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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Protests turn violent in Kashmir



At least 18 people have been killed in demonstrations in the last 24 hours alone.
But the long simmering dispute over independence was not the only fuel for Monday's fury.
Anger about threats to burn the Quran in the US led to attacks on Christian schools in the territory.
Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan reports from Srinagar.

Khairy slams Utusan's support of Perkasa

(Malaysiakini) Even as Umno and BN leaders distance themselves from Malay rights pressure group Perkasa, Malay-language daily Utusan Malaysia continues to support the group.

In today's edition, the Umno-owned broadsheet devoted an entire page to an assortment of stories defending the NGO, including a poll headlined 'Majority of Malays support Perkasa'.

azlanIn response, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar - one of the most vocal critics of Perkasa - launched a thinly-veiled attack on the daily on his Twitter account.

He tweeted that he “thinks a particular newspaper needs to be reminded who its owners are”.

“I'm advocate for reforms towards a free and responsible press but while in present paradigm, I can't accept editorial line of particular daily,” he said next.

Although Khairy did not name names, the statement was clearly aimed at Utusan.

He has repeatedly claimed that Umno is not in cahoots with Perkasa in any way.

Call for Umno rethink

Over the past week, Umno bigwigs including secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, vice-president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and supreme council member Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz have begun voicing criticism of Perkasa.

utusan malaysia and umnoThey claimed that its hardline views on Malay rights could alienate non-Malay voters in the next general election.

Utusan has backed Perkasa with several stories and its Sunday opinion columns have urged Umno to rethink its stand in rejecting Perkasa.

Among the most recent stories was one quoting the Perak government's information chief Hamdi Abu Bakar, who reportedly said that the Umno leaders' move to distance themselves from Perkasa is syok sendiri (self-serving).

Umno's stance has not deterred Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali and the 50,000 members that he claims to lead.

He has gone so far as to warn Umno, a party of 3.4 million members, that he can give “guidance” to Perkasa members on how to vote in the general election.

‘Top-down’ reforms set to disappoint

The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — The country’s plans to revitalise investment by backing national champions and ending race-based policies may sound ambitious, but the details are hazy and real economic reform will face formidable obstacles.

The government starts public consultations this month on a new round of reforms, but there is growing resistance from voters and disappointment from investors over measures taken so far.

A government think tank has identified a dozen growth industries such as oil and gas, biotechnology and Islamic finance to focus on in a drive to double Malaysia’s income per capita and propel it into the ranks of “developed nations” by 2020.

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s record on reform is patchy — he shied away from big subsidy cuts and reversed tack on race-based preferential equity ownership rules for the majority ethnic Malay population under pressure from activists.

“Earlier optimism that Najib will be able, and will be committed, to carrying out his plans for reforms has been replaced by resignation that Malaysia will not change course quite so quickly or easily,” said Southeast Asia political risk analyst David Kiu.

Najib took office last year and promised investor forums that on reforms, he would “execute or be executed”, after the National Front coalition that has now ruled this Southeast Asian country for 53 years stumbled to its worst ever election results in 2008.

In the past decade Malaysia has seen its dominant position as an investment destination in Southeast Asia crumble, its productivity gains lag and a worsening of its education rankings which mean it is less well equipped to meet its growth goals.

A survey last week by the World Economic Forum showed Malaysia slipped two places in its global competitiveness rankings to 26th spot out of 139 countries while neighbouring Indonesia surged 10 places to 44th spot. The quality of Malaysia’s institutions, ranked 17th by the WEF five years ago, has plunged to 42nd place since then.

Under its “Economic Transformation Plan” to be unveiled this month, Malaysia’s government wants to galvanise RM2.2 trillion ($706.7 billion) in investments over the 10 years to 2020 of which 92 percent will come from the private sector.

That would be a big leap from the 535 billion the private sector has invested over the past decade, and few analysts expect detailed plans to be unveiled on how to boost investment.

Although hot money has flowed into the Malaysian bond market this year, reversing outflows in 2008 and 2009 and pushing the ringgit currency to 13 year highs against the dollar, Malaysia has slid off the investment map for many.

Foreign ownership of the stock exchange stands at just 21.2 per cent of market capitalisation, down from 26.2 per cent in 2007.

Many Malaysian companies like leading bank CIMB and telco Axiata are being wowed by the prospects of faster growth in countries like Indonesia and want to become major regional players, so they are exporting capital.

That means government-linked companies (GLCs) will lead the charge to invest more at home, said Wan Saiful Wan Jan of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs think tank:

“They cannot talk about opening up our markets and at the same time give more for GLCs to do to meddle in our economy.”

More vocal resistance to reforms?

Although Najib has only been in power since April 2009, he may soon have to shift to policies that will shore up his political base. Elections are due by 2013 and are likely to be called earlier.

His coalition of 12 parties, constructed along racial lines to reflect the Malay, Chinese and Indian populations as well as the indigenous people on Borneo island, is still fraying.

Najib is under pressure from Malay activists in his own party who fear reforms will erode their privileges as well as from ethnic Chinese coalition leaders whose only hope to win back voters is to be more vocal in promoting their own community.

A Malay pressure group called Perkasa which claims 300,000 members recently lodged a police report against the leader of the coalition’s ethnic Chinese party after he called for the removal of laws guaranteeing Malays and indigenous people 30 percent equity rights in public companies.

There has also been a steady drip of racial posturing in the media during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan with an opposition ethnic Chinese politician being attacked for visiting a mosque and a Ramadan ad campaign being pulled for having Christmas overtones.

“The incitement of ultra-nationalist feelings is mainly conducted in the Malay media and hence is not so visible to foreign observers but it is a really worrying trend that is taking place under a so-called reformist government,” said Lim Teck Ghee, director of the Centre for Policy Initiatives.

Najib has sought to sidestep some of the blockages to reform by outsourcing the process to advisory bodies, but when it comes to implementation, he will still have to rely on the 1.2 million strong mainly Malay civil service.

The civil service employs one in every 20 Malaysians and Wan Saiful notes many of them are drawn from the constituency that has most to lose from any meaningful reforms:

“They are a force of their own, and they are far too big for the government to ignore.” — Reuters

MCA claims Umno leaders don’t preach Malay supremacy

Dr Chua: I think they are only the minorities of the minorities who harp that the Malays are superior.
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — With Umno now openly snubbing Perkasa, MCA appears to have made amends with its Barisan Nasional (BN) ally, claiming that not one of the Malay party’s leaders had ever preached the superiority of the country’s dominant race.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek put aside his recent disagreement with Umno leaders by reaffirming today his loyalty to the alliance with the country’s largest Malay party.

“In my association or the MCA’s association with Umno, I have never heard of any Umno leader who says that the Malays are more superior than the non-Malays. No,” he firmly said in a press conference after chairing a meeting with several Chinese associations at Wisma MCA here this afternoon.

Dr Chua’s statement was in response to Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s remarks during a recent interview with the New York Times on state of Malaysia’s race relations, which he described as “a most unhappy situation”.

“We respect the view of Lee Kuan Yew. He is entitled to say... he is a very senior statesman,” he said.

But Dr Chua agreed that Malaysia’s race relations were less than ideal and stressed that this was largely becaue of the intense competition between the political parties post-Elections 2008.

“There is intense competition between all the political parties in order to gain support.... and in a multi-racial country like Malaysia, race would be a very easy issue to be used for support,” he said.

