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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

‘Umno does not represent all Malays or Islam’

Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad assures Christian community in Sarawak of PAS and DAP's solid support over the Al-Kitab issue.

KUCHING: PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad today told the Christian community in Sarawak that Umno does not represent all Malays or even Islam.

He said this during a joint session with the DAP to address the concerns of the community over the controversial Al-Kitab issue at a hotel here.

“Umno is trying to make Islam look more Malay,” he said to shouts of agreement from the floor. “And this is when you get funny rules like the stamping of the BM bible.”

“They are going about the ‘Allah’ issue as though Malay is an Islamic language. Umno is creating the impression that Islam and Malay are synonymous and that Malay is even more Islamic than Islam.”

“They say non-Muslims should be banned from using the word ‘Allah’ so as not to create confusion. Don’t tell me that God only understands one language. But these are the idiocyncracies in BN.”

Khalid also underlined the collaboration between DAP and PAS by pointing out that despite having no candidate in Kuching or Sibu, PAS representatives still visited the areas to show support for DAP.

“Yes, we have our differences,” he said, smiling. “But we stand together in our vision of a just government. When it comes to taking the country forward, we have more similarities than differences.”

Christians kingmakers

Also present at the event were three DAP candidates – Pending’s Violet Yong, Batu Kawah’s Christina Chiew and Padungan’s Wong King Wei – and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok.

The separation between state and religion momentarily dissolved as the three candidates spoke of the importance of voting on Saturday in order to prevent issues like Al-Kitab from recurring.

Kok, meanwhile, told the crowd that Catholic Church lawyers had produced documentation stating that the word “Allah” was already being used when the Dutch ruled Malacca.

“How could we not win the case?” she asked to loud applause from the crowd.

“BN thought that banning the word ‘Allah’ would cause a split in Pakatan because DAP would oppose the ruling. What they didn’t count on was PAS would oppose it too.”

She assured the crowd that Christians in West Malaysia were also praying for Sarawak’s future.

“They know Sarawak’s pivitol role in the greater scheme of things.You are the real kingmakers. So they are praying for you because we need divine intervention to heal this broken land.”

None of us was Gadhafi's lover, one of his nurses says

None of us was Gadhafi's lover, one of his nurses saysLibyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s Ukrainian nurses lived well and traveled with him in style, but none of them ever was his lover, one of them told Newsweek after returning to her home country.

"The only time we ever touched him was to take his blood pressure,” said Oksana Balinskaya, who left Libya for Ukraine in early February, the month Libya’s civil war began, according to Newsweek partner The Daily Beast.
Balinskaya, who said she fled Libya because she was pregnant and believed Gadhafi wouldn’t approve of her Serbian boyfriend, told Newsweek Gadhafi "chose to hire only attractive Ukrainian women, most probably for our looks." She said she and other nurses would ensure the 68-year-old, who she said had the "heart rate and blood pressure of a much younger man," would take daily walks and get vaccinations.

Balinskaya also talked to Russian newspapers last week, saying that Gadhafi liked to eat Italian food and couscous with camel meat or mutton, and that he gave his nurses and other aides gold watches with his portrait on them, according to the New York Daily News.

One of Gadhafi's other Ukrainian nurses, Galyna Kolotnytska, gained notoriety in November after WikiLeaks released a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli describing Gadhafi’s almost obsessive reliance on her. The cable described Kolotnytska as a 38-year-old “voluptuous blonde,” and it touched on rumors of a romantic relationship.

Kolotnytska returned to Ukraine in late February and declined to talk to reporters.

BN trapped in its own web of deceit

Despite BN's constant derision, Pakatan is taking all in its stride and has kept its feet on the ground.

Barisan Nasional’s desperation in wanting to stem the Pakatan Rakyat alliance momentum to take over Sarawak in the April 16 state election has opened a Pandora’s Box.

The Barisan Nasional is getting trapped in its own web of deceit by claiming credit for what little progress Sarawak has made and deriding the efforts of Pakatan in the state.

The hollow promise that the BN has always had the welfare of Sarawakians at heart is falling on deaf ears. The people are all too aware of the gimmicks BN undertakes each time there is a by-election or a general election.

Recently, Deputy Prime Minister Muyhiddin Yassin challenged the opposition pact to eradicate poverty in Sarawak, saying BN has spent tens of billions of ringgit to end poverty in the land of the Hornbill.

In mocking Pakatan’s RM1 billion promise in its manifesto, Muhyiddin said:

“We not only implement… we are committed to development programmes and when we compare the two manifestos, we can see what they (the opposition) are championing and what we (BN) are fighting for. The people should be more sensitive, we don’t do anything indiscriminately but we do things based on the policy of continuous development.”

The deputy premier dismissed Pakatan Rakyat’s RM1 billion Poverty Eradication Fund to assist poor families and said it was a part of Pakatan’s political ploy.

Coming from Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, this is a strange position to take as BN government has never given priority to education and other basic needs of the people in rural Sarawak.

No electricity for 50 year

The BN has kept some kept the residents of Kampung Long Lamai in Hulu Baram in the dark for a long time. They have been living without electricity for 50 years. The children of Kampung Long Lamai have to resort to generators to study while all work comes to a standstill when its gets dark.

It has been reported that almost all villages in the Baram area have been existing without electricity for 50 long years. Their only of power is the diesel-powered generators but the church and community hall gets first priority. The rising price of diesel has also curtailed the use of the generators.

With the BN government not the least moved by the villagers plight, several non-governmental organisations are helping by utilising solar power to generate electricity. And thanks to the solar power panels donated by the Japanese government and maintained by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, the e-Lamai project has brought a smile to the long suffering Kampung Long Lamai residents.

Can Muhyiddin or Taib explain why in spite of the many rivers in the Hulu Baram area, no effort was made to harness hydro power. The villagers were left to their own devices to build their own mini-hydro to supply them power. Is this BN’s idea of progress?

BN’s agenda not people’s welfare

In an effort to further demean Pakatan, Muhyiddin said Pakatan Rakyat’s RM200 “one-off” payment to every primary school pupil entering year one was also lower, than the free education provided by BN to primary and secondary school students, costing about RM5,000 each.

Speaking of free education, why has BN abandoned the educational needs of pre-schoolers in Sarawak’s rural areas? Whatever happened to the RM111 million allocated to Permata Negara founder, Rosmah Mansor under the 2010 Budget?

Last year Dalat assemblywoman and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fatimah Abdullah said 298 primary schools were without pre-school classes. She added that by 2012, all 1,266 primary schools in the state would have at least one pre-school class.

Sarawak PKR woman chief, Nurhanim Mokshen said it was hard to understand Fatimah’s claim that there was a problem with rural pre-school education.

Nurhanim said this showed that the ministers at the federal level were not doing enough to solve this problem. She queried where the RM111 million allocated to Rosmah Mansor’s Permata Negara programme went.

Permata Negara, which targets children below the age of five, has shown no interest in helping Sarawak’s rural children. Worse still, Rosmah, who is wife of prime minister Najib has gone on record by saying that under the plan to empower the Permata programme nationwide this year, national childcare centers will be set up in three parliamentary constituencies in all states except Terengganu and Sarawak.

Don’t underestimate the new kid on the block

The BN government is very fond of deriding Pakatan Rakyat, calling it all sort of names and undermining its ability to administer the country. But the Pakatan Rakyat is taking all these in its stride and has kept its feet on the ground.

Pakatan has quietly gone about indicating what laws and policies it wants changed in the country and this has ruffled BN’s well-oiled feathers.

Take for instance the news that Najib will launch the 1Malaysia boat clinic in Marudi on April 14. Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the boat clinic was Najib’s brain child to improve health service in the rural areas.

Money has been thrown in, courtesy of 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a company fully owned by the government, which spent RM1 million to buy a boat for the service.

Perhaps the Sarawak election has created uncertainty and fear in the BN government as they have suddenly “awakened” to the needs of the people.

It took Najib two years after becoming PM to realise the health needs of the rural folks in Sarawak.

And now Muhyiddin expects Pakatan Rakyat to perform miracles in eradicating poverty in Sarawak.

This perhaps shows BN’s grudging respect for Pakatan Rakyat’s tightening grip on the state.

Sipaun in trouble over ‘British better than Malaya’ remark

The ex-Suhakam man has been questioned by the police for saying life in Sabah was better under the British administration.

