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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The reasons why Ibrahim Ali is untouchable

'The fact that the current government is powerless against Utusan and Perkasa implies that they are actually the one behind it.'

Church leaders: Act now against 'crusading' Ibrahim
Cannon: Perkasa is breaking the law with impunity. It is committing sedition and the authorities are overlooking this lawlessness. The BN must take action to stop this dangerous nonsense before the situation gets out of control.

It's sheer hypocrisy on the part of PM Najib Razak to advocate moderation in Cambridge while his own ruling party is sowing discord and hatred through Perkasa and Utusan Malaysia, inciting violence against Christians.

The sandiwara and non-action by home minister should be roundly condemned by all Malaysians. Failing or delaying to act, the government is to be held responsible for any outbreak of violence against Christians.

Petestop: The fact that the current government is powerless against Utusan and Perkasa implies that they are actually the one behind it. So, it is out in the open for all to see who is the extremist - it is actually the BN government.

Do MCA, Gerakan and MIC still wonder why they are losing votes? They are too thick-headed to understand that we are voting against Umno. PAS by comparison is such a civil political party, willing to engage non-Muslims in a constructive manner and shown to be able to be fair to all races.

Therefore, using PAS as the bogeyman will never work. That is why they have to choose a new bogeyman, and unfortunately it is the peace-loving Christians.

Roberts: Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali should hold a crusade against corruption so that the nation's money would not be looted and plundered.

The money saved can go into building better schools, hospitals and other facilities for poor rural Malays. Ibrahim, there are schools without electricity, overcrowded classrooms and without proper facilities.

Have a crusade against better law enforcement too so that people can go to sleep in peace without fearing loss of property, lives and limbs. Money saved can built better highways to reduce carnage on roads.

Crusade against cronyism, crusade against rising prices and crusade against injustices to the poor. Crusade to prevent abuses of NEP to see that benefits trickle down to poor kampong Malays. And crusade against social ills that sees too many teenage pregnancies.

Tmf: Is it still unclear if there are elements in the power of the day wanting our beloved land to burn?

David Dass: What is the effect of Ibrahim Ali's vituperation and hate? What is his objective in spewing so much hate and bile? What does he hope to achieve? And exactly what has he succeeded in doing?

He has certainly succeeded in creating tension, fear and anxiety. Not the fear that the majority of Muslims will be stirred to riot by his fiery rhetoric. But by the possibility that there will always exist in society a lunatic fringe who will find in his drivel something that will trigger in them a desire to strike out and do harm.

And that is the reason why so many demand that Ibrahim Ali and the Utusan be stopped and punished. It is not a demand for punishment for punishment's sake. It is not out of a desire for revenge. But the point must be made that the government does not condone violence or threats of violence. That the government does not condone the publication of falsehoods as fact.

Playing poker or brinkmanship with the fate of a nation is downright irresponsible. You do not know where the edge of the cliff is. Stoking the fires of religious hatred is madness. It just takes a few demented individuals to light the fuse.

Sorry about the mixed metaphors. Ibrahim Ali should be contained. Government leaders cannot appear to be afraid of him. He cannot talk of crusades and the shedding of blood with impunity.

There is no Christian conspiracy to establish a Christian state and install a Christian prime minister in Malaysia. It was a ridiculous allegation and from what we gather stemmed from complete ignorance with the way some Christians pray - they raise their hands whilst they invoke the blessings of Almighty God.

Ibrahim Ali should find himself a real enemy and not take us to the brink with his madness and foolishness.

Samuel Ng: If Ibrahim Ali is not arrested and charged for inciting violence, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and the BN government must be really sick to the core. Thank God for the majority of peace-loving Malaysians who are not so easily manipulated by race and religion.

Paul Warren: The Christians show a complete lack of understanding here. The government knows what it is doing. And I support the government's actions to date.

Have not the Christians heard of that one attribute that the Malays have that the non-Malays don't? Running amok? Burning of Christian churches was not going to get any Christians run amok as this is not one of their attributes. Therefore, the government response was proportionate to that.

Ibrahim Ali on the other hand is only reminding the Christians of what he is capable of. And I believe him. After all, isn't running amok part of his DNA? Would not that then mean that taking any kind of action against him have the potential of triggering wholesale running amok among his supporters?

A Voter: This is no longer a religious or political issue. As Ibrahim Ali, Perkasa and Utusan continue with this tirade against Malaysians, it has become a national security issue. The prime minister, if he is truly a leader for all Malaysians, must make his stand clear and not remain silent or ambiguous.

Kee Thuan Chye: Hishammuddin doesn't have to brand Ibrahim Ali an "extremist", but he does not absolve Ibrahim from having committed sedition by giving the excuse that Ibrahim does not represent the majority of Malay-Muslims.

This is the crux of the matter. Don't worry about the "extremist" label, concentrate on the fact that Ibrahim said something seditious. And got away with it. Concentrate on demanding that action be taken against Ibrahim. Because to call for a crusade against any religious group in this country is tantamount to sedition.

Changeagent: The government's inaction against the hatemonger Ibrahim Ali thus far speaks volumes of their insidious intentions to create hatred between Muslims and Christians. There is no point in calling on the authorities to act on the Perkasa chief, for they have been in cohorts since day one.

The only option available to Christians to resolve this issue is through prayer. It sounds desperate, but the situation has become that dire and dangerous.

Docs: Hishammuddin can't open his mouth at the moment to reprimand crusading Ibrahim as he has his foot in it.

