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Monday, November 15, 2010

Last Indian poor heritage Railway Village, Sentul, “ethnically cleansed" by UMNO. Why temporary solutions only for Indian poor by UMNO, PKR, DAP and PAS?

url last
YTL has agreed to sell the units at RM 45,000 each, which is the current market price for low cost flats in KL.

Over 200 families who have been living in Kampung Railway for over 50 years were asked to move out to make war for development.

But to the contrary the Malay muslim Kg. Baru villagers have each been offered RM 4 million as compensation, and a part of Kg Baru to be preserved as the only Malay muslim enclave in the heart of K.L city.

To add insult to injury UMNO Wilayah Minister gets his Indian Deputy Minister mandore to grant “temporary flats for Kg Railway residents (NST 15/11/10 at page S 3).

Why is it when it comes to the Indian poor it is almost always a temporary solution.

Beginning with Hindu temples and cemeteries, 523 Tamil schools and Indian villages, it is almost always a temporary solution by UMNO, PKR, DAP and PAS alike, but only for the poor Indians. In bi-racial One Malay-sia this does not happen to the poor Malays, orang asli, Kadazan, Iban or even poor Chinese who have hundreds of new villages as their social safety net. But there are almost zero permanent Indian villages with land titles as a social safety net.

The Chinese poor have at least 507 Chinese New Villages nationwide (The Star 11/8/10 at page N 18) to where they can fall back on.

All these are because the poor Indians are politically powerless and economically weak.

HRP’s Project 15/38 is the only way forward.

P. Uthayakumar
 
Last Indian

Police Raja Di Malay-sia murder by shooting dead: But claim 16 year old and boy & 2 others seasonal criminals.


 url police
To start off with a 16 year Mohd Shamil Hafiz Shafie, Mohd Khairul Nizam (20) and Mohd Hanafi Omar (22) boy cannot be seasonal criminal’s. Even if they were seasoned criminals why weren’t they arrested, prosecuted and when found guilty put in jail?
This is the due process of law and the rule of law.
But why this police murder and justify it by saying they are seasoned criminals? This new IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar is just as cruel, lawless minded and abuses his powers like Tan Sri Musa Hassan. Tan Sri Gani Patail won’t prosecute the policefor murder and the Home Minister Hishamuddin Tun Hussien does not care.
(see The Star 15/11/10 at page N6)
police

New Michael Jackson single debuts as a stream today

Michael Jackson’s ‘Michael’ album cover.
LOS ANGELES, Nov 15 – On the heels of the release of a controversial new Michael Jackson song, “Breaking News,” on November 8, a new single from his upcoming posthumous Michael album will debut as a stream in his official website today.

Senegalese rapper Akon wrote the new track, “Hold My Hand,” and recorded it with Jackson in Las Vegas in 2007. An unfinished version of the single leaked two years ago, but Akon has since completed the final production.

“The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago,” Akon said in a statement. “We were devastated about it. But its time has definitely come; now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I’m so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all-time idols.”

Other collaborations on the new album include US recording artists 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz. Michael, which releases December 14 via the label Epic, was coproduced by Jackson and culled mostly from material recorded in three years leading up the his death in 2009.

Also in the works are plans to transform Jackson’s iconic music video “Thriller” from 1983 into a feature with director Kenny Ortega, who directed Jackson’s concert film This Is It and High School Musical. In addition, the acrobatic dance troupe Cirque du Soleil is creating live shows inspired by Jackson’s music, similar to its productions based on The Beatles and Elvis songs, scheduled for the fall 2011.

Jackson is recognised as the most successful entertainer of all time by the Guinness Book of World Records. His 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time, selling an estimated 110 million copies so far. – AFP

Torn by friendship, Sivanesan weighs vice chairman’s post

Ngeh reportedly said he was surprised by Sivanesan’s defeat, before offering him a spot on the committee. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Torn by his allegiance to both M. Kulasegaran and the Ngeh-Nga cousins, former Perak DAP vice-chairman A. Sivanesan is now teetering on whether to accept the party’s invitation to reappoint him to the post.

Both Sivanesan and Kulasegaran, the former state deputy chairman, were defeated during yesterday’s party polls but were co-opted by the newly-elected team led by the Ngeh-Nga cousins to fill up the party’s two vice-chairman posts.

