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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

US regrets diplomatic cables leak

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has said the United States "deeply regrets" the release by WikiLeaks of confidential US documents, calling it "an attack on the international community".

In her first public comments since the weekend release of the classified State Department cables, Clinton said on Monday that Wikileaks acted illegally in posting the material.

"I will not comment on or confirm what are alleged to be stolen State Department cables," Clinton said.

"But I can say that the United States deeply regrets the disclosure of any information that was intended to be confidential, including private discussions between counterparts or our diplomats' personal assessments and observations.

"I want to make clear that our official foreign policy is not set through these messages, but here in Washington," the top US diplomat added.

She said the Obama administration was "aggressively pursuing" those responsible for the leak.

Despite the damage, Clinton said she was "confident'' that US partnerships would withstand the challenges posed by revelations.

"Our policy is a matter of public record as reflected in our statements and our actions around the world.

"I would also add that to the American people and to our friends and partners, I want you to know that we are taking aggressive steps to hold responsible those who stole this information," she said.

Security tightened

The White House has directed US government agencies to tighten procedures for handling classified information after the mass leak.

The new procedures would ensure "that users do not have broader access than is necessary to do their jobs effectively," a directive from the Office of Management and Budget said on Monday.

"The recent irresponsible disclosure by WikiLeaks has resulted in significant damage to our national security," Jacob Lew, the director of the office, said.

"Any failure by agencies to safeguard classified information... is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

WikiLeaks on Sunday began releasing a quarter of a million confidential US State Department cables, detailing diplomatic activities around the world in what the White House has called a "reckless and dangerous action."

US officials have not confirmed the source, but suspicion has fallen on Bradley Manning, a former army intelligence specialist arrested after the release of a video showing air strikes that killed reporters in Iraq.

Criminal probe

The US also launched a criminal investigation into the release of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic documents by the website WikiLeaks.

Eric Holder, the US Attorney General, said on Monday that there is an "active and ongoing criminal investigation," and that the website's chief would be pursued if he were found to have broken the law.

"We are not in the position, as yet, to announce the result of that investigation," he said, adding that the justice and defence departments were both probing the website.

"This is not saber-rattling," Holder said when pressed by reporters over what action the US could take against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is believed to be based in Europe.

"To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law... they will be held responsible," Holder said.

"To the extent there are gaps in our laws, we will move to close those gaps. It is not the case that anybody at this point, because of their citizenship or their residency, is not a target or the subject of an investigation."

A day after the release of the cables, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, questioned the credibility of the information contained in the diplomatic memos.

According to the memos released on Sunday, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly urged the US to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear programme to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.

'Psychological war game'

Commenting on the leak, Ahmadinejad accused the US government of pursuing a strategy resembling "an intelligence and psychological war game". He asserted it was aimed at having a "political impact," but would fail.

"Nations are aware. Such a game will have no effect. It's so worthless that it isn't worth someone referring to them or wasting time to refer to them," the president told reporters in Tehran.

He alleged the leaks were an "organised" effort by the US to stir trouble between Iran and its Arab neighbours.

Arab nations just across the Gulf are known to be wary of Iran's rising regional influence, military power and nuclear activity. The leaked documents, however, reveal a much higher degree of alarm in the calls for US military action.

The US has helped several Arab nations in the Gulf increase their anti-missile defences and itself has a naval presence in the region.

Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, said the leaked memos provided clear proof that the Arab world agreed with his country's assessment that Iran was the chief danger to the Middle East.

The Saudi king was just one of many Arab voices in the documents calling for tough action against Iran - proof that Israel was not alone in its belief that Tehran was a growing menace to the region, Netanyahu said.

"The chief danger to world peace comes from the Iranian regime's arming and aggression. The important thing is...that more countries, governments and leaders in the Middle East and in the world's wider area understand that this is the fundamental threat," the prime minister added.

He also suggested that a unified front with Arab nations against Iran could bring a "breakthrough" in efforts to bring peace to the region.

Israel has long considered Iran the top danger in the Middle East, citing its development of medium-range missiles capable of striking Israel, its support for militant groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and most critically, its suspect nuclear programme.

The West, and many Arab countries, believe that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge.

'Alpha dog'

Russian TV ignored mentions about the country in the leaks. That could be because the cables showed US diplomats characterising the country as a "virtual mafia state."

They also said Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, was relatively powerless in the shadow of Vladimir Putin, the prime minister.

The US embassy reportedly referred to Putin as an "alpha dog" who made all the decisions. It vividly added that Medvedev - who one dispatch said often looked indecisive and pale - simply "plays Robin to Putin's Batman."

Italian papers widely reported that the leaked documents included the comments that Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister "appears increasingly to be the mouthpiece of Putin" in Europe.

They said the documents noted that the two men had a "extraordinarily close relationship, made up of generous gifts and lucrative contracts".

Elizabeth Dribble, the former number two at the US embassy in Rome, described Berlusconi in internal memos to Washington as "incompetent and vain".

She noted that he was "a leader physically and politically weak, tired from too many parties".

Italians on the streets of Rome shrugged their shoulders and laughed over revelations about Berlusconi and their foreign minister said the prime minister was not offended.

James Walston, a political analyst from the American University of Rome, said that there was nothing in the comments on Berlusconi that would surprise anyone regularly reading Italian newspapers, although he added that it was embarrassing for a diplomat to be seen as un-diplomatic.

Walston said that although Berlusconi may be taking the leaks lightly it "undermines his position on the world stage".


Nazri says Malay supremacy wrongly interpreted

Nazri says ‘ketuanan Melayu’ is not about the Malays, it is about the Malay Rulers. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz attempted today to silence arguments on “Malay supremacy”, claiming it has been grossly interpreted to propagate the supremacy of the Malay race by leaders with “cow dung in their brains”.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department told The Malaysian Insider that the famous phrase, often used by Malay right-wing leaders to push for Malay rights, was coined to protect the sovereignty of the Malay Rulers.

As such, Nazri stressed that “Malay supremacy” did not in any way mean that the Malays were more superior than the other races.

“It is not about me as a Malay or about (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) as a Malay. It is not about the Malays, it is about the Malay Rulers. For as long as they are around, we respect them.

“These people do not understand what it means. How can we have a race more supreme than the others? It is ridiculous,” the Padang Rengas MP said when met at his office in Parliament yesterday evening.

The straight-talking politician explained that the phrase had been coined long ago before the country achieved independence in 1957 and was created to give due recognition to the special position of the Malay Rulers in the Federal Constitution.

“It has been enshrined in the Constitution. When the Constitution says that there is a special place for the Sultans in the states where there are Rulers, that is the ‘ketuanan Melayu’ (Malay supremacy). It is not about Najib or Nazri being more Malay and thus, more supreme than others,” he said.

Nazri acknowledged that the phrase was oftentimes used by politicians across the political divide when referring to the special position of Malays under Article 153 of the Constitution but insisted that they were leaders with “cow dung in their brains”.

“They are rubbish leaders. They have cow dung in their brains. You want to put that in? Please do. They have cow dung in their brains. They do not know what it is all about.

“How can you say that just because you are a Malay in this country, that means you are supreme. What is that?

“How do you measure the supremacy of one race over another? In every community, there are those who are smart, clever, stupid.... you find this in all races so what are they talking about? Those who think this way have cow dung in their brains,” he said.

Nazri was responding to statements made by PKR leaders over the weekend, including its president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and newly-elected deputy president Azmin Ali, both of whom rejected the concept of Malay supremacy and pushed instead for “ketuanan rakyat” (supremacy of the people).

Dr Wan Azizah had described Malay supremacy as a slogan used by a small group of Malay elites to cheat others.

She also called on the Malay community to become a dignified race and not to be obsessed with being a “master”.

In his speech at the PKR congress, Azmin had ridiculed Najib’s 1 Malaysia concept and accused 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 had said.

