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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Event 8//11/2010 : DAP’s Batu Kawan Tamil School in Cabin. Memo to UN by Penang HRP & HINDRAF

HRP & HINDRAF Penang will hand over Memo on ethnic discrimination of Batu Kawan Tamil School in cabin to United Nation on:-

Date: 8th November 2010

Time: 11.00 am

Address: WISMA UN, Block C, Damansara Offices Complex Jalan Dungun, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur.

For more information please contact:-

K.Kalay- 012-5637614

K.Maran- 012-5557522

G.Annadurai 017-4107244

Your presence will enhance our noble course. Please support.



Information Chief

Gerakan joins call for fairer wealth sharing

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — The national economy must no longer be race-based and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition must emphasise that the Federal Constitution protected all races, Senator Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said today.

The Gerakan president’s message at his party’s annual delegates convention echoed the proposal made by MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek for a gradual reduction of the 30 per cent Bumiputera quota and the introduction of price preference to allow the community to compete on a equitable basis.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said that the economy must no longer be race-based but qualitative and market-friendly.

“The emphasis (of the economy) should not just be quantitative and race-based, but more qualitative in terms of knowledge, skills and attitude. Market-friendly affirmative initiatives must be implemented efficiently and equitable, in a fair and firm, transparent and consistent manner.

“We should focus more on the actual impact and outcome for the target groups and not merely the input of funds which may be abused and wasted. No doubt, certain quantitative targets still needs to be set to address and correct imbalances in certain areas, for example, the under-representation of Chinese and Indians in the civil service, and of Malays and other Bumiputeras in several key economic activities,” Koh said during his presidential speech.

He added the implementation of economic policies must be inclusive and merit-based.

“Rather than allowing or encouraging rent-seeking and the Ali-Baba type of business, we should nurture and support genuine multi-racial partnership and joint-ventures with emphasis on mutual learning and mutual support complementing one another’s strengths.

“Gerakan calls for a new strategy of initiatives and incentives, mentoring and monitoring, to promote such genuine 1 Malaysia business partnerships which should be given due recognition and reward,” Koh said.

He also said that the government must provide clarification to ensure a better understanding of the country’s constitution.

The minister in charge of national unity also said that the Federal constitution must be understood in its totality instead of only concentrating on certain articles.

“It is common knowledge that Article 153 safeguards the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak but we must emphasise that the very same Article 153 also clearly stipulates the safeguarding of the legitimate interests of other communities.

“Moreover, we must also prefer to and recognise the fundamental liberties enshrined in Part II regarding equality before the law; freedom of religion; speech and association; freedom from discrimination; right to property and education, as well as Part III on citizenship,” he said.

He added that there must be mechanisms for positive and constructive engagement between the different communities.

Koh (picture) said that understanding the country’s history is important in promoting inter-racial relationship and patriotism to the youths.

“However, the approach to our nation’s history must be comprehensive, inclusive and objective. Comprehensive in relating our history to major trends of the world, inclusive in recognising the contributions and sacrifices of all communities, objective in being able to do proper analysis and not just memorizing and regurgitating of names, facts and figures,” he said.

At Umno’s recent general assembly, Prime Minister and party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak 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.

Observers and analysts have also noted that political resistance from conservative Malays have delayed reforms needed to restructure the nation into a high income economy.

Jeffrey to ‘educate’ Najib on Sabah, Sarawak rights

By Joe Fernandez - Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: Outgoing PKR vice-president Jeffrey Kitingan hopes to educate Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak soon on the burning issue of Sabah and Sarawak rights, including that of autonomy. He’s taking the initiative under the Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMA), an ad hoc apolitical human rights movement which he heads.

Jeffrey has since prepared a memorandum, signed by a good cross-section of Sabah and Sarawak leaders, for submission to Najib at the earliest available opportunity. The prime minister, according to Jeffrey, requested for the memorandum in February this year.

“It’s because of the memorandum that I was asked to call off my presentation on the Malaysia Agreement at the House of Commons, UK, in early Mar this year,” disclosed Jeffrey. “I believe the prime minister will see me soon to receive the memorandum.”

He was commenting on Najib’s written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) in the Dewan Rakyat on Nov 3. Najib, in his reply, had made light of the autonomy issue and dismissed it as a ploy by the opposition to fish for votes at the forthcoming general election.

The Sabah strongman appears confident that Najib will eventually see him despite the stand taken by him in Parliament. He dismissed suggestions that the idea of the memorandum was just a ploy by Najib to get him to call off his London trip and dissuade him from making common cause with Hindraf Makkal Sakthi.

“The prime minister was just taking an extreme stand in Parliament, for political reasons, on the autonomy issue,” said Jeffrey. “But that doesn’t mean that he will not see me or accept the memorandum.”

Jeffrey added that it took him less than a month to complete the memorandum, and another two weeks to collect the signatures.

He said the number of signatories was fewer than 20. He has been waiting since April for the prime minister to make some time for him to see him and accept the memorandum.

Asked for a peek at the memorandum, Jeffrey said that he could not allow that before Najib had seen it. However, he was willing to sketch the contents in general terms and touch on related developments.

Broad political consensus

In tandem with the memorandum, Jeffrey disclosed that he was working across the political divide in Sabah and Sarawak through CigMA for a broad political consensus on the issue of oil royalty (gas included). Apparently, oil royalty is also one of the issues raised in the memorandum.

“A second historical window of opportunity has opened up for Sabah and Sarawak in view of the forthcoming general election,” said Jeffrey. “It’s now or never for us to get 20% oil royalty from the Umno government.”

Pakatan Rakyat, said Jeffrey, has already agreed that Sabah and Sarawak would get 20% oil royalty if and when it forms the federal government.

The question that Jeffrey wants Sabah and Sarawak to raise with the Umno federal government is whether it’s willing to raise the oil royalty to 20% before the general election.

The oil royalty, said Jeffrey, must cover the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well and not just the inner waters along the shoreline.

Jeffrey links a fairer share of the oil revenue to the issue of resolving the grinding poverty in Sabah and Sarawak, the most economically backward states in Malaysia.

In the absence of a fairer oil royalty, it’s said that the two states are totally dependent on federal government allocations which, by themselves, “are insufficient”. Next year, for example, both states get a paltry 4% each of the RM 200-billion odd national budget.

“If the Barisan Nasional (BN) government cannot commit itself in writing to the 20% oil royalty, then it’s up to the various political parties in Sabah and Sarawak to decide on their next step,” said Jeffrey. “So far, nothing has come out of the first historical window of opportunity opened up by the last general election in 2008.”

