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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Indonesia: Radical Islam infiltrating top universities says counter-terror agency

Jakarta, 3 Oct. (AKI/Jakarta Post) - Radicalism has found its way into several of Indonesia's top universities, according to the national counter-terrorism Agency (BNPT) .says
“We are seeing a massive increase in radicalism. It is penetrating some top-quality and favourite universities such as [the University of Indonesia] and [the Bandung Institute of Technology],” BNPT chief Ansyaad Mbai said Tuesday.

Mbai added that he had received reports from several university leaders about radical movements within their institutions.

“BNPT has received reports from rectors, deans and rector’s assistants concerning issues of radicalism at their campuses,” he said.

Radicalism had not only been found among students studying religion, but also students of other faculties such as engineering, mathematics and science, Ansyaad said.

Will Pakatan, Hindraf team up?

Hindraf believes it still has the 'power' to swing votes and that Pakatan is making a mistake by ignoring its overtures.

Hindraf Makkal Sakti and its offspring Human Rights Party (HRP) are blithely wooing Pakatan Rakyat to forge an electoral alliance to face its common enemy – Umno-helmed Barisan Nasional – in the fast-approaching 13th general election.

But signs are clear that Pakatan is not interested.

Pakatan allies – PKR, DAP and PAS and, to a certain extent, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) – may have realised that Hindraf was the most influential factor that convince the Indian voters to shift their traditional allegiance with BN in the last general election.

Many Pakatan candidates were seen then working hand-in-hand with Hindraf activists to secure votes.

The Indian swing contributed to Pakatan’s massive electoral gains at the expense of BN.

But post-2008 election, Pakatan has practically decided to end its marriage with Hindraf, especially after the formation of HRP.

Pakatan is aiming to win over the Indian votes without Hindraf’s support.

Pakatan’s body language signals that it is happy with current set-up and does not want to include Hindraf and its political offspring HRP.

Fed up with Pakatan

HRP and Hindraf’s constant criticisms, justified in many cases, against Pakatan state governments for not doing enough or nothing at all for the Indian community, have not gone down well with Pakatan’s top brass, especially the Indian elected representatives.

Apparently ethnic Malay and Chinese leaders in Pakatan do not want an Indian-based party in their fold.

“They would rather prefer ethnic Indian individuals… to join PKR or DAP.

“In that way, the Pakatan top brass – dominated by Malays and Chinese – can control, tame, weaken and breed the Indian elected representatives as their mandores.

“Pakatan definitely did not want a strong grassroots movement championing the Indian cause within its sphere,” said a political observer.

But despite Pakatan’s virtual rejection, the Hindraf-HRP axis still dreams of teaming up with Pakatan merely to vote out Umno-BN from Putrajaya.

Hindraf-HRP adviser N Ganesan told newsmen last week that the group’s immediate political objective was to remove Umno from power.

“This is important to enable us to achieve our long-term goal to eliminate racist and religious supremacist state-sponsored policies trampling on the rights of minorities,” he said.

Both Hindraf and HRP have realised that this could not be achieved without forging close working ties with Pakatan.

Indications are that the next general election could be quick snap polls and just around the corner.

Pakatan to lose states

If recent Hindraf brainstorming session in Singapore is anything to go by, Pakatan would fail to capture its holy grail, Putrajaya.

According to Hindraf’s analysis, Pakatan stands to lose between 22 and 50 state seats and 10 and 18 parliamentary constituencies across the country in a 20 to 50 percent Indian vote swing.

Hindraf claims Pakatan would lose Kedah and Selangor, and would not regain Perak.

Hindraf analysts also claimed that eight cabinet ministers risked losing their seats. Even some segments of Pakatan’s own grassroots believed in the computation.

They conceded that Hindraf-HRP could make a decisive difference in the next election.

But, unlike in 2008 when Hindraf gave a free lunch to Pakatan by throwing its support behind the opposition coalition, this time it wants Pakatan to make some seat concessions for HRP.

Hindraf has Indian support

Critics, however, argued that Hindraf was taking too much credit for Pakatan’s electoral success in 2008.

Of course, Indian votes alone did not win the day for Pakatan.

Significant shifts in Malay and Chinese votes were also a major reason for Pakatan’s win.

That explains why Pakatan leaders now prefer to play into the popular bi-racial gallery comprising the ethnic Malay and Chinese vote banks, rather than actualising the multi-racial concept.

Critics have also argued that Pakatan and Hindraf were not competent for each other because of the latter’s Indian agenda.

But then both groups were competent in 2008.

Hindraf-HRP claims that it can move Indian votes for Pakatan, especially the working class Indians who make up some 70 percent of the community.

Hatred for Umno

Critics argued that most well educated Indians were not with Hindraf-HRP because they despised racist politics.

“Educated Indians feel they would be better off under Pakatan than Hindraf,” they said.

But a random survey among educated Indians revealed most backed Hindraf’s Indian stance and acknowledged that Pakatan had done “very little” for the Indians.

Indeed, most argued that the Malays and Chinese have gained the most from the 2008 political change, while ethnic Indians, who were instrumental for it, were largely sidelined and isolated.

