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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Woman awarded RM35,000 over surgery photos

A woman today won a damages payout after suing her surgeon for taking photographs of her backside during haemorrhoid surgery, her lawyer said.

Freelance writer Lee Ewe Poh, 50, was awarded RM35,000 in damages for invasion of privacy.

Lee's counsel Simon Murali said the court also ruled that surgeons must obtain their female patients' consent before taking photos of their private parts.

"The judge said the doctor has a duty towards his patient and it is crucial that he must respect the modesty and dignity of his patients instead of violating it," he said.

Murali said Lee underwent a surgery at a private hospital in the northern state of Penang in 2006.

She later discovered that her surgeon had photographed her while she was unconscious and without her consent.

Lee reportedly said that the surgeon admitted he took the images but said it was for medical purposes, as reference material to show other patients, and that it was common practice.

- AFP

Pakatan claims IGP post a goodbye gift for Ismail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 – Pakatan Rakyat leaders said today they were unimpressed with the announcement of a new Inspector-General of Police to replace Tan Sri Musa Hassan, ridiculing it as the government’s obligatory “goodbye present” to Tan Sri Ismail Omar.

PR coordinator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim pointed out that at 57, Ismail himself (picture, right) was already in his senior years and would have to retire even before he could perform as an effective IGP.

“What is the point of appointing someone who himself will probably have to retire in what, a year? How long can this Tan Sri go on?” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted today.

Zaid said the whole purpose of the transition should be to ensure that the new IGP would be able to make a difference in the police force.

“The point is to allow new people to take over so that they can actually work and make a difference... the appointment is not to be given out as a goodbye present,” he said.

Zaid added that the position of an IGP was an important one and whomever given such a post should work hard to leave a marked improvement in the service.

“This is why I believe that when a civil servant reaches retirement, he should not be given too many extensions simply to ensure that he survives.

“What should be done is that he should be given a sufficient number of years to take on the post... not to extend his tenure, unless in exceptional situations,” he said.

He added that with the public’s low perception of the police force, the government badly needed to appoint a person of good calibre to take on the post, not someone who would “do favours for them”.

“We need new blood at the helm of the service... we need someone who can make an impact. Look at (former IGP) Tun Hanif Omar. He made an impact because he was given enough time to prove himself as the IGP,” he said.

Zaid quipped however that although Ismail was already due for retirement himself, it would not be a difficult task for him to be better than his predecessor.

“It is not too difficult to be better than Musa Hassan (picture, left),” he said, laughing.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced yesterday that Musa’s contract would not be renewed this year after it expires on September 12 and would be replaced by his current deputy Ismail.

Musa, who had his contract extended twice, leaves under a cloud as he had come into office with a Mr Clean reputation but now leaves amid allegations of wrongdoing.

The police force under Musa is also seen now as ineffective and demoralised.

PAS central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad claimed that as Ismail was already close to retirement, he would be “beholden to the powers that be”, in order to secure himself an extension when his tenure expires.

“He is only two years younger than Musa Hassan and since he is already in his twilight days in the service, he would likely be hard-up for an extension and would be beholden to the powers that be,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Dzulkefly said that the appointment of someone to a post as important as the IGP should be made by giving priority to the integrity of the institution.

“We wsh to believe that the institution is more important than the person but we do not see this in Malaysia. Somehow here, the number one person who is running the institution tends to dictate everything.

“We see this in the judiciary, the police force, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and others. It is extremely unfortunate for us to have a system that is not built on the importance of check and balance,” he said.

Dzulkefly said however that if Ismail was truly a person of “sterling character”, he should use his next two years to turn the force around and build a name for himself.

“Looking at the perception of the people in the police force, Ismail is in the best position right now. Like I said, if he is hard-up for the extension of his term, he will kowtow to the executive but if he truly wants to transform the force, he can do it in the next two years,” he said.

He however noted that this had not been proven by Ismail’s predecessors.

“All of them just end up doing some apple polishing. So all we experience is on how they put the force into disrepute,” he said.

Dzulkefly also called on Ismail to immediately revisit the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission Report in 2005 and review the 125 recommendations it had made to create a more efficient police force.

This was echoed by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, who urged Ismail to consider the formation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), which was one of the recommendations.

“There is an opportunity now for the police to start anew to restore confidence in the integrity and professionalism of the force. He should take into account all the recommendations made by the royal commission and focus on the three functions, which is to reduce crime, fight corruption and uphold human rights,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Lim noted that if Ismail failed to revitalise the force, it would bring greater effect to the public’s confidence in the police.

“The DAP and the PR will be willing to work with the new IGP and we hope that he too would be prepared to work with all groups and sectors in order to bring about democratic policing in the country,” he said. - The Malaysian Insider

DPM stresses government against racism, Johor principal case with PSD

  


PUTRAJAYA, Sept 2 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reiterated today the government’s “zero-tolerance” policy towards racism when commenting on controversial song writer Namewee but remained non-committal about possible disciplinary action against an allegedly racist school principal in Johor.

The deputy prime minister said that Malaysia was a democratic country which promoted freedom of expression but pointed out that it had to be regulated to avoid racial tension.

“Even though previously there are certain parties who have accused the government of not being firm against racism but we have studied this matter (Namewee) because what is important is that we do not want any racial tension between the different communities which could have an adverse effect on the country.

“That is why if there is someone who wants to voice their opinion in a democratic country, they are bound by laws especially the Sedition Act. That is why the government has decided that we must be more firm, regardless of race, against actions and statements that can escalate racial tension. We want to avoid this,” he told a press conference at Perdana Putra here.

Muhyiddin (picture) was responding to questions about the sensationalising of racial issues by individuals, especially Namewee.

Wee Meng Chee, better known as Namewee, had posted on Youtube a video which contained vulgar and obscene remarks in response to an incident involving a Johor school principal who allegedly made racist remarks to her pupils.

Namewee is under investigation for allegedly producing a seditious music video.

However, the government is still investigating the Johor principal, Siti Inshah Mansor, over the alleged derogatory remarks she had directed at her students.

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

Muhyiddin said the Public Service Department (PSD) would make a decision on Siti Inshah “as soon as possible”.

“We have transferred the case to PSD and we hope they will make a decision immediately. That is why it was transferred last week and the PSD director has been asked to make a decision as soon as possible,” he said.

Nearly three weeks ago, Muhyiddin directed Education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom to set up a task force to probe the incident.

Alimuddin had previously claimed the matter had been settled.

'Princess of Malay traitors' gives Perkasa royal lashing

By Patrick Lee and Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today

FULL REPORT KUALA LUMPUR: Umno leaders labelled her father Anwar Ibrahim a traitor to the Malay race, and now the same title has been bestowed on Nurul Izzah.
Adding a royal touch to their rebuke, the Malay right-wing critics labelled her as the "princess of Malay traitors" and filed a police report over a recent article she wrote.
The bone of contention was her interpretation of Article 153 in the Federal Constitution which touches on Malay rights.

According to the Lembah Pantai MP, the Article only referred to the "special position" of the Malays as opposed to "special rights".

However, Nurul lambasted her critics, especially Perkasa, and stopped short of calling them ignorant for not being able to broach the subject in a rational manner.

Speaking to reporters after filing the report with the Dang Wangi district police headquarters this afternoon, Federation of Malay Students' Union secretary-general Zambry Mohd Isa had warned the MP not to question the  Article.

Also taking a swipe at her was Perkasa leader Armand Azhar Abu Hanifah, who said: "It (Article 153) is not supposed to be discussed outside of Parliament."

He warned that questioning the Article could spark off tension in the country.

Calling Nurul a fledgling MP,  Armand advised her to consult her senior colleagues on what issues should be discussed "before opening her mouth".

"This is her first term. Perhaps she is not well-versed or is politically immature regarding Article 153," he said.

Perkasa Wirawati chief Zaira Jaafar, who was also present, cautioned Nurul against "stirring a hornet's nest".

"As an MP, she should not say such things," she said, adding that Nurul was not acting like a Malay.
Nurul: Shameful and pathetic

In an immediate reaction, Nurul had described the police report against her as a "shameful and pathetic" action which justified the prejudice towards groups such as Perkasa.

"There was a reason why I wrote the article in two languages. So that it would not get lost in translation. But obviously these groups did not take the time to read it thoroughly. Their reaction is a testament to their failure in arguing in a rational manner on the issues raised.

"It also shows that our prejudice towards these Malay right-wing groups are justified. I invite you for a debate and this is the way you respond? It is shameful!" she told FMT.

Refusing to be rattled, Nurul vowed to continue her efforts to ensure that ordinary Malays were given access to the truth.

