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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sci-Fi Jerusalem

Scene from film Secular Quarter #3. (courtesy Jerusalem 2111/David Gidali)
Scene from film Secular Quarter #3. (courtesy Jerusalem 2111/David Gidali)

Palestinian soldiers and United Nation's tanks look on as utlra-orthodox Jews protest in the streets....Smoke billows from the windows of the Knesset as protestors participate in a rebellion to overthrow the government....The walls of the Old City are painted red and adorned with the logo of the country's largest cable television company....

These are just a few of the controversial visions of what Jerusalem may look like a century from now as expressed by filmmakers in the recent International Animation Competition.

Organized by an Israeli city planning organization the competition asked directors to submit one to three-minute films that portrayed an "urban sci-fi vision of the city of Jerusalem" a hundred years from now. Contest organizer Daniel Wiernik, said they received almost a hundred submissions from 10 different countries, though the majority of the films came from Israel.

All of the contestants were required to post their work on-line where after an initial round of public voting the most popular films were screened by a panel of judges including famed Avatar and Titanic producer Jon Landau and German film director or Wim Wenders.

Ranging from the utopian to the dystopian the films offer an interesting variety of visions and commentary on the future of one of the world's holiest and most divided cities. While many of the films offer grim and sobering predictions for the city Wiernik said he was surprised at how many were optimistic considering the genre requirement.

The winning short, Secular Quarter #3, was created by Israeli filmmakers David Gidali and Itay Gross and depicts a ghettoised Jerusalem where the city's population is separated by huge iron walls inter-connected by large domes covering swaths of the city. As night approaches aircraft hover over the city lifting the walls and allowing the a face to face encounter between a black-hatted ultra-orthodox Jewish male and a young and a tattooed secular female.

The duo, who are film students in Los Angeles, took home a ten-thousand dollar prize for their efforts.

External auditors to help Telekom-Alcatel bribes probe

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and Axiata Group Bhd have jointly appointed KPMG Corporate Services Sdn Bhd as forensic accountants to help in an internal probe into bribes allegedly paid to their employees by Alcatel Lucent SA (ALU).

Both companies also jointly announced the appointment of Shearn Delamore & Co as legal adviser to assist investigations into two Malaysian officials who allegedly received US$700,000 for “non-public information” that helped the telecommunications equipment maker win a US$85 million (RM263.5 million) contract.

The information is said to be related to competitors’ pricing and bids, believed to be for TM’s then-subsidiary Celcom Malaysia’s new 3G mobile services which were launched in 2005.

TM, in a filing to Bursa Malaysia late yesterday, also named board member and chairman of the board risk committee Tunku Mahmood Fawzy Tunku Muhiyiddin as chairman of the board audit committee (BAC) into the affair.

The other two members of the sub-committee are senior management members who were not involved in the procurement process during the period in question.

“As the period under investigation concerns the previous integrated TM Group, TM is working closely with Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata) to extend all necessary co-operation with the relevant parties and authorities,” said Telekom Malaysia in its filing.

Axiata named David Lau Nai Pek as its BAC chairman in a separate filing, also issued late last night.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said last week that it wanted to verify the allegations despite the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) fining ALU US$137 million for the global bribery case.

The SEC and DoJ had revealed that between December 2001 and June 2006, Alcatel used consultants who funnelled more than US$8 million in bribes to officials, and Alcatel also improperly hired third-party agents in countries like Nigeria to help win deals.

Overall, the company admitted it earned about US$48.1 million in profits as a result of the improper payments, the US Justice Department said.

The company agreed to pay US$92 million to settle the criminal charges filed by the Justice Department and also pay more than US$45 million to settle the SEC’s civil charges.

In 2006, France’s Alcatel bought Lucent Technologies Inc, including its famous Bell Laboratories, which was the pioneer of many communications technologies. The company said the bribery violations occurred before the combination.

The filing on Malaysia titled “The Malaysia Bribery Scheme” was eight paragraphs long and reported that “from October 2004 to February 2006, Alcatel bribed government officials in Malaysia to obtain confidential information relating to a public tender that Alcatel ultimately won, the result of which yielded a telecommunications contract valued at approximately US$85 million.”

The filing said the TM employees who received bribes were “foreign officials” within the meaning of the US Foreign Corrupt Practises Act and “were in a significant position to influence the policy decisions Telekom Malaysia made.”

It added the Basel-based Alcatel Standard made significant lump-sum payments through US bank accounts to two consultants labelled “Malaysian Consultant A” and “Malaysian Consultant B”, purportedly for market research.

“Alcatel Standard paid US$200,000 to Malaysian Consultant A in 2005 for a series of ‘market reports’ describing conditions in the Malaysian telecommunications market. Similarly, Alcatel Standard paid US$500,000 to Malaysian Consultant B in 2005 for a ‘strategic intelligence report’.

“However, the work product these consultants prepared could not justify the size of Alcatel Standard’s payments. In fact, Malaysian Consultant A and Malaysian Consultant B did not appear to render any legitimate services to Alcatel Malaysia in connection with these payments,” the filing said.

The case is the latest in a series of bribery cases brought by the Obama administration to crack down on illegal payments by businesses to win contracts.

Hadi to meet Nik Aziz over Christmas Eve unity talk

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali will meet Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat today over unity talks with Umno leaders organised recently by Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The Malaysian Insider understands the meeting has been called to avoid further embarrassment to the party following reports of a secret meeting with Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last Christmas Eve at Istana Terengganu here.

It is learnt that Hadi (picture) and his deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa had also attended the unity talks hosted by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. Both are seen as the leading lights in the pro-Umno faction within the Islamist party.

“They will address the controversy surrounding the unity talk before Tuan Guru Nik Aziz officially explains the issue on behalf of the party,” said a PAS insider familiar with the issue.

The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday that Nik Aziz had attended a private Christmas Eve dinner, hosted by the King, with the prime minister and his deputy at Istana Terengganu.

The dinner was seen as another attempt to revive the talks on political co-operation with Umno in the name of Malay/Muslim unity.

The Kelantan mentri besar confirmed the meeting with Najib, but refused to disclose what transpired at the dinner.

But The Malaysian Insider understands that the Christmas Eve meeting was initiated by former Prime Minister Abdullah who, in the aftermath of Election 2008, attempted to form a unity government with PAS leaders.

Sources familiar with the latest move to bring PAS into the Barisan Nasional (BN) government revealed that both Hadi and Nasharuddin would be given a prominent role in Putrajaya if the party decides to abandon Pakatan Rakyat (PR), but Nik Aziz continues to be the major obstacle in bringing PAS closer to the ruling coalition.

The majority of PAS central committee members, however, were kept in the dark about the meeting, with some describing it as a disaster for the party as it took place less than a week after PR’s second convention.

