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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Never ending search for the missing


They came in their hundreds in search of their loved ones. Almost all returned empty handed.
 
Nearly two thousand Tamils have visited the police in the northern Sri Lankan town of Vavunia over the last ten days to find details of those missing during the war and since the military declaring it's victory over Tamil Tigers more than two years ago.

Ten days ago Sri Lankan police announced they will release information about those held by the police to relatives.

Police spokesperson SP Prishantha Jayakody told BBC Sandeshaya that the information will not be made available to "any body other than the close relatives".

Three centres established in the north, south and the capital Colombo will provide details of those held by the police Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), he said.

Only one man out of thousands who went to the centre in Vavunia was told where his son is. As soon as he was told that the detainee is held hundreds of miles away in the southern town of Galle, he rushed to board the first available train out of town.

Due to the large number of relatives approaching the Vavunia centre, police only meet 200 people each day.

Journalists barred by the police were only able to talk to desperate and tearful relatives by the wayside.

Those who were unable to gather information of their missing relatives were desperate.

"My 26 year old son Pradeep was taken by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) when he went to Colombo to get his passport. That's all we know," Mylu Shanmugathas from Tellipalai told the BBC after his search since 2008 drew a blank once again.

Mr. Shanmugathas has been to police stations, military camps and human rights offices in search of his son.

Some were looking for their sole breadwinner.

"There is no one to provide me. Who will look after me or care if I fall ill?" cried a frail looking Tamil woman who said that her son had gone missing since been taken by the police in 2007.

The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in place since 1979 gives the authorities power to hold detainees for 90 days incommunicado.

The defence secretary is the sole authority to renew or revoke a Detention Order (DO) under the PTA.

Brother of the president Gotabhaya Rajapaksa currently holds the position.
United Nations, European Commission and India alongside human rights organisations have called for the repeal of teh PTA.

TID officials in Vavunia say that they are unable to provide details of the 'dissapeared'.
The Committee for the Investigation (CID) in Sri Lanka say that they have recorded details of over five thousand dissapearances that took place since 2006.

Relatives in Vavunia keep coming to the TID information centre daily with gradually diminishing hope.
Leading the Sri Lankan delegation Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa told the UN Human Rights Commission in early July that over five thousand suspected Tamil Tigers are held in what he called rehabilitation centres.
 

Three killed, nine wounded when Shia minoritites were gunned down in Pakistan.

The shooting happened in Akhtarabad, on the outskirts of Quetta–Photo by AP 
Gunman kills Shia pilgrims in bus attack: police
QUETTA:AFP news in DAWN: A gunman opened fire on a bus carrying Shia Muslim pilgrims in southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing three people and wounding nine others, police said.
The shooting happened in Akhtarabad, on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas-rich Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.
“At least three people were killed and nine others were wounded when one of the four gunmen riding two motorbikes opened fire on a bus carrying Shia pilgrims to Iran,” senior local police official Farid Breach told AFP.
He said it appeared to have been a sectarian attack but that the shooting was under investigation.
Local intelligence officials also confirmed the incident and casualties.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Baluchistan is rife with militancy, sectarian violence between majority Sunni and minority Shia Muslims and a regional insurgency waged by separatists.

Dr M blames press for worsening race relations

Dr Mahathir says race relations today are not as good as when he was prime minister. — File pic
 
KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad blamed press freedom today for poor race relations which, he claimed, had worsened since he stepped down as prime minister in 2003. He said that this was because press freedom has allowed racial and religious tension to ferment in Malaysia.

“Those days we didn’t talk so much about race, showing disrespect to others. Today we talk about race and religion, putting a wedge between the different races.

“Race relations today are not as good as when ‘a dictator of 22 years’ was leading the country,” the former prime minister told a forum of chief executives today. MORE TO COME

SMS death threat against Ambiga making its rounds


(Malaysiakini) Several journalists and some members of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih) have received an SMS threat late last night and early this morning.

The SMS from the number 601119732179 was sent containing a death threat against Bersih chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan as well as leaders of PAS and PKR who may participate in the proposed July 9 rally for electoral reforms.

Ambiga, when contacted by Malaysiakini, confirmed that she had received a similar SMS.

"Yes, I have received it and will make a police report," she said.

ngo pro selangor government rally 230111 ambigaThe SMS in Bahasa Malaysia says: "Korg ni buta hati ke?? buat apa sokong ambiga keling paria haramjadah tu? dia ni kapir laknat. korang tau tak dia ni jadi alat anjing2 politik untuk musnahkan keutuhan melayu. dia kata je nak BERSIH kan SPR. bersih kepala bapak dia.

