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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

EC deputy chief booed in debate with Ambiga

(Malaysiakini)Election Commission (EC) deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar today faced a hostile crowd in a debate with Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan.

NONEHe was booed a number of times, forcing him to plead with the audience to give him a hearing in the event organised by Kumpulan Karangkraf, a media organisation which publishes Malay language daily Sinar Harian and a score of popular magazines.

Wan Ahmad (left) also insisted that the EC is just a “management body” which does not have the enforcement powers to tackle the abuses raised by various quarters relating to the electoral system and processes.
He then kicked the ball to the Attorney-General's Chambers regarding amendments to the election laws, stressing that it is a natural advantage for the ruling government to decide on the laws to be passed and amended, and the EC has no say in this aspect.

“Anybody who wants to push reform which touches on the fundamental policy of the government must approach the right person.”

NONEThe moderator, Wan Saiful Wan Jan from think-tank Ideas, then asked whether Wan Ahmad is suggesting that the problem lies with the government and not the EC, followed by a round of cheering and applause from the audience.

Not answering the question specifically, Wan Ahmad replied that the current government, elected by a majority of the people, certainly have a stronger say in law amendment.
“If you are elected, you will do the same thing,” he answered to another round of boos.

“To push for reform, we need to work together, don't treat the EC as an enemy.”
'Don't treat the EC as an enemy'

NONEIn response, Ambiga (right) rebutted that it was the EC that had adopted a hostile stand against the electoral reform coalition.

“I think you treat us as an enemy... It is wrong to say that 'we won't talk to you because the opposition is with you'... You sound like the government,” she said to the applause of the crowd.

She also lambasted the EC, which she claimed has been given a certain degree of enforcement power under the federal constitution, for not taking pro-active action in changing the laws.

Annoyed by the constant interruption from the floor, Wan Ahmad criticised them for refusing to open up their mind, being irrational, ignorant about election laws and even “sitting under the coconut shell”.

The audience responded by shouting “no power” almost every time Wan Ahmad spoke.
The irritated EC deputy chairperson then said "BN did not hentam (attack) the EC", inviting another round of boos and sneers.

"How are political parties namely PAS, PKR and DAP different from BN coalition parties? The difference is in their approach. BN also criticises us like you do but not in the media.

"They discuss rationally but you use the media to stab us. The EC cannot just keep quiet," he responded, sparking an uproar within the floor.
NONE
Wan Saiful (right), who commented that Wan Ahmad's "partisan language" had agitated the audience, had to repeatedly call for calm, but it was in vain.
“Let's stop the heckling,” he said, adding that the situation was turning into a rowdy “primary school” classroom.
However, Ambiga, at one point, commended Wan Ahmad's courage to face the critics.

“Wan Ahmad is a brave man sitting here. The whole EC should be here to back him but they only sent him,” she said, prompting the audience to give a round of applause to the EC's number two.
When quizzed that many people do not see EC as a credible institution, Wan Ahmad argued that the view is just limited to the audience in the forum but the majority of the people still trust the commission.
Ambiga herself, however, faced questions levelled at her over the rally on July 9 which took place, with at least two members of the audience demanding whether she would continue with her "confrontational" methods.
One challenged Ambiga "from lawyer to lawyer" on her leadership role on July and whether she would organise more "illegal rallies".
A third questioned the Bersih 2.0 chief over the prominent space taken up by opposition party leaders in her civil society-led coalition.
NONEThe three-hour panel discussion, 'What's next after July 9?', also saw the participation of UKM professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin (left).
During the forum, a commotion broke out when a Malay lawyer, while criticising Bersih 2.0's decision to call an illegal rally, made a remark that “the Malays have accepted the Chinese and Indians as citizens”.

The remark angered a few Indians who stood up and shouted at the lawyer. However, the situation calmed down soon after the ushers interfered.
Forum ends early on order of 'higher authority'

The organiser ended the forum 15 minutes earlier than planned, saying that it was due to the order of a “higher authority”.

banner outside karangkraf building ambiga debate EC wan ahmad bersihMany speculated that the order came from the police, who had been monitoring the forum, but the organiser later clarified that it was due to praying time and the “higher authority” referred to was God.

Before the commencement of the forum, police were guarding the entrance and banners that read "T-shirts with Bersih and Patriot logos are prohibited" were put up.

Hindraf suit good for Indians, says academic

By Athi Sankar,

Law lecturer Azmi Sharom sees great relevance in the message behind the class action.

GEORGE TOWN: An academic has hailed Hindraf Makkal Sakti’s decision to revive its suit against the British government, saying it will serve to draw domestic and international attention to the plight of Malaysian Indians.
“The success of the suit is not relevant; it is the intended message that matters,” said Azmi Sharom, who teaches law at Universiti Malaya.

The class action suit demands US$4 trillion in compensation for Malaysians descended from Indians whom the British brought to Malaysia as indentured labour. Hindraf claims that the British government, when it granted independence to Malaya, left the Indians without representation and at the mercy of Malay extremists.
Hindraf’s London-based chairman, P Waythamoorthy, originally filed the suit on Aug 31, 2007, but it stalled following a Malaysian clampdown on Hindraf that included the arrest of several lawyers under the Internal Security Act.
Waythamoorthy announced recently that he would file the suit again.

Hindraf’s lawyers in London told FMT that they needed more documents on the colonial period in Malaysia, kept by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The movement’s chief legal counsel in London, Imran Khan, will head a three-man delegation to Malaysia next month on a fact-finding mission.
Azmi met Waythamoorthy in Bangkok last year during an international conference and they discussed the suit.
He told FMT he was aware that Waythamoorthy and his small team of researchers were working hard to obtain and study thousands of relevant documents in Britain’s archives.

“From my personal point of view, Hindraf has every right to file the case on behalf of all Malaysian Indians,” he said.

“It’s an incredible effort by an ordinary person to push the issues pertaining to a community’s plight into the international and domestic limelight.”

He dismissed suggestions by certain quarters, notably in Umno, that the suit would threaten Malay interests.

“The extremist, nationalist and right wing Malay elements have their right to talk about the so-called Malay supremacy,” he said.

“But we have our right to ignore them.”

Mat Zain says MACC officers can be charged with Teoh’s suicide

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — A former senior police officer said today that three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers should be charged for abetting Teoh Beng Hock’s suicide following the release of the royal commission of inquiry’s (RCI) findings.
Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim told the Inspector General of Police in an open letter that then deputy director for Selangor Hishammuddin Hashim, officers Arman Alies and Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus were culpable in the interrogation of Teoh.
The former Kuala Lumpur CID chief noted the RCI said the three men had left the former DAP aide “almost a mental and physical wreck.”
“The commission found that Teoh Beng Hock was driven to commit suicide, as per paragraph 119 and detailed reasons from paragraphs 120 to 201... I find that Hishamuddin, Anuar and Ashraf can be charged for Abetment of Suicide under Section 306 of the Penal Code,” said the former city criminal investigation chief.
The royal panel had said found that “Arman and Ashraf behaved like inquisitors in an inquisition at the second stage of the interrogation.”
“TBH had to face MACC interrogation heavyweights like Arman the bully [who would manipulate his witness to obtain evidence], Ashraf the abuser [who was Machiavellian in his method to secure evidence] and HH the arrogant leader [who would have no qualms in lying as long as the ends were achieved, regardless of the means employed],” the RCI report had pointed out.
Mat Zain told the IGP in his letter that the police could not simply leave it to the MACC to take disciplinary action against its officers but must take action as it was a crime “against public justice under the Penal Code.”
The ex-cop also said that the three officers and two others, Bulkini Paharuddin and Raymond Nion anak John Timban were all guilty of giving false testimony in court proceedings, punishable with up to seven years imprisonment under Section 193 of the Penal Code.
“I am shocked that MACC officers gave false testimonies so bravely in the commission’s proceedings. It is as if their actions were not criminal.”
However, Mat Zain said that their boldness led him to conclude that “they were either ill-advised or given guarantees by certain parties that they will not be charged. On their own, they will not dare give false testimony, what more before a royal commission.”
The RCI had unanimously ruled that Teoh, a former aide of Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, committed suicide as a result of pressure from aggressive and continuous questioning by anti-graft officers.
The five-man panel wrapped up its report on June 15 after having heard testimony from 70 witnesses in its bid to unravel the mysterious circumstances behind Teoh’s death.
The 30-year-old DAP political aide was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth-floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he was questioned overnight by MACC officers at their then-Selangor headquarters on the 14th floor.
The coroner’s inquest had in January returned an “open verdict” ruling out both suicide and homicide some 18 months after Teoh’s death.
The government was then forced to establish the RCI, which first met in February, with two terms of reference: to probe how Teoh plunged to his death and to look into MACC’s investigative methods.
But Teoh’s family has rejected the commission’s verdict and are currently mulling a judicial review of its findings.

