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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Terror threat level unchanged: McClelland

An image of the Sydney Opera House has appeared in a terrorism magazine produced by al-Qaeda.The Sydney Opera House's image in an online jihadist magazine does not change Australia's terrorist threat level, federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland says.

The iconic building features on the front of Inspire Magazine, an online publication that includes instructions on how to make bombs.

The magazine is published by associates of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has been described as one of the most active sections of the terror network.

Despite this, Mr McClelland says the national terrorism alert level remains unchanged at medium.
"I have been advised this publication does not represent any change to the extent of the terrorist threat within Australia," Mr McClelland said in a statement on Thursday.

"And I am advised it has not been accompanied by any specific threat in Australia or to Australian citizens."

The terrorism alert level, which has been in place since 2001, still means a terrorist attack could occur and Mr McClelland said the photograph was a reminder of the terrorist threat Australia faced.

"This publication does serve as a reminder of the need for constant vigilance in countering terrorist threats," he said.

"It's clear the material is intended to provoke a strong emotive reaction."

Given the magazine's "intent to incite violence", Mr McClelland said the government was taking steps to reduce its exposure, including writing to the Australian Communications and Media Authority to remove links to the magazine.

"ASIO has also made a request to relevant Australian providers to restrict access to sites which link to this material."

However, he acknowledged that in the age of the internet, removing all access was extremely difficult.
"In the modern age of global electronic communications, the reality is this material will emerge on overseas sites," he said.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Peter Dein, the state's counter-terrorism commander, said police were "trying to work out what it really means".

"It probably represents an icon in the Western world which is an appropriate target for terrorists," he told ABC radio.

"There's no text or commentary in the magazine that's either touched on the Opera House or Sydney or Australia for that matter, except for the full-page photograph depicting the Opera House."

Former federal police terrorism analyst Leah Farrall told Fairfax newspapers the photograph was a cause for concern but was also a product of "publicity-hungry jihadis".

"In the end, all we know is that a photograph of one of our most prominent landmarks has turned up on a page about bomb-making in a magazine that is encouraging people to take action on their own and blow things up in Western countries," Ms Farrall said.

"At a really simple level that will be cause for concern, but it will be tempered with the recognition that these are the most publicity-hungry jihadis we have come across so far."

Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis told AAP Australia cannot be complacent about the potential threat of terrorism.

"We cannot be complacent," he said.

"We will always be at risk.

"The problem of this will not go away with the passage of time and anyone who thinks that is a fool."
Anyone with any information about any terrorist activity or threat should call the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

Auntie Bersih: 'I marched against injustice'

Cops to attack Bersih with clips for brutality probe, claims Utusan

KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Investigators tasked with looking into Bersih police brutality claims will instead use video evidence collected during the probe to attack the credibility of protesters, according to an Utusan Malaysia report today.

Police sources told the Malay daily several videos found on pro-opposition blogs were found to have been tampered in an effort to damage public perception of the police and discredit the authorities.

Police arrest protestors at the July 9 Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur. — File pic
Investigators are also said to have a video showing a protester allegedly waiting for police to arrive to provoke them and can be heard saying: “If they (the police) don’t come, we (protesters) failed.”
Police said on Tuesday that the internal probe into alleged police brutality will study videos and pictures taken at the rally, and take statements from protesters, police on duty that day and the general public.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar revealed the same day that the probe was nearly done and gave an assurance that the findings would be revealed to the public “very soon”.

Ismail also promised the media police will hold a special video screening at Bukit Aman police headquarters featuring relevant recordings of the rally once investigations have been completed.

The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday, however, that Bersih organisers and independent observers have yet to be called by police for statements or evidence.

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition has been put on the defensive over the Bersih rally for the past week as the international community, from Singapore to the UK, criticised the government’s handling of the public dissent.

Bersih estimates that 50,000 people showed up at the July 9 rally for free and fair elections despite efforts to prevent it from taking place while police have said there were only 6,000.

The protest turned chaotic when police fired tear gas and water cannon at thousands of demonstrators, resulting in nearly 1,700 arrests, scores injured and the death of ex-soldier Baharuddin Ahmad, 59.

The government has promised to investigate allegations of police brutality while the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will hold a separate public inquiry into police conduct during the rally. - TMI

‘Diamond ring documents cannot be trusted’

A PKR leader says the documents are riddled with contradictory information, and wants Rosmah to clear the air.

PETALING JAYA: The documents claiming that the diamond ring allegedly acquired by Rosmah Mansor was brought to Malaysia for a private exhibition is riddled with contradictory information, according to a PKR leader.

Rembau PKR chief Badrul Hisham Shaharin said the latest revelation cannot be trusted and did not mean that the prime minister’s wife was off the hook.

“This does not mean that Rosmah can now go free, she still has a lot of explanation to do,” he added.

Last week, Badrul filed a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) after news broke that Rosmah allegedly purchased the ring, worth RM73 million, from New York-based fine jeweller Jacob & Co.

The reports were based on the screenshots of customs records, which stated that Rosmah had inspected the arrival of a “natural fancy blue cushion cut diamond ring” at the KLIA cargo on April 16.

‘Khairy not behind it’

Previously, Badrul also claimed that customs officer A Krishnan, who was in charge of clearing the ring, had been detained by the MACC.

Following this, new customs documents surfaced claiming that the ring was brought in for a private exhibition. It also claimed that the ring was worth RM24 million.

Meanwhile, Badrul also called on Rosmah to explain the allegation that she purchased a diamond bangle and diamond watch from Jacob & Co, worth nearly RM1.5 million.

He said that while the opposition and public have demanded answers, Rosmah, however, continued to be mum.

Badrul also denied the allegation by several pro-Umno bloggers that Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin was behind the diamond expose.

The good doctor’s wife – all fire and ice

R Mohana Rani is powering ahead to secure the release of her husband and five others detained under the EO.
The text message that R Mohana Rani received on the night of June 24 read like a tired storyline. Police had intercepted and detained a busload of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) activists travelling from Sungai Petani to Penang.

On board were her husband and Sungai Siput MP, Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, and their 18-year-old son, Raveen Veerasenan. But Rani – as she prefers to be called – barely raised an eyebrow.

For the co-founder and deputy secretary-general of PSM, years of enduring the customary police harassment that accompanies activism had whittled down her fears and trained her to wait out these storms that would predictably pass within a day.

“I was running a three-day leadership programme in Kuala Lumpur at the time which I didn’t bother cancelling,” Rani, 56, recounted. “I’m quite used to police arrests by now so I wasn’t worried. I even slept soundly that night!”

But when she awoke at 4am the familiar plot had taken on an ominous twist. A new text message from Jeyakumar’s personal assistant read that police had discovered communist-related material in the bus.
The group would be remanded for seven days under charges of waging war against the King. It was then that Rani felt the first flicker of concern.

“It had become something else all together,” she said. “It was the charge that shook us. No doubt it was outlandish but when the government uses a charge like that you know that they are up to something.”
Rani cancelled the programme and made arrangements to return to Ipoh. But she had one last duty to fulfil before making her way to her family.

The detainees had been heading to Penang to promote PSM’s “Udahlah tu… Bersaralah BN” (Enough already – retire now BN) campaign over the weekend. The show had to go on.

“Things shouldn’t come to standstill just because of the arrests,” Rani said. “So we attended the Sungai Siput programme where we addressed a very good turnout.”

Yet none of the PSM speakers on that day could ignore the invisible cloud of anxiety that hovered overhead. Rani’s thoughts turned constantly to her only child.
When the seven-day remand period ended on July 2, PSM members assembled at all the holding stations and Rani stationed herself at the Butterworth Sessions Court.

Spirits lifted as Raveen, another teenager and a 55-year-old woman were soon released. But then the bombshell dropped.