Nazri accused Dr Wan Azizah of being “ignorant” for failing to understand the true meaning of “Malay supremacy” and questioned if she believed that the country was a republic instead of a constitutional monarchy.

“She is really ignorant. She does not know what she is talking about. We are not a republic so there is no ketuanan rakyat. We have Rulers here and it’s about them that this Malay supremacy was created.

“When she says ketuanan rakyat, is she saying she wants a republic? Because that is not what is said in the Constitution,” he said.

Nazri also agreed that those who fanned their “false” interpretation of the phrase “Malay supremacy” were only succeeding in creating unrest among the people.

“That is why people need to start learning. Do not talk without thinking and studying the facts. Do not simply pass on what others tell you... and you just repeat it without thinking.

“Trouble about people is that they talk too much and they do not even know what they are talking about,” he said.

When asked why the term was so often misinterpreted by groups to mean the supremacy of the Malay race, Nazri said: “It was started by those who have cow dung in their brains.”

He then urged the people to be wary of such leaders when voting for them during elections.

“I hope the people will not elect leaders with cow dung in their brains. Yes, I have repeated it many times. They have cow dung in their brains,” he said.

Earlier today, Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah had described PKR leaders as being desperate for the non-Malay votes and had called Dr Wan Azizah a “political prostitute” for rejecting the concept of Malay supremacy.

He also likened Dr Wan Azizah’s remarks to an attack on the constitutional position of the Malays.

Najib: Warisan Merdeka tower to go ahead only if commercially viable

KUALA LUMPUR: Permodalan Nasional Bhd's proposed 100-storey Warisan Merdeka tower will go ahead only if it is commercially viable, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said today.
He said the project must also contribute towards the larger economic development within the particular area and provide business opportunities.
"The project must satisfy these conditions and if the conditions are met, it will go ahead.
"It must provide the impetus and catalyst for a greater Kuala Lumpur," he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the Seventh Asean Finance Ministers' Investors Seminar entitled "Discovering Tomorrow's Asean" here.
Yesterday, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said there was no need for another high tower in the country yet because there were signs of a property glut.
Najib, who is Finance Minister, said it was up to Permodalan Nasional to do the financial calculation.
On a perception that Warisan Merdeka would overshadow the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers, which was credited to Mahathir, he said: "That is a totally frivolous statement. We are talking about continuity.
"What Mahathir has done is admirable but what we need to do is build on his success and move on and develop Malaysia."
Besides, he said, Warisan Merdeka was project of 10 years and beyond and the area around Stadium Merdeka, where the project is proposed to take place, was a strategic area.
"It is a long-term project. It is not to be viewed two to three years.
"If you look at the skyline of Kuala Lumpur in 2020, it cannot be the same as today. Pudong in Shanghai has so many skyscrapers. Certainly, much, much more.
"Let us try to visualise the KL in the year 2020. Let us look at the long-term perspective. After all, if Vision 2020 is achieved, it is about a vision that was initiated by Mahathir himself," he said.
- Bernama

Samy: Some want to see MIC burn

By G Vinod
KUALA LUMPUR: S Samy Vellu, who is in the final lap of his MIC presidency, has revealed that certain quarters desired to witness the incineration of the party.
And this was the reason behind him naming current deputy president G Palanivel as his successor, and vice-president Dr S Subramaniam as the next number two.
This, Samy Vellu added, would ensure a smooth transition in MIC, which he had led for three decades.
Without revealing names, he said: "Some people want to see our peaceful house (MIC) razed.”
“So I named them (Palanivel and Subramaniam) as leaders to ensure that does not happen," he told reporters at the sidelines of a function here.
The former works minister also advised the incoming top leaders not to heed the “negative voices” and focus on their work.
"As party leaders, you must not listen to them and put party interests first," he stressed.
MIC is strongest
Meanwhile, the MIC president also commented on an Utusan Malaysia report which noted that the Indian community here was split into supporting eight political parties.
Despite this, Samy Vellu stressed that his party was the strongest of the lot, and the only one capable of bringing progress for the community.
He said MIC had successfully served the community in the past and would continue to do so in future.
Samy Vellu pinned the blame on Indians turning their backs on Barisan Nasional in the last general election on former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration.
In the 2008 polls, MIC suffered its heaviest electoral defeat, with even Samy Vellu being vanquished in his traditional parliamentary stronghold of Sungai Siput.
"It was just that in 2008, Indians left us as the BN government then failed to hear the grouses of the community," he said, adding that the situation was different now.
He said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was reaching out to grassroots Indians and the community's support was returning to the ruling coalition.
"In fact, there are about 600 applications from several PKR members in Kedah wanting to join our party," he claimed.
On another matter, Samy Vellu declined to comment on Perkasa calling PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her deputy Azmin Ali as “political prostitutes” and for all those who challenge the ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) concept to be banished.
"I need time to study the details and will comment within a couple of days," he said.

Malaysia: A coal plant in paradise

By Jennifer Pinkowski - Free Malaysia Today
FEATURE There are worse places to be than in the eco-paradise of Sabah, a state on the northeast tip of Malaysian Borneo. To one side is the Coral Triangle, home to the world's richest ocean diversity; to the other is the Heart of Borneo, a 22-million-hectare rain forest.
In the middle is a vast swath of 1,100 palm plantations. Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Sabah to explore its marvels of biodiversity, hiking elephant paths, spotting shy orangutans and scuba diving with hammerhead sharks.
It's hard to imagine a worse place for a brand new 300 MW coal-fired power plant than here. But it will be a real challenge for Sabah to get by otherwise. And there, in a Southern Pacific garden spot, are all the world's eco-tensions writ small.
Malaysia has taken clear steps to make environmental health a national priority. In the fall of 2009, Prime Minister Najib Razak pledged at the U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen that his country, already a Kyoto Protocol signatory, would reduce its carbon emissions by 40% by 2020.
It is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia with renewable energy standards, despite the fact that it has reliable stores of conventional fuels; its oil, gas and energy sectors accounted for 10% of the country's GDP in 2009.
Revised TNB plan
But Malaysia is also a land of pressing energy needs, and Sabah tells that story better than most places.
Officials anticipate a 7.7% annual energy demand increase through 2020, which Sabah Electricity, the state power company, has proposed meeting by adding seven new energy facilities to the 17 already in existence.
Most are fueled by natural gas, followed by hydropower and diesel.
One of those new facilities, promised by Najib just months before his pledge in Copenhagen, is slated for the Sabah palm plantation region. And this one will be fired by coal — Sabah's first such plant.
Twice before in the last three years, the local electricity utility, a subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), which owns 80% of Malaysia's power generation, had lobbied to build a coal-fired plant. Both times the plans were shot down by the federal Department of Environment (DOE) and local opposition.
This latest plant, however, is different. Not only is it slated for federally owned land, it also has the backing of the Prime Minister.
Sabah's environmental groups formed a coalition to fight the plant, but they kept hearing the same thing over and over again: Ini Najib mau. (Najib wants this.)Still, what Najib wants is not necessarily what the rest of his government wants, and in August, the DOE (Department of Environment) once again stepped in, rejecting a detailed environmental impact assessment for the plant.
TNB is expected to submit a revised statement early next year and when the company does, environmentalists fear the jig could be up; this time a coal plant may actually get built.
Under-developed resources
It doesn't have to be this way, environmentalists say. Some 60% of Malaysia is rain forest, the vast majority of it found in Sabah and its neighbor state, Sarawak.
Though renewables currently account for only 1% of the country's energy production, mostly from hydropower, Sabah's abundant sunshine, geothermal sources, extensive network of strong rivers and a long coastline give it the potential to make Malaysia a regional leader in clean energy.
These resources are underdeveloped, however, and until the renewables sector can get itself ginned up, the threat of a coal-fired plant looms.
One stopgap for Sabah would be to build the power plants it needs but fuel them with palm oil production waste.
Sabah currently produces about 30% of Malaysia's palm oil, which combined with Indonesia's, constitutes 90% of the world's palm oil exports.
A palm waste biomass plant could readily meet the 300-MW target Najib promised, according to one recent energy analysis.
Of course, palm plantations — and their waste — do their own serious environmental damage.
In Southeast Asia, slash-and-burn land clearing has destroyed vast forest regions to make way for monocrops like palms, a practice that has been strongly implicated in global warming.
That hardly makes this region a good place to do more burning.
Still, even greens concede that palm burning is a step up from coal, if only because it provides something to do with the 70 million tons of palm production waste the country generates each year, most of which is dumped in mill ponds or illegally burned in open pits.
Despite these problems, Malaysia still heads into the 2010 climate talks in Cancun which began on Nov. 29 as one of the world's better-intentioned environmental citizens.
But it remains to be seen how these good impulses will play out in Sabah's fragile and beautiful ecosystem.
This report first appeared on Time magazine.

