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Monday, April 11, 2011

S. African president: Gadhafi accepts terms of agreement

A rebel fighter near Ajdabiya Saturday -- African Union members are planning to hold talks in Tripoli and Benghazi Sunday.Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, in negotiations with the African Union, has agreed in principal to a deal that would end the conflict in the nation he's ruled for 42 years, South African President Jacob Zuma told reporters Sunday.

Negotiations remained under way Sunday night between Gadhafi and the African Union delegation.

Details of the agreement were not available, though it is believed to include an immediate ceasefire in the nearly two-month long war between Gadhafi's forces and those fighting to unseat him. In his comments, Zuma also discussed an end to NATO airstrikes aimed at enforcing a no-fly zone and targeting Gadhafi's troops.

After staying overnight in Tripoli, the African Union delegation will fly Monday to the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi to meet with opposition leaders there.

Gadhafi has been a strong supporter of the African Union and has channeled large sums of money its way. Libya also holds a seat on the 15-member Peace and Security Council. As such, opposition leaders have voiced skepticism that mediation would end the conflict in a way that would satisfy their goals, which include Gadhafi's ouster.

The African Union's special committee on Libya is represented by Mauritania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Uganda as well as Zuma's South Africa.

As Gadhafi left one meeting at his compound in Tripoli, he made a rare public appearance for international media before riding off in a car as he waved to supporters near his tent. The leader then entered a second meeting with the delegation.

Earlier Sunday, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz told journalists that the meetings "will discuss the ways to resolve the crisis in Libya, and our main goal is to stop the military operations and find adequate solutions for the problem between our Libyan brothers," according to a Mauritanian news agency.

After a series of setbacks driven by the advances of pro-government forces, Libyan rebel fighters this weekend recaptured the besieged city of Ajdabiya after apparently holding off Gadhafi's better-equipped forces.

In a hospital, witnesses told CNN on Saturday that three of Gadhafi's fighters who were killed were carrying identification cards from Syria, Algeria and Chad.

Meanwhile, in Misrata, NATO airstrikes hit parts of the city overnight and Sunday, an eyewitness told CNN, who did not want to be named for security reasons. At least eight people were killed and 22 injured from Saturday's fighting between the pro-Gadhafi forces and the rebels, according to medical sources in the city.

On Sunday, two rebel fighters died as they attempted to hunt down pro-Gadhafi snipers near the city center, another eyewitness said. The rebels were able to recover the bodies of 15 such snipers shot earlier Sunday. The snipers took positions on top of residential and commercial buildings, the eyewitness said.

NATO airstrikes on Sunday hit various positions in and around the city, destroying 14 tanks, the eyewitness said. Sporadic fighting continued Sunday, but had decreased from recent days as the airstrikes kept pro-Gadhafi forces busy.

Some youths, captured in recent days by rebels, said they were teenagers and secondary-school students who had been forced to leave their homes in nearby towns and villages and undergo mandatory weeklong military training before fighting in Misrata, according to the second eyewitness.

Pro-Gadhafi forces continued shelling parts of the city Sunday morning, the eyewitness said. A steel mill near the port was targeted but the port is now under rebel control, eyewitnesses said. However, the port still holds about 4,000 foreign workers who are trying to leave the city.

Civilians living in the western sections of Misrata have been forced to leave their homes and have gathered in schools and friends' and relatives' homes near the city center, eyewitnesses said.

In a statement Saturday, NATO said its aircraft destroyed pro-Gadhafi ammunition stockpiles east of Tripoli that were supplying troops shelling Misrata and other cities. The alliance also made attacks on armored vehicles near Misrata and Ajdabiya, NATO said.

Opposition spokesman Shamsiddin Abdulmolah told CNN that rebels flew two attack helicopters from Tobruk to join the fighting in Ajdabiya.

"There were some 50 regime pickup trucks with machine guns and rocket launchers that attempted to enter Ajdabiya," Abdulmolah said. "The helicopters destroyed several of the trucks, and the rest took off."

Abdulmolah did not know what kind of helicopters the rebel forces used in Saturday's attack and could not confirm whether rebel forces coordinated the operation with NATO.

NATO is operating under a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force to protect Libyan civilians from attack.

The United Nations said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to Cairo Thursday to head meetings on Libya at the Arab League headquarters. Among the participants will be Catherine Ashton, the representative for foreign affairs and security for the European Union.

While Gadhafi has largely stayed out of the public eye in recent days, state TV aired images Saturday of the leader visiting what appeared to be a primary school in Tripoli. The anchor said the school was a target of international airstrikes and was going to be attacked.

But NATO said in its statement that Gadhafi's forces continue to use civilians as human shields.

"We have observed horrific examples of regime forces deliberately placing their weapons systems close to civilians, their homes and even their places of worship," said Lt. Gen. Charlie Bouchard, commander of NATO's Operation Unified Protector. "Troops have also been observed hiding behind women and children. This type of behavior violates the principles of international law and will not be tolerated."

BN troubled as Pakatan rally draws more support

KUCHING, April 11 — Barisan Nasional (BN) was left red-faced last night when two separate rallies across the city featuring Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his arch-nemesis Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim drew vastly different crowd numbers.

The usually conservative Sarawak folk arrived in droves at Anwar’s rally in the Batu Kawah constituency just 30 minutes outside of the city, all clambering to listen to the opposition leader and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) bigwigs like DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and PAS spiritual leader Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

According to observers at least 8,000 were in attendance, causing a major two-hour traffic congestion on the roads leading to the ceramah venue.

Held at the same time in the same city, Najib’s 1 Malaysia meet-the-leaders session paled in comparison.

Even with the bussing of people from various neighbouring constituencies into Kuching South City Hall’s indoor stadium, only a thousand were seen in it.

Each participant were given a 1 Malaysia t-shirt to wear to signal unity and flags to wave at BN government leaders as they made their way into the stadium.

Accompanying the BN chairman were the five Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) candidates, and political bigwigs like Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

After the prime minister followed the red carpet trail leading into the hall to the sounds of hoots and whistles from the white-shirt supporters, hundreds were seen streaming out, choosing to opt out of listening to his speech.

Instead, they were seen loitering around the stadium complex, chatting and feasting on the hamburgers and mineral water that were handed out.

Even as Najib’s function kicked off, large numbers were seen lounging in the buses and vans that had ferried them into the venue.

When the prime minister began his speech, large groups of people, garbed in the 1 Malaysia t-shirts, decided to stream out of the hall.

Others appeared to look bored but clapped dutifully at Najib’s punchlines or when those around them did so. The bleachers steadily emptied out as the night wore on.

While the BN chairman tried to temper the people’s growing anger against Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud by pleading with them to believe the chief minister’s succession promise, the thousands that gathered at Batu Kawah cheered as PR’s leaders told them to believe otherwise.

According to reporters at the venue, Anwar received steady attention from the crowd thoughout his speech.

In his element when addressing such large audiences, the opposition leader told Sarawakians to believe in PR and its leaders, adding that “Pek Moh”, the Hokkien term used to describe Taib, and his men in government, needed to learn from Lim, Nik Aziz and other opposition leaders.

“They have never stolen state land from the people,” he pointed out.

He drew from PR’s experiences in the Selangor and Penang state governments, pointing out that “in Selangor you get free water but in Sarawak only the rainwater is free”.

Sarawak will go to polls this April 16 in an election that is fast becoming BN’s to lose.

While PR’s leaders have long admitted that BN would successfully defend its hold over the hornbill state, many have also expressed confidence that the pact’s numbers win the state assembly would be significantly reduced.

BN presently has 63 seats in the 71-seat assembly while DAP has six and PKR and Parti Cinta Malaysia have one each.

Behind PKR-SNAP impasse, a battle to be CM

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The extensive campaign to highlight alleged land grabs in Sarawak has become a double-edged sword for the opposition, causing restlessness among Dayak voters but also a rift between PKR and the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) in their ambition to claim the chief ministership.

Barisan Nasional (BN) is not expected to lose the 26 Malay-Melanau seats held by Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

But should BN be denied the 36 seats needed to retain power, then the opposition party with the most Dayak representatives would be in a strong position to lead a new state government.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will be forced to negotiate with SNAP to form government despite the latter failing to reach an electoral pact with PKR before nominations on Wednesday.

A SNAP operative said that even though DAP was expected to deliver the lion’s share of opposition seats, a Chinese CM would not be politically acceptable.

“Even though PKR thinks it can win some Malay-Melanau seats, it will boil down to who can be said to represent the Dayaks, who are the real majority race in the state,” the source told The Malaysian Insider.