The 21 detainees had their remand period extended for another three days and the remaining six, including Jeyakumar, were re-arrested under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) 1969.

“We were very disappointed at the extension of the remand period,” Rani said. “But it was the EO that came as a huge shock.”

Since the arrests Rani has been granted access to her husband three times for 15 minutes at a time.
The past two weeks have been hard on her but the steely calmness of her voice betrays no sign of it.
As an activist she is more comfortable paying attention to others than drawing it to herself, and this was evident in her startled pause when asked how she was holding up.

“I’m all right,” she assured. “It’s a hectic time but I’m not the only one going through it. Many people are working around the clock to pressure the government into securing their release.”

She paused again, then admitted: “It’s been a difficult time. And not just emotionally. Each member of a family has a certain role and when one member isn’t around another has to step up. But I’ve had tremendous support from family and friends so I’m OK.”

Of anger, frustration and hope

Now a hint of frustration crept into her voice as she described the entire incident as “senseless” and “a waste of time” that could be spent on tackling more worthy issues.

“We’ve had to work harder than usual every single day since the government and police have put up a wall where information is concerned,” she said. “They have kept us completely in the dark. And the police have treated us very badly.”

“This whole thing is something laughable that unfortunately can’t be laughed off. And what infuriates me is how the government is using its might to subdue the people while saying that the people’s voice matters.”
But Rani, a former secondary school English teacher, isn’t fuelled by anger and frustration alone. She also has a firm grip on hope.

A hope that never led her to question the worthiness of her chosen path. And a hope that further intensified when the Bersih 2.0 rally took place against all odds.

“There is a great public resistance today,” she noted. “If you look back at all the Internal Security Act (ISA) arrests, you’ll see that the climate of fear was greater then than it is now. People are now prepared to confront and challenge the government.”

“What makes it worthwhile at the end of the day is that people are seeing the system for what it is and the people in power for who they are. Their true colours are being revealed and everyone can see the faces behind the masks.”

The veteran activist

Rani is a fusion of fire and ice. The same voice that ignites with passion when speaking of injustices can just as easily slip into cool detachment when touching on personal emotions. The latter is attributed to her being an activism veteran.

“If I had never been exposed to such situations before I would probably be having a different experience now,” she stated. “But we’ve been in the game long enough to know that the government can use draconian laws against the people.”

“We’re under no illusions and that makes us tougher. We’re not sitting in a corner mourning or moping. Neither are the six. Their spirits are very strong although Kumar is still physically weak.”

Rani confessed, however, to fearing for her husband’s life when he was admitted to the National Heart Institute (IJN) for heart palpitations.

“The heart is not a very hardy organ and you never know how serious a heart ailment is,” she said. “But I also fear for the other five because they’re being submitted to the mental torture of having to answer the same questions over and over again.”

“There is nothing more that the police can extract from them. We’ve done everything in the open. The police are holding them for political reasons; it has nothing to do with national security.”

Communism and the younger generation

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nazri Aziz, however, would disagree. Two days ago, he insisted that the EO was necessary because communism was still alive in the country as proven by PSM. Rani vehemently shot down this reasoning.

“For a political detainee there can be no crime worse than waging war against the King,” she pointed out. “Yet the six were released unconditionally after the remand period. A re-arrest should therefore be for a lesser crime and it certainly shouldn’t warrant the EO.”

Rani also pointed out that the police had no choice but to use communism as a scapegoat and rebutted Nazri’s remark that the communist ideology would infilterate the younger generation.

“The younger generation doesn’t even share the same sentiment about May 13,” she said. “It has no significance to them like it has to the generation that lived through it.”

“Similarly with the communist ideology. And PSM is not a communist party. We have always looked up to those who have sacrificed for the nation regardless of their ideology.”

‘Kumar is a good man’

The six, who are now hailed as the EO6 or PSM6, will have their habeas corpus applications heard tomorrow. In the meantime, nightly candlelight vigils have been held for them and over 500 police reports have been lodged against their detention.

Even the medical profession made a rare public stand, with the Federation of Private Medical Practitioner’s Association calling for Jeyakumar’s immediate release.

“I respect the doctors who are openly supporting him,” Rani acknowledged. “Kumar has been a good doctor and has a stellar reputation. I’m glad that doctors in private practices are willing to defend one of their own and not be cowed by pressure from the government.”

The online media has also been peppered by letters from Jeyakumar’s friends and colleagues who have unabashedly praised him as a “sincere”, “humble”, “courageous” and “principled” man.

Rani, on the other hand, responds with a startled pause when asked to describe her husband. Then she quietly said, “He is a good person. All of what is written about him is true.”

Khairy breaks ranks, calls for release of EO6

The Umno Youth chief says he will convey his personal view to the prime minister.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has broken ranks by calling for the release of six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) detained under the Emergency Ordinance (EO).

Khairy, who called the arrests “misguided” and will convey his personal view to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, is the first leader from Barisan Nasional (BN) to call for the release of the EO6.

The Rembau MP said in his Twitter posting this morning that the authorities had made the arrest based on “misguided” information, adding that he will convey this to Najib when he returns from his overseas trip tomorrow.

“I think govt acted on misleading info. I have listened to many of Dr (D) Jeyakumar’s speeches in Parliament. Intellectual & not subversive,” Khairy said, referring to the MP for Sungai Siput.
“PM @NajibRazak arriving tomorrow. Will convey my personal view that YB Dr Jeyakumar & others should be released from EO detention,” he added.

Jeyakumar and five other PSM activists were arrested in Penang seven days before the July 9 rally organised by polls watchdog Bersih 2.0, while distributing leaflets calling on the public to support the group’s demands for free and fair elections.

Their arrests were part of an internationally criticised government clampdown on Bersih activists in the build-up to the protest that saw more than 1,600 detained on the July 9 march.

While most have been freed, the “PSM 6″ are still under detention. They have been arrested under Section 121 of the Penal Code for attempting to wage war against the King.

The section reads: “Whoever wages war or attempts to do so against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or against any of the state rulers shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and a fine if not sentenced to death.”

They are also accused of attempting to “revive communism” for allegedly having T-shirts bearing the likenesses of former communist leaders.

PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan condemned the arrests and accused the authorities of “making up conspiracy theories” to justify their detention.

Edmund Bon, the lawyer representing the six, backed this claim and said that none of the affidavits filed by the police mentioned anything about communism or attempts to wage war against the King.

Umno ministers including Najib himself insisted that their detention is lawful and was done for national security.

The EO was enacted in 1969 as a temporary measure to respond to the May 13 riots, which allows for detention without trial.

Govt trying to stall hearing of EO6

Government engaging in delay tactics until detention order to Simpang Renggam is issued, says counsel Edmund Bon.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry, in an attempt to stall the hearing, has applied for an adjournment of the habeas corpus hearing of PSM’s EO6 scheduled for tomorrow.

“They have asked for an adjournment to seek time to reply to our affidavits. It’s an obvious attempt to stall the hearing of the habeas corpus,” said Edmund Bon, counsel for the six.

Bon, believes the authorities want to drag the case until Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein signs an order to place them under detention in Simpang Renggam.

He revealed this at a forum themed ‘EO Another ISA – Political tool for the government’ held at the Bar Council last night. It was attended by 200 participants.

The EO6, as they are now known, are Sungai Siput MP Dr D Michael Jeyakumar, PSM deputy president M Sarasvathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M Sugumaran, Youth chief R Saratbabu and Sungai Siput branch secretary A Letchumanan.

The six were part of a group of 30 PSM activists whom police arrested at the Sungai Dua toll plaza in Kepala Batas, Penang while on their nationwide roadshow to call the rakyat to vote for change.

They were rearrested on July 2 under section 3 (1) Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 (EO), after they were originally detained under section 122 of the Penal Code for allegedly ‘waging war against the King’ and spreading ‘communist ideology’.

