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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hijack attempt foiled aboard Turkish Air flight

Istanbul, Turkey (CNN) -- A man claiming to have a bomb tried to enter the cockpit of a Turkish Airlines plane plane about to land in Istanbul, Turkey, but was tackled by passengers and taken into custody, Turkish media reported Wednesday.

The man, identified as 40-year-old Cuma Yasar, was wearing a snowmask as he approached the cockpit during the descent of the Boeing 737-800 from Oslo, Norway, into Ataturk International Airport, the state news agency Anadolu said.

He threatened to blow up a bomb he said he was holding, and urged the captain to fly back to Oslo, the news agency reported.

But passengers Firat Faysal Ali and Dag Gjerstad tackled the man, the agency reported. Airport police took him into custody after the plane landed but found no explosives on him, it said.

But they did find an identification card for the handicapped on Yasar, who suffers a mental illness, it added.
Airport operations were not disrupted, an operations supervisor at the airport told CNN.

Book burning is, oh, so retrograde

(Malaysiakini) Book burning is the second most severe act of censorship; book banning is the severest.

The threat by several Indian NGOs to go on a nationwide road show that would have as its highlight the burning of the Malay novel 'Interlok' is a retrograde step that will stifle literary creativity, promote a herd mentality, and dry up the wellsprings of artistic endeavor.

The NGOs say the novel defames Indian Malaysians and is not a suitable literary work for upper secondary school Malaysians to read and contemplate.

indian crowd malaysia 291107Further, the NGOs claim that the tenor of the novel, by one-time national laureate Abdullah Hussein, is against the spirit of 1Malaysia, the supposedly national unity building concept introduced by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

In addition, the NGOs hold that the novel disparages the contributions to nation building of Chinese and Indian Malaysians who are described as immigrants or birds of passage. Therefore, the NGOs want the novel withdrawn from being part of the Malay literature syllabus that fifth formers in the arts stream are encouraged to offer.

It is difficult to talk about the novel when one has not read it. A check at popular book stores earlier this week revealed that copies had not yet arrived which was surprising because the school year was set to begin and adequate stocks of texts should have been requisitioned and kept.

Whether this apparently was not done because of the controversy that started to flare last week, with the implied threat that the novel could be withdrawn from the syllabus of SPM-sitting students, could not be confirmed.

In the event, 'Interlok' is set to become a literary work whose sales - if the book is not withdrawn - are expected to soar, not just from purchases by examination-sitting students but also from people who are naturally drawn to find out what the hubbub is all about; nothing like the lure of the illicit to stimulate the tastes of the curious.

Contributions unappreciated

The book's critics among Indian Malaysians are, no doubt, prompted by the long burgeoning sense of alienation among sections of the community, stemming from its slumping economic prospects and the feeling that its contributions to national development are not properly valued.

NONEThere is the feeling among the community that it has contributed to nation building in ways that require a lot of hard work which because it is unseen, is under appreciated.

Somebody the other day pointed out that the three best football coaches in Malaysia are Indians – K Rajagopal (left), who coached the national team to an unprecedented Asean Cup triumph; B Sathianathan, who led soccer-mad Kelantan to once again tilt at national football prominence; and K Devan, who coached Negeri Sembilan and Selangor to national excellence.

The fact that football is these days almost exclusively played by Malays only serves to underscore the Indian Malaysian feeling that, not just in sport, their labour is what sets the stage for the euphoria of others.

Just to emphasise the point, some years back, Malaysia's soccer achiever of the moment, Rajagopal, coached Selangor to domestic honours. The following season he had to make way for a Malay coach for Selangor.

Kelantan, at that time an underachieving team, reacted by hiring Rajagopal who went on to pull them out of the doldrums in an exhilarating run that had the football-passionate Kelantanese hailing the coach as a favourite son.

A self-defeating step

The episode underlined the Indian Malaysian sense of alienation stemming from underappreciated merit.

malaysia poor indian community poverty 230807The reaction to 'Interlok' must be seen against the background of how these 'realities' resonate among Indian Malaysians: Indian Malaysians feel they are trapped in the cleavages of a national social engineering scheme whose rules are rigged against their upward mobility.

But sections of the community, by reacting in ways such as calling for the banning of a seemingly risqué literary work, are unwittingly helping to forge the manacles by which the negative effects of this engineering scheme cascade through Malaysian society.

Malay literary society is capable of rising above parochial concerns to give effect to the witness and moral assignment of literary creation which can only endure by transcending sectarian barriers. One recalls poems of the late national laureate Usman Awang as testimony to this fact.

The Indian Malaysian NGOs that threatened to go on a book burning road show should desist from what would ultimately be a self-defeating step.

Instead it should encourage Indian Malaysian writers in Bahasa Malaysia – there are some promising ones out there – to write the great Malaysian novel by simply concentrating on an enduring theme which is the human heart in conflict with itself.

That theme, by its very nature, would transcend the downward pulls of the parochial and is certain not to leave readers unaffected by that which is most disaffection-causing to Indian Malaysia: unrequited labour.
TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for close on four decades. He likes the occupation because it puts him in contact with the eminent without being under the necessity to admire them. It is the ideal profession for a temperament that finds power fascinating and its exercise abhorrent.

Man dumps wife for being ‘demon’

Loh’s husband believed her to be a murderous demon. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — A local man has abandoned his wife after a temple medium convinced him that she was a demon who wanted to kill him.

The Star newspaper today quoted the wife, who gave her name as Loh, as saying that her factory manager husband now wants a divorce and also refuses to meet their two teenage children for fear his wife will use them to kill him.

“The medium told my husband I had been casting spells on him for the past 15 years,” Loh was quoted as telling a news conference in Kuala Lumpur.

“He refused to eat or drink at home because he thought I poisoned the food.”

Loh claimed the medium was heavily in debt and likely taking advantage of her husband, who had withdrawn their children’s savings before deserting the family.

Malaysians often seek spiritual aid from an assortment of faith healers, mediums and witch doctors to solve personal problems and work issues.

But there has been a steady increase in complaints of cheating and sexual abuse, which has prompted the government to announce it will table a bill this year requiring faith healers to register with the Ministry of Health. — Reuters

Under protest, Khalid attends Khusrin’s oath-taking

Khalid shakes hands with Khusrin (right) before the ceremony today. — Picture by Choo Choy May

SHAH ALAM, Jan 6 — Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim attended Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi’s oath of loyalty ceremony today, but maintained that his administration did not “recognise” the new state secretary’s appointment.

Khalid, who was flanked by Selangor exco members at the Istana Kayangan today, had previously indicated that he and members of the state government would boycott the ceremony to protest the appointment of Khusrin as state secretary, as he was not consulted over the selection.

Up until yesterday, Khalid had remained non-committal over his attendance at today’s ceremony, held in the presence of the state’s Ruler.

Today, Khalid said he has informed Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of his administration’s bid on Monday to protest Khusrin’s appointment to the Public Services Commission (SPA).

“The state has sent a letter to the SPA informing them of our displeasure in the appointment of the new state secretary. We stress that their actions have contravened the spirit of the constitution.

“The attendance of the whole state exco for today’s ceremony... is proof of our affection and loyalty to His High Royal Highness, the Sultan of Selangor, as well as His Highness, the Selangor Regent.

“Seeing as today coincides with Datuk Mohd Khusrin’s swearing-in ceremony, it does not mean that we are willing to accept SPA’s arbitrary actions against our administration. We stand by our argument that the state secretary appointment is not final and needs a proper solution,” said Khalid today.

Apart from Khusrin, also being sworn in are the new head of the Selangor Islamic Religious department (Jais) Datuk Marzuki Hussin, 56, together with former state secretary Datuk Ramli Mahmud and Selangor police chief Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah, who will both be appointed as a members of the Selangor Royal Council.

Khusrin, aside from his oath as state secretary, will also take a separate oath to become a member of the Selangor Royal Council.

Among the Selangor exco members who were present today were Teresa Kok, Yaakob Sapari, Halimah Ali, Roziah Ismail, Dr Xavier Jeyakumar and Ean Yong Hian Wah.

Khalid, who was seated in the same row as Khusrin, shook hands with the latter before the ceremony began.

It is understood that the Selangor Sultan will be giving a speech shortly. His private secretary, Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani, will also be holding a press conference later to respond to Khalid’s remarks yesterday.

Mohamad Munir has challenged Khalid’s version of events from the latter’s audience with the Sultan on Monday, in which the mentri besar said the state ruler had acknowledged he has no power over senior civil service appointments.

Munir had said that the Sultan held the executive power and, therefore, had the right to decide on Khusrin’s appointment as the new Selangor state secretary.

Khalid, however, maintained that Munir’s remarks were “personal” opinions and did not reflect the Selangor Sultan’s views on the matter.

Forgotten school, ‘abandoned’ pupils

KOTA KINABALU: Some 612 eager beaver primary school pupils are cramping themselves in nine wooden classrooms in SK Gentisan in Sepanggar because the State Education Department has conveniently forgotten that they exist.

The school, which is not far from bustling Kota Kinabalu, was built in 1965 and has seen no upgrade since, said a shocked Sabah Puteri Umno chief Musliati Moslimin.

“The school authorities have sent several proposals to the State Education Department but have had no response from them.

“The situation in the school is critical. There are not enough classrooms and the facilities need to be upgraded.

“The school urgently needs major renovations. I fear for the safety of the pupils,” she said.

She expressed hope that officers from the State Education Department will visit the school and see it for themselves.