KOTA KINABALU: Police have started questioning several people following a complaint made against Malaysian Human Rights Commission’s (Suhakam) former vice-chairman Simon Sipaun in Kota Kinabalu last month.

Sipaun, a former state secretary, caused some embarrassment for state political leaders when he said during his concluding remarks as chair of an inter-party dialogue session, that life in Sabah was better in many aspects under the British administration compared now, almost 50 years after it joined Malaya to form the Malaysian Federation in 1963.

Among those who have been called in for questioning is the president of the Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMa), Daniel John Jambun. He will report to the state police headquarters in Kepayan on Tuesday (April 12).

FMT learned that Jambun had been summoned to give his statement as a follow-up on two police reports made by two Sabah Umno divisions in Tawau on the state’s the east-coast.

The Sabah Umno divisions in their police reports had alleged that the former state secretary was misleading and seditious in his remarks.

So far Sabah police have not made any public announcement on who would be called apart from Jambun and Sipaun to assist in their investigation.

Sipaun when contacted, confirmed to FMT that he had already been questioned by the police several days ago.

Sipaun said he explained to the police his task was to chair the panel session and at the end to make a summary of the discussion in a concluding remarks.

“I gave the police a copy of my remarks. It included my sharing with the audience of my memory on Sabah before it became part of Malaysia. I was already 25 years old when Malaysia was formed…” he said adding that the police officer who recorded his statement was very polite, pleasant and professional.

Stating the truth

Sipaun also told FMT he was not aware if other activists had been interviewed over his remarks but hastened to say that he had a feeling that the authorities are interested in the matter because the dialogue was not organised by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) party but by the United Borneo Front (UBF).

When Umno lodged the police reports, the elderly and highly respected Sipaun said he was amused that certain quarters should lodge police reports against him for stating the truth based on his own pleasant memories of life in Sabah during the colonial administration.

“What is wrong for me to tell the people what I remembered of Sabah, then known as North Borneo, before Malaysia was formed? After all I was 25 then and know what I was talking about,” he explained, adding that he was not against the Malaysia Agreement, but only stating that life was better during the colonial days.

Sipaun ruffled feathers in political circles in the state after his comments were widely published that life in Sabah was considerably better in many aspects before Malaysia was formed.

He also drew comparisons of how Malaya then was just as under-developed but that Sabah had fallen very far behind the
peninsula now.

Bomoh Stella is Robert Geneid’s Cousin – Exclusive on Mahmud Family Crisis!

"Whoever controls the Bomoh controls the Chief Minister", according to family members. Stella is Robert's cousin.
The once feared White Haired Rajah of Sarawak has lost his mental grasp and is under the control of his greedy brother-in-law, the Lebanese Australian Robert Geneid.
Geneid manipulates Taib through his blond, botoxed Bomoh, Stella, who caused a sensation when she appeared at the Chief Minister’s nomination last week.  She is none other than Geneid’s own cousin!
These extraordinary revelations have been passed to Sarawak Report from right within the Mahmud family’s inner sanctum.  Years of concern, seething rivalry and jealousies surrounding the manipulations of Geneid, the husband of Taib’s younger sister Raziah, have suddenly broken to the surface under the stress of the election campaign.
‘Senile’ and under the influence of Raziah, Robert and Stella!
An early sign was the outburst of Taib’s own cousin Salleh Jafarrudin, who chastised the Bomoh and her two companions during the nomination in Balingian last week.  Although formerly a BN Minister himself, Jafurrudin has become a surprise independent candidate, throwing his cap into the ring in Taib’s own constituency as part of a last ditch attempt by Taib’s own family to prevent him continuing as Chief Minister.  In front of the media Salleh shouted:
Do you want to put a spell on me?!”
Later he explained to journalists that he is trying to save Taib from his Bomohs:
“We want to save Sarawak from being ruled by a leader who has completely succumed and surrendered, his mental faculties, spiritual and natural physical capabilities to the influence of foreign witchcraft apparatus currently encircling him”
Outburst by Salleh Jafarrudin, Taib's own cousin on nomination day - hint of revalations to come!
Now Sarawak Report has been sent a dossier of astonishing information, penned by some of Taib’s other closest relatives.  They make clear that their view is that enough is enough and that the truth about Taib’s failing condition must be made known to the people.
Above all they say they are putting their country before their family interests in attempting to warn voters against allowing the rapacious rule of Raziah and Robert Geneid and their string of Bomohs to carry on.  Yet another close relative has told us:
“Taib is senile and under the control of Raziah, Robert and Stella!”
Cheerleading - Razia claps and favourite daughter Hanifah looks on, but much of Taib's family think he should have stepped down.
Najib has been proved powerless
It has been made clear to Sarawak Report that these issues have long been an open secret among BN’s top circles, who have watched the visible degeneration of the sick and elderly Chief Minster, particularly since the death of his first wife Laila in early 2009.  He himself has been treated for bowel cancer, which has devastatingly weakened him.
However, the situation has been kept under wraps by inner family members led by the Geneids, who have moved in to profit from their control over Taib.  In just a few years Razia and Robert have alienated vast areas of Sarawak’s land into companies they own and insiders say they have accumulated billions in profit.
Salleh complained about 3 bomohs. However, those in the know say that only Stella and the woman on the far left are Bomohs. The lady in the middle is a close friend of the lady on the left and this was their first public appearance.
The Prime Minister, who is desperately campaigning in Sarawak for the whole of the last week of the election, knows that his own political future depends on BN keeping hold of Sarawak.  However, at the same time he is being forced to promise supporters and voters alike that he will be getting rid of the old man as soon as possible after the election.
Yesterday’s attempt at reassurance was hardly impressive!:
“I have spoken to him. The Chief Minister has promised there will be a succession. Believe me, when the time comes it will happen!”
1995 - Fifteen years ago Taib said the same thing! And BN want us to believe he is going soon?
The commitment has given the opposition full licence to challenge the PM to provide a date and name a successor, meanwhile reminding voters that Taib made the same promise in 1995!
The situation was not helped by Taib’s own version of events today, made in public and in front of his boss the PM.
“I appeal to the younger generation, your time will come.  When I quit in a few years, I hope the younger generation will support my successor!”  he waffled, providing the opposition parties with a week’s worth of questioning! 
The truth is that if Taib does win the PM will be more powerless than ever to force his removal and Sarawak will be plunged into several more years of rule by bomohs and the Geneids.  This is why so many insiders are now desperately speaking to Sarawak Report and also why all the news out of KL is that BN bigwigs are still pressuring Najib to get the old man to quit!
Placed by her uncle? The three most important women now in Taib's life, his wife, his bomoh and his favourite sister are linked to Robert Geneid!
There is another, hugely embarrassing aspect to this awkward affair.  Voters will also be aware of the fact, already exposed by Sarawak Report, that Taib’s young new wife Ragat, who has immediately become a central figure, is also a direct relative of Robert Geneid.  Given the new revelations it emphases the level of control exerted by this couple over the running of Sarawak.
Devastating dossiers handed to Sarawak Report
Revealingly the papers expose the level of panic and lack of self-confidence felt within inner circles about BN’s chances in this election, after so many years of victory.
One paper entitled ‘Datuk Raziah’s Bomoh List of BN Candidates’ begins by admitting that “DAP, PKR, SNAP and Independent candidates are better prepared” than BN.
The paper goes on to claim that “the 2011 Sarawak BN candidates were decided by Datuk Raziah’s Bomoh, Stella Tashman and her partner [Robert Geneid]”:
Pehin Taib, after so many years of doing the same thing and trusting Datuk Raziah, Dato Robert Geneid and their bomohs more than anyone else, only formalised the process. This is a great pity because the candidates were not chosen primarily based on their ability and their performance during their years of service as DUN, or because they were chosen by the supporters in BN is to keep hold of and protect the huge tracts of land and the possessions that they have taken from the state”.
The insider reflects and confirms many of Sarawak Report’s recent exposes by saying:
What about Pehin Taib’s Cahya Mata Sarawak, PPES group of companies and his son, Mahmud Abu Bekir and Mahmud’s nominee and partner, Chris Chung, who now have in their collection of grabbed estates and land hundreds of thousands of acres of land belonging to the people of Sarawak? Don’t they too have a strong reason to want to make sure the selected BN candidates will protect what they had grabbed throughout these years?”
Among the candidates criticised by the insider are the candidate for Tupong, Daud Abdul Rahman and for Lambir, Ripin Lambat. The author of the dossier confirms the rumours that the candidate list was vetted by Stella, which created last minute delays. It is also claimed that “Semoi Peri, who had already expressed her wish not to stand, was pressured to stand agains for reasons known to Raziah’s Bomoh….Datuk Zul Philip, candidate for Jepak was not expected to be chosen, but somehow his name was confirmed to stand by the Raziah Bomoh list. All these years he is one candidate who has never failed to show his face close with Pehin and Datuk Raziah “.
The feud with Salleh Jafarruden
The dossier also provides family-level insights into the extraordinary decision by Taib’s cousin Salleh Jafarruden to fight against the Chief Minister in his own constituency. It explains that Jafarruden had written three letters to Taib to try to help work together to solve the problems within BN because he was according to the dossier:
“Very concerned about the increasing destructive influence of Datuk Raziah, her husband Robert Geneid and their Black Bomoh [Stella]. Compounding the issue was the Lebanese Bomoh is a cousin of Dato Robert Geneid and she lives in Dato Raziah’s house within Pehin Taib’s residence as her second home. Salleh and his emissary simply intended to help salvage damage from deteriorating further. [But], because Taib was heavily influenced by Datuk Raziah, her husband and their Bomoh, Taib simply chucked aside any advice”.

