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Monday, June 6, 2011

As Malaysia’s assets wane, Umno scrambles for wealth control

KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — The fight is on for the country’s diminishing resources and assets, and leading the charge to secure rights to projects and land ownership are Umno warlords and politically-connected individuals.

As Malaysia grapples with imminent tariff hikes and a subsidy bill that could double to RM21 billion this year, individuals within the ruling Malay party appear to be wasting little time in demanding that the Najib administration award them immediate rights to government and commercial projects.

Ibrahim said Umno still used political connections to maximise its own profits. — File pix
This is evident in the current tussle surrounding Umno’s attacks on UDA Holdings Bhd’s sale of prime land in downtown Kuala Lumpur, where despite the agency’s assurance that the sale to Mutiara Goodyear would benefit Bumiputeras, Umno leaders have attacked the agency, saying RM215.5 million deal would hurt Bumiputera interests.


“With the government announcement of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and projects, these people want to take advantage of the situation, they want a share of the pie,” said Merdeka Center director Ibrahim Suffian.

“There is an expectation that for continued political support, Umno needs to be economically secure, and what we are seeing now is a scramble for diminishing assets, properties,” Ibrahim told The Malaysian Insider.

UDA has also come under fire recently from Malay hardliners in Umno and Perkasa as well as Utusan Malaysia for allegedly abandoning the Bumiputera agenda after it chose not to appoint Bumiputera joint-venture turnkey investors for the proposed Bukit Bintang City Centre, located on prime land in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle.

Umno leaders have alleged that there are several Bumiputera companies that were more than capable to be part of the redevelopment project, but were overlooked by the agency.

Another project that has come under fire from Malay hardliners is the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit project where they have won a concession to allow consortiums to pre-qualify for the country’s most expensive infrastructure project.

Project owners Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad had earlier restricted the tenders to construction companies with higher capital and longer experience but acceded to demands led by Perkasa, the Malay rights group.

Merdeka Center’s Ibrahim said that the trend in Umno’s growing demands in acquiring government and commercial projects showed a continuation of an oft-clichéd practice of money politics within the party. According to Ibrahim, Umno still used political connections to maximise its own profits.

“We can see that there’s even a scramble within different factions of Umno for projects, assets... but the thing is the scramble for assets is not as lucrative as it used to be, perhaps that is why this is happening,” the polls analyst added.

Universiti Sains Malaysia lecturer Dr Sivamurugan Pandian feels the government should only award projects or business deals to those who were deserving, saying that the continuation of “patronage politics” could backfire on Umno.

Pua said ‘race’ was still the main criteria to lobby and secure lucrative contracts.
“They (Umno) need to adapt to the current environment... an individual or company should only be awarded a project or sale of land if they are fully qualified, it has to be based on those who fulfil the best criteria,” the political analyst told The Malaysian Insider.
 
The DAP’s Tony Pua blames the current situation as the biggest flaw of the New Economic Policy (NEP), resulting in “race” being the main criteria to lobby and secure lucrative contracts, which leaves powerful and politically-connected Bumiputeras benefiting while leaving the “Bumiputera masses” with very little gains.

The DAP national publicity secretary charged that as a result, competitive and competent firms will shift their resources overseas as they find their expertise better valued and in demand in places other than Malaysia.

“The UDA, Mass Rapid Transit system, Sungei Besi airbase, Rubber Research Institute and other projects will serve as a key marker as to whether Najib’s administration is serious about transforming Malaysia’s economy.

“Should the political will be lacking, and the government continues to slice bigger chunks of a shrinking pie to these connected entities on the basis of race, Malaysia will remain trapped in the middle-income group, and slowly but surely decline in its competitiveness relative to the rest of the world,” Pua told The Malaysian Insider.

Umno Youth's Kesatria Brigade To Be Launched - Khairy Jamaluddin

SHAH ALAM, June 5 (Bernama) -- The Umno Youth movement will launch its Kesatria Brigade soon which will act as the party's front-liner in facing the 13th general election.

Umno Youth head Khairy Jamaluddin said the special group, which was formerly known as the 'gerak gempur', was re-established to carry out tasks concerning the involvement of the Youth movement in the main Umno programmes.

"The Kesatria Brigade, which will be headed by me, will look after security and instil the right spirit for members besides carrying out training to prepare them to become second echelon leaders.

"This is the elite group that we are looking for in every division especially those under the age of 30," he told reporters after opening the delegates meeting of the Shah Alam Umno Youth division, here Sunday.

Israel fires tear gas, warning shots at protest in Golan Heights

Golan Heights (CNN) -- Israeli troops fired tear gas and warning shots as protesters tried to cross the heavily fortified border between Syria and the Golan Heights, the Israeli military said Sunday.

Syrian television said 20 protesters were killed and 325 wounded in the protests, which marked the anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War. The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately confirm the casualties, though a spokesman said that despite numerous warnings, dozens of protesters continued to approach Israel's border.

Israeli troops "were left with no choice but to open fire towards the ground in an effort to deter further actions," the IDF said in a statement.

Clashes also broke out between Palestinians and Israelis at the Qalandia crossing between Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank on Sunday. At least six Palestinians were injured there, one seriously, by rubber bullets. Israeli forces also fired tear gas, while Palestinians threw stones.

Protesters in the Golan have also been throwing rocks toward the soldiers.

