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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WikiLeaks founder bail challenged

Swedish prosecutors have said they would appeal against a British judge's decision to grant bail to
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been arrested in Britain on Swedish allegations of sex crimes.

Prosecution lawyer Gemma Lindfield announced the decision at a court hearing on Tuesday, without giving reasons.

Assange had been granted bail with strict conditions by a London court, but must now remain in jail pending the outcome of the appeal.

The 39-year-old Australian applied for bail on Tuesday a week after being remanded to custody on a European arrest warrant issued by Sweden.

Earlier in the day, Assange's supporters, gathered outside the Westminster magistrate's court, cheered when they heard Assange had been granted bail, the terms of which included wearing an electronic tag, living at a registered address, observing a curfew and lodging $317,400 with the court.

The website founder's lawyers have previously said the charges against him are politically motivated after thousands of US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks angered governments around the world.

Statement from prison

Earlier Assange denounced Visa, MasterCard and Paypal for blocking donations to his website in the wake of the release.

Speaking to his mother from his prison cell, Assange said the firms were "instruments of US foreign policy" but said their actions would not stop WikiLeaks from continuing to publish 250,000 cables.

"My convictions are unfaltering. I remain true to the ideals I have expressed," he said in a statement to Australian television, dictated by his mother Christine Assange.

"These circumstances shall not shake them. If anything, this process has increased my determination that they are true and correct."

Assange was accused in August of sexual misconduct by two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers during his stay in Sweden.

A Swedish prosecutor wants to question him about the accusations, although the chief prosecutor, Eva Finne, cancelled a previous arrest warrant on the grounds that there was no "reason to suspect that he committed rape".

The crime Assange is suspected of is the least severe of three categories of rape, carrying a maximum of four years in jail.

Assange has voiced fears along with his lawyers that US prosecutors may be preparing to indict him for espionage after embarrassing leaks by his website.

The US justice department has been looking into a range of criminal charges, including violations of the 1917 Espionage Act, that could be filed in the WikiLeaks case.

Assange's Swedish lawyer has said he would fight any attempt to extradite his client.
Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies

Hindraf lawyers unlawfully detained under ISA three years and one day ago today . Abolish the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) release all ISA prisoners and shut down “Malaysia’s Guantanamo Bay” Kamuniting ISA detention Camp

14/12/2010

YAB. Dato Seri Najib Razak

Prime Minister of Malaysia,

Block Utama Bangunan Perdana Putra, Fax : 03-8888 3444

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,

62502 Putrajaya. E-Mail : najib@pmo.gov.my

Y.B Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein,

Menteri Kementerian Dalam Negeri,

Kementerian Dalam Negeri,

Blok D1 & D2, Kompleks D,

Pusat Pentadbiran,

Kerajaan Persekutuan, Fax:03-26933131
62546 Putrajaya E-Mail: menteri@moha.gov.my

Re: Hindraf lawyers unlawfully detained under ISA three years and one day ago today .

Dear YAB/ Y.B,

Yestersday was another Black Day for the Indian community in Malaysia because 3 years ago today, on the 13th of December 2007 you decided to place and one day in detention without trial, our Hindraf Lawyers, by invoking the draconian law, the Internal Security Act.

On this day we call upon you to immediately abolish this draconian and unjust Internal Security Act and to release all detained without trial under this Act at the Kamunting Detention Prison.

On 13/12/2007 the ISA was used against Hindraf lawyers whose only crime was to speak up loudly and clearly for the marginalized and segregated minority Malaysian Indians who for 53 years have been oppressed by the segregationist and religious supremacist policies of the UMNO regime. The crux of the demands of the marginalized and segregated minority Malaysian Indians is listed in their 18 point demand of the 12th of August 2007. Instead of addressing these issues squarely, the leaders in the UMNO led Government, including yourself, maliciously and falsely labeled the Hindraf Lawyers as Hindu extremists who had secret links to the LTTE and who posed a threat to internal security and invoked the Internal Security Act against them. You did this only so that you can get public opinion on your side to put them away without trial. You did this as a show of your power to act, to punish those that dare defy your regime and to silence all the voices calling for change.

