PETALING JAYA: PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim today denied calling outgoing party deputy president Syed Husin Ali “nyanyuk” (senile).
Zaid clarified that he used the word “nyanyu” (talking gibberish) and not “nyanyuk” as reported.
“I was on the phone with the reporter and was travelling in my car. Maybe the reporter misheard me but what I had said was that he (Syed Husin) must be 'nyanyu' and could have forgotten certain things for him to make such remarks in his Merdeka Review interview,” he told FMT.
“I did not call him senile,” he stressed.
Zaid, who is contesting for the deputy president's post, had come under fire from party leaders, including his rival Azmin Ali, over his remark about Syed Husin.
Syed Husin, in his interview with Merdeka Review, had said that Zaid was not a team player and indicated that he backed vice-president Azmin as his replacement
He had further said that Zaid's role in the formulation of the Pakatan Common Policy framework was minimal and that the former law minister did not attend many meetings.
Attacks have escalated
Meanwhile, Zaid said that he was forced to respond because he felt that his contributions to the party were being belittled.
He said that he was disappointed with the lies being perpertuated about him by party leaders and assured that he was loyal to the party.
“I’m fully in support of the party’s struggle,” he said.
Zaid initially said he was not taking part in the election, but announced a reversal in a blog posting on Sept 1 following what he said were relentless attacks against him by those who assumed that he was interested in offering himself as a candidate.
He told FMT that since that announcement, the attacks had escalated.
“This must stop. I wish to warn these leaders that they must stop ridiculing me and spreading lies about me just because I offered myself for a post,” he said.
He also said that his detractors should not assume that he would not respond by exposing matters that would shame them.
KUALA LUMPUR: Embattled Malaysian Makkal Sakthi Party (MMSP) chief RS Thanendran today denied that 22 of 33 central committee members have resigned from the party.
"It's is utter rubbish," said Thanendran at a press confrence in Kuala Lumpur today.
He said the confusion over the issue arose from a recent press statement given by a rival faction leader who claimed that 22 members have resigned from the party.
The MMSP was split into three rival camps, each led by Thanendran, former deputy chief A Vathamoorthy and former sec-gen Kannan Ramasamy just few months after it was launched.
"As party president I sacked the membership of 14 of the 22, who claimed to have resigned, on Jan 21 pursuant to clause 10 (1 ) of the MMSP constitution," said Thanendran.
"My question is, how can expelled party members resign when they have already been sacked from the party?" he asked.
"Thus far only one CC member, J Chandrasegaran, has sent in his resignation last month due to personal problems.”
Thanendran also slammed the move by Kannan to call for an AGM on Sept 25 and said it was just a political ploy to mislead members.
"Anyone can hold an AGM but it will be illegal if they use the party's name as they are not even the party members," he said.
No green light from RoS
Thanendran adviced members not to be confused, be misled or fall for the gimmicks of Kannan's faction and attend the AGM.
The press conference today was attended by several of the party's prominent figures who said that the RoS has not sanctioned the up coming AGM called for by Kannan and his team.
Thanendran said he met up with BN secretary general Tengku Adnan who denied giving consent for the AGM or having received an invitation to attend the AGM.
He said he will be making a police report today at the Dang Wang police station against Kannan and team for misleading members.
MMSP claims to have 35,000 members and Thanendran said that the party will hold its AGM in mid or late October.
"We are awaiting word from Prime Minister to confirm his attendance at the AGM," he said.
Meanwhile in another development, Sanjay Ramasamy, one of those sacked by Thanendran, said that the latter was also terminated as president of the party as per the MMSP consitution by CC member in January.
"Therefore, he too is no longer a member of MMSP. The media can refer to the RoS for confirmation of this," said Sanjay.
As many as 74 pilot whales have beached themselves in northern New Zealand in the second mass stranding in the area in two months.
Rough seas and gusting winds are pushing the whales into rocks causing injuries that may force authorities to euthanize many of those that rescuers can get on the beach, said Patrick Whaley, operations manager for New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. Others are drowning in the surf along the remote beach in Spirits Bay.
“It’s heart-wrenching to have to see so many whales coming ashore and then drowning in the surf, without being able to reach them in time,” Whaley said.
Rescuers had managed to get eight of the whales above the high surf line and were planning to care for them on the beach overnight with hopes of returning them to the ocean in the morning, said Carolyn Smith, a Department of Conservation spokesperson.
At least 25 whales had died. Officials fear dozens of other whales may be in danger just offshore.
In August, 49 pilot whales died after stranding themselves on a beach at Karikari, also in New Zealand’s far north. Nine were saved during that stranding.
What’s behind the whale strandings remains a mystery. Theories include a herd behavior, where one animal gets in trouble and others follow, fleeing predators, beach formations that confuse the whales echo-location senses, or possible interference from human sonar.
KUALA LUMPUR: The remand of five of the eight suspects in the so-called Banting murders has been extended by a week from today.
Magistrate Ahmad Shakin Ismail allowed the extension of the remand on the five men, in their 20's and 30's, to enable the police continue with their investigation of the case.
Ahmad Shakin issued the order for extension of the remand at the Bukit Jalil temporary detention centre where all the suspects are being held.
This is the third time that the remand has been extended.
The remand period for the other three suspects, two of them lawyers, ends on Saturday.
The attorney-general yesterday returned the police investigation papers and advised the police to conduct further investigation on several aspects of the case.
The eight suspects were picked up in connection with the investigation into the disappearance of cosmetics millionaire Sosilawati Lawiya, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, and CIMB Bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, after they had gone to Banting, Selangor, over a land deal on Aug 30.
Police found out that the four people had been killed, their bodies burnt and the ashes thrown into rivers in the vicinity of Ladang Gadong near Banting.
Chua said MCA and Perkasa viewed one another as “extremists”. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — An MCA leader has spoken out in support of Umno in its apparent love-hate relationship with Perkasa, acknowledging that the Malay anchor of the Barisan Nasional coalition could ill-afford to entirely shun the controversial Malay rights group.
Labis MP Chua Tee Yong explained that as Perkasa was using Malay rights as its platform, Umno would be wrong to totally disregard them.
Chua, who sits in MCA’s presidential council where his father, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, is president, also slammed the media for continuing its publicity campaign for Perkasa.
“We have been talking too much about Perkasa. We have been giving them too much prominence. The media should stop this... there are so many other stories and exposes you can write on, so why do you keep harping on this?” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted earlier this week.
He said that with the amount of publicity Perkasa was receiving, it almost looked as if the non-governmental organisation was like a huge party or a “third-force” in the political make-up of the country.
“All said and done, with all the big hoo-ha, Perkasa is just an NGO,” he said.
Chua acknowledged that Perkasa’s prominence in the political landscape could not be avoided, but urged the public to remember that the group was not a political party.
“Yes, some ministers have even challenged them to register as a party so that they can contest, but still, they are an NGO,” he said.
He noted that although the MCA and many other BN leaders disagreed with Perkasa’s method of pushing its agenda through, it would be wrong to deny the group its right to be heard.
“We may not agree with them, but if you look at it in the aspect that as a democratic country, they are entitled to their views,” he said.
Chua said that Umno had already expressed their views and their objectives, under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and should not be punished because of its alleged affiliation with Perkasa.
“Umno has expressed their stand. On MCA’s side, we are also clear that we do not like what Perkasa is doing. But... they are entitled to their views.
“It is difficult for Umno because, being a Malay party, they tend to get related to the Malay NGO, so it is wrong for them to totally disregard them,” he said.
