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Friday, October 22, 2010

Malaysia needs a new basis for race relation based on a shared future, historical facts and today’s reality, said Umno president Najib Razak.

At the 61st Umno general assembly opening speech Najib Razak said that Malaysia needs a new basis for race relation based on a shared future, historical facts and today’s reality. But will he uphold the long overdue historical fact of the history and reality of the minorities?

At the same time Najib Razak also issued a rallying cry for party members at the Umno general assembly to defend Putrajaya at all costs. “Even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya. The decision of who goes to Putrajaya is not in the hands of UMNO but in the hand of the people and this One Malay-sia. Najib Razak is threatening that they will create chaos to defend Putrajaya in the upcoming election.

Najib also said that the country was founded upon a social contract where the forefathers of non-Malays had accepted the special position of Malays under Article 153 of the constitution. But he did not elaborate on 153 (1) that it shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article. Have the legitimate interest of the minorities been taken care?

UMNO been lying for the past 53 years and MIC, MCA,PPP, Gerakan, etc are aiding and abetting this lies. There has never been a social contract but only Federal Constitution and the special position agreed upon was only for a period of 15 years. Has it been reviewed?

When Malaya was in the process of getting its independence on 1957, the Reid Commission was formed to draft out the Malaysian Constitution. There were hundreds of memorandums sent to the Reid Commission by Malayan Indian associations and individuals for equal rights and their concerns. Will Najib Razak share the historical facts based on the memorandums send by Malayan Indians to the Reid Commission?

In 2007 Hindraf Legal Advisor P.Uthayakumar researched the archives in Kew, London, on the original documents submitted for the drafting of Federal Constitution to the Reid Commission. Below are the meetings held by The Federation of the Malaya Constitutional Commission 1956 and memorandum send by Malayan Indians to Reid Commission.


Information Chief

Hindraf & HRP




Umno Speaker tells Soi Lek to stop questioning Malay rights

Dr Chua has previously called for a review of the Bumiputera equity target. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Umno permanent chairman Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin urged Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties not to interfere in Malay affairs today.

Badruddin, who chairs the Umno general assembly, also expressed hope that MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek would respect the principles of BN co-operation.

“Soi Lek, we are all friends. Let me tell you not to question the 30 per cent equity,” said Badrudin referring to the Bumiputera equity target under the NEP.

“We want the Chinese, the Malays and the Indians to share the 100 per cent,” said the former Jerai MP.

Badrudin also claimed that Umno had never questioned the citizenship rights of the non-Malays.

“You know Soi Lek, we respect you. We do not call you ‘pendatang’ (immigrants) but you came and questioned the 30 per cent, which is enshrined in the constitution. Do you know that Soi Lek?” he asked.

Badrudin made the impromptu speech after Negri Sembilan delegate Datuk Jalaluddin Alias slammed Dr Chua for allegedly interfering in the Umno assembly affairs.

“We are in a team, don’t fight with each other. MCA, Umno, Gerakan we are one team. Let’s work,” he said.

“Don’t fight, let’s throw our support behind the prime minister,” said Badrudin.

Dr Chua had suggested yesterday that the social contract not be debated openly in response to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s call for discussions on the matter to be stopped.

He had also previously proposed for the 30 per cent Bumiputera equity target to be reviewed.

When opening the assembly yesterday, Najib had called for an end to the race debates, saying that the special position of the Malays was part of the social contract agreed before independence in exchange for citizenship for the non-Malays.

He stressed that the issues were enshrined in the Federal Constitution and cannot be amended without the consent of the Conference of Rulers.

Press freedom: Malaysia's plunge a surprise

By Patrick Lee - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's drop in the 2010 Press Freedom Index (PFI) rankings has come as a surprise to many local media observers.

The PFI rankings which take into account 178 countries, is prepared by French-based press watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Malaysia's fall to 144th place was unexpected, especially when it had moved up a notch last year. This year, it dropped 10 notches to mark its lowest rankings in nine years.

“I am a little surprised,” said Southeast Asia Media Legal Defence Network (SEAMLDN) project coordinator H Dipendra, in response to Malaysia's drop.

“At the very least, I thought we would be able to maintain our ranking. However in the past year, the government has done little to suggest that steps are being taken to ensure and promote a freer press.

“All we have is a little lip service about 'free press',” he said adding that it would be difficult for Malaysia to rise through the PFI rankings, if it did not take steps to address the problem.

Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) executive officer, Masjaliza Hamzah, said the drop was predictable given Malaysia's consistency in the charts.

“Malaysia has always been at the bottom one-third of the Press Freedom Index,” she said.

Others have improved

Masjaliza said that other countries may have done better in terms of press freedom this year, pushing Malaysia (who has been stagnant) further towards the bottom.

“If other countries improved (in the PFI rankings), then you'll be pushed down,” she said.

Masjaliza also blamed the drop to non-state actors such as right-wing Malay rights NGO Perkasa and Jaringan Melayu Muda (JMM) and their repeatedly call to use the Sedition Act against media practitioners.

A few days ago, a group of Jaringan Melayu Muda (JMM) members demonstrated outside The Malaysian Insider's office in Kuala Lumpur.

The protestors were allegedly unhappy with the online portal's coverage of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor.

This has prompted local regulatory body, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to initiate an investigation into JMM's claims.

Cyberspace attacks were also noted as common, with FMT and popular blogsite Malaysia-Today overwhelmed by hackers.

Dipendra said that it was difficult to justify if the government's current stance on the media was better than it was during former PM Dr Mahathir (Mohamad)'s era.

“The drop in index suggests that we are regressing rather than progressing,” he said.

More access now
However, Dipendra admitted that Malaysians had more access to information now than compared to Mahathir's era.

A thorn in many a newspaper's side, Mahathir's administration was peppered with media-unfriendly actions, including the infamous Operation Lalang, which saw the revoking of several publishing licenses.

