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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Waytha Moorthy of HINDRAF vs. Sultan Ibrahim of Johor: who makes sense?

The Malaysian government is considering asking the police to investigate a statement by the chairman of the HINDRAF movement, P. Waytha Moorthy, which was made in response to a speech by the Sultan of Johor.

It is claimed that the HINDRAF chairman's statement was sensitive and that it questioned the position of the Malays and the Malay Rulers. The Home Minister, who will consult about this matter with the Sultan of Johor (but who should also consult Waytha Moorthy for fairness), claims that Waytha Moorthy's statement was intended "to create hatred towards the rulers and to dupe the people's thinking".

But let's decide on the propriety and validity of Waytha Moorthy's statement ourselves. We shall also consider who is "duping" who (if there is any such thing going on), who is more sensible, factual and reasoned, and whose statement speaks more strongly for true harmony and understanding.

To help us do this, I reproduce below both Waytha Moorthy's and the Sultan of Johor's statements.


Waytha's statement ('Is the Sultan of Johor promoting further annihilation of minority rights?', 6 October 2010):

The recent statement by the Sultan of Johor in relation to the constitution has thrown to light for what seems to be a veiled support to encourage the neo-fascist movement PERKASA with their antics based on the purported Federal constitution.

The failure by the Sultan to recognize and acknowledge the second limb of Article 153 that provides for legitimate interest of the non-Muslim will only provide credence to PERKASA to continue their shenanigans hand in hand with UMNO against the non Muslims.   

Malaysia is a secular country and in their representation to Reid Commission in 1956, the Rulers have specifically agreed that Islam should be for ceremonial purpose and that they did not intend to make Malaysia an Islamic state.    

This was further echoed by Tunku Abdul Rahman, at the 80th birthday celebrations organized by the Barisan Nasional in his honour on 8th February 1983, where Tunku pointedly said Malaysia should not be turned into an Islamic state, that Malaysia was set up as a secular State with Islam as the official religion which was enshrined in the Constitution. This is the true spirit of the constitution.

The constitution had been pristine clear in its objective, yet UMNO & the government had diluted the true spirit of the original document with more than 650 amendments since 1957 where now the original Federal constitution only bear a biased mirror of its original model against the minorities.    

The very notion that it is amended just to favour a certain parties seems all too obvious as what had been observed over the last 50 years with such dilution of basic rights for the minorities on the basis of religion including the East Malaysians.  

The devolution of the Rulers power in the constitution was itself emanated by their own weakness as what had been observed in during the Mahathir era in 1983 and 1993 as Mahathir was able to obtain the obedience of the rulers for reasons known best to them. Therefore any issue of any amendments to the Sultan & Agong rights stated in the constitution was a downfall of their own doing not the public at large for the excessive manipulated power UMNO possessed during the Mahathir era.      

In relation to judiciary and its independence, as a rule of thumb, constitutional monarchy needs to understand and grasp the separation of power between judiciary, legislators & executives. The weakness of the rulers to ensure that the legislators toe the line was obvious during the spill over of the UMNO general election of 1987 that created the Malaysian Constitutional crises in 1988 with the suspension of Tun Salleh Abbas for opposing the subordination of the judiciary to the legislators and executives during the era where the Sultan of Johor was the Agong. This was a clear breach of the Federal constitution, yet it was succumbed to for the Mahathir legislators & executives to absorb the functions of the independent judiciary for judiical powers.

If you look further to East Malaysia, the monarchy is a non issue as they were never part of the 1957 constitution nor are they neither subject to such monarchy nor what the monarchy states or intimidates against the minorities based assertion for basic rights.     

Bearing the above facts, and as the bearer of a constitutional monarchy for all Malaysians irrespective of race, religion or creed, the Sultan should make attempts to ensure the sanctity of the Federal constitution in its true sense in upholding it rather than making veiled threats to minorities against questioning the malay rights and acting  as spokesperson to Perkasa. Citing lessons to be learned from the May 1969 racial riots are most distasteful and insulting the intelligence of Non Malays who no longer live with the idea of subjection.

As the Ruler for  all communities, the Sultan should remind the government and Umno of the second limb of article 153 which provides for the legitimate interests of non Muslims and Article 8 which provides for equality for all citizens.

Thank you.


Sultan Ibrahim's statement ('Jangan bahas isu sensitive', 5 October 2010):

Sebagaimana yang kita ketahui, Perlembagaan Persekutuan adalah undang-undang yang paling utama di Malaysia. Ia merupakan sebuah Perlembagaan yang lengkap dan telah mengambil kira kepentingan semua rakyat dan latar belakang sejarah negara ini.

Perlembagaan ini telah digubal dengan begitu teliti oleh Suruhanjaya Reid yang dianggotai oleh pakar-pakar undang-undang dari luar negara. Ia telah melalui pelbagai proses yang rumit, termasuklah meneliti 131 memorandum dari semua pihak dan mengadakan 118 persidangan dalam masa lima bulan.

Seterusnya, Rang Perlembagaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu telah melalui proses maklum balas, kajian semula, pindaan dan akhirnya barulah diluluskan oleh Majlis Undangan Persekutuan pada 15 Ogos 1957 dan seterusnya berkuat kuasa pada 27 Ogos 1957.

Kita mesti faham bahawa Perlembagaan ini telah digubal bersandarkan kepada semangat toleransi oleh semua pihak untuk mencapai kemerdekaan. Oleh yang demikian, semua aspek agama, bangsa, budaya dan bahasa telah diambil kira dengan adil dan saksama untuk mewujudkan sebuah negara Malaysia yang aman dan damai.

Yang paling jelas adalah semangat toleransi dalam Parti Perikatan di mana MCA dan MIC telah bersetuju menerima kedudukan “hak istimewa orang Melayu’’ dan Bahasa Melayu sebagai Bahasa Kebangsaan. Manakala pihak UMNO pula telah bersetuju menerima pemberian taraf kerakyatan kepada orang-orang asing secara jus soli.

Kita perlu ingat bahawa Perlembagaan Persekutuan ini bukan digubal dengan sewenang-wenangnya. Orang dahulu telah berfikir dengan mendalam dan berpandangan jauh tentang masa hadapan.

Oleh itu pada masa kini janganlah mudah sangat demi untuk kepentingan sesuatu pihak, Perlembagaan ini dipinda sesuka hati. Kerana akhirnya nanti Perlembagaan ini akan menjadi tidak bermakna dan mungkin tinggal sekeping kertas sahaja.

Di dalam seminar ini nanti, saudara saudari telitilah berapa banyak pindaan yang telah dibuat terhadap Perlembagaan ini dan sebab-sebab mengapa pindaan itu dibuat.

Dokumen asas kepada Perlembagaan Persekutuan adalah Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu 1948 yang ditandatangani oleh pihak British dengan Raja-Raja Melayu. Di mana Raja-Raja Melayu telah bersetuju melepaskan sedikit kuasa pemerintahannya di negeri-negeri. Namun begitu kuasa Raja-Raja terhadap agama dan adat istiadat Melayu masih dikekalkan dan dinyatakan dengan jelas.

Begitu juga di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan, kuasa Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan Raja-Raja juga dinyatakan dengan jelas sebagai payung kepada negara dan negeri. Namun begitu ada juga pihak yang semasa senang, lupa akan pentingnya Institusi Diraja dan cuba menghapuskan kuasa Raja-Raja.

Tetapi malangnya, apabila timbul masalah di kemudian hari, mulalah mencari Raja untuk meminta bantuan dan perlindungan. Inilah sikap manusia yang lupa diri. Semasa hari redup, payung dicampak dan dibuang, tetapi bila hujan turun, masing-masing berlari mencari payung untuk berlindung.

Negeri Johor merupakan Negeri Tanah Melayu yang pertama mempunyai Undang-Undang Tubuh Kerajaannya sendiri iaitu pada tahun 1895. Undang-undang ini mengambil masa 10 tahun untuk dibuat dan menjadi asas kepada undang-undang tubuh negeri lain dan juga Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Di dalam Perjanjian Persekutuan juga, Raja-Raja Melayu telah berkorban dan bersetuju untuk menyerahkan sebahagian kuasa mutlaknya terhadap negeri bagi membentuk persekutuan yang merdeka. Ini bermakna, jika tidak ada negeri, tidak akan ada persekutuan.

Sehubungan dengan itu, pihak Persekutuan mestilah peka dengan apa yang hendak dilaksanakan di negeri-negeri. Walaupun hubungan hal ehwal luar negara adalah di bawah kuasa Persekutuan, tetapi sekiranya perjanjian yang hendak dibuat melibatkan tanah dan kepentingan negeri, rujuklah dahulu perkara tersebut kepada Raja negeri yang berkenaan.

