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Monday, January 10, 2011

Malaysian NRIs ask India to terminate its business relations with Malaysia

NEW DELHI: The Malaysians of Indian origin might put India in a tight spot. The community has asked the government of India to terminate all present and future business projects with Malaysia. The demand has come at a time when most Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are keenly looking for business and investment opportunities between India and foreign countries.

According to the Malaysian Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations annual report 2010 compiled by Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), Malaysians of Indian origin have been suffering grave human rights violations committed by the Malaysian government. The report was distributed by the HINDRAF activists at the inaugural day of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Overseas Indians Festival) here on Friday.

Based on the news reports published in major Malaysian newspapers like The Star, The Utusan Malaysia, News Straits Times of Malaysia, the HINDRAF report claims that 95% people killed by the Malaysian police were ethnic Indians.

Indians constitute 8% of the Malaysian population.

The report also says that 90% of the custodial deaths and 80% people who experienced "police harassment, unlawful arrests, frivolous and malicious prosecutions," were Malaysian Indians. At least, 48% prisoners in 28 prisons of Malaysia are ethnic Indians and on 2010 alone, 5000 Indians were arrested and detained under Emergency Ordinance, the report points out. However, 36,000 prisoners including 17256 ethnic Indians in Malaysia are serving custodial sentence for minor crimes, the report claims.

According to the human resources ministry of Malaysian government, 200,000 Indian youth in Malaysia are involved in crime. The report says that this figure amounted to 60% of the Indian population in Malaysia.

"There are about 100,000 ethnic Indian gangsters operating in Malaysia. The acute problem which requires multi faceted intervention to address the issue, is understood to have low priority with the government, which lacks the political will to avert the situation. The only known current policy towards the social problem is the alarming increase in police killings," the HINDRAF report observes.

Chairman HINDRAF, Malaysia, Waytha Moorthy Ponnusamy has asked the government of India to issue a note of censure against the Malaysian government for its human rights record with respect to people of Indian origin in a language consistent with the serious and urgent nature of the problem and to urge the Malaysian government to reverse marginalization of the people of Indian origin in Malaysia.

HINDRAF is a coalition of Hindu non-governmental organizations working for the preservation of political and economic rights of Hindu community in Malaysia. 

Conversion a favorite hobby of religious zealots

Senator Dr. S. Ramakrishnan, 8/1/2011

Conversion is overzealously advocated, encouraged and undertaken by clerics of Islam and Christian religions. There is a church in brickfields displaying prominently to all “go and get disciples’. A seven year old girl was snatched from school by a mother without the father’s knowledge with presence of police and Islamic department officials and converted to Islam immediately. In another case a father stole his baby from the Hindu mother and converted into Islam in Ipoh. We have the other extreme of dead bodies snatched from the loved ones and buried the Islamic way.

It is said that there are about 7000 people converting to Islam in Malaysia every year. Conversion into Christianity should be more because churches have active new convert programs. Conversions are causing more unhappiness within families of converting persons but religious clerics are only concerned about recruiting new converts. All these conversions are undertaken by public institutions that are supposed foster harmony and peace within the family and the general public.

Wikipedia talks about people converting to different religions for various reasons, including: active conversion by free choice due to a change in beliefs, secondary conversion, deathbed conversion, conversion for convenience, marital conversion and forced conversion. For example, someone might join a religious group primarily because their spouse or partner has done so; such a person would be a secondary convert. People who convert others into their religion do not understand their religion and what is religion is all about. Organized and institutionalized religions have over the years studied the social and psychological needs and vulnerability of people and perfected the art of converting ignorant and gullible people. Those with financial, health and family problems are the easy targets for converting. Such people need hope and assurance from the so called godly people. These religions clerics with religious knowledge instill fear and hope and easily hoodwink them.

But these religious converters do not talk about conversions to higher and nobler values which involve expansion of mind, more selflessness and tolerance, greater forbearance, sharing and caring and seeing the bigger picture. To become a better person one need not convert to another religion. Inner transformation to higher values is within ourselves which may require knowledge. This knowledge is not the monopoly of any one religion but is everywhere and all it requires is awareness and wanting to change for the better. Many religious clerics themselves do not have these wanting to change for higher and nobler values. They are more interested in increasing their religious authority and control and make many people’s life miserable such as the non converting parties in a conversion trauma.

