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Monday, November 22, 2010

Mahkamah halang permohonan injunksi Jenapala


Oleh Jamilah Kamarudin - FMT
LAPORAN PENUH KUALA LUMPUR: Mahkamah Tinggi hari ini menolak permohonan injunksi bekas timbalan setiausaha agung PKR SP Jenapala untuk menghalang PKR mengisytiharkan pelantikan barisan Majlis Pimpinan Tertinggi Pusat (MPP) yang baru.
Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Rayuan dan Kuasa-Kuasa Khas Datuk Aziah Ali berkata dalam kamar, injuksi itu tidak akan diberikan kerana mahkamah menetapkan tarikh Khamis ini (25 November) bagi mendengar permohonan saman Jenapala untuk mendapatkan perintah mahkamah bahawa pemilihan yang diadakan bagi jawatan timbalan presiden parti itu tidak sah.
Ini kerana katanya menurut perlembagaan PKR, pengumuman keputusan pemilihan parti akan hanya diumumkan pada kongres tahunan yang dijadualkan berlangsung pada Ahad (28 November) ini.
"Tiada injunksi akan diberikan kerana mahkamah akan mendengar permohonan saman Jenapala pada 25 November (tarikh sebelum kongres tahunan PKR diadakan)," katanya.
Layak bertanding
Jenapala, 56, pada 19 November lalu memfailkan saman terhadap PKR kerana mendakwa proses pemilihan MPP parti itu bertentangan dengan haknya sebagai anggota PKR seumur hidup, dan beliau masih boleh bertanding bagi jawatan itu.

Jenapala mendakwa dirinya masih layak untuk bertanding jawatan itu walaupun dikatakan telah dipecat daripada parti pada 2008.

Beliau menamakan presiden PKR Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, timbalan presiden Dr Syed Husin Ali dan setiausaha agung Saifuddin Nasution Ismail sebagai respondan.

Dalam samannya, beliau berkata kenyataan Saifuddin pada 20 Sept lepas bahawa beliau telah dibuang daripada PKR adalah tidak berasas kerana keahliannya telah disahkan di ibu pejabat parti itu pada 17 Sept.

Jenapala juga mendakwa tidak pernah dimaklumkan oleh parti itu berhubung pengguguran keahliannya mahupun apa jua tindakan disiplin yang dikenakan terhadapnya.

Beliau yang menjadi timbalan setiausaha agung PKR sejak awal 2008 sehingga peletakan jawatannya secara lisan pada Disember tahun yang sama, telah menyatakan hasratnya untuk bertanding jawatan timbalan presiden pada 17 Sept lepas.

Jenapala diwakili peguam James Kaung manakala responden PKR diwakili peguam Ranjit Singh dan Radzlan Hadri.

Peguam R Sivarasa dan Latheefa Koya turut dilantik PKR sebagai peguam pemerhati bagi kes ini.

Zaid-effects from PKR fallout

By Helen Ang - FMT
COMMENT The side-effects from Zaid Ibrahim's ousting is a windfall of political capital for Barisan Nasional in the next general election (GE).
Remember that Zaid is popular with urban Chinese and Indians for his liberal views. So when GE comes around, BN candidates contesting against PKR opponents in mixed seats will bring up this disgraceful episode of Anwaristas attempting to drag Zaid's name through the mud.
He was the outsider whose aborted candidacy caused the siege mentality to erupt in PKR's entrenched establishment. The bashing of Zaid by the party leadership was not only an overkill but encouraged a feeding frenzy by the rank and file.
The piranha-like devouring of Zaid in certain alternative media will not bring PRK any new converts, particularly among the traditional Malay ground (think civil servants or those inclined to Umno but not card-carrying party members). These are segments of the electorate that normally watch TV3, RTM and the free-to-air channels, and those that read Utusan, Berita Harian and The Star.
On the other hand, the ferocity of the personal attacks on Zaid is immensely offputting and may lose PKR some potential goodwill from the fencesitters and non-partisan crowd.
Unlike the PKR diehards and Pakatan Rakyat loyalists, reasonable members of public are able to surmount the contrived distractions and appraise the damaging issues raised by Zaid with greater rationality. To make good their ambitious road to Putrajaya, Pakatan desperately needs these swing votes beyond the secure electoral constituencies.
The trump card that BN will slap on the table in its GE campaign is to ask how can the rakyat trust a PKR-led coalition to run the country when the party cannot even conduct its own internal polls in a manner that is above board.
Who's got more Umno DNA?
Zaid had stood for Umno in the Kota Baru parliamentary seat against a PAS candidate in the 2004 GE and did not suffer any smear campaign. Compare how in the race for PKR deputy president, Zaid is deluged by an avalanche of dirty tactics employed against him. What does this say of the party?
The intensity of the infighting is a sign of the eager scramble by individuals to position themselves for the spoils, should Pakatan conquer Putrajaya. Similar factional power struggles are occurring in the DAP.
What just transpired in PKR has been most illuminating of the way Anwaristas operate, the two planks of which are fear and loathing.
A comment from Azmin Ali's aide Muaz Omar, reported in The Star, accurately sums up the fear:
“People know that actual change can only be via a two-party system and any effort to undermine Pakatan is seen as allowing Barisan Nasional to hold on to their hegemony. Zaid’s actions went against this sentiment.”
Zaid fingerpointed Anwar as the originator of the “Trojan Horse” and “sore loser” labels. Those in the know or formerly from Umno have murmured that these insidious methods had been characteristic of Anwar when he previously unseated his rivals in Umno.
How can anyone credit the wild accusation that Zaid is an Umno plant when it could hardly have been Najib Tun Razak who invited Zaid to join PKR, could it? And who promoted Zaid to his high status in Pakatan? Who handed Zaid the responsibility of drafting the coalition's common policy framework? Not Najib.
It wasn't Najib either putting a gun to Lim Kit Siang's head to compel the DAP stalwart to tout Zaid as "the first minister in the nation’s history to have resigned from the Cabinet on a point of principle".
Umno wasn't the one heaping praises on its supposed “mole”; it was Pakatan that did so of its own accord.
The other main motivator of the opposition movement is loathing. An overarching hatred of Umno is what binds the motley crew of politicians and political groupies recently tearing into Zaid with gusto.
Even incumbent PKR vice-president (who is trailing behind the top five contenders) Sivarasa Rasiah resorted to the Umno bogeyman, saying Zaid's revelations are "something that we normally only hear from Umno-BN politicians" and a "very Umno-BN-like criticism".
For Sivarasa to dwell on Zaid's so-called Umno taint is disappointing, to say the least. While Zaid's former law firm was arguably an NEP beneficiary (and how many of the ex-Umno office-bearers even now in PKR have not been?), Zaid's political career in Umno reached its zenith as Kota Baru division head.
Zaid has never even been an Umno supreme council member whereas Anwar, as deputy president, rose to within a whisker of the apex of the party hierarchy.
So, in whose veins is flowing the thicker Umno blood?
No saint but quite sane
The Anwaristas have decried Zaid's opening of the proverbial can of worms. Nonetheless, Pakatan is misguided in thinking that any criticism of its leaders equates to an endorsement of BN.
Take this analogy: Jill says Jack is unattractive. Her remark is not to be construed as Jill believes the other fella John is good-looking.
Among the labels heaped on Zaid is that he's a “loose cannon”. On the contrary, he threw several curve-balls that the cabal-around-the-personality-cult could not catch.
Misgivings that PKR is rudderless stem from the following considerations:
  • The hallmark of any democracy is its election process. Why then is Anwar the “de facto leader” when he has not put himself up for elected office?
  • Why is the anchor party of the Pakatan axis being helmed by a seat warmer? Will party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is flying PKR on auto pilot, defer to her husband like a good Muslimah when push comes to shove? To paraphrase Kit Siang's ubiquitous “First-er” question: What is she? "Party president first or wife first?"
  • PKR claims to have 364,098 registered members, yet the voter turnout hovered at a meagre 8.4%. What kind of mandate does Azmin wield with his own fraction of 14,751 votes garnered (as at Nov 21)?
  • Why should loyalty be the most important criterion? Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was loyal and rewarded for his loyalty by being made Umno deputy president/deputy prime minister and later prime minister. Azmin, like Abdullah, lacks intellectual depth and gravitas albeit both were loyal men.
  • The “reformasi” faithful demand that newomer Zaid should be “grateful” that he was parachuted into prominence in PKR. Well, so was Tunku Abdul Aziz when appointed DAP vice-president without paying his dues. Doubtless the Tunku is a man of calibre and fulfils DAP's race formula requiring Malay window-dressing... But alas DAP fails to practise the democracy it shouts from the rooftops.
  • Should Zaid have kept his peace? Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has remained in Umno even though he has lately not agreed with some of the party's doings. One wishes though that Ku Li has a bigger and more meaningful role. Zaid can play a bigger role. What he should not do is play second fiddle to Azmin, anointed successor though the latter may be (but still at the end of the day lacking intellectual depth and gravitas).
  • However is PKR going to shed its image that it is a party wherein a de facto leader pulls all the strings?
Granted Zaid made a fatal miscalculation in trying to do a reverse takeover of the family business (whose company logo is the Anwar black eye). He underestimated how the Anwar agenda is first priority. Therefore Zaid is quite correct in his decision to quit now.
PKR should be left to its own devices of seeking justice for Anwar, who will sorely need it when his sodomy trial reaches a verdict.
Physician heal thyself
In its article “Anwar lashes out at former party colleague”, Malaysiakini reported that "Anwar Ibrahim, who delivered a speech at yesterday's (Nov 19) event aimed at closing party ranks in the state, said that he would not elaborate on what had happened to Zaid and his eventual exit from the party."
But wait! "Yet [Anwar] spent the best part of his address talking about the Zaid imbroglio."
In the short interim since the BN electoral setback of March 8, 2008, we've witnessed several other inherent inconsistencies of the above nature.
Another example: Pakatan and its supporters were furious at the two state assemblymen and the Jelapang state assemblywoman who, by deserting the coalition and declaring themselves “BN-friendly Independents” caused the fall of the Perak government. Yet it was Pakatan which embraced the very first “frog”, and a triumphant Anwar was pictured in the papers with his prize catch.
The Bota state assemblyman eventually did a double hop, from Umno to PKR and leaping back to the BN camp again.
Zaid's Dec 16 resignation date is a dig at Anwar's Sept 16 failed coup, a stratagem of enticing a pondful of BN frogs. Ironically, the Pakatan polity was later to be up in arms over the three Perak tadpoles. If PKR is intent on framing itself as a reformist party, it should most certainly adhere to higher standards than the status quo.
With the benefit of hindsight and looking at how Perak remains unsettled, one should – after going through the necessary postmortem and soul-searching – possess enough humility to admit that Anwar's promised Sept 16 would have backfired ethically, not to mention send standards plummeting irrevocably.
After the dust settles on the PKR three-ring circus, the truth (already glimpsed by the clearer-sighted) will be discernible to more and more Malaysians. Zaid is no “traitor”, merely the boy who blurts out that the emperor is wearing no clothes.
The heart of the matter is not that the boy has been naughty (he should have been doing his exam revision at home instead of sneaking out to watch the royal parade) but whether it is true that the emperor is buck naked. Or do we mean butt naked?

