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Saturday, July 30, 2011

'Take Rs 20, rape my daughter'

Monster father, desperate to leave Mumbai, dumps his 9-year-old daughter with a drug addict, even bribing him with a paltry sum to buy drugs; the latter strangulates her after raping her
When Ghulam Mohammad Hamid Khan (47), decided to abandon Mumbai and board a train for his UP hometown from the Mankhurd railway station, he decided to travel light.

The first baggage that he decided to get rid of was none other than his 9-year-old daughter Roshni. He didn't have to look far- along came Irfan Sheikh (21), a drug addict.

The Mankhurd police arrested Irfan Sheikh (left) and the
father of the victim Ghulam Khan on charges of rape and murder

Not only did the desperate father give the addict permission to have his way with her, he also paid the man to buy himself some drugs.

Mankhurd police Sub-Inspector Popat Salunkhe said, "Hussain was unemployed, and his wife had thrown him out of their house. He wanted to make a fresh start in Jabalpur. He was in the habit of abducting his own children, and using them as leverage to force money out of her."

He added, "On July 17, he took Roshni with him to the Mankhurd railway station. He waited for three hours, expecting his wife to arrive there to retrieve their child. However, Hussain's wife did not turn up. Desperate to leave for his hometown, he started looking for an alternative means to get rid of his daughter."

"He accosted Irfan at the station, and decided to dump Roshni in his custody. He gave Irfan the licence to do anything he wanted with the girl. When Irfan refused to accept the responsibility, Hussain pleaded with him, even bribing him with a sum of Rs 20, asking him to purchase drugs of his choice," informed Salunkhe.

According to the police report, Irfan then took Roshni into a dark alley, where he attempted to rape her. The terrified girl screamed, at which he clamped her mouth shut, causing her to lose consciousness. Once the girl stopped resisting, he raped her and sodomised her in quick succession.

After having his way with her, he strangulated her with a dupatta, and threw her body into an open drain. The Mankhurd police found Roshni's stripped body on July 18, and began their investigations, trying to identify her.

Mother shocked
Roshni's mother identified her daughter at the Rajawadi hospital, divulging that Hussain had taken Roshni away. "Roshni's mother had not lodged a missing complaint, thinking that she was with her father. Roshni's mother's statement made us certain of Hussain's involvement," said Salunkhe.

Mankhurd police then sent two teams to UP and Ajmer, to search for Hussain. "We nabbed Hussain at Jabalpur station in UP, and brought him to Mumbai," said a police officer.

During his interrogation, Hussain confessed that he had handed over his daughter to Irfan, because he wanted to get rid of her and teach his wife a lesson.

He had left Roshni at different stations on previous occasions as well. We nabbed Irfan, also a resident of Mankhurd, who confessed to the crimes of rape and murder. We will now produce both culprits at court," informed Salunkhe.

Other Dastardly Dads

JUNE, 2011

Last month, an 18-year-old Bandra girl went to cops after facing months of abuse at the hands of her father Shabbir Khan, who raped her at knifepoint, while her mother chose to look the other way for the sake of 'family reputation.' ('Brave teen stands up to rapist father,' June 3, 2011)
A man was arrested for allegedly killing his eight-year-old daughter after she resisted his attempt to rape her. ('Father kills 8-year-old daughter after failed rape attempt,' February 25, 2011)
MARCH, 2009
A father in Mira Road, Kishore Chauhan, allegedly raped his two daughters, aged 21 and 17, with the help of a tantrik, Hasmukhbhai Rathod. The duo had been raping the elder daughter for nine years and the younger one for a year before a police complaint was filed. The rapes had been going on with the mother's knowledge and support.

Jeyakumar: It was mental torture

Transgender ‘Aleesha’ dies of heart attack, depression

Ashraf is seen covering his face with a bag as he leaves the Terengganu High Court, July 18, 2011. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Mohd Ashraf Hafiz Abdul Aziz, who underwent a sex change operation two years ago, has died from a heart attack this morning, less than two weeks after a court rejected his application to adopt a female name.

Mohd Ashraf, who wanted to be known as Aleesha Farhana Abdul Aziz, passed away at 5am at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital in Kuala Terengganu.

He was admitted yesterday evening after experiencing heart problems and low-blood pressure. Doctors confirmed yesterday that Mohd Ashraf suffered a heart attack from an “unstable angine with cardiogenic shock.”

His father, Abdul Aziz Ahmad, 60, was quoted by Bernama Online as saying Mohd Ashraf’s body will be buried after Zohor prayers this afternoon.

Abdul Aziz added that he will wait for the other family members to decide on whether the funeral will be held.

According to the father, Mohd Ashraf suffered from severe depression after his court application to change his name was rejected.

On July 18, Terengganu High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa said that the application by Ashraf , 25, was rejected because of his chromosomes, the presence of male genitals when the applicant was born, and the presence of male internal organs.

Ashraf, who filed the application in court on May 25, underwent the operation in Thailand in 2009 after passing a psychological assessment in the Pantai Medical Centre.

He said the name change would allow him to be accepted into a local university and ease the difficulty of living as a woman.

EO6: A bitter lesson for the govt

The Najib administration should now learn to respect the ‘rule of law’ instead of bending over backwards to fulfill its own hidden agendas
Abusing the Emergency Ordinance 1969, six breadwinners of their families’ were thrown behind bars and defamed with having waged a war against the King, holding subversive beliefs and instigating the rakyat to attend a rally which the police had deemed illegal.

Yesterday, 28 days later, all six were set free, unconditionally. The question that begs an answer from Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is: What happened in those 28 days’ that made him, his cousin the Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar realise that the six are innocent and should rightfully be released?

Or was it a case of all three parties being well aware of the innocence of the six but proceeded to used them as scapegoats, hoping to teach Malaysians in general a lesson for taking to the streets on July 9, 2011 and challenging the ‘powers that be’?

The six detained were Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael D Jeyakumar, Parti Sosialis Malaysia deputy president M Sarasvathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M Sukumaran, Youth chief R Saratbabu and Sungai Siput branch secretary A Letchumanan.

Despite cooperating with the police, the six were treated like hardcore criminals, being held in solitary confinement and deprived of all basic necessities including their medication as in the case of Jeyakumar and Sarasvathy.

It was much later that the police claimed the six were detained for allegedly being “movers” for the July 9, 2011, rally organised by election watchdog Bersih 2.0 (Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections).

However, none of the six were steering committee members of the Bersih 2.0 which was declared illegal by the government. The coalition comprises of more than 60 non-governmental organisations.