“During Dr Mahathir's time, journalists were more afraid to push the envelope, therefore there were less violations against the media,” Masjaliza said.

She also said that it was unnecessary for Malaysians to muse if Najib's stance on the media was better than Mahathir's.

“We shouldn't be comparing Najib against someone who was in power for 22 years. We don't want to make comparisons where the benchmark is so low,” she said.

“When Najib first came into power, he said that the media was going to be (in a) better (shape),” she said.

“It's not necessarily better, although the rhetoric seems to be better.”

Joining in the rhetoric, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin issued recently a warning to the media recently saying that it was not free to do as it liked. Ironically, he said this at a media liberalisation forum.

Anti-Rosmah demo on in some places, off in KL

By Rahmah Ghazali
FMT ALERT KUALA LUMPUR: PAS' protest against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor took place in several states, except Kuala Lumpur, where it was called off at the eleventh hour.
This morning, a statement by Federal Territory PAS Youth information chief Fadhil Osman had given the impression that the nationwide protest was scrapped.
However, the protest took place after Friday prayers in Seremban, Malacca and Terengganu. The protest here was supposed to be held outside the Kampung Baru mosque.
Fadhil had said that PAS would use "another approach" to express its dissatisfaction against the premier's wife.
According to him, a meeting would be arranged with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and a memorandum would be submitted to the King soon.
The self-proclaimed First Lady of Malaysia had come under fire for promoting the recently held Islamic Fashion Festival (IFF), which Muslim groups said was an insult to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.
The event also drew flak from social-networking site Facebook users, where the photo of one of the models wearing a revealing outfit which depicted a reverse image of the Prophet's name in Arabic across the chest was widely circulated.

Umno reps want bigger shield for Malay rule

Najib (right) yesterday said the special position of Malays were enshrined in the Constitution. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Riding on the Umno president’s guarantee that the Malay constitutional position cannot be reviewed, delegates at the party’s general assembly urged the party leadership today to enhance the protection of Malay political power. In doing so, Negri Sembilan representative Datuk Jalaluddin Alias asked the party to review the seat allocation agreement among the Barisan Nasional (BN) parties in Peninsula Malaysia.
The Jelebu Umno vice-chief said the coalition must field candidates based on their ability to win and not according to the coalition’s quota.
Jalaluddin called for BN’s seat allocation arrangement to be abandoned. — Picture by Choo Choy May
“We must review the quota system. Yes, we have an agreement with the component parties, but the results of the 12th general election were not because of Umno but because of weaknesses of BN component parties,” Jalaluddin told the assembly when debating the president’s policy speech today.  “If in constituency A, the winnable candidate is a Malay from Umno, we should field the Umno candidate,” he added.
Umno, the largest BN component party, is now represented by 78 members in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat, while MCA has 15, MIC four and Gerakan two.
The three non-Malay parties lost heavily in urban areas in Election 2008 while Gerakan lost the state of Penang and was almost wiped out.
Jalaluddin also warned non-Malay BN parties to stop questioning the rights of delegates at the Umno assembly to talk about Malay interests.
“The president said don’t be racist, we obeyed. But MCA president said do not discuss social contract openly,” he said referring Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek’s remarks yesterday suggesting that sensitive issues should only be debated behind closed doors.
“This is an assembly of Malays to discuss Malay issues. What’s wrong with me talking to my wife to talk about household affairs?” said Jalaluddin.
“I am not upset, but please don’t question on our rights like how we never questioned the rights of other races,” he added.
 When opening the Umno general assembly yesterday, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had called for an end to the race debates, saying that the special position of the Malays was part of the social contract agreed before independence in exchange for citizenship for the non-Malays.
He stressed that the issues were enshrined in the Federal Constitution and cannot be amended without the consent of the Conference of Rulers.
 At the same time, Najib also called on the Malays to be prepared for a new era of race relations and to compete in a more meritocratic environment.
Farid claimed Malays might one day be chased out of Penang. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Also at the assembly, Penang delegate Mohamad Farid Saad urged the government to intervene over the problem of low land ownership among the Malays in the state. Mohammad Farid claimed the community only owned about 20 per cent of the land in Penang at present.
“Now the DAP government is getting out of hand. They are opening up land that was not meant for development,” he said alleging that the DAP-controlled government was trying to take over a piece of land meant for rice cultivation in Sungai Burung, Seberang Perai.
“One day there will be no more paddy field and green areas in Penang. One day, the Malays may be chased out,” Mohammad Farid told the assembly.
 Puteri Umno delegate Fahariyah Noordin claimed that the Malay youths were being led to question provisions favouring the community in the constitution.
She proposed national history lessons be made a compulsory subject in schools to address the problem.
“They are being instigated that the provision is not consistent with universal principles of justice,” said the Ledang Puteri Umno chief.
“Puteri Umno would like to propose for history to be made a compulsory and ‘must pass’ subject for students,” said Fahariyah.

Nazri: IPU report ‘ridiculous, stupid, short-sighted’

Nazri said Malaysia may quit the IPU ‘if we are not happy’. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) report on Malaysia will not affect the outcome of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s on-going Sodomy II trial, said Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department expressed outrage over the report’s stinging criticisms of the way Anwar’s trial was being handled in Malaysia.

“The statement released by IPU is of no significance and is never ever going to be a factor in determining the result of Anwar’s trial. It is ridiculous, stupid and short-sighted,” said Nazri, who is IPU Malaysia chairman and also de facto law minister.

The IPU, an international organisation of parliaments, has urged Malaysia to abandon the prosecution of Anwar for sodomy because it claims the case has brought disrepute to the justice system.

In a special report released in August, the IPU also questioned the alleged direct involvement of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and SAC I Datuk Rodwan Yusof, who had met Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan days before Anwar allegedly sodomised him.

“The prosecution has obviously been compromised, even by the mere perception that a member of its team has been guilty of wrongdoing. Removing Farah Azlina from the team has not solved the problem because her wrongdoing has tainted the entire prosecution and the integrity of the trial,” Mark Trowell, a Queen’s Counsel based in Australia, wrote in a report on behalf of the IPU.

