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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Parti Kita launch: 'We are not alone'

Zaid Ibrahim's Parti Kita was launched in a razzle-dazzle ceremony this morning at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

It was also an all-star event with many politicians from both sides in attendance.
NONEPadang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan, PPP president M Kayveas and representatives from Snap were at the event, as were former PKR leaders like Salehuddin Hashim and P Jenapala.
The launch appeared to have been organised by a professional event manager, and featured chic banners and an orange colour theme.
Radio DJ Shazmin Shamsuddin was the emcee, while bouncers in suits, ties and earpieces ensured "security".

NONEBefore Zaid delivered his keynote address, a countdown appeared on a screen, accompanied by the Rolling Stones' classic 'I Can't Get No (Satisfaction)'.

"We are no longer alone," said Zaid when he started addressing the crowd.
He left PKR last year, citing dissatisfaction with the party polls.

He had assumed leadership in Akim, a small Kelantan-based party, before renaming it Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) at an extraordinary general meeting last December.

Police, AG allow second post-mortem on Krishnan

The police and the Attorney-General's Chambers have consented to a second post-mortem on M Krishnan who died while in police custody on Jan 7.
NONEIt is believed that this will go before a judge this afternoon. The court is currently recording the consent judgment before a deputy registrar.
Krishnan's family and a witness have claimed that he was assaulted in the Bukit Jalil police station lock-up, and died as a result of his injuries.
The Hospital UKM, which did a post-mortem, attributed his death to a stomach ulcer.
Krishnan's widow, P Revathi, 37 (right), said she believes Krishnan's death was caused by police brutality and has demanded that a second post-mortem be conducted.
She filed an application at the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday. 

Tunisia's new government in trouble

Cracks have already appeared in Tunisia's so-called "unity government", just 24 hours after it was formed in the wake of an uprising that led to the departure of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the president of 23 years.

On Tuesday, the interim prime minister and president resigned from the former ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party of the deposed president in an attempt to keep the fragile coalition together.

Mohamed Ghannouchi and Fouad Mebazaa were forced into the move after four ministers refused to sit in a cabinet that contained eight high-ranking memebrs of Ben Ali's government, which many Tunisians see as corrupt.
"They do not want to be in the government with certain members of the ruling party," Al Jazeera's Nazinine Moshiri said, reporting from Tunis.
Multiple resignations
Earlier on Tuesday, Tunisia's junior minister for transportation said that he and two other ministers with ties to a labour union had resigned from the newly formed government, leaving it in a state of limbo.
Anouar Ben Gueddour said that he resigned along with Houssine Dimassi, the minister of training and employment, and Abdeljelil Bedoui, a minister dealing with prime ministerial affairs. They are all members of a general national labour union.
Mustapha Ben Jaafar, the newly-appointed health minister, has also resigned.

Abid al-Briki of the UGTT union said it wanted to see all ministers from Ben Ali's cabinet pushed out of the new government, but it would make an exception for the prime minister.
"This is in response to the demands of people on the streets," Briki said.
The opposition Ettajdid party will also pull out of the coalition if ministers from Ben Ali's RCD do not give up party membership and return to the state all properties they obtained through the RCD, state television said.

Ghannouchi, who has been prime minister since 1999, said that ministers from Ben Ali's party were included in the new government "because we need them in this phase".

In an interview with France's Europe-1 radio, he insisted the ministers chosen "have clean hands, in addition to great competence".

"Give us a chance so that we can put in place this ambitious programme of reform."
It was not immediately clear if the resignations could bring down the government, which has 40 full and junior ministers.

'Sham' government
The announcement of the new government was also met with anger by some of the Tunisian public.

"The new government is a sham. It's an insult to the revolution that claimed lives and blood," Ahmed al-Haji, a student, said.

Police used tear gas in an attempt to break up several hundred opposition supporters and trade union activists gathered in Tunis.
Blake Hounshell, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, told Al Jazeera that it's clear that Ghannouchi made an error in reappointing so many ministers from Ben Ali's government.

"If you see what happened on the Tunisian streets today, the people who came out rejected the idea that the same old faces are going to still run the country," Hounshell said.

"I think it remains to be seen whether this new government will even be able to stand and hold these elections in 60 days, as they're required to."
'Parasite' party
Meanwhile, Moncek Marzouki, a Tunisian political leaderm returned from more than 20 years of exile in France to a joyful reception from supporters at Tunis' airport.
Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reported that Marzouki, a 65-year-old medical doctor and human rights activist, was met by a crowd on his supporters.
Marzouki told them that he would ask Saudi Arabia to hand over Ben Ali (who has sought refuge there since Friday) who has to be prosecuted in Tunisia for "crimes committed against the people of Tunisia".
He also urged fellow Tunisians to hold firm in their efforts to bring down the RCD.

Marzouki called the ruling RCD a "parasite of the country".

"It's a government that isn't one, they have to leave," he said.

DAP says not at war with PAS over ‘Muslim ban’

DAP said the dispute over the MPSJ ruling was about local council authority and not the syariah enactment. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — DAP has denied it was on a collision course with PAS in the current Selangor “Muslim ban” debacle, saying it had never questioned the state’s Syariah laws. DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang said the main point of contention in the debacle was whether local councils was the right authority to enforce the Selangor Syariah Criminal Enactment, which bans Muslims from working at premises selling alcohol.
DAP, he clarified, had never disputed the enactment itself.
“The main point, as made by the mentri besar, is whether the local authorities should be enforcing the enactment or whether Jais (Selangor Islamic Religious Department) should do it.
“No one is questioning the enactment itself,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
Lim said DAP believed that in matters governing the Islamic religion, enforcement should not come under the jurisdiction of the local councils.
“We do not think that the council should be enforcing the enactment. So once this is resolved, there is no longer any need for the dispute,” he said.
When asked if he agreed with the enactment and that Muslims should be banned from such working environments, Lim declined further comment.
“I think let us leave it at that. As I said, the dispute is not on the enactment but on the authority enforcing it,” he said.

Pua conceded that a clash could still occur.
DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua agreed with Lim, adding that there was no argument over whether DAP had again clashed with its Islamist partner PAS in the Pakatan Rakyat pact. “Yes, there is an issue of potential dispute here but there is no truth in saying we are on a collision course.
“It is an overstatement and an exaggeration. This issue cropped up before but despite this, it did not create a fallout between PAS and DAP,” he said.
Pua added that, similarly, the present debacle had not created any animosity within the Selangor PR government, helmed by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim of PKR.
“This proves the lack of the severity of the matter, and despite what certain parties and individuals are trying to say, it is not going to affect ties between us in the coalition.
“This is just something that has to be resolved and ironed out — it is not a fight between PAS and DAP,” he said.
Early last week, it was reported that the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) had decided to revoke the licences of businesses found to be violating the enactment.
Selangor state executive councillor Ronnie Liu later called for a withdrawal on the ban.
Talk is rife that the Selangor government was split on the issue as Liu’s PAS colleague in the council, Datuk Dr Hasan Ali, had allegedly disagreed with the withdrawal.
But Liu has maintained that the “entire” Selangor executive council had agreed to withdraw the ruling pending further studies on the matter.
Liu has also said that the state government’s disagreement on the matter was sending a “strong” message to local councils to “think before you act.”
Additionally, the Selangor state government had also announced last Friday that it would set up a special fund to help Muslim workers who are forced to resign from entertainment outlets serving alcohol, to ensure smooth implementation of the syariah enactment.
Khalid had said that four executive councillors —Hasan, Yaakob Sapari, Dr Halimah Ali and Rodziah Ismail — would meet the Selangor Zakat Authority to discuss the plan.
Khalid had told a news conference that the ban was merely a guideline but added that the enactment could be enforced by Jais.
For local councils to enforce such a ruling, however, he said permission first need to be obtained via an agreement from the state executive council.
After meeting with all local council heads, the Selangor MB said the state government has decided to conduct a study on whether MPSJ should implement the guideline as a by-law.
Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia has given extensive coverage to the debacle, claiming the row was a clear example of how PAS and DAP would always clash in its beliefs on matters involving Islam.
The daily has also pointed how both parties were often at loggerheads over the formation of an Islamic state should the opposition claim Putrajaya.
The parties’ continued disputes, said the daily, indicated cracks in the PR pact.
Pua insisted the accusations against PAS and DAP were inaccurate, particularly in the “Muslim ban” issue as the conflict was on which authority should be given the right to enforce the Syariah enactment.
“The issue here is whether the local council overstepped its boundary by making decisions without going through the relevant channels,” he said.
DAP Socialist Youth chief Anthony Loke told The Malaysian Insider that the DAP and PAS were not at a crossroads on the matter but admitted that individuals from both parties had differing views.
“But to say that the parties are on a collision course, this is not true. Of course, some PAS leaders have a narrow interpretation on things like these but even then, I do not think there is a consensus within PAS itself on how to address these matters.
“Some may have their own interpretation and may want to push their own agenda but as a coalition government, all parties need to sit and discuss things before anything can happen,” he said.
He pointed out that although Kedah was headed by a PAS mentri besar, no such ruling was enforced in the state.
“I am sure there are Malays working in such premises there... what about Langkawi? So this whole talk about us fighting over this issue is just a perception created by Umno.
“On the one hand, they are trying to paint a picture that PAS is losing out in Pakatan Rakyat because of DAP, while on the other hand, they are saying that PAS is trying to implement the Islamic state and DAP is losing out,” he said.

