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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Apartheid regime still around?

End Apartheid 
Please read this report till the end – there is an interesting twist to it all.
Whites could lose power on three grounds: There is truth in former prime minister’s assertion that the whites could lose power based on politics, ruling party records and the constitution, said Information Communication and Culture Minister .
He said as politics were a matter of numbers, the majority would form the government while the government would be governed by records besides constitutional legitimacy.
"What was asserted by the former prime minister was that if the opposition with voracious appetite for power ruled the country, that the whites will lose the power holds true.
"The statement is a strong reminder to the whites to think deeply, otherwise  not to blame others later," he told reporters after an interview over Classic National Radio today.
He was commenting on the former prime minister ‘s warning posted on United Whites National Organization Online that the whites would lose their power if the opposition were to come to power and implied that a Black or a Colored could become prime minister as there was no constitutional restriction.mandela
The Information, Communication and Culture minister said if the whites no longer believe that they should not lose power, they would pay the price and accept that the prime minister would no longer be a white.
"Perhaps the respect befitting the white rulers and accepted by the whites will no longer be what it is now," he said.
‘Do not disturb our rights’
On the opposition’s claim that the government’s statement on the white rights is against the 1Nation concept, he said it was a narrow view and not based on the constitution.
SA Brave New World Beloved country since end of apartheid RW Johnson book[5] "Article 153 of the constitution mentioned the white rights as well as the legitimate interests of other communities," he said, adding that ironically only the white rights were harped on.
The Information, Communication and Culture minister said the 1Nation concept did not run contrary to the constitution instead merely strived to change the attitude of the society to accept the constitution and 1Nation based on the constitution.
"Do not be mistaken, so take a relook at the constitution, not based on exaggeration. If there were any quarters still twisting the facts … let me say to them, do not disturb our rights under the constitution and we have to build the nation based on existing realities," he said.
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Does that sound like a report out of South Africa? I am not at all surprised if you thought so.
Well it is not a report out of South Africa, I just took Rais Yatim’s statement to the press today and replaced a few words, whites for Malays and Blacks for Chinese and Colored for Indians and modified a few statements just so sightly to remove references to Malaysia and that is what I got. Just to make my point – the parallel between Malaysia 2010 and South Africa pre-1994, to show what we have is a developing Apartheid regime, if it is not already one . Compare with the actual report from Malaysiakini below.
————————————————————————————————————
Malays could lose power on three grounds: There is truth in former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s assertion that the Malays could lose power based on politics, ruling party records and the constitution, said Information Communication and Culture Minister Dr Rais Yatim.
He said as politics were a matter of numbers, the majority would form the government while the government would be governed by records besides constitutional legitimacy.
"What was asserted by Tun Dr Mahathir was that if the opposition with voracious appetite for power ruled the country, the Malays will lose the power holds true.
"The statement is a strong reminder to the Malays to think deeply, otherwise do not blame others later," he told reporters after an interview on Rukun Negara over Classic National Radio at Wisma Angkasapuri in Kuala Lumpur today.
He was commenting on Mahathir’s warning posted on Umno Online that the Malays would lose their power if the opposition were to come to power and implied that a Chinese or an Indian could become prime minister as there was no constitutional restriction.
Rais said if the Malays no longer believe that they should not lose power, they would pay the price and accept that the prime minister would no longer a Malay.
"Perhaps the respect befitting the Malay rulers and accepted by the Malays will no longer be what it used to be now," he said.
‘Do not disturb our rights’
On the opposition’s claim that the government’s statement on the Malay rights is against the 1Malaysia concept, he said it was a narrow view and not based on the constitution.
"Article 153 of the constitution mentioned the Malay rights as well as the legitimate interests of other communities," he said, adding that ironically only the Malay rights were harped on.
Rais said the 1Malaysia concept did not run contrary to the constitution instead merely strived to change the attitude of the society to accept the constitution and 1Malaysia based on the constitution.
"Do not be mistaken, so take a relook at the constitution, not based on exaggeration. If there were any quarters still twisting the facts … let me say to them, do not disturb our rights under the constitution and we have to build Malaysia based on existing realities," he said.

Ibrahim Ali: I am loyal to King first, Malaysian second

Ibrahim Ali claims he is loyal to King first, and Malaysia second - file pic
PASIR MAS, Sept 25 — Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali spelled out his own brand of 1Malaysia last night when he proclaimed that he was loyal to the King first and Malaysian second.

The Pasir Mas MP explained that loyalty to king will bring stability and common understanding among the different races in the counry.

“The Deputy Prime Minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) has said that he is Malay first and Malaysian second. Datuk Nazri (Aziz) said that he is Malaysian first and Malay second. My stance is that simple for me as a Malaysian, we must all give our loyalty to the king.

“When we are loyal to the king then we are loyal and respect the constitution. If we practice this then only can we have a common understanding,” he told reporters after attending the movement’s lantern festival here.

Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz recently declared that he was “Malaysian first and Malay next” in a open letter to Utusan Malaysia columnist Awang Selamat, published on The Malaysian Insider.

“And yes, I am a Malaysian first and Malay next. Does any bigot have a problem with that?” Nazri had said when concluding his letter.

The letter was written to rebut the columnists comments on him in his article “Alahai Nazri...”, where he responded to Nazri’s views of Perkasa and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Nazri’s statement is a total opposite to that of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who famously said once that he was Malay first and Malaysian second.

The opposition fired a series of salvoes on Muhyiddin following his statement, accusing the latter of working against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia concept.

The independent MP argued that 1Malaysia does not guarantee equal rights to everybody.

“I understand the concept of 1 Malaysia even though many do not understand it. For example, in a family there is a husband, a wife, children, a cook, cleaner and a sweeper. Everybody in this house has their own rights. They have all the rights but they rights differ from one another.

“A wife does not have the same right as the husband. A child does not have the same right as the father or mother. Even a sweeper that sweeps in our room has rights but that does not mean that they can sleep on our bed,” he said.

Police deny murdered millionaire Sosilawati was raped

KUALA LUMPUR: The police have denied a report that they were investigating the possibility that murder victim Sosilawati Lawiya was raped and the eight suspects were subjected to the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin said the suspects were taken to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for examinations to ensure that they were in good health and whether they had any injuries or sickness before being allowed access to legal counsel.

There were no other checks on the suspects requested by the police from the hospital, he said in a statement today.

He denied a front page report in a Malay daily that the suspects were brought to the hospital two days ago for blood and sperm tests and the possibility that Sosilawati was raped.

On a claim by the main suspect that he was punched, kicked and forced to sign documents against his will by the police, Bakri said the suspect should lodge a police report to enable an investigation to be carried out.

Sosilawati, 47, and three others -- lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, CIMB Bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and driver Kamarudin Shansudin, 44 – went missing on Aug 30. Their remains were later found in Ladang Gadong near Banting.

Eight suspects have been detained, among them, the two lawyer brothers.

In BANTING, the police forensic team visited the murder scene at a poultry farm in Ladang Gadong today.

The team arrived in several vehicles along with police patrol cars which ferried the suspects.

The police stopped members of the press from entering a road leading to the farm.

The suspects were later brought to a car park outside a legal firm in Jalan Kemboja, off Jalan Sultan Alam Shah, Banting, where one of them was brought out of the car.

The forensic team took some pictures at the car park before leaving the scene.

- Bernama

MACC: Illegal sand mining may cost Malaysia RM157.7m yearly

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia stand to lose about RM157.5 million a year if illegal sand mining and smuggling are not controlled in the country.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations director Mustafar Ali said the country would not only lose millions of ringgit but would also suffer negative impact, if illegal sand mining and smuggling were not checked or controlled.