He thinks that if the BN doesn’t play ball with Sabah and Sarawak on the oil royalty issue, it’s deemed “unlikely that the ruling coalition will honour the Malaysia Agreement pledges on autonomy”. This is expected to bring Pakatan, the alternative, into the picture.

Jeffrey believes that a better option than Pakatan would be to come together in a new Borneo-based national political equation either as a party or a coalition.

Most important issue

No matter who comes and who goes, the veteran Sabah politician sees the issue of Sabah and Sarawak rights as the most important one in the hearts of the people.

“This is an issue which involves the future of our children and grandchildren,” he said. “We cannot barter away our rights or see them being trampled upon. This is not what we bargained for in 1963.”

Based on the general scenario sketched by Jeffrey, the memorandum apparently lays great emphasis on Malaysia being a federation of three territories working together in equality and partnership. Sabah and Sarawak no longer want to be erroneously considered as just two among 13 states. It’s Peninsular Malaysia, the memorandum highlights, that is a federation of nine Malay sultanates, two governorates and two federal territories.

Elsewhere in the memorandum, among others, Sabahans don’t want their chief minister to be appointed by the prime minister but by the governor acting in concert with the state assembly as provided under the state constitution.

CigMA deputy chair, Daniel John Jambun, confessed that he was rather pessimistic about Najib ever seeing Jeffrey to accept the memorandum.

“We don’t expect Najib to see Jeffrey,” said Jambun, who also co-chairs PKR’s KadazanDusunMurut Task Force. “If Najib is really sincere, he would have seen Jeffrey by now and not continue to keep him waiting.”

Najib, believes Jambun, “has played out Jeffrey”.

Jambun revealed that he and Sarawak CigMA activist Nicholas Bawin have parted company with Jeffrey on the issue of Sabah and Sarawak rights “thanks to Najib keeping him waiting”.

“We are going to the United Nations in Geneva next year to lobby the international community on the issue of Sabah and Sarawak rights,” said Jambun. “This is a follow-up to our presentation at the House of Commons in March this year.”

Jambun also disclosed that Hindraf Makkal Sakthi chair P Waythamoorthy has agreed to be CigMA’s international adviser “on the issue of reversing the re-colonisation of Sabah and Sarawak by Peninsular Malaysia”.

Play the game according to the ‘rules’ or else quit the game

Zaid has to be consistent. If he wants to be seen as a man of principles, and if he claims that the party election is fraudulent, then there are no two ways about it. Zaid must walk the talk or else be known as a man who pulls his principles out of his pocket only when it works against him but will leave his principles hidden in his pocket when he can profit from it.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

I remember, eleven years ago, back in 1999, the opposition coalition, Barisan Alternatif, faced one of the most fraudulent general elections in Malaysian history. Nevertheless, they did not do too badly in spite of it -- although they would have done much better if not for the fraud.

Soon after that we had a meeting with the Elections Commission (SPR) to present them with a thick dossier of proposed electoral reforms. Top of the list was of course the postal voting system, which we were of the view, had already outlived its usefulness and therefore should be abolished.

The reply the SPR gave us shocked us into silence. “If we abolish the postal voting system then not a single Cabinet Minister would be able to remain in office,” the SPR replied.

After we had regained our composure, we asked the SPR is not the purpose of the Election Commission to manage clean, free and fair elections in Malaysia? That was when the second shocker was delivered. “The purpose of the SPR is to ensure that the Malays do not lose political power,” we were told.

With that type of opening statement, and with so many issues more to go, we decided it was pointless to proceed. If the SPR can so blatantly reply that way, with no shame or inhibition, was there any point in continuing this meeting on seeking electoral reforms?

We closed the thick book of proposed electoral reforms and left the SPR office.

I then wrote that the opposition should boycott the next general election. We might as well launch a hartal or civil disobedience campaign. If Barisan Nasional wants to win the elections through fraud then let them win through a walk over. We should not participate in a fraudulent general election and give it legitimacy.

No doubt Barisan Nasional can claim it won the election. But it would have won through a no-contest, which means they can’t claim that the voters gave them overwhelming support or the mandate to rule the country. It would, at best, be an illegitimate government in the eyes of the world.

But many were not in favour of a boycott. And in 2004 the opposition got massacred, although there were other reasons other than fraud for this.

I was then asked to sit in a committee that was going to gather tangible and hard evidence of fraud. And we did just that. We gathered tons and tons of evidence. And with this evidence we filed election petitions to try and get the 2004 general election declared null.

But the court threw out our election petitions. In fact, Umno also filed election petitions to instead get the opposition candidates disqualified. And Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the solitary PKR candidate who won with a very narrow margin, almost got disqualified.

Again I called for a boycott and of course this did not happen in the 2008 General Election. And there are some who say it was lucky that the opposition did not boycott the 2008 General Election considering that they managed to win five states plus denied Barisan Nasional its two-thirds majority in parliament.

Maybe so. If the opposition had boycotted the 2008 General Election then they would have missed out on winning the five states plus they would not have been able to deny Barian Nasional its two-thirds majority in parliament.

That is probably one way of looking at it. But if there had not been any fraud then the opposition would have won more than five sates and with a mere 300,000 more votes it would have been able to form the new federal government. And the fraud exceeded the 300,000 votes that the opposition needed to form the new federal government.

So the opposition won second prize. But in a two-horse race second prize also means last. And if there had not been any fraud then the opposition would have won first prize instead. But the fact that the opposition stayed in the race and accepted second prize means the opposition endorses the general election -- and therefore also endorses the fraud that came with it.

Okay, so the decision was made to not boycott the general election but contest it in spite of the fraud. And to offset the fraud the opposition would need to win with a majority of at least 60% or so of the popular votes.

This, the opposition is prepared to do. It is prepared to play on a non-level playing field where the goal posts are shifted halfway through the game. And the opposition knows it needs to garner more than half the votes. With the gerrymandering, phantom voters, postal votes, and the RM500-RM1,000 cash paid to each voter, the opposition needs to take three steps forward just to stand still.

If this is the decision then well and fine. I can live with that. After all, there are only two choices -- either boycott the game or stay in the game that you know will be stacked against you. If you don’t like the game then get out. Boycott it. But if you choose to stay in the game then live with it. Accept the ‘rules’ that will certainly work against you.

Since 2008 we have had about a dozen by-elections. And each time, as expected, the fraud gets worse and worse. But still the opposition participates in the elections that they say is fraudulent. And every time the opposition grumbles, complains, bitches, moans and groans. But they still participate in the elections in spite of all that.

