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Friday, November 11, 2011

Lobby group fast-tracking ‘apartheid’ case to US Congress

Hindraf chief Waythamoorthy's current tour of US to highlight Malaysia's discriminatory policies, prompts powerful Hindu American Foundation to set up early date.

GEORGE TOWN: The Hindu American Foundation (HAF), an influential lobby group, is setting up a comprehensive US Congress briefing on the Malaysian government’s marginalisation policies on minority communities, the organisation said in a statement today.
Hindraf Makkal Sakti supremo P Waythamoorthy’s current briefing to various US departments and officials on the alleged ‘Institutionalised Racism and Religious Discrimination in Malaysia’ has prompted HAF to brief the US Congress sooner than later.
HAF indicated that US officials were convinced that Malaysia has hallmarks of a racist state which has been virtually overlooked by the international community.
HAF human rights coordinator Dr Ramesh Rao said the Malaysian government must amend policies that disadvantaged citizens economically due to race and religion if the country wished to be part of today’s global economy.
He has also called on the US State Department and Congress to engage Malaysian counterparts to uphold democratic values.
“This is imperative if the US stance on freedom of religion and human rights is not to be jeopardised in Southeast Asia and to ensure that the seeds of religious extremism are not planted in Malaysia,” said Ramesh.
Waythamoorthy, accompanied by HAF’s associate director Jay Kansara and Ramesh, has thus far briefed representatives from 10 House and Senate offices, including key subcommittees, the Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights and the US State Department.
Waythamoorthy also briefed senior officials of the American Jewish Committee. He also addressed a group of students, professors and ordinary people at a special forum organised by NGO, Sanatana Satsang, at the University of Maryland, College Park.
One briefing was held in the US House of Foreign Affairs Committee hearing room in the Rayburn House Office Building which was attended by congressional staffers, think tank and human rights activists, and embassy officials.
Waythamoorthy is on a mision to generate awareness among US officials on human rights violations faced by Hindus, Christians, and other ethnic minority groups in Malaysia.
“I thank HAF for sponsoring and organising the congressional briefing and arranging meetings with staff members of strategic offices,” Waythamoorthy told FMT.
If HAF succeeds in convincing the US Congress and the White House that the Umno-helmed Putrajaya administration was indeed practicing discriminative policies against minorities, Malaysia could be slapped with Washington-initiated economic sanction.
This may even lead to sanctions imposed by the European Community and economic powers.
Waythamoorthy received a death threat ahead of his briefing in the US on the deteriorating human rights condition, especially violations on the minority ethnic Indian community.
Article 153 of the Federal Constitution
HAF said Waythamoorthy told US officials that the state control of government administration, educational institutions, and economic programmes have all been designed to favour and enrich only the majority Malay-Muslim community.
The thrust of Waythamoorthy’s briefings was that ethnic Indians and other minorities who have been living in Malaysia for generations before independence, should be treated as equals and be enabled to take part in mainstream Malaysian society.
HAF’s recent annual human rights report prominently featured the discrimination faced by Malaysian Hindus in education, economic and social advancement opportunities.
A powerful US lobby group, HAF contended that the Malaysian government had sanctioned destruction of Hindu temples, monuments and settlements.
HAF also claimed that the Putrajaya administration has tolerated various acts of criminal intimidation, violence and death threats against minority communities.
HAF said Waythamoorthy briefed US officials on Bumiputera policies which provided overwhelming economic and social benefits to ethnic Malay-Muslim citizens, while discriminating against minorities vis-a-vis Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
He had also highlighted that religious minorities were increasingly subjected to Islamic syariah laws despite the country having a parallel secular judicial system.
Waythamoorthy said countless ethnic Indians were denied citizenship and legal documents by the Malaysian government, in spite of their roots dating back several generations.
As a consequence, they have been unable to obtain driver’s licenses or passports, acquire property, attend school, and seek medical care, rendering them virtually stateless.
“Article 153 is a deep-rooted racist provision in the Constitution which sanctions racist policies to the disadvantage of the minority non-Malay population,” said Waythamoorthy.
He said that the Malaysian government had wielded draconian laws like the Internal Security Act (ISA) to detain anyone, who questioned Article 153.
“The current Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers had openly threatened non-Malays with violence should this provision be questioned,” the statement quoted Waythamoorthy as saying.

Video clip: Man dares cop to a brawl

An enraged motorist gives a cop an earful and challenges him to a fight after the latter allegedly hurled obscenities at him.