Aunty Kharleen (Stella) - part of the family as she poses with the Geneids in Monaco

The dossier continues:
“He [Salleh] was a gentleman opponent who actually wanted to advise Pehin Taib that he was most prepared to assist him in minimizing some of the damage arising from the greed by people like Datuk Raziah and her husband…. Of course he never received any response to the letters he sent to Taib.”
The informant goes on to explain that the couple and the Bomoh are now conspiring to control who takes over from Taib.
“They want and they do whatever it takes to get the Minister of Planning, Dato Amar Tengah Awang Tengah to take over from Taib, so that they can continue to grab money. Awang is commonly known to be at Dato Raziah’s beck and call whenever she wants something from the State Government”.

New favourite, new house. Anwang Tengah is preparing for the top job!

 The account goes on to provide an extraordinary insight into the tiny family cabal that was responsible for drawing up BN’s candidates. It reveals that Taib’s inner circle goes little beyond the unelected Geneids and their Bomoh!
“Little wonder, therefore that Dato Amar Awang Tengah was the only one privy to the meeting with them hours before Taib appeared at the PBB HQ for the State Election Candidates List Announcement
Such revelations from close Mahmud family sources can only add to the sense of decay and impending disaster that has surrounded the BN campaign as it enters its last week. The insider sums up the situation that has forced Taib’s cousin to run in Balingian:
“Salleh.. realised the growing danger of the people surrounding Taib and the increasing damage to the Sarawak State if things continue unabated and remained uncorrected. Greed and Bomoh are a very lethal combination to any leader. Salleh decided to fight Taib only after he realised there is no way any concerned Rakyat or family members can make Taib listen”

The Geneid family's award-winning market fruit stall in Australia

Who is Robert Geneid?
The extraordinary evidence coming out of this series of inside revelations is that the real power behind the throne in Sarawak is now the third husband of Raziah Mahmud, Robert Geneid.
The couple have long been a force in the state. Virtually penniless at the outset of their marriage they are now worth billions of ringgit, thanks to huge state contracts and concessions put through their companies by the Chief Minister, many of which have already been documented by Sarawak Report.
Lands totalling well over 70,000 hectares have been handed over to the Geneids in the past few years alone – an area greater than the area of Singapore.
The couple present a gift to Prince Albert in Royal Mulu Resort as disposessed tribespeople look on
Many of these land titles have intruded on Native Customary Rights Lands and the mean and ruthless way in which the couple have attempted to force through ownership has resulted in a good number of the 200 plus land disputes now going through the courts.
High profile cases have included the current prosecution of Numpang Suntai in Simunjan, who has been leading protests against the forced purchase of his community lands for a mere RM 250 per person by the company Quality Concrete. Raziah was the original recipient of the land title and is a Director of Quality Concrete. The value of the wood in the area alone is estimated at hundreds of millions of ringgit!
This issue more than any other is now threatening BN’s continuing political survival.
Geneid is the son of a Lebanese born Australian fruit vendor, based in Sydney. Raziah had made little from her opportunities before he became her third husband and insiders say that she was always short of cash.
Geneid (forth left, back row) is one of the top men in Sarawak's largest company, CMS - along with other members of the family!
After, the situation soon changed as he moved to maximise the opportunities provided by her connections with Taib. Like, a number of Taib’s son-in-laws and brother-in-laws he has picked up key positions in the family companies.
Although one ill-conceived roofing venture had lost the state/family company CMS some RM45 million he was brought into the senior position of Managing Director of Property Development for the company, giving him a central role in the management of the multi-million ringgit conglomerate mainly made up of assets privatised from the state.
The Geneids also spearheaded the controversial Royal Mulu Resort development, which alienated the lands of the Berawan tribe into the Taib family company and they control Miri Property Holdings, another substantial hotel chain.
Key players - Raziah and Robert Geneid (right) on the stage with Taib, Najib, Rosmah and Prince Albert at the Islamic Fashion Show in Monaco!
Kumpulan Parabena, a construction company that has received numerous state contracts, is also controlled by the Geneids.  Millions in state contracts have passed through its hands, although most of its work consists of the lucrative sub-contracting of projects handed to them by Taib and there has been little if any evidence of direct construction work.
Aside from the vast areas of timber and plantation concessions that have equally passed profitably through the couple’s hands, Geneid also controls several thousand hectares of current plantations through companies such as Miracle Harvest.
Geneid is now on the Board of Malaysia Tourism, while Raziah is on the Board of Sarawak Tourism, the Borneo Convention Centre and numerous other powerful posts.
Elia - and family house.
The couple’s wealth is legendary and frequently recorded on the pages of publications such as Asian Tatler Magazine.
They have extensive investments in Australia and vast houses in Sarawak as well. The two marriages of their daughter Elia, who has also been handed her own vast plantations by the State of Sarawak, attracted widespread attention owing to the blatant expenditure involved.
The success of the Geneids has thus visibly far outstripped the benefits that have accrued to even the other wealthy Mahmud family members over the past few years. And they more than any of them have most to lose should Taib’s government fall and the handing out of these contracts and land titles come under proper scrutiny!
Not just wealth but power
What is only just now being fully revealed in the last few weeks before the election is the extent to which all this wealth and success has depended on what would appear to be the direct manipulation of the Chief Minister, as he has started to lose his judgement and faculties.
The Bomoh Stella, who defiantly stepped into the lime-light last week, after she was exposed by Sarawak Report, is now revealed to be the direct relative of Robert Geneid.
He has also extended his tentacles and influence into the Chief Minister’s most intimate private life, having provided him with his second wife – an issue that has also, according to our insider sources, caused enormous anger and worry amongst other family members. Abu Bekir referred to the circumstances of the surprise nuptuals in January when he spoke at the wedding:
“This unification would not have happened if not for Datuk Raziah Mahmud and husband Datuk Robert Geneid. It was Robert’s cousin Iqbal who introduced Puan Sri to my father”
It has now been confirmed that Ragat is directly related to Robert, by other family members.
Insiders have told us they believe the marriage of Ragat and Taib, separated by 45 years, is less a question of instant love and attraction and far more a question of exerting a nanny-like control over the old man, while the Geneids move to consolidate their gains and finish off exploiting their massive raid on Sarawak!
Failed by BN
While even members of Taib’s own family have shown willing to try to put a stop to this exploitation of Sarawak, BN’s so-called leaders in KL have clearly failed to do anything about it. Whether they are culpable through just weakness or self-interest, it is clear that Sarawak’s best interests lie in being rid of BN.