“I have heard about it, but nobody has offered any official explanation. I believe the move is crazy as general election is just around the corner. It will be difficult for us to do damage control,” said a PAS central committee member who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another senior PAS leader described the move to meet with Umno leaders as a violation of the party’s resolution to remain in PR.

“The last three muktamars have decided that the party should remain in Pakatan and to work towards taking over Umno’s role,” said the member of the party’s political bureau.

“The meeting was an act of indiscipline and betrayal,” he added.

Meanwhile, former secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Jafar said PAS leaders now owe an explanation to its members and PR parties.

“Like Nik Aziz said, there were discussions. Members want to know what was discussed, as the meeting was between Umno leaders, more than one of them, and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was also said to be present,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

“During the Pakatan Rakyat convention, all leaders expressed their desire to work together in strengthening Pakatan, but suddenly this issue surfaced. If two days ago it was just rumours, but today Nik Aziz has confirmed it,” said Kamaruddin.

“With the latest development, Pakatan members also deserve an explanation,” he added.

The question of political co-operation with Umno became a major campaign issue in the 2009 PAS election after it was revealed that party leaders, including Nasharuddin and Selangor chief Datuk Hasan Ali, met with Abdullah and former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo after Election 2008 to explore the possibility of forming a unity government.

Leaders aligned to Nik Aziz then accused Nasharuddin of conspiring to take PAS out of PR, but the deputy president successfully defended his post in a three-cornered fight with Mohamad Sabu and Kelantan executive councillor Datuk Husam Musa.

PAS holds 23 parliamentary seats within the PR coalition and controls two states, Kelantan and Kedah. The other two PR-ruled states are Penang and Selangor.

Ex-airman’s habeas corpus case fixed to later date

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — The High Court here has fixed January 17 to hear former airman N. Tharmendran’s habeas corpus application against his detention by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

It had earlier set today to hear the application from the former sergeant to be released after being detained by RMAF provost marshalls outside the Shah Alam court complex on November 25.

He was detained for alleged desertion after attending a court hearing at the Shah Alam High Court to have a charge against him dropped.

Tharmendran (picture) is accused of abetting Senior Airman Mohamad Shukri Mohamad Yusop in the theft of two jet fighter engines in 2008 in a high-profile case that could potentially embarrass the Defence Ministry that was then helmed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

That is the second time the case has been postponed after it first came before judge Datuk Su Geok Yiam on December 3.

The hearing was supposed to be held on December 10 but was postponed till today to give time to all the respondents, who are represented by the Defence Ministry’s assistant legal adviser Mohamad Tarmizi Ahmad, to file their affidavits-in-reply.

The hearing today was converted to case management in accordance with the new court system.

Tharmendran’s counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad told reporters outside the court that the later date was set because of a last-minute affidavit filed by the first respondent last Thursday.

The former sergeant has been detained at the Batu Cantonment Camp since November 25 and filed the writ the next day, naming Batu Cantonment Camp commandant Lt-Colonel Mohd Razif Ramli, RMAF chief Gen Tan Sri Rodzali Daud and the Defence Ministry as respondents.

In his affidavit, Tharmendran, 42, had claimed that his arrest by the RMAF on November 25 was mala fide.

HRP coming out with election manifesto

GEORGE TOWN: Human Rights Party (HRP) is finalising a 15-point election manifesto to face a possible snap general election this year.

The manifesto, among other things, will demand a minimum monthly wage of RM1,300 for all local workers.

HRP secretary-general P Uthayakumar said the demand for minimum wage was not unreasonable given that even unskilled foreigners were earning more than RM1,300 per month in the country.

“A local worker cannot sustain a reasonably comfortable living standard under the current rapidly escalating cost of living.

“Our minimum wage demand is conservative,” Uthayakumar, a former ISA detainee, told FMT today.

The manifesto will also demand a round-the-clock social security (Socso) coverage for all contributing workers.

Currently, Socso only covers injuries or deaths that occurred to workers during working hours and when travelling between their homes and working places.

Uthayakumar said that Sosco was a poor man’s insurance policy and the workers regularly contributed to the scheme from their hard-earned monthly income.

“Hence, its coverage should be 24, not limited, hours,” he added.

Pension scheme

HRP will also demand that Socso policy include a pension scheme for all workers in the private sector, similar to the one enjoyed by ethnic Malay-dominated public sector.

Uthayakumar said that Socso should pay half of the last drawn monthly salary as a monthly pension to retired workers.

HRP also wants the Socso pension benefits to be extended to the widow or children under 21 of any deceased retirees.

“Socso shall be another retirement scheme, apart from the EPF (Employees Provident Fund), for local workers,” he said.

HRP believes that by expanding the coverage and benefits of Socso policy, private sector workers would not lose out due to the government privatisation policy on public enterprises.

Uthayakumar said the manifesto would demand the government convert the loans given out by the National Tertiary Education Fund Corporation into scholarships for all deserving students irrespective of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.

HRP will also demand a gazetted area to build places of worship for any religious ethnic community that has a minimum of 500 people residing in a particular residential area.

“HRP believes that each ethnic community has equal rights to co-exist and practise their respective religious beliefs.

“The government is duty-bound to legalise this right,” Uthayakumar said.

Candidates shorlisted

HRP has formed an eight-man election manifesto committee chaired by a ne Dr S Paraman to formulate and finalise the manifesto.

The manifesto will be unveiled officially after its central executive meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 22.

HRP predicts that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will call for only a snap parliamentary election, not state polls, within the next five months.

The party has already shortlisted candidates for 15 parliamentary seats that it planned to contest in the polls.

The seats are Padang Serai, Sungai Siput, Alor Gajah, Lembah Pantai, Batu Kawan, Ipoh Barat, Teluk Kemang, Rasah, Kota Raja, Cameron Highlands, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Klang, Bagan Datoh and Tebrau.

Uthayakumar urged Pakatan Rakyat to pave the way for his party candidates to face BN in straight fights in its designated federal seats.

Given that Umno and BN were the common enemies, he said it was inevitable for BN opponents to combine forces, and pool and mobilise their resources together to face the next general election.

He pointed out that no governments in the world, except in Malaysia, Singapore, communist China and military-ruled Myanmar, have survived for over half a century.

HRP has already sent letters dated Dec 19 to Pakatan leaders Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and Abdul Hadi Awang, offering an olive branch of cooperation in the next election.

But Pakatan leaders have not responded to it.

“People want change. I am sure Pakatan would not want to let slip the golden chance to displace Umno and BN.

“But if Pakatan refuses cooperation, we will contest on our own… there will be no more free lunches from us,” said Uthayakumar.

Engineer named gay rights hero

KUALA LUMPUR: A 32-year-old Malay-Muslim engineer, who courted criticism and death threats after openly proclaming that he was a homosexual, has received international recognition.

Azwan Ismail has been listed among the top 10 “gay rights heroes” of 2010.

Commenting on this in a Facebook entry, he said: “This is like the best early birthday present ever. Am I already a hero?”

