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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

As polls loom, PAS eyes staggered Islamic state rollout

Hadi said it was just a matter of letting Malaysian “understand” the Islamic state concept. — Picture by Jack Ooi
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Fully aware of the opposition to an Islamic state, PAS has insisted on pushing for such a state with hudud law to be implemented in “stages” if it wins the snap polls widely speculated for early next year. PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang admitted the concept had yet to gain significant traction among even Pakatan Rakyat (PR) component parties, but claimed that opposition towards the idea was only because there was a lack of “understanding” about the concept.
The veteran leader told The Malaysian Insider that the Islamist party would focus on introducing such laws in PAS-governed states like Kelantan and Kedah first, to allow Malaysians to “evaluate” the merits of Islamic and hudud law.
“It has to be done in stages. We will implement this stage by stage because we have to realise the first thing that needs to be understood is the word Islam itself. Islam cannot be defined as a religion because the word religion in itself does not fully define Islam.

Lim said DAP’s stand in the matter has been “consistent”.
“Islam is not just a religion but also a way of life, and it encompasses all aspects of daily life,” said Hadi in an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insider this week. Hadi then said that the federalism model practised by Malaysia would enable PAS to slowly enforce relevant Islamic and hudud laws in states which were currently under PAS.
“We have to realise that our states adopt the federalism approach whereby each state has its own jurisdiction. Naturally there would be PAS states, as well as PKR and DAP. If PAS gets a chance to show the true concept of Islam in ruling states like Kelantan and Kedah, and every Malaysian gets to witness the positive changes, this will allow us to build a country with that concept which is accepted by all.
“We don’t want a situation where the country is an Islamic state only by name but the message remains misunderstood. That is why it has to be done in stages,” said Hadi.
PR coalition partners, namely the DAP have consistently distanced itself from renewed talk of hudud law and the implementation of an Islamic state, saying that these were not PR policies.
DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang has repeatedly maintained that party’s stand on Malaysia as a secular state has always been “constant and consistent.”
“Hudud laws and [an] Islamic state are not Pakatan Rakyat policies. This is why there is no mention of these issues in the Pakatan Rakyat common platform unveiled at the PR convention in Shah Alam on December 19 last year,” said Lim in a statement on August 22 this year.
Renewed talks regarding the implementation of hudud laws and an Islamic state first started when DAP national chairman Karpal Singh stated that he was firmly opposed to such laws being implemented should PR take over the federal government.
Karpal had argued that such laws were “unconstitutional” and that everyone had to respect the constitution.
PAS spiritual advisor Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat claimed that Karpal was the only DAP leader raising the issue, adding that other leaders were silent on the matter.
According to Nik Aziz, Karpal’s views did not represent the views of DAP.
In the 1999 general election, the DAP together with PAS and PKR formed the Barisan Alternatif coalition, which collapsed after two years when DAP quit due to PAS’s objective of forming an Islamic state.
The unprecedented co-operation between DAP and PAS then resulted in the defeat of DAP’s strongmen Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh in Penang due to non-Muslim voters’ fear of the Islamic party
But Hadi claimed that Malaysians would eventually come to learn and appreciate hudud laws “in time”, arguing that it was Umno’s “secularist” teaching that did not make Malaysia a model country with Islamic teachings.
“What’s important is understanding. People will understand it (hudud laws) as time comes... What is happening today is that Umno has inherited the secularist teachings of the British which does not show a positive Islamic model,” added the Marang MP.

Gunslinger shooting off same old drivel


By Maclean Patrick - Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT Knowing everything under the sun does not make one wise. Neither does position nor rank sanctions one to be leader. It is the goodness of one’s heart that wins people over.

It is by the fruit that one knows the tree. And from what comes out of a man’s mouth, one will gain an insight into what goes on in his heart.

So, it is sad when leaders are resorting to name-calling and mud-slinging that only serve to mirror their own inability to accept, debate and resolve matters as intellects.

Politicians make the worse intellectuals and intellectuals make poor politicians. And it is rare to find a politician who is also an intellectual. And you would agree with me, in Malaysia such intellectually adept politicians are a dying breed.

Instead, Malaysian politics is much like the old wild west of America – an era when it was each man for himself and the gun proved the only authority. A time when outlaws make the best in-laws and surviving each day was a mini miracle in itself. And there is no bigger Malaysian gunslinger than that brute call Perkasa.

Crack goes the gun and the self-proclaimed sheriff of Malay rights comes riding into town again. This time the discontented posse is ready to tear apart the PKR president. Rehashing the same issue it has been nagging us about from its very inception – Ketuanan Melayu – Perkasa has learnt to use big words. “Political prostitute,” says its Youth chief, who is apparently unhappy that such “tactic” was being used to gain support from the Chinese and Indians. He even went further to call for the banishment of those who went against “Ketuanan Melayu”.

It’s funny and ironic – politicians and prostitution seem to go hand in hand.

Just ask Cleopatra when she dealt with Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony in order to remain monarch over Egypt. After the assassination of Caesar, Cleopatra aligned herself with Anthony in direct opposition to Caesar's rightful heir – Augustus. Anthony lost out to Augustus and eventually committed suicide. You could brand Cleopatra a “political prostitute”. Such is politics when the need to remain in power overweighs all else.

And, by the way, Cleopatra was not banished for going against Augustus. Instead, when Anthony committed suicide, Cleopatra followed him via death by snake bite.

Attention-deprived nag

Banishment is indeed mild compared to what the rulers had to endure in the wilderness of Malaysian politics. The idea of “Ketuanan Melayu” was never on the everyday mind of Malaysians until Umno made an issue of it – to gain the Malay vote or to remind others of its hold on power.

Perkasa has clearly forgotten Umno’s role in reducing the overall authority of the monarchs in Malaysia during the tenure of Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Yes, Perkasa “mudah lupa” (easily forgets).

Rather than behave like an attention-deprived nag that it is, isn’t it time for Perkasa to prove its mantle and serve the Malay community? Have we heard Perkasa do anything else except hurling insults and accusations at political parties? The closest Perkasa ever gets to any form of social involvement is in the form of making police reports, playing the role of the jealous neighbour who just needs to complain.

If Perkasa wants to start calling people “political prostitutes”, then please broaden your scope and cast your eyes over the whole of Malaysia. There exist “political prostitutes” in all the State Legislative Assemblies. Ask those sad politicians in Perak, who jumped shipped at a whim or the foul-mouthed partisan jokers in Terengganu who insulted the monarchy.

Better still, Perkasa should look at itself as a “political prostitute” – stirring fear and resentment among the Malays to ensure its own survival.

Here lies the greatest “political prostitute” of them all. Perkasa’s very survival depends on ensuring the Malays maintain a healthy dose of inferiority complex. As long as the Malays live in fear, resentment – with the mindset of a victim – Perkasa remains strong. Perkasa thrives as long as the Malays remain angry at anything and everything around them and this manner of rage is not only levelled at PKR but also at society in general.

Perkasa is prostituting itself by clinging to the idea that the Malays will never be able to raise themselves out of the rut. It holds on to the belief that Malays will never be able to compete against the Chinese and Indians. It hides its motives by playing a small town sheriff and law-giver.

Malaysians should reject such thinking and ideas. It is time Malaysians – politicians or laymen – learnt to question, for themselves, all that is happening around them. Malaysians are not dim-witted individuals who cannot live together in harmony. Malaysians have learnt not only to tolerate (tolerance alone is not good) but also to accept their differences and inherent uniqueness.

True wisdom does not lie in finding answers but in asking questions. And the question Perkasa really needs to answer is, “What are your contributions towards Malaysia?”

Maclean Patrick is a webmaster based in Sarawak

Umno defers party polls, signals looming GE


KUALA LUMPUR: The Umno elections at the branch, divisional and Supreme Council levels which were scheduled for next year, have been postponed for 18 months, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said last night.

He said the joint decision was made to enable Umno to concentrate on strengthening and rehabilitating the party based on the New Political Model to ensure Umno's survival as the party that would lead the national administration.

"This is provided for in the (party) constitution which we have used on several occasions so that all our attention and efforts can be directed at strengthening the process to provide the needed strength for our party," he told reporters after chairing the Umno Supreme Council meeting.

Najib said Umno did not want next year to be turned into a platform for a political struggle that can cause factionalism within Umno although the party was confident this could be curtailed.

"We don't want a situation that is most stressful as was what had occurred in another political party, so we decided to postpone the election based on the party constitution," he said.

Asked whether the postponement had anything to do with the forthcoming 13th general election, Najib who is also Umno president since winning the post unopposed for the 2008-2011 period, said it was nothing new.

"To my knowledge, such a decision has been made three or four times before and there was no problem or it was not something unusual," he said.

The first time an Umno Supreme Council election was postponed came about in 1999, when it was delayed until May 2000 to concentrate on the 1999 general election.

As for a revamp of the state Umno leadership, Najib said he would make an announcement by year end because he needed time to discuss the matter with certain leaders from the states.

