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Monday, November 29, 2010

Dr M demolishes Najib's Merdeka tower

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: The man instrumental for putting Malaysia on cloud nine, quite literally by constructing one of the world's tallest buildings, is unconvinced about a project aimed at topping his feat.

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whose 22-year tenure was littered with the biggest, tallest and longest achievements, had put current premier Najib Tun Razak's 100-storey Warisan Merdeka project on shaky foundation.

According to the real architect behind the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers, Najib's brainchild was simply “not needed”.

Speaking at the “Revisiting Vision 2020” conference here, Mahathir warned that the upcoming skyscraper would be a bane for real estate in the Klang Valley.

“If you ask me, we don't need a 100-storey tower,” he said, responding to a query from the floor.

Mahathir added that when he went around the city, he often came across buildings with “for sale” and “for rent” signboards.

“This means we already have a lot of buildings," he said, drawing a resounding applause.

Encouraged by the favourable response to his remarks, Mahathir quipped: "Does that mean you agree with me and are against the government?"

Although a medical doctor by training, Mahathir, who is known for his acute economic skills leading to the coining of the term “Mahathirnomics”, went on to paint a bleak picture.

He warned that Malaysia, with its already ailing real estate sector, could witness the property bubble bursting, just like in Dubai and Japan.

"We may not be building like crazy but we are crazy building. There is no one to stay in these buildings. Those who buy, buy it to speculate and sell at a higher price.

"There will come a time when you cannot sell at a higher price and there is no one to buy (the buildings)," he added.

During his term in office, Mahathir had constantly come under fire from the opposition and other quarters for wasting taxpayers' money on mega-projects.

Meanwhile, the 84-year-old statesman also jested that he had a personal motive for shooting down the Warisan Merdeka tower.

Mahathir said that since he had been credited for the Petronas twin towers, he did not want to see Najib's brainchild outgrowing his, at least while he was still breathing.

"They can build it, maybe not now but later... when I am no longer around," he added.

The Warisan Merdeka tower, unveiled during the tabling of the Budget 2011 last month, was also met with stiff resistance from the opposition.

Apart from this, a Facebook page against the tower had more than 250,000 Malaysians registering their protest.

Police are trigger happy lot, says lawyers' group

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The police are a “trigger happy” lot and shoot at the slightest opportunity, according to statistics revealed by a local human's right group.

Testimony by a Bukit Aman police offficer at P Uthayakumar's sedition trial today, showed that in 2008, there were 82 fatal shootings and 88 in 2009, said Lawyers for Liberty.

"It is even more shocking when compared to previous years: In 2000 there were nine deaths; 2001 (5); 2002 (27); 2003 (17); 2004 (13); 2005 (9); 2006 (16) and 2007 (13)," said the group.

This would mean fatal shootings in 2008-09 saw a 17-fold increase compared with five deaths in 2001, said the group.

"We can conclude that the police are trigger happy and will shoot at the slightest opportunity in breach of the laws, regulations and the IGP's Standing Orders (IGSO)."

Lawyers for Liberty also claimed that the police had thus far been unable to prove or justify these shootings.

"There has been a spike in the number of unjustifiable and unlawful shootings of innumerable persons, apparently for fleeing from the police or plainclothes police personnel when confronted, even for minor offences.

"The police invariably claimed that they were 'attacked' and retaliated only in self defence even though there is no evidence to back up their claims," said Lawyers for Liberty.

It also said senior police officers and government officials usually “blindly” defended the police without looking at the possibility they might have been to quick to discharge their firearms.

"What has become of the Home Ministry’s special panel formed in the aftermath of Aminulrasyid Amzah’s shooting?" asked the group.

"Apparently nothing. The panel reportedly recommended that the current IGSO be improved. It looks to be just another public relations stunt."

Crisis of confidence

Citing the recent shooting deaths of Mohd Shamil Hafiz Shafie, 16, Mohd Khairul Nizam Tuah, 20, and Mohd Hanafi Omar, it said more and more people were gunned down while the government and the police remain mute to mounting public concerns.

"Acting Selangor police chief A Thaiveegan made the incredible claim that these young men were 'seasoned criminals' and they were part of a gang known as 'Geng Minyak' and alleged that the suspects rushed at the police with machetes.

"He also claimed that the police shot in self defence when it was more probable that they were killed in cold blood by the police," said the group.

Lawyers for Liberty called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to be formed immediately to investigate the shocking rise of fatal police shootings in recent years.

It also urged that the Independent Police Complaints and Misconducts Commission be formed and the police undergo drastic reforms consistent with international policing standards and procedures

WikiLeaks documents reveal Arab states' anxiety over Iran

(CNN) -- U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by the website WikiLeaks and published by newspapers in the United States and Europe on Sunday reveal considerable anxiety among the Gulf states about Iran's nuclear program, with the Bahrain's king warning, "The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it."

The cables, many marked "Secret," were among several hundred thousand obtained by WikiLeaks and published by newspapers Sunday.

They reveal great concern among Arab states about Iran's regional ambitions. One cable describes a meeting between Saudi King Abdullah and White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan and other U.S. officials in March 2009.

According to the cable, the king told the Americans what he had just told the Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki. "You as Persians have no business meddling in Arab matters," the Saudi monarch was quoted as telling Mottaki. "Iran's goal is to cause problems," he told Brennan. "There is no doubt something unstable about them."

The king was also highly critical of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al Maliki. He is reported to have told his American visitors: "I don't trust this man.... he's an Iranian agent." The cable continues: "The King said he had told both (former U.S. President George W.) Bush and former Vice President (Dick) Cheney: 'How can I meet with someone I don't trust?'"

King Abdullah also welcomed the election of President Barack Obama. "Thank God for bringing Obama to the presidency," he is reported as saying, adding that it had created "great hope" in the Muslim world.

According to another cable, King Hamadbin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain told the commander of U.S. Central Command, Gen. David H. Petraeus, that Iran was the "source of much of the trouble in both Iraq and Afghanistan."

The cable, sent in November 2009 by the U.S. ambassador in Bahrain, added that the king had "argued forcefully for taking action to terminate their nuclear program, by whatever means necessary. 'That program must be stopped,' he said.

Another cable reveals that in the neighboring United Arab Emirates, Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan told a congressional delegation last February that "if Iran goes nuclear, others in the region will move forward on the same track, and the nuclear nonproliferation treaty will completely break down."

According to a cable about the meeting sent by the U.S. ambassador on February 22, the minister added that "a crisis or confrontation in the region would create oil supply problems worldwide."

There was similar apprehension in Egypt about Iran. In a cable sent in February 2009, the U.S. ambassador in Cairo recounted: "President Mubarak told Senator Mitchell during his recent visit here that he did not oppose our talking with the Iranians, as long as 'you don't believe a word they say.'"

The cable referred to former Sen. George Mitchell, the Obama administration's special Middle East envoy.