Vowing to continue the struggle for acceptance, he added: “It surely comes with a big responsibility. And I am all ready to fight the battle.”

The recognition comes from which placed Azwan, the only non-Westerner on the list, at number nine.

The organisation’s editor Michael Jones hoped Azwan’s “voice will open doors for others in the country to speak up for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) rights”.

Azwan landed in the spotlight after he admitted to being a homosexual in a video entitled “Saya Gay, Saya Okay” which was posted on YouTube.

The enginner was condemned by numerous quarters, including religious authorities who had threatened to charge him. Many of his critics had also called on Azwan to repent.

One prominent blogger even went to the extent of blasting the federal government for its lack of action in curtailing the spread of gays and lesbians.

Azwan’s video was part of a campaign organised by the NGO, Seksualiti Merdeka, to create awareness about LBGT rights.

Colleagues pay tribute to Jeffrey

ansari jeff Christina Liew
KOTA KINABALU: Several PKR stalwarts here have credited the party’s growth in Sabah to their former colleague Jeffrey Kitingan.

Jeffrey quit PKR on Dec 31 putting an end to months of speculation as to whether he will follow in the footsteps of Kuala Lumpur based ex-PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim.

Yesterday, lawyer Ansari Abdullah, who had mostly had an uneasy political relationship with Jeffrey, surprisingly paid tribute to Jeffrey.

“Jeffrey contributed tremendously to the growth of PKR in Sabah and in the incorporation of specific agendas for Sabah and Sarawak which were sealed by Pakatan Rakyat during its first convention in December, 2010.

“These include the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants, increase of royalties on gas and petroleum, Borneonisation of the civil service and the abolition of the cabotage policy,” he said when asked to comment on Jeffrey’s resignation.

Ansari said although the media had gone to town with rumours of a leadership tussle between Jeffrey and himself, there was nothing personal.

“I had never attacked Jeffrey in the media during his tenure in PKR although a lot had been written about our so-called tussle in PKR.

“We do have differences of opinion on certain matters but then that is normal among politicians,” Ansari said.

‘True son of Sabah’

In an e-mail to FMT, Ansari, who is PKR divisional head for Tuaran, said: “I would like to repeat that as a Sabahan, I had and still do share some of the concerns about the state and PKR that Jeffrey had been addressing all this while.

“Speaking for myself and the Tuaran PKR division, I wish to thank Jeffrey for his contributions to the party and wish him well on his Borneo Agenda.

“To fellow Sabahans in PKR, I urge everybody to respect Jeffrey’s decision. We should move on and continue with our struggle.”

Meanwhile, Christina Liew, also a lawyer and an ally of Jeffrey, said she regretted to see his departure from PKR, adding that he was “a true son of Sabah who never ceases to fight for the interest of Sabah”.

“I share his dream and vision. I wish he would stay on… we can join forces in our struggle for Sabah. I wish him the best because his success means success for Sabah. Jeffrey is a man of courage,” she said in a text message to FMT, adding that she spoke from her heart.

WikiLeaks Finds Another Malaysian Scandal

Rais: Who, me?
(Asia Sentinel) Prominent UMNO stalwart allegedly raped his housemaid in 2007 but wasn't investigated

The latest round of WikiLeaks cables to embarrass Malaysia alleges that a "VVIP" later identified as Rais Yatim, the Information, Communications, and Culture Minister, raped his Indonesian maid in 2007, but got away with it because then-Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi apparently didn't want an embarrassing confrontation with the Indonesian government.

The 68-year-old Rais at the time was law minister in Badawi's cabinet. He has been a stalwart in United Malays National Party politics since at least 1978. Although the rape charges were passed to Badawi's office in 2007 and were well known to top government officials, it appears they were never investigated. Certainly, the charges didn't stop Badawi from naming him foreign affairs minister in 2008, nor did they stop Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak from naming him information minister in 2009.

However, on July 27of 2007, Rais did abruptly pull out of the running to become Commonwealth Secretary-General after the end of the previous secretary's reign in March 2008. He cited the conflict of his duties serving on the committee planning the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Malaysia's freedom from British colonialism. The complaint making the rounds appears to have been filed on July 23.

The lack of investigation of the case also prevents Rais from protesting his innocence. At this stage, lack of evidence would probably make the case almost impossible to prosecute, since it would end up with just the maid's word against Rais's.

Malaysia's blogosphere has caught fire over the allegations although Rais wasn't named as the alleged rapist until this weekend. A three-page Indonesian police report giving details of the maid's service in his home – with his name blanked out – has been making the rounds of the Internet since the middle of December.

However, despite widespread and growing demands in the blogosphere that the allegations against Rais be investigated and prosecuted, the odds are that nothing is going to happen, said a lawyer with close ties to UMNO. It raises too many questions – few people, with the probable exception of the former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, want to go after Badawi for refusing to allow the investigation of Rais. Najib probably doesn't want fire him, the lawyer said, because that brings up unpleasant reminders that the other WikiLeaks documents quote Singaporean officials appearing to implicate Najib in the widely publicized 2006 murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu. Other documents made public by WikiLeaks allege that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was probably entrapped into having sex with his then 23-year-old former male assistant, but did it anyway.

So far, Malaysia's mainstream media, all of which are owned by the major political parties, have ignored the Rais story. The purported rape victim, according to the reports and the copy of the complaint that is circulating with Rais's name blacked out, had been working in Rais's home for eight years when she returned to Indonesia and told her husband about the incident. After she filed the complaint with a migrant worker official in Indonesia in 2007, copies were made available to both the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and the Indonesian Embassy as well as Badawi's office.

The odds that Rais – or any other major political figure in Malaysia – would be prosecuted for rape, let alone any other crime up to and including murder, are belied by a spate of other cases over the years. As Asia Sentinel reported in October of 2009, the privileged are rarely brought to tto trial. Impunity for the politically powerful and rich in Malaysia is too often a way of life. The most infamous recent case was that of Altantuya Shaariibuu, then 28, who was murdered in 2006 by two of Najib's bodyguards.

Although they have been found guilty and have been sentenced to hang for the crime, nobody has been identified as having hired them to kill the woman. Altantuya had been jilted by Najib's best friend, Abdul Razak Baginda, and was demanding US$500,000 money from him. A private detective has alleged in a statutory declaration that Najib had passed the Mongolian woman to Razak Baginda because he knew he would become prime minister and wanted to avoid embarrassment.

Although numerous other witnesses and evidence connected Najib to the affair, he was never questioned or put on the witness stand, nor was his chief of staff, Musa Safri. According to Razak Baginda in a cautioned statement, he approached Musa about getting Altantuya to cease her harassment. Although one of the two bodyguards, also in a cautioned statement, confessed that the two men were to be paid RM100,000 to kill her, the court never asked who would pay the money. The confession wasn't allowed in court. Baginda was acquitted without having to put on a defense and promptly left the country.