“For Pakatan, Malay issue is a national issue and Chinese issue is a multi-racial issue.

“But an Indian issue is a racial issue,” said a national school Indian teacher.

Their hatred for Umno is the only factor stopping these well educated Indians from going back to BN.

The Pakatan strategy is to capitalise on this sentiment to fish educated Indian votes without Hindraf-HRP support.

But the Hindraf-HRP alliance believes Pakatan would fail without it.

Tricky question

The alliance is putting its faith in Indian voters whom they believe will respond to it in the next polls as they did the last time.

“Pakatan and Hindraf-HRP must work together to end Umno’s rule,” insisted Ganesan.

Hindraf-HRP has already offered an olive branch to Pakatan to work together for the next polls to oust Umno and company from the federal government.

But Pakatan is unlikely to entertain it because some leaders and supporters believe that HRP candidates would lose their deposits if they contested alone.

But Hindraf-HRP leaders believe they have nothing to lose and, moreover, they would gain more political strength by taking the centre-stage in the next general election.

They insist that it is Pakatan which has more to lose with non-cooperation.

It looks like this is shaping up to be a one-upmanship political game between Pakatan and the human rights socio-political movement.

With election around the corner, any cooperation would have to take place fast.

For cooperation to happen, it will take a great deal of wisdom to shake off egos, arrogance and short-sighted thinking.

Whether Pakatan will ever accept Hindraf-HRP axis into its fold will remain a tricky question.

Report: Police acted unethically in dispersing July 9 protesters (Update)

ImageThe Sun Daily
by Husna Yusop

PUTRAJAYA (Oct 4, 2011): The Home Ministry today admitted that police had breached the standard operating procedures (SOP) and had acted unethically in the dispersal of demonstrators of the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 at the Tung Shin Hospital.

Its secretary-general Tan Sri Mahmood Adam said the Home Ministry will refer the personnel concerned, to the Royal Malaysian Police's disciplinary committee for its consideration and further action.

In a statement issued late today, Mahmood cited the Health Ministry's highest level internal investigation committee's report on the incident saying water cannon was sprayed by policemen towards the demonstrators who were gathering at the multi-level car park and the main entrance of Tung Shin Hospital.

"However, this action is merely intended to disperse the groups of protesters gathered there," Mahmood said.

It was also stated that tear gas was shot towards the Waz Lian premises by the police force, targetting at protesters who were gathering in a public car park outside Tung Shin.

"However, the claim that there was firing of tear gas into Tung Shin grounds is not true because it happened outside the hospital," Mahmood quoted the report.

Another incident was the throwing of smoke grenades by the police towards protesters gathering at the parking lot of the Chinese Maternity Hospital.

"With regards to the smoke grenade incident, the investigation found out it did not happen within the Tung Shin Hospital compounds but in the Chinese Maternity Hospital, which, in terms of administration, is separated from Tung Shin.

"The Chinese Maternity Hospital had ceased its operations since September 2006, as the whole premises was undergoing macro or major renovation starting December this year," Mahmood said.

"This decision clearly shows that the ministry views seriously the work ethics of each of its personnel and would not compromise in taking disciplinary action if it was proven the SOP has been violated by any of them," he said in a statement late today.

Muhyiddin Warns Schools Barring Students From Taking Exams

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin Wednesday warned of action against schools which deliberately prevented any pupil or student from sitting for important examinations.

Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said the Education Ministry was scrutinising the reports it had received on the matter.

There have been reports recently that some schools prohibited pupils weak in their studies from sitting for examinations so as to maintain a high pass rate.

Muhyiddin said the teachers could not be blamed if the pupils or students themselves did not wish to sit for the examinations.

The deputy prime minister spoke to reporters after a visit to Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Hartamas near here to have a first-hand look at the students sitting for the 2011 Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination which began yesterday.

The PMR students were taking their English Language Paper 1 examination then.

Muhyiddin reiterated that schools should not be too obsessed with attaining academic excellence to the extent that they denied any pupil or student his or her right to sit for important public examinations.

"No one should be denied his or her right to sit for a public examination," he said.

He reminded schools not to repeat the mistake and to ensure that every pupil or student was provided ample opportunity to get a proper education and sit for examinations to gauge their achievement.

Muhyiddin also said that an award would be introduced this year to accord recognition to parent-teacher associations which helped to raise the achievement of pupils or students.

He said an evaluation would be made of these associations which actively collaborated with the school administration to elevate the achievement of the pupils or students.

Why are we facing a gas shortage?