Lower GDP growth in 3rd quarter, says Najib

UPDATED KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth would be lower due to external economic environment, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Tun Razak said today.

Barely hours to go before the central bank announces the official 3rd quarter economic results, Najib said the nation's economic slowed down slightly because of weaker demand from advanced economies.

“We can still maintain growth but the rate will be down a bit because of the external environment,” he told newsmen here.
He, however declined to reveal the 3rd quarter growth figure, only saying that Malaysia was still on track to exceed the official growth target of 6% annually.

“We will go beyond six percent for this year,” he said.
He said the country's manufacturing sector had been hit for the year because developed nations were not showing robust growth.

Najib however said the overall growth projections for this year have surpassed the set target.
Studying the SRIs
On the progress of the second phase of the National Economic Model (NEM), the prime minister said it would be unveiled soon.

"We want to make sure of the strategic reform initiatives (SRIs). They touched on major policy considerations, so they need to be studied very carefully so that once the report comes out, the government has to be comfortable with the recommendations (made)," he said.

"Although they are only recommendations and are not compulsory for the government to accept them, the report has to be in tandem with what is doable by the government."

"It is important that the SRIs are implemented because they are another important leg of the NEM," he said.

He pointed out that the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the SRIs are the enablers for the NEM transformation.

"Eventhough the people are more focused on ETP projects, it is equally important that the SRIs are also implemented by the government," he added.

High Court denies Anwar access to medical notes

By FMT Staff
UPDATED KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today denied Anwar Ibrahim access to medical notes of three Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) doctors, over-ruling arguments from the opposition leader's lawyers that the prosecution must produce the notes in his sodomy trial.
In making the decision Justice Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah said that the defence lawyers had failed to give reasons as to why the court should allow Anwar access to the medical notes.
He said the right for an accused to be supplied with the necessary documents depended on the existing criminal procedure code (CPC), as well as the prosecution team.
“SP2 (Dr Razali Ibrahim) was called by the prosecution, what is important for the court is his oral testimony. Notes are only to be used to refresh SP2’s memory... it is not legally admissible, and SP2 has said he does need to refer to the notes to refresh his memory," the judge ruled.
Mohd Zabidin said the prosecution had the "sole prerogative" to allow Anwar access to the medical notes.
“The notes are only admissible, if the prosecution decides so. If prosecution does not decide, then the defence cannot demand for the notes,” said Mohd Zabidin.
In response, Anwar's lead counsel Karpal Singh argued that while the defence disagreed with the learned judge, the decision would be accepted for now.
The three HKL doctors’ handwritten medical examination notes were recorded during a three-hour examination of Anwar’s accuser Mohd Saiful Bukhary Azlan on June 28, 2008.
Karpal had earlier argued that it would be a serious misdirection of the High Court if in any criminal case evidence of an expert was unsupported by data.
“Evidence by expert would bear little weight if not supported by evidence. It is not a question of admissibility alone,” said Karpal.
The veteran lawyer said that the judge needed to base his decision on the provisions of Section 45 of the Evidence Act.

“The function of the expert is to give his honest opinion and place before the court all the data on which he bases his opinions, because it is the court which has to decide the case and accept of reject his opinions.

“In the absence of a clear and precise statement of his reasons, it is difficult for the court to appreciate the opinion of the expert. It is also not fair to the opposite side who is to cross-examine the expert on the correctness of his opinion.

“Any opinion given without stating the reasons is valueless and is of no use as evidence,” said Karpal.

Justice Mohd Zabidin had also ruled that the toxicology reports done on accuser Mohd Saiful would not be expunged and would be used for the purpose of the on-going trial.

Appeal under consideration
Meanwhile another lawyer appearing for Anwar, Sankara Nair told reporters outside court that the defence “was considering” on filing an appeal against Mohd Zabidin’s decision today, but would only confirm it later.

The trial has been postponed to 12.30pm today.

Karpal who is also a lawmaker had sought a postponement of the proceedings, saying that he had raised an important motion in Parliament and he needed to be present when Parliament debated the motion.

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

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

Anwar has denied the charge, describing it as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power” when the charge was read out to him.

He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code and can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping upon conviction. The trial is taking place 18 months after Anwar was charged in court in August 2008.

He was charged with sodomy and corruption in 1998 after he was sacked from the Cabinet and was later convicted and jailed for both offences.

Dimanakah wang rakyat dibelanja

Nga Kor Ming Rakyat Perak mahu tahu apa sebab sebenar selepas rampasan kuasa BN di Perak pada 6/2/2009, mengikut Laporan Ketua Audit Negara, kini wang bersatu berkanun negeri telah berkurangan sebanyak RM85 juta dari RM774 juta menjadi RM689 juta dalam tempoh 1 tahun.


Dari Facebook Nga Kor Ming


Apa sudah terjadi? Dimanakah wang rakyat dibelanja? Di mana sistem open tender? Bagaimana usaha banteras rasuah?

Rakyat berhak tahu kisah benar, Zamry perlu kemukakan fakta benar untuk diperiksa oleh rakyat kerana itu wang cukai dari rakyat, untuk rakyat. Apa sebab sebenar Zamry perlu membuat 3 bajet defisit dalam tempoh 1 tahun, iaitu pada 28/10/2010 sebanyak lebih kurang RM40 juta belanjawan defisit, 3/8/2010 sebanyak RM80 juta dan kini menjelang persidangan DUN Perak mulai 30/11/2010, dianggarkan sebanyak RM50 juta defisit lagi menjadikan jumlah Defisit Negeri Perak lebih RM160 juta.

Nga Kor Ming Rakyat Perak mahu tahu apa sebab sebenar selepas rampasan kuasa BN di Perak pada 6/2/2009, mengikut Laporan Ketua Audit Negara, kini wang bersatu berkanun negeri telah berkurangan sebanyak RM85 juta dari RM774 juta menjadi RM689 juta dalam tempoh 1 tahun.

Bravo Sir

By Hakim Joe

“DSAI, might as well just become the party dictator and choose your personal cronies as you like without having to go through the joke of staging party elections.”

For those who were disillusioned by the Umno tactics employed by former Umno members in the recent PKR branch elections, this is a good time to join another party, albeit presided by yet another former Umno member.

Confused? Welcome to Malaysian politics 101.

Firstly, this is definitely not the Third Force nor does this new group assume to be it. Registration as a political party shall be a breeze as BN will relish the fact that this could be utilized to eventually split the Pakatan vote in the upcoming general elections and to create havoc within the Pakatan alliance, assuming the fact that it has not been already exclusively accomplished by the blatant prejudice and vote-rigging in the recent PKR party elections by those in the position that is capable of doing so (and yes, I mean you, Molly Cheah) for the benefit of their unholy masters.