As the day wore on in the Golan protest, about 500 demonstrators held mid-day prayers on the Syrian side of the border, then crouched down behind a rampart Israel constructed recently in response to earlier demonstrations.

But the number later dropped to about 50.
Protesters waved Palestinian and Syrian flags.
Israeli police have a water cannon, CNN witnessed.

At least two stretchers carrying the wounded were loaded onto vehicles and driven toward Syria.
IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich told that events were "under control."

She accused Syria of "deliberately is tying to divert the world's attention from the bloodshed that is taking place inside Syria to the Israeli-Syrian border. There is no question about it, the policemen, the armed Syrian forces are looking back and not doing anything."

Syria has been the scene of months of anti-government demonstrations. The United Nations say more than 1,000 protesters have been killed by security forces.

The border between the Israeli-controlled Golan and Syria is mined and marked with barbed wire. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria 44 years ago in the Six Day War.

Demonstrators arrived in at least eight buses before the protest began.

Then they came down from a hill known locally as "Shouting Hill" - where people shout to family and friends on the other side of the border - towards the ramparts Israeli forces constructed last month.

Lying bigamist love rat dumps woman he wed illegally

Exclusive by Lauren Crooks, Sunday Mail
abbas khan bigamist nicola miller Image 3
A HEARTBROKEN mum's bigamist husband has walked out on her - to return to his first wife.

Nicole Miller, 34, discovered Abbas Khan, 38, was already married to another woman when they wed 11 years ago.

The mum-of-three then took him back and even remarried to make their union legal.

But, five years on, love rat Khan has dumped her and their kids - and is back living with first wife Farida in Glasgow.

Nicole, who even converted to Islam for her husband, said: "I gave up everything for him. I gave up my religion, I didn't socialise. My kids have grown up as Muslims, my eldest son lived like a Muslim and went to the mosque. I lived that way because I loved him.

"I am numb with shock. I can't believe anyone would do this. He did it before and I forgave him. But now he has done it again, he has ended it for good.

"He is a liar. I'm going next week to speak to someone about getting a divorce."

Nicole - who was known as Narida but has reverted to her real name - tied the knot with Khan in 2000 after a whirlwind romance.

He moved from Glasgow to start a new life with her in Wallsend, Tyneside, and she fell pregnant with their daughter Ibriz, now 10.

But her joy turned to horror when she discovered he was facing bigamy charges because he was still married to his cousin Farida from an arranged marriage that took place seven years before.

Khan, who already had two children with his first wife, was convicted but escaped a jail sentence and Nicole decided to take him back for the sake of their baby. They had a Muslim wedding in 2002.

Nicole gave birth to their son Amir, now six, and the family - including Nicole's son Harrison from a previous relationship - lived happily.

abbas khan bigamist nicola miller Image 1Cracks started to appear in the relationship last year.
She said: "We had split up and he wasn't living here. I knew he was in Scotland because that's where his family are but I had no idea he was back with Farida. That came as a shock. He had always told me he couldn't stand her.

"He always said he only did it to keep his mum happy. He visited in March for Amir's sixth birthday and spent four days with us. We were talking and decided we were going to get back together again. He promised them the world and we played happy families for four days."

But Nicole's were dashed again when Khan called to say he was staying in Glasgow.

She added: "He said he couldn't come back because too many people would be upset. Then it all came out that he had been with her.
"I am annoyed because he sat and told his children he would be back for good. They are devastated.

"I haven't heard from him since. He has never even phoned his children. He is doing this to keep his mum happy. She comes first."

Khan - whose real name is Casser Choudary - was unavailable for comment.

His mother Aziza said: "He is not well. Abbas left Nicole because she threw him out. They had an argument over the kids going to mosque. She is just looking for money.

"Abbas is with Farida now. They have a son and daughter together. Nicole and Abbas have had an Islamic divorce.

"Him and Farida are living together and they never got an Islamic divorce."

Malaysian Indians have it worst (Malaysiakini)

By Paraman VS

On Feb 19 this year, the same day that the Home Ministry’s Special Implementation Task Force (SITF) to register, process and eventually provide fast-track birth certificates and MyKads to stateless Indians began its eight-day session, the Federal Territory People’s Progressive Party (PPP) chairman A Chandrakumaran said the period was too short.

identity card mykad change of religion or faithA mere eight days to register stateless Indian Malaysians, Chandrakumaran said, were not sufficient and that his party was receiving "never ending visits" from stateless Indians (Sinar Harian).

The next day, Johor MIC chairman KS Balakrishnan said more than 5,000 Indians in Johor did not have identification documents.

(The Star) Since the methodologies used for national population statistics data in this country are not transparent, being a guarded state secret and protected by the government under various draconian laws, one only can use the little data on population available and read between the lines for information that can reflect the true reality on the ground.

The honey trail

To look for bees, one has to trace the honey trail.

Considering that stateless people in Malaysia are deprived of the ultimate social security net, which is citizenship, and hence excluded from virtually every sector – health, education, employment, security and housing – it should come as no surprise that Indians have the lowest development index in the country.

They have the lowest life expectancy rate at 67.3 years compared with the national average of 71.2 years. Indians have the second highest infant mortality rate, highest school dropout rates and less than five percent of Indians reach tertiary level of education.

prison 210206 prisoner behind barsIndian Malaysians also have highest the incidence of alcoholism, highest incidence of drug addiction as well as make up the highest number of prisoners in proportion to the population.