Kulasegaran is still undecided on whether to accept the appointment, pointing out today that he felt “pained” by the polls, which saw all but one of his loyalists wiped out from the party’s state leadership.

He is scheduled to make his decision within the next two days.

Now Sivanesan, known to be both a close friend to Kulasegaran and an ally to the Ngeh-Nga team, also claimed he was torn in his decision on whether to accept the appointment.

“I’ve got good rapport with both sides,” he explained to The Malaysian Insider this afternoon.

The Sungkai assemblyman, who was formerly a state executive councillor in the Perak Pakatan Rakyat government with both cousins, Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham and Nga Kor Ming, pointed out that his close relationship with both warring factions was proven in how his name had appeared in both teams’ lists prior to yesterday’s polls.

He added that when Kulasegaran’s spat with the Ngeh-Nga cousins flared up last month, he had chosen to remain neutral, believing that the formation of a united team was of utmost importance in the party’s struggles.

“My name appeared on both their lists —Nga’s and Kula’s —but I never opened my mouth at any material time to say that I am with whichever team. I wanted a united team,” he said.

During yesterday’s convention, Sivanesan explained that he had been “relieved” when he too had failed to make the cut into the state committee, along with Kulasegaran.

“I told myself yesterday that it is either Kula must win or both Kula and I must win but if he loses, I must lose. You know why? Because I know that if Kula loses and I win, I would likely be offered the deputy chairman’s post, being the most senior person on the team, and I can read into what would likely happen,” he said.

If he had been appointed deputy chairman, Sivanesan explained, he would have been caught in position “too difficult to accept”.

“Because Kula is my friend, and a party man, he is a senior vice-chairman in the national leadership, and I was brought back into the party by him.

“If I were to be in that spot, the whole Indian community will curse me. I am not that kind of guy. So when I lost, I was happy because I was not in that difficult position,” he said.

Sivanesan explained that he had been a party loyalist since 1978 and had joined officially as a member in 1981.

“I assisted (DAP advisor) Lim Kit Siang during the 1978 polls, and then P. Patto brought me into the party in 1981. In 1999, I was the Selangor DAP assistant secretary but due to certain differences of opinion, I did not get a seat in that election.

“I was then referred to an inquiry and was suspended for two years. In 2003, it was Kula who brought me back into the party and I came to Sungkai. I contested in 2004 and lost and then in 2008, I won. I worked with Ngeh and Nga in the state government and I am close to them, especially to Nga who calls me ‘brother’.

“At the same time, I am still and always a close friend to Kula,” he said.

After the polls results were announced yesterday evening, Ngeh and Nga were reappointed as party chairman and secretary respectively while Tronoh assemblyman and former Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar was made deputy chairman.

The new team of 15 — 14 of which were said to be Ngeh-Nga loyalists — then agreed to co-opt five others into their team, including Kulasegaran and Sivanesan, the incumbent vice-chairman, and lawyer Leong Cheok Keng, former city councillor Cheah Pou Hian and Perak DAP Socialist Youth vice-chairman Alvin Lim Kean Siong.

Sivanesan explained that he had received text messages from both Nga and Ngeh, informing him of his appointment.

“Nga said — ‘brother, I have proposed your name’. Then I got a long SMS from Ngeh saying that he was surprised that I lost but that they had co-opted me and he asked me to come and give my co-operation.

“I would like to state here that my co-operation is 100 per cent but there was a democratic process that took place and I lost. I accept the defeat with an honest heart,” he said.

Sivanesan added that another reason to why he was still unsure on whether to accept the invitation was due to the fact that the delegates had not voted him in.

“The issue is that I lost. Defeated. And many of those who were voted in... some were still new, getting over 500 votes. It is embarrassing if I get the post. Embarrassing to me. But of course, that does not mean I will backstab the team. I will work,” he said.

Sivanesan said that he would announce his decision in a press conference this Friday.

On whether he believed Kulasegaran should accept the vice-chairmanship, Sivanesan said the choice was entirely up to the leader.

“I will make my own decision and I believe it is Kula’s prerogative to make his,” he said.

Azmin all set to be the deputy, Nurul leading the veep race

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: With Zaid Ibrahim out of the picture, PKR may as well declare Azmin Ali as the new deputy president.

