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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Saudi plan for anti-Hezbollah force

Saudi Arabia has proposed setting up an Arab force to fight Hezbollah group in Lebanon with the help of the United States, UN and Nato, a leaked US diplomatic cable claims.

The cable, which was revealed by WikiLeaks on Tuesday, quotes Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, as saying in a meeting with US ambassador to Iraq David Satterfield in May 2008, that a "security response" was needed to the "military challenge" posed to Beirut by the Iran-backed group.

The Saudi prince feared a Hezbollah victory against the Lebanese government led by then prime minister Fouad Siniora would eventually lead to Iran's takeover of the country, according to the memo.

There was a need for an "Arab force" to create and maintain order in and around Beirut, he argued, saying the Lebanese army was "too fragile to bear more pressure," according to the cable from the US embassy in Riyadh.

Such a force would be aided by UNIFIL troops deployed in southern Lebanon, while the "US and NATO would need to provide movement and logistic support, as well as naval and air cover," the cable added.

Saud argued that "of all the regional fronts on which Iran was now advancing, the battle in Lebanon to secure peace would be an easier battle to win."

He told Satterfield that Siniora strongly supported the plan but that only Jordan, Egypt and the Arab League were aware of it.

What was needed was an "Arab force" drawn from Arab "periphery" states to deploy to Beirut under the "cover of the UN," Saud said, accusing the UN troops in southern Lebanon of "sitting doing nothing."

But Satterfield said there were real questions about the "political and military" feasibility of such a scheme, and winning a new mandate for UNIFIL would difficult.

Yemen fighting

Another cable also released on Tuesday said that the Saudi military used "massively disproportionate force" in a campaign last year against Houthi fighters in Yemen.

"Day and night aerial bombardment and artillery shelling have been the main instruments of what is increasingly regarded within the Saudi military as an embarrassingly long campaign," said the memo from the US embassy in Riyadh.

The three-month operation against the lightly armed Houthi fighters on the border areas with Yemen was also seen as "poorly planned and executed" and "brought unexpectedly high Saudi casualties."

"Nonetheless, the conflict has been carefully spun as a heroic and successful struggle to protect Saudi sovereignty," the memo added.

The cable, dating from December 2009, was among the latest batch of US State Department memos released by the WikiLeaks website.

Yemen launched an offensive against a Huthi uprising in August 2009 and the rebels later clashed with Saudi forces, forcing a truce in February.

A separate cable released six days earlier said the fighting had "been the most significant Saudi military engagements since the tribal battles that Abdulaziz that fought to establish the Saudi kingdom" in 1932.

Saudi King Abdullah had grown increasingly angry at why it was taking so long to expel "the ragtag" Huthi fighters, why there were so many Saudi casualties and "why the Saudi military has not proven more capable, given the billions invested in modernization over recent decades."

The US embassy cable dated December 30, 2009, said Riyadh had turned to Washington to help provide munitions, images and intelligence.

"The US military responded with alacrity to the extent possible, primarily by flying in stocks of ammunition for small weapons and artillery," the cable said.

But it acknowledged that many of the requests had been bogged down and there were Saudi complaints that the United States had failed to rally to "support Saudi Arabia during its hour of greatest need."

More than 300,000 people were displaced in Yemen by the fighting, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has said.

Lockerbie bomber

The British government feared harsh action against it by Libya if the Lockerbie bomber died in prison, other cables published by WikiLeaks claim.

In a 2009 cable, US ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz wrote that Libyan officials had threatened to diminish political ties if Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was not freed from a Scottish prison. Cretz wrote that Libyan officials also implied that Britons in Libya "would be at risk”.

Another cable described a British diplomat's relief after al-Megrahi could be returned to Libya. It quoted Tripoli ambassador Vincent Fean as saying that Libya could "have cut us off at the knees."

Al-Megrahi was the only person convicted of the 1988 attack of a US plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed all 259 people aboard.
Source:
Agencies

AG to declassify documents for Dr Ling’s trial

Dr Liong leaving court after being charged back in July.KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — The Attorney-General (AG) has promised the High Court here he will share top secret government documents over the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal with the defence in the high-profile trial of Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik who is charged with cheating Putrajaya for the land project.

The High Court has fixed trial for May 3 to 20 next year.

Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail told the court today he had no problems giving the former transport minister’s defence team the documents on the scandal as requested, but will take some time to process them as there were over 100 documents.

“I have no problems. I will provide the documents,” he said, in reply to lead defence lawyer Wong Kian Kheong who told the court he had yet to receive the documents requested.

The documents, which include minutes of Cabinet meetings, Cabinet committee meetings and post-Cabinet papers on the Port Klang development project are classified under the Official Secrets 1972.

Abdul Gani said he would be able to release them by mid January 2011.

“We have an understanding...that this will be sorted before the trial proper starts,” he added, referring to the documents.

The top government lawyer said he was doing it to ensure the trial would run smoothly.

Abdul Gani will be personally leading the prosecution against Dr Ling, he told reporters outside the courtroom.

The public prosecutor plans to bring in between 15 and 16 witnesses for the trial.

A court official disclosed to reporters that the trial judge Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi from the Shah Alam High Court had been brought in specially for the high-profile case.

The 56-year-old judge had previously been held positions in the KL prosecution team and was the state legal advisor for the Selangor government as well as being part of the advisory panel in the Prime Minister’s Department before being appointed a High Court judicial commissioner on August 13, 2007.

Justice Ahmadi today fixed trial for May 3 to 20 next year.

Justice Ahmadi also agreed to allow Dr Ling out on a RM1 million personal bond.

Dr Ling who was also an MCA president was charged on July 29 with concealing the fact that the Finance Ministry’s valuation and property service department had valued the land for the troubled port project at RM25psf for a repayment period of 10 years, or RM25.82psf for a repayment period of 15 years, including interest chargeable for the repayment period.

He was charged in the Putrajaya Sessions Court under section 418 of the Penal Code with “cheating with knowledge that wrongful loss may be caused to a person whose interest the offender is bound to protect”.

He is alleged to have committed offence at the fourth floor of the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between September 25 and November 6, 2002.

Dr Ling faces up to seven years in jail and a fine if convicted.

Dr Ling also faces an alternative charge, under section 417, of cheating the government by misleading the Cabinet on the land acquisition for the same project, at the same place and time.

The alternative charge carries a lesser sentence of up to five years behind bars and a fine.

A mere show of unity but not a battle cry

By Zainal Epi - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The just-concluded Barisan Nasional convention was not a war cry to rally the dispirited troops for the coming general election but a meeting to gauge the unity and strength of the component parties.

It was more a “feel-good” meeting to reiterate their commitment to serve the people they represent than a “military” strategy to defeat the opposition forces arrayed against them.

The coalition leaders renewed their pledge to the people in the spirit of cooperation and “one-ness” in line with Prime Minister and BN chief Najib tun Razak's 1Malaysia concept.

Contrary to speculation that the convention was in preparation for an early general election, it was in reality a gathering to put the BN house in order first before the partners face their foes.

At present, BN cannot afford to call for snap polls as the major component parties have yet to “get on their feet” since the cataclysm of 2008.

The convention held last Sunday became a “feel-good” meeting where every component party expressed its wishes, needs and opinions, as well as voicing its views on the weaknesses of the coalition.

Of course, the opposition came under heavy fire but this was not a signal that the BN army is ready to march out to the battlefield.

The brief convention had not really gone into the depth of the coalition’s real problem – eliminating the toxic politics of race.

MCA, for example, read the same old script of meritocracy and equality, as stated by its president Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Level platform

Speaking after the convention, Chua said that MCA wanted an level platform where no one would take orders from the other.

Given MCA's fragile position, the party has a long way to go to get back the community’s trust as reflected in the several by-elections where the majority of the Chinese had clearly shown they were not for the BN.

He strongly believed that the community would not return to the MCA fold unless and until MCA enjoys an equal partnership in the ruling coalition.

Chua saw that it is time to make demands although this may cause ripples within the coalition. But he felt that it is worth the effort as the BN needs the Chinese votes badly.

Without the Chinese votes, BN may not be strong although it may get its two-thirds majority in Parliament and win one or two states that were lost to the opposition in 2008.

Gerakan, a multi-racial party but Chinese-based, is at a loss as it was totally rejected in 2008 and is not, in the near future, expected to pick up the pieces.

It is still searching for its “lost soul” and while wandering in the political wilderness, the party came up with a proposal: form just one party. In short, all BN component parties should disband and set up a single party to represent all communities.

While Malaysians are generally not prepared for a one-party idea, some observers read it as Gerakan’s way of “saving face” since the party may be buried for good in the next general election.

Healing process

For MIC, the change in leadership is not expected to make the party any stronger as the Indians are no longer solidly supporting it.

In fact, when Najib opened the coalition’s door by admitting associate members and affiliates, the three main tottering parties – MCA, Gerakan and MIC – may find their support being eroded further as many of the members of the communities they represent as well as NGOs will go straight to register with the BN.

The 2,100 delegates at the Sunday convention got to mingle with their leaders to talk about the problems they were facing and what to do next.

But as for the general election, it is not expected to be held so soon as Umno had recently decided to postpone its party election till June 2012, which means that it needs time to unite its members.

First, the party needs to change the liaison chiefs of the states and later, to unite the factions in the states. This “healing” process would take at least six months.