In total the government has filed 37 affidavits as opposed to defence team’s 20.

Bon listed out several facts to absolve the six of any charges, one of which was that their detention by the authorities was to prevent the Bersih rally from taking place.

He said the rally ended on July 9, thus their continued detention doesn’t hold water.
Anoher was that the methods used to extract statements from the six mirrored methods used during Reformasi and was declared as mala fide by Federal Court.

In a related development, Bon said that Bersih steering committee member Dr Subramaniam Pillay will be filing an affidavit today at the KL High Court stating that the six had nothing to do with Bersih 2.0′s Walk for Democracy. - FMT

‘Bigger wave needed to crush Umno’

Hindraf wants all like-minded forces to come together to unleash a neo-democratic revolution to end Umno's reign.
PETALING JAYA: Hindraf Makkal Sakthi wants all like-minded forces to come together to unleash a new wave of people’s power against Umno, which the movement considers an “iron-fisted evil regime”.
The movement’s leader in exile P Waythamoorthy told FMT that there is a need to move beyond the wave generated by Bersih 2.0 on July 9.

“Bersih 2.0 is all about free and fair elections. It’s good for a start but we need to find something bigger to move the masses like in Egypt.

“We definitely need to move beyond Bersih or else there is a risk we will degenerate into tame re-runs like Bersih 3.0 and so forth,” added the lawyer, who is currently in London.

Waythamoorthy was elaborating on a statement he circulated via e-mail yesterday to thousands of supporters, sympathisers and others listed in his movement’s address book.

He said Hindraf will urge all like-minded forces to join hands and help ferment a “neo-democratic revolution” by changing the mindset of the people.

“If Malaysians can be awakened from within and if they realise that democracy is their birth right, not the privilege of a few, then a neo-revolution of people’s power can be a reality,” he added.

The people, he said, will need to be convinced on exactly what they will receive out of their neo-democratic revolution.

Mere rhetoric about change, he warned, will not be enough and may in fact be nothing more than ventilating ignorance while mouthing empty slogans that lead nowhere in the end.
“Bersih alone cannot do magic!” he stressed.

Nine core challenges

Delving into specifics, Waythamoorthy opined that the people will generally appreciate a renewed focus on nine core challenges.

He reckons equality, in the truest sense of the word, as the mother of all challenges.

Elsewhere, he cites respect for human dignity, individual rights and civil liberties; religious freedom in accordance with universal principles; dismantling of all racist polices; complete overhaul of the judiciary, the police and smashing of the nexus between the force and the underworld.

However, the Hindraf chief does not see any prospects of the neo-democratic revolution on the immediate horizon unless there is a complete overhaul, to begin with, in the mindset of opposition leaders.

PAS, he said, will never entertain the prospect of equality among all religions, a stand that PKR is expected to endorse, and both Malay parties are expected to remain silent on Article 153 being observed by Umno in the breach.

The business-centric Chinese community and the elite Indians, as evident during Bersih 2.0, will never leave their comfort zone and take to the streets like Hindraf and others, said Waythamoorthy in painting a partial picture of gloom and doom in the outer urban areas and suburbs for the forces of change and reform.

Hindraf’s stand on the opposition, he added, is not a bundle of contradictions “but merely a case of facing the hard realities and urging the adoption of the difficult choices necessary in triggering the neo-democratic revolution”.

Ultimately, he thinks, that the people can be expected to decide but this will mean not allowing the politicians to continue holding them to ransom as in the past.

“All Malaysians are fair-minded, caring and potentially given very much to sharing and sharing alike. Never underestimate them. They can be easily awakened so long as there are enough politicians who are sincere and truly desire change and reform,” he said. - FMT

Perbicaraan 23 aktivis PSM 10 Okt

Mereka dituduh berhubung pembabitan mereka dalam satu perhimpunan haram dan memiliki dokumen subversif tanpa alasan sah.

BUTTERWORTH: Mahkamah Sesyen Butterworth menetapkan 10 hingga 14 Okt ini untuk perbicaraan 22 dewasa dan seorang juvana aktivis Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) yang dituduh berhubung pembabitan mereka dalam satu perhimpunan haram dan memiliki dokumen subversif tanpa alasan sah.

Mereka terdiri R. Nalayani, 64, A. Shanmugam, 57, M. Ravindran, 20, G. Velaitham, 54, M. Sivoosamy, 56, S. Ramasamy, 35, Chan Mooi, 55,
K.Kamaladevi, 57, Cheang Sew Yin, 60, K. Deeba, 22, K. Thanushia, 21, G.Packialetchumy, 40, R. Saroza, 51, M. Santhanadevi, 30, N.P. Indra, 54, P.Jody, 52, M. Kavitha, 35, K. Gana Santhanam, 45, J. Reveen Veerasenan, 18, dan S. Thivya Kumar, 18, kesemuanya dari Perak, M. Aroklam, 62, dari Perlis dan Soh Sook Hwa, 29, dari Pulau Pinang.

Bagi pertuduhan pertama, mereka didakwa secara niat bersama memberi bantuan kepada satu pertubuhan haram, iaitu  ”Bersih 2.0″ dengan membawa 600 helai salinan risalah haram.

Pertuduhan adalah mengikut Seksyen 48 (1) Akta Pertubuhan 1966, [Akta 335] yang dibaca bersama Seksyen 34,  Kanun Keseksaan, yang membawa hukuman penjara tidak lebih lima tahun atau denda tidak lebih RM15,000 atau kedua-duanya, jika sabit  kesalahan.

Mereka juga menghadapi pertuduhan alternatif iaitu secara niat bersama telah memberi bantuan dengan membawa 600 helai salinan risalah yang mempunyai tulisan “Perhimpunan  Bersih 2.0″, bagi tujuan satu pertubuhan haram iaitu “Bersih 2.0″ untuk kegunaan perhimpunan “Bersih 2.0″ di Kuala Lumpur pada 9  Julai.

Pertuduhan adalah mengikut Seksyen 43 Akta Pertubuhan 1966 [Akta 335] yang dibaca bersama Seksyen 34 Kanun Keseksaan yang memperuntukkan hukuman penjara tidak lebih tiga  tahun atau denda tidak lebih RM3,000 atau kedua-duanya.

Mereka turut hadapi pertuduhan dengan niat bersama membawa dokumen-dokumen subversif tanpa alasan yang sah mengikut Seksyen 29 (1) Akta Keselamatan Dalam  Negeri [Akta 82] 1960, yang dibaca bersama Seksyen 34 Kanun Keseksaan [Akta 574] yang memperuntukkan hukuman denda tidak lebih RM10,000 atau penjara tidak lebih lima tahun atau kedua-duanya.

Kesemua kesalahan itu didakwa dilakukan dalam sebuah bas di Tol Sungai Dua, Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan, dekat sini pada 3.30 petang, 25 Jun lepas.

Hakim Ikmal Hishan Mohd Tajuddin membenarkan rayuan pihak pembelaan, yang diketuai Datuk C.V. Prabhakaran, untuk mengurangkan jaminan terhadap juvana berkenaan daripada RM4,000 kepada RM500 bagi setiap pertuduhan.

Yang lain dikenakan ikat jamin RM4,000 bagi setiap pertuduhan.
Pendakwaan dilakukan oleh Timbalan Pendakwa Raya Suhaimi Ibrahim.

- Bernama

Bad news for Najib: French police have found "crucial" Scorpene documents

Bad news for Najib: French police have found "crucial" Scorpene documentsFrench police have obtained "quite crucial documents" in the Scorpene submarines probe on whether French arms giant DCN had paid kickbacks to Malaysian officials, including Prime Minister Najib Razak, to secure the deal.