PETALING JAYA: A video clip depicting an angry man giving a cop a tongue-lashing, threatening to beat up the officer, has been making the rounds on the Internet.
The recording, which surfaced in recent weeks on video-sharing sites like YouTube as well as on Facebook, shows the duo engaged in a shouting match in the middle of a road.
The video, which runs for about two minutes, appears to have been shot at the scene of an accident and the confrontation was witnessed by a crowd of bystanders.
It is believed that the man could have been the driver of a trailer and had hit a car along the highway. There were three auxiliary police officers at the scene.
However, the situation became tense after one of the police officers allegedly uttered obscenities at the man.
The man grew enraged and shouted back. He also repeatedly challenged the police officer to take off his uniform if the latter wanted to fight.
Lu buka baju mari, saya hentam you (you take off your clothes, I’ll whack you),” he shouted after the officer repeatedly said that he is not a police officer.
“Are you a police or what, hormat ada ma (you should respect others)”, the man shouted. At one point, the police shouted back: “Lu cakap baik-baik sikit sama saya (speak properly to me).”
The man also challenged the officer to lodge a police report against him, saying that he would also do the same.
The man also told the police officer to respect others or he would “stomp on him” (jangan kurang ajar, nanti saya pijak kamu) before leaving the scene.
‘Police investigating the incident’
Contacted later, Human Rights Party (HRP) information chief S Jayathas criticised the police officer for not handling the incident in the proper manner. HRP had uploaded the video to its site, praising the man for being “brave”.
“In the first place, if you want respect then you also should respect others,” he told FMT.
Meanwhile, Bukit Aman assistant managing director (public relations) ACP Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said that police had taken note of the video clip.
“We’ve taken note of this, and we’re taking action. I’ve seen the clip, and though I do not want to pre-judge the case, I believe that somewhere, somehow the civilian was hurt, emotionally, in the incident,” said Ramli.
He said he believed the officer involved was an auxiliary policeman.
“It does not represent the majority of the police force. This was fortunately taped because it can serve as a lesson to other officers in the way we communicate with the public and even among ourselves,” he added.

Four Hindu men gunned down on Eid, Sindh (Pakistan) observes mourning for three days.

Four Doctors were killed by Muslim militants on first day of Eid in Shikarpur. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

4 Hindu men including a paramedic, gunned down in Pakistan.

SHIKARPUR, Nov 8th 2011: Unidentified men gunned down four Hindu men including a Para Medical Doctor in Chak town, near Shikarpur, on Monday, the Bakar Eid Day in a vendetta over a dancing girl with a tribe. Actually, the slaughtering of cows in Bakri Eid day is no sufficient for the Muslims to hurt the Hindu sentiment. From this initiation the Muslims may try to cut some Hindus also in every Bakri Eid under their New Jihad regulations.

“Two men riding a motorcycle sprayed a clinic with bullets, killing the four Hindu men including a paramedic,” Ramesh Kumar, chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, said.

The dead men were identified as Ajeet Kumar, Naresh Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Satyapal.

Naresh Kumar and Ashok died instantly while Dr Ajeet Kumar and Dr Satyapal were taken to Sukkur’s Civil Hospital, where Dr Ajeet Kumar and Satyapal died of injuries.

The incident drew immediate attention of the President and the prime minister. After their intervention Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Hussain Wassan visited Chak town and assured the victims’ relatives that the government was determined to bring the culprits to book.

Mr Wassan ordered suspension of the SHO of Chak police station while police arrested an unknown number of suspects during raids at suspected hideouts.

On Tuesday, provincial minister Agha Sirajuddin Durrani also visited Chak and expressed condolences with relatives of the dead. Shikarpur PPP president Mir Badal Khan Bahyo accompanied the minister.

Ramesh Kumar, the Hindu Council chief, told AFP that a dispute had been brewing for the past three weeks between the Hindu community and the Baban Khan Bhayo tribe after Hindu boys brought a Muslim dancing girl to the area.

“Police raided the house where the girl was dancing and arrested four boys,” said Ramesh Kumar.
The issue was referred to a jirga, which decided to arbitrate over the case after Eid holidays, but before that could happen the matter took a gruesome turn, he added.

Members of the Hindu community began a three-day mourning in response to a call by the Hindu Council and the Hindu Punchayat Committee.

The Hindu community asked police to give them protection after receiving threatening calls warning of “serious consequences”.

LAST RITES: The last rites of the four men were conducted at Shikarpur’s Sadhu Bela temple, along the Indus, on Tuesday evening.

A large number of Hindus attended the rites. Prominent among them were Sindh Minister Mohan Lal, PPP MNA Lal Chan, PML MNA Darshan Lal and Jeay Sindh leader Bashir Khan Qureshi.

Earlier, angry members of the Hindu community took the bodies from Chak to Sukkur Press Club and carried out a sit-in, calling for arrest of the killers.

The incident caused panic in the area, which is a part of the constituency of NA-203 where PML-Q’s federal minister Ghous Bux Khan Mahar was declared the winner in a by-election last month on 47 polling stations against PPP’s candidate Wahid Bux Khan Bhayo.