Let’s face it. The SPR will never introduce electoral reforms. They have said so ten years ago back in 2000. And they have explained why the fraud has to continue -- to make sure that all the Cabinet Ministers get to retain their seats and to ensure that the Malays do not lose political power. The only way there is going to be electoral reforms would be when we see a change of federal government.

But it is a Catch 22 situation. To see a new federal government we need electoral reforms. But to see electoral reforms we need a new federal government. It is like the chicken and the egg. Which comes first?

I will leave that puzzle for you to solve. Meanwhile, while we ponder on this ‘Gordian Knot’ (which only Alexander the Great can cut) let us look at the ongoing PKR party elections.

Over the last month or so we have been reading tons of stories and articles about the alleged fraud in the party elections. How much is true and how much is exaggerated I don’t really know because I am not on the ground and have to depend on what I read and what I am told by those who phone me.

But the fact that some divisions that voted in favour of Azmin Ali saw an exceptionally high voter turnout that far exceeds the national average of 5%-10% certainly triggers some alarm bells. This is reminiscent of the 2004 General Election where Kuala Selangor and Kuala Terengganu saw a 125% voter turnout against a national average of less than 80%. Exceeding 80% voter turnout already looks suspicious. Exceeding 100% voter turnout is a miracle that only God can perform.

Nevertheless, there are many who are most upset about this whole episode. Top of the list is probably Zaid Ibrahim and his campaign team. I am inclined to believe that some of the allegations are not without merit. If it is one or two complaints then maybe we can question the accuracy of the allegations. But when there is a flood of complaints then certainly some of it must be true.

I do not want to discuss whether the complaints are true and if so how much of it is true. I am not a member of the party elections committee so I am not privy to all the evidence. What I want to talk about is the same thing as what I have been saying since 2000.

If you know there is fraud then get out. Boycott the elections. Raise the complaints if you wish and get them attended to. But if the party denies your allegations then there is nothing more you can do. You can always ask for justice to be done. Whether you do or do not get justice is for the powers-that-be to decide. And in this case the powers-that-be is the party elections committee headed by Dr Molly Cheah.

If Dr Molly believes that there is fraud then, knowing her, she would most certainly do something about it. But if she does nothing then this can only mean that she believes there is no fraud. Dr Molly is probably one of the last persons on earth who would sell her soul to the devil.

I am tired of reading about the grumbling, bitching, complaining, moaning and groaning by Zaid Ibrahim and his campaign team. Dah letih dengar. Meluat!

If the fire is too hot, get out of the kitchen. Elections in Malaysia will never be clean, free and fair -- whether they are general elections, by-elections or party elections. If you want to contest in any election then accept the fact that you will be faced with many incidences of fraud. Even if Pakatan Rakyat gets to form the new federal government it too will, by hook or by crook, do whatever to takes to prevent Barisan Nasional from taking back the government.

If you still want to contest then do so quietly. Walk softly and carry a big stick. If you can’t stomach what is going on then this is not the game for you. Quit now!

Let us say, in spite of all the fraud that Zaid says is going on, he wins the contest and becomes the new Deputy President of the party. Will he then declare that the election was fraudulent and insist that the election be declared null and for a new election to be called? Or will he ‘accept the decision of the members’ and stay on as the new Deputy President of the party?

If Zaid is a man of principles, even if he wins the post of Deputy President he should decline the post because he would have won it against the backdrop of a fraudulent election. How can he accept the post of Deputy President when it was won through a fraudulent election? Zaid should decline the post and ask for the election to be declared null and for a new election to be called.

Since Zaid is going to stand on principles he should not give the election legitimacy even if he wins the post of Deputy President. He should distance himself from what he says is a fraudulent election and not legitimise it by staying in the race.

You should not grumble, bitch, complain, moan and groan only when you lose. If you believe that there is fraud then you should grumble, bitch, complain, moan and groan even if you win. And if you are going grumble, bitch, complain, moan and groan when you win and refuse to accept the post on point of principle, then don’t waste your and everyone else’s time by participating in an election that you consider a farce.

Get out and get out now. Then people would say you have principles and are not a cry baby who grumbles, bitches, complains, moans and groans only when you lose but will accept the verdict of the election if you happen to win.

I remember the BBC HARDTALK interview of 2004 when Anwar Ibrahim was asked why he is getting too personal about Dr Mahathir. Anwar replied that he is not being personal but opposes Dr Mahathir on point of principle.

The BBC interviewer then asked Anwar if he is opposed to Dr Mahathir on point of principle then why did he remain in the Cabinet? Why did he not resign if he did not endorse the manner in which Dr Mahathir was running the country?

Anwar did not have an answer.

Zaid resigned from the Cabinet in 2008 on point of principle. He refused to stay in the Cabinet because he does not endorse what the government is doing. That makes him one up on Anwar.

But now he stays in the race although he opposes the principle in how the race is being run. And if he wins the race he will accept the post of Deputy President of the party.

Is what he is doing now, in 2010, a reversal of what he did in 2008?

Zaid has to be consistent. If he wants to be seen as a man of principles, and if he claims that the party election is fraudulent, then there are no two ways about it. Zaid must walk the talk or else be known as a man who pulls his principles out of his pocket only when it works against him but will leave his principles hidden in his pocket when he can profit from it.

Like that people will say Zaid may have left Umno but Umno never left Zaid. Umno is still very much in him.

M'sia impoverishes the Hindu gods

My grandpa and grandma 'live' in a Buddhist temple - the Penang tourist attraction which features the very huge reclining Buddha. My grandparents' ashes are in two urns side by side, these urns sit in niches in the wall.

The wall paintings in the temple depict scenes from Prince Siddharta's life, and used to captivate me when I was a small child. The Gautama was Indian although some Malaysian Chinese are unaware of his historical origin. They mistakenly think the Buddha is Chinese, akin to how some Christians are unaware that Jesus was a Jew.

religion malaysia 070306 buddhist templeSince olden times, the Indian sub-continent which is the birthplace of Buddhism has had advanced civilisations and a rich tradition of philosophical thought. It's a heritage that our Tamils here can rightly be proud of.

Like the Buddhist wall paintings I remember of my childhood temple visits, Hindu sculptures are something soulful to look at too. The Hindu pantheon has such vibrant colour (literally, Lord Krishna is blue-skinned) and vitality. There is also Hinduism practised at a more abstract plane by deeper thinkers.

