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Friday, November 19, 2010

Al-Qaeda branch warns France

The leader of al-Qaeda's North African wing has demanded the withdrawal of French forces from Afghanistan in return for the safety of French nationals kidnapped in Niger.

Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM], made the comments in an audio tape aired by Al Jazeera on Thursday.

Five French nationals and two Africans - employees of French companies Areva and Vinci - were kidnapped in Niger on September 16.

Abdel Wadoud also said that any negotiations over the release of the hostages should be carried out directly with al-Qaeda's leader, Osama bin Laden.

"The summary of the message is very clear," he said in the broadcast.

"You will not find security anywhere until we also have security and safety in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, the Maghreb and so on.

"If you don't stop intervening in our affairs and the oppression of Muslim people, and if you want peace for your citizens that we hold hostage, you must withdraw your forces from Afghanistan as soon possible according to a set timetable that you will announce publicly.

"If you reject this offer, you will be held responsible in the eyes of your people."

French reaction

France said on Friday it was working to authenticate Abdel Wadoud's message. Bernard Valero, the French foreign ministry spokesman, told the AFP news agency that the recording "is being authenticated now".

He said that France was "fully mobilised" in an effort to secure the release of the five French hostages along with the Togo and a Madagascar nationals.

"For this kind of complex and delicate situation, discretion is an important part of our activity," Valero said.

Herve Morin, who was closely following the hostage crisis until losing his defence portfolio in last week's cabinet reshuffle in France, said that the reference to Bin Laden was new.

"Withdrawing French troops from Afghanistan is a kind of classic, traditional demand for all kinds of attacks," he told France Info radio.

"What's new is the reference to bin Laden. Generally, and particularly with AQIM, it's more of a franchise."

Last month AQIM offered to release the hostages in exchange for a repeal of the ban on the face veil in France, the release of fighters and €7m [$9.88m], according to a report by Al Arabiya television.

Bin Laden had said in an audio tape also aired on Al Jazeera last month that the kidnapping was prompted by France's unjust treatment of Muslims.

Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

Tamil school near KLCC Twin Towers but still in 1924 colonial workers quarters. UMNO, PKR, DAP and PAS cheats Indian via Tamil newspaper propaganda.

url tamil school 1The St. Joseph Tamil school in Sentul was made to operate in 1924 in a colonial master’s house.

While One Malay-sia has grown leaps and bounds as evidenced by the KLCC Twin Towers which is within sight of this school, this Tamil school remains in dilapidated conditions. After being eaten by white ants, this school building poses a danger to it’s 168 children. But never mind under the One Malay-sian UMNO regime, because the children are merely from the poor and working class Indian community. (see picture below in MN 19/11/10 at page 18).

And on this very same page Malaysia Nanban reports of dilapidated Mentakab and Lanchang Tamil schools. And in the front page of this very same Malaysia Nanban today the UMNO/BN Johor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Gani Osman’s wayang kulit mega ceremony opening the site of the Mount Austin Tamil school and posing in colour photos with his MIC Indian mandores all garlanded.

And the Menteri Besar’s kosong announcements of funds for this Tamil school new site.

We have never read reports of a grand propaganda school site opening ceremony of a Malay, Chinese, Orang Asli, Kadazan or Iban school. Why this kosong propaganda only for Tamil schools? Because this proposed St. Austin Tamil school may not take off in the first place but UMNO would have created the impressions and perception and created the feel good feeling among the Indian poor? But no more though after the 25th November 2007 Hindraf Rally.

Even the opening of a five star hotel entrance looking Chinese school hall, or any of the elite 99% Malay muslim MRSM schools, is never similarly publicized.

Why all these kosong propaganda only for Tamil schools? So that all the rest of the 523 Tamil schools nationwide could be made to remain in dilapidated conditions and with the view to be systematically ethnically cleansed!

Section 28 of the U.N Convention on the rights of the child provides for compulsory and free education. But Najib Razak’s One Malay-sia systematically intends Tamil Schools to remain this way as part of the UMNO racist and religious supremacist agenda.

And to add insult to injury the opposition PKR, DAP and PAS state governments of Selangor, Penang and Kedah are following UMNO/BN by their one by one, land here and land there, and kosong peanuts cash aid for this Tamil school and that Tamil school through their MP, EXCO ADUN and Councillor Indian Mandores.
The latest being the Kapar Indian MP and Exco mandore’s kosong RM 50,000 cash aid (that is if and when they receive it in full) for the Kapar Valambarosa Tamil school. (TN 19/11/2010 at page 4).

The world’s only basement Tamil school and another Tamil school in a combination of shipping cabins and plantation workers quarters ie the Assad Tamil school and the Batu Kawan Tamil schools.

Despite nearly three years of taking power in Selangor, Penang and Kedah even the Anwar Ibrahim led supposedly multi racial PKR, DAP and PAS led states have refused to grant state land to all it’s 98, 22 and 54 tamil schools respectively despite having 100% powers to do so. Simply because PKR, DAP and PAS would lose Malay muslim votes which UMNO would exploit when land is given to these Tamil schools. In conclusion neither UMNO/BN nor PKR, DAP and PAS intends to grant a permanent solution to all 523 Tamil schools in Malaysia.

Where is the change when compared to the previous 50 year old UMNO regime?

P. Uthayakumar

tamil school 1tamil school 2tamil school 3

BN admits two-thirds unlikely, regaining states possible

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Barisan Nasional leaders have conceded that they would likely fail again to regain its two-thirds parliamentary majority in the coming polls but are confident of wresting a few states back from Pakatan Rakyat.

The leaders told The Malaysian Insider that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s prediction in a Bloomberg report yesterday was not off the mark, but claimed that the former premier’s remarks were likely made to encourage BN and stop its leaders from being overly lax and comfortable in their places.

When contacted, many predicted that BN was slowly making inroads with voters and that several factors showed that the ruling coalition could likely recapture states like Kedah, Selangor and even Kelantan, a known PAS stronghold for decades.

When contacted by The Malaysian Insider, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) president Datuk M. Kayveas said that BN would not face much difficulty in recapturing most of the states it had lost in Elections 2008, save for one state.

“I think it is more than just two states that we can recapture, maybe except for one, but the others will return to BN,” he said, but did not reveal which state he was referring to.

Kayveas predicted that it was highly likely that status quo would be maintained in parliament where BN would still be in power but without holding its customary two-thirds majority.

“I believe BN’s seats in Parliament will increase but probably not to the level of a two-thirds majority. This is because in any politically mature society, obtaining two-thirds majority is uncommon.

“Look at the political scenarios of other countries these days... but because we have been so used to having two-thirds majority for so long (since Merdeka), we assume that BN will continue to have it,” he said,

He added that it was a sufficient for BN if the ruling coalition managed to secure at least 50 per cent or up to 65 per cent of seats in Parliament, just like it had after Elections 2008.

“To me, if this performance is maintained, it is already a satisfying victory for any government,” he said.

Kayveas was among one of the many top BN leaders who were badly defeated in the March 2008 general election.

In an interview with Bloomberg this week, Dr Mahathir said BN was capable of wresting one or two states from PR in the 13th general election because, he said, the opposition was in disarray.

However, he added that BN would likely fail to regain its two-thirds majority in Parliament, which would enable them to rule the country with a comfortable majority.

Dr Mahathir’s prediction comes on the heels of intense speculation that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also BN chairman, would be calling for snap polls as early as the first quarter of next year.

In the Bloomberg report, the country’s longest serving prime minister also described Najib as a “vast improvement” over his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah agreed with Dr Mahathir’s assertion but claimed the veteran leader had made his remarks as he did not want BN component parties to be too comfortable and overly happy with the recent positive changes in voter sentiment.

“I view this as a moderate and careful statement,” said the Deputy Higher Education Minister, adding however that BN was confident of its chances in recapturing two states.

The two states, he said, were Kedah and Selangor.

“Despite this, I am not saying that we cannot recapture Penang and Kelantan... the opportunity is there but the confidence would come from our chances in Kedah and Selangor,” he said.

The Temerloh MP however claimed that BN could still regain its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority and listed out three factors that would influence this – the ongoing troubles in PKR, BN’s improved popularity and Najib’s policies.

“On BN’s increasing popularity, I find that Umno, as the core party, has begun recapturing Malay support while the other BN component parties have also managed to settle all their internal issues. There is also the upcoming BN charter that will be passed during our convention next week.

“All these will return the people’s confidence in BN and we will regain our two-thirds majority in Parliament,” he claimed.

Umno Information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan thanked Dr Mahathir for his remarks, describing it as a “reminder” to BN leaders to work harder.

He added however that despite Dr Mahathir’s prediction, BN would continue working towards regaining its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority and trounce PR in all states.

“We do not know when the elections will be called but the increase in voter support towards us was proven in the Galas, Batu Sapi, Hulu Selangor and Bagan Pinang by-elections,” he said.