To judge it as an extreme travesty is like suggesting Hitler is the actual Savior-Reincarnate and that the Holocaust was merely a figment of one’s madcap imagination. The alphabets PKR is supposed to mean Parti Keadilan Rakyat or translated into English, the People's Justice Party. However any “justice” or impartiality that was once inherent within the ranks of the party had gone to the dogs judging by the manner in which the branch elections were conducted and how the PKR Elections Committee (with its pathetic Chair-Dog) took this opportunity to position those loyal to her masters into key positions within the party hierarchy.

Woe befalls those that do not demonstrate utter loyalty to DSAI and his Singaporean-born crony AA. These member-candidates had better win their branch elections by a really huge vote or else the recount will be manipulated in such a manner that the eventual result will favor those who have shown allegiance to the two party kingpins. For those of the opposition camp that demanded a recount (in the event that these cronies won after the first count), you can bet that this (the recount) will not be happening any time soon within their lifespan and any pressure to stage a recount later (after the ballot boxes have been resealed) will result in these ballot boxes going “missing for good” as illustrated in the Pandan branch PKR elections. No ballot boxes mean no recount – End of Story.

To say that PKR is behaving exactly like Umno is not far off the truth. Hell, in fact it is as good as the truth itself. The black eye episode is but a mere distant bad memory now and definitely long forgotten. Reformasi is but a war cry that is whimpered quietly prior to an election but never really practiced within its ranks or staunchly subscribed by its leaders. It is all about positioning one self within the party so as to command and dictate how the party is ultimately manipulated for one’s benefits. It is all about politics and never about the Rakyat.

Now, we have this fellow who had broken ranks with PKR and has set up his own party. Is this an ideal thing to do knowing the fact that the next general elections is just around the corner and will probably split the Opposition vote? Wouldn’t it had been better if this fella join either PAS or DAP instead (assuming that either PAS or DAP will have him)? This will remain one of the unanswered questions but it is wishful thinking indeed believing that either PAS or DAP is capable of controlling such a high profile and feisty personality or that they are willing to disrupt the Pakatan alliance by accepting him into the respective political parties.

In actual fact, there is not much this fella is capable of doing except to form his own party or to leave Malaysian politics altogether. He could of course stay and subject himself to exactly the kind of treatment Umno is dishing out to the Opposition parties, or he could leave, and that is exactly what he has done.
Bravo, Sir. You can expect my membership application form on your desk once you decide to enroll members into this party. I do not know just how this new party will be governed but I believe that it will not be as “Ke-Tak-Adilan” as PKR.

“Not Malays full stop”

Bernard Dompok
Tan Sri Bernard Dompok (all pics below courtesy of Tan Sri Bernard Dompok)
PLANTATION Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok is one of the more outspoken federal government leaders. On a few occasions, especially when it comes to issues affecting Sabahans, he’s spoken up against cabinet positions.
The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president supports the use of “Allah” for Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians. He has opposed the Sabah-Sarawak gas pipeline project because it won’t benefit Sabah, where the gas comes from. And he’s not hesitated to put Umno in its place, calling the political party a hindrance to realising 1Malaysia.
The Penampang Member of Parliament spoke to The Nut Graph about his early years, his purpose in preserving missions schools, the Kadazandusun language, and what being Malaysian means in an interview on 28 Oct 2010 in Putrajaya.

The young politician at an event in the 1980s
The young politician at an event in the 1980s
TNG: When and where were you born?
Bernard Dompok: 1949. In a kampung house, delivered by a kampung bidan, in Kampung Putaton in Inobong, Penampang.
Is that where you grew up?
Yes, partly. My father worked for Shell in Brunei, so I spent an early childhood there up to primary three. I went to school at St Michael’s [in] Seria. When my [family returned] to Sabah, I continued Standard 4 in another school also called St Michael’s, in Penampang. In those days in Penampang, there was only school up to Form 3. For the upper forms you had to go to the school in Kota Kinabalu (KK) run by the La Salle brothers. I did, and lived at the boarding house there.
What are some memories of your childhood in these places?
In Seria, Brunei, I remember going to school with Ibans, Chinese, Indians and Malays. It was a Catholic mission school and there was a mix of students.
My family’s stay there was actually cut short because my father was asked by my grandmother to come back to Sabah due to the political situation in Brunei at the time. Brunei was asked to form Malaysia together with Sabah and Sarawak, but Brunei opted out in the end. [In the run up to that,] there was the Brunei or Azahari Rebellion that opposed joining the Federation of Malaysia. It wasn’t the best of times to be there.
One other thing that struck me about school in Brunei was that the use of English was heavier. Back in Penampang, Kadazandusun was spoken more because 90% of my classmates were Kadazandusun. There were also a few Chinese. There were no Malay students at St Michael’s in Penampang, but there were later on at La Salle school in KK. At that time, Malays wouldn’t call themselves Malays, they would call themselves Bajau or Brunei Malays. Actually in Sabah, there were no Malays. You were either Bajau, or Murut, or Orang Sungai. The closest to Malays were the Brunei Malays because they were originally from Brunei before settling in Sabah.
In history, that part of Sabah was under the Brunei sultanate. [In my early days] in politics, I remember campaigning in the Bajau and Brunei Malay area, and they still put up the picture of the Sultan of Brunei alongside the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s picture. People there still had some strong sentiments for the Brunei sultanate at the time.
Officiating the launch of piped water supply to Kampung Timpangoh Sugud, Penampang
Officiating the launch of piped water supply to Kampung Timpangoh Sugud, Penampang
What about memories of growing up in KK at the La Salle brothers’ school?
At La Salle, we had Chinese, Kadazandusun and Muslim students. I stayed in the boarding house so there were a lot of opportunities to make friends.
I feel the character of mission schools has changed, and that is what I am trying to fight for, to go back to the position where the mission schools were given the type of recognition they once had. A lot of our leaders now would not have received an education without the mission schools. These schools need their own autonomy. Mission schools provided wholesome education and they were not there to propagate. In the classes I had, my Muslim classmates stayed Muslim, and Buddhist students stayed Buddhist. There was a spirit of excellence, dedication and discipline. You could feel the teachers’ dedication. The missionaries inculcated this type of spirit.
Last time, the school principals and teachers were picked by the missionaries, and the missionaries paid the teachers themselves. Later on when it grew burdensome, they asked the government to pay the teachers, and because of that the schools became government-aided schools under the Education Ministry’s full control.
Dompok in the 1990s
Dompok in the 1990s
Can you trace your ancestry?
I don’t know. It’s still very debatable. There are suggestions that the Kadazandusun people came from the Asian mainland. One place suggested is Yunan. Others have suggested that they came from the Philippines. I think there’s a lot of room for this to be anthropologically researched. There are some foundations looking into it but the real hard anthropology work has not been done. There is nothing authoritative and conclusive.
That is why you have legends. Like the Harvest Festival where people think the Unduk Ngadau is a beauty contest only, but it’s more than that. Unduk Ngadau actually symbolises Huminodun, who was sacrificed to become food for the people during a famine.
Is there any idea as to when the first Kadazandusun people arrived in Sabah?
I don’t know, but there is a place in Ranau, called Nunuk Ragang, which is said to be the first place where the Kadazandusun people settled.
What do you know about your parents lineage?
My father and my mother were from different villages in the same district. Both my parents are Kadazandusun but even within the same group of people you can have different dialects. My mother was from a village on the lower part of the Moyog River, and my father from upriver.
In Penampang, there are a lot of Kadazandusun people with Chinese blood. They cannot speak Chinese but can speak Kadazan.
But now, the majority of children speak in Malay. There is concern that children will lose the Kadazandusun language. That is why I’ve worked hard for it to be taught in school. Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris is going to offer it as a minor. This year, Kadazandusun language is also going to be offered as an SPM subject. Two years ago, it was a PMR subject.
Meeting constituents on a walkabout during Chinese New Year 2010
Meeting constituents on a walkabout during Chinese New Year in 2010
I didn’t know that. This might be news to those in west Malaysia.
You see, the trouble is, East Malaysia and Peninsular Malaysia are different worlds. Newspapers are west Malaysia-oriented. In the minds of west Malaysians, Malaya is Malaysia. To such an extent that up to today, when some people arrive in KK, they say, “Oh, I’ve just come from Malaysia to Sabah”.
How do you connect your heritage with being a Malaysian?
At Upko Papar’s celebration of Kaamatan, or the Harvest Festival, in 2010.
At Upko Papar’s celebration of Kaamatan, or the Harvest Festival, in 2010.
The country has to recognise such diversity and use it as a heritage. This is the basis on which I fight for the inclusion of the Kadazandusun language in schools. If we don’t, we will lose a cultural heritage. We are supportive of the national language, but that doesn’t mean you have to allow a cultural heritage to be lost forever.
In the constitution, Article 153 specifies the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. The natives are mentioned and given equal footing. So it is Malays and natives, not Malays full stop. What is happening today is, I think, some people assume it is Malays, full stop. They don’t continue.
So this is what I’m trying to fight for, and that’s why we have a cabinet committee on the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. The prime minister is the chairperson and I chair the technical committee. One of the things being done is to get the native court system to be established on, probably, the same footing as the civil and syariah courts. So for example, a marriage between the natives of Sabah can have recourse in the native court and not the civil court.
Are there any aspects of your Malaysian identity that you struggle with?
What is the Malaysian identity? As far as I’m concerned, I’m a Kadazan Malaysian, just like the people in the US who are Italian American, African American or Asian American. The operative word is “American”. And in our case, “Malaysian”. And being Kadazan, or Chinese, or whatever, is an adjective, right? It describes the noun. “Malaysian” is the noun. The race doesn’t stand alone. It describes the identity.
So my Kadazan-ness describes my identity as a Malaysian. The noun is “Malaysian”. I don’t agree with saying “Malaysian Chinese”. It should be Chinese Malaysian, Indian Malaysian, Iban Malaysian.
At a Murut community event in 2009
At a Murut community event in 2009
What kind of Malaysia do you want for yourself and future generations?
I want a Malaysia in which everyone — and this is what I’ve been trying to get inserted into our Barisan Nasional manifesto — where everybody who is Malaysian is treated the same under the Malaysian sun. Implementation of the constitution must not be selective. As I said, [recognition of] the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak, must be one sentence.
Therefore, I would like to see Malaysia implement its policies based on its diversity. Nothing less. The government is a government for all Malaysians. The rulers are rulers for all Malaysians and not just the Malays. So therefore, my right as a Christian in this country also has to be protected by the ruler, because he’s my ruler. He’s my Agong.

