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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Muhyiddin insists Bersih political, threat to security

Muhyiddin said BN sees a trick weaved into the Bersih rally. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has deemed the July 9 Bersih rally as politically-motivated and a threat to national security as well as the country’s reputation.

Apart from calling in the organisers for questioning next week, police also insist they will not issue permits for at least three rallies planned on the day.

“As far as the government is concerned, we have made a decision and we think that the assembly is illegal and if the purpose is to send out a message that there are disagreements, that there are suggestions that they want to make about the rules of elections to the SPR (Election Commission), there are process and procedures for that.

“Because of that, we think the rationale given by Bersih to have the rally is not relevant. That’s why we say this rally is politically-motivated,” the deputy prime minister told reporters after touring the booths at the GLC Open Day here at the KL Convention Centre.

Riot police fire tear gas at Bersih rally attendees, November 10, 2007. — Reuters pic
Election watchdog Bersih 2.0 is planning a massive rally on the day in Kuala Lumpur to push for electoral reforms, with PAS aiming to galvanise all one million of its members to take part in the assembly.

Umno Youth and right-wing group Perkasa have also promised to carry out separate rallies to rival Bersih’s.
Today, Muhyiddin defended the counter rallies and said it was “normal” to have counter groups to any movement.

“Whether it is right or wrong, that is up to our interpretations, but we see this as something that can erupt situations that will not benefit the country, that will ruin the country’s image internationally, in the context of our hard work to develop the nation, attract investors, build our image globally as a peaceful and developed country,” he said.

Muhyiddin acknowledged Umno Youth’s pledge to rally but reiterated the prime minister’s remarks that the authorities have the right to take actions against anyone who participates in the assembly that is deemed illegal.

Police have repeatedly warned they will treat the rallies as illegal assemblies.

“So we leave it to the wisdom of the Umno Youth and Barisan Nasional leaders to decide on whether that is the right move or what is the right action they should take,” he said.

Muhyiddin then claimed news coverage of the rally, if it proceeds, will be used to falsely depict Malaysia as being in a state of unrest.

A man attempts to flee a water cannon, November 10, 2007. — Reuters pic
“We in Malaysia know that after decades, that is not our culture. So I know their trick. We are not stupid, we are also experts in politics and understand their bad intentions.

“So this has bad intentions. They did it on purpose so the people will be in fear and there will be eruption of unwanted incidents and internationally, Malaysia will be seen as a country that is unsafe, tourists will stop coming, investors will not invest because of the unrest, that is their intention,” he said.

The first Bersih rally in 2007 saw up to 50,000 people take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur before they were dispersed by police armed with tear gas and water cannons.

The demonstration has been partly credited for Pakatan Rakyat’s record gains in Election 2008, where the opposition pact swept to power in five states and won 82 parliamentary seats.

‘Let’s retire BN’ campaign by PSM kicks off

Party embarks on nationwide tour to create awareness among citizens' of democratic rights and the pitfalls of returning BN to power

IPOH: Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), with a pithy slogan, ‘Udahlah tu…Bersaralah’ (Enough already – retire now), has embarked on nationwide campaign to remind Malaysians of the pitfalls of returning Barisan Nasional to power in the 13th General Election.

The party said it’s time for BN to ‘retire’ from politics as it is already 54 years old politically and has done little to uplift the socio- economic status of  the majority of Malaysians .

It kicked off its three-day national campaign tour yesterday in Ipoh with its leaders leaving in two chartered buses yesterday – one from Ipoh to the northern region up to Perlis and the from Johor heading for Kuala Lumpur.

They will hold ceramahs at major towns enroute to create awareness among Malaysians of their democratic rights as citizens and the  pitfalls of returning BN to power.

PSM leader Dr D Jeyakumar said the BN has diverted from its original path of serving  and uniting all Malaysians and is engaged in a divide and rule policy by playing on race and religion.

Jeyakumar said there was economic development for the people during Tun Abdul Razak’s term but now only the elite in BN are enjoying the economic cake of the country.

Jeyakumar who is also Sungai Siput MP said that most Malaysians will suffer economically and financially if BN is returned to power.