“If SNAP has more Dayak seats, president Edwin Dundang will definitely try to put himself up for CM,” he said, although he added that younger leaders like vice presidents Anthony Liman and Augustine Liom may come into the picture.

PKR sources revealed that even though it relaxed from deputy president Azmin Ali’s earlier position of just three seats for SNAP, it was never willing to allow the latter the lion’s share of the 27 Dayak seats.

PKR also decided to run Gerang ak Dagom in Marudi despite earlier assurances it would not contest against Dundang.

PR parties have already endorsed state PKR chief Baru Bian as their CM-elect.

The lawyer, who is running in Ba’Kelalan, has been leading the fight for Dayaks against the state government over native customary rights (NCR) land.

Abdul Taib’s 30-year administration has been accused of widespread corruption in appropriating land with little or no compensation given to mainly Dayak landowners.

It is understood that intelligence reports are finding that the land issue is causing BN, who swept 63 of the 71 seats in the 2006 state polls, some unease in Dayak territory this time around.

Political scientist Shahruddin Badaruddin told The Malaysian Insider that PKR is still confident of securing Dayak support without SNAP’s help.

“They don’t feel that their machinery will be greatly affected. They have raised local leaders and Baru has been visibly fighting for Dayaks on the land issue,” the Universiti Teknology Mara professor said.

Analyst Ong Kian Ming also said that the Dayak vote was more likely to swing than the other communities.

“It has been common for an independent Dayak candidate to win. A localised candidate is more important than the party brand,” he said.

Deepak vs. RPK: Round 6


There were two things which Deepak told me. He informed me that Rosmah was very happy with me for retracting my 1st statutory declaration and wanted to have breakfast with me. When I enquired from Deepak how long I was expected to leave the country for, he informed me it would be until Najib became the next Prime Minister and that I could return after that. -- P.I. Balasubramaniam

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin
Q 1.    How long had you known ASP Suresh before this incident?

A    I have know him for about 10 years. I met him when he was a senior Investigation Officer at the IPK Kuala Lumpur. I was a private investigator then. ASP Suresh used to ask me to assist him in obtaining fast traces and details on mobile phones as I had contacts in the phone companies and was able to get the information required faster than the police who had to go through official channels.

At one stage I was working for ASP Suresh as a bouncer at his pub in Jalan Imbi.

He had been suspended from his duties as a police officer sometime in 2006 as he was being investigated for corruption by the ACA.

Q 2.    Had you met Deepak before this incident?

A    No. But I had done some PI work for his brother Dinesh in the past. I knew Deepak was Dinesh’s brother.

Q 3.    You have said that you met a Malay VIP Datuk outside the Volkswagen showroom at The Curve on the night of July 3rd 2008. Who was this gentleman?

A    He was Datuk Nazim Razak, the younger brother of Najib. He was there with his pregnant wife. Although I did not speak to her, I recognized her as being a TV personality. I think she was the host on the ‘Nona’ programme.

Deepak was the one who brought them there to meet me.

That is why ASP Suresh did not want us to meet in a place where there would have been a CCTV camera.

Q 4.    When you were in the Hilton Hotel at KL Sentral with Deepak, Dinesh and ASP and after you had signed the 2nd statutory declaration, was there anything said to you which you consider to be significant?


A    Yes there were two things which Deepak told me.

He informed me that Rosmah was very happy with me for retracting my 1st statutory declaration and wanted to have breakfast with me.

When I enquired from Deepak how long I was expected to leave the country for, he informed me it would be until Najib became the next Prime Minister and that I could return after that.

Q 5.    When did you contact your lawyer Americk Sidhu?

A    I called him in the middle of July 2009. I was still in India then. I wanted to arrange a meeting with him to inform him what had happened to me and to apologize for all the trouble I had caused. Americk was in the UK when I called him so we arranged to meet in Kuala Lumpur when he returned at the beginning of August.

Q 6.    Did you meet him?

A    Yes. We met in early august. At the meeting were two other senior lawyers who Americk had arranged to be present. I told them everything that had happened to me from the time I left Americk’s office in the evening of the 3rd July 2008.

Q 7.    Did you realize that this meeting had been secretly videoed?

A    I did not realize I was being filmed. I was however subsequently informed that a recording had been made and this video is safe-keeping. I understand this was done to protect me in the event something untoward happened to me again.

Q 8.    How did you manage to survive financially all the time you were away?

A    Deepak arranged intermittent payments to be made to me. Some payments were made to my wife directly into her account with the EON Bank in KL.

Other payments were made to ASP Suresh who then arranged payment to me directly or through a friend of mine in Malaysia.

I have copies of some of the cheques issued by Deepak Jayakishan and from his company Carpet Raya Sdn Bhd.

I also have copies of my wife’s bank statements showing the deposits which were made.

I also have copies of my HSBC account in Chennai.

Q 9.    How much money did you receive from Deepak from the time you left Malaysia in July 2008 till now?

A     All together approximately RM750,000.00.

Q 10.    Do you have any money left?

A    Yes, I have invested approximately RM250,000.00 for my future as I am not sure what will happen to me.

I also spent some money on renovations to my house in Rawang as my wife and youngest child were there. These renovations were in respect of the security of my home only.

The rest of the money was spent on renting accommodation in Chennai, paying for my children’s schooling and for daily expenses.

Q 11.    Didn’t Deepak promise you RM5.0 million?

A     The negotiations were all conducted by ASP Suresh at the Bak Kut Teh stall in Rawang on the night of the 3rd July 2008. I was not involved in these negotiations as I was not concerned about money but the safety of my family.

I have subsequently come to realize that ASP Suresh had a vested interest in all his as I know he has received about the same amount of money from Deepak as I have. His job was to keep me under control. This is why he is annoyed with me for not following his instructions because his income from Deepak would be affected.

Q 12.    Why  did you wait so long before revealing all this?


A    When I was at the Hilton Hotel at KL Sentral, I had asked Deepak how long I would have to stay out of the country. He told me it would have to be until Najib became the Prime Minister.

I could not return to Malaysia before February 2009 as one Kumar had my passport in his possession in India for 5 months.

I only got my passport back after I complained to Deepak when he visited me in India with ASP Suresh. Deepak called his brother Rajesh to find out what had happened to my passport and within 2 days Kumar asked me to pick it up from him.

I was at this time in India illegally as my visa had expired on the 5th September 2008.

In order to get my visa extended I had to seek assistance from my wife’s uncle the exco member who managed to get it extended for 1 year. Only after this was I able to travel back to Malaysia.

Q 13.    What happened when you arrived back in Malaysia in February 2009?

A     When I landed in KL, I called Dinesh to inform him I was back in Malaysia. I was summoned to Deepaks office in Sungai Besi at 11.45 pm the same night and was told in no uncertain terms to leave the country immediately, but I stayed a little longer as I wanted to be with my children and my wife. They didn’t know I had not left immediately.

Q 14.    Why did you come back to Malaysia in April 2009?

A     Just to see my wife and children. This time I did not tell anyone I was back and so I was not harassed.

Q 15.    Why have you now decided to reveal everything?

A    Because I want to stop all harassments and so that I can return to my normal life.

Q 16    Were the contents of your 1st statutory declaration true?

A    Yes.

Q 16    Were you forced to sign the 1st statutory declaration under duress?

A    Absolutely not.

Q 17.    Were you forced to sign the 2nd statutory declaration under duress?

A    Yes, because I was fearful for the safety of my family and I did not read the contents of the 2nd statutory declaration before I was asked to sign it.

Never too late to do the right thing

By Haris Ibrahim,

Last Saturday, I had lunch with someone from the SNAP corner somewhere in PJ.
He laid before me his reasons why I was wrong in the recent conclusions and public statements I had made of and concerning SNAP.

I gave him my reasons why I remained unconvinced by his attempts to persuade me to his point of view.
However, I conceded that I did not have cold, hard evidence that pointed irrefutably to treachery on the part of SNAP. All I had was strong circumstantial evidence that, for me, left me with the sense that all was not well in SNAP and that there were moves by certain quarters from within the party that would undermine efforts to bring about a regime change in Sarawak.

“Could I be wrong in my conclusions about SNAP?”, he asked.

I replied that I hoped SNAP would prove us all wrong, in which event I would gladly publicly apologise to all those that I had named in my ‘BN-ning SNAP…’ post.

Yesterday, FreeMalaysiaToday reported that PKR’s Baru Bian urged SNAP to withdraw in contests where both SNAP and PKR were contesting, to enable PKR to take BN head on in a one-on-one contest.
“I heard many of them are not making any headway. If this is the case, I advise them to withdraw and throw their support to Pakatan Rakyat candidates. After all our aim is to topple this government and bring change to Sarawak. The Barisan Nasional state government is our enemy and we should pool all our resources to defeat them”,  Bian is reported to have said.

