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Friday, October 28, 2011

Quarrying threatens India's farmlands

India's rapidly expanding economy has created a growing demand for building materials.

The stone mining industry has become a large and lucrative business, but corruption and a lack of transparency have had a damaging effect on the environment.

Al Jazeera's Nilanjan Chowdry reports from the western state of Rajasthan.

Malaysia's minorities fear Islamic law changes

Prayers at a Mosque Malays could face harsher punishments for offences than those of other faiths in their country
Malaysia's Islamic party is pressing for more areas of law to be dealt with under an Islamic legal code, causing concerns among religious minorities, despite reassurances they would not be affected.
There are two Malaysias. One for the Muslim majority - the other for Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and non-Muslims.
For example, Malays do not have the freedom to choose their religion. It is written in the constitution that all ethnic Malays must, by definition, be Muslim.

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The punishments they want would include, among other things, cutting off the hands of thieves and stoning adulterers to death”
At the same time, other ethnic groups are allowed to worship freely.
Political leaders would have you believe that these two Malaysias barely interact, and therefore do not conflict.
It is true in some cases - but not in others.
Islamic police Take my gay friend for example. On a few occasions, I have invited him to my place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon cooking and watching some bad reality TV shows.
What I did not realise was that my innocent invitations could get him arrested.
He is a Malay and, as a Muslim, he is subject to Islamic law which does not allow couples who are not married to each other to be in a secluded area together.
Tan Cheow HongTan Cheow Hong is fighting to get custody of his daughter
That way nothing "immoral" can happen, and the offence of so-called close proximity is avoided.
My friend is constantly worried that the security guards at my apartment block would call the Islamic police on him.
The fact that he is gay would not absolve him since homosexuality is also a crime in Islam.
I, on the other hand, would not be arrested because I am a Christian, and Islamic law does not apply to non-Muslims. We are only subject to Malaysian civil law.
So whenever the topic of Islamic law comes up, religious officials working for local and national government are always quick to point out that non-Muslims would not be affected by it in any case.
This is the argument that the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic party - or PAS - has used to call for the expansion of Islamic law in recent weeks.
At present, if you are Muslim, all issues regarding family and faith are dealt with in Islamic courts.
But PAS officials say they want Islamic law to cover criminal offences as well.
The punishments they want would include, among other things, cutting off the hands of thieves and stoning adulterers to death.
The party insists the move would not affect non-Muslims. That promise, however, is no longer reassuring for Malaysia's religious minorities.
Some feel Islamic law is already encroaching on their rights.
Child custody

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If Islamic authorities can snatch our children away, convert them, and decide on custody issues - all without the knowledge or presence of the other parent - then what rights do we as non-Muslims have?”
Tan Cheow Hong
It is a problem that Tan Cheow Hong, a Buddhist, never thought he would run up against.
He and his wife had married according to civil law. They later separated and he took care of their daughter.
This arrangement carried on for a few years until his estranged wife showed up last November at their child's school with Islamic officials and police in tow.
His wife had become a Muslim and obtained an Islamic court order to take their daughter back. The next day she had the child declared a Muslim as well, and was granted full guardianship of their daughter under Islamic law.
Mr Tan says all of this was done behind his back. He has accused his wife of converting to Islam so that she would gain custody of their child.
Some say they suspect Islamic courts would automatically favour any Muslim parent. Mr Tan is now fighting the decision through the civil law system.
His wife has refused to comment, but her lawyers say that as a Muslim she had every right to go to the Islamic court.
Dual courts
Mr Tan's story is not unique.
There are dozens of similar cases where disgruntled spouses are believed to be exploiting the country's dual court systems.
Their stories have sowed a feeling of distrust among religious minorities.
"If Islamic authorities can snatch our children away, convert them, and decide on custody issues - all without the knowledge or presence of the other parent - then what rights do we as non-Muslims have?" said Mr Tan.
Tan Cheow Hong Tan Cheow Hong is fighting to get custody of his daughter
The federal court does not have a clear answer for him - at least not yet. Many families before him with similar cases have been told to go back to the Islamic court even though it supposedly has no jurisdiction over non-Muslims.
In the face of rising Islamisation, legal scholars say politicians and judges here are unwilling to resolve the issue for fear they will be seen as anti-Islam.
And the issue of justice might become even more complex if the proposed Islamic criminal code were introduced.
Zainah Anwar, a prominent Muslim rights activist, poses this scenario in a recent newspaper column.
Suppose a Malay and Chinese were both caught stealing.
The Malay-Muslim might get his hands chopped off, while his Chinese accomplice might only be locked up for a few months in jail.
For the same crime only one person would be permanently disabled - because of their religion.
It may seem idle to debate Islamic criminal law in Malaysia. There are still many legal hurdles to overcome before it can be enforced.
Yet this time around, non-Muslims are alarmed.
This may be a country that prides itself on its multi-religious and multi-ethnic harmony - but what happens in Muslim Malaysia is not always confined to the followers of Islam - and non-Muslims are feeling exposed.

The Mad Scramble For The Indian Vote

Politicians cannot help but politicise the greeting that accompanies every festival. Deepavali is no different.
What happened to sincere, straightforward greetings without the need for one party to say that they have down more for the Indian than any other party?
The general election is imminent and both the ruling party and the opposition are in untenable positions. Umno and Pakatan know that they cannot win the election on their own. The Malay vote is split, the Chinese will probably vote for the opposition and that leaves the Indians.
So, the party which successfully courts the Indian vote, will undoubtedly be in a stronger position.
In his address on the eve of Deepavali, G. Palanivel, the MIC president, told the Indian community that the government ‘was listening’ and would ‘assist them in the transformation process’.
Palanivel who also holds the post as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, also said that Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak had helped the Indian community in their many requests.
He said, “The government has extended much assistance to date where some have been implemented and others will be put in place soon.
“I am confident that the Indian community is on the right track and will continue to progress if they stay united”.
This is a clear indication that he is aware that Hindraf is able to unify and mobilise the Indian community.
He warned against stirring up dissent in sensitive matters and said that it was important to preserve racial harmony.
Palanivel urged Indians to adopt the spirit of 1Malaysia to contribute to a successful nation. He also said that the community had much to look forward to with the introduction and implementation of projects in the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and Government Transformation Programme GTP).
He said, “These programmes are inclusive and the Indians will be able to tap into the programmes to raise their socio-economic standing”.
Unsurpisingly, Najib’s Deepavali address which was posted on his blog, was no less grand.
Najib said that this year’s Deepavali celebration would be “all the more special” because Malaysia was beginning to see the end result of the country’s national transformation efforts (NTE).
He wrote: “The special initiatives that we have undertaken over the last two years are yielding results that have a real and positive impact on Indian families and individuals.
“This has given us the confidence to further strengthen and widen our efforts so that we may reach all who need us”.
Najib told the Indian community that his government would include direct initiatives to increase their incomes and that he would attempt to increase the full business prowess of the Indian community.
He urged professionals, high profile personalities and community leaders to help him change the lives of the Indians for the better and also work towards national transformation.
He said, “Without the full commitment and support of each group, we will simply not achieve our collective ambitions for Malaysia.”
Meanwhile, in her Deepavali message, Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, the president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, also invoked Indian sentiments when she illustrated the Indian community’s poor economic status and low social standing.
She stressed that her party was not going to allow the Indian community to languish and made reference to the ills that afflicted the Indian youth and the disappearance of billions of ringgits worth of shares which had been allocated to the Indian communities.
Despite the grand talk and deeply politicised Deepavali wishes by all parties, it is evident that BN and the opposition are worried.
The reason is obvious. It is the new-kid-on-the-block, the Hindraf party.
Hindraf has energised the Indian community and given it a new lease of life.
The Hindraf leadership under the pro-tem secretary-general P. Uthayakumar and his brother, the Hindraf leader-in-exile, P. Waythamoorthy, have told Indians that they, too have rights and cannot be pushed around like a political football anymore.
As a result, the Indian voter is more astute than ever and is at liberty to vote with his head, and not his heart. Nor be subject to the coercion of the Jack-boot of the MIC thug.
In the 2008 general election, the teamwork of Pakatan and Hindraf was one of the contributory factors to Pakatan’s success.
However, in the years that followed, Hindraf claimed that Pakatan failed to focus on solving the problems experienced by the Indian community and the Pakatan-Hindraf relationship subsequently disintegrated.
Uthayakumar said: “In the last general election, we gave Pakatan a chance where for the first time BN lost its two-third parliament majority and lost control of five states.”
Nonetheless, the word on the ground is that Indians need not bother with politics or politicians: “Why should we care? They (the politicians) only come and see us in the days before the election with presents, makan and money. We might as well be invisible the rest of the time,” said one labourer from Sungei Siput.
For the past four years, he has been submitting forms to the welfare office for financial help, with the help of an MIC official. But he alleges that his application had always been rejected, until a few months ago.
His children can now go to school, his disabled mother and child can also receive disability benefits and four of his children who did not have birth certificates have now been provided with the necessary papers. This year too, he was rewarded with a hamper, which he claimed had never happened before.
This voter is happy that MIC has finally helped him and he claims that he is aware that the help probably materialised because of the impending GE-13.
Nevertheless, he thinks that MIC’s help is just a bribe and he will vote for the opposition, at GE-13.
With Prime minister Najib tight-lipped about the date of GE-13, it remains to be seen which party will successfully court the Indian vote.


