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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Video documents carnage in Ivory Coast

(CNN) -- A video posted online documents in chilling, graphic detail the transformation Thursday of a peaceful demonstration in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan to a slaughter by what appear to be forces loyal to self-proclaimed President Laurent Gbagbo.

U.S. officials said Friday that the attack left seven women dead, but Gbagbo rival Alassane Ouattara put the death toll at 12, including a child, with 110 more people wounded.

The video was broadcast widely on opposition television in the Ivory Coast. CNN staffers familiar with Abidjan said the video appeared to have been recorded in the city.

The video, about eight minutes, is posted on YouTube. In it, hundreds of people, most of them women dressed in brightly colored garb, are seen smiling, chanting, playing horns, blowing whistles and dancing. Many of them are carrying signs with slogans written in French that refer to Gbagbo as "assassin" and "robber of power." One of them holds a poster declaring Gbagbo's rival, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, as president. None of them appears to be carrying a weapon.

Dark clouds hang low.

But the chanting soon stops, replaced by an eerie quiet, as the hand-held camera turns away from the crowd and focuses on the approach of a convoy of three camouflage-painted armored vehicles, one of them bearing the word "Police."

Without any apparent warning, a volley of three bursts from a heavy-caliber gun pierces the quiet, followed by screams as the marchers, including whoever is holding the camera, run from the street, leaving behind pavement littered with flip-flops, clothing and tote bags.

To a soundtrack of wailing, the camera then makes its way toward individual mounds of flesh on the pavement, each steeped in a pool of red. One woman appears to have been decapitated; another has suffered a deep wound in the neck; yet another a deep wound in the back. The latter, her torso soaked in red, tries to raise her head from the pavement but soon gives up, lowering back down.

A spokesman for Gbagbo, Sylvere Nebout, said in a telephone interview that he knew nothing about the video, but added that this is "as usual, a manipulation from the opposition."

He forwarded a statement from army spokesman Col. Hilaire Babri Gohourou, which aired Friday night on television. It denied involvement of defense and security forces. "These charges are necessarily false and without any ground," he said, adding that no security and defense forces had been in the area of the attack -- the Abidjan suburb of Abobo -- on Thursday.

"I'm in a state of shock," said Youssoufou Bamba, the U.N. ambassador to the Ivory Coast and a supporter of Ouattara. "Having watched that video now, I'm quite depressed."

He accused Gbagbo -- a southern Christian -- of seeking to foment the nation's descent toward civil war. "Actually, he's conducting an ethnic cleansing because the people who have been killed have been killed along ethnic lines," Bamba said, referring to the mostly Muslim people from the northern and central parts of the country and from neighboring countries.

He called for the United Nations to be given "a robust mandate" for its peacekeeping operation in the country. And the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, should step in and protect the civilians," Bamba said. "Otherwise, as long as this crisis lasts, people will be killed." He put the death toll in the past three months at 600.

The United Nations has said that at least 365 people have been killed since the crisis started in December.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that the United States "strongly condemns Laurent Gbagbo's acts of violence perpetrated against the people of Cote d'Ivoire, including his security forces' attack yesterday on unarmed women demonstrators that left seven dead. Gbagbo and his forces have shown a callous disregard for human life and the rule of law, preying on the unarmed and the innocent. He should step aside immediately in the name of peace."

She called for an immediate end to the violence. "Military leaders, regime officials, and others responsible for directing or committing violent acts against civilians will have to answer for their actions," she said.

In early December, Ivory Coast's Independent Electoral Commission declared Ouattara the winner of the presidential election but the Constitutional Council refused to validate the results. The head of the CC is an ally of Gbagbo.

The IEC says Ouattara received 54.1% of the runoff vote, but Gbagbo said results from a northern region were fraudulent.

The U.N. Security Council and international powers endorsed Ouattara.

Both men have named their own Cabinets and are claiming the presidency. Ouattara has been working from a hotel and has been protected by U.N. peacekeepers.

The French Foreign Ministry also condemned the attacks and called on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to "establish an inquiry commission which will be credible, independent and impartial under the U.N. auspices."

The ministry also called on the "Ivorian Laurent Gbagbo-controlled media to stop spreading messages of hatred and violence."

Since the clashes began, hundreds of thousands have fled their homes, with about 200,000 leaving the Abidjan area alone.

The United Nations refugee agency warned Friday that it is becoming impossible to maintain access to people in need of urgent humanitarian aid due to the escalating violence.

Biawak if lucky: No goodies for Merlimau poor

Where are our cows?

Malays still need help, says Dr M

JITRA, March 5 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that Malays still needed affirmative action policies as their businesses were still weak and failing.

The former prime minister said that it was not the time yet for the government to stop helping Malays as these policies had not met their goals.

“This crutch is the only power that can help them for now,” he told the Kedah Association of Malay Contractors last night.

The government recently said that the Bumiputera corporate equity now stood at 22 per cent, still short of the New Economic Policy (NEP) target of 30 per cent.

Even though the NEP ended in 1990, the government has continued to implement much of the pro-Malay policies.

Several United States-based newspapers said this week that these entrenched affirmative action policies were causing racial strife, and standing in the way of reforms to spur economic growth.

