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Thursday, October 14, 2010

He who asserts must prove

Malaysiakini in a report entitled ‘Conspiracy to deny Nurul’s candidacy’ yesterday, carried this image of the top part of what appears to be a circular from the office of PKR Sec-Gen dated 19th July, 2010 and addressed to, amongst others, division heads, to notify them that names of nominees for the forthcoming elections for national leaders were to reach the party HQ by 10th October.


The same report has it that the Selangau division in Sarawak and Semporna division from Sabah, both of which had nominated Nurul Izzah for the post of deputy president claim that they were never previously informed of this cut-off date.

Further, 4 divisions from Selangor issued the following joint statement :
“We are equally puzzled by the fact that there was in existence the 10th October, 2010 deadline for submission of nomination papers as all of us, in addition to the 35 divisions, were unaware of such deadline”.

That’s a lot of divisions saying they were never informed of this cut-off date.
Day before yesterday, 2 sources in PKR confirmed with me that originally, 10th October was set down as the date, not for divisions to send in their list of nominations to HQ, but as the date set for nominees to confirm their acceptance to contest for the posts for which they had received the requisite number of nominations.

That date, I was told, was only recently moved to 16th October.
How recently, I asked.

“Very recently”, I was told
A month ago, I asked.
“No, more recently”, was the reply.

Which is odd, because if this is correct, it means that about a month ago, parties nominated to contest were to inform HQ on 10th October which posts they were going to contest for.
The very same day by which divisions were to notify HQ who they had nominated for the various posts that were up for grabs, if this circular now produced in part is to be believed.
This circular that so many divisions now say they never received.
When did the secretariat despatch this circular out to the various divisions?
How was the circular sent out?
Post?
Courier?
E-mail?
Was it ever sent out?

MyConstitution: Roles of PM, public services

 ImageMalay Mail

Rakyat Guides 5 — Part 2

LAST week, the first part of the Rakyat Guides 5 explained who is the Executive and the roles they play.

This week, the second part of the Rakyat Guides 5 continues with the Prime Minister, Cabinet and Public Services' role in the Constitution, and some frequently asked questions.

What is the Prime Minister’s role?

The Prime Minister is the Head of Government, appointed by the Yang DiPertuan Agong (YDPA). In appointing the Prime Minister, the YDPA acts in his discretion, but he may only appoint as Prime Minister a member of the Dewan Rakyat who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat.

In practice, the Prime Minister is usually the leader of the controlling party or controlling coalition of political parties in the Dewan Rakyat.

If the Prime Minister ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat, he has two choices — (i) tender the resignation of the whole Cabinet to the YDPA so that the YDPA may appoint a new Prime Minister, or (ii) advise the YDPA to dissolve the Dewan Rakyat for purposes of a new general election.

Under the Constitution, the Prime Minister’s role includes advising the YDPA on:

● the appointment of 44 out of 70 Senators;
● the summoning and adjournment of sittings of the Dewan Rakyat;
● the appointment of judges of the superior courts (which are the High Courts, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court);
● the appointment of the Attorney-General and the Auditor-General;
● the appointment of the chairmen and members of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, Election Commission, Police Force Commission, Education Service Commission, National Finance Council and Armed Forces Council; and
● the appointment of the Governors of Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak.

Many of the functions above are said to be done by the YDPA but actually the YDPA must follow the advice of the Prime Minister.

What is the Deputy Prime Minister’s role?

The Constitution makes no provision for a Deputy Prime Minister. However, in practice, Malaysia has always had a Deputy Prime Minister who has been appointed from the Cabinet.

What is the Public Services of Malaysia?

The public services of Malaysia includes:
● the police force;
● the armed forces; and
● the education service.

It also includes public servants such as those who work for ministries and Federal and State Governments.

The members of the public service do not change with the Government, and they are responsible for the day-to-day running of the ministries and government departments.

Is the Executive accountable to Parliament?

Ministers are responsible to Parliament. Parliament exerts control on Ministers through question time, when Members of Parliament (“MPs”) question Ministers on government policy. Controls are also exercised through Select Committees formed in Parliament to look into particular issues.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do the Prime Minister and the other members of Cabinet have to take an Oath?

Yes, the Prime Minister and other members of the Cabinet must swear an oath that they will faithfully discharge their duties to the best of their ability and bear true faith and allegiance to Malaysia and will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

Does the Constitution state that only a person of a particular race, religion or gender can become the Prime Minister?

No, the Constitution does not say that only a person of a particular race, religion or gender can become Prime Minister of Malaysia. But the person who is appointed Prime Minister must be someone who is a Malaysian citizen by birth.

The Constitution says that the YDPA has to consult the Conference of Rulers in appointing Judges. The Constitution also says that the Prime Minister must consult the Chief Justice before advising the YDPA on appointing Judges.

What does “consult” mean?

The Constitution does not explain what “consult” means. However, “consult” does not mean “to obtain consent”. In other words, the YDPA does not need the consent of the Conference of Rulers and the Prime Minister does not need the consent of the Chief Justice for the appointment of Judges.

On the other hand, “consult” has been said to include a “careful consideration” or “serious consideration” of the views of the Conference of Rulers and the Chief Justice.

Parliament is supposed to make federal laws. Can the Executive make laws as well?

Yes, the Executive can make laws in two ways. First, when Parliament passes an Act that gives the Executive power to do so. Parliament has passed many Acts that give the Executive the power to make laws. Laws made by the Executive are called “delegated or subsidiary legislation”. It is not necessary for subsidiary legislation to be approved by Parliament before it can become law.

In practice in Malaysia, Parliament has given the Executive quite extensive powers to make subsidiary legislation. For example, the Executive can make laws to punish someone by way of a fine or by a jail term.

The second situation in which the Executive can make laws is when a Proclamation of Emergency is issued by the YDPA. If during an Emergency, the Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat are not in session, the YDPA may pass laws called Emergency Ordinances.

As the YDPA must generally act on the advice of the Cabinet, the laws that the YDPA makes through the Emergency Ordinances must follow the advice of the Cabinet.

Emergency Ordinances cannot be challenged in Court even if it is inconsistent with other provisions of the Constitution such as those on fundamental liberties.

However, emergency powers cannot be used to enact or amend laws on Islamic law, custom of the Malays, native law or customs of Sabah or Sarawak, religion, citizenship or language. Emergency Ordinances must be obeyed until they are:

● revoked by the YDPA;
● annulled; or
● the Proclamation of Emergency is revoked.

Today, there are two Proclamations of Emergency and some Emergency Ordinances that continue to operate in Malaysia. This also means that today, in addition to Parliament, the YDPA (acting on the advice of the Cabinet) can continue to make emergency laws.

Do you elect your Government?


Malaysians do not vote for the Prime Minister and the Cabinet directly. We vote for our MPs and the Prime Minister is selected from those MPs. The Prime Minister then chooses the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister may choose his Cabinet from members of the Dewan Rakyat or the Dewan Negara. If he chooses members from the Dewan Negara, it means that those Cabinet members were not elected by Malaysians.

I have heard about the term “ministerial responsibility” and “collective responsibility”. What do they mean?

Each Minister in Cabinet is required to answer questions in Parliament about how his or her ministry is run and about the work that the ministry does. Although the Constitution does not say so, it is expected that a Minister must accept responsibility for the policies or mistakes made by his or her ministry, even if he or she was not directly involved. This is the concept of individual ministerial responsibility.

The Constitution states that the Cabinet shall be collectively responsible to Parliament. A member of Cabinet must publicly support a Cabinet decision even if he or she disagrees with the decision in private. If the member of Cabinet feels unable to publicly support a Cabinet decision, he or she should resign. The member cannot criticise the decision in public yet remain in the Cabinet. This is the concept of collective responsibility of the Cabinet.

The concept of collective responsibility of Cabinet also means that the entire Cabinet should resign if the Prime Minister ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat.

