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Friday, September 24, 2010

Plan for parliamentary motion on racist principals

(Malaysiakini) Pakatan Rakyat will move for an urgent motion on the first day of Parliament when it convenes on Oct 11 if the government does not act against the two school principals who allegedly made racist remarks against non-Malay students recently.

NONEDAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang (left) noted that Prime Minister Najib Razak himself had said that there would be "zero tolerance of racism" two weeks after the incidents took place.

"If (there is) no satisfactory action to honour Najib's declaration, particularly in the public service with commensurate penalty meted out to the two principals... Pakatan Rakyat will move an urgent motion (in Parliament) to demand a full debate," he said in a statement today.

Pakatan's decision follows a statement by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday, saying that it was out of his jurisdiction as a minister to act on the matter.

Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, told the press that only the Public Services Department could mete out disciplinary action against the principals due to their senior ranking in the civil service.

Lim, who is the Ipoh Timor MP, said like his previous declaration of being "Malay first and Malaysian second", Muhyiddin's "latest gaffe" made a "total mockery" of his boss'1Malaysia slogan.

"(His statement) raises troubling questions about whether Najib's 1Malaysia policy represents serious government policy and the degree of Muhyiddin's support and loyalty to it," he said.

More disturbing than the lack of action against the principals, Lim observed, was the "thunderous silence" by the deputy premier on the incident that happened six weeks ago.

"Is it outside of Muhyiddin's power to condemn school principals for racist slurs?

"Forty-five days have passed since the first incident... without any sign of meaningful action being taken to effectively check the rise of racist bigotry and religious extremism, (even) in the 18 months of Najib's premiership," he said.

KJ strikes out Anwar’s RM100 million suit

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin successfully set aside today the RM100 million judgment-in-default Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had obtained against him for defamation in 2008.

“The judge ruled that the writ of service was irregular,” said lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who represented the Rembau MP.

He said Justice Datin Zabariah Mohd Yusof, who delivered her decision in chambers, also ruled that the summons should have been sent personally to Khairy last known home address and not his place of activity.

Shafee said a defamation suit was a personal action and therefore the writ had to be served personally or via A.R. registered post.

Anwar, 63, had sued Khairy, as the then Umno Youth vice-chief, over his remarks at a ceramah in Lembah Pantai here on February 20, 2008, that was posted on video by websites, including Malaysiakini.com, entitled ‘Anwar and kin no threat’.

Anwar alleged the words used by Khairy meant he was involved in activities contradictory to Islam, did not have good character and was unfit to hold political office.

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Nurul Izzah calls out Dr M


Dr Mahathir cautioned the Malays that they stood to lose if they backed Pakatan Rakyat’s quest for Putrajaya. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Lembah MP Nurul Izzah Anwar today accused former prime minister and Perkasa patron Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of perpetuating the politics of racial fear to keep the ruling Malay elite in power, which she said was detrimental to the nation’s stability and progress.

The PKR legislator also offered to debate the veteran Umno politician to disprove the claims he articulated in a blog post yesterday, in which the latter denied he was a racist.

“The ‘politics of fear’ uses Article 153 as a political instrument of deceit and despair,” the first-term MP said, referring to the Federal Constitution.

Article 153 concerns the special position of the Bumiputeras, which includes the Malay community.

Dr Mahathir appeared to play the race card for Umno yesterday by warning Malays that they risked losing power if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) came to rule.

He also implied that a Chinese or an Indian could become prime minister if PR took federal power because there was no constitutional restriction on race for the position.

The former prime minister claimed the political marginalisation of the Malays had already become a reality in PR-controlled states even though those administrations were led by Malays.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Dr Mahathir has offered his expertise to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to deliver a big win for Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next general election, which could be held as early as next year.

His remarks to Umno Online yesterday suggest he will play a big role in Umno’s campaign to consolidate support among conservative Malays and win over fence-sitters uneasy with PR administrations.

Nurul Izzah observed today that Dr Mahathir appeared to be suggesting the constitution should be amended so that only Malays can hold the prime ministership.

“The aim of this is none other to maintain political hegemony by the ruling Malay elite few who have enriched themselves through corruption, abuse of power and undermining the constitution relentlessly,” she added, slamming the octogenarian for warning yesterday.

“I find this statement as irresponsible and as a desperate attempt to destabilise the nation,” the 30-year-old said of the country’s longest-serving premier.

The eldest daughter of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and a rising star in the PR bloc called on Malays to stand firm against the described threat to their community.

“We must fight back by emphasising on the ‘Politics of Hope and Liberation’, which will transform the Malay mind from the false fear of losing their identity and economical development to a positive force that will create a confident and liberated community,” she urged.

Nurul Izzah claimed the Malays have been persistently “indoctrinated” to “act out a victim mentality narrative that degrades, confuses and paralyses a community to remain enslaved intellectually and emotionally first by the colonial masters and now by its new reincarnation, Umno”.

She stressed that the other partners in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition were also guilty for not speaking up for the communities they represented.  - The Malaysian Insider

CJ Zaki sidesteps Karpal's complaint

By G Vinod - Free Malaysia Todat,

KUALA LUMPUR: Chief Justice Zaki Azmi today refused to comment on the complaint lodged by Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh on allegations that the former was involved in corrupt practise while being a lawyer in the 1980s.

“Just stick to the matter at hand,” Zaki retorted, referring to the newly launched New Civil Courts (NcvC) at the Kuala Lumpur court complex today.

On Aug 20, Karpal filed a complaint in Putrajaya against Zaki under the newly-minted Judges’ Code of Ethics Act, 2010, for allegedly admitting in an English daily on Nov 7, 2008 that he had to bribe court officials to get his files attended to.

“It took me six months to be nice, to bribe each and every individual to get back into their good books before our files were attended to,” Zaki was quoted as saying in the daily.

Karpal, who also the DAP national chairman, urged the prime minister to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to appont a tribunal, in accordance with Clause (4) of the Federal Constitution to remove the Zaki from his office.

However, no action had been taken to date.

Justice won't be compromised

On another matter, Zaki said the newly launched civil courts are is aimed at disposing off cases within nine months from the date the cases are filed.

“I hope it will emulate the success as shown by the New Commercial Court (NCC),” said Zaki, who added the NCC which was formed in September last year had managed to clear a lot of case backlogs.

“A total of 389 cases were registered in September 2009 in NCC. As of now, only one case is left pending while rest have been disposed,”said Zaki.

When asked whether the speedy method of getting case disposed might affect the natural course of justice, Zaki said not all cases are disposed off just for the sake of a deadline.

“We do understand that some cases are complex, therefore it may take about 12 months before we can get a decision on it.

“However, about 90 percent of the cases filed are based on facts. So it shouldn't be much of a problem to meet the deadline,” added Zaki.

Anwar warns of Trojan horses in PKR

By Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has warned that Trojan horses may have found their way into the party.
In his first press statement since nominations for party elections began last month, he spoke of “very harsh words coming from certain leaders in a fashion not befitting the position that they aspire to be in”.

Recent attacks by party leaders and members against each other have prompted observers to liken PKR politics to that of Umno’s. But Anwar rejected the allegation that an “Umno culture” was emerging in his party.

“At the same time,” he added, “we cannot rule out entirely the possibility of Trojan horses having found their way in. But we remain steadfast in the belief that our members are mature and wise enough to decide what is best for the party. The truth shall prevail.”

Anwar said PKR should encourage differences of opinion among members over policies, but added that the current campaign period should not be regarded as open season.

“The candidates have their right to present their agendas and to campaign … within the bounds of decency, decorum and civility,” he said. “There are house rules to be observed. This is why we have an independent elections committee.”

He said PKR had become strong because of its members’ belief in reform and renewal and that this was the spirit behind the party’s decision to hold direct elections.

“This is empowerment of the members, and with power comes responsibility,” he said. “We believe the members will use this power wisely and judiciously.”
“We believe that the best leaders will be produced through this process and at the same time they will be more accountable to the members. This will help us emerge even stronger.”

Anwar reiterated PKR's commitment to serving the people and promised that the party would continue to push for reforms.

He said: “We reject the excuses given by the powers that be that the people are still not ready for full democracy and hence should continue to rely on political crutches. We don’t need them.”

'Penang’s water surcharge a burden'

By Athi Shankar - Free Malaysia Today,

GEORGE TOWN: A Gerakan youth leader today criticised the Penang government's move to impose a surcharge on water tariff as it will burden the lower income group, especially those with large household members.

Kedah youth chief Tan Keng Liang said the surcharge was also against Pakatan Rakyat’s common policy framework (CPF) unveiled last December.

Under paragraph H of the CPF, he said Pakatan’s pledge states that providing and maintaining good public infrastructure was the government’s responsibility.