We are known to have rich reserves of natural gas. So why is Petronas facing a shortage in gas supply, which has resulted in crippling losses for Tenaga Nasional?
petronas gas deliveries quarter ended June 2011
Source: Petronas Financial Results Announcement quarter ended 30 June 2011
Petronas used to deliver 1200 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas to the power generation sector. The supply has now dropped to around 900mmscfd this year.
The shortage is squeezing the life out of TNB, which has had to resort to fuel substitutes that are six times more expensive than gas. TNB posted serious losses in its third quarter and its fourth quarter results could be just as dire.
A proposal has reportedly been put forward that some of the independent power producers should share the higher costs.
Energy costs for TNB in FY2010 added up to RM19.1bn of which RM12.5bn went to the IPPs, reported The Edge last month. TNB will now have to shell out an additional RM400m per month in fuel costs. Imagine, it had to reportely put a tender out for fuel supply on two occasions and even had to import electricity from Singapore! The gas supply situation must be really grim if you have to import electricity from Singapore!
The worst part is that, if nothing is done, the higher costs could soon be passed to consumers, perhaps in December or after the coming general election, which some believe could be held by the end of the year.
According to Petronas, the gas shortage is due to subsidised gas prices (tell us, who benefited the most?) and the use of gas as a substitute for coal and this has spurred the demand for gas. Declining reserves and aging facilities have also taken its toll, it added.
Petronas also highlights the following:
  • Subsidised gas prices since 1997 created impetus for gas demand as a substitute for coal and oil = pushing demand beyond organic requirements.
  • Declining reserves coupled with aging facilities stretched supply dynamics = eventual gap between supply and demand.
  • Little room for error on supply management.
  • We have intensified mitigation actions to alleviate the gas shortage.
  • Material portion of future supply = derived from imports at market prices = 1997 subsidies gradually withdrawn.
Bekok-C restoration.
Less well known is the impact of a fire last December at the Bekok C gas platform, located 200km off-shore from the east coast of the peninsula. The resumption of full supply has been repeatedly delayed.
But even if supply from Bekok C is fully restored, will the shortage be resolved? Perhaps unlikely.
The funny thing is that Malaysia is ranked 14th in the world in terms of its gas reserves, according to the Gas Malaysia website.
As at 1 January 2008, the natural gas reserves in Malaysia stood at 88.0 trillion standard cubic feet (tscf) or 14.67 billion barrels of oil equivalent, approximately three times the size of crude oil reserves of 5.46 billion barrel.
Of this, 33.5 trillion standard cubic feet (tscf) or 38% is found off the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, 41.8 tscf (48%) offshore Sarawak and the remaining 12.7 tscf (14%) offshore Sabah. At the current rate of production, Malaysia’s gas reserves expected to last another 36 years.
In 2007, Malaysia’s production of natural gas averaged 7.01 bscf per day. As at 31 March 2008, Malaysia had 88 producing fields of which 61 were oil fields and 27 gas fields. About 50% of these producing fields are solely operated by PETRONAS’s subsidiary, PETRONAS Carigali.
So, I repeat the question, why are we facing a gas shortage? The reason often cited is ongoing maintenance work. But that sounds vague. So what’s really going on?
A thorough independent audit is needed on all the country’s gas platforms and the delivery process to find out what is happening to our gas supply and the reason(s) for the shortage.
Meanwhile, perhaps someone from Petronas can tell us what’s happening?

Victory for a Moroccan Christian Convert

We are glad to inform you that our client, a former Muslim from Morocco, has been granted asylum in the United States. Our client, Z, whose name has been kept confidential for security reasons, is a young Christian who grew up in a wealthy and strong Muslim family in Morocco. After his conversion to Christianity, he was attacked by radical Muslims and was stabbed multiple times. After losing a lot of blood and remaining unconscious for three days, Z was miraculously saved.

Z told the ACLJ that he was brought up in a “purely traditional Islamic way and had a burning desire since adolescence to be a good Muslim in the eye of Allah and to make his family proud of him.” At a very young age Z was sent to a Moroccan mosque to study the Quran for four years. However, Z said that “the more I tried to know Allah, the more I became afraid of him.” Z’s fear came to an end when he met with a Christian schoolmate in Europe. When Z shared Islam with this schoolmate, he says, “instead of being amazed and convinced of what I had said to her, she simply told me that she already has Jesus Christ, and she is scared of nothing.” Z started a comparative study of the Quran and the Bible. While studying the Bible, Z said, “the thing that struck me the most was that no one can ever be good enough to deserve God’s favor, to win God’s heaven, because from birth we are all pre-disposed to rejecting God and living our lives our own way. That’s why it was necessary for God himself to shrink into a human body and die on the cross, dying the death we deserve.”

Z left Islam and started secretly living as a Christian. In 2010, when he was attending a secret house church in Morocco and going to an internet cafe to fulfill his need to listen to worship songs and sermons, he was approached by four men as he left his house. The men surrounded him and said they knew that he had left Islam and dishonored his family and Islam by becoming a kafir (infidel). The men stabbed Z multiple times and left him for dead. One of Z’s neighbors saw him lying on the ground, bleeding. He took Z to the hospital where he underwent two surgeries. He gained consciousness after three days and thanked God for saving his life. Z came to the United States and contacted the ACLJ. Our legal team filed for asylum and within just four months, Z was interviewed and granted asylum. Z is currently attending a Bible school where he is continuously growing in his Christian faith.

In recent years, Morocco has been very unwelcoming of Christian foreigners and has expelled many from the country. And, just last year, at least 14 Christian converts were arrested in Morocco. In 2005, a Christian convert was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Ahmadi schoolteacher shot dead in Sheikhupura

Dilawar Hussain was shot twice at the government school where he taught. 

