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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Husband enjoys watching as wife is raped

Wife asks for death penalty after husband helped friend to rape her

An Arab man in Ajman returned home from a booze night, jolted his wife out of bed and let his friend rape her for two hours while he sat smoking and enjoying the scene. The husband was jailed for life but his wife is pleading for his death.

The unnamed woman was in her bed with her 12-year-old daughter from a former husband when the present husband returned late night and shoved her out of the room while ordering the girl to stay in bed.

In the sitting room, the woman came face to face with another man, who was also drunk and who stared lustily at her light night gown.

“I tried to back off but he jumped on me…I tried to run away and clutched to my husband but he pushed me away and said ‘I have invited my friend for you,” the woman, with tears in her eyes, told court in Ajman.

“It was a horrible nightmare…I collapsed on the floor and the man was on me while my husband sat on the chair smoking and enjoying the scene with a big smile on his face…I begged him and asked him how he can accept this as I am your wife, your dignity and your honour…but he kept smiling.”

According to Albayan newspaper, the woman told the judge that “every minute she wishes to die after what happened to her.”

“When the lawyer for the husband and his friend heard the woman’s plea, he just stood up and told the judge he was pulling out of the case,” the paper said.

“The judge then ordered the two lashed 80 times for drinking alcohol and sentenced them to life in jail…but the woman screamed and insisted on death punishment, saying life imprisonment is not enough.”

In Australia, Ambiga serves notice of people power

Ambiga (left) speaks during a public lecture at University of Melbourne, October 25, 2011. — Pictures by KC Boey
MELBOURNE, Oct 26 — Bersih 2.0 will hold Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to the civic movement’s eight demands on elections and governance should the opposition pact come into government, chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said at a public forum here yesterday.
“Not only Pakatan,” Ambiga said of her movement that transcends party politics. “We will hold all parties accountable. That’s the way it should be. The power is with us (the people), not with them (political parties). It’s only when power is in the hands of the citizenry that we have a working democracy.”
Ambiga was responding to a question at a public lecture at the Asian Law Centre, University of Melbourne, to kick off a speaking tour of four of the most renowned law schools in Australia.
On Friday she shares Bersih 2.0 stories with Malaysians at a solidarity evening organised by Bersih 2.0 Australia and the Melbourne chapter of Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia Australia (SABMoz).
Ambiga speaks at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney on October 31, and the College of Law at the Australian National University in Canberra on November 1, at each stop encouraging Malaysians to register as voters.
Malaysians waiting in line to greet Ambiga (right) after the talk.
At the lecture in Melbourne, Malaysia’s Consulate-General in Melbourne, Dr Mohamad Rameez Yahaya, told the audience that foreign missions such as his had started to put in place processes to register voters.
“We registered 26 voters (last night),” said David Teoh, co-ordinator for Bersih 2.0 Australia and SABMoz Melbourne.
More than 300 mostly young Malaysians filled a lecture theatre at the Asian Law Centre for the lecture hosted by Dean of Law Professor Carolyn Evans.
In her talk on electoral reform and the quest for democracy in Malaysia, Ambiga spoke on the significance of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights to which Malaysia is a signatory.
She recounted events leading up to Bersih’s rally on July 9, the implications of the rally, and considered whether the government’s subsequent undertaking to amend or repeal laws such as the Internal Security Act might offer hope for a more democratic Malaysia.
She drew attention to the aspirations of youth, lamenting the “disconnect” of old politics with new technology, a yellow pashmina draped around her neck, and sporting a “CleanBefore13” lapel badge. As Ambiga was speaking, Global Bersih was following events on microblogging service Twitter, using the #CleanBefore13 hashtag.
Moderator Professor Tim Lindsey, director of the Asian Law Centre, had to apologise for not being able to accommodate all those who had questions for Ambiga, almost all of them from Malaysians studying or living in Melbourne, who make up the highest number of Malaysians in Australia.
Ambiga was overwhelmed by the response. “As I said (in her talk), the future is with the youth,” she told The Malaysian Insider. “Never have they been so interested in an election.
“Look at the quality of the questions. That says it all.”
In the audience were Jufitri Joha and Farhana Halim, two Malaysians in Australia for a Young Muslims leadership programme organised by the Centre for Dialogue at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
Jufitri and Farhana were disappointed at the low participation among Malays.
Both were disappointed there were not more Malays at the forum. “It is important to inculcate a culture of intellectual debate,” said Jufitri, vice-president international of Abim.
“It is the essence of Malaysia,” said Lawyers for Liberty advocate Farhana of the national conversation on the way forward for Malaysia. “Regardless of whether you support or not support (Bersih).
“If you do not support, it is an opportunity to question her.”
Farhana was overwhelmed by the crowd. “We underestimate the power of Malaysian Chinese involvement in the national movement... the Chinese sense of patriotism is the very opposite,” she said of what she discovered speaking to those among the overwhelmingly Chinese audience.
Ambiga’s lecture would have been an eye opener for Australians, going by Lindsey’s observation.
“Australians see the region as a bad news story — of the horror of Australians caught up in the violence, and in natural disasters,” said Lindsey, a scholar on Asia, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia; he is also director of the Centre for Islamic Law and Society at the University of Melbourne.
“They are unaware of the debates on democracy going on... Out of the bad news (government reaction to Bersih) has come a good news face.”
It was important for Australians to be aware of changes in the region, Lindsey told The Malaysian Insider, and for government and politicians to stop conducting foreign policy “in reaction to domestic issues”.