Launching a scathing attack on Perkasa, she said the movement led by Ibrahim Ali did not represent the masses and was drowning the voices of many Malay nationalists with intellectual depth who could argue rationally.

"I don't think Perkasa even understands what it is fighting for. I don't think Perkasa understands the plight of the ordinary Malays trapped in poverty.
"I do because I deal with them everyday in Lembah Pantai. It makes me so angry that these hypocrites are politicising the issue to dominate the political landscape and benefit economically," she said.

"I want my race to progress. I consider myself a progressive Malay. But when I raise important issues essential to progression I am labelled a traitor. This is exactly what happened to my father as well.

"This is a scare tactic on Perkasa's end. Many Malays share my views but are being forced into silence because Perkasa is perpetuating a culture of fear," she added.

Sivarasa bakal dicabar di Subang

Oleh Muda Mohd Noor - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Saingan sengit dalam pemilihan PKR bukan sahaja di kalangan jawatan-jawatan utama tetapi juga merebak kepada peringkat cabang (bahagian).

Difahamkan banyak cabang PKR di Selangor khususnya akan menyaksikan ketua cabang dicabar dalam pemilihan parti bulan depan.

Cabang Subang disebut-sebut bahawa ketuanya S Sivarasa yang juga naib presiden PKR bakal menghadapi saingan empat penjuru.

Bagaimanapun, sehingga ini belum dapat mengesahkan mereka yang dikatakan berminat mencabar Sivarasa yang sudah tiga penggal menjadi ketua cabang PKR Subang itu.

Pemilihan ketua cabang akan diadakan pada 26 September. Hanya dua pencalonan dari ranting (cawangan) untuk bertanding sebarang jawatan cabang.

Menurut sumber, ramai ahli parti di peringkat akar umbi kurang gembira dengan ahli parlimen Subang itu yang didakwa jarang menemui penduduk termasuk ahli dan penyokong parti.

"Barangkali Sivarasa sangat sibuk dengan tugasan parti dan parlimen menyebabkan beliau tidak cukup masa untuk berjumpa dengan ahli dan penyokong parti.

"Kini orang PKR di Subang mula bercakap mengenai kegagalan Sivarasa untuk hadir dalam majlis-majlis rakyat," katanya.

Menurutnya, orang yang mahu mencabar Sivarasa itu kerana mereka tidak puas hati dengan naib presiden PKR itu.

Selain Subang, beberapa cabang lain termasuk Kelana Jaya juga akan menyaksikan penyandang jawatan dicabar.

Ketua cabang PKR Kelana Jaya ialah Syed Shahir Mohamud yang juga presiden MTUC.

Pemilihan ketua AMK dijangka sengit
Dalam satu perkembangan lain, sehari selepas bendahari PKR Terengganu, Mohd Rafizi Ramli, mengumumkan bertanding ketua Angkatan Muda Keadilan, Pahang dan Selangor pula membuat keputusan menyokong Samsul Iskandar Md Akin mempertahankan jawatan dalam pemilihan akhir tahun ini.

Ketua AMK Pahang, Rizal Jamin, berkata negerinya sebulat suara mahu mengekalkan Samsul kerana prestasi cemerIangnya memimpin AMK sejak 2007.
Samsul, ketua PKR Melaka, mengambil alih jawatan ketua AMK dari Senator Ezam Mohd Nor yang tidak bertanding dalam kongres parti di Seremban.

Ketika dihubungi, Rizal berkata, "Prestasi Samsul cemerlang kerana dalam tempoh tiga tahun, AMK mempunyai 166 cabang (bahagian) di seluruh negara.”

"Sekitar tahun 2007, AMK hanya mempunyai antara 30 dan 40 cabang, maknanya dalam kepayahan beliau berjaya menubuhkan begitu banyak cabang AMK."

AMK Pahang mempunyai 14 cabang dan dalam mesyuarat Selasa lalu memutuskan menyokong Samsul dalam pemilihan ketua AMK kelak.

Selain Mohd Rafizi, beberapa nama lagi dijangka berbuat demikian sedikit masa lagi, antara yang disebut-sebut ialah ahli majlis pimpinan pusat (MPP) Badrul Hisham Shahrin dan Hasmi Hashim.

Sementara itu, Ketua AMK Selangor, Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainuddin, berkata majoriti pimpinan AMK negeri itu akan menyokong Samsul.

AMK Selangor mempunyai 22 cabang antara terbanyak di Malaysia.

"Samsul merupakan pemimpin akar umbi AMK, seorang yang mempunyai komitmen dan konsisten dalam perjuangan," katanya ketika dihubungi hari ini.

Samsul kata Khairul Anuar mahu menggilap pemimpin AMK lain supaya menjadi pemimpin besar.

Malah Khairul Anuar sendiri akan bertanding jawatan timbalan ketua AMK berganding dengan Samsul berikutan penyandang sekarang, Fariz Musa sudah melebihi umur 40 tahun.

Beberapa pemimpin AMK negeri lain yang dihubungi memberitahu mereka belum membuat keputusan sama ada memilih Samsul atau Rafizi.

Seorang pemimin AMK Negeri Sembilan pula menyatakan negeri itu menyokong Badrul untuk jawatan ketua AMK.

"Saya harap Badrul Hisham bertanding kali ini setelah menarik diri dalam pemilihan 2007," katanya.

Ex-MIC leader wants action against Tamil daily

By FMT Staff

PETALING JAYA: Former MIC central working committee member S Kumar Aamaan has lodged a complaint against Tamil Nesan, a vernacular daily run by MIC chief S Samy Vellu's family, with the Home Ministry.

In a letter addressed to the ministry's Publication Control and Al-Quran Text Division, Kumar Aamaan said action should be taken against the Tamil daily's editors for playing up racial and religious sentiments in the newspaper.

He said the daily had on numerous occasions over the last four months referred to him as a Muslim, when he was a practising Hindu.
Kumar Aamaan has also submitted similar complaint letters against Tamil Nesan to Selangor Islamic authorities, Malaysia Hindu Sangam and the prime minister's office.

"I am a Hindu by birth. After a while my father divorced my mother and married a Muslim woman. He became a Muslim after that. I was taken care of by my mother after my father went away," he said in the letter sent to FMT today.

"However, the newspaper continues to say that I am a Muslim and I am named as Karim Kumar. This allegation is baseless. It also shows that the newspaper just wants to blow this issue out of proportion by raising the religious angle.

"They are saying that I am a Muslim eventhough they know my background and that I am a practising Hindu. This is character and political assasination," he said.

He also believes that the allegations contained in the Tamil Nesan were done with full knowledge of Samy Vellu since the newspaper was run by the MIC supremo's family, to tarnish his image.

"The allegation is also affecting me as a businessman. I hope the home ministry will investigate this false reporting charge and take appropriate action."

Kumar Aamaan wants the ministry to freeze the publication permit of the newspaper for publishing false reports with the intent of misleading the public, especially the Indian community, on his religious status.

(Kumar Aamaan with several others were thrown out of the party several months ago after calling on Samy Vellu to step down as MIC chief.)

The dismissed leaders then formed GAS (Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu)  in a bid to oust the veteran leader from the party top post.

Kumar Aamaan lodged a police report on the matter yesterday evening at the Klang police station.

GAS to ratchet up pressure to get Samy removed

By G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Coordinators of Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu (GAS) reiterated their threat to converge in front of MIC president S Samy Vellu's house if the long serving party chief does not vacate his post by year's end as promised.

Sacked party central working committee member G Kumar Aamaan, one of the movement's coordinators, said if Samy Vellu does not step down by December, GAS would hold a gathering in front of the MIC chief's residence in Jalan Ipoh in a  bid to force him to vacate the post he has held since 1979.
“We will hold a silent gathering at his place. We also plan to send a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong over the matter,” Kumar Aamaan told FMT.
The movement is also peeved at Samy Vellu's statement yesterday that he will not be stepping down come December. He did not state when he intended to leave the post.
Earlier reports quoting sources, revealed Samy Vellu had been telling his inner-circle that he “will not be around after December”, raising prospects that the party veteran may step down sooner than his proposed September or October 2011 deadline he had set for himself.
His statement yesterday effectively poured cold water on his December 2010 departure date.

Samy can't be trusted


Kumar Aamaan said this was why party members should not trust Samy Vellu's words and why GAS came into being in the first place.
“Some quarters told us off saying since Samy had already announced his retirement plans, why antagonise him further. Now they will know why we did what we did,” he said.
Another GAS coordinator, V Mugilan, said this had been Samy Vellu's way of doing things which was "promising one thing and backtracking later on".
“This is the real Samy Vellu, the one who loves to break his own promises,” said Mugilan, who was sacked from his position as the MIC deputy youth chief for urging Samy Vellu to retire.