Dr Chua however disagreed with the notion that this was caused by constant harping on the superiority of the Malay race by Malay leaders.

“I don’t think it is fair to say Malay leaders always harp on the fact that the Malay race is superior. I don’t think so.

“I think they are only the minorities of the minorities who harp that the Malays are superior. This is the tactic of the opposition to make Umno look bad,” he claimed.

Dr Chua claimed that in its 53-year rule, the BN had proven its worth in managing the complexity of race relationships.

“What we do here is that because the Malays are Bumiputeras and economically, they are not on par with the other non-Malays and they continue to require affirmative action... and that is the reason why we say affirmative action should be based on needs and merits.

“If it is based on needs and merits, then if the Malays are poor either economically or are academically backward, then they can still continue to receive help from the government.... because they are poor,” he stressed.

Dr Chua also indirectly disagreed with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s apparent continuing defence of Perkasa, and said that the views of the country’s current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should take precedence above everyone else’s.

“I think in a democratic country, people are entitled to their own opinion. In no country that practices democracy, 100 per cent of their people talk in the same tune.

“Dr Mahathir is also an elder statesmen... we respect his view, he is entitled to his views (but) I could hold on more to the views of the current Prime Minister. I would say it has greater relevance to us because he is the number one in the country,” he said.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the Prime Minister had instructed his leaders to distance themselves from Perkasa, fearing that any association with the controversial Malay rights group would only cause BN to lose more support.

Dr Mahathir, who is Perkasa’s patron, however stepped in to warn Umno against snubbing Perkasa, claiming it would only cause them bigger electoral losses in the next election.

The newly formed non-governmental organisation has been making waves in the country’s political landscape and has even succeeded in pitting Umno and MCA against one another.

In Dr Chua’s recent war with Umno leaders, Perkasa played a role in fanning the fires when he slammed the Chinese-based party for fighting to abolish the 30 per cent Bumiputera equity target.

In response, top Umno leaders like its deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein stepped in to remind MCA not to forget the BN’s struggles when fighting for the rights of the Chinese community.

MCA has also been the only BN party so far to strongly oppose Perkasa’s oftentimes extreme views.

When Umno began disassociating itself from the group, MCA jumped in quickly to laud the move.

Dr Chua also voiced hope today that despite the current spate of racially-charged political tiffs, the country would one day improve on race relations under the BN.

“I do not think we are a perfect government. We have our defects and deficiencies... this is to be expected because if you are in power for 53 years and you have no problems, then something must be wrong somewhere,” he said.

He pointed out that under a mere two and a half years in government, the Pakatan Rakyat coalition has already shown its weaknesses.

“If you look at Penang... I do not think they have done a good job. They have street protests by certain ethnic groups against the state government.

“In the same way, if you look at Selangor, you have the issue of the support letters affecting one particular race and one particular party,” he said.

Sosilawati murder: Police search suspect lawyers’ office

BANTING, Sept 14 — Police today visited the office of a lawyer Datuk to find proof of his involvement in a cheating case leading to the gruesome murder of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others.

A police team was seen arriving at the lawyer’s office in Jalan Kemboja 33, off Jalan Sultan Alam Shah here at 10.45am.

They left five minutes later after failing to open the door using a key.

Police returned to the office at 11.08am with a man in purple lockup attire, believed to be the 41 year-old lawyer Datuk.

The lawyer is among eight suspects detained in connection with the killing of Sosilawati,47, her driver Kamarudin Shamsuddin,44, Kampung Baru CIMB Bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad,38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32.

Police officers emerged at 12.30pm with several CPUs (computer processing units) and documents taken from the lawyer’s office.

The lawyer’s office is believed to be the place where all the victims were last seen alive before their gruesome death in Ladang Gadong in Tanjong Sepat.

It is believed to be the location where the suspect discussed a land deal with the cosmetics millionaire. — Bernama

Court hands victory to longhouse folk

By Joseph Tawie - Free Malaysia Today

KUCHING: The residents of seven longhouses in Tuba today heaved a sigh of relief when the Kuching High Court ordered the state to exclude their lands from the proposed Sebuyau National Park.

“It is a huge victory for us,” said Joshua Karim, a spokesman for the group.

“Credit should be given to the people for their brave efforts and their patience.”

Two years ago, the state government earmarked some 27,500 hectares of land in Ulu Sebuyau for the park, meant as a wildlife sanctuary, particularly for orang utan and proboscis monkeys.

Several longhouses, including the seven in Tuba, would have had to be moved out from the area.

But the Tuba folk brought their case to court with the help of native land rights activist Baru Bian and his legal firm. The decision today ensured that 5,000 acres of the NCR (native customary right) land are safe. Only 400 acres of NCR land are now part of the park.

“Now we can sleep peacefully and are no longer fearful of being moved out from the land which we have occupied since the time of Rajah Brooke,” Karim said.

Negotiations to start

Celebrating the victory with them today was PKR supreme councilor Zaid Ibrahim, who flew in from Kuala Lumpur to hear the court decision.

Zaid said the case should serve as a lesson to the state government that it could not simply ignore the rights of the people.

Baru Bian, briefing the press on the court decision, said his clients would begin negotiations with the government next week for some form of compensation for the money they had to spend on the case.

“I hope it can be settled out of court,” he said.

Anwar won't contest PKR polls

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition Leader and PKR advisor Anwar Ibrahim will not accept any nomination from the grassroots wanting him to contest national positions in the party, which would pick its national leaders end of next month.
"I will not accept any nomination for any post in the party," the former deputy prime minister said in his latest blog posting today.
This short statement ends speculation that Anwar might want to go for the top post replacing his wife Wan Azizah Wan ismail, who is now the party chief.

In his posting, Anwar also said it was PKR members' right to elect leaders based on their struggle for the party.

"I would like to see a healthy contest, with all candidates (vying for positions) adhering to the election ethics without proclaiming that they have my blessings," he said.

He added that PKR had introduced a democratic system in picking its top leaders and this system gave members an avenue to pick leaders they think would work for the interest of the party.

"Due to this, all members have the responsibility to ensure that the ideals of the party, its  struggles and the call for change are safeguarded," he added.

He said leaders should not be picked based on the "demands from the outside" or by means of corruption.

"The ethics of electing leaders should be followed at all times," he said.

PKR would hold its election to pick national leaders at the end of next month. While the presidency is expected to be retained by Wan Azizah, the tussle for the number two position is expected to be intense.

Selangor PKR  chief and party vice-president Azmin Ali, and Kuala Lumpur PKR head and former minister in the prime minister's department Zaid Ibrahim are expected to face off in the contest.

Malaysia 'top-down' reforms set to disappoint

By David Chance - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's plans to revitalise investment by backing national champions and ending race-based policies may sound ambitious, but the details are hazy and real economic reform will face formidable obstacles.
The government starts public consultations this month on a new round of reforms, but there is growing resistance from voters and disappointment from investors over measures taken so far.

A government think-tank has identified a dozen growth industries such as oil and gas, biotechnology and Islamic finance to focus on in a drive to double Malaysia's income per capita and propel it into the ranks of "developed nations" by 2020.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's record on reform is patchy -- he shied away from big subsidy cuts and reversed tack on race-based preferential equity ownership rules for the majority ethnic Malay population under pressure from activists.

"Earlier optimism that Najib will be able, and will be committed, to carrying out his plans for reforms has been replaced by resignation that Malaysia will not change course quite so quickly or easily," said Southeast Asia political risk analyst David Kiu.

