Share |

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Iranian TV to air interview with woman sentenced to death by stoning

A picture released by Iran's state-run Press TV shows Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani meeting with her son Sajjad.
(CNN) -- A program on Iran's government-backed Press TV recently took a woman convicted of adultery and murder back to her home in Osku "to produce a visual account" of the death of her husband "at the crime scene."

Press TV posted a story on its website early Friday morning explaining that the program "Iran Today," which will air Friday night, would include interviews with -- among others -- Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced to be stoned to death.

Press TV's release of still photographs of Ashtiani and her son from the interview, which took place on Sunday, fueled some speculation that they had been released, but there was no evidence or confirmation to support that conjecture.

In a clip from the program that aired late Thursday, Ashtiani confesses to plotting to kill her husband. Her family, however, has denied she was involved in her husband's death.

Ashtiani was convicted of adultery in 2006 and sentenced to death by stoning.

She became the subject of enormous international outcry over the summer when her sentence became public knowledge.

Officials ranging from Pope Benedict XVI to the European Union's top foreign policy official, Catherine Ashton, urged Iran not to carry out the sentence.

Two German journalists who interviewed Ashtiani were arrested in October and charged with espionage. He son and lawyer also were arrested, but it was not clear on what charges.

Shot 4 times and don't know why

Students rally against hikes in Putrajaya, 3 arrested

Juvenile Mugelen (14) sent to jail for in accidentally touching another young Malay girl in swimming pool. Cannot afford RM1,700.00 bail, so put in UMNO jail.

imageimage
Juvenile Mugelen (14) sent to jail for in accidentally touching another young Malay girl in swimming pool. Cannot afford RM1,700.00 bail, so put in jail.

And cannot afford a lawyer so forced to plead guilty. This predicament happens to scores of thousands of the Indian poor, not necessarily because they are guilty but simply because they cannot afford the bail and have no money to pay lawyers. So they go to jail. UMNO/BN denies them the Legal Aid. And it is from prison that they may actually learn and become the real criminals.

“Rights not Mercy”

S.JAYATHAS

Information Chief
New Scan-20101210165130-00001
New Scan-20101210165252-00001

Malaysians see police as most corrupt, TI finds

Low said the perception on grand corruption has increased. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — Malaysians perceived the police to be the most corrupt, topping political parties, civil servants, the private business sector and the judiciary, according to the 2010 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) results released today.

The survey, conducted by Transparency International (TI) Malaysia, involved about 1,000 people, 16 year olds and above, with 57 per cent from urban areas and the rest from rural areas. The survey, conducted in July this year, is the seventh edition, an annual report except for the year 2008.

Datuk Paul Low, president of TI Malaysia, said the finding was unusual compared to surveys done in most countries, where political parties top the list, followed by the civil service and the judiciary.

He said in terms of petty corruption cases, the percentage had gone down. It is the perception on grand corruption that has increased.

The survey found that 9 per cent of the participants admitted to have bribed in the past year. It is the same percentage of those in Singapore and slightly higher than those in Hong Kong, at 5 per cent.

The Malaysian figure is lower than the Asia-Pacific average of 18 per cent.

They said they had bribed either a police officer, officers from the registry and permit processing, land, medical services, the state education departments as well as the Customs.

The positive perception of the government’s actions in fighting corruption has jumped, the survey found. Almost 50 per cent thought the government’s actions were effective, 32 per cent were neutral, while only 20 per cent disagreed.

“This is a drastic turnaround from the previous year,” said Low of the positive perception, from 28 per cent.

Although the reasons for such perceptions were not compiled, TI Malaysia said the positive perception could be attributed to the Whistleblower Protection Act, which came into effect on December 12, TI’s Integrity Pacts (IPs) which were supposed be implemented in government procurement in April 2010, as well as “Name and Shame” in the Convicted Corruption Offenders Database on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) website with convicted offenders’ details, among others.

With respect to the level of corruption in the next year, 27 per cent thought the level of corruption will increase, 41 per cent thought it will stay the same, and 25 per cent thought it will decrease, according to the report.

“Although there are good initiatives and the public’s confidence in the government’s actions to fight corruption has jumped, there are unfortunately indications of insufficient political will to eradicate corruption.

“For example, no ‘big fish’ being brought to book, poor progress in identifying and prosecuting culpable persons in the Port Klang Free Zone fiasco, no further action by the Attorney-General against those implicated in the judicial appointment tampering ‘Lingam tapes’ despite the royal commission’s findings and recommendations, the continuing and snowballing practice of awarding mega projects and contracts without open tenders or competitive bidding and IPs yet to be implemented,” Low said.

The group suggested making MACC “more independent and autonomous” and that it should report directly to a parliamentary committee and also be given prosecution powers, similar to a “successful” system in Indonesia.

It also suggested the reforming of political financing and regulation of political parties and elections, as well as public disclosure of politicians’ assets.

The independent body also called for “effective and vigorous” enforcement of existing laws and policies including money laundering and transfers by suspects in high-profile corruption cases.

“TI-M reiterates its call to the government to show political will ‘without fear or favour’ to vigorously fight corruption,” Low stressed.