Then Umno has to allow the new state chiefs to implement their plans as these chiefs may be picked as menteris besar after the general election.

Thus, the whole process may take at least 18 months – which is why Najib had to postpone the Umno polls. It is unlikely he will snap his fingers for a quick general election. Party first, election later.

Storm brewing in Usbo over link with BN

By Luke Rintod

KOTA KINABALU: Trouble is brewing in the underbellies of the United Sabah Bajau Organisation (Usbo) over its leadership's move to affiliate with Barisan Nasional.

While Usbo president Salleh Said is pushing for the tie-up, rumblings among the ranks in the party tell otherwise. Some of its long-time members are uneasy and don't trust Umno.

They fear that they will be once again be 'manipulated' by Chief Minister Musa Aman who they claimed is two-faced and see the rising Bajau-Suluk movement as a threat to his position in Sabah.

Some 13.4% of Sabah population is Bajau-Suluk and this is only the registered citizenry.

Bajau's resentment of Musa is deep-seated. A proud, loyalist community with a strong sense of kinship, the Bajaus sees Musa as an 'outsider' and have an elephant's memory of his misdeeds against them.

Historically, Bajaus have played a significant role in Sabah politics with four of the state's former chief ministers - Mustapha Harun, Sakaran Dandai, Salleh Said Keruak and Osu Sukam - having been of Bajau-descent.

But since Musa assumed power, ties with the community have been strained especially so after he dropped several key Bajau leaders from his state political lineup.

But the Bajaus have a 'son' in Federal Rural Development Minister and Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal who has been working his magic on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

Najib's magic

In March FMT reported that Salleh had been given the influential post of Kota Belud Umno division chief and was seen to be 'slowly easing' back into mainstream politics after Musa dropped him as a BN candidate in the last election. Earlier he was was appointed science and technology advisor to Musa.

Political insiders at the time described Salleh's sudden return to the epicentre of Sabah politics as "an interesting development" and noted Prime Minister Najib's hand in the orchestration.

Salleh's return, they noted, was an attempt to heal wounds with Usbo after stalwarts Pandikar Amin Mulia and Amir Kahar, the son of late Tun Mustapha Datu Harun, who were not included in the list of BN candidates in the last election.

Salleh himself is the son of the late Tun Muhammad Said Keruak, a former chief minister and Sabah’s seventh governor. Still the wounds that are healing are limited to the upper echeleons of Usbo.

When Musa announced earlier this week that Sabah Umno had superseeded Johor (Umno's bastion) in terms of members, the rank-and-file saw red.

The immediate reaction was: "He is talking about us (Usbo)... how did they (Umno) get so many members"

Dictator Salleh

The permeating uneasiness also stems from Salleh's dictatorial style.

"There has been no discussion or consensus on the matter... it's just Salleh and a few politically hungry leaders who are engineering this move," said one insider.

Salleh declared last week that Usbo was planning to become an affiliate member of BN.

The party was re-engineering itself to reflect the BN-spirit.

But a matter of such importance, said Usbo insiders, should be put to its members or an EGM to decide.

The dissenting faction, albeit faceless for now, want the organisation to be independent.

Yet another group within Usbo said they want to see other options on the table, including "affiliating" with Pakatan Rakyat or Zaid Ibrahim's so-called new party.

Meanwhile Salleh, when prodded on members' unease over being affiliated to BN and his dictatorial style, simply said: "I have not been informed....let us wait and see ...this is an NGO bah!"

Usbo has a provision in its constitution that allows the grouping associate to link itself with any organisation that shares its objectives, be it the BN or Pakatan.

Usbo is said to represent 12 sub-ethnic groups comprising the Iranun, Sama, Suluk, Binadan or Bannaran, Ubian, Sama Delaut, Sibutu, Sikubung, Simunul, Samal, Yakan and Jama Mapun communities. Together they are the second largest ethnic group in Sabah.

Malaysian made anti-dengue solution for the world

By G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today

FMT INTERVIEW KUALA LUMPUR: There exists a proven homegrown method of combating dengue that may be safer than releasing millions of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes into the environment, as the government plans to do this month.

The alternative method uses Mousticide, a product of Malaysian-based biotechnological company EntoGenex. It was tested in one of the country’s most dengue-prone areas early this year and the result was more than gratifying, the company’s chairman, Tunku Naquiyuddin Ja'afar, told FMT recently.

“Our technology is a 20-year-old technology from the University of Florida and it won the prestigious Silver Flower award,” he said.

The technology uses a small protein found in the mosquito itself, called Trypsin Modulating Oostatic Factor (TMOF), to kill larvae.

Dengue fever, which infects scores of Malaysians every year, is carried by the aedes mosquito.

“Normally, a female mosquito consumes blood meal twice its own size and most of the blood is used to provide nutrients for its eggs,” Tunku Naquiyuddin explained.

“However, once its ovary has received enough blood, it will send out a signal to its system to stop the blood supply using TMOF. That molecule, which we turn into a kind of yeast, is what we are using to kill off the larvae. It works like a lethal diet pill.

The yeast is sprinkled into water sources where female mosquitoes lay their eggs.

“Then when the mosquito larva consumes the yeast, the molecule attaches itself to its body system and disrupts its digestive system. Unable to digest its food, the larva will then literally explode to death.”

According to him, the product is so safe that people can even sprinkle it in drinking water.

“It is a dead cell anyway and it is biodegradable,” he said. “It is also safe for humans and pets. In fact, when a mosquito dies, it releases the same molecules to the environment.”

Another plus factor for the pesticide is that mosquitoes will not be able to adapt to it.

Field tests in Gombak

“Although the mosquito is a highly adaptable insect, it will not be able to adapt to this as TMOF is part of its own system,” Tunku Naquiyuddin said.

He said industrial TMOF was first brought to Malaysia in 2005. The government was so impressed with the technology that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment provided a grant worth RM3.365 million to encourage its further development.

“We worked closely with UKM and USM to develop the end product,” said Tunku Naquiyuddin. By 2008, the researchers had managed to mix the yeast with rice husk to create Mousticide.

Last April, EntoGenex worked with Kuala Lumpur City Hall and the Ministry of Health to conduct field tests in certain areas in Gombak.

“We tested our product in Phase 9, Gombak,” the Tunku said.

“You must understand that Gombak is feared for its high number of dengue cases. We worked in the area for about three months, sprinkling pinches of the rice husk solution in areas prone to mosquito breeding.

“The end result was that the area did not appear in the dengue hot spot list for 20 weeks.”

The Health Ministry, impressed by the result, sent 40 vector controllers for training at EntoGenex.

“And that was only the first batch. And all vector controllers in Malaysia now have our product.”

TMOF is registered under the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“EPA is the gold standard when it comes to environmental safety,” Tunku Naquiyuddin said.

“TMOF is categorised as a biochemical pesticide and when we brought the technology to the Malaysian Pesticide Board in 2005, the latter even exempted us from registration due its safety features.”

Mousticide won the Gold Award at the BioMalaysia Conference last November.

Questions over GM project

Commenting on the plan by the National Biosafety Board (NBB) to release genetically-modified (GM) male mosquitoes this month in Bentong and Alor Gajah, the Tunku said it was disheartening that the authorities had overlooked a tested and proven locally made product like Mousticide.

“We should be delighted that Malaysia has the foremost product in aedes control but I feel we are not proud of it as we are still talking about GM mosquitoes,” he said.

If the NBB project proceeds smoothly, the GM male mosquitoes, developed by the British-based company Oxitec, will mate with female aedes, but the offspring will be dead even before they hatch.

The project has come under fire from several quarters, including the Third World Network, which has said that the aedes progeny will be dead only if the eggs are laid at areas not exposed to an antibiotic called tetracycline, which is commonly used in agriculture.

Tunku Naquiyuddin called upon the NBB to conduct further studies, especially on aedes behaviour, before releasing GM mosquitoes to the wild.

“Firstly, we must understand that aedes is an urban mosquito, as the female needs human blood to nourish its eggs,” he said.

“So if they are releasing the GM mosquitos in a place with no people, it defeats the purpose.

“Plus, the male and the female are naturally paired off with one another upon hatching, based on the wing beat rhythm. So I am not so sure how the male GM mosquito will be mating with the female as it is a third party in the ecosystem.”

He wonders whether the GM project has gone through enough stringent testing.

“If you are taking the Cayman Islands test in 2009 as an example, you will roughly need about 60 billion GM mosquitoes to cover an area the size of Malaysia.

“And I hear there is a 3% chance that the progeny of the GM mosquito may survive.

“You have to look at the practicality of the release in terms of its cost, effectiveness, safety features and comfort level of the public.”

Most lethal animal

He said people were naturally sceptical since the tiny insect had managed to adapt itself well for millions of years.

“We are talking about the most lethal animal on the planet, one that has outsmarted scientists throughout the ages. So if a dozen scientists say they can combat the mosquito, naturally people will be sceptical.”

He said although his company had yet to make Mousticide available to the public, it had already received queries from Tanzania, Ghana,Turkey, Cameroon and Sri Lanka.

He said EntoGenex also planned to educate children about aedes and dengue.

“We plan to educate them in an animated and interactive way. With education, the kids will become mosquito experts and they will talk to their families and peers on the menace.

