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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Palanivel wants NS apology over haircut prank

Basant shows the condition of his hair, which was cut while he was asleep at an NS camp. — Bernama pic
BATU CAVES, Jan 20 — MIC president Datuk G. Palanivel has called on National Service officials to apologise to the Sikh community for allowing a Sikh trainee’s hair to be cut under their watch. He said it was a serious matter as the alleged cutting 18-year-old Basant Singh’s hair by trainees at Seri Impian Training Camp at Sungai Bakap, Penang had “affected his spirituality”.
“There should be an apology to the Sikh community on the part of the National Service officials,” Palanivel said here today.
Although he dismissed the idea that the incident would cause social tension, the former Hulu Selangor MP stressed that an apology was needed to keep the situation from deteriorating.
“These are the little things that they must solve immediately. One apology will solve the thing,” he said.
He urged that “serious action” be taken to find the culprits as unshorn hair was a “very sacred symbol” for Sikhs, adding that the Sikh community was likely very unhappy about the incident.
Basant said on Tuesday that his one metre-long hair, which has not been cut since birth, had been snipped by about 60cm while he and 10 other trainees were asleep at the camp dormitory.
His father, Surinderpal Singh, a priest attached to the Gurdwara Sahib in front of the Sungai Pari flats in Ipoh, told The Malaysian Insider that the incident was serious as it showed a lack of understanding among youths as to the significance of unshorn hair in Sikhism.
In Sikhism, men keep their hair uncut and do not shave their facial hair in a practice is known as “kesh”.
Surinderpal said the incident also reflected the lax security at National Service camps, pointing out that the trainees should not be allowed to carry sharp objects with them.
He added that his son had been “traumatised” by the incident and was refusing to return to training, which began on January 4 and ends on March 13.
The National Service training programme department, however, said yesterday it was satisfied that there had been “no malice” involved in the cutting of Basant’s hair.
Its director-general, Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil, said the investigating formed to look into Basant’s complaint reached the conclusion after calling 16 witnesses.
The witnesses included trainees, trainers, staff and the commandant of Seri Impian Training Camp, where the incident took place.
The panel comprised the department’s director of operations Colonel Sanusi Hashim and Commander Wan Zarihan Wan Ismail and Lieutenant Thomas Anak Aungoom of the Royal Malaysian Navy.
Abdul Hadi added that the panel’s report had been presented at the post-Cabinet meeting of the Defence Ministry.

Five arrested at 'Interlok' demo at Batu Caves

(Malaysiakini) A protest by the Human Rights Party (HRP) urging the government to ban the controversial Malay literature textbook Interlok, turned rowdy after five of its members were arrested including the party's information chief S Jayathas.

NONESome 15 members of HRP demonstrated outside the Batu Caves Temple complex while Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was delivering his keynote speech inside the temple in conjunction with the Thaipusam festivities.

About 20 uniformed police, a riot squad and several plainclothes police personnel moved in on the protesters while Jayathas was reading from his press statement.
The scuffle took place when the protesters attempted to break through police barricades near the temple gate.

Four were seen physically assaulted by eight cops and were later arrested, while the others fled the area.

Demonstrators were also spotted carrying placards - with slogans like "mansuhkan (abolish) Interlok", "Tamil youngster do not support BN" and "We want justice" among others.

The police also stopped bystanders and the media from taking photographs.

Tunisia leader vows break with past

Fouad Mebazaa, Tunisia's interim president, has promised a "total break" with the past and hailed "a revolution of dignity and liberty" after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the president, fled into exile amid a popular uprising.
Mebazaa's remarks came as prosecutors opened a vast inquiry into the affairs of Ben Ali, including investigations into his assets and the arrest of dozens of family members.
Speaking on Tunisian state television on Wednesday, Mebazaa said there would be a complete separation between the state and political parties.
Rejecting the ways of the previous government, he said "together we can write a new page in the history of our country".
In his first public appearance since being sworn into office on Saturday, Mebazaa also vowed to ensure an amnesty for political prisoners, media freedoms and an independent judiciary.

'Fresh start'
However, protests against the new government continued on Wednesday, with many Tunisians angry that several members of the previous government were named in a so-called "unity government" announced on Monday.

Hundreds of protesters led a rally in central Tunis demanding that former allies of deposed Ben Ali stop leave  power and later, about 30 youths broke a curfew and set up camp to stage a sit-in near the heavily guarded interior ministry.
"This all comes at a time when Tunisians are showing little patience with this government and saying that they don't really see radical change," Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra said, reporting from Tunis.
"Therefore they are building up more momentum to see some of the ministers who were associated with Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali leave this government.
"They are looking forward to a fresh start in Tunisia. They are saying that they have been betrayed by the old guard."

Assets inquiry
Tunisian investigators have said they will look into the extensive domestic and foreign assets held by Ben Ali.

The Swiss government earlier said it had frozen Ben Ali's funds in Switzerland, as the country "wants to avoid our financial centre being used to hide funds illegally taken from the populations concerned," Micheline Calmy-Rey, the country's foreign minister, said.
Follow Al Jazeera's coverage of the
turmoil in Tunisia

Swiss authorities have estimated that Tunisian government officials have put about $620 million into Swiss banks.

The central bank has already taken over a bank owned by Ben Ali's brother-in-law in the first such move against assets controlled by the former president's influential family, which formed the core of Tunisia's business elite.
Tunisian television reported that 33 members of the deposed leader's family had been arrested on suspicion of "crimes against Tunisia".
"Investigations will be carried out in order for them to face justice," a statement read out on state television said, citing an "official source".

It showed footage of gold and jewellery allegedly found in the possession of the arrested members of Ben Ali's family.

Cabinet controversy
Tunisia's new government is to hold its first cabinet meeting on Thursday but it remains clear if the cabinet can survive after the withdrawal of a number of opposition figures angry over the number of Ben Ali loyalists handed positions.

Negotiations over the inclusion in government of the main UGTT trade union, three members of which pulled out on Tuesday, broke down on Wednesday.

Abdessalem Jrad, the secretary general of the UGTT, said the group could not be part of a government "that includes symbols of the old regime".

Ahelbarra said the government had only hours in which to convince the unions to rejoin the government, which could help to gain popular support.
"They are desperate to patch together a strong coalition government," he said.
"The biggest problem they are facing is that a lot of Tunisians still consider this government illegitimate.
"And if those who walked out yesterday maintain their positions, this could be the beginning of the end of this coalition government."
Meanwhile, the Tunisian government gave legal status to three parties barred under the previous administration and freed a dissident journalist, Fahem Boukadous, who was sentenced to four years in prison last year for his work.
Tunisia's new leadership is due to hold democratic parliamentary and presidential elections in the next six months, although no dates have been set. Under the constitution, elections should take place in less than two months.
Al Jazeera and agencies                 

Muhyiddin: Be sensitive to other’s beliefs

Muhyiddin wished the Indian community a happy Thaipusam. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday urged the people to respect each other’s religious beliefs despite practising different religions.
In his message to the Indian community who usher the Thaipusam festival today, Muhyiddin said the sense of belonging and tolerance among the people in a multiracial country can contribute to the stability and harmony of the country.

“I call upon all Malaysians to be sensitive to each others believe and religion, no matter what race or religion they practised,” he said here today.

The deputy prime minister was confident that if the ideals of 1 Malaysia are followed “religiously”, the people can improve their understanding and relationship amongst one another.

Muhyiddin also took the opportunity to wish a Happy Thaipusam to the Indian community throughout the country, on behalf of his family. — Bernama

Anwar bertegas ajak PM berdebat

PETALING JAYA: Ketua Umum PKR Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim menegaskan bahawa beliau masih tidak berganjak dengan pendiriannya mengajak Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak untuk berdebat secara terbuka.