When it was pointed out that although Perkasa was not a political entity, it still played a significant role in politics and its support base could likely sway of the public’s vote in the general election, Chua brushed off the notion.
“That is your view... that Perkasa has a large support base. We do not know that for sure, do we? But they are not a party and they do not go for votes so it is not fair to say that.
“What about the WWF (World Wildlife Foundation)... they too are an NGO. Should we say, then, that they have the support of all the people? We cannot assume.
“I maintain that we are giving Perkasa too much prominence... if they are a political party, for arguments’ sake, then maybe you have some bearing to say this,” he said.
Chua refused to elaborate on the matter, specifically when asked for his view on the apparent flip-flop in Umno’s stand in snubbing Perkasa.
“I think I am not really keen to comment further. It is not beneficial,” he said.
He added that although Perkasa’s views were oftentimes deemed as “extremist” in nature, the group thought the same of MCA’s struggles.
“They also view MCA as extremist. My point is that you are entitled to your point of view. I can read a paragraph and it can be interpreted in so many ways,” he said.
He pointed out that it was pointless to continue bickering over Perkasa for it did not benefit the people or the country.
“What for? We go on and do the things that we set out to do,” he said.
The Perkasa-Umno stand-off started recently when Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku noted that the party should distance itself from the group as any association with it would cause BN to lose votes in the next general election.
Several Umno leaders later joined in the anti-Perkasa chorus and agreed that it was time to openly renounce links with Perkasa. MCA leaders had then quickly jumped in to laud their colleague’s decision.
In an apparent about-turn, however, Najib last week said that Umno was not in conflict with any NGO.
Following the party president’s statement, Tengku Adnan immediately denied that he had ever asked party leaders to sever ties with Perkasa.
KAPAR: The second wife of missing Indian tycoon A Muthuraja today revealed new evidence that could aid investigations into his disappearance here in Malaysia.
At a press conference here, S Usharani, 24, played two recordings of phone conversations between her and two Malaysians – a lawyer who is the main suspect in the murder of cosmetics millionaire Sosilawati Lawiya and a man claiming to be from Bukit Aman.
According to Usharani, she called the lawyer on Jan 28 when she failed to hear from her husband who had left for Malaysia to meet him 10 days before.
“My husband and the lawyer had plans to open a restaurant in Banting and I believe my husband had invested a large sum of money in the business already,” said Usharani, who maintained her composure throughout the press conference.
“The lawyer had asked him to come to Malaysia for further talks and we had no reason to suspect anything because it was a usual occurrence. He was a family friend and had also visited us in India numerous times. But my husband told me he was only going to be in Malaysia for one day.”
When she reached the lawyer, he told her that he was currently in Kathmandu and assured her that he would investigate her husband's whereabouts when he returned to Malaysia.
“By this time I was already suspicious and took it upon myself to lodge a report at the High Commission of India in Malaysia,” she said.
'He is still alive'
On Feb 2, she received a call from a man named Muru who claimed to be a policeman. He told her that her husband had been arrested on drug charges and offered to release him from custody for a sum of RM1 million. Usharani didn't record that call.
Ten days later, another man who identified himself as ASP Suresh from Bukit Aman, called Usharani to make the same demand. This time Usharani recorded the call.
“They said that they didn't want my husband, only the money,” Usharani recalled. “I made a second report at the High Commission to find out whether these claims were true, but I've not received any response since.”
Usharani, who lodged her first police report on Sept 8, will be turning over this new evidence to Bukit Aman tomorrow morning. While police have confirmed her husband's death, she believes “he is still alive”.
“I will not lose hope until the DNA evidence proves otherwise,” she said. “One of my husband's family members will come to Malaysia soon to provide the police with DNA and blood samples.”
“I believe he has been kidnapped and I beg those who are holding him to please release him because I have been frantic with worry for the past eight months.”
Usharani, who arrived in Malaysia yesterday morning, was accompanied by Kapar MP S Manikavasagam to lodge a second police report in Kuala Langat. She also visited the farm owned by the lawyers.
'Sorry, I don't trust Khalid'
Manikavasagam, meanwhile, lambasted the police over “shocking inaccuracies” in the first police report which stated Usharani's nationality as “Malaysian” and her race as “Malay”.
He also expressed disappointment towards the Selangor chief police officer Khalid Abu Bakar for warning him not to interfere in police investigations.
“We are not here to interfere,” he said. “In fact, we asked police permission to visit the site yesterday. I'm just helping Usharani and will leave the case in the lawyer's hands after this.”
However, Manikavasagam was adamant that the recordings will not be handed over to the Selangor police but Bukit Aman.
“I'm sorry but I don't trust Khalid,” he said. “So I will not be handing over any evidence to him or the Selangor police. Now it looks like I have a problem with two Khalids in Selangor.”
The other Khalid that Manikavasagam was referring to was Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim with whom he didn't see eye-to-eye during the recent sand mining scandal.
GEORGE TOWN: While everyone jostles for positions, Anwar Ibrahim stands alone as supremo without a mandate, contented with being the power behind his wife's throne, said a political scientist.
In view of this, Prof Sivamurugan Pandian said the opposition leader must contest for the PKR president post and legitimise his role.
Otherwise, he said, Anwar would be a politically unlawful leader and it would be unethical and morally wrong for him to continue as such.
“If he does not want to contest, then Anwar should declare to party members that he is not the PKR supremo,” he said, adding there were no provisions in the party constitution that recognise the title.
Calling on Anwar to walk the talk that PKR stood for reform, democracy and accountability, he said it was pertinent that the supremo obtained the members' mandate.
“Or the public should see him only as an ordinary member, who does not have the moral authority to be called supremo,” added the deputy dean of Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Social Sciences.
Undermining status of other leaders
Being an “illegitimate de facto leader”, Sivamurugan said Anwar’s participation in the decision making process with regards to policies and actions was politically unconstitutional and unconventional.
Even his media statements could be considered politically invalid, he added.
Furthermore, he said Anwar’s position as a non-mandated supremo would also severely undermine the status of other elected leaders, including his wife and president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
The professor pointed out that PKR's acceptance of Anwar's “unconstitutional, unelected and undemocratic” position meant that the reformist party was subscribing to undemocratic priciples.
Sivamurugan also said that by refusing to contest and insisting on being the unelected force behind PKR, Anwar was suggesting that the president was only a ceremonial position.
Sudden change in political attitude
The academic also expressed surprise with the change in Anwar's political attitude within two years.
In 2008, he said, Anwar was in a rush to return as an elected representative to Parliament and forced his wife to vacate the Permatang Pauh seat to push for a by-election.
“Why is he not emulating his own example now? He should lead by example,” he added.
Wan Azizah has received some 70 divisional nominations as of yesterday to re-contest the president post in the coming party national polls to be held between October and November.
Anwar has received eight nominations but this was because he had announced his decision not to contest.
In 2007, Anwar, who had spent six years in prison, was named as PKR's de facto leader by the national congress.
Back then, he was advised not to contest for the president's post and avoid putting the party’s registration in jeopardy since he was still legally banned from holding any positions in a political party due to his conviction.
Commenting on this, Sivamurugan said the the congress' mandate was for the 2007-2010 term and not forever.
He said Anwar’s legal status was different now due to his elected public offices as Permatang Pauh MP and opposition leader.
“To end the argument, Anwar must get elected as president. Whether he gets elected opposed or unopposed is immaterial. The crucial issue is Anwar must get the members’ mandate,” he added.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Najib administration's ambitious Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is but a grandiose blueprint that has all but the necessary reforms needed to revitalise the flagging economy, DAP Klang MP and economist Charles Santiago said today.
