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Saturday, February 12, 2011

HRP fears crackdown before anti-Umno's racism march

(Malaysiakini) The Human Rights Party (HRP), which is organising the 'People's March in Solidarity Against Umno's Racism' on Feb 27, claims they have been subjected to intimidation in a move to thwart its efforts.

The demonstration is to protest against Interlok, the controversial novel that Form Five students use as a literature text.

hindraf feb 27 march against interlok 030211 posterHRP information chief S Jayathas told Malaysiakini when contacted that the police had called their branch in Perak and told its chief to cancel a car convoy planned for tomorrow to rally support before the big march on Feb 27.

The party had previously organised a similar convoy in Penang to publicise their upcoming protest in Kuala Lumpur.

However, the alleged phone call to their office in Perak was made after cops had attempted to “raid” HRP's branch in Johor.

“About half a dozen police officers had enquired from the neighbouring shops on the ground floor on the anti-Interlok and anti-Umno banners hanging outside the headquarters as the office was closed (yesterday),” he said.

NONEThe police also allegedly asked about the leaflets that are being circulated in Johor Baru regarding an anti-Interlok forum being organised at the HRP Johor office at 10.30am tomorrow.

Jayathas (left) added that they expect raids at their offices in Bangsar, Lunas, Prai, Buntong and Port Dickson until the march, which is in two weeks time.

“Irrespective of this police harassment, HRP will proceed with its peaceful Interlok march against Umno's racism at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC),” he said.

The issue first surfaced at the end of last year when Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department T Murugiah registered his protest against Interlok after his ministry discussed the novel with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).

MIC has also called for changes to be made to the novel before it is used as a literature textbook, as it contained a chapter that was offensive to Indians.

Indian NGOs decry the book's description of Indians in Malaysia as being from the lower caste, among other racial stereotypes.

Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had announced on Jan 27 that the novel will remain as the textbook for the literature component of the Bahasa Malaysia subject for Form Five, but with amendments to those parts deemed offensive by the Indian community.

Triumph as Mubarak quits

Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has resigned from his post, handing over power to the armed forces and ending a 30-year grip on the largest Arab nation.
In a stunning reversal of fortunes, Omar Suleiman, the new vice-president, announced in a televised address on Friday evening that the president was "waiving" his office, and had handed over authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
Suleiman's short statement was received with a roar of approval and by celebratory chanting and flag-waving from a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Cairo's Tahrir Square, as well as by other pro-democracy campaigners who were attending protests across the country for 18 days.

Tahrir Square responds to Mubarak's resignation
The top figure in Egypt's new regime is now Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the country's defence minister.
After the announcement, he drove past Mubarak's former palace, where crowds cheered him. He stopped briefly to thank and hail the pro-democracy campaigners before driving in.
In its third statement to the nation since Thursday, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it was examining the situation "in order to materialise the aspirations of our great nation".
The statement said that "resolutions and statements regarding the ... actions to be followed" in order to achieve the demands of the people will be handed down later.
In the televised address, the spokesman also extended "greetings and appreciation" to Mubarak for his service to the country, and saluted the "martyrs and those who have fallen" during the protests.
'Dream come true'
The crowd in Tahrir responded to Suleiman's statement by chanting "we have brought down the regime", while many were seen crying, cheering and embracing one another.
Mohamed ElBaradei, a prominent opposition leader, hailed the moment as being "a dream come true" while speaking to Al Jazeera.
"I can't tell you how every Egyptian feels today," he said. "We have been able to restore our humanity ... to be free and independent".
ElBaradei reiterated that Egypt now needs to return to stability, and proposed that a transition government be put in place for the next year.
Click here for more of Al Jazeera's special coverage 
The government, he said, would include figures from the army, from the opposition and from other circles.
"We need to go on ... our priority is to make sure the country is restored as a socially cohesive, economically vibrant and ... democratic country," he said.
Ayman Nour, another opposition figure and a former presidential candidate, told Al Jazeera that he would consider running for the presidency again if there was consensus on his candidacy.
He called Friday "the greatest day in Egyptian history".
"This nation has been born again. These people have been born again, and this is a new Egypt."
Amr Moussa, the secretary-general of the Arab league, said on Friday that he would resign from his post, one that he has headed for about ten years, "within weeks". Some analysts say he may well run for the Egyptian presidency when elections are held.
Following Mubarak's announcement, our correspondent in Tahrir Square, said: "Tonight, after all of these weeks of frustration, of violence, of intimidation ... today the people of Egypt undoubtedly [feel they] have been heard, not only by the president, but by people all around the world."
'Explosion of emotion'
Al Jazeera's correspondents across the country reported scenes of jubilation and celebration on the streets of major cities.
Our online producer in Tahrir Square describes scenes of celebration
"The sense of euphoria is simply indescribable," our correspondent at Mubarak's Heliopolis presidential palace, where at least ten thousand pro-democracy activists had gathered, said.
"I have waited, I have worked all my adult life to see the power of the people come to the fore and show itself. I am speechless," Dina Magdi, a pro-democracy campaigner in Tahrir Square told Al Jazeera.
"The moment is not only about Mubarak stepping down, it is also about people's power to bring about the change that no-one ... thought possible."
In Alexandria, Egypt's second city, our correspondent described an "explosion of emotion". He said that hundreds of thousands were celebrating in the streets.
'Farewell Friday'
Suleiman's announcement came after hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took the streets for the 18th consecutive day, marching on presidential palaces, state television buildings and other government installations. 
Earlier on Friday, hordes of pro-democracy activists took to the streets in several cities, including Alexandria [AFP]
Pro-democracy activists had dubbed the day 'Farewell Friday', and had called for "millions" to turn out and demand that Mubarak resign.
Hundreds of thousands were seen to have gathered at Cairo's Tahrir Square, which has been the focal point of protests, chanting slogans against the government.
Similar numbers were also reported in Alexandria, where some protesters marched to a presidential palace there.
Protests were also reported from the cities of Mansoura, Mahalla, Suez, Tanta and Ismailia with thousands in attendance.
Violence was reported in the north Sinai town of el-Arish, where protesters attempted to storm a police station.
At least one person was killed, and 20 wounded in that attack, our correspondent said.
Al Jazeera and agencies

The making of a police state

(Malaysiakini) No matter how hard Dr Mahathir Mohamad tries to whitewash his dark record over Operation Lallang, he will surely fail because there will be many more truth-seeking historians on stand-by to put the record straight.

At least one fact stands out: Mahathir now seems ashamed of his role in Ops Lalang. And so he should be after more than two decades of trying to justify the dastardly act.

But can he wriggle out of the responsibility even though former inspector-general of police Hanif Omar has so graciously come forward to claim credit for it?

First of all, what do you expect of a former IGP who was prepared to walk through the revolving door of a top police post upon retirement straight into the board of a corporation that makes its money from gambling in Genting Highlands?

There are two issues here: (i) the ethical problem of top government servants retiring into companies which have a bearing on their previous departments; (ii) the hypocrisy of prohibiting Muslim workers from serving in establishments which serve alcohol but allowing Muslim elite to be in the board of gambling outfits.

The former IGP now claims that the police force he led was responsible for Ops Lalang and not the prime minister, who was then also home minister.

Is this the way our democracy operates? What has happened to the principle of ministerial responsibility? True, these are mere principles you might say, but it also makes our ministers and former prime minister look like idiots.

Tunku's take on Ops Lalang
Of course, Mahathir would not want to be remembered as an idiot or a weak prime minister either. The truth is, as the Tunku Abdul Rahman said when Ops Lalang happened: “Overnight Malaysia has become a police state.”

In a police state, there is usually little or no distinction between the law and the exercise of political power by the executive. It does not mean that the police have taken over the political reins of power. Such a situation is facilitated by the existence of laws that allow detention without trial.

People in a police state experience restrictions on their freedoms of expression, assembly and association, while a secret police force operates outside the boundaries normally imposed by a constitutional state which can tell the executive who the “enemies of the state” are.

In 1987 when Ops Lalang was unleashed, our elderly 'Bapa Malaysia' could see that the country had become a police state even though the donkeys in the BN could not. He could also see the underlying reasons for Mahathir's actions and put it bluntly:

“Umno was facing a break-up. The prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad's hold on the party appeared critical when election rigging was alleged to have given him a very narrow victory against Tunku Razaleigh (Hamzah).

“The case alleging irregularities brought by Umno members was pending in court. If the judgment went against him he would have no choice but to step down. So he had to find a way out of his predicament.

“A national crisis had to be created to bring Umno together as a united force to fight a common enemy - and the imaginary enemy in this case was the Chinese community...