Recent calls for the designation of race to be dropped have also been met by opposition from the likes of right-wing Malay group Perkasa, of which Dr Mahathir is the patron.

Dr Mahathir said last night that even though a few Malay entrepreneurs were successful, the majority could not complete with non-Malays as they were still weak in financial management.

Dr Mahathir, who ruled Malaysia for 22 years, said that this was why they still had to rely on the government as most private companies including other Malay businesses were reluctant to give projects and tenders to Malay contractors.

“They fail because they are unskilled in managing their finances,” he said. “Those who manage their businesses well will get large returns and those who don’t will even end up losing money.”

He said that some Bumiputeras who obtained franchise opportunities still failed even though they just had to follow the guidelines to make easy profits.

The Malays needed to improve on their weaknesses to ensure that Malay enterprises would not end up with a bad reputation, he said.

Jatuhkan pemimpin Umno – Khalid Samad

Setelah jatuh, baru rakyat tahu harta kekayaaan mereka.

MENTAKAB: Rakyat perlu menjatuhkan pemimpin Umno untuk membolehkan rakyat mengetahui harta kekayaan mereka, gesa seorang pemimpin PAS di Kerdau malam tadi.

“(Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad, (Datuk Seri) Najib Tun Razak dan (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin Yassin, kita kena jatuhkan baru kita tahu jumlah harta mereka,” kata Ahli Parlimen Shah Alam, Khalid Samad.

Pemimpin PAS bersuara lantang itu berkata demikian dalam ceramahnya membantu calon PAS, Hasanuddin Salim di Kerdau malam tadi.

Beliau menambah, mereka (pemimpin Umno) takut apa yang berlaku kepada Presiden Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben Ali dan Presiden Mesir Hosni Mubarak kerana setelah jatuh, rakyat baru tahu harta kekayaan mereka.

Ceramah Khalid di Desa Murni, Kerdau diadakan bersebelahan dengan ceramah Barisan Nasisonal (BN) yang menurut beberapa ahli

PAS, ceramah BN itu tidak lain tidak bukan sekadar mahu menganggu ceramah PAS.

Hanya beberapa kerat sahaja yang berada di kawasan ceramah BN walaupun disediakan sate, mi dan nasi briyani manakala ceramah

Khalid yang juga Ahli Jawatankuasa PAS Pusat dihadiri sekitar 400 hingga 500 orang.

Umno ganggu ceramah PAS

“Umno cuma nak ganggu ceramah PAS kerana mereka takut kepada kita di Kerdau,” kata Khalid secara berseloroh.

Khalid juga menjelaskan betapa pentingnya PAS menang di Kerdau dalam pilihan raya kecil kali ini.

“Kita perlu menang di sini untuk membolehkan kita menjawab
tohmahan-tohmahan yang dikeluarkan kepada Pakatan Rakyat.

“Kerajaan (Pakatan Rakyat) yang hendak kita buat dengan PKR dan DAP adalah kerajaan anti rasuah, bukan seperti Umno yang menipu rakyat,” katanya.

Dalam ceramah tersebut, Khalid menyelar sikap isteri Perdana Menteri, Rosmah Mansor yang berbelanja besar dan membeli pakaian- pakaian mahal di luar negeri.

Beliau mengaitkan Rosmah dengan Imelda Marcos (isteri Presiden Filipina, Ferdinand Marcos) dan Leila Ben Ali (isteri Presiden Tunisia), yang membeli pakaian-pakaian mahal di Perancis dan Itali dengan menggunakan wang rakyat.

Pilihan raya umum Kerdau esok menyaksikan calon BN Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad menentang Hasanuddin dari PAS, dengan jumlah pengundi 8,999 orang.

Kita hopping mad over MCLM chief’s ‘political frogs’ slur

(The Star) - Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) has hit back at Malaysia Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) president Haris Ibrahim for implying it is a recycling bin for “political frogs.”

Kita central executive committee member Firdaus Christopher said Haris should not discriminate against disillusioned politicians who quit their parties for valid reasons.

“Some elected representatives have clearly stated they were quitting because they had lost confidence in the leadership.

“Therefore it is wrong to assume that all those who quit are traitors,” he said.

Firdaus said this in response to Haris’ criticism against Kita for accepting the membership of former PKR Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng last month.

Questioning if the new party was called Kita or kitar (recycle), Haris wrote in his blog that some “rubbish” was simply beyond rehabilitation and not fit to be recycled, and therefore should not be inflicted upon the rakyat.

Firdaus said Haris’ statement was unbecoming of a leader propagating “civil liberties.”

Firdaus said it could be Haris’ way of telling the public that MCLM had no association with Kita.

He said Kita was not interested in wasting time on petty squabbles and personal attacks.

“We want to focus on real issues affecting the people.

“And Kita can now start bringing up such issues in parliament via Tan,” he said, adding that the party was also satisfied with Tan’s explanation on why he had quit PKR.

Free gifts to woo Indian voters

In the race to lure the Indian community, BN throws dinner parties, while Pakatan Rakyat shows off its achievements in the states it rules.

