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Monday, October 4, 2010

BTN man’s remarks ‘misinterpreted’, says Perkasa

Arman said the BTN man was not wrong in saying what he said. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Perkasa claimed today that remarks made by a National Civics Bureau (BTN) official had been “misinterpreted” by news reports as being racist.

Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah said he had accompanied BTN deputy director Hamim Husain to lodge a police report against The Malaysian Insider for “misinterpreting” the contents of his speech during a Puteri Umno function last week.

“He (Hamim) had lodged a report against the reporter and the news company for entering a private function, as well as misinterpreting what he had said,” claimed Arman.

Hamim was seen earlier at the Sentul district police station here, but refused to comment or speak to reporters about the report he had made.

“Perkasa stands firm with Hamim. He is not wrong with what he said... it was said during a private closed-door function. Media has to respect when it is a private function. If you report about what was said privately, you are jeopardising the country’s racial harmony,” said Arman.

Hamim (in dark glasses) after lodging the police report today, October 4, 2010.
Malay rights group Perkasa has been defending the remarks made by the BTN official, claiming that the issue had been blown out of proportion.

Last week Hamim, during a closed-door Puteri Umno function, referred to the Chinese and Indian communities as “Si Mata Sepet” and “Si Botol” respectively when asking Puteri Umno members to approach the non-Malays for votes.

“The ‘si mata sepet’ that has never gone to a mosque or surau only has one vote. The ‘si botol’ that only knows how to go up to Batu Caves up and down only has one vote,” Hamim told the closed-door gathering, as reported in The Malaysian Insider.

The Cabinet, disappointed with Hamim’s remarks, has instructed the Chief Secretary to the Government to investigate the BTN official.

The BTN, a state agency charged with running courses on patriotism for civil servants and undergraduates, came under fire last year for promoting racism.

The Najib administration had promised a revamp of BTN’s courses following a widespread public outcry.   - The Malaysian Insider

Perkasa endorses Mustaffa Kamil in PKR vote

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Malay rights group Perkasa urged PKR members today to reject Azmin Ali as party deputy president and to instead vote for Mustaffa Kamil Ayub.

Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah said Mustaffa was a more qualified candidate for the deputy presidency because of his Abim roots.

“Mustaffa is from Abim, he holds true to the Islamic agenda and fights for the betterment of the Malays... Azmin, on the other hand, is not interested to fight for the betterment of the Malay community.

“Azmin is only fit to become Anwar’s coffee boy,” said Arman (picture).

The Perkasa man slammed Azmin for his remarks made yesterday during the Gombak PKR AGM.

Azmin said yesterday that he would personally fight against Perkasa and “individuals behind the organisation” in a thinly-veiled reference to Perkasa patron Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Azmin should show some respect to a statesman who has done so much for this country. Azmin is not fit to become a politician,” said Arman.

Dr Mahathir is currently in a hospital in Melbourne receiving treatment for flu and cough.

The hotly-contested fight for deputy presidency has revealed deep divisions within PKR and thrown the party’s commitment to direct elections into sharp focus.

Azmin, who is also Selangor chief, is believed to be Pakatan Rakyat (PR) defacto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s preferred choice, while Datuk Zaid Ibrahim is said to be popular with Sabah and Sarawak and non-Malay members in the country’s largest multi-racial political party.

PKR amended its constitution last year to give one member one vote in direct elections.

Last month, some 400,000 PKR members began voting for divisional leaders and the 25 members of the central leadership council, including president, deputy president and four vice-presidents.

The party’s 218 divisions will hold two separate meetings, one for the annual general meeting and election of divisional leaders, and a second to vote for national leaders.

The divisions will vote for national leaders on weekends, from October 29 to November 21.

'Lawyer brothers went on killing spree in India'

By B Nantha Kumar - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: In a shocking revelation, an Indian magazine claimed that the lawyer brothers arrested in connection with the brutal murder of millionaires Sosilawati Lawiya and three others here could also be responsible for several slayings in India.

According to the prominent weekly, Junior Vikatan, the brothers had allegedly gone on a killing spree since 1992.

Their alleged victims were three lawyers identified as Annamalai, Padmanathan and Dhnabatil Singh. The brothers were also blamed for the murder of reporter Thinakaran Raman.