2 Malaysian firms snared in Iran missile probe

Two companies in Malaysia have been named by the United States as being front companies for an Iranian-controlled network buying up missile technology from around the world.
A secret US diplomatic cable in February to the US embassy in Beijing sought China’s help to block a Chinese company from selling missile guidance gyroscopes to the Malaysian-based companies.
The contents of the cable were published on Sunday at the Wikileaks whistleblower website together with 261 other secret cables, in a massive leak of US diplomatic secrets which has ruffled feathers in governments all over the world.
It is the second time in recent years that a Malaysian company has cropped up in the worldwide US-led campaign to contain Iran’s nuclear and missile ambitions.
Six years ago the US named a unit of the Scomi group of industrial companies controlled by Kamaluddin Abdullah Ahmad, son of the former prime minister, as having shipped to Iran components for enriching uranium, the nuclear fuel in power plants as well as nuclear weapons. (» Scomi nuclear scandal article at Wikipedia.) A Malaysian police investigation later closed the file on Scomi after reaching the conclusion that it was unclear that the components were meant for use in a nuclear facility.
On February 25 this year, the State Department gave guidance to its embassy in Beijing, on how to ask for China’s help in investigating the two companies for possibly flouting international sanctions against nuclear proliferation, and sanctions under the Missile Technology Control Regime.
The two Malaysian-based companies named in the US State Department cable are:
  • Electronics Components Ltd
  • Skylife Worldwide Sdn Bhd., which the State Department said was a front-company.
(No information was available about the background or origin of ECL. Skylife Worldwide is listed in the telephone directory as having its offices in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. However its offices were closed when this posting was written.)
The cable referred to information provided to China in December last year about Electronic Components Ltd trying to buy TRS-500 gyroscopes from a Chinese firm. The gyroscopes could be used in the guidance systems of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles, the cable said.
The following is an extract of the relevant portions of the full cable as released by Wikileaks.

¶4. (S) Action Request: Request Embassy Beijing approach
appropriate host government officials to deliver talking
points/non-paper in paragraph 5 below and report response.
Talking points also may be provided as a non-paper.
¶5. (S) Begin talking points/non-paper:
–In December 2009, we shared with you information regarding
attempts by the Malaysia-based firm Electronics Component
Limited (ECL) to buy TRS-500 gyroscopes from the Chinese firm
VibTel Industrial Co. Inc.
–TRS-500 gyroscopes are controlled by the Missile Technology
Control Regime (MTCR) and China’s missile-related export
controls, and can be used in the guidance systems of
ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial
–We also noted that ECL is associated with a network of
Iranian-controlled front companies that procure sensitive
goods on behalf of a number of Iranian entities of
proliferation concern.
–In response to this information, you agreed to look into
this matter, but asked if the United States could provide
additional details on ECL’s relationships with firms in Iran.
–We now want to provide you with additional information
indicating that ECL is part of a network of
Iranian-controlled front companies that includes the Iranian
firm Shahin Sefid Esta and the Malaysia-based front company
Skylife Worldwide Sdn Bhd.
–This network procures sensitive goods on behalf of a number
of Iranian entities of proliferation concern, including the
Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), which is Iran’s
primary developer of liquid propellant ballistic missiles,
and Heavy Metal Industries, a front company for the tactical
missile developer Ya Mahdi Industries.
–Both SHIG and Ya Mahdi Industries are sanctioned under
United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1737.
–Additionally, the TRS-500 gyroscopes are controlled items
that would be prohibited from being exported to Iran under
UNSCR 1737.
–We hope this information is useful in supporting your
efforts in this case and assists your ability to prevent the
transfer of these gyroscopes by VibTel Industrial Co. to ECL.
Wikileaks is releasing in batches the full text of 251,287 secret diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world. The contents of all the cables are available for viewing as well as for download.
Copies of the cables were also released in advance to the Guardian newspaper in London, the New York Times, and Der Spiegel (Germany), Le Monde (France), and El Pais (Spain) which have published some of the cables after redacting (editing out) the identities of selected individuals who might be placed in danger.

WikiLeaks Reveals Iran’s Secret, Worldwide Arms Hunt

( ) Guns and ammo from Turkey. Missile components from Germany. Guidance systems from China. Iran is on a global, clandestine mission to acquire weapons and weapons technologies of all sorts, diplomatic cables released Sunday by WikiLeaks reveal. And the Tehran regime is using a series of front companies in its attempt to assemble the arsenal.

In a cable from February of 2010, State Department officials in Washington alert the staff at the U.S. embassy in Beijing that a Malaysia-based firm, Electronics Component Limited (ECL), is trying to buy three-axis fiber optic gyroscopes from a Chinese company. This isn’t just a simple business deal, the dispatch makes clear. Gyroscopes measure orientation, which makes them a critical component of weapons’ inertial navigation systems. These particular gyroscopes, the State Department warns, “would be suitable for use in the guidance systems of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Worse, the cable adds, “ECL is part of a network of Iranian-controlled front companies that… procures sensitive goods on behalf of a number of Iranian entities of proliferation concern, including the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), which is Iran’s primary developer of liquid propellant ballistic missiles.”

The warning is part of a common thread emerging from WikiLeaks’ three major document dumps. These diplomatic dispatches, along with war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq, detail a globe-spanning Cold War between Iran and the United States. Each side has its proxies, each side provides weapons to those allies, and each side uses the game of global diplomacy to corral the other’s ambitions. “The metaphor most commonly deployed by Jordanian officials when discussing Iran is of an octopus whose tentacles reach out insidiously to manipulate, foment, and undermine the best laid plans of the West and regional moderates,” one WikiLeaked cable reports.

International arms control and non-proliferation agreements are one way the U.S. and its allies keep countries like Iran from acquiring advanced weapons technologies. Iran constantly looks for ways to game the system. Sometimes, it’s by getting their arms from other rogue regimes. Other times, it’s by using cut-outs and front firms — particularly in China.

A second Iranian outfit may be trying to make a deal for gyroscopes, one cable says, this time with China’s Hong Kong 4 Star Electronics Ltd. Meanwhile, the developers of Iran’s solid-fuel missiles are using cut-outs to buy carbon fiber in China. The stuff “could be used by Iran to produce rocket nozzles for its… medium-range and short-range ballistic missile systems. It also could be used… produce lighter motor cases that could potentially extend the range of these systems,” a second dispatch notes.

In addition, the missile-developers at Iran’s Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group have tried again and again to buy missile components in Germany, a December 2009 cable observes. German officials have had some success in stopping previous purchases. But this dispatch notes that SHIG is now using “front companies and middlemen posing as end users” to acquire “pressure transducers and other equipment [that] could be used in ballistic missile testing applications.”

It wasn’t just high-end gear, either. Iran also attempted to buy low-tech armaments from overseas, according to the State Department. According to a WikiLeaked dispatch, the U.S. has information that two Turkish firms “may sign a contract to export military material to Iran,” including full metal jacket “.38 caliber and wadcutter bullets; 40 mm automatic grenade launchers; 5.56 mm composite magazines (for M16 assault rifles), and 7.62 X 39 mm and 7.62 X 51 mm composite magazines.” The cable orders American diplomats to go to the Turkish government to thwart the deal. There’s no word in this new WikiLeak document dump whether or not the U.S. please was successful. But the worldwide, largely secret chess match between Washington and Tehran continues.