Shikarpur SSP Junaid Ahmed Shaikh said a police operation was in progress at various places for the arrest of culprits.

Seventeen suspects from Bhayo community have been arrested.

An FIR was registered on Tuesday against 15 Bhayo clansmen for the triple murder.
Relatives of the victims expressed their dissatisfaction over the FIR and termed it a fabricated one to give benefit of doubt to the accused.

According to them, they would lodge another FIR to “bring facts to light”.

“This is not the first time such an incident has taken place where members of our community have been targeted. What is of concern is that the law enforcement agencies tend to support the criminals involved in such acts,” Dr Kumar said.

“There is a strong population of around 50,000 Hindus in Chak so for such an incident to happen is bad and the government must take notice of it and provide protection to the minorities,” Kumar demanded.
Police said they had arrested two of the people involved in the killings and were searching for the other culprits.

A police official confirmed that the killings could have been the result of a dispute between some Hindus and the local Bhaya Baradari that took place two weeks back over a Hindu girl.

Kumar said minorities were well protected and secure when military strongman Pervez Musharraf was the President but now they had become prey to open terrorism and crime.

Condemning the murders, the Pakistan Hindu Council appealed to President Asif Zardari, the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the Army Chief to take note of the targeting of Hindus in parts of Sindh.

President Zardari took “serious note” of the attack and directed authorities to immediately arrest those responsible and bring them to justice.

Zardari had sought an immediate report on the incident, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said in Islamabad.

Zardari instructed Ramesh Lal, a Hindu parliamentarian from Sindh, to go to the village and convey his condolences to the bereaved families.

The President said it was the “moral and legal responsibility of the government to protect members of the minority community against vandalism and atrocities”.

Babar quoted Zardari as saying that the “law would take its course and the culprits will not go unpunished”.

Ramesh Kumar, chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, said the Hindu community had sought protection from police after receiving anonymous calls threatening them with “serious consequences”.

Sindh police Inspector General Mushtaq Shah also confirmed the explanation for the incident and the casualties.

Hindus make up less than two percent of the population of this Muslim nation of 175 million people.

BRILLIANT! Switzerland’s Basel Piggy Tram is considered ‘anti-Muslim’

Isn’t that the idea? What an ingenious way to keep the Muslim scum off this form of public transportation.

Gotta love how the Swiss people are fighting the Islamization of their country. I bet the Jews there don’t have a problem  riding on the Piggy Tram.

Islam vs Europe  This is the pig tram in Basel – a last resort for Europeans who wish to escape Muslim harassment on public transport. Maybe we should extend the concept further? Pig-shaped planes – guaranteed terror-free!

One commenter on a Swiss blog said, “The pig is part of our culture, why should we remove it? In order not to harm the sensibilities of people who have nothing to contribute to our culture?”

Sex tape: Cops probe Anwar over 'false information'

The BN and Umno are using government machinery in trying to implicate Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim in another attempt of political persecution, PKR said today.

azlanThis follows the start of a police probe to take action against Anwar under Section 182 of the Penal Code for giving "false information to injure another person".

Anwar's police report concerned the 'Datuk T' sex tape, which was initially screened to several members of the mass media at a luxury hotel in Kuala Lumpur last March, before being uploaded on the Internet.

"Anwar has been asked to give his statement to the police this week, but we have persuaded them that it be done on Wednesday at the Kepong police station," Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah, who is also a PKR supreme council member, said.
"The same person who took Anwar's report on the sex tape, DSP S Shanmugamoorthy, lodged a report against the opposition leader two months ago."

Against this background, Sivarasa said, the move appeared to be yet another attempt at political persecution of Anwar.

He said indications of such persecution have been there for the past couple of months, when Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar indicated that police would initiate investigations against Anwar on his sex tape police report.

Surendran: We are disturbed

Party vice-president N Surendran said PKR was disturbed and appalled that the police have commenced a new criminal investigation against their MP for Permatang Pauh.

NONE"This is a new and desperate attempt to prosecute and imprison, to halt the movement for national political and economic reforms and to prevent Pakatan Rakyat from winning federal power in the coming general election.

"We will not hesitate to say that Umno and BN are behind this latest political persecution. They have done so against Anwar in 1998, again in 2008 and now," Surendran said.

To make matters worse, he said, attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail, who has been tainted in the past with allegations of fabrication of evidence, would also have a hand in this case.
Surendran emphasised that the latest move by Umno/BN in using the government agencies would not augur well for Malaysia’s tattered reputation.

“The political persecution of the national opposition leader by the corrupt use of enforcement agencies is doing immense damage to Malaysia’s international reputation.

