Share |

Friday, November 12, 2010

Putrajaya dream far-fetched for Pakatan

By Athi Shankar - Free Malaysia Today,

GEORGE TOWN: Opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat is unlikely to achieve its dream of capturing Putrajaya in the next general election 'under its current avatar'.

Hindu rights movement Hindraf Makkal Sakti, pouring scorn on Pakatan's aspiration, said as long as the coalition continued to ignore the people's demand for 'real change', there will be no win.

"Pakatan and Anwar Ibrahim will never capture their holy grail if they continue to fail to heed to the people's thirst for real change," said Hindraf adviser N Ganesan.

He urged all Pakatan-ruled states to overhaul their current political and socio-economic policies if the coalition was to get anywhere near Putrajaya.

“Pakatan states must restrategise their policies and structures to convince voters that the coalition is truly a people's alliance,” he said.

He pointed out that many people rejected Barisan Nasional and Umno in the last general election because they yearned for a new political entity with innovative ideas and reform policies to benefit all.
Sadly however the Pakatan-ruled states had failed to heed that call.

"Pakatan governments in Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan have merely put in place cosmetic changes and are continuing with Umno/BN leftover policies.

“People wanted a new people's political alliance, but, two years on, they only got a carbon copy version of BN,” Ganesan told FMT today.

He pointed out that Pakatan's defeats in four of the last five by-elections were warning signs of a real shift in the voting pattern from Pakatan towards BN.

Pakatan recently lost Batu Sapi and Galas. They earlier lost Bagan Pinang and Hulu Selangor.

Except for Batu Sapi, Pakatan won all three seats in 2008 general election. To Pakatan's credit they won the Sibu by-election in May by a hairline majority of just over 300 votes.

Ganesan said given a choice, people would rather prefer to stay with the old wine BN than to vote for Pakatan.

Reminding Pakatan to 'walk its talk', he said the coalition cannot claim to represent the people and their demand for reform and change, when in reality it continues to recycle the same BN policies and programmes.

“Changes cannot be rhetoric . . . they must be real and touch the people's lives,” said Ganesan, who is also an adviser to the yet-to-be-registered Human Rights Party (HRP).

He suggested that Pakatan states carry out policies to stimulate economic growth, incomes, employment and business opportunities.

He called on Pakatan states to provide more affordable and comfortable homes, and upgraded educational facilities to the masses.

He said the coalition should also take pro-active steps to allay fear among non-Muslims against powers of the Syariah laws.

He said Pakatan should also stop BN-like mandore policies to address the marginalised Indian community issues.

He added Pakatan must take into account the needs and interests of all disadvantaged and minority groups, such as Indians in the Peninsula and natives in Sabah and Sarawak.

Be cooperative
He said Pakatan must come up with new socio-economic programmes, unlike the current pro-corporate policies, for development of all poor, regardless of their ethnic and religious backgrounds.

“The development policy should be from bottom up and not top to bottom as practiced now,” insisted Ganesan.

He said Umno and BN would not be able to match this if indeed Pakatan went to the ground and provided a real reform alternative to the working class.

He said lack of a real reform-orientated Pakatan currently has given BN the advantage, dashing hopes of Malaysians for a political change.

He suggested for the current Pakatan warlords to set aside their ego to cooperate and compromise with other parties representing minority interests, such as HRP, SAPP and marginalised factions in Pakatan itself like Jeffrey Kittingan’s group in Sabah.

“If Pakatan does not get to work im

Society seeks way to protect Hindu parents’ rights

Hindu parent M. Indira Gandhi (centre) is embroiled in a bid similar to Shamala’s. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — The Malaysian Hindu Sangam is checking with its lawyers for a way to keep alive S. Shamala’s conversion challenge after it was dismissed by the nation’s highest court earlier today.

A five-man panel of the nation’s most senior judges, led by Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi, ruled to close the case of the 38-year-old mother who wants the Federal Court to recognise her right to raise her two young children as Hindus.

“We feel disappointed with the decision. We are also checking with our lawyers on what next we can do because from the first day we have been involved,” the Hindu society’s president Mohan Shanmugam told The Malaysian Insider.

“The conversion was not done right,” an upset-sounding Mohan added.

The society has been keeping tabs on the court case of Shamala’s bid to raise her children Saktiwaran and Theivaswaran in the religion they were born into, for the last eight years.

Shamala had married anaesthetist Dr Jeyaganesh C. Mogarajah in 1998. Her husband was a Hindu at that time but embraced Islam four years later.

He converted their two children into his new-found religion shortly after without Shamala’s knowledge or agreement.

Both parents are in a bitter fight to gain custody over Saktiwaran and Theivaswaran, now aged 11 and nine respectively, and to be allowed to raise them in their respective religions.

Under Malaysian Islamic law, a child necessarily becomes Muslim when one parent enters the faith.

But Shamala claims the federal constitution, the supreme law of the land, provides that she has an equal right as a parent and guardian to decide the religion for children below 18.

Malaysia has a dual-track justice system that allows Muslims to seek legal redress in the Syariah Court, but not non-Muslims.

Dr Jeyaganesh, now also known as Muhammad Ridwan, went to the Syariah Court and won full custody while Shamala, a Hindu, resorted to the civil High Court.

She was awarded custody as well, but was ordered to allow her estranged husband weekend visits.

Shamala appealed the ruling but fled the country with the two children in 2004 before the court could hear the case.

For a while, they were believed to be in Australia, but Shamala’s current whereabouts, as well as that of Saktiwaran and Theivaswaran , remain unknown.

Today’s ruling dealt a hard blow to the battle to end one-sided religious conversions, which has caused a deep rift in this multicultural and secular nation but where Islam is recognised as the official creed.

Zaki, in his grounds of judgment, noted that Shamala had gained an unfair advantage over her husband when she breached a court order allowing the father the right to visit the two children.

“By doing so, she had unlawfully had custody of the children and even if the court were to examine the children now as to who would they chose to live with, most likely they will choose to live with the wife,” the top judge said.

The Federal Court said it cannot adopt a “fugitive doctrine of heads I win, tails you lose” in deciding the basic rights for either parent.

“Parties must have equal footing and not unfair representation,” Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum said in his judgment.

Missing Malaysians found murdered in India

CHENNAI: A Malaysian mother and her two children who went missing last Monday in South India have been found dead, police said.

The decomposed bodies of M Adhila Banu, 24, her son Mohd Aslam, seven, and daughter Ajira Banu, five, were found in Vadipatti in Madurai, in Tamil Nadu yesterday morning.