“A high-income economy can only be achieved where there are efficient delivery systems, where the organs of government and institutions govern and manage the country and its resources professionally, responsibly and with integrity, transparency and good governance, in the interest of the nation and its citizens,” he said.

'AG Gani had interfered in Anwar's 'black eye' case'

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A former top investigating officer today stood firm on his recent claims that Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail had fabricated evidence during the 1998 investigation into the “black eye” assault on former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim despite government's assurance that there was no cover-up.

Mat Zain Ibrahim, who was the investigating officer when Anwar was in police custody 12 years ago, penned a second open letter to the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar today and appealed that the case be reopened.

However, Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that there was no such fabrication of evidence when responding to a question raised by Ipoh Timor DAP MP Lim Kit Siang.

"The police have conducted investigation into the incident in 1998. There was nothing to indicate that false evidence had occurred in the investigation," said Hishammuddin.

But unconvinced, Mat Zaid claimed that such statement was a move to “protect certain individuals” and was contrary to the stand of the police force back then.

"At that time, the police took the stance to conduct the investigation 'without fear or favour', and to 'leave no stone unturned', and 'to get it over with as soon as possible' and there would be no 'cover-up'.

"But the position this time around seems to be as if there is a cover-up to protect certain individuals," he said.

Investigation papers 'lost'

However, Mat Zain gave Hishammuddin the benefit of the doubt, considering that there was lack of reference material that was supposed to be included in the investigation papers of the “black-eye” case.

He revealed that several important documents related to the case were displaced while in the hands of the attorney-general, which had to be replaced with duplicates.

"In fact, the whole investigation papers were 'lost' for about three weeks between Oct 30 and Nov 20, 1998 as I have explained (in my previous letter).

"I am not surprised if the documents are incomplete considering that they have long been concealed in the attorney-general's office," he said.

Mat Zain also asked how and why the "falsified" medical reports, prepared by Dr Abdul Rahman Yusof, could have gone missing when two of the three documents had been used in the Royal Commission of Inquiry in 1999.

"In fact, the two documents were submitted and considered in the proceedings to investigate the 'black-eye' incident in 1999 and the report of the commission has been made public," he said.

He said the documents could not have been overlooked as they totalled 65 pages and not one or two pages long.

Falsification done 'deliberately'

Mat Zain also insisted that the falsification was done “deliberately”.

"I believe the AG is familiar with cases related to counterfeiting – that any fraud is done 'deliberately' and that there is no fraud that is done accidentally.

"I would like to emphasise that all three falsified medical reports were done with careful planning and execution... my investigation diary and its minutes can help identify the relevant sequence of events leading to these falsifications," said Mat Zain.

He claimed that in the commission's proceedings between Feb 22 and March 4, 1999, both Gani and the late former attorney-general Mohtar Abdullah had separately told Rahman to prepare the first two "falsified" medical reports. Gani was the head of the prosecution unit at that time.

"I came to know that the findings in the commission's inquiry had caused Mohtar to panic. He did not know that Gani had already told Rahman to prepare a report earlier.”

According to him, Mohtar would not have asked Rahman to prepare the report if he had known that Gani had already told the doctor to do so.

Mat Zain said that any falsification could be easily detected because the investigation team was watching the case closely.

"... what I can confirm is that Rahman himself requested, even begged, my assistants to seek my co-operation to include a third report to neutralise the first two, which I declined," he claimed.

However, Mat Zain said that when the commission's findings were printed and presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and later declared a public document, it was found that only the second medical report was included.

'No one else has any interest, except Gani'

"To be fair to Gani, I have no information to say that he played a part that caused the report to go missing from the documents. However, I am not surprised if he is involved because no one else has any interest in this matter.

"Nevertheless, I am not worried about the absence of the report because the copies that are in my possession are clear and complete," he said.

Mat Zain also said he would leave the matter to the discretion of the IGP, "to make the best decision for the police that is fair to all parties”.

"However, I reserve my right to continue to pursue the matter or stop," he said.

It was reported recently that the government is expected to decide next week whether Mat Zain's allegations would need a second round of investigation.

Two years ago, Anwar had filed a police report accusing Gani, Mat Zain, former Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan (then investigating officer) and Rahman of falsifying his medical report.

Following the Royal Commission of Inquiry investigation in 1999, the then Inspector-General of Police Rahim Noor had admitted he had assaulted Anwar. He was convicted and sentenced to two month's jail and a fine of RM2,000.

PKR faces more legal suits over alleged electoral fraud

By A Sam Lini - Free Malaysia Today

SANDAKAN: Members of two PKR divisions in Sabah – Batu Sapi and Sandakan – have filed suits against the party over alleged irregularities in the recent polls to elect the deputy president.

The two suits were filed separately at the Sandakan High Court registry this morning.

The members are asking the court to declare the election results in the two divisions null and void. They also want fresh polls to be held in their divisions for the number two post.

In the Batu Sapi suit, five members from the division – Mohd Suffian Jamal, Amir Hamzah Aliong, Saiful Bahari Rashada Ahmad, Bobong Sakaupal and Amiruddin Abdul Kadir – said they believed there had been electoral malpractices and mismanagement of the election process in the elections held in the division on Nov 13.