“Umno/BN is bringing our country down to the level of Assad’s Syria or Egypt under Mubarak. We call upon the BN government, the IGP and the AG to immediately stop and drop the latest politically-motivated investigation and cease all police and prosecutorial harassment and intimidation of Anwar.”

Rafizi: An attempt to divert attention

Party strategic director Rafizi Ramli, who was also present, described the latest move as an attempt to divert attention from the wrongdoings of BN/Umno.

He said there are a lot of issues of corruption and abuse of power as highlighted by the opposition recently.

“This latest move is to divert from all the wrongdoings - the National Feedlot Corporation exposure, along with other allegations of abuse of power and corruption.

Sivarasa expects that in coming weeks Anwar’s latest setback will be highlighted extensively.

“We expect Umno/BN will get itself involved in low-level gutter politics to further humiliate Anwar as the polls approaches,” he said.

Sivarasa added that police have appointed senior investigating officer ASP The Boon Ang to the case and he will record Anwar’s statement next Wednesday.

He added they also do not have any clues as to the identity of the “third person” whom Anwar allegedly injured as stated in the investigations.

“I guess we will find out more next week,” he said.

The Datuk T trio of businessperson Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, Risda chairperson Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik and former Perkasa treasurer Shuib Lazim had pleaded guilty to a charge of showing the obscene video and was fined.

‘Rosmah, a thorn in Najib’s side’

Umno grassroots members wish BN would lose at the polls just so her antics and extravagant lifestyle can be toned down, says the author of 'Kesilapan-kesilapan Najib'.

KUALA LUMPUR: The author of “Kesilapan-kesilapan Najib” (Najib’s Mistakes), Shahbudin Husin, said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should step down if he does not rectify his errors soon.

Shahbudin, a member of Umno’s Wangsa Maju branch, said: “It serves as a warning… he should correct his mistakes before the next general election.”

“If he fails to do so, then he should step down. We support our party but we cannot support a weak leader,” added the former deputy Youth chief of Wangsa Maju.

Shahbudin’s 267-page book touched on various issues, including Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, his use of international public relations firm Apco and the alleged influence of his wife Rosmah.

Several of the chapters headings include: 1Malaysia Silap Pertama Di Hari Pertama Sebagai PM (1Malaysia the first mistake on the first day as PM); Pelantikan Apco (Engaging foreign public relations consultancy firm Apco Worldwide) and; Gagal Mengawal Karenah dan Gaya Mewah Rosmah (Failure to control (his wife) Rosmah (Mansor)’s luxurious lifestyle.

“I even caught my 12-year-old child’s friends discussing Rosmah’s hairstyles and her luxurious spending. Her antics have not gone unnoticed by many of the Umno grassroots members.”

“Many didn’t like ex-premier Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) because he crossed so many people. But no one made nasty comments about his wife Siti Hasmah. Rosmah gets everyone talking,” he told FMT.

Shahbudin added that her antics were so distressing to some Umno members that they wish Najib will not retain two-thirds in the polls so as prevent Rosmah’s antics from getting worse.

He also touched on the US$24 million (RM73 million) diamond ring fiasco implicating Rosmah, which was exposed by Pakatan Rakyat NGO, Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM).

Its president, Badrul Hisham Shaharin, claimed that the ring had passed through Customs without import duties paid on it.

‘No smoke without fire’

Pro-Umno bloggers came to Rosmah’s defence, claiming that the ring was brought into the country for a four-day private display.

Forced to respond to the issue, Najib denied that the ring was purchased by Rosmah or used for private display.

Asked if he, as an Umno member, believed that pro-Pakatan bloggers may have exaggerated the issue, Shahbudin said that there was no smoke without fire.

“I believe there has to be a basis for such an extravagant story. In three to four days they wanted to return the ring. But why did it come here in the first place?” he asked.

He said that history has shown many leaders fell because of their spouses such as former Philippine president, Ferdinand Marcos, and his infamous wife Imelda Marcos. But Najib seems to pay no heed to it.

Shahbudin whose first book, “Najib, the last Prime Minister”, which was also highly critical of the premier’s leadership, denied that he was sponsored by any faction within Umno.

“I did it on my own time and money. I paid for the 13,000 copies of the first book with my own money. In fact, I was quite embarrassed to approach Harakah daily to advertise my book because I’m an Umno member.

“So how can people say that someone within Umno or even the opposition is funding me?” he asked.

New leaders needed

When asked who was the best person to replace Najib, Shahbudin said that the current crop of Umno leaders inspired little confidence because of nepotism, corruption and cronyism.

Repeating his views in his first book, he said he would be happy if Umno-Barisan Nasional lost at the upcoming polls so there would be a two-party system in Malaysia.

