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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Schoolgirl raped and murdered in Teluk Intan

TELUK INTAN: A 16-year-old schoolgirl was found naked and dead in a drain near an oil palm estate in Ladang Rubana here.

Hilir Perak OCPD Asst Comm Goh Kok Liang said M. Divya Barathi was found lying face down in the drain by a passer-by at 7.30am Saturday.

He said the passer-by had earlier found Divya Barathi’s school bag and clothing before locating the body about 10m away.

It is believed that the girl was also raped before she was killed.

ACP Goh said police are still waiting for a post-mortem report from the Teluk Intan Hospital Forensics Unit to ascertain the cause of death.

He added that police did not find any weapon at the crime scene.

The girl’s father K. Murali, 43, said he last saw his daughter alighting a bus and walking into the estate on Friday evening, said ACP Goh, adding that the SM Horley Methodist student was returning home after attending tuition class in town.

“Murali lodged a report at the Teluk Intan police station after his daughter did not return home that night,” he said.

The case is being investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.

ACP Goh also said no arrest have been made but they have called one of Divya Barathi’s classmate to assist in the investigations.

'15,000 rapes in war-torn DR Congo'

More than 15,000 rapes were committed last year in the strife-torn region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where peacekeepers are unable to fully protect civilians, a senior United Nations official has said.

With accusations now being made against DRC government troops over new cases of rape and killing in the volatile east of the country, Roger Meece, the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo (Monusco), said "the scale of the problem is enormous".

Meece appeared before the UN security council on Friday, and despite being unable to give details of the new attacks, he said: "The best data available, for example, suggests that over 15,000 rapes were committed last year in eastern DRC."


'Horrific' mass rapes

Meece told the council that the "horrific'' mass rapes in late July and early August by rebel groups in eastern Congo's mineral-rich Walikale region underscored the importance of protecting civilians.

But he said after the briefing that it is impossible for 18,000 UN peacekeepers to protect all civilians in the area where armed groups are operating in an area larger than Afghanistan.

The UN force "cannot serve as the complete answer to the security problems of the east,'' Meece said.

Armed groups operate over a wide area and often mix with the civilian population, he added.

"In this vast area...it is not possible for Monusco to ensure full protection for all civilians. To approach this goal would require vastly greater force levels and resources," Meece said.

'Men in uniform'

Margot Wallstrom, the UN special envoy on sexual violence against women in conflict, told the council on Thursday that government troops are raping and killing women in remote villages in the Walikale region where hundreds of women were assaulted in July and August.

She said Monusco had reported new attacks by troops who are conducting an operation to enforce a government moratorium on illegal mining and in a bid to take control of the region from rebels.

"The possibility that the same communities that were brutalised in July and August by Rwandan Hutu rebels and Mai-Mai elements are now also suffering at the hands of the Congolese army is unimaginable and unacceptable," Wallstrom said.

She has already blamed the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and Mai-Mai rebels for the mass rapes in July and August.

Meece said Congolese army operations are under way in the Walikale region, primarily directed against the Mai-Mai and the FDLR. But he said he did not know if government troops were involved in rapes.

The United Nations said 303 civilians - 235 women, 13 men, 52 girls and three boys were raped in 13 villages in the Walikale area from July 30 till August 2.

In response to the mass rapes, Meece said UN peacekeepers are establishing some new temporary operating bases in the Walikale region and are instituting other measures to improve communications with remote villages and respond more quickly to sexual attacks.

According to the UN Population Fund, there were 17,507 sexual violence attacks throughout Congo in 2009 - including more than 9,000 in North and South Kivu, which have been at the centre of the conflict in the east.

The scale of rapes and sexual violence has not diminished much this year, according to the fund, known as UNFPA, which collects data in Congo.

It said there were 7,685 attacks in Congo between January and June, including more than 4,500 in the Kivus.

Abubakar Dungus, a UNFPA spokesman, said 5,427 of the sexual attacks this year - about 70 per cent - were perpetrated "by men in uniform''. It was unclear if he was referring to soldiers or rebels.

Source:Agencies

DAP’s Lim Guan Eng now wants to demolish 280 year old Batu Kawan estate Hindu cemetery after Kg. Buah Pal

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The DAP Penang state government led by it’s towkay Lim Guan Eng has refused to grant state land to this since 1726 Hindu grave with 752 tomb stones.

It was this very same DAP towkay Lim Guan Eng and his father twenty years ago has gone on a strenuous campaign and stopped the Malacca State government from demolishing the Bukit China Chinese cemetery.

But this rule or standards of justice does not apply when it is this and hundreds of other Hindu cemeteries. So much for DAP’s Malaysian “Chinese” Malaysia.

On the Hindraf people power swing about 90% of the Penang Indians had voted for DAP, PKR and PAS which led to DAP forming the Penang State government and towkay Kapitan Lim Guan Eng ascending the powerful Chief Ministers post which comes with 100% powers of all land in Penang.

But this Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce influenced towkay Kapitan will not alienate land for this ancient Batu Kawan Hindu cemetery or any other Hindu cemeteries, Hindu temples, Tamil schools or Indian villages and settlements.

He will do what he did to Kg Buah Pala within months of coming to power.

Now how is this DAP, PKR or PAS any different from the UMNO/BN regime in so far or vis a vis the poor Indians are concerned?

Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice

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RM 214 Billion Budget 2011: UMNO Prime Minister Najib Razak yet again segregates and excludes poor Indians from mainstream development. Offers mere peanuts temporary solutions and wayang kulit. Never permanent solutions.


For the 53rd year running the UMNO led Barisan Nasional government has yet again excluded and segregated especially the poor Indians from the national mainstream development of Malaysia. The reason offered by UMNO is the policy was good but it’s implementation was bad. To give effect to this racist UMNO strategy, the latest UMNO Prime Minister’s strategy of appointing the powerless MIC Mandore Minister as the Implementation Chairman of the Cabinet Committee (who even the government service office boy would not listen to him) on the Indians. But Najib Razak claims to be the Chairman of this Committee. Such is the shrewd UMNO racist agenda.

In the said 2011 Budget there are no specific financial allocations and implementation mechanisms in place to place in particular the Indians back into the national mainstream development of Malaysia:-

1. No provision has been made to implement the minimum RM 1,300.00 per month monthly salary with effect from 1/1/2011.

2. No specific allocation has been made for the establishment of kindergardens in all the 523 Tamil schools. But najib today announced an allocation of RM 5 billion for a mega skyscraper tower in K.L to be called Warisan Merdeka but zero allocation for even one kindergarden each in all the 523 Tamil schools. But RM 111 Million could be allocated to the malay muslim Permata Kindergardens alone.

3. No financial allocations has been made to grant full financial assistance to all 523 Tamil schools. But again RM 40 Billion for Mass Rapid System. RM 49.2 Billion was allocated for development but zero allocation to rebuild for example the world’s only:-

1. Basement Assad (Tamil) school;

2. Upstairs shophouse (Lukut Tamil) school;

3. Fully in shipping cabins lading Jermal Kuantan (Tamil) school

4. And the dozens of especially pre colonial wooden dilapidated of Tamil schools falling apart being eaten by white ants and being burnt down because of electrical fault.

But RM 29.3 Billion had been allocated to the Education Ministry alone. (Note : RM 100 Million allocation was made under the 2009 first and second economic stimulas packages but zero funds from this RM 100 Million ever went to any of the said 523 Tamil schools (Refer to The Star 30/09/2009 and our aforesaid letter to Prime Minister Najib dated 13/10/2009). And now even the next two budget has been announced but each and every of these 523 Tamil schools which should have been granted RM 120 Million each like how the said MRSM Trolak but did not even get a single cent from the RM 100 Million allocation that was announced again and again repeatedly especially in the Tamil dailies under the UMNO wayang kulit propaganda.

4. No financial allocations has been made to alienate land to all 523 Tamil schools, all Hindu temples, all Hindu cemeteries, all Indian villages and all Indian settlements with the view to give it a permanent as opposed to the present temporary and ad hoc existence which is contrary to the One Malay-sia policy.

5. No allocations has been made to ensure that all 2,237 top and high achieving Malaysian Indian students are granted scholarships, universities and matriculation places and PTPTN study loans to all local and foreign Institutions of Higher learning especially studying Medicine even in AIMST University and Institutions of Higher Learning at Ukraine, Russia, India, Romania, Indonesia etc. But RM 10.2 Billion was allocated to the Higher Education Ministry alone.