While in detention P.Uthayakumar wrote a moving letter on his 500 days in detention under ISA. In his letter he wrote that even though he is a Lawyer himself and had defended many in the court of law he was himself unable defend against this false and malicious charge against him because he has been shut up by this draconian law which utterly denies him any right to be heard. What irony, he wrote.

Further, the exercise of the Internal Security Act for the charges you have laid upon the Hindraf lawyers is in violation of Article 8 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution on equality. Article 8 provides that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection and that there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent and gender or place of birth.

This regime of rule of law requires every man to be given a right to be heard, Audi Altrem Partem.

In your wisdom you have decided otherwise.

By this act of detaining the Hindraf lawyers without trial, you have decided that the articulation of the 18 point demand to correct the excesses of the past on the Indian minority community does not require to be dealt with by the rule of law. Anyone defying the racist and religious supremacist regime that the UMNO led Government has built up over the 53 years is not entitled to equal treatment before the law in spite of the guarantee in the Federal Constitution.

On the personal side, the pain and torture of detention under the ISA is worse than the pain of incarceration of the ordinary prisoner, because the ordinary prisoner knows the exact date when he will be free again. Not the ISA detainee. This is in the design of the method of punishment – mental torture every day of detention. To use this law is in total violation of the norms of a free, fair and humane society.

Equality and Freedom of Expression are pillars of Human Rights. Human Rights is the foundation of a just and free society. To deny equality and the freedom of expression is to continue to bottle in the true potentialities of our society. Only through the processes of maintaining equality and allowing freedom of expression do societies establish a basis for prosperity and progress for all in society. The voices speaking up to realize this must be allowed to be heard.

The Internal Security Act flies in the face of all of this wisdom.

We the Human Rights Party Malaysia (HRP),call upon the Home Minister to immediately abolish the draconian ISA and shut down “Malaysia’s Guantanamo Bay” Kamunting ISA Detention Camp and to move on forward with the wishes of the people.

“Rights not Mercy”

N. Ganesan

Adviser

Human Rights Party Malaysia (HRP)

Singapore denies WikiLeaks’ expose on Malaysian politics

KUALA LUMPUR, DEC 14 — Singapore moved to smoothen ruffled feathers in Malaysia tonight by denying a WikiLeaks expose on disparaging remarks made by its senior officials, saying what was alleged to have been said “did not tally with our own records.”

The island republic’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said Minister George Yeo had called his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Anifah Aman today “to clarify Singapore’s policy of not commenting on leaks”.

“On the specific complaints raised by the Malaysians, what Singapore officials were alleged by WikiLeaks to have said did not tally with our own records. One purported meeting did not even take place.

“Minister Yeo and Minister Anifah agreed on the importance of good bilateral relations and strengthening cooperation further,” said a media statement attributed to an MFA spokesman on the ministry’s website.

The spokesman also confirmed that Singapore’s High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur T. Jasudasen had been asked to see Anifah earlier today and had received a protest note regarding press reports of US Embassy cables leaked by WikiLeaks.

Anifah told reporters in Parliament that he conveyed Malaysia’s deep concern and displeasure over the comments as revealed by WikiLeaks and subsequently reported in the media.

The remarks made by Singapore’s senior government officials and aired in the whistleblower website had been “uncalled-for and unjustifiable”, he had said.

In their remarks, the Singapore officials had reportedly said “Malaysia’s decline” was fuelled by incompetent politicians. These officials were also less than complimentary about Malaysia’s prime ministers, past and present, with one of them calling Najib “an opportunist”.

But Anifah rubbished the remarks and pointed out that there was a vast difference between running a country like Singapore and Malaysia.

“As an MP, when I go down to the ground, some requests I get from the people is quite out of this world. Like in one village with five homes, there is a highway there and yet they asked me to build a bridge for them.

“I told them I cannot build such a bridge but I can build it in a different way. You may laugh but it is true.

“If I were to air the views of the electorate, Singapore would probably say – what is this?” he said.

Anifah reiterated that it running a city-state like Singapore was different from running a country like Malaysia.

“They do not have rural folks. Pehaps they face the same problems that what do. So what is this ‘incompetency’? Does it refer to how we run our country?” he said.