Santiago said much of the modus operandi of the projects identified in the ETP were carbon copies of those under the Mahathir administration where the economy relied chiefly on pump-priming activities.
"What we are seeing under the ETP is a massive infrastructure roll-up for the next 10 years when we already have excessive property market hangover," he told FMT.
"Where is the transformation? There is no transformation of the economy or of such because the main drive to the ETP is exactly what (Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) did when he was the prime minister," he added.
The ETP, through the 12 national key economic area labs, had identified 131 entry point projects to raise US$444 billion (RM1.4 trillion) of private money needed to transform the country into a high-income nation by 2020.
Santiago pointed out that most of the projects identified are infrastructural, such as the KL mass transit system, the high-speed rail system to Singapore and Penang and the construction of a huge oil storage facility next to Singapore.
Apart from the fact that it reflects the lack of innovation-driven market under the ETP, Santiago noted that scepticism pervades as to whether the private sector would respond.
"Where is the evidence to show that the private sector is going to take up the projects?" he asked. He said that for the past decade, the growth of domestic and foreign private investments in the country had merely seen a paltry 3% to 4% increase.
No institutional reform under ETP
The Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) said it had identified investments worth RM1.4 trillion over 10 years, of which 60% would come from the private sector, 32% from
government-linked companies and 8% from the government.
Pemandu, led by former corporate captain and Minister in the Prime Minister Department Idris Jala, has also gone on a vigorous campaign to bridge the public-private gap, saying that the synthesis
between them is pivotal in pushing the economy forward.
But Santiago is not convinced of its feasibility unless the government recognises the need to cut down on the highly bloated civil service and red tapes, which have turned off many investors.
A recent World Economic Forum (WEF) report showed Malaysia's investment appeal dropping from 17 to 42. It cited the need for institutional reforms should Malaysia wish to see itself compete with its economically stronger neighbours like Indonesia and Thailand.
None of the initiatives under the ETP have incorporated the suggestions by the WEF report, said Santiago and this has become a stumbling block to Malaysia's economic growth.
Focus on developing talents
Santiago said Malaysia must focus more on developing human capital and strengthening the domestic market rather than relying heavily on foreign investments and technology, which is detrimental to the country's target for an innovation-driven economy.
"What we need is a proper reform of the education system where we can produce students with talents and build the economy on this," he said.
The Najib administration was forced to concede that it is losing local talents coupled with capital outflows and is striving to find ways to retain them.
However, observers, economists and opposition leaders alike, remain unconvinced of all the efforts made by the Najib administration so far to boost the economy.
ANALYSIS The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), in trouble with Chinese voters in particular since 2006, is being told that the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) will be able to form the next state government even without a single seat contribution from it. This is the message going out to the party from Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud who has to call state polls by the middle of next year.
Taib’s message is based on the fact that SUPP will be allocated as usual only 19 of the 71 state seats at stake. The party lost eight seats at the last outing in 2006. The Bumiputera-based Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) will take the lion’s share at 35, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) nine and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) eight.
The politically naïve BN minus SUPP theory is somehow expected to bring the party (SUPP) and Chinese voters, in Taib’s reckoning, to their senses. The implication is that the Chinese would have no representation in the state government, for the first time since independence, if SUPP is rejected at the polls.
The fact that the Chinese are not in the least perturbed by such arguments is being overlooked as not politically expedient. The Chinese, and Taib, know that it’s only a matter of time before others follow in their footsteps especially from among the better educated Bidayuh, Orang Ulu and the Malays.
The repercussions will be there especially for the PBB which has a vice-like grip on Sarawak. Already, even the Iban – plagued by low literacy levels -- are being threatened by PBB leaders “not to even think about deserting the ruling coalition”. It’s not surprising why no one in PBB thinks of threatening voters from the other better educated communities.
Chinese voters patently feel it’s pointless being represented in the state government if it means nothing for them in the end and the state, but only the ageing crop of self-serving leaders at the helm of SUPP and PBB. The younger leaders in SUPP are also up in arms against the lack of renewal, transition, change and reform within the party for many decades.
SUPP had a chance to renew its membership and leadership several times in the past to attract the younger Chinese in particular, but each time refused to do so. The unpopular George Chan, whose daughter is married to Taib’s son, continues to lead SUPP to its certain doom in an “all in the family” scenario.
The Chinese have also seen that they are losing out enormously, with Taib and his family, relatives and cronies having a finger in the economic pie everywhere in the state.
Ali Baba syndrome
Although they concede that they have been noted since the inception of the New Economic Policy (1970-1990) for the infamous Ali Baba syndrome – the Malay Ali selling government projects to the Chinese Baba for a quick commission – they worry that the corruption level in the state has now breached the stratosphere.
The economy, they point out rightly, is no longer about Ali Babaism which saw the Malay Ali getting anything between 5% and 15% commission for securing government projects for the Chinese business community (Baba). Instead, politicians in the ruling coalition are now awarding themselves, through nominees, government procurements and projects – under the guise of development – and selling them at twice, thrice or even up to 10 times what the Chinese Baba gets without paying out the usual 5% to 15% commission to the Malay Ali. The Chinese see this notorious “skim cepat kaya” (quick money scheme), fostered by PBB in general and Taib in particular, as being infinitely worse than any Ali Baba scam presided over in the past by SUPP.
The politically savvy and better educated urban Chinese voters know that government money is theirs as well, in fact most of it, and they are not going to allow the ruling coalition to continue to get away with raiding the public treasury at will.
There are many other social and economic issues confronting the Chinese community in Sarawak. However, the resolution of these issues hinges on the community subscribing to an agenda for change and reform in Sarawak after nearly half century of the same coalition in power. The immediate beneficiary, as in Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia, is likely to be Lim Kit Siang of the DAP. He has undoubtedly emerged as the undisputed leader of the Chinese in Malaysia.
The bottomline is that BN’s long years in power, in particular Taib’s, has seen the emergence of a political structure and system which has allowed gross abuse of power and unfettered access to public money to the detriment of the state. The Chinese feel that enough is enough as evident from the continuing debate in cyberspace.
Unlike the Bumiputera, the Dayak in particular, the Chinese are on their own in the urban areas of Sarawak and feel free from the dependency syndrome hoisted on the rest of the electorate by BN’s long years in power.
If anything, Taib’s subtle threats have made the Chinese in Sarawak more defiant than ever and it will be anybody’s guess whether SUPP can even retain its Bidayuh and other Dayak seats. The hope is that the party will be able to retain Opar, Bengoh, Simanggang and Engkilili. However, according to most analysts, both Opar and Bengoh are among the Bidayuh seats where the party is vulnerable to a great extent.
Black or grey
The remaining 15 seats are considered either “black” or “grey” areas as the Chinese make up the majority. Black areas are where the Chinese form 70% or more and grey areas are those with higher non-Chinese voters.
The eight seats considered black are Pending, Padungan, Batu Lintang, Kota Sentosa, Meradong, Bukit Assek, Kidurong and Repok.
The seven grey seats are Batu Kawa, Bawang Assan, Palawan, Dudong, Piasau, Senadin and Pujut.
If SUPP ends up winning only a couple of Dayak seats, that will be the final nail in the coffin for the party to claim to represent not only the Chinese but the Dayak as well. The other parties in the Sarawak BN, that is, PRS and SPDP, besides PBB, will lay claim to SUPP’s Dayak seats. The Chinese seats could be easily divided between PRS and SPDP which are both ostensibly multiracial but Dayak-based, but it’s unlikely that Taib will allow it.
