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Friday, February 25, 2011

Gaddafi blames unrest on al-Qaeda

Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, has said in a speech on Libyan state television that al-Qaeda is responsible for the uprising in Libya.

"It is obvious now that this issue is run by al-Qaeda," he said, speaking by phone from an unspecified location on Thursday.

He said that the protesters were young people who were being manipulated by al-Qaeda's Osama bin Laden, and that many were doing so under the influence of drugs.

"No one above the age of 20 would actually take part in these events," he said. "They are taking advantage of the young age of these people [to commit violent acts] because they are not legally liable!"

At the same time, the leader warned that those behind the unrest would be prosecuted in the country's courts.

He called on Libyan parents to keep their children at home.

"How can you justify such misbehaviour from people who live in good neighbourhoods?" he asked.

The situation in Libya was different to Egypt or Tunisia he said, arguing that unlike people in the neighbouring countries, Libyans have "no reason to complain whatsoever".

Libyans had easy access to low interest loans and cheap daily commodities, he argued. The one reform he did hint might be possible was a raise in salaries.

Mustafa Abdel Galil, who resigned three days ago from his post as the country's justice minister, spoke to Al Jazeera at a meeting of tribal leaders and representatives of eastern Libya in the city of Al Baida.

"We want one country. There is no Islamic emirate or al-Qaeda anywhere. Our only aim is to liberate Libya from this regime and then people choose the government they want." the former minister said.

He warned that Gaddafi has biological and chemical weapons, and will not hesitate to use them.

The United Nation's Human Rights Council will decide whether it will send an international team to investigate the alleged violations of international human rights law in Libya at a meeting in Geneva on Friday.

'Symbolic' leader

Gaddafi argued that he was a purely "symbolic" leader with no real political power, comparing his role to that played by Queen Elizabeth II in England.

He also warned that the protests could cut off Libya oil production. "If [the protesters] do not go to work regularly, the flow of oil will stop," he said.

Ibrahim Jibreel, a Libyan political activist, said that the fact that Gaddafi was speaking by phone showed that he did not have the courage to appear publically, and proved that he remained "under self-imposed house arrest in Tripoli".

He said there were similarities between Thursday's speech and one Gaddafi gave earlier in the week.

Jibreel noted Gaddafi's reference to loans and that he would reconsider salaries. "I think that there [are] some concessions that he wants to make, in his own weird way," he said.

Struggling

Gaddafi is struggling to maintain his authority in the country, as major swathes of territory in the east of the vast North African country now appear to be under the control of pro-democracy protesters.

Multiple witnesses told Al Jazeera that protesters were being shot at in the town of Az Zawiyah for much of Thursday by a Libyan army unit led by Gaddafi's ally, Naji Shifsha.

Az Zawiyah lies on the Mediteranian coast, a few kilometres to the west of Tripoli - where Gaddafi is believed to be hiding. The port town houses the country's largest oil refinery.

Ali, an eyewitness to the shooting, told Al Jazeera by phone that soldiers began shooting at peaceful protesters on Martyrs' Square with heavy artillery at around 6am and had continued for 5 hours.

"They were trying to kill the people, not terrify them," he said, explaining that the soldiers had aimed at the protesters' heads and chests.

He estimated as many as 100 protesters had been killed. Approximately 400 people had been injured and were now in the town's hospital. He said he had filmed the bodies after the shooting had stopped, but was unable to send the footage because internet access has been cut off.

In his speech, Gaddafi refered specifically to the protesters in Az Zawiyah, claiming they had been infiltrated by al-Qaeda.

Yet the protesters said they were protesting peaceful protest, and that their demands had nothing to do with al-Qaeda.

"The people here didn't ask for anything, they just asked for a constitution and democracy and freedom, [the protesters] didn't want to shoot anyone," he said.

Gunfire could be heard in the background as Ali spoke, and he said the protesters were expecting the soldiers to launch another direct attack on Martyrs' Square later in the evening.

Despite the risk of more shooting, he said he and the other protesters would continue their protest, even if it cost their lives.

Also on Thursday, the army unit blasted the minaret of a mosque being occupied by protesters in Az Zawiyah, according to witnesses.

According to witnesses, pro-Gaddafi forces took control of Misrata late on Thursday after evicting forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi from the Mediterranean coastal city, prompting street celebrations, a witness said.

They told Al Jazeera that "revolutionaries had driven out the security forces", who had used "heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns".

Resident Mohamed Senoussi, 41, said protesters had overcome the security forces and taken full control of Misrata, about 200 km (125 miles) east of Tripoli, after a "fierce battle" near its airport.

"Calm returned to the city around four hours ago after intense fighting in the morning ... The people's spirits here are high, they are celebrating and chanting 'God is Greatest'," he told Reuters by telephone.

They said the pro-Gaddafi forces were called the "Hamza brigade".

Similar clashes have also been reported in the cities of Sabha in the south, and Sabratha, near Tripoli, which is in the west.

Anti-government protesters appeared to be in control of the country's eastern coastline, running from the Egyptian border through to the cities of Tobruk and Benghazi, the country's second largest city.

Gaddafi is fast losing the support of his inner circle. His cousin, the country's ambassador to Jordan and a close aide in Egypt all resigned on Thursday.

Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam, one of Gaddafi's top security official and a cousin, defected on Wednesday evening, saying in a statement issued by his Cairo office that he left the country "in protest and to show disagreement" with "grave violations to human rights and human and international laws".

Al-Dam was travelling to Syria from Cairo on a private plane, sources told Al Jazeera. He denied allegations that he was asked to recruit Egyptian tribes on the border to fight in Libya and said he went to Egypt in protest against his government's used of violence.

Communications blocked

Libyan authorities are working hard to prevent news of the events in the country from reaching the outside world.

Thuraya, a satellite phone provider based in the United Arab Emirates, has faced continuous "deliberate inference" to its services in Libya, the company's CEO told Al Jazeera.

Samer Halawi, the company's CEO, said his company will be taking legal action against the Libyan authorities for the jamming of its satellite.

"This is unlawful and this in uncalled for," he said.

The company's engineers have had some success in combating the jamming, and operations were back on almost 70 per cent of the Libyan territory on Thursday, Halawi said. The blocking was coming from a location in Tripoli.

The Libyan government has blocked landline and wireless communications, to varying degrees, in recent days.

Some phone services were down again on Thursday. In the town of Az Zawiyah, phone lines were working but internet access was blocked.

Nazanine Moshri, reporting from the northern side of the Tunisian-Libyan border near the town of Ras Ajdir, said that security forces were confiscating cellphones and cameras from people crossing into Tunisia.

"The most important thing to them is to not allow any footage to get across the border into Tunisia," she reported.

Capital paralysed

Tripoli, the Libyan capital, meanwhile, is said to be virtually locked down, and streets remained mostly deserted, even though Gaddafi had called for his supporters to come out in force on Wednesday and "cleanse" the country from the anti-government demonstrators.

Witnesses in Tripoli have told Reuters that uniformed police were directing traffic as usual, state television was broadcasting and pro-Gaddafi supporters held a rally in the city.

Libyan authorities said food supplies were available as "normal" in the shops and urged schools and public services to restore regular services, although economic activity and banks have been paralysed since Tuesday.

London-based newspaper the Independent reported, however, that petrol and food prices in the capital have trebled as a result of serious shortages.

Foreign governments, meanwhile, continue to rush to evacuate their citizens, with thousands flooding to the country's borders with Tunisia and Egypt.

Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

Malaysia: Allow Anti-Racism March

End Harassment of Peaceful Demonstrators

(New York, February 25, 2011) – Malaysia’s home affairs minister should overturn a decision by local police to deny a permit for the Solidarity March Against Racism sponsored by two ethnic Indian rights groups, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 24, 2011, the Dang Wangi police  rejected a formal request made on February 11 by W. Sambulingam, national coordinator of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), to permit the march.

“Malaysian government opposition to peaceful marches results in three big losers: the rights to free expression, freedom of association, and peaceful assembly,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The home affairs minister should respect Malaysia’s international legal obligations and permit the march to proceed, and the organizers should ensure that the march is orderly and peaceful.”

The February 27 march is in reaction to a government decision to assign the novel Interlok as a literature textbook for fifth form students, most in their late teens, in some public schools. The novel by Abdullah Hussain, first published in 1971 and revised in 2010, involves relations among ethnic Malays, Chinese, and Indians from the early 1900s through 1957. Members of the Indian community contend that the book disparages Indians and contributes to ethnic tensions and discrimination in educational and employment opportunities for ethnic Indian Malaysians.