Deputy public prosecutor Farah Azlina Latif was in the team prosecuting Anwar when allegations surfaced that she was romantically involved with Saiful.

However, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail stressed that the junior prosecutor was removed to prevent negative public perception of the Sodomy II prosecution team.

In response, Nazri said it was the responsibility of the IPU to respect the independence of Malaysia’s judiciary and not formulate any opinions based on feedback given solely by Anwar’s lawyers.

“They (IPU) have to respect the independence of any judiciary. Why is this organisation pressuring the judiciary of Malaysia to drop Anwar’s trial?

“They didn’t send any observers to Anwar’s case. I believe they know nothing except slanted reports given by Anwar’s lawyers or whoever,” Nazri told The Malaysian Insider.

The law minister warned that Malaysia would have no qualms about leaving the union if it was unhappy with the way it was being treated.

“IPU should remember that Malaysia, like any other member, is a paying member. Someone who begs for money from its members does not have a right to dictate to people what to do.

“If we are not happy, we can leave when the time comes,” said the IPU Malaysia chairman.

Among other things, the report said the alleged involvement of Najib in the trial has brought the country’s justice system into disrepute.

The report also criticised the A-G for not performing his duty.

Anwar, the 62-year-old PKR de facto leader, is currently facing sodomy charges for the second time in his life.

The former deputy prime minister is charged with sodomising Saiful at Unit 11-5-1 of the Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara here between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

Anwar has denied the charge, describing it as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power” when the charge was read out to him. He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code and can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping upon conviction. The trial is taking place 18 months after Anwar was charged in court in August 2008.

He was charged with sodomy and corruption in 1998 after he was sacked from the Cabinet and was later convicted and jailed for both offences. He was freed in September 2004 and later resurrected his political career by winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in a by-election in 2008, which had been held in the interim by his wife.

He had earlier led the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, to a historic sweep of five states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.

Recently, two former aides to Anwar revealed that they were coerced into signing statutory declarations to allegedly implicate Najib and his wife in the sodomy case.

The Federal Court has also denied Anwar access to statements made by the complainant after he claimed that there were inconsistencies between Saiful’s testimony and the sodomy charge frame against him.

Anwar’s lawyers believe that if the defence were given access to Saiful’s witness statements, it would affect the outcome of the entire trial.

Little India, Indian PM’s visit not vote bait, says Saravanan

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Datuk M. Saravanan has denied that the Little India project in the city’s Brickfields district was a strategy to gain Indian support, despite the rush to complete it to greet Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s arrival next Tuesday.
With the majority of urban Chinese voters seen to be implacably set against the Barisan Nasional (BN), the transformation of Brickfields was among Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s several feel good measures to court the Indian electorate.
“This (Little India) is not to get support for BN,” Saravanan told The Malaysian Insider.
“It is the businessmen who wanted it converted to Little India. People make the request and the prime minister has delivered,” the Federal Territories deputy minister added.
He also stressed that Manmohan’s planned launch of Little India on October 27 was not devised to please Indian voters.
“This is not a plan to get votes. This is just a mark of respect that the government has invited him (Manmohan) to officiate Little India,” he said.
Work on Little India was being rushed to be ready for the Indian PM’s visit.
Two months ago, however, Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin promised to ease the clampdown on illegal parking in Brickfields in a bid to appease angry businessmen suffering a drastic drop in business in the suburb. Many Brickfields traders — most of them Indians — had then threatened to withdraw their traditional support for the ruling coalition amid a business decline of up to 80 per cent caused by the new one-way traffic system in the area
Today, Saravanan pointed out that the RM35 million Little India project — which is set to transform Brickfields into the country’s Indian cultural enclave — was not aimed at aiding the Indian community, and said that the government had more specific activities to woo the community’s voters.
“This has nothing to do with helping Indians. To help Indians, the prime minister has other programmes,” he said.
He highlighted several government initiatives, such as the Tekun Nasional fund to help Indian youths obtain micro business loans, training programmes run by the human resources ministry, as well as the building of Tamil schools.
“We want job opportunities. We want our Indian youths to get into training programmes, and we want the Indian temples to be allocated permanent land,” said Saravanan when asked to describe the main issues faced by the Indian community.
The deputy minister also claimed that the daily traffic snarls in Brickfields were caused by illegal parking and not because of the new one-way traffic system.
“Once we overcome illegal parking, I don’t think there will be traffic jams,” said Saravanan, adding that traffic congestion would likely be resolved after a new parking lot was built.
The one-way system and haphazard parking had irked local traders.
A parking lot with two underground storeys — which can accommodate 186 cars — was planned for construction at the Pines condominium and was expected to complete in the next two to three months, while another 1,400-bay parking lot that will be located at the government quarters is targeted to be finished in about two years. Saravanan also took pains to stress that the traffic dispersal system in Brickfields — which is causing daily traffic snarls — was conceptualised separately from the Little India project.
“People fail to understand that Little India has got nothing to do with the reconstruction of the roads. It was a totally different package that was planned years ago,” he said.
Jalan Tun Sambanthan 4, Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad and parts of Jalan Tun Sambanthan as well as Jalan Thambipillay have been converted to one-way streets. Another road, Jalan Rozario, has had its road direction reversed but retains two-way flow.
The temporary one-way traffic system will be in place until October 29 to facilitate work on the RM110 million Package 3 of the traffic upgrading system for Brickfields, Bangsar and Kuala Lumpur.
The Little India project includes fruit and information kiosks at Jalan Thamby Abdullah, a three-storey Indian bazaar at the end of Jalan Tun Sambanthan, a multi-storey car park near the Kuala Lumpur City Hall sports complex, a 35-foot fountain at the junction of Jalan Travers and Jalan Tun Sambanthan, and a brick-paved Jalan Tun Sambanthan lined with white street lamps and pale yellow arches with purple patterns that match the newly painted purple buildings along the street.
Manmohan will officiate the launch of Little India during his visit to Malaysia. — Reuters pic

'Keris' rattling indicates early polls, say pundits

By Patrick Lee - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Umno's “keris” rattling at its general assembly is an indication that snap polls are coming, say political observers.

