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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More ministers won't help sorry state of Indians

By P Dev Anand Pillai,


It may seem like a historic feat for Prime Minister Najib Razak to return to how his father had run his cabinet way back in the 70s with two Indians being given a full ministership.
During that time it was Sambanthan and Manickavasagam - but all that changed after Samy Vellu took over from Manickavasagam in 1979 and today after 32 years are we getting two ministers.
But will these two ministerships bring in the actual reform initiatives that the Indians need?

Will the two ministers be given portfolios that can uplift the Indians from the years of neglect? Or will it be another sweetener to get Indian votes and then make them beggars again?

Take education as a prime example; when we see the day when Chinese and Tamil languages be brought back as a Pupil's Own Languages (POL) subject in our national schools? Why can't we be like Singapore, the nearest country whose example that we can learn from, where we see that knowing another language is important and it helps them secure places in universities and scholarships later as they further their studies.

Here it is always about race and positions. Today's schools' leadership roles are all dominated by the Malays; will we see more Indian headmasters and headmistresses appointed? Will we see more Indian males being given a chance and encouraged to take up teaching as a profession and staying in schools to teach and mould our future generations, just like what they did in the yesteryears?

What the current set of MIC leaders have forgotten is that as they had concentrated on amassing wealth when they found that all their pleas were falling on deaf ears, the Indians were going through a phase of transformation from rural agricultural based livelihoods to becoming the new urban underclass. They had no other alternative but to come to the urban areas when their estates cashed in on the lucrative land track deals that land hungry developers were after.

With the emergence of this new underclass coupled with the fact that many Indians were retiring from civil service and not being replaced by Indians but by Malays, the Indians were simply left to fend for themselves.

Some had connections, whilst others had an opportunity to enter into the 'Ali Baba' mode of doing business. It did help somewhat but the vast majority where simply left behind.

Without much education except that for mother tongue education, many from this urban underclass had to look to other means to survive. Crime was one of the easiest ways out and that is one reason why the Indians form the majority of those who are being held under the Emergency Ordinance(EO) in Simpang Renggam, Johor.

Will the two ministers address these issues and allow the hardworking Indians a chance to show their mettle without succumbing to the 'Ali Baba' model? Will Indians be given loans? Will we see Indian appointment in government linked companies (GLCs) ?

Can we see Indians being allowed to own and run petrol stations? Will we see Indians who are now doing well in the scrap metal business be encouraged to go big in the metal industry and become the next Laskmi Mittal?

Or will these two ministers tell the Indians that they will have to succumb to the 'Ali Baba' model after all, and depend on the Malays for licenses, sub-contracts and other forms of government hand-outs which are dished out to the Malays first as part of 'affirmative action', who then sell them to the Chinese and the Indians?

Instead of giving two full ministerships, it will be better to have bold and courageous Indian leadership who will question the PM and his cabinet if there has been negligence and neglect like what we saw in the death in police custody of A Kugan, and ask that Indian equity be raised based on the ability of the Indians in free market without begging the Malays for licenses and forcing them to take on bumi sleeping partners just for the sake of fulfilling the 30 percent stake that the Malays demand, without lifting a finger?

None of the current set of MIC leaders have been bold enough to debate with the government on fundamental constitutional rights and human rights. It has always been the opposition Indian leaders, who always have to pay the price for being bold enough to demand that the government responds, so will giving two full ministerships do any good here?

Further with most of the current set of MIC leaders being educated in the 'Samy Vellu School of Politics and Social Governance' of the Indians, we can expect more camps and factions amongst the party members instead of good and healthy competition.

Furthermore, the two full ministers will have to have the courage to debate with the Malays in the education ministry as to why the novel Interlok was introduced as a history textbook when there are better books written before by other well known educationists in the country of whom many were Indians.

What the two full ministers will have to do is to make sure that the Malays understand what the concept of equality is and the Indians believe in the concept of equality, instead of simply accepting whatever that has been stated in Article 153 of the federal constitution.

The Indian founding fathers may have traded these rights for a right to stay here and become citizens but today after nearly 800 years of history and active relations for the past 300 years, aren't we Indians also the 'putras' of this 'bumi' ?

Why must we tolerate being called and made fun of as pariahs and pendatangs? Why must the term 'go back to India' come to the forethought of Malay politicians each and every time there is a spat with the Indians?

Why must we stomach the threat of revoking citizenships? Will the two ministers stand up for this?

Therefore having two Indian ministers in the cabinet is not enough, it must dawn on the prime minister that he is not just a PM for the Malays but he must acknowledge that Chinese and Indians also make up what we call Malaysians, and their problem is a Malaysian problem which every leader be it Malay, Chinese or Indian will have to share and try to solve to make live better and equal for everyone.

Kua: France will unlock Scorpene truth

Lack of faith in Malaysia's judicial system drove Suaram to seek out French lawyer, William Bourdon.
EXCLUSIVE - FMT

PETALING JAYA: When Kua Kia Soong says he has been concerned about arms spending in Malaysia for “a long time” he means for about four decades.

The years spent in keen observation of the government’s defence spending culminated in 1994 when he blew the whistle on the “Arms-for-Aid scandal.

The fiasco revolved around the funding of the Pergau hydroelectric dam which was linked to RM5 billion in arms sales to British overseas aid in the form of Aid and Trade Provision (ATP) funding.

Kua, who was Petaling Jaya MP for DAP at the time, was disgusted that while the British media pounced on the scandal, its Malaysian counterparts chose to turn a blind eye.

He has since then traded his parlimentarian seat for that of Suaram director but the swap has done nothing to abate his vigilance of the government’s arms spending.

It has instead propelled him into the heart of the country’s most high profile arms deal – the purchase of two Scorpene submarines from France.

The deal is mired in controversy with allegations of kickbacks and linked to the murder of Mongolian national, Altantuya Shaariibuu.

“The Scorpene French provider, DCNS, is well-known to have given commissions in the Karachi case and also in its sale of frigates to Taiwan,” Kua, 60, explained to FMT.

(The Karachi car bomb in May 2002 was reported to be related to a case of retro-commissions and kickbacks involving the Pakistani state and French politicians for an arms deal.)

Suaram’s suspicions arose as it studied the scandals involving DCNS and it began enquiring about the possibility of pursuing the commissions involved in the Scorpene deal.

“We discovered that (French human rights lawyer) William Bourdon was pursuing the cases in the French judicial system so we got in touch with him,” Kua said. “Bourdon responded positively as he had been shadowing the Karachi and Taiwan cases which were linked to DCNS”.