Riyadh questions maid torture claim

Officials say Sri lankan worker's claims of being harmed by employers are fabricated.  

Ariyawathi said her employers forced nails into her body as a 
punishment for her inability to communicate [AFP]

(Al Jazeear) Saudi government officials have questioned the account of a Sri Lankan maid who said her Saudi employers planted 24 nails and needles into her body.

Saad al-Badah, the chairman of the National Recruitment Committee, told Saudi state television on Tuesday that the account of LT Ariyawathi seemed "80 per cent fabricated" and suggested the motive could be extortion.

He questioned how the woman, who worked for a Saudi family in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, for five months until August, could have continued to be healthy and without infection with nails in her body.

He also said that it was hard to believe she could have passed through several airport metal detectors on her return from Riyadh with so many pieces of metal in her body.

"Even someone with just one coin in his pocket has to remove it when passing through the detector," Badah said.

Abdel-Hadi Abaeri, the head of the security department at the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority, said no reports of such abuse have been received at the kingdom's airports.

Ariyawathi, 49, returned to Sri Lanka two weeks ago, complaining that she had been beaten and tortured by her employers, who she said had hammered the nails and pins into various parts of her body.

Surgeons at Sri Lanka's southern Kamburupitiya hospital last week removed 19 of the five centimetres-long nails and a needle in a three-hour operation.

Kingdom's reputation

Ariyawathi told the hospital that her Saudi employer inflicted the injuries on her as a punishment for her inability to communicate with those in the household.

"She said her employer heated the nails and then hammered them into her body," Prabath Gajadeera, the hospital director, told the AFP news agency.

"The nails were in her arms, legs and forehead."

Gajadeera said the woman could not have driven the nails herself.

"It is clear someone else had to drive in the nails... We will in any case refer her to a psychiatrist for analysis before discharging her from hospital."

Nimal Ranawaka, the labour attache at the Sri Lankan embassy in Riyadh, said he was aware of the Saudi doubts but that the case remained under investigation.

Saudi Arabia's English-language newspaper Arab News called for the probe to be completed as quickly as possible to avoid further damage to the kingdom's reputation.

"Clearly the story has to be thoroughly investigated. If her employers did this then they must be punished rigorously, and be seen to be punished," the paper said in an editorial on Wednesday.

"But equally, if the woman did this to herself, hoping to benefit financially from it, she must be punished."

Around 500,000 Sri Lankans work in Saudi Arabia, part of a massive foreign workforce that constitutes around 30 per cent of the total Saudi population of 27 million.

Di Malaysia ini mereka hanya 'Aá Uú Aá Uú '...

Laporan polis dakwa PM hina mahkamah

PAS lodges police report against PM

(Malaysiakini) PAS lodged a police report today against Prime Minister Najib Razak over the speech he had delivered at the break fast event with the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) Serting settlers on Aug 26.

Jempol PAS deputy chief Abdul Rahman Razali made the report at Dang Wangi police district headquarters against two statements alleged to have been made by Najib.

"Najib said that they lost their court case against the 345 settlers at Felda Kemahang 3 in Kelantan because the lawyers were not present. This is an insult to the judiciary," PAS vice president Salahuddin Ayub told reporters after making the police report.

He claimed that Najib had also undermined the judgements of the Kota Bahru High Court, Court of Appeal and also Federal Court to award RM11 million in general damages and interest to the settlers.

The report also implicated Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Ahmad Maslan and Felda's Chairperson Yusof Nor, because they had both issued similar statements.

Holding firm to its innocence

Salahuddin added that the statement made by Ahmad Maslan that: "I would like to stress that the Federal Court ruling was not due to fraud or conspiracy committed by Felda as alleged by certain quarters," is overboard, rude and does not respect the court's decision.

"The judgement is made based on facts and it is not disputed. In fact, during the trial in the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court more than ten lawyers represented Felda and they have always appeared.

So Felda cannot blame the lawyers just because they are not present as an excuse for losing the case," he added.

He claimed that Najib also made a statement saying that Felda will make sure that they will win other similar suits in the future.

"This is a threat to the judges because he is speaking as prime minister. It is also an interference of the executive branch in the judiciary," he said.

Salahuddin also announced that PAS had formed a Special Committee to defend settlers (Tindak) headed by himself.

"We will bring up more issues faced by the settlers," he said.

Serious repercussions

On Aug 26, the federal court dismissed Felda's application to challenge the previous court's decision to award RM11 million to settlers because they were cheating the settlers over the grade of their oil palm fruit.

With the decision, the settlers are expected to receive between RM25,000 and RM30,000 each.

The decision holds serious repercussions for Felda and the government as it has set a precedent for future suits filed by settlers.

A day later, Ahmad announced that Felda will sue their lawyers for failing to show up, thereby causing the agency to lose its suit against the settlers.

Ahmad said that he feared the case would be misinterpreted by other settlers as the agency is now facing two other suits for manipulating oil palm grading.

The suits are from settlers in Felda Maokil, Pagoh and Felda Gugusan Raja Alias in Negri Sembilan.

He had stressed that the federal court ruling was not due to fraud or conspiracy committed by Felda.

KJ vs Namewee: Who made M'sia rich? - Malaysiakini

your say'One wrong should not be reciprocated with another wrong. What Namewee insinuated is indeed wrong. But then look at Umno's track record...'
KJ nails down contentious line in Namewee's song

Singa Pura Pura: With respect to Khairy Jamaluddin, there was no underlying link or connection as between "Dia suruh orang Cina semua balik Cina" and "Siapa buat Malaysia kaya?" An attempt to connect the two statements and imply a seditious tendency therefrom is either misconceived or curiously explorative.

The two statements were disjunctive and should be taken as such. The video was vulgar, even obscene, but not seditious. The second statement was merely the maker's view or opinion based on his perception of observable facts. It was an open question which was not even answered but left to the judgement of the audience.

The original assertion repeated in the first statement, if it were indeed made, should be investigated under section 3(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 for exciting the inhabitants to attempt to procure the alteration of any matter as by law established (citizenship by operation of law) or section 3(e) for promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility between the different races of Malaysia.

Habib RAK: I agree that one wrong should not be reciprocated with another wrong. What Namewee insinuated is indeed wrong. But then look at Umno's track record. The 'pendatang' remarks by Ahmad Ismail from Penang and PM's aide Nasir Safar, the various racist courses in BTN, the Malay headmistress from Johor, the Malay headmaster from Kedah, Perkasa and many more examples.

All these preceding events had influenced Namewee to bring out the obvious. Had the issue been nipped in the bud, surely Namewee would have no basis for his satire. All the same, let this be a lesson to Umno. If Namewee is severely punished, it will set the bar for everybody else. So go ahead and charge him and let the trial begin so that all the rakyat can judge.

Joker: Khairy, if you are really being that particular and want to show your assertions are backed by evidence, why don't you take one more step to ascertain whether or not Chinese really contributed more in economic terms to Malaysian prosperity.

Why not disclose how many percent of income tax is collected from Chinese Malaysians since Merdeka until now? If it is proven that the Chinese contributed more than 50 percent, then does that not make your own statement false?

Furthermore, I find your insinuation that Namewee's verse meant what you said it meant. Namewee asked, "Don't you know who made Malaysia rich?" The answer? ALL Malaysians contributed, not just the Malays. It is the principal who was being racist by asking the Chinese to go back to China and it was she who implied the Chinese were not needed in Malaysia and did not contribute to Malaysia.

Dingy: Namewee's song is subject to the interpretation. What Siti Inshah Mansor said was very clear otherwise it wouldn't be an issue. Being the school principal and a teacher, her action cannot be forgiven. Police interrogated Namewee for sedition but Siti Inshah was merely transferred to another department. There is no justice here.

Charge both for sedition and let the court decide. If Namewee is sent to jail, the rakyat expect the same for Siti Inshah, if not at least get the sack to stop racism among teachers.

Lonestar: KJ said: "But let there be no doubt, Namewee's insinuation that the Chinese are solely responsible for this country's growth is just as blatantly offensive."

Dr Mahathir Mohamad said: "The Chinese contribute 90 percent of the taxes in this country."

Namewee rapped: "You tak baca? Siapa buat Malaysia kaya?" (Don't you know? Who made Malaysia prosperous?)

The keyword is "solely". Did Namewee said that or is KJ putting the word into Namewee's mouth?

Al: So when right-wing Umno and Perkasa say Malays are languishing in economic obscurity behind the 'pendatang' races especially those villainous Chinese, it's okay. When a Chinese guy comes out and says, "Damn right, we're the ones making the money!", suddenly it's not okay. Both are perpetuating the same politically incorrect myth.

