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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

‘MIC, just an Umno puppet’

A DAP state assemblyman says the BN component party has done nothing for the community, except to 'steal' from the poor.
By Athi Shankar,

GEORGE TOWN: MIC is an Umno puppet without any political conviction, said DAP state assemblyman A Tanasekharan.

The Bagan Dalam rep said that because of this, MIC would never implement any policies to upgrade the living standards of the Indian community.

He claimed that MIC had always taken Indians’ hard-earned cash to carry out its projects that failed to benefit the community.

Tanasekharan noted that the Maika Holdings and MIED scandals were perfect examples of MIC swindling poor Indians.

He also remarked that MIC built AIMST University in Kedah from contributions of Indians from all walks of life.

“But how many poor Indians can afford to study at AIMST University? How many Indians have benefitted from Maika Holdings and MIED?” he asked.

Comparatively, he said Pakatan Rakyat state governments managed to address various Indian issues in a short span of three years.

He said under Pakatan, for the first time in the country’s history, Indian elected representatives were appointed as a deputy chief minister (Penang) and legislative assembly speaker (Perak).

Currently, he said Penang, Perak, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan had a record high of Indian representatives in state legislative assemblies.

Aid for schools and temples

Pertaining to Tamil schools in Penang, Tanasekharan said all 28 schools had been receiving annual state allocations to upgrade their facilities.

In Selangor, he said the PKR-helmed state government had been allotting funds for similar projects.
“Today parents can safely send their children to Tamil schools without the fear of seeing their children studying under trees, unlike during Barisan Nasional days,” he added.

He claimed that the Pakatan state government had provided land valued at RM4.5 million for the Azad Tamil School in the Waterfall area.

For years, he said, the Tamil school was located under the basement of the Indian Association building in Jalan Bagan Jermal.

“A new school has been built and is operational because of the sheer determination of Pakatan leaders to upgrade Tamil schooling standards,” he added.

Under Pakatan, Thanasekaran said no Hindu temple had been demolished in Penang, while many temples sitting on state lands were granted temporary occupation licence (TOL).

He recalled that under the previous Barisan Nasional government, a Hindu temple in Butterworth, which was located on its own land, was forcibly removed and placed in a graveyard in Jalan Siram under the purview of the Penang Hindu Endowments Board (PHEB).

“The reason for the temple’s removal was that it was causing nuisance to an Umno member, who was staying nearby. This is how Indians were treated under the BN government… sheer arrogance of Umno leaders,” he said.

Furthermore, he said since Pakatan took over Penang, absolute poverty among Indians there had been abolished, and poor and deserving Indians were getting improved monthly contributions from the welfare department.

He also said PHEB was receiving an annual state grant of RM1 million to provide financial assistance to needy Indian students pursuing higher education and assist the welfare needs of deserving Indians.

He said many Indians had been issued licences by local councils to operate as petty traders while chances of employment for Indians had increased in state-based government-linked companies (GLCs)

He claimed that all these developments were virtually unthinkable during the previous BN government because the Indians had been “betrayed by their so called custodian, MIC.”

Manoharan: All reps should take up Indian problems

Every Pakatan representative should look at the problems of all, instead of focusing on only one community, says Selangor assemblyman M Manoharan.
KUALA LUMPUR: Every Pakatan Rakyat elected representative should take up the problems affecting Indians instead of depending on so-called “Indian leaders”.

Kota Alam Shah state assemblyman M Manoharan (DAP) said Pakatan should not adopt the Barisan Nasional (BN) approach where issues pertaining to certain communities were handled by a representative of that community.

“Pakatan leaders should stop hunting for Indian leaders whenever issues pertaining to Indians are brought up,” Manoharan told FMT.

“I’m happy to see that some of the non-Indian representatives are raising issues affecting the Indian community at the State Legislative Assembly,” he added.

Manoharan, a lawyer, said that in his constituency, 60% of the voters were Chinese, followed by Indians (about 25 %) and Malays (17 %).

“I can’t allow myself to be seen as championing only the Indians; if I allow myself to do that, then I will be labelled a ‘racist’,” he said.

Not enough Indian reps
However, Manoharan acknowledged that it was almost impossible to solve issues affecting Indians by the three Indian Pakatan representatives at the Selangor state assembly.

Besides Manoharan, the others are Dr Xavier Jayakumar (Seri Andalas) and M Muthiah (Bukit Melawati).
“No Indian can solve the Indian problems without the help of non-Indian leaders. It can only be done with the support of Malay and Chinese leaders.”

He said that Indian representatives in the state exco line-up were given low-key portfolios.
“It has been in practice among BN component parties and the same formula has been adopted in Pakatan,” said Manoharan.

Negara Ku no more

The Malaysian Insider
 
MAY 30 — I was born in 1958, a year after Merdeka. My dad came from China and my mom was born in Kota Bahru, Perak. I have known Malaysia to be my one and only home and I am proud to say that I am a Malaysian anywhere I go despite all the shortcomings of this nation.

I grew up in a kampung near Alor Star where there were fewer than 10 Chinese families but we were treated well by our Malay neighbours. We celebrated Chinese New Year and Hari Raya together, visiting each others’ homes, with no fear of whether the food was halal or against our religion?

Konfrontasi bought the villagers together and I can remember my Dad and my brothers helping out doing guard duties together with our Malay neighbours. May 13 came and went without any incident and, in fact, the Chinese families were escorted out to town by our Malay neighbours. Some of my best friends were from this kampung; we swam in the stream and played in the padi fields. These are fond memories.


After Form Six, I came down to KL to study at UM with a loan from the state government which I am grateful for till today. Graduated and started my career with a big MNC. Settled down in KL/PJ area till today and I must say that I have been blessed so far.

I was lucky to be appointed CEO of an MNC at the age of 34 and today, I am the managing director of a French company. Life has been good with regular overseas trips both for business and pleasure for my family and me and I have always asked myself this question: Would I be what I am if I have left the country in the early ‘90s? Would I have been able to make it to the CEO’s position if I had left for Australia like many of my friends? The answer is NO. And I have never regretted my decision to stay on in this beloved country of ours.