Ahmad added that while BN should delight in PKR’s troubles, it would not bank on the weaknesses of other parties to strengthen its own voter support.

“Our strengths should not be because of the weaknesses in other parties but in our own capabilities,” he reminded.

When contacted, MCA central committee member Datuk Ti Lian Ker also agreed with Dr Mahathir’s prediction, pointing out that recent events had shown a shift in voter support towards the BN.

He told The Malaysian Insider however that there was still a “leftover sentiment” from the March 2008 general election, which would likely result in BN’s failure to recapture its two-thirds parliamentary majority in the next polls.

“However, there is definitely a shift and the people are slowly beginning to realise that PR, as an alternative government, is not very feasible. Their flaws and weaknesses are very glaring of late,” he said.

Central among the many weaknesses in PR that would likely benefit BN, said Ti, were the ongoing leadership issues plaguing PKR.

“It is PKR that provides the comfort level for all three parties in PR, especially to sway the votes of the fence-sitters, but today that comfort is slowly diminishing and PKR has shown that it is not a serious party. It is not a force to be reckoned with,” he said,.

Ti also agreed that BN could possibly score a surprising win in states like Selangor, Kedah and even Kelantan, come the next general election.

For Perak and Penang however, he said the sympathy factor towards PR would be too difficult to secure a BN win.

“Selangor is quite possible because it is a commercial center and people will realise that at the end of the day, BN is still the rightful and correct government.

“For Kelantan, it is hard to say but (Mentri Besar) Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat has been around for too many years and there are many issues that have been swept under the carpet and are now resurfacing.

“In Kedah, it is possible because the PAS government there has shown that it is more extreme that Umno in many ways,” he said.

In Perak, Ti noted that PR could still bank on sympathy votes due to the infamous power grab by BN last year.

“It will take some time to convince. Similarly in Penang, the Chinese community there still support (Penang Chief Minister Lim) Guan Eng... it is the sentiment towards DAP as the underdog,” he claimed.

MIC Central Working Committee member S. Murugessan warned that Dr Mahathir’s prediction should not be treated lightly, in view of the political tsunami in the 12th general election.

“Whatever one might think about Dr Mahathir’s political legacy, one has to give due weight to his political predictions.

“He predicted that BN might lose its two-thirds majority during Elections 2008 but most dismissed him easily.

“BN should take his assessment as a starting point and start working from there.

“If BN can deliver on its promise of good governance & show its willingness to listen to the people, then the votes will come in naturally,” he said.

Zaid to quit on Dec 16 in mockery of Sept 16

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: PKR maverick Zaid Ibrahim will officially quit his party on Dec 16, in a move to mock the failed Sept 16 "coup" engineered by supremo Anwar Ibrahim.

The resignation letter effective on the stated date was submitted to the party headquarters this morning.

"If Anwar loves Sept 16, I, on the other hand, love Dec 16," Zaid said in jest to a packed press conference at his house here.

He said the formation of a new party was also in the pipeline, but this would depend on the support he would receive after he formally quit PKR.

The former law minister is quitting from the party after a disastrous fallout with PKR's top leadership.

Zaid, once hailed as a possible successor to Anwar, claimed irregularities in the ongoing party polls where he had contested for the deputy president's post against vice-president Azmin Ali, who is said to be favoured by Anwar.

The former PKR Federal Territories chief subsequently resigned from all party posts after withdrawing half way from the race. He claimed that the so-called “Anwar-Azmin cartel” had engineered malpractices in a concerted effort to undermine his chances.

The party's top echelons, however, flayed Zaid as a "Trojan Horse" sent by Umno to sabotage the party. He is also chastised as a "sore loser" who received special privileges but turned his back on PKR when things were not going his way.

PKR thrives on politics of spin

But not the one to take a punch hands down, Zaid said the accusations were typical of PKR which “thrives on politics of spin and defamation”.

He claimed the leaders were suffering from an inferiority complex, and thus needed to discredit others for their political survival.

Upon hearing his announcement to quit, Anwar merely gave a cold response, saying "Zaid can go".

"They said my popularity will be impaired if I fight against Anwar in the party and I realised this. But popularity was never my primary consideration for joining the party.

"I am sure that they are happy (now) because Anwar said that Zaid can go. (PKR deputy president) Syed Husin (Ali) and Azmin are surely happy," Zaid quipped in response to Anwar.

"I joined PKR along with my children and became a life-time member, paid the high fee, because at that time I thought that this was the party which fought for the truth, which practised transparency; a new hope for the people.

"I''m truly disappointed by the accusations. I have not formed a new party nor had I plan anything prior to this. I am a PKR coordinator although Anwar said I was never a coordinator. No problem ... coordinator or clerk, it''s okay."

His intention to quit triggered talks of a possible cooperation with a political "third force", but Zaid denied the speculation, saying he would focus on his original struggle which is not far off from the opposition.

"I will continue to struggle for truth but without a party that is rife with problems. I will always be friendly to the opposition," said Zaid, adding that he was gearing up for snap polls which may be called in the first half of next year.

He said should support for him grow, he would consider starting up a new party that would work closely with Pakatan Rakyat in a relationship based on issues.

"After this, I plan to see my supporters nationwide. If we have the resources and support we will form the new party... I want it to be a party that is democratic, less problematic and one that truly represents the people''s interests," he said.

However, Zaid, once a Kota Baru MP, said if the idea of setting up a new party did not work, he would contest as an independent candidate.

"People say politics is a lonely business so I will need friends.”

Polls fraud: Now there's 'photographic proof'

By B Nantha Kumar - Free Malaysia Today,

PETALING JAYA: Mired in allegations of electoral fraud and phantom voters, embattled PKR Kota Raja division now faces a fresh round of “photographic proof” of malpractice during the recent party polls.
Despite “attacks” by members and media, division chairman and Selangor state exco member Dr Xavier Jayakumar has adamantly denied any malpractice, claiming that the alleged 150 “dubious” names found on the electoral list were a “technical error” .
Yesterday, however, FMT, which broke the news on the phantom voters, received three photographs from the PKR headquarters which appeared to confirm fraudulent manipulation by Jayakumar's camp.
In one of the photographs, Jayakumar's personal assistant, P Sabastine Rao, was clearly seen marking a ballot paper on behalf of an Indian woman.
Rao was also without any identification card that authorised his presence in the polling station. In the photograph, he was only wearing a card that showed him as being on Jayakumar's team.
The PKR central election committee confirmed that Rao was not a designated official on duty in the Kota Raja election.
Meanwhile, a second equally clear photograph placed another of Jayakumar's known “strong man”, Palanisamy, in the polling hall during last Sunday's presidential elections. Palanisamy was photographed “helping” an old man cast his ballot.
The third photograph, however, was a little blurred. This photograph (see below) revealed a person who looked like Jayakumar inside the polling hall during the casting of ballots. The photograph showed him checking the electoral list.
No cleanup
Meanwhile, party insiders described the ongoing vice-presidential race, for which Jayakumar is contesting, as a “sham”, saying that voters in the divisions were being manipulated.
Said one insider: "I am surprised with the current situation in PKR. Almost all divisions have problems.
"PKR leaders are focused on pursuing their dreams at whatever cost. What they want now is positions in the party.
"They would do anything to achieve their dreams."
Citing malpractices in the Kota Raja division, the insider said that despite complaints, the party central council is refusing to act.
"When is (secretary-genaral) Saifuddin (Nasution) going to take action? What else does he want?
"Now we have given them strong evidence of fraud in the election. If PKR is still reluctant to act, then we will not hesitate to get out of this party," said the insider.
The Kota Raja polls last Sunday placed voter turnout at 654, compared to the 1,294 members who had turned up for the divisional polls which saw Jayakumar's controversial win as divisional chief.
PKR members in the division who are allegedly aligned to Zaid Ibrahim are believed to have boycotted the election following his withdrawal from the race for the party's No 2 post. Zaid also confirmed that he was quitting the party in two weeks' time.

Snap polls: March 2011 or later?

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat leaders in charge of preparations for the 13th general election are speculating that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will disolve Parliament and call for polls in March or after July 2011.

Whatever the case, all three coalition members – PKR, PAS and DAP – are confident of their readiness to meet the challenges of snap polls.

PKR central elections director Fuziah Salleh believes that the general election will most likely be in March because it would be three years since the historic 2008 polls.

"If he (Najib) calls for election before the third year, then according to the law, first-term MPs, even BN (Barisan Nasional) ones, would not be able to get their pensions. I don't think Najib would risk that," said Fuziah, the Kuantan MP, adding that PKR "was confident" that it will be ready by March.

Her colleague in PAS, however, thinks that Najib will not call for national elections before July.

PAS elections director Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman opines that the general election would most likely be held between September and November 2011.

"It may even be called in 2012. The reason it won't be before July is that the government would want to go through with the re-delineation of constituencies first, which would probably take place in March and the whole process would only be done by July," said Abdul Halim, the Pengkalan Chepa MP.