Indians are involved in 45 percent of the country’s crime and they record the highest percentage of deaths (just less than 95 percent) while in police custody.

They also constitute the highest rate of suicide among any Malaysian community, at 21.1 suicides per 100,000 population as compared with 2.6 suicides per 100,000 population for Malays and 8.6 suicides per 100,000 among the Chinese.

More than 60 percent of the inmates at the Simpang Renggam Detention Centre are Indians. Around 40 percent of male Indian youths are involved in crime; 14 percent of juvenile delinquents in this country are Indians; 41 percent of the beggars in Malaysia are Indians and more than 30 percent of them do not own a house.

Only a minuscle 1.5 percent of the nation’s corporate wealth is in the hands of Indians and if the wealth of Ananda Krishnan’s and Tony Fernandes’ wealth is excluded, then it will be even less than half of that.
Beneath all these depressing statistics is probably where the estimated 450,000 stateless Indians in this country lie hidden.

Viewing this issue of statelessness in Malaysia from a macroscopic point, one can see that at one end of the spectrum, the Umno government, as alleged by the opposition, is actively giving citizenship to foreign Muslims from Indonesia, Thailand the Philippines, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

And, on the other end of the spectrum, the poor and illiterate Malaysian-born Indians, numbering hundreds of thousands, are being systematically denied their citizenship in a rather shrewd manner.

Even though the Malaysian government strongly denies these allegations, its non-transparent governance does not give justice to its serial denials.

Trapped in poverty

The stateless in this country are generally trapped in poverty. They feel marginalised and ostracised in virtually every sector: at hospitals, in schools, institutions, enforcement agencies, and government and corporate institutions.

In order to survive, they need to seek a defence mechanism to overcome their woes and challenges. They either have to beg or to turn to crime, for there is no other alternative from a government that is devoid of caring and sharing.

police tortured victim 110107 lawyer P UthayakumarP Uthayakumar (right) of HRP estimates that the majority of the 450,000 stateless Indians in this country are in Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan and Johor. Coincidentally, these states also hold the highest numbers of Indian gangsters.

HRP has come out with out with several proposals to National Registration Department (NRD) to address the problem of statelessness among the Indians:

1) The government should set up a special transparent unit within the NRD. This unit should have adequate resources, all the way from field workers to a department director. Its charter should be to:

a) Identify all Indian Malaysians who do not have birth certificates, MyKads or have problems with their citizenship status.
b) Create a database for them and establish appropriate programmes to resolve all their problems, one by one, by Dec 31, 2011.
c) Simplify the procedures for applying for delayed birth certificates and MyKads. Make the process ‘poor people friendly’. Applicants should not be required to fill out so many forms or to provide so much documentary evidence, which most often are redundant.
mykad counter 051105Also, do not require them to come to the NRD offices so many times or send them on wild goose chases. Do not reject their applications because they did not cross the ‘t’s or dot the ‘i’s. Treat them with more respect and support them throughout the process.
d) Authorise senior and respected members of the community to certify births and parentage where a hospital is unable to do it.
2) Religion, race and marriage should not be made non-constitutional barriers to birth registration.
3) Parents must be empowered to decide the religion of their children on the basis of the equality of all religions.
4) The NRD or religious organisations should not impose Syariah laws on non Muslims. Mixed marriages are one of the major reasons for the problem of statelessness among Indian Malaysians.
5) Empower this special unit to address this problem without interference from any religious body.
6) The NRD should discard procedures that were set up a long time ago, such as using outdated technology like photographs, to establish resemblances. Where necessary, opt for newer methods such as DNA profiling.
7) All that is required is for the hospital where the child is born to be made responsible for the registration of the birth. The birth must be registered and a birth certificate issued.
8) In cases of births at home or children who have been abandoned, a similar and simple enough alternative procedure needs to be established.
9) The government should extend the e-Govt system to cover this crucial need and set up a mechanism to monitor and report this effort in the NRD website.
10) This special unit in the NRD must be authorised to work with the Health Ministry, the Education Ministry, the Human Resources Ministry, etc, to resolve any associated problems pertaining to those ministries.

Attack the root causes

So, why should one care for these stateless people ?

First and foremost, there shouldn’t be a reason. Each one of us must, simply on grounds of empathy and compassion, take on the responsibility of putting pressure on all our political leaders to take serious efforts to solve this ever-growing number of stateless people in Malaysia.

Politicians who merely give lip service and ignore this issue should be exposed and censured.
Second, crime is on an ascending trend in this country and it could in some way be symbiotically linked to the rise in the number of stateless people.

It will be pointless to build higher fortified walls around our houses and put up expensive and elaborate security systems as well as live in gated, guarded communities if we continue to remain blind to the root causes of this problem.

If left unaddressed, Mother Nature has her own unique way of ‘correcting’ these imbalances.
The problem of exclusion is universally acknowledged to be the source of the various social ills of any given society.

malaysia poor indian community poverty 230807The statelessness of the Indian poor reduces Indian participation in Malaysian democracy, and this shortsighted and self-serving view of Umno has far reaching consequences.

If you were to connect the dots, you will see that the thinking that generates this shortsighted position on statelessness is what is perennially keeping us in a state of mediocrity among the community of nations.