As subsidies balloon, BN eyes cuts but foes expect snap polls

Shafie said the country was managing quite well despite the economic turmoil.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — With the national subsidy bill expected to top RM20 billion this year, opposition leaders are bracing for snap polls before the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) makes inevitable cuts that could prove unpopular among voters. Several senior BN leaders had signalled the inevitability of price hikes yesterday, hours before the Najib administration announced it will cut the diesel super subsidy for nine categories of commercial vehicles from June 1.
At the same time, the government kept its January promise and abolished toll charges in the East-West Link between Cheras and Petaling Jaya, a key highway in the Klang Valley from midnight this morning.
Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal told The Malaysian Insider that it is important for the government to balance between cutting the country’s deficit and, at the same time, not dumping the burden on the citizens.
“How can the nation shoulder the burden? We are managing quite well despite the economic turmoil,” he said.
As for subsidy cuts, Shafie said it will depend on the advisory council under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2010 to decide.
The Umno vice-president emphasised that this is a very complex and delicate issue.
“It is not as simple as it entails a lot of complexity and we have to manage it properly. So every one of us, irrespective of the government, has to play a part to ensure the bigger picture will benefit us, a nation as a whole,” he said, adding BN was doing its best as no government wants to lose power, or bring the country into a deeper deficit.
“When you micromanage the economy, for example through subsidies, it will benefit the public to a certain extent but it also benefits smugglers. It’s not a question of winning the elections but the nation has to pay for it in the future, so we’re being a responsible government,” Shafie said.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin signalled the inevitability of price hikes when he announced yesterday the subsidy burden was expected to double this year from RM10.32 billion to RM20.58 billion, with RM18 billion for petroleum-related sectors.
The Umno deputy president said the country could no longer maintain the current subsidies, adding the government was trying to reduce subsidy costs like the increase in price of sugar and that it was doing it in stages.
Pua predicts the prime minister will call for earlier polls as global commodity prices go up.
DAP publicity chief Tony Pua told The Malaysian Insider that he predicts the prime minister will call for earlier polls as global commodity prices go up. “July, if it’s a surprise one, but a possible one will be in November.
“They are handling it terribly. I think there are a lot of place where expenditures can be cut, for example, restructuring the IPP (independent power producer) contracts. Out of the RM20 billion subsidy bill, the deputy prime minister should clarify how much are for the IPPs? How much for sugar?” he said.
“I think they should handle the biggest impact to deficit — IPP, the need to curb smuggling activities — which takes up a large portion of the subsidy.
“The problem has been identified by Pemandu but no action has been taken. The government only cuts those subsidies that affect the man on the street,” Pua said.
Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said yesterday that a price increase for RON 95 was possible, and that the people should be prepared to face it.
PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad echoed Pua’s prediction for early polls in July, but said subsidy cuts were not the only factor.
“They don’t have any reason to wait. I think they have concluded that the support of the non-Malays is already a gone case as far as they are concerned, especially with the Chinese; they can only maintain the Malay support for this period of time, the longer they wait.... they risk losing their support,” he said.
He expects the economy to get worse than better and there is a need for more subsidy cuts.
“No way can they badmouth Anwar in what they’ve been doing, nothing else they can act as far as PAS is concerned, unless the final tally comes back if you have the elections now, you’re going to lose,” he said, adding that the “heartbeat of the nation” is no longer with the prime minister.
Khalid expects the economy to get worse than better.
Khalid acknowledged that Prime MInister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was trying to address the problem but didn’t think “he has any idea on how to overcome it and he’s not doing what it takes to address it”. “The whole party survives on the access of the administration and if they don’t have the money, how to oil their political machinery?” he said.
He added that the ruling government needs to be frugal and identify what to do to help the common people, rather than big businesses which are closely aligned with it, as it needed their support.
“I don’t see the economy changing for the better; I believe they will be even more hard-pressed to face the voters at the end of the year or next year but because there are other factors including commodity prices — oil and gas prices and all that — maybe there will be political changes.
“They can’t carry on winning the elections just by having the culture of fear among the Malays, demonising Anwar. There’s only so much they can do if they are forced to proceed or drag the elections next year, they might be forced to do some real economic policy changes and sacrifices,” he said.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Donald Lim said even with the subsidy cuts the price of commodities, especially sugar and fuel, are among the lowest in the region.
He said the rise in sugar prices may benefit the people as it may slow down the rate of diabetic cases in the country as well as cut down smuggling of sugar.
As for fuel prices, he said it was beyond the government’s control and that the people should try to cut down on usage.
“I think the rakyat will know that this is beyond the Barisan Nasional government’s control. The government will try our best to maintain the situation. We have to weigh the situation. We will monitor the price of oil in the world.
“Either the government or the rakyat will suffer. There has to be a compromise. I believe the subsidy cuts were a necessary announcement. The important thing is oil price increase affects all governments in the world, especially the ruling governments, it is something that we have to face, the reality,” he said.
Malaysia’s low purchasing power, coupled with rising prices, is putting pressure on the Najib administration to pump more public funds into existing subsidies.
Lim said the prices of sugar and fuel are among the lowest in the region.
The move is seen as necessary to avoid public unrest over the escalating cost of living, as well as to counter Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) attacks on the government’s previous plans of phasing out subsidies. Najib said on April 1 that the recent surge in the cost of living may force the government to slow subsidy cuts, and that while the government was committed to reducing the nation’s deficit, “we don’t want rising prices in Malaysia to be a major burden for the people.”
He has already announced the government’s willingness to fork out RM4 billion more in addition to the RM10 billion allocated for subsidies this year.
Analysts and politicians believe that problems affecting the economy — distorted and inefficient markets, lack of competition, low wages and a weak ringgit — will be the biggest problem for the BN administration as the country heads into the next general election, speculated to be held by year end.
But Muhyiddin’s remarks suggested the government was now preparing the public for more cuts.
“We cannot guarantee there will be no increase in the prices of goods. We cannot control the prices but where the government can intervene to decrease public burden then we will,” he said.
The 2010 Prices and Wages report by Swiss bank UBS AG shows that residents in KL have only 33.8 per cent the purchasing power of their counterparts in New York, 42 per cent that of London, 33.7 per cent that of Sydney, 32.6 per cent that of Los Angeles and 31.6 per cent that of Zurich.
A check on salaries and prices in selected developed country cities by The Malaysian Insider showed that despite being touted as one of the world’s least expensive cities, KL residents pay as much or even more for chicken, broadband, cars and mobile phones as a percentage of their income.
Despite government assurances that inflation is under control, Malaysians are becoming increasingly restive over the cost of goods in relation to wages, especially those who are able to compare the corresponding price-to-wage ratios in developed economies.
According to a Bloomberg report last month, surging fuel prices and unhappiness over the implementation of race-based policies contributed to the ruling BN coalition losing control of five states to Pakatan Rakyat in Election 2008, where it also ceded a record 82 out of 222 seats in Parliament.
Najib completed his second year as leader on April 3 after inheriting a contracting economy and a ruling coalition with the smallest majority in Parliament since independence in 1957.
The Bloomberg report also wrote that voters and investors are waiting for the premier to deliver on pledges to transform the country into a developed nation by 2020, narrow the budget gap and ensure preferential economic policies benefiting the Malay majority are extended to the poor of other races.