Promote ‘ketuanan rakyat’, Anwar tells Pakatan leaders

The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has urged Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders to spread a “ketuanan rakyat” (people supremacy) message to voters in states under their control.

The opposition leader said the Malay supremacy concept has been “twisted” by some Malay elites, echoing his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s rejection of the concept that led Perkasa Youth to label her a “political prostitute”.

“The responsibility of the states is to affirm their stand on ketuanan rakyat,” said Anwar in his closing speech at the PR mentris besar and chief ministers summit in Shah Alam yesterday.

“The polemic of ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) has been twisted by a group of rich and powerful Malays. They got rich based on so-called pro-Malay policies,” he added.

The summit was attended by PR state administrators Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak and Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

Yesterday, Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah described PKR leaders as desperate for non-Malay votes and called Dr Wan Azizah a “political prostitute” for rejecting the concept of Malay supremacy.

He also likened Dr Wan Azizah’s remarks to an attack on the constitutional position of the Malays.

At PKR’s annual congress last weekend, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah described Malay supremacy as a slogan used by a small group of Malay elites to cheat others.

She also called on the Malay community to become a dignified race and not to be obsessed with being a “master”.

Anwar, however, said that PR was not effective enough in reaching out to the masses with its messages.

“We are not so effective in explaining our stand and actions to the rakyat,” said the Permatang Pauh MP.

“Internet penetration is located in urban or suburban areas, not the rural heartland,” he added.

PKR leaders have voiced such concerns about the obstacles in disseminating party policies to the public, especially after the ban on the party weekly newsletter Suara Keadilan.

Anwar noted that an effective media machinery was crucial in establishing the “facts” among the people, especially after he and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had been accused of betraying their race.

“You have seen the incessant propaganda. We have been called traitors to the Malay race. It is therefore a major challenge to… disseminate information effectively and to go to the ground and launch an effective campaign based on facts,” he said.

Analysts have said PR faces greater difficulty in capturing semi-rural seats that suffer a communication vacuum from the opposition coalition and are more concerned about economic prosperity.

Anwar has also reiterated DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang’s call for PR leaders to close ranks, amid widespread speculation that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak may call for snap polls as early as the first quarter of next year, ahead of the end of his government’s mandate in 2013.

“I agree with Kit Siang that it’s time to ensure consensus and unity,” he said.

“We will be at risk if there is suspicion within the party. So, we call for a spirit of consensus in Pakatan state governments,” he added.

PKR’s recent fractious polls culminated with the exit of Datuk Zaid Ibrahim from the deputy presidential race and his resignation from the party.

He had accused the party leadership of condoning electoral fraud and malpractices.

Selangor DAP went through one of its most divisive elections last weekend, involving a faction aligned to then-state chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah and another team led by State Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim.

Lim had also recently warned the Selangor DAP that PR might lose Selangor in the next general election if it is not united, reminding the state party convention to learn from PAS’s 2004 loss in Terengganu.

PAS had lost Terengganu in a 4-28 sweep by Umno and BN, reversing its 28-4 victory in the 1999 general election, he said.

Anwar also claimed that PR state administrators were prohibited from entering schools.

“He may be mentri besar, but he’s not allowed to enter any educational institution or any school,” he said.

He further lambasted the federal government for refusing to disburse funds directly to PR state governments.

“The federal government does not disburse funds through state agencies, but through certain apparatuses,” said the 62-year-old PKR de facto leader.

Don't Be Fooled By PKR's Statements, Says Zahid

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 (Bernama) -- Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leadership's recent statement against the Malay supremacy concept was only to divert public attention from the party's serious internal problems, said Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the people should be wary of the statement as it was also aimed at garnering non-Malay support.

"As there are Chinese and Indians in PKR, the party leaders want to please them as they hope to capitalise on the issue in the next general election," he said after witnessing the signing of contracts for players of the Malaysian Armed Forces team in the Malaysian Football League's coming season, here Monday.

Zahid was referring to PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's keynote address at the party's 7th Annual National Congress on Saturday, in which she said the Malay supremacy concept should be abandoned so that the younger generation would grow up with the vision of "honourable nation" or "honourable Malay".

He said the statement was aimed at scoring points with the people as the party was faced with allegations of fraudulent practices during its election to the central leadership council.

On the promise by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang would be made deputy prime minister if the opposition pact wins the 13th general election, Zahid said Lim should not be daydreaming about Anwar's sweet promise.

"Enough of Sept 16, when Anwar tried to be the be prime minister, to take Putrajaya, but Sept 16 already came and went twice.

"I think with the court case he's facing now and his flip-flopping on various issues, the people will reject him," he said.

Ketuanan Melayu row not a vote-getter, say pundits

The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — The ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) row that has broken out between PKR and its political foe Umno is unlikely to gain traction on the ground and sway voters one way or another in the 13th general election, say pundits.

Voters, including from the Malay community, are more focused on seeing the results of public policies trumpeted by the federal and state governments respectively and less likely to be moved by racial rhetoric, several academics told The Malaysian Insider.

Umno partymen and their supporters have launched a blistering attack against PKR and its leaders accusing them of betraying their own race in the mainstream newspapers and in cyberspace following Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s (picture) move resurrecting calls that “ketuanan Melayu should be abandoned”.

The PKR president had claimed the concept of Malay supremacy championed by Umno was only a front to benefit a small group of Malay elites in power.

She said it must be left behind “so that our children will grow up with the vision of a dignified race.”

Political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said the PKR president’s remark last Saturday could be seen as a strategy move to draw the senior party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition into taking a hardline stand that may repel its non-Malay supporters.

“I don’t think it has become an issue, maybe among the rural Malays but not the educated urban voters and especially not with the younger voters,” he said.

Sivamurugan said the 2008 general election had changed the mindset of voters, noting that blind support of a political party was no longer the norm.

“Voters are more rational and want to see implemented the GTP, ETP, 1 Malaysia concept. They want to see these policies transformed into activities and programmes on the ground now,” he said, referring to the government reform measures mooted under the Najib administration.

“I think why Wan Azizah did it was to focus on wooing back non-Malay support and divert attention from what happened during their party’s election,” he added.

Sivamurugan noted the reform party had lost much support from its non-Malay base after several contenders, including its former deputy presidential hopeful Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, went public with their allegations that top leaders had rigged the party polls.

The PKR elections had caused much public excitement as it was the first political party to allow ordinary members to directly vote in the top leaders of their choice.

The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) lecturer observed that the grand old party has been put on the defence and pointed to the police report lodged by Perkasa, the hawkish group championing its version of Malay rights.

But Sivamurugan said so far the two political parties had only been harping on each other’s weaknesses, believing it would make a difference in the upcoming general election that is speculated will be called by April next year.

The 13th general election is only due in March 2013.

Sivamurugan said the “ketuanan Melayu” call may backfire on PKR because “younger voters especially would want to focus on the reform achievements the political parties have wrought” including at the state level controlled by the PKR-DAP-PAS alliance.

“It’s anyone’s guess now how the next election will turn out,” he said.

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact was formed in the wake of the watershed 2008 general election which swept the three federal opposition parties into power in four states apart from Kelantan that had been long-ruled by the Islamist PAS.

Political scientist James Chin too shared the view that the supremacy concept would not gain traction on the ground either way in the upcoming general election.

But he believes that Dr Wan Azizah’s call for an end to racial superiority may cause a considerable shift at the 14th general election with a surge in younger voters.

“I see youths making 40 per cent of the total voter population by the one after this coming general election. Minimum would be 30 per cent,” Chin told The Malaysian Insider.

