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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hindraf Rally Eve 2011

Homosexual UMNO Minister in Najib's Current Cabinet ??

UMNO Ministers from Johore in Najib's Cabinet ?

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1. Muhyiddin Yassin, Deputy Prime Minister, UMNO MP for Pagoh Johore

2. Hishamuddin Hussein, Minister of Home Affairs, UMNO MP for Sembrong. Johore

3. Mohamad Khaled Nordin, Minister of Higher Education, UMNO MP for Pasir Gudang, Johore

4. ???

If the article says it is NOT Hishamuddin, then WHO?

Yet the Image with the black-out face does not correspond with that of DPM Muhyiddin Yassin and Minister of Higher Education, Mohamad Khaled Nordin.

-- END OF UPDATE ----

Read here for more in "Another Brick in the Wall" Blog

A Gay Minister in (Najib's) Cabinet and ( he is ) a Johorean ...


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(see HERE above photo in "Another Brick in the Wall" blog)

Excerpts:

Sodomy is a crime punishable by imprisonment (in Malaysia).

Back in 1998, Tun Dr Mahathir dismiss him (Anwar Ibrahim) 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?

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.

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 as uncomfortable.

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

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

The source claim to personally view an intimate telephone conversation between the 20 -something former bank corporate affair officer and 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 boy revealed to our source that he used to meet the Minister at Nikko Hotel. He had laid bare his shirt to massage the Minister.

But the source's story stop short at the interesting part. There will be no name revealed.

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 embarrassment to Najib's transformational cabinet.

Morality must never be set aside.
-"Another Brick in the Wall"
We Ask,

Is THIS the same person shown BELOW who the blogger in "Another Brick in the Wall" refers to (based on the image posted on the same blog)?


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(Above photo appeared in the news article entitled ,"Hishammuddin wants explanation from China Press" in Malaysiakini dated 13, March, 2010)

or See above photo in the same article reposted on Kamal-Talks blog :
http://kamal-talksmalaysia.blogspot.com/2010/03/hishammuddin-wants-explanation-from.html

The Same UMNO Minister (below) with the Keris
Threatening the Non-Malays at the UMNO General Assembly ??

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Posted by Malaysian Unplug @ 19:47

IGP pantau kumpulan Hindraf

Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein telah meminta Ketua Polis Negara Tan Sri Ismail Omar untuk memantau secara peribadi dan mengambil tindakan tegas jika kumpulan Hindraf mencetuskan kekecohan di negara ini.

"Saya telah minta Ketua Polis Negara memantau dan mengambil tindakan secara langsung...beliau akan bertanggungjawab untuk pastikan gerakan haram ini tidak menjejaskan keadaan dan suasana," kata Hishammuddin ketika ditemui selepas proses penamaan calon pilihan raya kecil DUN Kerdau di Dewan Tun Razak, Majlis Perbandaran Temerloh hari ini.

Beliau diminta mengulas kenyataan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yang mengarahkan pihak berkuasa agar mengambil tindakan undang-undang terhadap Hindraf bagi memastikan pertubuhan haram itu tidak muncul kembali.

Hindraf dilapor merancang mengadakan perarakan raksasa di ibu negara esok dari Pusat Konvensyen Kuala Lumpur (KLCC) hingga ke Jalan Dang Wangi.

Hishammuddin berkata, Hindraf dilihat cuba mewujudkan suasana seperti di negara Timur Tengah namun ia tidak mendapat sambutan orang ramai.

"Kita tahu niat dan hasrat mereka, kita tahu ada pihak-pihak tertentu yang nak cuba membawa sentimen yang kita lihat berlaku di Timur Tengah ke sini, tetapi keadaan di sini berbeza dan tidak menjurus ke arah itu," katanya.

Dalam pada itu, Ismail berkata, polis akan mengambil tindakan undang-undang terhadap mereka yang masih berdegil untuk menyertai perhimpunan haram itu esok.

Beliau berkata perhimpunan itu tidak mendapat permit polis.

Katanya perhimpunan itu akan memberi kesan buruk terutamanya dari aspek keselamatan dan ketenteraman awam terutama apabila kawasan berkenaan menjadi tumpuan ramai pada hujung minggu.

"Kepada pihak yang terlibat dengan perhimpunan ini, saya ingatkan janganlah diadakan," katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan tapak Surau Baitul Rahman di Taman Perumahan Aman Perdana di Klang.

Terdahulu, dalam ucapannya Ismail berkata ancaman seperti hasutan dan tuntutan tertentu yang melampau memberi kesan tidak baik dan boleh menggugat ketenteraman awam.

- Bernama

Sky News has met the family of an 11-year-old Libyan girl killed by Colonel Gaddafi's forces during clashes in the eastern town of Al Bayda.

The young victim had just been woken up by the fighting when she was shot dead as the dictator's loyalists blasted the house.

Her uncle told Sky News that he hopes some good will come from her death and people will become united and want to liberate their own country.
Explore the unrest spreading in the Middle East
Gaddafi loyalists never imaged oppressed civilians would rise up in an act of resistance.
Tanks were ripped open by anti-Gaddafi protesters as they battled elite forces for control of the streets.

Sky has also seen evidence the dictator employed mercenaries from Africa to fight the protesters.
Anti-government demonstrators showed the ID card of a man from Mali they claimed was one of the mercenaries.
Girl, 11, killed by Gaddafi forces in eastern Libyan town of Al Bayda
This 11-year-old girl was killed by pro-government forces

Libya protests: The Gaddafi family tree

A look at the roles and relationships of the Libyan leader's closest family, amid ongoing protests and violence across the country.
CLICKABLE Select the images to read more.
first wife colonel gaddafi safia farkash muhammad saif-al-islam saadi mutassim hannibal saif al-arab khamis ayesha milad

Libyan leader, protesters defiant as world leaders seek resolution

Pressure mounts on Libya's Gaddafi


Internal and international pressure is mounting on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to stand down from power as protests continue against his 42-year rule.

Within the country, anti-government protesters said the demonstrations were gaining support, and footage believed to be filmed on Friday appeared to show soldiers in uniform joining the protesters.

The footage showed soldiers being carried on the shoulders of demonstrators in the city of Az Zawiyah, after having reportedly turned against the government - a scene activists said is being repeated across the country.

Al Jazeera, however, is unable to independently verify the content of the video, which was obtained
LIVE BLOG
via social networking websites.

Our correspondent in Libya reported on Friday that army commanders in the east who had renounced Gaddafi's leadership had told her that military commanders in the country's west were also beginning to turn against him.

They warned, however, that the Khamis Brigade, an army special forces brigade that is loyal to the Gaddafi family and is equipped with sophisticated weaponry, is currently still fighting anti-government forces.

Our correspondent, who cannot be named for security reasons, said that despite the gains, people are anxious about what Gaddafi might do next, and the fact that his loyalists were still at large.

Abu Yousef, speaking from the town of Tajoura, told Al Jazeera on Saturday that live ammunition was being used against anti-government protesters.

"Security forces are also searching houses in the area and killing those who they accuse of being against the government," he said.

Crackdown after prayers

Security forces loyal to Gaddafi reportedly also opened fire on anti-government protesters in the capital, Tripoli, after prayers on Friday.

Heavy gun fire was reported in the districts of Fashloum, Ashour, Jumhouria and Souq Al, sources told Al Jazeera.

The offensive came after Gaddafi appeared in Tripoli's Green Square on Friday, to address a crowd of his supporters.

The speech, which also referred to Libya's war of independence with Italy, appeared to be aimed at rallying what remains of his support base, with specific reference to the country's youth.

An earlier speech, on Thursday evening had been made by phone, leading to speculation about his physical condition. But the footage aired on Friday showed the leader standing above the square, waving his fist as he spoke.

In the rooftop address Gaddafi urged his supporters below to "defend Libya".

"If needs be, we will open all the arsenals. We will fight them and we will beat them," he said.

International condemnation

The eastern region of the oil-rich North African nation is now believed to be largely free of Gaddafi control since the popular uprising began on February 14, with protests in the city of Benghazi inspired by revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.