Teoh verdict review Jan 31

SHAH ALAM, Jan 19 — The revision of the open verdict in the Teoh Beng Hock inquest has been fixed to be heard at the High Court here on January 31.

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo who is representing Teoh’s family had tweeted the news at about 9.30am.

Judge Datuk Mohtaruddin Baki has been appointed to hear the case at 9am, Gobind told The Malaysian Insider in a text message later.

Teoh Lee Lan, sister to the dead political aide, sounded surprised when contacted.

“This is the first time I’m hearing about it,” she told The Malaysian Insider over the phone.

The 30-year-old Malaccan said she was rushing to work and wanted to speak to Gobind before commenting further.

Beng Hock, the political secretary to Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Plaza Masalam here on July 16, 2009, after being interrogated overnight by its officials investigating the former’s boss.

Then aged 30, he was to have registered his marriage to his pregnant fiancée the same day.

Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had applied to revise the verdict at the High Court here on January 7, two days after the coroner pronounced an open verdict on the case that lasted one-and-a-half years.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had told a news conference the A-G was “dissatisfied” with the inquest verdict earlier the same day, after announcing he would set up a royal commission to probe the MACC’s procedures for human rights violations.

In delivering his verdict, coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas ruled out suicide as the cause of death.

He also ruled out homicide despite noting a pre-fall injury to Beng Hock’s neck, which had been first highlighted by Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand early in the inquest.

Dr Pornthip was the Selangor government’s forensic expert witness in the case.

The director-general of the Bangkok-based Central Institute of Forensic Science had rocked the country with the testimony that the neck injury suggested Beng Hock might have been strangled before falling to death.

‘PKR brought violent political culture to Sabah’

KOTA KINABALU: PKR’s entry into Sabah has changed the political culture in the state from being passive to one of violence and disdain for good manners and values, said PBS vice-president Herbert Lagadan.

“With the entry of PKR and its violent culture of politics into Sabah, it is a most disturbing and worrisome phenomenon to see that many individuals nowadays resort to acts of slandering others in the name of freedom of expression.

“I find it very difficult to understand why so many well-educated people nowadays cannot behave decently.

“They chose instead to indulge in character assassination. Would their next course of action be to commit murder?”

Lagadan, who is Kadamaian assemblyman, was commenting on a sketch posted by local hip-hop artist Atama Katama on Facebook.

The sketch allegedly defamed PBS president Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Chief Minister Musa Aman and Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Masidi Manjun.

Last Friday, PBS Youth had lodged a police report against Atama, whose real name is Andrew Ambrose Mudi, claiming that his sketch was in “bad taste”.

Ambrose in response said that he had lifted the sketch from an online public domain and was merely reflecting his creativity and imagination.

Said Lagadan: “I am confused as to why Ambrose had to resort to slandering his own paramount leader, the Huguan Siou (Pairin)?

“Does Ambrose think that he is more perfect than Pairin or Musa or Masidi?”

Lagadan, who is also Assistant Community Service and Consumer Affairs Minister, said that a civilised person should respect another’s right to have different opinion “without having to resort to slandering”.

PKR: Say no to snap polls in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: Penang PKR prefers that the Pakatan Rakyat government not call for a snap state election but rather hold one at the end of its current five-year term.

State PKR secretary Abdul Halim Hussain said the party did not want the state government to hold an election this year merely to run simultaneously with a possible snap parliamentary election.

He added that Pakatan should not play into the game plan laid out by the Barisan Nasional federal government to hold a snap federal polls this year.

Halim pointed out that the people voted for a five-year mandate in the 2008 general election for Pakatan to rule the state.

Therefore, he said, there was no reason for the Pakatan state government helmed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to rush into seeking a new mandate.

“It will only be appropriate for us to complete the full term before calling for an election to seek a fresh mandate,” he added.

Moreover, he said, Penangites should be given enough time to enjoy and evaluate the benefits and progress achieved from the policies implemented by the new Pakatan administration.

“Three years are not sufficient… only five years will allow the people to judge us correctly,” he added.

Halim, who is also the State Legislative Assembly speaker, said the Penang PKR leadership had already conveyed its views on the issue to the state Pakatan leadership.

In principle, he said, the Pakatan leadership was responsive to the idea of completing a full five-year rule.

However, he added that the Pakatan leadership was keeping its options open “because anything can happen in politics”.

“We have to leave the options open due to uncertainty in the rapidly changing political climate and conditions,” he said.

Ready for elections

Nevertheless, he said the state PKR was all geared up to face any possible simultaneous snap polls both at the federal and state levels.

He said that PKR had already established its election machinery units across the state. The units were scheduled to be fully operational by the end of this month.

“The state election machinery will be the coordinating body for all units,” said Abdul Halim, who is also the PKR Balik Pulau division chief.

Some 4,000 party members, comprising at least 100 in each state constituency, would be given intensive election training from next month to undertake various electoral works.

The state PKR would train election room operators, polling and counting agents, rally organisers, grassroots strategists, campaigners, and also, intelligence agents, who would identify Pakatan supporters, non-supporters and fence-sitters.

He said Pakatan allies – PKR, DAP and PAS – must operate collectively as a cohesive team to boost public confidence so that it was a more viable coalition government than BN.

“People are watching us to see whether we can work together or not. We have to prove and convince them that Pakatan is a mature and solid coalition,” Abdul Halim said.

East Malaysians want autonomy from Kuala Lumpur

West Malaysian or Kuala Lumpur based political parties are seen as interfering in East Malaysian politics. East Malaysians want self-determination and politicians from West Malaysia must understand this.
Raja Petra Kamarudin


DO NOT DOWNLOAD THE FILE. To play the recording, go to the link above and click the play button (RIGHT ARROW BUTTON) on the player icon (see sample below).

PM lupa ziarah jenazah Setiausaha Umno Cawangan Tenang

LABIS, 19 Jan: Para petugas PAS dari Pahang terpaksa mengurus dan mengimamkan solat jenazah Setiausaha Umno Cawangan Felda Tenang yang meninggal dunia semalam apabila imam yang bertugas terpaksa meraikan kedatangan
Perdana Menteri ke tanah rancangan Felda itu.
(Gambar: Cikgu Normala Sudirman mengucapkan takziah kepada balu Allahyarham ketika menziarahi jenazah Setiausaha Umno cawangan Felda Tenang, Abdul Latif Subhi, di masjid Felda Tenang tengahari semalam.)
Abdul Latif Subhi bin Mohd Din, 61, meninggal dunia selepas diserang sakit jantung dan darah tinggi yang melampau selepas menguruskan kedatangan PM ke Felda itu.