Keharmonian rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang bangsa dan agama telah menjadi contoh kepada negara-negara lain. Ini semua telah dapat dicapai dengan adanya semangat bertolak ansur dan hormat-menghormati antara semua bangsa dan agama di negara ini.

Namun begitu akhir-akhir ini, ada pihak yang begitu ghairah memperjuangkan kaumnya dan mempertikaikan hak dan keistimewaan orang Melayu yang telah diperuntukkan sekian lama di dalam Perlembagaan.

Mereka ini adalah golongan yang cetek akal dan hanya bercakap mengikut selera sendiri tanpa meneliti sejarah pembentukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Tindakan ini akan hanya merosakkan keharmonian hubungan kaum dan kesejahteraan hidup masyarakat negara ini.

Kita perlu ingat, keistimewaan yang diberikan kepada orang Melayu tidak menghalang hak kaum lain, malah kaum lain juga diberi hak dan jaminan di dalam Perlembagaan. Ini semua terbentuk hasil dari sikap toleransi yang tinggi pemimpin-pemimpin kita dahulu.

Keharmonian negara ini mestilah dijaga dengan baik dan janganlah dibahaskan isu-isu sensitif yang boleh menggugat kesejahteraan negara. Jangan dipersoalkan kuasa Raja di dalam Perlembagaan atau Enakmen Negeri kerana itu bukanlah hak untuk dibahaskan.

Jangan tafsir Perlembagaan mengikut selera dan kepentingan sendiri dan tidak perlu mengajar Raja mengenai undang-undang dan kuasa kerana Raja telah dididik tentang kuasa sejak kecil lagi.

Belajarlah daripada peristiwa 13 Mei 1969, yang mana kedamaian negara tergadai akibat daripada hilangnya sikap toleransi dan wujudnya golongan pelampau atau extremist.

Di mana-mana juga, golongan extremist inilah yang menjadi dalang merosakkan kedamaian sesebuah negara. Oleh itu, kita harus bersikap sederhana dan bertolak ansur jika kita ingin hidup makmur dalam negara yang berbilang bangsa ini.

Apa yang lebih penting sekarang adalah untuk kita sama-sama berganding bahu, bersatu padu dan berusaha bersungguh-sungguh untuk membangunkan negara kita untuk menjadi sebuah negara yang maju.

Di sini juga, suka saya ingatkan kepada semua pelaksana dan pengamal undang-undang supaya mengambil tindakan selaras dengan Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Pihak mahkamah atau badan kehakiman juga perlu lebih berhati-hati apabila menerima sesuatu kes untuk diadili.

Kes-kes sensitif yang tidak sesuai untuk dibicarakan hendaklah ditolak kerana jika mahkamah mendengar kes tersebut dan membuat keputusan, sudah pasti ada pihak yang tidak berpuas hati. Oleh itu, adalah lebih baik jangan dilayan atau ditolak kes-kes yang sensitif terutamanya yang melibatkan kuasa Raja-Raja.

Sebarang bentuk perbahasan dan pertelingkahan mengenai isu-isu sensitif juga hendaklah dielakkan kerana ia hanya akan menambahkan lagi jurang perselisihan terutama antara agama dan bangsa.

Segala kekeliruan yang timbul pula perlu diperjelaskan dengan teliti supaya semua rakyat dalam negara ini dapat hidup dengan harmoni, aman damai, dan saling hormat menghormati bagi menjamin ketenteraman dan kesejahteraan hidup semua.

Penganjuran seminar seperti ini hendaklah dilakukan secara berterusan dan diperluaskan ke segenap lapisan masyarakat, terutama kepada generasi muda masa kini.

Saya percaya, sekiranya mereka faham dengan maksud-maksud yang terkandung di dalam Perlembagaan ini dan memahami asas dan sejarahnya, sudah pasti mereka akan sedar betapa beruntungnya mereka hidup di zaman kemerdekaan.

Kepada pembuat dan pelaksana dasar, gunakanlah kesempatan ini untuk mendapatkan kefahaman yang jelas agar segala keputusan dan tindakan yang diambil selari dengan peruntukan-peruntukan yang terdapat di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Saya juga berharap agar saudara saudari yang menghadiri seminar ini dapat mendalami dan memahami Perlembagaan yang ada seterusnya menjelaskan mengenainya kepada masyarakat umum. Berpeganglah kepada Perlembagaan yang ada dan yang paling mudah ingatlah Rukun Negara yang sering kita ikrarkan.

Akhir kata dengan lafaz Bismillahir Rahmanirrahim, saya dengan sukacitanya merasmikan Seminar Perlembagaan Malaysia Peringkat Negeri Johor pada hari yang mulia ini.

19 bullets and casings found where Aminulrasyid died

SHAH ALAM, Oct 12 — Nineteen bullet casings and bullets were found at the housing area in Section 11 here where teenager Aminulrasyid Amzah was shot to death six months ago in an early morning car chase, the Sessions Court was told today.
Police corporal Jenain Subi, 48, is charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder of 14-year-old Aminulrasyid, who took a midnight joyride in a car and was allegedly mistaken for a felon on the run.

Today marks the first day of his trial.
Four witnesses have testified so far in the trial that is expected to run till November 11.

Judge Latifah Mohd Tahar called for a recess after police forensic photographer Mokhtar Hussein testified.
The trial will resume after lunch at 2.30pm today.

read more


New tolled highways: 'Where's the transparency?'

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has come up with a proposal to build four new tolled highways for the peninsula, but it appears that the project will not be up for open tender.

DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua today criticised the proposal because he claimed it was not made in a transparent manner.

A business newspaper The Edge Financial Daily yesterday reported that four new tolled highways have been proposed for the peninsula and are likely to be announced when Budget 2011 is unveiled on Friday.

According to the report, it is understood that PLUS Expressways Bhd would be the concession operator of two highways, while Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) would run the other two.

The highways to be operated by PLUS are from Sungai Dua to Juru in Penang, and from Kinrara to Damansara in the Klang Valley. The PNB-operated highways are said to be from Ampang to Cheras and from Damansara to Sungai Buloh.

Pua said the news came as a surprise because there “appears to be no indication at all” that the project is being tendered on an open and competitive basis as promised under the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s New Economic Model (NEM).

“One doesn’t have to look into the NEM to see that the prime minister knows well the negative impact of a poorly managed, directly awarded privatisation exercise,” he said.

'Yet to walk the talk'

Pua pointed out that at the Jeddah Economic Forum in 2007, Najib, then deputy prime minister, told foreign investors that Malaysia had learnt some lessons from the privatisation exercises of the 1980s.

“Najib had admitted that even when there is a national agenda of preferential treatment in favour of disadvantaged economic groups, there must be enough competition within this group to ensure that only those with the necessary skills, capabilities and resources are selected.

“Najib had also specifically advised against a ‘first come, first serve’ approach. He had admitted that our experience has shown that by providing exclusivity to one party, costs had escalated and this had burdened consumers and taxpayers,” said Pua.

Despite this admission, Pua said the prime minister has yet “to walk the talk”.

“It was an open admission that our Malaysian privatisation policy since the 1980s is a failure in many aspects.

“The question is, while Najib has eloquently criticised our privatisation policies to a group of international investors, has he or will he be practising what he preaches under NEM?” he asked.

Pua also accused the government of “not making its best effort” to help people reduce the cost of living by ensuring the toll tariffs are kept to the minimum and imposed only when absolutely necessary”.

Therefore, said Pua, the prime minister must explain during his Budget 2011 speech if “open tender is going to be a cornerstone of his administration”.

“This is not only for the purchases of ‘pen and paper’, but more importantly for all the mega projects being awarded under the guise of public finance initiatives or public-private partnerships,” he said.