“Plus,we also plan to bring in the corporate sector by getting them to adopt certain mosquito prone areas for this programme so that we can replicate what we have done in Gombak in those areas.”

Going against the tide, Jakim defends child marriage

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) sees nothing wrong in child marriage if the wedding is bound “by love between couples”.

Going against the tide of resentment triggered recently by the marriage of a 14-year-old Muslim school girl in a mass wedding, Jakim stressed that the practice was now widely accepted and considered “reasonable”.

Jakim director-general, Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz, said child marriage should not cause any problem, especially if the wedding was bound "by the love between couples”.

"The main issue is whether it violates Islamic law and the laws of Malaysia... but if there are elements of coercion, we must conduct an investigation,” he told FMT via a text message yesterday.

He, however, said that given the growing social problems among Muslims, such type of marriage should be encouraged.

"We ought to encourage marriage and not fighten the young people who want to get married," said Wan Mohammad.

Furthermore, he believed that pre-marriage courses introduced by Jakim since 1992 have helped many young couples to get through their married life, including the schoolgirl who tied the knot with a man doubled her age.

"The public may have objected to this idea at first, but now it (child marriage) is already widely accepted as a reasonable move," he said.

Civil rights groups have described such practice as “unacceptable” and have continuously called for restraint by religious courts empowered to approve underage marriage.

As there are many underaged unions that go unreported, the matter involving the schoolgirl only came to light when she and her husband participated in a mass wedding celebration at the Federal Territory mosque on Dec 4.

According to news reports, schoolgirl Siti Maryam Mahmod married 23-year-old schoolteacher Abdul Manan Othman last Saturday, after being given permission in a Syariah Court.

Raise the minimum age of marriage

Activist group, Sisters in Islam (SIS), which disagreed with underage marriage, proposed that the government raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 years for all Malaysians.

SIS spokesperson Yasmin Masidi said in a statement yesterday that the onset of puberty did not mean that the person has attained sufficient maturity for marriage.

"While the Quran does not state a specific age as the age of marriage, Surah an-Nisa' 4:6 requires that when orphans reach the 'age of marriage' or a 'marriageable age', they can be tested for 'sound judgment' or maturity of mind'.”

Yasmin said this indicated that a marriageable age was linked to soundness of judgement and maturity, where a child below 18 could not be said to have the life experience necessary to assume marital responsibilities.

"There is no sound reason why her family and her intended groom cannot wait until she reaches the age of majority before asking for her consent to marry," she said.

Yasmid added that Malaysia should emulate other Muslim-majority countries which are already taking steps to address child marriage as a problem.

"A man was jailed in Indonesia for sexually abusing a minor after he married a 12-year-old girl, and even Saudi Arabia is mulling over a ban on child marriage."Studies on child marriage point to harm suffered by children, particularly girls: the loss of childhood and adolescence, denial of freedom and personal development, difficulty in accessing education, health problems due to early pregnancies and abuse," she said.

The marriage of the 14-year-old child is only the tip of the iceberg as many more cases of child marriage go unreported.

According to Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Heng Seai Kie last October, 16,000 girls aged below 15 in the country tied the knots.

Pengkhianatan UMNO terhadap Bangsa dan Tanah Melayu


Melayu sangatkah Umno, sehingga buat bising fasal tanah 3000 ekar yang diberi kepada orang China yang memang haknya untuk dapat kerana mereka adalah rakyat di negara ini, mereka bukan China Singapura atau China Vietnam.

By Kerajaan Rakyat

Bicara Minda Ustaz Haji Idris Ahmad, Ketua Penerangan PAS Pusat yang telah dititipkannya pada tahun 2009.

FAKTA UMNO KHIANAT TANAH ORANG MELAYU

Umno Perak terutama Dato’ Zamri ketika Pakatan Rakyat memerintah Perak antara orang yang lantang menuduh Dato’ Seri haji Nizar boneka kepada China DAP kerana beri tanah kepada orang China di Perak. Modal yang sama juga sedang difitnah oleh jentera Umno/BN kepada pengundi Bukit Gantang. Fitnah kalau undi Pas/Pakatan Rakyat bermakna menggadai tanah orang melayu kepada bangsa asing.
Ini adalah jawapan kepada Dato’ Zamri dan kuncu-kuncu Umno, bahawa yang khianat tanah orang Melayu ialah pemimpin Umno, bukan Pas, bukan DAP dan bukan PKR
Fakta yang Dato’ Seri haji Nizar kemukakan sudah cukup untuk membuktikan Umno pengkhianat kepada orang Melayu bukan Pakatan Rakyat. Sebagaimana kita sudah buktikan Umno kepala bapa penderkahaka kepada Raja-Raja Melayu.
Sekarang fakta menunjukkan Umno yang khianat tanah orang melayu dan rakyat di negeri Perak.

Kerajaan PR hanya memberi tanah 102,000 lot kampung tersusun (kebanyakan Melayu) melibatkan 7,000 ekar. Manakala 47,000 lot kampung baru (kebanyakan China) dan sebilangan kecil kampung adat (orang asli). Jumlah yang diberi kepada orang China adalah 3,000 ekar sahaja. Itupun tanah yang sudah diduduki orang China lebih daripada 70 tahun lalu.
Melayu sangatkah Umno, sehingga buat bising fasal tanah 3000 ekar yang diberi kepada orang China yang memang haknya untuk dapat kerana mereka adalah rakyat di negara ini, mereka bukan China Singapura atau China Vietnam.

Kalau Umno tuduh Pakatan Rakyat boneka China dan khianat tanah orang Melayu kenapa tanah yang dipohon oleh Tuan Guru Haji Abdul Latif (Pondok Pak Teh Kroh Grik Perak) sejak 1996 telah diluluskan oleh Exco PR pada 2008 sebanyak 45 ekar. Kalau kerajaan yang dipimpin oleh Dato’ Seri Haji Nizar boneka China sudah tentulah permohonan ini tidak diluluskan. Adakah pemimpin Umno ingat Pak Teh ini China Taiwan sehingga permohonan beliau tidak diluluskan. 12 tahun Pak Teh menunggu kelulusan. Tiba-tiba kerajaan yang kononnya boneka China meluluskan permohonan tersebut walaupun tidak sampai sepuluh bulan memerintah. Manakala Umno yang mendakwa tonggak orang Melayu telah kianat kepada bangsa sendiri walaupun tanah itu untuk kegunaan pondok.

Ini fakta menunjukkan Umno penjahanam tanah orang Melayu;

Siapa yang lebih derhaka....



Sultan Perak Sultan Azlan Shah bertitah bahawa sebarang suara yang mempertikaikan status Islam dan keistimewaan orang Melayu di negara ini adalah perbuatan yang tidak berasaskan sejarah serta bercanggah dengan Perlembagaan Negara.

Baginda menegaskan jika perkara itu dilakukan di kalangan orang Melayu sendiri maka mereka itu sebenarnya telah melakukan penghinaan dan derhaka kepada bangsanya sendiri.- Malaysiakini.

Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah hari ini bertitah baginda sedih dan dukacita kerana ada segelintir individu yang berhijrah ke negeri itu, terutama orang Melayu, sanggup mempersoalkan peranan institusi Raja Melayu serta kedudukan dan hak keistimewaan bangsa Melayu. Baginda bertitah golongan itu turut mempersoalkan kerelevanan institusi Raja Melayu serta peranannya dalam sistem pemerintahan negara ketika ini.- Bernama

Sultan Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar mengingatkan semua pihak agar jangan sekali-kali mempersoalkan kuasa raja dan mempertikaikan hak serta keistimewaan orang Melayu sebagaimana yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

“Mereka ini adalah golongan yang cetek akal dan hanya bercakap mengikut selera sendiri tanpa meneliti sejarah pembentukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan. -Perak Today Portal

Sultan Pahang juga bertitah supaya Jangan Bangkitkan lagi Hak dan Kedudukan Melayu.- Utusan Malaysia


Orang Melayu tidak mempertikaikan hak Melayu dan kuasa serta kedaulatan Raja-raja Melayu, malah depa akur dan faham akan hak-hak ini seperti yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan.

Yang dok putaq belit perkara ini ada jaguh2 Ketuanan Melayu yang begitu fobia akan terhakisnya Ketuanan tersebut. Apakah tidak, bagi golongan ini kalau Ketuanan itu terhakis susahlah nak balun harta negara dan sooru mereka pun akan miss...


Gelaran apa kita nak panggil bagi golongan orang Melayu yang telah berusaha mengurangkan hak keistemewaan dan imuniti Raja-raja Melayu serta memperbodoh2kan orang Melayu?

Bukankah mereka ini juga adalah pengkhianat,penderhaka dan hipokrit....


cheers. 