“Only when they lose and a new breed of leaders emerge would Umno be better off. Things are far worse now due to nepotism and cronyism.

“The village Umno members who do all the hard work can hardly get a tender or a contract even after meeting a minister 10 times,” he said.

Another police probe on Anwar

The opposition leader is being investigated under Section 182 of the Penal Code in what PKR claims to be fresh allegations to revive the sex-video issue.

PETALING JAYA: Police have opened a new criminal investigation against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim in relation to his alleged involvement in the recently surfaced sex-video.

PKR political bureau member R Sivarasa said Anwar received a call from an ASP Teh Boon Ang a few days ago requesting him to give a statement next Wednesday at 3pm at the Kepong police station.

“He (Teh) said Anwar is being investigated under Section 182 of the Penal Code (which reads: False information, with intent to cause a public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person).

“The report on Anwar was lodged by DSP S Shanmuga Moorthy, the officer who recorded Anwar’s statement in relation to the sex video in April,” Sivarasa told a press conference here.

If found guilty under Section 182, the punishment is a jail sentence of six months or fine of RM2,000.

Sivarasa said the report was lodged against Anwar two months ago on Sept 8 but the police were only acting on it now.

Divert attention from NFC scandal?

PKR vice-president N Surendran, who was also present, said that he was “disturbed and appalled” by the “new and desperate attempt to prosecute and imprison Anwar”.

He alleged that the police and the Attorney General’s Chambers were in cohorts in this new conspiracy against Anwar.

Surendran said following previous “unsuccessful attempts” to silence Anwar in 1998 and 2008 based on “fabricated evidence”, he had lost confidence in the AG’s Chambers.

The timing of this new development was also questioned by PKR chief strategist Rafizi Ramli.

“Is it due to the National Feedlot Centre (NFC)? Now that we have enough proof, a new game is concocted to divert attention (away from the NFC issue)?” he asked referring to the controversial project which was awarded to the family of Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, minister of women, family and community development.

He added that such techniques would not be sucessful with the general election being around the corner.

Pembeli rumah kos rendah kena tipu

Mereka dijanjikan rumah kos rendah untuk dibeli atas kuota politik yang dipercayai didalangi oleh individu tertentu.

SHAH ALAM: Hasrat para pembeli yang mahu memiliki rumah kos rendah hanya tinggal mimpi apabila didakwa dianiayai oleh mereka yang bertugas di Pejabat Menteri Besar Selangor.

Para pembeli sebelum ini dijanjikan rumah kos rendah untuk dibeli atas kuota politik yang dipercayai didalangi oleh individu tertentu.

Menurut Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Bertindak Pembeli-pembeli Rumah Kos Rendah, Mohamed Durrany Izam, seramai 686 pembeli rumah kos rendah menemui seorang pemimpin PKR dikenali sebagai Yatim Datuk Abu Bakar.

Katanya, Yatim memaklumkan bahawa beliau merupakan pegawai khas Menteri Besar Selangor yang juga merupakan salah seorang Ahli Lembaga Pengarah, Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Selangor (LPHS).

Beliau (Yatim) menawarkan unit rumah kos rendah bernilai RM42,000 dengan deposit lima peratus atau RM2,100 dan bayaran ansuran bulanan sebanyak RM297 sebulan tanpa faedah.

Durrany turut meluahkan rasa kecewa kerana aduan yang dibuat kepada Setiausaha Politik Menteri Besar Selangor, Faekah Husin tidak dilayan.

“Kami pernah mengadukan masalah ini kepada Faekah tetapi tidak dilayan dan beliau tidak memberi jawapan yang memuaskan. Beliau suruh kami buat pinjaman bank tapi kami dari golongan berpendapatan rendah sudah tentu tidak mampu,” ujarnya.

Memorandum berkenaan diserahkan kira-kira jam 4.00 petang semalam kepada pegawai khas Menteri Besar Selangor, Noramin Ahmad yang berjanji untuk menyerahkannya kepada Menteri Besar.

Salinan memorandum berkenaan turut diberikan kepada Setiausaha Kelab Penyokong Barisan Nasional (BBC), Dewan Undangan Negeri (Dun) Selangor, Datuk Shamsuddin Lias.

Tiada orang tengah

Sementara itu, Exco Perumahan, Pengurusan Bangunan Dan Setinggan Negeri Selangor Iskandar Samad menafikan beliau melantik Yatim sebagai orang tengah untuk mengendalikan permohonan rumah kos rendah ini.

Sebaliknya, jelas beliau perkara itu dilaksanakan oleh LPHS secara terus tanpa pihak ketiga dari Pejabat Menteri Besar.

Iskandar mendedahkan bahawa LPHS telah membuat empat laporan polis berhubung tindakan pihak ketiga yang menuntut bayaran untuk permohonan rumah kos rendah ini.