What rule of law, Najib?

On July 29, after a tormenting 28-day ordeal, when all six were released, Najib had this to say: “It is a decision (to release) taken by the police based on their own observation.

“We accept the decision made by the police… it is up to the attorney-general to decide on the next course of action. As a sovereign country we uphold the rule of law.”

Is Najib confirming that this country has turned into a police state, with the police having absolute liberty to detain and abuse whoever they wish?

Premier Najib said Malaysia as a sovereign country upholds the rule of law.

The rule of law states that individuals, persons and government shall submit to, obey and be regulated by law and not arbitrary action by an individual or a group of individuals.

Clearly Najib contradicted himself, for in the case of the six, the rule of law was never applied. It was the arbitrary action of the ‘powers that be’ that resulted in the detention of the six who later became known as PSM6.

And in case Najib has forgotten, the rule of law applies to the government as well, compelling it to obey the law and not manipulate it to serve the interest of a select few.

PM pressured to release PSM6
The PSM6 were finally set free not because the police or Najib had an awakening of any kind. Rather, it has to with the Barisan Nasional government’s fight for survival in light of the coming general election has brought the Federal government to its knees.

The pressure was made worse by the severe condemnation and pressure for their release that came pouring in after the six were held under the EO.

The release of the PSM6 certainly calls for a celebration and for sure it excludes all gratitude to Najib.

Hours after his release, Jeyakumar told reporters the release of PSM6 was a “smart political move” by Najib in face of the eroding public support.

“It’s definitely due to public pressure that we were released. He was losing popularity and realised that it too politically costly to keep holding us,” Jeyakumar said.

He added that it was the pressure imposed by the people that forced the government to release him and his party colleagues.

Jeyakumar said there were strong movements by the people in holding candlelight vigils, peace marches and hunger strikes nationwide, all calling for the release of the six.

“It’s not because the police were being sensible. They were out to get us to use us as an example.”
He said PSM’s next step would be to gauge the situation and perhaps file a case as they had been wrongly detained under the Emergency Ordinance.

“It’s a huge step forward for democracy, a victory for all of us,” added Jeyakumar.

Government’s agenda

Jeyakumar believes the government and the police had their own agendas and aims. The good doctor during a family visit while in detention had said the police were “not listening” and were trying to frame the six based on unsubstantiated allegations.

This in spite of all six having cooperated with the police, giving rise to the conclusion that the police was finding ways of incarcerating them.

With no other avenue left, Jeyakumar decided to go on a hunger strike on July 28, to demand the release of PSM6. Supporting him were 14 members from five PSM Perak branches.

The PSM6 were arrested in Kepala Batas on June 26 on claims that they were distributing leaflets urging the public to support the Bersih 2.0 demands for free and fair elections.

They were then re-arrested on July 2 under the EO which allows the police to detain suspects for up to 60 days.

A habeas corpus application was also filed by the family members of the PSM 6 to secure their release, and Aug 5 was fixed for the hearing date of the application.

It is hoped the PSM6 detention will serve as a bitter lesson for the Barisan Nasional government, prompting it to respect the ‘rule of law’ and not bend it backwards to fulfill its own hidden agendas.

Jeswan Kaur is a freelance journalist and an FMT columnist.

Where lies the Indian community’s priority?

A PKR man raises concern over the increasing number of Indian youth involved in illegal activities.

PETALING JAYA: A PKR state level leader chided the Indian community’s obsession with Tamil schools and temples when its youths are sinking into the abyss of vice and social ills.

Malacca PKR vice-president G Rajendran said current reports showed that about 110,000 Indian youths are involved in illegal activties.

“There is something very seriously wrong when one out of 10 (Indian) youngster is going the wrong way.

“Do you know that 7,000 Indians in Malaysia between 20 and 40 years are in jail for various criminal activities? Yet we seem to be more concerned about Tamil schools and temples.

“What is the point of having nice facilities in Tamil schools and temples when our children live in deplorable conditions.

“Don’t get me wrong…I don’t blame peoples’ concern for temples and schools but I feel our children are more important than temples,” he told FMT.

Rajendran said the BN and Pakatan Rakyat MPs who recently held a roundtable discussion in parliament to chart a blueprint for the future of Tamil schools should setup a committee to meet the needs of the Indian youngsters.

“Our main problems is gangsterism.. nowadays some of these gangs operate better than some small political party.

“The Indian community should engage all political parties no matter BN or Pakatan and form a united group to tear down gangsterism,” he added.

Rajendran also said several former gangsters whom he met recently told him that the situation was becoming worst whereby school students were being forced to join gangs.

He added that the social ills among the Indian community is like cancer which will slowly kill the community.

Rajendran admitted that one of the reasons the community is at its lowest point was because the government and the Indian leaders who do not care about youngsters.

He said he will raise his concerns with several Indian leaders and propose the setting up of a special committee to engage with youth.

EC is not telling the truth: It can make changes without BN approval

EC is not telling the truth: It can make changes without BN approval 16 days after Bersih 2.0 and finally the Election Commission meets Ambiga Sreenevasen on a public stage to discuss election reforms. Yet, all is not well with the Election Commission as more questions have been raise in the aftermath of its lacklustre answers.

EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar absolved himself and his colleagues of any responsibility towards electoral reforms amid boos and jeers during a public dialogue with Bersih chairman Ambiga Sreevenasan, stressing that there was “nothing wrong” with the EC.

“The EC is not an enforcement agency; it is only a management body for elections. The best we can do is to propose relevant laws to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“But ultimately it is the government of the day, which obtained majority votes, which has the final say. If the government decides that voting age is 21 years old, whatever proposal we send to the A-G’s Chambers can never go to Parliament,” he said at a public forum titled What next after July 9.

A lie of a statement

This is a rather funny statement from the EC deputy chairman, as the manager for elections in Malaysia, the EC is provisioned to make rules as stated in Article 113 (5) of the Federal Constitution. This provision within the Federal Constitution was pointed out by the Bersih chairperson to the EC deputy chairman.

Rules of conduct for elections are well within the boundaries of the EC since these are the rules that go into effect during an election. There is no need for such rules to pass through the AG chambers as long as these rules uphold and stay within the context of federal law.

Thus among other things, the use of indelible ink, a period of 21 days for campaigning and equal access to main-stream media are all measures that the EC can decide on, without having to refer to the AG chambers.

The only time such rules should be referred to the AG chambers is if there is a possibility a rule can contradict a federal law. Even then, if it does contradict a federal law, the EC does have the responsibility to stand by its decision or decide on an alternative.