Malaysian graduates struggle to get good jobs, says Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — Although overall Malaysian unemployment has shrunk, the number of jobless university graduates continues to rise due to low pay and keen competition for vacancies, the Singapore  Straits Times reported today.

According to government statistics, 71,000 people with diplomas or degrees remain on the job hunt, almost 20 per cent of total unemployed labour of 388,000.

The Straits Times found the government’s JobsMalaysia portal’s listed vacancies to be mostly in manufacturing, agriculture and construction sectors, showing that graduate-level jobs are few and far between.

Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Maznah Mazlan recently told Parliament 2,700 people have been placed in state agencies, and given training to be become entrepreneurs.

But the Straist Times wrote that “it appears that the predicament many graduates find themselves in could stem from their own expectations.”

The report cited a recent survey by top online recruitment firm Jobstreet.com, which found that most employers said that fresh graduates had “unrealistic expectations” of salaries.

This concurs with a 2008 government study which said jobless graduates were overly focused on pay and perks and rejected jobs they considered dirty, difficult or dangerous.

“While previous surveys named poor English as the main cause of unemployment, bad attitude has now topped the list,” Straits Time quoted chief operating officer Suresh Thiru as saying.

However, the Straits Times found that jobseekers said there were just not enough jobs and salaries for those living in Kuala Lumpur were too low to cope with the cost of living.

The London-based Economist Intelligence Unit said in a recent study that the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur has risen by nearly 25 per cent over the last two years, making it the 86th most expensive city in the world.

“Others point to rising competition among their peers. Malaysia now has 20 public and 26 private universities, which send more than 180,000 graduates into the workforce each year. That is not counting the 120,000 also emerging from some 1,000 skills training institutes,” the Straits Times wrote.

Catholic Church plugs for non-Muslim affairs ministry

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (right) with Pope Benedict in Rome last week. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — The Roman Catholic Church here will lobby for a non-Islamic affairs ministry now that Malaysia has formalised ties with the Vatican, says Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam.


The head of the national Catholic Bishops’ Conference has also resurrected the set-up of an interreligious council, among a slew of measures he believes will help peacefully end the current ethnic, cultural and religious conflict in Malaysia.

“I had communicated to the Holy Father that we hope to see the establishment of an Inter-Religious Council [IRC] that would include key leaders and representatives from all religious groups; the establishment of a Ministry and the appointment of a full Minister to look into non-Islamic affairs,” said Pakiam in an formal message to all Catholics today, after his return from accompanying the Malaysian government delegation to visit Pope Benedict XVI in Rome last week.

The idea for a non-Islamic affairs ministry was first raised by the Anglican bishop of Kuching, Datuk Bolly Lapok in March this year following the Home Ministry’s seizure of 35,000 Malay bibles — or Al-Kitab as they are locally called — imported from Indonesia and meant for the Bumiputera Christian market here.

His call, aimed at pressuring the federal government to set up a special portfolio to take care of non-Muslim affairs, appears to have gained traction with the establishment of diplomatic relations with the head of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic archbishop said he had kept the pope informed of the “hopes and aspirations of the local church” through Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli who is at the moment still an apostolic delegate to Malaysia.

Pakiam added that the Church also hopes Putrajaya allows Catholic seminaries resume regional priest training here; promote Christian-Catholic education and teacher training courses; and set up bilateral links between Islamic institutions in Malaysia and the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies among other steps.

“I believe that these points, if they had not already been raised in the discussions between the Holy Father and the Prime Minister, will be raised in the future through diplomatic channels,” he said.

Pakiam said diplomatic relations was beneficial for Catholics as it gave them a “greater voice in Malaysian society” in order to prophetically proclaim the values which it defends and safeguards.

Penang is the first state in the country to set up an executive council portfolio to handle non-Muslim religious issues in early February this year, in conjunction with the United Nations’ Interfaith Harmony Week.

The idea for the IRC was first mooted in the 1980s but was spiked early on following objections from Muslim groups such as the Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

The Najib administration formed its special committee to promote harmony and understanding among religious adherents in April last year but the interfaith panel appears to have stymied following the death of its coordinator, Datuk Ilani Isahak on February 24.

Her replacement has yet to be announced. - TMI

In times of trouble, we are colour blind

The Bersih rally brought out the true Malaysian spirit. All the races were helping each other despite the tear gas and water cannons .
COMMENT
By Yuganeshwaran Muthumaniam

I am a Malaysian Indian and always proud to be one. The purpose of this short piece is to share my experience on participating in the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally.

A recap first. I have traveled abroad a number of times, particularly to India. The Indians were very interested to know on how I managed to attain such fluency in Tamil language despite being a Malaysian (I speak normal Malaysian Tamil).

That would be the moment when I would tell them what it felt to be a Malaysian, as well as being a Malaysian India. Most of the Indians from India admired the Malaysian government for keeping the country in such a tranquil manner.

But the Bersih 2.0 has changed all this. Before I relate my Bersih 2.0 experience, a bit about myself. I am an ordinary Malaysian and if I call myself an activist, it is because I am active in outdoor activities. And I take an interest in the politics of our nation.

I missed the first Bersih rally in November 2007 and this time I told myself that no matter what happens, I will be at the Bersih 2.0.

I bought a Bersih t-shirt online. It was delivered to my office by courier. My boss saw the t-shirt and tried to persuade me not to wear the yellow t-shirt. Not to worry my boss too much, I told him it was for my collection only.

On the Friday morning before the rally I received an invitation (via SMS) to attend a special prayer in a church on harmony and peace for the nation. I decided to go and thought I will get an answer to go or not to go for the rally.

I met a top MP and a Selangor assembly exco at the mass. She was impressed with my yellow appearance (yes, I was wearing the t-shirt!) and she told me that she would be looking forward to seeing me in the rally tomorrow.

‘The FRUs are here’

On Saturday, I was supposed to go home after work to pack some of my things for the rally. Unfortunately I couldn’t go home due to the time constraint.

My friends (as I managed to persuade a few) were waiting for me at the KTM station. Since I was late by half an hour, they made their move first, promising that we would catch each other near KL Sentral.

My friends then texted me to join them at Pasar Seni. The train dropped us at the Masjid Jamek station, prior to an announcement saying the train won’t be passing by the Pasar Seni station.

If I’m not mistaken, we were the last batch of passengers as we heard that the station was temporarily closed after we left.

After we left the train station, we were at a complete loss as to where to head next. We just wandered around. I managed to call one of my friends and he asked me to go near the Pudu Raya bus station.

Just then, we reached the Menara Maybank, I spotted thousands of people there. And we joined them.
It was almost 1.30 pm when a Malay guy was shouting at the crowd, ‘’The FRUs are here, stand by everyone!!’’

We stood our ground. We were united together. Malay, Indian and Chinese all standing close to each other for our rights.

A Malay man was distributing salt to everyone, I managed to get some. Out of the blue, without any warning, the FRU attacked us by spraying chemical water. This was followed by tear gas.

The first canister fell some distance from where I was standing. The second landed right in front of me.
Within five seconds, my eyes were filled with tears, I was coughing badly. Everyone was running for their lives. It felt as though we were in a foreign country, where teargas and water cannon were a common occurence.

The crowd was running towards Jalan Pudu. I couldn’t even breathe for a few seconds; a Chinese friend passed me a wet towel to wipe my face. I was feeling totally dehydrated and was thirsting for some water. An Indian uncle shared his bottle of water with me.

This was not only happening to me, but to everyone there. We helped each other despite our skin colour because we were Malaysians. Yes, Malaysians. Not Malays or Chinese or Indians but Malaysians.

Taking the right decision

Soon , the rains came and the water helped wash away the chemicals. Our spirit was not dampened though, and we sang ‘Negaraku’.

A few Malay friends and I made our way near the Tung Shin Hospital and took a break there.

The police were there again. And the crowd scattered. My Malay friends and I went through the bushes and finally came out near a Hindu temple near Pudu.

Then we walked back to Pudu Raya. Our attempt was foiled as we ended up right behind the FRU.
Since we could not join the crowd, we decided to walk down Petaling Street to go to Stadium Merdeka.

When we reached Jalan Sultan, a Malay man was running towards us, warning not to go further as the police were arresting everyone.

We separated at that point and thanks to him, we escaped from being arrested.

By now it was 4pm, I decided to go home.

The Pasar Seni station was closed so I walked to KL Sentral. Finally I managed to reach home safely.
What have I learnt from the rally? After the effects of the tear gas had worn off I realised how close -minded the government was by hurting and arresting innocent people.

That our biased media was not telling us the truth. But soon, the truth will come out and every right minded Malaysian citizen will have to make a decisioon.