Unfortunately, some belonging to the Abrahamic faiths (Islam, Christianity) are ill at ease in the presence of idols. This uneasiness is the problem of the Muslims and the Christians, and not the Hindus. If these followers of the monotheistic religions harbour a superiority complex and intolerence of idols, then they are the ones being obnoxious.

Temples have their own spirituality (just as the grand cathedrals of Europe are awesome); it's up to the individual to be able to experience it. Bali, the Hindu isle of 1,000 temples, is the most charming place. Especially charming are the flower offerings that ones sees everywhere. It is a gentle, loving nature that can so appreciate flowers.

Phenomenon of converts

There is really no reason at all for Christians and Muslims to feel they are superior to Hindus and insist on proselytising. Why should they? On the contrary, converts are abhorrent when they behave like the Kong Kali Kong ustaz or Shah Kirit, the Muslim missionary who mocked Hindu practices.

You have to admire the patience and kind understanding of the Tamils who need to put up with the pushy behaviour of their fellow Malaysians.

indian crowd malaysia 291107It is unfortunate that Tamils here are not in the most advantageous position due to exclusion by the Malays in the public sector and the Chinese in the private sector. Tamils are subjected to double-whammy discrimination. Especially if he is dark.

Indians with darker skin have to cope with more racial prejudice than their lighter-toned cousins. Malaysia is hardly an egalitarian society. Therefore, our colour-consciousness (read: prejudices) exacerbates the poor position of Hinduism in the pecking order where the various religions are sadly treated corresponding to the economic status of their adherents.

In this matter of being respectful of the weaker communities or minorities, Malaysia fares badly; as we generally do in our world ranking in areas like corruption, media freedom, and other social indicator indexes.

NONEThe Tamils are derided for the unique phenomenon of their makeshift shrines under the trees. Since it is the state that is giving Indians a rotten deal, then we should take issue with the people running the state. The bureaucracy cannot absolve itself of fault should poor people necessarily worship at even poorer houses of God.

It's a fact of life that not only do Tamils live in poverty here, their gods are impoverished by the state as well.

Every time a Muslim steps into a magnificent mosque in Malaysia, does he feel more than a twinge of guilt that his fellow Malaysians are praying in shoplots and pathetic premises?

Liberal suckers-up appeasers

Islam is in a category of its own, being the religion of the federation. Article 12(2) of the federal constitution allows the country, or the states, to establish or maintain Islamic institutions, or to provide instruction in Islam - all at government expense.

If a society's moral progress is measured by how it treats its most powerless and vulnerable members, what does one then make of the Bangsar Malaysia liberals who delight in appeasing Muslims while ignoring the plight of Hindus? It doesn't take a whole lot of spine to be sucking up to the most powerful force in the country, does it?

To me, it is the Hindus who possess the higher moral consciousness as I have great respect for people who respect other living creatures. There are the most number of vegetarians among Hindus. They're the people who are least likely to be trigger-happy dog shooters as Hindus do not commit gratuitous violence on animals.

'Ahimsa' is a term meaning 'to do no harm' and is an important tenet of Hinduism and Buddhism.

deepavaliThere's no cause for misguided Indians who convert to other religions to turn around and deride Hindus. On the other hand, there's every good reason for a Hindu to feel comfortable in his own skin and to take pride in his religious beliefs and customs.

So keep up the good fight, Hindraf. Happy Deepavali to Hindu readers and may your light shine on the wilfully blind.

Gerakan delegates fault BN's 'racist sabotage'

By Malaysiakini,

Gerakan delegates today hit out at the ruling coalition's leadership for being too arrogant, blaming the high-handed antics of their "abang in BN" as the cause of Gerakan's loss of public support.

The issue arose during the debate on the president's policy speech on the final day of the party's 39th AGM at the Menara PGRM in Kuala Lumpur today.

Melaka delegate Gan Peng Lam did not mince words when he said that in the BN, one party reigns supreme over the coalition's other components.

"In BN, Umno stands above the rest. MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PPP are just bystanders," Gan said.

He gave as example how Deputy Premier Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also education minister, announced the decision to make history a compulsory SPM subject at an Umno function, when it was clearly a government policy decision.

"Why not announce it at the post cabinet meeting press conference or in a separate function?" he asked.
Corruption 'order of the day'
Federal Territory delegate Chue Beng Kang said that the "Ali Baba" phenomenon and "corruption" has become the order of the day, urging Gerakan to try and be the check and balance for the coalition.

"Gerakan must create the political profile to differentiate it from BN and step out of the ruling coalition's shadow. Our core strategy is still to remain in the BN but we must be able to be the conscience of BN," he said.

Chue said he hoped the party can check the abuses rampant in the BN.

Meanwhile in summing up the debate, Gerakan vice president Ma Siew Hong insisted that all BN leaders who are found to be racist must leave the BN as they do not follow the tenets of 1Malaysia.

"We should also form a disciplinary committee for BN to address this issue," he said.

Racist remarks from BN and particularly Umno leaders, said Soo Kay Ping from Perak, is also causing Gerakan to lose public support.

"We work hard serving our community, but I hear that they will happily receive our service but still vote opposition DAP or PKR."

Hard work alone, he said, is not enough to win over the public.

"Serving the people for 24 hours on end is for nothing, because BN leaders (spoil our efforts when they) make racist statements."

Polling district sabotage

"We should tell BN leaders, don't waste our good efforts because when an Umno leader, like the Titiwangsa representative said he does not need Chinese votes and makes racist statements we lose support," he lamented.

Johor delegate Cheong Chin Liang even accused their "abang in BN" of acts akin to sabotage through the re-organisation of polling districts that he said nearly caused him to lose in the last general election.

"This is the action of our 'abang in BN' in order to gain advantage for themselves at all cost," he said. He did not name who the “abang” were.

Meanwhile Pahang delegate Yap Kim Heng lamented the lack of Gerakan participation in the BN-led state government.

"There are no Gerakan members in the Village Development and Safety Committee (JKKK). The appointment of municipal councillors has also been frozen for six years. How can we serve the people?" he complained.

He warned the ruling coalition not to be complacent as 17 state seats in Pahang won only with a majority of less than 2,000 in the last election.

"If we are not alarmed, BN can become the opposition in Pahang come next general election," warned Yap.

Terengganu delegate Fong Swee Heng went as far as to challenge Umno on its arrogance.

"Umno can take all the seats that Gerakan has contested in the last general election. See if they can win," he said.