But things are changing; in fact the changes started over the last 15 to 20 years. We are more polarised now, no thanks to the politicians… something which I don’t want to elaborate here. I am beginning to ask myself whether this is the country that I know.

My two sons do feel the outright discrimination. Both are straight As students and thanks to their dad who can afford to fund them through private colleges/universities, they are OK. My eldest son left for a university in the US after his pre-U here and was offered a partial scholarship based on merit even before he landed in Milwaukee.

He graduated in 2008 and is now pursuing his PhD in molecular biology at a renowned university in Texas. Guess what? Do you think he will return to Malaysia after his post-graduate studies? Can Talent Corp entice him back in view of the current political situation? The answer is NO!

My second son is a qualified accountant and is with one of the Big 4 firms. He is doing well and if there is an opportunity for him to move elsewhere, he has my blessings. Malaysia will always be home and all that is required is a bit of travelling after my retirement to visit them and also their annual trips back.

Yes, this is a great place to live, a great place for hawker food and everything else but would I want to be selfish and allow my grandchildren to suffer and endure all these discriminations? Unless there is a political will to change for the better. Until that day happens, I am sad to say that this is no longer the country that I know, that I had enjoyed my childhood and growing up years in. This is Negara Ku no more!

Protests as nuke panel meets reps

ImageThe New Straits Times 
by M. Hamzah Jamaludin and Fatin Farhana Haris

KUANTAN: A series of meetings between the nuclear expert panel and representatives from various parties at a hotel here proceeded smoothly yesterday despite demonstrations and a scuffle between supporters and opposers of the Lynas Corporation rare earth processing plant in Gebeng.

Members of the expert panel met representatives from five residents associations and Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, apart from Kuantan MCA chief Datuk Ti Lian Ker and Kuantan member of parliament Fuziah Salleh, at 2.30pm.

The team is here at the invitation of the Malaysian government and they will investigate the health and safety aspects of the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng.

The panel consists of nine professionals of various disciplines.

Four of them are from Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) while the others are consultants from member countries.

Panel leader Dr Tero Varjoranta said they would review the radiation safety aspects at LAMP in relation to relevant international radiation safety standards and good practices.

"The team will provide an independent expert opinion to the Malaysian government," he said in a statement issued by the International Trade and Industry Ministry.

Varjoranta said the mission was technical in nature and their work would focus on gathering information and receiving submissions from interested parties and members of the public.

He also said that it was the standard practice of IAEA missions to obtain information from closed door sessions and not in a town hall-type of meeting.

The expert panel will also visit the controversial plant.

The construction of the plant has been suspended pending the review.

They will also hold similar sessions in Putrajaya and submit their findings and recommendations to the Malaysian government by the end of next month.

The RM700 million Australian project has raised public concern about radiation exposure and its effect on health, safety and the environment.

After meeting the panel, Ti told reporters that he was satisfied with the 30-minute session as he was able to raise the people's concerns.

"The panel members also explained to me that IAEA is a regulatory agency and not a decision-making body or a promoter of nuclear technology," said Ti who is also representing the residents of Kubang Buaya here.

Ti hoped that the people would wait for the panel's report and stop holding demonstrations as it could lead to violent outbursts.

Fuziah, however, said that she was not satisfied with the composition of the panel as they did not include experts from other fields including public health specialists.

"I hope the panel will make its recommendations based on conscience by putting the lives of 700,000 people first, before profits," said Fuziah.

Kuantan district police chief Assistant Commissioner of Police Jasmani Yusoff said there were no untoward incidents although more than 200 people had held two demonstrations at 8am and 1pm.

Official: Disclosure of Teoh’s royal inquiry findings is at Ruler’s discretion

ImageThe Star 
by LISA GOH

KUALA LUMPUR: It is up to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to make public the report by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock, said commission secretary Datuk Saripuddin Kasim.

“The written submissions will not be released until after the commission has submitted its report to the King.

“It is His Majesty's discretion whether to make the report public,” said Saripuddin during a press conference.

He added that it was a unanimous decision following a meeting between the commissioners and lead counsel from the Bar Council, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and conducting officers yesterday morning.
Saripuddin said the commissioners had about 30,000 pages of documents to go through in preparing their report, including verbatim transcription of the inquiry proceedings, and the submissions from the three parties. 

Also present at the conference were Bar Council lawyer Christopher Leong, MACC counsel Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and conducting officer Amarjeet Singh. None of the commissioners were present.

When asked why the submissions could not be released to the media now, Muhammad Shafee said it was to avoid a trial by the media.

“We want to avoid the media picking perhaps juicy parts and not getting the gist of it,” he said.

On whether the commission's report would be given to the media after submitting it to the King, Saripuddin said it was also the prerogative of the King.

Leong, however, said the Bar Council would apply, at a later date, for the report and submissions to be made public.

The commission sat through 60 days of proceedings that began on Feb 14 and ended on May 10.

The findings of the commission would be submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on June 24.

Among its objectives was to investigate the cause of Teoh's death after the inquest at the Coroner's Court ended with an open verdict.

Teoh, 30, was found dead on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009, after being questioned overnight at the Selangor MACC office on the 14th floor.

Yemeni Jets Bomb al Qaeda-Held City


An anti-government protester cries for help as he carries a wounded fellow protester during clashes with police in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz May 29, 2011. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
By Samia Nakhoul and Khaled al-Mahdi

SANAA/TAIZ, May 31 (Reuters) - At least 30 people have been killed in Yemen after military jets pounded a southern town held by al Qaeda and troops opened fire on demonstrators demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's nearly 33-year rule.

Despite demands by global and regional powers that he step down, Saleh has refused to sign a deal aimed at transferring power and averting a civil war that could destabilise the world's top oil-exporting region.

Global powers are worried that Yemen could turn into a failed state, fears that have been heightened since al Qaeda and other Islamists seized Zinjibar a few days ago.