Namun, sehingga jenazah beliau selamat dikebumikan, Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak tidak sempat menjenguk jenazah beliau walaupun masjid yang menempatkan jenazah itu hanya 50 meter dari padang tempat acara untuk Perdana Menteri diadakan.

"Jenazah itu berada di masjid sejak jam 10 pagi. Ia tidak diziarahi apatah lagi disembahyangkan oleh Presiden Umno yang datang ke situ,"kata seorang saksi kejadian itu pagi semalam.

Allahyarham Abdul Latif adalah bekas MP Tentera Darat dan pagawai Pertahanan Awam adalah pewaris Felda. Beliau meningalkan empat anak dan seorang cucu di samping balunya, Puan Maimunah Hindun.

"Suasana pilu dan terkilan menyelubungi keluarga Allahyarham apabila imam bertugas ada bersama meraikan Najib dan akhirnya jenazah disolatkan oleh sukarelawan PAS daripada Pahang selepas Zohor di masjid itu.

"Inilah akhlak kepimpinan Umno kepada ahlinya sendiri," kata saksi itu ketika menceritakan peristiwa ini.

Najib tiba di Labis dengan helikopter pada 9.30 pagi Selasa semalam. Sejak jam 10 pagi, jenazah Allahyarham ditempatkan di masjid itu untuk membolehkan Perdana Menteri menziarahinya kalau-kalau sempat.

Najib telah melawat Felda Chemplak Barat dan menyempurnakan majlis pelancaran Pusat Jalur Lebar Komuniti dan merasmikan gelanggang futsal di situ sebelum meluangkan masa bersarapan dengan warga peneroka.

Walaupun beliau dan rombongannya melintasi masjid Felda Tenang, tempat jenazah itu ditempatkan sejak  jam 10 pagi, ia  tidak langsung dipeduli, jauh sekali untuk disolatkan, dijenguk pun tidak sempat.

Sementara itu, Cikgu Normala Sudirman, yang diumumkan oleh PAS akan menjadi calonnya dalam pilihan raya kecil Tenang ini telah menziarahi jenazah Allahyarham jam 1.30 tengahari sebaik sahaja selesai solat Zohor.

Beliau mengucapkan takziah kepada balu Allahyarham dan meminta semua keluarganya bersabar dengan dugaan dari Allah itu.

Pandangan Umum Berhubung Penolakkan Najib Untuk Berdebat

From Malaysiakini

‘Najib is a coward for taking cheap shots at Anwar. If you like, you can bring up the personal issues at the debate as well.’
Najib: Me? Afraid of Anwar?
Jefferson76: PM Najib Razak, you have given the public lame excuses about why you cannot debate another political party on your economic policies. It is also quite shameful to see a prime minister talking in such a course and degrading manner.
If you have all the answers, so by all means do enlighten us in a public debate. It has nothing to do with Sodomy II and everything to do with showing the voters how you handle criticism on the issues at hand.
Blackknight: Najib, after hearing your obscene and crude remarks, I want to raise another one – how can we trust you when you appointed former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Isa Samad who was guilty of money politics to be Felda chairperson? This alone will pave the way to Felda’s bankruptcy.
Naaah: If the PM isn’t afraid of Anwar Ibrahim, then why does the police often stop Anwar from speaking in public ceramah? Why do Utusan Malaysia and all the BN-controlled media slander Anwar?
I would like to correct the PM – the sodomy charge against Anwar is not his personal problem. The people of Malaysia and renowned international figures see this as improper prosecution.
Habib RAK: Yes Najib, you are afraid to debate Anwar. You are the PM and he is the opposition leader. Both are official positions recognised in Malaysia and the world over. So, since you have all the information, just debate. Don’t give excuses.
Docs: How come Najib does not want to debate with Anwar on political and economic issues? In most developed nations (eg, UK, US, etc), we see politicians squaring off live on TV. Isn’t developed nation status is what BN is vying for?
Citing “personal problem” is a lame excuse. What about Najib’s personal problems: Altantuya Shaariibuu and an uncontrollable wife?
VP Biden: Najib is a coward for taking cheap shots at Anwar. If you like, you can bring up the personal issues at the debate as well. But first things first, be a man and take up the challenge.
Anonymous_5fb: Lihatlah macam mana Najib berucap. Nilai-nilai kemelayuan yang disegani oleh rakyat Malaysia bangsa lain sudah musnah oleh Umno sejak zaman Dr Mahathir Mohamad dan kini jadi lebih teruk lagi oleh Najib. Tengoklah MB Abdul Ghani Othman yang bersama dengannya dalam gambar, dia pun rasa malu dengan Najib.
Ya, mungkin memang benar Najib tak takut dengan Anwar kerana dia (Najib) boleh guna jentera-jentera kerajaan dengan sewenang-wenangnya. Tapi, adakah dia tu takut dengan bayangnya sendiri? Kematian gadis Mongolia Altantuya pun belum selesai, bukan?
Kesian, nilai-nilai kemelayuan yang cantik dan halus sudah terkecai dalam tangan orang yang anggap mereka Musliman. Sungguh sakit hati kelakuan sedemikian terang-terang dibogelkan di mata orang-orang Melayu Felda ini. Apa sudah jadi dengan Melayu Umno ni?
Buat apa nak caci orang secara peribadi, Najib? Anda memang tak takut dengan Anwar, mungkin kerana ada isteri anda Rosmah Mansor di hadapan kamu. Alangkah lebih baik debat dengan Anwar mengenai ekonomi dan polisi negara?
Seperti yang anda kata, kamu ada informasi dalam tangan anda. Kamu pasti menang dalam debat. Tetapi kamu harus ingat, peneroka-peneroka Felda sudah ditipu kerajaan Umno bukan? Makamah pun sudah putuskan Felda harus membayar pampasan kepada peneroka-peneroka tersebut. Bukankah begitu?
Marvin: Anwar has challenged you to debate on the economic and other public policies, why can’t you just accept the challenged and face him like a man? What is the point of threatening him with other revelations of his personal life while you have some skeletons in your own closet (we all know about Port Dickson and Mongolia)?
JBGuy: Najib, all the rhetoric or innuendos is not want we the rakyat want. We want an intelligent debate by our PM against the opposition leader to be able to judge who is better placed to lead Malaysia. Your stance clearly shows that you are skirting the issues by hiding behind an obviously trumped-up charge as proven in Sodomy I.
I am disappointed with your attitude as I have not witnessed much change since you took over. In fact, things are looking increasingly bad with prices going up and various scandals mushrooming, such as PKFZ, Sime Darby and KTMB.
You are not half the man your father was, even when he wasn’t much of a leader.
Orang_Gila_Malaya: Now we know who our PM is. He only dares to counter Anwar’s challenge in front of Felda settlers where people have limited access to the Internet. There are only a few settlers that have access to Internet, the rest just rely on Astro, mainstream media and papers. Why don’t he say it at Dataran Merdeka, where people are well-versed with the current political situation in Malaysia?
Felda has helped the bumiputeras to achieve a better life but besides the monthly cash received from Felda and the land, what else do the settlers get in term of self-development? Go and see yourself what the youth of Felda are doing daily. It’s not them who work the farm. The credit shall go to the Indonesians, Nepalis and Bangladeshis.
Anonymous: Najib, we have two murderers with no motive. One of the people accused, Abdul Razak Baginda, was your buddy. There was a controversial submarine purchase when you were defence minister. The immigration records of the victim erased. One of her friends testified she saw you photographed with the victim.
A private investigator P Balasubramaniam testified in a statutory declaration that you knew the victim. The SMS messages you sent to a Umno-linked lawyer showed your extraordinary concern in the case.
Then there was the Perak power grab, Teoh Beng Hock’s death, Sodomy II, the Selangor state secretary crisis. I think you have more personal problems than anybody else in Malaysia.