“If there was indeed a real security threat facing the country, why was action not taken much sooner when (the arrested and detained) ... were alleged to have made dangerous racial speeches as far back as 1984?”

The underlying factor, which determined the uncertainty in Malaysian politics ever since 1986, was the power struggle within Umno. This relentless power struggle was inevitable considering the size of the spoils of the New Economic Policy at stake.

The irreconcilable differences between Team A led by Mahathir and Team B led by Razaleigh was the destabilising factor which dominated the ruling BN coalition. This, in turn, set in train other destructive forces within the coalition's member parties.

Orchestrated communalism

And as communalism is the stock-in-trade of the BN communal partners in any precarious situation, race politics becomes the order of the day.

Not surprisingly, the factions in Umno began to beat their breasts about Malay dominance which had been aired by Abdullah Ahmad in 1986 while the MCA played out its own orchestrated role as the champion of the Chinese.

It was in this communalist climate that the usual “sensitive issues” were bandied around; raising such issues as non-qualified senior assistants being sent to Chinese-medium schools. If one studies the daily papers in the period before Oct 27, 1987 - the day of the crackdown - the characteristic racial exchanges between Umno and MCA can be clearly discerned.

What is characteristic of Malaysian politics is that when the dominant party Umno has internal problems, these problems are quickly externalised. Controversies then seem to break out over various government directives.

This included one regarding the recitation of a pledge in Malacca schools in May 1987, which the non-Malays regarded as having Islamic connotations and unacceptable to their beliefs.

In July, the 'electives' issue erupted over the Universiti Malaya's decision to scrap elective courses taught in English, Chinese and Tamil in the respective language departments. Meanwhile, within the Islamic quarter, there emerged a hue and cry over the Christianisation of Malays by Christian evangelists.

Then in October, the Education Ministry decided to appoint (linguistically) non-qualified senior officials in Chinese-medium primary schools. This met with outrage by the Chinese community who did not want the character and standards in these schools to be altered irreparably.

Mass meetings were held in various parts of the country calling upon the parties to resolve the issue. It must be noted that these meetings were orderly and there have been no complaints from the police who actually sanctioned the meetings.

In mid-October, Umno Youth staged a rally at an open-air stadium in Kuala Lumpur. At this rally, several leading Umno politicians including a cabinet minister who is now prime minister made racially provocative statements. Banners bearing flagrantly racist and seditious slogans such as “Bathe this (kris) in Chinese blood” and the like were blatantly displayed (See the government's White Paper).

These leading Umno politicians somehow escaped the ISA dragnet. Perhaps the gracious former IGP would care to explain why?

Games the police play

Were the police powerless in that situation? As I told my Special Branch interrogation officers during the Ops Lalang crackdown, the limits to the freedom of expression must surely lie not only where it trespasses upon racial sensitivities but also where the police feel confident of keeping law and order.

In this particular incident, the flaunting of racist and seditious banners and speeches clearly showed that the police had no control unless of course, they condoned it. And if they could not manage a few thousand people, how could they even contemplate allowing the proposed Umno anniversary rally of some 500,000 to take place?

By not disallowing the massive rally plans outright, the racial tension was left to build up and this provided the perfect justification for another ISA swoop on all Mahathir's dissidents.

Mahathir craftily counted on the ignorance of Tom Plate, the author of 'Conversations with Mahathir Mohamad', who did not follow through his probing by asking how the then home minister signed the two-year detention orders for detainees such as me after the 60-day solitary confinement.

He wouldn't have been able to wriggle out of that one nor will the former IGP be able to play the gracious government servant.
KUA KIA SOONG was arrested under Ops Lalang and spent 445 days behind bars. He is director of human rights group Suaram.

Taib may bar Jeffrey, Anwar from Sarawak

Rumours are making the rounds that the chief minister may slap a persona non grata order on opposition leaders.

KOTA KINABALU: Embattled Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud may soon slap a “persona non grata” order on Jeffrey Kitingan and Anwar Ibrahim, two influential opposition leaders.

Insiders in the know have tipped off FMT that Taib’s circle is mulling the drastic action to stop the two from bolstering the state opposition PKR and SNAP ahead of the impending state election.

An insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Taib’s political aides recently suggested state use its powerful immigration powers to deny entry to few peninsular opposition leaders, notably Anwar, and Jeffrey from Sabah.

Apparently this is to stem the tide of critical views, especially from the Dayaks who are questioning Taib and his 30-year regime.

Taib, however, sidestepped the idea for the time being, convinced that such action might not necessarily weaken the opposition groups but could instead embolden more people to go up openly against him.

Recently a political secretary to Taib issued a warning to Sarawakians not to fall into the trap of Jeffrey.

Observers said his statement underlines the worries of Taib’s men on the expanding clout of the leader of United Borneo Front (UBF) among the Dayaks.

Possible threat

Asked on the possibility of such an order, academician Dr Dusit Jaul, who is also Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association president, said: “It is a real possibility… if Jeffrey and Anwar are deemed a threat to the state.”

Sarawak Dayak National Union president, Mengga Mikui, also agreed with Dusit that Taib might slap a ban on the two opposition leaders, especially in the run-up to the crucial state election.

The Sarawak government has been banning outside politicians and social activists for years from entering the state.

Among the recent victims were DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, Subang MP R Sivarasa, Padang Serai MP Gobalakrishnan and Sabah Suhakam commissioner, Jannie Lasimbang.

Sarawak and Sabah derive their powerful immigration power from the Part VII (Section 61-66) under Special Provision for East Malaysia of the Malaysian Immigration Act 1959/1963. This gives the states unfettered power to decide who can and cannot enter the states.

The Act also empowers the two states to ban locals from leaving the states by impounding their passport. In Sarawak, there are anti-logging activists who had been slapped with this order.

Sabah, however, has seldom used this power for more than two decades.

No poverty: ‘Don’t lie, Musa’

Is Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman blind that he can't see the abject poverty in his own backyard in Sandakan?

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman stands accused of misleading the people when he declared that hard-core poverty was eradicated in Sabah.

Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMa) deputy president, Daniel John Jambun, said that it was a gross deception as anyone could still easily pinpoint hard-core poor families in any district in Sabah.

“Be they in the interior, on islands, or even within the vicinity of urban areas like Kota Kinabalu, Tawau and even at Musa’s own backyard in Sandakan, they are easy to spot,” Daniel said.

After setting the Dec 31, 2010 target to wipe out poverty in the state, Musa a few days ago declared that his government had successfully fulfilled its pledge to the consternation of the people.

This was same assurance he gave earlier last year when he surprised all by declaring that Tawau is the first town in Malaysia to rid itself of hard-core poor households.

One Sabah Umno leader in an off-the-cuff comment at the time said it was a “hollow and dangerous” declaration as it would mean that the federal government would no longer make special funds available to eradicate poverty in the state.

According to Daniel, poverty-ridden households would never be eradicated unless a different definition of hard-core poor is used.

Economist Dr James Alin of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) defines hard-core poor households as those who do not have good shelter, sufficient food, clothes and who lack access and the ability to pay for their basic necessities like electricity, water, medicines and schooling.

According to him, disabled persons and unemployed single mothers could also fall into this category.

Soaring prices

If this definition is used, then Musa’s claim that there was no more abject poverty would be misleading. This, despite the fact that the government had built wooden houses for some of the hardcore poor families.

“The families would still need money to feed their family and to pay their bills. Musa’s computerised report just does not tally with what we can see on the ground.

“Hundreds of families everywhere – Pensiangan, Nabawan, Banggi, Semporna, Ranau, and Kota Belud and on the many islands – are still living in abject poverty.

“Many live in dilapidated houses, with no water and electricity. Is this what Musa means when he says no more hard-core poor?” Daniel asked.

Daniel also alleged that many children are not going to school or dropping out of school, including college students who gave up their studies to go to work to ease their family’s financial burden.

“There are even BN leaders who complained of unfairness in the distribution of e-kasih aid to poor and hard-core poor families like those in Tenom as reported recently.

“The only thing preventing more poor families falling into the hardcore category right now is the soaring prices of commodities like rubber latex, which has tremendously helped thousand of families in Sabah,” he said.

Naughty trick

But Daniel pointed out the improved condition of living was not the effort of Musa-led Sabah government.

He said that in fact, the Sabah Rubber Industry Board (LIGS) owes rubber tappers hundreds of thousand of ringgit because it failed to pay them on the spot when buying rubber from them.

“Either Musa tell us how his people plan to manage the cash-flow of LIGS, or remove its lackadaisical management if the state is serious about helping alleviate poverty.

