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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Muammar Gaddafi to be buried in secret desert location

Libya's NTC appears to have decided that an anonymous grave would ensure the site did not become a shrine.
The bodies of the toppled Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, his son Mutassim and a former aide have been moved from a commercial freezer in a warehouse area of Misrata in anticipation of burial, according to a security guard.

Ibrahim Beitalmal, local military spokesman, has said the burial is likely to take place on Tuesday. He said the three men would be interred in unmarked graves in a secret location to avoid vandalism.

Asked about the removal of the bodies from the freezer, he said he was unaware of the process of burial getting under way.

However, Salem al Mohandes, a security guard at the warehouse complex, said the bodies were moved late on Monday from the freezer, where they had been on display for the past four days.

"Our job is finished," al-Mohandes said. "[Gaddafi] was transferred and the military council of Misrata took him away to an unknown location. I don't know whether they buried him or not."

An Associated Press Television News team saw three vehicles leave the warehouse area late on Monday. The team then entered the freezer and found it empty.

An official from the National Transitional Council (NTC) said on Monday Gaddafi's burial will be in a secret desert grave.

'Loyalists executed'

The developments came as the New York-based rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW), warned of a "trend of killings, looting and other abuses" by those who had fought against Gaddafi.

HRW said it had found 53 decomposing bodies, apparently Gaddafi loyalists, in Sirte, and that there were indications they may have been executed by revolutionary forces.

The bodies were found on the lawn of the abandoned Mahari hotel, and some had their hands bound.

Peter Bouckaert, a researcher for HRW, said the hotel had been under the control of NTC fighters from Misrata before the killings took place.

The condition of the bodies suggested that the men had been killed between October 15 and 19, HRW said.

Bloodstains on the grass and spent cartridges indicated that some were shot and killed at the spot they were discovered.

"This latest massacre seems part of a trend of killings, looting, and other abuses committed by armed anti-Gaddafi fighters who consider themselves above the law," Bouckaert said in a statement.

NTC fighters in Misrata, a city that had been besieged by Gaddafi's troops for weeks earlier this year, had no immediate comment.

The US state department termed the report "extremely disturbing".

Gene Cretz, the US ambassador to Libya, had "raised it with the National Transitional Council today and asked them to conduct a full investigation", according to a state department spokesperson.

Inquiry ordered

Earlier, the NTC ordered an investigation into the death of Gaddafi after international pressure to examine the circumstances surrounding his death.

A commission of inquiry is being put in place to investigate the killing of Gaddafi, who was captured by NTC fighters outside Sirte on Thursday and shot shortly afterwards, apparently while being transported to Misrata.

"In response to international calls, we have started to put in place a commission tasked with investigating the circumstances of Muammar Gaddafi's death in the clash with his circle as he was being captured," Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of the NTC, said in Bengazi on Monday.

Abdel Jalil also announced that the process of forming a new interim government was already under way, and would be completed "within two weeks".

He said all Libyans "wanted to try [Gaddafi] for what he has done to them. From executions, to imprisonment, to throwing away the Libyan wealth ... or using that wealth against the Libyan people".

The NTC has insisted that Gaddafi was killed in "crossfire" between NTC fighters and pro-Gaddafi loyalists after his capture from a drainage pipe outside his hometown of Sirte.

Some members of the NTC, as well as of the international community, have expressed doubt over this version of events.

The US, Britain and international rights groups have all called for an investigation into how Gaddafi was killed in what appeared to be one of the final acts of Libya's eight-month civil war.

Critics have also said that the fact that Gaddafi's body, along with that of his son Mutassim, was put on display raises questions about the NTC's commitment to the rule of law.

Abdel Jalil has said Gaddafi may have been killed by his own loyalists in order to escape being implicated by him in any trial.

"Some people may have wanted him to have been tried to extend their feeling of relief at his downfall," he said.

"Free Libyans wanted Gaddafi to spend as much time in prison as possible and feel humiliation as much as possible."