He said the message will appeal to the younger generation of voters and potential voters who are widely read and travelled.

“They don’t buy the argument that the Malays must be in charge. The whole concept of ketuanan Melayu is that they must be No. 1 in everything, politics, the economy, socially,” Chin elaborated.

The Monash University lecturer in political science praised Dr Wan Azizah for being the first leader of a Malay-dominant party since the 1970s to sound the call to end supremacy of one race over another, a concept many believe is based on Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.

“Wan Azizah’s statement is historic by Malaysian standards. It’s the first time since the ‘70s. No other Malay leader has done it. The message she’s selling is that Umno-BN is a racist party.

“What she’s saying is consistent with PKR’s stand for the last 10 years. PKR’s been projecting itself as a multiracial party. It’s just a reaffirmation of that but no one else has come out and said it,” Chin said.

Dr Abdul Aziz Bari from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) said Dr Wan Azizah’s remark was not new, noting PAS had been calling for an end to “ketuanan Melayu” for more than a decade.

“Actually many people have been saying that, PAS, for example, has been rejecting it since Fadzil Noor's time more than a decade ago.

“And as we know this catchphrase has got nothing to do with the Malay position in the Constitution. It is a term coined by Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad in 1986,” he said, referring to the former Umno supreme council member and Kok Lanas MP who once helmed media giant New Straits Times Press.

The law lecturer echoed Sivamurugan’s view that Dr Wan Azizah’s call was a successful strategic move to put Umno on the defensive and to reclaim its loss of support among the non-Malay community and urbanites by “trying to get Umno into their game”.

“To me it was an attempt to keep the non-Malay votes and tell the Malays it is all right to dump Umno,” he said, stressing that the grand old party is losing its mandate as guardian and protector of the Malay community.

Like Sivamurugan, Abdul Aziz noted that the Malay community at large was more interested in how Putrajaya and the state governments would carry out their public policies and less likely to be swayed by “ketuanan” issues.

“Except for the poor Malays and Umno diehards the concept rings hollow to them. That is why one finds that more and more educated and professional Malays are leaving the country and working abroad.

“Only Umnoputras benefit from government programmes. Not the Malays that have been put as the main target,” he said.

And like Chin, Abdul Aziz said PKR appeared to hold a slight edge with Dr Wan Azizah’s call.

“From the constitutional point I think PKR has been advocating what is there in the supreme law, namely to help the Malays without prejudicing the interests of other races,” he said.

The law expert noted that because of that, there may be no need to amend Article 153.

Family of 3rd police victim makes report

Seoul warns: 'dear price' if North Korea attacks again

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak warned Monday that North Korea will face severe consequences if it launches another military attack across its southern border.

"If the North commits any additional provocations against the South, we will make sure that it pays a dear price without fail," he said in a nationally televised address.

"We are aware of the historic lesson that a disgraceful peace achieved through intimidation only brings about greater harm in the end."

South Korea has reportedly deployed more long-range artillery and rocket launchers on Yeonpyeong Island, a border island struck by a North Korean shelling last week, according to military officials.

The officials' remarks were reported Monday by the Yonhap news agency in Seoul.

The report comes as joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States continue in the Yellow Sea and tensions with North Korea continue to brew.

Lee said Monday that South Korea "cannot remain patient" in the face of continued hostility from Pyongyang.

"Fellow citizens, at this point, actions are more important than words," Lee said in a televised address. "Please have trust in the government and the military and support us."

The divided peninsula -- tense at the best of times -- has been near the boiling point since Tuesday, when four people died in a North Korean artillery barrage that targeted Yeonpyeong Island.

Lee called the attack an "inhuman crime" that followed decades of previous attacks from North Korea, including the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in March.

North Korea has consistently denied responsibility for the sinking of the Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.

"It is difficult at this point to expect North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons or military adventurism," Lee said. "We are now clearly aware that we cannot stay patient and be generous. That will only give rise to bigger provocations."

Lee's address came a day after South Korean and U.S. forces started joint military exercises Sunday, prompting a furious response from North Korea.

The aircraft carrier USS George Washington joined South Korea's forces near the coasts of China and North Korea for the four-day drill, which the North called "no more than an attempt to find a pretext for aggression and ignite a war at any cost," according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

China, North Korea's closest ally, called Sunday for an emergency meeting of the six major powers involved in talks about the Korean peninsula.

Top diplomats from the six nations -- which also include Japan, the United States and Russia -- need to meet soon to "maintain peace and stability on the peninsula and ease the tension" in the region, Beijing's special representative for the region, Wu Dawei, said Sunday.

A top Chinese envoy met with Lee on Sunday, and a high-ranking North Korean official will visit Beijing on Tuesday, China's Xinhua news agency said.

South Korea said Sunday it did not think the time was right for a resumption of the six-party talks, but said it would "bear in mind" the Chinese proposal.

In Washington, meanwhile, a State Department official told CNN that the United States is consulting with its allies, but resumed six-party talks "cannot substitute for action by North Korea to comply with its obligations."

"Clear steps by North Korea are needed to demonstrate a change of behavior," said the official, who was not authorized to speak for attribution.

And U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that the flare-up exposed the failure of "continued appeasement" of North Korea by Republican and Democratic administrations.

He said the United States has given North Korea more than $1 billion in aid over the past 15 years with the goal of getting them to the negotiating table.

"It seems the purpose of everything is to get the North Koreans to the table," said McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. "The North Koreans' only claim to their position on the world stage is their nuclear capability. And they have a terrible, most repressive, oppressive regime in the world. They have hundreds of thousands of people in slave labor camps. And all of that seems to be sacrificed in the altar of, quote, 'negotiations.'"

Meanwhile, the Washington-based ANSWER Coalition called for "an end to the U.S.-South Korean provocations" and announced rallies in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, on Monday.

"The United States and South Korean governments have been pursuing a policy of deliberate provocation over the past several months," targeting North Korea and China, ANSWER's website states.

"While hypocritically calling for 'calm' in words, Washington is escalating the crisis by its actions," it said, referring to the U.S.-South Korea military exercises and the USS George Washington.

In his Monday speech, South Korea's Lee said efforts to resolve the international standoff through negotiations and humanitarian assistance to the North were met with "nuclear development and the sinking of the Cheonan."

He said the attack on Yeonpyeong Island would have been unlawful even in wartime, adding, "I cannot but be angered at their cruelty."

North Korea said the South provoked the attack because shells from a South Korean millitary drill landed in the North's waters.

The North called reports of civilian casualties part of South Korea's "propaganda campaign" and accused the "enemy" of creating "a human shield by deploying civilians around artillery positions and inside military facilities before the launch of the provocation."

The violence has sparked anger and political turmoil in South Korea.

The country's defense minister, Kim Tae-young, resigned after the exchange of fire.

Veterans of the South Korean military protested over the weekend on the streets of Seoul, stating they were angry that their country's government had not done enough to respond to the North's shelling.

The tense maritime border between the two Koreas has become the major military flashpoint on the Korean peninsula in recent years.

The Yeonpyeong attack was the first direct artillery assault on South Korea since 1953, when an armistice ended fighting. North and South Korea are still technically at war.

'Did my son beg for mercy before being shot?'