6. An 1.593 Billion allocation was made for the five Development Corridors but there was zero allocation for the eradication of poverty among the Indian poor who in real effect are even than the poorer poor Orang Asli, Kadazan, Iban or Malay who are all blessed with their traditional villages and ancestral land.

7. An allocation had been made for 375 native English speakers from United Kingdom and Australia to teach English in Malay muslim schools. But Najib Razak has forgotten that it was the pre colonian and immediately post colonial Malaysian born Indian teachers who had thought Najib and his father English. But under UMNOs 53 years of racist and supremacist policies these dedicated and Prime Minister producing quality Indian English teachers have become extinct. Such is the height of UMNO racism and supremacy that is never mind the white man teaching English in Malay-sia but never the Malaysian Indian teachers.

8. The increase to RM 700.00 per month for (mostly Indian) security guards is an insult to Najib’s per capita income of RM 28,000.00. But 90 days mertanity leave up from 60 days for the almost 98% muslim civil servants.

9. RM 500 Million for the 1 Malaysia Training Programme but the Indian poor in reality are segregated and excluded.



10. RM 1.2 Billion Welfare but 95% of the Indian poor denied welfare help.



11. RM 1.9 Billion for River of Life but never food shelter and clothing for the 70% poor and hardcore poor Indians.



12. We laud the government’s launch of the Private Pension Fund.

(HRP’s Note: But UMNO refuses to allocate RM 1 Billion to keep especially Indian youths out of crime for example by giving them the licences, loans and training as given by PNS, MARA, Bank Rakyat and Entrepreneur Development Ministry and the Agriculture and Agro based Industry Ministry to Malay youths to open up and operate Petronas, Shell, Mobil and Esso petrol stations, KFC, Mc Donalds, A&W, Ayamas and scores of other franchise outlets, food shops and tid bit outlets at the scores of low rental and high income Highway rest areas, government buildings, government build food courts etc and thousands of other government supported businesses.

Conclusion

As there has been zero allocation from the RM 214Billion to uplift the socio-economic status of especially the working class Indians we also propose serious implementation mechanisms to place the Indians into the national mainstream development of Malaysia. The only way to give effect to this is and we call upon Prime Minister Najib Razak to over and above being the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on the Indians to also assume and take over from the MIC Indian Minister mandore the position of the Chairman of the Implementation Commiitee of this Cabinet Committee.

We now propose that RM 10 Billion is allocated under the 2011 Budget to put the Indians into the national mainstream development of Malaysia especially to undo the 53 years of injustices to this poor Indian community.

UMNO has not been and is not transparent and has refused to publish all the details aforesaid in the Prime Minster Website.

We hereby once again ask the UMNO controlled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to stop all it’s racist, religious extremist and supremacist UMNO agenda and policies and their implementation thereto and especially not to exclude the Malaysian Indians from the National Budget 2011 and thereafter, future budgets and the future National Development Plans as UMNO has been doing for over all the last 53 years but segregating and excluding the Indians from the national mainstream development of Malaysia.

P. Uthayakumar

Secretary General (pro-tem)

VP is best for me right now, says Nurul

By Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Nurul Izzah Anwar today chose the vice-president card over that of deputy president, saying that it is the better race for her to run for now.

The Lembah Pantai MP unexpectedly found herself in the limelight last week when Zaid Ibrahim offered to withdraw from the deputy presidency race if she was keen on the same position.

The PKR election committee recently also confirmed that she had received the minimum number of nominations to contest for the number two spot. However, Nurul ultimately decided to stick to the original position for which she was vying.

“I believe that this is the best position for me right now,” she said. “But whether deputy or veep, at the end of the day it is the commitment towards reform that really matters.”

“I'm appreciative and mindful of the support shown towards me, but I also have to look at it objectively and be level-headed about it...”

Nurul promised a campaign of “simplicity and substance”, saying that she aimed to bring about a culture of hope and liberation through her candidacy.

When asked whether she would extend the same support to Zaid, Nurul firmly said that she would continue to maintain her neutral stance.

Crucial qualities


Nurul, however, underlined the qualities she deemed crucial for candidates vying for the deputy presidency to possess.

“I think it's really important that next deputy president is visionary, principled and capable of leading the party forward into the next general election. It's not going to be an easy feat.”

Party members have applauded her decision and agreed that she had picked the right race. One of them told FMT that Nurul would win this position “hands-down”.

“Besides, she is still young and is biding her time,” he added. “We think she will be able to achieve much through this position and it will be a step forward to higher ones when the time is right.”

Other leaders who have joined the vice-presidency race include election director Fuziah Salleh, Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian, Selangor executive councillor Dr Xavier Jeyakumar, Kapar MP S Manikavasagam, Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah, Penang Deputy Chief Minister Mansor Osman and communications director Jonson Chong.

Ibrahim Ali in ICU for heart ailment

KUALA LUMPUR: Pasir Mas MP Ibrahim Ali is under treatment at the Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital here for a heart ailment, according to Malay rights group Perkasa deputy president Abdul Rahman Abu Bakar.

He said Ibrahim, 57, who is president of Perkasa, was admitted to the hospital yesterday and was in the intensive care unit (ICU).

"His condition is stable and he is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on Monday," he said today.
Abdul Rahman said the hospital only allowed Ibrahim's wife and family members to visit him.

He said Ibrahim had complained of being unwell over the past three weeks and went to the hospital for a check-up yesterday.

"After the examination, the doctor advised him to undergo surgery immediately," he said.

Abdul Rahman said that even after being informed of his health condition, Ibrahim attended Parliament yesterday to follow the tabling of Budget 2011 by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

He said Ibrahim was scheduled to deliver a speech at the Nusantara gathering of Malaysian Malays and Indonesians living in Malaysia, at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kampung Baru this evening.

In view of Ibrahim's health condition, Perkasa would hold prayers at the surau of the De Palma Ampang Hotel at 6.30pm tomorrow, he said.

- Bernama

Zaid stays in the race for number two


By Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today
PETALING JAYA Zaid Ibraihm today put an end to speculation of his run for deputy presidency by filing his nomination papers at the party headquarters.

In a blog posting, the former law minister said that he had received strong support from his grassroots nationwide to stay in the race and continue fighting.
This, he said, was despite the fact that the Election Committee had chosen to ignore his letter on suggestions to improve the election process in order to avoid cheating and abuse of power.
“When I am deputy president, the party will be stronger and more united,” he promised. “The grassroots members will be treated better by the top leadership. Things will change. Those who disagree with my opinions will not be sidelined and factions will be abolished.”
“The fielding of candidates for elections will be done in a democratic and open manner. The party divisions will be more active and the voice of democracy will resound throughout Malaysia.”
However. Zaid said that he couldn't echo his rivals' promise to take the people to Putrajaya as he wasn't the head of Pakatan Rakyat.
“The preparations for the big victory has to start with small ones first,” he emphasised. “These small victories include uniting party members, getting enough funding for party machinery and electing candidates based on the people's support and not on their links to party strongmen. This I will do.”
Zaid also spared a thought for his first grandson Rayes who he said would be undergoing the Malay culture of “cukur jambul”.
“In the midst of this chaos and political pressure be it in Galas or the party elections, Rayes has brought me great peace.”
Zaid's run for deputy was shrouded by uncertainty last week when he announced that he would withdraw from the race if Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar decided to join the fray. He claimed that his withdrawal would be to give Nurul the “best opportunity for a victory”.
Earlier this week, Nurul was reported to have not received the mandatory two nominations to qualify in the run for number two. A day later, however, the Election Committee corrected itself and said that Nurul received enough nominations to qualify.
Even before nominations began, Zaid had also said he would not run if Selangor menteri besar Khalid Ibrahim was eyeing the same position.
But when Khalid belatedly announced that he was also throwing his hat into the ring, Zaid had a change of heart and said he would remain in the race considering he had more nominations than Khalid.

Jeffrey not in race for PKR national posts

By Joe Fernandez - Free Malaysia Today,
FULL REPORT KOTA KINABALU: Sabah strongman Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan told a hushed press conference hastily convened here this afternoon that he wasn’t going for any national post in the imminent PKR elections. The local media, judging by their reactions, appeared not to have anticipated his bolt from the blue.
“I would like to thank all those who nominated me for the post of national vice-president,” said Jeffrey. “However, I would like to confirm that I won’t be accepting the nominations. I am staying out of the race for any national party post.”

He was flanked by several senior Sabah PKR leaders led by staunch supporter deputy state chief Christina Liew Chin Jin Hadhikusumo who was close to tears over the announcement which, in her words, took her aback.