To transform ourselves to higher values there must be greater awareness about who we are. Jesus Christ has said that “be still and know thyself”. Therefore to have greater awareness of ourselves one need not convert or go anywhere but to remain wherever we are and reflect inwards into ourselves. Ramana Maharishi said inquire into “who are you”. Such self inquiries will make us realize our greater potential and inner resources and will provide an understanding that religion is just one means to an end. Therefore we make or mar ourselves and it has nothing to do with god. We are the architect of our own future.

Anwar urges Selangor PR to go on offensive

Anwar called the Selangor state secretary impasse a ‘small issue’. — Picture by Choo Choy May
SHAH ALAM, Jan 10 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim called on Pakatan Rakyat (PR) last night to “attack” Barisan Nasional (BN) in Selangor, saying the time for defensive action was over.

The opposition leader called the Selangor state secretary impasse — which has occupied the attention of Selangor PR leaders for more than two weeks now — a “small issue” that could be overcome as PR had a “mandate” in the state.

The PKR de facto leader said PR could hit back at BN and ensure that Selangor remains in the hands of the federal opposition by focusing on welfare work and exemplary administration.

“Let’s not pay heed (to Umno’s attacks). We will attack and we will step up our service,” he told a rally of more than 8,000 PAS supporters at Stadium Malawati here last night.

“Selangor must be strong... When we are strong the battlefield will no longer (just) be Selangor. The battlefield will stretch to Negri Sembilan and Malacca, the borders of Johor, to Tenang, the Federal Territory... and Selangor must lead (the fight).”

Anwar told supporters that it was wrong to think Umno was strong as it had “run out of capital” and was now resorting to what he claimed were desperate tactics to keep power.

He also claimed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s meeting with BN MPs last week was a sign that Umno was now in the midst of a “catastrophe”.

“This is the first time the prime minister has had to meet with MPs for 15 minutes each,” he said.

The country’s richest state has been in turmoil for the past week since the Chief Secretary to the Government named Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi to the post to replace outgoing State Secretary Datuk Ramli Mahmud.

The PR state government has rejected Khusrin’s appointment and insists it has the right to name its own person for the job.

The row over Khusrin’s appointment has escalated to the point where the PKR-led state government is now seeking to amend the state constitution to allow it to regain the pre-1993 authority to appoint the state secretary and other senior civil servants.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim also said that there would be no oath-taking ceremony between newly-appointed Khusrin and himself, adding that the latter will not be allowed to attend any executive council or state economic council meetings.

Umno has seized on the turmoil in the state by attacking the Selangor PR administration for allegedly going against the Sultan’s wishes.

The attacks from Umno appeared to be focused on winning over support from conservative Malays.

Non-Muslim rights promised by Allah, says Hadi

Hadi said “non-Muslims are part of Malaysia and Islam teaches us how to govern a country with a multi-religious society.”
SHAH ALAM, Jan 9 – PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said tonight that there must be a paradigm shift within his party to accept the importance of non-Muslims in its struggle to defend its Islamic convictions.

Hadi stressed that Islam had always taught Muslims to respect and protect the rights of non-Muslims.

“There must be a paradigm shift and we cannot be like Umno who purposely ignores its neighbours, MCA and MIC. They can easily forget and ignore their neighbours. This shows their illogical politics.

“We have to realise that non-Muslims are part of Malaysia and Islam teaches us how to govern a country with a multi-religious society,” he told a rally of more than 8,000 supporters at Stadium Malawati here tonight.

Hadi argued that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition symbolised a paradigm shift in PAS’s politics.

“Islam not only teaches us to respect Muslims but also non-Muslims and their places of worship. This is not a promise from PAS or PKR but from Allah.

“Pakatan Rakyat has been a success and we want this to be defended and strengthened. Hopefully Allah will give us victory in the general election,” he said.

Hadi’s message of political inclusiveness comes after reports that PAS was seeking to revive unity talks with Umno.

Earlier Hadi met with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to close ranks after a shaky start to the year.

Top of the agenda for the meeting between Opposition Leader Anwar and the PAS president was the Christmas eve audience with the Yang diPertuan Agong, which was attended by Hadi, PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa and Umno’s top two leaders.

The dinner was seen as another attempt to revive the talks on political co-operation with Umno in the name of Malay/Muslim unity, although both Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Nik Aziz have refused to comment on the meeting.