Three Yemeni soldiers were killed in an ambush near Zinjibar on Monday, a security official said, a day after a similar incident claimed the lives of six troops. Residents said fighter jets strafed militant areas around Zinjibar but also hit buildings in the town of 20,000, killing at least 13 people.

"The city is devastated. All of its residents have left. Even the dogs, animals and donkeys have abandoned it," said an opposition member in the city who asked to be named as Ali.

Medical workers in Taiz said soldiers had opened fire on a demonstration late on Sunday and hit protesters with bulldozers, killing at least 15 and wounding hundreds in what the United States described as an "unprovoked and unjustified attack".

Al Jazeera said in an unsourced report that 57 people had been killed in Taiz over the past two days.

In the capital Sanaa, several explosions and shooting were heard late on Monday in the district of Hasaba, the scene of week-long fighting between Saleh's forces and a rival tribe.

"Sporadic shooting with heavy weapons followed the blasts. But it has stopped now," a Hasaba resident told Reuters.

The clashes, heard for the second night, may have breached a truce between Saleh's forces and the powerful Hashed tribe to stop the bloodiest fighting since unrest erupted in January.

AL QAEDA GAINS STRENGTH

At least 300 Yemenis have lost their lives in months of protests inspired by uprisings that toppled the entrenched rulers of Tunisia and Egypt in January and February.

Opposition leaders have accused Saleh of deliberately allowing Zinjibar, on the strategic Gulf of Aden, to fall to al Qaeda in a bid to show how chaotic Yemen would be without him.

The United States and Saudi Arabia, both targets of attacks by Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, are worried that growing chaos in the country is emboldening the group.

The six soldiers were killed and dozens wounded as they were travelling to Zinjibar, a security official and others said.

"Civilians found a military car and an armoured vehicle. They were destroyed, and the bodies of six soldiers were found on the roadside," Ayman Mohamed Nasser, editor-in-chief of Attariq, Aden's main opposition paper, said by telephone.

Several hundred al Qaeda and Islamist militants took over the city a few days ago and have been battling locals and government soldiers for control.

Zinjibar residents told Reuters that power and water had been cut off and many civilians were fleeing to nearby towns.

Activists in the southern city of Aden said thousands who fled Zinjibar were being housed in schools, mosques and other public buildings.

TROUBLE IN TAIZ

A brief calm was shattered late on Sunday when forces loyal to Saleh opened fire on protesters in Taiz, an attack that residents said lasted late into the night.

"Most of the wounded were hit by live bullets, but some were run over by bulldozers," a medical source said from a field hospital in Taiz, about 200 km (120 miles) south of Sanaa.

Security forces arrested dozens of people on Monday to head off plans for another rally in Taiz, where Saleh's troops have burned tents used by demonstrators and parked armoured vehicles in a protest area known as "Freedom Square".

The U.S. embassy condemned the attack in Taiz.

"We commend the youth protesters who have shown both resolve and restraint and have made their viewpoint known through non-violent means," the embassy said on its website.

French officials said on Monday it was credible that three aid workers who disappeared in Yemen at the weekend had been kidnapped, although it had still not received any claim of responsibility.

In Yemen, a security official told Reuters a vehicle used by the French aid workers had been found in a remote area outside the town of Saywun, where they had disappeared.

Yemen is the poorest state on the oil-exporting Arabian Peninsula with about 40 percent of its 23 million people living on less than $2 a day.

Rezab Melayu ??

Semalam che'GuBard telah menyiarkan satu kicaun melalui akaun twitter yang lebih kurang berbunyi "tanah rizab Melayu berjumlah 3juta hektar dah hilang separuh, siapa yang kianat?"

Terus seorang yang memperkenalkan dirinya sebagai Ketua Pemuda Umno Seputeh dan Unit Media Baru Pemuda Umno melatah dengan menuduh negeri Pakatan Rakyat lah yang banyak gadai tanah rizab Melayu. Tenggelam apabila dijawab oleh ramai pemilik akuan twitter yang mengingatkan dia mengenai umur pemerintahan kerajaan PR dan sajian beberapa fakta mengenai Menteri Besar Umno lah yang bertanggungjawab menghilangkan tanah rizab Melayu maka dia terus melatah dengan menuduh YB Teresa Kok membina gereja atas tanah rizab Melayu sebagai hadiah PR memerintah Selangor.

Buat dia ini saya sajikan semula tulisan seorang blogger mengulas isu ini.

Satu tuduhan melulu mengenai pembinaan gereja terbesar di asia telah dilontar oleh Razlan Rafii, seorang ketua pemuda UMNO bahagian Seputeh.

Kenyataan Razlan melalui laman sosial twitternya adalah seperti di bawah;


Razlan dalam twitternya berkata, tapak pembinaan gereja terbesar di Selangor yang juga terbesar di asia adalah dalam kawasan Kinrara, merujuk kepada kawasan di bawah tanggungjawab YB Teresa Kok.

Tuduhan Razlan seolah-olah kerajaan PR Selangor telah mengambil tanah rizab melayu untuk dijadikan sebuah gereja terbesar di asia. Ini adalah satu tuduhan yang sangat serius! Sudahlah dituduhnya kerajaan PR ambil tanah rizab melayu, dituduhnya pula tanah tersebut untuk pembinaan sebuah gereja. Tajuknya yang boleh mengganggu keharmonian penduduk berbilang agama di Malaysia - Tanah hak milik kekal melayu dijadikan gereja oleh kerajaan PR ?

Adakah tuduhan ini berasas ? Atau main hentam sembrono sepertimana UMNO membaling batu sembunyi tangan?

Sebelum saya meneruskan dengan lebih terperinci, persoalan yang harus difikirkan ialah ketika mula digazetkan tanah rizab melayu selepas penjajahan british berapa jumlahnya? Sekarang berapa pula bakinya? Siapa memerintah selama ini yang membenarkan tanah rizab hilang begitu banyak tanpa diganti?

UMNO sebenarnya masih tidak percaya betapa rakyat telah mengetahui siapakah yang bertanggungjawab menjadikan tanah rezab melayu berkurangan hampir separuh jumlahnya selama jubli emas pemerintahan UMNO.