Echoing Abdul Halim's view, DAP national election preparation committee chairman Tan Kok Wai said the party was “ever ready” for the polls.

"As for the DAP machinery, we've been through 10 elections since 1969 and we have veteran members who know what to do.

"When the time comes, it won't be much of a hurdle," said the Cheras MP.

He said DAP's immediate work now was to help register the 4.2 million unregistered voters. There are 16.2 million eligible voters.

"We will be going into this last lap in the next three months," he added.

Ongoing process

Meanwhile, Fuziah said she would soon be distributing "election kits" to members and begin leadership training programmes.

She said the election kits comprised a step-by-step manual for elections while the leadership training programme focused on campaign management.

"We already have four to five leadership trainings per month which focus on how to manage a campaign. To me, a good campaign manager is as good as a candidate," she said.

Fuziah added that the party was undertaking an ongoing process of picking and vetting candidates who have the right leadership qualities such as having a service-oriented mindset and good strategic skills.

These new candidates would be compared to incumbent MPs and assemblymen whose performances are being tracked by a Key Performance Indicator committee.

Abdul Halim, on the other hand, said PAS would be only half (50%) prepared if polls were called in March.

"If the general election is in July, we will be 90% ready but if it happens in September, we will be fully prepared.

"We have asked each ballot box unit (UPU) to collect funds since early this year and we've been constantly conducting training that teaches members the electoral rules, strategies and the technicalities of an election," he said.

Abdul Halim added that the strategy of wooing non-Muslim supporters through the PAS Supporters' Congress was already in place and a few of these members were expected to be chosen as candidates.

Sarawak factor

Meanwhile, Barisan Nasional (BN) has reportedly begun holding high-level meetings.

Today, the BN's management committee will meet while its supreme council meeting is scheduled for tomorrow.

On Nov 28, BN will hold its national convention where topmost on the agenda is the 13th general election.

While Najib, who is also Umno president, has called on party members to gear up for the polls, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has reportedly said that the general election was "just a few months away".

But BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor quickly quelled media excitement when he said that a "few months" could mean anything from "one month to two or 30 months".

Regardless of the number of months, Najib will also have to take into consideration Sarawak, which must hold its state polls by June 2011.

In Kuching, rumours are rife that Najib will convince Chief Minister Taib Mahmud to hold simultaneous elections.

There are indications that Taib is preparing to call for state election.

The latest has been the move to publish a White Paper to control “undesirable” activities by the opposition, media and non-governmental organisations which the state government believes will "jeopardise unity and security in Sarawak".

Kuching-based political analyst, Stanley Bye Kadam Kia, speculates that Taib will call for polls in early April .

The senior lecturer with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak believes that Taib would want to hold the state polls in early April for several reasons.

In his column in Sarawak Update, Kadam Kia noted that in the “last state election, polling was timed such that the BN could celebrate its election victory on the same day the CM celebrated his 69th birthday".

The first week of April, he noted, would be a “good time” to call for state election.

"April is a month of rejuvenation. The weather in Sarawak at this time of the year is favourable for campaigning and soliciting for votes, and, above all, it is also a time of celebration for the BN people.

"On March 26, 2011, the BN or Sarawak will celebrate Taib’s 30th anniversary as the CM of Sarawak. I foresee that there will be a lot of cake-cutting ceremonies to mark the occasion. The BN could use the ‘cake-cutting ceremony’ as a new technique for canvassing votes," he wrote.

'Only BN members, and not friends, can vote'

By Rahmah Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional key leaders today achieved a consensus that only BN members, and not allies or associates of the ruling coalition, have the right to vote in the coalition.

Speaking to reporters after attending the BN management committee meeting at Umno headquarters here, MCA chairman Chua Soi Lek said: “We reached a consensus that we can accept friends of the BN. The only question is, what will be their role.

“Will they be allowed to attend BN meetings at state level or only at convention?”

"Generally, we all agreed that they will not be given voting rights in BN. Only BN members can vote," Chua said.

The meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and BN deputy chairman Muhyiddin Yassin.

Chia said the issue would be discussed tomorrow at the BN supreme council meeting which will be chaired by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

The BN's decision to amend its constitution by allowing direct BN membership has spawned fears among BN partners that their respective parties will be sidelined in future elections.

Many argued that BN members would be allowed to contest under the coalition's ticket without having any association with any of the component parties.

Currently, only members from the 13 BN component parties are allowed to vote on coalition matters and to contest in the elections.

No Cabinet reshuffle

Chua was also asked whether a Cabinet reshuffle was discussed at today's meeting.

Without confirming or denying that a reshuffle will be held soon as reported by the media, he said: "A Cabinet reshuffle is never discussed in BN (meetings).”

Speculations are rife that a Cabinet reshuffle would be announced next week or early December, with four ministers dropped.

They included Ahmad Shabery Cheek (Youth and Sports Minister), Shaziman Mansor (Works Minister), Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister) and Dr Ng Yen Yen (Tourism Minister).

Meanwhile, there is also speculation that Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin will be brought into the Cabinet as a deputy minister.

However, Najib has dismissed the allegations, saying that no such decision has been made.

Indians should not rely on short gains

By FMT staff

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Indian community must learn to dispel the feeling of discontentment, the Malaysian Indian Voice adviser R Kengadharan said today.

"The community must never rely on short term gains. As a community it must never shy away from the feelings of inefficiency, weaknesses and disappointment. Instead it must explore ways and means to overcome shortcomings," he said in a statement.

In pursuit of these goals, he said there was a need for the community to take drastic and decisive action.

He said the Malaysian Indian Voice, which is part of the larger outlawed Hindraf movement, would organise a grand Deepavali open house at Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam at 7pm on Nov 27. It is to inspire and encourage the community in general, and the youths in particular, to achieve success and fame.

The event will also mark the third anniversary of the Hindraf's unity rally which ended, with five of its leaders, including Kengadharan, jailed under the Internal Security Act three years ago.

"Through this gathering we hope to inculcate, introduce and share values and principles regarded essential for the progress of the Indian community in Malaysia.

"The success of the Indian community here must necessarily be made through sacrifice, contributions and collective effort. The community must posses and acquire knowledge and skills to move forward and have a competitive edge," he said.

He said the event would also be used to call on the Indian community, especially youths, to be more vigilant and not to divorce themselves from the masses.

"No one Indian should stand above the other. The open house will help raise political consciousness. In essence, we are advocating a correct leadership which is from the masses to the masses," he said.

An example of spin doctoring


That is what spin doctoring is. In short, they are lies presented by people with titles in front of their names and which are passed off as the truth. And because of their titles the lies are accepted as true.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

I once attended a talk in the Perdana Leadership Foundation back in 2007 where Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad commented that nowadays politicians employ spin-doctors to do spin doctoring. “I don’t know how to do spin doctoring,” said Dr Mahathir, and he went on to say that when he was prime minister he never applied this method.

When Dr Mahathir said this, Tengku Razaleigh Hamazh, who was in the audience, turned around and looked at me and smiled. Dr Mahathir also stole a glance at me, which prompted many in the audience to also look my way.

I happened to be standing up at that time so I stood out like a sore thumb. Clearly Dr Mahathir aimed that comment at me while Tengku Razaleigh was trying to tell me, “He is talking about you.”

Anyway, for the sake of Dr Mahathir, I will show him an example of a classic piece of spin doctoring. And the piece by Syed Jaymal Zahiid and Rahmah Ghazali, published in Free Malaysia Today, which you can read below, is spin doctoring.

The way to do it is to get armchair political analysts with impressive academic titles in front of their name -- like Professor Shamsul Amri and Ong Kian Ming -- to make a statement and then pass this off as the gospel. Since they are lecturers and professors of universities then no one will question their opinion.

So, if they say that Zaid Ibrahim is going to lead this phantom movement called the Third Force then it must be true. After all, these are big names from so-called leading organisations and universities that don’t appear in the top 100 list.

Now it’s confirmed. Zaid Ibrahim is going to lead the Third Force. Who are those in the Third Force I don’t know, but these armchair analysts do. And I don’t know whether those in the so-called Third Force, if it does exist, want Zaid to lead them, but these people do.

However, since these people have big titles in front of their name then it can only be true.

That is what spin doctoring is. In short, they are lies presented by people with titles in front of their names and which are passed off as the truth. And because of their titles the lies are accepted as true.

********************************************

Third Force unlikely to impact Malaysia

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid and Rahmah Ghazali, Free Malaysia Today

Malaysia is not ready for a third force in politics. Analysts said the prospect of Zaid Ibrahim leading the third force is also unlikely to bolster its growth.

The third force, comprising bloggers and leading figures in civil society groups, is looking to pull the former law minister into their camp in a bid to add weight to its light presence. Zaid is expected to quit PKR by the end of this month after a disastrous fallout with the party's top leadership.

According to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaya political analyst, Professor Shamsul Amri, Malaysia's political history has shown that it is not accommodative of a third movement.