Jeffrey said that his struggle had “never been about party posts or positions”. It had always been and would continue to be about Sabah and Sarawak rights and autonomy, he added. “This is a struggle that cuts across the political divide in Sabah and Sarawak and it could do without any distractions.”

He appeared to be suggesting a subtle shift in his current position from party politician to that of a statesman for Sabah and Sarawak “while re-capturing the moral high ground on what his politics is all about”.
He said that the debilitating struggle for party posts every three years and in-between, for no rhyme or reason, was an unnecessary pre-occupation which was draining resources, taxing energies and “a major distraction from the real issues, principles and priorities that concern the people in Sabah and Sarawak”. These were the areas, in his judgment, that would translate into votes for any party “and not just winning a post or position in a way that damages the party”.

Besides, said Jeffrey, he had already been national vice-president and sees no point in hogging, at his age, a relatively junior and powerless post and to continue to be bogged down by a situation where “no one listens to you”.

He pointed out that he had even given up the national vice-president’s post late last year when he made his “burnt my bridge” statement and went on a sabbatical for three months. At that time, Jeffrey’s major grouse was that the PKR headquarters “did not respect the democratic voice of the majority in Sabah”.

“I have seen what one can do as a national vice-president which is very little,” said Jeffrey. ‘No one listens to anyone in the supreme council and being a vice-president makes no difference.”

Major differences

Asked whether this meant that the political interests of Sabah and Sarawak don’t coincide with that of Peninsular Malaysia, he conceded that there were “major differences but nothing that cannot be resolved”.

“Of course, they (Peninsular Malaysia) have their politics and we have ours,” said Jeffrey. “But we can still work together as genuine partners on the agenda for change and reform. Malaysia is still one country.”

On the election process underway in PKR, he said that “it would be kinder not to comment”.

However, he said he understood, and even accepted, that no system was without faults but the question was whether one was willing to accept them and even look the other way.

He declined to elaborate but said that “we (PKR) need to do some serious soul-searching here and everyone should examine his or her conscience on the subject”.

He pledged his support for Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar “should she decide to contest the post of deputy president and Pakatan Rakyat co-ordinator Zaid Ibrahim stays out”. Nurul is the daughter of Opposition Leader and de facto PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim.

Jeffrey’s vote was also for Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Anwar’s wife, to continue as party president.

“Having a mother-daughter team to head a political party is a unique situation but in this particular case, it can be viewed as something positive for the party,” said Jeffrey. “It’s a one-off phenomenon, perhaps never again to be repeated for a very long time.”

Attracting the young generation

On Nurul, he said that PKR was a relatively new party with not many seniors and that the young should be brought into the party hierarchy to attract the four million new voters of their generation.

Although Jeffrey did not say it, the local media has been abuzz with speculation for some weeks now that the recent suspension of three of his key division chiefs and warning letters to nine others, “had revealed the true character of Anwar”.

However, it’s unlikely that the fate of Jeffrey’s 12 disciples – otherwise known as the Dirty Dozen to his political foes in the party – was the one factor that turned him away from the quest for a national post. The Sabah 12 appears to be, for Jeffrey at least, water under the bridge.

The local media suspected that “something was amiss” when a Sabah PKR meeting last night unanimously resolved that Jeffrey should be the chief spokesman for a six-man committee to a pow-wow with other Sabah Pakatan component parties on the forthcoming Batu Sapi by-election.

Their decision appeared to indicate that they were aware, albeit belatedly, that continuing to isolate Jeffrey from Sabah PKR “has its limits” before injuring the party’s chances grievously in the state.

The majority of the six-man committee comprised division chiefs who had bitterly opposed him in the past, alleging that he was in cahoots with “certain national leaders”.

It was learnt that Jeffrey did not object to the appointment. But it was not immediately clear whether his heart was in the task assigned to him by the party. The appointment no doubt goes against his oft-repeated stance that his struggle was not about party posts and positions.

With Jeffrey out of the race, it’s anyone guess who will emerge as the next best favourite to represent Sabah and Sarawak at the top of the party hierarchy.

Earlier, Jeffrey had even been tipped to win as the vice-president with the most number of votes, given the substantial Dusun and Dayak membership in the party. He’s also popular with the Indian, Chinese and Orang Asli party members in Peninsular Malaysia and among supporters of Wan Azizah, Nurul, Zaid and Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

IGP welcomes allocation of RM350mil

By Bernama

THE police will continue with their efforts to provide better service and reduce the crime rate in order to ensure a safer country.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said the force would continue to carry out measures to enhance its preparedness to achieve these objectives.

“We will continue with efforts to reduce the crime rate nationwide so that the country will be safer as well as provide better and more efficient service to the public,” he said in a statement.

He also thanked the Government for the huge allocation of RM350mil to implement various crime prevention programmes.

Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye also welcomed the allocation.

“The allocation is necessary to enhance the security level in the country. I hope security authorities, especially the police, will utilise fully the allocation,” he said.

“Although the crime index has dropped by 16%, the main challenge facing the police force now is to convince society of its commitment to reduce the crime rate,” he added.

Lee also welcomed the Government’s plan to establish 25 more special courts. – Bernama

Boundaries and transitions

Farida shared this with the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia e-groups.

I have her permission to publish it here.

____________________________________________

My late mother had a special relationship with each of her grandchildren. One grandson, the youngest among them, brought her much fun and joy in her latter years.

They were so in tune with each other despite the 73-year gap that it was such a pleasure to see them together. Grandson adored his Nenek and she cherished him with all her heart.

It pleased Mum when he came by and shared with her the things he had done at home and in school. In many ways he had inherited her business acumen and her artistic talent. While in primary school, he had sold pencils and his Star Wars-like drawings to classmates and it took almost a year before his parents found out about this clandestine activity.

My mother would laugh heartily at his tales and when he told how he stood up for what was right, she would beam with pride. This boy belonged to her. He was hers in the twilight of her years.

I was usually around when he came to stay or when the lovely phone conversations between them took place. Those calls always went something like this before the two said their goodbyes and hung up:

Mum: I love you.

Grandson: I love you too, Nenek.

Mum: I love you more than you love me. My love for you is taller than the tallest tree.

Grandson: Nenek, my love for you is higher than the clouds….

And this would go on and on and include dinosaurs, the seas, the stars and planets but invariably Grandson would top it all with “Nenek, I love you to infinity.”

And that was where Mum got stuck, without any answer to give back.

During the December holidays two years ago, he came again to stay for about a week. But this time he found a much frailer grandmother waiting for him.

Several diseases had plagued her body over long, long years and Mum had borne the pain and discomfort with remarkable fortitude. But time had taken its toll on her health and an aging body made it so much harder to battle the diseases.

On the first day of his visit, Grandson looked at Mum’s food and couldn’t believe what she was having – cooked vegetables, rice and chicken all blended finely into a flavoured porridge for her to take in easily.

In his great love for her, he asked, “Can I taste?” and he took a spoonful. The look on his face was telling.

“Poor Nenek,” he said, a sad finality in his voice that could only mean he wished he could do something about it but couldn’t.

The pattern of fun had to be scaled down, with outings no longer a regular feature as in former times. Mum needed help going up and down the stairs and he was always ready to offer a steadying hand. While Mum had her late morning and afternoon naps, he spent his time reading or on the computer or talking to me.

On his fourth day, I decided to take him out for breakfast at a kopitiam, and then for an art class. We had just finished eating when his dad called to ask if he wanted to stay on or follow him back. I passed the phone to him and saw a flash of discomfort on his face.

I caught on when I heard his “ er…er…” and “ I’ll talk to you later.”

“You need privacy,” I said. “I’ll go out and you talk to your father.”

He protested so we stepped out, went to the lift area at the back of the mall and I stood away from him so he could have his private moment. To my astonishment, he went into a remote corner, sat on the floor and spoke in hushed tones, and all I could see was a pair of feet sticking out.

He kept me waiting for about 20 minutes and when I thought I had had enough of this and was about to haul him up, he stepped out. And what I saw was a distraught face.

“What’s the matter?” I asked quickly.

“Nothing,” he said but his voice was choked with emotion.

“Tell me,” I practically begged as my arm went around his shoulder to console him.

Tears streamed down his face and he said brokenly, “I want to go back…but …but I don’t want to hurt you and Nenek.”

This was it? No, the unspoken words said more.

It was very hard for him to stay and see the one he loved so dearly reduced to a pale shadow of her former self – his Nenek, who had told him stories, painted with him, given him clay to work with, taught him songs and sums, and inspired him to better himself.