Hundreds of people have been killed in a brutal crackdown on the protests, though the official death toll remains unclear.

The crackdown has sparked international condemnation, with Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, becoming the first world leader to openly demand Gaddafi's ouster.

Meanwhile, as Western governments scrambled to craft a collective response to the unrest, the United States said it was moving ahead with sanctions against the regime.

Barack Obama, the US president, issued an executive order, seizing assets and blocking any property in the United States belonging to Gaddafi or his four sons.

In a statement, Obama said the measures were specifically targeted against the Gaddafi government and not the wealth of the Libyan people.

The European Union also agreed to impose an arms embargo, asset freezes and travel bans on Libya.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, said on Friday that decisive action by the Security Council against the crackdown must be taken, warning that any delay would add to the growing death toll which he said now came to over 1,000.

The official death toll in the violence remains unclear. Francois Zimeray, France's top human rights official, said on Thursday that it could be as high as 2,000 people killed.

Ban's call, as well as an emotional speech by the Libyan ambassador to the United Nations, prompted the council to order a special meeting on Saturday to consider a sanctions resolution against Gaddafi.

Britain, France, Germany and the United States have drawn up a resolution which says the attacks on civilians could amount to crimes against humanity. It calls for an arms embargo and a travel ban and assets freeze against Gaddafi, and members of his government.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

HRP rally to proceed tomorrow despite no permit

The Human Rights Party-planned rally will still continue tomorrow despite the red light from the police and the government.

NONE“It's still on. There are no changes,” said information chief S Jayathas.

When speaking to Malaysiakini, he said that the government had repeatedly rejected their applications for a police permit.

Jayathas said that letters have been sent to the inspector-general of police, the Home Ministry as well as the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak himself.

“There is no response from any of them,” he said.

Undeterred, HRP is taking to the streets of Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning in a battle which they had hoped to be a repeat of the November 2007 Hindraf rally which saw 30,000 protestors.

Back then, the Hindu Rights Action Force had organised one of the biggest demonstrations in the nation's capital in recent times, a culmination of long-standing Indian dissatisfaction over marginalisation.

Hindraf was subsequently banned with five of its leaders detained under the Internal Security Act. They have all since been released and some have gone on to rebrand themselves as HRP.

brickfields uthayakumar hindraf 280209 water cannonBut conceding that tomorrow's event may not attract as much participation as the historic 2007 rally, organisers are more conservative with their expectation.

Jayathas said that they hoping that “two or three thousand” would come out to protest against what they claim, “institutionalised racism in Malaysia for the past 56 years”.

“The Indians are systematically denied minority rights. Malaysia is the most racist country in the world. Apartheid has already ended in South Africa but we still have it in Malaysia.

“We're not asking for special rights but we just want equal opportunity,” he said.

Police: Protest at your own peril


Despite much build-up to the rally, the police have repeatedly issued stern warnings against the party and would-be protestors.

hindraf march of roses parliament 160208 tear gas furyThe Kuala Lumpur police chief Zulkefli Abdullah also insisted that no permit will be issued for the public gathering.

“I think I have made myself very clear in my statement (sent two days ago),” he said when contacted by Malaysiakini.

On Thursday, he had said legal action would be taken against anyone involved in the gathering, but the police would consider issuing a permit if the HRP were to move their rally indoors where there is no “likelihood of a situation being created that would jeopardise public order”.

HRP plans to march tomorrow from Jalan Sultan Ismail to the KL city centre, where they will lodge a police report at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters against Umno over the party's 'racism'.

THE SALT MARCH, MARCH ON WASHINGTON, LONG WALK TO FREEDOM AND FREEDOM MARCH! By: Iraiputtiran

My dear learned Minister of Education! You have made a grave mistake by deciding to retain Interlok as the compulsory reading for Form Five Malay literature! I can bet my last Ringgit Malaysia that you had not read the book thus far nor have you sufficient knowledge on literary analysis. I am also without a trace of doubt in my mind believe that your decision to retain Interlok in the national curriculum was purely driven by the deeply rooted racism and selfishness in you as a true UMNO beneficiary of the NEP system that seems to have fattened you up quite generously! You have failed miserably to feel the pulse of the nation, especially that of the Indians whom you have insulted, denigrated, and caused to grieve just to satisfy your lust for a false sense of UMNO Supremacy by retaining Interlok! How dare you call us “PARIAH!” Mr Deputy Prime Minister, take a hard look in the mirror and note the blemishes within you and your UMNO Masters! Pause for a second and think of the greed, lust, cravings, arrogance, racism, bigotism and hatred you and your UMNO Masters have developed in the minds of the innocent public against the Indians (and Chinese) to the detriments of this multiracial nation!

Indians have spoken at great length, engaged in dialogues, written in volumes, burnt the novel, and politely requested … your UMNO government to drop the book from the school curriculum! And yet, your UMNO Malay supremacy and religious bigotry-infected sadist and atrocious mind has decided to keep the novel in order for your RACISTS UMNOputras to continue to denigrate, dishonor and disgrace the Indians and finally kill their self-esteem and have their dignity destroyed! All that so that you can have a continuous supply of cheap slavery to do the most menial jobs in future, lower than what the illegal-made-legal Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indonesian laborers do! You hope that through your 54 years of socially engineered strategies to severely marginalise and finally massacre the Indians on this land, those who could not withstand the agony would finally leave the country just as your UMNOputras constantly remind us to “Balik… somewhere” or for survival will succumb to your Islamisation and convert and submissively bow to you in servitude!

You and your UMNOputras are dead wrong! We are here! We will neither bow nor submit to your RACISM AND BIGOTISM! We will not flee this country leaving behind the vulnerable ones to be made your preys! We will BATTLE THIS WAR OF RACISM TILL THE LAST DROP OF OUR BLOOD!

You can exploit the equally contaminated police force to instill fear, intimidate, arrest and imprison us! Your stone walls do not make a prison nor iron bars a cage! You can silence our dissent, but not our spirit! We will fight! We have no arms, artilleries or weapons like you! We will battle it with our soul and spirit, with human conscience! Ours is a non-violent battle purely driven by our earnest quest to seek fairness, equality and justice against your UMNO RACISM of 54 years!

Like The Salt March, March on Washington, Long Walk to Freedom and Freedom March, the People’s March will unfold a new dawn in the lives of those who have been denied justice and their rights as lawful citizens in this country by UMNO RACISM! Gandhi’s Salt March may have taken 17 years to gain independence for India, Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom may have taken 20 year of his life, the Freedom Marches may have endured extreme pain threading 966 kilometers from Glasgow to London, and the March on Washington may have taken place 100 years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation…. but the people’s power won the battles in the end! So will we! So will we!

The People’s March, Solidarity Against UMNO Racism will bury UMNO’s RACISM! 27 March 2011, KLCC, 9.00 am! The people will march for THE PEOPLE’S MARCH!

Straight fight in the battle of Merlimau

PAS' Yuhaizad Abdullah and Umno's Roslan Ahmad will face off for the next seven days in Merlimau.
UPDATED
MERLIMAU: The Merlimau by-election will see a straight fight between Yuhaizad Abdullah (PAS) and Roslam Ahmad (Umno) after they have successfully filed their nominations at the Politeknik Merlimau here this morning.

Three objections were raised by PAS but were subsequently dismissed. At about 11.20am, both Yuhaizad and Roslan were declared the official candidates.

Newcomer Yuhaizad, 38, is the Malacca PAS Youth deputy chief as well as Jasin PAS division chief.

Meeting the press later, Yuhaizad merely smiled and was vague when answering questions on his campaign.

“I will provide more details at a later date but what I can promise now is that I will go down to the ground to meet everyone,” he said.

Roslan heads Perbadanan Melaka Holdings, a state corporation.

“I am confident of a win because of the support and cooperation of the BN machinery nationwide,” he said.

Roslan’s father, Ahmad Ithnin, was the former Sungai Rambai  assemblyman . When asked whether this would boost his chances in Merlimau, he said, “I have my own set of capabilities but yes my father will add an advantage to my campaign.”