SUPP Youth chief Sih Hua Tong sees a ray of hope if the party identifies candidates which can win at least some seats for it to enjoy continued representation in the state Cabinet and government.
So, the question of changing the leadership cannot be entertained now, according to him, but at the triennial delegates conference which should be held by the end of next year.
Members and leaders chaffing for change in the party and voters have heard such talk before.
Petang tadi saya berkesempatan minum dan makan roti canai dengan beberapa orang kawan yang bekerja sebagai guru. Mendengar daripada topik perbualan mereka, kisah dan cerita yang berlaku di dalam sistem pendidikan negara ini amat membimbangkan saya. Daripada markah lulus (passing mark) untuk subjek Sains dan Matematik yang diubah-ubah untuk mencapai target peratusan lulus sehinggalah kepada soalan UPSR yang bocor hampir setiap tahun.
Menurut seorang kawan saya ini, beberapa pelajar yang mendapat keputusan yang sangat cemerlang seperti mendapat "A" di dalam semua subjek di dalam peperiksaan UPSR mereka telah diterima masuk ke sekolah berasrama penuh, tetapi selepas beberapa bulan, mereka dinasihatkan supaya menukar ke sekolah biasa kerana didapati masih tidak menguasai asas pembacaan, penulisan dan pengiraan. Bayangkan, pelajar yang mendapat semua "A" dalam UPSR dinasihatkan keluar dari sekolah berasrama penuh kerana tahap sebenar mereka tidak menggambarkan keputusan UPSR mereka.
Menurut kawan-kawan guru ini, projek "menolong Melayu" (kononnya) ini bermula selepas pencapaian markah yang teruk di dalam subjek Sains dan Matematik di kalangan pelajar Melayu apabila pengajaran dalam bahasa Inggeris mula-mula diperkenalkan untuk kedua-dua subjek ini. Pada mulanya, langkah menurunkan markah lulus (passing mark) dilakukan hanya sebagai 'quick fix' sahaja kerana untuk mengelakkan kejutan dan menjaga air muka jabatan dan kementerian pendidikan. Tetapi amalan mengubah-mengubah markah lulus sudah menjadi budaya dan mula sebati di dalam sistem. Menurut kawan-kawan guru ini, mereka terkejut bagaimana ramai murid yang mereka mengajar setiap hari boleh mendapat "A" di dalam peperiksaan sebenar UPSR sedangkan markah kebiasaan yang diperolehi sepanjang ujian dan peperiksaan percubaan hanya sekitar 25% sahaja.
Menurut kawan-kawan guru, golongan atasan di dalam Jabatan Pendidikan amat menjaga "KPI" mereka yang berdasarkan kepada peratusan kelulusan dan juga peratusan mendapat "A". Lagi pun ini untuk "membantu Melayu", kata mereka.
Penyakit ini ditambah juga oleh satu barah yang lain, iaitu soalan peperiksaan UPSR yang bocor setiap tahun. Kebocoran kertas soalan UPSR inilah yang menghasilkan pelajar yang layak masuk ke sekolah berasrama penuh, tetapi masih terkial-kial untuk menulis dan membaca. Menurut kawan-kawan guru ini, 10 tahun yang lepas, mereka senang untuk meramalkan pelajar yang akan mendapat keputusan yang cemerlang atau yang gagal di dalam UPSR kerana keputusan peperiksaan sebenar juga lebih menyerupai keputusan ujian dan peperiksaan percubaan yang dilakukan oleh pihak sekolah. Tetapi pada hari ini, keputusan UPSR mengejutkan mereka. Pelajar yang tidak pernah lulus di dalam peperiksaan di sekolah sepanjang tahun tiba-tiba mendapat "A" di dalam UPSR.
Menurut kawan-kawan guru ini, kebiasaanya Terengganu ialah negeri di mana bermulanya soalan UPSR yang bocor. Ini kerana kertas peperiksaan UPSR akan tiba lebih awal di atas pulau-pulau yang mempunyai sekolah-sekolah. Saya tidak tahu samada polis juga bersubahat kerana kertas peperiksaan ini disimpan di balai polis.
Speaking at the Interfaith Relations Working Committee luncheon yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the world contained individuals whose heads were “not right”.
He was referring specifically to the recent threat by an American pastor to burn the Quran and the Sept 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre by terrorists who “hijacked Islam” and said such conflicts were caused by ignorance.
He said: “Without understanding and knowledge, there can never be goodwill and understanding. We need to know the beauty found in every religion.”
What Najib said yesterday is very correct but Malaysians are entitled to ask why he had not provided leadership to take a stand against those in Malaysia “whose heads are not right” in the past 18 months of his premiership resulting in the escalation of the rhetoric of racial bigotry and religious extremism despite his proclamation of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” policy?
It is precisely because of the Prime Minister’s failure to take a stand against individuals “whose heads are not right” that there had been such inter-racial and inter-religious strain in the past 18 months, destroying his political honeymoon as new Prime Minister, undermining his credibility and derailing his key policies like the New Economic Model – a phenomenon never seen in the first 18 months of the previous five Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah.
Sadly, many of those “whose heads are not right” are also to be found in his Cabinet, which is why despite his 1Malaysia policy “to create a nation where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second and where the principles of 1Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society”, only one Cabinet Minister – Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz – has so far the courage, conviction and gumption to declare that he is Malaysian first and Malay second.
Malaysians are very disappointed that in the past 72 hours, no other Cabinet Minister had emulated Nazri to publicly declare that he or she is Malaysian first, race second.
Isn’t this the best proof the Najib’s Cabinet is populated by too many individuals “whose heads are not right” who dare not declare being Malaysian first race second, thus making a total mockery of Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and policy?
Who is the second Cabinet Minister to declare that he/she is Malaysian first and race second?
When will Najib’s Cabinet have a majority of Ministers who can publicly declare that they are Malaysian first and race second to demonstrate that his 1Malaysia policy is being taken seriously by his own Cabinet?
I am truly sorry, Sdr. Teoh Beng Hock, that I have to ask you this question, Did You Commit Suicide? Everyone knows that this is really a stupid question to ask but am I wrong? No, I am not wrong because this is the way how our government, macc, pdrm and the judiciary taught us, to be stupid.
When your family met up with the prime minister, he made a promise that your mysterious death will be fully investigated and ensured that no stone will be left unturned. With this promise, the prime minister should called for a royal commission of inquiry which your family and the public had wanted, instead, he called for an inquest. Why did he reject the RCI, simply because the chances of getting the truth of your mysterious death is very high. For an inquest, they have the upper hand to protect the guilty (if any), manipulate and fabricate, anyway, anyhow they wanted.
On the onset, the government, PDRM, MACC and the judiciary had already made up their mind to see that your mysterious death be concluded as committing suicide, that is, you took your own life. I came to this conclusion by judging the way they presented the case, the investigation by PdRM, the judiciary allowing the DPP to ridicule witness and articulation of imaginary theories.
Your body was discovered at around 1:30pm but was kept in the dark for over four hours before making the announcement. A lot of things can be done, cleaning up, confide in each other what to say and many other rearrangement if required during the four hours.
One minister came out with his wise statement just hours later, “we do not know why he wanted to jump and not going home”. One of the first few indication to start and point towards a commit suicide verdict.