Little MGR mesmerises crowd for a worthy cause

By MCLM’s Roving Reporter
KLANG (APRIL 10, 2011): Prabu Sritharan is only eight years old but he has performed in more than 300 shows all over the country impersonating Tamil screen idol MGR.
Eight-year-old Prabu performing at the free dental and medical clinics organised by the Selangor Indian Community Committee for Batu Belah and Sungai Pinang on April 10 at the Dewan Dato’ Ahmad Razali in Klang
Prabu posing for photos with his 40-year-old mother Jeeva behind him
This waist-high lad, with dark glasses, sequinned vest, white shoes and pencilled moustache and goatee, sings and dances to songs from the blockbuster movies starred by the heartthrob from the 60s and 70s.
“My favourite song is ‘Kan Ponna Pokhule’,” said Prabu who was introduced to this form of entertainment by his uncle.
Since he was four, he has been singing for events organised by among others Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture and other ministries, and in all the major cities and towns in Malaysia.
He has also been invited by the Singapore Government to perform in the republic.
“This is just a hobby. I want to be a pilot when I grow up,” said the Year Two pupil of SJK (T) Puchong whose father, Sritharan Muniandy, is a 47-year-old businessman.
Prabu was performing at the launch of the free dental and medical clinics organised by the Selangor Indian Community Committee for Batu Belah and Sungai Pinang on Sunday [April 10] at the Dewan Dato’ Ahmad Razali here.
The event, which also included a blood donation drive by the Sime Darby Medical Healthcare Group, attracted about 300 people from the vicinity.
Committee chairman Dr Nedunchelian Vengu said seven dentists, three doctors and a host of medical staff volunteered their services at the one-day clinics held in conjunction with the World Health Day which fell on April 7.
Children getting their teeth checked at the free dental clinic on Sunday
“We are happy with the support from the public and also from the medical teams who gave up their Sunday for a good cause,” said Dr Nedunchelian, who is one of the candidates proposed by the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement to stand in the next general elections.
Dr Nedunchelian - was announced as candidate for the next general elections
Dr Nedunchelian Vengu, a 42-year-old dentist, has been actively involved in social work since his primary school days giving free tuition to younger children and cleaning and painting temple hall.
This father of two children, aged 13 and five, had served as the President of The Malaysian Private Dental Practitioners Association for three terms, and other posts in numerous other dental organisations.
Dr Nedu, a private practitioner, had served as a member of a Ministry of Health committee to formulate guidelines for dental healthcare professionals on blood borne disease infection and was the dental practitioners association spokesperson in all meetings in Malaysia concerning private dental practitioners from 2005 to 2008.
He is the second of five children to his father who is a technician and housewife mother. He grew up in Jalan Kapar in Klang and now resides in Shah Alam.
His wife, Nyanambikai Velagri, who was previously a finance manager in a logistics firm, has devoted her life to taking care of the family to allow Dr Nedu to devote time to his private practice and social work.

Bersama Jana Perubahan Sarawak

Miri’s tryst with destiny

Undi Bn beerti Undi Taib

Taib sudah terlalu berkuasa di Sarawak.

Pergilah ke mana - mana di bumi Sarawak ini pasti anda akan terjumpa harta, tanah milik Taib atau keluarga terdekatanya. Sarawak bumi kaya tetapi rakyat terus miskin derita. Kekayaan Taib dan keluarganya boleh diterjemah dengan jumlah hartanah dan harta milikan dia dan keluarganya bukan sahaja di dalam negara tetapi di luar negara juga.

Setelah sekian lama, dibawah Taib yang begitu rakus merompak dan memperbodohkan rakyat maka kali ini nampaknya rakyat sarawak sudah mula bangkit menyatakan ketidak puasan hati secara terbuka. Pilihanraya negeri Sarawak juga dilihat satu medan yang penting untuk menterjemah 'mood nyah Taib dan selamatkan Sarawak'

Menyedari hakikat tersebut, Najib selaku Presiden Bn sebelum pilihanraya sudah memulakan rundingan untuk proses pengunduran Taib, namun oleh kerana takut dengan ugutan Taib jentera Bn akan berada di luar kawal jika Taib tidak menerajui Bn dalam p/raya negeri kali ini maka Najib bersetuju Taib terajui jentera p/raya negeri tetapi akan berundur sebaik sahaja selepas itu. Namun setelah memulakan mood kempen disedari sememangnya rakyat menolak Taib sepenuhnya dan tanpa selindung Najib mengumumkan Taib akan berundur dalam masa terdekat. Najib sendiri panik akan kehilangan banyak kerusi di Sarawak maka dia sendiri terpaksa berkampung di Sarawak.

Najib panik jumlah kehadiran dalam kempen Bn jauh sedikit jika dibanding dengan jumlah kehadiran dalam program - program kempen Pakatan Rakyat. Bn terpaksa menggunakan seribu satu macam teknik menarik orang ramai datang dari terpaksa menyeret artis menyanyi selepas ucapan pemimpin Bn hinggalah mengagihkan 'tupperware' percuma selepas ucapan Najib.

Memang ramai orang datang selepas itu namun adakah mereka datang untuk menyokong atau sekadar berhibur sambil menanti hadiah selepas program.

Khayal dengan kehadiran sedikit ramai semalam di Padang Merdeka Kuching, Taib dihadapan Najib telah mengumumkan hanya akan berundur selepas beberapa tahun lagi. Ini digambarkan dalam ucapanya dengan kelompok muda yang menanti kemunculan Dayang Nur faizah dan Anuar Zain disamping artis - artis porpular berbangsa cina. Ingat jangan tertipu Taib pernah umum akan berhenti sejak tahun 1995 lagi, tetapi dia masih di situ.

Ternyata Najib sendiri gagal mengundurkan Taib, dia sudah terlalu berkuasa.

Rakyat perlu disedarkan
  • mengundi PBB beerti mengundi Taib
  • mengundi SUPP beerti mengundi Taib
  • mengundi SPDP beerti mengundi Taib
  • mengundi SNAP beerti memecahkan kekuatan melawan Taib
kepada seluruh rakyat Sarawak termasuk orang Bn.... Najib juga gagal undurkan Taib... hanya satu cara undurkan Taib dari takhtanya iaitu JANGAN UNDI BN. 

Libyan rebels reject African Union roadmap

The Transitional National Council has rejected outright the African Union's proposal to negotiate a way out from the deepening crisis in Libya.

The Benghazi-based council, set up in opposition to longterm leader Muammar Gaddafi, said the "roadmap" set out by a delegation of five African presidents was "outdated", following the deaths and destruction wreaked in the past month since the proposals were first outlined.

"The demand of our people of our people from day one was that Gaddafi must step down," spokesman Mustafa Jabril told reporters.

"Any initiative which does not include this key popuar demand will not be regarded.

"Muammar Gaddafi and his sons should depart immediately."

Jabril threatened that pro-democracy fighters would march on Tripoli.

"We cannot negotiate the blood of our martyrs," said Jabril. "We will die with them or be rewarded with victory."

He also thanked the international community and coalition forces for their support, which he said had saved the lives of civilians.

The roadmap was a five-point plan which called for a ceasefire and the protection of civilians, alongside the provision of humanitarian aid for Libyans and foreign workers in the country.

The plan also called for dialogue between the two sides, an "inclusive transitional period" and political reforms which "meet the aspirations of the Libyan people".

Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee, reporting from Benghazi, summed up Jabril's words as: "No deal."

"There's a particular military style of strategy at work here - and that is that they'd rather 'die on their feet than live on their knees'."

The African leaders met yesterday with Gaddafi, who they said "accepted" the proposals.

International reaction

The African Union's plan had been given a cautious welcome in capitals around the world, with British foreign secretary William Hague stating that any ceasefire agreement must meet the terms of UN resolutions in full.

Franco Frattini, Italian foreign minister, said it was unlikely Gaddafi would respect any ceasefire, "after the horrific crimes enacted".

And NATO's secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said that any ceasefire must be "credible and verifiable".

Jacob Zuma, the South African president, said Tripoli had "accepted" the African Union's plan for a ceasefire which would halt a NATO bombing campaign that destroyed 26 loyalist tanks on Sunday alone.

But anti-Gaddafi fighters doubted the Libyan leader would adhere to such a deal.

"The world has seen these offers of ceasefires before and within 15 minutes [Gaddafi] starts shooting again," Shamsiddin Abdulmolah, a spokesman for the Transitional National Council, told the AFP news agency.

They would negotiate a political transition to democracy with certain senior regime figures but only on the condition that Gaddafi and his sons leave the country, they said on Sunday.

People in Benghazi were asking whether the proposals were a "genuine attempt at conflict resolution" or "an attempt by people who have close economic and political ties to Gaddafi to try and shore up the appearance of legitimacy," said our correspondent.

The revolt against Gaddafi's 41-year reign began as a wave of protests across the country in late February but soon escalated into a civil war after Gaddafi's troops fired on demonstrators and armed fighters seized several eastern towns.