‘Najib must act against Taib immediately’

Switzerland's investigation into Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's assets is an 'embarassing slur' against the country and one which the Prime Minister cannot afford to ignore.

KUCHING: Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat parties have called on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to immediately ‘do the right thing’ in view of the ‘embarassing slur on Malaysia’ as a result of Switzerland’s move to investigate Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s assets.

“In light of this international investigation, an implicit request by the Swiss authorities to freeze Taib’s assets is an appallingly embarrassing slur on our country Malaysia.

“Will the Prime Minister finally do the right thing or will he continue to fail to act?” asked Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian.

Bian pointed out that the “onus is on Najib to redeem Malaysia’s tarnished image abroad”.

“I reiterate that the silence on the part of Taib and MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) has ceased to be an option as Malaysia’s reputation is now in question and heavily at stake.

“The public demands answers and they demand them now. More so, we the people of Sarawak,” Bian added.

Bian was commenting on Swiss Federation president Micheline Calmy-Rey’s statement which was widely reported recently.

Calmy-Rey said Switzerland was aware of the serious concerns raised internationally about Tab’s alleged profiteering from timber corruption and was unhappy that such assets may have been invested in Switzerland.

MACC’s credibility

Calmy-Rey has forwarded the information about Taib’s assets in Switzerland to its regulatory body FINMA (the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority) for investigation.

“For the president of a foreign country to acknowledge that her government has begun investigation into Taib’s assets is indeed an indictment on the credibility of the Chief Minister,” said Bian.

“It is also, no less, a huge blot that dents Malaysia’s image internationally which Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor have been desperately trying to advance over the last year with their unending international public relations exercises and tours to curry global favour.

“For months now the Chief Minister has stubbornly refused to respond to the numerous reports on the whistle-blower website Sarawak Report alleging his corruption.

“The MACC, despite receiving a profusion of reports from the public and NGOs, has not been able to give us a clear answer on what it is doing about such reports,” he said.

Bian, who is the state assemblyman for Ba’Kelalan, said Taib must respond to these reports publicly.

“The MACC must also stop hedging before it loses all credibility with the public.

“The Prime Minister cannot anymore ignore the elephant in the room,” he said.

Taib must explain

Meanwhile, Sarawak DAP has demanded that Taib issue a ‘ministerial’ statement with regard to the allegations made against him by the Swiss authorities.

They said Taib can either explain through the newspapers or through the state assembly which will meet this June.

“These allegations by foreign authorities are very serious indeed putting Sarawak in a bad light that the chief minister is involved in corruption.

“Taib must make a stand and issue a ministerial statement either through the media or through the state assembly that will meet this June,” said Chong Chieng Jen, the state DAP secretary.

Chong, who is the state assemblyman for Kota Sentosa, said that he will raise the issue in the coming meeting of the state assembly.

“We demand Taib to answer the allegations,” he added.

State BN leaders, when contacted, refused to comment on the allegations.

Cheras-PJ toll abolished tonight

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — The East-West Metramac toll between Cheras and Petaling Jaya will be abolished effective midnight, in another sign the Najib administration is courting voters for the next general election.

Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor made the announcement tonight. The 13km-long highway was built in 1992 and completed in 1994. It is understood the toll for this highway was due to expire in 2018.

The government had earlier cut toll rates for the New Pantai Expressway (NPE).

Malaysia's private sector toll road operators were asked to freeze, cut or abolish tariffs by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in late January after the country's number two operator, MTD Capital proposed a toll freeze on two of its highways without compensation.

"I have asked concession holders to retain toll rates or to reduce or abolish them. So they have come up with various suggestions. Whichever we can accept, we can go ahead first," Najib said.

"Apart from that, I have asked that the period of concession not be extended and that there will be no compensation from the government for suspended toll collections." he added.