"I have announced before that this (revamp) will only be made known by year end and not today. Me, the deputy president and the secretary-general need to meet and discuss with state leaders on their respective roles," he said.

Najib hinted that the revamp might see some new faces while some old faces might be retained.

Cabinet reshuffle

Asked on talks that there would be a Cabinet reshuffle, Najib reiterated that they were merely rumour and it was up to the individuals to make their own interpretations.

"They are all rumour, when I say rumour, they can be true, but there are also rumour that can be untrue, (it's) up to one's interpretation," he said.

The prime minister said that beginning early next year, all branch leaders and the wings' branch leaders are required to attend party courses that will see more than 50,000 Umno leaders being given training.

"We will continue to make changes based on the New Political Model where I have outlined seven principles, and this we will further improve and we will explain on the 1Malaysia concept and how Umno, which places the people's interest first, (looks after) the interest of the people and (emphasises on) our delivery system," he said.

Najib said the meeting last night also took note of the current political developments in the country besides receiving reports on the BN successes in the by-elections in Galas and Batu Sapi recently.

"We have also taken stock that the public are of the opinion that the current vibrant and positive developments are a result of initiatives taken by the government and has let to added confidence of the people," he said.

Fuel hike

Meanwhile, Najib added that the increase in the price of RON97 petrol which was not subsidized by the government, was due to an increase in the price of crude oil in the global market.

"The price of RON97 is determined by the market and not by the government and if there is a drop in the price globally, it will result in a drop in price of RON97 here," he said.

The price of RON97 petrol increased by 15 sen to RM2.30 per litre beginning Dec 1, but the price of RON95 petrol remains unchanged at RM1.85 per litre.

- Bernama

‘Ketuanan Melayu’ not in Constitution, says Prof Khoo

By Bernama

The terminology “Ketuanan Melayu” or Malay Supremacy need not be debated because it does not exist in the country’s constitution, said history expert, Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim.

He said that from the historical aspect, only the Rulers’ Supremacy was stated in the constitution where the people must show their loyalty to the Rulers.

“In the past, ‘Malay Supremacy’ was never mentioned within the Malay community. In history, such things are incorrect. What is stated in the Constitution is only the Rulers’ Supremacy, where you show loyalty to the state where you reside in.

“The Malays obtained the special privileges because they are the subjects of the Ruler. The position of the Malays is given special consideration and need not be disputed,” he said when contacted by Bernama, here tonight.

He was asked to comment on the statement by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on the Malay Supremacy in her policy speech at the 7th National Congress of the party on Sunday.

Dr Wan Azizah called for the abolition of the concept of Malay Supremacy to enable Malaysian children to grown up with the vision of a ‘race of integrity’ or ‘Malay of Integrity’.

Khoo said the terminology ‘Malay Supremacy’ was only raised by politicians purely for political purposes, and he observed that politicians were now frequently raising issues that could lead to racial confrontations.

“Politicians should focus on their services to the public, helping the people. They should not encourage the people to quarrel,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Prof Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin shared Khoo’s opinion that the term Malay Supremacy was coined by politicians in portraying the political and economic position of the Malays.

Questioning Dr Wan Azizah’s motive in raising the issue, he said the statement by the wife of PKR de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was merely a political gimmick and purely to cover up the crisis faced by the party currently.

“I don’t know why the issue was raised. What I notice is “Anwar’s Supremacy” in the PKR. It is Anwar’s Supremacy that must be abolished. The Malay Supremacy is merely to demolish Anwar’s Supremacy. In my opinion, the concept (Malay Supremacy) does not exist,” he said.

He said Dr Wan Azizah should re-examine what was meant by the term supremacy and should not question the special privileges of the Malays which had been enshrined ever since the era of the Malay Sultanate.

Shamsul Amri said that looking from the economic aspect, the Chinese community dominated 70 per cent of the economy while the Malays had only 30 per cent and there was no such thing as the Malays dominating in all aspects.

“If we look at it, the 70 per cent should be the supreme group. So, what does the Malay Supremacy show? What does supremacy mean? She (Dr Wan Azizah) herself is not clear on the meaning of supremacy,” he said.

Dr Shamsul Amri said politicians should be thinking about issues that were relevant for discussion instead of raising issues that could bring about negative developments between the races. — Bernama

HOUSING

1. In the 1980's and early 1990's there was a great construction boom in Tokyo. Land was sold at USD 3,000 per sq foot. Everyone was rushing to buy expensive land because the market for apartments and office space seem to be forever.

2. Then suddenly the market dried up. The boom became bust. Since then Japan has not been able to really recover.

3. It was the same with Hong Kong. The economy collapsed because of overbuilding.

4. In a way the sub-prime crisis which triggered the financial and economic collapse also had to do with the building industry. 5. I once thought that the tower crane should be included in the coat-of-arms of KL City Council because they were all over the city. KL grew at a rapid pace and the skyline changed almost every day. 6. KL is still growing. New high-rise apartments, condominiums and office buildings are mushrooming everywhere. It is really amazing. We really look like a newly developed country. 7. Can this growth go on forever? True, KL's population and that of Greater KL (including non-Wilayah areas) have been growing fast. At independence, the population was only 350,000. Today Klang Valley has a population of almost 6 million. Obviously the businesses and the workers at all levels need space to live and work. 8. But it is not impossible that the provision for these would not outstrip the rise in population and their spending power.

9. Shopping complexes are being developed sometimes next to each other. Surely it will cause the shoppers to be divided between them. There will not be enough to support all the complexes. Some will survive, some will die.

10. Already we have seen a few hyper-market chains going out of business. Will this not happen to a few of the shopping complexes? Will this not happen to the other major development projects?

11. And we are told of new giant projects. The Sungai Buloh KL City Centre, the new KL Financial District and the 100-storey Merdeka Tower Project.

12. Some people say that even the Petronas Twin Towers are empty. Well they are not fully occupied. This is because of a policy to allow only prestigious corporations and institutions to have the Twin Towers as their address. In any case, Petronas has enough requests for space to decide to add extra space for the shopping complex and a forty-storey tower.

13. I should really be advising Petronas to abandon its current project. But here I am talking about overbuilding in KL. Really I shouldn't. But I am really concerned over the possibility of the bubble bursting.

Pastikan Penswastaan Tidak Beban Rakyat


Kerajaan Umno-Barisan Nasional(BN) hari ini sekali lagi digesa untuk memastikan konsep pengswastaan tidak membebankan rakyat dan bukan hanya menguntungkan syarikat kroni.

Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim merujuk kepada konsesi air yang diberikan kepada Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor(SYABAS) di Selangor sebagai contoh jelas bagaimana rakyat Selangor di paksa membayar harga tinggi untuk air ketika negeri itu di bawah pimpinan Umno.

“Naik 31 peratus satu tahun. Kalau Pakatan Rakyat tidak menang harga air di Selangor naik 31 peratus. Ini yang dihalang oleh kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat, menteri jawab, ini terma dalam perjanjian. Saya setuju. Sebab itu kita katakan kita berunding semula dan minta SYABAS mengambilkira kepentingan supaya jangan dibebankan. Bukan isu nak tolak, nak rombak perjanjian syarikat itu, tidak,” katanya.

Kerajaan Persekutuan Umno-BN setakat ini enggan menarik balik konsesi yang diberikan kepada SYABAS sungguhpun syarikat itu melanggar terma-terma kontrak dan berkeras untuk menaikan harga air.

Ahad ini, warga Selangor akan keluar beramai-ramai untuk menyerahkan memorandum kepada Yang Di pertuan Agong untuk menuntut supaya kerajaan Selangor mengambil alih perkhidmatan air dari SYABAS.

“Syarikat Kerajaan Negeri Selangor punya ekuiti. Benar, tetapi yang menentukan dasar pengeluaran ini ialah SYABAS dengan ‘golden share’ kerajaan persekutuan. Saya pernah jadi Menteri Kewangan jadi saya tahu apa dia ‘power of golden share’.

‘Jadi untuk ahli parlimen BN macam tak tahu langsung, itu tak betul. Tak berlandaskan fakta asas dalam membicarakan isu diparlimen ini. Yang dibantah kerajaan Negeri Selangor ialah kenaikan keterlaluan. Bukan naik dua, tiga peratus setahun naik 31 peratus,” kata Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh itu.

Anwar berkata kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat di Selangor yakin dapat menawarkan bekalan air pada harga yang lebih rendah jika diberikan peluang menguruskan perkhidmatan air negeri itu.

“Kerajaan Negeri Selangor mengatakan mereka berupaya mendapatkan pinjaman, menguruskan syarikat ini dengan menjamin kos yang jauh lebih rendah.

Bagaimana kita jamin kos lebih rendah. Tentukan ada tender yang telus dan terbuka. ini akan menjamin kos yang rendah. pokoknya kerajaan negeri selangor tidak menaikkan tarif kerana ini akan membebankan jutaan rakyat terutama yang berpendapatan rendah,” jelasnya lagi.