Recipients of housing aid not really hardcore poor

The Star

PETALING JAYA: 96% of the 341 recipients of housing aid meant for the hardcore poor did not fall under the category in 2009, according to Auditor-General's Report 2010.

The 327 recipients could not be listed as hardcore poor as they were not registered with e-Kasih or People's Welfare Development Scheme System (SSPKR).

Yet, they were given housing aid under the Central Terengganu Development Authority (Ketengah)'s Housing Assistance Programme (PBR).

As of December 2010, recipients were not registered with e-Kasih consisted of 128 recipients for new houses and 199 for repairs to their existing houses.

The housing assistance offered were new constructed houses with 3 rooms costing RM33,000 each, and repairs to their existing houses costing RM11,000 each.

“Visits made to the houses of the 73 recipients for new houses and 37 for repairs to their existing houses in Dungun, Kemaman and Hulu Terengganu district found that they were not poor as they owned cars and had renovated their PBR new houses,” read the report.

From the listing in the e-Kasih, only 22 out of 251 participants were eligible for assistance but only one received new house assistance.

In reply, the Treasury said all participants had registered with the e-Kasih system.

On the 22 eligible participants, it said not all who are listed in the system will be given assistance.

Those who are not eligible in this case was because their houses were found to be in good condition during a field survey. 

Prisons Department Denies No Post-mortem On Mogana's Body

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 (Bernama) -- The Prisons Department denied that the body of R. Mogana Sundram, who was found hanged in prison three days ago, was not sent for a post-mortem before it was released to his family.

A statement issued by the department's Secretariat and Public Relations Unit, said that Mogana's body was released to his family members after the post-mortem on Oct 23.

A coroner inquest found no other injury on Mogana's body, except the ligature marks on the neck, it added.

The department said that all necessary procedures were taken before Moganas's body was released to his family members.

"Hence, the claim that a post-mortem was not conducted on Mogana's body is not true," it said.

The department also denied involvement with the coffin shop which handled Mogana's body.

Two days ago, Mogana's mother, A. Jagathambal, 55, claimed that her son's body was not sent for a post-mortem to ascertain the actual cause of his death and wanted the police to investigate.

She also claimed that the police and the Taiping Prison had ordered a coffin shop to make arrangement for Mogana's cremation without the family's consent.

Jagathambal said Mogana's body was now at the family home at Taman Meru Ipoh and no funeral arrangement would be made until a post-mortem was conducted.

Mogana, the youngest of three siblings, was arrested by the police for a drug-related offence about a month ago.

Millions of aborted girls imbalance India

India has only 914 girls for every 1,000 boys, according to the latest census [Davinder Kumar/Plan International]

 Gender selective abortions have skewed birthrates, so millions of men will never find wives, potentially causing strife.
Dr Neelam Singh is on the front line of India's battle to save its girls.

Modern medical technology - specifically ultrasounds for determining the baby's sex - coupled with ancient cultural values which give preference to boys, mean that hundreds of thousands of girls are never being born.

There were only 914 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of six in India, according to the 2011 census, compared with 927 for every 1,000 boys in the 2001 census. Today's ratio is the highest imbalance since the country won independence in 1947.

"I feel the demand [for abortions] every day," Singh told Al Jazeera. "Parents say it's important to have a son in the family. They want to keep their family name. I see this as the most heinous kind of discrimination towards a girl child."

A gynecologist in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, Singh has witnessed population growth at a rate of 20 per cent. Out of a population of almost 200 million, men outnumber women by nearly 10 million.

The world's population will hit seven billion later in October, according to the UN, and the problem of imbalanced gender ratios is getting worse in several regions.

Widespread patriarchy

"In India, there is a confluence of factors leading to passive infanticide, active infanticide or sex selective abortion," Valerie Hudson, a professor of political science at Brigham Young University who studies birth rates, told Al Jazeera.

"Probably the most important is the tradition of dowry [payment to a prospective husband]. Having to marry a girl off may be the equivalent of several years of income for a family. A daughter is often seen as a thief who will rob necessary resources."

Restrictive property rules, where inheritance is passed from father to son rather than to daughters, male dominated funeral rights and parental hopes that male breadwinners will support them through old age also play a part in skewing demographics, Hudson said.

The world's largest democracy still fares better than China, where the ratio is 121 men per 100 women. Globally, 163 million girls have gone "missing" from the world's population due to sex selective abortions in the last thirty years, according to the calculations of Mara Hvistendahl, author of Unnatural Selection.

By 2020, an estimated 15 to 20 per cent of men in some regions of northwest India will lack female counterparts. "In Punjab, there are entire villages with no girls under [age] five," said Rohini Prabha Pande, an independent demographer who works on gender issues in India. "There are some districts with 700 girls per 1,000 boys," she told Al Jazeera.

Social disorder

These massive social imbalances could spark a host of social problems.

"When 15 per cent of young adult males in your population will never become head of household or heirs you will alienate these men in ways that cannot be fixed," Hudson said. Poor men will be the biggest losers in this equation.