Laporan Perubatan: Hak Anwar Terus Dinafi

Dari Malaysiakini

Perbicaraan kes sodomi melibatkan Datuk Seri Anwar bersambung hari ini selepas ditangguhkan selama sebulan dengan satu keputusan oleh hakim Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah untuk tidak memberikan nota klinikal oleh tiga doktor yang memeriksa Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan kepada pembelaan.

Mohamad Zabidin berkata beliau memutuskan demikian memandangkan pembelaan gagal memenuhi keperluan perundangan untuk mendapatkan nota berkenaan.

Permohonan yang dikemukakan pembelaan itu hanya berdasarkan gerak hati untuk menonjolkan percanggahan dalam keterangan Mohd Saiful, saksi utama dalam kes berkenaan, katanya.

Mohamad Zabidin juga memutuskan bahawa laporan perubatan daripada doktor HKL itu diterima sebagai bahan bukti walaupun menerima bantahan daripada peguam Karpal Singh.

Karpal berkata beliau akan mengemukakan rayuan berhubung keputusan berkenaan dan memohon penangguhan kerana perlu mengemukakan satu usul di Dewan Rakyat hari ini.

Permohonan berkenaan dibenarkan Mohamad Zabidin yang menangguhkan perbicaraan sehingga jam 12.30 petang.

Putrajaya fired over new sedition rules covering cyberspace

The Malaysian Insider
by Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — Putrajaya’s plan to define the controversial sedition law for cyberspace has drawn fire from several quarters even before the details are out.

Opposition lawmakers and a few others who depend on the Internet and social media applications like Twitter and Face Book to get their messages to the masses today voiced fears the archaic law is being strengthened to clamp down on freedom of speech and cut out criticism against government policies.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein was yesterday reported saying the guidelines covering sedition on the Internet will be out next week, but not when they would be enforced. Under the ten-point Bill of Guarantees (BoGs) of the Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor launched in 1996, the government promised not to enforce any censorship.

He added Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz; and the Attorney General’s Office had been roped in to draw up the new rules on sedition.

PAS lawmaker Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad slammed the ruling Barisan Nasional federal government for moving to limit the spaces available for dissenting political views ahead of the 13th general elections, widely believed will be called in the next six months.

“It’s close to elections. They, meaning Umno-BN, want to narrow the space available to us in the cyber media to communicate our messages,” the Kuala Selangor MP told The Malaysian Insider today.

Dr Dzulkefly said the cyber world was the best bet for Pakatan Rakyat parties to reach out to the masses to deliver their messages because they lacked access to the traditional print and broadcast media.

He added that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals critical of the BN government would also likely suffer under the new rules.

“If you look at the blogs that attack the government, they cannot tolerate anymore, so they come down heavily using sedition so nobody will dare to criticise,” said the PAS central working committee member.

“On my blog, I have found comments challenging me that were unjustified. I don’t mind that kind of dissent or attack.

“The issue of sedition is where is the boundary? When do you cross the line?” said the 53-year-old who posts regularly at blog.drdzul.com.

Dr Dzulfkefly said he is against enhancing the sedition act further, noting the authorities had misused the law in its present form and was likely to do once the new rules came into play.

“When it comes to prosecution, it’s always selective,” he said.

Blogger-turned-politician Jeff Ooi was more circumspect in commenting on the changes to the sedition law.

“I’d like to look at the details before I comment. I’d not want the new laws to stifle the freedom of expression of online media,” the Jelutong MP told The Malaysian Insider over the phone from George Town.

He noted the government’s greatest critics were the educated middle-class urbanites.

The ruling Barisan Nasional had lost a historic five states in the 2008 general elections as well as its two-thirds control of the Dewan Rakyat, which is necessary to amend the Federal Constitution but not if it wants to pass new laws.

The DAP man expressed doubt the changes will help to put down the heightened racial tension in present day Malaysia he claimed was being “pumped up” by Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia.

“Traditional media has pumped up racial tensions, for example, Utusan with articles by its editor Zaini Hassan. The traditional laws have not been invoked to deal with such matters,” Ooi said.

He was referring to the Malay daily’s recent opinion piece calling for May 13 to be remembered as a “sacred day” after the bloody racial riots that broke out 41 years ago, prompting Malaysia’s second prime minister Tun Razak Hussein to revise an economic plan granting the Malays certain privileges to lift them from being mired in poverty.

“I suspect it’s an act for BN to stifle the freedom of speech,” he added.

Like Dr Dzulkefly, Ooi questioned the timing of the amendments to the sedition act.

“We’re fast approaching the next general elections. We already have one set of laws but it’s not being invoked.

“Whatever is seditious offline as in traditional media, the same principle should apply,” the politician said.

Lawyer Edmund Bon said he could not see the need for the Home Ministry to “refine” the law further.

“We think the Sedition Act is archaic and should be abolished,” said the Bar Council’s constitutional law chief.

Bon, a vocal civil rights activist tweets and writes with a passion for LoyarBurok.com — a free website that publishes law news.

He said Malaysian society would be moving backwards if the authorities moved to control the spread of information that is widely and freely available through electronic applications like Twitter and Face Book.

“With Twitter and the Internet, this kind of thing is so difficult to enforce and prosecute,” he said.

Bon described Putrajaya’s latest move as a “form of threat” to curtail dissent against government policies.

“The law must go, we should have nothing to do with perpetuating the breaches of the right to free speech on the Internet that will affect everyone and not just Malaysians,” he stressed.

Dhillon Andrew Kannabhiran said he is against the sedition law being enhanced to target online users.

But the founder and CEO of Hack in the Box, the country’s most prominent network security consultant firm, said Malaysia needed a law to deal with cybercrime, which includes acts that incite people to hate or act against a authority and threatens national security electronically.

“Everyone’s on Face Book, everyone’s on Twitter and people are saying all sorts of things. And what they say, it’s like it’s going to be on the Net forever and ever,” said Dhillon.

“Most people are unaware of the law but ignorance is no excuse. It doesn’t give them the right to shoot from the hip.

“If want to say something, they better be able to back it up with evidence,” he added.

He said he was not sure the number of cybercrimes that had been committed, but stressed that statistics should not be an excuse to overlook a crime being done. The present laws were not enough to deal with the problems.

“There are some grey areas, like where the servers are located. We’ll have to wait for the guidelines to come up, the security consultant said.

“There should be some new stuff.  It remains to be seen if there will be enforcement. It will depend on the first test case that will be taken to court and if there’s conviction,” he added.

Dhillon noted it was a matter of time before such a law would have been introduced in Malaysia and with the elections coming, “it is happening sooner rather than later”.

He does not see the changes to the sedition law compromising the MSC Malaysia BoGs.

“I don’t think it’s going to affect foreign investment. They’re not censoring the Internet,” Dhillon remarked.

Three more security laws to be amended

The New Straits Times
by Nancy Nais

KUCHING: The Banishment Act 1959, the Restricted Residence Act 1933 and the Crime Prevention Act 1959 are set to be amended as they are outdated, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said it was time to review the sentence of banishment for members of gangs and gangsters because the law was outdated, irrational and irrelevant in view of the advances in information and communication technology (ICT).

Hishammuddin also acknowledged that there were cases where those who were banished to rural areas were still active in criminal activities.

"The banishment had failed to stop criminal activities," he said, adding that before, criminals were sent to a remote area without any opportunity to communicate with others, apart from family members and friends.

He said now this situation was no longer valid because those banished could use the telephone and Internet to communicate.

"Nowadays, people banished to areas far from home can still contact anyone, including fellow secret society members," he added.

On the Internal Security Act, he said the amended draft had been sent to the Attorney-General's Chambers for approval.