‘I don’t know why they have overlooked the school in the past but I hope that things will change for the better,” she said.

Musliati said the school convened two sessions daily.

“Although it is two sessions, the classrooms are still crowded and the numbers are increasing by the year.

“The current wooden building cannot accommodate the increasing numbers. We need at least another three classrooms.

“We don’t want to see these students studying in such condition. They should have a conducive environment to study and do well,” she said.

Two-week ultimatum for cops to probe Rais

SEREMBAN: The police have been given a two-week ultimatum to start a probe on Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim who was implicated in an alleged rape case.

Failing which, NGO Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) hinted that it might consider organising a mass protest.

This morning, SAMM, led by PKR’s Badrul Hisham Shaharin, filed a police report with the district police headquarters here on the allegation that the minister had raped his Indonesian maid three years ago.

Speaking to reporters later, Badrul said: “If the police do not act within 14 days, then we’ll move into phase two of our action. The police must clear Rais’ name or punish him.”

Badrul said that while everyone was innocent until proven otherwise, Rais’ offence, however, was to remain silent on the matter.

“As the culture minister, he must understand that in the Malaysian culture, silence is an admission of guilt,” he added.

Badrul also urged the police to act swiftly as this case could jeopardise the relationship between Malaysia and Indonesia.

“We don’t want any conflict with Indonesia. If the police keep silent on this allegation, then it will send a wrong message to the public and foreign countries that the police are protecting the minister.

“The police must conduct a thorough investigation and question the related parties, including the minister, and must make public the outcome of the investigation to clear the air,” he said.

Badrul also said that he sent a letter to Migrant Care, a Jakarta-based NGO which looked after the welfare of Indonesian workers, offering SAMM’s assistance in this issue.

Yesterday, PAS had also filed a police report on the matter and challenged the 69-year-old Umno minister to refute the charge.

The report was based on a purported disclosure by WikiLeaks that former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had allegedly covered up the matter.

Following this, Federal CID director Mohd Bakri Zinin told FMT that an investigation would be launched.

‘Victim was threatened’

Meanwhile, PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin said that he would follow up on a report by Migrant Care regarding the alleged rape.

He claimed that although the alleged incident happened on Feb 19, 2007, the victim was “forced to keep silent because of threats made against her.”

Shamsul called on the minister to clear his name, and warned Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak of the repercussions if the allegation was proven true.

“Najib still retains this person in the Cabinet although he is an alleged sexual criminal. This will (erode) ties between Malaysia and Indonesia if the govenrment keeps silent,” he said.

In view of this, Shamsul said the prime minister should kickstart an in-depth investigation.

Indian anger mounts over Interlok


KUALA LUMPUR: The Tamil Foundation has given the Education Ministry an ultimatum: withdraw the controversial SPM literature text Interlok or face nationwide street demonstrations.

It also urged Indians who are ministers, deputy ministers, MPs and senators to quit their positions to express their anger.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Tamil Foundation president K Uthayasurian complained that the Education Ministry had been unresponsive to calls for the withdrawal of the novel, which is compulsory reading for Malay literature students in Form Five.

Interlok, published in 1971, was written by national laureate Abdullah Hussain. It is about
the daily struggles of the Malays, Chinese and Indians in pre-independence Malaya. Many Indian groups have said they found it offensive because it contains derogatory references to the community.

Uthayasurian said students who read the book would have a negative perception of Indians.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin should read it before talking about 1Malaysia, he added. Muhyiddin is also the Education Minister.

A Vaithiyalingam, a former Hindhu Sangam president, also spoke at the press conference. He said the Indian community was disappointed with the Education Ministry for allowing the book to be used.

He noted that it refers to Indians as “black people” and “pariah” and claimed that some passages give the impression that Indians are dirty and make irresponsible husbands.

MIC Youth has also called for the book’s withdrawal. Its leader, T Mohan, said in a press statement that its inclusion in the literature list could be part of a hidden agenda to rewrite Malaysian history.
Mohan also said the book could undo the 1Malaysia campaign.

Gerakan: Convert PTPTN loans to scholarships


ALOR STAR: Kedah Gerakan Youth wing has proposed for 50% conversion of the National Tertiary Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans into scholarships for second class upper students in local universities.

The wing chief Tan Keng Liang said the 50% conversion would serve as government’s recognition of students’ academic excellence.

“It will promote better quality undergraduates in local universities,” he said in a statement today.
He acknowledged that such scholarships would require substantial public funds.

However, he said that the returns of government investment in education sector cannot be quantified in monetary terms.

“The human capital development is the most important sector in any developed country. The result could be seen across all economic sectors in the country, in both short and long term,” he said.

Previously, Tan has also proposed for conversion of part of PTPTN loans to scholarships for first class student in local universities.

He said he was making the proposal heeding to the poll conducted by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on what improvements Malaysia would like to see in 2011.

The poll is being conducted via the Prime Minister’s official website.

In its imminent election manifesto, the Human Rights Party (HRP) has also planned to demand the federal government convert PTPTN loans into scholarships for all deserving students irrespective of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.

Tan said that the proposed scholarships would ease financial burden of the students and their families.
He said it would indirectly give these students a head-start in their career, or otherwise they would be burdened with financial obligation to service substantial education loans.

“We hope the government would consider this proposal in the next coming budget for 2012.
“My proposal is in line with the 1Malaysia concept, in which education is a priority,” he said.

Meeting with Nik Aziz not on ‘unity talk’, says PKR sec-gen

The topic of unity talks was not broached in Saifuddin’s meeting with Nik Aziz. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has denied his meeting with Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat yesterday had to do with a Christmas Eve dinner between Umno and PAS leaders.

Saifuddin played down his meeting with the Kelantan mentri besar, saying it was in his capacity as Machang MP and not about the private dinner hosted by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and former PM Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at Istana Terengganu

“I always meet the MB, it is not a strange occurrence if a member of Parliament in Kelatan meets the Kelantan MB. It was a normal meeting, we discussed lots of things — local housing projects, Kelantan politics as well as national politics,” Saifuddin told The Malaysian Insider.

When asked whether the there was any discussion regarding the recent meeting between Umno and PAS, Saifuddin said that the matter was not brought up.

“We only spoke about the usual stuff... we did not discuss any other matters,” added Saifuddin.

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

Word of renewed unity talks is causing concern among PAS allies in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) as it took place just a week after the coalition had its second convention in Penang to discuss their policies and programmes ahead of snap polls expected this year.

However, a debate on the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims had ensued during the talk, which ended discussions of a political merger between the two Malay parties then.

The Malaysian Insider understands that an Umno leader at the talks spoke about the need for Malay unity as he said non-Malays were seen to be taking advantage of a split between Umno and PAS to ask for greater concessions including the right to use the word “Allah”, in what was seen as a reference to the Catholic Church’s lawsuit to use the word in its Bahasa Malaysia publication.

However, sources said PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz defended non-Muslims and objected to that conjecture, giving a short history lesson to point out that even Prophet Muhammad’s father, Abdullah, had worshipped Allah although he was not a Muslim.

The question of political co-operation with Umno became a major campaign issue in the 2009 PAS election after it was revealed that its leaders, including PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa and Selangor chief Datuk Hasan Ali, met 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 now 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. It is understood that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang was also present at the dinner.

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

Tumult at vernacular schools

By Himanshu Bhatt, The Sun

THERE was some disquiet among vernacular Chinese and Tamil schools late last year when a report surfaced of two Chinese schools in Muar receiving notices from the Education Department that they would have non-bilingual Malay language teachers in 2011.

The news stirred a contentious issue. For vernacular institutions and their proponents have insisted that Malay language teachers for Year 1 and Year 2 classes be versed in both Malay and either Mandarin or Tamil, whichever applied. Furthermore, Education Minister Tan Sri Muyhiddin Yassin had himself given an assurance that the government would provide bilingual teachers for Malay language in the first two years of the students’ school education.

Just as this little storm was brewing, in Penang, the state’s Chinese education affairs coordinating committee chair, Chong Eng, reported having received complaints from boards of directors of Chinese schools.

They had apparently said the state education department had verbally informed that if it did not receive official instructions from the ministry, it would not necessarily send bilingual Malay language teachers to the schools.

The issue abated when the ministry sent out a circular, which was dated Dec 9, 2010, to all state education departments, stipulating that Malay language teachers for Standard 1 and 2 must not only be bilingual but also have an SPM credit in Malay.

But there was something else in the circular. There was another condition that stipulated a new requirement, and which flew past the attention of most people.

What the circular also said was that teachers of Malay language for Year 3 to Year 6 classes must now only be those who have completed "Pengajian Melayu" (Malay Studies) as a professional option in their tertiary studies. What this effectively means is that teachers who have not undertaken "Pengajian Melayu" cannot teach Malay language to students from Year 3 to 6.

Schools categorised under "Sekolah kurang murid" (under-enrolled schools) are exempted.

What exactly is "Pengajian Melayu"? It is an entire programme option, with degree qualification provided at its end. And the thrust of its syllabus covers a comprehensive gamut of Malay civilisation studies, including culture, history, ethnography, sociology, literature and linguistics, among other things.

Understandably enough, this is a specialised field. And what makes the new requirement questionable is why teachers of Malay language from Year 3 to 6 are now restricted to only those who complete such a programme. What would happen to teachers who have already been teaching Malay language in vernacular schools but have not done "Pengajian Melayu"?