AMAN: Police, act now against 'crusading' Ibrahim

‘Calling for a crusade is wrong’

Khir Toyo says that Perkasa sometimes goes overboard while DAP urges the government to throw the book at Ibrahim Ali.

PETALING JAYA: Another voice of reason has spoken up against the rantings of Ibrahim Ali, the Perkasa chief.

Selangor opposition leader, Mohamed Khir Toyo, said Ibrahim’s call for a crusade against the Christians was wrong because as Malaysians, “the peace of our country should be placed first”.

Khir was commenting on Ibrahim’s speech yesterday that he was willing to stage a crusade against the Christians if they continued to challenge Islam’s position in the country.

“To (insinuate) to go to war is not right. Creating tension among (the different) religions and races in Malaysia is not right. We are (all) Malaysians. We must protect our country first,” he told FMT .

“Perkasa sometimes go overboard; it does not know it is not right.” he added.

Utusan Malaysia recently claimed that the DAP government in Penang, together with Christian leaders, was conspiring to replace Islam as the official religion and to install a Christian prime minister.

The Utusan report was based on two blog posts. Both the DAP and the Christian leaders have denied the allegation.

Police are currently investigating the matter. The home ministry also announced last Thursday that Utusan has been given a warning over the article, a move some said was too light a punishment.

Freedom of speech

Ibrahim in his speech had accused the Christians of questioning the sovereignty and dignity of Malays and Muslims.

Khir, however, defended Ibrahim’s right to voice his opinion.

“It is freedom of speech. He is entitled to his own opinion. This is the direction that we are heading towards with a burgeoning social media. We cannot stop people from talking. The government cannot stop people from talking.” he said.

But he said that opinions need to be voiced in a certain manner. “The manner in which you say your opinion is important. I raise my opinions in my blog and although that is my personal view, it is substantiated with feedback from the grassroots,” he said.

Khir added that it was the responsibility of the government and political parties to help the people on the ground understand the Federal Constitution better.

“According to the Federal Constitution, Islam is the constitutional religion and other religions can practise their faith. I don’t see any problem with that. The government and other political parties need to explain this to the people on the ground to create an understanding of this,” he said.

Khir has been vocal in his blogs regarding the Pro-Malay issues propagated by Utusan lately.
On the “Christian Malaysia” plot, he had commented last week that that he believed “it was impossible” but took swipes at the DAP, saying that the party would look for any opportunity to “reap political benefit from ethnic and religious conflict”.

Meanwhile, the DAP today criticised the government for not throwing the book at Ibrahim.

Its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the government’s inaction against the right-wing movement only proved that Perkasa was nothing more than Umno’s alter-ego.

“In the past, Ibrahim had declared his loyalty to Umno in his meetings with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and yesterday, he launched a crusade against the Christians.

“He made this threat at an event attended by Gombak Umno chief Abdul Rahman Kamaruddin, his deputy Abdul Aziz Jantan and division information chief Ismail Ahman.

“How much more evidence do we need to show that Umno and Perkasa are one and the same?” asked Lim.

Stern action

Lim, the Penang chief minister, said the home ministry’s failure to take stern action against Utusan had provided extremists like Ibrahim to take advantage of the situation for his own agenda.

“Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein even refused to brand Ibrahim as an extremist though the latter had called for a crusade against Christians.

“Just imagine if any Christian had called for a crusade against the Muslims, he or she would have been arrested immediately,” said Lim.

Yesterday, Hishammuddin refused to brand Ibrahim as a fanatic and shrugged off his inflammatory speech by saying it does not reflect the views of the Malay majority.

Taking a swipe at Umno’s coalition partners, Lim said that it was meaningless for MCA and Gerakan leaders to issue statements on Ibrahim in non-Malay dailies as it was clear that no action would be taken against him.

“Besides, no Gerakan or MCA ministers have dared to press the Cabinet to act firmly against racists and extremists seeking to burn the 1Malaysia concept with dangerous lies,” he said.

A little known NGO, Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (Aman), that represents 200 Indians, has also got into the act by lodging a police report at Sentul police station against Ibrahim.

Aman secretary-general S Barathidasan said Ibrahim’s statement is creating racial tensions in the country.

“We want Ibrahim detained under Section 4 of the Sedition Act for stoking religious tensions,” Barathidasan said.

Charge or free ISA detainee

An anti-ISA movement urges the government to either charge the Singaporean businessman in court or to set him free.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has been urged to immediately release or charge a Singaporean businessman detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for alleged links to terrorists in southern Philippines.

“He should be released immediately or tried in court,” said Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA(GMI) chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, referring to businessman Abdul Majid Kunji Mohammad (photo), 60.

He also said the home ministry should not go ahead with its plan to deport Majid back to Singapore.
“We are concerned that if sent back without a trial, he might be arrested under the ISA in Singapore too,” he told a press conference here today.

Syed Ibrahim also urged the police to allow Majid to meet with his family and lawyer as soon as possible.
Majid was arrested by a group of plainclothes Bukit Aman officers at his office in Setiawangsa on May 6.
According to GMI, when Majid’s wife repeatedly asked the officers why he was being handcuffed, they had replied that he was being arrested under the ISA.

Syed Ibrahim claimed that the officers, who did not provide any identification, said they had no proof of Majid’s offence but were acting based on a report lodged.

Majid’s wife, known only as Suriati, was supposed to attend the press conference but had backed out after being allegedly warned by the police’s Special Branch.