"It's a murder case, the bodies were identified by the victim's mother (Adhila's mother) and she confirmed they were the bodies of her daughter and two grandchildren.

"The three heavily decomposed bodies were found about five kilometres apart and were wrapped in white dhotis.

"The bodies were dumped in a canal filled with water, under a bridge. We have yet to establish the motive, the actual place and the reason for the murder," Vadipatti police inspector PR Lakshmanan told Bernama today.

Adila and her two children had returned to their native village in Barathi Nagar in Ramanathapuram District from Malaysia about a month ago and were staying with her parents.

According to her mother Saibu Nisha, 56, Adila and her two children left home last Monday afternoon to purchase cooking gas cylinder but failed to return.

The bodies, which were found about 150km from their home, are now in Rajaji Government Hospital in Madurai, undergoing post-mortem.

The district police have set up a special team to probe into the crime.

Her Malaysian husband, a driver, is still in Malaysia, police said.

- Bernama

Stay with PKR and fight, Azmin tells Zaid

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today

SHAH ALAM: PKR deputy presidential candidate Azmin Ali has asked his political nemesis Zaid Ibrahim to continue his struggle from within and not form a new party.

"I hope the plan will not be set into motion as to my understanding when Zaid joined PKR, it was on the spirit of fighting side by side with the PKR leadership and members to continue the reformation agenda and effect changes," he said when met at the sidelines of the state assembly sitting here today.

Zaid had recently dropped a bombshell by announcing that he was withdrawing from the deputy presidential contest, citing alleged irregularities in the election process.

He also resigned from all his posts and called on Azmin to be disqualified for cheating, a charge which the former had denied.

Apart from this, Zaid also called for PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim to step down.

Speaking at a function in Sungai Petani, Kedah, on Wednesday, Zaid, in response to a question, said in jest that he did not rule out the possibility of forming a new party should he be sacked.

However, Azmin said the former Umno strongman should consider his next move carefully.

"In this context, we hope he can reconsider his decision and continue in the spirit of togetherness with PKR," he added.

Asked whether the top leadership would take action against Zaid following his public outbursts, Azmin said the decision was entirely up to the party's disciplinary committee to decide.

"The party's disciplinary committee will make recommendations to the political bureau and central leadership council. So far we have yet to receive any suggestions from the disciplinary committee," he said.

Court allows objection in Shamala conversion case

The great Malaysian sidestep — The Malaysian Insider

NOV 12 — Today, the Federal Court sidestepped hearing five questions from S. Shamala by allowing her estranged husband’s objection that she must return to the country to enjoy the court’s protection.

She is apparently in Australia with her two children, who had been converted to Islam by her Muslim convert husband.

The questions she had asked are as follows:

1. Whether Section 95 (b) of the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993 is ultra vires (beyond the powers) of Article 12 (4) of the federal constitution (specifically concerning the right to determine the religion of the children under the age of 18 by the parent or guardian) and Article 8 regarding equality rights;

2. Whether the same section in state law is inconsistent with federal law, namely Section 5(1) of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1961, and is therefore invalid;

3. Regarding Article 121 (1A) of the federal constitution, where a custody order for children is made, which court, between the Syariah Court and the High Court, is the higher authority?

4. When there is conversion of children from a civil marriage to Islam by one parent without the consent of the other, are the rights to remedies for the non-Muslim parent vested in the High Court?

5. Does the Syariah Court have jurisdiction to determine the validity of conversions of minors into Islam, once it had been registered by the Registrar of Muallafs (Registrar for newly-converted Muslims)?

The Federal Court evaded the issue by not answering any of the questions, and Malaysia lost an opportunity to figure out the testy and choppy waters of the legality of under-age conversions.

More than that, the implication of the Federal Court decision is that more Shamalas will rely less and less on the courts and, instead, take matters in their own hands. They will flee Malaysia for the courts afford no protection, let alone answers.

Civil courts have, even before this decision, abdicated their rights to hear conversion cases to Syariah courts. So which non-Muslim spouse is going to hang around and be a party to any civil court proceeding where the outcome is known?

This is the harsh reality facing non-Malay or non-Muslim spouses in cases where their partners have converted to Islam without informing the other partner.

Like everything else in racially-polarised Malaysia, this is the question: Can Malaysians expect justice from those who are not from same race and religion when it comes to matters of the faith?

The Federal Court’s silence is loud and deafening. They sidestepped the issue. The people will sidestep the law. And distrust will fester.

For grassroots' sake, Mustaffa to battle on

By G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today

FULL REPORT PETALING JAYA: Mustaffa Kamil Ayub will not pull out from the PKR deputy presidential contest despite protesting against the alleged irregularities in the election process.

He said that he made the decision after taking into consideration the sentiments of the grassroots and their support for him.

“Though I understand the dissatisfaction of the grassroots over the alleged irregularities, about 75 percent of my supporters have urged me to stay on under protest," he told a press conference here.

He also urged all party members to defend the party's survival and its integrity. "I also urge party members to vote for me and give me the opportunity to serve the party," he added.

What started as a three-way tussle for the coveted number two spot had been reduced to a straight fight between vice-presidents Mustaffa and Azmin Ali after Zaid Ibrahim withdrew.

Zaid threw in the towel in protest against the alleged irregularities.

The former law minister had also alleged that the PKR top leadership was conspiring to ensure that Azmin won the election.

On Monday, Mustaffa and Zaid submitted a memorandum to the central election committee (JPP) chairperson Dr Molly Cheah, urging her to resolve the numerous complaints filed against the electoral process and gave the latter till Thursday to respond.

'Zaid's supporters will back me'

Commenting on this today, Mustaffa said PKR's political bureau and Cheah had given him satisfactory replies to his demands, providing him more confidence to run in the polls.

“We agreed on three issues yesterday. Firstly, they agreed to ensure JPP remains autonomous in the election process. Secondly, it was agreed that a panel be set up to observe JPP to ensure the election body remains transparent,” he added.

Mustaffa said the committee also agreed to look into all the 162 complaints lodged since the divisional electios before Nov 26.

“Plus, Cheah promised to dismiss any of her officers who show favouritism towards any candidate,” he added.

Asked whether his image would be tarnished for deciding to run in a polls allegedly marred with irregularities, Mustaffa admitted that some might form a negative perception about him.

“However, I cannot expect the party to solve the problem fast. This is the first time we are holding a direct election. Having to prepare an election that caters for about 400,000 voters in a short time span, surely there will be some shortcomings.