Those of you who have been fortunate enough to step out of the country and see what is happening around the world will recognise the true folly of this kind of myopic policy of the Malaysian elite.

Due to our selfish, self-centred lifestyles, we could get ‘bitten’ in the process for not exercising our civic duty in helping these poor and vulnerable stateless people.

Albert Einstein once said that the world is a dangerous place, not because of people who do evil but because of good people who just look on and do nothing about it.

We are run by diversity. We become divided because we think that we are many.

This feeling of diversity, the psychology of plurality and the sentiments of multiplicity lead to conflict, confusion, and chaos; whereas the feeling of unity and harmony, the sentiment of synthesis and the experience of oneness brings unity.

Let us all be united in bringing the state of the stateless in Malaysia to its valid and justified attention.

DR PARAMAN VS is a general practitioner by profession. Just entering into his fifth decade of life, he regretfully admits to having exercised his right to vote only once – which was in the last general election. He drove 200km to do so. His wish is that the millions of Malaysians who are yet to register as voters will do so, soonest possible. He can be reached at paramanvs@yahoo.com.sg

Muhyiddin claims PAS straying from Islam

The Umno deputy president claimed PAS feared the “truth” of the sex video. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has accused PAS of sacrificing Islamic principles for the sake of politics, saying today the party should have used its muktamar to seek the truth behind a sex video allegedly featuring Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.


The Umno deputy president also mocked PAS, which his party has repeatedly tried to woo into forming a unity government, claiming the Islamist party was likely afraid the “truth” behind the video would tarnish its religious image.

“Perhaps they already know the background of this video issue... or who is the person in the video.

“But it is brought to their muktamar... as a political party founded on Islamic principles, they should be seeking the truth instead,” the deputy prime minister told a press conference after visiting the Dang Wangi district police headquarters here today.

PAS delegates had moved a motion at its 57th annual muktamar today, condemning state muftis and Islamic scholars for keeping silent over the controversial sex video caper.

Muhyiddin added PAS should not be blaming Barisan Nasional (BN) for the video, pointing out that the opposition leaders had already denied any involvement from the beginning.

He said that at the very least, PAS should have debated the video’s authenticity at its muktamar to gauge its members’ opinions before arriving at any conclusion.

“Debate the source (of the video)... how it came about, who did it, how it involves a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leader and whether it is true.

“If at the end they conclude that they do not know the truth, they can ask the police to reveal the identity of the man in the video so the people will no longer be in the dark. This is what they should examine... not push everything to BN because that is not seeking the truth,” he said.

Muhyiddin also said BN would not allow itself to be used as a scapegoat in the video scandal and would stick to discovering the truth through legal means.

“We are transparent. Our policy is to investigate it, follow the right avenue to establish the culprit and what is the reason behind it.

“Unfortunately for PAS, they claim to be Islamic but they are straying from the path of Islam. They only care about their political interest and not about receiving Allah’s blessings,” he said.

The 21-minute recording was first aired to reporters at the prestigious Carcosa Seri Negara hotel in April by a man who identified himself as “Datuk T”.

“Datuk T” was later identified as a group made up of businessman Datuk Shazryl Eskay, former Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Tamby Chik and former Perkasa treasurer-general Datuk Shuib Lazim.

The video has been distributed in disks and made available on various Internet sites this past month despite the “Datuk T” trio saying they have handed over the sole original copy to the police. Police said they are investigating the distribution of the video.

Umno and its newspaper, Utusan Malaysia, have attacked PAS for defending Anwar in the sex video scandal, saying the opposition leader was morally unfit to lead the pact due to his sodomy charges and having been implicated in the sex clip. Anwar has denied the charge and allegations.

‘Non-Malays support us, Umno will end soon’

Newly elected deputy president says that Chinese and Indians have accepted PAS' struggles and the new-line will try to expand its influence.
GOMBAK: Newly elected PAS deputy president, Mohamad Sabu said the Indian and Chinese communities have moved away from Umno and they have now accepted the struggles of PAS.

He also said that the new-line up of the Islamic party’s leadership will work harder in order to secure more non-Malay votes in the coming general election.

“I remember (party spiritual leader) Nik Aziz Nik Mat once said that Umno is not strong on its own. Umno’s strength comes from its (non-Malay) component parties, MCA and MIC. They are Umno’s crutches,” said Mohamad who is better known as Mat Sabu.

“The Chinese and the Indians have accepted the message of PAS. Umno will end soon!” he told delegates in his winding-up speech on the last day of the party’s 57th muktamar at Taman Melewar here.

He added that votes from PAS members alone will not be sufficient to put the party in Putrajaya. Hence the new line will take efforts to attain votes from the others.

“Party votes itself is not enough. We need the mandate and support of the public. This we will do. We will attain more (non-party member) votes from the Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and other communities,” he stressed.

The coming general election has been a top agenda in the debates and discussions of the delegates and also in the speeches of the top party leaders in this year’s muktamar.

Mat Sabu continued with this message by cracking a joke about how he frequents Putrajaya so often nowadays, “kerana kita mesti tau mana pintu masuk (just to find where the main entrance is).”

Passive Malays

The message of widening the party’s appeal was also stressed by vice-president Mahfuz Omar who said that PAS had to win the “hearts and minds” of all voters.