Weakened workforce

He outlined the contributing factors to the gloomy financial outlook for the nation:
  • BN will implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which will affect those in the lower and middle income groups. The initial rate of GST is 5 % now but this percentage will go up as in the case of Singapore which started with 3 %, but now the figure has jumped to 7%.
  • BN will privatise all hospitals, thus pushing up health costs in its efforts to promote health tourism among foreigners.
  • BN will also privatise education that will make it difficult for most Malaysians to send their children for further education locally.
  • Labour laws will be amended to weaken the bargaining power of the workforce by making local companies not answerable to labour disputes or problems.
This will be done by outsourcing their businesses to  contractors who will be made the fall-guys for any labour problems arising.
  • BN will sign the Foreign Trade Agreements (FTA) with Europe and USA and the cost of consumer goods like medication for  life-threatening diseases like AIDs and cancer will rise beyond the reach of most Malaysians.
Tags: PSM, D Jeyakumar, Barisan Nasional, 13th General Election,
Labour law, Foreign Trade Agreements, GST

Sonia Gandhi stands up for endangered Andaman tribe

Jarawa woman returning to her forest after
gathering food on the edges of the Jarawa
reserve. © Survival
Sonia Gandhi, President of India's ruling Congress party, has strongly backed the right of the isolated Jarawa tribe not to be forced into the 'mainstream'.

Mrs Gandhi, named by Forbes magazine last year as the 9th most powerful person on the planet, was speaking at a meeting of India’s National Advisory Council (NAC), which advises the government on social issues.

Mrs Gandhi, who chairs the council, is said to have been following the Jarawa’s plight for many years. The Jarawa live on India’s Andaman Islands, in the Indian Ocean.

The Hindu newspaper has reported that the NAC told the Ministry of Tribal Affairs it must consult with the Jarawa before drafting any policy on their future.

Two Jarawa girls in clothes given to them by
outsiders. Encroachment onto their land risks
exposing the Jarawa to diseases to which they
have no immunity. © Survival
The meeting of India's powerful think tank came on the same day that Survival International called for tourists to boycott the road which cuts through the Jarawa's forest. Tourists are treating the Jarawa like animals in a safari park.

Survival’s Director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘It’s heartening to know that members of the National Advisory Council understand that it’s vital for the Jarawa to be allowed to choose their own way of life and determine their own future. Attempts to force tribal people into the mainstream are always disastrous. However, the first step is for the Jarawa to regain control of their land – the decision to close the road cutting through it must be upheld.’

To read this story online:

Memo to Bkt Aman of 5 missing youths

Muslims Surround Church in Upper Egypt, Threaten to Kill Priest

(AINA) -- Hundreds of Muslims surrounded the church of St George today in the village of Beni Ahmed West, 7 KM south of Minya, vowing to kill its priest Father George Thabet, who was serving the morning mass and was locked in the church with a number of parishioners. Security forces arrived five hours later and escorted Father George in a police car to the Coptic Diocese in Minya. "Father George looked as if he was the criminal, leaving his church in a police car." said one of the eye-witnesses. The Coptic youth who were attending mass remained inside church to defend it from Muslim attacks.

Eyewitnesses reported the Muslim mob, in their white dresses and long beards, chanted "We will kill the priest, we will kill him and no one will prevent us." One of their leaders said that they will "…cut him to pieces."

It was reported that no police or security of any kind was present during the events.

The attacks on St. George Church trace back to March 23, 2011, when Muslims had surrounded the 100-year old church, which held a renovation license, and ordered the church officials to stop construction immediately and undo what they had completed, otherwise they would demolish the church after Friday prayers. They had placed several demands on the church authorities, including the banning of Father George Thabet from Beni Ahmad village and gave him a time limit of 35 days, later extended to 50 days, to leave the village with his family. Muslims accused him of making extensions to the church and of causing sectarian strife. The Archbishop of Minya had sent a priest two months ago to assist Father George, in order to diffuse the situation, but the Muslims resumed their pressure on the church (AINA 4-9-2011).

Muslims started congregating near the church in small numbers since the evening of June 21, after learning that Father George is returning to the village. It is believed they were angry and wanted to kill him because he defied the ban they placed on him.

The archdiocese of Minya issued today a statement formally reiterating its strong dissatisfaction with the incident and denouncing the "return of the Salafists to besiege St. George's church again, some carrying weapons, threatening to kill the priest unless he leaves the village."

The statement rejected the interference in church affairs, saying the issue of care of the church is the responsibility of the church authorities alone, and not of any person or group. It called on government officials and security authorities to do their part in upholding the rule of law and maintaining security in the country.

The archdiocese refused any preconditions to negotiate with political and security officials, demanding the security forces disperse the demonstrations before any negotiations can take place.

After Father George left the church the Muslim mob remained until security arrived to disperse them. The Muslims threatened that if they do not hear from the military commander by tonight that the priest is banned from returning to the village, they will hold their Friday prayers tomorrow, June 24, inside St. George's church.

By Mary Abdelmassih

Utusan dibakar di seluruh negara

Don: Cop's Bersih ban is against constitution

 Renowned constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari, hit out at the cops for their unilateral banning of the Bersih 2.0 rally planned for July 9, pointing out that the police crackdown on the gathering is not only illegal but unconstitutional.

