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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Exiled Malaysian Human Rights Activist Addresses Large Crowds on U.S. Tour

Washington, D.C. (April 12, 2011) - The exiled Malaysian human rights lawyer and founder of the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), Waytha Moorthy, completed a seven city tour of the United States sponsored by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) last weekend. Moorthy was jailed and then exiled from his native Malaysia, and HINDRAF was banned after organizing a peaceful rally of more than 50,000 in 2007, protesting the country’s persecution of ethnic Indians and Hindus. Moorthy’s speaking tour took him to several meetings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., as well as stops on university campuses and community events. He called for international attention to be focused not only on the mass movement of Hindus and other religious minorities that was crushed by the Malaysian government in 2007, but also on the ongoing systematic discrimination.

"Mr. Moorthy’s presentation was critical in educating Americans about the extent and pervasiveness of human rights abuses in Malaysia and the brutal repression of tens of thousands that tried to bring peaceful change there just as we are witnessing in parts of the Arab world today,” said Samir Kalra, HAF Executive Council Member. “From destruction of Hindu temples to political persecution, Mr. Moorthy provided great personal insight into the daily struggles endured by the Hindu minority.”

Hindus, who were brought to Malaysia from India as indentured laborers by the British during the 1800’s, comprise between six and seven percent of that country’s population. Many human rights organizations assert that Malaysian Hindus are economically deprived and lag far behind ethnic Malaysian Muslims who benefit from a majoritarian affirmative-action policy that includes discounts on housing, quotas in educational institutions, and preference for government jobs. Moorthy’s lectures detailed attacks on temples and religious shrines and several high-profile legal battles where Hindus have been forced to deal with the Sharia law courts in personal and family matters.

"Our community was stirred emotionally by the story of personal hardship endured by Mr. Moorthy and so many fellow Hindus in Malaysia,” said Dr. Chandresh Saraiya, a Tampa Bay physician who co-organized Moorthy’s lectures there. “We are eager here to work with HAF to create greater awareness and understanding of the human rights issues faced by Moorthy and Hindus throughout the world where they are often a persecuted minority.”

Moorthy sought political asylum in the United Kingdom after Malaysia revoked his passport in early 2008, and he remains the voice of HINDRAF after most of its founding members were jailed in Kuala Lampur. HAF joined Moorthy in December 2008, when the Foundation spoke at a briefing on Malaysia at the House of Lords. This most recent speaking tour is the latest of HAF’s ongoing efforts to focus attention on Malaysia -- a country otherwise commonly held up as a model Muslim democracy.

"I am indeed grateful for this ten day HAF tour bringing me to the United States so I may spread awareness of the tragic situation confronting Malaysia’s Hindu and other religious minorities,” said Mr. Moorthy upon wrapping up his tour. “HAF’s efforts through this tour and continued monitoring and reporting of events in Malaysia in their human rights report is critically important, and after feeling the support I received on this visit, I sincerely believe Malaysian Hindus can aspire to achieve concrete changes for their betterment and that of their children.”

While in DC, over three days, Moorthy, accompanied by HAF’s Associate Director, Jay Kansara, held meetings with twenty-one House and Senate offices, key subcommittees, and the Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights. They also met with fellows and staffers at the American Enterprise Institute and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Throughout his trip, Moorthy showed footage of media coverage of the historic HINDRAF rally and the subsequent violent response by the Malaysian authorities, and he also described daily acts of discrimination faced by religious minorities in Malaysia. Kansara and Moorthy urged congressional leaders to hold a congressional briefing on the issue and persuade the Malaysian government to meet with HINDRAF leaders and address alleged rights abuses in that nation.

"HAF annually publishes the only comprehensive Hindu human rights report covering several countries, and Mr. Moorthy brings the pages of this report to life with his poignant story of Hindus in Malaysia and other parts of the Diaspora,” added Kansara. “Mr. Moorthy’s tour is a testament to HAF’s commitment to follow through on its report with concrete action, and we are immensely proud to have given a platform to a true champion of human rights.”

The African Union: What you need to know


Moammar Gadhafi, third from right, stands Monday with the African Union delegation trying to mediate the Libyan civil war.(CNN) -- Hopes for a Libyan cease-fire were raised briefly this week when it was announced that longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi had agreed, in principle, to the African Union's "road map" proposal for peace.

Gadhafi's opposition later rejected the proposal, but its leaders said they would be open to any other proposals the African Union might make. African Union delegates join an international conference on Libya's future on Wednesday.

Could the African Union be the key to peace in Libya? What is the African Union, anyway? Here's what you need to know:

1. The African Union is relatively new.
The African Union was formed in 2002, replacing the Organization for African Unity, which had been in place since 1963. Its membership is composed of every African nation except Morocco, which withdrew from the OAU in 1984 because it took exception to the OAU's inclusion of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

"The main overriding idea was to give more prominence to Africa, to make it an organization that had real teeth, that could push Africa on the international stage, that gave it a more unified voice to Africans," said Richard Downie, deputy director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The diplomatic boost is just one of the reasons the African Union was created. Economic prosperity was another -- the African Union is working toward the formation of a central bank and its own currency similar to the euro -- and there was a desire for Africa to be able to respond to its own security crises with peacekeeping troops and humanitarian aid.

"The idea going forward is that the AU will take more of a lead in trying to come up with solutions to Africa's security problems rather than relying on the international community or the United Nations," Downie said.

2. The African Union has been more effective than its predecessor.
The African Union seems to have taken a much more active role than the Organization for African Unity ever did, implementing policies to reduce poverty and corruption. And one of if its most visible actions in recent years has been sending peacekeeping troops to Somalia and Darfur.

The OAU had been criticized for sitting idly while humanitarian crises developed in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"The general perception of the African Union is that it has been considerably more effective than its predecessor, particularly on peace and security questions," said John Campbell, the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. "It's considerably more (of an) activist than its predecessor was."

Downie agrees that the African Union has been more successful, but that's not saying much considering the Organization for African Unity "had a pretty awful reputation. Basically, it became a bit of a running joke as an organization that stood up for dictators."

3. The African Union is struggling financially.
Maxwell Mkwezalamba, the African Union's commissioner for economic affairs, recently expressed concern about the organization's ability to pay peacekeepers in Somalia, Sudan and possibly Ivory Coast and North Africa if soldiers were ever needed there.

"The AU does not have adequate funds to finance soldiers in those countries," he told The East African newspaper this month. "Our expenditure budget is currently constrained to meet the ever rising demand for intervention."

The African Union has had financial problems since its inception, Downie said.

"A lot of countries have either struggled to pay their fees to keep this thing running or just kind of accidentally forgotten to pay the fees at all," he said.

Filling in the gaps have been a select few of the African Union's 53 members. It has been reported that five of the continent's most prosperous countries -- Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria and South Africa -- cover three-fourths of the group's budget.

4. When it comes to Gadhafi, the African Union might be biased.
With Gadhafi funding such a large chunk of the African Union's running fees -- about 15 percent since the group was founded -- there's a bit of a conflict of interest, Downie said.

Gadhafi's oil riches have also helped some of the same leaders who are on the five-man panel trying to negotiate a cease-fire.

"Some of these leaders are indebted to Gadhafi, and therefore maybe they're not the most honest brokers when it comes to negotiating a cease-fire," Downie said, using South Africa's Jacob Zuma as an example. Gadhafi funded South Africa's African National Congress for many years when it was a liberation movement fighting apartheid.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Gadhafi, frustrated with the Organization for African Unity, helped lead the charge for the African Union when it was just getting started. He also served as its chairman for one year, from 2009 to 2010. So it might not be surprising if the African Union was to lean in his favor.

"Don't you think it's sort of interesting that in the case of Libya, the Arab League favored outside intervention to protect Libyans, and the African Union did not?" Campbell asked.

5. The African Union is respected by many, but it still has much to prove.
Outside Africa, Campbell said, many countries and international groups have a favorable opinion of the African Union.

"But remember, we're talking here about something like motherhood and apple pie -- in other words, everybody favors regional organizations, particularly regional organizations in Africa, that try to deal with peace and security questions," he said.