Najib took office last year and promised investor forums that on reforms, he would "execute or be executed", after the Barisan Nasional coalition that has now ruled the country for 53 years stumbled to its worst ever election results in 2008.

In the past decade Malaysia has seen its dominant position as an investment destination in Southeast Asia crumble, its productivity gains lag and a worsening of its education rankings which mean it is less well equipped to meet its growth goals.

A survey last week by the World Economic Forum showed Malaysia slipped two places in its global competitiveness rankings to 26th spot out of 139 countries while neighbouring Indonesia surged 10 places to 44th spot. The quality of Malaysia's institutions, ranked 17th by the WEF five years ago, has plunged to 42nd place since then.

Under its "Economic Transformation Plan" to be unveiled this month, Malaysia's government wants to galvanise RM2.2 trillion (US$706.7 billion) in investments over the 10 years to 2020 of which 92% will come from the private sector.

That would be a big leap from the US$535 billion the private sector has invested over the past decade, and few analysts expect detailed plans to be unveiled on how to boost investment.

Although hot money has flowed into the Malaysian bond market this year, reversing outflows in 2008 and 2009 and pushing the ringgit currency to 13 year highs against the dollar, Malaysia has slid off the investment map for many.

Foreign ownership of the stock exchange stands at just 21.2% of market capitalisation, down from 26.2% in 2007.

Many Malaysian companies like leading bank CIMB and telco Axiata are being wowed by the prospects of faster growth in countries like Indonesia and want to become major regional players, so they are exporting capital.

That means government-linked companies (GLCs) will lead the charge to invest more at home, said Wan Saiful Wan Jan of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs think-tank. "They cannot talk about opening up our markets and at the same time give more for GLCs to do to meddle in our economy."

More vocal resistance to reforms?
Although Najib has only been in power since April 2009, he may soon have to shift to policies that will shore up his political base. Elections are due by 2013 and are likely to be called earlier.

His coalition of 12 parties, constructed along racial lines to reflect the Malay, Chinese and Indian populations as well as the indigenous people on Borneo island, is still fraying.

Najib is under pressure from Malay activists in his own party who fear reforms will erode their privileges as well as from ethnic Chinese coalition leaders whose only hope to win back voters is to be more vocal in promoting their own community.

A Malay pressure group called Perkasa which claims 300,000 members recently lodged a police report against the leader of the coalition's ethnic Chinese party after he called for the removal of laws guaranteeing Malays and indigenous people 30% equity rights in public companies.

There has also been a steady drip of racial posturing in the media during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan with an opposition ethnic Chinese politician being attacked for visiting a mosque and a Ramadan ad campaign being pulled for having Christmas overtones.

"The incitement of ultra-nationalist feelings is mainly conducted in the Malay media and hence is not so visible to foreign observers, but it is a really worrying trend that is taking place under a so-called reformist government," said Lim Teck Ghee, director of the Centre for Policy Initiatives.

Najib has sought to sidestep some of the blockages to reform by outsourcing the process to advisory bodies, but when it comes to implementation, he will still have to rely on the 1.2 million-strong mainly Malay civil service.

The civil service employs one in every 20 Malaysians and Wan Saiful notes many of them are drawn from the constituency that has most to lose from any meaningful reforms.

"They are a force of their own, and they are far too big for the government to ignore."

- Reuters

You need Perkasa, observers tell Umno

By Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The Umno-Perkasa spat is the latest to erupt in the political playground. The former abruptly severed whatever questionable ties it had with the latter which in turn dismissed the fallout as no great loss.
While most Malaysians have chalked this down to yet another political theatrics, observers believe the fracas is real and warn that Umno is playing a dangerous game.

“Umno can't afford to pick a fight with Perkasa when its own position among the Malays is rocky,” said Professor Aziz Bari of Universiti Islam Antarabangsa. “If it quarrels with Perkasa, it is finished.”

He agreed that certain leaders within Umno are genuinely opposed to Perkasa but pointed out they did not necessarily represent Umno as a whole.

“Take Tengku Adnan (Tengku Mansor), for instance,” he said. “ His constituency of Putrajaya is very small and not at all representative of the true Malay community. For that matter, even (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department) Nazri Aziz isn't a representative of Umno or the real Malay either.”

Tengku Adnan, who is Umno secretary-general, started the dispute last week when he publicly declared that Umno did not support Perkasa or its chief Ibrahim Ali.

According to Aziz, it is those from the Malay heartland, like Pontian MP and Umno information chief Ahmad Maslan, who are grassroots leaders and more accommodating to Perkasa.

“Umno needs Perkasa,” he said. “It is uprooted from the ground which makes it difficult to dismiss the fact that Perkasa is filling the void it has left. From this point of view, Ibrahim is absolutely spot on.”

Professor Dr Azmi Sharom of Universiti Malaya pointed out the obvious silence from the peak of the Umno hierarchy.

“We have only heard from the middle management in Umno so the condemnation of Perkasa is incomplete,” he said. “To me, this is purely a political show since Umno has no ideology of its own.”

“Besides, what is so different between what Perkasa is shouting about now and what Umno shouted about before 2008? Can we really believe that Umno has drastically changed its spots?”

Azmi also touched on Dr Mahathir Mohamad's support for the Malay right-wing group. The former prime minister yesterday told Umno that it risked losing support if it snubbed Perkasa and this statement was backed by Umno's own media, Utusan Melayu.

“Mahathir legitimises Perkasa,” Azmi said. “Whether we like it or not, he is still an influential character. It's completely hypocritical on his part because he once said Malays should be independent and now he is saying the exact opposite. But he is a powerful hypocrite.”

It's just a show

One observer, however, maintains that both Umno and Perkasa are putting on an act. Calling them two “first cousins”, Professor James Chin of Monash University asserted that despite Umno's attacks, Perkasa would have no choice but to back it (Umno) during the next general election.

“It's an open secret that the majority of Perkasa's members are from Umno,” he said. “There is no other place for them in PAS or PKR so they will revert to Umno during crunch time. Perkasa needs Umno more than Umno needs it.”

“Perkasa was initially set up by Ibrahim and his right-wingers as an NGO. But it has now taken on a life of its own and is part of the political debate as Umno's radical wing. For this reason alone, we need to take Perkasa seriously.”

To Azmi, neither party can survive without the other simply because their voter base is identical.

“If Perkasa ever registers itself as a political party, the only winner will be Pakatan Rakyat,” he laughed. “Because as a political party, Perkasa will wipe out Umno in a single move.”

Is Soi Lek for real - Umno doesn't believe in Malay supremacy

His words negated the Chinese fight for equality
Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

MCA president Chua Soi Lek has fallen deeper into a hole of his own making. It now looks like the final curtain will really fall on his party, which has been struggling with little success to regain the confidence of the Chinese community.

In his haste to curry favor with Umno, Soi Lek may have destroyed the last vestiges of self-respect that the community may still feel for the MCA.

Instead of insisting on change for the plural and equal society that the ethnic Chinese have craved and long fought for, the 63-year old Soi Lek stunned the nation on Tuesday when he insisted that Umno leaders had never sought Ketuanan Melayu or Malay supremacy.

Destroying Malaysia

Unsurprisingly, he drew a storm of flak – not just from Chinese leaders but also from prominent Malays, disgusted and alarmed at the growing racism and religious bigotry in the country despite 53 years of nation-building.

