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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Girl strangled to death in name of honour

Staff Report

LAHORE: A 15-year-old girl was allegedly strangled to death by her uncle in the name of honour in Shera Kot Police limits on Wednesday.

The deceased was identified as Anam, daughter of Ramzan, resident of Ghousia Park. Police said that the deceased’s uncle, Talib Hussain, who was residing at his brother-in-law’s house, suspected that Anam had illicit relations with a Christian youth of the same area.

On the day of incident, Talib entered the house and strangled Anam to death and managed to escape from the crime scene. She was taken to a local hospital where the doctors pronounced her dead. Police, after being informed, reached the spot and shifted the dead body to a city morgue. Police registered a case against the accused on the complaint of deceased’s father, Ramzan.

Separately, two unidentified persons were found dead from Bhaati Gate and Islampura police jurisdictions. A 35-year-old man’s dead body was recovered from Bhaati Gate Police precincts. The deceased, yet to be identified, was lying dead along a roadside near Data Darbar. A passersby spotted the dead body and informed police. Police reached the spot and shifted the dead body to a city morgue for autopsy.

Cop guilty of schoolboy Aminulrasyid’s death

Jenain fired 21 times at the car Aminulrasyid had driven. — File pic
SHAH ALAM, Sept 15 — Police Corporal Jenain Subi was found guilty by the Sessions Court here of causing the death  of schoolboy Aminulrasyid Amzah in April last year, at the conclusion of a high-profile trial that brought into sharp focus police rules of engagement.
Jenain, 48, was found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder after judge Latifah Mohd Tahar ruled that the use of lethal force to stop Aminulrasyid’s car was excessive and uncalled for.

“The court finds that the situation on Jalan Tarian wasn’t dangerous to anyone, including the accused, and that it was not necessary for the accused to discharge his weapon, let alone fire 21 shots... from his submachinegun,” Latifah said in her judgement today.

The corporal, wearing a brown checked shirt, beige jacket and white skullcap, stood calmly as the judgment was read out.

The verdict caps an 11-month trial over the killing of Aminulrasyid, whose midnight joyride on April 26, 2010 turned tragic when he was gunned down by police in a burst of automatic gunfire, just minutes from his home.

The 14-year-old died from a shot to the head between 1.10am and 2am at Jalan Tarian 11/2, Seksyen 11 here after police fired on his car following a high-speed car chase through Shah Alam.

Jenain had admitted to firing 21 bullets from his H&K MP5 submachinegun at Aminulrasyid’s Proton Iswara in an effort to stop the car — which earlier ran a roadblock — but denied trying to kill the teenager.

A second policeman involved in the chase, Constable Izham Mahayuddin, had also fired his MP5 at the car but was not charged.

Aminulrasyid’s death triggered public outcry over alleged police brutality, prompting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to pledge that investigations would be carried out openly and transparently.

Perkasa boss fires at ‘useless’ PAS leaders

Going ballistic at a forum last night, Ibrahim Ali blames PAS for destroying Malay unity and mocks the party leaders' education background.

KUALA LUMPUR: Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali unleashed a verbal salvo during a forum here last night, targeting PAS leaders.

He also included Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and Bersih 2.0 chairman S Ambiga in his tirade.

Ibrahim blamed the raging controversy over Mat Indera’s role in the Bukit Kepong police station attack on PAS.

At the Perkasa-organised forum on “Communism, Mat Indera and Independence” in Kelab Sultan Sulaiman, he had accused “useless” PAS leaders of destroying Malay unity.

The controversy stemmed from a ceramah by PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu in Penang last month during which he hailed communist leader Mat Indera as a freedom fighter.

This drew flak from Barisan Nasional and government-aligned NGOs who pointed out that Mat Indera had led the attack on the Bukit Kepong police station that left 25 people dead.

“Mat Sabu’s speech has hurt and angered the armed forces,” Ibrahim told the 500-strong crowd. “He is trying to change history.”

“But the real issue is that he insulted the police who put their lives at risk to defend Bukit Kepong as well as (first premier) Tunku Abdul Rahman and (third premier) Hussein Onn by calling them ‘British officers’,” he said.

‘Our patience has limits’

The Pasir Mas MP further mocked Mat Sabu by referring to his educational background which he said was in art and design.

“What does an art and design (student) know about history and research?” he demanded, drawing laughter from the audience.

“Same goes for Kelantan Menteri Besar (and PAS spiritual adviser) Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat who has very limited formal education.

“He has no knowledge of history yet he accused Mat Sabu’s detractors of the same thing. But I’m not surprised. This is someone who keeps changing his mind on fatwas in the state,” he added.

Training his guns on Ambiga, Ibrahim said the former Bar Council president had insulted the country by encouraging apostasy.

“Yet no action has been taken against her. Then we have Anwar and his sex video but no action has been taken against him either. We are patient but patience has its limits,” he warned.

Ibrahim urged Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to take stern action immediately against both the individuals.

“Do not let the people take the law into their own hands,” he added.

‘Perbetulkan fakta sejarah Sabah’

Semua pihak mengatakan usia kemerdekaan Malaysia ialah 54 tahun walaupun sebenarnya berusia 48 tahun.

SIPITANG: Fakta sejarah tentang kemerdekaan Sabah melalui pembentukan Malaysia perlu diperbetulkan agar generasi masa kini dan akan datang tidak terkeliru, kata Presiden Parti Maju Sabah (SAPP) Yong Teck Lee.

Katanya, Sabah mencapai kemerdekaan apabila bersama-sama Sarawak, Singapura dan Malaya membentuk Malaysia pada 16 September 1963.