Court discharges PSM 6 from subversion, illegal assembly case

The PSM 6 on the night of their surprise release from detention in July. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 — Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar and five other Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members were today given a discharge not amounting to acquittal for allegedly owning subversive papers and gathering illegally ahead of the Bersih rally that took place on July 9.

Dr Jeyakumar told reporters of his relief over the Sessions Court ruling in Butterworth.

He said the PSM 6 would try to meet with the Home Ministry for an explanation over the offences which they allegedly committed before the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally.

On September 19, police dropped all charges against 30 PSM activists arrested for waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, including the six who were also detained under the Emergency Ordinance (EO).

This came just days after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced reforms to security and press laws, including the repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the lifting of three Emergency Declarations.

In place of the ISA, Najib had announced the drafting of two new laws to curb terrorism in the country, much like the Patriot Act in the US, which was enacted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Police detained the 30 PSM activists in Penang during the party’s “Udahlah Bersara” campaign and their arrests were later said to be linked to the government’s pre-Bersih rally clampdown.

They were then accused of attempting to revive communism and wage war against the King when T-shirts with the images of Marxist revolutionary leader Che Guevara and Malayan communist figures were found in their possession.

Six key activists, or the “EO6”, including Dr Jeyakumar, were later imprisoned for 28 days under the EO, which allows for detention without trial for up to 60 days.

Curb ‘fascist’ Perkasa, Rahim Noor, Pakatan MPs tell Najib

File photo of Rahim (left) and Ibrahim raising a giant keris at the Perkasa annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur on October 26, 2011. — Picture by Jack Ooi
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 — The federal opposition has called Perkasa and Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor “fascist monsters” after the former top cop likened the rise of human rights movements to communism during the Malay rights group’s general assembly on Wednesday.

Pakatan Rayat (PR) lawmakers said today that Datuk Seri Najib Razak “must immediately put a stop to this fascism movement and openly condemn the former IGP and Perkasa... if he is sincere about his political transformation programme.”

“The latest attacks against the human rights movement is clearly an attempt to reverse Najib’s capitulation to civil society movements such as Bersih,” said DAP publicity chief Tony Pua, referring to the electoral reform movement which saw tens of thousands take to the streets of the capital on July 9.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said Perkasa, comprising many hardliners from Umno, opposed the prime minister’s parliamentary select committee to improve the electoral system and a raft of reforms that include the repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA).

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar also told The Malaysian Insider that “the tragedy lies not in Rahim Noor’s archaic, irrelevant and misguided views, but in the fact there remain organisations that prop up and bring new life to such monsters.”

The Lembah Pantai MP also accused Perkasa and the former IGP of “a hidden, dangerous agenda... an affront to common sense and should be rejected by all peace loving Malaysians.”

Nurul Izzah said Perkasa and Rahim had ‘a hidden, dangerous agenda’. — File pic
Abdul Rahim, who resigned from the police force in1999 after confessing to assaulting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when the former deputy prime minister was under custody over sodomy charges, had called the “human rights wave” a “new religion” that would lead to Malaysia’s social contract being questioned.

The former IGP warned that civil liberty activists saw the US and the UK as their spiritual home, and drew parallels to how the Comintern had engineered the global spread of communism from its Moscow base.

Bersih went ahead with its July 9 demonstration in defiance of a government ban and police action. Nearly 1,700 were arrested, scores injured and one ex-soldier died during the rally.

A coalition of Muslim NGOs also organised a rally last week to stand up to the “challenge of Christianisation” after repeated allegations of proselytisation levelled against the church.

Pua also warned that Abdul Rahim’s speech at the Perkasa assembly was not the first time “the movement is attempting to derail ‘reforms’ put forth by the prime minister.”

He accused Perkasa of forcing Najib to reverse his landmark New Economic Model (NEM) which sought to reform the country’s race-based affirmative action system.

“Within three months from the launch of the NEM, the affirmative action policy reform was reversed when the 10th Malaysia Plan re-incorporated the race-based agenda and quota system.

“At the earlier Malay Consultative Council (MPM) led by Perkasa in May 2010, the prime minister referred to the NEM as a ‘trial balloon’,” Pua said.

Barking up the wrong tree for Malay unity

Umno began digging its grave when it allowed Mahathir to refashion it as Umno Baru.

Umno, from time to time, beats the drums of war on “political unity”, one of the sacred cows in things Malay. Witness the call for PAS-Umno unity talks and a myriad other stage-managed events since 2008, including, at one time, stomping on a cow’s head to rile the Hindus.

Nowadays, these drumbeats are more a ventilation of the Umno activists’ ignorance of their party’s history, which began with the anti-Malayan Union movement in 1946, although the spiritual roots go further back in the concept of Malay nationalism first espoused by the Jawi Peranakan.

The Jawi Peranakan were the Singapore-born offspring of immigrant Muslims, many of whom came from Kerala, India (see William Roff’s “Origins of Malay Nationalism”).

All nationalisms are defined by what they oppose. Indian nationalism, for example, opposed the idea of the British continuing to rule over large parts of the sub-continent.