“Laporan polis dibuat dari 14 Oktober 2010 hingga 5 Oktober 2011 berhubung dengan kegiatan orang tengah yang mengambil deposit sebanyak RM2,500 untuk sebuah rumah. Pakatan Rakyat tidak terlibat dalam angkara ini.

“Kes ini berpanjangan kerana tidak ramai tampil ke depan untuk buat laporan polis kerana mereka turut rasa bersalah kerana memberi sogokan untuk dapat rumah,” kata Iskandar dalam sidang media selepas tamat persidangan Dun di sini.

Beliau berharap dapat bertemu dengan para pembeli berkenaan untuk mencari jalan terbaik dalam masa yang terdekat ini.

Malays will become minority if they are divided, says Mahathir

(Bernama) - The Malays will become a minority group who are incapable of championing their rights if they continue to be divided, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the Malays were now divided into three factions and that only through unity could they become an effective majority group to protect their interest.

"Previously, the Malays were united into one party to the extent that they succeeded in opposing (the proposed establishment of) the Malayan Union," he said when responding to a question from a participant at the premier lecture by him, entitled "The Development of the Civilisation and Culture of the Malaysian Community Towards the Formation of a Progressive Nation", here today.

Dr Mahathir, 85, said the voice of the Malays would be drowned if they were divided into several minority groups and needed the support of other groups to achieve the objectives of their struggles to preserve their own race.

Regarding the group who championed the individual's fundamental rights, the fourth Malaysian prime minister said the original democratic principle that emphasised on the rights of the majority had now turned to the aspects of the individual's fundamental rights.

He said if the freedom of the individuals was allowed without any restriction, this would create tension in the community.

Dr Mahathir said demonstrations were allowed in a democracy but if they were carried out on a large scale without restriction, this could bring about negative results such as jeopardising business activities.

He said it was also important to develop positive personal values from the young age so that this would continue to be upheld by the people as they grew older.

1,400% hike in postal voters shocks Nurul Izzah

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar today raised concern over a massive spike in the number of postal voters in her constituency, as the most recent electoral roll, released on Nov 2, shows.

NONESpeaking at the Parliament lobby today, Nurul Izzah said the number of postal voters spiked by 1,363 percent in two months - from a mere 149 on Sept 26 this year to 2,180 on Nov 2.

Worse still, she said, checks with the Election Commission revealed that 457 of these postal voters are from the Kampung Bohol in Bukit Jalil, which is outside the Lembah Pantai constituency.

"There are 2,180 police personnel who are postal voters, and this does not include their wives. The winning majority for PKR in Lembah Pantai in the previous general election was 2,895 votes."

Nurul Izzah said that this finding had been confirmed by the EC, and was among thousands of other "doubtful" voters found in the electoral roll for Lembah Pantai.

A report has been lodged with the commission, with a copy forwarded to the parliamentary select committee on electoral reform.
Of the new postal voters who are police personnel, the MP also raised suspicion over 15 new postal voters registered to the Bangsar police station.

“Those who go there will know that it is just a small room, which is a tight squeeze even for two people,” she said.

Nurul Izzah said other “irregularities” include some 3,384 voters whose addresses are not listed in the roll, while 200 voters are registered under a single address in Bukit Kerinchi.
3,300 voters in demolished village
She also pointed out that 3,300 voters are registered to Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum, although the village has been demolished and residents moved to make way for the KL Eco City development.

“Surprisingly. there was an increase of voters from 3,204 to 3,300, a hike of 96 names when Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum no longer exists in the Lembah Pantai map,” she said.

The EC last month admitted that a whopping 40,000 names on the electoral roll are “doubtful” and that it will publicly display these names so those listed can come forward to help clean up the roll.