However Hadi told his supporters tonight that Islam would always remain the party’s political end.

“There will be those who question the link between religion and politics. This shows that the person is ignorant of Islam even though he is a Muslim,” he said.

Hadi said PAS would have to be patient and take the correct route to capture Putrajaya.

“Allah has warned us that we must be on the right path and not follow the path of people that do not understand. There are those who want it quick and easy and win with the easy route. And there are those who are not confident of winning and believe that they weak.

“We must be patient and take the right route,” he said.

Nik Aziz later added that Umno leaders must not forget that death comes to all.

“Umno is not the government of Malaysia and I am not the government of Kelantan because this land belongs to Allah. Everything is created by Allah and every person will experience death,” he said.

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 then prime minister Tun Abdullah Badawi 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.

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.

PAS holds 23 parliamentary seats within the PR coalition and controls two states, Kelantan and Kedah. Its presence in the other two PR-ruled states, Penang and Selangor, is also crucial to maintain PR’s majority and Malay support.

‘More ISA-style arrests likely’

Concerned opposition leaders are advising their members to be wary of another 'Operasi Lalang" style swoop to clamp down on rising dissent in Sarawak.

KUCHING: Opposition leaders in Sarawak are worried that another “Operasi Lalang” reminiscent of the Oct 27, 1987 crackdown in which 106 people were arrested under the Internal Security Act is underway following the recent arrest of two social activists.

Just past midnight last Thursday, Home Ministry officials and Special Branch police raided the office of the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) and arrested its secretary-general Nicholas Mujah. They also cartered away more than 1,000 CDs containing affidavits and testimonies of witnesses for court cases on native customary rights (NCR) land matters.

On the same day, Miri police also picked up another activist, a well-known native customary rights (NCR) land lawyer Abun Sui Anyit at the Miri airport. Sui had just arrived from Kuching. Police confisticated some CDs from his luggage.

Both were reportedly detained under the Film and Seditions Act respectively for possession of “sensitive and seditious” CDs.

Said Batu Lintang DAP representative Voon Lee Shan: “With the arrest of Mujah and Sui, this could probably the beginning of more arrests like Operasi Lalang.”

He said more people were expected to be arrested on “mere suspicion of sedition” such as distributing election flyers and CDs for the coming state election.

Voon, a retired police officer who knew what had happened during Operation Lalang, has advised opposition leaders to review their strategies to avoid arrest and the use of ISA against them.

BN feeling threatened

Meanwhile, Sarawak PKR information chief See Chee How said that with the BN feeling threatened, it was inevitable that opposition leaders would be harassed, intimidated and even arrested.

Opposition parties in Sarawak have to resort to distributing CDs and flyers to convey their messages to the people in the rural areas who have been subjected to bombardment of Barisan Nasional propaganda through radio and television.

PKR has distributed more than 40,000 CDs containing Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian’s message to the rural people on the need for change in the administration of the state. Most of the households in the longhouses have CD players.

“The state BN government must have felt the sting of the PKR’s campaign strategy to the extent that they are worried and felt threatened.

“That is why they have to resort to harassment and intimidation of our leaders,” See said.

Najib makes the first move

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s meeting with 105 Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs yesterday is seen as a start in finding a suitable date for the general election.

Although focus was on what more could MPs do for the electorate, it was also to evaluate chances of retaining seats won by BN at the March 8, 2008 general election.

The MPs who were given three to five minutes each to present their problems were happy with the opportunity given.

It is the start of a political transformation by the BN chairman that may lead to indepth reports from the Mps.

Najib will not rely on only one report but will also study reports from agencies on the best time to call the general election.

The question being asked by many is whether the general election will be held in June together with the Sarawak election.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said Najib has a good picture of what is taking place in each constituency.

“Even if we can’t give him the true picture, he knows what’s happening as he has all the information.”

The Rembau MP said that if election is to be held in June, then MPs only have six months to prepare.

Jerlun MP Mukhriz Mahathir said that the meeting did not produce clear signals for the general election.

“We need more time to discharge our duties and deliver promises made during the general election,” he said.

Umno Youth branch member Ahmad Azmil Ismail agreed.

“The prime minister surely has more information on what’s happening on the ground,” he said.

An MP who declined to named said all the MPs told the prime minister the good things taking place on the ground.