Professor James Chin of Monash University said that the majority of the speeches made at the general assembly were geared towards the general election.

Chin predicted that the general election would be held by the end of the year, or in the first quarter of 2011 when the country was in a period of strong economic growth.

He added that the country's current economy may have been helped by last year's RM67 billion stimulus packages.

“We got out of the recession because of them (the stimulus packages), but nobody knows how next year's economy is going to be,” he said.

“Running an election costs a lot of money. Would you want to run an election when the economy is uncertain?” he asked

Ong Kian Ming, UCSI University political analyst, said that the speeches at the general assembly reflected the current political landscape.

He added that Umno's generals had been paying attention to this and have been styling their speeches to suit the prevalent political climate.

Ong, however, disagreed with Chin's predictions over the election dates, adding that it was unlikely that the 13th general election would be held before the Sarawak state election, due before April 2011.

“My assessment is that it is more likely that the state election will be held in February or March,” he said.

He forsees a late 2011 or early 2012 time-frame for the snap polls, and that the outcome of the Sarawak state election may be used as a “litmus test” for the general election.

“On the economic front, it will take some time before various government projects can be confirmed, passed and 'monetised' by certain parties,” he said.

Concurring with his views, UIA law professor Abdul Aziz Bari nevertheless called the Umno general assembly speeches a case of “playing to the diehards”.

He said that Umno did not practise what it had preached on inclusiveness, especially after it had booted members of the alternative media from the media room yesterday.

The Perkasa factor

Aziz also said that Umno did not earn itself any good points by cozying up to the right-wing Malay NGO Perkasa.

“Except for Nazri (Abdul Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister's Deparment), many of Umno leaders don't shy away from Perkasa,” he said. Athough this year's general assembly had seen a “different” Umno, he did not say if it was a better party.

When it came to snap polls predictions, Aziz said that they were a definite possibility in 2011. “Everything seems to be falling in place,” he said.

He also said that a good sign was Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's silence on Anwar's allegation on the supposed RM250 million Election Commission (EC) budget.

He added that the Sarawak state and federal elections may be held simultaneously, citing the upcoming Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections as an example.

“At first, the EC said that the Galas and Batu Sapi polls weren't going be held concurrently, but later decided to hold them on the same day," Aziz told FMT.

On Oct 11, EC chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said that concurrent by-elections in both Batu Sapi and Galas were not likely.

Four days later, however, he pulled a 180-degree turn, saying the Batu Sapi's nomination and voting dates will held on Nov 4.

Abdul Aziz Bari said that concurrent by-elections would be in BN's favour. "We will either have simultaneous elections or no elections at all."

He also said that Umno had been thus far playing a cautious game when it came to elections.

Recently, Umno appeared to be trying its best to avoid a Kuala Nerang by-election campaign, especially after its assemblyman Sobri Syed Hashim was declared a bankrupt.

“You can see how they are trying to avoid it, which is in stark contrast to what they are used to doing,” Abdul Aziz Bari said, adding that Umno was usually more than ready when it came to contesting in by-elections.

However, he said the ruling government would not have the upper hand in the upcoming snap polls, adding that Umno was stuck between a rock and a hard place “of its own doing”.

The next general election must be held before April 2013.

Najib trying to win Indians over -- clan by clan

By JK Jayan - Free Malaysia today

COMMENT Realising the importance of marginal Indian votes which decide the fate of many parliamentary and state seats, Najib Tun Razak, since becoming prime minister, has embarked on a mission to directly approach the community in a systematic and calculated manner which seems to be producing the desired results.

He first visited the Batu Caves temple and followed up with another visit there during Thaipusam, hailed as the first by a Malaysian prime minister after a gap of almost 30 years.

His next target was the Indian business community. He made a grant of RM2 million to the Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) for training Indian businessmen when he attended one of its functions.

The Sri Murugan Centre, which had become an important vehicle to propel the Indian community on the educational front, was his next target and he donated RM1 million for its activities after attending its anniversary celebration.

On the political front, he cunningly took the powerful and popular “Makkal Sakthi” slogan away from Pakatan Rakyat by directly supporting the formation of the Makkal Sakthi party by RS Thanenthran, a former stalwart of Hindraf. Najib even attended the inauguration ceremony of the party.

Riding on clannish sentiments

Understanding the strong clannish sentiments within the Indian community in Malaysia which prevails even today, Najib lately has been going around to each and every clan-based Indian organisation, listening to their grouses and wishes and providing them with handouts for their activities.

He attended a function organised by the Sikh community in 2009, telling them that his government stood for all communities, all races and all religions and that he was there to recognise the contribution of the Sikh community in the development of Malaysia, and naturally won the hearts of those present. He also made a substantial amount in grant for the association’s activities.

On Sept 19 this year, he attended a lunch gathering with the Malayalee community organised by the All Malaysia Malayalees Association, again promising them with land and financial aid for their activities. It is estimated that about 7,000 people attended the function.

On Oct 8, Najib turned his sights on the Telugu community by attending their international conference and again promising them to fulfil their requests. He also extended financial support for their activities. A 10,000-strong crowd cheered and supported him. He did not miss the golden opportunity and delivered a powerful and inspiring speech, saying that he thanked the contributions of the Telugu community and advised them to approach him directly to solve their problems.

Such moves by Najib seem to have produced the desired results. Now, these powerful Indian clan associations and their leaders had become frontline flag-carriers for Barisan Nasional and were expected to play a key role during the next general election by carrying the message of what had been done by the BN government for their respective clan movements.