Anwar kesal dengan tindakan kerajaan persekutuan yang mempunyai agenda tersendiri apabila terus melindungi kepentingan SYABAS dan bukannya kebajikan rakyat di Selangor.

Saya harap menteri berlaku adil dalam hal ini dan terbuka dan telus. perbincangan sudah dua tahun. Kerajaan persekutuan berikan tawaran tidak munasabah kerana kawalan masih pada syarikat dan tidak ada jaminan tentang harga yang berpatutan kepada rakyat Selangor, hujahnya.

Menurut beliau, selain SYABAS di Selangor, syarikat yang menjadi penjana letrik bebas atau IPP juga mengaut keuntungan yang keterlaluan sehingga memberi kesan kepada prestasi Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

“Prinsip penswastaan harus dilakukan secara telus. Pengalaman kita denga IPP menunjukkan kos meningkat, subsidi kepada sayrikat meningkat dan jawapan di parlimen soalan yang kita bangkitkan dijawab dengan remeh dan hambar. Kita minta apa kerugian dan masalahnya ini untuk kerajaan melihat semula perjanjian itu kerana perlaksanaannya itu jelas merugikan negara,” tambah Anwar.

Anwar kesal kerana segala gesaan rakyat mahukan Umno-BN untuk mengkaji semula kontrak IPP tidak diendahkan.

“Kita minta bukan merungkai syarat perjanjian. Tetapi memberikan ruang supaya mempertahankan kepentingan pengguna. Saya dengar ucapan ahli-ahli parlimen Umno dan MIC maklumat tidak tepat. Bukan nak batalkan semuanya. Soalnya ialah kenaikkan harga yang tidak dapat dipertahankan dan menjadi beban kepada pengguna,” kata bekas Menteri Kewangan itu.

Protecting orang asli title rights

The Star
by SHAILA KOSHY

More and more cases of encroachment onto orang asli lands are coming to light but there are not enough lawyers in the Bar Council’s Legal Aid Centre to act for them.

THE orang asli in West Malaysia are the original orang asal but their lives could not be a more sorry one.

Progress is a double-edged sword and not all attempts for their development have been welcome, especially those that ignore their native customary rights and their ties to the land and those that would cause them to lose their identity.

At a public forum on Oct 9 organised by the Bar Council’s Committee on Orang Asli Rights (COAR) that was attended by about 190 orang asli from throughout the peninsula, there was a deluge of appeals for help.

“One after another, the orang asli came up and told stories of schemes to grab their land and encroachment into their lands,” said COAR deputy chair Steven Thiru in an interview.

“They came to us because they have nowhere else to turn to,” he said, adding that the majority of complaints were directed at the Orang Asli Affairs Department that was supposed to look after them.

However, very few lawyers take up cases involving native customary rights.

To address this, COAR and two other committees are conducting an all-day workshop on “Native Title Rights” this Saturday at the council’s auditorium in Kuala Lumpur.

“Many lawyers shy away, thinking orang asli claims are too difficult and complex, and worry they may not be competent enough,” said COAR chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

As such, the purpose of the workshop is two-fold — to equip lawyers with the fundamentals of such cases; and enable the Bar to respond more quickly when there are reports of encroachment, demolition of property and harassment or potential arrest by the authorities.

“The whole idea here is to raise an army of lawyers,” said Steven.

Steven is “hopeful” and Ambiga said she has “absolute faith that, given the right support, they will come forward”.

Ambiga, who noted there were several who already did pro bono cases outside of the council’s Legal Aid Centre, will announce on Saturday what this “right support” will entail.

It’s happenstance that the workshop to conscientise lawyers and equip them with skills to help the orang asli is taking place exactly one year from when the National Land Council announced its controversial “Policy of Awarding Land Titles”.

On Dec 4, 2009, the NLC announced that the policy would help eradicate poverty among the 147,000 orang asli in peninsular Malaysia.

However, the orang asli are questioning a policy to “give them” land which is already theirs.

On March 17, more than 2,000 marched to Putrajaya in protest to present a memorandum signed by over 9,000 orang asli to the Federal Government on grounds the grassroots had not been consulted.

Soon after, the Bar Council set up COAR because of the increase in the number of orang asli claims against encroachment and property demolition that the Bar had taken up.

It was also concerned that the impending amendments to the Aboriginal People’s Act 1954 as a consequence of the policy would reverse the court decisions in re Sagong Tasi, re Adong Kuwau and re Nor Nyawai which recognised the orang asli’s right to land.

With these cases as precedents, why have the number of orang asli claims in the peninsula increased?

Steven and fellow COAR member Yoges­waran Subramaniam pointed the finger at the basic refusal and failure to recognise that the orang asli have a native customary right to the land, one that precedes any a state can give to any other proprietor.

In the long-term, could the Bar – in looking for a win-win situation – help identify models elsewhere that strive for indigenous peoples to maintain their identity and yet participate in development on their terms and reap benefits from it?

“All of this starts with your bargaining power,” said Yogeswaran who is researching such models.

“When you are perceived as not having any rights, you end up not getting a good deal.”

For now, the Bar is focusing on raising an army of lawyers to help the orang asli in the fight for their rights, as recognised by the Federal Constitution and in Sagong Tasi

Penang port: Why Soi Lek?

The appointment of Chua Soi Lek as Penang Port Commission chairperson comes at a crucial time for the port.
One of the prime rules of journalism is, always follow the money. Where the money is, that’s where things happen. Two major factors could explain the relatively high-level appointment of an MCA leader to head the Penang Port’s regulatory authority:
1) There has been increasing talk of privatisation of Penang port operations. The politically well-connected Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary’s name has been mentioned in various reports. Penang Port Sdn Bhd CEO Ahmad Ibni Hajar was reported in September as saying they were also awaiting the government’s approval on plans to list the company. Big money stakes will be up for grabs if the listing does proceed. (I maintain that Penang Port should remain in government hands. Preferably it should come under the state government’s purview.)
2) And let’s not forget Penang Port is in the midst of major expansion plans that could cost a few billion ringgit.
The extension of the wharf at the northern end of the North Butterworth Container Terminal has been completed, increasing the length from 900m to 1,500m. This will be serviced by high-speed rail-mounted gantry cranes, an additional bridge to the mailand and a 25ha storage yard nearing completion. The expected ‘moves per hour’ at the terminal is expected to rise from 22 to 25.
That’s not all. Take a look at the other big-money projects in the pipe-line that could add up to billions of ringgit:
North Channel Dredging (RM351 million has been requested)
Dredging of the 11.5 meter ACD (Approach Channel Depth) North Channel to 13.5 metre (or 14.5m?) ACD to serve mother vessels calling at the port.
Prai Bulk Cargo Terminal
Relocation and construction of a new Dangerous Goods (DG) Terminal to the south of PBCT by 64 metres. Construction of the new trestle for DG pipelines and the 64-metre berth is expected to commence in January 2008. Shifting of the pipelines to the south should start in May 2008 and the new DG berth is targeted to be ready in November 2008.
Fast Boat (Ferry Terminal)
Penang Port Sdn Bhd will introduce fast boat services between the island and the mainland. The fast boats, which cater for pedestrians and motorcyclists, take only half the time to reach the destination compare to ferries that take 15 minutes. A total of five units of fast boats will be bought to complement the ferry services.
The number of ferries will be reduced from the current eight to five when fast boat services are implemented.
Centralised Tankage Facilities (CTF)
The CTF project is located near to the Bagan Ajam Toll on Butterworth Outer Ring Road encompassing an area approximately 100 acres off the nearby coast. The facilities inside the CTF will include various types of oils & gas storage tanks, road tanker loading terminals, gas filling facilities, drumming facilities, blending tanks for bio diesel, lube & additives and warehousing.
The project estimated cost is approximately RM1.2 billion and will be operational by the end of 2013. This project will form a hub for moving liquid cargoes in and out within Malaysian and International waters. The water draft will be approximately 13.0 metres as to accommodate vessel size up to 50,000 DWT. The total expected and estimated volume of liquid cargoes to be handled by CTF is 700,000 metric tonnes per month.
Value Added Activities and Reclamation Project
A total of 1,000 acres will be reclaimed at the North of NBCT which will be developed into container yards and other value adding activities like the:-
  • Free Trade Zones Activities (Free Industrial Zones / Free Commercial Zones)
  • Warehousing / CFS and Logistic Activities
  • Distripark and Inland Clearance Depot (ICD)
  • Cold Storage and Halal Hub
  • Centralised Tankage Facilities (CTF)
At the current Butterworth Deep Water Wharves, value added activities are being carried out within the Free Commercial Zones area, e.g. On Dock Depot Operations, Warehousing and Container Freight Stations to ensure greater flexibility to all of wide ranging import and export commercial activities with minimal documentation needed .
Source: PPC website
With big money at stake, no wonder the federal government wants someone it can ‘trust’ to oversee Penang Port, and presumably that’s why they opted for Chua Soi Lek (never mind the role of MCA hands in the PKFZ debacle).
One final thought: are we going to spend all these public funds only for a future privatised entity to reap the operational profits?