He said the excitement around a third force often whither away fast.

He cited the 1987 Umno crisis when juggernaut Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah left the ruling Malay party Umno to form Semangat 46 in 1989 after losing to former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the contest for Umno's supreme post.

Razaleigh, who was the finance minister at that time, lost only by a razor thin deficit.

Political pundits felt Mahathir's narrow win signaled a strong support towards Razaleigh and the formation of his new party was hailed as the start of a genuinely capable third force.

The excitement, however, was short lived as Semangat 46, pressured by strained relations with the opposition, saw its members and key figures returning to Umno. The party was subsequently disbanded in 1996 and Razaleigh too rejoined Umno.

"(So) I don't think having a third force around will work in Malaysia…third force in Malaysia is (almost) non-existence," he told FMT, adding that Zaid is a "nobody" without the support of either Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat.

Eroding popularity

UCSI lecturer and political analyst Ong Kian Ming believes that while Zaid has all the necessary qualities to lead a third force and his progressive ideals appeal to those who make up the movement, his recent tirades against PKR have exposed his poor acumen which may hurt the group.

"On paper he is the right person but then again Zaid is the type that its either his way or the highway and the characters in the third force are also uncompromising," he said pointing out the possible of personality conflicts between Zaid and leaders of the third force.

He noted that Zaid's popularity is eroding among opposition supporters following his constant attack against PKR's top leadership.

Zaid has claimed that he has been victimised by PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim who is said to favour his right-hand man, vice-president Azmin Ali, for the deputy presidential post.

The perceived failure to provide solid evidence to back his allegations of malpractices in the party's ongoing direct elections have also dented Zaid's image among his adoring followers.

Many fear he will drag this dark cloud into the third force should he lead the movement said Ong.

And this could be detrimental and repel support towards them, added the political analyst.

Group co-ordinator, lawyer and blogger, Haris Ibrahim is planning to lead the group into multi-cornered fights in up to 30 of the 222 parliamentary seats which are being held or are to be contested by PKR in a move that may split the votes and dent the party's effort to lead Pakatan to Putrajaya.

Ong believes that the group's chances are bright in urban areas, where a more liberal electorate is growing more disillusioned by the brand of politics espoused by both Pakatan and BN.

A car by any other name

To certain quarters, Proton is the only way to own a car, but to others it is a hindrance to a better car.

By Wong Sai Wan (The Star)

IF YOU do a search on YouTube for “Proton Inspira”, you will find that the top viewed video is not one showing the car but rather a short clip from the movie Downfall about World War II Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The dialogue is in German, but there are English subtitles.

This short clip has been used by almost everyone and anybody to wallop anything – from Usain Bolt breaking the 100m record to the vuvuzela used in the last FIFA World Cup, and even Yahoo.

(Downfall, or to give its German title Der Untergang, is a 2004 German/Italian/Austrian epic drama directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel depicting the final 10 days of Hitler’s life in his Berlin bunker in 1945.)

The critics of Proton have seen it fit to re-word the subtitles to belittle the car company for its latest Inspira model which is a re-badge of the Mitsubishi Lancer.

I don’t speak German, and although the actor playing Adolf Hitler shows great emotion, I doubt any obscenity is used, but the doctored subtitles are littered with words that would embarrass even the crudest sailor.

Somehow, I am not surprised by the crassness of the parody, as Proton has become the favourite punching bag of many in Malaysia.

Isn’t it common for us to bitch about Proton’s power window, which either cannot come down or go up, or the transmission that is so expensive to replace and maintain?

Soon after the March 8 general election, the new Terengganu, Perak and Selangor governments ditched the Proton Perdana as their official car, saying the national car’s top model was too expensive to maintain, and that these high-end vehicles often broke down.

It did not help that the much-publicised “marriage” between Proton and Volkswagen broke down acrimoniously even before the wedding could take place.

Some have taken to blaming Proton for being the sole cause of why car prices in Malaysia are so expensive.

According to them, the massive protection given by the Government to Proton, including high taxation on imported cars, has driven up the prices of such cars which would otherwise be affordable.

The National Automotive Policy is said by its critics to be a eunuch set up only to protect the interest of Proton.

In the few years since the new management took over at Proton, the attacks have been particularly bitter.

The attacks on Proton shifted a gear higher when certain politicians chose to turn the national car company into the symbol of everything that was wrong with the country.

That Proton had fallen into a bad state over the past decade cannot be denied.

A series of bad decisions and lousy models totally smashed many people’s confidence and love for the Proton brand.

So when Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak suggested that there was a case for Proton and Perodua to merge if overcapacity was an issue and there was a need for consolidation, many read much into the Prime Minister’s statement, especially since he chose to say it on Proton’s 25th anniversary.

For too long, the managements of Proton followed the philosophy of the consumers. “We are the cheapest and they have no choice but to buy whatever we make.”

It did not help that it was treated like a “holy cow” by various authorities and attempts to rein it in failed to produce the desired results.

But things have changed. Proton Group Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir has taken to telling things as they are, as he knows that his company is no longer sacred and untouchable.

He and the Government have even set up a board with international experts, and they have even appointed an international panel of advisers to chart the future of the company.

And when Najib made his announcement, Syed Zainal, a former senior executive at Perodua, surprised many by saying that it was a good thing – and the time was right – for the two companies to merge.

During a recent briefing for editors, Syed Zainal asked why there were so many critics of the Inspira even before the model was unveiled.

The editors, including yours truly, told him to come clean and openly admit that the Inspira was a rebadge, just like how the Persona was being rebadged and sold by its partners in China.

He did. But the criticism has continued despite rave reviews from the buying public about the car – a Mitsubishi Lancer complete with all its trimmings, although with about 40% local content, and about RM40,000 cheaper.

Mitsubishi went through a lot of pain to say the two models were different, although most experts begged to differ.

So before we rush the demise of Proton, we must realise that as a national company, it has been a great success. Proton has produced more than 3.3 million cars in the past 25 years.

It has also created jobs for more than 30,000 individuals and 1,842 professionals.

It also claims to have been responsible for the setting up of 212 local automotive vendors.

I have owned five Proton models so far. Except for the Perdana which gave me all sorts of problems – from the power window to a dodgy transmission – I didn’t have much to complain about the other cars.

For one thing, a Proton Saga was the first new car I ever bought – in 1987 – because that was all I could afford, and I was grateful.

In 1985, I had the honour of covering the opening ceremony of the first commercial production of the Proton Saga and I have not failed to go to the showroom to have a look each time a new model is launched.

The late Datuk Gucharan Singh, the former managing director of EON Bhd, once told me: “Remember this is our car. Not this fella’s or that fella’s. It is OUR car.””

Guch, as he was popularly known, even told me that it was he who came up with the Chinese name for the Proton Saga.

A fluent Cantonese speaker, he said the car should be known as “Kok Kah Ying Hoong Cheh”, which translates as the National Champion Car literally.

We, millions of Malaysians, who had bought Protons over the past 25 years, cannot let the company fail.

However, at the same time, Syed Zainal and his men must strive hard to ensure that their cars do not disappoint.

All we want is our money’s worth.

The Star Executive Editor Wong Sai Wan now drives a popular Japanese car but misses his South Korean 4WD which he had to sell because the very expensive transmission was about to go bust.

No caning on death row

The New Straits Times
By V. Anbalagan

PUTRAJAYA: In an unprecedented decision, the Court of Appeal yesterday imposed only a 10-year jail sentence on a bus driver on death row who pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of possessing ganja.

Judge Datuk Suriyadi Halim Omar said the appellate court could not impose the mandatory minimum 10 strokes of the rotan for possession as Suzimi Shaari's death sentence for trafficking ganja in another case had been upheld.

He said a careful reading of section 289 of the Criminal Procedure Code showed that an accused person sentenced to death could not be whipped.

"We know certain High Court judges impose whipping. Perhaps that is not the right view," he said.

Suzimi, 45, was charged with two counts of trafficking in drugs on Aug 2, 2001.

On the first count, the High Court in 2007 sentenced Suzimi to death after finding him guilty of trafficking in 4.8kg of ganja at a rest and recreation area of the North-South Expressway near Taiping about 10.15pm.

The High Court also sentenced Suzimi to death after he was found guilty on a second charge of trafficking in 263g of ganja in Simpang Empat, also near Taiping, about 30 minutes later.

Suzimi, represented by court-assigned counsel Bernard Francis, appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Suriyadi, who sat with Datuk Hasan Lah and Datuk Ahmad Maarop, upheld the conviction and sentence on the first count.

The appellate court, however, reduced the second count from trafficking to possession as the prosecution had failed to prove the ingredients of the original charge.

Under section 39A (2) the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, a person found guilty of drug possession can be be jailed a minimum five years and a maximum of 20 years.

It is also mandatory to impose a minimum 10 strokes of the rotan with the jail sentence.

