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Friday, December 10, 2010

Sabah poverty: EPU formula all wrong, says Sipaun

By Dominic Legeh - Free Malaysia Today,

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah continues to top the list of poor states in the country because the federal government's allocation for each state is based on the number of Malaysian citizens in each state and not the actual population.
Former Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) vice-chairman, Simon Sipaun said the Malaysia Plan formula which was used by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) was not feasible for Sabah because it did not take into account the thousands of illegal immigrants.
He said nine years ago when Suhakam was under the chairmanship of Musa Hitam, they had a dialogue in Kuala Lumpur which involved the relevant ministers and the EPU.
“During the meeting, I asked (the EPU) how they allocated money to all the states when formulating the Malaysia Plan.
"In the case of Sabah, I said, there are many illegal immigrants in Sabah and supposing that we have half a million illegal immigrants in Sabah, do you take into account the total number of people in Sabah when you allocate the money or not,” he recalled.
Sipaun said the answer given to him was that the EPU only took into account the actual number of Malaysians who are in Sabah.
“I told them this was not fair because if there are only one million registered Malaysian citizens in Sabah, but the overall number of people in Sabah included 500,000 illegal immigrants then when we (in Sabah) get the RM1 million allocation we have to share it among 1.5 million people.
“I also explained to them why it is not fair because the illegal immigrants still have to go to the hospitals, schools maybe, they use the roads and everything and so we (Sabahans) are actually short-changed.
"The EPU's response was that they didn't know the figure. I told them that it is their job to know the actual number of people (in Sabah) because if not who else would know about it.
“When I came back to Sabah later, I wrote to the (then) Sabah state secretary (KY Mustafa) to tell him that I was very surprised with what I heard (during the meeting) and I asked if he can find out what the actual situation was.
“I got a response from KY Mustafa. He said he had referred it to the state cabinet and that was all that I heard about it,” he said.
Unfair to penalise voters
About a year ago, when Sipaun was still in Suhakam, he raised the matter again at another forum.
“But, even there nobody could confirm what was the actual situation. The person who gave the talk said they based their calculations according to the needs.
"But that does not answer the question. So I think this is probably one of the factors contributing to Sabah being the poorest state in the country.
“The other contributing factors are disproportionate allocation of funds. I noticed that the government is giving so much funds to the Barisan Nasional (BN) elected representatives only.
"But the money does not belong to the BN because it actually comes from the taxpayers.
“Why should they (those voting the oppositions) be deprived … I think it is most unfair and I don’t think it is correct for the government to do that.
“Although a constituency has an opposition elected representative, not everybody in that constituency voted for the opposition.
"There are also those who have supported and voted for the BN in the opposition-ruled constituencies, so why should they be penalised.
"I don’t know what is the rational … to me this is an abuse of the public funds,” he said of the special allocation announced by Chief Minister Musa Aman last month.
"It should be given to every elected representative. They should be enjoying the same amount of facilities.
“Why should you deprive the people’s representatives simply because they are in the opposition. They are also members of the Parliament and state legislative assembly,” he said.
Sipaun also disagreed with claims by some that the poverty situation in the state was due to ignorance of the federal government.
“I think it is just a matter of mindset … they want to penalise the opposition which, to me, should not be the case,” he said.
Sipaun was commenting on the World Bank’s 2010 Malaysia Economic Monitor (MEM) report that 40% of the country's poor were centred in Sabah.
The respected former civil servant is now a member of the Advisory Board of the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC). He was a Suhakam Commissioner from 2000 to 2010.

Anti-graft war: Public faith growing

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - Free Malaysia Today

FMT ALERT KUALA LUMPUR: Public faith in the government's battle against corruption is growing, according to the latest report by Transparency International.

This year's report on global corruption barometer showed that 48% of the respondents believe that the government was doing an "effective" job in fighting graft.

The figure exceeded the 37% target set by the government under its National Key Results Area (NKRA).

However, the perception that Malaysia's key institutions were corrupt remained high with a 1% increase from last year's 39%.

The latest to be caught in the anti-corruption dragnet was former Selangor menteri besar Mohd Khir Toyo, who is also an infuential figure in Umno.

Prior to this, former MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik was hauled to court over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

Despite the big names, detractors have accused Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's administration of ochestrating a charade to woo voters.

MORE TO FOLLOW

No jobs or water, estate folks suffer

By B Nantha Kumar - Free Malaysia Today

SUNGAI BULOH : Abandoned by the plantation owner and the Selangor government, 24 families in Coalfied estate here are suffering.

When FMT visited the estate recently, it was discovered that the residents were struggling without jobs and proper water supply.

According to Coalfield estate's St Anthony Church committee chairman Peter Anthonysamy, the state government was reluctant in solving their woes.

He said that although the former plantation workers agreed to move to a new housing area known as Desa Coalfield early next year, the status of the estate's school, temple and church was still uncertain.

He said the church was the closest place of worship for Catholics living in Coalfield, Tuan Mee, Desa Coalfield, Bandar Puteri, Alam Perdana, Puncak Alam, Alam Jaya and Kampung Sri Aman.

"Following discussions with the developer, they were only willing to give us a one-acre land to relocate the church, but this plot of land is too small. Furthermore, the land is triangular in shape and this means we cannot use the entire plot,” he said.

"We had several meeting with the local state officials and pleaded for a bigger plot of land, but until today there has been no response. We have enough money to build a new church. What we are hoping for is three acres of land,” he added.

Urging the state government to take action, Anthonysamy lamented that the church did not have water or toilet facilities for the past eight months.

“Whenever it rains, the church gets flooded and we have to buy water to clean the place,” he said.

'Promises not kept'

Meanwhile, another former estate worker Lobat Raju accused the state government of not caring about Indians in the estate.

According to him, there was a five-acre plot of land in front of the Desa Coalfield housing area.

"If the state government is really concerned about us, it should give that land for the school and church. During the last election, they made hundreds of promises to win the seat. After winning, we were forgotten as usual,” said the vexed resident.

Lobat said that since December 2009, the workers' employment had been terminated and their families did not even have clean water.

“When we seek the help of the state government, they tell us that they cannot do anything because the estate management has stopped the water supply,” he added.

Some sacred cows aren’t that sacred anymore

By Joe Fernandez - Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT The Sultan of Perak, Azlan Shah, coming on the heels of the Yang diPertuan Agong, has raised the issue of Malays questioning the sacred cows in the country “and being traitors to their own race”. Among the main issues, he mentioned the status of Islam and the Malay position and that of the Malay rulers.

These Malays are presumably those led by de facto PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim, his wife and party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and their daughter and number one party vice-president, Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Anwar, at the PKR congress recently, referred to the Malays who were willing to mencuci longkang (clean the drains) in the country as long as they were called tuan (master). Symbols and myths, not the reality, are particularly important with the old generation of Malays, as Anwar has belatedly discovered out of Umno.

Wan Azizah called on the Malays, and presumably some non-Malays alike, to abandon the notion of “Ketuanan Melayu” (Malay political supremacy and dominance). Ketuanan Melayu is a deliberate Umno misreading of the unwritten social contract of 1957 whereby first Malayan prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman persuaded MCA and MIC to accept that “since the Chinese dominated the local economy, the Malays would lead the politics”.

Several police reports have been lodged against Wan Azizah and her daughter, mostly by Indian Muslims, for alleged sedition and treason. Umno legal adviser Mohd Hafarizam Harun has even proposed that Wan Azizah be held under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) under which one can be locked up indefinitely without trial.

Nurul “ran down the country in front of some foreigners” recently when she pointed out that Malay special privileges do not exist in the Federal Constitution and that the special position of the Malays and natives, including the training privileges for them, had a shelf-life of 15 years. In short, they have long since expired.

At this point, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Puteri Reformasi – Reformation Princess – has signed up with Hindraf Makkal Sakthi which was dismissed, not so long ago by her father in a fit over the proprietorship of the political tsunami of 2008, as “racists”.