(Malaysiakini) There is nothing that she wants more than to see the person who killed her child be hauled up to court to face justice.
NONEBut for now, Norhafizah Mad Razali (left in pix) just cannot help thinking of her son's last moments before he was shot dead by police.
"I keep thinking what he was thinking, how he felt before the fatal shot. Did he plead for mercy? Was he crying in pain?" she said in tears, while her husband, Shapiei Zainal Abidin who in spite of his own wet eyes tried to offer comfort.
Their son, Mohd Shamil Hafiz Shapiei, was shot dead about 4am on Nov 13 on a street in Glenmarie in Shah Alam, Selangor. He was about a week away from turning 16.
He was shot once in the chest and in the middle of his forehead, an image which will not leave his parents' minds.
"Call it a mother's instinct...I don't know how or why, but the words just slipped out of my mouth when I saw his body: 'He has been murdered'," she said when met at the low-cost flat where they live in Kota Damansara.
NONEThe police have claimed they fired in self-defence, as Mohd Shamil and two others - Mohd Hanafi Omar (right), 22 and Hairul Nizam Tuah, 20, said to be from Cheras - had allegedly charged at police with machetes after attempting to rob a petrol station.
All three sustained similar gunshots to the chest and head, with Hairul Nizam also shot at the side of his head while Mohd Hanafi was shot at the top of his head.
All the bullets passed through the bodies, with exit wounds on Hairul Nizam's body at a lower part of his head and torso compared to the entry wound.
Headlines immediately after the incident screamed 'Teen Terrorist', with reports quoting the police as saying that Mohd Shamil was a seasoned criminal and a ringleader of Geng Minyak- a gang that had been targeting petrol stations across the Klang Valley.
If the manner in which the youths were shot dead was not enough to raise their suspicion, it was the police statements which have steeled the families' resolve to get more answers.

NONEHairul Nizam's sister Norliza Tuah took her concerns to their parliamentarian R Sivarasa (left) of PKR.
"I kept thinking of the way he was shot. The trajectory of the bullet (evident from the wounds) makes it seem like he was shot from a higher point. Did the police climb a tree to shoot him?
"My brother was afraid of the police and refused to drive if he didn't have his driver's licence on him because he was afraid of getting caught. How could he have charged at police with a machete?
“And where is this machete? I want to see it. We have not been shown anything that was found on (the deceased) and the police kept asking us what colour his helmet is, but he left his helmet at the cyber cafe."
Fourth person involved?
The helmet and the keys to the Hairul Nizam's motorcycle had been passed to Norliza on the morning of Nov 13 by his friends who had waited for him to return to the nearby cyber cafe where they were.
NONEThe friends told her that Hairul Nizam and Mohd Hanafi were there at 3.30am that day when someone in a Proton Waja - she does not know who - stopped by the cyber cafe and invited them out for supper.
"(Hairul Nizam) asked his friends to wait for him and said he would be back in a short while. They waited until morning but he never came back," she said.
The last time Norhafizah saw her son was at around 2.30am, when he came to the tomyam stall which she operates next to the flats.
"He always hung around with other youths who live here and played checkers. His father saw him at around 3am," she said.
Although only 15, Mohd Hafiz had much time on his hands as he was no longer attending school, having dropped out of Tahfiz (religious) school last year.
Norhafizah said he was not academically inclined and that he had asked her to search for a place for him to take up vocational training.
The teen's absence was noticed early in the morning as he has not returned home - something he had never done before.
"His sister was receiving an award for academic excellence (on Nov 13) and he told me he wanted to go to the ceremony. I called him several times but his phone was turned off," she said.
No drugs or alcohol found
Answers, albeit vague, were found in the morgue of Tuanku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital, where forensic pathologist Khairul Azman Ibrahim informed them of their worst nightmare.
"We asked the police officer who was there to tell us more but he only said that he was not at the scene of the incident. No one could answer us properly," said Norliza.
But what they did find out was that none of the youths were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they died, leaving question marks over why they would charge at armed officers with machetes.
Just like azlanslain teen Aminulrasyid Amzah's (right) family, who had in vain sought an apology from the police for labelling the 14-year-old a criminal, these families too cannot fathom that the youths were involved in criminal activity.
Also on their minds is the identity of the mysterious fourth person in the Proton Waja, in which police said the youths had sped off.
“That is for the police to find out, I don't want to speculate. I just want justice for my son, for my children,” Norhaliza said.
Her second son has been taunted by his peers who have been telling him that his brother was a criminal, while her four-year-old is now asking his parents to buy him a gun.
“The little one keeps asking us where his brother is, and when we don't answer he says, 'He is dead, shot by police...police are bad',” she said.
More than clearing the name of their loved one, Hairul Nizam's family also wants this to be the case that changes the way police conduct operations.
“Someone has been charged in the Aminulrasyid case…(but) there is still something wrong with the system in which the police operate.If this could happen to our family, it could happen to another family too.
NONE“Maybe the real Geng Minyak is still out there and my brother was the scapegoat,” Norliza (left in pix) said.
The family has since filed a police report about their suspicion over the shooting.
An emergency motion on the issue, which Sivarasa attempted to raise in Parliament on Thursday, was rejected.
Mohd Hanafi's family filed a similar police report today.
Senior Shah Alam police officers could not be contacted for a response.

Makkal sakthi or what not, Indians will not be fooled 

It was the 'makkal sakthi' awakening and the civil society's overwhelming contribution that made March 08 a reality for Pakatan. Not denying their efforts but the win was definitely to their disbelief.

The later events of Hindraf's destruction to pieces were sheer disappointment or rather a stab in back for the Indians. Since the Pakatan take over it's been a tussle between the two sides of political arena, in an area of limited Indian issues hence forgetting or simply evading the many issues that Hindraf had once put forward.

British masters used the different peoples of Malaya for different purpose, some collaborated with them to pave their way into the heartland of Malaya, some simply wanted them in for their changing lifestyle; yes, money was the game even then.

However for most Indians it was pure indented labour for the British to reap the benefits of the land, denying the fact that Indians helped create the most important commodity for the future Malaysia's success and survival.

British masters always had someone doing the dirty job for them; as for the Indians they had a small group of Indians to control the bigger. Somehow the Indians from those days were appeased simply by the protection of the Tamil language and ironically toddy shops!.

However Indians did find a brief taste of freedom in new Malaya or Malaysia, however though it seemed like they were relieved of the oppression of the estates they were actually displaced to urban slums.

Struggling Indians found their success even then as education was by merit and there were government jobs. Like slumdog millionaires (the movie) it was survival of the fittest and the luckiest.

Futhermore they did well in education and managed to climb up the economic ladder. For all these hopes they always fell back to their religion and ancestral respect by maintaining the many places of worship that had given their ancestors courage during the time when the British masters forced them to clear the jungle to create townships.

Till today most others have been reaping the benefits of Malaysia's economic wealth without a single thought or sense of gratitude for this historic Indian contribution to nation building. Indians and the rest of the other communities found and maintained good friendships along the way and they were together in the politics of this country.

The free will was however short lived as the British master's cancer started creeping into the soul of the politicians. Indians needed to be marginalised, again with small group Indians doing the dirty job of their masters or simply closing one eye towards the calculated and slow measures that brought about marginalisation while camouflaging with it with the Tamil agenda; not to mention also the protection of toddy shops and further helped by samsu haram and “not haram”.

Unlike their British masters this new breed of masters found the other area Indians could be manipulated or distracted while they continuously marginalised them. Yes, religion and the place of worship that even the cruel British displayed some sensitivity in handling, which for the new masters and their subordinates has been the greatest playing field.

They plan the destruction and they come to save them in the nick of time, the sentiment which for common Indians will bring them down to their knees…. These deceitful tactics have been like a political mantra to all future politicians, while the Indians started losing their government jobs, their chance for higher education, their oppression in many ways in business ventures, leaving only a handful that managed. And the Indians slowly lost whole lots of other things that Hindraf has pointed out

Then the makkal sakthi awakening of 2008…then what changed after that?

The cancer spread into 'makkal sakthi' with similar modus operandi; the shattered movement has killed the enthusiasm of the majority Indians and they are slowly falling prey again to their political masters.

Now the gullible politicians on both ends are working on the same module that has ruled over the Indians for decades. Yes, back to issues of Tamil schools, temples and nobody give a damn about minority protection.

Oh God!!! Politics will change the man and not otherwise; this is strongly proven in the Malaysian scenario. And now there is a 'third force' hovering over the horizon……is there yet hope for Indians in Malaysia?

