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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Explosions rock Libyan capital

Loud explosions have rocked the Libyan capital, Tripoli, for a third night as forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi attempt to stop any new attack from an international military coalition enforcing a no-fly zone over the country.

Gunfire and anti-aircraft fire also lit up the sky late on Monday in and around the capital, where two large explosions could be heard about 10 minutes apart shortly after 9pm, Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught, reporting from Tripoli, said.

She said two naval bases just outside the city had reportedly been hit in the strikes.

"We could see an area of the port on fire, substantially on fire, two big blazes. We saw fire engines racing along the coastal road.

"This evening seems to have been about targeting seaborne military assets of Gaddafi's army, but also we are given to understand [there was] an attack on the airport at Sirte."

Mussa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, told a news conference that coalition bombardment had killed civilians in port areas and at Sirte airport, and bombarded the southern town of Sebha, a bastion of Gaddafi's Guededfa tribe.

Our correspondent said it was difficult to immediately confirm the government claims.

"We expect at some point if the casualties are as significant as the Libyans are assuring us they are, there will be some opportunity to verify that for ourselves," she said.

'Military aggression'

Meanwhile, international coalition forces reportedly struck radar installations at two air defence bases belonging to Gaddafi's forces in Benghazi in eastern Libya.

The developments came as the UN Security Council rejected a Libyan request for an emergency meeting to halt what it called "military aggression" by coalition forces three days after they began launching strikes aimed at disabling Libyan air defences.

The council decided instead to hold a briefing already planned for Thursday by UN secretary-general Ban
Ki-moon on how the resolution that set up the zone to protect civilians in Libya is being implemented.

Despite the air strikes, forces loyal to Gaddafi have reportedly made gains and continue to fight on.

Libyan government spokesman Ibrahim said Misurata, Libya's third city 214km east of Tripoli, was "liberated three days ago" and that Gaddafi's forces were hunting "terrorist elements".

But a spokesman for opposition fighters in the city told the AFP news agency that the opposition remained in control despite an onslaught by Gaddafi loyalists, who he said opened fire with tanks and set snipers on roofs to gun down people in the streets.

"Casualties fell in their dozens," after snipers and a tank "fired on demonstrators", the spokesman said.

A medic in Misurata confirmed a death toll of 40 and said at least 300 people had been wounded.

The opposition spokesman said Gaddafi's troops "have taken up position along the main road where they have deployed three tanks, as well as positioning snipers on rooftops".

Western town bombarded

Gaddafi forces also reportedly bombarded the western town of Zintan for several hours before noon.

"Several houses have been destroyed and a mosque minaret was also brought down," Abdulrahmane Daw told the Reuters news agency by phone from the town.

"New forces were sent today to besiege the city. There are now at least 40 tanks at the foothills of the mountains near Zintan."

There was also fierce fighting further east in Ajdabiya. Opposition fighters were seen retreating in the face of an attack by government forces.

Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley, reporting from an area close to Ajdabiya, said there had been clashes outside the city.

"There's been heavy fighting and heavy shelling going on ... the rebels told me there have been heavy casualties and there are a number of corpses between here and the town [of Ajdabiya] that they have been unable to reach."

He said the road between the eastern city of Benghazi and Ajdabiya was littered with the "burned-out wreckage of what was Gaddafi's armour and tanks", destroyed in air raids by coalition forces.

Government troops retreated 100km from Benghazi, the opposition stronghold, after fierce strafing by coalition aircraft destroyed much of their armour, AFP reported.

Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

Ibrahim Ali wants ministry to reconsider Indian workers approval

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — The Home Ministry has been urged to review the decision to bring in 45,000 workers from India to solve the shortage of workers faced by local Indian business operators.

Lawmakers generally felt that the government should study whether there was a real, urgent need for such a big number of workers from India.

Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Independent-Pasir Mas) said such a big number was a security concern as there were already too many foreign workers in this country.

He was interjecting the winding-up of the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address for the Home Ministry by its deputy minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S.Subramaniam had early this month said that the government had approved the hiring of 45,000 workers from India to solve the shortage of workers faced by local Indian business operators.

Ibrahim’s views were shared by Datuk Mohamed Aziz (BN-Sri Gading). “I’m actually worried that there might be another agenda,” he said.

Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) said the 24-hour operations of several restaurants required the recruitment of many foreign workers.

Therefore, he said, the authorities should consider whether it was appropriate for eateries be allowed to operate round the clock while the government was trying to reduce dependence on foreign labour.

“I urge the government to review the 24-hour operations of restaurants as bringing in more foregn workers to meet the need in this sector will have social and health implications on the Malaysian public,” he said.

The Dewan Rakyat sitting will continue today. — Bernama

Video seks: Anwar buat laporan polis

Kira-kira 70 penyokong turut memberikan sokongan malah kedengaran mereka melaungkan 'Hancur Fitnah' dan 'Hidup Anwar'.
KUALA LUMPUR: Ketua Umum PKR Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim  membuat laporan polis berhubung dakwaan penglibatan beliau dalam video lucah yang ditayangkan di Carcosa Seri Negara semalam.
Beliau hadir kira-kira jam 10.35 pagi di Ibu PejabaT Polis Daerah Dang Wangi di sini  ditemani isteri yang juga Presiden PKR Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Turut hadir pemimpin PKR seperti bekas Timbalan Presiden Syed Husin Ali, Ketua AMK Shamsul Iskandar Mad Akin, bekas Naib Presiden PKR yang juga ahli parlimen Subang R Sivarasa dan Naib presiden N Surendran.  Bekas Menteri Besar Perak Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin juga hadir.
Kira-kira 70 penyokong turut memberikan sokongan malah kedengaran mereka melaungkan ‘Hancur Fitnah’ dan ‘Hidup Anwar’.

