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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Losing Indian support: Pakatan must blame itself

GEORGE TOWN: Pakatan Rakyat should blame itself for the loss of Indian support and not others, said a local DAP leader.

Jalan Bagan Luar DAP branch head G Asoghan said Pakatan should get rid of its denial syndrome and stop blaming Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Pakatan should reflect on whether it had done enough to maintain the overwhelming Indian support shown for the coalition in the 2008 general election,” he told FMT.

He blamed the Pakatan state governments in Penang, Kedah and Selangor, as well as the coalition’s top leaders and Indian elected representatives for the decline.

Pakatan governments, he said, should have implemented various programmes within its administrative powers and financial capacities to benefit the Indian community.

He pointed out that Pakatan should have used state powers on land matters to resolve the landless status of Tamil schools, Hindu temples, burial grounds, crematoriums and Indian residential areas.

Instead of this, he said, Pakatan governments demolished Indian settlements like Kampung Buah Pala in Penang and the Ladang Batu Pekaka Hindu cemetery in Kuala Ketil, Kedah.

“How can Pakatan expect Indian support when it emulates the BN administration?” he asked.

‘Get your act together’

In view of this, Asoghan called on Pakatan decision-makers and strategists to get their act together and address the issue.

“Or else, Pakatan can kiss goodbye to Putrajaya,” he said.

He was referring to the recent call by DAP vice-chairman and Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran for Pakatan to woo back Indian support.

Kulasegaran warned that Pakatan’s ambition of capturing Putrajaya would hit a brick wall if did not arrest the declining support of Malay and Indian voters.

Asoghan said Pakatan for a start should not have adopted the mandore politics ala BN.

He said chief ministers, relevant executive councillors and elected representatives should have directly addressed and resolved arising Indian issues.

He said Pakatan’s argument that its state governments needed more time to perform also did not go down well with the Indian masses.

He added that grassroots Indians have pointed out that during the same short period, Pakatan governments carried out beneficial programmes for the Malays and Chinese.

Asoghan also did not mince his words when taking a swipe at Pakatan’s Indian elected representatives, comprising 10 MPs and 17 assemblymen.

He criticised them for failing to form a community caucus at the national and state levels within the coalition as desired by working class Indians.

Through this caucus, he said, Indian elected representatives could have formulated and recommended constructive policies for implementation.

Bahrain protesters camp beneath capital landmark

Bahrain protesters camp beneath capital landmark(CNN) -- Thousands of activists camped out at the foot of a Bahraini landmark early Wednesday after the Persian Gulf state's king pledged to consider reforms and investigate the killings of two demonstrators during protests this week.

Police were nowhere in sight as about 3,000 people laid out blankets and pitched tents in Manama's Pearl Roundabout, where a massive pearl sits at the apex of a circle of inward-sweeping arches. Police gave the area a wide berth, apparently allowing protesters to vent their anger before Wednesday's funeral for one of the dead, said Mansoor Al-Jamri, editor of the newspaper Al Wasat.

"It's a very relaxed atmosphere," Al-Jamri told CNN. "You'd assume it was a picnic area if you didn't know it was the aftermath of people who died." Demonstrators painted anti-government slogans on the bases of the monument, sang, told jokes and led chants into the early morning hours, he said.

Bahrain is the latest Arab state to face a surge of dissent following the revolts that toppled longtime autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt. The Gulf island's ruler, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, went on television Tuesday to announce that a committee would be established to study proposed reforms.

"We will ask the legislative authority to look at this phenomena and to suggest the necessary legislation which will solve this in a way that will benefit the homeland and its citizens," he said. And he vowed that his government would investigate the killings of two protesters by security forces.

INTERLOK- do not teach Indians how to appreciate literature – Iraiputtiran


INTERLOK- do not teach Indians how to appreciate literature in context as Indians were the ones who kindly loaned and introduced “Sastera” to Malay as well as “bumiputera”, etc…
By Iraiputtiran
UMNO made a grave mistake, just like the many it has lavishly made in the past unchecked. UMNO takes for granted the public’s patience, tolerance and accommodating nature of its atrocities, racism, religious fanaticism, etc., in other words, its failed governance of the country. It didn’t learn after the 25 November 2007, neither did it after the 2008 Tsunami. Solely surviving on the racial segregation and polarization policy to govern the multiracial, multicultural, multilingual and multireligious country, UMNO deliberately, but quite idiotically took a perilous plunge to quench its false sense of supremacy by not withdrawing or banning Interlok as demanded by Hindraf/HRP and many Indians NGOs in the country, but merely agreeing to amend the novel, a least welcomed decision by those offended.
UMNO so used to transgressing the moral and civil boundaries of law, found itself trapped in a quandary called Interlok!!!  Perhaps, perhaps… the UMNO supremacists thought the Indians could be fooled and be forced into submission of being labeled the “P_ _ _ _ _ s”!!! The recent uproar of the Indian community in such a magnitude all over the country against the use of Interlok as compulsory reading for Form Five Malay Literature is baffling to UMNO, especially so with its totalitarian governance that ignores the pulse of the nation!!!
Embedded in arrogance and false sense of supremacy, will UMNO do a volte-face to end the quandary gnawing at the national laureate’s master piece (as drooled and slobbered by PERKASA)? Nah, unlikely!!!
What would UMNO lose by bowing to the demand of the public, the dirty, untouchable, black-skinned and backward thinking Indians, opprobrious than animals (as very creatively penned by the national laureate!!!) to drop the novel from the curriculum? Just what? Why is UMNO so adamant in retaining the novel despite it being the bone of public contention?
Ever since the controversy surfaced both in the government controlled mainstream media as well as on the internet based alternative media, various parties, individuals and NGOs have voiced their disgust and disagreement with the selection of the literary text including MIC, the third largest component  member of the ruling Barisan National coalition and the latest, Bishop Dr Paul Tan, the  president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The only exception were the pro-UMNO organizations including PERKASA which is least surprising anyway!
The novel penned by a national laureate, Abdullah Hussain, was published in 1971, just two years after the May 13 deadly racial riot that saw the uproar of the Malays over their seeming loss of political power to the Chinese in 1969. Reading the novel carefully to the letter and spirit, one would not find it difficult to comprehend why this particular novel is the literature text in the Federal Territory (the UMNOputras’ pride as a supreme ruling race) as well as in Selangor (where UMNO has the best BTN trained and brainwashed obedient servants of their masters). The novel, like the famous and finger licking tasty Malaysian ‘Rojak’, has an excellent mixture of ingredients to produce yet another UMNO effect; further widen the racial gap and dramatically increase the racial segregation and polarization between the Malays and non-Malays. The ingredients for this racist Rojas include reminders that Chinese and Indians are immigrants in this country, the worrying flood of Indian and Chinese immigrants in Malaya, the suspicion that the Chinese will not only make money, but also rob off the country from the Malays, the alleged  Chinese stereotyped labeling of Malays as lazy and uncultured, Chinese and Indians immigrants preferring vernacular Chinese and Tamil schools instead of Malay schools for their children, Islamisation of Malaya by reducing the Hindu and Chinese Gods into demigods, and bastardisation of Indians as black-skinned, dirty, untouchable, uncaring, bad tempered, chatty, lazy, selfish, adulterers and beings more opprobrious than animals!!! In other words, Interlok captures at its best, UMNO’s political sermon, RACISM!!! It promotes not unity, but RACISM!!!
If the novel serves anybody any purpose, then probably it helps UMNO to inculcate in the young minds of Malay students, seeds of racism against the Chinese and Indians and Islamic religious supremacy!!! Any claim that the novel helps to promote unity and I Malaysia crap, doesn’t hold water and is negligible as it happens almost towards the end of the story, in the very last chapter in “a sprinkle of this and a dash of that” fashion!!!
What is the necessity to narrate the experiences of the main characters from three major races in the country, that happened some one hundred years ago? Who needs the reminder? UMNO, the Malays, or the Chinese and Indians? When we are talking about nation building and Vision 2020, how a flash back of hundred years in the past could help to forge forward the diverse community in peace and harmony to a greater height?? By constant reminders that they are immigrants, robbers, lower than animals, black-skinned, dirty, untouchable, money-minded, and demigods’ devotees???
The uproar and objection of the Indians over the selection of Interlok is not just about the derogatory “P…….” word, but rather about the unfavourable portrayals of the Indian characters throughout the novel. Interlok does not promote unity but racism! Interlok is detrimental as a compulsory reading given the many unwanted incidents in schools, stirring racial tensions!!! We have not forgotten “mata sepet and kaki botol”, “tali anjing”, “balik India and balik Cina” incidents as well as other incidents stemming from UMNO racism!!!
After 53 years of severe discrimination, dehumanisation and ethnic cleansing of Indians in the country, UMNO cannot blame the Indians, especially Hindraf/HRP for standing up firmly against UMNO RACISM to guard their dignity and pride!!! UMNO has no right to demoralise the Indians in this country at their whims and fancy and they have had enough of the UMNO antics!
It is not for UMNO to teach the Indians how to read the novel in context as a piece of literature, as it was the Indians, who gave life to the Malay literature by loan of the very word “Sastera” and many other important words to describe many fundamental concepts in the language including “bahasa”, “agama”, “bumiputera”,  etc…. UMNO now is really biting the hands that fed them!!!
If UMNO, driven by racism and sadism refuses to drop the novel from the national curriculum and tries to perform a “Wayang Kulit” (Shadow Play) amendments today, then…
The People’s March in Solidarity against UMNO Racism on 27 February 2011- is the only answer!