The new stipulation also raises genuine concerns about the impact it would have on Chinese and Tamil schools. Prof Dr P. Ramasamy, Penang’s deputy chief minister (II), was blunt in his comments about the requirement: "This is a sinister attempt to interfere further in the affairs of vernacular schools."

Ramasamy is no novice when it comes to education. He was a professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for more than 25 years, and understands very well what the "Pengajian Melayu" issue is all about.

The "Pengajian Melayu" departments at our varsities are some of the most "problematic" in terms of popularity today. Those who graduate with a degree in Malay Studies have limited options for employment in the general job market unlike graduates from other faculties.

So is this new requirement that the teachers of Malay language must be those who have completed "Pengajian Melayu" a tactic to make the programme more relevant by ensuring job positions for those who graduate with it?

Interestingly enough, the matter was never discussed in Parliament, and the decision made by the cabinet itself on Nov 26.

Now not only will the Education Ministry need to address this matter, but it will surely have to provide a justifiable reason for imposing such a stringent and highly restrictive criteria in the public teaching sector.

Even more urgently, it will need to respond to obvious anxieties that the directive has begun to generate, on the implications it would bear for the Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools.

Sultan has no executive powers, say law experts

The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — Legal experts disputed today the Selangor palace’s claim over executive power, declaring that it is the mentri besar — and not the Sultan — who is the state’s chief executive.

They claimed that in the Sultan’s role as the constitutional monarch, the Ruler should be viewed as a “figure of unity” and any attempt by him to wade into state administrative matters could be misconstrued as a political move.

Lawyer Chan Kok Keong said that the Sultan had no executive power and maintained that the mentri besar was the prime authority in any matter concerning the state administration.

Chan, who was one of the central figures during the 2009 Perak constitutional impasse, also pointed to provisions within the Federal Constitution to back his assertion that the Sultan could not act on issues such as the appointment of a state secretary without accepting the advice of the mentri besar.

“He does not also reserve the right to withhold his consent in such a case, only arguably in deciding on the dissolution of the state assembly, as it was in the Perak case.

“If he can withhold, then where is no need to stipulate that he must act on advice. The advice of the mentri besar must override any other advice given by any service commission,” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.

On this note, Umno lawyer Datuk Hafarizam Harun agreed that the palace’s claim yesterday that the Sultan held executive power would cause public alarm as citizens would take it to mean that Malaysia had become an “absolute monarchy”.

But he pointed out that the purpose of the statement, issued by Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah’s private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani, was to point out that the Ruler reserved the power to grant consent over the appointment of the state secretary.

The Selangor government is at loggerheads with the federal administration over the Public Services Department’s (PSD) selection of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the state’s new secretary.

Despite the Sultan’s subsequent consent to the appointment and the impending loyalty oath-taking ceremony at the palace tomorrow, the Selangor government helmed by Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has insisted on attempting to amend the state constitution by month’s end.

The amendment, which will empower the mentri besar to determine such appointments, requires a two-thirds majority from the House and the Pakatan Rakyat government has also claimed it will have a retrospective effect.

“There are two ways of viewing Munir’s statement. One, is through the eyes of the rakyat who will take it to mean that the Sultan has executive power and can decide on administrative matters,” Hafarizam said.

“Two, is from the viewpoint of the palace, and what they mean here is the Sultan’s power to grant consent or withhold it. Strictly speaking, however, executive power lies with the mentri besar but the Sultan’s power is whether he can consent to the appointment of one of the three names given to him for the state secretary post,” he added.

He noted, however, that the Sultan did not reserve the right to identify his own candidate for the post and had to rely on the names presented to him by the PSD.

“The MB can also propose the names, as the state’s chief executive officer, but ultimately, the Sultan gives the consent and decides on the final candidate.

“In a nutshell, the Sultan has the power to withhold consent to the appointment of the state’s top three officers — the state secretary, the state legal adviser and the state financial officer — but that does not mean he can come up with the names or act beyond his powers in the Selangor Constitution,” he said.

Law professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari said, however, that Munir had been inaccurate in claiming the Sultan held executive power as while the Ruler commanded state authority in the Constitution, state power could only be exercised by elected representatives.

“This is important for they have to be made accountable to the people through their representatives in the House,” he said in a statement today.

Abdul Aziz said that the Ruler’s role was to provide check and balance and to remind the ruling administration not to use the public service for political interests.

In the ongoing Selangor saga, he said the Sultan had “gone too far” by allegedly asking the state government to put up with a candidate embroiled in many past controversies, some of which he claimed were clear examples of insubordination.

“While a government servant has no duty to be loyal to the sitting government, [he] has a duty to carry out government orders so long as these are all legal,” he said.

Perak DAP MP Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, a lawyer by profession, said that the Sultan’s involvement in the matter only opened up avenues for public dissent against the Ruler.

“This is the reason why the Sultan should be a figure of unity and not be partisan or be seen as taking sides in the freedom to administer the state.

“We are now treading on a situation where the palace is trying to reassert executive powers and this is dangerous for once one makes a decision in a Federal or state administration, you are bound to get criticised,” he said.

He claimed that the Sultan’s role in granting consent or blessing the appointment was merely “symbolic” in nature.

Bar Council constitutional law committee chairman Edmund Bon agreed and said that in the state secretary issue, the Sultan’s role was “negligible”.

“If compared to his role in the dissolution of a state assembly, his role here is negligible. It is not in the Selangor Constitution that he can decide, yes or no, to these appointments but yet, he is taking an active role,” he said.

Bon also claimed that according to his interpretation of provisions in both the Selangor and Federal Constitutions, the power to appoint a candidate as the state secretary was vested in the Selangor State Service Commission and not the Public Service Commission (PSD).

“This is the primary issue here. Since the state commission has not made the appointment, then it can quickly act now.

“This is because we cannot find any law that extends the PSD’s jurisdiction in Selangor. We need to focus on these details and not political rhetoric,” he said, adding that this meant there was no need for the Selangor Constitution to be amended.

Felda Settlers Not Easily Fooled By Sweet Promises

LABIS, Jan 5 (Bernama) -- Felda settlers are not easily fooled by the opposition's sweet promises and propaganda, said its chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad.

He said the settlers were now more informed and wiser in gauging government's efforts in giving them a better life.

"The opposition are clamouring for support from Felda settlers in the coming Tenang state by-election.

"But they will not be able to make inroad in Felda schemes here as the settlers hold their loyalty to the Barisan-led government and know what's right and wrong.

"We have been through thick and thin for 55 years," he told reporters after handing over RM8.9 million in productivity incentive bonus to representatives from 15 Felda schemes in Segamat at Felda Tenang here Wednesday.

Isa said Felda would be vigilant in countering the opposition propaganda.

The by-election for the Tenang state seat will be held on Jan 30, with nomination day on Jan 22.

Fox Communications to ‘tutup kedai’

By Anil Netto


Public relations firm Fox Communcations Sdn Bhd is pulling down its shutters for good, according to BFM Radio this morning, a development confirmed by another press report.
The company, whose prime movers were former NST group editor Brendan Pereira and former Star group chief editor Wong Sulong, flourished under the Abdullah Badawi administration.
The firm landed plum jobs such as the Northern Corridor project launch. Its portfolio of high-profile clients included Sime Darby, Realmild and Patrick ‘Badawi’ Lim’s ill-fated Penang Global City Centre project. In the case of the PGCC, the firm audaciously tried to convince Penangites that the mammoth project was right for Penang and ‘green’. Abdullah Badawi, Koh Tsu Koon and Patrick Lim appeared together at the PGCC launch. But a concerted anti-PGCC civil society campaign torpedoed Fox’s slick public relations blitz in the media.
Months later, Penangites dumped the BN in the 2008 general election. And soon after, Koh was sent packing to KL, Badawi quit as PM, and Patrick has rarely been seen locally.
The good times were unable to roll any further. The firm has reportedly struggled to cover its salary and rental overheads, and will switch off the lights on 1 March.
Another one bites the dust. 

Al-Sadr back in Iraq stronghold

The Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has returned to his home city of Najaf in central Iraq, after an absence of four years.

"Muqtada al-Sadr has returned to his home in Najaf. He arrived about 3:00 pm [1200 GMT] with several leaders from the Sadr movement," an anonymous source told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.

The source, cited as being part of al-Sadr's movement, said the cleric had left Iraq at the end of 2006.

Al-Sadr is reported to have been in Iran pursuing religious studies in the holy city of Qom.

His return follows a strong showing by his bloc in last year's parliamentry election and his crucial support for Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister.

It was not immediately clear how long al-Sadr would stay in Iraq or whether the return marked a permanent decision to remain in the country, where his presence would certainly mark a significant shift in Iraqi politics.

Al-Sadr, said to be in his 30s, gained wide popularity among Shias in Iraq in the months after the US-led invasion of 2003, when his Mahdi Army fighters battled US troops.

In August 2008, he suspended the activities of his fighters, which once numbered in the tens of thousands, following major US and Iraqi assaults on its strongholds in Baghdad and southern Iraq in the spring of that year.

Cabinet positions

Ahmed Rushdie, an Iraqi journalist, spoke to Al Jazeera from Baghdad about the significance of al-Sadr’s return.

Rushdie said the return puts pressure on al-Maliki, especially now that he is appointing ministers for security positions in his cabinet.

"Muqtada al-Sadr and his followers now are making a lot of deals trying to enter such delicate positions," Rushdie said.

Rushdie added that the situation raises concerns about how the Shia arm in Iraq would deal with such negotiations, "especially since they are very concerned with the American withdrawal from Iraq, how to control such positions and how to distribute the whole cabinet's positions".