Rosmah pushes for new education system

By Stephanie Sta Maria
KUALA LUMPUR: The prime minister's wife, Rosmah Mansor, today proposed an education system that can produce critical and creative thinkers.
In her keynote address at the world's inaugural First Ladies Summit here, Rosmah told the First Ladies of 15 nations that such a system would equip the world's future leaders with the necessary skills to navigate a diverse global environment.
She also pushed for an education system that extends beyond the traditional classroom approach to include learning in diverse communities both locally and internationally.
"The skills derived from this approach will provide the physical and mental resilience to catalyse change and effect transformation in complex environments," she said. "This in turn will facilitate conflict management to perpetuate a safer and better world."
Rosmah, who is the summit's host and organiser, also underlined the importance of science and technology in preparing children for a future society.
"The empowerment can be greatly enhanced by capitalising on the tendency of the young to be mobile and ICT savvy," she pointed out. "They can easily become part of the global knowledge-sharing chain that shapes opinions and drives global trends."
"If sufficiently educated, they form a significant demographic that can drive economic growth and contribute to global welfare. If not, they could be marginalised and radicalised, thus becoming easy recruits for subversive elements that can lead to global insecurity and instability."
The best and brightest
Rosmah stressed the need to recruit the "best and brightest" teachers, support them as professionals and use rewards and incentives to retain them.
Her call comes at a time when the quality of Malaysia's current education system is under scrutiny and being pressured to undergo an overhaul.
The three-day summit themed "A Child Today, A Leader Tomorrow" is a global initiative to ensure a safe and sustainable future for the next generation.
Thirty-one nations are represented at this summit by 15 First Ladies and sixteen ministers. The First Ladies include Shiranthi Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka), Teuta Topi (Albania) and Maria De luz Guezuba (Mozambique).
The First Ladies will issue a declaration tomorrow, summing up their conclusions from the summit. This declaration will then be personally presented by Rosmah to the United Nations or UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) for implementation. Yesterday, the chairman of the summit sub-committee, Dr Rafidah Salim, said that the declaration would likely contain six resolutions encompassing security, education and health.
Also present was former First Lady Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali and Women, Family and Community Development Minister Sharizat Jalil.

Kit Siang walks out of Dewan in 'disgust'

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition stalwart Lim Kit Siang said left the Dewan Rakyat in “disgust” this morning when Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee refused to entertain his attempt to pose a supplementary question on the New Economic Model.
The original question regarding the effectives of the NEM in achieving its objectives was raised by Ismail Abdul Muttalib (BN-Maran) and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department K Devamany responded.

In a statement issued later, Lim said he wanted to raise several points, including the absence of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and the many ministers in his department to answer the question.

“This shows that the Barisan Nasional government is neither really seriously nor fully committed whether to Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, NEM or Parliament,” he added.

Apart from this, the DAP leader also wanted to know “why for more than six months not a single minister dared to state that the NEM was not against Article 153 of the Federal Constitution to check the rise of racism because of the rhetoric of communal extremists, although the prime minister has gone to the United Nations general assembly and Asia-Europe dialogue to call for a global movement of moderates against extremists.”

Lim also wanted to know if Najib's administration had taken full ownership of the proposals in the NEM for Malaysia to escape the two-decade long middle-income trap to achieve sustainable and inclusive high-income developed nation status by 2020 and not regard the NEM proposals as mere “trial balloons” of a group of experts from the global market perspective as said by Najib in June.
The veteran policition also wanted to quiz the government's stand in particular on the NEM Strategic Reform Initiative (SRI) 5 for “transparent and market-friendly affirmative action” which would “consider all ethnic groups fairly and equally as long as they are in the low income 40% of households…..taking into consideration the needs and merits of the applicants.”

BN feeling the heat from 'exposures' in Sabah

By Charlie Rudai - Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: The state BN is feeling the heat from a sustained barrage of flak from the opposition over its mis-management of Sabah.

BN coalition member, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), has been sufficiently goaded to respond to what it calls "bombing" by the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

PBS claims that all the uncomfortable government deals exposed by SAPP were "old issues".

“Yong (Teck Lee, SAPP president) is issuing misleading statements on old issues to discredit Joseph Pairin Kitingan and the state government," PBS' Johnny Mositun said Monday.

He said SAPP is digging up these old issues to discredit the BN government because it lacks an original platform.

In doing so, SAPP has also presented these issues in a misleading light, especially where they bring to fore the matter of guilt by association, added Mositun.

"He (Yong) is conveniently ignoring the fact that in all instances he was a senior member of the administration and privy to all that went on.

"Why didn’t he speak up then if he felt strongly about these issues?” he asked.

Mositun who is also the deputy speaker was responding to Yong’s recent comments on the sale of Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) 17 years ago and a minerals prospecting license issued by Pairin to an Australian firm that covered several parts of Sabah including the now protected Maliau Basin.

'Deal approved by Bank Negara'

Embarrassed by the exposures of deals, the PBS government and Pairin when he was chief minister of the state from 1985 to 1994, Mositun said there was nothing questionable about the sale of SFI as the agency was not performing up to expectations at that time.

“We must remember that both the state and federal governments then were well into a nationwide privatisation programme for obvious reasons.

"Government-owned assets were being privatised as part of a systematic and carefully considered agenda to relieve the government of unnecessary financial and operational costs through collaboration with reliable private sector partners.

"The deal was also vetted and approved by the Securities Commission and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM),” said Mositun.

He said at the time of Lion Group's acquisition of a majority stake in SFI, it was a legitimate and profitable Malaysian corporate giant, but in subsequent years two major economic recessions occurred and the company was forced to undergo a major restructuring exercise.

This resulted in India’s Ballapur Group acquiring the Lion Group’s shares in SFI.

Mositun noted that the state government’s equity in SFI remains intact and that SFI under the Ballapur Group’s management was performing well.

Moles in MACC

(NST) Moles in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission are disrupting the operations of the antigraft body.

MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull said the moles must be weeded out quickly as they were also a threat to national security.

He said the commission had lodged a police report on Sept 25 after it discovered that documents on investigations into several VIPs had appeared on blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin’s Malaysia Today news portal.

The VIPs included former Kedah menteri besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and former Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo.

Following articles revealed that the investigations were classified as “no further action” (NFA).

The commission was particularly annoyed that the papers on Mahdzir and other individuals, which were initial investigation reports by the then Anti-Corruption Agency in Seberang Prai, were revealed.

Mahdzir was investigated for allegedly offering RM5 million to Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Kulim state assemblyman Lim Soo Nee to switch parties. That case was classified as NFA two years ago.

Shukri said there were also questions about how the investigation papers on Khir, which were classified in June last year as secret documents, were leaked.

The minuted three-page document, meant for the Attorney-General’s Chambers, absolved Dr Khir from allegations that he had abused his power as menteri besar in using state government funds for family holidays in Morocco and Disneyland in the United States.

Shukri told the New Straits Times he had reason to believe that his own men were responsible for the leaks and wanted them to be investigated under the Official Secrets Act.

“This is a serious matter as the papers where classified as secret and they will remain so until they are declassified.

“This also concerns the integrity of government officers, which has been compromised.”

He was also upset when it was revealed that police had classified the MACC reports as NFA.

Police had alleged that there were no criminal elements as the documents that appeared on the website were not classified investigation papers.

Shukri said police failed to understand that the documents were part of the investigation papers, which automatically made them classified documents.

“The way we see it, there is clearly a criminal element here.”

Fugitive Raja Petra, who now lives in London, said that “it was not just Bukit Aman, MACC and the A-G’s Chambers that report to me. Even the courts in Malaysia do as well. So, I am being told more than what they think”.

He added: “Yes, the courts in Malaysia do not report to Tun Zaki Azmi, the chief justice. They report to me. How
do you think I knew that they were coming for me on Feb 23, 2009, and went underground just 24 hours before they pounced?

“And how could I escape the police dragnet if not for the fact that the same officers from Bukit Aman themselves were the ones who whisked me (away) to safety?”