“That is why I will continue running in the race under protest to safeguard the party image,” he said, describing himself as a troubleshooter and not troublemaker.

Mustaffa was also confident that Zaid's supporters would back him.

Zaid: I'm still committed to change

By Hawkeye - Free Malaysia Today

SUNGAI PETANI: Zaid Ibrahim remains committed to the long-term reformation of the country's political culture, describing his decision to withdraw from contesting the PKR's deputy president post as a blip in his highly charged political career.

For a man who built up the country's biggest law firm only to give it up in the name of pursuing political righteousness, the battle to change the general mindset about how politics should be conducted is still ongoing.

"There is a need to do away with the habit of personal attacks. I think for now PKR is preoccupied with its own ghosts and it has impeded the party's ability to move forward confidently. This must change. I, for one, am committed to the long-term process of change."

He said it does not matter if he wins or loses in a political contest, but what is important is convincing many about the need for a new and mature culture of conducting politics.

Transparency must prevail in all forms of elections, he said.

According to Zaid, who spoke at a wide-ranging interview here recently, PKR has to stop blaming others for its own shortcomings.

He said PKR has now reached the cross-roads on how it intends to forge ahead on its political path.

Despite its problems, Zaid said the party remains attractive and a beacon of hope to many people who want to see the Barisan Nasional-dominated political culture changed into a progressive one with civil society elements.

Election process flawed

However, PKR must also revamp its election system by ensuring that the rights of every member are protected in a democratic way, he said.

"How can we govern the country if we cannot conduct a simple and smooth party election, which is usually held on a consistent basis as part of the democratic process? This is serious. We must address it."

Zaid said politics must be about issues and not about individuals or personal attacks.

Such attacks may give an edge by sowing a negative perception about personalities, but it is counter-productive in the long term, he said.

The issues of the people should take centre-stage and PKR leaders should focus on them in their campaigns instead of indulging in personal attacks and smearing the reputation of others, he said.

The present process to elect office-bearers is flawed as allegations are mounting about the suspicious way of ballot counting and the manner in which the ballot boxes is transported, Zaid claimed.

In another development, PKR vice-president aspirant, Yusmadi Yusoff, has called on the party leaders including Zaid to close ranks even before the results of the party election is finalised.

He said all leaders should now focus on making constructive recommendations, which can benefit the party instead of hurling wild accusations, which would only allow PKR's enemies to exploit such issues.

Yusmadi hopes Zaid can now offer suggestions to better the party as PKR must be forward-looking to face the next coming general election.

'PM's private secretary pocketed RM200m'

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A private secretary to the Prime Minister has been accused of misappropriating funds and accumulating an "extraordinary" amount of wealth of some RM200 million – allegations which were exposed in a set of documents purportedly leaked by an insider.

Calling for an explanation, PKR leader Badrul Hisham Shaharin yesterday wrote an open letter to the private secretary, Zakiah Ibrahim, who was named in the document.

"I am writing this open letter to seek an immediate explanation from Zakiah. This information could be false but as civil servant, you should be responsible and look clean and answer to the public," he said.

"You can deny it, but you would need to explain it. I hope Zakiah could respond to this issue with an open heart to explain the truth of the matter to safeguard public interest, " wrote Badrul, more popularly known as Chegubard.

In his letter, Badrul said he had received information in the form of documents from an individual claiming to be an "insider" in the Prime Minister's Office. The documents linked Zakiah with misappropriation and extraordinary accumulation of wealth.

The same set of documents were also released to some media organisations recently.

"The informant had called Zakiah 'Zakaya' and described her as 'a woman with immense influence in the Prime Minister's Office'. It also alleged that she was someone who shuns publicity but in secret accumulated wealth amounting to RM200 million in less than three years while in control in the PM's Office," said Badrul.

Calling the shots

Badrul said the "informant" also alleged that Zakiah wielded more power than even the Minister of Finance II (Ahmad) Husni (Mohamad) Hanazlah – she was an individual who can decide who would be able to get projects through direct negotiation or restricted tender in the Ministry of Finance.

"The informant also alleged that Zakiah has secretly accumulated RM200 million through two of her friends – Norida Hamzah, the CEO of Aero Tree Defence & Services Sdn Bhd and Halim Othman, the former officer in Sri Satria and the 'nominee director' for Zakiah," wrote Badrul.

Zakiah's alleged modus operandi was to switch the proposals of chosen companies to the companies of Norida and Halim or call up the Umno division heads or members of the royalty who successfully won the tender to share the wealth with her.

It was also alleged that if the parties do not agree to sharing, Zakiah would also purposely lose the files for the project.

"The informant also stated that Zakiah uses a room located just beside that of the Prime Minister and would decide to control and change companies that receive government contracts whether for Umno division heads, royalty or even her own cronies," he said.

Badrul said the informant also alleged that another privilege enjoyed by Zakiah is to be able to personally contact ministers for discussion so that the project can be shared with her and the ministers or senior officers of the ministry.

Badrul said the source also revealed two documents linking Zakiah to two companies which have obtained RM200 million loan from Bank Pembangunan and Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd for projects worth RM20 million.

Repeated attempts by FMT to reach Zakiah for comments via phone at her office at the finance ministry today were unsuccessful. Her personal assistant, "Ayu", said Zakiah was busy.

Shape up or ship out, Pakatan Rakyat

By Maclean Patrick - Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT People love the underdog. There's something magical about a person who, when down in the dumps, is able to rise above all adversities and win the day.

We remember the tragic Spartacus, the Roman gladiator-turned-revolutionary, who died fighting for a cause. At Spartacus' time and age, he was the villain, the opposition, the counter-government, yet history remembers Spartacus and not the Roman government that defeated and killed him.

Spartacus was the underdog and we cheer him on today.

We remember Mahatma Gandhi, the passive resistance fighter who won the independence of India without bloodshed yet it was his blood that was shed in the end. It is the picture of the small frame man, weaving his own clothes that we remember.

Mahatma Gandhi was the underdog and we marvel at his actions today.

And who can forget the students at Tiananmen Square. The poetic image of the lone stranger standing, plastic bags in hand, in front of a tank, stirs deep emotions for those of us watching from afar. The peaceful sit-down was broken up in a hail of bullets and coordinated violence.

The Chinese students were the underdog and we honour their sacrifice.

All is not fair in politics. The above figures paid the ultimate price to challenge the politics of the day. They fought for their principles, lost and stood defeated. Yet, history records their exploits and the underdog came up tops.

