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Monday, April 18, 2011

Rebels question NATO as fighting continues

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- As fighting continued in the Libyan cities of Ajdabiya and Misrata Sunday, a rebel spokesman questioned the commitment of NATO's mission there.

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi were bombing Ajdabiya from 40-50 kilometers (25-31 miles) away, Libyan rebel spokesman Shamsiddin Abdulmolah told CNN. The loyalists who were bombing the city "have no problem with the weather conditions there," referring to unconfirmed reports that NATO airstrikes were halted in the area due to weather conditions.

Gadhafi's forces are using Grad missiles and mortars, "and sometimes we feel that NATO wants to use any excuse out there so they don't carry out their duties," he said.

NATO did not immediately respond to a CNN inquiry about its operations Sunday. Earlier, however, the NATO press office told CNN that it does not discuss ongoing operations and would not confirm or deny any reports. The most official report from NATO states that it conducted 142 sorties on Saturday, of which 42 were strike sorties.

U.S. allies face unease without U.S. at helm

Meanwhile, in Misrata, six people were killed and 47 injured in Sunday fighting, Abdulmolah said.

Misrata remains in control of the rebels, he said, though they are still fighting some 200 to 300 Gadhafi troops inside the city.

"We are confident that we will be able to liberate the city completely and rescue our civilians who are being targeted by the madness of Gadhafi's death squads," he said.

The rebel spokesman also criticized NATO's role in Misrata.

"We still need NATO's assistance, but we don't understand what they are up to," he said.

In one instance, rebel fighters pushed back Gadhafi's squads to a shoe factory, from where they were bombing residential areas in the city, he said. NATO refused to bomb the shoe factory because it is a civilian facility, he said. In the end, the rebels pushed the loyalists out of the shoe factory, which they burned after abandoning.

"We can't understand (NATO's) excuses," Abdulmolah said. "We want to save our population from being murdered by these merciless death squads.

Earlier, an opposition member said loyalists were using bombs that look like perfume bottles.

Photographs indicated they were shells fired from a grenade launcher that either did not explode on impact or were deliberately masked and placed in populated areas.

The lethal weapons have blown off people's limbs and killed children, the council member said Saturday.

The report came a day after Human Rights Watch reported its members saw three cluster bombs explode Thursday night in a Misrata neighborhood.

The activist group said it inspected debris and interviewed witnesses about two other apparent cluster bombings.

The Libyan government has denied the use of such bombs, which are banned internationally because of their indiscriminate nature and ability to harm civilians after a conflict ends.

In the Lubyan capital, Tripoli, hundreds of chanting supporters waved green flags and pledged loyalty to Gadhafi after thunderous explosionsbelieved to be NATO airstrikes pounded targets in the capital.

"I have a message to NATO and to the United Kingdom and France," a man wrapped in a green flag said Saturday night. "We say to them, we will kill you if you come to our land."

Others chanted, "go go Sarkozy," referring to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. France is one of the nations taking part in the coalition airstrikes.

"Everyone here will die for Moammar Gadhafi," a young man said.

The supporters gathered at Gadhafi's compound in the capital hours after NATO apparently hit targets in Tripoli and its outskirts Saturday night.

Libyan forces reacted with anti-aircraft fire.

With no signs of an end to the war, immigrants have scrambled to flee the nation.

International Organization for Migration said Saturday that a boat rescued 1,200 migrant workers and their families who had been stranded around the port cit of Misrata.

The area has been bombarded daily by Gadhafi's forces, according to witnesses.

Witnesses have reported dire conditions in the city, including food shortages and the fear of pro-Gadhafi snipers taking aim at anyone walking on the streets.

At least 700 people have died since violence erupted in Misrata two months ago, a medical director said.

Despite weeks of aerial bombardment by international fighter jets, Gadhafi remains defiant and has rebuffed global calls to stop attacks on civilians.

At a news conference in Benghazi, the deputy chairman of Libya's Transitional National Council appealed to the international community to help prevent further tragedy. He said 1.5 million Libyans were under attack every day.

"We already have warned before that the regime was threatening real massacres against innocent civilians," Abdul Hafiz Ghoga told reporters. "The international community is now witnessing what this regime is capable of. The destruction in Misrata and other cities is unacceptable."

NATO has said it needs more precision fighter jets because loyalist maneuvers have made airstrikes much more difficult without harming civilians.

Love is more powerful than hate

If the opposition wins 35% of the votes, Barisan Nasional will win 90% of the seats. If the opposition wins 45% of the votes, Barisan Nasional will still rule with a two-thirds majority. If the opposition wins 50% of the votes, Barisan Nasional will still rule with a simple but large majority. If the opposition wins 55% of the votes, Barisan Nasional will still rule with a very slim majority. If the opposition wins 60% of the votes, then Barisan Nasional would probably lose the government. If the opposition wins 65% of the votes, then Barisan Nasional will for sure lose the government.


Raja Petra Kamarudin
BN needs to study why it lost Chinese backing, says Khairy

(The Star) -- Barisan Nasional must continue to look after the interests of the Chinese community despite losing their support in the Sarawak election, said Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said Barisan needed to study why it lost the support of the Chinese community and take remedial action.

“I don’t agree with the argument that Barisan need not take care of the Chinese because they are not supporting the coalition.”

“We must pay attention to the needs of all races and demonstrate our intentions through action. We have to be fair to everyone,” he said after attending the Selangor MCA Youth forum here yesterday.

Khairy said Barisan had to admit that the Sarawak election results were poor compared to the last state election despite retaining a two-thirds majority.

This is because the Opposition had managed to capture more than double the seats compared with the seven seats it won in 2006, he said.

“The state election is a wake-up call. It will have an effect on the general election and we have to do more,” he said.

Khairy also said PKR could no longer call the shots in Sarawak after it was overtaken by the DAP as seen by the number of seats won by the two parties.
The aftermath of the Sarawak state elections are questions/discussions about why Pakatan Rakyat could not deny Barisan Nasional its two-thirds majority in the Sarawak state assembly, why the Chinese swung to the opposition but not the others, why Pakatan won 45% of the popular vote but only 21% of the seats, how come the people do not hate Barisan Nasional and/or Taib Mahmud enough to kick them out, how come the crowds at the opposition rallies were enormous but it still could not translate to votes, and so on.

These are actually very old issues/topics/questions and I have spoken/written about them many, many times, even on the eve of the Sarawak state election in my Radio Australia interview, which you can hear at this link: (

In 2000, I wrote an article that was published in Harakah, the party newspaper of PAS: “The wakeup call that did not wake us up”. (

In February 2003, I wrote an article that was published in the Free Anwar Campaign website: “The opposition needs to get its act together”. (

In September 2003, I wrote an article that was published in the Free Anwar Campaign website: “Tawan Kedah: Pipedream or pipeline?” (

In January 2004, I wrote an article that was also published in the Free Anwar Campaign website: “Only a revolution and not evolution can bring about change”. (

In March 2004, I wrote an article that was published in the same website: “Crowds don’t translate to votes”. (

Those were just some of the many articles I wrote and which were published in Harakah, Berita Keadilan (later called Seruan Keadilan) and the Free Anwar Campaign website.