"Once approved, it will be tabled in Parliament," he said, after closing a meet-the-people session at Kampung Boyan-Gersik waterfront yesterday.

He said the ISA had to be amended to make it more liberal, including shortening the initial 60-day detention period.

Other changes proposed were appointing independent investigating officers and reviewing the definition of "threat to national security".

The Muslim Brotherhood in flux

Egypt is on the cusp of dramatic change. For the first time in three decades, the country will soon have a new president, either through election in 2011 - which would be unprecedented in Egyptian history - or through the death of the ailing 82-year-old president Hosni Mubarak, an event that has the potential to set off the most significant civil unrest in the Middle East since the 1979 revolution in Iran.

The Egyptian government reportedly has a detailed plan to shut down the country if Mubarak dies, including such details as the "mournful Quranic verses" that will play on state television. The black-clothed and plain-clothed security forces, well experienced in using their batons to squelch dissent, would be mobilised en masse.

Still, it is impossible to predict what would happen if, despite Egyptians' reputation for political lethargy, opposition groups managed to put tens of thousands of followers into the streets of Cairo to protest what many expect will be an attempted handover of power to Mubarak's son, Gamal.

The key to any roadblock on the path to such "republarchy" lies with the Muslim Brotherhood, the world's most influential Islamist movement and far and away the largest and best-organised counterweight to Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP). Change in Egypt, for better or worse, does not materialise without the Brothers.

When former International Atomic Energy Agency chief and Nobel Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei - the great hope of Egypt's secular leftists - returned home this year and launched a petition drive to demand the government lift its most onerous national security laws and reform electoral practices, his National Association for Change gathered 106,661 signatures in support by early September. The Muslim Brotherhood came up with more than 650,000.

The Brotherhood has 88 seats in parliament, compared to the 34 politicians representing all other non-NDP parties.

Protest groups such as the Egyptian Movement for Change, or Kifaya, which became a Western media darling during the 2005 election, rely on the Brotherhood to put thousands of supporters into the streets.

Yet with Egypt's November 28 parliamentary elections approaching, the Brotherhood finds itself in flux.

Long repressed by authorities and still technically outlawed, the group is coming off a landmark five-year term in which it served as the largest-ever minority bloc in Egypt's short multi-party political history and the loudest critic of Mubarak's 30-year authoritarian rule.

But the Brothers have bucked their best allies in the opposition by refusing calls for an election boycott, which some say is the most effective way to counter Egypt's gerrymandered electoral system. This, even as the Brotherhood itself believes it is about to suffer a rigged defeat at the polls that will reduce its representation in parliament by more than half.

Some Brotherhood members have said publicly that the choice to participate is a mistake, with others calling it a missed opportunity that reflects the group's internal strife and indicates the dearth of creative strategic thinkers in the conservative, 82-year-old organisation.

Others see the practical advantage to be had by holding even a slimmed parliamentary presence, while the group's leadership insists that their course is set by broad consensus and does not shift with the political winds.

As the Brotherhood is pulled inexorably toward a post-Mubarak world in which it figures to be a major player, nobody knows quite where it is headed.

The Brotherhood, five years on

Essam al-Arian, a member of the Brotherhood's cabinet and its unofficial spokesman, is a wanted man. On a recent night in Cairo, he was juggling calls from multiple journalists on his mobile phone, dealing with Egyptian television networks hungry for the group's opinion in the run-up to the election.

Even with many predicting the Brotherhood will win only 20 or 30 seats and be overtaken by the liberal but regime-friendly Wafd party, Arian said the Brotherhood is prepared to press forward.

"It is clear to all observers that we are going on [with] our strategy to participate politically," he told Al Jazeera. "Some people want us to be out of the seats, but ... we struggle [against] any attempt to exclude us from the political scene."

The Brotherhood, he said, is satisfied with its performance in parliament over the past five years, despite the suffocating effect of the NDP's majority hold on government.

In 2005, with the Bush administration publicly pressuring Mubarak to hold free and fair elections, the Brotherhood swept into parliament, winning nearly 20 per cent of the 444 seats up for the vote (10 deputies are appointed directly by Mubarak).

The Brotherhood's 88 victorious politicians officially ran as independents, since religious political parties are banned in Egypt, but their real affiliation was well known, and their campaign posters featured the group's slogan: "Islam is the solution."

Despite the tagline, the Brotherhood operated along straightforward reformist lines in parliament.

In a 2006 paper, Samer Shehata and Joshua Stacher examined the Brotherhood's new political life and noted several achievements: mobilising politicians to oppose the renewal of emergency laws in place since the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat and vowing to publish the names of those who voted in favour; protesting and calling for a no-confidence vote against Mahmoud Abu al-Layl, the justice minister many held responsible for allowing fraud in the 2005 vote; and raising awareness about and criticising the government's response to the H5N1 or "bird flu" virus.

Predictably, though, the Brotherhood's practical efforts to actually write, change or annul laws have been stifled.

"Of course we are now lacking freedom, we are lacking democracy, we are now suffering a lot from restrictions on the media," Arian said. "The regime is more old, more rigid, more [of a] dictatorship. All of this is changed backwards, not forwards."

Still on the scene

Since the election, the regime has cracked down. According to the Brotherhood, around 600 of its members have been arrested since the announcement in October that the group would participate in the 2010 vote but challenge only 30 per cent of the seats.

The government has struck at the Brotherhood's finances as well: in 2007, Khairat al-Shater and Hassan Malik, two Brotherhood members said to play prominent roles funding the group, were tried and convicted on money laundering and terrorism charges in a military court along with 25 other members.

According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Brotherhood will field only 107 candidates for the upcoming vote, even as parliament has increased to 508 seats with the addition of 64 spots reserved for women. The Brotherhood at first put forward 135 candidates - a drop from the 160 they nominated in 2005 - but government officials disqualified 28.

Some outside observers have speculated that the result of a Brotherhood internal cabinet election last year signalled a power shift from so-called "moderates" like Arian, who reportedly favour challenging the regime at the ballot box, to "conservative" leaders, including current leader Mohammed Badie, who reportedly want to put more emphasis on the Brotherhood's traditional and quieter areas of expertise: social work and proselytising.

The December election for the 16-member executive bureau, called the Guide's Office, saw defeats for leading Brotherhood reformists such as Abdelmonem Abulfotouh and deputy general guide Mohammed Habib, though Arian retained his seat. The following month, Badie was elected the new General Guide - the Brotherhood's top leadership position.

Marc Lynch, an associate professor at George Washington University and an Egypt watcher, wrote on the Foreign Policy website after the cabinet vote that it "likely signals both a withdrawal from political engagement and possibly some serious internal splits".

"Such an internal retreat from democratic engagement has seemed increasingly likely ... as regime repression and political manipulation slammed the door in the face of [Brotherhood] efforts to be democrats," he wrote.

But Arian claimed that analysis missed the mark. The Brotherhood remains eager to use the political arena to promote its Islamist solutions to Egypt's quagmire, he said.

"That is our duty now, to make the link between the social and economic problems and the ultimate political reform," he said. "To explain such issues to the people and to create the link in their minds between poverty, unemployment, the constitutional crisis and the political situation."

Dissent in the ranks

But Abdelrahman Ayyash, a 21-year-old Brotherhood blogger, said that choosing to participate in the election this year was a mistake that has created a schism between the Brotherhood and reform leaders such as ElBaradei and Ayman Nour, the former presidential candidate for the secular Ghad party who was imprisoned and reportedly mistreated during the 2005 election.

Ayyash, a computer engineering student who said he sees a role for "liberal Islamists" in reforming Arab societies, faulted the Brotherhood's new conservative leadership for trying to "build a bridge" to the regime and said that reformist voices were being excluded.

"The Muslim Brotherhood now has no strategic point of view, in my opinion," he said.

Although Badie claimed that a survey of the group's parliament, or Shura Council, yielded 98 per cent support for participating in the election, Ayyash pointed to statements made by Hamid Ghazali, a Cairo University professor and former advisor to previous general guide Mohammed Akef, who said that no more than 52 per cent of the council agreed.

"The organisation will benefit a little from participating in the election, but what I'm worried about is the loss of the other parties, or of the other Egyptian activists or politicians, who will lose a lot," he said. "What we can make or gain by boycotting the election will be more" than what the Brotherhood can achieve in parliament.

'The opposition lost an opportunity'

The Brotherhood's decision to run may spring mostly from a simple desire to ensure its immediate survival, said Michele Dunne, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment and former US government Middle East analyst.

"As a banned organisation that's constantly under the threat of being closed down ... I think they feel that having deputies in the assembly who have parliamentary immunity and who have a public platform to criticise any measures taken against the Brotherhood and who are in the media day in and day out, this is of some value for them," Dunne said.

Earlier this year, a group of Egypt's secular minority parties, including the Wafd, socialist Tagammu, liberal Democratic Front, and the nationalist Nasserists, put together a list of demands that they presented to the government. They asked for some electoral reforms - "simple stuff," Dunne said - and threatened a boycott if their demands were not honoured.

"They were stiffed, 100 per cent," she said. The Democratic Front party and Nour's Ghad party are the only groups that have followed through on boycotts.