Malaysia’s move came after a day after Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday told Malaysians to ignore contemptuous regional neighbours and focus on achieving the country’s goals instead, in his first public comments about a WikiLeaks expose of diplomatic chatter from Singapore.

“We can show to our neighbours, that although sometimes they make disparaging remarks about us, that Malaysians can actually achieve,” Najib said in a speech at the 1 MCA Medical Foundation fund-raising dinner last night.

Singapore has also adopted the same tone.

“These relationships are built on a strong foundation of shared interests and mutually beneficial co-operation in many areas,” said a foreign ministry spokesman from the Lion City.

“Singapore has long-standing, robust and positive relationships with all countries in our region,” the spokesman said, adding countries based relationships on their own interests and “not hearsay or gossip”.

PKR officials had earlier asked Jasudasen, the Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia, to clarify the remarks made by the officials in 2008 and 2009.

Whistleblower WikiLeaks had on Sunday made available diplomatic cables disclose discussions between senior US officials and their Singapore counterparts Peter Ho, Bilahari Kausikan and Tommy Koh. The contents of the cables were published by Australian newspaper The Sunday Age.

All three Singaporeans gave damning assessments of Malaysia. The discussions between the Singaporean and US officials took place in 2008 and 2009.

The trio had reportedly said “Malaysia’s decline” was fuelled by incompetent politicians.

These officials were also less than complimentary about Malaysia’s prime ministers, past and present, with one of them calling Najib “an opportunist”.

In September 2008, Kausikan, a senior foreign affairs official, told the US Deputy Secretary of Defense for East Asia David Sedney that the “situation in neighbouring Malaysia is confused and dangerous”, fuelled by “a distinct possibility of racial conflict” that could see ethnic Chinese “flee” Malaysia and “overwhelm” Singapore.

“A lack of competent leadership is a real problem for Malaysia,” said Kausikan, citing the need for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to prevail politically in order to avoid prosecution in connection with the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

“Najib has his neck on the line in connection with a high-profile murder case,” noted Kausikan.

A few months earlier, Peter Ho told another US official: “The political knives will be out for Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi’s) son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, whom nobody likes because he got where he is through family ties...”

Khairy is now the Umno Youth chief but has not been given an administrative post in Najib’s government despite being seen as one of the shrewder politicians in the country.

“As for Najib Razak, he is an opportunist. Although he has not been critical of Singapore, he will not hesitate to go in that direction if it is expedient for him to do so. Najib’s political fortunes continue to be haunted by the murder scandal,” Ho had reportedly said.

The leaked cables will give ammunition to hawks in the Malaysian government and Umno who believe that it is unproductive to have good relations with Singapore, whom they describe as calculative and condescending.

The Najib Administration has attempted to keep the relationship on an even keel and even untangled a long-standing dispute over Malaysian-owned railway land in the republic.

This breakthrough was made despite opposition by some quarters in the ruling party.

Both governments have agreed to set up a joint-venture company by December 31 to develop land parcels swapped for the prized railway land that cuts through the island state.

Anifah insisted today that despite the damaging comments by the officials, bilateral ties between Malaysia and Singapore were still sound.

“Ties are still good. That is why I said... I took solace in the fact that it was only issued by these officials and not the leaders of the nation. But then again, these people should have also taken into consideration the feelings of their neighbours.

“While it is their prerogative to say so, they must take into consideration their bilateral relationship with their closest neighbours,” he said.

Anifah however admitted that the incident would not benefit both nations, seeing as both prime ministers shared a good relationship.

“Of course, this whole thing was confidential. But if it is true that it was said, then at least we can explain to the people why,” he said.

According to the leaked cables, Singaporean and Australian intelligence officials had also noted that the sodomy charge facing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim — Najib’s political rival — was a “set-up job” but the opposition leader had walked right into it.

The Australian intelligence had also claimed that it believed Anwar had engaged in sodomy, adding that the source was from Malaysia’s Special Branch police.

The opposition leader has since refused to take calls to comment on Australia’s The Sun-Herald report but responded via his Twitter micro-blogging account when queried.

“Source? Polis SB Msia. Bukti tak ada (Who is the source? Malaysian police Special Branch. There is no proof whatsoever),” Anwar replied.