Suaram applied through its French lawyers as a civil party for a judicial review in the French court in November 2009 to investigate the submarine deal. In April 2010, the French courts accepted the request to investigate Suaram’s claim of corruption. The French investigative judge who will hear the case will be picked next month.
Bourdon however was given the boot back to Paris by the Malaysian government during his visit here last month after he spoke at a Scorpene fundraising dinner in Penang. His deportation was decried by various quarters as an attempt by the government to muzzle the truth.

Here are excerpts from the interview with Kua:
Did Suaram consider hiring a local lawyer for the Scorpene case? 

Hiring a local lawyer to do what? The Malaysian judicial system has failed as far as getting to the real culprits who are responsible for Altantuya’s murder.

Did the Malaysian court try to delve into the possibility of commissions in the submarine deal? No.
This recourse to the French courts is possible through the inquisitorial system in France. It is different from the British/Malaysian system in that the judge there has investigative powers.

It is possible to pursue this in France because the submarine purveyor is their French state company DCNS and what is at issue has consequences for both French and Malaysian tax payers.

What are your main concerns regarding the Scorpene deal?

The Scorpene submarines are the biggest single arms purchase to date costing more than RM7 billion. Firstly do we need submarines in our defence policy? If we do, we really require at least 10 submarines to be able to properly cover Malaysian waters!

Secondly this mammoth arms deal is merely an opportunity for huge commissions to be paid to government officials. These are normally very difficult to prove but at last, the French judicial provides us with a rare opportunity to get at the truth surrounding the commissions.

How hopeful are you that the French courts will be able to uncover this truth?

The French judicial system is more independent and with the investigative judge being able to order DCNS officials to court and for search and subpoena powers to probe documents in the DCNS offices, I believe we should be able to produce evidence to show that commissions were given out.

In fact we know that during the investigations into the older Karachi case, DCNS officials have revealed their knowledge of commissions being paid out in all their arms dealings.

Do you think that the investigations would also shed light onto Altantuya’s murder?

If per chance, there are journals made by DCNS officials in the loop, we might well come up with such information surrounding Altantuya’s murder.

If the French court rules a misappropriation of public funds on Malaysia’s side of the purchase, what would be Suaram’s next course of action ?

We will call for the prime minister (Najib Tun Razak) to resign and for a judicial review of the Altantuya murder case. If the government stalls on this, then it is time for a mass protest bigger than any the country has ever seen. I think this is the strength of the people’s feelings about this case.

Will Bourdon be returning to Malaysia anytime soon?

After the rude and uncivil treatment he got at KLIA, I doubt he will be in a hurry to return to Malaysia under the BN government. He only came to brief Suaram and Malaysians about the case in France and to give us assurance that he would do his utmost to get to the truth.

The Defence Minister (Ahmad Zahidi) merely exposed his ignorance of the case when he implied that Bourdon was here to “defend the case in Malaysia”.

By detaining and deporting a world-renowned lawyer, the BN government has undone everything the Tourism Ministry has been trying to do to portray the country as a civilised country that respects human rights, international law and Asian values.

Abused women face challenges in Vietnam

Domestic violence is rife in Vietnam where one in three married women report they have suffered physical or sexual abuse.
FEATURE - FMT
HANOI: When Tran Thi Thu Hang’s husband saw a male servant plucking her grey hairs, he flew into a jealous rage and subjected her to a vicious 15-hour attack.

The case caught the attention of local media, not only for the extent of the brutality but also because it highlighted the festering problem of domestic violence in Vietnamese society.

Hang, 46, was hung by her arms from the ceiling and beaten with a hammer, broken beer bottles and a steel chain on July 18. To stem the flow of blood, her husband, Luu Nguyen Tan, 48, used a sewing needle to close her wounds.

Neighbours finally alerted the police and Hang was rushed unconscious to hospital where doctors said she could have died if she had been admitted any later. The case was reported to the police and
Tan was arrested for “deliberately causing injuries”.

Domestic violence is rife in Vietnam, according to a study released in November by the government and the United Nations. One in three married women report that they have suffered physical or sexual violence from their husbands at some time in their lives.

The problem is damaging the physical and mental health of many women, the study says.
Legislation aimed at preventing domestic violence has not brought about much change, according to some gender experts. Many blame authorities for failing to protect women.

Tight-knit society
 
“The laws on domestic violence do not work well in reality,” said psychologist Khuat Thu Hong, director of Hanoi’s Institute for Social Development Studies.
Hong said women are often treated as second-class citizens. Many people believe it is hard for a very well-educated woman to find a husband. It is not even socially acceptable for women to drive a
motorbike when their husbands or boyfriends are on the back.

In Vietnam’s traditional Confucian culture, many people believe it is the woman’s duty to remain passive and accept any amount of abuse from her husband in order to ensure harmony in the family. The ideal of the harmonious family is often valued higher than the rights of individuals, so women face pressure to stay with abusive husbands.

“I sometimes want to go to parties with friends, but my husband doesn’t allow me,” said Nguyen Thu Nga, a media employee in Hanoi.

“He often beats me if I don’t obey him, so I don’t have much chance to go out with friends.”
Some gender experts say Western techniques for preventing domestic violence by helping women flee to new lives do not work well in Vietnam’s tight-knit society, where information spreads rapidly and social connections are strong, and not always to the victims’ advantage.

They say efforts to stop domestic violence should focus on bringing witnesses and advocates to intervene on women’s behalf within their communities.

Main breadwinners

The Women’s Union follows legal guidelines recommending that women seeking divorce go through three attempts to reconcile with their husbands, supervised by police and social welfare staff. But those procedures are complicated, and many women may suffer even worse repercussions from their husbands for trying.

In May, Nguyen Thi My Linh, 36, reportedly poisoned herself after being beaten by her husband.
“Obviously, domestic violence is challenging authorities to do more to promote women’s rights,” Hong said.

Despite being victims, most women don’t want their husbands to go to prison because their families would lose their main breadwinners and their children would suffer. Some fear they will be even more violent when they are released.

That passivity compounds the problem, said psychologist Nguyen Kim Quy from the Institute of Vietnamese Education and Psychology.

“Women’s resigned attitude is preventing them from enjoying their rights,” Hong said. “Traditional Confucian culture has existed in Vietnam for nearly 1,000 years, so it still influences people’s behaviour very strongly.”

The case of Hang reflected both sides of the dilemma.

“I don’t remember how many times he has beaten me since we started to live together,” Hang said. “He beats me for any reason and I just kept silent. The more I say, the more he beats me.”