"Malaysia is expected to suffer RM1.125 million a month or RM13.5 million a year through illegal activities carried out on land, using lorries, while sand smuggled via the sea, using barges, would incur RM12 million loses a month or RM144 million a year," he said at the Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia seminar here today.

The three-day seminar and meeting which ended today was organised by MACC, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and Pacific and attended by 200 delegates from 28 countries.

Mustafar said more pro-active measures must be enforced by all the enforcement agencies and at the same time tighten up procedures to curb such activities.

"Such activities are rampant due to poor enforcement procedures and law or the illegal sand miners themselves are turning a blind eye to the damage such activities can cause to the eco-system and environment.

"Any system that is weak must be looked at and strengthened. The MACC aspires to take the lead with the help of other enforcement agencies so that those responsible can be hauled up to face the law," he said.

The MACC had detained 49 individuals from Selangor, Johor, Pahang and Perak for their involvement in sand smuggling syndicates this year.

He also hinted that more would be detained.

- Bernama

Disabled protesters harassed for seeking info

By G Vinod  - Free Malaysia Today,

BANTING: A group of 12 disabled individuals wanted to find out why the nine pedigree dogs belonging to the alleged murderers of cosmetics millionaire Sosilawati were killed in such a cruel manner.

They got more than they bargained for: they were harassed by unknown persons at the Kuala Langat district council and the Kuala Langat police headquarters when they visited these places today.

The members belonged to the Independent Living and Training Centre and The Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association.

The group, led by ILTC coordinator Francis Siva, arrived at the district council at 9.45am to demand an explanation over the decision to kill the dogs.

“We went there to speak to the officer, Abdul Razak Jaafar, to seek answers over the killings. He told us that it was the police who gave the instruction.

“Suddenly, three unknown men started harassing us at the office after a press conference and used racial slurs against us before being stopped by some officers,” Silva said.

Insults hurled
But their ordeal was not over. When they went to the Kuala Langat police headquarters, they were again harassed by another group of five men.

“We spoke to an officer, Assistant Commissioner Nordin Manan, who told us it was not the police who decided to put the dogs to sleep.

“When we left, we were again harassed by another five men who started hurling insults and banging our vehicle while we were moving out,” Silva claimed.

Silva was shocked that though they were being harassed in front of Nordin, it took him (Nordin) nearly five minutes to stop the troublemakers.

“We are not even safe even in a police department,” he said.

When asked what he planned to do next about the harassment, Silva said he will consult his lawyer before pursuing any legal action.

“I am also planning to meet the new Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar over the matter,”he added.

Group calls for Xavier to quit

By B Nantha Kumar - Free Malaysia Today,

KOTA RAJA: A disappointed group of Kota Raja PKR division members want its chief Xavier Jeyakumar to quit his post and make way for fresh faces or lose in the coming general election.

Mohd Jaya Abdullah, an ordinary party member, said that it will be very difficult to defend the Seri Andalas state seat if Jeyakumar succeeds in winning the division polls, to be held this Sunday.

He claimed that he was the one who had signed the nomination form for Jeyakumar in the last general election.

"Members have lost confidence in both PKR and Jeyakumar due to his poor performance. I feel that he is holding too many portfolios and this has prevented him from focusing on the division and its members," said Mohd Jaya.

He added that the residents of Kota Raja had very high expectations of Jeyakumar, but unfortunately he failed to fulfil them.

While sharing Mohd Jaya's views, another member Hanapiah Hussein also felt that Jeyakumar should have sought party grassroots leaders' views before making decisions.

"But he is making his decisions after consulting his own 'committee' comprising his family members and cronies," he said.

Hanapiah, who is also the Kampung Jawa branch chief, said that several names of the Kampung Jawa PKR members have “disappeared” from the division's election list.

"How can all these names have disappeared from the list? These are names of people who are strong supporters of Jeyakumar's rival team," he said.

'An ungrateful leader'

One of the “missing” members, A Panner Chelvam, a former supporter of Jeyakumar, said he was unhappy that his membership from Kota Raja was switched to the Shah Alam division.

Panner, a PKR member since 1999, said he received his membership card in 2008. After personal problems with Jeyakumar, he realised that he was no longer a member in Kota Raja.

"When I tried to contact Jeyakumar for clarification, one of his staff said he was in Sabah whereas as I saw him later the same day in Kota Raja.

"Is this the kind of leadership we want?" he asked.

R Sivalingam, another of Jeyakumar's ardent supporter during last general election, said that the latter was an ungrateful leader.

Sivalingam, from Hulu Balang, said he and his friends extended their full support to Jeyakumar in the last general election.

"We provided cars, petrol, canopies for ceramah using our own money. But after he won the seat, he sidelined us and brought his family and cronies into the fray," he told FMT.

"I dare say Jeyakumar is the most ungrateful leader in PKR. It's simple. If he wins the divisional election, it bodes ill for the party," he added.

A Tamil daily claimed that Jeyakumar allegedly spent millions of state government funds and had misused state government machinery in his campaign.

'Malaysia a role model in fighting graft'

By Adrian David, NST

KUALA LUMPUR: The inconsistent interpretation of corruption by different countries has made the task to combat social ills even more difficult.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Sutinah Sutan said greater efforts were being made globally to standardise and streamline the understanding and procedures linked with corruption so that it could be tackled effectively.

"Many lesser developed countries are still learning from the experience of others and are attempting to adopt their initiatives.

"Malaysia is seen as a role model as a nation successful in combating corruption. Many countries look at how we have rapidly progressed and developed since achieving Independence in 1957.

"They say we have managed very well to control corruption with our strong political will," she said at the close of the three-day "15th ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific" and "Regional Seminar on the Criminalisation of Bribery" at the Palace of Golden Horses in Seri Kembangan, Selangor yesterday.

Sutinah, who is also the event's secretariat chairman, said the delegates agreed that corruption was a big threat among lesser developed countries and greater initiatives were being put into place by their respective governments.

She said Malaysia had measured up to international standards like those laid out in the "Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act" and other United Nations laws and regulations.

"We have learnt that minimising bureaucracy and delays can reduce corruption. The idea is to promote business without corruption by enhancing confidence-building measures for businessmen and foreign investors."

She said the message was clear -- one does not have to bribe officers; there is no "extra cash" required to do business in Malaysia.

"We are also pushing for matters concerning extradition, asset recovery and other new action plans in a systemic manner with the cooperation of other countries."

The event saw 28 countries and over 200 representatives involved, including representatives from the Asian Development Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Transparency International, World Bank, German Training Institution, American Bar Association and the United Nations Development Programme.

The speakers presented international standards and national approaches to issues concerning international instruments on the criminalisation of bribery, challenges in establishing and applying domestic and foreign bribery offences, corporate liability for bribery, investigative techniques, and sanctions and confiscation.

Cartoonist Zunar Arrested, New Book Seized

Syariah: ‘The law of the land’

The Malaysian Insider

These days it’s not easy for a person of good sense to avoid being accused of sedition.

Especially if you have a basic grasp of modern political history and the nation’s constitutional foundations.

Voicing well-known facts and trite legal principles can get you into real trouble.

You question Ketuanan Malayu, for example, and you are told by those of a “Perkasa-ish” inclination, or lectured by Dr. Ridhuan Tee Abdullah in Utusan, that Malay political dominance is an agreed and foundational national principle. That it is inscribed in the Constitution.