Justeru itu, ingin saya menjawab balas tuduhan seorang ketua pemuda bahagian yang sepatutnya saya tidak perlu melayan. Tetapi oleh kerana melihat tuduhan ini sebagai sesuatu yang sangat serius hingga membolehkan mereka yang tidak punya maklumat akan memandang busuk kepada Pakatan Rakyat, maka saya jawab dalam bentuk point;

1. Lokasi Bukit Jalil - Kuala Lumpur

Tuduhan yang mengatakan tanah tersebut adalah dalam negeri Selangor di Kinrara adalah sangat tidak tepat. Sila lihat peta 1 dan 2 di bawah;

Peta 1 - Selatan Kuala Lumpur

Lihat tanda bintang berwarna biru, itulah kedudukan gereja terbesar Asia. Ia termasuk dalam peta Kuala Lumpur bahagian selatan.

Peta 2 - Map dari laman web CCC sendiri

Dengan dua peta di atas, boleh buat perbandingan yang menunjukkan kedudukan gereja terbesar asia adalah terletak dalam Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur.

Persoalannya, bagaimana mungkin kerajaan PR melaksanakan projek gereja terbesar asia yang menelan belanja ratusan juta ini di dalam kawasan persekutuan ? Siapakah yang meluluskannya jika bukan DBKL? atau Menteri Wilayah ??


2. Tanah rizab melayu ?

Jika tanah asal tapak pembinaan gereja ini adalah tanah rezab melayu, maka kemarahan rakyat terhadap BN sepatutnya akan lebih parah. Tetapi fakta tetap fakta, tidak disembunyikan dalam pendedahan ini.

Tanah tapak pembinaan gereja tersebut adalah di bawah zon antarabangsa. Untuk pengetahuan, salah satu bangunan antarabangsa yang berhampiran dengan tapak gereja terbesar asia ini ialah Bangunan AFC. Namun begitu, tidaklah pihak saya mendapat kepastian apakah status tanah zon antarabangsa di Bukit Jalil ini samada asalnya adalah salah satu tanah rezab melayu yang hilang tak berganti. Ini kerja UMNO ?


3. Kelulusan pembinaan.

Tuduhan Razlan dalam akaun twitternya juga meleset apabila ia bermaksud projek pembinaan gereja terbesar asia ini adalah di bawah kelulusan pentadbiran kerajaan negeri Selangor. Sekarang mari kita lihat apakah benar bagai dikata;

Lihat kenyataan di bawah yang saya petik dari sumber di sini ;
The stamp duty for the property purchase amounted to slightly over RM 1 million. Our application for a stamp duty exemption was initially turned down because the Calvary Convention Centre was viewed as a profit making project. We made an

appeal and explained to the authorities what the convention centre will be used for. The Lord favoured us once again and the authorities granted us a 50% stamp duty exemption.
Praise the Lord. The development plans for Calvary Convention Centre were submitted to the authorities for approval in April 2004. With great rejoicing, we received approval from the authorities in July 2005. This process took a mere one and a half years. According to people in the industry, to get approval in such a short time for a project of this size of Calvary Convention Centre is indeed astounding. Soon after the development plans wereapproved, we also received

approval from the tax authorities for the Calvary Convention Centre Building Fund to be tax exempt.

Rupa-rupanya kelulusan telah dibuat pada tahun 2005 lagi. Tidaklah mahu sata terperincikan siapakah yang meluluskan gereja terbesar asia ini. Fikir sendirilah parti manakah yang menang besar dalam PRU tahun 2004 dan menghadiahkan rakyat Malaysia sebuah gereja terbesar di asia. Hidup melayu !!

Jika anda nak lihat progress pembinaan, sila ke laman di sini . Anda boleh lihat bagaimana progress sebuah gereja terbesar asia terbina di bumi malaya di atas kelulusan pejuang-pejuang Islam bersongkok 3 jengkal panjangnya. Tarikh bermula pembinaan ialah 15 Febuari 2008 iaitu hampir sebulan sebelum rakyat Malaysia menunjukkan kebangkitan tsunami 8 Mac 2008 !

contract 'kick-off' pada tarikh 15 Febuari 2008

Mungkin satu upacara 'doa selamat', ia berlaku pada 15 Feb 2008

Apakah kerajaan Selangor di bawah MB Khalid telah terlebih dahulu meluluskan pembinaan gereja terbesar asia sebelum menawan negeri selangor ? Mungkin kita leka dan terlupa bahawa sebenarnya telah dijelaskan dalam perkara 1 - kedudukan zon antarabangsa Bukit Jalil bukan di dalam negeri selangor!


Cukuplah setakat 3 perkara saya jawab fitnah yang ditaburkan oleh seorang ketua pemuda bahagian. Saya jawab dengan fakta yang lengkap kalau pun kurang sempurna demi untuk menjelaskan kepada semua bahawa sudah menjadi kebiasaan bagi puak-puak yang terdesak untuk menabur fitnah jahat demi secalit undi.

Tanpa sedar, tuduhan liar sebegini bukan sahaja memburukkan nama baik kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat dengan perkara yang tidak benar, tetapi juga ia mengundang ketegangan antara agama jika tidak dibendung sebaiknya.

Seperkara lagi yang terakhir. Kalau benarlah gereja terbesar asia itu diluluskan oleh PR dan dibina dalam negeri PR, sudah tentu berita TV123 akan menyiarkan modal ini setiap hari hingga sampai detik pilihanraya. Tetapi pembinaan gereja terbesar asia ini sunyi dari diberitakan ke seantero malaya, apakah maknanya ? Adakah 'mereka' yang sebenarnya curi tanah rezab melayu untuk bikin gereja ??
Membina gereja atau rumah ibadah tidak salah tetapi inilah dangkalnya isu politik permainan Umno yang hipokrit.

Teringat isu babi di Sepang yang dimainkan sebaik sahaja PR menang di Selangor hampir sama sahaja isunya. Klik link ini untuk baca semua isu tersebut.