The coalition pledged to Malaysians that the implementation should not burden the people and it would guarantee clean water at reasonable rates to every family in Malaysia

However, Tan said the Pakatan government has taken an unlikely lead to impose a surcharge of 24 sen per 1,000 liters on domestic consumers using more than 35,000 litres of water per month.

Lower income group affected most

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's administration said that surcharge was part of the state government’s effort to cut water wastage and encourage wise usage.

But Tan said the surcharge had clearly failed to take into account that the number of persons in each household varies.
He said the average 35,000-litre consumption was an estimation based on five persons per household.

“What about large families with 10 members and more? The surcharge would be unreasonable on them, especially on those living in the lower income bracket,” he said.

“It should not be a hasty move that unfairly burdens any group of people. Otherwise, it can be assumed it is mere attempt to increase water tariff under the guise of curbing water wastage,” added Tan.

He said that the Penang government move to increase water tariff would not encourage other Pakatan states of Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor to to follow suit.

“Pakatan should honour its CPF pledges to the people,” said Tan.

Review: The 14th Dalai Lama – a manga biography

Editor's Note: CNN's Gabe La Monica files this report on the new manga biography of the Dalai Lama.

“Manga” in Japanese means “whimsical pictures.”  Author and illustrator Tetsu Saiwai brings whimsy to life in "The 14th Dalai: a Manga biography."

The book is a hybrid comic book/graphic novel. The central character, Tenzin Gyatso, is introduced as a kind of 2-year-old embodiment of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim: an audacious and quick-witted boy with no fear. He grows up fast. At the age of 5, in 1939, Tenzin Gyatso becomes officially recognized as the 14th reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, and is renamed “Holy Lord, Gentle Glory, Compassionate, Defender of the Faith, Ocean of Wisdom.”

The black and white images are quick and light, but even at the book’s airy beginning, they convey a mood of portent. Everything moves fast; the reader’s eyes race across open blocks and pages. At one point there is a discussion about war while the Dalai Lama looks up at a starry night sky. On the next block, on the same page, everything has changed: Clarity and innocence turn quickly into confusion and fear.

The rise of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 is painted as forever complicit in Tibet’s demise. On October 7, 1950, the Chinese Liberation Army crossed the Tibetan border under the guise of emancipating Tibet, “a part of China,” and its people from foreign imperialists.

The Khampa Resistance Army and the Tibetan border police are crushed by the Liberation Army, which numbers in the tens of thousands. Food becomes scarce as the occupation decimates farmland and remaining supplies. Confusion reigns when China announces the enactment of a 17-point “agreement” for the liberation of Tibet.

In the book, as the Dalai Lama grows up he is often pictured looking down on his people from a temple with a telescope. He is high and lonely and they are poor and happy. But if the Dalai Lama was previously blind to his own elitism - or to the dichotomy between the power structure in Tibet and its poverty-stricken people - he seems awakened to it under the domination of China’s army.

It’s suggested that the Dalai Lama comes to think of Chinse leader Mao Tse-tung as a reformer for good, with a flawed means to an adulterated vision. He meets with Mao once. At the end of a tense but outwardly amiable meeting, the chairman leans over and whispers in the Dalai Lama’s ear.

“Religion is evil,” he says. The meeting was a ruse by China to show good intentions and togetherness between Tibet and China to the rest of the world. The world does seem to turn away from the plight of Tibet, while real diplomacy between the two nations disintegrates.

Massacre after bloody massacre contributes to a rising tension of fear and anger that culminates in a storm of fury when the Dalai Lama escapes Tibet and the capital city of Lhasa is brought to its knees. He stays in exile for the rest of his life, advocating a nonviolent struggle free from hatred as the only path towards peace. His life is committed to the idea of a world free from hate.

Since the 1950s, manga has been a common form of cartoon and comic art in Japan. Likewise, since 1950, when the Dalai Lama became the official political leader of Tibet, he has become a household name around the world. But the history of his ascension and of the destruction and degradation of Tibet are less well-known. Saiwai’s book is a quick read packed with the history of a life that spans nearly eight decades. It’s a tribute to the book’s form that so much is conveyed in such a small space.
The book releases September 28.

Orang Asli win damages for demolished chapel

(Malaysiakini) In a significant decision against the government, the Orang Asli Laut of Kuala Masai, Johor were awarded damages yesterday for the unlawful demolition of their chapel by authorities in 2005.

demolished church in johor 201205 church before demolitionRuling in favour of plaintiffs Orang Asli residents Khalip Bachik and Kelah bin Lah, High Court Judge Zakiah Kassim said the defendants trespassed onto the land and had no right to tear down the chapel (pictured before demolition).

The Orang Asli had levelled their challenge against the Johor Lands and Mines director, the Johor Bahru City Council and the Orang Asli affairs department (JHEOA)
Zakiah also found that the fact that the land was not gazetted as Orang Asli land, even though this was decided upon in the year 2000, did not absolve the defendants.

The JHEOA and Johor Bahru Land Administrator had previously rejected the community's application to build a chapel, stating that they had no right to do so as the land belonged to the government.

demolished church in johor 201205 demolished churchThe court also heard of the "high handed conduct" of the state authority and city council in demolishing the chapel (right), on Dec 15, ten days before the celebration of Christmas.

The plaintiffs submitted that this was reminiscent of the Sagong Tasi case, where the Court of Appeal found against the appellant who were proven to have forcibly demolished the Orang Asli homes.

The plaintiff's lawyer, Steven N Thiru, said it is still uncertain whether the defendants will appeal the decision.

The amount of damages awarded are still to be assessed. The chapel had took three months to build and cost RM40,000.

Gov't dept broke its promise

The plaintiffs, who are of Orang Asli Laut descent and members of the Orang Asli Christian congregation, were originally residents of Kampung Orang Asli Stulang Laut.

They received a directive to move to Kampung Orang Asli Kuala Masai from the Johor Bahru City Council in 1993 on the grounds that their original land was to be developed.

According to Khalip and Kelah, the JHEOA director general had given them an assurance that they could build a place of worship at the new settlement, and had done so upon relocation in 2003.

When the demolition occurred, the state failed to show any court order or proof that the chapel was sitting on state land.

Eight out of the 20 families living in Kampung Orang Asli Kual Masai are of the Christian faith.

Nurul Izzah asks PM to come clean on GDP target

Nurul Izzah said sending out misleading numbers would aggravate Malaysia’s already-hurting FDI rates. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar continued to pick at the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) today and urged the prime minister to clarify if Malaysia needed more than the oft-repeated six per cent annual GDP growth to achieve high-income status by 2020.

Calling the six per cent target frequently cited by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak “misleading”, the PKR lawmaker pointed out that Malaysia had to book at least nine per cent growth per annum to achieve RM1.7 trillion in gross national income (GNI) in 10 years from current levels.

“It was publicly announced that the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) will only provide 74 per cent or RM1.258 trillion of the estimated RM1.7 trillion GNI in 2020 against our RM660 billion GNI for 2010 which required the quoted six per cent annual growth rate,” she wrote in an article titled, “Fantasy or Fallacy: ETP 6pc Annual Growth Rate Calculations”.

“However, in reality, Malaysia as a whole, when ETP plus non-ETP contributions are calculated for the 10 years needed, it would indicate that it should have been disclosed that we need a nine per cent per annum growth rate to achieve the RM 1.7 trillion GNI in 2020.

“I call upon the government to set the matter straight and immediately announce if Malaysia actually needs a nine per cent annual growth rate to achieve the RM1.7 trillion GNI target in 2020... We need to know the facts and the truth now even if the prime minister is still in New York supposedly to tell the ‘truth’ to the world on Malaysia’s New Economic Model and 1 Malaysia concept.”

Nurul Izzah cited Najib’s apparent admission at the 21st Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia Implementation Council meeting held on November 9, 2009 that the economy needed to expand by over nine per cent every year for 10 years in order to qualify as a high-income nation by World Bank standards.

“We aim to be a developed nation by the year 2020 and we are looking to more than double our per capita gross national income from US$7,000 (RM24,500) to at least US$17,000 by then in order to qualify as a high-income nation according to World Bank classifications,” Najib had said in his opening speech then.

“This would also mean that Malaysia has to grow its GDP by over nine per cent annually until the year 2020.”

However, the premier denied uttering those words only hours later at a press conference, contending that he had settled for six per cent annual growth as nine per cent was “not realistic”.

Nurul Izzah argued that Najib’s “flip-flopping” served only to cast doubt on other official statistics like the inflation index and poverty incidence, and decrease investor confidence in Malaysia.

“The people deserve to know especially with the upcoming Budget announcement to be made in Parliament in October,” she said, adding that the government should avoid being misleading as doing so would further harm private sector confidence, given that foreign direct investments have slipped by over 80 per cent in 2009.