Such questionable cases go back to at least the early 1980s when members of Malaysia's royalty allegedly assaulted and killed commoners. Sultan Mahmud Iskandar of Johor was dubbed the "killer king" by the British tabloids after he shot a trespasser to death on his property. Iskandar also reportedly assaulted and killed a golf caddy who was said to have laughed when the sultan missed a golf stroke, and he maimed the caddy's brother.

Megat Junid Megat Ayob, the onetime UMNO deputy home affairs minister, who died in January 2008 of cancer, allegedly was implicated in the murder of a young woman. As with Rais and the rape charges, the widespread gossip about Megat Junid's connection with the murder didn't do his political career any harm. He was ultimately named Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister in 1997 although he lost his parliamentary seat two years later and retired from politics.

In 2002 the decomposed body of the attractive young second wife of the second in line to the throne of Perak, was found under a bridge, clad in a bra and jeans. Although four men were arrested and jailed for the murder, no one was ever arrested or questioned for hiring them to kill her although suspicion fell on the prince's wife.

In 2003, Shahidan Kassim, then the chief minister of Perlis, was rumored to be involved with the death of another attractive young woman was found murdered in an apartment in a Kuala Lumpur suburb. Although another individual was arrested and charged with the murder, he was later declared not guilty and no one else was ever charged. The inspector general of police, Mohd Bakri Omar, classified the case under Malaysia's Official Secrets Act and no details were ever released.

Earlier in 2010, authorities finally completed an inquest into the 2007 death of a beautiful Indian actress, who also worked part-time as a secretary to S.Vell Paari, chief executive officer of Maika Holdings and the son of S. Samy Vellu, the head of the Malaysian Indian Congress, a component of the ruling national coalition. The woman's body was cremated almost immediately after her death. The coroner ruled she had died after poisoning herself. The family vainly requested an investigation into her death.

Portrait of my father, Fan Yew Teng

It has not been easy to bid farewell to my father, a man who touched so many not just by his tenacious commitment to social justice and through his incisive political writings, but also through his warm, radiant, playful personality.

Papa was a wellspring of strength and joy for the family; he was the deepest source of joy and laughter in my life. He loomed large in our lives; his presence was indelible, his charisma unmistakable. He was always a kind of hero figure for me and my sister. When we were young, we would watch him with awe working among his books, listen to him incessantly typing away on his old manual typewriter, and the scent of pipe tobacco that filled his study is still my favourite scent in the world.

As I grew older, I began to understand that Papa’s work, his continuous engagement in politics and social issues, was inseparable from his life. He did not simply have a ‘job’; he lived out his uncompromising principles through his writings and actions, and was driven by his deep-seated ideals to fight for social justice and human dignity. For Papa, politics was the natural arena where citizens could exercise their rights and obligations in modern society. In the words of Papa’s literary hero George Orwell: “In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’. All issues are political issues . . .”

The complex layers of Papa’s personal history revealed themselves to me over time, like the hidden meanings in a poem familiar but not yet understood. When I was about nine years old, Papa took the family on holiday to Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan to visit the various small towns where he had once been posted as a teacher in the 1960s – Kuala Lipis, Temerloh, Kota Bharu and Tanah Merah.

We travelled by train, his preferred mode of transport, and accompanied Papa as he traced the journey he had taken as a young teacher 20 years earlier. He deeply loved his country – its landscape, its people and their customs; and the East Coast remained specially cherished in his memory. We went to the seaside in Marang, then to the rather godforsaken town of Tanah Merah, adopted two kittens at the train station in Manik Urai, named them Manik and Urai and left them with his old friend Gopal in Kuala Lipis.

Only later did I discover that Papa had been posted to teach in these remote areas because of his active involvement in the National Union of Teachers (NUT). He had served as the NUT’s Director of the National Membership Campaign and Assistant Secretary of the Pahang branch and was the editor of ‘The Educator’, the official organ of the NUT. The authorities were particularly irked by his role as one of the co-organisers of the teachers’ strike of 1967, which helped bring about equal pay for women, as well as housing, pension and medical benefits for all teachers.

Similarly, I learnt about Papa’s political career gradually in the course of growing up, as one discovers another piece of a vast, living jigsaw puzzle – about his years with the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and how he served as Acting Secretary-General while Lim Kit Siang was detained under the Internal Security Act; about his terms as Member of Parliament for Kampar and Menglembu; about his sedition case for publishing a speech by Dr. Ooi Kee Saik in ‘The Rocket’; and about how he was disqualified from Parliament and deprived of his Member of Parliament’s pension.

While Papa was campaigning with the short-lived Social Democratic Party in 1986, I remember accompanying him to see his old printer who was preparing his campaign posters and leaflets. I remember too Papa’s disappointment when the SDP failed to win any seats, and how he then withdrew from formal politics and threw himself into writing and activism. Papa’s fighting spirit was irrepressible; even in his hours of political defeat and isolation, he remained convinced that political change was both necessary and possible.

Papa did not deliberately set out to ‘radicalise’ his daughters, but politics was such an elemental part of his being that we inadvertently imbibed his sense that Malaysia’s political landscape left much to be desired. One of the ways my sister and I spent time with Papa was to accompany him on his ‘wanderings’ to second-hand bookshops and coffee shops in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, where he would run into friends and ‘comrades’ and engage them in vibrant exchanges of opinion about the latest political scandal or social injustice.

Papa was truly a man of the people; he could establish instant rapport with virtually everyone, from his loyal newspaper man, Balan, to Pak Ali, a devoted member of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) who owned a restaurant in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail for many years. When my sister and I returned to Malaysia during our university holidays, Papa brought us along to several PAS and DAP ceramah as well as to various talks he was giving at Cenpeace or ABIM, where we witnessed the fiery oratory style that never left him. He also brought us to the Malaysian Sociological Research Institute to meet the intriguing chain-smoking activist and writer, Dr. Alijah Gordon, who was extremely fond of him.

Papa forged friendships that lasted for life. His relentless pursuit of social and political justice for ordinary people, as well as his vivacious personality and well-read intellect, endeared him to many the world over. Among his friends he counted Helen Clark, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Malcolm Caldwell, the British Marxist scholar who was killed by the Khmer Rouge in 1978.

Papa believed in people and principles, not in systems and ideologies. I think this is why he was so fascinated by history, the narrative of humanity itself. Papa’s knowledge of history never failed to astound us. He could talk for hours on the history and politics of India (particularly the dramatic local politics of Tamil Nadu), or Willy’s Brandt’s Ostpolitik, or the fall of the Roman Empire.

And Papa believed in love. His romance with my mother was epic in every sense; turbulent at times, but adoring to the end. Shortly after my parents got married, my mother left for Cambridge to pursue her Doctorate. Undeterred by his aversion to air travel, Papa voyaged over land and sea, from Port Klang to Madras, across India by train, then by bus through Pakistan, over the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan, through Iran and Turkey and on to Europe, to join my mother in England in the winter of 1975-76.