The 58-year old Najib had been the Defense minister sanctioning the acquisition in 2002. Even then, there had been much public unhappiness over the price which was seen as too expensive, and furthernore, the high-tech submarines considered as unsuitable for patrolling the country's shallow coastline. Right now, both ships are docked in Sabah and hardly used. There have also been reports of system malfunctions due to the unsuitability of the territorial waters.
"It is likely that in September we should have access to the first police conclusions from all the investigations that have taken place over the last 18 months. We know that the police seem to have obtained quite crucial documents," Asia Sentinel reported Paris-based lawyer William Bourdon assaying.

VIP personality

William is one of the French lawyers appointed by Malaysian NGO Suaram, which lodged a complaint on behalf of taxpayers against DCN for corruptly sealing the contract. It is illegal in France to offer bribes to secure a deal and if found guilty, DCN may have to pay compensation to Malaysian taxpayers for overcharging on the final price paid by the Malaysian government.

The French lawyer is due to arrive on Thursday, where he will speak to a Penang audience and brief them on the latest developments in the case. Suaram has already hinted that William will touch on the identities of several 'new' personalities involved in the kickbacks.

It is also believed that French investigators have managed to pin down a very important personality, who travelled with submarines negotiator Razak Baginda and murdered Mongolian translator, Altantuya Shaariibuu, to Macau as part of the complex negotiations.

There is red-hot speculation that this person is Najib himself. If true, it will blow away the PM's previous denials he never knew Altantuya, who is believed to have been his lover before he "passed" her onto Razak, who was his confidante and representative. Such evidence paves the way for the re-opening of her murder trial, which had ended with two of Najib's former bodyguards being sentenced to hang for her 2006 killing. However, the 'mastermind' is believed to be still at large.

Lesser personalities involved in the sprawling deal have also been traced and their identities likely to be revealed as well.

William is also expected to drop a new bombshell - previously unknown commissions that have just been uncovered by the investigators. This will add to the growing list of murky details shrouding the shady acquisition engineereed and pushed for by Najib years ago, when he was the Defense minister directly in charge of key military procurements.

No more secret places left for Najib

It looks like unless the French government is willing to help him out and muzzle the case, Najib may have run out of hiding places. Whatever time that he can buy will not last long either.

And to pundits familar with all the ramifications both at the Malaysian and French ends, it is impossible for him to escape scot-free. One way or another, they say he will have to explain to his people the true extent of his involvement, not just in the kickbacks but also in the Altantuya murder.

In fact, not even his UMNO party can save him. With the Scorpenes trial expected to be heard in the French open court in August or September, many of the party warlords are already gearing up to push him out and slam the door on his administration, which has been scarred by non-achievement, gutter politics and extensive corruption.
It does not help that in recent months, Najib has felt the pressure and added to his own discomfort by making several disastrous decisions. The most recent was ordering a violent crackdown on a citizens rally for free and fair elections two weeks ago. His fast-fading popularity and plunging credibility makes him an easy target now.

Rightfully, the BN government should have immediately lodged a compliant with the French authorities when news reports about the huge Scorpene kickbacks first came to light. However due to Najib's influence, no one in the Malaysian government has dared to call for a public probe so far.

Even a suspicious 114 million euros (RM570 million) side-deal granted to Baginda's firm, Perimekar, has been whitewashed in Parliament as a "services" and "maintenance" contract, when it is obvious that the obscure firm has no experience or track-record in such a high-tech industry.
Numerous reports have also been lodged by Malaysian citizens, who are alarmed that the RM7 billion price tag is still climbing. It is now apparent Najib may have hidden the full cost to Parliament, opting to gradually seek additional budget allocations to maintain the ships rather than to reveal at one-go the full 'damage' to taxpayers. Yet till now, Malaysian police as well as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission have refused to initiate any investigation into the file at all.

Seamy details in a sordid deal

Numerous questions are likely to be asked by those attending the Suaram-organised sessions with William on 21, 22 and 23rd Jruly. Apart from the status of the case, the latest 'dirt' dug out so far, the greatest interest will surely centre around the beautiful but tragic Altantuya, who acted as translator for Baginda.

Uppermost on Malaysian minds are exactly what sort of relationship Najib had with her. Not that they are voyeurs and wish to nose out all the seamy details of the love affair the two allegedly had, but because they want to know how much and to what extent their PM - who was then the DPM - was willing to lie and may have lied just to become prime minister.

"If you want to know all these details, you have to come for the dinner, listen and ask," Suaram director Cynthia Gabriel told Malaysia Chronicle.

- Malaysia Chronicle

Counsel: PSM six not detained over Red links

The Star 

KUALA LUMPUR: The six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members were detained under the Emergency Ordinance for being “movers” of Bersih 2.0 and not for any communist leanings, said their lawyer Edmund Bon.

He said the police had not “mentioned a single word” about communism, socialism or Chin Peng in their 37 affidavits served on Tuesday in reply to the habeas corpus application by the detainees.

Bon said the affidavits stated that they had been involved as “movers and activists” to a non-registered entity known as Bersih 2.0 in encouraging the public to attend its rally on July 9.

However, he claimed that this was wholly unfounded, stressing that the six were not part of Bersih 2.0.

Bon also urged the Government to release the six before their habeas corpus application is heard at the High Court here tomorrow.

In a copy of the police affidavit distributed to reporters, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigations Department assistant director Asst Comm Kamarul Zaman Mamat had not mentioned anything related to communism.

However, he had in paragraph five requested an exemption from revealing the full details of the investigation in view of national interests under Article 151(3) of the Federal Constitution and Section 11 of the Emergency Ordinance (EO).

The detainees were detained under the ordinance on July 2 after T-shirts bearing faces of communist leaders were found on them.

Meanwhile, the Bar Council urged the Government to charge the six in court or release them immediately.

Its vice-president Christopher Leong said during a forum to discuss the EO last night, that the authorities should either charge the six and disclose any evidence against them or release them.

A candle light vigil was also held in front of the Bar Council building before the forum, in support of the abolition of the EO.

Claim we used Israeli tear gas absurd, says Deputy IGP

The New Straits Times (Used by permission)

LANGKAWI: Police have rubbished claims that they or the Federal Reserve Unit had used tear gas canisters, similar to the ones used by the Israelis against Palestinians, to disperse the crowd during the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar said the claims were false and made by irresponsible quarters who were trying to tarnish the image of the police. 

The allegations were reported on Keadilan daily website. It said the type of canisters used were similar to those supplied by Combined Systems to the Israeli force which contained chemicals that could affect the nervous system, lungs and cause skin disease.

"Please get your facts straight. 

"Stop making up stories ... this will make things worse," he said after a friendly rugby match between the Royal Malaysian Police and the Thai police force at the Langkawi sports complex here yesterday.

Khalid said the situation had cooled now, but if such allegations were to continue, it would escalate into something bigger.

"Let police do their job. We will investigate the allegations."

Bernama reported that a retired FRU commander had allegedly said that if police had indeed used excessive force against the demonstrators, hundreds of them would have sought medical treatment or been hospitalised.

Sulaiman Menga Dib said FRU personnel were trained to use minimal force when dispersing demonstrators as provided for under the law, and observed standard operating procedures.

He said all police personnel were strictly required to obey orders which were minuted, including the alleged indiscriminate firing of tear gas canisters.

Filem lucah mirip orang lain sudah ada sejak 1946

Hari ini sebuah agensi berita antarabangsa AFP melaporkan satu acara lelongan awam akan diadakan bagi melelong satu filem lucah mirip aktres lagenda Amerika, Marilyn Monroe. Filem tahun 1946 itu membuktikan bahawa kegiatan membuat filem lucah mirip karektor seseorang sudah dibuat sejak 1946 lagi.