Sivanesan Accepts Perak DAP Vice-Chairman Post

IPOH, Nov 19 (Bernama) -- Sungkai state assemblyman A. Sivanesan Friday accepted the Perak DAP vice-chairman post that was offered to him and M. Kulasegaran after their defeat in the DAP state election.

On Thursday, Ipoh Barat Member of Parliament M. Kulasegaran, the former Perak DAP deputy chairman, rejected an offer for a similar post.

Sivanesan said he made the decision after discussing the offer with party members and leaders.

"I had also discussed the matter with Kulasegaran of the decision... it was made for the betterment of the party and achieve the objective of recapturing Perak and lead the march towards Putrajaya," he said.

Iran claims new air missile system

Iran claims it successfully tested a new defence missile system, two months after Russia scrubbed missile sales to it. 

Iran has successfully tested its own version of a missile system that Russia declined to supply amid concerns Tehran might be seeking nuclear weapons, an Iranian military official said.

State-run Press TV on Thursday quoted a commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards as saying Tehran had adapted another Russian-made missile system to perform like the more sophisticated S-300.

"We have developed the system by upgrading systems like the S-200 and we have tested it successfully," Brigadier General Mohammad Hassan Mansourian said, according to Press TV's
website.

Russia infuriated Iran in September when it cancelled the S-300 missile order after heavy lobbying from the United States and Israel, which said the system could be used to help Iran shield its nuclear facilities from possible future air strikes.

Some Western analysts doubt Iran's ability to replicate the S-300, a precision, mobile, long-range air defence system that can detect, track and destroy ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and low-flying aircraft.

However, some Western officials suspect Iran's development of more sophisticated missiles could serve the goal of attaining a deliverable nuclear weapon.

Strained relations

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian President, banned delivery of the S-300s in September, saying it would violate expanded UN sanctions over Iran's refusal to curb a nuclear programme many countries fear is aimed at making a bomb, a charge it denies.

Medvedev met Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, on Thursday at a summit of Caspian Sea states in Baku, Azerbaijan, where the issue of reopening nuclear talks was likely to be raised.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the regional summit during one of the lowest points in relations between the two traditional allies.

Once a reliable backer of Tehran, Moscow has scrubbed a controversial missile deal with Iran and backed UN sanctions against the country over its controversial nuclear drive.

In a sign of the Baku meeting's sensitivity and in contrast to usual practise, Russian state television skipped over the opening remarks and showed only the two president shaking hands and Ahmadinejad smiling broadly.

"The conversation was of a completely open nature. Neither ourselves, nor our colleague avoided unpleasant questions," said Sergei Prikhodko, Medvedev's top foreign policy aide after the
meeting in Baku.

Speaking at the summit, Ahmadinejad said Iran would not bend to threats or sanctions.

"If they want to achieve positive results they should stop thinking as aggressors," he said at a news conference. "They should change the old methods, otherwise the results will be the same. No embargoes can change the Iranian people."

Source:Agencies

Police SB and Tawan Dun Machap meeting with Malacca HINDRAF & HRP

IMG_3886
Only at 9am today we sms to meet key Malacca HINDRAF and HRP supporters. At 1.00pm 17 Hindraf & HRP supporters turned up in a such a short notice. Before even our arrival 3 police special branch including mandore Insp.Thanasegaran where already at the restaurant. It was agreed to lounge TAWAN DUN MACHAP and P.Uthayakumar’s book “25th November” in Machap in January. A group of student also came forward to meet and greet us.
S.JAYATHAS
Information Chief
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Racist DAP, PKR and PAS Selangor as cruel as UMNO and Khir Toyo.

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/urlracist.jpgRefuses to implement land for all Hindu temples, cemeteries, Tamil schools and villages in Selangor all in one go, but only offers temporary solution.

Perhaps when another Indian CakraGuna self immolates himself to prevent his temple, cemetery, Tamil school or village, then they would be given hampers, peanuts, RM 100 ang paw or a temporary land solution.

Where is the change?

(see SH 17/11/2010 at page S6)

Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice.

racist

Revenge motive for Chennai killings

murder
KUALA LUMPUR: The husband of the housewife murdered in Chennai last week along with her two children, believes the motive is revenge.

Muthusamy alias Mohammad, 27, told the New Straits Times that he believed his wife was murdered by a public figure in Chennai.

He alleged the man had marked him when he did not testify against a man who had killed a member of his family four years ago.

"He wanted me to say that I saw the suspect murder one of his family member but I didn't as I did not see the murderer," he said.


Muthusamy, an Indian with Malaysian permanent resident status, added that the man's anger could have also been fuelled when he learnt that his sister was having an affair with Muthusamy's brother, Vasu, in 2002.

He said the woman, Aseth Begum, who was married with two children, was then pregnant with Vasu's child.

Muthusamy claimed the woman had since gone missing.

Muthusamy said his wife M. Adhila Banu, 24, and their children, Ajira Banu, 5, and Mohd Aslam, 7, had returned to his village in Sattankulam to seek reconciliation with his family.

The villagers there had ostracised the couple after Muthusamy converted to Islam before he married Adhila in 2002.

The couple moved to Malaysia shortly after they were married and Muthusamy started working as a driver here.

Adhila had been staying with her mother in Barathi Nagar, Ramanathapuram District when she and her children were abducted in front of a petrol kiosk.

On Nov 8, they had gone to a nearby sundry shop to buy cooking gas when they were believed to have been kidnapped.

They were found strangled and their bodies dumped in a swollen canal in Vadipatti, Madurai, about 160km from their house, three days later.

It was reported earlier that police investigations had revealed a gang had demanded 250,000 Indian rupees (RM17,000) from the victim's family, who refused to pay.

On Nov 13, Indian police detained two men in connection with the murders.

Vadipatti police inspector P.R. Lakshmanan said so far one of the men had remained tight-lipped about his involvement and the other had been cooperative in revealing information about the case.

He said police had seized a four-wheel-drive believed to have been used in the kidnap.

He added that three Indian nationals, who were among 20 people questioned over the murders, were believed to be in Malaysia.

The three -- Sahul Kaja Mohaideen, 32, Mohd Harshad @ Lala s/o Sajahan, 24, and Manivannan Thinagaran, 23, left for Kuala Lumpur from Chennai on Nov 12 on a Jet Airways flight.

Lakshmanan said they would be liasing with Interpol and their Malaysian counterparts to find them.

Zaid claims PKR practises BN politics

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Datuk Zaid Ibrahim continued his attack on his party comrades today by warning that PKR’s reform agenda was doomed to failure if it continued to ape Barisan Nasional’s (BN) patronage politics.

The former party number two hopeful claimed that PKR and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would not be able to oust an entrenched and dominant BN by using a “more or less similar” political approach.

“If we say Barisan Nasional is undemocratic... then our party must be democratic,” he said in an interview on Astro Awani today.

“If we also [practise] political patronage and hang on to power... then how are we different? How are we supposed to gain the people’s support?”

Zaid (picture) said this was the reason he had stressed the importance of process over outcome during the recent PKR direct elections, the results of which will be officially announced next week.

“If we only want to have an election and we use methods... that were rejected by the people in 2008, I don’t see that the party will be able to bring much change,” he warned.

Zaid confirmed this week that he would quit PKR and is expected to make a formal announcement tomorrow.

Last week, the maverick politician dropped out of the party’s deputy presidential race, after claiming irregularities and manipulation in favour of rival Azmin Ali.

Zaid had said he wanted to quit PKR because of the increasing personal attacks by some party members against him, and claimed that he had been targeted merely for asking for a clean, free and fair party election.

He said that right from the start of polling when he was leading the pack in the race for the No. 2 post, he had been calling on party leaders to seriously look into irregularities in the balloting process.

Accusing PKR leaders of being “liars” and “cheats”, Zaid added that he was “sick of the sick leaders” within the party.

He has become increasingly critical of the party leadership in recent weeks, going as far as asking Anwar, the party’s de facto leader, and Azmin to quit their posts for the sake of the party.

The former PKR central leadership council member and Federal Territories chief today also stressed that the nation’s future depended on political change, whether from BN or the opposition.

“There are people who are more practical than me — power, electoral victory and such — but I prefer to delve into this aspect and its effects in the long-term,” he said.

Zaid added that he measured a politician’s success by how effectively he can affect change in the system, and said he would consider himself successful if he brought about some measure of change.

“I gauge the effectiveness of a politician in this country by how far he can change, how far he can be a catalyst... in terms of transparency, our administration, democracy,” he said.

“People worry about change because it is something new. We are comfortable with what exists, so it’s hard for us to change. But, for me, our nation’s progress requires this change so if I can contribute a little to this then I will have been successful.”

When Zaid joined PKR 18 months ago, he was labelled a successor to de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the only other person capable of keeping the PR coalition and its leaders of different ideologies intact.

He was appointed to the party’s political bureau and once enjoyed the support of many of the PKR supreme council members because of his willingness to resign from the Cabinet to protest the ISA arrest of Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng.