SNAP has responded to this call with a proposal that, in my view, places the burden on PKR to now walk its talk.

Malaysiakini reports that shortly after Bian’s appeal, SNAP advisor, Daniel Tajem responded to the same by proposing that both SNAP and PKR now sit down together, assess the strengths of their respective candidates in the overlapping seats, and pick the stronger for a straight contest with BN.

And, it would seem from the report, that this was previously proposed by Tajem at the very outset of the failed negotiations between the two parties.

“I welcome the suggestion by Bian that we don’t contest seats where we are in multi-cornered fights with the BN. But let him quickly get together with us and show in which seats Snap are lagging in candidate strength and party machinery effectiveness and we, on our part, will do likewise for areas in which we feel PKR are defective. Let us then sort this out very quickly and mutually agree to allow the one to make way for the other on application of the test that I first suggested as a method of settlement of our overlapping claims when talks on seat sharing were held between our two parties.” , Tajem is quoted as saying.

In a post on 4th April, I called upon Tajem to speak up.

Whilst Tajem has not said anything to put to rest the several concerns raised in that post, I think there is tremendous value in his proposal.

My sources in Sarawak inform me that DAP is doing well in the 15 seats that they will be contesting in, and that we can expect them to take more than 10 seats.

24 seats are needed to deny BN a 2/3 majority in the Sarawak state legislative assembly.
A compromise between PKR and SNAP, as proposed by Tajem, offers the best prospect of denying BN that 2/3 majority, taking into account the seats that DAP will capture.

I would suggest one modification to Tajem’s proposal, though, to make it workable.
Both parties agree to leave the final decision to an independent arbiter, if they cannot themselves come to a consensus as to the better of their respective candidates in the overlapping constituencies.
Baru, Tajem, time is fast running out.

If both of your respective parties truly share the common objective of ousting both Taib and BN through this state election, act now.

Petunjuk baru kes Sarbani

Berita Harian
Oleh Wan Faizal Ismayatim

Polis terus kumpul bukti kematian pegawai kastam

KUALA LUMPUR: Polis sedang meneliti beberapa bahan bukti yang dipercayai dapat memberi petunjuk baru bagi merungkai misteri kematian pegawai kastam, Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed, termasuk kandungan telefon bimbitnya.

Telefon bimbit milik Allahyarham itu adalah antara bahan bukti yang disiasat Unit Forensik Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM).

Selain telefon bimbit, polis juga sedang menjalankan analisa terhadap rakaman kamera litar tertutup (CCTV) yang dirampas di Ibu Pejabat Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) Wilayah Persekutuan.

Polis juga dijangka memanggil beberapa lagi individu yang dipercayai dapat membantu siasatan yang dijalankan polis.

Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Ku Chin Wah, berkata polis menemui petunjuk baru setiap hari hasil percakapan yang dirakamkan daripada beberapa individu selain pemeriksaan dan siasatan oleh Unit Forensik PDRM di tempat kejadian.

Beliau memberi jaminan siasatan akan dijalankan secara terperinci dan dilengkapkan secepat mungkin, tetapi tidak mahu menetapkan tempohnya sebelum kertas siasatan diserahkan kepada Peguam Negara.

“Setiap hari ada perkembangan yang signifikan dan ada petunjuk. Semua itu kita buat analisa dan cuba sedaya upaya untuk menyelesaikannya segera kerana kes ini mendapat perhatian ramai,” katanya ketika ditemui di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Cheras, semalam.

Dalam kejadian Rabu lalu, Ahmad Sarbani, 56, Penolong Pengarah Cawangan Import, Eksport dan Kawalan Sempadan KDRM Selangor ditemui mati di tingkat satu pejabat SPRM Wilayah Persekutuan di Jalan Cochrane di sini, dipercayai terjatuh dari tingkat tiga bangunan.

Kelmarin, Ketua Polis Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah, dilaporkan berkata pihaknya sudah merakamkan percakapan 16 individu termasuk pegawai SPRM, kakitangan Kastam Diraja Malaysia (KDRM) dan ahli keluarga Ahmad Sarbani bagi membantu siasatan.

Death in custody – Jiwa Ramamorthy (Senai police station/Kulai Magistrate’s Court lock-up, 11 Apr 2005)

Six years ago today, Jiwa Ramamorthy died in the lock-up of the Kulai Magistrate Court, Johor, due to head injuries.  He had been arrested on 11 April 2005 for an alleged robbery and was taken to the Senai police station for questioning.

It was reported that Jiwa Ramamorthy had sustained head injuries at the time of his arrest from being beaten by a vigilante group.  He was detained overnight in the Senai police station lock-up and then taken to the Kulai Magistrate Court later in the morning to be remanded.  He died while waiting in the lock-up of the Magistrate’s Court, approximately 6 to 10 hours after arrest.

It was reported that Jiwa Ramamorthy’s widow, V. Jagathiswary sued the Government and the police force for failing to take his injuries into account and failing to provide him with necessary medical treatment.  The outcome of this suit was not reported.

Despite the requirement that all custodial deaths be investigated by inquiries conducted pursuant to Chapter XXXII of the Criminal Procedure Code, it does not appear that an inquest has been conducted into Jiwa Ramamorthy’s death.

Every death in custody must be thoroughly and impartially investigated.  Jiwa Ramamorthy’s death must not be relegated to a mere statistic.

Based on the Royal Malaysia Police’s statistics, 85 persons died in police custody between 2003 and 2007 alone.

We express our heartfelt condolences to Jiwa Ramamorthy’s family and friends on this anniversary of his death.

Don't Be Fooled By Opposition Tactic, Says Najib

KUCHING, 11 April (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Sunday the opposition was trying to make an issue of the long tenure of Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

The Prime Minister said he and Taib had agreed on a smooth transition to ensure continued progress for the state.

"So let us not be influenced by the instigations of the opposition because they themselves have many leaders who are old," he said at a meet-the-people session in the indoor stadium of the Kuching South City Council.

Also present were Gerakan president Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon and Home Minister O Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, who is Umno vice-president. "I have come to Sarawak many times because I wish to help the people in the state and as such, I urge you to choose candidates in the (Sarawak) election who can represent the Chinese community and other races," said Najib.

He said Chinese representation in the state government was important to look after the wellbeing of the community like its request for another Chung Hua school in Kuching.

"I will consider such a request from BN elected representatives and there is a very good chance of it being approved," he said, adding that there was also a request for a metropolitan health project for the state capital.

He said the BN government would bring about structured change including transformation programmes, so that more rural infrastructure and utilities projects could be implemented in Sarawak.

"This is the difference between us and the opposition, whose promises to do and deliver is not guaranteed but the BN can deliver and has delivered," he said.

"If you give us the mandate, we will give you more change for the better," he said, adding that it was unnecessary to vote for the DAP for change because uncertainty would be bad for businesses.

Even in opposition-held states that managed to attract foreign investments, he said, it was largely due to the efforts of the federal government and agencies like MIDA and MITI.

Sarawak is already the richest state, but…

Believe it or or not, Sarawak is already the richest state in the country. But much of its wealth is fast disappearing, warns our correspondent.
Long Singu, Sarawak © Lizzie Bardwell courtesy of Molong Post
The BN pledges to make Sarawak the richest state in Malaysia.
But, according to the Department of Statistics, Sarawak is already the richest state in Malaysia, outside of WP Kuala Lumpur.

Yes, you read that correctly: The Department of Statistics reports that Sarawak is already the richest state in Malaysia.

According to the department, Sarawak’s GDP per person, a common measure of wealth, amounted to RM30,318 in 2009, higher than Penang’s RM29,569 and Selangor’s RM27,609, and much higher than Johor’s RM18,458.

Why then is Sarawak a net exporter of people — despite the large inflow of foreign labour into Sarawak? Why are tens of thousands of Sarawakians leaving and going to places like Johor and Selangor to look for work? Why does Sarawak have higher unemployment?

In other words, it appears that Sarawak’s problem is the distribution of that wealth. Selangor and Penang may not have as high a per capita GDP, but it is better distributed, meaning households and individuals have better incomes Sarawak’s GDP/person may be higher, but as Sarawakians well know, Sarawak’s wealth is increasingly concentrated into the hands of a few, including the “first” family.

Take oil palm development: yes, that is generating large amounts of wealth, but does it go to the people? Or, instead, to a handful of companies? What about the timber wealth? Where has that gone? Into real property and buildings in Canada, Australia, the United States and England, belonging to the “first” family, to the big six timber companies, or into the pockets of the ordinary people of Sarawak?