“puak2 PAS n PKR pun buta tuli n pekak badak.. kalau SPR tak bersih, boleh ke diorang menang kat Sgor, Kedah, Penang, Kelantan n perak dulu? DAP cina sial tu pulak lagi haram jahanam. dia tengok je melayu bertekak. hujung2 dia perintah negara ni dan kristiankan kita semua. aku nak kasi amaran kat korang semua.

“kalau perhimpunan ni jadi, aku dan org2 aku akan bunuh ambiga dan korang2 keliling dia satu persatu, termasuklah orang2 politik bangang yg bersekongkol ngan kafir laknat tu.. ini amaran aku. Korang tengokla nanti."
(Don't you have any sense? Why should you support that pariah keling haramjadah Ambiga? She is a scorned infidel. Don't you know that she is a tool of those political dogs who are out to destroy the Malays. She claims she wants to clean up the Election Commission. Clean up her father's head.

These PAS and PKR lots are deaf, dumb, blind and illiterate. If the EC is not clean then how did they win Selangor, Kedah, Penang, Kelantan and Perak? The damned Chinese DAP are even more despicable. They just watch the Malays go at each other's throats. In the end, they will rule the country and Christianise all of us.

I am warning you. If this rally takes place, my people and I will kill Ambiga and you kelings one by one, including these stupid politicians who are hand-in-hand with this scorned infidel... this is my warning. You watch.)
Yet to be told about Bukit Aman meeting
NONELast Sunday, Malay rights pressure group Perkasa had torched and stomped on pictures of Ambiga at a rally, calling her a "Hindu woman".
Meanwhile, Ambiga said that she had yet to receive any notice to go to the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman.

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has yesterday announced that Bersih had been summoned to go Bukit Aman over its plan to hold the July 9 rally.

Two other groups - Perkasa and Umno Youth - which vowed to hold counter-rallies have also been summoned.

Mutual agreement for Samy Vellu-MIED case

All parties reached out-of-court settlement and wished to withdraw the suit.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here struck off the case brought by former MIC deputy president S Subramaniam and two others against Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) chairman S Samy Vellu and its trustees.

Judge Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof was informed by T Rajasekaran, representing the three plaintiffs, that all parties had reached an out-of-court settlement and wished to withdraw the suit.

Defence counsel Intan Azlina Mazlan confirmed the case had been resolved out of court on May 20.
The court struck out the suit without liberty to file a fresh civil action and made no order on costs.

A High Court interim injunction preventing MIED from admitting new members
until the suit was settled, dated April 18, was also set aside.

Subramaniam and the two other plaintiffs, former MIC Youth chief S Vigneswaran and Kedah MIC deputy chairman S Ganesan had filed the injunction on March 1 against Samy Vellu and nine others, preventing them from increasing MIED’s membership pending the MIED’s board of trustees meeting onMarch 7 this year.

On March 1, the trio had submitted a requisition to MIED’s company secretary to call for the EGM to remove Samy Vellu and T Marimuthu, who werethe signatories of MIED cheques following huge losses suffered by the MIC-owned education institution.

- Bernama

Federal scholarships for undergrads, not SPM top scorers from 2012

PETALING JAYA, June 23 — The Najib administration has decided to only give Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships to university entrants instead of SPM top scorers from 2012 to avoid the distress they have caused in past years.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak however said those who do well in the Form Five SPM examination will receive small bursaries instead to pursue their foundation studies.

“Scholarships will be reserved if you are able to get very good results (at foundation) and (a) place at top universities,” said Najib (picture) in an interview with the Chinese-language One FM radio station today.

“Giving out scholarships at SPM level is not a good idea... Just because you do well at O-levels doesn’t mean you’ll do well at A-levels,” he added.

Putrajaya gives out 1,500 scholarships annually and has asked government-linked companies to also offer money for top scorers.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek had said last week public examinations are too easy, leading to a high number of top scorers seeking scholarships.

Asked which universities were deemed “top” institutions, Najib said they would be identified in due course.

The PM also stressed that not all top students will be given overseas scholarships.

“Our universities here need top students as well. Here, we complain our universities are not ranked highly in terms of the world ranking,” he said.