But the Democratic Front is a new party and holds no seats in parliament, and other opposition groups, such as Baradei's National Association for Change and the April 6 Movement, are not parties and have nothing to lose when they make passionate calls for boycotts, Dunne said.

Shadi Hamid, the director of research at the Brookings Institution's branch in Qatar and a close observer of the Muslim Brotherhood, said he understood the Brotherhood's rationale but still disagreed with their decision.

"This was the time to boycott," he said. "The opposition really lost an opportunity."

Hamid, who has written recently about free but "meaningless" elections in the Arab world, sees little actual progress for opposition groups when regimes find ways to exclude candidates on technicalities and maintain upper houses of parliament with veto power over lower houses.

In a mostly overlooked June election for Egypt's upper house, the Shura Council, which was marred by reported vote-buying, police interference and violent clashes, the Muslim Brotherhood won no seats, while the NDP won 80 of 88.

Regimes like Egypt's rely on the facade of democratic freedom to appease their allies and sponsors in the West, Hamid said, and a full opposition boycott would have undermined this claim.

But the Brotherhood continues to preach patience, looking at their decades of work and seeing history on their side. "What makes sense for the Brotherhood might not make sense for the future of Egypt's democracy," Hamid said.

Built for the long haul

If the Brotherhood's behaviour toward Egypt's progressives seems questionable, it is worth remembering that the group is not really a political party, and that it has deep roots as a religious and social movement that many join simply to become better Muslims.

Even Hamid acknowledges that with at least 300,000 dedicated members, a "massive bureaucracy," and a constituency that is more conservative than its leadership, the Brotherhood should not be expected to make fast political adjustments.

"We have solidarity, not individuality," Arian said.

But that might be a problem if rifts in the group become serious, said Andrew Albertson, the executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy.

"There aren't a lot of high-level leaders who everyone respects," he said. "If you don't have someone who everyone commonly respects, it's hard to defuse the tension in a movement like this."

Working in the Brotherhood's favour, however, are its structure and elections system, which are arguably more democratic than Egypt's own.

As Hamid describes it, each member belongs to a local osra, or family. With around 10 to 20 other members, they meet every week and share an Islamic educational curriculum. Fifty families make up a sha'aba, or branch, and 10 branches make up a district. Multiple districts comprise governorates, which do not necessarily correspond to the 29 that make up the official Egyptian state.

Since 2004, the Brotherhood has held leadership elections at every level of its organisation, Hamid said.

The Brotherhood's parliament is similarly elected, though there have been allegations that supposedly secret ballots were compromised when members have visited others at home to apply pressure to vote a certain way. Egypt's repressive security situation also means that not every member is able to cast a vote, as reportedly occurred during the recent Guide's Office election.

Such measures have ensured the Brotherhood's survival, even its flourishing, in a political environment that is, to say the least, a harsh place for opposition elements to survive. Around two million Egyptians cast their vote for Brotherhood candidates in 2005, Arian claimed.

Though Brotherhood candidates are almost assuredly going to fare poorly this year, and the organisation will probably undergo an internal debate over its ideology in the post-election shakeout, its participation and the sliver of representation that will come from it grants the group a continued voice and legitimacy. It also means they retain a rhetorical right to complain about electoral procedures.

"Unless someone goes out and participates, it's going to be hard to point out the flaws in the system," Albertson said.

By contrast, the Brotherhood's political party in Jordan - the Islamic Action Front (IAF) - chose to sit out this year's parliamentary vote, anticipating - as Hamid wrote - that even a multi-party, "fair" election for the lower house would be meaningless and rigged. Hamid supported the boycott, but Albertson said the IAF will probably regret being unable to participate in parliament. Boycotting the vote is not likely to affect Jordanians' views of their government's legitimacy one way or the other, he said.

'Liberal Islamists' in an age of Islamophobia

By holding on to seats in parliament, the Egyptian Brotherhood also knows that its members will enjoy the general immunity from prosecution granted to elected officials and will be able to participate in official government meetings with representatives from the US, even if such contacts are not supposed to include discussion of Brotherhood-specific issues.

US embassy personnel sometimes meet behind the scenes with Brotherhood members, and there are no rules that say US diplomats cannot talk to the Brotherhood when they happen to bump into members at international gatherings, Hamid said. But whatever discussions the Brotherhood has had with the US do not seem to have resulted in any payoff with the Obama administration.

In a speech delivered in Cairo in 2009, Obama vowed to support democracy and the rule of law, calling them "human rights," but his effort on such issues in Egypt has been tepid. The Bush administration, which eventually walked back from its vigorous programme of democracy promotion after a Hamas victory in Palestine, was more outspoken before the 2005 Egyptian election. Many believe this led to the initial opening that allowed the Brotherhood to gain so many seats in the first round of voting.

The Brotherhood is constantly insecure about its perception in the West, Hamid said, fearing that in a post-September 11 age of Islamophobia, it will be lumped in with al-Qaeda.

"We won't be another Iran," Ayyash insisted, adding that he believes Islamists will support US national security interests. "The Islamists in general are trying to find the way between the liberal values of equality and citizenship and to put them in action, but from the Islamic aspect."

The role of women and members of other religions, especially whether a woman or a Coptic Christian, for instance, should be allowed to assume an elected position of power, remains a source of heated debate within the Brotherhood, Dunne said. The same goes for homosexuality, sexual liberty and drug and alcohol use. But the Brotherhood has reached general consensus on the principle that the ultimate authority in Egyptian society should be derived from the people, not religion, Dunne and others say.

"I believe that moderate Islamists will give the freedom for parties to form even if these parties are fighting their ideology," Ayyash said. "If the people say yes to homosexuality, for instance, if I were in power I think that I would leave power ... and I'll be in the opposition to try to convince people that this is wrong."

"But," he added, "I think Egyptians at this moment will refuse that because it is against the Quran."

Obama lays low

Despite such paeans to democracy, the Brotherhood remains officially unsupported and unprotected by the US.

Though the US state department did issue a statement about the upcoming parliamentary vote this week, employing the familiar rhetoric of "free and transparent" elections, Dunne said that the "few things" Obama officials have tried so far to promote democracy in Egypt "have not been all that successful".

But the administration's comparative caution is an improvement, said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Middle East specialist.

"I don't think the Bush administration was all that smart in trying to advance its freedom agenda," he said. "I don't think it led to any openings at all, and in fact it elicited the sort of response that led to a retrenchment."

The Bush model involved sending secretary of state Condoleezza Rice to "scream from the rooftops," Katulis said. (In 2005, Rice delivered a speech at the American University in Cairo in which she said that "for 60 years, the United States pursued stability at the expense of democracy in the Middle East, and we achieved neither".)

"What [the Obama administration is] trying to do is be much more effective at figuring out what would create the space for those reformers who want to push forward pragmatic change," Katulis said.

In his view, that should mean not picking favourites, whether they might be ElBaradei or the Muslim Brotherhood.

"We always look for the Nelson Mandela-like figure," he said. "What's more important than individual leaders is building a system that sustains itself."

By most accounts, Egyptians today are both discouraged and disengaged with their country's political process. Even if one assumes the government's turnout numbers are accurate, only around 9 per cent of the total population cast a vote in the presidential race in 2005. And observers are nearly unanimous in their belief that democratic evolution will not proceed in Egypt without the Brotherhood.

"There was a certain group that we saw had a dominant voice under the Bush administration - neoconservatives who felt that you could have democracy without Islamists," Katulis said. "I think those people haven't spent much time on the ground in places like Egypt."

To deny the Muslim Brotherhood a strong role in government, as Mubarak seems intent on doing, means a huge swath of Egyptian society remains voiceless.

"It's hard to imagine a process of democratisation in Egypt that does not involve the pious middle class, which the Muslim Brotherhood so ably represents," Albertson said.

Obama should engage directly with the Brotherhood, said Hamid, adding that he believes Gamal Mubarak would be even more hostile to them.

"Liberals and leftists unfortunately can't bring people to the streets in the Arab world," Hamid said. Islamists have the benefit of an existing infrastructure for disseminating their message - the mosque - and political discourse in the region has historically circled around Islam, because "this is the language that people have".

Or in Ayyash's words: "The Arab people are very emotional and a very religious people, and they are more affected by the speech of the moderate Islamists than the regimes."

Source: Al Jazeera

13th General Elections: BN opens doors for direct membership. Arrogant PKR, DAP and PAS even refuses to talk to HRP & HINDRAF. Refuse to share even one seat with HRP.

PAKATAN RAKYAT
“Doors open for associates” so announces the UMNO led bi racial One Malay-sia racist and supremacist Prime Minister Najib Razak. BN also opened it’s doors to NGOs’ and associations to become “friends of Barisan” by becoming BN affiliate members. (See below NST 21/11/10 at page N2)

But the arrogant PKR, DAP and PAS has refused to even talk to HRP and HINDRAF whose 25th November 2007 HINDRAF Rally was the catalyst that caused them to for the first time in the history of Malaysia win five states and deprive BN of their 2/3 majority in Parliament.

