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Saturday, February 19, 2011

HRP vows to continue with its protest

Human Rights Party (HRP) will still carry on with their 'People's March in Solidarity Against Umno's Racism' on Feb 27, despite the crackdown last weekend.

Last Sunday, the police detained nationwide at least 59 people travelling Hindraf convoys with allegations rough treatment by police.

"We are sticking to the plan and there is no turning back," HRP information chief S Jayathas told Malaysiakini when contacted today.

He said that the march would be neither postponed nor cancelled because Article 10 of the federal constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression.

He also said that there are no changes of plans and that the meeting point will still remain KLCC.

NONE"I call for all, everyone who thinks that Umno is racist and if they really want to make a difference. A change in Malaysia," Jayathas (left) added.

Action plans all laid out
HRP will be holding several forums on 'Interlok' in major cities before the march and leaflets are still being distributed nationwide.

On any response from Inspector General Police Ismail Omar regarding their application for a police permit submitted on Feb 11, Jayathas said:

"No, we have not heard from the IGP yet. But we do know that on the scheduled day, there will be other agents that will provoke us," he said.

On the 'Interlok' novel Jayathas said HRP will take the issue to the United Nations on Tuesday .

Clash of differing perceptions

NONEThe issue first broke out at the end of last year when Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department T Murugiah protested against 'Interlok' after his ministry had discussed the novel with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

The MIC had also called for change the work before the book is used as a literature textbook, as it contains a chapter 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 to the Indian community.

There has been endless protest since then.

PAS says will prioritise Malays

Nik Aziz: Umno has not been upholding Islam or the Malays.

SHAH ALAM, Feb 19 — With dwindling Malay Muslim support, PAS today affirmed its commitment to prioritise the dominant Islamic race in the country.

PAS spiritual advisor Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat claimed that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition partner had never forsaken Malay rights and that it was Umno’s economic policies which had caused division and unequal distribution among various races in Malaysia.

“For PAS, Malays need to be prioritised in our agenda because they are the dominant Islamic race in Malaysia.

“Umno has not been upholding Islam or the Malays,” he said today during an opening address at a PAS convention on empowering Malays here.

The convention aims to silence critics who have derided the party for being anti-Malay in aligning themselves with the DAP.

Nik Aziz said that while Islam was not race-based, as an Islamic party in Malaysia, PAS would prioritise Malays because they were the country’s foremost Muslim community.

The Kelantan Mentri Besar claimed that the New Economic Policy (NEP), which was supposed to help the Malays, had failed to achieve its purpose.

“The NEP was used for Umno’s interests. A systematic betrayal was done on the Indians, Chinese, Ibans, other races..the end result of the NEP was the creation and flourishing of Umno “Ketuanan Melayu” cronies,” said Nik Aziz, referring to the concept of Malay Supremacy.

The convention today, dubbed “Konvensyen Nasional Pengupayaan Bangsa” (National Race Empowerment Convention) is seen as PAS’ attempt to attract Malay voter support which has been declining in recent years.

PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar said today that the convention will address the “baseless” accusations that have been hurled against PR states.

“This convention is done to convince Malays and Bumiputras that PAS and PR will defend their rights. This convention will solidify PAS’s guarantee on Malay rights, Bumiputra and also Islam and how we defend it based on the Federal Constitution,” said the Pokok Sena MP.

Mahfuz said Malays needed to be aware of the fact that the steady erosion of their rights for decades was done by Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) and not PAS.

The convention will be attended by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who will issue a list of the party’s guarantees to the Bumiputera community in his keynote address later.

PR has seen a decline in Malay support since July 2009, when a by-election in the 99 per cent Malay seat of Manek Urai, Kelantan saw a previous 1,352-vote majority in the PAS stronghold drop to a wafer-thin 65.

Malays continued to swing towards Barisan Nasional (BN) in subsequent polls, from around seven to 10 per cent, allowing the ruling coalition to grab Hulu Selangor and Galas from PR.

The most recent by-election in Tenang, Johor, saw PR fail to make any headway among the mainly Felda Malays as BN swept over 83 per cent of Malay votes to increase its majority by over 1,200 votes.

Rejecting race is un-Islamic, says BTN man

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — Pahang National Civics Bureau (BTN) assistant director Ahmad Shah Jamlus said rejecting race is un-Islamic and stressed that the religion and Malays are inseparable.

In the bureau’s blog, Ahmad pointed out that the creation of Adam and Eve implies differences in mankind as we are made of distinct races.

Ahmad said that the Quran says Allah has created nations and tribes and the most honoured are those with the most piety towards Allah.

“Therefore Malay and Islam cannot be separated. The first step in reaching a higher level of God-consciousness is established in the country’s constitution whereby under article 160 stipulates that a Malay must be a Muslim,” Ahmad wrote in an article, “Rejecting race or ethnicity is rejecting human nature,” on February 9.

Ahmad’s comments are bound to reignite fears that government has failed to revamp BTN.

The BTN, a state agency charged with running courses on patriotism for civil servants and undergraduates, came under fire last year for promoting racism.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration had promised a revamp of BTN’s courses following a widespread public outcry.

Last year, BTN deputy director Hamim Husin told to a Puteri Umno closed-door function that Malay rights is a mandate to rule the country.

Hamim had also made derogatory references to the Chinese and the Indian communities, saying each of their communities had only a vote each.

Bashed by loggers, remanded by police

A routine check for illegal logging by a Sarawak NCR landowner landed him in police custody.
SARIKEI:  Minggat anak Nyakin, who has a parcel of NCR land at Sungai Rotan and Sungai Penyaru Kuba (Kiba) Sarikei, found out the hard and  painful way that standing up for his rights is no easy task and could cost him his life.

Lying in Sarekei Hospital after being viciously attacked while checking on alleged illegal logging activity on his NCR land, Mingat has to now deal with being under police remand for trespassing.

Said Ngumbang Anak Barau of the Tahabas (native landowners Network): “Not only was he (Mingat) badly beaten up, he was also arrested by the police.

“Mingat and his son Juan went to their land to check on illegal logging. When they found out there was still logging going on, they tried to talk to the manager but instead were attacked.”

According to Ngumbang, the incident occurred on Feb 14.

In December 2010, Mingat reported alleged illegal logging over his land to the police, the Land and Survey Department as well as the Public Works Department and called for an investigation.

On the day of the incident, Mingat and Juan had decided to check on the situation. Upon finding continued logging activity, they decided to drop in at the log-pond and tried negotiating for compensation with its manager.

The negotiation went sour and before Minggat and his son could leave the office building, they were attacked viciously at its footsteps.

“Although badly hurt, his son managed to escape in the darkness towards a nearby oil palm plantation, while his father was left  in an unconscious state at the footsteps of the log-pond manager’s office.

“Regardless of any wrongdoings or crimes that Minggat or his son may have committed, the source of the problem has yet to be investigated satisfactorily by the authorities.

“Minggat’s family agrees that Minggat should be fairly investigated, and so does the timber company that has been operating for many years on NCR lands allegedly without a relevant or valid licence.

“The alleged illegal logging seems to be proceeding unhindered thus far.

“A police report has been lodged by Minggat’s wife on Feb 16 regarding the attack. The attackers have not been arrested,” he said.

“The name of the timber company which owns the log-pond remains unknown to the rest of us, while there is no telling when investigations will be made on Minggat and his son’s attackers.

“What is certain is that Minggat and Juan will remain hospitalised for a few more days or even weeks.
“Today, their pains are too debilitating for them to even ponder what they will do next.” Ngumbang added.

A badly choreographed education system

Dance and teaching enthusiast Marion D’Cruz partly blames the crazy waltz of politics for the lack of thinking skills among Malaysian students.
FEATURE
If we could live on the things Marion D’Cruz says, we would all be slim and trim because nothing is sugar-coated and artificial sweeteners are banned altogether.
One of the many things she has always been upfront about is the Malaysian education system.

“I love teaching,” she once wrote. “I aim, more than anything else, to make young people think.”

She complained, in that 2007 newspaper article, about the damage done on young minds by the education system – “or rather the lack of an education system”– and by the “systems of injustice, aggression and racial polarisation and the politics of religion and economics”.
FMT caught up with her recently and found that the last four years had done nothing to dim that passion or make her any less frank.