Better advantage
Among the notable faces in the PAS camp were PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, PAS deputy president Nasaruddin Md Isa, Selangor exco Xavier Jeyakumar, Batu MP Tian Chua and PKR vice-president N Surendran.
Spotted in the BN camp were MIC president G Palanivel, Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong, Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi and Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Kadir.

The Merlimau seat fell vacant following the death of Umno assemblyman Mohammad Hidhir Abu Hassan on Jan 20. Hidhir wrested the seat from PAS in 2008 with a majority of 2,154 votes. This by-election will be the 15th since the 2008 general election and the first in Malacca.

Malays form the majority of voters there and pundits say 80% are loyal Umno supporters. The Merlimau seat has been touted as an easy win in this BN stronghold but the ruling government is not letting its guard down.

“BN will have a better advantage,” said Zambry. “But we’ve learnt not to take anything for granted. The candidate must take it seriously to assure the voters of his capability.”

Palanivel took a bolder stand in declaring that the Indian community is safely in BN’s pocket.

“Seven of 10 Indians will vote BN,” he said confidently. “The other three won’t turn up. My target is to achieve a bigger majority than the 70% achieved in Tenang (Johor).”

The opposition, though well aware of the difficult road ahead, is determined to give BN a tough fight.
“Galas (Kelantan) and Tenang have not broken our spirit,” said Nasruddin. “Our candidate’s advantage is that he is a local and will be able carry out his duties easily here.”

“Besides, even (former prime minister) Dr Mahathir Mohamad has lost to PAS in Kedah before. So we will give it our best shot…”

Basic issues
Meanwhile, ousted former Perak menteri besar Nizar Jamaluddin shot down talk of PAS facing opposition among the non-Malays, saying his  engagement with the Chinese voters yesterday assured him of their support for the opposition.

Pua said DAP would further strengthen this support by explaining how Pakatan’s policies are able to address their basic issues.

Besides the candidates and politicians, another “personality” was showered with attention by the media and supporters.

Kiki, a three-year-old male cat, was spotted lounging in the shade clad in BN “attire”.

“He is a staunch supporter,” his owner, Suraya Abdul Hakim, said proudly.

MyDaftar: ‘A campaign to dupe Indians’

Perak DAP believes the MyDaftar campaign, to register stateless people, by Umno and MIC is merely a political propaganda.

IPOH: The Barisan Nasional (BN) government should bear the burden of proof when it comes to stateless persons born in Malaysia because these people usually do not have proper documentation.

Perak DAP deputy chief V Sivakumar said the onus of the policy on a stateless person to prove that he or she is a Malaysian citizen should as such be reversed.

He said the BN government had the manpower like the police, immigration and registration departments to prove the citizenship of such stateless people.

Sivakumar told FMT yesterday that the eight-day MyDaftar campaign jointly launched by Umno and MIC, which began on Feb 19, will not achieve its target of addressing the citizenship grievances of the estimated 50,000 stateless Indians in the country.

This, he said, was because there is no special consideration given to such stateless people.

“They still have to bring all the necessary documents from A to Z to prove that they were born in Malaysia before the applications can be entertained.

“So there is no justification in such a campaign as the majority of such stateless people do not have the proper documentation to claim their rights as lawful Malaysian citizens,” said Sivakumar who is also Tronoh assemblyperson.

He said the parents of such stateless people, out of ignorance and abject poverty or illiteracy had failed to play their role in registering their children on time to qualify as citizens of this country.

“My suggestion is to put the onus on the BN government to prove that these stateless people are not Malaysian citizens as they claim to be and take punitive action on those who make such fake claims,” said Sivakumar.

BN propaganda

He said DAP was of the view that the 5,000 stateless people, who had applied to register themselves as citizens within two days of the campaign, were merely a BN political propaganda to eyewash the Indian community into believing that they are being looked at after 53 years of neglect and discrimination.

“It is not the quantity of applications that is important here, but the quality of such applications that will be entertained by the authorities for action,” said the ousted Pakatan Rakyat Perak State Legislative Assembly speaker.

Citing the Sabah “Project IC” scandal, Sivakumar said it was irritating and demoralising to know that the BN government is allegedly ready to entertain foreigners as citizens.

“However, the BN government chose to turn the Nelson’s eye to the plight of the thousands of Indians who were born and raised in the country but were denied their citizenship rights.

“Whom do you think will be more loyal to the country and government in the hour of need – the foreigners or local born Indians ?” he asked.

Dr. Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak. Doctor??

By A Concerned Citizen

The value of a law degree or Ph.D. from Monash Univeristy is about to take a nosedive when Najib Razak is awarded an honorary degree of laws and deliver a keynote address on March 4th. One wonders what are the qualifications for an honorary degree these days. It would hardly be a surprise to see Hosni Mubarak or Muammar Gaddafi around campus as well, perhaps getting awards for their great contributions to human rights or peace and security. Najib would be in good company.


Maybe while they are at it Monash can heap accolades on Najib for his memorable contributions to interfaith dialogue and building peace and understanding between the Muslims world and the west. He did of course call for a global movement of moderates, a catchphrase likely hatched in the dungeons of APCO's K St headquarters at the cost of about RM 50,000 taxpayer ringgits. Of course a few days after calling for moderation he told his UMNO party members to prepare to have their bones crushed before relinquishing power in Malaysia. And just recently he told Malaysians that Islam a superior religion to other religions in Malaysia because of course he is a great theologian and not the leader of a multi-ethnic country.

And maybe during his keynote address upon acceptance of a Doctorate of Law Najib can talk about his own commitment to the rule of law and good governance. That would of course include all the steps he's taken since coming to office to reform Malaysia's dysfunctional judiciary of which there are none. Or the work he's done to eliminate corruption and punish those ministers who have fleeced billions of dollars from Malaysia. One could also congratulate him for the arrest of over 1000 people in 2009 in Malaysia for the crime of demonstrating publicly. He also should be given a big kudos for making sure that Malaysians continue to die in custody.

And not to mention the most despicable case of Teoh Beng Hock over which Najib can take credit for an "inquest" that has determined the dead Teoh Beng Hock was neither murdered nor did he commit suicide. I wonder if there is a legal phenomenon to describe that. Speaking of death - perhaps Najib also deserves an accolade for getting to the bottom of the murder of Altantuya. After all, our courts have sentenced to death two officers in Najib's 0utfit for singlehandedly hatching and executing a plan to kill and destroy Altantuya.

Of course Monash University has a big campus in Malaysia. Many Malaysian students spend a lot of money filling up Monash's coffers in Malaysia and in Australia. Maybe as repayment for that Monash is obligated to award the Malaysian Prime Minister with an honorary degree from time to time, irrespective of his qualifications to deserve that degree. Show me, where in the contract between Monash and the Ministry of Education is that requirement listed. Tell me - Monash University, who told you that you need to do a little back scratching for us so we can scratch your back.

Malaysians are trying to get rid of a rotten system, a ruling party that has long since abdicated its responsibilty to protect and defend the constitution of this country. We have no faith in UMNO to lead this country and are ready to lay our lives down to make things better. So why must you and your so called liberal progressive values undermine our values. Why must you give credibility to this poor excuse for a Prime Minister and give him some fake, meaningless degree that he can show off to his friends to make him feel like the world respects him. Shame on you Monash. Shame on you.
In the meantime, if you so wish to voice your concerns over this award, the Chancellor of Monash University, Dr. Alan Finkel, can be reached at Alan.Finkel@monash.edu This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at +61 3 990 52007.

Will Hindraf ignite another saffron blaze?

Tomorrow’s storyline reads like a page out of the past. Indians are once again being called to assemble beneath the Twin Towers on a Sunday morning.
KUALA LUMPUR: Four years ago a fledgling coalition of Hindu NGOs sent word to Indians nationwide that it was time to make a stand against racial discrimination.

At the time scant was known of this coalition which called itself the Hindu Rights Action Force or Hindraf.  But by the evening of Nov 25, 2007, the movement had become a household name.