“We must displace Umno from the hearts and minds of rakyat to go to Putrajaya. We must bring with us the mandate of people (when we get to Putrajaya). We cannot do that with our political power alone,” he said in his short speech.

Earlier, Mat Sabu also highlighted the difference of political culture of the races, labeling the Malays a little “passive”.

“Different races differ from issues that are sensitive and with their reactions,” he said.

He drew a comparison of reactions from the Chinese community to Teoh Beng Hock’s death and the Malay community’s reaction to Ahmad Sarbaini’s death. Both Teoh (2009) and Ahmad Sarbaini (2011) were found dead at different Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)’s buildings.

“The response to Sarbaini’s death is mostly, ‘what can we do’…they don’t view it as an important issue. The response from the Malays are more passive when compared to the Tiong Hua (Chinese) group,” he said.

The three day-long PAS muktamar ended today.

Yogi’s amazing spiritual journey

Anecdotes and tales of the fantastic and the incredible mark the life of an unusual spiritual guru.
BOOK REVIEW
(Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda) In 1986, I met a man who changed my life significantly. He was someone who had brought spiritual nourishment to North America because his guru told him to make that journey to the continent because his new home had prayed for spiritual guidance.

The only issue about my encounter with Yogananda was that he had died in 1952. I had actually “met” him through his most famous book, “Autobiography of a Yogi”.

When the book found me, I was at a stage in my life when I was searching the universe for answers to some bewildering eternal mysteries.

Initially, when I read the first few chapters of Yogananda’s book, I wasn’t sure if the writer was a real person or a fictionalised character. Some of the happenings which Yogananda mentioned in his book were incredible.

But I kept reminding myself that in order to learn anything new, one mustn’t close the doors to one’s mind. Like a parachute, so the famous saying goes, it works best when it is open.

Yogananda’s spiritual quest began at a very early age. Unlike other children of his age, the boy asked searching questions of which the answers always eluded him.

Then at the age of 17 in 1910, he finally met his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. It was supposedly a meeting that had undergone various phases in several lifetimes.

Yogananda describes it in his book:
“We entered a oneness of silence; words seemed the rankest superfluities. Eloquence flowed in soundless chant from heart of master to disciple. With an antenna of irrefragable insight I sensed that my guru knew God, and would lead me to Him. The obscuration of this life disappeared in a fragile dawn of prenatal memories.”

Exceptional figure


At 27 on the request of his guru Sri Yukteswar, Yogananda travelled to America. Then for the next 32 years, he lectured and taught Kriya Yoga and meditation to Americans who hungered for the kind of spiritualism that was uncommon in their own land.

From a picture in the book, Sri Yukteswar looked like Moses of the Ten Commandments or maybe the actor Charlton Heston.

Yukteswar’s guru, Mahavatar Babaji, was even a more exceptional figure. He seemed to travel through dimensions like how ordinary people cross the highways.

Loosely translated, Mahavatar Babaji means “Revered Father the Great Avatar”. In his book, Yogananda gave an account of meeting a very young man who showed up at his house whom he later learnt was his guru’s guru.

“Autobiography of a Yogi” is filled with anecdotes and tales of the fantastic and the incredible. A normal person may at times find some of the revelations incredulous, may be even ludicrous but Yogananda didn’t seem to be the kind of man who told tall tales.

In his explanation of Kriya Yoga, Yogananda states:
“Kriya Yoga is a simple, psychophysiological method by which the human blood is decarbonised and recharged with oxygen. The atoms of this extra oxygen are transmuted into life current to rejuvenate the brain and spinal centres.

“By stopping the accumulation of venous blood, the yogi is able to lessen or prevent the decay of tissues; the advanced yogi transmutes his cells into pure energy. Elijah, Jesus, Kabir and other prophets were past masters in the use of Kriya or a similar technique, by which they caused their bodies to dematerialise at will.

“Kriya is an ancient science. Lahiri Mahasaya received it from his guru, Babaji, who rediscovered and clarified the technique after it had been lost in the Dark Ages.

“The Kriya Yoga which I am giving to the world through you in this 19th century,” Babaji told Lahiri Mahasaya, “is a revival of the same science which Krishna gave, millenniums ago, to Arjuna, and which was later known to Patanjali, and to Christ, St John, St Paul, and other disciples.”

Twilight zone
A reader who has a low tolerance for the unimaginable may languish in the twilight zone of ignorance when he reads those words but Yogananda proved the truth of his teachings upon his death.

Twenty days after Yogananda passed away on March 7, 1952 at the age of 59, his body was found to be absent of any signs of decay.

There was “no indication of mold was visible on his skin, and no visible drying up took place in the bodily tissues. This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one…. No odor of decay emanated from his body at any time”.

The statement was contained in a letter from Harry T Rowe, Los Angeles Mortuary director of the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California, where Yogananda’s body was embalmed.

In his lifetime, Yogananda came across some of history’s most famous saints. They included the German Catholic mystic Therese Neumann and Hindu saint Sri Anandamoyi Ma. He also met Mahatma Gandhi and poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore.

“Autobiography of a Yogi” was published in 1946 and has since been translated into 25 languages. Its worldwide sales have exceeded more than a million copies.

In 1999, a panel of inspirational leaders and theologians concluded that Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a Yogi” is “one of the 100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century”.