Marion is currently with the National Arts Academy (Aswara), where she lectures on dance history, dance criticism, improvisation, dance choreography, dance aesthetics and appreciation, but teaches her students a lot more than what those course titles might indicate.

“Sometimes,” she said, “I feel sorry for the students. Our school system is just not giving them anything. They don’t have a sense of the world, no criticality and no thinking skills at all.

“It’s really horrific. When I ask them a question like, ‘Are we still good people or citizens if we don’t believe in God?’ most of them look at me very strangely and give me this answer, ‘maybe’.
“It’s always maybe with them because they are scared to commit to an opinion.”
She blamed the system. “It makes them say ‘yes sir, yes sir, three bags full sir.’

“I ask them these questions to challenge them. Whatever answer they give, I will keep prodding them, just to make them think.

“If they answer ‘yes’, I will ask them, ‘Are you saying you are rebelling against the Rukunegara when the first line itself states ‘Kepercayaan Kepada Tuhan’ (Belief in God)?”

World-class dancers
Nevertheless, she is evidently proud of her students.
“I can safely tell you that at least 10 per cent of them are world-class dancers,” she said.
“But they need to be thinkers, so they can create bodies of work that move other people to think. If a dancer thinks, then he or she is on the way to becoming a great artist.

“I just want them to speak and share their opinions. Our schools have shut them up for too long.”

To the question of what could be done to set things right, Marion deadpanned, “Honestly, I don’t know where to begin.”

But she did speak of policy flip-flops and questioned the sincerity of some ministerial decisions.

“Whenever a new minister comes along, he or she will add or change a policy and say, ‘This is what it should be.” Then he leaves. Someone new comes along and does something different. The science and maths debacle is a prime example of this fickle-mindedness.

“Some of these ministers are all about making their mark. If it’s a good mark, great. But if you keep changing something, it’s going to get confusing and very messy. Consistency is a good thing sometimes.
“The last I heard, the students are being given a chance to choose what language they want to have the Maths and Science classes in.

“Imagine this: you have 100 students, 20 of them say Bahasa Malaysia and 80 pick English. How on earth are the schools going to manage it?”

Graduate teachers
She picked up a copy of the 10th Malaysia Plan and knocked down its proposal to improve the quality of education by increasing the number of graduate teachers in primary schools.

“How is this going to help the students? To be very frank, the quality of teachers here as a whole is a disaster. And it’s not necessarily a university degree that makes a fine teacher.

“If a school is fortunate, it will have a progressive principal who will make positive changes.
“The teachers are also fed up because they are bogged down. I hear from government-school teachers how bad the situation is. Many of them can’t manage a class of 50 students.”

Marion picks on another point in the Malaysia Plan – that the performance of students in critical subjects, particularly the National Language, English, Science and Mathematics, will be improved by – again – increasing the number of graduate teachers.

“The thinking here is so bizarre that it’s all about graduate teachers.
“Before anything can be improved, many problems have to be acknowledged.

“For example, the divide between Arts and Science is a problem. The balance between the two, which is so essential, just isn’t there. I’m not suggesting that a dancer needs to learn quantum physics, but there should be a fair amount of crossover.

“Everything right now revolves around technology. I have been told that the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry has the most money for grants. It seems that if you want to apply, your research must be about technology.

“What about the arts? All great civilisations of the world are recognised as such because of the artists along with the inventors and scientists.”

Marion stressed the need to change teaching strategies and create a two-way learning environment in which teachers and students learn together.

She advised: “It really cannot just be about the gathering of facts to pass an exam. It cannot be just about right and wrong. ‘Wrong’ can be good. That’s where learning happens.

“In my improvisation classes, the students learn how to use their bodies in creative ways. I have a lot of movement games aimed at getting the students to be creative. I’m not interested if you can put your toe in your ear. It’s just about enjoying the creative process and learning something useful from it.”

When it comes to making things better, according to Marion, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. There are plenty of models to choose from in the teaching pedagogies already available.

“But,” she added, “it will take a hell of a lot of political shift and will.”

Indian student forced to say ‘keling babi’

Human Rights Party using video clip to garner support for mass rally.
VIDEO INSIDE
PETALING JAYA: A 28-second video that depicts a Malaysian Indian student forced to say “keling babi” by his school mates is making its rounds on Youtube.
In the video, the antagonist who is behind the camera says: “Cakap sekarang, aku sepak sekarang. Aku terajang karang. Cakap keling babi. Cakap keling babi.” (Say it now, I’ll slap you. I’ll kick you. Say Indians are pigs. Say Indians are pigs.)

When the student concerned did not respond, the antagonist continues until the Indian student relented.
The video has been viewed more than 18,000 times since it was put up on Feb 12.

It was first uploaded by someone who identified himself as Amingenji and subsequently uploaded by Hindrafmakkalsakti.

The account held by Amingenji is now closed.

Hindrafmakkalsakti is the user name for Human Rights Party (HRP).
The clip is currently being used by HRP to garner support for its upcoming mass gathering against Umno rascism and Interlok scheduled for the end of the month.

HRP believes that the incident shown on Youtube took place in SMK Shah Bandar, Klang, Selangor.
When contacted HRP, pro tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar said no police reports have been lodged so far.

“The police are not going to take action. The Attorney-General’s office is not going to prosecute.”
Instead, he suggested that Pakatan Rakyat used this opportunity to show its concerns for the Indian community by tabling in Parliament a private member bill for an Act similar to Indonesia’s Anti-Racial Discrimination Act 2008.

Commenting on the YouTube clip, MIC Youth secretary C Sivarraajh said in a press statement: “This is proven to be seditious and we want the police to come forward and take immediate action to prevent the incident from spreading to other schools.”

He also took the Education Ministry to task as the video is creating a negative perception to non-Indians and jeopardises the 1Malaysia concept.

Melayu Mudah Lupa; Mahathir terlupa dirinya Menteri KDN ketika Ops Lalang

Menurut ISA, walaupun Seksyen 73 memperuntukkan kuasa kepada polis untuk menangkap tanpa waran sesiapa yang boleh ditahan mengikut Seksyen 8, tetapi Seksyen 73(3) juga menyatakan bahawa tempoh penahanan ini tidak boleh melebihi 60 hari. Malah, jika penahanan melebihi 30 hari, Ketua Polis Negara perlu melaporkan kepada Menteri Dalam Negeri tentang keadaan penahanan.

Chang Teck Peng

Mahathir Mohamad sememangnya terkenal sebagai Perdana Menteri yang dominan, tegas ketika memberi kata duanya. Beliau tidak mengendahkan sindiran pengkritiknya, sebaliknya akan menyanggah kritikan mereka dengan sikap dan nada yang angkuh.

Sesungguhnya, jasa dan silap seseorang tokoh bakal dinilai sejarah. Untuk tokoh seperti Mahathir (gambar kiri), mustahil penilaian terhadapnya hanya berat sebelah. Tokoh seperti Mahathir sering berkeupayaan untuk menghalalkan setiap dasar dan tindak-tanduknya, malah amat yakin dengan hujah dirinya - meskipun wacananya itu tidak semestinya diterima umum. Keyakinan ini, dari perspektif yang lain, ditafsirkan sebagai keberanian untuk bertanggungjawab - iaitu memikul tanggungjawab terhadap jasa dan silap yang dilakukan.

Namun demikian, sifat Mahathir ini semakin luntur dalam tempoh lapan tahun selepas beliau bersara. Contoh yang terdekat, Mahathir cuba lepas tangan begitu sahaja tanggungjawab politiknya dalam "Operasi Lalang" pada tahun 1987, dalam satu wawancaranya yang dibukukan dalam Doctor M: Operation Malaysia - Conversations with Mahathir Mohamad, oleh Tom Plate. Mahathir mendakwa penangkapan pada 26 Oktober 1987 adalah keputusan polis, dan beliau hanya menerima keputusan itu. Malah, beliau mendakwa dirinya pernah berjumpa dan menjamin kepada pembangkang sebelum "Operasi Lalang", bahawa mereka tidak akan ditangkap.

Sejumlah 106 orang, termasuk ahli politik, pejuang pendidikan Cina, pencinta alam dan pekerja agama ditahan dalam Operasi Lalang, malah 40 orang antaranya dilanjutkan penahanan dua tahun. Permit akhbar The Star, Watan, Sin Chew Jit Poh dilucutkan, dan hanya kembali beroperasi pada tahun 1988. Adalah sesuatu yang tidak masuk akal apabila Mahathir menafikan bahawa dirinya adalah dalang utama di sebalik operasi penekanan politik ini.