Ketua Pembangkang itu berkata, “saya memandang serius laporan Agensi Berita Nasional (Bernama) bahawa saya tidak mahu berbahas secara terbuka dengan Dato’ Seri Najib.

“Laporan tersebut kononnya memetik kenyataan saya di Alor Setar seusai Majlis Wacana Maqasid Syariah di Kolej Insaniah Alor Setar semalam,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan media.

The race and religion politics of BN are outdated

In the past, Umno could say one thing to the Malays, MCA one thing to the Chinese, and MIC another thing to the Indians. Today, with the communications revolution, Barisan Nasional can no longer run with the hares and hunt with the hounds.
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).

Yet another Malay who joined the DAP

The short-sleeved white shirt was a dead giveaway. It’s marked out Mr Zairil Khir Johari as an active member of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), as it is the attire favoured by this Chinese-based party.
‘I’m just an ordinary member,’ he said.
But he already devotes a substantial amount of time to party work. The 28-year-old businessman had made his maiden political appearance last month when he gave a well-received speech at the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) convention in Penang. The DAP is one of the parties making up the opposition PR alliance.

His speech raised a few eyebrows for two reasons: one, he is a Malay who has joined this Chinese-led party; and two, he is the son of an illustrious Umno politician, Tan Sri Khir Johari.
As his late father had served in the Cabinet of the first three prime ministers in a career spanning almost 30 years, the decision not to join Umno sent an uncomfortable signal to the dominant Malay party.
But it was his choice of DAP that caused the greatest stir. It is rare for a Malay to join this party seen by many Malays to be a Chinese chauvinist party.
He is not the first Malay to do so. Three years ago, Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim, a former vice-chairman of anti-graft organisation Transparency International, also made waves when he joined the DAP.
There have been other Malays within the party as well, but none as high-profile as Mr Zairil.
The DAP hopes these high-profile members can help allay the anxiety among Malays about it. The Malay acceptance of the DAP, as Mr Zairil puts it, ‘is at its lowest point’.
This is not good news when the Malay population is growing much faster than the non-Malays, and as more seats become mixed constituencies. In the 2008 general election, the DAP won the Malay votes because of the backlash against Umno but it won’t be able to count on this in the next general election, widely believed to be called this year.
Political analyst Ibrahim Suffian, who runs the pollster Merdeka Centre, said the DAP must transform from being operationally a Chinese party into a true national party for its survival.
Mr Zairil said it was unfortunate that DAP is saddled with an anti-Malay image, recalling how he was asked by a well-to-do Malay woman recently if Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng – who is also DAP’s secretary-general – was anti-Malay.
Flabbergasted, he pointed out that the authorities in Penang are so meticulous that the island even separates its revenues from halal and non-halal sources. Islamic activities are funded only from halal sources.
‘It’s all vicious spin,’ he said.
But he realised this perception is far-reaching when some Malays accused him of betraying his race by joining the DAP. Fortunately, his friends and family were wholly supportive.
He, however, does not believe that the DAP should try to recruit more Malays as part of its efforts to shed its anti-Malay image. Instead, he believes it should work on issues affecting the Malay working class, such as jobs, housing and transportation.
These issues are, in fact, the concerns of the urban poor of all races. He warned that the DAP must avoid playing to the ruling Barisan Nasional’s mould of racial politics. ‘That would be silly,’ he said.
In a bid to attract more Malays into its fold, the party has set up several Malay-led branches in Kuala Lumpur.
So far, it’s still an uphill battle. But the party is banking on the younger generation to be more open, its strategist Liew Chin Tong said.
[Source: Singapore Straits Times]

Little Napoleons in the Selangor state civil service

Ah Seong ( at the kaunter pertanyaan at a Majlis Perbandaran in Selangor : Encik, saya nak check saya punya lesen niaga pasar malam sudah lulus, kah?
Little Napoleon attending at the counter :  Nombor rujukan?
Ah Seong hands over the acknowledgment of receipt given to him when he handed in his application some three months ago.
Little Napoleon : Tunggu sekejap, saya check.
Little Napoleon disappears, leaving Ah Seong waiting at the counter, and returns about 15 minutes later.
Little Napoleon : Belum lagi. YB masih sedang check you punya permohonan.
Ah Seong : Ah, belum lagi? Check apa lagi? Dulu satu bulan sudah ok.
Little Napoleon : Dulu kerajaan lain, sekarang kerajaan lain, mah
Ah Seong : Dulu kerajaan lain, sekarang kerajaan lain, tapi lesen sama saja, mah. Apa susah mau kasi lesen?
Little Napoleon : Dulu punya kerajaan, kautim RM50 you punya lesen sudah lama keluar. Sekarang punya kerajaan, semua YB mahu check. Ini mahu check, itu mahu check. It hari you pilih ini kerajaan, bukan? Ah, sekarang you jangan komplen, lah!
Ah Seong : Tiu, dua-dua pun sama, tak boleh pakai
This has been going on for some time now in Selangor.
Trouble is, no one in government saw it fit to report this to us.
Policy decisions with a view to improving the delivery system to the public are being frustrated by civil servant front liners who deal with the public.
These civil servants have, along the way, forgotten that they are to serve the rakyat, and not their political masters, UMNO.
Their goal : to leave the public with the impression that the present state government is wholly incompetent to manage the state and voting them in was a huge mistake.
True, I wouldn’t give the present government an ‘A’ for governance, but I would not fail them either. It hasn’t been all bad, or I would not have hosted ‘Selepas Tsunami’.
What these little Napoleons in the state civil service are trying to do is, on premises mischievously contrived by themselves, agitate disaffection against the state government.
In the language that BN is so fond of using, what they are doing is seditious.
In the days of old before the law of sedition was conjured, what these little Napoleons are plotting and carrying through would be treated as treason, and they would be beheaded.
They are betraying the very ones they are to serve.
You and I.
I don’t know about you, but I am heading out to the Kelana Jaya Stadium this Sunday to have my say.

India's Tejas Fighter: Flying Turkey?

Image(Asia Sentinel) India's defense establishment develops a 30-year-old fighter jet

India's Tejas indigenous Light Combat Aircraft has received its initial operational clearance, paving the way for its induction into the Indian Air Force by June.

However, the Tejas takes flight amid concerns that while the aircraft is an extremely expensive attempt at widening and deepening India's high-tech industrial base, it has only produced what amounts to a 30-year-old aircraft.

In a further disheartening contrast, the Tejas, presumably India's most technically advanced indigenous aircraft program, was rolled out at the same time as China chose to unveil, ahead of President Hu Jintao's US trip, its J-20 so-called 'stealth' fighter, designed to rival the best offerings from the US's Boeing, Lockheed and others, to the general amazement of the intelligence community.

"It is part of the story of India's lamentable and expensive history of domestic defense procurement programs," said a London-based security analyst. The analyst also questioned the aircraft's role, asking: "What is a 'lightweight fighter' in the Indian strategic context given their large number of highly capable Russian long-range aircraft? Is it an advanced trainer or intended for use in low intensity operations, i.e. against internal insurgents?"

India has five long-range Sukhoi squadrons in operation, which total around 105 aircraft, and aims to possess another 280 such fighters.

As has been the case of several domestic defense projects, India conceptualized the long delayed light fighter program as long ago as 1983, with the government eventually pumping nearly Rs145 billion (US$3.2 billion) into a development effort that was initially budgeted at slightly over Rs 5.5 billion.

The present Tejas is said to approximate Sweden's Saab JAS 39 Gripen, which was rolled out in 1984 – 27 years ago. The program has suffered major bottlenecks due to sanctions on imported high-tech possible dual use technology and equipment that was imposed by America following nuclear weapons tests by India in May 1998.