“Based on this, the prime minister will know whether we (MPs) are working or not,” he said yesterday.

- Bernama

Era Khairy: ‘Pemuda Umno paling lemah’

Apa sumbangan dan jasa Khairy yang boleh diiktiraf?' kata Setiausaha PKR Rembau Norazizi Aziz.
SEREMBAN: Pakatan Rakyat tidak pernah mengiktiraf kemenangan Ketua Pemuda Umno, Khairy Jamaluddin, yang menyatakan hasrat tidak mahu mempertahankan parlimen Rembau.
Malah Setiausaha PKR cabang Rembau, Norazizi A Aziz, menyifatkan Pemuda Umno di dalam era Khairy ini adalah yang paling lemah dalam sejarah kerana kita tidak nampak sebarang perjuangan yang berasaskan kepada mendahulukan kepentingan rakyat.
“Mustahil Pakatan Rakyat mahu mengiktiraf Khairy sedangkan Umno sendiri jelas meminggirkan Khairy. Lagipun apa sumbangan dan jasa Khairy kepada rakyat yang boleh diiktiraf?” kata Norazizi.
Menurut Norazizi, tindakan Ketua Pemuda PAS Nasarudin Hassan mempelawa Khairy menyertai PAS bukan atas dasar pengiktirafan tetapi adalah atas rasa belas kasihan melihat Khairy teruk dibuli di dalam Umno.
Baru-baru ini, ketua Pemuda PAS itu meminta menantu bekas perdana itu berjuang bersama Pemuda PAS.
“Saya tidak berminat untuk mencampuri urusan dalaman Umno namun semua orang tahu yang Khairy dipinggirkan apabila tidak dilantik ke jawatan menteri mahupun jawatan timbalan menteri padahal naib Ketua Pemuda mahupun pesaing beliau dalam jawatan ketua Pemuda Umno telah mendapat tempat timbalan menteri.
“Ketika itu alasan Khairy adalah perlu memberikan fokus terhadap golongan anak muda. Namun setelah berlaku rombakan, Khairy tetap diketepikan dan inilah yang mengecewakan beliau sebenarnya,” kata Norazizi.
Menurut beliau lagi, jarang berlaku dalam sejarah umno di mana seorang pemegang jawatan Ketua Pemuda Umno tidak mendapat jawatan menteri kabinet.
“Program dan aktiviti Pemuda Umno lebih kepada sekadar mendapatkan publisiti tanpa mendasari denyut dan nadi kesusahan rakyat.
“Pemuda Umno alam era terdahulu lebih kepada kuasa pendesak dalam Umno sendiri namun Pemuda Umno  di era Khairy lebih kepada menjadi “tukang angguk” kepada segala keputusan pihak atasan Umno.
“Khairy juga gagal memainkan peranan beliau sebagai ahli parlimen Rembau apabila beliau gagal menunaikan janji pilihanraya PRU 12 yang lepas.
“Mana hospital Rembau? Ke mana hilang Pusat tuisyen emas untuk pelajar miskin Rembau? Mana Uitm Rembau dan mana lapangan terbang yang dijanjikan? Rakyat Rembau masih menunggu,” katanya lagi.
Norazizi juga menyatakan bahawa beliau tidak menolak kemungkinan bahawa tindakan Khairy ini adalah untuk memancing rasa simpati pimpinan atasan Umno agar memberi perhatian terhadap beliau namun sehingga kini tiada sebarang respon terhadap tindakan beliau yang merajuk setakat ini.
“Pesanan saya pada beliau hanya satu; tiada istilah merajuk dalam kamus seorang pejuang rakyat.” katanya seperti dilapor dan blog Chegu Bard hari ini.

An inspiring chronicle of change


When we won the Asian Football Federation Suzuki Cup, our PM declared 31st December a public holiday, claiming to support the 1Malaysia concept of “People First, Performance Now”. Hurrah, hurrah.
But when our PM attended a Christmas celebration at the Catholic Church Archbishop residence, the PMO directive ordered the church officials to remove crucifixes and prohibit them from singing hymns and praying, saying it’s to protect the prime minister’s Islamic credentials.

Here we are shouting 1Malaysia this and 1Malaysia that, but know not how to respect the tradition, culture and beliefs of another religion? What message are we sending out to the public and the world at large? That we are still immature even after 53 years of independence?

