Share |

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

NATO starts 24/7 surveillance of Libya

"The violence that's been taking place ... in Libya is unacceptable," President Obama said at the White House.
"The violence that's been taking place ... in Libya is unacceptable," President Obama said at the White House.

(CNN) -- NATO has launched around-the-clock surveillance flights of Libya as it considers various options for dealing with escalating violence in the war-torn country, America's ambassador to the organization told reporters Monday.

Representatives of key Western powers also highlighted the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone in Libya -- part of growing campaign to break strongman Moammar Gadhafi's grip on power.

British, French and U.S. officials were working on a draft text that includes language on a no-fly zone, diplomatic sources at the United Nations told CNN.

The language in the text will deal with triggers rather than timelines for taking such a step, one diplomat noted. If gross violations of human rights are committed, the diplomat added, the elements of the text could be quickly turned into a resolution.

Any resolution on military intervention in Libya, however, would be subject to a vote by the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council. Such intervention could face sharp criticism from Russia and China, who rarely approve of such measures.

"The violence that's been taking place and perpetrated by the government in Libya is unacceptable," U.S. President Barack Obama said at the White House. Moammar Gadhafi's government "will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place there."

Obama stressed that NATO is considering a wide range of responses -- including military options -- for dealing with the crisis.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney later cited three potential responses under active consideration: establishing the no-fly zone, military-backed humanitarian aid, and stronger enforcement of the U.N. arms embargo.

Carney downplayed speculation about the possibility of providing arms to the Libyan rebels, telling reporters that "it would be premature to send a bunch of weapons to a post office box in eastern Libya."

"We need to not get ahead of ourselves in terms of the options we're pursuing," he warned.

A senior U.S. official familiar with the administration's deliberations on Libya denied a report in the British press that the administration had asked Saudi Arabia to arm the rebels.

U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague told members of the British parliament, however, that "we are making contingency plans for all eventualities in Libya."

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters in Belgium that the organization has no immediate intention to intervene in the Libyan civil war. But "as a defense alliance and a security organization, it is our job to conduct prudent planning for any eventuality," he said.

Rasmussen stressed that it is important to "remain vigilant" in light of "systemic attacks" by Gadhafi's regime against the Libyan population. "The violation of human rights and international humanitarian law is outrageous," he said.

Rasmussen also noted that the defense ministers from member states will meet Friday and Saturday to discuss how the organization can help partner countries in North Africa and the broader Middle East.

"We can see a strong wind of change blowing across the region -- and it is blowing in the direction of freedom and democracy," he asserted.

Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kasa lashed out the Western leaders, calling their response part of "a conspiracy to divide (and) partition the country."

"The English are yearning for the colonial era" while Obama is acting "like a child," he said. "Territorial integrity is sacrosanct and we will die for it."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, appointed a new special envoy to Libya to discuss the crisis with officials in Tripoli, the United Nations said in a statement Monday.

Abdelilah Al-Khatib, a former foreign minister of Jordan, will "undertake urgent consultations with the authorities in Tripoli and in the region on the immediate humanitarian situation as well as the wider dimensions of the crisis," according to the statement.

As diplomats debated various options, the violence in Libya continued to intensify. Forces loyal to Gadhafi took aim at the rebel-controlled town of Ras Lanuf, launching aerial strikes meant to help crush the uprising against him.

Death toll estimates from the conflict have reached as high as 2,000 people. Roughly 200,000 people have fled Libya, with nearly equal numbers going to Tunisia and Egypt, according to the United Nations.

Media Event March 8, 2011 Interlok: 6 students arrested for returning book.

New Scan-20110308103036-00001

clip_image002
No.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245 Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com


Media Event March 8, 2011
Re: SMK Kuala Kubu Bharu teacher made racist remark (keling memang paria) against form 5 students for returning Interlok Novel. Despite making police report against the teacher, 5 of the Indian students and another ex student who are the victims were from school arrested (see Tamil Nesan Headlines today – 8/3/11). Inspector Hamsani bin Abu Hassan of IPD KKB of Hal Ehwal Awam (public relations) of IPD KKB used the word pun _ _k on these students.

The 6 Students and parents would attend.
Date: 8th March 2011 (Tuesday)
Time: 12.30pm
Venue: HRP. HQ, Jalan Abdulah, (Off Jalan Bangsar), Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-22825241
Thank you.
Yours truly,
…………………………
S.JAYATHAS
Information Chief
HINDRAF & HRP
012 6362287

Anwar asked four girls for sex, says Dr M

The cover of Dr Mahathir’s autobiography. — Picture courtesy of MPH Publishing

KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wrote in his autobiography out today that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arranged to have sex with four girls before he was sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998.

The former prime minister said he interviewed the girls who told him they were taken to have sex with his then deputy, who was later charged and jailed for sodomy and corruption.

Dr Mahathir wrote that they were persuaded to do so by an Indian man they knew as Nalla, likely to be Datuk K.S. Nallakarupan, then a close associate of Anwar who has since fallen out with the opposition leader.

“He had taken each girl separately to a house in Kenny Hills. There they met a person they recognised as the deputy prime minister. They were asked to undress with the purpose of having sex,” he wrote in the book titled “A Doctor in the House: The Memoirs of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad”.

“Two of them said they refused but the other two consented. They were willing to talk to the police and to me but were adamant that they should not appear in court to give evidence,” the former prime minister said.

Dr Mahathir said he then called Umno leaders including mentris besar and chief ministers to Sri Perdana to brief them about Anwar’s alleged affairs and showed them pictures of the witnesses.

“He declared that he had done nothing unusual and insisted that everyone, including all the supreme council members, had done such things,” Dr Mahathir wrote of Anwar’s defence before Umno’s top leadership.

“During his long explanation, Anwar never once referred to the question of homosexuality, focusing only on the affairs with women,” he added.

Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister wrote that he had first been told about Anwar’s alleged homosexual activities in the early 1990s by then police chief Tun Hanif Omar.

Dr Mahathir, who ruled from 1981 to 2003, said he was then given the book “50 Dalil Kenapa Anwar IBrahim Tidak Boleh Jadi Perdana Menteri” (50 Reasons Why Anwar Ibrahim Cannot Become Prime Minister) but dismissed it as a sensationalist attempt to make money.

He said in 1997 Ummi Hafilda Ali, sister of PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, sent him a letter with specific allegations of sodomy against Anwar.

“The police had continued their observations of the deputy prime minister’s activities, as was their usual practice. Even if I had asked them to stop, I doubt they would have. This time they had evidence, including pictures and confessions of people involved,” he wrote in the 809-page tome.

Now the parliamentary opposition leader, Anwar was found guilty of corruption in 1999 and sodomy the next year.

He was jailed for six years before the Federal Court overturned his conviction for sodomy.

Four years later, he led the opposition pact to record gains in the March 2008 general election, denying Barisan Nasional its customary two-thirds majority of Parliament and seizing five states.

Anwar is now being tried for sodomy again, nearly three years after his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan first claimed to be the Permatang Pauh MP’s victim.

‘Why did you burn native homes, Musa?’

It has taken a determined group of natives from Kampung Imahit, some 450km from Kota Kinabalu, to stir slumbering KadazanDusun Murut leaders in the Sabah BN to speak up.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman’s government must explain the “inhumane torching” of natives’ homes and the destruction of their crops cultivated on “forest reserves” by officials of the State Forestry Department.

Appalled at the gangster-style behaviour, United Borneo Front chief Jeffey Kitingan said: “What kind of human beings behaves like this? In Kadazandusun customary law, setting fire to houses and destroying crops are very serious offences.

“The affected natives should have brought those responsible to the Native Court for trial.”

Jeffrey was responding to Upko vice-president Senator Maijol Mahap’s statement that Forestry Department officers had in the past torched homes of natives and poisoned their crops. Maijol had called for these officers to quit their posts.

Maijol was in turn reacting to last week’s decision by the Kota Kinabalu High Court to quash the conviction of six Tenom native farmers for entering and cultivating crop in the Kuala Tomani Forest Reserve, which they claimed was native customary rights (NCR) land.

Jeffrey said it was ironical that only now native-based Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties such as Upko were defending native rights.

“It is ironical that only now, after a determined group of villagers from Kampung Imahit, Tenom, had won a case to preserve their land rights, Upko seemed to be alert to their plight.

“All these years it was the opposition parties and the NGOs which have been making lots of noises for the natives over land disputes against the Forestry Department.

“The BN partners in Sabah have often been very quiet and shy of defending their own people for fear of being branded as anti-government,” Jeffrey said.

Nothing done

Jeffrey, however, contended that if the BN-led state government had done all the right things in defending the people, all these land disputes would not have happened.

“The BN government had failed to defend its own people and has instead turned them into criminals and its enemies,” he said.

He said UBF as an NGO whose objective is to fight for the rights of the natives was looking at other areas where native rights have been violated by the government.