Nonetheless, Defense Minister A K Antony said the country's Air Force and Navy would ultimately deploy 200 such fighters, replacing the ageing and accident prone Russian MiG-21 fleet.

The Tejas is touted as a fourth-generation fighter, developed by India's state-run Aeronautical Defense Agency and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd with several public-private tie-ups. Stealth capabilities could upgrade the aircraft to fifth-generation levels.

The Tejas is expected to get its final clearance over the next two years for formation of a squadron by 2013 or early 2014, India's Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal P Naik said.

Ironically, in a reflection of changed Indo-US equations, the initial 40 Tejas aircraft will be powered by American GE-404 engines while the rest (Tejas Mk-2) will be equipped with more powerful GE-414 engines.

Future versions of the plane are slated to be driven by the domestically developed Kaveri aero-engine program with no certainty about the final completion period. The indigenization level in Tejas is presently about 65 percent and is expected to be scaled to 75-80 percent.

India continues to be one of the largest importers of weapons globally due to its inability to develop an effective indigenous delivery of weapons systems and emergence of private industry.

In the decade that has followed the 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan, India's arms purchase deal value has surpassed US$50 billion, with every sign of such momentum being carried over the next decade and crossing US$100 billion. After the terrorist attack on Mumbai by Pakistani-based militants in November 2008, India briefly considered attacking Pakistan but backed away because top military officials were afraid they would lose.

Most observers agree that the performance of the state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization that oversees all defense production has not been up to the mark and there is need to incorporate foreign technology and help.

Among the severely delayed DRDO projects are the Arjun main battle tank and attempts to modernize a Russian aircraft carrier, both of which are years behind schedule.

Meanwhile, the emergence of America as India's new military partner is even as New Delhi looks beyond Russia, India's traditional supplier dating back to the Cold War era. Problems with Russia include servicing and spare parts delays and obsolete technology.

Keen to diversify its weapons procurement sourcing, India has told US to ease its export control restrictions to allow high-end weapons technology tie-ups between the two nations.

America has also been looking to sweeten defense deals with India to bag new contracts.

India Air Power
Currently, India is in the process of building a fighter jet fleet that will comprise imported multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) that will fit between the more powerful Russian Sukhoi-30 and the Tejas.

The competition is stiff for India's largest ever defense deal, the US$12 billion 126 medium MRCA contract, with the six players in the fray keen to outdo each other. Lockheed Martin, Boeing (American), Dassault's Rafale (French), Gripen (Sweden), MiG (Russian) and Eurofighter Typhoon (a consortium of British, German, Italian and Spanish companies) have begun presenting their fighter jets for flight testing to the IAF.

The country originally ordered 50 Su-30 MKIs from Russia in 1996 and additional 40 fighters in 2007. India's state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is contracted to build 140 more by 2017.

The Russian MiGs formed the backbone of India's air strike for a long time. However, technical snags, shoddy servicing and non-availability of spares resulted in many MIGs going down, killing pilots and maiming India's air force capabilities.

Siddharth Srivastava is a New Delhi-based journalist. He can be reached at sidsri@yahoo.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Court to hear application by Teoh’s family on Jan 31

The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Shah Alam High Court will hear an application for a revision of the open verdict judgment in the Teoh Beng Hock inquest on Jan 31.

The Teoh family’s lawyer, Gobind Singh Deo, said that Justice Datuk Mohtaruddin Baki would hear the case at 9am.

“I haven’t had a chance to speak in person to the family,” he said.

Meanwhile, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said yesterday that it was still “not too late” to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe into the cause of Teoh Beng Hock’s pre-fall neck injury.

He said in his statement that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had pledged his commitment “to unravel the mystery” behind Teoh’s death in Tenang on Tuesday.

“If so, it is not too late for him to meet the demands of Teoh’s family and the overwhelming majority of Malaysians for an inquiry,” Lim said.

He also questioned Najib’s silence on the purpose of Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s application to revise the “Open Verdict” inquest finding, and whether he sought a revision to “Death by Homicide” or “Death by Suicide”.

Teoh, the political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam, Selangor after he had given a statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in the same building.

Selangor Assembly Speaker Declares Port Klang Seat Vacant

SHAH ALAM, Jan 19 (Bernama) -- Selangor State Assembly Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim today declared the Port Klang state seat vacant, saying assemblyman Badrul Hisham Abdullah had failed to attend sittings for six months without a valid reason.

He said the seat fell vacant effective Jan 16.

Badrul Hisham, who had won the seat on a Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) ticket in the general election in 2008, quit the party on 29 October 2009.

At a press conference at his office here, Teng explained that there were three sittings of the state assembly last year, from April 12 to 14, July 12 to 15 and Nov 8 to 15.

He said Badrul Hisham was present on all three days of the April sitting and absent for two days (July 13 and 14) of the July sitting and on all the six days of the November sitting.

Teng said Badrul Hisham produced a medical certificate for his absence on the two days of the July sitting and "admitted that he was absent from the whole (November) meeting via his letter dated November 2010 which reached my office on Dec 10, 2010".

He said Badrul Hisham, in his letter, sought leave for his absence, stating that he sought traditional treatment in Pahang during the period of the November sitting.

Teng said he replied the letter on Dec 21, 2010, informing Badrul Hisham that the reason for his absence was unacceptable based on two grounds - firstly, he did not apply for leave before or during the sitting and, secondly, he did not give a concrete reason for his late application to be acceptable.

"Hence, I concluded that his absence at the November sitting was without leave. To my decision, Badrul Hisham replied in his letter dated Jan 5, 2011 seeking forgiveness, but no other reason was given.

"Article 69 of the Laws of the Constitution of Selangor 1959 states that if a member of the legislative assembly is, without the leave of the Speaker, absent from every sitting thereof for a period of six months, his seat shall be declared vacant by the Speaker.

"Therefore, I had to decide if YB Badrul Hisham's absence at the sitting fell within Article 69 of the State Constitution and, thereby, whether the seat falls vacant," he said.

"The issue I had to decide was whether by the provision of Article 69, Badrul Hisham has been absent from every sitting of the Legislative Assembly for a period of six months. In short, when did the six months begin to run, from July 16 or Nov 8, 2010?" he said.

Teng said his research showed that there was no reported precedence on this issue either in parliament or any of the state legislative assemblies in Malaysia.

He said reference to the "Erskine May: Parliamentary Practice" did not help as the matter before him was one of interpretation of the constitutional provision and not of parliamentary practice.

Denmark starts cartoon attack trial

A Somali man charged with trying to kill a Dane who caricatured Prophet Mohammad has appeared in court, saying he was only trying to scare the cartoonist.

The 29-year-old defendant, who axed his way into the home of Kurt Westergaard on New Years Day last year, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder on the first day of his trial on Wednesday.

"I was irritated and frustrated by his comments. I wanted to frighten him but not to kill him," he told a packed court in the central Danish town of Arhus.

The man was also charged with attempted murder for throwing the axe at police when they confronted him. He could face life in prison if found guilty on all counts: attempted terrorism, attempted murder, attacking a police officer and illegal arms possession.

The defendant, who Danish intelligence police say is linked to the Somali movement al-Shabab, insisted he had "bought the axe to help a friend cut down a tree."

"But I brought it with me to Arhus because I was very angry with [Westergaard] and wanted to break down his door to talk with him," he said.

'Very violent'

Westergaard locked himself inside a panic room and was unharmed in the attack.

At the opening of the trial, prosecutor Kristen Dyrman played recordings of Westergaard's two calls to police during the break-in for the nine jury members.