Through the decades, I have returned to this book on numerous occasions to remind myself that if and when mankind faces its darkest hour, there will always be an inextinguishable light that shines brightly from the realm of eternity to guide ordinary mortals safely across the stormy waters.

Subbaiyah must go to save MIC

A division leader in Penang says the veteran state leader is unpopular and should stand aside but Subbaiyah says he has the support of all in the state.
GEORGE TOWN: Senator PK Subbaiyah must quit as Penang MIC chief if the party is to have any chance of winning even one state seat in the next general election, said a division leader here today.

Bagan MIC division head Henry Benedict Asirvatham said it was time for the party to appoint a more energetic, dynamic, vibrant, considerate and fair leader to helm the Penang chapter.

“If MIC is serious about winning back at least one of the two seats lost in the last election, then the party should replace Subbaiyah with someone far better.

“It must be someone who puts party interests above selfish interests,” the outspoken division leader told FMT.

Under Barisan Nasional electoral arrangement, MIC is being allotted two state seats of Prai under the Batu Kawan parliamentary constituency and Bagan Dalam under the Bagan parliamentary constituency.

Henry also pointed out Subbaiyah’s declining leadership popularity among division and branch leaders and members in Penang.

“Majority leaders and members simply dislike Subbaiyah,” claimed Henry, who faces an internal disciplinary inquiry on June 9 for an alleged misconduct which could see him being suspended from the party.

Subbaiyah’s rebuttal
However, when contacted, Subbaiyah said not a single division leader in Penang had ever voiced displeasure and disapproval to his leadership.

He claims that the cooperation between the state and divisional leaderships was healthy and progressive.

“The state leadership had forged close working ties with all division leaders.

“We are determined and focused in retaining both seats from the DAP.

“Our chances are good indeed,” he told FMT.

Henry on the other hand, claimed that Subbaiyah, who took the state leadership from Nibong Tebal division head Dr K Rajapathy in May 2009, was merely surviving politically due to tacit support from party president G Palanivel.

He insisted that the state leadership under Subbaiyah, a former state Barisan Nasional government executive councillor, would be a liability to MIC prospects to regain a seat in Penang.

“Subbaiyah practices double standards and divide and rule policies. He wants to sweep up all important positions to himself or his cronies,” he claimed.

He pointed out that Subbaiyah’s recent appointment as a senator had irked many local leaders.
Due to his fast fading popularity, Henry said many grassroots leaders and members would stay away from party electoral campaigns.

“The boycott will sabotage MIC internally . . . that’s bad. MIC would have already lost internally before even entering into the election battle,” Henry insisted.

Besides Bagan, other divisions said to be not in favour of Subbaiyah’s leadership are Nibong Tebal, Kepala Batas, Batu Kawan, Bukit Gelugor, Tanjong and Jelutong

Permatang Pauh, headed by Subbaiyah aside, Bukit Mertajam and Tasek Gelugor divisions are learnt to be in favour of the incumbent.

Bukit Bendera, Bayan Baru and Balik Pulau divisions are learnt have taken a middle stand.
Subbaiyah however, claimed that only one among 13 divisions in the state had been against his senatorship.

But, he was willing to listen to any dissenting voices against his leadership from other division leaders.
“I am always open to discussions to resolve any issue. If the division leaders have something against me then I want to know the fault and resolve it amicably,” he said.

Domestic inquiry
Meanwhile, Henry said he was ready to defend himself before the party leadership committee next Thursday.
He was slapped with a show cause letter dated May 18 demanding him to explain on why he criticised Palanivel openly in FMT.

The 50-year-old division leader replied to it with an explanation letter dated May 28.

Henry has claimed that Palanivel was plotting to ‘politically kill’ party deputy president Dr S Subramaniam, the Human Resources Minister.

He was informed to attend the inquiry by disciplinary committee chairman KS Nijhar on June 1.

Insiders said that the disciplinary action could be a dirty tactic to derail Henry’s chances to become the party candidate in Bagan Dalam constituency in next general election.

It’s learnt that MIC has so far short-listed Penang MIC secretary M Karuppanan and youth chief J Dhinagaran as potential candidates for Bagan Dalam, currently held by DAP’s A Tanasekharan.

However Henry is the pick of party grassroots members, especially from mainland, and BN component parties as well.

The party’s shortlisted candidates for Prai are state deputy chairman L Krishnan and Batu Kawan chief R Muthiah.

Fitnah 2: Tangan Kami Terikat

Dari Malaysiakini
Peguam kepada Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hari ini meluahkan keraguannya terhadap peluang mendapatkan pendengaran yang adil, sehari sebelum membela diri dalam perbicaraan kes liwat.

Sankara Nair (kanan) memberitahu AFP bahawa pihak pendakwaaan hanya membenarkan pasukan peguam Anwar mewawancara lima orang sahaja daripada 25 saksi yang dijanjikan.

Mereka masih belum mewawancara Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan isterinya, yang bertemu pengadu Mohamad Saiful Bukhari selepas didakwa diliwat, lapor agensi berita antarabangsa itu.

“Tangan kami terikat ketika mahu memberikan Anwar pembelaan sebaiknya kerana pihak pendakwaan menolak memberikan kami semua saksi yang dijanjikan,” beliau dipetik sebagai berkata.