They named Batu Sapi division chief Hassanar Ibrahim and PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail as defendants.

In their affidavits, they said that Hassanar had not allowed them to vote as he was unsure when the balloting would begin.

However, they said that they noted about 30 to 40 people had turned up for the election which started at 1pm and ended at about 4pm.

"We were shocked with the result of the election when we were informed that Azmin Ali, one of the three candidates for the post of deputy president, has obtained 1,027 votes between 1pm and 4pm when only 30 to 40 people turned up at the material time," they said.

They added that the party had not taken any action over the increased number of voters.

As such, they want the court to declare the results which favoured Azmin invalid and for fresh polls ordered in the division.

Manipulation in Sandakan

The Sandakan PKR suit was filed by party member Chee Yiu Leong who claimed that the voting process was manipulated in the division during the election on Nov 6.

He said that outsiders were ferried in to vote in favour of Azmin. He added that some voters voted more than once.

Chee, who is also the Sandakan Youth chief, said he discovered someone named Ardat Tusin was involved in organising members and non-members to cast extra votes.

Ardat, meanwhile, in his affidavit, admitted that he was responsible in ensuring Azmin got more votes than the turnout on that day.

He said that although only about 50 members had come, he was responsible in showing that more than 400 members have voted. This was done through extra votes made by individuals through extra ballot papers.

"The extra ballot papers were supplied by the election coordinator for the purpose of casting extra votes for Azmin... " said Ardat in his affidavit.

Chee named division chief Mudry Nasir @ Mazry and Saifuddin as defendants.

No date has been fixed to hear the applications. FMT learnt that at least one other division in Sabah will be filing a similar suit soon.

PKR has won one court action

Both suits filed today want the court to declare the election results in the two divisions – all favouring Azmin – invalid and for fresh polls to be conducted.

The controversy over the elections in these divisions, and in many other divisions nationwide, prompted Zaid Ibrahim to pull out for the race. He subsequently quit the party. The other candidate, Mustaffa Kamil Ayub, contested under protest.

Azmin has been officially announced as the new deputy at the party's national congress on Nov 28.

It is uncertain if the Sandakan court will entertain these applications by the disgruntled members as one such application, by former deputy secretary-general P Jenapala against the party to call for fresh polls, was rejected by the Kuala Lumpur High Court last month.

The High Court ruled that that it had no jurisdiction to hear Jenapala's suit as a result of constraints imposed by the Societies Act.

Sosilawati's company ordered to sell RM3m property to couple

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today ordered Nouvelle Beauty Centre Sdn Bhd, a company owned by the late cosmetics millionaire Sosilawati Lawiya to sell a piece of land and building, worth RM3 million, to a couple as promised.

Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof made the order in chambers in the presence of both parties following an application by Low Choong Yen, 59, and his wife, Lim Bee Geok, 52, for a summary judgment.

Nouvelle Beauty Centre was represented by lawyer Mohd Hadi Ar Rais Muhamad, while lawyer Karena Tang Shiau Hui represented the couple.

In allowing the couple's application, the court also ordered Nouvelle Beauty Centre to pay cost of RM15,000.

Speaking to reporters later, Tang said the cosmetics company was also ordered to sign the sale and purchase agreement for the property within 14 days from today.

On Aug 5 this year, Low and Lim filed a suit against Nouvelle Beauty for breach of agreement in the sale and purchase of the property located in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya.

The suit was filed before Sosilawati, 47, and three others – her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, CIMB bank officer Norhisham Mohammad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32 – were murdered in Tanjung Sepat, Banting.

In the suit, the couple claimed that an offer letter signed by Nouvelle Beauty Centre dated April 2 stated that it had agreed to sell them a 144.9 sq metre piece of land, together with a four-storey office building on it, for RM3 million.

They said that they had paid earnest deposit of RM60,000 when signing the offer letter for the purchase of the property, and the remaining RM240,000 of the deposit was to have been paid upon signing of the sale and purchase agreement.

However, after the sale and purchase agreement was signed, Nouvelle Beauty Centre, through a letter dated April 30, 2010, informed them that it had no intention of proceeding with the sale.

They also claimed that Nouvelle Beauty Centre failed to return the M60,000 which they had paid as earnest deposit.

Low and Lim sought a declaration that there was a valid agreement between them and Nouvelle Beauty Centre on the sale and purchase of the property, and for the company to proceed with the transaction, as well as an injunction to stop the company from disposing of the property to anyone else.

- Bernama

BN under serious threat in S'wak, says Adenan

By FMT Staff

KUCHING: The organised assault by a "cancerous" opposition could leave several Barisan Nasional candidates on the losing end in the soon-to-be held state polls, according to a senior member of Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's Cabinet.

Sounding a serious warning, special adviser to Taib, Adenan Satem, said the voters would not vote for a party anymore.

"The situation has changed. People have easy access to information and are more politically aware. The people's mindset has changed and BN cannot afford to rest on its laurels," he said.

In what is seen as the first confession of BN politics in Sarawak, Adenan said the current scenario was less favourable to BN.