Ampun Tuanku, patek pohon derhaka

By Haris Ibrahim,

The following is reported to be the first sermon of the First Caliph, Saidina Abu Bakar, after the death of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) :
“I have been given the authority over you, and I am not the best of you. If I do well, help me, and if I do wrong, set me right.  Sincere regard for truth is loyalty and disregard for truth is treachery. The weak amongst you shall be strong with me until I have secured his rights, if God will; and the strong amongst you shall be weak with me until I have wrested from him the rights of others, if God will. Obey me so long as I obey God and His Messenger (Muhammad, pbuh). But if I disobey God and His Messenger, ye owe me no obedience. Arise for your prayer, God have mercy upon you.”
In writing what I write below, I am guided by these words of wisdom.
______________________________________
I was born in the town of Batu Gajah, in the state of Perak.
It does not matter that I now live in Pahang.
Perak is still my home state, and Sultan Azlan Shah is still my Sultan.
I have read today, in Malaysiakini, a report that His Royal Highness had said that questioning the special rights of the Malays in this country conflicted with the Federal Constitution.
His Royal Highness is also reported to have said that the “Malay Rulers who sit on their thrones today are not just inheriting the power to rule but also the responsibilities towards Islam and the Malay race, ensuring that the legacy continues” and that  “It would be most unfortunate for the race and religion if real history is erased and the facts altered. If this is allowed to go on, it would be pointless to regret if one day the Malays find themselves marginalised and Islam relegated to the periphery” .
I am saddened by these words that have been attributed to my monarch.
I am saddened because my monarch, who rose to the highest judicial office in the land, must surely know that there are no special rights guaranteed to anyone in the constitution based on ethnicity.
Were it otherwise, it would offend the religion of Islam and my monarch, as the head of Islam in Perak, would be obliged, as a Muslim to condemn such a provision as such.
I am saddened because the words attributed to my monarch suggest that His Royal Highness might have overlooked that he is monarch to all in his state, and not merely the Malays.
I am saddened that His Royal Highness has not noticed that so many of his subjects, Malays and non-Malays, have long been marginalised by the political leaders in UMNO who, in the guise of trying to uplift the lot of the Malays, have in fact robbed the rakyat blind.
Finally, it saddens me that His Royal Highness does not see that Islam, as a way of life of peace, attained through the surrender of the self to the Will of the Almighty, and manifested through the extension of friendship, goodwill, love and kindness towards all men and women, created equal in the sight of Allah SWT, and founded on the precepts of justice and equality, has long been pushed to the periphery in this nation.
I pray that Allah SWT will guide His Royal Highness to the truth.

The Illegitimate Use Of Violence

By Zairil Khir Johari
In Weberian philosophy, a nation-state is defined by, inter alia, its monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. This is to say that the state retains all rights to the use of force through its legitimised instruments, i.e. the police and military. At the same time, the state, especially a democratic one, is also entrusted to to exercise this right in a manner that upholds the spirit of justice and human liberty.
However, because philosophy has no place in our national education, and perhaps because any Malay translation of Max Weber’s writings would probably have been acquired from Google Translate (as was the case with the translation of Teoh Beng Hock’s ‘suicide note’), it is understandable that those running our country today would fail to understand the intended implications of his seminal thesis.
As comprehensive as the online translator may be, the term ‘legitimate’ has appeared to have escaped the notice of the authorities, resulting in a situation in which state-sponsored violence is meted out in arbitrary fashion, with no regard whatsoever to the principles of justice.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the actions of the Royal Malaysian Police, a law enforcement agency empowered by the state to use force in the preservation of peace and public order.
Yet if we were to take last weekend’s water rally as an example, we have the complete opposite occurring:
Riot police fired tear gas and used water cannons on at least 1,000 protesters near the KL Railway Station as they marched to the Istana Negara today to rally against a potential bailout of Selangor water utility companies. Hundreds of protestors sought refuge at the Railway Station to avoid the police action after they started their march from the National Mosque.
Riot police later turned the water cannons on those who had gone back to the National Mosque despite organisers announcing an end to the rally shortly before 3pm.

According to witnesses, police used tear gas and water cannons on the crowd after allowing Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and several state exco members to proceed to the Istana Negara.
In other words, the protest had been incident-free until the police started harassing the people. This is likely to be construed as ironic to every rational being in the free world, but in Malaysia it is the country’s very own police force that was responsible for the injudicious use of violence to disrupt a hitherto peaceful and orderly rally that had been organised to voice the legitimate concerns of the people!
Perhaps the Inspector-General of Police should rely less on Google Translate and instead attempt to reeducate himself and the rest of his officers on the basic principles of justice, human rights and the rule of law that are supposed to be upheld and defended (and not violated and ignored) by the police.
The record of abuse and indiscriminate violence by the police in this country is abhorrent to say the least, and it is only getting worse as instances of extra-judicial fatalities are on the incline:
  • As of last year, there have been 1,535 recorded deaths in custody.
  • The number of fatal shootings by the police has increased 17-fold from 5 in 2001 to 88 in 2009!
  • The above trend is not circumstantial. In 2000 there were 9 fatal shootings, and in 2008 there were 82. Evidence points to an unequivocal rise in police shootings.
In recent times, we have seen the death in custody case of S Kugan, the mowing down of 15-year-old Aminul Rasyid, the gangland-style execution of three youths suspected of robbery, and many more. In most of these cases, the police escape by pleading self-defence, notwithstanding the fact that many of those shot were neither armed nor in a position to attack. Yet in 1Malaysia, reason and logic are not prerequisites for a judicial decision, especially when the state stands in defence.
In the case of Teoh Beng Hock, the young political aide who ‘fell to his death’ while being held for interrogation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), we are told that it could have been suicide, and that perhaps he strangled himself prior to leaping. (I re-iterate: 1Malaysian justice requires neither reason nor logic.)
To make matters worse, the arbitrary application of (in)justice is not merely confined to the police force, but in fact also appears to be abetted by other institutions of state, such as the office of the Attorney-General, the judiciary and the MACC.
When all is said and done, these problems are in actuality symptoms of a superiority complex that has rooted itself deep into the psyche of the Malaysian government. The fact is that until and unless a total reform of perspective occurs, in which those in power come to the conscientious realisation that democratic governance requires conformity to the principles of law, justice and human rights, we will never be rid this nightmare.
Change must, and will occur. If those in power refuse it, it will be served unto them.

People's Preference An Important Criteria In Choosing Candidates

SEMPORNA, Dec 7 (Bernama) -- The people's preference is expected to be among the major criteria in choosing the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in the coming general election, Umno Vice-President Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said.

The Rural and Regional Development Minister said it was one of the factors emphasised on by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the BN Convention on Sunday.

"The kind of candidate we need to bring forward is one that can serve and be accepted by the people, not because the candidate is our friend or supporter; that is not the deciding factor.

"We will not choose a candidate only to lose later, but instead we will select someone capable from among thousands of BN members," he said.

Shafie was speaking to reporters after launching a mass circumcision programme jointly organised by the Semporna Umno division and the Semporna branch of the Sabah Islamic Medical Welfare Association, Tuesday.

Shafie is confident that if these changes can be made within the BN, it will strengthen the people's trust and support for the party to lead the country.

He said the candidate's factor was emphasised on by the BN leadership in choosing candidates in several by-elections such as in Galas, Kelantan and Batu Sapi, Sabah.

He also reminded that in order to win the hearts of the community, BN members needed to adopt a humble attitude and avoid being arrogant.

A total of 600 children were circumcised for free at the even

Sultan: Don’t question Malay rights

The Star 


KUALA KANGSAR: The Sultan of Perak said questioning the status of Islam and the special rights of the Malays in this country were actions that disregarded history and were in conflict with the Federal Constitution.

Sultan Azlan Shah added that if the Malays themselves raised the questions, they were actually insulting and being traitors to their own race.

“The legacy of the Malay Rulers was part of the agreement that formed the basis for formulating the Constitution after independence,” he said.

“The Malay Rulers who sit on their thrones today are not just inheriting the power to rule but also the responsibilities towards Islam and the Malay race, ensuring that the legacy continues,” he said when launching the state-level Ma’al Hijrah celebration at the Kolej Islam Darul Ridzuan hall here yesterday.

“It would be most unfortunate for the race and religion if real history is erased and the facts altered.

“If this is allowed to go on, it would be pointless to regret if one day the Malays find themselves marginalised and Islam relegated to the periphery.”

At the function, the Sultan presented the Perak Tokoh Maal Hijrah 1432 award to Megat Riduan Megat Taib.

The 76-year-old is a former principal assistant director of the Education division of the Perak Islamic Religious Department.

In KUANTAN, Sultan of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah urged all quarters to stop raising issues related to the special rights of the Malays as these rights were already guaranteed in the Federal Constitution.

“Although the Malays in this country have special rights, the rights of the other races are also protected, while there is religious freedom and the freedom to practise one’s language for all races.”

The Sultan said this when met after launching the Pahang-level Ma’al Hijrah celebration attended by about 2,000 people at Dewan Jubli Perak Sultan Ahmad Shah.

In JOHOR BARU, Johor Maal Hijrah award recipient Prof Selamat Hashim said the award would serve as a catalyst for him to research the Al-Quran further.

The 62-year-old former Universiti Teknologi Malaysia lecturer said the Al-Quran should be researched scientifically in order for Muslims to really understand its meaning and teachings.

“The holy book is relevant until Qiamat (Judgment Day), thus we must do our best to research it in a scientific manner,” he told newsmen after receiving the award during the state Maal Hijrah celebration yesterday.

Prof Selamat, who is currently an executive director at a private research facility, said he was touched at receiving the award for his contribution to Islamic research.

Gulf states 'concerned' about Iran

Gulf Arab nations have said that they are watching Iran's nuclear ambitions with "utmost concern".
The six nations, meeting in their annual summit under the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), also stepped up their appeals to the West for a greater voice in the renewed talks with Tehran.
The GCC is comprised of the oil rich states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The two-day summit, which closed on Tuesday, was the first gathering of the Gulf's sheiks and monarchs since leaked US diplomatic memos displayed their behind-the-scenes fears of Iran's nuclear aims.
Revelations in some of the leaked cables included some Gulf leaders encouraging American military action against Iran over its nuclear programme.