However, after receiving news of her husband’s arrest, the tortured spouse expressed regret.
“I don’t want him to be put in prison,” she said.
-dpa

Negara dalam keadaan darurat

Sinar Harian
oleh SYAHREDZAN JOHAN


Tahukah anda pada ketika ini, negara kita berada dalam keadaan darurat? Jangan terperanjat, ini diakui sendiri oleh Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri di Parlimen.

Beliau menyatakan, terdapat dua Perisytiharan Darurat iaitu pada 1964 dan 1969 yang berkuat kuasa di seluruh negara dan masih belum ditamatkan.

Menurut Perkara 150(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan, jika YDPA berpuas hati bahawa suatu darurat besar yang sedang berlaku dan keselamatan, atau kehidupan ekonomi, atau ketenteraman awam dalam negara adalah terancam oleh kerananya, maka baginda boleh mengeluarkan suatu Perisytiharan Darurat.

Apabila Perisytiharan Darurat diumumkan, YDPA boleh memasyhurkan apa-apa ordinan sebagaimana yang didapatinya perlu mengikut hal keadaan. Maknanya, undang-undang (yang dikenali sebagai ‘ordinan darurat’) boleh digubal tanpa perlu diluluskan oleh Parlimen dan undang-undang ini akan mempunyai kesan seperti sebuah Akta Parlimen sehinggalah ia dibatalkan atau dimansuhkan.

Lebih penting lagi, apa-apa ordinan darurat yang dimasyhurkan adalah sah walaupun ia tidak konsisten dengan mana-mana peruntukan Perlembagaan, melainkan percanggahan itu adalah berkenaan dengan agama, kewarganegaraan atau bahasa. Oleh itu, suatu ordinan darurat boleh menggantung kebebasan dan hak asasi kita yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan dan ia adalah sah.

Contoh ordinan darurat yang telah dimasyhurkan ialah Ordinan Darurat (Ketenteraman Awam dan Mencegah Jenayah) 1969 yang sering kali digunakan untuk menahan seseorang tanpa bicara.

Seksyen 3 ordinan tersebut memberi kuasa kepada pihak polis untuk menahan tanpa bicara seseorang atas dasar mencegah ancaman terhadap ketenteraman awam atau jenayah melibatkan keganasan selama tidak lebih dari 60 hari. Ini dipanggil ‘penahanan polis’. Manakala Seksyen 4 ordinan tersebut pula memberi kuasa kepada Menteri Dalam Negeri untuk mengeluarkan perintah bagi menahan seseorang tanpa bicara untuk suatu tempoh yang tidak melebihi dua tahun. Ini dipanggil ‘Perintah Tahanan’. Perintah Tahanan ini boleh diperbaharui berkali-kali tanpa had.

Jika dilihat, kuasa-kuasa diberikan kepada polis dan Menteri Dalam Negeri di bawah ordinan tersebut adalah sama dengan yang diberikan di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri atau ISA. Kedua-duanya memberi kuasa kepada pihak berkuasa untuk menahan seseorang itu tanpa bicara.

Tahanan selalunya akan memfailkan permohonan habeas corpus di Mahkamah untuk mendapatkan perintah bahawa penahanan mereka tidak mengikut undang-undang (unlawful detention). Sekiranya penahanan itu hanya penahanan polis di bawah Seksyen 3, masih ada peluang untuk berjaya kerana pihak polis harus memberi justifikasi objektif mengapa mereka menahan.

Tetapi, sekiranya ia adalah Perintah Tahanan di bawah Seksyen 4, menteri tidak perlu memberi justifikasi, sudah cukup beliau berpuas hati terdapat sebab-sebab untuk menahan dan Mahkamah tidak akan mempersoalkan sebab-sebab tersebut.

Di samping itu, Seksyen 7C ordinan tersebut menyatakan Mahkamah tidak boleh mempersoalkan atau menyemak semula bidang kuasa menteri kecuali terdapat kekhilafan dari segi prosedur, contohnya jika Perintah Tahanan tidak ditandatangani.

Oleh sebab itu, peguam yang mewakili tahanan akan sentiasa memohon supaya bicara permohonan habeas corpus dipercepatkan sebelum Perintah Tahanan dikeluarkan oleh menteri. Secara jujur, adalah mustahil untuk mana-mana pihak memberi justifikasi mengapa negara ini masih berada di bawah keadaan darurat. Tidak ada perintah berkurung, tidak ada keadaan berbahaya, tidak ada apa-apa mengancam keselamatan, kehidupan ekonomi atau ketenteraman awam. British telah lama pulang, komunis militan tidak lagi berjuang dan kita tidak berperang dengan mana-mana negara.

Maka, keadaan darurat yang membelenggu negara ini sewajarnya ditamatkan dengan serta-merta. Jika tidak, bagaimana hendak terangkan kepada dunia bahawa negara Truly Asia ini masih berada dalam darurat yang berdekad lamanya?

Analysis: How to wipe out Islamic terror



The terrorist blast in Mumbai on July 13, 2011, requires decisive soul-searching by the Hindus of India. Hindus cannot accept to be killed in this halal fashion, continuously bleeding every day till the nation finally collapses. Terrorism I define here as the illegal use of force to overawe the civilian population to make it do or not do an act against its will and well-being.

Islamic terrorism is India’s number one problem of national security. About this there will be no doubt after 2012. By that year, I expect a Taliban takeover in Pakistan and the Americans to flee Afghanistan. Then, Islam will confront Hinduism to “complete unfinished business”. Already the successor to Osama bin Laden as al-Qaeda leader has declared that India is the priority target for that terrorist organisation and not the USA.

Fanatic Muslims consider Hindu-dominated India “an unfinished chapter of Islamic conquests”. All other countries conquered by Islam 100% converted to Islam within two decades of the Islamic invasion. Undivided India in 1947 was 75% Hindu even after 800 years of brutal Islamic rule. That is jarring for the fanatics.

In one sense, I do not blame the Muslim fanatics for targeting Hindus. I blame Hindus who have taken their individuality permitted in Sanatan Dharma to the extreme. Millions of Hindus can assemble without state patronage for the Kumbh Mela, completely self-organised, but they all leave for home oblivious of the targeting of Hindus in Kashmir, Mau, Melvisharam and Malappuram and do not lift their little finger to help organise Hindus. If half the Hindus voted together, rising above caste and language, a genuine Hindu party would have a two-thirds majority in Parliament and the assemblies.

The first lesson to be learnt from the recent history of Islamic terrorism against India and for tackling terrorism in India is that the Hindu is the target and that Muslims of India are being programmed by a slow reactive process to become radical and thus slide into suicide against Hindus. It is to undermine the Hindu psyche and create the fear of civil war that terror attacks are organised.