The battle for Libya's third largest city, Misurata,continues, as Gaddafi's troops shelled two neighbourhoods on Monday. The city has been the scene of fierce battles in recent weeks and has been largely closed off to reporters.

"Heavy and fierce fighting is now taking place at the eastern entrance to the city and in the centre ... on Tripoli Street," a resident named Abdelsalam told Reuters by telephone on Monday afternoon.

Recapturing Ajdabiya

The government's troops have also pushed the rebels back on the eastern front, launching a major attack on the town of Ajdabiya on Saturday before being repelled by rebel forces.

Libyans outside the airport echoed the rebels' official demands, saying they appreciated the African Union's efforts but wanted Gaddafi to step down.

"The main thing we want is for Gaddafi and his family to get out and to be judged ... And we want the withdrawal of all troops from the towns," Azza Hussein, a doctor waiting with the crowds outside the airport, said.

"Gaddafi is a big liar, so we are afraid if there is a ceasefire he won't follow it," Abdullah Barud, 17, another protester, said.

In the 1990s, Gaddafi oriented Libya away from the Arab world and towards the sub-Sahara, calling for a "United States of Africa"and cultivating close ties with a number of rulers and some rebel movements.

Libya has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in tourism, telecommunications, banking and agriculture across several sub-Saharan countries via the Libya Africa Portfolio (LAP).

The rebels have accused Gaddafi of deploying African mercenariesagainst them - without providing much hard evidence - and have said they would be raising the subject with the delegation.

Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

Video: Memo served to PM marginalization of Malaysian minorities. (see 11/4/2011)

No Indians, go away!

The Malay Mail

A CLASSIFIED advertisement for the rental of a high-end condominium in Kuala Lumpur appallingly asserts NO INDIANS — throwing up a regrettable case of selective bias.

It was the first time in local English media that I had come across a downright racist advertisement that steered prospective Indian tenants away.

It was not meant for Indian nationals — it applied to any Indian, including me.

I may be accused of overstepping racial lines but the advertisement in a national daily by a Malaysian Chinese lady working and living in Sydney, Australia, takes Indian bashing here to new depths of shame.

The advertisement by the owner, a radiologist, for rental of her apartment suite at Bistari condominium near the PWTC and The Mall explicitly states “No Indians”, something so bold and blunt unseen in the housing ads of newspapers.

Her problem with Indians: curry! She would not have her tenant cooking up a "toxic" cloud of curry fumes that permeates the entire 1,500 sq ft suite.

I asked her property agent: “Are Indians the only ones who cook curry?” “Are Indians the only ones who enjoy curry?" Asked if the advertisement that specified "No Indians" was prejudiced, she said it was a condition by the owner that would be in the tenancy agreement.

There is, however, no legal position on people stirring overpowering and lingering whiffs in apartments. Real estate negotiators and lawyers tell me there is nothing in a contract that can get a tenant evicted for cooking curry.

Clearly, in this case Indians are being treated less favourably than other tenants when we know housing discrimination is unlawful and unacceptable.

If you don’t want an Indian tenant, you don’t have to broadcast it to the whole world. Deal with it privately and sensibly instead of indulging in racial steering.

It’s beyond me why the newspaper published the discriminatory “No Indians” condition when it monitors ads for other reasons, such as obscenity and deceptive advertising.

It cannot argue that monitoring for discriminatory messages was a burden as the practice of racial steering is provocative and bears serious social ramifications.

The right thing to do would be to pass on to regulatory authorities the details of those individuals who post discriminatory ads that excluded prospective tenants on the basis of race, gender, family status, marital status, national origin, and religion.

To evaluate owner-sentiment toward Indian tenants, a Being Frank enquiry was launched over the weekend with visits to six high-end apartment suites in various parts of Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya.

I was the prospective tenant, with "four children" and in all cases, the owners found me, meaning an Indian, a liability: ● One told the agent, who accompanied me, Indians make too much noise and create a mess.

However, when I offered him RM300 extra a month for the RM2,100 apartment, he accepted.

● Another said Indians were known to be quarrelsome “so that won't work out”.
● Three of them said four kids were too many, so “No children”.
● One asked me what car I drove and wanted a letter from my company stating my position and a copy of the monthly pay slip. He obviously didn’t trust this Indian.

The owners of two other apartments I was scheduled to see told their agents not to show the units to Indians. Their contention: Indians are messy, too loud and do not give the apartment complex a good image.

I was astonished and can conclude that fair and equal access to housing is not a cornerstone of our society. Equal access to housing in Malaysia is a fundamental right and this nation should not tolerate discrimination in housing. Few things are more fundamental to success and happiness than having a safe place to live.

The government should actively pursue these concerns with the goal of fairness and equity for all. Admittedly, there are differences in our culture and social practices but such blatant profiling of any ethnicity is destructive to society.

It’s just pure pomposity — conceit that causes human relationships to be lost, self-righteousness that causes the trust to be lost too. There may be good reasons for excluding certain troublesome types or undesirables, but whole scale social exclusion is divisive and is the thin end of a more sinister mindset.

Let us treat this responsibility as an opportunity. A chance to take stock, to ask ourselves: how did it come to this? Is it a material, genetic or self-inflicted deficiency that has led one to ignore co-existing in harmony? The first step to rehabilitation is to recognise you have a problem.

FRANKIE D'CRUZ is editor-at-large of The Malay Mail. The multiple award-winning journalist can be contacted at

Taib says to only quit in a few years

KUCHING, April 11 — Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud repeated his intention tonight to step down “in a few years’ time” despite the opposition calling for a quicker end to the Sarawak chief minister’s 30-year-rule.

The embattled leader, who has taken on the task of delivering Sarawak for another term to the Barisan Nasional, made the pledge before Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a short speech at a 1 Malaysia concert held at the Padang Merdeka in the capital city here.

“I would like to urge the youths here — your time will come. When I step down later, in a few years, I want to see your generation support those who will assume my power and build Sarawak so it will become truly developed and truly luxurious in the future,” said the pint-sized leader who in recent months has faced tremendous pressure to resign.

Taib’s words come amid repeated calls from opposition leaders that he step down immediately and reports that even those within his ranks are uncomfortable with his lengthy reign.

The countless allegations of corruption and abuse of power that have been levelled against the powerful leader in recent months have also been said to be hampering BN’s struggle to retain power in Sarawak.

At another 1 Malaysia function near here, Najib promised that the matter had already been discussed with Taib and the latter had agreed to leave and make way for a fresh lineup in the state’s leadership.

But the BN chairman kept mum on the date of Taib’s resignation and his likely successor.

Najib said yesterday that there will be a change but did not give a timeline or the name of Taib’s successor.

“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,” Najib had said.

Taib also pledged tonight to maintain close federal and state relations, saying that this would help the government’s aim towards achieving developed nation status by 2020.

He told the crowd of more than 1,000 youths who gathered for the event that the Sarawak government had carried out many initiatives beneficial to them.

“These initiatives reflect our ability to identify the best ways to bring development to Sarawak; to maximise the state’s potential.

“But we are also aware that in the federation we are in today, the understanding between Sarawak and the peninsula, between Sarawak and Sabah, should be maintained,” he said.

Taib also expressed satisfaction at the crowd turnout and pointed out that the spirit of 1 Malaysia had been long enjoyed by the diverse communities in Sarawak.

“We have been in Malaysia for almost 48 years now so we should have political maturity.

“We have long established this muhibah spirit among us where the Malays, the Ibans, Bidayuhs, Orang Ulus live in harmony and mutual respect.

“Like the prime minister has said before, we have been enjoying the spirit of 1 Malaysia,” he said.

Sarawak goes to the polls on Saturday.

Police tracing the owner of Omega watch

The police have sent the luxury watch's registration card to the distributor to ascertain its ownership.

KUALA LUMPUR: Police are ascertaining the ownership of an Omega wristwatch which was handed over to the police in connection with the investigation into a sex video featuring a man resembling Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

CID deputy director Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said police had sent the luxury watch’s registration card to the distributor to ascertain its ownership.

“We have given the company two weeks to reply but have not received any yet,” he told reporters here.

Businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, former Malacca chief minister Rahim Thamby Chik and ex-Perkasa treasurer Shuib Lazim, collectively known as the Datuk T trio, said they had handed over the watch, allegedly taken from the room where the sex act was recorded, to the police along with the sex video.