Its mission was outlandish but its plan was simple.
On Malaysia’s 50th Independence Day, Hindraf leader P Waytha Moorthy accused the UK government of “withdrawing after granting independence and leaving us (Indians) unprotected and at the mercy of a majority Malay-Muslim government that has violated our rights as minority Indians”.

He filed a lawsuit against the UK government for US$4 trillion which would translate to US$1 million for every Malaysian Indian. The lawsuit also sought to strike out Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which acknowledged the special position of the Malays.

The group planned to bring the rally to the British Embassy where it would hand over a 100,000-signature memorandum to the British High Commissioner.

Unsurprisingly, the rally was denied a permit and three Hindraf lawyers – Waytha Moorthy, his brother Uthayakumar and V Ganabatirau – were arrested on sedition charges on Nov 24.
Kuala Lumpur was sealed off as police began setting up the obligatory roadblocks. But no one could have predicted what would enfold once the clock struck midnight.

A small group began to gather at the iconic Hindu shrine in Batu Caves. Gradually, the crowd swelled. But when the protesters attempted to march towards KLCC, they were restrained by the police.

While the rest of the city slumbered, the group at the foot of the Twin Towers steadily grew in numbers and by the time dawn broke, the crowd had run into the thousands.

Men and women had flocked from every corner of the country to demand what was owed to them in terms of both money and rights. They hoisted banners and placards, and shouted fiery slogans with extra vigour each time a camera swung their way.

Media reports put the crowd at 20,000 strong but observers claimed that it was several times more than the official version.

But their jubilation was short-lived when the police released torrents of chemical-laced water and lobbed tear gas at them.

The quietly rumbling crowd exploded into an angry mob. Most fled with stinging eyes and bruised bodies while a brazen few hurled the tear gas canisters back at the police.

The highly anticipated march was over even before it began. And yet victory lay with Hindraf that day.

It might have failed to attract the attention of the British but it had seized the attention of a more important group – the Malaysian Indians.
In the aftermath of that mammoth rally, considered as the political awakening of the Indian community, five Hindraf leaders, including Uthayakumar, were detained under the Internal Security Act and the movement was banned.

But there was no containing the brief flash of empowerment which Hindraf unleashed and it snowballed into an avalanche that helped bury Barisan Nasional’s two-thirds majority in the 2008 general election.

And now Hindraf – now known as Hindraf Makkal Sakti – had decided to reignite the saffron fire and tomorrow’s storyline reads like a page out of the past.

Indians are once again being called to assemble beneath the Twin Towers on a Sunday morning.
Hindraf put out the word weeks ago but this time supplemented the verbal call with elaborate leaflets. Running above the faces of prominent world leaders are the words “Solidarity Against Racism” in bold print.

This time around, Hindraf is out to slay the controversial book Interlok as well as the perceived racism perpetuated by Umno.

The route for the march is from the Twin Towers to the Dang Wangi police station, where the group would attempt to lodge reports against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and the government.

‘Marginalised from womb to tomb’
Like four years ago, the potential magnitude of Sunday’s rally is anyone’s guess.
Text messages are circulating that the Special Branch is preparing for a crowd of 50,000. But Uthayakumar isn’t letting his imagination get the better of him.

“The 2007 protest was a once in a lifetime event,” he told FMT.

“It was the first such rally in 40 years which is probably why it drew such a response. This rally will not be anywhere near that but we will still make our presence known.”

He explained that the decision to choose the same venue was because the Twin Towers symbolised Malaysia’s prosperity and it would be in stark contrast to the reigning poverty in a large part of the Indian community.

“The Indians are still being marginalised,” Uthayakumar stressed.

“From womb to tomb they are riddled with fundamental problems. They are denied solid education, skills training, good employment opportunities and even a proper burial ground.”
“This is our first rally against Umno racism particularly for the Indian poor. We have moved beyond Interlok to standing up against the most racist government in the world.”

Once again a police permit had been denied. But like the last time, Hindraf would not let the mere absence of a document silence it.

Uthayakumar also reiterated that the rally would be non-violent.

“Najib called on (Libyan leader) Muammar Gaddafi to stop using violence. I make the same appeal to him to ask the police force to refrain from using violence against us on Sunday (tomorrow). And to also stop making false allegations of Hindraf’s links with international terrorist organisations.”

The impact of tomorrow’s rally, however, would run deeper than the anti-racism message it carries. The turnout would also be a strong indicator of where the current Indian support lies.

But much had changed since 2008, with Hindraf dismissing the Anwar Ibrahim-led opposition as being no better than BN.

Although Uthayakumar might disagree, the crowd size would also reflect Hindraf’s relevance among the community for which it is fighting for.

BUKTI MENGKAFIR UMNO

1. Dalam Utusan Malaysia 18hb Februari, 2011, Nik Aziz bertanya apa bukti dia mengkafir UMNO.

2. Allah Maha Kaya.

3. Kepada soalannya, dia sendiri menjawab, "Tolak agama ambil nasionalis, apa nama kerja ini". Jadi nasionalis UMNO di dakwa oleh Nik Aziz menolak agama. Dan dia bertanya, "apa nama kerja ini". Tolak agama bermakna kafir. Jadi Nik Aziz tuduh UMNO kafir.

4. Nik Aziz menuduh saya fikir agama ini sembahyang, puasa, nikah kahwin, tengok anak bulan, itu sahaja agama saya. Memang pun bagi saya semua ini adalah sebahagian daripada ajaran agama Islam. Apa dianya yang saya tolak berkenaan agama dengan menjadi seorang nasionalis? Ini tidak diterangkan.

5. Tetapi sebelumnya dia mendakwa "sokong PAS ertinya sokong Islam". Kita jadi Islam setelah mengucap dua kalimah syahadah - "Tiada Tuhan (yang disembah) melainkan Allah dan Nabi Muhammad adalah Rasul Allah".

6. Apakah Nik Aziz berpendapat hanya setelah mengucap "sokong PAS" baru jadi Islam dan sebelum itu kafir? Ini juga bermakna Nik Aziz mengkafirkan saya.

7. Tidak ada pengertian lain dengan dakwaan UMNO tolak Islam selain daripada mendakwa UMNO adalah kafir.

8. Apa lagi bukti yang dikehendaki oleh Nik Aziz yang dia telah mengkafir saya dan UMNO kerana kami nasionalis yang tidak sokong PAS.

9. Nik Aziz membandingkan dirinya dengan malaikat yang menegur Nabi. Saya bukan Nabi dan Nik Aziz bukan malaikat. Nik Aziz dan saya hanya manusia biasa dan ahli politik. Teguran ahli politik kerana kepentingan politiknya tidak sama dengan teguran malaikat.

10. Lagi pun teguran Nik Aziz menidakkan ke-Islaman saya, satu teguran (lebih tepat lagi satu tuduhan) yang amat serius.

11. Apakah ada orang Islam yang tidak melenting jika sesiapa mengkafirkannya? Apakah Nik Aziz tidak akan melenting jika saya kata dia sudah kafir? Belum saya kata itu pun Nik Aziz sudah melenting.

12. Berkenaan dengan Nik Aziz dan PAS memperkenalkan Islam kepada DAP, bukti menunjukkan PAS yang telah dipengaruhi DAP.

13. Lihat sahaja tindakan biadap terhadap Sultan dan Raja Muda Perak oleh ahli PAS, berguling-guling atas jalan menghalang kereta Raja. Sebelum berbaik dengan DAP ahli PAS lebih berpegang kepada budaya Melayu. Kerana mahu sokong DAP ahli PAS mengenepikan ke-Melayuan mereka. Dan sekarang tuntutan untuk mendirikan negara Islam pun sudah tidak didengari lagi.

14. Apabila bapa kepada DAP menyarankan supaya orang Islam longgarkan pegangan mereka kepada ajaran Islam, Nik Aziz tidak menolaknya kerana anggapannya yang saranan ini tidak seburuk nasionalisme orang Islam UMNO. Janganlah melenting jika saya kata Nik Aziz sudah terima saranan Lee Kwan Yew supaya orang Islam longgarkan pegangan mereka kepada Islam kerana ini tidak dahsyat seperti menjadi nasionalis Melayu Islam dalam UMNO.