"The historical record shows there can be distinct negative impacts on levels of violent crime, riots and rebellion against the state," when large groups of single young men are alienated and lack family commitments, according to Hudson.

The lack of women is being felt by bachelors, policy makers and women's rights activists across Asia. By 2020, China could be home to 40 million bachelors who won't be able to find mates.

"North Korea's largest export is women across their northern border with China," Hudson said, noting that the ruling communist party is particularly worried about prospects for unrest from angry, unmarried men.

Governments will likely funnel bachelors into the military, she said.

While prospects for conflict are unclear, other problems including human trafficking, prostitution and polyandry – men (usually relatives) sharing a wife - are certain to get worse.

Governments are, however, trying to address the problem.

Legislative response

After India's 1991 census, a prolonged campaign by women's rights activists over the skewed child sex ratio led to the enactment of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act in 1994.

"Technology allowing families to detect the sex of a foetus at an early stage and plan for an abortion has been banned," said Mohammed Asif, director of programme implementation with Plan India, an NGO which lobbies to save baby girls.

"The government's law is stringent, but people have been trying to work around it, going to far away clinics and giving fake addresses. Loopholes have been exploited and a key strategy would be to take action against illegal ultra sound clinics," Asif told Al Jazeera.

Other researchers don't think legal changes are the best way to improve the situation. If cultural values discourage against having girls, families can find other ways of getting rid of them without advanced screening techniques.

"Ultra sound technology is just the latest wave to select a son preference," Pande said. "In rural Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, you see a fairly balanced sex ratio at birth. But when you look at what is happening between birth and age six, they resort to traditional means of neglecting girl children. They are less likely to be immunised, less likely to be taken to a health centre and more likely to be chronically malnourished."

No cure in education

Contrary to popular belief, education, status and upward mobility can actually make the problem worse.

"You have a much greater chance of survival as a girl baby if born to a poor family, rather than a rich family," Hudson said. "Richer families have more assets which could be put in jeopardy by girls due to dowry payments," she said, adding that wealthy groups worry about having their family name tarnished if their daughter marries from a lower class.

While national trends are cause for concern, the situation is improving in some areas. "Tamil Nadu is one of the few states where we have seen an improvement," said Sharada Srinivasan, a professor of gender studies at York University in Canada.

In addition to counselling, and the creation of self-help groups for women, the southern state is using the carrot and the stick approach. "The government has created a massive cash transfer programme" to entice parents to keep baby girls, Srinivasan told Al Jazeera. Parents who commit infanticide are increasingly being prosecuted for homicide, she said.

Tamil Nadu also hosts some of India's new outsourcing and information technology and these post-industrial jobs could improve women's rights. "Before, women's work was either at home or on the farm," Plan India's Asif said. "With globalisation, girls are now picking up jobs in banking, manufacturing and hi-tech. This is creating a lot of buzz in the family to start considering girls."

While cash incentives, laws against gender selective ultrasounds, harsh punishments and economic changes all play a role, changing deeply ingrained social values is arguably the most important issue, and the most difficult.

Some communities in Punjab and elsewhere are taking collective pledges not to kill or abort girls, considering the practice a source of shame and an example of backwardness. This is where government policy ends and grassroots action begins.

"There is no way you can tax patriarchy," Srinivasan said. "Public action has a role to play in changing social norms. History is full of examples of this."

Follow Chris Arsenault On Twitter: @AJEchris

Malaysian Islamic party protests Elton John show

 Members of an opposition Islamic party call on Muslim-majority Malaysia to ban next month's concert by Elton John, saying Tuesday that the gay singer promotes "hedonism"

Shahril Azman Abdul Halim Al-Hafiz, an official with the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), said the concert by singer Elton John at the Genting Highlands resort on Nov. 22 would corrupt young Muslims because of John's homosexuality.

"It's not good. In Islam homosexuality is forbidden," he told AFP. "What he is doing is hedonism. Hedonism is not good in Islam."

The British singer is openly gay, marrying his partner in 2005 after same-sex unions were legalised in Britain.

Shahril is the chairman of the PAS youth wing of eastern Pahang state. The casino resort lies on the border of the state, about an hour's drive from the capital Kuala Lumpur.

An official from concert promoter Tune Live declined to comment.

But the show, part of John's "Greatest Hits Tour," is expected to go ahead in the resort. John will be singing in Singapore before he comes to Malaysia and then go on to Jakarta.

PAS often protests concert by Western acts, saying the artists promote a promiscuous lifestyle and corrupt youngsters' minds.

But despite protest threats, most concerts have gone ahead without incidents though performers had to abide by strict rules, barring them from bearing too much skin and kissing on stage.

A tale of malice or negligence?

Najib bubar parlimen 11.11.11, PRU 10 Dis

PM akan mengikut tarikh ini walaupun ada pihak yang menasihatinya agar jangan mengadakan PRU awal dan secara mengejut.

REMBAU: Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dijangka bubar parlimen pada 11 November depan bagi membuka jalan kepada Pilihan Raya Umum ke 13 (PRU13) sekembalinya dari Mekah sekitar 6 November, seterusnya 1 Disember akan diumumkan sebagai hari penamaan calon dan 10 Disember (Sabtu) sebagai hari mengundi.

Demikian menurut Pengerusi Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM), Badrul Hisham Shaharin atau lebih dikenali sebagai CheguBard.