“We do not need another Pinocchio to lead a sinking nation.”

The Najib administration is looking to the private sector to contribute most of the RM1.38 trillion needed to drive the ETP, which is aimed at transforming Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020.

Sixty per cent of all investments are expected to come from private companies, with 32 per cent from government-linked companies (GLCs) and the remaining eight per cent from public funding.

The government is banking on the ETP’s smorgasbord of 131 entry point projects (EPPs) and 60 business opportunities to generate an additional US$250 billion for the economy by 2020, taking the nation’s GNI to at least US$523 billion from US$188 billion in 2009. The rest of the growth is expected to come from other sectors.

RPK dares Putrajaya to discuss his return

Raja Petra did not elaborate on the other conditions for his return to Malaysia. — file pic
LONDON, Sept 24 — Raja Petra Kamarudin will call for an imminent showdown with the government over his “exile” from Malaysia, to “settle the matter once and for all.”

The controversial blogger, widely known as RPK, will send a letter via his legal advisors to the Malaysian government by Monday, if not tomorrow, requesting a meeting with its High Commissioner to the UK Datuk Zakaria Sulong to discuss terms of his return.

He stressed that this was a chance for the government to bring him home as they claimed to have been trying to do.

“It’s up to the government to respond or else shut the f*** up forever. Quote me on that or don’t bother to contact me again.

“Tell Datuk Zakaria that when he comes on October 2, I want him to show me my new passport and plane tickets. Without those, how to fly home?” he said, referring to the fact that his passport has expired and the High Commission would have to issue him a new one for him to return.

Having been in “exile” since May 2009 in the midst of sedition and criminal defamation trials and what he claimed was a second attempt to detain him under the Internal Security Act (ISA), Raja Petra has spent the past few months calling what appears to be the government’s bluff.

When Malaysian police insisted they were still trying to track his whereabouts, he came out to speak in public in May and stated that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government knew all along as he had met various Umno figures in the United Kingdom over the past year.

Raja Petra also challenged Malaysian authorities to extradite him from the UK, claiming that unlike the judicial system in Malaysia, an extradition request must be based on corresponding illegality. He has also said that his lawyers have informed Scotland Yard, headquarters of the London police, that he was available to them anytime.

When asked by The Malaysian Insider what terms he would be setting, Raja Petra declined to pre-empt the letter that was being prepared by his lawyers.

In July, he had issued an open offer to Datuk Seri Najib Razak for him to return to Malaysia if the prime minister could guarantee that he would not be placed under detention without trial via the ISA “and forget another six charges I know they were preparing.”

He had promised he would return to fight the sedition and criminal defamation cases that had since been dropped (dismissals not amounting to acquittals) as Raja Petra was not present at the trials and the arrest warrants had expired.

Najib has been a prime target for Raja Petra, who has accused him of, among other things, being directly involved in the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shariibuu, and a related submarine deal that French authorities are now investigating for an alleged irregularity in commission payments, said to amount to RM500 million.

Raja Petra will request that the meeting with Zakaria on October 2 be held at the same time and venue where Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PKR strategy director Tian Chua are scheduled to speak to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) supporters in London.  - The Malaysian Insider

Tee Keat under fire over speed camera deal

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today,

KUALA LUMPUR: Former transport minister Ong Tee Keat has come under fire over his remarks concerning the Automated Enforcement System (AES).

AES is a speed camera system scheduled to be implemented nationwide.

Tess Capital Sdn Bhd, the local company which cried foul for being sidelined over the RM700 million contract, said Ong was wrong on several points in his interview with FMT.

"He (Ong) said we are sore losers and we complained late but the reality is, I cried foul even before the live demonstration (part of the tender process) started,” said company director Zainal Abdul Ghani.

“I wrote an official letter to the then director-general of the Road Transport Department (RTD) Mustafa Abdul Rashid," he added.

In the FMT interview, Ong said he had dealt with the matter and found no reason to review the decision to award the contract to two companies.

He had also asked why the disgruntled companies did not complain earlier.

Zainal, an ex-finance ministry officer handling international government procurements, said based on his experience, he could sense the discrepancies even before the live demos were conducted.

"It is not true that we complained after a long time. In the first place, we have yet to be told of the results of the test (conducted in 2007)," he said.

"Many things indicated foul play; there was a lot of manoeuvring and manipulation. What they did was create their own test. Test protocols were not given to the tenderer. This was unusual.

“They tested the system based on our weaknesses and highlighted the good points of the ones they preferred. It is not a normal international practice," he said, adding that a test should be designed based on the proposal of the tenderers.

Integrity and accuracy not tested

Zainal said he believes that the importance of certain test categories was altered in order to ensure that the favoured companies made the cut.

"Why during the live demo you did not follow what you proposed? Why was there no briefing on the test protocals? Why are all these things not spelled out? That's because you can't manipulate it then," he added.

Zainal also lamented that the most important feature of the AES, which was integrity and accuracy, was not tested, but rather it was more focused on quantity.

"Does RTD simply want to commercialise this?" he asked.

Zainal said that Tess Capital was planning to lodge another report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

The company had in March lodged a report claiming abuse of power and "manipulation" by the RTD over the tender process but had yet to be updated on the status of investigation.

'Ong went half-way'

Meanwhile, Zainal also disputed Ong's statement that he had "dealt" with the matter.

"He said he has dealt with the matter. But he only discussed this issue on his side, rather than call a formal meeting with all the parties, including most importantly, the aggrieved parties.

“To me, Ong only went half-way; his attempt was half-cooked. If the transport ministry is really truthful and transparent, call all the tenderers back right now," he said.

In the FMT interview, Ong admitted there were complaints over the AES, alluding to accusations that the project was given to crony companies.

However, the former minister said he had reviewed the scores of the test and stood by his decision to follow his predecessor's (Chan Kong Choy) recommendation.

Sources said the deal was to be given to Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and Commercial Circle (M) Sdn Bhd.

However, Tess Capital claimed that it was better equipped to deliver the AES with its own technology which was proven to be effective in Australia.

It claimed that the other two companies were only vendors relying on foreign technology which has caused some concerns elsewhere.

Subsequently, Ong's successor Kong Cho Ha confirmed that AES had been awarded to two companies, which he did not name .

He added that it would be implemented as soon as amendments are made to the Road Transport Act 1987.

The AES is made up of cameras installed at accident-prone areas and traffic light junctions. The devices can detect speeding vehicles and those who beat the red light. It was reported that under the second phase of the AES, computer chips will be implanted in licence plates of all vehicles.

Kes 'Rosmah puaka': Pelajar UM bebas

Oleh Jamilah Kamarudin & Fazy Sahir - Free Malaysia Today,

LAPORAN PENUH KUALA LUMPUR: Mahkamah Tinggi pagi ini membebaskan lima pelajar Universiti Malaya (UM)  berhubung kes 'Rosmah Puaka' tanpa membela diri.

Hakim Rozana Ali Yusoff memutuskannya setelah tiada bukti kes prima facie yang menunjukkan lima pelajar itu terbabit dalam kejadian tersebut.

Shazni Munir Mohd Ithnin, Muhammad Aizat Roslan, Muhammad Saufi Jelani dan Mohd Syahriuldeen Ahmad Rosli didakwa atas kesalahan menconteng dinding Dewan kuliah utama Akademi Pengajian Islam (API) dengan tulisan 'Rosmah Puaka' 24 Jun tahun lalu.

Kira-kira 100 pelajar Pro-Mahasiswa daripada UM, UKM, UPM, UIA dan UTM hadir disini sejak pagi tadi bagi memberikan sokongan.
Manakala Solidariti Mahasiswa (SMM) menyifatkan kemenangan lima mahasiswa tersebut memberi mesej jelas untuk menghentikan pembodohan dan halangan terhadap mahasiswa.

Menurut pengerusinya Hilman Idham kemenangan ini juga mencalit sejarah buat kelima-lima mahasiswa yang hampir setahun menanggung kesukaran dan masalah ekoran disabitkan dengan pertuduhan tersebut.

"SMM melihat kemenangan ini bukan sahaja membebaskan lima orang mahasiswa daripada kesalahan bahkan juga memberikan mesej jelas bahawa hentikan pembodohan dan halangan terhadap mahasiswa," katanya yang ditemui di luar perkarangan mahkamah hari ini.

Sokongan mahasiswa
Sementara itu, lebih 100 mahasiswa berkumpul seawal 8 pagi sebagai memberi sokongan terhadap kelima-lima mahasiswa terbabit.

Turut kelihatan ahli keluarga mahasiswa yang turut menemani mereka.