LAHORE: As his students watched, a recent convert to the Ahmadi faith, Dilawar Hussain, 42, was shot dead at a government primary school in a village in Sheikhupura on Saturday.

According to the FIR registered, the deceased was shot twice while he was taking a class at the primary school in Dere Golianwala.

Hussain, along with his wife, Ishrat Bibi, and four children, had recently converted to the Ahmadi faith. His family was the only one in the village belonging to the Ahmadiyya community, Sheikhupura’s Ameer Jamaat Ahmadiyya Chaudhry Abdul Hameed Bhatti told The Express Tribune.

He said the deceased’s siblings boycotted him after his conversion and other relatives went against him when local clerics declared him “liable to be killed”.

Bhatti said even his brothers, one of whom is a police officer, did not want to register an FIR and become a complainant. Instead, they made Ishrat Bibi the complainant and prepared the application themselves.

Hussain’s relatives refused to own his body. At the same time, they created obstacles for his widow to take the body away from the village to Rabwah, the headquarters of the Ahmaddiya community. However, under police security, she finally managed to take the body away.

Sheikhupura SHO Shahid Zafar Gujjar said that as the FIR was registered against two unidentified people, they had no information about the murderers.

The SHO said authorities will be able to trace out the assailants once the witness identifies them. He added that the police had completed the legal requirements by getting autopsy of the body and registering the FIR. He revealed FIR # 1146/11 under section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code had been registered against the assailants.

Saleemuddin, a spokesperson for Jamat-e-Ahmadiyya Pakistan, condemned the murder and demanded the immediate arrest of the accused. He said fatwas declaring members of the Ahmadi sect “liable to be killed” were being issued in different parts of the country and these religious edicts were being published in vast numbers. This, according to Saleemuddin, has resulted in target killings of many Ahmadis.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2011.

Pakatan MPs want 'plagiarist' judge removed

Report: Police breached SOP in Tung Shin incident

(Malaysiakini) A Health Ministry probe has confirmed that the police had breached standard operating procedures (SOP) when dispersing Bersih 2.0 rally participants at the Tung Shin Hospital.

In a statement late this evening, Home Ministry chief secretary Mahmood Adam said based on the Health Ministry report, errant police personnel would be referred to the police's disciplinary committee.

tear gas fire at tung shin hospital 090711 1“The investigation results concluded that there were unethical actions which were beyond the SOP of the Royal Malaysian Police when enforcement was performed on rally participants who were wrongly using the hospital premises,” said Mahmood.
The Health Ministry report, released today, confirms that the police water cannon was fired at demonstrators who were converging at the hospital multi-storey carpark and main gate.

“However, this action (was taken) solely to disperse groups of protesters who were gathering at the hospital area,” said Mahmood, quoting from the Health Ministry report.
Smoke bombs

It was also confirmed that tear gas canisters were fired from the Waz Lian Enterprise Sdn Bhd building in the direction of a carpark outside the hospital compound.

tear gas fire at tung shin hospital 090711 2“However, allegations that there was tear gas fired inside the hospital compound are not true because it happened at a public carpark outside the hospital compound,” said Mahmood.

The report also states that 'smoke bombs' were thrown by police personnel towards protesters who were converging at the Chinese Maternity Hospital (CMH) carpark.

“Referring to the smoke bomb incident, investigations found that this did not happen inside the Tung Shin Hospital compound, but at the CMH compound, which in terms of administration, is separate from Tung Shin.

“CMH had ceased operations since September 2006 because of major renovations which will take place in December 2011,” said Mahmood.
Initial denial
He stressed that the decision to refer errant police personnel for disciplinary proceedings shows that the Home Ministry was serious in ensuring that its staff follow procedures.

NONE“(The Home Ministry) will not compromise on disciplinary action if it is found that there are (staff) who are proven to have violated operational guidelines,” he said.

Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai had initially denied claims that riot-control weapons were fired into the Tung Shin Hospital compound during the July 9 rally.

However, pictures which were widely distributed on the Internet suggested the contrary, leading Liow to announce the formation of a “high-level committee of enquiry” to probe the claims.

Pakatan’s ‘prosperity for all’ budget

The opposition unveiled its 2012 budget which emphasises on cleaning up the economy of corruption.
KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat unveiled its shadow budget for 2012 today aimed at overhauling the country’s “flawed” macro and micro economic management to cut costs while adding value.

The budget, themed “Prosperity For All”, was announced by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim at Parliament here.

Much of the pact’s alternative fiscal management plans were similar to its past budget where the emphasis was on cleaning the economy of corruption, the “typical characteristics of the Barisan Nasional government”, which Anwar said cost the country dearly.

The underlying principles of Pakatan’s budget would be to:
  • Assist the majority poor; ensuring long-term fiscal survival focusing on deficit trim;
  • Adding value to government spending by combating graft so money will reach voters;
  • Empowering the people’s economy through training programmes and strengthening;
  • Strengthening political reformation which is essential in protecting voters from “elements that will monopolise wealth for them and their cronies.”
As much as RM220 billion would be allocated for the said purposes.