Ketuanan Melayu: A case for UN Security Council to consider?

By Joe Fernandez - Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT The name-calling has started again over that neo-Nazi ideology called Ketuanan Melayu. Perkasa, the extreme Malay right-wing movement, is firing on all cylinders against PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for her take over the weekend on Umno’s “Ketuanan Melayuism”.

Congratulations to her for taking the bull by the horns in recognition of the stark reality that the urban Malays in particular accept that Ketuanan Melayuism is an elaborate cover for the ruling elite to raid the public treasury and the banks at will.

Media pictures of Perkasa leaders – many looking more Indian than Malay – vividly depict the fury on their faces, their eyes flashing as if possessed by demons on the loose.

Patently, it’s a sheer waste of time to engage with Umno poodle Perkasa or like-minded racists on their sick version of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and the unwritten 1957 social contract, which allowed political dominance for the Malays to compensate for Chinese economic dominance.

The rhetoric, polemics and endless debates on Ketuanan Melayuism will be a dead ender and a contradiction in terms considering the mountains of sanctimonious pontification on the 1Malaysia concept.

The time has come to bring the Ketuanan Melayu issue to the United Nations Security Council. The world body must consider whether Malaysia is following in the footsteps of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Apartheid regime of South Africa.

Some years ago, the UN put India on notice that it must end the caste system. The Security Council even invoked the spectre of economic sanctions against it after intensive lobbying by social activists.

Ketuanan Melayuism is no different from a caste system in that it benefits a handful of leeches, parasites, bloodsuckers at the expense of the overwhelming majority through institutionalised racism. Furthermore, there are shades of Nazism, Fascism and Apartheid in Ketuanan Melayuism.

An inconvenient truth

The Umno government will not be able to explain at the UN Security Council why it has not abolished Article 153 but has instead even extended it outside its four limited areas, applying it to every aspect of life in Malaysia in a deviant, distorted form. In addition, the second prong of Article 153, which covers the legitimate aspirations of the non-Malay communities, has been ignored by Umno as an inconvenient truth.

To complete the living nightmare, the New Economic Policy (1970-1990) has been applied selectively throughout the country and institutionalised to circumvent its 20-year shelf life. This has seen, among others, the emergence of the Licence Raj, which reserves permits, quotas, concessions, licences and the like for certain people only. In short, it’s a licence for them to print money in perpetuity.

We can see the sickness that is Ketuanan Melayu from any number of angles.

Education is one field that has deeply divided the country and polarised it as never before.

Peninsular Malaysian law graduates from foreign universities are not allowed to practise their profession in the country unless they pass the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) examination conducted by the government.

Of the nearly 2,000 law graduates who sit for the examination every year, only 10% get the right to practise. This 10% is subject to a racial quota that remains a state secret. The unfortunate majority have to repeat the CLP, as many as 10 times or more, before they get a chance to make it, if at all. Not all have the patience to run the gauntlet; they give up after two or three attempts, depressed, traumatised and suicidal.

Subjecting a critical discipline like law to a racial quota is the height of idiocy and a refinement of Ketuanan Melayuism to a degree that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.

Medicine, another critical discipline, has likewise been taken over by the Ketuanan Melayuists. A strict racial quota regulates entry into government-owned universities for medicine. Even getting there for a shot at a medical seat is easier said than done since the race-based marking system for government-run public examinations is a closely guarded state secret.

Tip of the iceberg

There’s no escaping the government even if one attempts to get a medical degree at a foreign universities. Many foreign universities with an unusually high number of Malaysian students of Indian-origin vis-à-vis the Malays have had the recognition of their medical degrees withdrawn. This happened to the medical degrees awarded by the Crimea State University in the Ukraine after a visit by the then prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Like the CLP students, medical graduates who return to Malaysia with unrecognised degrees have to run the gauntlet before they can win recognition for their qualifications.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in education.

There is no 1Malaysia in administering pre-university examinations. Malay students take the easier matriculation route to enter universities while their non-Malay counterparts are bogged down by the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), which Wikipedia describes as the most difficult pre-university examination in the world. Yet, the matriculation and the STPM are considered as equal in standard.

Not even one of the vice-chancellors of the 20-odd state-owned universities is non-Malay.

It’s the same situation in the civil service, which is 90% dominated by one community, as is the teaching service, the police and armed forces, the judiciary, the governrment-linked companies, and the diplomatic and foreign service, among others.

In keeping with Ketuanan Melayuism, proxies of the ruling elite run Sabah and Sarawak.

In Sabah, in particular, the influx of illegal immigrants continues and they have overtaken the locals in numbers, resulting in the latter’s virtual disenfranchisement. Of the 3.2 million people in Sabah in 2005, 1.7 million were illegal immigrants. About 600,000 of them have acquired MyKads via the backdoor and been placed on the electoral rolls, according to Suhakam annual reports.

The federal civil service in Sabah and Sarawak has not been Borneonised, as pledged in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement. Instead, the Ketuanan Melayuists stepped into the vacuum created by the departing British colonial civil servants and continue to hog almost all posts.

It would be interesting to hear what the UN Security Council has to say about the manner in which Umno has been running the country since 1957. There is even a case to be taken up, as a class action suit, at the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

It's official: North Korea says 'modern' nuclear plant is operating

By Donald Kirk, Correspondent
Seoul, South Korea


This photo released by the Iranian army, claims to show the launching of a Shahin missile in armed forces war games, outside the city of Semnan about 140 miles east of the capital Tehran, Iran, on Nov. 18.
Iranian Army/AP
For the first time, North Korea made its uranium enrichment program a matter of written record Tuesday with the proud claim in the country’s leading newspaper of a modern facility that is already operational.

That revelation in the Workers’ Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun marks another step toward North Korea’s emergence as a nuclear power. The North's “modern uranium enrichment plan” was still under construction but was already “equipped with several thousand centrifuges,” according to the newspaper. In recent years Pyongyang has already exploded two nuclear devices with plutonium at their core.

What the international community knew first

North Korea was first revealed to have a uranium enrichment program in 2002, in violation of a 1994 agreement with the United States for Pyongyang to give up nuclear development in return for construction of twin light-water nuclear energy reactors. 

The North denied the existence of the program until earlier this year amid the breakdown of talks with the conservative government of South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak, whose inauguration in February 2008 ended a decade of efforts at North-South reconciliation. 

North Korean officials earlier this month gave an American team led by nuclear physicist Siegfried Hecker a tour of the plant at the same complex north of Pyongyang where a five-megawatt reactor has produced plutonium for what intelligence analysts estimate is a dozen nuclear devices.

The article in the Rodong Sinmun, the first official revelation in the North Korean state media, appeared to have been timed to coincide with US-led naval exercises concluding Wednesday in the Yellow Sea. It does not clarify, however, whether the new reactor is to produce electrical energy or to fabricate the explosive core of nuclear warheads.

“Nuclear energy development projects will become more active for peaceful purpose in the future,” it says, but that wording leaves open the possibility that the immediate goal is to produce warheads more powerful than those tested underground in October 2006 and May 2009.

A South Korean foreign ministry official, Lim Jung-taek, calls North Korea’s boast of building the reactor “quite worrisome” – and “a violation” of United Nations Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions after each of the tests.

Bejeweled bra exposed in NY

Azan: Perkasa will lose support for using such language

Zuraida: Perkasa dangkal dan cetek

HRP ready to fight in heavyweight category to meet Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan National in next general.


Hindraf has become a legend for what it has been able to achieve – to show up the false rules and to take courageous action to hit at the ruling Government. Why has this happened? After 53 years the UMNO government keeps telling us that they are doing the best for all the communities on the one hand, yet we have this process of marginalization of Indians continuing unabated.

Indian lives are surrounded and smothered by UMNO and their Mandores. Hindraf started the brave action and started to educate the poor and marginalized about their rights. People start to think and agree. For this the leaders of Hindraf were detained under the draconic ISA law for 514 days. And exiled from the country.

The Indians then decided enough is enough and decided to throw out UMNO. Now the Indian poor and marginalized are very strong in mind and heart, and are not going to cooperate with UMNO anymore and are surely going to push them out from Putrajaya.

In the 2008 General Election Hindraf give life to a weak Malaysian opposition coalition, the PAKATAN RAKYAT. Pakatan leaders however, after getting all the Indian votes now do not want to solve the Indian problems permanently but keep busy creating new Mandores to prevent the poor Indians from asking about their rights. We are cheated again by Pakatan Rakyat.

Our leader released from ISA announces a new Indian party to keep fighting against UMNO. Pakatan Rakyat is not ready to accept our new political party in their march to Putrajaya. They want our leader to join their party and perform a Mandores’s job and they forgot that they are talking to a totally new kind of leader.