BUENOS AIRES: Satu filem lucah mengenai aktres lagenda Amerika, Marilyn Monroe akan dilelong Ogos ini di sebuah konvensyen antarabangsa membabitkan pengumpul filem dengan harga tawaran bermula AS$500,000 (350,000 Euro). Promoter bagi lelongan berkenaan, Mikel Barsa, berkata filem pendek hitam putih yang diterbitkan pada 1946 itu memaparkan aktres Amerika itu yang kemudiannya dikenali sebagai Norma Jean Baker manakala pelakon lelakinya masih tidak dikenali.
Barsa berkata, filem berkenaan sudah dikenal pasti untuk dilelong pada 7 Ogos jam 7 malam waktu tempatan di Borges Cultural Center di Buenos Aires.

“Mengenai ramainya peminat fanatik Marilyn di luar sana, filem ini mungkin musah untuk dijual sehingga mencecah jutaan dollar," katanya dalam sidang akhbar hari ini.

Filem berkenaan sebelum ini dalam simpanan pengumpul filem lama dari Sepanyol tetapi selepas kematiannya, keluarga lelaki terbabit memberi kebenaran kepada Barca untuk menjualnya. Barsa menjual satu-satunya versi cetakan filem berkenaan kepada pengumpul swasta beberapa tahun lalu dan menambah filem asal itu turut ditawarkan untuk dibeli oleh pengumpul dari Norway dan Jepun. Filem pendek itu hanya diketahui umum pada 1997 selepas wujud perbahasan mengenai siapa identiti sebenar pelakon wanita berkenaan. Satu lagi filem lucah pendek 16 milimeter selama 15 minit yang tidak mempunyai suara dan berlatar hitam putih menampilkan Monroe sedang melakukan aksi ranjang dengan seorang lelaki yang tidak dikenali dijual kepada pengumpul swasta pada 2008 sehingga mencecah nilai AS$1.5 juta (1.1 juta Euro). Filem lagenda yang memaparkan baju putih dipakai Monroe dalam filem 1955 bertajuk “The Seven Year Itch,” dijual dengan harga AS$4.6 juta (3.2 juta Euro) pada Jun di Beverly Hills. - AFP

Iran: Ahmadinejad threatens to send US, Israel 'to the morgue'

Tehran, 20 July (AKI) - Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has threatened to destroy the United States and Israel if put on the defensive.

"Resistance will continue until Iran sends its enemies to the morgue," he said on his website, making a reference to the US and Israel who he said are "on the verge of collapse and gasping for their last breathes."

Ahmadinejad may have been reacting to news from Iranian state media that Iran brought down a U.S. "spy drone" flying near its Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in Qom province.

State-run Press TV didn't say when the incident happened. US officials said there were unaware that a US unmanned aircraft was downed, according to news reports.

The Islamic Republic, Ahmadinejad said on his website "is the region's greatest military power."

Inflation hits 27-month high

Malaysia’s inflation rate rise was driven by higher food and transport prices. — Reuters file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Malaysia’s inflation rate rose to a 27-month high of 3.5 per cent in June, driven by higher food and transport prices.

The government cut back on food and fuel subsidies in recent months in a bid to trim its ballooning budget deficit, which was 5.6 per cent of GDP last year.

The rising inflation rate could put additional pressure on Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to raise its benchmark interest rate later this year.

Most economists polled by Reuters expect the central bank to raise key interest rates by at least 25 points at its next policy meeting in September after maintaining the benchmark overnight policy rate (OPR) at three per cent earlier this month.

Forecast economist Radhika Rao told the news agency that higher transport prices, power tariff increases and strong domestic demand suggest that inflation will continue to trend upwards in coming months.
“Added to the mix are the upcoming Ramadan festivities, with the BNM likely to walk a tight rope yet again at the September meet,” she said.

DBS Bank economist Irvin Seah said last month’s inflation figures will serve as a reminder to policymakers that the fight against inflation is not over despite rising risks to growth.

“Although we believe that the longer-term cost arising from high inflation will outweigh the near-term risk to growth, we do recognise that Malaysia is coming to the end of its interest rate normalisation,” he told Reuters.

But he added that BNM, which began normalising interest rates earlier than many central banks in the region, will likely have “room to pause” and assess the situation before deciding on the next course of action.

“Growth momentum should re-accelerate in the second half of the year on the back of a gradual recovery in the US and resilient economic outlook in the region,” he said.

“Inflation may rear its head again and a negative real policy rate is probably the last thing needed.”

HAF commends FBI for arrest of Virgina man with ties to Pakistan's ISI

Washington, D.C. (July 20, 2011) - The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) expressed hope that the arrest of the Kashmiri American Council (KAC) executive director, Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, for allegedly engaging in illegal lobbying activities on behalf of Pakisan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate, signals an awareness within American intelligence agencies about any other ISI activities in the United States. Fai, a Fairfax, Virginia resident, along with Zaheer Ahmad, currently believed to be in Pakistan, were charged on Tuesday with conspiring to act as unregistered agents of the Pakistani government. Both are US citizens.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, KAC, otherwise known as the Kashmir Center, was created by the ISI to specifically promote Pakistan’s agenda on Kashmir amongst U.S. government officials and policy makers. Similar centers were also set up by Pakistan in London and Belgium to disseminate anti-India and pro-Kashmiri separatist propaganda on the Kashmir issue.
"The arrest of Fai is a troubling reminder of the extensive reach and influence of the ISI,” said Aseem Shukla, MD, Co-Founder and Board Member of HAF. “We commend the FBI for exposing the alleged illegitimate activities of the Kashmir Center and revealing its connection to the ISI, an authoritarian government institution of Pakistan that does not heed the norms or laws of public engagement -- at home or abroad.”
Since 9/11, Pakistan has received nearly $20 billion in U.S. aid, including more than $12 billion in military assistance to combat al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. According to the Foundation, which publishes an annual human rights report documenting persecution against Hindus worldwide, Pakistan has redirected large amounts of this money to purchase military equipment for use against India. Between 1989 and 1991, a brutal insurgency funded and nurtured by Pakistan’s ISI in Kashmir has been responsible for the death and displacement of over 350,000 Kashmiri Hindu Pandits. According to the report, this insurgency continues today as a proxy military force in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and remains a threat to the native Kashmiri Hindu population as well as to the entire nation of India.
Fai, who was reportedly on the ISI’s payroll for more than 20 years, received approximately $4 million from Pakistan to use as political contributions for members of Congress from both parties. KAC also used the money to sponsor high-profile conferences and seminars on Kashmir. Among those that received contributions from Fai was Representative Dan Burton (R-Ind), who heads the Pakistan Caucus, and was a harsh critic of India on many issues, including Kashmir.
"We're disappointed that the Kashmir Center’s possibly false identity as a legitimate non-profit went unnoticed for so many years as it secretly advanced Pakistan’s interests on Kashmir while ignoring the plight of more than 350,000 Kashmiri Hindu Pandits,” said Sheetal Shah, HAF’s Senior Director. “If Pakistan is found to have contravened American laws and attempted to influence U.S. foreign policy through the Kashmir Center, such actions must be denounced, and further affect the flow of military support into that country. Furthermore, this is US taxpayer dollars going to a rogue state who is then sending it back to the US through covert means to influence our government officials to do its bidding.”
HAF leaders recently issued a statement applauding the Obama Administration’s decision to withhold $800 million in military assistance to Pakistan, and again urged the Administration and Congress to further reduce assistance to Pakistan until it severs all ties to Islamic militant groups operating in the region.