PI Bala's open letter to AG Gani Patail

Dear Tan Sri (Abdul Gani Patail),

My name is Balasubramaniam Perumal. I think you may have heard of me.

I was Abdul Razak Baginda's private investigator hired by him to protect him from his ex-girlfriend, Altantuya Shaaribu (deceased), sometime in 2006.

Remember you charged him for her murder but he got off. Instead, two of the prime minister's bodyguards got convicted. Stranger things have happened, I am sure you would agree.

But I digress. Let me come to the point.

I have been made to understand that you have decided to close the case involving two statutory declarations I signed sometime at the beginning of July 2008 in Kuala Lumpur.

The contents of these statutory declarations were diametrically opposed. Both could not have been true and therefore one of them was false. I trust that makes sense to you.

azlanThe police, I believe, have investigated the circumstances surrounding the making of these two statutory declarations under section 199 of the Penal Code, for an offence which carries a sentence of three years' imprisonment and a fine. This is not a trivial offence.

The police must have interviewed my lawyer, Americk Sidhu, his secretary, the commissioner of oaths who attested my signature and a variety of other witnesses you have mentioned who were somehow intrinsically interwoven in the construction and affirmation of both statutory declarations, one way or another.

It has therefore come as a great surprise to me to discover that you have been unable to decipher any wrongdoing from the enormous amount of evidence the police must have been able to accumulate from their investigations.

Please permit me to assist you. Firstly, may I suggest that you re-open this file immediately. I will make it easy for you.

Let me admit to you that I did sign a false statutory declaration. Yes, I did. I signed a false statutory declaration. It was the second one, not the first one. The first one was entirely truthful. The second one was a complete pack of lies. I admit this.

This statutory declaration was prepared by some unknown person(s) and I was forced by very thinly veiled threats and intimidation to sign it. I have already made this known to the world at large and I am surprised your office has not picked this up as yet. Everyone else has.

If you are unable to ascertain this information which I have just provided to you directly, please feel free to contact me at this email address and I shall forward to you a copy of the video recorded interview I had in the presence of my lawyers in Singapore last November, and a copy of the transcript thereof.

Otherwise you can find this information on all the blogs worth reading (such as Raja Petra Kamarudin's Malaysia Today) and also on 'YouTube' (just type in 'PI Bala' into the search column and you will be surprised what comes up).

So you may now consider charging me for making the false second statutory declaration after the clues I have given you. I do however reserve the right to plead not guilty to the charge as I believe I have a very good defence.

Your prosecutors will also have to make sure they call all the necessary witnesses to prove their case against me. These witnesses will have to include the following personalities:

i) A lawyer named Arunampalam Mariam Pillai (who coincidentally does legal work for Deepak Jayakishan and Rosmah Mansor's personal companies).

ii) A commissioner of oaths (Zainal Abidin Muhayat) who works in the office of Zul Rafique and Partners (Advocates & Solicitors) and who attested my signature when he came to the room in which I was being held at the Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

iii) Deepak and Dinesh Jaikishan (very good friends and confidantes of Rosmah Mansor).

iv) Nazim Razak (younger brother of the prime minister), and his wife.

v) ASP Suresh (a suspended police officer formerly attached to the IPK headquarters in KL).

vi) Officers from the Immigration Department Damansara (who assisted in obtaining urgent passports for my family).

vii) A host of journalists and reporters who were present in the lobby of the Prince Hotel Kuala Lumpur when a lawyer called Arunampalam released my second statutory declaration without my permission.

These are just some of the witnesses I can think of but I am sure you know how to do your job so that should be not a problem. I don't want to be accused of trying to teach an old dog new tricks.

If for some strange reason my defence is called, I will also be able to provide witnesses to support what I have to say. I need not disclose who these witnesses are at this stage and I am sure you know that as well.

I shall now wait for the charge against me to be laid.

I will be more than happy to return to Malaysia to defend myself but you will have to ensure that my safety is guaranteed as there are some people who would prefer that I was not around.
Balasubramaniam Perumal

Yemen orders arrest of al-Awlaki

A Yemeni judge has issued an order that the US-born Muslim preacher Anwar al-Awlaki has to be caught dead or alive, for alleged links to al-Qaeda and involvement in the killing of foreigners.

Mohsen Alwan, in a ruling on Saturday, asked prosecutors "to forcibly arrest" al-Awlaki and his relative Othman al-Awlaki whom a court in Sanaa has charged with "incitement to kill foreigners and members of security services."

The Yemeni arrest warrant was issued after the two failed to appear for a second time before the court that specialises in terrorism cases.

They had been charged in absentia on Tuesday and, under Yemeni law, suspects are given some time to appear for trial before an order is issued that they be captured by force.

The US has already authorised the CIA to capture or kill al-Awlaki, who has been linked to the failed bombing of a US-bound passenger jet in December 2009.

'Recruitment tool'

Reporting from the Yemeni capital on Saturday, Hashem Ahelbarra said: "The Americans strongly believe that although al-Awlaki may not be a powerful military commander, his charisma, articulate use of the English language and use of the internet can serve as a strong tool to recruit Western converts, which makes him a serious threat to the US."

The charges against al-Awlaki arose during the trial of Hisham Mohammed Assem, a Yemeni who was in court to face charges of killing Jacques Spagnolo, a French energy contractor, near Sanaa last month.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reports from Yemen on a counterterrorism unit trained to battle al-Qaeda

Prosecutors told the court that al-Awlaki had corresponded with Assem for months, encouraging him to kill foreigners.

Assem, who had said he was tortured, denied the charges on Saturday, saying he killed Spagnolo over a personal feud and not due to incitement by al-Awlaki.

All three men are accused of "forming an armed gang to carry out criminal acts and to target foreigners and security forces on behalf of al-Qaeda".

Yemen is facing increasing pressure to crack down on AQAP, al-Qaeda's local branch, after intercepted parcel bombs destined for Chicago synagogues were traced to the country late last month.

"Yemen is faced with the fight against al-Qaeda where they have set up a special counterterrorism force to fight al-Qaeda. But their limited resources makes the fight a challenge," our correspondent said.

AQAP, or Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, said in a statement on Friday that it orchestrated the failed bomb plot, and also claimed responsibility for the crash of a cargo aircraft in Dubai in September.

Suspected bombmaker

The US believes the parcel bombs, uncovered in Britain and Dubai, were the work of Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, a Saudi suspected of being an al-Qaeda bombmaker.

Al-Awlaki has not immediately been linked to the parcel bombs, but US officials have long accused him of instigating "terrorism" from Yemen, where he is believed to be hiding in a remote area of Shabwa province.