SUPP Working Hard To Regain Grassroots Support

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 (Bernama) -- Judging from the attendance, the recent Sarawak United People's Party convention has been regarded as a "success", prompting party leaders to believe that the party still has strong support from its members.

The party's secretariat had initially expected a turnout of about 5,000 but there were more than 6,000 delegates and observers at the convention.

"It is quite encouraging. I think the members want to show that they still care for and love the party. No doubt a lot of things have been said about our party but this has not deterred us from improving ourselves in facing the coming state election," said SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sim Kheng Hui.

He said the party had been trying hard to reduce internal bickering and strengthen unity, and the effort had to some extent bore fruit with party members focusing more on serving the people.

"We hope the grassroots leaders will work hard... go meet the people. They have begun to engage the younger generation and there has been more participation from them in the party," he said.

Party vice-president Datuk Yong Koon Seng said the party had managed to overcome many challenges in the past and they believed the party would be able to do well again and win the support of Chinese voters in Sarawak.

"Morale is high after they listened to the pep talk on Sunday (Jan 16). There is already some form of mobilisation on the ground and with yesterday's convention, the party members are more upbeat than before," he said.

Historically, SUPP, formed in 1959 and the oldest political party in the state, has survived many turbulent times in the past -- changing from a left-wing, anti-Malaysia political entity into a Barisan Nasional (BN) component party without losing the support of the Sarawak Chinese community.

In the first 15 years of its formation, the party managed to pull through the two critical elections in 1963 and 1970, despite some of its leaders and members being detained and some branches closed by the authorities due to security concerns.

In the 1963 state election, the party won most of the Chinese votes despite their opposing the formation of Malaysia as well as being accused of being communist subversives, with many of its leaders and members arrested. At one time, almost half of its elected Central Working Committee members were jailed.

In 1970, SUPP repeated the feat again, receiving the highest Chinese percentage votes despite being labelled as a "communist front organisation" and facing a crackdown from the authorities with many of its leaders and members detained and some branches ordered to be closed.

Yong recalled that the party also survived another important and critical moment after the 1970 state election -- that was when they had to decide whether to remain as an opposition party or form a coalition with other parties to be the ruling government.

"In the end, they decided to take up the offer to be part of the ruling state government and later became among the founding members of the Barisan Nasional in 1972, a decision that did not go down well with the leftists in the party," he said.

The party was split into two before the moderates in the party finally took control and some of the leftist members left the party as they were unhappy that "SUPP has betrayed its original struggle".

The party then decided to form an alliance with the then Parti Bumiputera (which later merged with Parti Pesaka to form the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak - PBB) and has been part of the Sarawak government since then. Later, SUPP joined the federal government under the Barisan Nasional banner.

"The rest was history until the state election in 2006 that shook many of us when the party lost eight of the 19 seats it contested," said Yong.

"Some of the party leaders lost but the party still survived in the state government," he added.

SUPP lost the Sibu parliamentary seat to DAP in a by-election in May last year.

The fact that the oldest party in the state wanted to change itself and re-emerge as a formidable force did not go unnoticed when state BN chairman Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, for the first time said he was happy that the party wanted to bounce back and transform itself after reaching its lowest ebb in its history in the 2006 state election.

"Thank God. Today, SUPP has shaken itself out. You know your friends in Barisan Nasional will not allow you (SUPP) to fall. When SUPP is attacked, PBB will come to the front and defend you.

"We stand together to build politics of development," Taib said in his speech at the opening of the SUPP convention.

At the convention, BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak asked the party to only select candidates who could win in the coming state election.

Pening rakyat kerana keluarga ini.

Setelah hampir dilupakan tiba - tiba Ummi Hafilda muncul semula dengan diberikan liputan media hebat. Kali ini dia muncul dengan saman RM 700 juta ke atas Anwar, Wan Azizah, Karpal Sigh dan PAS.
Semua orang tahu krisis terbesar politik negara yang mengemparkan pada tahun 1998 ialah bermula dengan satu keluarga yang rapat dengan Anwar Ibrahim. Azmin yang merupakan 'anak angkat' Dr. Mahathir dan Siti Hasmah sebaik sahaja pulang dari belajar dari luar negara dihantar menjadi Setiausaha Sulit, Anwar Ibrahim. Semua tahu bagaimana karisma Anwar dalam 'kekosongan' kepimpinan dalam Umno beliau naik tangga politik begitu laju. Sebagai Setiausaha paling lama Azmin makin dipercayai dan kesempatan ini juga menjadikan keluarga beliau seperti isterinya dan adik beradiknya rapat juga dengan Anwar. Ramai pada ketika itu melihat bagaimana Ummi yang masih bujang kelihatan cuba 'all out' cuba berada 'serapat' mungkin dengan Anwar. Ada juga cakap - cakap yang mungkin dari puak yang tak senang dengan kelajuan pendakian politik Anwar yang menimbulkan fitnah apabila melihat Shamsidar juga rapat dengan Anwar. Namun di sinilah semua ini bermula.

Bermula dari surat Ummi kepada Dr.Mahathir maka konspirasi dilengkapkan. Wajah Ummi, Azwan dan beberapa lagi umpama seleberiti yang menadah 'flash' kamera tiap kali keluar dan masuk media, namun ia menjadi cemuhan rakyat.

Azwan yang terkenal dengan seleberiti mulut celupar juga pada tahun 2004 pernah memanggil kami aktivis SAMM yang menghantar 'memo' ke Abdullah ketika menjadi PM masa itu sebagai Anjing, Syaitan dan banyak lagi kata - kata kesat dan lucah melalui tulisan blognya.

Namun baru - baru ini dia muncul kembali dengan twitter nya yang konon menyerang Ummi pula. Memaki hamun Ummi (sekutunya dulu) sebagai puaka dan lain - lain. Maka tweet tersebut telah menjadi bahan berita beberapa blog pro PR.

Rakyat makin pening melihat permainan keluarga ini. Kepada teman- teman blogger saya nasihatkan abaikan sahajalah benda - benda seperti ini. Ia akan memeningkan rakyat. Ini semua konflik keluarga yang diperguna regim penguasa. Kejap mereka akan begini kejap lagi mereka akan begitu......

Keluarga Azmin memang sentiasa menjadi perhatian dan sasaran fitnah.... terbaru blog - blog Umno menyiarkan gambar sempena hari raya yang lepas kononya dirakamkan di rumah Kampung isteri Azmin yang menjadi kontroversi kononya kereta dibelakang gambar keluarga itu ialah Ferrari yang bernilai jutaan ringgit.

Saya cukup gusar nanti ada pula yang kononnya bangga dengan tweet Azwan terus pula anjur program PR anjur program Azwan Azmin...amboi...amboi...amboi...

lepas itu nanti kita akan dikejutkan semula dengan 'u turn'.... yang terbaik ialah biarkan dan abaikan konflik dari keluarga tersebut. Saya rasa Azmin juga tidak selesa perkara - perkara seperti ini diberi perhatian tak tentu arah.

Paling penting nanti rakyat bosan melihat masalah konflik keluarga menjadi tumpuan gerak kerja kita..... tumpukan masalah harian rakyat.

Sekadar pandangan.

EU okays tougher bank stress tests

European Union (EU) finance ministers have agreed to include targets on liquidity in new, tougher European bank stress tests.

According to EU presidency sources, on Tuesday, the tests will encompass the same 91 banks that were tested in 2010.

But the methodology of the new tests will be more stringent, including not only bank trading books, but also banking books and tough tests of core tier 1 capital.

These will be conducted by the end of May, with results expected in the third quarter.

"The message is that the tests have to be much more stringent and credible," one EU presidency source said.