Hindus must collectively respond as Hindus against the terrorist and not feel individually isolated or, worse, be complacent because he or she is not personally affected. If one Hindu dies merely because he or she was a Hindu, then a bit of every Hindu also dies. This is an essential mental attitude, a necessary part of a virat (committed) Hindu.

We need a collective mindset as Hindus to stand against the Islamic terrorist. The Muslims of India can join us if they genuinely feel for the Hindu. That they do I will not believe unless they acknowledge with pride that though they may be Muslims, their ancestors were Hindus. If any Muslim acknowledges his or her Hindu legacy, then we Hindus can accept him or her as a part of the Brihad Hindu Samaj (greater Hindu society) which is Hindustan. India that is Bharat that is Hindustan is a nation of Hindus and others whose ancestors were Hindus. Others, who refuse to acknowledge this, or those foreigners who become Indian citizens by registration, can remain in India but should not have voting rights (which means they cannot be elected representatives).

Any policy to combat terrorism must begin with requiring each and every Hindu becoming a virat Hindu. For this, one must have a Hindu mindset that recognises that there is vyaktigat charitra (personal character) and rashtriya charitra (national character). For example, Manmohan Singh has high personal character, but by being a rubber stamp of a semi-literate Sonia Gandhi and waffling on all national issues, he has proved that he has no rashtriya charitra.

The second lesson for combating terrorism is that we must never capitulate or concede any demand, as we did in 1989 (freeing five terrorists in exchange for Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s daughter Rubaiya) and in 1999, freeing three terrorists after the hijack of Indian Airlines flight IC-814.

The third lesson is that whatever and however small the terrorist incident, the nation must retaliate massively. For example, when the Ayodhya temple was sought to be attacked, we should have retaliated by re-building the Ram temple at the site.

According to bleeding heart liberals, terrorists are born or bred because of illiteracy, poverty, oppression, and discrimination. They argue that instead of eliminating them, the root cause of these four disabilities in society should be removed. This is rubbish. Osama bin laden was a billionaire. In the failed Times Square episode, failed terrorist Shahzad was from a highly placed family in Pakistan and had an MBA from a reputed US university.

It is also a ridiculous idea that terrorists cannot be deterred because they are irrational and willing to die. Terrorist masterminds have political goals and a method in their madness. An effective strategy to deter terrorism is to defeat those political goals and to rubbish them by counter-terrorist action.Thus, I advocate the following strategy to negate the political goals of Islamic terrorism in India.

Goal 1: Overawe India on Kashmir.

Strategy: Remove Article 370 and resettle ex-servicemen in the valley. Create Panun Kashmir for the Hindu Pandit community. Look for or create an opportunity to take over PoK. If Pakistan continues to back terrorists, assist the Baluchis and Sindhis to get their independence.

Goal 2: Blast temples, kill Hindu devotees.

Strategy: Remove the masjid in Kashi Vishwanath temple and the 300 masjids at other temple sites.

Goal 3: Turn India into Darul Islam.

Strategy: Implement the uniform civil code, make learning of Sanskrit and singing of Vande Mataram mandatory, and declare India a Hindu Rashtra in which non-Hindus can vote only if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus. Rename India Hindustan as a nation of Hindus and those whose ancestors were Hindus.

Goal 4: Change India’s demography by illegal immigration, conversion, and refusal to adopt family planning.

Strategy: Enact a national law prohibiting conversion from Hinduism to any other religion. Re-conversion will not be banned. Declare that caste is not based on birth but on code or discipline. Welcome non-Hindus to re-convert to the caste of their choice provided they adhere to the code of discipline. Annex land from Bangladesh in proportion to the illegal migrants from that country staying in India. At present, the northern third from Sylhet to Khulna can be annexed to re-settle illegal migrants.

Goal 5: Denigrate Hinduism through vulgar writings and preaching in mosques, madrassas, and churches to create loss of self-respect amongst Hindus and make them fit for capitulation.

Strategy: Propagate the development of a Hindu mindset.

India can solve its terrorist problem within five years by such a deterrent strategy, but for that we have to learn the four lessons outlined above, and have a Hindu mindset to take bold, risky, and hard decisions to defend the nation. If the Jews could be transformed from lambs walking meekly to the gas chambers to fiery lions in just 10 years, it should not be difficult for Hindus in much better circumstances (after all we are 83% of India), to do so in five years.

Guru Gobind Singh showed us how just five fearless persons under spiritual guidance can transform a society. Even if half the Hindu voters are persuaded to collectively vote as Hindus, and for a party sincerely committed to a Hindu agenda, then we can forge an instrument for change. And that is the bottom line in the strategy to deter terrorism in a democratic Hindustan at this moment of truth.

The writer is president of the Janata Party, a former Union minister, and a professor of economics.

Jihadis Threaten Belgium Over Burqa Ban

A typical call for interfaith dialogue from the al-Qaeda-linked Shumukh al-Islam forum
A typical call for interfaith dialogue from the al-Qaeda-linked Shumukh al-Islam forum
“O Allah, destroy their buildings with explosives, their cars with booby-traps, and their men with sniper rifles,” Contributor, al-Qaeda-linked Shumukh al-Islam Jihad Forum
A terrorism-monitoring organization said Friday that jihadists are threatening Belgium with terrorism for having imposed a burqa ban.

In an email to subscribers, the United States-based SITE Monitoring Service quoted posts on jihadist internet sites as urging the bombing, torture and killing of Belgians. In its introduction to the posts, SITE made no assessment of the severity of the threat.

According to SITE, on July 24 — the day after Belgium’s burqa ban took effect — someone called Faz al-Shaheed posted a comment on the Shumukh al-Islam forum saying, “This is what your parliament unanimously decided except for one representative, to ban the wearing of the veil in your small country. So, by this decision you have ignited unto yourselves a fire without an extinguisher. … I urge our Muslim brethren in Belgium to do what they can of bombing, destroying, torturing and assassinating them, because they are the ones who started it.”


That post drew several like-minded comments on the burqa ban in response, SITE said.

“O Allah, destroy their buildings with explosives, their cars with booby-traps, and their men with sniper rifles,” someone using the name Fashudu al-Withaq wrote, the monitoring organization said.

Another poster, using the name Asad al-Malhama, reportedly gave technical suggestions for making a bomb, then added, “Don’t forget to add nails and shrapnel on the outside in order to cause the largest number of death and injuries to the criminal enemies of Allah.”

Another poster urged that “gifts” for France not be forgotten, as France was the first country in Europe to ban the veil.

Belgium’s ban on wearing the burqa took effect July 23, having been overwhelmingly approved by the parliament. Its supporters said it was needed as a security measure.