Mengikut maklumat sumber dalaman yang beliau terima, tahun ini Najib dan isteri beliau Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor akan menunaikan ibadah Haji dan akan pergi ke Mekah dengan penerbangan terakhir.

Pemergian beliau ini juga dikaitkan dengan pembinaan dan pembaikan imej beliau dan isterinya yang teruk tercalar dengan beberapa isu.

“Diyakini telah disusun liputan media yang akan menyiarkan imej dan visual pasangan suami isteri ini mengerjakan ibadah Haji untuk memberikan satu persepsi baru kepada orang ramai khususnya dalam usaha mengepung undi orang Melayu.

“Jangan terkejut nanti kalau imej atau klip video Najib dan Rosmah memasuki Kaabah akan dimainkan tiap malam.

“Najib dan Rosmah dijadualkan balik dengan pesawat penerbangan khas sekitar 6 November. Selepas itu dia akan mengukur kejayaan misi hajinya selain dari membuat beberapa keputusan akhir menjelang tarikh penting 11 November”, katanya.

Nombor bertuah

CheguBard yang juga Ketua PKR Cabang Rembau memberitahu bahawa beliau difahamkan Najib memilih tarikh 11, 01 dan 10 kerana angka berkaitan 1 ini sengaja dipilih kerana mengikut nasihat paranormal dan tukang tilik yang menyatakan nombor berkaitan 1 merupakan nombor bertuah bagi Najib dan Rosmah.

Diyakini sehingga hari ini dari maklumat dalaman bahawa sah Najib akan mengikut tarikh ini walaupun ada pihak yang menasihatinya agar jangan mengadakan PRU awal dan secara mengejut.

“Pilihan raya awal ini dipercayai juga kerana krisis dalaman Umno yang semakin meruncing. Sudah ada pihak yang mahu menjatuhkan Najib dalam Umno sendiri. Najib tidak boleh membiarkan gejala ini merebak. Mereka yang terlibat perlu disingkirkan.

Namun sebelum itu Najib perlu mendapat mandat baru dan memastikan majoriti yang dinamakan sebagai calon PRU perlulah individu yang boleh menyokong beliau tanpa belah bagi”, ujar CheguBard.

Sementara itu, CheguBard turut menyatakan kebimbangan beliau bahawa Najib akan adakan PRU tanpa menunggu proses penambahbaikan pilihanraya.

Pada 9 Julai lalu, ribuan rakyat turun ke jalan raya sekitar di ibu kota bagi menuntut pilihan raya bersih dan adil walaupun pihak berkuasa membuat berbagai sekatan dan halangan.

Najib sendiri akhirnya terpaksa mengakui bahawa kepincangan wujud dan proses pilihan raya memerlukan reformasi. Sebuah Jawatankuasa Terpilih Parlimen diwujudkan untuk maksud tersebut.

Malangnya usaha Najib hanya pada kulit. Dalam mengumumkan langkah pemerkasaan demokrasi dalam negara tetapi beliau sendiri terus melakukan banyak kerja jahat dengan membunuh demokrasi ketika proses pilihan raya.

BN kurang ajar

“Isu penganugerahan istimewa orang asing dengan taraf warganegara secara mudah dengan syarat mengundi Barisan Nasional (BN) dilihat antara kemuncak kurang ajar BN ini.

“Justeru itu SAMM memberikan peringatan kepada Najib, Rosmah dan regim BN keseluruhannya, jangan ada sebarang PRU sehingga selesai proses penambahbaikan PRU khususnya melaksanakan lapan tuntutan Bersih 2.0.

“Jika PRU diadakan sebelum proses reformasi maka PRU tersebut bakal menjadi PRU terkotor dalam sejarah negara,” ujar beliau.

Tegas CheguBard, “jika PRU tetap diadakan sebelum proses reformasi pilihan raya selesai maka PRU yang diadakan itu hanyalah penipuan dan hanya proses bohong yang hanya ingin memanjangkan hayat Umno dan BN.

“Najib dan regimnya mungkin boleh terus berdegil memanggil PRU dan jika ini berlaku yakinlah pasti akan ada mobilisasi terbesar rakyat dan SAMM tidak menolak kemungkinan kali ini bukan sekadar demonstrasi protes tetapi ia mobilisasi rakyat benar–benar untuk menumbangkan regim dan mobilisasi rakyat untuk memasuki Putrajaya”, tegas CheguBard.

Chegu Bard turut menegaskan mobilisasi rakyat kali ini akan benar–benar berwajah Malaysia dengan menolak sebarang sentimen perkauman.

“Dari pengamatan SAMM yang sama bergelumang di bawah, majoriti rakyat yang sedang terhimpit dengan kehidupan mereka, tidak redha BN terus mendapat mandat dengan cara menipu dan terus menghancurkan negara,” katanya.

Kedatangan Islam serlah tamadun Hindu

Tamadun dari pengaruh agama Hindu turut menyumbang kepada proses ketamadunan di Nusantara.

PETALING JAYA: Presiden PKR Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail berkata, tamadun dari pengaruh agama Hindu turut menyumbang kepada proses ketamadunan di Nusantara.

“Kehebatan yang terserlah ialah, apabila kedatangan Islam, kedua tamadun ini dapat terjalin dengan baik dan tanpa sebarang ketegangan atau kesusahan,” katanya dalam perutusan sempena menyambut Hari Deepavali esok.