“She couldn’t make it because she was harassed by officers who told her not to come,” said Syed Ibrahim.
‘Mind-boggling accusation’

According to the GMI chairman, Majid, a textile trader, had been in Malaysia for more than 10 years. This version differed from the police’s claim that he had escaped from Singapore two years ago.

“He has eight children with his first wife (in Johor). He is a jovial and religious person.
“He was a lecturer with a university in Singapore and now has financial problems. The accusation that he is funding militants in the Philippines is therefore mind-boggling as Majid is almost bankrupt,” he said, adding that the information was from Suriati.

“Suriati had become very fearful especially after her husband’s arrest was published in the papers. She is sad because it is not true and even her family had believed it,” added GMI committee member Aliza Jaffar, who visited the Suriati, 34, last week.

Aliza said Suriati told her Majid was even lecturing at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia a day before he was arrested.
 

“We find it hard to believe that a person who can be hired as a lecturer in a local university can be accused of such things,” she added.

Syed Ibrahim said the government was supposedly reviewing the ISA but at the same time new detentions were still being carried out discretely.


On May 10, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein confirmed Majid’s arrest, saying: “His ties and actions pose a very real and serious threat to national security.”

The minister also said that Majid was high on Singapore’s wanted list.

Anwar trial a sham, says lawyers’ group

LFL finds the judge’s opinion full of errors and calls the case the 'most obvious example of the dishonest and unlawful cooperation between supposedly independent state apparatus'.

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) today criticised the High Court’s decision ordering Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to defend himself against the charge that he sodomised a former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

“The Anwar Ibrahim trial is a sham and has absolutely no credibility whatsoever,” the human rights and law reform group said in a statement today.

Earlier today, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah said the prosecution had a prima facie case against Anwar and that he found Saiful a credible witness.

The judge also said expert witnesses had corroborated Saiful’s testimony, but LFL countered this by referring to the medical report.

“The medical report actually showed that there was ‘no conclusive clinical findings suggestive of penetration to the anus/rectum and no significant defensive wound on the body of the patient’,” it said, referring to the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital report of June 28, 2008.

“But only in Malaysia such a medical report was held not to cast a reasonable doubt and the doctors then testified contrary to the medical report findings in order to implicate Anwar.”

LFL also questioned Saiful’s credibility.

“How can the judge come to the conclusion that the complainant Saiful Bukhari was a credible and truthful witness when he has given serious contradictory and highly suspect evidence and even had an affair with one of the prosecutors in the case?” it said.

“He even testified in court that he met up with senior police officers and high-level Umno politicians, including the prime minister and his wife, before he made his police report against Anwar. Is that not sufficient to cast a reasonable doubt on the case?”

Abuse of system

LFL also noted that Anwar’s lawyers were often denied access to important documents, including medical notes and DNA reports and other documents from the Department of Chemistry.

It accused the authorities of using the criminal justice system as a convenient legal tool of persecution against political opponents and dissidents.

“The present case is but the most extreme and obvious example of the dishonest and unlawful cooperation between supposedly independent state apparatus: the judiciary, the police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and other state agencies like the chemist department and hospitals in manufacturing and perverting evidence in order to get Anwar at all cost.”

Tag: Anwar Ibrahim, LFL, Judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah, Saiful Bukhari Azlan

Perkasa untuk ahli Perkasa…

Tapi jihad untuk semua orang Islam

PETALING JAYA: Presiden Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) Datuk Ibrahim Ali mengesahkan kenyataan Naib Presiden Umno, Datuk Seri Hishammudin Hussein bahawa pertubuhan itu tidak mewakili semua orang Melayu.

“Perkasa mewakili ahli Perkasa saja. Melayu sudah terbahagi kepada beberapa kumpulan. Melayu PAS dan Melayu PKR jadi perkakas DAP,manakala Melayu Umno dan Melayu liberal.

“Apa yang saya kata adalah peringatan. Kalau ada pihak yang terus mencabar kedudukan Islam,menghina Islam,memperlekeh bahasa kebangsaan, menidak hak keistimewaan orang Melayu dan mempersenda institusi Raja,maka saya,walaupun seorang, sebagai orang Melayu Islam, saya akan berjihad

Beliau berkata sedemikian sebagai mengulas kenyataan Hishammuddin selepas merasmikan mesyuarat perwakilan Umno bahagian Sungai Besar kelmarin.

Hishammuddin mengatakan bahawa Ibrahim dan Perkasa tidak mewakili semua orang Melayu.

“Kalau kita mahu kepada keamanan,maka jangan cabar posisi, kedaulatan dan martabat Islam dan umat Melayu Islam yg merupakan majoriti dan ketuanan asal rakyat negara Persekutuan Tanah Melayu dan kini Malaysia,” tambah Ibrahim.

Beliau turut mempersoalkan mengapa tiada kecaman terhadap pelbagai tuntutan yang bertentangan dengan Artikel 152 Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang dibuat dalam pelancaran pusat kebudayaan dan pelajaran Lim Liam Geok pada minggu lalu.

“Kenapa ada pihak berdiam diri dan tidak mengecam,mengutuk atau buat laporan polis apabila diadakan pertemuan melancar penubuhan pusat budaya dan pelajaran Lim (yang telah dilucut kerakyatan 40 tahun lalu) yang dihadiri lebih 600 orang dari 80 NGO minggu lalu dengan menuntut berbagai tuntutan yang bertentangan dengan undang-undang fasal 152 (2).

“Bila saya bercakap sikit mempertahankan Islam dan maruah Melayu sudah riuh rendah. Saya bertanggungjawab penuh atas apa yang saya cakap,sbagai peringatan, kalau kita semua mahu pastikan keamanan kekal,” jelas beliau.