What is in the Constitution? Here the champions of Ketuanan Melayu invoke Article 153.

That is the peg on which they hang the claim that enduring Malay ascendancy, even absolute political domination, is constitutionally enshrined. That it is an integral part of the “social contract” that made the nation and its Constitution possible.

But Article 153 is a small and dubious peg for such a big, even extravagant, claim. It merely provides for, or allows the government in its good judgement to institute, certain defined kinds of preferential treatment for Malays in certain identified and circumscribed areas.

It does not provide for, enshrine or constitutionally entrench Malay ethnic supremacy, enduring political domination.

But if you say this, you are likely to be challenged, and hit with a volley of police reports accusing you of sedition.

Of a triple sedition: against legitimate Malay political entitlement, as enshrined in Article 153; against the rulers who are the constitutionally-designated protectors of the Malay stake in the country; and hence also against the Constitution itself and the nation whose sovereignty it embodies.

Islam and the Constitution

The same rhetorical “fudge”, and similar vigilante recourse to zealous retribution, also apply in the case of claims that Islamic law, syariah law, is “the law of the land”.
Here again we now hear routinely, from Dr. Ridhuan and from those who write IKIM columns in The Star, that Islam is constitutionally the law of the land.

On what grounds?

First, they cite article 3 of the Constitution that proclaims Islam as the religion of the state.

Article 3 does not hold or in any way provide that Islamic law is the law of the land. In fact, the Constitution proclaims itself, in Article 4, as the sole and supreme law and basis of national sovereignty.

Moreover, any review of the debates on this subject that were part of the “Merdeka process and agreements” (the negotiations that some now retrospectively designate as “the social contract”) will reveal that, through Article 3, Islam was simply to be the emblematic “official” religion of the state as a sovereign international political entity, not the mandatory national religion or form of law.

Any such notion was resisted at the time, not only by most non-Malay and also Malay political leaders but also, crucially, by the Malay rulers themselves.
They resisted any assumption of religious powers under the Constitution by the new national government. They understandably wanted to protect their own traditional rights over, and their powers exercised through, Islam in their own states.

The Constitution could only be adopted, and national independence on its foundation proclaimed, on the basis of the consent of the Malay rulers. Their consent was granted on this specific assurance, that their Islamic religious standing would not be diminished.

Accordingly, the religious nature of the new state was, at their royal insistence, to be affirmed by only minimal measures, such as the formal reciting of a do’a at the opening of every session of the new national Parliament, nothing more.

So the notion that the Constitution, through Article 3, provides that Islam is to be, in any far-reaching and pervasive social and political way, the religion of the state’s citizenry, rather than the emblematic official religion of state ceremony and symbolism, is mistaken.

As for the claim that, under Article 3, Islamic law is to be entrenched and recognized and to be rightfully promoted as the national legal system or its unchallengeable foundation, that notion is even one step further from any accurate and faithful interpretation of the meaning of the Constitution and of the intentions of those whose agreement made its adoption and promulgation possible.

It is as much an inflation, or a fanciful embellishment, of the meaning of Article 3 as is the patently extravagant claim that Article 153 enshrines Ketuanan Melayu within the Constitution and as the foundation of national political life.

A precendental legal foundation?

Those who now, with retrospective revisionist objectives, seek to argue that syariah law — the legal system of Islam and its principles — is rightfully the supreme law of the land, or its authoritatively and incontrovertibly established foundation, have a second string to their bow.

They point to the judgment, long before the adoption in 1957 of the Merdeka Constitution, in the case of Ramah v. Laton in 1927.

The case involved the claim of a second wife, under syariah law, to a share in the estate of her deceased husband.

In arguing her case, lawyers for the second wife, whose claims were not at first recognized under the British common law system of the Malay states, sought to present the expert testimony of an expert in Islamic inheritance law.

The court, through its presiding judge Wilson, refused permission for such an expert presentation to be offered.

It cited clear grounds.

Had the case been one requiring the expert testimony of say, an expert in fingerprinting (or now, in our time, DNA sequencing), the court would have allowed such expertise to be placed before it.

Why? Because the court itself had no expertise of its own in the matter. This would have been specialized, arcane science.
But in the case of Islamic law, the court had held, the matter was different. Not that the court was itself expert in Islamic law, as knowledgeable as a master exponent of the technicalities of fara’id (Islamic inheritance law).

But, it held, Islamic law was a part of the common legal tradition of the country. As part of local “legal culture and tradition”, it was not unknown, nor were its principles foreign, to the common law courts. Though not expert in syariah legal technicalities, the court was entitled and empowered to pursue its own consideration of the principles involved.

It was competent and expert in the law of the land. So, it held, far from foreign and exotic or unrecognizable to the court, Islamic legal principles and processes were, for at least some part of the population, part of the legal culture with which the court worked, part of “the law of the land”.

The court did not need to avail itself of outside expertise. What Ramah sought and the grounds of her doing so were all part — a part though hardly the whole — of the common legal tradition and culture of the land and its people; a legal system that the common law courts were instituted to uphold, and in whose matters those courts were not simply competent and expert but the rightful ultimate authority.

The common law tradition operates by the crystallization of enduring and established custom as firm social conventions and their subsequent absorption and eventual recognition as legal principle, within and by the legal system itself.

The misappropriation of Ramah v. Laton

When Wilson J., in rejecting the presentation of outside expert testimony concerning fara’id and affirming the court’s own competence to consider the principles involved, declared that syariah law was, or was to be considered as part of, “the law of the land” he meant something specific in that context, as every competent lawyer will understand.

He was affirming the court’s own independent ability, unaided, to deal with whatever was part of the local common law tradition.

He was not affirming that the syariah law, and certainly not the syariah law as understood and upheld by its technical experts (such as the man whose testimony Wilson declined to hear, or in our day the champions of syariah law implementation and supremacy), was any foundational part of the national legal system — and certainly not that it was the overriding law of the land, to whose claims and requirements all other legal concerns must be subservient, and to which all other legal traditions must acknowledge subordination.

Yet that — the dubious notion of an established “syariah pre-eminence” — is precisely the construction that the champions of syariah supremacy now make of Wilson’s judgment in Ramah v. Laton and the use to which, either uncomprehendingly or with knowing tactical purpose, they put it.

They deploy this misconceived or disingenuous interpretation of Ramah v. Laton as a way of getting around the problems that, when rightly and plainly understood, Article 3 of the Constitution clearly provides to the promotion of their cause.

Properly understood, Article 3 presents a huge obstacle to their cause. But the strategic misappropriation of the much earlier case from 1927 enables them to assert that matters were already decided, in a precedental legal decision, long before the Merdeka Constitution was promulgated.

That Constitution, for some, lacks legitimacy since it was, as they see it, “foisted” upon them by foreigners; but, provided it is construed as they wish it to be, the judgment of another outsider, Wilson J., may be used to trump constitutional principles. His words that Islamic law “is the law of the land” are now sedulously deployed to obviate any resistance that the Constitution and its clear-minded defenders might offer to the promotion of claims of Islamist legal supremacy.

Such views have been put by IKIM columnists in The Star, by newspaper columnists and polemicists, and even in law textbooks written by lecturers at the International Islamic University and used in that institution’s Law Faculty courses. (It is noteworthy here that the national committee, operating from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, on the Harmonization of Civil Laws and Syariah has, by formal decision, resolved to make the Law Faculty of the International Islamic University, where this questionable form of legal reasoning prevails and is developed, the sole source of competent specialist legal expertise and advice in its work.)

How did this strange appropriation and misdirection of Ramah v. Laton occur?