Beliau berkata, ujian sebenar ialah hari ini. Sebagai salah satu kaum utama di Malaysia, masyarakat India khususnya yang beragama Hindu masih tercicir. Lihat sahaja bagi mereka yang tinggal di estet-estet, keadaannya masih daif.

“Berulang kali disebutkan, termasuk di dalam Parlimen bahawa angka banduan, keciciran pendidikan di sekolah dan gangsterisme masih ramai yang melibatkan belia dari masyarakat India. Yang jelas ialah kepercayaan sekian lama yang mereka berikan kepada pemerintah sediakala telah dikhianati.

“Malah kita dengar bagaimana saham berbilion ringgit yang diperuntukkan kepada masyarakat kita yang keturunan India, lenyap begitu sahaja. Pembelaan bagi pihak semua masyarakat yang memerlukannya adalah tunggak perjuangan PKR sejak penubuhannya.

Dalam konteks ini kata beliau, masyarakat India tidak boleh dibiarkan terkebelakangan mengakibatkan keseluruhan corak masyarakat Negara menjadi tidak seimbang. Inilah ujian dan cabaran yang sedang dihadapai oleh seluruh rakyat Malaysia yang cintakan keadilan dan kesejahteraan.

Wan Azizah berkata, PKR tidak memandang sambil lewa hal ini. Kita dengan sepenuh daya upaya mahukan agar masyarakat India tidak lagi ketinggalan dan keberadaan mereka bukan hanya tempelan di kaca TV untuk menampakkan keharmonian yang serba pura-pura.

“Menjelang hari mulia 26 Oktober 2011 ini, saya mewakili seluruh barisan kepimpinan dan ahli-ahli PKR mengucapkan Selamat Hari Deepavali. Mari kita bersama membawa cahaya kebaikan ke semua warga negara kita yang tercinta,” katanya lagi.

Perayaan cahaya

Sementara itu, Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim juga mengambil kesempatan untuk mengucapkan Selamat Menyambut Hari Perayaan Deepavali kepada seluruh penganut agama Hindu, khususnya di negeri Selangor Darul Ehsan.

“Deepavali tentulah merupakan perayaan penting buat penganut agama Hindu. Perayaan Cahaya ini menjadi lambang kebaikan mengatasi kejahatan, keadilan mengatasi kezaliman,” katanya dalam kenyataan media yang berasingan.

Beliau berkata, negara kita mempunyai sejarah yang unik dalam hal kepelbagaian agama serta kepercayaan. Sebab itu Perlembagaan Persekutuan memberi jaminan kepada semua penganut agama. Agama Hindu merupakan satu daripada agama yang utama diamalkan di negara kita.

“Di Selangor sahaja, daripada sekitar 5.3 juta penduduk, 16 peratus berketurunan India dan majoritinya beragama Hindu,” jelas beliau.

Dalam realiti hidup yang majmuk, saya menyeru agar kita semua dapat bersama saling mengenali, menghormati, memahami serta menerima persamaan dan perbezaan yang ada. Ini penting dalam usaha memelihara kerukunan hidup bermasyarakat.

“Kita harus menerima bahawa perbezaan pendapat adalah hal yang tidak dapat dielakkan. Apa yang boleh dibuat ialah berikhtiar menguruskan persoalan berbangkit dengan cara aman dan bijaksana,” katanya.

KJ taunts police over Raja Petra REVISITED

Sex, Lies and Malaysian Politics

A House is not always a home
Prurient and puritanical, the country gags, goes gaga for naughty tales
Malaysia fancies itself a conservative society, with plenty of restrictions on racy movies and activities that might lead its majority Muslim population astray. But get inside a courtroom and anything goes, with details that would make a New Yorker blush, published in the mainstream media.

In the latest trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, whose sex life has been an object of prosecutorial attention off and on since 1998, the court — and the press — has been filled with graphic descriptions of the anatomy of Mohamad Saiful Bukhairy Aslan, the 26-year-old former aide who has accused Anwar of sodomy. Outside of court, the titillations are also commonplace — especially when an opposition politician or his family is involved.

Take the 16-year-old son of Lim Guan Eng, the chief minister of the opposition-held Penang state. The youth was the subject of bloggers accusing him of fondling a girl and getting kicked out of his school, with his father supposedly having to pay bribes to hush up the matter. Unfortunately, it transpired that the girl whose photo was distributed as the victim was a 21-year-old Hong Kong chess champion who is now attending Wellesley University in the United States, has not been in Malaysia for seven years and has never met Lim’s son. She demanded an apology for herself and the youth.

“This is something fairly new. Every month there is something, half of it manufactured, if not most,” said Elizabeth Wong, an opposition Democratic Action Party assemblywoman who was the victim of a former boyfriend who posted nude pictures of her on the Internet and who considered quitting politics out of embarrassment. “It isn’t the way to get people in politics. It just continues, I imagine people are disgusted with politicians regardless of party.”

Although the United States set a similar precedent in the mother of all sex scandals – the 1998 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton for having sex with a White House intern, there are few examples of similar attention to sexual misdoings across Asia.

