australia etc.

13. The implications of Hindraf / HRP struggle is for the whole nation, nay, minorities all over the world. All communities and the country will enjoy the benefits of the change that it intends to bring.

14. HRP is a group of political activists with true desire to bring real change. They are absolutely different from the conventional politicians who are self centered.

15. While HRP is at war against UMNO, that does mean to give a blank cheque to Pakatan Rakyat (PR). There will be no more free votes from Indians.

16. HRP says a big ‘NO’ to replace UMNO with a BN clone Pakatan government. HRP wants real and substantial change for the Indian poor which Pakatan has failed to demonstrate so far.

17. HRP is not going to be part of any coalition, BN or PR. HRP will remain as a check and balance, a Third Force in Malaysian politics. This force is crucial to handle race based UMNO politics and vote based PR politics.

18. P. Uthayakumar is a very focused person and does not divert his attention from raising the Indian issues which has no takers at all. If the Malay/Muslim and Chinese MPs speak up on Indian issues, HRP won’t be here today.

19. Hindraf / HRP are not racist organizations. Hindraf / HRP do not deny any Malaysians’ their rights. They fight for the victims of racism (the poor Indians) in UMNO’s 1Malay-sia.

20. HRP realized that the poor Indian is the poorest of all communities in Malaysia, poorer than the Malay, Chinese, or even the orang asli. The sky is the limit for Malays, Chinese have rich community support and new villages and orang asli have their ancestor’s land. While the poor Indian do not have any of these!

21. HRP brings up issues, not a racist agenda. They only want the government to help all poor, and that means not to segregate the Indian poor.

22. HRP fights for the basic needs of the Indian community – land for Tamil schools, Hindu temples, burial grounds, scholarships, etc.

23. Mr. P. Uthayakumar is a super analyzer and critical thinker who sees newspaper reports from an Indian angle on a day to day basis and comes up with conclusions and convictions that no Malaysian has ever done. Refer to

24. Mr. P. Uthayakumar is a loving and caring person. He loves his fellow Indians especially the poor and feels their suffering as his own. He has renounced his entire life in fighting for the Indians in this country.

25. HRP does not only condemn the government and system but also makes positive criticism towards the government, if they listen it will only improve the government delivery system for all communities. HRP offers practical and permanent solutions that would make any government great (BN or Pakatan), if they listen.

26. HRP wants a permanent and blanket solution for all Indian issues. HRP believes that granting of land (scheme) alone will help solve many of the critical Indian problems.

27. HRP has developed and tirelessly work at maintaining an alternative media, on a day to day basis to champion the Indian issues.

28. HRP is a very objective organization with special concern for numbers – from 18 point demands to 27 issues on HRP website, to 15/38 Indian majority seats. They know what they want!

29. Only HRP has got a workable plan to bring change to the Indian poor. All other Indian parties have no practical solution, even on paper, against continuous marginalization of Indians by both the BN and PR governments. They are lost. Now, Indians have no choice but to support HRP.

30. Consistency is HRP’s strength. They take up issues and go forward till the end.

31. Today, HRP is the authority on Indian issues. HRP website has all the evidence.

32. While HRP points out what’s being done (or not done) by both UMNO and Pakatan governments, their critiques are more interested in the ‘hope’ of a better government for all if Pakatan goes to Putrajaya.

33. HRP is Nike style – they ‘just do it’! They do not wait for perfection, they speaks their minds and do what need to be done ‘now’. HRP’s progress so far is evident of this Nike style of leadership.

34. HRP understands and believes that only change in the government policies and practices can help solve the multi-faceted Indian problems. Like eradication of poverty is the job of the government, not some NGOs or group of individuals.

35. HRP knows clearly how UMNO and Pakatan governments cheat the Indians by giving peanuts and do media politics of ‘telur sebiji riuh sekampung.’ Because of this, both parties find it difficult to work with HRP. Whereas HRP means business.

