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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Schoolboy killed and 'religious teacher' held in South-related violence

Pattani A schoolboy was killed and two bystanders were injured when an unknown gunman shot the student before opening fire at people shopping at a market in Pattani yesterday morning. 

The shooting took place at the market in Ban Klang village in tambon Ban Klang, Panare district at 6.30am.

Worapoj Daengsuk, 16, a Mathayom 5 student of Thakham Witthayakhan School, was killed, while village headman assistant Narong Yodsri, 51, and village defence volunteer Charoen Pansrikaew, 59, were injured.

According to police, Worapoj and his mother Nonglak were shopping for food when two men on a motorcycle arrived. The pillion rider followed Worapoj before shooting him in the head and then opening fire on the nearby crowd.

Police suspect a personal conflict or an attack by southern insurgents on a Buddhist religious day as the motive.

Pattani Governor Nipon Narapitakkul said that he believed the attack was a result of the region's unrest, where insurgents harm Thai Buddhists to incite disunity and distrust between Thai Buddhists and Muslims in Panare district, which is made up of 60 per cent Buddhists and 40 per cent Muslims.

More than 4,500 people have been killed and nearly 9,000 wounded in the three southernmost provinces since the separatist violence started afresh in January 2004.

In related news, a Cambodian Muslim man was arrested along with some video clips of alleged arms training and war violence at the Sa Kaew province border checkpoint yesterday, as Thai authority suspected he might be involved in the southern unrest.

Saying that he was a religious schoolteacher in Kampong Cham who obtained a bachelor degree from a Malaysian college - namely Kojet Jaiputra - Abdullah Bin Umar, 27, told Thai officers that he wanted to go to Malaysia through Narathiwat's Sungai Kolok district to pick up his wife amd go back to living together in Cambodia's Kampong Cham province. The man is currently detained for further interrogation at the 1206th ranger unit.

Lawyer in Bersih tee arrested

Emeric Teo was having a drink at a Starbucks outlet in Kuching when some 30 policemen confronted him.

PETALING JAYA: A week has passed since the Bersih 2.0 rally but the arrests continue. Emeric Teo, a lawyer, was picked up in Kuching this morning for wearing a yellow Bersih 2.0 T-shirt in public.

Teo and a group of PKR members and other lawyers were at The Spring, a popular mall in Kuching, to publicise an online petition for the release of the six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members detained under the Emergency Ordinance (EO).

According to PKR Batu Lintang assemblyman, See Chee How, the group was having coffee at Starbucks and chatting to patrons when a group of about 30 policemen approached them.

“All of us were wearing yellow but Teo was the only one wearing a Bersih T-shirt,” See told FMT.
“The police took him to the Kuching police divisional headquarters. We were told that he has been arrested under Section 47 of the Societies Act 1966.”

Asked if Teo was handcuffed or whether a tussle ensued, See said: “No they didn’t handcuff him because they know he’s a lawyer. There were no arguments either.”

See, who accompanied Teo to the police headquarters, added that the police had just finished taking his statement and were in the midst of snapping pictures of Teo in the T-shirt.

“We’re still waiting for an explanation from the police,” he said. “We’d like to find out why he was arrested when the rally is over.”

Teo is the second person in Sarawak to be arrested over a Bersih T-shirt. On July 4, PKR Youth secretary Zulhaidah Suboh was arrested at the Miri airport for wearing a Bersih T-shirt and for carrying a few more in her luggage.

She pleaded not guilty at the Miri Magistrate’s Court and was released on RM4,000 bail on July 7.

No need for yellow phobia

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein declared the Bersih T-shirts illegal as it represented Bersih 2.0 which the government had deemed an illegal movement.

“The arrest is completely unnecessary,” See stated.

“There is no need for the government to have a yellow phobia. The first Bersih rally was in 2007 and this will not be the end,” he added.

Earlier this week, Bersih 2.0 had called on the people to wear yellow every Saturday to keep the spirit alive and See attested to a huge turnout of people wearing yellow in Kuching today.

“Yellow was never a very popular colour before July 9,” he laughed. “But today I spotted so many people wearing something yellow in the coffee shops around town.”

See added however that police presence was minimal around the city except at The Spring where the online petition drive was being carried out and received a positive response.

Work with Najib on reforms, Anwar told

An academic calls on BN and Pakatan to move beyond the rally and work on the demands made by Bersih 2.0.

GEORGE TOWN: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim should work with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to realise Bersih 2.0′s objectives for electoral reforms, said an academic.

Sivamurugan Pandian also warned Najib that he cannot afford to overlook Bersih 2.0′s demands.
“He has a duty to address it,” stressed the deputy dean of Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Social Sciences.

He said given Najib’s agenda to transform and reform the country, the prime minister must not hesitate to engage Bersih 2.0′s leadership.