Junior Vikatan also claimed that the lawyers' father was a “thug” who had moved to Malaysia some 60 years ago.

The brothers, the magazine said, owned a house in the Namakkal district in Tamil Nadu but preferred to stay with slain Indian businessman A Muthuraja whenever they visited India.

The brothers made headlines in the Indian media after reports claimed that they could have been responsible for the murder of Muthuraja, a prominent cinema financier, whose remains have yet to be discovered.

Sosilawaiti and the other three were allegedly killed at a farm belonging to the brothers in Banting, their bodies burnt and their remains strewn into a nearby river.

The police have yet to charge the brothers and six of their alleged accomplices as rumours swirl about the lack of evidence, especially in establishing the DNA of the victims.

It is also said that the brothers could be linked to more than a dozen murders.

'Muthuraja wanted for murder'

Meanwhile, another Indian magazine alleged that Muthuraja himself was wanted for murder by the Indian police.

The Reporter magazine claimed that the well-heeled cinema financier was high on the wanted list for his involvement in robberies and smuggling activities.

Muthuraja, who hailed from the small village of Vilaagam in Tamil Nadu, was also said to be close to a man identified as Vengedesan, who was shot dead by the Indian police.

The businesmman's father was a former police inspector and had stood in the 2006 Tamil Nadu state assembly election but was defeated.

Muthuraja, who was said to be involved in a prominent love scandal, surrended to the police after his father was arrested. However, he was later released on bail. The magazine did not say why Muthuraja's father was arrested.

He came to Malaysia last January, and went missing soon after.

My hubby is missing, too, says mum of four

At a loss: Jayanthy holding a picture of her missing husband Anpalagan at a press conference in Kapar yesterday.

KLANG: A 33-year-old mother of four is claiming that her husband’s disappearance may be linked to the lawyer brothers implicated in the Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya murder.

S. Jayanthy, 33, alleged that her husband, businessman Anpalagan Swami­nathan, 43, went missing on Aug 3 after saying he was going to meet friends in Banting.

She added that he was friends with one of the lawyer brothers and that he had allegedly met a policeman known as “CID Maniam” earlier in the day.

Jayanthy, from Hulu Selangor, told reporters in a press conference at Kapar near here that she had also “lost” all his assets after his disappearance.

She claimed a company secretary engaged by her husband’s firm had asked her to sign some documents after Anpalagan went missing.

Jayanthy claimed the documents were prepared by one of the lawyer suspects.

“I only have my savings to support my four children and myself now,” wept Jayanthy.

Jayanthy said she found her missing husband’s car at a resort in Hulu Langat on Sept 4 through the car’s GPS system but her husband was nowhere to be found.

She added the company secretary told her that Anpalagan had gone to India.

Meanwhile, missing Indian businessman A. Muthuraja’s brothers said they were not the ogres their brother’s second wife S. Usharani made them out to be.

“We dont have anything against her but she seems to see us as her enemies,” said Muthu­raja’s youngest brother Dr Kasi Viswanathan, 32.

Malaysia top Indian artists to pull out from Raaga radio awards

Nazri: RPK will be safe if he returns

De facto Law Minister Nazri Aziz today gave an assurance that Raja Petra Kamaruddin would be safe should be return to Malaysia.

“Why did he run away? Just like the Thai witness (pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand) for the Teoh Beng Hock case, she claimed her life was under threat but she came and returned safely,” he said at a press conference.

“This (fear for safety) is just an excuse to not cooperate... Malaysia is not a banana republic.”

Nazri stressed that rather than jumping bail, Raja Petra, better known as RPK, should instead share his information with the authorities.

“I hope he can help us.. I would prefer if he comes back and faces the charges against him, play the game according to the rules,” he said.

Najib kickstarts bid to reverse brain drain

Najib said Malaysia was now going through an exciting time. — File pic
BRUSSELS, Oct 4 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today that Malaysia’s Talent Corporation will be launched in January to arrest the country’s growing brain drain problem.

The exodus of local talent to more developed countries has threatened his vision of transforming Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020.

“Previously, we waited for them to get back to us but this time we will seek them out,” Najib told reporters here on last night.

“We will find out what it takes for them to consider going back home, and at the same time create more business opportunities and pay them wages that are more aligned with global wages,” he said.