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Secret polls reveal Taib will lose

Taib Mahmud who sees himself as Singapore's elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew, is seeking a 'seat warmer' until a son can assume his political seat.

KUALA LUMPUR: A secret sampling of 2,000 voters from each constituency has shown that Chief Minister Taib Mahmud will lose his seat and that the Barisan Nasional (BN) will crash out in Sarawak.

The results of the polls by Taib’s Information Department has terrified both Putrajaya and the ruling household in Petrajaya, Kuching.

According to a source, BN is deperately trying to keep the fact that Taib’s Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) would lose at least 14 of his 35 seats and that Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) would see its demise.

SUPP president George Chan “will lose 90% of its current votes, amounting to 10 out of its 12 seats”.

According to the source, these “seats are not in the grey areas” but in areas considered safe”.

The other two BN allies, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) led by James Masing and Sarawak Democratic Progressive Party (SPDP) helmed by William Mawan, will lose at least one seat each.

The BN team in Kuching is coming to terms with the fact that it may lose at least 33 seats out of the 71 and that the real outcome may be even worse.

Seat warmer

Online blog Sarawak Report summised that this was the reason for the unprecedented appearance of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin in Kuching last weekend.

According to the report, both leaders came to Kuching to force Taib to step down.

“I have seen them (the results) with my own eyes. In this election, Najib and Muhyiddin know that it is inevitable that Taib will lose.

“He is finished… the results from BN’s secret polls is devastating. Najib and Muhyiddin came down to tell Taib there is not going to to be anymore compromises,” said an insider.

The report also noted that Taib, 74, had apparently managed to negotiate terms with the KL leaders on the basis that he called for immediate election and left office once a “transition period” had established a suitable successor.

The report confirms observations received by FMT that Taib is looking for a “seat warmer” until he can groom one of his sons.

“Taib sees himself as Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew and he is looking for a Goh (Chok Tong) to hold the seat for one of his two sons – Kota Samarahan MP Sulaiman Rahman and his older businessman Mahmud Abu Bekir.

“Sulaiman seems the likeliest to make a comeback but I will not discount Mahmud because Taib needs someone who can save and preserve his business empire first,” said the observer.

Most challenging

Sulaiman,a political greenhorn, won the Kota Samarahan seat in the 2006 polls on his father’s influence. He was later appointed deputy tourism minister but quit the post suddenly in December 2009 after being unable (according to official word) to cope with his mother’s death earlier.

He has gone missing in action since and also has not been seen at his constituency.

“Taib already has a list of people who are willing to hold the fort for another two or three years. It’s now a matter of who he will trust more,” said the observer.

Meanwhile, Sarawak State Legislative Assembly officially dissolved yesterday paving the way for what has been touted to be Taib’s most challenging state polls ever.

Taib has left it to the Election Commission to decide on the dates for nomination and polling. Rumours are that nomination could be on April 9 and election a week later.

This will be Sarawak’s 10th state elelction. Taib, who came into politics in the 1970s, assumed the post of chief minister in 1981 and has held the seat for 30 years.

In the 2006 state election, BN won 62 of the 71 seats in the state assembly.

Analyst have predicted that Taib could lose more seats this time round.

Bouquets and brickbats for Palanivel’s 100 days

G Palanivel has received A- and B- for his performance as MIC president but he has yet to undergo a baptism of fire.

PETALING JAYA: G Palanivel became the eighth MIC president, succeeding S Samy Vellu on Dec 6, last year.

Shortly after that, he roped in people who had issues with Samy Vellu back into the party such as former Petaling Jaya Selatan division leader, Barat Maniam.

One key issue for the community itself was the controversial Form Five Bahasa novel, Interlok.

Lately, he urged poor Indians who cannot eke out a living in urban settings to return to the estates.

The young guns in MIC sang words of praises for their president in conjunction with his 100 days into power.

MIC secretary-general, S Murugesan, told FMT that “Palanivel is more accommodating, inclusive, focused and open in his own way”.

Murugesan, who was appointed secretary-general during Samy Vellu’s time, was given the boot in May 2010 after going against the former president.

He was reinstated shortly after Palanivel became party chief.

MIC Youth chief T Mohan also echoed Murugesan’s appraisal, confirming the cordial relationship that the wing has with Palanivel.

“Our Youth wing is strongly backing our president,” said Mohan.

Scandal-free man

Party veterans also gave him accolades.

Former party vice-president, KS Nijhar, when contacted, said that Palanivel was able to win back Indian votes and unite the community.

Palanivel’s greatest asset, in Nijhar’s words, is that “he is scandal-free and can be trusted to lead the party and the community with just values”.

Former party secretary-general G Vadiveloo was rather reluctant to comment as he is no longer in the party’s central working committee.

Nevertheless, he said: “Palanivel has not done much in his 100 days and his recent back-to-estate proposal is mired in controversy.”

Baptism of fire

Similarly, analysts too had positive words for Palanivel.

KS Balakrishnan, a political analyst based in Universiti Malaya, gave Palanivel a B- whereas P Sivamurugan, who is deputy dean of humanities in Universiti Sains Malaysia, gave him an A- for his performance thus far.

However, both agreed that Palanivel’s baptism of fire would come at the next general election.

Sivamurugan also had a word of caution for Palanivel:

“He should also focus on education, small and medium enterprises and other business opportunities instead of Tamil schools and Hindu temples as it would help to rope in young Indian professionals.”

A 100 days of failure

Meanwhile, opposition law-makers had less than sweet words for Palanivel.

Kapar MP S Manikavasagam of PKR dubbed Palanivel’s 100 days as a “failure”.

“He is worse than Samy Vellu as he is telling Indians to go back to estates. Samy Vellu brought Indians out.”