He assured that UBF would make sure that the natives are no longer victimised again by the government.

“When is the state government going to look into reviewing the Land Ordinance to update it in accordance with today’s needs?

“This has been talked about a long time but until today nothing is done.

“Instead the government has been spending a lot of the time fighting with the people over land rights, but at the same time spending millions building houses for the immigrants.

“The fact that the Forestry Department is determined to appeal the Imahit case means the government itself wants to chase out this people from their land at whatever cost.

“To me it is no longer a case of legality but a case of inhumanity and cruelty,” he added.

A-G yet to decide

Meanwhile, state forestry director Sam Mannan said the department would be contesting the High Court’s March 4 verdict.

But state Attorney-General Roderic Fernandez said his office would study the High Court’s decision before deciding on the next course of action.

In handing down a landmark decision last Friday, Justice David Wong held that the magistrate’s court in Tenom was wrong in concluding that customary rights cannot be established in a forest reserve.

The magistrate had on Nov 12, last year fined Andawan Ansapi, 47, Barani Ambisi, 41, Ansanam @ Azman Yapau, 52, Johndy Kawar, 35, Stanley Boyor, 35, and Sarim Arus, 53, RM1000 each after finding them guilty of two charges of trespassing and cultivating without permission from state authority in the Kuala Tomani Forest Reserve.

Wong allowed the appeal and set aside the conviction of the six natives, saying that the magistrate should have acquitted and discharged them.

The failure of PAS’ soft approach

Recent by-elections have shown that 'tarbiyah' does not work in the short term.

MERLIMAU: It is obvious from PAS’s recent by-election losses that its strategists are wrong about rural Malays being resistant to aggressive campaign approaches.

Umno managed to win them over despite its aggressive – at times even dirty – tactics.

To try to win in the Umno strongholds of Bagan Pinang, Tenang, Merlimau and Kerdau, PAS decided on a gentle educational campaign that it calls the “tarbiyah” approach, fearing that an aggressive offensive would put off voters there.

It has proven to be a miserable failure.

Opposition supporters were hoping that the party would have learnt its lesson after the Tenang defeat and abandon the tarbiyah method for Merlimau and Kerdau.

Indeed, a national PAS leader told FMT soon after the Tenang vote that the approach had failed and that he hoped the party would not use it anymore for short-term campaigns .

The Arabic word “tarbiyah” implies patient nurturing. It refers to the long but consistent process of persuading someone to accept something that he is initially against.

Opposition supporters generally agree that it is a good long-term strategy for PAS to use in trying to win over Umno supporters.

However, as the recent by-elections have shown, it is not suitable for short and hectic campaign periods. The moment a seat falls vacant, it is time to suspend tarbiyah and go on the offensive.

Shock treatment needed

An aggressive campaign might awaken some Umno supporters who have been lulled by Barisan Nasional (BN) propaganda and the little handouts that are dished out during the campaign periods.

A little shock treatment from PAS could have the effect of making them think about the rights that they have been cheated of. It might not help PAS take over the Umno seats, but it might save it the embarrassment of heavy defeats.

PAS should remember this when Parliament and state assemblies are dissolved for the next general election.

It will then be time for battle, not tarbiyah. Umno and BN will be going into the fray with guns blazing and their supporters will not be in any mood to listen to any soft lectures.

PAS must return fire. Tarbiyah can continue after the election.

If PAS were correct in its theory that rural Malays would get put off by aggressive campaigning and personal attacks, then its Merlimau candidate Yuhaizad Abdullah should not have failed so miserably.

Umno was downright dirty in Merlimau. It used offensive flyers and posters and its ceramahs were filled with scandalous personal attacks against Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

Nik Aziz warns BN of a 'time bomb' ala Egypt

(Harakah Daily) - PAS Murshidul Am Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat has warned Barisan Nasional of a 'time bomb' if it continued practising what he called "lopsided democracy" for the sake of winning elections.

“It will soon become a bomb which backfires on them, so please be warned not to act as you please,” said the Kelantan Menteri Besar, in his response to PAS's by-election defeats in Merlimau and Kerdau over the weekend.

After a campaign which saw some of the most intense personal attacks on opposition leaders and millions of ringgit worth of development promises, BN retained its strongholds with increased majorities.

Nik Aziz however reminded that a victory gained in such a manner was not something to be proud of as it was not fought democratically.

“PAS was not only facing UMNO candidates, but also the entire machinery of the government from the state and federal levels,” he said.

'Death of election'

Nik Aziz said the concept of 'election' seemed to no longer exist in the country due to BN-UMNO's campaign method.

“This is not only unfair, but is sinful and will be held accountable in the Hereafter. The youths now see democracy has ceased to exist in the country to the extent they become vindictive due to the backdoor democracy they learnt (from UMNO-BN),” he added.

Saying he still accepted the outcome, Nik Aziz however said the real results would be different, and cited the case of an UMNO supporter, who having crossed over to PAS, suddenly declared he was going back to UMNO.

Muzammil Alif, a former branch chairman of UMNO Jengka-25, announced he was joing UMNO again three days after declaring himself a PAS member.

"The reason this happens is due to continuous pressure... this is not democracy,” said Nik Aziz, adding that similar tactics had been used on P Balasubramaniam, the private investigator who was the witness in the murder trial of Mongolian negotiator Altantuya Shariibu, who issued a damning statutory declaration linking the murder to prime minister Najib Razak, only to amend it the next day.

Nik Aziz also warned that the fate of former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak would also befall UMNO leaders if the current practice persists.

Will the opposition do a ‘Batu Sapi’ in the Sarawak state polls?

From Malaysiakini
I don’t know how many seats PKR contested in the last Sarawak state elections, but they won 1.
Now they are gunning for 52 in the soon to be called state election.
Out of a total of 71.
I understand from the Sarawak National Party that they intend to offer candidates in 28 – 30 state constituencies.
And SNAP’s not taking too kindly to Azmin’s declaration, reported in Malaysianinsider, that, in negotiating with SNAP on seat allocations, SNAP would be offered nothing more than 3 seats.
Are we going to see a repeat of the recent Batu Sapi by-election in the Sarawak state polls?
Or will good sense prevail amongst all the opposition parties in Sarawak, holding as paramount a common objective to get rid of Taib and his looting cronies or, at least denying him a 2/3 majority in the new assembly, and with that and that alone in mind, resolving the matter of seat allocations so that we see straight fights in all 71 seats?
Malaysiakini reported on 6th March that the meeting of the Sarawak state leaders of DAP, PAS, PKR and SNAP to discuss the allocation of seats went well.
SNAP’s Jugol went so far as to say that following the discussions, he did not see any problems between the component parties.
Jugol, in my view, also hit the nail square on the head when he said that the allocation of seats should be on the basis of seats being allocated to the party with the best chance of winning the same.
This would necessitate parties disclosing their respective proposed candidates for any one seat and the best, based on an agreed criteria, being picked, whereafter all parties must close ranks and throw their fullest support behind the candidate picked.
Now, if the national leadership of the 3 Pakatan partners could leave it to their respective state leaders to work out the allocation of seats together with SNAP, maybe the spectre of Batu Sapi in the forthcoming Sarawak state polls can be avoided?

China's Smoking Problem

Image(Asia Sentinel) One state agency tries to get people to quit while another tries to get them to smoke

The economic cost of smoking to China exceeded 70 billion yuan last year, creating what one critic called a country "with the biggest tobacco problem in the world."

The government should cut consumption by raising the cost of cigarettes, now only at 5 yuan (US.76¢) per packet of 20, which would guarantee its tax revenue, according to a report by the country's tobacco control lobby titled "Tobacco Control and China's Future. The report was written by Yang Gonghuan, vice director of the China Center for Disease Control (CCDC), and Hu Angang, Director of the Centre for China Study at Qinghua University and the China Academy of Social Sciences, and was posted on the CCDC website.

It is a direct attack on the State Tobacco Monopoly and China National Tobacco Company, which has just announced record results. In 2010, the state-owned concern's profits reached 604.5 billion yuan, up from 253 billion in 2006, and taxes paid to the state rose to 498.8 billion yuan from 194.4 billion.

The report said that the health costs of treating tobacco-related illnesses exceeded tax revenue from tobacco for the first time in 1999 and the deficit has been increasing each year since then, reaching 70 billion yuan last year.

"Tobacco-related medical expenditures and loss of productivity are increasing by the year at an expanding rate. The integrated benefit analysis shows that the net benefit generated by the tobacco industry is already below zero," it said.

Currently, 1.2 million people die annually of tobacco-related diseases, of whom a third are aged between 40 and 69. "Tobacco-attributable deaths are estimated to account for 25 percent of total deaths among those aged 40 or older. Among cerebra-vascular patients who survive a stroke, three of four have lost some of their ability to work, with 40 percent suffering severe disabilities. Tobacco smoking has become the top killer of the Chinese population."