According to the cable, the ambassador continued: "Mubarak has a visceral hatred for the Islamic Republic, referring repeatedly to Iranians as 'liars,' and denouncing them for seeking to destabilize Egypt and the region."

A cable from the U.S. ambassador in Oman, meanwhile, quotes the country's Armed Forces Chief, Lt. Gen. Ali bin Majidal-Ma'amari, as saying that "with Iran's continued attitude on the nuclear issue, the security situation in Iraq would remain unresolved."

Citing Oman's preference for a non-military solution, he nevertheless acknowledged that a nuclear-armed Iran as opposed to war with Iran posed "an extremely difficult dilemma for all of us," the cable continued.

There is advice in another cable about to handle Iran.

According to a readout of a November 2007 briefing from the then-British ambassador in Tehran, Geoffrey Adams, the UK envoy had "recommended being steady and firm, tough but not aggressive, and at the same time, seeking to engage."

The cable says: "He stressed that Iranians are obsessed with the West and this obsession at times blinds them to their interests."

Lawyer claims cops killed youth in cold blood

Forensic personnel examine the car the three youths had been travelling in before they were shot. — Bernama pic
PETALING JAYA, Nov 29 — The family of a young man shot dead on November 13 after being suspected of robbing a petrol station has accused the police of killing him in cold blood. Muhammad Hanafi Omar, 22, Muhammad Shamil Hafiz Shapiei, 15, and Hairul Nizam Tuah, 20, were gunned down by the police after a reported high-speed car chase in the early morning of November 13 in Glenmarie, Shah Alam.
“The police intentionally shot the three victims,” lawyer Sasha Lyna Abdul Latif, who represented Hanafi’s family, told The Malaysian Insider at the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters today.
“All three of them were shot at close range. There were two shots on Hanafi’s right side of his head and one shot in the chest,” she added.
The police report lodged by Hanafi’s kin today follows the police reports lodged by Shamil and Hairul’s families on November 20, who similarly alleged that the police had performed a “gangland-style execution” on the youths.
The police claimed they had shot the suspects in self-defence as they had allegedly rushed to attack the policemen with machetes after the pre-dawn car chase.
Selangor acting police chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan had reportedly defended his officers’ actions by describing the three suspected robbers as “seasoned criminals” who were allegedly involved in at least three armed robberies in Selangor the week prior to their shooting.
The latest youth shootings have roused Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers to demand for newly-installed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar to end indiscriminate fatal police shootings.
The Dewan Rakyat, however, recently rejected an emergency motion by Subang MP R. Sivarasa to debate the Glenmarie shootings.
According to the PKR MP, the motion filed under Standing Orders 18(1) had been rejected in chambers after it failed to fulfil the criteria of being specific, urgent and of public interest.
Sivarasa, however, informed reporters that he had been advised by Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to raise the matter during committee stage for the Home Ministry.
Today, Sasha Lyna claimed the small size of the gunshot wounds on Hanafi’s body indicated that the shots were fired at close range.
“The size of the gunshot wounds, as seen by Hanafi’s brother who identified the body, were small,” said the lawyer from non-governmental organisation, Lawyers for Liberty.
“If it’s small, it means that he was shot at close range. He was also shot from a higher position,” she explained.
The lawyer also noted that the bullets had exited Hanafi’s body.
“The doctors at the post-mortem told Hanafi’s brother that all the bullets went through his body,” said Sasha Lyna.

Hanafi’s father, Omar, disputed claims that his son was a criminal.
Shamil’s and Hairul’s families had earlier noted that the two youths each bore two gunshot wounds on their heads and chests and that no bullets were found in their bodies. Hairul’s family had also said the trajectory of the bullet wounds on Hairul’s body indicated that Hairul’s shooter had shot him from a higher position.
Today, Sasha Lyna insinuated that the police had a tendency of claiming that suspects possessed machetes during police shootings.
“Every time there is a police shooting and the alleged suspects were there, the police will always claim that there were parangs (machetes) with the alleged suspects. It’s the same thing with Aminulrasyid,” said Sasha Lyna.
Fourteen-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah was shot to death in a high-speed car chase with the police in Shah Alam on April 26 this year.
Then, the police claimed the Form Three schoolboy was a criminal and that he had a machete. His family has disputed these claims.
During the trial of Corporal Jenain Subi, who is charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder of Aminulrasyid, a crime scene investigator told the court, however, that he had found the machete in the car driven by the boy.
Today, Sasha Lyna called for an independent commission to investigate Hanafi’s shooting.
“We are asking for an independent commission to investigate this matter,” said the lawyer.
Sungai Siput MP Dr D. Jeyakumar, who was present with Hanafi’s family today, also reiterated Sasha Lyna’s call for an independent investigation.
“We want an independent panel,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hanafi’s father Omar Abdul Bakar, denied police claims that his son was a criminal.
“He did not have a criminal record. He just squeezed santan (coconut milk) for a living for a year,” Omar told reporters today.
“He (Hanafi) stayed in Kota Damansara with his boss,” added the 57-year-old ex-serviceman.
Omar expressed his dissatisfaction with the police’s explanations on his son’s shooting.
“I want justice,” said Omar, who currently works as a farmer in a village at Kuala Kangsar, Perak.
Besides Aminulrasyid, a second case involving the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Mohd Afham Arin in Johor Baru on October 20 last year has also surfaced after the victim’s mother recently demanded an independent commission to investigate the case.
According to human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), 88 people were killed in police shootings last year.
The NGO also claimed not one police officer has been held accountable in the shootings and that the high number of deaths in 2009 was “alarming”, considering that there were only 13 such cases in the previous two years.