When the late Professor Ahmad Ibrahim published his monumental study of Islamic Law in Malaya (1965) he made no reference to Ramah v. Laton. But by the time he began teaching at Universiti Malaya he had discovered it and explored its uses. Students from the early 1970s remember him dwelling on this case in his introductory lectures.

By the mid-1980s Ramah v. Laton had become a “stock in trade” of the group of young “syariah-minded” academic lawyers whom Professor Ahmad Ibrahim, now at the International Islamic University, had gathered around him and who were “making the running” in promoting the implementation of Islamic law.

By the time of the 1988 amendment to Article 121 (1A), these experts had persuaded the government — contrary to the clear meaning of the decision in Ramah v. Laton, but in its name and on its authority — that the civil courts could not hear any case involving syariah law principles; that cases that implicated such principles had to be heard by a separate and autonomous syariah court system of equal standing to the civil; and that the syariah courts and not the civil courts must be the ultimate and unchallengeable arbiter whether, in any instance, syariah principles were involved (and the case accordingly one for disposition at the sole discretion of the syariah courts).

By 2008, in the wake of the so-called Lina Joy case, the leading judges of the land were invoking Ramah v. Laton to justify the development of a new, syariah-based system of Malaysian common law. The common law evolves, true. This was Wilson J.’s point and underlying justification. But to see Wilson’s words in Ramah v. Laton used, over twenty years and more, to justify the supremacy of certain notions of syariah law, held by some very single-minded parties and partisans, within the local common law and over the Malaysian legal system as a whole is something that must surely have worried lawyers of good sense and conscience. It would, they must have known, have greatly displeased Wilson.

An odd exception

Much of the revisionist reinterpretation, or misinterpretation, of Ramah v. Laton has been the work of academic or scholastic lawyers, legal idealists and ideologues rather than “hands-on” daily practitioners of the law. Wilson’s oft-quoted words have beguiled the polemicists and provided them with a powerful instrument, a bludgeon against all doubters and opponents.

Yet there is one area where Islamic law in Malaysia has, in the real world, developed greatly and become of ever increasing practical significance. This is the area of Islamic finance.

In this area, specialist practitioners, eager that Malaysia might become an international pioneer and pace-maker in institutional innovation, have for some time argued, in effect, for the recourse that Wilson J. rejected in Ramah v. Laton. They have argued that in complex commercial cases involving Islamic finance and Islamic commercial law, courts should be set up that combine the standard common law procedures with conjoint legal and judicial expertise in Islamic commercial law. (Apparently some courts with this character are already operating, initially on a trial basis, in Shah Alam.)

But how might such tribunals — where judges in the civil law tradition would be assisted by, take advice from, sit jointly with, or even operate within specific legal parameters set by syariah-law experts —be constituted, given the words and real implications of Wilson’s judgment in Ramah v. Laton?

These worldly and purposeful practitioners working in the area of Islamic finance and business law understood the situation clearly. They knew what needed to be done if such “mixed” courts and tribunals were to be established. “It is time,” they declared in their professional legal bulletins (as an Internet search will show), “for the ghost of Ramah v. Laton to be laid”.

Nothing less than the exorcism of an unwelcome and troublesome legal ghost was required. But they, at least, unlike the doctrinaire syariah expansionists of the International Islamic University, clearly understood what Ramah v. Laton had been about and what the judgment in that case really meant. No sentiment here, no ideology, just a practical purpose and determination.

Yet it is strange that, at the same time though in different areas, Ramah v. Laton can both be invoked by some yet its setting aside be urged by others in the name, and for the common purpose, of syariah law institutionalization and implementation.

Sedition?

This is a straight-forward argument, one that should prove unexceptionable to informed scholars, observers and students of these matters.

But in these times these are not easy things to say.

For those who have formed excessive, even quite distorted, revisionist views of the meaning of Articles 3 and 153 of the Constitution and of the meaning of the judgment in Ramah v. Laton, the argument offered above will be unwelcome.

It will be rejected because those who hold the positions that are criticized confuse what is congenial to them —what they want, and wish to be the case —with what in fact is the case, what the Constitution and that legal decision really mean and imply. Where these meanings and implications displease them, they substitute, perhaps unwittingly but in some cases with canny purposefulness, their own, and then persuade themselves that their convenient fictions are the historic truth.

To make this argument exposes the author to charges of sedition: of questioning the standing of Islamic law under the Constitution (as some mistakenly see it); of impugning by implication the position of the Malay Rulers as the constitutionally appointed guarantors of the position of Islamic law (including, the “syariah supremacists” hold, their own inflated notions of its position); and hence of seditiously putting in question the supremacy of the Constitution itself.

Faced with such accusations, one can do nothing but to say, and go on saying, that those of that other opinion are simply wrong, mistaken —and generally, so far as the lawyers and legal scholars among them are concerned, that they should know better.

* Clive S. Kessler is Emeritus Professor of Sociology & Anthropology at The University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Kit Siang calls Dr M ‘No 1 racist in Malaysia’

The Malaysian Insider,

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s latest play at racial politics has earned him the wrath of his parliamentary foe Lim Kit Siang, who has now christened the former premier with a new nickname — “the number one racist in Malaysia”.

The DAP advisor slammed Dr Mahathir for playing the race card yet again when he claimed the Malays would lose power if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) defeats the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next general election.

“Our beloved former Prime Ministrer Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that in the next general election, the Malays would lose power if the PR forms the government.

“Imagine, a former Prime Minister, who ruled us for 22 long years, returning to politics as the number one racist in Malaysia,” he boomed to a crowd of over 1,000 people at a fundraising dinner in Bandar Menjalara here last night, organised by the Segambut DAP division. Lim’s rhetoric earned him thunderous applause from the crowd, who yelled in disagreement at Dr Mahathir’s latest assertion.

He also accused Dr Mahathir of appearing on the stump for Umno by trying to frighten off the Malay voters from voting PR.

“He is trying to instil fear in the Malays by playing the race card on them. This is the height of Dr Mahathir’s irresponsibility. He is becoming an ultra again,” Lim said.

Dr Mahathir, in his cautionary message to the Malay community on Thursday, also spoke of the possibility of a non-Malay snapping up the post of prime minister if PR took federal power as there was no constitutional restriction to stop this.

To further expound his prediction on the impact of a PR-helmed Federal government, the former Umno president had specifically singled out the case of former Perak mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

Nizar, he said, was a sterling example of how Malay PR politicians had been sidelined in the coalition.

“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.

During his 11-month rule in Perak, Nizar, from PAS, was often criticised as a DAP puppet who made all his administrative decisions at the whims and fancies of DAP cousins Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham and Nga Kor Ming.

Lim dusted off Dr Mahathir’s allegations however and claimed instead that the Perak PR government had been a “Malaysian government”.

“What Chinese government? The Perak government by PR was a Malaysian government. This is very sad. Dr Mahathir just wants to tell the Malays that if Umno loses the elections, the Malays will lose power.

“Is this true? That if Umno loses, will the Malays lose too? No,” he said, to a chorus of agreement from his audience.

Lim claimed that instead, the “Umnoputeras” would be the ones to lose, referring to the cronies in the ruling party.

“The Malays will not lose if they vote in PR. The Malays, the ordinary Malays, the Malaysians, they will not lose… they will have a bigger say in determining the destiny of their nation,” he said.

Lim also continued to slap insults on the BN government, with specific referrence to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for his “Malay first” declaration and his recent claim that he did not have the power to punish two school principals for uttering racial slurs.