Papa’s personal legacy to me is a passion he cultivated in me since childhood, a passion that shaped my life profoundly through young adulthood and continues to this day to mould who I am and how I relate to the world: an undying love of literature. Papa constantly invoked the spirit of the writers he loved most – George Orwell, James Joyce, and Albert Camus among others. He imbibed and lived, in his own flesh and blood, the writer’s life: he wrote only by hand or on his beloved typewriter, he smoked a pipe in the style of Bertrand Russell, he read voraciously, and his room was a labyrinth of books, newspapers, and magazines.

Papa was urged by an intellectual restlessness that is the mark of all true writers. He believed in the power of the written word to encapsulate the interminable drama of the human spirit, of the individual and society. Like the Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Papa believed that “literature is the living memory of a people.” In fact, one of the last books Papa read from cover to cover was Michael Scammell’s acclaimed biography of Solzhenitsyn which Papa had picked up at a second-hand bookstore in Bangkok. Incidentally, Scammell had interviewed Papa about his sedition case in the 1970s for a write up for the ‘Index on Censorship’, the prominent British journal on political freedom which Scammell founded and edited.

Language and politics were inextricably linked for Papa. His commitment to the written word reflected his conviction that writers had a duty to uphold the integrity of language, to employ it as a weapon of truth against a political rhetoric riddled with lies.

As Orwell remarked: “Political chaos is connected with the decay of language . . . one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end”. It is this belief in the ability of language and literature to speak truth to power that urged Papa to read and write to the very end. I imagine Papa now taking his place among his literary heroes; I imagine him engaging in endless conversations (and arguments) with them, in a place beyond space and time, beyond history, beyond language – a place, in the words of the poet Yehuda Amichai, “where there is time for everything”.

Note: A special memorial tribute service for Sdr Fan Yew Teng will be held at the YMCA Hall in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday 5th January 2011 from 8pm to 11pm. Another memorial service will also be held in Ipoh at the Excelsior Hotel (14th floor) Conference Room on Thursday, 6th January 2011. All are welcomed to attend.

Furore in Selangor critical

The Star

KLANG: The situation in Selangor has reached a critical point with the state and federal governments locking horns over the appointment of the state secretary while the palace says that it cannot interfere.

Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi will take his oath of loyalty to the state before Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah on Thursday as Selangor’s top civil servant, a ceremony that Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and his executive councillors have vowed to stay away from.

However, Khalid and his team may have to witness the ceremony after all as several events that require their attendance have also been lined up for that day.

Although the state government is adamant about not wanting the former Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) director in the post, the Public Services Commission’s appointment of Mohd Khusrin, who started his first day yesterday, is legitimate.

Teoh inquest: The coroner decides Wed

The Sun
by Tan Yi Liang

PETALING JAYA (Jan 3, 2011): All eyes will be on Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas on Wednesday as he determines what caused the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock whose body was found on a fifth-floor landing of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009.

It will bring to a close the 17-month inquest which started on July 29 the same year and involved testimony from 37 witnesses.

During the inquest, two key theories were thrashed out by the two parties that have been squaring off in the ring – the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Teoh’s family.

The MACC argued that Teoh committed suicide to cover up his boss’s alleged corruption, a point the MACC fought hard to prove throughout the inquest.

Goldman invests $375M in Facebook

A map showing the global distribution of Facebook users -- an investment deal values the social networking site at $50 billion.(FT) -- Facebook has raised $500m from Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies, the Russian investment firm, in a deal that values the social networking site at $50bn, according to the New York Times.

Goldman invested $450m and DST contributed $50m, according to people close to the transaction, the paper reported. Under the terms of the deal, Goldman can sell up to $75m of its stake to the Russian group.

The investment values Facebook at more than Time Warner, Yahoo and Ebay, and follows a surge in the social media company's implied value on the secondary market since last June.

Facebook passed Google as the most-visited website in the US in 2010, according to a recent report from Experian Hitwise, the internet research firm.

DST bought a 2 per cent stake in Facebook for $200m in 2009 and is understood to have increased its stake to about 10 per cent by buying shares from Facebook employees.

Even road to 80 year old Hindu cemetery in PKR ruled Kajang closed up (ethnically cleansed) by Selangor government.

New Scan-20110103172350-00001

Khalid acting unconstitutionally, says BN lawyer

Khalid is refusing to accept Khusrin’s requisite oath of secrecy. — Picture by Jack Ooi
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 — Umno lawyer Datuk Hafarizam Harun today said Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has exceeded his authority in barring the new state secretary from carrying out his job, in a move he said could disrupt the state’s civil service. The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s legal advisor added that the MB was treading on dangerous ground by doing so and could be challenged in court.
“If it is true that the MB will stop the state secretary from being in the exco or legislative assembly sitting, my answer is that he has no power to do so because the power to sit [in on the meetings] is a constitutional power granted to the state secretary upon his appointment.
“The MB must allow him to attend,” Hafarizam said.
The lawyer said the MB’s actions would also jeopardise the administration of the state, and the effect would be felt on the ground.
“The MB also cannot run the state civil service. Legally, the MB cannot interfere in the day-to-day running of the state.
“The MB cannot give instructions to the civil service unless he goes through the state secretary first,” he said, and added: “Because the head of the state civil service is the state secretary.”
Hafarizam said that if Khalid were to give instructions directly to the various state departments and agencies, he would be “acting in excess of his power and whatever acts pursuant to it would be considered coercion and ultra vires”.
“Which means it can be challenged in a court of law,” he said.
Hafarizam was responding to Khalid’s latest move after an emergency audience with the Selangor Sultan at the palace in Shah Alam late this morning.
Immediately after his meeting with the state Ruler, Khalid had declared he would not accept the oath of secrecy from Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi, who is Putrajaya’s pick for the state’s No. 1 civil officer post.
The MB added that Khusrin would be blocked from attending all meetings by the state executive council and the state economic action council as an ex-officio.
Hafarizam pointed to Section 52 of the Selangor constitution that spells out the conditions for the appointment of the state’s top three civil officer posts — state secretary, legal adviser and financial officer — that reads:
“(1) There shall be constituted the offices of State Secretary, State Legal Advisor and State Financial Officer; and the appointments thereto shall be made by the appropriate Service Commission from amongst members of any of the relevant public services.
“(3) Every such official shall have the right to take part in the proceedings of the State Executive Council and the Legislative Assembly and may be appointed to any Committee thereof, but shall not have any vote in the State Executive Council or the Legislative Assembly or any such Committee.
“(4) Before any such official attends a meeting of the State Executive Council, he shall take and subscribe in the presence of the Mentri Besar the following Oath of Secrecy.”
Hafarizam noted that the Selangor constitution showed Khusrin’s appointment was legal and the MB was not in a position to challenge it.
“Historically, Selangor was a federated Malay state. Its civil service is not closed; meaning anyone from the federation can be seconded to be state secretary,” he explained.
“So the appointment has to go through the SPA,” he said, calling the Public Service Commission by its Malay acronym.
Khalid had also announced his plans to call for an emergency sitting of the state legislative assembly to change the constitution, supposedly to change the state constitution to give the Sultan and the MB some say in the appointment of the state’s civil servants.
The Selangor Sultan was reported to have admitted he had no say in the appointment.
However, Hafarizam was scornful of Khalid’s attempts.
“The siding tergempar [emergency sitting] is an exercise in futility,” he said, explaining that in order to pass the amendment, two-thirds of the assemblymen must agree with Khalid.
“They are one short,” he pointed out that there were only 35 PR assemblymen in the Dewan Undangan Negeri.
“Do you think the BN will agree to that?” he asked.
Hafarizam also questioned the state PR’s motive in trying to approve a motion to return power to the state’s monarch that had been limited in 1993.