The anticipated route for the march is from Kuala Lumpur’s iconic Petronas Towers to the Dang Wangi police station, where participants will attempt to lodge complaints against the prime minister and the government. Home Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Husseinearlier had said that Hindraf would not get a police permit to march.

“They are an illegal and banned movement,” he said. “They don’t have locus standi [legal standing] in asking for a permit.”

The government banned the group after a demonstration in 2007. The Hindu Rights Party (HRP) has applied for registration, which is pending.

The government has already cracked down on the HRP's right to peaceful assembly. On February 13, two weeks before the scheduled march, HRP initiated a grassroots information and recruitment drive in several Malaysian states, dispatching convoys of cars loaded with activists wearing the group’s distinctive orange T-shirts and carrying posters, banners,and assorted promotional materials to various locales. Police stopped the convoys at roadblocks and diverted participants to police stations, where many were detained.

The police arrested at least 59 people on various grounds. In one instance, participants were held for driving in a convoy without a permit. In other instances, police charged the activists with illegal assembly, interference with on-duty officers, obstructing traffic, and moving in a large group in a busy area. Some participants, held overnight, were offered their freedom if they gave up their orange T-shirts, but when it became clear they would not do so, they were released on bail.

On February 20, police in three locations broke up HRP forums designed to explain the group’s concerns about certain issues and to continue membership recruitment. The police claimed that permission to hold the forums had been denied. HRP leaders were among some 59 arrested. Ultimately all were released on bail. In a further pre-emptive move, M. Gobalakrishnan, the person named on fliers as the contact for further information in Hulu Selangor, was picked up at his home by six plainclothes officers hours before the local meeting was to begin and arrested. Police also sealed off the forum site. Gobalakrishnan has since been released.

In November 2007, between 10,000 and 30,000 people participated in the first Hindraf-organized demonstration. The prime minister at that time, Abdullah Badawi, reportedly said that Hindraf leaders undermined national security by threatening racial and religious harmony. Following the protest, the government detained five Hindraf leaders under the Internal Security Act (ISA), and banned Hindraf. The HRP’s application for registration, though pending with the Registrar of Societies, will likely face significant difficulties because of its association with Hindraf.

“The Malaysian government’s commitment to diversity and development is betrayed when it refuses to permit peaceful criticism of its policies and programs,” Robertson said. “Banning this march makes a mockery of the principles the government pledged to uphold when it assumed its seat on the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.”

To read the December 2007 Human Rights Watch news release, “Malaysia: Hindu Rights Activists Detained,” please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2007/12/17/malaysia-hindu-rights-activists-detained

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Malaysia, please visit: 
http://www.hrw.org/en/asia/malaysia

For more information, please contact:
In London, Brad Adams (English): +44-20-7713-2767; or +44-7908-728-333 (mobile)
In New York, Mickey Spiegel (English): +1-212-216-1229; or +1-917-968-9937 (mobile)
In Bangkok, Phil Robertson (English, Thai): +66-85-060-8406 (mobile)
In Washington, DC, Sophie Richardson (English, Mandarin): +1-202-612-4341; or +1-917-721-7473 (mobile)

PM: Don’t use violence in Libya (NST headlines 24/2/2011) Similarly Najib Razak must order non violence on Hindraf/HRP peaceful Rally on 27/2/2011 @ KLCC at 9.00a.m.

Najib-MsianFlagbg-450[1]
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No.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur. Tel : 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245
Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com E-mail: info@humanrightspartymalaysia.com
Media Statement (24/2/2011)
PM: Don’t use violence in Libya (NST headlines 24/2/2011) Similarly Najib Razak must order non violence on Hindraf/HRP peaceful Rally on 27/2/2011 @ KLCC at 9.00a.m.
Hindraf and HRP after 50 years of independence and just before the 25th November 2007 Rally forwarded their Hindraf 18 point demands with particular regards to the Indian poor. But save and except for some cosmetic or wayang kulit showtime mainstream media especially in the three Tamil dailies propaganda, very little has been done to alleviate the 70% of the Malaysian Indians who are living in poverty , hardcore poor and poor Malaysian Indian pain sufferings and the mysery inflicted on them on a day to day basis from womb to tomb by the racist UMNO regime of One Malay-sia.
The latest wayang kulit by UMNO is the UMNO media propaganda last week of supposedly registering thousands from the estimated 450,000 stateless even fifth and sixth generation Malaysian born ethnic Indians. Our question is this supposed registration exercise has been ongoing scores of times in over the last 54 years. But where is the hard results published in the Tamil dailies and the website of the racist UMNO Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara and the Home Ministry of the thousands of these Indian poor being “granted” their Birth Certificates, Identity Cards and Citizenship. Because these thousands were rejected simply because the victims are the defenseless Indian poor.
This example is just the tip of the iceberg of the UMNO regime’s racism and religious supremacy targetted against especially the Indian poor.
Today we have moved beyond the Interlok issue and are up against UMNO racism in the supposed One Malay-sia, the world’s most racist regime by way of our peaceful and non violent Hindraf/HRP Rally on the 27th February 2011.
We hereby call upon Prime Minister Najib Razak to similarly order police not to use force or violence at this peaceful rally as per the Prime Minister’s call to the Libyan President Ghaddafi as reported in today’s headlines in the New Straits Times!! ‘Don’t use violence’ Gaddafi should heed people’s aspirations, says Najib. (NST 24/2/2011 headlines).
Thank You.
Yours Faithfully,
_____________
P.Uthayakumar
Secretary General (pro tem)

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What’s Masing’s plan now?

Cornered Parti Rakyat Sarawak president James Masing maybe making a calculated move soon.

KUCHING: Allegedly “bullied and ignored” by Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, State Land Development Minister James Masing, who has faithfully waited in the wings, is now, it appears, prepared to go his way, with or without Barisan Nasional, if forced to accept Pelagus assemblyman Larry Sng.

Masing, who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, made a covert visit to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak recently, causing much discomfort among Taib’s Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) party.

They know Masing had gone behind Taib’s back and complained to Najib about Taib’s interference in PRS internal matters.

PRS secretary-general Wilfred Nissom, however, said the meeting with Najib was about the seat allocation for the party.

“The delegation went to seek the prime minister’s agreement on the allocation of seats which will be honoured,” Nissom said, adding that Sng’s case did not arise as he was no longer a member of the party.

But the visit by PRS is certain to worsen the relationship between the BN coalition parties.

Masing, however, is unfazed because he knows Kuala Lumpur (KL) also does not like Taib.

In fact, according to insiders, the Barisan Nasional (BN) government in KL wants Taib to step down before the state election.

“KL wants to regain the confidence of the Chinese. Taib is in the way.

“This time Taib is a liability to KL. He carries with him too many issues going into the election… he’s become an embarrassment,” said the insider, referring to a horde of police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) reports and allegations of corruption, abuse of power and cronyism being labelled against Taib.

(The latest came on Monday when the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund released a blacklist of 49-companies in eight countries which were linked to Taib. His own company Cahaya Mata Sarawak allegedly hold monopoly over projects in the state.)

So Masing is seen to be taking advantage of the federal government’s dislike of Taib.

Powerless Masing

Masing is perhaps the only Dayak leader who has dared to speak up on issues.

Several months ago, he blamed the massive logjam, described as an ecological disaster, on over-logging in the upper reaches of Batang Baleh.

But Taib’s defenders chided Masing and instead blamed the logjam on the weather.

Then Masing, defending himself against allegations of doing nothing to help resolve land grab issues, said he had “no power” to deal with native customary rights (NCR) land issues despite being land development minister.

The “power” was in Taib’s hand.

Masing had also said even Sarawak Land Consolidation Rehabilitation Authority’s (Salcra) oil palm plantations, supposedly to help the natives to eradicate poverty, is under Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu’s State Rural Development Ministry.

Several applications by possible investors for the development of NCR land under a new concept devised by Masing’s ministry have also been delayed for more than three years because the decision laid in Taib’s hands.

Many would-be investors are also irked by the delay because the deposit of about RM5 million as required by the government for each application for an oil palm plantation could have earned them some interests had it been deposited in a bank.

But now the money is idle.