Rushdie said he felt the peace made between al-Sadr and al-Maliki "is very fragile, it is not on a very concrete base".

"Maliki until now didn't make a concrete promise to Muqtada al-Sadr that he will participate in the cabinet effectively and especially in security matters," he said.

Rushdie said he felt "the Americans have the upper hand" over the appointment of security positions.
Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies

Open verdict: 'Teoh's death not suicide or homicide'

Interlok: Racist diatribe or honest story-telling?

BOOK REVIEW It is rare for a Malay novel to get as much attention as is being given to 'Interlok', written by national literary great Abdullah Hussain. However, it is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
'Interlok' is being used as reading material in the Form Five Malay literature syllabus but has come under attack, with detractors describing the novel as racist and sowing the seeds of contempt.
The 426-page book NONEtells the story of the people of Malaya, spanning three generations from the early 1900s up to the time of Independence from Britain in 1957.
The tale is told from three separate perspectives - Malay, Chinese and Indian - before the stories are merged into the final chapter that details the interaction and eventual coming together of the protagonists from the three races.
While the book contains passages that could be deemed controversial, none have earned as much ire as the entries related to Maniam, one of the key Indian characters.
References to the 'pariah class' and the 'caste system' practised in India have drawn intense protests from the Indian Malaysian community.
T Murugiah, the deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department, and MIC deputy president S Subramaniam have urged the Education Ministry to drop the book from the syllabus.
Among the passages that apparently have struck at Indian sensitivities is the way Abdullah details Maniam's journey from his home in Trichur in Kerala, India, to Penang on a ship.
He writes about how comfortable Maniam felt throughout the journey despite being herded onto the deck with many others “like goats”.
An excerpt from that section on page 211 reads: Satu perkara yang membuat mereka senang bergaul adalah kerana mereka tergolong dalam satu kasta Paria. Mereka tidak perlu takut akan mengotori sesiapa kalau bersentuhan.
Translated, this passage means that the passengers were comfortable with one another as they all came from the 'pariah class', and were not afraid of sullying anyone by touch - a constant worry in dealing with those of higher caste in India during that era.
Abdullah also paints a happy picture of Maniam in not having to deal with caste issues when looking for work. He is even able to pay money directly to merchants when buying goods, instead of having to put the money in a place where a fellow Indian trader of higher caste can first wash the cash before accepting it.
Some in the Indian community have questioned Abdullah's intelligence for crafting a tale based on historical fact and the reality of the caste system practised by society in India at the time.
The wooden leg
But 'Interlok' must be read in its entirety. Abdullah's critical analysis of the time does not exclude the Malays or Chinese. In some passages, he describes the Malays as 'stupid and lazy' and the Chinese as 'insincere and greedy'.
Despite his sharp criticism of society at that time, Abdullah's writing shows that even with such differences there was still much room for selflessness and kindness, which became the basis for racial unity that is the core message of this book.
The tale of the Malays, Chinese and Indians, while constructed separately and presented like a mosaic, culminates with the three races coming together.
Using one of his Chinese characters, Yew Seng, as a symbolic lynchpin, Abdullah describes on page 418 how the three communities band together to buy a wooden prosthetic leg for Yew Seng who had to have his leg amputated in hospital.
Keputusan terakhir diserahkan kepada Yew Seng, dan dia memilih kaki kayu yang akan diserahkan oleh masyarakat Melayu dan India. Masyarakat Cina di pekan itu ikut sama kemudian.
Itulah kaki kayu yang digunakan oleh Yew Seng sekarang.
(The final decision was left to Yew Seng, and he chose the wooden leg that was to be given by the Malay and Indian communities. The town's Chinese community followed later. That is the wooden leg that Yew Seng uses now.)
But the question is - are 17-year-old students able to discern the main theme of the book or they only see the imperfections and shortcomings of Malaysia's various races?

A squeeze on the poor Indian community yet again!

Copy of New Scan-20110105174509-00001
The same Malaysia Nanban daily (4.1.2011, page 3) reported that parents enrolling their children in SRJK(T) Senawang are forced to donate RM50 for the four storey building fund! According to one parent , P.Kavitha, the school fees for her children range from RM 179.00 to RM 270.00. “With my husband’s monthly income of RM600.00 and with four of our six children going to school, how we can afford to pay the tuition fees, “she asked.
We believe the 70% poor Indian community in this country are all facing the same financial problem and are struggling to educate their children right from pre-school to universities and colleges.
Why are the poor Indians being forced to donate money for the school building? Providing for education is the first and foremost duty of any government and never that of the citizens! When the government has billions of ringgits for all sorts of white elephant mega projects, why are the poor made to suffer even to provide basic education for their children?
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (10 December 1948), proclaims:
Article 26.
· (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
· (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
· (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

United Nations Convention on Children’s Rights (CRC) proclaims:
Article 28: Education
The child’s right to education and the State’s duty to ensure that primary education at least is made free and compulsory. Administration of school discipline is to reflect the child’s human dignity. Emphasis is laid on the need for international co-operation to ensure this right.
As a signatory to the UDHR and the CRC, Malaysia has failed miserably in showing any commitment in upholding the Malaysian children’s rights to education. Leaving it to the schools and the poor Indian parents to fund the school buildings and equip the schools with the basic amenities (as is the case with most Tamil schools in Malaysia) is a gross disregard to the children’s rights and humanitarian principles. It is very unbecoming of Malaysia as a United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council member.
Iraiputtiran

New Scan-20110105174509-00001

Grandmother Plotted Triple Murder Of Malaysians, Say Police

murder

CHENNAI, Jan 4 (Bernama) -- A 67-year-old woman is believed to have plotted the brutal killing of a Malaysian woman and her two young children in Madurai last November, police said.

The woman, now in police custody in Madurai, is the grandmother of the prime suspect in the triple murder who is believed to have fled to Malaysia with four other suspects.

"We discovered the grandmother was the mastermind of the murders. She was the one who told them (suspects) to seek revenge on the deceased. All the seven accused under our custody now also revealed she had a hand in the crime.

"The bodies were initially buried in the woman's (grandmother's) coconut plantation but later removed to another place," Vadipatti police inspector P.R. Lakshmanan told Bernama Tuesday.

Adhila, 24, her daughter Ajira Banu, five, and son Mohd Aslan, seven, all Malaysian nationals, went missing from their home in Ramananthapura District on Nov 8.

Three days later, police discovered the highly decomposed bodies of the missing trio in a canal at Vadipatti in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, about 150km from where they were kidnapped.

A probe revealed that the murders were linked to an old local gang war and the trio were killed to settle a score with Adhila's husband, last known to be working in Malaysia.

All the suspects are Indian nationals from Tamil Nadu.

The case, which kindled much media attention in South India, was transferred to the Tamil Nadu Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) last week, under orders from the Madras High Court.

"Innocent children have been murdered due to alleged enmity between two families.

"In such circumstances, this court is convinced that the CB-CID would be the competent agency to continue investigation and complete the same after taking the assistance of the Malaysian police to bring the culprits back to India," said Justice V. Periyakaruppan, who ordered the transfer of the case, reported Outlook India.com.

Khusrin appointment legal, no need for royal consent

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 – Chief Secretary Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan stood by his appointment of the new Selangor state secretary today, adding there was no “legal requirement” to obtain royal consent.

Breaking his silence for the first time since the row erupted in December, Mohd Sidek (picture) called for an end to the ongoing dispute, declaring he had adhered to the law when appointing former Selangor Islamic Religious Department director Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the new Selangor state secretary.

He also said that the Selangor Constitution did not stipulate the need for him to consult the state government when making such an appointment.

“The appointment of Mohd Khusrin as the state secretary was in accordance with the Federal Constitution, the Selangor Constitution and regulations under the Public Services Promotions Board, whereby there are elements of consultation with the state government through the state secretary.

“This appointment process is carried out in the selection of state secretaries in other states whether helmed by Barisan Nasional or otherwise, like the Penang state secretary,” he said in a media statement this evening.

“Additionally, Article 52 of the Selangor Constitution does not state any need for the Selangor Government to be consulted before the appointment of the state secretary is done.

“As such, the lack of consultation here does not disturb the current appointment. According to convention, the Public Services Department (PSD), as the secretariat for the promotions board, can prepare its candidate choices for the state secretary post to the state government as a matter of courtesy,” Mohd Sidek added.

Similarly for the Sultan, he said that the Selangor Constitution did not set conditions that the Ruler had to approve an appointment.

He said the Sultan’s consent on Mohd Khusrin’s appointment was merely a matter of “courtesy”.

“In this process, any names presented for the Sultan’s perusal is just a matter of courtesy. What is legally valid here is that the appointment is made through the ‘appropriate service commission’, as stipulated in the Constitution, or the promotions board, which carries out the PSD’s powers, as stipulated under Article 144(5B) of the Federal Constitution,” he said.

Despite opposing views from legal experts, Mohd Sidek insisted that the term “appropriate service commission” enshrined under Article 52 of the Selangor Constitution specifically referred to the promotions board and not the Selangor State Services Commission as suggested.

“In this matter, the Selangor state secretary is selected from among federal civil servants in the administrative and diplomatic services scheme (also known as PTD in its Malay acronym) and their appointment commission is the PSD.

“This is because the PTD’s services falls under Article 132(2)(c) of the Federal Constitution which refers to ‘the general public service of the federation’,” he said.