Musa claims Sabah has more Umno members than Johor

By Luke Rintod - Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah now has surpassed Johor in term of Umno membership, according to state Umno liaison chief Musa Aman.
Musa, who is also the chief minister, claimed Sabah now has 455,828 Umno members, with about 30,000 new members enrolled this year alone. Johor has about 438,000 members.
"This we achieved through our endless effort via various programmes including the "Program Juara Rakyat" to further consolidate Umno strength in Sabah," he disclosed after he chaired the Umno state liaison meeting here last week.
"I am calling on the state Umno machinery to continue enlisting new voters as party members," said Musa whose position in the state Umno hierarchy may be under threat with word of a reshuffles in state Umno leaderships nationwide.
Musa, along with Malacca's Chief Minister, Ali Rustam, has been widely speculated to top Najib Tun Razak's menu of reshuffle with party vice-president Shafie Apdal who is currently heading Umno in Kedah brought back to Sabah.
Meanwhile party insiders said deputy state Umno liaison chief, Salleh Said who was initially seen as aligned to Shafie has since turned Musa-friendly.
The Salleh-Shafie ties were initially bolstered by their Bajau-Sama communities links.
However, when Salleh went ahead to lead a Bajau-Sama cultural body called United Sabah Bajau Organisation (Usbo), Shafie was nowhere to be seen in the line-up. But a check with Usbo website has Shafie listed as 'advisor'.
Salleh, a political scientist who is currently doing his doctorate locally, has been appointed by Musa as his science advisor, a post previously held by Tham Nyip Shen who became party-less after he quit the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and retired from politics.
Usbo making itself relevant
Usbo which was officially re-registered in 2006 meanwhile is said to be re-engineering itself with the aim of joining Barisan Nasional as an associate member under the NGO category.
Word on the ground has it that Usbo is aiming to become the 'balance' in Sabah's increasingly tumultous political landscape.
According to insiders the party is in the process of amending the name of organisation.
Currently Usbo's membership is limited to strictly Bajau descendents, but if the Registrar of Societies approves the amendment to its constitution that Usbo will only need to change the 'B' which means 'Bajau" in its Usbo-acronym to 'B' meaning 'bumiputera'.
By opening its doors to all bumiputeras, insiders said Usbo is making itself 'seriously marketable' to Umno and BN.
Although the amendments are yet to be approved by ROS, Usbo leadership has already begun moving its machinery in preparation of a surge in memberships from grassroots bumiputeras who are not members of Umno or any other BN component parties.
Historically, Bajaus have played a in significant role in Sabah politics with four of the state's former chief ministers - Mustapha Harun, Sakaran Dandai, Salleh Said Keruak and Osu Sukam - having been of Bajau-descent.
However since Musa assumed power, ties with the community have been strained especially so after he dropped several key Bajau leaders from his political lineup.
Usbo is said to represent 12 sub-ethnic groups comprising the Iranun, Sama, Suluk, Binadan or Bannaran, Ubian, Sama Delaut, Sibutu, Sikubung, Simunul, Samal, Yakan and Jama Mapun communities. Together they are the second largest ethnic group in Sabah.

DAP man submits motion on racist PD teacher

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
KUALA LUMPUR: A DAP lawmaker submitted a motion today to debate on the alleged racist statement made by yet another teacher from a school in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan.
The Nov 24 incident was widely reported by the press. A Malay teacher from SMK Port Dickson had purportedly told her Chinese and Indian students to "go back to China and India" when they arrived late for their exams.
Bakri MP Er Teck Hwa in his motion said this incident came amid a yet-to-subside nationwide uproar over various racists statements made by Malay civil servants over the past few months.
"Lately, these racially discriminatory statements have hurt many of us who want peace and harmony so much," Er said in the motion submitted this morning.
In February, a special aide to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak told a closed-door government event that the Chinese are descendents of "prostitutes" and Indians are "beggars".
A few months later, a teacher and two principals were reported to have made similar offensive statements in three separate incidents.
The Najib administration was slow to react. Some hawks in Umno even defended their actions, claiming the media and the opposition had exaggerated the incidents.
Najib's special aide was forced to resign from his post while one principal, who publicly apologised, was punished with a warning and transferred. The two principals too have been transferred out of their schools.
Er said the latest incident signalled a weakness in government methods in addressing racism, which opposition lawmakers say is already "institutionalised" in the public sector.
"Looking at the chain of events, it indicates that the issue is not an isolated event because the statements made by all of them are similar: ask the Chinese and Indians to go back to their countries."
He said drastic and effective measures must be taken to eradicate racism in the predominantly Malay civil service.
"So the Race Relations Act must be tabled and passed in the Dewan Rakyat as soon as possible," he said, urging the Speaker to allow time for debate on the matter.
Motions submitted by opposition lawmakers are often rejected and Er's motion is likely to suffer the same fate.

Post-PKR congress: Do or die for Anwar

COMMENT Can PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim steer PKR forward and keep its members together, following a bruising party election?
Following a three-day congress, Anwar – described as a God-sent leader by his wife and party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail – is clearly facing the biggest challenge to keep the party from falling apart.
One political analyst said it was “a do-or-die” situation for the man.
Failing to patch up the disgruntlement among its members would cause more members to ditch the party, particularly after some delegates began raising the issue of a “Gang of Four” dominating the party.
Many leaders have left the party in the past but it did not pose any serious threat. However, political observers said the situation was very much different, this time around, as dissatisfaction over the party elections has rocked it to its core.
Therefore, whether Anwar can pull it through this time remains to be seen as he is facing a more severe challenge after several big names – deputy presidency candidates Zaid Ibrahim and Mustaffa Kamil Ayub – along with Youth chief candidate Badrul Hisham Shaharin, made broad accusations of irregularities in the polls.
Zaid has since resigned from the party and is in the process of forming a new party by January.
The soreness over the party election results was still evident during the congress as some delegates called for the party leadership to conduct a thorough investigation into the complaints.
Sensing the mood, Anwar promptly addressed the issue last night when he openly admitted that there were some weaknesses and that he would take action if it was proven that there was fraud in the recently-concluded party election.
Daunting task
Political analysts have pointed out that Wan Azizah failed to address the issue in her opening speech on Saturday, by simply diverting the issue by praising Anwar as a God-sent leader.
"It is not his loyal supporters they should be concerned about but those who are outside the party, who are not party members but supported PKR in the last general election. How can this support be granted again in the next general election?," asked Sivamurugan Pandian, a political analyst at Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Anwar is also facing a daunting task to pacify young voters who are not happy with the way the party handled the direct elections. They played a crucial role in helping PKR win more seats in the last general election.
Apart from that, Anwar who is Opposition Leader in Parliament, is also facing the crucial issue of who, among leaders of the opposition pact of PKR-DAP-PAS, should be the prime minister, should they come to power at federal level.
PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution has said that the opposition pact had yet to address the issue and they were still working on having a clear manifesto and building on the party's common platform.
This left some party supporters wondering whether their leaders would be chosen to lead the country, should they come to power.
"It is really a 'do or die' situation... Anwar is the captain who can steer the ship. We don't know whether the captain is heading in the right direction.”
“If not, many passengers will make a U-turn and go back to the status quo," said a supporter who refused to be identified.
He said the party leadership could not just sweep important issues under the carpet and blame the Barisan Nasional for all the challenges they faced.
"If you observe carefully in this congress, you will see that some delegates are more critical. You did not see that in the previous congress. This shows that, to a certain extent, they want some convincing answers from the top leadership. Otherwise, they will be wondering over PKR's future," he said.
- Bernama