He said frustration among dissatisfied voters coupled with structured campaigns by an empowered opposition and widespread allegations of abuse over the Internet had filtered down and would affect the party's standing.

He said that voters today were more inclined to support individuals who were committed to serving them.

"The best advise to BN candidates now is to stay close to the people and attend to their needs.

"Don't take voters for granted. Nowadays people don’t vote along party lines...the personality of the candidate also matters and could contribute to a defeat or victory.

"So candidates need to be convincing, open to criticism and must listen to the grouses of the people,” Adenan told newsmen at the recent pre-Christmas gathering organised by the Bidayuh Graduates Association.

Adenan, who is also Tanjung Datu assemblyman, pointed out to cases where local BN candidates were not supported by their own party members and in the end "these members themselves campaigned against the candidate."

Eroding voter-bank

Adenan's confession speaks of the seeping fear among BN of cracks within and that even its 'fixed deposit' of native voters, once considered a savior, is also eroding.

It is common knowldge here that BN has lost much of the Chinese support despite denials by the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP).

Opposition DAP has openly stated its confidence in wresting 15 seats fuelled by its victory in the Sibu by-election in May.

PKR, in the meantime, is steadfastly working on land issues, which is the core concern of native voters.

The latest 'directive' by Sarawak’s Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication Michael Manyin to community leaders not to endorse native customary land (NCR) saying they have 'no authority' has also riled locals with many seeing it as yet another puncture in BN's vote-bank.

A former deputy president of the Council of Native Customary Laws, Nicholas Bawin has lambasted Manyin for his ignorance with regards to the customs and adat of Dayaks (natives).

“Under the adat, the Tuai Rumah, Penghulu, Pemancha and Temenggong are custodians of the adat. They are appointed because they have substantial knowledge of the land," Bawin said adding that by virtue of this knowledge their appointment came with 'authority.'

Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian, who is also a wellknown NCR lawyer, said that forbidding headmen (community leaders) from carrying out their role was a "serious abdication of responsibility".

"Headmen (should not) shy away or be prevented by certain political powers or individuals from discharging their important duties. It is irresponsible of them not to exercise their rights," he said.

Meanwhile a realistic Adenan has admitted to 'weaknesses' in the system and is urging the people to give BN time to change.

Admitting to the four 'ailments' outlined by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak during the recent BN Convention 2010, he said: "People are not as appreciative as before. Now they believe it is the government's job to look after them. The government, they say, is paid (by taxpayers) to do so.

"But we are realising our weakness and shortcoming.

"Give us (BN) time to change and we will change...but it will take time," he said, adding that in the 'final analysis' BN was still the only party who could bring development to the rural areas.

Between Malaysia and the UK


I will continuously write about how things are done elsewhere and ask why we can’t also do the same in Malaysia. And I will not accept the argument that we can’t also do that because our skin is black, brown, cocoa or yellow and not white. It is not the external colour of our skin that determines advancement. It is our brain and how we utilise it that will.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dear Petra,

Today’s vote on Higher Education funding was one of the hardest things we have had to do in politics. I know that there are strong and passionately held views on all sides of the debate, which I very much respect.

And of course I understand why many in our party wish we could have pursued a different policy. I wish that too; but we simply were not in that position, we did not win the General Election but went into a coalition and had to tackle the greatest economic crisis in decades.

Within those constraints, Vince Cable and his team have put together a highly progressive package. We are ending the upfront fees for part-time students, increasing the repayment threshold from £15,000 to £21,000 – lowering every graduate’s monthly repayments, guaranteeing that poorer graduates pay less than they currently do and richer graduates more. Added to those progressive changes, a national scholarship fund has been setup to give further support to students from the poorest backgrounds as part of our fairness premium.

Taking all things into consideration, this is a package which is fairer than the existing situation, fairer than Lord Browne’s original review, fairer than the NUS proposals and fairer than the policies that both Labour and the Conservatives would have implemented had they been in government alone. And at the same time we are delivering on our front page manifesto commitment for a fully funded pupil premium – which will act as a huge driver of social mobility. That is something we can all take pride in.

The next big challenge for us as a party is winning the Oldham East and Saddleworth by election. I’ve spoken to our excellent candidate Elwyn Watkins and our Director of Campaigns Hilary Stephenson – there is no doubt that this is a by-election we can win, as long as we all do our part. Your help now before Christmas is vital to maintain the momentum we need. Every extra Liberal Democrat MP in parliament will mean we can deliver more of our manifesto.

Many Ministers and MPs have already been in the constituency to do their bit. President-elect Tim Farron and I will be campaigning there together soon. We look forward to seeing you there. Please click here to find out how you can help – and if you live a long way from Oldham there are ways you can help from your home.

Best wishes

Nick Clegg MP


Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister

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

I received that e-mail above a few hours ago. This was not the first such e-mail I received from my party leader who is also the Deputy Prime Minister of Britain. And it will certainly not be the last.

Incidentally, I also received a phone call from the party headquarters asking me whether I can help in the coming by-election seeing that I am from that area. And I also participated in the party election recently when it chose its new Chairman (I wrote about this earlier). The beautiful thing is I did not need to go to the party convention to vote for the Chairman as the ballot paper with the CV of both candidates was sent to me by post and I returned the ballot paper also by post.