Umno: Penang government aid possibly haram

“Saya terima banyak panggilan daripada warga emas yang bertanyakan mengenai perkara itu dan mereka bimbang serta gelisah kerana sudah menerima wang RM100 dan RM1,000 terbabit sejak kerajaan negeri melaksanakan program penghargaan warga emas.
“Mereka sangat bimbang dengan dakwaan wang berkenaan dari sumber duit judi yang haram bagi umat Islam … penjelasan berkenaan bagi menghilangkan keraguan orang ramai di mana sehingga kini masih belum ada sebarang penjelasan walaupun sudah beberapa hari blog berkenaan membuat dakwaan terbabit.”
Umno Youth Information chief Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, asking Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to answer allegations that emerged on a blog. The blog post questioned Penang’s ability to finance their Senior Citizens Appreciation Programme, which awarded RM100 to residents over 60. It said the money could have been obtained from “haram” sources such as gambling revenue or “underworld” contributions.
Reezal later produced a letter confirming that the Penang government had received a contribution of RM500,000 from the Penang Turf Club. Lim has denied that such funds were distributed to Muslims. (Source: Pulau Pinang diminta perjelas sumber wang ehsan, Bernama as quoted in Malaysiakini, 18 Sep 2010)
“We want an answer from Lim (Guan Eng). If the money is from a forbidden source, Muslims will have no part in it.”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, calling on Lim to answer Umno Youth’s allegations about funding sources for Penang’s senior citizens’ programme. (Source: Lim should answer allegations by Umno Youth, The Malay Mail, 25 Sep 2010)
“I am strongly against receiving money from haram (forbidden in Islam) sources. So I am returning it.”
Penang senior citizen Md Saad Md Safar, at a press conference called by state Opposition Leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim from Umno. Md Saad said he was shocked to learn that some of the money for this programme was obtained from the Penang Turf Club. Md Saad, together with eight others, returned their RM100 award to Penang Umno Youth for them to forward to the state government. Another 50 senior citizens have also returned their RM100 through the Bayan Baru Umno division. (Source: Nine return RM100 payout, The Star, 30 Sep 2010)
But what about federal government revenue?
“Untuk makluman Yang Berhormat, buat masa ini, hasil daripada aktiviti perjudian adalah dikategorikan sebagai hasil cukai kepada kerajaan … Bagi semua hasil daripada bayaran cukai ia akan dimasukkan ke dalam Akaun Hasil Disatukan sama seperti semua hasil kerajaan yang lain dan digunakan untuk tujuan belanja mengurus dan pembangunan negara.”
The Finance Ministry‘s written response to Rasah MP Anthony Loke, quoted in a press statement by Petaling Jaya Utara member of Parliament (MP) Tony Pua. The ministry’s statement was reportedly in response to a question from Loke on whether the federal government differentiates the tax income it receives from different sources, whether halal or non-halal.
The ministry clarified that all taxes, including those from gambling, are consolidated in a single fund and used for the nation’s expenses and development. (Source: Umno elected reps pay check also from “dubious sources”, Philosophy Politics Economics, 4 Oct 2010)
“[By] virtue of the same argument Umno is using in Penang, all Umno elected representatives should immediately return all their parliamentary and state assembly allowances to the government as the revenue source is even more dubious than in Penang.”
Pua, challenging Umno elected representatives to return their government allowances since the tax revenue used to pay them also contained taxes from gambling and other non-halal activities. Pua said it was the federal government that approved all gambling licences in Malaysia. (Source: Umno elected reps pay check also from “dubious sources”, Philosophy Politics Economics, 4 Oct 2010)
“[Government aid derived from the gaming industry is not haram] because [the recipients] are not the ones involved in gambling and receive the aid because they are needy.”
“It is the same as … if the government pays a food supplier with gambling revenue. The money is halal as [the food supplier] derived it not from gambling but from food sales.”
Former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, refuting claims that government aid derived from the gaming industry is forbidden in Islam. He said if revenue was derived from gaming, the fault lay with the government and the gaming company, not the aid recipients.
Asri also pointed out that salaries of state and federal civil servants were also derived from all sorts of revenue sources, some of which may include taxes on gambling, alcohol and entertainment venues. In such cases, their salaries are likewise not considered haram, he said. (Source: Asri defends Penang gov’t, gambling revenue ‘halal’, Malaysiakini, 27 Sep 2010)

Why after more than half a year, not a single Cabinet Minister dare to rebut the communal extremists and state that the New Economic Model is not against Article 153 of Constitution?

By Lim Kit Siang,

I walked out of Dewan Rakyat in disgust this morning.
I had stood up to ask a supplementary question for the first oral question which was on the New Economic Model, but the Deputy Speaker, Datuk Ronald Kiandee, who was in the chair, refused to call me.

The question on the New Economic Model was posed by the UMNO MP for Maran, Datuk Haji Ismail bin Hj Abdul Muttalib who asked the Prime Minister “to state the guarantee that in carrying out the New Economic Model it is effective and will achieve the objective set out to make Malaysia a high income nation and at the same time spur the economy and the programmes planned for implementation”.

The answer was given by the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk S. K. Devamany.

If I had the opportunity to pose the supplementary question, I would have observed that on the second day of the 34-day of the budget Parliament, the absence of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak or anyone of the many Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department to answer this question shows that the Barisan Nasional government is neither really seriously nor fully committed whether to Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, New Economic Model or Parliament.

I would have asked in my supplementary question:
  • Whether the Najib administration has taken full ownership of the proposals in the New Economic Model for Malaysia to escape the two-decades long middle-income trap to achieve sustainable and inclusive high-income developed nation status by 2020 and no more regard the New Economic Model proposals as merely “trial balloons” of a group of experts from the global market perspective as said by Najib in June;

  • The government stand in particular on New Economic Model Strategic Reform Initiative (SRI) 5 for “Transparent and market-friendly affirmative action” which will “consider all ethnic groups fairly and equally as long as they are in the low income 40% of households…..taking into consideration the needs and merits of the applicants”;

  • Why for more than six months, not a single Minister dare to state that the New Economic Model is not against Article 153 of the Constitution to check the rise of racism because of the rhetoric of communal extremists, although the Prime Minister has gone to the United Nations General Assembly and Asia-Europe Dialogue to call for a global movement of moderates against extremists.

Call for law to govern practice of black magic

The New Straits Times 
by Alina Simon

KUANTAN: A Syariah High Court judge said Malaysia should consider drafting a law to govern the practice of black magic.

Datuk Rahman Md Yunus said there was a need to create a special enforcement and legal system specifically to tackle the issue as it was becoming rampant, especially among the Malay Muslim community.

He said black magic had been recorded in the Quran and the various prophets, including Prophet Muhammad, had also mentioned of such uses to bring harm to others and sternly forbade the practice.

He said it was time to address the issue as the abuse of black magic not only brought hardship to people, but also created a friction in faith among Muslims.

"We have come across cases of black magic practices in the Syariah Court, but there is no law to address it. Hopefully, there will be a concerted effort by the government to draft a law to curb the abuse," he said after opening a one-day seminar on laws and black magic crime here yesterday.

While acknowledging the difficulty in convicting the offenders in the current legal system, he said these were issues which had to be ironed out.

The seminar was organised by IKIP International College with Pahang Foundation, Pahang Islamic Religious Council and State Syariah Legal Department.

One of the panelists, IKIP law lecturer Dr Mahyuddin Ismail said the seminar, the first to be held in Pahang, was to continue the effort by the Selangor Mufti's Department, which organised a similar seminar late last year.

"The use of black magic as a weapon to bring harm to a person is much talked about in our society but nothing is being done to bring in the offenders to justice.

"We keep hearing of people from all levels of society -- business folk, artistes, VIPs and common folk -- talking about 'kena buatan' (being got at) through 'ilmu halus' (magic) and djinn.

"Although black magic practices tend to be regarded as a rural phenomenon, it is actually a global concern."

Former lecturer at the Islamic Studies Academy of Universiti Malaya and a healer with 20 years experience, Dr Jahid Sidek Al-Khalidi said he daily faced the challenge of helping people who fell victim to black magic.

"I see victims suffering from all sorts of sickness and the culprits responsible are often their own family members, relatives or people they know.

"Magic is also used to create rift among families, husbands and wives, and business partners until they end up being enemies.

"The reason is often because of small, seemingly insignificant matters but it escalates due to festering anger, jealousy and pettiness."

Jahid admitted the difficulty in proving cases involving black magic as it would require skilled and able personnel to investigate and get proof to secure a conviction.

"These things need to be worked on and we hope that with the co-operation of various parties, including the healers, it can be done.

"It is time we have a law as black magic has been around for ages and so many people have suffered in silence."