Seven officers held under ISA

The Star 


KUALA LUMPUR: Seven Immi­gration Department officers and two foreigners have been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for alleged involvement in human trafficking.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said all nine were arrested at different locations between Sunday and Tuesday.

However, Ismail refused to reveal more information on the detention and identity of the suspects.

“The arrests will enable us to investigate the syndicate’s activities,” he told reporters yesterday.

Ismail said if no stern action had been taken, the situation could have posed a threat to national and regional security. “Irresponsible parties might take the opportunity to get involved in criminal activities such as terrorism, firearms and drugs smuggling.”

Ismail said police were also making efforts to ensure Malaysia was not used as a transit point by foreigners for their criminal activities.

On Oct 4, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) arrested five Immigration De­­partment officers for allegedly allowing foreigners without proper travel documents into the country.

They were arrested at Pulau Ketam Jetty and in various places in Klang.

Two other officers were also arrested in Port Dickson for allegedly receiving bribes and permitting the unlawful entry of foreigners.

The authorities also arrested several runners for syndicates linked to the officers. The MACC also found almost RM100,000 on the officers and the runners.

Coming home to roost


This is not just about PKR. This is also about Pakatan Rakyat. The head honcho of PKR will automatically become the head honcho of Pakatan Rakyat -- just like the head honcho of Umno becomes the head honcho of Barisan Nasional.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

We shall soon be seeing the 12th by-election since the March 2008 general election, which will be held in Galas, Kelantan.

Galas is in the Gua Musang parliamentary constituency, a seat that has been consistently won by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, the taiko of that area.

As much as Umno tried to topple Tengku Razleigh in the days when he led Semangat 46 they never could kick him out. Tengku Razaleigh could have won that seat even as an independent candidate.

About 15% or so of the voters in Galas are Orang Asli and it is said that this is the biggest Orang Asli constituency in Malaysia (I have not checked the statistics yet). So the Orang Asli would most likely be the group that will determine whether PAS or Umno wins this seat.

In the 2008 general election, PAS managed to win this seat although the other two state seats, plus the parliamentary seat, went to Umno. However, was it PAS or was it the candidate who won this seat? The Galas seat, just like Gua Musang, is ‘personal to holder’ and was not won because of the party.

The Orang Asli in Galas are not happy with the state government. This is because the district office demolished their church. Why they would demolish a church deep in the jungles, which is of no threat to anyone and is off the beaten track, is anyone’s guess.

The Orang Asli took the government to court and won. But the district office is appealing the court’s verdict so the matter is still unresolved. Why can’t the district office admit defeat and allow the Orang Asli to rebuild their demolished church? I don’t know. Maybe it is because the government hates losing.

Now, PAS needs the support of the Orang Asli to be able to win the Galas by-election. But will the Orang Asli give PAS their votes or will they use this by-election to punish PAS for what the district office did to their church and for stubbornly still fighting to overturn the court decision?

There are a number of Chinese voters in Galas but the community is not as large as the Orang Asli. So PAS will have to depend on the Malay voters. But with Tengku Razaleigh, the Gua Musang taiko, leading the charge, the Malays may be delicately split 50:50. Thus the Orang Asli votes are very crucial.

It is a predicament that PAS is soon going to face. If PAS can ‘pull rank’ and instruct the ‘Little Napoleons’ in the district office to withdraw its appeal and accept the court’s verdict and allow the Orang Asli to have their church then it is possible that the situation can still be salvaged. If not, then this seat may fall to Umno.

It is perplexing that the district office refuses to allow the Orang Asli their church when the state government gave the Hindus in Kelantan permission to build a temple. In fact, the Hindus did not ask for a temple. It was Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat who summoned the Hindus for a meeting and offered permission for them to build a temple. Why now make a big deal out of the Orang Asli church?

Over to you PAS and may common sense prevail.

The PKR party election is probably a bigger event than the Galas by-election, in particular the contest for the post of deputy president.

Understandably, the deputy presidency is an extremely sought-after post because if anything were to happen to the president or the party adviser then the deputy would become the de facto president. And many are not sure if Anwar Ibrahim can succeed in staying out of jail seeing that the government is bent on getting him on the Sodomy 2 charge.

The issue is not whether Anwar is guilty or not. It is how badly the government wants him behind bars. After all, in the Sodomy 1 case the government failed to prove Anwar’s guilt. Anwar was sent to jail because he failed to prove his innocence although any first-year law student can tell you that this is not how the law works.

The party contest has seriously split PKR. As it is, PKR is already the weak link in Pakatan Rakyat. Can the members close ranks once the party contest is over and the winners and losers have been decided? I don’t know but then it will all depend on who the winners and losers are.

To save the party, some compromises may have to be ironed out. The main friction appears to be between Zaid Ibrahim and Azmin Ali. And both sides has accused the other of ‘playing dirty’.

What the members should do is to reject both. Don’t vote for either Zaid or Azmin. Instead, vote for the ‘dark horse’. That would be one way of ending the conflict.

The only two dark horses I can think of would be Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim and MP Nurul Izzah Anwar. And if Nurul is not able to contest then it would have to be Khalid.

But will Khalid contest if Nurul is not eligible to contest? He may have to, not because he wants the post, but so that he can offer the members a third choice in the event they want to ‘punish’ both Zaid and Azmin.

I would rather see Nurul join the contest so that Khalid can be free to run the state. Selangor is too important a state to lose in the next general election. And if anything happens to Anwar then Khalid will be lumbered with the job of running the party. And if he focuses on the state instead, then the party is going to suffer. There is no way Khalid can run both the party and the state at the same time seeing that both are ‘problem areas’.

That is why I want Nurul to contest. But if she can’t then she can’t. What more can I say?

I have nothing against Azmin. In fact, he is my friend (as is Zaid) and we do still keep in touch, at least via SMS. But Azmin just has too many enemies. And the other two coalition members, PAS and DAP, are more comfortable with Khalid than with Azmin.

This is not just about PKR. This is also about Pakatan Rakyat. The head honcho of PKR will automatically become the head honcho of Pakatan Rakyat -- just like the head honcho of Umno becomes the head honcho of Barisan Nasional.

Some think I am getting too personal about the PKR party contest. Maybe I am. Anything that affects the future of Pakatan Rakyat I take very personal because this invariably affects the future of Malaysia as well.

So we need to look at the big picture. I couldn’t care a damn who becomes the number two of PKR if it is just about PKR. But when the outcome has a bearing on the wellbeing of Pakatan Rakyat, then it becomes everyone’s concern, even those in PAS and DAP.

Sarawak MPs see November state polls


Taib has convinced Putrajaya it could not afford to go into 
battle without him. — file 

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — Speculation is rife among Sarawak MPs that the state assembly will be dissolved in November to pave way for state elections in which Barisan Nasional (BN) is expected to retain power while ceding ground to Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

The 2011 Budget announcement tomorrow is also expected to give added emphasis to the East Malaysian state to provide the catalyst for a dissolution of the state assembly early next month.

While BN is in no danger of losing the state government, winning by a two-thirds majority in the 71-seat chamber seems unlikely if the PR coalition of DAP, PKR and PAS perform as predicted.

DAP is expected to win most of the 17 Chinese-majority seats in Sarawak, but not without a hard fight as was seen in the recent Sibu by-election, which has a 76 per cent Chinese majority but was won marginally by DAP.

The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), in trouble with Chinese voters since 2006, is being told that BN will be able to form the next state government without a single contribution from it.

This is the message going out to the party from Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud, who must call state polls by June next year.

Chinese majority seats were traditionally contested by the Chinese-based SUPP, which, like the MCA and Gerakan in Peninsular Malaysia, has lost the support of the community’s urban voters for its perceived deference to the Bumiputera-based Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

PBB president Taib will be leading the state BN into battle and is expected to sweep the non-Chinese seats together with the smaller Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).