Mahathir terlupa

Rakyat bukan menuduh sembarangan apabila menuding jari terhadap Mahathir, sebagai dalang "Operasi Lalang". Setelah Timbalan Perdana Menteri merangkap Menteri Dalam Negeri, Musa Hitam dicantas, Mahathir sebagai PM merangkap jawatan Menteri Dalam Negeri sejak tahun 1986. Jawatan Menteri Dalam Negeri ini hanya diserahkan kepada Timbalan Perdana Menteri (ketika itu), Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, selepas Pilihan Raya Umum tahun 1999.

Meskipun Mahathir berdepan dengan sekta yang berlainan pada awal zaman pemerintahannya, namun beliau berjaya menewaskan Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (gambar kanan) bersama pasukan B-nya, dalam pergelutan kuasa yang sengit dalam UMNO. Mahathir berjaya mempertahankan kedudukan sebagai PM, Menteri Dalam Negeri, Pengerusi BN dan Presiden UMNO. Polis Diraja Malaysia berada di bawah bidang kuasa Kementerian Dalam Negeri - adalah sesuatu yang tidak masuk akal bahawa polis berani mengingkari arahan Mahathir - jika dilihat kepada sifat Mahathir yang diktator.

Jikapun tidak membincangkan realiti hubungan politik pada ketika itu, Mahathir tetap tidak boleh memisahkan diri dari tanggungjawab "Operasi Lalang" seandainya disemak peruntukan dalam Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri 1960 (ISA). 40 dari 106 orang tahanan dilanjutkan penahanan dua tahun, yang seandainya dirujuk kepada Seksyen 8 (1) ISA - adalah bidang kuasa Menteri Dalam Negeri untuk mengarahkan agar penahanan dua tahun dikenakan, seandainya pada budi bicara Menteri, tahanan tersebut mengancam keselamatan negara.

Menurut ISA, walaupun Seksyen 73 memperuntukkan kuasa kepada polis untuk menangkap tanpa waran sesiapa yang boleh ditahan mengikut Seksyen 8, tetapi Seksyen 73(3) juga menyatakan bahawa tempoh penahanan ini tidak boleh melebihi 60 hari. Malah, jika penahanan melebihi 30 hari, Ketua Polis Negara perlu melaporkan kepada Menteri Dalam Negeri tentang keadaan penahanan.

Oleh itu, seandainya Mahathir tidak merestui tindakan menindas yang tidak demokratik ini, beliau mempunyai sekurang-kurangnya dua peluang untuk menghalang, dan bukannya menjurus kepada penangkapan. Pertama, mustahil polis tidak berunding dengan Mahathir sebelum operasi penangkapan yang sebegitu besar dijalankan. Namun, Mahathir tidak membantah, sebaliknya merestuinya. Kedua, selepas penangkapan 106 orang, suasana ketegangan (yang didakwa kerajaan) telah dikawal. Persoalannya, mengapa Mahathir tetap menandatangani arahan untuk melanjutkan penahanan selama dua tahun untuk 40 orang tahanan?

Seandainya Mahathir tidak bersetuju dengan penangkapan seawalnya, tetapi terpaksa akur kerana khuatir "berlakunya konflik perkauman" - maka beliau boleh membubuh noktah kepada operasi ini selepas penahanan 60 hari. Beliau tidak perlu menandatangani surat untuk melanjutkan tempoh penahanan - kuasa yang hanya dimiliki Menteri Dalam Negeri, dan bukan polis.

Sebagai PM, Mahathir adalah Ketua Eksekutif (kerajaan), maka beliau tidak terelak daripada tanggungjawab politik terhadap semua keputusan dan operasi kuasa eksekutif. Sebagai Menteri Dalam Negeri, Mahathir juga tidak terelak daripada segala tanggungjawab eksekutif terhadap keputusan dan tindakan PDRM. Kita boleh memahami keterbatasannya jikalau Mahathir sekadar Menteri Dalam Negeri - kerana Menteri Dalam Negeri mungkin membantah penangkapan polis, tetapi dihalang PM. Namun, Mahathir adalah PM merangkap Menteri Dalam Negeri - apa lagi alasan yang ingin dikemukakan untuk membela dirinya?

Menjadi bahan lawak

Bukan kali pertama Mahathir menafikan bahawa dirinya memainkan peranan yang negatif dalam pemerintahannya. Walaupun Mahathir adalah dalang di sebalik "krisis kehakiman 1988", namun beliau tetap berkeras untuk membela dirinya - bahawa bukan dirinya yang memecat Ketua Hakim Negara, Salleh Abas, serta dua orang Hakim Mahkamah Agung yang lain, Wan Suleiman dan George Seah, tetapi tribunal.

Krisis kehakiman 1988 bermula dengan niat Mahathir untuk mengawal kuasa kehakiman. Sebelum tercetusnya "krisis kehakiman", beliau telah bersilat lidah dengan Salleh Abbas (gambar kanan) dalam isu kebebasan badan kehakiman, kemudian dilanjutkan pula kes kelangsungan UMNO/UMNO Baru (UMNO 11). Tribunal yang menjatuhkan kesalahan "misconduct" (salah laku) ke atas Salleh Abas, ditubuhkan atas cadangan Mahathir kepada Yang Di-Pertuan Agung dengan kuasanya sebagai PM. Motifnya cukup jelas. Kini, Mahathir cuba mengasingkan diri daripada tanggungjawab ini - mungkin "muka tebal" tidak cukup untuk menyifatkan kenyataan sebegini.

Hujah-hujah Mahathir sepanjang lapan tahun yang lalu telah menghakis imejnya sebagai pemimpin dominan yang berkarisma. Seandainya Mahathir memilih untuk mengakui kesalahan politik dirinya, dan menunjukkan keikhlasan dirinya untuk bermuhasabah; atau tetap berpegang bahawa dirinya melakukannya demi kepentingan negara ketika itu, dan berdepan dengan segala tanggungjawab dan kritikan - ia semestinya lebih baik daripada apa yang dilakukan sekarang - enggan meminta maaf, sebaliknya menolak segala-galanya kepada orang lain.

Mungkin Mahathir ingin meninggalkan catatan bertulis untuk membersihkan tanggungjawabnya, agar mempertahankan reputasi sejarahnya. Tetapi perhitungannya silap. Tindakan ini sekadar menambah bahan lawak tentang dirinya dalam sejarah.

*Chang Teck Peng ialah Ketua Pengarang Merdeka Review.

An open letter to Najib: Withdraw Interlok as it is unIslamic

From Thasleem Mohammed, via e-mail

As a Muslim, I’m compelled to write this letter to instill ‘Islamic values’ among all decision makers in the government. It is unfortunate that the “Malay” agenda is being given top priority in the Malaysian plural society.

My views will definitely hit a raw nerve of the elite Malays, politicians and government servants who have been brainwashed with ‘Ketuanan Melayu.

let me clarify that I have no other agenda except to correct the leaders / decision-makers who seem to ‘close an eye’ to issues which disrupt the harmony in our multi-racial environment. Allah SWT is the witness to my ‘niat Ikhlas’ in what I am writing.

The UMNO leaders participation in the Communities Liaison Committee (CLC) formed on 10 January 1949 had an important influence on their political thinking. While UMNO had been formed to protect Malay interests during the Malayan Union crisis of 1946, after the signing of the Federation of Malaya Agreement in 1948, the leaders tentatively began to embrace a broader political outlook encompassing the non-Malays, realising that it was the only hope of achieving the party’s dream of Independence. This paradigm shift was exemplified by Dato’ Onn Jaafar’s speech at the Umno annual general assembly on May 29, 1949:

“It is absolutely important for the Malays to obtain closer ties with the other people in this country. It is time for us to take the view wider than the Kampung view. I ask of you, which will you choose, peace or chaos, friendship or enmity.”

The Umno presidents’ new approach was because the British had made it clear that co-operation of Malays, Chinese and Indians was a pre-requisite before the question of Independence can even be seriously considered.

All Muslim politicians anddecision-makers are fully conscious that Malaysia is a plural society. They are also aware that it is important to ‘live as a Muslim in a plural society’.