The seminar was attended by about 200 people from various government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Survival publishes ‘Top 5 Hall of Shame’ for Columbus Day

Peru's isolated Indians have made it clear they want outsiders to stay out.Survival is marking Columbus Day (October 12th/ October 11th in US) by publishing its ‘Top 5 Hall of Shame’ – the key companies violating tribal peoples’ rights worldwide.
They are:
- GDF Suez. Part-owned by the French government, energy giant GDF Suez is heavily involved in the construction of the Jirau dam, which will be the largest dam in Brazil. The company is proceeding with work on the dam despite warnings from Survival and others that uncontacted Indians live near the area affected by the dam.
- Perenco/ Repsol. Anglo-French oil company Perenco, and Spanish-Argentine oil giant Repsol-YPF are exploiting the territory of uncontacted Indians in northern Peru. Both are operating in an area where uncontacted Indians live. Perenco’s suggestions to its workers if they are attacked included, ‘Scare and repel them, or tell them to go home’.
- Samling. This Malaysian logging company is destroying the forests of the hunter-gatherer Penan tribe in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Many Penan have been arrested and imprisoned for mounting blockades against the company. James Ho, Chief Operating Officer of Samling, has said, ‘The Penan have no rights to the forest.’
- Wilderness Safaris. This tour operator recently opened a luxury safari lodge in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana. The lodge boasts a bar and swimming pool, while the Bushmen on whose land the lodge sits are banned by the government from accessing food or water. Andy Payne, Wilderness Safaris’ CEO, responded to criticism of his lodge by saying, ‘Any Bushman who wants a glass of water can have one.’
- Yaguarete Pora. Brazilian ranching company Yaguarete Pora is intent on clearing a large area of forest in the Paraguayan Chaco, even though uncontacted Ayoreo Indians are known to live there. Other members of the tribe have been claiming title to the area since 1993. Yaguarete was fined by the government for concealing the Indians’ existence, but is intent on resuming the destruction.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘These companies really do symbolize everything Columbus signifies today – the quest for money and profit at the expense of people who simply want to be left in peace, on their own land. Surely, 518 years after Columbus’s arrival in the Americas and the decimation of the indigenous inhabitants, it’s time we treated the world’s tribal peoples with a little respect?’
Note to editors: Before August FTSE-100 company Vedanta Resources would have been on this list, but their application to open a controversial bauxite mine on tribal land in Orissa, India, has been turned down by the government.

UK opens 7/7 bombings inquest


A court in London began hearing inquests into the deaths of 52 people killed in a series of bombings that targeted London's transport network on July 7, 2005.

The inquiry will examine whether the police or the MI5 domestic intelligence service could have intercepted the bombers, two of whom had been under the surveillance of the authorities.

The hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice opened on Monday with a one-minute silence to commemorate the victims of the three simultaneous blasts on metro trains in the UK capital and a later explosion on a bus.

Families of victims and survivors have failed in their calls for a full public inquiry into the attacks. But the inquests will provide the first chance to challenge official accounts, which the families have labelled as insufficient, inaccurate and misleading.

"It is disgraceful that there has never been a public, judicial examination of all the facts which is truly independent of the government, the police and the security service," Clifford Tibber, a lawyer whose firm represents families of six of the victims, said.

"These inquests represent the first opportunity for a public examination of the facts and to consider, if there were failings, what lessons have been learned."

Inquests are fact-finding inquiries that take place when a person dies violently or under unusual circumstances.

Bombers monitored

In the immediate aftermath of the bombings, officials stated that the four men - Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Hasib Hussain, and Germaine Lindsay - were unknown to authorities.

But in the years since the attacks, it was revealed that two of the bombers had been on the radar of the security services, but were not deemed significant threats.

Evidence at a number of court cases has shown that Tanweer and Khan, the organisers of the attacks, were photographed, recorded and followed by intelligence operatives several times in early 2004 in the company of plotters later jailed for planning other attacks using fertiliser-based bombs.

"I want the inquests to look at whether any mistakes were made or flawed systems were in place," said Ros Morley, whose husband Colin, died in one of the metro bombings.

"Innocent citizens in the UK and worldwide need to know that they are protected now and in the future."

A report by the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee last year said that despite being identified by MI5, the two men were not considered "essential" targets.

It concluded that the the intelligence service could not have stopped the bombings because it lacked the resources to investigate Khan properly.

Al Jazeera's Tim Friend, reporting from outside the court, said that the inquests have been delayed for five years because of a number of criminal cases that had been taking place in the UK.

"There have also been arguments about precisely what areas this inquest should cover because the security services are worried that intelligence matters do not become public," he said.

"But the coroner is keen that at some point this inquest does cover that territory."

MI5 has sought to block much of the questioning on the grounds that it would require the disclosure of secret files that would threaten national security.

The legal battle over whether the confidential information should be heard at the inquests is not expected to begin in full until next year, with the early part of the hearings set to be largely procedural.

In a video found after the bombings, British-born Khan criticised Western governments for attacks on Muslims.

"Your democratically elected governments continually perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world. And your support for them makes you directly responsible," he said.

Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

HRP petitions US for 100 scholarships,Minorities Act, stateless Indians and leadership training.


(Refer Malaysiakini 11/10/10)
PA070008The Human Rights Party of Malaysia (HRP) has made an unusual request to the United States government to establish a special programme to grant about 100 scholarships annually to high-performing Malaysian Indian high school graduates to study in universities in that country.
HRP contends that “a sizeable number” of such school graduates are denied appropriate educational opportunities in public tertiary institutions because of the racist policies of the Malaysian government.
It said these bright students were denied scholarships for study, even though their academic performance easily warranted the award of such scholarships.
HRP claimed that these Indian students were also not granted admission into the matriculation stream for pre-university studies, which were reserved almost entirely for the bumiputera. This stream of study is widely known to be an easier way into a public university of choice.
‘2,000 students denied entry annually’
The party estimates that there are annually about 2,000 eligible students who are denied entry into public universities, which in any other country would be considered a basic entitlement.
It said it was turning to the US for such scholarship assistance after having made several unsuccessful attempts to redress the situation locally.NONE
Besides requesting for the 100 scholarships in an open letter to US Ambassador Paul W Jones, dated Oct 7, HRP also requested the US to help the Indian community in enforcing a Minorities Protection Act to end statelessness among Indians born in Malaysia.
“We of the HRP, even though a fledgling organisation, are on a serious agenda of change to bring about policies and political programmes that will ensure democracy in substantial terms,” the party’s pro-tem president W Sambulingam said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to Malaysiakini today.
HRP also presented the US embassy with HRP’s “2009 Human Rights and Minority Rights report” which sets out in some detail the human rights and minority rights violations in the country in that year.
The party hoped for “resourceful assistance” from the US in conducting a more accurate assessment of this endemic problem faced by the Indian community.

Sosilawati suspects demand review of repeated remand orders

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 – Lawyers representing the two brothers suspected of masterminding the murder of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others today filed a revision application with the High Court, claiming their clients were victims of repeated remand orders.

The two main suspects have been subjected to consecutive remand orders without facing charges.

Their lawyers also alleged that the police had refused them access to their clients in violation of their right to representation.

“We have made a revision application (against the remand orders) at the High Court this morning, and we’re waiting for the court to decide on a date,” lead lawyer Ravi Neeko told The Malaysian Insider.

His clients, aged 38 and 41, have so far had their remand extended three times back-to-back based on three separate police reports since being arrested on September 11.

The first was made in connection with the Sosilawati murders, while the other two concern missing Indian national A. Muthuraja and contractor Mohd Syafiq Abdullah, who disappeared with his business partner in April.

Neither brother has yet been charged despite police claiming they have “overwhelming” evidence linking the two to the Sosilawati case.

The latest remand order granted by the court will expire on Wednesday.

Ravi today also claimed that he had only been allowed to see his clients four times since the remand orders started a little over four weeks ago, and even then only for short spells.

The lawyer said that at the first meeting with his clients at Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters following their initial arrest, he was not able to receive instructions from them as ten police officers were within earshot at the time.

Section 28A(5) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) allows police to be within sight – but not hearing range – when clients meet with counsel, the former Legal Aid Centre (LAC) KL chairman said.

He explained that it was not so much a question of possible self-incrimination but client-solicitor confidentiality.

“You would not want the world to know what you tell your doctor,” he said.

The two suspects, who are also lawyers, earlier this week lodged a report at the Teluk Panglima Garang police station claiming they had been denied legal representation and visits by family members.

The main suspect has also alleged abuse while in custody, claiming the police kicked and assaulted him with a rubber hose, as well as hit on his private parts with a stick.

The 41-year-old also said he was forced to perform 60 repetitive squat stands until he passed out, adding that he was also forced to admit and point his finger involuntarily to where a murder victim’s mobile phone was thrown.

Cosmetics millionaire Sosilawati, 47, her driver, Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44, CIMB bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and personal lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abd Karim, 32, were reported missing since August 30 after they were said to have gone to Banting over a land transaction.

On September 13, police confirmed that the four victims were beaten to death before their bodies were burnt and the ashes scattered into a river near Ladang Gadong in Banting, Selangor.

Brothers, another suspect file application to review detention

KUALA LUMPUR: Two lawyer brothers and another suspect filed a review application against the extension of the remand order on them obtained by police in connection with the murder of cosmetics millionaire Sosilawati Lawiya and three others.

Lawyer Ravi Nekoo filed the application this morning at the High Court criminal registry here via law firm, Hakem Arabi & Associates.

In the application, Ravi stated that he filed the review under the instruction of his clients and wife of the third suspect on the orders issued by the Kuala Lumpur magistrate's court registrar on Oct 8 in extending the detention order.