Based on official figures released by the party today, his only contender, vice-president Mustaffa Kamil Ayub, with only 3,401 votes, is unlikely to catch up with the 14,751 votes Azmin has garnered so far after three weeks of voting.

This means Azmin, also a vice-president, has a 11,350-vote lead after 165 of the party divisions completed polling, albeit concerns that the low voter turnout throughout the process have placed the legitimacy of PKR's direct elections debut under severe scrutiny.

The remaining 57 divisions will vote this weekend before PKR officially announce the final results during the party's Nov 26-28 congress.

Meanwhile, daughter to PKR supremo, Anwar Ibrahim, Nurrul Izzah is poised to be the party's youngest vice-president, leading the race with 11,042 votes.

Second in the race is party chief strategist Chua Tian Chang or Tian Chua with 9,524 votes while he is trailed by party elections director Fuziah Salleh and Penang Deputy Chief Minister 1 Mansor Othman with 7,878 and 7,448 votes respectively.

Victory for Nurul Izzah and Tian Chua, observers say, would lessen Azmin's influence, although only slightly, given that most of his men are poised to dominate the party's top posts.

Close race for Youth chief

Leading the Wanita chief race is incumbent and a known Azmin backer Zuraida Kamaruddin with 4,510 votes while her contender, Suraya Sudin, is some 2,000 votes behind with 1,181 votes gathered so far.

Third in the race is Animah Ferrer who has only managed to garner a fraction of support with only 967 votes.

The race for the Youth chief post, however, remains competitive with incumbent Shamsul Iskandar Akin leading with 3,981 votes and his challenger, popular grassroots leader Badrul Hisham Shaharin, trailing merely by some 700 votes after he managed to rake in 3,273 votes.

The battle for the youth chief post is also said to be a proxy battle between Azmin and his former rival for the No 2 post Zaid, with Shamsul said to be in the former's camp while Badrul, affectionately known as Chegu Bard, a known supporter of the latter.

90% of polls-related problems resolved

Meanwhile party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said today "90 percent" from the total of 289 complaints lodged throughout the party's divisional elections have been addressed.

He added that only six complaints were lodged during the entire polling process for national posts.

Majority of the complaints were those pertaining to divisional nominations and polling process, and the results of eight divisional polls which have been postponed to another date.

He said that letters have been sent to complainants from the divisional polls while the election committee (JPP) is currently probing into the six complaints lodged pertaining to the national leadership polls.

Allegations of malpractices and fraud have triggered Zaid's withdrawal from the deputy presidential race. The former law minister has also announced his decision to quit the party.

Selangor to reclaim money for botched lunch

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today

UPDATED SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government is seeking to recover the amount that Yayasan Selangor paid in advance to an event management company for its 40th anniversary luncheon.

The luncheon was scheduled for today but Yayasan has cancelled it following decisions by the Sultan of Selangor and Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim not to attend.

Khalid told a news conference here that Yayasan, a welfare foundation established by the state, had paid RM100,000 for the rental of canopies.

Asked whether the money would be reimbursed, he said, “Yes, yes, I should think so” as he concluded the conference. He did not give any more detail.

It was reported last week that the event would cost Yayasan RM300,000, an amount that both the Sultan and Khalid have described as exorbitant.

There is some confusion about the proportion paid in advance, with some officials saying it was 90 percent of the total.

According to PKR’s Shuhami Shafie, the state assemblyman for Sri Muda, Yayasan had paid two instalments.

“We understand that they have made two payments to the company,” he told an earlier press conference. “First it was RM150,000. The second payment was RM140,000.”

Maximizing the recovery

But according to Yayasan’s general manager, Ilham Marzuki, the amount paid so far was only 50% of the RM300,000.

“We are doing our best to maximize recovery,” he told FMT in a text message.

At his news conference, Shuhaimi rebuked Selangor Umno deputy chief Noh Omar for “lying” about the cost of the luncheon.

News reports yesterday quoted Noh as saying the event would have cost the state RM800,000.

“It’s a blatant lie,” Shuhaimi said. “The Menteri Besar has given his explanation. He has said it would have cost around RM300,000. And he has promised the state assembly that he would investigate the matter.

“Noh doesn’t have to lie even if he wants to appear as a hero in order to get the Prime Minister’s attention.”