"Saya rasa syukur anak saya sudah dibebaskan dan berharap mereka dapat meneruskan pembelajaran dan menjalani kehidupan seperti sedia kala," kata ibu Muhammad Saufi.

Lima mahasiswa terbabit dituduh melakukan jenayah dibawah Seksyen 427, 436 dan 447 Kanun Keseksaan.

Namun mereka dibebaskan oleh Mahkmah Sesyen untuk ketiga-tiga pertuduhan terbabit.

Hakim Rozana Ali Yusoff memutuskan tiada bukti keraguan (prima facie) yang menunjukkan lima pelajar terbabit dalam kejadian tersebut.

Bagi Seksyen 427, mereka dituduh menyimbah petrol di atas permaidani yang bakal dilalui isteri perdana menteri Rosmah Mansor dan menconteng di sebuah dewan akademi pengajian itu kira-kira jam 4 pagi.

Manakala bagi Seksyen 436, kelima-lima mahasiswa itu dituduh melakukan perbuatan khianat dengan menggunakan api di tempat dan waktu yang sama.

Bagi Seksyen 447 pula, mereka dituduh melakukan pencerobohan jenayah pada tarikh dan masa yang sama.
Mereka didakwa turut menconteng perkataan "C4", "Bini Puaka", dan "pembunuh Altantuya" didinding API dengan tulisan merah kira-kira 4 pagi, iaitu sebelum kedatangan Rosmah ke universiti itu bagi menghadiri satu majlis rasmi.

One Member One Vote – Parti Keadilan Rakyat Divisional Elections

PRESS RELEASE:
23rd Sept 2010

For the first time in Malaysian history, “one member one vote” party elections will give the more than 400,000 Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) party members a right to vote directly for their leaders.

PKR members will vote twice. The first time is in elections at the division level which will take place in conjunction with the divisional annual general meetings. And the second time in elections at the national level

This democratization of the party election process and broadening of participation at the grassroots level were made possible by amendments to the party constitution in 2009.

In the ongoing elections at the divisions level, an unprecedented 8,570 candidates are vying for positions at the division, women and youth wings. Of the 204 divisions eligible to conduct the annual general meeting (Mesyuarat Agung Tahunan Cabang) contests are taking place in 145 divisions.

Over the past weekend, divisional annual general meetings were held in 84 divisions with contests taking place in 67 divisions. Among the divisions’ that witnessed a very high voter turnout were Tuaran in Sabah and Tangga Batu in Malacca. This coming weekend a further 83 divisions will conduct their annual general meetings with contests set to take place in 60 divisions.

The task of supervising the conduct of elections at the division and national levels has been entrusted to the Jawatankuasa Pemilihan Pusat (JPP). JPP’s duties include monitoring the elections, ensuring free and fair elections, receiving and acting on complaints and objections.

To date, the JPP has received a total of 135 complaints and objections; 86 were related to candidacy, 17 relating to the electoral process and 32 relating to discipline. As an executive and monitoring body, JPP ensures that each and every complaint/objection will be considered in an impartial and serious manner.

The JPP is happy to note that over the first weekend, by and large the Keadilan Secretariat and volunteers conducted themselves professionally and voting, for the large part, took place in a smooth and orderly fashion.

The division level elections, which are currently happening, are taking place over 8 days between 17 September and 2 October 2010. The national level elections will take place over 8 days prior to the party’s annual general congress on 26 and 27 November.

Dr Molly Cheah
Chairperson
Jawatan Pemilihan Pusat (JPP)

The MCA number game backfires

by Thomas Lee, My Sinchew

The revelation that the senior private secretary of ex-Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has asked for the vehicle registration numbers MCA 1 to MCA 9999 in Malacca be reserved for MCA members is clearly a reflection of the high-handed manner a small-time political administrator in the Barisan Nasional abused his little derived authority.

Current Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha has confirmed that such a request was contained in a memorandum dated 17 Feruary 2010 and addressed to Road Transport Department (RTD) director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan.

Tee Keat has denied that he had endorsed the memorandum written to the RTD director-general by his private secretary, saying that “I still remember, among the things that came to my attention which I rejected included this memorandum, although I had returned to duty in March after some health problems.”

Kong, meanwhile, said that the instruction would be rescinded.

“Nobody can reserve any number for the MCA. It is part of the sequence of the way that the RTD issues the registration number and according to the state,” he said.

This ignominious and scandalous incident is certainly more serious and shameful than that of the so-called Support Letters Scandal in Selangor, in which swift and harsh action was taken against the errant municipal councillor by the state government and the DAP.

During the height of the Support Letters Scandal in August 2010, the MCA leaders had showed their self-righteous indignation and wrath against what they claimed was the abuse of power by Selangor state executive councillor Ronnie Liu in allowing his then aide Tee Boon Hock to issue letters of support to companies seeking contract jobs with the local authorities.

In a pace-setting benchmark for political acountability and transparency in the country, the DAP hauled up Ronnie and Tee, both senior leaders in the Selangor DAP, to face the party disciplinary committee over the allegations of corruption in the issuance of support letters to help crony firms gain contracts from the local authorities.

Ronnie was issued a severe reprimand and warning for failure to manage his administrative affairs properly, resulting in the abuse of the support letters. Tee was sacked from the party for abusing the support letters to endorse his son’s company. He was also removed as a municipal councillor.

In early September 2010, the DAP also issued an expulsion order on two members — Yap Hock Siew and Ong Chai Huat — for allegedly misusing a support letter for personal gain.

Yap and Ong were found to have committed direct conflict of interest in breach of party discipline when Yap issued a letter of support under the letterhead of the Pandamaran Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) in favour of a business where both of them are partners.

Yap and Ong were respectively chairman and vice-chairman of the Pasar Pandamaran DAP branch at the time of their alleged wrongdoing.

The DAP has shown that it does not condone or tolerate any nonsense and irregularities committed by its leaders and members.

The party has set a very good example of how good governance, with the virtuous moral trinity of competence, accountability and transparency (CAT) principles as its fundamental basis, should be practised, and it is here that the MCA should learn from and emulate the DAP and adopt its exemplary party discipinary model.

Tee Keat should not have just washed his hands off the issue without taking any fast and firm action against his smart alec aide, whose unilateral instruction to the RTD director-general is certainly a gross abuse of the transport minister’s office.

It is sad, but true, that we have many such obnoxiously self-assertive and impudent persons, who flexed their muscles and used bullying tactics, in the civil service. It was former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who gave them the notorious name “Little Napoleons”.

If the MCA considers the Support Letters Scandal as a serious abuse or even a felonious action, deserving of harsh punishment, then the MCA Vehicle Number Plates Scandal certainly demands more severe castigation.

The MCA leadership should immediately hold a disciplinary hearing on the fiasco, and ask its former president Tee Keat and his aide, if he is a party member, to explain the shameful episode. Appropriate action should be taken if Tee Keat and his aide are found to have abuse their office.

The MCA must also apologise to the RTD director-general and the people for the outrageous unilateral proposal to reserve the series of vehicle registration numbers for its members. Even if the instruction has been withdrawn, the intended monopoly is a betrayal of the people’s confidence in the government.

By the way, I think it is unnecessary to reserve those vehicle registration numbers as I doubt many people would want to have their cars or motor-cycles bearing those number plates. Also, my sympathy with the car sellers in Malacca. Not many people would want to buy new cars until the “MCA” number series is exhausted!

Democracy only works when people claim it as their own

People first, democracy now!


By P Ramakrishnan

In a democracy worth its name, it’s the people who come first. The government exists for them and not the other way around as is happening now. We are made to believe that the people are there to do the government’s bidding. The government actually tells you that.

You vote for my man on Sunday, you will get a cheque on Monday. That’s what they told the voters in Ulu Selangor. In Sibu they told the voters, “You elect my man, I will pay for the flood mitigation project” – otherwise you can drown in the flood for all I care!

In other words, you will be rewarded if you serve the ruler; otherwise you will be punished. They don’t govern the country any more – they rule over you; they lord over you.

Is this what democracy is all about?

53 years of disappointment

For 53 years, we have been ruled – not served; for 53 years we have been kept apart through policies that discriminate against the citizens; for 53 years they failed to forge a nation rooted in justice and truth. For more than half a century they failed us miserably; they disappointed us blatantly without a care or thought for the welfare of the nation and its people.

They did whatever they wanted to, without being accountable for their actions simply because the police, the judiciary, the anti-corruption commission, even our mainstream media and others are no longer able to function professionally and in an unbiased manner in the larger interest of the nation. Notions of justice and fair play are no longer the cornerstone of our society.

Tun Dr Mahathir made sure that truth and justice will not be part of the fabric of our society. He destroyed the judiciary in 1988 and we have not recovered from that shameful onslaught that removed the Lord President unjustly and made victims of two honest and brave judges of the Supreme Court who stood up for justice.