This is postal voting at work in its best example.

You may agree or you may disagree with what Nick Clegg said in his e-mail. But the point is he sends out such e-mails to explain his position on various matters, especially if they are controversial in nature. And he also sends out e-mails before the event so that we know beforehand what they are going to debate in Parliament and the position they are going to take in that debate.

As I said, you may argue that you do not agree with the LibDem position. And as I also always say: we can agree or we can agree to disagree. But what is important here is that there is transparency in what they do. There is no hidden agenda or chicanery at play here.

LibDem depended on the youth vote to garner about 30% of the popular vote in the recent general election. To ensure they retain the support of the youth they should have ‘bribed’ them by banning fees totally rather than increase them. Now they are unpopular with their young voters and yesterday’s demonstrations proved this.

Incidentally, my daughter was in yesterday’s demonstration, the second one she attended. The university gave leave to the students to join the demonstration. Actually I am already paying full fees for her so the increase does not affect me one bit. But my daughter still joined the demonstration not because she is personally affected by the increase but on the principle that the increase would hurt those who have no money.

Now, what is the point of this story of mine? Simple, I just want to explain how things are being done here in the UK. And I also want to show you what I mean when I rant and rave that Malaysians need to be more mature in how they do things.

We seriously need reforms in Malaysia. And this is my point, which I have been stressing time and time again.

Can you imagine Malaysian universities giving leave to all the students so that they can go to Parliament House to demonstrate against the Malaysian government? Can you imagine electing the leaders of Malaysian political parties by postal votes? Can you imagine party leaders sending letters and e-mail to each and every party member almost daily to explain its position on various issues? Can you imagine receiving phone calls from the party head office to discuss how you can contribute to party campaigns?

I remember back in 2001 during my ISA detention when the Director of the Special Branch, Datuk Yusof Rahman, told me that I am too Mat Salleh in mentality. “What you are saying is not wrong,” he said to me. “It is just that it will not work in Malaysia. People like you are more suited for England. In England what you say will be perfect. But not in Malaysia. Malaysians are not sophisticated enough to do the things you say.”

But why must this be so? Why must we agree to be backward just because our skin is not white? After all, did not civilisation start in the east? Were not easterners already way advanced in medicine, engineering, architecture, astronomy, and so on when the west still believed that headaches were caused by devils entering our brain?

Okay, maybe Barisan Nasional does not want reforms or want Malaysians to advance because an advanced society would never accept a Barisan Nasional type of government. So Barisan Nasional’s future depends on the people remaining backward and ignorant.

But what is Pakatan Rakyat’s excuse? Pakatan Rakyat talks about reforms. But what reforms are they themselves introducing? They demand that Barisan Nasional reform. Should not Pakatan Rakyat demonstrate what it means by reforms by first of all reforming itself?

In a nutshell, this is what I mean when I say that the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) seeks to reform the political environment of Malaysia. Note that our target to push for reforms is not just Barisan Nasional but also Pakatan Rakyat.

And I will continuously write about how things are done elsewhere and ask why we can’t also do the same in Malaysia. And I will not accept the argument that we can’t also do that because our skin is black, brown, cocoa or yellow and not white. It is not the external colour of our skin that determines advancement. It is our brain and how we utilise it that will.

Will PKR let the truth emerge, or once again take refuge behind Mahathir’s ouster clause?

RPK wrote that ‘PKR set to implode after allegations of fraud’ in the Jenapala case.
But then, RPK was not to know that PKR’s lawyers would stack up an impenetrable ‘Section 18C, Societies Act, 1966′ wall between the judge and the sordid facts.
And so, without examining the allegations of fraud and forgery, the judge threw out Jenapala’s case.
FreeMalaysiaToday reports today that new law suits have been filed at the Sandakan High Court registry this morning by PKR members from the Batu Sapi and Sandakan divisions, also alleging irregularities in the recent polls to elect the deputy president.
The Batu Sapi suit has been filed by 5 division who allege electoral malpractices and mismanagement of the election process in the elections held in the division on November 13. They allege that the new Batu Sapi division chief, Hassanar Ibrahim, prevented them from voting. They also allege that only 30 or 40 members turned up to vote but they ‘were shocked with the result of the election when we were informed that Azmin Ali, one of the three candidates for the post of deputy president, has obtained 1,027 votes between 1pm and 4pm when only 30 to 40 people turned up at the material time” .
They also complained that the party had not taken any action over the increased number of voters, suggesting that a complaint in relation to this had previously been lodged with either the central elections committee or the party headquarters.
The suit from the Sandakan division is even more intriguing.
It is brought by only one member, one Chee Yiu Leong, who is said to be the Sandakan youth chief.
He alleges that at the elections on 6th November, outsiders were ferried in to vote in favour of Azmin.
Now, what is intriguing about this complaint is that Chee Yui Leong has named one Ardat Tusin as being responsible for this and this Ardat has sworn an affidavit admitting this.
“The extra ballot papers were supplied by the election coordinator for the purpose of casting extra votes for Azmin… “ Ardat is reported to have said in his affidavit.
Bizarre!
Are PKR’s lawyers going to build another ‘Section 18C’ wall in the Sandakan High Court to keep the judge in the dark, or will they allow the truth surrounding these damning allegations to emerge?