That even our own leaders can’t walk the talk?

That’s just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. And our opinion would probably sound very biased to those who only read the mainstream media or who have been constantly reminded and instilled with fear of change.

But seriously; if we want to see improvement and real progress, we need to change. Change the way we think. Change the way we perceive things. Change for the better.

A wise man once said, “He who rejects change is the architect of decay.” So, let this book, ‘March 8: Time for Real Change’, open your mind. Read it and then, tell me and those whom I share my stand with, if we’re biased.

‘March 8: Time for Real Change’, is an upgraded and revised edition of the 2008 original, titled ‘March 8 The Day Malaysia Woke Up’, put together by Kee Thuan Chye.
This edition is divided into 3 sections – Where We Are Now, Back to the Beginning and Where Do We Go from Here, and contains 42 essays altogether.

The ones in Where We Are Now discuss major issues that have happened since March 8, 2008 and reflect on whether the country is better or worse off.

Back to the Beginning consists of essays and interviews selected from the original book, which bring us back to the beginning of March 8, helping us to reflect and learn from our mistakes before moving forward. Lastly, in Where Do We Go from Here, we look forward and reignite hopes for a better future.

Hoping for real change

Spread sporadically throughout the book are comments and opinions shared by Malaysians from all walks of life, young and old, expressing their hopes for real change – each very moving, especially the ones written by determined, hopeful youths.
The essay that brought tugged at our hearts was the one written by Kee (right), titled Merdeka on March 8, which reminded us of what happened three years ago – the joy that spread like wild fire and camaraderie that had the right ingredients for the now 1Malaysia.

Everyone did their part to make a difference. There were those who came back from afar just to cast their votes, those who volunteered to help out at the polls and those who attended the numerous ceramahs during the campaign period, to see change. And change is what we got.
If this can’t convince people that we can make a difference, then I don’t know what can.

There are also brilliant interviews in this compilation. We enjoyed the ones with Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK) that had a rather suggestive title, How Big Are Your Balls? and Steven Gan in We Stand with the Underdogs.
It goes without saying that the interview with RPK is not without some bluntness, wisecracks and Malaysian slang slipping in every now and then. Not only did it tickle us to the core, but it made us ponder on a few things.
We liked what he said about fear. “Once you keep fearing and fearing, everything takut, gangster-lah, takut ini-lah, takut itu, I tell you we will never move forward.” And how can one learn not to be scared? “…set an example, and you get people to join you.”

And we found the last comment he gave in regard to Umno ruling by sheer intimidation, so true. Don’t blame the musang for eating the ayam, because that is its basic instinct. If you want to blame, blame the one who opened the door to let the musang in, i.e. people who gave the power to the parties to do so.

We Stand with the Underdogs, is an interview with Steven Gan, the editor of Malaysiakini, who’s also a dedicated, rare Malaysian journalist. In this interview, Steven shares with us about his experience and challenges working with an independent media.
The second half of this interview focuses on being an underdog and supporting those in the same position. “I think if BN happened to be out of power, we would be standing with them. It is part and parcel of the fact that there has to be some check and balance, and we need to play that role.”

Sweet success

Like many other Malaysians, he too, shared the sweet success of March 8. He said, “I think the most meaningful thing that came out of it is that there can be a change in government without riot”, further proving that we need not fear change, because we can handle change.

This book reminded us that change is possible; that there is hope for a better Malaysia. It helped us recollect what has happened and reignited that fire in us again, to want to make a difference.
Youths and those interested in knowing a little more about politics besides the ones you have read in the mainstream media would appreciate this book, as it gives a clear picture of what we have achieved thus far and what our future holds if we don’t do something about it today.
Please do not to turn a deaf ear and blind eye to politics; it’s not dirty if you’re fighting for peace and justice.

If you’ve never really cared about the future of Malaysia, then ‘March 8: Time for Real Change’ might just make you want to care about it now.

Separate politics from civil service

The Star

Politicians should learn to work with the civil servants by winning their hearts and minds, just as in the United States and in the United Kingdom, whenever there is a change in government.

THE recent brouhaha over the appointment of former Selangor Jais director Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the new Selangor state secretary is really much ado about nothing.

In my humble opinion, the appointment made by the Federal Public Services Commission (PSC) under Article 52(1) of the Selangor State Constitution (SSC) is constitutional and lawful.