“What kind of deputy prime minister and the Education Minister at that, would have no power to take action against these school principals.

“If you have no power, then you have no right to be the deputy prime minister. Go away,” he said.

During the dinner function, a host of other DAP lawmakers also made political speeches and appeared to be on an early campaign trail, amid talk of an impending general election next year.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng told the crowd that Najib’s greatest fear was that Malaysians now had a taste for change and may possibly completely boot out BN in the next general election.

“He fears you. He fears that the people now have the courage to change. Only one group of people can do it — you.

“So what say you if we give Najib the fright of his life in the next general election?” he thundered.

Lip Eng also criticised the government’s recently unveiled Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), a major initiative worth RM1.3 trillion that is aimed at turning Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020.

He pointed out that during his address to announce the ETP this week, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) CEO Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala himself had said that 92 per cent of funding for the programme would come from the private sector.

“He said the private sector would be the ETP’s backbone. This means the private sector — local businessmen, you, me, we are going to foot the bill.

“On the one hand, you tell us that the ETP will save Malaysia in 10 years, but on the other, you say the government has no money and the ETP would have to rely on the private sector.

“So I ask myself, if we, the private sector, are the ones who can save this country, and you, in the government, have no money to do so, then why do we need the BN?” he said.

Lip Eng jokingly added that Najib should be replaced by a bright-minded and highly-established CEO of a successful firm to run the country.

Later, other DAP leaders including Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai and Kepong MP Tan Seng Giaw also addressed the crowd.

New Sarawak Party Knocking On State Pakatan's Door

SIBU, Sept 24 (Bernama) -- Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sarawak (PERS), the state's newest but yet-to-be registered political party, today reiterated its intention to join the state Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Its protem president Salleh Mahli, a businessman, said a united opposition front would be able to mount a very serious challenge to the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the coming state election.

He told reporters this after handing over RM5,000 contribution in aid of the recent Penan fire victims in Long Luar and Long Kajang settlements in the interiors of the Belaga District in Kapit.

Salleh also gave RM500 to a representative of the Orang Ulu folks of Uma Balui, Labuway, Nahajalay also in the district to build a water catchment pool for their water supply.

"We have notified PR of our intention. So far they have not responded, probably they are suspicious of us. We would again like to assure them we are not part of or sponsored by the BN," he said, adding that if the party was accepted into the fold, PERS would contest in 30 seats and would leave out the balance of 41 to others in the PR.

He said if the Registrar of Societies failed to register it in time for the election, it would field its candidates as independents.

CJ sidesteps Karpal’s complaints against him

The Malaysian Insider 
by Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Tun Zaki Azmi refused today to take any questions on allegations that he had breached the judges’ code of ethics and calls from the opposition for him to step down, adding that he did not want to be embroiled in politics.

“No comment, leave politics out of this,” the Chief Justice told reporters here.

On August, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh called on the prime minister to step in and act against Zaki, whom he accused of hypocrisy and misconduct while on the Bench.

The Bukit Gelugor MP also called for a tribunal to be set up to probe the country’s top judge.

The veteran lawyer had criticised Zaki for rapping jurists and other court officials for being on the take when the latter had two years ago disclosed, in an interview with a national English daily, that he had offered bribes while a lawyer.

“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,” the New Straits Times had published on November 7, 2008, quoting Zaki who had then just been promoted to the top judicial post.

Karpal has repeatedly attacked Zaki over the 2008 disclosure and pressed him to resign from his post, despite the latter’s claims he was misquoted.

Zaki today refused to acknowledge if he had received the complaint and asked reporters to focus on his efforts to improve the judiciary.

Previously, Karpal stressed that only the prime minister had the constitutional power to remove the Chief Justice.

He said the allegations against Zaki were not baseless and stressed that he had nothing personal against the Chief Justice.

“To be fair, I think he should step down [as Chief Justice]. I’m making this complaint in my capacity as a member of parliament,” Karpal said.

Secret Jewish heritage converts neo-Nazi

Watch this powerful documentary on CNN International's "World's Untold Stories" for more about the Polish Jews who are stepping out of the shadows. Check out all the broadcast times and some of our best videos and past episodes at our new website

Warsaw, Poland (CNN) -- Pawel sits in the synagogue learning the Torah, praying and getting advice from his rabbi.

He appears to be enjoying a happy life married to his childhood sweetheart and the mother of his two children.

But he and Ola have traveled further than most -- from hate-filled neo-Nazism through the shock and anger of learning their heritage was Jewish to taking their place in the synagogue as Orthodox Jews.

They met at school in Poland's capital, Warsaw, when they were 12, but as their teen years passed Pawel first and then Ola grew into the neo-Nazi scene.

At 18 they married and a few years later Ola was nagged by a conversation with her mother that she barely remembered -- something about Jewish roots.

She found her answer at the Jewish Historical Institute, which says it has collections documenting 10 centuries of Jewish experience in Poland.

While there she said she felt compelled to also check Pawel's family history -- and he too came from a Jewish background.

"Something told me to... It was unbelievable -- it turned out that we had Jewish roots. It was a shock. I didn't expect to find out that I had a Jewish husband," she said.

"I didn't know how to tell him. I loved him even if he was a punk or skinhead, if he beat people up or not. It was a time in Poland when this movement was very intense."

Reeling from the news, she had to return home to her neo-Nazi husband and tell him of their Jewish heritage.

There were 350,000 Jews in Poland after World War II -- about 10 percent of the Jewish population before the war.

In the 25 years after WWII ended the overwhelming majority left to escape persecution by the Soviet-controlled government.

For those who stayed, their Jewish heritage was hidden often even from their own children.

It provided a culture where anti-Semitism could thrive and in 1980s Poland, Pawel was embracing the hate festering in the concrete tower blocks of Warsaw.

When Ola brought home the documents to show Pawel his own history, he rushed to confront his parents, and they told him the family secret.

"I was a nationalist 100 percent. Back then when we were skinheads it was all about white power and I believed Poland was only for Poles. That Jews were the biggest plague and the worst evil of this world. At least in Poland it was thought this way as at the time anything that was bad was the fault of the Jews..." he said.

"Emotions, it is difficult to describe how I felt when I found out I was Jewish... my first thought was what am I going to tell people? What am I going to tell the boys? Should I admit it or not? I was angry, sad, scared, unsure."

Over time, Pawel's anger and confusion subsided and he approached Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich.

Speaking in the synagogue where he now worships, Pawel said: "The mirror was a big problem. I couldn't look at myself. I saw a Jew. I hated the person in the mirror then I grew accustomed to it, came to terms with it somehow.

"I came here to the rabbi and said, "listen, they are telling me I'm a Jew, I have this document in my hand, my mom and dad have said something. Who is this Jew and what is it? Help me because I am going to lose my mind otherwise.'"

In the years that followed they became friends with the chief rabbi and he has been a mentor to them.

Pawel, now 33, said: "I'm not saying that I don't have regrets but it's not something that I walk around and lash myself over... I feel sorry for those that I beat up... but I don't hold a grudge against myself. The people who I hurt can hold a grudge against me."

Today, they're active members of the Jewish community in Warsaw. Pawel is studying to work in a slaughterhouse killing animals according to the Jewish Kosher requirement and Ola is working in the synagogue's kitchen as a kosher supervisor."

Schudrich said: "The fact that they were skinheads actually increased the amount of respect I have for them. That they could've been where they were, understood that that was not the right way, then embraced rather than run away the fact that they were part of the people who they used to hate."