15. Sekarang Nik Aziz mahu Melayu diutamakan kerana mereka adalah masyarakat majoriti di negara ini. Bukan masalah orang Melayu yang menyebabkan Nik Aziz mengubah pendirian terhadap bangsanya tetapi kerana Melayu menjadi majoriti dan dianya memerlukan undi orang Melayu, tidak lebih daripada itu.

16. Kenalilah Nik Aziz, orang yang utamakan hanya undi orang Melayu, bukan keprihatinan terhadap masalah hidup mereka.

By-elections: Pakatan on the defensive

By Bridget Welsh

But despite the BN’s victories in recent by-elections, neither side is coming out to be the clear winner.

The upcoming contests of Merlimau and Kerdau are like a drawn-out boxing match where both opponents are bruised and tired. The next two rounds heavily sway in favour of the BN, as both constituencies are in traditional Umno territory.

In the upcoming two matches, the BN has a comfortable weight advantage.

What matters in these by-elections is not the final result – almost a foregone conclusion in states where the result will not affect the balance of power – or arguably even the majority, but the honing of tactical skills in the campaigns and the condition of the opponents after the by-election battle is over. These contests foreshadow the real prize fight – the next general elections.

As these rounds begin, allow me to reflect on the tactics and lessons to date, and suggest that despite the BN’s victories in recent rounds that neither side is coming out to be the clear winner.

Umno’s offensive tactics

BN under Najib Razak has adopted a take-no-prisoner strategy, aiming to secure every victory in its column. It has moved from a defensive strategy after the March 2008 polls to the offensive.

The BN has begun campaigning the day after its representatives passed away and brought in a well-funded nationally driven effort to win each and every contest, backed by favourable timing of the election date, strategic decisions to place contests simultaneously to put themselves at an organisational advantage and a willingness to do almost anything to win, from buying votes to the use of government vehicles to ferry party supporters.

What has emerged from Umno is a pummeling of blows on the opposition – as they have tried to recapture the multi-ethnic label through 1Malaysia, aimed to shatter the confidence of PAS by challenging their representativeness of the Malay community, used race-based campaigning to put strain on opposition cooperation across parties and distracted the leader of the opposition in a legal trial.

This combination of shots at the head and gut of the opposition point to the intensity of the BN effort to win each round, and in the process hold onto the big prize of national power.

The victories have instilled greater confidence in Umno, but arguably at the expense of their component parties. The MCA in particular has been showed to have consistently lost the majority of support among its Chinese base, even with some small movements here and there, and its own role within the BN coalition has been undermined.

In the blind battle to win every round, the BN has engaged in a high-risk strategy of feeding racial tensions and increasingly relying on money for its campaigning.

While in some places such as Galas and Tenang, the BN has strengthened its organisation on the ground, the party has not yet substantively addressed some of the core reasons it lost support in the 2008 polls – infighting, arrogance, perceived corruption and a distancing from its traditional base.

Ironically, in choosing to adopt race-based and financial heavy strategies, they are reinforcing some of the very weaknesses they faced at the polls nationally in 2008, and it is a mistake to assume that these issues have gone away.

The BN and Umno have chosen not to adopt a more substantively positive message of delivery and results, to show that they are strong enough to sustain blows. Little attention has centered on some of successes of Najib’s tenure – economic growth and crime reduction. It is difficult to do so, since some of the successes have not been concretely felt by voters and many policies of the last two years have been promises and have yet to reach their possible potential.

Indeed, it is especially hard to instill long-term confidence when the dominant strategy has been one of sowing conditions of instability through feeding racial tensions with leaflets of hate.

The BN faces the most difficult obstacle of all, to rebuild trust across the different communities. While its efforts at outreach in the Indian community have yielded some increased support, it can easily evaporate through continued insensitivity over Interlok and continued concerns voiced by Hindraf.

Najib’s popularity shows that he has made some headway personally, but it is not clear if he can carry his party or his coalition, especially given that some in his party are not giving him their support and many in the BN coalition feel more bruised and beaten than the opponent in the ring.

Arguably, the offensive BN strategies are not sustainable long-term or even in a general election. The BN may win rounds and make gains, as I expect they will do in both upcoming contests, but the questions emerge whether it is really winning and at what expense.

Pakatan’s defensive maneuvers

Pakatan has moved from a position of strength – winning Permatang Pauh and Bukit Gantang – to one of defensiveness. This decline began after the Manek Urai by-election of July 2009, when PAS scrapped through with a slim 65 majority in its heartland state of Kelantan.

While the opposition won Sibu as the underdog contest in May 2010, its failure to win Hulu Selangor in April and make substantial headway in BN territory afterwards has fostered the impression that it has lost ground.

While it shows up to contest each by-election, there is almost a defeatist approach starting from Bagan Pinang in October 2009 as it gets ready to be beaten up by an opponent in an uneven playing field.

The bruises on the opposition are showing, and recent changes in tactics to focus on what they perceive to be their Malay deficit by PAS in particular show they are having an impact. Merlimau and Kerdau will show whether the opposition has the ability to adapt and maneuver effectively, or whether it has lost its footing.

For the opposition, these contests will be largely local – local candidates with the immediate effect of building up local machinery in places where they have comparatively limited grassroots. The tactics and campaigning they adopt, however, will have national implications.

First and foremost, will be how PAS adapts its campaign strategy, especially in Kerdau.

Pahang is more of a PAS frontline state than Malacca, and the home of rising leaders in the party, vice-president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and the party Youth chief Nasarudin Hassan.

The double-contests of a multi-ethnic seat in Malacca and Malay-majority seat in Pahang will force PAS to come to terms with how it will formulate its national message.

PAS’ campaign decisions will send a signal whether it will prioritise an exclusive intolerant “moral” supremacy strategy that led to their losses of 2004 – recently reemerging among some PAS leaders aka condemning the expression of love of Valentine’s Day – or is focused on common ground Pakatan strategy of justice and reform that is more nationally holistic.

These contests will show whether it has learnt that PAS’ conservative narrow moral agenda does not go down with a large share of Muslims. It will also continue to test the ability of the party to reach out to Felda settlers, whether it can offer an alternative to rural voters that is not based on patronage.

Finally, it will challenge PAS to address how it can improve the conditions for the Malays outside of the NEP framework.

The tactics used by Umno under Najib have apparently had their effect on PAS, as they have chosen more Malay- oriented positions and focused in engaging the Umno attacks. So far, they have been on the back foot. Some have reverted to old comfortable positions. Others have embraced more forward-looking efforts, as the party is uncertain and divided on the strategy to pursue.

PAS’ conference last weekend on Malay identity shows the recognition of a needed rethinking, but simultaneously highlights the challenges the party is facing. They have yet to clearly present an alternative for Malaysian empowerment that is outside of race and religion. Little is heard about what PAS has achieved individually or in Pakatan in terms of governance or the economy.

Beyond the political fight

Part of PAS’ challenge is that the opposition as a whole has not presented a clear vision of the future for Malaysians. What is Pakatan’s agenda for the future? What exactly have they accomplished after they won over a third of seats in Parliament? In defensive mode, the opposition remains unable to articulate coherently a clear set of priorities and initiatives for the future.

There have been important statements such as the 100-day plan, but any real discussion of the policy issues have been buried in larger attention to personal attacks and engagement in defensive move.

Attention has largely focused on Penang and Selangor to the exclusion of discussion of PAS’ states – Kedah and Kelantan. The key will be how Pakatan moves towards presenting a genuine alternative based on their own performance nationally, rather than in response to their opponent’s agenda or the showcasing of specific individuals.

Minimally, Pakatan’s footwork has not been consistently coordinated. While it is an accomplishment to stay in the ring, to take the punches, and worked together as a coalition that many believed would not last even a few rounds, standing in the ring is not enough to win national power, as the contests in Merlimau and Kerdau will show.