Our judiciary was once regarded as a bastion of justice. It was a well-respected institution of integrity in the Commonwealth. But alas, it is now totally discredited and ridiculed. We can even predict certain judgments even before they are pronounced.

Certain judges don’t even seem to know the law. They dispense judgments that are baffling and absurd. We witnessed these weird instances in numerous cases.

In the Perak crisis, the provisions of the Federal Constitution were completely ignored; in the Kampung Buah Pala case, we witnessed an absurd situation when a piece of land was sold for pittance by the former BN Penang state government when that land did not belong to the state government – this very important fact was strangely never addressed by the court; in the cases involving conversions that deliberately disrupted families and separated mother and child, the verdicts of the judges were absolutely unfair.

In the case of Anwar Ibrahim, the courts have totally discredited themselves in the way they have denied Anwar access to vital information that is crucial for his defence.

Rampant corruption, wastage – and a false dawn

Corruption is rampant and the MACC does not come across as an impartial institution that can be depended upon to curb corruption. The speed with which it moves to investigate those opposed to the BN as compared to the dragging of feet when corruption involves BN leaders and ministers makes you wonder whether the MACC is there to protect the BN and harass the Pakatan Rakyat.

If we are privy to information about corruption and abuse of our money that has surfaced lately, it is not because of the ACA becoming MACC. It is because of the change of certain state governments.

For over 50 years, the books had been closed to the rakyat. Alarming information has been preserved and protected through the use of the OSA. Not any more. Exco minutes no longer remain a state secret. They can be revealed; the abuse, the corruption, the lies – all can be exposed now.

The wastage and squandering of the national wealth is amazing and bewildering. While there are moves to remove subsidies and reduce scholarships due to lack of funds, we seem to have endless funds for opulent lifestyles and extravagant expenditure for putting up buildings that cost hundreds of million ringgit.

Shockingly, allocations to hospitals have been cut drastically resulting in shortages of vital medicines. But we have funds for building a new parliament.

Why do we need another Parliament when we already have one that is rich in history, serving as a national symbol of democracy for nearly half a century?

We should not even think of moving into the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, which has come to symbolise one of the many failed projects that has cost the taxpayers unnecessary colossal expenditure.

A new Parliament should not be used as an excuse to save or rescue Putrajaya ICC. The Malaysian voters should punish the BN at the next election if it dares to go for another Parliament completely dismissing public sentiments.

Why do we need another palace when we already have the Istana Negara and another palace in Putrajaya? We can safely assume that His Majesty the Yang Di Pertuan Agong had not demanded for yet one more palace.

People were fooled into thinking that a new dawn in race relations had arrived when the Prime Minister announced his 1Malaysia with much fanfare. For a moment, he made Malaysians believe that at long last we have come to our senses. He spoke of equal opportunities based on ethnic harmony, national unity, and efficient governance.

But it was rather unfortunate that almost immediately, it was sunset for 1Malaysia when his Deputy declared, “I’m Malay first.” He put a stop to our progress in race relations and came across as supporting Ibrahim Ali’s Perkasa, which is strident about Ketuanan Melayu.

1Malaysia notwithstanding, it is clear that under the BN we will never be united as a people and as a nation. The BN is not capable of genuinely reinventing itself. We will remain divided and compartmentalised in our own communities because this situation suits the BN.

We must never fall into this trap.

Hope for complete change

Democracy only works when people claim it as their own. But, as the Aliran Singers tell us, democracy means you have to get off your backsides!

In this regard, it is important to usher in a two-party system for Malaysia. In a two party system, we can expect them to behave responsibly or else they will get the boot, for sure.

It is refreshing to note that after half a century of monolithic rule by the BN, we are witnessing changes that are interesting and refreshing. We have got a Speakers’ Square, stadiums for massive gatherings, ‘tak nak ISA’, a more lively and vibrant parliament, accountability for past misdeeds, Balkis misuse of funds and junket trips exposed. These were never possible before the tsunami brought in the change.

Let’s give a serious thought to an alternative government. Let’s not be put off by the internal squabbles in the Pakatan Rakyat, which is being played up by the mainstream media to give an edge to the BN.

There is still hope for complete change. Please do not think that we are anti-BN. We are not. Any ruling party whatever its colour and shade must conduct itself responsibly, solely in the interest of the people.

In keeping with this policy, we give fair warning to any future PR government. We will be just as critical of the Pakatan Rakyat when it reaches Putrajaya. It makes no difference who governs this country. If they are wrong and at fault, if they do not walk the talk about people first, democracy now, the PR government too will be equally criticised and condemned. Rest assured, we will conduct ourselves even-handedly.

Let me make a personal appeal to all of you. The Aliran Monthly in its 30th year of publication needs your support urgently. The hassle of collecting payment from distributors, coupled with poor sales and spiralling printing costs, has forced our hand to do away with street sales of the Monthly.

As from 1 January 2011, the Aliran Monthly cannot be bought off the shelf in stalls and bookshops. But it will be available to those who subscribe to the magazine.

I encourage all of you to subscribe to the Aliran Monthly. Get your friends and relatives to subscribe as well. Meanwhile don’t forget to visit our website regularly, check out our Thinking Allowed-Online in particular.

This is an abridged version of the address by Aliran president P Ramakrishnan during an Aliran fund-raising dinner at the PJ Civic Centre on 26 June 2010

EGM On Saturday Not Valid, Says Makkal Sakti Party President

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 (Bernama) -- Malaysian Makkal Sakti Party president R. S. Thanenthiran on Thursday advised party members not to attend the extraordinary meeting (EGM) of the party called for by some members on Saturday (Sept 25) and saying it was not valid.

He said some disgruntled members and leaders who had been expelled from the party were behind the move in calling the EGM.

"Their agenda is to cause confusion that the party is facing a leadership crisis," he told Bernama here Thursday.

He added that Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor in a meeting with him on Monday, had also informed him that he would not be attending the EGM.

Loh: Overcome religious differences through dialogue

The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Muslims should reach out to non-Muslims through regular dialogues to better understand the areas of concern affecting non-Muslims, said MCA publicity bureau deputy chairman Loh Seng Kok.

He said Muslims, especially those in places of higher authority and enforcement, should take up such a role.

Loh said this in a press statement following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s recent move in attending a muhibbah gathering with religious leaders and members of the Committee to Promote Religious Understanding and Harmony.

The Wednesday gathering was held in conjunction with Malaysia Day.

The Prime Minister had said the setting up of the committee was timely as it served as a mechanism or platform to discuss racial and religious issues “heart-to-heart” in the spirit of muhibbah and behind closed doors.

Loh said while respecting the rights of Muslims in the country, the committee should be tasked to sit and work alongside the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism to resolve any matters impacting religious freedom and practices of non-Muslims.

Such areas of concern included guidelines on the building of non-Muslim places of worship; shortage of burial grounds, terminology usage which should not alter one’s spiritual scriptures and normative lifestyles, as well as jurisdictional disputes which erupt due to conversion.

Loh said the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) was formed to develop the Islamic faith among Muslims, and MCA believed that similar work should be allowed and encouraged to be carried out by non-Muslim bodies for non-Muslims.

The Voice Of Malaysian Minorities

By Muralitharan - http://malaysianminorityindians.blogspot.com,


As It is reported in FREE MALAYSIA TODAY dated 23rd September,2010 - DPM powerless over highly paid 'racist' principals, there goes another case of Nasir Safar, Ahmad Ismail and many others who walked away just with a slap in the wrist.

Muhyiddin Yassin who is also the Education Minister claims that his ministry has got no clout on punishment matters against the school heads and leaves it to the hands of Public Service Department (PSD) to pursue this matter. "To my knowledge, we have handed it (the reports) to the secretary-general of PSD so that they can take the necessary action. That is their jurisdiction. I have already announced this, so just wait for whatever decision they want to make," he said.

On the contrary the same DPM promised a fair investigation and transparency pertaining to this issue and again as expected distanced himself from the controversy

What a brilliant way to show his act of refusal to punish these racist principals.

As speculated by many Malaysians, chances of these two racist principals walking out with just a light sentence can be clearly visualised.

Possibilities of the 50 police reports lodged by the parents and pupils from the school are going to be classified as ‘NFA’ (no further action) is apparent. Instead, Namawee, a Chinese youth who bashed these racist principals through his crude yet anti racist video clip ended up in the police station for a few hours.

It is again 1 Malaysia with two systems; here goes the UMNO government with their racist resolution.

The world is against racism and is more open to meritocracy but here in Malaysia, racist UMNO government depriving its self into a world of fiction with their MALAY SUPREMACY. It is indeed depressing to see our beloved nation drifting apart because of racism.