“At the same time we insist on sending our top students abroad. It is a contradiction in terms of what we want to achieve,” he added.

The ranking of public institutions in Malaysia has dived through the years to the point of dropping out of the top 200 universities in the QS World University Rankings last year.

Six out of seven Malaysian universities, however, improved their ranking on the QS Asian University Rankings this year, with Universiti Malaya climbing three spots to 39th, although no Malaysian university entered the top 10 ranks.

Despite Putrajaya handing out 500 special local scholarships recently on top of the 12,000 PSD grants it gives out annually, many top scorers were still disappointed they did not receive government funding to study overseas.

The main bone of contention in the annual allocation of PSD scholarships centres around the 1,500 overseas grants, of which only 20 per cent are decided based on merit.

Nine hundred are given out based on racial quotas, with Sabah and Sarawak natives getting 75 grants each and the remaining 10 per cent to special needs students.

Kedah Pas Drops Mahfuz Omar And Taib Azzamuddin In State Line-up

ALOR SETAR, June 20 (Bernama) -- PAS vice president, Datuk Mahfuz Omar and the Member of Parliament for Baling, Datuk Taib Azamudden Md Taib have been dropped from their positions as Kedah PAS deputy commissioners II and III for the term 2011/2013.

The decision to drop them was made at the special meeting of the PAS State Liaison Body at the Kedah PAS Complex at Batu 9, Kota Sarang Semut, near here last night.

The Menteri Besar who is also Kedah PAS commissioner, Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak said they were replaced by the State Exco for Health, Dr Ismail Salleh and the former State Assemblyman for Belantek, Md Isa Shafie.

The State Exco for Housing and Local Government, Datuk Ir Phahrolrazi Zawawi was retained as deputy commissioner I while the posts of secretary, treasurer, information chief and state director of election had also been filled with new appointees.

The special officer (Information) to the Menteri Besar, Musoddak Ahmad, was appointed secretary, State Exco for Agriculture Datuk Ir Amiruddin Hamzah (treasurer), and former Kedah PAS secretary, Senator Yusuf Husain (state director of election).

Musoddak took over the post of state PAS secretary from Senator Yusuf who had been appointed Kedah PAS director of elections while Ir Amiruddin replaced State Exco for Religion and Education, Datuk Taulan Mat Rasul.

According to Azizan, the post of information chief, which was previously held by Ir Amiruddin was handed over to his Political Secretary, Mohamad Sanusi Md Nor while the post of assistant secretary went to a Committee Member of the Kedah PAS Youth movement, Aizat Zakaria.

'Nepal's Stolen Children'

Anwar jangka Trio Umno hanya kena tindakan minimum

Amnesty International condemns Turkey over gay rights record

A man protests Turkish government policy against Turkish gays in Istanbul's Istiklal avenue. (File Photo)By ALEXANDRA HUDSON
REUTERS ISTABUL


Gay, bisexual and transgender Turks face widespread discrimination and homophobia, often suffering beatings by the police which leave them too frightened to report hate crimes, Amnesty International said in a report.

The rights group urged Turkey’s new government to draw up laws preventing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and to punish perpetrators of homophobic attacks.

The report comes ahead of the annual gay pride march in Istanbul on Sunday, June 26.

Local gay rights associations say 16 people were murdered in Turkey last year over their perceived sexual orientation, and violence is routine. Transgender women, who often have no other option but to work as prostitutes, are particularly threatened.
A survey of 104 transgender women by Turkish gay rights group Lambda Istanbul found 89 percent said they had experienced physical violence during police detention.

Amnesty said comments by government officials in Turkey, a majority Muslim country which aspires to join the European Union, had encouraged homophobia.

Aliye Kavaf, a Turkish minister of state for women and family affairs, said in 2010: “I believe homosexuality is a biological disorder, an illness and should be treated.”

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party, which grew out of a banned Islamist movement and has a socially conservative ethos, has governed Turkey since 2002.

The party won almost 50 percent of the vote in an election on June 12, and has vowed to rewrite the constitution, the legacy of military rule in the early eighties.

“It is the responsibility of all the parties in the parliament to ensure that any new constitutional settlement in Turkey outlaws discrimination on grounds of sexuality or gender identity,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher.

Turkey offers more liberty to homosexuals than other Muslim countries, while discrimination and prejudice is also rife in European countries, particularly Russia or the Balkan states.