Pakatan Rakyat is the underdog in Malaysian politics – a seemingly unfair playing field where the rules of engagement are determined by the establishment of the day. Victories are few and casualties are plenty.

God-send for BN

It seemed worth the effort to throw support for the underdog, yet when the underdog is reduced to biting spells within its own ranks, the underdog has only itself to blame.

The withdrawal of Zaid Ibrahim from the PKR electoral race and his resignation from all party posts did not go unnoticed for those of us in Sarawak, where the only means of information is via mainstream media; any bad press for Pakatan is ammunition for Barisan Nasional to discredit and tear Pakatan's name in Sarawak.

The withdrawal was a god-send for BN, which was already laying down the rules of engagement for the upcoming state election. The media spin itself was good enough to sway the masses in BN's favour.

How can the people of Sarawak throw their vote behind Pakatan when it cannot even conduct proper voting for its own office-bearers? How can Pakatan promise stability to Sarawak when its own boat is rocking in the water?

The people of Sarawak want change – to breathe fresh air after 30-odd years of living in the confines of a Machiavillian rule. We want to see better government, and less corruption, a more caring establishment that listens to the voices of the normal citizens and takes pride in ratifying the problems we have long endured.

Must the people of Sarawak now remind Pakatan that the struggle for change does not mean squabbling over who gets the top seat at the dinner table? What good is Pakatan at leading the charge for change when it cannot even start off the starting block?

It's the tipping point for Pakatan. What happens in the next few weeks will determine the success or failure during the coming political battle called the general election.

Time Pakatan be serious

For Sarawakians, it means the demise of the only significant challenge to the ruling BN and the chance for change to happen in our lifetime. Are we to endure another term of rule from the current establishment? Only to have Pakatan promise us again that change is coming?

Or will the people of Sarawak choose a path that is non-political?

It is evident that politics will not save Sarawak. Politicians will not save Sarawak. It is the people who will save Sarawak.

We need Spartacus, Mahatma Gandhi and the spirit of the Tiananmen students to lead the charge for change.

Yes, it is a long-withdrawn battle and losing is assured, yet history will record that the lay people put up a stand against an establishment bent on manipulating them for personal gains.

With or without Pakatan, the people of Sarawak will mount an ongoing assault for change. This is the legacy we want to leave our children.

This is something Pakatan needs to understand. It is not that Sarawak needs Pakatan to fight its battle. Pakatan needs Sarawakians. And all we ask is that Pakatan put its act together and come along side us.

It is high time Pakatan brought about a change to the political landscape of Malaysia by beating to a different beat from the BN: show the people that it is capable, mature and can overcome internal bickering and work towards fulfilling all its promises.

Barack Obama joins the ranks of the underdogs as someone who rose from the unknown and won the highest seat in government in the United States.

For a nation riven with racial issues, having a president of mixed parentage (his mother was white and father African) is unheard of, yet the people's will cannot be denied.

In Sarawak, change will happen because the people desire it. And neither the BN nor Pakatan can deny them that.

Pakatan, it is time for you to be serious about leading the charge for change.

Maclean Patrick is a webmaster based in Sarawak.

Court allows objection in Shamala conversion case

(Malaysiakini) The Federal Court missed a golden opportunity to answer the long-standing issue of unilateral conversion of children by a parent thrown up by the S Shamala and Dr M Jeyagandesh case.

A lot of child conversion cases were depending on this case to set a precedent to answer this thorny question.

zaki azmiThis follows a unanimous decision by the apex court in allowing Jeyagandesh's application for a preliminary objection that Shamala does not have the right to be heard in court because a contempt proceeding was initiated against her.
This was because she had fled to Australia with the two children, after the court had earlier granted Shamala and Jeyagandesh joint custody.

The five-member panel led by Chief Justice Zaki Azmi (left) allowed the preliminary objection.

While Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum allowed Shamala a period of three months for her and her children to return home, the other judges did not.

The other judges on the panel are President of the Court of Appeal Justice Alauddin Md Sheriff, Chief Judge of Malaya Arifin Zakaria and Federal Court judge Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin.

Five questions posed for determination

The Court of Appeal had agreed that the following five questions should be posed to the Federal Court:

1. Whether Section 95 (b) of the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993 is ultra vires (beyond the powers) of Article 12 (4) of the federal constitution (specifically concerning the right to determine the religion of the children under the age of 18 shall be determined by the parent or guardian) and Article 8 regarding equality rights;

2. Whether the same section in state law is inconsistent with federal law namely Section 5(1) of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1961, and is therefore invalid;

3. Regarding Article 121 (1A) of the federal constitution, where a custody order for children is made, which court, between the Syariah Court or the High Court, is the higher authority?

4. When there is conversion of children of a civil marriage to Islam by one parent without the consent of the other, are the rights of remedies for the non-Muslim parent vested in the High Court?

5. Does the Syariah Court have jurisdiction to determine the validity of conversion of a minor into Islam, once it had been registered by the Registrar of Muallafs (Registrar for newly-converted Muslims)?

Ambiga: M'sians want to see questions answered

Lead counsel for Shamala, Dr Cyrus Das, said the apex court missed a golden opportunity to clarify these key questions.

puravalen pc on missing pi balasubramaniam 180708 s ambiga“We may have to wait for another Shamala case and all parties concerned must be in the country,” he said.

Former Bar Council chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasam (right), another counsel for Shamala, said the judgment today avoided answering these questions.

“Malaysians want to see the questions answered,” she said.

Ambiga said as a result, this case may encourage more unilateral conversion of children.
Another lawyer representing Shamala, David Matthews, said the court's decision today did not address the rights of the children who had been converted which is a prevalent and important issue and which should have been heard.
Womens Aid Organisation president Meera Samanther, another lawyer for Shamala, said that she feared such a decision may encourage parents who are plagued with similar problems or situation to take similar action (run away abroad).
She said although her actions may never be condoned, what choice has she got if the court so chose not to answer the questions.

Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan

Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan 'for blasphemy'
Asia Bibi has been sentenced to death 'for blasphemy'
CNN's Reza Sayah and journalist Nasir Habib filed this report:

A Christian woman has been sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan, two police officials told CNN Thursday.

Asia Bibi was convicted of insulting Islam's prophet, Mohammed, while working in a field with several Muslim women in a village southwest of Lahore.

She told them the Quran was "fake" and made comments about one of Mohammed's wives and about his health in his final days, the police complaint against her said.