It is the responsibility of the EC to uphold its role in ensuring that elections are conducted fairly and properly in Malaysia. Appointments are by the Agong and members to the EC must not have any other affiliation whether to political parties or to business entities.

This means they have to ensure that they are neutral and unbiased. If they are unable to be neutral or believe that they cannot play an impartial role as Wan Ahmad himself suggested, then they should immediately resign or be in gross disobedience to the King.

Cheating starts in the EC database itself

Instead, the EC has turned a deaf ear to allegations of phantom voters. When cornered with proof of such voters, the EC states that it is powerless to remove them from the voter listings. To remove a deceased person from the roll, a death certificate needs to be produced. Such technicalities have uncovered some rather funny instances of voters reaching more than 100 years old, still being eligible to vote.

Then there is the case of multiple voters residing under one address. The EC is powerless to remove such voters as it needs to be proven they do not reside at the location. This is their excuse.

But above all, the question that begs an answer is, how did such voters get registered in the first place? Voter registration is conducted by the EC, and an identity card is needed upon registration. All voter registration is entered into a computer database, thus it can be inferred that any manipulation of voter’s registration data happens within the database that is eventually printed out as the electoral roll.

Further points of contention comes from the refusal of the EC to extend postal votes to those who qualify but do not fall into the category of police personnel or the military. In the recent Sarawak state election, this deprived the Sarawak diaspora who work in the peninsula or West Malaysia, their right to ballot. Voters who wanted to vote were forced to pay unnecessarily for airfare back to Sarawak in order to cast their votes.

Making it harder for voters to vote

As overseers of the election process, it is the responsibility of the EC to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia have the opportunity to cast their vote as granted by Article 114 of the Federal Constitution. The EC has instead chosen to make it even harder for Malaysians to cast their votes if they happen to reside away from the state of their origins.

The EC’s non-supportive stance is further evidenced by its refusal to provide automatic registration for Malaysians who reach the age of 21. Why then would the EC not grant Malaysians this facility and ensure that all get the opportunity to vote? Only the EC can answer.

In the wake of Bersih, the EC has shown itself as a toothless and clueless commission. Unwilling to stand up for the rights of everyday Malaysians and instead selling their souls to please their political masters - the BN goverment of the day.

- Malaysia Chronicle

Mahathir’s grand contribution to decline in political morality


Since the early 1980s, the ‘indiscretions’ of elected officials and those in the civil service have become the hallmark of all things Malaysian. This is to the extent that the people now accept corruption, greed and furthering vested interests as colouring all government transactions.

How did this scheme of things come about?

The turning point was 1981. After Mahathir Mohamad became prime minister, compassion for the people and respect for their rights was extinguished. With Mahathir too came the decline of political morality and a corresponding decline in the moral fibre of the civil service.

Malaysians accept that we are now a country in decline without much hope for recovery in the foreseeable future. As if to emphasize this decline, we are continually bombarded with scandal after scandal as if confirming that Malaysia is indeed bereft of any decent political leadership and a country that has lost its way.  

The Barisan Nasional government had found it expedient to accelerate the country’s racial divide by granting citizenship to illegal Malay immigrants. Imagine what social harm the massive influx of unskilled and uneducated immigrants would do to any country that is not even able to provide basic welfare and education to its existing citizens.

Project M is surely the act of an irresponsible and self-serving government without regard for anything else but its own political survival.

He who promoted M’sia Inc.

Following the gutter politics example set by this BN government, our society has followed suit.

We have a corrupt and brutal police force which is just short of becoming a willing appendage of Umno.

The corporate world is a willing, eager and generous participant where prudent business practices are cast aside for the more lucrative political patronage. The spoils on offer are breathtakingly profitable for those who participate but they come at the expense of the public.

And where do all these practices lead to? The simple answer is to look at where we are today. We have a government that virtually declared war on its people for wanting a fair, free and open election. We have a government that is prepared to risk the lives of its people in Gebeng, Kuantan for the Lynas corporation (big business against the little people).

We have the Prime Minister talking up a RM4 billion redevelopment of the city riverfront at a time when minimum wages are still just “to be discussed” next year, when subsidies are being “restructured” and when our hardcore poor can still be seen wandering the streets of our capital and major cities, and the elderly are still without adequate care.

What madness is this to prioritise mega projects when matters of affordable housing and putting food on the table for the poor should really come first?

These are some of the reasons why today in Malaysia compassion for others who are less fortunate is no longer a consideration for this BN government. Moral decency has gone the same way as BN has gone – into the abyss.

Mahathir, Father of Apartheid

Are we at the point of no return?

To answer this we need to look at what has happened after Mahathir became PM.

The manner in which Mahathir consciously used race to divide and rule the country would put Malaysia on the same level as South Africa that had used apartheid to ‘manage’ racial inequality.

Initially, as the restructuring of Malaysian society got underway, there were visible images of the Malays getting their share of the nation’s wealth. The non-Malays accepted the necessity of this social re-engineering with grace, and with possibly a pragmatic resignation that this must be the way to go forward if we are to be united.

But much too soon the cosmetic redistribution of wealth amongst the Malays became a grab by Umno politicians of the nation’s wealth for their own keeping. The executive power vested in Umno made it all too easy for them to do, and they did so with gusto.

Greed led to the culture of money politics, and this culture seeped into the consciousness of the Malays in general and Umno in particular.

I would think that the irreversible slide towards this moral decay started when Umno within itself accepted the use of money politics as a means of buying and staying in power.

Thus began the transformation of Umno where power open doors to great wealth. No longer was the party there to fight the battles for the Malays. No longer were the Malays the reason for Umno’s being. Money was the be all and end all, and this new reality brought along with it the troubles and abuses that we have with us presently.

All of it started when Mahathir became our prime minister.

Mahathirism still a scourge

We now have a new generation, maybe even two generations of our young and not too young who will no longer tolerate the government thinking it has the right to pillage and plunder our country’s resources.

With the advent of the electronic media and the Internet, we are made aware of the wrongdoings of this BN government. No longer can they keep secret from us the massive losses incurred in wasteful public spending, excessive infrastructure costs and the all in all incompetence of the BN government of the Mahathir years which still continue to today.

All the dominance Malaysia once had within the Asean region, if not in the global economy, has now disappeared because of the lack of prudence by this BN government in our times of plenty.

What else does BN need to see before they realise that their past and current policies whether in education, business or racial balance have failed miserably?