He suggested that Noh, who is the Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, focus instead on explaining an alleged delay in the supply of fertilisers to the country’s farmers.

He said the farmers were supposed to have received the supplies last month .

He alleged that the fertiliser contract was given to an “Umno crony in Selayang” under dubious circumstances

S'gor-owned KDEB to be probed

Meanwhile the Selangor legislative assembly also approved a motion to investigate state-owned Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB) for its “lackadaisical management” in developing a plot of land in Sepang.

It also approved the setting up of an independent body under the state government to probe the company and table the findings to the state assembly.

The motion, which was submitted by Shaari Sungib (PAS-Hulu Klang), cited that KDEB and its investment arm KHSB developed 10 acres of land in Dengkil sold to a third party named Syarikat Temasik Sehati Sdn Bhd through a joint venture at a low price, despite its strategic location.

According to Shaari, the land was sold at RM4.16 million without taking into account its premium payment that would be borne by KHSB.

In result, he said the state subsidiary would instead get returns of RM37,026.40 or RM3,875.81 per acre.

Now a DAP leader casts doubts on party polls

By G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Coming hot on the heels of the accusation-ridden PKR polls, a DAP veteran has now cast aspersion on his party polls.

Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran described the outcome of yesterday's Perak DAP contest, which saw his team being obliterated, as shocking.

“What should have been a healthy contest between aspiring candidates turned out to be of a slaughter of capable, committed and dedicated comrades.

“It was shocking since capable and dedicated leaders were heavily defeated. They lost to candidates who have no track record and were lesser or hardly known in and outside the party,” he said.

While accepting his defeat and vowing to soldier on with DAP, Kulasegaran however questioned the legitimacy of the contest.

“There have been questions about the entitlement of about 50 branches to send 350 delegates to the convention and this will definitely cast doubts on whether the winners have the right to claim moral authority for their victory.

“I accept my defeat as in any contest, one either wins or loses. I am pained though, by such a setback,” he said in a statement.

Offered a new post

Kualasegaran also said that Perak DAP chief Ngeh Koo Ham had called him this morning offering him the position of state party vice-chairman.

“I shall seek feedback and views from party leaders and grassroots, as well supporters on whether I should accept such a co-option. Among the factors which I shall like to find out is how I can continue playing an effective role in state politics,” he said.

At the state election yesterday, candidates aligned to Ngeh and his cousin, Nga Kor Ming, won handsomely sweeping through all positions except one.

Among the casualties were Pasir Pinji and Pasir Berdamar state assemblymen Thomas Su and Seoah Leong Peng respectively. Only incumbent state treasurer Leong Mee Meng, who is aligned to Kulasegaran was elected to the party's state committee.

Yesterday at a press conference after the polls, Ngeh in an attempt to close ranks with those who lost in their bid, announced that Kulasegaran, former state vice-chairman C K Leong, Cheah Poh Hian and Alvin Lim would be co-opted into the new state committee.

DAP central executive committee member and Sungkai state assemblyman A Sivanesan was also on the list.

Party unity takes precedence

Contacted later, Sivanesan said there were bound to be losers and winners in any election but "party unity and ideology are more important than anything else."

Calling on both the winning and losing teams to close ranks now that the polls were over, Sivanesan said he would continue to support the party leadership as factionalism would only ruin the party.

Sivanesan, who was also offered a state party vice chairman position, said he was considering the offer and would respond within a few days.

“I received a text message from Ngeh and he offered me the vice chairmanship. Whether I accept the offer or not, I will be loyal to the party,” he said.Newly elected Perak DAP deputy chairman V Sivakumar echoed Sivanesan's sentiments, saying that everyone should respect the decision made by the party delegates.

“The election is over. We don't want any bickering. That is why the new committee co-opted for the other side as well,” he said.

He said that both factions now must forget all its differences and focus its efforts to win the next general election.

“We have a bigger battle ahead, let's move on from here,” he added.

Fed up with cheats and lies, Zaid to quit PKR

By FMT Staff

PETALING JAYA: A week after withdrawing from the deputy president's race, Zaid Ibrahim today said that he is ready to quit the party as he is “sick of its leaders”.


“I do not want to be associated with the awful and wrong things being done in the party so that the chosen ones are elected to the top posts.