The call for the attack, said the leaked cables, was led by Saudi Arabia whose ailing king Abdullah missed the summit as he is undergoing surgery in New York.

Iran holds frequent military drills along the Persian Gulf - primarily to assert an ability to defend against any US or Israeli attack on its nuclear sites - but also sending a message to Arab neighbours on its southern doorstep.

Military ties
The US, which keeps naval forces in the region, has close military ties with Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as other nations on the Arab side of the waterway and has stationed missile defence systems there.
The WikiLeaks disclosures also served to highlight what has been taking shape for years in the Gulf: a growing confidence to challenge and try to influence the strategies of their Western allies.
The GCC meeting appeared to cast off a bit of its traditional caution and adopt a harder tone, with the bloc warning Iran not to interfere in Gulf Arab affairs. They also called on it to reject "force or the threat to use it".
But the Gulf leaders are also flexing their muscles over the resumption of talks between world powers and Iran, which wrapped up in Geneva on Tuesday with plans to meet early next year in Turkey.
A senior Gulf delegate at the Abu Dhabi meetings said the leaders will press harder for an ongoing "exchange of information" with the West and will no longer be content for a sideline role.
The envoy spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to media.
The message was clearly spelled out last week by the United Arab Emirate's foreign minister, Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at a security conference in Bahrain.
"Why do Western countries think that the Iranian issue concerns only them?" he said. "Any solution with Iran should come from the region. The GCC states should have a role."

The conference was attended by Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, and Manouchehr Mottaki, her Iranian counterpart.

'Viable Palestine state'

Meanwhile, the GCC said it will back the Palestinian Authority's refusal to negotiate with Israel in the absence of a settlement freeze.

In a statement at the end of its summit, the GCC also emphasised that any settlement freeze should include Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.
The oil-rich region's leaders underlined both their support for "the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state" and "opposition to a partial settlement or in stages" of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
They "denounced the Israeli project for making occupied Al-Quds (Jerusalem) the capital of the Jewish people" and urged the international community to "compel Israel to end its practices aimed at 'Judaising' east Jerusalem".
Newly-relaunched direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians stalled at the end of September after the expiry of a temporary Israeli ban on Jewish settlement building in the West Bank.
The Palestinians say they cannot negotiate while Jewish settlers build on land they want for a future state. Israel is still reluctant to consider a new freeze.

Police Murder Mahalingam (35) in Nibong Tebal lockup. But Indian detainees charged for murder & sent to Simpang Renggam/EO to cover up police murder. (See Makkal Osai 7/12/10 page 7)

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WHO’S WHO:

1) Mahalingam (Murdered)

Age: 35

From Pokok Asam Taiping

Case: Caught for “Samun”.

2) Veeran a/l Veeraiyah (Suspect of murdering Mahalingam)

Age: 28

From Simpang Empat

Case: Caught for fighting with working college.

3) Sivagami a/p Veeraiyah

Age: 31

From Simpang Ampat

Sister of Veeran a/l Veeraiyah

PLACE OF INCIDENT

Balai Polis Nibong Tebal

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENT

DATE TIME EVENT

22/11/2010 1300 Veeran a/l Veeraiyah was taken to Nibong Tebal police station by his sister

Sivagami a/p Veeraiyah upon request by one Insp. Helmi from Nibong Tebal police station regarding investigation on a police report lodged by a lady. The report was related to a fight at his working place. Insp. Helmi is the Investigation Officer for this case. At the police station Veeran a/l Veeraiyah was arrested by Insp. Helmi

23/11/2010 1000 Veeran a/l Veeraiyah along with few others was brought to Court for

remand. Among them was Mahalingam. Mahalingam was caught

together with another person. His identity not known.

27/11/2010 1000 Sivagami went to Nibong Tebal police station to enquire about her brother’s

case from Insp. Helmi. There she saw the victim Mahalingam being taken by ambulance from the Nibong Tebal police station to Sungai Bakap hospital.

27/11/2010 2330 Insp. Helmi called Sivagami a/p Veeraiyah to come to Nibong Tebal

Police station on 28/11/2010 morning to bail out Veera a/l Veeraiyah

28/11/2010 0830 Sivagami went to Nibong Tebal police station to meet up with Insp. Helmi

on her brother’s release. There she was informed by Insp. Helmi that Veeran

a/l Veeraiyah will be detained further for a murder case of a cell

mate that is Mahalingam.

Mahalingam body was cremated on 4/12/2010 @ 3.00 pm at Taiping. The information was revealed by his friends from Butterworth.

Sivagami a/p Veeraiyah remember that her brother Veeran a/l Veeraiyah telling her about the police beating up Mahalingam in the lock-up and bashing his head against the well. There were blood stain on the lock-up wall and later the police clean up the stain.

ASP Govind is in charge of the murder case. He informed Sivagami a/p Veeraiyah that he has the CCTV recording of the incident and will be sending to Penang IPK for further action. It was also informed that the police is preparing a 60 day remand on Veeran a/l Veeraiyah.

Sivagami a/p Veeraiyah will be lodging a police report tomorrow on the incident and the police cover up on the incident and victimizing her brother as a scape goat for the murder which he did not commit.

This is the report at the moment and will update further upon any development.

Rights not Mercy

K.Maran

HRP Penang State

Information Chief
k.MARANimage

2 year old Tinash Mahendran forced to convert to Islam against both hindu parents wishes by UMNOs’ NRD department. Happy Maal Hijrah.

tinash
Yesterday 06/12/2010, HRP Central Executive Committee Member S. Thiagarajan led the victims of forced conversation Ranjina a/p Krishan to collect her son Tinash a/l Mahendran’s birth certificate which denied the hindu fathers name to be included in his birth certificate upon birth by the UMNO National Registration Department NRD simply because Rajina who has lived all her life as a hindu but her father carries a muslim name.

Rajina’s two-year-old son Tinesh has been denied his proper birth certificate, As the NRD office in Johor had at the birth of her son refused to include the name of his natural father Mahendran a/l Habimanan and his religion as Hindu in his birth certificate.

HRP had accompanied the family with another seven (7) forced conversation to Islam victims to apply for their birth rights on 22/09/2010.But the racist UMNO NRD Director of Birth Deaths and Adoptions Mohd Azmin Hassan had on 13/08/2010 in the presence of his ten various heads of departments,legal officers promised to approve all such cases

This application was submitted by the family but the UMNO NRD top Director abused his powers and violated Section 6 of the Registration of Births and Deaths (Special Provisions) Act 1975 which provides“A registrar (of births) shall record such particulars as may be prescribed in a report book in the prescribed form concerning any birth or death given to him by any person qualified to do so.This NRD Director’s job is only to register and not to determine the religion of the baby against his parents wish .Article 11 of the Federal Constitution provides “Every person has the rights to profess and practice his religion “and the religion of a child below the age of 18,his or her religion shall be determined by his or her parents/guardians

The NRD Director’s job is only to record the birth of the child.Instead he determines the religion of the child which is not his job and makes miserable Rajina and Mahendran’s peaceful lives by implementing UMNOs’ racist and religious extremist policies.

HRP encountered resistance from the officer in charge who handled the application who after perusal of the documents, rejected the applications on the grounds that these three cases should be brought to the Syariah Court for the change of name and religion to Hindu.Why must a practising Hindu be forced to go to a syariah court?Where they will never get Justice anyway!The NRD officer said that only after obtaining the Syariah Court order, only then can they apply for changes in their identity cards and birth certificates at the NRD.

The NRD is meant to be an independent government authority. But from what we experience, the NRD officers are actually abusing their powers and purposely denying the rights of the child and violating the Federal Constitution by making things so difficult and pushing the buck back to the victim to appealed to the Muslim authorities (Syariah Court,Jakim,etc)before proceeding with the application. This is not the duty of the NRD.It is up to the Islamic authorities if they want to initiate any action.

Upon questioning by Thiagarajan to the officer Syukri bin Abdul Rahman(counter 8). explained that any marriage relating Muslim and other religion, than the marriage is determined by the Mufti.And he did say that in this Regina’s case the NRD will always follow the status based on the mother ‘s religion because the the child’s religion is based on the mother.

Thiagarajan then asked another question where he switched the scenario ie where if the father is a muslim and the mother is hindu than who will the NRD follow to determine the child’s religion.The officer was speechless and immediately replied that he is just following the instructions (of UMNO Prime Minister Najib Razak)as per the script given.He applied the supremacy and racist agenda by UMNO and for further details, he requested HRP to appeal to the higher authorities.

We left the NRD office without accepting the birth certificate under protest as it has Islam as the status and disappointed with the cruelty by the UMNO NRD who even forced the 2 year old baby to forcefully convert into Islam.

Happy Maal Hijrah

06122010683
06122010684

BN could lose more seats in snap polls, says report

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — A report by The Economist has predicted that Barisan Nasional (BN) could lose more seats in the next general election — widely expected by the first quarter of next year — due to declining support among the young, moderate Malay electorate.