The United States has an ambassador to the African Union, and Downie said that's proof that the group is "gaining prominence and seriousness."

"In diplomatic terms, this is an organization that you have to talk to and consider," he said.

Although the financial problems are something to keep an eye on, especially without Gadhafi, the African Union has shown good intent and seems to be going in the right direction, Downie said.

"This is an organization that we will have to take more notice of in the coming years," he said.

RPK: Najib linked to Altantuya, to make Ku Li PM

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin revealed today a conspiracy that linked Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the Altantuya murder was so that Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah could become prime minister.

His claim came a day after an interview with him appeared on the pro-government TV3 channel where he denied accusing Najib’s wife of being at the scene where Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribuu was killed.

“The whole objective of this exercise was to block Najib Tun Razak from taking over as prime minister. If (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi can be forced to resign, and if Najib can be blocked from taking over, then Tengku Razaleigh could become the next prime minister,” he wrote in the Malaysia Today news portal which he edits.

Raja Petra (picture), popularly known as RPK, said that a meeting attended by about 30 people was held in the former finance minister’s office where an aide of his, Nik Azmi Nik Daud, was the main speaker.

“The purpose of this meeting was to explore how it can be engineered so that Tengku Razaleigh can take over as prime minister,” said Raja Petra, who is currently self-exiled in the United Kingdom.

He named several people who attended the meeting including Umno bloggers and PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli but did not say when the meeting took place, although it appeared to be before he met Nik Azmi, who he called “Bul” in his article.

TV3 reported last night that Raja Petra said his statutory declaration (SD) dated June 18, 2008 was based on information from other sources, adding that a lot of people accused him of slander without actually reading his sworn statement.

“I never accused the prime minister or his wife of being involved in the murder of Altantuya Shaaribuu,” Raja Petra was quoted as saying.

He confirmed in his column today that he did not accuse Najib or his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor of the gruesome murder of the Mongolian beauty, who was blown up with C4 explosive in 2006.

Najib and wife have been linked to the death as his friend, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, was charged with the murder but later acquitted. Two police escorts have been convicted for the murder.

Raja Petra said this was not a new revelation and that he has been saying so repeatedly since signing the SD.

“I told TV3 that what I am about to say is not something new. I have written and spoken about this many times before. I have even made my statement to the police during my ISA detention. And this statement was recorded by the police.

“Instead, the story of my allegation against Rosmah and the husband and wife Lt-Kols is what is repeated again and again by all and sundry,” he said, referring to the duo who were alleged to have accompanied Rosmah to the scene of the murder on the night of the crime.

In his column, he said he met Nik Azmi twice in 2008 before agreeing to make the SD.

He said that during the first meeting, Nik Azmi “related that Lt-Kol Azmi Zainal Abidin, the number two in the special branch of the military intelligence, has a confidential report that proves that Rosmah, Lt-Kol Aziz Buyong, and his wife Lt-Kol Norhayati Hassan were present at the scene of Altantuya’s murder at the time she was murdered. Bul told me to expose this.”

“I told him to let me think about it first. My wife, however, disagreed. She felt that the story is too far fetched and that Bul is not a reliable source. We can only do that if they show us the confidential report,” he wrote.

Raja Petra said that Bul said the report could only be revealed after the police launch an investigation.

“So I must expose this to provoke the police to launch an investigation. I decided to do nothing,” Raja Petra wrote that during the second meeting, “Bul asked me whether I was going to expose the story and I told him I would not.”

“I told Bul I would surely be arrested and charged if I do what he suggests. He assured me that if that happens, and he wants that to happen for the plan to succeed (which means I am the bait), then the military intelligence report would surface,” the blogger wrote, saying that Nik Azmi promised to cover him and ensure he would not go to jail.

Raja Petra said he would write an article but Nik Azmi wanted an SD instead as “the police can’t ignore a statutory declaration. They would have to take action.”

He said he then called John Pang, who also worked for Tengku Razaleigh then, and was told that the Gua Musang MP knew Lt-Kol Azmi very well.

“In fact, he often goes to Tengku Razaleigh’s office — and that Tengku Razaleigh also knows about the story of this confidential military intelligence report concerning Rosmah and the two Lt-Kols being at the scene of the crime,” he wrote.

He said he then called blogger Din Merican, who has denied Raja Petra’s claim, to check with Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the background of Lt-Kol Azmi.

“Din called back and said that Anwar knows him very well — he also often goes to see Anwar — and that he is very reliable,” he said.

Raja Petra said that after his SD had sparked controversy — he was eventually arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and charged with sedition and criminal defamation — he met Nik Azmi to ask for a copy of the report.

“Bul said that they no longer have it. The entire file has been shredded, Bul said. Surely they have a back-up copy, I said,” the blogger wrote.

Raja Petra said that Nik Azmi then told him “sorry, no back-up copy. The report no longer exists. In fact, the entire file no longer exists.”

Raja Petra also said that he told this story to the police when he was held under the ISA after making his SD.

“During my 10-day interrogation, the senior Special Branch officer, Datuk Zambri, asked me about the statutory declaration that I signed. I named names because these people had said that if anything happens to me I have their permission to mention their names. In fact, if I were to be put on trial, they were prepared to come forward to testify,” he wrote.

The second part of his interview with TV3 that was conducted when he visited Australia recently will be aired tonight.

Time to bid ‘billionaire’ Taib farewell

The newly wed grandfather tells Sarawakians that he intends to stay at the helm for some years to put in place a smooth transition. Is this excuse not lame enough or is Taib taking the people of Sarawak for granted, yet again?

Politics has become a “business”, a lucrative one at that for many of Malaysia’s politicians. These politicians, some of whom have become full or deputy ministers, have developed an insatiable quest for the trappings that politics brings – power, money and absolute authority.

Take Taib Mahmud, Sarawak’s longest-serving chief minister. Having had control over Sarawak for 30 years, Taib, aged 75, is showing no signs of calling it a day. In fact, he has gone on to say that his departure as chief minister is imminent, but perhaps in a couple of years to come. Taib, however, did not define “a couple of years”.

“When I step down later, in a few years, I want to see your generation support those who will assume power and build Sarawak so it will become truly developed and truly luxurious in the future,” Taib told 2,000 supporters at a 1Malaysia concert held recently in Sarawak.

Ironically, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is in consensus with Taib’s decision to stick around for several more years, under the pretext of finding the right candidate to assume leadership of the state.

It seems that Malaysia is among the countries where the politicians, instead of serving the people, take a detour to serve their own interests. In Taib’s case, his massive wealth and lavish properties have never bothered the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to warrant an investigation.

Now, this newly wed grandfather tells Sarawakians the reason he intends to stay put for some years to come is to apparently put in place a smooth transition. Is this excuse not lame enough or is Taib taking the people of Sarawak for granted, yet again?

The people of Sarawak are crying for the basic necessities of life, be it decent roads to travel about, tap water, electricity, health care, education for their children and safety of their daughters and wives. But Taib, however, appears to be too busy minting as much money as he can to pay any heed to the people’s repeated pleas.

Now that Taib, who is also Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) chief, has made it clear he has no plans to leave Sarawak alone nor allow the winds of change to blow, it is up to the people of this state to carefully decide what is best for them.

Politicians must serve, not be served

Each election brings with it an opportunity for a change to take place. And Sarawak’s state election on April 16 is the much needed catalyst for voters to make an informed choice, to make sure they choose the right leader who will be responsible and look after their needs.

In this regard, Taib’s time has long passed, irrespective of the excuses he makes to stake claim to his ability to lead Sarawak. But then Taib is only doing what many other politicians do best – pounce upon any opening to prevent their exit from politics.

In his three decades of being Sarawak’s chief minister, Taib went on to become a billionaire, cruising around in his luxurious Rolls Royce and calling his Demak Jaya mansion (pix) overlooking the Sarawak River as “home sweet home”.