Nizar
“This is utter denial syndrome from Chua Soi Lek. Not only will it make the non-Malays despise him and MCA more, it will increase the contempt the Malays already feel for him. He makes the MCA appear to be running dogs - and for this, he should be sacked,” Bukit Gantang MP Nizar Jamaluddin told Malaysia Chronicle.

“Let me as a Malay correct this lie put forward by Soi Lek. Let me tell all my fellow Malaysians - Umno not only preaches Malay supremacy, they live and die for it. Not for patriotism or nationalism but because this is the only way for the Umno elite to cling to power, to keep enriching themselves. But by helping Umno to perpetuate this smoke screen, Soi Lek is an accessory to the grand larceny taking place. He is not helping Malaysia, he is helping to destroy her.”

Between Kuan Yew and Soi Lek

The MCA leader had flown to the defense of Umno, who had been accused by Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, of practicing race-based policies that kept the country and its people backwards.

Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew
This is not the first time that Kuan Yew has accused Umno of such bigotry. In fact, he has crossed swords many times with various Umno leaders especially with former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

“Malaysians saw it as a Malay country, all others are lodgers, “orang tumpangan”, and they the Bumiputras, sons of the soil, run the show. So the Sultans, the Chief Justice and judges, generals, police commissioner, the whole hierarchy is Malay," Kuan Yew had said in an interview earlier this month..

"All the big contracts for Malays. Malay is the language of the schools although it does not get them into modern knowledge. So the Chinese build and find their own independent schools to teach Chinese, the Tamils create their own Tamil schools, which do not get them jobs. It’s a most unhappy situation."

But when asked to respond to Kuan Yew’s comments, Soi Lek came out with his by-now classic reply.

Tee Yong - took over his dad's Labis seat
“In my association or the MCA’s association with Umno, I have never heard of any Umno leader who says that the Malays are more superior than the non-Malays. No,” he told reporters.

Personal interests

Since winning the MCA presidency earlier this year on a wave of sympathy votes after he was forced to quit the government following a sex scandal, Soi Lek has fallen into one scrape after another.

Not only did he incur disdain when he snatched a deputy minister’s post for his son, Chua Tee Yong, his hand-picked secretary-general Kong Cho Ha immediately ended a high-profile investigation into the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone financial debacle initiated by his predecessor Ong Tee Keat.

Kor Ming - ask Dr M first
Speculation is now rife within MCA circles that he is angling for Umno support in next year’s party elections although he has promised he will only be president for one year.

“If Umno does not practice Malay supremacy, then Chua Soi Lek must be living in another country. He should also ask Dr Mahathir Mohamad if it is true there is no such thing as Malay supremacy and that according to Umno all the races are equal in this country,” Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming told Malaysia Chronicle.

"He should ask Dr Mahathir and Prime Minister Najib to openly declare this stand, then only make such a false statement. Otherwise, he is just lying to the people, not just the Chinese but all the Malaysians. This is his own low standard and by reflection MCA’s low standard.”

UMNO-PERKASA split? Don’t buy this, folks. It’s more like a Dr M + PERKASA – Najib split!

By Haris Ibrahim,

Stud Soi Lek defended Umno today, insisting that he has never heard of any of its leaders being racist.
Makes one wonder whether it was indeed MCA that set up the cameras in that love nest in Batu Pahat, and not UMNO?
Or a joint effort, perhaps?
Whichever, Soi Lek would have us believe that the matter of poor race relations in the country is a post-12th GE phenomena brought on by a scramble to gain support.
Now, if Stud really believes this, MCA is really in the shit-house with him leading the party.
I’ll say this again.
By far and large, we do not have a race relations on the ground.
What we do have, and have had for a long, long time, well before the 12th GE, were bigots and racists in UMNO.
As well as liberals who chose to portray themselves as Malay nationalists to ascend through the corridors of power in UMNO.
KJ is a classic of the specimen last mentioned.
Behold now how he tries to re-cast himself as a moderate, progressive Malay, Malay enough to still be kosher in UMNO, yet seemingly sensitive and open to the reforms that the rakyat at large are clamouring for.
A fine and delicate balancing act of perception management.
KJ’s predicament, in fact, epitomises the situation UMNO found itself in post 8th March, 2008.
The solution?
PERKASA!
Export UMNO’s Malay supremacism into PERKASA so that Najib and his BN government could push his 1Malaysia rethoric without seeming to contradict themselves.
Problem is whilst Ib Ali was the poster boy of PERKASA, Dr M was its heartbeat.
And, my sources in UMNO tell me, that for several reasons, Dr M has decided that Najib must go.
The last straw, it seems, is a concern that Singapore may have photos of a meeting in a Singapore hotel that places the prime minister’s crown jewels in the hands of Singapore.
UMNO – PERKASA split?
Don’t think so, mate.
It’s a Dr M – Najib parting of ways.

PKR Sabah feting Anwar to fireworks on Malaysia Day?

By Haris Ibrahim,

How much damage has the imbroglio of the disciplinary action taken by PKR HQ against Jeffrey’s ‘dirty dozen’ caused to Anwar’s standing vis-a-vis the PKR grassroots in Sabah?
Anwar is due to find out soon, I am told.
Well, both Anwar and Azmin.
They both head out to Sabah tomorrow.
Anwar campaigning for Azmin already?
First stop : Tuaran.
Seems that Ansari, the current Tuaran division head and Anwar’s chosen Muslim poster boy, faces an uphill task in the coming party elections to retain this post. He’s being challenged by Edward Linggu, a known Jeffrey man.
Lesson number 1 waiting for Anwar, I am told.
On Malaysia Day, both Anwar and Azmin head out to Keningau.
Jeffery Kitingan territory.
Both Anwar and Azmin can expect the best of Sabah hospitality, I’m informed.
The calm before the storm?
Anwar heads back to Semenanjung whilst Azmin then takes his campaign to Sarawak.
I am reminded of the poser to me by the Sarawak PKR man in Kota Kinabalu, that I alluded to in my ‘…who will now kick UMNO out of Anwar?’ post.
“Go and ask Anwar if he will deny that his plan is to keep the Dayaks divided so that the Muslims will continue to rule in Sarawak. How different, then, is PKR from UMNO?”

DINAR EMAS 2

 
1. Izinkan saya jelaskan pandangan saya terhadap kegunaan dinar emas yang saya cadangkan.

2. Saya telah cadang dinar emas digunakan untuk dagangan antarabangsa sahaja. Saya tidak pernah cadang dinar emas diguna sebagai matawang mana-mana negara untuk kegunaan harian.

3. Walaupun harga emas lebih stabil daripada matawang, tetapi nilai emas juga bergerak. Semasa Perjanjian Brettonwoods satu auns emas bernilai $35 Dolar Amerika. Tetapi sekarang satu auns emas bernilai $1,300 Dolar Amerika. Ini bermakna nilai Dolar telah jatuh degan teruk. Namun untuk dagangan antarabangsa Dolar masih diguna.

4. Jika satu syiling emas diberi nilai 1 Ringgit hari ini umpamanya dan kemudian nilai emas meningkat maka sudah tentu pemilik syiling emas tidak akan gunanya untuk membeli-belah dengan bernilai satu Ringgit. Mereka akan guna wang kertas 1 Ringgit. Syiling emas akan disimpan.