MERLIMAU: Going into the final lap, both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat are still working hard to woo over the Indian community.

To ensure it locks up the Indian vote bank, BN has established seven command centres to concentrate on the 1,567 Indian voters.

As usual, the BN is using the same, old tactics – throwing dinner parties, holdings concerts, distributing uniforms to students and sarees to women, showing movies and giving out small financial assistance.

And the Merlimau Indians rushed to attend all these events – and they get paid too.

For example, it is alleged that every Indian voter who attended a dinner organised by an anonymous 1Malaysian NGO supporters’ club received RM100, 1Malaysia T-shirts, and food with a lucky draw thrown in.

BN is confident it can net about 75% to 80% of the Indian voters.

Not to be outdone, Pakatan is also working the ground, going from door to door to fish for votes.

In their walkabouts, the Pakatan campaigners never failed to highlight the achievements of the party in the states it controlled, namely, Selangor, Kedah and Penang.

A local PKR Youth leader M Sivakumar said that Pakatan is optmistic that PAS can garner 50% of the Indian votes.

“I have been working on the ground since last month, and from what I see, the Indians are unhappy with BN,” he told FMT.

For example, Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam said that there are no poor Indian
families in Merlimau. But in reality, 50% to 60% of the Indians are living below the poverty line.

But he admitted that although the Indians are rushing for free gifts, it does not mean they are favouring BN.

“I can say that Merlimau Indians will become a ‘silent killer’ to the BN,” he added.

Home arrow News arrow Legal/General News arrow Court told why non-Muslims cannot be syarie lawyers * * Malaysian Bar Web Ads * Malaysian Bar Web Ads Court told why non-Muslims cannot be syarie lawyers

The New Straits Times 
KUALA LUMPUR: A non-Muslim should not be allowed to practise as a syarie lawyer to prevent confusion among the Muslims, the High Court heard yesterday.

Lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah, citing a decision by the National Fatwa Council, said if non-Muslims were allowed to practise as syarie lawyers, they would be dealing with Muslim affairs, especially issues on Islamic laws.

He said the council had made a decision during its 92nd muzakarah (discussion) in December last year, that non-Muslims were barred from being syarie lawyers.

He added that in order for one to be a syarie lawyer, he or she needed to have faith in Allah.

Sulaiman, who is representing the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP), also said if non-Muslim lawyers did not comply with ethics as syarie lawyers, the syariah courts could not take any action against them as they were not subject to the courts' jurisdiction.

He was submitting at a hearing of a judicial review application by Victoria Jeyaseele Martin, 49, who is challenging the requirement that only a Muslim can be a syarie lawyer here.

She was seeking a declaration that Rules of Syarie Lawyers mandating that only Muslims can be admitted as a syarie lawyers was in contravention of the Federal Constitution and, therefore, shall be void.

She also wanted the court to quash the decision by MAIWP for refusing to process her application to become a syarie lawyer and the High Court's order to compel the council to receive and process the application regardless of the fact that she is a non-Muslim.

Counsel Ranjit Singh, who is appearing for Martin, submitted that his client had sufficient knowledge of Islamic laws and the MAIWP should allow her to sit for an examination for admission as the syarie lawyer.

"In some other states, non- Muslims have been practising as syarie lawyers," he said.

Judge Datuk Rohana Yusuf set March 17 for decision.

Nik Aziz Admits His Statements Create Factions Among Muslims

KOTA BAHARU, March 4 (Bernama) -- PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat Friday conceded that his political statements in by-election campaigns could create factions among the Muslims in the country.

He said in his struggle to defend the party, he might have issued statements that created a group of people who supported the statement and another group who were against it.

"In fact, factions had emerged among the Muslims since the era of Prophet Muhammad and Prophet Adam," he said while delivering the Friday sermon at Medan Ilmu, here Friday.

Nik Aziz caused a controversy when he issued his own fatwa (edict) during the campaign for Tenang state by-election in Johor, that Barisan Nasional's (BN) supporters were the people of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance) because they rejected PAS, the party he claimed to be upholding Islam.

Responding to the statement, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Nik Aziz's struggle was only to win the election and not to uphold Islam.

Tun Dr Mahathir said Nik Aziz, who is also Kelantan Menteri Besar, had said that his wish was to win the general election and rule the country with DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

The Mufti of Perak, Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria had also slammed Nik Aziz when the latter said that Umno or BN supporters would go to hell and only those who voted for PAS were bound for heaven.

Nik Abdul Aziz said he would continue to use the same approach in explaining the concept of halal and haram in choosing a leader in an election even if his actions were to be slammed by religious scholars in the country.

"In religious term, the approach is called dakwah and in politics and elections, it is called campaigning. So, if I use the approach in any of the election campaign, it should not be a problem," he said.

Debat Mahathir - Husam : SAMM sedia jadi penganjur

Mutahakhir ini isu 'siapa pengkhianat Melayu?' menjadi topik perbualan hangat semula. Ia umpama tuduh menuduh dan tidak membawa sesuatu yang sihat lebih kepada bersifat sentimen perpecahan semata - mata. Lebih parah lagi apabila perbincangan ini membawa kepada sentimen anti kaum lain dan menyalahkan kaum lain sebagai punca 'kemunduran' orang Melayu.