Media Event Febuary 16, 2011 (Wednesday)

IMG00131201102141316_thumb1
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Media Event Febuary 16, 2011 (Wednesday)
Re : 1) NEGERI SEMBILAN HINDRAF CHIEF TORTURED IN CUSTODY, PLACED IN 6 X 10 FEET DARK ROOM FOR 20 HOURS INCOMMUNICADO AND ENDURED CRUEL, INHUMANE AND DEGRADING TREATMENT
2) SIVAKUMAR TO LODGE POLICE REPORT ON THE POLICE TORTURE AT JALAN TRAVERS KL ON 16TH FEB.
3) HANDING OF MEMORANDUM TO SUHAKAM (HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION) ON POLICE TORTURE ON HINDRAF LEADERS ARRESTED ON “ILLEGAL ASSEMBLY” CHARGE
4) MEMORANDUM TO SUHAKAM (HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION)TO HOLD OPEN INQUIRY ON THE GROSS VIOLATION ON HINDRAF RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE UNDER ARTICLE 10 OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND UNLAWFUL ARRESTS AND DETENTION OF 59 HINDRAF/HRP ACTIVISTS BY PDRM
5) MEMORANDUM TO SUHAKAM (HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION) TO HOLD INQUIRY AND DETERMINE WHETHER PDRM HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMOVE AND DENY CLOTHING TO HINDRAF ACTIVISTS DETAINED ON GROUNDS OF WEARING ORANGE COLOR T-SHIRTS
Date: 16/2/2011(Wednesday)
Time: 2.15pm
Venue: Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (SUHAKAM)Menara Tun Razak Level 29 Jalan Raja Laut, 50350 Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur Wilayah Persekutuan

“Rights not Mercy”

Thank you.
Yours truly,
…………………………
S.JAYATHAS
Information Chief HINDRAF & HRP
012 6362287
Regards.
S.JAYATHAS
HINDRAF ( National Information Coordinater)
www.hindraf.org
Human Rights Party (HRP) National Information Chief
www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com
Contact No: 012 636 2287

‘Attempted’ sodomy, no actual penetration of Saiful, says report

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — An initial medical report revealed that Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan had told Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) doctors that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had “attempted” to sodomise him, but no actual penetration had taken place.

Dr Khairul Hakim, one of the HKL doctors who had examined him admitted today that the proforma report stated that Saiful had told examining doctors on June 28,2008 that there was “attempted” sodomy and oral sex, but not actual penetration.

Khairul however insisted that Saiful did not say this to him when the latter met him, and maintained that Saiful had told him he was sodomised.

“Based on the proforma report, it was attempted sodomy and oral sex. But he (Saiful) did not say it was attempted,” said Khairul.

This led defence counsel Karpal Singh to ask Khairul the merits of the report.

“Is a proforma report on based on wha SP1 (Saiful) said? Based on the proforma report, there could not have been any penetration because it was attempted,” said Karpal.

Anwar, the 62-year-old PKR de facto leader, is currently facing sodomy charges for the second time in his life.

The former deputy prime minister is charged with sodomising a former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at Unit 11-5-1 of the Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara here between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

Anwar has denied the charge, describing it as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power” when the charge was read out to him. He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code and can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping upon conviction. The trial is taking place 18 months after Anwar was charged in court in August 2008.

He was charged with sodomy and corruption in 1998 after he was sacked from the Cabinet and was later convicted and jailed for both offences. He was freed in September 2004 and later resurrected his political career by winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in a by-election in 2008, which had been held in the interim by his wife.

He had three years ago led the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, to a historic sweep of five states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.

Penang forms state panel on non-Muslim affairs

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will head a new executive council (exco) portfolio to handle non-Muslim religious issues in the state, the first such portfolio in the country.

He said today the new exco was formed in conjunction with the United Nations’ Interfaith Harmony Week last week.

“Unlike the federal government’s Committee for the Promotion of Inter-religious Understanding and Harmony, this is not a committee but a full exco portfolio and reflects the state government’s genuine concerns on all religious matters,” Lim said in a statement today.

The Cabinet had set up a national interfaith panel in April last year to deal with religious disputes following a series of attacks against places of worship nationwide.

Religious tensions among Malaysia’s multicultural population erupted after a High Court ruled in favour of the Catholic Church in a dispute over the word “Allah”.

Churches were firebombed, and mosques, suraus and a gurdwara were desecrated.

The portfolio was presented by Deputy Chief Minister II Professor Dr P. Ramasamy at the state exco’s meeting last week and approved then.

Ramasamy will also be act as deputy chairman for the state interfaith council.

Lim said Penang is willing to work with the the Najib administration to stamp out religious extremism.

He said the state “has been under siege” by extremist groups and labelled “anti-Malay even if it only involves only 10 per cent Malays or one Malay out of 10 affected parties”.

Religion and race are tightly linked in Malaysia where Muslims are constitutionally categorised as being also Malay.

Lim said that despite differences, Malaysians are “united by our common aspirations for good practices and universal moral values of peace,justice, moderation and harmony”.

“Co-operation not confrontation, mutual respect not tolerance, and understanding not ignorance will be the governing creed of this new Penang exco portfolio,” he added.

Egypt’s uprising a wake-up call for Malaysia

Young anti-government protestors wave flags on top of an 
army vehicle at Tahrir Square in Cairo February 12, 2011. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — An Egypt-style people’s revolution is far from erupting in Malaysia but the conditions for one are there, say political observers.

That is why they advise the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to carry out planned reforms sooner rather than later. In the wake of the Egypt uprising, various parties have drawn parallels between Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year regime in Egypt and the BN coalition that has been in power here for the past half a century.

They note that Malaysia, like Egypt, has been facing rocketing financial outflows, widening income disparity, growing unemployment and an ICT-savvy population who are increasingly unhappy with the ruling party — and are becoming bolder in expressing their discontent.

A wave of protests has also rocked other Arab nations such as Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Yemen and Tunisia, where President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was earlier forced from power.

“The government has been dismissive that what has taken place in Egypt can happen here. This is a mistake,” said Dr Lim Teck Ghee who heads the Centre for Policy Initiatives Asia.

He said that the most significant shared trait was plunging public confidence in the political system and major public institutions.

“In Egypt, this recognition that the Mubarak regime was basically beyond reform pushed ordinary Egyptians, especially the young, to the breaking point,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

He said there was a potential for the ordinary Malaysian citizen to follow suit and “give up on Barisan.”

“After all, the BN has ruled continuously for more than 50 years and for many in the lower- and middle-class — irrespective of race — their life prospects have not improved.

“When Wael Ghoneim, the young Egyptian professional who has become the poster boy for the resistance, tweeted after his release from 12 days of confinement by the Egyptian Secret Police that “Freedom is a blessing that deserves fighting for”, he was speaking for many people all around the world — including in Malaysia,” Lim said.

While the first recourse for change is through the ballot box, he said many Malaysians believed the electoral process was not level and even “rigged against the opposition.”

He noted that the mood in the country now is one for change and claimed there needs to be only one more election process to be perceived as unfair for the ground to swell up against the ruling government.

“Don’t forget that in all the national elections held, there has always been a considerable body of voters — at least one third of voters — that have wanted to boot the BN out of office,” he said.

Other pundits held different views.

Independent policy analyst Khoo Kay Peng said the focus on class differences and inequality in Egypt was more pronounced than Malaysia, making it hard to rally a civil movement against the government.

“In Malaysia we practise racial politics. Because of that, it will be hard to unite,” he said, adding that the status quo would only likely be challenged after the next 10 years at the earliest.

“The test would be to see how long the government can continue to absorb young graduates into its civil sector,” he said, pointing to the government’s growing intake of unemployable graduates every year.

Khoo explained that if the BN failed to curb wastages, the spending would cut into the national development fund needed to create more jobs.

Coffeeshop chatter against the government is normal in any country, said Dr Faisal Hazis who heads Universiti Sarawak’s political science and international relations faculty.

He added that it showed a healthy growth of political awareness at the ground level, but does not necessarily translate to action.