On the same note, he said the Bersih leadership should also engage non-Pakatan Rakyat groups, including the Barisan Nasional backbenchers club, in its efforts to reform the balloting process.

“If Bersih is apolitical, the coalition of NGOs should do that,” he told FMT.

The academician also called on both BN and Pakatan to stop harping on the Bersih rally and move beyond it.

He said both coalitions should now work on their respective reform and transformation drives for the betterment of the country.

He said the current intense politicking by both sides over the rally was counter-productive.
“The country’s transformation and reform goals are not solely about Bersih 2.0. The politicking by both sides is taking the country nowhere. The rally is over… we should all move ahead,” he added.

Engage the silent majority

Sivamurugan said that both BN and Pakatan should also explore various ways to engage the silent majority, who did not take part in the rally.

He said nobody could actually gauge whether the silent majority was supportive or non-supportive of Bersih 2.0′s cause.

He said there was a possibility that the silent majority supported Bersih 2.0′s reform agenda on principle but was not keen in taking part in demonstrations.

“It can also be on the contrary,” he added.

Sivamurugan, who was at the rally as an observer, said the crowd was overwhelmingly dominated by ethnic Malays, who were urbanites.

“It seems urbanites are keen for electoral reforms. But then we could not gauge the rural sentiments on the subject,” he said.

Sivamurugan said all parties should cease their politicking and start engaging the people in a collective effort to bring about a comprehensive transformation and reformation.

“Bersih 2.0 is supposedly an apolitical coalition. So why should only politicians rumble over it. It’s the people who should be in the forefront of the reform agenda,” he said.

Ops Scorpene Fundraising Dinner

Date: 21 July 2011 (Thursday)
Time: 8.00p.m.
Venue: Banquet Hall Function Room 2, Level 4, Sunshine Square complex, Penang
Many have been shocked by the potentially explosive scandal in Malaysia over the billion-dollar purchase of French submarines, a deal engineered by then Defense Minister Najib Tun Razak. The Scorpene submarines are at the very heart of the continuing controversy over the death of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year old Mongolian translator who was cruelly and brutally C4-ed to her tragic death.
However, many may not know that French lawyers William Bourdon, Renaud Semerdjian and Joseph Breham  filed two requests with Parisian prosecutors on Dec. 4, 2009 and Feb. 23 2010 on behalf of the Malaysian human rights organization Suaram to investigate bribery and kickbacks from the deal.
For over two years, Parisian prosecutors, led by investigating judges Francoise Besset Francoise Besset and Jean-Christophe Hullin, have been gingerly investigating allegations involving senior French political figures and the sales of submarines and other weaponry to governments all over the world.
French news reports have said the prosecutors have backed away from some of the most serious charges out of concern for the political fallout.
On the Malaysian front, Ops Scorpene has been launched to raise funds and awareness for these concerned parties to further pursue the case in the French courts. It hopes to question arms spending and transparency in arms procurement in the country.
However, funds are needed to finance the legal costs in French courts. As such,  Ops Scorpene aims to raise RM100,000 via events planned during the visit of the French lawyers to Malaysia.
This is where YOU can play a very important role to see that justice and truth prevails. Far above all the coffee shop discussions or rants online, this is YOUR chance to play an active role in unravelling truth.
A fund-raising dinner will be held in Penang during the French lawyer’s visit to Malaysia  to better inform ordinary citizens and Civil Society Organisations on the facts of the scandal that shook the nation.
Other speakers include Cynthia Gabriel (SUARAM), Lim Kiat Siang (DAP), Tian Chua (PKR), and Mat Sabu (PAS).
Other details:

Vegetarian Dinner
A table for 10 persons is priced at :
Table class A — RM 5000
Table class B — RM 3000
Table class C — RM 2000
Table class D — RM 1000
Table class E — RM   500
Individual tickets at RM50 each are also available for sale.
If you cannot be there for one reason or another, please feel free to contribute your donations. Your presence, support and/or kind and generous response is deeply appreciated.PLEASE JOIN US. See you there at the dinner!
Please contact us by email to or or contact Ong Jing Cheng at 012-7583779.

The Prime Minister Must Stand By His Words And Release The EO 6 Immediately


I call on the Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak to immediately release the EO 6:-
1) Dr Jeyakumar Michael Devaraj Member of Parliament for Sungai Siput;
2) M Saraswathy Deputy Chairperson of Parti Sosialis Malaysia;
3) Choo Chon Kai Committee Member;
4) M Sukumaran Committee Member;
5) A Letchumanan Sungai Siput Branch Secretary;
6) Sarat Babu Youth Leader.