Oath stone: A reminder of promises given to Sabah

FEATURE KENINGAU: Except for the words written in old Malay spelling, the oath stone in front of the Keningau district office seems just like another rugged rock.
Most visitors are not tempted to spare a moment to delve into the meanings of the words written on a plaque that is affixed to the large foot-shaped stone.
But following the official national-level celebration in Sabah to commemorate the Malaysia Day on Sept 16 this year, the historical stone finally received some recognition.
The stone was originally placed within the compound of the old Keningau district office, adjacent to the district hospital, but was later relocated to the present site.
The man who was very much involved in setting up the historical oath stone was former state secretary Richard Lind.
According to Lind, the idea of the oath stone was mainly to resolve the initial opposition of the rural native chiefs on Sabah's move to join the Malaysian Federation.
“Several prominent native chiefs (or locally known as Orang Kaya Kaya) had certain reservation over the idea of Sabah joining the federation, simply because they felt they would not be able to understand what was going to be written in the proposed Malaysian Federation Constitution,” explained Lind, who was the Keningau district officer then.
“There was much discussion and consultation. I tried my best to allay their fears and suspicions,” he said.
After allaying their apprehension, a proposal was mooted to display an oath stone to acknowledge their acceptance of the federation.
Getting the stone
So a suitable stone was sought for the purpose.
“As the district officer at that time overseeing this assignment, the task became all the more urgent when it had to be completed to commemorate the first anniversary of Sabah's independence through Malaysia,” Lind said.
He said after considerable efforts, he identified a stone in the middle of Pegalan river, near kampung Senagang, a small village along the Keningau-Tenom road.
“This stone had all the characteristics for use as an oath stone. However, getting it out was difficult as it was in the middle of the river with the water flowing fast,” he said.
However, with the help of a local building contractor, Nip Kui Chiang, the stone was winched out from the river and transported to the site chosen by local leaders.
Lind said that he then commissioned a plaque to be made by the Thornycraft Shipyard in Singapore to be affixed to the stone.
Local leaders wanted the federation's prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman to unveil the stone but in the end Federal Minister of Labour V Manickavasagam was delegated to officiate at the event.
On Sept 16, 1964, on the first anniversary of Malaysia Day, a large crowd gathered at the old district office compound to witness the historic occasion of unveiling the oath stone.
Among those present then were the chief minister Fuad Stephens, GS Sundang, the president of Pasok Momogun, the main opposition party at that time; Yeap Kee Aik, then federal secretary; OKK Sedomon Gunsanad, OKK Angian Andulag, community leaders, government officers, native chiefs, village headmen and representatives from various ethnic groups.
The 47-year-old oath stone, weighing more than two tonnes, is a symbolic memorial that displays the terms under which the natives agreed to the formation of the federation.
The terms displayed on the plaque (in Malay) mention three tenets: freedom of religion in Sabah; the government of Sabah holds authority over land in the state; and the native customs and traditions must be respected and preserved by the government.
In return, the people of the interior pledged loyalty to the Malaysian government.
The Moningolig ritual
In the early years, a moningolig (a ritual using a chicken as sacrifice) is held at the site in conjunction with Malaysia Day celebration, attended by about 100 people, including politicians, government employees, students and community leaders representing various ethnic races.
The service was also a tribute to pre-independence leaders as well as to remind the younger generation about Sabah’s place in the creation of the Malaysian federation.
According to a local, John Gitang, during the first moningolig when the stone was first unveiled a strange thing happened: a white rooster simply “refused to die” after it was slaughtered for the ritual.
Gitang thought the rooster was dead and brought it back home but as his wife was about to clean it, the rooster suddenly came back to life.
Fearing that misfortune might befall on them, they decided to put off the family’s dinner plan and the lucky cockerel survived.
Meanwhile, Natural Resources Development and Environment Deputy Minister Joseph Kurup has suggested that the oath stone be relocated to a suitable place in view of its historical value.
He said its present location was no longer appropriate because the site would be used to expand the district office.
- Bernama

Selangor DAP Elects Teresa Kok As New Chairman

PETALING JAYA, Nov 28 (Bernama) -- Seputeh Member of Parliament (MP) Teresa Kok Suh Sim has been elected as the new Selangor DAP chairman at its 16th state convention, near here Sunday.

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua Kiam Wee was chosen as deputy chairman while Klang MP Charles Santiago and Selangor State Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Kim were elected as the vice-chairmen.

The Selangor DAP secretary's post was won by Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, while assistant secretary and treasurer respectively by Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim and Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan.

In a secret ballot, the 15 elected committee members decided on a reshuffle and elected Kok as the state chairman.

As the 15 met immediately to choose the chairman, Kok and Teng were proposed for the chairman's post and she won it by a single vote in a secret ballot.

Over 800 delegates voted to elect the contenders led by Kok, who is also Selangor State Executive Councillor and another group headed by Teng.

Kok when met by reporters said that she was overwhelmed by the election results and said would work hard to face the next general election.

"The results clearly indicate that the delegates wanted reforms and a reshuffle within the party in order to move forward," she said.

Meanwhile, Teng described the result as a victory for his rainbow coalition (name of his coalition) as the coalition meant at least some of his agendas would be implemented.

Saying he was not disappointed with the results, he said the task that lay ahead was to ensure the party was ready to carry out the wishes of members regardless which team they were from.

He said the closing of ranks would be their first task and everyone would have a role to play.

"The vice-president won't become a ceremonial post. Many said the Speaker post is also ceremonial but I have proven them wrong," said Teng, who is also Sungai Pinang assemblyman.

40 Orang Asli entrepreneurs receive commercial lots

The Star

BATU PAHAT: Forty Orang Asli entrepreneurs in Kampung Bumiputera Dalam, Rengit recently received keys to newly constructed commercial lots after 25 years of running their businesses from wooden shoplots.

The commercial lots, inclusive of workshops cost RM3.2mil to construct and was a joint effort between the Rural and Regional Development Mi­­nistry and the Johor state government.

The state government provided the 0.92ha of land for the construction of the lots. Each commercial lot is equipped with basic amenities including spacious parking space and is being rented out to the Orang Asli entrepreneurs at a special, low rate.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said the new commercial lots would provide a more comfortable base of operations for Orang Asli entrepreneurs while also being more convenient and accessible for customers.

Shafie said the ministry would go through the list of Orang Asli entrepreneurs that have applied and were still waiting for commercial lots.

FBI: Suspect claimed he wrote jihadist fitness article


A Somali-American teenager arrested Friday on suspicion of plotting to bomb a holiday ceremony in Portland, Oregon, told an undercover FBI employee that he wrote articles published in an English-language jihadist magazine, including a story on fitness, an FBI affidavit says.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, told the undercover operative last summer that he had written articles for the online magazine Jihad Recollections under a pen name, according to an FBI affidavit filed with Mohamud's arrest warrant.

One of the articles Mohamud claimed to have written was "Getting in shape without weights," which was published in the inaugural issue of Jihad Recollections in April 2009, according to the affidavit.

In the article, the author – identified as Ibn al-Mubarak – writes that jihadists must prepare their bodies for war and "train as hard as possible in order to damage the enemies of Allah as much as possible."