The report proposed a 20-year plan to bring out a gradual change in smoking habits. This would include raising taxes on cigarettes, which would cut consumption but maintain government revenue.

"150 million, 50 percent of smokers, buy one pack of cigarettes for five yuan or less and the expenditure for 100 packs occupied merely two percent of per capita GDP in 2009," the authors wrote. By contrast, a pack of cigarettes in Hong Kong costs HK$50 (US$6.41). In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pushed the price of cigarettes to US$11 per packet of 20.

Last year, more than 300 million of China's 1.3 billion people were recorded as smokers, almost the same as in 2002. Among men, the proportion of smokers last year among workers was 68 percent, farmers 60 percent, civil servants 52 percent, medical professionals 40 percent and teachers 38 percent.

Beijing ratified the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which came into force in 2005, but has failed to meet its commitments under the convention, including a pledge to ban smoking from all indoor public areas.

"China is doing poorly in implementing the FCTC with a performance score of only 37.3 of 100 possible points," the report said. "The intervention of the tobacco industry is the underlying cause of the poor impact of tobacco control. It has distorted the Chinese version of FCTC, denied the scientific conclusions of the health hazards of smoking and claimed smoking as smoker's rights.

"It has abused the public powers of government to counteract tobacco control policies, used 'low tar and low harm' marketing strategies to mislead the public and encouraged tobacco consumption through disguised advertising and marketing effects of sponsorship and promotion."

A survey of adults in China last year found that more than 75 percent did not know the health hazards of smoking and more than two thirds did not know the hazards of second-hand smoking.

The report proposes a restructuring of the government, so that the department that includes the tobacco industry cannot take any responsibility for tobacco control. It recommends the establishment of a National Tobacco Control Bureau in the National Development and Reform Commission to take charge of comprehensive tobacco control nationwide.

"Public agencies are the largest buyers of premium cigarettes, a situation that has to be changed to earn people's trust in anti-corruption. Chinese Communist Party and government officials, civil servants and employees of public agencies must take the lead to ban smoking in public and work places. The government should develop regulations explicitly banning public agencies purchasing cigarettes with public funds and accepting them as gifts and should encourage and protect whistleblowers."

Growers of tobacco leaf should be encouraged, through subsidies and other policies, to switch to alternative crops or move into other kinds of work, the report adds. "Assistance should be offered to the wholesale, monopoly and retail businesses to switch. Provinces highly reliant on the tobacco industry should be subsidized with funds from the central government during the transition period."

The document was prepared with help from a panel of 28 experts, 19 Chinese and nine foreign. They include Professor Lam Tai-hing, professor of the school of public health of the University of Hong Kong, and Dr Judith Mackay, senior advisor to the World Lung Foundation.

"What needs to be done, what is effective in reducing tobacco use – especially price policy and legislation – is very well known, and if China wishes to protect the health of its people, now is the time to implement these measures," Mackay said.

Of human rights and detention

The Star (Used by permission)
by SHAILA KOSHY

A United Nations group tabled its report on detainees in Malaysia after visiting detention centres and interviewing inmates. The Malaysian Government has two years to act on the report and its recommendations.

MALAYSIA will have two years to implement recommendations made by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention after its final report is accepted by the Human Rights Council (HRC).

The report of the fact-finding mission was presented to the HRC in Geneva yesterday.

The four-member delegation that had been here from June 7 to 18 at the Government’s invitation, had visited detention facilities and interviewed detainees in confidence.

Describing the process at the HRC, Bar Council’s Human Rights Committee chairman Andrew Khoo said its members could make comments and ask questions following the presentation of the report.

“Malaysia will then have the opportunity to respond,” said Khoo.

Asked whether Malaysia could challenge for errors, he said it would have had sight of a draft to check for inaccuracies.

“After the report is adopted by the HRC, Malaysia will be given two years to implement the recommendations,” he said, adding that Forum Asia, through its Malaysian member Suaram, would be making a statement during the discussions.

The Government’s response will be of great interest since DAP chairman Karpal Singh had said on Saturday that older prisons and lock-ups in Malaysia were so overcrowded that they were unfit for habitation and needed the attention of a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Also, when they released the initial findings here last June, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein had taken umbrage at certain groups for ignoring the positive findings and instead latching onto the revelation that almost all detainees under preventive laws interviewed had said they were tortured by police to obtain confessions or evidence.

The delegation to Malaysia comprised the Working Group’s Chair-Rapporteur El Hadji Malick Sow from Senegal, member Roberto Garreton (Chile) and two members of its Geneva secretariat.

A statement of their findings at the conclusion of their mission is on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10176&LangID=E.

While they were pleased to find a decrease in Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees, Malick said 1,535 had died in prisons, rehabilitation centres and immigration detention centres between 2003 and 2007.

“Eighty-five others died in police custody. Most occurred in hospitals and they include a high number affected by HIV/AIDS,” he said, adding that inquests must be held in every case of death as soon as is possible.

The group noted that there were no complaints about the treatment by prison and detention centre guards.

However, they found that the Lenggeng Detention Centre suffered from “overcrowding, poor sanitation and inadequate medical care”, which helped transmit communicable diseases, particularly skin diseases.

He reminded the Government of its obligation to guarantee the right to safety of all foreigners, particularly when deprived of their liberty.

Malick said the excessive powers given to police and Rela had facilitated the detention of many at immigration detention centres, including those with UN cards from the High Commissioner for Refugees.

They recommended that the ISA, Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordin-ance, Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act and the Restricted Residence Act be repealed or amended to conform with the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Malick said that they had found – at centres reserved for detainees under these laws – even those charged with common offences when they should be dealt with under the regular penal procedure.

Among other concerns were:

> The police could, in some cases, arrest without a warrant and that magistrates routinely extended the initial 24 hours detention; and

> Detainees under the preventive laws were not told of their right to contact relatives or consult a lawyer but if they knew, some police officers would say that the latter would “make their situation more complicated.”

Malick said the detention situation would improve if the judiciary were fully independent, based on the principle of separation of powers and composed of independent and impartial judges and magistrates.

Pathologist retracts finding of bruises on Teoh Beng Hock’s neck. Hmmm.

The Star:
Sungai Buloh Hospital’s head of pathology Dr Shahidan Noor told the Commission of Inquiry into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock that he had erred in stating there were bruises on the political aide’s neck.
Dr Shahidan had said in his report that the marks found on Teoh’s neck appeared to be bruises, after conducting the second post-mortem on the political aide’s remains in Nov 2009.
Dr Shahidan retracted his opinion on Friday and said he would not have given such an opinion if he had been privy to pictures of Teoh’s neck area taken by University Malaya Medical Centre pathologist Dr Prashant Naresh Samberkar.
oO
Am I the only one who thinks there’s something fishy about this?

Share this on: Mixx Facebook Twitter Digg delicious reddit MySpace StumbleUpon LinkedIn As civil war rages, Obama warns Gadhafi's regime

Rebel fighters take cover as a bomb dropped by a fighter jet explodes on the outskirts of Ras Lanuf on March 7.Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi took aim at the rebel-controlled town of Ras Lanuf on Monday, launching aerial strikes as part of an assault aimed at crushing the uprising against him.

At the end of the third week of unrest -- protests began February 15 -- Gadhafi's aerial forces targeted the main road heading into the oil town after launching another airstrike earlier, five kilometers southeast of the city.

In what has turned into a civil war, members of the opposition fired anti-aircraft guns toward Gadhafi's planes.

Some families fled Ras Lanuf, hoping to escape the violence that has engulfed some of the country's most populous areas.

U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday "there are credible reports of the use of helicopter gunships against civilians by government forces."

Three members of the U.N. Security Council -- France, Britain, and the United States -- were working Monday on a possible resolution that would include language on a no-fly zone over Libya, diplomatic sources at the United Nations said.

But any kind of military intervention could face sharp criticism from Russia and China, two fellow permanent members of the council that wield veto power.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday he had a "very clear message to those who are around Col. Gadhafi: It is their choice to make how they operate moving forward and they will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place there."

"We've got NATO as we speak consulting in Brussels around a wide range of potential options, including potential military options, in response to the violence that continues to take place inside Libya," he said.

In a statement, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO did not intend to intervene in Libya, but "as a defence Alliance and a security organization, it is our job to conduct prudent planning for any eventuality."

While the opposition has managed to fight off onslaughts by Gadhafi's forces in some places -- including what a witness described as an "amazing" victory against Gadhafi's heavy artillery Sunday in the town of Misrata -- the regime has advanced as well. Gadhafi's forces seemed to make headway in the city of Bin Jawad, where the Libyan army appeared to have control Monday after fighting over the weekend.

Anti-government protesters are seeking the ouster of the 68-year-old Gadhafi after nearly 42 years of ruling the country -- the kind of revolution that was seen in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt. But unlike in those countries, the Libyan uprising has turned into warfare.

