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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Koh unveils statue of MGR

Minister in the PM’s Department takes a break from the Bersih controversy to attend a special ceremony in Taiping.
TAIPING: The event must have been a welcome relief for Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon who together with his other BN colleagues have been preoccupied in recent days with spitting vitriol at the July 9 Bersih rally.

Koh took a break from his criticism of the July 9 rally when he attended a special ceremony to unveil a bronze statute of the late South Indian matinee idol and ex-chief minister of Tamil Nadu MGR in Taiping on Saturday.

Koh, the Unity and Performance Minister in the PM’s Department, recently told organisers of the Bersih rally to resolve election issues through peaceful dialogues and not by taking to the streets.

But that must have been furthest from his mind on Saturday. A big fan of the former Tamil Nadu chief minister, Koh unveiled the 5ft 4 inch tall statue (the height of MGR) weighing about 200 kilos in Ulu Sepatang, about 10km from Taiping.

With the unveiling, Taiping has now the distinction of being the third city in the world to have a bronze statue of the late MGR, after India and Sri Lanka.

The credit for this goes to 60-year-old R Damodaram who achieved a life-long dream of having MGR’s statue at the Ayynar Temple grounds in Ulu Sepatang.

Damodaram, born in Donavar estate near Sungai Siput, was captivated by the image of MGR helping the poor and decided to do something to make his idol a part of his life since the age of 10.

Damodaram, whose father was an estate labourer, had to drop out of school after completing his primary education because his parents could not afford to help further his education.

However, this self-made businessman rose to be the Eagle Hurst MIC branch chief and having tasted poverty decided to help the poor and needy like his mentor-hero MGR.

Ten years ago, he formed the MGR Welfare Organisation to help the poor and needy and talented poor students to complete their education.

In 1992, he visited the widow of MGR, V N Janaki and received her encouragement to carry on with his mission of making MGR a living legend in the minds of Malaysians.

MGR a philanthropist


On Saturday, he fulfilled his childhood dream. Damodaram hosted the MGR statue officiating ceremony cum culture show titled “Manithanum Theivamahalam” (Even man can become God) at the Taiping Town Hall.

Tamil movie actor Sathiaraj who is also a big fan of MGR, yesteryear actor Asokan’s son Vincent Dass and comedian Mailsamy and Ethiyakanni monthly magazine editor S Vijayan were at the function.
According to Damodaram, Koh who is also a big fan of MGR and Vijayan was instrumental in bringing MGR’s personal items like his famous sunglasses for the function.

It took 10 men to carry the MGR statue from the hall to the temple gardens where it will be installed for visitors to see.

MGR (full name Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran) was born on Jan 17, 1917 in Nawalapitiya in the then British Ceylon.

To overcome poverty, he joined a drama troupe to support his family. Influenced by Gandhian ideals, MGR joined the Indian National Congress and later became member of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

In 1972, he left DMK to form his own party Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK). Five years later, he became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu making him the first film actor in India to become the chief minister of a state.

He died on Dec 24, 1987 in Chennai and was married thrice – to Thangamani, Sathanandavathi (both died during his time) and VN Janaki (died in 1996).

In Tamil Nadu, he had a reputation as a philanthropist and was idolised by his followers as Puratchi Thalaivar (revolutionary leader). MGR was posthumously honoured with India’s highest civilian award the “Barat Ratna.”

Arrests shows govt won’t listen to other views

Human Rights Watch says the arrest of PSM activists are absurd and calls for their immediate release.
 
KUALA LUMPUR: The arrest of the 30 Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members last Saturday has  drawn international criticism with the Human Rights Watch (HRW) calling for their immediate release.
The group was accused of “waging war against the king” by attempting to resutrect the long vanquished  Communist Party of Malaysia (CPM) and have been remanded for seven days.

“Charging the political opposition with restarting a movement that died with the Cold War 20 years ago is more than a little absurd,” said HRW’s deputy Asia director, Phil Robertson in a statement today.

“These arrests show the government’s fundamental disregard for the democratic process and its willingness to go to great lengths to frighten Malaysians with political bogeymen from the distant past.”
HRW noted that while the general elections are not slated for Malaysia until 2013, the government has tightened repression on all election-related activity. The heaviest clampdown has been on the Bersih rally on July 9 which has seen the arrests of 81 activists since June 22.

“The Malaysian government’s actions to deny the rights to freedom of association, expression, and peaceful assembly run counter to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Robertson stated.
“It also contradicts the government’s commitments to respect international human rights standards as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.”

Malaysia was elected to the council last May amid widespread criticism from international human rights bodies that claimed the country fell short of UN standards.

HRW also pressed the government to heed the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam’s) call to allow the Bersih rally and the possible counter-marches planned by Umno Youth and Perkasa to proceed.

“Rather than trying to silence peaceful critics, the Malaysian government should be working to ensure that election processes are fair and that they fully protect the civil and political rights of all Malaysians,” Robertson said.

“Arresting people for wearing t-shirts and distributing leaflets simply shows the depths of the government’s intolerance of opposing viewpoints.”

International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Gadhafi


(CNN) -- The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants Monday for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and two of his relatives.

ICC Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng read aloud the decision to issue warrants for Gadhafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Sanussi.

Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi is a close adviser to his father. His arrest warrant came two days after his 39th birthday. Al-Sanussi serves as Gadhafi's head of intelligence.

The warrants are "for crimes against humanity," including murder and persecution, "allegedly committed across Libya" from February 15 through "at least" February 28, "through the state apparatus and security forces," the court said in a news release.

In Misrata, where fighting has raged, a crowd cheered Monday following the news from the court.
The announcement at The Hague came as fighting inside Libya inched closer to the capital. A rebel fighter, Hassan al-Jiwali, told CNN that rebel forces were 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Tripoli on Monday.

Libya is not a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the international court's authority, and the court does not have the power to enter Libya and arrest the leaders. Many of those cheering in Misrata saw the news as a sign that the world recognizes the conduct that rebels say Gadhafi's regime has been engaged in.

The three-judge Pre-Trial Chamber I at The Hague found "reasonable grounds to believe that the three suspects committed the alleged crimes and that their arrests appear necessary in order to ensure their appearances before the court," the announcement said. The court also believes the warrants are needed to ensure that the three men "do not continue to obstruct and endanger the court's investigations; and to prevent them from using their powers to continue the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the court."

The U.N. Security Council referred the matter to the ICC through a resolution February 26, following widespread complaints about Gadhafi's efforts to crush a rebellion. The resolution said that, while "states not party to the Rome Statute have no obligations under the statute, the Security Council urged all states and concerned regional and other international organisations to cooperate fully with the court and the prosecutor."

Gadhafi's backers rejected the court's authority.

"This court is nothing but a cover to the military operations of NATO," said Libyan Justice Minister Mohammed Al Qamod. "It is merely a political tool for exerting pressure and political blackmail against sovereign countries."

Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Ka'eem offered a similar view: "Both the international criminal court and the chief prosecutor have neither the legal competence nor the moral compass in any way to pass judgment on anyone, let alone the Libyan people," he said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the warrant for Gadhafi is another indication that the Libyan leader "has lost his validity."

"it's another step in the process of holding him accountable," Carney told reporters.