The exact criteria of the tests will be worked out by March.

The European Central Bank, which will play a key role in designing the tests, expects more banks to fail them than the five that did so last year because of the liquidity criterion, EU sources said.

EU sources also said that in parallel to the EU tests, the International Monetary Fund would conduct a similar exercise in Britain, Sweden and Luxembourg.

The bank stress tests are part of the European Union's efforts to win back market confidence in the stability of its financial system and draw a line under the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis.

Source : Agencies

Balu ke mahkamah tuntut bedah siasat kedua

Ibrahim: Murugiah perlu 'guna otak'

Penulis Interlok terima anugerah PERKASA

Federal Police CID deputy Director submits Fabricated Evidence at P. Uthayakumar’s Sedition Trial.

This afternoon the Bukit Aman Federal Police Criminal Investigations Department Deputy Chief Dato’ DCP Acryl Sani bin Abdullah Sani was caught with his pants down when on cross examination at P. Uthayakumar Sedition Trial, P. Uthayakumar had tendered a memorandum titled “Stand Up for Justice Its Now Or Ever” dated 8th September 2003 outlining also S. Ragupathy (22) (2002), V. Vivashannu Pillai (24) (2002) , A. Subramaniam (28) (2003) who were killed by the police in police custody. Also Tony Ponnusamy (30) (2002) and M. Letchumanan (31) (2002) who were shot dead by the police.
All these 5 names were however not outlined in Dato’ Acryl’s complete list of death in custody cases in Court titled “ Tahanan mati Dalam Lokap Dan Jagaan polis bagi Tahun 2000-2010 (Februari)” and the full list of death by police shooting cases from 2000 – 2009 “Memo Agensi Kementerian Dalam Negeri dated 30/11/2010” which had outlined 149 names but did not include that of at least S. Ragupathy (22), V. Vivashannu Pillai (24) and believed to have omitted scores of others also in “Memo Agensi Kementerian Dalam Negeri dated 3/2/2010” on the full list of cases shot dead by the police.
On about nineteen out of twenty questions this Dato’ Acryl merely replies “tidak tahu, tidak pasti, tidak ada maklumat etc like how any other ordinary police constable would testify in Court.
DPP Melissa Mohd Akhir tried stopping P. Uthayakumar’s intense grilling of Dato’ Acyrl saying that he has been questioned for about one year now. P. Uthayakumar replied that the UMNO Attorney General had already imprisoned him to 1 ½ years jail without trial under ISA which is very very much more an injustices. P. Uthayakumar replied that the UMNO Attorney General Gani Patail and his Chambers have got so used to forcing some 98% of suspects to plead guilty whether they guilty or not as they cannot raised even RM 1,700.00 bail and the lawyers legal fees. P. Uthayakumar warned the DPP’s not to try it on him as he will leave no stone unturned in this Sedition Trial.
Court proceedings ended at 5.10 p.m and is to resume tomorrow at 10.00 a.m.
Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice.

‘No changes to book’: Writer reveals otherwise

PETALING JAYA: Kavyan Writers Association president Uthaya Sankar SB today debunked the National Writers Federation’s (Gapena) resolution that not a single word can be removed from the controversial Interlok novel.
He pointed out that amendments were done to the circumstances surrounding the death of one character in the novel, known as Malini.

He said the student’s edition did not explain the cause of death but the 2003 edition, page 325, revealed that Malini committed suicide by hanging herself from a star fruit tree.
Malini, added the book, was disheartened by the separation from her husband, Maniam.
A quote from the book reads: “Saya tak sangka dia mahu mengambil keputusan serupa itu, tuan guru,” kata Perumal dalam esakannya.
“Dia sudah bersetuju walaupun pada mula-mula dia membantah dengan keras…. Saya menjumpainya tergantung di bawah pokok belimbing di belakang dapur.” Perumal terus menangis kembali.
(I did not expect her to make such a decision, teacher, Perumal said in between sobs. She had agreed though she was strongly against it initially… I found her hanging under the star fruit tree behind the kitchen. Perumal continued to cry.)
The 2010 student’s edition, page 284, however posed an open question on how Malini died.
“Malini meninggal dunia,” kata perempuan itu dengan sedih. Raman terhenti daripada berjalan.
“Saya tak sangka dia meninggalkan saya, tuan guru, kata Perumal dalam esakannya.”
(Malini died, the woman said with sadness. Raman stopped walking. I did not expect that she would leave me, teacher, said Perumal in between sobs.)
In the student’s edition, Malini’s death was related to Raman by another character and confirmed by Perumal. The cause of death was not mentioned.
Interlok, the form five Malay literary component for Bahasa Malaysia, landed in the limelight after Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, T Murugiah called for the book to be removed.
Critics, including MIC, claimed that the book contained inaccurate information about the Indian community and used derogatory terms pertaining to caste.
However, Gapena supported the use of the book in schools.

Palanivel throws a lifeline to Murugesan

PETALING JAYA: Barely two months after taking over as MIC president, G Palanivel today made two major changes to the top leadership by appointing former secretary-general S Murugesan as information chief to replace Hulu Selangor MP P Kamalanathan.

Palanivel also appointed Vel Paari, son of former MIC supremo S Samy Vellu, as the party’s media relations head, a newly-created post. Both Murugesan and Vel Paari are in the party’s all-powerful MIC central working committee (CWC).

Vel Paari is expected to handle issues relating to the media, including online news portals as well as bloggers.

“Their appointments take immediate effect,” party secretary-general, T Rajagopalu, told FMT today.

The MIC CWC held its first meeting of the year in Segamat, this morning.

Murugesan was sacked as secretary-general of the party by Samy Vellu last year for criticising the leadership following the expulsion of former deputy Youth leader, V Mugilan and CWC members, G Kumar Aamaan and K P Samy.

The CWC today also appointed former vice-president KS Nijhar as chairman of an organising committee to tackle social issues affecting the Indian community.

“And party vice-president SK Devamany will head our small and medium enterprises (SME) committee to help and promote our Indian SME businessmen,” said Rajagopalu.

Bold moves by Palanivel

The CWC also reinstated the membership of former Petaling Jaya Selatan MIC division chief, V Subramaniam, better known as Barat Maniam. He, too, was sacked by Samy Vellu for criticising the leadership a year ago.

“As for the other three (Mugilan, Kumar Aamaan and KP Samy), we will consider their appeal at the next CWC meeting,” said Rajagopalu.

The three were sacked for asking Samy Vellu to step down. They went on to form Gagasan Anti Samy Vellu (GAS) which was disbanded after Samy Vellu stepped down in mid-December last year.

They were partly responsible in pressuring Samy Vellu to vacate the party top post sooner than the 2011 deadline Samy Vellu had set for himself.

Murugesan conveyed his appreciation to Palanivel for appointing him into his new position.

“I’m willing to serve the party in whatever capacity. The president has given me a clear directive and I intend to carry out my duties,” said Murugesan in a text message to FMT.

Judging by the CWC’s decisions, it seems like Palanivel is undoing the follies of Samy Vellu, who was on a “sacking rampage” prior to his retirement from active politics.

Although the appointment of his son to the media head post could go down well with Samy Vellu and his hardcore supporters, the appointment of Murugesan, giving a national post to Nijhar and the reinstatement of Subramaniam might ruffle some feathers.

Govt and Umno respect the Indian community: Najib

LABIS: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said today the government as well as Umno respect the Indian community and want it to progress together with the other ethnic communities in the country.

He said the government, at the same time, needed the support of the people, including the Indian community, to enable it achieve its agenda of a major national transformation.

“Who says we do not respect the Indians? That’s not right. We want the Indians to have rights under the 1Malaysia concept,” he said when addressing the Indian constituents of the Tenang state constituency, here. Some 1,780 voters of the 14,753 electorate in Tenang are Indians.

Najib said the Indians should not be concerned about an SMS purportedly saying that Umno did not respect the community.