Changes must be made now if we are to ever regain our place again amongst our erstwhile peers. Economic reforms and national transformation programmes must be done to address the necessary changes most needed, not for scoring political points or to protect the vested interests of the BN cronies.

It is most urgent to guarantee our economic future.

I cannot see any other way forward for Malaysia then to do away with this self-serving Umno-BN government. What is to come after BN is still to be seen. Much too often human beings have the ability to change for better or for worse when called upon to do so by circumstances of their own making or by factors outside their control.

If BN is voted out of office at the 13th general election, then let those that will take its place understand that the momentum to ensure change rests with the people. Ignore the people at your peril!

Khairy: Yes to transparency, but not for arms buys

The Malaysian Insider 

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has declared support for a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, but stressed last night that several areas needed to be excluded in the interest of national security, such as defence procurements.

He pointed out that “no country will disclose specifications” of their military hardware due to security concerns.

“The exact specs of tanks, what kind of systems and missiles we use shouldn’t be discussed in Parliament and recorded down on the Hansard,” the Rembau MP said at a forum on FOI at the Bar Council last night.

The issue of defence deals cropped up again after authorities deported a French lawyer who has been pursuing judicial investigations into Malaysia’s controversial RM7 billion Scorpene submarine purchase in the French courts, the day after he spoke on the issue in Penang.

In his absence, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs had accused the Najib administration of wanting to keep the facts hidden in the purchase of the submarines from French defence firm DCNS and up to RM16 billion in defence deals over the past three years.

However, Khairy, along with DAP lawmaker Charles Santiago, mooted an Armed Services committee instead be formed by lawmakers and the armed forces to hear representations from field experts before discussing policy in secret.

When asked if this would still mean that decision-making was shrouded in secrecy, he said that “some disclosure is better than none and at least MPs, representatives of the people, will have the information.”

The purchase of two submarines from French defence company DCNS in 2002 was made when Datuk Seri Najib Razak 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 commissions of over RM500 million 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.

French lawyer William Bourdon had arrived in Kuala Lumpur on July 23 from Penang, where he spoke at a fundraiser organised by rights group Suaram regarding the Scorpene submarine deal but was prevented from speaking at further events when immigration officers boarded his plane and detained him before deporting him the same night.

Klang MP Santiago had said that Malaysia should go further than simply forming a committee to scrutinise defence procurement as defence journals and publications “already tells you who’s buying what for how much.”

“If you buy a missile for so much, experts can tell you why. So there is nothing to hide. If you search on Google, you can find out what the Malaysian government has.

“Procurement policies should be made clearer. This culture of secrecy must come to an end,” he said.

Church Web sites hacked to push conversion to Islam

The Web site of Tower Presbyterian Church in Grove City, Pa., was one of 18 across the nation that were hacked this week and revised to promote conversion to Islam. All of the church Web sites affected by the cyber attack are hosted by Ryan Leisure, a Perrysburg Web designer whose company hosts and designs Web sites for about 60 churches. The Web site of Tower Presbyterian Church in Grove City, Pa., was one of 18 across the nation that were hacked this week and revised to promote conversion to Islam. All of the church Web sites affected by the cyber attack are hosted by Ryan Leisure, a Perrysburg Web designer whose company hosts and designs Web sites for about 60 churches. Enlarge
A computer hacker took control of more than a dozen church Web sites hosted by a Perrysburg designer this week, replacing their regular content with an appeal that Christians convert to Islam.

The Rev. Vinnie Dauer of Fallen Timbers Community Church in Waterville said he received a text message from a church member at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday telling him someone had posted "Muslim propaganda" on the church's Web site.

The cyber attack surprised church leaders there, who wondered why anyone would target their small congregation's Web site.

"It was unnerving, but I think also it was an indicator to me of the different world we live in," said Mr. Dauer, the assistant pastor at Fallen Timbers. "No one could walk into this church building and put up propaganda that's contradictory to our belief system, but yet our Web site is a representation of who we are."

The Fallen Timbers site was quickly taken down by Ryan Leisure, whose Web company, R Leisure Enterprises, designs and hosts sites for about 60 churches across the country. Of those, 18 came under attack, some as far away as Texas and California.

Mr. Leisure, himself a member of Fallen Timbers, said his primary work comes from private businesses, but as a Christian he wanted to do something to help smaller churches reach out to their communities.

The hacker, who identified himself as a Muslim hacker and signed his work "Mr. HAiL," somehow gained access to Mr. Leisure's entire portfolio of sites, though only the church sites were altered.

"It seemed like he was clearly trying to convert people. I don't see how he could actually be successful with this, but he was talking about Christians converting to Islam," Mr. Leisure said.

The hacker deleted the church Web sites and replaced them with a photograph of Mecca, a few paragraphs about Islam, and a list of 12 other Web sites purportedly containing more information about the faith. The postings didn't include any inflammatory language against Christians.

Ryan Leisure, a Perrysburg-based Web designer, told the FBI about the hackings. Ryan Leisure, a Perrysburg-based Web designer, told the FBI about the hackings. Enlarge
Despite the fairly benign nature of the hacking, both Mr. Leisure and leaders from the affected churches were concerned about it.

"It's a little alarming that just the churches were getting targeted by it," Mr. Leisure said. "The churches that did contact me were panicking a little bit."

After he took down the hacked Web sites, Mr. Leisure called the FBI's Toledo office to report the offenses. He said he was directed to file a report on, a Web site used by the FBI to gather information on and track cyber crimes.

"I can't confirm we've opened a case, but certainly if he made that complaint they'll review it and take whatever action they deem appropriate," said Special Agent Scott Wilson, a spokesman for the FBI in Cleveland.

Mr. Wilson said he was not aware of any similar incidents reported within the Cleveland district's jurisdiction, though hacking and online scams have become an almost daily issue for the FBI. Cyber crimes, he said, are the bureau's third priority behind terrorism and foreign counter-intelligence.

With new scams, viruses, hackings, and data-mining attempts cropping up all the time, Mr. Wilson said it's important for people to report what they've seen and experienced in order to make the authorities aware of the developments.

Mr. Leisure said all the hacked sites had been backed up within the last month, and he was able to restore nearly all the information. He's changed the passwords, is backing up the sites more frequently, and has looked into additional security measures.

Mr. Dauer, at Fallen Timbers, said he's confident the site will be secure in the future. He said it was "a little scary" that someone may have stumbled on the church's site and seen something different from what the church represents. Still, Web sites and social media have become major ways for churches to reach out to members and keep them up to date on church happenings.