Zaid, however, began to lose popularity when he decided to go on leave from the political bureau amid a power tussle in the Sabah PKR leadership. - The Malaysian Insider

Third Force unlikely to impact Malaysia

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid and Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is not ready for a third force in politics. Analysts said the prospect of Zaid Ibrahim leading the third force is also unlikely to bolster its growth.

The third force, comprising bloggers and leading figures in civil society groups, is looking to pull the former law minister into their camp in a bid to add weight to its light presence. Zaid is expected to quit PKR by the end of this month after a disastrous fallout with the party's top leadership.

According to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaya political analyst, Professor Shamsul Amri, Malaysia's political history has shown that it is not accommodative of a third movement.

He said the excitement around a third force often wither away fast.

He cited the 1987 Umno crisis when juggernaut Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah left the ruling Malay party Umno to form Semangat 46 in 1989 after losing to former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the contest for Umno's supreme post.

Razaleigh, who was the finance minister at that time, lost only by a razor thin deficit.

Political pundits felt Mahathir's narrow win signaled a strong support towards Razaleigh and the formation of his new party was hailed as the start of a genuinely capable third force.

The excitement, however, was short lived as Semangat 46, pressured by strained relations with the opposition, saw its members and key figures returning to Umno. The party was subsequently disbanded in 1996 and Razaleigh too rejoined Umno.

"(So) I don't think having a third force around will work in Malaysia.. third force in Malaysia is (almost) non-existence," he told FMT, adding that Zaid is a "nobody" without the support of either Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat.

Eroding popularity

UCSI lecturer and political analyst Ong Kian Ming believes that while Zaid has all the necessary qualities to lead a third force and his progressive ideals appeal to those who make up the movement, his recent tirades against PKR have exposed his poor acumen which may hurt the group.

"On paper he is the right person but then again Zaid is the type that its either his way or the highway and the characters in the third force are also uncompromising," he said pointing out the possible of personality conflicts between Zaid and leaders of the third force.

He noted that Zaid's popularity is eroding among opposition supporters following his constant attack against PKR's top leadership.

Zaid has claimed that he has been victimised by PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim who is said to favour his right-hand man, vice-president Azmin Ali, for the deputy presidential post.

The perceived failure to provide solid evidence to back his allegations of malpractices in the party's ongoing direct elections have also dented Zaid's image among his adoring followers.

Many fear he will drag this dark cloud into the third force should he lead the movement said Ong.

And this could be detrimental and repel support towards them, added the political analyst.

Group co-ordinator, lawyer and blogger, Haris Ibrahim is planning to lead the group into multi-cornered fights in up to 30 of the 222 parliamentary seats which are being held or are to be contested by PKR in a move that may split the votes and dent the party's effort to lead Pakatan to Putrajaya.

Ong believes that the group's chances are bright in urban areas, where a more liberal electorate is growing more disillusioned by the brand of politics espoused by both Pakatan and BN.

Wanita chief candidate called to testify; Jenapala files suit over candidacy

By Fazy Sahir - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: PKR wanita chief aspirant Animah Ferrar would be summoned by the party's central election committee to testify on her allegations that there had been malpractices in the party's wanita wing elections.

Animah's allegations involve the conduct of incumbent wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin during the ongoing election process, held to pick division wanita as well as national wanita leaders.

A party source confirmed that Animah had been asked to appear before the committee to explain several details based on her complaints of the alleged wrongdoings.

The source said eight PKR divisions, involving the wanita wings, met the party's central election committee chief Dr Molly Cheah today and it is understood that the meeting "had something do to" with allegations levelled by Animah previously.

"Animah will be called again so that the committee can for themselves hear all the allegations. Witnesses, if any, would be summoned later. In fact today eight divisions met Dr Molly," the source revealed.

Cheah when contacted by FMT refused to comment on the meeting today. However, she confirmed receiving a memorandum on the complaints from Animah, via e-mail, on Nov 14.

"Yes it is true that some divisions met me today but I cannot divulge any details on the purpose of the meeting or what transpired at the meeting.

"But I can confirm receiving Animah's memorandum on Nov 14. Her complaints were about the party's election process. It has to be given a fair consideration. I have also forwarded the memorandum to a few relevant individuals to assist in investigating the claims," said Cheah.

Allegations of abuse by incumbent

It is learnt that Animah in one of her complaints had alleged that there was a ban on members from nominating her at the Padang Rengas PKR division annual general meeting.

The wanita chief aspirant has also accused Zuraida's supporters of grabbing the list of names proposed by Animah to be elected by members from her supporters.

Animah in her memorandum has named several PKR members as witnesses to the incident.

When contacted by FMT, Animah refused to elaborate further on the matter, saying that the issue was too "confidential" to be revealed to the media.

Based on a report in the Star newspaper on Nov 15, Animah had alleged that Zuraida had abused her power, using party mechanism to increase support and threatened, lied and manipulated the situation to win more votes.

Animah, who is also the party's supreme council member, wanted the party to declare the PKR polls invalid due to vote manipulation and abuse of power.

The contest for the wanita chief sees a three-cornered fight between Zuraida, Animah and Suraya Sudin. After three weekends of pollings, and one final weekend left, incumbent Zuraida is leading the race, followed by Suraya.

The PKR elections have been mired with controversy following allegations of electoral fraud. Several candidates have called for the polls to be adjourned until these issues are sorted out but the party is keen to complete the process in time for its national congree at the end of this month.

One high profile candidate to have pulled out of the race is deputy presidential aspirant Zaid Ibrahim who cited electoral fraud for his reason to do so. He has also indicated his intention to quit the party over its failure to stem the fraud.

Suit filed against polls

In another development, former deputy secretary-general P Jenapala has turned to the courts in his attempt to contest for the deputy president's post.

He filed a suit this morning at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registrar to seek a declaration that he is entitled to contest for the deputy's post.

He was disqualified by the party from contesting on the grounds that he was no longer a member. He however disputes this, saying that he had not received any official notice from the party about his sacked status.

He named as defendants party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, outgoing deputy president Syed Husin Ali and secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

The race for the deputy's post sees a straight fight between favourite Azmin Ali and Mustaffa Kamil Ayub after the pull out of Zaid Ibrahim.

This coming weekend will see the last round of pollings with official results to be announced during the party's congress at the end of the month.

Jenapala's suit, if successful, will effective mean that the election process would have to be halted and held again, this time with Jenapala as one of the candidates.

The ends can’t justify the means


We can’t compromise on moral conduct. We also can’t close our eyes to the proper moral code and argue that we change the government first and then address these issues later once the government has changed.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

I am very concerned about the comments by some of our readers, which reflects their attitude. Many display the ‘we must win by hook or by crook’ mentality. Is that what it has been reduced to? Winning the elections whatever it takes, by fair means or foul?

That was how it was in the last general election in 2008. And where has that got us today? Are not many of the problems facing us due to this attitude? We grumble about the Pakatan frogs. But is not the Pakatan frog problem due to the policy of ‘never mind who the candidates are as long as they are Pakatan candidates? We shall vote Pakatan even if they field a monkey as a candidate’?

You talk about breaking the Barisan Nasional hegemony. You talk about changing the federal government. I too have been talking about the same thing and have been doing so since 35 years ago from back in the mid-1970s.

We can’t adopt the ends justify the means attitude -- even how much we wish to kick out Barisan Nasional and change the government. That is Umno’s attitude -- and if we are just like Umno then why the need to change the government? More importantly, would we not also face the same problems that Umno is facing if we are just like them?

Let me demonstrate one example. On 11 May 1969, Malaysia held its third general election. Out of 144 seats contested, the Alliance Party won 95 and the opposition won 49, resulting in the ruling party losing its two-thirds majority in Parliament. In terms of popular votes the ruling party garnered less than 50%. The opposition won Penang and Kelantan hands down and checkmated the ruling party in Perak and Selangor, almost like what happened in 2008.

Basically, the Alliance Party of Umno, MCA and MIC were given a thrashing. Umno was desperate. It needed to regain power by hook or by crook. The number two, Tun Razak Hussein, also needed to oust the number one, Tunku Abdul Rahman, whom they blamed for the poor election result.

To Umno it was a noble cause. They needed to regain Malay political power. And they had to do this by hook or by crook. The ends will have to justify the means. And we all know what that ‘means’ was. The 13 May 1969 race riot is a well-documented event and no one has any reservations as to why the May 13 riots were triggered.

To us non-Umno people, we might view this as a tragedy. To the Umno diehards May 13 was necessary for Umno’s survival. The ends justify the means. There is nothing immoral about that.

So you see, where do we draw the line? When we are guided by ‘everything is fair in love and war’ where is our moral code? And if we adopt the same code of conduct as Umno does, how can we grumble about May 13? May 13 was good for Umno. It was moral as far as Umno is concerned. We should salute Umno for being able to grab victory from the jaws of defeat by engineering a race riot. It was a brilliant move. This is what Machiavellian politics is all about.