A lawyer representing two Belgian women who wear the burqa has appealed to a court to declare the ban unconstitutional.
“Don’t forget to add nails and shrapnel on the outside in order to cause the largest number of death and injuries to the criminal enemies of Allah.”
This isn’t your typical keyboard warrior/Jihadi Kidz talking shop. The password-protected Shumukh al-Islam forum is closely linked to al-Qaeda, and in addition to the usual incitement to violence against the kuffar, the site boasts training courses, manuals and other resources for the well-connected Jihadi.

So these are not idle threats. But it’s doubtful anyone will notice until something bad happens. Despite this story revealing real, deadly threats and violent incitement against an EU member state for imposing a burqa ban, it has been buried by Western mainstream media. in fact is has received much greater coverage in Islamic countries.

Despite the ‘nose-on-your-face’ evidence of Islam’s supremacist onslaught against the values of the West, most media and √©lite commentators seem to prefer to pin the blame for global jihad on blond, ‘white supremacist fundamentalist Christians’.
[Source: AP]

In huff over Palanivel’s ‘sole rep’ in BN claim

Two pro-BN Indian parties are upset over MIC chief's declaration that only his party has the legitimacy to represent the community in the BN.

PETALING JAYA: Indian-based pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) parties are up in arms over G Palanivel’s announcement that only MIC has the legitimate right to represent the community in the BN.

Yesterday, at the party’s 65th annual general meeting, the MIC president declared that MIC would walk out if other Indian parties were given membership into the BN.

“Leaving BN is his (Palanivel’s) wish. Joining BN is my right,” Malaysian Indian United Party (MIUP) president, S Nallakaruppan, said, adding that he was unhappy with the former’s statement.

Nallakaruppan said Palanivel’s statement was a veiled threat to other Indian-based parties which are BN-friendly.

“If no other Indian parties are allowed to be in BN, the community will go to the opposition,” said Nallakaruppan who was MIC Youth chief in the 1980s.

Indian Progressive Front (IPF) president M Sambanthan, meanwhile, said that Palanivel had delivered a wrong message.

“He is just MIC president, not president of all the Malaysian Indians,” said Sambanthan who took over the IPF’s mantle last year.

“What Palanivel said is against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s wish for unity. What if we, in IPF, do not back MIC in the general election?” he asked.

Sambanthan told FMT that IPF would be able to swing the support of 200,000 Indians from Pakatan Rakyat in favour of BN if his party is given full membership.

Meanwhile, on unity talks, both party leaders said that there were no attempts by MIC to engage in unity talks for the sake of the Indian community.

Three months ago, MIC was involved in unity talks with MIUP and IPF.

Sambanthan, however, told FMT that his party’s Youth and women’s wing were invited for a talk with MIC tomorrow.

Both MIUP and IPF leaders said they had no problems working together to unite Indians under the BN banner.

Third Force must support PSM leaders for Parliament

COMMENT (Malaysiakini) While the Third Force in Malaysian politics is trying to garner its candidates for the next general elections, the most obvious choices have been provided by the proven leaders of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia.

They have at least seven capable leaders who are suitable as candidates for Parliament, namely: Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, Dr Nasir Hashim, S Arutchelvam, M Saraswathy, Choo Chon Kai, Rani Rasiah, and K Kunasekaran.

NONEIn the 2008 general elections, PSM's Dr Kumar (right) stood and won the Sungai Siput constituency against MIC President Samy Vellu.

It is time for PSM to move forward and put more capable socialist leaders in Parliament at the next general elections.

I see no reason why their Chairman Dr Nasir Hashim and their Secretary General Arutchelvam should not be unanimous choices of the opposition alliance to stand for Parliament.

These PSM leaders listed above easily meet the conditions set by the Third Force of being principled and they are not liable to become toads, donkeys or moronic oxen, or be seduced by careerism.
Stringent standards
Their party has more stringent standards than the Third Force has elicited so far - a platform set on a socialist road to development and based on direct action and peoples' empowerment.

Furthermore, these PSM leaders have a proven record of serving the people for many years and have sacrificed their freedoms for their principles. They do not have any odour of opportunism that many politicians have.

Such a socialist alternative is the differentia specifica that marks the Third Force from the BN or Pakatan.

Its first objective is the overthrow of the BN regime that has divided and oppressed the Malaysian peoples since Independence and thrived on neo-liberal capitalist exploitation.

azlanAs in the 2008 general elections, PSM / Third Force has forged a strategic alliance with Pakatan which is committed to overthrowing the BN coalition and to reinstating our basic freedoms, liberal democracy and human rights.

In the course of this strategic alliance and knowing the sizeable number of defections from Pakatan Rakyat to BN after the 2008 elections, we hope that Pakatan will compromise realistically with the Third Force when the time comes for candidates' selection.

Independent candidates selection committee

Pakatan often criticises the BN for not forming truly independent committees to solve public issues.

In this respect and to avoid the usual horse trading and bad form it gives the federal opposition, we hope that Pakatan / Third Force will accept an 'Independent Peoples' Candidates' Selection Committee' to objectively vet the suitability of the peoples' candidates for the 13th general elections.

After all, it is an accepted fact that the 2008 tsunami was more the Malaysian peoples' disgust with the BN than their love for Pakatan.

Respected leaders among the NGOs will be the most suitable impartial members of this committee. In the process, this will also help Pakatan by minimising the bickering that happens during the inter-party negotiations before every general election.
After the downfall of BN, the struggle against neo-liberal capitalism will certainly go on under a Pakatan government as we fight for the rights and interests of the people and strive for a socialist path of development.

Pakatan has not renounced neo-liberal policies which have allowed multi-national corporations and the big companies to plunder the country's resources, buying up privatised resources at rock bottom prices.

Cheap labour
Powerful capitalist interests control our resources and markets and thrive on the cheap labour of Malaysian workers and migrant labour.

The price has been paid by workers and the poor whose living standards continue to be pushed downwards.

This resistance to unrestrained neo-liberalism is led by socialists who try to empower oppressed people in the process of democratic participatory socialism.

Popular democratic participation is not just in economic but also political institutions. There is a need for state intervention and nationalisation of basic resources such as oil and gas; utilities such as water, energy; health, education and social services.

Unfettered capital transfers by speculators and finance capitalists must also be checked.

Socialists believe that real democracy will never be attained merely through periodic general elections and relying on Parliament alone.
The basis of democratic planning in a socialist order is through direct action and mass movement for there to be true grassroots democracy.

labour day rally klcc 010506Power should be based on the self-organisation of workers and other communities in their struggle against capital. Directly elected workplace and community councils take responsibility for their own affairs and this is linked to decisions for society at large.