Nik V: I would have argued exactly on the same platform as Khairy. But the difference between Khairy and me is he is part of what many in other parts of the world would call the equivalent to a white supremacist party like KKK.

Prove your loyalty. Leave Umno-MCA-MIC-BN. It's because of people like you that racism continues to rear its ugly head. Fifty years of racist parties like the one you are in is the reason Malaysia is going down this horrible road. Be a hero and maybe the new Abraham Lincoln that Malaysia so badly needs and do the right thing.

No religion or right-minded person condones anything that is being done by BN. Otherwise, your words are no better than that of a hypocrite.

Karma: How about Utusan Malaysia and Nasir Safar and the many National Service camp trainers who were let off for uttering racist remarks? This Namewee's video is the result of double standard by the government in clamping down on these racists and extremists.

Till today, how many people were punished? How many people in Utusan Malaysia were called up and their publication licence threatened? None.

Anonymous: KJ, keep this up and instigate the non-Malays. Call them whatever name you Umno Malays want but don't you realise the ultimate end to all these will be the destruction of the nation? You will have extremists from both sides trying to outdo the others and the end result will be civil war between the Umno Malays and the others which Utusan Malaysia predicts.

The non-Malays only want equal rights to live in Malaysia as they are also born and bred in Malaysia. This is the only home they have but if push comes to shove, they will fight back, be it peacefully or violently. Do you think the Umnoputras will give a damn if a civil war breaks out? The first thing they will do is to send their immediate families safely overseas.

Arrest all those who gives seditious speeches, be it the ex-PM's aide, politicians, civil servants or the ordinary people. If the Najib Razak government do not act now to stop these racists, I dread to see the country's outcome in the near future. Allah, please bless Malaysia!

Chuath: KJ may be right because that contentious line could have been ambiguous. Perhaps it would have been better to do a check list with questions like - who worked on the plantations such as tapping rubber trees? who mined the tin? who built the railways? who built the roads? who built the banks? etc, before anyone asks anybody to go home whether its Indonesia, China or India.

Anyway, public servants including teachers should not ask any group of taxpayers to go home because the taxpayers are ultimately their employers.

Swipenter: Umno interprets everything whichever way they like. Look at our history books and see "minimal role" the non-Malays fought for Merdeka and the contributions in building and developing the country. Isn't that "explicitly insulting" when this community is essentially told they played a minimal role in the country's struggle for merdeka and progress.

Temenggong: KJ, Namewee just made an academic error. He is not a scholar. It was the Indians who opened up Malaya from 1816 onwards that made it possible for large-scale migration of first Chinese, then Indonesians and Indians in a second wave, into Malaya, hitherto an uninhabited jungle whose population was less than an estimated 55,000.

So who made Malaya prosperous is open to debate, but it is surely not the Indonesian immigrants. The British had the vision though!

Geronimo: Khairy, all along the non-Malays have been telling the likes of you that we have been victimised. Even Mahathir said so. But you guys in Umno told us to go and stuff it and as a consequence, the 2008 GE more or less told you we have enough of Umno's arrogance.
In fact, we felt Umno would have learned something after the 12th GE and change for the better by giving the non-Malays a fair shake, but no, race relations started to deteriorate even further and as the 13th GE draws near, the momentum seems to be picking up steam.

So you said you are "against extremism, dis-empathy, insensitivity and racism of any kind". Fine, but tell us since the Ahmad Ismail 'pendatang' episode, how many of been charged for sedition? None. Why? Because they are all Malays?
Even that woman who compared Indians to snakes is now an Adun (state representative) in the Perak assembly. With all these, Namewee's video - crude as it may - merely manifested our deep-seeded frustration that have been bothering us for years.

My advice to you, Khairy, is to tell those fella in Umno to cease and desist. If Umno want to earn the respect of Malaysians again, they have to be seen to be fair and treat all Malaysians alike, be it reward or punishment.

Charging Namewee for sedition is not going to solve the problem as it will only erode your vote bank further. He may just be an ordinary local entertainer but he has the Generation Y behind him who can bring you fellas down via the ballot box. Just think about it.

Relak Aje: Overt insinuation? Implication? Why the need to rack your brains so hard, KJ? What Siti Inshah uttered was as clear as daylight. No interpretation or dissection required for anyone to understand. Her utterances were, for all intents and purposes, deliberate, wilful and calculated.

And you expect her targeted audience to remain docile? The non-Malays, and Namewee alike, are not being too sensitive either.

Mohd Hazwan: Come on, Khairy wake up. There are contentious lines in every song. What about Bob Dylan's 'Times they're a changin''. Wasalam.

NEP policies keeping Malays ‘poor’ and ‘weak’, say analysts, politicians

Dr Mahathir predicted earlier this week that there would be an escalation in racial tension and division should NEP-style policies be removed. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — Analysts and politicians have hit out at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for wanting an indefinite continuation of pro-Bumiputera New Economic Policy (NEP)-style policies.

They claim that NEP-based policies needed to be replaced with a more “merit-based” policy, saying that a majority of Bumiputeras “have not benefited” from the NEP during Dr Mahathir’s tenure as prime minister.

“I disagree strongly with Tun Dr Mahathir. Under the NEP and during his time as prime minister, a majority of poor Malays have not benefited from the race-based policy. It only served to widen the gap between the poor and a rich elite. Look at the urban poor today where a majority are Bumiputeras as well as Indians,” said economist Dr Subramaniam Pillay.

Dr Mahathir predicted earlier this week 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.

He stressed that the time was not right to introduce any policy which would “disregard the disparities between races in the interest of equity and merit.”

In justifying his arguments, Dr Mahathir said that during his time as prime minister and under the implementation of the NEP, Malaysia had enjoyed stability and good economic growth.

Subramaniam did not agree with Dr Mahathir’s explanation.

“During Dr Mahathir’s time, many countries in Southeast Asia or even Asia did not practise an open economy. There were very few countries which were open to foreign direct investments (FDI). Malaysia was doing relatively well, yes because there was no stiff competition from other countries at the time,” said the Nottingham University lecturer.

Subramaniam told The Malaysian Insider that due to “rising economies” like India and China over the past decade, Malaysia was in urgent need of a policy which would allow the country to escape from the “middle-income” trap.

“In spite of Mahathir’s NEP policies, it had favoured the few rather than improved the economic situation of the poor.

“The country requires a policy where it encourages the acquisition of survival skills. We don’t have that right now. We cannot compete with other countries because we don’t have the skills,” said Subramaniam.

He, however, added that a “needs-based” form of affirmative action was still required to help the poor.

Historian and political analyst Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim questioned the reason for Dr Mahathir’s “claims of an impending revolution.”

Khoo was doubtful that NEP-like policies would ever be scrapped, until the Malays and Bumiputeras were themselves ready for a change.

“What Mahathir is talking about is impossible. Since when can we remove the NEP? Unless and until the Malays themselves are ready, we cannot do anything,” said Khoo.

UKM lecturer Professor Shamsul Amri said while Dr Mahathir had a right to express his views, the former prime minister was in no position to make any changes to the country’s current economic policies.

“Let Mahathir say whatever it is he has to say. I do not see why he cannot have that opinion. He can no longer do anything, he is no longer in power,” said Shamsul.

He blamed politicians from both sides of the political divide for not doing anything to amend or scrap NEP-based policies.

“If people do not think it is relevant, change it. The opposition as well as Barisan Nasional talk too much but do not take any action.

“If they do not want NEP-based policies, please do something about it in Parliament,” Shamsul told The Malaysian Insider.

The academic claimed that although the actual NEP policy was no longer being used, the “spirit” of the NEP still lived within Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.

“The NEP is dead, but the spirit of the NEP is represented within Article 153 of the Federal Constitution. The spirit of NEP will always be there if Article 153 is there. If you do not want it, change it. Do something about it in Parliament,” said Shamsul.

The NEP, put in place in 1971, officially ended in 1990, but many of its programmes are still being continued.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said he plans to remove subsidies and many of the pro-Bumiputera quotas under economic reforms.

But Dr Mahathir and many Malay groups are opposed to the removal of quotas and equity targets, despite evidence suggesting Malaysia is being handicapped economically and is less competitive globally as a result of such policies.

“It would be illogical to maintain NEP-like policies. The NEP was introduced in the past because there was a gap between the Malays and the Chinese (in particular). Today, many Malays are now in the middle-class category.

“Today, we also have so much competition from overseas, countries like China and India are growing stronger economically, it will be pointless to maintain the NEP. We do not need affirmative action,” said Umno Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

He said Dr Mahathir’s argument was also “flawed” because of the fact that a majority of Malays were in the middle-class category and “have assets to lose in the event of riots or a supposed revolution.”