Raising these issues along with other matters like recruiting Dayaks into the state civil service, promotions in the civil service, and appointments into government-linked companies has not endeared Masing to Taib or his lieutenants in PBB.

Still suspicious

If anything at all, the strain between PBB and PRS, which sees itself as the leading party for Dayaks

in Sarawak, is beginning to show.

PRS is considered “a threat to PBB” during the runup to the 2006 state election when some of Masing’s proposed candidates were dropped and replaced by PBB-inclined candidates.

At the time, PRS had submitted Lantak Amin as the candidate for Balai Ringin, but Taib dropped her and instead nominated Snowdan Lawan, whose father was an active member of PBB.

A similar situation arose during the 2008 parliamentary selection. This time, Masing’s candidates for Sri Aman and Lubok Antu were replaced with PBB’s Masir Kujat and William Nyalau Badak respectively.

Both of them were strong supporters of Jabu, who is PBB deputy president.

If Masing has moved on, Taib, it appears, hasn’t.

According to a PBB insider, Taib is still suspicious of Masing, who had tried, unsuccessfully, to topple him during the 1991 state election through “Project Ketua Menteri 92” .

“Taib remembers all these situations well. He knows what Masing did to try and topple him… it was a long time ago and Masing has been waiting since.

“Personally, I think it is time for Masing to come out. Jabu is not chief minister material. People prefer Masing to Jabu and Taib knows this too.

“And Masing, whatever is said, will know how to be grateful to Taib when the time comes,” said the insider.

Lady first, people last

Rosmah has very clearly got her priorities all mixed up as the wife of the most powerful man in the country.

While Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor regaled her foreign “first ladies” at a lavish “First Ladies Summit” in October last year, the Penan Support Group (PSG), a coalition of 36 NGOs in Malaysia, put up a page on Facebook under the name “Penan Support Group Education”, calling for funds to set up pre-schools in the interior of Sarawak for the underprivileged Penan children.

Ironically, Rosmah’s First Ladies Summit was themed “A Child Today A Leader Tomorrow”, which, however, made no contribution to the much needy rural children back home. Only Rosmah’s pet project Permata, an outfit to groom gifted children, was deemed needy of funds, hence the RM100 million allocation under the 2010 Budget, which she claimed was “a recognition of the importance of early childcare and education in Malaysia”.

While Rosmah went all out to promote her “First Ladies Summit”, the Penan women kept their fingers crossed hoping that Rosmah, being a woman, would understand their pain of being sexually abused by the timber loggers. She never did.

After the “powers that be” refused to help the Penan women fight for justice, three Sarawakian women activists decided to turn to Rosmah for help. They handed her a petition seeking support in ensuring the Penan girls and women receive justice. Until today, this so-called “first lady” has not shown any interest or commitment in lending a helping hand to the girls and women of Penan.

Rosmah has put it on record that under the plan to empower the Permata programme nationwide this year, national childcare centres will be set up in three parliamentary constituencies in all states except Terengganu and Sarawak.

Despite Rosmah’s glaring indifference to the plight of the children, girls and women of Sarawak, the state found her worthy of the “Datuk Amar Bintang Kenyalang” award, conferred by Sarawak governor, Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng, in conjunction with his 89th birthday. She was the sole recipient of this award which carries the title “Datuk Amar”.

Just how did the governor decide Rosmah was the most deserving recipient? Was it politically motivated, as the people think it is?

And now, it is the mayor of Ankara who, impressed with her social work, decided to award Rosmah Turkey’s prestigious “Award of Social Responsibility”.

Ankara’s mayor Melih Gokcheh justified Rosmah as the deserving recipient saying her “continuous and active participation in social activities was admired by the Greater Ankara Municipality”.

“Her presence in extending a helping hand, as well as trying to put a smile on those encountering social, economic, environmental and health problems, was not only playing a great importance in establishing social balance but also producing social benefits,” Gokcheh had said.

The people of Malaysia, however, beg to differ. Where was Rosmah when the Penan women and girls in Sarawak, deprived of justice, turned to her for help? These women and girls have for years been sexually violated by timber loggers who encroached into lands which shelter the Penan tribal community.

No authority, be it the police, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry or Malaysia’s human rights body Suhakam came to the aid of the Penan women and girls. This despite the rape allegations being proven true by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry’s Taskforce Report, set up by the ministry and headed by Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

To add insult to their troubles, it was claimed that the Penan women are good at making up stories of having being raped by the loggers. And Rosmah was and is still quiet, while these women continue to cry for justice.

That being the case, is the award from Turkey which was conferred on Rosmah in conjunction with its International Women’s Day celebration next month a truly deserving one?

Awards are meaningless

In April 2010, the Business Council for International Understanding conferred on Rosmah the International Peace and Harmony Award in New York. But the affair raked up controversy when Rosmah appeared in a two-full page advertisement in the New York Times, costing thousands of US dollars.

The newspaper had said that the advertisement was placed by an advertisement agency on behalf of the Malaysian government. The NYT never disclosed the cost of the advertisement but, according to some calculations, full-page ads placed in the newspaper are priced between US$180,000 and US$230,000. That would amount to between RM580,000 and RM740,000 for a one-page ad.

In Rosmah’s case, the April 16, 2010 congratulatory ad was a two-page colour spread that would have cost a fortune.

Perhaps in future more such awards will come her way. What, however, remains a mystery is on what basis are those awards given out to Rosmah? Is is by virtue of her being the premier’s wife?

The mayor of Ankara has such good words to say about Rosmah’s contribution in helping those in need. It is hoped she lives up to those words.

For now, the 59-year-old Rosmah’s commitment is to continue emptying the nation’s coffers in organising the biennial First Ladies Summit, to be held next year in Kuala Lumpur. Her debut summit last year emptied RM24 million from the nation’s purse and the people are left wondering how much more deeper will she dig into the taxpayers’ pockets to fund the second summit.

Awards should reflect dedication

Awards are given out to recognise a recipient’s dedication to a cause. In Rosmah’s case, that has yet to happen.

She has never been transparent on how the RM100 million budgeted to Permata is put to use. Rosmah, during the 2010 summit, said the future of a child is “shaped” but then what has she done to help shape the future of the rural children of Sarawak?

She is well aware of the need for pre-schools in the interiors of Sarawak yet Rosmah has declined to help the rural children there. Nor does she find it worth her while setting up Permata centres in Sarawak. And yet mayor Gokcheh finds her work inpressive and inspiring.

Why the discrimination, Rosmah? Is she not familiar with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which says no one child must be left out at the expense of another?

Calling the shots

Rosmah, who is also the patron of Malaysian AIDS Council, was once compared with former United

States president Bill Clinton’s wife Hillary Clinton, who was said to be the one wearing the pants. Rosmah had then replied, “No, I am not going to be a Hillary Clinton. As the first lady, I can comment on other things but I do not want to get involved in politics and governing the country.” That was on July 8, 2009.

Barely four years after husband Najib took over as prime minister, Rosmah’s pet project Permata was given a budget of RM150 million, with Rosmah declaring 300 centres coming up nationwide.

It was also Rosmah who promised to build a Permata centre for the people of Hulu Selangor should Barisan Nasional win the parliamentary seat in the by-election held in April last year. BN did win and until today there is no sight of any such centre as promised. Rosmah’s excuse for the no-show is that a suitable piece of land has yet to be found.

How did Rosmah acquire the gumption to make such promises to the people of Hulu Selangor? Is she not meddling in the country’s administrative affairs?

Rosmah has very clearly got her priorities all mixed up. Her only focus is on Permata and the First Ladies Summit. So much so that she thought it was such a big deal to personally hand over the declaration to United Nations secretary-general Ban Kim- moon. Rosmah conveniently ignored the plights of the Penan girls and women and the rural children who have no pre-schools at their disposal.

Attack victims to lodge MACC report

A father and son, who were bashed by thugs, are wondering why police have not initiated an investigation.

KUCHING: Nine days after Minggat anak Nyakin and his son Juan were attacked at a timber log pond at Sungai Rusa in Sarikei Division, their families and relatives are wondering why the authorities have not taken any action against their attackers.

According to Sarawak Native Landowners Network (Tahabas) spokesman Bernard Nyumbang Anank Barau, there has also been no police investigation into the alleged illegal logging activities.

“The family members will lodge a report with the Malaysian-Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) against the police within 14 days, if the police don’t act against the attackers.

“The family members will also try to get legal help against the company,” said Nyumbang.