He is seeking the matter to be reviewed by the High Court under Section 323 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In the application, all three suspects stated that they were detained on Sept 11 at No 109, Jalan Cempaka, Taman Seri Teluk Datuk, Banting and were remanded for 14 days to facilitate police investigation into the reported disappearance of Sosilawati and three others.

The three were released and rearrested on Sept 25, before police obtained a remand order up to Oct 2, to facilitate investigation into the disappearance of Indian national Allal Kanthan Muthuraja.

They were remanded further until Oct 7, and were produced before magistrate Ahmad Shakib Ismail on Oct 8 at the Bukil Jalil temporary detention centre, where another seven days' remand was obtained to facilitate the investigation into the reported disappearance of Mohd Shafiq Abdullah and Thevaraj Shanmugam.

Several issues

Ravi, in the application, said the investigation officer ASP Tonny Anak Longgan had stated seven grounds for extension of the detention order.

The grounds were to

* establish the suspects' involvement in the murder and motive;

* track down other accomplices;

* trace exibits allegedly disposed of by the suspects;

* record their statements;

* carry out the identification parade;

* investigate the business dealing between the suspects and victims; and

* investigate the business partners of the suspects who were allegedly involved in the diamond business.

Ravi said the trio who were represented by him and two other lawyers, Pushpa Ratnam and Ng See Teong, had objected to Tonny's application.

However, magistrate Ahmad Shakib allowed the police application and ordered the remand order to be extended to Oct 13.

In the review application, Ravi stated that the High Court should look into several issues including the failure of the magistrate to consider remand application individually rather than omnibus.

Ravi contended that the magistrate was wrong in issuing the extension order and that the reasons stated by police were irrelevant.

Meanwhile, Ravi, when contacted, said no date was fixed to hear the application.

Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shansuddin, 44, CIMB officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abd Karim, 32, were reported missing since Aug 30 after they were said to have gone to Banting over a land transaction.

On Sept 13, police confirmed that the four victims were beaten to death before their bodies were burnt and the ashes scattered into a river near Ladang Gadong in Banting, Selangor.

- Bernama

The crossroads of my life



I do not hide my disappointment and disgust with Malaysian politicians and Malaysian politics. I feel we can no longer trust politicians from both sides of the political divide. It may be time to take back power from the politicians and give it to the people. But how do we do that? I don’t know.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Later today I am going home. I spent the last ten days in London to attend the 2nd October talk with Anwar Ibrahim, Tian Chua and Tunku Abdul Aziz and to conference with friends and associates to discuss what the future holds for all of us. That is why you have not heard from me for about week now, other than the MACC revelations in The Corridors of Power.

As you may be aware, I also celebrated my 60th birthday on 27th September and my friends chipped in to buy me a birthday present, a Roland electronic drum set. I suppose I am going to spend more time polishing up on my drumming rather than writing articles. Anyway, I shall try to balance my time so that my drumming does not cause my writing to suffer. My friends have threatened to repossess the drum set if I start slacking in my writing.

I am now eligible for a ‘freedom pass’ so I can actually ride the public transport either free of charge or on a discounted fare. I am also eligible for many other free services and discounts, even when I go to the cinema. So life of a 60 year old is pretty nifty here in the UK with my senior citizen status.

I consider myself at the crossroads of my life, not just because I am now 60 but because of the current developments in Malaysia. And that is why I decided to take a ten-day break and just chill out and jam. As I write this I am awaiting the rest of the gang who are coming over to jam. We may even put on a show at the end of next month for a farewell gig for one of our friends who will be leaving for home after spending more than a decade working outside Malaysia.

My friends, associates and family are quite divided on what I should do from hereon. I am not in a hurry to go back to Malaysia. I have a house here and am quite comfortable in my new surroundings, the country of my birth. I do still have family in Malaysia. But I also have many family members here in the UK -- brother, sisters, cousins, children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and their children who would be my cucu saudara. So I am not quite alone or detached from the family.

The question would be where I would want to be buried. My mother and my maternal grandparents are buried here. My father and my paternal grandparents are buried in Malaysia. So does it really matter where my final resting place is going to be? One place is as good as another and once you are no longer a member of this world it really does not matter too much when you would not be aware of it anyway.

I am going to reflect on the situation these next two months till the end of November. In December, subject to what happens over these two months, I shall have to make my decision. And in January, whatever that decision may be, I shall embark on the next phase of my life. What that decision is going to be will all depend on what I see over these two months.

I am still committed to The Peoples’ Declaration. That is going to be the foundation of what I embark upon. I believe that Malaysia needs reforms and The Peoples’ Declaration clearly spells out what these reforms should be. And I am prepared to work with any group, movement or political party that can commit itself to these reforms.

I earlier spoke about the Third Force. This idea has met with mixed reactions. The Third Force can be anything. It can be a political party. It can be a movement. Or it can simply be a group of like-minded Malaysians who share the aspirations defined by The Peoples’ Declaration. Ultimately, it would be a grouping of Malaysians who seek change or reforms.

Malaysia needs change. Initially we thought that Pakatan Rakyat would be that agent for change. But after more than two years we are not seeing Pakatan Rakyat walk the talk. And because of events like the Selangor PAS internal skirmish between the liberals and the conservatives, the Selangor DAP mud slinging, the Perak DAP public quarrel, and now the PKR party election fiasco, it appears like the three Pakatan Rakyat parties are no different from the parties in the Barisan Nasional coalition.

Can we trust Pakatan Rakyat to be that agent for change? All I can see is the same shit that we see in Barisan Nasional. The only thing is the shit in Barisan Nasional is bigger. But shit is still shit, whatever the size.

I am proposing a meeting of the members of the civil society movements to discuss where we go from here. The focus must be about how to seek change as laid out in The Peoples’ Declaration. Can the current political structure serve our purpose of seeking this change? Can Pakatan Rakyat still be that agent for change?

I don’t know the answer to this, at least not yet. I hope that by December the scenario would be clearer and that by then we will know exactly what we must do. Is this aspiration an exercise in futility? Should I instead plan the rest of my life around just lazing in the sun on a Mediterranean beach with a drink in my hand and a cigar in my mouth?

I do not hide my disappointment and disgust with Malaysian politicians and Malaysian politics. I feel we can no longer trust politicians from both sides of the political divide. It may be time to take back power from the politicians and give it to the people. But how do we do that? I don’t know. And I hope by December it would be clearer.

I have choices as to what to do with the rest of my life, many choices, in fact. I can, if I want, be selfish and make a choice that serves me best. But that choice may not quite be what is best for Malaysia or for the people of Malaysia. So my final choice may have to be laced with some sacrifice and will have to take into consideration what is also good for Malaysia and Malaysians. And what that is I am yet to decide.

I suppose life is such. It is never so simple and straightforward. Anyway, let me stop here for the meantime and get back to my drums and hopefully by Christmas you and I will be clear in our minds as to what we need to do come the new year.