I really don’t know whether I should repeat everything I have said before. Anyway, if you want to know what I have been saying from way back in 2000, just click those links and read on.

For those who do not like to read, which is basically the majority of Malaysians, let me summarise what I have been saying all these years.

First, don’t be fooled by the crowd turnout. In so many general elections and by-elections, the opposition attracts crowds in the tens of thousands while Barisan Nasional struggles to attract 100 people. But when the votes are counted, Barisan Nasional is the one who wins.

Second, you can’t hope for the voters to vote for you merely because they hate a certain leader or a certain party. You have to get them to vote for you because they love you and/or trust you. It must be a unity of love, not a unity of hate.

Third, if you depend on voters to vote for you because they are Chinese and you are also Chinese, or they are Muslim and you are also Muslim, then you have a very small market. You need to cut across racial and religious boundaries and get universal acceptance.

Fourth, as Peter Shroeder, the political adviser from Germany, said in 2001: voters the world over -- whether in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, or Asia -- are all the same. The majority of them are selfish. They will want to know what they get for voting for you. It is not about ideals. It is about “what’s in it for me?” -- lower taxes, more money in my pocket, free education and medical benefits, better employment opportunities, welfare if I am not employed, housing, lower utility costs, etc.

Fifth, if the opposition wins 35% of the votes, Barisan Nasional will win 90% of the seats. If the opposition wins 45% of the votes, Barisan Nasional will still rule with a two-thirds majority. If the opposition wins 50% of the votes, Barisan Nasional will still rule with a simple but large majority. If the opposition wins 55% of the votes, Barisan Nasional will still rule with a very slim majority. If the opposition wins 60% of the votes, then Barisan Nasional would probably lose the government. If the opposition wins 65% of the votes, then Barisan Nasional will for sure lose the government.

Sixth, it is almost impossible for the opposition to win 60%-65% of the votes.

So there you have it. No, this is not an “I told you so” article. This is a “is the opposition on the right track” article. Granted the playing field is not level and there is extreme fraud and gerrymandering. But so was there in the last election and every election since Merdeka and every election from now till the end of time.

As Lee Iacocca said: don’t get mad, get even. The question is: what will the opposition need to do to get even? Hey, I am not the politician. Let the politicians answer that one. But whatever it may be, time and time again it has been proven you can’t win the election through ‘normal’ means. You will need a Tsunami. Only when you get a Tsunami will the swing be big enough to offset all the obstacles and handicaps that the opposition is faced with. If not, then the opposition is going to remain the opposition for a long time to come, except maybe in a few states.