5. Lama kelamaan semua dinar emas yang dikeluarkan oleh pihak berkuasa akan hilang dari pasaran. Walau banyak mana sekali pun pihak berkuasa mengeluar dinar emas akhirnya akan habis emas yang disimpan. Inilah yang berlaku pada Amerika Syarikat yang pada satu masa memiliki 80 peratus daripada simpanan (reserve) emas dunia.

6. Mekanisma yang lain akan diguna untuk dagangan antarabangsa dengan dinar emas. Simpanan matawang emas tidak perlu dalam bentuk syiling tetapi sebagai bata atau jongkong emas yang nilai-nilai akan mengikut harga emas dalam pasaran.

7. Bayaran untuk dagangan akan dibuat oleh bank pusat setelah dihitung nilai eksport dan nilai import antara dua negara. Jika import melebihi eksport maka negara berkenaan akan bayar dengan nota kredit bersamaan jumlah nilai emas sebanyak kelebihan nilai import tolak nilai eksport.

8. Jika pada bulan hadapan eksportnya ke negara berkenaan melebihi nilai import maka bayaran untuk kelebihan ini boleh dibuat dengan nota kredit bulan lepas.

9. Dengan cara ini tidak ada keperluan membayar dengan emas walaupun emas menentukan nilai barangan yang didagangkan. Hanya bayaran dibuat untuk lebih atau kurangnya eksport dengan import secara total dengan negara-negara berkenaan tiap bulan atau minggu. Jika nilai import adalah sama dengan eksport, bayaran tidak perlu dibuat. Ia menjadi dagangan secara barter (tukar barang).

10. Dengan menggunakan emas untuk menentukan nilai dagangan, Dolar Amerika yang jelas tidak stabil tidak perlu digunakan lagi. Permainan oleh penyangak matawang juga akan terhenti.

PDRM : Institusi di Bawah Raja-Raja Dicabuli!

Dari YB Dato Mahfuz Hj Omar

Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan Majlis Raja-Raja hendaklah menggunakan apa sahaja peruntukan undang-undang bagi memastikan penubuhan suruhanjaya diraja menyiasat dakwaan Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Musa Hassan tentang campur tangan pihak luar dalam tugas polis.

“Antara lain, Musa mendakwa wujudnya campur tangan pihak ketiga dalam usaha Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) mengawal ketenteraman awam dan menahan mereka yang menyalahi undang-undang dan beliau menyebut mereka khususnya dari Kementerian Dalam Negeri.

“Ini menunjukkan ada pihak lain khususnya Kementerian Dalam Negeri yang mencabul institusi yang berpayung di bawah Raja-Raja Melayu.

“Sebab itulah saya menggesa Majlis Raja-Raja supaya berani menggunakan walau sekecil mana pun alasan dan laluan perundangan yang boleh mereka gunakan untuk memastikan penubuhan suruhanjaya diraja menyiasat dakwaan Musa itu,”

Jika raja-raja Melayu tidak ada kuasa langsung untuk mempertahankan kewibawaan dan integriti institusi diraja, siapakah yang merampas kuasa mereka?

“Siapa rampas kuasa raja-raja? Umno? Barisan Nasional (BN)?”

Oleh kerana kerajaan BN khususnya Kementerian Dalam Negeri yang dituduh campur tangan dalam tugas polis, beliau tidak nampak kerajaan BN bersedia menubuhkan suruhanjaya siasatan itu.

“Sebab itulah kita meminta Raja-Raja Melayu yang memastikan penubuhan suruhanjaya diraja menyiasat dakwaan Musa itu,”

Suruhanjaya siasatan itu amat penting untuk membolehkan Musa memberikan keterangan dengan bebas bagi menyatakan apakah bentuk campur tangan yang berlaku, siapa yang memberi arahan, arahan apa yang diberikan dan juga menyatakan secara spesifik kes yang beliau maksudkan.

Bagi saya, apa yang dibangkitkan oleh Musa itu amat serius kerana sejak Mac lalu Ketua Polis Negara yang akan bersara itu telah berkali-kali menyatakan rasa tidak puas hatinya terhadap campur tangan luar dalam urusan polis.

“Sebab itulah suruhanjaya yang telus dan bebas amat diperlukan supaya rakyat tahu kepentingan peribadi siapa dan kepentingan politik pihak mana yang menyebabkan campur tangan itu berlaku,”

ANALYSIS – Malaysia “top-down” reforms set to disappoint

By David Chance | Reuters

Malaysia’s plans to revitalise investment by backing national champions and ending race-based policies may sound ambitious, but the details are hazy and real economic reform will face formidable obstacles.

The government starts public consultations this month on a new round of reforms, but there is growing resistance from voters and disappointment from investors over measures taken so far.

A government think tank has identified a dozen growth industries such as oil and gas, biotechnology and Islamic finance to focus on in a drive to double Malaysia’s income per capita and propel it into the ranks of “developed nations” by 2020.

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s record on reform is patchy — he shied away from big subsidy cuts and reversed tack on race-based preferential equity ownership rules for the majority ethnic Malay population under pressure from activists.

“Earlier optimism that Najib will be able, and will be committed, to carrying out his plans for reforms has been replaced by resignation that Malaysia will not change course quite so quickly or easily,” said Southeast Asia political risk analyst David Kiu.

Najib took office last year and promised investor forums that on reforms, he would “execute or be executed”, after the National Front coalition that has now ruled this Southeast Asian country for 53 years stumbled to its worst ever election results in 2008.

In the past decade Malaysia has seen its dominant position as an investment destination in Southeast Asia crumble, its productivity gains lag and a worsening of its education rankings which mean it is less well equipped to meet its growth goals.

A survey last week by the World Economic Forum showed Malaysia slipped two places in its global competitiveness rankings to 26th spot out of 139 countries while neighbouring Indonesia surged 10 places to 44th spot. The quality of Malaysia’s institutions, ranked 17th by the WEF five years ago, has plunged to 42nd place since then.

Under its “Economic Transformation Plan” to be unveiled this month, Malaysia’s government wants to galvanise 2.2 trillion ringgit ($706.7 billion) in investments over the 10 years to 2020 of which 92 percent will come from the private sector.

That would be a big leap from the 535 billion the private sector has invested over the past decade, and few analysts expect detailed plans to be unveiled on how to boost investment.

Although hot money has flowed into the Malaysian bond market this year, reversing outflows in 2008 and 2009 and pushing the ringgit currency to 13 year highs against the dollar, Malaysia has slid off the investment map for many.

Foreign ownership of the stock exchange stands at just 21.2 percent of market capitalisation, down from 26.2 percent in 2007.

Many Malaysian companies like leading bank CIMB and telco Axiata are being wowed by the prospects of faster growth in countries like Indonesia and want to become major regional players, so they are exporting capital.

That means government-linked companies (GLCs) will lead the charge to invest more at home, said Wan Saiful Wan Jan of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs think tank:

“They cannot talk about opening up our markets and at the same time give more for GLCs to do to meddle in our economy.”

MORE VOCAL RESISTANCE TO REFORMS?

Although Najib has only been in power since April 2009, he may soon have to shift to policies that will shore up his political base. Elections are due by 2013 and are likely to be called earlier.

His coalition of 12 parties, constructed along racial lines to reflect the Malay, Chinese and Indian populations as well as the indigenous people on Borneo island, is still fraying.

Najib is under pressure from Malay activists in his own party who fear reforms will erode their privileges as well as from ethnic Chinese coalition leaders whose only hope to win back voters is to be more vocal in promoting their own community.