Kenyataan Media Naib Ketua Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat (Malaysia)

Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat (Malaysia) terpanggil mengulas pertemuan Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak dengan Pope Benedict XVI yang jelas membuktikan tindakan terdesak Barisan Nasional (BN) untuk meraih sokongan penganut Katolik di Malaysia kerana dilihat di dalam masa yang sama, rombongan turut membawa juga seorang pemimpin Katolik Malaysia Tan Sri Murphy Nicholas Xavier Pakiam ke Vatican sempena lawatan Perdana Menteri di sana. Bagi kami, tindakan tersebut jelas sepertimana dahulu juga ketika Perdana Menteri turut membuat lawatan ke Negara India dan China bagi tujuan meraih psikologi pengundi berbangsa India dan Cina di Malaysia menjelangnya Pilihanraya.
Juga suatu ketika dahulu, usaha Dato’ Seri Najib untuk membawa Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi ke Malaysia kurang berkesan bagi tujuan yang sama untuk membina pengaruh umat Islam terhadap pemerintahan BN ketika itu. Bagi kami usaha membawa Ulama-Ulama luar negara untuk membela perbuatan Dato’ Seri Najib dan BN juga gagal. Kami melihat Dato’ Seri Najib terpaksa pergi membuat lawatan ke negara-negara maju seperti Negara Amerika, Britain dan negara-negara lain untuk menerangkan keadaan sebenar dari terus dikritik oleh negara maju yang ada yang mengecam Malaysia dalam krisis politik yang semangkin buruk selepas Perhimpunan Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil (BERSIH 2.0) pada 9 Julai yang lalu.
Bagi mengekalkan kuasa pemerintahan BN, Dato’ Seri Najib dipaksa bergerak keseluruh dunia bagi membuktikan BN masih mampu kekal memerintah. Dan tindakannya juga bertemu dengan tokoh Agama adalah langkah bagi memberikan keyakinan dan psikologi bagi membina sokongan terhadap BN menjelangnya Pilihan Raya Umum (PRU) ke – 13 yang semangkin hampir berikutan kebangkitan rakyat pelbagai kaum dan Agama baru-baru ini yang menuntut satu sistem Pilihanraya di Malaysia yang telus dan terbaik. Kami juga melihat, Dato’ Seri Najib tidak layak untuk bercakap soal perpaduan dan Agama dengan Pope Benedict kerana pada hakikatnya beliaulah yang bertanggungjawap dalam perpecahan yang berlaku di Malaysia sekarang.
Naib Ketua,
Dewan Pemuda PAS Malaysia.

Teoh RCI report to be made public

Minister Nazri confirms that the report on the findings of the RCI tasked with probing the political aide's death will be made public.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report on the death of Teoh Beng Hock will be made public.

When contacted, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz confirmed this.
“Yes, we will announce the release tomorrow at the Parliament house at 2.30pm,” he told FMT.

However, he declined to divulge more details about the report but said that everything will be made clear tomorrow.

Teoh, 30, had fallen to his death at the then Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission office in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009, after being interrogated overnight.

Following a public outcry, an inquest was called and coroner Mohd Azmil Muntapha Abbas returned an open verdict, ruling out both suicide and homicide.

The coroner, however, found that the former DAP political aide had suffered injuries prior to his fall.
Following this, a RCI was formed to look into Teoh’s death and to also probe the MACC’s interrogation procedures.

Meanwhile, MACC lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said he had been informed that the report would be released tomorrow.

Bar Council representative Cheow Wee said lawyers on their side were eager to see the report.
“We’re hoping for a lot. We want to see what are the recommendations and more importantly, whether they will be followed and implemented,” he said.

And the prince makes his move…

Tengku Razaleigh's Amanah has sent the speculation mills into overdrive. Has the prince given up on Umno? Or will he now lead the third force?

KUALA LUMPUR: The new organisation set up by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah may signal the Kelantan prince’s disenchantment with Umno, suggested a prominent blogger.

He also believes that the veteran politician will not defend his Gua Musang parliamentary seat under the Barisan Nasional ticket.

In his blog MSOMalaysia, Mohd Sayuti Omar said Razaleigh’s Amanah (Angkatan Amanah Merdeka) reflected his frustration towards Umno and that the latter no longer believes he can reform the party from within.

“The question is what is the purpose of Amanah?

“Will it move to support Umno or go against Umno? Will Amanah that is said to be based on the legacy of Tunku Abdul Rahman forge cooperation with the opposition in the coming election?

“The logic is Razaleigh will not be enthusiastic about leading the NGO if it is not to repair Umno… (but) he has given thought about his future and has lost confidence in Umno. I can see from this that he will not contest under the BN ticket anymore,” he added.

Amanah to lead third force?

Amanah, to be launched this Friday, aims to rekindle the spirit of unity, justice and good governance as espoused by the country’s founding fathers which Razaleigh said is the duty of Umno to preserve.

The Gua Musang MP, however, has been critical towards the ruling party and made statements that Umno has deviated from its original struggle and is now corrupt.

The setting up of Amanah is seen as a platform to pursue this objective while some observers claim that the NGO may potentially be the leading platform for a third force given Razaleigh’s calibre as a respected politician.

A news report quoted Amanah central committee and PAS member Wan Saiful Wan Jan as saying that the NGO will have “prominent leaders” on its committee.

It is understood that the 15-20 member committee will also include leaders from BN as well as Pakatan Rakyat.

“You might be surprised when you see who is in the committee,” Wan Saiful said.

‘Those who lost faith in Najib’

Commenting on the composition of the committee, Sayuti said while there are no details, he is however confident that it will include Umno politicians who have lost faith in the party’s struggle.

“It will also comprise ex-top civil servants who no longer believe in Umno’s struggle and the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

“Who are they (members of the committee)? There are a few Umno veterans with Razaleigh and his loyal supporters. It also includes the children of Umno leaders who no longer believe in Umno, which has gone astray from its original struggle,” added the blogger.

Razaleigh was touted as the best candidate to lead the country next to his former Umno comrade, current Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, and was said to be in talks with Pakatan over such a prospect, but he denied the speculation.

Amanah will be launched at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Memorial here where Razaleigh will be giving his keynote address.

In 1987, Razaleigh, a former finance minister, challenged the then Umno president Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the top post.

While Mahathir won the elections with a razor-thin majority, a dissatisfied Razaleigh took the matter to court and Umno was declared illegal.

Mahathir then re-established Umno as Umno Baru, and Razaleigh, who is affectionately known as Ku Li, formed Semangat 46.

Seven years later, he disbanded Semangat 46 and rejoined Umno.

In 2004, he announced his interest for the Umno top post yet again but failed to garner enough nominations to contest the presidency.

Bersih warns of rally for EO6

Steering committee members reject a police allegation that the six PSM leaders were prime movers of the July 9 march.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 today denied that the six detained Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members were prime movers of its July 9 rally and raised the possibility of another rally to demand their release.

“The allegation has no factual foundation,” Haris Ibrahim of the Bersih steering committee said in reference to a police response to affidavits submitted by families of the detained.

He called for their immediate release.

The six, held without trial under the 1969 Emergency Ordinance, are Sungai Siput MP Dr D Michael Jeyakumar, PSM deputy president M Sarasvathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M Sugumaran, Youth chief R Saratbabu and Sungai Siput branch secretary A Letchumanan.

“They were never part of the steering committee,” Haris said. “Neither were they involved in planning or mobilising the crowd” for the rally.

“Don’t force us to rally for the release of the six,” he added.

In attempting to justify the arrest and detention of the activists, Assistant Commissioner of Police Kamarul Zaman Mamat said police had to prevent the July 9 rally because a similar rally in 2007 had caused public disorder.

The police are confused, according to Dr Subramaniam Pillay, another member of the Bersih 2.0 steering committee.

He pointed out that the Bersih 2.0 steering committee had no members coming from any political party, unlike the committee for the 2007 rally.

“PSM cannot claim credit” for the recent rally, he added.

In a related development, PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan blasted de facto Law Minister Nazri Aziz for his recent statement that the Emergency Ordinance was necessary because communism was “still around”.