"They have acted illegally because they have publicly stated that they are not going to issue a permit. As a public authority they can only make a decision after an application has been made," the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) lecturer told Malaysiakini.

NONEAbdul Aziz (right) explained that under the law, the police are duty bound to consider every permit application, and not take irrelevant considerations into account.

He argued that the police have pre-judged the matter and this is against the law. Worse still, it contravenes a right that is enshrined in the Constitution.

"The police have no power to suspend the right of peaceable assembly guaranteed by Article 10(1)(b) of the constitution by declaring it illegal at will. Even the (lower) courts cannot do that," said the law lecturer.

The said article guarantees "all citizens have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms".

The massive rally, planned by electoral reform group Bersih, followed a similar gathering in 2007, when close to 40,000 people gathered in the federal capital of Kuala Lumpur, to push the government and the Election Commission (EC) for free and fair elections.

'Gathering declared illegal'

The police have declared the gathering illegal and said that is has "strategies" to prevent a repeat of the 2007 mammoth gathering.

Abdul Aziz also dismissed a previous order obtained by the police from a magistrate's court to declare the national capital as a prohibited area to pre-empt the first Bersih rally, and as some believe, a pretext to arrest those taking part.

He was referring to the ex-parte order issued by the Kuala Lumpur magistrate's court on Dec 10, 2007, under section 98 of the Criminal bersih rally 271207 03Procedure Code, following a criminal application by the Sentul police chief.

Section 98 provides powers for a Magistrate to issue "temporary orders in urgent cases of nuisance", to restrain a person or persons from performing certain acts in order to avoid "a riot or any affray".

However, the constitutional expert argued that in that instance, the order from the magistrate's court cannot cancel the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of assembly, as the subordinate court had no power to interpret the constitution.

Elaborating further, Abdul Aziz said that only Parliament may restrict constitutional rights, but even then, only for two reasons; in the interest of the security, and public order.

What should be highlighted in the police handling of the matter, the law professor posited, is that security and public order is not the sole prerogative of the police, especially when it comes to interpreting constitutional rights.

'Bersih 2.0 constitutional and legal'

"It has to be decided in the (higher) courts. Until and unless that is done I am of the opinion that the proposed assembly is constitutional and thus legal," contended Abdul Aziz.

A such, Abdul Aziz is of the opinion that it is also illegal for the police to set up road blocks. The usual police tactic to prevent people from taking part in the rally, as was the case during the first Bersih rally.

Police road blocks restrict freedom of movement, a right guaranteed by Article 9(2) of the constitution. Any such restrictions to the civil liberties must be justified by the cops or they constitute abuse of power.

The lecturer recounted the 2006 royal commission on the police chaired by former chief Justice Dzaiddin Abdullah which recommended the abolishment of section 27 of the Police Act empowering police to issue gathering permits, as it is often abused.

Commenting on the many expressed legal opinions on the status of the Bersih rally, including from Umno lawyer Hafarizam Harun who spoke about it on TV1 this week, Abdul Aziz believes that it may be time to test the case in the higher courts.

"Of course some people are cynical about taking the matter to court. But let us see whether the judges are willing to uphold and protect the constitution. Or they prefer to allow the kangaroo court tag remain with them on this matter," he jibed.

As for what the Agong's role should be in the matter, the legal expert said that such considerations are for later.

"Let us first deal with the right of the citizens and the way the police should handle them," concluded Abdul Aziz.

Who’s the idiot?

JUNE 25 — When I read how Ibrahim Ali “clarified” what he said about the Chinese community, I had a
vision of him in a sampan with a panic-stricken look on his face, working those oars in reverse like the devil was after him.

But this time, I am not stomping my foot in anger or screaming obscenities for the things he said. Then again, I cannot make the same promise the next time he says something that once again breaks the barrier of stupid... and with his track record, that could well be tomorrow.

He now says that the media, The Malaysian Insider, in particular, had sensationalised his comments on how the Chinese should stay indoors and stock up on food to avoid any trouble on the day of the Bersih rally (July 9).

How many times have we seen these back-paddling politicians? Swallowing their words and blaming the media for erroneous reporting with those famous lines: “I was misunderstood.”

(This does not apply to politicians alone, but I’m choosing to be picky here, because, well, they are politicians.)

Every time I see the phrase “I was misquoted” or “I was misunderstood”, it does not even occur to me that the reporter got it wrong, I think, “Oh, regret already-lah.”

His attempts at “clarifying” were humorous:
“...usually, when there are street protests, I do not see the Chinese participating...” And to avoid a possible clash among Malays from PAS with Malays from Umno at the rally from “spreading to the other races”, he thought “it is better for the Chinese to stay back, that is all.”