Companies have complained about the lack of skilled labour in Malaysia and economists have cited this problem as a hindrance in the country’s ability to attract more high-technology industries. About 80 per cent of the country’s workforce only has secondary school education.

About 700,000 Malaysians are currently living abroad, with half of them in Singapore, while the rest can be found mostly in Australia, Britain and the United States.

An Australian immigration agency in Perth with offices in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor has reportedly said that the number of Malaysians enquiring about moving to Australia had spiked by 80 per cent since 2008.

Last night, Najib pointed out that numerous government initiatives had been successful in injecting optimism among Malaysians abroad who now saw the opportunities for them to return and contribute to the country’s development.

“They see a wider opportunity for them to play a role. I believe that if we can implement our programmes in the near future, their level of optimism will increase because they already like our new plans and strategies,” said the prime minister.

Previous government attempts to lure back Malaysian expatriates, such as the Brain Gain Malaysia and Returning Expert programmes, however, have had little success.

They have attracted fewer than 3,000 applicants despite offering financial incentives like importing cars tax-free and efforts to ease access to permanent residency for foreign spouses.

Yesterday, Najib cited effective and swift execution of the programmes as the key to draw back Malaysian expatriates.

“I think the icing on the cake will be how fast we can implement the various projects and business opportunities that have been identified; only then will we be able to attract the Malaysian diaspora to consider going back,” he said.

Many Malaysians living abroad, however, have reportedly cited racial tension and affirmative action policies among their concerns about returning to their homeland.

Although Najib has said that affirmative action would be made “market-friendly, merit-based, transparent and needs-based” under the New Economic Model, his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently stressed that the economic plan would protect the Malay agenda.

A sour reaction from Malay rights groups had also forced Najib to backtrack and call the policy a “trial balloon”.

Economist Terence Gomez was reported as saying that it was crucial for Malaysia to change affirmative action policies and become more of a meritocracy to bring back the diaspora.

Meanwhile, London School of Economics and Political Science economics professor Danny Quah had pointed out that brain drain has had a huge impact on Malaysia’s economic and industrial development for the past decade or longer.

Malaysia’s growth rate dropped to an average of 5.5 per cent a year from 2000 to 2008, from an average of about 9 per cent a year from 1991 to 1997.

The country is also facing uncertain economic prospects with average GDP growth in the next five years projected to be just shy of the six per cent target Najib had set.

Foreign direct investment plunged a record 81 per cent last year and the World Bank has warned that a lack of human capital is a “critical constraint in Malaysia’s ambition to become a high-income economy.”

The number of Malaysian migrants rose by more than 100-fold in a 45-year period, from 9,576 Malaysians in 1960 to 1,489,168 Malaysians in 2005, according to the World Bank.

Malaysian migrants with tertiary education living in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, numbered at 102,321 in the year 2000.

Deputy Foreign Minister Senator A. Kohilan Pillay said recently that 304,358 Malaysians had migrated from March 2008 till August 2009 compared with 139,696 Malaysians in 2007.