The United Nations issued a statement Monday about the arrest warrants, noting that "hundreds of people are confirmed to have been killed since opposition forces rose up against the regime of Mr. Gadhafi in February as part of a wider pro-democracy movement across North Africa and the Middle East."

The European Union said it "fully supports" the court and underscores that the court's Libya investigation "is an independent judicial process which must be fully respected."

Not everyone was cheering the news. Michael Rubin, an analyst with the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said the court's move could damage efforts to get Gadhafi to end his 42-year reign, because he would not seek refuge in a country that is a party or signatory to the Rome Statute.

"The ICC's arrest warrant symbolizes the dirty underside of international law," Rubin said. "While the ICC makes itself feel good and diplomats can chatter about their commitment to international law, the fact of the matter is their action takes off the table any possibility that Gadhafi could flee to a retirement haven outside Libya. In effect, the ICC arrest warrant tells Gadhafi to fight to the death."

Most African countries are parties or signatories to the Rome statute. The ICC website lists a total of 47 non-signatories in the world, 13 of them in Africa and the Middle East.

Ali Ahmida, an analyst at the University of New England who was born in Libya, said the ICC decision "complicates" the matter.

"Since last week, things were heating up toward an exit strategy for Gadhafi and his sons, either inside or outside Libya in another African country," Ahmida said. Some rebel leaders in the Transitional National Council said they would consider allowing Gadhafi to stay inside Libya, and both sides were starting to indicate a compromise was possible, Ahmida said.

But now, the regime "may circle the wagons a little more," and Gadhafi will think, "'I'm a hunted criminal and should pursue civil war to the end,'" Ahmida said.

While the ICC decision is justified, Ahmida said, cynics in the region will ask why Gadhafi was selected and not others. "Why not (former Egyptian President Hosni) Mubarak? Why not (former Tunisian President Zine El-Abidine Ben) Ali?" Mubarak and Ali both gave up power following protests in their countries. "The court is selecting some dictators to indict, and being silent about others. That may be the biggest issue for the court," Ahmida said.

When asked about those suggestions, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States "believes that the decision to refer the case to the ICC was the right decision; that the ICC has spoken now about the need for justice and accountability. With regard to whether this hurts or helps, it doesn't change the fact that Gadhafi's got to take the message that it's time to go."

The issue of Libyan casualties led the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution in March authorizing force by whatever means necessary, with the exception of a ground invasion, to protect civilians. NATO began bombing military targets a short time later.

The International Criminal Court action comes a day after the African Union announced Gadhafi will not be part of its next attempt to map out a peace deal in Libya.

It was unclear who would represent the Libyan government in negotiations, or when negotiations might occur. Journalists were not allowed to ask questions following Sunday's meeting of the African Union's special committee on Libya in Pretoria, South Africa.

Fair treatment for all religious communities

The government’s stance is to allow religious organisations to function with the barest minimum of restrictions.

COMMENT
Much discussion and debate surfaces from time to time over the issue of freedom of worship in this country, and by allowing people and organisations of differing views to express and share their thoughts and opinions in civil discourses, invariably demonstrates that there is, to an extent, leeway given by the authorities which we should also rightly construe as being a form of freedom of expression.

While civil liberties are not seemingly found to be at the levels of satisfaction to some people in this country, hopefully, by persuasive argument and sound reasoning, more people can convince and enlighten the authorities to implement measures on freedom of worship for the collective good of all Malaysians.

However, it is imperative that how we approach the issue and how we approach the ruling authorities be in an appropriate manner always.

Now that the passionate flames of Christians over a number of their Bibles being withheld and later released by the authorities, and other scenarios emerging out of their beliefs, have started to flicker down, I would like to draw your attention to certain developments that have transpired since the formation of the country, from the time of the departure of the British colonialists.

The achievement of Merdeka meant a new beginning for Malaya as the country was called back then and the Christian community as a whole, be they Catholic, Protestant, fundamentalist or Pentecostal, enjoyed much freedom and liberty, along with the other religious communities, to practise and worship in the spirit of the newly-formulated Federal Constitution by the founding fathers of the nation.

Since then, five Malaysian premiers have passed through office, and all of them have freely allowed Christians and members of all other religious bodies to go about their activities as long as they were conducted in an orderly and organised manner.

While Malaysia today is still officially a secular state, Islam is the official religion as the majority of Malaysians are Muslims.

This does not mean that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, which has been ruling since independence in 1957, has neglected the concerns and cares of the Christian and other religious organisations in this country.

Tolerant BN

On the contrary, in comparison to quite a number of other countries around the world, Malaysian Christians and other religious bodies enjoy sufficient freedom to practise their respective faiths without any unreasonable restrictions.

While cases of religious discrimination do exist, they are few in number, compared to the tolerant nature of the ruling BN that allows religious organisations to function with the barest minimum of restrictions.

It is precisely because of being given a “free hand” that religious organisations across the board go overboard with their demands and begin to take on a threatening stance once prohibitions are put in place.
(A clear example is the Christian group that met at a demonstration several months ago to threaten the government if their Biblical demands are not met.)

It’s a classic case of being spoiled rotten and silly until the government has to bow and pander to the whims and fancies of different religious groups in order to curry favour with them or risk losing voter support.

The religious history of Malaysia until now shows explicitly that not a single group, however irrational the faith or belief it practises, has been hauled up by the authorities, until they begin to undermine national security or take on an aggressive, militant stance.

Firm hand as opposed to free hand

Against this background, where liberty is given to religious organisations, there has emerged a significant number of groups with teachings that are counter-productive to the health and well-being of a secular state like Malaysia.

One has only to go through the list of religious organisations in this country at the Religious Affairs Department to see the number of “independent” churches that exist, each with its own version of Christianity unlike that espoused by mainstream and traditional churches.

In the case of Malaysia, because political mileage is usually gained by political parties playing the religious card, the government, realising the sensitive nature of issues of this kind, tends to compromise and give in for it to be viewed as a “wholly democratic nation”.

While political mileage gained by playing the religious card might be attained in the short term, what usually happens is that in the long term, whatever gains made fizzle out completely. This means that with issues affecting religious communities, the government should really deal with a “firm hand” and not a “free hand”.

Unhealthy and extreme religious groups must be dealt with firmly and the government must exercise its clout to nip the problems in the bud caused by organisations of this nature before they begin to fester and ignite the ever-so-delicate fabric of our multi-religious, multi-racial environment.

In doing so, the government has to been seen not only as acting fairly, and in a secular manner, but in accordance with the provisions of the laws of the land. There has to be a more open and transparent approach by the government to ensure, for the safety and security of the populace, that all religious communities toe the line.

Play by the rules of the game

Unlike a growing number of countries in the world today, Malaysia has, thankfully, been spared the wrath of religious flare-ups.

This augurs well for us. Since we are a fairly young nation, if we appear to be doing well in the practice of our individual beliefs, it is largely because government mechanisms in place to check religious tensions have so far been effective.

In view of the onset of globalisation, and the emergence of migrant workers as another force to be reckoned with in this country, to add to our already existing melting pot, there is a need for the powers that be to keep pace and put in place further mechanisms to ensure the success of achieving religious peace and harmony is maintained.

So far mainstream and traditional Christian groups have really no bone to pick with the government or any other quarter, however critical the criticisms levelled at them. This is a sign of the growing tolerance and accommodative nature of the mainstream and traditional churches.

