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Monday, April 4, 2011

Interlok: MIC man accepts debate dare

But he wants a statement from Pakatan Rakyat leaders calling for the book to be banned.

KLANG : Combative MIC leader KP Samy today accepted a DAP challenge to an open debate on Interlok and offered to fund the session.

However, he said the challenger, Sungkai assemblyman A Sivanesan, must bring along a statement from the Pakatan Rakyat leadership calling for the banning of the controversial novel.

Samy, a former member of the MIC Central Working Committee, claims to be the first man to have sent a letter to the Prime Minister protesting against the use of the novel in schools.

“I think the public needs to know the stance of the MIC and Pakatan Rakyat in the Interlok issue,” he said in his response to Sivanesan’s challenge, which was reported today in a Tamil daily.

Sivanesan was himself responding to Selangor MIC information chief L Sivasubramanian, who had called for a debate on “who really cares about the Interlok issue”.

The DAP man belittled MIC leaders, saying they became toothless tigers in front of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who has said the Interlok issue had been settled and that the government would not bow to any more pressure regarding it.

The book has undergone amendments that have failed to satisfy some groups that say it contains inaccurate and derogatory references to the Indian community. The government has refused to withdraw it as a Malay literature text for students in Form Five.

Samy asked why Indian leaders in Pakatan Rakyat kept quiet when Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim commented that he saw nothing wrong in letting students read the book.

He called on Sivanesan to either accept his challenge or resign from his position as state assemblyman.

Hisham says Alkitab decision ‘not finalised’

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — The 10-point “solution” announced by Putrajaya on Saturday to placate Christians unhappy with the government’s restrictions on Malay bibles has yet to be finalised, the home minister has said.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today that talks on the Alkitab issue were still ongoing, just two days after Datuk Seri Idris Jala assured Christians that a compromise formula had been decided upon by Cabinet.

“We’re still in the middle of negotiations. Nothing is finalised yet,” Hishammuddin told The Malaysian Insider.

He stressed that the government was taking a “fair and reasonable” step-by-step approach to address the Malay bibles issue, pointing out that nothing will get resolved if Christians and Muslims get bogged down by details.

“The main thing is that we have to move forward... in a reasonable, non-polemic way,” he said.

Hishammuddin (picture) also declined to comment on Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria’s challenge to Putrajaya to abolish Islamic laws on the use of “Allah” after the government said it would allow Christians to freely distribute Malay bibles across the country.

Harussani told The Malaysian Insider yesterday that the Cabinet decision contravened the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions Enactment, which bars non-Muslims from using “Allah” to refer to God in all states except Sabah, Sarawak, Penang and the federal territories.

“If the enactment already bans it at the national level, on what basis do we allow it? Is the enactment abolished automatically?” the mufti had said.

“If the government does this, just cancel the law. I feel disappointed with the government as the law already says it cannot be allowed.”

Hishammuddin, however, said there was no point speculating on what will happen later, stressing the need to focus on ongoing talks first.

“Let the negotiations go through. Let’s see what is the final outcome and then we work from there,” he said.

The Cabinet over the weekend put out a new list of suggestions to put an end to the month-long standoff over the use of Malay bibles in an apparent bid to head off a possible Christian backlash against Barisan Nasional (BN) in Sarawak ahead of state polls on April 16.

Nearly half the state’s one million population is Christian.

In a media statement, Jala spelled out the government’s 10-point formula to pacify Christians without incurring the anger of the majority Muslims over the religious controversy.

However, he made no mention of the word “Allah”, which both Christians and Muslims view as being the crux of the Alkitab row.

Jala also said the Cabinet’s decision will be gazetted through the Home Ministry’s secretary-general to ensure that the order is carried out and action will be taken against officials who breach these directives.

He added that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will meet the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) — which represents 90 per cent of all churches in Malaysia — to look for a way forward on outstanding religious issues beyond the Bible row.

Mufti dares Putrajaya to drop Allah enactment

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria has challenged Putrajaya to abolish Islamic laws regarding the use of Allah after allowing Christians to freely distribute Malay-language bibles across the country.

He said the decision insults the Quran and contravenes the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions Enactment, which bars non-Muslims from using Allah to refer to God in all states besides Sabah, Sarawak, Penang and the federal territories.

“If the enactment already bans it at the national level, on what basis do we allow it? Is the enactment abolished automatically?

“If the government does this, just cancel the law. I feel disappointed with the government as the law already says it cannot be allowed. If we really want to do this, just abolish the enactment,” he told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

“When the government allows other religions to use Allah, it insults the Quran,” he added.

Faced with an unyielding Christian community days ahead of a crucial state poll in Sarawak, the government offered on Saturday a 10-point solution to the Alkitab impasse which will allow the Bible to be freely distributed across the country in all languages.

The Cabinet offered a new list of suggestions to put an end to the month-long stand-off in a bid to head off a possible backlash against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in the April 16 vote by Christians who make up half the population in Sarawak.

However, it insisted that Malay-language bibles in the peninsula be marked with a cross and “Christian Publication” on the front cover.

This was despite a pending appeal by the government over the High Court’s decision to allow non-Muslims to use the term Allah in their printed publications.

The vocal religious scholar explained that the enactment meant the use of Allah was exclusive to Islam and his stand concerned that specifically, not the distribution of Malay-language bibles.

He said other religious texts can be translated into Malay as long as it did not use terms barred by the enactment.

“There is no problem if Christians want to respect Bahasa Malaysia and use the Malay Bible. This is our national language, so all citizens can use it as it holds to the federal constitution,” Harussani said.

His counterpart in Selangor, Datuk Tamyes Abd Wahid, has also stressed that the 5,000 Malay-language bibles that were seized by the Home Ministry in Port Klang cannot be released as it was barred by the enactment in the state.

Misrata wounded speak of fighting, resolve

The Turkish cruise ship Ankara has been transformed into a hospital ship. It has picked up 360 patients from Libya.Benghazi, Libya (CNN) -- Hundreds of people hurt in the fighting in the Libyan city of Misrata were picked up by a Turkish hospital ship Sunday and spoke of the violence they left behind.

Despite the fierce fighting that left many of them severely wounded or mourning family members, those aboard said they would return to the besieged city in a heartbeat.

"By God, I would go back to Misrata the first chance I get," said Muhammad el Suker, 28. A salesman-turned-rebel fighter, el Suker was hit in the stomach by shrapnel, forcing him to leave behind his father, mother, seven brothers and three sisters.

He said he is worried about his family and painted a disturbing picture of a war-torn city.

"There are so many killed," he said. "They're killing, violating our honor, robbing our homes. Anything that is wrong, they are doing. You can't imagine what's going on there."