“The law minister doesn’t understand law,” Arutchelvan said. “EO has nothing to do with curbing communism.”

The six detainees, he pointed out, were being punished for their alleged involvement with Bersih, not communism.

He also noted that Umno had direct links with China’s Communist Party.

Poked on the forehead with a pen for not doing classwork

A kindergarten operator alleges that a teacher poked her son's forehead with a pen and left a scar and also refused to apologise to her.

PETALING JAYA: A teacher who could not control his anger poked the forehead of a pupil with a pen because he did not complete his classwork, the boy’s parent alleged today.

Relating the incident which happened on Monday, SA Bibi Yanem, 45, said her son, S Timothy Deeran, and his classmates in Year 4 Semangat, Sekolah Kebangsaan Puchong Jaya, were told to copy a dictation by their Malay language teacher, Islahuddin Ibrahim.

“However, my son missed a few words from the dictation and could not complete his work,” said Bibi Yanem, a kindergarten operator.

Unable to pass up the work when instructed by the teacher, Bibi Yanem said her son was then called up to the front of the class by Islahuddin .

“When he checked my son’s work and saw it incomplete, Islahuddin took his pen and poked and scratched my son’s forehead,” claimed Bibi Yanem.

Bibi Yanem also alleged that this left a scar on his forehead.

Angered by the incident,  Bibi Yanem and her husband M Shegar then went to the school at about 8am yesterday and reported the matter to the school principal, Abdul Rahman Mansor.

After hearing her grievances, Rahman then called her son and Islahuddin to his office to get to the bottom of the matter.

In the meeting, Bibi Yanem claimed Islahuddin said that he was unable to control his rage when he saw Timothy’s work was not done.

“But I told him if you have no patience, then you should not be a teacher,” she said.

Islahuddin then promised the parents that he would issue a written letter of apology to them in a few hours time.

However, when Bibi Yanem went back to the school at  about 11am, Islahuddin refused to give her the letter.

“Islahuddin arrogantly told me in the staff room  that it was against his ethics to write such a letter. He even challenged me to take action against him,” she said.

Bibi Yanem told Rahman what had transpired but claimed the principal merely kept mum on the matter.

“He didn’t object when I told him that I will take this matter to the media,” said Bibi Yanem.

On whether she had reported the incident to the district education office, Bibi Yanem said she had not done so yet but had lodged a report at the Puchong Jaya police station.

When contacted, the school administration was unable to comment on the matter as Rahman had left his office.


1. Dr Syed Alwi bin Ahmad blames Islam for the failures of governance in Muslim countries.

2. It is true that Muslim countries are often poorly governed. There is not a single one of them which qualify to be a developed country.

3. But the fault does not lie with the religion of Islam. Over a period of 1,400 years the original teachings of Islam as was brought by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have been interpreted and re-interpreted by genuine scholars and charlatans with vested interest so that it is no longer the Islam of the messages of Allah subhanawata’ala. Some of these interpretations are so different from the original that they are not Islamic at all.

4. In Malaysia we have Arqam and Ayah Pin and many others who have clearly deviated from the true teachings of Islam. Yet their followers are fanatical about their beliefs in the teachings of these people. In the Muslim world there are also many Ashaaris and Ayah Pins.
5. Their teachings are intended to validate their own deeds and purpose, many of which are political. Thus in the Turkish Sultanate of the distant past, when a Sultan was enthroned, he ordered the murder of all his brothers. This was to prevent them from mounting a challenge against him. And his religious advisers justify this act by pointing out that Islam abhors “fitnah” (bad mouthing as well as attempting to overthrow a ruler and take over a country – both of these happened between the small Muslim states of Al-Andalus or Spain, often with Spanish help).

6. Fratricide as happened in the Turkish Sultanate is not sanctioned by Islam. The verse in the Quran which declares that fitnah (bad mouthing) is worse than killing is not meant to permit fratricide. In fact killing a fellow Muslim is forbidden.

7. Differences in the interpretations also occur in the Christian religion. That is why there are many sects among the followers of Christianity. In the past the differences had led to wars, with the authorities burning the alleged heretics at the stakes. The war in Northern Ireland which has flared up recently is due to differences in the interpretation of the Christian religion.

8. Similarly the Muslim sects often fight each other. These are not due to Islam but are caused by interpretations by different imams and ulamas. It is wrong to blame Islam for the sad state of Muslim states. The blame should be put on the shoulders of the interpreters of Islam whose teachings divide the Muslims so deeply that they fail to be guided by the true teachings of Islam.

9. If Muslims follow the true teachings of Islam as found in the Quran and the verified hadiths, they should be able to govern their countries as effectively as the followers of other religions. I must say though that the followers of other religions too often fail.

10. Yes I was thinking of the situation in the country also when I say that Muslims are easily mislead. If their leader says that they will become “kafir” if they work with non-Muslims, they will fanatically uphold this and condemn people who work with non-Muslims. If tomorrow the same leader says working with the “kafir” is alright, they will say “Yes, yes,” and forget how in the past they had condemned others as kafir for doing what they are now doing.

Lawyer: Assault on Anwar's guard 'attempted murder'

(Malaysiakini) The lawyer for Fayyahd Afiq Albakqry, a member of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's security detail who was injured while protecting his principal, says they view the action of the police as “causing bodily harm” and “attempted murder”, as prescribed under criminal law.
NONEThe bodyguard's lawyer, N Surendran, who is also a PKR 

vice-president, said this when met by reporters in front of the Dang Wangi police district headquarters this afternoon after Fayyahd (right in photo) lodged a report over the police assault which resulted in his injuries.

“During the Hindraf rally, only one person threw a rock at police and yet 30 people were charged with attempted murder,” reminded Surendren, saying that a similar charge must now stick upon police personnel who fired tear gas canisters directly into the crowd.

Fellow counsel R Sivarasa added that the police had committed three violations of accepted law enforcement conduct during the assault.

NONE“One, they fired directly into the crowd as opposed to an arching trajectory as recommended; two, they aimed directly at the heads of Bersih 2.0 pariticipants; and three, they fired tear gas into an enclosed space,” he said.

Sivarasa contended that the culpability of the police was clear as Fayyahd's was not the only case of tear gas canisters being launched directly at the heads of rally participants.

“Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad was also hit on the head with a tear gas canister, as well as another person who was hit in the face. The police intentionally aimed at the head; three cases at one place cannot be coincidence,” recounted the Subang parliamentarian.

'Bodyguard to file civil suit'

NONEFayyahd's cheek was severely injured during the brutal police assault on the KL Sentral underpass against participants of the July 9 Bersih 2.0 electoral reform rally.

The 25-year-old bodyguard's cheekbones were shattered and had to be braced with titanium in a reconstructive facial surgical operation recently.

Fayyahd (left) is looking to file a civil suit against the police over the injuries he sustained.

“However the civil suit is separate from criminal proceedings that we expect the police to commence,” said Surendran.

The bodyguard has declined to address the press because of the injuries and the trauma he was still experiencing, his lawyers said.

Lawyer: Assault on Anwar's guard 'attempted murder'

The political impact of Bersih 2.0

The BN is still haemorrhaging from the Sarawak state election of April 16, where it lost the urban vote. Bersih 2.0 shows a continuing slide.
By Johan Saravanamuttu - FMT
The repercussions of Bersih 2.0 will no doubt be profound. It has already been dubbed as Malaysia’s “Hibiscus Revolution”. The question that is now uppermost in the public imagination is whether the current government will also suffer a severe blow for its inept handling of the event.

Bersih started out in 2006 as a movement of civil society forces and political parties calling for clean and fair elections. Its demands for cleaning up the electoral rolls, reviewing postal votes, including allowing for voting from abroad, fair access to the media, the elimination of corrupt practices are nothing radical or revolutionary and yet the government’s resistance to it has allowed the opposition parties and those not in support of the present government to easily latch on to a ready-made platform for galvanising support.