Bukit Jalil estate women: "We were harrased by DBKL and Police"

‘Million Youth’ meet not political, says Khairy

Najib (centre) gestures during his speech at the youth assembly in Putrajaya, May 28, 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin today rejected accusations of funds abuse in the Million Youths Assembly held in Putrajaya across the weekend, saying the event had not been political in nature.


“I believe the one million youth came voluntarily to take part in all events held during the three-day programme. The opposition is making this an issue because they were worried of the great response from youths,” he was quoted by Bernama Online today.

Khairy was responding to PKR Youth’s claim today that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had spent taxpayers’ funds and exploited the World Youth Day event in Putrajaya to defend the ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) narrow political agenda.

In his speech at the event on Saturday, Najib called on attending youths to “defend Putrajaya” from the opposition if they wished to see Malaysia transformed into a developed country.

Today, Khairy claimed opposition parties were taking aim at the event as they hoped it would fall short of its aim.

“The response was unbelievable and it was a sign that the youths are starting to support the government agenda under the 1 Malaysia concept which is youth-friendly and aimed at empowering them,” he added.

HRP eyes six seats in Kedah

Of the six, five are state seats. The sole parliamentary seat targeted is Padang Serai, held by N Gobalakrishnan.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Party (HRP) plans to contest in five state seats and one parliamentary constituency in Kedah which have 20% and above Indian voters.

The party’s secretary-general P Uthayakumar said the five state seats were Bukit Selambau (29.5%), Lunas (22.5%), Merbau (22%), Sidam (20%) and Gurun (18.4%).

The sole parliamentary seat was Padang Serai, currently held by former PKR strongman, N Gobalakrishnan.

“PAS is ruling by a majority of a mere two seats when compared to 14 seats held by Umno/BN and PKR having five seats, DAP one seat and one Independent in the 36-seat Kedah state assembly.

“So if HRP wins in these five state seats, they will be the real ‘kingmakers’ and can seriously push for change vis-a-vis the Kedah Indian poor at the highest political level,” said Uthayakumar.

He added that the Indian poor have to be politically empowered to effect changes at the highest political level as both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat have refused to address the pressing Indian problems.
Uthayakumar asked PKR, DAP and PAS to make way for HRP candidates in these six seats in Kedah for a one-to-one contest with BN.

“Unless and until the Indians are politically empowered like Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) in Kubang Pasu (95% Malay-Muslim voters) with at least the creation of 51% Indian majority constituencies under HRP’s ‘Project 15/38′, the Indian poor are doomed.

“They are destined to become the 19th century ‘negros’ as in the US,” he added.

Plan to rescue estate ‘slaves’

The deplorable living conditions has prompted one politician to initiate a relocation exercise. The plan will cut across political differences.
HULU SELANGOR: Appalled by the deplorable living conditions of families in an estate here, a MIC leader is looking into the possibility of relocating them.
Conceding that it will be a mammoth endeavour, S Vell Paari however is determined to forge ahead with his plan.

He also stressed that the relocation is not politically motivated, but driven by humanitarian reasons and therefore welcomed assistance from all quarters, including Pakatan Rakyat leaders and NGOs.

The MIC publicity and communication chief also pledged to start a fund, which will be managed by an independent committee, to finance the project.

“These people are in dire need of help. This is not about votes. So I hope all concerned groups will set aside their political differences and help me turn this plan into a reality. Let’s work together.

“I’ve repeatedly stressed that people cannot be coerced, threatened or punished when it comes to exercising their democratic right to vote for the party of their choice,” he told FMT.

Vell Paari is also certain that his critics will pour scorn on his plan but the MIC central working committee member said he will not be deterred.

“I’m sure some will dismiss this as a gimmick. But I don’t care about that. If the criticism is constructive, I’ll take note of it. I’m more interested in helping these people,” he said.

On Saturday, Vell Paari visited the Nigel Gardner estate, owned by tycoon Vincent Tan’s Berjaya Group, after being alerted about the plight of 11-year-old schoolgirl, A Kangga.

The Standard Five pupil, born with fingers and toes fused together, is in need of financial aid to cover her medical treatment expenses.

‘Living in the 19th century’
After meeting Kangga’s family and being informed about the problems faced by the estate workers there, Vell Paari said he was shocked.

“The children are malnourished, the houses are falling apart, and from what I hear, the estate management is treating its workers poorly, not to mention risking their health with prolonged exposure to harmful substances related to the cultivation of oil palm trees.

“They are drawing salaries of RM300 a month after deductions. This is the 21st century but in an estate, located some 40 minutes from the city, there are people still living in the 19th century,” he said.

“We talk about the suffering in Palestine and Sri Lanka. We want to help Australia process asylum seekers but we have refugee-like citizens in our own backyard.

“While it is noble to help those in other lands, we should also not forget to reach out to our fellow Malaysians who are in a similar situation,” he added.

When pointed out that the Hulu Selangor parliamentary constituency, which encompasses the Nigel Gardner estate, is under MIC, Vell Paari said he is well aware of this fact.

Apart from this, MIC president G Palanivel, the former Hulu Selangor MP, is also known to be a close associate of the Berjaya Group’s boss.

‘Nothing to do with votes’
Insisting on keeping his plan above party and partisan politics, Vell Paari said: “I know these things have been happening during MIC’s watch, but I want to reiterate that my plan to relocate them has nothing to do with politics, it’s purely compassion.”

“We’ve always said things like ‘If we do this and that, you must vote for us’. I’m guilty of doing that as well. But after visiting the estate, I feel ashamed for having done that.

“We’ve to change our mindset because politicians are elected by the people to serve them and that is what we must do. We must stop using votes as an excuse to do work.

“Getting votes is a secondary issue. If a politician does his job and what is expected of him, there is no need to campaign or give hampers, the people will vote for you,” he added.

Elaborating on his relocation plan, Vell Paari said he will discuss the matter with the incumbent Hulu Selangor MP P Kamalanathan as well as Pakatan’s Selangor exco in charge of Indian affairs, Dr Xavier Jeyakumar.