The police detained the EO 6 to deter the public from attending the Bersih 2.0 Rally. If the police have evidence the EO 6 committed a crime then the police should charge them and prove their case in a court of law. There is no justification for their detention. It is totally unwarranted and violates the universal principles of human rights.
I ask the Prime Minister to stand by the pledges that he made:-
a) To all Malaysians in his maiden speech on 3rd April 2009 when 13 ISA detainees were released and he pledged to conduct a comprehensive review of the ISA;
b) To Malaysian youth on 27th August 2010 at the Barisan Nasional Youth Lab programme when he said that the days of “scare politics” or using the ISA to wield power and show that one has full control were done;
c) To the International Community in his maiden speech on 27th September 2010 at the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly where he urged all nations to embark on a “Global Movement of Moderates”, to respect human rights and international humanitarian law;
d) To Malaysian and African leaders on 19th June 2011 at the Langkawi International Dialogue to practice transparency, accountability, integrity and to show strong values of good governance; and
e) To the United Nations that Malaysia as a Member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, is committed and pledged to cooperate, promote, support and protect human rights.
I ask the Prime Minister to stop using “scare politics” and to stop using the Emergency Ordinance and ISA. The Prime Minister must show he dares to practice what he preaches by releasing the EO 6 immediately. Otherwise it will confirm that what he practices he dare not preach. For the dignity and credibility of all Malaysians, I call on the Prime Minister to live up to his own words.
William Leong Jee Keen
Member of Parliament for Selayang

Cops shooting justifiably have legal shield, Aminulrasyid trial told

The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, July 15 — A police officer discharging his firearm given reasonable cause receives legal protection for doing so, the trial of a corporal accused of causing the death of schoolboy Aminulrasyid Amzah heard today.

SAC Datuk Razali Basri of the federal CID’s prosecution and legal division also said the Police Standing Orders, under which the protection is accorded, contained guidelines on situations in which the discharge of firearms would be justifiable.

He was testifying today at the trial of 48-year-old Corporal Jenain Subi, who is charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder of the schoolboy.

Citing the Standing Orders, Razali said a police officer can open fire in instances where his or the lives others were at risk.

At this point, deputy public prosecutor Idham Abd Ghani asked if a vehicle running a traffic light would be sufficient cause to justify the discharge of a weapon.

“If the vehicle beats the red light and is heading towards a crowd or zebra crossing, it can be stopped by whatever means, even with shots,” Razali was quoted as saying by Bernama Online.

But the senior officer added that roadblocks — as opposed to gunfire — would have been a more measured response to a fleeing vehicle.

Fourteen-year-old schoolboy Aminulrasyid was shot after a high-speed police car chase in Shah Alam in the early hours of April 26, 2010.

Jenain, the sole officer charged for the incident, faces up to 30 years’ jail plus a fine if convicted.

The trial resumes on July 22.

Marina ticks off gov't in its handling of Bersih

(Malaysiakini) Marina Mahathir, eldest daughter of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is convinced that the government had handled last Saturday's Bersih 2.0 rally “extremely badly”.

sisters in islam anti book banning book burning campaign 190808 marina mahathir“Many leaders, both in the public and private sectors, are saying the government could have avoided the Bersih 2.0 (fallout) by not making such a big issue out of it,” Marina told Malaysiakini in an exclusive interview.

“The government could have simply dealt with it in a different way as the issue at hand is not that controversial. If you ask anyone, 'do you want free and fair elections?', the logical answer is 'yes' - no matter what side you are on.

“The government should have said, 'we are for it too'.”

According to Marina, the government was in such an aggressive defensive mode over the Bersih movement that it made many Malaysians, including those who sat on the fence, angry.

On July 9, Marina participated in the Bersih 2.0 protest with her daughter and friends.

NONEThey started from near Jalan Pudu (Berjaya Times Square) and walked along Jalan Hang Jebat (formerly Davidson Road) in front of Stadium Negara towards the Olympics Council of Malaysia building where she encountered other friends.

“Apparently at one point, the cops had chased (the protesters) even though there was no reason to catch them and hauled them off.

“But later, we could sit and wait by the curb without anyone disturbing us. Jalan Hang Jebat and the small road that led up to Stadium Merdeka stayed pretty quiet.”

Did she tell her dad?

NONEMarina also ticked off Prime Minister Najib Razak for his personal attack against Bersih leader Ambiga Sreenevasan.

“People thought 'how could you stoop so low',” she continued.

“And when they started arresting people wearing yellow T-shirts and put (Sungai Siput MP) Dr (D) Jeyakumar in jail - he is such a good person and has done a lot of good service - people got more angry. It is not fair to accuse him of being a communist.

“I think a lot of ordinary people decided that this is it. This is it and this is not fair, and we are going to out there and participate in the Bersih 2.0 rally.

“There are so many accounts of the aunty types who would not ever do anything or something radical in their life or never march, and these people decided to go, even those from outside Kuala Lumpur,” added Marina, who said she was at the Bersih rally for more than three hours.