To put it boldly, while the people of Sarawak suffer due to the lack of basic amenities, Taib is growing richer by the day. And not just Taib, his entire family has joined the billionaires’ club. Money was and never will be an issue with the Taib family. What, however, bothers Taib is how best to hoodwink the people of Sarawak into believing that he is the right person to lead Sarawak.

Now, the onus is on the voters of Sarawak to make the crucial decision which will determine their best interest is not thrown out of the window. Looking at the record of Taib and his cronies, it is evident the people of Sarawak know what best to do. The anticipation that April 16 brings will decide whether the voters end up choosing a representative that has their best interest at heart or someone whom they end up serving.

It’s all about the money for Taib

More evidence has cropped up concerning the ill-gotten wealth amassed by Taib. FMT on April 12 reported that a pro-Pakatan blogger has accused Taib and family of owning 357,980 hectares of land in Sarawak or nearly 3.5% of the total land in the state.

In his latest posting, the Kelantan-based blog named Perisik Rakyat (People’s Spy) alleged that Taib has accumulated the landbank in the state which has over 12.4 million hectares of land.

The blogger under anonymity claimed that Taib’s son Abu Bekir is the biggest “landlord” in Sarawak with ownership of 142, 550ha in almost every part of the state.

The blogger claims that Taib “hijacked” a total of 74,000ha of the native customary rights (NCR) land all over Sarawak. Apparently, Samling Global’s subsidiary Merawa Sdn Bhd had a hand in making it easy for Taib to usurp the NCR land.

Expressing shock over the claim, a real estate agent in Kuala Lumpur familiar with the property and land markets in Sarawak was quoted by FMT as saying:

“If we charge RM5 per sq feet for the total land, it will amount to RM193 billion, which will make Taib and his family the third richest family in the world.”

Borneo Resources Institute executive director Mark Bujang told FMT he has evidence that Taib’s family owned the Borsamulu Resorts (pix) in the Mulu National Park, with Taib being one of the shareholders.

“He grabbed NCR land from the people in the name of development,” Bujang said.

How is it that a leader chosen to represent the people to improve the quality of their lives has instead ended up improving his financial status by leaps and bounds, if not through corrupt means?

With claims of Taib stealing NCR land to fill his own pockets, what more proof does the MACC need to awake from its slumber and investigate Taib?

Only change is constant

Taib and Najib can quote numerous reasons why the people of Sarawak must give none other than Taib yet another chance to “serve” them. Yet, the final say remains with the people; if they have come to the realisation of just how much of their well-being has been compromised by Taib throughout his 30 years in power, the people of Sarawak will waste not a minute more in deciding what is best for them.

As for Taib and Najib, enough of taking the people for granted. Promising progress only during times of elections has revealed the BN government’s insecurity and desperation in wanting to edge out any form of challenge. What BN is forgetting is that the people have long learnt their lesson and are no longer afraid to embrace the winds of change.

Taib certainly has overstayed his welcome as chief minister. Yet, seduced time and again by the greed for more money and other richness, the newly-wed Taib will do anything possible to cling on to his position as possessively as he can.

Resorting to trickery such as putting the blame on the opposition for pressuring him to quit is not going to sustain Taib’s stay if the people of Sarawak decide they have had enough of Taib, a “wolf in a sheep’s clothing”.

Perhaps Taib feels assured for he has the blessings of fellow politician Najib when it comes to adding the zeroes behind his billions. And all this while Sarawak has been home to many people living under severe hardships.

Deepak vs. RPK: Round 8


Deepak Jaikishan says he is going to sue me. That would be a good idea. Then we can ask Miss Wong -- Deepak’s secretary in the red dress in the video below seated next to him -- to explain why she escorted P.I. Balasubramanian’s wife and children to the Immigration office in Pusat Damansara to get their international passports done if Deepak is not involved with smuggling Bala and his family out of the country.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin


OR SEE THE VIDEO HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkE2rwlTX0M  

Police report against Shah Kirit Kumar for insulting Hinduism

Libya group agrees 'trust fund' for rebels

The international contact group on Libya has agreed to set up a temporary "trust fund" to help the international community channel assets to the opposition Transitional National Council in Benghazi.

In a statement issued at the conclusion of Wednesday's one-day summit in Doha, Qatar, the group united to call on Libya's longterm leader Muammar Gaddafi to step down.

"Gaddafi and his regime has lost all legitimacy and he must leave power allowing the Libyan people to determine their own future," the group said.

The financial mechanism being set up will allow international donations to be made - possibly from frozen assets of the Gaddafi administration - and made directly available to Gaddafi's opponents.

The group warned that up to 3.6 million people in Libya could require humanitarian assistance as the result of weeks of fighting in the country.

Members of the group have called for more pressure to be exerted against Gaddafi's regime, but they disagree on whether to arm the rebels seeking to eject him.

Al Jazeera correspondent James Bays said some participants had "deep concerns" about providing Libyan rebels, who are fighting to topple Gaddafi from power, with access to funds.

"I spoke to the German foreign minister [Guido Westerwelle] and he had concerns over whether it was legal or not," our correspondent said.

"Statements from the UK and Qatar have agreed that the situation in Benghazi is urgent. And most is due to a lack of cash - it's not all about heavy weapons for frontline fighters; it's also about being able to pay public servants and getting schools back open."

After the conference, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad Al Thani, Qatar's prime minister, said that Gaddafi must step down.

"Those around him should advise him that it is in the best interests of Libya," he said. "This is the ideal scenario, for the safety of everyone - including himself and his family."

Sending weapons to Benghazi

The Qatari prime minister also didn't rule out arming anti-Gaddafi rebels.

"Qatar starts by providing humanitarian supplies, including heating gas and other supplies. We have also taken 6,000 refugees. For all other needs, Qatar ... will make things available for the Libyan people to defend themselves."

William Hague, British foreign secretary, told Al Jazeera that arming Benghazi-based fighters would not be contrary to international law.

"The UN resolutions do allow for the provision of weapons," he said. "But we are making our contribution through our own military, as well as providing non-lethal support, such as communications equipment."

He earlier told reporters that "the arms embargo applies to all of Libya, but it is appropriate to equip people with what is needed to protect themselves".

Franco Frattini, Italy's foreign minister, went further.

"Gaddafi's tactics are to put tanks in the streets - and we cannot have air strikes against people in the city streets, in the squares, in the highly populated areas," he said.

"Either we make it possible for these people to defend themselves, or we withdraw our claims of support."

However, in an apparent rift between EU partners on Libya, Steven Vanackere, the Belgian foreign minister earlier said his country was opposed to the idea.

"The UN resolution speaks about protecting civilians, not arming them," he said.

Qatar 'an oil corporation'

The Libyan government has dismissed the talks and Qatar's role in the ongoing conflict.

"We are very hopeful that the American people and the American government will not buy into the Qatari lies and Qatari schemes," a spokesman of the Libyan regime told reporters in Tripoli on Tuesday.

"Qatar is hardly a partner of any kind. It's more of an oil corporation than a true nation," the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, after visiting Greece, Malta and Turkey, Libyan foreign minister Abdelati Laabidi flew into Cyprus - as Gaddafi's administration pressed a fresh diplomatic offensive among Mediterranean nations.

He was due to meet Cypriot counterpart Marcos Kyprianou on Thursday.

Laabidi was recently named to replace Moussa Koussa, who arrived in Qatar ahead of the Doha talks after fleeing to Britain last month. Koussa did not take part in the formal meeting, but was understood to have met with various officials on the sidelines of the conference.

Mustafa Gheriani, a media liaison official for the Libyan opposition, said Koussa was "not connected tothe Transitional National Council in any way or shape".

Gheriani added that he was personally surprised to learn that Koussa was leaving Britain to attend the Qatar talks, and suggested that British officials should explain why he was going and in what capacity.

Free individual'

Koussa, the most prominent Libyan government defector, sought refuge in Britain on March 30. A friend said he quit in protest at attacks on civilians by Gaddafi's forces.

The former spy chief was questioned by Scottish police over the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing, which killed 270 people, but the British government said he was now free to travel.

In his first public statement since arriving in Britain, Koussa told the BBC on Monday his country could become "a new Somalia" unless all sides involved in the conflict stopped it from descending into civil war.

Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

RPK on TV3, explains his Altantuya stories

KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 – The pro-government TV3 station aired an exclusive interview with blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin tonight, where he claimed that he was merely writing accusations made by others against Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife over the Altantuya murder case.

“I never accused the Prime Minister or his wife of being involved in the murder of Altantuya Sharibuu,” Raja Petra (picture) was quoted as saying in a transcript made available at the private television station’s website.

The interview in Perth recently was conducted by a senior editor, Ashraf Abdullah, and aired over the prime-time Buletin Utama news programme at 8pm.

The transcript said the Malaysia Today news portal editor said he was pressured and influenced to carry the news by individuals who did not want Najib to take over as the country’s prime minister. Najib succeeded Tun Abdullah Badawi as prime minister in April 2009.

It reported Raja Petra as saying his statutory declaration dated June 18, 2008 was based on information from these individuals, adding that a lot of people accused him of slander without actually reading his sworn statement.

In the statutory declaration (SD), Raja Petra said he received information from several individuals that the prime minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was at the site when Altantuya was killed.

Altantuya was killed in late 2007 when Najib was then deputy prime minister.

“In the SD, I related the tale that these people told me the story and they should relate it. And that the authorities should investigate and call these people in. That’s what I wrote in the SD. I personally did not make an accusation. I did not say I knew that the wife of the then deputy prime minister was at the crime scene. I didn’t say that. I didn’t make such an accusation. What I said was that people told the story and it was up to the authorities to investigate it further and for these people to come forward. And I named these people. I revealed this during the police investigations,” he was quoted as saying in the transcript in Bahasa Malaysia.

According to the transcript, Raja Petra said he received the information from individuals linked to several politicians including opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. TV3 named them as Nik Azmi Nik Daud, John Pang and blogger Din Merican.

Raja Petra also mentioned that a military intelligence officer identified as Leftenan Kolonel Azmi Zainal Abidin also gave the same information.

“I didn’t accept the story. Because I thought it was impossible. No way that the Prime Minister’s wife can go to the scene as it is in the jungle and I didn’t think she would climb a hill, enter a jungle in the middle of night, at 12 midnight. I thought that was impossible,” he was quoted as saying in the transcript.

Raja Petra was quoted as saying that their task was to ensure Najib did not take over as PM when Abdullah stepped down.

He said when he met Nik Azmi, he had asked the reasons for making the statutory declaration.

“What do you hope to achieve? He said Pak Lah will resign, if we don’t block Najib, Najib will be the prime minister, replacing Pak Lah,” he added.

According Raja Petra, he then asked Din Merican to get confirmation from Anwar.

“Din Merican contacted me back and said he spoke to Anwar and Anwar had given the green light. He said OK, this man is no problem, what he says we can trust. Anwar knows him well and he usually meets with Anwar.. this leftenan kolonel. And he has told many stories to Anwar about this issue. He said to proceed, I then proceeded,” he was quoted as saying.

Raja Petra also said all the individuals had promised to be witnesses if he was charged in court.

TV3 said it will carry the second part of the interview at the same news bulletin tomorrow.

Najib pledges to keep Alkitab free

The prime minister with ACS chairman, Right Reverand Datuk Bolly Lapok, stressed the need for national reconciliation. — Pic by Choo Choy May
KUCHING, April 13 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak reached out to the Christian community today in an unprecedented meeting with church leaders here, giving them his personal promise that his administration would never again impound bibles. The prime minister sat with representatives from the Association of Churches Sarawak for over one hour at the Hilton Hotel here, attempting to iron out longstanding issues and repair the government’s strained ties with the community following the Alkitab bibles row.
Najib, who is presently on a stump for Barisan Nasional in Sarawak until Friday, had also stressed the need for reconciliation between parties that were hurt by the issue.
According to ACS secretary-general Head Elder Ambrose Linang, this is the first time a prime minister had personally initiated such discussions with church leaders in Sarawak, which is home to the country’s largest Christian population.
The meeting comes as Barisan Nasional is said to be facing its toughest battle yet to retain its hold over the hornbill state, which goes to polls this Saturday.
But Ambrose said the prime minister had avoided the issue of politics during the meet at the Hilton Hotel here and confined discussion to the Alkitab row and other issues affecting ties between the Church and the State.
When met after the meeting, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala told reporters that the meeting proved Najib’s sincerity in resolving the concerns raised by the Christian community.
Jala, a Sarawak Christian himself, has been acting as mediator between the community and the government in the Alkitab bibles debacle.

Najib shakes hands with Reverend Peter Mutang, President of SIB Sarawak, before the meeting at the Hilton Kuching. — Pic by Choo Choy May
“Najib made very clear his commitment that on the issue of the impoundment of bibles, it should not recur. I think he made that very explicit today. “He also talked about the need for national reconciliation. If there is any hurt that still exists between ourselves as a multiracial and multi-religious society, it is also important that we find ways to reconcile,” Jala told reporters after the meeting.
Najib did not speak with reporters after the meeting and rushed off to another function in the city.
Jala also noted that Najib had personally penned a letter to the Christian Federation of Malaysia, confirming that the recently released 10-point solution on the bibles row had been the result of a collective decision made by himself as the prime minister and his Cabinet.
“Looking at it closely, point nine in the solution is that the prime minister agrees to meet with Christian leaders and today, he is implementing that.
“He is here to meet them and in listening mode so we can take the issues and go forward,” he said.
Jala also reported that as of noon today, all the remaining 30,000 Alkitab holy books had been collected by its importer, The Gideons.
“So as of today, there are no longer any bibles under the Home Ministry’s custody,” he said.
Christian furore was sparked off following the ministry’s move to impound two separate consignments of the holy books at the Port Klang and Kuching port here as they contained the word “Allah”.
The government is still locked in a legal dispute with the Catholic Church over the use of the word “Allah” to refer to God by non-Muslims as Islamic enactments in 10 states prohibit this practice.
With the Sarawak polls looming, the BN administration scrambled to pacify the church community and relented to its demands by ordering the release of the books and later drafting the 10-point solution to resolve all future disputes in the matter.

Datuk Seri Idris Jala announced that as of noon today all remaining 30,000 Alkitab had been collected by its importer, The Gideons. — Pic by Choo Choy May
The solution, however, stipulates two separate sets of rules for Christians living on either side of the South China Sea. For those in the east Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, the distribution and printing of such books have been allowed, due to the large Christian community.
When asked if the Church had accepted the Prime Minister’s solution, Jala nodded and said the Church had “no problems with it”.
“The fact of the matter is that the bibles are no longer impounded and there are no more bibles in custody,” he pointed out.
“Beyond the bible issue, the government is committed to holding a dialogue with Christian groups and other religious groups to resolve this issue.
“To underscore the urgency of this work, the PM is meeting up with Christian leaders and they have also made a commitment to meet with the CFM,” he added.
Jala, however, noted that a resolution to all outstanding issues between the Church and the State would take more time.
“It will take time and we will not hurry them. The government has to take into account the interest of all religions, not just the Christian groups.
“We need to look at the interests of the brother and sisters who are Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and others,” he said.

Murugiah to be dropped as senator?

The former PPP Youth chief will leave it to the prime minister to decide his fate, according to party sources.

PUTRAJAYA: T Murugiah’s tenure as senator will not be renewed when his term ends on April 18 and he will go with any decision Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak makes, according to MIC sources and aides.

A source said Murugiah, who became a senator in 2008, received a letter early this week stating that his senatorship will not be renewed.

The former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Youth chief left the party after a leadership tussle and joined the MIC last July. He is a deputy at the Prime Minister’s Department.

The source said Murugiah will not fight for his senatorship to be retained as his work will speak for itself and remained positive about Murugiah’s future prospects.

“I don’t think we want to fight. Certain things in life are (based on) who can deliver, not who has supported me for a long time,” he said.

“As for Murugiah we will let the prime minister decide on his future. There will always be time for us to come back and do things, we will just wait for our time,” the source said.