"He is breaking down the door! It's very violent. You must come immediately," the cartoonist screamed, insisting: "You must come now or I won't survive. He is going to kill me!"

When police arrived, the man came out wielding his axe and a knife. He was shot twice and placed under arrest.

The Somali has a residence permit in Denmark where he has lived since 1996.

The prosecutor said the Danish intelligence agency started monitoring him by mid-2009 because of his frequent trips to Somalia where he claimed he was involved in "humanitarian aid projects."

Westergaard has faced numerous death threats since the publication of his drawing of the Prophet Mohammad wearing a turban-shaped bomb with a lit fuse.

It appeared in the Jyllands-Posten daily on September 30, 2005 along with 11 other cartoons of the Muslim prophet, and sparked angry and even deadly protests across the Islamic world in early 2006.

The trial is set to last for nine days and the verdict is expected around the first week of February.

Source : Agencies

Death threat group accused of perverting jihad call

Zaid Ibrahim launches Parti Kita

Uthayakumar’s Sedition trial: Malay-sian police racist ‘Operasi Copperhead” saw ‘ethnic cleansing”, police killing of hundreds of Indians in lock-ups and shooting dead by police policy.

The Federal Police deputy Criminal Investigations department deputy chief on 18/1/11 confirmed at P. Uthayakumar’s sedition trial on 18/1/11 at the K.L.

Sessions Court that in 2001 or so Operasi Copperhead was launched targeting Indian suspects.

When objected to by the DPP, Uthayakumar said his defence is that it was from this period onwards that hundreds of Indian youths being racially profiled, arrested, beaten up in police lock ups, killed in police lock ups or simply shot dead in a police shoot to kill policy of mostly Indians. Uthayakumar showed evidence that about 60% of the cases killings in police custody and shot dead by the police were Indians victims, when they form only 8% of the Malaysian population. And this policy is continuing up to date. Surprisingly in the year 2008 there had been zero Indians killed in police custody as a direct result of the 25th November 2007 Hindraf Rally.

P. Uthayakumar’s point is that if given equal skills, training, business loans, licences, permits, business opportunities projects and contracts 95% of the Indians would not want to become gangsters or criminals.

Like every other Malay and Chinese most of them have been denied the business opportunities that had forced them into a world of crime.

Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice

Malays given enough privileges to excel, says Zaid

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 – Kita president Datuk Zaid Ibrahim claimed today that his party would help save the Malays from complacency, pointing out that the community already has sufficient rights and privileges to excel.

The former Umno politician said in his keynote address at Kita’s grand launch this morning that the party would not condone the belief that the community deserved more rights than other races simply because of its constitutional position.

“For the Malays, Kita will not mislead you with a false sense of security by making you believe that you have more rights than the other races.

“We will tell you that you already have enough rights and privileges to excel; what you need is to improve your skills and competitiveness to face this 21st century,” he said when outlining Kita’s ideals during the launch.

He pledged that Kita would adhere to Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which underscores the special positions of the Malays but warned that the provision should not be used as a tool to discriminate against others.

“There is no country in this modern world that can survive if its people are segregated and broken into classes like what we are practising today.

“Kita will not allow the provision to be abused and steps needed to achieve the objective of the provision will be presented to Parliament,” he said.

Zaid, who recently quit PKR, added that Kita could help the Malays protect the community’s name by granting equal education opportunities to all and offering the best teachers to help them hone their skills.

“You will become successful individuals in the true meaning of the word. You will not need to unsheathe your keris so that others fear you or champion your origins in order to seem special.

“You will no longer be a mere definition in the Federal Constitution. You will be a true Malay in the Malaysian community at large,” he said.

Zaid also claimed Kita would ensure that Muslims achieved spiritual excellence as promised in Islam, pointing out that no one could strip a person of his or her religion.

“Islam must be led and nurtured by Islamic intellectuals and scholars with honest hearts and are merciful and compassionate as Islam is a caring religion.

“Bureaucrats, those who merely work for salaries and politicians are only able to pollute the good name of Islam by implementing regulations that curb and confuse and bring harm to religious harmony and tolerance in the country,” he said.

Zaid added that if the nation truly accepted the sovereignty of the Federal Constitution as its driving principle, it would be easier to find solutions to the many racial and religious conflicts faced by the country.

“Issues involving houses of worship, conflict over the jurisdictions of the civil and Syariah courts and many other matters continue to remain unresolved today.

“Islam, as the official religion, will continue to be respected and be restored to its rightful position if it is no longer politicised,” he said.

‘If Interlok stays, MIC should leave’

PETALING JAYA: MIC should pull out from the Barisan Nasional coalition if the controversial Interlok novel is not removed from the school syllabus, said an Indian business group today.

Malaysian Indian Business Association (Miba) president P Sivakumar said if the Cabinet resolved to retain the book despite MIC’s strong protest, it would be nothing short of disrespect.

“Following yesterday’s meeting between Indian reps and Education Ministry officials, the Indian community is waiting to see if MIC is powerful enough to remove the book,” he told FMT.

“The decision to remove the book should have been made the moment MIC objected to show respect to the BN’s long-term component party.

“MIC president G Palanivel repeatedly aired his dissatisfaction, he was inflexible in his stand and the BN leadership should have heeded this,” he added.

Take legal action
Sivakumar also urged MIC’s central working committee member S Vell Paari to make good on his threat to take legal action if the Interlok novel was allowed to remain in the syllabus.

“He should proceed with the court action if the Cabinet decides otherwise, the Indian community is very angry and something must be done about it,” he added.

Last week, Vell Paari said he was considering filing a writ of mandamus to compel the Education Ministry to remove the book.

The Interlok novel had been incorporated for the Malay literature subject for Form Five students starting this year.

MIC and other Indian groups said the book, penned by national laureate Abdullah Hussain in 1971, contained inaccurate facts about the community and used the disparaging term “pariah” (outcaste).

However, certain quarters like the National Writers Federation (Gapena) defended the book, and rejected the calls for amendments to be made.

Meanwhile, Sivakumar said apart from the offensive term “pariah”, the author had also made baseless sweeping generalisations about the Indians.

“It is strange that educated groups like Gapena can defend such offensive words. Does the organisation want to see students taunting each other and getting involved in fights because of this?

“Is this how a responsible institution like Gapena hopes to promote racial unity?” he added.

Ban the novel
In another development, several Indian-based NGOs urged the Education Ministry to ban the Interlok novel, failing which, they said, they will take to the streets to protest.

The NGOs – represented by well known names such as the Malaysian Indian Students Association (MISA), Malaysian Indian Youth Council (MIYC), Tamil Youth Bell Club, Malaysian Indian Wellfare Association, Malaysian Indian Youth Wellfare Association and others – have given the minister one week to impement the ban on the controversial novel.

MISA president G Kishur told a press conference that the contents of the novel could be misconstrued by students as it was being used as a school text.

He added that the teaching methods implemented by teachers for the novel could be subjective and will involve individual opinions, emotions and perceptions of teachers.

“This could lead to cases of racism in schools,” he added.

A representative from MIYC, Reghu Devan Lopez, meanwhile slammed the Malaysian Youth Council (MYC) over its support for the novel.

He explained that MYC’s stand did not reflect the stand of its members, adding that only three associations under the umbrella body supported the novel.

Additional reporting by B Nantha Kumar

Peneroka Felda di Johor dapat lot tanah

PETALING JAYA: PAS mendakwa tindakan kerajaan memberi satu lot tanah kepada setiap peneroka di Johor yang melibatkan sebanyak 500 lot kesemuanya, bernilai RM8.5 juta adalah hasil dari perjuangan Persatuan Anak-anak Peneroka Felda Kebangsaan (Anak).

Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak mengumumkan pemberian lot tanah itu sebagai tapak rumah sempena lawatan beliau ke Felda Chempelak, Labis semalam.

Ketua Penerangan PAS, Idris Ahmad berkata, kerajaan sudah mula mengambil perhatian atas usaha gigih dan perjuangan Anak selama ini.

“Keputusan kerajaan mengambil berat masalah peneroka Felda kesan dari kesedaran peneroka bahawa hak mereka selama ini dinafikan oleh kerajaan Barisan Nasional.

“Semuanya hasil perjuangan melalui wadah Anak. PAS yakin keputusan ini dibuat terutama sambutan kepada Anak di kalangan masyarakat Felda amat menggalakkan.

“Ini ditambah pula dengan janji 100 hari Pakatan Rakyat yang akan menghapuskan Felda Plantations yang dianggap tidak adil kepada rakyat,” katanya dalam kenyataan media hari ini.

Menurut Idris, PAS yakin stok penimbal Umno di Felda semakin reput sehingga mendorong Najib meluluskan projek di Tenang.

PAS, katanya, mengharapkan Najib juga mengumumkan peruntukan kepada generasi kedua selain dari negeri Johor.

“Di seluruh negara terdapat 317 rancangan melibatkan lebih 112,000 peneroka. Tidak adillah jika peneroka Johor sahaja yang dapat, kebetulan ada pilihan raya kecil Tenang, bagaimana pula nasib peneroka di tempat yang tidak ada pilihan raya kecil,” tambahnya.

MIED fiasco: ‘Let the evidence talk’

KUALA LUMPUR: Former MIC Youth chief SA Vigneswaran is looking forward for the documents pertaining to the party’s education arm to be tendered in court.

On Jan 10, the High Court ordered Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) chairman S Samy Vellu and its seven trustees to provide several documents within 30 days.

The documents include those relating to the construction of the Asian Institute of Medicine Science and Technology (Aimst), which allegedly caused huge losses to the education arm of MIC.

Also on the list was the letter of appointment of former MIED chief executive officer P Chitirakala and her scope of work.

“Let’s hope they’will comply with the court order and let the documentary evidence ‘do the talking’ as to whether there is any truth to my allegations against these people,” said Vigneswaran.

He also claimed that his legal action was not an act of vengeance, but to ensure that MIED remained on a strong footing with all its assets intact to cater for the lower income group.

“All MIED assets should be accounted for and whoever misappropriated its assets should be accountable for their action,” he told FMT.

“I wish to reiterate that I have personal knowledge of a former senior MIED executive appointed by the chairman (Samy Vellu) swindling more than RM10 million,” he added.

No turning back

Vigneswaran also dismissed the speculation that he might backtrack on his legal action following his return to MIC, saying these were separate issues.

“It has been an uphill task for me and my legal team to arrive at this stage, it will be difficult to back down now.

“Probably the only way to persuade us, is if someone can assure us that MIED will not face a similar fate like Maika Holdings (MIC’s debt ridden financial arm),” he added.

Other than Samy Vellu, the other defendants are current MIC president G Palanivel, M Mahalingam, T Marimuthu, SK Ampikaipakam, KS Nijhar, K Kumaran and G Vadiveloo.

In the RM100 million suit, filed on July 5, MIED (Vigneswaran) claimed that all the defendants had breached their fiduciary and statutory duties, and failed to discharge their responsibilities as trustees and auditors, which caused MIED to suffer huge losses.

MIED is also seeking an injunction to restrain Samy Vellu from continuing to hold the post of chairman, strip him of his membership in MIED, and the return of all monies or profits made from MIED either by himself or through family members and close friends.

MIED also wants the court to order Samy Vellu to compensate all the financial losses incurred by the institute during his tenure as chairman.

Vigneswaran, who is also a member of MIED, had sought the court’s permission to initiate the suit under the Companies Act 1965.

The High Court would hear the suit on April 27 and some 50 witnesses, including Samy Vellu, are expected to take the stand.

All set for Thaipusam

KUALA LUMPUR: The stage is set for Thaipusam tomorrow, the largest annual religious gathering of Hindus in Malaysia.

The festival, which is to fulfil vows and pay penance, is dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvathi presented Lord Muruga a holy spear to fight evil.

It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Thai month, one of the most auspicious months in the Tamil calender, which falls tomorrow.

The celebration is a colourful fusion of faith, thanksgiving, and hope and it is usually celebrated in a grand manner at all major temples in the country from Kedah to Johor, with Hindus carrying various types of “kavadi” or milk pots.

Thaipusam is the next biggest celebration by Hindus after Deepavali. It usually falls in January or February each year, and also it is a day of sacrament and thanksgiving for Lord Muruga.

Hindus prepare themselves for this festival by cleansing their bodies through fasting and abstinence, usually observing a vegetarian diet for a certain period of time.

In Malaysia, this celebration climaxes at the Batu Caves Sri Subramaniyar Temple, where devotees carry their “kavadis” or milk pots up the 272 steps of the temple cave.

This celebration is not only attended by Hindus, but also atrracts various races from all walks of life, including tourists who are mesmerised by the colours and sounds of the festival.

Besides the grand procession at Batu Caves, Thaipusam is also celebrated in Penang, Perak, Pahang and Johor as well.

While the celebration reached its peak tomorrow, devotees have started paying their penance since a week ago, and last Sunday it was reported that some 100,000 people converged at Batu Caves to perform their rights.

The five-ton silver chariot bearing the idol of Lord Murugan left the Jalan Bandar Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Kuala Lumpur at midnight yesterday and reached the Baru Caves temple at noon today, marking the official start of the festival.

The Batu Caves Sri Subramaniyar Temple management committee chairman M Nadarajah told a press conference yesterday that all arrangements had been made for this year’s Thaipusam and the management was expecting a big crowd as usual.

Going green

Meanwhile in Penang, the focal point would be at the Balathandayuthapani Temple, known as the Waterfall Hill Temple which holds the distinction of being the oldest Hindu temple in the state.

The temples in Penang are going green this time around, prohibiting the use of styrofoam boxes used to pack food and other items.

Temple chairman P Kuvenaraju said although the ban on styrofoam boxes was implemented last year, it was not enforced.

“But this year we are implementing the ban. This year, Thaipusam would be greener and healthier than the previous years,” he said.

This Thaipusam would also enter the record book as Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is expected to visit the Sri Subramaniya Swami Temple, in Sungai Petani, Kedah, tomorrow.

This is the first time in more than a few decades that a prime minister is gracing the occasion.

“He (Najib) is proving that 1Malaysia is not a mere slogan. We are very happy to welcome him at the temple,” Kuvenaraju said.

Meanwhile, early this morning the silver chariot of Lord Murugan arrived at the MIC headquarters en route to Batu Caves. This is the first time in MIC history that a Thaipusam celebration was held in front of its headquarters.

Party president G Palanivel, who took over only two months ago from S Samy Vellu, was at hand to welcome the chariot with hordes of party members and leaders.

They broke 1,008 coconuts as a sign to discard bad luck.

Mahkamah bebas Tharmendran dari tahanan TUDM

KUALA LUMPUR: Mahkamah Tinggi hari ini memerintahkan bekas Sarjan Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM), N Tharmendran

Hakim Datuk Su Geok Yiam memerintahkan Tharmendran yang ditahan sejak 25 November lepas dibebaskan serta merta dari Kem Batu Kentomen, Jalan Ipoh.

Su membuat keputusan itu selepas membenarkan permohonan habeas corpus oleh Tharmendran untuk dibebaskan daripada tahanan TUDM.

Dalam afidavit sokongannya sebelum ini, Tharmendran mendakwa penahanan dan penangkapannya pada 25 November lepas adalah tidak berasas, salah dan tidak sah mengikut undang-undang dan berniat jahat.