“The real poor are the Bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak . That’s why they have to come and find work in Peninsular. You don’t find many Malays going to Sabah and Sarawak for work. Mahathir is only looking from a Peninsular point of view,” Nur Jazlan told The Malaysian Insider.


Pua says Dr Mahathir wants to maintain the NEP to protect the interests of individuals within the ‘ruling elite’. — File pic
DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua said the NEP had only resulted in the widening of income disparity “within ethnic groups.”

“In Malaysia, the NEP has resulted, according to the government’s own statistics, in a widening income disparity even within ethnic groups. This means that the gap between rich Malays and the poor is widening. Our Gini-coefficient measure is the highest in Southeast Asia.

“Hence if Dr M’s theory is right at all, that we are expecting a revolution, and he’s talking nonsense, but assuming he’s right, then a revolution would be between the poor Malays, Kadazans, Ibans, Indians and even Chinese, against the rich and wealthy class,” said Pua.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP told The Malaysian Insider that Dr Mahathir’s insistence in maintaining the NEP was to protect the interests of individuals within the “ruling elite.”

“Dr Mahathir is flawed in his pursuit to retain the NEP, but intentionally so to hide his objective of protecting the ruling elite and their cronies, by using highly incendiary race-based arguments. This is clearly to mislead the rakyat at large in order to protect the interest of a few.

“He needs to revisit his history books to refresh his memory which has been failing in recent years. The ‘revolutions’ in Europe involved the proletariat rising against the bourgeois, or the poor against the rich, and was not a result of one race or religion against another,” said Pua.

Dr Mahathir has been increasingly vocal in speaking out against the New Economic Model (NEM) introduced by Najib, saying that affirmative action must still be carried out, signalling fears that Malays and Bumiputeras would stand lose out the most if the administration were to implement a 100 per cent meritocracy-based system.

The former prime minister revealed last week that he had written to the prime minister to offer his advice and let him know what he thought of the NEM.

However, Dr Mahathir said he did not expect Najib to consider his recommendations.

The feisty ex-premier had also mocked proponents of meritocracy last week, calling them racist and decried Malays who supported meritocracy as having misplaced pride.

His comments came after recent remarks by top banker Datuk Seri Nazir Razak — the CIMB group chief executive and the brother of the PM — who said that the NEP had been “bastardised”.

Nazir has been pushing for reforms while Dr Mahathir has been putting his weight behind right-wing Malay groups such as Perkasa, who believe Bumiputera quotas were a “right” of the Malays.

Dr Mahathir has also denied that the NEP had been an obstacle to the country’s development.

He has also mocked proponents of meritocracy, calling them “meritocrats” who are pushing for dominance by one race in all aspects of the country.

No polls before 2012, says EIU

Najib may be looking for the opposition to fall further into disarray before going to the polls, says the EIU. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — The Barisan Nasional (BN) government is expected to remain in power in 2010-11 as a general election is not likely before 2012 despite speculation of snap polls, said a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released yesterday.

The EIU said that while a strong election performance will strengthen Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s mandate, the results of recent by-elections suggest that the electorate has become much more volatile especially with non-Malay voters, and that he faces opposition from conservative groups over plans to reform affirmative action.

“He appears to be hoping that he still has sufficient latitude to make further changes to these policies, while also securing a greater understanding for the necessity for other unpopular policy decisions, such as pushing through a goods and services tax (GST),” said the report.

It added that the prime minister is also aware that the promotion of racial harmony is vital to his plans to woo voters from the country’s ethnic minorities, many of whom abandoned the BN in favour of opposition parties at the last election.

“Mr Najib may be looking for the opposition to fall further into disarray before going to the polls,” the report, said noting that Pakatan Rakyat leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is facing the possibility of a prison sentence if he is found guilty of a sodomy charge, potentially destabilising the opposition alliance.

The EIU also forecasts Malaysia’s GDP to grow 4.2 per cent next year, well below the 6 per cent annual growth target set by the Najib administration in order for Malaysia to achieve a high-income nation status.

It noted that the recent UN World Investment Report (WIR), which showed foreign direct investment (FDI) to Malaysia dropping 81 per cent last year even as Singapore’s FDI increased, was a warning to the government to overcome political resistance which has so far delayed more radical reform measures.

Najib has been trying to open up the economy and make affirmative action more market friendly but Malay rights group Perkasa has been vocal in pressuring the prime minister to retain the status quo in terms of pro-Bumiputera policies even though four decades of affirmative action are widely perceived to have made Malaysia less competitive than it could be.

“The government has an urgent need to change the structure of the economy if it is to succeed in transforming Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020,” said EIU.

Businessman: Dr M told me shares belong to Umno

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — Businessman Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Maidin revealed in the High Court today that former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had told him he could not claim reimbursement for money paid for seven million shares in Realmild Sdn Bhd because they belonged to Umno.

“I was told by the prime minister of this country that the shares do not belong to me, that I had to transfer them out,” Abdul Rahman responded when asked why he did not take any legal action against the previous shareholders to get back his money.

The prime minister at the time the bargain was struck in 1999 was Dr Mahathir.

Abdul Rahman was defending himself today in a civil suit launched by former Realmild director Datuk Khalid Ahmad to gain the second half of a RM10 million payment of five per cent of the company’s shares.

Realmild is the shadowy company behind conglomerate Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) in the last two decades.

Abdul Rahman said he was presented with two conflicting views as to the real owner of the shares he had bought and that it was Khalid’s word against that of Dr Mahathir’s, who was the premier.

“So obviously I had to believe the prime minister. To do anything at all would be to implicate him and to drag the prime minister in question… I’d rather take a loss and do nothing at all,” he said.

“The prime minister told me so and the economic adviser confirmed it. I can’t believe otherwise, right?” he shot back when asked if he believed “100 per cent” in the PM’s words.

Abdul Rahman explained that he met Dr Mahathir to seek clarification over how to claim back money spent to acquire some seven million Realmild shares.

“I had been deprived of RM40 million on the belief it was going to be mine and then one year later, I was told it’s not going to be mine. I wanted the prime minister’s view,” he said.

“He said I shouldn’t be paid because the shares did not belong to anyone other than Umno and as such, he was not going to pay me,” the 64-year-old said.

Abdul Rahman, a former MRCB chairman and executive vice-chairman of media giant NSTP Berhad, had paid the sum to all four Realmild directors for the shares.

To Datuk Ahmad Nazri Abdullah, who was the majority shareholder with an 80 per cent stake, Abdul Rahman paid RM30 million.

The remainder was paid out to Datuk Kadir Jasin, Mohd Noor Mutalib and Khalid.

Abdul Rahman was the third witness called to testify today.

Earlier, the High Court heard from Realmild’s company secretary Ahmad Hady Shahrom and Tan Sri Syed Anwar Jamalullail, brother to the Raja of Perlis and a former Realmild director who had taken over the shares from Abdul Rahman.

Angry Kitingan's men to 'kill' Anwar's proxies

By Luke Rintod - Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: Still seething with anger, PKR vice-president Jeffrey Kitingan has offered himself for re-election as vice-president in the national party elections next month.
One of his allies will be gunning for a divisional post against an incumbent closely associated with PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim.

With his focus on the vice presidential spot, Jeffrey will not seek re-election as a ketua cabang or divisional head later this month.

The Sabah opposition strongman was initially expected to challenge incumbent Danny Andipai of Pensiangan, a large rural area neighbouring Indonesian Kalimantan Timur and on the borders of his Keningau stronghold.

Nomination for the Pensiangan division has been postponed to Sept 5, and is the last division to hold nomination as more time was needed to send notices to all members as a result of a change in the venue.

The earlier nomination venue, which was at the house of the incumbent, has also been switched to the PKR liaison office in Sook, Pensiangan.

Jeffrey is likely to put up a local as a proxy candidate in Pensiangan and will extend his fight in almost all the 25 PKR divisions in Sabah.

Meanwhile, it appears that the Kimanis division is in limbo. It has not registered a single nomination. Even its current head, Awang Tangah Awang Amin, who at one time was Sabah PKR liaison head, has failed to file his nomination papers.

The party headquarters is now expected to decide a new date for the Kimanis nomination.

An early contender, Benjamin Ondoi, too did not file his nomination as he had just quit PKR and joined Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), a local-based opposition party.

Meanwhile, party insiders revealed that Jeffrey is still seething at Anwar and that those aligned to the former will go all out to ensure the defeat of Ansari Abdullah, Anwar's blue-eyed boy, in Tuaran, here.