He added that a recent check at the log pond showed no sign of activities.

“There seems to be no activities at the log pond now, but this may only be a misleading and temporary reprieve.

“It is believed that the loggers will resume their activities since no investigation is done,” he said.

Both Minggat and his son were released from the hospital on Feb 19 and went home after their statements were recorded by the police.

They are no longer under police custody.

But, according to Minggat, a car used by his other son to rescue him from the log pond is being held at the Sarikei police station.

He does not know why the police are holding back the car.

Minggat, who had heard about the near bloody encounter between 200 longhouse folk in Ulu Niah and 100 armed gangsters, has urged the police in Sarekei Division to take the cases seriously and act efficiently.

Juan knows who hit Minggat on the head which resulted in a four stitches. Juan also knows who landed the first blow on him.

The father and son were attacked on Feb 14 when they went to investigate the alleged illegal logging activities on their land.

They had previously reported the matter to the relevant authorities including the police, but their reports fell on deaf ears.

Gerakan leader calls for ban on Interlok

Breaking away from Gerakan's muted stance on Interlok, a local leader has called on the government to remove the novel.

GEORGE TOWN: For the first time, a Gerakan leader has publicly called on the government to ban the controversial Malay novel, Interlok.

Breaking away from his party’s muted stance on the controversial issue, Penang Gerakan legal and human rights bureau head Baljit Singh also slammed leaders of other ethnic communities, including from Gerakan, for keeping mum on Interlok.

“Other ethnic communities should also oppose Interlok; they should not leave the fight exclusively to the Indians,” he told FMT here today.

He said the novel was incongruous with nation-building and undermined Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia concept.

He said the novel contained disparaging and unsavoury remarks on the Indian community.

He added that Interlok had shattered the country’s cherished multi-racial unity.

“I have read the book. It treated the Indian community with utter contempt,” said Baljit, a lawyer.

He said the Interlok controversy was not all about the word “pariah” (outcast) alone.

“It insults Indian families, men and women,” he said.

Interlok was penned in 1971 by national laureate Abdullah Hussain in the aftermath of May 13, 1969 racial riots.

Initially, several Indian-based organisations, including MIC, protested against the introduction of Interlok as a compulsory subject for Form Five students. But their protests were muted.

Outright rejection

But the opposition against the novel grew and prompted the Education Ministry to act. It decided only to re-introduce the novel in school after “editing the offending parts”.

This was rejected outright by most Indians, especially the minority rights movement, Hindraf Makkal Sakti, and its political off-spring, the Human Rights Party (HRP).

“Would the Umno government have made the same decision if the book was offending to the Malays or Muslims?

“Would Putrajaya lift the ban on Satanic Verses (written by Salman Rushdie) after editing the offending parts?” asked many readers in the cyber space domain.

Hindraf-HRP plans to hold a mass anti-Interlok and anti-racism protest at Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) this Sunday.

KLCC was the venue of the human rights movement’s historic mass demonstration on Nov 25, 2007.

This Sunday gathering was originally meant to be a show of protest against the use of Interlok as a literature text for students.

But it has been transformed into a “People’s March: Solidarity Against Umno’s Racism”.

Baljit accused other communities and their leaders of adopting a non-committal stance of “it did not affect my community anyway”.

He also criticised Gerakan for not taking an open stand against Interlok.

“What’s the point of Gerakan claiming to be a multi-racial party when it is afraid of opposing racism? The multi-racial Pakatan Rakyat’s silence on this issue is even more deafening,” said Baljit.

He said that all Malaysians have a duty to oppose racism regardless of ethnic ties.

“We all must voice out against any racist slurs or policies. We all have a responsibility to preserve and strengthen harmony,” said Baljit.

Utusan rejected for being too racist, harmful for Chinese students

A Chinese primary school in Kuantan has reversed its decision to accept free copies of the Malay daily Utusan Malaysia following objections from Chinese educational groups and opposition parties.
Malaysiakini quoted the Sin Chew Daily as saying that the reversal of the decision was made by the SRJK (C) Semambu board after a meeting on the night of Wednesday 23 February 2011.
Board chairman Goh Kim Fah told the Sin Chew Daily that the school initially wanted to accept free copies of the Utusan Malaysia, sponsored by a private company, to enhance the command of Bahasa Malaysia among the pupils.
“Indeed, we were careless with this issue. We did not study the impact of the decision (to accept the sponsorship),” Goh said.
He said the pupils, unlike adults, would not be able to compare the Utusan Malaysia news reports, which critics claim are "skewed and fan racism", with other sources.
This was among the reasons the board decided to reject the sponsorship deal.
The issue was raised after the Utusan Malaysia reported that property developer Pasdec Holdings Bhd would sponsor 4,375 copies of the daily for four primary schools and one secondary school in Pahang.
Negative impact on pupils
Among others, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has objected to the sponsorship deal, saying that the Umno-owned daily had a habit of publishing false news about him and stoking racial sentiments among the Malays.
Lim also accused the daily of constantly trying to portray the Chinese community as second-class citizens.
"If we allow our new generation to read this Umno mouthpiece, then the Chinese community would become second-class citizens in Malaysia forever. The rights of non-Malays would be deprived," Lim said in a recent statement.
The Association of Graduates from Universities & Colleges of China, Malaysia, also pointed out that the newspaper would have a negative impact to the pupils.
"The Utusan Malaysia has been spreading racism and lies, as well as distorting facts. It is not a professional and credible newspaper, hence it is not suitable to be read by pupils whose thinking is still not mature," the association said in calling on the school to reject the offer.

Malaysia a Model to the Muslim Nations?

Prime Minister Najib Razak said Malaysia has proven that its system of governance, based on moderate Islam, has worked and can be a good model for other countries in the world to emulate, especially Islamic countries.

He said in view of what was taking place in the world today, it was important to ensure that the system of administration adopted was working.

The key consideration, he said, was that “if you have a system, would it work to produce good and effective governance?”

No one should blame Najib for being overly excited to position Malaysia as a model Muslim nation amidst the socio-political chaos in some Muslim countries. Oddly, Malaysia has been using the Middle East as an example in managing its own Islamic affairs.

Moreover, the Muslim community has been going through the 'Arabisation' process for decades since the 1980's. The government had sent a few hundred thousands students to receive their higher/tertiary/Islamic education in several Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain etc. Thousands of them are still being send there to receive their education.

On the other hand, how many Middle Eastern students are studying in Malaysia? How influential is Malaysia among the Middle Eastern governments or regimes?

Najib should be cautioned not to use the word 'moderate' too loosely. How can Malaysia be a moderate Muslim nation if Shiite followers are banned in the country? Islam in Malaysia is heavily regulated and controlled by the government. Islam in Malaysia has become a state-led religion. Islam is not only politically intertwined but it has been racialised too. Muslim rights are synonymous to Malay supremacy. In fact, Najib has suggested that Islam cannot be seen as an equal to other religions.

How can Malaysia be a moderate Muslim country if the word 'Allah' can be used by others to describe god when the term has been widely used by Christians in Arab countries freely?

How can Malaysia become a model nation when the freedom of press is being curtailed, oppressive laws such as ISA are still being used to detain government critics or when separation of power is being compromised?

It is pertinent for the PM to ask himself the same question: does the Malaysian system produces good and effective governance?

The answer lies in the integrity, capacity and capability of the Malaysian public institutions or civil service. The main problem in this country is the inability of our public institutions/government linked companies/private companies to implement policies and to deliver effectively. Remember the PKFZ, Bakun Dam, 10 battle ships, Cyberjaya, Proton, Perwaja and the list goes on.

What about the capacity and integrity of our sacred institutions such as the police force, judiciary, anti-corruption agency, election commission, educational institutions and others?

By offering Malaysia as a model Muslim nation to be emulated the PM is giving others and the world an impression that we have already reached our peak and a huge success story.

The fact is Malaysia is actually trailing behind some of the very best in the region and is slowing losing our comparative advantage over the newly emerging economies too.

It is time for PM Najib to reach out to the best in the country, regardless of race or religion, to help his administration deliver good and efficient governance.

Otherwise, the political upheaval in several Muslim nations may actually produce more inertia and good things when the dust settles compared to Malaysia.

This is not the time to blow our own trumpet. We should accept the fact that Malaysia is still a work in progress.

Is it Parti KITA, or Parti KITAR?