With politicians across the spectrum centred on the fight in the ring – now going for 16 rounds – they have in many ways lost track of the audience. The fight has been dirty, full of illegal punches, and not necessarily even. It is not inspiring.

Merlimau and Kerdau offer both sides the opportunity to come out with dignity, as the contest is as much about the results as the tactics. Who opts for the long-term strategy that showcases Malaysian positive successes ultimately will be at the advantage in winning the grant prize.

Insurans kenderaan naik 2012

Utusan Online 
Oleh FAIRUS KASSIM

KUALA LUMPUR 25 Feb. - Insurans kenderaan bermotor akan meningkat secara berperingkat, bermula tahun hadapan hingga 2015 dalam usaha mengimbangi kerugian yang ditanggung syarikat insurans.

Penolong Gabenor Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Abu Hassan Alshari Yahaya berkata, walaupun terdapat peningkatan selama lima tahun berturut-turut namun ia tidak akan membebankan golongan berpendapatan rendah kerana kenaikannya adalah kecil.

"Penstrukturan ini juga akan melibatkan motosikal, kereta, bas dan teksi dan setiap kenaikan adalah berbeza mengikut risiko kemalangan kenderaan terbabit melalui kriteria rekod kemalangan serta keadaan kenderaan semasa tersebut," katanya pada sidang akhbar di sini hari ini.

Kata Abu Hassan Alshari, anggaran awal kenaikan bagi insurans pihak ketiga motosikal 100cc ke bawah adalah antara RM1 hingga RM3.50 setahun manakala insurans pihak pertama antara RM1 hingga RM2 setahun.

"Bagi kereta persendirian 1,400cc ke bawah, insurans pihak ketiga hanya meningkat antara RM6 hingga RM34 manakala insurans pihak pertama antara RM7 hingga RM19.

"Pemandu yang kurang risiko kemalangan atau tidak pernah merekodkan kemalangan akan dikenakan kenaikan kadar insurans yang lebih rendah berbanding yang kerap mengalami kemalangan," jelasnya.

Tambah beliau, kajian dibuat keatas kedua-dua jenis kenderaan berkenaan terlebih dahulu kerana 70 hingga 80 peratus kenderaan di Malaysia berada dalam kelas berkenaan.

Selain itu, Abu Hassan Alshari berkata, penstrukturan itu juga akan mengurangkan tempoh pembayaran pampasan daripada tiga hingga lima tahun kepada 18 bulan sahaja berikutan penubuhan Jawatankuasa Kerja Bersama (JWC).

Katanya, jawatankuasa tersebut akan membincangkan isu berbangkit dan membentuk rangka kerja yang komprehensif untuk kebaikan bersama.

Mengulas lanjut, Abu Hassan Alshari berkata, penstrukturan tersebut terpaksa dibuat kerana syarikat insurans mencatat kerugian yang besar dalam bahagian motor dan jika tidak dikawal ini akan menyebabkan industri berkenaan merudum dan akhirnya memberi impak kepada pengguna.

"Perangkaan 2009/2010 menunjukkan perniagaan insurans motor mencatat kerugian RM650 juta disebabkan tuntutan pampasan kecederaan kemalangan yang sangat tinggi,'' jelasnya.

"Bagaimanapun penstrukturan semula ini masih di peringkat perbincangan dengan pihak yang terlibat. BNM akan mengumumkan skim insurans terbaharu tersebut selepas kajian lengkap dibuat," katanya.

Sementara itu, beliau memberitahu, JWC akan dianggotai oleh pihak yang terlibat dalam proses pembayaran insurans iaitu Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM), Kementerian Kesihatan, Kementerian Kewangan, Majlis Peguam, Badan Kehakiman, industri insurans dan takaful serta persatuan penguna dan pengangkutan.

Abu Hassan Alshari berkata, setiap anggota JWC akan menghantar rekod kerja kepada Majlis Ekonomi dan jika ada sebarang kelewatan atau masalah laporan ia perlu dinyatakan.

"Langkah ini akan meningkatkan keupayaan dan kepantasan proses tuntutan insurans negara dan mengurangkan kerenah birokrasi yang banyak membebankan rakyat,'' ujarnya.

Roof leaks, fewer fans at Sepang F1

Just over a dozen years after it was first opened by Mahathir, the Sepang International Circuit has been plagued by leaking roofs, rubbish and declining attendances.
Apparently, the grand roof needs to be replaced – after dozen years, purportedly its life span. (See AFP photo of leaking roof above paddock area here.) The circuit’s boss has admitted there were shortcuts during construction – completed in a “record time” of 14 months – and shoddy maintenance since then. Another grandiose project of the Mahathir administration. The project even clinched a Special Project Award at the Malaysian Construction Industry Excellence Awards 2001,
Check out these comments from an AFP report:
Sepang’s soaring roof, inspired by the hibiscus which is Malaysia’s national flower, need to be replaced as the grandstand canopy has exceeded its lifespan and cannot cope with Malaysia’s tropical downpours. (haha, my humble family house, several decades old, can cope with tropical downpours!) Read more

Gaddafi addresses crowd in Tripoli


Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, has appeared in Tripoli's Green Square, to address a crowd of his supporters in the capital.

"We can defeat any aggression if necessary and arm the people," Gaddafi said, in footage that was aired on Libyan state television on Friday.

"I am in the middle of the people.. we will fight … we will defeat them if they want … we will defeat any foreign aggression.
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"Dance … sing and get ready … this is the spirit … this is much better than the lies of the Arab propaganda," he said.

The speech, which also referred to Libya's war of independence with Italy, appeared to be aimed at rallying what remains of his support base, with specific reference to the country's youth.

His last speech, on Thursday evening had been made by phone, leading to speculation about his physical condition.

The footage aired on Friday, however, showed the leader standing above the square, waving his fist as he spoke.

Tarik Yousef, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, told Al Jazeera that most of the individuals on Green Square are genuine Gaddafi supporters.

"Most of these people have known nothing else but Gaddafi. They don’t know any other leader. And many of them stand to lose when Gaddafi falls," Yousef said.

"I am not completely surprised that they still think that he is the right man for Libya. What is striking is that [Gaddafi] did not talk about all the liberated cities in his country.

"This was a speech intended show his defiance and to rally against what he calls foreign interference. But even his children have admitted that the east of the country is no longer under the regime's control."

Anti-Gaddafi protesters shot

Gaddafi's speech came on a day when tens of thousands of Libyans in the capital and elsewhere in the country took to the streets calling for an end to his rule.

As demonstrations began in Tripoli following the midday prayer, security forces loyal to Gaddafi reportedly began firing on them. There was heavy gun fire in various Tripoli districts including Fashloum, Ashour, Jumhouria and Souq Al, sources told Al Jazeera.

"The security forces fired indiscriminately on the demonstrators," said a resident of one of the capital's eastern suburbs.

"There were deaths in the streets of Sug al-Jomaa," the resident said.

The death toll since the violence began remains unclear, though on Thursday Francois Zimeray, France's top human rights official, said it could be as high as 2,000 people killed.

Dissent reaches mosques

Violence flared up even before the Friday sermons were over, according to a source in Tripoli.

"People are rushing out of mosques even before Friday prayers are finished because the state-written sermons were not acceptable, and made them even more angry," the source said.

Libyan state television aired one such sermon on Friday, in an apparent warning to protesters.

"As the Prophet said, if you dislike your ruler or his behaviour, you should not raise your sword against him, but be patient, for those who disobey the rulers will die as infidels," the speaker told his congregation in Tripoli.

During Friday prayers a cleric in the town of Mselata, 80km to the east of Tripoli, called for the people to fight back.

Immediately after the prayers, more than more than 2,000 people, some of them armed with rifles taken from the security forces, headed towards Tripol to demand the fall of Gaddafi, Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri reported.

The group made it as far as the city of Tajoura, where it was stopped by a group loyal to Gaddafi.

They were checked by foreign, French-speaking mercenaries and gunfire was exchanged. There were an unknown number of casualties, Moshiri reported, based on information from witnesses who had reached on the Libyan-Tunisian border.