“Do not be concerned about the SMS which attempts to incite the Indians by saying that Umno does not respect the Indians. That is not correct. We respect the Indians and want them to progress together with the other communities,” he was quoted by Bernama.

Najib said the government, in striving to advance the Indian community, had set up a committee which had resolved various problems and issues such as those relating to citizenship, identity card and birth certificate as well as construction of temples and Tamil schools.

The Human Resources Ministry had also made available various skills training schemes for the benefit of Indian youths, he said.

“For those in the plantations, I have asked companies like Sime Darby to provide more houses and adequate water supply,” he said.

In the by-election on Jan 30, Najib said, the Indian constituents should support the Barisan Nasional (BN) and not gamble with their future.

“We must give a clear signal for Tenang to emerge as a stronghold of the BN,” he said.

Nomination is on Jan 22 in the by-election necessitated by the death of the assemblyman, Sulaiman Taha of the BN, on Dec 17.

Cabinet to discuss Interlok

Meanwhile, in another development, a meeting was held at the Education Ministry today on the controversial “Interlok” issue, attended by 22 people who included six MIC-appointed representatives.

Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi chaired the meeting, which lasted for about four hours from 9am.

Mohd Puad told reporters later that the meeting proceeded smoothly in a cordial atmosphere and the participants discussed the matter in an intellectual manner.

“Interlok”, a novel on the integration of the Malays, Chinese and Indians in then pre-independence Malaya written by national laureate Abdullah Hussain, had sparked controversy as it allegedly contained words deemed sensitive to the Indian community.

The book is being used as a required text for Malay Literature in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) beginning this year.

Mohd Puad said the ministry officials, including Director-General of Education Abdul Ghafar Mahmud, listened to the reasoning of all quarters comprising the representatives of the MIC-appointed panel, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and academicians.

“We proceeded with the dialogue in a cordial and intellectual manner without getting emotional because the ultimate objective as agreed upon was to come up with suitable recommendations and a solution to the issue,” he said.

He said a report on the meeting would be handed over to Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin later today for presentation to the cabinet.

He also said that the contents of the report could not be revealed as yet because only the cabinet could make a decision on the matter.

Mohd Puad said that at the outset of today’s meeting, the ministry officials explained how the novel had been selected as the required text for Malay Literature for Form Five students.


Second post-mortem: Case management set for tomorrow

KUALA LUMPUR: The family of M Krishnan, the wireman who died in police custody on Jan 7, today filed an application to the High Court for a second post-mortem to be conducted.

The court has fixed tomorrow for case management of the application (to set a date for hearing).

The application, by Krishnan’s widow P Revathi, named as defendants the Inspector-General of Police, the Cheras district police chief, the head of Bukit Jalil police station, the magistrate and public prosecutor.

They also asked for an inquest to be held before another magistrate.

“Why are the police not allowing a second post-mortem? Why? Do they have something to hide?” asked a distraught Revathi at the court lobby here.

“We don’t mind if you say he is guilty but we just want to know why he died. The government is not helping us, why should we vote for them?” she said.

Revathi was was accompanied by a large crowd of supporters to the court. Her six children and Krishnan’s mother E Letchumy were also with her.

“We’re not rich people. My grandchildren’s education is disrupted because of this. I want justice, there’s no reason to beat up my son,” said 55-year-old Letchumy.

Krishnan, 36, was the eldest of her five sons.

Lawyer Gurmit Singh submitted the application on behalf of the family.

Police make U-turn

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, one of the opposition leaders present at the court, said the government should step in and accede to the family’s request for a second post-mortem.

“The hassle and stress of going through legal proceedings is unnecessary. Allow the second post- mortem and let the findings speak for themselves,” said Gobind.

“I ask that the second post-mortem be automatic for deaths in custody. I don’t see why the Attorney-General or police should object,” he said.

Gobind added that a second post-mortem had proved invaluable in cases of deaths in custody as in the cases of A Kugan and Teoh Beng Hock.

“I also call on the government to set up an independent forensic research institute so that we have a better system and to check on the quality of our forensic pathologists,” said Gobind.

Lawyer N Surendran, Port Dickson state assemblyman M Ravi, and a number of PKR members were also present to lend support to Revathi’s family.

Last week, police said that they would be seeking a second post-mortem on Krishnan, but made a U-turn when the Attorney-General’s Chambers advised a different course of action.

On Jan 3, Krishnan was arrested with several others in Taman Miharja, Cheras, on suspicion of possessing drugs.

Four days later, Krishnan was found dead at the Bukit Jalil police station lockup where he was remanded. According to the police, initial post-mortem results showed his death was related to an ulcer.

But Krishnan’s family disputed the claim and said there were bruises all over his back, an open cut wound on his right abdomen, and a bruise on his right eye.

A jailmate, A Sargunan, came forward and said that Krishnan was tortured to death by policemen and subsequently lodged a police report, saying he saw Krishnan being beaten up and trampled upon by policemen in boots.

He also claimed that Krishnan was denied medical assistance.

Guidelines For Muslims Celebrating Religious Festivals Of Non-Muslims

   The 68th muzakarah of the National Fatwa Committee for Islamic Religious Affairs on April 12, 2005  discussed the Guidelines For Muslims Celebrating Religious Festivals Of Non-Muslims. The muzakarah has decided that:
In determining the non-Muslim celebrations that can be attended by Muslims, several main criteria should serve as guidelines so as not to contradict the teachings of Islam. The criteria are as follows:
  1. The event is not accompanied by ceremonies that are against the Islamic faith (aqidah).
The meaning of “against the Islamic faith (aqidah)” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will lead to tarnishing the faith (aqidah) of Muslims. 
For example:
  1. to include religious symbols such as the cross, installing lights, candles, Christmas tree and so forth;
  2. to sing religious songs;
  3. to put any religious markings on the forehead, or other markings onto parts of the body;
  4. to deliver speech or gestures in the form of a praise to the non-Muslim religion;
  5. to bow or conduct acts of honour to the religious ceremony of non-Muslims.
  1. The event is not accompanied by acts against the Islamic law.
The meaning of “against the Islamic law” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will contradict the Islamic teachings practised by the Muslim community.
For example:
  1. Wearing red costumes like Santa Claus or other garments that reflect religion;
  2. Serving intoxicating food or beverages and the likes;
  3. Having sounds or ornaments like church bells, Christmas tree, temple or breaking of coconuts;
  4. Having ceremonies with elements of gaming, worship, cult, superstitions and the likes. 
  1. The event is not accompanied by “acts that contradict with moral and cultural development of Muslim society” in this country.
The meaning of “acts that contradict with moral and cultural development of Muslim society” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will contradict the values and norms of the Muslim society of this country which adheres to the Islamic teachings based on Ahlus Sunnah Wal-Jamaah.
For example:
  1. Mixing freely without any limit or manners;
  2. Wearing conspicuous clothing;
  3. Singing songs that contain lyrics of obscenity and worship;
  4. Organising programmes such as beauty pageants, cock fighting and such. 
  1. The event is not accompanied by acts that can “stir the sensitivity of Muslim community”.
The meaning of “stir the sensitivity of Muslim community” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will offend the feelings of Muslims about their beliefs and practices.
For Example:
  1. Speeches or songs in the form of non-Muslim religious propaganda;
  2. Speeches that insult the Muslims;
  3. Speeches that insult Islam;
  4. Presentations with the aim to ridicule the religious belief of Muslims. 
  1. The organisers and the public are asked to get the views of religious authorities before organising or attending celebrations of non-Muslims.

Challenge to debate can backfire, PM Najib warns Anwar

(Bernama) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should not be too hasty in challenging him to a debate because he had information which can cause the Opposition Leader to end up with a "fever", if revealed during the debate.

Najib stressed that he was not afraid of engaging in a debate with Anwar, but it would only be a waste of time because of the lies the Anwar has been peddling, besides failing to keep his promises.