Next month, he added, a meeting will be organised with the 80 families in the estate to obtain their feedback and to determine how many of them want to move out.

“We’ll ascertain the exact number and take it from there. Basically, we’ve have to find them alternate houses and by that I mean, decent homes. We’ve to look into enrolling the children in a new school.
“I also believe that those who move out should undergo rehabilitation and skills training, following which, we provide them with employment opportunities to ensure that they earn a proper income to support their families on their own without depending on handouts.

“This is no walk in the park as it involves people’s lives. We’ve to plan this carefully and that is why I need help from all quarters. This problem has been going on for too long and enough of begging the government to deal with it. The time has come to take matters into our own hands,” he said.

If the plan proves to be a success, the MIC leader said he will then focus on other estates around the country.

Vell Paari also said that he will write a letter to Berjaya Group’s Tan to notify him of the situation in the Nigel Gardner estate.

“Berjaya is a big corporation and Tan is perhaps in the dark about what is happening on the ground. So it is only fair that we give him the benefit of the doubt and tell him about the matter,” he added.

‘We’re being treated like slaves’
When FMT visited the estate later and informed a group of workers about the relocation plan, many appeared receptive.

The workers also lambasted the government, especially MIC, for turning a blind eye to their problems and for not keeping their election promises

Venting her frustration, one outspoken worker, who has been living in the Nigel Gardner estate since the age of 13, claimed: “We’re being treated like slaves. When they want our votes, the politicians come running, hold concerts and slaughter goats for a feast. But after that, we’re abandoned.”

“Look at our houses. When it rains, the roof leaks. The toilet doors are broken. We’ve daughters and they’re forced to have their baths in a toilet like that,” she added, amid sobs.

“See my clothes!” exclaimed the 50-year-old mother of three while tugging on her faded t-shirt. “This cost RM5 and my pants, that is also RM5. That’s all we can afford. This is how we live.”

WIKILEAKS: ‘Abu Sayyaf links turned Dr M red’



However, his attack against the Time magazine over the article was moderate as he was not personally mentioned and wanted to keep a lid on the possible links, said US diplomats.
The Time article appeared in its April 10, 1995 issue, alleging that Southern Philippine Muslim extremist group Aby Sayyaf was receiving arms, money and training for Islamic groups in various countries, including Malaysia.
K Kabilan, Free Malaysia Today
Dr Mahathir Mohamad was unusually moderate in his attacks against two articles which appeared to criticise his government in the Time and Fortune magazines in early 1995 as he was “not personally mentioned in the stories”.
Also, Mahathir was not keen to pursue his attacks against the Time magazine article in particular as it involved his government’s alleged links with the Abu Sayyaf movement from the Philippines.
“Given the murky general history of Moro-Malaysian dealings, he may feel it best not to go into too many details,” wrote US diplomats based in the US embassy here in their confidential cable to the US State Department in Washington. The confidential cable was dated April 13, 1995.
The cable was leaked by whistleblower site WikiLeaks and handed over to FMT today.
The US diplomats felt that Mahathir was quick with his anti-West attacks when the two articles were published, especially since the general election was imminent then. However, they noted his reaction was “moderate and apparently shortlived”.
The US diplomats felt the main reason for Mahathir’s muted attack on Time and Fortune was largely due to the fact that he was not personally targeted in the two articles.
The diplomats also mentioned that Mahathir could have been mindful that his recent anti-British and anti-Australian outbursts had not given him clear-cut victories.
They said that they felt that the Malaysian government did not wish to make an issue of the Time article, especially considering the historical ties between the Moro movement and Malaysia.
The Time article appeared in its April 10, 1995 issue, alleging that Southern Philippine Muslim extremist group Aby Sayyaf was receiving arms, money and training for Islamic groups in various countries, including Malaysia.
The article further claimed that Abu Sayyaf used training camps in Malaysia and was expecting arms shipments from Malaysian supporters.
Western media campaign
Mahathir’s reaction to the article was to immediately label it as “part of a campaign by the western media to discredit Malaysia” to deter investment and tourism.
The Time article came just after another article in the Fortune magazine which had said that the Malaysian currency was facing risk.
READ MORE HERE
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C O N F I D E N T I A L KUALA LUMPUR 001919


EAP/PIMBS

E.O.12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS:  PREL, PGOV, MY
SUBJECT:  TIME UPSETS MAHATHIR

1.  PRIME MINISTER MAHATHIR RESPONDED WITH ANTI-WEST RHETORIC TO AN ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 10 ISSUE OF TIME MAGAZINE WHICH ALLEGED THAT ABU SAYYAF, A SMALL MUSLIM EXTREMIST GROUP BASED IN THE SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES, WAS RECEIVING ARMS, MONEY AND TRAINING FROM ISLAMIC GROUPS IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES INCLUDING MALAYSIA.  THE ARTICLE ALSO REPORTED THAT "THE GROUP USES TRAINING CAMPS IN MALAYSIA AND IS EXPECTING ARMS SHIPMENTS FROM SUPPORTERS THERE."  THE PRIME MINISTER DESCRIBED THE PIECE AS A "PART OF A CAMPAIGN BY THE WESTERN MEDIA TO DISCREDIT MALAYSIA" TO "DETER PEOPLE FROM INVESTING AND VISITING HERE, GENERALLY AIMED AT UNDERMINING THE NATION'S ECONOMY AND ITS DEVELOPMENT."  PEOPLE UNHAPPY WITH MALAYSIA'S "VOCIFEROUS" STAND ON INTERNATIONAL ISSUES, HE EXPLAINED, WERE BEHIND THE WESTERN MEDIA'S CONSPIRACY.  HE ALSO CONFIDENTLY CHALLENGED TIME TO "COME TO MALAYSIA AND MAKE A REPORT HERE" THAT MALAYSIA IS TRAINING TERRORISTS.  THE INFORMATION MINISTER ECHOED THE PM'S LINE.  NO ONE FROM THE GOM HAS FORMALLY OR INFORMALLY COMPLAINED ABOUT THE ARTICLE TO US.  SEVERAL OF OUR MALAYSIAN CONTACTS ARE CURIOUS ABOUT THE STORY -- THEY WANT TO KNOW IF IT'S TRUE.