Turkish law has never criminalized homosexuality or required a higher age of consent for same sex couples. In nearly all Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa by contrast consensual homosexual relations are banned, although the degree of enforcement varies.

But the report details cases in Turkey of individuals subjected to police brutality, discrimination and violence at the hands of family members, or dismissed when they seek help.

In 2008 an openly gay man was shot dead outside his house in what is believed to have been an honor killing by his family. Prior to his death, the man had complained to police and asked for protection but officials never investigated his complaint.

Gay men also suffer discrimination within the armed forces. Military service is compulsory for all Turkish men aged between 18 to 40. They may be exempted, however, on the grounds that their sexual orientation constitutes a “psychosexual disorder.”

When asked for proof of their sexuality, gay men are often subjected to humiliating physical examinations or must supply photos of themselves engaged in gay sex.

80 hari ditangkap tanpa penjelasan

Najib says 1 Malaysia more than just rhetoric

Najib said today that the 1 Malaysia concept will help improve the lives of the public through several initiatives. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — Two years after coming to office with his 1 Malaysia concept, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that the slogan was more than empty rhetoric but a policy that will improve the lives of the public.


He said the 1 Malaysia concept promises to prioritise the people with improvements in public service delivery and economic reforms.

“1 Malaysia is also products and services which will lighten the burden of the people and improve their quality of life,” the prime minister said at the launch of the pioneer Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia (KR1M) thrift store at the Kelana Jaya LRT station today.

He said that this included other initiatives such as the Klinik Rakyat 1 Malaysia which provided affordable healthcare for all Malaysians.

The KR1M, mooted by the government but operated by local retail giants Mydin, promises essential goods at up to 50 per cent discount, in hopes of countering surging inflation.

According to Mydin, the pilot store will sell 1 Malaysia-branded goods such as rice, milk and diapers without profit-motivation.

The move comes as Putrajaya was forced to make cuts to a subsidy bill that would otherwise have doubled to RM21 billion this year while it grapples with inflation that hit a two-year high of three per cent in March and continued climbing to 3.3 per cent last month.

If successful, the store will spawn more outlets in other rail stations that cater to lower income commuters, Mydin managing director Datuk Ameer Ali told reporters earlier this week.

“The cost of promotion usually adds 25 to 30 per cent to the price tag. With the 1 Malaysia brand, it is the PM himself who is providing the promotion,” he said.

Basic household goods such as sweetened creamer are being sold at KR1M at RM1.95 instead of RM2.80, and diapers at RM20.50 instead of over RM40 as found in Mydin stores.

Najib added that KR1M was an example of public-private partnerships that would help the poor and low-income group.

The prime minister is expected to call a general election within the year but recent hikes to fuel, electricity and sugar prices have sparked public anger, leading to protests from groups such as fishermen, whose recent strike caused a spike in seafood prices.

The government has repeatedly explained that it must cut subsidies to ensure that the budget deficit, which hit a two-decade high of seven per cent in 2009, is reined in to a projected 5.4 per cent this year.

‘Umno outsourcing racism to Perkasa’

An opposition leader claims that Umno is the hidden hand behind Perkasa, which has been tasked with raising racial issues.

TAIPING: Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) alleged that Umno, after coming under pressure from its Barisan Nasional component parties, has outsourced its racist agenda to Perkasa.

PSM leader and Sungai Siput MP Dr D Jeyakumar recalled how former Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein once held and kissed the keris, uttering seditious words against the Chinese community.

Jeyakumar said this did not go down well with the non-Malays, and many turned their backs on BN.
“Now Umno is outsourcing this kind of racist posturing to Perkasa which is totally outside the party to hoodwink the people into believing that Umno is a changed, moderate party,” he told FMT.

“Umno is being double-faced in using racism and religion on one hand through Perkasa to get the support of the Malay community while (Prime Minister) Najib (Tun Razak) on the other hand is singing the 1Malaysia unity song to the non-Malays to get their support.

“The policy of using a balance of racism and religion and talks of unity is to make the people hostage to the status quo of power. But this will backfire on BN in the next polls,” he added.

Worried about Bersih rally

Jeyakumar said Umno’s claim to be the saviour of the Malay community for the past 50 years does not hold water after the 2008 general election as the race has woken up to the reality that they are not on equal economic footing like the Umno cronies.

He said the Malay community no longer subscribes to Umno’s political propaganda of divide and rule as the economic rift between the Umno cronies and the community continues to widen.