Mohd Sidek also pointed out that Article 144 of the Federal Constitution states that all powers and functions of the PSD or the Education Commission, other than the first appointment to a permanent post or a pensioner post, can be carried out by a board chosen by the King.

“In this case, the Agong had set a regulation known as the Public Services Promotions Board 2010 to carry out the PSD’s powers in the process of federal civil servants promotions and appointments.

“As such, Khusrin’s appointment was entirely according to constitutional provisions,” he said.

Mohd Sidek also gave his assurance that he had not obtained any political input from federal administrators, including the Prime Minister himself, when selecting the candidate for the state secretary post.

“In matters involving the appointment of the state secretary or any other federal officers on the state-level, I, as the Chief Secretary to the government and chairman of the promotions board, do not accept any political input or refer to any federal administrators including the Prime Minister.

“These matters are carried professionally in my capacity as the Chief Secretary and the the board chairman, with the state government, and through the state secretary,” he declared.

Mohd Sidek’s statement today comes in the heat of an intense tug-of-war between Selangor Pakatan Rakyat administrators and Putrajaya over the state secretary post.

The Selangor government, led by Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, has rejected Mohd Sidek’s choice for the post and has even announced its intention to amend the state constitution by month end.

The bill is supposed to return the power of appointment to the Mentri Besar as well as the Sultan, who had earlier come under fire for allegedly wading into the controversy by offering his consent on Mohd Sidek’s choice.

The loyalty oath-taking ceremony for Mohd Khusrin is expected to go ahead as scheduled at 10am in Istana Kayangan tomorrow, despite pledges by Selangor PR administrators that they would boycott the event.

Teoh family to challenge inquest verdict

SHAH ALAM, Jan 5 – Lawyers for Teoh Beng Hock’s family and the Selangor government said today they were dissastisfied with the coroner’s open verdict and will challenge it in the High Court here.

Father-and-son legal team for the Teohs, Karpal and Gobind Singh, say they will challenge the open verdict at the Shah Alam High Court. – Picture by Choo Choy May
Karpal Singh and his son, Gobind Singh Deo, who are representing the Teohs, said they would be filing a motion to revise the verdict “as soon as possible” but did not give a date. Both lawyers said there was no time limit.
The lawyers added the challenge would not affect the family’s request for a royal commission of inquiry to look deeper into Teoh’s death.


Gobind said they would have to study the documents for the grounds they wanted to revise.

The younger lawyer pointed out that the coroner had made a remarkable finding that Teoh had suffered from pre-fall injuries, despite adding there was not enough evidence to conclude the injuries contributed directly to death.

“At the beginning of the inquest, the position the MACC took was that there was no harm or force used on Teoh Beng Hock when he was taken in as a witness.

“I think every Malaysian wants to know, how did he come by those injuries?

“Nobody is going to sit back and say, ‘These things happen’,” Gobind said.

He said the uncertainty explained why Teoh’s family remained “visibly disturbed”.

He called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to respond to the points raised by the coroner in his ruling.

Gobind, who is also a federal lawmaker, said the coroner’s decision to highlight the pre-fall injuries gave the family hope.

“The decision, despite being lacking in many things, but it is a starting step for us. We’re moving forward,” the Puchong MP pointed out, saying that the ruling on pre-fall injuries was one of several points in the family’s favour for a revision.

He also said the police should take another look at their investigation of the entire incident, and nodded to the testimonies by the officer tasked with heading the inquest, ASP Ahmad Nazri Zainal.

Lawyer for the Selangor government, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, echoed Gobind’s views.

Malik said the only reason the pre-fall injuries gained attention was due to Thai forensic expert, Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand, who had advised Teoh’s body to be exhumed for a second check.

Malik reminded that Indian pathologist, Dr Prashant Naresh Samberkar, who had performed the first autopsy on Teoh together with the government’s Dr Khairul Aznam Ibrahim, had clearly said Teoh’s death was likely suicide only because there were no signs to indicate a struggle, based on the crime scene investigation reports.

“What is the neck injury if not a sign of a struggle?” Malik asked.

“So, if we rule out suicide, if we rule out an accident, how else would he have died?” quizzed the Penang-born lawyer who also expressed his dissatisfaction with the open verdict.

Militant ideology in campus under control, says Hisham

PUTRAJAYA: Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein today confirmed the presence of militant ideology in local universities based on the reports received from local and foreign intelligence agencies.

However, he said the situation was still under control and did not affect national security.

“It doesn’t affect the security of the country. It will not pose an immediate threat but we cannot be complacent.

“There are reports that I received pertaining to the monitoring on certain ideologies and if they create fear about militancy or violence, then we will take action without hesitation,” he told reporters after a meeting with the director-general of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), William Lacy Swing, at his office, here today.

Hishammuddin said this when asked to comment on the report in a foreign media earlier stating that universities in this country were becoming major recruiting centres to woo the young generation to join militant Islamic groups following the lax entry policy.

He said the ministry was also cooperating and sharing expertise with other international agencies including the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United Kingdom Intelligence, Australia Intelligence and Saudi Intelligence to tackle the matter.

The Biometric System to be introduced soon was also expected to assist in resolving the problem, he said.

-Bernama

MACC adviser: AG didn’t satisfy us all

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) adviser has refuted a colleague’s claim that the panel they sit on was satisfied with the attorney-general’s defence against allegations that he has links with a former Malaysian Airlines big gun investigated for graft.

Abdul Gani Patail’s clarification failed to dispel suspicions over his relationship with Shahidan Shafie, an alleged proxy of former MAS executive chairman Tajuddin Ramli, said Robert Phang of the MACC’s Corruption Prevention Panel.

Tajuddin is currently facing investigations by MACC over MAS’s record loss of RM8 billion during his tenure. He was chairman from 1994 to 2001.

Panel chairman Ramon Navaratnam said yesterday that the MACC was satisfied with the AG’s explanation and had decided it was necessary to probe his link with Shahidan.

He also said it was “irresponsible to allege that he was in any way linked” to Shahidan.

AG went overboard to claim innocence

Phang said it was not true that all the MACC members who attended yesterday’s meeting with Gani were satisfied with his explanation.

He said Ramon’s statement had eroded any vestige of credibility left in the MACC and its advisers.

He said it would “inevitably invite further allegations that the board and panel members who attended this meeting were just rubberstamps to preserve the AG’s position”.

Thirty members of the MACC board and advisory panel attended yesterday’s meeting.

Phang revealed that Gani went “overboard” in trying to explain his innocence.

“Abdul Gani had indeed gone out on a limb and had gone overboard in trying to convince us of his innocence and that he had no close relationship with Shahidan. To me and others, it was a sorry sight.”

Abdul Gani must dispel cover-up allegation

Phang said it was imperative for the AG to dispel any suspicion surrounding his conduct of consorting with Shahidan, including their going for the Haj together.

“The public needs to be satisfied as to why Abdul Gani had not acted on the recommendations of the then Director of Commercial Crimes Department, Ramli Yusuff, that Tajuddin should be prosecuted,” he said.

“The public has already perceived that the AG’s decision to prosecute (then CCID chief) Ramli as an attempt to cover up the MAS scandal.”

A report on the probe by MACC indicated that one of the major factors that contributed to the RM8 billion losses was the relocation of MAS’ cargo operation in Amsterdam and Frankfurt to a single hub in Hahn, Germany.

It has been reported that the airline was forced to enter into a disadvantageous aircraft lease contract with a company linked to Tajuddin.

The national carrier was losing between RM10 million to RM16 million from the deal up to the project’s termination when the government retook MAS under its control in 2001. This resulted in a RM300 million arbitration claim against the company.

Abdul Gani was also reported to have been hesitant to prosecute Tajuddin despite Ramli’s assurance in 2007 that it had identified various prosecutable offences.

Ex-cop: DNA proof in sodomy trial faked


KUALA LUMPUR: The DNA evidence used against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim in his first sodomy trial was fabricated, said a former investigating officer in the 1998 “black-eye incident”.

Former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim claimed he has in his possession proof the evidence was faked and appealed to the Solicitor-General Idrus Harun to end the alleged cover-up of the case that took place after Anwar’s dismissal as deputy prime minister in 1998.

Mat Zain again named former Inspector-General of Police Musa Hasan and Attorney-General Abdul Gani Pattail as the main culprits. The two were also alleged to have fabricated evidence in the infamous “black-eye incident”.

“In my letter dated Dec 27, 2010, I explained that any investigation on the information must also refer to the investigation papers on the black-eye case because of overlapping incidents.

“This is especially so since the key players in the fabrication of evidence in the black-eye case and DNA fabrication are the same,” he said in an open letter to Idrus which was published in DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang’s blog.

Anwar was assaulted by then IGP, Rahim Noor, soon after his arrest in 1998. The former deputy prime minister was later convicted for abuse of power and sodomy but was released in 2004 after the Federal Court cleared him of sexual misconduct.

Rahim took full responsibility for the assault and subsequently resigned.

During his first sodomy trial, a mattress, from which Anwar’s DNA samples were extracted, was presented to the court to prove sexual acts.

Mat Zain’s latest allegation on fabrication of DNA evidence in Anwar’s case was briefly mentioned in his appeal to Idrus to intervene in the “black-eye case”.

Misleading facts presented in Parliament

In today’s letter, Mat Zain made fresh allegations against both Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz, who he accused of presenting inaccurate and misleading facts on the case to Parliament recently.

“The A-G, deliberately or not, had caused Hishammuddin and Nazri to make confusing announcements in Parliament,” he said, adding that the details of the case were provided to the ministers by the A-G’s office.