Yesterday, Zaid Ibrahim announced that Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng, who, on 1st March, last year, resigned from PKR and declared himself an independent MP, had joined Zaid’s party.
FreeMalaysiaToday reported that, at a press conference, Zaid said that “he was glad that Kita was able to attract young leaders into its fold despite being a fledgling political outfit”.
“It is a bold move by Tan to join us as he believes Kita is the party of the future”, Zaid is reported to have said.
It was further reported that when asked if Tee Beng’s joining his party may earn the MP the label ‘political frog’, Zaid responded by saying that ‘not everyone should be labeled as such’ and that ‘leaving a party based on principles as opposed to trivial reasons was different’.
Zaid, therefore, was suggesting that Tee Beng had walked out of PKR last year based on principles and for no other reason.
Interesting.
Interesting when you take on board what Zaid had to say last year about Tee Beng’s exiting PKR to declare himself an independent MP.
“They are not independent, they are independent in name only. They will eventually support Barisan National. Look at the Perak frogs. Obviously the independent MPs will become Barisan-friendly, why else would they leave Pakatan?” , Malaysianinsider reported Zaid as saying the day after Tee Beng declared himself an independent MP.
The next day, 3rd March, Mohsin of Bagan Serai became the third PKR MP last year to walk out on the party and declare himself an independent MP.
On 4th March, Malaysianinsider reported Zaid as saying, in reference to the defection by the  three :  “We have enough evidence to show that this was something that was orchestrated some months back. The approaches… the inducements… the meetings… it all happened a while ago. However it is very difficult to obtain hard evidence on the matter but we have enough information about these meetings and offers. It is hard for us to act on it because then we might be too hasty…These people are only riding on PKR’s popularity to win their MP positions”, and added that the excuses given by the three MPs for the reasons behind their departures were merely “made up” and that the party did not need such “weak” leaders to champion its cause or leaders who could easily sacrifice the party’s struggles for the sake of an incentive offered by the enemy.
On 5th March, Malaysianinsider reported that Zaid categorically said that PKR had proof that the three MP who had defected, including Tee Beng, had been “bought over” by the BN.
And then Zaid made this promise.
“We promise that in the next round, our candidates will be better. The vetting process will be more strict and we will select only those who are truly there for the purpose of upholding justice and protecting the interests of the people — not those who have no interest in their jobs”.
I understand this promise to mean that candidates offered would be better than the likes of Tee Beng.
Zaid, today, it would seem, has a completely different perception of Tee Beng.
Parti KITA or Parti KITAR, could someone please pass the word on to Zaid that some rubbish are simply beyond rehabilitation, and not fit to be recycled, and ought not to be inflicted upon the rakyat?

by Haris Ibrahim

World leaders weigh Libya response

Gaddafi struggles to keep his authority as swathes of land appear to be controlled by pro-democracy protesters [AFP]

International pressure is mounting on Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, to stop the violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrators, which has killed hundreds of people.

On Thursday, Britain urged the world to exert greater pressure on Gaddafi, while the European Union said it was considering sending a humanitarian intervention force to the country.

William Hague, the UK foreign minister, called for an international investigation into Libyan state violence, while
Gaddafi's forces stepped up their struggle to crush protesters who have been calling for an end to his 41-year rule for the past 10 days.

"We will be looking for ways to hold to account the people who are responsible for these things and they should bear that in mind," Hague said. "We will want some kind of international investigation."

David Cameron, the British prime minister, warned that Gaddhafi's continued violence against protesters was "completely unacceptable'.'

"It must stop and, as I am absolutely clear, if it does not stop there will be consequences,'' Cameron said, speaking in Qatar on a tour of the Middle East and Gulf.

UN draft resolution

A UN Human Rights Council draft resolution on Libya is due to be discussed on Friday in Geneva.

The draft includes recommendations on sending an independent, international inquiry team to investigate alleged violations of international human rights law in the country.

It also recommends for the UN general sssembly to remove Libya from the Human Rights Council “in view of gross and systematic violations of human rights by the Libyan authorities".

Europe and Russia on Thursday strongly condemned "the use of force against civilians" in Libya and urged respect for human rights and international law, the European Commission said.

A joint EU-Russia statement, to be officially released later on Thursday, states that the two sides "condemn and consider unacceptable the use of military force to break up peaceful demonstrations".

Alain Juppe, the French defence minister, said on Thursday said he "hop[ed] wholeheartedly Gaddafi is living his last moments as leader".

He repeated calls for economic sanctions to be imposed on Libya, including halting purchases of oil from the country.

The French foreign ministry has said in a statement regarding the violent government crackdown on protesters that "all options should be studied, including bringing the case before the international justice system".

Juppe said the possibility of any foreign military intervention in the North African nation was not on the table, but
added: "I sincerely hope that Gaddhafi is in his final moments as chief of state."

'No plans to intervene'

NATO said on Thursday that the military alliance had no plans to enter the conflict at the moment.

During a visit to Ukraine, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO's secretary-general, said that the alliance "has no plans to intervene".

"We have not received any requests in that respect. And anyway, any action should be based on a clear UN mandate,'' he said.

AFP news agency reported on Thursday that Switzerland has ordered an immediate freeze on any assets that may belong to Gaddafi and his entourage, the Swiss foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The Federal Council (government) condemns the violence used by the Libyan strongman against the people in the strongest terms," they quoted the ministry as saying.

"In view of the developments the Federal Council has decided to block with immediate effect any possible assets of Muammar Gaddafi and his entourage in Switzerland."

Barack Obama, the US president, slammed the use of "outrageous" force against protesters, saying on Wednesday that his country is considering a "range of options" on Libya.

Obama said he would send Hillary Clinton, his secretary of state, to Geneva for a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council at the weekend and for talks with allied foreign ministers.

The president urged an end to attacks on peaceful protesters but stopped short of calling for Gaddafi to step down as ruler of the oil-producing North African nation and did not lay out any specific measures under consideration against the Libyan government.

Washington has previously said it is looking at imposing sanctions on Libya.

Sanctions discussed

After a meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday, the bloc did not announce sanctions against Libya, but Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, said the EU stood "ready to take further measures'.'

The US state department said freezing Libyan assets, including those belonging to Gaddafi, were among the options being considered, and some US legislators urged direct action such as imposing no-fly zones.

Leftwing and centrist opposition parties in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, meanwhile, made a joint statement on Wednesday on the government crackdown, calling on their nations to intervene.

"It is a genuine industry of extermination that has been unleashed. We must stand up to it, as any conscious individual would, and do everything to stop this massacre," read the statement.

Italy, whose islands are just a few hundred kilometres from the Libyan coast, is worried about immigration.

Its interior minister said on Thursday that Libya's pro-democracy unrest could create a humanitarian crisis that sends a million refugees fleeing across the Mediterranean to Europe.

"This is not just a problem for Italy and the Mediterranean countries, it's a problem for Europe and the world,'' said Roberto Maroni. "This is a catastrophic humanitarian emergency."

Gaddafi is struggling to maintain his authority in the country, with major swathes of territory in the east apparently under the control of pro-democracy protesters.

Source:Agencies

Egypt ex-VP survived 'car shooting'

Omar Suleiman, the former vice president of Hosni Mubarak, the ousted Egytian president, survived an assassination attempt a few weeks ago, the Middle East News Agency has reported, citing a television interview with Egypt's foreign minister.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit confirmed on Egyptian satellite channel, Al Hayaat TV, that Suleiman's life was targeted at the height of the recent nationwide revolution, MENA, an Egyptian news agency, said on Thursday.

Gheit said that he witnessed the shooting attack on Suleiman's vehicle in an area near the presidential palace in Heliopolis, in the capital Cairo.

He said assailants stole an ambulance in order to approach Suleiman's cortege and attacked it. The incident left one of Suleiman's bodyguards dead, while another bodyguard and a driver received injuries.

On February 5, a senior Egyptian security source denied reports in the US media that there had been an assassination attempt, calling them "groundless".

Since 1986, Suleiman had been one of the leading figures in Egypt's intelligence system. He was appointed to the long vacant vice presidency seat by Mubarak last month.

In February, Suleiman announced Mubarak's resignation and left his post.

Arrests

Meanwhile, Egyptian police detained former information minister Anas al-Fikki and former state broadcasting chief Osama al-Sheikh on Thursday as part of a probe into alleged fraud under Mubarak, according to a security official.