When asked if she had talked to her father about the Bersih 2.0 campaign for electoral reforms, she categorically said, “No”.


mahathir out of ijn 121007 marina“Because we are both extremely busy people and I cannot even keep up with him. On July 9, he was actually on a flight outside the country,” Marina explained.

“So I didn't tell him that I was marching. (But) we discuss all these things. He has his views, and we have respect for each other's views and that's it.”

Indonesian maid escapes execution in Saudi Arabia

Darsem binti Dawud Tawar holds her son on Wednesday at the Indonesian Foreign Ministry in Jakarta.Clarification: This story has been updated to make it clear that the Indonesian government paid the compensation necessary to secure the maid's release, rather than supporters. 
(CNN) -- Just three weeks ago, Darsem binti Dawud Tawar was facing execution by beheading in Saudi Arabia for murder, which she claims was an act of self-defense. Now, finally back home in Indonesia, she is a free woman -- after the Indonesian government paid more than $500,000 in "blood money."

Holding her young son tightly, as she faced the glare of the media, Darsem was reunited with her family on Wednesday at the Indonesian Foreign Ministry in Jakarta. She first left her West Java hometown for a job as a maid in the Middle East in 2006, when her son was just a baby.

Darsem's pardon followed the recent beheading of another Indonesian maid convicted of murdering her employer in Saudi Arabia.

In May 2009, a Riyadh court sentenced Darsem to death for murdering a relative of her Yemeni employer in Saudi Arabia. She claimed she acted in self-defense, after he allegedly tried to rape her.

Earlier this year, the dead man's family agreed to pardon her so long as she paid them compensation, known as diyat or "blood money."

The Indonesian government offered to pay the required compensation of 2 million riyals ($533,000).
Indonesia's Foreign Ministry says the diyat was paid on June 25 to the family through the courts. A day later, Riyadh's Vice Governor Prince Satham Abdulazis signed Darsem's release papers, and she was able to return to Indonesia on Wednesday.

Another Indonesian maid working in Saudi Arabia, Ruyati binti Sapubi, was executed on June 16. Her beheading caused public outrage in Indonesia and a diplomatic protest when Saudi Arabian authorities failed to inform Indonesia about the date of her execution.

The Indonesian government announced a full moratorium on sending workers to the Gulf kingdom, demanding an agreement be first signed to ensure the protection of workers' rights.

Indonesia stops sending workers to Saudi Arabia

It was to take effect on August 1 but a month before that, Saudi Arabia announced its own ban, halting the issuance of visas to domestic workers from Indonesia and the Philippines.

Migrant workers' rights groups have long demanded better working conditions and protection for more than a million Indonesian workers in Saudi Arabia.

Indonesian migrant worker endured years of abuse

Indonesian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Michael Tene said the two sides held meetings in Saudi Arabia on July 11 and 12 on this issue.

While talks are at an early stage, Tene said Indonesia is hopeful a memorandum of understanding could be signed this year with stipulations for improved rights and conditions for workers, enabling them to again work in Saudi Arabia.

Tene also said government efforts continue to ensure that all legal avenues are exhausted and assistance is given to all other Indonesians on death row, not only in Saudi Arabia, but also in other countries.

After Ruyati's execution, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono created a special task force from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and also Manpower and Law and Human Rights to focus on protecting Indonesian migrant workers. On Thursday, Yudhoyono announced that a government team, part of the task force, had been dispatched to Saudi Arabia.

Indonesia: Police arrest Islamic boarding school chief after blast

Jakarta, 15 July (AK/Jakarta) - Police announced Friday they had arrested Abrori, head of the Umar Bin Khatab Islamic boarding school in the eastern Indonesia, where a bomb exploded earlier this week.

“Police arrested Abrori at the home of his parents in Khananga village, Bolo district, at around 12:30 local time [1:30 p.m. Jakarta time],” said Indonesian national police spokesman Untung Yoga Ana in text messages sent to journalists on Friday.

Police will transfer Abrori from the Bima district in West Nusa Tenggara to the provincial capital of Mataram for further investigation, Yoga added.

Abrori fled the boarding school after a bomb blast on Monday claimed the life of Suryanto Abdullah, alias Adnan Firdaus, a teacher and the school’s treasurer.

Police finally entered the school building on Wednesday after being obstructed by dozens of locals carrying sharp weapons and home-made bombs.

Police said they found bomb materials along with weapons and DVDs on Muslim holy war or Jihad.

Miti in damage control over Bersih, says Mukhriz

Mukhriz said the Bersih rally has made his ministry’s task more challenging. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — The government is being forced to counter the negative international coverage of the crackdown on Saturday’s Bersih rally while trying to convince investors that the country still has much to offer, said Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir today.