Special forces

People in eastern parts of the country, a region believed to be largely free from Gaddafi's control, held protests in support for the demonstrations in the capital.

"Friday prayer in Benghazi have seen thousands and thousands on the streets. All the banners are for the benefit of the capital, [they are saying] 'We're with you, Tripoli.'" Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee reported.

In the town of Derna, protesters held banners with the messages such as "We are one Tribe called
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Libya, our only capital is Tripoli, we want freedom of speech".

Al Jazeera's correspondent in Libya reported on Friday that army commanders in the east who had renounced Gaddafi's leadership had told her that military commanders in the country's west were beginning to turn against him.

They warned, however, that the Khamis Brigade, an army special forces brigade that is loyal to the Gaddafi family and is equipped with sophisticated weaponry, is currently still fighting anti-government forces.

The correspondent, who cannot be named for security reasons, said that despite the gains, people are anxious about what Gaddafi might do next, and the fact that his loyalists were still at large.

"People do say that they have broken the fear factor, that they have made huge territorial gains,” she said. "[Yet] there's no real celebration or euphoria that the job has been done."

Pro-democracy protesters attacked

On Friday morning, our correspondents reported that the town of Zuwarah was, according to witnesses, abandoned by security forces and completely in the hands of anti-Gaddafi protesters.

Checkpoints in the country's west on roads leading to the Tunisian border, however, were still being controlled by Gaddafi loyalists.

In the east, similar checkpoints were manned by anti-Gaddafi forces, who had set up a "humanitarian aid corridor" as well as a communications corridor to the Egyptian border, our correspondent reported.

Thousands massed in Az Zawiyah's Martyr's Square after the attack, calling on Gaddafi to leave office, and on Friday morning, explosions were heard in the city.

Witnesses say pro-Gaddafi forces were blowing up arms caches, in order to prevent anti-government forces from acquiring those weapons.

Clashes were also reported in the city of Misurata, located 200km east of Tripoli, where witnesses said a pro-Gaddafi army brigade attacked the city's airport with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

They told Al Jazeera that pro-democracy protesters had managed to fight off that attack. "Revolutionaries have driven out the security forces," they said, adding that "heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns" had been used against them.

Mohamed Senussi, a resident of Misurata, said calm had returned to the city after the "fierce battle" near the airport.

"The people's spirits here are high, they are celebrating and chanting 'God is Greatest'," he told the Reuters news agency by telephone.

Another witness warned, however, that protesters in Misurata felt "isolated" as they were surrounded by nearby towns still in Gaddafi's control.

Government loses oil terminals

Protesters and air force personnel who have renounced Gaddafi's leadership also overwhelmed a nearby military base where Gaddafi loyalists were taking refuge, according to a medical official at the base.

They disabled air force fighter jets at the base so that they could not be used against protesters.
Follow more of Al Jazeera's special coverage here 

Soldiers helped anti-Gaddafi protesters take the oil terminal in the town of Berga, according to Reuters.

The oil refinery in Ras Lanuf has also halted its operations and most staff has left, according to a source in the company.

Support for Gaddafi within the country's elite continues to decline. On Friday, Abdel Rahman Al Abar, Libya's Chief Prosecutor, became one of the latest top officials to resign in protest over the bloodshed.

"What happened and is happening are massacres and bloodshed never witnessed by the Libyan people. The logic of power and violence is being imposed instead of seeking democratic, free, and mutual dialogue," he said.

His comments came as UN's highest human-rights body held a special session on Friday to discuss what it's chief had earlier described as possible "crimes against humanity" by the Gaddafi government.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, urged world leaders to "step in vigorously" to end the violent crackdown.

The United Nations Security Council was to hold a meeting on the situation in Libya later in the day, with sanctions the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over the country under Chapter VII of the UN charter on the table.
Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies

Ex Gas leader campaign for BN in Merlimau

Physically disable people all geared up for the Historical “People’s March against UMNO’s RACISM” in Malaysia.

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MALAYSIAN be united regardless race to fight racism implanted and sowed by the authoritarian UMNO led Malaysian government to enhance race segregation and racism in the educational curriculum. Be there on 27th Feb 2011 at KLCC. 9.00am.

“Rights Not Mercy”

K.Selvam
HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi
Selangor State Coordinator

Allow anti-racism march, US group tells Hisham

The government's decision to deny Hindraf the right to peaceful assembly has made a mockery of Malaysia's place at the UN Human Rights Council.

KOTA KINABALU: New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to respect Malaysia’s international and legal obligations and allow Sunday’s Solidarity March Against Racism to proceed.

HRW’s deputy Asia director, Phil Robertson, called on Hishammuddin to overturn a decision by the police to deny a permit for the march in Kuala Lumpur, saying that the organisers on their part should ensure that the walk is carried out in an orderly and peaceful manner.

“The Malaysian government’s opposition to peaceful marches results in three big losers: the rights to free expression, freedom of association, and peaceful assembly.

“The Malaysian government’s commitment to diversity and development is betrayed when it refuses to permit peaceful criticism of its policies and programmes.

“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,” Robertson said in press statement.

The march is being organised by two ethnic Indian rights groups, the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and the Human Rights Party (HRP).

On Feb 24, the Dang Wangi police rejected a formal request made by W Sambulingam, national coordinator of Hindraf.

The Sundary march is in reaction to a government’s decision to assign the novel Interlok as a literature textbook for Form Five students.

The novel by national laureate Abdullah Hussain, which was first published in 1971 and revised in 2010, involves relations among ethnic Malays, Chinese, and Indians from the early 1900s through 1957.

The Malaysian Indian community contends that the book disparages Indians and contributes to ethnic tensions and discrimination in educational and employment opportunities for ethnic Indian Malaysians.

No permit

Meanwhile, the anticipated route for the Sunday march is from Kuala Lumpur’s iconic Petronas Towers to the Dang Wangi police station, where participants will attempt to lodge complaints against the government.

Hishammuddin had earlier said that Hindraf would not get a police permit to march.

“It is a banned movement… It doesn’t have locus standi to ask for a permit,” he said.

The government banned the group after it staged a massive demonstration in Kuala Lumpur in 2007.

HRP has applied for registration; however, its application is still pending.

The government has already cracked down on the HRP’s right to peaceful assembly.

On Feb 13, two weeks before the scheduled march, HRP initiated a grassroots information and recruitment drive in several 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, however, 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.

Police clampdown

On Feb 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. Eventually 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 and detained hours before the local meeting was to begin.

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-organised demonstration.

The then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad 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 difficulties because of its association with Hindraf.

Probe ‘billionaire’ Taib, MACC told

Suaram says it is appalled by the government's continued silence over the shocking exposure, and demands action.
KUALA LUMPUR: Suaram has called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.

The rights group said it was appalled by the government’s continued silence following the shocking exposure of a long list of foreign assets allegedly linked to the politician’s family.

Suaram coordinator Hasbeemasputra Abu Bakar also questioned why MACC had not swung into action despite the overwhelming evidence put forth by the Bruno Manser Fund and a number of other whistleblowers.

“This inaction could be seen as tacit approval of corruption and an inability or even unwillingness to crack down on corruption despite many public statements to the contrary,” he said.

Apart from initiating a probe, Hasbeemasputra also said that MACC should identify and freeze Taib’s alleged assets if need be so that they can be used for future restitution to the people of Sarawak.
“Taib has allegedly failed to be accountable for over RM4.8 billion in state funds over the past three years. He has given preferential treatment to businesses in which he has a vested interest, and engaged in the mistreatment and forced evictions of the indigenous population of Sarawak and land grabs of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land,” he added.

Taib, who has been chief minister since 1981, is also the state finance minister as well as planning and resources minister.

He and his family are believed to have set up a global business empire across eight countries and are allegedly worth several billions of ringgit, according to the list released by the BMF on Feb 21.
The 49 companies listed are located in across Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the US, UK, the British Virgin Islands and Jersey.

‘Be happy with Little India’ minister drubbed

Raja Nong Chik courts flak for allegedly telling the Bukit Jalil estate residents to be happy with the project when he met them to discuss the issue of compensation.