Malay nationalism, meant to draw together the Muslims in Malaya and Singapore into a political movement, harped on the economic weakness of the Muslims vis-à-vis the local Chinese.

Malay nationalism eventually saw the departure of the British from Malaya and Singapore, the regaining of independence, and the birth of Malaysia with the coming together of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak in a greater federation.

Subsequently, Malay nationalism saw the expulsion of Chinese-dominated Singapore from Malaysia for being the thorn in Malay economic and political aspirations, the death of the 1963 Malaysia and Malay re-colonisation in 1965 of Dusun Sabah and Dayak Sarawak, the birth of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and the deviations in the implementation of Articles 3, 152 and 153 of the Federal Constitution. The distortion of the constitution led, ultimately, to a backlash from the Indian underclass in 2007, spearheaded by Hindraf Makkal Sakthi.

Malay nationalism is dead in the wake of that backlash. The new nationalism in Malaysia is that of the Dusun and Dayak against Malay neo-colonialism.

It is no longer possible for Malay nationalists to continue to harp on the so-called economic weakness of their community or project the Chinese as the bogeyman to foster Malay political unity under one platform, the platform of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Umno Baru.

The Chinese, on their part, have more than a few issues to pick with the Malay nationalists for the manner in which they have been running the country since independence.

So, is it any wonder that the so-called Malay nationalists are looking for new imaginary foes?

Himpun failure

The Himpun call for a gathering of one million of the faithful is a case in point of Malay nationalism trying to reinvent itself for the 21st century.

The police, clearly “racist to the core” as more than one commentator has observed, bent over backwards and indeed fell all over themselves in approving the permit for the gathering in record time. Their rationale: “The gathering presented no security threat” and moreover would be confined to a stadium. It is difficult to fathom how the police define “threats to national security”.

The Himpun organisers, who claim a membership of four million members, could only muster between 4,000 and 5,000 people. In stark contrast, the old Umno had the total, undivided, unanimous support of Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia and, at one time, in Singapore.

Umno has lost its moorings on the concept of Malay unity, the Himpun gathering being the latest illustration after the hoo-hah over the Bible being in Malay print and Christians calling out to Allah.

The blame for that loss must lie with Mahathir, who stage-managed the court declaration that Umno was unlawful. Had the court discounted the illegal votes of the 30-odd unlawful branches in the 1987 Umno presidential election, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah would have won hands down against Mahathir.

The declaration allowed Mahathir to bury the Umno of the anti-Malayan Union movement (and Malay nationalism with it) and initiate the offshoot Umno Baru based on his own perceptions and aimed at fostering dynastic politics, that is, the rotation of political power among a few “Malay” families of Indian, Bugis and other origins. Mahathir also buried his arch enemy Tengku Razaleigh by keeping him and his supporters out of Umno Baru.

To mask the dynastic politics, Umno Baru has since dropped the word “Baru” and claims to be the same party formed by Onn Jaafar at the palace in Johor.

The old Umno, to reiterate, was a mass-based democratic movement, a coming together of several thousand Malay associations.

This is not something that the present elitist Umno sponsored by Mahathir can claim.

Hence, the disconnect in Malay politics that continues to bedevil the community and gives space to PKR and PAS. The latter is a party of Islamists or fundamentalists who broke away from the old Umno shortly after its formation.

Mahathir’s Umno is clearly in its death throes, as illustrated by the continuing estrangement with the breakaway PAS, the timing and manner of the departure of Anwar Ibrahim (now the de facto PKR leader), the alienation of the Ghafar Baba family which contributed so much to Malay nationalism, the alienation of Tengku Razaleigh, the alienation of the Malay rulers and, in general, the alienation of the Malay masses.

Mahathir’s Umno is dying also because of the raging corruption that has driven up the cost of doing business, alienated investors and the Chinese business community, continues to keep the rural masses down through the dependency syndrome and brought the once docile Indian underclass out onto the streets.

Above all, Mahathir’s Umno is dying because the Malays cannot reconcile themselves with the death of the old Umno at his hands.

Again, Mahathir’s Umno is headed for the dustbin of history because Malay nationalism is dead and this is something no number of Himpuns and Christian-baiting can mask.

I am Malay, and you better not forget it

So I whack the Malays. I whack them because foreigners think that the Malays are a joke. I am angry with these foreigners. I feel insulted that they say these things about the Malays. I am also Malay. So when they run down the Malays they are also running me down.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

My Malay friends ask me why is it I am very harsh towards the Malays. I am Malay. So why am I cruel towards the Malays? Well, it is because I am Malay that I am cruel. If I am not Malay then I would not be bothered about the Malays.

Do I criticise the Arabs? I have been to Mekah ten times in my life so I know the Arabs very well even if I don’t live in their country. I know what the Arabs are like. They too are Muslims like me. In fact, Mekah is the centre of Islam. So why don’t I also whack the Arabs?

That’s because I don’t care about the Arabs. I do not have nice things to say about the Arabs. So better that I don’t say anything because anything that I would say would be far from complementary. I am not Arab so the Arabs can make fools of themselves for all I care. And they do make fools of themselves.

But when the Malays make fools of themselves I do care. And that is why I am very uncompromising towards the Malays. I care that the Malays make fools of themselves.

I regard it as my right to whack the Malays. Malays have every right to whack the Malays. But I don’t take kindly to the Chinese and Indians whacking the Malays. Malays can whack Malays. But when the Chinese and Indians whack the Malays I will whack them back. I will not let them get away with it.

Okay, I am not a thoroughbred Malay. I am only part-Malay. Only my father is Malay. My mother is Welsh. But then who is a thoroughbred Malay? Most Malays are of mixed blood. The only thing is that my blood is mixed with Welsh blood, not with Javanese, Sumatran, Siamese, Minangkabau, Acheh, Indian, Chinese, etc., blood.

So what if my blood is mixed with Caucasian blood and not with Javanese, Sumatran, Siamese, Minangkabau, Acheh, Indian, Chinese, etc., blood? Mixed blood is mixed blood. Whether it is Asian-European or Asian-Asian, it is still mixed blood.

In fact, my great grandmother was Orang Asli. Her name was Hasnah Binti Pelong. She was the second wife of Sultan Ala'Eddin Suleiman Shah, the Fifth Sultan of Selangor.

Sultan Suleiman was Bugis. So that, in fact, makes me more Malay than many Malays in Malaysia in spite of my Welsh blood. I have Orang Asli blood in me. I have more right to Malaysia than millions of other pendatang Malays who invaded my country and now claim it as their own.

Bumiputera konon! Hello brader. We Orang Asli were here first. So don’t try to play that who is more Malay game with me. You will lose.

I interact with Japanese, Koreans, Americans, British, French, Germans, Indonesians, Thais, Singaporeans, Filipinos, and people from many other countries. Somehow they don’t see me as Malay. Maybe it is because of how I look. So they talk to me. They tell me a lot. They tell me what they think. And they think very poorly of the Malays.

These foreigners tell me that the only reason they employ Malays is because of the requirements of the New Economic Policy. If not for that they would not employ Malays. They said they could employ one Chinese for three Malays they employ. One Chinese can do the job of three Malays.