Terbaru bekas Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sekali lagi menarik perhatian ramai apabila memperkatakan isu ini dengan terus melabel Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan Dato' Bentara Setia Haji Nik Abdul Aziz bin Nik Mat sebagai pengkhianat Melayu.

Tuduhan rambang ini telah disahut oleh Dato' Hj Hj Musa dengan tulisannya yang menyenaraikan apa yang beliau panggil fakta "siapa yang sebenar mengkhianati Melayu?".

Isu ini dibincangkan secara terbuka dan ia jelas tidak menguntungkan sesiapa...khususnya apabila ia meleret dan membawa kepada komentar yang penuh sentimen perkauman dan tidak membina negara.

Husam telah melontar Mahathir berdebat secara terbuka dan berdepan dalam isu Melayu ini.

Sehubungan dengan ini menginsafi kesedaran betapa isu ini memerlukan pencerahan dan dibawa kepada perdebatan yang sihat.

Debat merupakan budaya politik sihat. Debat Mahathir - Husam mungkin boleh menjadi titik temu penting dalam mencari tapak mula melonjak pemikiran Melayu khususnya dalam mendepani cabaran zaman yang makin rumit.

Jesteru itu Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) yang merupakan organisasi gerakan anak muda Malaysia yang menyatukan perbagai anak muda dari perbagai latar demi kepentingan negara menyatakan kesediaan untuk menjadi penganjur kepada debat Mahathir - Husam ini.

Debat jangan dilihat sebagai pergaduhan tetapi ia ialah latihan praktik yang harus dilakukan ke arah mencari idea yang matang dan bernas.

Isnin ini SAMM akan menghantar surat kepada Tun Dr. Hj. Mahathir Mohamad dan Datuk Hj Husam Musa untuk menerangkan maksud kesediaan menganjurkan debat tersebut.

Diharap kedua pihak mampu mengenepikan ego demi bersama membina bangsa dan negara ini.

P.M Najib’s Australia visit. HRP appeals to 119 Australian MP’s well Senators to question UMNO state sponsored racism against minority Malaysian Indian poor.

image
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No.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245
Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com Email: info@humanrightspartymalaysia.com

Your Reference :

In Reply :

Date : 3/3/2011

The Honorable Senator Michael Foreshow
Chairperson
Parliamentary Joint Committee
Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade
Dear Sirs,
Re: 1. SOS appeal to Australian Parliament joint sitting on Malaysian state sponsored racism against minority Malaysian Indian poor on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Australia visit (04/03/2011).




We are writing this letter on behalf of the 2.5 Million minority Malaysian Indians to express our concern over the visit of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to Australia in the background of the above and Malaysia being a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

We also understand he has been given the privilege to address the Members of the United Nations and the Australian Parliament in a joint sitting.

We wish to bring to the attention of the Australian lawmakers about Malaysia’s systematic racial discrimination and in violation of acceptable international norms especially targeting the defenseless and poor Malaysian Indians.

The Human Rights Party of Malaysia (HRP) is led by lawyer P. Uthayakumar who was detained without trial under the International Security Act (ISA) for 514 days from 13/12/2007 for organizing a peaceful assembly on 25/11/2007. HRP is the political wing of Human and Minority Rights NGO Hindraf whose Chairman P.Waytha Moorthy is a British trained Barrister at law and now leading Hindraf from exile in London.
Please take cognizance of in particular the following:-


  • · Used the Attorney General, the Judiciary, Registrar of Societies and government machinery to launch a nationwide crackdown on Hindraf.
  • · By jailing and maliciously prosecuting this week alone 53 Hindraf human rights and minority rights activists as at 4/03/2011 and continuing.
  • · Last week some 300 over Hindraf activists (government claims only 109) were arrested and jailed for organising a peaceful assembly against the UMNO state sponsored racism. This week alone 53 Hindraf activist have been prosecuted to be jailed up to three years for merely being members of Hindraf.
  • · Brutally suppresses freedom of speech and peaceful assembly;
  • · Used the Internal Security Act and the Sedition Act to punish without trial five Hindraf lawyers in 2007;
  • · Malays are a superior race, just like Hitler did, coupled with Islam as a superior religion to oppress, segregate and exclude especially the Indian poor;
  • · Last month by promoting a textbook called Interlok where Indians are demeaned as “dark skinned smelly pariahs” ;
  • · Systematically denied the right to freedom of assembly and speech as is enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution and in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • · All other atrocities as per Malaysian Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2010.
  • The government of Malaysia led by UMNO by Prime Minister Najib Razak is ruling the country with pure racism and violation of basic human rights such as freedom of religion, speech, right to assembly, equality and equal opportunities denied to the Indian poor. To give him the privilege to address the Australian Parliament will contaminate the sanctity of a respectable institution.

Malaysia today has emerged as the world’s most racist and religious supremacist country and the world’s only and last remaining apartheid regime, but very little known to the world at large because of UMNO’s very “clever” media political propaganda.