The ship, named the Ankara, is actually a cruise ship that went to Libya to pick up patients. It took on more than 300 people in Misrata, then went to the naval port in Benghazi on Sunday to pick up medical supplies and about 60 more patients.

The Ankara is expected to leave for the Turkish port of Cesme, where the patients will receive medical attention, opposition officials said.

"We need a lot of help in Misrata. There's so much death there," said Mustafa Abdul Hamali, a 46-year-old taxi driver who lost half of a leg.

"I was driving in my car with my wife, and my car just blew up. I don't know what happened," he said. His wife suffered burns, he said, but he hasn't seen her in weeks because he sent her away to stay with family.

Khalid Moteridi, a 32-year-old businessman, said he was shot twice in the legs by a sniper. Three of his brothers are missing, he said.

"We were fighting with light weapons, but they had so much more," he said of the pro-government forces. "Artillery, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank rockets. That's how they were fighting back."

Moteridi said there is no electricity, food or water back home.

"We're trapped from all sides by the Gadhafi forces," he said. "I don't like the feeling of leaving my family and people behind, (but) I'll go back to Misrata when I get better, God willing, and ... Gadhafi and his gangs will be defeated."

Fierce fighting between the opposition and forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has raged for weeks in Misrata, the country's third-largest city, which lies on the coast in the western part of the country.

Pro-government forces in Misrata shelled a medical clinic Sunday, killing one person and wounding 15 others, according to a doctor who was not identified for security reasons.

The clinic had evacuated patients because of recent attacks, said another doctor at a Misrata hospital that received the patients. The victims were opposition "fighters and young people" who were guarding the clinic, the doctor said.

One Misrata resident said Sunday he heard the sound of heavy shelling coming from the port area. Misrata's port is under rebel control and is considered the main site of aid for people in the embattled city.

Troops supporting Gadhafi surrounded the city, with snipers perched on rooftops of buildings, he said.

"When you look at the patients, you get sad," said Jami Sokuci, a Turkish doctor on board the ship. "You know, a lot of older patients. Child patients ... when you see them, you get sad."

Twenty-year-old student Ibrahim el Sheikh said he was shot by a sniper. In his hospital bed, he held a stone he took from Misrata, his way of staying close to home while he's away.

Mohamad Hamdi Sheikh, 64, sat by his semiconscious 12-year-old son Muhammad, who broke his right leg, lost an eye and suffered cuts to his face and arms when an explosive device hit their house.

"I feel complete pride and true honor for what happened, because what happened to my kids is for the sake of the country," he said.

PKR ends talks with Snap, blames KL-based forces

Snap's obstinate position over the seats could be the result of 'peninsular-based forces that have long sought to subvert and break up the Pakatan Rakyat coalition'.

KUCHING: PKR today expressed its growing disappointment with Snap over the failed seat talks for the forthcoming Sarawak state polls and said that the Pakatan Rakyat coalition will take on Barisan Nasional without Snap in their ranks.

PKR’s vice-president Tian Chua said that Snap appeared to be more interested in contesting for the sake of contesting rather than to attain a winning formula to defeat BN.

“Our efforts to reach an electoral pact with Snap have been continually frustrated,” said Tian Chua today.

“Despite our best endeavours to reach a compromise, it seems Snap is unwilling to forge a united front to face BN in Sarawak,” he added.

He said that Snap adopted an entirely inflexible position throughout PKR’s attempts to engage in seat talks.

The oldest party in Sarawak, Snap – recently revived after a long slumber – is largely seen as representing the voice of Sarawak indigenous population.

The party believes that it can make inroads in the Dayak-majority constituencies and has named its candidates for 27 seats, most of which were over-lapping with claims made by PKR.

Seat negotiations between PKR and Snap have ended with the latter declining to step down from its quest to contest in the 27 seats.

Snap has also accused PKR of being slow in pursuing seat negotiations, thus the reason for the party (Snap) to have marked its 27 seats.

Tian Chua however disputed this.

“This accusation is untrue and meant to mislead the public. On the contrary, numerous letters and messages sent to Snap leaders were met with no reply whatsoever,” he said.

Peninsular-based forces to be blamed

He added that Snap refused to negotiate on the status of the 27 seats.

“From the onset, Snap demanded that PKR and Pakatan Rakyat recognize Snap as the single and sole representative of the Dayaks in our opposition formula…

“Nonetheless, Snap’s unbending insistence on contesting no less than 27 seats of their choice forced an impasse. Our attempt to discuss seat allocations by comparing the winnability of respective candidates and relative strength of electoral machinery was rejected out of hand,” he added.

Tian also alluded that Snap’s obstinate position over the seats could be the result of “peninsular based forces that have long sought to subvert and break up the Pakatan Rakyat coalition”.

Without naming anyone, but obviously referring to BN/Umno, Tian Chua said this “peninsular based forces have once again successfully orchestrated the current impasse”.

He said that PKR had hoped that Snap would join forces with the Pakatan coalition to replace Taib Mahmud and reinstate the rights, autonomy and dignity of all communities in Sarawak.

“We had hoped that Snap would be willing to walk together with us and be part of Pakatan’s struggle for justice in both Sarawak and the rest of Malaysia.

“If they have chosen to put other priorities first, and have no interest in reaching any compromise, we can only part ways amicably and wish them the best in their endeavours,” he said.

However he said the door for cooperation remained open and as a sign of goodwill and good faith, PKR has decided to give way in several seats to Snap, in the hope that this will help dislodge BN from even more seats.

Funded by pro-BN forces?

Snap has previously slammed PKR’s offer of three seats for Snap. Snap’s president Edwin Dundang had said that PKR was over-ambitious and that Snap may contest 40 seats it is eyeing on its own.

The party on Saturday finally revealed that it was contesting in 27 seats but Dundang’s bold stance got tongues wagging as to who was funding the re-emerging Snap.

Whistleblower site Sarawak Report had reported that Snap was receiving funding from pro-BN/Umno sources, not just to keep a check on Pakatan, but also to ensure that Taib’s strong control in the state is curtailed.

Snap denied the reports that it was receiving money from BN/Umno but it refused to divulge the source of its funding.

Following talk of Snap’s alleged liaison with BN/Umno, two of its allies – the Movement for Change Sarawak and Malaysia Civil Liberties Movement – cut off all ties with the Sarawak party, claiming that they had not received any concrete response from Snap on their alleged links with BN/Umno.

MoCS’s Francis Siah had also said that Snap’s original funder – a pro-opposition businessman from Kuala Lumpur – had stopped funding the party after realising that it was seeking finances from pro-BN sources.

There is also strong talk that Snap’s iconic figure Daniel Tajem is not happy with the recent changes in the party.