“I hate to quit as I will be labelled as a quitter. I would rather (PKR de facto leader) Anwar (Ibrahim) sack me.

“But if they won't sack me, I will of course have to quit, soon,” he told FMT.

Zaid said that an official decision will be made just before the PKR national congress at the end of this month.

He is expected to take a short break “to be out of the limelight” now. He however ruled out the formation of a new party now.

It is believed that vice-president Azmin Ali's fresh criticism on Friday night played a factor in Zaid's decision.

Ruining the struggle

Speaking to his supporters at a ceramah in Shah Alam, Azmin said Zaid should not be allowed to “ruin the reformasi struggle”.

“Don't allow a new candidate who joined merely a year ago to try to ruin our struggle of 12 years,” he had said.

Without naming Zaid in his attacks, Azmin said a leader who had never been to street protests and not arrested would not “understand what reformasi means”.

“A certain someone who speaks of democracy and human rights was quiet in the first week of polls because he was leading... but subsequently when he crashed, I am being blamed,” he added.

Zaid also came underfire for giving interviews to Utusan Malaysia and TV3 and for not being a team player who likes to sulk – which are now becoming oft-heard criticisms levelled at him.

Cheating to win

Zaid however said that he was being attacked for pointing out the discrepancies in the ongoing party polls.

He added that it was evident that Anwar was campaigning for Azmin to be elected as the deputy president.

“And in order to achieve that, all forms of lies and cheats are being propagated. Electoral fraud is happening rampantly and all complains of such irregularities are brushed off,” he added.

“I just can't stand these lies and cheat. They are cheating to win. I am sick of these people. I have been highlighting these irregularities from the beginning, even when I was leading, not just when Azmin had overtaken me.

“I still think that in a free and fair election, the outcome of the deputy president's race would be very different,” he said.

Zaid, who was trailing Azmin narrowly after two weekends of voting, decided to pull out from the race last Monday, citing rampant and unchecked electoral fraud. He also resigned from all his party positions, including from being the Federal Territories chief.

He had also said that he would stay on in the party to ensure that reforms are implemented, and to strengthen Pakatan Rakyat.

However one week on, following continuous criticisms and personal attacks, Zaid finds himself to be further marginalised in the party.

Leading a civil society initiative

Many observers felt that Zaid would face disciplinary action for his public outbursts against Anwar and Azmin.

So far, the party has not initiated any action against him, though it is believed that they are comtemplating one following his series of interviews with the media in which he had attacked the party and its leaders.

There are also speculations that Zaid is ready to form his own party, or would lead a civil society initiative to form a Third Force in time for the next general election.

Later in his blog, Zaid once again expressed his intention to quit the party but said he has yet to submit any formal resignation letter. He added that he will reveal more via a press release this Friday.

Meanwhile, the third weekend of voting ended yesterday with Azmin taking a commanding lead over his sole rival Mustaffa Kamil Ayub for the deputy's post despite a low turnout. The voting at the final weekend next week will only rubberstamp his victory.

Banting murders: Disposal of evidence appeal on Nov 25

SHAH ALAM: The High Court here today fixed Nov 25 to hear the appeal of farm worker K Sarawanan who had been sentenced to seven years' jail for disposing of evidence in the murders of cosmetic millionaire Sosilawati Lawiya and three others.

On the same day, judge Wira Mohtarudin Baki will also review the sentence handed down by the Telok Datuk Magistrate's Court on Sarawanan and another estate worker, U Suresh.

Sarawanan, 19, and Suresh, 26, were charged under Section 201 of the Penal Code with disposing of murder evidence.

On Oct 15, they were sentenced seven years' jail by the Teluk Datuk Magistrate's Court after they pleaded guilty to the offence.

They were charged with disposing of evidence in the murders of Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, and CIMB officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, who were reported missing on Aug 30.

Sarawanan was charged with disposing the evidence by burning the remains of the four victims at Lot No 2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, Banting, between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Aug 30.

Suresh was charged with disposing of evidence by throwing the ashes of the four bodies at Sungai Panchau, Jalan Morib Banting, between 8am and 10am on Aug 31, this year. Sarawanan filed an appeal against sentence on Oct 26.