Pakatan Rakyat has 3 leaders Anwar Ibrahim and Hadi Awang for Malays and Lim kit Siang for Chinese, Where is the Indian leader for Indians…..? What is the so difficult for Pakatan Rakyat to accept our leader to talk on behalf of Indians. There are few question frequently asked by some from the Pakatan Rakyat stable.

1. Why does HRP always hit PR not BN?

We have already decided we are not going back to BN again, so why do we have to worry about their policies and positions and waste our energy with BN, I voted for PR to correct all the nonsense. I have all the right to correct PR. I hit to correct PR, if PR does not realize then they will not go any further than where they are now.

2. Why is HRP going to create three corner election fights – that will split the vote and give BN to win.

So if PR is worried about this, then don’t waste time. Let’s work together as a team and please do not expect us to come in as underlings, worse as Mandores. Let the 4 leaders sit together at one table ( DSAI, Hadi, Kit Siang and Uthaya ) and discuss to make a decision for every development issue.

3. I think Uthaya is planted by BN and sponsored by BN?

This is a every easy and self serving argument that you can use on anybody – including on Anwar Ibrahim. Uthaya is planted by Hindraf Makkal Sakti. Pakatan tries to create this nonsensical picture to bring HRP down. Sorry lah Pakatan, this is a Year 2010 not year 1974 ( Mahathir + Mandore politic ).

4. Malaysia only have 7% Indians, how they can win anything?

Win or lose is doesn’t matter to HRP. We can show the path for change and we will make people think and engage in the process of real change. We may be 7 % in numbers and a minority but we are a very vocal minority and in electoral politics that can make for a lot of difference.

5. Why is Pakatan Rakyat worried about HRP?

We can shake the 53 years old BN government. Pakatan Rakyat is just 3 years old, so is nothing for HRP. They know well, even if HRP cannot win any seats in the coming general election they can still destroy PKR Anwar Ibrahim’s desire to become the next Prime minister.

6. HRP is a racist party?

Please do not condition your mind with your suggestion in the question. The answer is that most of the victims of basic human rights are Indians. Nobody really lifts a finger to help them. So who is going to help them? You think people from Thailand or Singapore. So we form a party to take care of our rights – you see anything wrong with that.

7. Why Indians have so many political parties?

This is a picture that BN and PR want to create to throw up a picture of disarray among the Indians. The fact of the matter is that most of those parties are nothing more than a bunch of greedy Mandores and few of their cronies. Useful for propaganda.

Pakatan Rakyat, start to think about your political position. Do not underestimate the influence of HRP and other minority groups? What you have to do is to accommodate the minority groups’ aspirations. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish!

Kalayselvam

Penang State

HRP Chairman

Samy Vellu Might Have Thwarted Political Conspiracy Within MIC

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu might have thwarted a possible "political conspiracy" to destabilise the party by filling the number one and two slots in the MIC before handing over his post to the successor.

The outgoing party president said he sought the party's powerful Central Working Committee (CWC) decision to fill the two top posts to prevent 'saboteurs' from causing a power tussle in the MIC.

"My intention is to ensure there is strong leadership after me," he told reporters here when asked if there were attempts by certain people to cause trouble in the MIC after his retirement.

With MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel set to take over the presidency, the party's senior vice-president, Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, would be appointed as the acting deputy president, most likely at next Monday's CWC meeting, the last to be chaired by Samy Vellu as party president.

Samy Vellu, who is expected to hand over the reins to Palanivel after next week's CWC meeting, admitted hearing of attempts to destabilise or cause disunity within the party through undemocratic and unlawful means after he vacated the president's post.

"These are all rumours and the work of irresponsible people. The MIC is strong and stable, and we are on the path to a full recovery after the 2008 general election," said Samy Vellu.

The MIC suffered its worst defeat at the hands of the opposition in the 2008 general election, having lost six of the nine parliamentary seats the party contested.

Samy Vellu had unified the once disorganised MIC under a tough leadership when he took over the presidency from the late Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam in late 1979, and observes noted that the current MIC, sans Samy Vellu at the helm, would spell danger for the party.

Recently, however, Samy Vellu brushed aside such notion and gave the thumbs-up for Palanivel on his ability to lead the party.

Asked if his successor would mobilise and unite the Indian community under the MIC, Samy Vellu said he had initiated the move sometime ago, and it would be continued by Palanivel.

"After the 2008 general election, many Indians realised that the MIC was the only Indian-based party that could represent them, and deliver.

"Many Indian members in opposition parties are keen to join the MIC. In fact, the MIC has distributed 600 membership forms in Sungai Petani, Kedah alone recently. More will come forward, and we are ready to take them in," he added.

-- BERNAMA

******


Five-fold increase in allocations for temples, NGOs says Samy


KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — There is more than a five-fold increase in government allocation for Hindu temples and Indian-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) this year, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said today.

He said the RM5.5 million allocation was made available through Human Resources Minister and MIC vice-president Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam.

“Previously, the government only allocated RM1 million a year for Hindu temples, but through the efforts of Dr Subramaniam, we are able to get more than RM5 million this year.

“Part of it (allocation) will be given to NGOs,” he said, before handing over cheques totalling almost RM2.1 million to 98 temples and 28 NGOs from Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur.

Also present was Dr Subramaniam and other MIC leaders.

The RM2.1 million was part of the RM5.5 million allocation from the government, said Samy Vellu, adding that the rest of the money would be distributed in stages soon to temples and NGOs in other states.

Samy Vellu said the MIC would continue to seek more allocations from the government to be disbursed to temples and NGOs.

On the re-development of Tamil schools, he said since 2008, the government had allocated about RM200 million.

“This proves that the government is sincere in helping to overcome problems faced by the Indian community,” he said, adding that the MIC would ensure that the community’s problems were channeled to the government for a solution.

He also called on temples and NGOs to support the government’s transformational process, saying that it would bring better prospects for all.

“I believe, if we work with the government and become partners, we will be able to achieve a lot more, and in the end, it will benefit the Indian community,” he added. — Bernama

Umno postpones polls as snap polls loom

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — In the clearest sign yet that Barisan Nasional (BN) is preparing for general elections next year, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced tonight that party polls scheduled for next year would be put off by 18 months.

The postponement appears to be part of moves to put Umno and BN on an election footing without the distraction of party polls.

Najib’s announcement tonight comes amid intense speculation that he may call snap polls by the first quarter of next year.

His Umno has toned down its race rhetoric while a BN convention this weekend is expected to chart the ruling coalition’s strategies ahead of elections.

BN lost its traditional two-thirds parliamentary majority in Election 2008, and Najib, who became prime minister subsequently after Tun Abdullah Badawi was pressured to resign, is understood to be keen on winning his own mandate.

"The supreme council unanimously decided that next year's election at the branches, divisions and the supreme council level to be postponed up to 18 months," said Najib after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting here.

"This is provided for under the party constitution and it has been invoked several times. This is not the first time."

Najib said the postponement would allow the party to rejuvenate and strengthen itself.

"We do not want next year to be a year of conflict. We do not want to be under so much pressure like another political party," said Najib in an apparent reference PKR which just completed a divisive party election.

"This is nothing new, you shouldn't get excited about it. Nothing unusual," he said when asked if the postponement was to allow the party to focus on snap polls.

It is understood that early polls are being considered because of concerns over an uncertain economic outlook.

The recent crisis in PKR has also given Umno/BN a major boost.

Tonight’s Umno supreme council meeting also put off till the end of the month an expected party reshuffle.

The Malaysian Insider understands that former Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam are expected to be given key positions in the Umno headquarters in the reshuffle.

A major reshuffle can also be expected in at least five state Umno liaison bodies currently headed by national leaders in recognition of local warlords’ role in party affairs.

The imminent reshuffle is seen as an attempt by Najib to prepare the party for the general election.

At the closing of the Umno general assembly last month, Najib had promised a reshuffle in the party leadership to strengthen the party by the next general election.

Najib said tonight that the expected reshuffle of state Umno liaison chiefs would only take place by the end of the year after further consultation with state party warlords.

"I need more time with the deputy president and the secretary-general to visit the states and to negotiate further with the leaders on their expectations," said Najib.

"Some will be reappointed but there will be changes too," he added.

Aminulrasyid bawa kereta laju sebab nak jumpa emak, kata saksi

Oleh Jamilah Kamarudin - Free Malaysia Today,

SHAH ALAM: Rakan sebaya mangsa kejadian tembakan polis Aminulrasyid Amzah hari ini mengesahkan remaja itu dalam tempoh kejadian baru sahaja pandai memandu kereta.

Saksi ke-35 Mohd Zubir Salleh,15, yang juga rakan sekolah saksi utama Azamuddin Omar berkata, Aminulrasyid pernah menggunakan kereta milik abangnya untuk belajar memandu bersama hanya sekali antara Februari hingga April lalu.