Mohamad Sabu and nine others acquitted

Mohamad Sabu
NIBONG TEBAL: The magistrate’s court here today discharged and acquitted PAS central committee member Mohamad Sabu and nine others accused of obstructing a police officer from carrying out his duties.

Magistrate Mohd Izham Ali gave three reasons for his decision, one of which was doubts over the validity of the warrant of arrest.

He said that two prosecution witnesses contradicted each other in their testimonies, and there was no specific information on which of the accused had pushed the police officer.

The nine charged with Mohamad Sabu are Mohd Binyamin Ishak, 48, Fuadzi Suharat, 48, Md Lazim Osman, 54, Abdul Razak Ramili, 46, Mohd Subri Mohd Said, 46, Zamarul ‘Aini Abdul Malik, 40, Zainul Azrun Zainal Abidin, 39, Abdul Rahim Mat Ariff, 62, and Mohamad Salleh, 51.

Mohamed Sabu, 55, and the others were accused of committing the offence at 7.45pm on Dec 9 2007 in front of the Bukit Tambun toll plaza (at the exit of the Kuala Lumpur-Penang highway).

They were said to have refused to open their car door and pushed the police officer and men under him.

They were charged under Section 186, read with Section 34, of the Penal Code which carries a sentence of up to two years jail or a fine of up to RM10,00 or both.

The prosecution was led by Suhaimi Ibrahim, assisted by Khairul Fairuz Rahman and Ahmad Razali Muhamad Nazri.

The 10 accused were represented by Hanipa Maidin, Aminuddin Zulkifli and Yusnita Yusof.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is DAP secretary-general, was at the court to lend moral support.


DAP-Utusan war continues

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia has consistently earned the wrath of DAP leaders over the years, and 2011 appears to be no different.

Taking the newspaper to task, party supremo Lim Kit Siang said that an editorial published yesterday had “repeated the lie” that DAP wanted to abolish the Malay sultanate system to create a republic.

The editorial was penned by Awang Selamat, who is no stranger to ruffling the feathers of DAP leaders.

Lim stressed that DAP, whether in the past or present, had reaffirmed its commitment to upholding the fundamental features of the Malaysian Constitution including the system of constitutional monarchy.

The veteran politician also lambasted Utusan for being irresponsible and lacking professionalism in peddling the lie and poison that DAP wanted to abolish the system.

“Even worse, Utusan will be guilty of the worst crime of treason to the nation and people of Malaysia in trying to incite disunity, strife and hatred in our plural society,” he said.

Hatred and strife

On the same note, Lim said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, Umno and Barisan Nasional leaders could no longer be indifferent to Utusan’s open incitement of hatred and strife.

Not only does it make a total mockery of Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, he said, the daily was also undermining and destroying all efforts to create a united and cohesive nation.

“Utusan is a daily reminder of the hollowness and hypocrisy of Najib’s 1Malaysia as the Umno newspaper continues to peddle lies and poison.

“1Malaysia talks about embracing ‘our diversity of ethnicity, religions and beliefs and, by being inclusive, build mutual respect and acceptance into a solid foundation of trust and cohesiveness’ but Utusan is doing the opposite every day with its staple of lies and falsehoods,” he added.

Lim also quoted the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme Roadmap, which advocated the promotion of “an all-inclusive 1Malaysia media” and warned of the danger of greater national divisions and disunity when “some writers abuse the greater freedom of expression now available to use terms and feelings that are racist or inflammatory in nature and tone”.

Unfortunately, Lim said, this commitment to journalistic professionalism, a sense of responsibility and self-restraint, with sensitivity to the divergent views and feelings of the diverse communities in Malaysia was completely absent in Utusan.

Selangor govt to hold emergency session of assembly

(Bernama) -- The Selangor government is planning an emergency session of the assembly to amend the state constitution so that it can take back the power to appoint the top three civil servants.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said today the Selangor government wants to reclaim from the federal government the power to appoint the state secretary, financial officer, and legal adviser.

He told reporters that he will inform assembly speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim about the session today, but did not mention any date.

Abdul Khalid met Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah this morning who expressed the view that he (the Sultan) did not have the power to "accept or reject" candidates forwarded by the Public Service Commission.

Abdul Khalid said the power went to the federal government in 1993 after the constitutional crisis and the Selangor constitution was amended accordingly.

Abdul Khalid said the Sultan had suggested that the state government hold discussions with the commission to find an amicable solution.

"Therefore, for the good of Selangor and in honour of the Sultan, the state government will write to the commission to discuss again candidates who are qualified, suitable and capable for the post (of State secretary)," he said.

Until a final settlement is achieved, Abdul Khalid said, the state government does not want to be involved in any function or celebration connected with the post of state secretary.

"This means that the oath-taking ceremony before the Mentri Besar will not be held and Datuk Mohamed Khusrin Munawi (the new state secretary) will not attend any meeting of the state executive council and the state economic action council," he added.

According to earlier reports, Khusrin would take his oath of office as state secretary before the Sultan at Istana Kayangan on Thursday.

Khusrin in limbo after Sultan's advice to MB

(Harakah Daily) - Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim said the state government would not be involved in any swearing-in ceremony to formalise the appointment of Khusrin Munawi as the new state secretary imposed on it by the Federal government.

“Until an amicable solution is found between the state government and PSD, the state government does not want to be involved in any kind of ceremony or event related to the appointment of the state secretary," said Khalid, adding that Khusrin would also not be allowed to attend state Executive Council and State Economic Actions meetings.

The swearing-in ceremony for the State Secretary is officialised in front of the MB. As such, Khalid's absence would mean the swearing-in would not materialise, in spite of the announcement by the Sultan's private secretary last week that the decision to appoint Khusrin was final.

The state government's latest decision was reached following a much-awaited audience between Khalid and the Sultan of Selangor, Sharafuddin Idris Shah, this morning.