The exception perhaps is that of the role of fundamental Christian groups with their own commercial kind of branding of Christianity.

What is being propagated by them should come not only under the scrutiny of the government but also by the various Christian denominations as to their validity and relevance in a country such as Malaysia.

If mainstream, traditional and even fundamental Christian churches do not appreciate the liberty under which they are allowed to operate, and take this liberty for granted, they should only have themselves to blame if they face punitive action for going overboard with their cause and demands.

While even members of other religious organisations contend that Christianity is a religion with many merits, Christians should learn to practise their faith by conforming to the law, unless and until these laws are amended.

Since the existing laws with regard to religious freedom have worked well so far, Christians and all other religious bodies should abide and seek changes to these laws, if they feel it is necessary, through the right channels and procedures, for the continued peaceful governance of the country.

If they fail to play by the rules of the game, Christians run the risk of not only being shunned and ostracised, they will also obviously continue to be a disgruntled and dissatisfied lot.

Perhaps what Christians should learn to do right now is to practise what they preach from the Bible and learn from the Master the virtue of showing tolerance and exercising mutual respect.

( File picture from internet )
Christopher Fernandez has been teaching and writing throughout Asia since 1984.

I am a socialist and proud of it


One very senior PAS leader (I will not mention his name) said that he really admires Britain for being a very good example of what a Muslim country should be like. When asked what it is about Britain that he finds very Islamic, he replied the socialist system where the needs of the rakyat are looked after and well taken care of. Yes, according to this senior PAS leader, Britain is a good ‘Muslim’ country. And it is a good Muslim country because of its socialist policies. And in Malaysia we arrest people because they are Socialists. The Prophet must be turning in his grave at this transgression.
NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin
There are four schools of thought or mazhab within the Sunni branch of Islam -- Shafiee, Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali. Most Malaysian Muslims are Sunnis of the Shafiee school of thought.
The Maliki school of thought is the second largest of the four schools (approximately 25% of all Muslims -- mostly in North Africa, West Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and in some parts of Saudi Arabia).
Malik ibni Anas, the ‘founder’ of the Maliki school of thought, was an extremely outspoken man -- too outspoken for his own good. He issued decrees or fatwas that forbid the pledging of allegiance to the Caliph Al-Mansur. For this very stubborn stance the Caliph had Malik flogged half to death and threw him into prison.
After a serious attack of conscience, Caliph Al-Mansur released Malik from prison and apologised to him. The Caliph also offered Malik compensation in the form of money and residency in Baghdad. Malik, however, declined the Caliph’s offer and remained in Mekah where he continued with what, today, would be considered as his radical and anti-Monarchy teachings.
Some years later, Harun al-Rashid, the new Caliph, summoned Malik to visit him while the former was performing the haj in Mekah (in Malay this is called titah mengadap or summoned for an audience). Malik, however, refused to do so. Instead, he invited the newly installed Caliph to attend his class to listen to his lectures, which the Caliph did.
That is the very short story about one of the four Imams of Sunni Islam.
And why am I telling this story to what can be considered a large non-Muslim readership of Malaysia Today? Simple. Islam is the religion of the Federation, according to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. So you should know a bit about Islam and Islamic history so that the scumbags and slime-balls in the government will not be able to con you.
Secondly, of course, is because many Malay-Muslims themselves do not know their Islamic history. So they make stupid statements that are so embarrassing it makes me ashamed to admit that I am also Malay-Muslim. So they too need educating to stop them from opening their mouths and putting their feet into it.
Now, relate that to present day Malaysia. If Imam Malik, one of the four Imams of Sunni Islam, was still alive today and was living in Malaysia, would he be arrested by the government and charged with ‘waging war against the king’?
Remember, Imam Malik issued a fatwa forbidding us from pledging allegiance to the Ruler (whether Caliph, Agong, Sultan or whatever). And for that he was jailed and flogged. However, the Caliph realised he had erred and later released Imam Malik, apologised, and offered him compensation.
The famous Harun al-Rashid of ‘The Arabian Nights’ summoned Imam Malik but the latter refused to go meet the former. Instead, the Caliph was told that ‘the mountain should come to Muhammad’, so to speak. And instead of punishing Imam Malik or arresting him for ‘waging war against the king’, the Caliph did as he was told.
As a Muslim, if we do not want to follow the example of the Imams and the Prophet Muhammad, then whose example do we want to follow?
In the olden days in Europe, it was believed that the king was appointed by God and those who oppose the king have therefore sinned against God. You would then be jailed or put to death on charges of treason against the king.
This is what Malaysia is practicing. It is not practising Islam. Malaysia is not following what the Imams of Islam have taught us. Malaysia is practicing the culture and beliefs of olden days Europe where to defy the Ruler means you defy God and therefore should be punished.
It is time that Malaysia honours the concept of Islam as the religion of the Federation. Get rid of all these un-Islamic practices and culture. Let us not be like the jahil (ignorant) Christian kings of Europe. Has not Imam Malik, one of the four Imams of Islam, taught us what is true Islam?
Now, on the second subject -- Communism. Communism, or more accurately Socialism, is an Islamic concept. Yes, I bet that surprised you.
Communism is derived from the word commune or community. And in Islam this is called Ummah (masyarakat in Bahasa Malaysia). Islam stresses the importance of the ummah. Muslims are called Ummah Islam, the Community of Islam.
Islam teaches us that anything done on a community basis earns extra rewards (pahala). If we pray as a community we get extra pahala. If we eat as a community, as opposed to eating alone, we not only get full but we get pahala as well. And so on and so forth. Any grade one Muslim schoolchild can tell you this.
Communism, or people of a commune, is therefore not against Islamic teachings. It is, in fact, very Islamic.
Now, let us not confuse this concept of commune with Communist Terrorism or Communist Terrorists (CTs) -- which is what the Malaysian government has outlawed. For that matter, even Islamic Terrorism is outlawed, not only Communist Terrorism.
You outlaw Islamic Terrorism. Do you outlaw Islam? And in that same spirit, you outlaw Communist Terrorism. But is Communism about terrorism or about the commune (ummah)?
We need to know the difference.
We also should not confuse Socialism with Communism. Socialism is very Islamic. Socialism is about social justice. Islam believes in social justice. Islam is all about social justice.
For example, we have the zakat system in Islam. This is where the rich pay tithes so that the less fortunate, the poor, the old, the sick, the widows, the orphans, etc., can be supported financially. Zakat is mandatory in Islam. And this is socialism.
Islam forbids usury. We all know how destructive western capitalism, in particular the financial-banking system, can be. Countries and billions of people are subjected to economic slavery because of this. Financially strong countries dominate the weaker countries. This is a form of slavery of the worst kind and Islam is opposed to it.
In short, Islam outlaws Capitalism and propagates Socialism. But most Muslims prefer Capitalism rather than Socialism, as most Muslims prefer Autocracy rather than Democracy (aren’t most dictatorships-Monarchies in the Muslim world?).
Socialism is opposed to the concept of the strong dominating the weak, the rich enslaving the poor, the minority oppressing the majority, etc. Islam is also against this and Islam propagates the concept of the ummah (or commune) determining its own destiny.
It is time the Muslims understood this. It is also time the Muslims practice the real concept of Islam. Most Muslims confine themselves to merely the rituals of Islam. And that is where their Islam ends. And they think that just because they have fulfilled their ritualistic obligations they have already been guaranteed a place in heaven.
No, doing what Imam Malik did is not waging war against the king. And upholding Socialism does not make you a traitor to your country. Instead, it makes you a true Muslim.
One very senior PAS leader (I will not mention his name) said that he really admires Britain for being a very good example of what a Muslim country should be like. When asked what it is about Britain that he finds very Islamic, he replied the socialist system where the needs of the rakyat are looked after and well taken care of.
Yes, according to this senior PAS leader, Britain is a good ‘Muslim’ country. And it is a good Muslim country because of its socialist policies. And in Malaysia we arrest people because they are Socialists. The Prophet must be turning in his grave at this transgression.