The deputy minister of international trade and industry also said that most of the effort the ministry will put in to overcome any investor doubts will end up largely benefiting Pakatan Rakyat controlled states.
“The negative coverage will most definitely affect sentiment toward Malaysia,” said Mukhriz in a press conference today.

“The irony of it is that Miti and Mida (Malaysian Industrial Development Authority) will have to step up efforts to control the damage and most of the benefit will accrue to opposition states such as Selangor, Penang and Kedah.”

Putrajaya drew negative global press over its handling of Bersih. — file pic
He added, “They (opposition parties) do such a thing and damage our reputation and our government has to do fire-fighting to attract investment.”

The deputy minister said that one of the main features that attracted investors to Malaysia was political stability, and rued that it was “unfortunate” his ministry will now have to rely on other “features” in its bid to promote the country.

“The main question we receive is whether this (the street rally) is a common occurrence,” he said. “Although it was a hiccup last Saturday, we tell investors that it happens only very rarely.”

However, Mukhriz said that no investors have yet pulled out because of the coverage on the Bersih rally last Saturday.

Thousands took to the capital’s streets on Saturday to march for free and fair elections but chaos broke out close to midday when police in full riot gear moved to disperse the crowd by firing tear gas canisters and spraying jets of chemical-laced water on protestors.

International coverage of the street rally was largely negative, with influential media such as Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal writing scathing editorials on the government’s crackdown of the gathering that also involved arrests of over 1,000 civilians, creating the spectre of a potential global backlash against the Malaysian government.

The media in the UK, where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is on a four-day official visit, has also been highly critical of the government’s handling of the street rally for electoral reforms, with a column in the widely read Guardian newspaper even suggesting that Najib is inviting comparisons to Egypt’s disgraced and recently deposed former president Hosni Mubarak.

‘Bersih Malays’ bitter pill for Umno

The bigger issue for all Malaysians now is how come aliens and illegals 'get citizenship with such ease and so large a number'?
Let’s try to make some sense about how the government responded to the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9.

First Anwar Ibrahim was factored in the rally. Even if Anwar leveraged on the Bersih march, does association with Anwar make the march illegal?

Anwar is a former deputy PM and is currently battling legal charges and is on trial.

Association with Anwar who is maligned with all sort of dirty description does not make Bersih and its cause any less honorable.

Anwar’s case is his and his alone – it does not pollute the cause nor the honour of Bersih marchers.
Secondly, the government elicited first-hand accounts from international tourists. Traders and travellers were solicited for their comments.

On TV, we were shown interviews with a few Caucasians. They were inconvenienced, they said.
The two Indian tourists said they had to go to bed starving. We were of course made to listen to these excerpted interviews.

The inconvenience of two or three Caucasians is considered to create a jarring impact on Malaysia?
Their pedantic views are irrelevant.

All (Tourism Minister) Ng Yen Yen needed to do was flash out on her expensive Facebook the routes to be avoided by the tourists.

Better still, redirect them to Jalan Alor so that they can have a good time there and thereafter form a better impression on Malaysia

Insidious ploy

Thirdly, this whole Bersih 2.0 rally was classified as haram.

They spinned that Bersih is an insidious ploy by non-Malays to undermine the Malay government.

If we read and listened to the pliant print and audio visual media machine, all those who participated in the Bersih march are subversives, traitors, and dummies.

But then the Bersih marchers carried no parangs and other assortment of dangerous weapons which were displayed by the police a few weeks ago and which looked suspiciously bought from a same single supplier.

Logic would have it that if the weapons were owned by different people, they would be of a jumbled up lot.

Here an axe, there a pisau, over here a parang, over there a catapult. By the way where were the Molotov cocktails?

The hard fact is that the Bersih marchers were ordinary people from all walks of lives – pensioners, taxi drivers, writers, lawyers.

They were not, as touted by the government, tools for (opposition leaders) Lim Kit Siang, mules for Anwar and digits directed by Indians, especially that minachi named (S) Ambiga (Bersih 2.0 chairperson).
They are just plain public spirited individuals.


So why is the government doing all these rather elaborately? The answer is it’s all part of the mind-conditioning process of the public.

It’s trying to isolate the Bersih marchers as some foreign substance to prevent it from becoming some integral element of a civil society.

But here is the thing. Spontaneous and voluntary banding up together is an important ingredient of a civilized and democratic society.

Only Third World despots who are naturally anti-democracy respond the way the government did which was to use batons and other harsh treatments on its own citizens.

Is Bersih an agenda for non-Malays to dislodge the Malays from political power?

The bitter and inconvenient truth is the majority who marched with Bersih the other day were Malays.
That makes the debatable fact that the rally was planned by Indians and that Malays are being used, insignificant.

The cause and the beliefs underlying the resolve to march with Bersih are more important.
That the Election Commission hasn’t been up to standard in ensuring elections are free and seen as clean was and shall remain the main objective.

It wasn’t about overthrowing the government though street actions.