Bon voyage Bourdon, Najib strikes again

The booting out of a renowned French lawyer and the Najib administration's disrespect for an individual’s fundamental rights will cost the BN a heavy price at the polls.
COMMENT
Soon after his return on July 22 from a three-nations trip, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak boasted on national television that the elections in Malaysia are fair and clean.

Well, at least that is the impression he gave his United Kingdom counterpart David Cameron whom he met at No 10 Downing Street on July 21. Besides the United Kingdom, Najib also visited Turkmenistan and Italy, all in a span of eight days.

The idiot box however did not “cooperate” with Najib. The look on his face while relaying that bit of news was far from convincing. Maybe, just like the rakyat, Najib too knows the truth, which is that the Malaysian electoral system is fraught with manipulation and corruption and that accusations made by election watchdog Bersih 2.0 are not without basis.

Does Najib’s claim that he told Cameron there is no hanky-panky at the polls of any good to anyone? Certainly not.

Cameron, on the contrary is convinced that something is seriously wrong with the way the things are managed in Malaysia, as seen from the way the people who turned up to support the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9, 2011, were assaulted by the police.

Six dedicated activists are still being held in solitary confinement under allegation that they instigated people to participate in the rally, thus “waging war against the monarchy”.

As far as Cameron is concerned, he is worried about the very poor human rights record that Malaysia, a former British colony, holds. It would be no exaggeration to say that Cameron was furious with Najib for the brutality displayed against the rally supporters that the British premier lost all appetite to do lunch with his Malaysian counterpart.

Najib could not care less. He instructed the police to make public “compromising” video footages of the July 9 rally in an effort to quash accusations of police brutality, a move which has made the rakyat sick to their stomach. The people’s determination to see Najib “check out” of Putrajaya is growing stronger by the day.

In so far as Najib goes, did all that affect him? Yes, it surely did. But like his fellow Malaysian politicians, Najib too seeks refuge under the “black heart and thick skinned” cloak that these politicians find indisposable throughout their political career.

Crying out loud that the electoral system in Malaysia needs no clean-up was pathetic enough, but Najib who consistently fails to get his act in order once again faltered when he made sure French human rights lawyer William Bourdon was deported back to Paris, pronto. Why the rush, Najib?

Bourdon was in Malaysia to speak at events organised by human rights NGO Suaram regarding the controversial-ridden Scorpene submarine deal.

Najib was defense minister

The deal which which was inked in 2002 during Najib’s tenure as defense minister was reported to have involved kickbacks worth RM500 million. Not only that, it was also linked to the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu, whom Najib was alleged to have been involved with.

However, once Bourdon’s flight landed on July 22 at 11.40am at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the lawyer was escorted out of the plane by three immigration officials. He was held at the holding centre and questioned for four hours, after which he was ordered to leave Malaysia the very same day, although his return ticket to Paris was dated July 24.

Had Bourdon insisted on leaving Malaysia on July 24, he would according to the Malaysian police be held under detention until his departure date. Not wanting to put his wife at any risk, Bourdon decided to exit Malaysia on July 22, at his own cost.

The reason behind that order? Bourdon was deported for violating the terms of his social visit pass – so was the excuse given by the Immigration Department.

“I hereby declare that I have acted as the lawyer for Suaram in full respect of my duties and rules and in perfect compliance with national and international laws. I consider that this deportation decision is a breach in the right to freely exercise my profession as a lawyer,” Bourdon said in a statement.

A deal gone terribly wrong

Details of the Scorpene deal gone wrong go as follows: It all started in June 2002 when the Malaysian government signed an agreement with French DCNS and Spanish Navantia for the purchase of two Scorpene class submarines.

The agreement took place through direct negotiation with the manufacturing companies, with the service of Perimekar Sdn Bhd linked to Abdul Razak Baginda, a close aide of Najib.

Altantuya served as a translator for Perimekar. Four years after the submarines procurement, her remains were found in a secluded area in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam. Police investigation found that she was shot twice before her body was blown up using C-4 explosives.

Subsequently, Razak was charged for abetting in her murder in July 2008 but was acquitted about two months later. The prosecution team decided not to appeal against his acquittal. Najib, meanwhile ended up swearing on the Quran to clear his name.

In December 2009, Suaram filed a complaint with the French courts asking for access to information regarding government contracts signed with Perimekar and other information classified as official secrets in Malaysia.

In April 2010, the French courts accepted the request to investigate the claim of corruption for a payment amounting to 114 million euros from DCNS to Perimekar.

No end to abuse of power
Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah and Batu MP Tian Chua who were at KLIA to meet Bourdon when he arrived from Penang were barred from doing so.

In a typical show of “power”, Malaysian authorities also failed to acknowledge the fact that Bourdon was Suaram’s lawyer on the submarine case and that his deportation would be a breach of his right to perform his duty as a lawyer.

Bourdon’s wife Lea Forestier was “very shocked and upset over the arbitrariness of the situation.”
“The only other experience of William and I being denied entry was Tunisia under Ben Ali… that was a banana republic!” Forestier was reported to have said, according to tweets from local activists.

But does the bitter experience suffered by Bourdon and Forestier make any difference to the Malaysian government? It should, for as they say “actions speak louder than words” and those very actions of Najib’s coupled with his high-handed manner in dealing with supporters of the July 9 rally have left the international community upset with him.

Needless to say, this show of power abuse and disrespect for an individual’s fundamental rights by the Najib administration will cost the Barisan Nasional a heavy price at the polls.

Najib in trouble?

To PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, there is just one truth behind Bourdon’s unceremonious deportation – that he knows too much. Nurul claimed Bourdon may have access to important documents that could link Najib to the Scorpene purchases.

“But the French court will provide public access to the investigation papers when the case goes on trial in September,” claimed Nurul at the Ops Scorpene fund raising dinner in Petaling Jaya on July 22.

Will justice be served? Only time will tell. But for Altantuya’s sake, one hopes that it does, for only then will her soul attain moksha (release). Altantuya’s ashes, according to her father Dr Steve Shaariibu, still remain in a Malaysian court, as the case, in theory, remains unsolved.

Jeswan is a freelance journalist and a FMT contributor.

PSM6 – police practicing “Arrest first, find the charges later” tactics

Let more and more Malaysians wear yellow on Saturdays to send a loud, clear and unmistakable message to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Barisan Nasional Cabinet and government of ever-rising crescendo of swelling public support not only for Bersih 2.0’s eight demands for free and fair elections, but also for a Clean Malaysia where there is an end to the rampant corruption, abuses of power, injustices and gross human rights violations present today.

The blemishes today why we do not have a Clean Malaysia include the gross abuses of power evident in the high-handed police actions against the peaceful Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 for free and fair elections; the unwarranted, unjustifiable and unprovoked firing of tear gas and chemically-laced water cannons against the peaceful public; arbitrary arrest of some 2,000 people; spewing of racist threats; attempt to create ethnic and religious tensions including the raising the May 13 spectre and the unjustifiable lock-down of Kuala Lumpur creating infernal traffic jams before and on the day of the rally.

Such high-handed and arbitrary police actions are still going on more than a forthnight after the 709 peaceful Bersih 2.0 rally – proven by the continued unjust, unjustified and unwarranted detention of the PSM6, including Sungei Siput MP Dr. Michael Jeyakumar.

Jeyakumar and five others have been detained under the Emergency Ordinance since July 2 after initially being arrested on June 25 with two dozen other PSM members under Section 122 of the Penal Code for allegedly “waging war against the Agong” and trying to revive communism.

Section 122 of the Penal Code states: “Whoever collects or attempts to collect men, arms or ammunition, or otherwise prepares to wage war with the intention of either waging or being prepared to wage war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any of the Rulers or the Yang di-Pertua Negeri or abets the waging or the preparation of such war, shall be punished with imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

This is a heinous offence – waging war against the Yang di Pertuan Agong, liable on conviction to life imprisonment.

But who would believe that Jeyakumar and the other 29 PSM activists originally arrested on June 25 had been guilty of the heinous crime of “waging war against the Agong”?

The answer is none at all – not even the police and the home ministry which is why after the seven-day remand of the 30 PSM activists, no one whether from the Police or the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein breathed a word about the heinous crime of “waging war against the Agong” and “reviving communism” as the charges are so ridiculous and unbelievable as the raise serious questions about the right and sanity of a government capable of such fantasies to rule the country.

Malaysians are entitled to ask who are the officers or politicians who had been so “creative” as to concoct the heinous charge of Section 122 of Penal Code of “waging war against the Agong” against the PSM activists in the first instance. These persons responsible for such ridiculous charges should be publicly exposed and punished for a most gross abuses of power.

The PSM six headed by Jeyakumar have been detained under the EO for 22 days after the end of their seven-day remand on July 2 on the ridiculous charge of “waging war against the Agong”.