RUBBISH


1. It is reported that Malaysia produces 94,000 tons of rubbish per day or 34,310,000 tons per year.

2. I suppose a substantial portion of this must be produced by Greater Kuala Lumpur (population of about 5.5 million).

3. Population wise Greater KL has about 20 per cent of Malaysia's population. Therefore Greater KL's production of rubbish is approximately seven million tons per year.

4. What can we do with 7 million tons of rubbish. Well, we can throw it on the road outside our houses, or in the drain and rivers. In no time all our drains and rivers will be clogged up and water will overflow and flood the land. The health of the people will be at risk.

5. We can collect the rubbish and bury in a designated area. With 7 million tons a year we will be needing more and more land, and land in Greater KL is expensive. To use the land again the rubbish has to be dug and removed to another place for burial.

6. Alternatively we can have a rubbish mountain and people can go there to scrounge for any useful item. Probably the mountain of rubbish will be burnt slowly and pollute the atmosphere.

7. We can if we like, burn the rubbish behind our houses. One house doing this would be okay. But when everyone does this in KL the smoke would not only cause a haze to hang over KL, but the smell would be quite unbearable.

8. Again we can collect the rubbish and burn it in an incinerator. But no community wants to have the incinerator located anywhere near them. We must find a place where no one is living there. Look around Greater KL and you cannot find a piece of land far enough from any community to site the incinerator.

9. If you do find it would be so far away that he cost of transporting the rubbish would be a drain on the finances of City Hall. Maybe the rubbish producers should pay a special fee for rubbish disposal. I don't think anyone would agree to that. It's not the Malaysian way to pay what we can get for free.

10. I am putting this dilemma of the authorities on my blog so that people can come up with solutions. Frankly I think the authorities are scared to apply any solution because we are a democracy and no one wants to lose votes.

11. For those who are interested, read about the rubbish collection problem in Italy here.

12. Your comments please.

BN’s Election Gimmick, Ketuanan Issue And Racial Politics

Burma's 2011: A Look Ahead

Image
Better year for Suu Kyi?
(Asia Sentinel) A benighted nation faces an uncertain future after troubled national elections


The year 2010 is ending and a new year is dawning. Could next year be radically different from 2010 or previous years? The future is unpredictable, but we can predict a few things to come based on the past year and Burma's history.

January: Burma always greets the new year with a celebration of Independence Day on Jan. 4. This year marks the 63rd anniversary, but since1962, when the military staged a coup, the people have suffered decades of oppression under Socialist and military governments.

January is unlikely to be politically dynamic, but the ruling government will be making plans to finish its seven-step road map.

"Now, plans are underway to implement the two remaining steps [to convene a parliament and build 'a modern, developed democratic nation'] to hand over State power to the public," junta head Snr-Gen Than Shwe said in his message to the people on the country's National Day, which fell on Dec. 1, 2010.

February: This could be the last month for the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the governing body of the ruling military regime, if the generals feel secure enough to hand over power to a new government. The 2008 Constitution says that the parliament is to be held within 90 days after the Nov. 7 election. Feb. 5 is the deadline for the country’s first parliament to convene with the newly elected candidates, which will then form a new government with the selection of a president and two vice presidents.

By the time the new government is formed, the SPDC will be terminated. Should the Burmese people feel relieved that they are no longer under military rule? You know who won in the last election: the Union Solidarity and Development Party, the junta’s party. So, the answer is clear.

Will February mark the beginning of confrontations between the ruling junta and the opposition groups? Shortly before the military regime held the last election, several prominent ethnic leaders and politicians proposed to convene a second Panglong conference for national reconciliation. Soon after Suu Kyi was released on Nov. 13, 109 people comprised of veteran politicians and ethnic leaders gave her a mandate to lead an effort to convene the conference. It was reportedly said that the conference could be held on Feb. 12, the 64th anniversary of Union Day, which was the day in 1947 that independence leader Aung San, the father of Suu Kyi, and selected ethnic leaders signed the Panglong agreement to gain independence from Britain.

The conference idea is good, but unrealistic, since it would lead to a head-to-head confrontation between the government and opposition groups. If the idea is actually pursued, the regime would probably launch a brutal crackdown on the opposition and ethnic groups. If that happened, the current number of political prisoners (more than 2,100) would soar, and Suu Kyi would again be detained. Surely, Suu Kyi and ethnic leaders will not risk such a confrontation.

March: Burma is likely to have a new government if everything goes smoothly in convening the parliament (though there is no time frame to form a government after convening the parliament). The new government will inaugurate a new name for the country, "the Republic of the Union of Myanmar," changing the current name "the Union of Myanmar."

Is it really new government? We could get a sign of that on March 13, when Human Rights Day ceremonies will be held, marking the day when Phone Maw, a Rangoon engineering university student, was killed by the then Socialist regime's security forces in 1988. Human Rights Day was created by pro-democracy groups to mark Phone Maw's death and has always been illegal in Burma.