Kawan baik Aminulrasyid sejak kecil itu juga mengakui dirinya tahu memandu namun tidak pernah naik kereta bersama Aminulrasyid.

Beliau tidak dapat memastikan sama ada Azamuddin turut tahu memandu kereta.
"Kadang-kadang saya bawa kereta emak (tanpa lesen) pergi pasar berdekatan," kata pelajar Tingkatan Tiga Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seksyen11 di sini.

Ketika ditanya peguam bela M Athimulan tentang kesalahan memandu tanpa lesen, beliau mengakuinya.

"Ada pernah tegur Aminulrasyid salah bawa kereta tanpa lesen?," soal Athimulan.
"Tidak, tak pernah tegur. Saya pun tiada lesen," balasnya spontan sehingga mencuit hati hakim dan orang awam dalam mahkamah.

Beg berisi baju

Rakan rapat Aminulrasyid sejak sekolah rendah itu turut memberitahu mahkamah, Azamuddin ada memberinya bungkusan beg plastik berisi baju yang dipakainya pada malam kejadian tembakan.

Katanya, pada pukul 7.20 pagi 26 April lalu sebelum sesi persekolahan bermula, beliau terserempak dengan Azamuddin yang berada diluar pagar utama sekolah lengkap beruniform membawa sebungkus beg plastik berada dalam keadaan sedih.

Melihat raut wajah Azamuddin seperti dirundung masalah, Mohd Zubir menegurnya dan menyuruh beliau memanggil rakan-rakan sebaya yang lain untuk berjumpa dalam tandas sekolah.

Selepas selesai perhimpunan pagi Isnin, Mohd Zubir dan rakan sebaya yang lain pergi ke tandas sekolah dan Azamuddin menyuruhnya menyimpan beg plastik berisi baju sebelum bercerita tentang peristiwa pada malam kejadian.

"Dia (Azamuddin) bagi beg baju yang dipakai semasa dia dan arwah (Aminulrasyid) dikejar polis pada malam kejadian.

"Dia juga cerita arwah Aminulrasyid sudah meninggal dunia kerana dikejar dan ditembak polis bermula di sebuah stesen minyak berhampiran seksyen 9.

"Dia cerita tak sampai 10 minit, kemudian rakan yang lain menangis agak lama selepas dengar cerita Azamuddin," katanya.

Jumpa emak

Mohd Zubir juga berkata, Azamuddin menceritakan kepada beliau dan rakan yang lain tentang insiden pelanggaran dengan kereta lain di sebuah restoran serta insiden kereta dipandu Aminulrasyid dikejar motosikal.

"Ada tahu Aminulrasyid bawa kereta laju pada malam kejadian?" soal Athimulan.
"Ada. Azamuddin ada bagitau Aminulrasyid bawa (kereta) laju sebab nak jumpa mak dia,"katanya.
Mohd Zubir juga ketika ditanya Timbalan Pendakwa Raya Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar tentang tujuan Azamuddin memberinya bungkusan baju yang dipakainya pada malam kejadian, beliau tidak pasti.
Zubir: Saya tak tahu sebab apa Azamuddin bagi tapi dia cakap suruh simpan.

DPP: Ada tengok baju apa yang diberi?
Zubir: Tak. Saya tak sempat tengok.
DPP: Kenapa awak sanggup simpan?
Zubir: Saya tak kisah.

Katanya lagi, selepas tamat sekolah pada waktu tengahari beliau membawa bungkusan baju itu dan menyorokkannya dibelakang sekeping zink di lorong kecil bersebelahan rumahnya di Seksyen 11.
"Saya letak situ sebab takut mak saya tahu saya pegang baju Azamuddin," katanya.

Bungkusan plastik berisi baju itu bagaimanapun katanya diambil pasukan polis forensik pada malam itu selepas Azamuddin memberitahu polis baju itu berada dengannya.

Mahkamah sebelum itu turut mendengar keterangan saksi yang juga pemilik kereta Toyota Celica Nor Syafiq Ariff Shapri, 23, mengenai kejadian keretanya yang dilanggar Proton Iswara Aeroback di Restoran Ali's Corner pada malam kejadian.

Perbicaraan bersambung semula 6 Disember depan.
Turut baca:

'Racist' teacher motion rejected, MP irked

By Patrick Lee - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: An emergency motion to take drastic action against a teacher in Lukut, Negri Sembilan, who allegedly uttered racist remarks, was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

In his chambers yesterday, Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia told Bakri MP (DAP) Er Teck Hwa that a special committee had already been formed by the Ministry of Education to tackle the issue.

On Nov 24, an invigilator at SMK Raja Jumaat in Lukut allegedly told a group of students to “go back to India and China”.

The teacher was said to have made the announcement over the microphone at a group of students who came late after they paid no attention to her.

However Er, who filed the motion according to Standing Order 18(1), questioned the effectiveness of such a committee.

Previously, he said a principal in Johor told Chinese students to return to China and that the prayer strings worn by Indian students made them look like dogs.

Minister of Education Muhyiddin Yassin subsequently said that he was powerless to take action against civil servants above the pay grade of 48.

Muhyiddin had added that only the disciplinary board of the Public Service Department (PSD) headed by the director-general could take appropriate action.

“If what he said was true, then what's the point of setting up a special committee if the minister himself said that he did not have the power to take action?” Er asked.

“These racist statements have not only troubled those doing their SPM examination but also affected the country's unity,” he said.

Football analogy

Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong said that the Lukut teacher had already been relieved of her invigilation duties.

He also said that any further action would be handled by the special committee. “We will leave it to the committee to handle it according to the procedures,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
Wee added that the teacher lost her allowances as an invigilator after she was dropped.

While he did not elaborate on what action the committee would take, Wee, however, used a footbally analogy to explain the situation.

“If you are a referee but are asked to take rest, what is the point of talking about what will happen or the consequences when you know you cannot referee for the rest of the tournament?” he said.
He also reminded teachers not to utter racist statements.
By Joseph Tawie - Free Malaysia Today,

KUCHING: Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian has received complaints from native parents about their children being classified as Malays in their school report cards.

According to him, the children's “keturunan” (origin) were stated as “Melayu” instead of “Lain-Lain” (others) as practiced in the past.

“We were informed by one parent that the status cannot be changed (back) because it was already within the system and the education officer was not able to make the changes,” he said.

Sarawak PKR was also furnished with a copy of a letter inked by six concerned parents which was sent to the state teachers' union president seeking a clarification on the matter.

“We echo the concerns of these parents because it has great implications in the future,” said Baru.
“If the status is not clarified and maintained, it can be implied that a native person, once he or she is classified as a Malay in official school documents, is a Muslim by virtue of the definition of Article 160 (of the Federal Constitution),” he added.

Article 160 states that “a Malay means a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay custom...”
Whereas, Article 161 on natives states that “in relation to Sarawak, a person who is a citizen and either belongs to one of the races specified in Clause (7) as indigenous to the state or is of mixed blood deriving exclusively from those races; and...”

“The races to be treated for the purposes of the definition of 'native' as indigenous to Sarawak are the Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks, Land Dayaks, Kadayans, Kalabit, Kayans, Kenyahs (Including Sabups and Sipengs), Kajangs (including Sekapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Punans, Tanjongs and Kanowits), Lugats, Lisums, Malays, Melanos, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.”

Meanwhile, Baru demanded that the Education Ministry launch an immediate investigation into the matter and provide an explanation.

“We are afraid that this may just be the tip of the iceberg and we would like to alert other native parents to check the status of their children before the matter becomes irreversible,” he said.

Union to raise it with ministry
When contacted, the president of Sarawak teachers' union, William Ghani Bina said he had taken up the issue to the state deputy director of education.

“And I am going to Kuala Lumpur and on Thursday, I will discuss it with the Director-General of Education,” he said.

“For you and I this is very bad. How can a Malay go to church?  How can a Malay celebrate Christmas?  How can a Malay celebrate Gawai?” he asked.

He added that these children and their families ate pork as well.

“How can they be of keturunan Melayu?”

He also noted that while the documents of the children indicated that they were 'Melayu', their birth certificates clearly showed that their parents were 'Christians' (see photos).

The children go to the Temenggong Datuk Muip school in Miri.

Hospital 'bars' baju Melayu, Perkasa livid

By G Vinod

KUALA LUMPUR: A private hospital here has barred its Muslim staff from wearing the “baju Melayu” on Fridays, claimed a letter posted on the Perkasa website.

The letter writer, Muhammad Ibrahim from Batu Caves, also alleged that those who flouted the rule were berated in public by the Sentosa Medical Centre's “Indian” management.

The medical centre is owned by the Johor Medical Group (KPJ).

Describing the rule as inconsiderate, Muhammad said it did not make sense that the Malays, although being the natives of this land, were disallowed from wearing their traditional attire.