CNN's Ben Wedeman, just outside Ras Lanouf, heard someone say, "We'll capture (Gadhafi), put him on top of this car and drive all around Libya. Every Libyan will get one shot."

A special forces captain told Wedeman he is trying to teach volunteers "it's impossible to attack artillery with a Kalishnikov" rifle.

Hague, speaking to Britain's Parliament, said that in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, "there have been disturbing reports of hostage taking and large military deployments around the city designed to consolidate Gadhafi's position and intimidate his opponents. His forces remain in control of Tripoli, Sebha and Sirte; but his authority is contested in large swathes of the country where local tribes have withdrawn their support. There is a clear risk of protracted conflict and an extremely dangerous and volatile situation in large parts of the country."

With no clear end to the deadly clashes in sight, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a new special envoy to Libya to discuss the crisis with officials in Tripoli, the United Nations said in a statement Monday.

Abdelilah Al-Khatib, a former foreign minister of Jordan, was appointed to "undertake urgent consultations with the authorities in Tripoli and in the region on the immediate humanitarian situation as well as the wider dimensions of the crisis," according to the U.N. statement.

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the fighting in western Libya, which is claiming large numbers of lives and threatens even more carnage in the days ahead," the statement said. "He notes that civilians are bearing the brunt of the violence, and calls for an immediate halt to the government's disproportionate use of force and indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets."

Humanitarian and medical aid to Misrata, in central Libya, has been blocked, U.N. emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos said in a statement Sunday. She urged authorities "to provide access without delay to allow aid workers to help save lives."

After reports of the opposition successfully fighting off pro-Gadhafi forces in Misrata on Sunday, Libyan state TV showed a graphic -- in both Arabic and English -- saying that "strict orders have been issued to the armed forces not to enter cities taken by terrorist gangs, who took civilians as human shields and threatened to slaughter the inhabitants of those cities." The report cited "military sources."

There have been numerous conflicting reports over who controlled what cities, with the government declaring victory in some cities while witnesses in those cities told CNN the opposition was still in control.

Throngs of Gadhafi supporters filled Tripoli's Green Square on Sunday. Throughout the turmoil, witnesses in Tripoli have described the government using all sorts of methods to drum up crowds, including forcibly dragging some people to them while keeping anti-Gadhafi demonstrators off the streets.

Death toll estimates have ranged from more than 1,000 to as many as 2,000, and the international community has been pondering strategies on how to end the violence and remove the Gadhafi regime.

Benjamin Barber, a fellow at the New York-based Demos think-tank who worked closely with the Gadhafi Foundation, told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that he thought Gadhafi, his son Saif and their supporters would likely "fight to the death" -- meaning a prolonged war.

Even if Gadhafi is somehow ousted, Barber predicted the violence could continue as tribes duke it out for supremacy in a nation that has few significant public institutions to fill a potentially chaotic void.

The fierce fighting has sparked the flight of Libyans and foreigners out of Libya, with nations across the globe scrambling to help people leave.

About 200,000 people have fled Libya with nearly equal numbers going to Tunisia and Egypt, the U.N. refugee agency has said.

But not everyone has been able to get out. On Monday, several hundred expatriates from Mali gathered outside Mali's embassy in Tripoli, seeking assistance in getting out of the Libya. Many were migrant workers who said they no longer have any work, though the situation in Tripoli appeared to be calmer in recent days.

Some of the migrant workers tried to cross into Algeria -- which shares a border with Mali -- but were refused by Algerian officials.

Meanwhile, Agostino Miozzo, a European Union representative on a fact-finding mission in Libya, said at a news conference in Tripoli Monday that his mission was to make sure all citizens from EU member countries are able to be evacuated.

Sex trafficking crime family jailed

INTERLOK : UMNO police Bully have started arresting even small boys

photos1_thumb[1]This morning, we received information from the Human Rights Party Vice President Tamil Selvam that, on 7th March 2011, three school boys were arrested by the police at SMK Kuala Kubu Baru secondary school. These three students namely Satish a/l Arumugan, Pustanathan and Suresh are 17 years old form 5 students.

The occurrence had happened on last Friday on 4th March 2011 at their school, whereby a group of 6 students had gone to see Cikgu Zarina bt Jaffar to return the racist Interlok book. However, their teacher Cikgu Zarina bt Jaffar had scolded them claiming they were ‘Orang Pariah’. Therefore, because of the discontent, they went to meet the Penolong Kanan of the school to report, however the Penolong Kanan told that ‘jangan membesarkan issue ini’ and had apologized on behalf of Cikgu Zarina bt Jaffar. Also, the Penolong Kanan of the school gave Rm 10 to the students and said ‘ guna duit ini sebagai tambang bas dan jangan report anything’ The students refused to take the money and requested the Penolong Kanan of the school to let them meet Cikgu Zarina bt Jaffar for explanation of such harsh words. However, Cikgu Zarina bte Jaffar had refused to meet them.

The next day, when the students went to school as usual, they were arrested at school. Therefore, at 1.20 pm, Mr Ganeson representing the legal firm of Kumar Hashimah and Co Human Rights Party had called the IPD Kuala Kubu Baru Police Station to found out that the OCPD, Senior Investigation officer, but was told all had gone off for lunch. Though Ganeson could get the investigation officer Puan Zazadillah on the line, still she was not co-operative. Then a call was made to Malaysian Control Country (MCC), at 03-22662222, Bukit Aman Police Headquarters where the duty Police Commander on duty DSP Roslan had slammed down the phone on Ganeson. Ganeson had contacted the OCPD who in turn asked to refer to ASP Yatim bin Hj Osman. ASP Yatim bin Hj Osman had explained that these three students had been arrested on the grounds of threatening Cikgu Zarina to which we protested as the students were the victims. When Mr Ganeson had asked when these 3 three students would be released, ASP Yatim Hj Osman had replied that they will only be released after the investigation is over, and he is not sure about the exact time of their release.

This is the classical police answer and abuse of powers. How can the police arrest these three school boys from school and take them to the police station without notifying their parents. This is the typical racist UMNO police mindset.

School boys Satish Kumar a/l Arumugam, Pustanathan & Suresh released. Now going to lodge police report against the racist UMNO teacher & Inspector Hamsani bin Abu Hassan of IPD KKB of Hal Ehwal Awam for using word pun _ _ k on these Form Five school boys them .

Sanjay Kumar and five others lodge police reports against racist UMNO teacher. Victim Sanjay now locked up at KKB police station

This is the latest and the tip of the iceberg of the UMNO and their police racism against the minority Indian poor.

UMNO directs MIC President mandore to tell Indian poor to go back and work in plantations for RM 700 p.m. But 442,000 Malay muslims made 10 acre plantation land owners and earning RM 3,000 p.m

Today there are no more Malay plantation workers. They have all become landowners.

The neo colonialist UMNO replaced the British after sucking the blood, sweat and tears of the Indian poor for 54 long years.

This level of UMNO state sponsored racism does not happen in any part of the world.

And when the estates were made way for development, these poor Indian plantation workers were forced by UMNO to become homeless, urban squatters, security guards, toilet cleaners, office boys, home cleaners, road sweepers, general workers, lorry, taxi and van drivers and other unskilled workers.

Why not the 10 acre land ownership for at least the remaining estimated 86,678 (Indian) plantation workers nationwide?

But 244,187 registered foreign workers are imported to avoid making these defenceless 86,678 Indian poor and landless the Felda like landowners (see SH 18/2/11 at page S28).

UMNO directs this MIC President Indian mandore to tell the Indian poor that they at least get RM 700 now as opposed to the RM 300 previously.

The prime Minister announced that an income of RM 687 per month is the Poverty Line Index.

The Malay muslim poverty rate was reduced from 50% in 1957 to 1.8% last year. Absolute poverty was reduced to 1.8% last year in 2008 under NEP (NST 3/3/09 at page 17).

(see NST 7/3/2011 at page 7 and UM 7/3/2011 at page 24)

Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice


UMNO directs 1
UMNO directs 2

Pakatan to appoint stand-in for suspended Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will appoint a senior MP to stand in for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Opposition Leader in Parliament tomorrow.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution told reporters today that the pact’s leadership will meet to discuss the matter before the session commences in the morning.

Anwar (picture), the PR de facto leader, is suspended from the House, along with three other MPs — Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor), Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) and R. Sivarasa (PKR-Subang).

The four were issued six-month suspension orders during the last Parliament session in December last year over Anwar’s infamous APCO-Israel jibe.

Anwar was suspended for linking Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia brainchild to Israel’s “1 Israel” campaign, saying that the government’s public relations consultancy APCO Worldwide had masterminded both initiatives.

The other three were suspended for allegedly committing contempt of the House when they revealed confidential proceedings of the Rights and Privileges Committee’s investigations into Anwar’s accusations.