Both men were arrested from their homes during the morning on warrants from the financial affairs section of the prosecutor's office, the official said.

Fikki is the fourth member of Mubarak's former government to be detained, after the former ministers of interior Habib al-Adly, tourism Zoheir Garranah and housing Ahmed al-Maghrabi.

On Wednesday, the judiciary announced that former culture minister Faruk Hosni, who stood unsuccessfully for the leadership of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2009, was banned from leaving
the country pending further inquiries.

A dozen businessmen regarded as close to the ousted regime have also been placed under investigation since Mubarak's resignation on February 11.
Source:
Agencies

Anti-lnterlok Rally application rejected

Hindraf Rally planned to be hijacked by Najib Makkal Sakthi Party, UMNO and Police Special Branch.

The Police Special Branch & UMNO plot grants police permit to Najib Makkal Sakthi Party MMSP- to confuse and hijack this Hindraf Rally after arresting the real Hindraf & HRP leaders.

This morning we received a phone call that the Najib Makkal Sakthi Party or MMSP has applied for a permit also for the 27th Feb 2011 Hindraf Rally at KLCC at 9.00a.am.

When Lans Constable Mohammad arrived at our HRP HQ at 12.00p.m. to serve the Letter of rejection of police permit on HRP CEC Member S.Thiagarajan we saw the Najib MMSP letterhead in his file but did not ask why.

At about 2.00p.m. we received a phone call from one of our supporters that the Hindraf Rally police permit has been issued to Najib’s MMSP and not to the real applicants ie Hindraf and HRP.

If true, we believe that this is a top Police Special Branch and UMNO conspiracy to arrest the real Hindraf and HRP leaders way before the 27th Feb Hindraf Rally, create confusion and allow the Najib Makkal Sakthi UMNO Indian mandores hijack the 27th Feb 2011 Hindraf Rally.

Just as they did in the post 25th November 2007 Hindraf Rally by planting even a police Special Branch E3M ASP to emerge as one of the five Hindraf leaders under Ops Padam Hindraf especially to confuse and divide Hindraf. And then turning over the then Hindraf newcomers to lead the Najib Makkal Sakthi Party which was hastily approved within two weeks. We then were not ready with our second line leadership. But today we are.

With unlimited government funds, the Police top special Branch brains and the full UMNO government machinery, UMNO succeeded to a great extent in creating confusion, dividing and weakening Hindraf using their print and electronic media and the three Tamil dailies.

But today we can see through UMNO, their Special Branch planners and plotters and the UMNO Indian mandores. All what we can say at this juncture is today we are far better prepared.

‘Pisang tidak akan berbuah dua kali”.

And 100% of the blame should any untoward incident happen on 27th Feb 2011 Hindraf Rally would squarely be on UMNO and their police Special Branch Operatives, Perkasa, Pekida, UMNOs’ underworld Tiga Line and UMNOs’ Indian mandore gangsters.

Rights Not Mercy.

Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice

24/2/2011

UMNO's CPO must allow HINDRAF Solidarity March

Chinese school rejects free copies of Utusan Malaysia

A Chinese primary school in Kuantan has reversed its decision to accept free copies of the Malay daily Utusan Malaysia following objections from Chinese educational groups and opposition parties.

According to Chinese daily Sin Chew Daily today, the reversal of the decision was made by the SRJK (C) Semambu board after a meeting last night.

NONEBoard chairperson Goh Kim Fah told Sin Chew Daily that the school initially wanted to accept free copies of Utusan Malaysia, sponsored by a private company, to enhance the command of Bahasa Malaysia among the pupils.

“Indeed, we were careless with this issue. We did not study the impact of the decision (to accept the sponsorship),” Goh said.

He said the pupils, unlike adults, would not be able to compare Utusan Malaysia's news reports, which critics claim are "skewed and fan racism", with other sources.

This was among the reasons the board considered in deciding to reject the sponsorship deal.

The issue was raised after Utusan Malaysia reported that property developer Pasdec Holdings Bhd would sponsor 4,375 copies of the daily for four primary schools and one secondary school in Pahang.
Negative impact on pupils
Among others, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has objected to the sponsorship deal, saying the Umno-owned daily had a habit of publishing false news about him and stoking racial sentiments among the Malays.

He also accused the daily of constantly trying to portray the Chinese community as second-class citizens.

azlan"If we allow our new generation to read this Umno mouthpiece, then the Chinese community would become second-class citizens in Malaysia forever. The rights of non-Malays would be deprived," Lim in a statement released recently.

The Association of Graduates from Universities & Colleges of China, Malaysia, also pointed out that the newspaper would have a negative impact to the pupils.

"Utusan Malaysia has been spreading racism and lies, as well as distorting facts. It is not a professional and credible newspaper, hence it is not suitable to be read by pupils whose thinking is still not mature," the association said in calling on the school to reject the offer.

No permit for march against 'Umno's racism'

(Malaysiakini) The Human Rights Party's (HRP) application for a permit to carry out a peaceful march against the novel Interlok on Sunday has been rejected by the Dangi Wangi police.
The party on Feb 11 submitted its application to the police for a permit to hold a 'People's March in Solidarity Against Umno's Racism'.

The gathering is to protest the education ministry's decision to retain the use of the controversial novel Interlok, which critics argue portrays the Indian community in a negative light and therefore is not suitable for use as a school textbook.

HRP information chief S Jayathas told Malaysiakini that two uniformed police officers from the Dang Wangi station came to their office at noon today, with the rejection letter.
"The officers informed us that we still have another 24 hours to reapply for a permit, if we wanted to," he said, adding that HRP would do so.

'We'll fall back on Article 10 of constitution'
NONENevertheless, Jayathas (right) said, the march would proceed as scheduled.
"We will go on with the peaceful march as Article 10 of the federal constitution guarantees Malaysians the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association," he added.
On Tuesday, the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) had requested observers from the United Nations (UN) to monitor its scheduled march and handed over a memorandum to the UN for its intervention in the Interlok issue.
The novel, by national laureate Abdullah Hussein, became controversial following the ministry's decision to adopt it as the Malay literature textbook for Form Five, with several parties opposing on grounds it contains words deemed demeaning to Indian Malaysians.
Education Minister MuhyiddinYassin had announced on Jan 27 that the novel would remain as the textbook for Form Five, but with amendments to those parts deemed offensive by the Indian community.

There have been endless protests against Interlok nationally since then.
On Feb 13, police detained 59 people nationwide, travelling in Hindraf organised convoys, to attend forums on the book. There have been with allegations of rough treatment of those arrested by the police.
Jayathas said Unesco should also intervene in this issue as the book degraded the Indian and Chinese communities. He also said that the anti-Interlok forum tonight would go on as scheduled.

"Tonight, we hold the forum at the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, before the big finale on Sunday," he added.
The 'People's March in Solidarity Against Umno's Racism' will kick off from the KLCC at 9am on Sunday and end at the Dang Wangi Police station.

Anwar, Saiful seen on condo CCTV footage

Anwar Ibrahim
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — The High Court today viewed closed circuit images showing individuals resembling Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan entering and leaving the Seri Damansara condominium on June 26, 2008.

ASP Fauziah Che Mat, a police audio-video analyst told the court earlier today that she had been tasked by DSP Jude Pereira on July 3, 2008 to identify two cars bearing the plate numbers WMK6 and WPK5925 via CCTV recordings obtained from the condominium.

CCTV recordings played today showed that an individual resembling Saiful arrived at the condominium at 2.47pm.

Saiful had, during the start of the trial, testified that he had driven to the condominium on that day using a car with the number plates WPK5925.

He was seen entering the lift and got off at the fifth floor. He later left the condominium at 4.35pm on the same day.

The individual resembling the complaint wore a long-sleeved shirt.

Another person resembling Anwar was seen entering the lift of the condominium at 12.12pm. CCTV footages caught him holding a black briefcase and white plastic bag. He was also seen putting on a grey suit in the lift and got out on the fifth floor.

At approximately 5.14pm, he was seen leaving the fifth floor with another male individual, a bald man. Both left the condominium at 5.30pm.

No one has however identified Anwar and Saiful as being the individuals in the CCTV footage today.

Besides the two cars- WMK6 and WPK5925 five other cars were also identified by Fauziah in court today, who said that Pereira had instructed her to do so.

She had also been instructed to identify images of 8-9 individuals who had gone up the fifth floor on the same day.