Satu dubur tentukan masa depan Malaysia


Saya tidak menganggap rakyat Malaysia memerlukan drama politik sebegini, sama ada sebagai hiburan untuk meredakan tekanan hidup harian, mahupun sebagai rancangan realiti untuk meningkatkan pengetahuan seks masyarakat umum merentasi sempadan umur.
Saya tidak pasti apakah kesudahannya, malah saya lebih mencurigai apakah ia mempunyai kesudahan.  Saya tidak tahu sama ada benar atau mampu Anwar Ibrahim melakukannya, saya juga tidak berminat sama ada Saiful Bukhari Azlan mencuci duburnya, bahkan saya tidak pasti versi akuan bersumpah (SD) Rahimi Osman (gambar kiri, kedua dari kiri) manakah yang ditandatanganinya tanpa paksaan.
Apa yang pasti, dubur Saiful Bukhari Azlan akan terus dijadikan tumpuan satu Malaysia, malah satu dunia.  Ruang dada akhbar akan sarat dengan berita pendedahan demi pendedahan untuk menghakis dan menggoyah keyakinan rakyat terhadap Anwar Ibrahim; bekas rakan seperjuangannya akan tampil seorang demi seorang untuk membongkar "wajah sebenar" Anwar, dan ruang rencana akan menyiarkan artikel demi artikel untuk mengupas, menganalisa, malah meramalkan masa depan Anwar Ibrahim, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) dan Pakatan Rakyat (PR) - yang sudah tentu akan hancur dan ranap dalam masa terdekat, kononnya.
Jelas, ini kes politik
Saya menghormati proses perbicaraan mahkamah yang sedang berlangsung, malah untuk mendukung prinsip keadilan saya terpaksa menghormati juga mereka yang berhempas-pulas menegakkan keadilan, kononnya, untuk Saiful Bukhari Azlan.  Namun demikian, segala-gala ini gagal mengubah hakikat bahawa Kes Sodomi II ini merupakan kes politik.
Dari segi undang-undang, Anwar Ibrahim didakwa di bawah Seksyen 377B Kanun Keseksaan - kesalahan melakukan hubungan seks di luar tabii yang melibatkan dua pihak secara sukarela.  Dengan kata lain, Saiful Bukhari Azlan perlu tampil sebagai tertuduh bersama Anwar, dan bukannya pengadu yang memberi keterangan - seandainya mengikut Seksyen 377B.
Namun demikian, Saiful mendakwa dirinya diliwat tanpa kerelaan sejak awal lagi.  Jadi, Anwar seharusnya didakwa di bawah Seksyen 377C, iaitu hubungan seks di luar tabii secara paksaan - barulah Saiful boleh tampil ke mahkamah sebagai "pengadu".  Apa yang berlaku kini memperlihatkan kontradiksi yang ketara antara pertuduhan dengan keterangan pengadu.
Justeru itu, sukar untuk kerajaan Najib Abdul Razak meyakinkan rakyat bahawa sistem kehakiman profesional dan bebas ketika membicarakan Kes Sodomi II ini.  Malah, tidak mungkin ia sekadar "kes jenayah" biasa, seandainya dilihat kepada pendekatan lidah UMNO, Utusan Malaysia membuat liputan berita ini.
Liputan luas diberikan kepada kandungan soal-jawab dalam perbicaraan mahkamah.  Malah, perbincangan isu ini dilanjutkan dengan wawancara bersama bekas pemimpin PKR, yang menyindir agar "Anwar tidak perlu takut", sambil mempertikaikan "Kenapa mahu tangguh perbicaraan kalau tidak bersalah?"  Kemudian bekas orang kanan tampil memohon maaf, "Kerana membela Anwar Ibrahim dalam kes liwat pertamanya".  Sumpah-seranahnya bagaikan ludah ke langit, dan jatuh bagaikan hujan kebetulan ketika menjelang pilihan raya kecil...
Buktikan liwat tanpa tusukan?
Saya tidak nampak bahawa ulasan, kupasan, atau analisa yang terpampang di depan mata ketika kita menyelak akhbar ini memberi makna.  Laporan pemeriksaan doktor telah menyatakan bahawa tiada kesan tusukan ditemui, namun perbicaraan tetap berjalan.  Jadi, segala-gala ini seolah-olah cubaan untuk membuktikan kepada satu Malaysia, malah seluruh umat manusia di dunia ini bahawa air mani Anwar boleh sampai ke dalam dubur Saiful tanpa tusukan.
Persoalannya, jikapun dibuktikan keajaiban ini berlaku di tanahair yang tercinta ini, apakah kehebatan ini bakal mengundang pelabur asing untuk menyuntik dana ke Malaysia?  Padahal, belumpun paip ekzos Saiful terbocor, seramai 304,358 orang bakat buatan Malaysia telah mengalir ke luar negeri, antara Mac 2008 hingga Ogos 2009, apatah lagi kemerosotan 81% dalam pelaburan asing langsung di Malaysia, dari US$7.32 bilion (RM23.47 bilion) pada tahun 2008, kepada US$1.38 bilion (RM4.43 bilion) pada tahun 2009?
Apakah makna yang tersirat di sebalik segala-gala ini?  Ertinya, sementara kerajaan Malaysia bertungkus-lumus dalam usahanya untuk "menghilangkan keyakinan" rakyat terhadap Anwar Ibrahim, rakyat Malaysia yang terpaksa menanggung akibatnya - kehilangan keyakinan daripada pelabur asing dan anak watan yang berbakat.
Jelas, Anwar Ibrahim (gambar kiri) diletakkan pada kedudukan sedemikian bukan kerana beliau Ketua Umum PKR, atau kedudukannya sebagai pemimpin utama Pakatan Rakyat.  Bahkan, adalah kurang tepat jikalau beliau sekadar Ketua Pembangkang dalam parlimen.  Kita tidak perlu menjadi Profesor Sains Politik untuk memahami hakikat Anwar Ibrahim berpotensi menjadi Perdana Menteri, dan kita tidak perlu membaca Sun Tze untuk memahami percaturan politik yang berlangsung di depan mata.
Teorinya mudah - musnahnya Anwar, maka terselamatlah Barisan Nasional.
Politik menabur dendam
Untuk tidak dilihat naif dalam politik, saya menerima babak ini sebagai sebahagian daripada pergelutan kuasa antara pemerintah dengan pembangkang, atau dalam realitinya, antara Barisan Nasional dengan Pakatan Rakyat.  Dalam konteks Malaysia, serangan politik yang menyentuh keperibadian kadang-kala tidak dapat dielakkan, meskipun pendekatan ini amat dipertikaikan.  Kita masih jauh dari persaingan politik yang sihat - perdebatan politik yang diangkat martabatnya untuk membicarakan soal struktur dan sistem.
Berbalik kepada persoalan, apakah keperluannya untuk mengaibkan musuh politik dan keluarganya dengan cara sebegitu rupa?  Untuk ramai warga Malaysia yang prihatin terhadap politik, babak perebutan kuasa yang paling dahsyat dalam sejarah Malaysia melabuh tirai pada 2 September 2004 - apabila Anwar Ibrahim dibebaskan dari penjara.  Ianya bukan soal sama ada benar Anwar Ibrahim terlibat dalam kelakuan sodomi, tetapi pengaiban dan penghinaan secara terbuka yang melampaui batas.
Pengaiban secara terbuka terhadap Anwar dan keluarganya telah menyemai benih dendam di kalangan penyokongnya.  Ia amat berbeza dengan persaingan politik "siapa lebih Islam atau siapa lebih Melayu", antara UMNO dengan PAS, atau Semangat 46 pada zaman 1990-an.  Penghinaan secara terbuka untuk mengaibkan seorang isteri bernama Wan Azizah Ismail, tanpa mempertimbangkan perasaan anak-anaknya - dengan aksi-aksi lucah, gambar-gambar yang diubahsuai, kata-kata yang kasar lagi kesat seperti "kaki buntut" dan sebagainya ketika berkempen, terlalu biadap namanya.
Usaha Abdullah Ahmad Badawi untuk membubuh noktah kepada babak politik yang menabur dendam ini disia-siakan begitu sahaja apabila UMNO-BN semakin terdesak di ambang hilang kuasa.  Kita tidak lupa bagaimana doktor Hospital Pusrawi, Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid membuat akuan bersumpah untuk mempertahankan laporannya (berbunyi Saiful tidak diliwat) selepas memeriksa dubur Saiful, dan kemudian menghilangkan diri kerana tidak tahan dengan gangguan dan tekanan daripada pihak berkuasa.
Dan drama ini dipentaskan semula, selepas satu dekad.  Anak-cucu yang melanggan Utusan Malaysia atau Berita Harian kerana sisipan DIDIK, SKOR dan sebagainya, pada masa yang sama ditayangkan adegan bagaimana kelakuan liwat boleh berlaku - dalam bentuk bertulis...  Satu generasi membesar dalam suasana media yang sarat dengan istilah "liwat", "sodomi" - imaginasi masyarakat awam digarap dengan tilam yang naik turun di mahkamah pada akhir tahun 1990-an; kini kita pula menyaksikan satu generasi lagi yang membesar dalam suasana media yang tidak banyak berbeza, mungkin cuma tilam digantikan dengan KY jelly untuk mencungkil imaginasi...
Bebas dari politik dubur
Untuk hampir dua dekad sejak tahun 1981, satu Malaysia berfikir menggunakan otak Mahathir.  Atau dengan kata lain, otak Mahathir yang menentukan Malaysia dalam jangka kira-kira dua puluh tahun ini.  Dan ia hanya berubah mulai tahun 1998, apabila seluruh warga Malaysia diajak untuk berfikir menggunakan dubur.
Bukankah Sasterawan Negara tahun 1982, Shahnon Ahmad memberi gambaran yang paling tepat, melalui bukunya yang berjudul Shit @ PukiMak @ PM, apabila menyifatkan ahli politik yang rasuah, menyalahgunakan kuasa bagaikan najis yang saling menghimpit dalam usus besar?
Dan bukankah inilah senario yang sedang berulang dan berlaku, apabila politikus saling membaling najis, untuk membusukkan dan dibusukkan?  Dan kita wajib tanya, sampai bilakah rakyat Malaysia perlu bergelut dalam najis, sebelum terkeluar dari politik dubur yang busuk lagi membusukkan?
Sebagai warga Malaysia muda yang mendahagakan perubahan, saya sedia akur seandainya kerajaan negeri Pakatan Rakyat (PR) tumbang kerana gagal mengota janjinya terhadap rakyat; bahkan saya sedia tunduk kepada realiti, jikalau terbukti PR kurang mantap dan belum bersedia untuk mengambil-alih kuasa pentadbiran daripada BN.
Malah, saya sedia akur jikalau PR terlepas peluang kerana gagal meyakinkan kaum Melayu yang termakan dengan propaganda UMNO-BN; saya sudi menunggu, sama ada satu penggal, satu dekad mahupun berdekad-dekad lagi untuk pertukaran kuasa kerajaan persekutuan, jikalau kita gagal melakukannya pada detik saat PRU ke-13 yang akan datang.
Namun demikian, saya tidak rela sama sekali jikalau perubahan digagalkan hanya dengan satu dubur milikan Saiful Bukhari Azlan.  Saya tidak rela sama sekali untuk melihat bagaimana penceramah politik berbuih-buih meyakinkan pakcik-makcik FELDA bahawa Saiful boleh diliwat tanpa dubur terkoyak.
Saya tidak sampai hati melihat seorang wanita bernama Wan Azizah Ismail diperlakukan untuk tampil mempertahankan suaminya di depan khalayak ramai.  Saya tidak sampai hati melihat anak-anak Anwar diperlakukan untuk hadir di mahkamah dan dibacakan tuduhan bagaimana ayahnya memasukkan zakar ke dalam dubur bekas pembantunya.
Sememangnya, politik adalah permainan jatuh-menjatuhkan politikus dari jawatan dan kedudukannya, tetapi bukan untuk memijak maruah musuh politik sebagai seorang manusia.  Betapa terdesak sekalipun, garis ini haram dilangkaui - bukan sahaja sebagai kayu ukur demokrasi (bagaimana musuh politik dilayan), tetapi juga sebagai benteng ketamadunan.
Dan yang paling penting, sudah tiba masanya untuk rakyat Malaysia membebaskan diri daripada politik dubur.  Rakyat Malaysia harus membebaskan diri - untuk berfikir menggunakan otak sendiri, dan bukannya otak Mahathir Mohamad mahupun dubur Saiful Bukhari Azlan.   Malaysia wajib keluar dari dubur Saiful Bukhari Azlan.  Saya doakan agar ia masih belum terlewat, sebelum satu Malaysia terhumban ke dalam jamban dan dijirus arus globalisasi.
*Lim Hong Siang ialah Editor MerdekaReview, edisi bahasa Melayu.