The 42-year EO is an obsolete law which violates democratic norms and fundamental human rights and should have been repealed five years ago if the Barisan Nasional

Government had accepted the recommendations of the Dzaiddin-Hanif Police Royal Commission Report to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service.

The Dzaiddin-Hanif Royal Commission chaired by former Chief Justice Tun Dzaiddin with former Inspector-General of Police Tun Haniff as deputy chairman made 125 recommendations with the specific mission change for the Royal Malaysian Police to focus on three core functions – to reduce crime, eradicate corruption and uphold human rights.

It recommended that by May 2006, the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 (the law under which PSM6 are detained) should be repealed “because it has outlived its purpose and in some instances facilitated the abuse of some fundamental liberties”.

The detention of PSM6 under EO (i.e. EPOPCO) is the latest illustration of what the Dzaiddin-Haniff Royal Commission had warned six years ago that EO would “facilitate the abuse of some fundamental liberties”.

It is clear from the initial arrests of PSM30 on the ludicrous charge of “waging war against the Agong” (Sec 122 of Penal Code”) to the subsequent detention of the PSM6 under EO, the Malaysian Police were guilty of practicing the deplorable tactics of “Arrest first, find the charges later”.

This is totally against the spirit of the rule of law, as the Police is betraying its role as the upholder of the rule of law by abusing its powers to “arrest first, find the charges later”.

The PSM6 were accused of being “prime movers” of 709 Bersih 2.0 rally, which have been proved totally false.
Without the PSM6, the 709 Bersih 2.0 rally had been such a great success that it has become a historic watershed in the awakening of Malaysians that regardless of race, religion, region, class, gender and age, they are truly one Malaysian people with the united bond of love for country and common aspiration for fair and free elections and a Clean Malaysia – more meaningful than Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan which is nothing more than 1Malaysia T-shirt, Malaysia Tupperware, 1Malaysia mineral water, 1Malaysia burger in the 1Malaysia circus.

If the Barisan Nasional Government refuses to heed public opinion to immediately and unconditionally release the PSM6, then let Malaysians wear yellow every Saturday to send their disapproval and censure loud and clear to Najib, the Cabinet and all Barisan Nasional leaders until the PSM6 are restored their personal liberty.

** Speech (2) at the DAP Taman Housing Trust dinner/ceramah at Sun Lee How Fook Restaurant, Ipoh

Explain Scorpene lawyer expulsion, Bar tells Putrajaya

The Malaysian Insider
by Shazwan Mustafa Kamal


KUALA LUMPUR, Juy 25 — The Bar Council today demanded the government explain the deportation of French lawyer William Bourdon last week, saying Putrajaya’s silence on the matter would only “cement” public opinion that it was linked to the controversial RM7 billion Scorpene submarine deal.

Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee also attacked the reason provided by the Immigration Department, that Bourdon had violated the conditions of his social visit pass, as “vague and wholly inadequate.”

“This obvious imprecision hampers the visitor’s ability to answer the charges levelled against him.

“The lack of specificity is antithetical to the principle of natural justice in administrative law, pursuant to which a clear and explicit basis for the deportation should have been furnished to the visitor, in order that he could have defended himself against any allegation,” he said in a statement today.

Lim cited a 1987 Supreme Court ruling that a person facing possible deportation by the authorities be given an “opportunity” to be heard and that the affected person be given a right to defend himself.

“The veil surrounding this matter merely cements, in the mind of the public, the perception that the French lawyer’s deportation may have arisen as a result of the talk he had given in Penang the previous evening, relating to alleged corruption in the Malaysian government’s purchase of submarines from a French company.

“The Malaysian Bar calls on the government to justify publicly its grounds for deporting the French lawyer, and to cease such arbitrary detention and deportation.  This incident is another negative mark on the government’s record on rights and fundamental liberties, which on this occasion involves a foreigner,” Lim added.

The government has insisted that Bourdon’s deportation was not a political decision, with Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein saying that the French lawyer, who is pursuing judicial investigations in French courts over allegations of kickbacks to a Malaysian company linked to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was sent home to Paris for violating conditions of his tourist visa.

Immigration officers detained Bourdon after boarding the plane in which he arrived on at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Penang on Friday.

The purchase of two submarines from French defence company DCNS in 2002 was made when Najib was still defence minister and a company run by Abdul Razak Baginda, said to be a close aide of the then-deputy prime minister, was reported to have received over RM500 million in commission from the deal.

Human rights groups and opposition parties here also linked the episode to the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

In December 2009, Suaram filed a complaint with the French courts asking for access to information regarding government contracts signed with Abdul Razak’s Perimekar Sdn Bhd and other information classified as official secrets in Malaysia.

The French courts accepted the request to investigate claims of graft in the RM500 million payment from DCNS to Perimekar.

The case is set to begin in September, once a judge is selected for a hearing that Bourdon and opposition leaders here believe will reveal crucial information pertaining to the deal.

Legendary Islamic school ousts reformist leader

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2011 file photo, Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi, vice chancellor of India's Darul Uloom, one of the world's most revered schools of Islamic learning, addresses the media in Ahmadabad, India. The board of the 150-year-old institution voted Sunday, July 24, 2011 to remove its reformist leader Vastanvi who irked many by praising a Hindu politician just months into his term. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki, File)
NEW DELHI (AP) — One of the world's most revered schools of Islamic learning ousted its reformist leader on Sunday just months into his term, after he praised a Hindu nationalist politician loathed by many Muslims in India.

Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi had pledged to update the Darul Uloom seminary's curriculum and rein in hard-line religious edicts when he became vice chancellor in January.

But within days he upset conservatives and sparked protests by praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's development policies and reportedly saying Muslims in that western state should move on from the 2002 communal riots that left hundreds dead.

The board of the 150-year-old institution in the northern town of Deoband voted Sunday to replace 60-year-old Vastanvi, who is also an MBA, with Maulana Abdul Qasim Nomani.

"Now, I am the vice chancellor of the seminary," Nomani told Press Trust of India. The board had first debated a special committee's report on Vastanvi's conduct, prompting 14 board members to walk out, Nomani said.

Vastanvi objected that the report was incomplete. Nevertheless, the remaining board members voted 9-4 to remove Vastanvi.

"This is injustice and a conspiracy against me," Vastanvi reportedly said, but added that he would not seek to reverse the decision.

Darul Uloom has around 4,000 students and, as the center of the Deobandi school of Islam, is seen as the spiritual light for thousands of other schools across the Middle East, Britain, the United States, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

It was founded in 1866 to preserve Islamic culture in India and preaches an austere form of Islam that has inspired millions of Muslims, including the Taliban's hard-line interpretation.

Nazrin: Rulers must be told the real story

(Malaysiakini) The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, said today rulers should not be shielded from the truth and must be told the real story.

In addition, rulers should never be surrounded by people with personal interests who are willing to use them as tools.

"Rulers must have advisers who are sincere, sensitive to the people's needs and bold to state the truth," he said at 'Wacana Ilmu Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on the theme 'The role of Malay rulers in nurturing unity' in Shah Alam.

judges conference 090408 raja nazrinRaja Nazrin said rulers should be willing to accept the fact, no matter how bitter, as justice could not be uphold without the truth.

"Rulers can't play a meaningful role if they are given a rosy picture. The false impression is unfair as they will be denied the right to conduct their responsibilities fairly."

Raja Nazrin expressed fears that shielding rulers from the truth would separate them from the people, making it difficult to address integrity, statehood, loyalty and unity.

"Exploiting sentiments is easy as the people easily fall for promises. The prescription can only heal if the syndrome is identified.

"It is unwise if the nation and people choose to reject reality, blurring the vision on the real reasons that affect unity."

Raja Nazrin said stiff political competition had exploited sensitive religious and racial issues and dissatisfactions of the people.

No one party is right all the time

"In all conflicts, no one party is right all the time and no one party is wrong all the time.

"The methods to achieve total victory by beating foes have cast aside good manners, customs, morals and religious elements."

He also feared that the rising political temperature would turn dreams of unity into a nightmare, adding that there should be a neutral, credible and acceptable institution to lower this.

It was important for rulers to not only be above political polemics but also have the trust and responsibility of ensuring peace and harmony.

"Rulers must use wisdom to calm situations, but they do not have a 'magic lamp' to keep unity, especially when the situation has become chaotic."

Raja Nazrin said the role of rulers was to give advice privately, so that this was not misinterpreted as directly interfering with the administration.

"The credibility of some national instruments require a recovery of perception and need improvements in line with the current world dynamics to restore confidence in the people."

Raja Nazrin said unity would not be achieved in an unstable and immature political climate post the 12th general election, with calls for reality checks and demands for change.

"Unity requires a willingness to sacrifice, accept defeat willingly and celebrate victory with humility," he added.