The article implores readers to train without weights, in part because using them is "unrealistic for the Mujahid in the front lines anywhere in the world today," and because gyms are not Islamic environments, with their "music, semi-naked women [and] free mixing."

The piece describes stretches and warm-ups before instructing on ways to sculpt one’s legs (suggestions include walking at least 90 minutes a day, doing interval runs, crawling long distances and sitting against a wall for long periods) and strengthen one’s arms (100 to 150 push-ups per day, pull-ups, walking on hands).

"We find that [weights are] ... a major setback for the Americans and the NATO Crusading army as they cannot go to any battlefront without carrying along with them their bench, squat sets and sometimes even their machines," the article says.

U.S. authorities say Mohamud was arrested in connection with a plan to detonate what he believed to be a vehicle bomb at Portland's Christmas tree lighting on Friday night. He attempted to detonate the device, which was a fake planted by authorities in an undercover operation designed to undermine him, the Justice Department said.

A resident of Corvallis, Oregon, and a student at Oregon State University, Mohamud was arrested on suspicion of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, the FBI said. He will make his initial appearance Monday in federal court in Portland, the Justice Department said.

The arrest was the culmination of a long-term undercover operation during which Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, was monitored closely as the alleged plot developed, the Justice Department said. Mohamud made the article claim to an operative involved in that undercover operation, according to the affidavit.

Mohamud said he wrote two other articles for Jihad Recollections, and that he also sent an article to another jihadist publication, Inspire, according to the affidavit. The court document does not identify those articles.

U.S. counterterrorism officials have said Jihad Recollections was produced by former North Carolina resident Samir Khan, who those officials now say they believe is living in Yemen. Intelligence officials also suspect Khan is the driving force behind Inspire.

No end to race and religion in politics

'But if we talk about eradicating poverty irrespective of race, of uplifting the economy of a national agenda planned not along racial lines, then there can be fairness to all.'


Azizah rallies party faithful, trashes 'ketuanan Melayu'

Gerard Samuel Vijayan: The highlighting of Malay issues by PKR is necessary in the face of incessant attacks from Umno warning that the Malays will lose their rights and become second-class citizens in this country if Pakatan Rakyat wins.

PKR must emphasise four points to placate Malay fears and concerns:

1) the status of Islam remains unchanged;

2) the position of the Malay rulers will be respected;

3) the Malay language will be defended; and

4) affirmative action as defined in Article 153 will continue but will be needs-based as opposed to purely race-based, and in the process only the needy, poor and deprived Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak will be generously assisted by the government.

Malay political dominance will continue under Pakatan but fair, equal and just opportunities will be given to the non-Malays; their religion, language and culture will be respected and accepted. The economy will be made open, transparent, efficient and competitive based on merit, fairness and competence.

KSN: Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, here are some corrections to your 'facts'. The bumiputera equity quoted by independent and credible sources stands at 45% and that means the quota of 30 percent was achieved about 15 years back. If those bumiputeras sold their RM50 billion equity for short-term gains, who is to be blamed? They benefited nonetheless, right?

Regarding the RM2,000 household income, at least they make RM2,000. What about the poor Indians who are without any work, without any skills, and nobody wants to employ them? They have turn to theft and unlawful means to survive. It is a social problem. What about the poor Kadazans and Ibans in similar state?

You are the president of so-called Keadilan - why did you not talk for the poor of all the communities? Your argument and logic is along Umno lines. What about racial representation according to population in the full spectrum of the civil service? Why did you not talk about the 45 percent of the population who are non-Malays?

Monsterball: Azizah deserves to be PKR president, a true freedom fighter like her husband. How many times must Malays be reminded that Umno is using them with selfish and crooked ulterior motives to enrich themselves and the chosen few?

Proarte: "Wan Azizah urged the PKR faithful to continue to back Anwar, whom she said is a 'great man who has been awarded by God to all of us to be our leader'."

This statement is worrying. Did Allah speak to Wan Azizah and tell her that Anwar Ibrahim was ordained to be leader? Did the Hindu gods also appear to her and reveal to her this 'truth'? Did she have a vision of Jesus telling her this as well?

I would advise Azizah and her daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar not to introduce religion into politics. When you do so, you bastardise religion. Talking about Allah ordaining Anwar is reinforcing in people's mind 'ketuanan Islam'.

Religion and politics are unhappy bedfellows. They have been a source of division throughout history. Anwar Ibrahim is paying the price for his unscrupulous abuse of Islam during his political career. It seems to me the Ibrahim family just do not learn. They do so at their peril.

Armour Man: When we discuss richness and poverty in the context of race and religion, we can expect to argue no end. If we talk about eradicating poverty in Malaysia irrespective of race, we talk about uplifting the economy of the poor irrespective of race. If our national agenda is planned not along racial lines, then there can be fairness to all.

I don't get Wan Azizah - while she condemns Umno and the 'ketuanan Melayu' concept, she proceeded to reinforce the image of the 'disadvantaged' Malay population.

OZ: In raising the issue of poor Indians, don't forget that among the richest Malaysians is an Indian (Ananda Krishnan), while the majority of lawyers and doctors are Indians. Study the breakdown of the rich and poor within each race in Malaysia, I believe the Indians are not that bad in terms of economics.

The poor in East Malaysia are due to the results of the BN robbing their wealth; the oil, gas, and timber revenues are taken with the consent of the East Malaysian BN leaders. They themselves approve it. Look at Batu Sapi - even with rotten bridges, they still choose BN.

CarL: The sub-conscious mind was at work, and Azizah's speech was dominated by the issue on Malays. This is the "leader" of a multiracial party? She never touched on any of the hardships of the Indians or the Chinese. If the Malays are used by Umno, then the Indians are used by PKR.

Swipenter: Any party that looks an iota better than Umno/BN in governance has my vote. Just look at how Umno with their two major lackeys in MCA and MIC bastradised the country for themselves for the last 40-odd years. They divided us to rob us blind.

Rolls-Royce: Despite what we read each day of the gross excesses happening in the country, we continue to have a group of people here discussing about how PKR, DAP and PAS have deviated from their objectives, how the Penang state government has victimised the Indians and their shrines built on illegal sites, how the election process in PKR was in disarray, how the DAP is divided so much so they would not be able to govern, how 'ketuanan Melayu' is being undermined and how the mosquito parties from Sarawak and Sabah are being sidelined.

We continue to harp on all these non-issues when the country is being robbed dry, when some bumiputera communities in Sarawak and Sabah are almost being obliterated, when BN parties do not even have direct elections, and when there is not one single evidence of abuse of power or corruption in Penang.

When are these whiners going to wake up?

3rd Force joining BN : No thank you PM.Najib. HINDRAF and HRP is more committed than PR to end UMNO/BN rule of Putrajaya for 53 long years, which has brought the Indian poor to this downtrodden state

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/035d149d38709405b3e9f594ff77c76b4.jpg 

3rd Force joining BN : No thank you PM.Najib. HINDRAF and HRP is more committed than PR to end UMNO/BN rule of Putrajaya for 53 long years, which has brought the Indian poor to this downtrodden state.