Suhakam: People have right to assemble

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commision of Malaysia (Suhakam) says it is the right of the people to assemble and to express their views in a peaceful manner.

Commission chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam said the right to do so was provided for under Article 10(1) (b) of the Federal Constitution as well as Article 20(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“We recall the recommendations we made for the Government to respect the freedom of assembly,” he said adding that the commission had also recommended to the police to use non-violent methods to control or disperse the crowd during an assembly.

The Commission, he said, called on the authorities to allow the peaceful assemblies by Bersih, Umno Youth and Perkasa to allow them to exercise their rights in an orderly and responsible manner.

The Commission, he said, would closely monitor the event.

In a related development, Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk S. Ambiga said the funding for the event came from public donations and member non-governmental organisations.

She refused to divulge more details on the matter, saying that a press conference would be held to explain it further.

The matter became an issue after it was reported that the main funding for the proposed rally came from foreign NGOs with money channelled through local organisations.

Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali who was also called in for questioning by the police claimed the majority of Malaysians were against the rally.

“If Bersih continues with its rally, we will continue with ours. We too want to voice our displeasure about Bersih.

“I urge the police to take whatever action necessary under the law to stop Bersih from organising the rally,” he said.

Ibrahim Ali hauled up for alleged sedition


(Malaysiakini) Police today questioned Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali for allegedly making a seditious statement in connection with the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally on free and fair elections.

NONEIbrahim is being investigated under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code over his speech in Kampung Baru on June 19, when he warned Chinese Malaysians to "stock up on food" because "anything could happen" during the rally.
On June 22, the PKR Youth wing had lodged a police report at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters over Ibrahim's remarks, which were seen as a threat.

Its deputy information chief Rozan Azen Mat Rasip said Ibrahim had committed sedition with an element of violence against the Chinese Malaysian community in a speech at an event in Kuala Lumpur on June 19.
Ibrahim later said his remarks were merely 'advice', and not a threat.

'Malay vs Malay' clash
Ibrahim, who came out of the Dang Wangi police station about 2pm after being questioned for nearly two hours, remained adamant that he is on the right side in opposing the rally.
azlanHe insisted that it is necessary to stop the Bersih 2.0 rally, which he accused of manipulating the Malays to serve the agenda of those supporting it.
He said the rally has managed to build momentum because of the Malay members from PKR and PAS throwing their weight behind Bersih 2.0 chief S Ambiga.
"The Bersih 2.0 rally will be a failure without Malay support. I don't know how many Indians will join, but I believe there won't be many and the Chinese won't bother (joining).

"The support (for Bersih 2.0) comes from the Malays from PKR and PAS... if there are other races, they will make up only a small number.

"This will become a clash of Malay against Malay," he told journalists outside the police station.

Promising to stop the Bersih 2.0 rally, which is to call for electoral reforms, he had earlier warned that chaos would ensue should Bersih 2.0 continue with their march to hand over a petition to Istana Negara.

National laureate probed over 'seditious poem'

Police quiz Ambiga; Nurul Izzah, Sivarasa next

Bersih repudiates foreign Christian funding claim

Ambiga speaks to the press after being questioned at the Dang Wangi police station, June 27, 2011.—Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan rubbished today Utusan Malaysia’s claim that the electoral reform group’s July 9 rally was funded by foreign Christian organisations, saying the money was donated by Malaysian citizens at home and abroad.


“The funds for the rally are entirely from public donations and the [sale of] Bersih t-shirts... I have never even heard of those [foreign] groups,” she told The Malaysian Insider over the phone today after being questioned by the police over the controversial July 9 street demonstration that has triggered two other groups, Perkasa and Umno Youth, to call their own counter rallies.

She added that the Selangor state government has also pledged financial support for Bersih’s July 9 rally.
Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia claimed in an editorial today that Bersih is being funded by some 11 foreign Christian organisations that have donated millions of ringgit to underwrite the group’s rally. It named German think-tank Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF) and the Canadian Allied Foundation as among them.

KAF is associated with Germany’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and  aims to further the “promotion of freedom and liberty, peace, and justice” through “furthering European unification, improving transatlantic relations and deepening development co-operation.”

Little is known about the Canadian Allied Foundation named in the Utusan article.
Demonstrators march during the Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur, November 10, 2007. — Reuters pic
Ambiga admitted to Bersih receiving some money from two US organisations — the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Open Society Institute (OSI) — for other projects, which she stressed were unrelated to the July 9 march.


The NDI describes itself as a non-profit, non-partisan organisation “working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government”.

According to corporate information on its website, the OSI was started by financier George Soros in 1984 to help countries make the transition from communism, and has grown to include not just the US but more than 70 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Fellow Bersih steering committee member, Maria Chin Abdullah, explained that both NDI’s and OSI’s funding were specifically for to the electoral watchdog’s delineation projects.

“It’s got nothing to do with the rally. The funds [for the rally] are entirely from public donations. A lot of them are from Malaysians overseas. A lot of people donate anonymously into our bank account,” she told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.

Chin Abdullah said Bersih’s rally fund to date amounted “close to RM30,000”, but added the group needed double that figure to pay for its campaigning, which included carrying out nationwide roadshows and the cost of the yellow Bersih t-shirts priced at RM15 each.

She also clarified that the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government’s pledge was only a “verbal promise” and that Bersih had yet to receive a single sen from them.

PAS has promised to bring in hundreds of thousands of supporters from across the country as Pakatan Rakyat gears up for a second such rally in recent years.

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.

Altantuya case: Judge yet to file judgment

Minister Nazri Aziz explains to Parliament the delay in the appeal of the two cops convicted for murder.

KUALA LUMPUR: The appeal of the two policemen convicted in the murder of Altantuya Sharriibuu is delayed by the High Court judge’s need for more time to complete his judgment, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

“Given that the judgment has not been filed, the appeal record is not complete,” Minister in the Prime Minister Department Mohd Nazri Aziz said in a written reply dated June 23 to Karpal Singh (DAP-Batu Gelugor).

“Hence,” he added, “the date for trial with the Court of Appeal cannot be determined as yet.”

He said the large amounts of statement notes and evidences presented in the trial prevented the judge from filing his judgment more speedily.

Chief inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar were sentenced to hang when the High Court found them guilty of murdering the 28-year-old Mongolian mother of two in Mukim Bukit Raja near here 10pm on Oct 19, 2006 and 1am the following day.