The PSM leader reasoned that the silence adopted by Umno with regard to Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali reveals the party’s tacit support for the hardcore Malay movement.

Ibrahim recently said that he will lead a counter rally against election reforms group Bersih 2.0′s planned rally on July 9 and Perkasa should not be blamed for any untoward incidents.

Jeyakumar claimed that Umno is worried about the Bersih rally, and are using fear tactics to discourage people from lending support.

Cops to quiz rally organisers, permits denied

The home minister says Bersih, Perkasa and Umno Youth seem set on wanting to hold their respective rallies even without police permits.

KUALA LUMPUR: Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein today said that the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters will contact Perkasa, Umno Youth and Bersih 2.0 regarding their July 9 rallies.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament, he said the police will act because the groups seem set on holding their rallies despite permits not being issued.

“They will be called today, but we do not know if they will come today,” he said.

“We will also speak with Bersih and ask them what is their actual purpose – justice in the context of democracy, or whether they will link it to other issues with political, racial or religious overtones,” he added.

The minister stressed that his priority was the safety of the people and the safeguarding of peace.
“All three will not be granted permits to gather on that date. I am saying categorically that all three of them will not get it,” he said.

The July 9 Bersih rally is aimed at pushing for free and fair elections.

Perkasa, however, has organised an anti-Bersih march, to be participated by 36 different NGOs, to take place on the same date. Umno Youth too is planning for a rally in the same day, to show support to the Election Commission.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin appeared unfazed by Hishammuddin’s warning.
“He can warn us all he wants. We have a right to assemble as guaranteed by the constitution,” he said, adding that if summoned, he would go to Bukit Aman.

PKR MPs question closure of PI Bala’s case

Two PKR leaders question the government's motives for closing the private investigator's case, regarding slain Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR leaders today questioned the government’s motive in closing the case involving private investigator P Balasubramaniam.

Batu MP Tian Chua and Subang MP R Sivarasa said the government’s reasons for closing the case, as provided in a written parliamentary response yesterday, was unacceptable.

Balasubramaniam had linked Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in a statutory declaration (SD) made in October 2008.

The next day, he retracted the SD by making another SD, which denied the contents of the first.
In October 2009, Balasubramaniam emerged from hiding, and stood by his SD implicating Najib, claiming that he was offered money to retract the document.

Chua had asked a question in Parliament on Monday regarding the failure of the deputy public prosecutor to act on Balasubramaniam’s case.

In a written response, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said the case against Balasubramaniam was closed because both his statuary declarations did not have “any impact on the Altantuya trial”.

However, Chua disagreed.

“We don’t know if either one of his statements would have had an impact on the trial. The minister cannot make his own conclusions on judicial matters,” he said today.

Chua also questioned the motive of the government in handling the matter, saying that if one of Balasubramaniam’s contradictory statements were found to be false, then that should be used as a basis to file a case against the private investigator, regardless of the impact it had on the Altantuya case.

‘Nazri wrong on Section 199′

The reasons provided by Nazri as to why Balasubramaniam cannot be prosecuted also drew criticism.
Nazri had stated that according to Section 199 of the Penal Code, action can only be taken against providing false statements if they were made with the intention of using it for court proceedings.
He added that the private investigator’s statutory declarations were not made for any court proceedings, so action cannot be taken against him.
Sivarasa took issue with this, arguing that Section 199 does not explicitly state that a statement must be made with the intention of using it in court.
“You don’t need to say that ‘I am making this statement to be used in court,” the lawyer-turned-politician told FMT later.
“There are two elements to Section 199. One, the person makes a false statement and the person making the statement knows it is false.
“Second, that (false) statement can be received as evidence by a court. Of course, (Balasubramaniam’s statements) can be received (in court),” he added.
Asked why the issue was brought up now, Sivarasa said: “Because we have just received the written answer (from Nazri).”
“We are just trying to show that the government’s answer is unacceptable. They are basically trying to avoid the issue. They dare not charge Balasubramaniam for making false statements,” he added.

Perkasa pertikai sikap berat sebelah Majlis Peguam

Utusan Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR 21 Jun - Tindakan Majlis Peguam mengecam tindakan penyokong Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) memijak dan membakar gambar Pengerusi Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih), Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan membuktikan majlis itu mengamalkan sikap berat sebelah.

Setiausaha Agung Perkasa, Syed Hassan Syed Ali berkata, majlis tersebut sebelum ini tidak pernah mengkritik atau mengecam tindakan beberapa pihak yang melakukan perkara sama ke atas gambar Sasterawan Negara, Datuk Abdullah Hussain berhubung isu Interlok.