A Malay pressure group called Perkasa which claims 300,000 members recently lodged a police report against the leader of the coalition’s ethnic Chinese party after he called for the removal of laws guaranteeing Malays and indigenous people 30 percent equity rights in public companies.

There has also been a steady drip of racial posturing in the media during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan with an opposition ethnic Chinese politician being attacked for visiting a mosque and a Ramadan ad campaign being pulled for having Christmas overtones.

“The incitement of ultra-nationalist feelings is mainly conducted in the Malay media and hence is not so visible to foreign observers but it is a really worrying trend that is taking place under a so-called reformist government,” said Lim Teck Ghee, director of the Centre for Policy Initiatives.

Najib has sought to sidestep some of the blockages to reform by outsourcing the process to advisory bodies, but when it comes to implementation, he will still have to rely on the 1.2 million strong mainly Malay civil service.

The civil service employs one in every 20 Malaysians and Wan Saiful notes many of them are drawn from the constituency that has most to lose from any meaningful reforms:

“They are a force of their own, and they are far too big for the government to ignore.”

Sosilawati: Muhyiddin Condemns Killing, Extends Condolences To Families

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has condemned the brutal killing of cosmetics queen Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others.

"I am shocked with the gruesome quadruple murder in this holy month of Aidilfitri and condemn the inhumane act.

"No one in their right mind would resort to taking another life even in the most extreme cases," he said in a statement.

Muhyiddin also conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims.

Police said Sosilawati, 47, and her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, CIMB Kampung Baru bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and private lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, were murdered and burned and their ashes strewn at a river near Ladang Gadong, Tanjong Sepat, near Banting.

Muhyiddin said he was confident that the perpetrators of the crime would be brought to justice.

"I seek the public cooperation to remain calm and assist the authorities in solving the case soonest possible," he said.

Promoting the constitution = seditious?

ImageThe Nut Graph  by Ding Jo-Ann
The complaint against MyConstitution’s Rakyat Guide

    “Kami difahamkan risalah itu diedarkan di beberapa institusi pengajian di sekitar Lembah Klang dan beberapa kolej di Kedah melalui kempen mereka.

    “Kita percaya ia dibiayai NGO (badan bukan kerajaan) asing bersifat antikerajaan.”

Kelab Belia Graduan 1Malaysia secretary-general Ezaruddin Abdul Rahman, on his society’s police report against the Bar Council’s MyConstitution campaign. The society took issue with the campaign’s Rakyat Guide booklets. Ezaruddin said the booklets declared that the Federal Constitution could be amended if the public voted for Members of Parliament (MPs) capable of doing so.

Kelab Belia Graduan 1Malaysia’s website cites Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as its patron and Najib’s political secretary Datuk Shahlan Ismail as its chief adviser. It was set up by a “group of young Malaysian graduates who were attracted to the Gagasan 1Malaysia idea” introduced by Najib. (Source: Laporan Polis Dibuat Terhadap Risalah, Buku Perlembagaan Berbaur Hasutan, Bernama, 5 Sept 2010)

What the Rakyat Guide says
    “4. Can the Constitution be amended?

    “Yes it can. In fact our Constitution has been amended several times. Article 159 of the Constitution says that in general, the Constitution may be amended if the Bill (i.e. the proposal for the amendment) is passed by not less than two thirds of the members of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara.

    “5. Parliament seems to have so much power to amend the Constitution. How can we ensure that the power is not abused?

    “Firstly, Members of Parliament are elected by Malaysian citizens like you and me. If a proposed amendment to the Constitution is not popular among Malaysians, then the Members of Parliament are unlikely to vote for it, otherwise they may not be elected again into Parliament at the next general elections. If you are unhappy with any proposed amendment to the Constitution, you can go to your Member of Parliament or to any Member of Parliament and voice your concerns.”

Extract from MyConstitution’s Rakyat Guide 1. The campaign has been distributing booklets explaining the constitution in layperson’s terms in an attempt to “demystify” its provisions. It has also been holding forums and events throughout Malaysia to educate the public on how the constitution applies to them. (Source: Rakyat Guide 1: What is the Federal Constitution?, www.perlembagaanku.com, 12 Nov 2009)

What the constitution says
 “Article 159

          (1) Subject to the following provisions of this Article and to Article 161E, the provisions of this Constitution may be amended by federal law.

          […]

          (3) A Bill for making any amendment to the Constitution (other than an amendment excepted from the provisions of this Clause) and a Bill for making any amendment to a law passed under Clause (4) of Article 10 shall not be passed in either House of Parliament unless it has been supported on Second and Third Readings by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total number of members of that House.”

Extract from the Federal Constitution. The constitution has been amended more than 40 times, with over 600 individual amendments under the Barisan Nasional federal government. (Source: Federal Constitution)

Bar Council and MyConstitution’s response
   “The campaign does not seek to amend the constitution, only to educate the public on what is in the constitution.”

MyConstitution chairperson, lawyer Edmund Bon, saying the campaign was meant to raise awareness on the contents of the constitution, not seek its amendment. (Source: ‘My Constitution’ head laughs off sedition claim, The Malaysian Insider, 6 Sept 2010)
  “The main objective of the campaign is for the people to understand the constitution and our flyers are only to make understanding it easier for the people.”

Bar Council chairperson Ragunath Kesavan, defending the MyConstitution campaign and booklets. (Source: Bar Council refutes club’s charges over Rakyat Guides, theSun, 7 Sept 2010)

Gerakan comes to MyConstitution’s defence
 “Not many people fully understand the meaning, wording and interpretation of the Federal Constitution, the foundation of nationhood of this country. So it is only right on the Bar Council’s part to try to summarise and provide simpler and clearer explanations.”

Gerakan deputy president and human rights and law central bureau head Datuk Chang Ko Youn, in defending the campaign. He said having an informed and educated people was paramount for national progress.

Chang also noted that since the MyConstitution campaign was launched on 13 Nov 2009, senior members of each arm of government had graced the campaign. These included Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, and Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of national unity and performance management. (Source: It’s a noble effort by Bar Council, Gerakan, gerakan.org.my, 8 Sept 2010)

… And the funding?
   “Although the campaign is largely funded by the Bar Council, we have received funding from the Malaysian public, the Prime Minister’s Department, and the Sarawak, Kedah and Selangor state governments.”

MyConstitution co-deputy chairperson Mahaletchumi Balakrishnan, explaining that the campaign in fact receives funding from the federal and some state governments. (Source: Bar defends “seditious” MyConstitution campaign, Malaysiakini, 7 Sept 2010)

What you call as an Independence?

By Sara,File:Rajendra map new.png

The Chola dynasty was a Tamil dynasty which known as one of the longest-rulings in some parts of southern India. The earliest datable references to the dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BC left by Asoka, a northern ruler. The dynasty continued to reign over varying territory until the 15th century AD. This particular empire ruled Suvarnabhumi(Malaysia) too. In the early 15th century, came a Hindu traitor from Palembang, Indonesia to Malacca and established a new government called as empire of Malacca. These facts are denied in the present Malaysian history due to the rising of Islam.

In the early day before independence of Malaya , The Malays were practicing
wayang kulit or a puppet show which adapted from Ramayana and Mahabharata. Those villagers who did not have a chance to watch the wayang kulit had ‘penglipur lara’or a story teller. He used to travel everywhere like Indian saint and spread the message of Hindu epics. After the independence this was abandoned.