The MACC suddenly became very professional, claiming that you were not a suspect but only a witness without explaining why a witness required such long hours of questioning right through the early morning. MACC claimed that you were released but do not know why you wanted to stay back while your personal belongings were still kept by them. Indeed, we, the public finds it very puzzling the way MACC tried to distance themselves from your death.
The so called professional PDRM can only came to the conclusion of sudden death. If the pdrm were to really look deeper into it, my guess is that they should be able to find out whether you committed suicide or was it homicide.
We now come to the interesting part, the clowning of your inquest. Here, we can really see that no stone was left unturned to pursue for a commit suicide verdict.
Your mental stage and your family were questioned very thoroughly but not the MACC officials that were questioning you. Every effort to block Dr. Porntip from testifying to the extend of questioning her qualification and expertise being not recognised by our country.
You were even speculated to have strangled yourself first before you jumped to your death. We can see how desperate they are to protect someone, the murderer, the government, the MACC, the PDRM or even the judiciary?
The most shocking and unbelievable evidence surfaced after more than a year of your inquest, your suicide note. As I had said above, for an inquest they have the upper hand to spring surprises, they can magically turned a common simple note into a suicide note. The laughter does not end here, there are more when they can justified to present your suicide note as evidence based on google’s translation from your written Chinese note into English. They did not get an expert to translate nor authenticate the so called suicide note.
So, here we are, can anyone be surprised should the DPP in the ongoing inquest called for your lawyers to go and asked you whether you were murdered or that you committed suicide?
I am now ahead of the DPP stupidity to ask you this question first, Did You Commit Suicide?
(via email) Please read urself n see how Malaysian Malays talk bad bout Malaysian Indians. I didn’t say that Datuk Pathmananthan is right or good person. But these Malays kutuk all Malaysian Indians as org tumpang, keling.. paria… org hitam, hati pun hitam.. its really sad… We need to improve our life style.. upgrade our status… we need proof it to them, who condemn us…
This scenario one of proof that Malays really dun like us.. I Flag all the comment n report it…
New York, NY (September 21, 2010) - The Hindu American Foundation (HAF), in commemoration of the United Nation’s International Day of Peace, called for peaceful restraint and communal harmony on the eve of the highly anticipated Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Mosque verdict in India. A three judge panel of the Allahabad High Court in India is set to announce its verdict this week on the 60-year-old legal dispute over the title of a plot of land in the holy city of Ayodhya. The land in question is believed by many Hindus to be the site of an ancient temple and the birthplace of Lord Rama, one of the more popular avatars worshipped by Hindus and non-Hindus throughout South and Southeast Asia. Some reports indicate that the verdict will not bring an end to the dispute, as both sides have expressed their intent to appeal any verdict to the Supreme Court of India.
After excavations in 2003, the Archaeological Survey of India appeared to have concluded the existence of a Hindu temple pre-dating the mosque, although some, including Muslim groups, contested these findings. What is known is that the Babri Mosque, called the Masjid-i-Janmasthan or Mosque of the Birthplace until the 1940s, was constructed from 1526 -1528 under Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, the first Mughal emperor of India. Many Hindus contend that the Babri Mosque is one of many such mosques to have been built atop sacred Hindu, Jain and Buddhist holy sites throughout South and Southeast Asia during the three centuries of Mughal rule. The Babri Mosque was torn down in 1992 after a hard-line Hindu political rally devolved into a riot. The destruction led to a violent aftermath which claimed thousands of lives of both Hindus and Muslims in India and also led to the retaliatory destruction of hundreds of Hindu temples throughout Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“Respect for sacred lands as well as respect for the religious sentiments attached to such spaces goes to the very heart of religious pluralism and harmonious coexistence,” said Mihir Meghani, co-founder and member of HAF’s Board of Directors. “It is our fervent hope that both Hindus and Muslims will exercise restraint no matter what the judgment and begin working towards reconciliation. While a court judgment may settle the legalities over land ownership, it will likely not win the hearts and minds of all those that hold this site to have deep religious and historical significance. Religious leaders can play a constructive role in an amicable resolution, taking into consideration that this site has served as a place of pilgrimage for millions of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists even while the mosque was still intact.”
The three issues before the High Court are whether a temple or Hindu religious structure pre-dated the Babri Mosque at that site; whether the fact that a mosque existed at the site from 1528 to the night of December 22-23, 1949, when murtis of Lord Ram, Lakshman and Sita were placed inside the shrine, gave Muslims ownership and whether the fact that a functional temple had existed at the site since 1949 gave Hindus ownership. The long-awaited verdict on September 24th may finally decide, subject to any appeals to the Supreme Court of India, which community has rights to the land, enabling them to freely construct a structure of their choice.
To date, the site remains heavily guarded by security forces due to lingering concerns over renewed tensions between Hindus and Muslims. Although the mosque destruction and riots occurred 11 years prior to the founding of HAF, the Foundation recognized that this remains an sensitive and political issue in India. HAF unequivocally condemned the violence and loss of life that occurred and urged both sides to resolve the vexing dispute through peaceful means.
HAF leaders also expressed caution over any renewed politicization of the issue. “The Ram Janmabhoomi trial is indeed important and emotive,” said Suhag Shukla, HAF’s Managing Director and Legal Counsel. “But it must be dealt with by India’s leadership in a way so as to not detract from the much needed focus on economic and social development throughout the country."
A Palestinian has been killed after a Jewish settlement guard opened fire at a group of men in an Arab neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.
The incident occurred after clashes broke out between Jewish settlers and a number of local Palestinians in the Silwan neighbourhood, Al Jazeera's Dan Nolan reported from Jerusalem.
Israeli policemen fired rubber-coated bullets and teargas at stone-throwing Palestinian protesters after the shooting, leaving several Palestinians wounded.
"Early this morning a private security guard drove in his car when the road was blocked with garbage. Cans and stones were throne at him from an upper level by tens of people," Mickey Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said.
"The security guard pulled his gun and shot dead a 32 year-old local citizen. The man who was killed is known to the police. His body was taken for examination. The security guard was arrested. The investigation is still in process," he said.
Silwan, a crowded Arab neighbourhood of roughly 45,000 Arabs, is one of the most volatile areas of East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967 and later annexed in a move not recognised by the international community.
Plans to demolish Palestinian homes to make way for an archaeological park have triggered violent protests in the past.
The Jerusalem city council gave the green light in June for the controversial project which would be under the control of Elad, a group dedicated to expanding Jewish ownership in east Jerusalem.
Under the plan, 22 homes would be razed, while another 66 would be legalised.
The park is planned on what is believed to be the site of ancient Jerusalem during the reigns of the biblical kings David and Solomon.
Wednesday's shooting highlighted the challenges Israeli and Palestinian negotiators face in peace talks which resumed on September 2 after a 20-month hiatus.
The issue of settlements has been one of the thorniest in peace efforts.
The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to be illegal.
The Palestinians want a freeze on all settlement construction but are also pushing for a renewal of a partial moratorium on settlement building that will end within days, even though the curbs do not cover east Jerusalem.
The Israeli government does not consider Jewish residents of East Jerusalem to be settlers as it views the whole of the Holy City as its "eternal and indivisible capital". - Al Jazeera
(HRP Report dated 21/09/2010) On 13/8/2010 our National Adviser Mr.N.Ganesan, P.Uthayakumar, W.Sambulingam, S.Thiagarajan and Manimaran had an official three (3) hour meeting with En Mohd Azmin bin Hassan, the Director of Births, Deaths and Adoptions and twelve (12) of his senior officers at their Putrajaya office. At this meeting we had emphasized on an Independent and non race and religious bias National Registration Department in eliminating statelessness and upholding the Constitutional Right to freedom of religion.