Because these functions presided by Najib were attended by ordinary people from the Indian community, they were thrilled with the presence of the prime minister himself which had never happened in the past. Najib’s simple and direct-to-you approach had won the hearts of many Indians involved in these clan associations.

MIC weakened in the process

This approach, however, had weakened MIC, which until 2008 was seen as the sole political party within BN representing the interests of the Indian community.

Before Najib, any Indian NGO and clan association wishing to approach the country’s prime minister had to do so through MIC, a party dominated by the Tamils. Although every clan was well represented in MIC, the key positions were always held by Tamils.

One MIC source said that some senior leaders in MIC were worried about the latest developments because the power and influence wielded by MIC had now been snatched away by the BN leadership. At the next general election, it would be difficult for MIC leaders to trumpet that they were the sole defenders and representatives of the Indian community in BN.

“What Najib should be doing is to politically strengthen the Indian-based political parties such as MIC and PPP rather than strengthening the Indian NGOs and clan-based associations. It may not produce the desired results.

“They may not be able to deliver the crucial Indian votes because members of these Indian organisations also come from other opposition parties such as DAP and PKR. They gather only because of clan sentiments. When it comes to political decisions, they may vote differently” said a MIC leader.

“There is also the thinking -- ‘let’s demand and get whatever we want’ -- because until the general election, BN will do everything to get the much-needed Indian votes” he added.

However, not all in MIC felt the same way.

“Let’s face it. MIC and PPP have lost the support of the Indian community as evidenced by the results of the 2008 election. By taking the direct approach, Najib has revived the fortunes of these parties and laid the foundation for these parties to work on the Indian votes.

“It is for MIC now to put in more effort to follow up on what Najib is doing or already done. At the end of the day if the Indian support towards BN increases, the beneficiary will be MIC and they should be thanking Najib for that,” said an MIC divisional leader.

One political analyst summarised the situation succinctly.

“It is true that some Indian votes will shift from Pakatan Rakyat to BN because of Najib’s approach. However, whether it will be significant to win back the seats lost by BN in the last general election is something else.

“When Malaysians, irrespective of their racial background, go to the ballot boxes at the next general election what will be foremost in their minds is whether they want BN back again or a change of government. That is what will determine the fate of BN and not Najib’s direct approach or the government aids granted to NGOs and associations,” he told FMT.

JK Jayan is a veteran political observer.

The proof that some of our our ministers are not here to serve the people!!

By Senior Doctor

As a SENIOR DOCTOR, I HAVE WITNESSED HOW RACISM AND RACIAL PREJUDICES HAVE CREATED A DARK lacuna IN THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH. It is incredible the extent of damage these racists can go to cause harm and damage to one's career and family. My intention was to bring this serious matter to the Minister of health.

I have been calling the Minister’s office since the last three weeks and every time, I am directed to speak to one of his private secretaries. I am told he has about 3 PAs. What is most disappointing is that his PAs seem to behave as if they are the Minister's boss. There is no courtesy or manners whatsoever. They just pick up the call and say, "I am very busy" and slam the phone down. A couple of times other staff gave me a PA’s handphone number and it is the same story. Every time he picks up, he just rattles away ”I am very busy!!" and slams the phone.

What annoys me is this. If the PA to the Cabinet Minister refuses to allow anyone to see the Minister however serious the matter is, and if he continues to give the impression that he is too busy, then why is he in the employment of the said Ministry? The Minister is there with a purpose. I am now told the PAs only assist MCA members and I heard some terribly nasty remarks about them which I hope is not true.

On the contrary, let me explain something else. My family and I made an appointment to bring this to the attention of the Law Minister, Dato Seri Nazri. We were delighted and shocked to see his reaction. The response from his staff and the Minister himself was simply magnificient.

We received a written appointment in less than a week. He appeared extremely intelligent, smart, and smeone who truly cares and someone who understands the LAW. There was not the slightest iota that he was a Malay and we are Indians. He was just a truly Malaysian leader!!

My wife, my son and I enjoyed every moment of our time spent with the YB. He was sympathetic about the racial prejudice that befell us since the last 22 years and promised to refer this to the cabinet. He did, and we were advised by his staff to see the Minister of Health in person. Instead, we were just given the runaround and they never bothered and simply acted as if they were too busy for us. For someone like me who is a senior citizen, having served the public for the last 30 years, and here you are when we go back to them for a serious matter, they treat us with no respect, courtesy nor the slightest decency.

I hope somebody can give an explanation.
In short let me say this. Dato Seri Nazri is indeed a rare breed of UMNO Politician. He has the intellect, the style of a refined and well balanced leader. We need people like him around for the next 25 years and can I can confidently say he is indeed a rare breed!! He is definitely an inspiration to our sons and daughters!!

Hipokrasi UMNO Dalam Memperjuangkan Bangsa

Dari Tv Selangor

Pengakuan Presiden Umno, Datuk Seri Najib Razak bahawa hak istimewa orang Melayu sudah ‘terkunci kemas’ dan tidak boleh digugat tanpa perkenaan Majlis Raja-Raja Melayu adalah bukti jelas bahawa parti itu tidak mampu membela orang Melayu.

Perkara ini dinyatakan Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai, Nurul Izzah Anwar dalam satu kenyataan akhbar bagi mengulas ucapan dasar Najib pada Perhimpunan Agung Umno 2010 di PWTC hari ini.

Menurut Izzah, kunci ini juga mendedahkan fitnah politik Umno yang mengatakan bahawa parti itu Melayu dan Melayu itu Umno adalah tidak benar sama sekali.

Kerana kunci ini terletak di tangan Raja-Raja Melayu yang sebenarnya adalah Raja-Raja kepada semua rakyat Malaysia.

“Fitnah politik Umno ini hanya digunakan untuk menguntungkan golongon Umno yang kecil dan memiskinkan rakyat jelata yang ramai seperti yang didedahkan oleh Ketua Pemudanya sendiri di mana setelah 53 tahun Merdeka, 60 peratus orang Melayu luar bandar masih dilanda kemiskinan,” katanya.