Bigger issue

People marched because they are motivated by real concerns. They were not street mobs on a rampage or looting spree.

They are peaceful marchers making a statement about how elections are run in this country.

But as usual Umno and the government like to claim and exercise ownership on the bad things.

Why is the government afraid of electoral reforms? Everyone seems confident that the government will be returned with a bigger majority.

The victory will be more honourable if it is won with integrity.
The issue of postal voting is insignificant. Those in the service vote earlier because of operational reasons and the election process is done under watchful eyes.

Representatives of political parties are present during the voting and vote counting process.
Why should aliens be given citizenship and rights to vote in order to ensure victory for certain people?
But the bigger issue here is how come they get citizenship with such ease and so large a number?

The writer, a former Umno state elected rep and a prominent blogger, is a columnist with FMT.

Analysts: Bad press won’t unseat Najib

They say the negative publicity about anti-Bersih actions will have minimal electoral impact

KUALA LUMPUR: The international media’s attack on the Najib administration over its handling of the July 9 Bersih rally will not threaten Barisan Nasional’s grip on Putrajaya, according to two political analysts.

They said the negative publicity would have minimal electoral impact although it bolstered anti-BN sentiment among younger voters and reinforced their distrust of the local mainstream media.

“I don’t think it would affect anything on the ground,” said UCSI lecturer on public policies Ong Kian Ming, adding that the slew of criticism could in fact put off a majority of voters.

He said the foreign media assault might easily be interpreted as encroachment by “western imperialism”, a theme adopted by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad to counter international pressure on his administration during the 1998 “Reformasi” uprising.

Putrajaya’s response to Bersih has led to widespread criticism from the international media, including influential newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian, the television channel Al-Jazeera and also top regional newspapers like the Singapore Straits Times and Jakarta Post.

Observers have noted that the July 9 march had received more international attention than Bersih’s 2007 rally although there were significantly more participants in the first protest.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders believe the augmented media and Internet buzz means growing support for the opposition, but Ong disagrees, saying that the limelight on Bersih would have minimal electoral impact although it would sustain an anti-government momentum.

Ong explained the difference between the press given to the first and second Bersih rallies. To him, the latter received wider coverage because of its context rather than because of growing support for the opposition.

“I think we have been compared to the Arab Spring,” he said. “Also there is more awareness because the ruling coalition is more frail now as compared to 2007.”

Huge gap

Ibrahim Suffian, director of the independent polling house Merdeka Centre, echoed Ong’s view that negative media attention did mean an electoral setback for BN.

Be he said foreign media coverage of the rally revealed a huge “gap” between what the government claimed had transpired at the rally and the ground reality.

While foreign media have shown evidence of police aggression, government-owned mainstream media have gone all out to justify police actions.

“It reveals a dichotomy between how the local and foreign media reported the event,” he told FMT, adding that he believed the international attention on Bersih was the not the work of the group itself but of BN’s own mismanagement of the issue.

This echoed an opinion expressed by Bersih leader S Ambiga, who said the public’s strong support for the rally was made possible by the Najib administration’s hard clampdown in the build up to the event.

But while noting that the “absurd” dragnet had drawn in widespread international criticism on the ruling coalition, Ibrahim said the only pressure on Najib was to explain his government’s actions to the international community.


I just want to warn you that this doctored photograph is circulating on the Internet. This photograph is not real. The BERSIH logo has been superimposed on the photograph. The real un-doctored photograph is below it. I trust you will not be fooled by this doctored photograph.

Forever Tarnished


When he allowed his forces to brutally attack thousands of peaceful marchers, who were calling for an end to corrupt practices over the weekend, Najib must surely have taken into account the effect on his international image?

Millions of dollars worth of expensive PR, positioned press and TV interviews have been swept aside by scenes that show exactly how BN have kept power in Malaysia for over 50 years, achieving their current status as one of the world’s longest-lasting regimes.

Genuine democratic governments do not attack peaceful marchers with acid-laced water cannon and tear gas.  They do not unleash police charges; firing rubber bullets and lashing out with whips and truncheons.  Their forces do not push peaceful women and hurl insults at them or arrest people for wearing yellow T-shirts.

Najib was determined to show his people that he is boss and that he does not appreciate complaints about rigged elections.  However, in the process he also showed the rest of the world that he is just another nasty dictator like the Middle Eastern fellows, who are currently being shown the door by their own people and like Marcos and Suharto, who have already been chucked out by Malaysia’s neighbouring powers of Indonesia and the Philippines.

Embarrassing guest

It has made Najib an embarrassing guest for the British PM and Queen this week.  Their briefing teams will have made them well aware of the issues – that BN have been in power for a very suspiciously long time and that people who have been criticising them have ended up beaten in the street and locked in jail without charge and without access to their lawyers under so-called Emergency Orders.