Tharmendran, 42, mendakwa penahanan itu tidak mengikut undang-undang kerana dia adalah orang awam dan tidak lagi berkhidmat dengan TUDM sejak 28 Mei lepas.

Pada 6 Januari 2010, Tharmendran mengaku tidak bersalah di Mahkamah Sesyen Petaling Jaya terhadap pertuduhan bersubahat mencuri dua enjin pesawat F5 milik TUDM.

Dia didakwa bersubahat dengan Laskar Udara Mohamad Shukri Mohamad Yusop untuk mencuri dua enjin itu di Bangunan  Material Processing Shed MATRA 1, Pangkalan Udara TUDM Sungai Besi.
- Bernama

Malay history: What’s missing from the textbooks

By Joe Doe,

Brunei has always been known to be one of the earliest Muslim Kingdoms in Southeast Asia. They pride themselves in this fact. All their neighbors pride themselves in this too, and of course, since it is fact, it is irrefutable. Right?

Good. Let’s quickly look at some FACTS then:
It is taught in school textbooks that Pateh Berbai, the brother of Awang Semaun and Awang Alak Betatar, discovered Brunei. Awang Alak Betatar subsequently became Brunei’s first Sultan and was known as Sultan Muhammad Shah. Awang Semaun and Awang Alak Betatar were the famous heroes in Brunei during that time.

Sultan Muhammad Shah was the first Sultan of Brunei. He ruled Brunei from 1363 to 1402. He was the first Muslim ruler of Brunei as a result of his conversion to Islam in 1363 for his marriage to a Johorean-Temasik princess. Prior to conversion to Islam, he was known as Awang Alak Betatar.

He sent a mission to China in 1371 by which his name is recorded in Ming historical record as Mo-ha-mo-sha. Sultan Muhammad Shah died in 1402. Sultan Muhammad Shah was the first Sultan of Brunei. He ruled Brunei from 1363 to 1402. He married the daughter of Iskander, a Johorean-Temasik princess introduced by Bal-Paki, her brother-in-law to be.

So far so good... Oh Really?
Read the above again very carefully !! Sultan Muhammad Shah married a Johorean-Temasik princess in 1363. Now, for all those products of Biro Tata Negara (BTN) out there, what year was Malacca formed? 1403. So, there was a Johor king already in 1363? Are you going to argue with Ketuanan Brunei on this? (By the way, he’s more Melayu than YOU!) Also for those who insist that Penang be handed over to Kedah, read the following again and again …

The Johor ruler was under the Thais. The entire Peninsular belonged to the Thais! The ‘king’ of Singapore (Temasik), whom Parameswara of the Malaccan Sultanate murdered in cold blood was in fact the brother-in-Law of the ‘King’ of Pattani, who was under Ayodthaya rule. For those who do not know, Ayodthaya is in Thailand. And that, my friend was already well established before 1363.

Next, Kota Gelanggi was also another Thai City, (yet to be publicized). And why not? Because it is a Thai Buddhist kingdom. Yes, it’s along the Johor River. All I’m allowed to say at this point is that Kota Gelanggi is REALLY along the Johor River. Expose Kota Gelanggi, and you will find its 30ft Buddha statues and its many Buddhist Temples, in all it's glory.

So, for Penang to go back to Kedah, ALL of the peninsula needs to go back to the Thais. Sarawak needs to go back to Brunei, Brunei needs to go back to Majapahit, Sabah needs to go back to the Philippines, and Parameswara needs to go back to Palembang, leaving the Orang Asli in charge all over again. (I find it ludicrous that the Orang Asli are disqualified as ‘Bumiputera’ although they have been here since 60,000 years ago)

Next, the year 1363 is of great significance. Why? That was the year that the first Sultan of Brunei converted to Islam. And he immediately became the Ruler of Brunei? What was he before that? A fisherman? A carpenter? A farmer? What was Awang Alak Betatar in 1362? And what happened the following year when he became a Sultan? Is becoming a Muslim enough to justify becoming a Sultan? Was he the first person in Brunei to convert to Islam?

Let's scroll back time by 100 years; the year is now 1264. A full hundred years BEFORE Awang Alak Betatar converted to Islam, and declared himself a Sultan. A trip to Bandar Seri Begawan is not complete unless one visits the Muslim graves at Rangas. Chuck your ‘pantang’ out the window if you want to enjoy this first-hand, and in real life. Amongst these tombstones is the one of a Chinese Muslim by the name of Pu Kung Chih-mu. He was buried there in 1264. He was a Muslim, buried in a Muslim grave! This is more than a hundred years earlier, before the ascension of Awang Alak Betatar as the ‘first’ Sultan of Brunei. Not only that, he is not the only Chinese Muslim there. I cross-checked against the Brunei Museum Journal of 1993, and found that this has been so well documented!! In fact, this grave had already been found since 1973. Whole communities of Chinese Muslims had already been living in Kampong Batu well before the 12th Century. It is clearly recorded in the 1973 Brunei Museum Journal, and was visited by professors from Japan and China. Pictures are on page 3, 4, 6, 8 and 12. Some are even in colour.
So, here's another nugget for BTN un-educators. The Chinese brought Islam to this region in 1264. Wait! That's not even correct. It was even earlier, because, this Muslim Chinese died in 1264. He had lived a full life in Brunei before he died. And before anyone even thinks of contesting this, let me draw your attention to yet another well-established fact, and let’s see how early the Chinese arrived.

According to records – as in the ‘Notes on the Malay Archipelago and Malacca Compiled from Chinese Sources’ by WP Groeneveldt in 1880 – a Chinese Islamic trader arrived in Brunei in the 10th century. His name was P’u-lu-shieh. He was both a trader and a diplomat. SQ Fatimi writing in the Sociological Research Institute in Singapore in 1963 under an article entitled ‘Islam Comes to Malaysia’, P'u-lu-shieh name is akin to Abu al-Layth.

The Brunei King at that time was named ‘Hiang-ta’. The arrival of the diplomat-trader from China was greeted with great ceremony. If this is so, Islam actually arrived in Brunei in the year of 977.

If this is the year 977, and the Sultan’s name in the year 977 is Hiang-Ta, then how can Awang Alak Betatar be the ‘first’ Sultan of Brunei in 1363? For those with very bad logic (or timeline problems), the year 977 is 406 years older than 1363. And in the year 977, the Chinese were already sending Muslim ambassadors to Brunei. The real question should be, thus, who exactly was that ‘Hiang Ta’ who ruled Brunei in the year 977? An Iban? A Kadazan or a Chinese?

It gets even better. The MOST interesting thing was that the Brunei king’s delegation to China to return the emperor’s greetings was also headed by another Muslim official by the name of P’u A-li (Abu Ali).

Based on this fact alone, Abu Ali must have held an important position in the Brunei government if he was tasked to be Brunei’s ambassador in those days. This is again, irrefutable proof that there was already a government, with a King, and some members of his royal court were Muslims. Again, this is proof that Islam had already reached Brunei before the year 977. This is 75 years into the beginning of the Soong Dynasty, and only severely retarded people will say that Abu Ali was an Arab because of his name.

And by the way, Malacca was not to have been discovered for another 400 years. Is there a prawn under the stone? You can bet your bottom dollar (because Ringgit is worthless toilet paper) that whenever John Doe writes, there is. 

A number of European historians claimed that Brunei was still not a Muslim nation until the 15th century. However, the Ming Shih, Book 325, a Chinese reference book noted that the King of Brunei in 1370 was Ma-ho-mo-sa. Some say that this should be read as Mahmud Shah. In fact, local Brunei historians prefer to take this to refer to Muhammad Shah, the first Sultan of Brunei.