Does this sound like Malaysia? — The Malaysian Insider

NOV 10 — Greed, ignorance, hubris, corruption and a departure from long-held principles and a lazy media all played roles in the financial meltdown that is Greece, Ireland, Iceland. In his latest book “Boomerang”, Michael Lewis goes on a meltdown tour to find out how countries and societies got into this mess.
Malaysia is not Greece or Iceland but some of his observations should resonate with Malaysians. Below are just a sampling of some of his observations and the commentaries under each point made by The Malaysian Insider.
What “Boomerang” says:
1) “The world is now pocked with cities that feel as if they are perched on top of bombs. The bombs have yet to explode but the fuses have been lit...
What The Malaysian Insider notes:
Our debt levels of over 50 per cent of the GDP is a far cry from the debt level which brought Greece and Iceland to their knees but here is the problem: all the cities and countries in financial trouble once had manageable debt levels but greed, corruption and the propensity to believe in the best-case scenarios even in the face of empirical evidence eventually led to historically high debt levels.
For Ireland, it was easy credit that brought its downfall. In Malaysia’s case, it may be our excess to cheap foreign labour which distorts our true productivity and competitiveness as well as poses a national security problem.
What “Boomerang” says:
2) In 2006, Danske Bank, Denmark’s biggest bank, put out a report highlighting that Iceland’s financial system was growing at a frantic pace and on collision course with disaster.
The reaction from Iceland: “You’re Danish, and you are angry with Iceland because Iceland is doing well.”
From the prime minister down, Iceland’s leaders attacked the messenger.
What The Malaysian Insider notes:
Denial is something we understand well, and every time someone puts forward a view contrary to that held by the government or establishment, it is rubbished and the holder of that view labelled unpatriotic, ignorant, etc.
So when the World Bank put out the most authoritative study yet on brain drain from Malaysia, the government’s reaction was: this is not a problem, this is not a problem, this is not a problem. In fact, there is a witch-hunt culture against journalists from neighbouring countries who write articles unflattering of Putrajaya.
What “Boomerang” says:
3) Where waste ends and theft begins almost doesn’t matter, the one masks and thus enables the other.
What The Malaysian Insider notes:
This could have been from the concluding chapter of the latest Auditor-General’s Report.
What “Boomerang” says:
4) Government ministers who have spent their lives in public service emerge from office able to afford multi-million dollar mansions.
What The Malaysian Insider notes:
This is where Malaysia has outdone its Greek counterparts because ministers do not need to retire from office to flaunt their wealth. While in office, they live in multi-million ringgit home in Damansara Heights, Bukit Tunku, Country Heights, have a fleet of expensive cars, send their children to expensive boarding schools in the UK and wear suits which cost more than their monthly salaries (one suit is the equivalent of a month’s salary). Then there are their wives decked out with diamonds and other precious stones. Sorry, I forgot the homes in Kensington.
What “Boomerang” says:
5) Morgan Kelly is an economics professor at the University College Dublin and he pointed out that Ireland’s real estate boom was not sustainable and the consequence for the banks and economy would be catastrophic. He sent his article to the Irish Independent newspaper and the editor hit back, saying he found the article offensive and would not publish it. The Sunday Business Post would not publish it. “The journalists were following the bankers’ lead and conflating a positive outlook on real estate prices.” Kelly’s prediction was spot on, sadly for Ireland.
What The Malaysian Insider notes:
This same cosy relationship exists in Malaysia between the government and the mainstream media. One of the biggest scandals in the country is the comic National Feedlot Centre project and the unsavoury nexus between politics and business, sometimes called crony capitalism. Millions of taxpayers’ money is being flushed down the drain but the editors at the mainstream press are pretending that this problem does not exist, in the same way that they black out all news which could have negative impact on Putrajaya.

Sexuality: Minorities’ rights protected under UN

ImageThe Sun Daily
by Hemananthani Sivanandam

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 10, 2011): The banning of the annual sexuality rights festival Seksualiti Merdeka 2011 by the government and police shows that they are “callous, intolerant and homophobic”, Klang DAP MP Charles Santiago said today.

“Malaysia signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and United Nations Charter before becoming a member of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, vowing to respect sexual rights as universal rights based on the inherent freedom, equality and dignity of all human beings,” he said.

“Instead of protecting the rights of the minority lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer (LGBTIQ) community, the government has endorsed the ongoing persecution and discrimination against them.

“Following the ban, the organisers and other individuals have received threats, lewd and violent messages,” said Santiago in a statement.

He added that organisers of the festival and former Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who was scheduled to officiate the festival were questioned by the police.

“Ruling government-owned media organisations have ignorantly branded the festival as one that advocates free sex.”

He said if we put a stop to labelling people’s sexuality, we would be able to see the importance of human relations.

“We would clearly see the need to respect the rights of all people irrespective of their sexual orientation and identity as it is an integral part of every one of us,”said Santiago.

The Seksualiti Merdeka 2011 programme which was scheduled to be launched on Wednesday and end on Nov 13 at Central Market’s Annexe Gallery, is a yearly festival which championed freedom of sexual orientation and gender identity, and to protect the rights of LGBTIQ.

It first took place in 2008. However, the programme was cancelled after the police, on Saturday, banned functions organised by any group related to the Seksualiti Merdeka programme to safeguard public order.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar said the programme was cancelled after the police, on Saturday, banned functions organised by any group related to the Seksualiti Merdeka programme to safeguard public order.

He said the police were not against freedom of expression or human rights but had to step in because the organisers did not have a permit to hold the festival in public.