The Economist Intelligence Unit country report highlighted the Malay youths’ growing disillusionment with Umno’s “strong promotion” of Islamic values and the mounting number of political scandals.

“The most likely outcome of the next general election is that the BN will suffer a further loss of seats as younger, moderate Malay voters, disillusioned by political scandals and Umno’s strong promotion of Islamic values, decline to give their support to the ruling coalition,” said the magazine’s Intelligence Report on Malaysia for December.

Yesterday, former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo was charged with land fraud involving his Balinese-style mansion in Shah Alam.

The Sungai Besar Umno division leader was accused of knowingly purchasing two land lots and a bungalow for RM3.5 million in Section 7, Shah Alam, from Ditamas Sdn Bhd in 2007 despite the company buying the property for RM6.5 million on December 23, 2004.

Recently, BN leaders have conceded that they would likely fail again to regain its two-thirds parliamentary majority in the 13th general election, but were confident of wresting a few states back from Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Last month, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had also said that BN was capable of taking one or two states from PR because, he said, the opposition was in disarray. However, he added that BN would likely fail to regain its two-thirds majority in Parliament.

The Economist Intelligence Unit report also pointed out that liberal middle-class Malays have swung from the biggest Malay party to the federal opposition.

“Although voters in the rural heartland of peninsular Malaysia continue to support Umno, a significant number of better-educated, liberal middle-class Malays have deserted the ruling party in favour of the opposition,” the report said.

The Economist Intelligence Unit report noted, however, that PR would likely fail to capture Putrajaya despite making further gains.

“The PR will make gains, notwithstanding internal difficulties in the aftermath of Anwar’s likely removal from the political scene, but the opposition alliance is unlikely to garner enough parliamentary seats to be able to form a government,” said the report.

The report predicted that Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would be convicted on his second sodomy charge that could subsequently tear apart the opposition coalition.

“The leader of the PR, Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy prime minister, is likely to be convicted on a charge of sodomy in the coming months. Without him, the ties that hold together the disparate parties making up PR — the reformist, multicultural PKR, the conservative, Islamist PAS and the predominantly ethnic-Chinese, left of-centre DAP — are likely to fray,” said the report.

Anwar is currently standing trial for his second sodomy trial.

The PR leader has denied the sodomy charge and described it as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power”.

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

In Election 2008, Anwar led the loose opposition pact of PKR, DAP and PAS to a historic sweep of four more states and 82 federal states, denying BN its customary two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Despite intense speculation that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will call for snap polls by March 2011, the Economist Intelligence Unit report maintained he would likely fix the date for the next general election only after the Sarawak state elections that must be held by July 2011.

“We still believe that Najib will set a general election date after the Sarawak state election. The results of the Sarawak election will provide a good indication of the level of public support for the government and its reform plans,” said the report.

“The results of the two by-elections in November point to a slight shift in non-Malay sentiment in favour of the BN, suggesting that the government’s plans to reform policies that currently favour the Bumiputera has increased its appeal among ethnic minorities,” it added, referring to BN’s victory in the Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections.

Last Friday, Najib unveiled his highly-anticipated New Economic Model 2 report, but analysts believe that it would fail to impress today’s more discerning electorate who are determined to see the PM’s commitment to promoting inclusivity, reform affirmative action to be more efficient and market-friendly and to steer clear away from the culture of patronage and rent-seeking that has been plaguing the economy for decades.

In his promises, Najib has pledged to reform an economy whose investment rates have not recovered from the 1998 Asian financial crisis and where foreign direct investment has fallen off a cliff from the heady days of the early 1990s.

Missing from the report, however, were concrete measures to reform the New Economic Policy (NEP), which affords the country’s majority ethnic Malays preferential quotas including for businesses, although it did pledge to target aid at the poorest 40 per cent of Malaysians regardless of race.

Investors have also complained that abuse of the four-decade-old NEP policy had spawned a patronage-ridden economy and eroded Malaysia’s competitiveness compared to faster reforming neighbours including Indonesia.

"Ketuanan Melayu": Tindakan bacul Umno dan Perkasa

Saifuddin NasutionPETALING JAYA: Umno dan Perkasa, yang mengheret institusi Raja-Raja Melayu dengan mentaklikkan “Ketuanan Melayu” sebagai “Ketuanan Sultan” adalah satu tindakan yang bacul.

Setiausaha Agung Saifuddin Nasution Ismail berkata demikian sebagai merujuk kepada pelbagai kenyataan yang dibuat berkenaan isu ketuanan rakyat, terutamanya daripada kalangan pemimpin Umno.

Beliau berkata, "oleh sebab mereka tidak mampu berdepan dengan persoalan penting membicarakan kaedah terbaik membela orang Melayu terbanyak seperti yang ditimbulkan PKR, lalu mereka cuba menggunakan institusi Raja-Raja Melayu.

"Tindakan seperti inilah sebenarnya yang menghina institusi Raja-Raja Melayu kerana ia tidak menghormati kedudukan Raja-Raja Melayu yang memayungi seluruh rakyat jelata tidak mengira kaum, agama dan pegangan politik," katanya dalam satu kenyataan semalam.

Namun, katanya, tindakan Umno dan Perkasa itu bukanlah perkara baru. Rekod mereka mencalarkan kedudukan institusi Raja-Raja Melayu di mata rakyat sudah diketahui umum.

Menurut beliau, krisis-krisis perlembagaan yang melemahkan institusi Raja-Raja Melayu dalam tahun 1983 dan 1993 dicetuskan oleh Umno.

Umno aibkan Raja-Raja Melayu

"Lebih malang, dalam kedua-dua siri krisis perlembagaan yang disusun oleh Umno itu, berlaku serangan-serangan yang bertujuan mengaibkan Raja-Raja Melayu dalam akhbar-akhbar dan media milik mereka, terang Saifuddin yang juga Ahli Parlimen Bachok.

Tegas beliau, ada beza yang besar di antara cakap-cakap seorang dua rakyat jelata yang dituduh mempersoalkan kedudukan Raja-Raja Melayu, dengan satu gerakan tersusun yang dilaksanakan secara besar-besaran oleh sebuah parti politik yang mengaku mempertahankan Ketuanan Melayu.

"Saya beri amaran supaya Umno dan Perkasa jangan lagi cuba memfitnah PKR dan Pakatan Rakyat dalam perkara ini. Dasar Bersama Pakatan Rakyat yang diluluskan pada 19 Disember 2009, secara jelas mempertahankan kedudukan istimewa orang Melayu dan Bumiputra dan institusi raja berpelembagaan," ujar beliau.

Menurut beliau, ini dinyatakan dalam Fasal 1 Perkara a(i) “Pakatan Rakyat akan mempertahankan Perlembagaan Persekutuan, Islam sebagai agama bagi Persekutuan dan agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan aman dan damai di mana-mana di negara ini serta melindungi kedudukan istimewa orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan Sarawak serta kepentingan sah kaum-kaum lain sejajar dengan Perkara 153”; dan Fasal 1 Perkara a(ii) “Pakatan Rakyat akan mempertahankan peranan dan tanggungjawab institusi raja berpelembagaan”.

Makanya, kata beliau, PKR ingin membawa kembali polemik “Ketuanan Melayu” ini kepada perkara dasar yang diulas oleh Presiden Dato’ Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail tempuh hari.

Melahir anak Melayu beriman

"Perkara dasar yang disentuh ialah wacana kaedah terbaik untuk melahirkan anak bangsa Melayu yang beriman, boleh berdikari, berprinsip dan berdaya juang supaya mereka kekal bermaruah dalam kerangka masyarakat pelbagai kaum di negara ini dan arus globalisasi mutakhir," terang beliau.

"Apakah kaedah Umno yang memperkecilkan kebolehan anak Melayu, dengan menakut-nakutkan mereka dan menimbulkan rasa curiga terhadap semua yang bukan Melayu, akan berjaya melahirkan anak bangsa Melayu yang bermaruah?

"Apakah “Ketuanan Melayu” yang berpaksikan kepada sistem kroni dan mendokong rasuah dengan menghamburkan kekayaan negara kepada beberapa kroni rapat Umno (tanpa mengira kaum) akan melahirkan golongan peniaga Melayu yang berdaya maju?

"Apakah budaya rasuah yang berleluasa dalam Umno akan menjamin kedudukan istimewa orang Melayu tidak akan dijual suatu hari nanti?

"Apakah anak bangsa Melayu yang membesar dengan perasaan curiga akan dapat mengambil pendekatan positif menunggang arus globalisasi untuk menjadi pemimpin antarabangsa?," soal beliau.

Umno abai kebajikan rakyat terbanyak iaitu Melayu

Katanya, persoalan yang dibawa oleh PKR adalah persoalan jatidiri dan kaedah terbaik membina jatidiri tersebut. Kaedah “Ketuanan Melayu” yang dibawa oleh Umno dan Perkasa bukan sahaja terbukti gagal membina jatidiri orang Melayu, malah menyebabkan kebajikan rakyat terbanyak (terutamanya golongan berpendapatan rendah yang majoritinya orang Melayu) terabai.

Saifuddin berkata, sehingga kini, selepas tiga dekad “Ketuanan Melayu”, 75% dari bilangan keluarga yang pendapatan isi rumahnya di bawah RM2,000 adalah orang Melayu.

"Golongan ini jugalah yang dikategorikan sebagai golongan 40% paling miskin di Malaysia, seperti yang dihuraikan Perdana Menteri sendiri dalam Rancangan Malaysia Ke-10.