Sabah tidak mencapai kemerdekaan pada 31 Ogos 1957 kerana pada masa itu negara Malaysia masih belum wujud manakala Sabah yang dulu dikenali sebagai Borneo Utara masih berada di bawah jajahan British.

“Ketua Menteri Sabah Musa Aman juga tersilap apabila mengatakan usia kemerdekaan Sabah pada tahun ini mencecah 54 tahun sedangkan Sabah mencapai kemerdekaan melalui pembentukan Malaysia.

“Nasib baik seorang pegawai kanan Kerajaan Sabah iaitu Pengarah Arkib Negeri Sabah saudara Datu Tiga Belas memperbetulkan kenyataan Musa itu dengan mengatakan usia kemerdekaan Sabah sebenarnya ialah 48 tahun.

“Keberanian Datu Tiga Belas memperbetulkan fakta sejarah itu harus dipuji kerana tidak ada seorang pun anggota kabinet negeri atau pegawai kanan Kerajaan Sabah yang berani tampil memperbetulkannya,” kata Yong pada majlis Hari Raya Aidilfitri SAPP peringkat negeri Sabah di sini.

Katanya, semua pihak termasuk para pemimpin politik parti pemerintah Barisan Nasional (BN) di Semenanjung juga mengatakan usia kemerdekaan Malaysia ialah 54 tahun walaupun sebenarnya berusia 48 tahun.

Beliau berkata ada kalangan pemimpin pembangkang dari Pakatan Rakyat (PR) turut berkata Malaysia berusia 54 tahun dan salah seorang daripadanya ialah Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Lim Guan Eng, seorang pemimpin kanan DAP, salah sebuah parti komponen PR.

Yong berkata, kekeliruan mengenai kemerdekaan Malaysia harus diperbetulkan.

Terdahulu, Timbalan Presiden SAPP Haji Amde Sidik berkata, beliau mendapati 90 peratus pelajar salah sebuah institusi pengajian tinggi di negeri ini tidak dapat membezakan antara 31 Ogos 1957 dengan 16 September 1963.

Mengulas lanjut mengenai kemerdekaan, Amde menambah bahawa barisan terakhir lirik lagu Sabah Tanah Air Ku turut menjelaskan bahawa Sabah sebenarnya adalah sebuah negeri merdeka dan tidak sepatutnya dilayan seperti sebuah jajahan seperti yang diamalkan Kuala Lumpur pada masa ini.

“Barisan terakhir lirik lagu itu menyebut Sabah Negeri Merdeka dan ini bererti sesebuah negeri yang merdeka sepatutnya mempunyai kuasa autonomi dalam segala hal ehwal pentadbiran,” katanya.

Umno – the bane of Malays

Has Umno failed its founders and its mission to prepare Malays for the open world?

Umno alone is responsible for the regressive ideas of Malays. If they have been sleeping over eons, they now have been given sleeping pills to slumber along while the world passes them over.

Over the years, Umno leadership has caused the motivations and inspirations that moved an entire nation to degenerate into besieged paranoia and parochialism.

So before I go on, maybe it’s timely for me to remind Malay readers especially of what poet laureate Zaaba (Zainal Abidin Ahmad) said some time ago.

“I tell you not in mournful numbers

That the Malays are a dying race

I only want the soul that slumbers

To wake and work in these bright days

I tell you not in mournful numbers

The way in which to improve the Malays

I want that each Malay remember

Modest, contented shouldn’t be always.”

If I were to view objectively the clash between the world represented by Umno in 1946 and the new world represented by the Malayan Union, I would have to say things in the following manner.

Umno’s resistance and objection to the Malayan Union then was the result of the awareness of the Malay leadership in general – that Malays were not ready for the challenges of an open society.

Leaders with no interest in service

For that is what Malayan Union represented really – an open, competitive and democratic arrangement in the relations of the citizens of a modern world. Malays were not ready.

The mission of Umno then would have been only one – to prepare Malays to be ready for the open world. Equipped, competitive and having the tools to do so.

Umno’s mission was never to dig deeper into a trench and cocooned itself and Malays in general.

Umno can still embrace the founding principles behind the “betulkan orang Melayu” drive of Onn Jaafar.

He aspired to take Malays from the closed mind to openness, from debilitating traditionalism to modernism.

We could still expect these ideals that drove Umno 1946 to be refined and enhanced. Unfortunately, Umno has been taken over by a leadership of different material which is conditioned by different experiences, and having less service to the public motives in mind.

This may be a shocking admission, but it is a general perception of the Umno leadership that is getting stronger by the day.

Umno’s theory and the reality

The perception is that present-day Umno leadership consists of a bunch of sly politicians intent on making hay while it shines.

The gains from Umno’s original struggle are now hijacked and monopolised by the political elite.

The ordinary Malay man wants money in his hands so that he can determine how to apply it. The Umno mandarins want money to be entrusted to them to determine what is best for the ordinary folk.

We can see the increasing concentration of economic and political power in the hands of the elites instead of distribution to the rakyat.

Umno listens more to political intermediaries and lobbyists, who abrogate to themselves, an omnipotent wisdom to judge and interpret what the common man wants.

Obviously as the results (of the 2008 general election) showed, there is a huge crevice that separates theory from reality.
The common man does read in between the lines and is now capable of forming opinions and giving concrete expression to his opinions.

Spoils of war

Umno was once the empire, spanning its reaches into every nook and cranny of the country. It was born in 1946 on the resolve of the Malays to be architect of their own destiny.

It has been managed by an elite core in the form of a supreme council comprising a specific number of elected and anointed individuals chosen by the party and the president of the party.