The comments of the Perak Sultan are particularly important since he’s a man of the law with many firsts to his name. He came from nowhere as the son of a commoner mother and married to a commoner. By chance, destiny and supreme good fortune he became Lord President of the Federal Court, Raja Muda in 1983 – despite having a surviving elder brother who out-ranked him – Sultan (from 1984) and King (1989-1994). These are no mean feats, perhaps never to be repeated again, in the history of the nation.

Power rotation

To top it all, his son Nazrin is Raja Muda and next in line to be Sultan and no doubt the King one day. The Perak succession formula (PSF), worked out by the colonial British, in fact rotates power among three families. The succession to the throne in Perak is a sacred cow. Since Sultan Raja Azlan has raised issues of history, the law and the Federal Constitution, no doubt the PSF still remains intact.

Raja Azlan was held in such high regard despite him once, in a momentary lapse as the Malaysian Hockey Federation president (until 2005), questioning why except for three – a Malay, a Chinese and a Eurasian – the rest of the Malaysian hockey team were made up of Indians.

One other time when he unfortunately lapsed was in the early 1990s when he berated the then group editor of the New Straits Times and a lowly reporter over a brief single column news story in the newspaper on the Defence Services Asia exhibition. They had been summoned to the palace.

The lowly reporter had penned that Raja Azlan spent only 20 minutes at the exhibition while the Sultan of Johor spent two hours. The comparison was not to the former’s liking and worse of all, it was only a brief news item. There were three sacred cows here – never compare one Malay ruler against another, never insult them with brief news items in the press and never summon the press to the palace for a dressing-down.

Nevertheless, Raja Azlan was held in high regard by everyone until the Perak “political coup”. His standing in the eyes of the people has taken more than a knock or two since the 2008 general election.

He questioned a sacred cow when he ignored the advice of then Perak Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and took it upon himself to personally determine how friendly three “Barisan Nasional friendly” state assemblypersons were towards the then opposition in the state assembly.

The subsequent fact that the courts chose to ignore Nizar and the Speaker, who was literally strangled as he was dragged by unknown police members in plain clothes and locked up in a storeroom while an imposter usurped his place, only added insult to injury. Any number of sacred cows, whichever way you look at it, fell here.

Somewhere in between all these, the mother of all sacred cows in this country – race relations – took a severe beating when some Indian Muslims in Selangor accompanied by the odd Malay, took it upon themselves to stomp in contrived fury on a cow’s head in public.

Even sacred sacred cows can bite the dust in this country.

Figment of the imagination

Hence, the issue at hand for us to determine here is why we must continue to maintain the figment of the imagination that some sacred cows which aren’t sacred in the first place, should continue to be regarded as sacred.

For example, Article 3 of the Federal Constitution does not specifically state that Islam is the official religion of Malaysia. The Reid Commission, which worked on the Federal Constitution of Malaya, was extremely careful in its wording of Article 3.

The 1963 Malaysia Agreement, the 20 Points and autonomy issues under Sabah and Sarawak rights specifically state that there would be no official recognition for any religion in the two overwhelmingly non-Muslim Malaysian Borneo states. No official religion in Sabah and Sarawak is a sacred cow which has been ignored.

If the Malays these days no longer regard their Sultans in such high esteem, that’s something for the latter to work out with their people quietly, not berate them in public. As Queen Elizabeth II has observed more than once: “When our time comes (to go), we will go quietly”.

My Apologies to Women and Ketuanan Melayu Types

By batsman

No, I am not god’s gift to women or Ketuanan Melayu types. These titles have already been claimed by others. Rather, I am going to try and handle some pretty heavy, complicated and complex stuff which some people might say is from outer space. So if you don’t go for the deep space stuff I suggest you go somewhere else. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

But if you insist on staying the course, please don’t make stupid brainless comments and expose yourself as a dimwit. Not that I care, but it makes MT look like it is being populated by gas bags and commenters with low class inferior intellects. But if you wish to ask decent questions, I shall be happy to oblige and answer as best I can in equally decent manner.

In dealing with women’s rights, liberal types have been sporting and gentlemanly. Unfortunately the solutions they champion not longer suit modern circumstances. Funny liberal types who hang on to the coattails of the real liberals have become fanatical and abusive about these issues.

Religion is accused of being obsolete. I accuse liberal types of being even more obsolete than religion. They have turned liberalism in cahoots with the funny liberals into a fanatical religion while the religionists struggle to find adequate solutions to the problems of modern times. The dialecticians might say that they have transformed into each other in a dialectical way. This means that the old creature that incorporated the old contradictions is gone and there is a new creature called “current times” which incorporates the new dialectics.

I agree that women as a whole have been oppressed, discriminated against and exploited throughout the ages. The solution of the liberals is to grant women equal rights. Unfortunately all cultures in the world today without exception are unable to offer women equal treatment (let alone men).

As a result, the effect on men is to split them into 2 types (depending on the background they come from among other things) – those who oppress women even more and those who have lost their balls and become infertile. Some scientific studies have come to the conclusion that modern man has become less fertile, more submissive and losing out in competition to fierce women. On the other hand, some newspaper reports claim that modern women in western countries have become more domineering and more assertive than men, drink and stink like fishes, smoke and stink like smoldering rubbish dumps and engage in stinking loose moral behaviour even more fiercely than their male counterparts. The dialecticians might say that they have transformed into each other in a dialectical manner.

In Malaysia, we are beginning to see the same effects. Women do a lot better than men in the universities and would probably demolish the men in the work place too if not for the Ketuanan Melayu types who push them back into their places. They would be pushed back all the way into the kitchen too if not for the fact that they now earn decent salaries and have to feed and support their Ketuanan Melayu type men, who when not bullying their women, spend their time bullying minorities instead or who abandon their wives and children to seek greater pleasures elsewhere.

Of course the above statements sound contradictory and inconsistent, but this is because of the contradictory and inconsistent nature of life and not from any inconsistency of my opinions.

In reality some Malaysian women have become even more domineering and assertive than their Ketuanan Melayu type husbands. Unfortunately most of these cannot sing for nuts. Please note that I do not mean anything here in a racist manner since RPK himself says that Indians and Chinese too support Ketuanan Melayu. I suppose lousy singers come from all sorts of races.

The fact that there is this dichotomy in both men and women of submissive and aggressive types destroys any solution imposed that is based purely on women as a homogeneous group.

So it is that equal rights being granted to protect the weaker sex are being used by domineering and aggressive women to beat down men (and other women). Domineering women now demand equal rights in the work place and in competition with men but also demand to be given preferential treatment as the “weaker” sex. Equal rights did not come with equal treatment. No man can compete with this. If they submit, they lose. If they fight uncompromisingly, they are labeled as sadistic, masochistic misogynists. Plus the fact that the hormones of men make them susceptible to creatively and artfully composed photographs, men are a sorry miserable defeated lot.

Unfortunately, there are contradictions in history, so firm conclusions cannot be formed. Suffice to say that when dominant women come to power in the west (Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great and Margaret Thatcher) the state is usually growing more powerful. In the East, it is the opposite and women coming to power usually signals the weakening of an empire. If there is a lesson to be gleaned here, it is that the east should not copy the west blindly. Liberalism in the west differs substantially in content (if not in form) from the funny copy-cat liberalism in the east.

So it is that modern Malaysian men slowly lose their colour and become submissive and infertile – all because the funny Malaysian liberals insist on outdated blindly copied solutions to a complex problem.

It is the same with the Ketuanan Melayu problem. An obsolete solution offered for a complex problem is being used by cut-throats to bully everyone else, including the people who are meant to be protected. Malays being the “weaker” partner in Malaysia’s development seek special rights and privileges to be able to catch up. Unfortunately society is not made up of purely weak individuals. The cut-throats in society who now control and dominate power and wealth have abused the special consideration offered to help Malays and demand it as a birth-right to protect their power and wealth thus turning it into a racial or genetic issue rather than an issue of development, splitting people along racial lines rather than uniting them as partners in development.