“We will continue our duties as usual but we will appoint someone to stand in Anwar’s place.

“I met with (DAP adviser) Lim Kit Siang just now, and tomorrow we will decide who will take on the role of Opposition Leader for Anwar’s speech,” Saifuddin said after Parliament was opened this morning.

He stressed that this did not mean that Anwar was being replaced as the pact’s Opposition Leader.

“A senior MP will just be appointed to read his speech,” he said.

The Opposition Leader in the House is scheduled to kick off the first round of debates tomorrow on the motion of thanks on the royal speech delivered by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin this morning.

Nik Aziz finds it hard to accept BN victory

PAS leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat claimed the entire government machinery and the mainstream media were biased towards BN.

KOTA BARU: PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said today he could not bring himself to accept the Barisan Nasional (BN) victory in the two by-elections yesterday because the government machinery was allegedly biased.

PAS lost in the by-elections in Kerdau, Pahang, and Merlimau, Malacca, because the entire government machinery and the mainstream media were allegedly biased towards the BN, he told reporters here.

Both the BN candidates, Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad and Roslan Ahmad, won with bigger majorities in Kerdau and Merlimau, respectively, in the by-elections yesterday.

Asked about DAP’s call for the PAS government of Kelantan to revoke the ban on gambling in the state, Nik Aziz, who is Kelantan menteri besar, said the state government was prepared to provide an explanation for DAP chairman Karpal Singh to understand the move behind the ban.

“The matter can be discussed, as Karpal Singh has mentioned,” he said.

Karpal had called on the state government to revoke its ban on gambling, saying that federal law allowed gambling for non-Muslims, after the local authority in Kota Baru raided three business premises where lottery tickets were sold.

– Bernama

Memperkasa IKS Bumiputera

Perkasa mahu tingkatkan sumbangan IKS kepada KDNK ke paras 40%.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) bercadang untuk memperkasakan kedudukan syarikat Industri Kecil dan Sederhana (IKS) Bumiputera dan meningkatkan sumbangannya kepada Keluaran Dalam Kasar Negara (KDNK).

“Sekarang ini terdapat sebanyak 540,000 syarikat IKS di negara ini dan 80% milik Bumiputera,” kata Presidennya Datuk Ibrahim Ali selepas mempengerusikan mesyuarat pra-meja bulat konvensyen di Kelab Sultan Sulaiman di sini petang tadi.

Perkasa akan menganjurkan Konvensyen Transformasi Ekonomi Bumiputera di Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur pada 27 Mac ini.

Bagaimanapun katanya, peratus KDNK yang disumbang oleh IKS ialah pada sekitar 30% sahaja berbanding dengan negara-negara maju di mana IKS menyumbang sebanyak 50% KDNK.

Menurut Ibrahim, pakar-pakar di Perkasa mahu memperkasakan syarikat IKS ke tahap dimana syarikat IKS boleh menyumbang sekurang-kurangnya 40% kepada KDNK.

Perkara kedua yang dibangkitkan ahli parlimen Bebas itu ialah yang berkaitan Pendapatan Kasar Negara (GNI).

Menurut beliau, GNI orang Melayu hanya sebanyak 20% bersamaan RM140 bilion.

“Menjelang 2020, GNI berjumlah RM1.7 trilion. Oleh itu, GNI Bumiputera perlu ditingkatkan sebanyak RM260 bilion,” ujar ahli parlimen Pasir Mas tersebut.

Justeru itu katanya, kerajaan perlu menggunakan ‘tongkat’ untuk membantu masyarakat Bumiputra,” tambah Ibrahim. Isu-isu yang dibangkitkan dalam konvensyen dan kaedah bagi mengatasi cabarannya akan diserahkan kepada Perdana Menteri Datuk

Seri Najib Tun Razak dan agensi-agensi kajian Teras Pengupayaan Melayu (Teras) dan Unit Penyampaian dan Pengurusan Prestasi (Pemandu).

MIC veep takes Tamil dailies to task

They have been distorting my statements on the plight of Bukit Jalil estate residents, says deputy FT minister M Saravanan.

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Federal Territories Minister M Saravanan today ticked off Tamil dailies Tamil Nesan, Makkal Osai and Malaysia Nanban for distorting his statements on issues relating to the relocation of Bukit Jalil estate residents.

“Quote accurately what I say. Don’t distort it,” said Saravanan, who is also MIC vice president, at a press conference held at MIC party headquarters this afternoon.

He said the reports by the three dailies gave the impression that he had not done anything to resolve the plight of the Bukit Jalil estate folk, who have been told to make way for development.

“Raja Nong Chik (his boss), Human Resources Minister S Subramaniam and I have been doing our best to provide for the Bukit Jalil estate people.”

“If not for us, their homes in Bukit Jalil would have been demolished a long time ago,” he said.

Saravanan added that since 2008 when he was appointed deputy minister, he had worked hard to have compensation for the estate workers to move out increased.

Thirty-five acres of the Bukit Jalil estate land that was acquired by the government has been given back to the people, he said.

Of the 35 acres, 26 acres have been allocated for a Muslim burial ground and nine for a non-Muslim burial ground.

Previously those who moved out were given only RM1,000 with an option to rent units from the nearby City Hall flats. Now a better compensation package was being offered.

He also said additional funds were given to the estate workers. “Now we are giving them opportunity to own a home,” he said.

“A Tamil school is also being built,” he said. “There’s also a temple at the estate and it will be maintained as it is.”

Land is scarce

Saravanan also said that the problems of the Bukit Jalil residents was resolved even though the area did not not fall under his jurisdiction.

He also cited an example of the estate management failing to pay EPF contributions which was then footed by his ministry.

The only request that he could not fulfill, said Saravanan, was their demand for landed properties.

“That is because land is scarce in Kuala Lumpur,” said Saravanan, adding that it was also because City Hall had a policy of not providing for landed property.

He lamented the fact that the residents were giving differing statements to the press even though they had agreed on several matters.

On another note, he said that Emergency Ordinance will not be used to evict the estate workers. Instead an evacuation notice has been issued.

The latest notice of eviction was issued by City Hall on March 1, giving the residents 14 days to vacate their premises failing which their homes would be demolished the following day.

Hindraf five reunion in the making?

A move is afoot to bring together the key masterminds behind the Hindu Rights Action Force movement.

KUALA LUMPUR: A reunion of five key masterminds behind Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) who were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) is in the making.

The move has been undertaken by an Indian NGO, Malaysian Indian-Voice (MI-Voice).

Its chairman, V Raidu, said the reunion was scheduled to take place on April 30 at Dewan Hamzah, Klang, and was expected to draw 10,000 people.

The five masterminds are V Ganabatirao, K Vasantha Kumar, R Kenghadharan, M Manoharan and P Uthayakumar. They were largely responsible for mobilising more than 60,000 Indians under the Hindraf banner for a demonstration in Kuala Lumpur in 2007 to highlight the plight of the Indian poor.

In a police crackdown on the protest all five were detained under ISA. During the detention, there was a fallout between Uthayakumar and Vasantha Kumar.

Shortly after their release, Manoharan was elected DAP Kota Alam Shah assemblyman in the 2008 general election and Uthayakumar went on to form the Human Rights Party.

Vasantha Kumar joined PKR while Kenghadharan and Ganabatirao are MI-Voice advisers.

Said Raidu: “I am hoping all five would join hands for the sake of the Indian community.”

Added Ganabatirao: “This will be the last attempt for a reunion.”

Ganabatirao, who is a DAP member, confirmed that DAP secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, would be attending the function.

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat are also expected to be present.

Nik Aziz: BN abused federal resources in twin wins

(Bernama) - KOTA BARU, March 7 — PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat said today he could not bring himself to accept the Barisan Nasional (BN) victory in the two by-elections yesterday because the government machinery was allegedly biased.


PAS lost in the by-elections in Kerdau, Pahang, and Merlimau, Malacca, because the entire government machinery and the mainstream media were allegedly biased towards the BN, he told reporters here.

Both the BN candidates, Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad and Roslan Ahmad, won with bigger majorities in Kerdau and Merlimau, respectively, in the by-elections yesterday.

Asked about DAP’s call for the PAS government of Kelantan to revoke the ban on gambling in the state, Nik Aziz, who is Kelantan mentri besar, said the state government was prepared to provide an explanation for DAP chairman Karpal Singh to understand the move behind the ban.

“The matter can be discussed, as Karpal Singh has mentioned,” he said.

Karpal Singh had called on the state government to revoke its ban on gambling, saying that federal law allowed gambling for non-Muslims, after the local authorities in Kota Baru raided three business premises where lottery tickets were sold. — Bernama

Don't gamble away our children's future

The issue of gambling is again hogging the political limelight, following the PAS Kelantan state government decision to disallow the sales of Big Sweep lottery tickets in coffee-shops and other business premises.