Let me explain.

Article 52(1) expressly provides as follows: “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.”

Taking the words of Article 52(1) literally, it would appear that the sole appointing authority of the three Selangor State officers is the “appropriate Service Commission”. The provision does not mention the need to consult or even obtain the prior consent of any other person, including the Selangor Sultan and Mentri Besar.

If at all the Service Commission had consulted or obtained the consent of the Sultan or Mentri Besar, then this was done out of courtesy but certainly not out of any legal obligation.

However, the position would have been different had the older version of Article 52(1) not been amended by the Constitution of Selangor (Second Part) (Amendment) Enactment, 1993.

The old version read as follows: “His Highness shall on the recommendation of the appropriate Service Commission by instrument under His Sign Manual and the State Seal appoint a person holding whole time office in the public services to be the State Secretary, the State Legal Adviser and the State Financial Officer respectively: Provided that before acting on the recommendation of the Service Commission His Highness shall consider the advice of the Mentri Bear and may once refer the recommendation back to the Commission in order that it may be reconsidered.”

The 1993 Constitution Amendment Enactment, which was brought about by the 1993 constitutional crisis, also deleted Article 51(6) which read: “In the event of there being no Service Commission having jurisdiction in respect of any appointment of any officers mentioned in Clause (1) such appointment may be made by His Highness acting in His discretion.”

The repealed Article 51(6) was redundant because there is an “appropriate Service Commission”.

In fact, the Selangor Service Commission was established shortly after Merdeka together with Johor and Perak whilst Kelantan and Terengganu had a joint commission. Hence, the Selangor Sultan has made various regulations in relation to the Selangor Service Commission pursuant to Article 132(2) of the Federal Constitution (FC), such as the State of Selangor Public Officers (Appointment, Promotion and Termination of Service) Regulations 2005 (2005 Selangor State Regulations).

It follows the question which everyone is now asking: who is this “appropriate Service Commission” given that Selangor already has its own Service Commission established under Article 97 SSC?

It is respectfully submitted that the PSC is the “appropriate Service Commission” referred to in Article 52(1).

To understand this, we must refer to Part X of the FC. Under Articles 139(1) & (2), the constitutional jurisdiction of the PSC, which automatically extends to both Penang and Malacca, can also extend to the other states under two scenarios, namely:

(1) the relevant state legislature can by state law extend the jurisdiction of the PSC to all or any persons in that state’s public service; or

(2) if there is no state public service commission in any state, then Parliament may by federal law extend the PSC’s jurisdiction to that state.

Examples of scenario (1) include the states of Pahang, Perlis and Negri Sembilan which enacted the relevant state laws shortly after Merdeka (see Public Services Commission (Extension of Jurisdiction) Enactment, 1958 of Pahang; Public Services Commission (Extension of Jurisdiction) Enactment, 1958 of Perlis and Public Services Commission (Extension of Jurisdiction) Enactment, 1959 of Negri Sembilan.)

Article 139(3) of the FC also provides that the state legislature can always later revoke or modify any state law extending the jurisdiction of the PSC to that state. In the case of Selangor, scenario (2) will not apply since there is already a Selangor Service Commission.

The next question is whether there is a Selangor State enactment extending the jurisdiction of PSC to any persons in the state service. If there is, the Selangor legislature can easily by a simple majority revoke the enactment by terminating the jurisdiction of the PSC without the need to amend the SSC.

But despite my best efforts and because access to sources of state enactments made in the early days of Merdeka is rather limited, my research has found no such Selangor state enactment similar to the aforesaid enactments of Pahang, Perlis and Negri Sembilan.

However, whether there is such an enactment or not is not really material in Selangor’s case because its position is rather peculiar.

It is respectfully submitted that Selangor has satisfied the above scenario (1) and the law which extends the jurisdiction of PSC is actually found in SSC itself under Article 97(9).

It reads: “Subject to the provisions of any existing law and the provisions of this (Second) Part it shall be the duty of the (Selangor State) Commission to appoint, confirm and emplace on the permanent or pensionable establishment, promote, transfer and exercise disciplinary control over members of the services to which its jurisdiction extends.”