Although the amount was RM14 billion lesser than the ruling coalition’s 2011 Budget, Anwar said this would be consistent with the aim to cut deficit to 4.4% of the GDP or 1.1% less than BN’s annual target.
Trimming public debt, which stood close to 7% of the GDP in 2009 forced the government to push the panic button and compelled Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to resort to a much needed but unpopular measure – dismantling the hefty subsidy regime amid soaring inflation.

Pakatan, however, argued that slashing subsidies on basic goods was not the only solution and said that ethical and transparent governance would help stop fiscal “leakages” and unnecessary waste of public funds.

This meant Pakatan would maintain subsidies and offsets by disciplined fiscal spending. As much as RM22 billion would be allocated for subsidies on basic goods under the pact’s budget.

Anwar, a former finance minister, said with ethical, transparent and responsible fiscal management, the lesser figures allocated for the 2012 budget could add 20% more value than what the BN government could achieve.

Slash PM’s Dept spending

Among the measures introduced to cut public fund wastage was the slashing of the RM10 billion allocation for the Prime Minister’s Department.
Currently, the PM’s office had the discretionary powers to set allocation at any amount. There had been a constant increase in allocations since 2004 despite having to cope with the rising deficit.
Other measures, Anwar said, included ending monopolies by “crony companies” in key industries like power and rice.
Najib would table his third budget as prime minister this Friday and is expected to announce measures to tackle the rising cost of living as the country copes with sluggish growth.

From 7.2% last year, growth stood only at 4.4% in the first half of this year.

The prime minister’s announcement would likely “break the bank” by including announcements such as a new civil service pay scheme that would see salary rise by as much as 40%.

Civil servants were considered an important vote bank for the ruling coalition and winning them over would be key to realising Pakatan’s Putrajaya ambition.

In an apparent bid to woo them, Anwar announced his coalition’s intention to implement a minimum wage policy of RM1,100 which would immediately benefit 300,000 civil servants earning below that base.

Other salient points of the pact’s budget were based on policies outlined in its “Orange Book” where much of the spending would be in the form of cash aides and incentives targeted at the lower income group.

Highlights of the shadow budget
  • An additional RM1.2 billion of revenue will be raised by auctioning Open APs, presently issued at RM10,000 each by the BN government. An auction price of RM30,000 each will bring the additional RM1.2 billion revenue.
  • 10,000 teachers will be trained and RM200 million will be allocated to address the shortage of Chinese, English, Tamil and religious teachers, as well as an additional RM200 million to be immediately disbursed to improve excisting buildings of vernacular and religious schools.
  • An open tender for government procurement to reward know-how instead of know-who.
  • Affirmative measures for bumiputera and other disadvantaged groups will focus on strengthening the capability of such groups to compete through education, training and financial support.
  • A Unfair Public Contracts Act will be enacted to empower a review into lop-sided concessions and agreements that are deemed to be against the public interest.
  • GLCs will be freed from political interference and allowed to operate based on comercial priorities. Ultimately only GLCs in strategic sectors will be retained.
  • The Competition Act will be extended to all sectors of the economy, including telecommunication companies, pay-tv services and the power sector.
  • Press and media cartels will be dismantled, Astro’s monopoly will be broken up and taxi licences to be given directly to individual taxi drivers.
  • A senior Malaysian bonus of RM1,000 for the elderly, payment of RM1,000 for qualified homemakers and supplemanting hardcore poor households income. A childcare allowance of RM1,000 a year for children below 12-years-old from households earning less than RM1,000 a month.
  • These immediate measures to help Malaysians will cost: RM1.7 billion for senior Malaysian bonus for the elderly; RM2 billion for support of homemakers; RM200 million for top-up payments for the hardcore poor.
  • Will not implement Good and Services Tax until and unless Malaysia departs from the middle income trap.
  • The police force will be refocussed on crime prevention and enhancing public security.
  • A National Transport Policy to prioritize public transport following the principle of “moving people, not cars”.
  • To reform political landscape by revoking existing emergency proclamations, to restructure Public Complaints Bureau into an Ombudsman institution, revoking media licensing requirements by repealing the Printing Presses and Publications Act, to restore academy freedom and autonomy of local universities, and to abolish the Official Secrets Act and enact a Freedom of Information Act.
  • Improving the road networks in Sabah and Sarawak, strengthening the electrical grid network in Sabah and revamping the flying doctors services in Sarawak by giving an additional allocation of RM100 million.
  • No increase in sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol as it is ineffective in curbing unhealthy habits. Public awareness and education would be a better alternative.
  • Pakatan will reintroduce the import tax for 200 luxury items that were exempted by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in the last budget.
  • RM2.2 billion for teachers from special teaching allowance and minimum wage.
  • RM1 billion for public housing.

Pakatan guns for 'copycat' judge

According to Karpal Singh, the Court of Appeal judge allegedly plagiarised a judgment by a Singaporean counterpart in early 2000.
KUALA LUMPUR:  Sixty Pakatan Rakyat MPs are pushing for a motion to censure a Court of Appeal judge for alleged plagiarism.