The government will come out in full force on March 27 to celebrate Tatmadaw Day (armed forces day) The new government, though it is "civilian" in name, will celebrate the day in massive ceremonies in Naypyidaw, along with the new crop of military generals who have replaced those promoted to positions in parliament.

April: People will again celebrate the new year in water festival gatherings, while not forgetting the tragic bombings during the Rangoon water festival in 2010, when an estimated 20 people were killed and more than 100 injured. The military government said terrorists were responsible for the blasts. Could bombings happen again in 2011? Of course. The background is grim: tensions have escalated on the border between government troops and ethnic armed groups. All cease-fire groups are under constant pressure to transform into a Border Guard Force controlled by the government. An ethnic Karen armed group attacked outposts of the government's security forces in Myawaddy and Three Pagoda Pass, towns along the Thailand-Burma border. Such attacks, including bombings of civilian targets, will go on as long as the tensions can't be resolved through political means.

May:
This month will bring memories of happiness and anger. In 1990, May 27 was the historic election day in which millions of Burmese voters got a chance to choose their elected representatives: the National League for Democracy won in a landslide. But the government was never formed with elected candidates, and now the junta's Union Solidarity and Development Party, is convening a new parliament.

Another bitter event on this month was the deadly attack against Suu Kyi and her supporters who were ambushed by thugs organized by the military government's civil organization, the Union Solidarity and Development Association, the mother organization of USDP. Who can guarantee that a new government led by former senior members of the USDA, won't orchestrate another plot designed to remove her from the political arena.

June: Former student activists who took part in the 1988 uprising will never forget June 16 and 17, when demonstrating students were beaten by riot police and arrested. Many were injured and hundreds were thrown behind bars.

Aung San Suu Kyi will celebrate her 66th birthday on June 19. Here's a beautiful dream: If Suu Kyi had been given a chance to play a key role in a government formed after her party won in the 1990 election, today's Burma might look totally different. Twenty years can make a country politically stable, economically prosperous and developed in areas such as education and technology, all under a democratic government. Imagine no political prisoners in the country's jails. Regionally, Suu Kyi's role as a key leader of a government would create a better relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). Her voice on democracy, human rights and other issues would have been heard at Asean summits, which would be very likely to have had a positive impacts on Asean countries. That wasn't the case.

Let's back to 2011. Suu Kyi will at least be able to hold birthday celebrations with her colleagues and friends freely on June 19, provided she's been able to avoid arrest and detention.

July: Burma has never had a historic student union building since it was blown up by late dictator Ne Win's troops on July 7, 1962. Under a new government in 2011, will students have a chance to rebuild a Union building on the campus of Rangoon University and to form and organize a student union? Student unions have always initiated political activities since the country stood up against the British colony. Because of that, all military leaders since Ne Win have banned student unions. The new government will continue the ban and keep a watchful eye on all student activities.

July 19 is Burma's Martyrs' Day, when nine national leaders, including Aung San, were assassinated more than six decades ago. There are actually many more martyrs who have sacrificed their lives or lost beloved family members through their struggles ever since British rule, Ne Win's authoritarian Socialist government and military governments. The struggle has yet to end and so, 2011 is likely to see more new martyrs.

August: The 8.8.88 (the four eights) haunts the generals who ordered troops to shoot down thousands of people on Aug. 8, 1988. Twenty-three years later, there's always the potential for another '88-type uprising. And the spirit of '88 hasn't diminished. Many of the current 2,100 political prisoners are from the 88 uprising generation, including the most prominent former student leader, Min Ko Naing, who is serving 65 years imprisonment. Will those political prisoners be released by August next year? Fifty- fifty. The release of all political prisoners would be a breakthrough moment. But they are "troublemakers" in the new government's eyes. Of course, a number of political prisoners might be released in early months of 2011. However, it's an unimaginable scenario that 2011 could be no-political-prisoner year.

September: Monks will never forget the blood on the roads of Rangoon, Sittwe and Pakokku or how they were beaten and jailed by security forces during their peaceful demonstrations during Sept. 2007. Saffron Revolution. About 250 monks are still serving lengthy jail terms. One leader-monk, Ashin Gambia, is serving a 63-year sentence in Kalay Prison. The war between the sons of Buddha and the people in military uniform has yet to be reconciled.

In the country's history, two days mark important coups: Mar. 2, 1962, and Sept. 18, 1988. The latter was more bloody than the former, when Ne Win staged a coup from a civilian government. In the 1988 coup, troops killed about 3,000 demonstrators across the country and put thousands in jails. It's quite unlikely to see a third coup unless there is another massive uprising like in 1988.

October:
Nothing politically significant happened in the country's recent history on this month. But in Oct., 2010, Cyclone Giri struck western Arakan State, killing 45 people (according to UN figures) and affected nearly 200,000 people. Giri and Cyclone Nargis, which hit Burma in 2008, were the worst natural disasters in the past several decades. There could be more such disasters as the world faces global warming. Burma has a record of ignoring or hindering national and international relief workers and groups from freely traveling and helping disaster victims. A different policy on humanitarian issues is unlikely to come from this new government.