They think Malays are lazy. They think Malays are very slow. They think Malays lack initiative. They think Malays lack grey matter.

There I sit listening to foreign investors and managers running down the Malays while forgetting that I am also Malay. If it were one or two who say this I would say these people are bigots who are prejudiced against the Malays. But when everyone tells me this then the problem must be real. The problem must be the Malays.

So I whack the Malays. I whack them because foreigners think that the Malays are a joke. I am angry with these foreigners. I feel insulted that they say these things about the Malays. I am also Malay. So when they run down the Malays they are also running me down.

I cannot whack the foreigners. I cannot whack them not because I am scared they will not come to Malaysia. I cannot whack them because I know they are telling the truth.

Of course the truth hurts. The truth always hurts. And because it is the truth I cannot whack the foreigners for running down the Malays. The anger builds up in me. I need to whack somebody. But I can’t whack those who are telling the truth. So I whack the Malays instead. I whack the Malays because I am ashamed that the foreigners say bad things about the Malays and also because what they are saying is the truth and there is no way I can argue with them or prove them wrong.

But that does not mean I like others whacking the Malays. If you whack the Malay I will whack you back. If you are another Malay then that is okay. But if you are not Malay and you whack the Malays then I will whack you back. I have my pride and dignity and if you insult the Malays then you are insulting me as well. And I don’t take kindly to insults. So you whack the Malays at your own peril.

Was Rahim Noor’s Perkasa speech warning of “a human rights wave” an open proxy shot in a battle of three Malaysian Prime Ministers?

Was the former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Rahim Noor’s Perkasa speech warning of “a human rights wave” which would be like “a new religion” and threaten and erode the basis on which the nation was founded an open proxy shot in a battle of three Malaysian Prime Ministers about democracy, human rights and the rule of law not only in Malaysia but in the Commonwealth and the world?

It can be no coincidence that Rahim Noor’s speech was immediately given endorsement by his former boss and the fourth Malaysian Prime Minister of 22 years, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who warned that “Opposition politicians are using human rights issues for their political benefit”.

It can also be no coincidence that the two warnings by Mahathir and Rahim, made in a matter of 24 hours, came on the eve of the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, which is to consider the scathing report of the 11-member Eminent Persons Group (EPG) with wide-ranging and far-reaching reform proposals to end its organizational “decay” and to avoid the Commonwealth being condemned by history as “hypocritical” allowing rogue member states to violate human rights and democratic conventions.

It has been reported that the 220-page report of the EPG, which has not been made public despite the EPG’s request that it be released before the CHOGM opening this morning, contained “a wide ranging and at times unexpectedly radical road map for change, outlined in 106 detailed recommendations aimed at hauling the organization into the 21st century” – including the appointment of an independent Commonwealth Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights commissioner empowered to monitor violations and propose action against them.

And heading the EPG – which includes former British Conservative foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind and retired Australian High Court justice Michael Kirkby – is none other than the fifth Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Were the warnings by Mahathir and Rahim Noor pre-emptive strikes in the battle of the three Malaysian Prime Ministers, with the fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad warning the sixth and current Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak not to support or have any truck with fifth Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah’s EPG proposals to improve the Commonwealth record in responding to human rights violations?

What is Najib’s stand – to endorse Abdullah and the EPG proposals at the Perth 2011 CHOGM or to buckle under to pressures by Mahathir and Rahim Noor and to prevent the rogue Commonwealth countries which violate human rights from scrutiny and censure by a Commonwealth Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights?

The stand Najib will take in Perth 2011 CHOGM on the EPG report on Commonwealth reforms and the appointment of a Commonwealth Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights – whether to back Mahathir or Abdullah – will be a clear indication as to whether his promises of democratisation and political transformation, whether on electoral reforms, repeal of the Internal Security Act, removal of draconian and undemocratic laws and measures, have any credibility at all.

Najib should take serious note of the blunt warning of the EPG report about the Commonwealth “in danger of losing its relevance”.

The EPG report had warned:

“Now is the time for the Perth CHOGM to authorise the urgent reform this report recommends and to mandate a concrete implementation plan.

“Reform has never been more necessary.

“There may not be another chance to renew, reinvigorate and revitalise the Commonwealth to make it relevant to its times and people in the future.”

The warning of the EPG report that “there may not be another chance to renew, reinvigorate and revitalise Commonwealth to make it relevant to its times and people in the future” is of equal pertinence to Najib as to the relevance of his premiership and UMNO/Barisan Nasional rule to the people and country of Malaysia.

Will Najib prove to be unequal not only to the task of Commonwealth reform but also to the challenge of reform and national transformation of Malaysia?

It's a 'Malaysian-Australian solution'

The New Straits Times

THE proposal to swap asylum seekers between Malaysia and Australia is not a "Malaysian solution" but a "Malaysian-Australian" one, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.

The prime minister said he made this clear to his Australian counterpart, Julia Gillard, when they held a bilateral meeting yesterday morning.

The proposal to swap asylum seekers and refugees was scuttled by the Australian High Court in August.

Under the proposal, Australia was to have sent 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia in exchange for 4,000 processed refugees.

Najib said the plan was first proposed by Australia and later presented to Malaysia.

"We discussed it and only then, the two countries agreed to implement a package," he told Malaysian journalists after delivering his keynote address, "21st century infrastructure: new global partnerships", at the Commonwealth Business Forum 2011 in Perth.

Najib said Gillard's government remained interested in implementing the proposal but her government was short of one vote in support of it.

"Her government is hopeful and committed but it needs a lot of legwork on their part to get that one vote. So the proposal is postponed until such time her government can overcome the setback by obtaining a majority."

The prime minister said it was not fair for the Australian media to label the proposal a "Malaysian solution".

He also said that he cleared with Gillard the "negative" perception that Malaysia was mistreating asylum seekers and refugees in the country.

"This is not true. In fact, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees acknowledges our good treatment of them and views positively our efforts to deal with them," said Najib who is in this Western Australian city for the four-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), beginning today.

The court and the PM’s Department

The Star

The separation of powers is a central principle woven into the fabric of our Constitution. And it is essential that the judiciary is not only independent, but also seen to be independent of the other branches of Government.

“MAHKAMAH Jabatan Perdana Menteri”. I have to admit to have been slightly taken aback, to say the least, when I saw these words the other day, embroidered in gold on the black cotton jacket of a member of the court staff at the High Court in Penang. I blinked.

Was I at the wrong court? Had the High Court suddenly been subsumed into the Prime Minister’s Depart­ment? Or was it that the Prime Minister’s Department was now a department of the High Court?

Perhaps I should have understood that cashiers, clerks and other administrative staff at the High Court were civil servants appointed by the executive and assigned to the courts to support the administration of justice.

Perhaps I should have appreciated that in the absence of a dedicated Justice Ministry (which was abolished in 1970), it was only natural that such staff members would come under the Prime Minister’s Depart­ment.

And yet, in spite of every rationalisation that I could think of, I knew, deep down, that the words in gold thread looked wrong, and were plainly inappropriate.

They could not possibly be read by a litigant appearing before the courts without giving him the wrong impression about the relationship between the courts and the head of the executive. And yet some staff manager had ordered those jackets.