Robert Nicholl, a former Brunei Museum curator argued in another paper entitled ‘Notes on Some Controversial Issues in Brunei History’ in 1980 that the name Ma-ho-mo-sa could be pronounced as Maha Moksha which means ‘Great Eternity’. ‘Maha Mokhsa’ would make it a Buddhist name. Nicholl goes on to argue that even the Brunei Sultan who died in Nanjing in 1408 was not a Muslim. (History books always detail that the Sultan of Brunei went to China, but few will state that he died there),

Another historian Paul Pelliot said Ma-na-jo-kia-nai-nai was reconstituted as Maharajah Gyana (nai). But the closest title would have been Maharaja Karna. However Brunei historians have insisted that the King was Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan, who would have been the second Sultan of Brunei.

Nicholl further argued that Sultan Muhammad Shah converted to Islam as late as the 16th century and not during the 14th century as is widely known. However according to Brunei historians, Sultan Muhammad Shah converted to Islam in 1363 and that he ruled until 1402. After which time, it was Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan, who died in China who ascended the throne. That was when Sultan Ahmad reigned in Brunei beginning 1406.
And why did I bring up this detail? Simple !! Read the top all over again:
  • Sultan Muhammad Shah married a Johorean-Temasik Princess in 1363.
  • And that Kota Gelanggi and the entire peninsular Malaya belonged to the Thais. And if this is true and correct, then both the Sultan of Brunei and his wife, would have been Buddhists.
  • In fact, the entire peninsular Malaya had been Buddhist and/or Hindu ever since the second century when Lembah Bujang was built. And since this is the year 1363, all of Brunei and Borneo was also under the rule of King Hayam Wuruk, who was King of the Majapahit empire. And what religion did they have? (I’ll give you a hint... they built the Borobudor. And for those who claim that Borobudor is a mosque in disguise, please learn to recognize temple architecture.)

Borrobudor in all its splendour.
Oh, and even more important is this:

“Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan whose proper name is Zein Ul-Abidin, frequented the near distant islands, that He called ‘Solook’ (Sulu) from 1402 to 1424. Marrying the daughter (Parmursuli) of the Sulu Tomaoi (chief) Baginda” – it means he had a Filipino wife.

Also important to note, that since this is 1363, Parameswara had not yet swum across Pirate-Bay to reach Temasik yet. Hence, the need to locate the earlier kingdoms which pre-date ‘His Royal Pendatangness’.
During the reign of Wikramawardhana, the series of Ming armada naval expeditions led by Admiral Hajji Mahmud Shams (aka Zheng He), a Muslim Chinese admiral, arrived in Java for several times, spanning the period from 1405 to 1433. By 1430, Zheng He’s expeditions has established Muslim Chinese and Arab communities in northern ports of Java, and thus Islam began to gain foothold on Java’s northern coast. “Admiral Hajji Mahmud Shams (aka Zheng He) was so frustrated when he first arrived in Java, because he could not find a single halal restaurant there”, so wrote Mah Huan, his scribe, thus deciding to spread Islam to the “barbarians” as Chinese records would write.

Also interesting to note is the following:
“In late Yuan Dynasty, China became chaotic, people who lived along the coastal area of Fujian, under the leadership of Ong Sum Ping’s siblings, escaped to eastern Kalimantan — they landed at the river mouth. When they were exhausted, facing a shipping crisis, someone lost their arms. After that, the Kadazans named it as Sungai Kinabatangan — the place where the Chinese lost their arms.

Ong Sum Ping and his sister, and the Chinese people developed the area of Sungai Kinabatangan, and they increased their influences there. With the increase of his prosperity, the natives named him Raja, or King. The Chinese named him as ‘Chung Ping’ - meaning the General. We can clearly see that Ong Sum Ping controlled Eastern Kalimantan.

This is Ong Sum Ping Rd in Brunei.
(Part 2 will appear tomorrow)

Kenneth Hall, Maritime trade and state development in early Southeast Asia, citing Wang Gungwu, 'The Nanhai trade: a study of the early history of Chinese trade in the South China Sea', JMBRAS 31, 2 (1958): 33,  citing Paul Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese, studies in the historical geography of the Malay peninsula before 1500, Kuala Lumpur, 1961, and other secondary sources;

Yoshiaki Ishizawa, 'Chinese chronicles of C1st-5th century AD Funan', 
Yoshiaki Ishizawa, 'Chinese chronicles of C1st-5th century AD Funan', citing Wan Zhen, Nanzhou yuwuzhi.
Louise Levathes, When China Ruled the seas, citing the Liang Shu (History of the Liang dynasty) and (i) Paul Shao, Asiatic Influence in Precolumbian art, Ames, Iowa State Univ 1976,  and (ii) David H.Kelley, 'Nine lords of the night', Studies in the Archaeology of Mexico and Guatemala, 16, Berkeley, Univ of California Dept of Anthropology, Oct 1972 & 'Calendar animals and deities', Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 16, Albuqerque, Univ of New Mexico, 1960.
Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclop√¶dia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Ongkili, James P. "Ancient Chinese Trading Links." East Malaysia and Brunei. Ed. Wendy Hutton. Tuttle Publishing, 2001.
Saunders, Graham. A History of Brunei. London and New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002.
Wright, Leigh. "Brunei: An Historical Relic." Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Vol. 17 (1977).
"Background Note: Brunei Darussalam". U.S. State Department. Retrieved 2008-12-16., citing vol.231 of The Great Chinese Encyclopedia, compiled by court historians of the Wang emperors from 502 to 556 AD (other refs give the editor's name as Ma Tuan-Lin);
Prof V.G.Nair, Buddhist mission visits America before Columbus,, citing hearsay of an 1100 page diary in the Chinese imperial archives of which only 75 pages of partial excerpts seen; 
Kenneth L. Feder, Frauds, Myths and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology, p113-4, citing Frost, F, 1982, 
The Palos Verdes Chinese anchor mystery, Archaeology, Jan/Feb 23-27, 
quoted regarding irrelevance of these anchors.
J.V.G.Mills, introduction, to Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan; John Carswell, Blue & White, p.87; Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas; Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan. Inscription in Galle

Normala Sudirman calon PAS PRK Tenang

National Human Rights Conference on future and of marginalized and minority communities in Malaysia

For the first time in Malaysia, marginalized and minority communities are getting together to make a joint statement about the centrifugal forces in the race based majoritarian system marginalizing them and about how the time has come for the realignment of the forces to create a new and more vibrant Malaysia.
This conference is jointly organized by:

• Common Interest Group (CIGMA) of Sabah and Sarawak
• Borneo Resources Institute (BRI)
• Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU)
• Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA)
• Human Rights Foundation, London

The express purpose of this conference is to review and assess progress that has been made and not made in the protection and development of the marginalized and minority communities in Malaysia since independence and the root causes of these marginalizing tendencies.

Six papers will be presented along with live testimonies. Notable personalities including Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, Dr John Brian, Mr.
Sambulingam and Mr.Mark Bujang will be delivering papers.

This is an open invitation to all to come and be part of creating something uniquely Malaysian.

Venue: KL Chinese Assembly Hall
1 Jalan Maharajalela,
50150 Kuala Lumpur
Date: 23rd January 2011.

Be a participant in the making of Malaysian history. Watch the remaking of an aspect of Malaysian Society so far regarded as peripheral. Come and listen to and contribute to these groups as they come together to assume their rightful places.