Syed Mokhtar eyes UEM, RRI and police land

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary has written to Putrajaya seeking 1,200 hectares of land in Sungei Buloh and the police training centre in Jalan Semarak here apart from a RM15.6 billion bid to take over the UEM Group Berhad which runs the PLUS highways.
The Malaysian Insider understands that Syed Mokhtar’s MMC Berhad sent the UEM Group bid to the Ministry of Finance in August and it has come to the attention of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his capacity as the Finance Minister. The UEM Group is owned by government sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
“The government’s position is that if Khazanah wants to sell, there is no objection,” a government source told The Malaysian Insider.
Syed Mokhtar is one of the richest men in the country.
“But the government will not force Khazanah to sell its stake in UEM to MMC,” he added. The UEM bid is just one of the deals being pursued by the Kedah-born tycoon, who rose from a transport business start-up to control rice supplies in the country to running ports. The Malaysian Business magazine last year estimated that Syed Mokhtar is worth some US$1.8 billion (RM5.58 billion) with his shareholdings in several listed companies.
It is learnt that Syed Mokhtar has also written to the government to buy 1,200 hectares out of the 3,000 hectares of Rubber Research Institute (RRI) land in Sungei Buloh to be developed by the Najib administration under his Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
Apart from that, it is understood that the businessman is also asking to develop the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in Jalan Semarak which also houses the Police Museum and its logistics centre. The site also houses a police golf course next to the leafy Gurney residential area which counts some embassies and tycoons as its residents.
“Putrajaya has yet to decide on the RRI land or Pulapol,” the government source said.
Before the offer for the historic police land, the government had recently indicated it will develop the massive Sungei Besi airport which is a strategic base for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Police Air Wing. The Sungei Besi development by the government-linked 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is also under the ETP.
Najib has left it to Khazanah to ensure the disposal of strategic stakes is to its interests.
Since Najib took office as the country’s sixth prime minister in April 2009, he has earmarked government assets in Kuala Lumpur for redevelopment and has asked Khazanah to dispose of controlling shares in the nearly 70 companies in the state asset manager’s stable. But Najib, who is Khazanah chairman, has left it to the asset manager’s managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and his team to ensure the disposal of strategic stakes is to its interests.
Apart from MMC’s bid for UEM, Khazanah has also received a RM50 billion bid for toll road operator PLUS Expressways Berhad. It has yet to decide on any of the bids, sources said.
MMC’s bid for UEM is seen as a way to acquire PLUS, which controls the North-South Expressway and several other toll highways in Peninsular Malaysia.
Several bloggers linked to Syed Mokhtar have written that MMC intends to bid for the UEM Group by forming a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) as its partners.
The proposed buyout would involve the SPV planning to raise RM16 billion, which would include a working capital of RM500 million, for the UEM Group which includes Faber Group Bhd, UEM Land Holdings Bhd, Time Engineering Bhd and the unlisted UEM Builders which is involved in constructing the Second Penang Bridge to complement its 25-year concession for the Penang Bridge.
UEM Group’s total assets as at December 31, 2009 stood at approximately RM31.1 billion.
The bloggers say both EPF and PNB have not been consulted in the structuring of the proposed deal and may not agree with the proposal of MMC’s 40 per cent being valued at RM1.92 billion, while each of EPF’s 30 per cent and PNB’s 30 per cent at RM1.44 billion each.
Syed Mokhtar’s MMC is also part of a consortium led by Gamuda proposing a RM36 billion Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) circle line in Kuala Lumpur. A decision on the project, which is part of the ETP, will be made this month.

Much at stake for Ku Li in Galas

By Hawkeye - Free Malaysia Today,

KOTA BARU: Kelantan Umno remains optimistic that Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah would throw his entire weight behind Barisan Nasional in the upcoming Galas state by-election here.

State opposition leader Md Alwi Che Ahmad said a few leaders, including Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, have been in touch with the Kelantan prince and the response is indicative

that Razaleigh is supportive of the coalition.

He admitted that there are attempts by Pakatan Rakyat, especially PAS, to persuade Razaleigh, who is affectionately called Ku Li, to adopt a low profile instead.

The former Umno vice-president and finance minister, is currently in London after attending an engagement with his alma mater Queens University in Belfast, Ireland.

To-date, according to his personal assistant Mohd Lukman Ghani, Ku Li has hesitated commenting on various issues linked to the by-election, prefering to tell all in a scheduled press conference when he returns to Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

Ku Li is regarded as a statesman, therefore he is allowed the leverage to be critical of either BN or Pakatan, said Alwi in response to claims that Ku Li does not agree with Umno and had even sided with PAS on the Kelantan government's move to seek oil royalty compensation from Petronas through the courts.

However, as he remains the Gua Musang Umno division head and one of the party's revered personalities, Ku Li should take up the offer to lead the state BN election machinery, Alwi added.

The Galas by-election is expected to be called by the end of this month or early November following the demise of its incumbent Chek Hashim Sulaima from PAS last Monday.

Chek Hashim won the seat, which is one of three under the Gua Musang parliamentary constituency by defeating Ku Li's strongman Saufi Deraman in the 2008 general election with a slim majority of 646 votes.

Much at stake
Alwi said PAS has engaged in a "psy-war" approach since it was inevitable that a by-election needs to be held.

They are swaying confusion and trying to entice Ku Li to adopt a low profile or neutral stance since the latter remains highly influencial in the constituency, Alwi claimed.