Not race, not religion: What matters in a person?

Datuk Faridah Merican
Datuk Faridah Merican
DATUK Faridah Merican has been in the arts scene for more than 50 years and is considered a pioneer of the Malaysian theatre industry. With her husband, director Joe Hasham, the “first lady of the stage” co-founded The Actors Studio in 1989.
She and Joe also head the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac), which opened its doors in 2005 following the destruction of The Actors Studio at Plaza Putra (below Dataran Merdeka) by flash floods two years earlier. The Actors Studio now holds performances in Lot 10 Kuala Lumpur and in Singapore, with plans afoot for a performing arts centre in Penang in the third quarter of 2011. Faridah is KLPac’s executive producer, while Joe is the artistic director.
Faridah, who was awarded the BOH Cameronian Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, still performs on stage. She speaks to The Nut Graph in her office at KLPac on 11 March 2011.
When were you born, and where did you grow up?
I was born on 25 Oct 1939, which makes me a Scorpio and a Rabbit. I was born in Penang and I grew up in Kampung Baru in Air Itam. I went to St George’s Girls School, both primary and secondary.
At her STTI reunion in 2004
At her STTI reunion in 2004
After I left school, I went to the Kota Baru Teachers Training College in Kelantan in 1957, and I came to Kuala Lumpur in 1959 to begin work as a teacher. Two years later, I applied to go the Specialist Teachers Training Institute (STTI) in Cheras, and trained as a physical education teacher. However, I didn’t get to teach physical education in a secondary school because I was not a university graduate.
Dancing with Patrick Teoh
Dancing with Patrick Teoh
At the time, I was already doing a lot of radio and TV work as a freelancer. I fell in love with broadcasting. I continued teaching for another couple of years after STTI, and then left teaching to become a full-time freelancer with radio and TV.
In my early days of being in Kuala Lumpur, while doing part-time work with Radio Malaya, I already started my relationship with the theatre. In radio, there were people like Tun Syed Alwi (Syed Hassan), Rahim Razali, Krishen Jit, Tan Jin Chor and John Machado, those who were into the amateur theatre scene in KL. I began my journey as an actor because of them.
I became a single mother in 1969, and I needed to get a “proper” job so that I didn’t have to work from 6am to midnight! So I applied and got a job with an ad agency, SH Benson. I am still with that agency 42 years later. It is now called Ogilvy & Mather, and I am currently a non-executive member of the board. So I was doing radio and television and theatre while having a full-time job. How I did it, God only knows! But it was wonderfully enriching.
How did The Actors Studio come about?
Faridah in Narukami, directed by Kee Thuan Chye, performed in the 80s at Experimental Theatre, Universiti Malaya.
Faridah in Narukami, directed by Kee Thuan Chye, performed in the 80s at Experimental Theatre, Universiti Malaya.
While I was working as a freelance actor, I got involved with the Malaysian Arts Theatre Group headed by Syed Alwi, and with another group, Kami, with the likes of Kee Tuan Chye, KS Maniam and Sabera Shaik. But those never quite lasted.
By the mid-80s, Joe walked into my life, and in 1989 we formed the Actors Studio. We opened our first official venue in 1995, because we realised that we needed our own space. Sadly, if you do not have your own space, it’s difficult to do theatre on a full-time basis; you would always have to go to somebody’s space and book it, and potentially get kicked out. So opening our own space felt like the correct thing to do.
Faridah and Joe in 1990
Faridah and Joe in 1990
I had worked all my life, so I had savings; and Joe had his savings, so we pooled our money together and built our own space, without help from any of the banks. Because you go to the banks for a loan and they’d ask you to show them your three-year projections of your profits. For theatre? (Laughs)
What are some of your strongest memories growing up?
Faridah in 1951
I remember, because I was the youngest sibling, I would be dragged around to Quran classes, and if I didn’t pay attention and was too busy sucking on asam boi (sour plum), I would get a pinch from my eldest sister (laughs).
When I was growing up we used to cycle from our house to school. And the exciting thing was that’s when you met the boys! So it was a lot of fun. The other thing was when I turned 17, I had my birthday dance, ballroom-style, like a prom. You all don’t have that these days! You have to go to a nightclub to dance, and then the police would come and raid you.
But my nicest memory is of after the Japanese occupation, when my father came home and bought the family a car, a Morris Eight. I can still remember the number plate! To us, that was like a dream come true. My father was only a teacher with seven children, so it couldn’t have been easy for him to have done that. My mother, a housewife, was not educated in a schooling sense, but she was smart enough to know how to manage my father’s salary, even to the extent of buying us a car. My mother was keeper of the purse!
Can you trace your ancestry?
Faridah in the 1950s
Faridah in the 1950s
I am a few generations after the first person who was the Kapitan Keling of Penang. He was a merchant from India who came to Penang to set up his business, and even today we have Jalan Kapitan Keling and Merican Road, which means we really made quite an impact on the history of Penang.
My mother’s side was also from the Mamak and Mami community, i.e. Indian Muslim, whose ancestors all came from India. Truly Penang was ruled by the Mamak community, and this is something we’re very proud of. Nowadays people tend to shy away from being referred to as a Mamak. It’s nothing to be ashamed of at all. We were, and are still, good people.
What do you remember of Merdeka and 13 May 1969?
A younger Faridah sporting a short hairdo
A younger Faridah sporting a short hairdo, 1965
Merdeka I cannot relate very much to, because I was in college at that time in Kota Baru. I remember feeling sadness at seeing the Union Jack being lowered. We grew up during British rule, and for the ordinary people like us, we were very happy then.
But it was also quite astounding to see and hear Tunku Abdul Rahman declaring “Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!” Tunku, for many people of my generation, did a great job of having the smooth transition from British rule to Independence. That’s the kind of guidance we want, I suppose, for any country, because we didn’t have to fight for it. It was handed to us on a platter: “Here you are, guys, all the best with it — may your independence be fruitful.”
I don’t remember too much more than that, but these memories, thankfully, still exist because of that iconic picture of Tunku on Merdeka Day.
As for 13 May, I was 30 years old, and I remember the fear, and the rationing of food. I remember cars burning, but I don’t really remember death. I was still working in Radio Malaysia at the time and we needed special passes, so it was really rather exciting, though that isn’t the best adjective to use because it was also very frightening.
The thing is, why does the country not allow us to talk about 13 May? It would be a good thing to remember, a lesson learnt, especially for people who want to stir up trouble and bring up racial issues. This country is unique, we are all trying to live under one roof, and one wrong move would spoil it for everyone. So we must — as they keep telling us over and over — respect one another, understand each other’s cultures.
Faridah in 1989
Faridah in 1989
This has to start, I believe, at home and in school. Because if this or that is not allowed in school, or “I don’t want to sit beside this person because of their skin colour or their smell or what they eat” — well, that certainly was not the way I grew up. Why can’t we all sit together and be congenial? Whether or not you like a person should not be because of his or her race or religion, but because of the quality of the person.
What aspects of your identity do you struggle with?
I don’t think I’ve struggled with any aspect. I am just sad that sometimes, my religion is being used in a way that it should not be used, like minding other people’s businesses. But I’ve not suffered myself, thankfully.
What are your hopes for the future generations of Malaysia?