We may very well call them the ruling clique overseeing the parcelling out not of real development but the spoils of war.

But like all empires, it is subject to the theory that “nothing lasts forever”.

On the other hand, if the theory is true, then the theory itself is not absolutely certain – therefore it too cannot rests on the qualification “forever”.

Something must have happened between 2004 and 2008 that made people reject Umno.

Perhaps it’s a question of leadership, perhaps it’s a question of conflicting interests between leaders and the rakyat.

The majority of the rakyat appears disillusioned with Umno and its policies. They are fed up with the Umno leadership.

I refuse to believe that this party founded on the trust, hopes and confidence of the Malays can no longer command the support of the Malays.

It must now regain the rakyat’s trust and faith. It has to re-engineer itself. The question now is, can it re-invent itself with the existing leadership?

The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman and a FMT columnist.

MIC chastises Lim for ignoring local Indian traders

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng owes an apology for sidelining their interests at the recent international shopping carnival, says MIC state Youth chief.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang MIC Youth chief J Dhinagaran accused the state government of neglecting local Indian businessmen when it held an international shopping carnival recently.

He said the state government allowed outsiders to come and reap profits through the carnival at the expense of locals, especially with Deepavali just around the corner.

“Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s administration priority should have been to create more business opportunities for local Indians,” said Dhinagaran.
He accused Pakatan Rakyat of running a profit-oriented, not people-oriented, political entity.

“He owes an apology to the local Indian business community for neglecting their interests. The Pakatan government has failed to walk its talk over its much-hyped CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency) formula.

“Lim has neither been competent, accountable or transparent to Indian traders in Penang, especially in ‘Little India.’

“The ones laughing all the way to their banks are the organisers and traders from India who benefited from the carnival.

“It’s clear the state government’s policies favour outsiders more than locals, who had supported Pakatan which is now enjoying the full benefits of power,” added Dhinagaran.

He said that it would be foolish to expect local Indian consumers to do their Deepavali shopping again when they may have already purchased all their items during the carnival.

Dissenting voices

The Penang International Indian Shopping Festival 2011 was held between Aug 27 and Sept 4 at Penang Times Square and traders all over India took part in it.

Traders and exhibitors from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharashtra and several Malaysians took part in the event which focused on Indian-based consumer products.

Dhinagaran said the state government should have listened to dissenting voices from the local business community before approving the shopping carnival.

He suggested the state government should have asked the organiser to hold the carnival after Deepavali.
Dhinagaran also claimed that this was not the first time that the state government had neglected the interests of local Indian businesses.

MIC Youth, he said, was not surprised that the state government’s leaders were insensitive to the sufferings of locals because of their non-Penang backgrounds.

“Lim is from Malacca while his deputy P Ramasamy is from Sitiawan. They aren’t bothered about local Indians,” claimed Dhinagaran.

PM to announce political, social and security changes in speech tonight

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Sweeping political, social and security reforms are among the highlights of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's Merdeka/Malaysia Day speech that will be aired on private and public TV channels live tonight.

The Prime Minister is expected to announce measures that will make it less restrictive for people to express themselves and those who have seen the speech say that it “will redefine the political landscape of Malaysia”.

“This is all about the democratic process. This is what the people have been clamouring for. The Govern-ment is listening to them.

“And it is all about the transformation process by the Government. We already have the Government and economic transformations. This is now the time for political transformation in line with current global developments,” said a source.

Najib is expected to make announcements on laws and practices that are deemed draconian and undemocratic by the people, including the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the Emergency Ordinance.

While senior aides said that the ISA would not be repealed, they said Najib would announce measures to “update” it, including on the length of the detention period.

In what can be seen as an answer to criticisms on the Government's handling of the Bersih 2.0 rally, Najib is also expected to announce measures to relax control on the freedom of expression and the right to assemble.

A government official said the recent announcement of the formation of the parliamentary select committee to improve the electoral process was part of the reform process.

The Government is also expected to introduce reforms for media practitioners, including on censorship and the need for them to renew their permits annually.

“The Government needs to move on with the times and do ourselves a favour without having to control publications,” said another source.

Home Ministry deputy secretary-general (security) Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi said on Tuesday that the Government would be more open towards media practitioners by getting their feedback due to the changing global landscape and rapid information technology development.

He had said the ministry would also be studying legislation in other countries regarding demonstrations and assemblies, taking into consideration civil liberties as well as national security.

Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatimsaid the Prime Minister's address would be televised at 8.45pm.

“He will be speaking in front of about 800 people comprising Cabinet ministers, senior government officers, members of Barisan Nasional component parties and non-governmental organisations at Auditorium Perdana, Angkasapuri.

“He is expected to stress on key issues concerning major changes deemed crucial for the Government and the country,” he said after chairing a post-Cabinet meeting at his ministry at Wisma TV, Angkasapuri, here yesterday.

Old Penang: Chulia Street (another image)

A couple of fascinating images of Chulia Street, showing early modes of public transport.

Trolleybus turning out of Chulia Street onto Penang Road passing Leith St Police Station, circa 1926 - Postcard photograph provided by Ric Francis, from his book Penang Trams, Trolleybuses and Railways
A tram cruising along Chulia St circa 1918 - Thanks to Ric Francis for this postcard image from his collection; also appeared in his book Penang Trams, Trolleybuses and Railways
[/caption] This section of Chulia Street is likely to be between Chulia Lane and Love Lane. Notice the wide pavement for pedestrians. Unfortunately, the pavement is no longer there and instead, the space is used for car park bays. It’s a fascinating image. (Click twice to enlarge it to full-screen view.) Notice that a few people are wearing light-coloured shirts or vests and even white pants.