Bersih’s first political rally on Nov 10, 2007 saw some 40,000 Malaysian streaming into the heart of Kuala Lumpur, setting a benchmark for peaceful political protest in Malaysia.

On July 9, 2011 almost the same number of demonstrators were out in the streets of Kuala Lumpur, as estimated by the independent “politweet”, despite a ban on the rally and police roadblocks at every point of entry into KL. If the political impact of Bersih 1.0 on the general election of March 2008 is now axiomatic, would Bersih 2.0 have a similar impact on the next general election?

It is important to first understand the character of the rally itself. The outpouring of material on the social media and through social networking websites reached proportions which, in my view, have been unprecedented and have not stopped. At the point of writing, over 200,000 facebookers have called on premier Najib Tun Razak to resign. The webpage has picked up 20,000 votes or more in one day.

The people who showed up at Bersih 2.0 came from a cross-section of Malaysia’s multicultural society, with Malays and youth as the dominant groups. This spoke well for the continuation of the trajectory of Malaysia’s non-racialised “new politics”. The involvement of national literary laureate A Samad Said who wrote a touching poem about Malaysia’s “wounded democracy” was highly inspiring to the would-be Bersih rallyers.

Various attempts made to delegitimise Bersih by Umno-related groups had a counter-productive effect. Thus it was alleged that it would be “unIslamic” for Muslims to participate in an illegal rally. The bogey of May 13 was also invoked and the Chinese were asked to stock up on food and stay at home. Such racialisation of the event by Perkasa and the Malay paper Utusan Malaysia helped to further augment multiracial supporters on the other side. The lame counter march of a couple of hundreds of Umno Youth “patriots” proved to be the proverbial drop in the bucket in terms of its impact.

The event received a crucial boost when Suhakam chairman Hasmy Agam weighed in to opine that it was legitimate. Najib had called for the rally to be held at a stadium and the organisers obliged after meeting with the King but the police were adamant about not giving a permit for use of the Merdeka Stadium.
The heavy-handed action on the part of the police – some 1,700 arrests, heavy use of tear gas, water cannons, and some argue, responsibility for one death – has put the government in a no-win situation vis-à-vis the common Malaysian citizen.

BN in damage control mode

In public imagination, Bersih 2.0 would stand out even more than Bersih 1. Already folklore about Bersih has gone “viral” on the Internet. A few examples should suffice. “The Lady of Liberty”, an elderly woman well into her 60s, who braved the water cannons, holding a branch with two daisies has been reproduced ad infinitum in multiple incarnations and web designs.

Numerous individuals present at the rally have written first-hand accounts to show why as ordinary citizens their participation was a morally and socially uplifting experience. Not least of all, Marina Mahathir, the daughter of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the patron of Perkasa, wrote in her blog that she had gone to participate in the Bersih rally in support of her daughter and all the young people who were drawn to the cause.

Admittedly, Bersih 2.0 is largely an urban phenomenon. But this is not to be taken lightly, if urbanites are fast becoming the voting majority. The prime minister and his ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, are now in damage control mode.

The BN is still haemorrhaging from the Sarawak state election of April 16, where it lost the urban vote. Bersih 2.0 shows a continuing slide. Umno’s vote banks in the rural areas alone cannot assure it of regaining a two-thirds control of Parliament – which Najib must get to prove he is better than his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The premier is now surely conflicted about waiting out till the mandatory date for the next election in early 2013 or holding it much earlier in 2012. Another difficult budget awaits in October this year and with the Malaysian economy invariably on the verge of a dip, prospects are somewhat dim for the ruling coalition.

Larger than the issue of the next general election, which would now likely to be in early 2012, is the changing nature of Malaysian politics. Political parties like his, which continue to mobilise support purely on the basis of race, after Bersih 2.0, are on a short political tether.

The writer is senior visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. The article first appeared on Aliran.

Cops: PSM6 detained due to 'key role' in Bersih

Why I am a socialist and intend to remain so - Jeyakumar (written in detention)

“Hey Kumar! Still tilting at windmills are you?” a doctor friend greeted me at an MMA function 4 years ago. There had been some news regarding the Parti Sosialis Malaysia in the media that previous week.
For many, the socialist experiment had already been assigned to the dustbin of history and only deluded people would still work towards socialism
But for us in the PSM, we believe that socialism has an important, even crucial, role to play in averting a collosal economic-ecological disaster that will occur within the next 30-60 years!
We believe that the world has to find a workable alternative to an economy driven by corporate greed. We advise 3 main arguments for this position.
1. Malaysia’s current economic course recommends to a “Race of the bottom”
The global owners of capital and technological expertise who control market access are a relatively small number of corporations – about 500 to 1000. They have become all powerful in the unipolar world of today and they can “bargain hunt”. Even the biggest governments can’t control them.
The measures that Malaysia is taking to attract investors into Malaysia include
  • Lowering corporate tax and supplementing tax income by enacting a GST. The tax burden is being shifted onto ordinary Malaysians
  • Enhancing “labour flexibility”. This is a misnomer - it undermines job security and workers’ rights through allowing contractualizing of labour and by weakening unions.
  • Privatization of basic services such as health care and tertiary education.
All these measures pile economic pressure on the lower 70 % of the population.
And these are measures other developing countries are also taking – each outdoing the neighbor in the mad rush for FDI. It is very difficult to build a caring society within this framework of development.
2. Chronic under consumption leading to massive growth of financial capital and increasingly volatile financial “bubbles”
The ability of large corporations to “bargain hunt” in the cheapest sites to station their factories has meant mega-profits for these corporions but at the same time has stunted the aggregate consumption power of the global economy. When a US or European firm lays off 100 US workers by shifting to China and hiring 100 Chinese workers at 1/7 the wage, the total buying power of the working class is reduced.
The absence of robust growth in consumer demand dictates that the profits of the corporations cannot be invested in the production of more consumer goods. So the corporations need to try other alternatives to make money such as the Futures Market, Currency Trading, the Share Market, and other financial products like derivatives.
This tendency is highlighted by the fact that “Quantitative Easing” – the release of more money into the US economy in an effort to stimulate industrial production thus reducing unemployment – has backfired into the creation of more financial bubbles in various parts of the world. The problem is sluggish consumer demand, not a lack of productive capital.
The issue here is not insufficient regulations but a misdistribution of the world’s wealth! To address this problem, the power of the corporations has to be challenged!
3. We are reaching the environment limits of growth.
The global economy is heavily dependent on petroleum. This commodity is going to run out within the next 50 years or so. We urgently need to think not only of alternatives sources of fuel, but also of much greater fuel efficiency!
Global warming is with us. How soon and how fast sea levels are going to rise is still a matter of conjecture – but does that mean we can afford to ignore the issue if it only impacts our grandchildren and not us?
An economic model that requires a global average rate of growth of 4% per year to avoid downturns is clearly not sustainable! Not for the next 50 years! We need to redistribute the wealth we already are creating more equitably. We have to cut down waste! Growth cannot be endless.
All of these are only possible if we are ready to challenge the paradigm that unchecked greed will lead to the best possible outcome for the world’s majority because Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” is still operating in today’s corporate led globalization.
The ordinary people of the world need to take power to dictate the direction of the national or world economy away from the hands of the 560 richest corporations of the world.
We need to empower the marhein of the world to take on these tasks through a democratic process. These are the tasks facing 21st century socialism. These are not easily attainable goals.
But the problems we are facing are extremely serious. Unchecked they could lead to an ecological, food or climatic disaster that will lead to a decimation of the world’s population.
This is not the world that I wish to bequeath my grandchildren. That is why I am a socialist and intend to remain so despite the EO/ISA arrest!