Yet another forehead-slapping moment.

But this time I laughed.

Bersih is the Coalition for Clean & Fair Elections. If Ibrahim Ali was against a “Walk for Democracy” for Pete’s sake, the words “Malay” and “Chinese” should never have been uttered. Instead it should have been, “I’m an independent member of Parliament who does not give a hoot about transparency or accountability in an election.”

Ibrahim Ali has been annoying me for months now (keyword, “crusade”), and at times when I bring him up in conversations, people tell me “forget him”, “ignore him.”

But I can’t. Because there is a section of the community who thinks he is right. And these are the ones in moments of reflection I worry about. There is a group of people being influenced by stupidity and yes, I do take it personally because they are being told I don’t belong in this country.

I know not every Malay person thinks like Ibrahim Ali or wants what he wants. I know this. I have read your comments and heard your voices. And I have every confidence that Malaysians know better.

I have said it before and I shall say it again: How does he keep getting away with this? Why does he keep getting away with this?

Finally, in the words of Dr Toh Kin Woon, member of Bersih 2.0’s steering committee, on its website: “Opponents of the walk will do well to respect this basic right, failing which, all calls for the creation of a highly-developed country will come to naught.”

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

‘Clear proof of conspiracy to destroy Anwar’

Court proceedings against 'Datuk Trio' disgraceful and sickening, says PKR vice president N Surendran

PETALING JAYA: PKR claimed that the court proceeding of the “Datuk T” trio yesterday was proof that there is high-level conspiracy to destroy Anwar Ibrahim’s political career.

Yesterday, the trio, former Malacca chief minister Rahim Thamby Chik, former Perkasa treasurer Shuib Lazim and businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah pleaded guilty at the Kuala Lumpur magistrate court to screening a sex video to the public.

The trio screened a video allegedly showing the opposition leader engaged in illicit sex with a prostitute to several journalists at Carcosa Seri Negara in March.

In the proceeding yesterday, one of their defense attorney, Muhamad Shafee Abdullah told the court that forensic analysts from the US confirmed the man in the video was likely to be Anwar.

In a statement today, PKR vice president N Surendran said the alleged identity of the person in the video and it authenticity was completely irrelevant to the case yesterday.

“And by not being a party to the proceedings, Anwar had no opportunity to defend himself against the allegation,” said Surendran.

The PKR leader then lashed out at the prosecution team for not reprimanding the trio’s defense lawyer when the latter was smearing Anwar.

Surendran added that it was also worrying that the courts have allowed itself to be used by certain quarters for unlawful and unjust purposes.

“What happened yesterday was disgraceful and sickening, Worse, the trio merely received a slap on the wrist for their crime,” he said.

While Shazryl and Shuib was fined for RM3,000 and RM 1,500 under Section 292 of the Penal Code respectively for their offence, Rahim was slapped with a RM1,000 fine for abetting in the crime under Section 109 of the Penal Code.

Section 292 of the Penal Code carries a maximum jail term of not more than three years and a fine.

Fight against Interlok goes global

PKR intends to highlight the racially charged book to MPs from Canada and India as the next step in the fight against the novel being used as standard text in schools.

PETALING JAYA: After being mired in controversy, the Interlok novel issue is expected to go global, with a PKR leader declaring that he would be meeting an Indian and Canadian member of Parliament  with the hope that they would highlight the plight of the Indian community in the country in their respective parliaments.

The local opposition party has also decided to handover a memorandum to the Indian and Canadian governments wanting them to pressure the Malaysian government to withdraw the novel from schools.

“I will make a trip to India mid-next month to send the memorandum to one of the central ministers. We are presently trying to get an appointment to see him,” PKR Malacca vice president G Rajendran told FMT.

“Our motive is not to tarnish the name of Malaysia but to expose how the Barisan Nasional led government is practising blatant racism,” he added.

The Bahasa Malaysia novel Interlok kicked-up a storm after the Education Ministry decided to introduce it as a text book for Form Five. The book contains derogatory words, deemed as an insult to the Malaysian Indian community.

Despite repeated calls by the community for the removal of the book from the school syllabus, the government, especially the Education Ministry, has refused to budge.

The community wanted corrections to about 46 pages of  factual errors in the book before it is used in schools. However, the Ministry only amended nine such mistakes.

‘Withdraw the book’

Rajendran said he had also prepared another memorandum to be sent to the Canadian parliament.
“We have a Tamil parliamentarian (Rathika Sitsabaiesan) in Canada and hope she can press our government to remove the novel,” he said.

He said Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition coalition, would remove the book from the school syllabus if it came to power at the next general election.