Ketika ditanya ulasan berkaitan perbandingan Hishammuddin antara beliau dengan ketua Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden beliau berkata perjuangan Osama tidak melalui pilihan raya.

“Tapi saya kagumi semangat perjuangannya menentang kezaliman Israel dan Amerika serta sekutunya.”

Bila ditanya sama ada Perkasa akan merekrut ahli untuk berjihad, ahli parlimen bebas Pasir Mas ini berkata soal merekrut tidak timbul.

“Jihad adalah kewajipan setiap orang Islam apabila Islam dicabar atau dihina dan tidak payah jadi ahli Perkasa untuk berjihad.”

Ramasamy’s aide ready to face suit over land row

An aide to Penang deputy chief minister II stands by his statements that the chairman of a Hindu temple did not fulfil pledges on agricultural land.

BATU KAWAN: A political aide to Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy said today he was ready to face a suit by a Hindu temple chairman over an agricultural land controversy.

Ramasamy’s political affairs officer M Satees, 26, said he is prepared to be sued by Sri Maha Muthu Mariamman Kovil chairman A Nallakumar pertaining to “promises” made over the land.

Nallakumar, 49, secured the land in an open tender bid from the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) on a three-year lease in 2009 for agricultural activities.

“I don’t know on what grounds he plans to sue me. What I can say is that Nallakumar’s failure to fulfil his promises was morally wrong, although it was legally not wrong.

“He can file the suit. I will deal it in court,” Satees told FMT today.

On Saturday, Nallakumar filed a police report and threatened to sue Ramasamy and Satees for “failing” to fulfil verbal promises made pertaining to the agricultural land.

In his police report, Nallakumar claimed that Ramasamy and Satees had undermined his credibility by spreading lies in the press reports 10 days ago about non-existent promises.

Satees, however, insisted that Nallakumar had promised to contribute part of his income from agricultural activities on the 168-acre land to the temple.

Satees claimed that Nallakumar had made this promise to Ramasamy in a private meeting before he applied for the land bid to PDC.

During the meeting, Satees said Nallakumar also promised to provide job and business opportunities to local residents.

“But Nallakumar failed to fulfil any of his promises,” said Satees.

Satees claimed Nallakumar has rented out the land to an ethnic Chinese businessman and the PDC was now planning to take legal action against Nallakumar for breach of contract.

Nallakumar reneged on promises

He said Nallakumar had also told Ramasamy in the meeting that he would bid for the land under the temple’s name but later bid for the land under his own company.

He said when questioned by Ramasamy about the matter, Nallakumar had claimed that the temple was lacking funds to bid for the land.

Satees said Nallakumar had also claimed that several temple committee members have objected to the land bidding.
Nallakumar secured the land under his company name – Cakera Construction – for a three-year lease period from PDC, which ends nextyear.

Satees clarified that Nallakumar’s successful bid for the land in an open tender was not based on his promises to Ramasamy.

“The promises were not inserted as a clause in the land lease deal, neither were the promises a pre-condition to allow him to get the land on lease.
“It was an open tender exercise and he got the land on his own accord,” explained Satees.

Satees alleged three temple committee members once complained to Ramasamy about Nallakumar’s broken promises pertaining to the agricultural land.

Nallakumar, confirming that he would file legal suits against Ramasamy and Satees, called on the duo to show prove of any documented evidence that he had made those promises.

“I have never promised anything. Neither was there any clause stating that I must contribute to the temple,” said Nallakumar.
He said Ramasamy and Satees were merely spreading lies about him due to the current Batu Kawan Hindu cemetery controversy.

If wrongly handled, the cemetery controversy threatens to become another land fiasco ala Kampung Buah Pala, the flattened Tamil High Chaparral in Gelugor.

Anwar To Chat Live With Yahoo! Users

By http://my.news.yahoo.com/anwar-to-chat-live-with-yahoo–users.html

Klik Herehttp://my.news.yahoo.com/questiontime/

Parliamentary Opposition Leader and former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim will be the first Malaysian to appear on Yahoo! Malaysia’s newly-launched interactive ‘Question Time’ segment at 11:30 am this Thursday, May 19. The politician will spend at least an hour with Yahoo! Malaysia editors who will act as facilitators during the live chat session.

Early indications point to a strong interest in this event from Yahoo! users not only from Malaysia but also from South East Asia and other parts of the world where Anwar has a strong following.

The live Q&A session will be conducted via the ‘Cover It Live’ platform, which features real-time chat sessions. Yahoo! Malaysia Country Editor S Vicknesan said it was a great opportunity for the man-(and woman)-in-the-street citizen to interact directly with Anwar, one of the country’s most prominent politicians.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, left, and his wife Wan Azizah arrive at a courthouse in Kuala Lumpur, …
“Questions from our audience, which can be in English and Bahasa Malaysia, must be concise, on topic, to the point and relevant to the discussion at hand,” he said, adding that brevity would be important due to the large volume of participants expected.

“Of course, Yahoo! users need no reminding with regards to respecting the dignity of the forum as the conversations they generate will help raise the level of political discourse in Malaysia.

“We will try our best to accommodate all questions but constraints of time and volume may not allow this. We pray for the understanding of our users,” he said, adding that the main aim of the event was to provide a more direct and frequent link for interaction between the Malaysian public and their leaders.

‘Empowerment for voices’

In a pre-event release, Anwar said the live session was an opportunity for him to hear the ‘concerns of the wider audience’ and questions people may have on the path of Malaysian politics.