DALAM siri pertama menerima lebih 3,000 email meminta agar menyiarkan segera sambungan Skandal Seks Orang Ternama: YB dan mendedahkan siapakah YB sebenar kerana ada pihak yang menuding jari kepada yang bernama ‘Rahim’ sekalipun sudah dinyatakan jika ada sebarang persamaan, hanya secara kebetulan sahaja.
Manakala grafik atau gambar yang disiarkan hanyalah untuk hiasan dan bukannya 'mangsa' sebenar, sekalipun seiras atau serupa dengan mangsa.
Ikuti siri kedua yang memaparkan kisah lebih sensasi namun berlapik dengan kiasan dan tamsilan bagi mengelakkan dijadikan bahan lucah oleh pihak yang tidak bertanggung jawab. Siri III kelak akan membuka dimensi baru Skandal Seks akan datang.
Sambungan Siri II- Skandal Seks Orang Ternama : YB
“Jamliah merasakan bagaikan tubuhnya berada di awang-awang dan tenggelam di dalam keasyikan yang amat sangat dan ketika itu jika YB Rahim meletakkan RM1 juta di atas dadanya, dia akan tetap memilih paku YB Rahim yang tidak ternilai harganya.”
SETELAH merenung seketika, tubuh itu menyelinap masuk di dalam gebar yang membaluti tubuh Jamliah. Jamliah terus hanyut dan semakin hanyut dibuai mimpi sehinggalah merasakan nafasnya sesak bagaikan tertindis sesuatu. Dalam cahaya samar-samar Jamliah terkejut melihat YB Rahim sudah berada di atasnya sambil mencium lehernya yang jinjang dan mula menjalar ke dua bukit licin membonjol yang menjadi kebanggaannya.
Jamliah cuba menjerit kerana terkejut, namun mulutnya segera dipekup oleh YB Rahim. Jamliah cuba meronta dan menolak YB Rahim dari atas tubuhnya yang hampir penyek dihimpit oleh perut YB Rahim yang memboyot, namun usahanya sia-sia kerana dia bukannya berhadapan dengan manusia biasa, sebaliknya ‘bapa harimau’ yang ganas dan tidak mengenal mangsa.
Semakin Jamliah cuba meronta, tubuhnya semakin lemah dan nafasnya semakin sesak, tambahan pula dia merasakan suasana itu begitu aneh, takut tetapi agak menyeronokkan terutama apabila lidah YB Rahim yang sepatutnya membaca Al-Quran mengecat dua bukit gondol yang masih kemerahan di puncaknya sehingga dua tahi lalat jelas kelihatan membonjol bagaikan antena telefon bimbit.
Jamliah tidak lagi berdaya meronta atau menolak YB Rahim yang semakin bijak memainkan peranan sehingga dia menggeliat kegelian apabila lidah YB Rahim yang tidak bertulang menyentuh antena di bukit gondol itu.
Dia tidak lagi merasakan keberatan tubuh YB Rahim yang lebih berat daripada dua karung beras kerana mula tenggelam di dalam keasyikan yang tidak terkata dan pertama kali dialaminya.
Rengekan manjanya mula mengiringi muzik yang lembut berkumandang dari peti suara berdekatan katilnya. Ada kalanya Jamliah hampir lemas tenggelam di dalam keasyikan dan merelakan apa sahaja yang diperlakukan oleh YB Rahim kerana syaitan betina mula meramas imannya yang nipis dan iblis sudah merasuki tubuh YB Rahim. Ketika itu tidak ada lagi segan silu melainkan kehendak yang perlu dipenuhi oleh kedua belah pihak.
Walaupun YB Rahim begitu mahir memainkan peranan kerana telah berpengalaman luas, namun dia tidak boleh tergopoh-gapah apabila memikirkan Jamliah bukanlah Suzie atau Masliah yang cawannya mudah dibancuh kerana mulutnya luas disebabkan selalu dikacau, bukan sahaja sudu teh, malah camca besar.
Jamliah mungkin belum pernah mengenali erti kehidupan walaupun pernah mempelajari teori cara membuat manusia melalui ‘teknik perlombongan’, namun belum pernah mempraktikkan teori berkenaan, sementelahan pula Jamliah gadis pingitan.
Jamliah umpama papan kayu belian yang keras. Bukan sebarang paku boleh menembusi papan belian. Tersilap cara, paku yang bengkok.
Namun paku YB Rahim bukanlah sebarang paku melainkan paku yang dibuat khas untuk melantak apa sahaja bukan sahaja kayu belian, malah dinding simen sekalipun. YB Rahim terpaksa berhati-hati kerana terpaksa memastikan medan untuk dipaku telah sedia dan hujung paku telah dioles minyak pelincir atau licin agar paku tidak bengkok dan papan belian tidak pecah.
Mujur YB Rahim telah berpengalaman melantak paku ke dinding simen ketika memaku Kartika, anak dara sunti yang terpaksa menggadaikan daranya kepada YB Rahim kerana memerlukan wang untuk membiayai perubatan ayahnya, walaupun ketika itu usianya baru mencecah lima belas tahun, masih di bawah umur.
Oleh kerana paku YB Rahim agak besar maka pecahlah dinding Kartika yang belum pernah didrill sebelum dipasang paku, sebagaimana yang selalu dibuat oleh tukang rumah agar simen tidak pecah dan paku boleh masuk sesudah lubang yang didrill di-sumbat kayu atau plastik khas bagi membolehkan paku atau skru melekat kemas.
Mujur Tuhan menjadikan dinding simen Kartika begitu elastik, jika tidak terpaksa mencari tukang kimpal atau paitung untuk menampal dinding yang terpokah.
Tetapi YB Rahim yakin, memaku papan belian Jamliah tidak sesukar memaku dinding simen Kartika.
Walaupun YB Rahim gagah, namun kelihatan pakunya masih sukar menembusi kayu belian sementelahan pula pakunya agak besar dan tumpul seperti cendawan yang baru tumbuh.
Tambah menyulitkan, ketakutan yang bersarang di hati Jamliah berselang seli dengan keseronokan dibelai sehingga papan belian basah dan semakin basah bagi memudahkan paku tumpul menembusi kayu belian tanpa memecahkannya.
Jamliah yang merengek dan menggeliat tiba-tiba menjerit apabila menyedari paku tumpul sudah menembusi papan yang basah sehingga kesakitannya begitu memeritkan bagaikan tertusuk paku berkarat.
Namun seketika kemudian rasa sakit mula hilang apabila YB Rahim mencabut semula paku tersebut perlahan-lahan sehingga Jamliah merasakan bagaikan tubuhnya berada di awang-awang dan tenggelam di dalam keasyikan yang amat sangat dan ketika itu jika YB Rahim meletakkan RM1 juta di atas dadanya, dia akan tetap memilih paku YB Rahim yang tidak ternilai harganya.
Tukang rumah pun tidak semahir YB Rahim yang begitu pandai sekali memaku sehingga paku tumpul boleh menembusi kayu belian tanpa pecah dan boleh dicabut dan dipaku semula di lubang yang sama tanpa melihatnya.
Jamliah begitu kagum dengan ketangkasan YB Rahim sehingga dia semakin lemas oleh keseronokan, menjalar dari hujung kaki sehingga ke hujung rambutnya.
Ketika itu kalau ada yang menarik rambutnya sampai botakpun tidak terasa sakit kerana kenikmatan yang luar biasa dirasai sehingga terjuntai di hujung rambut yang mencecah bahu.
Akhirnya setelah berulang kali memaku dan mencabut paku dari papan belian, akhirnya Jamliah dan YB Rahim terkulai kepuasan dan keletihan setelah papan belian dan paku basah lenjun dan melekit.
Tanpa sedar Jamliah memeluk YB Rahim dan berbaring di atas dadanya bagaikan kebiasaannya di masa masih bayi tidur di atas dada ayahnya ketika ibunya sibuk menyediakan makan malam di dapur.
Teringatkan ayahnya, Jamliah tiba-tiba menjerit, namun mulutnya segera dipekup oleh YB Rahim yang kelihatan kaget oleh perubahan mendadak Jamliah.
Tangisan Jamliah berjela dan disulami dengan pujuk rayu YB Rahim di atas keterlanjurannya yang selama ini mengekang nafsu setiap kali melihat Jamliah dan mengaku akan bertanggung jawab di atas apa yang berlaku.
Empangan yang dibuat daripada konkrit pun akan pecah apabila air melimpah dan berketumpatan tinggi.
Apatah lagi empangan nafsu YB Rahim yang tidak ubah seperti kertas tisu yang akan hancur apabila terkena air, sementelahan pula kocakan nafsu yang maha buas melebihi percikan air terjun yang tertampan ke batu.
Setelah memikirkan nasib malang yang menimpanya, tangisan Jamliah mula reda, apatah lagi setelah termakan janji manis YB Rahim yang mengaku akan bertanggung jawab ke atas dirinya. Lagipun tidak ada sesiapa yang mengetahui tragedi yang menimpanya, melainkan dirinya dan YB Rahim.
Akhirnya Jamliah pasrah dan terus melayani keseronokan berada di atas dada YB Rahim yang tidak begitu memboyot jika berbaring menelentang.
Tertidurlah Jamliah seketika di atas bantal impian bertilamkan tubuh YB Rahim dan diselimuti seribu janji yang belum pasti. YB Rahim tidak lagi kembali ke biliknya yang bersebelahan dengan bilik Jamliah yang hanya dipisahkan oleh pintu rahsia yang boleh dibuka dari dalam bilik YB Rahim.
Tiba-tiba telefon berdering. Jamliah kaget, namun terus mengangkat telefon tersebut dan meletakkan semula telefon tanpa berkata apa-apa kerana mesin automatik memberitahu ‘morning call’ jam 6 pagi.
Jam 7 kelak mereka mahu bertolak ke Lapangan Terbang Serambi PTI menghantar TYT balik ke Kota Kinabalu.
Jika tidak kerana hari sudah pagi, sudah pasti YB Rahim akan memaku sekali lagi kerana kali pertama dia memaku papan belian Jamliah dia merasakan sedikit kelainan dan lebih menyeronokkan daripada memaku dinding simen atau mengacau teh di cawan.
Jamliah begitu sempurna dan menggiurkan jika dibandingkan dengan pekan Semporna yang menjadi tumpuan lanun.
YB Rahim segera bergegas ke biliknya untuk mandi dan berkemas, manakala Jamliah segera ke bilik air selepas YB Rahim meninggalkannya bersendirian di katil.
Jamliah agak kaget kerana terdapat tompokan percikan darah di cadar putih, namun segera senyum kelat kerana memikirkan lumrahnya darah akan memercik jika tertusuk paku.
Dia segera membasahkan tisu dan mengelap percikan darah merah yang berbaur dengan lendir pekat di cadar, namun percikan tompokan darah tersebut tidak mahu hilang, lalu dia menutup cadar dengan gebar dan segera mandi.
Terasa denyutan nyeri bercampur kegelian dan sedikit kepedihan ketika air suam terkena pada lubang papan yang dipaku oleh YB Rahim.
Selepas bersiap dia bergegas turun ke bawah kerana bimbang YB Rahim akan kembali ke biliknya dan memakunya sekali lagi. Masih ada setengah jam lagi sebelum mereka berangkat ke majlis sarapan pagi dan menghantar TYT ke Lapangan Terbang Serambi PTI.
Jamliah merasa agak kekok berjalan kerana inilah pertama kalinya sebatang paku tumpul seperti cendawan memasuki papan beliannya yang tidakpun pernah ditembusi sebarang medium walaupun sebesar jarum.
Apatah lagi paku belian sepanjang enam inci dan sebesar terung muda, sudah pastinya akan terdapat rekahan sehingga Jamliah merasa agak kekok dan membetulkan langkahnya agar tidak kelihatan janggal.
Setelah tiba di lobi, kelihatan Pak Karto sedang membelek akhbar meneliti keputusan cabutan nombor ekor.
Jamliah melabuhkan punggungnya yang berbalut baju kurung biru muda bercorak bunga kangkung ke kerusi empuk berdekatan Pak Karto yang tidak mengesyaki apa-apa kerana tinggal di tingkat dua sedangkan YB Rahim dan Jamliah menginap di tingkat lima.
Sebentar kemudian YB Rahim menghampiri mereka lalu beralih ke meja makan menunggu ketibaan TYT untuk bersarapan pagi bersama mereka.
Apabila TYT tiba, YB Rahim dan beberapa dif kehormat mengiringi TYT sehingga ke meja khas yang disediakan untuknya sebelum YB Rahim kembali ke mejanya menemani Jamliah dan Pak Karto sebelum seorang VIP lagi datang memenuhi bangku kosong di meja tersebut.