Meanwhile, the National Interlok Action Team (NIAT) reiterated its call for the removal of the book from schools.

“We suggest the government withdraw the book and replace it with other novels,” he added.
He said the book should not be reprinted with amendments as it put the onus on teachers to explain why certain parts of the novel was blanked out.

He also said that at the last parliament session, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister, said that his ministry would make 106 amendments to the book before distributing it to schools.

KEADILAN Terbit Dokumentari Dedah Tembelang Datuk T

Bersih 2.0: Day of arrests

Yesterday saw a spate of arrests – all in connection with Bersih, and more police action follows today. 
Last night, Khairul Anuar (also known as Jonah) was arrested for wearing a yellow Bersih T-shirt at a gerai in Uptown Shah Alam near the site of a proposed Bersih 2.0 road-show event. Jonah was questioned about each of the eight Bersih demands before he was released. The Bersih 2.0 event, to raise awareness of the coalition’s demands, had been planned for 10.00pm in Uptown. But Bersih said in a statement it could not proceed as planned due to the heavy presence of the police, who had cordoned off the whole area surrounding Uptown, blocking organisers and participants.

According to lawyer Latheefa Koya, another Pas member was also arrested in Shah Alam. He was carrying a bundle of Bersih T-shirts.

Earlier yesterday, seven activists from Parti Sosialis Malaysia were arrested for leafleting in Kluang in connection with their “Udalah” campaign. The police deemed the materials to be seditious. Among those arrested were Letchimi Devi, Josephine, Shanta, Jaya, William and Saravanan.

The police are now calling key members of the Bersih steering committee to report to the police station. Six have been called: Bersih 2.0 steering committee chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan, steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah, Teresa Kok, Hishamuddin Rais, Lawyers for Liberty cordinator Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan. Not yet sure what their response is going to be.

Bersih had earlier announced confirmed solidarity rallies in Seoul, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Osaka, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

For the record, here is a screen shot of a Star (Malay version) poll on the Bersih rally in the website. Thanks to the reader who captured the screen-shot on 7 June and sent it in:

"Nepal's Stolen Children," Demi Moore learns how Tulli, a Nepali woman, fell into traffickers' hands.

MIC Youth and PPP will join our march, says Khairy

Umno Youth will carry on with its assembly on July 9 despite not having a permit from the Home Ministry, said its chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said MIC Youth and People's Progressive Party (PPP) members would be joining them.

“MCA Youth will not be there for certain reasons and we respect their decision,” he told reporters after opening PPP Youth's annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur today.

Also present were PPP president M Kayveas and PPP Youth chief Harridz Mohan.

At PPP Youth's polls held during the AGM, Mohan retained his post uncontested while John Kieran Mahendran, Jayasena HL Winnie and Manikumar Muniandy won the three vice-chief posts.

When asked about his attendance on July 9, Khairy said he hoped to make it back by next Saturday from the week-long International Humanitarian Flotilla 11 to Gaza, in which he is participating starting Sunday.

- Bernama

Two Saudi women in new driving protest

A note is placed next to the shattered side-view mirror of a car belonging to Saudi Iman al-Nafjan’s family which the family says was put as a warning after she drove in Riyadh on June 22
RIYADH, June 23, (AFP): Two Saudi women said they drove their cars on Wednesday in a new protest against a ban on women driving in the conservative Muslim kingdom.

Their actions came in response to a call on the Internet for women in Riyadh to get behind the wheel, after a show of defiance on Friday in which 42 women took to the road.

Azza Shamassi, in her thirties, said she had driven her car Wednesday, just as she has done “every day since last Friday”, despite a harassing message stuck to the windscreen of her car.

The handwritten note read “Plz do not drive” on one side and carried an insult on the other, witnesses said.
“This threat will not stop me,” Shamassi said.

Sara al-Khalidi also said she has been driving since Friday’s protest, saying she had driven again on Wednesday before being stopped by a traffic policeman, who told her that police were looking for her and that she should drive home without stopping.

She said that “people encourage me when they’ve seen me driving these last few days”.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both expressed support for Saudi women who wish to drive.

No law forbids women from driving in Saudi Arabia but a religious edict stipulates that women must be driven by a male chauffeur or family member.

Screening sex video: Datuk T trio fined

Trio convicted for showing sex video involving Opposition Leader Anwar.

KUALA LUMPUR: The “Datuk T” trio who showed a sex video implicating Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to journalists were convicted by a magistrate’s court here today after all three pleaded guilty.

Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Shuaib Lazim, both businessmen and the main suspects in the case, were found guilty of screening obscene video to the public, while former Malacca chief minister Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik was convicted of abetting the two in committing the crime.