Just because HRP and HINDRAF has refused to become the Indian mandores for PKR, DAP and PAS as HRP and HINDRAF has refused to become the Indian mandores for BN.

Just because HRP and HINDRAF is fighting against the UMNO and also PKR, DAP and PAS racism and religious supremacy agenda.

Just because HRP and HINDRAF are fighting for social justice also for the Indian poor.

Just because HRP and HINDRAF are fighting to also include the Indian poor into the national mainstream development of bi racial One Malay-sia.

Just because HRP and HINDRAF speaks up for the Indian poor without fear or favour.

Just because HRP and HINDRAF is fighting to end all acts of racism and religious extremism against the Indian poor.

Even the cruel UMNO regime without even the MIC having to lift a finger has allocated to MIC/PPP ten Parliament and 20 State Assembly seats for the upcoming 13th General Elections in 2011/12/13.

PKR, DAP & PAS argument that they too have some 11 Indian MP’s and 14 Indian ADUNs does not hold water as they are merely used as the PKR, DAP & PAS Indian mandores just like how UMNO/BN had been using MIC/PPP MPs ADUNs as their Indian mandores. These PKR, DAP and PAS Indian mandores cannot speak up without fear or favour against their tuans, towkeys and tuan hajis in PKR, DAP and PAS.

They are precluded by the PKR, DAP and PAS towkays, tuan and tuan hajis from raising even 1% of the Indian poor problems raised in our website www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com which is highlighted on a day to day basis.

To the direct contrary the arrogant PKR, DAP and PAS has even refused to talk to HRP and HINDRAF let alone showing some form of gratitude for their 2008 Election tsunami victory.

Where is the change when compared to UMNO/BN? With this attitude will PKR, DAP and PAS make a difference when they get to Putrajaya?

Irrespective of whether Rama or Ravana is going to rule, HRP will proceed with it’s Project 15/38 ie HRP contesting in 15 Parliament and 38 State seats in the seven frontline Indian states as per P.Uthayakumar’s book "Malaysian Indian Political Empowerment Strategy- The Way Forward"

“Rights not Mercy”

S.JAYATHAS

Information Chief

New Scan-20101121133322-00001

Putrajaya fired over new sedition rules covering cyberspace

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — Putrajaya’s plan to define the controversial sedition law for cyberspace has drawn fire from several quarters even before the details are out.

Opposition lawmakers and a few others who depend on the Internet and social media applications like Twitter and Face Book to get their messages to the masses today voiced fears the archaic law is being strengthened to clamp down on freedom of speech and cut out criticism against government policies.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein was yesterday reported saying the guidelines covering sedition on the Internet will be out next week, but not when they would be enforced. Under the ten-point Bill of Guarantees (BoGs) of the Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor launched in 1996, the government promised not to enforce any censorship.

He added Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz; and the Attorney General’s Office had been roped in to draw up the new rules on sedition.

PAS lawmaker Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad slammed the ruling Barisan Nasional federal government for moving to limit the spaces available for dissenting political views ahead of the 13th general elections, widely believed will be called in the next six months.

“It’s close to elections. They, meaning Umno-BN, want to narrow the space available to us in the cyber media to communicate our messages,” the Kuala Selangor MP told The Malaysian Insider today.

Dr Dzulkefly said the cyber world was the best bet for Pakatan Rakyat parties to reach out to the masses to deliver their messages because they lacked access to the traditional print and broadcast media.

He added that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals critical of the BN government would also likely suffer under the new rules.

“If you look at the blogs that attack the government, they cannot tolerate anymore, so they come down heavily using sedition so nobody will dare to criticise,” said the PAS central working committee member.

“On my blog, I have found comments challenging me that were unjustified. I don’t mind that kind of dissent or attack.

“The issue of sedition is where is the boundary? When do you cross the line?” said the 53-year-old who posts regularly at blog.drdzul.com.

Dr Dzulfkefly said he is against enhancing the sedition act further, noting the authorities had misused the law in its present form and was likely to do once the new rules came into play.

“When it comes to prosecution, it’s always selective,” he said.

Blogger-turned-politician Jeff Ooi was more circumspect in commenting on the changes to the sedition law.

“I’d like to look at the details before I comment. I’d not want the new laws to stifle the freedom of expression of online media,” the Jelutong MP told The Malaysian Insider over the phone from George Town.

He noted the government’s greatest critics were the educated middle-class urbanites.

The ruling Barisan Nasional had lost a historic five states in the 2008 general elections as well as its two-thirds control of the Dewan Rakyat, which is necessary to amend the Federal Constitution but not if it wants to pass new laws.

The DAP man expressed doubt the changes will help to put down the heightened racial tension in present day Malaysia he claimed was being “pumped up” by Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia.

“Traditional media has pumped up racial tensions, for example, Utusan with articles by its editor Zaini Hassan. The traditional laws have not been invoked to deal with such matters,” Ooi said.

He was referring to the Malay daily’s recent opinion piece calling for May 13 to be remembered as a “sacred day” after the bloody racial riots that broke out 41 years ago, prompting Malaysia’s second prime minister Tun Razak Hussein to revise an economic plan granting the Malays certain privileges to lift them from being mired in poverty.

“I suspect it’s an act for BN to stifle the freedom of speech,” he added.

Like Dr Dzulkefly, Ooi questioned the timing of the amendments to the sedition act.

“We’re fast approaching the next general elections. We already have one set of laws but it’s not being invoked.

“Whatever is seditious offline as in traditional media, the same principle should apply,” the politician said.

Lawyer Edmund Bon said he could not see the need for the Home Ministry to “refine” the law further.

“We think the Sedition Act is archaic and should be abolished,” said the Bar Council’s constitutional law chief.

Bon, a vocal civil rights activist tweets and writes with a passion for LoyarBurok.com — a free website that publishes law news.

He said Malaysian society would be moving backwards if the authorities moved to control the spread of information that is widely and freely available through electronic applications like Twitter and Face Book.

“With Twitter and the Internet, this kind of thing is so difficult to enforce and prosecute,” he said.

Bon described Putrajaya’s latest move as a “form of threat” to curtail dissent against government policies.

“The law must go, we should have nothing to do with perpetuating the breaches of the right to free speech on the Internet that will affect everyone and not just Malaysians,” he stressed.

Dhillon Andrew Kannabhiran said he is against the sedition law being enhanced to target online users.

But the founder and CEO of Hack in the Box, the country’s most prominent network security consultant firm, said Malaysia needed a law to deal with cybercrime, which includes acts that incite people to hate or act against a authority and threatens national security electronically.

“Everyone’s on Face Book, everyone’s on Twitter and people are saying all sorts of things. And what they say, it’s like it’s going to be on the Net forever and ever,” said Dhillon.

“Most people are unaware of the law but ignorance is no excuse. It doesn’t give them the right to shoot from the hip.

“If want to say something, they better be able to back it up with evidence,” he added.

He said he was not sure the number of cybercrimes that had been committed, but stressed that statistics should not be an excuse to overlook a crime being done. The present laws were not enough to deal with the problems.

“There are some grey areas, like where the servers are located. We’ll have to wait for the guidelines to come up, the security consultant said.

“There should be some new stuff. It remains to be seen if there will be enforcement. It will depend on the first test case that will be taken to court and if there’s conviction,” he added.

Dhillon noted it was a matter of time before such a law would have been introduced in Malaysia and with the elections coming, “it is happening sooner rather than later”.

He does not see the changes to the sedition law compromising the MSC Malaysia BoGs.

“I don’t think it’s going to affect foreign investment. They’re not censoring the Internet,” Dhillon remarked.

PKR polls: Leaked ballot papers surface again

By FMT Staff
UPDATED KUALA LUMPUR: While the PKR elections to pick national leaders entered its final day today, pictures of ballots papers, which should be issued after 10am to voters, have been furnished to FMT through an-email indicating a leak of the ballots, further strengthening claims of electoral fraud.

FMT received an e-mail early this morning and it contained photographs of ballot papers, for the post of deputy president and vice-presidents.

These ballot papers, with serial numbers, are only supposed to have been issued to the party members after 10am.

Earlier this month, PKR secretary general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said that the party used different colour of ballot papers every week and it had been revealed that the colour is pink this weekend, the same as the photographs of the ballots sent in the e-mail.

The party is holding its elections to pick national leaders over the past four weekends, The final lap of the polls is today. PKR would hold its general assembly next weekend and announce the winners of the polls.
The party became the first political organisation in the country to introduce the one-member, one-vote system where ordinary members vote to pick national leaders.