It was just too much for someone so young to bear. It dawned on me then that a tender heart was breaking under the strain.

Behind the tears was an unspoken longing for the open spaces around his home and its surroundings, where he could wade amidst frolicking fish, climb fruit-laden trees, catch an insect or two and run like the wind down a slippery slope with nothing to rein him in.

He needed to be free and happy, not stay behind the prison walls of our home with its grills and gate and locks. And deep in his heart he must surely yearn to free his Nenek from the prison of her bed and wheelchair and medicine.

He didn’t see the parallels. I did.

I wanted so much for him to understand what I was saying: “Sayang, you are not responsible for Nenek’s happiness and you are not responsible for mine. Whatever you choose to do, Nenek and I will accept happily because we love you. Can you understand that?”

He nodded dumbly. When he was ready, we went off arm in arm for his batik-painting class.

I watched him engrossed in dabbing bright and beautiful colours onto the plain fabric with its waxed lines that ensured colours kept their integrity and didn’t merge into one another.

To me he was himself those bright and beautiful colours and the plain piece of cloth, the situation at home. The waxed lines were boundaries, there to maintain integrity, define safe space, protect him and enable him to enjoy his role as a youngster.

But somewhere along the way, a breach had occurred amidst those boundaries.

The unthinkable had happened – the youngest among us had felt it his responsibility to keep two adults happy, though we had never expected it of him.

And this being responsible for someone else’s happiness has its echoes around the world but with expectations often enforced in the most heartless of ways: a child having to get straight A’s so his parents can be happy; an adolescent forced to pursue a particular field of study to make her parents happy; a man wanting to end a marriage because the wife does not keep him happy; a woman not allowed to follow the faith she believes in because to do so makes her community unhappy. And so it goes on.

In truth, no one can make us happy but we ourselves. Happiness is a choice and that choice rests with us and us alone, no matter what the circumstance.

He left that evening and I could only hope that the breach had been repaired and that he was convinced no child should be made to feel responsible for an adult’s happiness.

A few months later, Mum passed away. It was very hard for us. It always is when a loved one whose life has been such a wonderful testimony to courage, resilience and faith makes an exit.

Almost a year after, I received a stirring poem from my nephew about his Nenek. It had been birthed from the depths of a loving heart that remembered her well. It convinced me that he had found his peace.

On his birthday this year, I called to wish him. In the midst of our conversation, before I knew it, I found myself saying, “I love you more than …” and he responded in the same way he had done with his Nenek.

It was a moment of transition for both of us – the same stage but with one new player.

I took a chance.

“I love you to infinity,” I said, seizing his prized clincher.

Was there anything left to say? Yes, there was.

“I love you to infinity plus one!” he said and it was a voice of triumph.

He had hit upon a continuum of his own making, willing to defy the facts to do just that.

“No such thing,” I declared. “Infinity is infinity.”

On his side I heard very clearly a wonderful chuckle.

Yes, we were on to something new.

He was my mother’s special one in the twilight of her years.

He is mine now.

Budget 2011 – Unable to stimulate necessary growth to meet high-income nation objective

By Tony Pua
Budget 2010: Government failed to keep a lid on sky-rocketing operating expenditure
The Prime Minister in his speech announced that the Government will be on track to meet the projected budget deficit of 5.6% for the fiscal year 2010 giving the appearance that the Government was able to meet its financial commitment and targets. However, the meeting of the deficit target masks the fact that the Government had in fact substantially overspent its allocated budgets, and was “saved” only by a higher than expected collection of tax revenues.
Last year when the budget for 2010 was announced, the Government promised a commitment to trim operating expenditure to reduce wastage and to generate greater value for money returns with the tax-payers’ money.
We had in fact applauded the Government’s decision to reduce operating expenditure by a significant 13.7% from RM160.2 billion in 2009 to a budgeted RM138.3 billion. The government’s operating expenditure includes salaries and pensions for the civil service, purchase of government assets, supplies and services, rentals, various subsidies, debt repayments, toll compensations and “other” expenditures. A government’s “operating expenditure” is not expected to generate high economic multiplier effects, as opposed to “development expenditure”.

However, in the Budget announcement today, it has been announced that the Government’s operating expenditure is expected to hit RM152.2 billion, or a massive RM13.9 billion (10.1%) over budget.
This clearly demonstrates the government’s inability to impose financial discipline on its expenditure to ensure that the country’s financial objectives are met. It is also not the first year the Government has overspent its budget. In fact, the Government has consistently overspent its budget by at least 5% as far back as 2000, with the worst year being in 2008 when the budget was exceeded by 17.2%. This is shown in the table below.
Table 1: Government Operating Expenditure – Budget v Actual (RM billions)

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Budgeted 52.4 60.7 65.3 71.7 80.0 89.1 101.2 117.0 128.8 154.2 138.3
Actual 56.5 63.8 68.7 75.2 91.3 97.7 107.8 123.1 151.0 160.2 152.2
Overspend 4.2 3.0 3.4 3.5 11.3 8.6 6.5 6.1 22.2 6.0 13.9
Overspend % 8.0% 5.0% 5.1% 4.9% 14.1% 9.7% 6.4% 5.2% 17.2% 3.9% 10.1%
Comparatively, the Government’s development expenditure only exceeded it’s budget RM51.2 billion by RM2.9 billion, which is acceptable on the basis that the economy had required additional stimulus spending.
Therefore, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who is both the Finance and Prime Minister must explain the cause of the continuing and possibly worsening financial indiscipline. The increasingly endemic financial ill-discipline in government departments must be halted to ensure that every cent of the rakyat’s money is properly expended in accordance to approved and budgeted limits.
Otherwise, the complete lack of regard to the annual approved budget in parliament over the past 10 years have rendered the budget debate nearly meaningless as whatever allocations approved by the Parliament gets completely ignored, and the actual expenditures are significantly different from the one approved. Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak must also at the same time announce specific steps to be taken which will rein in the reckless disregard by the Government departments to ensure that the targets and objectives of the Budget are met, instead of just relying on the age-old rhetoric like “unlocking the real value of government assets” and ““value for money” in its spending without any follow up concrete actions.
Hence, we are fortunate that in 2010, our actual revenues to be collected, RM162.1 billion is significantly higher than the expected RM148.4 billion, or our deficit would have worsened substantially than the projected 5.6%.
Budget 2011: Disproportionate increase in operating expenditure and a reduction in development expenditure fails to give confidence that Budget 2011 will be able to stimulate the necessary growth to meet our high-income nation objective.
Prior to the announcement of the Budget 2011, the Prime Minister has announced a whole series of measures and projects under the Government (GTP) and Economic Transformation Programmes (ETP) which are designed to take Malaysia to meet our high-income nation objectives by 2020.
It is hence a surprise that in the Budget 2011, the Government has once again fallen back to the same budget formula employed by the former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi which had resulted in a budget crisis in 2009/2010 where the deficit hit a high of 7.4% which had required the Government to impose a series of belt-tightening measures to reduce expenditure.
Instead of increasing the allocation for “development expenditure” to invest in the various critical projects under the National Key Result Areas (NKRA), GTP and ETP, it has been reduced by approximately RM4 billion (xxxx) from RM54.0 billion in 2010 to RM51.2 billion for 2011.
On the other hand, the “operating expenditure” of the Government is budgeted to increase by a massive RM10.6 billion or 7% from RM152.2 billion in 2010 to RM162.8 billion. This has yet to take into account the fact that the original operating expenditure for 2010 was only RM138.3 billion. If this original budget figure is used as the benchmark, the 2011 budget for operating expenditure will increase by massive 17.7% or RM24.5 billion.
The question arises as to why does the Government need to increase its operating expenditure by such a large amount when just not too long ago in 2004, the Government’s operating budget was only RM80 billion or less than half the budgeted amount for 2011?
When the expenditure for operating expenditure is analysed further, the category of expenditure which is budgeted to increase the most is for “supplies and services”. This will increase from the budgeted RM20.8 billion for 2010 to RM28.2 billion for 2011 or a 35.6%. This “supplies and services” expenditure is also the 2nd largest category at 17.3% of the total operating expenditure.
At the same time, the budget for emoluments remain the largest component of operating expenditure at 28.0% or RM45.6 billion. This figure is also a RM3.4 billion increase from RM42.2 billion budgeted for 2010.
More worryingly, the ratio of operating expenditure to development has continued to increase despite the fact that the budget for 2011 is our highest ever at RM214 billion which signals the fact that we are not allocating our resources to the most productive use. Instead of declining, the proportion of budget used for operating expenditure has increased from a low of 68.5% in 2003 to a record high of 76.8% budget for next year, despite a total increase in total expenditure from RM104.7 billion to RM214 billion. This is shown in the table below:
Table 2: Government Operating v Development Expenditure (RM billions)

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Operating Expenditure 71.7 80.0 89.1 101.2 113.0 128.8 157.1 152.2 162.8
68.5% 73.4% 76.4% 75.6% 72.9% 76.7% 75.3% 73.8% 76.0%
Development Expenditure 33.0 29.0 27.6 32.8 42.0 39.2 49.5 54.0 51.1
31.5% 26.6% 23.6% 24.4% 27.1% 23.3% 24.7% 26.2% 23.9%
Total Expenditure 104.7 109.0 116.7 134.0 155.0 168.0 204.7 206.2 213.9
Hence, we call upon the Prime Minister to explain why these worrying trends have not been addressed in the upcoming budget debate.
In order to ensure that Government expenditure is effectively utilised and is best able to generate the high economic multiplier impact for the country, the Government must ensure that its operating expenditure is restrained while the focus must be on development expenditure on projects which will bring high economic benefit for Malaysians throughout the country.