2.  COMMENT:  MAHATHIR WAS STILL ANXIOUS ABOUT THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF A RECENT FORTUNE ARTICLE WHICH DESCRIBED THE MALAYSIAN CURRENCY AS AT RISK POST-MEXICO, WHEN THE TIME PIECE CAME OUT.  HE ORDERED A DELAY IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE TIME ISSUE BUT DID NOT BAN IT.  (OBSERVERS EXPECT THE MAGAZINE WILL BE ALLOWED ON THE SHELVES IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS.)  WITH THE GENERAL ELECTION JUST AROUND THE CORNER, HIS RHETORIC WAS VERY MUCH EXPECTED SINCE CONSPIRACY THEORIES STILL HAVE A FOLLOWING HERE.  HOWEVER, AS COMPARED TO HIS PREVIOUS BOUTS WITH WESTERN MEDIA (MOST NOTABLY, DENYING CONTRACTS TO BRITISH FIRMS IN RESPONSE TO AN UNFLATTERING ARTICLE IN THE BRITISH PRESS), THE PM'S REACTION TO FORTUNE AND NOW TIME PIECES HAS BEEN MODERATE AND APPARENTLY SHORT LIVED. THERE MAY BE SEVERAL REASONS FOR THIS.  DIFFERENT FROM PREVIOUS CASES, MAHATHIR WAS NOT PERSONALLY MENTIONED IN THE STORIES.  FURTHER, THE LAST TWO ANTI-BRITISH AND ANTI-AUSTRALIAN OUTINGS HAVE NOT BEEN VIEWED AS CLEAR-CUT VICTORIES FOR THE PM.  FINALLY, GIVEN THE MURKY GENERAL HISTORY OF MORO-MALAYSIAN DEALINGS, HE MAY FEEL IT BEST NOT TO GO INTO TOO MANY DETAILS.  THE FACT THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED ALMOST NO QUERIES FROM THE PRESS IS FURTHER INDICATION THAT THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT WISH TO MAKE AN ISSUE OF THIS AT THIS TIME.

CHAMBERLIN

Suaram starts Legal Fund to Probe Submarine Commissions in French Courts



SUARAM’s latest application, once approved by the court, would allow it to become party to the enquiry and have official access to every element of the enquiry, including access to the evidence which allegedly links DCNS to the issuing of commissions to government officials.
By Dr Kua Kia Soong (Director of SUARAM)
SUARAM’s efforts to probe suspected commissions involved in the submarines purchase in the French courts are starting to bear fruit. The Malaysian courts have failed to shed light on the grisly murder of Altantuya and the reasons for her murder. Although two former bodyguards of the Prime Minister have been charged and sentenced, their motives for the murder have not been probed by the Malaysian court.
SUARAM believes that there is more to the murder of Altantuya and that what is in question is at least RM500 million in commissions associated with the RM7 billion Scorpene submarines deal. This has grave consequences for both Malaysian and French tax payers.
SUARAM applied through its French lawyers as a civil party for a judicial review in November 2009. As Malaysia’s leading human rights organization, it has always fought for human rights and “People before Profits” issues. Furthermore, SUARAM’s latest publication, “Questioning Arms Spending in Malaysia: From Altantuya to Zikorsky” by its director, Dr Kua Kia Soong, gives it the locus standi for filing this petition in the French courts.
This case concerns the sale of two Scorpène submarines and an Agosta submarine to the Malaysian government, a contract worth approximately one billion euros, that was signed in 2002 with the Malaysian DCNS (former DCN, Department of Naval Construction) and Thalès.
The French Inquisitorial Judicial System Unlike the British (and Malaysian) system, the French inquisitorial system has an examining or investigating judge. The examining judge can conduct investigations into serious crimes or complex enquiries. As members of the judiciary, they are independent of the executive branch. The judge questions witnesses, interrogates suspects, and orders searches or other investigations. The examining judge's goal is to gather facts, and as such their duty is to look for all the evidence. Both the prosecution and the defence may request the judge to act and may appeal the judge's decisions before an appellate court.
Judges in the Paris Prosecution Office have been probing a wide range of corruption charges involving similar submarine sales and the possibility of bribery and kickbacks to top officials in France, Pakistan, Taiwan and other countries, including Malaysia. Recently, Parisian prosecutors, led by investigating Judges Francoise Besset and Jean-Christophe Hullin, have been investigating allegations involving senior French political figures and the sales of submarines and other weaponry to governments all over the world.
SUARAM’s latest application, once approved by the court, would allow it to become party to the enquiry and have official access to every element of the enquiry, including access to the evidence which allegedly links DCNS to the issuing of commissions to government officials. The case is still at the enquiry phase and the new application is to upgrade it to the “instruction phase” where an investigative judge would be appointed.
Malaysia’s Scorpene Submarines’ Scandal This scandal involving Malaysia’s purchase of two Scorpene submarines is of concern also to French tax payers because it involves France's biggest defense conglomerates, the state-owned shipbuilder DCN. DCN's subsidiary Armaris manufactures the Scorpene submarines sold to Malaysia among other countries.
It has already been brought up in the Malaysian Parliament that €114 million (RM500 million) has been paid to a Malaysia-based company called Perimekar, for “coordination and support services” for the submarines transaction. Perimekar was wholly owned by another company, KS Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd, which in turn was controlled by Najib's aide, Razak Baginda. Baginda’s wife Mazlinda was the principal shareholder in this company. Perimekar was registered in 2001, a few months before the signing of the contracts for the sale and the company did not appear to have the financial resources to complete the contract. None of the directors and shareholders of Perimekar have any experience in the construction or maintenance of submarines.
Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old Mongolian translator and Razak Baginda's jilted lover, had allegedly participated in negotiations over the purchase of the submarines. By her own admission in a letter found after her death, she was attempting to blackmail Razak Baginda for US$500,000. She was shot in October 2006 and her body was blown up with military explosives by two bodyguards attached to Najib's office after Razak Baginda went to Najib's chief of staff, Musa Safri, for help in stopping her demands.