In an earlier reply, the former deputy prime minister wrote: “Source? Msian SB ha ha.”

Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers have also demanded Singapore respond to the WikiLeaks’ revelation that regional intelligence agencies believe Anwar had committed sodomy, claiming that it was a “high-level conspiracy” implicating both the Malaysian and the island republic’s Special Branch police.

Anifah today noted that he had not met with Anwar on the matter but offered that the opposition leader had every right to declare his stand on the matter.

“It is true that when I travel overseas, his sodomy case is the most asked about issue. And although it is subjudice and I cannot speak about it, it is up to him to explain himself.

“But the point I would like to drive home now is that – everytime something is said, they always call it conspiratory politics,” he said.

Anifah pointed out that the claim against Anwar had not come from Malaysian leaders this time but from officials from neighbouring countries.

“Anwar has the avenue to explain,” he insisted.

A dabbler but seeker after truth


By Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today

FMT EXCLUSIVE: Kee Thuan Chye belongs to the old school of journalism. One that upholds a syllabus of integrity, critical thinking and reporting without fear or favour.

And in a time when the media is heavily pressured to foster the right political alignment, 56-year-old Kee is grateful to have hung up his journalist hat.

Kee's journalistic career spanned a noteworthy 32 years throughout which he graced the seats of editor and associate editor of the country's two main English dailies.

But these high-ranking positions paled in comparison to the social responsibility that he believed a newspaper should undertake and which he was prevented from executing.

“Mainstream journalism today is worse than it was during my time,” he deplored. “Everything is controlled now. Editors get calls from the Home Ministry and have to apologise. You can't say anything unflattering about a minister. And I blame (former prime minister) Mahathir (Mohamad) for this.”

“During his time there was a running joke in the newsroom that all Mahathir needed to do was f**t and it would make for 20 paragraphs on the front page. He started this whole rot and the media has deteriorated since. So what journalism is there left?”

When prompted to answer his own question, Kee replied that he didn't know what to say. But of course he did. And when he leaned forward with an answer, he didn't bother mincing his words.

“Mainstream journalism is a PR rag that serves the government, provides entertainment and spins the news in a manner that hurts the opposition,” he said forcefully. “It saddens me. Young reporters entering the profession are being taught the wrong values.”

“This is why we should be grateful for the emergence of online media. It is a godsend in bringing alternative news and truth to the people. And we need this because we're not yet ready for total neutrality or developmental journalism.”

Kee explained that developmental journalism is one that is geared towards the development of a country but not at the expense of being constructively critical.

Unfortunately, he added, it had become a dirty word in Malaysia for its propensity to unearth the unsavoury details of parties and politicians.

“But let's not forget that criticism also spurs development,” he said. “The problem with our mainstream journalists is that they're not even questioning which is the first step towards being critical.”

Kee has allowed his critical eye to roam beyond newsprint and onto the stage in the form of plays. In many circles he is known as a journalist, playwright, actor and poet.

“I'm a dabbler,” he chuckled in response to which of those roles best fit him. “I dabble in many areas which is why I haven't mastered anything.”

But that's where he's wrong. Kee has mastered the art of seeking the truth and in the process, he has discovered his own answers to the questions that hang over our nation.

On the education system

“The government needs well-educated people if it wants to realise the goals of its Economic Transformation Program (ETP). And the graduates we are producing today are not up to scratch.

The government has spent the past decades lowering the standards of education and the passing mark in order to pass more students. And for what?

They are hopeless graduates who can't even hold themselves during an interview. And then they have to undergo re-training which incurs more cost.

I don't see any signs at the moment of the education system being revamped for the sake of improvement. And in any case it's going to take a long time for it to be hauled up to a certain level. So things don't look very hopeful right now.”

On Talent Corp's role in stemming brain drain

“It's a tall order. Who in their right mind, having made it overseas, would want to come back to uncertainty? And how would they know that they would get to be on a level playing field?

A friend in Washington said that where he works everything is based on meritocracy but he cannot expect the same if he were to return home. The government is desperate now and is going to try everything it can to bring well-educated, well-qualified Malaysians home.