Kindly access our website at hrp-my.org to view our day to day documentation of the deplorable extent of the acts of persecution racism, religious supremacy and victimization of the mere 8% ethnic minority Indian poor. Our main website www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com was on 27/02/2011 “shut down” by the government despite a promise of Internet freedom.

Given this racist and religious supremacist attributes we seek the Australian lawmakers to raise the aforesaid persecution of the Malaysian Indians with our Prime Minister. So please help us.
Thank you.
Yours sincerely,
____________
P.Uthayakumar
Secretary General (pro tem)
(H/P No: +6013-3504711)

Perkasa says no to dropping ‘race’ in forms

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — Right-wing non-governmental organisation Perkasa is opposed to the idea of having the word “bangsa” (race) dropped from forms.

Its president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said claims that having the word was an obstacle to realising the 1 Malaysia concept was something ridiculous and unreasonable.

“The 1 Malaysia concept espoused by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has nothing to do with the use of the word in forms.

“If the government bows to this demand, after this more demands will be made until they attain their objective of doing away with racial identities,” Ibrahim (picture) said today.

He was commenting on the proposal by 1 Malaysia Foundation chairman Prof Dr Chandra Muzaffar that the time had come to do away with having to state one’s race in forms as it posed an obstacle to making a success of the 1 Malaysia concept.

Cheras Umno chief Datuk Syed Ali Alhabshee also expressed reservations about the suggestion,

Writing on the subject in his blog, he also took to task Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan for favouring the suggestion.

He said Shamsuddin got it wrong because Najib’s 1 Malaysia concept was not about silencing one’s racial identity but the various races working together to bring greater progress for Malaysia.

Malay Solidarity Action Front chief Osman Bakar also held the view that one’s racial identity in forms should be maintained and this should not be viewed narrowly. — Bernama

‘Statement I gave to police altered’

Copy served as evidence has a page material to the case missing, says Anwar.
FULL REPORT
KUALA LUMPUR: PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim said at his sodomy trial today that the statement given to the police following his arrest in 2008 was not what was tendered as evidence.

  He said there were marked differences in the copy given to him this morning and the version that he gave to investigating officer DSP Jude Pereira following his arrest on July 16, 2008.

“My point is 112 (the statement) has two versions – what was sent to us and what is being shown to me now. This is not a copy of the original,” said Anwar.

“We assumed it would tally with the original,” said one of Anwar’s lawyers Ram Singh, “but one of the pages material to the case is missing.

“It contains the charge read out to Anwar when a statement was taken from him while he was arrested in July.”

“There are also other discrepancies such as the word ‘sulit’ appearing on the original but not on the copy served this morning.

“It had different-looking signatures and Pereira’s name and designation did not appear on the original but was on the copy presented this morning,” he added.

The statement Anwar gave two years ago was served on lawyer Sankara Nair on Nov 14, 2008.
Anwar’s lead counsel Karpal Singh said that the (Section) 112 statement recorded (under the Criminal Code Procedure) by Pereira differed from the one served to Sankara.

Overnight detention unnecessary

Another of Anwar’s lawyers Sivarasa Rasiah testified this morning that it was Pereira’s decision to detain the opposition leader overnight after his arrest on July 16, 2008.

He said that it was unnecessary for Anwar to be detained overnight as all Pereira claimed to want was the completion of his statement which could have been done the next morning.

“On top of that, the grounds for arrest weren’t given. The whole arrest is mala fide (in bad faith),” said Sivarasa.

Anwar, who was recalled to the stand this morning, said that Pereira did not inform him of the grounds of arrest.

Karpal: Only the charge was read, no grounds of arrest was given?

Anwar: Yes. There must be reason to arrest a person. The police must have basis for the arrest.

During today’s proceedings, Anwar’s lawyers also wanted to put former home minister Syed Hamid Albar, former IGP Musa Hassan and CID director Mohd Bakri Zinin in the witness stand, but withdrew this request following discussions in chambers today.

The High Court is hearing a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of three items as evidence.
The items – a toothbrush, a mineral water bottle and a towel – were taken from Anwar’s holding cell where he was kept overnight.

Police officer: Grounds of arrest told

Meanwhile, a police witness told the court that both Anwar and Sankara were informed that the arrest under Section 377B of the Penal Code was to facilitate police investigations on a sodomy case.

Superintendent Ahmad Taufik Abdullah, of the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman, said that the investigations were based on a report lodged by Mohd Saiful.
The Serious Crime Division (D9) officer — the only rebuttal witness called by the prosecution — reiterated that he informed Sankara when the lawyer approached him after he (Ahmad Taufik) and his (police) team stopped Anwar’s car at Jalan Segambut about 1pm on July 16, 2008.

The witness also told the court that Anwar was informed under which section (of the law) he was detained while the accused was driven to the Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent Headquarters (IPK KL).

During examination-in-chief by Solicitor-General II Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden, Ahmad Taufik said the warrant of arrest was handed over to him by investigating officer Pereira and it was served on Anwar at the police station.

He added Anwar acknowledged it by signing on the warrant and he (Ahmad Taufik) made a copy before handing it back to Pereira.
Asked when the warrant was issued, Ahmad Taufik replied it was on July 15, by the Kuala Lumpur magistrate”s court.