This photos has been circulating in cyberspace. I am not sure what year or even decade this is. Perhaps a pre-war image? This must be the section of Chulia Street between Love Lane and Chulia Lane.
Says mabis60 via twitter:
The road hasn’t changed very much except cars have replaced the rickshaws and the trolley bus elec lines have disappeared. I think the pic was taken somewhere near Cheapside A short lane where you can buy knife, axe, parang, changkul. I rode in one of those rickshaws during my young days in the early 1950s.
Yes, those were the days when the eco-friendly trams cruised up and down the streets.
Did you know a map of George Town in the late 18th century shows paddy fields located on part of present day Chulia Street? Most likely to provide the staple food for the early community of George Town, some of whom arrived from the Kuala Kedah area.
The majority of the early settlers at Chulia Street were South Indian Muslim traders while Chinese shopkeepers arrived in the late 19th century.
tunglang reminisces about old Chulia Street:
As I stare at this photo of Old World Charm Penang, I cannot help but go back to that photographic moment and savour the sights, the sounds and the smells of inner city George Town.
Standing at the junction of Love Lane looking down the street of old Chulia in the comfortable heat of the one o’clock in the afternoon, I am alerted by the sudden ringing of bicycles leisurely traversing from the side lane famed for Cantonese Carpenter’s Guild (Lo Pan Hang) towards the opposite side of main Chulia Street. It is lunch time and these carpenters on bicycles are so hungry for their favourite lunch at the Campbell Street Market as can be seen by their shaky, snaky pedalling.
The main traffic in this thoroughfare consists of rickshaws with running legs and two huge wheels. The quick-footed running and slow approach from the opposite direction as if rooted to the road really amuse me. But once it is 20 feet near, the speed of the rickshaw is amazing. I can hear the puffing of the rickshaw puller, face red with perspiration, like the horse power of the future car. Plus the rolling sound of hard wheel-rubber on hard road makes him look like the Six Million Dollar Man of the 1970s TV series. Not a minute passes by without the sight of this wonderful invention of the Chinese before the advent of the horse-power engines.
Already red faced from the heat of the afternoon, I walk to the five-foot way (Goh Kha Kee) to take in the cool breeze rushing along the corridor. I am now delighted to hear the cracking sounds of a British-made radio playing Cuban Cha Cha music from a Chinese medical hall. In rhythm with the music, I watch the rhythmic walking pace of pedestrians with black umbrellas going about their business. Even the sleepy dog beside me is wagging its tail to the tempo.
As I walk along the corridor, I am surprised by a familiar hawker’s call and the heavenly smell of the wan than mee. This hawker on a bicycle is precariously balancing his ride with one hand holding his bowl of hot mee and another flipping the twin bamboo sticks. Before he stops just in front of me, I can now see a rattan basket being lowered from a third-storey window above. I hear the half-yelling of a Canto Ah Mah Cheh.
Nodding and saying “Lei Loh” the hawker gingerly places his heavenly cuisine into the basket while taking the bronze coins in payment for the affordable Wan Than Mee.
Here's where you can submit those fading, nostalgic or interesting photos of Penang and other parts of Malaysia or other images of public interest. 1) Just scan the photo and upload 2) include in the subject field the caption for the photo, the approx year it was taken, and the name of the photographer, if you want it included, and then 3) click submit. Selected photos will be published on this blog.

Church sex-abuse victims urge ICC prosecution

Complaint filed against Pope Benedict and three Vatican officials by US-based group, alleging crimes against humanity.
Many victims say no senior church officials have been held to account for sheltering guilty clerics [EPA]    
An international group for victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests has asked the International Criminal Court to prosecute Pope Benedict XVI and three other senior Vatican officials for crimes against humanity.

The Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said on Tuesday it had filed the complaint with the ICC with help from lawyers from the non-profit US Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR).

They called on the court "take action and prosecute the Pope and three other high-ranking Vatican officials for their direct and superior responsibility for the crimes against humanity of rape and other sexual violence committed around the world".

The Catholic Church has been rocked by a series of sexual-abuse scandals and allegations of cover-up in Europe and the US in recent years. But this is the first time the sexual-abuse scandal has been brought to an international jurisdiction, marking a new approach by victims and rights groups.

The three other Vatican officials the group is asking that they be investigated are Tarcisio Bertone, the cardinal secretary of state; Angelo Sodano, his predecessor; and William Levada, a US cardinal.

Levada is head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the Vatican office designated to investigate sex abuse cases forwarded to it by bishops.

Federico Lombardi, Levada's spokesperson, refused to comment.

'Direct cover-up'

Pam Spees, a CCR lawyer, said in a statement that "the Vatican officials charged in this case are responsible for rape and other sexual violence and for the physical and psychological torture of victims around the world both through command responsibility and through direct cover-up of crimes.

"They should be brought to trial like any other officials guilty of crimes against humanity".

SNAP said it had submitted more than 20,000 pages of supporting material, but some international law experts have suggested the case might not go very far.

"Firstly, a prerequisite for crimes against humanity is that it has to be perpetrated by a State, or 'state-like' organisation," Herman van der Wilt, a professor of international law at Amsterdam University, told the AFP news agency.

"And secondly, ... the ICC would not be able to investigate any crimes committed before July 1, 2002, when its mandate commenced according to its founding statute."

The ICC prosecutor has received nearly 9,000 independent proposals for inquiries since 2002, when the court was created as the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal, and has never opened a formal investigation based solely on such a request.

The ICC prosecutor's office said the evidence would be studied.