"I think also it says on a personal level, never write somebody off. Where they may be 10 years ago doesn't have to be where they are today. And the human being has this unlimited capability of changing and sometimes even for the better."

Tracking Zunar

Cartoonist Zunar arrested, new book seized

KJ wins appeal over Anwar's RM100 mil suit

Relief for 10 caught in conversion turmoil


(Malaysiakini) The Human Rights Party (HRP) claims it has achieved its aim of upholding the constitutional right for freedom of religion, in bringing relief to 10 Indian Malaysians caught in conversion turmoil for years.

NONEThe 10 victims of alleged forced conversions are from the three families -- Rajina a/p Krishnan, Rani a/p Kandasamy and Banggarma a/p Subramaniam (left).

On Tuesday, HRP central committee member S Thiagarajan took them to the National Registration Department (NRD) headquarters in Putrajaya to iron out the long outstanding issue with seven NRD officers.

According to him, it took over eight hours of persuasion and reasoning with the NRD officers headed by NRD's births, deaths and adoptions deputy director I Azliza Shaharudin to complete this application process for change of name.

Initially, HRP encountered resistance from Azliza who after perusal of the documents, rejected the applications on the grounds that these three cases should be brought to the Syariah Court for the change of name and religion to Hindu.

After obtaining the Syariah Court order, only then should come back to the NRD, she had said.

Constitutional aspects discussed

But HRP instead briefed Azliza and her officers on the constitutional and legal aspects as well as the United Nations (UN) International Covenant provisions that reads:
  • HRP, converts with officer - HRP, converts meeting with NRDBy 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;
  • Article 11 of the federal constitution (freedom of religion) and 11(1) that says “every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and to propagate it”;
  • The federal constitution is the highest law of the country and is above all other laws, with no disrespect including Islamic laws which are only subsidiary to the federal constitution;
  • 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;
  • Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (that Malaysia ratified in 1995) provides, “The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents”; and,
  • It also states that 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.
After HRP's briefing on the six rights, Azliza called the respective NRD officers to look into the various conversion cases.

Rajina's two-year-old son Tinesh had no birth certificate, since the NRD office in Johor had at the birth of her son refused to include the name of his natural father Mahendran a/l Habimanan and his religion as Hindu in the certificate.

Then for Banggarma's two children, Hisyanthini and Kanagaraj, application forms were sought to change their religious status to Hindu and include their father's name Sockalingam a/l Suppiah in their birth certificates, which column had been filled up with the words “Maklumat Tidak Diperolehi” (details not available).

Thiagarajan had also questioned Azliza as to how this could happen when the mother had confirmed that Sockalingam is the natural father, pointing out that this is in contravention of Section 5(1)(a) and (b) of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1975.

Rani had been told that the amendments she sought in the birth certificates of her children could not be carried out as they issued only once in their life time and remain the history of their birth.

The application to change the name and the status from Islam to Hindu was rejected by virtue of Section 15(1) of the Registration Births and Deaths Act 1975.

'NRD must be independent'

However, HRP informed the families that they could use Section 27(3) of the same Act to make corrections to the name and their religious status.

Rani and others with officer - HRP, converts meeting with NRDThey proceeded to submit six applications for changes to the records.

This included the case of Rani's (far left in photo) elder daughter Vijaya Letchumy who has a Hindu name but whose religious status in the NRD computer system is Islam, a discrepancy that prevented her from registering her marriage to her Hindu husband Tamilarasan a/l M Rajendran.

According to Thiagarajan, the NRD officers had told them that they would revert to the applicants on the matter within two months.

HRP will be taking the second batch of ten stateless Malaysian Indians to see the NRD next week.

NONEEarlier on Aug 13, a HRP team led by pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar (right) had initiated the groundwork with a three-hour meeting with births, deaths and adoptions director Mohd Azmin Hassan and 12 of his senior officers at their Putrajaya office.

At the meeting the HRP team had emphasised that NRD should act on an independent, non-racial and non-religious basis, in a move to eliminate statelessness and uphold the constitutional right to freedom of religion.

Padang Jawa Hindu Temple: No Gazette number or date gazetted on sign board unveiled, under hazardous Telecoms Tower. No PKR Selangor state government land for all 2,540 hindu temples all in one go.


clip_image002

No.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur. Tel : 03-2282 5241
Fax : 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245
Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com E-mail: info@humanrightspartymalaysia.com

Your Reference :
In Reply :
Date : 24th September 2010
YAB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Menteri Besar Selangor,
Pejabat Menteri Besar Selangor, Tingkat 21, Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin, Abdul Aziz Shah,
Shah Alam, Selangor                                                                                                                      By fax No: 03-5519 0032 40503 . E-Mail : khalid@selangor.gov.my
Re: No Gazette number or date gazetted on sign board unveiled, under hazardous Telecoms Tower. Selangor state government land for all 2,540 hindu temples in Selangor all in one go.
We refer to the above matter and to the newsreports in Malaysia Nanban 23/9/10 at page 13, Makkal Osai 23/9/10 at page 9 and also in Sinar Harian 22/9/10 at page S5, and The Star 23/9/10 at page N48.
We regret to bring to your goodselves attention that despite the Selangor state government publicising the unveiling of the official signboard gazetting the Padang Jawa Kuil Sri Maha Mariamman, the gazette number and the date the same was gazetted was “conveniently” missing. 003
We regret to note that despite three years of PKR ruling Selangor, it is only now that the signboard has been unveiled and a mere “kosong” promise of RM300,000.00 to rebuild this hindu temple. Maybe we should not be surprised as one political analyst defined politics as making “empty” promises and creating “false” perceptions.
009Kindly let us have the gazette number, the date the same was gazetted and whether the land title has been issued in the name of this hindu temple trustees names, so as not to create the perception that this is merely an empty “kosong” political statement.
Further it has been acknowledged by the Selangor state government that there are 2,540 hindu temples in Selangor (TN 12/9/10 at page 1) and that 95 places of worship for non muslims have been granted land titles (SH 22/9/10 at page S5).
We would like to have a list of all these 2,540 hindu temples together with details of how many of these hindu temples have been granted land by the Selangor state government, the date it was gazetted, whether the titles thereto had been issued and if so whether the titles have been issued under the names of the respective temple trustees names and other relevant details. We would also appreciate photocopies of all these land titles issued, their gazette numbers and the date the same was gazetted together with the gazette notice.
In any event we regret to note that after all the atrocities committed by the previous state government on this Padang Jawa Hindu Temple and demolishing the 96 hindu temples in Selangor, “ethnically cleansing” and wiping out their 200 over year old history and heritage in Selangor. And with 90% of the Malaysian Indians having voted PKR, DAP and PAS to power to be able to form the Selangor state government they are now only granted this raw and piecemeal deal a la UMNO. Note: (One Hindu temple demolished every week nationwide. Between 2004 to 2007, 96 hindu temples were demolished in Selangor at an average of one hindu temple in every ten days.(TN 30/10/08 at page 3).
In fact it is rather insulting that the land this hindu temple has been granted is on a mere 15,000 square feet of land which is just over one quarter acre of land and that too below a health hazardous Telecoms Tower if not on the Telecoms Towers reserve land and endangering the lives of especially the hindu priest and the regular hindu devotees thereto.
From our records forcing a place of worship under a Telecoms tower has never been done before to any Masjids, Suraus, Chinese temples or churches or any other place of worship even in any other part of the world let alone in the world’s cruelest dictatorship regimes. Why are the Hindu temples singled out in Selangor and in Malay-sia? Indians soft targets? The poor and politically powerless Indians are easy to bully?100_2056
For and on behalf of the estimated half a million Indian community in Selangor we hereby apply for another suitable five (5) acre piece of land for this Padang Jawa hindu temple within two (2) weeks from the date hereof at the very least to undo the injustices that has happened to this hindu temple, if not to the hundreds of hindu temples that has been demolished and “ethnically cleansed” in Selangor. This new five (5) acre land is necessary to rebuild a proper hindu temple, a jasmine and other flower garden, a wedding hall, a community hall, a community centre to serve the neighbouring poor Indian community, a car park and land for future temple development which is to be planted with coconut trees and banana plants sacred to the hindus in the interim. This could serve as Selangor’s model hindu temple and which could become Selangor’s “Batu Caves” and also a prime tourist attraction. 100_2039
We also ask your goodself to grant land to all 2,540 hindu temples in Selangor all in one go and gazette the same accordingly under the name of the respective hindu temple trustees and not the usual kosong wayang kulit “PPP” peanuts political propoganda especially in the Tamil dailies by your Selangor Indian Exco mandore.
Kindly revert to us accordingly.
Thank You.
Yours Faithfully,
______________
P.Uthayakumar
Secretary General (pro – tem)
123
100_2080 100_2079
100_2058Picture13
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MP Claims Two More Persons Go Missing After Dealing With Lawyer