Those Malays who object to this are even now bullied and called “political prostitutes” and threatened with incarceration under the ISA. So it is that the victims, the weak party themselves become victimised and unable to voice any dissent or disagreement whatsoever. Malays now don’t even have the right to refuse the Ketuanan Melayu champions (of all races including PPP members) imposed on them.

I submit that in this modern day and age, with such great complexity existing in society, and with population itself expanding rapidly, outdated solutions are never adequate. False solutions are usually those which employ force and coercion.

Even in religion these days, voices are now engaged in debate and discussion, not only to find solutions to complex problems but to merely understand the problems more clearly.

Aggressive and fanatically domineering types who offer or support singly outdated solutions usually do so because this singularity gives them monopoly and enormous advantages. Coercion and abuse usually accompanies their offer of solution.

If these domineering types prevail, the rest of society will lose their colour and become submissive, infertile and bullied – just like cows and sheep or just like men with no balls – same thing.

So I am going to borrow an idea from UMNO which used to say that there should be no identification of race with economic activity or profession. If only they were honest and fair about this principle, it might have achieved something useful.

To cut things short, I propose that there should be no identification of abuse with gender, class, race, nationality or religion. For example, if a woman is abused, she should be offered protection, but if she turns into an abusive, domineering, corrupt lousy singer, then she must be resisted and challenged. Similarly, if a Jew is abused, he should be offered protection, but if he turns into a Zionist and starts abusing and bullying others, then he should be opposed.

The same goes for a Malay. If a Malay is abused, marginalized and discriminated against, he should be offered protection and help, but if he becomes a Ketuanan Melayu type and starts to abuse and bully others, then he should be resisted and challenged. I suppose the same applies to professions as well. If workers are oppressed and exploited, they must be supported, but if they turn into communist dictators or all powerful trade unionists, then they should be opposed. This can hold true for laws as well. If a law such as the

ISA is abusive and oppressive, then it must be repealed.

Finally if a government is wasteful, abusive, corrupt, sinful and uses dirty tricks, race and religion to split the rakyat so that it can cling on to power, it must be voted out of office.

Such a proposal means that the rakyat needs to be proactive and constantly weighing the issues themselves , not sleeping and leaving the resolution of problems to abusive and corrupt leaders who treat them like immature little children with undeveloped balls.

If this proposal is accepted, then the elements of gender, class, race, nationality and religion is removed from all problems and issues and liberals can no longer be fanatical about their high horse religious type principles. I think it will also help to solve some extremely prickly issues in Malaysia as well. What do you think? Is it too deep space or am I just a crazy misogynist? Whatever the case, I suppose for political correctness, I should also apologise to lousy singers and gas bags everywhere. heeheehee

Pendedahan: Ahli Umno Peroleh Projek RM2 Bilion Dari KEMENTAH

Dari TV Selangor

Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hari ini mendedahkan tindakan kerajaan Umno-Barisan Nasional(BN) memberikan projek-projek lumayan Kementerian Pertahanan berjumlah lebih RM2 bilion kepada seorang dua individu.

Beliau berkata tindakan itu membuktikan Umno hanya menggunakan slogan Ketuanan Melayu untuk memperkayakan kroni.

Anwar berkata sejak tahun 2008, seorang individu bernama Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal percayai dari Umno Bukit Gantang Perak telah diberikan pelbagai tender berjumlah RM2 bilion.

“Ada tender yang dikeluarkan, tender terhad sejak 2008 yang diberikan kepada dua orang. Sebanyak 16 syarikat bumiputera dipelawa tetapi kebanyakan syarikat itu, seperti dokumen yang terdapat di tangan saya. ‘Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia sebenarnya dipunyai oleh satu orang.

“Jadi ada seolah satu pakatan di peringkat tertinggi kementerian pertahanan dengan satu dua orang tokoh Umno atas nama Melayu. Jadi Melayu ini, ketuanan Melayu ini hanya menguntungkan dua tiga orang dan lain itu pasukan sorak menyokong mereka.

“Saya bagi contoh berdasarkan bukti mengapa kementerian sering mengelak mengadakan tender terbuka. Mengapa 16 syarikat ini sahaja dipelawa sedangkan banyak lagi syarikat bumiputera yang cukup kelayakan memenuhi kriteria yang harus diajak untuk bersama,” kata Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh itu.

Datuk Seri Anwar menunjukkan dokumen-dokumen berkaitan untuk membuktikan bahawa tender-tender Kementerian Pertahanan diberikan kepada kroni Umno itu berkenaan dengan sewenang-sewenang-wenangnya.

“Ada syarikat, Gahmata Sajian Sdn Bhd penswastaan perkhidmatan katering Angkatan Tentera Malaysia bagi kawasan Sabah, Sarawak dan Labuan nilai RM 800 juta dipunyai oleh seorang bernama Syed Abu Hussin tanpa tender runding terus dari Mindeft.

“Kemudian diberi satu lagi syarikat. Nama lain. Namanya Komatra Sajian Sdn Bhd, penswastaan perkhidmatan katering Angkatan Tentera bagi zon Utara dan Timur Semenanjung. Nilai RM 600 Juta.

“GPB COrporation Sdn Bhd kontrak 1 Jan 2009 nilai RM 300 juta ringgit. Tuan Punya, dan alamat daftar pun sama No 10 level 2 Damai Kompleks Tuan Punya, Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal, tiada Melayu lain,” katanya.

Datuk Seri anwar kesal kerana pemberian kontrak-kontrak lumayan kepada kroni Umno dari Perak bukan sahaja membelakangkan kepentingan Kementerian Pertahanan sendiri tetapi meminggirkan keutamaan untuk membantu bumiputera umumnya.

“Apa hubungan Melayu ini dapat sampai RM2 bilion.

“Apakah ini bukan satu kompromi terhadap mutu dan kepentingan Kementerian Pertahanan? Apakah ia satu usaha mengetepikan kepentingan ramai pasukan tentera? Apakah ini tanda, kita betul-betul patriotik kepada negara dengan memunggah kekayaan, memperkaya satu, dua orang melalui perbelanjaan ketenteraan,” terangnya.

Sebelum ini pada Mac tahun lalu, Ahli Parlimen Batu, Tian Chua dalam satu kenyataan akhbar mendedahkan penyelewengan dalam Kementerian Pertahanan mengenai proses perolehan dan mempunyai unsur kronisme bagi pemimpin negara.

Orang yang bernama Syed Abu Hussin Bin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal tidak asing lagi bagi kakitangan dan kontraktor-kontraktor Kementerian Pertahanan. Pada masa yang sama, beliau juga merupakan ahli Umno (No ahli: 00924477) dari Bahagian Bukit Gantang, Perak.

Beliau mempunyai lebih 30 syarikat di mana beliau merupakan ahli lembaga pengarah ataupun pemegang syer. Melalui syarikat-syarikat ini, beliau berjaya menguasai hampir 90 peratus projek-projek pembekalan bagi Kementerian Pertahanan yang mencecah ratusan juta ringgit.

Indian anger over frisking of envoy

New Delhi says airport pat down of its US ambassador is "unacceptable", but Americans say diplomats are not exempt.The frisking of Meera Shankar, India's ambassador to the US, by security officials at an airport in Mississippi has sparked a wave of outrage in India.

Slamming US staff for what New Delhi said is breaking diplomatic norms, leaders from across the Indian political spectrum have unanimously condemned the incident which occurred at the weekend.

Deeming it an unacceptable gesture, Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna, India's external affairs minister, said on Thursday that the matter would be taken up before US officials to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.

"This is unacceptable to India," Krishna said. "We are going to take it up with the government of United States. I hope that things would be resolved so that such unpleasant incidents do not recur."

A spokesman for the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said that diplomats were not exempt from searches and that Shankar "was screened in accordance with TSA's security policies and procedures".

'Singled out'

Shankar was patted down by a US security agent at the Jackson-Evers International Airport in Mississippi on December 4.

The incident took place when Shankar was about to board a flight to Baltimore after attending an international studies programme at Mississippi State University.

A Jackson police officer, who escorted Shankar to the airport, informed airport police that Shankar was an ambassador

Shankar was taken to a VIP waiting room but she was later pulled from a security line and patted down by a female TSA agent.