Some court staff members were plainly wearing them. And there must have been some judges and registrars who saw them being worn on a day-to-day basis without raising any objection.

The separation of powers is a central principle that was woven into the fabric of our Constitution.

The Alliance submission to the Reid Commission, reflecting the unanimous view of all parties in Malaya, stated that “The Judiciary should be completely independent both of the Executive and the Legislature”.

And for the public to have confidence in the judiciary, it is essential that the judiciary is not only independent, but also seen to be independent of the other branches of government.

Our Merdeka Constitution originally contained admirable safeguards of judicial independence.

Until 1960, Supreme Court judges were appointed by the King upon the recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, after consulting the Conference of Rulers, with no input from the executive. Only in the appointment of the Chief Justice was the Prime Minister consulted.

The Merdeka Constitution likewise gave the executive no power to suspend or to constitute tribunals for the removal of judges, such powers being vested in the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, which was chaired by the Chief Justice and consisted mainly of judges or retired judges.

History sadly shows that the amendments of 1960, which vested in the executive the right to select, suspend and to commence removal proceedings against judges, ultimately paved the way for the 1988 constitutional crisis, the darkest days of the Malaysian judiciary, during which Lord President Salleh Abas and two other Supreme Court judges were dismissed by the executive.

Yet, even the Merdeka Constitution did not provide for a perfect separation between the executive and the judiciary.

This shortcoming can best be seen in the Judicial and Legal Service (JLS), which supplies magistrates and subordinate court judges as well as government legal officers.

Unlike in India, where the leaders of independence comprised many people imprisoned by the colonial justice system, and where the independence movement therefore campaigned for a strict separation of the judiciary and the prosecution services, in Malaya there has never been any pressure for such a separation.

To this day, it is normal for a JLS officer to alternate between the subordinate judiciary and the government legal services, and for magistrates and Sessions court judges to be junior in the JLS to Senior Federal Counsel who appear before them.

Lawyers will even tell tales of Sessions court judges standing up and addressing senior government lawyers as “Tuan” when the latter enters the judge’s chambers! This state of affairs is plainly unsatisfactory.

Once a judge is appointed to the High Court, he enjoys security of tenure and cannot be removed except for misbehaviour or disability. Nor can the terms of his employment be altered to his disadvantage.

However, that does not prevent him from being given additional benefits by the executive. The most obvious discretionary benefit today is in the conferment of titles.

In England, every High Court judge is knighted, every Court of Appeal judge is made “The Right Honourable” and every Supreme Court judge without exception gets the title of “Lord” or “Lady”.

But in Malaysia, there is no standard system of titles for judges. A judge who is showered with federal titles will naturally be regarded as being a favourite of the executive, whereas if a senior judge retires without any federal title, it will generally be assumed that he has displeased the executive.

The inconsistent awarding of titles within the gift of the executive is detrimental to public confidence in the independence of the judiciary, and has even led to public scandal.

It is high time that the judiciary, the executive and the legislature take concrete action to improve public confidence in the independence of the judiciary.

The setting up of the Judicial Appointments Commission has been one positive step in recent years. It should be followed by further confidence-building reforms.

> The writer is a young lawyer. Putik Lada, or pepper buds in Malay, captures the spirit and intention of this column – a platform for young lawyers to articulate their views and aspirations about the law, justice and a civil society. For more information about the young lawyers, visit

New Video : Gaddafi sodomised before his death by rebels

File photo of Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi gesturing in Tripoli
New video posted on the internet by Global post .com shows that ", one of the rebels committed sexual abuse against Gaddafi before being killed, the footage shows one of the rebels put a stick in Gaddafi's rear

Later, a spokesman for Human Rights at the United Nations call for an investigation into the circumstances of Libyan leader ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

These video show the violent torture Colonel Gaddafi has suffered before dying from his injuries

On Sunday, the doctor who examined the body of Gaddafi Dr. Othman El-Zentani,said that The former deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been killed by shot to head

Bonded slaves a 21st Century Evil

SIS on Muslim sex guide book

Dr M: Hudud will mean unequal justice

Dr Mahathir said a dual justice system would mean two punishments for the same crime. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad continued his attacks on PAS’s proposal to enact hudud today, saying the Islamic penal law would lead to lopsided administration of justice.

“They said the hudud is only for Muslims. So if you happen to go stealing with a Chinese friend, they’ll chop off your hand but your Chinese friend or Indian friend, they will get two months’ jail.

“So for PAS that is justice. Of course, if you do something else, they’ll chop off your head,” the former prime minister told reporters here after attending a high-tea function organised by automobile manufacturer Perodua.

Last month, Dr Mahathir dared Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat to enact hudud in the state now that the Umno veteran was no longer in power.

Dr Mahathir had previously written to Nik Aziz in 1993 to inform him that Kelantan did not have the right to introduce the Islamic penal law, which prescribes stoning, whipping and amputation as punishments for criminal offences.

Nik Aziz, who is also PAS spiritual leader, however, dismissed the suggestion as laughable and instead challenged Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak to withdraw any objections Putrajaya still had over Kelantan’s plans to implement hudud.

PAS has drawn flak from Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) allies over its plans to implement hudud, with the DAP central committee threatening to quit if Kelantan goes ahead as planned.

The party’s 20,000-strong PAS Supporters Congress also criticised the move to introduce hudud, which it said would drive non-Muslims away from PAS.

PAS has launched a publicity campaign in Kelantan to explain hudud law to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, assuring that any introduction of hudud would be done slowly and in phases.

Last month, Dr Mahathir dared Kelanted Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat to enact hudud in the state now that the Umno veteran was no longer in power.

Dr Mahathir had previously written to Nik Aziz in 1993 to inform him that Kelantan did not have the right to introduce the Islamic penal law, which prescribes stoning, whipping and amputation as punishment for criminal offences.

Nik Aziz, who is also PAS spiritual leader, however, dismissed the suggestion as laughable and instead challenged Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak to withdraw any objections Putrajaya still had over Kelantan’s plans to implement hudud.

PAS has drawn flak from Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) allies over its plans to implement hudud, with the DAP central committee threatening to quit if Kelantan goes ahead as planned.

The party’s 20,000-strong PAS Supporters Congress also criticised the move to introduce hudud, which it said would drive non-Muslims away from PAS.

PAS has launched a publicity campaign in Kelantan to explain hudud law to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, assuring that any introduction of hudud will be done slowly and in phases.

AJK Umno Gua Musang pilih calon PRU

Ini termasuklah dalam menentukan kedudukan Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah sebagai penyandang kerusi Parlimen Gua Musang.

GUA MUSANG: Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah berkata pemilihan senarai calon Barisan Nasional (BN) untuk bertanding kerusi Parlimen dan negeri di kawasan Gua Musang pada Pilihan Raya Umum (PRU) akan datang dibuat oleh anggota jawatankuasa Umno bahagian itu tanpa campur tangan beliau.

Katanya ini termasuklah dalam menentukan kedudukan beliau sendiri sebagai penyandang kerusi Parlimen Gua Musang.

Tengku Razaleigh yang juga Ketua Umno bahagian itu berkata jawatankuasa itu diberi kuasa penuh untuk memilih menerusi undian bagi menentukan calon BN yang boleh menang majoriti besar.