In the Philippines. Faridah and her elder sister Marina (right) were part of Badan Kebudayaan, a dance company set up by the Prime Minister's Department in the 1960s. On left is fellow dancer Zainab Kassim.
In the Philippines. Faridah and her elder sister Marina (right) were part of Badan Kebudayaan, a dance company set up by the Prime Minister's Department in the 1960s. On left is fellow dancer Zainab Kassim.
This country is truly governed by the politicians. It is in their hands, the responsibility for the way this country will move forward. And if we are in the hands of not very clever people, we will be in trouble.
I don’t think that there is only one group of politicians who can make it happen for us. Whether it is one party or another, they have their strengths and weaknesses. So they must focus on their strengths and correct their weaknesses.
I truly hope the politicians won’t spoil things for Malaysians and the country. Instead, they should learn, and they should listen to the people.

Konspirasi Politik Keji Wajar Dihukum

Dari Merdeka Review
Oleh Lim Yew Chien

Seandainya negara ini adalah “waras”, sudah tentunya isu klip video seks yang dibikin Datuk T tidak akan berlaku. Ini kerana bukan sahaja penayangan klip video seks kepada media gagal mencapai tujuannya untuk menfitnah, malah bakal mencungkil kemarahan umum sebaliknya. Lebih-lebih lagi, perbuatan sedemikian akan berdepan dengan tanggungjawab jenayah. Mustahil konspirator bodoh sehingga terlibat dalam kelakuan yang merugikan dirinya. Namun demikian, nampaknya Malaysia bukanlah sebuah negara yang “waras”.

Sememangnya, hipotesis di atas didasari dengan pra-syarat bahawa klip video tersebut bukan sesuatu yang benar, iaitu pelakunya adalah Anwar Ibrahim sebagaimana yang disasarkan. Kesahihan video tersebut boleh dikenalpasti kemudiannya. Namun, melihat kepada pendekatan Datuk T mengumumkan video tersebut, agak jelas bahawa kesahihan video tersebut adalah rendah.

Mengapa simpati terhadap Anwar?

Identiti Datuk T sudah terdedah – sama ada orang yang berdendam, atau bertentangan pendirian dengan Anwar dari politik. Apa yang diwar-warkan dalam kenyataan bahawa “mahu membongkar kemunafikan politikus” sebelum itu kini menjadi sesuatu yang tidak masuk akal. Seandainya “kelemahan” musuh atau seteru dikuasai, maka ia akan dipergunakan sebaiknya untuk menghasilkan sabotaj yang maksima – tanpa belas kasihan dan rasa simpati.

Jikalau itulah keadaannya, maka apa yang harus dilakukan Datuk T adalah menyebarkan klip video ini seluas yang mungkin. Jikalau klip video tersebut dikesahkan benar, maka penontonnya semestinya akan mendesak agar Anwar berundur selepas menyaksinya. Maka berjayalah usaha untuk memusnahkan Anwar.

Tetapi Datuk T tidak berbuat demikian, sebaliknya menyiarkan video tersebut sekali sahaja. Kemudian mereka mengugut agar Anwar meletakkan jawatan dengan sendiri, atau mereka akan mengedarkan kepada umum klip video tersebut. Apa perlunya Datuk T untuk bermurah hati, tidak memusnahkan Anwar sekaligus, sebaliknya memberi peluang agar Anwar berundur sambil menjaga kehormatan dirinya? Mungkin inilah jawapan yang rasional – Datuk T telah sedar sebermulanya, bahawa lelaki dalam klip video tersebut bukan Anwar. Ia terlalu senang untuk dibongkarkan. Maka pendekatan untuk memusnahkan Anwar sekaligus gagal mencapai tujuannya.

Sememangnya, klip video seks ini telah memberi impak berikutan “kerjasama” yang sungguh-sungguh dari media. Semestinya Datuk T mahu memaksimakan kesan sabotajnya. Jadi, dalam keadaan di mana mereka mahu memaksimakan impak tanpa bukti yang sah, maka nampaknya Datuk T hanya boleh menggunakan pendekatan yang sedia ada – biar media bertanggungjawab menyebarkan khabar, tetapi tidak memberi peluang kepada orang lain untuk mendapatkan klip tersebut supaya segala penjelasan mahupun pembelaan diri boleh dilakukan dengan jelas dengan merujuk kepada bahan yang ada.

Media menjadi perkakas BN

Media yang asalnya menjadi perkakas Barisan Nasional semestinya tidak kisah untuk diperalatkan sepenuhnya. Malah media ini tetap menghebohkannya walaupun konspirasi di sebalik klip video tersebut dibongkarkan secara beransur-ansur. Fitnah yang berniat jahat ini tidak diambil tindakan – inilah yang membezakan antara Malaysia dengan negara lain yang “waras”.

Media arus perdana yang lain, mungkin kurang “niat jahat”-nya berbanding perkakas BN, dan telah berhenti untuk memainkan isu ini. Namun, ia tidak mengubah hakikat bahawa mereka telah dipergunakan orang lain. Anwar dan Pakatan Rakyat membalas serangan dengan menyasarkan teras tampuk kuasa negara, namun media arus perdana ini hanya mencuit pada kulit. Ini adalah perbezaan terbesar antara media arus perdana dengan media internet. Walaupun media internet juga melaporkan berita klip video ini, tetapi pada masa yang sama mengetengahkan kesangsian dalam video tersebut. Reaksi Pakatan Rakyat kemudiannya, teori konspirasi yang diketengahkan turut diberi liputan yang luas.

Media arus perdana mungkin menganggap “konspirasi politik” adalah spekulasi yang belum dikenalpasti, maka ia tidak wajar dihebohkan. Persoalannya, bukankah ia juga tuduhan yang sarat dengan kesangsian untuk mengatakan lelaki dalam video tersebut adalah Anwar? Mengapa pula diheboh-hebohkan hal ini? Bukankah ini ibarat peribahasa Cina, “Menteri dibenarkan untuk membakar dengan api, tapi rakyat jelata dilarang untuk menyalakan api sebagai lampu?”