“Certainly BN has failed to acknowledge that it did not fulfil its election promise to eradicate abject poverty by 2010.

“The problem is BN refuses to admit its failure and instead is trying to mislead the people and the world.

“Or, could it be just a naughty trick to say there is no hard-core poor families now, only to admit later that yes, they are coming back in droves and we need money for this?” he asked.

Late last year, the World Bank’s 2010 Malaysia Economic Monitor revealed that Sabah remains the poorest state in Malaysia.

World Bank human development director (Southeast Asia and Pacific region), Emmanuel Jimenez, said that a large percentage of poor people remaining in Malaysia are in Sabah, and most of them live in the rural areas.

The opposition latched on the disclosure and demanded to know what the BN government had done to alleviate the problem despite 16 years of rule.

Big problems in Little India

Rising costs and falling sales are chasing Brickfields traders out of Little India.
KUALA LUMPUR: With rising costs and falling sales, businesses in Brickfields are feeling the pinch.

Many traders and shopkeepers in the newly-converted area of Little India are seeing unexpected losses.

Some have even packed up and left for good.

In June 2010, Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB) started its RM35 million Little India programme that promised to see the beautification of the Brickfields district.

But many of the heavy-handed development projects here have not gone down well with the traders.
Accompanying the new-look Brickfields are higher rentals, changed traffic system and lack of parking space.

All these factors have allegedly contributed to losses in business for traders in the area.
In mid-2010, florist A Karuppiah, 62, was paying RM1,600 rent a month for his shop.

Today, he is paying RM2,800 a month – a 75% increase.

“Before Brickfields was turned into Little India, we were making a comfortable profit. Today, we are unable to make a profit,” he told FMT.

Born and bred in Brickfields, he said the lack of parking spaces along Jalan Tun Sambanthan was also causing many would-be customers to shun businesses in the area.

P Loganathan, 45, a textile shopowner, said that the lack of parking spaces had discouraged both citizens and tourists from frequenting Brickfields.

“In the past, people used to come here for shopping. But there are no parking spaces, so customers don’t want to come,” he said.

No parking and rising crime
The drop in customers have heavily affected his business. Loganathan told FMT that before Little India came into the scene, he could make sales of more than RM4,000 in a single day.

Today, he struggles to earn more than RM1,000 in the same period, although he now has to pay an additional RM5,000 in rent a month.

He added that the scant parking spaces in nearby streets were also being snapped up by public transport users, instead of potential customers.

Loganathan also blamed KL City Hall (DBKL) officials for scaring motorists away. He said that many of them could be seen attacking vehicles with summonses during peak hours of the day.

Once a two-way traffic system, Jalan Tun Sambanthan and parallel Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad have been turned into busy one-way boulevards.

Walkways in front of the shops were also widened for the benefit of pedestrians. However, very few people could be seen using them, even on a Friday afternoon.

“These walkways are so big you can play football here!” said an angry Loganathan, adding that DBKL officials would religiously fine business owners who would ply their trade on the walkways.

To add insult to injury, Loganathan also told FMT that rising crime had scared people away from the area.
They attributed this to the relocation of the Brickfields police station to faraway Sri Petaling late last year.

With not even a manned police beat base in the area, residents said that snatch thieves and other crimes are now becoming a daily occurrence.

Lack of cooperation
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar said that Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being Deputy Minister M Saravanan told her that the police station would be up and running by April this year.

Agreeing with traders’ sentiments, Nurul said she was both concerned and very frustrated with Little India’s problems.

However, she said it was difficult to know what the government had in store for Brickfields, as there was no detailed blueprint for Little India.

“Until today, I have not received a detailed blueprint of Little India.

“The blueprint needs to be there so we can check on it and tell the authorities what to do,” she told reporters after meeting with Brickfields traders today. She was also accompanied by Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun.
Nurul also said that a traffic study of the area had not been made available to the public, and demanded that the local authorities be transparent in their dealings with the Little India development.

She also hinted on the lack of cooperation by the local authorities, because of her status as an opposition MP.
“There is a lot of fear here that if people are involved with the opposition, they won’t get help from the government.

“We don’t want to let politics get in the way. Local businesses are affected,” Nurul said, and asked Saravanan to take note of the problems here.

But many of the traders here have had enough with the local authorities.

“In Brickfields, we have the support of two MPs. But if two MPs cannot help, what can we do?” Karuppiah said.
“We are gentlemen, not street protesters. But if the government is not going to listen to us, we will take to the streets and protest!” he promised angrily.

Events that happened on 11 February

On 11 February 2011, Hosni Mubarak resigned as Egypt’s president. On 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela is freed after 27 years in jail. On 11 February 1979, Iran's premier Bakhtiar resigns and Ayatollah Khomeini takes over. What else happened on 11 February? For the trivia buffs, this is the list of all the events that happened on 11 February. 
Raja Petra Kamarudin