"Enough with the lies. So many promises unkept and now he wants to debate with me, it will just be a waste of time.

"I can debate him, I am not afraid, my ministers and I have all the information. Don't try to challenge me, if I were to reveal everything, someone will end up with a fever," he said when addressing a meet-the-people session with settlers of Felda Chemplak here Tuesday.

Najib said Anwar should be fulfilling his promises, like the formation of a new government on Sept 16 (2008) and solve his "personal problems" in the sodomy case, rather than be too eager to debate him on the Opposition's 100-day plan.

"He was supposed to have formed a new government in Sept 2008, but has yet to do so. Now it is already 2011.

"We are waiting day by day but nothing has happened. He claimed that 30 MPs from Barisan Nasional would defect to the Opposition, but instead five of his MPs turned Independent.

"No need to debate, there are many things Anwar has not settled. It is not the Government that brought him to court, the one who lodged the police report was Saiful (Anwar's former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan)," Najib said.

He said Anwar need not concern himself that the debate was in the interest of the people, because Barisan would ensure the people's well-being.

The Opposition's 100-Day Plan contained nine objectives, including the management of the country, economy and education in the first 100 days if it were to come to power in the country.

Tell Muslim booze merchants to give up, minister urged

(Harakah Daily) - Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Jamil Khir Baharom has been urged to remind Malay businessmen involved in the booze and gambling industry to surrender their stakes.
Making this call, Kuala Selangor member of parliament Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said Muslim tycoons who serve as directors of such companies had no reason to continue drawing income from such businesses, unlike their working class brethrens who were forced to earn their livelihood at these places until such time the state government find them alternative jobs.
He was responding to a statement by Jamil hitting out at Selangor Exco in charge of local government Ronnie Liu.
Jamil (left) said Ronnie had insulted Islam for asking the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to retract its recent ruling banning Muslims from working in liquor-serving entertainment outlets in Subang Jaya.
“The ban is enshrined in the Selangor Syariah Criminal Enactment which should not be touched by Ronnie. We are defending the morality of Muslims but certain quarters are doing the opposite,” Jamil, the minister in charge of religious affairs, was quoted as saying.
Last week, Liu sent a memo requesting MPSJ president Md Adnan Ikhsan to retract the directive, claiming the state government had not been informed. The ruling riled up several politicians from both sides of the divide, prompting Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim to announce a special fund to assist Muslim workers affected by the new laws.
Dr Dzul said as a responsible government, the state government must ensure that the welfare of Muslim workers in those premises was taken care of before forcing them out of their current jobs.
“However, the businessmen who sit at the board of directors of the gambling and booze companies don’t have such a reason (to stay on). Hence, we suggest Jamil Khir to direct them to quit or implement the rules on them,” said Dr Dzul.

14 years old can marry but can’t vote

Raising a family is a very heavy responsibility. So is driving a car. But while you can marry at 14 and drive a car at 18 you can’t vote till you are 21. And if you are a student you can’t get involved in politics even if you are older than 21.
Raja Petra Kamarudin


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Lima Projek Diberi Kepada Shamsuddin Hayroni Secara Runding Terus

18 JANUARI 2011

Kerajaan Negeri Selangor sedia maklum dengan kes melibatkan mantan Menteri Besar, Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo yang berdepan tindakan mahkamah kerana didakwa terlibat dalam gejala rasuah.
Kerajaan Negeri Selangor yang kini ditadbir Pakatan Rakyat tidak terlibat dengan pemberian projek secara runding terus kepada syarikat-syarikat yang dimiliki Shamsudin Hayroni.
Bagi mengelak timbul spekulasi dan tanggapan buruk terhadap Kerajaan Negeri Selangor menjelang perbicaraan kes Dr Khir, Kerajaan Negeri telah mengarahkan maklumat lanjut diperolehi melibatkan projek-projek yang telah diberikan kepada Shamsuddin Hayroni ketika Dr Khir menjadi Menteri Besar.
Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri (MMKN) pada 16 Disember 2010 membuat keputusan supaya maklumat tentang jenis projek dan nilai projek yang diberikan kepada syarikat milik Shamsuddin Hayroni didedahkan untuk pengetahuan umum.
Sebanyak lima projek runding terus telah diberikan kepada Majulia Sdn Bhd dengan nilai projek berbeza iaitu:
1. Pembinaan kuarters kakitangan kerajaan di Seksyen 16,Fasa 1 dengan nilai RM22,880,000
2. Pembinaan kuarters kakitangan kerajaan di Seksyen 16 fasa 2 dengan nilai RM61 juta
3. Cadangan merekabentuk, membina dan menyaipkan bangunan Perpustakaan Selangor Maju bernilai RM71,080,000
4. Cadangan membina dan menyiapkan jalan dari Simpang B15/B11 Lama Daerah Sepang bernilai RM73,750,871.53

5. Cadangan projek pembangunan sebuah stadium terbuka, sebuah pencawang elektrik, dua kebuk dan satu unit loji kumbahan atas sebahagian tapak Kompleks Sukan atas tanah kerajaan, mukim Dengkil bernilai RM14,999,000.00
Sementara itu, dua lagi syarikat milik Shamsuddin iaitu Getrahome Sdn Bhd dan Kanasutra Sdn Bhd telah diberikan projek secara penswastaan.
Getrahome Sdn Bhd mendapat projek pembangunan perumahan dan perniagaan secara penswastaan atas tanah seluas 134.57 ekar mukim Dengkil, Daerah Sepang bernilai RM16 juta pada tahun 2000.
Kanasutra Sdn Bhd pula diberikan projek cadangan pembangunan perumahan dan perniagaan secara penswastaan atas tanah kerajaan lot 5395 dan 5396 Mukim Dengkil pada 2005 bernilai RM14 juta. Bagaimanapun, MMKN pada 27 Januari 2010 telah membatal dan menarik balik projek berkenaan.
Pendedahan maklumat ini dibuat bagi memastikan Kerajaan Selangor dan kakitangan awam tidak dikaitkan dalam perbicaraan kes Dr Khir dan Shamsuddin Hayroni.
Ini juga sejajar dengan prinsip ketelusan dan kebertanggungjawaban pentadbiran yang didokong oleh Pakatan Rakyat yang sama sekali menolak sebarang penyelewengan dan salah guna kuasa di kalangan pemimpin dan ahli politik demi kepentingan peribadi.
Dr Khir didakwa telah mendapatkan untuk dirinya dan isteri Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik, 45, suatu barang berharga dengan suatu balasan yang beliau ketahui tidak mencukupi iaitu dua lot tanah dan sebuah rumah yang terletak di alamat no. 8 & 10, Jalan Suasa 7/1 L, Shah Alam, daripada Ditamas Sdn Bhd melalui pengarah Ditamas, Shamsuddin Hayroni, dengan harga RM3.5 juta, sedangkan hartanah itu telah dibeli oleh Ditamas pada 23 Disember 2004 dengan harga RM6.5 juta.
Kerajaan Negeri berpendapat maklumat yang diberikan ini dapat membantu pihak berkuasa menjalankan siasatan.

Poor English skills bad for economy

by Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: A nation’s economy is only as good as its education system. So powerful is education that even the subtlest tweak has the propensity to either elevate or relegate a nation on the global stage.

Policy-makers therefore tread with great care when proposing policy amendments, acutely aware of the staggering impact their decisions would have on the country’s future.

Malaysia’s policy-makers, however, appeared to have lacked this attention to detail when deciding to reverse the teaching and learning of Science and Maths in English (PPSMI). And that move has placed Malaysia’s economy on shaky ground.

Cheong Kee Cheok, a Senior Research Fellow with the Faculty of Economics in Universiti Malaya, expressed grave concern over the system’s failure to produce the human resources needed to propel the country forward. And this, he warned, would severely cripple the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Malaysia.