- Bernama

Bersih suppression for public good, says Najib

Najib wrote that the country’s balance was delicate and always in need of protection. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — Still training his sights on Bersih, Datuk Seri Najib Razak today justified his administration’s response to the July 9 rally by saying it was the government’s duty to safeguard public property and interests.
 
Making specific reference to May 13, 1969, the prime minister wrote on his blog at 1malaysia.com.my that the country held on to a “delicate balance [that] needs to be protected and preserved at all times.”

Recent events that unfolded in Kuala Lumpur put us through an important test. Our decision as government was to protect the interests and property of the larger community that depend on Kuala Lumpur for their livelihood,” Najib continued.

His administration’s handling of the Bersih rally has left a blemish on Najib’s image as a moderate Muslim leader, with global media delivering harsh criticism over the suppression of the electoral reform movement.

Speaking after his return from an eight-day tour of Europe on Friday, Najib also claimed the Bersih movement was a veiled attempt to topple his administration through street demonstrations akin to those that are now claiming Middle Eastern despots.

“It’s not so much about electoral reform. They want to show us as though we’re like the Arab Spring governments in the Middle East,” he said.

Bersih claimed that 50,000 people showed up for its rally despite efforts to prevent the gathering from taking place. Police said there were 6,000.

The protest turned chaotic when police fired tear gas and water cannons at demonstrators, resulting in nearly 1,700 arrests, scores injured and the death of former military man 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.

Asri under watch as Putrajaya raises Wahhabi terror alert

Asri expressed surprise over the renewed links between Wahhabism and terrorism. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — The National Security Council (NSC) has ordered religious authorities to monitor Wahhabism in the country, placing influential former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin under a watch list.


The Malaysian Insider understands that the NSC met with state muftis and religious agencies this morning to discuss the traditionalist Islamic practice that has been linked to terrorism.

“Today’s meeting focused solely on the issue of Wahhabism and links to terrorism. It was decided that those with links to this belief may head towards terrorism,” a source told The Malaysian Insider. 

The source added that all muftis have been asked to monitor developments regarding Wahhabism in their respective states and to take action if necessary.

Muftis contacted by The Malaysian Insider confirmed that such a meeting took place but refused to comment further.

The Malaysian Insider also understands that the meeting today listed several prominent leaders including several young Islamic scholars who joined Umno last year.

Although he did not join the senior partner in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, Asri, who has been linked to Wahhabism in the past, is said to wield considerable influence over young Muslim scholars.

When contacted by The Malaysian Insider, the Universiti Sains Malaysia professor said that he was shocked at the re-emergence of the issue, adding that it should have “calmed down by now.”

But he rejected outright the possibility that it had anything to do with political developments and attempts to influence perception in the aftermath of the July 9 Bersih rally that drew tens of thousands to the capital.

“I have contacted Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom. He said he had no information but told me he will check,” he said.

One of Umno’s young ulama, Fathul Bari Mat Jahya said he would insist that his cohort of scholars be given a chance to explain to the NSC.

“I understand it is still being discussed. It is better to let things calm down and we hope that we are allowed to make an explanation to the NSC. The whole thing has arisen because we have not been allowed to explain,” he said.

Asri was first linked to Wahhabism and the terrorists group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) early last year, along with PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, former Perlis mentri besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim dan Perlis Mufti Juanda Jaya.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Abdul Hadi and Shahidam Kassim were omitted from today’s list.

‘Anti-Islam bloggers in US on Najib/BN payroll’

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who sees himself as the 'great protector of Islam' in Malaysia must explain link to anti-Islam promoters.

COMMENT
A team of American bloggers allegedly hired by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to improve their respective images, are in fact pro-Israel and known to publicly slander Islam.

One member of the team, Caleb Howe, indulged in a sustained, childish rant on his public Twitter page on April 23 last year, in which he said: “I drew a picture of Mohammed today. I showed him marrying a pre-tween. Might as well be historically correct right?”

Eighteen minutes later on the same twitter message, he posted: “Did I say marrying a pre-tween? Sorry.. that was my typo.I meant raping.”  Caleb’s outburst against Islam is not an isolated incident (see image below).

He and his team have indulged in a number of such anti-Islamic rants on Twitter that are clearly designed to give extreme offence to Muslims.

Few would dream of engaging in such an unpleasant and offensive attack.

It thus comes as a surprise that Najib and Taib would hire Howe and his colleagues who sustain other blogs such as Red State, New Ledger, Sarawak Report(s), Malaysia Matters as their professional promoters.

It seems somewhat a misjudgement that Najib, who sees himself as the great protector of his own Muslim religion, continues to be associated with this team of Americans.
Pro-Israeli views

Howe [photo below] is closely linked to Josh Trevino, the right-wing blogger behind the American ‘Red State’ and ‘New Ledger’ blogs and also a PR company called Rogue Strategic Services.

Rogue Services have been in employ with Barisan Nasional since the days of former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Now their portfolio includes Najib and Taib. They have been allegedly hired to create ‘positive publicity’ on their behalf.

This is achieved through a network of websites. These websites have been engaged by Najib and Taib to promote them by publishing favourable articles in their blogs in the US.

These reports are then carried in Malaysian blogs. Local media then quote these blogs, giving Malaysians the impression that Najib and Taib have positive international endorsement.

Howe, who is a regular contributor to Trevino’s flagship ‘Red State’ website, also curates a Twitter account called Malaysia Matters which is linked to the Malaysia Matters website, one of Trevino’s projects to promote BN leaders.

The Malaysia Matters website (which has just been re-launched) was started in 2008 by Trevino and a colleague Jerome Armstrong.

Armstrong, who is also a professional ‘blogger for hire’, has made no secret of the fact that the project was commissioned by the Malaysian government – he lists them as a client on the website of his company WebStrong.

Trevino himself has made no secret of his rabid pro-Israeli views – to the extent that he tweeted that fellow Americans who felt sorry for the Palestinians and took part in the mercy ship flotilla deserved to be shot dead.

Clare Rewcastle Brown is the founder/editor of Sarawak Report

‘DAP, Suaram made use of Bourdon’

Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says that DAP and Suaram exploited the human rights lawyer for their own interests.

UPDATED

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is now claiming that French human rights lawyer William Bourdon was exploited by Suaram and the DAP for its own ends.

Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Bourdon, who was deported for visa violation last Friday, was “utilised and “victimised” by Suaram director and former DAP MP Dr Kua Kia Soong.

Kua initiated the legal action to probe into RM7 billion Scorpene submarine deal between French company DCNS and the Malaysian government. The deal is said to be linked to the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

“He is being utilised and victimised by the DAP, Dr Kua and Suaram,” Ahmad Zahid said after officiating the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and Memorandum of Agreement between Perhebat (Ex-Servicemen’s Affairs Corporation) and six other private companies here at the Defence Ministry.

Pakatan Rakyat claimed the Najib administration had deported Bourdon out of fear that other multi-billion ringgit defence contracts will come under scrutiny..

Ahmad Zahid, however, shrugged off the allegation and said Bourdon had no right to bring the case, which will soon enter full trial in Paris, to Malaysia.

“Ask him to ask himself whether he got the right to defend the case here. If he would like to defend his case, do it in France, not here,” he said when asked if he agreed with the deportation of Bourdon.
Ahmad Zahid’s remarks followed Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s comment on the matter earlier today.

No political motive

Hishammuddin said that there was no political agenda in the deportation of Bourdon. The minister said he was deported due to “visa non-compliance” and for making a speech in Penang.

“It’s due to a visa violation. There are certain things tourists cannot do. I don’t know what it is, but one cannot give a speech,” he told reporters today.

Hishammuddin also denied that Bourdon’s deportation had any political agenda behind it.
“People get deported everyday, but people have selectively chosen this case to say that it is political,” he said.

The French lawyer was held by immigration officers when he landed in Sepang from Penang on July 22 just after he spoke on the progress of the Scorpene case at a fundraiser organised by Suaram. He was scheduled to speak at another event on the day he was arrested.

Suaram had filed a suit with the French courts – which will be heard on December 9 – in a bid to declassify information on government contracts signed with a Malaysian company as well as other related information which have been classified as official secrets.

Perimekar Sdn Bhd, owned by Abdul Razak Baginda, a close associate of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, was said to have received close to RM500 million in commissions from the Scorpene deal.
Najib, who may be called upon to testify before the French court, was the defence minister at the time.

Kua: No one can ‘use’ Bourdon

When contacted, Kua laughed off the Defence Minister’s comments, saying that Bourdon was a person of high calibre who would not allow himself to be used by any party.

“How do you victimise a person? Bourdon is a world famous human rights lawyer. He is a person of calibre who will not allow anyone to ‘victimise or utilise’ him,” he told FMT.

As for the minister’s argument that Bourdon should have defended his case in France and not here, Kua explained that Bourdon was not in Malaysia to defend his case.

“I think he has no hope in the Malaysian judicial system. He is our lawyer employed by us. He has taken up the case in France and his main work is there, “He was merely here to inform us, his clients, of the progress of the case,” he added.

Kua said that under the international law, Bourdon has the right to report to his clients and by violating that right, Malaysia has put itself in a very bad light in the eyes of the international community.

Penang exco: Kimma harping on non-issues

Syed Ibrahim Kader rapped for claims that Indian Muslims in Penang are being ignored by Pakatan government.


GEORGE TOWN: A state executive councillor today hit out at Senator Syed Ibrahim Kader for spreading lies that the Penang state government had sidelined the Indian Muslim community from mainstream development programmes.

Abdul Malik Kassim chided the Kimma president for his continued ingratiation to his political masters as a gesture of gratitude for his recent appointment as a senator.

“Syed Ibrahim should not mortgage the principle of truth and dignity by disrupting the harmony and prosperity enjoyed by Indian Muslims in the state.

“Since 2008, the Pakatan Rakyat state government has taken care Indian Muslim affairs better than ever,” said Malik, the Batu Maung state representative.

He said the state government was committed to providing assistance and opportunities to all ethnic groups in the state, including Indian Muslims, in mainstream development.

He added the state government regularly engaged the Indian Muslim community pertaining to issues of religion, mosques and endowments properties.

Syed Ibrahim said today that Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s administration had sidelined and isolated Indian Muslims from mainstream state development.

‘Pakatan fair to all’

However, Malik said that being an Umno crony, Syed Ibrahim had attempted to portray a bleak gloomy picture just because he could not stomach Pakatan’s success story in Penang.

He claimed that apart from practicing competency, accountability and transparency (CAT), the state government had always been a people-orientated administration.

“The current government does not practice the cronyism and nepotism as was done by the previous Barisan Nasional government,” he said.

He pointed out that the Penang World Heritage celebrations showed that the state government had included the Indian Muslim community in its development programme.

The Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAINPP), he said, had also given extra attention to address the community’s issues.

He rebuked Syed Ibrahim as among a few, who want to become ‘Mamak’ heroes by harping on non-issues.
“Pakatan government has been fair and just to all regardless of their political, ethnic and religious backgrounds,” said Malik, a local PKR leader.

Bekas menteri akui perlu reformasi sistem pilihanraya

Is Jho Low a Trojan horse?


I sometimes wonder whether this is genuine stupidity or whether Jho Low is a Trojan horse who is doing all this very cleverly and intentionally  to accelerate Najib’s downfall. Why allow Najib’s enemies easy access to ammunition? Jho Low seems to be offering Rosmah’s and Najib’s head to their enemies on a silver platter.
NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin
Jho Low pays record price for NY condo, nearby to Rosmah's favourite jeweller,” said Wong Choon Mei of Malaysia Chronicle on 21 July 2011. In that story she goes on to say:
Remember Jho Low? Yes, apart from Paris Hilton, whizz-kid Jho is also very close to Prime Minister Najib Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor. In fact, the 29-year old Penang boy has just bought a super-luxury penthouse in New York at a sky-high price that has set tongues wagging amongst the property agents there.
Incidentally, the condo is just a 10-minute walk from Rosmah's favourite jewellery retailer Jacob & Co, from whom she has been reported to have bought a RM24.4 million ($8 million) 'natural fancy blue-gray cushion-cut’ diamond ring.
And in case Rosmah, who is not known to be fond of exercise, prefers to be driven, Jacob & Co at 48, East 57th Street is just a 3-minute whizz away by stretch limousine.
Business ties
Jho is also connected in some way - directly or indirectly - with several very important investment and financial entities.
These include Najib's prized RM15 billion 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the RM10 billion Terengganu Investment Authority, UBG which is the former banking arm of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's family business, as well as the oil-rich Mid-East firm PetroSaudi.
No, this is not a business article to unravel the amount of filth contained within the dealings of this nest of firms. Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said it best when he described 1MDB as Najib's political "slush fund" to prop up Taib and his cronies.
Some in the financial circles even say the complex paper trail that surrounds the firms' inter-dealings would surely provide an ideal way to launder some of the possibly illicit money that may flow through the network.
**************************************
What makes this revelation even more interesting are the four links Malaysia Chronicle added below that story under the sub-heading of ‘Related Story’:
1. Who is he? M'sian billionaire splashes RM14.5bil on super-yacht
2. The Rosmah ring: 24mil RM or US$, tupperware party or VVIP exhibition
3. Rosmah in hot soup over gargantuan RM24.4mil diamond ring
4. VIDEO Rosmah's RM24.4mil diamond ring
Wong Choon Mei is known to be closely linked to PKR leader, Tian Chua. It seems as though Malaysia Chronicle is suggesting that Jho Low, who is in turn closely linked to ‘First Lady’ Rosmah Mansor, is not only the man behind the purchase of the most expensive yacht in history but is also the man who couriered that very controversial ring to Malaysia.
According to the whispers in Putrajaya, Jho Low sent the ring to Malaysia for Rosmah to look at and whether it has now been sent back to New York, as alleged, or is still in Malaysia, is not known. And, if it has been sent back to New York, whether this is because Rosmah did not like it or whether it is because of the controversy surrounding this ring -- and therefore it is too hot to allow it to remain in Malaysia -- is also not known.
Whatever it may be, Jho Low’s name seems to be linked to not only the purchase of this very expensive super-luxury New York penthouse but also to the yacht and the ring.
Anyway, that is what they say and we only go by what they say, whether this is true or not. But what we do know, and this is a fact, the 3M team of Mahathir-Muhyddin-Mukhriz are going to town on this issue.
Jho Low is close to those who walk in the corridors of power, in particular the ‘First Family of Malaysia’. And anything he does will always be linked back to the ‘First Family’. There is no avoiding this.
Is Jho Low just too stupid? Does he not know that he is under close scrutiny and anything he does will lead back to Rosmah’s and Najib’s door? And do Rosmah and Najib not know that the 3M team is gleefully awaiting his downfall so that a new ‘First Family’ can be installed in Putrajaya?
When Najib cancelled his one-week holiday in Europe and rushed back to Malaysia after meeting the Pope in Rome (and which Najib publicly thanked Rosmah for her ‘sacrifice’) we already smelled a rat, a big smelly rat.
Why would Najib cancel his holiday and rush back to Malaysia unless there was some sort of major emergency? And an emergency this serious can only mean his throne is under threat.
And, lo and behold, when Malaysia Chronicle came out with this story of the super-luxury penthouse in New York and linked this story to the story of the yacht and Rosmah’s ring, the whole thing became very clear.
We are probably seeing history repeating itself here. Back in the days of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi they used Khairy Jamaluddin as the catalyst to bring Pak Lah down. Now, the catalyst is Rosmah Mansor. And Jho Low’s stupidity is making this possible.
Why are Jho Low and Rosmah making it so easy for the 3M team to make their move? I would have thought that since Jho Low is now so high profile and everything he does makes the front page he would not want to do anything that attracts so much attention. And buying the most expensive yacht in history and a super-luxury penthouse in New York, plus sending a very expensive ring to Rosmah by courier, is certainly the height of stupidity.
I sometimes wonder whether this is genuine stupidity or whether Jho Low is a Trojan horse who is doing all this very cleverly and intentionally  to accelerate Najib’s downfall. Why allow Najib’s enemies easy access to ammunition? Jho Low seems to be offering Rosmah’s and Najib’s head to their enemies on a silver platter.
The Umno blogs are working overtime to dispel talk that Rosmah bought that ring. This is actually true and the Umno blogs are not lying. Rosmah did not buy the ring. Jho Low sent it to her.
But why send the ring to Rosmah by courier? Surely a ring that expensive can be sent to Malaysia through other means and in secrecy. This is probably the most stupid thing Jho Low has ever done (if it was stupidity in the first place and not done on purpose). And with the story of that ring linked to the story of the record-breaking yacht and the super-luxury penthouse in New York, just doors away from the jewellers, the 3M team has everything it now needs to start working on an early retirement for Najib.
No wonder Najib had to cancel his holiday and rush back to Malaysia. Najib probably thought it would be safer to reclaim his throne before he finds it in someone else’s hands. And we do not need to be a Harvard graduate to figure out who this someone else is.

Coming soon this September: Third person in Scorpene scandal


(Harakah Daily) - Details of a 'third commission' in the controversial purchase of Scorpene submarines, said to have been paid to a high-ranking Malaysian government officer, is set to be revealed when a corruption trial involving the French arms supplier begins in France this September.
Cynthia Gabriel of rights group Suaram, who is spearhering efforts to compile facts and bring the matter to French courts under its "Ops Scorpene" project, recently revealed new evidence that a third commission, allegedly bigger than the first two commissions paid to Perimekar Sdn Bhd at RM540 million, PKR’s online organ KeadilanDaily reported.

Perimekar is fully owned by Ombak Laut, a company owned by Abdul Razak Baginda, the aide to prime minister Najib Razak who was charged of abetting in the brutal murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shariibu.

Explosive details linking the murder to Najib had been given in a statutory declaration by Abdul Razak's private investigator P Balasubramaniam, saying the duo had both been romantically involved with Altantuya, who had assisted in the purchase negotiation of the submarines.

Cynthia said the identity of the third individual would be known in the trial.

The person was found to be with Abdul Razak and Altantuya on a flight in 2002 to Macau to attend a meeting related to the Scorpene purchase.

“Through courts, we will be allowed to access documents belonging to the company which had done the transaction,” Cynthia told KeadilanDaily.

Cynthia said there had been increased public interest in the case following the Malaysia government’s deportation of Suaram's lawyer William Bourdon, who was detained upon his return from Penang at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport last Friday.

Saying Suaram was pondering on its next course of action following the deportation, Cynthia said Bourdon's arrest showed the government was desperate to conceal some secrets.

Home minister Hishammuddin Hussein had explained that Bourdon had violated his visa conditions.

"People get deported every day,” he was quoted as saying.

Is Najib in the driving seat? Was he ever?

By Haris Ibrahim,

Word from my contacts in UMNO is that, in the run up to the rally on 9th July, Najib was beginning to resemble his predecessor, flip-flopping from one decision to another.

Indecision, it seems, was the order of the day, in his office.
The reason?

Poor ole Jibby wasn’t sure anymore if he could count on the advise coming from the task forces set up in the Home Ministry and Bukit Aman.

Were they looking out for him, or acting at the behest of the 3M team?

The Mahathir-Muhyiddin-Mukhriz team?

Seems contrived violence was also contemplated.

Trouble is, that might lead to the suspension of Parliament and the appointment of a National Operations Council, thus legally displacing Jibby from the seat of power.
Checkmate.

By the same Article 160(2) Malay who conspired with Jibby’s Daddykin to remove Tunku a little over 40 years ago.

And you know the Facebook page “100,000 People Request Najib Tun Razak Resignation”?
I checked this morning and the number stands at 208,880.

Seems, though, that the team of 3M cybertroopers have contributed much to this number.

Looks like Dr M is getting his money’s worth from his cyberdogs led by Syeditious Akbar Ali.
The latest fiasco, the detention and deportation of French lawyer William Bourdon, raises the question whether Najib’s perception managers have taken leave of their senses or whether this is one more piece of evidence that Jibby has lost all control.

All of which make his reasons for cutting short his family holiday, supposedly to spend time with the rakyat, pretty laughable.

More so given that a little over 2 weeks ago, many of those same rakyat were feted to chemical-laced water jets, stifling tear gas and baton-bashing.

On Najib’s orders, or someone else?

Sistem Biometrik Tidak Selamat

Dari Blog Cina Islam
Oleh YB DRS. KHALIL IDHAM LIM

Tidak dinafikan penggunaan teknologi maklumat dalam banyak aspek pentadbiran negara, malah pengurusan syarikat telah menyumbang kepada pertumbuhan ekonomi, produktiviti, keselamatan, kesihatan dan banyak lagi khususnya kepada kepentingan pihak awam. Tidak ketinggalan peranan utamanya untuk memastikan tahap ‘competitive’ atau daya saing negara terus kekal dan berdaya maju berbanding negara-negara lain.
Satu keperluan ‘survival’ rakyat Malaysia untuk menggunakan teknologi maklumat sebagai alat untuk memacu negara di dalam proses penjanaan pendapatan dan seterusnya mempertingkatkan pendapatan per-kapita agar rakyat tidak terus menerus lemas di bawah tekanan ekonomi khususnya dari negara luar yang juga menggunakan kaedah yang sama untuk tujuan ‘survival’ mereka.

Tidak terlalu ‘extreme’ atau berat kalau saya katakan, kita amat memerlukan teknologi maklumat untuk mempertahankan kedaulatan negara khususnya daripada penjajahan ekonomi.

Saya pasti ramai yang akan bersetuju impak positif teknologi maklumat kepada kehidupan sosio-budaya serta pengaruhnya kepada aturan perjalanan kehidupan harian kita, walaubagaimanapun keputusan SPR dan kerajaan Barisan Nasional (BN) untuk mempertimbangkan Sistem Biometrik di atas justifikasi ketelusan ketika pilihanraya khususnya di dalam mengekang pengundi hantu sebenarnya merupakan satu tindakan buat masa ini, dengan tahap integriti yang meragukan daripada sebuah kerajaan yang dilihat kini tidak adil, korup dan zalim dilihat sebagai satu tindakan atau keputusan yang TIDAK SELAMAT.

Rakyat ragu-ragu dengan KETELUSAN yang diucapkan. Rakyat juga ragu-ragu dengan SPR yang dilihat tidak telus, tidak bebas dan kepartian. Malah rakyat juga melihat kawalan politik kepada agensi-agensi yang tertentu yang dilihat terpaksa menyokong dasar parti yang memerintah walaupun bercanggah dengan kepentingan rakyat khususnya dari aspek Hak Asasi termasuk hak-hak yang jelas termaktub di bawah perlembagaan. Malah, Rakyat rata-rata khuatir dengan tindakan pemerintah yang mirip kepada pemerintahan kuku besi seperti yang berlaku di Tunisia.

Kerajaan yang memerintah perlu memulihkan persepsi negatif ini dulu sebelum menimbang untuk menjuarai ‘ketelusan’ melalui cadangan sistem Biometrik itu yang dilihat rakyat satu lagi alat manipulasi keadilan yang akan mencacatkan lagi persepsi rakyat kepada proses pilihanraya yang adil dan bersih.
Bagaimana Sistem Biometrik boleh dimanipulasi?

Setiap sistem teknologi maklumat yang memerlukan pengesahan aplikasi sistem akan merujuk kepada pengkalan data. SPR diketahui umum telah lama menggunakan aplikasi teknologi maklumat untuk menyimpan maklumat pengundi di dalam pengkalan data. Malah maklumat daftar pengundi boleh dicapai oleh setiap pengundi secara ‘online’ dengan menggunakan kekunci unik seperti nombor kad pengenalan untuk aplikasi sistem SPR itu mengarahkan capaian maklumat pengundi daripada pengkalan data SPR.
Rakyat tahu masalah utama aplikasi sistem Teknologi Maklumat SPR bukanlah pada aplikasi itu tetapi DATA atau MAKLUMAT yang berada di dalam pengkalan data SPR.

Capaian data atau maklumat pengundi dari pengkalan data sebelum ini melalui aplikasi Teknologi Maklumat atau Sistem Pengurusan Maklumat jelas menunjukkan ada pengundi yang mempunyai 2 tempat malah beberapa tempat mengundi. Malah paparan berita yang dipetik dari Suara Keadilan semalam (24/7/11) mendakwa bahawa terdapat lebih 1600 pengundi yang berusia lebih 100 tahun di Perak di mana 1447 orang daripadanya berusia di antara 100 sehingga 109 tahun. Kita punyai warga emas seramai itu di Perak? Bagaimana pula di seluruh negara?

Jawapan yang mudah kepada masalah integriti data atau maklumat walaupun melalui aplikasi teknologi maklumat atau sistem maklumat yang telah lama digunapakai SPR bukanlah kerana aplikasi itu tetapi kerana data atau maklumat yang dimasukkan ke dalam pengkalan data.

Hanya SPR sahaja yang tahu siapa yang bertanggungjawab untuk memasukkan dan mengemaskinikan data atau maklumat tersebut di dalam pengkalan data. data atau maklumat di dalam pengkalan data tidak boleh berubah dengan sendirinya. Ia hanya boleh berubah dengan tindakan manusia yang menggunakannya. Siapa yang menggunakannya? Anda tahu Siapa?

Kalau SPR tahu bahawa masalah utama adalah integriti DATA atau MAKLUMAT bukanlah kerana aplikasi capaian Teknologi Maklumat atau Sistem Maklumat itu, kenapa SISTEM BIOMETRIK dicadangkan? SISTEM BIOMETRIK juga adalah sebuah aplikasi Teknologi Maklumat atau Sistem Maklumat seperti aplikasi yang digunakan sekarang, cuma perbezaannya adalah cadangan baru itu menggunakan ‘hardware’ atau perkakasan serta perisian dan bukan ‘software’ atau perisian semata-mata untuk capaian DATA atau MAKLUMAT pengundi dari pengkalan data seperti yang digunakan hari ini.

Sebagai Contoh : SISTEM BIOMETRIK yang menggunakan cap jari akan bertindak sebagai KUNCI UNIK seperti No.Kad Pengenalan untuk capaian DATA atau MAKLUMAT daripada PENGKALAN DATA. Setiap rakyat Malaysia mempunyai No.Kad Pengenalan Unik dan boleh dipadankan dengan Cap Jari yang juga unik. Sepertimana maklumat No.Kad Pengenalan yang perlu dimasukkan ke dalam pengkalan data untuk membolehkan maklumat pengundi dicapai (nama penuh, alamat, tempat mengundi dan sebagainya), Cap Jari juga perlu dimasukkan ke dalam pengkalan data untuk membolehkan capaian itu dilakukan.

Sepertimana didapati terdapat No.Kad Pengenalan yang sama tetapi mempunyai tempat mengundi yang berbeza (pelbagai lokasi), Cap Jari juga boleh dipadankan dengan tempat mengundi yang berbeza selagimana No.Kad Pengenalan dan Cap Jari yang sama diMASUKKAN oleh SPR ke dalam beberapa rekod (tempat mengundi dan alamat) yang BERBEZA, keputusan daripada SISTEM BIOMETRIK juga akan menghasilkan senarai pengundi yang boleh mengundi di beberapa lokasi mengundi.

Isu KETELUSAN dan PENGUNDI HANTU bukanlah kerana APLIKASI CAPAIAN (perkakasan atau/dan perisian).

Apa perlu ia ditukarkan jika prosesnya sama? Pertukaran lebih dilihat hanya dari aspek kosmetik luaran.
Jawapannya adalah tidak perlu. Siapakah lagi yang akan mendapat habuan dari kegawatan ini melalui cadangan SISTEM BIOMETRIK itu?. Saya biarkan Umno BN untuk merangka jawapan itu. Pasti ramai yang akan tersenyum. Rakyat lebih tahu.

Secanggih manapun aplikasi capaian Teknologi Maklumat atau Sistem Maklumat itu (perkakasan atau perisian, biometrik (cip/kad ID, suara, pengesahan ibu jari atau mata), jika DATA atau MAKLUMAT yang sedia ada di dalam PENGKALAN DATA tidak diBERSIHkan,
tidak dikawal dan diurus selia secara bebas oleh badan yang bebas serta dipercayai Rakyat akan KETELUSAN mereka, saya tidak melihat sumbangan Sistem BIOMETRIK itu kepada ‘KETELUSAN’ itu khususnya penyelesaian kepada solusi isu pengundi hantu.

Manipulasi SISTEM BIOMETRIK boleh dilakukan kepada PENGKALAN DATA.
“Biometrics can prevent electoral fraud; Biometric can be used to fraud electoral as well.”
“Biometrik boleh mencegah penipuan pilihanraya, Biometrik juga boleh digunakan untuk menipu pilihanraya”.

Proses pengesahan melalui sistem itu adalah usaha sia-sia, membazir dan TIDAK SELAMAT pada pandangan peribadi saya kerana sebab-sebab di atas. SPR harus menimbang 8 cadangan Jawatankuasa BERSIH 2.0 untuk Pilihanraya yang ADIL dan BERSIH. Semoga imej dan integriti pemerintah dan SPR di mata dan hati rakyat Malaysia dapat dipulihkan dengan menerima semua cadangan itu.

Wallahua’lam.

Christian plot: What have police uncovered?

DAP demands public disclosure of the outcome of investigations.

BUTTERWORTH: DAP has demanded that police reveal the outcome of their investigation into an alleged conspiracy to make Christianity the official religion of Malaysia.

Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow said police wrapped up the investigation some time ago and should have informed the public what they had found out.

The seriousness of the allegation and the uproar it caused warranted the public disclosure, he added.

The allegation surfaced on the Internet early last May and went largely unnoticed until Utusan Malaysia reported it on its front page under the headline “Malaysia a Christian nation?”

The Umno-owned daily alleged that Christians at a closed-door gathering in Penang had spoken about Christianity replacing Islam as the official religion and the possibility of Malaysia being led by a Christian prime minister.

Christian leaders denied the allegation, but pro-Umno groups, including the far right Perkasa, lodged police reports demanding an investigation into what they alleged was a threat to Islam.

Jelutong MP and DAP member Jeff Ooi, who said he was at the gathering, also lodged a police report, stating that the report was a fabrication.

However, the controversy took a surprising turn when Mohamed Razali Abdul Rahman, another DAP member who said he too was at the meeting, lodged another report, claiming that there was some truth to the allegation.

DAP subsequently expelled Razali for refusing to clarify his stand and for working against the party’s interest.

Razali captured public attention again yesterday when he submitted an application to join Perkasa, accusing DAP of being a Chinese chauvinist party with an agenda to sideline the Malays. He said he would expose the party secrets.

Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, a prominent PAS leader in Penang, said he doubted that Razali would create political ripples in Penang.

He described him as someone with a dubious background, noting that he quit Umno to join PKR and then quit that party to join DAP.

Rule of law, rule by law — Ambiga Sreenevasan

The Malaysian Insider

JULY 23 — Good Morning! Chancellor, vice chancellor and graduating students.

It is so good to be back!

I am deeply moved by the conferment of this honour upon me. That it comes from my alma mater is especially significant for me. That it comes at this time is almost providential, for it allows me and all lawyers to reflect on our roles in the societies we live in.

For this honour and this moment of reflection, I extend my grateful thanks to the Council and Senate of the University of Exeter.

Tired of injustice and oppression, people the world over are crying out for truth, goodness, justice and universal love and understanding.

The events in Malaysia over the past six weeks culminating in the rally for free and fair elections on the 9th of July, has taught me so much more than I could have ever learned in the last 30 years as a practising lawyer.

My team and I faced first-hand the full force of the unleashed power of the state, and I realised then the importance of the independence of the Institutions of government, particularly the judiciary, to check such abuses of power.

I also realised how real and present the absence of the Rule of Law can be.

In countries where the Rule of Law reigns strong and true one probably does not even talk about it. But in countries that veer towards Rule by Law, talking about getting back to the basics is crucial.

In many countries, Rule by Law is reflected in the existence of repressive laws that violate the fundamental rights of its citizens. One example of this is preventive detention laws that lock people away without affording them the basic right to a trial. There are many examples of such oppressive laws worldwide and they are not confined to underdeveloped or developing countries.

As lawyers, we are in a unique position. Our years of legal study and practice teach us to see and appreciate the fundamental role that the Rule of Law plays in guaranteeing that the state governs its citizens in a just and democratic manner.

Who better to remind those in power of their responsibilities to their citizens than lawyers trained in understanding the difference between “Rule of Law” and “Rule by Law”?

Our role as lawyers must therefore extend far beyond traditional legal practice.

Here, I make no reference to rules, guidelines, documents, or declarations. My only reference point is our conscience. Can we as lawyers, ever sit back and watch the erosion of fundamental liberties of the people around us and do nothing? Clearly, silence in these circumstances, is not an option.

When I graduated from this university about 30 years ago, things were of course very different. Today the Internet and social media has empowered people with a continual flow of unfiltered and up-to-date information. No longer can the manipulation and control of information be effectively used by those in power to suppress either thought or action.

You are in a world where you know instantly of injustices taking place in any part of it. In this global village drawn together by so many factors, we are one. We can reach out to each other using these new means of communication and we owe it to each other to stand together for what is right.

You may say, “But I studied law to be a solicitor or barrister and to earn money for a decent standard of living”. There is nothing wrong with that, I assure you. I run a commercial litigation practice in a partnership of four where we also do public interest litigation. The two can co-exist quite comfortably.

The point I make is this.

You are graduating from one of the best universities in the country if not on the planet! You are special. And you are now a proud member of an army of people that is equipped with all that is necessary to both practise law and to fight injustice.

I urge you to use this arsenal of knowledge and your passion for justice to fight for those who are downtrodden.

You have already heard of the events of July 9th in Malaysia. Whilst it brought out the worst in some, it brought out the best in others and this is where our hope lies.

There were some in government who opposed the methods used to shut us down. Even doctors left their comfort zones to speak up against injustices. And of course there were the lawyers and the independent media who stood on the side of truth and justice.

However, the real heroes of that day are our friend and supporter Allahyarham Baharuddin Ahmad who paid the ultimate price in fighting a noble cause, the six members of the Socialist Party of Malaysia who, as we speak, sit in solitary confinement under preventive detention laws and finally the brave people of Malaysia who overcame their fear of intimidation and harassment to uphold their fundamental rights.

With all my heart I dedicate this honour you have bestowed upon me to them.

* This was the acceptance speech delivered by Datuk Dr Ambiga Sreenevasan upon her conferment with the Honorary Doctorate Of Laws, University of Exeter.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.