Will the politician ever walk the talk? Will there be a ministerial post specifically for minority protection and sensitive issues? Will any right minded politician take the lead? If there is, then it's time again for the majority Indians to awaken and to make a point, “DON'T TAKE INDIANS FOR A RIDE” no matter what you call yourselves. We know!!!!

The writer is chairman of Malaysia Hindu Sangam of Penang.

P. Uthayakumar’s “ethnic cleansing” Sedition case. Biased Judge again refused to adjourn case pending High Court hearing to declare Sedition Act Ultra virus Article 4 of Federal Constitution.

Proceedings began at 9.00 a.m before Judge Sabaraiah Osman, N. Surendran appeared for P. Uthayakumar. DPP Noorin Badaruddin and two other DPP’s appeared for the prosecution.

P.Uthayakumar continued cross examining DCP Acryl Sani bin Abdullah Sani after N. Surendran’s application for an adjournment pending the High Court appeal was turned down by the biased Judge.

DCP Acryl Sani testified:-

1) That from 2000 to February 2010, 147 police detainees had died(were killed) in police custody.

2) The Indian detainees names revealed were all between in the ages 22 to 45.

3) Almost all suffering from head injuries.

The document tendered by DCP Acryl Sani bin Abdullah Sani had a discrepancy in that for the death in police custody cases only 13 names were listed out when the list stated 28. So where is the unaccountable balance 15 names in the official police documents.

P. Uthayakumar suggested that many more names were left out to constitute about 60% of the victims of death in police custody and shot dead by police being Malaysian Indians.

As for the shooting to death cases the Indians were listed as 27 but he could only name 23 according to his official police list submitted in Court.

The joke is this police DCP stated that Ngu Huat Leong and Khoo Ghee Kian who were shot dead in Buntong, Miri were Indians.

When has there been Indian criminals with Chinese names in Luntong, Miri, Sarawak. This only goes to prove that the police Raja Di Malay-sia have been getting away with murder for many many years.

P. Uthayakumar told the police DCP to come back with the real and unadulterated figures tomorrow morning. This case started at 9.00 a.m and dragged on right up to 5.00p.m with a lunch break. The biased Judge again threw out a few of P. Uthayakumar’s applications including his lawyer’s application as above.

This matter is adjourned to 9.00 a.m on 30/11/10 for tendering of the IGSO which empowers the Polis Raja Di Malay-sia to shoot and murder innocent citizens before being found guilty in a Court of law and in direct contravention of Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution which guarantees the right to life.

This biased Judge ruled that the internal police house rules to murder Malaysians is above the Federal Constitution which is the supreme law of Malaysia according to Article 4 (1) of the Federal Constitution.

Earlier during cross examination DCP Acyrl Sani bin Abdullah Sani, the Federal CID Deputy Director I at Bukit Aman testified that the Indian population is 15%. This proves that UMNO has scaled down the Indian population statistics by 50% to a mere 7.5% to maintain and sustain their Malay muslim supremacy and hegemony.

But now the cat is out of the bag and many more truths will surface from this malicious and vindictive trial of P. Uthayakumar under the obsolete, unlawful and unconstitutional Sedition prosecution.(including as reported in today)

S. Thiagarajan

Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court No. 4

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Several m-cyclists also chased Aminulrasyid's car

SHAH ALAM: The Sessions Court here was today told that the car driven by 15-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah on the day he was killed was not only pursued by a police patrol car, but also several motorcyclists.

Prosecution witness R Lokman Hakim R Daly, 23, said he and two friends went after a white Proton Iswara Aeroback after the car knocked into his friend, Shafiq's, car.

"My two friends, Abdul Hadi and Sufian, and I chased the Proton Iswara car to ask the driver to pay for the damage (to Syafiq's car)," he said when questioned by deputy public prosecutor Adilla Ahmad in the trial of Corporal Jenain Subi, who is charged with causing Aminulrasyid's death at Jalan Tarian 11/2, Section 11 here between 1.10am and 2am last April 26.

Jenain, 48, is charged under Section 304 (a) of the Penal Code which carries a maximum jail sentence of 30 years, and can be fined, if found guilty.

Aminulrasyid died of gunshot wound to his head.

Recalling the incident, Lokman Hakim, a self-employed, said he was having a drink with his friends at a restaurant at Section 7 here when he head a loud crash like a car accident about 12.15am on April 26.

"Syafiq went to have a look and found the front bumper of his Toyota Celica car which was parked by the road side near the restaurant being hit by the Proton Iswara.

"My two friends and I got on the motorcycles and went after the car, from Section 8 to Section 9 until the Bulatan Kayangan and to Persiaran Dato' Menteri where I fell off by the road side," he added.

He also said that the Proton Iswara car was driven at high speed and beat about six traffic lights along the way.

Hilly slope

Questioned how could he had fallen off the motorcycle, Lokman Hakim said that after entering Persiaran Dato'Menteri, the Proton Iswara car slowed down because of the hilly slope and he fell while trying to overtake the car.

"I cannot identify the driver's face, but based on the body size and hands, he was a male, about 17 years old, and the passenger beside him was also a male, thin, small-built and about the driver's age," he added.

Lokman Hakim, who is the 32nd witness, said he injured both hands and knees and sought medical treatment at a medical centre at Section 20 here before lodging a report at the Shah Alam police station at 3.30am the same day.

Earlier, Lance Corporal Madi Samsudin, from the weapon branch of the Section 6 police station here, testified that 10 rounds of ammunition were used from the weapon which was registered under Constable Mohd Izham Mahayadin's name.

He said Mohd Izham was also one of the patrol policemen who went after Aminulrasyid on the date of the incident.

Madi, who is the 26th prosecution witness, said he had given a HK MP5 submachine gun with four magazines containing 100 rounds of ammunition to Mohd Izham to carry out patrol duty last April 25, but only received 90 bullets when Mohd Izham returned them the following day.

"When returning the weapon, Mohd Izham said he had fired several shots, but was not sure how many. I counted the remaining bullets and found there were lesser by 10 from the 100 I gave earlier," he added.

Also called to testify today was Constable Rozaini Haili, also from the weapon branch of the Section 6 police station.

Hearing before judge Latifah Mohd Tahar continues tomorrow.

- Bernama

PKR says ‘expected’ Perkasa’s attacks over Malay supremacy

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution claimed today that Perkasa’s open attack against the party’s president was “not surprising,” and that PKR had been expecting a “volatile” response from Perkasa.

Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah today described PKR leaders as desperate for non-Malay votes, calling Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail a “political prostitute” for rejecting the concept of Malay supremacy.

He also likened Dr Wan Azizah’s remarks to an attack on the constitutional position of the Malays.

“This was something that we needed to make a bold stand on. The party’s principles on this remains clear. We will not compromise on this issue.

“In fact, we had expected Perkasa to come out with such remarks, we have been bracing ourselves for this. Over the weekend, much preparation was put into the speeches condemning the idea of Malay supremacy. And our view on this has not changed,” Saifuddin (picture) told The Malaysian Insider.

The Machang MP said PKR was in the process of drafting an official reply to Perkasa’s remarks, which would be done this week.

Besides Dr Wan Azizah, newly-minted PKR deputy president Azmin Ali had also during the PKR congress ridiculed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia concept, 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 had said.

The Federal Constitution lists down the special position of the Malays and other Bumiputeras, but there is no mention of Malay supremacy, a rallying cry popularised by Umno since the early 1980s.

Similarly, Dr Wan Azizah described Malay supremacy as a slogan used by a small group of Malay elites to cheat others.

She also called on the Malay community to become a dignified race and not to be obsessed with being a “master”.

In response, Arman accused Dr Wan Azizah today of having failed to understand the history and context of constitutional provisions that accord the Malays with what he said were special privileges.

He also claimed Dr Wan Azizah’s criticism against Malay rights was a rejection of the Malay Rulers’ sovereignty.

In reply to this, Saifuddin said Perkasa failed to understand the distinction between “Melayu bermaruah” (Malays with dignity)and “ketuanan Melayu”.