It should be given a chance to exhaust every avenue but as far as I'm concerned, these are still dreams. (Prime Minister) Najib (Tun Razak) is a damn good dream merchant. If he wasn't the prime minister, he would be a salesman.”

On ketuanan Melayu

“Ketuanan Melayu has been abused and interpreted according to the whims and fancies of the ruling party in order to suit their agenda. It claims that questioning Ketuanan Melayu is akin to questioning the royalty. That's nonsense!

The royalty's position is already enshrined in the constitution. You cannot question it. And no right thinking non-Malay who has been conditioned to be subservient would question the constitution.

But we question the existence of ketuanan Melayu when equality of all citizens is also enshrined in the constitution. My contention has always been that there is a contradiction in the constitution itself which our founding fathers overlooked.

If you take away the whole notion of ketuanan Melayu and just accept that all Malaysians are equal because the constitution states so, then there won't be an issue. Then it will be ketuanan rakyat as PKR said.

Politicians have been using ketuanan Melayu to play to the gallery. They say different things to the Malays and the non-Malays, and then they go to their Malay mainstream media and spread all kinds of nonsense and racial propaganda. Now that is being anti-national.”

On the younger generation

“I always have hope for the younger generation but they must be well-educated politically. They must know what is right for the country and mustn't become absorbed by the system. They must not be sold on the illusions sold by the incumbent ruling party.

An they shouldn't waste their opportunity to vote. What they need to do is study the options carefully and ask themselves which of the two would give them a better hope for the future, for change and for the better.

Do they want to stay with an incumbent that has a baggage of corruption and finds difficulty in reforming itself because there are so many warlords running the show? Or do they want to have a newbie who is untested but without quite as heavy a baggage?

They should also ask themselves why the ruling coalition is still founded on race-based parties and if they still want such parties to dominate the political scene.”

Huge turnout at Pakatan rally to hear about Kuan Yew, Dr M, Najib and Altantuya


A multi-racial crowd packed the night-market compound
Dinesweri Puspanadan and Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

UPDATE5 Despite police discouragement, more than a thousand people packed the night market compound in Taman Melati, Wangsamaju to hear a Pakatan Rakyat political lecture led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

They were not disappointed. A star-studded line-up greeted them with speeches that soon had them cheering and clapping. Pakatan leaders such as Tan Tee Kwong, Tian Chua, Khalid Samad,Teresa Kok and Shamsul Iskandar Akin renewed the coalition's pledges of change and reform.

The multi-racial crowd was also clearly eager to hear Pakatan's explanation of the accusation made by Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew against Anwar. They wanted to know why the elder statesman would make such a remark on WikiLeaks and were also keen to hear Anwar talk about former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who has insisted Kuan Yew's facts are right.

Anwar - has not lost his charisma
"Do you think I'm dumb to go into a trap knowing it is a trap? Don't challenge me too much! I will open up the murders - committed and covered up!," Anwar told the crowd, which roared back their support.

"WikiLeaks, do you have technical evidence? If you do, bring Lee Kuan Yew to court. Whether you think I did it or not, that's none of my business. You have any video recording or doctors' notes, produce them at court."

Most of the Pakatan's side of the story has been blacked out in the mainstream media which only carried news that Kuan Yew had told Australian officials that he believed Anwar was framed, but he had also committed sodomy.

Tan Tee Kwong
Anwar has repeatedly denied these charges and his lawyers have earlier today announced he will be suing Mahathir. It is likely Anwar's defense team may try to subpoena Kuan Yew to testify in his Sodomy II trial.

"Lee Kuan Yew is afraid that Singaporeans will seek reformasi as the party in Singapore is the same like Umno which has never changed. We are not afraid, confused, or shocked with this allegation," Tian told the crowd.

But most sought-after were the Najib tidbits

But above all, the crowd appeared most eager to hear the latest tidbits about Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was also criticized by Singapore officials. WikiLeaks had also exposed these comments but the mainstream press had again blacked out this news.

Tian Chua
"If Utusan published about WikiLeaks on sodomy, why did it not publish about Najib's link to the Altantuya murder which was also said by the same Singapore intelligence. We want Singapore to bring the evidence about the sodomy and the murder of Altantuya to court. I want to propose to the Dewan Rakyat to debate on the issue of WikiLeaks - the sodomy and Altantuya murder and expose all the evidence to the public. Dr M responded for sodomy but what about Altantuya's murder and the link to the PM?" asked Tian.