Having laid the groundwork we promised to come back with the real cases.
And today 21/9/10 we did just that. We brought to the National Registration Department (NRD) Headquarters in Putrajaya ten (10) Malaysian Indian victims from three different families of forced conversion or forced to Islam namely the families of Rajina a/p Krishnan ( whose name on the Identity Card is Rajina Bt Mohd Zaini @ Krishnan), Rani a/p Kandasamy ( whose name on the Birth Cerificate is Jamilah binti Abdul Kadir) and Banggarama a/p Subramaniam (whose name on the Identity Card is Siti Hasnah Vangarama binti Abdullah).
We arrived at the National Registration Department at about 9 a.m and were attended to by one Puan Azliza Binti Shaharudin the Timbalan Pengarah 1, Bahagian Kelahiran, Kematian & Anak Angkat .Upon perusal of the documents Pn Azliza Binti Shaharudin rejected the applications on the grounds that these three cases should be brought to the Syariah Court for the change of name and religion from Islam to Hindu and then to come back to apply for their Identity Cards and Birth Certificates with the Syariah Court Order.
We instead gave a briefing on the Constitutional, Legal and the United Nations(UN) International Covenant provisions to Puan Azlina and her officers as outlined hereinbelow in items No 1 to 6. She then called in Mr Nik Hassan Husin bin Nik Abdullah (Penolong Pegawai Pendaftaran Tinggi) to attend to the cases.
Another special officer Pn.Zabariah from Bahagian daftar lewat was assigned to attend to Rejina’s son case where he has no birth certificate since he was born. The National Registration Department office in Johor had at the birth of her son Tinesh (2) refused to include the name of his natural father Mahendran a/l Habimanan and his religion as
Hindu in his Birth Certificate.
Then another officer Rabiatul attended to Bangaramma’s two (2) children Hisyanthini and Kanagaraj to fill in the application forms to change their religious status to Hindu and include their father’s name Sockalingam a/l Suppiah into the birth certificates which column had been filled up with the words “Maklumat Tidak Diperolehi” (details not available).
We had questioned the said NRD Deputy Director how could this be when the natural father and mother had confirmed that Sockalingam is the natural father and that this is in contravention of Section 5 (1) (a) and (b) of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1975. (Note: the connotations can be so derogatory so as to cast imputations that the child could be an illegitimate child).
Upon completion, Banggarama and Rajina’s son’s application were forwarded to En.Nik Hassan bin Nik Abdullah for affirmation (oath).
Upon completion of Rejina’s son’s application, I was called aside with Mr Mohan to the meeting room by En.Nik Hassan to get feedback on the statelessness and the forced conversion to Islam cases we were handling. We raised several other issues on the stateless and forced religious status cases faced by Malaysian Indians. En Nik Hassan conceded that the JAKIM’s rule in handling the conversion case is cruel. He mentioned that they had meetings with Jakim and Jais personnell and with Majlis Raja-Raja Melayu and recently had discussed this matter but they are yet to come back with a solution since all the State Rulers will have to meet and discuss this matter to come to a solution.
Later, Rani was told by another officer En.Mohd Ashgar of the Birth Death and Adoption that the amendment in the Birth Certificates for her children could not be changed as the birth certificate is only issued once in their life time and it is to remain the history of their birth and the application to change the name and the status from Islam to hindu is rejected by virtue of Section 15(1) of the Registration Births and Deaths Act 1975. However they informed us that they could use Section 27(3) of the same Act to make corrections to the name and their religious status. Rani’s case was then handed over to the officer in charge of Identity Cards En.Zulkiflee (Penolong Pengarah Bahagian Kad pengenalan) and Puan Azliza to do the changes in the name and the status of their religion. Here we had submitted the six applications of:-
1. Rani-to change her name and religions status
2. Muniandy (Rani’s husband)- to change his name and the religious status (Mustapha Muniandy bin Abdullah)
3. Ganesan(son)-Name and Religious status (Abdul bin Mustapha Muniandy)
4. Chitra Devi (daughter)- to change Name and religion(Chitra devi binti Mustapha Muniandy)
Note: Chitra Devi was forced to stop school at 16 years of age as she was forced wear a tudung and attend Islamic religious classes.
5. Nagendran (son) –Name and religious status (Hamzah bin Mustapha Muniandy)
6. Vijaya Letchumy (daughter) Hindu name but whose religious status in the NRD computer is Islam and cannot get registered to her Hindu husband Tamilarasan a/l M. Rajendran.
The National Registration Department officers told us that they would revert to us within two (2) months time.
It took the whole day lasting over 8 hours including the lunch break with seven (7) NRD officers working to complete this application process and we were the last persons to come out of the National Registration Department office building. But all in the spirit of the Hindraf struggle. Also with me were the HRP 4M officials ie Mano, Manimaran, Mohan and Maniam (Kapar). And next week we would be taking the second batch of ten (10) stateless Malaysian Indians.
Central Committee Member HRP
1) By virtue of Section 6 of the Registration of Births and Deaths (Special Provisions). Act 1975 “A Registrar (of Births) shall record such particulars as may be prescribed in a report book in the prescribed form concerning any birth or death given to him by any person qualified to do so.
Section 5 of the same Act outlines persons qualified to give Information.
1) The following persons shall be qualified to give information concerning a birth, that is to say:
(a) father of the child;
(b) mother of the child;
(c) the occupier of the house in which the child was, to the knowledge of the occupier, born;
(d) any person present at the birth;
(e) any person having charge of the child; and
(f) any other person having personal knowledge of birth.
2) Article 11 of the Federal Constitution (Freedom of religion) and 11(1) “Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and to propogate it”.
3) The Federal Constitution is the highest law of the country and is above all other laws, with no disrespect including Islamic laws and are only subsidiary to the Federal Constitution.
4) Article 14 of the Federal Constitution read with Part II of the Second Schedule provides for citizenship by “operation of law” and “for every person born within the Federation of whose parents one at least is at the time of birth either a citizen or permanently resident in the Federation.
5) Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (which Malaysia ratified in 1995 provides) “The Child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to aname, the right to acquire a nationality and as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
6) States parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.
The peninsula of Malaya, as it was known before the formation of Malaysia in 1963, has a long history of external social and cultural influence. Its strategic location on the sea route between India and China meant that it came under the direct influence of diverse social and cultural forces from India, China, Thailand, Cham (Vietnam), Indonesia, the Middle-East, and the West from the 16th century.
Estimates place the earliest arrival of Indians in the Peninsula of Malaya region as approximately 1,700 years ago. The Indian travelers are known to have referred to this area as Shuvarnabumi or land of gold. Indisputable evidence of early Indian presence can be found in the ancient Hindu relics and excavations at Takuapa on the Kra Isthmus, Candi Bukit Batu Pahat and Bujang valley in Kedah. More significantly, the influence of the centuries-old trade-initiated relationship with India can be observed in Malay culture. The Sanskrit influence on the Malay language, the Hindu epic of Ramayana still exhibited in the form of shadow play (wayang kulit), some cultural rituals (e.g. shaving the head of a new born child) and the notion of kingship still preserved in the Malay courts are just some of the things that bear testimony to the Indian influence. However, Malay legends hold no memories of a Hindu or Buddhist conversion, like the dramatic depictions of the adoption of Islam, as the merging of Indian with Malay proceeded imperceptibly, deepening and enriching an already vital culture. These early Indian travelers did not settle in the Malay Peninsula.