S.JAYATHAS

Information Chief

Najib open to ‘Third Force’ joining BN (Malaysiakini)

Najib Razak said today the emergence of the so-called ‘Third Force’ shows dissatisfaction with the PKR leadership.

"Whether they remain a third force (within PKR) or leave to join the party Zaid (Ibrahim) wants to form or enter Umno … it all stamps from the crisis gripping the party (PKR)," the prime minister told reporters after opening the MAHA 2010 exhibition here.

Najib was asked to comment on the statement of PKR deputy president senator Dr Syed Husin Ali that the existence of the ‘Third Force’ could make it difficult for Pakatan Rakyat to win big in the next general election.

Opening the Angkatan Women and Youth Congress yesterday, he said the group should be handled wisely and could not be taken lightly.

They can be associate/affiliate members

Asked whether Barisan Nasional and Umno were prepared to accept the group, Najib said they were always open.

"They can become associate members, affiliate members (of BN) and so on. We are open and inclusive in our attitude to draw more people to Barisan and Umno," he said.

He denied that Barisan was allowing direct membership because it was hard pressed to find second line leaders.

"No, we are not hard pressed. What it means is that BN is changing with the times… and this is important. We cannot stick to old procedures and structures when the political environment has changed.

Asked if the ‘Third Force’ would change and support BN, Najib said: "I don’t know yet, it depends … we will see how it develops but this is the result of loss of confidence among the PKR members."

- Bernama

Leadership, Unity Take Centrestage At MIC CWC Meeting

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 (Bernama) -- "Maintain party unity and stability" will be MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's parting words to the party's powerful Central Working Committee (CWC) members at their meeting on Dec 6.

Samy Vellu, who is expected to hand over the party's leadership to his deputy, Datuk G. Palanivel soon after the CWC meeting, said he would stress on the need for the party to maintain an effective leadership and preserve unity to ensure MIC's survival.

"I want them to maintain a strong working relationship so that the party can function effectively," he said when interviewed by RTM's Minnal FM Tamil radio station here Sunday.

Samy Vellu who had announced that he would chair his last CWC meeting on Dec 6, also said he would urge party members to give their full backing to Palanivel.

The former works minister described Palanivel, his former press secretary, as "a dedicated and pious person."

"He may not be as tough as me in running the party, but he can be tough at times. I believe he can do the job and I want all members to give him their support," he said.

Samy Vellu said unity has to be maintained by all quarters in the party to ensure the MIC continued to represent the Indian community and deliver the Indian votes to the Barisan Nasional in the next general election.

"It is vital that the MIC remains strong, vibrant and effective to continue fighting for the rights of the community. This can only happen if there is an effective leadership, and stability," he said.

Observers said Samy Vellu's remarks could be taken as cautioning party leaders from engaging in power tussle, especially in the run-up to the MIC elections in 2012.

Although Samy Vellu had refused to accept the post of party advisor after handing over the presidency to Palanivel as suggested by certain MIC leaders, it is believed that he would closely monitor the situation.

According to an aide, Samy Vellu would "move in" should there be a power tussle or attempt to destabilise the MIC.

"Samy Vellu would still command the respect and support of a sizeable number of (MIC) branch and divisional chairmen, and in the 2012 party elections, he could still call the shots," the aide said.

Samy Vellu took over the helm of the party in 1979 from the late Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam.


Samy: Palani will spearhead MIC

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who is stepping down after 31 years in office, says his deputy Datuk G. Palanivel will take over as a full-fledged president without having to be elected.

The outgoing president said the party constitution allowed Palanivel to be the president immediately.

“The MIC constitution states that in the absence of the president, the deputy will act for the president. Absence means when I go on leave or am away.

“But, I am resigning. So he takes over as the full president and not in an acting capacity,’’ he told The Star in a farewell interview at the party headquarters.

Samy Vellu, 74, is expected to vacate his post on Dec 6 when he chairs his last Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting.

Certain factions in the party are claiming that Palanivel, 61, can only take over in an acting capacity until he is elected.

Samy Vellu, who has held the MIC presidency for a record 11 terms, explained that the current scenario in the party differed from back when he took over as acting president in 1979 following the death of Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam.

“I took over in an acting capacity because at that time there were no vice-presidents to be made the deputy president. We amended the party constitution only later to have three vice-presidents,” he pointed out.

On the party’s No 2 position, Samy Vellu said he had obtained the mandate of the CWC to appoint vice-president Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, 57, as acting deputy president.

“I will put them both in their seats and then leave as I don’t want a tussle after that. Somebody may come and tell him (Palanivel) not to pick Dr Subramaniam as the No 2,” he said, adding that he was aware that there are a lot of troublemakers in the party.

Asked what was his greatest disappointment throughout his long te­­nure, Samy Vellu said it was former deputy president Datuk S. Subra­maniam’s “inability to work with me.”

“He contested against me twice. Otherwise today, he would have been the president of the MIC,’’ he added.

Samy Vellu also confirmed that he would assume new duties as special envoy for infrastructure with ministerial rank to India and several other South Asian countries.
 murder

Azmin attacks Najib, rejects Malay supremacy

PETALING JAYA, Nov 28 — Newly elected PKR deputy president Azmin Ali questioned the legitimacy of Datuk Seri Najib Razak leadership as prime minister today, and proclaimed his party’s rejection of Umno’s Malay supremacist position.

Taking an aggressive stand in his new role as a senior leader in his party, Azmin pointed out that Najib did not have a mandate from the public or from Umno members.

Azmin (picture) said that Najib was never elected as Prime Minister and said the prime minister is yet to be tested in an Umno election.

“We should not forget that Najib never stood for election. Utusan listen to this, Najib never stood for election. He was appointed by Dr Mahathir as the deputy prime minister. They then threw Abdullah Badawi out. He became prime minister because he was appointed and not elected. This is because he is not brave to face his own party members,” he said during his winding-up speech at the party’s national convention here.

He said unlike PKR where each member has one vote, the Umno leadership only received their mandate from 0.07 per cent out of the 3.4 million party members.

He also ridiculed Najib’s 1 Malaysia, accusing Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) of continuing to condone racist policies in its administration.

“If we want our country and people to march forward then we must ensure the end of racist policies brought by Umno and BN. The national agenda should be based on needs not on race. This is very important.

“We must not be defensive when we want to reject the concept of Malay supremacy. Even though the media have relentlessly attacked us that we are traitors because we want to reject Malay supremacy but I want to proclaim today that we will reject Malay supremacy. We will carry people power to become the basis of the party’s struggle,” he said.

Azmin said party members have the conviction to topple BN and capture Putrajaya.