Contemporary issues in Malaysia like: Interlok, unfair treatment of non-Malays (not honouring the spirit of the understanding agreed prior to Independence), Malay supremacy are just a few of the challenges in a plural society.

Muslims believe that Islam teaches them the right reaction to every situation. Unfortunately the right perspective is lacking as Muslim leaders/decision-makers do not care to learn enough about these teachings and their application in a given situation. All decisions must take into consideration other religions/races. Islam teaches us to follow this.

Malaysia is a good example. As a consequence of ‘unIslamic’ values in decision- making/policies, not only does the community suffer as a whole, but the image of Islam suffers. Introducing Interlok in the SPM syllabus is an example.

Living in a pluralistic society places a great burden on the average Muslim. One has to remember that one’s action conveys a message. If we observe the teaching of Islam and apply them in the correct perspective in day to day life, we convey the message of Islam correctly to others.

Otherwise we are projecting a wrong image of Islam and nothing can be worse than this. This is currently happening among the Muslim politicians/decisions-makers in Malaysia. Datuk Seri Najib, I am prepared to justify this in a dialogue with Ulamas and decision
makers.

I quote: Al-Quran 49:11 (Surah Al-Hujurat)

“O you who have attained to faith! No men shall deride (other) men: it may well be that those (whom they deride) are better than themselves; and no women (shall deride other) women: it may well be that those (whom they deride) are better than themselves. And neither shall you defame one another, nor insult one another by (opprobrious) epithets: evil is all imputation of iniquity after (one has attained to) faith; and they who (become guilty thereof and) do not repent – it is they, they who are evildoers!”

The above surah has a deep and far reaching meaning which should be reflected in our daily lives. There are other verses in Al-Quran and Hadith to be read and understood by every Muslim politician/decision-maker. I’m aware that all are well-educated Muslims and it is now mandatory for all of them to spell out a set of ‘Do’s and Dont’s’ to themselves and to all Malaysians in any given situation.

If only the Ministry of Education officials who decided on ‘Interlok’ to be introduced in the SPM syllabus had considered themselves ‘Muslims first’ then this book will not be in the hands of the students. I will not hesitate to state that the officials followed their ‘boss’, the minister that they are ‘Malays first’ and as a consequence all these controversies.

I am not sure whether our Malay Muslim politicians/decision-makers are aware that Muslim societies had always been characterised by pluralism. The early Islamic society in Madinah comprised diverse religious sects and ethnic groups such as Persians, Absyssinians and others lived in the town. Divergent religious faiths such Jews and Christians also lived in Madinah.

In later period of Ummayid and Abbari rules, cultural and religious diversities were a significant feature of the Muslim politics. During the Ottoman rule pluralism was far more pronounced in the Middle East as well as Europe.

In the Balkan states, Greek-orthodox, Armenian Georgians as well as Jews, were recognised as religiously autonomous. Muslim rulers were very particular in preserving the cultural freedom of minorities and allowed them total autonomy in their customs, traditions and religious rules.

All the above in my opinion was based as the primary objective by the ‘Reid commission’ which formulated the Malayan Constitution. To refresh readers memory, this commission comprised of:

Chairman - Lord Reid, an Appellate Court judge from Britain
Members – (1) Sir Ivor Jennings (Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge)
(2) Justice Abdul Hamid (Pakistan)
(3) Justice B Malik (India)
(4) WJ McKell (Australia)
(5) Canadian nominee withdraw for health reasons.

(Italic) *Take note that 2 of the 4 members are Muslims from the Indian sub-continent. It was our beloved First Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s suggestion of a Commonwealth Commission that would be suitable to undertake this complex task of formulating the Malayan Constitution.(Italic)

Muslims have always been generous in absorbing desirable and useful features of other societies. They borrowed Persian warfare techniques as early as the battle of Trenches, adopted the medical system of the Greeks and the currency of economically advanced nations. Absorbed the
Byzantine culture of Hijab and benefitted, in profusion from the knowledge acquired by alien societies. Unlike the modern west, they
never fought shy to acknowledge their debt to other cultures.

This experience in living in contact with diverse cultures has never been foreign to the temper of a Muslim society. Muslims have not only been tolerant of divergent cultures but have taken positive measures for the security and prosperity of ethnic and religious minorities.

I beg all the Muslim politicians, administrators, decision-makers to declare themselves as ‘Muslim first’ and all of them require a paradigm shift in thinking of Malaysia for Malaysians, irrespective of religion and race.

Datuk Seri Najib, kindly do not allow ‘racial fanatics’ to bring shame to Islam. According to KBSM guidelines for textbooks the following matters must be avoided. The textbooks must not contain the following: Sensitive elements Matters which may be misconstrued, discriminatory, deemed insulting or offensive as pertaining to race, religion, culture, gender, age or occupation. Negative elements Matters pertaining to attitudes, thoughts, and behaviour which are contrary to noble values in Malaysian society. Subversive elements All matters which are contrary to national policies.

As a Muslim, I’m ashamed that ‘Interlok’ has been introduced as a literary textbook for SPM students. Interlok has miserably failed to meet (i) and (ii). Will the committee responsible be taken to task for this negligence. My gut feeling is ‘No’ because of the ‘Malay Agenda’.

Datuk Seri, the current trend of ‘racial fanatism’ is not healthy for your 1Malaysia concept. There is a very calculated move to dismantle all your efforts to unite Malaysians. Interlok is only the tip of the iceberg.

My ‘niat’ (intention) is not to degrade or disrespect Muslim Malays. Nobody has ever and will not question the ‘special privileges’ of the Malays. Similarly as a good Muslim it is the responsibility of politicians/decisions-makers to safeguard the legitimate interests of other communities as agreed by our founding fathers and as stipulated in our constitution. This is what Islam teaches us and we cannot shirk our responsibility.

May Allah SWT guide all of us to uphold Islamic values in our daily lives be at family, business, politics, inter-racial and inter-religious relationships.

Aameen Aameen Yaa Rabbal Aalameen. Wassalam

The writer is chairman of the National Interlok Action Team

20 reported dead in Libya as thousands take to streets

A still from an undated video released February 17, 2011 via YouTube allegedly shows protesters destroying a monument of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's Green book.

(CNN) -- Amid burials and prayers, tens of thousands of Libyans took to the streets Friday to air their discontent with four decades of Moammar Gadhafi, the longest-ruling president in the world, witnesses said.

At least 20 people were killed and 200 were injured in the northern Mediterranean city of Benghazi, Libya's second largest, said a medical source in Benghazi, who was not identified for security reasons.

CNN was unable to independently verify the information.

One crowd of protesters carried the bodies of those killed in clashes with security forces earlier this week to the cemetery, said a protester, whose name has also been withheld for his safety.

Another large crowd converged in front of the main courthouse, which has transformed into the Benghazi's Tahrir Square, the Cairo plaza that was the center of Egypt's revolution which toppled Hosni Mubarak a week ago.

The protester said people were chanting for Gadhafi and his children to get out of Libya. He called Gadhafi's authoritarian rule "the biggest dictatorship in history."

Though the outside world may not know much about his country, the protester said, "if you live here in Libya you know what I am talking about."

Further east in al-Baida, thousands of people showed up to bury 13 protesters reportedly killed in clashes in recent days, said Mohamed Abdallah of the opposition National Front for the Salvation of Libya, who has been receiving information from Libya from sources there.

Plain-clothes members of the Revolutionary Committee reportedly fired at the protesters, Abdallah said.

Demonstrations were unfolding Friday in several other cities as well, he said.

CNN has not been permitted to report from Libya and cannot confirm information on the demonstrations.

The government maintains strict control of the media and telephone services and many people are afraid to talk amid a climate of fear. CNN has been depending on reliable information from protesters, human rights groups as well as other foreign-based Lybian organizations assessing the situation through their sources on the ground.

It's unclear how many people have been killed or injured since the demonstrations erupted in Libya Tuesday after the detention of a human rights lawyer. But Human Rights Watch said security forces killed at least 24 people and wounded many others in an ensuing crackdown.

The global monitoring group urged Libyan authorities to refrain from the use of lethal force unless absolutely necessary and open an investigation into the deaths that have already occurred.

The protests spread Thursday across Libya from Benghazi in the north to Kufra in the south. They were expected to gain momentum Friday, Islam's day of prayer, because of the planned funerals of those who have died in the protests.