Despite pressure from Kuala Lumpur to retire and put a new face in charge to win both urban and rural support, Taib, despite continued allegations of corruption, has convinced the federal government that it risked losing the entire state if he was not in place — a blow they can ill-afford with the country seen to be on the cusp of a general election.

“The thinking is that while Barisan is set to lose the urban Chinese vote, without Taib they might also lose the rural Iban vote and lose the government as well,” a Sarawak Barisan leader said.

“We are set on the lesser of the two evils, lose Chinese votes and still win the government or lose Taib and lose everything.”

“This argument has won the day because all the corruption allegations are only an issue with urban voters in Sarawak and elsewhere in Malaysia. It is not an issue in rural Sarawak where development is the main and only issue,” he added.

Another BN leader believed Taib could still deliver a needed victory for the coalition, “Here Taib is still strong and can pull the votes for one final time.”

However, BN’s ability to dominate the state assembly will be in doubt if the PKR and PAS also do as well as the DAP is expected to.

But observers say PKR in Sarawak was in disarray and heavily splintered along ethnic and religious lines, even with Baru Bian — a lawyer, anti-corruption champion and defender of native land rights — leading.

It was further alleged that “operatives” have infiltrated the state PKR and were likely to spark splinter groups, further weakening the party.

Such breakaways are a phenomenon in Sarawak politics that has traditionally been employed to weaken the opposition while burnishing the image of the ruling coalition.

PAS, on the other hand, has yet to make inroads into Sarawak politics because Islam is not a political force in the state as it was in Kelantan or Terengganu.

This is the case even in Muslim majority areas, and if PAS is to win, it will need help from DAP and, to a lesser extent, PKR.

“It might win one seat,” said a DAP leader, “if we agree to give up a marginal Chinese seat to them.”

DAP’s weakness is that although it is a nominally a multi-racial party, it prefers to contest only in Chinese majority areas where it has formed branches and established a network.

“We left organisational work in Malay/Muslim/Iban areas in the interior to PKR,” said the DAP leader. “Problem is they (PKR) are weak and fractured and have not organised anything.”

“So you can guess the results (election outcome),” he said.

Samy Vellu: It was time to go

Samy Vellu said he would welcome an advisory role in the future. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — MIC’s longest serving president, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said yesterday that he had no regrets over his decision to step down in January next year, as the party needed a new leader.

He said with the changing political scenario and landscape, the party faced great challenges and needed more young and capable leaders to serve the Indian community.

“So, I thought it is the time for me to leave and give them the opportunity to lead and serve the community and I’m very happy with that.

“I’m very clear that I have been given a chance by the community for 30 years to serve them and I think that was one of greatest period anyone could have ever had in this country’s history,” he said during an interview on the Hello Malaysia talk show at Bernama TV, here yesterday.

He also said he did not worry about the party’s future as the new direction for the party had been set.

“By me leaving, the new leader will continue and the relationship with the people will also continue and in such circumstances, whenever people need something, I think they will approach the MIC. Things will be done as usual,” he said.

He also said he would welcome it if the future leadership of MIC needed his advice and views on how the party has to be or for solutions to resolve issues that may arise. — Bernama

Ku Li wants to make it a 'family affair'

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Galas state seat by-election is expected to be a local Umno leader who will be handpicked by Gua Musang division chief, who is also Gua Musang MP, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.


The former finance minister is said to be given a free hand in the campaign which starts on nomination day (Oct 26). This included picking the right candidate to stand.

Razaleigh is said to be keen to make the by-election a “family affair” where outsiders are not expected to play any major role. It is also learnt he does not want federal leaders and ministers to officiate at any functions in Galas.

“Even ceramah speakers will be mostly Kelantanese. There will not be any grand opening of schools or any projects,” said an aide closed to him.

Razaleigh is expected to pick his candidate from among the division’s committee members who have proven to be loyal and have tirelessly served the constituents.

Razaleigh, who prefers to keep a low profile and wants to meet people in small groups, is expected to do away with all decorums and officialdom and focus on the traditional house-to-house campaign.

“I think he would do away with a command centre, which was a practice in the past, where campaigners would convene to schedule ceramah and visits by leaders.

“I think he would prefer to arrange things from his own home and, with the aid of his division people, to chart campaign strategies and schedules.

“After all, he is a man who trust his people who know the ground well rather than outsiders who parachute at the last minute and begin campaigning as though they know the place well,” said a close aide.

Phantom voters in Bayan Baru PKR polls?

By Athi Shankar - Free Malaysia Today,

GEORGE TOWN: The Bayan Baru PKR division has hardly recovered from revelation of electoral malpractices that marred its polls last month when another bombshell was dropped.
This time it is phantom voters.

Two men, who are not PKR members, claimed to have been phantom voters brought in by the victorious Team Reformis at the divisional polls held at the Silver Jubilee Home, Sungai Nibong, on Sept 25.

The duo – Mohd Faisal Akbar Ali, 24, and K Baskaran, 44 – alleged that they have taken part in the divisional annual general meeting (AGM) and subsequently voted under the order of Team Reformis in the polls.

The duo has each made a statutory declaration under oath today to substantiate their allegations.

A check by FMT on the membership list used in PKR Bayan Baru election substantiated the duo's claim that they were not members.

During last month's polls, both claimed that they have arrived at about 10.30am to observe the electoral process out of curiosity when they saw a large crowd at the Jubilee hall.

About 2.30pm, while they were observing the balloting process, an unidentified person wearing a  Team Reformis tag, has asked them whether they have voted or not.

When the duo disclosed they were not even PKR members, the individual told them to wait for a while and left for the registration counter.

Subscription receipt

The person returned and issued to Faisal and Baskaran a paid-up PKR official membership subscription receipt each.

He then told them to go in and vote for Team Reformis, helmed by Pantai Jerejak assemblyman Sim Tze Tzin.

They said they first declined to vote because they were not PKR members.

However, they finally agreed to cast ballots after been convinced by the person that “it was okay to vote even though they were not members”.

They claimed that they were then escorted by the person through the main entrance of the voting hall.

After being inside the hall, the alleged Team Reformis agent took their identity cards and went to the registration counter.

A few minutes later, the person returned to issue each of them the relevant ballot sheets and a flyer listing candidates from Team Reformis.

The person instructed them to vote for all names listed in the flyer.

'Syok syok'

Faisal and Baskaran claimed that they duly obeyed the person's directives and voted for Team Reformis merely for “syok syok” (fun).

When asked why only now they were revealing this, the duo claimed that they felt guilty and worried about their safety after reading so much news on electoral malpractices in Bayan Baru PKR.

“We were worried that what we did would come out in the open and become a threat to us.

“So we swore this staturory declaration to protect us,” said the duo.

They said they were not under any undue pressure or influence from anyone to make the statutory declaration, adding that “it was done on our own accord”.

In the polls, Team Reformis routed Team Rakyat, led by former division vice-chairman M Ngnanasegaran, in the contests for all the principal positions.

However, Sim, who was elected as chairman, and his team were tainted with controversies.

Widespread allegations of serious electoral malpractices emerged instantly after the divisional polls, including cheating, vote rigging, manipulation, disappearance of ballot boxes, and biasness of election duty officials. Now it’s phantom voters.

Team Rakyat supporters have already lodged police reports and filed several complaints to the party election steering committee chairman Molly Cheah.

They want Cheah to nullify the Sept 25 election and conduct fresh polls.

It's learnt that Faisal and Baskaran have video evidence to prove their participation in the AGM and election.

They plan to lodge a complaint to Cheah by this week. A video footage will also be submitted.

When contacted, newly elected division deputy chairman Mohd Rashid Hasnon from Team Reformis expressed surprised by allegations of the phantom menace.

“This is the first time I am hearing that phantom voters have voted in Bayan Baru polls and that too for Team Reformis,” said Rashid, who was in charge of the voter registration exercise during the polls.

He assured the division would probe if the accusers can provide him information.