While the system was to give ordinary members more say on who they want as leaders, the election had been mired with controversy after it was discovered that there had been election malpractices and mismanagement of the electoral process.
Allegations unchecked
The severity of the allegations remained unchecked so far, with the party saying that it was investigating claims of fraud in the polls.
The election also saw Zaid Ibrahim, a deputy president aspirant, pulling out of contest citing election fraud and manipulation. He had set Dec 16 to resign from the party.
The deputy president's race is now being led by party de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim's blue-eyed-boy Azmin Ali. The only other contender is Perak PKR chief Mustaffa Kamil Ayub, who has in the past week said that he was contesting the polls under protest.
The e-mail sent to FMT reads: "Attached are the ballot papers for today's PKR elections."
"I am only sending this as I trust that you will do the necessary to ensure that this shenanigans that is legitimised as an election is made known," said the anonymous e-mail.
More than 30 PKR divisions will go to polls today. They include 13 divisions from Johor, 16 divisions from Sarawak and another seven divisions from Selangor. The divisions in Selangor are Gombak, Ampang, Hulu Langat, Selayang, Kuala Selangor, Pandan and Hulu Langat.
The issue of leaked ballot papers were raised before but the party brushed aside any claims of irregularities, citing that the ballot papers had tight security aspects, among which the colour coding was one.
Police in Puchong, mutiny in Ayer Hitam
The month-long election process which came to an end today continued to see further claims of irregularities.
Following an attempt by disgruntled members to stop polling in Hulu Selangor yesterday, the Ayer Hitam division in Johor today went a step further by refusing to hold elections.

The division refused to hold polls, despite being instructed by the party to do so, after claiming that the party secretariat had failed to follow procedures in not giving proper notice.

Meanwhile in Puchong, the police had to intervene to stop two competing vice-presidential candidates from accusing each other of “stealing the elections”.

One of the candidates had accused the elections officers of blatanly supporting his rival, resulting in a tense situation. The police were called in to escort the ballot boxes to the party headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

A group of members also gathered at the party headquarters today to protest the alleged electoral fraud.

Legal challenge tomorrow
The official results will be announced at the party's national congress next weekend with Azmin set to assume the deputy president's post.

Anwar's daughter Nurul Izzah is leading the race for the vice-president's post. She is expected to be joined by party strategist Tian Chua, election director Fuziah Salleh and Penang PKR chairman Mansor Othman for the four available veep slots.

Incumbent Zuraida Kamaruddin also looks set to retain her Wanita chief's post while Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin is expected to brush aside a tough fight by challenger Badrul Hisham Shaharin for the Youth chief's post.

Before the party can officially announce its new batch of office bearers, it will have to overcome a legal challenge which is set to come before the courts tomorrow.

Former deputy secretary-general P Jenapala is seeking a court order to declare as invalid the election for the post of deputy president. He also applied for an injunction to prevent PKR from declaring any winning candidate to the post.

If the court rules in Jenapala's favour, the elections would have to be halted and held again, this time with Jenapala as one of the candidates.
FMT also learnt that a similar aplication could be filed by another member tomorrow.

Pemilihan hari terakhir dibayangi masalah sama

Oleh Fazy Sahir - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Proses pemilihan PKR yang bakal melabuhkan tirainya hari ini masih dicemari insiden seperti dakwaan pertikaian proses pengiraan undi dan kertas undi bocor yang dikesan dicabang yang mengadakan pengundian.
Insiden ini dikesan membabitkan cabang Ampang apabila terdapat segelintir anggota parti cuba membuat 'kecoh' sehingga proses pengiraan undi terpaksa mengalami penangguhan.
Menurut anggota cabang Ampang yang dihubungi FMT mengesahkan perkara itu dan difahamkan sekumpulan anggota PKR terdiri daripada 10 orang cuba membuat kacau ekoran tidak berpuas hati dengan proses pengiraan undi yang sedang berjalan itu.
Katanya kekecohan yang berlaku sehingga sejam itu memaksa pengiraan undi dilakukan semula oleh petugas Jawatankuasa Pemilihan Pusat (JPP).
Menurut anggota itu yang enggan namanya disiarkan berkata kira-kira 850 pengundi di cabang itu menjalankan tanggungjawab mengundi di Dewan Musa Bakti Sri Nilam hari ini.
Beliau turut mendakwa anggota yang datang membuat kacau itu bukan daripada pengundi Ampang.
"Mereka ini anggota daripada luar Ampang dan difahamkan mereka wakil beberapa calon. Perkara ini hanya benda kecil yang cuba diperbesarkan. Mereka kata pengiraan undi tipu sebab pengawas yang bertugas daripada cabang Ampang.
"Tidak dinafikan pengawas yang bertugas daripada cabang Ampang sendiri namun pengiraan undi dijalankan dengan telus. Mereka buat kecoh sehingga ketua pengawas bertindak untuk meleraikan hal ini.
"Disebabkan hal ini juga, petugas terpaksa kira setiap undi semula. Kira satu-satu undi daripada 850 pengundi yang datang kerana mahu puaskan hati semua orang. Maka berlaku kelewatan namun setakat ini proses pengiraan berjalan dengan lancar semula," kata anggota itu.
Ketika ditanya sama ada anggota tersebut adalah wakil calon-calon tertentu, beliau berkata mereka terdiri daripada salah seorang calon Angkatan Muda Keadilan (AMK) dan pemerhati salah seorang wakil rakyat PKR.
Namun beliau yang berada ditempat kejadian enggan mengulas lanjut siapa 'punca' masalah sebaliknya menyifatkan tindakan itu sebagai 'tidak professional'.
"Mereka boleh memberi reaksi jika tidak puas hati dengan pengiraan undi itu, namun jangan bertindak tidak professional seperti ini," jelasnya.
Menurutnya, pengiraan undi dibuat semula kira-kira jam 7 petang tadi dan dijangka selesai 11 malam jika tiada sebarang masalah berlaku lagi.
Sementara itu, FMT turut melaporkan dakwaan kertas undi bocor sebelum pemilihan berlangsung namun sehingga kini tiada sebarang reaksi diberi oleh pihak parti untuk menjelaskan perkara berkenaan memandangkan satu mesyuarat biro politik masih berlangsung.
FMT menerima e-mail awal pagi ini yang turut dilampirkan gambar borang pemilihan jawatan timbalan presiden dan naib presiden berwarna merah jambu.

Samy to reveal resignation details on Dec 13

KUALA LUMPUR: S Samy Vellu said today that he will be revealing on Dec 13 details on his resignation as MIC president.
The 74-year-old leader said he looked forward to stepping down as MIC president as it would give him plenty of time to spend with his family, friends and also the community.
"On that particular day (Dec 13), I will also announce what my plans are after I step down as president," he told reporters after officiating Malaysian Hindu Youth Council's 46th Annual General Meeting here.
Also present was Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk T Murugiah.
In his speech, Samy Vellu urged Indian youths to think out of the box in order to be competitive.
He added that proper guidance from the family and also relevant organisations would help Indian youths in building a better future for themselves.
- Bernama

Lim: Sabah budget is 'cronies' enrichment programme'

By Queville To - Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Musa Aman's 'timely' announcement of a special allocation of RM1 million to each Barisan Nasional representatives in Sabah next year has been described as a "form of political corruption".
DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang said Musa's announcement – under the state budget - warrants Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) attention and investigation.

“It is a political corruption to allocate RM1 million public funds to the BN constituencies alone. It is clearly an election budget to boost the winning chances of BN in the next general election and not for the benefit of the people. It is to be used to buy votes,” Lim charged.

Musa announced the special allocation under the state Budget 2011 on Friday. He said the allocation was to enable BN elected representatives to provide assistance to the people in their areas. The BN holds 57 out of 60 state seats in the state.

His announcement is viewed by many as 'timely' since Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is expected to call for the general election anytime next year. Opposition parties are speculating that Najib will call for the polls anytime between March and Novemebr 2011.

Crony programme
Meanwhile Lim noted that one of the National Key Result Area (NKRA) in the Government Transformation Program (GTP) is fighting corruption and one of the main aspects identified is to fight 'grand corruption' which is political corruption.

“The MACC should investigate and wipe out such political corruption to show the government is serious about fighting corruption.

"The Auditor-General too should conduct a special audit on all these (past) years of spending of such allocations by Sabah BN assemblymen and give a detailed audit report on abuses.

"This (abuse) must be exposed and stopped if Malaysia is going to be developed to become a modern, democratic nation. Public funds must not be abused for political purposes,” he stressed.

Speaking to reporters here on Saturday before returning to Kuala Lumpur, Lim said the allocation was against the United Nation’s report on “inclusive growth”, asserting that inclusive growth is supposed to mean for the benefit of everyone regardless of one’s political affiliation or support.

“How can you talk about giving RM1 million for each BN constituency and on the other hand you’re talking about 'inclusive growth'?” he asked.

Touching on the RM162 million allocated in the budget for poverty eradication, he was both puzzled and distraught by the fact that despite hundreds of millions of ringgit spent on poverty eradication programmes over the years since BN took over the state in 1994, Sabah has become the poorest state in the country.

“I think instead of calling it poverty eradication programme, it should be correctly termed as 'BN Cronies Enrichment Programme' in view of the fact that poverty remains high in Sabah,” he remarked.

Also present were assistant DAP national publicity Secretary cum MP for Serdang Teo Nie Ching, Sabah DAP chief cum MP for Kota Kinabalu Hiew King Cheu, his deputy cum Sri Tanjung assemblyman Jimmy Wong, its vice chairman Edward Mujie and its publicity secretary Edwin Bosi.