Unlike Egypt, Malaysians have yet to reach the critical point, he said.

The Kuching-based lecturer said the opposition group will likely use the Egypt uprising as campaign fodder in the upcoming Sarawak state elections in their bid to topple Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud as there were far greater similarities between the latter and Mubarak.

Both assumed power in 1981, shared similar leadership styles and had triumphed over various attempts to remove them from power, facing down serious allegations of corruption over the years.

“Malaysia’s opposition will try to link Taib and Mubarak and evoke the sentiment of voters. Whether that will bring a big vote swing remains to be seen,” he said.

He said citizens’ demands on the government of the day have become more complex; they are less likely to be appeased by simple promises of development projects but want corruption eradicated.

The groundswell for public accountability and reform is growing, but slowly.

“If the government fails to respond and rules with an iron fist… then the masses will stop voting for change through the ballot box because they no longer believe in the electoral process any more. Once they no longer believe in the system, they will take to the streets, like in Egypt,” he said.

“But in the bigger picture, Egypt and Malaysia are different despite globalisation and IT advances,” Faisal said.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Dr Muhammad Agus Yusoff agreed that the dissatisfaction level at the ground level had yet to hit the critical point.

Agus told The Malaysian Insider his university had recently carried out a survey to measure the perceived level of Malaysia’s democracy.

The results returned a score of 6.8 points out of 10, with 10 being democratic and 0 being autocratic.

“Ours is a restricted democracy,” said the head of the university’s History, Politics and Strategy Studies Centre.

He said civil movements for change will remain unable to gain momentum until the ordinary citizen’s survival is threatened.

“But if the economy were to go down tomorrow, the rakyat will rise up,” said Agus.

“If this dissatisfaction continues, it will create a wave of uprising. But we are still far from it,” he added.

Political analysts, including those hired by Putrajaya, have repeatedly stressed the need to implement serious political and economic reforms rather than just engage in more talk and cosmetic changes.

Journalism lecturer Dr Mustafa Kamal Anuar felt that the only way to push the government into action is to increase the pressure.

“In particular, investigative reporting conducted by online journalists can go a long way towards ensuring that government leaders are accountable to the rakyat,” he said.

The Penang-based academic also noted the increasing use of social media beyond its original purpose in Egypt and Malaysia to raise political awareness.

“The popularity of such social media provides the growing potential of them becoming a useful vehicle for raising political awareness and subsequently, action,” he said.

He also observed that repressive governments may try to arrest the popularity of such new media when they find it working against them, such as by slapping them with restrictive laws or seizing their computers.

“Having said that, such punitive measures can only deliver the desired effects up to a point as the Egyptian experience tells us. But by then, growing grievances and extreme economic and political disenchantment may well be expressed beyond the new media,” Mustafa said.

Faisal also acknowledged that more and more people were using Facebook and Twitter to spread political messages and mobilise support — the 1M Malaysians Against the 100-Storey Facebook group being one.

But he cautioned against “romanticising” social media as effective political tools.

“People try to romanticise ICT, but at the end of the day, it is only a tool. If political apathy is still high, the status quo will remain,” the Unimas don said.

Faisal pointed to Singapore to back his claim, saying the high broadband penetration rate had not spurred any mass move to replace its government which had been tightly controlled by the People’s Action Party since the island republic’s founding.

To Khoo, the only way to rouse the man on the street is to persistently send out the message that strong economic levels can only be achieved by good governance.

“They need to be made aware that the good prices they enjoy for rubber and tin are not because of the government or special privileges.”

No walking away from walkway issue

KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin has another thing coming his way if he thought that he had shut up Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar with his response to her criticism of the Kuala Lumpur pedestrian walkway project.

He said last Friday that she was wrong in supposing that R10 million was too expensive for a 142-metre walkway at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), adding that her calculations were “unprofessional” because she had not taken into account conveniences like air-conditioning, escalators, elevators, CCTV cameras and facilities for the disabled.

In her latest statement on the issue, Nurul Izzah repeated the questions the minister left unanswered, asking him to give a detailed breakdown of the construction cost and the costs of maintaining and operating the walkway.

She also quoted a news report about KLCC Holdings’ handover of the walkway to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and fired off questions about accountability.

“This indicates very clearly that a build and transfer mechanism is in place with quiet approval, devoid of public oversight and accountability,” she said. “Ultimately, public monies will be used to
maintain this facility.

“Can KL residents expect another bombshell figure? Will DBKL be charging access toll later to pay for the expected ludicrously high costs or, in the spirit of NEM, will it be privatised?” (NEM is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s New Economic Model.)

Nurul Izzah, who is PKR vice-president, has been blogging about the walkway project since it was announced two years ago. In one of her postings at www.nurulizzah.com, she complained about the poor maintenance of the 500-metre covered walkway between the Dang Wangi LRT station and the Bukit Nanas monorail station as well as the multimillion ringgit roof covering the space between the two LRT stations at Masjid Jamek.

A FMT reporter visited both locations and found that the escalators there were not working. Neither are the train stations friendly to the disabled.

Nurul Izzah cast doubt on DBKL’s ability to maintain the new pedestrian walkway and others in the pipeline

Azizah revamps Sabah PKR, promises autonomy

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah PKR is heading for a total revamp with its interim chief, party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, promising political autonomy.

Wan Azizah, who took over as state chief and set up a PKR presidential council following a revolt against her appointee Pajudin Nordin as Sabah PKR chief, left former Sabah chairman Ansari Abdullah out of all 12 committees formed to draw up agendas for the party’s strategies on various issues for the coming general election.

“He (Ansari) is aware that the decision is based on consensus of state division heads,” she told reporters after chairing the first PKR Sabah’s first presidential council meeting here today.

Ansari, widely seen as leading a faction in the party supporting Pajudin who quit the party to join rival Umno barely a month after his appointment, attended the meeting but left prior to the press conference.

“I was offered a position but I turned it down as I wanted to concentrate in my Tuaran division. We accept the decision of the council,” Ansari said when contacted.

Azizah has, however, included other key Sabah PKR faction leaders in the committees.

Among them are former state chief Ahmad Thamrin Jaini who will head the party’s finance security and immigration committee, supreme council member Christina Liew as infrastructure development committee head, former state PKR leader Awang Tengah Awang Amin and Tawau chief Kong Hong Ming who will head the Land Development and Consumer Affairs committees respectively.

“It is the first step towards building a stronger leadership foundation for the party in Sabah with greater emphasis on reaching consensus of key issues,” Azizah said.

Leadership issues

The move to restructure Sabah PKR is aimed at helping the party focus on the coming general election expected by many to be called by June.

Azizah also took time to pointedly emphasise that her leadership of the state PKR would be temporary as the party recognises the political autonomy of the state.

“I’m here only temporarily. A convention will be held to thrash out leadership issues. The majority will be heard… it depends on how it goes,” she said but declined to commit to a time frame for the state leadership.

Azizah also said that her party was ready to talk to local opposition Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) leader Yong Teck Lee to work out a deal that will see the parties cooperating by putting forward a single opposition candidate in the forthcoming general election against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in the state.

She said the parties had learnt from the Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election last year when they had lost to the BN candidate after fielding their own candidates.

“Batu Sapi tells us we must talk,” she said.

Dayak dignity at stake over Larry

KUCHING: If Chief Minister Taib Mahmud insists on fielding Larry Sng in Pelagus in the coming election, then Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and its president James Masing will have no choice but to leave the state Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, according to former PRS information chief Tedewin Ngumbang.

“It appears to me that Taib wants Sng to contest the Pelagus seat and wants Masing to take him back.

“If that is the case, the PRS president and the party have no choice but to pull out of the state BN if they have the courage,” he said.

Ngumbang believes that a pullout by PRS would only be for the better.

“It is what the Dayak communuity wants him to do… the party can work with Sarawak National Party (SNAP) to strengthen Dayak unity.

“They (PRS leaders) will be considered heroes by the Dayaks and will be welcomed with open arms by Pakatan Rakyat,” he added.

Alternatively, Masing could swallow his pride and help Taib solve Sng’s problem by taking Sng back to PRS, he said.

“This will settle the problem once and for all and the chief minister will be very happy as well as the Sngs and the Tings (Ting Phek Kiing who is Sng’s father-in-law).

“There will certainly be hugs and kisses, sweeteners and ‘ang pows’ will be thrown as packages for the party,” Ngumbang said.

Forced resignation?

Ngumbang said that Masing should not worry about the reactions of other elected representatives and PRS followers as they were never interested and bothered in the first place.

He added that the third option was to force Masing to resign.

“They (Taib and company) can push PRS and Masing into a corner and force Sng down his throat.

“Then they could force Masing to resign from the party and leave the political scene completely,” said Ngumbang.

But he added that question now is whether Joseph Entulu, PRS deputy president and Joseph Salang, the party’s information chief, would follow suit or will they carry the PRS torch without Masing?