100-storey mega-tower pop quiz

Now, here’s a multiple choice question on Najib’s plan to build a new mega-tower by 2015 that would dwarf the Petronas Twin Towers.
The floor of a classroom collapsed in Alor Setar on 13 Oct, injuring 11. The building had been renovated in 2007 but The Star reported sources as saying the contractor did not remove the original wooden flooring but only placed a layer of cement over it - Photo credit: The Star.
Why do we need the proposed RM5 billion 100-storey Warisan Merdeka Tower (to be built by Permodalan Nasional Berhad)?
A. We have a serious shortage of commercial space in the Klang Valley. Plus the boys could do with more contracts.
B. We have a healthy fiscal surplus and we don’t know what to do with all that spare cash. RM5 billion is petty cash-lah. Huh? Fiscal deficit? What fiscal deficit? Nah, cannot be.
C. No major earthquake will ever strike our country.
D. Najib’s tower has to be higher than Mahathir’s Twin Towers. And we have excellent public transport to ensure congestion is minimal. Besides, we could call it a super-duper ‘zero-carbon’ green tower.
E. Because Malaysia Boleh! “The most important thing is that we can do it. Why should we hold back?” as Ng Yen Yen puts it. A tower is more important for the rakyat. They will be so proud.
F. I don’t know. I give up. You tell me.
Share with us your thoughts on Najib’s budget.

P.Waytha Moorthy appeals to K.L High Court Judge against Registrar’s order of RM60,000.00 for security for costs be deposited in Court to continue with defamation suit against P.Ramasamy DCM II Penang, A.Sivanesan, V.Ganabatirau & (ASP Vasantha Kumar).


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

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Media Statement (15/10/10)

Re: P.Waytha Moorthy appeals to K.L High Court Judge against Registrar’s order of RM60,000.00 for security for costs be deposited in Court to continue with defamation suit against P.Ramasamy DCM II Penang, A.Sivanesan, V.Ganabatirau & (ASP Vasantha Kumar).
Today P.Waytha Moorthy filed an appeal to the Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge against the Senior Assistant Registrar Pn.Faerah Nurul Ainni binti Izany Order on 14/10/10 of RM60,000.00 as security for costs to be deposited into the court registry in respect of each of four Defendants failing which the defamation suit against the defendants can be applied to be struck out.
This suit was filed on 31/12/2009 as the Defendants namely P.Ramasamy, the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang, A Sivanesan, ex Perak Exco Member, V.Ganabathirau and ASP Vasantha Kumar were continuously defaming P.Waythamoorthy and Hindraf on the false allegations of the mismanagement of the Hindraf funds collected from Hindraf supporters at the height of the 25th November 2007 Hindraf Rally and thereabouts. This was despite P.Waytha Moorthy having made public the said accounts that only a total sum of RM451,617.51 that Hindraf was to account for and never the RM700,000.00 or the alleged millions as was claimed by the aforesaid Defendants. This civil suit was filed to clear P.Waytha Moorthy’s and Hindraf’s name. But the Defendants made this Court application as they do not want this case to go for full trial as the truth about their lies, bad faith and defamation of P.Waythamoorthy and Hindraf would surface.
This is also despite a formal written Parliamentary question to the Home Minister in the Malaysian Parliament by Y.B. P.Ramasamy on 22/3/10 on this alleged Hindraf funds mismanagement. The Home Minister himself had cleared Hindraf of any financial mismanagement and answered in Parliament that the Attorney General has closed the file as there was no further action to be taken. (full details of accounts prepared by Chartered Accountants Pathmarajah & Co for the said RM451,617.51, P.Waytha Moorthy’s public Media Statement dated 28/1/2010 and the said Parliamentary Question and Answer is enclosed hereinbelow and can be accessed at www.humanrightspartmalaysia.com ).
The said Senior Assistant Registrar had on 14/10/10 made this award as P.Waytha Moorthy was resident in London and not on Malaysian soil and in the event he loses the civil suit, the Defendants may not be able to recover the Court costs due to them and thus this court order asking P.Waytha Moorthy to deposit RM60,000.00 into the High Court Registry for each of the said defendants as possible court costs.
S.Jayathas
Information Chief (pro-tem)
Human Rights Party Malaysia
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Malaysian Cops Grill Usharani In Chennai

By P. Vijian

CHENNAI, Oct 15 (Bernama) -- A Malaysian police team has questioned Indian millionaire A. Muthuraja's widow and a film financer to facilitate investigations into the killing of the wealthy man in Malaysia.

S. Usharani, 24, second wife of Muthuraja, was interrogated here yesterday, for several hours by the high-ranking police officers from the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman.

 sosilawati murder

makkal osai 151010


They also examined some crucial items in her possession.

"They spent between three and four hours, recording a statement from Usharani. They will also be questioning a film producer regarding a land scam in Malaysia, and another Indian national involved in a land scam in Melaka.

"The police are here to get more details on four different commercial crimes, mostly involving land scams," Malaysian Consul-General Anuar Kasman told Bernama on Friday.

Usharani had told local media that she had submitted documents relating to the sale of land and her husband's laptop, to Malaysian police officers.

The police began probing Muthuraja's death, following the murder of cosmetics tycoon Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others in Banting last August.

One of two brothers, lawyer N. Pathmanabhan, and his three co-workers were charged in a court in Banting last Wednesday, for the multiple murders.

Sosilawati 47, her driver, Kamaruddin Shansuddin, 44, CIMB Bank Kampung Baru branch officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abd Karim, 32, were murdered after a multi-million ringgit land deal went awry.

The killings occurred at a farm in Banting, Selangor.

-- BERNAMA

*****
The Malay Mail

Banting suspects plead guilty, sentenced


Friday, October 15th, 2010 11:45:00
Banting murders
SENTENCED: Suresh (in yellow) and Sarawanan (in blue) identifying a 4WD vehicle as evidence at the court this morning — Pic: Shahir Omar