“We will conduct a probe according to party rules,” said Rashid, who is a volunteer of Malaysians for Free and Fair Election (Mafrel).

Crime prevention bureau to tackle Indian ills

By G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today,

PETALING JAYA: The newly-set up Malaysian Indian Visionary Association (MIVA) launched its Crime Prevention and Police Affairs Bureau today (yesterday) aimed at addressing the soaring crime rate among Indians.

MIVA president V Mugilan said the bureau will conduct programmes to educate Indian youths on the ills of gangsterism and the soaring crime rate prevalent in the community.

In addition, it will educate Indians of their basic rights which he claimed many lacked knowledge of.

“According to our statistics, Indians' involvement in crime in every district stands at an average 20%. At Simpang Renggam, about 40% of the detainees are of Indian ethnicity.

“The bureau will address this issue by reaching out to the specific target groups and help curb  criminal activities among Indians,” said Mugilan, a former MIC deputy Youth chief.

Mugilan launched his MIVA on Oct 5, after disbanding the infamous Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu (GAS) movement following MIC president S Samy Vellu's intention to step down in January.

Mugilan said the bureau, to be headed by R Sri Sanjeevan, the former chairman of MIC's police affairs and rehabilitation unit will seek an appointment with Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar within two months to get feedback from him over the matter.

“We will also organise a colloquium among various quarters to seek solutions to the Indian crime issues. We will forward the findings to the home ministry and police,” said Mugilan.

Root cause of crime among Indians

Sri Sanjeevan, 27, said he decided to head the bureau as it comes under the wing of a non-partisan NGO.

“Sometimes in a political situation, our hands are tied on certain matters. MIVA offered me ample room to be straightforward and firm in tackling these issues,”said Sri.

He added that his first task was to set up committees in every state and also in every district in each state.

“We must be able to go to the district level to identify the root cause of the crime problems among Indians,” said Sri.

Among other things, he will look into the rehabilitation of former prison inmates and educating their families and society to accept them back into the mainstream.

“There are cases where though the former detainees have repented, the authorities continue to harass them whenever a crime occurs in their areas.

“This has caused great embarassment and difficulties to former prisoners,” said Sri who urged the public to come forward if they are in need of advice.

Sri Sanjeevan can be contacted through his mobile number 019-700 0505 or e-mail at srisanjeevr@gmail.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The day Ibrahim Ali's mouth goes numb - Malaysiakini


'It's common knowledge that most sultans are under Umno's thumb so is this Umno's way of trying to get Ibrahim Ali back under their control?'

Kelantan revokes Ibrahim Ali's datukship

Mohd Hazwan: Ibrahim Ali is a liar through and through. He said he did not benefit from Sports Toto when everyone said he did. He said he was not using the handphone in Parliament the other day when everyone saw him doing so. He said he had just visited the former sultan and they were friends, and suddenly his datukship was revoked.

He may think the whole world is stupid, but I think his days are numbered.

Albert: Ibrahim Ali said: "Perkasa is defending the country's basic constitution." I am not too sure about that.

What Ibrahim Ali is defending is the blatant abuse of the constitution (i.e. Article 153). Article 153 (i.e. civil service, scholarships, education, permits) in its original form and intention, has never been threatened. Ibrahim Ali has conveniently chosen not to inform the ignorant Malays that it requires a two-third vote in Parliament to change the constitution.

Do not also forget that the military, police, judiciary, AG's Chambers, etc, are all controlled by Malays. Ibrahim Ali (supported by Mahathir Mohamad, Utusan Malaysia and the authorities) is simply creating unfounded fear among the ignorant Malays to make himself relevant.

Do we honestly think that he is doing it for the Malays (especially those Malays who were sidelined in the 40 years of affirmative action and have remained poor even now)? He is defending the abuse of Article 153 in order to continue enriching the already filthy rich Umno Malays and their cronies.

Wakaka: 'No big deal,' he said. I wonder if his perception of the remaining two 'datukship' are also the same.

Abahpenang: Even his own sultan is mad at him. Hopefully the sultan will revoke Ibrahim Ali his 'Kelantaneseship' altogether. Ibrahim is a disgrace to the Malay and human race. It is a total humiliation for Ibrahim Ali that his datukship was revoked by his sultan.

Md Imraz Muhammed Ikhbal: "If it has something to do with Perkasa, I should be given a higher award than (a datukship) because Perkasa is defending the country's basic constitution and the royal institution," said Ibrahim Ali.

Since when can the word "desecrating" be read to mean "defending"? Ibrahim Ali is a sheer embarrassment to the Malay race and an utter disgrace to the dignity of Muslims. He should not only be stripped of the title 'datuk', but should in fact be crowned the title 'pariah'!

Dood: Wow, the nerve of Ibrahim Ali in thinking that he in fact should be given a greater award for his work with Perkasa.

The revocation of Ibrahim Ali's datukship was a pleasant surprise for once, coming after a whole long list of disappointing actions by our royalty. I want to know more to see if the reasons for the revocation is worthy of praise.

Kusoh: To be fair to Ibrahim Ali, there were Tuns and Tan Sris charged in courts. I guess there must be a good reason for the revocation of the title. He has other datukship for his past contributions (whatever they are) and his current status should not be a yardstick.

MKini Reader: The present Kelantan sultan has been revoking titles and positions from people close to the previous sultan. So revoking Ibrahim's may not be connected to his ultra-racist antics.

Doc: An Umno-aligned politician getting his datukship revoked is something most unusual. It's common knowledge that most sultans are under Umno's thumb so is this Umno's way of trying to get Ibrahim Ali back under their control and tame him? There is more than meets the eye here.

Anonymous: Padan muka kamu, Ibrahim Ali. Orang Melayu seperti kamu yang tidak berbudi-bahasa memang malukan kebudayaan Melayu yang lemah lembut dan peramah, bukannya menghina kaum-kaum berbudaya yang lain daripada kamu.

Lebih-lebih kelakuan dan tindak-tanduk kamu telahpun menghina nama baik Islam, bukan saja orang Melayu ataupun Kelantan. Insaf dan bertaubat, inilah yang penting, bukan sekadarnya anda masih 'Datuk' selepas penarikan daripada Sultan Kelantan.

Apa gunanya 'Datuk' sini sana kalau tidak dihormati orang jelata?

Klangboy: His character speaks volume - 'he still has two other datukship' so basically what he is saying is 'who cares'. Just like him choosing to dishonour the departed in Parliament. There is only one word to describe him - biadab (rude).

I feel sorry for those who supported a crass person like him and follow him blindly. Starting with Tun Mahathir Mohamad. I would have felt embarrassed to be within 10 feet of him for he pollutes the environment with his foul mouth.

Sarawakian: It must be the unkindest of all. The Kelantan sultan has just gone up another notch in the rakyat's eye.

Raja Chulan: To me a datukship does not matter at all. These titles are simply awarded to any Tom, Dick and Harry nowadays.

If the Kelantan ruler thinks that the katak (frog) must be striped off his datukship, what about the other states (Malacca and Selangor)? Don't all Malay rulers use the same standard of measurement? Or do they have their own agenda and interest to consider?

Nicholas Lim: As far as the law and everyone is concerned, the current Sultan of Kelantan is already in power and it would be very difficult for anybody even Mahathir or a 'toad' like Ibrahim Ali to dislodge the sultan in favour of the ex-Sultan of Kelantan or horror of horrors for the bad boy Tengku Fakhry of the Manohara fame.

Perkasa deserved to get this tight slap in the face. I wonder if Perkasa and the mastermind, Mahathir, will now come out to whack the royalty in Kelantan. Mahathir is the master of republicanism after all.

Well, the palace of Selangor and the governor of Malacca ... the ball is at your feet now.

Darrel Damian: Finally. I have been wondering if this day will ever come.