Palanivel was also criticised for not taking a firm stand on the controversial Interlok issue.

Klang MP Charles Santiago of DAP summed up the MIC chief’s 100 days: “A 100 days full of blunder, silence and lack of leadership.”

On relations within the party, Santiago said: “Palanivel has driven a wedge between his supporters and those of Samy Vellu.”

MELAYU OH MELAYU

1.Saya sedih. Saya amat sedih apabila mendengar seorang orang Melayu yang mendakwa dia kecewa kerana dianya dilahir berbangsa Melayu.

2. Kekecewaannya disebabkan dia tidak dilahir hanya sebagai orang Islam.

3. Sesungguhnya tidak ada manusia yang dilahir tidak berbangsa. Mungkin ada yang tidak bernegara (stateless) tetapi mereka juga mempunyai bangsa, walaupun tidak diiktiraf oleh negara mereka sendiri. Jika dianya daripada kaum pendatang maka dianya akan menjadi bangsa kaum pendatang.

4. Jika dianya dilahir dalam masyarakat Orang Asli sekalipun dia tidak dapat lari daripada menjadi anggota suku kaum berkenaan.

5. Sesuatu bangsa itu dikenali dengan tempat tinggalnya, atau tempat dan negara asalnya, bahasanya dan budayanya. Anutan agama tidak selalunya dikaitkan dengan bangsa.

6. Demikian ada orang Arab yang beragama Kristian, walaupun majoriti beragama Islam. Demikian juga orang Cina ada yang beragama Islam walaupun majoriti beragama Buddha.

7. Justeru itu kelahiran seseorang tetap berbangsa walaupun tidak tetap agamanya. Sebaliknya orang yang dilahirkan kepada keluarga Islam tidak semestinya berbangsa tertentu. Majoriti daripada mereka berbangsa yang berlainan.

8. Walaupun demikian dalam dunia ini terdapat dua bangsa yang bangsanya ditentukan oleh agama Islamnya. Bangsa-bangsa ini ialah bangsa Maldives dan Melayu. Seseorang yang dilahir dalam keluarga Melayu tetap Islam kerana keluarga itu tidak akan berbangsa Melayu jika mereka tidak Islam.

9. Justeru itu berbahagialah seseorang yang dilahir dalam keluarga Melayu kerana dia tetap menjadi penganut agama Islam. Jika dia dilahir kepada keluarga Arab, atau Indonesia, atau Pakistan, belum tentu dia beragama Islam.

10. Sebab itulah seorang Melayu harus bersyukur kerana dilahir berbangsa Melayu. Apabila orang Melayu berasa dia kecewa kerana berbangsa Melayu, maka ini bermakna dia tidak menghargai nasibnya yang baik kerana dia dilahir sebagai orang Islam. Jika tidak kemungkinan besar dia tidak akan terima agama Islam.

11. Kenapakah kita berbangsa-bangsa? Al-Quran menyebut yang kita manusia terdiri daripada berbagai-bagai bangsa. Jika bangsa adalah sesuatu yang bertentangan dengan ajaran Islam, tentu sekali Tuhan tidak akan menjadikan manusia berbagai bangsa.

12. Yang terbaik daripada manusia bukankah kerana bangsanya tetapi kerana dia bertakwa kepada Allah s.w.t. Yang terbaik atau yang terburuk dikalangan orang Melayu bukanlah kerana bangsanya tetapi kerana dia bertakwa dan mengikuti ajaran Islam atau tidak mengamalkan ajaran Islam. Tidak disebut bahawa yang terbaik ialah orang Islam yang tidak daripada apa-apa bangsa.

13. Justeru itu berbangsa apa pun, Arab atau Ajam, tidak menidak ke-Islamannya. Yang menidak ke-Islaman ialah perbuatan yang bercanggah dengan ajaran Islam.

14. Ini yang harus disoal oleh seorang orang Islam dan bukan menidakkan bangsanya. Lagipun kalau dianya beragama Islam kebaikannya tidak terjamin. Ramai benar orang Islam yang melanggar ajaran Islam dan membuat dosa. Sebaliknya yang berbangsa Melayu dan beragama Islam, ramai yang menurut ajaran Islam dan mengelak daripada berbuat dosa.

15. Mentaati dan bersetia kepada bangsa Melayu, iaitu bangsa yang hanya Melayu jika dianya Islam, tidak bermakna menolak agama Islam. Sebaliknya kesetiaan dan ketaatan orang Melayu kepada agama Islam lebih terjamin. Walaupun biasa terdengar ada orang Melayu yang tinggalkan agama Islam, tetapi tidak ada bukti yang jelas berkenaan dengan adanya orang ini. Lagipun jika dia meninggalkan agama Islam dia tidak Melayu lagi. 

‘Interlok’ and Our Tragic Reality

by Kee Thuan Chye

I HAVEN’T read Interlok by Abdullah Hussain, but some of those who have, accuse it of racial stereotyping and derogating Chinese and Indian Malaysians while others say it is a novel that calls for inter-racial unity. The interpretations appear so poles apart that one might wonder if they are talking about the same novel.

I suppose how we read it would depend to a considerable extent on our racial background and predispositions. And these have been so coloured by the politicisation of race that has been at the centre of Malaysian life for so long that they will not be easy to shake off. Our biases die hard.

I’m always on the side of literary freedom. If a writer expresses a view that I am vehemently against, I would nonetheless defend his right to say it. At the same time, I would exercise my right to critique it. I believe this is the best approach to any discourse. Even if, in the process, people get offended.

If Abdullah Hussain has derogated certain races, his detractors should acknowledge that it is objectionable, even wrong, but at the same time, they should recognise that it merely reveals his true feelings towards other races.