UPDATED 6.45pm
BANTING: Two men were today sentenced to seven years' jail each for burning the bodies of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and her three associates and for disposing of their ashes.
Magistrate Hurman Hussein meted out the sentence after odd-job worker U. Suresh, 19, and mechanic K. Sarawanan, 26, both pleaded guilty at the Telok Datok Magistrate's Court this morning to four counts each, under Section 201 of the Penal Code, of disposing of evidence in regards to the four murders so as to prevent the capture of the four accused of the murders.
The charge was read to the both in Tamil.
Suresh pleaded guilty to throwing the ashes into Sungai Panchau, located in Morib, on Aug 31, between 8am and 10am while Sarawanan admitted to burning the bodies, with both having knowledge the murders had been committed on Aug 30, between 8.30pm and 9.45pm.
In the facts of the case presented to the court, Sarawanan acknowledged that on Aug 30 between 8.30pm and 9.45 pm at Lot No. 2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat near here, he saw all four victims had been murdered and he was instructed to retrieve petrol and diesel from a farm worker's house.
He, together with two other farm workers, placed the four bodies on piles of wood which had already been laid out at the scene, after which the trio covered the bodies with more wood.
The court was told that petrol was poured over the bodies before Sarawanan and the farm workers burnt them.
Meanwhile, it was also stated that Suresh saw the same farm workers who had been with Sarawanan, placing something in a blue barrel near the burn site and when he (Suresh) inquired, he was told it was the ashes of the four deceased which they had murdered the night earlier.
The barrel was then taken to Sungai Panchau in a four-wheel drive vehicle for the ashes to be disposed of.
Suresh and one of the farm workers were instructed to throw the ashes into the river together with the barrel. After completing the task at around 10am, they returned to clean up the burn site by disposing all of the remaining wood and zinc there.
The wood pieces were thrown at a dumping ground in Sungai Arak in Kampung Kelanang while the zinc pieces were thrown into the river there.
For their offences, Hurman sentenced each of the accused to seven years imprisonment for each of the four counts but ordered the sentences to run concurrently from the date of their arrest.
In delivering his sentence, the magistrate said he came to such a decision, not because it is a case involving a high-profile individual, but based on the nature of the acts and the impact caused.
"Although they did not commit the murder, they disposed the evidence and covered up the act, which is implied under Section 302," he said.
He said he had taken into consideration the background of the case where there was no evidence to show that the two farm workers were involved in the actual killings.
Earlier, in his mitigation to the court, Sarawanan's counsel Roslie Sulle said his client was only a mechanic in a motorcycle shop who earns RM800 monthly, and that he is his family's sole breadwinner.
"He is the youngest of four siblings, his elder brother has died, his two elder sisters are married in Ipoh, his father is sickly and his mother is a housewife," said Roslie.
Suresh's counsel Muhammad Naguib Abul Malik, told the court that his client was an odd-job worker with an average monthly income of only RM700.
Suresh also has one younger sister who will be getting married next year. His father died in 1997 and his mother is a diabetic.
After the sentencing, Sarawanan and Suresh apologized to the court for their actions from the dock.
Prosecution for this case comprised deputy public prosecutors Saiful Edris, Ishak Mohd Yusoff and Idham Abd Ghani, while counsel Muhammad Naguib, Roslie and M. Puravelan represented the two accused.
Last Wednesday, lawyer N. Pathmanabhan, 41, and three farm workers — T. Thilaiyalagan,19, R. Matan, 20 and R. Kathavarayan, 30 — were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code with murdering the four on Aug 30 between 8.30pm to 9.45pm at Lot 2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, Banting, Kuala Langat.
Meanwhile, three other suspects in the gruesome multiple murders, a woman and two men, were released on police bail. One of the two men released was believed to be the accused Pathmanabhan's brother.
The deceased had been reported missing on Aug 30 after going to Banting to discuss a land purchase deal.
Sosilawati, founder of Nouvelle Visages (NV) cosmetics line and former wife of rocker Nash, had told one of her daughters that she was going to Banting for three days and was said to be carrying a large amount of cash.
During investigations, police stated the victims were bludgeoned to death, set ablaze and had their ashes, including small bone fragments, scattered in a river near Ladang Gadong in Tanjong Sepat, near Banting.
The lawyer accused and his brother, also a lawyer, were apparently acting as brokers for Sosilawati in the purchase of land in Penang worth millions of ringgit.
The two lawyer brothers are also reportedly being investigated over the disappearance of several individuals — Indian businessman A.K. Muthuraja, 34, Sg Petani businessman Mohd Shafik Abdullah, 37, S.Thevaraj, 28, and A. Anpalagan, 43, as well as over the murder of housewife T. Selvi, 44.
It had further been reported that several police reports had been lodged against the two lawyer brothers since 2005 over allegations of commercial crimes involving land transactions and criminal breach of trust which allegedly resulted in losses amounting to RM7.1 million to the alleged victims.



 sosilawati murder

Pakatan says ‘irresponsible’ Budget misses point

Anwar accused the government of tabling a “populist” budget. — Picture by Jack Ooi
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have slammed Budget 2011, claiming it ignored fundamental economic problems in favour of “goodies” to boost public support. PR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Budget announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak earlier was “irresponsible” as it did not address the country’s budget deficit, waning investor interest and poor governance.
“The (Budget) focus is not the economy or development. They’re just responding [with] a populist but irresponsible Budget,” the former finance minister said.
“We in the opposition... will have to deal with this, focus back the debate on a proper, responsible Budget,” Anwar added.
He cited the planned 100-storey Warisan Merdeka tower as an example of the Najib administration’s misplaced priorities, particularly given the continued lack of transparency in government.
The Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) project, sited adjacent to Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara, is expected to cost RM5 billion and will be the tallest tower in Malaysia upon its completion in 2015.
“Our problem is massive, endemic corruption, abuse, which is not addressed,” Anwar said.
“This huge megaproject... is going to benefit the cronies, and there’s no emphasis or categorical statement to assure the public of a new transparent model.”
Proving to be a lightning rod for opposition discontent, the Warisan Merdeka tower also came under fire from DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (pic, left), who said the project sacrificed human capital development for physical infrastructure.
“I think we got enough tall buildings in Malaysia. Why do we need a 100-storey tower called Warisan Merdeka? I would say that this is a waste of resources. It should be used towards encouraging creativity, education,” he said.
“I don’t think it helps us to move forward as a high-income economy. High-income economy is not talking about tall buildings. High-income economy is talking about people who have the energy, the expertise and the entrepreneurship to be able to earn high incomes.”
Lim also pointed out that this “election budget”, which appeared to be full of “goodies” to curry favour with voters, would possibly leave the people worse off.
The Penang chief minister said the toll hike freeze on four highways controlled by PLUS Expressways Bhd would not benefit taxpayers because the government still had to compensate PLUS to do so.
“It doesn’t mean that people are not paying. The government is still paying because you got to pay compensation,” he said.
“So, in effect, it is still the same. The people are not paying directly but the government is paying, and that means that the people lose out on funding.”
The toll-road concession contract stipulates that PLUS is allowed to increase toll rates by 10 per cent every three years, failing which the government would have to compensate them.
Government compensation to PLUS last year amounted to RM850 million. The contract expires in 2038.
“There appears to be goodies, but can we really taste the goodies?” Lim said.

Damning letter: Can the big shots remain mum?

By Lim Kit Siang - Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT Ex-top cop Mat Zain Ismail's open letter is testimony that the criminal justice system had further deteriorated after 2005 Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission report.

When the commission submitted its final report in May 2005, it said that Malaysia’s reputation as a safe country was “seriously dented” by the “dramatic increase” in the incidence of crime in the past few years and that “Malaysians in general, the business sector and foreign investors grew increasingly concerned with the situation”.

The commission warned that “if the trend continues, there would be major social and economic consequences for Malaysia”. The commission was referring to the “dramatic increase” in the crime index from 121,176 cases in 1997 to 156,455 cases in 2004, which registered an increase of 29% in eight years.

As a result, the commission proposed a sustained nationwide drive against crime “until crime levels have reached a point considered no longer alarming”, with an immediate target of “a minimum 20% decrease in crimes” in all categories of crime within the first 12 months after the report.

Instead of achieving the commission’s target of reducing the intolerably high incidence of crime of 156,455 cases in 2004 by 20% in 12 months (that is, 125,164 cases), the reverse took place.

In the seven years from 1997 to 2004, crime index increased by 29%, but in the four years from 2004 to 2008 crime index increased by 35.5% – breaking the 200,000 mark since 2007.

Red ink in the report card


Recently, both Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had made great play about the successful NKRA on crime reduction, claiming that there has been a drastic drop in the crime rate particularly in street crime with improvement of the crime index since January this year.

However, up and down the country, ordinary Malaysians do not feel this dividend of fall of crime index in their daily lives as they do not feel comparatively safer in the streets, public places or privacy of their homes as compared to previous years.

In fact, the continued mushrooming of gated and guarded communities in the country is most eloquent proof of the failure of the police force in the country to discharge its most basic duty – to ensure that Malaysians, visitors, tourists and investors enjoy the two fundamental rights to be free from crime and the fear of crime.

In its 2005 report, the Dzaiddin Royal Commission made 125 recommendations to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service focused on three core functions – to keep crime low, to eradicate corruption and to uphold human rights.

Five years have passed. Have we progressed or regressed in the overall objective of the commission report to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service capable of performing the three core functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and uphold human rights?

In my view, the police report card based on the commission report is in red ink as there is regression instead of progress in all the three police core functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and uphold human rights.

But this is not only the view of Malaysians outside the police force but also that of independent, dispassionate and objective former officers of the police force.

Mat Zain's open letter

In this regard, I refer to the open letter by former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Mat Zain, which is powerful testimony that the criminal justice system had worsened after the 2005 commission report.