Those who witnessed the ambassador's screening alleged that officials had singled out Shankar because she was dressed in a sari, the traditional Indian drape.

Lashing out at the "strange" security checks conducted by US officials, Karan Singh, a senior federal politician, demanded an apology from the concerned department for the alleged discrimination.

"The security checks are very strange and random sometimes. They pull out people without any particular reason," Singh said.

"But if it is a discrimination because what she was wearing, then that certainly needs to be condemned and I am sure that a suitable apology will come either from the state department or from the department concerned."

Venkaiah Naidu, senior leader of India's main opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party said the incident would tarnish the prestige and reputation of the US.

"America should understand the sensitivities and also the necessities. While dealing with people of other countries and dignitaries and all, they should be extra careful," Naidu said.

"This sort of attitude is not going to enhance the prestige of the United States of America."

Source: Agencies

Hindraf leaders sue gov't over unlawful arrest

(Malaysiakini) Lawyers and Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders P Uthayakumar and M Manoharan today filed suits against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and five others over their arrest under the Internal Security Act in 2007 and detention for 514 days in Kamunting, Perak.

uthayakumar arrest 231107 draggedUthayakumar (wearing tie), who is also Human Rights Party leader and Manoharan, who is Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson, are each seeking RM100 million from six defendants for their unlawful detention.

The other defendants are former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan, the commandant of the Kamunting detention camp where they had been detained, and the government.

The two lawyers filed the suit today to coincide with International Human Rights Day, which falls tomorrow.

They were arrested on Dec 13, 2007, after they organised the Hindraf rally in the heart of Kuala Lumpur to highlight the plight of the Indian community, which they say is being marginalised by the government.

It was during his detention that Manoharan won the March 8, 2008, general election and according to the lawyer, this proves he was no threat to national security as alleged. As a result of this, he had to take his oath of office while in detention in Kamunting, near Taiping.

The government had publicly alleged that Hindraf leaders were linked to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, accusations they had strongly denied.

hindraf btn 151209 manoharanThe Hindraf group claimed that they were merely fighting for the human rights of Malaysians, particularly the Indian community, which faced persecution, threats, isolation and discrimination from Umno and BN-led government.

As a consequence of the defendants' action in detaining them, Uthayakumar and Manoharan (right) said, they had to bear pain, losses and damages, for which they were seeking general, exemplary and aggravated damages.

Uthayakumar claimed that as a result of his detention, he had to close his law firm in Mutiara Bangsar, as his practice suffered a 95 percent drop.

Following this, both of them sought RM100 million in general damages each, special damages to be assessed by the court, interests and costs of the action.

Uthaykumar denied medical treatment


Uthayakumar also claimed that he was denied his diabetes medication while in detention, and he had to be warded at the Taiping Hospital instead of being taken to the National Heart Institute to enable him to undergo a heart examination.

The lawyer also claimed that his left leg suffered a fracture, as a result of walking in the detention camp, which he said was improperly maintained.

A total of 80 police reports were also filed against the government during this time, but despite this, Uthayakumar said, he continued to be persecuted.

He and Manoharan claimed that 2.5 million people from the Indian community had sought, and even held campaigns, for their release, but the plaintiffs continued to be detained without trial.

Uthayakumar said as a lawyer, he has had many clients who complained of being discriminated, but the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) was the penultimate in discriminating the civil rights of the people in the country, resulting in unlawful detention of the citizens.

He maintained that the claims he had made about ethnic cleansing were correct as the Indian community was forced to move out when Putrajaya and Bukit Jalil were developed.

Manoharan: Najib delayed release


Manoharan said Najib was personally named because as prime minister, he had delayed their release. The two were released from the Kamunting detention camp in May last year.

NONEThe Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson said this was the first suit where Najib (left) was personally named.

Manoharan said despite being released in May, an order not to move out of the Travers area had been slapped on Uthayakumar, while he had been ordered not to move out of Klang.

The order against Uthayakumar was lifted in July this year, while that against Manoharan was lifted in September.

Manoharan said since Najib became prime minister, he had pledged to review the controversial ISA law, but nothing had been done so far.

“It is certainly a cruel legislation that should be removed and in light of International Human Rights Day (Dec 10), we are again calling for the repeal of this law,” he added.

Yayasan Selangor wants more applications from non Malays

Senator Dr. Ramakrishnan

Yayasan Selangor under the stewardship of UMNO since 1970 was turned into a Malay domain. It is state financed and set up to help improve the educational performance of all poor Selangor born or Selangor residing Malaysians. Its residential schools, loan receivers and scholarship benefiters are 99% Malays.


See the table below to ask what MIC, MCA, GERAKAN and PPP were doing all this while? The table below shows the number of student taken loan from Yayasan Selangor from the year 2000 to 2010. 



















































2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010

KAUM

MELAYU
198
279
374
353
341
468
193
234
320
502
483

CINA
6
1
5
7
3
3
3
3
2

INDIA
14
6
9
4
11
20
8
1
4
2
20

BIL. BERJAYA
218
286
388
364
355
491
204
238
324
504
505

BIL. PERMOHONAN

620
547
627
446
957
511
360
604
1001
1096

























   
Yayasan wants more applications from non Malay students. Loans are given to Selangor residing students studying in local public institutions. More information can be obtained from www.yayasanselangor.org.my. Students who maintain consistently high CGPAs, their loans will be converted to scholarships.
Besides Yayasan Selangor also provide residential schools for Selangor residing students. Students who score a minimum 4 A and 1 B in UPSR are eligible to apply. Below are the numbers of students residing in their hostels all over Selangor! More information can be obtained from the above mentioned website.    
 STATISTIK PERMOHONAN BERJAYA MENGIKUT PECAHAN KAUM

TAHUN 2007 - 2011













PERKARA
TAHUN
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
JUMLAH PERMOHONAN
1169
1559
1573
1129
1220
BUMIPUTERA
498
535
535
543
KIV
KAUM LAIN
2
10
7
2
KIV
PERMOHONAN BERJAYA
500
545
542
545
KIV
PERMOHONAN TIDAK BERJAYA

669
1014
1031
584
KIV









A meeting was held recently to make the hostel accommodation more conducive for non Malays students to stay. The management has agreed and I call upon all parties concern to make these transformation successful. The presence of more non Malay students will enrich both the Malay and non Malay students. If the prime minister is really serious about 1Malaysia all hostels all over Malaysia must be made multiracial and multi religious. Mr Prime Minister, the test of your 1Malaysia is in its implementation and not in political rhetoric in front of UMNO.    

MCA’s ban on ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ illogical, says Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today the MCA president’s call to ban the term “ketuanan melayu” (Malay supremacy) as illogical and baseless.

The former prime minister (picture) said banning the term “ketuanan melayu” will lead to a domino effect of other words to being censured.

“When you start asking things to be banned then people would start asking and there will be complaints. Many of these things are illogical and baseless,” he told reporters here.

During Barisan Nasional’s (BN) convention last Sunday, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek cautioned leaders against using sensitive words like “pendatang” (immigrants), “penumpang” (passengers), “terhutang budi” (indebted to), “kurang patriotic” (unpatriotic) and “ketuanan Melayu.”

Dr Chua added that those words should be labeled as taboo in Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir said race debates are a no-win situation and the public should stop questioning Malay rights.

“These things have never cropped up before. When people started questioning the position of the Malays then it is our right to defend ourselves. If people had not questioned then no one would have had to respond.

“But when we respond to defend ourselves then they say we are breaching human rights and racist. On the other hand, we accused them of being racist, people label us as racists,” said the former prime minister, whose views are still influential among Umno politicians.

The old debate on “ketuanan melayu” was brought to the forefront when PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail rejected the concept, pointing out that the Malay race was no more supreme than the others during the party’s national congress.

Dr Wan Azizah’s husband, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, joined the fray later and propagated the “ketuanan rakyat” concept to the people.

However Umno leaders have linked PKR’s arguments as hurting the constitutional monarchy system.