My leg was numb, says Ibrahim Ali

RubyStar: Hello Tuan Ibrahim, I addressed you as such as you are still an MP but bereft of your datukship. Even when one's enemy is slain, a great warrior will still have the courtesy and the civil mindedness to give him due respect as the last rite of passage.

For the one-minute silence, you sat there yelping on the phone, which not only showed that you are disrespectful of the dead, you are uncouth, uneducated, uncultured and was unbecoming of the conduct of an MP in the August house where you are the representative of the rakyat who voted you in.

Now you gave the excuse that your leg was numb, but I say to you, the damage is done and you now affirm to the whole world of your belligerent attitude towards non-Muslims. The Sultan of Kelantan has done the right thing to take away your datukship. Long live the sultan.

Singa Pura Pura: "The Pasir Mas parliamentarian cited the constant treatment he undergoes for diabetes, which makes him drowsy and plagues him with a numbness in his legs... 'If Ibrahim Ali is corrupt, abuses power or commits sodomy, then you attack on that,' he said."

First, one certainly hopes that the drowsiness isn't the cause of the incessant anti-pendatang vituperative. Second, one also hopes, and in good faith, that the diabetes is well under control as otherwise both his legs would sadly go numb.

But that is not necessarily a bad thing since such a condition would be a complete defence to any self-incriminating allegation of sodomy.

Anonymous: You are talking on your phone and yet you cannot observe a minute of silence for a much respected deceased comrade. Please do not con the public with your numbness act. You look stupid when you lie and even more stupid when it doesn't make sense.

There are two issues here: you are taking on the phone and not standing up. Even if your stupid fat legs are numb, can you not shut up and keep silence for a minute to pay respect to the deceased?

Kgen: His leg was numb? I wait for the day when his mouth is too numb to speak.

Chegubard joins PKR Youth chief race

Objections received on 64 PKR division meetings

Lambert: Aktivis pelajar bantah kelulusan Puspal

Miners in Chile continue their ascensions to freedom

Copiapo, Chile (CNN) -- By Wednesday afternoon, rescuers had winched to the surface more than half of the 33 miners trapped in a northern Chile gold and copper mine, and the world marveled at a "mission incredible."

After 69 harrowing days, the miners ascended to freedom one by one, hoisted through a half-mile of rock in a rescue mission that began in the numbing chill of a desert night and continued under the searing sun of a cloudless day.

As they came out of the earth in a red, white and blue capsule, the miners signaled a thumbs-up. Or waved Chilean flags. One even led the crowd in a chant for Chile. Some dropped to their knees and prayed. Mostly, though, they embraced the families they feared they would never see again.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera called the mission "magical." U.S. President Barack Obama called it a "tremendously inspirational story."

Florencio Avalos was the first to step out from the "Fenix" capsule, named for the mythical bird that rose from ashes.

He beamed as his feet touched the surface of the Earth that had smothered him. He cradled his son and wife before Pinera bear-hugged him.

The entire night passed before it was Mario Gomez's turn. He is 63 but has been mining since the tender age of 12. He contracted lung disease during his career and lost three fingers in a previous mining accident. He had planned to retire but went back down in the mine August 5 to test drive a new truck.

His wife, Lillian Ramirez, stood by nervously as he emerged before her in a cage no wider than the span of his shoulders.

Gomez, a man who used to tell his wife to quit bugging him to say daily prayers, dropped to his knees to praise God. At that moment, she knew how lucky she was to have him returned to her.

To say there were 33 trapped in the mine is wrong, Ramirez said. There were 33 men -- and God.

Ramirez was just one of the many anxious family members who bit their lips in anticipation and then rejoiced at the appearance of each man at the San Jose Mine in Chile's Atacama Desert. The miners had been trapped in the bowels of the earth since August 5 when the mine caved in.

In the capital, Santiago, hundreds wept and embraced as they watched the rescue on a flickering big screen TV set up in a square. Corks popped and champagne flowed at the Chilean embassy in Washington.

The scene repeated itself as more and more miners arrived. Around the world, strangers sat glued to their television sets.

"I mentioned on Twitter how 41 years ago the world watched men walk on the moon," said Connie Preti of New York. "Today we are seeing men come out from the earth. It's equally striking."

Pinera greeted each man as he came out of the capsule and said he would remain at the site until the last man was out Wednesday evening.

"We had promised to look until we found them," Pinera said. "We can all feel proud to be Chilean."

Health Minister Jaime Manalich said the rescue was proceeding according to plan and "going extraordinarily well so far." He said the miners were generally in good health.

"We have had very, very minor problems," Manalich said.

As the second miner, Mario Sepulveda, exited the rescue hole, he reached into a large yellow bag and handed out what appeared to be rocks to officials and rescue workers.

Sepulveda cracked jokes and led the crowd in a cheer for Chile. As the 40-year-old was hauled away on a stretcher for medical evaluation, he asked his wife, "How's the dog?"

Later, in a video conference, he said his time underground changed him.

"I buried 40 years of my life down there, and I'm going to live a lot longer to be a new person," he said. "I think I have learned a lot of wonderful lessons about taking the good path in life. For those of you able to call your wives, or your husbands, do so."

Avalos, the first man out, appeared strong, walking without help, embracing many of the rescue workers who witnessed his arrival. He was then put on a gurney and wheeled away for an examination by doctors.

The 31-year-old miner became a cameraman during the isolation, filming videos of the miners to be sent up to rescuers and relatives at the surface. His brother, Renan Silva, is also trapped in the mine.

"I'm overwhelmed with emotion because it's been so long since we have seen him," Alfonso Avalos, Florencio's father, told Chile's TVN. "I'm very proud of him. Thanks to God he got out and looks good."

Amid the sea of Chilean flags greeting the emerging miners was a collection of small, handheld Bolivian flags for Carlos Mamani, the lone Bolivian miner.

His family back home was restrained in their emotions for much of the morning while watching the rescue on TV. But they jumped up and clapped when they saw him kneel on the ground.

Next up was the youngest of the lot: Jimmy Sanchez, an 18-year-old who worked as an environmental assistant -- and the father of a newborn girl.

The 12th miner to be rescued, Edison Pena, was no longer "All Shook Up," as the Elvis Presley song goes. An Elvis fanatic who led the trapped miners in sing-alongs, Pena, 34, looked fit and exuberant. He waved and shook hands and hugged colleagues, loved ones and dignitaries.

And so it went Wednesday, and so it will go throughout the day.

The trapped miners put on green coveralls made of moisture-resistant material and personalized with their names.

Each climbed into a claustrophobic capsule equipped with communications equipment and a supply of oxygen. Each wore special $450 Oakley goggles to protect their eyes -- which had become accustomed to the vampiric darkness of the caved-in mine -- from the lights up above.

Then they awaited the order to hoist to begin their journey.

The first miners to come to the surface were deemed the most fit, but also possessed the most technical know-how so that they could advise the rescue teams.

The next five were the physically weakest, a term perhaps not appropriate for anyone who has survived more than two months in the bowels of the earth. But one of the miners has diabetes; another has black lung.

The last to come out will be Luis Alberto Iribarren, 54. Like the captain of a sinking ship, the shift supervisor volunteered to stay behind until all his men were safe.

All of the men are going through two hours of health checks at a field hospital set up at the mine. They will then be flown by helicopter to a hospital in the town of Copiapo -- approximately a 15-minute flight.

"It's extremely exciting for us. ... It's a very emotional moment for us," said Jeff Hart, one of the lead drillers who assisted with the rescue efforts. "We worked real long and hard on that, and to actually see the capsule come through the first time through the hole that we drilled was just unbelievable."

For the 33 men, the only contact with the outside world since August 5 was through a small bore hole through which they were sent food, water and other supplies. A letter sent by one of them said they would take a vow of silence, to never to fully reveal the details of their underground misery.

High above the miners, family members and 1,500 journalists from 39 nations held their collective breath as the rescue mission continued throughout the day.

And as each trapped man emerged safe, they exhaled.