“I am excited to be working with Yahoo! on this interview as they demonstrate their commitment to provide an open and truly transparent platform to communicate and engage with people.

“I want to hear the concerns of the wider audience and address any questions that people may have about the future of politics in Malaysia. The Internet delivers true empowerment for voices, however small, to be heard” said Anwar.

Anwar, politically active since his days as a radical Muslim youth leader, has one of Malaysia’s most remarkable political careers. Once seen as the country’s brightest political star, he was elevated to the deputy prime minister-ship by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who, along with many others, saw Anwar as his heir apparent.

But Anwar fell from grace as dramatically as he rose to prominence. In 1998, he was sacked from his post as deputy prime minister and investigated for corruption and sodomy – charges widely believed to have been trumped-up.

The charges led to open and widespread demonstrations in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. However, the chants of ‘Reformasi’ (‘Reforms’) from Anwar’s army of supporters did not save him from being found guilty and jailed by the Malaysian courts.

Political tsunami

He was released in 2004 and from there went on to rebuild his shattered political career, notably spearheading the co9ming together of three opposition parties – his own PKR (People’s Justice Party) along with the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the Islamist PAS – into a single coalition know as ‘Pakatan Rakyat’ (The People’s Coalition).

Anwar accuses judge of ‘prejudging’ sodomy trial
Harnessing the power of the Internet and social media as well as Anwar’s unmatched oratory skills, the opposition Pakatan made tremendous gains in the March 2008 general elections, sweeping up five states and denying the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition a two-thirds majority, an event which was later described as a political tsunami.

However, just as things were looking up for the Permatang Pauh member of Parliament, controversy struck again in 2008 when a male aide claimed he was sodomised by Anwar. Anwar has denied the accusation but nevertheless arrested was today ordered by the High Court to enter his defence on the charge.

Anwar’s situation hasn’t been helped with the emergence of a sex video allegedly featuring him with an unknown woman. Once again, he has been vehement in his denial.

Anwar’s situation as it stands today is complicated. On one hand, he is at the vanguard of the first true threat to Barisan Nasional’s political hegemony. On the other, his court battles could spell the end of his political career and quite possibly the tenuous coalition that is Pakatan Rakyat.

Whatever the final outcome, one thing is for certain – Anwar will continue to be a headline maker for a while yet.

A very dirty and very dangerous game!

By Ahmad Mustapha Hassan | The Malaysian Insider

MAY 16 — In sports, games can be made dirty and sometimes fatal. But they only involve the players and nobody else. But in the case of politics, when the game becomes dirty and dangerous, the country and the people will suffer. There are no gainers and even the perpetrators themselves will suffer. Their aim is to destroy their opponents with no compunction as to what happens to the country. We have to beware of such political shenanigans!

The current coalition of parties in power, especially the main player Umno, is in a state of panic. The length of time that they had been in power had made them flabby in their thinking and actions. They simply cannot comprehend that their actions and the actions of their cahoots are wrong and detrimental to the welfare of the people. Their blind support for the grave mistakes by their agents proves their inability to grasp the seriousness of these actions. They pass the blame on others for the blunders made by these agent provocateurs.

It is very easy to see how the attacks by the Barisan Nasional are done and how amateurish they are.

Umno is in the first place afraid of the growing influence of PAS and thus uses religion to attack this party. Umno accuses the party of foregoing its principles when it works with the DAP. It tries its very best to make PAS break loose from working together with the DAP. It knows that the coming together of PAS and the DAP would spell disaster for Umno. For once the country sees the working together of the rural and urban voters.

It even uses race to break this working arrangement. By co-operating with the DAP, Umno tries to portray that PAS has abandoned the welfare of the Malays and also had compromised on its Islamic principles.

The strategy however does not work.

Umno is also scared stiff of the influence and inroads made by PKR. To Umno, if they could break Anwar, PKR would be completely crippled. It was not possible to use religion or race to fight PKR and so the target has to be Anwar. Anwar has the intellectual capacity that Umno leaders are incapable of challenging. They have therefore to use other means to kill him politically. Since he has the charisma and the ability to sway crowds at all public gatherings, his image has therefore to be smeared.

Despite the misuse of power it has not dented Anwar’s image. They had to resort to sex scandals but this too has not helped. PKR is still popular and making serious inroads in Umno strongholds. Umno is now resorting to pressing the panic button. They again resorted to what they are familiar with and that is sex.

Another sex accusation was levelled at Anwar and now the case is ongoing.

The case may take some time before a verdict can be reached and in the mean time the general election is due. Desperate times need desperate means. A video purported to show an image of someone looking like Anwar having sex with a supposedly Chinese prostitute was produced to help destroy Anwar’s image. As one blogger wrote, “Out of 10 who saw the video, 11 did not believe that it was Anwar!” What a sad scheme!

Another indomitable enemy that Umno fears is the DAP which has managed to penetrate and conquer domains that used to be the political preserve of the MCA and the Gerakan.

To Umno, the MCA and Gerakan are spent forces and now it is up to Umno to tackle the threat posed by the DAP. Attacks on DAP leaders like Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh had no political effect. They continue to be ever so popular.

Umno is unable to inflict any major dent in the character of these two charismatic leaders. Umno is also very perturbed by the impressive progress made by the DAP-led Penang government. Stronger tactics have to be resorted to by Umno to damage the standing of the DAP and its rule in Penang.

Race issues had been tried and there is no visible effect at all. More Malays are giving support to the DAP.