Yes, we want to change the government. We want to break Barisan Nasional’s hegemony. But there is a right way and a wrong way of doing that. Barisan Nasional is doing it the wrong way. We have to be better than that. We must do it the right way.

But I hear the chatter in Malaysia Today and many do not care whether it is the right way or the wrong way. Kick out Barisan Nasional first. Never mind how we do it. Let it be the wrong way if need be. Later, after Pakatan Rakyat has formed the new government, we will address the issue of moral code. Later, once the government has changed, we will tackle the defects in Pakatan Rakyat and correct the shortcomings.

This is what I am hearing.

Was that not what we did in 1999? And what happened? The opposition coalition broke up soon after that and in the following election in 2004 they suffered a beating.

Way back in 1999 we were already not comfortable with the loose coalition called Barisan Alternatif. We were also not happy that while Barisan Alternatif had their Joint Election Manifesto they also had their individual party manifestos. So there were five election manifestos -- one for Barisan Alternatif and one each for PKN, DAP, PAS and PRM.

We wanted to see a registered and legal coalition like Barisan Nasional. Barisan Alternatif was not a marriage. It was an affair. They should ‘get married’ by registering Barisan Alternatif. Also, they should have only one manifesto, the Barisan Alternatif Joint Election Manifesto, and no other manifestos besides that.

We tried to make them listen but our suggestions fell on deaf ears. I wrote all sorts of articles and was very vocal about the matter. You can read these articles in the English Section of Harakah circa 1999. And the rest, as they say, is all now water under the bridge.

2004 was chaos. There were so many disputes and three-corner fights mainly because there was no longer any opposition coalition to speak of. Many opposition candidates not only lost but lost their deposits as well.

Yes, sometimes we are very critical of the opposition. But we have reason to be very vocal and critical. We have seen the ups and downs of the opposition. In 1990 they did well. In 1994 they did badly. In 1999 they did well. In 2004 they did badly. In 2008 they did well. What do you think the next election is going to be like?

Up one election, down the next. Then up the next election, and down the next again. This is what I fear we may see. And this is what frightens me.

Fine, in 2008 we did not care a damn whom the opposition fielded as candidates. We also did not care about moral code and other issues related to morality. We just wanted to kick out Barisan Nasional. Is this enough? Will the next election carry the opposition just on the sentiments of kicking out Barisan Nasional? Or do the voters expect more than that?

The voters are wiser now than in the old days. Today, many of the voters are able to think and rationalise. They will no longer accept bad over worse. They demand better than that.

We are living in the fallacy that ABU is enough -- ‘Asal Bukan Umno’ or ‘Anything But Umno’. In 2008, that may have been enough. This may no longer be enough for the next election.

If the objective is just to kick out Barisan Nasional and if the route to achieving this would be to change Malaysia into an Islamic State to ensure that we get more Malay votes would you agree to this? If we all agree to PAS’s proposal to turn Malaysia into an Islamic State and if this will guarantee that Barisan Nasional will be defeated since we will gain more Malay votes why can’t you agree to this? The ends justify the means, right?

So you see, we can’t agree to the ends justifying the means. We want a change of government but we want it done in a certain way.

Some say Pakatan Rakyat is not perfect but it is still better than Barisan Nasional. Can I argue that Najib Tun Razak may not be perfect but he is still better than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad? But no, we also don’t want Najib. We want an absolutely prudent prime minister.

We can’t compromise on moral conduct. We also can’t close our eyes to the proper moral code and argue that we change the government first and then address these issues later once the government has changed.

We need to address these issues now. We need to know what type of people Pakatan Rakyat is going to send into government and what will they do once they get to form the new federal government. That will be the criteria if they want our votes.

We tried the ‘get in first and talk later’ in the last three elections. Now it is time to ‘talk first and then we decide if you should get in’ approach.

It is disheartening to hear all this chatter asking us to close our eyes and just vote for Pakatan Rakyat and make sure they get to form the new government. Why are they not concerned about the quality of the government that Pakatan Rakyat is offering us?

Sure, many of you are merely concerned about changing the government. I am not concerned about just that. I am also concerned about the type of government and type of people we will send into government and whether they really have the voters’ interest at heart.

This is where you and I differ.

Anyway, Anwar Ibrahim has just told me that The People’s Voice and The People’s Declaration have been tabled at the Pakatan Rakyat Council for discussion. That is most heartening. I would be even more excited if I can now be informed as to whether the Pakatan Rakyat Council has endorsed (embraced) these two documents or has rejected them.

That would be the most crucial test of whether Pakatan Rakyat is sincere about reforms. We hear a lot of rhetoric about needing change. We hear a lot of rhetoric that Barisan Nasional is bad for the country. We now want to talk about the details of those reforms.

That is what The People’s Voice and The People’s Declaration are all about -- the Agenda for Change or Agenda Perubahan.

If there is anything in those two documents that Pakatan Rakyat can’t agree to then let us know now. Don’t keep quiet and get us to vote for you and then only after you walk into Putrajaya do you turn around and tell us that our documents have been rejected.

Tell us now and allow us to decide whether we will still vote for you. That is the moral thing to do. But to keep quiet and when you get to form the government you turn around and screw us is absolutely immoral.

Finally, if you have no problems getting good candidates to contest the election then well and fine. But can we know who these candidates are? We don’t want any unpleasant surprises later. If they are good then you don’t need us. However, if you have problems getting good candidates -- like how you told us earlier -- then we are prepared to offer our help.

We are not trying to interfere in your internal party matters. But you said you have problems getting good candidates. If that is true then we are here to help. And if you can show us your list of these fantastic candidates then we will back off and leave you to manage the next general election.