This is also a blow to the BN component parties who were against these racist remarks by these principals. It is time for these component parties to approach UMNO for some serious confrontation. Do not let your community to be oppressed with their racist agenda.

Najib’s 1 Malaysia is undeniably a failure.

Indian gangsters: They're coming home to roost

Comments:-
'Indians have nowhere to turn to for aid and the result is this gangsterism problem. Will the government address the issue or just sweep it under the carpet?'

'Indian youths engineered into gangsterism'


Justice Seeker:
I totally agree with P Uthayakumar. But there is another most important factor - in a study conducted by the Centre for Public Policy Studies, an estimated 300,000 plantation workers were uprooted from their established plantation background between 1975-1995 and were displaced.

These internally-displaced plantation workers were not given compensation, training opportunities, housing, etc, and they became the new urban poor and underclass who were neglected by the Umno 'tuan'.

Compare these loyal workers who contributed to this nation for almost 200 years and the Felda LBJ in Negeri Sembilan who were equally displaced. The Felda settlers were compensated up to RM3.5 million per family for a contribution of almost 30 years.

It is plainly obvious the Indian workers were simply driven out of the estates and were no longer needed as their efforts had been sucked dry for more than 200 years. They ended up as the new urban squatters and thus became gangsters for survival.

JB Guy: Indians have nowhere to turn to for aid and the result is this gangsterism problem. Will the government do the right thing and address the issues or just sweep it under the carpet? Let's wait and see as 53 years of BN governance has not solved this problem. Can Najib Abdul Razak do it?

Anonymous: Pakatan Rakyat is no choice for Indians if Pakatan does not act in any way different than Umno/BN. Anwar Ibrahim, when he visited the UK early this year, said that Pakatan Rakyat could not be expected to solve the socio-economic woes of the Indians.

What is then the difference between Pakatan and Umno/BN? Uthayakumar has laid it all out there for you - the socioeconomic woes plus he says Umno/BN is just not cutting it. If Pakatan cannot commit to solving these woes, then what is the difference?

Only when Pakatan commits unequivocally to a plan to address these problems will we of HRP/Hindraf and of the Indian community turn towards Pakatan. Otherwise, it makes no difference to us the Indians who wins or who loses the general election. They are all the same.

By Election:
Do most of the Indians have similar thoughts to Uthayakumar? It was proven in both Hulu Selangor and in Port Dickson where the Indian vote helped BN to win and with bigger margins. Those who are intelligent and reachable to the Indian community must work harder to make sure Pakatan Rakyat wins the next general election so that all of us will be equally treated.

Pakistani scientist sentenced in US






A female Pakistani scientist has been sentenced to 86 years in prison for trying to kill US officers in Afghanistan.

Aafia Siddiqui's sentence was handed down by a federal New York court on Thursday.

"It is my judgement that Dr Siddiqui is sentenced to a period of incarceration of 86 years," Judge Richard Berman said.

Siddiqui denounced the trial and said an appeal would be "a waste of time. I appeal to God".

The neuroscientist was convicted by a US jury in February on charges she grabbed a US warrant officer's rifle while she was detained for questioning in Afghanistan's Ghazni province and fired at FBI agents and military personnel as she was wrestled to the ground.

Siddiqui, branded "Lady Qaeda" by some in the US press, was wounded by return fire but recovered and was brought to the US to face trial.

Afghan police said she was carrying containers of chemicals and notes referring to mass-casualty attacks on New York landmarks when they arrested her in 2008.

Pakistan protests

Her conviction has been widely criticised in Pakistan, where Siddiqui is believed to have been innocent and mistreated in US detention.

Rallies were staged in several Pakistani cities on Thursday. In Karachi, about 400 members of the Jamaat-e-Islami group gathered, carrying pictures of Siddiqui and chanting slogans against the US and its justice system.

The group tried to march towards the US consulate, but the police stopped them before they got too close.

Siddiqui's sister, Fauzia Siddiqui, later went to the consulate to submit a written message which said "Free Aafia Now".

Though Siddiqui was not convicted of terrorism, the government has argued that she is a cold-blooded radical who deserves a "terrorism enhancement" under federal sentencing guidelines that would guarantee a life term.

"She made it explicit, through her own words and her conduct, her intention to kill Americans, to cause 'death to Americans,"' prosecutors wrote in court papers.

Prosecutors said notes she carried at the time of her detention referenced "a 'mass casualty attack' ... NY CITY monuments: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge," and another musing how a dirty bomb would spread more fear than death.

They claimed the notes, along with the fact that she was carrying sodium cyanide, showed she was not an accidental menace.

"Mentally ill and caught in the crossfire of a war that is no longer fought on conventional battlegrounds, Dr Siddiqui's self-destructive behaviour got her shot once in the abdomen, charged with attempted murder and ... convicted of the same," the defence wrote.

Authorities claim she returned to her native Pakistan in 2003 after marrying an al-Qaeda operative related to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the admitted mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Stories differ on her whereabouts between 2003 and her arrest in 2008. Her family says she was held at the US military's Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. But her first husband says she spent five years on the run with her children, before being arrested in 2008 with her adopted son in Afghanistan.

Testifying in her own defence at her trial, Siddiqui claimed she was tortured at a "secret prison" before her detention. Charges that she purposely shot at soldiers were "crazy", she said. "It's just ridiculous."

Source:Agencies

Nurul Izzah explains U-turn on VP post

16,965 Tamil school UPSR students will excel when all 523 Tamil schools are made fully government aided schools

MUYIDDIN YASIN clip_image002

No.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 
59000 Kuala Lumpur. Tel : 03-2282 5241
Fax : 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245

Your Reference :

In Reply :

Date : 23rd September 2010

Y.B Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin Minister of Education Malaysia, Pejabat Menteri Pelajaran, Aras 10, Block E8, Complex Kerajaan Parcal E, Fax : 03-8889 5846 62604 Putrajaya. E-Mail: khairulam@moe.gov.my

Re: 16,965 Tamil school UPSR students will excel when all 523 Tamil schools are made fully government aided schools.

This year 16,965 Tamil schools pupils are currently sitting for their UPSR examinations after having gone through their learning process for six (6) miserable years under very difficult circumstances. (see Utusan Malay-sia 22/9/10 at page 24).

May we bring to your kind attention that at least 371 of these Tamil schools are not fully aided (TN 5/1/09 at page 1), with 250 situated in the estates according to former Education Minister Dato Seri Hishamuddin Hussein (UM 25/7/08 at page 6). It is a shame that most of these Tamil schools are in cowshed like and dilapidated conditions even after 53 years of Independence.

The government has disallowed hundreds of new Tamil schools in Indian populated areas for example in Pandamaran which has 3,000 Indian families and Kg Lindungan which has 10,000 Indian families and also in Triang, Pahang (see TN 30/8/8 at page 13).

This has led to cramped up Tamil schools like the 355 Indian children cramped up in to the 0.2 hectres of land at the Cheras Tamil school (NST 9/9/10 at page S4). Only in One Malay-sia and no where else in the world we also have the whole of the Sungai Salak Tamil school fully in shipping cabins, the Lukut Tamil school upstairs a shophouse with no canteen and playing field, the basement Tamil school in Penang the Tepi Sungai, Klang Tamil school in a JKR store etc.

There are 1,522 untrained and temporary teachers in the 523 Tamil schools (TN 5/1/09 front page) . Whereas even for the Permata kindergartens trained Diploma kindergarten teachers are being sent to the Sultan Idris Teachers University in Tanjung Malim to secure degrees.

This state of affairs is in contravention of Article 12 of the Federal Constitution which states that there shall be no discrimination in education for schools receiving government financial assistance. Also Article 28 of the United Nations Conventions Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 which Malaysia has rectified in 1995 which in effect guarantees compulsory free education for all children. (NST 30/10/08 at page 10).

Despite the odds, 817 of these Tamil school children managed to score 7As’ in their UPSR this year (Malaysia Nanban 20/11/09 headlines), which is an increase of about 100 students compared with 719 in 2008 (TN 14/11/08 headlines). However almost all of these top Indian students were denied places in the 5,900 places in the 39 Maktab Rendah Sains Mara colleges and 6,000 places in fully residential schools. (BH 17/1/10 at page 16).

The current up to sixth generation Malaysian born Indians no longer want piecemeal addressing of Tamil school problems and “peruntukan” allocations for “one school by one school” tamil daily propaganda but want a wholesome solution that is for all 523 Tamil schools to be made fully financially government aided schools and in line and on par with any other Malay muslim school.

We call upon the government of Malay-sia to declare all these 523 Tamil schools as fully aided schools by 31/12/2010 and for the same to be accorded equal status and with equal government financial allocations, teaching staff, clerical staff, school fields, sport facilities , resource rooms, computer and science labs etc.