Leading the pack, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh said that justice Abdul Malik Ishak had allegedly committed the offence while serving as a High Court judge in Johor in early 2000.

The judge was accused of plagiarising a judgment by then Singapore High Court judge GP Selvam and the irony of the matter was that Malik was hearing a case regarding copyright.

Speaking at a press conference in Parliament, Karpal said: “We have filed the motion (to discuss the censuring) with the secretary of the Dewan Rakyat.”

“This motion (is in line with) Article 127 of the Federal Constitution which allows for discussion of the conduct of judges if 1/4 of parliamentarians support the motion,” he added.

The total number of MPs is 222, and with 60 backing the motion, it exceeded the required number.

Suspend the judge

Meanwhile, Karpal described the charge against the judge as serious, and did not reflect well on the judiciary.

“It is clearly misconduct of a very serious nature on the part of Malik bringing the Malaysian judiciary into disrepute,” he said, demanding that the judge be suspended and brought before a tribunal.

Karpal said that portions of Selvam’s judgment were copied without quoting and acknowledging the original source.

The DAP leader said he had written twice to Malik in August and September this year but did not receive a response from him over the matter.

Karpal added that the motion filed today was also in line with Parliamentary Standing Orders 27 and 36 (8).

Standing Order 27 states that advance notice must be sent to the Dewan Rakyat secretary before tabling a motion in parliament.

While Standing Order 36 (8) required a motion to be tabled in parliament first before there is any discussion regarding a public officer appointed under constitutional provisions.

Law graduate from Singapore

According to the judiciary website, the Johor-born Abdul Malik was appointed to the Court of Appeal on July 16, 2007.

A law graduate from the University of Singapore – graduating in 1974 , Abdul Malik was appointed as a Judicial Commissioner on Oct 1, 1992, and subsequently, as a Judge of the High Court of Malaya on Aug 17,1994.

Prior to that he had served as a magistrate, deputy public prosecutor, state legal adviser, senior Sessions Court judge and advisory board chairman at the Prime Minister’s Department.

[Judge's photo from the judiciary website]

Tun M: Pakatan's Alternative Budget is like an "Empty Pocket"

(Bernama) - "It's easy when we want to spend the money which we don't have," is what former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said when asked to comment on the tabling of the alternative Budget by the opposition Pakatan Rakyat.

It was reported that Pakatan Rakyat would table its annual budget today, three days ahead before the federal government presents its 2012 Budget.

The opposition coalition's budget is said to be an alternative budget before the 2012 Budget is tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Parliament on Friday. Najib is also Finance Minister.

"It's always easy to spend the money which is not under our control. We can do anything (like) promising to give 20 percent oil royalty.

"Yes, we can make the promise as we are not the government. Make promises, so long you win the elections (general election).

"It is common, even (US President Barack) Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, but until now the detention center has not been closed yet. But he was elected," said Dr Mahathir to reporters after delivering a keynote address at the 8th Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum 2011 here today.

Dr Mahathir also served as finance minister when he was the prime minister for 22 years.

Noose Tightens in French Defense Scandal

Malaysia's sub, lost in the fog
Asian dimension as French state-owned arms company faces murder, bribery allegations
After years of inaction and coverup, details are emerging in France of the sale of armaments by the French state-owned defense contractor DCNS to countries across the world including Pakistan, Malaysia, Chile, India, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia, with bribes and kickbacks built into DCNS’s budget, ensnaring politicians across the globe.

Allegations involving DCNS, formerly known as DCN, range from murder to bribery and corruption and go from defense procurement officials in each of those countries to some of the top politicians in France.

Under the French legal system, prosecutors under the control of the Ministry of Justice must make a preliminary enquiry, during which no one has access to the files, so that any information the police have obtained cannot be shared. The prosecutors have been stymied for years by the ministry. However, investigators appear to be losing their awe of politicians all the way up to President Nicholas Sarkozy.

In September, for instance, Nicholas Bazire, 54, the best man at Sarkozy’s wedding to supermodel Carla Bruni, was arrested and charged with misuse of public funds in the 1995 presidential campaign of Edouard Balladur. Sarkozy was Balladur’s campaign spokesman and budget minister at the time. Another friend, Thierry Gaubert, Sarkozy’s cabinet chief when he was budget and communication minister, was arrested earlier. Sarkozy is seeking avoid the appointment of an instruction judge in an effort to keep the cases under control. But the political knives may be out for Sarkozy.

That increases the chances that investigating judges will allow prosecutors a more detailed look at DCNS’s books to probe kickbacks in Pakistan, where 11 French submarine engineers were killed in a bomb attack, and Taiwan, where a number of murders and suicides have been recorded in connection with the sale of frigates to Taiwan’s navy. The details can be found here.