In other words, the right of Selangor Service Commission to make appointments is subject to “existing law”, that is to say, “existing law” has application in Selangor. This Article 97(9) SSC is similar to Article 144(1) FC which provides that the jurisdiction of the PSC is also subject to “existing law”.

What then is this “existing law”? Article 160(2) FC defines this term as “any law in operation in the Federation or any part thereof immediately before Merdeka Day”. “Law” is further defined to include written law, common law, custom and usage.

But does Article 160(2) FC, which defines these terms, apply to the SSC? The answer is yes, because Article 94 SSC expressly provides that the definitions in Article 160(2) FC will apply when interpreting the SSC.

Of course, one will immediately ask what is this pre-Merdeka law that the jurisdiction of State Service Commission and the PSC is subject to. It is my considered opinion that this “existing law” refers to the law, custom and usage applicable to the Malayan civil service which is now known as the administrative and diplomatic service, of which Mohd Khusrin is a part of.

In other words, the jurisdiction of the Selangor Service Commission does not extend to the administrative and diplomatic officers who are within the purview of the PSC. This is clearly reinforced in the above 2005 Selangor State Regulations, which show the Selangor Service Commission only deals with junior officers or the rank and file.

It is also interesting to note that no other State Constitution has a provision identical to Article 97(9) SSC. But in Perak, an almost similar provision appears in Section 11(1) of the State Public Service Commission Enactment, 1959 and my above arguments should also apply to Perak. But the difference is that Article 97(9) SSC can only be amended if the two-thirds requirement is met.

To appreciate this, one must look at history – when Selangor was one of the four Federated Malay States together with Pahang, Perak and Negri Sembilan. In the late 1800s, the civil services of the Federated Malay States were amalgamated with that of the Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca into a unified Federated Malay States Civil Service (FMSCS) – the precursor of the prestigious Malayan Civil Service, then predominantly staffed by Malay officers.

The Treaty of Federation 1895 then led to the FMSCS turning into a single administrative unit where all the civil servants would report to the Resident-general based in Kuala Lumpur, then the capital of Selangor. From 1911 to 1935, the title “Resident-general” was also known as the Chief Secretary.

On the other hand, the Unfederated Malay States of Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu had their own separate civil services, which remain until today except for Perlis which extended the PSC’s jurisdiction pursuant to its 1958 Enactment as explained above.

In fact, the Reid Commission was not really in favour of having separate State Service Commissions. The Reid commissioners said in their 1956-1957 Report: “It would be uneconomic to have separate commissions operating in each state, and further we believe it would add to the efficiency of both the Federal and State services if there could continue to be a considerable interchange of officers between them. We therefore recommend that the Public Services Commission ought to have same powers over state employees as they have over federal.”

Turning to the issue at hand, the validity of Mohd Khusrin’s appointment is not affected even if Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim refuses to allow Khusrin to take the oath of secrecy under Article 52(4) SSC.

At worst, Khusrin is barred from attending State Executive Council meetings. But can Khalid afford to prolong the altercation with Mohd Khusrin, who is head of the Selangor Civil Service, any further if he wants the policies of the state government to be implemented?

I would have thought that Khalid had learnt from former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo’s experience. Dr Mohamed Khir had publicly ridiculed a senior state civil servant by awarding him a broom for poor performance before the last general election.

Pakatan leaders ought to realise that the reason why the three state officers who are professionals are allowed to become ex-officio members of every state exco in this country is because of the role they have to play as a constitutional check and balance on the politicians’ exercise of executive powers. This helps bring about transparency, accountability and good governance.

It is for this same reason that in some state corporations, the federal government is entitled to appoint their representatives to sit on their boards pursuant to the Incorporation (State Legislatures Competency) Act, 1962.

I am also rather amused that just because of the Mentri Besar’s dislike for and distrust of Khusrin, the SSC has to be amended. Did I not hear from all those speeches of Pakatan leaders that a constitution is sacrosanct and amendment should only be made as a last resort? There is even now a suggestion to make the amendment, if passed, to have retrospective effect, and such a move is against international norms.

If the reason given by the Selangor leaders is to reinstate the above older version of Article 52(1) in order to return the appointment powers to the Sultan, my next question is whether they would also at the same time repeal Article 55(1A) SSC, which was inserted by the above 1993 Amendment Enactment.