Deputy public prosecutors Ishak Mohd Yusof, Saiful Edris Zainudin and Idham Abd. Ghani appeared for the prosecution, while Sarawanan and Suresh were represented by lawyers AS Dhaliwal and M Puravelan, respectively.

Malaysia's opposition party charged of inflating membership figures

(The Star/ANN) - A former leader of Malaysia's opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has accused the party of inflating membership figures to demand "political equity" in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

Former Selangor PKR secretary Mohd Nazmi Rosli said that having a large pool of members was vital in the seat negotiation process with its allies, the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS).

"If PKR's membership is lower than that of those parties, it cannot demand for many seats," he said, alleging that tell-tales signs emerging from the poor voter turnout during the divisional polls showed that the party does not have the 400,000 members that it claims to have.

For example, he said, the Sungai Petani PKR division had boasted 3,222 members but only 202 participated in the polls.

"Likewise, the voter turnout in many of the divisions was barely 5% of the number of members the divisions claim to have," said Mohd Nazmi, adding that the size of the membership was vital in the negotiations for seats.

He also claimed that PKR depended on the PAS machinery in the general and by-elections.

"This is also another sign that PKR does not really have the numbers," he said, adding that the party would find it difficult to win seats without the help of PAS.

Despite that, he said, PKR still acted like it was the "boss" in the opposition coalition.

In the 12th general election, PKR won 31 parliamentary seats, followed by DAP (28) and PAS (23).

PKR won 42 state seats, in contrast with the 83 won by PAS and 71 by the DAP.

Ruling Barisan Nasional coalition won 140 out of the 222 parliamentary seats and 307 out of the 505 state seats contested.

Is Zaid Ditching the Opposition?

by Kee Thuan Chye

ZAID Ibrahim is bad news. He has proven he is not a party man and, worse, not a team player. Now he’s thinking of forming his own party – a move that could hurt the Opposition.

That he’s not a team player is borne out by his recent behaviour. If you join a political party, you don’t go around criticising it left, right and centre in public. That hurts the party’s image. And no matter how big your grouses are about the party for whatever reasons, you bring them up through the proper channels within the party, not by going to the media. If the party ignores you, then you resign honourably. After that, you can choose to keep your mouth shut or spill the beans about the party.

Zaid has been in politics a long time – more than 20 years in Umno – and he’s even been a minister before; he should have known that very well. But hurting the party’s image is exactly what he has been doing, especially since the PKR party elections started.

This has made him come across as someone who throws tantrums. Not only that; he told his rival for the PKR deputy presidency, Azmin Ali, to step down from the leadership. Then he went even further and asked the party’s supremo, Anwar Ibrahim, to do the same.

He said both of them were the source of the party’s problems and that they should stand aside so that the party could progress. He even offered himself as the alternative leader. This was prima donna behaviour. Some might even say, it was egotism personified.

What did he achieve by doing all these opprobrious things? He had Barisan Nasional leaders and members laughing their hearts out at the farce and feeling ecstatic that PKR was breaking apart without BN having to do a single thing against it. They are still revelling in the spectacle of the Opposition being served up to the people looking misshapen and in tatters, complete with warts and bruises.

More than ever, and especially in the wake of the two BN victories in the Batu Sapi and Galas by-elections, BN has come to feel confident that the next general election would probably be a breeze for them.

Is Zaid aware of the extent of the damage he has caused? Will he take partial responsibility at least for PKR’s – and, by extension, Pakatan Rakyat’s – drop in image and standing? Is he even aware that he has done much damage and is continuing to do it, or is his spoilt-child ego preventing him from seeing this fact?

From his interviews in the New Sunday Times and Mingguan Malaysia both published on Nov 14, it would seem the answer is no. And perhaps it’s because he doesn’t care – because he now says he may set up his own party.

He concedes on one hand that it may be just a small party, but on the other hand, he hopes that the party will encourage BN and PR to reform and transform. How could a small party perform such a major task?

He says he would be happy if his party won only one or two seats in Parliament. With that low a representation, how effective can it be? It would more likely be snuffed out by the giant coalitions. Even his declaration of wanting to be “seen as a reformist who tried to help bring maturity to the process of democracy in this country” is, in light of his recent antics, ironic.