Despite the strong allegations in his first letter to current IGP Ismail Omar, Hishammuddin had told Parliament early last month that Putrajaya will not reopen the case. Then on Dec 14, Nazri avoided replying to Mat Zain’s accusation that Gani and Musa had fabricated evidence.

Instead, Nazri said Mat Zain’s quest to clear his name was unnecessary as he was not the subject of the “black-eye” investigation. Mat Zain, along with Gani and Musa, were the subject of Anwar’s police report lodged in July 2008.

The Permatang Pauh MP accused the three, along with a ‘Dr Abdul Rahman Yusof’, of falsifying a medical report which alleged that his injuries had been self-inflicted. Mat Zain then filed a defamation suit against Anwar.

Three independent panel members comprising Federal and Court of Appeal judges later cleared Gani and Musa of the allegations, but the status of Mat Zain and Abdul Rahman remained uncertain.

Today, Mat Zain urged Idrus to exercise his power as a public prosecutor to make an official stand over the issue.

“It is inappropriate for the A-G to hide behind ministers in issuing statements on investigations made by prosecutors, said Mat Zain.

“You have argued before that even the prime minister is not the competent authority to make such statements on behalf of the A-G,” added the former CID chief.

Idrus’ prompt action and stand on the matter were needed to restore the dented image of the A-G’s Chambers, said Mat Zain who had previously disclosed an agreement involving himself, Rahim, and former Deputy IGP Norian Mai on Oct 8, 1998 that there would be a“complete closure” to the black-eye case.

“You can either choose to continue to cover up the criminal act and to continue lying to protect previous lies or you can choose to save the credibility of the A-G’s Chambers,” said Mat Zain.

‘Attempt to rape attention from sodomy’

KUALA LUMPUR: Information Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim, who has been accused of raping his Indonesian maid three years ago, has denied the allegation.

The 69-year-old Umno MP dismissed the allegation as wicked lies peddled by bloggers and opposition politicians.

In an obvious swipe at Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, Rais said his political rivals were hoping to use such baseless allegations to divert attention from the bigger crimes involving opposition leaders, such as sodomy.

“I refute the allegations, whether they are about raping any individual four years ago (2007) or any other allegation, raised by bloggers by any political entity,” he said in a statement.

He said these “wild allegations” were libellous and awful.

Rais also said that he was prepared to be investigated over the matter, adding that he and his family members would extend their full cooperation.

“I state readily that any report by anyone so far related to this matter should be investigated under the country’s laws,” he added.

The allegation had prompted PAS and an NGO, Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM), to lodge separate police reports.

Both PAS and SAMM demanded a police investigation and urged Rais to clear his name or resign from his positions as a minister and the MP for Jelebu.

The allegation was based on a purported WikiLeaks disclosure that former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had allegedly covered up the case.

‘Cheap political gimmick’

Commenting on this, Rais said implicating Abdullah and former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan as not being interested in pursuing the matter, was a “cheap political gimmick to confuse the people since the issue was never raised with the two inviduals”.

“The reports are a political manifestation designed to tarnish my name as a member of the government,” he said, adding that he had an untainted 40-year service record.

The minister said it was clear that the allegations were aimed at soiling his name and image as well as his efforts to promote Barisan Nasional policies, namely Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia concept.

“The opposition and certain quarters who are unhappy with the success of the concept are attempting to damage it by spreading such cheap lies. They believe that by killing the messenger, their vile plan will be achieved,” he added.

Furthermore, he said such issues were created to be used as “spears” by their political rivals to kill the political struggle of BN, especially with a by-election and general election looming.

Bukti Pemalsuan Ujian DNA Dalam Kes Perbicaraan Anwar Ibrahim Tahun 1998

SURAT RAYUAN TERBUKA

Mat Zain bin Ibrahim 5 hb.Januari 2011

Kepada;

Yang Berbahgia Datuk Idrus Harun,

Peguam Cara Negara Malaysia,

(Solicitor General of Malaysia)

Jabatan Peguam Negara, Dengan tangan.

Block C3,Kompleks C,

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,

62152 Putrajaya.

YBhg.Datuk,

Maklumat mengenai penipuan dan pemalsuan-pemalsuan yang dilakukan berkenaan ujian Deoxyribonucleic Acid (“DNA”) dalam kes berprofil tinggi 1998.

Assalamualaikum YBhg.Datuk,semoga dalam sihat walfiat.

2. Sehubungan dengan perkara tajuk,sukacita saya menjemput YBhg.Datuk menyemak semula surat saya bertarikh 27hb.Disember 2010,berkaitan isu diatas yang dialamatkan kepada YDH Tan Sri Ketua Polis Negara, dengan salinannya kepada YAB Perdana Menteri Malaysia dan YBhg.Datuk sendiri yang diakui telah diterima oleh masing-masing pada tarikh berkenaan juga.

2.1. Dalam Surat Rayuan Terbuka ini,saya akan tinggalkan dahulu buat sementara waktu, kandungan maklumat-maklumat berkaitan perkara tajuk,yang saya huraikan dalam Bahagian II dan Bahagian III dalam muka surat 7 hingga 20 surat tersebut.Saya berasa yakin bahawa YDH Ketua Polis Negara sedang dalam proses menyiasat kesahihan maklumat-maklumat berkaitan perkara tajuk dalam Bahagian II , manakala maklumat berkaitan “subsequent conduct” individu tertentu dalam Bahagian III surat tersebut.

2.2. Dalam surat saya bertarikh 27.12.2010 itu juga,saya telah jelaskan bahawa sebarang siasatan mengenai maklumat diatas,perlu merujuk kepada kertas siasatan kes mata-lebam oleh kerana beberapa insiden yang berlaku adalah “bertindih” (overlapping) lebih-lebih lagi “pemain utama” kedua-dua kes pemalsuan dalam insiden mata-lebam dan pemalsuan “DNA” adalah sama.

3. Fokus saya dalam Surat Rayuan Terbuka ini adalah kepada Bahagian I surat tersebut iaitu;

3.1. Berkaitan dengan “Penjelasan dan Jawapan secara bertulis kepada soalan-soalan yang tidak sempat dijawab semasa sessi penggulungan perbahasan Bajet 2011” yang diberi oleh YB Dato’Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein (YB Hishammuddin),Menteri Dalam Negeri,pada 2.12.2010,sebagai menjawab soalan daripada YB Tuan Lim Kit Siang dan;

3.2. Berkaitan dengan “Ministerial Statement” oleh Menteri Jabatan Perdana Menteri,YB Dato’Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Azizi (YB Nazri)), dibawah Peraturan Mesyuarat 14(1)(i) pada 14.12.2010,sebagai penjelasan kepada usul memotong RM10 daripada gaji Peguam Negara yang dibangkitkan oleh YB Tuan Lim Kit Siang juga.Saya percaya YBhg.Datuk sedar bahawa kenyataan berkenaan adalah terbit daripada arahan khusus Jemaah Menteri kepada YB Nazri dan seorang lagi Menteri Kanan iaitu YB Dato’Seri Utama Dr.Rais Yatim (YB Rais Yatim),supaya mendapatkan penjelasan lanjut daripada Peguam Negara, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (Gani Patail) sendiri, berkaitan isu yang dibangkitkan sekembalinya Gani Patail daripada Mekah setelah menunaikan Haji musim lalu.

3.3. Saya percaya YBhg.Datuk akan bersetuju dengan saya, jika saya katakan bahawa, YB Hishammuddin dan YB Nazri mahupun YB Rais Yatim TIDAK mempunyai ekses kepada kertas siasatan Polis ataupun SPRM.Mereka juga TIDAK mempunyai sebarang kuasa penyiasatan sepertimana terdapat dalam Kanun Prosidur Jenayah (CPC), ataupun kuasa berkaitan pendakwaan atau perkara yang incidental mengenainya,sepertimana yang dibekalkan kepada Peguam Negara,mengikut Artikel 145(3) dan 145(3A) Perlembagaan Persekutuan.Oleh hal yang demikian pengumuman yang telah dibuat oleh YB Hishammuddin dan YB Nazri secara berasingan itu, adalah semata-mata berdasarkan kepada fakta-fakta yang dibekalkan dan nasihat yang diberikan oleh Peguam Negara,kerana perkara-perkara pengumuman berkenaan adalah berkaitan siasatan dan undang-undang.

4. Saya percaya YBhg.Datuk sendiri turut sedar bahawa pengumuman yang dibuat oleh kedua-dua YB Menteri berkenaan mengandungi fakta-fakta dan/atau maklumat-maklumat mustahak yang tidak benar dan/atau yang mengelirukan dan/atau yang telah dipesongkan (distorted).Saya juga percaya YBhg.Datuk turut sedar dengan demikian itu, Peguam Negara sama ada secara sengaja atau sebaliknya, telah menyebabkan YB Hishammuddin dan YB Nazri membuat pengumuman yang mengelirukan dalam Parlimen atau lebih jelas lagi, jika saya katakan, mereka telah memberi maklumat palsu kepada rakyat.Akibatnya, kedua-dua YB Menteri terlibat, mungkin terdedah kepada risiko dikenakan sesuatu tindakan undang-undang.