We cannot always be politically correct; nor need we be. In fact, in literature, political correctness results not only in weak writing but also – far worse – untruthful sentiment.

I also believe that we must consider context. Artistic creations like novels, short stories, plays and films are constructs – and, therefore, fiction. Even works based on real-life people and events are essentially fiction; they are dramatisations, and the act of dramatising real-life events turns them into fictional constructs. Therefore, when we engage with them, we have to be aware of their parameters.

If characters of a certain race behave in a horrible manner in a novel or a play or a film, it should not be concluded that they reflect the race they belong to and that their rotten characteristics are common to that race. They are merely characters in a fictional work, exhibiting human traits that are not the monopoly of any one race. Whether you are Polynesian or Mongolian, you can be greedy or unscrupulous or sadistic.

Malaysians, however, tend to take the simplistic view that if an Indian is villainous in a novel or a film, it must imply that most if not all Indians are villains. Or that if a Malay is shown in a play as someone who likes to drink and often frequents pubs, it must imply that most if not all Malays like alcohol. Because of this myopic view, we often hear of how the image of a race has been tarnished because of such depictions.

It stems from nothing more than ultra-sensitivity, a condition afflicted on Malaysians by the unrelenting politicisation of the issue of race. And the effect of this on Malaysian writers, theatre people and film-makers is that it puts them in a ridiculous dilemma. They can’t portray an Indian prostitute without incurring the wrath of some Indians. They can’t have a Chinese drug baron because some members of the Chinese community might protest. They can’t have a Malay character who philanders like a bullfrog in heat because that would paint a negative image of Malays, who are supposed to be pious Muslims, even if in reality that is not always so.

In the case of Interlok, the objections have centred on the unflattering (some say, demeaning) portrayals of the Indian and Chinese characters in the novel. The most obvious objections are of the use of the word “pariah” in relation to the Indian characters and their representation as being from a low caste, and the depiction of the Chinese as being self-serving, to the extent that a poverty-stricken Chinese character says if he had a daughter, he would sell her. The Chinese are reportedly shown to be interested mainly in making money, even without caring for scruples.

I hope the objectors have considered all these strictly in the context of the novel and asked whether there is evidence in the text to show that Abdullah Hussain means to say that all Indians are pariah and that all Chinese sell their daughters and are money-grabbing. Outside of that, does it degrade the entire Chinese race if a fictional Chinese character is forced to sell his own daughter or to be obsessed with making money if he has known nothing but the famine and poverty of immigrant life?

The objectors also take umbrage against the numerous descriptions of the Chinese as having sepet eyes and fat bodies. They conclude that these and the abovementioned traits cohere with the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) agenda of promoting Ketuanan Melayu and degrading the other races. Is there a case to be made from this novel written 40 years ago that Abdullah Hussain actually hates the Chinese?

The questions to be answered are many. In view of this, the overriding concern of the objectors is whether Interlok should be made a compulsory text for Malay Literature in Form 5, whether it should be let loose on 17-year-olds who might not be discerning enough to separate fiction from reality.

The Government response so far has been to agree to edit out some parts of the novel, including the objectionable p-word. But if that is to be done, what are the repercussions?

First, it shows disrespect for a literary work. More significant than that, it compromises literary freedom. If I were Abdullah Hussain, I would unequivocally say no to that. I don’t know if he was ever consulted, but he should have been. The author must be allowed the last say. If he disagrees, he should be the one with the option to withdraw the text.

Ultimately, the Government needs to ask itself why it should still insist on pushing the novel through when these compromises have to be made. Why add to the mess arising from an issue that is already so contentious? Unless it is concerned that Abdullah Hussain will be unfairly deprived, it could easily look for a substitute text.

It should also ask whether Interlok itself is of sufficient literary merit to deserve being included as a compulsory school text. I can’t answer that as I haven’t read it, but looking at a synopsis of it and the passages quoted from the book by its critics, I would hazard that it is melodramatic and outdated in literary expression. I stand to be proven wrong.

When all is said and done, what can we derive from this entire controversy?

I think we all need to grow up – and grow out of our fixation on race. But the problem of course is that the ruling regime itself is the one that has been perpetuating racial divisiveness in order to remain in power – and that makes it all the more complex.

More and more, non-Malays are feeling they are being disenfranchised despite the lip service being paid by the Government to the 1Malaysia slogan. They have been called pendatang, told even by officials to go back to the countries of their ancestors, reminded by even personages like Mahathir Mohamad that this is the land of the Malays. Thus, more and more, they feel they need to resist when they are pushed against the wall.

Even if there were no sinister BTN-like agenda behind the inclusion of Interlok as a compulsory school text, the Government has been so deep in its practice of divide-and-rule that the sceptics would not believe otherwise.

With regard to Interlok, I think it is better that we educate our children so that they know how to distinguish between fiction and reality, so that they understand that it is the right of everyone to express what he or she believes, and that they too have the right to disagree with what is expressed. If our students are thus enlightened, they will read Interlok with eyes wide open and not agree with everything it says. They will resist its discourse. And that is also part of the learning process.

Unfortunately, however, we live in a society that has been psychologically damaged when it comes to the issue of race. And it will take a government that eschews racial politics and a lot of time to set us right again. Unfortunately, too, that is not fiction – but tragic reality.

MB cabar bawa ke mahkamah

Utusan Malaysia
Oleh ABDUL YAZID ALIAS

SHAH ALAM 21 Mac – Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim mencabar kira-kira 4,000 penduduk Orang Asli Suku Temuan di Mukim Tanjung 12, Kuala Langat supaya membawa ke mahkamah sekiranya yakin tanah yang didakwa diceroboh untuk perlombongan pasir adalah milik mereka.