Al Jazeera's Ahelbarra said: "The Yemeni government says it doesn't have the evidence to corroborate the truth about the failed bomb-plot claim.

"Traditionally Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has trusted websites where they would usually send in their own videotapes that would explain what has happened.

"We have not been able to track the statements or reports to confirm whether this is true or not."

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Misleading advertisement of FINAS

Senator Dr. S.Ramakrishnan,

The TV advertisement of 1Malaysia promotion by FINAS in RTM/TV3/ASTRO during Deepavali celebration this year is inundated with encouraging religious conversion of Hindus to Islam. It shows how a Hindu youth married to Muslim girl can still celebrate Deepavali with his parents.

The boy’s family initially hostile to his Muslim conversion but accept him after the birth of his children. Anyone marries to Muslim in Malaysia must convert to Islam and this fact is hidden in this advertisement. This deliberately hiding of facts is mischievous and misleading the Hindu views. Its leading the viewers into the belief that religious conversion may be hostile in the beginning but will be accepted upon the birth of children into the family. FINAS is silently misleading Hindu youths into religious conversion as part of 1Malaysia campaign.

The girl who is married to this convert refuses to eat food cooked by Hindu family until she is assured that the food is cooked by another Muslim. This episode only depicts that the Hindus are inferior to Muslims that they can’t eat food cooked by Hindus, not halal I suppose. If that is the case what is the motive to show such an insulting and belittling advertisement during Deepavali which is a Hindu festival. This only shows the apparent intolerance of the authorities in reluctantly accepting the religious and cultural indifferences.

The apparent pleasantries on the surface of the advertisement ignore the fact that converts over time will be subjected to directives from JAIS, MAIS and other religious bodies. Converts will be discouraged and shifted away from celebrating Deepavali but these underlying consequences are conveniently covered up. A Hindu convert is welcomed by FINAS but if a Muslim converts to other religion than it is apostasy. Why the double standard? The advertisement reveals the hidden agenda of BN government in dealing with culture and religious feelings and sensitivities of Indians and others. 1Malaysia seems to be not accepting the diversities of difference ethnics in Malaysia but subtly converting others into Muslim religion. Such hidden parochial agenda doesn’t augur well for the well being and future of minorities and their children. This episode also proves that the minorities in Malaysia are under fear that their legitimate rights to practice their religious festival might be under threat. All the sweet promises of 1Malaysia and all talks of inclusiveness are myth and rhetoric. The guarantees of religious freedom are under threat by the proponents of religious hardliners. If the BN government is really serious of attracting talents and professionals, such religious narrow minded and intimidating of minorities must stop immediately.

Koh says will resign but gives no succession plan

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — Senator Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon has announced he will resign as Gerakan president before his second term ends but refused to disclose his succession plan.

The embattled party president told reporters that he will let party delegates decide who will be his successor.

“I will step down earlier if new leaders are ready and have the support of the delegates,” Koh said during a press conference after attending the party’s AGM.

He added that he wants to stay for only two terms because he is not “dependent on party and government posts”.

However, Koh (picture) explained that he is not seeking any signal from the delegates and hopes a leader will naturally appear.

“I am not asking for any signal, I am asking them to work hard. Please work hard so that we can become united and work hard for party, country and the people.

“I am checking with the delegates [if there are capable new leaders to succeed me]. That is why I am throwing this so maybe some names will float and people can discuss but don’t speculate,” he said.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department also stressed that he is ready to step down next year if the party shows that it is “dedicated” and “united.”

“If there are capable leaders and we are united and have the fighting spirit. If they can move the party forward and Gerakan is very determined, dedicated and united. Why not? I am assessing now [who can replace me] but it is not for me to decide but it is for the delegates because we are a very democratic party,” he said.

Koh’s first term as president will end during next year’s party election and will seek to be re-elected for another three years.

The former Penang chief minister added that no leader is irreplaceable and indispensable.

“Of course some people like me to go and some people do not want me to go. I don’t expect any signal. No leader is irreplaceable and indispensable. You always have to get ready fast. That is all,” he said.

Koh also refused to comment on his predecessor asking him to not overstay his welcome but instead listen to party members who have lately questioned the leadership.

Former president Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik recently announced his decision to quit as party adviser, citing his dissatisfaction with Koh’s leadership.

The former Beruas MP accused Koh of being too afraid to resolve internal party conflicts, referring to the recent Penang Gerakan leadership crisis.

The party president is expected to face a barrage of criticism during the party’s national delegate conference as many are unsatisfied with the party leadership.

The growing unhappiness towards the party leadership culminated when Penang Gerakan leader Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan survived ouster attempts by grassroots leaders.