Mat Zain was the police officer who headed the initial investigation into the 1998 case of Anwar Ibrahim’s “black eye” assault while in police custody in Bukit Aman and recommended that the then inspector-general of police, Rahim Noor, be prosecuted for criminal assault against Anwar, but his recommendation was ignored until a Royal Commission of Inquiry was subsequently set up resulting Rahim being found guilty and sentenced to two months’ jail.

Mat Zain recounted in his open letter when referring to the investigation into Anwar's “black-eye” assault case in 1998, that he had to decide at the time whether to salvage the honour of PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police Forece) or that of Rahim and he decided with sadness to propose that Rahim, whom he had the highest respect as a leader, a colleague and family friend, be prosecuted under Section 323 of the Penal Code.

Mat Zain wrote the open letter to Kalsom Taib, wife and biographer of Shafee Yahaya, former head of the Anti-Corruption Agency, in response to questions asked in her book about police investigations into allegations against former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for abuse of power in June 1998 in ordering a halt to corruption investigations against Ali Abul Hassan Sulaiman, head of the Economic Planning Unit. Mat Zain was the officer in charge of investigations into the allegations.

Mat Zain was also the officer responsible for the investigations into the four police reports lodged by Anwar from July 9, 1999 to Aug 20, 1999 when in Sungai Buloh prison on abuses of power and obstruction of the process of justice directed against Mahathir, the then attorney-general, the late Mohtar Abdullah, current Attorney-General Gani Patail as well as reports of corruption and abuses of power against Daim Zainuddin, Rafidah Aziz, Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik and the late Eric Chia.

Mat Zain revealed in his open letter that he had written in May this year to (IGP) Ismail Omar, then deputy IGP and to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein for a review of the investigations into the false evidence produced against Anwar in the “black eye” assault case of 1998 “to protect the credibility, impartiality and image of the of PDRM which had been seriously affected since 2006”.

Mat Zain made the very serious allegation that former IGP Musa Hassan and Gani had allowed fabricated evidence in the Anwar “black eye” assault case and must be held responsible for the current mess of the criminal justice system.

Mat Zain asked in the open letter: “Apa sudah jadi dengan Sistem Keadilan Jenayah kita?….Siapa yang sepatutnya dipersalahkan? Siapa yang menyebabkan Sistem Keadilan Jenayah kita menjadi kucar kacir sehinggakan sesiapa juga boleh mempermain-mainkannya tanpa takut kepada sebarang tindakan dan hukuman undang-undang? Saya tidak teragak-agak untuk menyatakan bahawa keadaan ini berpunca daripada ‘precedent’ yang dibuat oleh Tan Sri Gani Patail dan Tan Sri Musa Hassan sendiri.”

Can Gani, Musa or even Hishammuddin and IGP Ismail keep mum on this most incriminating and devastating open letter by a former top cop?

(The above was a speech delivered by DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang at a forum on Thursday night).

Battle of the VPs: D-Day for Jeffrey

By Luke Rintod - Free Malaysia Today,

KOTA KINABALU: PKR vice-president Jeffrey Kitingan, who garnered about 40 nominations to vie for one of the four elected vice-president posts, will decide whether to join the contest for the post today, the last day to do so.

Jeffrey, who is an appointed vice-president, said his concern now is whether the election will be transparent and held free of fraud and dirty tactics that had transpired in the divisional polls recently.

"I thank the about 40 divisions which nominated me, including 20 in Sabah, and the rest in Sarawak and Peninsula,  but I will only make my decision known tomorrow (today)," he said in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

Sabah PKR has been abuzz with rumours that the maverick politician will pull out of the race.

In the upcoming PKR national election, Jeffrey has teamed up with Zaid Ibrahim who has been nominated for both the top posts in PKR.

Zaid, it is learnt, will only make his decision known today which post he is going after.

He had, however, repeatedly hinted he would pull out of the race for deputy president if Nurul Izzah, the daughter of PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim, decides to contest for the post.

Another Sabahan PKR leader, Ansari Abdulah, who got about 20 nominations for the post of vice- president, had already made known his intention to go for the post.

Ansari is believed to be aligned to another current vice-president, Azmin Ali, who is contesting for the post of deputy president with tacit support from Anwar.

Under-mining the Malaysian way

By Patrick Lee - Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT In the grand scheme of things, it would appear that everything happens for a reason. Even accidents involving a group of Chileans, who unexpectedly found out that it wasn't all that exciting to be under a (lot of) rock for a couple of weeks.

For one, it can get rather boring after the first five “I spy with my little eye” games.

Now imagine if such an accident were to take place in our part of the world, where early mining expeditions usually included very eager Chinese Kapitans.

But to all intents and purposes, picture a modern-day expedition taking place seven hundred metres under the surface of the idyllic Kinta Valley, which is normally known for having quite a bit of rock.

People go through a lot of trouble to getting a bit of rock deep below the earth back to the surface. Just ask Lillian Too, who paints many of these rocks in funny colours before selling them to Chinese businessmen.

And it just so happens that a few Malaysians happened to find themselves (through no fault of their own) trapped underneath all that rock, with nothing but a few boxes of Maggi mee and no Astro to keep them company for the next two months.

It is an emergency of the highest order, but nothing happens. Yet. Like nearly every major action that has ever been made in recent years, it will have to wait for the writing of a police report.

Most men on the street underestimate the power of a police report. They scoff at it, thinking it a waste of paper. How wrong they are.

Contrary to popular opinion, having a police report in your hand has about the same effect that Charleton Heston had when he showed the Israelites his copy of Ten Commandments way back in the 1950s.

Power but no direction

If anyone tells you that a police report has no power, they are lying and are only jealous because they don't have one themselves.

Governments who once had their hands tied behind their back can now be spurred into action through the producing of a single police report.

But even a police report may not be enough. It has power, but does not have direction.

To put things into metaphors, the police report is a car, while the memorandum is the road, and the cow that gets knocked down a mile later while crossing that road is the serious problem.

After the memorandum is sent to the Prime Minister's Office, the Cabinet will then have a meeting and will discuss on the course of action to take, which usually results in the forming of a task force.

Because of the multi-faceted nature of the problem (and because there is no Ministry of Mining), many departments will have to be involved.

For starters, because the problem takes place within the land itself, the Land Office will no doubt have to be notified. As the miners' health will be taken into account, the Ministry of Health will have to tag along.

And of course, the Ministry of Works will have to be included, because at the end of the day, what good is an operation if nothing works?

The task force will then have to comprise a set number of personnel from all the departments (possibly 200 people). They will also have to be filled with members of every race within the Peninsula for muhibbah purposes as well.

Once it comes together, the task force will have to be trained in order to face the difficult problem ahead. This usually comes in the form of week-long conference/seminar trips to other countries that are commonly associated with mines such as China and Vietnam; although the latter tends to deal with a different sort of mine.

1MalaysiaCapsule

After learning all that there is to mines, the task force will then be ready to begin the rescue. Following Chile's example, a capsule capable of being lowered into the ground will have to be made.

As a symbol of national pride, it has to be made in Malaysia, even if most of the parts come from Japan. After being constructed by a GLC, it will then be named as the 1MalaysiaCapsule, usually because there is only enough time for just one to be made.

While the 1MalaysiaCapsule is being crafted, the site will be monitored by all sorts of parties and observers. Though the Ramly burger stand will be there well before the police.

The Malaysian Book of Records will also make an appearance, because it will be the first time a Malaysian has been stuck seven hundred metres under the earth.

Many a stirring speech will be made by politicians at the site. Even a performance by Siti Nurhaliza with a number of “Di Bawah Tanah Airku” (for supposedly morale purposes).

The only people who won't allowed to be there will be the candlelight vigillers, because they don't do anything else except sing the national anthem over and over again and get in everyone's way.

Assuming that the rescue completes without a hitch, celebrations will be in great supply. Every miner rescued will be have their hands shaken by the PM, DPM, FPM* and FDPM** respectively.

* Uninvited** Uninvited and will probably be escorted away in a Black Maria

Banners will be made and hung from buildings everywhere. A few survivors will become Datuks, while political analysts will excitedly proclaim that snap elections will be just around the corner.

And everyone will live happily ever after.

But assuming that none of it goes as planned, and everything goes very, very wrong, nearly everyone important will disappear faster than a buffet at a minister's Raya open house.

The only people left in the area will be the Opposition, who will then make many memorandums and police reports, making many inroads and knocking down many crossing cows in the process.