"We first have to analyse whether the alleged crimes fall under the court's jurisdiction,'' it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, attorneys for the Survivors Network argued that no other national entity exists that will prosecute high-level Vatican officials who failed to protect children.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, David Clohessy, the director of SNAP, says that there are "only a handful of bishops who have been disciplined or demoted or even denounced by the Vatican officials for hiding child sex crimes, only a handful out of 5,000 across the globe.

"Church officials take no meaningful steps. There are a lot of words, a lot of promises and a lot of policies on paper. But on a day-to-day basis, each bishop continues to act as the old of his own kingdom and protect priests and shuffle priests and do the absolute bare minimum he possible can to keep this under wraps.

We have somewhat reluctantly come to the conclusion that it really will take secular officials on a global level to try to prevent this kind of violence on a widespread continuing basis."

Rising anger

Megan Peterson, a 21-year-old SNAP member who spoke publicly of her abuse for the first time last week, was among those backing the initiative.

Describing her ordeal, she recalled: "When at age 15, I called the diocese to report the rapes they hung up on me."

She called on the ICC to "take this case seriously and do the right thing".

"I don't want any more kids to go through what I went through," she said.

The Roman Catholic Church is struggling to deal with rising anger and a string of lawsuits after thousands of child abuse claims in Europe and the US.

The latest major crisis came in July, when Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister, launched a ferocious attack on the Roman Catholic Church's "absolutely disgraceful" failure to deal with years of sexual abuse of children by priests.

Benedict has expressed shame and sorrow over the clerical sex scandal and has called on bishops around the world to come up with common guidelines against paedophiles by May 2012.

But the issue shows no sign of going away.

Nick Xenophon, an Australian senator, named on Tuesday a Catholic priest who allegedly raped a teenage boy in assaults dating back about 50 years, after the church refused his demand that they withdraw him from his post.

Mat Sabu saman Utusan, Muhyiddin menyusul

‘Najib must ban Merdeka fests, history books’

Two NGOs have asked the government to ban Merdeka celebrations and history books until an accurate account of the nation's past is compiled.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak must ban Merdeka celebrations and history textbooks until an accurate account of the nation’s past is compiled.

In making the call, two Indian NGOs urged the government to set up an independent team of experts to research the historical facts.

Malaysian Indian Progressive Association (MIPAS) president A Rajeretnam said the government must do this since former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed that the information contained in textbooks was inaccurate.

Furthermore, he said the Majlis Professor Negara (MPN) also claimed that the country was never colonised by the British.

“The public are confused by these statements,” he told a press conference here.

As for the proposed independent team, Rajaretnam said it should comprise representatives from the opposition as well as NGOs.

“The major issues which should be looked into is why we celebrate independence day and why (first prime minister) Tunku Abdul Rahman is considered the ‘Father of Independence’ if we have never been colonised by the British,” he added.

He said the government must also clear the air over Malayan Communist Party member Mat Indera (Muhamad Indera) who fought against the British colonial masters.

“Datuk Naning, Tok Gajah, Mat Kilau, Maharaja Lela and others have been declared as national heroes. They did the same thing as Mat Indera, which is to fight against the British,” he added.

He urged Umno not to destroy the real history of Malaysia because of political interest.

‘Are Indians British citizens?’

Rajaretnam also urged Umno’s Barisan Nasional counterpart MIC to state its stand over the history controversy.

“It is important for MIC to come forward and explain the facts,” he said.

He added that if MIC agreed with Mahathir’s assertion that Malaysia was never colonised by the British, this would mean that the Indians here were technically still British citizens since they were brought here by the colonial power.

Meanwhile, National Interlok Action Team (NIAT) president Haji Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim, who was also present at the press conference, said it was important to re-write our history books.

He said Malaysia was not made up of a single community and all races had played a role in building the nation.

“So due recognition must be given to all,” he added.

Commenting on the proposal to set up an independent team, Thasleem said: “If the Najib administration refuses to do this, then it is clear-cut Umno is a liar for claiming that Malaysia was colonised by the British.”

‘Kaum biaDAP may ruin Malays’

Independent MP Zulkifli Noordin warns that should DAP come into power, the Malays' faith in Islam and their moral values may erode.
PETALING JAYA: The faith and moral values of the Malays here will erode if the “kaum biaDAP” comes into power, said Barisan Nasional-friendly independent MP Zulkifli Noordin.

The Kulim Bandar Baharu MP, in his blog, made scathing remarks against a man whom he claimed had insulted Islam.

The individual, whom Zulkifli described as “cursed” (laknatullah), was allegedly a Singaporean who posted comments insulting Prophet Muhammad on his Facebook page.

“There are no more boundaries to the accursed people… according to the records, the barua (bastard) who wrote those things lives in Singapore… maybe this is the work and teaching of (former Singapore prime minister) Caliph Lee Kuan Yew,” said the ex-PKR MP.

Linking the Singaporean Chinese leader’s influence to the Chinese-majority opposition party DAP, Zulkifli said:

“Probably, this is what will happen to our Malay children if the biaDAP (rude) party of (Penang chief minister and DAP secretary-general Lim) Guan Eng who is worshiped by the Anwarinas (Anwar Ibrahim’s supporters) was to rule this country.”

“With the current serious crisis of the (Islamic) faith, all of these new clowns are willing to share the usage of the term Allah with the Christians, and still do not know how to be united with each other in Islam. They still worship the traitors of Islam and ‘menjilat’ (kowtow) to the kaum biaDAP,” he added.

He also took a swipe at Islamic party PAS, whom he termed as “pak lebai” (pious person), for defending a “kaki liwat” (sodomite), “kaki zina” (adulterer), “kaki pembohong” (liar), “kaki penipu”, “kaki putar” (spin doctor), “kaki komunis” (communist) and “kaki sondol”, in an obvious reference to Anwar.