“Bagaimana Anwar akan mendapat perbicaraan yang adik apabila kami hendak mewawancara saksi pihak pendakwaan pun tidak boleh untuk memutuskan memanggil yang mana,” tambahnya.

Anwar, bapa 63 tahun dengan enam anak didakwa meliwat bekas pembantu berusian 25 tahun di sebuah pangsapuri mewah pada Jun 2008

The fate of Malaysians

By Othman Wahab- The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 5 — Such is the fate of Malaysians that we have to stomach insults and condescension on a daily basis. If it is not Datuk Ibrahim Ali, it is Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein or Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin or Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

At least one of them will insult our intelligence on a daily basis. In a speech to mark the Yang diPertuan Agong’s birthday, the prime minister warned those who caused disunity and stoked the embers of discord that their time is up. His administration would come down hard on them.

Seriously, does he expect us to believe this? Perkasa and Ibrahim and Utusan Malaysia have cornered the market on creating discord in the country and nothing has happened to them.


Surely the PM would agree that publishing and spreading lies of a Christian takeover of the country has to be punished. But his administration did squat even as Ibrahim Ali threatened to undo years of nation building by threatening to ignite his brand of Crusades against Christians.

But the PM and his officials must believe that Malaysians are stupid so he can sound tough and commanding. And just as you thought that you will be spared more gibberish, along comes Muhyiddin, in the same league with Ibrahim Ali.

He declares pompously that PAS is straying from its Islamic principles. How did he reach this earth-shaking conclusion? Because the Islamist party’s elections led to the victory of some so-called moderates over the conservatives and because PAS was willing to work with DAP.

This guy must really believe we are stupid. And therein lies the problem of Umno; they actually believe that we are dumb, brainless.

Firstly, Umno leaders should not lecture PAS on Islam. For that matter, any politician whose party has embraced corruption, racial chauvinism and injustice has forfeited the right to sit on a moral high horse.
Muhyiddin and his Umno colleagues have embraced money politics so wholeheartedly that they have forgotten the beautiful thing called democracy and the power of the vote.

The power of the vote is what pushed Mat Sabu and a few others to the fore. Whether he will be able to do anything for PAS is untested but you can bet that PAS delegates will punish him if he does not walk the talk.

This concept of democracy seems alien to Muhyiddin. If PAS works with DAP and not Umno, it is because the party rank and file want it that way.

I suppose the frightening thing about this is that PAS members are more willing to work with non-Muslims rather than their brethren. Why is this so?

My advice to Najib, Muhyiddin and company is to realise that Malaysians have grown up. You insult our intelligence at your peril.

* Othman Wahab reads The Malaysian Insider.

Same actors, same old script

ImageThe Star
Sharing The Nation By Zainah Anwar

There should be zero tolerance against those who abuse race and religion to promote supremacist thinking and incite hatred.

WHOSE voice should prevail? Those who perpetually see race and religion as being under threat and demand that every person who believes, thinks, behaves, dresses, acts and opines differently should be “fixed” through state-sanctioned operations (such as boot camps or rehabilitation camps), punished under the Internal Security Act, the Sedition Act, the Official Secrets Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Syariah Criminal Offences Act, or just denounced and demonised as enemies and traitors of race, religion and country?

Or those who envision a democratic and just future, where rights are recognised on the basis of citizenship rather than just race, religion, or sex?

The choice is obvious to most of us, the good citizens of Malaysia who love this country and are determined to be resilient, resourceful, and open-minded to face the challenges and realities of the 21st century.

But there are demagogues in our midst who are relentless in their abuse of race and religion to stir up fear and conflict.

For what purpose? To remain in power so that their privileges and entitlements are entombed forever?

Could this escalating rhetoric of racial and religious-based recriminations be a last ditch do-or-die effort to maintain business as usual, never mind the consequences to the nation or even their own party?

Is it because the elections are coming and they remain myopic in their belief that race and religion will win them the battle?

So they endlessly manufacture many more new threats – from the innocuous fun of poco-poco to the relativism of post-modernism, from calling Muslims opposed to Umno and PAS unification as “pengkhianat Islam” (traitors of Islam) to accusing Christians of plotting to turn Malaysia into a Christian state!

Even the outdated “communists under every bed” threat is now being thrown into the cauldron of dangers besieging the Malay community. All this, of course, to add to the existing long list of threats that include pluralism, liberalism, feminism, secularism, kongsi raya, open house, tomboys and yoga.

If this is merely tiresome, one can just laugh it off. Alas, it is not. It is corrosive to the body politic and well-being of the nation. It foreshadows a downhill slide into ethnic and religious conflict. It contributes to the record outflow of capital and talent that the country is suffering now.

It has got to stop!

And yet, for years, a mainstream daily newspaper continues to be the conduit for such inflammatory, unverified, provocative stories with front page banner headlines, giving it authority and legitimacy with seeming support from the powers that be.

The Government cannot talk about 1Malaysia, economic transformation, government transformation, talent recruitment or high income country on the one hand, and on the other legitimises, whether directly or indirectly, the use of race and religion to incite fear for short-term political gain.

It is hard to understand why these same actors are trotting out the same old script that cost the Barisan Nasional government so dearly in 2008. It’s as if nobody has learnt any lessons from that political tsunami.

Since attacking liberal Muslims and ungrateful Chinese did not work in 2008, they have amended the script to add Christians and the so passé communists. Aren’t they creating more enemies instead of making friends?