Ngumbang recently resigned from PRS as he could not stand Taib’s bullying attitude towards the party.

Commenting on Ngumbang’s suggestion, a veteran Iban politician said: “Masing should consider pulling out of the state BN as that will ultimately lead PRS to merge with Sarawak National Party (SNAP).

“The merger of all Dayak-based parties is the dream of all the Dayaks in the state.

“The time has come for all the Dayaks to be united under one political umbrella,” he said, adding that the Dayaks have been disunited for the last 30 years.

“The Dayaks have lost so much in terms of native customary rights land, their privileges, their rights and development,” he added.

Caring godfather

Meanwhile, Taib is certain of helping Sng in his present problem as he made a promise to his business ally Ting that he would look after his son-in-law (Larry Sng).

“Don’t worry Ting, your son-in-law is just like my son. I will do my best to help him,” Taib had reportedly told Ting when Sng was sacked from PRS in 2009.

Recently, the BN rejected Sng’s application to be a direct member of BN, thus his opportunity to contest in Pelagus or as a BN member is lost.

But Taib on his return to Kuching said he would look into Sng’s problem as he a “strong supporter of BN and has been working very hard”.

Jeffrey out to unite Sabahans under UBF

KOTA KINABALU: United Borneo Front (UBF) leader Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said that he will not return to any of the existing political parties in Sabah until Sabahans are united under the UBF banner.

“If the UBF struggle can be carried out by a handful of the parties in Sabah, just as SNAP (Sarawak Nasional Party) is willing to do that in Sarawak, there may not even be a necessity for me to set up my own political party here,” he said.

“If I am continually pressured by the people to represent them or provide a vehicle for them, I will call the parties in the Borneo Alliance to democratically arrive at an acceptable solution,” he said.

He said that MPs and state assemblymen in Sabah and Sarawak must understand the concept of the “Borneo Agenda” and that they are responsible as servants of the people to carry its aims.

“We may be able to push for at least 35% representation in Parliament for Borneo MPs to allow for the right of veto instead of the pathetic 25% currently,” Jeffrey added.

He said that UBF would drill the meaning of a non-partisan civil rights movement into the people “until it completely sinks in”.

Jeffrey pointed out the rapid degeneration of Sabah from the richest state in the country to the poorest in a span of 47 years.

“In the 1960 census, with just under 1.2 million people in Sabah and Sarawak, over 50% of the population in Sabah and Sarawak were illiterate with only 0.0007% of the total population in both states holding graduate degrees.

“Our forefathers and ancestors had every reason to fear the federation… despite that, the Cobbold Commission Report states that Sabah had active trade and full employment as a result of its trading with Hong Kong.

“Today, we have a bigger population, a huge percentage of graduates and the global reputation, as endorsed by the World Bank, for being the poorest in the nation.

“On top of that, we are more ignorant than ever. Having left politics, some quarters are still trying to convince people that I am a politician or in the opposition.

“They are completely ignorant of the civil rights movement concept and continue to hold personal vendettas against me even though I have chosen to be non-partisan,” he said.

Long-term agenda

Jeffrey hopes to use the UBF platform to “nurture and raise young, fresh leaders in their communities, so that they will take over the baton from the present leaders who have been in the scene for far too long, past their expiry dates”.

Commenting on the anti-Valentine’s Day campaign mounted by religious authorities, Jeffrey said there are more pressing issues to discuss than slamming the festival as Christian.

He said Malaysians should be focusing on issues that could unite people and question why a country which is aiming for first world status by 2020 is unable to extend dual citizenships to its citizens, especially when many Malaysians have foreign spouses and children.

“Many monarchies allow their citizens to hold dual citizenships and this doesn’t mean that their citizens will be less patriotic.

“Why are the federal authorities determining the immigration issues of Sabah when we were guaranteed this autonomy in 1963?

“Unless we have regular open dialogues for politicians to discuss things in an educated way with the public, we will lose focus with irrelevant issues and confuse the people of Sabah and Sarawak. Get back to basics and focus on our empowerment ideals.

“What is happening to this country? Why are we being so venomous when we have grown to accept the values of cross-cultural co-existence?

“If a Muslim can attend a Christmas Open House and a Christian can eat halal food at a Hari Raya Open House, why can’t non-Christians and secular people express their appreciation of love innocently in a Christian way?” he asked.

Caught out by the Net

But that’s Dr Mahathir for you. He could say almost directly contradicting things and get away with it. But that was then. Today, we live in an information age where the Internet is not censored thanks to Dr Mahathir, which is another ironic thing. Precisely because the Internet is not filtered, we have bloggers and online media highlighting the contradictions in what he says.

Oon Yeoh, The Sun

IT HAS always been remarkable to me how former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad can say one thing one moment and another the next. He did it throughout his time as prime minister and he is doing it now.

I recall how once he told a Chinese crowd how the Federal Constitution does not specify the race of the prime minister and he could envision one day a Chinese person becoming the prime minister. Of course he got a hearty round of applause from the audience. A short while later while addressing a Malay crowd he said the government will never concede an inch on Malay rights.

A newspaper editor I was talking to at that time remarked what a remarkable gap it was between saying that you can envision a Chinese politician becoming prime minister and that you will not concede an inch on Malay rights.

But that’s Dr Mahathir for you. He could say almost directly contradicting things and get away with it. But that was then. Today, we live in an information age where the Internet is not censored thanks to Dr Mahathir, which is another ironic thing. Precisely because the Internet is not filtered, we have bloggers and online media highlighting the contradictions in what he says.

Let’s look at some of his recent comments. He told an audience earlier this month at a talk entitled "Malay race and the future" at the Tun Hussein Onn Memorial that "Peninsular Malaysia was known as Tanah Melayu but this cannot be said because it will be considered racist."

Of course he said it anyway, and added: "We must be sincere and accept that the country is Tanah Melayu."

Less than two weeks later, he told Siti Nurhaliza in a televised interview that he would place racial equality on top of his list of priorities to develop the country if he were given a second shot at running the country.

For decades, he has been railing against the Malays for relying too much on the government, for adopting a rentier philosophy and for quickly selling shares allotted to them through the NEP. Recently, he did it again. "They receive approved permits and sell it, they are awarded contracts, they sell it. Quick gains don’t last. Whose fault is it? It is ours," he said this month in a speech at a symposium about the Malay dilemma.

Yet, in the very same breath he warns against scaling back the NEP. Never mind that it was supposed to end in 1990. He thinks it needs to continue despite the abuses and the problems associated with it.

And for good measure, at that symposium, Dr Mahathir reasserted his comments about Tanah Melayu, saying, "We had willingly changed the name of our country, the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu to Malaysia, and no one is thankful that we had done so for their interests."

In a new book published about Dr Mahathir, he is quoted as saying he spoke with opposition leaders before the notorious Operasi Lallang was carried out and assured them they would not be detained. He also said it was the police who ordered the ISA detentions.

When opposition leaders like Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh rebutted his assertions, Dr Mahathir said he could not quite remember who was there. "It happened over 20 years ago," he said. "I met them but I cannot remember the faces of those people."

He also asked the opposition members who were there to own up and admit they were there.

This is classic Mahathir but unlike the time when he was prime minister, today there are blogs, social media and online news portals ready to analyse his statements. Perhaps this is something Dr Mahathir should realise and consider before making more statements.

“Ubah Sekarang, Selamatkan Malaysia”, Melaka



Histrionics skew Teoh inquiry

The New Straits Times

PRODDED by self-serving political scheming, and before the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Teoh Beng Hock's death can proceed unmolested, its inception has been disparaged, thanks to the loaded aspersions cast on the inquiry's independence and ability to carry out the task as instructed by the king.

The motivation to begin the inquiry with earnest intent has been tilted out of balance, the purpose being the aggressive-compulsive angst to commandeer proceedings.

On Monday, the first day of the inquiry, Gobind Singh Deo (DAP member of parliament for Puchong) launched his involvement as the Teoh family counsel by protesting the presence of three Attorney-General's Chambers' conducting officers, patently running down the court officers as "biased".

The Teoh family, Gobind further contended, had "lost faith" in the A-G after the chambers filed for a revision on the coroner's open verdict in the inquest to determine Teoh's death.

Gobind justified his objections on two counts:

- the A-G was pushing for a suicide verdict, when what the family wants to imply is that Teoh was murdered; and,

- if there had been alternative police investigations after the inquest, especially on the coroner's evidence of pre-fall injuries on Teoh's neck.

It is classic disinformation tactic to force whichever enforcement authorities involved in the RCI to be on the defensive, a "drawing-the-first-blood" strategy that puts Gobind and lead counsel Karpal Singh (DAP chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor) in a strategic position to call the shots.