Zulkifli had been a harsh critic of PKR and Anwar, especially after he was sacked from PKR last year and turned Independent MP. The long-term Anwar follower accused his former party of not doing enough to protect Islam.

Remarks ‘uncalled for’

In an immediate reaction, DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong said his party condemned the “uncalled for” and “nonsensical” remarks by Zulkifli.

“What we want is reasonable discussions and debates about policies and the future of the country, and not such remarks which appeal to emotion without any basis,” said the Bukit Bendara MP.

Liew said Zulkifli’s argument took a “leap of logic” and he would not give it attention.

“This is part of his campaign against Pakatan Rakyat, from the day he left. And it is part of the bigger picture where in 2005 (then Umno Youth chief) Hishammuddin (Hussein) raised the keris as part of Umno’s attempt to win support and consolidate the Malay population,” he added.

The DAP leader said Umno was doing this at the expense of BN component parties and non-Malays in the country.

“These efforts are unlikely to bear fruit, because they are still struggling. Umno is not getting more than 60% of Malay support, that is their challenge at the moment. Many Malays have seen through Umno and its problems. They, like all Malaysians, also want a society which does not favour cronies,” he added.

Explaining how illogical Zulkifli’s argument was, Liew said that DAP ceased all relationships with the Singaporean People’s Action Party after the departure of DAP founder Devan Nair in 1967.

“Since then DAP has nothing to do with Singapore. But more importantly, what he said has no basis. We (Pakatan) are for a country which puts across the right values of governance, we want a government that is clean and elections to be fair…” he said.

“Zulkifli is part of this so called one-upmanship publicity blitz… what needs to happen is sensible people from both sides need to lead and provide alternative leadership,” he added.

Liew said it was unlikely that people would buy Zulkifli’s logic.

“I think Umno has even ignored the fact that rural people also have children in cities. To assume that rural folk are predominantly Umno supporters and willing to buy all this nonsense is just wrong,” he added.

Contacted for comment, PAS’ Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad could only laugh. “Hahaha. My God!”

“This guy does a great disservice to Islam while he reckons he is ‘championing’ the Islamic cause,” he added.

He said Zulkifli’s overzealous nature drives him into religious bigotry, prompting him to always portray Islam as being under siege.

“This enables him to justify his combative and confrontational default mode. Deplorable! It makes a mockery of Islam,” he said.

‘Mahathir ‘mastermind’ jatuhkan Najib’

Tun Mahathir memberi mesej bahawa Najib Tun Razak juga bukan merupakan 'calon boleh menang' dan secara tidak langsung merupakan liabiliti kepada Umno-BN.

KUALA LUMPUR: Naib Presiden PAS Dato’ Mahfuz Omar menyifatkan Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sebagai ‘mastermind’ yang berperanan untuk menjatuhkan pentadbiran Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Beliau merujuk kepada kenyataan mantan perdana menteri itu semalam yang menasihati Najib agar pilihan raya umum (PRU) ke-13 dilewatkan bagi meneliti semula senarai ‘calon-calon yang boleh menang’.

Mahfuz yang juga Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena berkata nasihat Mahathir itu memberi mesej bahawa Najib juga bukan merupakan ‘calon boleh menang’ dan secara tidak langsung merupakan liabiliti kepada Umno dan Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Umno-BN berhadapan isu calon dan parti…..malah semalam Mahathir bagi mesej jelas bahawa Najib juga bukan calon yang dilihat boleh menang apabila menasihatkan Perdana Menteri itu untuk melewatkan PRU ke-13.

“Najib liabiliti bagi BN. Ini diakui golongan dalaman Umno yang cuba memberi tekanan kepada Najib untuk berundur sebelum PRU.

“Mahathir ‘mastermind’ Umno. Saya bimbang ada kumpulan yang menjadi telunjuk Mahathir ini seperti gerakan yang dilakukan ke atas Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dulu,” katanya dalam sidang media di Ibu pejabat PAS di sini hari ini.

Panel bebas

Dalam perkembangan lain, Mahfuz turut mencadangkan penubuhan sebuah panel bebas untuk mengkaji semula sejarah. Ini berikutan tercetusnya kekeliruan berhubung pandangan mengenai sejarah Malaya baru-baru ini.

Beliau berpendapat mana-mana pihak perlu bersikap terbuka berhubung kenyataan daripada Majlis Profesor Negara (MPN) bahawa Malaya tidak pernah dijajah.

“Saya tidak kata MPN itu benar tapi mungkin mereka ada fakta tertentu untuk menyokong hujah bahawa Malaya tidak pernah dijajah British.

“Mungkin betul, mungkin tidak…..maka kita perlu kembali kepada saranan Menteri Pengajian Tinggi (Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin) agar melihat kembali sejarah.

“Kita boleh panggil Mat Sabu (Mohamad Sabu) untuk kemukakan fakta sejarah dan bukannya timbulkan perdebatan politik untuk fitnah orang,” jelasnya.

Sementara itu, menyentuh mengenai cukai perkhidmatan yang dikenakan ke atas rakyat, Mahfuz mahu dasar percukaian kerajaan perlu diperbetulkan dan menurutnya, cukai dari lima peratus kepada enam peratus itu tidak wajar.

“Kenaikan cukai perkhidmatan itu merupakan isu besar yang menyebabkan pengguna menjadi tunggang langgang dan kerajaan perlu mengkaji semula fakta-fakta percukaian tersebut yang membebankan rakyat,” katanya.