The trial will resume tomorrow morning with the cross-examination of another prosecution witness — Nor Aidora Saedon.

Saiful had complained that his ex-boss had sodomised him at a luxury condominium in upper-class Bukit Damansara here on June 26, 2008.

Saiful, now aged 25, has never named anyone else.

Anwar, the 63-year-old PKR de facto leader, is currently facing sodomy charges for the second time in his life.

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

Courtship with DAP, PAS loses ‘Malay-ness’

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad claims that PAS has stopped subscribing to the Malay culture after joining hands with the Chinese-dominated party.

PETALING JAYA: PAS has cast aside its “Malay-ness” since joining forces with the Chinese-dominated DAP, said former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Just look at how rudely PAS members behaved towards the Sultan and Regent of Perak, rolling on the road to block the Regent’s car (when Barisan Nasional took control of the state from Pakatan Rakyat in 2009).

“Before making amends with DAP, PAS members held on to their Malay culture. But to support DAP, PAS members have now put this aside. Now, we don’t hear their demands for an Islamic state,” he added.

Mahathir was responding to PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s comment that by working with DAP, PAS had been able to introduce Islam to the party.

Nik Aziz also claimed that since then, DAP had been “converted from ‘over my dead body’ to ‘negotiable’” with regard to PAS’ theocratic goals.

The PAS leader had mentioned this in an interview with Utusan Malaysia last week in response to Mahathir’s scathing criticism against him.

Agreeing with ‘DAP’s father’

Meanwhile, Mahathir also lambasted Nik Aziz again for not objecting to former Singapore premier Lee Kuan Yew’s call for Muslims in the island state to be less rigid about their religious beliefs.

“When DAP’s father (Lee) urged Muslims not to be too strict in observing their faith, Nik Aziz did not reject this because he felt that it was not as bad as Umno’s nationalism.

“So don’t yell at me if I say that Nik Aziz has accepted Lee’s view,” he said in his latest blog posting.

Once again accusing the PAS leader of only being interested in winning elections, Mahathir said Nik Aziz was now calling for Malays to be given priority because they formed the majority in this country.

“It is not the problems faced by the Malays which changed Nik Aziz’s stand towards his own race, but because he needs the Malay votes.

“Meet Nik Aziz, the man who prioritises Malay votes, but does not care about their problems,” he said.

The former premier also slammed the PAS leader for comparing himself to an angel who reprimanded Prophet Muhammad with regard to his critcism against Mahathir.

“I am not a prophet and Nik Aziz is not an angel. We are both ordinary human beings and politicians. A politician’s reprimand done for his political interest cannot be compared to the actions of an angel.

“Furthermore, Nik Aziz had questioned my faith, that is a serious allegation. Wouldn’t a Muslim react angrily if he is labelled an infidel? Wouldn’t Nik Aziz do the same if I call him that?” he asked.

Responding to Nik Aziz’s demand for proof that he had labelled Umno members as infidels, Mahathir said the evidence for this was in the Utusan interview itself.

Mahathir then quoted an excerpt from the interview, where Nik Aziz had said, in referrence to Umno, “rejecting religion for nationalism, what is this called?”.

“So he claims that Umno nationalists reject religion, and then he asks ‘what is this called’. Rejecting religion means becoming an infidel. So Nik Aziz accuses Umno of being an infidel,” said the former premier.

“Does Nik Aziz think that only after saying ‘support PAS’ can one become a Muslim, and before that the person is an infidel? This means Nik Aziz has termed me an infidel as well,” he added.

Kes bunuh Sosilawati dipindah ke Mahkamah Tinggi

Majistret Hurman Hussain menetapkan 24 Mac ini untuk sebutan kes itu di Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam.
BANTING: Mahkamah Majistret di sini hari ini memerintahkan kes bekas peguam N.Pathmanabhan dan tiga pekerja ladangnya yang didakwa membunuh jutawan kosmetik Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya dan tiga individu lain dipindahkan ke Mahkamah Tinggi.

Majistret Hurman Hussain menetapkan 24 Mac ini untuk sebutan kes itu di Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam.

Pada 13 Okt tahun lepas, Pathmanabhan, 41, T.Thilaiyagan, 19, R.Matan, 20, dan R.Khatavarayan, 30, dituduh membunuh Sosilawati, 47, pegawai bank Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, peguam Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, dan pemandu Sosilawati, Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44, di Lot No 2001 Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat di sini pada 30 Ogos tahun lepas.

Pada 21 Feb lepas, dua lagi pekerja ladang, K.Sarawanan, 20, dan U.Suresh, 27, dihukum penjara 20 tahun kerana melupuskan mayat jutawan kosmetik itu dan tiga yang lain.

- Bernama

Najib has tough fight against NEP ‘cancer’, says report

Najib Razak
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak is taking “an unprecedented gamble” by pledging to dilute the system of Malay patronage that has kept Umno in power, said a foreign report yesterday.

The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) — an Australia-based think tank — said that the large support for the status quo and Umno’s current vulnerability meant that “Najib will have a difficult task convincing his colleagues to ‘risk all’ for the sake of Malaysia’s long-term future.”

Its foreign policy research fellow Dr John Lee also questioned the prime minister’s capacity to introduce economic reforms as the introduction of the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1970 has cultivated a “vast and deep network of rent-seeking and patronage.” While acknowledging that the New Economic Model (NEM) introduced by Najib last year was “enormously significant,” Lee said that the decades of pro-Bumiputera affirmative action was now a “millstone around the neck of the struggling Malaysian economy and the cancer behind the country’s growing structural problems.”

However, the public policy think tank backs Najib’s gamble as an opinion poll by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research in 2008 found that 71 per cent of Malaysians — including 65 per cent of Malays — believed that affirmative action needed to be reviewed.

Lee’s paper, “Malaysian Dilemma: The Enduring Cancer of Affirmative Action,” said that the NEM has the potential to win back disaffected Chinese and Indian voters to Barisan Nasional (BN).

But the researcher, who was born in Ipoh but migrated to Australia, added that there has “been few initiatives aimed at reducing the role of the state in the Malaysian economy—which is essential for cutting back rent-seeking opportunities by Malay elites in the name of affirmative action.”

Calling steps such as relaxing Bumiputera equity requirements in 27 service subsectors “piecemeal,” the paper noted that Najib has had to placate pro-Malay groups including senior Umno figures who are “far from unanimous in their support of Najib’s gamble.”

The largely Malay civil service with its deeply entrenched ‘pro-Malay’ culture means it will be difficult to effect genuine reform, Lee added.

Commenting on the paper, local libertarian think tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) believes that it is time to debate the policy of affirmative action.

Project manager Afif Abdullah said that “the evidence against affirmative action is now clearer. The prime minister must not succumb to demands from far right groups, be they Malay, Chinese, Indian, Dayak, or anything else.”

Established in 1976, CIS states that it supports a free enterprise economy and a free society under limited government where individuals can prosper and fully develop their talents.

A gay Minister in Cabinet and Johorean ...


Looking at the progress at Jalan Duta, there will be a prima facie case against Anwar Ibrahim and he has to prove himself as innocent.

Anwar is up against DNA forensic evidence and Saiful steady testimony in court to be supported by the three doctors that attend to Saiful, other witnesses and the CAMERA.

He will need to prove he has alibis to claim he is somewhere else. Can he proof the camera wrong?

Can his six alibis show they were around with Anwar when the camera proves otherwise?

Anwar is set for Bamboo River. Sodomy is a crime punishable by imprisonment.

Back in 1998, Tun Dr Mahathir dismiss him from Cabinet on a justifiable reason of moral and indecent behaviour before Anwar was brought to trial.

Will Najib dismiss a member of his cabinet if found to be gay?

Dato Seri ... as far as we can remember, this talk have been going on for more than three years.

There is a Cabinet Minister from Johor that is in the habit of going out socially with pretty young boys to restaurants and nite clubs in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru.

The can see this.

Source from his UMNO Division described him as intimately close with his Political Secretary, described as jambu by fellow youth member in the Division.

The Minister could be seen as touching the thigh of his Setpol and massaging his neck and shoulders with soft sensuous touch that made those witnessing uncomfortable.

One reliable source claim that there is a particular pretty boy that is particularly close with the Minister.

They pretty boy used to work at a corporate affair department of a major Bank in Kuala Lumpur but have moved to an International Invesment company.