4.1. Tindakan Peguam Negara boleh diibaratkan,sebagai “sebuah roda yang terbenam didalam lumpur yang licin.Lebih ligat roda tersebut diputarkan untuk keluar dari lumpur tersebut,lebih dalam ia akan terbenam”. Begitulah keadaannya dalam isu ini.Lebih ligat Peguam Negara memutar belitkan undang-undang,fakta dan keterangan,untuk keluar daripada masaalah penipuan dan pemalsuan yang beliau telah lakukan sendiri,lebih kuat beliau menjerut leher sendiri.Malangnya orang lain yang tidak berkenaan pula turut menjadi mangsa keadaan.

5. Bagi meleraikan kekalutan diatas,yang telah berlarutan selama 12 tahun,saya merayu YBhg.Datuk,atas sifat Peguam Cara Negara,yang boleh dalam keadaan tertentu bertindak sebagai Pendakwa Raya,mengeluarkan kenyataan resmi kepada umum, bagi mengesahkan posisi YBhg.Datuk sendiri dalam hal ini. Adalah sangat tidak wajar untuk pihak Peguam Negara mencari perlindungan di-belakang Menteri-Menteri dalam membuat kenyataan-kenyataan berkenaan perkara penyiasatan dan pendakwaan,sedangkan YBhg.Datuk sendiri yang telah berhujah menyatakan bahawa Perdana Menteri pun bukan “competent authority” untuk membuat kenyataan sedemikian bagi pihak Peguam Negara.Saya jemput YBhg.Datuk merujuk kepada kes yang diperturunkan dibawah;

5.1. Dalam Rayuan Jenayah No:43-(70)-2008,Keputusan “Decision on Revision” oleh Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Yang Ariff Dato’Mohamad Zabidin bin Mohd.Diah bertarikh 5.3.2009.

“Suffice for me to say I agree with learned SDPP’s submission that “it is well settled that the authority or discretion to institute a prosecution and all other powers incidental to it,is vested with the Attorney-General by virtue of Article 145(3)and 145(3A) of the Federal Constitution.Such being the case,any promise with regard to the prosecution or anything incidental to it can only be made by the Attorney-General and not the Prime Minister.Surely,the Prime Minister could not be seen to be making promise on behalf of a competent authority which is given the exclusive discretion under the Federal Constitution with regard to prosecution or any matter incidental thereto.”

5.2. Dalam premis diatas, diharap YBhg.Datuk dapat memberikan penjelasan mengenai status kenyataan YB Nazri yang beliau buat pada 14.12.2010 dan sama ada YB Menteri berkenaan merupakan “competent authority” membuat kenyataan sedemikian bagi pihak Peguam Negara.Lebih-lebih lagi kenyataan tersebut menyentuh bidang kuasa Pendakwa Raya.YBhg.Datuk juga wajar menjelaskan sama ada Jemaah Menteri merupakan “competent authority” untuk mengistiharkan perlantikkan Ahli Panel Bebas berkenaan sebagai “sah” atau sebaliknya, dan sama ada YB Menteri boleh mengistiharkan sesuatu siasatan kes jenayah itu ditutup.

6. Untuk faedah umum dan pihak-pihak yang mempunyai kepentingan berkaitan perkara dalam persoalan ini,saya merayu YBhg.Datuk menjelaskan persoalan-persoalan yang berikut dibawah dengan telus dan ikhlas.Semoga penjelasan YBhg.Datuk berikan kelak, akan dapat menyelesaikan kemelut ini “once and for all”.Tidak dapat tiada isu pemalsuan keterangan dalam insiden mata-lebam, akan berbangkit semula apabila siasatan menyeluruh dijalankan berkaitan maklumat sepertimana perkara tajuk.Persoalan utama adalah seperti berikut dibawah;

6.1. Benar atau tidak terdapat tiga (3) laporan perubatan yang berbeza antara satu sama lain,yang disediakan oleh Dr.Abdul Rahman Yusof.Laporan pertama disediakan pada 26.10.1998 atas arahan Gani Patail.Laporan kedua (yang akan dirujuk sebagai Ekshibit-A9) dan Laporan Ketiga masing-masing tanpa bertarikh disediakan oleh Dr.Rahman diantara 14.12.1998 hingga 21.12.1998 yang diarahkan oleh Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah (Allahyarham Mohtar),Peguam Negara ketika itu.

6.2. Benar atau tidak dua(2) daripada tiga(3) Laporan diatas,iaitu Laporan Pertama bertarikh 26.10.1998 dan Ekshibit-A9 telah dikemukakan dalam prosiding Suruhanjaya Di-Raja Tersebut,dan dirakamkan dalam Laporan Suruhjaya berkenaan.

6.3. Benar atau tidak Laporan Pertama bertarikh 26.10.1998 yang penyediaannya diarahkan oleh Gani Patail,tidak terdapat dalam Laporan Suruhanjaya yang kemudiannya diperkenankan oleh SPB Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

6.4. Jika Gani Patail dan/atau Tan Sri Musa Hassan (Musa Hassan),dan/atau Dr.Rahman dan/atau ACP Mat Zain Ibrahim (ketika itu Pegawai Penyiasat kes mata-lebam),sama ada secara bersendiri atau berpakat,tidak terlibat dengan apa cara sekalipun dalam pembikinan ketiga-tiga Laporan Perubatan seperti yang tersebut diatas,bolehkah YBhg.Datuk jelaskan bagaimana laporan-laporan tersebut,kesemuanya berjumlah 65 muka surat, boleh ujud dan siapa yang bertanggungjawab dalam pembikinannya.

(i) Bolehkah YBhg.Datuk turut jelaskan bagaimana laporan-laporan berkenaan boleh berada dalam kertas siasatan mata-lebam,kertas siasatan SPRM dan Laporan Suruhanjaya Di-Raja tersebut.

6.5. Berkaitan dengan kuasa Peguam Cara Negara (Solicitor General-SG) sepertimana terkandung dalam Seksyen 376 Kanun Prosidur Jenayah (CPC).

(i). Benarkah mengikut Seksyen 376 (2)CPC,kuasa SG sama dengan kuasa yang ada pada seorang Timbalan Pendakwa Raya (DPP) sahaja.Apabila SG bertindak sebagai Pendakwa Raya ketika ketiadaan Peguam Negara atau pada waktu ia tidak berupaya bertindak sebagainya,adalah untuk “administrative purposes” sahaja dan tidak melibatkan pengambilan “kuasa penuh” Pendakwa Raya. Kuasa penuh Pendakwa Raya hanya boleh dilaksanakan oleh Peguam Negara seorang sahaja yang dilantik oleh SPB Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

(ii) Semua DPP,dan termasuk SG,boleh menjalankan semua atau mana-mana hak dan kuasa yang ada atau yang boleh dijalankan oleh Pendakwa Raya dengan atau dibawah CPC atau mana-mana undang-undang bertulis kecuali (diulangkan)..kecuali apa-apa hak atau kuasa yang dinyatakan wajar dilakukan oleh Pendakwa Raya sendiri, iaitu;

a) Melantik DPP dibawah Seksyen 376 subseksyen (3)CPC,dibaca bersama dengan Seksyen 376 subseksyen (4).

b) Menandatangani sijil dibawah Seksyen 418A subseksyen (2) CPC iaitu untuk memindahkan perbicaraan dari Mahkamah Rendah kepada Mahkamah Tinggi.

c) Perintah menjalankan perbicaraan terhadap pengarang,tuan punya, pencetak atau penerbit sebarang buku atau surat khabar yang didaftarkan dibawah Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan 1984 atau dibawah Akta Penyerahan Bahan Perpustakaan 1986.

6.5.1. Sehubungan perkara diatas,izinkan saya merujuk sekali lagi nota prosiding Rayuan Jenayah 43-(70)-2008 mengenai “Decision on Revision” di-hadapan Hakim YA Dato’Mohamad Zabidin bin Mohd.Diah.Dalam hujah pihak Pendakwaan,YBhg.Datuk sendiri telah menekankan dengan membawa contoh-contoh case-laws bahawa hanya Pendakwa Raya sahaja yang mempunyai kuasa untuk menandatangani sijil dibawah Seksyen 418A tersebut,oleh kerana keperluan tersebut adalah “statutory requirement”,atau dalam bahasa mudah ianya adalah kehendak undang-undang.Jika demikian,bolehkah YBhg.Datuk jelaskan mengapakah aplikasinya dalam perlantikkan DPP mengikut Seksyen 376 (3) CPC dibaca bersama dengan Seksyen 376(4) berbeza dengan apa yang YBhg.Datuk hujahkan di-Mahkamah,sedangkan undang-undang yang dipakai ialah CPC yang sama.

6.6. Dengan mengenepikan persoalan kesahihan perlantikkan DPP-DPP berkenaan sebagai Ahli Panel Bebas,diharap YBhg.Datuk jelaskan sama ada sekumpulan DPP yang dilantik sedemikian itu mempunyai hak dan kuasa untuk mengadili (adjudicate) perkara berkaitan kelakuan dan/atau salah-laku jenayah seorang Peguam Negara,sama sepertimana hak dan kuasa sebuah Tribunal yang dilantik oleh Yang Di-Pertuan Agong setelah dinasihatkan oleh Perdana Menteri mengikut Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

6.7. Saya percaya YBhg.Datuk tidak akan menafikan telah menerima ketiga-tiga laporan perubatan disediakan oleh Dr.Rahman dalam persoalan ini,menerusi salinan surat-surat saya bertarikh 15.4.2009 dan 7.5.2009.Saya percaya YBhg.Datuk bukan orangnya yang akan membakul-sampahkan dokumen-dokumen tersebut, sebaliknya YBhg.Datuk telah meneliti kesahihan laporan-laporan berkaitan dengannya.