Queried further by Mohamed Yusof on whether he just showed the warrant or read out its contents, the witness said he did both.

‘Not lying’
Cross-examined by Karpal Singh who contended that there were two arrests on that day on Anwar, Ahmad Taufik explained that arrest was carried out at Jalan Segambut and the warrant served at IPK KL.

He disagreed with Karpal that he was lying that he had informed Sankara on the grounds of arrest, whereas Sankara in his testimony repeatedly said the arresting officer did not do so.

Re-examined by Mohamed Yusof, Ahmad Taufik said he had no reason not to inform Nair on the grounds of arrest.

The court will reconvene at 8.30am Monday morning before High Court judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex.

This is the second time PKR de facto leader has been charged with sodomy, the first being in 1998 alongside charges of corruption.

The complainant is Anwar’s former personal aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azan, who accused Anwar of sodomising him at a condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26,2008. If convicted, Anwar faces a maximum of 20 years jail and whipping.

Hindraf leader Ramesh charged, 53 in all

Another Hindraf leader has been charged with being a member of the outlaw organisation.
KUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf national secretary P Ramesh was today charged with being a member of an unlawful society at a magistrate’s court here today.
He was charged with committing two offences under the Societies Act 1966. This brings the number of people charged since last Sunday’s rally to 53.

According to the first charge, Ramesh was a member of Hindraf, and therefore committed an offence, outside a hotel at Jalan Thambipillay, off Jalan Tun Sambanthan, at 8.30am on Feb 27.

The word “Hindraf” in the chargesheet was changed to Hindraf Makkal Sakthi after the deputy public prosecutor Vincent Chew applied for the change.

Ramesh, 40, is also charged with possessing banners and documents totalling nearly 100 which appear to further the cause of Hindraf, an outlawed organisation.

Some the banners read: ‘People’s march solidarity against Umno’s racism’, ‘We demand equal rights for 12 million non-Malays in Malaysia and… universal standards of democracy’, ‘Hindraf is not anti-Islam’ and ‘What – racism? Who – Umno? When –54 years? Where – 1Malaysia? How –Marginalised? Why – Racist agenda’.

The first offence comes under Section 43 while the second under Section 47 of the Act.
Ramesh, also Human Rights Party (HRP) pro-tem Perak chief, pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Double standard
If convicted, Ramesh faces a maximum three-year jail term or RM5,000 fine or both for the first charge and a maximum of two years jail and a maximum fine of RM5,000 fine or both for the second offence.
Magistrate Mohd Azali Ibrahim set bail at RM8,000.

Mention date was fixed for April 11.

HRP’s pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar, who is a lawyer for Ramesh, together with M Manoharan, Hindraf legal adviser, told FMT that the prosecution of Hindraf supporters showed that the government practised double standard.

“I submitted in court that in 1988 Umno was declared illegal by the Kuala Lumpur High Court. The named was changed to Umno Baru, and now they’ve dropped the word Baru. It is contempt of court to be using the word Umno. They (Umno) don’t even have a court order to ban Hindraf or Hindraf Makkal Sakthi but they’re going after us.”

“This is in contravention of Article 8 of the Federal Constitution which provides for equality before the law,” he said.

On Feb 27, police arrested 109 people from different parts of the city and crippled a planned Hindraf rally.
Hindraf, which rose to fame after a mammoth rally in 2007, is a banned organisation but the group has now come under a new name – Hindraf Makkal Sakthi. It is closely linked to the political party HRP.

‘Malicious prosecution’
The Hindraf rally was to call for an end to “Umno’s racism” as well as seeking a ban on the controversial textbook Interlok. The group also held gatherings nationwide on the same issues.

On March 1, five men, including HRP information chief S Jayathas, 44, were charged at the Selayang magistrate’s court with being Hindraf members.

One of them was also charged with obstructing a public official from carrying out his duties by pushing Insp Mohd Aster Mohammad, causing him to fall to the ground.

On March 3, six men were slapped with similar charges at the Ipoh magistrate’s court.
Yesterday, 21 people, including five women, pleaded not guilty at the Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court with being members of Hindraf.

At the Seremban magistrate’s court, 20 people, including state HRP chief S Sivarasa, pleaded not guilty to being Hindraf members.

All charges came under Section 43 of the Societies Act.

“To me, the charges on all the Hindraf supporters are basically a malicious prosecution by the attorney-general and an abuse of his powers,” said Uthayakumar.

“The charges are also politically motivated and intended to stiffle and finish off Hindraf Makkal Sakthi, which is a mere minority rights and human rights NGO.

“We are not a secret society; we have never been a threat to the country. This is an attempt by the Umno-led government, under its racist policies, to stop us from raising legitimate grouses and championing the Malaysian Indian poor.”

Kereta Anwar dikepung dan dibaling batu

(Harakah Daily) - Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) hari ini mengecam tindakan ganas yang didakwa dilakukan petugas Umno BN dengan mengepung dan membaling batu ke arah kereta yang dinaiki Datuk seri Anwar Ibrahim semalam.
Menceritakan kejadian itu, Ketua PKR Cabang Temerloh, Ahmad Nizam Hamid, berkata, kira-kira 30 orang pemuda, memegang sepanduk dan bendera BN menyekat kereta Anwar di Jengka 22 sambil menjeritkan perkataan lucah kepada ketua umum parti itu.