She said that "the Quran is fake and your prophet remained in bed for one month before his death because he had worms in his ears and mouth. He married Khadija just for money and after looting her kicked her out of the house," local police official Muhammad Ilyas told CNN.

The initial complaint against Bibi was filed on June 14, 2009, by a Muslim cleric, Ilyas said.

Police say the Muslim women reported the incident to Qari Muhammad Salim, who later filed the police report. The cleric claims Bibi confessed to him and apologized.

Muhammad Iqbal, a senior police official in the district of Nankana Sahib, said she also was fined the equivalent of $1,100.

Police say Bibi was charged with breaking section 295-C of Pakistan's penal code, which says: "Whoever ... defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine."

Former Pakistani Supreme Court Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid told CNN he doesn't recall a death sentence ever being carried against someone convicted of breaking Pakistan's anti-blasphemy laws.

Death sentences in these cases are almost always overturned by higher courts on appeal, he said.

Death sentences are carried out by hanging in Pakistan.

CNN has not yet been able to contact Bibi or her family directly. It is not clear when the sentence was handed down.

Pakistan is more than 96 percent Muslim, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Asia Bibi ... appealing against the death sentence.
Asia Bibi ... appealing against the death sentence.A Pakistani court has sentenced to death a Christian mother of five for blasphemy, the first such conviction of a woman and sparking protests from rights groups.
Asia Bibi, 45, was sentenced on Monday by a local court in Nankana district in Pakistan's central province Punjab, about 75km west of the country's cultural capital of Lahore.
Pakistan has yet to execute anyone for blasphemy, but the case spotlights the Muslim country's controversial laws on the subject which rights activists say encourages Islamist extremism in a nation wracked by Taliban attacks.
Ms Bibi's case dates back to June 2009 when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields.
But a group of Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim, she should not touch the water bowl.
A few days later the women went to a local cleric and alleged that Ms Bibi made made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed.
The cleric went to local police, who opened an investigation.
She was arrested in Ittanwalai village and prosecuted under Section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which carries the death penalty.
Sentencing her to hang, Judge Naveed Iqbal "totally ruled out" any chance that Ms Bibi was falsely implicated and said there were "no mitigating circumstances", according to a copy of the verdict.
Ms Bibi's husband Ashiq Masih, 51, said that he would appeal her death sentence, which needs to be upheld by the Lahore high court, the highest court in Punjab, before it can be carried out.
"The case is baseless and we will file an appeal," he said.
The couple have two sons and three daughters.
Rights activists and minority pressure groups said it was the first time that a woman had been sentenced to hang in Pakistan for blasphemy, although a Muslim couple were jailed for life last year.
Human rights activists want the controversial legislation repealed, saying it is exploited for personal enmity and encourages Islamist extremism.
"The blasphemy law is absolutely obscene and it needs to be repealed in totality," Human Rights Watch spokesman Ali Dayan Hasan said.
"It is primarily used against vulnerable groups that face social and political discrimination. Heading that category are religious minorities and heterodox Muslim sects," he said.
About three per cent of Pakistan's population of 167 million is estimated to be non-Muslim.
Last July, two Christian brothers accused of writing a blasphemous pamphlet critical of the Prophet Mohammed were shot dead outside a court in Punjab.
Pastor Rashid Emmanuel, 32, and his brother Sajjad, were killed as they left a court hearing in Faisalabad city, where hundreds of Muslim protesters had demanded they be sentenced to death.

Deadly blast in central Karachi

A car bomb has destroyed a police investigation department in Pakistan's biggest city of Karachi, killing at least 25 people and wounding dozens more.

A group of fighters first opened fire on the building before detonating a bomb in the compound of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), leaving a crater of about 12 metres across and four metres deep in front of the site.

Pakistan's Taliban swiftly claimed responsibility for what was a rare attack on government security forces in Karachi, a politically-tense city of 16 million in the south, far removed from Taliban strongholds in the northwest.

Witnesses and police said the CID building collapsed trapping people under the rubble.

Rescue workers at the site were ferrying people on stretchers into ambulances, while dazed civilians stumbled into the street amidst a mass of twisted metal.

Police said the compound was used to detain high-profile criminals. It also contained a women's and a men's police station with nearby police residential quarters also badly damaged.

Rising death toll

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said that up to 25 people were killed, but that the death toll was likely to rise.

"The CID office is a highly secured area that is frequented by a lot of important people," Hyder said.

Semi Jamali, a doctor at Karachi's Jinnah Hospital said more than 100 people were wounded and that one police woman was among the dead.

A Reuters photographer on the scene saw dozens of motorcycles destroyed and windows were shattered up to 2km away. He also saw two wounded children evacuated from the scene.

Amir Lateef, a local journalist, told Al Jazeera that at least 10 police officers have been killed in the blast.

"We can see cars turned into wreckage, the building turned into complete rubble. Lots of people are injured, including women and children," he said.

"They [the attackers] came in a car. First they engaged police by opening fire. Then they hit the building with the car full of explosives," Zulfiqar Mirza, the interior minister of the southern province of Sindh, said.

"It was a huge blast, which created a big crater, a bit like the Islamabad Marriott hotel," he added, comparing the explosion to a massive attack that killed 60 people at the five-star Marriott hotel in Islamabad in September 2008.

Political violence

Around 3,800 people have been killed in suicide attacks and bombings, blamed on homegrown Taliban and other armed groups across Pakistan, since government troops stormed a radical mosque in Islamabad three years ago.

The Karachi bombing came less than a week after a suicide bombing on a mosque packed with worshippers killed 68 people in northwest Pakistan.

That attack on Friday in the Darra Adem Khel region, was followed hours later by a grenade assault on a second mosque in the same area that killed four people.

The US wants Pakistan to do more to tackle fighters crossing into Afghanistan and fuelling a nine-year Taliban uprising against more than 150,000 US-led Nato troops.

Karachi has already suffered its most serious bout of political violence in years, with 85 people killed after a politician was shot dead in August.

The city of 16 million is Pakistan's economic capital, home to its stock exchange and a key port where Nato docks its supplies ready to be trucked overland to support the US-led war in Afghanistan.
Al Jazeera and agencies

Hindu coalition protest against Finas Deepavali ad

PERKASA bantah kakitangan rasis digantung tugas

Pertengkaran sambut exco S'gor di kuil Puchong

Hindu coalition protests against Finas Deepavali ad

(Malaysiakini)The Hindu Defence Forum (Hindfrom), a coalition of 30 Hindu NGOs, today lodged a police report and handed over a memorandum of protest against the airing of a Deepavali advertisement produced by the National Film Development Corporation (Finas).
NONEThe police report was lodged by about a dozen representatives at the Bukit Jalil police station against Finas and broadcast stations Astro and Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) that carried the 30-second clip.