The Chinese voice in BN politics

SUPP which by general perception represents a compliant and submissive component party suffered extensive defeats in the Sarawak elections. Its president George Chan was defeated by a young lawyer representing DAP.
If SUPP is seen as compliant and submissive, by default, DAP is now viewed as a more aggressive and daring party in sync with Chinese voters sentiments.
The same fate had befallen MCA in Semananjung when it only obtained 15 parliamentary seats in 2008. It's there on the political radar screen as a result of UMNO's benevolence.
MCA like SUPP will now depend on UMNO and PBB respectively for political sustenance. Otherwise, these two parties will continue sliding away and perhaps eventually become irrelevant to Malaysian politics.
How will these two parties operate in future? They have lost ownership as the voice of the Chinese people. The victories of DAP in Sarawak and the MCA's poor showing in the 2008 National Elections signal the rise of more strident voices and demands by the Chinese Community.
There are two ways to stem the slide.

First, Chinese leaders in MCA and SUPP will ask the PM, as leader of BN to allow them more leeway to become MORE Chinese. Meaning, they want to behave like how UMNO behaves – as the unmitigated voice of Chinese interests. The more strident and belligerent the better as a means to regain the Chineseness of their political pronouncements.
Second, as anyone can assume, given the accommodative personality of the PM, he will be seen to giving in to more Chinese demands.

The second one will place the UMNO president at odds with the prevailing UMNO-ish sentiments. The first approach will place MCA and SUPP in a confrontational mode with Malay political parties.
Minister of Health Liow, said MCA acknowledged the "strong signal" sent by Chinese voters to BN's Chinese-based parties. Liow further cautioned that the "drastic reduction" in seats won by SUPP will only increase the perception that the Chinese favour the opposition while other races support BN.
It's not perception Mr Liow- it's how the Chinse feel. They are rejecting Chinese political parties which they see as uncle-toming.
Liow also said the prevailing pro-opposition trend among Chinese voters will only lead to greater racial polarisation among Malaysians and undesirable "consequences" if it is allowed to continue.
What Liow is telling the PM who is the leader of BN, BN must now define itself in the context, first and foremost, with how it deals with parties like MCA and SUPP. Will that signal a new phase in horse trading which will eventually see the UMNO president as one who is seen to be extra charitable when it comes to the Chinese but extra cautious when it comes to assuaging Malay interests?
It will be interesting to see how this PM who is excited at seeing BN wins Sarawak but who now has to consider other aspects amenable for him to call for a general election. Utusan Malaysia for example has given the PM a suggestion which is unmistakably clear. Liow meanwhile, is also under no illusion to realize where rural, non-Chinese votes are with.

Malay versus Malay - Raja Petra Kamarudin

Red tape driving them mad

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Used-car dealers are calling for less red tape under the Hire Purchase (Amendment 2010) Act 1967 which will take effect in June.

Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Car Dealers and Credit Companies Association (KLSCDCCA) president Khoo Kah Jin wanted clarification on whether there would be one or two vehicle inspections under the amendment.

“It is still not clear if used-cars need to be inspected by the JPJ (Road Transport Department) and then Puspakom before they can be sold,” Khoo said at the KLSCDCCA annual general meeting here yesterday.

“We hear that second-hand cars will need to undergo a multi-point inspection before the JPJ inspection for transfer of ownership.

“There should only be one inspection to streamline the process and the inspection should be opened up to the vehicle distributors as well.”

Khoo said if there were two inspections, it would mean buyers would have to wait longer for their cars.

“Disputes on the car's condition can also arise because our appraisal of the car may not match Puspakom's criteria. Since Puspakom is the only body conducting the inspections, we will have no choice but to repair the car at our expense,” he added.

Last week, Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that all second-hand, refurbished and modified motorised vehicles would be required to undergo inspections at Puspakom before they can be sold.

More reports now on home abuse

The Star

IPOH: More women have come forward to lodge police reports since the Domestic Violence Act was passed in 1996, said Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.

The social activist said the Act had enabled women to be daring and expose the abuses that their spouses had committed.

Marina said violence against women and children occurred at any time and transcended race and age.

“A victim of violence should not be blamed because of how she was dressed.

“A thorough study must be conducted on the cause of the problem,” she told reporters after the launch of the Kampar district-level “Men Against Violence” campaign near Tanjung Tualang yesterday.

“It is also everyone's responsibility to provide a safe home and community for women and children to live in,” she said.

Marina said it was unfortunate that, even with the Act, violence against women had not abated in the country.

Citing statistics in 2007, she said there were 3,756 such cases in a year.

“More than 800 were reported in Selangor, alone,” she added.

1Racist M’sia a success amongst youth was disgusted after I heard the story that was relayed to me by my daughter and it compelled me to write about it.

It seems that the indoctrination of racism into the minds of the rakyat, especially the Malays, does not stop at government departments nor BTN for the working adults but has steadily and surely gained a foothold in public colleges/universities and now even in sekolah menengah in Malaysia.