“One of the benefits a country reaps from FDI is the acquisition of technology,” he said. “But we can only acquire it if we speak the language of technology, which is English. Unfortunately, we are losing out to the Thais, Vietnamese and Chinese in our ability to communicate in English.”

“We have enjoyed FDI for 30 years but what technology have we acquired? To a certain extent, piracy is a key indicator of a country’s technological prowess. China is able to pirate almost anything whereas our piracy is limited to DVDs.”

The inability of a nation to acquire a certain strength leaves it no choice but to be dependent on other nations. This stagnancy will gradually reduce its competitiveness and eventually ease it out of the economic supply chain altogether.

“Our lack of technological expertise will dissuade technologically capable industries from investing in Malaysia,” Cheong said. “Right now we are still locked in a supply chain but our position will shift as other nations become better.”

Fear of backlash

Another professor, who declined to be named for fear of backlash from the Education Ministry, revealed two other flaws in the education system. Both are related to the Public Service Department scholarships.

The first flaw, she said, was a shortage of scholarships for physical sciences. The second – and more alarming – flaw was that these scholarships were being awarded to students who either didn’t have the aptitude or the interest to pursue a career in physical sciences.

“Malaysia produces less than 20% of physical science graduates,” she stated. “Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and China produce 30% to 40%, which increases their preponderance for acquiring technology.”

“And because most of our graduates weren’t interested in physical sciences in the first place, they carve careers in other industries upon graduation, which further dilutes our already limited resource pool.”

She blamed the political powers for handicapping the country by using its education system as a political tool, especially in the PPSMI reversal.

Pointing to Vietnam and China as examples of governments with foresight, she said that both countries had each launched an all-English government university.

“Their governments recognised English as an international language, not a colonial one,” she emphasised. “And they essentially told their people that if they didn’t like it, then they didn’t have to come. But that opportunity was there for those who did want it.”

“Malaysia has a myopic vision. We look inwardly to see how fast we have improved without taking into account how our competitors are faring. Our education system is not producing people who can think, which is fundamental to a country’s growth.”

But it is not just the science and technology industries that are suffering the butterfly effect of the PPSMI reversal. Even the food industry is fearing for its future in the global market.

English terms

At a recent public forum organised in support of PPSMI, an entrepreneur who only wanted to be known as Mazidah related the struggle she faced in her food-processing business.

“Our previous interns weren’t exposed to Science and Maths in English and had problems understanding industry terminologies,” she recalled.

“Their working papers were downright embarrassing. I recently found out that many have opted not to pursue a career in the food industry after all because they can’t cope with the English terms.”

Her recent batch of interns, however, underwent the PPSMI and she marvelled at the difference in their capabilities. According to her, they understand the industry requirements, have better communication skills and are on top of advancements in the industry as they are able to read books written in English.

“The food industry can be very difficult if you’re not exposed to scientific terms in English,” she stressed. “And we’ll drop very far behind if we don’t do something about our education system now.”

The other issue that greatly aggravates her is the Health Ministry’s decision to hold two separate workshops on food safety management systems – one in English and one in Bahasa Malaysia (BM).

“The ministry officials told us that the BM workshop is meant for the local market and the English version is for those who wish to export their products,” she said. “But this is ridiculous! Not only will it widen the existing class divide but it will also hamper our global competitiveness.”

Don't Risk Country's Future By Voting In Opposition - Najib

LABIS, Jan 18 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Tuesday advised the people not to risk the country's future through experimentation by giving their votes to the opposition, but to continue supporting Barisan Nasional (BN) in order to safeguard their future.

The prime minister who is also BN chairman, said BN upheld the concept of close cooperation among the component parties which shared the same ideology of propelling the nation's success to a higher level.

"We in BN have the same ideology and that is why we've made the country successful and we wish to bring it to the next level of success.

"It's not just for today but in future too. In 10 years' time, we will achieve our dream of making Malaysia a developed nation," he said when officiating at the opening of the replacement building for the Labis National-Type Primary School and gathering with Chinese associations and non-governmental organisations, here Tuesday.

Najib said the opposition pact comprising PKR, DAP and PAS could only "share a pillow but have different dreams and ambitions", showing their lack of understanding of each other.

"PAS aspires to establish a PAS-style Islamic state but the DAP says, 'over my dead body'. They are only pretending to be friends in order to defeat BN.

"But try to imagine the two parties having different objectives, with DAP wanting a DAP-style secular state; it's definitely not workable. In reality, they are just acting out a political 'sandiwara'.

"They are trying to fool the people. Their cooperation is fragile. Theirs is actually not a workable relationship," he said.

Najib said if the people chose to vote in the opposition, the country's future would be scuppered and it would not be easy for the people to get back what had been built up with much effort all these years.

He also questioned Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's intention of forming a shadow cabinet as until today, what had been harped by the former deputy prime minister was merely rhetoric.

Najib also urged the Chinese community to give their support to the BN candidate to be announced for the upcoming Tenang state seat by-election.

He said their support would up the development momentum and indicate to prospective investors and Malaysia had strong political stability, which was important for economic growth.

The by-election has been called following the death of the incumbent assemblyman Datuk Sulaiman Taha, 59, from BN, on last Dec 17 due to complications from diabetes.

Nomination of candidates for the by-election is on Jan 22 and polling on Jan 30.

Normala Sudirman, 38, who is Labis PAS women's wing head has been named the party's candidate for the by-election, while the BN candidate is scheduled to be announced by Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin Wednesday.

丁能垦殖民区有华裔选民? 忧幽灵选民伎俩再现

人 民公正党青年团候选人巴德鲁希山(Badrul Hisham Shaharin)在其博客网上以cheGuBard为名指出,全国青年团结阵线(Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia,SAMM)现已在丁能选区开始助选活动,并尝试以小组对谈的方式与当地选民进行对话。这种方式被视为可以更容易地接近选民并且了解选民 的想法,此外也可以因此了解何种议题对于选民来说,更为重要。

Small fine for Pykett Ave demolition

By Anil Netto,

The firm responsible for demolishing an old double-storey building along Pykett Avenue without local council planning permission was fined a small sum by the magistrate’s court yesterday.

Klassik Tropika Development Sdn Bhd of the Mah Sing Group was fined RM6,000 for the demolition, which took place just days before a scheduled MPPP inspection (probably to assess if the site had any heritage value) in July 2010.

This saga brings back memories of how a RM2 company was fined RM50,000 for the Christmas Day 1993 demolition of the historical Metropole Hotel, a property worth RM9.5 million back then.

Seriously, folks, what is there to stop developers from tearing down buildings like these? The fine is hardly a deterrent as it will very likely be factored into the cost of projects, which may have GDVs running into millions, if not billions of ringgit.

Unless… the MPPP appeals to the High Court and if the MPPP freezes future development of the property. After the demolition in July 2010, the new landowner submitted an application to MPSP in October 2010 to build 315 apartments in four towers. State exco member for Local Government Chow Kon Yeow reportedly said the application has since been frozen.
Keep an eye on Pykett Avenue.  

Najib’s continuing cowardly (il)logic in refusing to debate Anwar

By Nathaniel Tan,

Sigh, just how bodoh can one get?
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today said he is not afraid to debate with PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, but said the Opposition leader should solve his “personal problem” of his sodomy charge before meddling with other affairs.
“Why should I afraid of debating with him? I’m prime minister, I have all information. If I expose them… adoi… he will get a fever,” quipped Najib to the laughter of over 7,000 Felda settlers in Felda Chemplak, Tenang today.
“Do I need to debate with him?” asked Najib, who was met with a resounding “No!” from the animated crowd.
Err. What do unproven sodomy accusations have to do with the Opposition Leader challenging the Prime Minister to a debate on the economy?
It’s so very simple, if Najib is not afraid, then debate. If he don’t debate, means he sees that he has more to lose than to gain by doing so. Anything else is mere spin.
So? Bacul say bacul lah!