Student activists accuse Najib of cowardice for cancelling UIA appearance

UIA students during their protest last Friday.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 – An undergraduate student group today labelled Datuk Seri Najib Razak a coward for cancelling late his scheduled visit to the International Islamic University (UIA) tonight.

The campus in Gombak has in recent days turned into an intellectual battleground for academic freedom over the controversial suspension of an outspoken constitutional law professor alleged to have insulted the Selangor Ruler.

The Malaysian Insider understands the prime minister has cancelled his appointments today to attend the Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz al-Saud's funeral.

“SMM views the prime minister’s move to call off the visit as being too fearful to face the undergraduates,” the group calling itself Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia said in a statement today.

“SMM’s fight is for academic freedom and not only to defend Prof Dr Aziz Bari,” it added, referring to the UIA lecturer.

The student activists said it will go ahead with its campus protest tonight and hand a memorandum of objection against the government’s perceived interference to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

UIA suspended Abdul Aziz last week after he questioned remarks made by the Selangor Sultan in connection with the raid on Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) in August.

Aziz’s statement triggered a furore among Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs in Parliament, who demanded action against the don.

The academic chose not to apologise for his remarks even after a police report was lodged against him, insisting he had not meant to challenge the Sultan.

Aziz said he was fulfilling his role as an academic when he said earlier this month that the Sultan had intervened in an “unusual and inconsistent” manner over the church raid.

Hundreds of UIA students gathered at the university’s Gombak campus last week to demand the lecturer’s reinstatement.

Aziz’s colleagues and lecturers from other universities have also backed the constitutional law expert.

The university has since lifted the suspension pending an investigation.

MIC ready to swap seats

Palanivel thinks the party has good chances in Kedah and Penang

PETALING JAYA: MIC president G Palanivel has indicated his party’s readiness to swap seats with other Barisan Nasional parties for the coming general election.

The Tamil daily Makkal Osai today quoted him as saying that MIC was interested in seats in Kedah and Penang.

The statement was a departure from his declaration last July at the party’s annual general meeting that MIC was not interested in swapping seats although it was open to talks if approached by other BN parties.

“We will not let go of the nine parliamentary and 19 state seats,” he said at the AGM, referring to the BN allocation to MIC for the 2008 election. In that election, the party won only three parliamentary and seven state seats.

According to Makkal Osai, Palanivel lamented that MIC did not have any parliamentary seat to contest in either Kedah or Penang despite large Indian populations in the two states.

“What is the need for contesting in four parliamentary seats in Selangor but zero in Kedah and Penang?” he said.

Palanivel also indicated that he did not know if BN would give him a seat to contest in the coming election.

The journalist-turned-politician became the new party president last year after former boss S Samy Vellu decided to retire from politics.

Sources say he is desperate to win a seat to show that he has grassroots support to counter opposition jibes that he is a “back-door minister”.

Palanivel lost in Hulu Selangor in the 2008 election, but he was made a senator to enable his appointment as one of the ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department.

A MIC insider told FMT that Palanivel was trying to “fly north” because his party was becoming weaker in Selangor

No seats for M Ravi and Chegu Bard?

Negeri Sembilan PKR looks set to leave them out of the candidates’ list for the coming election

SEREMBAN: Popular PKR figures M Ravi and Badrul Hisham Shaharin are in danger of being left out of the election candidates’ list as punishment for their outspokenness.

FMT has learnt that Negri Sembilan PKR is ignoring the strength of the two politicians in their power bases as it engages in seat negotiations with PAS and DAP.

Ravi is the state assemblyman for Port Dickson and Badrul Hisham, better known as Chegu Bard, is widely seen as the most winnable candidate for the Rembau parliamentary seat. Both are known to be critical of state PKR chairman Kamarul Baharin Abbas.

A Telok Kemang PKR member said his party’s negotiators seemed keen to let DAP contest in Port Dickson in exchange for the Rahang seat, which Kamarul Baharin is apparently interested in.

“It’s unlikely that Ravi will be given a chance to contest anywhere,” he said. “His relationship with Kamarul Baharin turned sour after the last party elections.”