Mengulas berkenaan tekad Najib yang mahu terus mempertahankan Putrajaya, Izzah sebaliknya berkata, tekad ini menjadi panggilan keramat untuk rakyat membebaskan Putrajaya daripada Umno.

“Sudahlah dan cukuplah kerana tiba masanya semua Raja dan rakyat memegang kunci ini dan bukan Umno yang menjadi pemfitnah dan hipokrit perjuangan bangsa,” jelasnya.

Dalam kenyataan itu juga, beliau turut menyatakan azam dan tekad jika Pakatan Rakyat mentadbir negara ini. Adalah menjadi tanggungjawab Pakatan Rakyat untuk membuka ruang-ruang baru yang akan mensejahterakan semua rakyat dan mendemokrasikan negara yang berbilang kaum ini.

Kunci ini juga mesti membuka kontrak politik baru dimana undang-undang anti-demokratik seperti Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri(ISA) dan Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti(AUKU) dan sebagainya mestilah dihapuskan segera.

“Kunci ini juga menentukan bahawa undang-undang anti-demokratik ini tidak lagi diperlukan kerana hak Melayu telah dikunci kemas melainkan undang-undang anti-demokratik bukan sahaja untuk mengunci tetapi merantai rakyat untuk kepentingan Umno sahaja,” katanya.

NEM stillborn?

Malaysia’s Development Strategy Revisited (4)
by Dr. Mohamed Ariff*

New Economic Model Up Against Formidable Challenges

The structural change agenda presents formidable challenges. The kinds of skills that the new paradigm demands cannot be provided by Malaysia’s archaic education system, which needs a complete overhaul. At the same time, the country is suffering from a serious brain drain caused by both push and pull factors. The importance of a truly independent judiciary cannot be exaggerated: anecdotal evidence suggests that Malaysia’s tarnished judiciary and gutter politics are among the push factors. Seen in these terms, the brain drain is largely a manifestation of frustration that has led some people to vote with their feet.

All this calls for bold structural changes, including institutional reforms encompassing everything from education to the judiciary, backed by governance reforms to strengthen fiscal discipline, transparency and accountability. Nothing short of a holistic approach will set the Malaysian economy far enough or fast enough on a true development path. The politics of policy making, however, may hobble the reform process.

Indeed, there are ominous signs that the New Economic Model may be stillborn. The powerful vested interests that have thrived on the rent seeking put in place by the New Economic Policy will resist reform tooth and nail. The all-inclusive ‘1Malaysia’ concept propagated by the Najib administration and the exclusive New Economic Policy caucus promoted by ultra-Malays simply cannot mix, each being antithetical to the other.

This paradox cannot be resolved by cosmetic changes to win over diehard supporters of the New Economic Policy or increase the appeal of the 1Malaysia concept. Inclusiveness, meritocracy and competitiveness must be the hallmark of the New Economic Model if it is to fly. If it fails to take off, the lofty 1Malaysia initiative will be reduced to an empty slogan.

The 10th Malaysia Plan relies on Private Investment

Unfortunately, the Tenth Malaysia Plan for 2011–2015 does not echo the inclusive sentiments espoused by the New Economic Model. The plan, which targets GDP growth of 6 per cent, looks somewhat similar to the preceding Ninth Malaysia Plan for 2006–2010 in terms of fund size (RM230 billion), sectoral allocation and strategy, albeit with different goals.

The assumption in the Tenth Malaysia Plan that private investment will grow at an annual rate of 12.8 per cent to energize GDP growth is questionable given that private investment slowed to 2 per cent under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. FDI trickled in at a snail speed of 1 per cent per annum during 2006–2009, a far cry from the 9 per cent growth seen before the Asian Financial Crisis.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), there was a massive 81 per cent drop in FDI inflows to Malaysia in 2009 alone. Although it was a bad year for nearly every country in the region (the notable exception being Singapore), the other countries fared much better, with Thailand, Viet Nam and Indonesia registering significantly smaller drops of 30.4 per cent, 44.1 per cent and 44.7 per cent respectively. What is more, the Philippines attracted more FDI than Malaysia for the first time ever, while Vietnam overtook Malaysia as a favoured destination for FDI.

The dramatic drop in inflows in 2009 cannot be dismissed as an aberration given that a downward trend had been evident for several years. Nor can it be explained away by the observation that FDI was in short supply. The fact remains that Malaysia is losing out to its competitors as it seeks to attract increasingly scarce FDI funds. One cannot help but wonder if foreign investors are voting with their feet.

The Tenth Malaysia Plan expects the private sector to be in the driver’s seat, but this assertion alone is unlikely to entice the private sector, especially foreign investors, when there is no strategy to dislodge distortions in the market place related to the New Economic Policy. As Albert Einstein remarked, it is madness to keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.

The New Economic Policy is an addiction for some, redundant for some others and unjust for the rest. Like the legendary Gordian knot, the New Economic Policy cannot be loosened but must be cut. Apparently, no one in the corridors of power in the country has the gumption to do away with it, because they all owe their jobs to the current set-up. All this, one must hasten to add, does not constitute an argument against affirmative action per se.

Umno General Assembly Continues With Debate On President's Speech

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 (Bernama) -- The 2010 Umno General Assembly continued today with six more delegates, including from Puteri Umno and Umno Overseas clubs, taking the floor to debate the president's opening address.

This will be followed up 28 more delegates debating on economic, religious and educational issues.

This year's assembly will also provide, for the first time, a hall for delegates to perform their Friday prayers which will be at Dewan Tun Razak 4, Level 4, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

The five-day assembly, which started on Tuesday night, saw a simultaneous launching of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri Umno wing assemblies by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Umno Deputy President.

Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak opened the assembly Thursday.

MACC top gun upset over all that wasted effort in court

The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy commissioner (operations) Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdul has voiced his disappointment over the commissions failure to win some high profile corruption cases recently.