HRP wants to cut a deal with Pakatan

(Malaysiakini) The Human Rights Party Malaysia (HRP) wants to engage Pakatan Rakyat in talks with a view to cooperating in the sharing of election seats in the forthcoming 13th general election.

NONEHRP national information chief S Jayathas (left) said their common political enemy is BN.

"In the last election Hindraf was the deciding political factor in making Pakatan shine in five states and denying BN a two-thirds majority."

"HRP, which is Hindraf's political wing, has been in existence for almost one-and-a-half years now.
"But PKR, DAP and PAS have refused to even engage in a dialogue with us.
"This shows the extent of their gratitude for the sacrifices we made to make Pakatan the second political force in the country," lamented the HRP leader in a media statement.

Jayathas pointed out that in the March 2008 general election, BN, despite the Indians not having a majority in any of the 222 Parliament and 576 State Assembly seats, had granted MIC nine Parliament and 20 state seats to contest.

In return BN expected the Indian voters to support the other BN candidates.
Non-starters
"But in PKR, DAP and PAS/PR, we are non-starters because they are not prepared to share any seat with HRP. All they want is the 715,099 Indian votes free of charge," said the angry HRP leader.

'Why cannot the Pakatan coalition show the same magnanimity as Umno?" asked Jayathas.
He added that if Indians in BN get a raw deal, in Pakatan they get no deal at all.

He shot down the claim by PKR, DAP and PAS top leaders that their parties are multi-racial.

He claimed "At best, PKR, DAP and the PAS top leadership are like Umno, who has created a buffer of Indian mandores who are powerless but are assigned to "deal" with Indian problems in what they call "multi-racial" parties.

"Why aren't the top leadership of PKR, DAP and PAS in furtherance of their multi-racial claims, attend to the pressing Indian problems like giving land for Tamil schools, Hindu temples, cemeteries, Indian villages and settlements?"

HRP has to make the change

He asked where is the change Pakatan had promised in the March 8th 2008 general elections.

"As there is none, HRP has to make the change by being the third force and the alternative for Indians.

According to Jayathas, there is now a 14 percent Indian support swing for the party based on the recent survey by the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) of 1,367 respondents aged 21 and above.

It was taken from Aug 1-18, on the popularity of BN among Malaysians.

The Oct 8 Bernama survey report, claims that support for BN has now increased to 55 percent from 51 percent taken during the 2008 polls while Pakatan has registered a drop of 12 percent from the previous 49 percent.

The report claimed that Malay support for BN has increased by 3 percent to 61 percent in August from 58 percent that was registered the same month last year.

Likewise Chinese support has increased by 2 percent to 40 percent during the same period.

However, support from the Indian community has dropped from 63 percent to 59 percent by 4 percent (14 percent of the Indians chose not to support any political party).

Jayathas's argument is that out of the 14 per cent undecided Indians, BN has lost 4 percent while the remaining 10 percent is Pakatan's loss.

NONEThe party information chief said the dedication and commitment of pro-tem secretary general P Uthayakumar (right) after his release from Kamunting Detention Camp on May 9, 2009, helped gain the increasing support of the Indian community.

The former ISA detainee who was detained for 514 days, had crisscrossed the country to gauge the support of the marginalised Indians with his various community oriented projects and road-shows.

During his ISA detention, he had mapped out an ambitious political long term project of capturing 15 parliamentary seats and 38 Indian majority state seats, named project 15/38.
Political vacuum
HRP hopes to fill the political vacuum of the marginalised Indian community left by both BN and Pakatan by highlighting their socio-economic plight.

Jayathas said "Our 15/38 is the last self-help measure and the last resort as both BN and PR have failed the 2.5 million Malaysian Indian community.

"It is plain and obvious that both these parties of the political spectrum only want the Indian votes and never want to address their pressing community problems."

He said the IIUM survey report of the 14 percent support for HRP will further boost the party's 15/38 project and end the Indian mandore system now being practiced by both political divides.

In the first phase of the party's project 15/38, the party is concentrating on seven Parliamentary and seven state seats namely Padang Serai/ Lunas in Kedah, Batu Kawan/ Perai in Penang, Ipoh Barat/ Buntong in Perak, Kota Raja/ Sri Andalas in Selangor, Teluk Kemang/ Port Dickson in N. Sembilan/ Cameron Highlands/ Tanah Rata in Pahang and Tebrau/ Puteri Wangsa in Johor.

"The evidence of our first major breakthrough is with the creation of the very first Indian majority state seat Buntong in Perak which rose from 46.2 percent as at the 8th March 2008 General Elections to 54 percent last month," claimed Jayathas.

Biracial The Star & NST: Policeman fired 19 bullets to kill Aminulrasyid. Front page & prime news but zero headlines when poor Indian victim similarly killed.

url bi racial
(see The Star headlines 13/10/10 , BH front page & NST at page 6)

If and if only The Star, News Straits Times, Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia, Sin Chew, China Press, Utusan Malaysia, Malaysiakini and the mainstream print and electronic media had similarly covered in their headlines, front pages and prime news also of the hundreds of Indians similarly shot dead, hundreds of these poor Indian mothers, wifes and childrens’ misery would have been relieved vis a vis justice, the due administration of law and order and human rights being upheld.

But today the mainstream and alternative media are functioning as the racial One Malay-sian media. Where it gives due coverage only when the victims are from the politically and economically powerful Malay muslim or the economically powerful Chinese. Where Indians are the victims, scarce coverage is given.

And neither does the so called ‘multi-racial” PKR, DAP, PAS NGOs, Bar Council, Indian elite and the Malaysian civil society speak up when the victims are the Indian poor. The Indian elite publicly lament when the victims are Chinese or Malays so as to rub shoulders and seek acceptance within those communities.

But in the western civil societies the majority whites and christians almost always bend backwards to protect, speak for and champion the poor minority interests. In fact they take pride in doing so. But in One Malay-sia the Indian elite, Malays and Chinese having fallen victim to Malay supremacy and the Chinese economic power almostly completely sidesteps the Indian poor however pressing the injustices and human rights violations against them.

1 Malaysia has caused irreconcilable conflicts, says Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that Malays must continue to be given handicaps, while arguing that Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia was a confusing concept which means different things to different people.

He also accused the Chinese and Indian communities of continuing to identify with their countries of origin, and argued that Malays would continue demanding special treatment as a result.

Writing in his blog today, Mahathir (picture) said the Malays interpreted 1 Malaysia to mean the abolition of Chinese and Tamil schools and a “fair” participation of Malays and Bumiputeras in the private sector.

The Chinese and Indians, he claimed, interpret 1 Malaysia to mean an end to special treatment for Malays, the removal of quotas and the end to NEP-style affirmative action policies favouring Malays.

“Without the government spelling out the precise meaning of 1 Malaysia, different people are giving their own interpretations which not only differ from each other but are in conflict with each other.

“These two interpretations of 1 Malaysia admittedly are by the more extreme groups. The more moderate ones from both sides are milder in their expectations but their minimum interpretations still provide irreconcilable conflicts. 1 Malaysia clearly means different things to the different races.”

Dr Mahathir also argued that the Bangsa Malaysia concept encapsulated in his Vision 2020 document was more appropriate for multiracial Malaysia.

“In Vision 2020 one of the objectives is to create a bangsa Malaysia.

“The belief at that time was that if Malaysia becomes a fully developed country, it would become very prosperous,” he said.

He repeated his old formula for managing race relations by making the economic argument that if prosperity was fairly shared between the races there would be less jealousy between them.

“Malaysians of all races would be so proud of their country and its great achievements that the desire to be linked with other countries would be much diminished if not disappear altogether (as happens in prosperous multi-racial countries like the US – where the German Eisenhower led the war against Germany. Eisenhower was American first and his country of origin was irrelevant to him).”

But he said it was clear that race still played an important role currently in Malaysia.