Suaram a lackey of foreign countries, says Dr M

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today,

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today those who raised human rights issues in the country are lackeys of foreign countries or politicians.
He said that those who proclaimed to champion human rights should not be concerned about such rights in this country only.
The veteran politician was taking a swipe at human rights organisation Suaram which alleged that “Mahathirism” has returned following violations of political and civil rights by the government.
"You see, we are helping the people in war-torn Gaza, for example, that is the case of human rights violations. People are being killed. Do they (Suaram) say anything about that? Do they do anything to help? That is blatant human rights violation," Mahathir said.
He was speaking to reporters after attending MRSM Ideaprenuer Innovation Day in Bukit Jalil here.
Suaram today unveiled an overview of its Civil and Political Rights Report 2010, including highlighting the high number of arrests for public assemblies and clampdowns on the media which it claimed were signs of a “closing society”.
But Mahathir downplayed it, saying that all Suaram talked about was politics in Malaysia.
"Of course, they (Suaram) have to make accusations against the people who are against them... but that is not a good judgement," he said, adding that he was also entitled to say that civil rights groups, too, have breached human rights.
"I can also say they (Suaram) are guilty of violating human rights because I have the right to say that they are just a lackey of some other countries or politicians... I have the right to say that these people are breaching human rights," he said.
On “Ketuanan Melayu” (Malay supremacy), Mahathir said that he did not agree with the suggestion to ban the use of the term because it would not be of much help.
He said that imposing a ban would only create more problems.
He was commenting on a proposal by MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek that the term Ketuanan Melayu be banned because he claimed it had caused uneasiness among non-Malays.
'Illogical and baseless'
Chua made the suggestion at the recently-concluded Barisan Nasional convention.
Said Mahathir: "When you start asking things to be banned, people would start asking (questions). And there will be complaints. Many of these things are illogical and baseless, but when you (respond to them), you will be (labelled) a racist."
When asked whether the public debate on Ketuanan Melayu which he claimed was never a problem before, would cause dangerous repercussion in society, he said there was no proper way to solve the matter.
"These things never cropped up before until some people started questioning the position of the Malays... But when you respond, you will (be labelled) a racist.
"Then again, people who accused others of (defending Ketuanan Melayu) are also called racists. “When they make racist accusations, then those people have to reply. But when you respond, you are also being racist," he said.
Last week, during the party convention, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail created a furore when called for “Ketuanan Melayu” to be dropped in favour of “Ketuanan Rakyat” (Malay supremacy).

Khir's arrest: 'People know it's an Umno ploy'

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today

UPDATED PETALING JAYA: The Selangor government today expressed doubt over the "authencity" of the prosecution against former menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo despite the ruling coalition's pledge that it would do its best to weed out corruption.

Political secretary to Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, Faekah Hussin said the charge set out against Khir involving his purchase of a mansion in an exclusive neighbourhood in Shah Alam did not reflect the entire spectrum of the offence which he had allegedly committed.

"It does not really show the seriousness of the federal government in tackling the nation's major disease such as corruption. And it is far from cleaning up the mess that has tarnished Umno," she said.

According to her, the Selangor opposition leader has committed a more serious offence than just purchasing a land worth RM3.5 million - well below its market price - for the purpose of building the mansion.

She said the full spectrum of the case should not only involve the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) who has dragged Khir to court, but also the Inland Revenue Board Malaysia (Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri) for possible tax evasion.

"His offence is not as easy as one would picture. Apart from MACC, this (case) involves the LHDN and investigation should be made to see whether the tax imposed was in accordance with the actual value of these lots or has Khir deliberately given them (LHDN) a false estimated tax payment.

"Also investigations should be conducted into the stamp duty payment made on the property.
"This matter cannot be taken lightly because the act to avoid paying taxes which is made 'under declaration' is a serious offense in itself", said Faekah.

Umno's strategy
Khir was arrested by MACC and charged for alleged land fraud on Monday.
He was charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum two years' jail term and a fine, or both, if convicted.

This has prompted Khir, who is also a dentist by profession, to quit his post as the state opposition leader in an attempt to 'clear his name'.

He however remains as Sungai Panjang state assemblyman.
But Faekah is less than amused by Khir's latest stunt, saying that it was merely a "political ploy that is often played by Umno and Barisan Nasional" to cover other abuses of power.
She also asserted that the prosecution by MACC is to provide "easy access" for the Umno leadership to appoint the new opposition chief.

"It is also a ploy to project a 'clean' image of Selangor Umno by replacing a leader who has lost credibility. But I would like to stress that the people do not care about this.
"What is more important to the people is that the authorities take action against the leaders of Umno and BN who are corrupt and how serious are they in handling this," she said.
She further pointed out that Selangor is better off being under the administration of Pakatan Rakyat, who has managed to clean up all the "corrupt" and "sinful" deeds committed by the previous BN government.

"It is not an easy task but we managed to resolve half of the problems although we have governed the state for less than three years.
"The mistake done by BN will not be repeated by us because we will not underestimate the people's judgments," she concluded.
Najib: It's not a gimmick
Responding later to claims that the decision to prosecute Khir was a BN gimmick in view of an early general election, Prime Minister NajibTun Razak lashed out at the opposition for turning the matter into a political issue.

"We are not using the prosecution as a gimmick. How is it a sandiwara (sideshow) if he has been charged?” asked the premier.

"This is what happens when a curruption case is turned into political issue. They (the opposition) want to slam the government by making it look as though we are not serious (in fighting corruption),” he said.

He added that the opposition was only keen on making claims that the government was covering up or conducting selective prosecutions.

He said that the decision to charge Khir was made after proper investigations by the MACC and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

He said these two bodies had adhered to the necessary process before bringing Khir to court. He told this to reporters after an event in Putrajaya.

Soi Lek backed 'Ketuanan Melayu', says Tee Keat

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Former MCA president Ong Tee Keat claimed current party leader Dr Chua Soi Lek was supportive of “Ketuanan Melayu” (Malay supremacy).

Ong also suggested that much of Chua's opposition against it now was a carbon copy of his position on the issue.

"In a way, he shared some of my views," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here today.

"I brought this up as early as 2008 when I was interviewed by Bernama, and of course I came under fire back then. But at the same time I can still remember some time ago that he (Chua) was supportive of Ketuanan Melayu," he added.

Ong was ousted by Chua at the party polls earlier this year. Their rivalry had almost crippled the MCA amid a crisis of confidence among the nation's second biggest electorate.

Since then, Chua has become vocal in championing Chinese rights in a perceived attempt to woo back the Chinese into the MCA fold.

He has made several controversial statements including calling for the "gradual" removal of Bumiputera corporate equity and urged Umno, the Malay lynchpin in Barisan Nasional, to stop its "big brother" treatment of the non-Malay component parties in the coalition.

Fresh enmity

The former health minister's remarks have sparked fresh enmity between his party and the Umno leadership.

But Ong said Chua's anti-Ketuanan Melayu posturing was "perplexing" as the latter's backing of the idea received front-page coverage in Umno's mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia.

"The Utusan article was in the late 1990s and that was given very good coverage. It's not that anyone concocted the story".

He also accused his rival of watering down a race-transcending proposal on the appointments of BN divisional chiefs which he claimed he made when he was MCA president.

Ong said he had proposed that the BN divisional chief post should be given to a candidate from the component party controlling the particular constituency and this was accepted by MCA's top leadership.

However, Ong claimed it was later "watered down" and eventually overturned by the current president.

"He somehow, without the knowledge of the grassroots members, overturned the decision and at the end of the day, the BN chief post still goes to Umno and of course that was done with his full knowledge and consent as well," he added.

Chua's refusal to play second fiddle to Umno and his call not to use sensitive terms like Ketuanan Melayu have triggered another verbal war between MCA and Umno.

Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said that Chua's statement has upset many leaders from the Malay party, but MCA leaders have retaliated, saying that Umno should be open to criticism.