At a news conference previously, Anwar, who was asked about his watch, said it was being kept by his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Yesterday at a news conference in Kuching, Anwar, who was asked why the watch was not handed over to the police, said the police had never asked for it.

Acryl Sani, when asked whether the police would ask the opposition leader to produce his watch, said the police would have to establish the ownership of the watch that was handed over to them before making any further move.

“Our priority is on the probe into the video, and then the watch and other matters,” he said.

He indicated that they might be able to establish the watch’s ownership soon.

AG has re-sent file to the police

On the progress of their investigation into the case, he said, the police handed over the investigation papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers last week.

The papers, however, were sent back to the police, he added.

Acryl Sani said police needed to tightened up several issues. When asked what were the issues, he said: “There are things which we need to clarify; small matters but important to the investigation.”

He hoped that the investigation could be completed this week.

Police have launched the investigation into the case following a report lodged by Anwar on March 22 denying that he was the man in the video.

On how excerpts of the sex video made its way into the online video sharing website YouTube, Acryl Sani said, police had the original copy of the video and that he had no idea how the footage found its way online.

“We have the original copy. I don’t know who distributed it (online),” he said, adding that police was also identifying the woman in the video and tracing her whereabouts.

- Bernama

Tackle minorities’ plight, govt told

NGOs submit memo urging the PM to resolve illegal immigrant woes in Sabah and recognise indigenous people's rights over NCR land.

KUALA LUMPUR: Six NGOs representing minorities groups in the nation handed over a memorandum to the government in a bid to compel the government to address their plight.

Among the signatories were Borneo Resources Institute (Brimas), Common Interest Group of Malaysia (CigMa), Hindraf Makkal Sakthi, Indigenous People’s Network of Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak Dayak-Iban Association (Sadia) and Sarawak Dayak National Union.

“We had a conference on the marginalisation of minorities in Malaysia earlier this year. We drafted a memo and submitted it to the government. Hopefully, the government will look into the issues,” said Hindraf advisor N Ganesan at a press conference today.

The memorandum was addressed to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and was submitted to his department in Putrajaya this morning.

Also present during the press conference were Cigma president Daniel John Jambun and Indigenous People’s Network of Malaysia’s Yusri Yahut.

One of the issues discussed earlier this year was the urgent need to recognise the indigenous people across the nation as the original inhabitants and also for the establishment of committees under local

councils for the disabled.

Ganesan said that NGOs were now coming together as a collective unit and there was a better prospect of having their voices heard with the larger representation.

“We are expanding our network to include other minority groups for strength in numbers. It is gaining momentum and hopefully it can create changes for the marginalised,” said Ganesan.

Return confiscated land

Daniel John said his NGO highlighted a very important issue plaguing the people of Sabah, which is the influx of a large number of illegal immigrants.

“Sabahans demand the government institute a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate allegations that illegal immigrants in the state are being given MyKad indiscriminately.

“We want justice.We also want the names of those illegals issued MyKads deleted from the electoral list before the general election and brought to book,” said Daniel.

Yusri called on the government to respect indigenous people as the original inhabitants of the land.

“We want the government to respect our history and recognise the customary rights of the indigenous people to their lands.

“In addition, we want the government to return land confiscated from the indigenous people or provide adequate compensation for their losses,” he said.

Mohan must reveal details of ‘missing’ funds

The MIC Youth chief is accused of having a hand in the RM100,000 which allegedly went missing from the collections done at a charity dinner. But the treasurer rubbishes the claim.

KUALA LUMPUR : MIC Youth chief T Mohan must reveal details of a fund collected through a charity dinner held on December, 2010, as some RM100,000 has “simply disappeared”.In making the call, former MIC Youth public complaints bureau head R Ramanan said he was ready to reveal the “abuses” in the “Zuna Night” collection but on condition that Mohan and MIC Youth treasurer J Dhinakaran vacate their positions immediately.

He said the issue had been raised numerous time but Mohan’s silence on the matter was deafening, indicating that something was not right with the accounts of the fund.He said that the fund raising dinner was organised by the Youth wing with the expenses fully borne by Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam.

“I found out that the Youth wing managed to collect RM400,000. My sources tell me that about RM100,000 from the RM400,000 simply vanished from the accounts,” he told FMT today.

Ramanan was sacked as Youth public complaints bureau head by Mohan in February this year. He is also the Bandar Syed Putra MIC Youth chief.

He said that Mohan must be held responsible for the fiasco and should provide detailed accounts of the monies spent.

“If Mohan and his cronies are not guilty, why are they still refusing to divulge details of the accounts. The main purpose of the fund raising dinner was to use the money collected to help and assist Indian youths. But to date they have not even held a single event for this purpose,” he added.

Ramanan said since he brought up the issue in the media, he had received several threatening phone calls and had made a police report on this.

“I believe the caller was not satisfied with my statements published in a Tamil daily against Mohan,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dhinakaran said Ramanan was childish to make such baseless allegations without proof.

“I gave him seven days, starting last Friday, to prove his claim. If he does not, then we will drag him to court for defaming us,” he told FMT.

He however admitted that the fund raising dinner accounts had “yet to be fully audited.”

Tuhan dan saya

Apakah ada sebarang agenda tersembunyi apabila “Tuhan” ditukar kepada “tuhan”?

Sejak kecil, saya mengenali Rukun Negara yang diperkenalkan pada tahun 1970, iaitu berikutan Peristiwa Berdarah 13 Mei 1969. Saya membesar bersama-sama kelima-lima prinsip yang terkandung dalam Rukun Negara.

Prinsip pertama Rukun Negara adalah “Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan” dan setiap rakyat Malaysia mengetahui perkara ini.

Begitu juga dengan lagu Negaraku yang saya kenali, hafaz dan hayati sejak kecil. Antara lirik dalam Negaraku adalah “Rahmat bahagia Tuhan kurniakan” dan setiap rakyat Malaysia pasti sudah hafaz lirik ini.

Bagaimanapun, pada 16 Mac 2011, saya mendapat satu kejutan besar dan tamparan hebat apabila dimaklumkan bahawa penggunaan istilah “Tuhan” sebagai kata nama khas – dengan “T” huruf besar – hanya boleh digunakan apabila merujuk kepada konsep ketuhanan dalam agama Islam!

Perkara ini tentu sahaja segera mengingatkan saya kepada apa yang berlaku pada tahun 1999 di mana pihak tertentu di Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) cuba menafikan hak saya menggunakan istilah “Bahasa Malaysia” apabila merujuk pada bahasa kebangsaan dan bahasa rasmi negara ini.

Umum mengetahui bahawa istilah “Bahasa Malaysia” diperkenalkan pada tahun 1970; juga berikutan rasa tidak puas hati sebahagian penduduk sejak 1967 dan khususnya selepas Pilihan Raya Umum 1969 yang turut membawa kepada Peristiwa Berdarah 13 Mei.

Pada Mei 2007, kabinet memutuskan penggunaan istilah “Bahasa Malaysia” secara sah apabila merujuk pada bahasa kebangsaan. Namun, tentulah ada pihak yang terus tidak berpuas hati dan tetap menafikan kewujudan istilah “Bahasa Malaysia”.

Dalam isu penggunaan istilah “Tuhan” pula, saya benar-benar terkejut apabila diberitahu pada 16 Mac 2011 di Aras 3, Menara Parlimen bahawa kata nama khas “Tuhan” hanya boleh digunakan oleh penganut agama Islam apabila merujuk kepada Allah.

Manakala, kononnya, kata nama am “tuhan” perlu digunakan apabila merujuk pada konsep ketuhanan agama-agama lain! Saya tidak pernah tahu bahawa diskriminasi seperti ini wujud di negara ini di mana hak beragama dijamin dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Pendedahan yang memeranjatkan itu dibuat apabila tiga wakil kaum India dalam Panel Bebas Mengkaji Pindaan Novel Interlok Edisi Murid mahu supaya istilah “Tuhan” tidak diubah menjadi “tuhan” dalam novel edisi murid; apatah lagi memandangkan Sasterawan Negara Datuk Abdullah Hussain selaku pengarang memang menggunakan istilah “Tuhan” (kata nama khas) dalam novel asal.

Agenda tersembunyi?