Murugiah could not be reached for comment as he is currently campaigning in Sarawak.

Asked if Murugiah had been given a seat to run in the next general election, an aide said he could not confirm it as one “could never tell in politics”.

Some within MIC have not been happy with Murugiah’s rise to a senior position so soon after joining the party, the source said.

He added that there has been some level of manoeuvering as MIC leaders themselves were jostling for positions.

“I don’t think there is any dagger drawn to kill him politically. Some leaders in the party have been there a long time and are also harbouring senatorship ambitions themselves.”

The source said that a replacement has been selected but it is best to wait for the official announcement before revealing the identity of the new senator.

MIC president G Palanivel recently said that MIC wants to limit its members to just one term as senator to “give power” to leaders in states that BN lost in the 2008 general election.

A minister or deputy minister has to be a member of either Dewan Rakyat or Dewan Negera. Under the Federal Constitution, one can only be a member of Dewan Negara, the upper house of Parliament, for a maximum of two terms, or six years.

Disabled ISA detainee denied right to counsel

Bukit Aman says he was planning to bomb Putrajaya and Bukit Aman and the matter is still under investigation.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman today denied disabled PKR youth member Kadir Hashim, who is being held under the ISA, access to his lawyers.

His family members were, however, allowed to see him under strict supervision.

Kadir, who has a left wrist missing from a firecracker accident in his schooling days, was arrested on April 2 for allegedly being involved in ‘subversive activities’.

His brother, Hisham and mother Mah Mat Deris arrived at Bukit Aman with lawyers Murni Hidayah Anuar and Hafik Mohd Noor of Lawyers for Liberty at 12 noon.

Also present was Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) secretary E Nalini. After negotiating with the officers, only Hisham and Mah were allowed for about an hour.

“Kadir told us that the police were treating him well but we were surrounded by about eight police officers all the while we were with him,” said Hisham.

“Kadir said he was informed by the police that he was detained for being a threat to national security.”

Hisham, who works as a driver, said police subsequently informed him that Kadir had planned to bomb Putrajaya and the Bukit Aman police headquarters.

“They told me they were still investigating the matter,” said Hisham, who urged the police to charge Kadir in court if Bukit Aman had proof his brother was a threat to national security.

Their mother, Mah said all she wanted was to have her son back home, as Kadir,42, was the one who was looking after her. “Now I’m staying all alone,” said the 67-year old Mah.

Police acted in bad faith

Murni, the coordinator for Lawyers for Liberty, meanwhile criticised the police for denying Kadir his constitutional right to legal representation.

She said that even when Kadir was arrested, she had demanded he ber allowed access to legal aid.

“Arresting officer ACP Normah told us to write in a letter to Bukit Aman and we did that on April 4. However, she contacted the family yesterday and asked them to come see the detainee, not us.

“Normah said that her superior did not allow us to meet our client while we were the ones who had been liasing with the police since his arrest,” said Murni.

She said Lawyers for Liberty will file a writ of habeas corpus to get Kadir freed from detention

“But we need to get Kadir to sign the affidavit first before we can pursue the case in the court,”said Murni who added that she will continue liasing with the police over the matter.

GMI’s Nalini said that there was an element of mala fide on the part of the police as they had no evidence to show that Kadir was a threat to national security.

“Even the police admitted that they have nothing on him currently. We demand they release him immediately,” said Nalini.

‘New history books biased towards one race’

The history syllabus is bent on marginalising the contributions of other races, claims a Gerakan politician.

GEORGE TOWN: The new secondary history books being taught in schools goes again the grain of the 1Malaysia concept, a Gerakan politician said today.

Baljit Singh, who heads the Penang Gerakan’s legal and human rights bureau, said the history books contained propagation of one particular ethnic and religious group.

He wants Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to explain why the syllabus over-emphasised Islamic religion, Arabic civilisation and Malay contributions to the nation.

“The history books definitely contradicted 1Malaysia concept,” he told FMT here.

He said that people wanted to know why contributions by other ethnic groups, religions, civilisations and languages in the country were overlooked and left out from the history books.

He said that previous Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had once assured that secondary school history textbooks would not be politicised or be racially biased.

“However, the new books seem to be propagating one particular ethnic and religious views. History books should contain only truthful historical facts, not distorted facts and lies. We must not hide the past. Past history is imperative for us all to learn from our mistakes, correct them and move ahead.”

The vocal Gerakan politician is no stranger at locking horns with Umno’s ministers. Lately, he had a “Punjabi Boy-Bugis Boy” public row with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz over the sex tape allegedly involving a top Pakatan Rakyat leader.

Previously, he took on Muhyiddin for not banning the controversial novel, Interlok, from schools.

“Some critics claim the books contained a strong ethno-centric and political bias, lack objectivity and truthfulness, and contain numerous factual errors.”

Baljit also asked why the history syllabus would only be reviewed in 2017.

“Why in six years time? Why not at the end of this year’s school season? Our children should be taught truthful historical facts, not distorted stories,” he said.

He also hit out at Perkasa for suggesting that non-Malays should accept the Malay-Islamic centric nature of history textbooks advocating the concept of Malay supremacy.

“History is not about the supremacy of a race or religion. It’s all about telling the new generation about the truthful events from the past. Racism should be prohibited in our history books,” Baljit said.

‘Teachers must be loyal to BN’

Is Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's 'reminder' to teachers to vote for Barisan Nasional related to an education project worth millions which was awarded to a Sarawakian Malay?

KUCHING: Teachers in rural areas have been reminded that their loyalty lies with their “employer”, the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

Brushing aside courtesy, Sri Aman Aman MP Masir Jugat bluntly warned teachers to stay away from election campaigns.

He was responding to rumours that the opposition had infiltrated the minds of rural teachers.

“We hear rumours that some teachers in rural areas are actively campaigning against the BN government.

“This should not happen… they should not to go against the government. Teachers should concentrate on educating students,” he said.

Masir, who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) supreme council member, was accompanying Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkasi, who had been doing his round with schools in Sarawak’s rural region.

BN leaders and officials, under the guise of “officialdom” have been zipping around Sarawak semi-rural and rurals areas “reminding” civil servants of their loyalty to the party.

Puad claimed the visit was to “ensure students in the rural areas will receive quality education”.

Ministry-linked business

Barely three days ago, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin also reminded teachers to support BN in the state election.

Without mincing his words, he told them pointedly: “Just mark ‘X’ next to BN (on the ballot paper).”

Muhyiddin’s open “directive” is rumoured to be linked to an education ministry-linked project associated with a logging conglomerate Samling and a Sarawakian Malay called Noraini.

Noraini, who claims to have links with the Negri Sembilan royal household, and her husband British national Christopher Bell were allegedly awarded millions of ringgit worth of contracts to train primary school teachers to be fluent in English. The project is called TELL – Teaching English Language and Literacy.

There are some 167 primary schools in Sarawak

The couple’s Brighton Education Group (BEG) allegedly went into a joint venture with Samling owner tycoon Yaw Teck Seng to establish an international school at Desa ParkCity in Kuala Lumpur.

BEG also allegedly has lucrative “business” ties with the Negri Sembilan government, Khazanah Nasional and Putrajaya Holdings.

According to a source, Bell has been heard to openly say that “one has to know the way things are done in Malaysia”, insinuating impropriety perhaps when compared to how “things are done” in his home country Britain.

“To all intent and purposes, BEG runs its operations here on a shoestring budget… so where is all the money going to?

“Public money to the tune of millions of ringgit is spent on educational projects that show little accountability.

“If all was transparent and above board, BN ought to be highlighting these worthwhile ‘endeavours’. but little is revealed,” the source said.

Targeting civil servants

Meanwhile, in the final days of campaigning in rural Sarawak, BN, which is seeking to retain its two-thirds majority, is targeting the civil servants.

Cabinet ministers and accompanying ministry officials are wooing, coercing and “advising” government officials not to betray the ruling regime irrespective of their personal disgust against Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

While Taib is confident of retaining his influence over voters in the longhouses in this vast state with its thinly scattered population, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is not leaving anything to chance.