According to the report, the advertisement, which tells the story of a mixed-marriage couple where the husband has converted from Hinduism to Islam, is seditious and goes against the 1Malaysia concept.

"1Malaysia doesn't mean conversion and (advocates) acceptance of our unique followings," said the group's representative, who only wants to be identified as Ramaji.
He added that the advertisement went against the Malaysian Code of Advertising Practice which states that good advertising must project a Malaysian identity, but not typecast each particular racial group with vocations, traditional values or backgrounds.
"The (advertisement) was an infiltration of the idea that conversion is acceptable...(and) is directly insulting to Hindus and Hinduism," he said.
NONERamaji (right in photo) also said that the fact that the advertisement was taken off the air on Nov 9, four days after the Hindu festival, amounts to admission of guilt by Finas, Astro and RTM.
Finas has, however, defended the clip, saying that it is a continuation of their Hari Raya Aidilfitri advertisement, which features the same couple.

The memorandum of protest was accepted by Astro vice-president of communication, Tammy Toh, and a representative from Finas, Fadzil Rosli.
Toh assured the group that Astro will respond to their memorandum by Tuesday.

Anwar you must apologise.

clip_image001[5]Anwar sends his henchman to insult the HINDRAF/HRP protesstors and then sends his other henchman Tian Chua to organize an apology.
Anwar thinks he can play around with the minority Indians in the country as UMNO has been doing. He must take complete responsibility for the insult committed against us who gathered in front of his house on Tuesday the 9th of Novemeber 2010.. Firstly we were protesting there because a temple devotee in Pusat Bandar Puchong M Chakragunasegaran, 52, doused himself with petrol and lit himself up over fears that part of his temple would be demolished by the local authorities. As of the writing of this piece he is in critical condition in the KL General Hospital.

This incident happened because temples like this all over the country do not sit on their own land because of the politics of this land. HINDRAF has been highlighting this from way back in 2005. The political Tsunami occurred in large part due to incidents like this. Came Anwar with all his shouts of “makkal sakthi” and pomises both explicit and implicit that he would take care of the minority Indians in the country like UMNO did not. He got the Indian votes, won 5 states and then he turns around and gives the Indians who voted in large numbers for him the shaft.
He is responsible for this self immolation act in more than one way. One is that he is reneging on all his promises to the Indian poor. Two this is happening in a PKR ruled state and the authorities that came to demolish were from the state. So, we gathered in front of his house to call Anwar to account .

Our Keadilan ( Justice ) guru and leader of the new democracy in Malaysia, what does he do – he sends his lowest level security person, if you can call him even that, someone called Din, to shoo us off, the protestors. That is all we are now worth for him. That is how this exalted democrat deals with protests.

He does not think it worthwhile for Wan Azizah or someone else in his Party in the house at that moment, if he is not in, to come meet us and receive our memorandum in the spirit of democracy. That will be the act of a true democrat. But that will not certainly be an act of a rat. That is what he has become – a rat ( more of that later). This chap Din, not only does he obstruct us, he also acts aggressively and finally he crumples and throws away the memo we had brought for Anwar. All this is no record in video at this

Then a day later after the uproar that this incident caused within the Indian community his other henchman Tian Chua gets this guy Din and comes online and delivers a sham apology. Sham because it is obvious Tian Chua is lying and sham because this guy Din says “kalau say silap saya minta maaf, tapi saya rasa saya pun tak ….kalau saya betul betul aggreif lain cerita..” see it in this video

Tian Chua says and let me quote him from the video ” Saya juga dimaklumkan oleh Anwar Ibrahim dan keluarganya, sebenarnya mereka tidak tahu diluar ada orang demonstrasi.” You expect us to believe this piece of bullshit. Come on Anwar, come on Tian Chua, stop this bloody nonsense.

See the first video and look at the elaborate security that Anwar has in the front of his house. When a serious incident like this is happening in the front of the house, you expect us to believe that they don’t know anything about this inside. What were they doing – were they at the fiddle like Nero? You think the Indians in this country are idiots and you can dish out any nonsense. This is exactly the kind of game a rat plays. Anwar you are increasingly becoming a rat – you are nowhere to be seen now. where is your statesmanship. Where is any moral turpitude? Where is there any integrity left in you? What about an apology or an explanation from you. What about a sound from you. What about from Azizah or is too lowly for you and your queen to deal with this rabble.

Nothing – not a word.

We bury for you, any hopes you may have of going to Putrajaya with this.
Just watch.



Watch this video. I am boiling mad, mad as hell!!! When I see the video.
This is about Anwar Ibrahim and they way he heaps indignity on all of us Indians.

This is the way this fellow who wants to be the future Prime Minister for a new Malaysia treats the minority Indians. After all, the Hindraf/HRP group that were outside his house were there for no other reason than to hand over a protest memorandum for the self immolation of an Indian over the demolition of a temple property in the PKR run State of Selangor . And he is the Defacto leader of PKR and therefore is accountable for such acts in the state. And what does this great leader do – he sends out his coolie to insult the waiting protestors, nay not just the waiting protestors but to insult all the Indians in this country, all the Indians in the country..

I am filled with so much anger at seeing this. We had suffered so much indignity already at the hands of the UMNO regime, now we are increasingly seeing the same kind of nonsense from the so called opposition parties and from Anwar Ibrahim. They are absolutely no better.He thinks because we are a weak minority he can go on demeaning us like this, with impunity. He thinks he can get away with any thing and there will be no retribution.

We have to cut our losses. We definitely need a new approach to pushing UMNO out as this Anwar and his PKR and PR are such a bloody letdown. We do not want UMNO anymore in Putrajaya. we cannot have these PR clowns there too. We definitely need an alternative approach. Every day that passes, he reduces the chance for a change in this country. He is the master pied piper. He just leads down to doom.

You decide for yourself whether these kinds of treacherous fellows need to be supported any more. For, me I am tired of his selfish and devious leadership style . He just has to go. I have no more room for him in my mind.

He has no honor left . He not only does not deliver on his election promises which anyway is not any where near as serious, as what he has just done here with the insult he has heaped on us all. He has trampled on the dignity of all Indians in the country with his act of sending his coolie out to tear up the representation to him.