He doesn't see that changing: "If we had to choose between a phone number and a Web site, I'd choose a Web site."

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at: or 419-724-6134.

Ambiga grills Wan Ahmad in Round 2

(Malaysiakini) Election Commission (EC) deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar reiterated that the EC is just a "management body" under the law to manage elections, rather than an enforcement agency.

NONE"We are guided by the Attorney-General's Office. The laws given to us are management laws," he said.
He was speaking today at a forum 'The Election Laws, Election Commission and Electoral Reform' organised by the Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham).

Delivering the opening address at the forum, Wan Ahmad said that issues relating to money politics, vote-buying and dirty politics are under the purview of the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

"The EC can be called as a respondent or witness in court, but never in the history of the country has the EC taken a person to court over corruption," he said.
His remark appeared to be a blow to many of those who attended the forum, including one lady who ridiculed the EC as an “event management company” for which its client is the government.

NONEOn the EC enforcement teams formed during election campaigns, Wan Ahmad said their role is merely to monitor posters put up during the campaign.

"What they (political parties) say during ceramah is handled by the police, according to the Police Act. It is the responsibility of the police to monitor the ceramah."
The forum is being held at the Dream Centre in Section 13, Petaling Jaya, this afternoon, in a much-anticipated second round of sparring between Wan Ahmad and Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan.

The discussion will focus on whether the EC has adequate powers to act independently and the legal gaps empowering it to discharge its duties.

NONEAmbiga crossed swords with Wan Ahmad earlier at a discussion on Tuesday in Shah Alam organised by Kumpulan Karangkraf, the media group that publishes Malay language daily Sinar Harian and a score of popular magazines.
That talk titled 'What's next after July 9?' saw a lively debate between Ambiga and Wan Ahmad, both of whom were cheered and jeered a boisterous, 600-strong audience.
However, the forum today, dubbed as a rematch between the two protaganists, appeared to be a rather tame affair.
'Untrue EC powerless'
Responding to Wan Ahmad, Ambiga as the second speaker cited section 27E of the Election Offences Act to prove that the EC has actually broader powers than it conceives.

NONEAccording to Ambiga, the section empowers the EC enforcement team during the campaign to "ensure that written laws relating to election are being complied with".

She argued that the EC also has the power, under the current laws, to call other authorities to assist the commission in carrying out its duties.

Therefore, although the EC has no prosecution powers, it has the responsibility to lodge police reports or request other authorities to take action, when faced with cases of irregularities.

The former Bar Council president also quizzed Wan Ahmad on the issue of postal votes for Malaysians overseas, who are being denied a chance to vote.

"From the feedback we received, it is impossible for them to go to the Malaysian embassies to vote," said Ambiga.

She reminded Wan Ahmad that 50,000 to 200,000 Sarawakians in the peninsula were disenfranchised during the state election in April because they did not qualify as postal voters.
Automatic registration 'doable'

While on the subject, Ambiga also requested Wan Ahmad to explain whether the members of the territorial army (Wataniah), that the government has suggested to form in every parliamentary constituency nationwide, will be registered as postal voters.
Wan Ahmad responded that the EC is looking into replacing the current postal voting system, which has been criticised for not transparent and vulnerable to abuse, with an advance voting systen, where all police and military personnel will cast their votes before the polling day, but the voting process will be exactly the same as ordinary voters on polling day.

He also said that all full-time students and civil servant abroad, together with their spouses, are eligible to be postal voters but the current number of overseas voters only stands at 2,500.

Hence, he added that the EC had appointed assistant registration officers at Malaysian missions overseas to facilitate the overseas voting process.

mykad counter 051105On the issue of automatic registration, one of the Bersih 2.0 demands, Ambiga dismissed the EC's excuse that it would force people to vote, and that it would lead to a low voter turnout rate.

She argued that if the people are automatically registered as voters when they reach 21 years of age, they still have a choice whether to vote or not.

As for the problem of lower turnout, Ambiga countered that the outcome of automatic registration would result in the opposite, as it overcomes people's laziness in getting themselves registered under the current system.

She added automatic registration is highly doable if the National Registration Department (NRD) database, that is linked to the EC, is clean and has high integrity.
However, Wan Ahmad insisted that “in a functioning democracy, people should be given a choice and you don't force people to register if they are not interested in politics”.

Another reason against automatic registration is that 40 percent of the population do not change their registered address in their MyKad to their current residential address, therefore they would have to travel to another constituency to vote if the automatic registration system is based on the information in their MyKad.

Wan Ahmad also disclosed that the EC had submitted the proposal to the government but the latter was not convinced.

On the proposed biometric verification system, many of those present had raised their doubts including the high probability of failure in recognising finger print especially when one grows older.

These are among the other issues touched on at the forum:

Minimum 21 days campaign period

  • Longer campaign period is crucial especially for postal voters residing overseas, as the ballots take a longer time to arrive at polling stations.
  • We not only want to know what the party's manifesto are but we also want to know the candidate's portfolio.
  • It will also allow candidates more time to disseminate information to rural areas and work the ground.
Wan Ahmad
  • 21 days of campaigning period may be too much but seven days too little and the EC is seriously considering extending into a reasonable period.
  • Police personnel on duty during elections have said that they don't have enough manpower to stand-by for 24 hours.
  • longer campaign period it incurs additional cost.
  • Malaysia is very advanced in information and communication technology, as there are rarely any new political parties, the manifestos of the party can be download off the Internet.
Free and fair access to media

  • Malaysian mainstream media fails to practice proportionate, fair and objective reporting for political parties of all divide.
  • EC must exercise to press for all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all political parties.
Wan Ahmad
  • The government argues that RTM is official broadcast station and they are worried if it is opened up to all other parties it will be abused to confuse the public.
  • The are no such predicament for other private stations and we have written to them and encouraged for equal coverage be given.

The ‘silent’ one’s AGM

G Palanivel will be chairing his first MIC AGM and perhaps the party's last before the next general election.

KUALA LUMPUR: Tomorrow, the curtain will rise on MIC’s 13th general assembly, the first for G Palanivel as president, and perhaps the last for the party before the next general election.

Palanivel, who took over the reins from former president S Samy Vellu last year, has the unenviable task of winning over the hearts and minds of the Indian community.

He also needs to court the support of those in MIC, especially when there are murmurs of discontent over his leadership style.

After 30 years of Samy Vellu, the hard-hitting and vociferous captain, MIC is still getting used to its new president, a deeply religious man who prefers to remain below the radar of controversies.