2011     Hosni Mubarak resigns as Egypt’s president 
2010     A European Union summit discusses the possibility of bailing out Greece's economy
2009     Morgan Tsvangirai becomes Prime Minister of Zimbabwe after agreeing to share power with President Robert Mugabe
2006     Dick Cheney accidentally shoots friend in a hunting accident
1998     KVBC-FM (Las Vegas) offers Monica Lewinsky $5M for interview
1998     Lyrics to "Candle in the Wind 1997," auctioned for $442,500
1997     Bill Parcells becomes head coach of New York Jets
1997     STS-82 (Discovery 22) launches
1996     46th NBA All-Star Game: East beats West 129-118 at San Antonio
1995     Danyon Loader swims world record 400m freestyle (340.46)
1995     Mark Foster swims world record 50m butterfly (23.55 sec)
1995     Sandra Volker swims European record 50m backstroke (27.67 sec)
1995     Space shuttle STS-63 (Discovery 19), lands
1995     U.S. Male Figure Skating championship won by Todd Eldredge
1995     West Indies score 5-660 against New Zealand
1994     Lu Parker, (South Carolina), crowned 43rd Miss USA
1994     Space shuttle STS-60 (Discovery 18), lands
1993     Howard Stern's radio show begins transmitting to Rochester, New York on WRQI
1993     Irina Privalova runs world record 60m indoor (6.92 seconds)
1993     Janet Reno selected by Clinton as U.S. Attorney General
1992     F-16 jet crashes at residential district of Hengelo Netherlands (No deaths)
1992     Michael Johnson runs indoor world record 400m (44.97 sec)
1991     UNPO, Unrepresented Nations and People Org forms in Hague
1990     40th NBA All-Star Game: East beats West 130-113 at Miami
1990     James "Buster" Douglas KOs Mike Tyson to win heavyweight boxing crown
1990     Nelson Mandela, a political prisoner for 27 years, freed in South Africa
1990     U.S. Male Figure Skating championship won by Todd Eldredge
1989     Barbara Clementine Harris consecrated 1st female bishop (Episcopalian)
1989     U.S. Female Figure Skating championship won by Jill Trenary
1988     Anthony M. Kennedy appointed to Supreme Court
1987     British Airways begins trading stocks
1987     England beat Australia 2-0 to win the World Series Cup
1987     Philippines constitution goes into effect
1987     U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1986     Activist Anatoly Scharansky released by U.S.S.R., leaves country
1986     Australia beat India 2-0 to win the World Series Cup
1986     Iran begins Fajr-8 offensive against Iraq
1985     Jordan king Hussein and PLO leader Arafat sign accord
1985     Kent Hrbek signs 5-year, $6 million contract with Minnesota Twins
1985     Wasim Akram takes 10 wickets in his 2nd Test Cricket, New Zealand still wins
1984     10th space shuttle mission (41-B)-Challenger 4-returns to Earth
1984     Wayne Gretzky sets NHL short handed season scoring record at 11
1983     "Weird Al" Yankovic records "Ricky" and "Buckingham Blues" debut LP
1983     4th largest snowfall in New York City history (18"(46 cm))
1982     Ozzie Smith for Garry Templeton trade finally goes through
1981     Australia all out 83 vs. India at MCG chasing 143 to win
1981     Polish premier Jozef Pinkowski replaced by Wojciech Jaruzelski
1979     "They're Playing Our Song" opens at Imperial New York City for 1082 performances
1979     43 million watch "Elvis!" on ABC
1979     Emmy News and Documentaries Award presentation
1979     Iran's premier Bakhtiar resigns, Ayatollah Khomeini seizes power
1979     Musical "They're Playing Our Song," premieres in New York City
1978     16 Unification church couples wed in New York City
1978     25th hat trick in Islander history-Denis Potvin
1978     China lifts a ban on Aristotle, Shakespeare, and Dickens
1978     EOKA organization disbands in Cyprus
1977     20.2-kg lobster caught off Nova Scotia (heaviest known crustacean)
1976     Clifford Alexander, Jr. confirmed as 1st black secretary of Army
1975     Margaret Thatcher defeats Edward Heath for Conservative leadership
1974     Dick Woodson is 1st of 48 to invoke baseball's new arbitration rule
1974     Titan-Centaur Test launch fails
1974     1st baseball arbitration Twins pitcher Dick Woodson seeking $29,000 wins, Twins offered $23,000
1973     1st one-day international for Pakistan and New Zealand
1973     1st sub 17-minute 1,500m female free style swim (Shane Gould 16m56.9s)
1973     Kathy Whitworth wins LPGA Naples-Lely Golf Classic
1973     Philadelphia 76ers lose their 20th NBA game in a row
1971     Montreal Canadien John Believau scores his 500th NHL goal
1971     U.S., U.K., U.S.S.R., others sign Seabed Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons
1970     26.37 cm (10.38") of rainfall, Mount Washington, New Hampshire (state 24-hour rec)
1970     Japan becomes 4th nation to put a satellite, Osumi, in orbit
1970     John Lennon pays 1,344 pounds fine for 96 protesting South African rugby team playing in Scotland
1969     Diana Crump becomes 1st U.S. woman jockey to ride against men, Hialelah
1969     Dorey Funk, Jr. beats Gene Kiniski in Tampa, to become NWA champ
1968     Israeli-Jordan border fight
1968     Jeffrey Kramer survives 76-m jump, Washington Bridge, Hudson River New York
1968     Madison Square Garden III closes MSG IV opens (New York City)
1966     San Francisco Giant Willie Mays signs highest contract, $130,000 per year
1965     Beatle Ringo Starr marries Maureen Cox
1965     Braves propose to pay 5 cents from each ticket to bring a new team to Milwaukee
1964     Beatles 1st live appearance in U.S.; Washington D.C. Coliseum
1964     Greek and Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus
1964     Taiwan drops diplomatic relations with France
1963     Beatles tape 10 tracks for their 1st album
1963     CIA Domestic Operations Division created
1962     Beatles record "Please, Please Me"
1961     Robert Weaver sworn in with then highest federal post by a black
1961     Trial of Adolf Eichmann begins in Jerusalem
1960     Jack Paar walks off his TV show
1959     Vinoo Mankad ends his final Test Cricket (v WI at Delhi)
1958     1st flight with black stewardess, Ruth Carol Taylor, Ithaca New York
1958     Marshal Chen Yi succeeds Chu En-lai as Minister of Foreign affairs
1958     WTVC TV channel 9 in Chattanooga, Tennessee (ABC) begins broadcasting
1957     KUMV TV channel 8 in Williston, ND (NBC) begins broadcasting
1957     NHL Players Association forms (New York City), Red Wings' Ted Lindsay elected president
1954     6th Emmy Awards: I Love Lucy, Donald O'Connor and Eve Arden wins
1953     "Hazel Flagg" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater New York City for 190 performances
1953     J. Styne/B. Hilliard's musical "Hazel Flagg," premieres in New York City
1953     President Eisenhower refuses clemency appeal for Rosenberg couple
1953     Russia breaks diplomatic relations with Israel
1951     Kwame Nkrumah wins 1st parliamentary election on Gold coast (Ghana)
1950     "Rag Mop" by The Ames Brothers hit #1
1949     Willie Pep recaptures world featherweight boxing title
1948     Billy Griffith scores cricket century on debut England vs. WI, out for 140
1948     John Costello follows Eamon Da Valera as premier of Ireland
1948     Test Cricket debut of Frank Worrell, vs. England Port-of-Spain
1945     1st gas turbine propeller-driven airplane flight tested, Downey, California
1945     Yalta agreement signed by FDR, Churchill and Stalin
1944     German troops reconquer Aprilia Italy
1944     U-424 sunk off Ireland
1943     General Eisenhower selected to command the allied armies in Europe
1943     Transport nr 47 departs with French Jews to nazi-Germany
1942     "Archie" comic book debuts
1941     Lieutenant-general Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli
1941     Sicherheitsdienst complains about Dutch anti German sentiments
1938     Steve Casey beats Lou Thesz in Boston, to become wrestling champ
1937     44-day sit-down strike at General Motors in Flint, Michigan ends
1936     Pumping begins to build Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay
1935     -11 degrees F (-24 degrees C), Ifrane, Morocco (African record low)
1935     1st U.S. airplane flight with auto slung beneath fuselage, New York
1932     73 degrees F highest temperature ever recorded in Cleveland in February
1929     Eugene O'Neill's "Dynamo," premieres in New York City
1929     Vatican City, world's smallest country, made an enclave of Rome
1928     2nd Winter Olympic games opens in St. Moritz, Switzerland
1927     U.S. Female Figure Skating championship won by Beatrix Loughran
1927     U.S. Male Figure Skating championship won by Nathaniel Niles
1926     Tokelau (Union) Islands in South Pacific transfers to New Zealand
1922     "April Showers" by Al Jolson hits #1
1922     U.S. intervention army leaves Honduras
1921     Ambassador Theater opens at 215 W 49th St. New York City
1919     Friedrich Ebert (SPD), elected president of Germany
1916     Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presents its 1st concert
1916     Emma Goldman arrested for lecturing on birth control
1908     Australia regain the Ashes with a 308 run cricket victory vs England
1908     Heemskerk's government begins in Holland
1907     De Master's Dutch government resigns
1905     James Blackstone, Seattle, bowls 299 -last pin breaks but stands
1905     Pope Pius X publishes encyclical Vehementer nos
1903     Anton Bruckner's 9th Symfonie premieres in Vienna
1902     Police beats up universal suffrage demonstrators in Brussels
1899     -15 degrees F (-26 degrees C), Washington, D.C. (district record)
1899     -61 degrees F, Montana (record low temperature)
1898     Owen Smith of NC, AME Zion minister, named minister to Liberia
1897     White Rose Mission opens on East 97th Street, New York City
1896     Oscar Wildes "Salom" premieres in Paris
1895     -17 degrees F (-27.2 degrees C) in Braemar, Grampian (UK record)
1895     Georgetown became part of Washington D.C.
1889     Meiji constitution of Japan adopted; 1st Diet convenes in 1890
1878     1st U.S. bicycle club, Boston Bicycle Club, forms
1878     1st weekly Weather report published in UK
1873     Spanish Cortes fires king Amadeus I
1861     President-elect Lincoln takes train from Spingfield Illinois to Washington D.C.
1861     U.S. House unanimously passes resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state
1858     1st apparition of Mary to 14-year-old Bernadette of Lourdes France
1854     Major streets lit by coal gas for 1st time
1852     1st British public female toilet opens (Bedford Street London)
1851     1st cricket 1st-class game in Australia, Tasmania vs. Vic, Launceston
1843     Opera "I Lombardi," premieres in Milan
1840     Gaetano Donizetti's Opera "La Fille du Regiment," premieres in Paris
1837     American Physiological Society organizes in Boston
1826     London University founded
1814     Norway's independence proclaimed
1812     Massachusetts Governor Gerry signs a redistricting bill-1st "gerrymander"
1811     President Madison prohibits trade with Britain for 3rd time in 4 years
1810     Napoleon marries Marie-Louise of Austria
1809     Robert Fulton patents steamboat
1808     Anthracite coal 1st burned as fuel, experimentally, Wilkes-Barre, Pa
1794     1st session of U.S. Senate open to the public
1793     Prussian troops occupy Venlo, Netherlands
1790     Society of Friends petitions Congress for abolition of slavery
1768     Samuel Adams letter, circulates around American colonies, opposing Townshend Act taxes
1766     Stamp Act declared unconstitutional in Virginia
1752     Pennsylvania Hospital, the 1st hospital in the U.S., opened
1720     Sweden and Prussia sign peace (2nd Treaty of Stockholm)
1638     Dutch countess Louise of Solms marries earl John of Brederode
1575     King Frederick of Denmark offers island of Hveen to Tycho Brahe
1573     1st European, Francis Drake sees the Pacific (from Panama)
1543     Battle at Wayna Daga: Ethiopian/Portugese troops beat Moslem army
1543     Karel/Henry VIII sign anti-French covenant
1531     Henry VIII recognized as supreme head of Church in England
824     St. Paschal I ends his reign as Catholic Pope
385     Oldest Pope elected; Siricius-bishop of Tarragona

Najib should come clear on “First Lady of Malaysia” Division and his “Office of Advisors”

Media Statement by DAP MP for Bukit Bendera Liew Chin Tong

The recent revealing of the ridiculous “First Lady of Malaysia Division” dedicated to Rosmah Mansor is bewildering and has yet again shown the inconsistency of the Barisan Nasional government in informing the public.