If you have any modicum of self respect left as an Indian – you must immediately withdraw all and any support for him and his politics totally and unreservedly. Any new body politic that does not understand minority sensitivities needs to be summarily thrown out.

Only decency prevents me from returning his insults with profanity here in my writing.

I am mad as hell!!!!!!

1. Anak Melayu, anak kita, anak Cina anak kita, anak India pun anak kita. Mengapa harus kita bezakan-Anwar Ibrahim. But only Hindu temples demolished.

Puchong Temple khalid2
11 November 2010
YAB Tan Sri Dato` Seri Abd Khalid Bin Ibrahim Menteri Besar Selangor Pejabat Menteri Besar Selangor Tingkat 21,
Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Fax: 03-55190032
40503 Shah Alam . E-Mail:
1. Anak Melayu, anak kita, anak Cina anak kita, anak India pun anak kita. Mengapa harus kita bezakan-Anwar Ibrahim. But only Hindu temples demolished.
2. Request for copy of 12 Hindu temple land titles allegedly granted by Selangor State Government.
3. Why land titles for all existing Hindu temples in Selangor denied
We refer to the above matter and to the news report in Makkal Osai dated 11/11/10 at page 1 quoting the Selangor state government as having issued land titles to 12 Hindu temples in Selangor since PKR,DAP and PAS taking over power in Selangor on 8/3/2008.
Kindly let us have a copy of the said land titles there in within seven days from the date hereof as vide our previous letter to your goodself dated 14/09/2010 and 30/09/2010(PKR S’gor : No land for all hindu temples, hindu cemetaries and all 98 Tamil schools and Indian settlements. Stop Exco Xavier Jayakumar’s acts of a la MIC mandorism & Selangor PKR Menteri Besar and Exco Xavier cheating Indians.)we have requested for the same but to no avail. And now we ask you for the same yet again.
Vide the very same Tamil Newspaper report your goodselves were quoted to have said that the land title had indeed been issued to the Sri Srinivasa Hindu temple. If this is so why was land title also not issued to the small empty piece of land adjoining the temple which would have served as the temple toilets, dining hall and store and which would have solved this problem at the root and not led to the demolishment of the temple on 9/11/2010 and Chakra Guna’s self immolation on the same day. Why? After all the state of Selangor is a huge hundreds of square kilometers!
Kindly also reply to us as to why the Selangor state government as per their 2008 general election promises has refused to issue land titles to all existing Hindu temples and Hindu cemeteries,98 Tamil schools and all indian villages (but now deemed squatters) all in one go. This would have a domino effect on the DAP and PAS ruled states of Penang and Kedah and thereafter to all the other BN ruled states.
In particular quoting what was said by PKR Supremo Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim ”Anak Melayu, anak kita, anak Cina anak kita, anak India, pun anak kita. Mengapa harus kita bezakan?” (Malaysiakini 10/11/2010)But why are only Hindu temples being demolished?
We once again wish to record our regret at the action of the Selangor state government in directing its Indian Exco Mandore to falsely propaganda “ land here and land there” but with nothing in black white (let alone the land titles simultaneously issued)kosong political propaganda gimmick a la the previous UMNOs’ MIC mandores.
The 2.5 Million Malaysian Indians want a permanent solution to all these long outstanding Hindu temples and Hindu cemeteries, Tamil schools and Indian villages land problem.
We hereby also register our protest on the present practice of peanuts piecemeal kosong politics of “land here and land there” Tamil newspaper propaganda by in particular your goodselves’ Indian Exco mandore.
Kindly revert to us accordingly
Thank You.
Yours Faithfully,
Secretary General(Pro tem)

Anwar says PKR to field younger candidates in next polls

Anwar said going with new faces would help lift the party’s reformist image. — file pic

SINGAPORE, Nov 11 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said he would welcome snap polls and that his PKR party planned to field younger and newer candidates, in a move to shore up its reform message.

Speaking at a Singapore Foreign Correspondents Association talk here today, Anwar said many of PKR’s candidates would be in their 20s and 30s, suggesting many of his party’s incumbents would be dropped.

Anwar’s PKR has been hit by a series of defections and is now embroiled in a major crisis surrounding its ongoing party elections with allegations of fraud and mismanagement.

Speculation is rife that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will call for a general election by the first quarter of next year because of uncertain economic projections and to take advantage of PKR’s problems.

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition was given a major boost last weekend after it won two by-elections.

BN took back a state seat in Kelantan and retained a parliamentary constituency in Sabah, in what observers say suggests a possible shift in support back to the ruling coalition after a string of successive by-election defeats since 2008.

In Election 2008, BN received a bloody nose and lost its traditional two-thirds majority in Parliament, besides losing in five states.

But there is now a perception that momentum has moved away in recent months from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) — the coalition of PKR, DAP and PAS — although how the majority of Malaysians will vote remains unpredictable.

Anwar, who is facing the distraction of fighting a sodomy charge in court, appeared to acknowledge today that PKR would need to present fresh faces to have any chance of winning the next elections.

He said that previous experiences showed older candidates were prone to defeat, and that fielding younger faces would shore up the party’s “reformasi” (reformist) image.

The opposition leader said he was upbeat about PR’s chances in the next elections, adding that the coalition’s leaders would soon meet to discuss their strategies.

Perkasa demands action against non-Malay ‘racists’

Perkasa insisted that Namewee be punished following the recent action on the two school principals. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Perkasa accused the government today of being selective in curbing racism, claiming that no non-Malay has faced action for insensitive conduct towards the Malays.

The group also threatened to stage a protest outside the Home Ministry if the government refuses to entertain its demands.

“Perkasa is deeply disturbed by the government’s action where there are many similar cases involving the non-Malays, but no action has been taken,” said Perkasa deputy president Abdul Rahman told a press conference here.

He then cited the case of songwriter Wee Meng Chee, or Namewee, who allegedly produced a music video containing racial slurs.

“When Perkasa talks about Malay and Bumiputera rights, we are accused of being racist. But when Chinese groups reject a uniform school system and defend Chinese schools, they are not seen as racist,” said Abdul Rahman.

On November 8, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz told Parliament that the government had taken action against National Civics Bureau (BTN) assistant director Hamim Husain on October 6 for having allegedly uttered racial remarks against the country’s Chinese and Indian communities.

He said that Hamim had been suspended from his duties since October 6.

Hamim had lodged a police report against The Malaysian Insider, claiming that his words had been “misinterpreted” and that his reported remarks were made within the confines of a private function.