What were Altantuya’s Killers’ Motives?
After being acquitted in November 2008 under questionable circumstances of participating in her murder, Razak Baginda left the country for England. The bodyguards were convicted but no motive was ever established for their actions.
The submarine deal was never brought up in court during the murder trial which saw prosecutors, defense attorneys and the judge judiciously keeping Najib's name out of the proceedings.
A private detective hired by Razak Baginda to protect him from Altantuya’s advances filed a statutory declaration after the trial indicating that Najib had actually been the victim's lover and had passed her on to Razak Baginda. He later retracted this story in a second statutory declaration. The detective, P. Balasubramaniam, said later that he was forced to leave Kuala Lumpur. He eventually emerged from hiding in India to say that he had been offered RM5 million (US$1.57 million) by a businessman close to Najib's wife to leave town. He also said he had met Najib's younger brother, Nazim and was told to recant his testimony.

Contradictions in Malaysian Government’s Story
From the investigations so far, there appears to be contradictions in the Malaysian government’s side of the story regarding the payment of 114 euros to the Malaysian company Perimekar. The Deputy Minister of Defence had told the Malaysian Parliament that this was paid by the French. According to sources cited by the plaintiffs, it was not the company Armaris that paid 114 million euros to Perimekar, but rather the Malaysian government, "with the sole purpose of circumventing the OECD Convention."
This contract was signed in 2002 after the OECD Convention came into force in France in 2000, which punishes corruption of foreign public officials with ten years' imprisonment and a 150,000 euro fine. Following this complaint, a preliminary investigation was conducted by the prosecution: the hearings were made and searches were made at the premises of DCNS and Thalès.
As was the case for contracts won by the DCN for submarines to Pakistan and frigates to Taiwan, there are increasing suspicions of “reversed commissions” to French political parties.
After Suaram had filed an initial suit at the Paris court in 2009, the state prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin then opened a preliminary investigation. At the time, it was suspected that a bribe of 114 million euros had been paid by the company Armaris (a subsidiary of DCNI and Thalès) to Malaysian parties through the company Perimekar.
DCN Officer Confirms Commissions In September 2008, during the course of the Karachi Case also involving DCN, the note books of Gérard-Philippe Menayas, former chief financial officer of DCN, who was indicted in the case, also confirmed the suspicions of hidden commissions. In his memorandum, Menayas mentioned the Malaysian submarine contract as follows:
"Since the entry into force of the OECD Convention regarding the fight against corruption in September 2000, only two contracts have been signed; the first with India, and the second with Malaysia in 2002. These two contracts are the result of commercial actions undertaken prior to the OECD Convention. Furthermore, they are both suspected of non-compliance with this Convention. I have evidence to support this”.(http://www.rue89.com/2011/04/02/sous-marins-malaisiens-la-piste-des-retrocommissions-se-precise)
Furthermore, it appears there were three commissions instead of one paid for the sale of submarines. In addition to that of 114 million euros, there are two further instalments, one paid by DCN to the commercial networks of Thalès, for over 30 million euros, corresponding to "commercial fees relating to the negotiation and execution of the contract". This second commission was paid by Thalès to a recipient, who remains unknown, in order to convince the Malaysian government of the need to conduct additional work. The third commission was for 2.5 million euros.
According to Gerard Philippe Menayas:
"Until the OECD Convention against corruption came into force in France, no contract for the sale of defence equipment to an emerging country could take place without the payment of commissions to policy makers (euphemistically called ‘commercial fees for exports’)."
Finally, according to the complaint filed by the firm Bourdon, Suaram’s lawyer, the company Gifen, which was established by Jean-Marie Boivin in Malta, intervened in the negotiations "so as to facilitate the money transfers in this case", and particularly finance the trips of Baginda and Altantuya.
SUARAM Appeals for Legal Funds SUARAM hopes the French justice system will reveal more than what the Malaysian judicial system has failed to deliver so far and will bring justice and closure to the family of Altantuya, and force the French and Malaysian Governments to account to their peoples regarding the commissions on the submarines contract.
When the case goes to the French court, the prosecution can then contact an examining magistrate and the trial can start. SUARAM’s case in the French courts will involve considerable legal fees. Thus far, the French lawyers have offered their services pro bono. When the case proper begins, we will need to afford the necessary legal fees. Thus we are appealing to justice-loving and socially conscious Malaysian tax payers to contribute to this submarine commissions legal fund.

Electricity up; govt grants for Proton

Electricity tariffs have been hiked by an average of 7 per cent because the government says it cannot afford “subsidies”. But Proton has been enjoying “research grants” from the government.
So who is subsidising whom in the case of Proton?
Source: Proton Annual Report 2010
* Note in the Annual Report 2010
The Government of Malaysia, as part of the Second Stimulus Package under the Ninth Malaysia Plan had within the ambit of the National Automotive Policy (‘NAP’) granted in 2009 a Research and Development (‘R&D’) grant to Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn. Bhd. (‘PONSB’), a wholly owned subsidiary company. One of the objectives of the NAP is to provide support and incentives to enhance competitiveness and capability of the automotive industry through the development of the latest and more sophisticated technology. PONSB, being a full fledged automotive manufacturer has complied with the requirements and had been allocated funds in the form of a R&D grant.
During the financial year (2010), PONSB has recognised R&D grant income amounting to RM143,688,000 (2009: RM80,656,000) based on R&D expenditure that did not meet the capitalisation criteria, as set out in the Group’s accounting policy (Note 3(d)(iii)).
For the quarter ended 31 March 2011:

Source: Proton's quarterly report to Bursa
Notice the difference in terminology: When it comes to government/public funds for essential services to the rakyat, they call them “subsidies”. But when it comes to funding for the corporate sector, they call it “support”, “incentives” and “grants”.