Secara keseluruhannya, media arus perdana telah menjadi perkakas politik, malah adalah perkakas kepada politik yang keji dan jijik. Media mungkin dipergunakan kerana kecuaian, maklumlah dalam masa yang suntuk, ditambah pula dengan percaturan Datuk T, maka ia bolehlah dimaafkan. Tetapi seandainya tiada muhasabah kemudiannya, tidak memberi ruang kepada mangsa untuk menjawab, maka persoalannya – di manakah profesional dan etika wartawan dan editor?

PR mempersoalkan, mengapa Datuk T tidak diambil tindakan undang-undang selepas mengakui bahawa dirinya menayangkan video lucah? Tiada pendakwaan setakat ini selepas polis menyoal siasat Datuk T. Setelah suspek secara terbuka mengakui dirinya melakukan jenayah, apa lagi yang sukar untuk polis? Tiada pendakwaan sehingga hari ini – bukankah ia sudah memadai untuk mengesyaki kewujudan konspirasi politik?

Siapa dalang di sebalik tabir?

Ada yang mendakwa cara pengendalian isu video seks ini adalah kasar, maka kemungkinan ia bukan didalangi pemerintah. Namun, seandainya sasarannya dituju kepada komuniti konservatif yang hanya terdedah kepada media arus perdana, maka ia tetap memberi kesan – sama ada pendekatan ini kasar mahupun halus. Lebih-lebih lagi, pelaksanaan konspirasi boleh di-”outsource”-kan. Mana-mana politik yang berdarjat rendah boleh ditanggung pihak yang berkenaan. Ia seolah-olah politik yang tidak memerlukan modal.

Politik jijik menyelubungi negara kita sejak beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini. Dari rampasan kuasa di negeri Perak, hinggalah sebaran gambar peribadi Elizabeth Wong. Dari Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) yang menyasarkan kerajaan PR, sehingga tragedi kematian Teoh Beng Hock, hinggalah kes liwat Anwar Ibrahim. Jelas, BN mahu meyakini rakyat bahawa PR gagal menjalankan amanah rakyat sebab gagal menguruskan hal-ehwal dirinya. Tetapi rakyat seharusnya berfikir, siapakah yang paling mungkin untuk menjadi dalang di sebalik tabir?

Kebetulan klip video seks ini muncul menjelang PRU ke-13. Ia memperingatkan rakyat bahawa pilihan raya adalah penghakiman terhadap politik yang jijik. Jadi, pengundi bertanggungjawab untuk menghukum politik jijik ini dengan undinya dalam pilihan raya kali ini.

*Lim Yew Chien pernah menjadi pengacara rancangan forum isu semasa, juga kolumnis MerdekaReview, edisi bahasa Cina. Diterjemah dan disunting dari teks asal yang disiarkan pada 30 Mac 2011.

Bishop denounces “divide and rule” policy


Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing has denounced as “insidious” and “evil” the imposition of two sets of rules – one for Sabah and Sarawak and the other for Peninsular Malaysia – with regard to the dissemination of the Malay Bible, Al-Kitab.

Minister in the Prime Minister Department, Idris Jala, had announced yesterday a formula for the resolution of the controversy over the impoundment since January of thousands of copies of the Al-Kitab in ports at Kuching and Port Klang.

The formula allows for the dissemination in Sabah and Sarawak without conditions of the Al-Kitab, but for Peninsula Malaysia, copies of the Al-Kitab have to be stamped with the cross and have the words ‘Christian Publication’ on them.

Speaking to Malaysiakini in his capacity as the titular head of the Melaka-Johor diocese, Bishop Paul Tan, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, said:

“If the policy is one for Sabah and Sarawak and another for Peninsula Malaysia, this is tantamount to using the insidious tactic of ‘divide and rule.’ I adamantly condemn and reject such means.”

The Christian Federation of Malaysia, the umbrella body for 90 percent of the denominational congregations in Malaysia, is to meet soon to discuss the government’s latest offer for the resolution of the controversy.

Some Christian groups appear to be leaning in favor of the government’s latest offer while others are loath to accept the differentiation of the rules between the Borneo states and the peninsula.

“There should be one policy for the whole Christian population in the two parts of the country,” said Bishop Paul Tan.

“You can put ‘Christian Publication’ on each copy since this is what was agreed to in 2005 by the CFM with the Abdullah Badawi administration.

“But there should be no differentiation between the rules for Sabah and Sarawak and the rules for Peninsular Malaysia,” insisted Bishop Paul Tan.

Bishop Paul Tan, a past president of the CFM, noted that the latest announcement by Idris Jala made no mention of the term ‘Allah’, the legitimacy of which use is being contested in the courts.

He said any decision by Christian groups on the government’s latest offer must take due note of this uncertainty.

“It is better to stick by a practice already agreed to in 2005 than opt for changes that carry the prospect of being rendered moot by a pending decision of the courts,” he said.

‘Above all, there must be no differentiation between the rule for Sabah and Sarawak and the one for the peninsula,” he emphasized.

M'sian gay couples, political activists seek UK asylum

The Sun
by R. Nadeswaran

LONDON (April 3, 2011): Gay couples and those seeking political asylum make up the 180 Malaysians who have sought asylum in the United Kingdom since 2005.

However, of the 180 applications received over the past five years, only 10 were allowed to stay while five cases are pending.

Home Office records show that only 25 applications were received in 2005 but increased to 40 in 2009 and to 55 the following year. These figures were made available to theSun following a request to the Home Office under the Freedom of Information Act. While not everyone recognised as refugees are granted asylum, some were granted permission to stay on "humanitarian protection grounds".

The most notable is leader of the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) M. Waytha Moorthy who was granted permission in 2008 on the basis that he would be "politically persecuted" and "detained without trial" if he was sent back to Malaysia.

It is learnt that his wife and daughter have since joined him.

The other is Mohammed Fazdil Min Bahari, or Fatine, a transvestite married to Briton Ian Young. Although Mohammed Fazdil’s application for permanent stay was initially rejected, he was granted leave to stay in UK indefinitely after the couple expressed fears of reprisal and prosecution if he was sent back to Malaysia.

The Home Office could not provide the details of the reasons given by all Malaysian applicants because of costs. In a note, it explained that as part of the Home Office, the UK Border Agency "is not obliged to comply with any information request where the prescribed cost of supplying you with the information exceeds £600 (RM2,940)".

However, legal sources here said that two of the five who were granted asylum were a gay couple in a relationship. They had strenuously argued that they could not maintain the relationship if they returned to Malaysia and were almost certain to be prosecuted.

Among the 45 applicants whose claims were rejected last year, 25 left the UK but it cannot be ascertained if it was to Malaysia or another country. Five applications are pending as it can take up to a year for the Home Office to investigate and process asylum applications.