I support Dr Mahathir when he is right


''Truly I am ashamed to expose all these, especially in front of the other people, in front of the whole nation and the world. But they all already know all these. I am not exposing anything that they don't know,'' said Dr Mahathir about the Malays whom he called ''lazy'' and prone to rely on ''the easy way and the quick way''.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Back in mid-2002, during the Umno general assembly, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said some very nasty things about the Malays. He was so upset about the Malays he even resigned as the Umno President -- which would also mean as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir was in tears when he announced his resignation and Rafidah Aziz -- who rushed forward to ask Dr Mahathir “Why? Why?” -- even broke the heel of her very expensive designer shoe, either out of shock or due to a serious weight problem.

It took some time for Umno to persuade Dr Mahathir to withdraw his resignation. Finally, much to the relief of the entire world, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi came back on stage to announce that Dr Mahathir had reluctantly agreed to delay his resignation for 15 months till the last day of October 2003.

Though some say it was during a moment of temporary weakness that Dr Mahathir resigned, 2002 was not the first time he had whacked the Malays. And this was also not the first time he cried on stage during an Umno general assembly because of his extreme disappointment with the Malays.

2002 was just the last straw and he could no longer tolerate the Malays, whom he said in an interview soon after he left office he had failed to change. That was why he no longer wanted to be the Umno President or Prime Minister of Malaysia.

“What is your greatest regret in 22 years as Prime Minister?” Dr Mahathir was asked during the interview. And his reply was: my greatest regret is that in 22 years as Prime Minister I had failed to change the Malays.

Some say I appear to admire Dr Mahathir too much and they don’t like that. Others, however, say I am too critical of the Malays and they don’t like that either. Then there are those who say I am not whacking Dr Mahathir enough -- as they would like to see me do -- and they don’t like that.

Well, many people do not like either Dr Mahathir or what I say, but then since when was I ever concerned about what people like or don’t like about me? And why should I whack Dr Mahathir when he says the right thing? I only whack him when he does the wrong thing and I have done enough of that when he was Prime Minister -- which resulted in my arrest and, later, detention under the Internal Security Act in 2001.

For example, Dr Mahathir feels that, in the next general election, Barisan Nasional should field some non-political party members from amongst the professionals and civil society movements. I too feel the same and that is what the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) will be trying to achieve.

Dr Mahathir and I never discussed the matter prior to this and it is purely coincidental that we are both seeking the same thing, although we may be doing so along different routes -- Dr Mahathir through Barisan Nasional and I through Pakatan Rakyat.

Anyway, to refresh your memory, see the following news reports on the matter.

***************************************

Mahathir criticises Malay community

BBC, 16th June 2002

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, has launched a strong attack on the majority Malay community, saying it had failed to make real progress despite being given special privileges for more than 30 years.

In a newspaper interview ahead of a five-day meeting of his party the United Malays National Organisation or Umno, Dr Mahathir criticised Malays for being too complacent and unwilling to work hard.

He said that after more than 20 years in office he had failed to change what he called this culture of extravagance.

Malays make up more than half of the 23 million population but receive special privileges because the Chinese minority is seen as having disproportionate wealth.

******************************************

Mahathir warns Malays to brace for end to privileges

Kyodo News International, 20th June 2002

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday defended his country's affirmative action policy but warned ethnic Malays that their rights and privileges are ''far from being safe.''

''The Malays are clearly far from being safe. Do not think that the power of the Malays in the political arena is permanent, that it will guarantee the safety of the Malays forever,'' the 76-year-old premier said in a two-hour speech to open the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) annual assembly.

If the special status of the Malays, or ''bumiputeras'' as they are also known, is challenged today, he said, Malays will not be able to survive.

''They are not prepared to face any competition at all. They are so afraid of the other communities. Without the experience of competing with others, if the protection is suddenly withdrawn, they will not be able to survive,'' Mahathir, also UMNO president, said.

As head of the party that deems itself the custodian of Malay culture, Mahathir put his newly gained political fortune on the line recently when he dared to pry open the three-decade-old New Economic Policy (NEP) to provide more opportunities for non-Malays, although only in education.

The NEP, Malaysia's affirmative action policy, guarantees Malays 30% corporate equity, easy credit, contracts and projects from the government and places in public universities.

The policy, which came about following the 1969 clashes between the poorer, rural Malays and the economically more dominant ethnic Chinese, is now called the National Vision Policy.

Recently Mahathir stirred up a controversy by changing the race-based quota system for university entrance to a merit-based one. Then he ordered 10% of places to be allocated to non-Malays in government-run colleges and that English, instead of the national language, Malay, be used to teach science and mathematics.

Malay nationalists are up in arms crying treachery. But Mahathir is adamant, saying the NEP has made Malays ''lazy'' and prone to rely on ''the easy way and the quick way.''

''Because of that, when licenses are given, they sell the licenses...No work is done other than to be close to people with influence and authority in order to get something because they are Malays,'' he told the 2,000 delegates attending the three-day assembly.

''Truly I am ashamed to expose all these, especially in front of the other people, in front of the whole nation and the world. But they all already know all these. I am not exposing anything that they don't know,'' he said.

Mahathir expressed his disappointment that after 21 years at the helm of the country he has failed to change the Malay mindset.

''Mostly I feel disappointed, disappointed because I achieved too little result from my principal task -- the task of making my race a successful race, a race that is respected, a race that is honorable, a race that is highly regarded. I beg your pardon because I have failed,'' he said.

But despite his criticism of Malays and their over-dependence on government assistance, Mahathir defended the benefits of the NEP although he said it has slowed down national development.

''What slowed down the national development was because the government had to try and try again to balance the economy of the Malays against that of the non-Malays at all levels and in all fields,'' he said.

But the NEP, he said, has succeeded in closing the gap between the Malays and non-Malays.

Those who condemned the NEP, he said, have ignored the fact that government scholarships and opportunities have allowed thousands of Malay children to enter universities.

The government has also provided 3 billion ringgit as capital for the National Equity Corp. to initiate unit trusts which succeeded in making 7.28 million Malays shareholders in big corporations with investments totaling 34.89 billion ringgit.

The shares allocated to the NEC were the result of the restructuring of new companies that are required by the NEP to provide 30% of their equity for bumiputera.

''In truth, without the NEP, the unit trusts and the governmental institutions which were managed on behalf of the Malays, today the NEP would achieve only 2% of the target,'' Mahathir said.

Where there are no drugs

Image(Asia Sentinel) The TB-HIV dilemma for migrants on the Thai-Burma border

In late October, a large group of people living in and around the northern Thai border town of Mae Sot were closing in on a terrible milestone of sorts. All of them – more than 60 migrant children, women and men – were living with HIV and taking antiretroviral drugs, which they needed to stay alive. Some were also co-infected with tuberculosis, the most frequent opportunistic infection experienced by people living with HIV or the Aids virus itself.

Each group member's daily regimen of drugs – a one-year 'buffer' provided by an international non-governmental organization that was now pulling its operations out of the country – was about to run out, with no new supplier in sight.

"We have been unable to secure a sustainable source of ARVs for our patients," explained a staff member of the Mae Tao Clinic, a clinic providing health care services to migrants and displaced people near the Thai-Burma border. "If they stop taking their medication, we face a crisis."

Drug Resistance
Adherence to a prescribed ARV drug regimen is essential. People living with HIV and/or TB who stop taking medication for whatever reason, and even only for a few days, can develop resistance to the medication. Drug resistance is irreversible and the new strains of the disease can be passed on to others.

Multi-drug and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis is an even greater potential threat than HIV drug resistance in terms of impact, because unlike HIV – a blood-borne disease – TB is transmitted from person to person through the air. A rampant increase in drug resistance can thus indeed fuel a public health crisis.

The Mae Tao Clinic representative said that "from a public health perspective TB is more difficult to handle, mainly because of time-related compliance issues. People with TB have to take medication daily for six months. If they interrupt this treatment, which happens frequently with migrants who are on the move and may stop taking drugs when they feel better, then drug resistance can occur."