“Dalam mesyuarat bulanan Umno bahagian itu sebulan lalu, kita sudah adakan undian senarai nama mereka yang dipilih rakyat untuk bertanding sebagai calon BN kerusi Parlimen Gua Musang dan tiga kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Galas, Paloh dan Nenggiri.

“Keputusan undian itu sudah saya hantar kepada pucuk pimpinan parti di Ibu Pejabat Umno Kuala Kuala Lumpur dan tunggulah keputusan dibuat nanti,” katanya ketika berucap pada majlis Perjumpaan Dengan Ketua Peti Undi Paloh, di Dataran Rancangan Kemajuan Tanah (RKT) Kesedar Paloh Satu, dekat sini, hari ini.

Tidak mahu dituduh

Tengku Razaleigh berkata kaedah pemilihan calon menerusi undian di peringkat AJK bahagian itu sebagai saluran terbaru bagi membuktikan ketelusan memilih mereka yang layak dan diterima rakyat.

Katanya beliau tidak mahu dituduh orang yang berkuasa menentukan calon bagi kerusi terbabit pada PRU ke-13 nanti kerana matlamat Umno bahagian dan pucuk pimpinan parti ialah supaya kerusi Parlimen dan tiga kerusi DUN menang besar.

“Kita juga menyerahkan kuasa kepada ketua peti undi bersama ahli jawatankuasanya mengatur segala agenda bagi melancarkan perjalanan PRU nanti dan kita diperingkat bahagian hanya memantau perjalanannya,” katanya.

Beliau berkata langkah berbuat demikian bagi memberi semangat baru kepada pemimpin Umno di peringkat akar umbi yang paling hampir dengan pengundi menjalankan tugas serta amanah kemenangan.

“Kita bahagian pertama menjalankan kaedah itu sebagaimana yang kita laksanakan ketika Pilihan Raya Kecil (PRK) DUN Galas November tahun lalu hingga mencapai kemenangan,” katanya.

Hadir sama Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Paloh, Datuk Nozula Mat Diah, Adun Galas, Aziz Yusoff, Pegawai Pelajaran Daerah (PPD) Gua Musang, Muhammad Zahari Othman dan Naib Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda Umno Bahagian, Zamzani Harun.

Dr M scoffs at second DPM post

The former premier finds the proposal ridiculous as other states too may want a second deputy prime minister to come from their states.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today laughed off the demands made by lawmakers in Sabah and Sarawak for a second deputy prime minister, saying they should be sincere in serving voters and not chase for high posts in the government.

The idea was mooted by United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president Bernard Dompok at the Sabah-based Barisan Nasional (BN) component party’s triennial delegates conference in Kota Kinabalu last month.

Mahathir said if the demand was met, politicians in Sabah and Sarawak would have to consider the demands of their counterparts in the peninsula.

“Why Sabah and Sarawak? What about other states? I think Kedah also wants a deputy prime minister,” the Kedah-born in jest.

“Everybody wants a post. There should be a MCA deputy, a MIC deputy, a Gerakan deputy. And if Pakatan Rakyat wins, everybody will want to become prime minister,” he added.

Mahathir urged Sabah and Sarawak legislators to focus on doing their job to serve the people instead if they were sincere in executing their duties as government leaders.

“Whether you’re deputy (prime minister) or not, if you can serve the people, that’s fine. If you don’t serve the people, you’ll suffer the fate of (Muammar) Gaddafi,” he said.

The idea for a second deputy prime minister’s post to be filled by leaders in Sabah and Sarawak was meant to recognise the importance of the two states.

The proposal was seconded by Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Dr James Masing and also supported by the opposition, Sarawak’s PKR vice-chairman, See Chee How.

The opposition leader had said the idea could benefit the people of the two states.

Leaders from the two states have longed complained of negligence from Putrajaya, leading to several defections of its politicians and component parties from Barisan Nasional (BN).

The complaints have also led to growing support for the opposition.

Pakatan had doubled its seats in the recently concluded Sarawak state election, wiping out the notion that Sabah and Sarawak will remain as the ruling coalition’s “vote banks”.

Islamic Cleric's Sentence Cut in Jakarta

Jihadi Bashir could be out in nine years or sooner
An Indonesian court has quietly cut the jail term from 15 years to nine of Abu Bakar Bashir, the murderous cleric who was convicted in June of running a jihadi terrorist camp from which his acolytes were said to be preparing a Mumbai-style massacre of westerners in Jakarta.

The reduced sentence is being regarded as a blow to Indonesia’s anti-terrorism efforts, which in recent years have rolled up a string of jihadi bombers and their accomplices. One terrorism expert told local media the news of the decision could cause other jihadis behind bars to cease cooperating with police because they aren’t being given the same kind of judicial breaks that Bashir has received.

The decision appears to have been handed down a week ago by a high court without explanation. Indonesian prosecutors say they are still in the dark over the ruling. Bashir’s lawyers said they would seek a full acquittal from the Indonesian Supreme Court.

“We haven’t received a copy of the High Court verdict so we still don’t know the reasons for the judges to sentence the defendant to nine years,” prosecutor Andi M. Taufik tod reporters in Jakarta on Thursday.

The decision cutting the sentence was reported Wednesday by the Agence-France Press news agency. The decision has been met with dismay by prosecutors and western diplomats, who have long sought to get Bashir behind bars and keep him there.. The governments of Singapore, Australia, Japan, the Philippines and the United States wrote to the United Nations in 2002 to request that Jemaat-i-Islamiyah, the violent organization that he co-founded, be placed on the Security Council’s terrorism list, making the organization subject to sanctions including a global freeze on the organization’s assets, a travel ban and an arms embargo.

In a depressing statement on the Indonesian court system, the 73-year-old Bashir has repeatedly been sentenced to prison terms for a variety of charges. However, he has been freed on appeal or had his sentence cut markedly each time. He has repeatedly denied he advocated terrorism, continuing to insist that Jemaat-i-Islamiyah doesn’t exist and was invented by the US Central Intelligence Agency to put him behind bars.

In 2003, Bashir was given three years in prison for lesser charges because authorities were unable to prove he was behind a series of bombings of Christian churches on Christmas Eve of 2000, but was released for good behavior after serving only 20 months. He was believed to have been at the center of planning the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2002, but authorities were unable to prove the charge in court.

In 2005, he was convicted of conspiracy in the 2002 bombings of Bali nightclubs in which 202 people died, most of them western tourists, and was given 30 months in prison, but was released early and ultimately freed in 2006 when his conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court.

He was given the 15-year sentence earlier this year after being convicted of establishing a training camp in Aceh province where allegedly jihadis were preparing to commit the same kinds of mass murders that Pakistani terrorists committed in Mumbai in 2009. That sentence was greeted with anger in Jakarta by critics who said Bashir should have been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

It was felt that the 15 year sentence would keep him behind bars for good. However, given his advanced age although even at the time of the sentencing, some critics in Jakarta were predicting that ultimately he would be freed.

Western officials say Bashir has been involved in radical clerical causes since at least 1972, when he demanded that Indonesia’s national philosophy of Pancasila, or tolerance for all religious faiths, be scrapped in favor of shariah law,

Noor Huda Ismail, a terrorism expert and former Bashir acolyte, told reporters that Wednesday’s announcement highlights the weakness of the country’s judicial system and the government’s lack of commitment to ending terrorism.