What about business opportunities? Who gets the contracts, leaving the people to scramble for sub- and sub-sub contracts?

And land? Once upon a time, the natives of Sarawak were the richest in the country. Today, they find themselves losing more and more of that land. The people of Asap Resettlement know that best of all. Before, they owned and had access to hundreds of thousands of hectares of the Balui valley. Today, they are forced to live on little more than 1 hectare a family.

Meanwhile, Sarawak has the lowest – lower even than Sabah – road development index in the country. Low income Sarawakians “enjoy” less of the electricity rebate than elsewhere in the country — they get the same allowance of up to RM20 a month, but the per unit charge in Sarawak is 50 per cent higher than in Malaya or Sabah. Worse, more Sarawakians are without 24/7 electricity than even in Sabah, and what clean water they used to get is increasingly polluted by loggers and land/plantation developers. Even phone coverage in Sarawak is worse than in Sabah.

What Sarawak needs is a voice for the people; recognition of their human, social economic and cultural rights; and accountability and transparency in governance — at all times, not just when there is a challenge at elections.

What Sarawak does not need are fine pledges over which they have no right to call the government to account while they see their so-called leaders get richer by the day! What they don’t need are leaders who tell them to be grateful for the little goodies tossed their way come election time, road construction vehicles which appear at election time and disappear even before the results are announced, and promises laced with threats. What they want is government for and by the people, a true 1Sarawak, not a 1Sarawak for 1family & friends.
To the people of Sarawak: what you see today is the result of the presence of a strong opposition. Without that, there would not have been all this promised expenditure and promises.

Remember: a vote for the BN is a vote for business as it has been these past thirty years; a vote for BN is a vote for Taib; a vote for the BN is to vote away our future.

Today, Sarawak may have the highest GDP/person in the country, outside of Wilayah Perseketuan KL. But much of that wealth is disappearing. The next five years are critical.

Ubah!

AU seeks end to Libya unrest

African Union mediators on Libya have reiterated their appeal for "an immediate end to all hostilities" and proposed a transition period to adopt reforms as intense fighting continues across the country.

A committee headed by Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has arrived in Tripoli and will meet Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Sunday evening before heading to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

The delegation of presidents also includes South Africa's Jacob Zuma, Mali's Amadou Toumani Toure, Democratic Republic of Congo's Denis Sassou Nguessou and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni.

A statement from Jacob Zuma read: "The committee has been granted permission by NATO to enter Libya and to meet in Tripoli with Gaddafi. The AU delegation will also meet with the Interim Transitional National Council in Benghazi on 10 and 11 April."

The committee said in a statement that it had decided to go along with a roadmap adopted in March, which calls for an end to hostilities, "diligent conveying of humanitarian aid" and "dialogue between the Libyan parties".

It also said it intended to propose "inclusive management" of a transition period aimed at adopting and setting up of "the political reforms needed to eliminate the causes of the present crisis."

When Zuma's plane touched down in Tripoli, he was met with crowds of Gaddafi supporters, waving banners saying: "No to foreign intervention."

Nabila Ramdani, a French journalist and Middle East expert, said the situation with regards to Libya had reached not only a military but also a political deadlock.

"It's quite worrying," she told Al Jazeera. "Unfortunately, my view about the African Union is that it will appear as not being a credible group of people to be in a position to broker a deal on behalf of [Muammar] Gaddafi.

"They're a group of dictators themselves and they won't be taken very seriously given that they're from very brutal regimes which are in many ways far worse than the Gaddafi regime."

Ajdabiya shelled

Meanwhile, opposition fighters said forces loyal to Gaddafi had killed four rebels in a battle for control of the strategic east Libyan town of Ajdabiya.

"I saw the four this morning. Their throats were slit and they were all shot through the chest and dumped on the road. Their car was also riddled with bullets," Mohammed Saad, a rebel at a checkpoint on the eastern edge of Ajdabiya, told Reuters.

Al Jazeera's Sue Turton, reporting from just north of Ajdabiya, confirmed that fighting was ongoing.

"We're seeing plumes of smoke and constant shelling ... There are pockets of Gaddafi's forces in the city."

She said she had been told that there were patients in a hospital who appeared to have been shot by sniper fire.

She described the city as something of a "ghost town" as many residents have fled since fighting erupted a few weeks ago.

On Saturday, rebels fought off an assault by Gaddafi's forces on the besieged western city of Misurata, losing up to 30 men.

Mustafa Abdulrahman, a rebel spokesman, said Saturday's fighting centred on a road to Misurata port, while NATO carried out several attacks on forces loyal to the Libyan leader.

Abdulrahman praised what he called a positive change from NATO. Rebels have complained for days that NATO has been too slow to respond to government attacks.

NATO said armoured vehicles firing on civilians had been targeted in air strikes, and that its jets had also struck ammunition stockpiles being used to resupply forces involved in the shelling of Misurata and other population centres.

A rebel who identified himself as Abdelsalem told Reuters that government troops had attacked Misurata on three fronts.

"Medical workers and rebels told me that at least 30 rebel fighters were killed," he said.

Residents fleeing

Misurata, Libya's third largest city, has been under siege by Gaddafi's forces for weeks. Rebels say people are crammed five families to a house in the few safe districts to escape weeks of sniper, mortar and rocket fire.

There are severe shortages of food, water and medical supplies and hospitals are overflowing.

Residents used boats to flee to the eastern city of Benghazi on Saturday.

"There is not a word in the dictionary to describe this. 'Disaster' is not enough," Ali Spak, the captain of one of the ships, said.

"There is very bad destruction. This man [Gaddafi] is killing his own people. There's shelling everywhere, even on the people trying to leave. People need help," one man on the boat said.

Doctors said last week that 200 people had been killed in Misurata since fighting broke out there in late February.

The Red Cross on Saturday ferried emergency medical supplies and five staff for 300 people wounded in the
city.
Click here for more of our special coverage

Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, the commander of the alliance's operations in Libya, accused Gaddafi's forces of using civilians as human shields, adding to similar charges made by other Western commanders.

"We have observed horrific examples of regime forces deliberately placing their weapons systems close to civilians, their homes and even their places of worship," Bouchard said in a statement.

"Troops have also been observed hiding behind women and children. This type of behaviour violates the principles of international law and will not be tolerated."

Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

Interlok: Your God in capital letter, my god in lower case

Written by Iraiputtiran
Commentary

CPI Introduction
In final comments in the open letter addressed to the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, on his handling of the Interlok textbook issue, blogger Iraiputirran noted:
“Under your Umno NEP system, many of the professors and PhDs that you produce can hardly write an article for a journal let alone accomplish the task of writing and producing a book. Coming from the same racist system, how could you be any different, Mr Minister?”
These comments are a reminder that the Minister was supported in his decision by an eight-person expert committee consisting of so-called distinguished professors and eminent scholars. Various members of the panel have remained deaf and dumb as theInterlok issue rages around them although one would have expected them to be concerned with enlightening the public and parents of school children as to the reasons for the decisions the panel arrived at. 
 
The behaviour of these members of the panel brings to mind the harsh judgments below arrived at of a certain class of academicians:
“The system of journal editing existing in our field at the present time virtually forces academics to become prostitutes: they sell themselves for money (and a good living). Unlike prostitutes who  sell their bodies for money, academics sell their soul to conform to the will of others….
For these Malaysian academicians, it appears that the gains are too high for them to buck the system.  Academic perks; rapid rise in the academic hierarchy; professorships, datukships and even Tan Sri-ships: these rewards await them who engage in fawning and sycophantic support of the system however illogical, devious or harmful the policy decisions may be.
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muhyiddinInterlok: Your God in capital letter, my god in lower case
By Iraiputtiran

Open letter to Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin

You, Sir, are becoming a complete embarrassment to this country. If Interlok has given anyone an opportunity to prove anything at all, then probably it has given you the best chance to expose your Umno NEP intellectuality.

From the very beginning, the issue with Interlok has been very clear. It was a case of an unsuitable book and wrongly chosen without a thorough analysis. Or otherwise, it was deliberately chosen with the ill-intention of poisoning innocent young minds in schools with the venomous agenda of Umno racism and Umno supremacy.  
The book – which Indians were the first to object to (infuriated as they are by the vilification of their community from the demeaning portrayal of Indian characters throughout the novel) – is also being rejected by non-Indians, who have begun to see the inappropriateness of the book as a major public exam material.

Your excuses for rejecting the amendments suggested as ‘minute’, ‘not pertinent’, not sensitive’, ‘non-important things’ , etc. demonstrates your shallow thinking and dearth of knowledge in the areas concerned –  linguistics, literature and academic assessment!