Constitutional amendment in the line

In a press statement, Khalid said the state government would request the state assembly speaker to convene a special assembly to amend the state's constitution (appended below) so that the powers to appoint the state secretary, legal advisor and financial officer would revert to the state, and not the Federal government.

Elaborating on his meeting, Khalid said the Sultan was of the opinion that since the 1993 constitutional amendment which took away some administrative powers of the Sultans, the palace has lost its authority over such appointments.

The appointment is now under the powers of the Public Service Commission, after the state Constitution was streamlined with the Federal Constitution.

“The Sultan proposes to the state government to hold discussion with PSC to find the best solution. I would like to record my thanks to the Sultan for his advice and views,” he told a press conference.

As a first step, Khalid said his administration would inform PSC to propose other candidates who were qualified for the post.

MAN AT THE CENTRE ... Khusrin reported to work this morning at the state administrative complex in Shah Alam

The state government has strongly objected to the appointment of Khusrin, who is widely regarded as a pro-UMNO official who had undermined state decisions during his tenure as director of the Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS).

Meanwhile, former judge N.H Chan cautioned the Selangor state government from preventing Khusrin to take the oath of office, saying it would give the latter an excuse not to maintain the confidentiality of state matters.

"It can be argued that he is not bound by any impediment or stricture not to reveal anything that happened at the State Executive Council,” said Chan in a statement.

Section 52 of the Selangor State Constitution states:

(1) There shall be constituted the offices of State Secretary, State Legal Adviser and State Financial Officer; and the appointments thereto shall be made by the appropriate Service Commission from amongst members of any of the relevant public services.

(2)(a) The State Secretary who shall be of the Malay race and profess the Muslim Religion, shall be the principal officer in charge of the administrative affairs of the State.

(b) The State Legal Adviser shall advice on legal matters referred to him by His Highness or the State Government.

(c) The State Financial Officer shall be the principal officer in charge of the financial affairs of the State.

(3) Every such official shall have the right to take part in the proceedings of the State Executive Council and the Legislative Assembly and may be appointed to any Committee thereof, but shall not have any vote in the State Executive Council or the Legislative Assembly or any such Committee.

(4) Before any such official first attends a meeting of the State Executive Council, he shall take and subscribe in the presence of the Menteri Besar the following Oath of Secrecy:

“I ………………………do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me in the course of my attending the State Executive Council except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as such or as may be specially permitted by the State Executive Council”.

1Malaysia One Israel, Sama Tapi Tak Serupa

Oleh Mohd Rashidi Hassan

TAHAP pemahaman konsep 1Malaysia di kalangan rakyat meningkat 84 peratus, kata Menteri Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

Konsep 1Malaysia bukan alat politik, kata Perdana Menteri, Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak.

Malah semasa berucap merasmikan Konvensyen Tritahunan Kongres Kesatuan Pekerja Dalam Perkhidmatan Awam (CUEPACS) baru-baru ini, beliau menafikan 1Malaysia sama dengan 1Israel.

Katanya, “Konsep 1Malaysia tidak diciplak dari negara lain…ini ciptaan saya sendiri.
Negara lain boleh ada satu itu, satu ini…tetapi tidak ada di dunia ada
“1Malaysia: Rakyat didahulukan, Pencapaian diutamakan”.

Sementara Menteri Di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Dato’ Seri Nazri Aziz masih menunggu Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim mengemukakan bukti yang mengaitkan Apco dengan konsep 1Malaysia.

Najib kata 1Malaysia adalah ilham beliau. Manakala bekas PM Israel, Ehud Barak juga mengilhamkan konsep 1Israel suatu ketika dahulu.

Berdasarkan penjelasan Najib, Rais dan Nazri, mungkin kita boleh terima bahawa 1Malaysia tidak serupa 1Israel yang digunapakai oleh Ehud Barak, untuk meraih sokongan rakyat kepada Parti Buruh pada tahun 1999.

Jelas di sini yang sama hanya penggunaan nombor 1 (One) di pangkal nama negara yang tidak serupa, iaitu Malaysia berbanding Israel.

Cumanya, Apco dikatakan menasihati Ehud Barak pada tahun 1999 manakala Umno-BN pada 2009. Jarak masanya 10 tahun.

Maknanya, ada yang sama, ada yang tidak sama. Dalam erti kata lain, ia sama tapi tak serupa.

Najib cuba menafikan 1Malaysia sebagai alat politik. Kalau beliau bercakap dengan Jakun di rimba, barangkali mereka percaya, tetapi rakyat Malaysia semuanya semakin cerdik.

1Malaysia diguna secara meluas oleh Umno-BN. Semasa Perhimpuan Agung Umno, baru-baru ini, diguna secara meluas 1Umno 1BN. Malah huruf I pada ejaan BN digantikan dengan nombor 1. Ia dieja dengan BAR1SAN NAS1ONAL.

Jika kita mengikut etika tatabahasa Dewan Bahasa Pustaka (DBP), ejaan sebegitu tidak sah. Kalau anak-anak kita masuk periksa, tulis ejaan BAR1SAN NAS1ONAL dah lama mereka failed.

Kalau dalam etika kewartawanan pun, mana-mana tulisan yang seperti itu, pasti dibakulsampahkan.

Apa pun, usahlah PM hendak nafi. Memang 1Malaysia menjadi alat politik BN. Kerajaan BN adalah politik, PM pun orang politik. Apa sahaja adalah untuk kepentingan politik.

Namun yang hendak dibahaskan di sini, isu asasnya ialah, damage atau kerosakan angkara Apco ini amat besar kepada negara.

Pertama, kerajaan Umno-BN menggunakan lebih RM77 juta wang rakyat untuk dibayar kepada Apco.

Kedua, kerajaan Umno-BN sudah mendedahkan rahsia negara kepada syarikat perunding asing, yang diterajui Yahudi.

Ketiga, angkara Yahudi Apco, politik Malaysia jadi huru hara dan kelam kabut.

Keempat, demi kepentingan politik, kerajaan Umno-BN melalui Nazri Aziz, lebih mempercayai keterangan Yahudi Apco daripada keterangan Anwar Ibrahim.

Faktanya, Anwar yang juga ahli parlimen Permatang Pauh, bersama tiga rakan yang lain digantung enam bulan daripada menghadiri sidang parlimen kerana membangkitkan isu kaitan Apco dengan ’1Malaysia’ dan ‘One Israel’.

Kerajaan Umno-BN sebenarnya cuba untuk lari daripada hakikat sebenar yang dipersoal rakyat, iaitu mengapa sebuah syarikat yang diketahui mempunyai hubungan kuat dengan perisikan Israel dibenarkan untuk menguruskan salah satu fungsi kerajaan yang paling berpengaruh, iaitu bidang komunikasi?

Kerajaan Umno-BN tidak harus lari untuk menafikan hakikat bahawa pembabitan Apco Worldwide dalam merencanakan dasar negara bukan perkara baru, ia bermula sejak September 2009.