The civil servant had, during a recent closed-door Puteri Umno function, referred to the Chinese and Indian communities as “Si Mata Sepet” and “Si Botol” respectively when asking Puteri Umno members to approach the non-Malays for votes.

In the case of the two school principals who were also accused of uttering racist remarks, Nazri said
Namewee had posted a video in apparent response to the SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra incident.
they had been suspended and put on desk duty since August and there were no plans to charge the government officials for sedition.

Siti Inshah Mansor, the principal of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra in Johor, had allegedly told students during assembly that the Chinese could return to China and likened Hindus to “dogs” because of their prayer strings.

Another principal in Kedah had allegedly told off several Chinese students and accused them of disrespecting the Muslims by eating in the school canteen during the fasting month.

Today, Perkasa also questioned the government’s refusal to charge Namewee.

Namewee had recently posted online a video entitled “Nah”, which contained his trademark utterances of vulgarities in response to the incident involving the Johor principal and claims of racial taunts.

“When action was taken against the two principals, we want certain action too against Namewee,” said Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifa.

Perkasa previously lodged a police report against Namewee over the video.

“After Hari Raya Haji, Perkasa Youth will meet with the Attorney-General and the home minister to submit a memorandum or maybe we will gather outside the home ministry to express our unhappiness,” said Arman.

He also called on the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to set aside political interests in making decisions related to the national security.

“The government must act in the interest national security not politics. We want justice to be the basis in taking action,” said Arman.

PKR polls: Proof of phantom voters in Kota Raja

By B Nantha Kumar - Free Malaysia Today

FMT EXCLUSIVE KLANG: From the onset, the PKR polls has been plagued with allegations of fraud. And now, new evidence has emerged of phantom voters in one of the party's biggest divisions.
In the Kota Raja division's electoral list furnished to FMT, there were some 150 “dubious” names. The division has nearly 8,000 members.
A check revealed that names and addresses of voters had been duplicated with only two digits of their MyKad numbers changed.
Even the name of Kota Raja division head and state exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar's daughter, Sangetha, appeared twice on the list.
Her party membership number was listed as B200002602 while her MyKad number was 830303-07-5820. The same name appeared again, with the party membership number B200002460 and MyKad number 830303-07-5020.
While there was no address listed for the first Sangetha, the subsequent mention of her name had the following address: No 6, Jln Serunai 14 Taman Klang Jaya. The same address appeared for Jayakumar on the electoral list.
In another case, the name Sivanesan s/o Ramalu appeared three times with the party membership numbers -- B200002995, B200003108 and B200003843.
While all three had the same address -- 37, Jalan 41 Kawasan 3, Taman Klang Jaya, Klang -- there were minor differences in the MyKad numbers: 691004-10-6749, 691004-19-6749 and 691004-10-6745.
Despite the name Sivanesan denoting that it was a male, the list had cited him as female twice.
First she's Indian, then Malay
Another case of duplication was Nur Sakinah Abdullah. In the first mention of her name, she was cited as an Indian. Her party membership number was B200005529 and MyKad number 580324-10-5014. Her address was stated as 13A, Block 3Q, Jalan Iklim 25/83, Taman Sri Muda.
In the second instance, where she was cited as a Malay, Sakinah's membership number was B200007137 and MyKad number 851016-14-5454. Her address was13A Block 3Q,Jalan Sabah 25/83, Taman Sri Muda.
However, a check revealed that there was no Jalan Sabah in Taman Sri Muda.
Party sources claimed that these suspicious entries proved the existence of phantom voters in the PKR election.
The party cannot just dismiss these discrepancies as typing errors, because there are just too many names which have been duplicated.
“The differences in MyKad numbers, addresses and the spelling of fathers' names were done deliberately to confuse the central election committee,” said a division leader, who declined to be named.
He alleged that certain quarters had manipulated the polls to ensure victory for themselves.
The Kota Raja division polls, held last month, was mired in controversy after Jayakumar was alleged to have used dirty tactics to win the division chairman's post. His challengers also claimed that they have been assaulted by Jayakumar's men.
The dispute had eventually led to a 66-hour delay in confirming the new division chief, with Jayakumar's rivals accusing the party's election committee and secretariat siding with the state exco member.

'Be a man Anwar and take on Zaid one-to-one'

By Patrick Lee - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Former PKR MP Zulkifli Noordin has challenged Anwar Ibrahim to scrap the PKR polls and take on Zaid Ibrahim in a one-to-one contest.

"Fight lah, fight against Zaid. I challenge Anwar, if he is man enough, fight against Zaid! If you go one-to-one with Zaid, who do you think will win?” he told reporters in the Parliament lobby today.

“Just scrap the elections and fight Zaid, one-to-one, man-to-man. If he really is an 'anak jantan', then he should fight with Zaid,” he added.

The Kulim Bandar Baharu MP, who had been on the offensive against Anwar and PKR since being sacked from the party, also criticised the opposition leader for hiding behind the post of party adviser.

“If he (Anwar) is a man who fights for democracy, fight lah, fight Zaid, that will settle the PKR leadership once and for all.

“But first, you have to clear the list of all those phantom voters. Appoint an independent panel and then test it out, and see what happens,” he added.

Continuing the scathing attack on his former boss, the independent MP said Anwar was more interested in leading the party than allowing democracy to proceed.

“He is always talking about democracy but he wants to be the boss. He doesn't want to fight for the position of party president. Maybe he thinks that it's best to maintain it that way,” he said.

'Zaid, fight till the end'

Zulkifli also stressed that it was hypocritical for Anwar to talk about corruption when it was prevalent in his own party ranks.

“That is what Zaid is trying to reveal. Misuse of power, corruption, cronyism, nepotism. Everything that is said (by Zaid) is done by Anwar,” he said.

Zulkifli also had words of encouragement for Zaid, urging the former law minister to take his fight to the end.

“My advice to Zaid is to fight them. Don't quit, fight them till the end. That's what I did. Just show the people and PKR members what the true colours of these people are,” he said.

Zaid, who was gunning for the deputy presidency, withdrew from the contest this week after accusing his rival Azmin Ali of electoral fraud, a charge which the latter and party leadership had denied.

He also called on Anwar to step down and Azmin to be disqualified, labelling the duo as a hindrance to PKR's progress.

With Zaid out of the race, the battle for number two was now between Azmin and vice-president Mustaffa Kamil Ayub, who also wanted the polls suspended due to alleged discrepancies.

Azmin, who was Anwar's former aide when the latter was deputy prime minister, is widely regarded as the PKR supremo's preferred choice for the number two slot.