Obviously, all of that has to do with Zaid Ibrahim the person. Including what he has just expressed in his interview with the New Sunday Times – that he would like to return to Parliament in 2012. But Malaysian politics is not all about Zaid Ibrahim, and this he has disappointingly failed to see. Given his intellectual capacity, one would have thought he was sharper than that.

Only a month and a half ago, when he gave a dinner-lecture organised by Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM), he said the next general election would be very tough, and one of the reasons for it was that the incumbent government coalition would not give up its power without doing whatever it would take to retain it. He said in view of that, not only the Opposition but the awakened public as well should be vigilant.

He said the Opposition would have to be united and work many times harder because the next general election would be many times harder to win than in 2008.

He suggested to Haris Ibrahim, prime mover of a third force comprising hand-picked individuals of impeccable integrity to contest in the next general election, to instead offer the third-force candidates to PR instead of standing on their own. From standing with PR, said Zaid, they could achieve the goal of bringing about reform more effectively.

This is a tune quite different from the one Zaid is singing now. In fact, if he were to set up his own party, he would force three-cornered fights in constituencies where his party also chooses to stand, and this could draw votes away from the Opposition. As a result, it could help BN win those constituencies.

If BN wins big at the next general election, Zaid knows the process of reform could be further delayed. But instead of helping the Opposition cause, his setting up of a new party would subvert it. And it would contradict all that he said at the SABM dinner-lecture.

So which is the real Zaid? Which of the things he had been saying since he joined the Opposition until just before the PKR elections represent his true beliefs? How much credence do we give him now?

Is he truly the man of principle and idealism he prides himself to be? Many
Malaysians really wanted to believe he was. Some still do. But the way he is going, is he instead just another politician like so many of them, and perhaps not even a mature one?

On Nov 9, when he called on Anwar to step down as leader of PKR and offered himself as successor, he said, “I’ll be a good leader.” Coming from someone who sounded like a loser even before the PKR elections started, one finds that hard to imagine.

PAS Prepared To Accept Zaid Ibrahim As Member, Says Husam

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 (Bernama) -- PAS will always open its door to former members of other political parties, including former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Federal Territory chief Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, to join the Islamist party.

PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa who said this, revealed that PAS had previously offered Zaid a place in the party but he preferred to be with PKR.

"He (Zaid) is in a position to join any party...we did invite him to join PAS before but he declined, so it's up to him now to join which party," Husam told Bernama after he was interviewed by Bernama TV on its 'Hello Malaysia' programme at Wisma Bernama, on Monday.

Zaid, who is former minister in the Prime Minister's Department, had on Nov 8 made the shocking decision to quit all his party posts and to withdraw from the contest for the deputy president post, citing cheating in the party elections as his reason.

He also called on PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and its vice-president Mohamed Azmin Ali to withdraw from the party, blaming them for the problems in PKR.

On PAS' defeat by Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Galas state seat by-election on Nov 4, Husam said PAS accepted the result with an open heart, but the party would from now on pay more attention to BN.

"BN seemed very happy with the victory but what is more important is how BN draws up its strategy for the next general election. That is what PAS is more concerned about," said the Kelantan state executive councillor for Economic Planning, Finance and Welfare.

In the Galas by-election, PAS' candidate Dr Zulkefli Mohamad lost to BN's, Abdul Aziz Yusoff by 1,190 votes.

Asked on PAS' preparations for the next general election, Husam said the party would step up efforts to get more people, especially youths, to register as voters and to strengthen cooperation among the Pakatan Rakyat component parties.

"We have other strategies which we will discuss later, to ensure Pakatan Rakyat does even better in the 13th general election," he said

The truth about statutory declarations

The Nut Graph
by Ding Jo-Ann

WHAT is the difference between signing a statutory declaration (SD) and just saying something is true? Indeed, how are they different from “normal” statements? Is something more true just because it’s contained in an SD? And what happens when an SD is retracted? Until private investigator P Balasubramaniam emerged in the public eye, many probably never thought to even ask themselves such questions.

As many now know, Balasubramaniam signed a 1 July 2008 SD, stating amongst other things, that Abdul Razak Baginda had told him that Datuk Seri Najib Razak had introduced murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu to Abdul Razak in Singapore. Balasubramaniam, however, retracted those parts of his first SD on 4 July 2008 with a second SD, saying the first was signed under duress. After mysteriously disappearing, Balasubramaniam then turned up on a Malaysia Today video interview in November 2009 retracting his earlier retraction, saying it was his second SD that was false and that his first SD’s contents were true.