Sesiapa yang membaca (atau terbaca; terpaksa membaca) novel Interlok edisi murid (DBP: 2010) pasti menyedari bahawa kata nama khas “Tuhan” digunakan apabila dituturkan atau difikirkan oleh watak Melayu-Islam.

Sebaliknya, apabila diucapkan atau difikirkan oleh watak bukan Melayu-Islam, maka kata nama am “tuhan” digunakan.

Mengapa? Pertama, mungkin ada agenda tersembunyi untuk “melemahkan” pegangan agama dan hak/kebebasan beragama yang sebenarnya dilindungi dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Kedua, mungkin ada agenda tersembunyi untuk mempengaruhi orang ramai (Bangsa Malaysia) bahawa ada lebih daripada satu Tuhan; iaitu ada “Tuhan” dan ada juga “tuhan”. Sekali gus menggugat keimanan dan kepercayaan kepada Tuhan Yang Maha Esa.

Dalam pada itu, sejak kecil, saya menyedari kewujudan Tuhan – walau apa pun nama yang diberikan kepada-Nya. Dalam senyap, saya mengakui Tuhan Maha Kuasa dan Tuhan Maha Esa. Tanpa perlu bising-bising dan tanpa perlu menunjuk-nunjuk.

Tuhan Maha Pengasih dan Tuhan Maha Mengetahui. Tuhan memutuskan untuk melahirkan saya sebagai manusia beragama Hindu. Diciptakan-Nya saya daripada lima unsur alam – api, tanah, air, angin dan angkasa – dan ditiupkan-Nya atma (roh) ke dalam ciptaan-Nya.

Maka, mati saya nanti sebagai manusia beragama Hindu; tubuh dikembalikan kepada lima unsur alam – api, tanah, air, angin dan angkasa – dan atma kembali kepada Pencipta. Hanya Tuhan yang boleh mengubah ketetapan ini; jika demikianlah dikehendaki-Nya.

Saya bukan seorang penganut agama yang ceremonial. Saya tidak terikut-ikut melakukan apa-apa upacara atau perlakuan yang sifatnya ceremonial dan tidak dituntut Tuhan.

Pada ruangan “Religious Views” di Facebook, saya catatkan begini: Hindu inter-faith.

Saya yakin, Tuhan yang memutuskan untuk menghantar saya ke muka Bumi sebagai manusia beragama Hindu sesungguhnya melahirkan manusia dalam kepelbagaian dan perbezaan untuk membolehkan manusia yang pelbagai dan berbeza-beza ini saling mengenali, memahami, menghormati, menerima dan mengasihi. Apatah lagi di negara bertuah ini.

Maka, selain daripada ajaran sebenar dan sejarah agama Hindu, minda dan hati saya turut terbuka untuk menerima ajaran sebenar dan sejarah pelbagai agama, anutan dan kepercayaan yang semuanya menjurus kepada kebaikan. Saya yakin, demikianlah dikehendaki Tuhan.

Terus terang, saya tidak pernah “mencari” Tuhan kerana Dia sudah sentiasa berada dalam atma saya, di sekeliling saya; di mana-mana. Tidak perlu ada perantara (medium atau pun orang tengah) untuk saya berhubung dengan-Nya.

Saya tidak mahu mewujudkan pengantara (apa-apa yang memisahkan) dengan melakukan apa-apa upacara atau perlakuan yang sifatnya ceremonial dan tidak dituntut Tuhan.

Jika mahu mempersoalkan pegangan saya dalam hal-hal ini, tidaklah wajar bertanya kepada saya. Ilmu saya tidak cukup tinggi untuk mampu menjelaskannya.

Tidak perlu perantara

Bertanyalah terus kepada Tuhan. Tidak perlu ada perantara.

Namun, dalam soal penggunaan istilah “Tuhan”, jangan ada pihak yang cuba bermain api dengan mengatakan hanya kata nama am “tuhan” boleh digunakan apabila merujuk pada konsep ketuhanan dalam agama-agama selain Islam.

Pada 16 Mac 2011, saya diberitahu oleh beberapa individu dalam Panel Bebas bahawa jika wakil kaum India mahu mengekalkan penggunaan kata nama khas “Tuhan” dalam novel Interlok edisi murid, maka perlu dirujuk kepada Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim).

Tentu sahaja semua itu amat menghairankan bagi saya sebagai seorang pengamal budaya India dan agama Hindu kerana dalam budaya India-Hindu, tidak ada diskriminasi dan amalan memandang rendah terhadap konsep ketuhanan dalam budaya/agama lain.

Malah, dalam pembacaan dan kajian saya terhadap pelbagai agama dunia, tidak pernah ada diskriminasi seperti ini.

Maka, saya tertanya-tanya: Dari mana datangnya segala hukum-hakam berbentuk penindasan seperti ini di negara bertuah ini?

Uthaya Sankar SB akan menyertai Konvoi II Ke Rumah Ibadat pada 2 Mei 2011. Maklumat lanjut di

Heaven for pigs, hell for Ibans

In Balai Ringin, the people fight to achieve the same status that BN has bestowed upon a pig farm.

BALAI RINGIN: Ranty Gimang has lived in Kampung Limau for most of her life. Her modest cement house is one of the better ones in a tiny village that has long existed in quiet isolation.

Like her neighbours, Ranty leads a starkly simple life.

Her brother, on the other hand, enjoys more creature comforts being the head of a neighbouring village. But since the 10th Sarawak state election began the two are no longer on speaking terms.

He is furious that she has offered her house as an operation centre for PKR’s first Iban candidate, Ibi Uding, instead of supporting Barisan Nasional which puts RM600 into his pocket each month.

She meanwhile has refused to back a government that provides electricity and air-conditioning to a pig farm while its people still live without them.

“Can you imagine how we feel knowing that pigs live a more comfortable life than us?

“The lights and air-conditioning at the farm are turned on 24 hours a day. And here we are hoping that one day we will get electricity and clean water,” she said.

Balai Ringin is a two-hour drive from Kuching and is among the nine new states seats created by the Election Commission after the re-delineation of electoral boundaries in 2005.

It is also home to the highest number of Iban voters in the Sri Aman constituency. The 127 villages house 89.08% of Ibans who have a bone to pick with incumbent BN’s Snowdon Donald Lawan.

Some claim that the only time they have seen his face since the 2006 election was in the last two weeks and that too, only on the copious BN banners and posters.

Snowdon’s eco-tourism vision

But Snowdon once had big plans for his then new seat.

On his website, he had shared his vision of turning Balai Ringin into an eco-tourism destination with “careful, aggressive implementation of strategic programmes and a good publicity and promotional campaign.”

He also spoke of future job opportunities that the centralised pig farm, situated in Sungai Pinang, was expected to generate for the locals as it would accommodate all pig farms in Kuching and Serian.

In acknowledging the hardship faced by his new constituents, Snowdon said, “While currently most of the area except the main town are still deprived of reliable power and treated water supply, a proposal has been forwarded to connect electricity to most if not all of the longhouses in Bukit Begunan and Balai Ringin under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.”

The Tenth Malaysia Plan is already in full swing but life for the Ibans in Balai Ringin has barely budged from where it was six years ago.

A visit by FMT yesterday saw the main roads in Balai Ringin lined with electrical poles and cables – none of which are connected to the brick houses right beside them. The residents pointed to generators when asked how they got their power supply.

“The cables are just for show,” Ranty said. “Just like the Project Kilat. My, we were so lucky!”

The small group of women listening to her chortled, and she explained, “They fixed our roads earlier this week that’s why it’s so nice now. And they handed out small donations to the villagers but only to those whom they favoured. That isn’t right at all. Everyone here deserves help.”

FMT requested to be taken to the pig farm but after a quick consultation among themselves, the group decided that it would not be a good idea.

“It’s a long drive and you won’t be able to get past the gates,” one of them said. “The farm is too far inside to be seen from the gates anyway. And people are on the lookout for us bringing journalists there, so it’s not safe.”

Water from drains

What they felt will be a worthwhile trip was to the nearby villages where desperation has driven the residents to turn to drains for water supply (photos above and below).

Crude structures fashioned out of rotting wood and zinc dotted the main road. Each structure is designated to a particular cluster of homes.

The portion of the drain that the structures are built over has been blocked to stop the flow of water and create a small pool that become the resident’s water source.

“This is where they bathe and brush their teeth,” said Ibi’s daughter grimly, pointing to the dark, dank and speckled with moss liquid. “Sometimes it’s even their drinking water.”