My daughter had attended an extra curricular society meeting in school recently.

During this meeting, the three teachers in charge of this society had announced that they have tickets to a certain event to be given out to students. However, due to limited tickets, they had suggested
drawing of lots. Which to me is fair and square.

Apparently, after the lots were drawn and tickets were distributed to the successful draws, some students were unhappy that they did not get the tickets.

What happened next disgusted me.

A Malay student who had failed to secure a ticket stood up and commented that tickets should have been distributed according to the race quota as practised in Malaysia! Imagine, this coming from a Form 4 student.

Even the three teachers were shocked to hear what that student had just said. The student also had a few supporters amongst her peers who agreed with her comment.

Fortunately, one of the teachers who is Malay, told the students that the school does not practise discrimination and that all students are equal and tickets given after the drawing of lots was fair and just. Hence the discussion on the matter should stop there.

Imagine, a secondary school 16-year-old having said this. She has not even begun working, so one would speculate she must have been told of her ‘rights’ either at home or by her racist peers or elders.

This is just one example in one form in one school, what might be the situation in the other forms across the schools? And worse, what if this is the attitude they have been hearing from their own teachers?

Imagine the detrimental impact to the future of this country with our youth showing such racist behaviour from such a young age?

Apparently, Najib’s 1Malaysia is not working and is proving to be so, what with Perkasa and other racist NGOs spewing racist comments that undermine his ‘efforts’.

The PM seems to stand alone with his so called ‘vision’, when some of his own Umno peers are distancing themselves from his vision.

Remember Muhyiddin’s comments, “I am a Malay first before I am a Malaysian”? And this guy plans to take over from Najib in the near future? What will Malaysia become? How do you expect all the races in Malaysia to live in harmony when some of us are painted as lesser than another race, that we are squatters, that we are undeserving because of our background and skin colour?

We, the non-Malays, have also contributed in one way or another through blood (the Emergency), sweat (toiling in tin mines, rubber estates and forest), tears (hardship and endurance) to help bring this country to where it is today.

Slowly but surely since 1970 and the NEP, we have seen severe discrimination of our social, economic, educational and political rights with no end in sight. Is this what 1Malaysia is about as professed by Najib?

Then, we might as well stay the way we are and just turn a blind eye towards the country, which is exactly what is happening now. Brain drain, migrations, flight of investment either local or foreign is all a result of the government’s racist and perverse policies that do not seem to be abating in the near future, especially with such young citizens already spewing the poison from their thoughts and mouths.

What the future holds, only God knows.

Ulama tells Muslim leaders to stop politics of slander

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Muslim scholars have urged leaders from the same faith to stop engaging in politics of slander, or fitnah, as it is against the teachings of Islam and demeans people.

The scholars from the Coalition Against Fitnah (Saf Anti-Fitnah), or SAF, have pointed out that politicians are too fond of using obscene defamation and accusations of adultery against their opponents.

They added false allegations would not only have a severe impact on the dignity of the victim but also society as a whole.

SAF’s spokesman Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid said the media also plays a major role in stopping the spread of fitnah.

“The media, especially the mainstream media, must refrain from being involved in the culture of defamation to bring down and humiliate a person whether through news or an interview.

“The media must also not be a collaborator in highlighting any slander and create suspicion among the Muslim community. The media … should adopt principles of journalism that are ethical and professional,” he said during a forum at a mosque in Ampang.

Mohd Azmi also denied that religious leaders have been quiet on the recent sex clip allegedly involving an opposition leader and explained that the media has not allowed them to voice their opinions.

“Those that allow and say nothing against fitnah are also guilty of sleeping in the devil’s bed,” he added.

Last month, a mysterious “Datuk T” had screened a video purportedly showing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim having sex with an unidentified woman.

Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik, businessman Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Perkasa’s Datuk Shuib Lazim Abdul Rahim have claimed responsibility for the video.

A 107-second snippet surfaced on the Internet a few days after police said the video was not doctored.

Former Mufti for the Federal Territories, Datuk Hashim Yahya, said that the Prophet Muhammad had said that those who engage in fitnah are not part of his community.

“It is ridiculous that he (Abdul Rahim) said that he exposed the video for the betterment of the society. That shows he does not understand Islam,” he said.

Malaysian Ulama Association (PUM) president, Datuk Sheikh Abdul Halim Abdul Kadir, also stressed that a video cannot be permitted in the Islamic court as its authenticity is questionable.

“Never has a video or a photograph been used as evidence against adultery. There is no consensus among the religious scholars even over the use of DNA.

“Personally, DNA is only permissible if the lab test is conducted by a Muslim who is pious,” he said.

Kit Siang: Why the rush Taib?

Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang also wants Taib to put in place his succession place right now.

KUCHING: The hasty swearing in of Taib Mahmud as Sarawak’s chief minister for the seventh term has drawn flak from a top Pakatan Rakyat leader who claimed it was done in fear of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s growing influence here.

Taib was sworn in at about 10.40 pm last night, immediately after knowing state BN had retained its two-thirds majority in the state assembly in a key election.

“Whether he was afraid Najib may intervene and spoil his plans… we do not know. It’s a question that only Taib can answer,” said DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang

The DAP scored a landmark victory yesterday, more than doubling its seats from five to 12, in an unprecedented event that saw the opposition break BN’s complete dominance.

DAP also ousted George Chan, the president of the Chinese-based Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and a deputy chief minister, for the Piasau seat.

The state’s oldest party won only six out of the 19 contested seats with four of them being Dayak majority constituencies and only two in Chinese majority areas, signaling Chinese rejection to the ruling coalition.

PKR also tripled its seat to grab three victories with two being rural constituencies. The interiors of Sarawak are generally known to be BN strongholds.

Taib to cling on?

Pakatan has made Taib’s resignation as the focal point of its campaign and observers feel they were successful although Taib’s party, Parti Pusaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) won all 35 seats it contested.

Taib said he will need a month to assemble his Cabinet but Lim suggested problems within Taib’s rank and file now that his deputy Chan has been ousted in the aftermath of yesterday’s polls.

The Ipoh Timur MP also said that the signal for Taib to go was clear following the election result.

“Why must he take a month? The message from yesterday is clear. The people want him to go. What he should do now is to go to the legislative assembly and start the transition of power,” said the DAP leader.

The chief minister has been forced to draft a transition plan after it was clear that the Najib administration viewed Taib as a liability in its aim to keep Sarawak as its “vote bank”.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had made it a point to assure Sarawakians that Taib will go but no specific timeline was given as to when the transition of power will take place.

Taib himself had said that he will relinquish power mid-way through his term and has already identified a successor although opposition leaders remained sceptical amid rumours that he will remain as chief minister until he can take over as the state governor.

Seven women make it to the Sarawak assembly

The biggest winner was DAP's Christina Chiew who became a giant killer in Batu Kawah. She was also DAP's youngest candidate.