Waiting on developer's mercy

By Patrick Lee - Free Malaysia Today,

KUALA LUMPUR: Abandoned housing projects are commonplace throughout Malaysia's property landscape. But for the villagers of Kampung Berembang, this fact comes as a painful truth.
Once home to a few thousand inhabitants, Kampung Berembang in the vicinity of Ampang has been reduced to a shantytown of rude huts, with only 30-odd families left.
With their original houses forcibly bulldozed by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council in 2006, many of the villagers have had to move to other locations throughout the Klang Valley.
Those who have been fortunate enough to remain have been forced to live in tents for a few years, adding zinc sheets and leftover wood to craft into makeshift houses.
The villagers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. To the northeast lies a YTL cement factory, with its cement trucks rumbling precariously every five to 10 minutes along Jalan Berembang.
A water retention area for the SMART tunnel sits to the north, while to their west are planned quarters for government workers from Sabah.
Even their skyline has been taken away from them, with the whole village dangerously resting beneath high tension power cables.
But there is little choice for the few villagers who still remain and the hundreds of Berembang “refugees” all across the city, as they wait on the mercy of developers to build a new place for them to live in.
In a state of limbo
In 2006, the state government at the time had promised to build a 17-storey low-cost flat for the villagers in a joint venture between Permodalan Negri Selangor Bhd (PNSB) and Perspektif Masa Sdn Bhd.
Located directly behind the South Korean embassy off Jalan Ampang, the building should have been finished by November 2008. But to this day, it remains in a state of limbo, with only about 30 workers laying bricks for a housing project more than three acres large.
In his surprise visit to the construction site recently, Selangor state exco member (Housing, Building Management and Squatters) Iskandar A Samad witnessed only a handful of labourers in the area, with a logistics and safety officer as the only official in sight.
Accompanied by nearly two dozen Kampung Berembang villagers, Iskandar said that much of the work on the site could have been completed in one or two months.
He first visited the site early this year. Last week, he made another two more visits.
On his third visit on Nov 4, Iskandar had been accompanied by both the contractors and developers, as well as over 60 workers.
“Whenever there is an (official) visit, all the developers, agents and engineers will come,” he said at the building's construction office, adding that more than 70% of the construction had been done.
Less than 30 minutes after Iskandar's arrival, officials from Vertex Builders (contractors) and Acmar International (developers) made their appearance.
This did not stop the state exco from berating them for a job poorly done.
Weekly report
A quick look into the contractors' logbooks revealed that only 32 labourers showed up for work compared with 63 when he came to the site on Nov 3.
Iskandar grabbed the logbook and flipped through the pages, showing both the media and contractors that the total number of workers showing up for both Monday and Tuesday last week were 23 each.
“When I came yesterday (Nov 3), the number of workers was 63. Today (Nov 4), it is 32. You want me to come every day, is it?” he asked the site's contractors angrily, who tried to placate Iskandar with excuses.
Iskandar then issued an ultimatum to both Vertex and Acmar, demanding that the building be completed by February 2011. He also said that the PNSB owed the Selangor government a weekly report on the building's progress, threatening drastic action if his words were not taken seriously.
Asked what excuses the Selangor government had been getting from the developers, Iskandar said: “They have lots of excuses, like they have other projects at the moment... But their excuses have got nothing to do with this one!”
When pressed by FMT, both Vertex and Acmar claimed that the delayed deadline was not their fault.
“We paid the workers Deepavali money on Nov 4, which is why so many of them showed up. We cannot make them work on Deepavali day (Nov 5),” said a Vertex Builder spokesman, who refused to be named.
Even so, the spokesman admitted that the site's labourers were usually on the job seven-days-a-week.
Asked why it had taken a long time to complete its work, Acmar International (project building divison/construction) senior manager Richard Ng said, “I can't answer you this, because it's all (based) on the top management's decision. We've only been here a few months.”
Passing the buck
However, Ampang Jaya Municipal Councillor Hayati Abdul Samad was convinced that both Vertex and Acmar officials were passing the buck.
“Most of the workers here are Indonesian, so why would they be celebrating Deepavali?” she said, pointing to the scant few that showed up on Nov 4.
Hayati also alleged that many of the workers who showed up during Iskandar's visit on Nov 3 were from other nearby construction sites.
“They were here just to show their face. They were just following us around, and not doing any work,” she told FMT.
Hayati also said that the contractors were often late in paying their workers, causing many of them to run away.
When approached, an Indonesian worker who preferred to remain anonymous admitted that he had not been paid for more than a month.
'We will fight'
Like Hayati, many of Kampung Berembang's villagers were not swayed by Acmar International's words. According to resident Nor Alizan Ali, the developer appeared to be more keen on developing the area into a luxurious condominium area known as D'Rapport.
FMT noticed a well-serviced Acmar International office located along Jalan Nipah, not too far away from the unfinished low-cost flats. According to an iProperty website, D'Rapport apartments have been offered from as low as RM880,000 to as high as RM5.1 million each (Link: (
However, complicating matters is the village's position, which is cut into two by the Selangor-Kuala Lumpur border. The new but unfinished homes, however, sit in Ampang Jaya, Selangor.
Thus, the villagers have been forced to send their children to schools in Ulu Klang, even though a newly-completed school sits in plain view, less than a hundreds metres away. But until the housing project is completed, the school cannot be used.
Despite being pressured by a consistent rash of bad news, Nor, like many of Kampung Berembang's villagers, has not given up hope.
“Until I get that house (low-cost flat), I will not leave this place. I will fight. We will fight,” he said, pointing to the unfinished housing project.
However, the future remains bleak for him, and the people of Kampung Berembang. Many of his fellow villagers have already moved to other parts of the Klang Valley, including Puchong.
He fears that the developers would not be able to complete the housing project the next time the bulldozers return.
“If they (authorities) chase us away, we will be gone forever (from Kampung Berembang),” he said.

Kota Damansara, Selangor’s new Sin City

With massage parlours galore, pubs and bars mushrooming all over the place, broken roads and 'dead' traffic lights, and restaurants taking over the parking lots so that cars need to park illegally and obstruct traffic, it makes one wonder how much these unelected Pakatan Rakyat local councilors are earning a month in ‘under-the-table’ money.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Today, Tunku Abdul Aziz wrote an article called ‘MPPJ enforcement officers cry foul’. This is what he said:

Local council enforcement officers in Petaling Jaya have told me that they are often stopped dead in their tracks in the course of carrying out their work by Pakatan Rakyat politicians. These loud-mouthed, arrogant and bullying lawmakers, or more correctly, lawbreakers, with their own personal political agenda give direct operational orders to enforcement officers who are answerable, in any case, to their career local government officers.

Enforcing municipal or city council laws in these circumstances takes on a bizarre tug of war aspect when politicians, often from the same party, descend on the scene issuing diametrically opposed instructions. Interfering to the extent of ordering enforcement officers to leave unlicensed food traders well alone for fear of losing their votes is considered, in their circle, as politically savvy and chic. No doubt all part of their ticket to Putrajaya.

The fact that this is blatant abuse of power, or not to put too fine a point on it, corruption, seems to escape them completely as they set about, single-mindedly, to develop popular ground support, for future parliamentary elections. They studiously look away from breaches of the rules and regulations of their own making, committed by MCA supporters who might, just might, change their political allegiance if they were allowed to continue to trade illegally. Why not help them to become “legit”? In this way MPPJ will earn some revenue.

(Read more here:


Kak Wan, what do you want me to do with these ballot papers?