Moreover, the DAP lawyers also engineered an "emotional" weapon, putting up Teoh's sister, Lee Lan, to mandate the removal of the three conducting officers on grounds that they were "biased", reinforced with an expressive plea that her family wanted "fair and independent" individuals as conducting officers.

How loaded were the plea adjectives and nouns uttered? "Biased", "lost faith", "fair and independent" seemed to be leading assumptions designed to persuade the RCI members with emotive implorations.

So, it was heartening that RCI chairman Tan Sri James Foong Cheng Yuen did not buy into any of the attack, the Federal Court judge rationalising his rejections of Lee Lan's and Gobind's submissions in cool, crystal logic without losing focus on what must be done.

Addressing Lee Lan directly, Foong averred: "From the very beginning, I have expressed great sorrow on your brother's death. But do not forget, this is a far wider scope than just your family. The whole nation needs to know the truth, not just your family. Everyone here wants to get to the bottom of this. I am not restraining you or your lawyers from appealing the decision but as of this moment, I have not seen the conducting officers as being partial."

Gobind will realise by now that this judge and this RCI won't be swayed by his histrionics. The steely focus on facts and empirical evidence, not theatrics, is refreshing.

But there were more legal manoeuvres: Karpal filed for a judicial review to defer the RCI and avoid a clash with the A-G's bid to acquire a revision of the inquest's outcome at the High Court, which the commission acknowledged but decided to let it be ruled in open court.

Fair enough. But the next manoeuvre buttressed by Gobind is galling: "We weren't consulted on the date. The courts are very strict with postponements these days. If the RCI proceeds on Monday, it will put us in a spot because we have cases lined up until March and some in April."

"...because we have cases lined up until March and some in April..." simply means that the father-son combo has key trials or hearings that require their personal involvement and cannot be dislodged by something as imperative as the RCI, not even after the row they nettled for a year in demanding that the government set up the inquiry.

But can you blame Karpal-Gobind? In whatever explosive situation, they are political animals first, lawyers second.

As for the inquiry, all right-thinking Malaysians are terribly anxious to know -- in definitive and absolute terms -- how Teoh died, whether it was a misadventure, culpable homicide, suicide or murder.

Teoh's death was tragic and may still be a crime. So, let's do away with the histrionics and theatrics.

Let's just get on with the job.

Panel meets to resolve 'Interlok' controversy

The New Straits Times
by V. Shankar Ganesh, Suganti Subramaniam and Masami Mustaza

KUALA LUMPUR: The move to amend the controversial Interlok school textbook begins today as an independent panel tries to find a balance to appease the Indian community and retain the novel's essence of unity.

Panel chairman Professor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin said many meetings were expected before the panel could finalise any amendment and submit them to the government for approval.

At the panel's first meeting today at the Education Ministry in Putrajaya, panel members would be briefed on their terms of reference.

"The panel will not be prejudiced against anyone. We will be open to all input," said the professor of social anthropology in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

"One of the main things we will discuss is the definition of a novel. We have to clarify this before moving on," he told the New Straits Times.

The meeting, he added, would "go beyond personal and group opinions".

The panel will include representatives from the MIC, Federation of Malaysian National Writers Association (Gapena), Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) and officials from the Education Ministry.

The author of the novel, national laureate Datuk Abdullah Hussein, will be represented by his wife.

The hotly debated novel was approved for use as a literature component of the Bahasa Malaysia subject for Form Five students this year.


It was used in schools in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor and Negri Sembilan.

However, leaders from the Indian community protested over the use of the book, saying it contained derogatory words and factual errors on geographical, sociological and historical issues.

They also claimed it contained religious misinterpretations and cultural errors.

The Interlok novel was written in 1967 and published in 1971. According to the National Interlok Action Team (NIAT), comprising some 140 Indian-based NGOs, the original work contained 123,550 words but had been edited and reduced by 20 per cent for textbook purposes.

The edited version was published in 2005 as an optional reading material for secondary schools and last year, it was further edited before being made compulsory reading material. The copyright of the book is now with the DBP.

A NIAT analysis also found that the three main characters in the book, portraying the Malay, Chinese and Indian personalities, had varying degrees of editing.

The Malay character Seman had been edited by three per cent, Chin Huat had been edited by 10 per cent while Maniam was edited by 20 per cent.

Following protests by the community, Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin chaired a meeting attended by MIC leaders and non-governmental organisations to hear their grouses.

The MIC pressed the government to withdraw the book, but following meetings with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Muhyiddin, it was decided that the novel would be retained.

However, amendments will be made to the text deemed offensive and factually wrong by the panel.

Its use in schools was also suspended until the amendments were incorporated into the novel.

One of the main issues that drew protests from the Indian community was the use of the word "pariah", in the novel.

Gapena had supported the ministry's decision to use Interlok as a textbook and that the only acceptable change that could be made to the novel was to add a glossary for the word "pariah" to better explain it.

Other Malay literary enthusiasts and academicians have insisted that the value of the book lies in its overall theme of unity and ethnic integration as the novel was set in Malaya between the early 1900s and the country's independence.

It focuses on the challenges faced by three deprived families -- Malay, Chinese, Indian -- on their daily struggles.

They also questioned why only after 40 years, the Indians were protesting over the book. However, Indian community leaders responded that the concerns only arose after the novel was made as compulsory textbook for students.

Indian leaders have also called on the ministry to realise that the issue was not just the "pariah" word as there were more than 20 passages in the novel that they claim are derogative of Indians.

Hosni Mubarak’s Pimped Out Palaces


Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is currently trying to cling to power amid widespread protests. Mubarak has good reason to fight to stay in office. If he loses the Presidency, Mubarak will leave behind two opulent palaces complete with countless chandeliers, solid gold clocks, a collection of weapons, and a bedroom with silk-lined walls.
Mubarak’s residence in Cairo, Abdeen Palace, was built during a ten-year period from 1863-1874. According to archived copies of an official web site that was taken down by the Egyptian government up until 2008, it is “considered one of the most sumptuous palaces in the world in terms of its adornments, paintings, and  large number of clocks scattered in the parlors and wings, most of which  are decorated with pure gold.”
President Mubarak’s office at Abdeen Palace features paintings that celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal and its 1975 re-inauguration following its closure in the wake of the Six Day War.

According to the official Egyptian government web site, the Byzantine Auditorium is “harmoniously decorated with Coptic, Byzantine and Islamic adornments” and is “used as a foyer where guests would gather before going into the main ballroom.”

In the theater at Abdeen Palace there are “hundreds of gold-plated seats” where “Egyptian shows are presented to entertain the palace’s guests.”

Abdeen Palace includes museums dedicated to silverware, gifts received by President Mubarak, and weaponry including a pistol once owned by Italian fascist Benito Mussolini.

One room in the Presidential gifts museum contains a portrait of Mubarak surrounded by weapons given to the President. Saddam Hussein contributed a gold-plated AK-47 to the collection.

 Ras Al-TIn palace is Mubarak’s home in Alexandria. It was constructed from 1834-1847 on an area of 17,000 square meters.

According to the official website, President Mubarak’s bedroom at Ras Al-Tin is “a quite style bedroom distinguished with golden ornaments and silk covering the walls.”

President Mubarak’s office at Ras Al-Tin has multiple ornately decorated rooms and waiting areas.

President Mubarak signs “formal agreements” at Ras Al-Tin in a hall that was once used as the throne room of the Egyptian King.

Press conferences are held in the “flag saloon” where the walls are decorated with “music instrument shapes” and “a collection of the most prominent Italian artists work.”

While his people dealt with the rising poverty that was a major factor in the current protests, Mubarak lived a life of luxury. This popular uprising may chase him from his palaces, but thanks to a vast family fortune purportedly worth as much as $70 billion, Mubarak should still be able to score himself some impressive real estate outside of Egypt. 