Even before the AGM could kick off, the meeting came under scrutiny after it was alleged that the leadership spent about RM2 million for the two-day event, which would be held in Putrajaya for the first time.

Some claimed that the cost of the China-purchased “goodie bags” itself was around RM800,000 and critics argued that the money could have been better spent to help poor Indian students.

Palanivel, who denied the allegations, was accused of attempting to bait the attending branch chairmen with fine food, five-star accommodation and expensive gifts to garner votes in the next party presidential election.

Palanivel is an untested leader, who rose up the ranks under the auspices of Samy Vellu, starting as his press secretary, later becoming his deputy and eventually succeeding him.

Pundits said that the 65th AGM was vital for MIC because of the next general election, which would be a make or break scenario for the Barisan Nasional component party.

In 2008, MIC came close to disappearing from the political map after the party only managed to retain three parliamentary seats and lost nine state seats. In the previous polls, MIC had a record of maintaining at least 90% of its seats.

Both Samy Vellu and Palanivel were also routed in their traditional strongholds of Sungai Siput and Hulu Selangor respectively. The latter was also overlooked by the BN leadership for the Hulu Selangor by-election last year where a junior MIC man P Kamalanathan was fielded instead.

However, Palanivel was later made a senator and given a deputy minister post. Ironically, his deputy, Dr S Subramaniam, one of those who survived the 2008 electoral onslaught, outranks him in the Cabinet by holding the post of human resources minister.

Avoiding the limelight

Palanivel, who was a former editor with the national news agency Bernama, had always maintained a low profile, preferring to avoid the media, unlike Samy Vellu who basked in the camera lights.

One of his media-avoiding strategies is to hold the party’s all-powerful central working committee (CWC) meetings at night.

As a former newsman, said one observer, Palanivel should understand the importance of the media, especially the alternative media in this era.

“He cannot avoid the cameras, he is the president and voice of a party. How can that voice remain silent when things are raging around him?” asked the observer, adding that Palanivel’s “silence is golden” approach even when attacked by the opposition did not bode well for his leadership and gave the impression that he was weak.

Since taking over, Palanivel’s biggest challenge was the controversy surrounding the Interlok novel.
To his credit, the president made several strong statements but was later seen as bowing to pressure from Umno.

Critics pointed out that being an “Umno-installed MIC president”, Palanivel could not cross the line and his hands were tied.

While Samy Vellu ruled with an iron fist, observers noted that his successor’s soft approach had created internal divisions and “little Napoleons”.

It was also pointed out that Palanivel had refrained from announcing new plans for the community, preferring to ride on the shoulders of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and the latter’s 1Malaysia slogan.
Programmes such as the “My Daftar” and “My Skill” were BN’s brainchilds, later adopted by MIC.

Challenge for the top post

Within MIC, Palanivel was said to be facing a challenge from his deputy, and might even witness a three-cornered fight for the top post.

The third contender could be former deputy president S Subramaniam, whom Palanivel defeated twice due to Samy Vellu’s strong influence over the branch chairmen.

Although Palanivel and his deputy denied the allegation of a rift, feedback from the ground indicated otherwise.

Recently, a SMS was widely circulated condemning Dr Subramaniam.

The text message read: “Indians in this country want the ministerial post to be held by the MIC president, not the deputy. Why is the deputy president so greedy and power-hungry? If he is truly a party man, he should hand over the post to the party president immediately and swap it with the deputy minister post (Voice of MIC divisions).”

Meanwhile, Palanivel’s supporters claimed that the president was now forced to undo “three decades of damage” inflicted by his predecessor.

According to them, the new president, unlike Samy Vellu, was more diplomatic and encouraged democracy in the party.

Palanivel, they added, also wanted to unite the different factions in MIC in order to strengthen the party so that it could discharge its duties more effectively for the Indian community.

“He has just taken over the leadership and people are expecting him to perform miracles.

“Samy Vellu has left behind rubbles and now Palanivel must slowly pick up the pieces and rebuild the house,” said a supporter, adding that the new president needed more time to prove himself.

However, with public sentiments having turned against BN, time was something MIC cannot afford to waste as the general election draws closer.

‘Freeing us was a political move’

Sungai Siput MP says the government had to release them following the immense pressure imposed by the rakyat.

KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Sosialis Malaysia leader Dr Michael D Jeyakumar today called the release of the six PSM members as a “smart political move” by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in face of diminishing public support.

“It’s definitely due to public pressure that we were released. He was losing popularity and realized that it too politically costly to keep holding us,” he told reporters just hours after the six PSM leaders were released from their Emergency Ordinance 28-day detention.

The prime minister however today said that release of the PSM members was a decision made by the police “based on their own observation”.

“We accept the decision made by the police, it is up to the attorney-general to decide on the next course of action. As a sovereign country we uphold the rule of law,” said Najib to reporters today.

However Jeyakumar, the Sungai Siput MP, noted that it was the pressure imposed by the people that had forced the government to release him and his party colleagues.

He said that there were strong movements by the people in holding candlelight vigils, peace marches and hunger strikes nationwide to call for the release of the six.

“It’s not because the police were being sensible. They were out to get us to use us as an example.”
He also said that PSM’s next step would be to gauge the situation and perhaps file a case as they had been wrongly detained under the Emergency Ordinance.

“It’s a huge step forward for democracy, a victory for all of us.”

Apart from the Sungai Siput MP, the others who had been detained were 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.

They were released today evening.

They were arrested in Kepala Batas on June 26 while distributing leaflets calling on the public to support Bersih 2.0′s demands for free and fair elections. The authorities later accused them of waging war against the King.

They were then re-arrested on July 2 under the Emergency Ordinance which allowed the police to detain suspects for up to 60 days without trial.

It was later revealed that they were detained for allegedly being “movers” for the July 9 rally organised by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0).

Jeyakumar’s hunger strike

During a triumphant victory celebration-cum-press conference this evening, the EO6 recounted their experiences in jail.

Sukumaran revealed how the interrogators from Special Branch had forced him to sing as they had seen him holding a microphone on the PSM website.

“I told them I could only sing Tamil songs, and I sang one about being questioned and giving answers. When he asked me what it meant I told him that I was saying ‘my mother is sitting there, but I am sitting here so I am sad’.”

Sugu had also sung a popular Tamil movie song about bringing people together.

Jeyakumar also joked about his hunger strike, saying that he had fasted for two days before being released.
“I was thinking, how long will I be continuing this? But I’ve already told the press about it, malu (embarrassed) if I break it.”

He also brushed off claims that the police had been professional.