The former prime minister also accused the Chinese and Indian communities of preferring to be identified with their countries of origin, and this, he said, caused Malays to expect special treatment.

He said a change in the so-called social contract between the Malays and the non-Malays would take a long time to replace.

“This will take a long time. As the new contract will be between races, racial factors would be included. Unless both sides agree to give up their races’ own rights as spelt out in the first contract i.e. the preservation of own home languages and schools etc. the rights of the indigenous races to their special position, etc, must remain a part of the new social contract.

“It is not certain that each would not demand for more than what they got under the old contract. It is likely there would be no agreement and no contract. Ths would lead to perpetual conflicts.

Dr Mahathir also took aim at Malays who wanted affirmative action to be abolished, and repeated his stand that Malays were not ready yet to compete on an equal footing with the Chinese in particular.

“I am not ashamed to admit that I cannot compete with the Chinese and Indian students when studying medicine. They had much better results than me and the other six Malay students for entry into the Medical College. Even at that time the British promised to the Rulers to help educate the Malays. I had my chance because of the affirmative action then. On pure merit I would not be a doctor today, not because I was not qualified, but my qualification was lower than others.

“One has to remember that the Chinese civilisation is more than 4000 years old. No other civilisation has lasted that long. Naturally they have developed a culture better able to survive under all conditions. It is my belief that if the percentage of Chinese in the United Kingdom for example is the same as in Malaysia, UK would be better developed than it is now. It is not surprising that the Chinese excel in developing Malaysia (for which they are amply rewarded).”

He said that it was not shameful to lose out against the Chinese but to just catch up would require handicaps.

“To be given handicaps is to ensure fairness, not discrimination. That is why in golf you have handicaps. That is why in all contests there must be equality between the contestants. It is selfish if having benefited from the handicaps you want to deny others from having them.”

Labour unions want action, not rhetoric on minimum wage

National Productivity Corporation representative Hajah Shahuren Ismail (left) says minimum wage can only be implemented if productivity is increased. – Pictures by Jack Ooi
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 – Unionists remained dejected and disappointed today as rhetoric dominated a minimum wage forum organised by the Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth and Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC).

The audience comprising more than 400 union veterans and fresh graduates waited patiently while each of the panelists spoke while some jeered and mocked at the speakers, among which were BN Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, MTUC secretary-general G. Rajasekaran, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) representative Sarita Beram Shah, National Productivity Corporation representative Hajah Shahuren Ismail and Professor Dr Durrishah Idrus.

Sarita said that only a minority of employers are against minimum wage.

“Personally I feel that only a small group of employers reject minimum wage because they fear of the increasing cost and that foreign investors will be scared to invest. But for me, the cost of workers is only three per cent so if they want to reduce cost then they should look at other costs,” she told the forum.

She added that not only employees but also companies will benefit with the wage policy.

“I also believe that if we give suitable minimum wage then I will get quality workers that are productive. If the workers are happy and able to perform then the company will profit,” she said.

However Hajah argued that employers are not able to increase wages because productivity of the workers are insufficient.

“Even though there has been an increase of productivity but the level is still very low. The wages cannot be increased because the productivity is too low. So we cannot say that the employers make money and the employees are not getting its share. The question I asked is that do we really understand what is the meaning of productivity? We can only distribute the value of the products between the employees and employers when we increase our productivity,” she said drawing heavy criticisms from the audience.

While Hajah went through her power-point presentation, an audience shouted, “We are getting sick of this. Training here and there but our wage still remains the same.”

Another added: “You can talk about output and input but in the end, all is left is just ‘siput’ (empty shell).”

During question and answer session, veteran unionist J. Solomon attacked Hajah for equating a
NUBE secretary-generaly J. Solomon says BN will experience a backlash if it doesn’t fulfill its promise on minimum wage.
worker’s productivity and minimum wage.

“I want to say that you cannot related productivity and minimum wage. Productivity is different. During the financial crisis, the prime minister then said if we come out of it then we will think about RM1,200. However we have yet to see RM1,200 from 1998 until now but productivity has increased.

“We contribute but we do not get the rewards. Leave alone the rewards because the basic salary is still not here. After 53 years, we are still not independent from our debt,” said the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) secretary-general.

He added that workers are feeling alienated because incentives are only given company bosses.

A member of the audience also said that employers are not being fair to the employees.

“They are not being fair in giving productivity marks to the workers. They give unjust evaluation of workers which has led to unproductive workers given bonuses while those that work hard get nothing. While his secretary gets seven months bonus,” he said to a loud applause.

MUTC member Siva stressed that mimum wage is an essential component of the New Economic Model (NEM).

“The pre-requisite of the NEM is the minimum wage, you cannot have NEM without it because there is a vacuum created there. Therefore can you (Khairy) as BN Youth ensure that that the minimum wage is passed in parliament?” he asked.

A TNB union member also said that public should not vote for lawmakers that oppose the policy in the coming general election.

“If there are members of parliament that do not support minimum wage then we should vote them out!” he said.

Dr Durrishah admitted that politics will play a significant role in determining rights of the employees.
Professor Dr Durrishah Idrus says government must have the political will to implement minimum wage.

“We have to remember that the government is the central authority and the government must have the guts and will to implement minimum wage. It has been more than 50 years and once we used to have a national collective agreement where we can do collective bargaining between the employees and employers.

“We are a rich country and our workers are productive. If we are not productive then how can the country remain productive? This shows that the government must serious in considering the emotions, needs and wants of the workers,” she said to cheers from the crowd.

She also mentioned the national wage council in Singapore which has been very effective in protecting worker’s wages.

“Even though Singapore does not have any minimum wage but it has the national wage council which meet every year and has said that every year if the economy is good then the employers must give remuneration without thinking twice,” said Durrishah.

Khairy told the forum that BN Youth will urge the government to expedite the implementation of minimum wage.

“We have agreed that the process of implementing minimum wage should be expedited by the government. Secondly the implementation must be done at a national level involving all sectors but separately in peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

“What is also important is to have a free mechanism like a wage council to determine the minimum wage which is to be reviewed every year so that it will reflect the increase of price good and others,” said the Umno Youth chief.

He added that the minimum wage must be higher than the poverty line.

“We will follow to what the MTUC has proposed which is minimum wage of RM900 and RM300 cost of living allowance to give a comfortable life to the workers. Minimum wage will also be the baseline and will have no relation to productivity,” the Rembau MP said.

Khairy also stressed the need for a new tripartite agreement between the employees, employers and the government.

“A new tripartite agreement is important that so that every problems such as pensions and health benefits can be solved in an environment where there is so suspicions between the employees, employers and government. Hopefully this will create a harmonious relationship between the three parties,” he said.
A participant voice his opinion during the minimum wage forum.

Non-Bumis also hired in civil service, says Murugiah

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today,

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is not discriminating against non-Bumiputeras in the government sector, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department T Murugiah said.

“People always criticise the government of hiring one race for its workforce but that is not true,” Murugiah told reporters at Parliament House today.

He said the government is colour-blind when it comes to hiring non-Bumiputeras in the civil service, adding that the applicants are short-listed by a computer "which filters them according to their qualifications".

"Therefore, there is no bias or preference towards any race,” he said.

This was reflected on the percentage of non-Bumiputeras being hired by the Public Service Commission which has increased.

Murugiah said 58.2% of the total 1,559 Chinese applicants who were interviewed for government positions were hired by the commission as of June 15.

According to the statistics provided by Murugiah, the number of Chinese employed in the civil service has increased 9% compared with 2008 where only 49.2% of Chinese applicants were chosen out of 4,648 interviewees.

“If the majority of the applicants are from one race, we would take into consideration their qualifications and the way they present themselves during their respective interviews,” he said.

“There are many who have applied but they don’t have the qualifications. During the screening process, they have to comply with the set rules and regulations,” he added.

He also said the percentage for Indians employed in the government sector has also increased significantly.