This is why PAS is trying to revive the prospect of Malay unity in Galas and urging Umno to stay out of contesting as a token to the previous proposal for both parties to discuss about the possibility of a united political front, he explained.

It is learnt that Ku Li has much to ponder as Pakatan had sent overtures to him that he could become the next prime minister if it wins over Malaysia in the next federal election.

If PKR supreme leader Anwar Ibrahim is imprisoned on sodomy charges then there is no other personality big enough to assume the prime ministership except Ku Li, said a PAS leader here.

There is much at stake for the Kelantan prince, as it concerns his political future, the PAS leader added.

In the meantime, both Barisan and PAS have upped the ante as a build-up to the by-election, with Ku Li caught in the centre.

When a rotten egg cracks

By Stanley Koh - Free Malaysia Today,

COMMENT Astrologers avow that the Age of Aquarius is an era of spiritual awakening. But has mankind really entered or arrived anywhere near an era of spirituality, enlightenment, wisdom, harmony and truth?

Sceptics do not think so.
Even cartoonists are learning that their work can invite arrest, prosecution and death threats.

A few of them, no doubt, lack sensibility and wisdom. Instead of appealing to the very human sense of humour, their cartoons invite violent protests and provoke murderous instincts.

Such, for instance, was the case of Lars Vilks, the Swedish artist who offended Muslims across the globe with his perceived insult in 2007. The following year, Amsterdam police arrested Gregorius Nekschot on allegations that his work discriminated against Muslims.

In another incident, 20-year-old Bangladeshi cartoonist Ariful Rahman broke his country's law when he stirred up religious sentiments with his play of words for a caricature published in the newspaper Aalpin.

The case of Malaysian cartoonist Zunar, however, is somewhat different. He has joined the ranks of persecuted cartoonists—not for his insensitivity to the feelings of fellow human beings, but for his tendency to reveal what the authorities believe ought to be kept hidden.

To paraphrase a Russian proverb, politics is a rotten egg; if broken, it stinks.

Zunar has been trying to crack the Malaysian egg for some time now, releasing smells that the authorities cannot tolerate.

Everything looks like a nail

To the corrupt and corruptible, the truth is so precious that it must be hidden at all costs, usually with a pack of lies and half-truths.

“To the man who has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail,” said American psychologist Abraham Maslow. As a depiction of the psychology of Malaysia’s political leadership, this is not far off the mark. Critics, it seems, should be hammered into compliance or obedience like a nail, and this can be done through repressive laws.

According to Aristotle, the mark of an educated mind is that it is able to entertain a thought—or criticism—without accepting it.

Can an individual, through written or spoken criticism, really cause nationwide rioting or trigger a violent revolution? Does a drop of water constitute an ocean? Remember that riots are usually caused by groups orchestrated by politicians and wars are conducted by military commanders, not by any one individual citizen.

The real problem with our leadership is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubts and fears. They make grave political mistakes as a result.

As George Bernard Shaw once quipped, “Political necessities sometimes turn out to be political mistakes.” That applies to all the draconian laws in the country; they are political mistakes perpetuating an out-of-date political culture.

Our political culture would make Aristotle shake his head in despair. Our so-called leaders are apparently incapable of accepting criticism and deem it fit to punish the critics. Perhaps they should heed John F Kennedy’s famous remark: “When peaceful revolution becomes impossible, violent revolution becomes inevitable.”

Silencing criticism and prohibiting press freedom under bad laws is a form of tyranny. “There is no crueller tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice,” according to Charles de Montesquieu.

How many more Zunars are out there who will speak, write or draw to show what they think is true and right?

Since 2005, the Malaysian government has intimidated numerous critics, notably Nathaniel Tan, Syed Azidi Syed Aziz alias Kickdefella and Raja Petra Kamaruddin. It has not spared even radio deejays and talk-show personalities. And there is now a high profile committee to monitor some 503 websites and train cyber troopers and computer forensics experts to rein in critics and dissenters.

Let us have freedom

The paranoia of seemingly educated leaders and their unwillingness to give free rein to their sense of humour speak much of the prevailing crisis of representation in Malaysia.