Morever, that in Malaysia people are being hauled into detention for wearing the colour yellow and people making polite requests to end electoral corruption are being treated as enemies of the state.

It was bad enough having Rupert Murdoch turn up in the middle of the biggest scandal in years over media corruption, but entertaining Najib must have been even more uncomfortable.

Flash demos

And, as our pictures above show, Malaysian sympathisers have been making sure throughout the week that Najib’s British hosts are constantly reminded of the real nature of their guest with ‘flash demos’ outside his various key engagements.

Today they were outside Downing Street, where Najib was due to have lunch with the UK PM, giving the crowds of tourists and passers by a thought-provoking insight into the real Malaysia away from the holiday advertisements.

UK police not so cooperative for BN

These hard-core demonstrators say they are not going away easily and infuriatingly for BN, the UK police have refused to do anything to budge them (see our photographs of a nice little chat they had with them outside Downing Street).

In fact the local Westminster Police have readily acknowledged to the demonstrators that they are being constantly pestered by the Malaysian High Commission, who have been asking for information about where protests are due to be held and for details about the organisers.  The Malaysians have also tried to demand that the British police ban the protests form taking place!

However, the UK is a free country and the police have politely told the Najib’s people that they are not prepared to harrass citizens or remove their freedom of expression in order to spare the blushes of a visiting ‘dignatory’, who has just spent the past weekend harming and injuring people in his own country.
The demonstrations have passed peacefully in London and a result and there will be more during the remainder of Najib’s visit. - Sarawak report

BNM can freeze Bersih assets, says Awang Adek

Ambiga said money for the Bersih rally was donated by Malaysian citizens. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Datuk Awang Adek Hussin today said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) can freeze the assets of those believed to be participating in activities deemed risky to the nation’s security if the police recommend so.

The deputy finance minister highlighted this in relation to reports that the Bersih 2.0 movement headed by Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan was receiving foreign funding for its activities.

According to Awang, provisions within the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act allowed for the central bank to not only bar access to such funds but also trace both deposits and withdrawals of the offending accounts.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Ambiga was earlier reported to have received funds from foreign non-profit organisations through a local bank.

The report carried by a local newspaper said the bank was chosen by Ambiga and the NGOs to help the former Bar Council president in her plan to “cause chaos in Malaysia”.

It was also alleged that an opposition leader owns shares in the bank.

Responding to the issue last week, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said the police will work together with BNM to investigate the claims.

Bersih was also hit before by allegations of having received funding from, among others, foreign Christian organisations to finance its July 9 rally for electoral reforms.

The group, however, moved to repudiate the accusations by saying the donations for the rally came from Malaysian citizens here and abroad.

It also clarified that money the group received from two US organisations — the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Open Society Institute (OSI) — were for other projects unrelated to the July 9 march.

Bersih 2.0’s protest last Saturday saw thousands converge on the capital city in a march for free and fair elections.

The protest, which the government had earlier declared illegal, turned chaotic close to midday when the police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse protestors.

Wisma Putra Rebukes Wall Street Journal Editorial

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 (Bernama) -- The Foreign Ministry has rebuked a Wall Street Journal editorial titled "Crackdown 2.0 in Malaysia", which states that protesters suffered "intimidation and repression" at the hands of the government in recent weeks.

In a letter to the New York-based Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Wisma Putra denied the accusation that protesters had suffered "intimidation and repression" at the hands of the government in the build-up to the rally.

In the editorial, "Crackdown 2.0 in Malaysia", published on July 12, WSJ described the handling of the rally as an "atmosphere of fear and repression" and the government's response to the "peaceful rally" as "brutal".

However, Wisma Putra in the letter which was published by the WSJ's Letters to the Editor column today, explained that Malaysians have a constitutional right to peaceful assembly and throughout the build-up to last weekend's protest Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak worked to find a solution that would allow Bersih to exercise that right.

"This included offering the use of a large-capacity stadium where the event could be held safely and without disrupting the lives and businesses of ordinary Malaysians.

"Sadly the protest organisers chose to reject this offer, instead calling on supporters to assemble at a much smaller stadium 'come what may', despite the fact that it was unavailable," said Ahmad Rozian, Undersecretary of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the letter.

The Wisma Putra letter also explained that the police were forced to intervene to disperse the crowd as thousands of people were attempting to enter an unsuitable venue in a densely populated area and the presence of a small minority protesters intent on violence.

"It goes without saying that Malaysia's police officers are expected to maintain the highest standards of professional conduct, and any specific allegations of heavy-handed behaviour will be thoroughly investigated.

"However, to claim that Saturday's events (illegal rally on July 9) mean Malaysia is not a 'true democracy' is simply wrong. As the strong performance of opposition parties in the last general election demonstrates, the ballot box remains the most powerful force in Malaysian politics," concluded Wisma Putra in the letter.