William Bourdon, the leader of a three-lawyer team investigating Malaysia’s US$1 billion purchase of submarines from DCNS for the Malaysian reform organization Suaram, earlier told Asia Sentinel he hoped his team would have access to the files by October. Bourdon was summarily deported from Malaysia in July after giving a speech in Penang describing some of the details of the allegations.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was defense minister at a time when Malaysia bought two Scorpene-class submarines from DCNS. Included in the transaction was a €114 million commission paid to Perimekar Sdn Bhd, a company owned by Najib’s close friend, Abdul Razak Baginda. The transaction has been mired in controversy since 2006, when Altantuya Shaariibuu, a party girl and translator ostensibly hired to help in the contract, was murdered after demanding US$500,000 from Razak Baginda, her jilted lover, for unspecified reasons. Razak Baginda was acquitted of her murder under unusual circumstances without having to provide a defense. Two of Najib’s police bodyguards were convicted and sentenced to death. They have appealed the verdict.

Joseph Breham, a lawyer with Solicitors International Human Rights Group and a member of Bourdon’s team, said in London last week that DCNS often budgeted as much as 8 to 12 percent of its total receipts as "commissions" paid to grease sales of armaments in third-world countries. Breham’s speech was reported for the Malaysia website Malaysiakini by Miriam Mokhtar.

Malaysia bought two Scorpene submarines from DCNS for about US$1 billion and leased a third from a DCNS subsidiary for training. Of that, the €114 commission was paid to Razak Baginda’s company, Perimekar Sdn Bhd.

Breham said Razak Baginda’s company Perimekar had received the commission for "supporting the contract," which he said was a euphemism for unexplained costs, and also for "housing the crew" of the submarines in France. Perimekar was wholly owned by another company, KS Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd, which in turn was also controlled by Razak Baginda. His wife Mazalinda, a lawyer and former magistrate, was the principal shareholder, according to the French lawyers.

Breham questioned why such vast sums could be paid to Razak Baginda’s company. The €114 million obtained by Ombak Laut, he said, was more than the amount paid by France to all of its primary school teachers for a year. He also revealed that DCNS’s former finance director had written memos in which he alleged that €31 million of the €114 million had been used for "commercial engineering", a term Breham said had no legal meaning.

Breham said that in France, before 2002, any money used to bribe foreign officials was tax deductible. When the former finance director of DCN made a claim for the €31million allegedly used to bribe the Malaysians for the purchase of the Scorpenes, the Minister of Budget questioned such a large bribe, although he did eventually authorize the tax break.

The French lawyer mentioned a possible third commission, which arose because of the different mechanisms that enabled the submarines to operate. The Malaysian submarines had to be modified to operate in tropical waters, he said, which required altering the technical specifications. A variation order was made which incurred a further US$2.5 million. Breham concluded that the only doubt about the €114 million payment, which is reflected in Perimekar's financial statements, was whether the payment was for valid reasons or unethical ones.

The sticking-point for DCNS is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, signed by all 34 members of the OECD including France in 1997. The convention establishes legally binding standards to criminalize bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions and provides for a host of related measures that make this effective. Thus the alleged bribery by a French company of Malaysian officials became an offense under French law.

In April 2010, the lawyers, acting for Suaram filed a 'plainte avec constitution de partie civile' complaint, which is a criminal prosecution with a concurrent independent action for civil damages. That would mean there would be two trials, one a criminal trial and the second a civil trial for compensation.

This has two great advantages, Breham said. First, an independent instruction judge is appointed for the civil case. Second, Suaram becomes a party to the case, at which point the legal team, acting for Suaram, can then have access to all the files about the case and can ask questions of the instruction judge and request that he investigates on its behalf.

There is a huge struggle in France between the prosecution and the instruction judge. Breham says that unlike a prosecutor, this independent judge has investigative powers to subpoena officials from DCN, and access documents in the DCN offices to obtain evidence of commissions. The judge can also request "mutual criminal assistance" from the Malaysian authorities for purposes of information and cooperation. So far, there is no indication that Malaysian officials intend to cooperate.

Jawapan bertulis di Dewan Rakyat hanya melepas batuk ditangga

Dia atas ini ialah jawapan bertulis Kerajaan bagi menjawab soalan mengenai
cincin RM24.45 juta yang dibangkit oleh 6 orang ahli parlimen

Kenyataan Terbuka
Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia
4 Oktober 2011