"The security forces' vicious attacks on peaceful demonstrators lay bare the reality of Moammar Gadhafi's brutal rule when faced with any internal dissent," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director for Human Rights Watch.

Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, also condemned the crackdown in Libya and other countries in the region "as illegal and excessively heavy-handed."

"This is a country where the human rights situation has generally been very closed to international scrutiny, including by us, but much of the population seems nevertheless to have the same human rights aspirations as people everywhere else," Pillay said about Libya.

Abdallah, the spokesman for the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, reported that protesters in Benghazi had freed people who were detained in the first two days of the unrest. He said protesters also set afire a police station and the Revolutionary Committee headquarters in Benghazi, al-Baida and Darna.

Gadhafi's regime, however, has sought to portray a different picture of events and sent out tacit warnings via mobile phone texts to Libyans planning to make their voices known.

"The inappropriate use of telecommunications services contradicts our religion ... our customs ... and our traditions," said a text from the General Communications Body.

Another said: "We commend the conscious youth who have realized that sedition destroys his family, his city, his country. And we commend our cities who have realized that touching national unity destroys the prospects of future generations. Together for the sake of the Libya of Tomorrow."

A screen grab of the messages were sent to CNN from Abdulla Darrat, spokesman of Enough Gaddafi, a U.S.-based organization that has been in close touch with people on the streets of Libya.

State-run television countered the anti-government protests with coverage of pro-Gadhafi demonstrations.

It showed men chanting pro-Gadhafi slogans, waving flags and singing around the Libyan leader's limousine as it crept through Tripoli. Scores of supportive demonstrators packed the roadway and held up pictures of their leader as fireworks burst into the night sky.

The images followed reports from protesters, witnesses and human rights activists who described brutality by internal security forces, sometimes dressed in plain clothes.

One of the protesters likened the situation in Libya to Egypt, telling Human Rights Watch that "they are sending baltaqiyyas (thugs) to beat us."

Libya, like many of its Arab neighbors, is suffering from economic hardship and a lack of political reform. Unemployment rates among the nation's youth are high.

Gadhafi is acutely aware of popular grievances and has spoken with groups of students, lawyers and journalists in the past few weeks and, a source told CNN earlier this week.

HRP Briefing on Ethnic Minority Malaysian Indian Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2010 for (36) foreign and diplomatic missions in Malaysia on 3/3/2011.


clip_image002
NO.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245
Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com Email:info@humanrightspartymalaysia.com
His Excellency James R. Keith
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary,
Embassy Of The United States Of America                                                                                     By Fax : 03-21422207
376, Jalan Tun Razak,                                                                                                                             By Hand
50400 Kuala Lumpur
18th February 2011
Dear Sirs,
Re : HRP Briefing on Ethnic Minority Malaysian Indian Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2010 for foreign and diplomatic missions in Malaysia.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
With regards to the above matter we have great pleasure in inviting your goodselves to our second annual briefing session for the foreign and diplomatic heads of missions in Malaysia on Ethnic Minority Malaysian Indian Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2010 as follows:-
Date : 3/3/2011 (Thursday)
Time : 10.00 a.m to 11.30 a.m
Venue : HRP HQ as above
Our proposed itenary would be as follows:-
1. Welcome address by Mr. Pathmarajah, Financial Advisor to HRP and Hindraf Makkal Sakthi.
- And status of Mr. P.Uthayakumar’s especially the Kg. Medan “ethnic cleansing” Sedition charges which carries a maximum of three (3) years jail after having served 514 days of detention without conviction and without trial under Malaysia’s draconian ISA.
2. Overview of Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2010 – by Jeevendra kumar, Head of Economics Bureau, HRP (15 minutes).
3. Slide show presentation on state sponsored racism and the silence by the Opposition parties, PKR, DAP and PAS, almost all NGOs’, Malaysian Civil Society’s has also contributed to the current critical state of Indian poor problems.
- Update on the Malaysian government’s refusal to register Hindraf and HRP as an NGO and Political Party respectively by Sukumaran, Suhakam Treasurer, HRP (15 minutes).
4. HRP’s forward moving Project 15/38 and 2011/2012 General Elections Manifesto by Dr. Paraman, Head of Manifesto Bureau, HRP. (15 minutes).
5. Q & A (30 minutes) – Moderator W. Sambulingam (President HRP)
In the interim we enclose herewith our Malaysian Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2010 for your kind perusal.
Malaysian Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations Annual report 2010
We would appreciate your goodselves and/or your representative’s kind attendance.
In our maiden presentation last year, more than a dozen diplomamatic missions were in attendance, including from the United States of America, European Union and the U.N.
Kindly confirm your attendance accordingly with our Ms. Gevitha or Ms. Vicknes. HRP Vice President Mr Selvam (016-3137840) and HRP Womens’ wing Chief Miss Latha (016-6019703) would be welcoming your goodselves on 3/3/11.
For further and better information kindly access our website www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com
We look forward to meeting your goodselves.
Thank you,
Yours faithfully,
……………………………
P. Uthayakumar
Secretary General (pro-tem)

Give Land To Merlimau Tamil School And Gazette The Land Immediately

Senator Dr S.Ramakrishnan 17/2/2011

February the deputy prime minister flew into Merlimau with a helicopter to perform the ground breaking ceremony for the SRJK (T) Merlimau which is located in a secondary school compound to a new location which is an estate field. After 20 years of empty promises, the Minister of education wanted to be more convincing this time during the by election. After the ground breaking the field is vacant with no work in progress. Nobody knows when the actual work will start if ever it will.

A few residents have expressed their skepticism about this high profile ground breaking ceremony. ‘If the BN government is genuinely concerned, then it should give the school its land title and gazette the land immediately under the school.” echoed some people.

Tamil schools become important to government only during by elections and that too after 2008 election. The relocation of an existing Tamil school only takes place if the BN government perceives some threat from opposition parties. Before 2008 Indian issues were procrastinated and excuses after excuses given for not handling it. Even for a school, Indian community has to keep begging for 20 years. Thank god there came a by-election. Now we are not sure whether the construction work will continue? The land belongs to the estate and it has to be acquired and gazetted for educational purpose before any work can commence. Hope no UMNO member objects, otherwise no school again! It’s still a long way to go. But MIC state and local leaders to please their political bosses will give excuses for UMNO saying that the relocation was planned long time ago and that the by-election is just a coincidence.

During Tenang by-election Johore asked the state MIC leaders to identify Indian community problems. The reply he got was there is no Indian community problem. Similarly the Malacca MB asked the local MIC leaders to identify Indian community problems. The reply he got was there is no Indian community problem. If at all they have any, it will be to light up the cemetery, Tamil schools or a temple problem. They cannot see the need for more scholarships for Indian students, more educational and business opportunities for Indian teenagers, business opportunities for smaller entrepreneurs and more rights for Malaysians of Indian origin. 54 years of being subservient to UMNO have made them beggars and yes men. They use gangsters and goodies to secure votes for UMNO. UMNO has no respect for Indians because of the way the state and district level MIC leaders placate and pliant to UMNO’s whims and fancies.

A large section of Indian voters in Merlimau are blissfully ignorant about their rights and their children’s future. Their only concern is getting some extra cash handout, goodies and at most welfare help. Intelok is non-issue to many in Merlimau. MIC can please their UMNO bosses by delivering Indian votes for a few hundred Ringgits. That’s the worth of Indian votes! But to get the same one Malay or Chinese vote, UMNO will pour thousands of Ringgits. Indian votes have become politically irrelevant to political analyst. Indian votes are not included in any political discussions. It seems to be a foregone conclusion. Middle class and educated Indians need to wake up and do something if they are concerned about remaining economically and politically relevant.

Najib warns Muslims against religious pluralism

Najib said Muslims must not insult other religions. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak warned Muslims against religious pluralism, saying today putting Islam on an equal footing with other faiths is unIslamic.

The prime minister also asked government Islamic agencies and religious teachers to explain the issue to the Muslim community.

“To say all religions are equal before Allah is against the Islamic belief,” said Najib when addressing some 800 religious teachers at a gathering here.

“We respect other religions, we must not insult other religions, but they cannot be said to be as similar to Islam,” he added.

Religious pluralism is sometimes used as a synonym for interfaith dialogue or promotes understanding of different faiths with the objective of reducing conflicts.