“I've got no clue why Malaysian politicians are all sex deviants of one kind or another,” said a longtime expatriate resident. “I am also not so sure that this isn't going on lots of other places nowadays, given the various sex scandals that have emerged in recent times (think Berlusconi, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Elliott Spitzer, Arnie the sperminator, gay Brit ministers, etc.).”

However, he says, the Anwar cases “have been overtly used in a political power struggle here, with all the attendant publicity afforded by a government-controlled mainstream media determined to ensure that the gruesome details reach every Malaysian man, woman, child, dog and kuching (cat).”

Going back to at least the middle 1980s, otherwise tame newspapers have often been filled with graphic sexual details. At one point the daily tabloid Malay Mail got its hands on the illicit pictures of a romp between an ethnic Indian politician and a beauty queen. The newspaper couldn’t run the pictures themselves, but it got its artists to produce amazingly realistic pictures of the beauty queen’s various lecherous poses – then showed her the photographs and photographed her humiliated reaction at seeing them.

All of this is despite the fact that the so-called khalwat cops – conservative Muslim patrolmen – patrol assiduously to ensure there is no “excessive closeness” between people of opposite sexes, busting the odd luckless teenage couple caught smooching. But in the houses of power the powerful have been going at it like goats nonstop for years, and not just with the four wives they are allowed under Islamic law. In 2002, the Reformasi website named top public figures and officials who were having relatively public affairs, including Najib Tun Razak, then the defense minister and now the prime minister, who was caught in a Port Dickson hotel room with the actress and singer Ziana Zain. None have been apprehended by the khalwat police.

Kiss me. But be careful.
“It’s in the culture — not that sex is a scandal in itself but that Malays like to aib or cause shame to their enemies,” said an ethnic Malay lawyer in Malaysia. “Khalwat is a tool to eliminate or shame your enemy. It’s partly rooted in perasaan hasad dengki – good old jealousy to bring down the other fella who has more than you. Islam itself forbids spying. That’s what khalwat is.

They are obsessed with khalwat. I think it’s bullshit. Utter nonsense. That’s all they do.”

Others blame it on former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

“What is going on now is an extreme kind of politics that is very debased by people who have no sense of values,” said S. Nagaratnam, acting dean and senior lecturer of Liberal Studies at Wawasan University in Penang.

Nagaratnam cites the United Malays National Organization, Malaysia’s dominant political party. “The UMNO we have now is not the one we had in the 1960s and 1970s, when we had leaders who were legally trained and had respect for the rule of law. Thanks to Dr Mahathir, there was an erosion in basic values, a corruption of those kinds of boundaries.”

Whatever happened, Malaysians have been subjected to a plethora of sex tapes and other transmissions that have gone viral on the internet. Anwar has featured in three of these public airings, the first in 1999 when he was put on trial for sodomy and corruption in a trial that featured equally graphic revelations. That trial has been universally condemned as rigged to get him out of politics. The second trial, which is just winding up, has featured similar descriptions of sexual activity and similar charges of rigged prosecution.

The third episode came earlier this year when three men known collectively as “Datuk T” — a datuk is the lowest rank in Malaysia’s whimsical list of titles for the privileged — planted four cameras in a love hotel to engineer the filming of either Anwar or his stunt double, having sex with a Chinese prostitute. Anwar has insisted the figure in the film wasn’t him and regularly has flashed glimpses of his stomach, which he says is in contrast to the pot belly on the man having sex. Anwar’s doctors say a back injury has prevented such athletic goings-on. Whoever it was, the film clip has been circulating widely on the Internet and has been distributed across the country on DVDs.

Ironically, one of the three datuks behind the filming was Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik, the former Malacca chief minister, who was forced to resign his position after allegedly having an affair with a 15-year-old schoolgirl. After the matter became public, the schoolgirl was sentenced to three years protective custody in a house for “wayward girls.” After the girl’s grandmother came to him for help, the opposition parliamentarian Lim Guan Eng brought up the matter in parliament. He was subsequently sentenced to three years in prison for sedition for printing a pamphlet containing the allegations.

The love hotel technique was also used to dethrone Chua Soi Lek, one of Malaysia’s top ethnic Chinese politicians, who was forced to resign as minister of health and to leave politics after a sexually explicit videotape was widely circulated that showed him getting into bed with an unnamed woman whom he later described as a friend. Political enemies believed to be rivals for power in the Malaysian Chinese Association were thought to be behind the filming, which included four secret cameras in a hotel room. Chua, however, recovered from the scandal and has since assumed the presidency of the MCA.

Likewise, almost immediately after Mohamad Sabu was elected deputy president of Parti Islam se-Malaysia in June with a mandate to broaden the party’s appeal to Malaysia’s ethnic Malays, a VCD and flyer titled “Skandal Seks Mat Sabu” (Mat Sabu sex scandal) was mailed across the country. PAS leaders charged UMNO officials with being behind the distribution of the film.

Laporan Ketua Audit Negara: Kepincangan, Kelemahan Dan Ketirisan Berterusan.

Selasa, 25hb Oktober 2011

Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2011 yang gagal dikemukakan dalam Dewan Rakyat bersekali dengan Laporan Ekonomi dan dokumentasi belanjawan negara sejajar dengan amalan Parlimen Malaysia sekian lama, akhirnya diedarkan sebagai Kertas Perintah 40, Tahun 2011 kepada Ahli-Ahli Dewan Rakyat pada hari Isnin, 24 Oktober 2011. Pengedarannya lewat 17 hari dari tarikh pembentangan Bajet 2012 pada 7 Oktober 2011 yang lalu.