In the spirit of enlightened progress, Pakatan should welcome this battle of ideas for the hearts and minds of the people.

But first, let us work together toward the overthrow of this corrupt and oppressive BN government!

DR KUA KIA SOONG, a former MP, was principal of the New Era College, Kajang. He is also a director of human rights group Suaram.

Shamala's lawyers told to discharge themselves

(Malaysiakini) The family of nurse S Shamala - who is embroiled in a legal battle for custody of her children following her husband's conversion to Islam - has instructed her lawyers to discharge themselves.

However, the Court of Appeal would not allow this to take effect until the lawyers can officially inform Shamala, who is said to be living in Australia with her two sons.

The court therefore postponed the hearing which had been fixed for today.

The three-member panel was led by Justice Abu Samah Nordin and also comprised Justices Azhar Mohamed and Alizatul Khair Othman.

Shamala's ex-husband Muhammad Ridzwan Abdullah (formerly Dr M Jeyaganesh) had converted their children to Islam without her knowledge, triggering a long-running legal case to resolve a number of issues.

Her lawyers were earlier allowed to withdraw her appeal against the High Court ruling on April 13, 2004, that it has no jurisdiction to hear the matter of the children's conversion to Islam as the subject matter is under the Syariah Court's purview.
She also withdrew her cross-appeal for the custody of the children. The appellate court agreed not to order costs on the withdrawal of her appeals.

Three matters are pending resolution:
  • A preliminary objection raised by Muhammad Ridzwan in the civil Kuala Lumpur High Court over its ruling that it has no jurisdiction to hear the children's conversion to Islam;
  • Muhammad Ridzwan's appeal against the civil High Court for citing him for contempt and committing him to prison until he hands over the children, who he had converted to Islam, to their mother; and
  • Shamala's application to set aside the Syariah Court warrant of arrest for running away with her children.
The civil division of the High Court had on July 20, 2004, granted the couple joint custody of the children, with a caveat that they should not be taught to eat pork and should not practise the Hindu faith.

Should this be breached, her former husband, Muhammad Ridzwan Abdullah (formerly Dr M Jeyaganesh), would be given sole custody of the children.

Muhammad Ridzwan has appealed against the joint custody, while Shamala has since dropped her cross-appeal.
Shamala is represented by Ravi Nekko, Steven Thiru and David Matthews while Muralee Menon appeared for Muhammad Ridzwan. The Federal Territory Islamic Council is represented by Zulkifli Che Yoong.

Thiru: A sad case
Thiru, in withdrawing the applications, said the family had asked the lawyers to discharge themselves as they could not seek instructions from Syamala, who has fled to Australia with her two children and has refused to comply with the Nov 12, 2010 Federal Court decision to return to this jurisdiction.

Thiru said this is a sad case where the wife was not notified about the conversion of her two children, which were done without her consent.

“Her situation is peculiar and sad. Hence, owing to these circumstances we apply that no order be made on costs,” he said.

Muralee, in reply and applying for costs of RM15,000, said the Federal Court had ruled that she had no right to be heard after she was found to be in contempt by running away with the children.

“Her counsel also do not know her whereabouts and have been given instructions via remote. How can she run litigation from outside the country?” Muralee asked.

Zulkifli also applied for similar amount as to costs, saying Baitulmal had to come up with the legal expenses.

After a short break, the three-member panel decided not to order costs.

No solution to unilateral conversion
However, Shamala's case, which had been hoped to provide some legal solutions to the religious and highly sensitive issue of unilateral conversion of children to Islam by one parent, did not came about when the Federal Court declined to hear the five questions last year.

This followed a preliminary objection allowed on Muralee's contention that Shamala had no right to be heard because a contempt proceeding had been initiated against her for fleeing to Australia with the two children, who were converted in 2002 when they were four and two years old respectively.

A five member panel led by Chief Justice Zaki Azmi allowed the preliminary objection.
The Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum allowed Shamala and her children three months to return home, but the other judges did not.
Many cases, including that of M Indira, have been awaiting for the outcome of the Shamala case as a precedent - but this has not come about.

Estrada slams Malaysian envoy’s wife over anti-Rizal, Ibrahim tweet


Dato' Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad and Datin Seri Zainab
(Inquirer) - MANILA, Philippines—Former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada on Monday chided a Malaysian diplomat’s wife over her message on microblogging site Twitter calling Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal an “infidel Malay.”

Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada
Estrada said that Dato Zainab, wife of Malaysian ambassador to Manila Dr. Ibrahim Saad, insulted Rizal and sowed religious hatred as she lashed out at Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, an ally of the ousted Philippine leader.

“It appears that in her desire to insult Anwar, she also effectively insulted our national hero Jose Rizal and the Filipino people who regard him with reverence,” Estrada said in a statement posted on his website.
Dato Zainab, in her tweet originally written in Bahasa on July 16, said: “Anwar Ibrahim is clearly pro-Christian, an admirer of Jose Rizal the infidel Malay! Oh yes, don’t forget…”

Ibrahim, who was jailed on charges of corruption and sodomy but was acquitted in 2004, is visiting Manila to hold a lecture on Friday at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City on the influences of Rizal and Benigno Aquino Jr. on the Southeast Asian leadership.

While in prison, Ibrahim was said to have been inspired by Rizal’s novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, two of the hero’s searing social commentary against the oppressive Spanish colonial rule.
Estrada likened the former Malaysian deputy prime minister to former president Corazon Aquino, calling him  “a fighter for real democracy.”

“Let us do what we can do to join him in this cause of bringing genuine democracy to the Malaysian people,” he said.

At the same time, Estrada reminded Dato Zainab to be respectful of other cultures and religions.
“We must remember that regardless of religion, we are all Asian brothers. Our attitude must be towards strengthening our Malay ties and building our Asian community instead of using religious diversities to sow hatred among nations or ostracize political adversaries,” Estrada said.

WIKILEAKS: COURT ACQUITS NAJIB'S EX-ADVISOR IN MURDER TRIAL



Many observers anticipated Razak's acquittal given the prosecution's poor performance, Razak's connections to DPM Najib, and the alleged and widely-perceived political manipulation in the case. The Razak verdict momentarily attracts more attention to the allegations of Najib's linkages to the case; so too would the testimony of either Balasubramaniam or Raja Petra, though it is not clear either man will be able to take the stand.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KUALA LUMPUR 000959

SIPDIS

FOR EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/2028
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, KJUS, KDEM, MY
SUBJECT: COURT ACQUITS NAJIB'S EX-ADVISOR IN MURDER TRIAL

Classified By: Political Counselor Mark D. Clark for reasons 1.4 (b and d).