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 (Bernama) -- The prime suspect in the murders of cosmetic queen Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others may be linked to the disappearance of two more persons, said Member of Parliament for Kapar S. Manikavasagam.

He said their family members lodged police reports on Thursday on the missing duo between eight and nine months ago after dealing with the prime suspect, who was a lawyer, over the sale of land.

Manikavasagam claimed that one of the reports was lodged at the Rawang police station but he was not sure where the other report was made.


Gombak police chief ACP Abdul Rahim Abdullah, however, denied such report was received by Rawang police.

Manikavasagam, who refused to divulge the identities of the complainants, said he would shed more light on Saturday.

He was speaking to reporters after accompanying S. Usharani, the second wife of Indian millionaire A. Muthuraja, who wanted to hand over a recorded telephone conversation which she had with a man who demanded a RM1million ransom from her to the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar.

However, Usharani was unable to do so as Ismail was not around. She planned to hand over the evidence next week.

She claimed that she had first received a call from a man called Muru on Feb 2 but did not record the conversation.

However, Usharani recorded the next phone call from a man identifying himself as Asst Supt Suresh on Feb 12.

Usharani later handed over a memorandum containing copies of police reports on the loss of her husband, his passport, their children birth certificates and her letter to Indian High Commissioner in Malaysia to the Bukit Aman Public Relations Unit.

Muthuraja was reported missing during his visit here on Jan 18 to meet the lawyer brothers, who are suspects in the case.

Usharani from Ramapuram, Chennai lodged a police report on her husband disappearance in Banting on Sept 8.

Meanwhile, Bukit Aman confirmed receiving a memorandum from Manikavasagam at 1.10pm Friday.

Federal Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said the memorandum was received by ASP Hasnul Hadi on behalf of Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar.

"The memorandum, among others, proposed that the police set up a special team to investigate the disappearance of Muthuraja," Mohd Bakri said in a statement Friday.

He said Hasnul also received a mobile phone from Usharani which contained recorded telephone conversations with several individuals in the country.

"The police headquarters had set up a special team headed by the Selangor Criminal Investigation Department acting chief to investigate the disappearance of Usharani's husband, who was believed to have been killed, under Section 302 of the Penal Code professionally and assiduously," he said.

Muthuraja ‘movie plot’ unravels

THIRUNELVELI: The case of missing Indian businessman A. Muthuraja is playing like a drama - with the mystery of his disappearance, a search that spans two nations and a very nasty family feud.
His mother A. Ramalakshmi has made it known that her son was not on good terms with his wife S. Usharani.

She claimed her son wanted to “escape” from Usharani because she was always putting him under pressure.
 
Happier times: (From left) Muthuraja and Ramalakshmi, and Usharani and Muthuraja.
“They quarrelled all the time and Usharani had threatened to commit suicide,” she added.

“He has asked me many times to take care of his three-year-old daughter Lakshmi Shree so he could walk away from the destructive relationship,” she said at her ancestral home in Thenkasi near here.
According to Ramalakshmi, Muthuraja spent most of his time in his estate in Mekarai, about 20km from Thenkasi.

She added that Muthuraja had built a house on the estate, which also had a waterfall and spent a lot of time there with his family and friends.
 
Home sweet home: Muthuraja’s mother’s house in Shencottai, Madurai, India.
Muthuraja’s family members said his relationship with Usharani was a “mistake” after he became estranged from his first wife S. Ramalakshmi.

They claimed Usharani was a widow with one child when she met Muthuraja.
Muthuraja’s younger brother Dr Kasi Viswanathan said Usharani got married when she was only 15. Her wealthy husband later died and left her his assets.

Sources in Chennai said Muthuraja and Usharani had moved into an apartment only a day before he left for Malaysia on Jan 18.

“Judging from the amount of clothing he had packed, it looked like he was leaving,” the source said.

Dr M’s warning reveals Umno’s new tack for votes

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — In a classic two-pronged strategy, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak is leading the party’s charge for the non-Malay vote while his deputy works on Malay groups such as Perkasa in the ruling coalition’s bid for more support in the next general elections.

The strategy has also seen Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad emerging as Najib’s point man for the crucial Malay vote with the former premier’s warning yesterday that the community will lose political power if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) captures Putrajaya from Barisan Nasional (BN).

The Malaysian Insider understands that the Umno leadership believes it is courting disaster if it is seen to be pandering to non-Malays although the prime minister has been actively reaching out to religious and communal leaders to emphasise inclusivity and unity under his 1 Malaysia concept.

But Dr Mahathir and his ilk believe that the key to Najib’s big win in the next polls is resounding Malay support and crucial for Umno to work with Perkasa and other right wing groups The country’s

longest-serving prime minister is to expound on this theme when he addresses the Perkasa Kelantan rally tomorrow at the Pasir Mas Railway Station in Kelatan.

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 the fledgling coalition.

“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 in an interview with the Umno Online website yesterday.

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

Apart from Dr Mahathir, other Umno leaders such as Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have been tasked to manage the Malay ground and recapture support from those who now back PAS and PKR, which has a number of former Umno leaders.

The strategy however will see the country’s top leaders sounding as different as night and day as they work their charm offensive on the non-Malays and Malays.

Najib’s recent praise of the tiny Malayalee community and support for an inter-faith group plus the project to re-brand Kuala Lumpur’s Brickfields suburb as Little India, to be officiated by his Indian

counterpart, will be balanced by ensuring that affirmative action policies stay in his New Economic Model (NEM) to be finalised next month.

The strategy has also seen Umno and Barisan BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor declaring that the ruling coalition will not support Ibrahim Ali in the next general elections only to see Najib and other senior leaders reversing that stand.

Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali has denied his movement is political but said its members will decide which coalition to support in the next general elections. The independent Pasir Mas MP has stressed that his movement’s growing membership of 300,000 cannot be discounted and their views considered particularly over Malay rights and the monarchy.

The focus, however, is on Umno as its senior allies MCA and MIC struggle through leadership changes and appear to lose support from their respective communities.

The question that lingers is still whether Malaysians are going to buy the good cop/bad cop routine from the top Umno and BN leadership in the run-up to the next general elections. And whether it’s tenable to straddle the fence indefinitely in the face of PR’s ambitions to rule the country after its historic wins in Election 2008.