Top Singapore diplomats such as Tommy Koh, Peter Ho and Bilahari Kausikan had in comments to their U.S. counterparts called Najib an "opportunist", saying his involvement in the Altantuya murder was tarnishing Malaysia. They also said Malaysia was on a decline due to "incompetent politicians".

Standing room only - total crowd size of around 2,000
Najib had tried to keep a lid on these explosive comments by asking Malaysians to ignore the Singaporean criticism. But tremendous pressure from Malay groups have forced him to issue a letter of protest to the Singapore High Commission today.

"Now, it's not me who said Najib is involved in the Altantuya murder but WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is the one who says our prime minister in involved in a murder," said Anwar.

"The Umno media create havoc about sodomy but sideline the Altantutya link to Najib, which was also in WikiLeaks. Najib is now desperate to defend Putrajaya because he is scared the Altantuya murder will finally be fully exposed. I challenge Najib to challenge Singapore to prove his link with the Altantuya murder is false."

Shamsul Iskandar
Dissolve Parliament, hold snap polls

Anwar also told the crowd that if Parliament suspended him for linking Najib's 1Malaysia with APCO, a U.S. based firm with Zionist links, he would tour the country and speak to the people.

Police had earlier set up road blocks nearby to Taman Melati but decided to allow the ceramah to carry on as a permit had already been obtained.

Meanwhile, PKR Youth Chief Shamsul Iskandar Akin challenged Najib to dissolve Parliament and hold snap general elections if he truly believed Malaysians were behind the Umno-BN.

Political academics have been reported as saying BN would still win the next general election. However, they were not sure if it could regain the two-thirds parliamentary majority lost to the Pakatan in 2008. They warned that a Third Force, promoted by several prominent bloggers and whom many Malaysians believe are actually funded by Umno, may further undermine the Pakatan's chances.

Teresa Kok
In her speech, Teresa also lambasted the Selangor Umno for spreading lies about the Pakatan state government.

"The federal government alleged that Selangor was suffering a drop in investment. From January to September, we drew RM6.53 bil, the highest in Malaysia whereas Johor - despite all of BN's Iskandar corridor efforts only pulled in RM3.57 bil," she told the crowd.

She also explained the Selangor administration's need to regain control of the state's water assets including revoking the existing monopoly granted to Umno crony firm SYABAS, which currently has sole rights over water distribution in the state.

"If we don't take over SYABAS, the price of water tariff would increase," warned Teresa.

Malaysia Chronicle appends below the details of the next ceramah due to be held in Negri Sembilan 

16 Disember 2010 (Khamis) – Negeri Sembilan & Melaka

Masa : 9.00 – 12.00 malam

Lokasi  1 -  Ceramah Perdana 1
                    Dataran Muhibah, Kampong Ismail,
                   Ampangan, Negeri Sembilan
   
Penceramah:
i)                YB Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim
ii)               YB Azmin Ali
iii)              YB Saifuddin Nasution
iv)              YB Loke Siew Fook
v)                YBhg Zulkifli Omar Muhammad

          Lokasi 2 – Ceramah Perdana 2
                             Markas PAS Paya Dalam,
                             Air Molek, Melaka

          Penceramah:
i)                YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
ii)               YB Sallehudin Ayub
iii)              YB Goh Leong San
iv)              YBhg Ustaz Abd Ghani Abd Rahman
v)               YBhg Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin
vi)              YBhg Ustaz Dr Badrul Amin 

Lim Kit Siang persoal kerajaan tutup kes P.Balasubramaniam


(Selangor Kini) - Ahli Parlimen Ipoh Timur, Lim Kit Siang menyifatkan keputusan kerajaan menutup kes melibatkan penyiasat persendirian, P. Balasubramaniam yang diumumkan di Parlimen hari ini sebagai tidak menyakinkan.

Menurut Kit Siang, tidak masuk akal apabila Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz mengatakan bahawa tidak ada kesalahan dilakukan oleh Bala berhubung dua akuan bersumpahnya yang bercanggah.