In his reply to my parliamentary answer in November 2010, Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Razak said that there is no full-time staff or contract staff specially assigned to his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

The Prime Minister is clearly contradicting himself when the official website of Prime Minister’s Department included the “First Lady of Malaysia Division” in the staff directory, under which five staffs are employed to work, suggestively for the self-proclaimed “First Lady” of Malaysia, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

When the information was discovered and made public by certain media and by MP Seputeh YB Teresa Kok, the related information ‘mysteriously’ disappeared from the website. The truth about the allocation remains to be told.

In fact, the ‘newly discovered’ First Lady of Malaysia division was not mentioned in the four-volume Senarai Perjawatan Persekutuan (federal staff list), which forms part of the federal budget 2011 documents. Questions remained to be answered of how and how much is the division been allocated and what is the function of the division.

In the same directory we discovered that many advisors on specific issues are also listed, whom positions are similarly not allocated in the Federal Budget 2011. This include Dato’ Seri Dr. Abdullah bin Md Zin as Advisor for Islamic Affiars, Dato’ Shahidan Kassim as advisor for matters on North Corridor Economic Region (NCER), Datuk Seri Jalaludin bin Bahaudin as the Media Advisor, Dato’ Mohammad Kamal bin Yan Yahaya as Advisor for International Relation, and Prof Emeritus Dato’ Dr Zakri bin Abd Hamid as the Science Advisor. Each of the advisors has one or more staff assisting them.

Indeed the Prime Minister’s Department is the biggest spender among the various ministries. The department receives RM15.8 billion this year (excluding the allocations for Attorney-General’s Chamber and the Public Service Department), a record setting amount compared to past years and has been more than doubled from the RM6.87 billion allocation in 2007.

I pressed on the Prime Minister to present a truthful reply on this issue and remain accountable to the people. The people of Malaysia deserve to know how their money is spent.

Liew Chin Tong

Philippines Family Planning

Image(Asia Sentinel) Is it possible to curb poverty without a strong family planning program?

Good news: two of every 1,000 previously poor Filipino families have risen above poverty from 2006 to 2009. Bad news: the total number of poor Filipinos rose by almost a million in the same period.

According to the latest poverty statistics released by the National Statistical Coordination Board, poverty incidence among families (or the ratio of poor families against total number of families) in the Philippines dipped slightly to 20.9 percent in 2009, from 21.1 percent in 2006.

The number of poor families, on the other hand, rose by 185,000, totaling 3.86 million; in 2006, the magnitude of poor families was 3.67 million.

The numbers may seem contradictory, but they are actually not, government statisticians say.

What the figures mean is that, while some families were able to improve their lot and rise above the poverty line, the ranks of the poor continues to swell because the total number of Filipino families increased.

Moreover, the families that remained poor also saw an increase in the number of their family members.
It's a pattern that government statisticians are already accustomed to.

"Familiar naman tayo ‘di ba na poorer families have more children," NSCB Secretary-General Romulo Virola told Newsbreak.

There is a link between poverty and number of family members, a recent World Bank report said. It observed that like many other countries, nearly half of households in the Philippines with seven or more members lived below the poverty line in 2006.

The report further observed that more than half of households with three of more children were poor, and nearly two-thirds of poor households had three or more children.

The National Statistics Office projected a population growth of 92 million in 2009, or an increase of 6 million from 86 million in 2006, the last time the NSCB made a poverty report.

This appears to coincide with the rising magnitude of poverty in the country. The number of poor Filipinos jumped to 23.1 million in 2009—an increase of almost a million—from 2006 figures (22.2 million).

Poverty incidence against the total population also rose to 26.5 percent in 2009 from 26.4 percent in 2006.

Cash transfers

The continuing increase in the magnitude of poverty in the country makes it harder for the Aquino administration to meet the target of reducing poverty by half by 2015 under the United Nations backed Millennium Development Goal.

"The probability of halving poverty has gone down. We are eight years behind our target of achieving the MDGs," socioeconomic planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga said.

The Philippines continues to lag behind its neighbors Vietnam and Indonesia in reducing its poverty. Vietnam posted a poverty incidence rate of 14.5 percent in 2008, while Indonesia's poverty incidence rate in 2009 is 14.2 percent.

The Aquino administration's primary program to address the poverty menace is the conditional cash transfer program.

First implemented during the Arroyo administration, Aquino significantly increased the budget for this program to P29.2 billion from P1.2 billion in 2008.

Currently being administered by the social welfare department, poor families that become recipients of the conditional cash transfer could get subsidies of up to P1,400 monthly provided the follow certain conditionalities.

The amount is broken down to P500 as health and nutrition grant and P300 for the education of up to 3 children aged 0 to 14 years.

But clearly more needs to be done.

Social welfare secretary Dinky Soliman acknowledges that the program needs to be modified in the light of new poverty statistics.

"We would have to do another pencil-pushing with NSCB, because the current recipients have been selected using the 2006 [poverty statistics] data," she said.

One of the conditions the beneficiaries should meet, according to Soliman, is to attend family development sessions where responsible parenthood is discussed.

"Modern and natural family planning programs are presented as options, but we don't include abortion," she said.

Apart from these, the Aquino administration, has yet to unveil any significant programs or moves towards curbing population growth.

President Benigno Aquino III has also withdrawn his support for the Responsible Parenthood bill, which promotes the use of artificial contraception among families.

Aquino has endorsed the passage of the said RH bill during the 2010 presidential elections.

The bill was based on the reproductive health bill, which was condemned in 2010 by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. The CBCP only promotes natural family planning.

Sarawak's Tutoh Apoh School To Get Muhyiddin's Special Attention

KUCHING, Feb 12 (Bernama) -- A rural secondary school which is the most flood-prone in the country will get special attention from Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when the deputy prime minister begins a two-day visit to Sarawak on Thursday.

Muhyiddin, who is also the education minister, is scheduled to attend a briefing at and tour Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tutoh Apoh in Long Panai, Baram, for which the federal government had allocated RM50 million for a new building in view of its dilapidated and flood-prone condition.

A statement from the Deputy Prime Minister's Office said Muhyiddin is also scheduled to meet the people, most of whom are from the Orang Ulu community, in Uma Beluvuh, Long Panai.

Earlier, Muhyiddin is to fly by helicopter to Ulu Lubai, Limbang, to attend a reception in recognition of the status of Sekolah Kebangsaan Ulu Lubai as one of the second cohort high-performance schools and then go on a walkabout at Rumah Panjang Tugang, Ulu Lubai.

In the evening, he is to meet the people at the Batu Niah community hall in Miri and fly back to Kuching for a "Chap Goh Mei" reception with the people at the Hilton Hotel.

On Friday, Muhyiddin is scheduled to go to Pusa in Betong for a walkabout and a meet-the-people session in Pusa town and visit the "gula apong" (nipah palm sugar) and "kuih sepit" (a traditional crispy biscuit) cottage industries in Kampung Pusa.

He will also go to Kampung Manggut, Spaoh, in Betong to attend the opening of the Tuie-Supa-Manggut road and then proceed to Debak, also in the Betong division.

In Debak, Muhyiddin is scheduled to attend Friday prayers at the Darul Solihin mosque and attend a luncheon with the people there.

The deputy prime minister is scheduled to fly back to Kuala Lumpur from Kuching in a special aircraft in the evening.

Egyptians erupt in joy as Mubarak steps down

Cairo, Egypt (CNN) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down Friday and handed over power to the military -- three decades of his iron-clad rule ended by an 18-day revolution that could ripple across the Arab world.

In a somber one-minute announcement on state television, Vice President Omar Suleiman said Mubarak had resigned and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will "run the affairs of the country."

Tens of thousands of emotional Egyptians exploded in deafening cheers on the streets of Cairo, electric with excitement. It was a moment they had anticipated throughout long days of relentless demonstrations -- sometimes violent -- that demanded Mubarak's departure.

It was also a moment that had been to many unimaginable in the Arab world's powerhouse nation.

"Egypt is free!" and "God is Great!" they chanted in the honeymoon of their success. They waved Egyptian flags, honked horns and set off fireworks as they savored the scene that just days ago had seemed unimaginable.

Two major bridges over the Nile River resembled congested parking lots, and Cairo neighborhoods that had been empty hours before became scenes of festive street parties.The state-run Middle East News Agency said some people had passed out from joy and others had even suffered heart attacks.

"It was a sense of liberation for me, for every Egyptian," said opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei.