In the PKR elections last year, Ravi challenged Kamarul Baharin for the Telok Kemang PKR chief’s position and beat him convincingly.

“I learnt that Kamarul Baharin himself will contest the Rahang state seat,” the source said. “So Ravi will not have any place where he can contest.”

As for the Rembau seat, sources said PKR had decided to let PAS contest there in exchange for Jempol.

In the last election, Chegu Bard lost in Rembau to Umno Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin, but he is still tremendously popular there. Many observers, including politicians from outside PKR, see him as the most winnable opposition candidate there.

Lack of political energy

Chegu Bard is known to be the one of the most vocal members of the PKR state leadership council in questioning decisions made by Kamarul Baharin and his allies.

Insiders say he has regularly criticised the party’s state leadership for its lack of political energy.

Another likely victim of PKR internal politicking is Mohamad Rafie, deputy chief of the party’s Seremban division. His strongest base is the Ampangan state seat, which is part of the Seremban parliamentary constituency. However, FMT has learnt that PKR is willing to let PAS contest there in exchange for Lenggeng.

The current assemblyman for Ampangan is PKR’s Rashid Latif, who is not in good health and has indicated that he will not contest in the coming election.

“Kamarul dislikes Mohamad because of rumours last year that he wanted to take over the state leadership,” a member of Seremban PKR told FMT. “But the rumours were false.”

An official of Telok Kemang PKR, who requested anonymity, said party supremo Anwar Ibrahim and president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail should intervene to ensure that Ravi, Chegu Bard and Mohamad remain on the list of election candidates.

Politeknik halang cuti Deepavali

Seorang pensyarah dikatakan memperlekeh sambutan Deepavali oleh penganut agama Hindu.

BEHRANG: Sekumpulan pelajar India beragama Hindu dari sebuah Politeknik di Behrang, Perak meluahkan rasa kecewa atas sikap tidak prihatin yang ditunjukkan beberapa pensyarah.

Menurut pelajar terbabit, pensyarah mengadakan kuiz dan pembentangan projek pada 25 dan 27 Oktober 2011 sedangkan sambutan Deepavali jatuh pada 26 Oktober.

“Kami sangat kecewa dan sedih kerana pensyarah seperti sengaja mahu menganiaya kami dan tidak menghormati sambutan Deepavali,” kata salah seorang pelajar yang enggan namanya disiarkan kerana bimbang dikenakan tindakan disiplin oleh pensyarah terbabit.

Tinjauan mendapati bahawa Timbalan Ketua Pengarah (Operasi), Jabatan Pengajian Politeknik, Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi sudah mengirim surat rasmi pada 7 Oktober lalu kepada semua politeknik berhubung cuti sempena Deepavali.

Surat berkenaan yang turut diterima Politeknik Sultan Azlan Shah pada 12 Oktober lalu dengan jelas menyatakan pengarah politeknik “diarah membenarkan pelajar India diberi cuti bermula 25 hingga 28 Oktober 2011 sempena Hari Deepavali pada 26 Oktober 2011”.

Malangnya, beberapa pensyarah politeknik tersebut memaksa pelajar menghadiri kelas dengan sengaja mengadakan kuiz dan pembentangan projek yang membawa markah dalam pengajian.

Seorang pensyarah dikatakan memperlekeh sambutan Deepavali oleh penganut agama Hindu dengan bertanya, “Kalau tak sambut Deepavali untuk satu tahun tak boleh? Takkan tak boleh berkorban?”

Para pelajar terbabit kecewa kerana pensyarah itu juga secara amat jelas melanggar arahan yang dikeluarkan Putrajaya.

Pada 27 Julai lalu, pada Majlis Pelancaran Gerakan Pelajar India 1Malaysia di Universiti Malaya, Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak membuat pengumuman rasmi berkenaan cuti Hari Deepavali pagi pelajar Institusi Pengajian Tinggi Awam (IPTA).