Media talibarut Umno-BN cuba menyembunyikan hakikat bahawa penglibatan Apco dalam merencanakan dasar kerajaan amat membahayakan negara dan rakyat.

Media menyembunyikan hakikat bahawa Apco yang beribu pejabat di Amerika. Alamat penuhnya ialah 700, 12th Street, N.W, Suite 800, Washington DC 20005. Washington adalah pusat pelobi Yahudi

Yang jelas Apco tidak hanya terlibat dengan aktiviti Zionis dan pencabulan hak asasi sahaja, malah juga dengan aktivisme anti-Islam.

Dilaporkan secara jelas bahawa
Lembaga Pengarah dan Jawatankuasa Eksekutif Apco kebanyakannya adalah mereka berketurunan Yahudi

Manakala penasihat utama Apco ialah pakar-pakar yang pernah berkhidmat dengan rejim Zionis termasuk bekas Ketua Agensi Keselamatan Israel, Doron Bergerbest-Eilon; bekas duta Israel ke Jerman, Shimon Shein dan bekas duta Israel ke Amerika Syarikat, Itamar Rabinovich.

Pengarah Urusan Apco di Malaysia ialah Paul Stadlen, yang juga seorang berketurunan Yahudi, yang sebelum ini bertugas di pejabat Apco di London.

Justeru, masalah sebenar yang dipersoalkan ialah, selama ini Malaysia tidak mempunyai hubungan diplomatik dengan Israel, justeru menggunakan khidmat perisik yang rapat dengan Israel adalah tidak bersesuaian dengan dasar negara.

Juga dipersoalkan rakyat, jika perisik atau syarikat perunding Apco memberikan nasihat komunikasi untuk tujuan politik kepada parti politik Israel, apakah bentuk nasihat yang sama tidak mungkin digunapakai di Malaysia.

Mungkin rakyat boleh menerima secara kebetulan 1Malaysia sama dengan 1Israel, Klinik 1Malaysia sama seperti Klinik 1Israel, tetapi rakyat sesekali tidak boleh menerima kehadiran Yahudi Apco.

Menggunakan khidmat Yahudi Apco untuk kepentingan politik Umno-BN adalah menyalahi undang-undang negara, tatasusila agama dan bangsa.

Apa faedahnya Umno-BN mempertahankan Yahudi Apco, sebaliknya bersikap keras dengan rakyat Malaysia dan melebarkan permusuhan sesama Islam.

Apa salahnya jika Umno-BN mengaku hubungan Yahudi Apco sebagai suatu kesalahan dan menghentikan segera khidmat Apco Worldwide.

Jika hubungan Umno-Apco diteruskan, mereka hanya menanti masa, untuk dikuburkan di pusara yang mereka gali sendiri.

Rule of law must prevail

by P. Ramakrishnan

The Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, has precipitated a constitutional crisis in Selangor by ignoring time-honoured norms and constitutional requirements in naming the Selangor State Secretary unilaterally.

In any appointment to a state, there must be consultation before a final decision is taken. This sensible approach has been completely sidelined. Mohd Sidek had chosen to ride roughshod over the Menteri Besar of Selangor, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. In doing so, Malaysians are wondering whether he is acting strictly as a civil servant or as a political tool of the Barisan Nasional.

It is a matter of grave concern for Aliran when a functioning state constitution is not respected and its provisions not honoured. It has been pointed out by legal experts that according to Article 52(4) of the Selangor state constitution the state secretary “shall take and subscribe in the presence of the Menteri Besar the following oath of secrecy.” In this instance, the Meneri Besar’s central role cannot be ignored.

It has been announced that the newly appointed Selangor State Secretary, Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi, will be taking his oath of office in the presence of His Highness, the Sultan of Selangor. This seems odd according to constitutional expert, Prof A. Aziz Bari, who contends that this is a “new practice” and that he was not aware that such a practice existed.

There is some talk that the MB may convene the state assembly to debate this issue. It may be pertinent to pursue this line of action in order for the state government to exert its authority which is derived from the people.

It would be wrong to set aside what is stated in the written constitution. We must submit ourselves to the rule of law at all times. This is how a democracy functions. Anything short of this will be anarchy.

It is imperative that the state secretary and the MB must enjoy cordial working relationship for the benefit of the state. It is known that Mohd Khusrin and the Selangor state government have been at odds over certain issues. To appoint him as the state secretary in spite of these serious differences would suggest that some foul plot is afoot. Is the Chief Secretary to the Government trying to undermine the Selangor state government?

Ungku Salleh Is New Selangor Umno Youth Chief

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 (Bernama) -- Serdang Umno Youth chief Ungku Salleh Ungku Jamal has been appointed Selangor Umno Youth chief effective immediately. portal quoted Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin as saying that the other office bearers are not affected.

Ungku Salleh replaced Suhaimi Mohd Gazali who was Selangor Umno Youth chief for nearly two years.

Khairy said Ungku Salleh's appointment was timely as the wing prepares for the general election.

Dakwa penderhaka sultan di bawah Seksyen 121 Kanun Keseksaan

KUALA LUMPUR 2 Jan. – Ahli Parlimen Kulim- Bandar Baharu, Zulkifli Noordin hari ini mencadangkan beberapa tindakan tegas diambil ke atas pihak yang menghina serta menderhaka kepada Sultan Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah berhubung pelantikan Datuk Muhammed Khusrin Munawi.

Beliau yang juga seorang peguam berkata, semua pihak yang mengugut dan menentang perkenan Sultan Sharafuddin dalam isu tersebut perlu didakwa di bawah Seksyen 121 Kanun Keseksaan kerana ‘Perbuatan memerangi Raja-Raja Melayu’ yang jika sabit kesalahan, hukumannya gantung sampai mati.

Selain itu katanya, pertuduhan alternatif juga boleh dibuat di bawah Seksyen 121 (1B) kerana ‘merancang, mengada-ada, mereka-reka atau berusaha akan pemecatan atau perlucutan raja pemerintah sebuah negeri’ yang jika sabit kesalahan, hukumannya pula adalah penjara seumur hidup.

“Ini bukan perbuatan yang boleh dibiarkan, apatah lagi bertolak ansur, kerana amat biadab lagi kurang ajar bagi mana-mana rakyat di negeri Selangor melakukan perbuatan derhaka seperti itu. Jangan biarkan mereka ini terus memaki-hamun dan mempertikai kedudukan sultan kerana kelak ia menjadi barah.

Unwanted Khusrin checks in for work

By Anil Netto,

Mohd Khusrin Munawi has reported for duty even though he was bottom of the list of candidates that the Selangor state government preferred for the position of State Secretary.

Only in 1Malaysia. You have to thank the BN federal government for not consulting the state government. After witnessing the role played by the State Secretary in Perak, people could be forgiven for worrying about the future of democracy in Selangor. Read more