36. HRP realizes and has demonstrated that only peoples’ power (makkal shakti) can bring change. UMNO is worried only of peoples’ power! Wherever HRP goes they are welcomed by big numbers of policemen.

37. HRP is a productive organization, they are not just talkers like most Indian parties. They are doers of the real work that need to be done.

38. HRP’s continuously reference to the constitution and it’s violation by the UMNO government has given birth to a more informed Indian community leaders nationwide. Now, Indian want their rights, not the mercy of the UMNO government!

39. Mr. P. Uthayakumar and Mr. P. Waythamoorthy are indeed assets to the Malaysians. To put this country in order, all Malaysians and media must take efforts to recognize, appreciate and understand them for what they are.

40. HRP realizes that Indian problems are not their doing, it’s the result of UMNO’s social engineering in bad faith over the years. As we all know no Indian want’s to be poor, no Indians’ ambition is to be a criminal!

Only Hindraf / HRP champion the rights and welfare of the ‘stateless Indians’ in this 53 years old country. Hindraf / HRP boldly says that all those persons in Malaysia who are not citizens, are British subjects!

41. HRP fights for the upward mobility of the poor Indian community. That can happen only through granting equal educational, scholarships, and business opportunities to the Indian poor.

42. HRP realized that Indians have been systematically segregated from the mainstream development by the UMNO government for decades. UMNO’s pro-Malay policies has only helped the Malay and Chinese business communities. This bi-racial business cooperation has further denied Indian of all possible opportunities.

43. Out of 4,000 Indian lawyers, HRP / Hindraf has only a few who are championing the Indian poor issues. Hindraf chairman, Mr. P. Waythamoorthy is in London to continue his international lobby. While Mr. P. Uthayakumar leads the HRP and grooming the future leaders.

44. These two leaders are the God given heroes for the Indian community. So, it’s the duty of every Malaysian Indian to fully utilize them to bring about the change they most desire.

45. HRP realizes that the whole Malaysian politics is about number of racial votes. Struggle for the Malay votes has been the primary goal of the both political divide. The Indian poor’s votes have been practically seen as the least important for any political party to be or remain in power. In such a situation Indians have no choice but to form their own block of political power by creating Indian majority seats. And that’s what HRP is doing. And they have succeeded in Buntong and Sri Andalas.

46. HRP’s fight is based on needs, not race. For example, they fight for the eradication of poverty, of which 90% happens to be Indians. HRP wants affirmative action by the government of day to address serious socio-economic issues related to the Indian poor.

47. HRP fully understands that it were the Indians who opened up this country, which was largely an uninhabited and impenetrable jungle, and thereby opened up the country for large scale immigration of Indonesians and Chinese into the interior. The Indians were the precursors of modern Malaya.

48. HRP fully understands that all those temples, cemeteries and schools should have been granted land and gazetted as such way back in 1957. And the failure to do so by the Alliance and BN governments results in today these institutions are classified as ‘illegal structures’. This is a double cheat!

49. Hindraf boldly says that Britain still has locus standii over Malaysian affairs as the terms of the handover has been breached.

50. Hindraf boldly says Malaysians have a right to assemble, or form associations and parties, and that registration is a mere procedure, and that such procedures cannot inhibit or prevent the forming of an association and dcurb their constitutional rights. Therefore, Hindraf exists!

51. Hindraf / HRP declares that any rights they fight for, is a fight for the rights of all Malaysians!

52. Hindraf became the agent of change in 2008 GE! It electrified the nation and opened the possibility of the opposition parties working together under a single umbrella.

53. Hindraf / HRP declares that BN will be removed from power in the next general election (GE 2012/13)!

Happy merdeka day, HRP will make sure Malaysian Indians also will ‘merdeka’ soon from marginalization !