“The concept of Malay supremacy was a term created by the elite class in the past which excluded Malays in the bottom part of the social income group.

“Melayu bermaruah” means ensuring that Malays in this country had the means in which to live, eat, work to contribute to the country.

“If you look at figures, you’ll find that majority with household income below RM1,500 are Malays. So why talk about Malay supremacy when the needs of many poor Malays have yet to be met? The country has to go on a needs basis, those who need help will receive help,” Saifuddin said.

Another PKR MP, Yusmadi Yusoff, said the party’s rejection of the idea of Malay supremacy was merely a “re-emphasis” of what was already enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“We believe that the rights of all citizens can only be safeguarded and protected by going back to the spirit of the constitution. With enforcing the idea of Malay supremacy, this would be a direct contradiction of the promise listed by the constitution,” Yusmadi told The Malaysian Insider.

Perkasa: Banish 'political whores' Wan Azizah, Azmin

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Perkasa has launched a vitriolic attack on PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her newly minted deputy Azmin Ali for allegedly turning their backs on the concept of Malay supremacy to lure Chinese and Indian votes.

The hardline Malay group's Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah had labelled the opposition duo as “political prostitutes” and demanded that such individuals be banished.

He was responding to Wan Azizah's speech at the PKR national congress yesterday, which was backed by Azmin.

Calling them “traitors” to the Malay race, Arman said: “They are successful because of 'ketuanan Melayu' (Malay supremacy) but now, they have forgotten their roots.”

After achieving success, he said, these individuals had become “arrogant and crazy” and were prime examples of “Melayu mudah lupa” (Malays forgetting easily).

“They are political prostitutes who will do anything just to get Indian and Chinese support," he added during a press conference here this afternoon.

Stressing that Perkasa was neither a racist nor right-wing outfit, Arman called on the Malay rulers to banish those who went against “ketuanan Melayu”.

He also described the PKR president's speech as deriding the Malay rulers, whose sovereignty was protected under “ketuanan Melayu”.

Arman claimed that the concept of “ketuanan Melayu” had been misconstrued as the subjugation of other races.

“We want other races to respect the social contract and know the country's history,” he said, adding that Perkasa upheld the Federal Constitution and wanted to ensure that Malay rights were respected.

Not sparing Wan Azizah's husband, PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim, Arman said that the latter was the cause of Malay disunity and was not fit to be prime minister.

"If he wants to lead the country, he should resolve his personal problems first... he has yet to resolve this (the sodomy trial) but he wants to lead," he added.

Wan Azizah: It's about the goodness in a person

In an immediate reaction, Wan Azizah expressed shock over Arman's statement.

“Oh my goodness! I think Arman mistook what I have said, and he should read the text of my entire speech. (Before I delivered the speech), we (PKR leaders) sat and debated it (the content).

“You're not born of race; if you are a Muslim, the most important thing is your faith and it is the goodness in a person which is the differentiating factor regardless of whether you are a Malay, Chinese or Indian,” she told FMT.

Quoting Prophet Muhammad, she said that the prophet himself had stressed that a good person was defined by the manner he or she led their life.

Meanwhile, PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi also condemned Arman over his stinging remarks.

“Calling them 'political prostitutes' is crude and harsh. I believe the PKR president did not mean to sideline Malay rights, but called on us Malays not to be racist,” he said.

Nasrudin said while it was not wrong to fight for one's race, it should however not be at the expense of other races.

“I am worried that Perkasa is only fighting for the Malays, we should not do this. We should fight for justice for all races. However, I am not against ketuanan Melayu,” he added.

'This are not Malay values'

Nasrudin's DAP counterpart Anthony Loke was not surprised by Arman's tongue-lashing, given that it had come from a Perkasa leader.

"Of course, coming from Perkasa it is not surprising. I feel it is too much for anyone to use such a word to label your political opponent, especially a woman. This is highly insensitive, derogatory and unbecoming of a Malaysian citizen," he told FMT.

"I am sure the Malay culture does not condone such an act as the Malay culture values politeness and respect. It is these so-called protectors of Malay values who are saying such things," he added.

On the same note, Loke praised Wan Azizah and other PKR leaders for raising the subject, knowing that they would come under attack from the likes of Perkasa.

“Saying that we are against 'ketuanan Melayu' does not mean we are questioning the position of the Malay rulers, the royal institution is there. This is in Pakatan Rakyat's common policy, we uphold the constitution. Pakatan has no problem with the institution of constitutional monarchy.

"The very reason we question 'ketuanan Melayu' is because we question Barisan Nasional's approach to formulating policies based on racial interests and approaches,” he told FMT.

Noh Omar: PKR gives wrong impression

In a related development, Selangor Umno deputy liaison chief Noh Omar also slammed PKR for raising the “ketuanan Melayu” issue and giving the impression that Malays wanted to lord over the rest.

Calling it a wrong impression, he said that it was done with the intention of seeking political mileage.

“'Ketuanan Melayu' does not mean that we want to become 'tuan'. It means safeguarding the rights enshrined in the constitution with regard to the Malays,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

According to him, PKR leaders themselves do not understand the concept and had failed to protect it as witnessed in several issues such as Selangor excos not using the national language in their official letterheads and allowing non-Muslims to enter mosque grounds to the point that the sultan had to interfere.

“In this context, the 'ketuanan Melayu' which we want to defend, is the sanctity of Islam as the official religion and Bahasa Melayu as the national language. This is what is meant by defending 'ketuanan Melayu' and PKR has failed to do so,” he said.

Govt to 'save' Shah Alam Hospital project

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The controversial Shah Alam Hospital has been reopened for a new tender, Works Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor said today.

Shaziman said his ministry would be appointing a “white knight” contractor through a limited tender procurement method to finish the job.

"The advertisement for the tender was issued on Nov 26 and will close on Dec 17," he said at the Dewan Rakyat.

Shaziman was disputing allegations of cronyism made by Shah Alam PAS lawmaker Khalid Samad who was moving a censure motion against the minister.

The RM10 pay-cut motion was moved following the minister's inability to tackle alleged discrepancies in the various mega-construction projects, including the Shah Alam Hospital.

Ballooning costs

Khalid was questioning the whopping increase in cost of the Shah Alam Hospital project, which was initially estimated to cost taxpayers RM300 million but later ballooned to RM482.6 million.

It was scheduled for completion this month but has been extended to June, 2011. The delay arose amidst allegations of malpractices which Khalid claimed resulted from directly awarding the project to incapable Umno-linked crony companies.

The contract was awarded to a company called Sunshine Fleet Sdn Bhd. It was approved by Shaziman's predecessor under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Despite the attacks, Shaziman said that contracts awarded through direct negotiations only amounted to 5% of all government projects tendered out.

These contracts awarded take into consideration the high-profile nature of the projects. Issues like security and expertise are often the criteria used to justify the practice, said Shaziman.

He also shrugged off allegations of irregularities in the delay, saying the postponement was approved by the government.

"It was approved to ensure that the project will not be disrupted following the increase in construction material and fuel prices," explained Shaziman.

Khalid, who disagreed, said the point of contention was not the 5% but the amount of taxpayers' money involved in the projects.

The main idea behind any tender-awarding process was to attain the best quality at the lowest price, which the government has failed to practise in light of the constant increases in projects cost like the new national palace and the National Cancer Institute, Khalid added.

Motion rejected again

The cost of the new palace was initially estimated at RM394.8 million but soared to RM650 million. The National Cancer Institute's initial cost was RM340 million in 2007 but rose to RM700 million.

Khalid again accused the government of cronyism in awarding the projects to companies linked to Umno.

But Shaziman insisted that the contracts were awarded for valid reasons and that the valuation of the costs were done thoroughly by the Economic Planning Unit.

The debate between Khalid and Shaziman eventually turned into a chaotic verbal jostle between the two sides of the House.

Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee was forced to calm tempers down. The motion was subsequently rejected.