He said MACC had worked very hard to collect evidence to bring those accused to justice but sometimes their efforts went to waste.

“This gives the public a negative perception of our agency, as though we are not taking matters seriously,” he told reporters at the MACC headquarters yesterday.

Shukri said most witnesses were reluctant to co-operate with MACC because they did not want to risk their relationships with family members, subordinates or business partners.

Of the average 10,000 cases reported every year, he said only half could be probed and eventually only about 200 could be brought to court.

“Singapore and Hong Kong have a 90% conviction rate while Indonesia and China have almost a 100% rate. In those countries, the evidence adduced in court is strong enough and guarantees conviction,” he said, adding that Malaysia only had a 68.1% rate.

Shukri said the MACC should not be the only one carrying the burden, adding that all had a part to play.“The judicial system should also look into the issue. Minor things like differing statements by the witness like which hand did the accused take the money in can cause a problem.

“What is more important is whether there was corruption or not,” he stressed.

Asked about the role of polygraph examiners or experts trained to operate lie detectors, he said that they were only used during the investigations process and were not applicable in court.

“We will try to work with former MACC officials who are now practising law to help our cause.”

French protesters clash with police

France has witnessed another day of confrontations as protestors blocked key sites and clashed with police amid calls by unions for further nationwide protests over plans by the government to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

The country's senate is expected to vote on changes to the pensions system on Friday, but Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland, reporting from Paris, the capital, said that the main constituents of the bill have already been passed.

Youths meanwhile have been clashing with riot police in several cities.

A schoolgirl was taken to hospital on Thursday during clashes with police outside a high school in the central city of Poitiers.

Police in Lyon fired tear gas when a group of around 200 high school students tried to join a demonstration organised by the CGT, the country's main union.

Five youths were arrested in Nice after stones were thrown at police during a demonstration outside a high school.

Unions said 35,000 people took to the streets of the southern city of Toulouse on Thursday, although officials put the figure closer to 8,000.

At least 4,000 high school students marched through the capital, with student union leaders vowing to continue protesting despite half-term holidays which start on Friday.

Student protests

Rowland said that the presence of youths on the streets may decrease as the holidays approach.

"Opposition to these reforms has seen many young French citizens go to the streets along with the powerful unions, but numbers may steadily decline," she said.

Between 3,500 and 5,000 students took to the streets of the southwestern city of Bordeaux, carrying banners such as: "We would have burnt this reform but there's no petrol left."

Activists blocked access to Marseille airport for several hours before being cleared by police, causing tailbacks of several kilometres.

Troops have also been sent in to clear rubbish from the streets of the Mediterranean port where collectors are on strike.

"By taking the French economy, businesses and daily life hostage, you will destroy jobs," Nicholas Sarkozy, the French president, said on Thursday.

He also accused trade union leaders of undermining France's fragile economic recovery.

"We can't be the only country in the world where, when there's a reform, a minority wants to block everyone else. That's not possible. That's not democracy," said Sarkozy.

The president also vowed tough action against rioters.

Government 'intransigence'

Bernard Thibault, the head of the CGT union, said that faced with government "intransigence", there was "no reason to stop these protests" and "we recommend further action from next week".

"We have to continue with the most massive actions possible," he told local radio.

Unions are to meet on Thursday to decide on holding further mass rallies, possibly on Tuesday, a week after the last main protest.

More than a million people took to the streets then, the sixth day of action since September, to protest against the unpopular plan to raise minimum retirement from 60 to 62 and full pension payments from 65 to 67.

Workers in key sectors have been on strike for more than a week to against protest the reform, which the government says is essential to reduce France's public deficit.

Unions and political opponents say it penalises workers.

Source:Al Jazeera and agencies


Hindraf appeals to Manmohan Singh to take up plight of Malaysian ethnic Indians (Press Trust of India)

London, Oct 20 (PTI) Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’’s visit to Malaysia, the leader of a prominent Hindu rights group today appealed to him to take up the issue of "serious human rights violations" of the ethnic community with his Malaysian counterpart.

"We would like to make an appeal to him to raise with his counterpart, the Prime Minister of Malaysia (Najib Razak), issues relating to the serious Human Rights violations of the Indian Malaysians," Chairman of Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) P Waytha Moorthy said in a statement here.
Singh is due to visit Malaysia beginning October 26. "Inspite of our continuous and vocal representative to the Government of Malaysia on the serious Human Rights violations these issues are not getting tangible policy responses," Moorthy said.

There is a distinct and serious socio-economic problem with the Indian community in Malaysia and all socio economic indicators clearly show this, a growing underclass, stagnant share of wealth in the country, increasing involvement in crime of Indian adolescents, he added.

"We make this appeal to the PM of India on the basis of the historical and cultural affinity between the Indian communities here and the people of India," he said.
Hindraf appeals to Singh to take up plight of ethnic Indians

Will the Indian PM raise the issues of Human Rights violation against the minority Indians in Malaysia.

Dr,Manmohan Singh is due to visit Malaysia beginning the 26th of October. We, from Hindraf and the Human Rights Party, our political wing welcome him warmly to Malaysia.

As he makes this visit, we would like to make an appeal to him to raise with his counterpart, the Prime minister of Malaysia, issues relating to the serious Human Rights violations of the Indian Malaysians. We have presented Dr.Singh with our 2009 Report on Human Rights and Minorities Rights Violation in New Delhi at the time of Pravasi Conference in January 2010.

In spite of our continuous and vocal representation to the Government of Malaysia on the serious Human Rights violation these issues are not getting tangible policy responses. There is a distinct and serious socio-economic problem with the Indian community in Malaysia. All socio-economic indicators clearly show this – a growing underclass, stagnant share of wealth of the country, increasing involvement in crime of Indian adolescents, staggering statelessness among the Indian poor estimated to be more than 300,000 people, shrinking educational opportunities, shortest life spans among the 3 major ethnic groups, dropping educational performance, significant underemployment and a significant section of the Indian community needs rehabilitation due to the effects of the mass push-out from the plantations to the urban centers without any state adjustment programs in the last 30 years.