Another often underestimated problem accompanying drug resistance is the subsequent need for different drugs to replace the first regimen. These second- or third-line drugs are much more expensive and difficult to procure – here in Thailand, for example, the main first-line ARV combination therapy, for example GPO-VIR S30, is locally produced and distributed, bringing down the cost; but second- or third-line drugs must be imported, tend to be much more expensive than first-line medicine and may require special handling, like refrigeration, which complicates delivery in unstable settings.

Migrants Marginalized
Thais living with HIV have the right to, and usually receive, free ARVs through the National Access to Antiretroviral Program for People living with HIV/AIDS, or NAPHA. People without a Thai ID can buy ARVs for a minimum of Bt1,350 (US$45) per month, although NAPHA set up a provisional extension programme to cover vulnerable populations with no access via regular channels like Thai social welfare card holders.

Access is inevitably restricted for individuals or families already subject to the most dire of circumstances. Many migrants and displaced people along the Thai-Burma border live a day-to-day existence that may include a lack of food security and reliable shelter. This can, and does frequently lead to greater vulnerability to infection and illness. An HIV positive migrant in poor health is thus more likely to contract opportunistic infections like TB, or Hepatitis C, another highly problematic opportunistic infection.

"Along the Thai-Burma border abutting Shan State, in Chiang Mai province, we support 125 members of the Shan community living with HIV, of whom 50 currently receive free ARVs," said a representative of a community-based organization in northern Thailand. "Unfortunately, beginning in December 2010, any new patients will have to pay for treatment – so this will affect any of the 75 not yet on ARVs who might need them in the future." There are about one or two new cases every month, and some of them also have TB."

The organization has a "limited budget aimed at helping with general hospital costs for community members, but we've been using it to cover ARV-related costs for our PLHIV."

Given the existing obstacles to accessing adequate and appropriate treatment, it is not surprising that migrants may start with the TB six-month short course, but then, despite doctor's instructions, stop taking the drugs once they feel better. Many migrants are by nature already mobile, which further complicates consistent compliance and follow up by medical staff.

It is this population – in addition to other key populations like sex workers, injecting drug users and prisoners – that should be the main beneficiary of effective prevention efforts and increased access to a regular supply of drugs.

In a country that currently receives generous funding from the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, how is it possible we cannot manage to take care of our most vulnerable fellow humans?

Services and Gaps
A representative of the Thai Northern Network of People Living with HIV stated that "local hospitals do provide ARVs to migrants and displaced people as part of NAPHA's extension programme, but they are bound by a quota system which always favours Thai citizens over unregistered migrants."

He admitted that "sometimes Thais who fear being stigmatized and discriminated against by colleagues will request treatment under the extension programme instead of the regular system, because this way they can remain anonymous."

Mae Tao Clinic already offers a number of relevant services for PLHIV, including voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), home-based care and peer educators. Relatively simple preventive approaches can also be applied in the context of TB-related services, such as face-masks and better ventilation in places where people go to get tested.

"A more systematic, consistent integration of HIV and TB programmes is key," claimed another Mae Tao Clinic staff, who added that "since it was at this point beyond the clinic's capacity to offer TB treatment, it was essential to have one group or entity able to take full responsibility for managing a comprehensive TB programme and willing to deal with problems such as non-compliance or adherence due to mobility."

There is an international NGO currently providing TB services in Mae Sot, serving part of the area previously covered by the INGO that pulled out last year. Yet the new organisation has limited reach and cannot accept patients outside of its focal communities, including those likely to move across the border. These unfortunate ones have to look elsewhere, and more often than not, they end up at Mae Tao Clinic.

Regarding the stranded HIV-positive patients, clinic staff approached the closest hospitals for help, and only Propha agreed to treat 20 people under its NAPHA extension scheme. Mae Sot, Mae Sariang and Mae Ramat hospitals said they were not accepting any new patients.

"We are now waiting to hear whether the Regional NAPHA Extension Unit in Pitsanuloke can help coordinate the provision of ARVs directly to Mae Tao," said the first Mae Tao Clinic staff member. "This is easier and more cost-effective than transporting a large group of patients back and forth each month."

What Now?
It appears that drug resistance is here to stay – at least for now – and so the best response would include not only addressing the most immediate needs to mitigate impact, but also introducing some longer-term measures.

In addition to the interventions mentioned above, anti-stigma and -discrimination campaigns targeting Thai society would help people living with HIV at all levels access existing ARV providers without fear of being socially outcast.

The representative of the Northern Network of People Living with HIV wondered whether "everything could be related to national security issues and that maybe there is no real will to find a sustainable solution to these urgent cross-border issues."

Also, "there seems to be little real interest among TB service providers to collaborate more with the HIV/AIDS sector," an independent consultant supporting HIV/AIDS-related work at national and local levels in Thailand noted. "Because TB has for so long been considered 'solved' as a public health issue here, they do not have a sense of urgency…"

It can't get any more urgent for those people living with HIV/AIDS and TB here and now - and who may soon become drug resistant due to apathy and ineffective program design and interventions. Acknowledging and fully understanding the reality of this is the first step, acting decisively and comprehensively, the second. Here and now.

Constanze Ruprecht has worked in international development cooperation since 2000. She is a Key Correspondent and writes for Citizen News Service (CNS). Website: www.citizen-news.org

Racial breakdown for police/immigration services

Soalan:
Tuan Lim Kit Siang [Ipoh Timur] minta MENTERI DALAM NEGERI menyatakan butir-butir mengikut kaum pegawai polis dan imigresen berikan angka-angka tersebut mengikut gred masing-masing. 
Jawapan:
Untuk makluman AhIi Yang Berhormat, sehingga 31 Julal 2010 jumlah anggota polis di seluruh negara ialah 106,530 orang. Jumlah anggota polis ini melibatkan pelbagai gred jawatan dan peringkat Anggota Polis Pangkat Rendah dan Sokongan hingga Ketua Polis Negara (KPN). Daripada jumlah tersebut, sejumlah 84,523 orang atau 79.34% adalah terdiri daripada kaum Melayu, 2,210 orang atau 2.07% kaum Cina, 3,624 orang atau 3.4% kaum India dan 15,886 orang atau 14.91% lain-lain kaum.
Sehingga 31 Ogos 2010 jumlah anggota Jabatan lmigresen ialah 11,017 orang di mana sejumlah 9,598 atau 87.12% anggota terdiri daripada kalangan kaum Melayu, 322 atau 2.92% kaum India, 208 atau 1.87% kaum Cina, 813 atau 7.38% kaum Bumiputra dan 76 orang atau 0.69% kaum-kaum lain.
Maklumat terperinci berkaitan gred jawatan berdasarkan kaum adalah seperti di Lampiran A dan B.
Lampiran A
Maklumat perjawatan anggota Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) berdasarkan gred jawatan dan kaum sehingga 31 Julai 2010
Pangkat Kekuatan
Melayu Cina India Punjabi Lain-lain Bangsa JUMLAH
UNIFORM
IGP 1



1
DIG 1



1
CP 6 1

1 8
DCP 19 2


21
SAC 83 11 2 1
97
ACP 168 30 7 1 1 207
SUPT 340 57 22 6 24 449
DSP 584 154 47 9 37 831
ASP 1,784 351 195 22 218 2,570
CI/INSP 4,748 240 309 24 780 6,101
JUM. PEGAWAI KANAN 7,734 846 582 63 1,061 10,286
SI 681 39 27 5 77 829
SM 1,945 72 137 12 190 2,356
SJN 9,316 320 545 57 955 11,193
KPL 15,620 245 647 63 2,157 18,732
L/KPL/KONS 42,511 577 1,406 80 10,023 54,597
JUM.PRP & KONS 70,073 1,253 2,762 217 13,402 87,707
SM/S



1 1
SJN/S 38 1 3
7 49
KPL/S 190 13 20
70 293
L/KPL/S/KONS/S 6,488 97 257 7 1,345 8,194
JUM.APR / SOKONGAN 6,716 111 280 7 1,423 8,537
JUMLAH BESAR UNIFORM 84,523 2,210 3,624
15,886 106,530
PEGAWAI AWAM 11,898 221 219 9 1,507 13,854
JUMLAH PEGAWAI AWAM 11,898 221 219 9 1,507 13,854