"For the first time, Egypt has a chance to be democratic, to be free, to have a sense of dignity, of freedom. So it's amazing. It's just like something we never experienced in our lifetime."

A source with close connections to Persian Gulf government leaders told CNN that Mubarak, 82, had fled to the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, his presidency finished as abruptly and surprisingly as it had started when he ascended to power after the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981.

The Swiss government moved quickly Friday to freeze all assets belonging to Mubarak and his family, said Norbert Baerlocher, a spokesman for the Swiss Embassy in Washington.

The banks do not as yet have a clear picture of Mubarak's holdings but protesters on the streets had expressed concerns that the strongman would attempt to flee the country with looted money.

In a televised speech Thursday night, Mubarak had indicated he was delegating authority to Suleiman but refused to resign, as had been expected. Deeply disappointed crowds calling for his ouster kept swelling throughout the day in Cairo and in other major cities.

Friday night, the protesters got what they wanted all along.

But amid the euphoria, ElBaradei sounded words of caution. He urged Egyptians to stay united beyond the moment.

"We have challenges ahead of us," said the Nobel laureate whom many believe could emerge as Egypt's next leader. "I think we need to not worry about retribution. Mubarak needs to go and we need to look forward."

Wael Ghonim, the Egyptian activist who became a reluctant hero of the revolution said only one word would be used to describe Mubarak in history books: "dictator."

"I want to say: 'Welcome back Egypt," he told CNN.

Ghonim -- a Google executive who is on leave from his job and whose Facebook page is credited with triggering the popular uprising -- was seized by security forces and released Monday. His words and tears in a television interview galvanized the protesters in Tahrir Square.

He said he knew Mubarak would be forced out after a revolt in Tunisia forced its leader out in January, and he said he believed the military can be trusted to respect the demands of the protesters.

Many of the anti-government protesters had been calling for Egypt's powerful army, well-respected within the country, to take over as interim caretakers. Friday night, they voiced optimism that the military would pave the way for free and fair elections.

All through the uprising, the military has both responded to the protesters but defended Mubarak's regime. It showed signs that it was assuming a greater role when the supreme council met Thursday without Mubarak, then still the supreme commander of the armed forces.

Friday, it issued a second communique stating that Egypt's state of emergency laws, used by Mubarak to rule with an iron hand, would be lifted but only after conditions allowed.

After Mubarak stepped down, a military spokesman tiptoed through neutral territory on state television as he expressed appreciation to the former president on one hand, and also saluted the "martyrs," an apparent reference to all those who died in the protests.

Human Rights Watch documented 300 deaths since the uprising began January 25. Many of the pitched battles between security forces and Mubarak's foes unfolded in the same places that were scenes of utter jubilation Friday night.

But it's uncertain what will come next in the most populous nation of the Arab world, and how Egypt's revolution, which succeeded on the 32nd anniversary of Iran's, will reverberate throughout the region.

U.S. President Barack Obama was notified of Mubarak's decision Friday morning, said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council, and was closely watching the extraordinary developments unfold in Egypt, a key U.S. ally.

He will make a statement Friday afternoon, the White House said.

Mubarak's decision to step down is "obviously a welcome step," said a U.S. official involved in the Egypt discussions. Now comes "an unpredictable next chapter," the official added. It is "a sign the military chose society."

Amre Moussa, the secretary-general of the Arab League, said Egyptians were excited about a different future.

"What I want to assure you is that all of us here in Egypt, old and young, north and south, women and men, everybody, is looking forward to a better future," he said.

A high-ranking Egyptian military official said the army's command was discussing whether to dismiss Mubarak's government and parliament and also when the next election would be held. An announcement was expected later Friday.

But some analysts were already sounding the alarm over the takeover by the military, which has suddenly become accountable for the nation.

"Suleiman's statement is the clearest indication thus far that the military has carried out a coup led by Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi," analysts with the Stratfor global intelligence company said in a statement.

"Egypt is returning to the 1952 model of ruling the state via a council of army officers. The question now is to what extent the military elite will share power with its civilian counterparts," the statement said.

Amnesty International, whose staffers had been among human rights workers and journalists detained by Egyptian authorities during the uprising, congratulated Egyptians for "their extraordinary courage and commitment to achieve fundamental change."

But it warned that the departure of one man did not mean an end to a police state.

"The repressive system that Egyptians have suffered under for three decades has not gone away and the state of emergency remains in place," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's secretary general.

"Those in power must grasp this opportunity to consign the systematic abuses of the past to history. Human rights reform must begin now," Shetty said.

CNN's Amir Ahmed, Nic Robertson and Caroline Faraj contributed to this report.

Perkasa - Anwar Ibrahim leaks

News Flash (11/02/2011): Interlok; Police “raid” HRP & Hindraf JB office on march against UMNO racism.

No.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245
Website: Email:

Your Reference :

In Reply :

Date : 11/02/2011

News Flash (11/02/2011): Interlok; Police “raid” HRP & Hindraf JB office on march against UMNO racism.
This morning at about 11.30 a.m Johor HRP and Hindraf Chief Mr. Y. Mohan called and informed us that a police Inspector and about half a dozen policemen including undercover cops came over to the Johor Bahru HRP and Hindraf Johor HQ at DUN Puteri Wangsa.
As the office was closed, they made enquiries from the neighboring shop on the ground floor on the Anti Interlok and anti UMNO racism banner hanging outside the Johor H.Q and posters and leaflets also around the J.B town centre the leaflets circulating and anti about the J.B Interlok and UMNO racism forum on 13/12/2011 at 10.30 a.m also at the J.B HQ.
We anticipate police raids at our Bangsar HRP and Hindraf HQ, State HRP & Hindraf offices in DUN Lunas, DUN Prai, DUN Buntong, DUN Port Dickson and DUN Puteri Wagsa (Johor) from now onwards a la 25th November 2007 Hindraf Rally. .
Irrespective of this police harassment Hindraf & HRP will proceed with its peaceful Interlok March and against UMNO racism at KLCC on 27/02/2011 at 9.00 a.m.
Thank You.
Your faithfully,
S. Jayathas
Information Chief

Innocent Mugelan (14) released on bail from racist UMNO jail after serving over 3 months jail without being found guilty in a Court of law.

Copy of P2100001
This morning we received a call on Mugelan’s grandfather’s death. Hindraf key supporter Sivalingam of Setapak and Rishishankar was assigned to urgently bail out Mugelan. P. Uthayakumar wrote an urgent letter to the High Court Judge and Magistret . He than spoke to Senior Assistant Registrar to immediately release Mugelan. Upon being released at about 4.45 p.m today (11/02/2011) and upon seeing Siva he burst out in tears and said I did not commit the offence and why he had to suffer in jail for over 3 months.

Upon arriving at the HRP HQ at Bangsar Mugelan told us that warden Zakri used a cable and hit him on the buttocks and thighs continuously for about 24 hours. His was also bullied by the other big sized Malay boys. He was forced to mop the floor, wash the dishes , clean the lockup area etc.

At our office Mugelan appeared stressed out and was on the verge of tears when relating his nightmare to us which we have recorded and would be posting in our website tomorrow or so.

Siva and Rishi then send Mugelan to his aunty’s house to attend his grandfather’s funeral.

From the word go the investigating Sargent to the jail warden the Court police and the Court officers told Mugelan to pled guilty “and go to jail” .

In all of this Mugelan never got protection or justice from the Malay Muslim dominated UMNO Magistrets and High Court at Kuala Lumpur.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Every day scores of such young Indian juveniles ,and hundreds of Indians are falsely and maliciously just because they are the poor and defenceless Indians they are forced to pled guilty especially when they cannot afford the bail money and lawyers fees. So they end up in jail for many many years even though they may not be guilty.

(See photos below).

S. Thiagarajan.

New Scan-20110211182907-00001
P2100001 P2100002 P2100004 P2100015 P2100017

Ops Lalang: Dr M insists he met Kit Siang before crackdown

SHAH ALAM, Feb 11 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has disputed Lim Kit Siang’s claim that he was re-writing history over events leading up to Ops Lalang — the mass detentions under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in 1987

This comes after the former prime minister was quoted in a new book by American journalist Tom Plate as saying he had met all opposition members before Ops Lalang and assured them they would not be arrested.

In a reaction to the book, Lim said in his blog on Wednesday that he had never met Dr Mahathir and the former prime minister never gave any assurances that the former would not be arrested .

“I met Kit Siang and his friends,” said Dr Mahathir in a press conference today when asked about Lim’s assertions.

The former prime minister has been criticised for using ISA during the crackdown which is widely regarded as a black mark on his legacy but today appeared to shift part of the responsibility for the arrests to the police.