“This is the third time he has taken advantage of the justice system’s weakness,” he said. “The government is always saying that Bashir is dangerous and so on, yet this is never supported by efforts to gather intelligence on his activities, so what’s the point?”

Bashir’s lawyer Mohammad Assegaf, however, told AFP that he was confident his client will eventually be released from prison. “We’re very optimistic that the Supreme Court will find him not guilty from all terrorism charges. It has happened before,” Assegaf said

Achmad Michdan, one of Bashir’s lawyers, said his team was still not pleased with the decision. They had been expecting the initial conviction to be overturned, he said. “We will keep appealing. We are convinced that he’s not guilty, that he must be freed,” he said.

“Keep in mind that he’s been charged with terrorism in the past and those charges never stuck. So we still hope that the courts will eventually issue the fair and just verdict, which is to acquit him of all charges.”

Dr M reveals his dark side: Only limited human rights needed in M'sia

Dr M reveals his dark side: Only limited human rights needed in M'siaAs expected, former premier Mahathir Mohamad has backed recent comments criticizing humans rights from a former top cop who had helped him successfully prosecute and incarcerate Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on manifestly fabricated sodomy charges,

Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor, the former Inspector General of Police who admitted beating up Anwar in the police lockup and giving him a black eye during his detention in 1998, had a day ago criticized the growing call for human rights in Malaysia as akin to communism. His remarks were seen as being disparaging of the reform and new politics movement preached by Anwar's Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition.

On Monday, Mahathir defended the stand taken by Rahim, saying Malaysia should support human rights only as much as it can and not pay heed to critics who asked for excessive rights.

“In general, we have to support human rights but only as far as we’re able to. If we want to give excessive rights like in the West, to the point where men can marry men and women can marry women, that’s not necessary,” Mahathir told a press conference.

No longer revered, seen as the root cause for most of Malaysia's evils

Mahathir, who ruled with a fist of iron for 22 years until 2003, also offered the excuse that Malaysia was a developing country and faced “certain restrictions”  that barred it from becoming more liberal in its approach.

He also reverted to his favorite bogeyman, the Unite States, insisting it was worse than Malaysian in terms of its human rights record. “We detain people under the Internal Security Act but they detain people without laws and even torture them,” he said.

But the time when Malaysians indulged him as the feisty grand old man of local politics is over. Mahathir is now regarded as a bad brand name, leaving a bitter after-taste despite efforts to shore up his legacy with an auto-bigraphy that was slammed as a blatant bid to rewrite history.

"It is an absurd argument," N Surendran, PKR vice president told Malaysia Chronicle. "How can it be 'excessive' to demand freedom of speech, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association or freedom from arbitrary detention? These are among the basic freedoms that were stolen from the Rakyat by Mahathir and his various predecessors and successors. Histry will judge Dr  harshly."

"It is time for Mahathir to repent and tender an open apology for all his racial slurs, the endemic corruption and gutter politicking going on in this country," Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming told Malaysia Chronicle.

Corruption the biggest legacy

Indeed, do what he may, Mahathir is bound to be remembered most for the rampant corruption that entrenched itself in Malaysia during his era. He and his business cronies have been accused of amassing billions in all sectors of industry, especially gaining from oil contracts from national petroleum firm Petronas.

Preventing criminal prosecution and the unraveling of the huge and intricate web of deceit is believed to be uppermost in Mahathir's mind as he continues to insist on imposing his political will on the country. But calls are already growing for the nationalization of assets found to be gained from corruption once the Pakatan wins the federal government.

Ex-cop: Why is the gov’t afraid to act on Gani Patail?

Oct 27, 2011

A former senior police officer alleges that the Najib Abdul Razak administration is not willing to take action to form a tribunal against attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail for his alleged wrong-doings, following fears that it (the government) could also be similarly implicated in such crimes.

Mat Zain Ibrahim, in his open letter sent to Najib last week and made available to Malaysiakini today, claims that he briefed Najib in 2008 when he was still the deputy premier about Gani’s alleged misconduct.

In the open letter titled ‘Rule of Law government breaks its promises’, Mat Zain stated there is a public perception that Najib refuses to take action against Gani (right) because the premier feared the AG may expose some so-called secrets with regard to Altantuya Sharibuu or the Scorpene submarines purchase.

“I am of the opinion that YAB Datuk Seri and the government will do everything possible to avoid any criminal charges being preferred against Gani. The government is worried that should Gani be proven to have abused his powers for cheating or falsification/corruption, then simultaneously the government would then be guilty of having done the same thing since 1990.”

Mat Zain revealed that his investigations found three letters of undertaking dated April and May 1990 signed by three well-known entrepreneurs (Abdul Halim Saad, Wan Azmi Hamzah and Tajudin Ramli) which confirmed they held several hundred million ringgit of assets for Daim Zainuddin.

Daim was finance minister from 1984 to 1991, and again from 1999 to 2001.

Mat Zain noted that he had investigated the allegations that the three entrepreneurs had held the assets in trust for Daim when an official complaint was made in 1999 by Anwar Ibrahim.

In the three letters concerned:-

•Abdul Halim confirmed he held 52,208,500 Faber Merlin (M) Bhd shares and 130,000,000 Renong Berhad shares for and on behalf of Daim based on a letter dated April 30, 1990.

•Wan Azmi also affirmed he held RM150 million in cash in trust on behalf of Daim.

•Tajudin, in his letter dated May 24, 1990, confirmed he held RM70 million cash in trust on behalf of Daim.

‘Letters are material evidence’

Those three letters, Mat Zain said, are material evidence to implicate the entire cabinet at that point of time.

“Most people still remember when even a little letter from the Johor state secretary’s office in 1953 could cause not only the loss of Pulau Batu Putih to Singapore, but most importantly resulted in “loss of face”, our dignity and the sovereignty of our country.

“If such a brief letter from the Johor office can be accepted as material evidence by the International Court of Justice, then, I believe, the 1990 letters and the three fabricated expert reports prepared on Gani’s instructions could overcome any attempts to twist the facts.

“Personally, I am of the view that the documents are enough to destroy the credibility of the government since the 1990s. They can be used as proof that the abuse of powers, corruption, cheating and falsifications that have occurred all this while, were never done for the sake of the country, nor the rulers nor for any particular race or religion,” he said.

Mat Zain claims that Gani knew of the three letters as he had personally dealt with him (Gani) and extended all the documents pertaining to this case to the then-Anti-Corruption Agency in July and August 1999.

“Perhaps YAB Datuk Seri is fully aware of the facts from the very outset, being a full minister and a member of the cabinet since 1986,” he said.

“Even though YAB may not be in a position to order a full-scale investigation on Daim (right), at the very least YAB should assume the responsibility to clarify the dubious relationship between Gani and Tajudin in the context of the investigation into the Malaysia Airlines scandal.

At the very least, Mat Zain said, Najib as the Finance Minister should explain to the people whether the RM 70 million held by Tajuddin on Daim’s behalf had been returned to its original owners or otherwise.

That is why, Mat Zain said, he would be not be surprised if Gani had a role to play in the much talked about multi-million suit settlement between several government linked corporations and Tajudin.