You rubbished the suggestion to correct the misspelt word ‘tuhan’ to ‘Tuhan’ as ‘minute’ ‘not pertinent’ and ‘non-important’! Is this sheer stupidity or ignorance beyond help? It is really hard to figure out in those bred by Umno’s NEP. 
 
Respecting spelling and scholarship

Accuracy in spelling is a basic requirement in language, literature, and all other disciplines for that matter. Simonsen & Gunther (2001, p. 104) in their research paper, Best Practices in Spelling Instruction: A Research Summary concluded that while often neglected, spelling is an important academic skill for students to learn in school. Masterson & Apel (2010, p. 35) in discussing spelling sensitivity explained that spelling is a  language skill supported by several linguistic knowledge sources, including phonemic, orthographic, and morphological knowledges.

Even for students with learning disabilities and dyslexia, different teaching and assessment methodologies are being used to develop their spelling skills. 
 
A quick search in the world’s top teaching research journals would reveal hundreds of research work world wide and their findings on developing spelling skills. As Interlok is a compulsory text, it is of utmost importance to ensure that both the examination paper and the reading material are perfect, devoid of any error. Hence the long list of suggestions from the three Indian panel members.

Nevertheless, in an attempt to belittle and vilify the Indians (as Umno stalwarts like you always do), you had actually brushed off those suggestions as ‘minute’ ‘non-important’ and ‘not pertinent’!

In all honesty, this (tuhan) is not merely a misspelt word but rather deliberate and continued act by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka – DBP (baashai/pustakam from Tamil) to promote Islamic bigotry and religious fanaticism. By spelling the word ‘tuhan’ with a lower case ‘t’ whenever it was Maniam or his family members referring to God, in contrast with Seman or his mother referring to God with an upper case ‘T’ for ‘Tuhan’, you and Umno are also telling the Hindus that the Muslim God is the only God and ours is a lower God, a demigod.

If this is not yet another subtle form of Islamisation of the young innocent minds into accepting Islam as the greatest religion, just as what is being done with the History syllabus, then what is it? 
 
“Sejak bapanya meninggal dunia, Seman cukup rajin beribadat. Cukup banyak dia meminta doa kepada Tuhan supaya …Dia teringat akan Tuhan … Barangkali ibunya sedang meminta doa kepada Tuhan supaya … Siapa tahu kuasa Tuhan? Barangkali itupun kuasa Tuhan. …Barangkali itupun kuasa Tuhan. Baru kali inilah dia berasa dirinya benar-benar dekat dengan Tuhan. Baru kali inilah dia berasa sembahyangnya diterima oleh Tuhan…(pages 293-294) 
Compare this to: Maniam tidak ada anak…Dia percaya suatu masa nanti, tuhan akan memberi kepada mereka cahaya mata. (p. 214) 
 
Maniam berasa dia mengenali orang yang bertubuh rendah itu… Ya, tuhanku! Serunya perlahan-lahan. (p. 230) 
 
Maniam terus mencangkul… Ya tuhanku! Mengapa aku jadi begini? (p. 244)
Hold your breath and read on…!

Children of lesser gods
Tuhan I: Allah yang mencipta alam semesta…(Kamus Dewan Edisi Ketiga, m.s. 1478)
tuhan II sesuatu (seperti dewa dsb) yang dipuja oleh golongan manusia yang agama atau kepercayaan mereka tidak berasaskan kepercayaan kepada Tuhan Yg Esa (Kamus Dewan Edisi Ketiga, m.s. 1478)

Yes, the above Malay national dictionary citations are a deliberate propaganda by DBP that is responsible for publishing both Kamus Dewan and Interlok (student edition) to promote Islam as the greatest religion in the world.

Tuhan can only be Allah, and can never be Jesus, Shiva, Shakti, Buddha, Yahweh, Waheguru, or any other God. All other gods are lower beings than the Islamic Tuhan. Look at how DBP reduces the other gods into ‘sesuatu’, ‘dewa’ dan ‘sebagainya’. 
 
In Hinduism, Dewa or Devargal is/are never God(s). What is DBP and Umno trying to indoctrinate in the minds of school children with such an extreme vilification of other religions?

Who gave the right to Umno and DBP to decide whose GOD is higher and whose is not. Such spelling of words has far reaching consequences, which Umno seemed to have capitalized on very well. 
 
A research by H.M. Olk (2002, p. 126) titled Translating culture, a think-aloud protocol study, proves that students perceive capitalized nouns as having a higher status, given that in English, all proper nouns have capital letters and that usually means they are important. Going by the same perception, our students too will eventually be made to believe that Islam is the greatest religion in the world. We know Umno’s shrewd mine just too well.

In translation there is a methodology called ‘back translation’. This technique is used to get accuracy in translation of difficult words, including cultural terms. A back translation of the misspelt word ‘tali’ would give an equivalent ‘kayiru’ (rope/string) whereas the translation of the suggested correction ‘taali’ would produce an equivalent ‘maangalyam/ taali/manggala sutra’ (marriage sacred thread). As such, the marriage sacred thread should be spelt ‘taali’ as rightly suggested by the three Indian panelists reviewing Interlok. 
 
In the English grammar, the rules of using capital letters are clearly explained. Capital letters are among others used for the first word of a sentence or a fragment, names of days in a week, months in a year, etc., names of languages, nationalities, ethnic groups, proper nouns, festivals and holy days, religious terms including names of religions, names or titles of divine beings, titles of certain important figures, names of important events, names of sacred books, name of a book, a play, a poem, a film, a magazine, a newspaper, etc.

Hence it is simple logic that a special reference to god should be capitalized. Nonetheless, in Malay, only Islamic god is ‘Tuhan’ not any other god. We are tempted to ask you then, will you agree to India referring to your Islamic god as ‘allah’ and their god as ‘Shiva’, ‘Krishna, ‘Rama’, ‘Lakshmi’, ‘Parvathi’, etc? Will you agree to England referring to Muslims as ‘muslims’ or ‘Quran’ as ‘quran’?

MALAYSIA: A COUNTRY HIJACKED BY FASCISTS‏ ; Transforming Indonesian, Thai and Filipino muslims into Bumiputeras to further oppress Indian poor.

280309-NajibUmno550The checklist which the regime uses to identify citizens as ‘Malays’ is arbitrary so that not only have the Iskandar Kuttys who came to Malaysia from Kerala, India on board the steamer Mamak Tongkang been transformed into Malays but also the recently arrived immigrants from Indonesia who form the vast majority of citizens classified as ‘Malays.’ The situation has become more confused when Bangladeshis and pure ethnic Chinese ( i.e. those who have found it gainful to convert to Islam) were admitted to the ‘Malay’ fold. All of them enjoy the Bumiputra status (i.e. native son/daughter) which entitles them to range of exclusive privileges denied to the Non ‘Malay’ citizens.

Jurists, historians and anthropologists have said that the term ‘Malay’ as used by the regime has no precise meaning…. Philosopher S Radhakrishnan commenting on J B Watson’s (1878 – 1958) Behaviourism which, by the way G B Shaw called a soulless stupidity said that we can make a god out of glands, if only we set about it. Employing the methods used by the regime I could easily transform a musang (Asian palm civet) or a cockroach into a Malay. If you think my claim is fantastic, then please note that Federal Minister Nazri announced in Parliament recently that 60,000 illegal Muslim immigrants from Thailand were given citizenship papers and converted into Bumiputras. The fellow exhorted us non Muslims to sympathize with the Government for having had to make the difficult decision it made!.

I have already written about Project M a sinister scheme which was devised to render the native peoples of Sabah a minority in their own land. In peninsular Malaysia the Government carried out a campaign to register people who because of some technicality did not or could not apply for citizenship. It was ostensibly done mainly for the benefit of poor Indians but there are among us hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Indonesia without valid papers. These will surely benefit from the exercise and what is more the vote bank of the regime would be considerably increased. Incidentally comparatively few Indians were registered.
The newly arrived immigrants from Indonesia who are called Malays — a word derived from the Tamil malai uur (hill country) — dominate the Armed Forces, Police, the Civil Service and Government Linked Companies. They are also overwhelmingly represented in the public universities. The regime has created many affirmative action schemes exclusively for them with taxes collected mainly from non Malay citizens. It is claimed that their numbers justify such disbursement of funds. But massive corruption and mismanagement at every level of the public sector is so prevalent that ordinary non Malay citizens have not hesitated to call these guzzlers of tax money crooks and robbers .