Some of those whose applications were rejected were deported while some left voluntarily and some left under various "Assisted Voluntary Return Programmes" of the UK government. -- theSun

Death row Malaysian to know his fate today

The Star 

KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah-born Yong Vui Kong, who is on death row for a drug offence in Singapore, will know his fate Monday.

The Singaporean Court of Appeal will convene at 10am to decide on Yong's appeal against his High Court judgment.

Yong had filed the application seeking the Court of Appeal to reverse the High Court's decision after a comment by the republic's Law Minister K. Shanmugam had irreversibly tainted his clemency petition and on the issue of the president's power in granting clemency.

Shanmugam had made a statement last May that Yong could not be pardoned, even before the 23-year-old could make his clemency plea to Singapore President S.R. Nathan.

Yong was caught with heroin in June 2007 when he was 18, a crime that warrants the mandatory death sentence.

Although trial judge Justice Choo Han Teck had asked the prosecution to consider reducing the charge against him because of his age, it declined to do so. Yong was given the death sentence in January 2009.

SUPP Banks On New Faces To Help Wrest Back Seats

KUCHING, April 3(Bernama) -- Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) is banking on its batch of new faces which includes several professionals to help wrest back seats it lost to the opposition in the last state election.

SUPP president and Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said the seven newcomers among its 19 candidates stood a good chance of winning the upcoming state election on April 16.

Dr Chan said the fielding of the batch of doctors, lawyers and entreprenuers was also in line with the party's transformation and revival plans.

"The Prime Minister wants winnable candidates, so we chose winnable candidates after intensive discussions with the Chief Minister and the PM," he told reporters after the BN list was unveiled at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headquarters in Jalan Bako, here Sunday.

PBB, SUPP, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) form the state BN.

"We already said that we want to transform, so this is one of the ways we do it. We want to groom more young people to take over from us," added Dr Chan.

The new faces are engineer Sim Kiang Chiok who will be contesting Padungan, cardiologist Professor Dr Sim Kui Hian (Pending), consultant Sih Hua Tong (Batu Lintang), journalist-turned-businessman Ling Kie King (Meradong), architect Chieng Buong Toon (Bukit Assek) and lawyer Henry Ling (Kidurong).

Another candidate is business tycoon and Lanang MP Datuk Tiong Thai King, who will take up the challenge for SUPP in Dudong.

Former Batu Kawah state assemblyman Datuk Alfred Yap is making a comeback but will stand in Kota Sentosa.

Dr Chan will be defending the Piasau seat in his Miri hometown.

SUPP retained incumbents Ranum Mina (Opar), Tan Joo Phoi (Batu Kawah), Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Datuk Francis Harden Hollis (Simanggang), Datuk David Teng (Repok), Datuk Sri Wong Soon Koh (Bawang Assan), Johnichal Rayong (Engkilili), Vincent Goh Chung Siong (Pelawan), Andy Chia Chu Fatt (Pujut) and Datuk Lee Kim Shin (Senadin).

SUPP suffered a big setback in the 2006 state election when it won only 12 of 19 seats it contested.

Satanic Verses’ for SPM English, can ah?

clip_image002If Abdullah Hussain is Malaysia’s Sasterawan Negara, Sir Salman Rushdie is a Sasterawan Negara-Negara, a literary giant of global repute who has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to the field of writing.

Rushdie has also received from France the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and from Harvard University, an Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Cultural Humanism award. His efforts have won the prestigious Whitbread (twice), Bookers, and literary prizes from the European Union, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and India among others.

One of his best books Midnight’s Children was voted the Booker of Bookers.

clip_image003Ah, but Abdullah has got an award under his belt that eluded Rushdie – the Anugerah Wira Perkasa.

Some of Abdullah’s staunch defenders claim that Interlok is only fiction, so why the big fuss over a mere story that teaches us historical lessons?

Well, Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses is also just a work of fiction. As a multiple international award winner, it has got the one up on Abdullah’s consolation prize winner.

Interlok is a Komsas (Komponen Sastera) for SPM Bahasa Melayu.

But let’s just engage in a hypothetical exercise here and put the shoe on the other foot. Now imagine if Satanic Verses were to be made a literature component in our SPM English language paper. Rather than reinventing the wheel, we’ll just recycle the arguments of those supporting Interlok’s inclusion in BM.

Why take issue, Satanic Verses is only a historical novel, what. We will amend one or two words, take out the offensive paragraph, publish a glossary and append a teacher’s guide.

An article titled ‘Justice for Interlok’ by ‘Sen Tyng Chai’ defending the contentious novel copies the Ridhuan template to a ‘tee’. By the way, Mr Chai appears to be following the Western convention of putting surname at the back.

clip_image004If we may borrow the following phrases from Chai (he talks about Interlok but we’ll apply them toSatanic Verses) going by the axiom of what’s sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander:
“Imagine the surprise when the controversy dragged on, with threats of book burning, demonstrations and protests,” wrote Chai in his defence of Interlok, but which one can write aboutSatanic Verses too.

“we have buried the novel with our wilful ignorance, prejudice and fear”

“why the wild allegations and derision?”
“disinformation and distortions”
“also defamed his work and reputation as writer”

In the case of Rushdie, the demos in Malaysia have defamed his work and reputation as an internationally acclaimed writer.

Mr Chai, the valiant defender Abdullah Hussain asked: “It is the ones who make the louder noise that get heard?” and heckles the “bias of these self-appointed guardians of public interest”. May we say, ditto Salman Rushdie?

Why take the “the path of least resistance” and not meeting the challenge of understanding its content by banning Satanic Verses entirely? In fact, several other titles by Rushdie are banned in Malaysia too.

Comparatively, all that the hundreds of protesting NGOs are asking is for the withdrawal of Interlok from the school syllabus; anyone interested can still buy it from the bookshops anytime.

Or do you agree to Satanic Verses being made a literature component for Malaysian students taking the SPM English language paper? No, no, no we’re definitely NOT proposing such a thing. Just hoping to make people think.

French forces take over Abidjan airport

French forces have taken over the airport in Abidjan as forces loyal to Cote d'Ivoire's presidential rivals continue to battle for control of the West African country's main city.

Reporting the French intervention, state television urged the city's residents to mobilise and protect Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president. The channel also accused Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, of wanting to engage in genocide in the West African country.

Paris called for French citizens in Abidjan to assemble together without delay, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, said on Sunday.

France is mulling a possible evacuation of its 12,000 citizens who live in the country because of the fighting.

"[Sarkozy] has decided that all French citizens in Abidjan should be grouped together without delay to ensure their protection," the French president's office said.

Gerard Longuet, the French defence minister said on Sunday evening that the question of evacuation would be settled within hours.