“Upacara keagamaan berkaitan sambutan Deepavali bermula pada 25 Oktober tetapi kami tidak dapat pulang untuk bersama-sama keluarga walaupun kerajaan beri cuti.

“Sikap yang ditunjukkan pensyarah amat mengecewakan dan seperti sengaja mahu mensabotaj semangat 1Malaysia yang dilaung- laungkan Perdana Menteri,” kata pelajar terbabit

Hudud and one’s democratic right

The Star (Used by permission)

IKIM VIEWS by Md. Asham Ahmad Senior Fellow Centre for the Study of Syariah, Law and Politics

Implementing hudud is a big trust and it will not appear good and convincing in the hands of those who do not possess adequate moral and intellectual integrity.

THE crux of the hudud con­troversy, according to blog­­­-ger Raja Petra Kamarudin, is the fact that both sides do not understand democracy and do not respect the democratic right of someone to support or oppose what they feel they want to support or oppose.

Being a citizen of a democratic country, he emphasises that every Malaysian has a democratic right to dream about hudud and to support it, also to have nightmares about hudud and oppose it.

I think, as far as democratic right is concerned, we can agree with Raja Petra’s opinion.

The implementation of hudud law (or any law for that matter) in Malaysia remains a possibility under democracy.

It is not yet implemented because the majority of Malaysians, including the Muslims themselves do not want it.

They are simply practising their democratic right by not giving it their consent.

A good thing about democracy is that it allows for, and guarantees, freedom of speech.

Basically, anybody can make his opinion about anything known to others.

So those who want hudud can always argue their case, and those who don’t can also explain the reason for their disagreement.

What the proponents of hudud law need to do is to convince the other party that hudud law is good for the well-being of society as a whole, and that they are capable of implementing it.

When the majority is convinced that hudud is good, and that there are people in whom they can give their trust in implementing it, they will surely use their democratic right to support it and make it happen.

This is, however, not an easy feat because the very first hurdle is the fact that a great number of Muslims do not believe in Islamic law or are afraid of it because they have no idea – or have been given the wrong idea – as to what it is all about.

Some do believe in it, but they do not have confidence in those who say they can implement it; others seem so excited about it, but actually have no idea as to what it takes to make it happen.

Seen from a broader perspective, hudud is not the real problem.

It is just a form of punishment for a number of crimes mentioned in the Quran.

Only criminals and criminal wannabes, we might say, should be afraid of it.

A proper Muslim would never reject hudud per se because he knows that it is part of Islamic law and Islamic law is part of Islam.

But a proper Muslim would also not allow people who are incompetent to use hudud as rhetoric just to get into power because they are going to create a bigger disaster.

Hudud and Islamic law will not appear good and convincing in the hands of those who do not possess adequate moral and intellectual integrity.

Hence, this is a matter of giving trust (amanah) to the rightful people.

Implementing hudud is a big trust and it should not be given to just anybody.

If the ability is not yet there, the real responsibility of Muslims is to get themselves equipped with what it takes to carry out that responsibility.

So the real problem is the Muslims themselves who are as a whole, no longer good Muslims in terms of their understanding and practice of Islam so that they have become incapable of carrying out their duties and responsibilities.

As such, and as a matter of priority, what they really need today is proper education that will make them good Muslims – morally and intellectually.

It is true that the criminals among them need to be punished according to Islamic law but that is not going to happen if the majority do not believe in Islamic law or have no confidence in those who want to implement it.

So, now the crux of the matter is actually education.

Only a properly educated human being will be able to use his democratic right wisely.

He is not going to use his right to do wrong or to allow it to happen.

When we talk about education, the emphasis is on the individual, not society, and what matters most are ethics and morality, instead of politics and law.

Islamic law and political system cannot be conceived nor practised outside the framework of Islamic ethics and morality because justice actually begins with the self.

Even divine law cannot bring justice to society if left in the hands of incompetent and corrupt individuals.

A corrupt government can be brought down through the ballot box but it does not guarantee that the new government will be better than the previous one.