Beliau berkata, penduduk Orang Asli di kawasan berkenaan boleh berbuat demikian sebagai salah satu cara untuk memastikan mereka memiliki tanah berkenaan atau sebaliknya.

Abdul Khalid juga turut meminta Orang Asli terbabit membuat semakan di Pejabat Tanah dan Daerah (PTD) Kuala Langat bagi mengenal pasti status hak milik tanah mereka yang didakwa melibatkan keluasan 7,243 hektar di Mukim Tanjung 12 dengan sebahagian besarnya terletak dalam Hutan Simpan Kuala Langat Utara.

Pada masa sama beliau menyatakan, kerajaan negeri juga sudah mengarahkan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri (SUK), Datuk Mohammed Khusrin Munawi untuk meneliti dan membuat semakan status pemilikan tanah di kawasan berkenaan.

‘‘Saya difahamkan tanah berkenaan (perlombongan pasir) telah diwartakan di bawah pemilikan Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Selangor (PKPS) lebih 10 tahun lalu.

‘‘Namun, mereka (Orang Asli) boleh membuat semakan di PTD Kuala Langat atau merujuk kepada Exco berkenaan. Kalau ada pertikaian, bawa ke mahkamah,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas menghadiri Majlis Penghargaan Jabatan-jabatan Teknikal Negeri Selangor di sini, hari ini.

Abdul Khalid mengulas mengenai laporan Utusan Malaysia pada 18 Mac lalu yang menyatakan Kerajaan Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Selangor didakwa ‘memunggah’ hasil milik Orang Asli di kawasan seluas 7,243 hektar di Mukim Tanjung 12, Kuala Langat.

Mukim Tanjung 12 membabitkan tujuh buah kampung yang diwartakan dalam Hutan Simpan Kuala Langat Utara iaitu Kampung Orang Asli Pulau Kempas, Bukit Cheeding, Bukit Kecil, Bukit Perah, Busut Baru, Tanjung Rabok dan Bukit Kamandol.

Tanah tersebut merupakan tanah warisan, tanah adat dan tanah rayau kepada kira-kira 4,000 penduduk Orang Asli Temuan sejak ratusan tahun lalu dan telah diwartakan sebagai tanah simpanan Sakai sejak 1927 selain merupakan kawasan penempatan utama suku Temuan di negara ini.

Difahamkan Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli (JHEOA) pada 25 Januari tahun lalu telah mengeluarkan pengesahan bahawa Mukim Tanjung 12 adalah kawasan Orang Asli berdasarkan keputusan Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri (MMKN) pada 29 November 1965.

Saifuddin: Allow 18-year-olds to vote

The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Malaysians who are 18 years of age should be allowed to vote in the general election, said Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said Malaysia was among only 12 nations, including Singapore, with a 21-year-old minimum voting age.

“We want Malaysia to be among the more democratic countries,” he added.

If an 18-year-old can obtain a driver’s licence and enter into a contract, he said he saw no reason why he or she was not mature enough to vote.

He said this at the 1st International Conference on Globalisation, Governance and Sustainability for Youth in ASEAN 2011 at Universiti Sains Malaysia here yesterday.

He said those who argued that youths were not matured enough to vote were themselves immature.

He said students had a right to have critical views.

“This is positive because to critic is to seek knowledge.

“We cannot label students who are critical as anti-establishment,” he said.

Malaysia Supports Saudi Arabia, GCC's Peace Initiatives In Bahrain

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia supports the actions of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries towards achieving peace, reconciliation and long-term stability in Bahrain.

"We fully back all sovereign decisions taken by our GCC allies which have the aim of safeguarding stability and security in the region to ensure harmony and peace for their citizens.

"Malaysia denounces any terrorist-linked group that undermines the stability and security of the country," the prime minister said in a statement here.

He made this remark during a meeting with Saudi Arabia's National Security Council secretary-general, Prince Bandar Sultan Abdulaziz Al-Saud, who was sent as a special envoy to deliver several key messages from the ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Saud, on Monday.

Among the issues discussed were security and terrorism in the GCC and Southeast Asia.

The two leaders agreed to denounce all acts of terrorism and terrorist-linked groups "in attempting to incite government instability that threatens national security, harmony and peace for the citizens of both Saudi Arabia and Malaysia."

Prince Bandar also delivered King Abdullah's well wishes to Najib and said that the Ruler was extremely pleased with the close friendship between both countries under the prime minister's leadership, the statement said.

Meanwhile, a potential multi-million dollar economic cooperation package for both countries was discussed, with details to be worked out and announced in due course.

Najib said: "We are pleased with our wide-ranging economic activities with Saudi Arabia thus far and expect to take a major step in further cementing this long-term partnership."

Najib said he was also pleased to note that PetroSaudi distributed an additional cash profit of US$8.15 million to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in conjunction with Prince Bandar's visit.

Anwar: I'm not the man in the sex video

U.S. official: Gadhafi's momentum stopped


Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's momentum has been stopped and rebels have been able to hold onto areas that Gadhafi's forces had been poised to take over, a U.S. official said Monday.

Some regime forces have pulled back, but it is unclear what their intentions are, the official said. It appears the regime's efforts are at least "stalled" right now, the official said.

The coalition is watching carefully to see if Gadhafi's claim of another ceasefire "is a pledge or just words," the official said.

The official said Gadhafi is surrounded by "fierce loyalists" with some defections, but no mass defections.

The official's remarks came shortly after the head of U.S. forces in Libya told reporters that coalition forces had made "very effective" progress Monday toward their goal of enforcing a U.N. Security Council resolution intended to protect civilians from attack by forces loyal to Gadhafi.

"I assess that our actions to date are generally achieving the intended objectives," said Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command. "We think we have been very effective in degrading his ability to control his regime forces."