"We will not expose French people to being hostages or indirect victims of confrontation between these two forces," Longuet said in an interview on French television LCI.

"Alert, alert... The French army is occupying since last night the airport of Felix Houphouet Boigny," the caption read over images of Gbagbo that were aired late on Saturday.

"Seven cargo planes, transporting 100 tanks and more than 2,000 soldiers; elements of the airport squadron have been taken prisoner. Sarkozy's men are preparing a Rwandan genocide in Cote d'Ivoire. Ivorians, let us go out en masse and occupy the streets. Let us stay standing," it continued.

The latest developments come as a fierce standoff between fighters loyal to Gbagbo and his rival for power Alassane Ouattara, the country's internationally recognised leader, intensify.

Gbagbo's force retook the bridge leading to his presidential palace on Saturday after the opposition had appeared poised to topple him.

Pro-Ouattara forces had marched easily into the country's largest city, where they encircled the presidential palace and Gbagbo's home on Thursday and Friday.

France said its forces took over Abidjan airport on Saturday to facilitate the evacuation of foreigners and sent an additional 300 troops to the country, bringing its total deployment to 1,500.


The latest fighting follows an alleged massacre of hundreds of people in the small town of Duekoue in the west.

The United Nations mission in Ivory Coast [ONUCI] said on Saturday that traditional hunters known as Dozos had joined Ouattara's forces in killing 330 people in Duekoue.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "concerned and alarmed" about reports that pro-Ouattara forces may have killed civilians in a conversation late on Saturday with Ouattara, who told him his forces were not involved in the Duekoue killings.

Ouattara's government said in a statement that Dozos were not part of its forces and invited international human rights organisations to investigate the killings and rights violations.

"The government (Ouattara's) notes with regret that the allegations of the deputy chief of ONUCI human rights division are not supported by any evidence after its preliminary investigation," the statement read.

A Catholic charity, Caritas, said up to 1,000 people had been killed by unknown attackers wielding machetes and guns. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) earlier estimated the death toll at around 800 people.

It is not clear whether the 330 counted by ONUCI is included in the figures.

Alistair Dutton, the humanitarian director of Caritas, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that members of his organisation were on an investigating team, including UN officials and representatives of other NGOs, which travelled to Duekoue on Wednesday.

"There they found the aftermath of a mass slaughter of somewhere between eight hundred and a thousand people who had been killed," he said.

The team found bodies lying in the streets and the bushes, he said.

The victims appeared to have been civilians, Dutton said, who had been "caught up somehow between [the two] warring factions".

According to Caritas, the killings occurred from Sunday 27 to Tuesday 29 March in the 'Carrefour' neighbourhood controlled by fighters loyal to Ouattara. It was not clear who the perpetrators were.

The UN says it is investigating the alleged mass killings. Hundreds of UN peacekeepers are based in the town.

Fleeing fighting

Tens of thousands of Ivorian refugees have fled into neighbouring Liberia since the fighting began. Many others remain trapped inside Cote d'Ivoire.

Particularly in Abidjan, many civilians are too scared to leave their homes.

With foreigners targeted in the fighting in Abidjan, many are seeking refuge.

French troops have escorted about 1,400 foreigners, a third of them French, to a French military camp in Port Bouet, near Abidjan.

There were no immediate plans for the French army to evacuate the other foreigners, officials said.

The UN mission in the Cote d’Ivoire began evacuating some 200 members of its staff after its headquarters were repeatedly attacked, Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker reported.

Non-essential staff were evacuated several months ago. The UN's military personnel will remain.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Hardcore Indian poor forced to eat plain rice and porridge with salt as side dish. UMNO Welfare Department rejects aid. UMNO social engineering.

Copy of hardcoreSaraswathy (25) and her husband of Ayer Molek say they have it hard all their lives and yet are unable to come out of their cycle of poverty. And made worse by her paralysed daughter Meena (7) who was hospitalized and Saraswathy was forced to stop work. Her husband only earns a mere RM 400 per month out of which RM 200 alone goes to their rentals, which will not be the case for almost all Malay, Orang asli, kadazan, Iban, who all have their village safety net. Like 99% of the Indian poor Saraswathy has no traditional village to fall back on as her social safety net.

Saraswathy and 99% of the Indian poor are denied the Felda like 10 acre land ownership schemes granted to over half a million Malay muslims.

Saraswathy and 90% of the Indian poor are denied the UMNO Welfare help despite having a disabled daughter. And 100% of the Indian poor will be denied the RM 500 granted by Baitumal charity which is granted only to the Malay muslims. And the hundreds of ringgit from the scores of other Lembaga Urus Zakat, Yayasan etc but exclusively for Malay muslims. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

UMNO not racist and religious supremacist?

UMNO not the world’s most racist and religious supremacist country?

(see BH 29/3/2011 at page 9)

Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice


Consult us on bibles, BSM tells Putrajaya

PETALING JAYA, April 3 — In a conciliatory gesture, the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) welcomed today the federal government’s 10-point initiative to close the widening religious polarity in multicultural Malaysia over the Alkitab debacle.

The BSM also said it was glad that religious differences could still be resolved peacefully here, unlike elsewhere in the world where extremists have taken control of ending disputes through a show of violence.

The organisation said it was willing to work with the federal government to prevent another outbreak of aggression between followers of different creeds.

BSM was referring to the latest spate of violent demonstration in Islamic Afghanistan that killed some 20 people and saw more injured following an extremist Christian preacher’s burning of the Quran in the US last month.

“BSM deeply appreciates the government’s 10-point solution which is not only an affirmation of the 2005 agreement but also includes additional safeguards to ensure that incidents that have recently been the bone of contention should not happen again,” its president, Lee Min Choon, said in a media statement today.

He said that BSM is also deeply touched by the government’s humility showed in admitting to shortcomings over the poor handling of the Alkitab issue and the request for forgiveness.

“BSM, without hesitation, forgives.

“BSM also releases the government of any obligation, legal or moral, to compensate BSM for the 5,000 copies of the Alkitab that cannot be sold and leaves this matter to the goodwill and judgment of the government,” Lee added, saying it looked forward to working with government officials to resolve long-standing interfaith disputes.

The lawyer, however, urged Putrajaya to consult the BSM first in future before making any decision that involved the Christian holy book.

The BSM is the main producer and importer of bibles in Malay and in other indigenous languages.

“This will be especially significant as BSM seeks the government’s cooperation in our forthcoming task to replenish supplies of the Alkitab to Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians who have been without these scriptures for the past few years,” he said.

“BSM as a Malaysian Christian institution pray and look forward to a day to come soon when there will be no more polarities in our midst,” Lee added.