1. che'GuBard bagi pihak Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) telah mula membuat pendedahan mengenai isu kewujudan kemasukan sebentuk cincin harga RM24.45 juta yang dalam kotak penerima dalam borang kemasukan tertera nama Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, sehubungan dengan itu SAMM tampil memohon penjelasan dari beliau.
2. Dalam persidangan Dewan rakyat kali ini SAMM difahamkan terdapat 6 ahli parlimen yang mengajukan soalan sebelum persidangan mengenai cincin ini.
3. Seperti dijangka soalan ini hanya akan mendapat jawapan bertulis bukan lisan. Di atas ialah jawapan bertulis yang dibuat oleh Menteri Di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, YB Dato Seri Mohamed Nazri Abd Aziz. jawapan tersebut hanya seperti melepaskan batuk di tangga sahaja.
4. Bermula dari 8 Julai kali pertama che'GuBard mendedahkan mengenai cincin ini, saya dihambur berbagai tuduhan antaranya ialah pendedahan saya palsu, dokumen kastam yang saya siarkan telah diedit komputer dan ada juga tuduhan tidak wujud cincin berharga semahal rm24.45 juta.
5. 13 Julai, che'GuBard tampil di SPRM Pulau Pinang untuk membuat laporan SPRM dengan menyerahkan sebahagian dari bukti yang ada. Jika minta SPRM siasat mana dapat duit beli sudah tentu SPRM tidak siasat, maka 'angle' mudah perlu difikirkan. SAMM telah membuat laporan SPRM dengan mengambil sudut cukai kocong untuk cincin bernilai RM24.45j. Laporan sengaja dibuat begitu walaupun tahu perhiasan wanita seperti cincin telah dikecualikan cukai dalam pembentangan belanjawan yang lepas.
6. Terperangkap dengan sudut laporan , maka SPRM bertindak dengan 'serbu' bahagian kargo KLIA. Menurut maklumat yang diperolehi pegawai syarikat kargo A.Krishnan ditahan dari petang hingga awal pagi dan akhirnya dibebaskan. Selepas sesi soal siasat mendapati fakta memang cincin seperti itu tidak perlu cukai. Kemenangan yang kami perolehi ialah dengan memulakan siasatan SPRM mengakui dokumen kemasukan cincin itu benar, asli dan memang wujud.
7. Selepas itu ada maklumat juga sistem komputer Kastam 'hang' hampir 3 jam. Serentak dengan itu wujud tiba - tiba di laman-laman blog pro Umno kononya borang cincin ini di bawa keluar ke Singapura dengan 'hand carry'. Di siarkan juga borang Kastam sebagai bukti cincin ini keluar menerusi KLIA
8. Cuma timbul keraguan dalam borang cincin ini keluar. Beberapa pindaan dibuat tanpa pengesahan dan nama pegawai kastam yang menandatangani cincin itu keluar menurut laman web rasmi KDRM (yang terakhir dikemaskini pada 4 Oktober 2011) menyatakan dengan jelas nama pegawai tersebut berkhidmat di Bahagian Latihan, Ibu pejabat Kastam. Adakah keluar cincin ini urusan rasmi khusus yang amat penting hingga memerlukan tandatangan pegawai yang bertugas di Ibupejabat KDRM ?
9. Menurut laman - laman blog pro Umno kononya cincin ini masuk untuk pameran yang konon diadakan untuk VVIP sahaja. Mengenali Rosmah yang sukakan publisiti adakah kemasukan belian bernilai RM 24.45 j itu disenyapkan jika ia untuk pameran ? Adakah ia untuk pameran yang sulit, di tempat yang sulit, dengan tetamu yang sulit pada masa yang sulit ? Beliau buat peragaan fesyen busana Muslim pun ada media yang mengatakan 'diminta khusus' memberikan liputan. Jika untuk pameran kenapa ada nama Rosmah adakah dia mengambil kerja sambilan sebagai penganjur pameran belian.
10. Lebih menarik apabila muncul bekas setiausaha, YB Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (ketika menjadi TPM) yang menyatakan kononya belian itu masuk dan milik bakal besan Rosmah. Cara beliau menyatakan mungkin untuk menimbulkan persepsi bahawa keluarga bakal menantu Rosmah amat kaya dan cincin itu ialah hadiah.
11. Malah lucunya kenyataan beliau yang mencabar che'GuBard membuat laporan mengenai berlian tersebut ternyata satu propaganda lucu mengampu kerana cabaran dibuat selepas lebih dari sebulan che'GuBard membuat laporan SPRM. Propaganda murahan inilah yang mendapat liputan besar di media seperti Utusan dan TV3. Dengan kenyataan bertulis Menteri juga propaganda ini juga dinafikan.
12. Nampaknya kempen pelancongan Malaysia amat berjaya bukan sahaja pelancong tetapi cincin berlian juga datang masuk bersiar-siar dan keluar semula selepas itu dari Malaysia.
13. Ingin ditegaskan, che'GuBard tidak menuduh tetapi dengan kewujudan bukti dan pembelaan puak pengampu yang menambah kecelaruan fakta maka lebih menuntut Rosmah untuk tampail memberikan penjelasan, bukan hanya menyatakan "itu semua fitnah dan mereka dengki dengan saya"
14. Rakyat sedang bergelut dengan perbagai tekanan hidup, khususnya kelompok pekerja muda yang sedang membina kerjaya dan keluarga. Kesombongan dan imej mewah Rosmah yang cuba menyamar sebagai wanita pertama negara seperti mencurah garam ke luka rakyat.
15. Itu belum lagi mengambil kira gelang tangan bernilai RM1.65 juta yang ada gambar dipakai oleh Rosmah dari syarikat yang sama mengeluarkan cincin.
16. Kini terpulang pada rakyat. SAMM minggu hadapan akan mula mengedarkan risalah buku kecil mengenai pembaziran dan kemewahan melampau khususnya mengenai isu cincin ini.


Pengerusi SAMM