“I thought they would not be detained but the police thought they were dangerous, that their actions were dangerous.

“The police took the action to detain them. I cannot counter their decision because I depend on the police for security. I had to accept it. This is the first time I ever told anybody about that,” he added.

Dr Mahathir claimed that Lim and the rest of the group were afraid they would be detained but he said that he felt detention was not warranted.

“In my opinion, they didn’t need to be detained,” he said. “But as the police are my security advisors, I could not just reject what they feel is important.”

Asked about why he kept Lim and others under ISA beyond the initial 60 day detention period if he did not feel they should have been detained in the first place, Dr Mahathir said that he could not reveal the reasons.

“They were released as soon as the police felt they should be released,” he said. “But what I talk to the police, I cannot tell the public even now.”

Asked about who else was with Lim when they had met, Mahathir simply replied: “I met them as a group”.

Following Mahathir’s remarks in the book titled ‘Dr M : Operation Malaysia — Conversations with Mahathir Mohamad’, Lim blogged that the now retired former Umno leader was “spinning untruths” and accused him of “passing the buck” to the police for the crackdown.

Lim said that “the personal, petty and vindictive nature in the misuse of the ISA” was highlighted by the fact that he and his son Lim Guan Eng were the last to be released from detention.

“Mahathir cannot shirk responsibility by passing the buck to the police,” said Lim. “He must come clean and apologise for masterminding Ops Lalang, the darkest chapter of human rights in Malaysia.”

Mammoth rally against ‘Umno’s racism’

Come Feb 27, HRP will organise a march from the twin towers to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Party (HRP) will hold a massive rally to urge the government to ban the controversial Interlok novel.

According to HRP coordinator V Sambulingam, the Feb 27 march from the Petronas Twin Towers to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters is themed “Solidarity against Umno’s racism.”

Following the march, a police report would be lodged to compel the government to withdraw the book from classrooms.

Sambulingam said the issue was not only confined to the novel, but also standing up against the “Umno regime’s racism towards the Indians and others”.

“The march is not against the Malays or Muslims. Our focus is Umno and its policies,” he said during a press conference at the HRP office in Bangsar here.

The Interlok novel which had been introduced as a component for the Malay literature subject for Form Five students had courted controversy when Indian groups noted that it contained inaccurate and disparaging information about the community.

After a series of protests, including by MIC, the government agreed to amend the disputed portions of the book but insisted on using it in schools.

While MIC agreed with this decision, several other groups are demanding that the book be completely withdrawn.

Cops visit Johor HRP office

Meanwhile, Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M Manoharan, who was also present, said an application for a police permit for the march was submitted this morning.

“We would like to remind the police that it is their duty to provide appropriate security for those participating in the march,” he said, adding that it would be a peaceful event.

HRP’s Selangor coordinator K Selvam said the party would hold a roadshow to promote the event.

In another development, the police visited the Johor HRP office this morning

Contacted later, HRP state youth chief Y Mohan said an inspector and some half a dozen policemen had come to the office.

“Since our office was still closed, the police had questioned our neighbours about the Anti-Interlok and Anti-Umno banners hanging outside our office,” he said, adding that similar “raids” are expected in other states.

Meanwhile, a Johor-based reader complained to FMT about an English literature novel being used in schools which also contained the word “pariah”.

G Tamil Selvam said the novel, called “The Curse”, was penned by a Chinese author and the plot revolved around the struggle of a Malay family.

“The author should have been more considerate about the feelings of other communities and not use such words,” he said, urging the government to withdraw such books from the school syllabus.

‘Cops executed my mentally ill brother’

Contrary to media reports, the brother of the mentally unsound man shot dead in Bahau claims the police provoked and shot him at close range.

PETALING JAYA: The brother of a mentally unsound man shot dead by the police claimed that the deceased was executed. He also blamed the policemen for provoking him into turning violent.

Speaking to FMT, Ahmad Hairail Adzuan Abu Bakar also alleged that his brother was shot at close range, and not from three metres away as claimed by the police.

The 26-year-old marketing executive filed a report with the Bahau police station, demanding that an investigation be carried out.

Hairail said his brother Ahmad Harfidz Abu Bakar, 37, suffered from insomnia and stress but did not have a history of violence.

Media reports stated that Harfidz was shot dead at his house in Taman Chempaka, Bahau, when he attacked police sergeant Abdul Rahim Hamid with a parang, and slashed him on the head.

The police claimed that the attack happened as the policemen were leaving the house after attempting to calm the deceased.

The deceased’s mother was said to have called the police after her son allegedly ran amok in the house.

‘Blood was not splattered’

However, Hairal disputed this version.

Based on what he had gathered from those who witnessed the incident, Hairail said his mother had called the police to help compel the deceased to go for his routine treatment at a nearby hospital.

“He normally does not listen to us and is more compliant to the police,” he said, adding that his family was shocked when two patrol cars arrived.

“My brother panicked when he saw so many policemen and locked himself in his room,” he said.

At 3pm, Hairail, who was outstation then, said the police called him to seek his permission to break open his brother’s room door.

When the police called, Hairail said he heard a policeman in the background saying, “Sampai bila nak tunggu ni, bila nak habis?” (how long are we to wait, when would it end?)

“However, I told them to take a peek through the room window to see what he was doing. They told me they saw him lying down quietly. Then, they decided to use the Taser gun on him,” said Hairail.

Following this, Hairail said his brother came out of the room with a parang and this was when the sergeant had allegedly pressed his gun against Harfidz’s neck.

“The sergeant told my brother ‘ awak ada parang, saya ada pistol, siapa lagi power’ (you have a parang and I have a gun. Who is more powerful?)

“He then shot my brother and Harfidz swung his parang at the sergeant. But a few policemen pinned him down with deadly force, causing him to loose his life,” he said.

Questioning the police’s version, Hairail said: “They claimed to have shot my brother at a range of three metres. However, there was no blood splattered in the place where he was shot.”

Hairal was also upset that the police had used a Taser gun on his brother without the presence of paramedics.

“You must have paramedics around because when you subdue someone with a Taser gun, it may cause health problems,” he said.

Chinese leader sceptical NEM will change things

It is feared that the delay in implementing reforms will retard economic progress.

KUALA LUMPUR: The New Economic Model (NEM) is nullified by the decision to set up the proposed Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC), president of the Chinese Assembly Hall, Tan Yew Sing, said here today.

Tan was commenting on a recent statement by National Economic Advisory Council member, Zainal Aznam Mohd Yusuf, that the commission, which was meant to promote merit-based affirmative programmes, was killed off by Malay rights group Perkasa.

“Communal policies are already a well-known issue in nation. If the government still hesitates to carry out economic reforms, (we are) afraid that the only consequences will be (a nation) paralysed,” Tan said in a statement.

The goverment came under heavy fire from opposition leaders who accused Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak of “rescinding” his own NEM.

They claimed that the initial motive of the NEM was to eradicate conservative race-based policies, and to liberalise and heal the economy.

The move (to establish the NEM) ran into fierce protest from groups like Perkasa. Najib was seen to have caved in to their demands when he said that the Bumiputera agenda will continue in an expanded race-based affirmative programmes under the NEM.

Najib also recently announced the setting up Teraju, a new unit to drive the Bumiputera economic agenda. Opposition leaders claimed this move signalled yet another lack of political will on Najib’s part to introduce real reforms.

Tan said that NEM had initially sparked new hope for Malaysians, especially those affected by the race-based policies.

But he said that the electorate has now become weary of the government’s efforts to introduce reforms because of the delay in implementing the NEM.

He claimed that the government is dragging its foot over reforms to pander to racist demands from Perkasa.

He said this was evident when the government adopted the Bumiputera Economic Congress resolution last year which called for the Bumiputera quota system to be maintained. The congress was organised by Perkasa.

One of its resolutions also demanded that the government stick to the 67% for Bumiputera and 33% for non- Bumiputera formula in the allocation of national and social wealth.

Tan said all these moves will retard the nation’s progress.

MIC chief wants second Tamil news on RTM

MIC is seeking another slot to broadcast Tamil programmes.

PETALING JAYA: MIC president G Palanivel has called on the state-owned RTM to broadcast a second Tamil TV news.

Palanivel had raised this matter during a courtesy call he made on Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yatim today.

According to the MIC leader, the second Tamil TV news should focus more on community issues, adding that this was the expectation of the community.

“They want a better outreach,” he said in a statement.

Palanivel also requested that RTM’s Minnal FM, the 24-hour Indian radio channel, make periodic announcements of important news.

This, he said, could be done in between songs and programmes.