After the independence of Malaysia, The Chinese had a very strong opposition party. It was very impressive and not only that they had several organizations which channeled their support to champion their own causes and maintain the stability of their economy .
With their unity, they made impressive changes in the economy of Malaysia. Whereas, Indians were still living at Indian settlements and estates. The UMNO government understood very well that if the Indians were to be united, they would form an opposition party which would challenge their deeds. In order to inhibit this from occuring, step by step they planned to separate the Indians. Many Indian settlements, villages and estates were quietly demolished. In the name of development, Indians were pushed to the residency where they have to live with other races. How could estates which were source of income for British government wasn’t beneficial for the UMNO government?

The Indians were basically intelligent people by birth. Knowing their intelligence could be a threat for UMNO, UMNO followed British's 'break and rule'. It may sound I am exaggerating but it is the fact.In order to cover up all their deeds, they introduced New economy policy(NEP), Bumiputra status and quota systems.

According to UMNO statistics the country have more than 60% Malay populations whereas the non Malays are 35% only. With a country ruled by Malay government together with their Chinese and Indian coalitions, how could 35% of the non Malay population appear as a threat to the 65% of Malays? They said Chinese are leading the economy so they wanted to help the Malays with their NEP system. The simple question is when the country itself ruled by Malay government how could the Malays be poor? Dear readers think wisely, the 65% is more than 35%. If the 35% can do wonders why don’t the 65%? The logic is they have been pampered and dependable on the government. The tradition has been carried forward till today. The Malays have been feed with silver spoon. The poor Indians are scattered left poor day by day.

After the rising of Hindraf, the Indians are united with one motive to bring betterment for the community. When the government realized the unity of the Indians was strengthen, they were worried.So the UMNO government played their dirty trick to break the community by breaking the leaders of Hindraf. Some were even planted as police intelligence. So finally Hindraf was broken.

Even though so many dirty tricks were played yet the 35% non malay are still trying to get their rights back by using slogan as Malaysia for Malaysian and even 1Malaysia. The fact is the Malays are not giving equal rights to the others and still playing racial cards. As I mentioned they have 3 systems which act as protecting power for Malay privileges.

a)New economic policy (NEP)

b)Bumi Putra status (son of soil)

c)Quota system

Even if all the non Malays could get rid of one policy to make up their equal rights, the two other remaining priviliges will barr them from succeeding. It is well planned by the former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed. How could the country progress with their racial agenda?

Earlier, the Indians and Chinese had more schools and temples compared to the Malay Muslims before independence. The Muslims, in championing their Islamic cause, they abandoned the Tamil schools and many temples which were built before or after the colony of British were demolished by UMNO government. While some at one corner of the world trying hard to preserve ancient and old cultures, those precious elements are destroyed here in the name to bring up new Islamic culture which plotted by the government to erode the Indian's culture in Malaysia.

The writer of this article feels hurt and may sound unrealistic but what do you describe or call as freedom when equal rights of others grabbed away and instead of establishing Malaysia for Malaysians, ONE RACIST Malaysia is being reared. Can it change in another 10 years or can they be educated? Ask your self.

Cartoon book satirizing ‘development’ launched in Malaysia

Survival's 'There you go!' can be read in two
minutes. © O. Ginzburg/Survival
Survival International has today launched in Malaysia a biting critique of how tribal peoples are being destroyed in the name of ‘development’. The critique is presented in a cartoon book called ‘There you go!’ that can be read in two minutes.

Tribal peoples around the world, from the Penan in Sarawak to Amazonian Indians, have told Survival that the cartoon reflects their experiences of ‘development’. An indigenous activist working closely with the Penan said, ‘What happens in the book ‘There you go!’ is exactly what is happening in Sarawak.’

Survival has sent the book to the Malaysian Prime Minister, the Chief Minister of Sarawak, key members of the two leaders’ cabinets, and the libraries of all Malaysia’s public universities.

The cartoon highlights how the concept of development is often used to justify the dispossession of tribal peoples. John, a semi-nomadic Penan man, told Survival, ‘It is like what happened here when the company came to destroy our forest. They said it was progress, the government said it was development and we shouldn’t stop it. But all they did was destroy our forest and then they left. It wasn’t progress for us.’

Tony Blair said about the book, ‘There you go! should help raise understanding about the complexities and potential pitfalls of offering development assistance, with a particular focus on tribal peoples.’

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said, ‘This little book contains the big message that we must avoid the arrogance of presuming to know what's best for those whose voices are not heard in global debates. It reminds us of our shared responsibility to see to it that all people are active participants in shaping the decisions that impact their lives. Only then can we hope to see real development.’

Violence flares in Indian Kashmir

Monday's death toll was the highest since separatist protests broke out in June against Indian rule [AFP]
At least 15 people have been killed in Indian Kashmir in protests against Indian rule and reports of Quran burning, in the most deadly day of violence since mass demonstrations began three months ago, state police say.

Despite a rigid curfew imposed across the region, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets on Monday, throwing rocks, torching government buildings and chanting "Go India, go back. We want freedom.''

Security forces shot live ammunition at some of the crowds, killing people in at least five different villages, said a police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak with media.

In the village of Tangmarg, troops fired on thousands of rock-throwing demonstrators, killing five people and wounding at least 50 others, the police officer said. Earlier, protesters burned at least four government buildings as well as a schoolhouse in the town.

In Budgam, troops tried to disperse demonstrators with tear gas and baton charges but began firing into the crowd after protesters attacked a police station and the government forces with rocks, the police officer said.

At least four people including a young woman were killed and at least 30 others were wounded, some critically, the officer said.

A policeman was also killed during the protests in Budgam after he was hit by a vehicle that then sped away, the officer said. At least four other protesters were killed in three other towns, he said.

'House arrest'

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the main separatist leader, told Al Jazeera there is no room for political protest in Kashmir.

"I have been under house arrest since Eid, many of my party have been arrested," Farooq said.

"In many places the protests are very peaceful ... [but Indian] troops are firing indiscriminately [at protesters]."

Monday's toll includes at least seven people killed in police clashes after thousands of Muslim protesters set fire to a Christian missionary school and government buildings in two Kashmiri districts to denounce reports on the Iranian state-run channel, Press TV, that copies of the Quran had been damaged in the US over the weekend.

Though a Florida pastor called off his plans to burn the Muslim holy book, the channel showed footage of a different man destroying a Quran.

The protesters chanted "Down with Quran desecrators,'' and protest leaders denounced the alleged desecration in speeches to the crowds.

The death toll was the highest since separatist protests broke out in June against Indian rule in the northern state.

In a statement at the end of a special cabinet meeting on Kashmir, on Monday, the Indian government said it was "deeply distressed by the turn of events" and appealed for calm.

However, it decided against heeding calls from some in the government to partially lift a 20-year-old army emergency law, that gives sweeping powers to security forces in Kashmir.

The government offered to take part in talks with all peaceful groups in Kashmir, which would cover the "trust deficit and the governance deficit".

It also called an all-party meeting for Wednesday in New Delhi "to take certain initiatives and measures that will build confidence of people."

'Incoherent policy'

Saeed Naqvi, a political commentator based in New Delhi, told Al Jazeera that Delhi has been preoccupied with other problems and ignored the Kashmir issue.

"There is a trust deficit [between India and Kashmir] and it has been addressed by inaction, unimaginative policy, even absence of policy, on the part of New Delhi," he said.