“It is not only humiliating, but also insensitive. Are we still under colonial rule? How will they (the Indians) feel if they are disallowed from wearing their traditional dress? Surely there will be mass demonstrations then,” read the letter, which was published today.

Muhammad said it was issues like these which derailed Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's dream of seeing a united Malaysia under his 1Malaysia concept.

“I hope KPJ will probe this matter seriously because if left unresolved, it may cause racial unrest, especially among the Malays who have been very accommodating of the non-Malays,” he added.

Perkasa warns of protest

Meanwhile, Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah urged the Health Ministry and the police to investigate the matter.

If the allegations were true, he said that the medical centre did not respect the rights of Muslims in the country.

“We will also conduct our own investigation. If the allegations are true, we will not hesitate to stage a demonstration against the hospital.

“We will also raise the matter with the health minister (Liow Tiong Lai) and the prime minister,” he told FMT.

Apart from disrespecting Muslims and Islam as the official religion, Arman said if the allegations were true, it would also constitute a “betrayal of an individual's right (to wear traditional outfits)”.

Contacted later, a staff at the medical centre said that those authorised to speak to the media would only be available for comment on Thursday.

Man who torched himself dies, MPSJ blamed

By B Nantha Kumar - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR : Puchong MIC diivision information chief M Gunasegaran, who set himself on fire in an attempt to stop the demolition of a Hindu temple, succumbed to his injuries this morning.

In an immediate reaction, MIC Youth chief T Mohan held the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) responsible for his death.

The 52-year-old father of six passed away at 9.30 am this morning at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

On Nov 8, MPSJ workers had wanted to demolish two wooden structures belonging to the Sri Srinivasa Temple in Puchong. One structure housed the temple's chariot, and the other served as a store room.

The structures were located on a land belonging to the Castlefield Tamil School. The temple committee had been using the structures on the land for the past 10 years with permission from the school.

Gunasegaran had climbed onto the rooftop of the store room, doused himself with petrol and set himself on fire, suffering 80% burns on his body.

He was initially warded at the Serdang Hospital's intensive care unit before being transferred to HKL.

Meanwhile, Mohan said that MPSJ was the “root cause” behind Gunasegaran's death.

“The council and its workers are supposed to be careful in dealing with such matters, especially when there is someone threatening to kill himself,” he added.

However, he said that MIC Youth would not take legal action against MPSJ but would assist the victim's family, should they decide to do so.

FMT could not reach Gunasegaran's family members for comments.

Religious department to charge Minister Hishammuddin Hussein for drinking


The religious department will be charging Hishammuddin Hussein for drinking, an act that is forbidden for Muslims in Malaysia. The religious department said it is convinced that Hishammuddin was drunk when he made the statement reported by Bernama below.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Opposition Trying To Twist Meaning Of 'Ketuanan Melayu', Says Hishammuddin

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 (Bernama) -- The Opposition is trying to confuse the people by twisting the meaning of 'Ketuanan Melayu', said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

Hishammuddin, who is also Umno vice president, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's statement on the subject clearly had political motives and was aimed at causing unease among the various races in the country.

When closing PKR's seventh annual congress in Petaling Jaya, Wan Azizah had said the party rejected the 'Ketuanan Melayu" concept.

Hishammuddin said PKR leaders would stoop to any level in trying to garner support from the people without thinking of the impact on the long term development of the nation.

"I would like to ask Wan Azizah and the PKR leadership, are they also rejecting the institution of the Malay rulers? What is being raised by PKR is clearly an attempt to belittle the Malays. We do not want the institution of the Malay rulers to be also belittled," he said in a statement here Monday.

He said it was there for all to see that non-Malays were also enjoying the fruits of the country's progress, and in fact, had a bigger slice of the economic pie compared to Malays.

He said non-Malays were also free to realise their full potential without any obstacles put in their path.

"'Ketuanan Melayu' is not to make Malays 'Tuan' (masters). Since the birth of Umno decades ago to champion the plight of the Malays, not a single race had been marginalised or became slaves," he said.

Hishammuddin also said the thinking and ideology PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was trying to instill appeared to follow the concept and propaganda brought about in the Malayan Union era before Merdeka (Independence).

"His actions show he has no regard for the Constitution and the laws of the country," he added.

A-G MUST CLARIFY ALL DOUBTS TO UPHOLD THE DIGNITY OF HIS OFFICE SAYS PHANG.

PRESS STATEMENT :- 30th Nov 2010
Chairman – Social Care Foundation

The objective of this article is to enhance the Public, the significant roles between MACC and the A-G’s Office.Malaysians have every right to judge and criticise the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)‘s performance but that must be done fairly. But they cannot blame or hold the MACC responsible for failing to decide on prosecution matters because that is the power and the jurisdiction of the Attorney-General (A-G)’s Chambers.
 
Furthermore, if there is lack of evidence, then the A-G must not try to bulldoze its way and order a case to be prosecuted because when a case is lost in court, the public is always quick to blame the MACC, not the A-G. Of late, the MACC has been severely criticised over its handling of serveral high profile cases, including accusations that its performance is not up to the mark.

Among the cases in focus unfortunately and inevitably that MACC has been accused of selective prosecution are:

a) The failure to prosecute former Selangor Mentri Besar Dato‘ Seri Dr Khir Toyo for allegedly amassing unusual wealth in his ownership of a mansion purportedly valued at RM24 million whereas several Pakatan Rakyat Selangor state assemblymen were subjected intense investigations over an alleged abuse of allocation amounting to only RM2,400 (the Teoh Beng Hock case);

b) The prosecution of Dato‘ Mirza Thaiyab, the Director-General of Tourism, whereas the ministers responsible for the project are not held accountable. This was after Dato‘ Mirza had been acquitted in an earlier case for gratification of a dental treatment;

c) The prosecution of only certain people in the multi-billion-ringgit Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal whereas the forensic audit report by Price-Waterhouse Coopers had named many other personalities;

d) Till today, there is no decision to act against former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, after former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Dato’ Mat Zain Ibrahim, published letters accusing these two officials of manipulating and tampering with evidence in the “Anwar Black Eye Incident”.

1. Another case that has caught public attention involves lawyer En Rosli Dahlan. The alternative media has created the perception that Rosli has been victimised as a result of his professional role in pursuing civil and criminal actions against former Malaysia Airlines chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli.

2. In my capacity, not only as Social Care Foundation chairman but also as a member of the MACC Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel, I have to date received two letters from Rosli, essentially seeking MACC to withdraw the charge that MACC had preferred against him. I produce herewith the two letters.

3. Upon receipt of Rosli’s letters, I have made enquiries with the MACC, and was informed MACC had recommended to A-G that the MACC would like the case to be withdrawn. However, till today the A-G has not responded.

4. It is incumbent on me as Social Care Foundation chairman and a member of the Panel Advisory of MACC to present facts which would accurately explain MACC’s position so that the public can fully appreciate MACC’s role and area of jurisdiction and will no longer view the MACC with suspicion.

5. I hope the public will understand that in matters relating to prosecution of an offence, Art. 145(3) of the Federal Constitution vests the A-G with discretion to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings. As such, the MACC does not have the power to withdraw the charge against Rosli unless the A-G agrees to do so.

6. In this regard, I am disturbed by the disclosure made in a blog, Malaysia Today, alleging that A-G Gani is consorting with a person who is allegedly the proxy of Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli, namely, En Shahidan Shafie. That blog had produced records and pictures purportedly from Tabung Haji that A-G Gani and Shahidan are currently performing the Haj‘ together. This is a very serious allegation which adds a different dimension to the allegations of selective prosecution that I have outlined above.

7. I call upon the A-G Gani to deny this allegation and to also explain the true facts in order to allay any negative public perception surrounding this matter. This is necessary to dispel the allegations made by Mat Zain in his public letters which accused the MACC as follows:

 “It only shows that MACC and the Chambers are prepared even to go to the extent of affirming false      affidavit to screen Gani Patail from legal punishment.”
 8. According to Y.B. Dato‘ Seri Nazri, the Cabinet will investigate the allegations against A-G Tan Sri Gani Patail and I pray this must be conducted transparently without any further delay.

9. I take the liberty to appeal to all media that when MACC has a success rate in convictions, please also highlight in the manner in which you have highlighted the failure of MACC. Be fair to the Rakyat as well as MACC.

Investment Banking's New Frontier

Image(Asia Sentinel) And not a particularly safe one

Gold is expensive. So too is palm oil, bond yields nearly nothing, bank deposits are a sure way to lose money. Major stock markets have rebounded and buyers are now bored with BRICS. The shine has even gone off the China market and its currency is going nowhere. Japan's market remains out of favor, not least with the Japanese themselves and in Europe the ragged tails, Ireland and Portugal, are wagging the dog into a Euro tizzy.

But brokers must have something to sell. So what better to move on from Emerging Markets like Turkey, Colombia, Chile, Indonesia, which have become old news, to the "new frontier" – the so-called Frontier Markets.