Jawatankuasa Hak Sivil Dewan Perhimpunan Cina KL & Selangor dan Jawatankuasa Masyarakat Sivil Pusat Pembangunan -Mengecam Penahanan Ahli Parti Hak Asasi Manusia (HRP) oleh Polis

15hb Februari 2011
Kenyataan Media Bersama
Jawatankuasa Hak Sivil Dewan Perhimpunan Cina KL & Selangor (CRC-KLSCAH)
Jawatankuasa Masyarakat Sivil Pusat Pembangunan Kebudayaan Lim Lian Geok (CSC-LLG)
 “Mereka Cintai Negara Dengan Cara Lain” – Mengecam Penahanan Ahli Parti Hak Asasi Manusia (HRP) oleh Polis
 Jawatankuasa Hak Sivil Dewan Perhimpunan Cina KL & Selangor dan Jawatankuasa Masyarakat Sivil Pusat Pembangunan Kebudayaan Lim Lian Geok mengecam penahanan ahli-ahli Parti Hak Asasi Manusia oleh polis. Tindakan ini mencabul hak-hak asasi rakyat untuk menganjur perhimpunan aman dan kebebasan bergerak. Kami berpendapat salah guna kuasa polis telah mecapai satu tahap serius yang membimbangkan, kerajaan harus meminda Akta Polis dan menubuh Suruhanjaya Bebas dan Salah Laku Polis (IPCMC) segera supaya salah guna kuasa polis dihentikan.
 Aktiviti Konvoi bantahan buku “Interlok” HRP sebenarnya tiada perbezaan dengan aktiviti konvoi gantung bendera orang awam ketika Hari Kemerdekaan, mereka cuma menunjukkan perasaan mereka terhadap isu-isu yang diprihatinkan. Kelakuan mereka adalah sama dengan orang awam biasa, mereka mencintai Negara kita dengan cara berlainan. Menunjukkan perasaan secara terbuka, menyebarkan pemikiran sendiri di tempat awam adalah biasa dalam satu masyarakat demokratik. Pihak polis sering menyekat hak-hak kebebasan bersuara organisasi masyarakat sivil, itulah sebab kedudukan demokrasi Malaysia semakin menurun dalam satu laporan demokrasi yang dikemukakan oleh The Economist baru-baru ini.
Kami menyeru kerajaan menangani saranan “Membantah Perkauman” dan “Anti-Interlok” HRP dengan langkah-langkah bertamadun dan dialog, bukanlah guna kekerasan dan penindasan memaksa suara rakyat dilenyapkan. Kami amat khuatir terhadap kesihatan dan keselamatan 22 ahli HRP yang menjalankan mogok lapar ( hunger strike) di lokap polis di Negeri Sembilan selepas penahanan mereka dipanjangkan. Kerajaan harus melepaskan 22 ahli HRP serta merta dan tanpa syarat berdasarkan semangat humanisme dan menghormati hak demokratik rakyat. Jika tidak, slogan Perdana Menteri Najib Razak “Rakyat diutamankan” akan terus dicemarkan.
Punca masalah ini ialah polis diberi kuasa terlalu besar, amalan penyalahgunaan kuasa yang tidak disekat selama ini turut merosakkan pasukan polis kita. Selain daripada penindasan terhadap perhimpunan aman, kes-kes salah guna kuasa polis terhadap Chia Buang Hing, A. Kugan dan Aminul Rasyid juga merisaukan rakyat. Kami menggesa kerajaan memansuhkan seksyen 27 Akta Polis yang menyekatkan kebebasan dan menubuh IPCMC serta merta, memulangkan hak asasi manusia dan menjamin keselamatan rakyat Malaysia, mencegah sesesiapa menjadi mangsa salah guna kuasa polis yang seterusnya.
 [Kenyataan Media ini dihantarkan oleh Ng Yap Hwa, 012-2658448, Senior Executive Pusat Pembangunan Kebudayaan Lim Lian Geok, sebarang pertanyaan sila hubungi saya]




Yo

Bukan Pinjaman tetapi biasiswa kepada mahasiswa

PERKASA gesa pinjaman automatik pada siswa Mesir

Presiden Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (PERKASA) menggesa kerajaan memberikan pinjaman bagi membiayai mahasiswa negara ini di Mesir secara automatik di semua peringkat.

Presidennya Datuk Ibrahim Ali berkata, ini kerana golongan Melayu dan Bumiputera dijamin kemudahan itu, termasuk biasiswa seperti termaktub dalam hak-hak istimewa dalam Fasal 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan. - malaysiakini

Saya benar-benar hairan dengan sikap PERKASA yang mencadangkan bagi menambah beban para pelajar Malaysia di Mesir dengan memberikan hutang kepada mereka agar dapat membiayai pengajian mereka di sana .

Sepatutnya PERKASA mengambil sikap dengan mencadangkan kepada kerajaan supaya memberikan biasiswa agar hak mereka sepertimana yang dinyatakan oleh Fasal 153 diaplikasikan . Bukan terus membebankan mereka dengan pinjaman seperti yang dicadangkan .
Bukan sahaja kepada pelajar di Mesir sahaja yang perlu diberikan biasiswa tetapi termasuk juga kepada di negara-negara lain dan yang menuntut di dalam Malaysia . Fasal 153 tersebut telah lama dinafikan oleh kerajaan UMNO/BN dan kini para mahasiswa kita berdepan dengan bebanan hutang PTPTN selepas tamat pengajian mereka .
Dalam suasana kenaikan harga barang makanan dan keperluan , pinjaman kereta , sewa rumah dan ditambah lagi dengan bebanan pembayaran hutang PTPTN yang perlu dilunasi . Itulah dilema yang dihadapi oleh anak-anak muda hari ini yang bergelar graduan universiti dan kolej .
Pembaziran dan keborosan berbelanja wang rakyat yang diamalkan oleh DS Najib Razak dan Rosmah Mansor termasuk ketirisan , kebocoran dalam urustadbir pemerintahan DS Najib Razak serta pimpinan UMNO sama ada di peringkat persekutuan dan negeri penguasaan mereka adalah sangat melampau dan keterlaluan sehingga kita berdepan dengan hutang negara yang paling tinggi dalam sejarah iaitu RM 362.39 billion .

Negara mempunyai dana yang hebat . Daripada hasil petrolium , kerajaan persekutuan memperolehi 44% daripada keuntungan PETRONAS . Kenaikan harga petrolium di arus antarabangsa sudah pasti PETRONAS memperolehi keuntungan yang berlipat kali ganda . Sepertimana yang dilaporkan oleh PETRONAS , bahawa mampu
mencatatkan keuntungan sebelum cukai sebanyak RM80 bilion bagi seluruh tahun kewangan berakhir 31 Mac 2011.

Hasil pungutan cukai yang dilaksanakan oleh Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri ( LHDN ) dilihat memberangsangkan dan dapati bilangan pembayar cukai semakin bertambah tahun demi tahun, begitu juga dengan kutipan hasil. Sebagai contoh, pada 2007 hasil kutipan negara adalah sebanyak RM77 bilion, pada 2008 sebanyak RM90 bilion dan 2009 sebanyak RM88 bilion.

Belum lagi dimasukkan dengan keuntungan-keuntungan lain daripada pelbagai sektor termasuk pelancungan , pertanian , perindustrian , perusahaan dan sebagainya . Yang sudah pasti akan memenuhi kantung perbendaharaan negara .

Justeru negara mempunyai kemampuan dalam mempertingkatkan pendidikan rakyat dengan memberikan biasiswa terutama kepada golongan berpendapatan rendah dan miskin tanpa mengira bangsa . Bukannya membebankan mereka dengan hutang atau pinjaman .

Saya terlalu marah dan geram dengan sikap berpoya-poya DS Najib dan Rosmah serta pimpinan negara yang menggunakan wang rakyat untuk kesenangan dan kepentingan mereka sendiri . Sepertimana yang dilaporkan oleh YB senator Dr. Syed Husin Ali bahawa sepanjang 19 bulan DS Najib menjadi Perdana Menteri , dalam siri lawatan beliau ke luar negara telah membelanjakan RM 8,724 ,894.91 iaitu RM 31,840.50 sehari .

DS Najib lebih rela meluluskan pembinaan Menara Warisan dengan kos RM 5 billion . Rosmah Mansor berpoya-poya di luar negara sepertimana lawatannya ke Dubai dan Arab Saudi dengan membelanjakan RM 100,000.00 semalam tinggal di hotel mewah .


Rasuah dan penyelewengan terus membaham wang rakyat tanpa ada perasaan bertanggungjawab . Bayangkan kalau dengan RM 8,724,894.91 berapa orang mahasiswa dapat diberikan biasiswa , daripada hangus begitu sahaja diratah dengan rakus oleh seorang yang bergelar Perdana Menteri .