On the ground, a not-so-secret e-mail has been whizzing through cyberspace urging all to boot out BN.

The e-mail advises readers to register a new e-mail, cut and paste the message and send out the call to vote in a new administration.

“For far too long we have been intimidated by Taib, his ministers, and his appointed heads of departments.

“We have been fearful that our votes can be traced and discovered and we will be transferred to the Penan kampungs in Ulu Belaga and Ulu Baram, Ulu Lawas (Sarawak PKR chief) Baru Bian’s kampung, Ulu Balleh (PRS leader) James Jimut’s longhouse, and Ulu Pakan (Sarawak Progressive Democratic People president) William Mawan’s longhouse.

“But, even if our votes can be traced, if everyone of us votes for change, how can Taib and his Chief Minister’s Office transfer all of us? There won’t be enough office space in all of our rural offices,” notes the e-mail.

Spot the spin contest

Today, Malaysia Today is running a spot the spin contest. See if you can spot the spin from what I actually said in my interview in Australia with regards to the Statutory Declaration that I signed in 2008 and what I told the police during my interrogation. Hint: look for the key words.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

OR SEE VIDEO HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBslOyX8J4Q
First the spin by Umno website Malaysia Instinct:

RPK...and the lying continues....

By:  Fareed Dawood

We’ve heard how heroes went to jail or even died for what they believe in.

Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Suu Kyi to name a few heroes who stand faithfully firm and unmoved despite the consequences.  For true heroes, die they would, if their death could mark a statement of their fight.  Run, is certainly not an option.

Never before a hero flee when called to face the music.  In fact, even an ordinary man without heroic attributes wouldn’t run away when given a chance to prove his words in the court of law should he believes that he is right. 

Claiming that the court will not be fair or that you will be put under ISA should you not flee, are mere excuses used by cowards and the guilty ones.

Like I said, true heroes would be willing to face anything in their fight for the truth because ‘faith’ is the key word for a hero’s strength.  The guilty ones however, can never depend on ‘faith’ to help them get through the trouble they themselves have created.

Somehow, there are Malaysians who look upon Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK), a true coward and a fugitive, as a hero.  Not many of them anymore though, as some have started to realize what a fool they were for believing in him all these years.

RPK, once slipped his finger and wrote that BN is more transparent and open in terms of handling criticisms and maybe more professional in administration too, compared to PR.   This proves that even though RPK is aware of PR’s incapability to rule the country, he chooses to continue fighting (read: lying) for PR.

This is typical for someone who is unable to get a decent, honest, real job for a living.   RPK needs money for his wife’s breast cancer treatment and for his lavish and carefree lifestyle.

For that, RPK strike another lie just to divert attention from Anwar’s sex video which is giving PR a serious migraine that just won’t go away.  This time RPK implicates a carpet businessman, Deepak Jaikishan in private investigator, P.Balasubramaniam’s controversial statutory declarations.

In retaliation, Deepak says he will sue RPK for the malicious stories if the latter returns to Malaysia.  Deepak also said that he will also consider taking legal action against RPK in the UK.  

But for RPK, this is just another lawsuit for another lie.   Note that this guy is immune to lying, he lives in a lie and he will die lying.  Mark my word.  Lawsuits, justice and truths mean nothing to him.  As long as he can go on drinking and living a ‘wild’ life, he has no trouble sleeping, knowing the damage he caused to his own country.  

Before this, RPK was served with a three-page registered letter from legal firm Gab, Rao & Chuah,  demanding him to issue an "unreserved and unqualified" apology to be published in websites and all national papers and pay RM1 million in damages (which will be donated to a charitable foundation) for a defamation suit filed by Lieutenant Colonel Aziz Buyong.

The Army officer is one of three individuals (other than the two cops who have been charged for Altantuya Sharibuu's murder) whom RPK swore were present when Altantuya was blown up with C4 explosives.

The officer was proven not guilty.  Naturally, he decided to get RPK to pay for all the lies and the damage done to his life.

RPK was also charged by the government for sedition for publishing the article “Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell” where he claimed that the PM and his wife were somehow involved in the murder. 

The lie didn’t stop there, RPK even promoted an idea that Rosmah, the PM’s wife was present at the murder scene.

There was also a defamation suit filed by prominent lawyer, Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah against RPK for writing malicious articles concerning him.  RPK offered no defense in the case.

There are many others who fell victim of RPKs lie but decided not to entertain this mentally unstable blogger.

But for all other lies that were taken to court, never once did RPK dare to even be there gentlemanly, to lay out all the evidence to support all his stories.   On the contrary, almost everyone mentioned in his stories came out to deny or rebut or challenge his facts.

Baseless stories and lies can only work for some time.  We have seen where lies have taken Anwar and his family.  We have seen how flip-flopping and inconsistencies have taken Nik Aziz.  We are now witnessing how double standard and racially biased actions have led Lim Kit Siang and his son.  We have also seen where hypocrisy have taken Zaid Ibrahim.

They are all going down, whether they realize it or not. 

And RPK is just a tool for these useless leaders.  A tool can only last for as long as the leaders and the money last.  It may be forever, though, with the kind of fund that these people are accessible to.

But then, with faith, I believe that nothing last forever in this world – not even the world itself.  Malaysians may continue living in peace and harmony under BN’s ruling.  RPK, his wife, Anwar, Zaid and all the useless leaders of PR may continue to try to destroy us.

So, let’s just put our faith in Allah to save us from these monsters.  InsyaAllah, with faith, the good will always win.
***********************************************
Then the Bernama spin:

Raja Petra Denies Implicating Najib, Rosmah In Altantuya's Murder

(Bernama) -- Malaysia Today founder and editor, Raja Petra Kamarudin, has revealed that his statutory declaration (SD) linking Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak with the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu was made based on information and demand by several individuals aimed at preventing Najib from becoming prime minister.

He said he had never accused the prime minister or his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor of being involved in the murder of the Mongolian woman and that he no longer believed the story of these individuals.

He added that these individuals were connected to several politicians including Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and that they had put pressure on him to do what he did to prevent Najib from taking over from Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who was relinquishing the post.

"I no longer accept the story. I think it's quite impossible. It can't be that the prime minister's wife would want to go to such place; it's a jungle. I'm imagining, climbing up the hill, going into the jungle at night, at 12 midnight, I think it's quite impossible," he said in an exclusive interview with TV3 Group Editor Datuk Ashraf Abdullah in Perth, Australia, recently.

The interview was aired through TV3's primetime news, Buletin Utama, Wednesday night.

Raja Petra said in the SD he made on June 18, 2008, he had stated that he received information from several individuals claiming that Rosmah was at the scene where Altantuya was murdered.

"In my SD, I said that these people had told (me) and for these people to come forward and tell their stories, and for the authority to investigate and call these people.

"That is what I've written in the SD. I've never raised any accusation. I didn't say I knew that the prime minister's wife was at the scene at that time," he said.

He said: "I did not say. I did not make such accusation. All I said was that there were people telling stories but it's up to the authorities to investigate the matter further, and for these people to come forward.

"And I've mentioned the names of these people. I mentioned their names during the police investigation," he said, identifying the individuals as Nik Azmi Nik Daud, John Pang and blogger Din Merican.
**************************************
And the one from The Malay Mail:

RPK claims Anwar's aides told him of Najib's link to Altantuya murder

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Today founder and editor, Raja Petra Kamarudin, has revealed that his statutory declaration (SD) linking Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak with the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu was made based on information and demand by several individuals aimed at preventing Najib from becoming prime minister.

He said he had never accused the prime minister or his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor of being involved in the murder of the Mongolian woman and that he no longer believed the story of these individuals.

He added that these individuals were connected to several politicians including Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and that they had put pressure on him to do what he did to prevent Najib from taking over from Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who was relinquishing the post.

"I no longer accept the story. I think it's quite impossible. It can't be that the prime minister's wife would want to go to such place; it's a jungle. I'm imagining, climbing up the hill, going into the jungle at night, at 12 midnight, I think it's quite impossible," he said in an exclusive interview with TV3 Group Editor Datuk Ashraf Abdullah in Perth, Australia, recently.