JUMLAH BESAR 96,421 2,431 3,843 296 17,393 120,384
Lampiran B
Maklumat perjawatan Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia (JIM) berdasarkan gred jawatan dan kaum.
Ringkasan Perjawatan Mengikut Jantina Dan Kaum
Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia sehingga 31 Ogos 2010

BIL Skim Perkhidmatan Gred Melayu India Cina Bumiputera Lain-lain
TADBIR DAN DIPLOMATIK
1 Pegawai Tadbir & Diplomatik Utama B 1 0 0 0 0
2 Pegawai Tadbir & Diplomatik Utama C 2 0 0 0 0
3 Pegawai Tadbir & Diplomatik M54 8 0 0 1 0
4 Pegawai Tadbir & Diplomatik M52 7 1 0 0 0
5 Pegawai Tadbir & Diplomatik M48 31 2 0 1 0
6 Pegawai Tadbir & Diplomatik M44 19 1 1 3 0
7 Pegawai Tadbir & Diplomatik M41 41 1 2 1 0

JUMLAH
109 5 3 6 0
JAWATAN TERBUKA
1 Terbuka T48 2 0 0 0 0

JUMLAH
2 0 0 0 0
KEJURUTERAAN
1 Penolong Jurutera J36 0 0 0 0 0
2 Penolong Jurutera J29/J36 0 0 0 0 0
3 Juruteknik J22 1 0 0 0 0
4 Juruteknik (Elektrik) J17/J22 1 0 0 0 0
5 Juruteknik J17/J22 2 0 0 0 0

JUMLAH
4 0 0 0 0
SISTEM MAKLUMAT
1 Pegawai Teknologi Maklumat F54 1 0 0 0 0
2 Pegawai Teknologi Maklumat F52 1 0 0 0 0
3 Pegawai Teknologi Maklumat F48 4 0 0 0 0
4 Pegawai Sistem Maklumat F44 6 0 0 0 0
5 Pegawai Sistem Maklumat F41 19 0 0 0 0
6 Penolong Pegawai Teknologi Maklumat F38 5 0 0 0 0
7 Penolong Pegawai Teknologi Maklumat F32 15 0 0 0 0
8 Penolong Pegawai Teknologi Maklumat F29/F32 30 0 1 5 0
9 Juruteknik Komputer FT17/FT22 58 0 1 4 0

JUMLAH
139 0 2 9 0
PERUNDANGAN DAN KEHAKIMAN
1 Pegawai Udang-Undang L48 2 0 0 0 0
2 Pegawai Udang-Undang L41/L44 2 0 0 1 0

JUMLAH
4 0 0 1 0
PERUBATAN DAN KESIHATAN
1 Penolong Pegawai Perubatan U29/U32 0 0 0 0 0

JUMLAH
0 0 0 0 0
KEWANGAN
1 Akauntan W48 1 0 0 0 0
2 Akauntan W41 1 0 0 0 0
3 Penolong Akauntan W32 4 0 0 0 0
4 Penolong Akauntan W27/W32 1 0 0 0 0
5 Pembantu Akauntan W26 1 0 0 0 0
6 Pembantu Akauntan W22 2 0 0 0 0
7 Pembantu Tadbir (Kew) W26 4 0 0 1 0
8 Pembantu Tadbir (Kew) W22 12 0 0 0 0
9 Pembantu Tadbir (Kew) W17/W22 194 8 6 6 0
10 Pembantu Akauntan W17/W22 25 1 1 0 0

JUMLAH
245 9 7 7 0
SOSIAL
1 Pegawai Penerangan S41 1 0 0 0 0
2 Pen. Pegawai Penerangan S27/S32 1 0 0 0 0
3 Pen. Peg. Belia & Sukan S27/S32 1 0 0 0 0
4 Pen. Peg. Hal Ehwal Islam S27/S32 1 0 0 0 0
5 Pembantu Perpustakaan S22 1 0 0 0 0
6 Peg. Hal Ehwal Agama Islam S17/S22 1 0 0 0 0
7 Pen. Peg. Belia & Sukan S17/S22 1 0 0 0 0

JUMLAH
8 0 0 0 0
PENTADBIRAN DAN SOKONGAN
1 Penolong Pegawai Tadbir N36 0 0 0 0 0
2 Penolong Pegawai Tadbir N32 7 0 0 2 0
3 Penolong Pegawai Tadbir N27/N32 16 0 0 2 0
4 Pembantu Tadbir (P/O) N26 6 0 0 0 0
5 Pembantu Tadbir (P/O) N22 28 0 0 2 0
6 Pembantu Tadbir (S/U) N22/N26 3 0 0 0 0
7 Pembantu Tadbir (P/O) N17/N22 265 2 3 21 0
8 Pembantu Tadbir (P/S) N17/N22 0 0 0 1 0
9 Pembantu Khas /PT (S/U) N17/N22 27 0 0 1 0
10 Pegawai Khidmat Pelanggan N22 1 0 0 0 0
11 Pegawai Khidmat Pelanggan N17/N22 16 0 0 1 0
12 Pembantu Tadbir (P/O) KAT N17 0 0 0 0 73
13 Pembantu Am Pejabat N4 9 0 0 0 0
14 Pembantu Am Pejabat N1/N4 94 0 0 3 0

JUMLAH
472 2 3 33 73
KESELAMATAN DAN PERTAHANAN AWAM
1 Penguasa Imigresen KP44 0 0 0 0 0
2 Penguasa Imigresen KP41/42 33 2 1 2 0
3 Penolong Penguasa Imigresen KP38 46 0 2 8 0
4 Penolong Penguasa Imigresen KP32 155 1 1 10 0
5 Penolong Penguasa Imigresen(ATASE) KP32/KP38 7 0 0 0 0
6 Penolong Penguasa Imigresen KP27/KP32 452 17 10 35 0
7 Penolong Penguasa Imigresen (ATASE) KP27/KP32 13 1 0 2 0
8 Pegawai Imigresen KP26 217 1 1 16 0
9 Pegawai Imigresen KP22 1,265 29 17 92 0
10 Pegawai Imigresen KP17/KP22 6,106 253 157 577 0
11 Pegawal Keselamatan KP14 0 0 0 0 0
12 Pegawal Keselamatane KP11/KP14 4 0 0 0 0

JUMLAH
8,298 304 189 742 0
BAKAT DAN SENI
1 Ahli Fotografi B17/18/B21/22 1 0 0 0 0
2 Ahli Fotografi B11/B17/18 1 0 0 0 0

JUMLAH
2 0 0 0 0
MAHIR, SEPARUH MAHIR DAN TIDAK MAHIR
1 Pemandu Kenderaan R3/R6 106 2 0 7 0
2 Pekerja Awam R1/R4 51 0 0 4 0
3 Pekerja Awam (SEMENTARA) R1/R4 2 0 0 0 0
4 Penjalan Jentera Elektrik R16 0 0 0 0 0
5 Pemandu Kenderaan Bermotor (KAT) R3 0 0 0 0 0

JUMLAH
159 2 0 11 3
JUMUD
1 Operator Komputer F17/F22 2 0 0 1 0
2 Pembantu Tadbir Rendah (J/T) N11/N14 62 0 4 3 0
3 PRHEI S11/14 0 0 0 0 0
4 Serang A17/A22 0 0 0 0 0
5 Kelasi A1/A3/4 0 0 0 0 0
6 Pencari Fail N1 1 0 0 0 0
7 Penyelenggara Stor Rendah N11/N14 4 0 0 0 0
8 Juruinjin Laut A11/12 2 0 0 0 0
9 Jaga R1/R4 10 0 0 0 0
10 OMPD F14 6 0 0 0 0
11 OMPD F11/F14 69 0 0 0 0

JUMLAH
156 0 4 4 0

JUMLAH BESAR
9,598 322 208 813 76