The common perception at present is that since the Big Sweep lottery scheme has been given a licence to operate, the Kelantan state government has no authority and power to ban its sale of lottery tickets in the state.

On the contrary, although the licence to operate the lottery is given by the federal government, the authority responsible for issueing permits to premises to operate as lotttery outlets is the local council.

The lottery can be sold in Kelantan, but only in premises which have been specifically licensed for the purpose, i.e.legally permitted to operate as lottery outlets.

Hence, the Kota Baru Municipal Council is not intrinsically wrong per se to take action on business premises selling lottery tickets as they are not licensed as lottery outlets. A bookshop, for example, has no business selling lottery tickets.

The argument in support of the Big Sweep lottery being allowed to be freely available to the people is that it is a fundamental right enshrined and endorsed by the Social Welfare Lottery Act.

This antiquated and obsolete law was originally enacted to allow the federal government to raise funds via a lottery scheme for its welfare work among the poor and underpriviledged people.

Hence, it surely is not right to use this archaic legislation to justify the current business operation of the gambling commercial enterprises. The profits from these lottery schemes run by these companies are not specifically meant and used for welfare work, and as such, these schemes should not be covered by the provisions of the Social Welfare Lottery Act.

Having looked at the legal implication of the Kelantan action, we should also consider the religious, moral, social and ethical dimensions of the gambling issue.

Gambling is basically a games of chance, involving the wagering of money or something of value.

Currently, gambling is a major commercial activity, with a worldwide legal gambling market involving an estimated US$400 billion in 2010. In Malaysia, hundreds of millions of ringgit are involved in the three weekly lottery draws operated by the three major gaming corporations -- Sport Toto, Magnum, and Big Sweep. Hence, gambling is a signficant economic activity, and an avenue for the federal government to collect massive taxes.

But the moral and social consequences of the gambling habit are certainly matters of deep concern. The emergence of loan sharks, for example, is a direct consequence of the gambling culture.

In view of the moral and social consequences, almost all religions frown on gambling as an evil practice, a sin, at least the official level.

However, many countries, including Malaysia, have made allowance for those who wish to gamble, and accommodate them by regulating and limiting gambling with legal jurisdictions and taxation.

In Malaysia, gambling has been legalized with licences given to various companies to operate lottery schemes, and at the turf clubs and casinos. Legally, only the non-Muslims are allowed to purchase lottery tickets and patronise these gambling joints.

The issue PAS raised concerning the moral evil of gambling is not without merit, and we should seriously give the party a hearing on the matter, at least on the following grounds:

First of all, the most serious consequence of a legalized gambling scheme is the harmful impact it has on the poorest section of our society. Even without the benefit of extensive empirical studies, we can verify by objective observation that the largest number of gamblers come from the poorest section of our community.

Psychologically, many of these poor people have conditioned themselves to think that they could never uplift their current economic status, unless they could strike it big in a lottery draw or win big in other gambling schemes. Gambling gives them a hope of sort.

Secondly, the easily availablity of licensed gambling outlets leads to the temptation to try one's luck, especially when the jackpot winnings nowadays can be in tens of millions ringgit. The inititate "harmless" play can eveutally develop into a habit, a bondage to the gambling demon. Many a life and family have been destroyed by the evil of addicted gambling.

Thirdly, one serious consequence of gambling is the rise of criminal activities. Desparate addicted gamblers will steal, rob, or even murder to get money to fuel their gambling habit or to repay gambling debts. Many are harassed by loan sharks who use all sorts of violent tactics against the borrowers and their innocent family members. The rise in snatch thefts, break-ins, robberies, etc is certainly one consequence of unrestrained gambling.

Finally, many families have been destroyed by a gambling father, a gambling mother, a gambling son. Lives have been lost due to gambling losses. Recently, there have been some very sad stories about housewives from Johor travelling to the casinos in Singapore, and causing break-ups of families.

While the MCA and Gerakan politicians, as usual, are trying to cash in to score political points by attacking PAS over its attempt to curb the spread of the gambling evil among the people, are they really aware and concerned about the moral-social and spiritual well-being of the citizens?

Whatever may be the theological basis of the PAS philosophy and practices, it is certainly clear on what is universally morally right and morally wrong, and as a Christian I accept and endorse its moral-ethical values as being consistent with universal moral principles. Note, I said moral-ethical values, not theology.

The promoters of Islamophobia and PASphobia in the MCA and Gerakan use every conceivable opportunity and excuse to attack the DAP for giving in to the PAS Islamic state agenda, exploiting the ignorance and fear of the theologically illiterate and politically naive in their desparate attempt to hold on their little derived power given to them by Umno.

We should not allow ourselves to be deceived and misled by the politics of fear propagated by the promoters of Islamophobia and PASphobia in the MCA and Gerakan.

We need to understand that the essential need for our country's survival and progress is a politically viable formula, grounded on mutual trust and respect, with compromise and cooperation based on common universal moral, social and ethical values.

There is a place for accomodation of common values, a need for adoption of a common political platform, a willingness to assimilate and integrate the good values and practices of each other, and the vision and mission too accelerate our country into a righteous, just, fair, equal, peaceful, harmonous, and prosperous nation, without the considerations of colour, creed, culture, and class.

The PAS stand on gambling is not something to be polticized, but something to be honestly, objectively and critically evaluated and reflected on, because our children's future is at stake. It doesn't mean that since gambling is legal, it must be morally right. The ISA is legal, but is morally evil and oppressive.

Hindraf and freedom of assembly

“We don’t want to use force, but they are hoping we will do so as they want to exploit the situation by painting a bad picture of Malaysia through the international television channels.”
“We do not want to be hard on them but they are hoping the police will use violence against them and it will be good stuff for the international media to exploit.”
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 27 Feb 2011. The march was themed Solidarity against Umno’s racism. The planned march was in protest against the government’s decision to ignore the Indian Malaysian community’s objections over the contents of Interlok, a novel which is part of the Form Five syllabus for Malay-language literature.
The prime minister claimed Hindraf was deliberately creating bad publicity for the country through the international media by holding the demonstration at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) grounds. He said the government had already resolved many of the Indian Malaysian community’s issues, so “why the need for a demonstration? And why at KLCC?” (Sources: Najib: Hindraf has “malicious intent”, theSun, 27 Feb 2011; Hindraf demonstrators deliberately pushing for bad publicity, says Najib, The Star, 28 Feb 2011)
“If they act outside the law and disregard regulations, holding rallies and the like … stern action should be taken.”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on 24 Feb 2011 calling for police to take stern action against the rally’s organisers. Later, the deputy prime minister commented on the low turnout at the protest, saying this indicated that the Indian Malaysian community trusted the Barisan Nasional government to protect their rights. (Source: DPM wants firm action against Hindraf’s Sunday rally, The Malaysian Insider, 24 Feb 2011)
“The public must realise that certain parties will try to manipulate this issue and equate the Hindraf rally with the uprisings in Libya and Egypt.
“This is not true and, in fact, the number of people detained at the rally is significantly smaller than expected, indicating that support is not as strong as it used to be.”
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, commenting on the arrests of 109 protesters during the 27 Feb 2011 rally. Hishammuddin said the rally was against the law because Hindraf had not obtained a permit to hold the gathering. He added that the protesters were a “nuisance to public order”, and that police were only doing their job by detaining them. According to police estimates, fewer than 500 people took part in the rally. (Source: Hisham: Protesters are a nuisance, New Straits Times, 28 Feb 2011)
“Certain parties are willing to do anything just to sensationalise issues.”
“My congratulations to the Inspector-General of Police and the force for derailing plans by those out to create chaos and that we rough them up.”
Hishammuddin again. On allegations that the detained Hindraf members were mistreated, he said the accusations were just an attempt to tarnish the image of the police. (Source: Police have video footage to prove Hindraf members not mistreated, mysinchew.com, 1 March 2011)
“But as some anti-Interlok activists have not been averse to burning books in the tradition of the Nazis, they are closer to being closet fascists rather than the proponents of free speech that they are imagined to be. Indeed, removing the novel from the classroom in the name of anti-racism seems to be a pretext to insist that others conform to their narrow worldview and parochial prejudices.”
Op-ed in the New Straits Times. The newspaper said while the arrests of the Hindraf protesters might be viewed as further proof that freedom of expression was denied, those who sought to ban the novel Interlok “are at liberty to make highbrow political pronouncements, assume the moral high ground and portray themselves as heroic dissidents against repressive rule”, and were “aggravating racial tensions by finding racism where there is none”.
The newspaper also claimed the word “pariah” in the book was not used in a derogatory way. It suggested that such controversial material remained in the classroom so that students could engage in critical inquiry and real-world issues. (Source: Misguided protests, New Straits Times, 28 Feb 2011)
“Although the number of protesters is not big, it will create an impression to tourists that there is a lot of conflict in the country.
“If we’re a civil society, then we should learn to air our problems in a civil manner.”
Chan Su Ling, 22, a student from Subang Jaya, commenting on the Hindraf protest in a report on the “inconvenience” caused by the rally. (Source: Roadblocks, traffic jams spoil weekend for KL folk, New Straits Times, 28 Feb 2011)
“We’ve had so many rallies in the city and they’ve done nothing but create traffic jams. It’s bad enough that we have to brave jams on weekdays. Please don’t do this on weekends, too.”
Lydia Teh, 26, from Ampang when asked to comment about the Hindraf rally. She told the New Straits Times that she had to take a train into the city rather than drive. “I had planned to shop for things for my new house and it will be impossible to carry them all by myself on the train. So I will have to take a taxi later, which is also a hassle in itself,” she added. (Source: Roadblocks, traffic jams spoil weekend for KL folk, New Straits Times, 28 Feb 2011)
“(a) every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression;
(b) all citizens have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms”
Article 10 of Malaysia’s Federal Constitution. (Source: Federal Constitution of Malaysia)
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
“Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.”
Articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Fitnah II: Penahanan Tak Sah, ‘Bukti Pendakwa Raya’ Perlu Ditolak