Critics of religious pluralism however see the concept as a threat to the supremacy of Islam and claim that it would result in the religion to be equated with other beliefs.

Najib has initiated an interfaith council and told the members at a luncheon last week that some discussions must be held behind closed doors due to sensitivities in the multi-racial and multi-religious country.

Najib said today that religious leaders must come forward to explain the issue of religious pluralism to Muslims.

“It is the responsibility of preachers, religious teachers, muftis and imams to explain the truth,” Najib told reporters after the gathering.

“Do not misunderstand my statement, I am not insulting other religions but this has to do with the Islamic akidah (theology),” he said.

Najib, however, admitted that the influence of religious pluralism is still limited, but said it has to be controlled.

“If we don’t do something, it will be promoted to more people, but currently it is only limited to certain groups,” said Najib when asked about how serious is the threat of religious pluralism to Muslims.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was previously accused of equating Islam with other religions for political mileage by Umno-linked religious scholars at a forum last November.

The forum on religious pluralism was supported by several government agencies — the Selangor Religious Department, Federal Territory Mufti Department, federal Islamic Missionary Foundation (Yadim) and Information Ministry’s Special Affairs Department (Jasa).

‘Innocent’ Dr M draws more flak

The former premier's attempt to wash his hands of the ISA episode infuriates two ex-detainees, who claim that Mahatir is guilty of masterminding the arrests.
KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s proclamation of innocence over the Internal Security Act (ISA) crackdown in 1987 continues to draw flak from opposition leaders who were thrown behind bars.
DAP chairman Karpal Singh accused the former premier of making fradulent claims, and took ex-police chief Hanif Omar and academic Chandra Muzaffar to task for backing Mahathir’s version.
“There is no doubt. Operasi Lalang was Mahathir’s idea,” stressed the former ISA detainee.
Karpal claimed the dragnet, which saw more than 100 people including seven DAP MPs arrested, was done to divert attention from Umno’s internal crisis.
“He wanted to draw attention away from his problems with Tengku Razaleigh (Hamzah), who was vying for the Umno presidency then,” he told FMT.
As for Hanif, Karpal alleged that the former inspector-general of police was backing Mahathir for his own “selfish reasons”.
“Hanif got his Tunship and deputy chairmanship at Genting for a reason. It’s impossible to imagine a case where the police can disobey the home minister, as he is in charge of them. He signed the detention orders,” he added.
Karpal also questioned why Chandra, who was one of those detained during Operasi Lalang and a former staunch critic of Mahathir, chose to come out with the new twist 24 years later.
The DAP leader reiterated his challenge to Mahathir to name the opposition leaders whom the former premier claimed he had met prior to the crackdown.
“No such thing happened. It’s an unadulterated, distasteful lie. I issue him with a challenge to name the leaders within one week or I shall deem him to be a liar,” he said.
Since last week, Mahathir had been ruffling feathers by claiming that it was the police, and not him, who masterminded the arrests in order to quel racial tensions.
Speaking at a forum yesterday, where Hanif and Chandra were also present, Mahathir claimed that he had wanted to abolish the ISA but was advised against it by the police.
‘After Ops Lalang, judiciary was next’
Meanwhile, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, who was arrested together with his son Guan Eng during the operation, also slammed Mahathir for backpedalling on the issue.
The Ipoh Timor MP said nobody would believe the former premier’s new spin.
“Operasi Lalang was a result of events put into place by Mahathir to consolidate his power and position. It was during a period where he was trying to subvert the independence of various institutions to concentrate power in himself,” he told FMT.
Shortly after the ISA crackdown, Lim said Mahathir targeted the judiciary, paving the way for the 1988 crisis.
He added that Mahathir harboured grudges against certain judges for making unflattering remarks about him.
“In any event, under the ISA the formal detention order has to be signed by the minister after 60 days, so he can’t pass the buck in this fashion.
“His job as minister was to rubber-stamp it. So why did he agree? Wasn’t he responsible for the amendments to remove judicial power in favour of his own?” he said.

‘Chemistry Department has own guidelines’

KUALA LUMPUR: A chemist who carried out detailed DNA profiling on samples collected from Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan told the High Court here today that the Chemistry Department has its own set of guidelines in carrying out its analyses.

Dr Seah Lay Hong said even though manufacturers and software providers had their own set of written guidelines, laboratories could adopt their own as recommended by the International Society for Forensic Genetics.

The fifth prosecution witness told the court that she, as a member of the society, closely followed the latest developments and recommendations of the society especially on DNA profiling.

“As a member, I receive a copy of a journal from the society and we at the chemistry department always adopt the international procedures in our laboratory, including in this case,” Seah said when cross-examined by lawyer Ram Karpal Singh.

Today’s proceedings centred around Ram’s line of questioning over how the chemist carried out her detailed analysis on the samples handed over to her by police, especially on sample B5, a swab lifted from the perianal region of the complainant, which contained semen mixture of him (Mohd Saiful), male “Y” and an unknown person.

Seah said she applied bio-system genetic analyser software and DNA view software to arrive at conclusive findings on the samples.

Questioned further by the lawyer whether both software were regularly updated, Seah said they were last updated in 2007.

Highly reliable

Anwar, 63, the PKR adviser and Permatang Pauh MP, is accused of sodomising Mohd Saiful at Unit 11-5-1 Kondominium Desa Damansara, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.01pm

and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

To another question by Ram on how reliable were the 36 pages of electropherogram graphs printed using the two software, Seah said they were highly reliable even though she was not an expert on softwares.

Ram: The computer you use in printing out the graphs functioned according to ordinary course?

Seah: Yes.

Ram: You just assume it run well?

Seah: Disagree.

Ram: Did you ever question irregularities of the machines you used since you don’t have technical knowledge?

Seah: Never doubted it.

Ram: Are you an expert on installing software?

Seah: No, but I’m familiar with the software and have a certificate.

Under intense questioning by Ram, Seah conceded that she also had carried out statistical evaluation to support further findings but never handed it over to the police.

“I agree with you (Ram) that evaluation is crucial but in this case I relied more on DNA profiling which is more conclusive,” she said.

She also agreed with Ram that she referred to blood samples of Mohd Saiful given to her by the police but was not influenced by it.

On the lawyer’s suggestion to Seah that there could be 10 contributors of DNA based on figures appearing in the DNA profile analysis prepared by Seah, she disagreed saying the DNA profile must considered in entirety.

The hearing before justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah continues on Monday.

Will the real Michael Soosai stand up?

A lawyer claims that the Indian police caught the wrong man in trying to apprehand Michael Soosai, a fugitive wanted for various crimes in Malaysia.

CHENNAI, Feb 18 (Bernama) — Will the real Malaysian fugitive Michael Soosai please stand up?

In a dramatic twist of events, a lawyer representing the alleged fraudster has claimed the person detained by Indian police last year was not the notorious fugitive wanted by Interpol, but an Indian national.

“He is Indian, it is stated on government records. We can prove it in court. If he is a Malaysian, why hasn’t the Indian police charged him for violation of the Passport Act?,” M. Shreedhar, the advocate presenting the suspect told Bernama in Chennai.

The police in Coimbatore claimed they arrested Soosai, Malaysia’s most elusive fugitive last August, at a hotel in Chennai, along with his wife and three children.

Indian police initiated his arrest after several Indians alleged the suspect had duped them off thousands of ringgit and a sizeable quantity of jewellery after promising high-salaried executive jobs in multinational companies.

The suspect, who used Andhra Pradesh as his base of operations, had been moving around with several pseudo names such as Karunaraj @ Rajasekaran @ GK Raj @ Dharmaraj.

Even in the Central Prison Puzhal’s document, Soosai’s name was listed as Karunaraj, along with the other aliases, and his home address was stated as Andhra Pradesh.

Three months ago, he was transferred from a Coimbatore prison to the Central Prison in Chennai.

Shreedhar said Karunaraj owned a PAN card (Indian tax card), Indian driving licence and that his three children had Indian birth certificates — all indicating that he was an Indian national.

“It is a (case of) mistaken identity, Karunaraj is not Michael Soosai. Michael Soosai is dead in Malaysia. There are lot of loopholes in the case, he will be acquitted,” added the lawyer.