KUCHING: Seven women make their way to the Sarawak state legislative assembly after winning in the just concluded state election.

There were 16 women representing various parties and standing as Independents.

Four incumbents from Barisan Nasional — Fatimah Abdullah, Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, Simoi Peri and Rosey Yunus (Bekenu) – retained their respective seats.

Fatimah, 54, won Dalat with a majority of 4,990 votes in a three-cornered fight. Fatimah, who is Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Wanita deputy chief, was the only woman minister in the last cabinet.

Sharifah Hasidah, 42, retained her Semariang seat with a 5,431-vote majority in a straight fight against Zulrusdi Mohamad Hol of PKR.

Simoi, 47, kept her Lingga seat, with a majority of 2,506 votes in a three-cornered fight while Rosey, 55, of the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party, won the Bekenu seat with a majority of 3,714 votes in a four-cornered fight.

DAP’s roses

DAP fielded four women — Violet Yong in Pending, Ting Tze Fui in Meradong and two new faces, Alice Lau Kiong Yieng in Bawang Assan and Christina Chiew in Batu Kawah.

Yong, 34, won against cardiologist Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian of BN in Pending with a majority of 7,595 votes while Ting, 30, defeated Ling Kie King of SUPP in a straight-fight.

Chiew, 27, a newcomer who holds a Masters degree in biochemistry, turned out to be a giant killer, beating Tan Joo Phoi, assistant minister in the chief minister’s office.

Chiew (main photo), the youngest DAP candidate in the election, won the Batu Kawah seat with a majority of 543 votes.

Pharmacist Lau, 29, also a first-timer, failed to wrest the Bawang Assan seat from SUPP heavyweight Wong Soon Koh, who won by a 1,808-vote majority.

Lau is a daughter of Chinese community leader and president of the United Chinese Association of Sibu Lau Cheng Kiong.

Losing deposit

PKR’s woman candidate, sundry shop owner Suriati Abdullah, 50, lost her deposit challenging Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud in Balingian, managing only 871 votes in a three-cornered contest.

The party’s two other women candidates, businesswoman Zolhaidah Suboh, 38, and Ibi Uding, 49, lost in Lambir in a three-corered fight and in Balai Ringin against five opponents.

The two PAS women candidates lost along with the other three contestants from the party.

Nani Sahari lost to Adenan Satem of BN in Tanjung Datu while Noraini Hamzah was defeated by Mohammad Ali Mahmud in Muara Tuang.

The sole woman candidate from Parti Cinta Malaysia, Dayang Juliana Awang Tambi, 44, lost her deposit in a four-cornered fight in Bekenu.

Independent woman candidate in Batu Lintang Soo Lina, 52, lost her deposit, obtaining 290 votes in a three-cornered fight.

- Bernama

Sex video probe: AG to get police findings soon

The police have completed the investigation and will hand over the investigation papers to the AG for further action.

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have completed its investigation into the sex video featuring a man resembling an opposition leader.

Deputy CID chief Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said police were investigating the case under the Penal Code for the distribution of obscene material.

Investigation papers would be submitted to the Attorney-General’s (AG) Chambers anytime now, he added.

“It’s up to the AG to take action. If we need to re-investigate anything, we will do so,” he told Bernama when contacted.

On whether police had received any feedback from the distributor of an Omega watch said to be recovered from the place where the alleged sex act took place, Acryl said police had no power to force the company to reveal the identity of the watch’s owner.

“Let’s just wait. We cannot force them to provide information about who is the owner of the watch,” he said.

“The identity of the watch’s owner is not an issue (in completing the investigation). What is important in our investigation is who is responsible for screening the video.”

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, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was asked about his watch, said it was being kept by his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Anwar had lodged a police report denying that he was the man in the video.

- Bernama

‘Ungrateful Chinese’: MIC slams Utusan

MIC leader S Vell Paari says the government is duty-bound to bring development and cannot expect gratitude in return.

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC has slammed Utusan Malaysia for labelling Chinese voters in Sarawak as ungrateful.

In an editorial published today, the Umno-owned daily took Chinese voters to task for turning their backs on the ruling coalition despite the development brought to the state.

Commenting on this, MIC’s publicity and communication chief S Vell Paari said that he was saddened by the article.

He stressed that voters of any race should not be penalised or condemned for exercising their democratic rights as citizens of this country.

“I wish to reiterate that you cannot call someone ungrateful for exercising a right which is enshrined in the Federal Constitution, and Utusan must realise this,” he told FMT.

Vell Paari said that it was incumbent upon an elected government to usher in development and cannot expect gratitude in return.

“The government of Malaysia is administered by Barisan Nasional, just like how the Penang state government is run by Pakatan Rakyat.

“It is the government’s duty and role to bring development, this was why they are elected in the first place,” he said. “So don’t confuse duty with gratitude.”

The MIC leader also reminded Utusan that the Chinese-based MCA was the second-largest party in the ruling coalition.

“The article is not only un-Malaysian, but also runs foul of the BN spirit and violates Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia vision,” he said.

Vell Paari said that instead of driving a wedge between the different communities, the newspaper should look into the reasons behind the decline of Chinese support for BN.

File the right charge, RPK tells A-G

(The Star) - Raja Petra Kamarudin has vowed to return to Malaysia if the Attorney-General charges him with defaming former deputy army special branch chief Kol Azmi Zainal Abidin.

The Malaysia Today editor also promised that he would not contest the charge.

“I will plead guilty and face the jail sentence. That is my promise if they promise to file the correct charge,” he said in his No Holds Barred column yesterday.

However, Raja Petra said he refused to face the charge of defaming three other people.

“Charging me for defaming (Prime Minister's wife) Rosmah Mansor, Kol Aziz Buyong and Kol Norhayati Hassan is the wrong charge. The right charge should be for defaming Kol Azmi.

“They must promise that this is the only charge I will face and not slap me with another 10 charges for other crimes',” he said.

Raja Petra was charged with defaming Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Lt-Kol Abdul Aziz Buyong and Lt-Kol Norhayati Hassan in a statutory declaration (SD) made at the Jalan Duta Court complex at 10.25am on June 18, 2008.

However, the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court subsequently granted him a discharge not amounting to an acquittal over the charge.

The two lieutenant-colonels have since filed a separate defamation suit against Raja Petra.

During an interview over TV3 on Wednesday, Raja Petra claimed that he had signed the declaration implicating Rosmah in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaaribuu based on information given by Kol Azmi.

In his column, Raja Petra said police arrested and charged him for criminal defamation against the three but stressed that his allegations were against Kol Azmi.

He also insisted that he did not make a “U-turn” and reversed his story as mentioned by “pro-opposition media”.

“A U-turn means I have reversed my story. When my story now is consistent with what I said in June 2008, how could that be a U-turn?” he said, adding that for three years he had to live under the stigma of “defaming” the wrong person.