Cartoon-o-phobia launch a hit despite author's arrest

(Malaysiakini) Just hours earlier the police arrested political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque and seized over 60 copies of his latest work, Cartoon-o-phobia.

zunar cartoon book launching in klscah 040910 02But despite setbacks, the launch of satirical publication proceeded as scheduled last night at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) under close observation of the police.

About 10 policemen were deployed outside the hall and they had placed police cones barricading the main entrance to leading to the parking lot.

It was however an unusual book launch owing to the absence of the celebrated comics and the presence of its artist Zulkiflee, better known as Zunar.

Zunar was arrested and brought to the Sepang district police headquarters late evening yesterday after his office, Sepakat Efektif Sdn Bhd, was raided by police officers.

Undaunted by the police's show of force, Zunar's launch was greeted with enthusiasm and encouragement for the cartoonist to continue his witty jibes at the Malaysian political scene.

zunar cartoon book launching in klscah 040910 fazlina rosleyIn fact delivering his message last night through his wife Fazlina Rosley (left), Zunar swore that the clampdown on his work will not hinder his efforts to expose corruption and abuse or power.

“This move has reasserted the title of the book - that the government fears cartoons.

“They can imprison me but they can't imprison my mind.”

Zunar conveyed to the 150 people present that he is prepared to “change from the comic strip to the prison strip”.

Fazlina, on behalf of her husband, thanked all those present.

“He said that he didn't intend to talk about politics, but (alas this is) the fate of the cartoons which has now proven to be feared by the government,” said Fazlina, whose brave front and wit was greeted with continuous applause.

Zunar's way of showing 'middle-finger'

Meanwhile, Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan, who kicked off the event, noted that Zunar should be "admired for his tenacity".

"For that he is being punished. This is his fourth book to be banned, and this comes months after the other books were banned," said Gan.

"This is Zunar's way of showing the middle finger," he added, drawing laughter from the crowd.

He went on to laud the cartoonist, comparing his gritty and gutsy work to the celebrated political cartoonist Mohammad Nor Khalid, more commonly known as Lat, praising him for taking on high-profile leaders "without a safety net below".

zunar cartoon book launching in klscah 040910 steven ganGoing down memory lane, Gan described the complexity of summarising an event into one picture by displaying a comic sketched by Zunar six years ago, when Malaysiakini's office was first raided and their computers were confiscated.

"As a journalist I know how it is to try to compress a thousand words to 500 words, and Zunar is able to do it all in one comic," he said.

"I felt a lot of forboding (in the run up to the launch), and when Zunar called to say that there was a raid on his office and the books were being confiscated, I was not surprised," said Gan.

Three of Zunar's previous books - 1 Funny Malaysia, Perak Darul Kartun and Isu Dalam Kartun - were banned by the Home Ministry for going against the provisions of the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA).

Ousted Perak menteri besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin, who was also captured and illustrated in Perak Darul Kartun, similarly hailed the political awareness brought by Zunar's works.

"These cartoons transcend the racial and religious boundaries and unite all of us here on a common platform," said Mohd Nizar.

'Cartoon-o-phobia' should be in Wikipedia

He also criticised the moves against Zunar as something that would have occurred "30 or 40 years" ago when books were banned and there were no other ways to express dissent.

zunar cartoon book launching in klscah 040910 03"In this era everything can be easily accessed and downloaded from the Internet, but we are still banning books," he mocked.

He even suggested that the term 'cartoon-o-phobia' be included in Wikipedia as "there is now a concrete definition" to the term.

Mohd Nizar described the seizure of the books and Zunar's arrest as a "desperate" move by a "sinking government" that is "hanging on to its last thread of hope".

"BN is at the end of its lifespan, and at its end people say we tend to behave funny and weird."

He expressed hope to see more of Zunar's works that he said would catalyse the opposition's chances of taking over the government.
'Authorities paranoid'
puravalen pc on missing pi balasubramaniam 180708 s ambigaFormer Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan (right), who attended the event, described the move against Zunar as "nonsensical".

"The authorities seem to have taken leave of their senses. It reflects and shows poorly on the authorities that they are absolutely paranoid," she said.

She stressed that media and creative freedom should be embraced and not prohibited.

Zunar just before his arrest related that his latest book has more bite as compared to his previous ones.

"The issues covered are the murder of Altantuya, the conspiracy against Anwar (Ibrahim), the PM's wife, the loss of jet engines, the Scorpene that cannot dive, Sarawak, racism, corruption and the waste of public funds, among others," he said.

Cartoon-o-phobia is a collection of cartoons published from November 2009 to September 2010 on Malaysiakini and published by Kinibooks.

Cartoon-o-phobia has 80 full-colour pages and is being sold at RM25. It can be purchased online via Gerakbudaya and Cartoon Kafe.

Zunar arrested under sedition, new book seized

zunar arrested under sedition act 240910 03
By Syed Jaymal Zahiid and Patrick Lee - Free Malaysia Today,

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have raided the Cartoon Kafe, owned by prominent opposition political cartoonist Zunar, and seized more than 60 of his upcoming "Cartoon-O-Phobia" book scheduled to be launched tonight.

"I can't talk right now. They are about to arrest me," he told FMT before abruptly putting down the phone.
His lawyers later confirmed that he has been arrested under Sedition Act.

It is learnt that the premises was raided by 10 police officers led by ASP Ari Krishna from the Brickfields police station and Zunar was taken to the Puchong police district headquarters.
His office insisted that his new publication will be released tonight as planned.
A sharper offering
Talking to FMT earlier this week, Zunar, whose full name is Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaq, said his latest offering would be "sharper" than his previous works.

zunar arrested under sedition act 240910 01
It will cover issues such as the Altantuya murder, conspiracy against Anwar, the prime minister's wife, the loss of jet engines, the Scorpene submarine that cannot dive, Sarawak, racism, corruption, waste of public funds and others, he had added.

“Will my latest book get banned by the government as well? This has never crossed my mind when I was working on it and I strongly believe Cartoon-O-Phobia has its own strength and will meet the readers' needs," he said in that interview.

Cartoon-O-Phobia features a collection of his cartoons, which appeared in the Malaysiakini news portal from December 2009 to September 2010.

Previously the Home Ministry has banned his other books -- “1 Funny Malaysia", "Perak Darul Kartun" and "Isu Dalam Kartun" -- because “the contents were detrimental to public order and could influence the people to revolt against the leaders and government”.
Meanwhile, Cartoon-O-Phobia was  launched by former Perak menteri besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin at the Chinese Assembly Hall this evening.

About 100 people attended the function.There were a few policemen keeping watch but they did not interfere.
'Can't jail my mind'
Likening Zunar's arrest as cartoonish, Nizar said it was unbecoming of the government to take action against the cartoonist over his creative work.

"I have never heard of cartoonists (being arrested) in Western countries or their books being banned," he said.

"How can we live like this? Are we living in an era where we are seeing the prohibition of books?" he asked.zunar arrested under sedition act 240910 06

Zunar's wife Fazlina Rosley also read an SMS sent by Zunar, in which he said: “The government is afraid of my book. They can jail me, but they cannot jail my mind”.

Malaysiakini's editor-in-chief Steven Gan also spoke at the book launch. Zunar is a Malaysiakini cartoon contributor and the news portal is also the publisher of Zunar's books.

"The release of his book coming months after his last book was banned is Zunar's way of showing the authorities the middle finger," said Gan.

"You can put Mahathir and Najib's photo on the front cover, but when you use Rosmah's picture, you're in trouble," he said to a laughing audience.