Kuasa Ketiga untuk PRU 13: 16 orang telah menawar diri, Haris Ibrahim

"Kuasa ketiga" bakal meletakkan calon yang berkualiti untuk mengisi kekosongan Pakatan Rakyat dalam Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13, menurut pelopornya, Haris Ibrahim.  Peguam hak asasi manusia ini menafikan bahawa Zaid Ibrahim adalah sebahagian daripada gerakan ini, sambil memaklumkan bahawa 16 orang telah menawar diri untuk menjadi calon bebas dalam PRU akan datang.
Haris Ibrahim telah menyatakan hasratnya untuk membentuk "Kuasa Ketiga" sejak awal Ogos tahun ini.  Matlamatnya adalah memilih mereka yang berkualiti dari masyarakat sivil untuk dijadikan calon, agar peristiwa lompat parti untuk kepentingan diri oleh ahli parlimen pembangkang tidak berulang.  Cadangan ini mengundang pujian dan kritikan setelah diutarakan.  Mereka yang kecewa dengan PR bertepuk tangan, sementara ada yang menganggap ia terlalu "naif" - kerana tindakan ini bakal memecah-belahkan kekuatan pembangkang.
Haris Ibrahim menjelaskan kepada MerdekaReview bahawa menumpaskan Barisan Nasional adalah matlamat yang dikongsi bersama oleh "kuasa ketiga" dan PR.  Namun demikian, PR kekurangan calon yang berkualiti untuk bertanding di kesemua 222 kawasan parlimen.  Oleh itu, "kuasa ketiga" cuba mendapatkan mereka yang berkualiti tetapi tidak berniat untuk menyertai mana-mana parti politik dari masyarakat sivil, untuk ditawarkan kepada PR.
"Kemudian, terserahlah kepada Pakatan Rakyat untuk membuat keputusan.  Mereka sendiri yang kekurangan calon," katanya ketika dihubungi MerdekaReview, semalam.
Namun, ketika ditanya sama ada "perang tiga penjuru" bakal menghakis sokongan terhadap PR, Haris Ibrahim berkata, "Tengoklah PRK Batu Sapi, perang tiga penjuru tetap wujud walaupun tiada masyarakat sivil."
Kuncinya, calon terbaik harus diletakkan untuk bertanding, tegas Haris Ibrahim.
Ketika ditanya kayu ukur penilaian calon, beliau berkata piawaiannya telah ditetapkan PKR sendiri.  "Kuasa ketiga" akan menilai calon berdasarkan kayu ukur yang ditetapkan PKR.  Sambil mengambil ahli parlimen Kelana Jaya Loh Gwo-Burne (gambar kanan) sebagai contoh, Haris berkata mereka sudi menerima Loh sebagai calon, seandainya Loh lulus mengikut kayu ukur PKR.
Sebaliknya, Haris mempersoalkan, "Jikalau Loh Gwo-Burne sudah tidak lulus mengikut kayu ukur kamu sendiri (PKR), mengapa masih lagi diletakkannya sebagai calon?"
Integriti menjadi keutamaan
Beliau memaklumkan bahawa keutamaan yang diberikan ketika memilih calon bukan berasaskan prestasi calon tersebut, tetapi integriti - untuk mengelakkan peristiwa keluar parti seperti Zulkifli Nordin, Wee Choo Keong, Zahrain Hashim dan sebagainya daripada berlaku.
Haris berkata, daripada 222 kerusi parlimen, BN dan pro-BN mempunyai 146 sementara PR mempunyai 76 kerusi, menunjukkan bahawa PR kelihatan tidak mempunyai calon berintegriti yang mencukupi untuk bertanding.
"Seandainya PR menang dalam PRU ke-13, dan Anwar Ibrahim mengangkat sumpah sebagai Perdana Menteri.  BN menawarkan RM2 bilion, dan kita akan menyaksikan satu lagi krisis Perak," katanya.
Haris turut memaklumkan bahawa setakat ini, terdapat 16 orang calon yang "sangat baik" telah menawar diri sebagai calon bebas.
Haris Ibrahim berkata, beliau mencadangkan tiga usaha untuk gerakan di bawah inisiatif masyarakat sivil ini.  Selain menawarkan calon bebas yang berintegriti, dan berpendirian sama dengan PR dalam isu berhubung kepentingan rakyat, mereka juga akan menyebarkan maklumat tentang masyarakat sivil, malah memulakan gerakan peringkat kebangsaan untuk menyeru agar rakyat menghukum parti politik yang terlebih belanja ketika berkempen.
"Akta Pilihan Raya menetapkan bahawa perbelanjaan di setiap kawasan pengundian (parlimen) tidak boleh melebihi RM200 ribu.  Tetapi dalam PRK Hulu Selangor, RM100 juta telah dibelanjakan."
Nafi berkempen untuk Zaid
Satu mesyuarat tertutup dijadualkan pada hujung minggu lalu di kalangan wakil dari masyarakat sivil untuk menubuhkan satu jawatankuasa untuk gerakan tersebut, namun terpaksa digugurkan kerana kehadiran yang terlalu rendah.  Haris Ibrahim memberitahu bahawa satu mesyuarat meja bulat akan dipanggil pada 19 Disember ini untuk mengumpulkan wakil dari badan bukan kerajaan.  Seterusnya, satu Konvensyen Rakyat akan diadakan pada awal Januari 2011 untuk merestui hasil perbincangan meja bulat tersebut.
"Tidak, tidak, tidak," beliau menafikan Zaid Ibrahim (gambar kanan) sebagai sebahagian daripada gerakan ini.  Zaid Ibrahim menjadi tumpuan media sejak kebelakangan ini apabila menarik diri dari pemilihan parti dan meletak jawatan partinya dalam PKR.
Ketika dibangkitkan bahawa Haris Ibrahim kelihatan seolah-olah berkempen untuk Zaid Ibrahim dalam pemilihan PKR, beliau mengajukan soalan kepada wartawan sebaliknya, "Kamu tunjukkan mana artikel saya dalam tiga bulan kebelakangan ini berkempen untuk Zaid?  Saya mengkritik proses Pemilihan PKR, ya, saya mengkritik Anwar dan Azmin Ali mempunyai agenda Islam, saya akan terus berbuat demikian."
Beliau menambah, oleh sebab PKR menuntut pilihan raya yang adil dan mendukung konsep ketuanan rakyat, maka PKR perlu menunjukkan teladan.
*Chan Wei See ialah Pemangku Ketua Pengarang MerdekaReview.  Diterjemah dan disunting Lim Hong Siang dari teks asal yang disiarkan pada 17 November 2010.

Raja Petra: People Only Vote for Pakatan Out of Hate for BN

Malaysian Digest: On the subject of the special position, what is your opinion on both article 152 and 153 of the Federal Constitution? Do you feel that affirmative action should still be implemented in the any of the government’s policy or should certain amendments be made to these articles ?

Raja Petra Kamarudin: Amended in what way? What is it to be amended? What is there to talk about? What is article 153? What does it say?


MD: I don’t remember the exact words...

RPK: I tell you what it says. “It shall be a responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives on any of the states of Sabah and Sarawak”, okay… plus “the legitimate interest of other communities”.

What’s wrong with Article 153? Why does it need to be amended? I mean, is there anything in Article 153 that says any race has special privileges? No. It just says to safeguard the special position of the Malays as well of the natives of Sabah and Sarawak as well as a legitimate interest of the other communities, which means article 153 protects everybody… everybody, meaning every Malaysian. The special position is protected.

But there’s no talk about any one race having special right. In fact, Article 153 specifically says “all communities” so why are we arguing about Article 153 when it’s a non-issue? It’s very clear. But what can we argue about is the misinterpretation of what Article 153 said. A lot of people talk about Article 153 without even reading what Article 153 says. And, we always talk about one article… Article 153. But the constitution comprises of 181 articles. And why don’t we look at Article 4?

You know what article 4 says?

No, I don’t...

Okay, Article 4 says, this constitution which means the Federal Constitution of Malaysia is the supreme law of the federation and any law passed after merdeka, which is inconsistent with this constitution, shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void. Which means any law that is passed after Merdeka day that is inconsistent or violates the Constitution is void.

So any law that you pass, as long as it’s a contradictory to the constitution, is not valid. So we talked about one article but we don’t talk about the whole constitution, in particular Article 4, which very clearly spells out you can’t pass the law which goes again the Constitution, full stop. The trouble is, when any people argue, especially those who defend the ketuanan melayu, many people argue about the Constitution, none of them have actually read the Constitution. None of them understand the Constitution, and (they end up) arguing about something they are totally ignorant about. That is the problem. The problem is not the Constitution, or the articles of the Constitution. The problem is the ignorance of the people who talk about the constitution. Kejahilan of those who wish to discuss the issue.

It says that, any law that you pass after Merdeka day, after 1957, any law that you pas,s if it does not compile to the constitution, is not valid. So even if you amend it and the amendment violates the Constitution, it’s illegal.


What is '1Malaysia' to you?

What is it to you? What is 1Malaysia? You tell me. Do you know?

Not really.

So? I think Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself said he doesn’t understand what is 1Malaysia. And I assume Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a very intelligent person.


How’s Najib’s performance as the Prime Minister so far?

Do you rate him highly?

Well, can’t say much about that.

Yup. And I think more than half of Malaysians also rate him in the same manner.


Will you be joining a political party in the near future?

If I wanted to be part of a political system, I would’ve done so a long time ago. I’ve been involved with politics for like more than 30 years. 30 years I’ve been outside of the party political party system. But I have been a critic of a political system. I mean, 30 years… why do I need to join now?


How do you feel about Pakatan Rakyat as far as its strengths and weaknesses are concerned? What do they need to do to win the next election? Do they have a fighting chance?

Pakatan Rakyat has its fighting chance only as far as the people‘s hatred for Barisan Nasional continues. People vote for Pakatan Rakyat not out of love for Pakatan Rakyat. People vote for Pakatan Rakyat out of hate for Barisan Nasional. So if there’s any relationship between the voters and Pakatan Rakyat this relationship is merely the unity of hate not the unity of love. Now if the people voted for Pakatan Rakyat because the love of Pakatan Rakayat than I’d say Pakatan Rakayat have a solid future. But they vote Pakatan Rakayat only because they do not want Barisan Nasional, in particular Umno – “ABU” – “Anything But Umno”, “Asalkan Bukan Umno”.

So as long as Umno or Barisan Nasional continues make mistakes, the people should support Pakatan Rakyat. They support Pakatan Rakyat because they don’t want Barisan or Umno. That’s all. If Umno reforms or if Pakatan Rakyat reforms, then there’s no longer the need to support or vote Pakatan Rakyat out of hate. But fortunately, for the opposition, Umno and Barisan continue to make mistakes. Because they continue to make mistakes, people will continue to support Pakatan Rakyat. But that’s a very dangerous relationship. Relationship built on hate rather than on love. So, if we have a common enemy, then we shall certainly unite.

I always use the example of Taliban in Afghanistan. The Taliban hate each other and they fight with each other. But as long as they have a common enemy, and in this case the common enemy was Russia, then they would unite. They unite because of a common enemy which is Russia. And because they were united, the Taliban were able to defeat Russia. But as soon as Russia was defeated, the Taliban went back to fighting each other.

So, today the Taliban are fighting each other again because there is no Russia. So even enemies of many generations, the tribes, different tribes of Afghanistan and Taliban and all, even though there have been enemies for many generations as long as they perceive there’s a common enemy, they’ll unite. The same goes with Pakatan Rakyat. The three parties in Pakatan Rakyat, as well as the voters, they are united because they oppose against one enemy which is Umno. What will happen when one day Umno no longer becomes the enemy, or if Umno reforms, or if Barisan Nasional reforms? That would be a very dangerous period for Pakatan Rakyat. The way I see it, Umno and Barisan will never reform, not for a long time to come. So because of that, Pakatan Rakyat has still solid future.


Okay. Thank you and Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha. Will you be celebrating in the UK?

Thank you. Well, probably, but not in a big way here, not like that in Malaysia.