“We must safeguard our sense of conviction. We are confident not because we are paid. We are confident not because we will get senatorship. But we are confident because if we do not act now then all the systems in this country under Barisan Nasional will worsen,” he said.

He added that public welfare should be measured not by race but by needs.

“The Indian community is poor in the estate, Malay community is poor in the villages and the Chinese are also poor in towns. This is the responsibility of PKR to help all races including Bumiputera Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.

Azmin said that he is not apologetic with his stance because it is the public that will decide the future of the country and party.

“I am not apologetic and is not worried with attacks by Utusan Malaysia because those that determine the future of the country and our party is not Utusan Malaysia and TV3 but the Malaysian people of different races,” he said.

Azmin denied that PKR consists of traitors and was anti-Malay because it wants to abolish Malay supremacist policies.

“We want to help the Malays but only Malays with dignity but not Malays that practices rent seeking, nepotism like Umno and Barisan Nasional,” he said.

“If we ask Umno leaders who do they think are the real Malay patriots? What will be their answer? Rosmah Mansor,” he said.

Azmin was officially announced today as PKR’s deputy president after defeating his only contender, Mustaffa Kamil Ayub, with 19,543 votes.

The third contender, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, withdrew from the deputy presidential contest after claiming fraud in the party’s first direct election.

Zaid also quit PKR and claimed the party had failed to uphold democratic principles.

Kit Siang: Who dares say Selangor will not fall?

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang today warned that Pakatan Rakyat might lose Selangor if its leaders were too proud to take note of that possibility.

"We should not only take heed of the warning that 'pride comes before a fall' but also learn from history, " he said in his opening speech at the 16th DAP Selangor Convention at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre here.

Lim said PAS never expected to win Terengganu in 1999 but took the state with a landslide 28-4 victory in the state assembly. However, in 2004, PAS lost in a reverse 4-28 sweep by Umno and Barisan Nasional when they did not expect to.

"Can what happened in Terengganu happen in Selangor: capturing power although never expecting to win before the 2008 general election, and losing the state in the next general election although never expecting to lose?

"Who is brave enough to say it won't happen?" asked Lim, adding that he knew of people who believed that Pakatan cannot lose Selangor.

"Is the Pakatan government in Selangor impregnable and invincible? This is food for thought for all of you. We must take full note of this possibility," he said.

United we stand, divided we fall

Lim said this was why the Selangor DAP state convention was important for Pakatan to ensure that Selangor in the next general elections would not be a repeat of Terengganu in 2004.

He said it was a "fatal political assumption" for Pakatan to believe that it was on an unstoppable march to Putrajaya with invincible control over its present state governments, particularly Kedah and Selangor.

“I know that I have caused some to be upset with my 'two fatal political assumptions' statement, but I prefer to be proven wrong in the next general electionrather than be proven right,” he added.

Lim said the DAP Selangor state convention could help end the crisis of confidence in Pakatan.

He said the convention must send a clear and unmistakable message of single-minded unity of purpose. This would be marred if key DAP leaders in the Pakatan Selangor state government do not receive the full mandate and support from the convention.

"There is a place and role in DAP for every leader and member to contribute to the historic political changes awaiting the country. For DAP, just as for Pakatan, united we stand, divided we fall," he said.

Party is not for personal benefit

Meanwhile, DAP Selangor chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah in his opening speech said that he regretted that some were saying that a reshuffle of the current elected representatives was needed.

"That is very regretable, as that will break us as a team. Do you want to destroy yourself in this process? The party is not used for personal benefit, it is a party for the public and nation,” he said.

As at press time, 812 out of 1,016 delegates had arrived to vote for the 15 state committee posts.

It was earlier announced that seven of the 50 candidates had withdrawn from the contest. They are: Gan Eu Eng, Gan Siah Tong, Lee Sek Wun, Ong Kian Chye, R Rajiv, S Selvadurai, Sow Kim Tar @ Sow Kim Ling.

Azmin: I did not win because of Anwar

By Rahmah Ghazali and G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Newly-minted PKR deputy president Azmin Ali denied that he emerged victorious in the party polls because of his close relationship with de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Known as Anwar's “blue-eyed boy” and the “preferred candidate” throughout his campaign, Azmin however said that the party supremo would support anyone who was loyal to the party.

“My loyalty to the party should not be questioned,” he stressed when addressing the delegates at the PKR national congress here.

“Many asked, did Anwar favour you? I said no. Anwar favours everyone who is loyal to the party.
“I have been working with party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for the past 26 years and I’ve been in the party for the past 12 years. And I was vice-president for the past 10 years,” he added.
Azmin was Anwar's aide when the latter was deputy premier prior to his sacking in 1998.

Detractors had attributed Azmin's victory in the party polls to Anwar's influence.
There was talk that Anwar, despite claimiing to be neutral, had discreetly urged division leaders and members to vote for Azmin instead of Zaid Ibrahim and Mustaffa Kamil Ayub.

Mustaffa will be given a place in the party

At a press conference later, Azmin said the party would recognise Mustaffa’s contribution and the political bureau would find “something” for him .

“The party will deliberate on him and other capable leaders who were defeated. We will try to find something for them,” he assured.

Azmin also vowed to work towards closing ranks, adding that all complaints filed with the Central Election Committee (CEC) would be investigated thoroughly.

“The CEC and the discplinary committee will investigate all complaints lodged and anyone accused (of electoral fraud) will be given avenues to defend themselves,” he added.

Quizzed on the “Third Force”, Azmin conceded that it could destabilise the opposition coalition.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said that the emergence of a third force was due to PKR members’ resentment towards the party.

Although Azmin admitted this, he said it was also important to constantly engage with them.
In order to overcome this, the PKR deputy president said he was prepared to engage with the civil society and bloggers in order to strengthen the party’s preparation for the next general election.
Meanwhile, newly-elected vice president Tian Chua supported party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution's explanation on former PKR deputy presidential aspirant P Jenapala's sacking letter, saying that the matter was technical in nature.

“The party's political bureau issued instructions to the-then secretary general (Salehuddin Hashim) to inform Jenapala that he was sacked. So the issue here is technical in nature. Jenapala was sacked as he tried to set up a new party,” he said.

Post-PKR congress: do or die for Anwar

(Bernama) -- Can Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim steer PKR forward and keep its members together, following a bruising party election?

Following a three-day congress, Anwar -- described as a God-sent leader by his wife and party president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail -- is clearly facing the biggest challenge to keep the party from falling apart.

One political analyst said it was 'a do-or-die' situation for the man.

Failing to patch up the disgruntlement among its members would cause more members to ditch the party, particularly after some delegates began raising the issue of a 'Gang of Four' dominating the party.

Many leaders have left the party in the past but it did not pose any serious threat. However, political observers said the situation was very much different, this time around, as dissatisfaction over the party elections has rocked it to its core.