Article 55(1A) provides that if the Sultan is to act in accordance with the advice of any person, the Sultan “shall accept and act in accordance with such advice.” There is a similar provision in Article 40(1A) FC applicable to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

If Article 55(1A) SSC is not repealed when reinstating the older version of Article 52(1), it will mean the Sultan still has no discretion but to act on the advice of the Mentri Besar. It is also unconstitutional to repeal Article 55(1A) SSC without also repealing Section 1A of the Eight Schedule of the FC, as Article 71 FC requires the former provision in the form of Article 55(1A) to be inserted in the SSC. If so, will the Pakatan legislators be able to repeal Section 1A of the Eight Schedule of the FC in Parliament?

Sadly, all this boils down to the inexperience of government of the Pakatan leaders. It is hoped that if they strongly believe in a two-party system, they would learn to work with the civil servants by winning their hearts and minds, just as in the United States and in the United Kingdom whenever there is a change in government.

The writer is a senior lawyer and a former Malaysian Bar Council member.

Rosmah Receives Courtesy Call From Prince Faisal

From Nor Hasliza Abdullah

RIYADH, Jan 10 (Bernama) -- Saudi Education Minister Prince Faisal Bin Abdullah Bin Mohamad Al-Saud today paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the Intercontinental Hotel's Royal Suite here.

The prince and Rosmah, who chairs the Permata Negara policy working committee, spent about 30 minutes discussing on the importance of early education and human capital development for both countries.

Prince Faisal was accompanied by his deputy Nora Bint Abdullah Al-Fayez.

Nora became Saudi Arabia's first female minister and was made to take up the position of deputy education minister with special responsibility for female education.

Rosmah is on a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia which began on Jan 8.

The delegation included two female vice-chancellors, Professor Tan Sri Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin of University Kebangsaan Malaysia and Professor Datuk Dr Aminah Ayob of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris as well as 10 members of the Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers (Bakti).

On Sunday, Rosmah visited Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University (PNU), one of the six universities for women in Riyadh.

She was met on arrival by PNU Rector, Princess Dr Aljohara Bint Fahad Al-Saud.

The university, which is currently operating from a temporary building, will be the world's largest university for women upon completion in the first quarter of next year.

India, China See Greatest Labour Need In Construction Sector

NEW DELHI, Jan 10 (Bernama) -- Fuelled by the housing needs of millions of people, India and China are seeing the "greatest demand" for labour in the construction sector, Press Trust of India (PTI) said citing a report by the World Economic Forum.

Two of the world's most populous countries, India and China, are also among the fastest growing large economies.

"The world's greatest labour demand in construction is found in China and India, which is not surprising, given the need to house millions of people," the latest Global Talent Risk report has said.

Prepared by the WEF in association with the Boston Consulting Group, the report analysed projected talent shortages in 25 countries, including India.

According to the study, BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations have a fairly constant overall labour demand growth trend across industries.

"For instance, in financial services, BRICs will see much more change in their future talent line-ups than they do today ... The demand trend in clusters such as manufacturing professionals will grow sharply as more sophisticated products are developed," it noted.

Stressing human capital as the "engine of economic prosperity", the study said there is increasing demand for highly-skilled people worldwide.

"Employability will continue to be a huge problem worldwide. Because of the uneven quality of education systems,(for instance) only 25 per cent of Indian and 20 per cent of Russian professionals are currently considered employable by multinationals," the report said.

Huge demand for highly-skilled professionals is expected to be witnessed in companies, especially those in trade, transport and communication sectors in developing nations.

Health care research and development is expected to generate enormous demand for skilled labour worldwide.

Many countries would have an aged population by 2050, a scenario that could further increase the demand for talent.

"Compared to today, in 2050, ... all BRIC countries will have more than doubled age 65 and older dependency ratios, and all except India will have more aged societies than today's most-aged society (Japan)," it added.

Kua Kia Soong on defence spending

Thought-provoking interview over BFM Radio with Kua Kia Soong, author of the book Questioning Arms Spending and former MP of Petaling Jaya.
He questions the need for large amounts of defence spending in the region and the way defence contracts are awarded out.
In fact, Jane’s ‘Intelligence and Insight’ on the Malaysian defence budget reports: “It could be argued that Malaysia is involved in somewhat of a regional arms race that has its basis more firmly in nationalist sentiment than genuine military threat. This mini-arms race may have distorted the purchasing plans of the Malaysian military.”