” Penerangan yang diberi dalam parlimen untuk menutup kes penyiasat swasta, Balasubramaniam tidak meyakinkan dan memperkukuhkan kesimpulan bahawa ada ‘double standard’ dalam perkara ini bahawa tidak ada keadilan dalam urusan pentadbiran.

” Dalam dua akuan bersumpah, tentulah ada satu yang tidak benar dan Balasubramaniam sendiri ada mengakui bahawa akuan bersumpah yang kedua adalah yang tidak benar dan dipaksa untuk dibuat,” jelas Kit Siang ketika dihubungi Selangorkini.

Nazri hari ini dalam Dewan Rakyat menjelaskan bahawa setelah penelitian dilakukan, didapati kedua-dua akuan bersumpah yang bercanggah bukanlah satu kesalahan kerana ia bukan dibuat bagi tujuan prosiding mahkamah.

” Oleh yang demikian, elemen di bawah 199 akta 574 tidak dipenuhi dan perbuatan Balasubramaniam dalam membuat dua akuan berkanun yang bercanggah tidak menjadi satu kesalahan di bawah seksyen tersebut.

” Setelah penelitian dibuat dan mengambilkira semua keterangan yang dikumpulkan oleh pihak polis serta fakta bahawa Balasubramaniam masih belum dikesan sehingga kini dan dipercayai berada di luar negara, Jabatan Peguam Negara telah membuat keputusan untuk menutup kes tersebut kerana percanggahan dalam kedua-dua akuan berkanun Balasubramaniam tidak memberi apa-apa kesan kepada kes Altantuyaa Shaariibu,” jelas Nazri.
[balasubramaniam]

Bala sebelum ini mengemukakan dua akuan bersumpah berkenaan pembunuhan Altantuya tetapi menarik balik pernyataan itu menerusi akuan bersumpah kedua pada keesokannya.

Bala kemudiannya tampil menjelaskan perkara tersebut dan mengakui bahawa akuan berkanun pertamanya itu adalah benar.

” Sebab itu tidak masuk akal untuk perkara ditutup apabila Balasubramniam sendiri ada berkata, akuan bersumpah pertama benar dan kedua tidak benar,” tambah Kit Siang lagi.

Dilaporkan Bala kini berada di London.

Beliau yang sekian lama bersembunyi kerana khuatir dengan keselamatan diri dan anggota keluarganya, tampil menawarkan untuk memberi keterangan kepada Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) pada pertengahan tahun ini.

Ironinya kerajaan Malaysia terutama SPRM setelah mendapat peluang bagi merakamkan keterangan yang ditunggu-tunggu selama ini membatalkan hasrat tersebut pada saat-saat akhir.

S'pore clarifies but does not deny Najib's Altantuya, opportunist remarks

(The Straits Times) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Singapore's High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur T Jasudasen had been asked to see Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato' Seri Anifah Aman this morning regarding press reports of US Embassy cables leaked by WikiLeaks.

He also received a protest note.

Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo called Mr Anifah later on Tuesday to clarify Singapore's policy of not commenting on leaks.

Highlighting a disparity of facts, the MFA spokesman said the 'specific complaints raised by the Malaysians, what Singapore officials were alleged by WikiLeaks to have said did not tally with our own records'.

'One purported meeting did not even take place.' the spokesman added.

Both Mr Yeo and Mr Anifah have agreed on the importance of good bilateral relations and strengthening cooperation further.

Surat Rasmi KEADILAN Kepada Kedutaan Besar Singapura Mengenai Isu ‘Wikileaks’

Ref no: MISC/PAR/10/10/yh

H.E. T Jasudasen
High Commissioner
The Republic of Singapore

Dear Sir,

Greetings. The latest exposure in WikiLeaks has triggered a serious and alarming signal for Malaysia-Singapore relations. While I agree that the confidentiality of diplomatic correspondence must be respected, I also hold that a healthy friendship with neighbouring countries must be based on trust and mutual respect.

The cables released by WikiLeaks contain the opinions of Singapore’s senior politicians and diplomats. Their comments show, despite being our close neighbour, Singapore Government leaders view Malaysia with contempt and disdain. For example, Malaysian developmental decline was simplistically attributed to “incompetent” leadership. Besides the defamatory remark by Lee Kuan Yew that the Opposition Leader was “set-up”, Singapore’s Government senior leaders also described Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as an “opportunist” and asserted that he was involved in a murder case.