Shazryl was fined RM3,000 in default three months in prison, Shuaib was fined RM1,500 in default two months in prison, and Abdul Rahim was fined RM1,000 in default one month in prison.

More than 300 supporters gathered outside the court lobby to show solidarity with the convicted, who argued their cause was to prove Anwar morally unfit to become a leader.

The supporters turned rowdy as the three exited the court after they accepted the verdict.
“It is a mission accomplished today and we are very happy that we have proven to the people through the judicial system of the country,” Abdul Rahim told reporters.

“Now it is up to the people to decide the destiny of the country,” added Rahim, who himself faced prosecution for sexual assault on a minor years ago.

The trio exhibited a 20-minute video clip allegedly showing Anwar having sex with an anonymous woman at a hotel to a group of journalists three months ago, ahead of a state election in Sarawak.

Police who investigated the case told the court today they had sought help from experts from an academic institution in the United States to verify the video clip, which was later found to be authentic.

Investigation also found the man featured in the video clip bore a striking resemblance to Anwar.

The trio demanded 62-year-old Anwar and his wife, the president of opposition party PKR, to step down from their posts.

Anwar, who has been married for more than 30 years, denied he was the man in the clip and condemned the act as a “scurrilous attack” against him.

- Agencies

‘Jangan buat spekulasi tanpa bukti’

Ibrahim Ali tidak menolak kemungkinan SMS itu rekaan semata-mata.

PETALING JAYA: Presiden Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) Ibrahim Ali memberi amaran kepada semua pihak untuk tidak membuat spekulasi bahawa Perkasa ialah dalang di sebalik SMS ugutan bunuh yang diterima pengerusi Gabungan Pihanraya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih), Datuk S Ambiga.

“Mengarut, anda jangan buat spekulasi tanpa bukti. Ini amaran saya,” kata beliau ketika ditanya mengenai ura-ura bahawa ahli Perkasa terlibat dalam penyebaran SMS tersebut.

Semalam Ambiga membuat laporan polis setelah menerima SMS ugutan bunuh pada pukul 1.57 pagi.

Antara lain, SMS itu berbunyi: “Aku nak kasi amaran kat korang semua. Kalau perhimpunan ini jadi, aku dan orang-orang aku akan bunuh Ambiga dan korang-korang keliling dia satu persatu.”

Siasat SMS

Ketika mengulas lanjut Ibrahim tidak mendesak pihak polis menyiasat SMS ugutan bunuh yang diterima Ambiga.

“Terserah pada polis untuk siasat benar atau tidak. Ada kala,SMS rekaan sama sendiri untuk cari publisiti. Apa pun,terserahlah pada polis untuk siasat.

“Saya pun terima macam-macam SMS, tapi saya tidak kisah. Ada pihak, mereka mahu lakukan

macam-macam perkara sampai akan melangar undang-undang yang boleh mengancan keselamatan rakyat dan kenteraman awam seperti cadangan perhimpunan Bersih Haram.

“Jika kita penting keselamatan diri kita, kita juga kena fikir akan kepentingan keselamatan org lain juga,” jelas beliau dalam satu SMS kepada FMT.

Ibrahim akan mengetuai gabungan NGO yang dikenali sebagai Gerak Aman pada 9 Julai menentang perhimpunan Bersih.

Sri Lanka envoy accepts memo on ill-treatment of Tamils

A delegation of opposition parliamentarians and NGO representatives listed out their demands for better treatment of those in Sri Lankan camps.

KUALA LUMPUR: A delegation of opposition parliamentarians, NGO representatives and a senator, appalled by the treatment of Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims, today handed over memorandum to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner here.

But to reach the Sri Lankan envoy DD Ranasinghe’s office, the delegation of about 40 people, had to pass through heavy police presence.

The delegation was led by PKR’s Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul, Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff, and Subang parliamentarian R Sivarasa. They were joined by Teluk Intan MP M Manoharan, Senator S Ramakrishnan and Tamil Foundation representative K Arumugam.

On Wednesday, Johari attempted to file a motion in Dewan Rakyat to discuss the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils but the motion was denied by Deputy Speaker Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar on the grounds that it was Sri Lanka’s internal affairs.

The delegation today had an hour-long discussion with Ranasinghe.
Speaking to FMT later, Manoharan, who visited Sri Lanka with Johari Abdul and Ramakrishnan early this month, said: “The Sri Lankan High Commission claimed that there is complete restoration but we saw 300,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), of whom 80,000 are widows.

“There are attempts to wipe out the (Tamil) community and the Muslim community is also suffering.

“The military is enjoying the fruits of war and they have lied to us on a government-to- government level,” Manoharan said.