"Menurut kenyataan Presiden Majlis Peguam, Lim Chee Wee, apa yang dilakukan penyokong Perkasa itu merupakan satu tindakan yang langsung tidak menggambarkan sifat rakyat Malaysia yang kaya dengan nilai ketimuran.

"Perkasa nak tanya Chee Wee, mengapa bila ada pihak membakar gambar Sasterawan Negara (Abdullah), Majlis Peguam tidak pernah kritik atau kecam mereka?

"Mengapa bila bakar gambar orang Melayu, Majlis Peguam diam seribu bahasa?" katanya dalam satu kenyataan kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Mengenai gesaan Chee Wee supaya Presiden Perkasa, Datuk Ibrahim Ali dikenakan tindakan di bawah Akta Hasutan kerana mengeluarkan kenyataan berbaur ugutan berhubung perhimpunan haram Bersih 9 Julai ini, Syed Hassan berkata, ia adalah hak Presiden Majlis Peguam itu untuk melahirkan rasa bimbang.

"Perkasa sedar Chee Wee merujuk kenyataan Ibrahim di portal berita propembangkang yang tidak tepat.

"Tetapi, Perkasa juga mahu Chee Wee meminta kerajaan mengambil tindakan sama ke atas Ambiga kerana menghasut rakyat berhimpun di jalan raya.

"Bukankah Chee Wee tahu Bersih tidak mendapat permit dan Chee Wee juga tahu Ambiga terus menghasut rakyat turun ke jalan raya," soalnya.

Ujar Syed Hassan, apa yang dilakukan Ambiga itu adalah satu kesalahan hasutan dan ia juga melanggar undang-undang negara.

"Jadi, mengapa hanya menyalahkan Ibrahim seorang? Apakah Majlis Peguam memilih bulu? Dan, apakah Majlis Peguam merupakan pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) yang memihak kepada sebelah pihak sahaja?," soalnya.

Large-Scale Exercise To Register Immigrants From July 11

KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 (Bernama) -- The government will embark on a large-scale registration beginning July 11 to record the number of foreign workers and illegal immigrants in the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the process, which is included in the comprehensive programme to resolve the issue on illegal immigrants or the 6P Programme, would be implemented through a registration exercise which included the recruitment of all illegal immigrants using the biometric system.

The programme aimed to gather data on illegal immigrants in the country such as their work place, their employers, salary and several other information which would hopefully help in reducing social issues and crime which were frequently linked to this group.

"We want the exercise to help the government in updating the record on foreign workers and at the same time reduce the number of such workers in the country," he said at a press conference at Parliament House today after chairing a special meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers and Illegal Immigrants.

The 6P Programme comprises an action plan involving illegal immigrants namely 'pendaftaran' (registration), 'pemutihan' (legalisation), 'pengampunan' (amnesty), 'pemantauan' (monitoring), 'penguatkuasaan' (enforcement) and 'pengusiran' (deportation).

The Deputy Prime Minister said the registration programme was open to all immigrants in the country including those who came illegally using the social visit pass.

"Legal action will not be taken against those who had come to the country illegally," he said.

Muhyiddin said in order to ensure the smooth implementation of the process, the government would appoint companies which were experienced in managing registration including meeting employers and registering foreign workers employed by these companies.

"For this purpose, we urge the employers to be actively involved (in taking out and registering their workers) because under this amnesty programme, no legal action will be taken against them.

"The government also seeks the cooperation of the state governments through the existing security committees nationwide as well as the village security committees to assist in this matter because they have better knowledge on the whereabouts of these illegal workers," he said.

Muhyiddin said the registration process was also aimed at identifying the manpower needs of certain industries and sectors in the country, and in this regard, the government has directed all ministries heading the plantation, manufacturing, construction, and the service sectors as well as sub-sectors under them, to gather the facts on the strength of manpower required so that their requirement could be met after the completion of the registration exercise.

However, he said, all the manpower requirement and job vacancies in all sectors under any ministry would be advertised to be filled by Malaysian nationals first and would only be offered to the immigrants if there were vacancies.

"That is an exercise which the government must undertake to inform Malaysians that there are job opportunities available and that they should be given preference over the foreign workers," he said.

Muhyiddin said all exercises under the 6P Programme would be completed by the end of the year.