Therefore, whether Anwar can pull it through this time remains to be seen as he is facing a more severe challenge after several big names -- deputy presidency candidates Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and Mustaffa Kamil Ayub -- along with Youth chief candidate Badrul Hisham Shaharin, made broad accusations of irregularities in the polls.

Zaid has since resigned from the party and is in the process of forming a new party by January.

The soreness over the party election results was still evident during the congress as some delegates called for the party leadership to conduct a thorough investigation into the complaints.

Sensing the mood, Anwar promptly addressed the issue last night when he openly admitted that there were some weaknesses and that he would take action if it was proven that there was fraud in the recently-concluded party election.

Political analysts have pointed out that Dr Wan Azizah failed to address the issue in her opening speech on Saturday, by simply diverting the issue by praising Anwar as a God-sent leader.

"It is not his loyal supporters they should be concerned about but those who are outside the party, who are not party members but supported PKR in the last general election. How can this support be granted again in the next general election?," asked Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, a political analyst at Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Anwar is also facing a daunting task to pacify young voters who are not happy with the way the party handled the direct elections. They played a crucial role in helping PKR win more seats in the last general election.

Apart from that, Anwar who is Opposition Leader in Parliament, is also facing the crucial issue of who, among leaders of the opposition pact of PKR-DAP-PAS, should be the prime minister, should they come to power at federal level.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution has said that the opposition pact had yet to address the issue and they were still working on having a clear manifesto and building on the party's common platform.

This left some party supporters wondering whether their leaders would be chosen to lead the country, should they come to power.

"It is really a 'do or die' situation...Anwar is the captain who can steer the ship. We don't know whether the captain is heading in the right direction.

If not, many passengers will make a u-turn and go back to status-quo," said a supporter who refused to be identified.

He said the party leadership could not just sweep important issues under the carpet and blame the Barisan Nasional for all the challenges they faced.

"If you observe carefully in this congress, you will see that some delegates are more critical. You did not see that in the previous congress. This shows that, to a certain extent, they want some convincing answers from the top leadership. Otherwise, they will be wondering over PKR's future," he said.

A matter of ethics

We have become the monsters just like the monsters we wish to remove. Do we really want to remove the devil we know with a devil we don’t know? I would take the risk of removing the devil we know with an angel we don’t know. But if it is to remove a devil we know with a devil we don’t know then better we keep the devil we know.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Murder when committed in the name of the cause is no longer murder. You can justify murder as long as you hide behind the cause when committing it. Would the innocent victims of May 13 be considered murdered by those who participated in the 1969 race riots when what they were merely doing was to defend their race?

Those on both sides of the Hutu-Tutsi conflict did not feel like they were murdering their long-time friends and neighbours even though hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Neither were those killed in Bosnia and Herzegovina considered murdered. Is it not called the Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina rather than the Bosnian Murder?

Anything is justified when it comes to the cause. Even murder is halal or kosher. And to make sure no one gets upset it will never be called murder. It will be called anything but murder.

I suppose when you call it something other than murder it gives you peace of mind. By calling it murder it makes you feel like you are doing something wrong. But by not calling it murder you feel that whatever you are doing is in the bigger interest of a noble cause.

That is how humankind always fools itself. You label it any old how just so that wrong becomes right. With the right label, wrong can become right with the stroke of a pen.

I have been monitoring the comments and opinions in Malaysia Today. You may have also read them but you probably did not stop to give them a second thought. Of late words like responsibility, transparency, accountability, good governance, justice, fair play, and so on, are absent from the comments. The one and only focus is ABU -- Anything But Umno or Asal Bukan Umno.

Have our priorities changed that much? What are we trying to achieve here? I thought we are trying to bring about change to Malaysia. If that is still our priority then surely change has to mean something different, in particular something better.

As the Muslims would say: to cleanse yourself before prayer you need to use pure water. You can’t use dirty water to cleanse yourself and then consider yourself clean enough to pray. How can you dip your hands into a septic tank or sewer and wipe your face with them and declare that you are now clean enough to face God?

Islam is very particular about what constitutes clean or pure and what is considered not clean. You can’t rub contaminated water on your face and say that your face is now properly washed. Clean must be clean and there are no two ways about it.

The same goes for the fight for change. Can we oppose evil with evil and say that we are doing God’s work? Can I rob banks to raise money to build mosques? If my motive for robbing banks is to seek money to build mosques then surely my act of robbing banks is a noble act. By these standards robbery is not robbery when done in the service of God even though innocent people have to die during the robbery.

Many Malaysia Today readers no longer care about moral and ethics. It is all about kicking out Umno and Barisan Nasional. The method is not important. The honesty and integrity of the opposition leaders is not important. Never mind whether it is a black cat or a white cat just as long as it catches the mouse. Never mind if we allow the boss to have sex with our wives and daughters just as long as we get rich. The method we use to get rich is not crucial. What is important is that we get rich.

We have become the monsters just like the monsters we wish to remove. Do we really want to remove the devil we know with a devil we don’t know? I would take the risk of removing the devil we know with an angel we don’t know. But if it is to remove a devil we know with a devil we don’t know then better we keep the devil we know.

Anti ISA Protest at Trafalgar Square on 27/11/2010

RMAF sergeant to face court martial

The New Straits Times
by S.Ista Kyra
IPOH: Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) sergeant N. Tharmendran, who is facing a charge of abetting in the theft of two F5 jet engines, will face a court martial for being absent from duty without leave.

RMAF chief General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud said the 42-year-old was still considered an active serviceman despite the latter's claim that he had been sacked.

He said Tharmendran was under detention and charged with desertion and being absent without official leave (AWOL).

"The charges were read out to him, summary evidence will be taken against him and court martial proceedings will follow," he said after attending the training completion parade of the 43rd batch of RMAF's young cadets here yesterday.

Rodzali pointed out that Tharmendran was detained after failing to respond to notices by the air force regarding his absence.

"It is not unusual for officers to be detained for AWOL. The air force does not tolerate officers who abandon their duty without permission."

On Thursday, Tharmendran had at first resisted arrest when he was approached by army officers outside the Shah Alam court complex as he was leaving after a hearing of his case at the High Court. He claimed the air force had terminated his services and had not paid his salary since June.

He called his counsel N. Surendran to the scene. The latter said his client was considered a civilian now and was being illegally detained.

Tharmendran, however, was led away by the RMAF team after gaining assurance that the two army majors accused of torturing him last year would not have any contact with him during detention.

The Defence Ministry's corporate communications unit later released a statement saying that Tharmendran's failure to report to work after posting bail on Sept 6 constituted an offence under the Armed Forces Act 1972.

Surendran has since filed a habeas corpus application on behalf of his client, seeking Tharmendran's immediate release from detention claiming the arrest was frivolous, wrongful, illegal and tainted with bad intention (mala fide).

Hearing has been fixed for Dec 3.