Dari Keadilan Daily

Karpal Singh menegaskan penahanan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim secara tidak sah dan pemerolehan DNA-nya secara tipu muslihat adalah alasan kukuh untuk Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur, menolak bukti yang mahu dikemukakan pendakwa raya.

Beliau berkata demikian dalam bicara dalam perbicaraan untuk menolak tuala ‘Good Morning’, botol air mineral ‘Cactus’ dan berus gigi sebagai bahan bukti perbicaraan kes Fitnah II.

Kata Karpal, penahanan Anwar pada 16 Julai 2008 bertentangan dengan Perkara 5(3) Perlembagaan Persekutuan serta Seksyen 28A(1) Kanun Acara Jenayah.

Beliau berkata, Superintendan Ahmad Taufik Abdullah – pegawai polis yang menahan Anwar gagal mengemukakan waran tangkap mahupun asas penahanan sewaktu Ketua Pembangkang itu ditahan.

“Mengikut Perkara 5(3) dan Seksyen 28A(1) Kanun Acara Jenayah, polis yang menahan seseorang tanpa waran, perlu memberitahu individu berkenaan asas penahanannya,” katanya.

Malah, katanya, Anwar menerusi peguam beliau, Sankara Nair sudah memberi jaminan kepada polis untuk hadir memberi keterangan pada jam 2 petang pada hari beliau ditahan secara tidak sah.

Selain itu, Karpal berkata, tuala ‘Good Morning’, botol air mineral ‘Cactus’ dan berus gigi – barangan diambil tanpa kebenaran Anwar sewaktu beliau tidak lagi berada di lokap.

Sedangkan, katanya, Seksyen 64 Kanun Acara Jenayah menyatakan polis perlu menyenarai barang-barang yang diambil daripada individu yang menghuni lokap manakala Seksyen 65 kanun sama menyebut, individu berkenaan perlu hadir sewaktu rampasan dibuat.

Karpal berhujah demikian pada hari ketiga bicara dalam perbicaraan, sebahagian kes Fitnah II yang cuba mensabitkan Anwar dengan tuduhan liwat – mengulangi wayang 1998.

Pertuduhan itu dipercayai sebahagian usaha terancang untuk menyekat kebangkitan Anwar dalam menyakinkan rakyat untuk menolak Barisan Nasional (BN) selepas kejayaan memimpin Pakatan Rakyat memenangi lima negeri dalam pilihan raya umum 2008.

Bali's Night of Demons


Image
Ogoh-ogoh. Gianyar, Bali.
(Asia Sentinel) On the night before Nyepi, the Balinese Day of Silence and the first day of the Balinese year, demons take to the streets

The full gallery of Balinese demons photographed by Robert Delfs can be found here: Ogoh-ogoh Gallery (Flash – 24 images)

Anyone visiting Bali is impressed not just by the artistry of formal paintings and sculpture or the architecture of palaces and temples, but also by the beauty and design evident in the ritual practice and craft of daily life. It is an aesthetic determined by the special nature (and dangers) of dealing with an unseen world.


image02
Balinese Hindu temple at Tanah Lot, Canggu, Bali.
Balinese dance and drama articulate a world in which forces of good and evil are always inextricably intertwined, participants in an epic struggle that is never resolved, either in the realm of everyday appearances or in the world of spirits and invisible forms.

And what possible role could benevolent spirits have, were it not for the constant threats from the dark side? Buta and kala are everyday demons — the kind that are liable to inflict suffering on humans when they are offended or ignored. Their afflictions may also occur or when the benevolent spirits humans generally rely upon become, for whatever reasons, distant or alienated.

When bad things happen to good people, the Balinese instinctively wonder which ritual observance was omitted. What spirit could have been so offended that such a disaster could happen? What usually benevolent being who usually can be counted on has withdrawn his or her support?

Keeping the denizens of the spirit world is a constant preoccupation in Balinese Hinduism. The costs of staying on the spirits’ good side, however, can add up to a significant drain on household budgets. The fees that must be paid to Brahman priests to conduct necessary rituals and sacrifices are not trivial. But most believe that neglecting the gods or skimping on offerings would be a false economy which could only lead to peril for themselves and their families.

It isn’t just a matter of providing good deities with appropriate offerings, rituals and dance. Evil spirits known to be dangerous must also be propitiated with their own special offerings and rituals as well. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to find some means to drive them or frighten them away.

Buta, which often figure into older traditional Balinese paintings, are typically represented as distorted or broken humans, often with missing or misplaced body parts — for example the head may be located below the groin — or in the same way as kala, with exaggerated human characteristics and "uncontrollable passions and hungers, especially greed and anger, represented by fangs, bulging eyes, and pot-bellies." (1) These beings are normally invisible, but for the Balinese, these horrific creatures are always all about.

The demonic aspect of Balinese dealings with the spirit world reaches its fullest expression on the day of the new (dark) moon of the spring equinox, the day before Nyepi, the Balinese Day of Silence and the first day of the Balinese year, which occurred last Saturday.

Nyepi is a day of quiet meditation and reflection. For 24 hours, almost all Balinese observe Tapa Berata Penyepian, or the "four restrictions" of no fire (or light), no work, no travel, and no indulgence in pleasure or entertainment.

A gentler regime is imposed on non-Hindus and non-Balinese. Bali’s international airport, ports and ferry terminals are closed for 24 hours over Nyepi. Patrolling wardens keep the streets empty of all traffic except ambulances responding to life-threatening emergencies or childbirths. All are required to remain inside their homes for the entire day. Tourists staying at hotels may conduct themselves more or less as they please, but are not allowed to leave the grounds of their hotels. No musical performances or other loud activities are permitted.

On February 28, Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika urged Balinese to use the occasion of Nyepi for introspection and self-examination so as to "to refine the soul full of passion and desire". A former head of the regional police, Governor Pastika established an international reputation when he headed the successful investigation, arrests and convictions after the terrorist bombings in Bali by members of the hardline militant group Jemaah Islamiah in October 2002.

"From Bali, religious harmony can be transmitted to the [other] affected areas in Indonesia so as to realize a peaceful and prosperous serenity," Pastika said, noting that members of the international community and non-Hindu people in Bali have great respect for Hindus who perform Tapa Berata Penyepian.(2)


image03
Ogoh-ogoh, Gianyar, Bali
But the governor also warned against allowing pre-Nyepi ritual processions and festivities to degenerate into unrest.

"Do not let the parade of ogoh-ogoh carried by youths develop into conflicts or seeking revenge among citizens of different banjar (3)," the governor said. Such incidents are rare, but can occasionally occur when inter-banjar rivalries and resentments get out of hand.

On the evening of the day before Nyepi, people all over Bali engage in noisy exorcism rites to drive away the buta and kala, starting in their homes and proceeding to join together at crossroads in villages and towns. Led by Brahman priests and accompanied by gamelan orchestras, people carry torches and beat drums and gongs, shouting "Get out" to the demons.

Ogoh-ogoh are larger-than-life-size effigies of demons and monsters. Mounted on racks lashed together from bamboo poles, the ogoh-ogoh are carried by groups of young men in processions through the streets to the crossroads where they meet ogoh-ogoh carried by youths from other banjar, while other people shout, throw firecrackers, and fire noisemakers that resemble small cannons.
image04
Young boys working on their ogoh-ogoh. (The bicycle spokes are made from soda straws; the chain from a long string of purple beads.