Summary and Comment
1.  (SBU) High Court Justice Mohamad Zaki on October 31 acquitted Political Analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, former advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, of the charge of abetting the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in October 2006, but ordered the continuation of the murder trial for two policemen. 
Defense lawyers announced they sought to call to the stand two men who have linked DPM Najib to the case:  Razak's former private investigator Balasubramaniam, who has disappeared from public, and controversial blogger Raja Petra who is detained under the Internal Security Act.  The trial of the two police defendants is set to continue November 10. 
In immediate commentary, political opposition leaders, including Anwar Ibrahim, did not focus on Razak's guilt or innocence, but called into question the conduct of the proceedings and suggested a cover-up to protect DPM Najib.
2.  (C) Comment:  Many observers anticipated Razak's acquittal given the prosecution's poor performance, Razak's connections to DPM Najib, and the alleged and widely-perceived political manipulation in the case.  The Razak verdict momentarily attracts more attention to the allegations of Najib's linkages to the case; so too would the testimony of either Balasubramaniam or Raja Petra, though it is not clear either man will be able to take the stand.
Allegations stemming from the Altantuya case, however, have not prevented Najib from securing all the nominations so far for the UMNO party elections.  Absent dramatic and compelling new evidence prejudicial to the DPM, the Altantuya case will not slow down Najib's drive to become Malaysia's next Prime Minister.  End Summary and Comment.
Razak Acquitted, Trial for Policemen Continues
3.  (U) High Court Justice Mohamad Zaki on October 31 acquitted Political Analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, former advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, of charges of abetting the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in October 2006, but ordered the continuation of the murder trial for two policemen. 
Embassy FSN Political Assistant attended the judgment hearing.  The ruling came roughly two years after Razak's arrest, and followed a lengthy 17-month trial involving the presentation of 84 witnesses.  The prosecution had argued that Razak had asked the policemen to murder Altantuya, Razak's former lover who had harassed Razak for money. 
The judge ruled that the prosecution team failed to prove a prima facie case against Razak, and ordered his release.  The judge found a sufficiently strong prosecution case against the two police defendants, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azha Umar, charged with carrying out Altantuya's murder.  At the time of the crime, Azilah and Azha were members of the protection detail for DPM Najib.
Defense to Call Controversial Witnesses
4.  (U) The Justice requested the defense to begin their arguments later on the afternoon of October 31, but the defense requested and was granted a continuance as their witnesses were not available.  In the day's most surprising turn, Kamarul Hisham, lead defense counsel for one of the accused police officers, stated he wished to place on the witness chair Razak's private investigator P. Balasubramaniam and Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin. 
Both witnesses have previously made sworn statements linking DPM Najib to the murdered Altantuya, and in the case of Raja Petra, implicating Najib's wife in the murder.
Balasubramaniam, who was an early witness for the prosecution, has not been seen publicly since he issued a sworn statement in July on DPM Najib's links to the Altantuya case, and then retracted the statement the next day, allegedly under duress according to some accounts. 
Raja Petra is currently detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA). 
(Note: Although the court may order Raja Petra's presence as a witness, Section 18 of the ISA gives the Home Minister discretion to ignore the court order.  End note.)
The Judge set November 10 for the defense to begin its presentation.
5.  (SBU) For the October 31 judgment hearing, a crowd of approximately 200 waited outside the courthouse while some 100 (primarily family members of the defendants and journalists) filled the packed courtroom.  Razak's family appeared confident and remained calm throughout the whole hearing and showed no sign of surprise in Razak's acquittal.
The verdict also appeared to come as no surprise to the attending crowd.  The victim's father, Setev Shaariibuu, attended the judgment and afterward through an interpreter expressed his disappointment to reporters:  "I am not satisfied.  My daughter (knew) only one Malaysian and that is Razak Baginda.  Now my daughter is dead and Baginda is freed. The country (Malaysia) has lost credibility..."
Opposition Suggests Cover-Up
6.  (U) In immediate comments, political opposition figures, who have suggested repeatedly that the government had engaged in a cover-up to protect DPM Najib, did not focus on Razak's guilt or innocence, but called into question the conduct of the proceedings.  Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim noted, "On a personal level, I wish Razak Baginda well, but the issue here resolves around the court procedure and investigations.
There is a general and growing perception that the investigation was not done professionally, that there is a clear motive to cover up."  Anwar also drew attention to recent Internet revelations of an SMS exchange between Najib and Razak Baginda's former lawyer in which Najib reportedly wrote that Razak "will face a tentative charge but all is not lost."
KEITH

Book Review: Searching for Singapore's Porn Star


Image
A new book seeks out the legend of Singapore's record-setting sex goddess


“Singapore Rebel: Searching for Annabel Chong” by Gerrie Lim, Monsoon Books,
paperback, S$19.80 in Singapore.
Also available in Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Chong is the stage name for Grace Quek, a mild-mannered IT professional who in 1995 made porn history by being the sole female in what was billed as the World’s Biggest Gang Bang.

The porn world – along with the rest of us – has moved on from that particular moment in cinematic history, and Quek’s dubious record has since been surpassed many times. But it remains a delightfully grubby apex in the pop culture past of the strait-laced island republic of Singapore.

“Isn’t it funny that Singapore’s only contribution to global pop culture is a porn star?” asks Gerrie Lim, a Hong Kong-based author and journalist who has just released Singapore Rebel: Searching for Annabel Chong, a book that claims to demystify the legend of the Lion City’s most famous porn star.

In the book, Lim, a Singaporean by birth himself who for years worked as a rock critic and adult entertainment industry journalist in Los Angeles, explores the mythology of Quek’s Annabel Chong character. While the book isn’t authorized by Quek, who long ago retired her infamous character, it is based on Lim’s previous interviews and discussions with the one-time porn star, who he counts as a personal friend.

One of the key themes Lim explores is the tension between Quek’s upbringing in a conservative Asian society and her later extreme acts for the camera. After an education at the exclusive Raffles Girls’ School and Hwa Chong Junior College, and then as a scholarship student at King’s College London, Quek was on course for a career at a prestigious Singaporean law firm.

Then, in depressing turn of events, one night after getting off a train in inner city London, Quek was raped by a group of men. She soon dropped out of law school and moved to Los Angeles to study photography, art, and gender studies at the University of Southern California. It was there she started a porn career that was unremarkable – at the time she was a ‘B-’ star, Lim says – until she struck upon the idea of staging the World’s Biggest Gang Bang. She advertised on adult television for 300 male participants, but only 70 showed up. Adapting to the challenge, many of men went in for seconds and thirds so the number of “sex acts” was ultimately recorded as 251, with porn legend Ron Jeremy taking the coveted final spot.