Be courageous and dump BN, DAP tells voters

BN is also trying to be attractive by fielding 20 new faces and dropping Larry Sng, the party-less Pelagus assemblyman.

KUCHING: DAP is banking on young and courageous candidates in the hope of changing the fate of Sarawak for the better.

The party’s secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, in naming the party’s candidates for the state election, called upon the people of Sarawak to fight with them in making the change.

‘In a sense we are asking the people of Sarawak to have the courage to stand up. Do you have the courage to stand up?

“If Sarawak dares to stand up, Malaysia will dare to step forward for a new era of democracy and justice, freedom and prosperity,” he said.

“This election is so important that it can be likened to the ‘battle of the century’ for Sarawak,” he added.

He asked the people of Sarawak whether they still want the Barisan Nasional to continue to have the totalitarian greed of the affairs of Sarawak until the people are unable to live not only freely but the prosperity that they rightly deserve.

He said this after unveiling Sarawak DAP’s five candidates for the southern region.

The candidates are: Leon Jimat Donald for N27 Simanggang; Christina Chew (N13 Batu Kawah); Chong Chieng Jen (N12 Kota Sentosa); Violet Yong (N10 Pending) and Wong King Wei (N 9 Padungan).

The youngest of the five is Chew, who is only 26-years-old and the holder of a master’s degree in biochemistry; three of them – Wong, 31, Yong, 32, and Chong, 39 – are lawyers, while Leon, 33, is a diploma holder from United Kingdom.

Ten other candidates for the northern region were announced in Sibu.

“Our candidates are not only young, but also have the courage to fight for democracy, justice and the rights of the people,” he said.

He also told the Sarawak voters not to trust Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s retirement plan – due to kick off in the mid term after this election.

“Can you trust Taib? Do you trust him? I still remember SUPP chairman George Chan announcing that he wanted to retire in the last election. Did he retire?”

“No, he continued again. So if the BN wins again, they will use this as an excuse to go on and on,” he said.

He said that the only way to get rid of the BN leaders was by making sure they don’t win in the April 16 state polls.

Seven new faces in Sibu

Meanwhile in Sibu, state DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng announced 10 candidates for the northern region.

Apart from the three incumbents – Ting Tze Fui (Meradong), Chew Chin Sing (Kidurong) and Wong Ho Leng (Bukit Assek) – DAP has picked seven new faces.

They are Alice Lau Kiong Yieng, who is to face Wong Soon Koh in Bawang Assan, Yap Hoi Liong (Dudong), Leong Kwong Yaw (Bukit Kota), Ling Sie Kiong who is chosen to fight SUPP president George Chan in Piasau, Wong Hua She (Repok), David Wong Kee Woan (Pelawan) and Fong Pau Teck (Pujut).

In presenting the candidates to the press, Wong believed that the party’s line-up of candidates for the coming state election was the best so far.

“We are targeting to win all the seats that we are contesting,” he said.

Stand off with the police

Last night, Lim’s ceramah in Kuching – where he had named the five candides – was marred by the police who insisted that the meeting was illegal.

About 200 DAP supporters at the ceramah became angry when district police chief Mun Kok Kiong led a team to the stage to seize a microphone from state leader Chong Chieng Jen who was addressing the crowd.

Also present at the ceramah was DAP national advisor Lim Kit Siang.

Mun’s decision to snatch the microphone caused several DAP supporters to rush to the stage to face-off with the police, causing a moment of tension between the two parties.

Chong told Mun that the event was held at the party’s premises and was only the launching of the party’s mobilization programme and announcement of candidates. The officer however insisted that they must stop and the crowd must disperse.

Later talking to the media, Chong said that the police force appeared to be a part and parcel of Barisan Nasional.

“It looks like that the force is the 15th member of Barisan Nasional,” he added.

The Barisan Nasional announced its list of candidates today – fielding 20 new faces in the 71 seats, including four women. It also dropped Larry Sng, the party-less Pelagus assemblyman.

Heavy police presence mars anti-nuke demo

The police pressure forced the demonstrators to move away from the jetty point to the Klang Municipal Stadium where they held a brief gathering before dispersing.

KLANG: A heavy police presence today disrupted a peaceful demonstration against the possible construction of nuclear power plant at Pulau Ketam in Selangor.

Led by DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago, about 200 people started gathering at the Pulau Ketam jetty this morning. They were from numerous NGOs, such as the Klang Consumer Association, and several Pakatan Rakyat local councillors. Many had brought their children.

“However there were about 500 policemen to stop us in the jetty area,” said Santiago.

He added that the heavy police presence caused panic among the people who had only come to stage their objections peacefully against any plans by the government to place its nuclear plant in Selangor.

“The police were totally blatant, unprofessional and displayed thuggish behaviour,” he said.

The police had also erected roadblocks on the routes to the jetty.

Santiago said that the police pressure on them caused them to move away from the jetty point to the Klang Municipal Stadium where they held a brief gathering to outline their objections before dispersing.

No one was arrested during the gathering either at the jetty point or at the stadium.

The Klang police, when contacted, said they were there to stop an illegal assembly. Santiago said he had not applied for a police permit as “it is our right to gather peacefully”.

Five demands

Santiago said that the protesters had five demands to make to the government, the main one calling for the federal government to cancel any kind of plans to build nuclear power plants in the country.

The anti-nuclear plant group also stressed that they were not buying the government’s propaganda that nuclear energy was safe.

“We want the government to concentrate on renewable energy,” said Santiago of their third demand.

Fourthly, they emphasized on the dangers of having nuclear power plants and finally they urged the Pakatan-controlled Selangor to disallow the construction of any nuclear power plants in the state.

Also present at the demonstration were Selangor state exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar, Klang DAP parliamentary liaison committee chief Ivan Ho and local PAS leader Mohd Hanif Prasad Abdullah.

While the government has said that it was proceeding with its plans to build nuclear plants, it has nevertheless not publicly identified the sites for these plants.

The protest organisers believed that the nuclear plants will be build next to water source, and that Pulau Ketam was an ideal location.

Santiago cited Fukushima island in Japan as an example.

“It is away from the people on the mainland,” he said, adding that any radiation leak, when it happens, would still be dangerous to the people as was being seen in Japan now.

RPK on the ISA

Raja Petra Kamarudin talks about the history of the Internal Security Act


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) in conversation with Nicholas Farrelly, March 2011

A Blog Activist's Tale with Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK)

Raja Petra Kamarudin - Interview with Australia Network's Newsline


Q2: Why PKR instead of being an opposition, why not portray as a viable alternative govt?
Q3: MCLM prenuptial agreement?
Q4: Where is Malaysia heading?
Q5: How do we create an awareness? How do we create a common dialog?

Q6: What can MCLM do for me? (asks a "future leader")