“It was not because the police came to their senses or they became honest and professional. They were not,” he said.

“By the first week they should have known that we weren’t a threat – waging war against the King is more than t-shirts and a few people in a bus. If you look at records since 1998 when we became a party, there is zero indication we’ve used violence, religion, communist rhetoric. In 13 years, what have we done against the constitution?”

Engaged the Home Minister

PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan revealed that PSM had engaged with Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to push for the six’s release.

“We were willing to accept any kind of release, even conditional,” said Arutchelvan, adding that he’d welcome a court case.

He claimed that upon the release of the six, Hishammuddin had text messaged him saying “Over to you Aru.”

“We’ll work with Pakatan to topple Barisan Nasional next election,” he promised.

Sheila Jayakumar, Dr Jeyakumar’s sister, told FMT that she was relieved her brother and the other five members had been released.

“The emergency ordinance must go!”

Jeyakumar claimed that their detention had been in order to scare the Malaysian people into silence.
“But it did not work. The people were brave and it was because of them that I am free today,” he said.

PSM’s EO6 released without conditions

Sungai Siput MP Dr D Michael Jeyakumar and five of his PSM colleagues have been released after being detained under the Emergency Ordinance for 28 days.
PETALING JAYA: The police today released the six PSM leaders who had been held without trial under the Emergency Ordinance since July 2.

“The six have been released unconditionally. It is official,” said their legal counsel D Yudistira after a meeting with CID deputy director Hadi Ho Abdullah.
They were released at 5.30pm at the Sentul police district headquarters in Jinjang.

Their 30-day initial detention ends on Sunday.  The Home Ministry had the discretion to extend it for another 30 days and subsequently for two years.

The six are Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael D Jeyakumar, 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.

They were part of the 30 PSM members who were arrested on June 26 and remanded on suspicion of waging war against the King. After the expiry of their seven-day remand on July 2, the six were detained without trial under the EO.

The release comes a day after Jeyakumar embarked on a hunger strike urging the authorities to either charge the six in court or release them immediately.

Thrilled by the news

Jeyakumar’s wife R Mohana Rani said she was “thrilled” by the news. She is currently at the party branch in Sungai Siput where a hunger strike by 17 party members in support of the six is underway.

“Well we are thrilled,” she told FMT as shouts and cheers could be heard in the background. “You hear that!,” she added, “I think that expresses how we feel”.

Asked if she would be traveling to Kuala Lumpur to meet with her husband, she said that her husband may come to Sungai Siput instead.

PSM secretary general S Arutchelvan, when contacted, said he was in disbelief over the news. He was in the presence of the six released detainees at the Jinjang police station.

“We were anxious that they may not be released on Monday but we are very happy” he said.
“Actually I can’t believe that they have been released,” he added.

The released six will be holding a press conference later today.

Following the release, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said the government should now apologise for the detention and that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should repeal the Emergency Ordinance.

He said the release was a victory for the people.

In another development, Inspector General of Police Ismail Omar said that the Attorney General would now decide on the next course of action against the six.

Surendran says again: Attempted murder

PKR counters the police version of the July 9 events with videos shot at KL Sentral
PETALING JAYA:  PKR vice president N Surendran, ignoring a threat of legal action, today repeated his assertion that there was an attempt to commit murder in the tear gassing of Bersih marchers at KL Sentral last July 9.

Speaking at a press conference where reporters were shown videos to counter the police version of events during the march, Surendran accused the authorities of ignoring evidence of police brutality, which he said was abundant, and questioned the impartiality of Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail.

PKR’s video presentation came a week after police screened a collection of clips for the media to back their version of what happened on July 9.

“The police version is inaccurate and false,” Surendran said. “They have not responded to the serious incident that took place at the KL Sentral underpass.

“Again I state that the attack should be classified as attempted murder.”

Surendran first uttered the accusation on July 20. Last Wednesday, police interrogated him for 45 minutes for making the statement. He told reporters afterwards that he was being investigated under the Penal Code on suspicion of making statements jeopardising public order.

At today’s press conference, he quoted from the Penal Code a definition of murder:  “Without any excuse, A fires a loaded cannon into a crowd of persons and kills one of them. A is guilty of murder, although he may not have had a premeditated design to kill any particular individual.”

PKR’s video evidence

Revisiting the KL Sentral standoff, Surendran showed footage shot by FMT video journalist Saiful Hisyam Md Salleh as well as clips supplied by TV Selangor.

Lawyers for Liberty coordinator Fadiah Nadwa Fikri gave a running commentary.

“At minute 6.27 (of the FMT video), there were orders of  ‘Bawah, bawah’, meaning they were planning on aiming directly at the protesters,” she said. “This is the first unlawful act we want to point out.”

She also noted that the canisters had labels warning against shooting directly at people and shooting into an enclosed area.

“At minute 7.28, you can hear the Brickfields district police chief, Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid, asking reporters to step aside to avoid being shot at. This shows that the police already intended to shoot directly at protesters regardless of what happened.”

She noted that 12 shots could be heard. “Is it lawful for the police to fire so many shots at the protesters, especially in a confined place in the tunnel?”

Fadiah also referred to a TV Selangor video showing a policeman repeatedly beating a man with a baton although he was already restrained by two other policemen.

“That happened right after they fired the tear gas,” she said. “They tried to apprehend the marchers and were beating them for no reason.”

Surendran questioned why police investigations were directed against “peaceful marchers”.

“Where is the investigation on the unlawful and criminal acts of the police? Where is the investigation into the Tung Shin hospital incident? Where is the investigation into the severe injury of Anwar Ibrahim’s body guard?”

He said the authorities must classify the KL Sentral incident as murder. “I don’t see why the Attorney-General is not acting fairly in this.”

Can cause death

He also questioned why Abdul Bari had not been suspended from his duties.

“We all know tear gas has to be fired in an arc. Orders were given to fire directly at protesters and there was actually intention to inflict bodily harm. How high up did the order come from? That alone is enough to open up an IP (investigation paper) on the police. Criminal intent is there.”

Yew Boon Lye (left), who leads PKR’s Klang branch, told the press conference that he was in the KL Sentral march and that he was injured by a tear gas canister.

“We did not have the chance to get out when shots of tear gas were fired,” he said. “A canister scratched the side of my left eye and bruised it. My spectacles flew off. It was chaotic, full of gas, and I found it very hard to breathe, and felt like puking.

“I’m very disappointed with how cruel our security forces were. We had no intention of attacking them. They attacked us.”