Definitions of these destinations vary widely, and so does their performance. One list even includes Argentina, which has had an active bourse since 1854 even if at times it has been submerged by bouts of wild inflation and Peronista populism. Then at the other end of the scale there is Rwanda, where trading is supposed to start imminently in Kigali, its capital, even if the only listing is the cross-listed, Nairobi based Kenya Commercial Bank.

And, as some emerging markets have continued to emerge for the last 30 years, some of these markets are going to stay on the frontier for about the same length of time. The amount of reliable and accurate research on which the investor can depend – an oxymoron for investment banks in the first place – falls exponentially the closer you get to the frontier. And if the corporate governance in, say, Indonesia – an emerging market – is wild, on the frontier it is even wilder. Minority shareholders, beware.

In Asia the frontier flavor of the moment is Mongolia, whose three million people are blessed, or cursed, by huge reserves of coal, copper, gold and lesser-known minerals such as molybdenum and antinomy – and which needed an IMF bailout in the wake of the global credit crisis two years ago when its banking system and economy almost collapsed, and where inflation hit 30 percent annually in 2008.

Not only is it fast developing its resources and hence can look forward to years of trade surplus, it also lies next to China, whose demand for ever increasing volumes of these minerals is now known to every taxi driver between Chicago and Chengdu. So folks are piling into Ulan Batur before it's too late – even if the market is already up sharply this year. Like other markets based almost entirely on commodity prices, could it not collapse if the mineral price bubbles burst?

No worries. Mongolia lies on the ancient Silk Road linking China with central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. There is now a train line linking it to Russia and China and highways are being built too which will make Ulan Bator into a great modern caravanserai. But don't tell anyone that this railway line has existed since 1961.

Maps with railway and road lines, existing, planned or imagined, are a stock in trade of frontier salesmen. So there is also much talk about how Asia will be joined up even closer by railway links which will take people and freight all the way from Singapore to Ulan Bator and beyond, via Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam etc. What they don't tell you is that much of it is single track and comes in three different gauges – 1-meter in Southeast Asia, standard gauge (1.435m) in China and broad gauge (1.520) in Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Small size also has an attraction to frontier salesmen. Another hot tip of the moment is Mauritius, the Indian Ocean island with a population of 1 million. Mauritius has been on a few investor radar screens for a decade or more. Not only is it a well-run little country but with its position equidistant to India, the Gulf and Africa it is a genuine crossroads offering Indians in particular the kind offshore financial facilities that Americans find in the Caribbean. But with a market cap of just US$5 billion and listing dominated by financial services it is no surprise to find that this frontier too is no longer very appealing for anyone looking for medium term profits rather than sheer novelty.

Small population is definitely not a problem for Bangladesh, a market which had a boom and bust back in the mid 1990s and was favored by much quoted, self-styled iconoclast investor Marc Faber. The Dhaka market has been growing apace thanks to privatizations as well as the nation's steady economic growth and influx of remittances. But do not imagine that Bangladesh is any more immune from the global liquidity binge than most other markets. The Dhaka market index has already doubled over the past year and nearly tripled over two years and now has a market capitalization of some $30 billion or 45 percent of gross domestic product.

Much the same can be said of the Sri Lanka market which was propelled from under 3,000 to 7,000 over a year in response to global liquidity and the defeat of the Tamil Tigers. It has since retreated by 15 percent of so but cannot be classed as a bargain basement market, even if it does qualify for the frontier tag.

Indeed, so ubiquitous has the money surge been that it even drove what it perhaps the most politically incorrect market to an all time high in mid-2010 – though it has since slipped back. This one does not get many mentions in the frontier lists but is in fact much larger both in capitalization and turnover than most of the frontier ones. That is Tehran – which foreigners can at least in theory invest in unless their own government forbids investment in this particular axis of evil.

Of course there are many more frontier markets on the lists of the salesmen. From Benin and the Cape Verde islands to Jamaica, Tanzania, Trinidad, Kazakhstan and Croatia, not to mention such better known spots as Egypt, Vietnam, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Maybe on a 20-year view some are the wave of the future. A few, such as Vietnam, are far from past peaks and may have scope for recovery. But given the mix of cheap money and sky-high commodity prices which have been the driving force, the time to invest in utterly boring companies like Toyota and Procter and Gamble may be upon us. The frontier is a dangerous place. Those who get there first get the spoils – and that won't be those who listen to brokers looking for new lines to sell.

1 Malaysia – A blurred and confused concept

By Ahmad Mustapha Hassan

NOV 30 — 1 Malaysia was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on September 16, 2008. It is now over two years since that announcement but till today no one is clear of what 1 Malaysia is all about.

According to the 1 Malaysia website which is the personal website of Najib, it is stated that: “1 Malaysia is intended to provide a free and open forum to discuss the things that matter deeply to us as a nation. It provides a chance to express and explore the many perspectives of our fellow citizens. What makes Malaysia unique is the diversity of our peoples. 1 Malaysia’s goal is to preserve and enhance this unity in diversity which has always been our strength and remains our best hope for the future.”

And with that mission statement, a slogan was also created — “People first, performance now.”

The stress is on unity but there is no forward-looking objective as to what the future of Malaysia and Malaysians will be. Will there be a Malaysian nation or will the country plod on in status quo? Without a long-term objective on how the future will be, it will be difficult for all communities in Malaysia to work together. Each will simply continue to be inward looking and try to preserve their own interests.

The 1 Malaysia booklet stresses civic consciousness which should be included as a syllabus in schools. But regrettably in some school texts children are already taught to be racial in character, teaching them to identify the racial group they belong to.

This was not the case during the colonial days. The racial aspect was never emphasised and thus all were treated as one and all believed they were one. The racial aspect never surfaced at all. Even teachers were never identified according to their ethnic group.

We are now told that that unity and harmony has been presumably lost due to policies that were implemented by the government itself.

We have to start all over again, from the beginning. We now have to inculcate values that will create unity and harmony in the country. After more than 50 years of independence, we are now told that we have to practise values that will instil unity and harmony among the people, in order to achieve progress.

If truly unity and harmony is to be achieved it is imperative that the current structure has to be set anew. All the elements that have caused the disunity have to be got rid of. Very forward-looking and bold measures have to be adopted, and a no-nonsense approach.

But will the government be brave enough to do this?

After two years into 1 Malaysia, elements of fear abound, creating tensions and suspicions. There is nervousness in the air. Unity has to be based on equality. If there is a feeling that some sections of the population are not enjoying fully what the country has to offer, then that unity will not be a reality.

It is significant to note that even among the members of the Cabinet; there are divergent views on unity. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin has again and again stressed on the unity of the Malays as a prerequisite and to him, he is Malay first and whatever else comes after. In the case of Minister Datuk Nazri Aziz , he proudly says that he is Malaysian first while another minister has questioned the level of patriotism of the non-Malays. In such an atmosphere, can the 1 Malaysia concept take root and achieve the unity that the nation and its people now crave for.

The intention is noble, but the objectives and goals of 1 Malaysia have to be spelt out clearly. And there must be proper follow-through to achieve these objectives and goals. This has not happened and instead each community is looking towards creating unity within itself.

The Malays, for whatever reason, are afraid to lose what they have not possessed. And in forcefully demanding that this apparition of unity among themselves be retained has caused the others to feel suspicious. Thus the chasm and division among the races has become wider.

Even during the recent Umno general assembly, none of the delegates had come out forcefully to defend the 1 Malaysia concept, a brainchild of their president-cum-the prime minister. Most felt that 1 Malaysia would threaten their economic and political interest.

It does not augur well. The country cannot progress to be a truly united nation and a high-income nation if there exists impediments to achieving this progress.

Even the mainstream media, controlled and owned by the government parties, have not been of help. Some tend to foster division rather than unity. This should not have been allowed at all but unfortunately they have been given carte blanche to behave in whatever way they like.

If ever there actually exists a desire to achieve 1 Malaysia, several bold steps need to be taken. The BN government should try to amalgamate all the parties in the coalition and form them into a single non-racial political party. Thus politics of race can be weeded out. It has been more than 50 years that the BN is in government; no marked effort has ever been made to eliminate race politics.

Laws and Acts that impede the achievement of 1 Malaysia have to be repealed, thus giving more freedom and democracy to the people. There should be free flow of information, so that the people will be more knowledgeable of what is happening in the country.

There should be complete democratisation of all institutions and meritocracy should become all important for achieving success.

Naturally, these first steps need to be implemented, negative elements scrapped before new, innovative and visionary steps are implemented.

1 Malaysia cannot be done through patch work. As it is the ingredients for the cake have yet to be sourced and already icings have been made.

1 Malaysia clinics and such likes will not create 1 Malaysia that is permanent and progressive in nature. Bold and progressive measures will.

* Ahmad Mustapha Hassan is the author of “The Unmaking of Malaysia” and a former general manager of state news agency Bernama. He was also the press secretary to Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and the then-Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.