This should be the case especially so after Malaysia having been independent for 53 years now and under Malay-sian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malay-sia.

______________

P.Uthayakumar

Secretary General (Pro-tem)

Sosilawati murder: Lawyer brothers meet their wives

Wives of lawyer suspects
KEEPING MUM: The wives of the two lawyer brothers as they briskly made their way into 
the police headquarters this afternoon — Pics: Ashraf Shamsul Azlan

KUALA LUMPUR: The two lawyer brothers implicated in eight murders, including the recent quadruple Banting killings, met with their wives today at the city police headquarters.

The women spent 10 minutes with their husbands in a room where 12 police personnel were present at 3pm.

Lawyers D.P. Vijandran and Ravi Nekoo were then allowed to see the suspects for another 10 minutes.
Ravi Nekoo and D.P. Vijandran
Vijandran later told reporters that the elder lawyer brother 
– the main suspect – claimed he was punched, kicked and beaten with a hose.

DON'T PRE-JUDGE: Vijandran (right) and Ravi said media reports have been 'one-sided'
He said the 41-year-old suspect’s front tooth was also loose as a result of the alleged beatings.

Further, he claimed, the main suspect told him that police had forced him to sign documents and letters at certain places.

Vijandran said he would be lodging a police report on the matter tomorrow.

He added that the suspect's wish was to get a chance to tell his side of the story as the media was reporting “one side only”.

According to Vijandran, the younger brother, 38, was “ok and not beaten by police.”

Vijandran urged the media and public not to pre-judge the suspects who claimed they were innocent. He said everybody had this feeling that they were guilty and hoped they would hold back their judgment.

Vijandran said for the moment, he was making sure the brothers got their rights and were treated fairly.

Both lawyers hoped to see their clients again if their remand order was extended.

The remand period for the brothers and another suspect ends on Saturday.

Five others, in their 20s and 30s, believed to be involved in the murder of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and her three aides, today had their remand order extended by another week to Sept 29.

The Attorney-General on Wednesday had ordered the police to investigate further the murders of Sosilawati and the other three.

Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had returned the investigation papers to the police as there were many issues pertaining to the case that needed further investigation.

Police are also digging deeper into the three reports of missing persons that have now been upgraded to murder inquiry, as well as the murder of a housewife outside her home in Banting.

Dr M warns Malays to lose power if Pakatan defeats BN

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — While declaring he was not a racist, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad appeared to play the race card for Umno today by warning Malays that they would lose power if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) came to power.

He also implied that a Chinese or an Indian could become prime minister if PR took federal power because there was no constitutional restriction on race for the position.

The former prime minister (picture) claimed the political marginalisation of the Malays had already become a reality in PR-controlled states even though those administrations were led by Malays.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Dr Mahathir has offered his expertise to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to deliver a big win for Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next general elections which could be held as early as next year.

His remarks to Umno Online today suggests he will play a big role in Umno’s campaign to consolidate support among conservative Malays and win over fence-sitters uneasy with PR administrations.

The former Umno president, who still commands widespread influence among Umno members and larger Malay community, pointed to the former PR mentri besar in Perak Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as an example of how Malay politicians had been sidelined by PR.

“We see Nizar in Perak...even though he was Mentri Besar he followed the instructions of DAP until he fell. The Chinese claim this was BN’s move to bring down a Chinese government.

“So they called it a Chinese administration and is it not possible that we can have a prime minister like Nizar, Malay in name and a Muslim but not really independent and a tool of others,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said that while Nizar represented PAS which supposedly champions Islam, he was actually used to get Malay support.

He pointed out that there was no requirement for the prime minister to be a Muslim or Malay. All that was needed, Dr Mahathir said, was that the person had the support of the majority in Parliament.

“There is no restriction in law. In our Constitution there is nothing to stop a Chinese or an Indian from becoming prime minister. What is needed is support from the majority. If the majority agree there is nothing we can do,” he said.

In a thinly-veiled reference to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Mahathir said that PKR did not champion the Malays but was set up to realise “one leader’s” ambitions of becoming the prime minister.

“Unfortunately Umno dropped this person and in anger his chance was gone, so he set up another party. His struggle is not for race, religion and country but to become prime minister.

Dr Mahathir added that the public should not be swayed by PR because he said the opposition coalition’s aim was only to bring about the downfall of BN.

The former PM claimed that his remarks were not racial in nature but were being made for the sake of restoring stability.  - The Malaysian Insider

Nurul enters the ring, vies for veep post

By G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR's Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar today announced her decision to contest for the vice-presidency post in the upcoming party election.

The eldest daughter of party supremo Anwar Ibrahim, who has received eight nominations to date, said she was both honoured and humbled by the trust the members had placed in her.

"I have decided to take the responsibilty and respect the party members' wishes,” she told reporters at her service centre in Bangsar here.

“I am grateful because your nominations or ‘suara ahli’ (members' voice) shall become my own 'suara hati' (my voice) as I humbly embrace the opportunity and responsibility to serve,” she said.

Contrary to the speculation that she was aligned to deputy presidential hopeful Zaid Ibrahim, Nurul said she would not endorse any candidate.

“I feel that the members are not only free to nominate but that I must also respect and accept their endorsements for their respective candidates accordingly,” she said.

On whether being the daughter of Anwar and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would give her an edge, she dismissed it, arguing that it could turn out to be a double-edged sword instead.

“It can also be a deterrent factor as some members may not like the idea of me being the vice president,” she said, adding that she was her own person.

Real defining change
Nurul, who was 18 when her father was sacked as deputy premier, said she had the privilege of witnessing and participating in the reformasi movement and see it evolve into PKR today.

“I believe that our party’s election this year will be a real defining change as we will be able to forge a true people’s movement that shares a common destiny - for a better Malaysia,” she said.

Nurul said members should elect the party leadership based on the candidate’s vision, ideas and commitment to the party’s values and ideals, rather than exclusively on personality.

“We must appreciate and acknowledge leaders at all levels for their contribution, sacrifices and efforts in transforming a reformasi movement to a party that along with our partners in Pakatan Rakyat shall lead the nation soon.

“We must believe that every leader is guided by their moral compass to do what is best, even more so under demanding circumstances and difficult choices, for a common good,” she said.

“We must affirm that each member shares similar aspirations and has the best intentions for our common struggle. We have much in common and our differences should strengthen, not weaken us,” she added.

Nurul said she hoped that once the election is over, the party would once again stand united to chart its future course with the newly minted leadership.

Don't be short-sighted

The 30-year-old MP also stressed on the importance of having a free and fair election, saying it is a test of PKR's integrity and credibility as a founding partner in Pakatan to conduct itself in a transparent, responsible and accountable manner.

“We will be measured by our party members, our Pakatan partners and the Malaysian people on how we uphold democratic principles in our party elections. So, let us rise to the occasion and not betray the hopes and expectations with the promise of a better Malaysia for all Malaysians,” she said.

As for those vying for positions, Nurul said these aspiring leaders should not be short-sighted, selfish and Machiavellian in their campaigning.

“Let us be ethical in our actions when seeking the legitimate and moral leadership mandate from our members,” she said, proposing that all candidates publicly sign a “Keadilan Free and Fair Campaign Election Declaration” next week.

“I believe that with this party lies the future of this country. This is indeed our moment of truth,” she added.

Bekas Ketua Pemuda MIC lapor polis terima ugutan bunuh

Oleh Jamilah Kamarudin - Free Malaysia Today

SHAH ALAM: Bekas Ketua Pemuda MIC S Vigneswaran hari ini membuat laporan polis di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Seksyen 11 berikutan menerima ancaman bunuh melalui panggilan telefon.

Ancaman itu diterimanya melalui dua panggilan telefon daripada seorang lelaki tidak dikenali petang semalam pada pukul 2 dan 3.56 petang.

Vignesaran berkata, melalui perbualan daripada telefon bimbitnya, lelaki misteri yang berbual menggunakan Bahasa Tamil itu mengugut beliau dengan merujuk kepada sebuah 'kes'.

"Pemanggil itu bertanya mengenai sebuah kes. Saya tanya kes apa. Pemanggil itu kemudian berkata kepada saya 'kalau kamu masih hidup sahaja kes akan jalan kan?'.

"Apabila saya tanya identiti pemanggil itu, beliau terus meletakkan telefon," katanya kepada pemberita disini hari ini.

Beliau yang juga Pengerusi Yayasan Pembangunan Belia India Malaysia percaya panggilan itu mempunyai unsur melibatkan ugutan nyawa dan ada kaitan dengan kes saman Institut Pembangunan Pendidikan Maju (MIED) berjumlah RM100 juta yang membabitkan beberapa tokoh politik dan pemimpin MIC termasuk presidennya Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu.