True reform must ultimately come from a gradual process of education that is properly conceived and implemented.

Our politicians, unfortunately, are not really interested in education.

They do not see anything grea­­-ter and more important than po­­wer.

They think with power any kind of reform can be done, hence their first concern over anything else is to be powerful.

Today, even the so-called ulama are thinking along that line.

Because of that, they make politics their highest priority in life – at the expense of all other concerns, particularly the education of Mus­lims.

They don’t realise, due to their excessive preoccupation with po­­wer politics, that Muslim education is steadily deteriorating, resulting in widespread ignorance and confusion.

They also do not realise that day by day Muslims are becoming more and more detached from the world view of Islam due to the introduction and rapid dissemination of the Western way of thinking and living through the system of education.

In such a condition, it is impossible to expect Muslims to use their democratic right wisely for the sake of Islam.

The leaders of Muslims should be wise enough in identifying problems besetting the ummah, and to be able to rank them in order of priority.

Tackling a wrong problem at the wrong time will lead Muslims no­­where but to further confusion.

‘Seven dead’ after Indonesian troops storm Papuan independence rally

Violence comes exactly a year after a shocking video
of Papuan men being brutally tortured by Indonesian
soldiers © Survival 
At least seven people are feared dead after Indonesian police opened fire on hundreds ofWest Papuans at an independence rally close to the province’s capital.

Representatives from tribes all over West Papua were meeting to choose a new leadership and to discuss the political future of the region. West Papua has been ruled by Indonesia since 1963.

Police have confirmed the bodies of five Papuans have been found, two dumped behind an army barracks and three in the mountains. Survival International has spoken to reliable sources from Papua who say at least another two have been killed; their bodies have not yet been found.

Tension mounted as Papuans held their Third National Congress in the town of Abepura. On Wednesday, armed soldiers and police surrounded the venue and, following a declaration of independence from Indonesia, the security forces stormed the stage, firing shots and using tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Survival has been told by sources inside Papua that approximately 300 participants, including women and children, were arrested – many were savagely beaten as they were taken away.

Most have since been released, but the leaders, newly elected at the meeting, remain in custody. Five have so far been charged with treason – a charge that has seen many Papuans sentenced for up to 20 years.

Reverend Benny Giay has been a target of the US-backed Indonesian elite special forces, and has received numerous death threats for his role in exposing human rights violations in the region.

He told Survival, ‘We want the Indonesian government to stop using terror, we need our rights. The Papuans demand a dialogue, mediated by a third party, to settle the conflict. The Indonesians are killing us, it’s time for dialogue.’

Survival’s Director, Stephen Corry said today, ‘This violence comes exactly a year after ashocking video of Papuan men being brutally tortured by Indonesian soldiers was released on the internet. It’s clear that the international outrage generated by that event has taught the Indonesian government nothing about respecting the rights of the Papuan people. Given the history of barbaric treatment at the hands of the army and police in West Papua, we are extremely concerned for the safety of those still in custody.’

To read this story online:

UIA continues probe, lifts suspension on Aziz Bari

People hold signs during a rally in support of Prof Aziz Bari at the UIA’s Gombak campus. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — The International Islamic University Malaysia (UIA) lifted today its suspension of Professor Abdul Aziz Bari with immediate effect, but is continuing its investigations into the constitutional expert’s comments on the Selangor ruler’s remarks over a church raid.
Aziz’s lawyer, Dr Zulqarnain Lukman, said the university administration sent a letter today and asked the academic to return to work tomorrow.
“UIA has issued reply letter. Inform that investigation still going on but suspension is lifted with immediate effect and must report duty tomorrow October 25,” Zulqarnain said in a text message to The Malaysian Insider.
Aziz had earlier replied to a show-cause letter sent by the university last week over his comment that the Selangor sultan’s decision was “unusual.”
The Malaysian Insider earlier reported that Aziz was to learn the outcome of the UIA probe tomorrow and disciplinary actions — if any — that would be imposed over his comments.
Zulqarnain has argued that Aziz’s statement on the Sultan of Selangor was merely an opinion, and did not infringe Article 5 (3) of the University Disciplinary Regulations and Section 3 (2) of the Sedition Act.
“The legal unit will tell me their decision tomorrow, that’s what they said to me,” Zulqarnain said earlier today.
The lawyer also said that the police visited Aziz between 4.30pm and 6.30pm today, taking away a laptop computer in the process.
“The laptop actually belongs to UIA and was given to each lecturer for their work.
“The police also brought Prof Aziz to his office at the university (with permission from UIA) and took pictures of the office,” he said.
“All these were done for the police to complete the investigation and to re-submit the investigation papers to the head of the  Selangor prosecution unit.”
UIA suspended Aziz last week after he questioned remarks made by the Selangor Sultan in connection with the raid on Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) in August.
Aziz’s statement caused a furore among Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs in Parliament, who urged that action be taken against the don.
The outspoken academic chose not to apologise for his remarks even after a police report was lodged against him, insisting he had not meant to challenge the Sultan.
Aziz said he was fulfilling his role as an academic when he said earlier this month that the Sultan had intervened in an “unusual and inconsistent” manner over the church raid.
Hundreds of UIA students gathered at the university’s Gombak campus last week to demand the lecturer’s reinstatement.
Aziz’s colleagues and lecturers from other universities have also backed the constitutional law expert.

Secret footage that shows the truth about torture in Gaddafi's Libya: Beatings ordered by Foreign Minister Musa Kusa (who Britain set free)

The full brutality of former Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi's regime has been revealed in chilling video footage of prison torture sessions.
And the fallen dictatorship's former foreign minister, Musa Kusa - who was released by the British authorities six months ago after he defected to the UK in March - is facing fresh allegations that he was directly involved in the beating of political prisoners.
The footage - obtained by the BBC's Panorama programme - was reportedly shot at the notorious Abu Salim prison in Tripoli. It shows crouching inmates, blindfolded and wearing blue uniforms, being repeatedly whipped and kicked by interrogators. 
Brutal: A still from footage of a prisoner being whipped inside the Abu Salim prison during Gaddafi's rule
Brutal: A still from footage of a prisoner being whipped inside the Abu Salim prison during Gaddafi's rule
Last month the remains of more than 1,200 prisoners were found in a mass grave outside the prison's walls. 
The Panorama team tracked down Kusa to a luxury resort in Qatar during its investigation into his role in alleged war crimes. He declined to be interviewed for the programme.
Kusa was head of Gaddafi's intelligence agency from 1994 and a senior intelligence agent when PanAm flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie.
Inhumane: An inmate is kicked in the head by one official as a prison guard looks on
Inhumane: An inmate is kicked in the head by one official as a prison guard looks on
Back in the spotlight: Torture suspect Musa Kusa defected to Britain in April but moved to Qatar just weeks later
Back in the spotlight: Torture suspect Musa Kusa defected to Britain in April but moved to Qatar just weeks later
The Boeing 747 jumbo jet was en route from London to New York when it exploded over the Dumfriesshire town, killing 243 passengers, 16 crew and 11 residents.
There have also been calls for Kusa to be quizzed in relation to the murder of PC Yvonne Fletcher, who was shot during a protest outside London's Libyan Embassy in 1984.
Kusa made a high-profile defection to Britain in March and was interviewed by police and Scottish prosecutors investigating the Lockerbie attack.
But within weeks he was allowed to leave the UK following an EU decision to lift sanctions against him, meaning he no longer faces travel restrictions or an asset freeze.
No comment: Panorama reporter Paul Kenyon is blocked by a bodyguard while attempting to question Kusa
No comment: Panorama reporter Paul Kenyon is blocked by a bodyguard while attempting to question Kusa
The Foreign Office said Kusa was a 'private individual' who had been interviewed voluntarily.
But the ruling was condemned by one Tory MP who said Britain had become 'a transit lounge for alleged war criminals'.
And Britain is now under fresh pressure to interview Kusa in relation to the allegations.
Dr Jim Swire, whose 23-year-old daughter Flora died in the Lockerbie bombing, said that if anyone could offer any insight into the 'huge questions still unanswered' on Libya's role in Lockerbie, it would be Mr Kusa.
Playing his part: Foreign Office sources said Kusa was meeting opposition leaders to 'offer insights into the situation' in Libya
High profile: Kusa was less reluctant about speaking to the press following his defection to London earlier this year
He said: 'When I met Musa Kusa in Libya in 1991 it was clear to me he was the guy who was central to the Gaddafi administration.
'He could tell us just as much as Gaddafi about Lockerbie as he was at the core of the regime.
'He was a very, very key figure and we need answers as to why he was allowed to fly back. Any probing over his crimes should be done by the International Criminal Court.'
Pamela Dix, who lost her 35-year-old brother Peter in the atrocity, said she was 'incensed' after Mr Kusa was allowed to leave Britain in the first place.
She said: 'We cannot turn a politically pragmatic blind eye.
'I do not know what Musa Kusa knows or does not know about Lockerbie but he needs to come back to answer those questions.
'I condemn the attitude of the UK Government in the strongest possible terms. A political hands-off attitude is inappropriate.'