Deaths reported in Iran protest

Iranian politicians have called for opposition leaders to be handed the death penalty following the protests [AFP]
Two people were killed at a banned opposition rally in Iran, a member of parliament has told the
Iranian Students' News Agency.
"At Monday's rally ... two people were martyred and many were wounded; one person was shot dead," Kazem Jalali said.
It was unclear how the second protester died.
So far, Iranian police have confirmed that one person was killed during clashes and blamed an outlawed group for shooting into the crowd.
"One person was martyred by Monafeghin [the People's Mujahedeen of Iran - PMOI] in the shooting at yesterday's events," Ahmad Reza Radan, deputy police chief of Iran, said on Tuesday, adding that nine security personnel were injured.
Earlier, the semi-official Fars news agency reported that a bystander had been shot dead and several wounded by protesters.
But the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which includes the PMOI, denied the allegations on Tuesday, saying "those in power crushed the demonstrators, firing live rounds and tear gas at them".
The Associated Press news agency had quoted witnesses saying that at least three protesters had been injured by bullets while dozens more were hospitalised after being beaten.
Dorsa Jabbari, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tehran, confirmed reports that security forces used tear gas, pepper spray and batons against the protesters.
As with other foreign media, she was prohibited by government order to witness the demonstrations.
Death penalty
During Monday's protests, thousands of people descended on central Tehran in support of the uprisings across Arab nations.
But Iranian politicians have called for opposition leaders to be handed the death penalty following the protests, accusing them of fomenting unrest.
"Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi are corrupts on earth and should be tried," politicians were quoted as saying by the official Irna news agency.
 Protesters burn a picture of the late Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hoseyni Khamenei. The demonstrators can be heard to chant "Mubarak, Ben Ali, now it's Seyyed Ali's turn."
The term "corrupt on earth", a charge which has been levelled at political dissidents in the past, carries the death penalty in the Islamic republic.
Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, a judiciary spokesman, said: "Those who created public disorder on Monday will be confronted firmly and immediately."
Human-rights groups have criticised Iran's crackdown on protesters, while Western governments have voiced their support for the demonstration.
Amnesty International, the UK-based rights organisation, condemned authorities for making dozens of arrests, saying the crackdown was aimed at blocking the work of activists and stifling dissent.
"Iranians have a right to gather to peacefully express their support for the people of Egypt and Tunisia," Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa deputy director, said.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, urged Iran to refrain from using force against protesters, while Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, backed the rights of people to protest.
"We wish the opposition and the brave people in the streets across cities in Iran the same opportunity that they saw their Egyptian counterparts seize in the last week," Clinton said.
One-day event
An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said comments from US officials were designed to distract from the changes going on in the Middle East.
Monday's marches were organised as a one-day event and it is unclear if further protests will take place later in the week.
A message posted on by the organisers of the demonstrations on the 25 Bahman Facebook site seemed to indicate that there might be more protests.
"The 25 Bahman group will try to announce the programme for of protests for tonight and tomorrow shortly," it read.
The current security clampdown is reminiscent of the one that crushed a wave of protests after the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, in June 2009.
There was few mentions of Monday's demonstrations on state-run television stations or websites.
Source:
Al Jazeera and Agenices

MCLM wants a single coalition to oust BN

Raja Petra: MCLM has been hard at work with the Sarawak National Party (Snap) in Sarawak and the United Borneo Front (UBF) in Sabah in trying to build an alliance with forces in Sabah and Sarawak.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) issued a guarantee today that it would work with all opposition parties as a single coalition to oust Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next general election.

MCLM founder Raja Petra Kamarudin said that the London-based movement would first form a pact with opposition parties in Sabah and Sarawak before forming a cooperation with Peninsular Malaysian parties to ensure straight fight with BN.

“Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan have 57 seats in Parliament. As I said in my earlier article, Sabah and Sarawak are critical to our having a chance of forming a reform government in Putrajaya post 13th general election,” said Raja Petra in an article published by Free Malaysia Today.

“MCLM has been hard at work with the Sarawak National Party (Snap) in Sarawak and the United Borneo Front (UBF) in Sabah in trying to build an alliance with forces in Sabah and Sarawak. We hope in the coming days that we will be able to announce the formation of such an alliance,” he added.

Out of the 57 seats in East Malaysia only Kuching, Sibu and Kota Kinabalu are held by the opposition, DAP. The rest are under BN control, which gave BN the majority it needed in the 222-member Parliament to form the government.

“Should a Snap-UBF-MCLM alliance be successfully forged, MCLM hopes to be able, with its alliance partners, to work out a further alliance with the other non-Barisan Nasional parties in Sabah, Sarawak, and Semenanjung with one objective in mind: to forge a coalition to displace Barisan Nasional in the next election and to install a pro-reform federal government in Putrajaya,” said Raja Petra.

MCLM is scheduled to hold a joint press conference with Snap and UBF which was founded by former PKR vice-president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who quit the party recently.

“It is hoped that with these alliances in place, straight fights in the forthcoming 13th GE will be assured and that any three-corner contests are Barisan Nasional’s own doing,” said the founder of Malaysia Today political website.

Raja Petra also stressed that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) cannot overthrow BN on its own and must with group such as MCLM.

“Realistically, Pakatan Rakyat cannot do this on its own. In fact, no one political party can do this on its own. What is needed is a collective of all pro-rakyat, pro-reform political parties working together with the Third Force, made up of reform-oriented NGOs and the rakyat who are ready to work for change,” said Raja Petra.

The MCLM had offered four candidates to contest against BN in the 13th general election and plans to introduce 30 before the dissolution of the current Parliament.

The movement emerged after PKR lost six of its MPs who became BN-friendly independents following disagreement with the federal opposition leaders.

The MCLM’s initiative however has not been welcomed by PR leaders, with PKR deputy president Azmin Ali saying that the potential candidates would only be accepted if they are willing to toe the party line.

Third Force candidate won’t compromise stand for seat

KUALA LUMUR, Feb 15 – MP aspirant Sreekant Pillai said today he will not toe PKR’s pre-conditions in exchange for a ticket in the coming 13th general elections.

“As far as I am concerned, I’m going in as an independent,” the 37-year-old lawyer and son of the late MGG Pillai, a noted journalist, told The Malaysian Insider in response to PKR’s announcement that it will only consider candidates from non-Pakatan Rakyat (PR) groups if they agree to the coalition’s policies.

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali had said the party is open to candidates from organisations such as the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) so long as they stick to its policies.

“We can discuss with them. But if they still want to be independent, what’s the point?” the Gombak MP had said of MCLM, which has said they will offer 30 “defection-proof” candidates to PKR.

Sreekant, who is one of the five hopefuls who have been named by MCLM to date, said PKR was entitled to set up its own rules and structures but questioned the sudden introduction of party policy.

If elected, MCLM said that its candidates will decide on issues based on their conscience rather than the coalition’s consensus.

He noted that the other two PR partners had fielded non-member candidates before without any strings attached and named the late Zaitun “Toni” Kassim as an example.

The civil activist had, in 1999, stood in Selayang as an independent candidate on a DAP ticket.

Sreekant said he was not worried that he would lose the chance to contest because of this.

His fellow election candidate hopeful Malik Imtiaz Sarwar declined comment except to say he is “happy that PKR is open to the possibilities. There is much to talk about though.”

The MCLM is understood to have 17 potential candidates to offer to date, with several likely to stand for federal seats in Sarawak.

The outfit’s president, Haris Ibrahim, said he will be announcing a few more names this week.

The MCLM and two Sarawak-based political groups, Snap and United Borneo Front (UBF), are expected to scheduled to hold a joint news conference at its headquarters here tomorrow.

Azmin, who is also election director, said that PKR’s top leadership including de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim held a meeting with PSM over the weekend to discuss seat allocation for the next general election.

“They have been loyal to us, more so than some of those who ran and defected. So, we have no problems giving them another two seats as long as they continue to stand with us,” he said of the party that had also contested in 2004 and 2008 under PKR’s symbol.

PSM president Dr Nasir Hashim won the Kota Damansara seat in the Selangor state legislative assembly admitted meeting Anwar but declined to comment when contacted today.

“We’ve decided not to make any comments until our meeting tomorrow,” he said, adding that the issue would be among the top topics of discussion.

Of the four candidates who ran in 2008, PSM claimed two victories as Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj won PSM’s first-ever parliamentary seat by defeating then-MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu in Sungai Siput while PSM president Dr Nasir Hashim won the Kota Damansara seat in the Selangor state legislative assembly.

PKR’s chief strategist Rafizi Ramli had told The Malaysian Insider in an exclusive interview that it was wary of accepting candidates offered by MCLM because it wanted to avoid making the same “mistake” of 2008 where it had picked candidates who could not withstand the pressure and challenges of being a lawmaker.

Since then, six of its MPs have left within a year.

The latest defections from the party are Sabah PKR chief Pajudin Nordin who joined Umno and Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishnan. Datuk Zaid Ibrahim left last November during the party’s fractious elections and is now helming Parti Kita.

D-Day for former Batu Estate workers

Their homes will be demolished by DBKL even though a High Court judgment in 2003 decided otherwise.
KUALA LUMPUR: Batu Estate’s ex-workers are facing their D-Day tomorrow as Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) safety and enforcement department decided in favour of  Mayland Developers Sdn Bhd to demolish their homes located next to Putramas Condominium.

Notice of the demolition has already been issued to the 38 former workers.

Yesterday, the ex-estate workers submitted a memorandum to DBKL and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to stop the demolition.
Representative V Thilagenthiran questioned DBKL’s involvement in the dispute between Mayland and the workers, some having lived there for the past 70 years.

“Why is DBKL interfering in the matters of two parties over a private land?” he asked.
“The demolition would violate a High Court judgment that we are the rightful residents in October 2003.”
DBKL’s assistant administrative officer, Sa’adiah Hashim, however, maintained that the homes of the ex-Batu workers were squatters.