“If they’re lucky they can find enough zinc to shield them from the traffic. Otherwise they just have to bathe when it’s dark.”

Other houses place buckets below their gutter to collect rain water or use a makeshift pipe from which water trickles into the basin beneath. But no matter how the water is obtained it is never crystal clear.

“We have always been ignored by the government,” Ranty said. “And now we are being threatened to give them our votes again. I don’t know what to say.”

The Ibans in Balai Ringin are not ungrateful for the job opportunities that came with the development but feel that it was ironic to earn an income when you cannot use it to pay for electricity or water bills.

Balai Ringin is one of the hotly contested seats in Sarawak with six candidates vying to be its elected representative.

Jangan syiok sendiri (don’t masturbate)

PKR is confident of winning 15 seats in the Sarawak state assembly. It is possible that DAP can win at least 12 seats. That makes 27 seats, leaving 44 seats not under Pakatan Rakyat. How many seats can SNAP win and will SNAP align itself to Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional?


Raja Petra Kamarudin
Every general election and by-election we hear both sides of the political divide claiming that it is going to win. But in an election there is only one winner. There is no prize for number two, or even number three in a three-corner contest.

So who is going to win the Sarawak state election this Saturday? Both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional claim it is going to win. Both are confident of victory.

In reality no one knows -- not even the strategists and intelligence community whether it is the Special Branch or Military Intelligence. At best it is an educated guess, but a guess nevertheless.

The Malays always say: the ball is round. Basically, it means that the ball can roll either way and sometimes it is luck rather than skill that determines who wins the game.

Barisan Nasional hopes to win with money (ang pows or red packets) distributed to the voters. They hope that, as usual, they can buy the votes. But they are really not sure. They are sure that the voters will take the red packets. But whether they will vote for Barisan Nasional after taking the money is left to be seen.

In Kelantan, the voters took the money but voted for the opposition. And since the East Malaysians in Sabah and Sarawak have the same mentality as the Kelantanese (meaning that are very nationalistic/regionalistic in attitude), will they do what the Kelantanese do (take the money but vote opposition)? Neither Barisan Nasional nor Pakatan Rakyat knows this yet. They will only know come the evening of Saturday, 16th April 2011.

The second Barisan Nasional weapon is to promise the voters development. Third is to whack Anwar Ibrahim on the porn video issue. But neither promises of development nor the Anwar porn video mean anything to the Sarawak voters.

Let us take a walk down memory lane to 1990 in Kelantan. In 1990, the Kelantanese were fed up with Mohammed Yaacob, the 11th Menteri Besar of Kelantan (1978-1990). The Kelantanese wanted him out.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sent Tun Daim Zainuddin to Kota Bharu to talk to Mohamed Yaacob to try to convince him to step down. But he refused to step down. He wanted to contest one last time: his last tango.

So, to kick out Mohammed Yaacob, the Kelantanese had to kick out Umno. And that is what they did. They kicked out Umno in 1990 and Kelantan has been under the opposition ever since.

In 1999, in Terengganu, the people wanted Wan Mokhtar Ahmad out. He had been Menteri Besar for 25 years since 1974 (even earlier and longer than Mohammed Yaacob of Kelantan).

Again the Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir, advised him to step down but he refused. He also wanted to contest one last term, his last tango, just like Mohammed Yaacob of Kelantan.

On the way to filing his nomination papers he slipped and fell on the steps of the nomination centre. The Chinese of Kemaman, the second largest Chinese community in Terengganu, said that this was a bad omen: bad Fungshui.

True enough, not only did Wan Mokhtar fall but the entire Umno government. Unfortunately, unlike in Kelantan, the opposition held Terengganu for just one term: due to its own blunders.

As I said, the people of East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) are just like the people of the East Coast of West Malaysia (Terengganu and Kelantan). They are fiercely anti-federal (they want self-determination), extremely regionalistic (the state comes first), and are stubborn like hell (their machete will be drawn super-fast if you insult them). So will the people of Sarawak do what the people of Kelantan did in 1990 and the people of Terengganu in 1999?

I really don’t know but in five days’ time we will all know the answer to this question.

That was Kelantan in 1990 and Terengganu in 1999. Now let us fast forward to the 2004 and 2008 general elections.

Dr Mahathir knew that the people wanted him out. If he had stayed on and led Barisan Nasional in the 2004 general election then the opposition would have made great gains. So, four months before the 2004 general election, he handed over power to his successor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi -- and because of that Barisan Nasional was saved and in the 2004 general election it performed its best ever in the history of Malaysian elections.

If Dr Mahathir had stayed on, then the March 2008 opposition success would have been in March 2004 instead.

But honeymoons last only 100 days and by 2008 the people got tired of Abdullah Badawi. If he had resigned and had handed over the government to his successor then the 2008 election result may have been very different.

In 2008, the people voted for the opposition not because they loved the opposition but because they hated Umno (meaning also Barisan Nasional). So it was ABU (Anything But Umno or Asal Bukan Umno).

I remember the voters telling me that they did not even know whom they voted for. They just ticked the opposition party symbol -- never mind whether it was PKR, DAP or PAS just as long as it is not Barisan Nasional. Some even said they would vote for a donkey or a monkey just as long as it carries the opposition logo.

That was the 2008 sentiment. And it dovetailed with Kelantan in 1990 and Terengganu in 1999. Is this what we are going to see in Sarawak in 2011?

The Sarawakians may take the money. They may not even care about promises of development and the Anwar Ibrahim porn video. But do they hate Taib enough to want to kick out Barisan Nasional just so that Taib can be kicked out?

Political scientists and analysts will be talking about the 2011 Sarawak state election for a long time to come. Sarawak will be quoted as the example of what to do and what not to do in an election. The Sarawak state election result will also determine whether the next general election will be held soon or will be delayed.

But why did they announce that Baru Bian is going to be the next Chief Minister of Sarawak if Pakatan Rakyat gets to form the next state government? Is this a plus point or will it in fact be counter-productive.? Is this what the majority want or will they now reject Pakatan Rakyat just to deny Baru Bian the job of Chief Minister of Sarawak?

I don’t know enough about the sentiments of Sarawakians towards Baru Bian to make an assessment of this issue. I just hope that Pakatan Rakyat has done its homework and that it knows what it is doing. If not then this may backfire on the opposition.

PKR is confident of winning 15 seats in the Sarawak state assembly. It is possible that DAP can win at least 12 seats. That makes 27 seats, leaving 44 seats not under Pakatan Rakyat. How many seats can SNAP win and will SNAP align itself to Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional?

Pakatan Rakyat says that SNAP is a Barisan Nasional Trojan horse. SNAP says it wants to see the end of Barisan Nasional rule in Sarawak. Which is the truth?

I suppose we shall have to wait till 16th April 2011 to see what is going to happen and whether SNAP wins any seats and whether it aligns itself to Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional.

Say, SNAP wins eight seats and it aligns itself to Pakatan Rakyat. This would give Pakatan Rakyat 35 seats (if DAP wins 12 and PKR 15 or vice versa), leaving Barisan Nasional with only 36 seats (a one-seat majority in the Sarawak state assembly).

If this happens there may be a few crossovers from Barisan Nasional and with these crossovers Pakatan Rakyat will be the new Sarawak state government.

Of course, if SNAP is wiped out then the entire thing becomes purely academic. But if SNAP does win eight seats or so, then it becomes the kingmaker. But which ‘king’ will they put on the Sarawak ‘throne’?

Interesting isn’t it?

It is still not too late for an electoral pact of sorts to be hammered out. But can SNAP and Pakatan Rakyat put their massive egos aside for the sake of seeing change in Sarawak?

At the moment that does not seem likely. Politicians have massive egos and they all imagine themselves as God’s gift to mankind. They do not really fight for the people. They fight for personal power and glory. This is the problem with politicians.

And because of this Barisan Nasional may be able to retain Sarawak. The only question would be: will it be with or without a two-thirds majority in the Sarawak state assembly?

To retain its two-thirds majority, Barisan Nasional needs to win at least 48 seats, leaving Pakatan Rakyat with only 23 seats. But if DAP wins 12 seats (or even 15) and PKR another 15 (or even just 12), then Barisan Nasional will rule without a two-thirds majority.

And, if they play their cards right, this is very possible. The key word: if they play their cards right. But playing the cards right and massive egos do not make compatible bedfellows.