Czech freedom fighter Vaclav Havel, in a famous essay published in 1979, aptly titled “The Power of the Powerless,” wrote that those who live under oppression and do nothing to oppose it are living a lie, the lie that their life is normal.

According to him, if people were to choose to tell the truth, to begin to act on this truth, and to resist the lies of the state, they would open up an “explosive” and “incalculable” power in society.

The Age of Aquarius is about freedom, especially of the human spirit. If power is about what politicians can control, then freedom is about what the people can unleash.

When Abraham Lincoln finally freed his nation from slavery, he wrote: “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

Neither should we forget that there is one law for all humanity and against man’s cruelty. That is the Creator’s law, the law of Truth, Humanity, Logic, Justice, Compassion and Wisdom.

The greatness of a nation is measured not by its material wealth or military strength, but by the positive values it cherishes.

Politicians have no greater duty than to nurture those universal values. To carry out that duty effectively, they must realise that they, like everyone else, are not perfect.

Stanley Koh is a political observer who use to head the MCA's research unit.

Why the kid gloves with Branson, Muhyiddin?

Aug 2010: Gore and Wolfowitz
“While Anwar Ibrahim is on trial before the state, the state is on trial before its people and the world. If he were to be convicted, the whole of Malaysia’s political life and its standing in the world would be damaged. And for what gain?”
Former US Vice-President Al Gore and former US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz in a joint press statement published by The Wall Street Journal. Gore and Wolfowitz criticised opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy trial as politically motivated and damaging to Malaysia’s international reputation. (Source: Malaysia on trial, says Al Gore and Wolfowitz, The Wall Street Journal as quoted by The Malaysian Insider, 4 Aug 2010)
Muhyiddin: Malaysia will not bow to pressure
“It’s a futile attempt, as no quarters in Malaysia will bow to the calls (for Anwar to be freed from the sodomy charge).
“As a former deputy prime minister, Anwar should know better but the question is, is he so desperate as to ask for help from his American friends? The answer is clear now.”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when asked to comment on Gore and Wolfowitz’s remarks. Muhyiddin said the remarks showed how desperate Anwar was that he had to resort to a “lifeline” of collaborating with his foreign friends to serve his own interests. (Source: Malaysia won’t bow to any pressure over Anwar sodomy trial: Muhyiddin, The Star, 5 Aug 2010)
Sept 2010: Richard Branson
“[The Anwar sodomy trial] has gone on for a long, long time. It looks bad overseas. If you are a bold leader, you should get rid of things like that which damage your reputation.”
Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson at an investment conference in Kuala Lumpur. Branson said Malaysia had a relatively good reputation overseas but the Anwar sodomy trial was damaging that reputation. (Source: Branson warns Malaysia over Sodomy II, Agencies as quoted in Malaysiakini, 27 Sept 2010)
Muhyiddin: “He didn’t mean to interfere”
“If you ask me, of course, I wouldn’t want the [Anwar] case to be in our courts. Without such a high-profile case, Malaysia would do better (with foreign investments). It is best that the case is over as soon as possible.”
“I don’t think that [Richard Branson's] remark was meant to interfere.”
Muhyiddin‘s response to Branson’s remarks on the Anwar sodomy trial. He admitted that the trial was a blot on Malaysia’s investment radar that should be wiped clean as soon as possible.
Muhyiddin’s remarks contrasted with those of other government leaders such as Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who dismissed Branson’s remarks, saying Branson obviously did not understand the country’s legal system. (Source: Sodomy trial a blot on investment radar: DPM, Malaysiakini, 28 Sept 2010)

Law applies to all: Hishammuddin

The Sun 

KUALA TERENGGANU (Oct 3, 2010): No officer, even one holding a high position, can place himself above the law, says Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

“No one can be exempted from facing the law for misconduct, as we are firm and consistent in all cases and will take those involved to court as soon as possible.

“We will not allow them (those who commit offences) to tarnish the image of those who are really committed and honest in carrying out their responsibilities under their respective agencies,” he said here today.

Hishammuddin said this when commenting on the arrests of a number of Immigration officers at the country’s entry/exit checkpoints by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for alleged involvement in corruption, reports Bernama.