No Libyan aircraft have been observed operating since the onset of military operations over the weekend, he said. In addition, air attacks have stopped Libyan ground forces from approaching Benghazi, "and we are now seeing ground forces moving southward from Benghazi," he said.

Citing "a variety of reports," Ham said ground forces loyal to Gadhafi that had been near Benghazi "now possess little will or capability to resume offensive operations."

During the prior 24 hours, he said, U.S. and British forces launched 12 Tomahawk land attack missiles aimed at command-and-control facilities, a Scud surface-to-surface military facility and, in a repeat attack, an air defense site.

Air forces from France, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Britain flew missions to maintain a no-fly zone over the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Ham said.

Actions on Monday were focused on extending the no-fly zone to al-Brega, Misrata and then to Tripoli, a distance of about 1,000 kilometers (more than 600 miles).

Canadian and Belgian forces joined coalition forces Monday, he said, and aircraft carriers from Italy and France have added "significant capability" in the region.

The process of transitioning the leadership of military operations to a designated headquarters was in development, Ham said. "This is a very complex task under the best of conditions," he said.

NATO could command the coalition's no-fly mission in Libya, but some Arab nations are hesitant to fly under a NATO banner, and that has held up the move, said one official who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of negotiations.

"NATO has the capability to do a rapid switchover," the official said. "The problem is, they have to do everything by consensus."

If Arab nations don't sign on to a NATO mission, the other option would be to create an ad-hoc command-and-control structure piece by piece, the defense official said. But that would take time, the official said.

Ham said he knew little about the location of Gadhafi and has not tried to find him. Instead, he said, "we have expended considerable effort to degrade the Libyan regime's military command-and-control capability, and I think we've had some fairly significant effect in that regard."

On Monday, approximately 80 sorties were flown, more than half of them by air forces other than the United States, he said.

Ham's remarks came as the heart of Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli lay in shambles after an attack by the United States and its allies.

Ham said the compound measures some 500 meters (a third of a mile) by 1,000 meters (.6 of a mile) and contains a number of buildings, including a command-and-control facility. "That's the facility that was attacked," he said.

But Gadhafi himself has not been targeted and there are no plans to do so, Ham added. In fact, he said, "I could see accomplishing the military mission, which has been assigned to me, and the current leader would remain the current leader. Is that ideal? I don't think anyone would say that that is ideal. But I could envision that as a possible situation, at least for the current mission that I have."

CNN's Nic Robertson was among several Western journalists taken inside Gadhafi's bombed compound in Tripoli by Libyan officials early Monday to survey the destruction.

Robertson reported a four-story building was heavily damaged.

A Libyan government official said the building had been used by Gadhafi officials but said there were no casualties from the strike.

Ham said the operations were being carried out "with very high concern for civilian casualties."

It was concern over possible civilian casualties that led the British to call off an attack targeting the compound, a Ministry of Defence spokesman told CNN Monday, declining to be named, in line with British tradition.

The U.S. military mission in Libya may have peaked, Africa Command spokesman Vince Crawley said Monday.

"We are moving from the action phase to a patrolling phase," he said. "Our aircraft participation has ... plateaued, if not reduced somewhat."

A witness in the Libyan city of Misrata reported "absolute destruction and carnage" by Gadhafi forces on Monday -- despite the regime's recent call for a cease-fire.

"Misrata is being flattened and razed to the ground as we speak," said the man, whom CNN is not naming to protect his safety. "He (Gadhafi) is using tanks and snipers to terrorize the city."

The man added, "They are shooting people in the main street and on the back street."

The Libyan military announced the cease-fire after an attack near Benghazi -- the heart of the Libyan opposition forces. Coalition forces pounded a Libyan military convoy there Sunday.

British military spokesman Maj. Gen. John Lorimer on Monday dismissed the Libyan announcement.

"Although a Libyan cease-fire was announced again there has been no evidence to suggest there has been a change in their stance," he said.

The Security Council resolution, which passed Thursday, allows member states "to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country ... while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory."

Bernard-Henri Levy, a French philosopher who met Monday with the Libyan opposition in Paris, said they expressed gratitude for the coalition attack. "It was really a life or death question," he told CNN. "It was a matter of hours. If the allied forces had not intervened on Saturday morning it would have been a bloodbath, it would have been a massacre."

Levy, who recently returned from Benghazi, said the rebel leaders can be trusted to install a democratic government should they take power. Though Levy noted that regime change has not been the stated goal of the attack, he predicted Gadhafi would not retain power. "He will fall like a ripe, bad and ugly big fruit," Levy said. "If he is deprived of his force, he will lose power automatically."

But support for the attacks was not universal. The Russian government said the mission has killed innocent civilians and urged more caution. The Foreign Ministry in Moscow cited reports that "nonmilitary" targets were being bombed, including a cardiac center. India, China and Venezuela have also spoken out against the airstrikes.

Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa told reporters Sunday that what is happening in Libya is not what was intended by imposing a no-fly zone, according to Egypt's al-Ahram newspaper.

"What we want is the protection of civilians and not the shelling of more civilians," he said. He added that "military operations may not be needed in order to protect the civilians."

But Arab League chief of staff Hisham Youssef said Sunday that Moussa's comments did not signify a shift by the organization.

"The Arab League position has not changed. We fully support the implementation of a no-fly zone," Youssef said. "Our ultimate aim is to end the bloodshed and achieve the aspirations of the Libyan people."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon -- who met Saturday with Moussa and other world leaders to discuss Libya -- said support from Arab leaders was key to the Security Council's decision.

"The strong recommendation by the league of Arab states to take decisive measures -- including the establishment of a no-fly zone -- figured prominently in the adoption of the Security Council resolution," Ban told reporters in Egypt on Monday. "This decisive measure is meant to protect the civilian population, who are being killed by Colonel Gadhafi and his regime."