Kegagalan pengedarannya dibangkitkan berulang kali oleh Ahli-Ahli Parlimen Pakatan Rakyat, meskipun sebenarnya Laporan Ketua Audit Negara Mengenai Aktiviti Kementerian/Jabatan Dan Pengurusan Syarikat Kerajaan Persekutuan telah siap ditandatangani oleh Ketua Audit Negara Tan Sri Haji Amrin Bin Bujang pada 8 Julai 2011 dan Laporan Ketua Audit Negara Mengenai Pengurusan Kewangan Dan Aktiviti Serta Pengurusan Syarikat Subsidiari Badan Berkanun Persekutuan ditandatangani pada 16 Jun 2011. Sewajarnya tidak timbul masalah lewat mengedarkan laporan tersebut kecuali lah ada muslihat untuk menyembunyikan fakta sebenar dari pengetahuan rakyat.

Hasil dari penelitian prestasi terhadap pelaksanaan aktiviti di bawah 32 Kementerian/Jabatan Persekutuan dan pengurusan 7 syarikat Kerajaan, Laporan Ketua Audit Negara mendedahkan bahawa dari segi pelaksanan aktiviti/projek yang dijalankan terdapat beberapa kelemahan yang berpunca daripada penyeliaan yang kurang rapi, ketiadaan pemantauan yang berkesan, kekurangan peruntukan kewangan dan kekurangan kakitangan serta kepakaran. Laporan Ketua Audit Negara juga mendedahkan kelemahan, kepincangan dan penyelewengan yang berlaku dalam 45 aktiviti/projek di bawah pelbagai Kementerian/Jabatan Persekutuan.

Mengaibkan adalah pendedahan terhadap kepincangan beberapa aktiviti/projek yang mensasarkan golongan berpendapatan rendah dan rakyat termiskin. Antara projek dan aktiviti tersebut adalah:

1. Kelemahan pengurusan Program Pembasmian Kemiskinan di bawah Unit Penyelarasan Pelaksanaan, Jabatan Perdana Menteri dengan peruntukan RM691.52 juta pada tahun 2010 dan didapati mengalami kegagalan 54.4% daripada pencapaian objektifnya.

“Unit Penyelarasan Pelaksanaan, Jabatan Perdana Menteri (ICU, JPM) adalah agensi penyelaras Program Pembasmian Kemiskinan di bawah RMKe-9. Matlamat utama program ini adalah bagi mensifarkan miskin tegar pada bulan Disember 2010 di seluruh negara. Pada tahun 2010, sejumlah RM691.52 juta telah diperuntukkan bagi melaksanakan program ini. Pejabat Pembangunan Persekutuan Negeri (PPPN) atau Jabatan Pembangunan Persekutuan Negeri (JPPN) bertanggungjawab menyelaraskan pelaksanaan projek di peringkat negeri. Pengauditan yang dijalankan antara bulan September hingga Disember 2010 mendapati masih lagi terdapat seramai 2,472 orang miskin tegar di seluruh negara dan pelaksanaan projek peningkatan ekonomi kurang memuaskan kerana 37 (54.4%) daripada 68 projek yang dilawati gagal mencapai objektifnya. Juga terdapat kelemahan dalam pengurusan program seperti tempoh pelaksanaannya tidak mencukupi; peserta tidak layah diberi bantuan; peserta tidak tahu terlibat dengan projek; barang tidak diterima sepenuhnya dan tidak lengkap; bantuan tidak diterima oleh peserta; projek tidak dilaksanakan oleh pembekal; pembekal mengambil keuntungan daripada peserta; mentor tidak memainkan peranannya; perjajian projek champion tidak lengkap; komitmen peserta rendah dan kelemahan pemantauan.” - Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2010, muka surat xvii.

2. Kelemahan pengurusan Skim Insentif Peningkatan Hasil Padi di bawah Kementerian Pertanian yang mendedahkan kegagalan Kerajaan Persekutuan membayar insentif berjumlah RM110.67 juta kepada 73,291 pesawah kerana peruntukan tidak mencukupi.

“Insentif Peningkatan Hasil Padi (IPH) adalah untuk memberi galakan kepada petani untuk meningkatkan hasil padi semasa dan meningkatkan tahap sara diri. Mesyuarat Jemaah Menteri pada 27 September 2006 telah bersetuju skim IPH dilaksanakan dan pembayarannya dibuat mulai bulan Mac 2007. Sejak skim ini dilaksanakan sehingga tahun 2010, sejumlah RM230.62 juta telah dibelanjakan daripada peruntukan skim IPH dan sejumlah RM72 juta daripada peruntukan Dasar Jaminan Bekalan Makanan. Pengauditan yang dijalankan antara bulan Ogos hingga November 2010 mendapati objektif skim IPH untuk meningkatkan pengeluaran padi telah dapat dicapai. Bagaimanapun, terdapat beberapa kelemahan dalam pengurusan IPH seperti tiada perjanjian yang mengikut BERNAS yang dilantik sebagai agensi pelaksana skim; peruntukan tidak mencukupi mengakibatkan Kerajaan belum membayar insentif berjumlah RM110.67 juta kepada 73,291 pesawah; kadar insentif yang tidak munasabah bagi pesawah yang mengusahakan tanaman lebih 2 hektar dan kelewatan BERNAS menyelesaikan siasatan terhadap kes di mana peningkatan hasil padi melebihi 10% daripada anggaran hasil yang ditetapkan.” - Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2010, muka surat xxii.