Unfortunately for the Opposition, police reports can only be effectively used once per every situation, much like an LRT ticket or a Statutory Declaration.

Although calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry will be made, a less-than-monarchical inquest will be given because the people asking for the inquiry are usually anything but royal.

During the inquest, a foreign mining expert may be given the opportunity to give their theory on what went wrong. However, this theory may not be regarded highly, with the defence asking the expert to mine their own business.

And like every inquiry/inquest/trial, it will soon be forgotten, and everyone will also live happily ever after.

Budget 2011: Pump-priming initiatives to boost economy

By M Jegathesan

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak today unveiled Budget 2011 aimed at drawing in foreign investors who have shunned the country in favour of more dynamic neighbours.
Najib promised major infrastructure projects, financial market liberalisation and pre-election sweeteners on housing and transport in what is likely to be his last budget before polls tipped for next year.

"The 2011 Budget will emphasise efforts to transform the nation into a developed and high-income economy with inclusive and sustainable development," Najib told the Dewan Rakyat (Parliament).

Malaysia is moving to reverse a sharp decline in foreign direct investment, which fell 81% to US$1.4 billion (RM4.3 billion) in 2009 from US$7.3 billion in 2008.

Neighbouring Southeast Asian economies including Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia have outshone Malaysia with much higher inflows.

Najib, who is also finance minister, is attempting to spur employment and economic growth before going to the polls, after being humbled in the 2008 election in which the opposition scored unprecedented gains.

The government had already announced it was again delaying implementation of a controversial goods and services tax which had been due next year, in the face of strong public protest.

The budget also includes a scheme for first-home buyers to have their 10% deposit guaranteed by the government, and a 50% rebate on stamp duty.

A massively unpopular scheduled hike in toll charges for a major highway will also be frozen for the next five years.
New landmark in KL
Malaysia recently announced ambitious plans to double private investment over the next 10 years, and to propel annual growth to an average of 6.0% to meet its goal of achieving developed-nation status by 2020.

Najib said that the growth forecast for 2010 had been raised to 7.0% from 6.0%, well up on the 1.7% contraction of 2009. The economy is expected to grow by 5% to 6% in 2011.

He said that to attract foreign funds, government-linked companies – which have been blamed for suppressing competition -- would divest their holdings in listed companies, increasing "liquidity and trading velocity in the market".

There will be some major share offerings, including a sale of state energy firm Petronas' chemicals arm, which is estimated to be worth US$4.0 billion.

Among the infrastructure projects, a government investment arm is to develop a 100-storey tower to be completed by 2015 at a cost of US$1.6 billion. It will be the tallest in Malaysia, exceeding the landmark Petronas Twin Towers.

Najib's ruling Barisan Nasional lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament and control of five states in a 2008 election. It is now battling to win back the support of minority Chinese and Indian voters who deserted it.

It is also concerned at the prospect of losing its traditional voter base, ethnic Malays who dominate the multicultural population, to the conservative Islamic party PAS, which is part of the opposition alliance.

Taib Handed Rockefeller $100 million – Whistleblower’s Letter


Company letterhead. Boyert wrote as the former Vice-President of Sakti International to the majority shareholder, Abdul Taib Mahmud
Following the tragic death of Ross Boyert, which we announced earlier this week, Sarawak Report has decided to publish in full the amazing allegations contained in a personal letter he wrote to his employer, the Chief Minister of Sarawak.
The 388 page document, sent after Boyert was sacked in November 2006, begged Taib to put to an end what he described as appalling treatment in return for his years of hard work building the family’s US property company, Sakti International, into a multi-million dollar business.
He also complained how he had to rescue the disastrous mismanagement of the company by Taib’s son, Rahman.  He also had to put a halt to a catastrophic building project, by his son-in-law Sean Murray, which was condemned on safety-grounds by the San Fransciso authorities.
[TO VIEW THE FULL DOCUMENT CLICK ON THE ICONS BENEATH THIS ARTICLE. SOME FAMILY DETAILS ERASED].
Key revelations
In the letter Boyert detailed bitter divisions and rivalries between Taib family members; described what he regarded as bullying tactics by Taib’s ambitious son-in-law, the Canadian Sean Murray, and related how Murray bragged about the Chief Minister’s extreme wealth.  When Murray approached Boyert to help run the family’s US properties in 1994, he even disclosed Taib’s billionaire status and revealed that the Chief Minister had just met with the multi-billionaire banker David Rockefeller and made an astonishing deposit of money:
Indiscreet? Boyert acquired much of his information from family members
Junior partner - Hisham (Sean) Murray, Jamilah's younger husband
Empire building
The letter goes on to explain how it was Boyert’s deteriorating relationship with Sean Murray that led to his summary dismissal twelve years later and a bitter court case. In that period Boyert describes a family torn apart by rivalries and greed, which as an employee he strove to manage.
The worst jealousies, he described were those between Taib’s sons, Rahman and Mahmud, and his son-in-law, Hisham (Sean Murray), who they believed was ’Empire Building’ within the network of Taib property companies based in Canada, the US, Britain and Australia.
“As Rahman had told me many, many times, Sean was busy empire building, I was immediately on guard”,  wrote Ross, as he explained to the Chief Minister why he had been reluctant to accept Murray’s original announcement that he had replaced  Rahman (Sulaiman) Taib as President of Sakti International in 2005.  Boyert angered the Canadian by insisting on documented evidence, signed by all the company’s official family shareholders. Sakti is the Taibs’ main property company in the USA and Boyert was employed as its Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer.
Ridiculed? - son Mahmud Taib and his wife
In later passages, which must have further dismayed the Chief Minister, Boyert also confided that Murray had frequently made sneering and disparaging comments about both his sons to him as an employee:
“It [a remark] reminded me how Sean would speak ill of Rahman when he was discussing their interaction.  In fact, in a recent call, Sean said the board meetings he attended droned on-and-on with Mahmud constantly talking but saying nothing.  He couldn’t believe how stupid it was and if not for him, the Kuching Convention Center would have been a total failure since he changed the design facing away, rather than towards, the river.  I did not, and do not, feel such comments are appropriate..”
A tactic that backfired
It is likely however, that by confiding in this way to Abdul Taib Mahmud, a man he had met but a few times, and by revealing that he was fully aware of the Chief Minister’s great wealth and commanding role in the company (which was meant to be a closely-guarded secret), Boyert had naively sealed his own fate.  Instead of gaining sympathy, it is likely he would have incurred the old man’s ire and convinced him that with all this knowledge, he was a dangerous liability to his company and reputation.
Indeed, far from interceding to reach a settlement, as Ross had hoped, Taib Mahmud left Murray to pursue a devastating counter-suit against Boyert’s complaint of unfair dismissal, accusing him on numerous counts of embezzlement and dishonesty.
Private investigation discredited Boyert
The accusations were made known throughout Ross’s business circle as a result of enquiries made by private detectives hired by Dirk Schenkkan, a partner at the Taib’s top California law firm, Howard Rice.  Although these accusations were never upheld and both suit and counter-suit were eventually dropped, the effect was to leave Boyert’s career and reputation in tatters.
During this legal battle the Boyerts’ local Atherton police station have confirmed they filed numerous reports of personal harassment, however it was not possible to establish any proof of a targeted campaign against the family.
Murray accused of bully-boy tactics
Several times in the letter Ross Boyert focuses on what he sees as Taib’s son-in-law’s high-handed approach.  He claims that while he sought a compromise, from the moment Sean took over he seemed set on confrontation.
Hungry for power?
On another occasion Boyert expressed how he was forced against procedure to renovate a property for a female family friend named Marta, whose relationship with the Taibs baffled him. He questioned Sean’s judgement as the Director of what had always been a secretive company with plenty of information it wished to keep hidden.
Poor judgement?
Sean Murray and Taib’s foreign property empire
Boyert’s clash with Sean Murray has highlighted questions about the Canadian’s true position in the Taib family businesses.
Known as Hisham since his marriage to Jamilah Taib, the Chief Minister’s daughter, he has taken an increasing role in managing the Taib family’s foreign properties.  He is 3 years younger than her and was one year out of school at the time she founded Sakto Development Corporation in Canada in 1983.  However, numerous members of Murray’s own family are now employed by the Sakto group of companies and they have even started to claim that the whole property empire is actually a ’Murray family business’ begun by Sean’s father and twin brother.
This claim, which is untrue, is repeated on two Wikepedia website entries. One relating to Ridgeford Properties, the Taib’s London-based company, run by Sean’s cousin Chris Murray claims: