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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Family, authorities await remains of tortured migrant worker

Migrant Care said Wednesday that the remains of tortured Indonesian migrant worker Ernawati would be arriving in Jakarta from Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Ernawati died in Saudi Arabia on February 10.

Migrant Care advocacy coordinator Nur Harsono said his organization and the family of Ernawati would pick up Ernawati’s body, tribunnews.com reported.

Ernawati’s family has reported to the Foreign Ministry that Erna was frequently tortured by her employer.
The last time Ernawati had spoken to her family was on February 1.

Honour killings: Man guns down six daughters


" He does not regret what he did. He boasted that he would do it all over again if he had to," Police Inspector Javed Sial. PHOTO: FILE 

FAISALABAD:  A man gunned down six of his daughters on suspicion that two of them were in relationships with boys in the neighbourhood.

On Tuesday morning, Arif Mubashir called his teenage daughters to his room and shot them while the rest of the family, including their mother, watched. His wife Musarrat called the police after the incident.

Mubashir shot the girls after their brother said two of them were in a relationship. He told police officials that he had killed his daughters because they were both “without honour”. The man said his daughters Sameena, 14, and Razia, 16, were in a relationship with college boys from the neighbourhood and the sisters had helped each other. “I should have been told immediately but the girls sided with each other.

They were both corrupt,” Mubashir told Tandlianwala Police Inspector Javed Sial.

Police officials have taken Mubashir into custody and filed a case against him. “He does not regret what he did. He boasted that he would do it all over again if he had to,” Sial told reporters.

Pakistan has repeatedly been termed as one of the least women-friendly countries. In June, the Thompson Reuters Foundation ranked Pakistan as the world’s third most dangerous country for women.


Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2011.
http://tribune.com.pk/story/218250/honour-killings-man-guns-down-six-daughters/#.TjASCOmTs8k.email

AG challenged to charge MACC with harming Teoh

RCI + inquest = ‘big, big mess’

The two decisions from a coroner and inquest have led to uncertainty, says lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

PETALING JAYA: The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into Teoh Beng Hock’s death, which released its findings in a report last Thursday, has created a “big legal mess” by generating more questions than answers, said prominent human rights lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

Malik, who represented the Selangor government during the inquest and RCI, said rather than serving its original function to bring a closure to the issue, there are now different conclusions by the RCI and inquest.
“What has resulted is a big, big, mess. We have now a coroner’s decision and a RCI’s, which are saying different things. In law, the coroner’s findings is the determinative one,” the National Human Rights Society president told FMT.

Malik said the three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers – Negri Sembilan MACC director (then Selangor MACC deputy director) Hishamuddin Hashim and two enforcement officers Mohd Anuar Ismail (then the investigating officer) and Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus, who are being internally investigated for allegedly driving Teoh to suicide – would most probably make the same argument (that the RCI finding is inferior to a court finding) if they were brought to court.

“Both findings (RCI and inquest) are inconsistent. The inquest ruled out a suicide and said there were insufficient evidence to come to a finding of homicide. It also accepted that there were pre-fall injuries on Teoh, but the RCI totally ignored all that,” said Malik.

Malik said before the Selangor government and lawyers of Teoh’s family decided to pull out of the RCI, they suggested and raised concerns over the “dual” findings that would eventually emerge but their arguments fell on deaf ears.

“The RCI then should have stood down until the outcome of the revision (on the inquest) had been done away with. Or, the Attorney-General should have withdrawn his application to revise the inquest decision to push for a suicide finding and all parties to start off on a clean slate. But that was never decided on,” he said.

“At the end of the day, the A-G, who recommended for both a revision and most probably also advised the government to hold the RCI, was asking for two different sides,” he said.

“Also, the RCI decided to ignore all the evidence in the inquest and reboot the whole case… and it seems that somehow everyone got a second chance to restate their case. They (the commissioners) should not have done that; (RCI chairman) James ( Foong) could have found a way to include the coroner’s findings,” he added.

‘There’s no certainty’

Malik expressed his disappointment that the RCI now gave rise to more uncertainty than definitive answers.

“Where do things stand right now? There’s no certainty. What we have now is a whole mess of uncertainty,” he said.

“Has the RCI served its function? From the very beginning, the decision not to hold a RCI before an inquest was ill-conceived, and having a RCI as a knee-jerk reaction to public anger was also not well-thought out,” he said, adding that the original intention of having a RCI was because of public anger and lack of confidence in the inquest’s findings.

“The RCI was more of a political resolution rather than a legal one,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malik also said that a judicial review being planned by DAP veteran lawyer Karpal Singh for the Teoh family would not likely result in the Federal Court overturning the decision of suicide.

“Usually judicial reviews are not so concerned over the correctness of the result, but the process taken to achieve it. It won’t say the RCI is wrong. It may say the RCI did not take certain facts as factors and came to an unreasonable conclusion; or that the RCI was biased and was in contrast with natural justice… But no judicial review would substitute the decision,” he said.

He cited an example in Australia where a parliamentary commission decision was challenged in court and relief was granted only because the reputation of persons mentioned was damaged.

Asked what would happen if the government failed to implement the recommendations of the RCI, Malik said the government was not legally bound to do so but would suffer political implications if it did not.
On whether a RCI result should be questioned, Malik said if it impacts a person then there should be a judicial process to address it.

‘Making a mockery’

However, Umno legal adviser Mohd Hafarizam Harun told FMT that pursuing a judicial review would be “making a mockery of its (RCI) inception since it is commissioned by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong himself”.

He said that questioning the RCI would be defeating the whole purpose of having a finality to the issue, adding that the RCI was different from the court process of going as far as the Court of Appeal and having exceptional cause to reach the Federal Court.

“What’s appalling to me is the consistently inconsistent position taken by certain quarters when all that has been done is what they initially wanted. I see it as none other than politically motivated,” he said.

“We must have faith in our system, be it whether it’s the best system we have (or not) and if we are not happy, we deliberate for the betterment. There must be acceptance in order for us to move on,” he added.
Harafizam said that “no one wants that dreadful incident to happen; it could happen to us, but it has happened and there is nothing much we can do to undo it’.

His view was echoed by former Bar Council president K Ragunath, who said that it was fine to question the findings, but a RCI’s stand should not be reviewed again by the courts.

“These are merely recommendations and not a decision and it should not be reviewed. Let’s say the report says ABC is guilty of murder; it does not mean the person can be prosecuted immediately, the police still have to investigate, A-G still has to order prosecution and we go to court,” he said.

No faith in judicial system

However, Associate Prof Azmi Sharom said at the end of the day, even if a review is granted, the problem is that the general population’s faith in the judicial system is at a “low ebb”

“Since 1988, there’s been very little faith in the system; (I am not) saying all judges are biased. This government has systematically destroyed the public system and the RCI has shown that the people have already decided that they will not trust the court’s findings.

“But it would take years to revamp and rebuild the institutions to make sure that there is impartiality,” said the Universiti Malaya law lecturer.

Former DAP political aide Teoh, 30, was found dead on July 16, 2009, on the fifth floor of the then Selangor MACC office in Shah Alam, after undergoing an overnight interrogation as a witness in the case of alleged abuse of state funds by his boss Selangor exco Ean Yong Hian Wah.

A coroner’s court held an inquest to investigate the cause of Teoh’s death but delivered an open verdict, ruling out both suicide and homicide.

Kegagalan Rundingan Baling dan implikasinya

Tunku sengaja mahu menggunakan faktor PKM sebagai alat tekanan politik kepada British semasa beliau merundingkan kemerdekaan Malaya dengan kerajaan British.
FEATURE
Artikel ini adalah Bahagian Kedua dari artikel sebelum ini bertajuk “Gerakan kiri kemerdekaan: Sejarah yang dikaburkan” yang disiarkan pada 25 Julai lalu.

Persoalan mengapa Parti Komunis Malaya (PKM) masih enggan meletakkan senjata walaupun negara ini telah mencapai kemerdekaan pada 31 Ogos 1957 sehingga kini masih kabur di mata masyarakat negara ini.

Secara tidak langsung juga, kekaburan ini memberi kelebihan politik kepada kerajaan negara ini dengan menggambarkan kepada masyarakat bahawa PKM telah beralih arah perjuangan menentang penjajah kepada menentang kerajaan negara ini yang sah pula.

Keengganan PKM meletakkan senjata selepas Malaya merdeka amat berkait rapat dengan kegagalan Rundingan Baling yang diadakan pada Disember 1955 antara PKM dan Kerajaan Malaya.

Kajian mantan Profesor Madya dan Sarjana Tamu di Fakulti Sains Sosial dan Kemanusiaan, UKM Dr Mohamed Salleh Lamry dalam bukunya, ‘Gerakan kiri Melayu dalam perjuangan kemerdekaan’ (GKMDPK) banyak menghuraikan faktor mengapa PKM enggan meletakkan senjata setelah negara mencapai kemerdekaan.

“Setelah berjuang dengan darah dan nyawa, tentulah tidak adil dan munasabah, jika mereka keluar menyerah diri untuk ditahan dan disoal siasat.

“Ini adalah antara sebab utama mengapa mereka tidak meletakkan senjata apabila Malaya mencapai kemerdekaan pada 31 Ogos 1957.

“Dalam hal ini, Abdullah C.D menganggap bahawa pencapaian kemerdekaan itu adalah hasil perjuangan semua rakyat selama kira-kira 450 tahun yang bemula dengan perang patriotik oleh pembesar tradisional hinggalah Perang Pembebasan Nasional oleh PKM.

“Akan tetapi perjuangan itu telah dirampas oleh golongan reaksioner yang menjadi pemerintah tempatan, walaupun pemerintah tempatan itu masih belum bebas sepenuhnya dari penguasaan British,” menurut kajian tersebut.

Antara syarat utama perdamaian yang digariskan dalam Rundingan Baling oleh Kerajaan yang ketika itu masih di bawah penguasaan

British dalam rundingan itu ialah bekas anggota PKM akan ditahan di bawah Akta ISA untuk disoal siasat.
Sedangkan bagi Chin Peng, jika ditahan dan disoal siasat adalah sama dengan menyerah diri bagi seseorang penjenayah sekaligus menunjukkan perjuangan mereka menentang penjajah sebelumnya tidak diiktiraf.

Setelah mereka berkorban dan berjuang dengan mengangkat senjata untuk menghalau penjajah dari bumi Malaya, maka bagi PKM tentulah syarat yang dikenakan terhadap mereka itu tidak adil.

Malahan di kalangan nasionalis kiri ini juga berpendapat perjuangan dan pengorbanan mereka jauh lebih meletihkan, sengsara dan dahsyat berbanding apa yang dilalui perjuangan aliran perdana.

Tunku tidak mahu rundingan berjaya?


Selain itu, menurut catatan seorang tokoh wartawan di era tersebut, Said Zahari, ‘Meniti lautan gelora: Sebuah memoir politik’ terbitan Utusan Publications, pada 2001, Perdana Menteri yang pertama, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj memang dari mulanya tidak mengkehendaki Rundingan Baling itu berjaya.

“No, I am not.  I never wanted it to be a success,” demikian ucap Tunku kepada Said Zahari seperti yang dicatatkan di dalam memoir beliau itu.

Menurut pendapat Said Zahari, Tunku sememangnya tiada niat untuk mencapai penyelesaian politik dengan PKM kerana beliau sedar ideologi komunis tidak akan diterima rakyat khususnya di kalangan orang-orang Melayu.

Akan tetapi, Tunku sengaja mahu menggunakan faktor PKM sebagai alat tekanan politik kepada British semasa beliau merundingkan kemerdekaan Malaya dengan kerajaan British.

Sekaligus kenyataan tersebut selari dengan dakwaan bekas pemimpin-pemimpin PKM bahawa akibat perjuangan bersenjata PKM terhadap British, menyebabkan British terpaksa menanggung kerugian dan beban perbelanjaan yang besar.

Oleh demikian ianya merupakan satu tekanan yang besar dan mendorong British memberikan kemerdekaan dengan agak segera kepada bumi Malaya.

Selain itu, dalam rundingan awal sebelum Rundingan Baling diadakan, wakil Tunku  iaitu Timbalan Menteri Pelajaran, Too Joon Hing menyampaikan pesan peribadi beliau kepada Chin Peng melalui wakilnya, Chen Tien bahawa beliau bersedia untuk berunding semula sekiranya Rundingan Baling itu buntu.

“No matter what happens, he hopes Chin Peng will come and talk with him.

“If the first round of the talk fail to settle the problem, when he return from London, the Tunku will continue the discussions,” demikian mesej pesanan peribadi Tunku kepada Chin Peng.

Bagaimanapun setelah beliau pulang dari London, Tunku telah memilih untuk tidak melayani surat Chin Peng yang mahu kembali ke meja rundingan sepertimana yang dijanjikan oleh Tunku sendiri.

“Akan tetapi, Tunku tidak menunaikan janjinya untuk bertemu Chin Peng setelah perundingannya dengan kerajaan British di London mencapai kejayaan, iaitu setelah dia mendapat persetujuan daripada kerajaan British untuk memberikan kemerdekaan pada 31 Ogos,” menurut kajian itu lagi.

Chin Peng turut mengutus surat kepada Tunku pada 12 Oktober 1957 yang menyatakan kesediaan beliau untuk berunding semula bagi mencapai satu persetujuan yang adil dan munasabah bagi menamatkan peperangan.

“Saya bersedia berunding semula dengan Tunku untuk mencapai persetujuan yang adil dan munasabah bagi menamatkan perang,” demikian menurut Chin Peng yang dipetik dari ‘Tunku Abd Rahman and his role in the Baling Talk’ dari hasil kajian Prof Nik Anuar Nik Mahmud dari Jabatan Sejarah UKM pada 1998.

Sekaligus keadaan ini menguatkan lagi hujah Said Zahari bahawa Tunku tiada niat agar Rundingan Baling itu berjaya dengan menjadikan PKM sebagai alat tekanan kepada British untuk memberikan kemerdekaan kepada Malaya.

Ia juga menguatkan hujah para pejuang kiri yang menyatakan penentangan bersenjata terhadap British oleh mereka telah menyebabkan British tertekan untuk memberi kemerdekaan kepada Malaya.

“Folding up the banner and silencing the drums”

Menurut kajian Aloysius Chin dalam ‘The Communist Party of Malaya: The inside Story’  yang diterbitkan pada 1995 menyatakan kegagalan Rundingan Baling tersebut amatlah mengecewakan Chin Peng.

Lantaran itu Chin Peng telah mengumumkan dasar baru PKM iaitu ‘folding up the banner and silencing the drums’ yang membawa maksud tidak meneruskan perjuangan bersenjata.

Dalam bukunya lagi, Aloysius Chin turut menyatakan PKM telah memperkenalkan dasar ‘demobilization’ pada 1958 sekaligus membenarkan anngotanya yang sudah tua atau tidak berminat meneruskan perjuangan untuk meninggalkan pasukan itu.

Istimewanya buku dari hasil kajian Aloysius Chin, oleh sebab beliau merupakan seorang pegawai tinggi Polis Cawangan Khas maka buku yang ditulisnya itu berdasarkan data dan maklumat yang dikumpulkan oleh cawangan khas.

Salleh Lamry dalam GKMDPK ini turut menjelaskan selepas pengunduran PKM ke Selatan Thailand, Pengerusinya, Musa Ahmad mengarahkan pasukan bersenjata parti komunis itu mempraktikkan dasar bertahan secara pasif iaitu tidak membalas serangan baik dari tentera Malaya mahupun Thailand.

Malahan mereka juga tidak berundur dari serangan pihak tentera ke kawasan lain dengan hanya menyorok sehingga serangan pihak penyerang reda dengan sendirinya.

Bagaimanapun konsep bertahan secara pasif yang dibuat itu telah mengakibatkan pihak mereka terpaksa menanggung banyak kemalangan jiwa dan ini telah mendapat bantahan dari Abdullah C.D dan kader-kader PKM lainnya.

Akhirnya untuk mempertahankan diri dari dibunuh, Rejimen ke-10, PKM mula mengambil dasar bertahan secara aktif iaitu tidak menyerang jika tidak diserang dan membalas serangan jika diserang.

Bagaimanapun mereka tidak hanya menunggu diserang sahaja, mereka turut mengambil inisiatif untuk menyerang terlebih dahulu apabila menyedari terdapatnya tentera kerajaan dalam perjalanan untuk menyerang kedudukan mereka.

Selain itu serangan juga dijalankan bagi mematahkan ‘kempen kepung dan basmi’ yang dijalankan tentera kerajaan secara besar- besaran serta memakan satu  tempoh masa yang panjang.

Keadaan-keadaan di atas banyak menjelaskan pendirian dan sikap anti kolonial, bukanlah penentangan terhadap kerajaan tempatan yang diambil PKM setelah pengunduran mereka ke Selatan Thailand dan juga selepas kemerdekaan Malaya.

Cuma sikap keras penentangan mereka terhadap penjajahan British dengan kekerasan dengan bermandi darah dan ideologi komunis yang didukung mereka tidak dapat dikongsi oleh Kerajaan Malaya dan masyarakat negara ini secara umumnya dan khususnya bagi masyarakat Melayu.

Dr Salleh Lamry dalam kesimpulannya turut mencatatkan “meskipun mereka berjuang di luar arus perdana dan kini dianggap sebagai pihak yang kalah, tetapi mereka telah mengambil tempat yang penting dan tidak boleh dinafikan dalam sejarah tanah air…

“Oleh itu samada kita bersetuju atau tidak dengan perjuangan mereka, perjuangan mereka itu tetaplah merupakan satu episod penting dalam sejarah tanah air dan memang telah tercatat dalam buku-buku sejarah.

“Hanya barangkali, yang tidak wajar ialah, perjuangan mereka itu telah diberi gambaran yang sangat negatif, iaitu sebagai perjuangan pengganas, penjahat, pengkhianat dan sebagainya yang dianggap mengancam keselamatan negara dan bukan sebagai perjuangan untuk mencapai kemerdekaan,” menurutnya.

Akan datang (Bahagian 3): Menyingkap sebalik takbir kejayaan Rundingan Haadyai.

PM announces 7th NKRA - tackling rising living costs


By Azril Annuar, The Sun
PUTRAJAYA (July 27, 2011): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak announced today the seventh National Key Result Area (NKRA) – to tackle the rising costs of living.

Najib said the cabinet made the decision as the government does not want the people to suffer from the rising cost of living which has already begun affecting them.

“When we first came up with the first six NKRA two years ago, there was no global phenomena on the rising cost of food items. The first six NKRA were initiated after studies were conducted on what the public wanted and needed.

“Now that the phenomena on the rising costs of living have become an issue impacting the lives of everyday Malaysians, we have to respond to alleviate the burden and suffering of our people,” he said, at a press conference held at his office today.

Najib said the 1Malaysia clinics, the 1Malaysia chain of sundry shops and the Tukar programme will now be part of the seventh NKRA.

“Pemandu’s expertise will be utilised to help the various agencies and ministries involved in items, food items or services concerning the public. It will also be involved in organising labs with the ministries,” he added.

One of the steps to be taken by the government is to study the supply chain and look at what can be done to “liberalise” it.

“Perhaps we will allow for more imported goods and items to add to the market supply. Secondly, we could also open up unused empty fields for food production. We might also find a cheaper alternative on livestock feed,” he added.

Najib said the newest NKRA will not only cover food items but also other necessities.

The first six NKRA are: reducing crime index; poverty eradication; improving urban public transport, combating corruption, education and improving infrastructure in rural areas.

Earlier, he held a dialogue session with a number of iconic figures tasked to engage the public in the 1Malaysia Online Roundtable discussion.

“It was a very productive discussion. They brought up important suggestions for our consideration. We’ll try to respond accordingly. They also want to be involved in the follow through process later.

“One of the benefits of this discussion is that we’re able to get and feel the pulse of the people," Najib said, adding certain ideas and suggestions raised might be used in the formulating of government policies.
Amongst those attending the dialogue were football pundit Serbegeth Singh, celebrity host Aznil Nawawi, ISIS CEO Datuk Dr. Mahani Zainal Abidin and celebrity Lisa Surihani.

On the recommendations made by the Royal Commission of Inquiry regarding the late Teoh Beng Hock’s case, Najib said: “We will make operational changes to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) in terms of the training. It’s been stated that the training is inadequate and we will strengthen it.

“Management of witness will adhere to a new set of guidelines and also with respect to the three who have been named in the report, it’s up to MACC and police to make further investigation and the Attorney General to decide on the next course.”

During the discussion, Najib said he will be cheering Harimau Malaya on their grudge rematch tonight against Singapore at Dewan Wawasan in Kubang Pasu, Kedah with around 10,000 members of the public.
He apologised to National Football Team Coach K. Rajagobal for not being able to make it to the game at Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil.

“We have a big group here and they’re listening to our conversation and they are behind you and Harimau Malaya. I’m sure you’ll be able to rise to the occasion and the country is behind you all the way.
“I’m sure you have some things (planned) to overcome our two goal loss," he added.
On 21st July, the police went public with their version of what transpired in KL on 9th July at the BERSIH 2.0 rally.


We all know what ought to be done with most of what was said by the Internal Security and Public Order chief Salleh Rashid at Bukit Aman that day.


However, something he is reported by FreeMalaysiaToday as having said caught my attention.
“One of the clips shown today depicted policemen facing protesters in the rain in front of the Puduraya bus station. Referring to the protesters, Salleh said: “We can see them gathering, even though we gave them warning.”

Salleh also pointed to a similar occurrence in front of the KL Sentral complex, saying the police “did nothing even though the demonstrators were in front”.
He said tear gas was fired only when a group led by Batu MP Tian Chua allegedly charged at the riot squad.

5 of the BERSIH 2.0 steering committee members, myself included, were at the scene that Salleh speaks of, being the culmination of a journey through KL Sentral, after having left KL Hilton, down the escalator
Down the escalator to the level where the LCCT coaches are parked. Photo credited to Malaysiakini

leading to the level where the LCCT coaches are parked, and through the passage by which those coaches would make their way to Jalan Tun Sambanthan enroute to the LCCT.

Quite frankly, I was baffled by this eleventh hour planned route, after it bacame obvious that the original plan to have us taken to the Masjid Negara and to lead the crowd from there to the Stadium Merdeka became unworkable.

The plan was still to try and get to Stadium Merdeka.

It would have made more sense to turn right, having exited from the hotel, and take the wide open road that led straight onto Jalan Tun Sambanthan and then straight to Stadium Merdeka.

Instead, we were directed into KL Sentral, after the police cordon blocking the entrance  had been pushed aside.

Twice, a lawyer present came and warned me that the FRU was already waiting for us.

Once, inside the KL Sentral, and the second, after we had gone down the escalator to where the LCCT coaches were, and were already on the road usually taken by those coaches to exit the KL Sentral complex.

I received this video clip from an eye witness who was present at the point where our group came face to face with the FRU.

You will see from the 49th/50th second into the video clip that what Salleh said is true.
Some of the frontliners appear to have charged out before the tear gas was fired.

From the video clip, you will not hear anyone giving the order to charge the FRU.
However, I have heard from 3 independent sources, all present at the scene in question and two of whom I have too much respect for to disbelieve, that Tian Chua did in fact give the order to charge that led to those frontliners breaking rank and charging the FRU.

We were supposed to rally peacefully.

We were not supposed to be the aggressors.
The MP of Batu owes us all an explanation.
Can we hear from you on this, please, YB?

Subra: Review detention of MP and five others under EO

The Star (Used by permission)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Inspector-General of Police and Home Ministry have been urged to review the detention of Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj and five others under the Emergency Ordinance in relation to the July 9 rally.

MIC deputy president Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said the police had not shown any convincing evidence that the six were involved in an armed struggle to overthrow the Government.

Dr Subramaniam, who is Human Resources Minister, said there were confusing signals over their arrest.

They were arrested much earlier than the Bersih event while many others involved in the rally had not been arrested.

“Some of those arrested have been released,” he said in a statement.

Dr Jeyakumar, M. Sukumaran, 50, A.P. Letchumanan, 49, Choo Chon Kai, 33, M. Sarasvathy, 58, and R. Sarat Babu, 25, were arrested on July 2 as they were seen as movers of the rally which was declared illegal by the police. They are Socialist Party of Malaysia members.

Dr Subramaniam said it would be best if the police reviewed the arrests, adding that if a chargeable offence had been committed, they should be brought to court as soon as possible.

He said their detention had caused a lot of uneasiness among Malay­sians, urging that the matter be handled wisely.

Lembaga Kelayakan Syariah ditubuh

Utusan Malaysia
Oleh FARHANA JONI


KUALA LUMPUR 27 Julai - Kerajaan dicadang menubuhkan Lembaga Kelayakan Syariah bagi membantu dan mengawal selia profesion yang berkaitan di bidang ini.

Timbalan Ketua Pengarah Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM), Prof. Datuk Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin berkata, langkah ini juga akan memartabatkan undang-undang syariah setaraf dengan sistem perundangan sivil.

"Lembaga ini juga bertanggungjawab memberi kebenaran dan mengawal selia ahlinya seperti hakim, peguam mahu pun pensyarah undang-undang syariah.

"Satu badan disiplin akan ditubuhkan dalam lembaga itu bagi memantau ahli-ahlinya supaya mengamalkan sistem perundangan syariah berlandaskan al-Quran dan sunah," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian kepada pemberita selepas sesi perbincangan mengenai kaedah meningkatkan profesionalisme modal insan dalam bidang perundangan di institusi pengajian tinggi (IPT) pada muzakarah bertajuk, Pemacuan Transformasi Sistem Perundangan Islam di Malaysia bertempat di IKIM di sini, hari ini.

Hadir sama, Mufti Perak, Tan Sri Dr. Harussani Zakaria; bekas Hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan, Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman dan Timbalan Ketua Bahagian Penasihat Syariah Jabatan Peguam Negara, Mahamad Naser Disa.

Muzakarah tersebut turut membincangkan isu keperluan transformasi, kaedah pembetulan persepsi negatif tentang fungsi dan keberkesanan agensi perundangan Islam di negara ini serta kaedah memantapkan mahkamah syariah.

Menurut Zaleha, muzakarah yang berlangsung hari ini itu penting untuk membolehkan mereka yang terlibat secara langsung dalam undang-undang syariah melontarkan idea bagi memartabatkan bidang tersebut.

"Menerusi perbincangan ini, satu pelan induk akan diserahkan kepada Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom bagi menyusun semula undang-undang syariah secara menyeluruh," katanya.

US Muslims call for probe on Norway killer's ties with Hindu nationalists

American Muslims have urged mosques and Muslim schools to increase security and have demanded an investigation into militant Hindu supremacist groups in the US after it became clear that the suspect in the bombing and mass shooting that killed 76 people in Norway praised nationalist Hindutva elements.
 
Muslim Peace Coalition USA and Indian Minorities Advocacy Network (ImanNet) leaders Seemi Ahmed and Dr. Shaik Ubaid have condemned the heinous terrorist massacres in Norway and expressed their heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families, according to a statement released by the Muslim Peace Coalition USA on Tuesday.

Addressing a meeting of civil rights and human rights activists in New York, they expressed alarm over the connection between Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian suspect, and international Hindutva supremacists. They demanded that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security investigate militant Hindutva supremacist groups in the US. They also appealed to Indian consulates and Hindu temples to not allow Hindutva groups the use of their premises.

In his over 1,500-page manifesto titled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” Breivik talks of Hindutva elements as allies and urges them to fight shoulder to shoulder with him to stem the spread of Islam in Europe.

“The Hindu-supremacist Hindutva movement in the US is a well-funded and powerful movement that has been involved in brainwashing American Hindu children and youth in the US with their brand of violent anti-Muslim and anti-Christian hate. These groups have been actively involved with the recent Islamophobic campaign in the US,” Ubaid said.

“For the last thirty years they have been busy infiltrating and gaining power among the various professional and trade associations of the Indian diaspora in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Far East. For the past two decades they have been using the growing economic and political clout of India on the international stage to infiltrate the power centers in the US under the guise of being ‘representatives of the Indian diaspora.' The more militant among the Hindutva fronts have openly formed alliances with white American hate groups and known Islamophobes,” he added.

Hindu nationalists have dismissed Breivik's praise of Hindutva as “motivated propaganda.”

“His entire so-called manifesto quotes conservative writers from both sides of the Atlantic. Ideological similarities have been drawn from all over, so to say suddenly that it is linked to Indian nationalists or Hindutva is simply motivated propaganda,” Ram Madhav, a senior leader of Indian nationalist movement the RSS was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

Bodyguard gives statement



10 arrested for 'greeting' PM in yellow at KL Sentral

PSM6: Another round of visits



Dr Subra breaks BN ranks over EO6

The MIC deputy president asks the IGP and the Home Ministry to review the detention without trial of the six and to charge them in court.

PETALING JAYA: Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam has voiced concern over the continued detention without trial of six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members, stopping short of calling for their release.

In a media statement put out today, he urged the Inspector-General of Police and the Home Ministry to “review” their detention under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) and to charge them in court “as quickly as possible” if they had indeed committed chargeable offences.

The statement makes Subramaniam, who is MIC’s deputy president, the second prominent Barisan Nasional figure to break ranks over the detention of the six. Last week, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin called the arrests “misguided” and said he would convey his view to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

“The IGP and Home Ministry should review the continual arrest of Dr (Michael) Jeyakumar and five others under the Emergency Ordinance,” Subramaniam said.

“To date the police have not shown any convincing evidence that they were involved in an armed struggle to overthrow the government.

“There are also confusing signals that they were arrested because of their involvement in Bersih. They were, however, arrested much earlier than the Bersih event. Moreover many others involved in Bersih have not been arrested and those arrested have been released.”

Jeyakumar, who is the MP for Sungai Siput, and PSM deputy president M Sarasvathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M Sukumaran, Youth chief R Saratbabu and Sungai Siput branch secretary A Letchumanan were arrested in Kepala Batas on June 26 while distributing leaflets calling on the public to support Bersih’s demands for free and fair elections.

They were arrested on suspicion of attempting to wage war against the King. Their remand order expired on July 2, but they were re-arrested under the EO and have since been detained and interrogated at different police stations.

Subramaniam said the government should rethink how it dealt with Bersih and its July 9 rally.
“This event has caused a lot of uneasiness and disquiet among the Malaysian public and it is best that we handle it wisely.”

The arrest and detention of the six were part of a widely condemned clampdown in the build-up to the Bersih 2.0 rally, which itself resulted in the arrest of 1,600, most of whom have been freed.

The six are accused of being key figures in the planning for the rally and attempting to revive communism. The apparent evidence for the latter charge was their alleged possession of T-shirts bearing the likenesses of communist leaders.

‘Lavish’ MIC AGM draws flak

The allegations include the booking of five-star hotel rooms for delegates, and RM800,000 for 'goodie bags'.

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC’s 65th annual general meeting slated for this weekend is being touted as a lavish affair, with some alleging that it cost RM2 million.

However, the party’s treasurer-general Jaspal Singh denied this.

“It is lesser than RM2 million,” he said, but declined to reveal the actual amount.

Instead of holding it in the Putra World Trade Centre as done in previous years, MIC president G Palanivel, who will be chairing his first AGM, has decided to move the meeting to the administrative capital.
The two-day event will be held at the Putrajaya International Covention Centre (PICC). It is learnt that MIC has booked three halls at a cost of RM90,000 per day for its annual meeting.

Justifying the change of venue, MIC secretary-general S Murugesan said in the past only 1,500 delegates attended but this time around, a total of 3,700 branch chairmen will be present.

FMT also learnt that MIC has booked five-star hotel rooms for those attending but Jaspal denied that all the rooms are in five-star hotels.

“We booked rooms at five-star hotels that offer three-star prices,” he said, adding that the delegates will be housed in hotels located in Putrajaya and Kajang.

‘RM800,000 for goodie bags’

Another startling allegation was that the “goodie bags” for the delegates cost around RM200 a piece, bringing the total to nearly RM800,000.

The bag alone, said a central working committee (CWC) member, cost around RM50 and was purchased by Jaspal in China.

“This is pure nonsense. Must we spend so much of money on ‘goodie bags’? Why do these branch chairmen need five-star hotel rooms?

“Can’t we use it for something more constructive to help the community?” asked the CWC member, who declined to be named.

However, Jaspal denied that the bag cost RM50 a piece, but once again declined to state the actual price.

‘Baiting branch chiefs’ votes’

Meanwhile, the CWC member claimed that “a fortune was being spent” to bait the branch chairmen, who will be voting in the party’s presidential election.

He said since Palanivel, who succeeded S Samy Vellu last year, is facing a possible three-cornered fight for the top post, he needed to get into the branch chairmens’ good books.

“In the past, he has been winning the number two post because of Samy Vellu. But now there are rumours that even the former president is peeved with his successor over numerous issues.

“Even those in MIC are not comfortable with the media-shy Palanivel’s leadership style,” he added.
Speculation is rife that Palanivel will be challenged by two Subramaniams, current deputy president Dr S Subramaniam, who is said to be Samy Vellu’s present preferred choice, and former number two S Subramaniam.

The CWC member warned that the extravagant affair is bound to rile up the Indian community, and added that there is no point in becoming popular in MIC when the community loses faith in the leadership.

Another MIC grassroots leader, who also declined to be named, said that it is wrong to spend such a huge sum on the AGM when poor Indian students are struggling for scholarships to pursue their education.

“Even the prime minister has asked us to be more prudent in our spending so we should have cut down on the expense for the AGM and use the remaining money to help poor students.

“It would have been better for Palanivel to present the cheques to the students during the AGM instead of booking expensive hotel rooms,” he added.

Text message: Discard MIC

With two days to go before the AGM, there is also a text message being circulated calling on the Indian community to turn their backs on MIC.

The text message reads: “MIC achivements: In 1958, Malaysian Indian equity was 28% and today dropped to 1.1%, Indian population before independence 24% and today 7.9%, our graduates in 1955 was 34%, and now 0.9%.”

The text message also noted that in the early 1960s, the Indian community owned three banks and 37% of land titles, which has now dropped to 0.85%.

Stating that the number of Tamil schools have also dropped from 1,023 to 523, the text message stated: “By trusting MIC, we have lost 90% of our rights.”

Naib Presiden PKR disoal ‘cubaan bunuh Anwar’

Surendran, pada asalnya hadir sebagai peguam mewakili Fayyadh untuk merakam kenyataan, secara tiba-tiba diarah pegawai polis berada dibilik berasingan untuk disoal.

KUALA LUMPUR: Naib Presiden PKR N Surendran hari ini disoal siasat polis berhubung kenyataannya yang mengaitkan tindakan polis dengan cubaan bunuh Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Surendran, yang pada asalnya hadir ke Balai Polis Travers sebagai peguam mewakili pengawal peribadi Anwar, Fayyadh Afiq Al-Bakry untuk merakam kenyataan, secara tiba-tiba diarah pegawai polis berada dibilik berasingan untuk disoal.

Beliau disoal siasat kira-kira 45 minit dibawah Akta 505(b) Kanun Keseksaan kerana membuat kenyataan yang boleh menggugat ketenteraman awam.

Surendran sebelum ini memberi kenyataan bahawa kecederaan dialami Fayyadh akibat terkena tembakan kanister gas pemedih mata semasa perhimpunan Bersih 9 Julai lalu itu adalah satu cubaan polis membahayakan nyawa Anwar selepas insiden ‘mata lebam’.

Sehubungan itu, beliau mendesak agar siasatan kes tersebut diklasifikasikan sebagai cubaan membunuh.
Kenyataan itu dibuatnya kepada media diluar perkarangan Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Dang Wangi 20 Julai lalu selepas Fayyadh membuat laporan polis berhubung tindakan polis terhadap peserta Bersih 2.0 diterowong KL Sentral sehingga membuatkannya tercedera.

Surendran bagaimanapun menganggap tindakan polis menyoalnya itu sebagai tidak relevan.
Malah bertegas akan tetap dengan kenyataan asalnya bahawa polis bertindak ganas terhadap peserta Bersih 2.0 sehingga wujudnya situasi ‘cubaan bunuh Anwar’.

“Tidak ada sebarang notis atau dimaklumkan daripada polis yang mengarahkan saya hadir beri keterangan pun sebelum ini…mereka cuba ambil kesempatan.

“Saya kecewa kenapa mereka tak siasat salah laku polis yang menembak gas pemedih mata sehingga boleh membahayakan orang awam, tetapi menyiasat orang yang melaporkan salah laku mereka pula,” katanya.

Tidak relevan
“Pegawai penyiasat juga bertanya beberapa soalan yang tidak relevan, antaranya siapakah Khalid Samad dan apa maksud kanister….sila terangkan.

“Begitu juga dengan soalan ‘adakah saya seorang pakar gas pemedih mata’.

“Bagi saya tak perlu nak jadi seorang pakar gas pemedih mata untuk buat laporan tentang keganasan polis,” katanya yang diwakili Pengarah Biro Guaman PKR Latheefa Koya semasa keterangannya diambil.

Beliau bagaimanapun berkata siasatan polis ini tidak akan menghalang pihaknya daripada terus mendesak agar siasatan yang telus dilakukan terhadap keganasan ke atas Fayyadh dan peserta Bersih 2.0 yang lain.

Sementara itu, Fayyadh hari ini turut diambil keterangannya kira-kira dua jam oleh pegawai penyiasat ASP Arikrishnan berhubung laporan polisnya sebelum ini.

Fayyadh, 25, dalam laporan polisnya sebelum ini mendakwa cedera ditembak kanister gas pemedih mata sehingga pecah tulang pipi kiri ketika cuba melindungi Anwar daripada sebarang ancaman.

Peguam mewakilinya, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri berkata kesemua 30 soalan dapat dijawab dengan baik dan konsisten dengan laporan polis yang dibuatnya.

Ia termasuk siasatan laporan perubatan Fayyadh daripada Pusat Perubatan Pantai.

“Pegawai polis sebelum ini dah soal siasat doktor hospital yang merawat Fayyadh dan mereka akui terkejut mendengar penerangan daripada doktor tentang betapa seriusnya kecederaan yang dialami Fayyadh,” katanya.

RCI report: Gobind throws Gani a challenge

The Puchong MP wants the A-G to explain why the MACC officers found responsible for Teoh Beng Hock's death cannot be charged under the Penal Code.

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP national legal bureau chairman Gobind Singh Deo wants Attorney- General Abdul Gani Patail to explain why the three MACC officers found responsible for the death of Teoh Beng Hock cannot be charged under the Penal Code.

“If you can’t find anything under the Penal Code to charge them with, come debate with me and I will tell you how,” said Gobind.

Gobind said under the Federal Constitution, only the Attorney-General’s office has the power to prosecute anyone in a court for a criminal offence.

He was speaking at a forum attended by about 500 people at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here yesterday.

Also present were Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, its Youth chief Anthony Loke, PAS central working committee member Husam Musa and Teoh’s sister, Teoh Lee Lan.

Last week, Gani said that MACC should take disciplinary action against the three officers found to have driven Teoh to commit suicide by interrogating him aggressively in violation of the anti-graft agency’s regulations.

“If it refers to the standard operating procedure of the MACC, it becomes a matter of discipline and the three are to be dealt with by the disciplinary body of the Public Service Department.

“Interrogations with intent to derive information and in the process driving someone to commit suicide is different from doing so with the intent to make him commit suicide,” said Gani.

Gobind, who is also Puchong MP, said Teoh’s family and the public did not wait for two years just for the government to take disciplinary action against those responsible for Teoh’s death.

“Gani must inspire public confidence by acting on the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report and taking action against the three. If he fails, then he must resign,” said Gobind.

“Is this justice for Teoh?” asked Gobind, who received a resounding “no” from the audience.

‘BN leaders forgotten Islam’

He told the crowd that his team is now working on getting a judicial review on the report and would not back down till they get justice for Teoh’s family.

Husam told the crowd that he could not accept the RCI’s findings and it was everyone’s responsibility to see that justice is done for Teoh’s family.

“In Islam, it is said that when a man is killed, the whole of mankind is killed. Unfortunately, our Barisan Nasional leaders have forgotten this part of Islam,” he said.

Teoh, a political aide to Ean Yong, was found dead on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam in July 2009, after he was questioned overnight by MACC officers at their-then Selangor office on the 14th floor.

A coroner’s inquest in January this year delivered an open verdict to his death, ruling out both suicide and homicide 18 months after Teoh’s untimely demise.

MIC boss to reveal ‘holistic proposal’

Palanivel, who will be chairing his first party AGM, is expected to reveal a new proposal for the Indian community.

PETALING JAYA: MIC president G Palanivel, who will be chairing his first party annual general meeting (AGM) this weekend, will reveal a new proposal for the Indian community.

“He will be delivering a far-reaching holistic proposal for the community,” said MIC secretary-general S Murugesan.

However, he declined to elaborate on the proposal.
This AGM would also see Palanivel breaking from tradition by holding the two-day event at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) instead of the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

Commenting on the change of venue, Murugesan said: “PWTC cannot accommodate all those we have invited.”

“For the first time we have invited all branch chairmen,” he added.

In the past, only 1,500 delegates attended the party AGMs but this time around, explained Murugesan, a total of 3,700 branch chairmen would be present.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who would be officiating at the AGM, is also scheduled to launch the party magazine MIC Times and its new online broadcast site, MIC TV.

The man who would be PM


But we failed to take into consideration one very important point. And this one very important point is Dr Mahathir is a more seasoned politician than we gave him credit for. And the script for the final scenario was written by him: his puppet Najib became Prime Minister instead of Ku Li who wanted then to be ‘independent’, reform the government, and offer the opposition a role in the government under a Unity Government.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Umno can’t risk sacking Ku Li
To sack Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah from Umno is to precipitate the party's own implosion.
Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz, Free Malaysia Today

Why is Umno quiet about Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and his Amanah? The answer is that they simply can’t do anything about it.

Even among Umno members there is increasing disquiet about how things are managed.
Saifuddin Abdullah’s recent ‘out-of-line’ statements and Khairy Jamaluddin’s conscientious objections are only tips of the icebergs.

Tengku Razaleigh is merely pointing out the realities. He is still an Umno member – so what can Umno do at the moment?

Umno can’t sack a person of his stature without precipitating its own implosion. So go ahead- sack him and it will make the days of many.

Tengku Razaleigh is of course mindful of the possible repercussions of his actions. He may not be fielded as an Umno candidate in the next elections. He may lose the support of Gua Musang Umno.

Current Umno leaders inconsequential

The last time I spoke to him, he was telling me of these reservations. I pointed out to him that his victory doesn’t just depend on Umno votes.

It depends on the rakyat. Given the history of seeing only 60 % of Umno members voting for their own candidates and 60 % of Malays voting for non-Umno candidates in the last general election, I would rate his chances as being above average.

The opinion of the present Umno leadership is quite simply inconsequential. So that is why Umno is quiet about the whole thing.

At the moment this is what Amanah provides. Amanah provides platform for speaking out against the abuses on the Merdeka heritage.

****************************************
What I am about to say is in response to the article above. It is not something new but what I have said many times in the past. In fact, in my more than one hour interview with TV3 in Perth, I touched on this issue. Unfortunately, TV3 was not ‘brave’ enough to air that part of my interview.

First of all, because of the way Malaysian elections are conducted, even if Barisan Nasional garners just 45% of the popular votes it will still be able to form the federal government. This is the reality of the situation and this is why we need BERSIH -- to reform the electoral system to change this state of affairs.

For Pakatan Rakyat to be able to form the federal government it would need to garner at least 60% of the popular votes. And this is almost impossible if we do not reform the system. Maybe 50% of the popular votes would be possible. But 50% would not give Pakatan Rakyat the federal government. It has to be at least 60%.

This means, short of a massive revamp of the system, it would be impossible for Pakatan Rakyat to form the federal government. And this means we may need to look at Barisan Nasional for the next Malaysian Prime Minister (unless Pakatan Rakyat can do the ‘impossible’ and garner 60% of the popular votes).

Let’s be very clear about one thing. I would love to see the Prime Minister come from Pakatan Rakyat. Whether this ‘someone’ from Pakatan Rakyat is Anwar Ibrahim or Nizar Jamaluddin or Lim Guan Eng or whoever is secondary at the moment. This is not the issue we need to discuss just yet. The issue is, for the meantime, who from Barisan Nasional should be the Prime Minister.

And that was why six years ago back in 2006 we looked at the possibility that this someone from Barisan Nasional, which therefore also meant someone from Umno, has to be someone who is prepared to embark upon a reform agenda.

And this someone, due to lack of any other more suitable alternative, would have to be Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah a.k.a. Ku Li.

And with that in mind, bloggers, political activists, and civil society members from both sides of the political divide got together to see how Abdullah Ahmad Badawi a.k.a. Pak Lah could be ousted and replaced with Ku Li.

Meeting after meeting was held. Ex-Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also approached and a few meetings were held with him as well. And it was agreed that Pak Lah would be ousted and Ku Li would replace him.

But there was one condition that Dr Mahathir stipulated and which Ku Li could not agree to. And that one condition was: once Pak Lah is ousted and Ku Li takes over, a Presidential Council would be formed and the new Prime Minister would be ‘guided’ by this Council.

This is just like how the nine Rulers rule, through state Royal Councils. But this Presidential Council would be slightly different. It would be a de facto Prime Minister Council.

Ku Li, of course, did not agree to this and so Dr Mahathir decided to back Najib Tun Razak instead. Najib agreed to become the rubber-stamp Prime Minister with the Presidential Council as the de facto Prime Minister.

The question would be: who will head this Presidential Council -- basically the de facto Prime Minister? And the answer is: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. This, in short, meant that Dr Mahathir would become the de facto Prime Minister while Pak Lah’s successor would be just a rubber-stamp Prime Minister.


Then, along came the number two of the Special Branch of the Military Intelligence, Kol Azmi Zainal Abidin, who claimed he had documentary evidence that Rosmah Mansor and her ADC (and husband) were at the scene of Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder. This most damaging report would thus disqualify Najib and would put Ku Li back in the lead.

The day after I signed my Statutory Declaration, Dr Mahathir summoned Tan Sri Sanusi Junid to his office and asked him whether he had read my SD. Sanusi at first did not know what Dr Mahathir was talking about. After Sanusi had read my SD, Dr Mahathir retorted, “Raja Petra has just killed our horse. We need to find a new one.”

However, before the final nail could be hammered into Najib’s coffin, Kol Azmi did a U-turn and claimed that all the evidence had been removed from the Military Intelligence office and had been destroyed. He also claimed that no copies were made.

Instead of hammering the final nail into Najib’s coffin, it was hammered into my coffin and Najib went on to become the new Prime Minister while Ku Li was shafted in the arse (along with me of course).

Is Ku Li going to be a better Prime Minister? That is what many may ask. The question should be whether Ku Li would be a better Prime Minister than Najib. And whether with Ku Li as Prime Minister, we would have a problem of a Rosmah Mansor acting like Queen Marie Antoinette of France. And whether with Ku Li as Prime Minister we would have a de facto Prime Minister calling the shots and playing the role of the real power behind the throne.

Ku Li made one thing very clear, which unsettled Dr Mahathir like hell. And that one thing is: he would become an ‘independent’ Prime Minister who would press for reforms and even consider forming a ‘Unity Government’ with the opposition.

On the basis of these three promises, we decided to back Ku Li as the new Barisan Nasional (Umno) Prime Minister.

This was back in 2006, two years before the March 2008 general election and one year before the November 2007 BERSIH rally. No one knew then how the opposition was going to perform in the following general election due in 2008 or 2009.

In fact, at that time, there was no Pakatan Rakyat. Pakatan Rakyat had not even been formed yet. And DAP was still an ‘independent’ opposition party and not part of any opposition coalition.
So, our only bet then, in the absence of a strong and viable opposition coalition, was to try to influence changes within Umno and back the best man who could become Prime Minister and bring reforms to Malaysia.

I stress, this was back in 2006, five years ago. And back then this appeared to be the best alternative. 
But we failed to take into consideration one very important point. And this one very important point is Dr Mahathir is a more seasoned politician than we gave him credit for. And the script for the final scenario was written by him: his puppet Najib became Prime Minister instead of Ku Li who wanted then to be ‘independent’, reform the government, and offer the opposition a role in the government under a Unity Government.

AirAsia to Stay in Kuala Lumpur

Image
If they ever planned to move, they certainly say they aren’t going to now
AirAsia, the fast-growing Malaysia-based low-cost airline, has put on an intensive damage control campaign to back away from a statement by the airline’s boss that implied that its regional headquarters would be based in Jakarta.

Tony Fernandes, the airline’s boss, told the Jakarta Globe in Tokyo on July 22 that the headquarters would be in Jakarta as part of an effort to be regarded as a regional Southeast Asian airline rather than as a Malaysian one. Fernandes was in effect confirming a story that had appeared in the Kuala Lumpur-based Malaysian Insider on May 19.

Asia Sentinel, quoting the Globe story, said the airline was to open its base in the Equity Building in South Jakarta in October. Fernandes told the newspaper he had already bought a home in Jakarta within walking distance of the headquarters and that “Asean is based in Jakarta, and Indonesia will be the largest economy in Asean in times to come … And I like it there.”

The story kicked off a storm in Malaysia. In a prepared statement, AirAsia said “there are absolutely no plans, nor the inclination, to move the headquarters of this Malaysian-incorporated company out of the country. And our Malaysian-registered fleet of aircraft will continue to operate from the LCCT,” the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.

AirAsia is listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. Its headquarters are in Petaling Jaya, a Kuala Lumpur suburb.

“Tony never said, or implied, that we’re moving away from Kuala Lumpur,” said Azman Osman Rani, the chief executive of AirAsia X, the airline’s long-haul carrier, in an email to Asia Sentinel. “Irrespective of however he described the Asean office to be set up in Jakarta, he very clearly never gave any impression that we are packing our bags and closing shop in KL.”

Asia Sentinel did seek to imply that the airline was leaving Malaysia behind, pulling out its planes and equipment.

However, the story that the airline intended to open a regional office in Jakarta was confirmed independently with sources in Kuala Lumpur, who described it as a business decision to rebrand the airline as one with a wider footprint than just Malaysia, and to seek to take advantage of Indonesia’s vastly larger population and economy. Senior executives had been recruited to staff the Jakarta office, the source said, calling it a regional office.

But, Azran said, the office’s primary mission is to deal with Asean. “We have built a relationship with the Asean Secretary-General and want to have a team based there to work on Asean-issues. (An executive who moved to Jakarta) never even had core airline responsibility (Operations or Commercial). He was in charge of communications. To equate (his) move, some execs being hired in Jakarta and space (it’s a small space!) as a move of headquarters is just grasping for straws.”

AirAsia executives in Kuala Lumpur say they have always planned to move the regional headquarters instead to the long-delayed Kuala Lumpur International Airport terminal 2, which is due to be built at Sepang , 50 km. south of Kuala Lumpur.

Some of the reaction could have more to do with outrage in the Malaysian government, which has backed the airline heavily. It is arguably the country’s biggest success story and losing it would be a public relations disaster for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who has been trying intensively to lure foreign investment.

“If they do that, they are going to lose government support,” said an aide to a top UMNO politician. “Because AirAsia is backed by the gomen (government). Let’s see. My feeling is, yeah, you can make billions and then tell Malaysia f… off. But wait what happens next. They’d better get their planes out of here quick.”

AirAsia sources say relations with the Malaysian government have never been a problem.

The airline has succeeded through a combination of joint ventures in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, where it remains a minority partner with a 49 percent stake in each country. It will own 35 percent of its new joint venture in the Philippines, which is due to go into operation soon. Last Friday Fernandes announced a joint venture with ANA Group, Japan’s largest carrier, to launch AirAsia Japan.

Malaysia still delivers the bulk of the airline’s business, with 5.1 million revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) in the first quarter of 2011, followed by Thailand with 1.9 million RPK and Indonesia with 1.4 million. However, the Malaysia figures appear to include Air Asia X, the long-haul arm now serving the UK, Australia, France and Korea, which is partly owned by Richard Branson, the UK-based owner of Virgin Airlines, and by Air Canada.

The growth potential, however, is clearly outside Malaysia and in long haul – though acquiring long-haul traffic rights could be difficult. All Air Asia X flights are from Kuala Lumpur currently, however, so KLIA will remain the hub at least till they can get long haul rights elsewhere.

Group wearing yellow T-shirts detained – now released

Ten Malaysians detained at KL Sentral as Najib arrived were taken to the Travers Police Station for their statements to be recorded. They were later released unconditionally at around 6.00pm.
Standing tall at the Travers Police Station - Photograph: Fadiah Nadwa

One of them was reportedly wearing a Malaysian football jersey, while others wore yellow T-shirts. They had wanted to hand over a memo to Najib about the Bersih 2.0 demands.

Lawyers were already at the police station in connection with investigations into another incident during the Bersih rally when Anwar’s bodyguard was injured. Lawyer N Surendran who accompanied the bodyguard was himself questioned about an Insider article he had written about the incident.

Time to read this Aliran article: Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad
And to think Malaysia sits on the UN Human Rights Council…

Or maybe the police just want to spare Najib more exposure to yellow after his recent visit to Queen Elizabeth, who was of course attired in bright yellow.