However, the Coimbatore police in its latest affidavit (Feb 14, 2011) stated that probes revealed the accused was a Malaysian by the name of Michael Soosai (IC no: 630308-075073) and traveled with a Malaysian passport (A11314136).

Soosai is wanted in Malaysia for several high-profile cases involving white-collar crime.

He is also implicated in the murder of a Malaysian in Tamil Nadu in 2004, but he departed from the scene after Malaysian police mounted pressure on him.

At the height of the Malaysian police ‘heat’ on the fugitive, Soosai had reportedly challenged the Bukit Aman police, particularly former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan, to “catch me if you can” (arrest me).

Last Tuesday, the Madras High Court had handed over the suspect’s three children, earlier under the government’s custody, to their Indian mother, Rajeswari alias Jayanthi, who was released from Coimbatore jail.

Interlok panel under SMS attack

PETALING JAYA: Three Indians in the eight-member independent panel appointed by Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to amend portions of Interlok have been called traitors to the Indian community.

In a widely circulated short messaging service (SMS), one of which was sent to FMT, the three were accused of humiliating Indians.

The trio are Professor NS Rajendran (Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris), G Krishnabagawan (former information ministry official) and Uthaya Sankar (Sinar Harian deputy editor).

The head of the independent panel tasked with amending some controversial contents of Interlok, Shamsul Amri Baharudin, however, refused to be drawn into responding to the anonymous SMS.

Translated from Malay language, the SMS reads: “3 new Indian traitors – Professor NS Rajendran, G Krishnabagawan and Uthaya Sankar SB. All 3 agreed to a minimum amendment which is still humiliating Indian community.

“We all want it (Interlok) to be dropped from being used in the SPM examination, not amendments. (Urging Indians) Stay together.”

“The authors of the SMS seemed to have already made up their minds. I have nothing to say. Malaysia is what it is today because of compromises made by all the communities,” said Shamsul.

He said that there were ample opportunities for all communities to progress in this country and it was because of making compromises that Malaysia is a peaceful nation.

‘Have faith in the panel’

Uthaya Sankar, one of the panellists named in the SMS, asked Indian NGOs against the use of the controversial Form Five Bahasa Malaysia novel to have faith in the panel.

“It is important that the Indian community has trust and faith in the panel. We will do our best to come with up an acceptable compromise taking into account the fears and concerns expressed by
numerous NGOs and prominent ethnic Indians.

“This is the time to be united and show support and not to distrust the Indian representatives in the panel,” said Uthaya Sankar.

Muhyiddin had called for the formation of an independent panel last month to amend the contentious portions of the book.

He decided that Interlok would not be taken off the syllabus but would be retained albeit with amendments.

Enough is enough!

“To Muslim leaders and Muslims in Penang ... beware the subtle and slick tactics of a certain leader to sideline Islam as the official religion and bypass the Conference of Rulers,” the Utusan said its Thursday 17 February 2011 edition.

Thomas Lee Seng Hock

When announcing the establishment of the Penang Exco Non-Islamic Religious Affairs Committee early this week, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng pointed out that the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Penang state government has been under siege with constant unwarranted attacks of being anti-Malay even over simple and small matters.

Even before the high-profile committee can start to meet to formulate its plan of action, the Umno newspaper Utusan Melayu has launched a harsh and raucous assault on it, claiming that it is a tool to sideline Islam, and bully the Muslims and Malay Rulers.

“To Muslim leaders and Muslims in Penang ... beware the subtle and slick tactics of a certain leader to sideline Islam as the official religion and bypass the Conference of Rulers,” the Utusan said its Thursday 17 February 2011 edition.

The Utusan was commenting on the new state executive council portfolio initiated by Guan Eng to handle religious matters relating to the non-Islamic religions like Buddhisms, Christianity, Sikhism, Taoism and Hinduism.

The high-profile exco committee is headed by Guan Eng himself, with Deputy Chief Minister (II) Prof Dr P. Ramasamy as the deputy chairman.

The Utusan attack on the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Penang state government is certainly not unexpected or surprising, given the fact that the Umno mouthpiece has been on an unbridled energetic campaign against the DAP and its secretary-general Guan Eng since the Barisan Nasional lost control of Penang after the March 2008 general election. The newspaper has lately become very ethno-centric and more race-centred in its reporting and writings.

In 2008, the Utusan campaigned against Selangor Senior Executive Councillor Teresa Kok of the DAP, accusing her of asking a Puchong mosque to stop playing the azan over its loudspeaker. Teresa was then arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA), but released a week later. She had denied the allegation while the mosque committee members also came forward to defend her.

In August 2010, the Utusan had played up a story on DAP Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching entering the worship area of the Surau Al-Huda in Kajang Sentral during a ceremony to present aid to PAS members. The unwarranted sensationalizing of the inadvertent unwitting incident using thoughtless and emotionally toned language to stir up negative feelings against Teo was certainly despicable.

Then in December 2010, the newspaper attacked Teo again for alleged failure to dress appropriately during her visit to a mosque. She was condemned for allegedly wearing tight-fitting clothes at an aerobics exercise programme in the mosque’s car park. The Utusan had accused Teo of not respecting Muslim sensitivities for not covering her aurat and wearing what it called a tight-fitting T-shirt and track pants.

In December 2010, the Utusan accused the DAP of being a tool of a foreign government and called for the party to be banned. A day after the Pakatan Rakyat national convention, the Malay daily also accused Guan Eng of being anti-Malay as it zeroed in its assault on the Penang Chief Minister and the DAP.

In its Monday 20 December 2010 edition, Utusan featured remarks by Umno leaders who, among others, called the DAP the “king of racism”.

There was also an article entitled “Guan Eng’s rudeness” that listed Guan Eng’s alleged anti-Malay acts.

The Utusan had also claimed that Guan Eng had banned a Maulidur Rasul procession, prevented Malay traders from participating in the Ramadan bazaar in Komtar, and demolished various villages.

The newspaper had also condemned Guan Eng for allegedly using gambling revenue to fund compassionate payments to Muslim senior citizens.

The Utusan had also quoted Umno vice-president and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying that the DAP was a tool of a foreign power.

“Guan Eng should ask himself if the DAP is a true political party that represents Malaysians, or whether it wants to be a tool of a foreign country by hiding behind democracy,” Ahmad Zahid was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

The Utusan Malaysia had also reported Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim as claiming that the DAP worshipped Singapore.

Given all these accusations the Utusan has been making and is making against Guan Eng and the other DAP leaders, and its constant contemptible assaults on the Pakatan Rakyat Penang state government, it is time perhaps for the people to put their act together and send a loud and clear message to the newspaper that enough is enough.

We should note that National Union of Journalists (NUJ) president Hata Wahari, himself a senior reporter with the Utusan, has urged the authorities to act against the Utusan editors for allegedly stoking racial sentiments in its reports. Hata had also blamed the drop in the daily’s sales on the editors for pushing what he called racial rhetoric.

As a journalist of 35-year standing and one who would die for the cause of free speech and free press, I would, of course, not recommend any boycott of the newspaper, especially when the rice bowls of hundreds of journalists and newspaper workers are at stake.

However, I believe a concerted effort by newspaper readers to bombard the editors with letters of protest, and to send a strong message via the ballot box at the next general election to Umno to stop the Utusan nonsense will perhaps help to elicit a thorough change in the newspaper's editorial policy.

Enough is enough! The Utusan must be made to stop its hate campaign against the legitimately elected state government of Penang.

UMNO making a mockery of “INTERLOK” for show time with their panel members

Please take a look at the panelists. Except for Prof Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Universiti Putra Malaysia Malay Studies lecturer Assoc Prof Lim Swee Tin and writer Uthaya Sankar SB, the rest are infested with UMNORISM.
By R. Shan (Human Being)
UMNO is making a mockery of “INTERLOK” for show time with their panel members.

When you choose a panel to make their recommendation on the divisive methodology practiced by UMNO in its educational curriculum, it should be one that is independent of influence or influx of UMNORISM whether in the public or private sphere. Not possible in Malaysia, just show time and typical sandiwara.

Please take a look at the panelists. Except for Prof Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Universiti Putra Malaysia Malay Studies lecturer Assoc Prof Lim Swee Tin and writer Uthaya Sankar SB, the rest are infested with UMNORISM.