We make this appeal to the PM of India on the basis of the historical and cultural affinity between the Indian communities here in Malaysia and the people of India.

Just as during the Indian national freedom movement a significant section of the Indians in Malaya took on a spontaneous and highly charged role in the Indian National Army. They gave money, their life savings, their jewels and many, their lives in the construction of the ill-fated Siam railway. The Indians here saw a moral and compulsive responsibility. Now we urge the same kind of response back from the Government of India to the people of Indian origin here in Malaysia.

In the context of a modern and growing India, India wields significant influence in the region and in Malaysia. We urge the Indian Prime Minister, by raising these issues with his counterpart, to contribute to an improvement to the lives of the 2 million Indians in Malaysia. Out of these actions based on a moral responsibility, India will be seen to be more than just India Inc. We certainly believe that India can play this role without violating any of the norms and intricacies of International diplomacy.

P.Waytha Moorthy




HINDRAF & HRP: Tamil Schools are our future

Between 2008 and 2010 there has been vast development in Batu Kawan with new housing estates, double storey shop lots, huge mosque and school. Here we are precisely zooming into new buildings for all type of schools except the usual Tamil schools. Below are the pictures of the new schools in Batu Kawan, Penang.
image image  
image image  

Without the signage one could easily identify that those are schools. Palace like Malay schools and multiple story Chinese schools are easily noticeable. Now the question raise is where is the Tamil School? If you drive pass Batu Kawan probable you would not be able to find the Tamil school that easily. Why? Look for yourself …
…yes it the Tamil School. Could you believe it? A used 40’ container is the so called Batu Kawan Tamil School. The hot and stuffy condition inside the container is unbearable. How can a living soul allow this kind of humiliation to happen to our community and worst still behave or pretend as though nothing has happened?
Why is it that only Tamil schools need to face such a dilemma in getting the government fund? Why is it that it is always neglected by the UMNO government or Pakatan government? Is it that Pakatan or UMNO and their administration are having a attitude problem or are they sidelining Tamil schools and Indians as a whole?
The education ministry is now questioning the enrolment in the Tamil School and since the figure is low they are reluctant to build a new building even though a land has been year marked for a new Tamil school.
Now looking at the above schools where would one register their child. Obviously at schools which looks like Palace with luxurious look and not at schools that are build in hot and stuffy containers. This is what the Education Ministry is expecting. This is what we call systematic ethnic onslaught. The enrolment in Tamil schools will decline and the government will use this excuses to deny a new building for Tamil School. Eventually the land which was year marked for Tamil school will be taken away and probably will be used for building a Tadika Permata, new surau or another new mosque.
Once if you close or destroy Tamil Schools, the language will die and eventually the race will die. This is what we call ethnic onslaught.
66680_155402397831484_100000851758226_248773_124593_n Hindraf & HRP meets parents of
Batu Kawan Tamil School
The far sighted of Hindraf and HRP is battling this ethnic onslaught and appealing to residents of Batu Kawan to sign up the signature champion which was launch to protect our Tamil schools. You may contact Mr. Annadurai @ 017-4107244 for further details. We need more than 800 signatures to save the future of Batu Kawan Tamil School. Ground work has been re-energized by HRP Perai Team and we need the support of every resident especially Tamil school students, ex-students and parents residing at Batu Kawan area to throw their support for this noble cause.
Human Rights Party
Penang Information Chief

Five People Detained Over Girl's Murder

IPOH, Oct 21 (Bernama) -- Police have detained five people including two youths to help in the murder and rape of a girl in Teluk Intan on Saturday.

Perak police chief Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said two youths aged 16 and 17 years were detained Wednesday night while three others were detained on Sunday.

"We are trying to find concrete proof and identify the culprit behind the murder," he told reporters after attending Ipoh police headquarters monthly gathering here Thursday.

Zulkifli said the three suspects were remanded until Oct 24 while the youths were still being investigated for the student's murder.

The nude body of Divya Barathi Murali,16, was found on Oct 17 in Ladang Rubana, Teluk Intan, one day after she was reported missing by family members.

Two more detained over Divya Barathi rape-murder case

By IVAN LOH, The Star

IPOH: Police have detained two teenagers to assist investigations into the murder of 16-year-old student M. Divya Barathi.

The two youths from Teluk Intan, aged 16 and 17, were picked up on Wednesday.

Perak police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said police believed one was a student and the background of the other was still being investigated.

Speaking to reporters after a special monthly gathering here Thursday, he said a remand order would be obtained soon on the duo to facilitate investigations.

Police have also not ruled out the possibility that more than one individual was involved in the case.

The naked body of SM Horley Methodist student Divya Barathi was found in a drain near Ladang Rubana palm oil estate in Teluk Intan on Saturday.

Police confirmed that the girl was also raped.

Apart from the two teenagers, three other suspects are still in remand over the case.

One is a palm oil estate worker at Ladang Rubana while the other two were unemployed. All three, in their 20s, were being remanded until Sunday.

DCP Zulkifli urged the public to come forward if they have information on the case.

PAS picks Dr Zulkefli for Galas

GUA MUSANG, Oct 22 — PAS picked Gua Musang deputy chief Dr Zulkefli Mohamad as Pakatan Rakyat candidate for the November 4 Galas vote.

Dr Zulkefli was the Gua Musang parliamentary seat candidate in Election 2008, losing to Tengku Razaleigh, who has been appointed as the election director for this highly anticipated by-election, the 13th since the general election.

The announcement was made by Kelantan mentri besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat last night. Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was also present.

Nomination is slated for October 26. Both nomination and voting days are the same as for the Batu Sapi by-election in Sabah.

The seat became vacant following the unfortunate death of PAS’s Che Hashim Sulaima from cancer on September 27.

In Election 2008, Che Hashim beat BN’s Mohd Saufi Deraman by a margin of 646