Ujar beliau, selepas tiga dekad “Ketuanan Melayu”, rakyat terbanyak juga yang dibebankan dengan pemotongan subsidi sedangkan subsidi korporat sebanyak RM19 bilion setahun (dalam bentuk subsidi gas kepada penjana bebas) tidak disentuh.

Umno dan Perkasa tidak melahirkan sedikit keluhan pun apabila bantuan kepada rakyat termiskin, yang rata-ratanya orang Melayu ditarik setiap enam bulan untuk menampung perbelanjaan boros kerajaan membayar perunding antarabangsa, sedangkan tidak ada satu mekanisme pun diperkenalkan untuk menyalurkan kembali rasionalisasi subsidi kepada golongan termiskin ini.

"Ketuanan Melayu" benteng Umno kian rapuh

Justeru, PKR yakin bahawa polemik “Ketuanan Melayu” ini adalah benteng terakhir Umno dan Perkasa yang kian rapuh dan ditolak rakyat.

Demi melahirkan Malaysia yang majmuk, mengamalkan toleransi dan berdaya saing, PKR akan konsisten membawa gagasan Ketuanan Rakyat melalui bangsa yang bermaruah – kerana kami yakin gagasan ini tidak dapat dijawab oleh Umno dan Perkasa.

Berucap pada Kongres Nasional ketujuh PKR itu, Wan Azizah berkata konsep Ketuanan Melayu hendaklah ditolak kerana ia telah diselewengkan oleh segelintir elitis Melayu bagi mengekalkan kuasa politik mereka.

Saifuddin menjelaskan persoalan yang dilontarkan oleh presiden itu adalah mudah; iaitu kaedah bagaimana yang boleh menjamin kelangsungan dan darjat orang Melayu yang akan dihormati dan bermaruah, dalam kerangka masyarakat pelbagai kaum yang ada di Malaysia dan arus globalisasi yang deras meninggalkan kita.

"Kaedah sedia ada dibawa oleh Umno – iaitu mengabui mata rakyat mengenai hak mereka (melalui Umno) untuk terus berkuasa tidak kira prestasi mereka dan kebajikan rakyat keseluruhannya, terutamanya nasib orang Melayu.

"Konsep “Ketuanan Melayu” yang dilaungkan secara terbuka dan dibisikkan secara senyap ini oleh Biro Tata Negara (BTN) dan agensi-agensi lain, menakut-nakutkan orang Melayu bahawa perubahan kerajaan kepada pakatan politik yang lain akan menyebabkan orang Melayu hilang kuasa.

"Apabila orang Melayu hilang kuasa, maka nasib orang Melayu akan terjejas dan akan tertindas," kata Saifuddin.

Ketika diminta mengulas mengenai Ketuanan Melayu baru-baru, Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Nazri Abdul Aziz berkata, ketuanan Melayu merujuk kepada "Ketuanan Sultan" dan bukan bermaksud kuasa Melayu yang mengatasi bangsa-bangsa lain.

Four Malaysians held for drug trafficking in India

CHENNAI: Four Malaysians, allegedly linked to Indian drug suppliers, were held in Chennai for trying to smuggle out 27.5kg of ephedrine sealed in woman's garments.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), India's elite drug enforcement agency, arrested the Malaysians, along with an Indian national in connection with the crime here on Sunday night.

"We have some very good leads and working on it, we suspect they are linked to a bigger drug supplier in Malaysia," NCB south zonal director Davidson Devasirvatham told Bernama today.

All the suspects were arrested at the Anna International Airport while waiting to aboard the Chennai-Kuala Lumpur flight, after checking in their baggage.

NCB investigators discovered the contraband in powder form, packed in small packets weighing about 500gms, hidden in "salwar kameez", a popular Indian lady suits.

Ephedrine, a psychotropic substance used to produce stimulants, is becoming traffickers' favourite contraband item due to the growing demand as a "party drug" among teenagers.

- Bernama

Some Wakil Rakyat are real pricks


I remember a year or so ago Barisan Nasional announced that those who wish to contest the general elections must be internet savvy and must have their own websites, Blogs and so on. BN knows that you need to reach the younger generation to win the election and to reach the younger generation you need to do so through the Internet.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Candidates must be able to use Facebook, says Khairy
(BERNAMA) - Individuals who are multi-skills and are popular among the local community will be selected as Umno Youth candidates in the coming 13th general election, the movement chief, Khairy Jamaluddin said today.
He said the selected candidates would also not necessarily hold high post in the party.
"What is important is that they know their responsibility as elected representatives and someone well-liked by the people.
"They should also be Internet savvy, like able to utilise the social media websites, like Facebook, because that is one of the ways we can get the support from the younger generation," he told reporters after opening a circumcision ceremony here today.
He said this in response to a statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that Barisan Nasional (BN) would formulate a special mechanism to select candidates for the coming general election.
Khairy also said the BN Youth would continue with its social service programmes to be closer to the people.
"We will focus on providing our service to the people," he added.
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Ban Facebook, says Shahidan
(BERNAMA) - Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim today called for the blocking of the Facebook social networking website if its contents continue to pose a threat to national security.
He said a Facebook account holder was found to have taken advantage of the technology to insult Islam and leaders of Malaysia.
"If the website content poses a threat to national security and insults Islam, then it is unnecessary to have Facebook," he told reporters after accompanying Perlis Facebook Association committee members to lodge a report at the Kangar police station on the insults hurled at Prime Minister Seri Najib Tun Razak and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on a Facebook account.
The report was lodged by the association's deputy president, Mohd Faizuddin Ismail, at about 5.30 pm.
Shahidan said a report would also be lodged at the State Islamic Religious Department as the holder of the Facebook account had also insulted Islam, and added that the insults hurled at Najib and Mahathir were discovered by a member of the association on Nov 29.
Shahidan, who is Tambun Tulang assemblyman, said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the Malaysian Islamic Development Department and the National Fatwa Council should act against the holder of the Facebook account.
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Qualifications required to become a Wakil Rakyat, says RPK
A chap walks into the party office and says to the receptionist, “I would like to put my name forward to contest the forthcoming elections as a Wakil Rakyat.”
The receptionist replies, “Certainly sir. Please fill in this form. By the way, are you circumcised?”
The chap asks the receptionist, “Why do you ask?”
She replies, “If you are circumcised you are not eligible to become a Wakil Rakyat.”
He asks what difference it would make if he were circumcised or not and she replies, “To become a Wakil Rakyat you have to be a complete prick.”

The winds of change


We cannot afford to have crooks or prima donnas represent us. We need those men and women of unquestionable good character to step forward and present themselves. We need to outnumber the baddies at least 2 to 1. We need to provide the average voter with a choice he or she has no trouble making.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Americk Sidhu

In my naivety I have often wondered why people choose to become politicians. It is a seemingly thankless task. Thankless because you are theoretically representing thousands of people and there is no way you can please them all. You have to deal with disgruntlement almost every day. This can be quite soul destroying, especially when your salary is not commensurate with the headaches associated with the job. A job that actually takes up 24 hours of each day, 7 days a week and no one ever says ‘thank you’. You would have to be a masochist to want to be a politician.

But people do become politicians. Few are driven by a sense of sincere altruism and a desire to be part of the guiding process that brings about necessary improvement and change for the better. Unfortunately these few are fast becoming an endangered species. They are the ones who get left behind. They are the ones who are laughed at by the rest. And because of the ‘system’ in place, they don’t last very long. If they want to survive past the next election they have to either beat the system or become part of it. It is easier to swim with the tide than against it, especially if you are a novice in this game and are awestruck by the endless possibilities that access to power delivers to your doorstep via a code of unwritten convention.

Let us look at the possible reasons why a semi decent human being gets derailed once he or she becomes a politician. This is contrast to those whose aspirations are far less than commendable a long time before they embark on the road to stardom but are nevertheless honed in to the current and relevant methodology. In other words, there are those who know exactly what they are doing and what they expect out of it.

The first reason would have to be a lack of stamina when it comes to the financial implications of being a YB. One would be forgiven for thinking an ADUN or an Ahli Parlimen would be rewarded handsomely for their efforts. This is not the case. Let’s just study the current salary scale of our elected members of Parliament.

Prime Minister : RM 22,826.56

Deputy Prime Minister: RM 18,168.50

Minister : RM 14,168.50

Deputy Minister : RM 10,847.56

MP (Dewan Rakyat) : RM 6,580.59

MP (Dewan Negara) : RM 4,112.79

Now who on earth is able to survive on these figures and yet afford to lead the type of lifestyle expected of our elected representatives? You cannot possibly be a ‘Yang Berhormat’ without a Mercedes, Lexus, BMW or a combination of all three, a home to put ‘Southfork’ to shame, Gucci suits, a wife and a couple of mistresses or a couple of wives and a mistress, apartments in London, New York and Monaco, Swiss bank accounts, children educated in expensive English boarding schools and Ivy League Universities and drinking copious quantities of ridiculously priced red wine every night.

If you didn’t do all this you would lose respect. The ordinary rakyat is expected to honour and admire an elected representative who is able to portray this air of prosperity, ill defined elegance, bad taste and excessiveness. The ordinary man in the street has been programmed to expect and accept all this without question.