Subang MP R Sivarasa said police were aiming the tear gas canisters at the heads of at least three people — Anwar, Yew and Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad.

According to research, he claimed, tear gas fired into enclosed spaces could cause death.
“Excessive tear gas was what cost Baharuddin Ahmad his life,” he said, referring to the protestor who died during the march.

Hindraf: Stop the wayang kulit politics!

Indians have been taken for ride with empty promises made by successive prime ministers to uplift the community, says Hindraf chief Waythamoorthy.

GEORGE TOWN: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should stop the wayang kulit politics of making empty promises to the Indian community at MIC’s annual general assembly, said Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy.

He said marginalised ethnic Indians, especially the 70% working class segment, were fed up and disgusted with the Umno-sponsored prime time zero political show.

He said ethnic Indians were weary of this show given that their plight and grievances have hardly been addressed by the BN government for 54 years.

“Enough is enough on this political sandiwara. Indians are fed up of this nonsense,” said Waythamoorthy.
He called on Najib, the country’s 6th prime minister, to discontinue the wayang kulit political tradition when he officially opens MIC’s 65th AGA tomorrow.

He noted that each year, the premier as Barisan Nasional chairman, would make various promises in his keynote address at the MIC annual summit.

“He will earn grandstand applause from delegates at the end of the speech. However, all those promises will be forgotten once he leaves the hall. They have never been fulfilled.

“This is what has been happening for past 54 years,” said the London-based Hindraf supremo.
He criticised both Umno and MIC elites of having a concealed social contract to hoodwink and deceive the Indian community since independence until today.

MIC complicit in short changing Indians

He hit out at MIC elites for being subservient to Umno and compromising Indians’ constitutional rights merely to protect and fulfill their own self interests.

In turn, he said Umno would always take care of these MIC elites’ needs just to keep them as political mandores.

During pre-independent talks, said Waythamoorthy, the MIC leadership had tacitly supported Umno and British political manipulation to permanently uphold Malay special position under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.

In his research into the Malaya’s pre-independence talks to facilitate his US$4 trillion class action suit against the British, he found that all safety measures proposed as permanent constitutional features to protect minority rights in the imminent Malay majority rule were dismantled.

He said these proposals were all omitted from the final draft of the Malaya Federal Constitution with the support of MIC and MCA, which were supposed to protect minority rights and interests.

“This had allowed Umno to misuse and manipulate Article 153 until today,” said Waythamoorthy.

Now do you know what I mean?

So which is it then? Is the DAP-led government of Penang neglecting the Malays or neglecting the Chinese? Can Umno and MCA please agree on this? Can we also hear whether MIC agrees with HINDRAF that it is actually the Indian Hindus who are the ones being neglected or does MIC want to contradict HINDRAF and declare that the Indian Hindus are being well looked after and are very happy, thank you very much?

Raja Petra Kamarudin
Malaysia's Penang Wanita MCA: Why no DID projects given to Chinese
(The Star/ANN) - Malaysia's Penang Wanita MCA wants to know why not a single state Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) project was given to Chinese contractors.

Its chairman Tan Cheng Liang said she believed the Chinese contractors had submitted tender applications for the projects.

"Has the state deemed their applications incomplete.”

"I am aghast and unable to comprehend why isn't a single contract awarded to a Chinese contractor," said Tan in response to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's statement on July 27, that contractors in all five districts for the DID projects were Malays, bumiputras and Indian Muslims of which women accounted for 20%.

Tan said since the DAP took over the state, not a single Chinese contractor in the five districts were given projects.

"The DAP-led state government should not simply award contracts to bumiputras to make themselves look fair.”

"They should ensure that the contractors are capable of guaranteeing a successful completion of the projects and there will not be problems later," she said.

Tan said there was proof that despite the support from the Chinese for Lim and DAP, the interest of the Chinese had been threatened after DAP came into power.

"They realise that they cannot rely on the Chinese forever but I hope the curry favour among other races is not done at the expense of the Chinese," she said.

MCA is alleging that the DAP-led government of Penang is sidelining the Chinese and is favouring the Malays, Bumiputeras and Indian Muslims. 

MCA, in case some of you still don’t know, is the second largest coalition partner in Barisan Nasional and is the original member of the Alliance Party that negotiated with the British for Merdeka for Malaya.

Penang Wanita MCA chairman Tan Cheng Liang was referring to a statement Lim Guan Eng was said to have made two days ago that the DID contractors in all five districts in Penang are Malays, Bumiputeras and Indian Muslims, with women accounting for 20%.

Umno, on the other hand, has claimed that since the new government took over in Penang in March 2008, the Malays have been sidelined and the ‘racist’ DAP-led Penang government just focuses on the Chinese.
Now, while the ‘husband’ alleges that the Penang government neglects the Malays, the ‘wife’, on the other hand, alleges that the Penang government neglects the Chinese. Clearly this ‘couple’ no longer sees eye-to-eye on the issue of whether it is the Malays or the Chinese who are being neglected.

MIC, the ‘second wife’, is in the meantime still foggy and blur (as usual) and is trying to figure out what stupid thing to say (as usual). MIC can’t jump onto the bandwagon and allege that the Penang government is also neglecting the Indian Hindus. This is exactly what HINDRAF is claiming. So, if MIC claims the same thing, then HINDRAF can turn around and say, “Ah hah! Did we not say so? Even MIC agrees with what we say. That means HINDRAF was right all along. The Indian Hindus are being neglected.”

Anyway, this is what the people in Barisan Nasional are saying. Now, if someone from Pakatan Rakyat said something like this do you know what the opposition supporters would say? They would say MCA has been bought. MCA is a Trojan horse. MCA is trying to sabotage Barisan Nasional. MCA is secretly and maliciously trying to help the opposition by contradicting Umno.

That is the advantage of being in Barisan Nasional. They allow you freedom to speak without calling you a traitor. But whether you still have freedom after you speak is another matter. Maybe not! But you do have freedom to speak in spite of not having freedom after you speak.

So which is it then? Is the DAP-led government of Penang neglecting the Malays or neglecting the Chinese? Can Umno and MCA please agree on this? And can we also hear whether MIC agrees with HINDRAF that it is actually the Indian Hindus who are the ones being neglected or does MIC want to contradict HINDRAF and declare that the Indian Hindus are being well looked after and are very happy, thank you very much?

Politicians! Now do you know why we need to guard against politicians? They will take pains to make sure that after almost 54 years of Merdeka we still focus on issues concerning Malays, Chinese and Indians and not look at things in the context of Malaysians.