Religion is now being used. A meeting of Christian priests in Penang is now being used to create tension. They are accusing them of wanting to make Christianity the official religion of the country. Umno will grab any incident and spin it to counter the challenges posed by the opposition.

Using the issue of Christianity to damage the DAP shows the kind of calibre of Umno politicians. They will stoop to any level to achieve their goals.

But Umno forgets that the people are smarter now. Their spin simply will not sway them. Their dirty tricks department has been recycling old gimmicks and failing miserably and in the process losing more ground.

Malaysians can no longer be conned that easily.

* Ahmad Mustapha Hassan is the author of “The Unmaking of Malaysia” and a former general manager of state news agency Bernama. He was also the press secretary to former Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and then-Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Is a man’s life only worth RM5,000?

The Sun 
by Hemananthani Sivanandam

PETALING JAYA ( May 15, 2011) : Is a man’s life only worth RM5,000? What message is being sent to the public when reckless motorists who cause deaths get off with a slap on the wrist?

These are the questions on the minds of many people following the May 3 sentencing of salesman Khoo Kim Chuan who literally walked free after knocking down a Good Samaritan who had gone to the aid of two other accident victims.

Khoo was fined RM5,000 in default of five months’ jail by an Ampang magistrate’s court after he pleaded guilty to driving recklessly and accidentally causing the death of lorry driver Ong Kim Koon.

Ong was hit by Khoo’s MPV while rescuing a couple along the Middle Ring Road 2 on April 11. His right leg was crushed and later amputated. He died from infections on April 23.

Khoo was charged under section 41(1) and with an alternative charge under section 43 of the Road Transport Act 1987. He pleaded guilty to the alternative charge under which one can be fined not less than RM4,000 and not more than RM10,000 and be jailed for up to 12 months.

The case attracted the attention of many people and some questioned if the fine was sufficient.

Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee said the establishment of a sentencing council comprising judges, deputy public prosecutors and lawyers to recommend guidelines on sentences, and thereafter, training, would ensure consistency and correctness of sentences.

Subang MP R. Sivarasah, however, said people should not jump to conclusions without knowing the facts of the case.

"The person with the detailed facts of the case is the judge."

According to Lim, sentencing is a complex process of assessing what is fair and just and applying the often conflicting principles of deterrence, prevention, retribution and rehabilitation.

"There is no unanimous consent by society to a single set of rules on punishment," he said.

He said it is difficult to assess the appropriateness of a particular sentence merely on the basis of media reports as there may be mitigating circumstances in a particular case that justified a perceived lenient sentence.

"Furthermore, in an offence involving a reckless act, the degree of recklessness affects the level of culpability and hence, the severity of sentence.

"It would be unwise for the public and media to make an uninformed view of the appropriateness of a particular sentence without the benefit of all the facts of the case."

Sivarasa, who is also a lawyer, pointed out that many factors had to be looked into before making a decision.

"Was he (Ong) properly parked on the highway,and was Khoo speeding beyond the limit? If Khoo was not speeding and Ong had stepped out or obstructed his way, then it could have been a situation where Khoo could not avoid him."

However, he said that if Khoo was guilty of speeding, the punishment imposed was light.

"But that’s the problem. It’s an unfortunate and sad situation but people need to know the facts before coming to conclusions."

It is understood that the Attorney General’s Chambers is appealing for a more deterrent sentence.

Religious Festivals In Malaysia Signifies Harmony Of Races - Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 (Bernama) -- The fact that religious festivals are celebrated in peace and goodwill in the country signifies the harmonious relations among people of various races and religions, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the festivals were accepted by the people of various races as part of diversity of national treasure and culture.

"The acceptance of diversity becomes the main pillar of our strength in efforts to build a nation that is united in line with the 1Malaysia concept.

"Let us take advantage of the Wesak Day celebration to express our acceptance and respect of our cultural, traditional and religious diversity," he said in a message in conjunction with the Wesak Day Tuesday.

Wishing the Buddhist community "Selamat Hari Wesak", he hoped such spirit would inculcate mutual respect among people of various races and religions as well as foster peace and harmony.

Christian leaders' "pledges" raise eyebrows

The news that Christians leaders had given pledges to the PM during a luncheon meeting on 12 May has raised eyebrows.
Najib said the Christian leaders had pledged to respect the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation and had no intention of challenging the constitutional provision. He added the leaders had also given their undertaking to cooperate in fostering peace and harmony among the various faiths so that the country would remain peaceful and prosperous.
These “pledges” somehow give the impression that Christians had questioned the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation when they had not. Similarly, for the undertaking to foster peace and harmony when the churches’ commitment to peace is obvious. The Christian leaders who met Najib should clarify what they had actually said.
Also present at the meeting were Idris Jala and Koh Tsu Koon.
Catholic bishop, Paul Tan, has reportedly criticised his fellow Christian leaders for allowing themselves to be used to “please the other side” in the wake of the controversial Utusan report on the purported ‘Christian state’.
In remarks to Free Malaysia Today, the bishop said:
“Why did the Christian leaders walk into that clear booby trap? Why didn’t they have a clear statement printed out for the press, saying what they wanted the meeting to be and what their own demands were, regardless of Najib’s spin,” he added.
“I am absolutely surprised that the Christian leaders who were there to see our PM appeared all of a sudden tame and conciliatory and did not demand justice be done, i.e., in the same way, the government dealt with the other non-Malay/Muslim papers. Then again, perhaps, the press did not publish everything (on the meeting),” he added.

Judge orders Anwar to enter defence