According to scholar S.Arasaratnam, “with the decline of Hindu shipping and mercantile activity and the expansion of Islamic political and economic power in India, the number of Hindu traders coming to Malaya declined, giving place to the more powerful and better equipped Muslim merchants of Bengal,Golconda, Coramandel and Gujerat. These traders intermarried with the local Malay population and absorbed much of the Malay Muslim cultural and religious practices.
In contemporary Malaysia, the descendants of these traders identify more strongly with the Malay community rather than the Indian community. The Indian immigrants who came later, in the19th Century, as a result of British intervention in the Malay states were however largely Hindu.
DISORDERLY: Onlookers at HKL trying to get a glimpse of the eights suspects
(in orange), with some even taking photos from their mobile phones
KUALA LUMPUR: The eight suspects involved in the murders of cosmetics tycoon Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and her associates, were brought to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) today for DNA profiling.
The suspects were seen coming down from a police truck around 3pm, escorted by a number of police personnel. They then entered the hospital via its main entrance.
It is believed that the suspects were there to have their DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) examined.
The usually mundane surrounding at the HKL this afternoon turned chaotic as members of the public tried to get a glimpse of what the suspects look like.
After almost two hours, the suspects were then taken back to their lock-up in Bukit Jalil.
City CID chief SAC II Datuk Ku Chin Wah could not be reached for comments.
Cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, and bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, were killed, their bodies burnt and the ashes thrown into rivers in the vicinity of Ladang Gadong near Banting, Selangor.
All four were reported missing on Aug 30 after they had gone to Banting over a land deal.
Police also confirmed that they have not recovered the money that cosmetics queen Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya had taken with her to Banting for the meeting with the lawyer brothers who allegedly masterminded the quadruple murders.
CID director Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin said that investigations were still underway to determine if the suspects had taken any money from her.
Sosilawati’s daughter, Erni Dekritawati Yuliana Buhari, had claimed that her mother carried a huge amount of cash for the Banting meeting.
According to reports, Sosilawati had about RM4 million in cash on her when she made the trip with her lawyer, financial adviser and chauffeur on Aug 30.
Various theories abound over what transpired before the four were killed. One version has it that Sosilawati wanted her money back after she learned about alleged fraud involving the land in Penang she had planned to buy.
Police picked up the eight suspects after finding out what had happened to the four.
Meanwhile, federal CID director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin reported on his Facebook page that the police had received the investigation papers on themurders returned by the Attorney-General's Chambers yesterday.
"It is the normal procedure to assist the investigation," he said.
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 (Bernama) -- The police on Wednesday confirmed that an Indian businessman reported missing in Malaysia had been murdered.
Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said the evidence gathered so far into the disappearance of Allal Kathan Muthuraja, 34, early this year indicated that he had been killed.
"I confirm that he was murdered based on the indicators and evidence gathered. As such, we have upgraded the investigation from one of missing person to murder," he said when contacted by Bernama.
Khalid said police were now investigating the case of Muthuraja, who had arrived in Malaysia on Jan 18, under Section 302 of the Penal Code.
The disappearance of Muthuraja has been linked to suspects in the murder of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three other people in Ladang Gadong near Banting, Selangor.
Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, and CIMB Bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, were killed, their bodies burnt and the ashes thrown into rivers in the vicinity of Ladang Gadong after they went missing on Aug 30 following a trip to Banting over a land deal.
Police have picked up eight suspects, among them two lawyers.
Muthuraja's wife, S. Usharani, 24, had lodged a report at the Banting police station on Sept 8 claiming that her husband had disappeared after having met the lawyers upon his arrival at the KL International Airport on Jan 18.
Usharani, who had flown in from India, on Wednesday met the police in Banting over the disappearance of her husband.
She had also gone to have a look at the farm in Ladang Gadong belonging to a suspect in the murder of Sosilawati and three men. She was accompanied by Kapar Member of Parliament S. Manikavasagam.
Manikavasagam and Usharani, who came to the farm at 11.35am, were not allowed to enter the premises by policemen guarding the main entrance.
When approached by reporters, Manikavasagam said he hoped that Muthuraja's family members, especially his father and siblings, would come to Malaysia next week to assist police in verifying the DNA of Muthuraja.
Manikavasagam said that when he accompanied Usharani to a meeting with Kuala Langat district police deputy chief DSP Rizani Ismail, he was informed that police had recovered 300 pieces of bone fragments during the investigation into the murder of Sosilawati and the three men.
News reports had said that the bone fragments were recovered from Sungai Panchau.
Manikavasagam brought Usharani to Sungai Panchau and Sungai Kanchong Laut located about one and two kilometres, respectively, from Ladang Gadong.
He said Usharani was brought to the three places and to meet with the police to learn of the developments in the investigation into the disappearance of her husband.
He also said that Usharani had expressed the intention to remain in Malaysia for a week and that the place of her stay was being kept confidential for her safety.
BATU PAHAT, Sept 22 – Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has told Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers to show political maturity and shake off fears of being unpopular by supporting the Barisan Nasional government’s policies if they were beneficial to the people.
The former Umno minister also urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take a firm stand on sensitive issues that touch on race and religion, even if his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, was against it.
This, he claimed, were the main ingredients needed if the country wanted to break free from divisive and race-based politics to achieve national unity.
In a summary of his speech on national unity delivered at a function in Batu Pahat tonight, Zaid (picture) stressed that leaders from both sides of the political divide needed to stop their petty bickering and show some political maturity by standing together on longstanding issues that needed to be resolved.
“A show of unity would send the right signal that elected representatives are the ones who decide on policies for the rakyat and not some theologian or bureaucrat.
“I believe the opposition must support the government when it is good for the people,” he said.
Zaid, who is now the Pakatan Rakyat coordinator and a contender in the PKR deputy presidency race, also said that bipartisan support in Parliament should be encouraged as it was a reflection of a mature democracy.
“This is especially when the government needs help in dealing with certain difficult issues,” he said.
He expressed disappointment that PR lawmakers had kept silent when the Najib Administration wanted to present three bills in Parliament to resolve sensitive, outstanding issues – the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, the Administration of Islamic Law Act 1993, and the Islamic Family Law Act 1984 – in early July last year.
The bills were aimed at clearing up some of the ambiguities in the country’s legal system pertaining to jurisdiction issues surrounding the Syariah law and common law, which have oftentimes caused much difficulties to families engaged in divorce matters, religious conversions or custody battles.
“Unfortunately of course, the Rulers Conference deemed it fit to review the bills themselves first and hence, the effort of the new Prime Minister was stopped and we have heard nothing since then.
“But still... PR parliamentarians had not taken the opportunity at the time to support the BN and the new PM to resolve these issues,” he lamented.
Zaid added that it was easy to talk about the intention to unite the nation and to come up with a to-do list on how to achieve it but finding a strong enough political resolve to do so was difficult.
“And this is where PR and BN must show some political maturity. It will be a test for [Prime Minister Datuk Seri] Najib [Razak] on the one hand and PR leaders on the other, on their commitment to national unity and political stability.
“The nation awaits to see an effective and responsible leadership to guide them through an uncertain future. This is the real challenge to all present political leaders,” he said.
Zaid claimed that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s model of politics - to reign by securing and maintaining power at all costs – is contrary to the reconciliatory politics needed for nation-building.
“Najib’s new formula is 1 Malaysia. Will it work?” he asked.
Najib, he added, needed to take a firm stand when handling difficult issues pertaining to the racial diversity of the nation.