The interview was aired through TV3's primetime news, Buletin Utama, tonight.

Raja Petra said in the SD he made on June 18, 2008, he had stated that he received information from several individuals claiming that Rosmah was at the scene where Altantuya was murdered.

"In my SD, I said that these people had told (me) and for these people to come forward and tell their stories, and for the authority to investigate and call these people.

"That is what I've written in the SD. I've never raised any accusation. I didn't say I knew that the prime minister's wife was at the scene at that time," he said.

He said: "I did not say. I did not make such accusation. All I said was that there were people telling stories but it's up to the authorities to investigate the matter further, and for these people to come forward.

"And I've mentioned the names of these people. I mentioned their names during the police investigation," he said, identifying the individuals as Nik Azmi Nik Daud, John Pang and blogger Din Merican.

He said a military intelligence officer known as Colonel Azmi Zainal Abidin had also given similar information.

He said in his meeting with Nik Azmi, he had asked him why he was being pressured to make the SD and that he had asked him "What do you hope to achieve?"

Raja Petra said: "He said Pak Lah will relinquish his post, (and) if we don't block Najib, (he) will become the prime minister to succeed Pak Lah."

Raja Petra said he then asked Din Merican to obtain the confirmation from Anwar.

"Din Merican contacted me back (and told me) he had spoken to Anwar and that Anwar had given the green light. He said it's okay, no problem with this man, we can trust what he said; Anwar knows him well and he used to see Anwar often ... this Lieutenant Colonel, and that he had also spoken to Anwar on this issue.

"He told me to proceed. So I proceeded," he said.

Raja Petra said these individuals promised to become a witness if he was charged in court.

The second part of the interview will be aired on TV3's Buletin Utama tomorrow night.
***************************************
And now the one from The Star:

RPK: I don't believe Najib, Rosmah involved in Altantuya murder

Malaysia Today founder and editor Raja Petra Kamarudin has admitted that he linked Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife to the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, even though he himself was doubtful it was true.

He claimed he made a statutory declaration (SD) in 2008 in the belief the order came from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In a sensational interview aired over TV3 Wednesday night, he alleged that several politicians had put pressure on him to do what he did to prevent Najib from becoming Prime Minister.

He said he no longer believed the story of these individuals.

"I no longer accept the story. I think it's quite impossible. It can't be that the Prime Minister's wife would want to go to such place; it's a jungle. I'm imagining, climbing up the hill, going into the jungle at night, at 12 midnight, I think it's quite impossible," he said in an exclusive interview with TV3 Group Editor Datuk Ashraf Abdullah in Perth, Australia, recently.

The interview was aired on TV3's primetime news, Buletin Utama.

Raja Petra said in the statutory declaration (SD) he made on June 18, 2008, he had stated that he received information from several individuals claiming Rosmah was at the scene where Altantuya was murdered.

"In my SD, I said that these people had told (me) and for these people to come forward and tell their stories, and for the authority to investigate and call these people.

"That is what I've written in the SD. I've never raised any accusation. I didn't say I knew that the Prime Minister's wife was at the scene at that time," he said.

"I did not make such accusation. All I said was that there were people telling stories but it's up to the authorities to investigate the matter further, and for these people to come forward.

"And I've mentioned the names of these people. I mentioned their names during the police investigation," he said, claiming the three were Nik Azmi Nik Daud, John Pang and blogger Din Merican.

He alleged that a military intelligence officer known as Colonel Azmi Zainal Abidin had also given similar information. Raja Petra claimed these individuals had promised to become witnesses if he was charged in court.

The second part of the interview will be aired Thursday night. - Bernama

This is the transcript of the interview posted on www.tv3.com.my

Saya tidak pernah menuduh Perdana Menteri atau isterinya terbabit dalam kes pembunuhan kes Altantuya Sharibuu.

Itu pengakuan pengendali laman web Malaysia Today Raja Petra Kamarudin yang muncul buat pertama kali setelah sekian lama menghilangkan diri.

Raja Petra berkata, beliau didesak dan dipengaruhi untuk berbuat demikian oleh beberapa individu yang tidak mahu Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak mengambil-alih sebagai Perdana Menteri.

Dalam satu temubual eksklusif bersama Ashraf Abdullah yang menjejaki beliau di Perth, Australia baru-baru ini, Raja Petra berkata, akuan bersumpah yang dibuat beliau pada 18 Jun 2008, hanyalah bersandarkan maklumat yang diperolehi daripada beberapa individu ini

Menurut Raja Petra, ramai orang termasuk polis, membuat tuduhan tanpa meneliti akuan bersumpahnya.

Dalam akuan bersumpah itu Raja Petra berkata, beliau menerima maklumat daripada beberapa individu kononnya isteri Perdana Menteri Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor berada di tempat kejadian ketika Altantuya dibunuh.

RAJA PETRA KAMARUDIN, PENGENDALI BLOG MALAYSIA TODAY "Di dalam sd saya tadi saya telah bercerita bahawasanya orang ini telah beritahu dan biarlah orang ini yang datang dan bercerita. Dan pihak berkuasa perlu siasat dan panggillah orang ini. Itu yang saya tulis dalam sd. Saya sendiri tidak timbulkan apa-apa tuduhan. Saya tidak kata saya tahu yang isteri timbalan perdana menteri semasa itu ada di tempat kejadian. Saya tidak cakap. Saya tidak buat satu tuduhan seperti berikut. Yang saya kata ada orang yang bercerita tetapi bergantung kepada pihak berkuasalah untuk menyiasat perkara ini lebih lanjut lagi dan untuk orang-orang ini kedepan. Dan saya sebut nama-nama orang ini. Saya sebut semasa siasatan polis."

Raja Petra berkata, beliau menerima maklumat berkenaan, daripada beberapa individu yang mempunyai kaitan dengan beberapa tokoh politik, termasuk Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Mereka ialah Nik Azmi Nik Daud, John Pang dan penulis blog Din Merican.

Menurut Raja Petra seorang pegawai perisik angkatan tentera dikenali sebagai Leftenan Kolonel Azmi Zainal Abidin juga memberi maklumat yang sama.

"Saya tidak terima lagi cerita itu. Sebab saya rasa mungkin mustahil kot. Takkanlah isteri Perdana Menteri nak pergi tempat itu kerana tempat itu kerana kawasan itu tempat hutan dan saya dok fikir dia nak panjat bukit, masuk hutan tengah tengah malam, pukul 12 malam, saya ingat mustahil kot."

Tambah Raja Petra, tujuan mereka ialah untuk memastikan Datuk Seri Najib tidak mengambil alih sebagai Perdana Menteri apabila Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi meletakkan jawatan.

Menurutnya dalam pertemuan dengan Nik Azmi, beliau bertanya kenapa beliau didesak untuk membuat akuan bersumpah itu.

"What do you hope to achieve? Dia kata Pak Lah akan letak jawatan, kalau kita tak block Najib, Najib akan menjadi Perdana Menteri, ganti Pak Lah"

Menurut Raja Petra, beliau kemudian meminta Din Merican untuk mendapatkan pengesahan Datuk Seri Anwar.

"Din Merican pun contact saya balik dia kata dia dah cakap dengan anwar dan anwar pun bagi green light. Dia kata ok, orang ini no problem, apa dia cakap kita boleh percaya. Anwar pun kenal baik dengan dia ini dan dia pun biasa jumpa anwarleftenan kolonel ini. Dan dia pun banyak bercerita kepada anwar tentang isu inidia kata proceed. Saya pun proceed."

Beliau berkata, kesemua individu ini berjanji akan menjadi saksi sekiranya beliau di dakwa di mahkamah.

Ikuti bahagian kedua temubual ini dalam Buletin Utama esok. 

MCLM President barred from entering Sarawak


Haris Ibrahim, the President of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM), has been barred from entering Sarawak. He is currently being detained at the Immigration awaiting deportation.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY MCLM
MCLM President Denied Entry into Sarawak 

Haris Ibrahim, President of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM), was today denied entry into Sarawak. He was detained at the Kuching airport for 30 minutes before being informed that he was being denied entry by orders from above (arahan atasan).