By Haris Ibrahim,

In my ‘PKR, and its ballot papers, up for sale’ post yesterday, I had said that I was going to meet an individual last night who had contacted me to say that he was in possession of PKR ballot papers for use in the ongoing party elections, and that he would pass the same to me as evidence of his claim.
In fact, that meeting was scheduled to take place this afternoon, but the individual was extremely concerned that I would be followed and that he might be identified by ‘interested’ parties, and so, at his request, I said that the meeting was to take place last night.
I met him about an hour ago.
He was very nervous.
He showed me a stack of ballot papers. They comprised ballot papers for the post of Deputy Presidency, Vice Presidents and Majlis Pimpinan Pusat.
The ballot papers for the Deputy Presidency and Vice Presidents were all serialised whilst the one for the MPP were not.
He had about 100 copies of the ballot papers in all.
I asked if that was all he had.
He  replied that if I could wait, he could go back and meet me again later at another location with another 1,000 or more if I wanted.
I asked if I could have the 100 or so ballot papers that he had with him.
He offered to give me one of each provided I promised to blank out the serial numbers as he did not want to get any one into trouble.
I asked who those people might be.
He did not want to reply.
I asked him to explain to me how possession of these ballot papers might be used in the elections.
He explained that the central election committee returning officer could manipulate the list of members attending at the ongoing elections, where voter turnout is low, adjust it upwards and stuff additional ballot papers into the ballot box. Worse, it seems that at some elections, there is not even an attendance list to reflect the number of members attending to vote. This makes it even easier to stuff additional ballot papers into the ballot box.
I asked if he was representing any of the candidates and was that why he was exposing this to me, as the person or persons he was supportive of were being affected.
He admitted that he was doing this because the leadership he favoured were being cheated, but he also said that he was doing this in the hope that something would be done to stop this cheating and, if nothing was in fact done, he saw no reason to remain with the party any longer.
I asked if he knew who was behind this.
Without hesitation, he named Azmin, aided, he said, by the party HQ secretariat, and certain members of the central election committee over which the chair, Dr Molly Cheah, no longer has any control.
I do not have access to a scanner right now, so I have taken photos of the ballot papers, with the serial numbers blocked, which I now reproduce below.
The ballot for the deputy presidency is a 1-page A4 document, inserted in the 3-page vice presidency ballot .
PKR Deputy President Ballot Paper
The front page of the 3-page v-p ballot. The deputy president ballot is inserted in this
V-P candidates 1 and 2
V-P candidates 3-9
V-P candidates 10-15
Front page of the 11-pqge MPP ballot booklet
The MPP ballot paper is a 11-page  document
I now have a set each of the ballot papers mentioned above.
The chap I just met claims to have access to thousands.
Who else does?
Is not this election a sham?
If PKR stands for justice, will not Kak Wan step in now?
Will not the leaders taking part in these elections refuse to have anything further to do with this disgraceful pretense at democracy?

I am a Malaysian first, second, and last

by Dr Kamal Amzan

We are a nation that defines race in our constitution. Well, there is nothing wrong with that. But we should know that we are in the league with countries like South Africa and Israel.

Other countries have their own definition of race, but very few take pride enshrining it in their constitution.

Whatever your stand on that, let us admit one thing, we are not in the best of companies.

Religion teaches us that God created us as equals, and some even say that we are all related (albeit distantly). Say what you want, twist and cite all the verses in every holy scriptures you can, but the crux of the matter is that we are all the same before Him, we are all related even.

Yes people, that makes us brothers, sisters, first cousins, second cousins and distant cousins if you must.

In my opinion, 1Malaysia was a long and overdue call. A battle cry, after years of trouble. However, being a sceptic that I am, it was a call that sounded too good to be true.

And i didn’t wait long to be proven right. The first crack was when the government ministers hesitated to declare themselves a Malaysian first vis a vis their race. I assure you their silence (elegant or not) speak volumes, and is more deafening with each passing day in the eye of the Malaysian public.

Second was when an independent member of parliament from Pasir Mas (who later had a heart attack) started ranting on and on about a topic that would have landed anyone else into ISA. Surprisingly a statesman followed suit. Mind you, this statesman was the first to introduce the term ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ in the 90′s and the idol to millions including myself at one point or another.

Third was when government servants, I repeat ‘servants’ made seditious, racial remarks in school, and in government run camps. They seem to forget they are paid by the Malaysian public – brown, yellow, green, red and black people combined. Worse was when our leaders said they didn’t have the power to do anything about it. I couldn’t believe my ears because if they don’t, who does?

Fourth was when they called a rapper to give his statement for voicing out his anger, due to the fore-mentioned injustices online. A hint, this rapper was first famous for his one-hit ‘negarakuku’.

I pity him. I really do and my heart goes to him, his family and friends for speaking up. They cannot be blamed for emulating and taking cues from the MP of Pasir Mas.

But that was the last straw for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be a Malay and all that it entails, but being Malaysian is always first, and everything else comes second.

It is always about putting the national interest before oneself, before society and community. And when you do that, you automatically become a Malaysian first.

People look hard for reasons to disunite, even when there’s none. At the end, the winner will be a powerless master in a broken country from disunity.

It is not wrong to say that we would fare better without politicians fanning the flames. As far as i’m concerned, most of them are hypocrites. They demand one thing and request another. They speak like they own the world and preach us to sacrifice what we have, when they themselves are reluctant to sacrifice an iota of their common sense for the benefit of the masses.

Not to say they have a lot of common sense to begin with.

To all my brothers, sisters, cousins, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are, we are all Malaysians in the eyes of the world, and we are a sight and strength to be reckoned with, together.

Similar to a combination of colors forming a rainbow or pieces of jigsaw puzzle that is priceless together, but worthless apart.

Let us not tear this magnificent rainbow away.

As we move towards the year end, our resolution must be to put this country first before any man, woman or child. That our differences should and must be our strength, not weakness and that we should build the future by graduating from the past.

Our children should thrive in an environment that promotes respect, tolerance, and celebration of each other’s differences, not antagonize, suspect and oppress one another. They should stand equally tall, speak equally loud and strive equally hard to realize each and every one of our dreams.

They should all be Malaysian first,second and third and none else in between.

Then and only then will we truly live the spirit and virtue of 1Malaysia.

I offer no apology for saying all this and more.

Trams could complement no-car zone

By Anil Netto,

Tram engineer Ric Francis has responded to a newspaper report about a proposal for a no-car zone in George Town.
Inner city George Town tram route proposed by Ric Francis
I read with interest your article on Heritage Area car free, I have pushed this subject with Government Officials included with my Tramway in Heritage Area, I know things take time to happen in Penang, but this idea would work with my suggestion on a Tramway
Ric Francis
Tramway Engineer
Perth Electric Tramway
Perth, Western Australia
Trams in Berlin - Image credit:
Meanwhile, one political economist has said there is no reason why trams cannot be eventually extended all over Penang. He noted that trams are used extensively and effectively over long stretches in cities such as Amsterdam and Berlin.

Where to find the money for this? Well, if we can afford submarines and fighter planes, then surely we can afford an improved public transport system.

Madrid Pedestrian Zone_Oct09-mk
Madrid: Image by ITDP-Europe via Flickr
It is about time Malaysians are weaned off their car dependency – a move which would greatly relieve our cities of their stressful congestion.
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