The Libyan government has said that 48 people, mostly women, children and clerics, have died in allied attacks.

However, U.S. Vice Admiral Bill Gortney said, "We have no indication of any civilian casualties."

And France -- which conducted the first strike in Libya on Saturday when fighter jets fired at a military vehicle -- also disputed claims of civilian deaths.

"There is no information of killed civilians recorded by the French command," French government spokesman Francois Baroin said Monday on the French TV channel Canal-plus. "We must be cautious of communication campaigns and propaganda."

Ahmed Gebreel, a member of the Libyan opposition, told CNN the Gadhafi government collected bodies of people killed in fighting in the past week and displayed them over the weekend in an attempt to show they were killed by coalition airstrikes.

Also on Monday, the New York Times announced that its four journalists who had been held in Libya since last week had been released.

Petition to the King on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

An unending journey for human rights

A new society wants to work with the government and private sector to help guide Malaysians on human rights matters.
KUALA LUMPUR: A new society to promote and create awareness on human rights in Malaysia was officially launched today.

It also coincided with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Called Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia” (Proham), the society is helmed by former members of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), who collectively have 100 years of experience in the field of human rights.
Simon Sipaun, a former Suhakam vice-chairman, has been appointed Proham chairman, and is assisted by his deputy Hamdan Adnan.

Others include Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute co-founder Michael Yeoh, and former Suhakam commissioners N Siva Subramaniam and Chiam Heng Keng who are secretary, assistant secretary and treasurer respectively.

Former justice Karam Chand Vohrah and Denison Jayasooria are committee members.

Proham will work with all parties including the government and private sector to promote principles and values in accordance with UN International Human Rights statutes and the Malaysian Federal Constitution.
March 21 was chosen in memory of the bloody Sharpeville incident in South Africa in which 69 people were killed when police opened fire at a peaceful anti-apartheid demonstration.

To mark the event, a roundtable discussion on the elimination of racial discrimination was also held.
Sipaun said that racial discrimination was a form of human rights violation which can stunt meritocracy.
“What we hope to do is to use our pool of knowledge and experience to guide and assist human rights concerns in Malaysia.”

“Since the tragic March 21 incident in 1960, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and we have built an international framework for fighting racism, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

“The convention is now nearing universal ratification, yet still, in all regions, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings,” Sipaun said.

‘Just talking, not ratifying’
Proham founding member Dr Lim Mui Kiang said: “There are nine core human rights treaties – six of them have not been signed by Malaysia and only three out of 12 human rights items have been ratified by the Malaysian government since 1960.”

“The government must look into eliminating all forms of discrimination, including torture and degrading treatment,” she added.

Added Hamdan: “The government shouts 1Malaysia a thousand times a day but isn’t signing what it should to unite Malaysians for real. It is just talking, and not ratifying. I strongly urge the Malaysian government to ratify the convention to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.”

Sipaun said although Proham is the new kid on the block, “collectively, we have over 100 years of experience on human rights issues… Human rights is an unending journey”.

“Everyone has a role to play. It will not do to just leave it to Suhakam and other human rights bodies and organisations,” he added.

Frustrated long house folk picket against state govt

Despite assurances, PJS 1 residents say state government has done nothing to alleviate their woes with a developer who wants them out of their homes.
PETALING JAYA: Fed-up by the apathy of authorities, about 30 residents of long houses in Petaling Jaya Selatan 1 held a peaceful demonstration near their homes yesterday.

They claimed that the Selangor state government and Petaling Jaya Selatan MP, Hee Loy Sean, had turned their backs on their suffering, leaving them with no choice but to protest.

The families were promised low-cost flats in 2000 by a developer of a condominium project and many have been paying their monthly instalments for the yet-to-be completed project.

Peter’s Brickworks Sdn Bhd, they claimed, intentionally clogged drains behind their houses, causing sewage water to flood their homes whenever it rained, in an attempt to get rid of themOn March 15, Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sean visited the long house residents with repeated pledges and assurances that the problem would be looked into.

Selangor state councillor, Iskandar Abdul Samad, said his officers would ensure the developer cleaned up the clogged drains on March 17 but nothing had been done.

Block E Residents Action Committee chairman M Sugumaran said no one from the state government came to see them on March 17 to ensure the developer had done his job.

“Even Hee was upset when I told him that we were going to demonstrate.When I asked why he did not come to help us after his visit on March 15, Hee said he was upset as some residents had criticised him on that day,” said Sugumaran.

Sugumaran said though he understood that some residents may have irked Hee, the former said that as MP, Hee should be able to handle criticism.

“Our flats are not built till today. So, obviously the people were upset. If you can’t take heat then why are you an MP? As an elected representative, you should try to understand the people’s predicament,” he said.

Sugumaran said the residents are continuously undergoing harrassment by the developer’s staff. “We are now living in fear,” he added.

Hentikan Segera Politik Kotor Dan Lucah

Saya mengecam konspirasi terbaru untuk memfitnah dan mengaibkan saya serta keluarga. Visual yang ditayangkan tengahari tadi di Carcossa merupakan satu rekayasa jahat musuh politik yang berhasrat untuk membantutkan kemaraan Pakatan Rakyat.

Kita beri amaran kepada musuh politik Pakatan Rakyat agar hentikan segera politik kotor dan lucah ini. Jangan heret rakyat dan negara ini terjebak ke dalam politik kotor kamu.

Tayangan tengahari tadi kelihatannya dirancang dengan penuh teliti.Rancangan untuk mengadakan tayangan ini juga hanya didedahkan kepada ketua-ketua editor media arus perdana terlebih dahulu. Saya difahamkan acara tadi juga membabitkan ahli pasukan Special Branch (SB).