On his reasons for bringing up the matter now, he said he had been clearing up misconception about his SD since three years ago but no one listened.

Instead, he said, “what I alleged then was that a certain Kol Azmi Zainal Abidin made this allegation that Rosmah and the two colonels were at the scene the night Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered.”

Kenyataan Media Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim


Pilihanraya Negeri Sarawak 2011 membuktikan perjuangan menuntut Keadilan untuk semua tanpa mengira batas kaum mahupun kepercayaan bukanlah tugas mudah, namun ianya juga bukan mustahil. Walaupun tidak mengecapi keputusan yang diingini, kita berjaya menanam benih politik murni agar rakyat Sarawak meninggalkan politik perkauman sempit, berani melawan kezaliman yang sekian lama membelenggu dan berusaha memperkukuh amalan Demokratik.

Hakikat yang tidak dapat dinafikan sepanjang tempoh berkempen, berbekalkan sumber yang terhad serta berilitizam dengan kempen yang bersih, Pakatan Rakyat tetap berjaya menembusi kawasan pendalaman, yang sentiasa dianggap kubu kuat Barisan Nasional.

Sungguhpun demikian, sekali lagi kredibiliti dan integriti Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya tercalar kerana wujudnya laporan bahawa Suruhanjaya itu bertindak berat sebelah ataupun sengaja menutup mata terhadap sebarang penipuan ketika hari pengundian. Saya difahamkan petugas Parti Keadilan Rakyat dinafikan borang 14 di beberapa kawasan sedangkan borang ini penting untuk memastikan keputusan pilihanraya bersih dari penipuan. Selain itu terdapat juga laporan wujudnya usaha membeli undi di beberapa kawasan seperti Dudong, Bawang Assan dan Meradong. Selain itu keengganan SPR untuk mengira semula undi di kawasan Senadin ternyata mengukuhkan lagi dakwaan ramai bahawa Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya bertindak demi kepentingan Barisan Nasional. Calon Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Dr Michael tewas dengan majoriti yang tipis iaitu 58 undi sahaja. Mengapa enggan mengira semula tanpa memberi alasan yang munasabah?

Keputusan ini bukanlah satu pengakhiran, bahkan yakinlah ianya satu permulaan kepada satu tuntutan perubahan yang jitu dan menyeluruh. Pastinya ini tidak dapat dicapai sekiranya rakyat Sarawak tidak bersama sama memastikan ianya terlaksana. Saya menyeru kepada rakyat Sarawak yg mahukan Perubahan dan cintakan Keadilan, tingkatkan usaha, jangan sesekali berputus asa, terus mara dan pastikan regim yang korup ini tumbang pada pilihanraya yg akan datang. Kepada seluruh rakyat Sarawak dan jentera Pakatan Rakyat, saya ucapkan terima kasih dan syabas kerana keberanian serta pengorbanan yg dicurahkan. Dengan izin Allah, kemenangan pasti tiba.


Tackling issue of abandoned babies collectively

The Star 

The best interest of the child must come first in custody cases.

AFTER a long battle with cancer, 18-year-old Sharon Yap or Shiro as she liked to be known, passed away in 2008.

It's a sad story not because she had a promising future or that she had such a beautiful soul, relates Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner James Nayagam, but because until the end, her divorced parents were still fighting over her.

He recalls how he first met Shiro when she was still a young child during her bitter custody case.

Her father finally won and was given custody of her and her younger brother.

Her mother was awarded unlimited access by the court.

But after all the squabble between them, Shiro's father did not allow her mother to visit them.

“This went on even until Shiro was diagnosed with cancer. Her mother had to go to court to ask for access to see her dying daughter,” Nayagam relates.

It was only when Shiro passed away that her mother got the chance to see her.

“Her mother went to the mortuary to prepare her daughter's body for the burial and still the father created a scene there,” he says.

This may be an extreme case, but Nayagam has chosen it to emphasise the need for parents to put their emotions aside and consider what is best for their children when their marriage breaks up.

As he points out, studies by child psychiatrists show that even in an amicable divorce, children will go through emotional issues.

So, it would be even more difficult for children in divorces that are fraught with bitterness.

In Shiro's case, he says, she was allowed to speak but she was not heard, especially by her parents.

In her journals (which will be published soon), Shiro confided many times about her torn loyalty and her fear of showing her real feelings to either parent lest she would upset them or make them angry, Nayagam reveals.

“In the end, she held back what she really felt, and lied.”

Most importantly, says Nayagam, regardless of the dispute, it is a child's right to have access to both parents and to be able to have contact and get care from them.

“Ultimately, the child's welfare is the most important and that is why in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the main word that runs through it is ensure'.”

According to Article 3 of the CRC, which Malaysia ratified in 1995, the interests of children must be the primary concern in making decisions that affect them.

This applies especially in custody cases at the family court, he says.

“Parents may argue in court about what is the best interest OF the child but ultimately, the court needs to make its decision based on what is the best interest FOR the child.”

And to help them reach the best decision for the child, the court needs to hear what the child has to say, he stresses.

This is provided under Articles 12(1) and (2) of the CRC, which state that children should be involved in decision-making about their welfare and that those who are capable of expressing their views should be given an opportunity to be heard in legal proceedings.

“The child should be able to express his or her views and the court needs to take it into account when they make their decision, depending on the child's age and level of maturity.

“The court should especially pay attention to a child who is above six years old (under the CRC, a child is defined as below 18 years old), and maybe less to those below six.

“But, crucially, all children need to be allowed to express their views,” he notes.

Although this is taken into consideration in Malaysia's family court, the practice is erratic at best, Nayagam says.

This is why Suhakam, who is holding a watching brief in the heated custody battle of 12-year-old Low Bi-Anne, made a submission to the Court of Appeal to allow her to speak.

As Suhakam's representative in court, human rights lawyer Andrew Khoo explains: “The voice of the child is often overlooked in a custody battle as judges tend to see it as a battle between two parties, leaving the children caught in the middle.

“I'm reminded of this pepatah Melayu (Malay proverb) Gajah bergaduh, pelanduk mati di tengah-tengah' (While the elephants fight, the mousedeer in the middle dies).”

He believes that it is natural for the court to see things in terms of the rights of one party as opposed to the other, in this case the rights of one parent as opposed to the other, especially in a case of custody proceedings.

But they need to ensure that sufficient account has been taken of the rights of the child, not just the needs of the child.

The Bar Council's Family Law Committee chair Lalitha Menon concurs, and has raised the concern that when the child's voice is not allowed to be heard, you hear only from the parents.

“Even in cases where the child is allowed to say what he or she wants, at the end of the day it is the parents' wishes that are given more weight and concentration. In this case, you can say that the child's rights are violated.”

Menon also warns that determining the child's wishes remains a problem unless the family court system in Malaysia is reviewed.