3. Kelemahan pengurusan penyenggaraan jalan persekutuan yang diswastakan di negeri Sarawak setelah sejumlah RM462.46 juta telah dibelanjakan.

Program penswastaan penyenggaraan jalan persekutuan di negeri Sarawak dilaksanakan oleh 3 syarikat konsesi iaitu PPES Works (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, Endayan Construction Sdn Bhd dan HCW Engineering Sdn Bhd. Mengikut perjanjian penswastaan, jalan persekutuan yang perlu disenggarakan setakat 14 Julai 2003 ialah sepanjang 1,326 km dan telah meningkat kepada 1,566 km setakat 31 Disember 2009. Pengauditan yang dijalankan antara bulan Ogos hingga Disember 2010 mendapati secara umumnya keadaan jalan persekutuan adalah kurang memuaskan walaupun sejumlah RM462.46 jua telah dibelanjakan untuk penyenggaraannya bagi tempoh tahun 2005 hingga 2010. Selain itu, terdapat beberapa kelemahan seperti kerja penurapan jalan tidak dibuat dan kerosakan pavement tidak dibaiki; jentera yang digunakan untuk memampatkan kerja penurapan jalan tidak mengikut spesifikasi serta penyenggaraan bahu/perabot.perparitan jalan tidak memuaskan.” - Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2010, muka surat xxv.

4. Kelemahan pengurusan projek di bawah Pakej Rangsangan Ekonomi Ke 2 di pelbagai kementerian dan jabatan yang terdedah kepada pelbagai bentuk penyelewengan perbelanjaan, bayaran dan peruntukan.

“Laporan Ketua Audit Negara turut menyentuh Pakej Ransangan Ekonomi Kedua (PRE 2) berjumlah RM60 bilion yang dilancarkan pada 10 Mac 2009 bertujuan merangsangkan ekonomi negara dalam tempoh yang singkat. PRE 2 telah dirancang untuk dilaksanakan dalam tempoh 2 tahun iaitu tahun 2009 dan 2010 dengan peruntukan berjumlah RM15 bilion. Sehingga 31 Disember 2010, Kementerian Kewangan telah mengagihkan RM13.23 bilion kepada 27 Kementerian/Jabatan/Skim untuk melaksanakan 51,560 projek. Daripada jumlah yang diagih, hanya RM10.09 bilion (76.3%) telah dibelanjakan melibatkan 49,169 (95.4%) projek. Pengauditan yang dijalankan pada tahun 2010 terhadap 9 program di 6 Kementerian/Jabatan yang melibatkan 201 projek mendapati kesemuanya telah siap dilaksanakan dengan bayaran berjumlah RM426.69 juta kecuali satu projek iaitu Pembinaan Jambatan Sungai Padas Kedua, Beaufort, Sabah. Laporan Ketua Audit Negara mendedahkan wujudnya beberapa kelemahan seperti prestasi perbelanjaan yang tidak menunjukkan prestasi sebenar pelaksanaan projek; perolehan/pembekalan peralatan/kerja/projek tidak mematui peraturan/kurang berkualiti/tidak memuaskan/kurang jelas/tidak tepat/tidak dipatuhi. Selain itu, terdapat kes di mana pembayaran dibuat sebelum peralatan/kerja dibekalkan/disiapkan/disiapkan dengan sempurna; berlaku lebihan bayaran dan peruntukan tidak digunakan untuk tujuan asal projek.” - Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2010, muka surat xliii.

Sungguhpun Dato’ Sri Najib mengumumkan pelbagai janji untuk menangani kepincangan kelemahan dan ketirisan, namun ternyata janji-janji tersebut masih belum terpenuhi. Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2011 mendedahkan dan menjadi bukti kegagalan dasar transformasi yang dirangka Perdana Menteri. Pakatan Rakyat tuntas menyatakan segala Perubahan dan setiap Reformasi Sistem yang menyeluruh memerlukan iltizam politik yang jitu serta ikhlas demi manfaat rakyat Malaysia. Tanpa iltizam serta kegigihan dan tiadanya penyertaan rakyat untuk bersama-sama membangunkan negara ini, segala kebijakan mahupun dasar yang dirangka pastinya menemui kegagalan.


Hishammuddin turns up at UIA

Student representatives at UIA are believed to have met Hishammuddin Hussein, according to a tweet.
Student reps meet Hishammuddin - Photograph via twitter: Shahriza_Amir
The tweet was sent out by a Shahriza_Amir.
Hishammuddin is sitting in for his cousin Najib at the final of the PM’s Cup debate in UIA tonight.
As Hishammuddin officiates at the event, other tweets suggest that a small group of students have gathered at the entrance of UIA but are blocked from entering amidst tight security.
Meanwhile, Prof Abdul Aziz Bari, now the target of an investigation, is speaking at a forum on academic freedom in a PJ hotel. Others expected to speak are Azmi Sharom, Hisham Rais and Fadiah Nadwa.