All eyes will be on former Tamparuli assemblyman, Edward Linggu. If he unseats Ansari, that would be the end of Ansari and Anwar's power in Sabah, they said.

Observers said Anwar's reliance on Ansari, a practising lawyer, has been a thorn in the flesh for a faction within Sabah PKR ever since several divisional leaders rejected Ansari's leadership.

They claim the defeat of Ansari, a Anwar loyalist, who has stood unsuccessfully for state and parliamentary elections several times, will significantly reduce conflict in Sabah PKR and pave the way for a more strengthened and united Sabah PKR.

Pang's resignation will aggravate conflict within BN

By Dominic Legeh - Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) sees deputy Chief Minister Peter Pang’s quitting from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and his offer to resign from his state cabinet posts as a symptom of the malaise in Barisan Nasional (BN) today.

SAPP president Yong Teck Lee said Pang’s resignation from LDP and his offer to step down from his state cabinet posts is a sign of further aggravation of internal conflict in the BN.

“To put things in prospective, Pang’s resignation is the basic cause of the political problem facing BN.

"It is only a symptom that we see today. But this symptom today has now become very public and will further aggravate the internal conflict in BN,” he said.

“So today’s timing is good (for us). We have 'Pilihanku SAPP' (my choice is SAPP),” he told reporters after officiating the launch of the 'Pilihanku SAPP' booklet authored by Emin Madi yesterday.

Asked whether he was saying it as an offer to Pang, he said: “No, no, no. Looking at the situation since noon today, many things have been revealed.

“The fact that the Prime Minister said Pang had told him that he was joining Gerakan means this is not a spontaneous and instantaneous thing that happened in the last one or two days.

“There would have been a process of discussion leading to today’s announcement…but personally I'm not surprised by the announcement because you have Chin Su Phin and others who have declared they will not cooperate with the Chief Minister.

“And then you have the president (VK Liew) who is neither here nor there and now you have Pang who decides to leave LDP, meaning he will side with the Chief Minister and not with his own party,” Yong said.

He further added that the situation was not only about Pang’s resignation because there were so many other things happening within BN.

Downfall of BN government

He said Pang’s resignation could also be read in the context of Salleh Said, the Sabah Umno deputy chairman’s disclosure of a plot by LDP and others to topple Chief Minister Musa Aman.

“(So) this goes back to my earlier point, which is further aggravation of the internal conflict in BN that will help to expedite the downfall of BN government.

“Since Sabah is considered as a BN ‘fixed deposit’ in Malaysia. When they lose the ‘fixed deposit’ even at the Federal level, they also will lose,” he said.

Yong, a former Sabah chief minister, said Pang’s resignation offer as the deputy chief minister, if it is accepted, will see intense lobbying by various component parties including the Federal-based parties to fill the post.

“That will also help to increase the friction and the tension within BN…if Pang’s resignation is not accepted, that means the whole thing is a show,” he said.

The peninsula-based Chinese parties will make full use of the issue to gain more strength in Sabah, Yong predicted, adding MCA has been waiting for a long time.

“MCA chairman Edward Khoo has been his turn for so long. In his second term as an assemblyman, he was tipped as a favourite to be made a minister.

“So, obviously MCA had at its recent convention declared it wants one more seat in Sabah. Therefore MCA will obviously want to make a bid for the post.”
“You still have the other parties like Upko, PBS and Umno who will also want to make a bid…so it will become more tense and more fractious.

“It is already very hot in BN, so when you add more heat and more fuel they will blow up…so 'Pilihanku SAPP',” he said.

Spy cam: 'Mysterious characters' identified

By Jamilah Kamarudin - Free Malaysia Today

FMT ALERT SHAH ALAM: A number of 'mysterious characters' have been identified from the spy camera that was discovered in Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim's office recently, claimed the MB's office today.
In the latest revelation, the menteri besar's political secretary Faekah Husin said that the discovery was shocking as these individuals included "insiders" – staff at the state secretariat.

"We have identified a number of faces. Apart from the staff who work in the office, there were also visitors and among them were individuals who were not supposed to be there," she told reporters here.

In view of this, Faekah said the internal task force set up by the menteri besar will look into this development to see if any criminal elements were involved.

"The task force will decide this Friday at the latest to see whether we should conduct an investigation on these individuals," she said.
FMT learnt that some of the individuals captured in the spycam – both men and women – were people known to Khalid.

MORE TO COME

PM accused of contempt of court, report filed

By Patrick Lee

FMT ALERT KUALA LUMPUR: The National Association for Children of Settlers (Anak) today filed a police report against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and two others for “contempt of court”.
The report was related to the Federal Court’s recent landmark decision favouring Felda settlers.

Led by PAS MP Salahuddin Ayub and Anak president Mazlan Aliman, the report also named Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Ahmad Maslan and Felda President Yusof Noor.

In its decision, the apex court had ordered Felda (Federal Land Development Authority) to pay RM11 million in damages to 354 settlers.

Anak said Najib and the other two had committed contempt of court by claiming that Felda lost the case because its lawyer did not attend the trial, depriving the agency of the chance to defend itself.

The report was lodged at 11.30am with the Dang Wangi district police headquarters. A handful of Anak supporters were also present.
MORE TO FOLLOW

Jolting TNB: Editor pleads not guilty

By Fazy Sahir - Free Malaysia Today,

FULL REPORT PETALING JAYA: An executive editor, who made a jibe against national power firm Tenaga Nasional Bhd in his blog, today pleaded not guilty to a charge under the Communications and Multimedia Act.


Irwan Abdul Rahman, who operates the blog "nose4news", was charged under Section 223 (1) (a) of the Act for using the Internet to send false comments with the intention of hurting the feelings of others.

If found guilty, Irwan, who is executive editor of The Malay Mail's lifestyle and entertainment section and uses the blog name Hassan Skodeng, could be fined up to RM50,000 or not more than a year in jail or both.

His posting on March 25, titled "TNB to sue WWF over Earth Hour", led the company to file a complaint with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on April 2.

Judge Hayatul Akmal Abd Aziz set bail for RM4,000 under one surety and fixed Nov 24 for mention of the case.

Irwan is alleged to have commited the offence from 6pm to 7pm at 3A-01,02,03 in Dataran Dua, No 2 Jalan WC/1, Petaling Jaya.

Lawyer: It's just parody
Met later, his lawyer Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos was confident that the charge would be withdrawn taking into account that it was mere parody.

"The facts of the case points towards the style of writing. It should be taken as a whole. My client did not intend to make a serious stand on the matter but more with a sense of humour,” he said.

Describing the case as the first of its kind in the country, Jahaberdeen said the outcome would have an impact on a person's style of writing.

Irwan's bail was posted by Malay Mail's group adviser Ahiruddin Attan, better known as Rocky, among bloggers and media practitioneers.

Speaking to reporters, he said the country still had problems with freedom of press.

"Bloggers have been facing this problem over the last few years. We bloggers have matured in our writings or jottings but we are still being curtailed with the same problem...we don't have the freedom," said Ahiruddin, who runs the famous Rocky's Bru blog.

Nurul vs Khairy: Battle for hearts and minds of young M'sia begins

Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

The battle for the hearts and minds of young Malaysia has begun with Nurul Izzah Anwar staking claim on a multi-racial Malaysia that allows no room for racism or religious bigotry - two of the most serious issues ailing the nation, not only curbing economic growth but also making the people grossly unhappy.

Hot on her heels is Umno’s Khairy Jamaluddin. The 34-year old Youth chief has been trying to transform himself into a ‘liberal’ of sorts but with mixed success due partly to his own past record of using race-championing to gain popularity but mostly because of his own political inconsistency – even now.

Early pie on KJ's face

Ibrahim Ali: Malay rights not for debate
Perhaps to take the wind out of Nurul’s sails after she won wide acclaim with her crystal-clear article The ultimate Malaysian debate: Malaysia or Malaysaja, Khairy trained his sights on Johor rapper Namewee.

As the 30-year Nurul took on ultra-Malay rights group Perkasa and challenged its overt racism, Khairy issued an “acid test” dare to the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, that what was sauce for the goose was sauce for the gander.

But the reaction he garnered was far from the bouquets of roses showered on Nurul, the oldest daughter of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Instead, the Oxford-trained KJ – as he is also known – got whacked left, right and center by commentators to his Namewee article. Not only did they tear to shreds his logic, they also accused him of reverting to hypocrisy of the older generation Umno leaders.

Namewee got into trouble with his 'Nah' video
The real acid test

KJ had accused Namewee of racism because of the lyric in his song You tak baca? Siapa buat Malaysia kaya? But the majority feedback was that the rapper was stating an economic fact - not making a racist comment like headmistress Siti Inshah, whom Namewee had attacked in his video clip. Siti had likened Indians to dogs and Prime Minister Najib Razak’s special aide Nasir Safar had earlier this year called Indian beggars and Chinese women whores.