Manoharan said the envoy will respond to the memorandum in writing by the end of the month.

In the memorandum the group listed several demands. Among them were:
  • immediate action to be taken to provide the people in IDP camps with all the basic needs including sanitation and clean drinking water; and
  • immediate withdrawal of military personnel and replacing them with full civil administration in the north and north-eastern provinces of Sri Lanka.

Hindraf seeking more classified documents to sue Britain

Hindraf's lawyers in London say they need more documents on the colonial period in Malaysia to refile their suit against the British government

GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf Makkal Sakti is set to refile its suit against the British government by the end of he year.

Hindraf chairman, P Waytha Moorthy, originally filed a class action suit on Aug 31, 2007, the 50th anniversary of Malaysia’s independence, against the United Kingdom London courts for US$4 trillion.

The suit was filed prior to Nov 25 historic Hindraf rally in Kuala Lumpur, to demand compensation for Indian Malaysians whose ancestors were brought in by the colonial government as indentured labour.

It claimed that, after granting independence to Malaya, the British had left the Indians without representation and at the mercy of the majority Malays.

However, the suit was stalled following the Malaysian government’s clampdown on Hindraf and arrest of several lawyers, including the movement legal adviser and Waytha Moorthy’s brother Uthayakumar under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).

Hindraf’s lawyers in London say that to refile the suit they need relevant documents which is kept by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

The lawyers have made a second request to the FCO to facilitate its impending million pounds suit against the former colonial master.

The movement’s legal counsel in London, Imran Khan (pix below) has made the second request on May 25 this year after the Hindraf’s first request on Jan 6 this year was refused by FCO.

The second request is made to seek access to all documents and information held or that which is within the knowledge of the FCO as well as any material held by any other governmental departments which have had access/dealings with Malaya between 1945 and 1957.

“In the event that the FCO refuses to provide us with the documents, we will then exhaust all internal review procedures to have access to the disclosure of these materials and documents.

“If this too failed, we will pursue other avenues such as a judicial review to force the FCO to release the documents necessary for the claim,” said solicitors Imran Khan & Partners in a statement to FMT.

More documents available

The statement said the FCO has turned down Hindraf’s first request citing that domestic records of colonial administrations did not form part of British official records and they were kept by the individual states created at independence.

It has now come to Hindraf’s knowledge that there were more classified documents held in undisclosed locations by the British government, as stated by Lord David Howell, Minister of State for FCO in the recent “Mau Mau uprising” case in London.

Lord Howell has also said that it was the general practice for the colonial administration to transfer to the United Kingdom, in accordance with Colonial Office instructions shortly before independence, selected documents held by the governor.

Lord Howell has said that these documents were deemed not appropriate to hand on to the successor governments.

FCO is said to hold about 8,800 files from 37 former British administrations, including Aden, Brunei, Cyprus, Fiji, Gambia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaya, Malta, Mauritius, Nigeria, Northern Rhodesia, Palestine, Sarawak, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, and Uganda.

The UK legal firm said it was first instructed by Waytha Moorthy in 2009 to look at the prospects of re-filing a legal action in the English courts for reparation against the UK government for failing to protect the legitimate interests of the minority ethnic Indian group under the Malaysian Federation Constitution when it was drafted in 1957.

Independently, Waytha Moorthy and a small team of volunteers of their own volition have unearthed nearly 35,000 “declassified” documents from various independent sources.

Hindraf’s solicitors were seeking more classified documents because the documents on hand clearly showed a huge lacuna (gap) in the information leading to Malaya’s independence.

Hindraf claimed that the Reid Commission was partly to blame for the government’s discriminatory policies as the commission did not provide for constitutional protection to the Indian community.

Interlok: MIC clings to hope

The party appears to have no plan of action against the possibility of the Education Ministry reneging on its promise.

PETALING JAYA: MIC appears to be undecided about the action it will take if the Education Ministry reneges on its promise to ensure that schools use a sanitised edition of Interlok instead of the allegedly racist original of the Abdullah Hussain novel.

“We hope the Education Ministry will stick to its word,” said party information chief VS Mogan when asked for his comments in the wake of news reports that some schools were using the original, but with offensive words masked by stickers.

Mogan repeated his statement when asked if the party had a plan of action in the event that the student edition fails to materialise.

“We have firmly informed the ministry that they would have to make the amendments,” he added.

The novel, which Form Five students use for their literature course, has been mired in controversy for close to a year now, with several groups complaining about its racist slant and inaccurate references to Indian culture and Hinduism.

The controversy led to the formation of a committee to review the novel. It recommended 106 amendments.

However, the government decision to adopt the amendments for a student edition has not satisfied every quarter.