The MACC had over the weekend reportedly arrested at least four senior immigration officers suspected to be on the take and nine runners who allegedly collected the money from foreigners to be allowed into the country without proper documents via ferry at  landing points on Pulau Ketam in Selangor and Port Dickson in Negri Sembilan.

It was reported that  MACC officers seized RM30,000 from an immigration officer and RM70,000 from his runner in Port Dickson and more arrests are imminent.

Hishammuddin said the ministry was always monitoring officers of its agencies including the Immigration Department, Royal Malaysian Police and Rela (People’s Volunteer Corps) to check malpractices that could affect the integrity and credibility of the agencies.

He said action would also be taken under the law in the case of 10 policemen alleged to have stolen 40kg of syabu in Pahang last year. 

“However, this does not reflect that our officers are mostly corrupt as many in the police, Immigration and Rela are proud to serve their respective organisation and will not do things that can tarnish its image,” he added. -- theSun

Magistrate gets jail, fine for graft

The New Straits Times 
by Sulaiman Jaafar

KOTA BARU: A magistrate was sentenced to three years' jail and fined a total of RM40,000 after he was found guilty by the Sessions Court yesterday on two counts of accepting bribes.

Judge Sabariah Othman meted out the sentences on magistrate for Kuala Krai and Machang Mohd Firdaus Ramlan, 28, after the prosecution proved the two cases under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act beyond a reasonable doubt.

On the first count, the judge sentenced Firdaus to three years' imprisonment and fined him RM15,000. For his second offence, the magistrate was sentenced to three years' jail and fined RM25,000.

Sabariah ordered the prison sentences to run concurrently and the fines were in default of 12 months' and 18 months' jail sentences, respectively.

Firdaus was charged with accepting a bribe of RM3,000 from Md Shani Ishak through Chief Inspector Kamarul Ahmad at the Esso petrol station at 10.30pm on Oct 11 last year as an inducement to reduce his drug sentence to a two-year good behaviour bond of RM1,000.

In the second charge, Firdaus was alleged to have asked for a bribe of RM5,000 from Shani for a similar purpose at the magistrate's office at the Kuala Krai court at 9am on Oct 6.

Both offences were punishable under Section 24 of the act, which provides for a jail term of not more than 20 years and a fine of five times the value of the bribe.

Sabariah said the court found that the defence had failed to produce evidence to show that Firdaus had been framed as he had claimed.

"The accused has also failed to deny that his voice was in the recording (made by the MACC). The defence's application to the court to reject the recording and its transcript is also denied," she said.

Firdaus was represented by lawyer Datuk Shukri Mohamed. MACC deputy public prosecutor Datuk Abdul Razak Musa, assisted by Mohd Josiendra Abu Senin and Mohd Ahsan Latif, prosecuted.

In mitigation, Shukri said his client was only 28 years old and married with an 11-month-old child, and it was his first offence.

He also said the accused was the sole earner in an extended family that included his mother who had to make kuih to supplement the household income. The lawyer added that the accused had suffered punishment as the case had been given wide media coverage even before the court found him guilty.

Razak, asking for a heavy sentence, said the accused's duty was to uphold the law but he had abused his position for his personal interests.

"This is a serious case and it is not right for the court to sympathise with him just because he is a legal officer.

"I call on the court to mete out a balanced sentence without fear of favour."

After the sentence was handed down, Shukri applied to the court to set aside the jail sentence and the fine until the appeal was heard.

Sabariah agreed to set aside the jail sentence but ordered the fine to be paid within three months. She also raised the bail from RM4,000 to RM8,000 pending appeal.

Ancient Gaza tunnels discovered

Archaeologists digging at a site on Gaza's border with Egypt have discovered ancient tunnels in the same area as today's smuggling tunnels.

They are believed to be a part of a hidden city that is estimated to be over two thousand years old. However, the excavation work is complicated by the blockade of Gaza and there is also the constant risk of being hit by an Israeli rocket targeting a modern tunnel.

There is also a shortage of funding for adequate excavation and looters are a constant threat.

Al Jazeera 's Bernard Smith reports.

Source: Al Jazeera

HINDRAF & HRP visit to Lembah Bujang, Kedahram : HINDU Civilization wiped out

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Zero Indian involved. If you look at list is 99.99% is Malay muslim and 1 Chinese. What does this tell you?
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Zero Indian involved 
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