How do these YBs afford all this on their miserable stipends?

This query becomes even more relevant when one considers the extra and necessary expense incurred in the handouts any elected representative is expected to dish out to members of his or her constituency who request one for a variety of reasons ranging from having to purchase school books for the kids to having to pay overdue electric bills.

There has to be a fund set aside to appease the potential voter, who, of course, has been indoctrinated to assume that his YB is a man of means and can therefore afford to pay his bills for him. This voter is playing the system. He knows he will get money if he asks for it. He knows YB cannot refuse him because YB needs his vote to perpetuate his own political existence. He knows old YB is scamming on the side so why not ask for a few bucks? After all, they are only the crumbs.

Therefore, the YB not only has to pay for his mistresses, expensive clothing, financially debilitating education fees, his BMWs, overseas property, Chateau de Rothschild Cabernet but also the everyday expenses of his constituents.

All this on RM 6,000.00 a month?

Now let’s get real. That’s not the way it works. That RM 6,000.00 a month is not even pocket money. It is merely a token gesture. The real bucks come from all those side deals. This is the real reason why the YB is in politics. Lucrative contracts for the company set up in his wife’s or sister’s name. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. That’s when the money pours in. Everyone wants a piece of the action because there is a never ending supply of money. You just turn the tap on and leave it dripping forever. The problem is the water supply is coming from Sungai Rakyat.

What happens when this river runs dry? Well YB et famille will be fine. They would have stored all this water for a rainy day. The chaps on the river bank will die of thirst. It wouldn’t matter anymore whether they could vote or not. The heist would have been complete. The victims would be left in a stupor, stunned and bewildered. They kept their peace during the robbery and chose not to be involved. It was best then not to rock the boat. Live and let live. After all we still had our rice to eat. Status quo was hunky dory. Everyone knew YB was amassing great reserves but no one cared because that’s what YBs do. Par for the course. That was the system. Why would we want to get involved. Money is power and vice versa. Our station in life was to sit by the banks of that river and watch the waters flow away. It was not our culture to complain, or at least that was what we were led to believe. Damage now done. What to do next?

Rant, rave, sulk, criticise, condemn and remonstrate? But it will be too late for all this. Hindsight would be as useful as an ice cube in an oven. The horse would have bolted so forget about closing the stable door. You brought this upon yourselves. You wouldn’t listen. You had the choice but you chose instant gratification instead. You were too spell bound by hollow rhetoric to be able to think. You were too mesmerised by talk of grandeur and prosperity to see the bigger picture. You were hoodwinked and now you feel pretty silly. It was a scam from the start. You gave your vote to the wrong guy. You sold your soul to the devil and the devil fed off your weaknesses. You are now up the creek without a paddle…… but take solace in the fact that there will be many many more joining you. You are not the only sucker. Hallelujah.

It all boils down to the issue of corruption and enough has been said and written on the topic to make any further attempt to do so a precursor to mass boredom.

Suffice to say you reap what you sow If you can live with a corruptible politician then so be it. Vote for him or her. It is your choice. That’s what a democracy is all about. Yes, it is you, the ‘member of the rakyat’ who charts the course of this nation. It is you who is going to be responsible for the nation sinking or swimming. You are the owners of the ship and you get to choose the crew.

Don’t you think it is therefore imperative that you pick the correct crew members? A captain of impeccable pedigree and learning who can be relied upon not to sail the ship into rocks. A first mate of the highest caliber responsible for ensuring navigation is precise. Dedicated sailors who won’t jump ship at the slightest opportunity and no chance of any mutiny lest we all end up as inbred misfits on the Pitcairn Islands in the middle of nowhere with only a very bleak future to look forward to. (Remember Mutiny on the Bounty?).

It is therefore imperative that the right choices are made and made fast.

We cannot afford to have crooks or prima donnas represent us. We need those men and women of unquestionable good character to step forward and present themselves. We need to outnumber the baddies at least 2 to 1. We need to provide the average voter with a choice he or she has no trouble making. We need to get our act together right now. There is no time to pussy foot around. We need to identify all those good men and women who are ready, willing and able to sacrifice themselves in both body and soul to this just and noble cause. We need these people to be known and we need them to be known right now.

May I be so bold as to suggest that the first step after the formation of a new Parliament would be to revise these silly salaries and increase them 5 to 10 fold. Yes, we need to pay our representatives a decent wage comparable to the market rate in the private sector. We must ensure there is no excuse to breach the boundaries of your God given responsibility to King and country by participating in nefarious financial deals of self enrichment at the expense of the taxpayer.

At the same time I would also venture to suggest that the Penal Code be amended to make it an extra special offence carrying an extra special sentence in respect of any elected representative caught with his or her hand in the kitty. Hopefully at this stage we will have a brand new AG who will not hesitate to prosecute at the drop of a hat. No more selective closing of files and sham trials only when it becomes politically expedient to have one. You are now being paid a decent salary so there is no excuse.

This relatively small investment will provide huge returns in no time at all with the savings made on unnecessary projects at inflated prices alone. We have yet to mention all the other potential savings in every single government department. Culture shock is the best way to describe the phenomena that will surface from every nook and cranny. It will take time to get used to but it must be adhered to at all costs and this can only happen with the right people in charge.

So there you have it. We are living in a democracy. This means we have the power to choose. Your vote is yours and yours only. No one can interfere with your choice of representative. You know in your heart of hearts the difference between right and wrong. What you decide to do will change the course of history, if that’s what you want. If you are happy with the way things are, then that is also your choice. You will now be given the opportunity to right all past wrongs. You have a very powerful tool in your hands so use it wisely.

You have seen the results of the change already. The seeds were planted in March 2008. Things are beginning to work. Yes, there have been some hiccups, but the sentiment is intact. There are good people out there and this shows. We need more of the Lim Kit Siangs, the Lim Guan Engs, the Yusmadis, the Theresa Koks, Hannah Yeoh, Sivarasa Rasiah, Karpal Singh, Gobind Singh Deo, Dr. Zulkifi Ahmad, Dr. Hatta Ramli and many more elected representatives of impeccable character who have proved to the world at large that you can do the job and do it properly without the need to resort to extracurricular income. OK let’s call a spade a spade. These good men and women have proven that you don’t have to steal from the rakyat to be respected. You can be a politician and still maintain your principles and ideals. God bless these true patriots.

Now all we need is many more like them.

Makkal Sakti will not seek for seats, says president

Thanenthiran said Makkal Sakti wants to be a BN member. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — Makkal Sakti president R.S. Thanenthiran said today that his party will not demand any seats from Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 13th general election but aims to be a component party in the ruling coalition in the near future.

Thanenthiran also thanked BN for inviting the party to attend the coalition’s first convention last Sunday and its decision to open itself to other political parties.

“I don’t know when Barisan is going to accept us but I will leave it to the prime minister and the coalition to decide. Now we have a sense of direction of where we are.

“Let’s go step by step, and don’t ask me if we are going to ask for seats in the next election because it is too early for our party. We are prepared in fact but we are not going to demand for it,” he told reporters at a press conference here.

However, he said there was a possibility of a Makkal Sakti candidate contesting on a BN ticket.

“He (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) was very clear that Barisan Nasional would choose a candidate that is popular with the people and not because he is favoured by the president or secretary-general. He was very clear about it (during the BN convention). If he feels that Makkal Sakti has a good candidate, then why not? But we not going to demand and pressure Barisan Nasional,” he said.

He believed that Makkal Sakti would be accepted as a component party in BN.

He said the party was ready to mobilise its members for a snap polls expected to be called in the first quarter of next year.

“With our support in the 13th general election, the victory for Barisan Nasional will be more meaningful to all the Malaysian people. Our party may only be one year old but we will be a significant contributor,” he said.

Umno leaders had proposed amending BN’s consensus decision-making and the rule that presidents of component parties select candidates for the general election so as to allow the party direct say in candidate selection.

The ruling Malay party believed the new rules were more realistic considering its partners like the MIC have suffered major setbacks during the previous election.

However, the proposal was rejected when BN leaders recently agreed that associate members would not be given voting rights in the ruling coalition.

BN component parties rejected the proposals as they feared they would lose their seats in the general election.

In the 2008 general election, the MIC only managed to retain three out of nine parliamentary seats and six from 19 state seats that it contested.

Thanenthiran said the MIC must realise that the party was no longer the sole Indian party in the country.

“In the past they (MIC) felt that only they could represent the Indians but things have changed now. People are now more accepting of other leaders. In the recent convention, I saw LDP, SUPP, Gerakan and MCA representing the Chinese.

“So I think Indians should be given more platforms because if they don’t like A then they can choose B. As long as they are in the Barisan Nasional coalition because we do not want the Indian community to run away,” he said.

Makkal Sakti was launched by Najib on October 10 last year and is seen as a catalyst to regain declining grassroots Indian support for the ruling coalition.

Political leaders, both from BN and PR, have agreed that the Indian community, which had abandoned the ruling coalition in Election 2008, was now returning to their fold.

PR leaders had gone as far as to predict losing 60 per cent of Indian support to its BN foes, admitting that Najib’s brainchild of 1 Malaysia, his transformative policies and promises of inclusiveness had successfully impressed the electorate.

Additionally, the exit of MIC’s longest-serving president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has also been lauded by the community which is now said to be more hopeful that BN is finally hearing their cries to be noticed.