It was, supposedly, in aid of a feminist message: Quek wanted to subvert the idea of the ‘male stud’. The ultimate act of submission, in other words, would become the ultimate act of self-assertion. Not surprisingly, many missed the point – and Quek missed a pay check. The promised $10,000 fee from director John T. Bone never materialized.

Quek was apparently disappointed by the outcome of the film, a low-budget schlock fest with grainy footage shot on a set that was decorated with Roman pillars, an obscure reference to Valeria Messalina, the rampantly promiscuous third wife of Emperor Claudias who once, according to legend, took 25 men to her bed in one night. Quek’s attempt at a feminist message was lost amidst a fury of flesh and fluids.

Image
Gerrie Lim (photo by Scott Woodward)
“I think she was surprised by that,” says Lim. “She did tell me she had very very mixed feelings about the outcome of the whole thing... She felt she was not ever going to be able to get her message across.”

“She was trying to propagate that liberal feminist ideology, and she had good intentions to do that, but it went completely awry.”

But then, porn has never been known as a vehicle for intellectual engagement or academic discourse, right?

“If you do it some other ways,” Lim offers, “you end up falling into the whole vortex of academia.” By choosing porn, a subject of much contention and a prominent part of today’s pop culture, there’s great room for debate and outreach, he argues. However, he also points out that the very act of delivering the message as a commercial product compromises its purported intent – a point first made by Emily Jenkins in the women’s magazine Mirabella.

There are three impossible-to-ignore characters in Singapore Rebel. The first, obviously, is Chong, who is almost a parody of a porn star and whose Asian-ness is an inextricable part of her career path. Then there’s Lim himself, who identifies strongly with Quek and her role as an outsider and rebel against Singapore society. And then there’s Singapore itself – looming in the background like an over-bearing parent, poisoning the creative atmosphere, attempting to quash individual hopes and dreams and re-purpose them into fiscally utilitarian obligations.

Certainly, says Lim, Quek was rebelling against that society. “It was interesting because she had grown up in what you would consider a very normal, middle class, affluent environment and background, with her parents being teachers, and she was headed for an academic career and she had a job lined up for her at a prestigious law firm,” he says. “And then she chose to dump all that and do something completely radical.”

The “very staid and very cosseted, cloistered straight-laced environment” in Singapore breeds discontent, says Lim, who speaks from experience. “I’ve made no secret of the fact that all I ever wanted to do when growing up there was to get the hell out of there – and I think she felt the same.”

Now that he’s out, however, the author enjoys watching from afar Singapore’s current scramble for credibility in the arts and some semblance of international pop culture recognition beyond what Chong was able to achieve with her 70 friends.

“Singapore had no film industry for 15 years because of censorship. So whose fault is that? It’s ironic and also very amusing to me that to look for a hero, people have to look elsewhere – and in this particular case a home-grown talent who made her mark in Los Angeles.”

Lim clearly savours the rebels’ small victory. “Nature has a way at getting back at hypocrisy.”

Singapore Rebel: Searching for Annabel Chong (Monsoon) is available in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, as well as on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Singapore-Rebel-Searching-Annabel-ebook/dp/B00593YTY6).

Engaging with Bersih - An "Illegal" Association?

Contributed by Tommy Thomas

An often heard message from the Government in the run-up to the 9th July rally was that Bersih is an illegal organization, and therefore the Government cannot deal with it or its leaders.  Bersih is not an illegal organization merely because it is not registered with a regulatory authority like a company, society, trade union or cooperative society.  Malaysian law recognizes associations which are not registered or incorporated, that is, the “unincorporated association”.  It must be noted that one of the fundamental liberties enjoyed by Malaysians is the freedom of association under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

However, let us assume for the purposes of discussion, that Bersih is indeed an illegal organization.  Does it follow that Government leaders cannot engage with it.  The answer is absolutely no.  One example in history is relevant, that is, how the Government dealt with the Malayan Communist Party (“MCP”).  One of Tunku Abdul Rahman’s first decision after becoming Chief Minister in 1955 was to arrange a meeting with Chin Peng, the leader of MCP.  This was in the height of the Emergency when MCP was outlawed as illegal, and described as violent and murderous.  Chin Peng was the most wanted man in the country, with a massive bounty for his capture.  Despite British reservations, Tunku met Chin Peng in the now famous Baling Talks in December 1955.  Tunku, as the duly elected leader of UMNO and Alliance, had no qualms meeting with a leader whom the British and Malayan Governments perceived as having “blood on his hands”, and led an illegal armed struggle to overthrow the status quo.

It must be remembered that the British imperial power, grateful for MCP’s armed struggle against Japanese invasion, had recognized MCP as a legitimate political party in 1946.  Only in July 1948, after the Proclamation of Emergency, did the British Government declare MCP to be an illegal party under the laws of Malaya.  That illegal status remains in force until today.

Despite its illegal status, the Malaysian Government during Prime Minister Mahathir’s administration, had 5 rounds of Tripartite Peace Talks in Phuket in 1989 with MCP, under the auspices of the Thai Government, which acted as the honest broker.  Rahim Noor led the Malaysian delegation in all 5 rounds; a prominent member was Norian Mai, both of whom ended their careers as Inspector General of Police (“IGP”).
 
On 2nd December 1989 in Haadyai, the Government of Malaya signed the historic Agreement with the MCP to terminate hostilities, witnessed by representatives of the Government of Thailand.  Signing for the Malaysian Government were Dato Wan Sidek bin Wan Rahman, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Home Affairs, General Tan Sri Hashim Ali, Chief of Defence Forces and Tan Haniff Omar, the IGP.  Chin Peng, Abdullah C.D and Rashid Maidin signed for the MCP.

The 1989 Agreement was hailed as a great victory for peace, and has often been cited by independent scholars as one of the few examples of a peaceful settlement between an elected government and a communist party in the 20th century.
 
During the entire negotiations and when the Agreement was signed, MCP remained illegal under the laws of Malaysia.  That fact however did not deter the Malaysian Government from dealing with it.
 
Accordingly, it is hypocrisy of the highest order for the current Government to say that it will not deal with Bersih because it is illegal, and will not meet with its leader Ambiga Sreenevasan because she leads an unlawful society.  What about the MCP and Chin Peng then?
   
29th July 2011

Jeyakumar speaks about his detention

Dr Jeyakumar, along with his father, speaks about what drives him, his experience in detention and the ludicrous allegations levelled against him and his party.





Incidentally, today, 1 August, is exactly 51 years since the ISA came into force on the peninsula in 1960.
It is time to redouble our efforts to work for the total repeal of all detention without charge/trial laws.