Khairy's critics were upset by the way he pontificated without thinking that he himself may be closing an eye to all the factors and therefore guilty of the two-faced hypocrisy that former premier Mahathir Mohamd has been frequently accused of.

And in this is the real acid test – not the one he set for the non-Malays in his Namewee article but one that Malaysians have set for Khairy himself. Can a leopard change its spots? Is Khairy - cocooned by his wealth and privileged position - already too ‘old’ to feel the pulse of young Malaysia? Does young Malaysia want to cozy up to him?

Sadly for KJ, the son-in-law of former premier Abdullah Badawi, he is unable to reach out to the older Malaysians either. The above 40s think he is a fake and see him more as a potential talent that cannot be realized because of his temperament and duality of nature.

Despite his war chest that some say exceed US$200 million, they rate his chances of reaching the political pinnacle as low and believe it is more likely he will end up a frustrated leader rather than a successful one. Pundits also predict he will make another “major transformation” soon. They see in him a young Mahathir - whom many have scathingly labeled the Father of Opportunism - but without the power of office.

Worse than Ibrahim Ali or Mahathir Mohamd

Mahathir ruled Malaysia 1981-2003
Whether KJ swings to the left, center or right will depend on what is the flavor of the day, but mostly, pundits expect him to swing back to the right. They expect him to become even more ultra-Malay than Ibrahim Ali and more Bolehland than Mahathir because this may be the only way for him to fight his Pakatan peers.

Even in his first test against Nurul, pundits pointed out KJ failed to rise to the high standards demanded by urban Malaysians. It could be he was hampered by the Umno-BN code while Nurul was free to answer only to her beliefs. But the fact that KJ chooses to toe the Umno line is already reflective of his true inclination, they added.

"KJ has said he wants to change Umno-BN from within but this is exactly what Koh Tsu Koon told Gerakan. Are either of them radical, can either men inspire Malaysian youths?" an Umno watcher told Malaysia Chronicle.

In her Malaysia or Malaysaja article, Nurul had chosen to debunk the Ketuanan Melayu or Malay supremacy rhetoric favored by ultra-Malay rights group Perkasa. She point-blank asked Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali in which part of the Federal Constitution was such a term stated. Her daring has earned her the anger of Umno leaders and Defense minister Zahid Hamidi has already accused her of being a traitor.

Yet, Ibrahim Ali who became a Member of Parliament when Nurul was just six years old declined to accept the invitation to a publicly televised debate even though it would actually provide him with the chance to spout his Malay first-and-only rhetoric to the entire nation.

Pakatan's Nurul
Who will be the next PM

The jockeying that has begun amongst the second generation for the post of Prime Minister is a sad reflection of Najib’s failure and underscores the belief that his reign will be brief.

Few Malaysians have faith he can change the country and disrespect him for playing good guy with the non-Malays while getting his cousin Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to do the 'dirty work' with the Malays. The latest incident that upset the Chinese community was when Hisham called 29-year old Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching “dirty” and deemed her unfit to enter a Muslim prayer hall.

But who will shine and land the coveted PM’s chair. If the pundits are right, it won’t be Khairy but that doesn't mean that Nurul will have a clear run either.

Umno's Khairy
Remember Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong and her photos scandal? The same sort of trumped-up gutter politicking may sabotage Nurul’s career. Her father has already been hit with two sodomy trials. What won’t Umno, and this will include Khairy, do to her?

For Pakatan supporters, they take comfort in that come what may, within their coalition are many young leaders as capable as Nurul. And in the face of such relentless competition, Khairy may be forced to return to the Umno tradition of using racism and religious bigotry to gain political popularity.

At the end of the day, how the chips fall will still depend on Malaysians especially young Malaysians. And this is why the battleground is already being prepared.

No matter who the personalities and whether BN or Pakatan, hopefully young Malaysia will remember to look for consistency, character and integrity and keep demanding that these qualities always prevail in any political or policy decision taken by its leaders. If young Malaysia continues to resist manipulation and corruption, perhaps the country may finally be able to breathe a bit easier then.

The future of KL according to Zaid

By Stephanie Sta Maria

SPECIAL REPORT ON KUALA LUMPUR Two months into his new role as PKR Federal Territory chief and Zaid Ibrahim is already pushing hard for a dialogue session with the Minister of Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin.
His invitation has been met with silence so far but Zaid is keeping his hopes up. An acceptance, he said, would put many of the issues raised by MPs in Kuala Lumpur on the fast track to a concrete resolution.

“The situation in KL is that although the opposition holds nine of the 11 constituencies there, the power and decision to improve facilities and resolve issues are not in our hands,” Zaid explained. “So I have written letters to the minister asking him for a dialogue to discuss all these issues.”

“The ruling government and the opposition can fight on issues, but there comes a time when we have to rise above our differences in order to serve the people. The opposition is limited to highlighting issues and putting forth suggestions to resolve them. Such feedback is crucial for the minister so I hope there is a change of attitude.”

In the same breath, however, Zaid also voiced his agreement with Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai that the ministry should be abolished to release Kuala Lumpur from beneath the thumbs of “political masters”.

He pointed out that on a structural level, KL Mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) appear to have the authority to make decisions but in reality, this power belongs to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Raja Nong Chik.

Zaid blamed most of the conflicting decisions concerning Kuala Lumpur on the lack of role clarification among the minister, the Cabinet and the mayor.

“Resolutions can't take place overnight... much planning is needed,” he stated. “But if the details of the plans keep changing or if one person reverses another's decision, then nothing moves. And this is what's happening now because the party that is entitled to authority is being denied it.”

“The minster's position is unnecessary because we already have a mayor in KL and we can have mayors in Langkawi and Labuan as well. It would also be good to have an elected mayor who would feel accountable and responsible towards those who voted for him. This is part of a long-term plan that will address the issues in KL.”

Closer to home

Zaid's new plans are also primed to make a difference at the party level. He will focus his next monthly meeting on three or four main problematic areas and elect a key person to handle each area.

“Problems don't start and end within a single constituency,” he said. “A traffic congestion in Segambut is the same as the one in Lembah Pantai and the rest of KL. So I want key people to be experts on certain issues instead of experts on their constituencies alone. Only then will we have a better view of the situation and talk sense when discussing it.”

Zaid's personal concern is on fundamental issues like security and basic amenities. Or in his own words, “things that are doable”.

“If you want to make KL a more livable place, you have to start with the basics. The world's most livable city can't be filled with slums or deteriorating flats.”

More citizen participation needed

Despite lauding urbanites for displaying tremendous participation in city matters, Zaid nevertheless delivered a gentle nudge towards doing more. What he specifically wants to see is more resident associations and community information channels.

Using Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng's complaint that land for police stations were turned into a badminton court and hawker centre, Zaid pointed out that only residents of that area would be privy to such information.

“A community radio, newspaper or even discussion groups could highlight such issues,” he said. “DBKL should be encouraging and facilitating these avenues. Only then can you create awareness which in turn leads to participation.”

“Living in a city requires a different setting than living in a rural area. People talk about being a cohesive unit which is more difficult in the city due to individual lifestyles. But DBKL should make this happen because such groups are extremely useful in helping DBKL keep a finger on the pulse of the city.”

Reaching out to the city's poor

Urban poverty is a source of great concern for constituencies like Batu, Lembah Pantai and Kepong and Zaid's solution is simplistic – establish a minimum income and make a permanent stand on the foreign worker policy.

“I would advocate a sector-by-sector analysis and provide each sector with an appropriate basic minimum wage,” he proposed. “The several hundred ringgit that some people are earning is ridiculous! Minimum wage has to become a national policy if we're serious about eradicating poverty. There is no short cut to this.”

Zaid emphasises that KL is no longer a cheap place to live and that the image of it being a middle-income area is a fallacy.

“The other issue is the influx of foreign workers, which equates less job opportunities for locals and cheap labour,” he said. “These ridiculously low market forces are what create urban poverty. It's difficult to maintain wages when there are people who will work for less.”

“And again, the policy on foreign workers remain frustratingly vague. One day we hear of a ban on them and another day we hear of an increase in their arrivals. There is no coherent and consistent policy at all.”

The politics of problems

Repeating his earlier hope for a dialogue with Raja Nong Chik, Zaid said that many of the issues plaguing KL require political solutions. And one of those solutions involves different political parties exploring the possibility of working together.

“Opposition MPs in any state controlled by the government don't enjoy the ease of renting a hall or visiting schools without intervention from the other side,” he said. “It's like a state of war which is so foolish. For all our skyscrapers and aspirations to be a first world country, our politics are so backward.”