Dari kelibat dan gaya percakapan mereka, Ahmad Nizam berkata beliau yakin kesemua mereka adalah orang luar dan bukan masyarakat tempatan.

"Ini budaya baru yang dibawa, kerana dipahang tak pernah berlaku sebelum ini" kata Nizam pada sidang media di markas induk PAS bagi Pilihan Raya kecil Kerdau.

Sebelum itu katanya, sejumlah paku turut ditaburkan di atas jalan raya khususnya di jalan jengka 22 menuju ke tapak ceramah ketua pembangkang itu menyebabkan kira-kira 50 buah motorsikal dan beberapa kereta mengalami kerosakan tayar.

"Kami mengecam perbuatan biadap dan tidak bertamadun penyokong Umno BN tersebut yang jelas bukan sahaja melanggar tatasusila bangsa malah bersalahan dengan undang-undang.

"Pilihanraya sewajarnya diraikan sebagai pesta demokrasi namun Umno kelihatannya tidak menjadi matang dan meletakkan diri di tingkat paling bawah," jelasnya.

Bagaimanapun katanya, walau apa sekalipun provokasi yang dibuat pihak lawan, petugas Pakatan Rakyat tetap tidak akan termakan.

Belaiu turut berterima ekoran tindakan pantas pihak polis menyuraikan para penyokong BN yang menunggu rombongan Datuk seri Anwar Ibrahim keluar dari jengka 22.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin - Interview with Australia Network's Newsline

Don't Play With Fire, Muhyiddin Warns Opposition

TEMERLOH, March 4 (Bernama) -- Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has warned the opposition not to play with fire by instigating the people to topple the government similar to the uprising taking place in some Middle Eastern countries.

The deputy prime minister said the attempt by opposition leaders to compare Malaysia with the situation in the turmoil-hit countries was smacked of irresponsibility.

"This act of provocation by the opposition, to me, is irresponsible, undemocratic and deliberately done to create chaos when everyone knows the actual situation is peaceful and the country is prosperous and progressing rapidly.

"The people are also enjoying a higher level of development compared to those countries," he told reporters after attending a get-together with the people in Kampung Badok, here.

Muhyiddin's comment came in the wake of a series of ceramah by opposition leaders during the campaign for the Merlimau and Kerdau state by-elections in Melaka and Pahang respectively, which appeared to be attempting to rally the people to demonstrate against the government like those in the Middle East.

Muhyiddin said the opposition should be sincere when comparing Malaysia with those crisis-stricken countries.

"They can compare, but theirs are not a correct comparison; it's more like engaging in act of provocation, like playing with fire, instigating the people to rise against the government," he said.

Muhyiddin said the BN government had always been practising policies which allowed the people to convey their views or draw the government's attention on matters which the government should address.

"Ours is a vibrant democracy where every five years we call for an election. They (the opposition) are also able to win seats, and then there are by-elections which we won and they lost, and there are also those that we lost.

"It has also been amply proven that this country of ours is a democratic country, a country which is not govern in any autocratic or dictatorial way; so if the president of another country is to be compared with Malaysia's leader, we really cannot make the comparison," he said.

Muhyiddin said the opposition should be sincere when comparing Malaysia with those crisis-stricken countries.

"They can compare, but theirs are not a correct comparison; it's more like engaging in act of provocation, like playing with fire, instigating the people to rise against the government," he said.

Muhyiddin said the BN government had always been practising policies which allowed the people to convey their views or draw the government's attention on matters which the government should address.

"Ours is a vibrant democracy where every five years we call for an election. They (the opposition) are also able to win seats, and then there are by-elections which we won and they lost, and there are also those that we lost.

"It has also been amply proven that this country of ours is a democratic country, a country which is not govern in any autocratic or dictatorial way; so if the president of another country is to be compared with Malaysia's leader, we really cannot make the comparison," he said.

Asked what the government would do to deal with the matter, Muhyiddin said the country had its security law to ensure the situation would not worsen.

"We are warning them, don't play with fire. We have a system as well as the authorities to maintain the country's peace and security ... these are established institutions.

"Notwithstanding this, we wish to remind the people not to destroy the country because of provocations by the opposition.

"The opposition's objective is to create disorder, nothing else. They fancy seeing the country breaking into pieces, seeing racial clashes; so they provoke, an utterly irresponsible attitude," he said.

Earlier Muhyiddin performed the Friday prayers at the Kampung Badok Mosque in Kerdau state constituency.

The Kerdau by-election on Sunday is a straight fight between BN's Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad and PAS' Hassanuddin Salim.

Harassment against Msian protestors continue, will we stand with them?

By Nathaniel Tan,

I just got off the phone with an activist who has been active in a lot of the death in detention cases, as well as with the HRP and Hindraf movements.

While news on the post protest arrests seems to have long faded from the news, I am told that people are continuing to be arrested and charged in court.