Time : 9.00am to 3.00pm
No participation fees

Further info: 010 277 4096

Cabaran Debat: Laporan Bernama Mengelirukan


Saya memandang serius laporan Agensi Berita Nasional (Bernama) bahawa saya tidak mahu berbahas secara terbuka dengan Dato’ Sri Najib Razak. Laporan tersebut kononnya memetik kenyataan saya di Alor Setar seusai Majlis Wacana Maqosid Syariah di Insaniah Alor Setar petang tadi.

Saya tegaskan di sini, saya sedikit pun tidak berganjak dari kenyataan sebelumnya serta hasrat yang terkandung dalam surat rasmi berniat mempelawa YAB Perdana Menteri untuk berdebat secara terbuka demi kepentingan rakyat Malaysia seluruhnya.

Saya berharap pihak Bernama agar menarik balik serta membetulkan laporan bertarikh 19hb Januari 2011 yang berjudul “SAYA TIDAK AJAK PERDANA MENTERI BERDEBAT, HANYA BERBINCANG” – ANWAR.

Najib cannot be more wrong. Tenang is about future of Malaysia – no more TBH Kugan Aminurasyid Krishnan & unaccounted deaths

By Lim Kit Siang,

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Tenang yesterday that he also want to know the real truth of Teoh Beng Hock’s death.

If so, it is not too late for him to meet the demands of Teoh Beng Hock’s family and the overwhelming majority of Malaysians who want to see that justice is not only done but seen to be done by setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe further into the Coroner’s finding of Teoh Beng Hock’s prefall neck injury.

The Teoh Beng Hock RCI should be a meaningful and high-powered one comprising independent and credible members with the widest terms of reference to ferret out the truth of Teoh’s death and a commitment that the government will accept and implement its findings unlike the Lingam Videotape RCI.

Although Najib pledged his commitment “to unravel the mystery” behind Teoh’s death in Tenang yesterday, and that “we have ways to find out the truth”, government actions in the past 18 months since Teoh’s tragic and outrageous death at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009, where he had gone voluntarily to give his co-operation to the MACC as a witness and not as a suspect, had not inspired confidence that the Prime Minister would “leave no stone unturned” to uncover the whole truth about Teoh’s death.

Malaysians will not forget the contempt with which the then MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said had dismissed Teoh’s death at the MACC when he said:

“Teoh Beng Hock’s case is nothing. It is a very small case. We have handled much bigger cases.’’
It would appear that Teoh’s death, like the many other cases of suspicious deaths in official custody or involving official personnel, whether A. Kugan, Aminurasyid Amzah or the latest case of custodial death M. Krishnan, continue to be regarded as “small cases” when they should be given the most serious attention as they involve the loss of precious human lives.

Immediately after the Coroner’s finding of “Open Verdict” on January 5 into the inquest of Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death at the MACC Hqrs, ruling out “suicide” and its finding of Teoh’s prefall neck injury, I had called on the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to ensure that Teoh’s death does not end up as a “heinous crime without criminals” and for proper closure for the grieving Teoh Beng Hock family and the larger Malaysian people.

This is why the establishment of a RCI confined to the investigation procedures of MACC instead of probing further into the Coroner’s finding of Teoh’s pre-fall neck injury to establish the cause of Teoh’s death is unsatisfactory and unacceptable.

The Prime Minister has announced that the Attorney-General is seeking a revision of the “Open Verdict” of the Teoh Beng Hock inquest but is silent as to purpose of the Attorney-General’s application – whether to support Teoh Beng Hock’s family to revise the inquest finding from one of “Open Verdict” to one of “Death by Homicide” or to revise the Coroner’s “Open Verdict” to “Death by Suicide”.

In the circumstances, how can Najib’s assurance in Tenang that he also wants to uncover the whole truth of Teoh’s death to have any credibility, especially when he went on to say:

“This (by-election) is bigger than Teoh Beng Hock, this is about the future of Malaysia, the future of all of us, the future of our next generation.”

Najib cannot be more wrong. It is precisely because the Tenang by-election is “about the future of Malaysia, the future of all of us, the future of our next generation” that it is also about Teoh Beng Hock, to ensure that there should not be another Teoh Beng Hock tragedy in the country and to end the list of mysterious, outrageous and unaccounted deaths in official custody or involving official personnel – whether A. Kugan, Aminurasyid Amzah or M. Krishnan.

Dia meracau bila habis hujah

Sebelum itu beberapa minggu dia merajuk (sila klik sini baca sini klik) namun bila ada peluang dia cuba muncul menjadi penyelamat Najib untuk tarik perhatian terhadap kewujudanya dengan cabar Anwar Ibrahim berdebat.

Namun bagi che'GuBard itu bukan urusan sebenar tak kisah dia nak debat atau apa sahaja pokoknya tunai janji terhadap rakyat Rembau dan jengoklah rakyat Rembau. Dia dipilih bukan untuk sekejap - sekejap bercuti ...tempoh hari cuti lama berlatih Wataniah, kini cuti lama lagi berlatih terjun payung pula. Dia dipilih kerana janjinya Bn di Rembau.

Terbaru ketika che'GuBard desak dia supaya jengok Rembau khususnya kes tanah dirampas , rumah diroboh (sila klik sini untuk baca lanjut) dia begitu melenting. Dia melalui blog Umno kata che'GuBard tipu dan fitnah dia.

che'GuBard bangkitkan sekali isu janji Rembau (sila klik sini untuk baca lanjut). Perdebatan membawa kepada komunikasi sosial Twitter. Setelah dihimpit ternyata dia habis hujah dengan mula menyerang peribadi. Sila baca twitternya di bawah.

Kemudian setelah dihimpit dengan fakta seperti yang disiarkan di blog (sila klik link-link di atas) yang dikepilkan termasuk keratan Utusan Malaysia. Dia putus hujah dan mula menuduh che'GuBard dibeli dan seumpamanya melalui twitternya.

Wahai dia yang cerdik pandai kelahiran IPT terbaik dunia, ini sahaja hujah kamu.

che'GuBard memang sekolah tak setinggi kamu. Mak che'GuBard 'amah' Hospital Besar Seremban, Bapa che'GuBard cuma pekerja biasa LLN kemudian TNB bukan duta besar seperti ayah kamu. che'GuBard tidak sekaya kamu, kereta pun kadang kala ter'miss' bayar, rumah mujur sewa dengan makcik yang boleh lebih kurang. Namun maruah ini tak boleh dijual beli.

Memang che'GuBard susah, dihimpit kiri dan kanan. Malah bila che'GuBard mula bercakap soal ketelusan demokrasi dalam parti ramai juga mula memandang sinis dan mula menuduh che'GuBard dibayar.

Namun atas semangat anak muda menyerah kalah tidak sekali.

Bagi pihak pengundi Rembau janji Bn akan terus dituntut, Rembau akan terus disantuni dengan program bantuan dan seumpamanya semampu mungkin.

Pulau Jerejak: Stanley Park of Penang?

By Anil Netto,

You just have to shake your head in disbelief when you hear former Penang CM Koh Tsu Koon blaming the financial crisis in the 1990s, 9-11 and Sars for the setbacks suffered by Pulau Jerejak Resort.
Stanley Park in Vancouver City - Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Pathetic. In the first place, the place should never have been given to an Uda-majority joint-venture firm to manage.

Second, the 362-ha Pulau Jerejak should have been turned into a nature reserve for Penangites, already starved of green lungs on the island for rest and recreation. Do you know that the 405-ha Stanley Park (only slightly larger than Pulau Jerejak) next to Vancouver City draws 8 million visitors a year? (Click image above to expand.)

Vancouver residents are justifiably proud of their scenic park just minutes from the city centre. Read more about Stanley Park on Wikipedia here.

So I would support attempts by the Penang state government to return the island to the state’s control.
But not if it is going to be turned over to developers to build more expensive sea-front bungalows for the rich.