We do not know whether anything that Balasubramaniam said in his SDs are true. But we do know this is true: At least one of Balasubramaniam’s SDs is false. As they are conflicting, it is impossible for both of them to be true. So, according to the Statutory Declarations Act 1960, Balasubramaniam has contravened the Penal Code’s section 199 by making a false statement in a declaration.

The attorney-general however, seems to disagree. In a speech in Parliament, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz revealed that investigations into Balasubramaniam’s SDs have been closed after “careful consideration”. This has led Balasubramaniam to openly challenge the AG to charge him, stressing that his second SD contained “a pack of lies”.

I swear…

As far as the truth of the matter is concerned, there is no difference whether one signs an SD or not. Signing an SD doesn’t guarantee the truth of its contents. The maker of an SD can still lie. The main difference is that if one lies in an SD, one faces criminal sanctions such as a fine or jail term imposed by the state. This is as opposed to, say, lying to your spouse, or lying when swearing on the Bible or in a mosque. In these other cases, sanctions may still apply, but are generally not criminal in nature.

Anyone can sign an SD to attest that something is true. The document will merely need to state that it is being signed pursuant to the Statutory Declarations Act 1960 and the maker’s signature must be witnessed by a Sessions Court judge, magistrate or commissioner of oaths.

In practice, SDs are commonly used for procedural matters. For example, business license applicants may need to attest that they are not declared bankrupts. Bank loan applicants may need to attest that the property being purchased will be used for their own residence.

As stated by lawyer Bhag Singh in a 2008 article, using an SD is a straightforward way of “confirming facts which would otherwise be too tedious or impossible to verify.” The existence of the penal sanction allows organisations and authorities to take concrete action should false statements have been made in an application.

Why an SD?

It is curious that Balasubramaniam chose to make his revelations in the form of an SD. As stated above, an SD’s contents are not guaranteed to be true. Legally, it has no direct implications on any individual other than Balasubramaniam who can be charged if his declarations are false. There is also no procedural obligation for the police to investigate his claims.

Ordinarily, claims such as those made by Balasubramaniam should be reported to the police to assist in any ongoing investigations or prosecution. According to Balasubramaniam’s first SD however, he did convey the information on Najib, Abdul Razak and Altantuya to the police when he was detained in relation to investigations into Altantuya’s murder. He claims, however, that police omitted this information in the police statement he was asked to sign. And when the prosecution did not raise any of these issues in their case, Balasubramaniam said he felt compelled to sign an SD and go public with what he knew.

Proposed amendments

Which brings us to whether or not the AG should charge Balasubramaniam for his false SD, be it the first or the second. In deciding whether or not to prosecute, the AG would generally look at whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction and whether it would be in the public interest.

Given Balasubramaniam’s initial retraction of his first SD and then insistence that he lied in his second SD, it looks like there are realistic prospects of convicting him of lying in at least one SD. And it would certainly be in the public interest to ensure that those found making false statements in SDs are held accountable. Especially when those statements may be harmful or defamatory of others.

It appears however that charges for Balasubramaniam are not in the pipeline. Meanwhile, the Barisan Nasional (BN) government proposed in June 2010 that the law on SDs be changed to make commissioners of oaths responsible for an SD’s contents. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Kong said commissioners of oaths would have to verify the contents to ensure they are not contentious or prejudicial to others. Amongst the reasons cited for the proposed amendment was to prevent SDs from being used to defame others or cheat land owners.

This proposal was heavily criticised by the Bar Council. It stated that this would place far too onerous a burden on commissioners of oaths, whose main function should be to attest that the person who signed the declaration was indeed the person who made it.

Truth

But beyond whether or not the AG charges Balasubramaniam, the million-dollar question that everyone probably wants answered is this: Is it true that Abdul Razak Baginda told Balasubramaniam that Najib had introduced him to Altantuya? Without Balasubramaniam being prosecuted, the public will likely never know whether he was just making wild, unsubstantiated allegations or whether there was any basis to what he alleged.

Ding Jo-Ann wonders whether we can handle the truth.