“Out of the 1,833 Indians interviewed, 42.7% or 783 people were hired by the commission this year compared with 2008 when only 38.8% of the 6,106 Indian interviewees were hired," he said.

He also said that there was no quota system for top management positions which are open to other races.

Anwar's ex-jail mate cries 'forced' SD

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today,


FULL REPORT PETALING JAYA: Another former aide to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has alleged that he was forced to sign a statutory declaration in relation to the sodomy case.

Rasid Rosdi, who had served time in the Sungai Buloh prison during Anwar's incarceration there, filed a police report on the matter with the Shah Alam district police headquarters this afternoon.

"On June 28, 2008, after Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan made a police report against Anwar, I was asked to go to Quality Hotel (in Shah Alam).

“I was held there for several days and was watched 24 hours. Also detained with me was Awnar's former aide Rahimi Osman," he said in a statement.

Contacted later, Shah Alam police chief ACP Noor Azam Jamaluddin confirmed receiving the report.

He told FMT that the case would be referred to Bukit Aman for further investigations as it was similar to the Rahimi case.

Last Wednesday, Rahimi lodged a police report claiming that he was forced to sign two statutory declarations in 2008 that "accused" Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor of conspiring against Anwar.

Rahimi had claimed that "Anwar's men" and laywers, including PKR information chief Latheefa Koya and Saiful Izham Ramli, had forced him to stay at Quality Hotel.

Anwar's lawyers had denied the charge.
'Latheefa wrote the SD and asked me to sign'

Meanwhile, Rasid said he got to know Anwar when he was in jail and had later worked with him after both were released.

Recounting the time that he was allegedly forced to sign the SD, Rasid claimed that he was only allowed to go home after he inked the document which was written by Latheefa.

"I did not agree with the contents of the SD. Latheefa never told me about the contents and I did not understand it completely,” he said, adding that he had never appointed Latheefa as his lawyer either.

Rasid said Latheefa should have realised that he was not highly educated and explained the matter to him.

"She should have told me what the SD was all about but she did not do so. I felt cheated. As a lawyer, she should not do such a thing to me," he added.

Rasid said he inked the document because he was "worried" about his "personal and family's safety" and considering that he was held and guarded closely for 24 hours at the hotel.

Claiming to have encountered several “bad incidents” at the hotel, which he did not specify, Rasid said: “I was forced to obey whatever they asked me to do.”

Rasid said that he had remained in fear since that incident and constantly felt disturbed for having signed the SD.

"I felt very pressured and had to go for counselling. After a few sessions, I felt more at peace and tried to conviced myself to right the mistake.

“When I saw my friend Rahimi coming forward (with his allegation), I felt brave and confident to do the same," he said.

Rasid said he had made a new SD to "tell the true story" but could not reveal the details as it would interfere with Anwar's court case.

"I am extremely disappointed with this action. A few of Anwar's lawyers are trying to hide the truth. They would go to the extent of pawning my future and my dignity for their own purpose,” he added.

Banting slayings: Lawyer charged, brother freed

FULL REPORT BANTING: Lawyer N Patmanabhan, 41, and three farm workers were charged in the Teluk Datok magistrate's court here with the murder of cosmetics queen Sosilawati Lawiya and three men.

The farm workers are T Thilaiyalagan, 19, R Matan, 20 and R Khatavarayan, 30.

No plea was recorded from the four accused who were seen to be calm as the charge was read out to them, in Bahasa Malaysia for Patmanabhan and in Tamil for the others.

They are charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same code, with the murder of Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, Kampung Baru branch CIMB Bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, at Lot 2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, Banting, between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Aug 30.

Magistrate Hurman Hussain set Dec 16 for mention of the case after deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohamad Yusof sought a period of two months to obtain certain reports, such as the chemistry report.

Meanwhile, Patmanabhan's  38-year-old lawyer brother, who was arrested with him, was freed this afternoon.

His lawyer Ravi Nekoo said his client was brought to the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters at about 1pm and freed on police bail about an hour later.

According to Bernama, Patmanabhan was brought to the court at about 8.30am in a Proton Waja car while the three others were taken there in a van.

Besides Ishak, the prosecution was represented by Idham Abdul Ghani and Saiful Edris Zainuddin. Pathmanabhan was represented by Ravi, R Pushpa, Ng See Teong and Amer Hamzah Arshad.

The three other accused were unrepresented. Family members of the accused were also not to be seen.

Public attention
The disappearance of Sosilawati grabbed public attention after it was reported that she had gone missing on Aug 30 following a trip to Banting over a land deal.

Kamaruddin, Noorhisham and Ahmad Kamil had also gone along with her.

Counsel Amer Hamzah raised the question of representation for Thilaiyalagan, Matan and Khatavarayan.

Hurman said the investigating officer had been informed about it.

"Go ahead if you want to have a lawyer appointed. Do you have anybody in mind?" the magistrate asked.

Thilaiyalagan told the court that his family had no knowledge that he had been arrested by the police.

In reply to Hurman's question, he said he was arrested at a farm in Tanjung Layang.

Hurman then ordered the police to inform Thailaiyalagan's family about his arrest.

He also said that the families of the three farm workers could also appoint lawyers when the case came up for hearing.

Patmanabhan told the court that the trio were not well-versed with legal matters and their right to be represented.

Hurman also allowed an application by Amer Hamzah and the three other lawyers to meet with their client Patmanabhan for 10 minutes under police supervision.

He also allowed the four lawyers to meet with the three other accused to assist them in legal matters, also under police supervision.

Aminulrasyid died at the scene, says witness

SHAH ALAM: A medical officer at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR) told the Sessions Court here today that the 15-year-old boy who was allegedly shot by a policeman died at the scene of the incident.
Muhamad Sahid Abdul Karim, 30, who is attached to the hospital's ambulance unit, said he arrived at the scene at 2.23am and confirmed the boy's death after conducting several checks on him.

The ninth prosecution's witness said that prior to that he received a call at 2.02am from the call centre to inform that there was an accident involving a car crashing into a tree at Jalan Makyong in Section 11 here.

"However, I failed to find the place and called back the call centre to get the exact location of the accident," he said in the trial of Corporal Jenain Subi who is charged with causing the death of 15-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah last April 26.

Jenain, 48, is charged with committing the offence at Jalan Tarian 11/2 at Section 11 here between 1.10am and 2am on April 26 this year.

He is charged under Section 304 (a) of the Penal Code, which provides for jail up to 30 years and a fine, if convicted.

Muhamad Sahid said when he arrived at the scene, he went to inspect the boy, who was clad in shorts and T-shirt.

"I found that there was no heart beat and he was not breathing," he added.

However, he said he was prevented by policemen there from examining the boy further after finding that there was blood stain on his gloves.

"When I wanted to turn over the body, a policeman prevented me from changing the position of the victim's body," he added.

A marksman


Muhamad Sahid said he asked a policeman there for the boy's identification and was told to wait for the arrival of the investigating officer, but from his observation, the victim was a teenager.

He said he informed the police of the boy's death before leaving the scene.

"I could not identify the victim's face because I did not see his face after being prevented by the police," he added.

Meanwhile, 10th prosecution's witness, Sargeant Mohd Sani Mohd Hassan, the Shah Alam police armoury chief, told the court that Jenain was classified as a marksman when using the Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun.

He said this was based on the points obtained by Jenain at a shooting training last May 13 and 15 where he scored 90 points out of 100 for submachine gun and 70 points for pistol training.

"Based on the score, I could say Jenain is a marksman," he added.

Earlier, eighth prosecution's witness, Sargeant Jamaluddin Alias, 50, from the Shah Alam police who was responsible for drawing up the duty roster on the night Aminulrasyid was killed, told the court that a patrol policeman was required to carry a machine gun.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar prosecuted, while Jenain was represented by lawyer A Athimulan.

The hearing before judge Latifah Mohd Tahar continues tomorrow.

- Bernama