They were tried with political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, who was charged with abetting in the murder but was acquitted and discharged without his defence being called on Oct 31, 2008.

Azilah and Sirul were convicted in April 9, 2009. They filed for appeal in the same month
Abdul Razak, known to be close to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, admitted in court that he had a romantic affair with Altantuya, who was allegedly shot before her body was blown up with C4 explosives.

French investigation

Opposition leaders have said Najib might also have had an affair with Altantuya and that there was a connection between her murder and the controversial multi-billion ringgit Scorpene submarine deal between the Malaysian government and French arms manufacturer DCNS.

French prosecutors are said to be in the final stages of preparing for a corruption trial which could see top Malaysian officials, including Najib, being asked to testify.

The Malaysian human rights group Suaram took the case to France in 2009 and its lawyers have expressed confidence that they have enough evidence to move into full trial.

Suaram’s case questions the alleged payment of €114 million (RM500 million) in commission to Perimekar Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of KS Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd, of which Abdul Razak’s wife is a principal shareholder.

It is believed that the case will more light on the Altantuya murder. Najib was the Defence Minister at the time of the Scorpene deal.

Opposition leaders have piled pressure on Najib and asked the premier to come clean on his travel destinations in 2002.

They said the onus was now on Najib to prove his innocence in the RM6.7billion submarine deal following an allegation of a “third person” in the negotiation that took place in Macau.
It is alleged that Altantuya was an interpreter in the deal.

BN, Pakatan reps meet over Tamil schools

In a historic roundtable conference, BN and Pakatan leaders joined hands to chart the future of Tamil schools.
KUALA LUMPUR: Several Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat MPs held a historic roundtable conference on the future of Tamil schools.

Held in Parliament today, the conference was organised by DAP’s Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran.
He said discussions were held to set up a steering committee to chart a blueprint for the future of Tamil schools in the country.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, who chaired the conference, promised that the government would not close down or demolish Tamil schools in the future.

“What the Indian community should to do now is engage with all political parties no matter BN or Pakatan, become a united group to raise Tamil school issues,” he said.

Present at the conference were Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department SK Devamany, Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Deputy Minister M Saravanan, DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang and Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy.

Others who attended the conference were MPs M Manoharan (DAP-Teluk Intan), S Manikavasagam (PKR-Kapar), Charles Santiago (DAP-Klang), R Sivarasah (PKR-Subang), Selangor exco Dr Xavier Jeyakumar, Sungkai assemblyman A Sivaneson, Senawang state assemblyman P Guna and Senators Daljit Singh Dalliwal and S Ramakrishnan.

Schools facing closure

Kulasegaran expressed concern over the situation of Tamil schools located on private land as well as the issue of partially and fully-aided schools and the danger of closure of some 50% of Tamil schools.

“The danger concerns Tamil schools which have less than 50 students and this involves nearly half of the 523 schools. There are 64 Tamil schools with less than 25 students which are facing closure. This will cause some 200 teachers to lose their jobs,” he said.

He added that in the last 30 years, 68 Tamils schools had been closed down.

Devamany said that over the last three years, the government had spent RM300 million on Tamil schools.
The MIC vice-president also stressed that his party was willing to work with any group or political organisation to develop Tamil schools.

Meanwhile, NGO Tamil Foundation suggested that the government grant licenses to relocate several Tamil schools from the estates to urban areas.

According to statistics in 2010, 84% of the Indian community were living in urban areas.

Licence for Simpang Lima school


Sivaneson suggested that the government change its policy that all schools which owned land must be recognised as fully-aided schools.

Currently, schools with five acres and more were eligible to be fully-aided schools.

A resolution was also passed at the conference that the government must immediately grant licence to the Simpang Lima Tamil cchool in Seri Andalas, Selangor.

The school was the first Tamil school picked as a cluster school among the 30 schools appointed under the Education Ministry’s cluster of excellent schools programme. However, the school was facing a shortage of places for the 2,400 pupils.

Kulasegaran said that the second meeting would be held on July 8 to select the members of the steering committee.

It is learnt that of the 18, there would be six members from BN, six from Pakatan and the rest from Tamil Foundation and other NGOs.

DAP laments delay in changing custody law

Party official and divorce lawyer A Sivanesan reminds the government of a promise it made two years ago

IPOH: DAP has called for speedy action on a government pledge to amend the custody law to give divorced parents equal rights in the upbringing of children.

A Sivanesan, a vice chairman in Perak DAP and a lawyer, recalled that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Aziz made the promise in June 2009.

However, he noted, the state Islamic affairs departments had yet to give their feedback after the Council of Rulers redirected to them the proposals for the amendment.

Sivanesan is the lawyer for S Krisnavani, who last Friday sought an interim order for custody, control and guardianship of her twin daughters.

She said her husband, K Magendra Rao, had converted to Islam and that she wanted to prevent him from converting the five-year-old twins, M Sivarubini and M Sivadarsni.

The Ipoh High Court has yet to set a date to hear the case.

Sivanesan, who has handled several similar cases, said Krisnavani was a victim of abuse of the Syariah law by divorced spouses who wanted to have custody of their children.

According to him, many such cases go unreported due to ignorance of the law or the non-Muslim parents’ reluctance to allow their marital problems to made public.

He said some husbands in broken marriages would convert to Islam to sidestep the civil law preference for maternal custody of children below the age of 11.

“The husband normally converts to Islam in secrecy and the wife only realises it when she comes to know that her children have been converted to Islam without her knowledge,” he said.

“The wife is caught in a legal dilemma because, being a non-Muslim, she cannot approach the Syariah court for legal redress. And when she goes to the civil court, she is told that a civil court has no jurisdiction over matters related to the Syariah court.”
He said the relevant laws needed to be amended to make it compulsory for both parents to give their consent in the conversion of children.

“The law shall be equal to everyone, according to Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, and there should be no superior law or inferior law,” he said.

Mr and Mrs Najib’s travels cost RM17 mil

From 2008 to June this year, Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor travels have cost RM17 million.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor spent slightly more than RM17 million of taxpayers’ money on travels from 2008 to June this year.

The figures were released by the Prime Minister’s Department in Parliament today in reply to a question from PKR Batu MP Tian Chua.

Najib and Rosmah’s travels in 2008 amounted to RM1.7 million, RM4.81 million the next year, RM5.41 million in 2010 and RM5.42 million up to June this year.

The opposition has in the past accused the ruling coalition of siphoning off public money to finance hefty private travels of the two, an allegation the government has denied.

Compared to her predecessors, Rosmah is seen as being more involved in government affairs, giving rise to the perception that she wields strong influence in her husband’s administration.

Rosmah, however, has denied the allegation.

In its reply, the Prime Minister’s Department said there were no specific allocations for the expenses of a prime minister’s wife.

“The PM’s Department only finances expenses involving the PM’s office,” it stated.

Meanwhile, the travel expenses of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his wife was 100% lower than that of Najib and Rosmah’s.

From 2008 to June this year, RM8 million was spent on their travels.

Some RM2.7 million was spent in 2008, RM609,185 the next year, RM1.38 million in 2010 and RM3.27 million up till June this year.