“Our job is to demolish the squatters,” she said when met at the department.

Thilagentiran later had a meeting with DBKL’s operations enforcement officer, Osman Ismail, which was constantly interrupted by Sa’adiah.

“She claimed that we received between RM10,000 and RM30,000 as compensation to leave but we did not,” Thilagenthiran said.

Since 2003, Mayland was supposed to take up further court proceedings if it wanted to evict the ex-Batu estate workers “with full hearing and not summarily disposed of”, but the developer had  resorted to intimidating the workers, using gangsters since mid last year, alleged Thilagenthiran.

Previously, local MIC representatives lobbied  the ex-workers to accept the RM30,000 and flats meant for squatters.

Failure to do so prompted Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being Deputy Minister M Saravanan to rope in DBKL which issued a demolition notice in October 2010.

But the demolition did not take place after a verbal assurance from the Minister Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin’s private secretary, Shazril Fazira Faridam.

Cops probe mentally ill man ‘executed’ claim

The police are recording statements from witnesses after a police report was lodged by the deceased’s brother.

PETALING JAYA: An investigation has been launched into the allegation that a mentally ill man was “executed” after being provoked by several policemen in Bahau last week.

Speaking to FMT, Negri Sembilan police chief Osman Salleh said they were recording statements from witnesses.

“We will investigate all complaints no matter what,” he said. “Once we collect the information, we will proceed with the next course of action.”

Previously, the police said Ahmad Harfidz Abu Bakar was shot dead after he had attacked a police sergeant with a parang.

The police had apparently gone to the house after Harfidz’s mother complained that he was running amok.

However, the deceased’s brother Ahmad Hairail Adzuan filed a police report the next day, claiming that his brother was shot at point blank range after being provoked.

The police’s version stated that he was shot from a distance of three metres.

According to Hairail, his mother had called the police to coax Harfidz to go for his medical treatment.

However, Harfidz, whom he described as docile, panicked and locked himself in the room after seeing two patrol cars arrive at the house.

Hairail said when his brother came out of the room after the police had used a taser gun on him, the sergeant had allegedly said, ‘Awak ada parang, saya ada pistol, siapa lagi power’ (you have a parang and I have a gun. Who is more powerful?) and shot him, which led Harfidz to swing his parang at the officer.

Malaysia Getting Election Fever?


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Najib and Taib: fun in Sarawak
(Asia Sentinel) Sarawak assembly should be the last big one before national snap polls later in the year

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud Friday is expected to call for the dissolution of the East Malaysian state's assembly, according to local media.

The polls, which must be held in prior to the expiry of the state assembly's term in July, have long been regarded as a precursor to national elections, which must be held before the end of 2013 but are expected sooner to give Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak another five-year term in office. Much depends on the prevailing atmosphere once the Sarawak elections are held, along with a continuing series of by-elections brought on by heart attacks, scandals, defections and other political problems.

By rights the 74-year-old Taib, who has ruled Sarawak for 30 years, should face the strongest challenge of his career, if not the threat of criminal investigation, although the political wisdom is that his Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu Sarawak can be expected to pull out a victory over the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party, with or without him.

Over several months last summer, a Sarawak-based NGO called the Sarawak Report issued a series of exhaustively detailed reports documenting through officials records in the United States. Canada and the United Kingdom Taib's vast personal holdings, including a Seattle, Washington home for which he appeared to have paid US$1 to a company to which he granted lucrative timber concessions. The stories, reprinted by Asia Sentinel, can be found here, here, here, and here.

News reports over the past several months have quoted sources within the Barisan Nasional as hoping Taib would step down because of the scandals attached to his name and that of his family. The Sarawak Ngo's reports included repeated requests to Malaysian authorities to investigate what appeared to be 30 years of looting the state for its timber and other natural resources. However, nobody ever answered the NGO's requests for a probe of Taib's immense overseas assets. It is clear that the national government values the political security it gets out of Taib's Sarawak political apparatus over any questions of integrity.

Although some observers expect early national elections as well, sources within the United Malays National Organisation, the country's biggest ethnically-based political party, told Asia Sentinel that Najib would prefer to hold off national elections until later in the year to allow the economic stimulus from a panoply of economic projects to kick in, including the beginning of construction of highways, a mass rapid transit system for Kuala Lumpur, a 100-storey office building and other projects.

Malaysia's politics have been tumultuous for almost three years, since the opposition Pakatan Rakyat troika of parties broke the 50-year two-thirds stranglehold on the Dewan Rakyat, or national parliament, by the Barisan Nasional, the national ruling coalition. The heart attack death on Feb. 10 of Zaharuddin Abu Kasim, a Pahang state assemblyman representing UMNO, clears the way for the 16th by-election since national elections stunned the Barisan Nasional in 2008 national elections.

The opposition continues its precarious hold on more than a third of the Dewan Rakyat. But how long that will continue is not known. While the most recent by-elections have mostly gone to the parties that held them previously, the percentage of votes going to the Barisan have steadily gone up.

Certainly Najib has a tailwind from a strengthening economy and a perception that he is an activist, compared to his predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. His personal approval rating remains extremely strong at 69 percent according to a Merdeka Center poll which was released on Christmas Eve, despite long-running allegations of massive kickbacks paid on defense purchases when he was defense minister, not to mention widespread continuing questions over complicity in the 2006 murder of a Mongolian translator, Altantuya Shaariibuu, the jilted lover of his best friend, Abdul Razak Baginda. Even among ethnic Chinese, Najib's approval rating remains a strong 54 percent.

UMNO, however, enjoys no such cushion. Polls show approval of the political party at just 22 percent after a vast number of scandals demonstrating the lips-and-teeth relationship of successful Bumi businessmen to the party. Only 6 percent of Chinese place any trust in the party. It is thus questionable at the moment whether UMNO could win back the Barisan's two-thirds majority. The two other main parties in the Barisan coalition, the Malaysian Chinese Association and the Malaysian Indian Congress, may be in even worse shape, given huge scandals in both.

To prime the economic pump, Najib has allocated nearly RM100 billion (US$32.8 billion) to a series of ambitious projects under his 10-year Economic Transformation Program. The total ETP, as it has become known, is estimated to cost a whopping RM443 billion. But there are deep concerns about the ETP from a lot of different angles, including whether the spate of enormous projects might drive up the economy initially, but could result in overinvestment followed by prolonged periods of low investment and low growth.

For instance, there is apprehension among analysts whether Kuala Lumpur needs another skyscraper, especially one that will be 100 storeys high and built by the government. The iconic twin towers have been largely filled by Petronas and other government offices. Former Prime Minister Mahathir, who built them, has expressed concern in his blog, Che Det, whether the proposed one is viable. Real estate analysts fear a coming property glut.

The other concerns revolve around who will get the contracts to build the projects. Far too often, government contracts have provided a cornucopia of goodies for what has become known universally as the UMNOcrats. At least 23 of Malaysia's biggest companies have been vehicles for UMNO to siphon off vast amounts of money as Mahathir's plans to industrialize the country went awry.

Today a new group of UMNOcrats appears to be on the march, closely related to Najib. The entity being watched most closely is 1Malaysia Development, a sovereign wealth fund that was somehow transformed out of a Terengganu wealth fund into a vehicle to advance Najib's government investment projects. His wife, Rosmah Mansor, is said to be very closely connected to it and other projects.

Mahathir himself, apparently without irony, complained recently to local media that the party that was under his tutelage for 22 years – and created the kleptocracy that is now UMNO -- is a party of "contracts, APs and licences."

However, the opposition led by Anwar is in disarray, with frequent defections, the biggest one by Zaid Ibrahim, who left UMNO two years ago to join Anwar in PKR. However, Zaid re-defected some months back, charging that the party was undemocratic, and founded Kita, or the people's Welfare Party.

Anwar himself is not only involved in a marathon trial over sodomy charges by a former aide but has been barred along with three members of his coalition from participating in the Parliament for six months on charges that he lied in criticizing the government over Najib's "One Malaysia" slogan, which he said had been copied from the "One Israel" political alliance of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak in 1999. The sodomy charges have led some within his coalition to ask whether he is too preoccupied to continue to lead.

So if and when the national elections take place, as they must, it appears there are plenty of wild cards among two coalitions that face continuing trouble, in a country where racial tensions continue to tighten. In an op-ed article in the Wall Street journal last week, former US Ambassador to Malaysia John R. Malott (1995-1998) said racial tensions are worse than they were when Najib took office, and perhaps as bad as they have been since July 1969 race riots took the lives of hundreds on both sides of the ethnic divide. A survey of sources in Kuala Lumpur makes it difficult to believe he isn't right, despite the scorn heaped on him by the country's mainstream press, which is controlled by the main political parties.