Meanwhile, WSJ in a separate column today carried a correction which reads:

"The Malaysian government offered the Bersih rally the use of the Malawati Stadium. A July 12 editorial, 'Crackdown 2.0 in Malaysia', stated that Prime Minister Najib Razak had withdrawn his offer of a stadium.

Sistem kastam 'down' 3 jam semalam dan A.Krishnan telah 'diambil'

Pendedahan belian RM 24.4 j yang dikaitkan dengan Rosmah mansor kali pertama telah didedahkan pada malam sebelum BERSIH 2

Tidak pasti adakah kerana pendedahan malam itu, hotel yang menempatkan adik beradik SAMM telah diserbu secara luar biasa dan hampir semua bilik diketuk untuk mencari che'GuBard.

Sebaik sahaja pendedahan malam tersebut sebahagian dari bukti yang diperolehi telah di up load ke dalam blog ini. Maka serentak dengan itu beberapa blog termasuk Raja Petra telah sama menghangatkan isu ini.

Pembela "Rosmah' juga muncul untuk membela tanpa mengetahui kedudukan sebenar. Antara hujah mereka ialah gambar screen komputer tersebut palsu, tidak masuk akal cincin belian RM 24.4 j, nama A. Krishnan dengan jawatan Declaration Operation manager tidak wujud dalam jawatan kastam dan perbagai lagi hujah yang semakin memperlihatkan mereka lemas. Ada pula yang mencabar untuk che'GuBard menyebut terus nama ROSMAH MANSOR dan tampil membuat laporan jika ini benar.

Bagi che'GuBard biarlah mereka ini ingin menunjuk hero dan tidak perlu dilayan kerana
berdasarkan hujah mereka jelas tidak memahami lansung kes tersebut. Terima kasih kepada blogger seperti tulang besi dan milosuam menjawab dengan fakta dan akal.

Pada 13 Julai 2011, ditemani teman - teman SAMM di Pulau Pinang serta wakil DPP P.Pinang dan wakil AMK P.Pinang che'GuBard telah tampil bagi mewakili SAMM untuk membuat satu laporan SPRM di Pejabat SPRM P.Pinang, dan menyerahkan beberapa bukti yang telah disiarkan dan belum didedahkan kepada SPRM.

Secara terus terang che'GuBard maklumkan bukti yang diserahkan itu masih sebahagian dan ada yang masih disimpan. Ini kerana untuk melihat sejauh mana SPRM berani bergerak untuk melakukan siasatan dan mengumumkan hasil siasatan.

Kedua untuk mencabar jika berani Imelda Rosmah sendiri tampil untuk membuat penafian jika dia berani.

Ketika mencari gambar Imelda Rosmah untuk dipadankan dengan belian yang dimaksudkan che'Gubard menjumpai gambar dia menggayakan perbagai perhiasan yang amat mahal.

Antaranya ialah gelang tangan yang juga dibeli dari Jacob & co syarikat pengeluar cincin belian yang bernilai RM 24.4 j tersebut.

Sepasang gelang bertatah 3,424 belian menurut sebuah agensi berita FMT yang berkomunikasi dengan syarikat pengeluar yang berpengkalan di New York bernilai USD540,00 bersamaam RM1.65j.

Menurut maklumat yang diperolehi A.Krishnan, Pegawai di syarikat Aerocianic yang namanya tertera dalam sistem kastam telah 'diambil' pihak SPRM pada petang dua hari lepas dan hanya dilepaskan menjelang jam hampir 3 pagi. Siasatan nampaknya berat menjurus kepada bagaimana cincin belian itu masuk dengan cukai '0'.

Sistem kastam pula telah 'down' hampir tiga jam semalam dan sistem kastam tidak lagi boleh diakses secara mudah dari syarikat-syarikat agen pengurusan penghantaran seperti biasa.

Satu sumber yang lain pula menyatakan terdapat usaha memadamkan data tersebut dari sistem kastam dan hasil penelitian SPRm menyatakan semua data dan bukti yang diserahkan cukup untuk membuktikan bahawa 'transaksi' membawa masuk belian RM 24.4 j itu betul berlaku. Persoalanya kini bukan sekadar cukai '0' tetapi rakyat perlu sedar bagaimana mewahnya imelda ini ketika kebanyakan rakyat sedang mengira wang syillling untuk mendapatkan keperluan harian.

Terbaru : makluman dari kawasan kargo KLIA sistem komputer kastam telah ditutup dari boleh diakses oleh agen-agen pengurusan penghantaran barangan. Ramai pekerja agen-agen penghantaran mula merungut kerana prosedur yang sepatutnya mudah menjadi susah hanya kerana untuk melindungi Imelda Rosmah.

Perception: Bersih July 9 in Review

Ceramah Penerangan Kerajaan 11 July 2011