Ashutosh Varshney, the Indian political scientist based in the United States, spent 10 years examining three pairs of Indian cities, one riot prone and the other peaceful, in confronting the same contentious ethnic issue.

In his seminal work Ethnic Conflict and Civil Life: Hindus and Muslims in India, he establishes three findings significant to Malaysia.

First, the role of the press. In violent cities, instead of investigating rumours, often strategically planted and spread, the press simply printed them with abandon. In studying peaceful Calicut and violent Aligarh over the Babari mosque agitation, he finds Aligarh’s local newspapers printing inflammatory falsehoods, while Calicut’s newspapers neutralised rumours after investigating and finding them unfounded.

When I was a journalist 20 years ago, my editors would not print any news – and certainly not on the front page – with alarming headlines without authoritative verification. Now some mainstream newspapers act just like irresponsible bloggers who turn rumours into instant fact, intentionally to damage reputations and serve partisan interests.

Second, Varshney finds that whether violence or peace prevails depends on the role politicians play in polarising citizens along ethnic lines. Politicians who seek to polarise Hindus and Muslims for the sake of electoral advantage can tear at the fabric of everyday engagement among citizens.

He finds that conflict erupts into violence when organised gangs are not just involved, but are also protected by politicians, thus escaping prosecution under the law for their criminal actions.

Third, and most importantly, he finds that trust built on inter-ethnic social and civic ties is critical for peace. Inter-ethnic associations in cities, such as trade unions, business associations, teachers, lawyers, doctors, non-governmental organisations and some cadre-based political parties, are decisive in preventing violence because they build bridges and manage tensions in times of ethnic conflict.

Varshney finds that a synergy emerges between communally integrated civic organisations and local arms of government. This leads to better monitoring and preventive action as these relationships nip rumours, small clashes and tensions in the bud. In the end, polarising politicians either do not succeed or eventually give up trying to provoke and engineer communal violence.

The lessons for us are clear. The sources of threat to our society and the sources of strength for bridge-building in our multi-ethnic society are clear for all to see. Thank God, again and again, many fair-minded Malaysian citizens have not risen up to bite the bait thrown out by the demagogues.

The point is our diversity, our pluralism, had always been our strength. We have a proud and long history of the races and religions living and working together. Malaysia was truly Asia. Now this rings hollow, meant only to trot out in tourism campaigns. Why is our pluralism now a threat? On what basis? Where’s the evidence? Who benefits from such a projection of threat?

What makes it mind-boggling is why these supremacist groups are given so much face and space? Think of the number of meetings held by those searching for solutions to ethnic, religious and regional conflicts that have been stormed by these “thugs”? Those of us meeting peacefully indoors, sharing our concerns and exploring possible solutions were the ones forced to abandon our meetings because they posed “a threat to public order”!

It is high time the Government unequivocally adopt a zero-tolerance policy against such agent provocateurs who abuse race and religion to promote supremacist thinking and incite hatred.

Our leaders must seriously come to grips with our new political realities and work harder to bring the message of change to its grassroots leaders. Some others do not even feel they need to be protected – by anyone. They feel 40 years of affirmative action are enough for them to stand on their own two feet and compete on their own strength and merit. What they want now is just simple good governance to enable them to thrive and for everyone to be given a fair chance to reach their full potential.

I wish these demagogues would spend their time and energy finding real solutions to real threats. For a start, how about chewing on the fact that a Merdeka Center survey found that 70% of Malays feel that the main threat to the Malay political position in the country is corruption among Malay leaders. Not the Chinese, Christians, communists, liberalism, pluralism, feminism, post-modernism, poco-poco, or yoga.

Can we please not waste any more time and emotion on imagined enemies and threats before we reach a point of no return? I know problems exist. But can we please search for solutions through rational dialogue and mutual respect, using verifiable facts, data and analysis instead of inflammatory pronouncements and conspiracy theories?

Three Students Among Five Detained For Motorcycle Theft

ALOR SETAR, June 5 (Bernama) -- Three students were among five suspects detained for their involvement in motorcycle thefts and house break ins around Alor Setar since January.

The first suspect, a 14-year-old student was detained by police at 3.15pm on May 26, after members of the public caught him trying to stealing a motorcycle in Anak Bukit.

Kota Setar police chief ACP Adzaman Mohd Jan said the arrest of the suspect led police to detain his four other accomplice who were aged between 13 and 19.

"We recovered four vandalized motorcycles, two Honda C70 and another two Honda EX5. We also found an EX5 motorcycle engine during the arrest," he told reporters here Sunday.

Adzaman said the vandalized motorcycles were found in the bushes behind the suspects' house while another was found in a canal at Anak Bukit.

In an unrelated case, Adzaman said on May 17, police had also detained a 26-year-old suspect, believed to have been involved in more than 21 robberies in and around Kota Setar.

"Goods stolen by the suspect were believed to have been sold to drug addicts and pawn shops in Alor Setar, Butterworth, Seberang Jaya (Penang) and Shah Alam, Selangor," he said.

Following his arrest, police have also detained four suspects, two men and two women, aged between 20 and 40, who have acted as middlemen or buyers of the stolen goods, he said.

"The suspect is a drug addict and has seven previous criminal records for drug related offences, motorcycle theft and house break ins," he said.