Let me start with Datin Siti Saroja Basri, wife of Interlok writer Datuk Abdullah Hussain. Now in the first place she has no “locus standi” as the spouse of the national laureate as there is a conflict of interest. Further, how can she read into the thoughts and minds of her husband? Where is the independence?

Another interesting observation is, an original script of a Sasterawan can be amended for the sasterawans of UMNO. UMNO pandai, RAKYAT bodoh.

Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka director-general Datuk Termuzi Abdul Aziz. Who is here? Another guy who initiated the cause of this debacle for Malaysian Unity in sanctioning such a novel that has created mayhem for the Malaysian Indian community. UMNO pandai, RAKYAT bodoh.

Now we have Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Aminuddin Baki Centre for Global Education director Prof NS Rajendran. What can I say other than another mandore. Just look at this link and it speaks volume. http://www.pkamalanathan.com/2009/11/yab-tan-sri-muhyuddin-yassin-more-than.html. UMNO & MIC pandai, RAKYAT bodoh.

Former education ministry officer G. Krishnabahawan. Seriously I don’t know much of this guy, but being a former employee, an UMNO lackey, I can just assume he will nod his head whenever it is convenient not to disrupt his wonderful life.

Now the icing on the cake, the most 'independent' panelist of the lot, Universiti Malaya's Malay Studies Academy director Prof Datuk Zainal Abidin Borhan. Now this guy, whether you know it or not is the secretary of GAPENA. Yes the same group that protested against the amendments and threatened that they will never vote for an Indian. See link http://www.nst.com.my/articles/NGOstoprotestagainstpoliticising_i_Interlok__i_/Article/ Same story UMNO pandai, RAKYAT bodoh.

Now read this http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2011&dt=0217&pub=utusan_malaysia&sec=Rencana&pg=re_06.htm&arc=hive

I just love the “Panel Bebas” that has been chosen by the UMNO pandai, RAKYAT bodoh writer in Utusan Melayu.

Sure it is bebas, semua bebas because UMNO pandai, RAKYAT bodoh.

So now, Rakyat is satisfied and can "salam” “kow thim” and “Nandri” at the expense of their freedom, dignity and fairness with this purportedly independent panel. Yeah!! Yeah!!! RAKYAT pandai, UMNO bodoh.
R. Shan (Human Being)

Forum : Ke Arah Reformasi Pilihanraya

JEMPUTAN FORUM UMUM: MENUJU PENGUBAHSUAIAN PILIHAN RAYA DI MALAYSIA

Kami, bagi pihak Jawatankuasa Induk BERSIH 2.0, ingin menjemput anda dan organisasi anda ke forum umum mengenai Pengubahsuaian Terkini Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya.
Fokus utama forum ini adalah untuk membincangkan isu-isu mengenai pengubahsuaian pilihan raya dan proses-proses yang terlibat untuk melanjutkan usaha ke arah pilihan raya yang telus, bersih dan adil.
Kami sangat mengalu-alukan kedatangan anda dan organisasi anda. Segala maklum balas sangat penting dan menyumbang ke arah pilhan raya yang telus, bersih dan adil.
Untuk maklumat lanjut, sila berhubung dengan Nurul di talian 03-77844977.
__________________________________________
INVITATION TO PUBLIC FORUM : TOWARDS ELECTION REFORM IN MALAYSIA
On behalf of BERSIH 2.0, we would like to invite you and your organization to our public forum on “Towards Election Reform in Malaysia”.
The aim of this forum is to promote discussion regarding the possible reform for elections and their processes, with the intention of making election transparent, clean and fair.
We sincerely, look forward to your attendance as your feedback is very important and will contribute towards bringing about a transparent, clean and fair election reforms.
If you have any queries please do contact Miss Nurul at 03-77844977.

Memorandum Dan Kenyataan Media YB Nurul Izzah

KENYATAAN MEDIA
UNTUK SEBARAN SEGERA
18 Februari 2011

Kami, Ahli-ahli Parlimen, Ahli-ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri dan wakil parti-parti komponen Pakatan Rakyat mewakili seluruh masyarakat dan rakyat Malaysia berasa kesal dengan peraturan universiti yang menyekat hak dan kebebasan akademik mahasiswa dalam mengorientasikan proses demokrasi di dalam Kampus.

Sekatan dan halangan sebegini rupa terus-terusan menafikan hak kebebasan mahasiswa untuk berkempen dan melaksanakan tanggungjawab mereka untuk mengundi dan memilih kepimpinan di kalangan mahasiswa haruslah telus dan adil tanpa sebarang campur tangan pihak Hal Ehwal Pelajar (HEP).

Sudah tiba masanya untuk pihak kerajaan memikirkan kembali kerelevenan Pemilihan Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar (MPP) ini diserahkan kepada mahasiswa sendiri untuk mengendalikannya dan segala sistem yang meragukan harus dihapuskan serta merta kerana ini jelas mencabuli prinsip demokrasi yang bebas dan adil.

Kami menggesa pihak Menteri Pengajian Tinggi untuk mengambil serius perkara Pemilihan Majlis Perwakilan Mahasiswa ini dan Pemilihan yang diadakan ini haruslah telus dan adil tanpa sebarang campur tangan pihak Hal Ehwal Pelajar (HEP) yang berkepentingan.

Kami juga berpendirian bahawa sudah tiba masanya untuk pihak kerajaan memberikan hak kepada mahasiswa untuk mengadakan pilihanraya sendiri tanpa sebarang campur tangan.

Sehubungan dengan itu, kami menuntut agar pihak Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi :
1. Memberikan kebenaran kepada mahasiswa untuk berkempen di dalam Pilihanraya Kampus dengan bebas dan adil.

2. Memanjangkan masa berkempen dari 3 hari kepada 7 hari bagi memberikan ruang dan masa yang panjang untuk sesi kempen dan menyampaikan manifesto kepada mahasiswa

3. Menghormati autonomi mahasiswa dalam keterlibatan mahasiswa di lapangan masyarakat serta menghentikan segala intimidasi terhadap mahasiswa-mahasiswa.

4. Mematuhi dan menghormati kebebasan bersuara mahasiswa seperti yang terdapat dalam Artikel-19 Deklarasi Universal Hak Asasi Manusia dan Artikel-10 Perlembagaan Malaysia iaitu mahasiswa juga warganegara Malaysia.

5. Memberi kebebasan sepenuhnya kepada mahasiswa untuk terlibat dan bersuara di dalam apa jua aktiviti yang membina karisma dan idealisme tanpa dikongkong dan disekat atau diancam dengan ugutan oleh mana-mana pihak mahupun Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti (AUKU).

6. Memastikan ketelusan dalam proses Pilihanraya Kampus bagi kesemua kampus di Malaysia, dan bukan sahaja bagi dua (2) kampus yang dibangkitkan di sini.

Disokong oleh
YB Nurul Izzah Anwar (Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai)
YB Teo Nie Ching (Ahli Parlimen Serdang)
YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (ADUN Seri Setia)
YB Chan Ming Kai (ADUN Simpang Pulai)
Sdr Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin (Ketua Angkatan Muda Keadilan)
Sdr Rafizi Ramli (Pengarah Strategi Parti Keadilan Rakyat)

Kerdau Polling Day Also On March 6

KUCHING, Feb 19 (Bernama) -- Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof announced here that the Kerdau by-election would be held simultaneously with the Merlimau by-election in Melaka.

The nomination day is Feb 26 and polling on March 6.

Abdul Aziz said the EC would need RM915,000 to hold the Kerdau by-election which is called following the death of the incumbent Datuk Zaharuddin Abu Kassim of the Barisan Nasional on Feb 12.

"We save a lot of time and money by having both by-elections simultaneously and the EC does not have to be split into two places," he told a press conference here, Friday.

He said 242 election staffers would be appointed to run the Kerdau by-election and that the EC would use 10 schools, two small halls and a big hall as polling centres, altogether having 22 polling streams.

Kerdau has an electorate of 8,999 including 15 postal voters.

Abdul Aziz said the latest electoral roll for the Kerdau constituency would be put on sale on Feb 22 and that voters could check information on where to vote at the EC's website at www.spr.gov.my and through SMS.

Voters can also call the EC's headquarters in Putrajaya at 03-8885 6500 or the EC's Pahang office at 09-5165025 for assistance.

In the general election in 2008, Zaharuddin polled 4,135 votes to beat Hassanuddin Salim of PAS by a 1,615-vote majority.