Apparently some RM 42,000 has had to be paid in bail, mostly for working class Malaysians who really do not need this excessive economic burden placed on them just because they exercised their right to assemble peacefully.

I was told one gentleman from Perak was charged basically for walking out of his Brickfields hotel with Hindraf banners in his possession. Bail was set at RM 8,000.

We’ve heard a lot of hype and drama about the movements in the Middle East, and rightfully so. There, great things are taking place, as the people seek to reclaim their nations.

I know many people aren’t always so comfortable with some of the positions that Hindraf takes and such, but there is no denying that they have every right to assemble peacefully and make their feelings felt.

I am all for cheering on our counterparts in the Arab world, but it would be remiss of us to do so while turning a blind eye to the more subversive repression going on under our noses.

This harassment and intimidation of Malaysians who are standing against oppression and racism must stop.

At the very, very least, let’s not let it leave our minds. Please do help spread the word. Thanks.

SAKSI : ' SAYA MELAKUKAN SEKS DENGAN UMMI DI LONDON'

'I had sex with Ummi in London,' says witness

A defence witness in the sodomy trial of jailed former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim told the High Court today that he had sex with star prosecution witness Ummi Hafilda Ali.

"I had sex with Ummi in London," said Norazman Abdullah @ Baginda anak Minda to the murmurs of those seated in the public gallery.

The 40-year-old Iban told judge Arifin Jaka that he had known Ummi since 1992 but their relationship only became close when they were in London in June 1998, together with businessman and former MP S'ng Chee Hua (who was Norazman's boss then) and another friend.

"When we returned to Malaysia, Ummi told me that she would give my ex-wife RM200,000 so that we (Ummi and I) could get married and elope to London," Norazman said, adding that he was then married with two children.

"Ummi also told me that I would have a 25 percent share in a RM10 million advertising project," he added.

Ummi, who made court appearances during Anwar's corruption trial last year in designer attire and matching accessories, had told the press that she "is still a virgin".

She, together with former driver of Anwar's wife, Azizan Abu Bakar, wrote letters to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad alleging Anwar had committed sexual misconduct.

They later retracted their allegations and said they wrote the letters under coercion and on "mere suspicion".

"In the beginning, Ummi told me that the sodomy allegations against Anwar were true. But later, after our relationship became closer, she confessed that they were all fabricated," Norazman said.

He also told the court this morning that Ummi told him she "forced" Azizan to confess that he was sodomised by Anwar.

"Ummi told me that she did it because she hated Anwar and her brother Azmin Ali as they both did not give her any business projects.

"She also said that when Anwar was toppled from power, she will get an advertising project at Kuala Lumpur International Airport worth RM10 million from Tun Daim Zainuddin (business tycoon turned finance minister)," Norazman said.

He, however, added that he did not ask Ummi how she forced Azizan to make the confession.

Norazman, who is now a farmer, also told the court that while they were in London, Ummi had told him that Mahathir was the man behind the "50 Dalil: Mengapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi Perdana Menteri" ("50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Become Prime Minister") book.

"She also told me that Daim, (former Malacca chief minister) Rahim Tamby Chik and (Umno executive secretary) Tengku Adnan Mansor were involved in the fabrication of the sodomy charges in the book," he said, in response to a question from defence counsel Gurbachan Singh.

According to Norazman, Ummi also told him that Khaled Jeffri was the writer of the book while (former finance minister) Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Daim and Tengku Adnan were the sponsors.

He added that Ummi called him one night in August 1998, and said that her father had disowned her because she had given false information for the contents of the book.

"Ummi called one night and said that she could not sleep and wanted to meet me as her father had chased her out of the house," he said.

Ummi's brother Azmin Ali, who was also Anwar's former private secretary and now state assemblyman for Hulu Klang, had testified earlier that Ummi is not the person she portrays herself to be and was disowned by her father in late 1998 "for running away with a married man overseas." ("[#1]Ummi eloped with a married man, says Azmin[/#]", April 7.)

Norazman also told the court that Ummi told him that she had written a letter to Mahathir but the contents (of the letter) were later amended by Aziz Shamsuddin, who was then the political secretary to the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, the prosecution refused to cross-examine the witness, saying that his evidence was merely hearsay.

Lead prosecutor Abdul Gani Patail told the judge: "Unless and if Ummi is called to testify, this evidence is all useless."

The court will resume on Friday as Anwar's lawyers said that the rest of their witnesses, including Daim, deputy education minister Aziz, former consumer affairs minister Megat Junid Megat Ayob and his wife Ziela Jalil would only be called in if Mahathir was allowed to testify in the trial.

Arifin yesterday said that he would announce his decision on the application for Mahathir's testimony in court on Friday. The defence and prosecution had argued over the relevance of the prime minister's evidence for more than three weeks.

Anwar, currently serving a six-year jail term for corruption, is on trial for sodomy and sexual misconduct.

He and his adopted brother Sukma Dermawan are charged with sodomising Azizan at Sukma's apartment on "one night at 7.45pm, between January and March, 1993".

Anwar has repeatedly denied all charges and said they were fabricated by political rivals to end his political career.