Motion rejected to debate Aziz Bari's suspension

Motion against Khairy’s ‘breasts’ comment

Karpal Singh says the motion is of urgent public importance as Khairy's words brought the House into disrepute.
KUALA LUMPUR: DAP MP Karpal Singh wants the Dewan Rakyat to adjourn proceedings to discuss a motion regarding Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin’s remarks against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and his son.
Karpal (Bukit Gelugor) today submitted his notice for the motion to Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia at the latter’s chambers this morning.
“These baseless, unfounded, scurrilous and barbaric words directly refer to the 16-year-old son of Bagan MP (Lim), accused by bloggers of outraging the modesty of a woman,” he said in a letter to Pandikar Amin.
Karpal was referring to Rembau MP’s Oct 17 tweet, where the latter said: “Mungkin dia roboh Kampung Buah Pala sebab nak ganti dengan Kampung Buah Dada.”
In English it means: “Maybe he demolished Kampung Buah Pala because he wanted to replace it with Kampung Breasts.”
At the time, Khairy was referring to allegations raised by pro-Umno bloggers that Lim’s son had supposedly molested a female schoolmate.
He was also referring to Kampung Buah Pala, a demolished Indian village in Penang.
The blogs also claimed that Lim had paid off the victim’s family RM200,000 to keep them quiet.
Khairy’s comments as well as these allegations caused an uproar within Pakatan Rakyat, which denounced them as lies.
DAP later revealed that the alleged molest victim, as published in the pro-Umno blogs, was international chess champion Anya Corke, who said that she had not been to Malaysia in the past seven years.
Corke also said that she neither met with Lim’s son, nor was she molested in any way.
Criminal defamation
Karpal felt that Khairy is guilty of criminal defamation for his comments which have not been retracted.
“Khairy has clearly committed an offence of criminal defamation against (Lim’s son) under Section 500 of the Penal Code.”
“This is a definite matter of urgent public importance as the words attributed (to him) bring the House into disrepute,” he said in his notice.
Meanwhile, DAP MPs have compiled evidence in the form of a book containing articles from 34 blogs and online portals which have posted the molest allegations on their sites.
The 200-plus-page book is intended for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as evidence.
PJ Utara MP Tony Pua the accused included blogger Gerakan-Anti-PKR and Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia’s online portal.
Pua claimed that the MCMC was very quick to act on International Islamic University (UIA) Aziz Bari’s comments over the Selangor Sultan’s decree regarding the Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s (JAIS) raid on the Damansara Utama Methodist Centre (DUMC).
He hoped that the MCMC would also take prompt action against the bloggers and online news portals over the molest allegations .
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said that he would submit the book to the MCMC today, or on Thursday, after Deepavali.