Meanwhile we non Malays find it extremely difficult to keep pace with inflation. The overwhelmingly Malay dominated public service will not let us build places of worship without imposing all kinds of unreasonable conditions and restrictions. Likewise even publications meant for our own use attract humiliating restrictions. Our bright children cannot obtain scholarships. In an astute move the regime announced last year that the Public Service Department would be limiting scholarships across the board. What it did not say was that ‘Malay’ students could still get scholarships from Government Linked Companies and quangos all of which were set up with taxes paid mainly by non Malay citizens

Some decades ago Mr Lee Kuan Yew observing the abject servility of the MCA leadership called them political serfs. Today the phrase seems applicable to about 98 % of the non Malays. The regime denies us basic religious freedoms, positions in the Armed Forces and Police, our children scholarships and places in the public universities etc etc and yet all we can do is whine like a drugged rabbit.

We must boldly demand our rights and if the regime will grant them we can appeal to the International Court of Justice. The ICJ will be able to tell us if there is any justification for classifying citizens as ‘Malays’ and granting them numerous exclusive rights and privileges..

Letter to Editor.

Najib moves to quell anti-Taib sentiment in Sarawak

KUCHING, April 10 — Clearly sensing the people’s growing disenchantment with Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s first message in his campaign tonight was to reassure Sarawakians that a change in the state’s leadership was imminent.

The prime minister spoke at a 1 Malaysia rally at the Kuching South City Council Indoor Stadium here and urged the people not be “worried” as Taib had already agreed to step down in due time.

Though response was relatively lukewarm throughout Najib’s speech, shouts were heard from the crowd of about 1,000 people all garbed in 1 Malaysia T-shirts at the mention of Taib’s impending retirement.

“Believe me, believe in me, when the time is right, we carry this out. Do not be hasty and believe in the opposition’s lies,” Najib said in his speech.

He pledged that a change in the state’s top leadership was on the cards, adding that a “sudden change” would lead Sarawak into a state of uncertainty.

“Ladies and gentlemen, do not worry. We have made plans so that a change will happen in the Sarawak top leadership, a planned and organised change.

“If we make a shock change, a state of uncertainty will ensue,” he said.

But the BN chairman stuck to the coalition’s playbook by poking fun at PR’s top leaders, pointing out that if the pact’s argument to remove Taib was due to the latter’s advanced years, the opposition front too had a number of aged leaders.

“If they are talking about age, they too have many old leaders. I would like to ask ... (DAP adviser) Lim Kit Siang, how many years has he been in politics? Forty -two years in politics. He is not new at this, he has been around for a long time and he is 72-years-old.

“What about (PAS spiritual leader Datuk Seri) Nik Aziz (Nik Mat)? He is even older — 80-years-old. Haji Hadi (PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang) is how old?

“Even Anwar Ibrahim is old though he does not want to admit it,” he said, laughing.

Najib added that Anwar was a man with many problems and such a person could not lead any government or the country.

“How could he be the opposition leader? And he wants to be the prime minister but he has so many problems, how can he?” he said, in an obvious reference to Anwar’s ongoing sodomy case and allegations that he had sex with a prostitute which was captured on tape.

Najib also dredged up Anwar’s infamous September 16 government takeover promise, telling the audience that the episode was proof of the opposition leader’s penchant for lying.

He recalled that the former deputy prime minister had even claimed to have received the blessings from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to be the next prime minister.

“But the Agong did not even know. These were all lies. If he lies to the people, then he cannot be the Prime Minister,” he said.

Najib warned Sarawakians not to do something that they would later regret and pledged that if given an even bigger mandate come April 16, the BN government would ensure that the state would become even more developed.

“Give us four to five years, we will change the Sarawak landscape. I believe this will become a reality because in just the past one year alone, we have already seen tremendous changes under the BN leadership.

“So I hope, together in the spirit of 1 Malaysia, we can make sure that our BN candidates win on April 16 and we will form a new government in Sarawak, endorsed by the BN; a Sarawak BN government that is more competent to help us make a huge transformation in the state,” he concluded.

Sarawak helped form Malaysia in 1963 and its ruling parties helped form BN in 1974 with the then ruling Alliance. Opposition politicians have charged BN with squandering riches in the resource-rich state for themselves rather than the people in the state which is almost as large as the Malay peninsula.

The BN’s campaign in Sarawak is said to be haunted by allegations of corruption and abuse of power against the Taib regime.

PR parties have been quick to fan the anti-Taib sentiment that was already spreading steadily across the hornbill state months before the polls were announced.

When met, several BN candidates had even admitted that they would have an uphill battle to convince voters that Taib would soon leave and a new breed of BN leaders would take his place in government.

But for the urban communities residing in the capital cities across the state, this is likely insufficient to convince them.

Sarawak will go to the polls this April 16 and as the campaign period entered its halfway mark today, talk is that while BN may recapture the state, long considered its fixed deposit, the ruling pact would also suffer embarrassing defeats in many of its electoral strongholds.

Christian dilemma not over, clerics tell Putrajaya

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — With six days to polling in Malaysia’s most Christian state, clerics reminded Putrajaya it still has a long way to winning back trust from the religious community’s voters who feel their freedom to worship has been curtailed the past 30 years.

Church leaders told The Malaysian Insider that the federal government’s latest move lifting a recent restriction order on Alkitab marked only the first step forward in what they see as a laundry list of issues that have plagued Christians here for the past three decades.

Catholic priest Father Michael Chua said the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) — which represents over 90 per cent of churches here — had previously made clear that the issue of the Malay bible was only one of the problems the community had faced with the federal government.

“We had said that we leave it to the importers to make a decision based on their circumstances and context,” he told The Malaysian Insider today, responding to Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam’s statement on behalf of the government yesterday.

Mahmood said The Gideons had agreed to collect its shipment of what it had previously denounced as defaced Malay bibles from Kuching, once the ministry had invalidated the seal on all 30,000 books.
The Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM), which had its 5,000 bibles subjected to similar action has since collected its shipment, which it said would be made into reminders of the government’s treatment of Christians.

Chua, who represents the Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur in ecumenical and interreligious affairs, pointed out that CFM had yet to decide on the Cabinet’s 10-point initiative to resolve the dilemma on Christians.

“We are still in consultation with all stakeholders,” he said in his text message reply. “The importers taking delivery does not change the status quo.”
Rev Thomas Phillips who is a vice-chairman of the CFM, said the umbrella body would discuss the 10-point formula at its annual meeting on April 14.

“The Alkitab is only one of several issues,” the Mar Thoma priest told The Malaysian Insider. “They must prove their sincerity.”
Phillips, who also heads the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST), said the issue had been manipulated by various parties to score points in the Sarawak elections.

“They are using this to gain political mileage for Sarawak polls,” he said, adding the need for CFM to proceed with caution in dealing with the government.

“We also don’t know what they mean when they say they will stamp ‘invalidated’ on the bibles,” he said.

The Home Ministry’s move to seize and stamp the holy books in Kuching and at Port Klang without the importers’ consent marked the tipping point for Christians nationwide, who said they were fed up after years of having their religious rights being violated.

Putrajaya scrambled for solutions to defuse the Christian anger ahead of the Sarawak state elections, to prevent a possible backlash against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government, which has held the reins since Sarawak became part of Malaysia in 1963.

Sarawakians will go to the ballot box on Saturday, a week ahead of Easter, the most important celebration in the Christian calendar.

Don’t test patience of Malays, Perkasa warns Christians

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Christians should be wary of making unreasonable demands such as asking that bibles be printed in Bahasa Malaysia, Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali said today.

The Malay rights group president said that Malays have been patient for “far too long” and have allowed non-Malays to make excessive demands.

“How many Malays are Christian? Why do you have to have bibles in Bahasa? Why not use bahasa Iban, or Kadazan?

“This is a problem of national security ... we (Malays) have been far too giving, I want to remind them to not be excessive in their demands,” said Ibrahim.

“They are not the majority of the country,” he stressed.

The Pasir Mas MP said that the reason why the Christian community were making demands now was because Sarawak elections were underway.

“They are taking advantage of the elections, they raise these things and we cannot object ... they are trying to exploit sensitive issues,” added Ibrahim.

“We have not brought up the issue of our rights,” he said.

Christian groups have been locked in a dispute with the government over the usage of Malay language bibles, or Alkitab, and over the 35,000 new copies that have been impounded in Kuching and Port Klang by the home ministry.

The ministry then allowed the bibles to be released on condition of being stamped with serial numbers and the phrase “For Christians only”. Christian groups had initially refused to abide by these conditions and have not collected the copies.

The Najib administration said yesterday that the Malay bible importers have now agreed to collect the 35,000 copies impounded in Port Klang and Kuching.

However, the importers of the books in Port Klang have said the bibles will not be sold or distributed, but will be preserved as museum pieces to illustrate what Christians have called the “defacement” of their holy book.

Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam said the 10-point solution proposed last week had “paved the way” for the importers, Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and The Gideons, to collect the books.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein himself had also been quoted as saying that the latest move was a “positive response” to the Cabinet’s collective decision in drawing up the 10-point solution.

Non-Malays don’t understand Malaysia’s history, says Perkasa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Secondary school history textbooks seem too Islamic and Malay-centric because non-Malays fail to understand Malaysia’s history, Malay rights group Perkasa asserted today.

Perkasa leadership council member Datin Paduka Professor Dr Ramlah Adam flayed historian Dr Ranjit Malhi Singh today for saying that the current history syllabus had downplayed the contributions of non-Malays and other religions in the country’s history.

“The non-Malays do not understand this because they do not want to accept the concept of Malay supremacy (ketuanan melayu),” Ramlah told reporters here.

Ramlah, who is also a historian and the author of the Form 3 and Form 5 history textbooks, insisted that there is “nothing wrong” with the current history syllabus for secondary schools.

“The history syllabus is well-balanced … we don’t talk or put in negative issues that have happened, we take in the positive (parts).

“What do you want to be put in? About how the contributions of the non-Malays are in the form of the Malayan communist party?

“We do not emphasise May 13 even. It is negative … we only put in one line, the important thing is that we must maintain racial harmony and patriotism,” she stressed.

Ranjit, who was the author of history textbooks until 1996, believes that “scant attention” has been paid to the efforts of the Chinese and Indians in the development of the nation.

He has also charged that there are too many “half-truths and factual errors” in the current syllabus, and that it is laden with “value judgments.”

But Ramlah said the reason for the emphasis on Malays and Islam was because the Malays were recognised by the British as the original inhabitants of the land.

She also said that historical records showed that various agreements were done and signed by the British and Malay rulers, and not any other race.

Ramlah pointed out that the parties which signed the 1957 Merdeka agreement and the agreement for the formation of Malaysia in 1963 were also the Malay Rulers.

“We are not discriminating, we are following what has been clearly recorded in history.

“The non-Malays, they came to this country, contributed as either investors or labourers (kuli),” she added.

The Perkasa leader went to great lengths to explain that the contributions of the non-Malays have been mentioned in the history textbooks — the late Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun H.S Lee, for example, were duly recognised for their efforts in shaping Malaysia.

“Ranjit was talking about how Yap Ah Loy was not recognised ... well, he did not form Kuala Lumpur, that’s why he’s not mentioned.

“Ranjit himself was called by the government, along with Tan Sri Professor Dr Khoo Kay Kim, to check the syllabus … he signed it and got paid. There was no complaint then,” Ramlah claimed.

Ranjit had lamented the fact that non-Malay leaders like Yap Ah Loy were not duly recognised in the history textbooks.

Ramlah admitted, however, that the Form 4 history syllabus had placed a lot of emphasis on Islamic civilisation, and that the government was working to revamp the current module.

“The government is already looking into it, so why is he complaining? Ranjit is a consultant. I do not know what his motives are … we cannot afford to fool around with history, we must make sure it is accurately represented,” she added.

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said the spate of complaints urging a revamp of the history textbooks showed that the “minorities” in the country were too demanding in wanting to assert their “rights.”

“Islam is the religion of the country, Malays are the majority ... its simple,” he said today. - TMI

Perubahan jawatan dalam Perkasa; Datuk Shuib diganti

Perkasa turut wujudkan Pemantau untuk pantau perkembangan ekonomi bumiputera.

PETALING JAYA: Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Negara (Perkasa) hari melantik Irwan Fahmi Ideris untuk memenuhi kekosongan jawatan ketua wira.

Jawatan ketua wiranita yang telah dikosongkan oleh . Raihan Suleiman digantikan dengan Datin Paduka Norkhaila Jamaluddin.

Irwan dan Norkhaila sebelum ini memegang jawatan naib ketua dalam sayap wira dan wirawati Perkasa.

Arman Azha Abu Hanifa dan Raihan Suleiman menyandang jawatan ketua wira dan wirawati sejak penubuhan Perkasa dalam tahun 2008.

Kedua-dua mereka meletakkan jawatan bulan lalu kerana mahukan Perkasa memainkan peranan dalam politik negara.

Usul ini walau bagaimanapun tidak dipersetujui presiden parti, Datuk Ibrahim Ali.

“Penyandang jawatan bendahari, Datuk Shuaib Lazim turut digantikan kerana beliau tidak sihat,” kata setiausaha agung, Syed Hasan Syed Ali dalam kenyataan media selepas mesyuarat pusat Perkasa petang tadi.

Bendahari baru Perkasa ialah Dr Marzuki Ibrahim.

Shuaib ialah mantan senator yang menjadi tumpuan media berikutan pendedahan bahawa beliau adalah Datuk T.

Sementara itu, yang dipertua Perkasa Wilayah Persekutuan turut digantikan oleh Sharifuddin Abdul Hamid.

Penyandang sebelum ini, Datuk Mokhtar Samad melepaskan jawatannya kerana sibuk dengan tugasnya sebagai presiden Persatuan Kontraktor Melayu Malaysia.

Memantau ekonomi Bumiputera

Dalam perkembangan berkaitan, Perkasa turut menubuhkan Badan Pemantau Prestasi Bumiputera (Pemantau).

“Badan ini akan diketuai oleh pengerusi biro ekonomi Perkasa yang juga naib presiden Perkasa Dr Zubir Harun,” kata Syed Hasan.

“Pemantau diwujudkan bagi memastikan prestasi ekonomi Bumiputera sentiasa diukur, dianalisa dan dibahaskan secara berkesinambungan.

“Segala data dan analisis yang diperolehi menerusi Pemantau dapat diguna pakai oleh semua pihak demi kepentingan ekonomi bumiputera,” tambah beliau.

Dua unit beroperasi di bawah Pemantau.

Unit pertama, Jaringan Penyelidik Bumiputera, akan melakarkan agenda penyelidik untuk memahami isu-isu ekonomi bumiputra, mengenalpasti faktor yang mempengaruhi prestasi dan langkah penyelesaian.

Unit kedua pula, ‘Malay Agenda War Room’ merupakan pusat operasi bagi membincangkan hasil kajian dan memperkenalkan langkah-langkah untuk masuk campur tangan yang perlu dijayakan secara gerak cepat.

Langkah ini akan dilaksanakan dengan kerjasama agensi kerajaan seperti Unit Perancang Ekonomi,TERAJU,Majlis Amanah Rakyat.

7 arrested at KL Sentral illegal assembly

Those arrested were three journalists, a photographer and three undergraduates.

KUALA LUMPUR: Police arrested three journalists, a photographer and three undergraduates for alleged participation in an illegal assembly at the city’s transportation hub, KL Sentral in Brickfields, here, today.

It is understood that the journalists are from Keadilan Daily and the photographer from TV Selangor who were there to attend a news conference on the “Undergraduates Safe the People Expedition”.

Brickfields police chief ACP Wan Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said the seven were arrested after they ignored the order from the auxiliary police at KL Sentral to disperse in the 10.30am incident.

He said the gathering was organised by the Malaysia Undergraduates Solidarity and participated by nearly 40 students from public higher learning institutions in the Klang Valley.

“Police arrested them because they held a gathering without a permit at the station and it could tarnish the image of KL Sentral, a place with a high concentration of tourists,” he said when contacted.

Wan Bari said those arrested were taken to the Jalan Travers police station for their statements to be taken and for investigation under Section 27 (5) of the Police Act.

- Bernama

New documents reveal cover-up of 1948 British 'massacre' of villagers in Malaya

Foreign Office intervened to halt an investigation in the 1990s by Malaysian authorities into the deaths of 24 unarmed villagers

By Mark Townsend, guardian.co.uk.


malaya
Communist prisoners are lined up and shot during the Malaya emergency of the late 1940s. 
Photograph: Jack Birns/Time & Life Pictures


The Foreign Office intervened to stop a criminal investigation into the alleged massacre of 24 unarmed villagers by British troops, in a cover-up that puts Britain's colonial past under renewed scrutiny. Newly disclosed documents reveal that in the 1990s UK officials pressured Malaysian authorities into aborting a police inquiry into the alleged killings by Scots Guards in Malaya in 1948.

They reveal that Malaysian police officers contacted Interpol and were due to visit the UK in 1993 to interview soldiers involved in the shootings, only for the Foreign Office to pressure the country's high commissioner into halting the visit. One memorandum states that senior Foreign Office officials later met Malaysian police chiefs to discuss closing the inquiry shortly before it was aborted.