He also said that the recent allegation that Gani performed the haj trip together with Tajudin’s proxy, and followed by another that he received gratifications from Ho Hup Berhad, are not therefore unusual or surprising.

Indian Community's Support Increasing, Can Count On BN Government For Brighter Future - DPM

IPOH, Oct 27 (Bernama) -- The Indian community's support for the Barisan Nasional (BN) government is increasing and they can expect a brigher future, says Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

"The Indian community has been supportive of the BN government since a long time ago as only BN could fulfil their needs and aspirations.

"The support of the Indian community and of other communities for BN is increasing, making the opposition worry, especially when the prime minister tabled the 2012 Budget which has increased the allocations including to Tamil schools," he said in his speech at the state-level 1Malaysia Deepavali Open House at Ipoh's Little India Thursday night.

Muhyiddin said there was no party which could really look after the Indian community's interests except BN.

He said all aspects of the Indian community including business, funds, assistance to temples and Tamil education were given serious attention by the BN government through the cabinet committee.

He also announced an allocation of RM2.5 million for the building of a Tamil school in Gunung Rapat here, and another allocation to beautify the Little India area.

Muhyiddin and the invited guests then joined about 5,000 people to savour the Deepavali spread and were entertained to songs and cultural performances in conjunction with Deepavali.

He and his wife Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman later left for the federal capital from the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport, here.

Najib akan adakan Pilihanraya Umum tanpa menunggu proses penambahbaikan pilihanraya.

Malaysia antara negara demokrasi terkebelakang dari segi proses pilihanrayanya. Sehingga kini tidak ada siapa boleh mengesahkan bila PRU itu akan berlaku yang ada hanyalah spekulasi-spekulasi. Mengambil kira semua spekulasi dan beberapa maklumat dalaman yang diperolehi maka diyakini Najib Razak akan membubarkan parlimen dalam masa terdekat ini.

Menurut sumber yang ada menyatakan, tahun ini Najib dan Rosmah akan menunaikan ibadah haji dan akan pergi 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 di Tanah Suci nanti liputan media yang akan menyiarkan gambar – gambar 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 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 2011 menurut maklumat yang diyakini Najib akan membubarkan Parlimen dan serentak dengan itu negeri – negeri dibawah Bn juga akan membubarkan DUN. Sehingga kini dalam Pakatan Rakyat masih belum ada kata sepakat dalam pembubaran DUN di negeri dibawah PR.

1 Disember dikatakan akan diadakan penamaan calon dan 10 Disember (sabtu) akan diadakan proses pengundian. Angka berkaitan 1 ini sengaja dipilih menurut maklumat yang ada kerana mengikut nasihat paranormal dan tukang tilik yang biasa digunakan mereka yang menyatakan nombor berkaitan 1 merupakan nombor tuah bagi Najib dan Rosmah. Diyakini sehingga hari ini dari maklumat dalaman sah Najib akan mengikut tarikh ini walaupun kuat yang menasihatinya agar jangan mengadakan PRU awal dan secara mengejut.

Pilihanraya awal ini dipercayai juga kerana krisis dalaman Umno yang makin meruncing.Sudah mula ada pihak yang mahu menjatuhkan Najib dalam Umno sendiri. Najib tidak boleh membiarkan ini merebak,mereka yang terlibat perlu disingkirkan. Namun sebelum itu Najib perlu mendapat mandat baru dan memastikan majoriti yang dinamakan sebagai Calon PRU.Bn perlulah individu yang boleh menyokong beliau tanpa belah bagi

Pada 9 Julai puluhan ribu rakyat telah turun ke jalanraya kerana menuntut Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil. Walaupun penuh sekatan hampir tidak masuk akal apabila melihat puluhan ribu yang masih berjaya hadir walaupun K.Lumpur dibuatkan seperti darurat oleh penguasa dengan melakukan kepungan dan memaksa banyak organisasi untuk tidak menjalankan operasi pada hari tersebut. Ini semua kerana iltizam dan kehendak kuat rakyat untuk menuntut pilihanraya bersih dan adil.

Najib sendiri akhirnya terpaksa mengakui bahawa kepincangan wujud dan proses pilihanraya memerlukan reformasi. Satu jawatankuasa terpilihan Parlimen diwujudkan untuk maksud tersebut.

Malangnya usaha Najib hanya pada kulit. Dalam mengumumkan langkah pemerkasaan demokrasi dalam negara tetapi beliau (baca : bn) sendiri terus mengerjakan banyak perkara jahat membunuh demokrasi khususnya dalam proses pilihanraya. Isu penganugerahan istimewa orang asing dengan taraf wargananegara secara mudah dengan syarat mengundi Bn dilihat antara kemuncak kekurang ajaran Bn ini.

Jesteru ini Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia memberikan peringatan kepada Najib, Rosmah dan regim bn keseluruhanya,JANGAN ADA SEBARANG PROSES PRU SEHINGGA SELESAI PROSES PENAMBAHBAIKAN PRU KHUSUSNYA MELAKSANAKAN 8 TUNTUTAN BERSIH. Jika PRU diadakan sebelum proses reformasi PRU diadakan maka PRU tersebut bakal m,enjadi PRU terkotor dalam sejarah negara.

Jika PRU tetap diadakan sebelum proses reformasi pilihanraya selesai maka PRU yang diadakan itu hanyalah penipuan dan hanya proses bohong yang hanya ingin memanjangkan hayat Umno dan barisan Nasional selaku regim pemerintah. ia hanya satu proses demokrasi palsu dan menipu rakyat.

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, mobilisasi rakyat untuk memasuki Putrajaya. Mobilisasi rakyat kali ini akan benar – benar berwajah Malaysia dengan menolak sebarang sentimen perkauman. Dari pengamatan SAMM yang sama bergelumang dibawah, majoriti rakyat yang sedang terhimpit kehidupan mereka telah bersedia, rakyat tidak redha Bn terus mendapat mandat dengan cara menipu dan terus menghancurkan negara.

Ulasan lanjut akan dibuat dalam forum mengakar perubahan malam esok. Jumpa disana. Pihak media juga dijemput hadir

Tahrir Square activists to rally in support of Occupy protesters

Eyptian activists are expected to descend on Tahrir Square tomorrow in a show of solidarity with Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Egyptian activists have already sent messages of solidarity to the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Over in Oakland, tweets report that protesters chanted, “We are Tahrir Square!”

The links between the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street are real, as Amy Goodman observes in The Guardian.

In Oakland, a chain-link fence at the plaza where the activists are gathered has come down as the crowd has re-occupied the Frank Ogawa Plaza ( website).

A general assembly of some 3000 activists is calling for a a city-wide strike on 2 November.

The assembly also discussed the case of activist Scott Olsen, a former Marine who served two tours in Iraq, who suffered a fractured skull after being struck by a police projectile during a demonstration on Tuesday night. Police used tear and flash-bang canisters but denied they used rubber bullets, as claimed by some.

Hopefully, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch will highlight this case and condemn the police brutality towards the peaceful protesters.

Why did the police crack down on what was essentially a peaceful protest? Was it to scare others from joining in and so that the mainstream media could discredit the Occupy movement as a ‘violent’ mob, as the Daily Kos reports? Does that sound familiar to us in Malaysia?