WIKILEAKS: Update on the F-5 engine scandal


A chorus of commentary in online media has expressed incredulity at the Government's position that the thefts were carried out solely by two relatively low-level individuals and that higher-ups in the military and elsewhere were not involved. We share some of the incredulity expressed in the blogosphere about the Government's case and explanation of who was behind the engine thefts. In coordination with Washington, Post is continuing to push for a complete accounting of how the thefts occurred and the ultimate disposition of the engines, and to remind the GOM of the seriousness of the issue and need for remedial actions.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KUALA LUMPUR 000012

SIPDIS

FOR EAP/MTS AND INR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/07/2020
TAGS: PM, PGOV, MY
SUBJECT: MALAYSIA: UPDATE ON F-5 ENGINE SCANDAL

REF: A. 09 KL 1016 -- F-5 FOLLOW UP
     B. 09 KL 1013 -- MALAYSIAN F-5 ENGINES CASE

Classified By: Political Counselor Brian D. McFeeters for reasons 1.4 b and d.

Summary and Comment
1. (C) Malaysian government officials continue to communicate little information directly to Post regarding the missing F-5 engines (reftels).  Most of the information on the scandal to date has come thru the local media, which reported on January 6 that police arrested and charged one Air Force sergeant and a business owner with the theft and illegal sale of the engines. 
The Attorney General and Defense Minister both were quoted in the press as saying that they were satisfied with these results.  They gave no indication that investigations would continue into possible broader complicity in the thefts, nor what remedial actions are being taken by the GOM to assure that such security and procurement breaches would not occur again.
A chorus of commentary in online media has expressed incredulity at the Government's position that the thefts were carried out solely by two relatively low-level individuals and that higher-ups in the military and elsewhere were not involved. 
On January 6, the Embassy's Office of Development Cooperation received a letter from the RMAF which provided a brief update on the missing engines case and indicated a willingness to respond to additional inquiries from the USG once the GOM investigation is completed (see para 7).
2. (C) Comment:  We share some of the incredulity expressed in the blogosphere about the Government's case and explanation of who was behind the engine thefts. In coordination with Washington, Post is continuing to push for a complete accounting of how the thefts occurred and the ultimate disposition of the engines, and to remind the GOM of the seriousness of the issue and need for remedial actions.
We look forward to a readout of next week's meeting on this issue between PM's PDAS and Malaysian Ambassador.  The Ambassador and DCM have pending meeting requests with senior MFA officials.  End Summary and Comment.
What the Media has Been Reporting
3. (SBU) Government-influenced media reports continue to provide evolving, if changing and conflicting facts pertaining to the disappearance of the two F-5 engines.
-- The most recent reports (January 7) indicate that the engines were stolen separately -- one on December 20, 2007 and the other on January 1, 2008 and that the discovery of the theft occurred on May 22, 2008.
-- Media reports say the RMAF filed a police report on August 4, 2008 after they conducted their own investigation.
-- The destination of the engines has been cited as both Argentina and Uruguay, although early accounts by the police reported in the press also indicated the engines went through or to the Middle East, and specifically Iran.
-- Some independent online news portals claimed that the engines ended up in Iran.  At a press conference, the Attorney General reportedly became defensive when asked about the Iran connection, and all references placing the engines in the Middle East or Iran have since been removed from the state-run media.
-- Specific details regarding the May 2008 RMAF investigation and the August 2008 police investigation have not been released, although both the Attorney General and Defense Minister have implied that no one was held accountable as a result of those investigations.
-- As to where the engines currently are, Attorney General Gani Patail attracted attention with a January 5 comment quoted in the Star newspaper that, "I really do not know what is being done to it now, whether the engines are used as scrap metal or as sinker for fishing."
-- The press reported that Police arrested RMAF Sergeant N. Tharmendran and company director Rajandran Prasad on January 6 in connection with the two missing F-5 engines.  Tharmendran was charged with conspiring to steal the engines, while Rajandran was charged with intentionally disposing of items that he knew to be stolen.
-- Attorney General Gani had previously said on January 4 that "many people" were involved, but did not indicate that the investigation into the perpetrators would continue.  According to Gani, "what is important is recovering the engines."  No information has been released regarding the identities of the buyer and/or any middlemen.
-- Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted by the Malaysian Insider on January 6 as saying at a public event that no further investigation or special inquiries were necessary, stating after the arrests that he was "satisfied with the Attorney-General's action and investigations into the case."
 Zahid also downplayed the severity of the theft, stating on January 7 that "The contract to purchase was made in 1972.  At that time, the engine's price, including the afterburner, was $121,428 each," basing this on the exchange rate at that time. (Note: the original value of the missing engines given by the newspapers was listed as $15 million each. End note.)
-- Public condemnation of the results has been muted by the state-run media, but the online blogosphere has been swift, one-sided, and damning of the GOM's arrests and conclusion that Tharmendran and Rajandran were the only ones involved.
4. (C) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has kept itself at arms length from the scandal.  Ambassador and DCM have not yet been able to secure meetings with senior MFA officials to discuss this issue (among other bilateral issues). 
MFA Principal Assistant Secretary (Americas Division) Mohamad Radzi Jamaluddin told Poloff January 6 that the Defense Ministry has the lead and described that Ministry as being "elusive" in its handling of the case. 
Radzi opined that the newspapers were publishing a lot of misinformation, and that they were often factually incorrect.  He suggested that press reports that the GOM has reached out to the USG for assistance in the investigation were false, because any such request would have been routed through the MFA.  (Note: Post has no record of any request for assistance on this case from the GOM.  End Note.)
Letter from the RMAF
5. (SBU) Following ref A discussion between Office of Defense Cooperation chief Lieutenant Colonel Steve Ma and Brigadier General Azizan bin Shaari, Director of Materiel with Royal Malaysia Air Force (RMAF), ODC chief received an official letter from the RMAF on January 6.
Begin text:
05 January 2010
OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION ON THE MISSING F5E GE J85-21 ENGINES
Ref:
A. FMS Case MF-D-SAJ
B. FMS Case MF-D-SBE
C. FMS Case MF-D-SBK
D. FMS Case MF-D-SCA
E. Malaysian Government Contract No: PERB/K&B/107/84.
F. The discussion between Assistant Chief of Staff Material / LTC Stephen C. Ma on 28 Dec 2009 at the Ministry of Defense, Malaysia.
  1. The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) presents its compliments to the Office of Defense Cooperation and the United States Embassy Kuala Lumpur.
  2. In pursuant to the discussion vide reference F, the RMAF regrets to inform that there are two (02) F5E GE J85-21 engines found missing from the inventory believed to be stolen on the 26th May 2008.  The serial numbers of the engines are as follows:
    a. E227718
    b. E227856
  3. The RMAF had conducted an internal investigation where procedures with regards to handling and transportation were re-examined and tightened.  A report had been lodged with the Royal Malaysian police on the 4th of August 2008 to continue with the investigations and to pursue with criminal prosecution against individuals linked to the theft.
  4. The RMAF fully understood the requirements of the United States government on Foreign Military Sales (FMS) policy in relation to this incident but unable to notify earlier pending completion of investigations by the Royal Malaysian Police.  We believed that the investigation is nearing its conclusion and will follow with prosecution by the Attorney General's Chamber.  We will endeavor to notify the progress on this matter to the United States Government through your office as soon as we have more information.
  5. Thank you.
(signed)
DATO' SRI RODZALI BIN DAUD
Gen RMAF
Chief of Air Force
End Text
KEITH

5,000 Penduduk Alor Star,Pokok Sena Ikuti Amanat Himpunan Bersih 2.0

KeadilanDaily

Penduduk Alor Star tekun mengikuti ucapan Anwar mengenai kepentingan Bersih 2.0
 
ALOR STAR: Lebih 5,000 orang membanjiri Markas Pas Pokok Sena di sini, bagi mengikuti perkembangan terbaru dari pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat mengenai program Himpunan Bersih 2.0 di ibu negara 9 Julai ini.