“It is always a problem because she may be influenced or pressured by the parent that she is living with to say certain things or to what the parent wants.”

Bi-Anne's case received a lot of attention after she publicly and repeatedly declared that she wanted to live with her father, real estate agent Low Swee Siong, 40, even though the court awarded custody to her mother, restaurant manager Tan Siew Siew, 37, who is based in London.

Despite her tearful pleadings in open court, her opinions have not been taken into account.

The custody battle between Bi-Anne's parents started after the couple divorced in 2006.

The father was granted custody at first.

Two years later, Tan applied for and won custody while Low was given reasonable access.

However, Bi-Anne refused to go with her mother to England and insisted that she wanted to live with her father.

Suhakam commissioner Detta Samen hopes that the court will accept their submission and allow Bi-Anne to speak in court when they reconvene.

“She has a right to be heard, especially when the decision will affect her life.

“For instance, her citizenship rights also have to be taken into consideration,” he says.

Under the Federal Constitution, every person born outside Malaysia on or after Merdeka Day whose father is a citizen at the time of his birth and was born in Malaysia, is a citizen of Malaysia.

A plea from Sarawak

Just before I left Sarawak, a Melanau resident of Kuching gave me some sound advice to pass on.
Baru Bian last night after clinching the Ba' Kelalan seat. On the far right, partly hidden, is See Chee How - Photo by Anil

“Please tell the opposition parties not to focus on urban areas in Sarawak. We know what the issues are. They need to work in the interior areas. That’s where the work must be done.”

It is no coincidence that the PKR candidates who won in the interior areas had done their ground work long before polling day on 16 April.

Land grabs are a big issue in Sarawak. Perhaps it is not surprising that all three victorious PKR candidates have been involved in NCR land issues.

Both See Chee How and Baru Bian are lawyers working in the same legal firm and are well known for their work in handling NCR land cases.

Many wondered how Ali anak Biju was able to win in Krian. Even though he is a contractor and not a lawyer, he too has been championing the rights of those who have lost their land.
Ali only knew that he might be a candidate earlier this year. But he had already been something of a land rights activist for a couple of years now. A couple of people told me he gets a rock star’s reception in his area.

Candidates for the parliamentary elections need to be identified early and they must hit the ground now so that the people are familiar with them by the time the general election comes around. That’s the only way to win their trust and counter any vote buying and gain access to the long-houses. Opposition candidates cannot hope to match the BN’s financial resources and spending.

In Baru Bian’s case, because he was familiar with the people and had won their trust, he said he was able to convince the residents to think of their long-term future and not to sacrifice their principles for short-term gain.
Aspiring YBs cannot hope to win if they turn up a few weeks before polling and hope they can pull through. They won’t. By going to the ground early, they can get a head start in addressing what matters most to the voters.

Meanwhile, Baru Bian said last night he saw the results of the election as a continuation of the struggle to establish a two-party system in Malaysia and to give voters a real choice. The results of the election will have an impact on Sabah and the peninsula, he added. “The BN has always regarded Sarawak as a ‘safe deposit’. Today, that safe deposit has been withdrawn.”

Review: Indicine Live 3

By Nathaniel Tan,

(thoughts on Sarawak a little later perhaps – for now, well done to all those who gave it their all!)

I seldom tire of Malaysian comedy. I watched the first Indicine Live some time ago, and it was love at first sight.
Indicine Live 3 was pretty much up to par. As always, some skits/jokes were a little more miss than hit, but on the whole, there was absolutely no shortage of laughs, entertainment and that painful truth behind the things we find most funny.
I have noticed more and more that it’s really difficult to get tickets to comedies as show times approach. Walk-in tickets appear to be a thing of the past (this piece comes a little late because shows were sold out all the way to the end anyway). While bad news for commitment-phobes like me, I think it reflects pretty well on this subset of the industry as a whole. I do wish they’d have longer runs and bigger spaces though (the actors however, did not seem to share my enthusiasm for the idea :)
Some of my favourite skits involved:
- There being so many by-elections that a PAS guy and a Puteri Umno from faraway states had time to fall in love
- Mat & Minah Rempit to the tunes of We Will Rock You
- Ghosts being barred from leaving hell on hungry ghost festival because of clashes with Ramadan
- Normal Muslims being subjected to being house guests of rabid Christians
- A human water cannon
- One helluva sexy mak nenek (these Indicent girls I tell you)
One of the funniest skits used one of the least original devices – literal translations from BM to English and vice versa :) It’s really amazing how far you can stretch this without it *really* getting old.
The talent of a lot of the actors was a joy to watch, and on the whole the humour was sharp and well thought out, you could feel multiple minds at work adding and adding layer after layer to the jokes. The view of Malaysian realities was exaggerated enough to be great fun, but not so much as to be separate from things we can really see every day.
I think I’ll leave it at that for now, until the next Indicine Live!

Indian group sore with DBP over Bahasa dictionary

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — An Indian literature group has accused the Education Ministry of denying non-Malays rights to Bahasa Malaysia by saying the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) dictionary belonged only to Malays and cannot be questioned by other races.

Kayvan Literary Group (Kayvan) president Uthaya Sankar SB said today the ministry’s stand showed it was trying to deny that the national language belonged to all Malaysians regardless of race.

“A response like this that represents the Malaysian government will surely frustrate noble attempts to raise the status and dignity of Bahasa Malaysia, as well as efforts to build Bangsa Malaysia,” he said in a statement.

This comes on the heels of the Education Ministry’s response to a report in Tamil daily Makkal Osai on March 31 that the Kamus Dewan contained words offensive to Indians.

The ministry’s statement had stressed that words in the Kamus Dewan must be seen from the Malay perspective and not from that of other races, pointing out it compiled words used in Bahasa Malaysia, including those borrowed from other languages like English, Chinese, Sanskrit, Tamil, Dutch and Arabic.

It said that all races in Malaysia must accept the fact that the Bahasa Malaysia dictionary reflects Malay language, customs and culture.

“There are words used daily that are regarded as obscene by other races but not to Malays. There are also words that are considered precious to Malays but seen as insulting by other races,” the statement by the ministry’s corporate communications unit said.

“All that is part of the customs and culture of the Malays and should not be questioned.”

DBP is under the supervision of the Education Ministry. The Kamus Dewan, first published by DBP in 1970, is now in its fourth edition.

Uthaya Sankar also pointed out today that the statement ran counter to the government’s goal of getting young people of all races to use Bahasa Malaysia, as well as efforts to get parents to send their children to national schools.

“The ministry should take steps to democratise Bahasa Malaysia and not restrict it to a particular race,” he said.

He warned that if no action is taken to clarify the misleading statement published on the ministry’s official online portal, Bahasa Malaysia risks being seen as a language that belongs to one race only.

Uthaya Sankar, nonetheless, said that Kayvan, founded in October 1999, will continue to uphold Bahasa Malaysia as the language of all Malaysians.