Is Nurul Izzah being stonewalled at PKR HQ?

Malaysiakini reports today that YB Nurul Izzah, the  “PKR Federal Territories vice-chief has only received one nomination for the post of deputy president. However, it has been reported that she has in fact received more than enough, these coming from the nominations made by some 30-odd divisions that have yet to reach the party headquarters”.
I checked with my sources in PKR Sabah who confirm that Nurul has received at lease 4 nominations for the position of deputy president.
My sources in PKR Sabah also tell me that although these nominations have been faxed to the party HQ in KL, the latter is maintaining that the same have not been received.
What gives?

An Umno that thinks beyond race

(All following pics courtesy of Azalina)
(All pics below courtesy of Azalina Othman Said)
DATUK Seri Azalina Othman Said is no stranger to Malaysians. The lawyer and former television personality burst onto the political scene in her thirties when she was appointed to sit on the Umno supreme council by then president and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Azalina has held various positions within Umno, including vice-president and Puteri Umno chief. She has also held two ministerial positions – from 2004 to 2008 as youth and sports minister, and from 2008 to 2009 as tourism minister. She was not reappointed a minister when Datuk Seri Najib Razak became prime minister in April 2009. She is currently Member of Parliament for Pengerang, and also Umno Pengerang division head.
The Nut Graph interviewed Azalina on 6 Sep 2010 at a buka puasa event in Gombak.
TNG: Where were you born, and where did you grow up?

Azalina: I was born in Johor in 1963. I grew up everywhere. My father was a government servant and he was transferred from state to state. But I’m a Johorean by nature. I eat Johorean food, I talk like a Johorean.
What are your strongest memories of the places where you grew up?
I enjoyed Penang very much. The food – roti canai, mee goreng. I stayed in Green Lane. Opposite my house was a Catholic church. I remember I used to play on the Catholic church field. I would go in and out of the church compound. The priest there, he was like an uncle to me. I never saw him as a Christian, I just saw him as a nice man who was kind and gentle with all the kids in the neighbourhood.
Growing up was about friends. I used to go cycling with my Malay, Chinese and Indian [Malaysian] friends, girls and boys. I never felt that I was uncomfortable among non-Malay [Malaysians]. Festivals like Deepavali, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya were a reason to party with friends.
I went to school at Convent Green Lane, which was run by nuns. Our principal was a nun, she wore the nun’s [habit] in school. I never saw her or our teachers as any different just because they were nuns. Although having said that, I did see my agama teacher as different – she was very strict. I remember her, she had a rotan.
Can you trace your ancestry? Where were your parents and grandparents from?
My mother is of Arab ancestry, my father is Bugis. His ancestors were from Indonesia.
Are there any stories that you hold onto from your parents and grandparents?
There are stories about my paternal grandfather who was a customs officer in Johor Baru. I never met him, but I [know] he was a government servant. On my mother’s side as well, they were involved in government administration, so I guess I have that administrative history in my family.
Azalina (right) with her siblings
Azalina (right) with her siblings
How do you connect to these stories as a Malaysian?
I feel that nobody owns Malaysia. All of us are “foreigners” in a way. We are all descendants of people who came here from somewhere else. But we are all Malaysian.
Are there any struggles you have with your identity as a Malaysian?
I think there is a perception that Malaysians are lazy, very relaxed and satisfied, and not willing to work hard to achieve. I feel this perception is incorrect and Malaysians should be more well-known abroad as achievers.
You’ve held many positions within Umno. What were some of the highlights?
Leading Puteri Umno was a good experience, especially getting a few hundred thousand women with no political experience to be part of the party and understand politics and Umno. Women play a very important role in the party.
Unfortunately, they are sometimes their own biggest enemy because they censor and limit themselves. In reality, a woman stands a good chance of running for president or deputy president because there are more women party members. But it doesn’t work that way, whether due to culture, religion, or the perception [that women cannot lead].
I don’t think Umno likes strong women. Look at Tan Sri Rafidah Abdul Aziz, she’s very strong. She’s extremely proactive, intelligent, focused and vocal, but I think because of that, she may not be that popular within Umno. They like women who are feminine and soft. I’m the only woman division head in Umno. There was a guy who ran for the post against me and I won and was elected.
Azalina and Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim at an Umno event
Azalina and Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim at an Umno event
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in politics as a woman leader?
It’s been challenging as a woman leader, especially when you’re not married. There’s a lot of negative perception about that. It’s difficult to attend weddings sometimes. Usually, in Malaysia, you attend weddings with your husband, but I go alone. Every time I go to a wedding, there’ll be an empty chair next to me.
The challenging part is, at every wedding, I’ll always be asked, “When are you getting married?” Not just at one wedding, but at multiple weddings. There’s an expectation to get married, especially as a Malay [Malaysian] politician. But I think people should not dictate how we live our personal lives, whether or not someone should get married. That’s entirely a personal decision.
Describe the kind of Malaysia you would like for yourself and for future generations.
I would like Malaysians to be more open-minded, more responsible and more grateful for what they have. We have so much compared to many countries and our neighbours, we should be thankful. We are a fantastic country and we should make efforts to stay that way and become better.
I think the Malaysian political leadership must be more focused on the right way to set Malaysia on its future direction. Things like political assassination should not be encouraged. Whether we like it or not, the government and the opposition have to work together to build Malaysia. I think we need responsible political leadership.
At an Umno function in her constituency
At an Umno function in her constituency
And what kind of Umno would you would like to see in the future?
I’d like to see an Umno that is more relevant to young people. An Umno that doesn’t focus on form, but more on substance. I would like Umno not to have “expected expectations”. It must be able to think outside the box. It must think beyond Malays, beyond Muslims. It must be relevant. I think in years to come, there will not be any racial parties, we will be more focused on issues, not race. That will be the future.