November: The month could mark the one-year anniversary of Suu Kyi's release. The questions would be: has she successfully created a country-wide network, as she declared shortly after her reseal on Nov. 13, 2010. Or, is she serving a new sentence under house arrest? Is she expanding a cultural-political network using social media such as Twitter and Facebook? Burma has an estimated 400,000 Internet users and around one million mobile phones. Internet users and those who have mobile phones could become a force in helping disseminate information inside and outside the country. Even though the government tends to restrict Internet users and media, such a force could create a more aware, involved group of activists, cyber dissidents and citizen journalists.

December: Will Burma have experienced any real progress in creating democratic "value change" or "radical change," words Suu Kyi used after her release? We know that 2011 will start off with a sense of change in the air. But, if little actually changes, we'll look back on what happened in 2011, and we'll hope for positive changes in 2012.

Kyaw Zwa Moe is managing editor of the Irrawaddy magazine, from which this is taken. Asia Sentinel has a content-sharing agreement with Irrawaddy. Kyaw Zwa Moe can be reached at kyawzwa@irrawaddy.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Double Blow For DAP's Ronnie Liu

By Alan Ting

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 (Bernama) -- It was a double blow for influental Selangor Government executive councillor Ronnie Liu when he was not among the five newly-appointed state DAP committee members.

Liu, who failed to secure a spot in the 15-member state committee during the party polls on Nov 28, was not listed when Selangor DAP Secretary Ean Yong Hian Wah announced the list which was finalised after Thursday night's committee meeting.

Instead, the new leadership under another state government exco, Teresa Kok, appointed Azman Masri, lawyer and former Internal Security Act detainee V. Ganabatirau, Lee Kee Hiong, Shah Alam city councillor Ang Leng Kiat and Lwi Kian Keong.

"The new line-up of the state committee now consists of 20 members," Yong said in a statement issued here Friday.

Lee, a Kajang town councillor and former political secretary to DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang, had failed to win in the Nov 28 election but was expected to be included in the committee as one of the five appointed members.

Following Thursday night's decision to keep Liu out of the powerful state committee, his political future now hangs in the balance although he is still a member of the national central executive committee.

Last Friday, he found himself in the soup over an interview in a news portal, implying that the party was involved in money politics.

The same day, Liu was issued a show-cause letter by the party's disciplinary committee.

Fearless Fan: The principled politician

By Anil Netto,

I couldn’t help feeling a sense of loss over Fan Yew Teng’s passing. He was one of a kind, a freedom fighter with a strong passion for justice, tempered with a hearty laugh and a friendly disposition.

He was a politician but a principled one – which may explain why he never struck fame or fortune. He may have quit his party, started a new party and then left formal politics – not because he was a katak or for personal gain. As always with Fan, it was on a matter of principle, a matter of conscience.

After his departure from politics, he led a fairly secluded lifestyle. But he never truly left the scene. Every now and then, he would send articles to Aliran, which the social reform group happily carried in its publication, Aliran Monthly.

A fearless writer, he would fire stinging broadsides at the Mahathir administration at a time when large sections of the the Malaysian public were either complacent or carried away by the former premier’s top-down model of development, which was riddled with croynism and plagued by financial scandals.

This was long before the reformasi era of the late 1990s.

But even though his distance from the rough-and-tumble world of politics gave him a refreshing perspective of the Malaysian landscape, Fan felt compelled to return to politics when the reformasi phenomenon erupted. Putting aside his differences with his former colleagues in the DAP, Fan re-entered politics – not because he wanted to ride on the bandwagon but because he took a decision to come forward and be counted. I suspect he saw it as his patriotic duty as a Malaysian, a human being, to take a stand for justice and freedom at a crucial time in the nation’s history.

Fan continued to write until recent years and broadened his worldview to look at environmental protection – saving the limestone hills of Ipoh became a major concern – and global issues especially US imperialism.

Whenever I saw the envelopes containing the manuscripts from him arriving at Aliran, I knew instantly they were his. As an editorial board member, I would have the pleasure of reading them: the pages would be painstakingly type-written – not keyed in using a PC. In a sense, the black carbon ink against the white sheets of paper mirrored Fan’s ability to emphatically distinguish between right and wrong and to call a spade a spade. His attachment to his typewriter, his basic tool, reflected his romance with the written word – in the same way an artist might prefer a paint brush and canvas rather than a computer graphics software tool.

And it was on those typewritten sheets of paper that Fan came into his own – in the most powerful way imaginable. He did not mince his words even after all those years had passed since, as editor of the Rocket in the early 1970s, he paid a heavy price for publishing articles that upset the government of the day. His life was one long love affair with the written word as a means of putting across his commitment to the cause of justice.

From someone I admired for his fearlessness and passion for justice, Fan became a friend and an inspiration. I never knew him as having an email address or a cellphone. Over the last couple of years I tried a few times to reach him on his land line in Perak to no avail. So news of his passing in Bangkok came as a shock.

Fan Yew Teng was definitely a ‘towering Malaysian’.

May his soul rest in peace.