Katanya, sebagai salah seorang ahli MIED, beliau telah membuat permohonan saman di bawah Seksyen 181A Akta Syarikat 1965 terhadap MIED di Mahakamah Tinggi pada Januari lalu.

Permohonan kebenaran mahkamah itu dibuat agar MIED membawa tindakan terhadap pemegang amanah yang memungkiri tanggungjawab sehingga membawa kerugian dan kehilangan kepada MIED, katanya.

"Mahkamah Tinggi pada Jun lalu telah membenarkan saya membawa satu tindakan bagi pihak MIED melalui satu writ saman.

"Manakala pada 8 Oktober depan tarikh bicara akan ditetapkan oleh Mahkamah Tinggi untuk perbicaraan penuh tindakan MIED terhadap mereka yang dinamakan dalam tindakan tersebut.

"Jadi apa yang dikatakan oleh pemanggil misteri tersebut adalah benar kerana kes ini hanya boleh diteruskan jika saya masih hidup kerana perintah bertarikh 14 Jun lalu hanya memberikan kebenaran kepada saya seorang sahaja membawa satu tindakan bagi pihak MIED," katanya.

Bimbang dengan keselamatan diri serta ahli keluarganya yang lain, beliau memutuskan untuk membuat laporan polis petang tadi.

Laporan itu diterima oleh Inspektor Saiful Faizi.

"Polis telah memberi jaminan kepada saya untuk menyiasat perkara ini kerana membabitkan ugutan berunsurkan jenayah," katanya.

Vigneswaran yang dipilih menerajui Pemuda MIC pada 2002 melepaskan jawatannya pada Jun 2008 selepas dikatakan menerima tekanan politik dalaman parti dan tidak lagi mempunyai asas sokongan yang kuat daripada pemimpin MIC sendiri.

DPM powerless over highly paid 'racist' principals

Musa Aman’s golden handshake and Vincent Tan’s compensation

“UMNO champions interests of Sabah people,” says Musa Aman, the Sabah Chief Minister. “Come clean on Sabah casino plans,” says opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Yes, please tell us more. Let Malaysians know that the licence will be given to Musa Aman as a ‘golden handshake’ to induce him to retire and that his partner in this venture is Vincent Tan, to compensate him for not getting his football betting licence after he had handed over a lot of money in 'commission payment'.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Musa: UMNO champions interests of Sabah people

(Bernama) - Umno, one of the pillars of the state Barisan Nasional (BN), has championed the interests of the people of Sabah, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

Unfazed by the move of a group of former leaders and loyal supporters of the defunct United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) to revive Usno, called "Usno 2006", Musa, who is also state Umno liaison chairman, said the group was entitled to do what it wanted.

Usno was disbanded by its founder, the late Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, just after the 1990 general election, to make way for Umno's entry into Sabah.

"We in Sabah have Umno to serve the interests of the people...it's up to them (to pursue the revival of Usno)," he told reporters after chairing the State Integrity Management Committee meeting at Wisma Innoprise, here, today.

Musa was asked to comment on the statement by former Usno vice-president and co-founder of Sabah Umno Datuk Karim Ghani yesterday that based on a statewide survey, the majority of former Usno leaders felt being marginalised and sidelined, and wanted Usno to be revived to carry on its political struggle.

Karim was tasked by the group, led by pro-tem president of Usno 2006 Datuk Perais Sharif Baba, to gather feedback from its former members and the public on what had been achieved in Sabah over the last 20 years since Umno set foot in the state.

Perais had said that the group had appealed to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to reverse the decision to reject their application to revive Usno, called "Usno 2006". The appeal was submitted to the Registrar Of Societies (under the Home Ministry) on April 23 this year.

Perais hoped the ministry would consider their appeal this time around in line with the principles of democracy and the 1Malaysia concept.

************************************

Come clean on Sabah casino plans, Anwar demands

(The Malaysian Insider) - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim demanded today that the Najib Administration come clean on the proposed casino in Sabah which is part of the government’s Economic Transformation Plan (ETP).

During the ETP open day yesterday, the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) revealed that the government was considering building a 500-acre “eco-nature” resort in Sabah, as part of a concerted effort to push Malaysia onto the integrated resort (IR) bandwagon.

Sources informed The Malaysian Insider that the option to build a casino is on the table for the Karambunai IR — alongside a mangrove centre, water theme park and waterfront properties — to ensure a higher return on investment (ROI).

“We want the Najib Administration to come out clean and explain whether they have given any approval or are contemplating building a casino in Sabah. Even though there has been no official admission from the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, the facts allude to the strong case where a casino will be built, under the guise of ensuring a higher ROI. All points lead to the fact that a casino will be established. Can our honourable Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak confirm or deny this?” Anwar (picture) told The Malaysian Insider.

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) defacto leader told The Malaysian Insider today that the proposal to build a casino showed how the present government administration is intent on “popularising gambling” in the country, barely months after the huge outcry over Tan Sri Vincent Tan’s abortive attempt to introduce football betting.

“Do not hide behind a cloak, and hoodwink people with supposed plans for reform. You have to be transparent. Every citizen in this country has a right to know which direction the government is taking the country towards. By the looks of what is happening now, the Najib Administration is looking to popularise gambling. It has only barely two months since the sports betting licence issue died down, and now the government wants to build a casino? How will it benefit taxpayers?” said Anwar.

Tan’s attempt to legalise sports betting was spun by the Najib Administration as the best way to increase government revenue while reining in illegal bookmaking activities, estimated to be worth up to RM20 billion a year.

However, a concerted anti-gambling campaign run mainly by PR stirred up moral sentiment against any widening of legalised gambling and torpedoed any chances the gaming tycoon had of renewing his licence.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak finally capitulated to popular public opinion when he announced on June 25 that the government would not issue a football betting licence, weeks after Tan said Ascot had received approval for an old licence.

Today Anwar gave his word that PR would begin a similar assault on the proposed Sabah casino should the government decided to go ahead with the proposal.

“We will mount a massive campaign to prove that the current leadership of the government administration cannot be trusted. They had promised not to issue sports betting licences, only to want to now build a casino? If this is true, Najib has reneged on his promise,” added Anwar.

Anwar claimed that in pushing for the proposal to build a casino in Sabah, Najib had failed to address the underlying issues which have halted the country's economic growth for decades.

"The real issues that need to be addressed are the actual losses due to corruption...The answer to the country' economic transformation plan is not a casino, its by dealing with the millions in losses due to corruption and cronyism by the ruling coalition. Fix this problem first, I do not see any concerted effort to bring about a corruption-free environment, of where there is equal, healthy competition," Anwar told The Malaysian Insider.

Although the presentation panels during the ETP open day for the development of the resort made no mention of any casino, they repeatedly referenced Singapore’s highly successful Marina Bay Sands as well as Resort World Manila in the Philippines and Vietnam’s Ho Tram Strip — all of which are casino-anchored IRs.

One illustration, entitled “Case for Change”, argued that Malaysia lagged behind regional competitors in tapping into the strong demand for IRs from countries like China, Indonesia and Thailand, and pointed out that Singapore had already seen a 21 per cent increase in tourist arrivals since opening Marina Bay Sands and Resort World Singapore.

The Malaysian Insider also understands that if a casino is built as part of the Karambunai IR, international players such as The Sands might be roped in to run it rather than local operator Genting.

Other PR lawmakers have rapped the Najib administration for the casino plans, saying that such a move would be a death knell for the ruling coalition.

"At this point, it would be suicidal for the government to even think about any plans for building a casino anywhere in the country, not just Sabah. I don't think that they are that stupid. But if they do it, then that's the end for them," said PAS MP Dr Hatta Ramli.

The Kuala Krai MP told The Malaysian Insider that he did not believe that the Najib administration would go through with the plan, saying that such a move was "not tenable for BN at the moment."

PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar alleged that the move by BN showed that the federal government "did not care" about the repercussions of supporting a gambling culture in Malaysia.

"In general when the sports betting issue was brought up many people opposed it, it was a problem then...now that that is no longer an issue, the government wants to do this?

"I am not against the idea of an integrated resort, but if you look at the context of building a casino, who benefits? At the end of the day its about gambling, nothing else. Perhaps the government is benefiting through this, maybe some GLCs will get a slice of the profits," said Mahfuz.

Mahfuz said that Malaysia needed to create its own "niche" to bring about economic growth, claiming that practicing economic patterns of countries like Vietnam and Singapore would not put Malaysia on the world map.

"We have to create our own niche...if we depend on gambling to make a name for our country, how different are we from countries like Vietnam, Singapore or even Las Vegas?" The Pokok Sena MP told The Malaysian Insider.