A coalition of NGOs called the National Interlok Action Team (NIAT) has been steadfast in calling for an outright withdrawal of Interlok from the school reading list.

MIC initially wanted the book withdrawn but reversed its decision when the Education Ministry agreed to the review.

Pembelian Scorpene malapetaka negara- Azmin Ali

(Ahmad Fadli - Harakah Daily)

KUALA LUMPUR: Pembelian dua kapal Scorpene bernilai 1.14 bilion Euro merupakan malapetaka kepada negara kerana mendatangkan pelbagai masalah kewangan dan politik, kata Timbalan Presiden KEADILAN, Azmin Ali.

“Akibat daripada proses yang tidak telus serta diselubungi pelbagai masalah, pembelian kapal selam Scorpene ini merupakan satu malapetaka bagi negara,” kata Ahli Parlimen Gombak itu.

“Sudahlah kapal selam tersebut tidak dapat menyelam, sekarang ini negara dibebani dengan kos-kos tambahan atau kos-kos yang dipadamkan daripada kontrak asal atau bajet asal perolehan serta penyeliaan kapal selam tersebut,” kata

Azmin berkata demikian sewaktu membahaskan Perbekalan Tambahan hampir RM500 juta yang diminta Kementerian Pertahanan, di Dewan Rakyat semalam.

Beliau mempersoal permohonan RM417 juta untuk membiayai kontrak senggaraan (In Service Support) dua buah kapal selam Scorpene dan RM56 juta untuk bayaran pendahuluan sewaan perkhidmatan Sistem Submarine Escape Rescue Intervention (SMER-1).

Sedangkan sebelum ini, kata Azmin, kerajaan sudah membayar 999.15 juta Euro kepada Perimekar Sdn Bhd bagi kerja-kerja penyelenggaraan jangka panjang kapal selam itu pada tahun 2002.

Azmin menggesa kerajaan Umno mendedahkan kontrak pembelian kapal selam berkenaan kerana sejumlah wang yang begitu banyak dibelanjakan.

Beliau juga percaya pendedahan butiran kewangan tidak mengancam keselamatan negara kerana ia merupakan tanggungjawab kerajaan menjelaskan kepada rakyat.

Dalam masa yang sama, beliau juga menuntut supaya kerajaan Malaysia memberikan kerjasama kepada siasatan antarabangsa dalam skandal rasuah pembelian kapal selam berkenaan.

Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai, Nurul Izzah Anwar yang sempat mencelah, menyebut peningkatan kos penyelenggaraan lapan kali ganda berbanding 2002.

“Perlu ada rasional kenapa perbezaannya begitu besar,” kata Nurul Izzah.

Pembelian kapal selam Scorpene oleh kerajaan Malaysia mencuri perhatian antarabangsa apabila seorang warga Mongolia, Altantuya Shaaribu yang menjadi orang tengah dalam urusniaga itu ditemui dibunuh di Malaysia.

Beliau dikatakan menuntut komisennya daripada Abdul Razak Baginda, rakan karib Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yang terlibat dalam urusniaga itu melalui Syarikat Perimekar.

Altantuya disahkan dibunuh dua pegawai polis yang kini menanti hukuman gantung dan merupakan pengawal peribadi Najib sewaktu kejadian itu berlaku.

Razak bagaimanapun dibebaskan dari tuduhan membunuh Altantuya.

Siasatan pemberian komisen pembelian kapal selam Scorpene itu kini memasuki peringkat perbicaraan terbuka di mahkamah Perancis.

Malaysia A Nation Governed By Laws, Najib Reminds Those Intending To Hold Illegal Assemblies

KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tonight reminded people intending to hold illegal demonstrations that Malaysia had laws that must be followed despite the right to peaceful assembly.

"Everyone has their rights. However, we are governed by laws which are applicable to all," he said when asked to comment on plans by certain quarters to hold illegal street demonstrations in the city on July 9.

Asked his views on the the planned demonstrations especially the involvement of Umno Youth, Najib said:"If Bersih (the organisation planning to hold an illegal street demonstration on July 9) wants to do it, Umno Youth also wants to do the same. However, our country is governed by laws."

Najib, who is also chairman of Barisan Nasional, was speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting of the BN's supreme council at Menara Dato Onn here Friday night.

Besides Bersih, a non-governmental organisation, and Umno Youth, Perkasa, a right wing group, also plans to hold a demonstration to counter the one by Bersih, which has been described as a front for trouble-makers out to create chaos in the guise of pushing for electoral reform.

Meanwhile, in PETALING JAYA, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said he was leaving it to the police to deal with the planned demonstrations.

"If I were to make the decisions, all kinds of accusations will be levelled against my ministry, especially if there participants who are detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA)," he told reporters.