A Filipino Beauty's Miss Universe Answer

What was the question again?
Or maybe it was the questions that were inane 

For the second year in a row, a Filipina beauty has been edged out as Miss Universe, allegedly because she gave the wrong answer to the all-important interview question from the judges. This time, it was the euphonically named Shamsey Supsup, a 5-ft 7-in beauty from General Santos City on the island of Mindanao. The puzzle is what was wrong with her answer.

The 25-year-old Supsup made it as far as the finals, held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, before she fell afoul of the question segment. A licensed architect who finished at the top of her class at the Diliman branch of the University of the Philippines, she was said to be a heavy favorite in the Telemundo online fan voting, only to flame out, according to news stories, because of her answer to the usual silly questions that judges pose to beauty queens.

She was asked if she would change her religion in order to keep the man she loves. The answer can be found here on Youtube.

No, she was reported as saying, “If the person loves me, he’ll love my God too.”

Asking someone to change his or her religion in the first place is an idiotic question. All over the world, people are dying or being beaten and tortured for standing up for their faith. Quite recently a howling mob of more than 1,000 people set upon members of the Ahmadiyah sect in Indonesia and beat several of them to death. A Christian cabinet minister in Pakistan was shot dead by Islamic militants for espousing religious tolerance. It does not seem a beauty contest kind of question.

What Supsup should have said was: ‘That is a stupid @#$%&ing question. Find another one. I am a licensed architect who finished among the top 10 in my country in the licensure exam. You could ask me what, for instance, I think of the bizarre plan to put Donald Trump’s name on a 250-meter residential skyscraper in the middle of Makati. The thought of bringing together the American king of bad taste with the country that spawned Imelda Marcos is almost unimaginable to me.”

Miss Angola, a 25-year-old from Angola, won the pageant over Supsup and three other finalists by telling what, if any physical trait she would change if she could. None.

“Thank God I’m very satisfied with the way God created me, and I wouldn’t change a thing,” said the woman, Leila Lopes. “I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family, and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life.”

Lopes’ answer bears a strong resemblance to the answer that lost another Filipina the crown a year ago. That was the magnificently endowed Venus Raj, who was downgraded to fourth runner-up for answering the question whether she had ever done wrong in her life. “You know what, sir, in my 22 years of existence,” she said, “I can say that there's nothing major, major, I mean, problem that I've done in my life because I'm very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me. So, thank you so much that I'm here. Thank you, thank you so much!"

Venus Raj was born out of wedlock as a result of a Middle East union between her Filipina mother and an Indian father. She spent her girlhood the middle of a rice paddy in the Bicol region of the Philippines. She got herself through college, graduated with a journalism degree, bought her mother rice land on her beauty contest winnings and made it all the way to the world stage. It would seem that in her 22 years of existence, it would seem that she had done pretty well.

It is difficult to see just what either Supsup or Raj got wrong in their answers. There must be a special contest-speak that the judges know and listen for. Whatever it is, it doesn’t seem to have much to do with real life.

What does have to do with real life are some spectacularly strange answers issued by the television commentators in the skyboxes as the contestants patrolled the catwalk in swimsuits. When Miss USA appeared, one of them chirped: “She’s a stunning redhead, but in real life she’s a blonde.” Miss Australia, another said, “holds a special interest in holistic health. In fact, health is the first section she reads in the newspaper. First of all, the fact that she’s even picking up a newspaper? Smart and beautiful.” Miss Netherlands, it was said, ‘wants to be a child psychologist. But right now, she’s a male psychologist.” That was met with the answer: “I know a lot of men that would want to lay on her couch.”

For the top ten awkward answers by television commentators during the swimsuit competition, you can click here. Then explain them to Venus Raj and Shamsey Supsup.

Economists no longer able to predict economic crisis, says ISIS chief

Mahani said there was now too much incentive for bankers to keep taking risks. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, September 14 — The global economy is now so unbalanced that economists are no longer able to predict crises, said Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) chief Datuk Mahani Zainal Abidin today.

This comes as the global markets continue to be plagued with uncertainty due to the lingering effects of the 2008 financial meltdown that hit the United States and Europe.

While Malaysia was spared from the financial crisis and has resumed economic expansion after the 2009 recession, its stock market has been rocked by global volatility, while inflation has soared due to pressure from high commodity prices. Property prices have also jumped dramatically owing to ample liquidity.

The think tank chief said that the problem was that the financial economy has become much larger than the real economy and admitted that assumptions used by economists no longer work.

“If you look at the world, economic theory has not kept up with what’s happening,” said Mahani at the launch of the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2011 today.

“We can’t predict the future as assumptions don’t reflect reality. The financial part of the economy is bigger than the real part.”

She added that a key factor was that financial institutions were now compensating their CEOs based on profits, which encouraged too much risk taking.

“You look at how much a top banker gets paid versus a good engineer. Good engineers studied very hard. What does a good banker do? Basically shuffling papers,” she said.

The former member of the National Economic Action Council that crafted the New Economic Model for the Najib administration said another factor was that financial products and services have become too complex, which made it easier for speculators to manipulate prices.

“These financial people are very clever,” she said. “All the best brains are going into finance. Financial engineering has become far more complex than real engineering. You look at the high price of gold and other commodities. It is not that we are eating more rice. It is because of financial engineering.”

Mahani also warned that the situation is expected to deteriorate further, with the ratio of the financial sector to the larger economy worsening and potentially causing social problems.

“It is easy to create money, you just print,” she said. “The US quantitative easing pumped in US$600 billion (RM1.8 trillion) just like that. But the effects are (destabilising) capital flows. First, the stock market will go up and down. Now, when I see the stock market go down, I don’t worry anymore. Second, it will bite into property. The non-bankers will no longer able to afford property. Only people who know how to manipulate money can buy property.”