For weeks before the event, (mostly) young men and boys all over Bali have been feverishly engaged in constructing the ogoh-ogoh, while older and more prosperous banjar members contribute small sums to pay for materials. Most ogoh-ogoh are constructed from bamboo and paper-mâché, but nowadays some are assembled from sculpted blocks of polystyrene foam or other materials, the painted and decorated or clothed. It is worth stressing that the young men and boys who create these incredible objects are, in most cases, not professional artists; they are residents of the same village, or neighbors in the major city of Denpasar or other towns.

image05
Jero Luh, Consort of the Fanged Lord.
In recent years, ogoh-ogoh artists have also become more creative and innovative in their choice of subject matter. Classic ogoh-ogoh are designed to resemble specific evil spirits and demons, the most important of which are Jero Gede Mecaling, the "Fanged Lord", who dwells in the Temple of Ped on the nearby island of Nusa Penida with his grotesquely lascivious, long-tonged consort Jero Luh (who can be easily recognized as she is usually dressed in white). It is the Fanged Lord and his evil subjects who are considered responsible for bringing illness, disorder and calamity to Bali, particularly during the rainy season over the last three months of the Balinese year before Nyepi.

Even with such standard subjects, however, there is a bewildering variety of styles and approaches.

image06
She's read Elizabeth Gilbert's book "Eat, Pray, Love"
But there also also ogoh-ogoh which express social and political themes. Some are models of living figures — and here it should be noted that becoming the model for an ogoh-ogoh is not generally considered a sign of admiration or respect. And some ogoh-ogoh also represent characters of interest who have influenced life on Bali, such as foreign tourists, hippie surfers, or westernized Indonesian youths.

Gayus Tambunan is the subject depicted by numerous ogoh-ogoh in Bali this year. Tambunan is an Indonesian tax official who was recently sentenced to prison for seven years on charges of bribery and corruption, including bribing his way out of some earlier bribery charges. The fact that he managed to travel to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Macao and Bali (to attend the Commonwealth Tennis Tournament) last year when he was supposed to under detention at a Jakarta jail has badly embarrassed the Indonesian government.

image07
Ogoh-ogoh depicting disgraced tax official Gayus Tambunan and a policeman
But even more embarrassing were Gayus’ revelations that other senior tax officials and high-ranking police officers conspired to help major Indonesian companies evade taxes and/or avoid penalties for tax offenses, at an estimated cost to the Indonesian Treasury of Rp 1.52 trillion (US$171.8 million). Investigations into the full ramifications of the case continue. (The ogoh-ogoh shown above depicts Gayus wearing the long-haired wig he used when travelling abroad and to Bali using a false passport. Note the (real) money stuck into his waistband and held in one hand of the running policeman.

image08
Another ogoh-ogoh representing Gayus Tambunan. Not much of a resemblance, but the point is clear enough.
The pre-Nyepi exorcism ceremonies concluded with the ogoh-ogoh being borne back to the banjar temples where they were made, to be burned in bonfires, though nowadays a few ogoh-ogoh are given a brief extension of life to remain at the banjar temples for a few weeks.

After the ogoh-ogoh have gone up in smoke, it is time to return home to clean house and also to prepare food in advance for the next day. At 6 am, Bali’s Day of Silence begins.


Notes
1. Margaret J. Wiener, Visible and Invisible Realms: Power, Magic and Colonial Conquest in Bali, University of Chicago Press (1995), pp. 52-54. See also Clifford Geertz, Negara: The Theater State in Nineteenth Century Bali, Princeton University Press (1980).
2. Hendra Rayana, "The Governor expects this year’s Nyepi to be enable Balinese to refine their souls’ desires", Bali Post (28 February 2011)
3. Banjar are autonomous village and neighborhood organizations which combine local administration, social and religious functions. Typically comprising 50 to 250 households with male heads of households representing each family, the banjar leaders adjudicate issues of adat (traditional) law, handle disputes and exercise local decision-making powers. See Robert Pringle, A Short History of Bali: Indonesia’s Hindu Realm, Allen & Unwin (2004).


Ogoh-ogoh Gallery (Flash – 24 images)

Lokap Malaysia menyimpan 'jenayah' terpendam



ini pula ialah petikan yang di ambil mengenai pengalaman benar dari lokap untuk kita berfikir. penulis pengalaman minta dirahsiakan identiti



"a
Baru-baru ini aku mengalami kejadian yang paling teruk dalam kehidupanku. Polis telah tersalah tangkap aku.Mereka menuduh aku melakukan janayah. Walaupun telah dilepaskan namun kesan itu amat mendalam kepada keluarga dan aku sendiri.

Jam 12.45 malam sepasukan polis telah megetuk pintu rumahku dan mengajakku untuk ke balai. Aku dengan rela menurut kehendaknya. Alasan diberi untuk disoal siasat. Alangkah terkejutnya apabila mereka menahan aku di lokap. Inilah kali pertama aku mengalami kejadian itu. Bermulalah episod ngeri dalam hidupku.

HARI PERTAMA
Jam 3.00 pagi - Aku melangkah masuk kedalam lokap.Aku disumbat ke sel no.1.Seramai 15 penghuni disana.Tiada tempat untuk tidur menyebabkan aku terpaksa berdiri sepanjang malam.
Jam 5.00 pagi - Di sediakan makan sahur berlaukkan ikan kerisi (yang layak dibuat baja) dan segelas air teh di isi dalam gelas yang penuh lumut.Kuahnya adalah kuah asam yang sudah basi.Nak tak nak aku terpaksa makan walaupun sikit untuk mengalas perut untuk puasa esoknya.

Hari Kedua
Jam 10.00 pagi - Aku terus di bawa kehadapan hakim untuk di tahan reman bagi membantu siasatan.Aku hairan membantu siasatan pun harus ditahan di lokap.

Jam 7.00 petang- Setelah satu hari dalam lokap tanpa sebarang siasatan,waktu berbuka pun tiba.Aku lihat makanan yang di sediakan di hadapan mata.nasi putih,seketul ikan tongkol sebesar ibu jari dan sedikit sayur yang sudah basi.Hanya beberapa suap saja yang sanggup ku telan, selebihnya dibuang.

Jam 5.00 Pagi - Sepanjang malam aku tidak dapat melelap mata akibat keadaan penghuni yang amat ramai dan nyamuk yang terlalu banyak. Semasa sahur,makanan disediakan adalah seperti menu berbuka tadi tapi kali ini ikannya tidak masak dan sudah buruk dan berbau semacam namun terpaksa ku telan sedikit saja.

Hari Ketiga

Jam 10.00 pagi - Aku telah dinafikan hak untuk menelefon keluarga di luar.Dalam kerisauan itu adalah seorang penghuni sel menyarankan aku berjumpa seorang polis yang menjaga lokap jika ingin menelefon namun mesti membayar duit kopi kepadanya.Walaupun berat hati namun aku terpaksa memberinya.Wang sudah tidak ada makna ketika itu.

Jam 7.00 petang- Menu berbuka rasa nak muntah dimana isinya adalah ikan tongkol dan sayur malam tadi.

Jam 5.00 - sudah tiga hari aku tidak dapat tidur kerana terlalu ramai orang kena tahan dan nyamuk.Makanan sahur seperti biasa semuanya tidak semacam makanan aje.


Di atas adalah catatan beberapa hari aku di lokap.catatan lengkap selama enam hari aku di lokap biarlah menjadi tauladan pada aku.Namun beberapa perkara yang aku ingin ketengahkan adalah:
1)Kenapa harus apabila di tahan kita dianggap salah sehingga mahkamah menyatakan tidak bersalah.
2)Kenapa hak-hak kita sebagai manusia di nafikan sewenangnya?
3)Kenapa makanan yang di sediakan terlalu teruk sehingga kucing pun tidak mahu makan makanan tersebut?
4)Kenapa dibiarkan penagih HIV POSITIF di campurkan bersama dengan tahanan yang tidak terlibat dalam dadah?
5)Kenapa dibela nyamuk di dalam lokap yang mana orang tahanan di haramkan memakai baju hanya seluar lokap saja?
6)Kenapa kerana urusan siasatan saja seseorang itu harus direman tanpa sebarang bukti?
7)Kenapa harus diseksa tahanan untuk mendapatkan pengakuan ?
8)Kenapa harus berlaku rasuah dilokap sedangkan lencana intengriti adalah satu kebanggaan polis?
9)Kenapa harus mengharamkan keluarga untuk berjumpa apabila seseorang kena tahan?
10)Kenapa Polis merasakan kuasanya terlalu besar sehingga tidak mahu mendengar jawapan yang tidak menjuruskan kepada kesalahan itu?

Aku harap agar rencana ini di jadikan tauladan dan aku berharap agar aku mendapat keadilan setelah kehilangan enam hari yang dirampas kejam oleh kekuasaan yang tidak di bendung.Ingat POLIS adalah penjaga keselamatan bukannya tiket untuk kekayaan.Jika trend ini berterusan tiadalah istilah tidak bersalah kerana paksaan di gunakan untuk mendapat pengakuaan.....fikirkanlah dengan serius.....