“The long walk that will really test the mettle and sincerity of our leaders is the handling and managing of difficult issues. Matters like the special position of the Malays under Article 153 of the Constitution, the position of Islam under Article 3, the equality of all citizens and religious freedom... these are issues that need to be clarified with honesty.
“A firm stand must be taken by Najib, even if his deputy (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) is against it. No pussy footing, no fudging to please only certain groups.
“Only a clear articulation of the government’s stand on these issues will coalesce into national building blocks of trust necessary for unity,” he said.
It has often been speculated that there was no love lost between Najib and his deputy Muhyiddin, who has been accused by the opposition as being a hindrance to the Prime Minister’s 1 Malaysia goals.
Although both men have denied a friction in their relationship, Muhyiddin’s controversial assertion once that he was a “Malay first and Malaysian second” has continued to stigmatise the BN administration as being fractured and falling apart.
Zaid also bleakly pointed out that Malaysia had only regressed over the past few years, claiming that the country could now hardly be called a “united nation”.
“Unity has deserted us. We need only to open the newspaper to see how one race is being pitted against another, or religious issues that are being played up so openly to antagonise or demean one group against one another.
“Teachers have become purveyors of sick ideologies. We need only to go on the internet to be bombarded with blog postings or video clips that scream bigotry and intolerance,” he said.
In recent days, the country was hit by a slew of racially-charged issues, further fuelled by bickering between political leaders in the BN leadership.
Among the issues were the racial slurs uttered by two school principals, one in Johor and another in Kedah, who had allegedly insulted their non-Malay students in front of their schoolmates.
While the opposition and many leaders in MCA and MIC spoke out to condemn both principals however, the BN government was seen as acting too slowly in resolving the issue.
Najib in fact, was criticised for remaining “elegantly silent” in the matter.
What was most disappointing, Zaid pointed out tonight, was how political leaders continued to stay non-commital, refusing to acknowledge the severity and the impact of such open displays of intolerance.
“Our leaders have stayed totally impotent in the face of such an onslaught. In fact now, the divisive politics of the BN are detrimental to the long-term goals of the nation. It is also detrimental to BN’s own wellbeing,” he said.
At the main VIP table (from left to right) Nik Mustapha Nik Hassan (Ikim); Daozhang Tan Hoe Cheiow (president, Federation of Taoist Association of Malaysia); R.S. Mohan Shan (president, Malaysian Hindu Sangam); Bishop Ng Moon Hing (chairman, Christian Federation of Malaysia); Datuk Ahmad Ismail (deputy chairman, Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs); Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon; Najib; Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom; Datuk Ilani Isahak (coordinator, Committee to Promote Understanding and Harmony Among Religious Adherents); Rev. Thomas Philips (president, Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism); Seck Jit Heng (president, Malaysian Buddhist Society); Harcharan Singh (president, Malaysian Gurdwara Council); Datuk Azman Amin Hassan (director-general, Department of National Integration and Unity). — Picture by Choo Choy May
PUTRAJAYA, Sept 22 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that religious tension and conflict remained major challenges to his administration’s efforts in nation-building but reaffirmed his commitment to resolving these differences.
“As the head of government, I give my full support to this committee,” the prime minister vowed openly at a luncheon with leaders of Malaysia’s diverse religions here, referring to his Cabinet-approved Committee to Promote Understanding and Harmony Among Religious Adherents.
In a thinly-veiled reference to the dispute between Muslims and Christians tussling over the right to use “Allah”, Najib stressed the need for religious understanding.
He noted that social and economic development was not enough to make a nation strong if it was beset with emotional problems due to cultural, religious and ethnic differences.
“We have a strong basis to establish a strong nation called Malaysia,” Najib said, suggesting the country had the right make-up to prove that religious, ethnic and cultural differences did not necessarily lead to extremism and violence but could co-exist in peace and harmony, if it could overcome the present set of tensions.
He pointed out that unlike other nations such as Bosnia, North Ireland and even the US, Malaysia had steered clear of serious ethnic, cultural clashes since independence, barring the bloody race riots in 1969.
“It can be said we have lived in peace, harmony and mutual respect for each other for the past 53 years,” he said, attributing the success to the “formula” of inclusiveness established by the nation’s founding fathers and enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
But he acknowledged Malaysia had its own set of issues and made a thinly-veiled reference to the dispute between Muslims and Christians for the right to use the word “Allah” in worship.
Najib stressed the need for religious understanding and called on the religious leaders present today to help promote knowledge and understanding on their different faiths.
“The root cause of tension and conflict in the world is ignorance,” he said.
“There can never be any transformation without any national unity and harmony,” Najib ended his speech to loud applause.
The ‘muhibbah’ luncheon hosted by the PM is the first time since independence in 1957 the federal government has openly courted the nation’s religious leaders for help in nation-building.
Over 100 leaders representing the six major faiths – Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism – turned up and were observed mingling freely with each other as they shared their meal.
Leaders from the minority beliefs, such as Baha’i, were also feted by the PM.
Institute of Islamic Understanding (Ikim) director-general Datuk Nik Mustapha Nik Hassan who shared the top VIP table with Najib and members of the Cabinet’s faith panel, told The Malaysian Insider that informal gatherings like today’s luncheon was a good way to narrow the religious gap.
“We need more meetings like this. We need the personal touch. It can break the ice, even among people of the same faith,” the Muslim scholar said.
Brother Augustine Julian, representing the Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, said he found the PM’s speech prioritizing spirituality “encouraging”.
“All the while, the country has been focusing on economic, social development. This is the first time he’s been putting stress on religious issues.
“That’s the kind of stuff we’ve not heard of for a long time,” the Catholic monk told The Malaysian Insider.
KUALA LUMPUR: PKR deputy presidential candidate Zaid Ibrahim has accused some party leaders of lying about him and warned that he might retaliate by shaming them.
He said one of these leaders was outgoing deputy president Syed Husin Ali, who in a recent interview with Merdeka Review said Zaid was not a team player and indicated that he backed vice-president Azmin Ali as his replacement.
In an interview with FMT, Zaid also spoke of hypocrites in the party.
However, he tempered his strongly worded reaction to his critics with an assurance that he was loyal to the party. “I’m fully in support of the party’s struggle,” he said.
Zaid and Azmin are the top contenders for the deputy presidency. Zaid initially said he was not taking part in the election, but announced a reversal in a blog posting on Sept 1 following what he said were relentless attacks against him by those who had assumed that he was interested in offering himself as a candidate.
Since that announcement, he told FMT, the attacks had escalated.
“This must stop,” he said. “I wish to warn these leaders that they must stop ridiculing me and spreading lies about me just because I offered myself for a post.”
He said his detractors should not assume that he would not respond by exposing matters that would shame them.
“Syed Husin has now joined other PKR leaders to belittle my contributions to the party,” he said.
“He said my role in the formulation of the Pakatan Common Policy framework was minimal, that I did not attend many meetings and I was not a team player.” Hypocrisy
Zaid admitted that he had missed some party meetings but said he had valid excuses.
“Sometimes there were other important things to attend to, including being with the rakyat,” he said.
“I am not the only one to have missed party meetings. Others, including Azmin, too have missed meetings.”
He accused some party leaders of hypocrisy, saying they were using the same political tactics they had accused Umno of practising.
Referring to his failed bid in the Hulu Selangor by-election, he said these leaders had complained that Umno used underhanded tactics and personal attacks in the campaign. “Yet, they are doing the same now.”
“They complain that the sodomy charges against Anwar Ibrahim are all slander, but they have no qualms dishing out slander against me,” he added.