6.7.1. Oleh hal yang demikian itu,bolehkah YBhg.Datuk jelaskan,keterangan yang macam mana lagi YBhg.Datuk ingin cari.

6.7.2. Malahan dengan hanya bersandarkan laporan saya bertarikh 15.4.2009 dan 7.5.2009 itu sahaja,saya yakin YBhg.Datuk telah boleh membentuk suatu kes prima facie terhadap Gani Patail dan orang atau orang-orang yang bersubahat dengannya, kerana memalsukan keterangan ketika proses penyiasatan kes mata lebam,tanpa perlu merujuk kepada kertas siasatan kes itu sendiri ataupun kertas siasatan SPRM berkaitan.

YBhg.Datuk,

7. Saya telah menunggu sehingga hari ini 5hb.Januari 2011 untuk mengedarkan maklum balas bersangkutan dengan kenyataan yang dibuat oleh YB Menteri-Menteri tersebut itu.Saya percaya YBhg.Datuk dan khasnya Gani Patail,masih ingat bahawa dua belas tahun lalu, pada 5hb.Januari 1999, Peguam Negara,Allahyarham Mohtar telah mengeluarkan Press Statement yang disediakan oleh Gani Patail berkaitan dengan Penyiasatan Polis dalam insiden mata-lebam kepada umum.Saya sendiri tidak akan lupa tarikh bersejarah ini.

7.1. Press Statement 5.1.199 inilah yang telah memusnahkan kredibiliti PDRM dan khasnya Pasukan Penyiasat insiden mata lebam ketika itu.Press Statement ini juga telah menyebabkan Jemaah Menteri terpedaya untuk mempercayai bahawa PDRM tidak berupaya untuk menangani sesuatu siasatan jika melibatkan pucuk pimpinan tertinggi sendiri,dan dalam hal ini penglibatan Ketua Polis Negara.Akibatnya Jemaah Menteri telah memutuskan bahawa Suruhanjaya Di-Raja pula dibentuk untuk mengambil alih siasatan daripada Polis.

7.2. Bagaimanapun PDRM akhirnya telah membuktikan bahawa ia adalah satu Pasukan yang berkecuali dan professional dan mampu menjalankan penyiasatan yang adil “without fear or favour”,sekalipun ianya adalah terhadap orang nombor satunya.Ini telah diakui oleh Ahli Suruhanjaya Di-Raja tersebut sepertimana yang dirakamkan dalam “Part Two,muka surat 69 perenggan 6.6.Laporan Suruhanjaya”,walaupun ramai yang tidak menyedarinya atau mempedulikannya.

8. Saya percaya YBhg.Datuk serta Pimpinan Tertinggi dalam Jabatan Peguam Negara,turut sedar, bahawa Press Statement 5.1.1999 itu adalah merupakan bukti utama yang boleh digunakan untuk mensabitkan beberapa kesalahan jenayah terhadap Gani Patail dan orang atau orang/orang yang bersubahat dengannya,berkaitan penipuan dan pemalsuan keterangan.

8.1. Bersempena dengan ulang tahun ke-duabelas Press Statement 5.1.1999 itu pada hari ini,saya mengajak YBhg.Datuk “to come clean” untuk menyelesaikan kemelut ini.

9. YBhg.Datuk bebas memilih untuk terus melindungi perbuatan jenayah ini dan terpaksa bersedia untuk terus berbohong untuk menutup pembohongan terdahulu yang tidak akan berkesudahan, ataupun YBhg.Datuk memilih untuk menyelamatkan kredibiliti Jabatan Peguam Negara pada hari ini,supaya membolehkan YBhg.Datuk dan rakan-rakan yang lain membuka tirai baru dalam membawa AG’s Chambers kezaman kecermelangannya sebelum 1998.

9.1. Apa pun pilihan yang akan dibuat,saya inginkan YBhg.Datuk tahu bahawa penipuan dan pemalsuan yang dilakukan sejak 1998 itu dan terus terpaksa dilakukan sehingga hari ini, adalah berputik daripada perasaan marah, dendam peribadi dan keegoan sesaorang yang mengambil kesempatan situasi tidak menentu ketika itu.

10. Akhir kata saya menuntut maaf sekiranya surat rayuan terbuka saya kepada YBhg.Datuk ini membebankan,dan saya memohon maaf juga sekiranya terdapat kata-kata saya yang terlanjur atau menyinggung perasaan.Saya pernah membuat rayuan yang serupa kepada Allayarham Tan Sri Peguam Negara ketika itu, menerusi minit saya dalam muka surat 26 hingga 29 perenggan 10,11 dan 12 bertarikh 27.1.1999,dan diharap YBhg.Datuk sudi melihatnya jika ada kelapangan.

Salam sejahtera, selamat maju jaya dan Selamat Tahun Baru.

Terima kasih.

Yang benar,

(Mat Zain bin Ibrahim)

5hb.Januari 2011.

( Nota:Surat Asal telah diakui terima oleh Pejabat Peguam Cara Negara @ 0850 pagi 5.1.2011)

Malaysian Official Denies Rape Allegations

Image(Asia Sentinel) Communications Minister Rais says allegations were inspired by opposition parties

Information Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim today denied an allegation that he had raped his Indonesian maid in 2007, describing the accusations as “wild” and inspired by bloggers and opposition political parties.

"I refute the allegations, whether they are about raping any individual four years ago or any other allegation, raised by bloggers on the Internet or by any political entity," he said in a statement sent to Malaysiakini, the independent Malaysian website.

Asia Sentinel carried the story on Jan. 3, citing a three-page document from Migrant Care, a non-government organization which interviewed the maid after she had returned to Indonesia. Confusion arose initially because reports said the allegations arose from a WikiLeaks release from the 250,000-odd diplomatic cables that a US Army private first class delivered to the website. There was no evidence that that was true.

Rais, a 69-year-old UMNO stalwart who has served in at least three governments, described the "wild allegations" against him as “heaps of libellous statements and awful, ugly and wicked lies,” Malaysiakini reported.

"I state readily that any report by anyone so far related to this matter should be investigated under the country's laws," he said.

Rais said he and his family members were prepared to extend full cooperation in such an investigation, and would accept and comply with any outcome of the official probe.

* * Malaysian Bar Web Ads * Malaysian Bar Web Ads * Malaysian Bar Web Ads * Malaysian Bar Web Ads * Malaysian Bar Web Ads PSC can end Selangor stalemate by talking to MB, says lawyer

The Malaysian Insider
by Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — Constitutional lawyer Tommy Thomas has advised the Public Service Commission (PSC) to discuss with the Selangor governmet on resolving the ongoing deadlock over Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi’s appointment as state secretary.

The senior lawyer said the PSC, headed by Chief Secretary to the federal government, Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, appeared to be the right body to decide who becomes Selangor’s No. 1 civil servant; but added that it must first consult the state.

Referring to both the federal and Selangor constitutions, Thomas noted the laws provided for two separate bodies to be set up to deal with the appointment of civil servants.

“Article 52 (1) of the State Constitution of Selangor states that the State Secretary shall be appointed by the appropriate Service Commission from amongst members of any of the relevant public services,” he said.

Appointment Of Khusrin Based On Law Not Politics, Says Sidek

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 (Bernama) -- The Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, clarified that the appointment of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as Selangor State Secretary is proper and legal and not based on political inputs.

The appointment was made according to provisions of the Federal Constitution, the Selangor Constitution and Promotion Board of the Civil Service Regulations 2010, with elements of consultation with the Selangor Government through the State Secretary, Datuk Ramli Mahmud.

"In this appointment, I did not take any political input and did not refer to anyone in the federal administration, including the Prime Minister.

"The exercise was carried out professionally, involving only the Chief Secretary to the Government (and the Promotions Board) and the Selangor Government," he said in a statement Wednesday.

He said there had also been consultations in appointing the state secretary for other states, whether or not under Barisan Nasional administration, including Penang.

Mohd Sidek explained in detail the process of appointing the Selangor State Secretary undertaken by the Promotion Board chaired by him.

He said the board was a legitimate authority under the Federal Constitution and an "appropriate Service Commission" under Article LII (1) of the Selangor Constitution.

Mohd Sidek said the Selangor State Secretary is from among federal public officers on the Administrative and Diplomatic Service scheme and their appointment commission is the Public Service Commission as stipulated in the Federal Constitution regarding "the general public service of the federation".

Thus, said Mohd Sidek, the allegation that the appointment of the Selangor State Secretary was by the Federal Government is not legally accurate.

Mohd Sidek made the clarification following the action of the Selangor government under Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to dispute the appointment.

Mohd Sidek also clarified that the Selangor Constitution does not make the consent of the Sultan necessary for the appointment of a state secretary. Hence, he said, the assent of the Sultan to the appointment of Mohd Khusrin was not a legal requirement but a custom.

Mohd Sidek said the Selangor Constitution does not mention any requirement for the State Government to be consulted on the appointment.

Even so, following common practice, the Public Services Department as the secretariat of the Promotion Board had forwarded the names of candidates to the Selangor government through the state secretary then as a courtesy.

He said the Director General of the Public Services Department had informed the state secretary by letter dated Nov 23 that the Chief Secretary to the Government and the PSD had identified and endorsed three candidates, including Mohd Khusrin.

He said the letter also asked for the agreement of the state government on the candidates and for their names to be forwarded to the Sultan as was the common practice.

Mohd Sidek said the PSD in a letter dated Dec 3 to the state secretary again recommended the three candidates for the post.

The names of the three candidates were then presented to the Sultan.