"There is angst and anger [in Kashmir]. After three months of bloodshed and agitation ... [the struggle] has acquired an intensity and velocity. All they had to do was tone down the profile of the army.

"Nobody likes a foreign army and the Indian army looks like a foreign army to them."

Pankaj Mishra, a political commentator, told Al Jazeera that India has never had a coherent policy on Kashmir.

"They have basically instituted a policy of watching things, letting things go on and not doing anything about it," he said.

"And in that, they have been rewarded by the indifference of the rest of world to this conflict which is hardly ever covered or talked about.

"Manmohan Singh [India's prime minister] has been making these kinds of noises for quite some time, but nothing comes of it."

Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

UMNO DPM won’t sack Malay muslim supremacist school teacher who made racist remarks.

umno dpm

Sosilawati murder

Race relations better if Singapore not ‘turfed out’, says LKY

Lee says Malaysia was now very polarised, with Malays, Chinese and Indians in separate schools, living separate lives and not really getting on with each other.
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — A near half century has passed, but Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew still strongly believes that Malaysians would be enjoying his city-state’s brand of nationalism and multi-racialism today, if both nations had not been split in 1965.

In an interview with the New York Times, the 86-year-old Minister Mentor reflectively expressed that the first regret he had of his colourful career was having been “turfed out” of Malaysia.

The published interview did not feature his remarks on Malaysia. They were contained in a transcript of the interview published on the official website of Singapore’s prime minister’s office.

In his conversation with the New York Times, Lee claimed that if Malaysia’s founding father Tunku Abdul Rahman had decided to keep both nations together 45 years ago, much of what Singapore had achieved today in terms of equality among the races would be likewise be achieved in Malaysia.

“I think if the Tunku had kept us together, what we did in Singapore, had Malaysia accepted a multiracial base for their society, much of what we’ve achieved in Singapore would be achieved in Malaysia,” he said, according to the transcript of the interview, conducted on September 1.

Lee, Singapore’s longest serving prime minister, claimed that if Singapore had not seceded from Malaysia, the country would have improved inter-racial relations and an improved holistic situation today.

“Now we have a very polarised Malaysia — Malays, Chinese and Indians in separate schools, living separate lives and not really getting on with one another. You read them. That’s bad for us as close neighbours,” he said.

He pressed on with his belief that all ethnic communities should free themselves from the shackles of racial segregation in order to promote fairness and equality among the races.

This, he said, was his one greatest satisfaction in helming Singapore.

“We made quite sure whatever your race, language or religion, you are an equal citizen and we’ll drum that into the people and I think our Chinese understand and today we have an integrated society.

“We will not as a majority squeeze the minority because once we’re by ourselves, the Chinese become the majority,” he said.

Lee took a dig at the Malaysian scenario, pointing out that the Singaporean Malays were English-educated and were no longer like the Malaysian Malays.

“You can see there are some still wearing headscarves but (are) very modern looking,” he said.

Lee noted that using racial politics was the “easy way”, claiming that if he had used this method in Singapore to gain the majority vote, its society would eventually be destroyed.

“Because if you play it that way, if you have dissension, if you chose the easy way to Muslim votes and switch to racial politics, this society is finished.

“The easiest way to get majority vote is — vote for me, we’re Chinese, they’re Indians, they’re Malays.

“Our society will be ripped apart. If you do not have a cohesive society, you cannot make progress,” he said.

He explained that while he was satisfied with race relations in Singapore, it still remained his regret that this could not have been done on a larger scale together with Malaysia.

As such, Lee expressed fear that the next generation of Singaporeans would take his achievements for granted and allow them to eventually phase out.

“The regret is there’s such a narrow base to build this enormous edifice so I’ve got to tell the next generation, please do not take for granted what’s been built.

“If you forget that this is a small island which we are built upon, and reach a 100-storey high tower block and may go up to 150 (storeys) if you are wise.

“But if you believe that it’s permanent, it will come tumbling down and you will never get a second chance,” he predicted.

Lee also cautioned the youth of today that racial harmony was not something that could be placed on “auto-pilot”, reminding them that the social network connecting the different racial communities was a fragile web that could easily be destroyed.

“I believe they (the youth) have come to believe that this (racial harmony) is a natural state of affairs, and they can take liberties with it. I know this is never so.

“We (Singapore government) have crafted a set of very intricate rules — no housing blocks shall have more than a percentage of so many Chinese, Indians, Malays. All are thoroughly mixed.

“Your neighbours are Indians, Malays, you go to the same shopping malls, the same schools, same playing fields, you go up and down the same lifts — we cannot allow segregation,” he said.

Lee, known to be a strong-willed and strict leader during his tenure, insisted that such rules could not afford to be loosened as it could easily become issues if they were challenged.

“We’ve got here, we’ve become cohesive, keep it that way. We’ve not used Chinese as a majority language because it will split the population.

“If you want to keep your Malay, or your Chinese, or your Tamil, Urdu or whatever, do that as a second language, not equal to your first language. It is up to you, how high a standard you want to achieve,” he said.

Lee acknowledged that he had been a tough leader in his time but insisted that the job had to be done for the greater good of the nation.

“Malaysia took the different line; Malaysians saw it as a Malay country, all others are lodgers, ‘orang tumpangan’, and they the Bumiputeras, sons of the soil, run the show.

“So the Sultans, the Chief Justice and judges, generals, police commissioner, the whole hierarchy is Malay,” he said.

Lee added that in Malaysia, since the Malay language was used as the teaching medium in schools, the Chinese and Indians had to find their own independent schools to teach their respective languages.

This, he claimed, did not help them find jobs.

“It’s a most unhappy situation,” he said. - The Malaysian Insider

Police may have found Sosilawati’s driver’s watch

 

Sosilawati was reported missing since August 30, and police believe she has been killed and her body burned.
 
TANJUNG SEPAT, Sept 13 — Police have found a watch believed to belong to Kamaruddin Shamsudin, the dead driver of murdered cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya, in a river about 5km from where they were believed to have been killed.

It is understood that three police divers found the watch in Sungai Kanchong Laut outside Kampung Endah here after two men, believed to be suspects arrested in connection to the case, were seen pointing at the river. Police have detained eight people in connection with the case.

According to a local resident, the river flows through Kampung Endah, which is connected to Ladang Gadong via a back road.

The police later called off the underwater search at 7pm as it was getting dark.

Sosilawati, 47; Kamaruddin, 44; Kampung Baru CIMB officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, were reported missing since August 30 after going to Banting to buy property.

The police believe Sosilawati and her companions may have been killed and their bodies burned following the discovery of charred remains at a poultry farm here on Saturday night.

Locals gather to watch police divers in action outside Kampung Endah.
The police learned that their ashes may have been scattered along a river near the farm.

CID director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin yesterday said police were still trying to obtain forensic confirmation to identify the dead, revealing that the four were set ablaze and their ashes scattered into a river near Ladang Gadong in Tanjung Sepat near here.

A Datuk, his brother — both said to be lawyers — and six others have been arrested in connection with the case.

The suspects, aged between 19 and 41, are now being held at the Bukit Jalil police station in Kuala Lumpur, Bakri revealed. It is learnt that police have obtained seven-day remand orders to facilitate investigations into the case.

Police are also investigating several other kidnap-murder cases based on the statements given by the suspects arrested so far. - The Malaysian Insider