The source claim to personally view an intimate telephone conversation between the 20 something former bank corporate affair officer with the Minister on the other side of the conversation.

The source verified the handphone number at the receiving end.

The conversation was intimate as they talked about indiscreet subject like performing the mandi wajib. The pretty boy was so close with the Minister that he could request for RM20,000 with ease.

The pretty boys revealed to our source that he used to meet the Minister at Nikko Hotel. He had laid bare his body to massage the Minister.

But the source's story stop short at the interesting part.

There will be no names revealed.

In case, anyone is guessing as Dato Seri Hishamuddin Hussein because this blog used to call him pondan for his indecisions at MInistery of Internal Affirs, our answer is No.

It is not Hishamuddin.

The story is already much talked within UMNO Johor. Don't tell me Najib doesn't know. In case he doesn't, he should get this investigated.

If Anwar had to face many ordeals for his criminal sexual orientation, this Minister can't stay on. He could be a major embarassment to Najib's transformational cabinet.

Morality must never be set aside.

Muhyiddin Wants Firm Action Against Hindraf

(Bernama) - CHANGLUN -- Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin wants firm police action against a group calling itself Hindraf which is reported to be trying to hold a mass rally this Sunday.

He said that Hindraf, the Hindu Rights Action Force, had been banned and using or championing its name was in itself an offence.

"They (planners) know that they would need permission from the police (for such a rally)," he told reporters here.

Muhyiddin said it was up to police to "shape" the action to be taken, but they have to be firm against such activity as a rally by a banned organisation.

Malaysian activist in exile says govt plays 'race card'

If Najib wants to propagate One Malaysia, he has to make it very clear what One Malaysia stands for. Just to have it as a slogan, One Malaysia, but the implementation and all those other issues are opposed to One Malaysia. Even Dr Mahathir, ex-prime minister, said he does not understand what is One Malaysia, and of course he was being cheeky. But if you ask any Malaysian on the street what is One Malaysia, they can't define it.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Sem Lam, Radio Australia

He is known as Malaysia's Julian Assange, a whistle-blower seen by the establishment as a trouble-maker.

Raja Petra Kamarudin has long been an advocate of accountable government through his online news blog, Malaysia Today.

He's been detained under Malaysia's controversial and feared Internal Security Act - the I.S.A.

Indeed, he has so many police reports filed against him that these days, Raja Petra lives in exile in Britain.

Raja Petra is also chairman of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement.

He'll speak next week at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Raja Petra says that both sides of Malaysian politics are still playing the sensitive race card.

Presenter: Sen Lam
Speaker: Raja Petra Kamarudin, activist and founder of news blog, Malaysia Today

* Listen:
* Windows Media

KAMARUDIN: Race or rather racism and the use of religion for political reasons. I think this is the two most dangerous issues, if I would describe it as that. And it appears that both sides of the political divide, whether it's pro-government, anti-government, they're both playing race and religion in their politics. Race and religion even each by itself is very potent, when you combine both I think we have got ingredients of a very explosive situation. And it appears the situation is getting worse.

LAM: Do you include in this your former party Keadilan, the party that's currently led by Anwar Ibrahim, the Keadilan also plays the race card?

KAMARUDIN: Well look at what happened in East Malaysia, North Borneo, Sabah and Sarawak, where they wanted to put Muslims as the head of the state, and the Muslims are the minority and the Christians or the non-Muslims are the majority there, but yet they wanted to put a Muslim as head of the state because they do not want to open themselves to criticism from UMNO, which claims to be the largest Muslim party in the world. And again PAS, which is a Muslim party in alliance with PKR. So everyone is trying to outdo each other to show that they're more Muslim or more Islam than the other guy.

LAM: And of course the key components in the ruling Barisan Nasional, the BN coalition that currently rules Malaysia federally, that is also divided very much along racial lines. Why do Malaysians accept that?

KAMARUDIN: Well UMNO has made it very clear that Malaysia is a country that belong to the Malays, so only the Malays can rule. But the non-Malays are welcome to rule in coalition with the Malays, but it's the Malays who have to lead the government. That has been challenged many years ago and the result was race riots. So UMNO is constantly reminding the non-Malays, in particular the Chinese, what happened in 1969.

LAM: But isn't 1969 also caused by the fact that the Malays felt that they did not have a fair share of the economic pie? After over four decades of pro-Bumiputra affirmative new economic policies favouring the Malays, why is this still currently an issue in Malaysia?

KAMARUDIN: I suppose it's convenient boogey man. The non-Malays, the Chinese in particular have never forgotten what happened in 1969, and they still fear it. And every time the Chinese get out of line or appear to be more slanted towards opposition, they're reminded about what happened the last time you tried this in 1969. And it appears to work in many by-elections, whenever there's a Chinese majority, the Chinese are threatened with the possibility of another race riot if the ruling party was to lose power.

LAM: Well many people are referring to the organisation that you're heading, the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement, the MCLM, they're referring to it as a possible third force. Do you see MCLM entering Malaysian politics?

KAMARUDIN: We have said it many times that we are not a political party and we do not wish to contest the elections. What we wish to do is to offer candidates to contest under their party. If you remember the opposition lost one state, Perak, not long after the elections, and the reason they lost this state was because the elected representatives from the opposition jumped ship. Pakatan won it, UMNO pulled it back by buying off some of their representatives. And they've lost I think all in all about seven representatives who have jumped ship, joined the ruling party. And we say why does this happen? I mean here we are fighting so hard to campaign in the elections and to ensure that these people get elected, and when they get elected they just move, cross over to the other side. So we say, why don't we give you fresh candidates, candidates who are not tainted, who do not have any attachments with UMNO, I will offer you these candidates in the event you have a problem finding good candidates, so we'll assist you by finding candidates. So what we are doing is just responding to the complaints or to the excuses that the opposition, in particular PKR has been giving us. It's not that we want to contest the elections.

LAM: What do you think it will take for Malaysia to move beyond race-based politics?

KAMARUDIN: I was asked that by the mainstream media, the Straits Times, which is a government-owned newspaper in Malaysia. What would you do if you were the prime minister to end racism in Malaysia? Well I said the first thing I would do if I become prime minister will be I will probably ban same race marriages, you can't marry within your same race. It was tongue in cheek actually, but the point is when people in Malaysia, when Malaysians still think of them as Indians and Chinese and Malays first, and as Malaysians second, we'll never end this racism problem. Now why does the government perpetuate this? For instance if you fill in a form, you're supposed to fill in your race. And they insist that you fill in your race. So either you're a Malay, or a Chinese, or an Indian, or you're one of the other minorities. And you're supposed to also fill in your religion. So we are compartmentalised and we are labelled according to our race and religion. Everybody, especially of our generation, those in their 50s and 60s, we always talk about the Malaysia of maybe the 1950s and the 1960s before 1969, Malaysia then was so different. But somehow today we've evolved into a nation that's very conscious about what race and what religion you are. It's good to have cultures and customs and language, but when that becomes your political fight, that becomes the issue, your cause, certainly everyone will withdraw into their own community and say yes, I will fight for my own community. If Najib wants to propagate One Malaysia, he has to make it very clear what One Malaysia stands for. Just to have it as a slogan, One Malaysia, but the implementation and all those other issues are opposed to One Malaysia. Even Dr Mahathir, ex-prime minister, said he does not understand what is One Malaysia, and of course he was being cheeky. But if you ask any Malaysian on the street what is One Malaysia, they can't define it.

Minority Ethnic Groups Never Been Sidelined, Says Muhyiddin

ALOR SETAR, Feb 25 (Bernama) -- Minority ethnic groups in Malaysia have their own roles to play and will never be left out from mainstream development, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He also gave assurance that the government would always take into consideration the interest of all races, irrespective of whether they were a majority or minority group, in all its decisions.

"The government's policy (in matters concerning the rights of an ethnic group) has been in practice for so long and has become Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's principle not to sideline any group so that the vision to become a fully developed nation can be achieved.

"That is why transformation of the government and the economy is seriously implemented with focus given on six national key result areas (NKRAa)," he said when opening the Malaysian Siamese Association's nnaul convention here Thursday.

He said the NKRAs were not introduced to benefit one or two ethnic group only, but was actually meant to create new economic sectors and job opportunities for all Malaysians.

Hence, he said, the government would also ensure that the children of the Siamese community in the country would receive the same treatment in all aspects of life, including education, health and economy.