MCLM Media Team
13th April 2011

1MDB – Najib’s Political Slush FundTo Prop Taib And His Cronies

PRESS STATEMENT
Wednesday 13 April 2011

As you may recall, I raised my concerns about 1MDB in September 2010 when Pakatan Rakyat exposed how the fund, which was already allocated RM5 billion in 2009 via government bonds, was planning to raise another RM10 billion. That would have raised the fund’s liabilities to RM15 billion by 2013, which is four times the value of bonds issued for PKFZ that amounted to RM3.68 billion.

To hoodwink the Rakyat, Dato’ Seri Najib said that 1MDB had in fact declared a profit of RM425 million in the first year of operation. He never told us how.
We have today 1MDB’s financial statements that expose BN’s blatant abuse of government funds and how it continues to mismanage the country.

1MDB was able to declare a profit for 31 Mac 2010 because it entered into a very suspicious transaction tantamount to a blatant attempt to deceive the Rakyat. The profit declared was nothing more than an accounting entry to hide a trail of arrangement to create slush funds for BN.
Hardly five months after paying RM3.5 billion in cash for an investment in a joint venture with PetroSaudi of Saudi Arabia, 1MDB sold the investment back to the owners of the Saudi concern for RM4.1 billion.

On the surface this looks like a stunning financial return; a roughly RM615 million gain that helped 1MDB show profit.

But careful reviews of the 1MDB’s financial statements show a different picture. PetroSaudi, which received cash when 1MDB bought the stake, is now paying for the transaction through an 11-year loan scheme that will only be fully repaid in 31 March 2021.

Why such a sweetheart financial arrangement?

Nearly 70% of 1MDB’S original capital is now tied-up in a loan, which there is no certainty it will be paid.

PetroSaudi and many of its associates are companies incorporated in tax havens, such as Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands. Therefore, there will not be any transparency of the transactions between 1MDB and PetroSaudi and the latter’s associates which will remain to be shrouded in secrecy.
What is even more astonishing is that the deal to sell the investment was done on 31 March 2010, which is the last day of the financial year. This sleight of hand accounting is a blatant attempt to show the dubious profit that Dato’ Seri Najib declared.

What is also as explosive is the Taib Mahmud’s connection to 1MDB and the dubious transactions it recorded.

Last year PetroSaudi paid over RM1.5 billion to takeover UBG Bhd, the financial arm of the business empire owned by Taib Mahmud’s family that was facing difficulties.
Where did that money come from?

The financial statements strongly suggest that 1MDB’s financial merry-go-round is clearly a political slush created by the BN and Najib to enrich cronies and bail them out.

Therefore, in light of the massive and unprecedented spending and political bribery seen in this Sarawak election, Pakatan Rakyat demands the following:
An appointment of a special audit to probe into the transactions involving 1MDB, PetroSaudi and UBG to ascertain whether or not government money has been used for a slush political fund;

The immediate halt of the company’s efforts to raise more funds from the banks until such probe is completed;

A freeze on any attempt by BN to transfer any government property into 1MDB, such as the plan to award the company the prime piece of real estate in Jalan Cochrane; and

A full disclosure on who is behind PetroSaudi and 1MDB to convince the Rakyat that the company is financially sound to meet all its obligations to repay the loan.

DATO’ SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM

Sarawak Elections 2011 – Change or transformation?

by Chris Anthony

Dawn of a new Sarawak for all

Come April 16,2011 our fellow Malaysians in Sarawak will go to the ballots to choose their state government for the next five years. This tenth state election is an important one for both BN and PR as the results may determine their fate at the next general elections predicted to be held soon. It is also of utmost importance to the people of Sarawak as their destiny would be decided on that day.It is also an important election for the rest of us as the results of this election will greatly determine the trend in the whole country in the next general elections.

The exceptionally huge crowds at the ceramah of opposition PR came as a great surprise to all. Even the opposition leaders who were pleasantly surprised were shocked at the huge turn outs. That gave them a great moral booster which was badly needed after successive losses in several by-elections lately.

On the other hand the BN leaders too were taken by surprise that the state which used to be referred as the safe ‘fixed deposit’ for them for over 30 years is suddenly changing. It is evident from the response of the people to the campaign so far that they want change. Large crowds at election ceramah may not be an accurate reflection of wins as many a time such massive response does not necessarily translate into votes.

However it is definitely an indication of the people’s sentiments and their yearning for political change. It is an indication that the people are not happy with incumbent rule and that they want change. It is also an indication that the ruling party has not listened to their plea and has lost touch with the needs of the ordinary man on the street who is struggling to make ends meet.

From the feedback of people on the ground we are clear that the main grouse of the people is with the policies of their Chief Minister of 30 years whom they feel have neglected them and they want him to leave which he bluntly rejects, despite being politely asked to do so by the Prime Minister.

This state election is not about not about the opposition Pakatan Rakyat; what it can do for them or is it about its capability to rule the state effectively. The people know that the PR may not be able to do much without the backing of the Federal Government but they know for certain that it cannot do anything worse than what it is now. To the people this election is about what has been going on for the last 30 years.

The major issues are corruption, unfair land policies, and indiscriminate destruction of natural resources, power abuse and curtailment of religious freedom. This election is a form of referendum on the BN Government of over 3 decades on these issues that the people feel so strongly about.

Distributing handouts in cash and kind just before the election may have worked before but is not going work anymore as the people expect their rights to be granted and respected all through the tenure of the government in power.

The fact the ceramah crowds largely consists of the younger generation is significant.It supports the speculation they have access to wider sources of information than available in the mainstream media which is which subservient to the ruling elite. The younger citizens have lost faith in the mainstream media and the government that have become mere propaganda tools of the ruling party. Truth, which could easily be hidden before are revealed more readily in the new cyber media for which the younger voters have much savvy.

It is undoubtedly because of this IT enlightened younger generation that for the first time in our history that a CM’s overstaying in office and his misdoings have become a pivotal issue in the state election and fortunately it is going to do so in the years to come as illustrated in the ongoing people uprisings in many Arab nations today. It should be lesson for future leaders that they cannot take the people for granted.

We have come to the final hours of the countdown when Sarawakians will have to choose between change advocated by Pakatan and transformation by BN.It is a choice they must make after very careful deliberation. What happens in Sarawak this 16 April will have a tremendous bearing on the destiny of the country as a whole come the 13GE.

Our fellow citizens in Sarawak are given a very vital task to lead the way by doing the right thing this April 16. They must let that day to go down in history as the day when Sarawakians rose above ethnic differences and voted for the dawn of a new Sarawak where all its citizens get to share its wealth equally among them without distinction.

Marking the ‘X’ in their ballot papers may take less than a minute but that solitary minute may well determine the destiny of their state now and the nation later. As we wait anxiously await the actions of fellow citizens in Sarawak, let us pray that the Almighty will guide them to act wisely for the well being of all.

Najib: BN Can Win Two-Thirds Majority

KUCHING, April 13 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak said Wednesday he is confident Barisan Nasional can win two-thirds majority in the Sarawak election on Saturday although the fight is tougher than it was in the previous polls.

The Prime Minister said that an earlier statement he made had not been reported in full by the alternative media which suggested that BN was worried that it could not achieve a two-thirds majority.

He said the alternative media had quoted him out of context, conveying a meaning other than what he intended.

"With this clarification, I hope there will be no doubt that I and the Sarawak Chief Minister (Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud) have the same stand," he told TV3 and Bernama here.

The following is the clarification from the Prime Minister:

"I wish to stress that Barisan Nasional can achieve a two-thirds majority in this election although it is harder fought than the previous polls. Based on my observation and survey, the two-thirds majority can be obtained.

I had tried this morning to clarify that in a democracy, our intention is to form the government. This is the minimum objective, and I mentioned two-thirds majority as a bonus, but it is a bonus we can achieve.

But certain quarters have misinterpreted my statement to suggest that we were shaky and worried that two-thirds majority could not be achieved. This is not true."