Fugitive Michael Soosai nabbed by Indian police

CHENNAI, Aug 31 — Malaysian fugitive Michael Soosai, the alleged master fraudster who faked his death in Malaysia about a decade ago and was linked to the murder of a Malaysian in south India, has been tracked down by sophisticated technology.

Following a slick three-month operation, the 47-year-old fugitive was nabbed at a Chennai hotel last Thursday, Coimbatore Police Commissioner C. Sylendra Babu told Bernama today.

He said a special Cyber Crime Cell meticulously monitored Soosai’s movements using technology which tracked his mobile numbers to the vehicles he was travelling in.

“He did not realise that we were tracking him... he was surprised when we detained him at the hotel.

“He moved from place to place, he was in Nepal, Bhopal and Goa and always carried his booty with him as he never trusted anyone,” added Sylendra.

Last Thursday, Coimbatore police nabbed Soosai, his wife and three children, and also seized a kilogramme of gold, two laptops and several mobile phones.

According to investigators, Soosai based himself in the state of Andra Pradesh and slipped out to execute fraudulent activities in other states, often luring his victims on the pretext of securing lucrative jobs overseas.

“He stayed at star (posh) hotels to avoid the police (detection) and often lured his clients by promising them respectable jobs overseas, only to disappear with their money.

“After completing his mission, he throws away his mobile SIM card and returns to Andra Pradesh,” said Sylendra.

Soosai, wanted for a series of fraud amounting to nearly RM1 million and a murder in south India, had been eluding the Malaysian police for almost a decade.

He was alleged to have murdered a Malaysian, N. Subramaniam, in Cheyyur, Kancipuram district, in 2002.

Soosai’s children — two sons (aged seven and three) and a 15-year-old daughter — are being held in a government juvenile custody centre in Coimbatore.

He had allegedly faked his death in Malaysia and later disappeared from the police radar for years, but continued to challenge the Malaysian police to arrest him. — Bernama

Soi Lek tells Namewee to ‘face the music’

The Malaysian Insider,

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 – MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek told controversial songwriter Wee Meng Chee today to “face the music” for offending other races and religious groups through his music video allegedly containing racial slurs.

Johor police denied today that they were arresting the songwriter, better known as Namewee, following his post on his Facebook page late last night that policemen in three patrol cars had come to his house in Muar to arrest him.

“Freedom of expression should come with responsibility to consider sensitivities towards other races and religions,” Dr Chua (picture) told reporters today.

“Once he (Namewee) breaks that responsibility, he has to face the music,” he added.

The MCA president pointed out that he had helped Namewee extend an apology to the government after producing a headline-grabbing music video in 2007 that purportedly ridiculed the national anthem and the Islamic call for prayer.

“The end result was that he was pardoned,” said Dr Chua.

The MCA president slammed Namewee’s use of vulgar words and rude signs in his music video.

“I saw on (You)tube his singing and lyrics. There were a lot of vulgar words and signs that should not be used at all,” said Dr Chua.

“He should not bother with vulgarities,” he added.

Namewee is under investigation for allegedly producing a seditious music video which was uploaded on video sharing site YouTube.

The video which contains racial slurs is a stinging criticism of Johor school principal Siti Inshah Mansor’s allegedly racist remarks against Chinese and Indian students.

The SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra school head allegedly said during a school assembly that “Chinese students ... can return to China,” and likened the prayer strings used by Indians to dog leashes.

“If those two school heads are proven (to make racial slurs), police should also charge them,” said Dr Chua, referring to Siti Inshah and another school principal in Kedah who was accused of telling Chinese students to return to China.

“This will send a strong signal that the government should reject any form of extremism,” he added.

Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reportedly said that they were now waiting for the Public Service Department director-general’s decision on Siti Inshah, following the submission of the Education Ministry committee’s findings to him upon completing their investigations.

Namewee removed the video on Siti Inshah from Youtube following public disapproval.

The video resulted in calls for government to take stern action against Namewee, including arresting him under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and revoking his citizenship.