She said that Malaysia was lucky in some respects as it had learned from the 1997 Asian financial crisis and was not “gung-ho” about financial liberalisation.

The ISIS head added that Malaysia needed to prepare for the future by building a balanced economy.
“Although we want strong exports we also need a strong domestic economy,” she said. “Don’t forget about agriculture. Last time agriculture was not interesting but now it is considered very important.”
She added that the country needed to take steps to tackle its household debts levels.

As a percentage of GDP, Malaysia’s household debt increased from 66.7 per cent in 2004 to 76 per cent in 2009, which is uncomfortably close to the levels seen in the US prior to the 2008 financial crisis.

“Households have large debts because we encourage consumption,” she said. “Then when there are external shocks, they cannot cope.”

Kecewa PM tak sudi jumpa blogger Umno ugut potong kaki Nawemee

Gambar diatas ialah gambar rakaman screen sebuah blogger tegar Umno, Blog RBF atau lebih dikenali sebagai Ruang Bicara Faisal ialah antara blogger tegar Umno yang telah menyuarakan kekecewaan terhadap Perdana Menteri kerana tidak dapat bertemu dengan PM walaupun mempunyai idea dan aspirasi, sedangkan Nawemee yang dikatakan telah menghina negara, bangsa dan agama diberikan peluang untuk bertemu dengan Perdana Menteri.

Dengan tajuk "Parang Panjang Untuk Potong Kaki Namewee Sudah Tersedia", sebuah blog penyokong kerajaan telah bertindak liar di atas ketidak-puas-hatian kepada Perdana Menteri, iaitu orang yang selama ini dipertahankan habis-habisan.

dalam blog tersebut jelas menyatakan;
Kawan-kawan sekalian, sepertimana yang anda tahu bagaimana saya serta kawan-kawan saya, siang malam, pagi petang kami berusaha mempertahankan kerajaan serta PM. Bukan setakat mempertahankan PM, malah terpaksa mempertahankan juga isteri PM daripada fitnah-fitnah yang dilemparkan termasuklah isu cincin 24 juta , tapi kami tidak pernah pun dijemput seperti namewee untuk berjumpa PM.

Tapi si bangsat tersebut sudah melakukan bermacam-macam dajal dan sial serta menghina kaum serta agama , tiba-tiba mendapat layanan istimewa untuk berjumpa PM. Mana pergi namewee ketika Rosmah difitnah beli cincin 24 juta. Kenapa dia tak buat lagu yang mengatakan tuduhan itu fitnah ?

Kawan-kawan semua, saya dah lama menyimpan impian untuk berjumpa PM bagi memberitahu beberapa perkara termasuk idea-idea, tapi tak kesampaian. Saya terfikir , siapalah saya ini untuk berjumpa pemimpin tertinggi negara. Kalau ada pertemuan dengan PM pun di majlis-majlis besar yang melibatkan ramai orang. Maka sudah tentulah sukar untuk kita bercakap di majlis-majlis seperti itu.

Tapi anak haram itu senang-senang sahaja dapat jumpa PM. Siapa yang tak berasap beb ?
Kekecewaan RBF dilihat tidak dapat lagi disorok apabila secara terbuka menempelak pimpinan sendiri beserta dengan satu ancaman bunuh terhadap Nawemee yang akan berjumpa dengan PM. Ia seolah-olah mencabar kewibawaan PM sekiranya mengambil tindakkan kepada RBF akan dilihat sebagai tidak prihatin ke atas bangsa sendiri tetapi membela Nawemee.

Mari kita lihat sejauh mana pihak berwajib berani mengambil tindakan dalam ugutan yang memang terang dan jelas ini.

Namun kemarahan blogger ini ada asasnya. Masih ingat kita bagaimana Nawemee yang dikenali sejak video klipnya mengolah semula lagu negaraku menjadi "Negarakuku" disiarkan di youtube. Beliau bukan saja berdepan dengan tindakan undang - undang tetapi media mengolah kebencian yang melampau dengan mengaitkan Nawemee dengan Pakatan Rakyat dan kebencian melampau diwujudkan dengan api perkauman sebagai asas bahan bakar.

Maka Najib (baca: pimpinan UBN) meraih sepenuhnya keuntungan dengan menunggang sentimen yang dibakar blogger dan 'ngo-ngo' ciptaan mereka tampil ke depan menyemarak kemarahan. Ingat lagi bagaimana Arman ketika itu dia ketua pemuda PERKASA mengamuk dan membakar barang di depan pagar dewan himpunan china dimana Nawemee berada didalam dewan untuk satu program.

Akhirnya setelah melihat semuanya gagal meraih sentimen majoriti rakyat malah di kelas pertengahan imej UBN menjadi lebih negatif kerana tindakan tersebut maka Najib telah tukar strategi. Nawemee diberi ruang membuat filem pula dan semalam bertemu secara peribadi dengan Najib sendiri.

Jika difikirkan kesian dengan kawan - kawan 'bawah' yang begitu emosi pada satu ketika dahulu dalam isu Nawemee ini dan akhirnya dia sendiri mendapat ruang istimewa.

Walaupun memahami kekecewaan kawan-kawan ini tetapi che'GuBard nasihat janganlah sampai ugut-ugut bunuh...itu kurang tamadunnya. Jadikan ini sebagai pengajaran berpada dalam tindakan.

Itu belum lagi mereka respon dalam isu 'agihan tak sama rata'. klik sini untuk baca lanjut.