These comments, coming from Singapore Government officials, were not expressed in private conversations or within a close circle. Instead, the cables revealed that Singapore’s political leaders and diplomats had been actively communicating such damaging remarks to the international community. From the nature of these communications, one can not help but to interpret that Singapore is actively engaging in a covert exercise to undermine Malaysia’s international standing. As a Malaysian, despite my differences with the ruling parties, I find it extremely offensive when a foreign government deliberately spreads unverified information to tarnish my country’s image.

For decades, Malaysia-Singapore relationship has been marred by suspicion and mistrust. I personally believe that there is room for improvement in the relationship between our two countries. We place high hope in professional diplomats to play an important role in promoting positive relations between countries.

But unfortunately, in spite of our proximity and long-term cross-border exchanges, Singapore diplomats have still failed to assess Malaysia accurately. It is particularly insulting when Singapore informs other countries that Malaysia was on the brink of ethnic riots, and Singapore risked having to face a flood of refugees of ethnic Chinese from Malaysia.

I believe I am not the only Malaysian who feels disturbed by the patronizing and arrogant attitude of Singapore’s leaders. I hereby, seek your clarification on the above-mentioned issues. I hope the Singapore High Commission on behalf of the Singapore Government will explain to the Malaysian public whether the opinions of its officials as revealed on WikiLeaks reflect the government’s official view on Malaysia.

Finally, I would like to reiterate that as a Malaysian Member of Parliament, I value a good relationship with our neighbour Singapore and have no intention to create a diplomatic brawl over the leaked information. However I seek an honest explanation so that our future relations can again be placed on a sound footing.

Thank you.

Yours Sincerely,

TIAN CHUA
Vice President of the People’s Justice Party
Member of Parliament Malaysia [Batu]

Dr Jeffrey Kitingan To Quit PKR Thursday, Say Sources

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- Former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice- president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan is expected to announce his resignation from the party on Thursday, according to sources.

A special press conference has been arranged for Dr Jeffrey to make "a very important" announcement on that day, they said.

The sources said Dr Jeffrey, who is former Bingkor assemblyman and younger brother of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, might also announce the setting up of a movement to continue his political career in anticipation of a snap general election next year.

"Dr Jeffrey is not quitting politics ... instead he is upgrading his political struggle," the sources told Bernama.

The sources declined to say whether the movement was linked to the formation of a third political block in the country which is said to be headed by former PKR stalwart Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Political pundits see Dr Jeffrey's imminent resignation as a major blow to PKR's attempt to strengthen itself in Sabah, dubbed as "the fixed deposit" for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).

Syariah Court should be cautious on child marriages, says Shahrizat

The Sun
by Shalini Maheswaran

PETALING JAYA (Dec 13, 2010): The Syariah Court should tread carefully when deciding on cases pertaining to child marriages, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said today.

She hoped the welfare of the child will be paramount before the courts approve applications for such marriages.

"The Syariah Court has the power to grant permission to applicants. However, we request the court to examine the circumstances before approving any application," she told reporters after delivering her keynote address at the International Conference on the Family Institution in the 21st Century here.

"The syariah family law states that any Muslim under the age of 16 needs the consent of the Syariah Court in order to marry. (But) we also have to think of the future implication of child marriages, especially after the couple have children ... it is like a child parenting another child."

Her comments came in the wake of the recent marriage of 14-year-old Siti Maryam Mahmod to teacher Abdul Manan Othman, 23. There has been pressure from various groups on the government to look into allowing child marriages.

Shahrizat also said her ministry will conduct research to determine the need to increase maternity leave.

"We are looking into the possibility of increasing maternity leave and have sent a letter to the Human Resource Ministry asking to extend the leave to 90 days for private sector employees," she said.

Currently, female workers in the private sector are entitled to 60 days maternity leave. The move to increase maternity leave faced objections from several quarters like the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), which cited higher costs as a reason.

On Friday, the ministry will submit a memorandum on the National Family Policy for cabinet approval.