“But it takes two to tango so I am making the first move to state my position on how I propose to start the process of change. I hope that the mayor and minister can interpret this as my interest in resolving issues and not as taking cheap political advantage of this situation.”

Isu Masjid: Usaha Musuh Pakatan Gagal

Dari Harakah Daily
Oleh Shukur Harun

Usaha beberapa ulama dan para pemimpin PAS mengemukakan hujah Al-Quran dan Sunnah yang mengharuskan orang bukan Islam memasuki masjid, setelah mendapat izin pihak berkenaan, telah dapat membersihkan imej Islam yang dikotori golongan tertentu.

Malah telah mempererat lagi hubungan antara parti-parti dalam Pakatan Rakyat serta menggagalkan usaha mereka memecah belahkan Pakatan Rakyat dengan menimbulkan pelbagai isu yang bersifat fitnah, tuduhan dan rangkaian kata-kata karut marut yang disebarkan dalam media tradisional yang dikuasai golongan itu.

Tokoh ulama seperti Tuan Guru Haji Nik Abd Aziz Nik Mat, Dr. Muhd Nur Manuty, Dr. Dzulkifly Ahmad, Dr. Mujahid Yusuf Rawa dan lain-lain serta para tokoh pemimpin PAS, Haji Mahfuz Omar, Salahuddin Ayub dan lain-lain telah benar-benar membantu menjernihkan keadaan, di samping memperlihatkan wajah Islam sebenar kepada anggota Pakatan Rakyat.

Dengan itu, gagallah usaha musuh politik Pakatan Rakyat – Umno/BN – untuk memporakperandakan Pakatan Rakyat dengan menaburkan isu karut marut yang sangat berbau perkauman dan kebencian.

Malah kita terkesan juga bahawa umat Islam sendiri kebanyakannya faham hal ini dan tidak terpedaya dengan isu palsu yang ditimbulkan. Masjid dan surau, kuliah-kuliah, tazkirah tidak lansung membangkitkan isu ini bahkan melawan balik – suatu isyarat bahawa umat Islam sedar isu ini hanya ‘permainan’ golongan politik sekular yang bangkrap idea.

Bahkan susana Bazaar Ramadan sendiri – tempat rakyat biasa pelbagai kaum dan agama – tetap harmonis, dengan pelbagai golongan rakyat membeli pelbagai juadah dengan wajah ceria, seperti tidak terkesanpun dengan berita palsu yang karut marut.

PAS telah berdiri gagah menampilkan kebijaksanaannya dengan mengemukakan pandangan Islam yang sebenar mengenai isu palsu yang dibangkitkan itu, iaitu seperti isu khatib dikatakan berdoa kepada pemimpin bukan Islam, isu wakil rakyat bukan Islam mengunjungi masjid dan surau untuk menyampaikan bantuan dan berucap pendek.

Pemimpin dan pendukung Pakatan Rakyat dari kalangan Islam dan bukan Islam mendapat fahaman Islam yang cukup jelas mengenai isu ini dengan penerangan para tokoh in. Sementara ulama seperti Tuan Guru Haji Nik Abd Aziz Nik Mat, Dr. Muhd Nur Manuty, Dr. Asri Zainal Abidin dan lain-lain telah menjernihkan imej Islam yang dikotori oleh golongan tertentu. Tokoh ulama berwibawa ini telah mengemukakan hujah ilmu mereka berdasarkan hujah Al-Quran, sunnah dan hadis.

Setakat ini, para tokoh Umno/BN dan penyokong serta ‘ulama’ mereka tidak mampu mengemukakan hujah ilmu untuk mempertahankan sikap mereka. Kenyataan demi kenyataan mereka hanya berupa rangkaian tuduhan karut marut yang berbau politik kepartaian, perkauman dan prejudis, tidak lebih dari itu.

Ini menunjukkan kedangkalan ilmu Islam mereka, tetapi malangnya pandanga mereka ini benar-benar merosakkan imej Islam.

Saya memetik pandangan tokoh ulama berwibawa, Dr. Muhd Nur Manuty mengenai hal ini. Dalam sebuah kenyataan beliau berkata:

“Sekurang-kurangnya ada empat pandangan mengenai persoalan orang bukan Islam masuk dalam masjid. Pertama: Mazhab Hanafi yang membenarkan bukan Islam memasuki semua masjid.

Kedua: Mazhab Syafie yang membenarkan masuk kesemua masjid melainkan masjid Haram dan kawasan tanah haram Makkah.

Ketiga: Mazhab Hanbali yang membenarkan untuk memasuki Masjidil Haram dan lainnya setelah mendapat kebenaran dari umat Islam atas tujuan-tujuan yang munasabah. Akhirnya, Mazhab Maliki yang tidak membenarkan memasuki semua masjid melainkan kerana dharurat kerja.”

Menurut Dr. Muhd Nur Manuty lagi, beberapa peristiwa di zaman Rasulullah juga boleh dijadikan panduan. Baginda pernah membenarkan ramai orang bukan Islam masuk dan tinggal lama di masjid. Rasulullah juga diriwayatkan pernah menerima tetamu Kristian dari Najran di dalam masjid Madinah, malah diizinkan oleh Nabi s.a.w untuk menunaikan solat mereka di dalam masjid dan nabi menyebut kepada sahabat: “Biarkan mereka (untuk menyelesaikan sembahyang mereka)”

Kepelbagaian pandangan ini menggambarkan keluasan hukum Islam dalam persoalan yang digembar-gemburkan sebagai isu besar ini.

Hakikatnya, kata beliau, majoriti ulama silam dan kontemporari jelas mengharuskan bukan Islam memasuki masjid biasa dengan syarat tertentu seperti keperluan mendapat keizinan umat Islam atau badan berkuasa Islam, mempunyai sebab yang munasabah dan menjaga adab-adab yang telah ditetapkan.

Oleh yang demikian, tambah beliau lagi, adalah tidak wajar bagi siapa jua untuk menyempitkan sesuatu yang tidak jelas dari sudut nas-nasnya dan dalil-dalilnya. Apatah lagi jika kita sememangnya berpegang dengan mazhab al- Syafie sebagai mazhab rasmi umat Islam di negara ini.

Lebih jauh lagi, kata Muhamad Nur Manuty, sikap menghalang bukan Islam memasuki masjid ini adalah bertentangan dengan semangat yang diputuskan oleh Muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Hal Ehwal Ugama Islam Malaysia Kali Ke-90 yang bersidang pada 1 Mac 2010 telah memutuskan bahawa pelancong bukan Islam diharuskan memasuki masjid dan ruang solat dengan syarat yang telah ditentukan.

Menurut beliau, amalan menerima bukan Islam memasuki masjid atas tujuan yang murni juga telah diamalkan di beberapa negara lain. Ia terbukti memberi nilai positif kepada keberkesanan pemahaman mereka kepada agama Islam, mengelakkan salah faham dan menjana interaksi yang harmoni dalam perhubungan di antara umat Islam dan bukan Islam.

Sewajarnya, para wakil rakyat Pakatan Rakyat perlu diberikan pujian kerana kesungguhan mereka dalam menjalankan tugasnya dengan baik kepada masyarakat majmuk di negara ini. Apatah lagi ia memang telahpun mendapat kebenaran pihak pengurusan masjid dan dilakukan pula atas tanggungjawab mereka sebagai wakil Kerajaan Negeri Selangor.

“Kekecohan yang digembar-gemborkan hakikatnya akan memakan tuan. Inilah gambaran kegagalan Umno selama ini dalam mendidik rakyat mengenai hakikat Islam. Sikap seperti ini akan menyuburkan pendirian fanatik melulu di kalangan orang Islam yang kurang berilmu,” kata beliau.

Lebih-lebih lagi, katanya, berita mengenainya ditokok tambah dengan pelbagai fitnah baru demi mencapai matlamat politik sempit yang diperjuangkan.

Dr. Muhamad Nur sentiasa mengingatkan bahawa umat Islam tidak boleh merelakan diri mereka terus dibelenggu dalam kerangka pemikiran sempit politik perkauman dan agama ala Umno ini. Ini kerana ia akan menjadikan kita semakin lesu sementara masyarakat bukan Islam pula semakin menjauh dari kita.

Hakikatnya, kata beliau lagi, tanpa mereka jangka, krisis yang mereka wujudkan ini akan menjadikan orang Melayu dan masyarakat Islam lebih memahami agamanya secara total dan lebih berkeyakinan bahawa Islam dan masyarakat Melayu akan lebih terjamin di bawah Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat pada masa depan.