Palanivel also said that he had suggested that RTM emulate the famous Indian TV programme on Makkal TV, Malarum Bhoomi (blooming earth),which encourages small-scale agriculture.

“RTM can bring in local farmers like betel nut growers, jasmin flower growers, vegetable and livestock farmers to share their experience.

“There should be TV programmes on real-life success stories of small-scale Indian farmers, businessmen educationists, professionals, parents, housewives, and athletes,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rais also agreed to visit Bujang Valley with Palanivel who had worked as an archaeologist there in the 1970s.

Making a case for vernacular education in Malaysia

By Lee Wee Tak ,

I am writing about a matter that is close to my heart and been unspoken for a long time, despite reading countless baseless allegations towards vernacular education system in Malaysia.

I studied for 6 years in SRJK(C ) and then a year in remove class before moving onto 5 years of SRP and SPM Syllabus, then another 2 years in STPM; finally 3 years in a United Kingdom base accountancy studies. I have had 6, 8 and 3 years in Chinese, Bahasa Malaysia and English medium of instruction environment respectively.

Over the years SRJK (C ) and SRJK (T) are accused by opportunists and stir agents as the reason for racial disharmony in Malaysia. These loudspeakers probably never studied in vernacular schools and never lived a day of their lives as a student in a vernacular schools, yet strangely see themselves qualified to slander and libel something that they are ill equipped to judge.

As far as I know, BTN’s racist slurs initiators, cow head protesters in Shah Alam, those 2 reporters who sneaked into churches and violated a prayer session probably did not hail from SRJK (C) or SRKJ (T). The current epicenter of communal rallying cry, Ibrahim Ali, surely did not emerge from any vernacular education system, albeit once feeding himself off Vincent Tan of Berjaya gaming fame.
I am proud of my SRJK(C) roots. I remember being taught to respect the environment, respect our elders and teachers, love our country and befriend with Ali, Fatimah, Muthu and Letchumy. I also remember singing the national anthem and state anthem plus the “Setia” song with gusto, believing there is no mother land except the one I was standing on, then and now.

There are many people who have emerged from vernacular school systems and have done the nation proud. Malaysian artists like Eric Moon, Angelica Lee (voted Asia’s best actress), Ah Niu (talented singer, composer and movie producer which "Kacang Merah Love Story" that received raved review in China), Michael Wong (great song writer, singer producer who have fans in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and mentored other Malaysian talents like Fish Leong), Victor Wong, Mohan (an Indian chap who sang in Hokkien and Mandarin so well that I heard he is making a living in China) and Tan Bee Keow (an Indian lass from Telok Intan who won a talent search contest in Singapore) and lately Jess Lee who overcame a host of international competitors to emerge as champion in a tough singing competition in Taiwan.

These people are creators of beautiful produce, not the ugly destroyers like their slanderous detractors, have made their names in Asia Pacific and proclaim themselves as Malaysians. They certainly present a better image of Malaysia then the likes of Ibrahim Ali, surely.

I do find myself sufficiently motivated to reply certain points written by this individual featured in Malaysia Today:


John Mallot's WSJ Article: A Response

By Umar Mukhtar

…the national-vernacular dichotomy in the school system has resulted in precisely the kind of early-age racial segregation that the busing laws, upheld by the U.S. supreme court justices, sought to eradicate in America.

• as mentioned above, I testify that I was taught to love my country and my fellow countrymen regardless of race and creed; not to distance myself from them. I do not think Umar can produce even half a slice of proof that vernacular school teachers actively telling non-Malay students to be antagonistic to others.

if there is any divisive element, look no further that those race-base political parties that run controlled media like their political parties’ mouth piece and profiting from dealing in racial politics over 5 decades.

• the celebrity casts of Ibrahim Ali, BTN indoctrinators, Awang Selamat and the likes probably never studied in a vernacular school before

The racial polarisation that we see so shamelessly capitalised on by politicians in Malaysia today is partly, if not wholly, attributable to that segregation in the school system. When you see not a few non-Malays unashamedly, even proudly, declaring that they cannot properly speak Malay, the national language, you can bet your life that these are the ones who graduated from the vernacular schools.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
• I would like to know where in his hallucinations did Umar Mukhtar meet non-Malays who are proud of their language deficiency. Look, Chinese have strong survival instinct. If learning Bahasa Malaysia is necessary to cari makan in Malaysia, we will do whatever it takes to secure our rice bowl. My parents were civil servants schooled during the colonial times and both re-tooled themselves by studying Bahasa Malaysia to keep their jobs.

• If he failed to produce a proper identity of a culprit, he is guilty of libel and the credibility of his long article will crumble like a deck of cards

• When I got into secondary school, we fear getting a P7 in Bahasa Malaysia in SPM exam more than death itself. I had a friend who memorized kamus dewan, all of us took BM tuition classes and I read countless magazines (Dewan Masyarakat) and newspapers (after 3 days of puking over Utusan Malaysia, I took up Bacaria and loved the juicy writings- in case Umar asks, I scored an A1 in my SPM BM and included a pantun in my syarahan)

The Chinese community jealously guard the existence of the vernacular schools,
----------------------------------------------------------------------------• Chinese basing time and true colour emerging? In Chinese, we have a saying, “no matter how deprived we are, we shall never deprived our children of education”. That is why early immigrants escaping war, persecution, starvation and famine, despite having very little, proceeded to built schools and provide education for their off spring.

To guard these existence, is to value, salute, improve upon the sweat, sacrifice and contribution of our forefathers. Asia Values require us to respect and honour our elders, now what is wrong about preserving and improving upon their sacrifices?

• China’s 5,000 years of history and culture presents many valuable lessons. The Prophet Mohammed (Peace by upon him) mentioned that if seeking knowledge requires traveling even to China, so be it.

1Malaysia Prime Minister also taken up a famous Chinese proverb which came from a famous administrator of yore:

"There is a Chinese saying, 'Xian tian xia zhi you er you, hou tian xia zhi le er le', (resolve the people's problems before they suffer difficulties). Bring joy to the people before everyone is able to live happily."

So is Najib dividing the nation by quoting lessons from Chinese education?

That proverb only inspire me; not make me feel like distancing myself from Ali, Muthu, Xavier or Gurmit. If the slandering non-thinkers think otherwise, it is no point beri bunga kepada kera.

Often the excuse given by the Chinese for insisting that their children go to vernacular schools and for more such schools to be built is the poor quality of national schools. Surely the solution is not to build more racially-segregated schools but to join hands with Malays and Indians in insisting and ensuring that the quality of national schools be improved for the benefit of children of all ethnicities.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
• Nowadays there are Malays sending their children to SRJK(C) because of the quality of the education there and the ability to speak and write Mandarin is an important skill in 21st century due to emergence of PRC. Even the Caucasians are at it.

• As for national schools, before we even talk about all races joining hands to improve their quality, issues involving Siti Inshah, Iskandar bin Fadeli , and the other guy in Kedah remained unresolved satisfactorily.

If the Deputy Prime Minister cum Education Minister dare not act against such agents of disharmony, how can we instill confidence in parents and students?

"Education minister has no power to act against officers, says Muhyiddin"

When a “Mandarin speakers only” requirement is stated in job advertisements, even for jobs which do not conceivably require much language skills, that surely is equivalent to saying “Chinese only”.
• Nonsense, Mandarin Speaking is a skill set. “Bumiputra is encouraged to apply” statement definitely specify the correct race is a prerequisite but Mandarin Speakers only means people who can speak Mandarin.

If Mandarin speaking is required for operational reasons, for instance, liasing with investors, customers, suppliers and staff from China and Taiwan, it is reasonable for employers to hire communication skills. Again, Umar probably do not know the operational requirement of the position advertised and yet form such a general and slanderous comment.

It is really Katak Bawah Tempurung to disregard the importance of learning Chinese language and culture as the PRC, like it or not, is the key economic player in decades to come.

I have yet to hear of any Chinese leader asking that the Chinese to join in and contribute towards the betterment of national schools.
• We are already paying taxes that goes to national schools without problem

Vernacular schools do not have secured and stable source of funding hence required countless annual fund raising activities. This is the result of Malaysia’s political landscape; it is necessary for the Chinese community to spend more resource on preserving the vernacular schools as they are left to their own devices. Surely one cannot be denied the chance of self preservation?

• If anything, in DAP’s Economic Bureau’s alternative budget for 2010, DAP (happily slandered as “Chinese Party” by certain people) proposed RM250 million to secure public amenities for neglected primary and secondary schools, book vouchers amounting to RM160 million for household with income below RM1,000 among other initiatives to strengthen education sector of Malaysia.