Maddening hike in house prices

The spiralling costs of houses are making life for the lower- and middle-income earners difficult to endure.
PETALING JAYA: What is the cost of a 480-sq-ft studio apartment, which is half the size of a PPR (People Housing Project) flat?
If your guess is less than RM200,000 then you got it wrong. The real cost of such a place of dwelling is RM230,000 and this does not include car park charges, maintenance fees and other additional bills.
But bear in mind this studio apartment is not in the centre of Kuala Lumpur or even at up-market locations like Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Hartamas or Kenny Hills. Instead, it is in Seri Kembangan, near Balakong, some 15km away from the federal capital.
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) chairman Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim, who had been critical of the maddening hike in house prices, said that the problem was affecting Malaysians, especially the lower- and middle-income groups which make the bulk of the population.
The problem is further complicated by the government “which appears to favour housing developers”, he said.
“The federal and state governments never monitor house prices, allowing the developers to set exorbitant prices.
“Although house prices are set according to land value, environment and facilities provided, developers still charge high prices, saying that there is an increase in the cost of raw materials… but the hike in price of these materials is not in tandem with the high house prices,” he added.
Nasir, who is also Kota Damansara state assemblyman, said developers were not interested in building low-cost houses due to the thin profit margin.
“Their main aim is profit ,” he said, adding that more than 140 abandoned projects in Selangor were mostly for low-cost houses.
“This is because the government always favours developers… claiming that the prices of houses are dependent on market forces,” said Nasir.
He said the middle- and lower-income groups are forced to purchase their homes out-of -town since they cannot sustain the high cost of living in the urban areas.
“As a result, they will have to spend more on transport… and this is a new financial burden for them,” he added.
Unable to save for rainy day
Those who wish to buy these “luxury” houses in the city will also have to fork out more to repay their housing loans.
According to statistics, a person who buys an expensive home spends nearly 50% of his total income servicing his housing loan.
“Thus he is not able to save for a rainy day or for old age or for a child’s education,” said Nasir.
Nasir said the migration of the middle and lower income groups to the outskirts has also resulted in foreign workers taking up renting space in the cities.
“I can say that there is no political will to solve this problems.”
He suggested that the government, be it federal or state, form a housing commission to monitor house prices and curb excessive profiteering by developers.
“The commission can work as a watchdog so that the people would be able to buy houses at a more reasonable price as opposed to the current open market system,” he added.
He also suggested that the government build more good quality low-cost houses so that those who need homes would get “value for money” homes.
He said the middle-income group in the country shuns low-cost houses because of their poor quality.
“The government should come up with houses that are spacious, and not pigeon-holes with one or two rooms for a family of five or six,” said Nasir.
Remove PPR stigma
“Just look at the PPR projects in Europe.. there these projects were successful because the flats are like condominiums in Malaysia. Moreover, here, we also have a stigma about PPR flats.
“One way to get rid of this stigma is to build quality homes with bigger space. The amenities should also be monitored.
“Maintenance of elevators, and providing drainage and garbage service, and 24-hour security must all be improved.
“With all these improvements, more people will buy PPR houses and this would force developers to reduce the prices,” said Nasir.
Based on government statistics, only 20% of households in the country earn an average of RM8,157 while a massive 58% earn less than RM3,000 a month.
The remainder – 22% – are placed in middle-income earner bracket.
In the 2012 Budget, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced that the government had increased the ceiling price for “Skim Rumah Pertamaku” (My First House Scheme) from RM220,000 to RM400,000 for those earning less than RM3,000.
Under the scheme, those earning below RM3,000 were eligible for a 100% loan to purchase their first house. However, latest reports reveal that the government was planning to raise this household income bar to RM6,000 or RM7,000.
But raising the household income threshold will not be a solution.
This is because if a person takes a housing loan of RM400,000, the total monthly repayment would be from RM2,300 to RM2,600 a month. This would eat into his income and result in default payments and ultimately the person would be blacklisted by the financial institutions.
The government needs to come up with ways of enabling the people, mainly the middle- and lower- income segments, to enjoy quality living by providing good housing.