Kehadiran rakyat yang bilangannya luar biasa itu, sekaligus memberi gambaran betapa sambutan rakyat terhadap seruan menyertai Himpunan Bersih 2.0, sangat menggalakkan.

Apatah lagi, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dalam pidatonya bijak membakar semangat hadirin dengan mengingatkan rakyat supaya terus yakin dengan perjuangan menuntut perubahan kerana ia asas paling utama dalam melawan pemerintah zalim.

“Kita ada keyakinan, kita menang. Hilang keyakinan, kita kalah,” kata Ketua Umum KEADILAN merangkap Ketua Pembangkang itu.

Umno khianati amanah rakyat – Mahfuz
 
Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena, Datuk Mahfuz Omar yang berucap dalam loghat pekat utara turut mencuri tumpuan apabila mengibarat pemimpin yang mengkhianati kepercayaan rakyat sebagai ‘jebon yang menjaga law ayam’ (musang yang menjaga reban ayam).

“Jangankan ayam, dengan law sekali jebon ini nak kekah,” katanya, penuh semangat.

Ketua Pemuda Pas kawasan Pokok Sena, Ustaz Izzat Shauki pula mencabar semua hadirin lelaki untuk turun ke Kuala Lumpur 9 Julai ini jika benar-benar anak jantan.

“Pengerusi Bersih 2.0, Datuk Ambiga, seorang perempuan pun turun ke jalan raya. Jadi, kalau saudara-saudara yang lelaki tak berani turut sama berhimpun, malulah kepada orang perempuan” katanya
Sokongan rakyat terhadap tuntutan Bersih semakin meluas
 
Ahli Parlimen Kuala Kedah, Ahmad bin Kassim turut mengingatkan rakyat bahawa prinsip pengasingan kuasa antara pentadbiran, perundangan dan kehakiman perlu dititik berat agar kuasa tidak berpusat kepada Perdana Menteri semata-mata.

“Kalau dah campur jadi macam rojak, ada masalah. Justeru, tuntutan Bersih adalah sebahagian usaha memperbetul keadaan ini,” katanya.

Ceramah berakhir kira-kira jam 12 tengah malam dengan ribuan hadirin yang mengikuti amanat pimpinan beransur-ansur pulang ke rumah masing-masing, dengan tekad untuk menyertai Himpunan Bersih 2.0.

Di wajah mereka, terpapar semangat untuk berhimpun di Kuala Lumpur 9 Julai ini.

Short URL: http://www.keadilandaily.com/?p=15966

Malaysian Arrests Are a Puzzle


Image
They're still scared of Chin Peng
(Asia Sentinel) Opposition party members arrested on allegations of seeking to overthrow the king

The arrest Sunday by Malaysian security forces of a Socialist Party member of parliament and 30 others for allegedly intending to wage war against the country’s Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or king, appears to be a throwback to 50 years ago when Communists still thronged the country’s jungles.

The arrest has opposition party members scratching their heads in confusion and attempting to discern what actually happened at a police checkpoint in Penang, where police said the party members had been found with subversive materials instigating an overthrow of the government.
  
Opposition figures said the 30 were on a campaign swing in the north of the country to seek to generate support for a bigger rally on July 9 that has police – and the ruling Barisan Nasional – much more clearly worried. Sources within the United Malays National Organization, the country’s biggest ethnic political party and the leader of the ruling Barisan Nasional, say that rally, by an organization called Bersih, or the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, an umbrella group encompassing 64 civil-society groups, has been hijacked by Pakatan Rakyat, the three-party opposition coalition made up principally of Parti Islam se-Malaysia, the Democratic Action Party and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, headed by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The Bersih rally’s organizers say they are not connected to any political parties. Although the July 9 rally has been declared illegal by the police, the organizers, headed by Ambiga Sreenevasan, the former president of the Bar Council, say they plan to march through the streets of Kuala Lumpur to deliver a petition to the Agong, whom Parti Sosialis supposedly wants to overthrow.
  
Adding to police concerns, the Malay nationalist NGO Perkasa, led by firebrand Ibrahim Ali, and the youth division of UMNO say they will hold counter-rallies, increasing the possibility of violent confrontation. Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has said that he wouldn’t rule out using the country’s strict Internal Security Act, which allows in effect for indefinite detention, on the organizers of the Bersih rally, but maintained that other laws will be used for now.

Indeed, the security establishment has considerable reason for concern even without the counter-rallies.  A massive rally in Kuala Lumpur in November 2007 by led by Bersih brought 40,000 people to the streets in one of the biggest anti-government rallies Malaysia had seen to that point.  It was a harbinger of the March, 2008 vote that cost the Barisan Nasional its two-thirds lock on Parliament and the leadership of five states.
 
That rally turned central Kuala Lumpur into chaos as baton-wielding riot police used water cannon and tear gas to try and thwart an attempt by tens of thousands of marchers to deliver a petition to Malaysia’s king, asking for royal intervention in delivering electoral reform.

As the current Bersih rally has become closer to reality, the government has grown more concerned, warning that any violence would be met with force.

“The Bersih marches have been hijacked by opposition parties ahead of pending national elections in a bid to cause unrest while clamoring for electoral reform despite the elections that yielded huge gains for the opposition,” said a lawyer close to Umno. “Furthermore, elements of the outlawed communist Party of Malaya have reared their ugly head with the tacit backing from the DAP and the Bar Council, which is widely seen as engaging the ruling Umno Government to dilute its Malay privileges and national identity that places Islam as its official religion. How else to explain the arrests of 30 Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) activists in Penang late Saturday, apparently under section 122 of the Penal Code which arraigns rebellion against the king?”

The Penang deputy police chief, Abdul Rahim Jaafar said police seized 28 T-shirts, eight of which bore pictures of figures such as the long-dead Argentine revolutionary figure Che Guevara, from the 30 Parti Sosialis members.  As a flock of critics pointed out, the Che T-shirts can be bought all over the night markets of Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

Although the Communists were defeated in 1960, the insurgency dragged on in the northern jungles on the Thai border until 1989, almost unnoticed by the bulk of Malaysians, who had got about the business of turning their country into a capitalist, exporting powerhouse that made Communism basically irrelevant.  With the insurgency over for the past 22 years, the Communist Party remains outlawed and the party’s elderly longtime leader, Chin Peng, remains outside the country despite a plea to be allowed to come back so that he could die with his family.

Opposition figures including the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang ridiculed the arrests, saying on his blog that they were more an indication over the government’s “fret and fever” over the planned July 9 march that “has driven elements of our security establishment nuts.”

“The arrest and remand for seven days of 30 individuals (including two juveniles in their teens), apparently for having in their possession certain paraphernalia including T-shirts with images of former communist leaders, for waging war against the King is a reflection of such a clampdown,” he told the news website Malaysian Insider.