KUALA LUMPUR: A minister has come under fire for allegedly telling Bukit Jalil estate residents, who are facing eviction, to be contented with the Little India project when they wanted to negotiate compensation.

Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin had purportedly said this when he met the residents on Wednesday.

According to Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvan, the minister had told the residents that they should be glad the government had spent a lot of money for the Little India project in Brickfields.

“What has Little India got to do with this issue?” asked the PSM leader during a press conference today.

He added that Nong Chik arbitrarily offered RM23,000 each to those who had worked in the rubber estate for more than 15 years and RM11,000 for the rest.

Initially, the offer was RM11,000 for those who worked there for more than 15 years and RM6,000 for the others.

Forty-one families had asked for three acres of a 26-acre land to build low-cost terrace houses as compensation for vacating the land they had been living on for three generations.

The City Hall (DBKL) had acquired their land in 1980 and pledged that the appointed contractors would pay their wages and make EPF contributions for working on the rubber plantation.

The pledge was not kept and the residents also demanded that DBKL pay up the outstanding wages and EPF contributions.

Nong Chik had told the residents during the meeting that the latest offer was the best the government could do and they had to make a decision on the offer within a week.

Arutchelvan said the residents were upset that their representatives were not allowed to speak at the meeting, which was attended by Nong Chik’s deputy M Saravanan and Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam.

“He (Nong Chik) only allowed us to speak after much objection. Even the monetary offer was a mere verbal promise,” he said.

Arutchelvan added when asked on their demand for low-cost terrace houses, Nong Chik had told them that his latest offer was equivalent to getting a free house.

“Is it too much for the workers to ask for three acres of land, out of this 26-acre land, for them to build their houses?” asked the PSM leader.

Abuse of power

Arutchelvan also criticised the minister for allegedly threatening to send out eviction notices to the 41 families if they did not take up the latest offer within the one-week deadline.

“The community has lived here for three generations and he gives them one week to think about the offer. Plus, what eviction notice is he talking about?

“If he is talking about using the Emergency Ordinance to evict them, it will be nothing short of abuse of power. He himself admitted during the meeting that these families are estate workers, not squatters,” he said.

The PSM leader also lashed out at Nong Chik for trying to term the payment as goodwill money.

“The minister said he increased the original offer as a goodwill payment. This is not Terengganu where you can just turn oil royalty to goodwill money. The workers want what is rightfully theirs,” he said.

Arutchelvan also asked why the government was negotiating on behalf of the land owner, Bukit Jalil Development Sdn Bhd.

“We got to know on Wednesday that the land now belongs to Bukit Jalil Development Sdn Bhd, a property developer. So, why is the government negotiating on behalf of a private entity. This is also abuse of power,” he said.

Sharing his views at the press conference, an independent observer Shin Choong Men was sceptical whether the government intended to build a cemetery on the land acquired by DBKL as planned.

“Are you trying to say that a private developer wants to build a cemetary on this valuable piece of real estate?” he asked.

Also present were Suaram coordinator, E Nalini and its estate action committee secretary, S Thiakarajan

‘Najib’s Makkal Sakti to hijack rally’

Hindraf claims that RS Thanenthiran's party has been given the green light to hold a rally at the same venue on Sunday.

GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf Makkal Sakti has accused the police of conspiring with Umno to hijack its anti-racism rally on Sunday.

The movement claimed that the police had issued a permit to RS Thanenthiran’s Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party (MMSP) to hold a separate rally at the same venue, the Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

In a posting on its website, Hindraf labelled MMSP as Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s “Makkal Sakti” and published a photograph of Thanenthiran tying a sash bearing the words “Wira Makkal Sakti” around Najib.

On Feb 9, Hindraf said that it had submitted an application for a police permit to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.

“When a policeman arrived at our headquarters to serve the letter of rejection on the application, we saw Najib’s MMSP letterhead in his file. But we did not enquire about it,” it stated.

However, Hindraf claimed that it received information from reliable sources two hours later that MMSP was granted the permit instead.

“Obviously the police, its intelligence unit, Najib and Umno have conspired to pit one Indian organisation against another.

“They are plotting to arrest the real Hindraf leaders, and hand over the initiative to MMSP to hijack Hindraf’s rally and confuse the public,” the movement alleged.

Reminiscent of 2007

Contacted later, Hindraf chairman P Waytha Moorthy claimed that it was reminiscent of Hindraf’s mammoth rally in 2007.

He alleged that the police planted a “special branch E3M officer with the rank of ASP” in the movement’s leadership before the Nov 25 rally that year.

Waytha Moorthy claimed that the move was part of an operation known as “Ops Padam Hindraf” to divide the movement.

In the follow-up action, he claimed that some Hindraf newcomers were “turned over” by the authorities to form and lead MMSP.

“Backed by unlimited government funds, they used the print and electronic media, including mainstream Tamil dailies, to execute their political ploy,” he said.

“Back then, we were not prepared with our second line of leadership. But today we are,” he added.

Meanwhile, some local professionals had formed an ad-hoc 10-member group called “Friends of Hindraf” to deal with several issues, such as possible arrests on Sunday.

The legal team is headed by Hindraf lawyer and DAP’s Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M Manoharan.

The Mahathir package

By LIM SUE GOAN
Translated by Soong Phui Jee
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is strongly opposed to the idea of highway nationalisation.

However, PLUS Expressways Bhd has received approval from its shareholders on a RM23bil takeover bid by major shareholders United Engineers Malaysia (UEM) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). This would result in the delisting of PLUS while paving the path for the government to solve the problem of increasing toll charges.  

The UEM group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, and the EPF is one of the government investment arms. It will be much more convenient for them to discuss how to modify the contract behind closed doors. Also, the government would no longer have to worry about the increase in toll charges every three years. It is a big headache as raising charges might cause public discontent, while maintaining charges requires the government to pay heavy compensation.
Although Mahathir has championed and defended the privatisation policy implemented during his term of office, it is undeniable that the country and the people are still paying the price for his arbitrary and wrong decisions, and the government does not know how to deal with the problems created and left behind by him.

Privatisation was a trend during the 1980s, with Japan being a good example of a country which had achieved great success with it.

However, I believe that no privatisation policy in the world is like that in Malaysia, where the contracts often benefit the private companies instead of the government.

For example, the contract stated that the government must pay compensation if the traffic flow does not reach a certain volume. The government is the loan guarantor of the project, and also provides low-interest loans. If a project fails, the government will have to take over the company involved. Some examples are Perwaja Steel Sdn Bhd, Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd and the Light Railway Transit (LRT) companies. So far, the government has spent RM11 billion to bail out seven privatisation companies which were mismanaged and had financial difficulties.


According to Mahathir, there is no free lunch in the world, and thus, users have to pay. So far, however, no officer has admitted liability and responsibility for the financial fiasco, but the government has used national resources to clean up the mess.

If the projects succeed, the entrepreneurs make big money; if the projects fail, they just leave them to the government. Who would support such kind of privatisation arangement?

In comparison, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is more pragmatic, and beneficial to the country and the people.

The Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) in the Prime Minister's Department is responsible to draw up workable development and business plans and members of the private sector are encouraged to invest. Whether the plans succeed or not, the private companies, instead of the government, would have to take the responsibility.

Another burden of the country is the domestic vehicle programme. The national car maker is still unable to drive smoothly on its own, and needs to be supported by the people even it has been established for almost 30 years.

If Mahathir had not promoted nationalism and provided incentives to attract foreign investors to set up the local vehicle assembly plants, Thailand would not have become the vehicle manufacturing centre of the region today.

The national cars are not cheap, while foreign cars are expensive because of taxes. Two generations have been bearing the "car debts" for national cars. When would it end?

If the national cars could not be exported, they could always rely on the domestic market. If the market is not opened up, Proton can never find a foreign partner. What else can Proton do other than buying a design from Japanese car maker Mitsubishi for its new car Inspira?

As it is better to just get it over with, rather than prolong the agony, the government must cut off from the failed policies implemented during the Mahathir administration and pursue its own way.

Sin Chew Daily