The documents, released by Malaysian sources ahead of a judicial review related to the massacre, also reveal how a Metropolitan police investigation in 1970 into the allegations was "terminated" because an incoming Conservative government did not want the darker aspects of Britain's colonial past exposed.

The plantation workers were shot in cold blood by a 16-man patrol of Scots Guards in December 1948. Many of the victims' bodies were found to have been mutilated and their village of Batang Kali was burned to the ground. No weapons were found when the village was searched during a military operation against Chinese communists in the post-second world war Malayan emergency.

The British government has refused to apologise for the incident or offer reparations, and last November it said it would not hold a public inquiry into an incident that campaigners dub "Britain's My Lai massacre". A recent letter from Treasury solicitors indicates that the government is not prepared to discuss whether the killings were lawful or not.

News of the suppressed investigations follows last week's disclosure of government reports in the high court revealing the extent of British brutality during the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya.

Four Kenyans who allege that rebels were sexually abused, castrated and beaten while detained under colonial rule in the 1950s will continue their claim for compensation this week.

A separate legal challenge over allegations of colonial brutality will shortly commence, with the Bindmans law firm launching a judicial review over the government's refusal to hold an independent inquiry into the Malaysian killings.

The case is being brought on behalf of four survivors, including one whose father was allegedly beheaded. The government's refusal to reopen the matter has provoked claims that it is carrying on a cover-up that has lasted more than half a century.

Documents released by Tan Kai Hee, founder of the Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre, also show that the lead investigating officer in the 1970 Scotland Yard inquiry, Detective Chief Superintendent Frank Williams, had major concerns "over a political aspect to the case".

The defence secretary, Denis Healey, had instructed the Met to investigate the incident and arranged for Williams to travel to Malaysia to interview other witnesses and disinter the bodies for forensic examination.

However, the inquiry was abruptly stopped. Previously unreleased documents citing Williams's investigation state: "It was patently clear that the decision to terminate inquiries in the middle of the investigation was due to a political change of view when the new Conservative government came into office."

Author Ian Ward, who wrote an account of the massacre, Slaughter and Deception at Batang Kali, said: "Personally I was appalled at the cover-up that was instituted and has been systematically renewed year after year since it occurred."

Speaking from Malaysia, Ward said that, since his book was published in 2009, he had obtained notes of a 1994 meeting between two senior Foreign Office officials and a police chief in Malaysia during which they discuss winding up the investigation.

The four Malaysians represented by Bindmans are Loh Ah Choi, who was seven at the time and claims to have witnessed his uncle being shot dead; Lim Kok, whose father's corpse was allegedly beheaded by the soldiers; Chong Nyok Keyu, whose uncle was allegedly shot and killed; and Wooi Kum Thai, whose father was also killed.

John Halford, a partner at Bindmans, said: "This case is all about questions which, when they are finally answered, will bring about accountability for a massacre that was as immoral as it was unlawful. For six decades successive governments have gone to extraordinary lengths to evade answering these questions."

A letter seen by the Observer reveals that the government is threatening the four claimants with legal costs of up to £100,000 if the quest for an inquiry fails. "Many will question whether that is something a government with nothing to hide and confidence these killings were legal would resort to," said Halford.

Tan Kai Hee said the British government's decision to refuse a public inquiry into the allegations had left him shocked and deeply disappointed. He added: "Many of us had believed for much of our lives that Britain stood for openness, fairness and honour. The current impasse is neither honourable nor moral."

The official British position maintains that the villagers were killed as they attempted a mass escape into the jungle, having been warned they would be shot if they tried. Some of the troops involved have, however, claimed that there was no escape attempt and that they were ordered to take the men out in groups and shoot them.

The original investigation, in December 1948, amounted to a "superficial cover-up", according to Halford. Conducted by the Malaya attorney-general, Sir Stafford Foster Sutton, it did not question any survivors or carry out forensic examinations. An undated memo records the attorney-general's view that there "was something to be said for public executions".

A BRUTAL CONFLICT

Three years after the end of the second world war, Commonwealth forces became embroiled in a bitter jungle war against a resolute army of Chinese communists whose attacks on industry and rubber-tree plantations threatened Britain's colonial interests.

At stake was control of the new Federation of Malaya, a patchwork of states on the Malayan peninsula which were then British colonies. The federation was the successor to British Malaya, the loosely described set of states that were brought under colonial control between the 18th and 20th centuries.

Had the guerrillas prevailed, Malaya would have become a communist republic, tied to China, but after 12 years of fighting the insurgency was defeated.

The British government classified the conflict as an "emergency", in deference to the British owners of Malaya's lucrative rubber plantations and tin mines, who were insured for losses from theft, but not for those incurred in wartime.

During the first five years alone, the British dropped 545,000 tons of bombs in 4,500 air strikes. More than 500 British personnel, including the high commissioner, Henry Gurney, 1,300 Malayan police and 3,000 civilians were killed. In addition, the British interned 34,000 people and sprayed hundreds of acres with defoliant.

Warning to Najib not to discredit RCI by setting one to serve dishonourable and selfish political objectives and challenge to set up 5 RCIs on pressing issues of public importance

By Lim Kit Siang

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must be warned that he should not discredit the concept of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), which is an important device to establish government transparency, integrity and good governance, as by setting one to serve dishonourable and selfish political objectives as into the Carcosa sex video tape scandal.

Under the Barisan Nasional, public confidence in more and more key national institutions and concepts have plunged to unprecedented lows, whether it be the judiciary, the elections commission, the police, the anti-corruption agency.

All efforts by Najib under his 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) in the past two years had failed to check the rot as things have got worse instead of better.

For instance, in a matter of two years, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has proved to be an even greater failure than its predecessor, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) in securing public confidence in its efficiency, independence and professionalism in combating corruption, particular the “grand corruption” of political “sharks” and their cronies despite getting more powers, funds and staffing from Parliament.

Now, Malaysians don’t even trust the MACC with their personal safety after the scandalous tragedies of Teoh Beng Hock who fell to his death from the 14th floor of MACC headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16,2009 and Ahmad Sarbani Mohamad who fell to his death from the third floor of MACC office in Jalan Cochrane, Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

It will a real national tragedy if the RCI concept is discredited because it is abused to serve dishonourable political objectives to attack opponents in the political arena, as in the Carcosa sex video tape scandal, instead of serving national or public purpose.

The real issue of national public importance in the Carcosa sex video tape scandal is why after three weeks, the three persons constituting “Datuk T” have not been arrested and charged in court for offences under the Penal Code and Film Censorship Act when they had admitted to the crimes in the cloak-and-dagger illegal screening of offensive videotape in Carcosa on March 21?

If Najib continues to ignore the failure of the Attorney-General and the Police to uphold the law by failing to arrest and prosecute the three “Datuk Ts”, setting up instead a RCI into the Carcosa sex video tape to pursue a political vendetta against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, then the biggest casualty will be the entire concept of RCI as an important vehicle to ensure government transparency, integrity and good governance as well as Najib’s 1Malaysia GTP.

Sarawakians and Malaysians are entitled not only to question the motives of Najib, but his fitness to continue as Prime Minister, if he could set up a RCI for the Carcosa sex videotape just for the purpose to persecute and pillory Anwar Ibrahim when there are so many important public issues which deserve RCI treatment.

Since Najib is going to park himself in Sarawak for the state general elections campaign until the very end, I challenge Najib to set up five RCIs which are of great concern and import to the people of Sarawak, viz:

1. RCI into the mysterious death of Sarawak Department of Environment investigating officer Rumie Azzan who fell to his death from the 9th floor of Sarawak Timber Association (STA) in Kuching on 17th September 2004 before 11 am, as his family suspected that he was murdered as he was investigating a major environmental case in the state.

2. RCI into the mountain of allegations of corruption and abuses of power against the Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud

3. RCI as to how in 30 years, Sarawak had degenerated into one of the poorest states in Malaysia when it is one of the richest states in terms of natural resources and yet could produce a Chief Minister who is one of the richest men not only in Sarawak and Malaysia, but the world?

4. RCI into the deteriorating state of religious freedom in Sarawak in the past three decades.

5. RCI into why the hopes and dreams of Sarawakians in the formation of Malaysia 48 years ago in 1963 – that Sarawak can enjoy the full fruits of development comparable to those enjoyed in Peninsular Malaysia – had failed and even causing a major brain drain of Sarawakians whether to other parts of Malaysia or to other countries.

Let SUPP President Tan Sri Dr. George Chan explain whether he dare to support the call to the Prime Minister to announce the establishment of these 5 RCIs during the Sarawak general election campaign?

(Media Conference Statement in Miri on Sunday, 10th April 2011 at 12 noon)