“By analogy, if one were to be at home wearing a Che Guevara (the Marxist revolutionary) T-shirt listening to a song attacking the institution of royalty by either The Smiths or The Sex Pistols, one faces a very real likelihood of being investigated for waging war against the King. This surely cannot be.”
 
 “The Communist Party is an outlawed political organisation. It is unlawful to display and promote communist elements,” Abdul Rahim, the police official, told reporters.  Among other things, he said,  some of the Ts-shirts bore the emblem of  what looked like the Barisan Nasional logo being cut with a pair of scissors, and the words Anti-Capitalism and Udahlah tu.. Bersaralah (That's enough, retire).

Other items confiscated included copies of the Sosialis Party organ in various languages along with 600 pamphlets advertising the Bersih rally.  Some, Abdul Rahim said, contained “seditious content.”
Most of those arrested have been ordered held for seven days.  

Gani Patail playing judge in Altantuya case, says Mat Zain

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — A retired senior policeman has accused Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail of superceding the courts by dismissing private investigator P. Balasubramaniam’s statutory declarations (SD) regarding the murder of Altantuya Shariibuu.

Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim said in an open letter to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar today that the Attorney-General was trying to ensure that the Mongolian’s murder case is not reopened.

The Shah Alam High Court ended a 159-day trial in April 2009, meting out death sentences to two police officers who are now appealing the judgment.

“The question now is what right does Gani Patail (picture) have to decide that the contradictions in the two Bala SDs will not affect the Altantuya case.

“Or maybe he would like to admit that he is also acting as the Chief Judge hearing the case,” said the former Kuala Lumpur criminal investigation chief.

In July 2008, Balasubramaniam created headlines when he made public his SD linking then-Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with Altantuya.

He made assertions about the relationship conveyed to him by both the Mongolian and Najib’s associate Abdul Razak Baginda, who was acquitted of abetting the murder.

Barely 24 hours after making the serious allegations, he created a second round of shockwaves when he made a second SD retracting his first, claiming that he was forced to make his earlier declaration under duress.

However, Balasubramaniam made another about-turn after going into exile, insisting his first SD was genuine and challenged the A-G to prosecute him in court.

The issue arose again in Parliament last week when the government said that it would not be taking any further action on Balasubramaniam’s SDs.

Opposition MPs criticised the decision, accusing the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration of being unable to prove that the private investigator’s first SD was false.

Mat Zain, who headed the 1998 police probe into former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s black-eye case, has repeatedly accused Abdul Gani of having deceived the federal government.
He recently called for a royal commission of inquiry to investigate the Attorney-General’s role in destroying public confidence in the police.

Sistem perundangan disalah guna demi menjaga 'keselamatan regim'

Orang yang lemas akan capai apa saja untuk menyelamat diri walaupun kadang kala tak sedar tindakan mereka boleh lebih mempercepatkan mereka lemas. Dalam 'seni' menyelamatkan orang lemas penyelamat dilatih menyelamat dari belakang atau ketuk sahaja mangsa supaya pengsan agar mudah diselamatkan.

Kini regim ini saling tak tumpah seperti orang lemas. Regim kain gila. terbaru pada 25 jun lepas 30 aktivis PSM telah ditahan di Pulau pinang dalam 'tuor' kempen mereka yang bertemakan 'Udahlah... Bersalahlah.." Kempen ini menggambarkan betapa parti penguasa regim Barisan nasional sudah sampai usia yang sepatutnya dipencenkan oleh rakyat.

Kempen ini 'halal' kerana bertujuan menyedarkan rakyat mengenai kebobrokan Bn dan meminta rakyat menukar kerajaan Bn ini. Jika kempen ini salah maka kempen yang diterajui oleh Najib di Selangor yang menyerang kerajaan Selangor juga salah. maka najib juga harus ditahan.

Lebih gila lagi kesemua mereka kini disiasat dan mungkin didakwa dengan tuduhan berniat untuk memerangi Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Tuduhan ini kononya kerana polis menjumpai kemeja dan risalah dengan gambar pejuang kemerdekaan seperti rashid Maidin, Abdullah CD dan Suriani. Polis menuduh mereka cuba menghidupkan semula gerakan Komunis. Tuduhan ini jika sabit kesalahan akan mengakibatkan hukuman gantung sampai mati.

Ini semua usaha menakutkan dan mematahkan kebangkitan rakyat. Regim bertambah panik dengan memperkudakan sepenuhnya polis khususnya takut dengan kebangkitan rakyat menjelang BERSIH.

Untuk pengetahuan regim dan polis Malaysia tahukah kamu bahawa DYMM Sultan Perak sendiri pernah bertemu dengan tokoh - tokong pejuang kemerdekaan ini di Istananya. Malah Rashid maidin dan isterinya juga telah dibiayai urusan ibadah hajinya.

Tindakan ini juga boleh diterjemahkan sebagai bukti Umno merupakan pewaris penjajah dengan meneruskan dendam penjajah terhadap penentang penjajah yang menuntut kemerdekaan 'total' ke atas rakyat dan tanahair ini.

Jika benar regim ini menentang fahaman atau ideologi komunis mengapa Malaysia dibawah regim ini menjalinkan hubungan dengan negara fahaman komunis seperti China, Vietnam dan seumpamanya.

Jawapanya muda sebenarnya ia tidak ada kaitan dengan ideologi atau fahaman. Ia hanya kerana keselamatan dan kepentingan regim semata - mata. malaysia ialah negara hipokrit dan oputunis lihat sahaja bagaimana selaku kononya negara Islam kita punya hubungan dagang erat dan menyumbang dana besar dalam ekonomi Israel sebagai rakan dagang.

Rakyat disaran untuk bangkit, tanpa sebarang ketakukan. Menukar kerajaan melalui pilihanraya adalah sah. Ini yang sedang diusahakan. Tetapi untuk itu program 9 Jul ialah bertujuan mengajak rakyat turun ke jalanraya secara aman mendesak pilihanraya yang adil dan bersih.

SAMM mengecam tindakan regim penguasa.

che'GuBard
Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia

DAP senator, assembly member hauled up

Two DAP politicians have been hauled up, one for allegedly speaking about the Bersih event and the other for allegedly sporting a Bersih T-shirt.
 
Senator S Ramakrishnan was hauled up for speaking on the Bersih rally during a Kuala Langat DAP dinner earlier tonight. His statement was recorded at the Banting Police Station in Kuala Langat.

An accountant by training, Ramakrishnan lectures at the Metropolitan College, Subang Jaya, Selangor.


Selangor state assembly member Philip Tan Choon Swee (Teluk Datuk) could be in trouble too for allegedly wearing a Bersih 2.0 T-shirt, tweeted Lim Kit Siang.

Both politicians are being investigated for a possible charge under s112 of the Criminal Procedure Code. They were released on police bail late at night.

Meanwhile, Anwar Ibrahim, Nurul Izzah, Latheefa Koya, Surendran and Sivarasa have been called to give their statements at the Dang Wangi District Police Headquarters tomorrow.

Maria Chin Abdullah, Irene Fernandez, and Hisham Rais have been asked to give their statements on Wednesday.