Fitnah terbaru ini muncul pada ketika pendakwaan fitnah II pasti berkecai dan hampir pasti tewas. Kerana terdesak musuh politik saya terpaksa mereka fitnah baru demi memburukkan serta menjejaskan reputasi saya. Ini juga bertujuan untuk mengalih perhatian rakyat dari isu nasional serta pilihanraya negeri Sarawak. Musuh politik Pakatan Rakyat terdesak untuk lari dari membahaskan rasuah dan kepincangan pentadbiran Taib Mahmud. Maka tidak hairan lah sekiranya sekali lagi musuh politik bertindak menurut warisan politik usang yang jelik.

ANWAR IBRAHIM
KETUA UMUM KEADILAN
KETUA PEMBANGKANG DEWAN RAKYAT MALAYSIA

Sivarasa Rasiah: Why DSAI Shouldn’t Give His DNA?



Anwar in Another Malaysian Sex Video?

Image(Asia Sentinel) This time it’s allegedly with a woman

A mysterious video purportedly of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim that allegedly shows him having sex with what is described as a Chinese sex worker surfaced in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

Anwar, already on trial in a long-running case on charges he had sodomized a 25-year-old male aide, immediately held a press conference to deny he was the person in the video and blamed political opponents .

For a supposedly conservative Muslim country, Malaysians have long become inured to lurid sex videos and scandals. Chua Soi Lek, the current president of the Malaysian Chinese Association, was caught on film from four cameras in a hotel room with a woman, allegedly by opponents within the MCA. He was forced to resign from office, but made a comeback and was named to head the ethnic Chinese party.

Anwar has been enmeshed in two sodomy trials with voluminous descriptions in court of various body parts, positions and purposes. Singaporean authorities were quoted in leaked US State Department cables as saying they thought Anwar had been entrapped in the second case, but that he had got into it willingly in any case.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was accused of having an affair with the murdered Altantuya Shaariibuu before passing the Mongolian translator to his closest associate, Abdul Razak Baginda. Manohara Odelia Pinot, a 16-year-old Indonesian model, was forced to flee her Kelantan prince husband after he allegedly beat her, scarred her breasts and inflicted other damage.

The current story is peculiar to say the least. An unidentified male who described himself as "Datuk T" called reporters Monday and invited them serially to view the 22-minute film. "Datuk" is a Malaysian honorific that is about equivalent to an English squire in rank. A group that didn’t identify itself demanded that the politician, which it didn’t name, and his wife quit politics or the video clip would be distributed to the public.

"We don't want to humiliate him, we just want to show the truth," "Datuk T" told reporters.

"I was told the face in the video looked like me," Anwar told reporters. "However, the stomach of the man was much bigger than mine." He flashed his bare abdomen to attempt to prove it. He said he had been at home with his wife, children, grandchildren and staff on Feb. 21, according to the time stamp on the night the video was shot, between 10:24 pm and 10:45 pm via four hidden cameras placed at different angles.

Another individual who had seen the film told Asia Sentinel that the face was either Anwar’s or someone who looked exactly like him as he dressed, but that the man involved in the sexual acts didn’t look like him because he had a pot belly. The couple were involved in the so-called "advanced lotus" sexual position, the witness said, but he thought the 64-year-old Anwar’s famously bad back wouldn’t allow him to engage in such vigorous sexual congress.

The footage shows a man coming into a sparsely furnished room that has a bed, a dresser and an air-conditioning unit on the wall. The man enters the room through a door from an adjoining room, accompanied by a man whose face is not visible - and who then leaves the room. An Asian woman is shown waiting in the room.

According to the film shown by "Datuk T," the woman purportedly rifled the clothing of the man said to be Anwar while he was taking a shower after the sex act, taking his Omega watch. Allegedly Anwar asked the man to search for the watch. 'Datuk T' claimed he had found the sex video in a locked dresser drawer, which he had pried open after finding wires behind the dresser. He removed the recorder, he told reporters. He also displayed the watch.

The 'unveiling' of the video clip was managed with great secrecy - several individuals connected with the 'showing' were formally dressed, some wearing caps low over their forehead and wearing dark glasses. They conducted security checks on the 'invitees'. Journalists and senior editors were taken in to a room to watch the clip in batches.

They were told to surrender all electronic gadgets such as hand phones and cameras as well as their pens and notebooks. They were made to wear ankle-length brown robes over their clothes before they were allowed into the screening room.

Senior journalists and editors from Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times and Berita Harian, who made up the first batch, declined to reveal anything when approached.

"We don't want to spoil it for you," said one journalist, looking serious.

The second batch of press was made up of The Malaysian Insider, Free Malaysia Today, Harakah and a senior editor from state-run news agency Bernama. Malaysiakini was slotted in last.

'Datuk T' and two other middle-aged men conducted journalists into a guest room where a computer was set up with a thumb drive sticking out of a USB port. They were accompanied by two younger men who acted like bodyguards.

After the viewing session, 'Datuk T' named Anwar as the individual and told Malaysiakini: "... I shall surrender the original footage to you guys to decide if it is indeed he in the video."

With reporting from Malaysiakini, with which Asia Sentinel has a content-sharing agreement

Najib: Cops not involved in video recording

Najib has just tweeted that the police were not involved in the recording of the sex video that supposedly involved a top opposition politician.

‘I would like to confirm what Dtk Hishamuddin said that the police is not involved in the recording of the alleged sex video,” said a tweet from Najib’s twitter account.

So who was responsible for the filming? And would the government like to clarify for us lay people the law pertaining to the screening of explicit videos in hotels?

Meanwhile, Tian Chua tweeted that a police report regarding the video would be made at the Dang Wangi police station tomorrow.