Reconciling differences over human rights

The New Straits Times

INTERCULTURAL Reconciliation does not mean conformity to a single, universal rule or system, says Raja Dr Nazrin Shah

Reconciliation does not mean conformity to a single, universal rule or system, says Raja Dr Nazrin Shah
The Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah called for reconciliation of the differences between the Muslim world and the west over the position of Islam  on human rights.

He said human rights had become a source of contention between the Muslim world and the west.

“As is often the case with such deeply rooted intercultural issues, the discourse is frequently afflicted with emotion, prejudice and misperception,” he said.

Speaking at a lecture entitled “Islam, Muslims and Human Rights” at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in University of Oxford yesterday, Raja Nazrin, who is the centre’s newly elected trustee,  said in Malaysia, the people were striving to make the imperatives of modernity and aspirations of religion intermingle happily.

“Secularism and Islam largely co-exist in harmony, making Malaysia an example of a moderate, progressive and tolerant society.

“While the proportion of non-Malay, non-Muslim citizenship grew from 15 to 40 percent, the interests of all the ethnically and religiously diverse communities were safeguarded and entrenched in the Constitution, which included among all the equal rights to vote and seek elective office.”

He said the country (Malaysia) had also strived to maintain an independent judiciary, in which efforts were being made to amend certain acts and laws.

“The government is in the process of reviewing and repealing three overlapping Emergency Laws, the Banishment Act of 1959 and the Internal Security Act of 1960, which permits detention without trial.

“The Police Act of 1967 will be amended to remove some restrictions on public assembly, while the Printing Presses and Publications Act of 1984 will also be amended to make annual renewal of permits for printing and publishing no longer necessary.”

The reforms, he said, would make Malaysia’s security laws more consistent with Islamic principles of justice and the rule of law.

He  also suggested that reconciliation need not mean conformity to a single, universal rule or system.

“Such reconciliation will prove difficult to achieve, and may not be a practical option for the near future.

“Muslims are bound by their religion to comply with their sacred law as interpreted by their respective religious authorities.”

He said forcing upon them provisions from the International Bill of Rights, which might not be compatible with their religious law, might pose problems.

Four Students Killed, 25 Injured In Bus Accident

IPOH, Nov 11 (Bernama) -- Four students were killed while 25 others were injured, five of them in serious condition, when the bus they were travelling in involved in an accident with a lorry at Km 382 of the North-South Expressway near Slim River early Friday.

State traffic police chief Supt Wan Abdullah Ishak told Bernama when contacted that the bus, carrying the students and their teacher, from a secondary school in Kulim, Kedah, was travelling towards Kuala Lumpur when the accident occurred at 4.45am.

The bodies had been sent to Slim River Hospital for a post-mortem.

Those injured are currently being treated at the same hospital.

Charcoal slaves

Poverty-stricken men from the north of Brazil are often lured to remote camps where they are used as slave labour.

Brazil, once the world's largest importer of slaves from Africa, has taken the lead in fighting 21st century slavery with a raft of innovative laws aimed at stamping it out.

However, slave labour continues to thrive in the South American country - especially in the age-old practice of charcoal burning. The dirty and dangerous business is relied on by many international companies as one of the early stages in the manufacturing of pig iron.

Brazilian pig iron is shipped to some of the world's biggest companies, including household name car manufacturers - who use it to forge steel.

But the charcoal burning stage is sometimes done by forced labourers, including men from the poverty-stricken north of Brazil who are lured with false promises to remote camps.

They are forced into working and living in appalling conditions, and often tricked into amassing massive debts that are impossible to meet in order to pay for their accommodation and even work equipment.

Woman alleges rape

AHMEDABAD: A 24-year-old Satellite girl has filed a rape compliant against a Rakhial resident.

The girl has accused Feroz Mohammad, 32, of befriending her by introducing himself as Rajesh and then allegedly raping her in Delhi. In her complaint, the girl has told police that she got introduced to Feroz by her college friends. A team of zone-IV police officials intercepted a car in Rakhial in which the girl, Feroz and his wife Nagma were travelling.

"During routine questioning, the girl said that the couple had forcibility made her drink petrol and was trying to kill her. She alleged that Feroz, who introduced himself as Rajesh, had raped her in Delhi three months back," said a Rakhial police station official.

The girl has stated that Feroz had asked her to come to Delhi along with him for professional work. The girl knew Feroz for quite some months. According to her, she went to Delhi with Feroz and took along her sister-in-law.

In the hotel at Delhi, Feroz gave her a soft drink laced with intoxicant and raped her.
Later, she found that his real name was Feroz.

Living under siege

Four minors 'arrested and beaten' by cops, says HRP

Four 14-year-old ethnic Indians allegedly assaulted by a group of Malay youths and went to the Setapak police station to lodge police reports were said to have instead been detained and beaten up by the men in blue and forced to confess to criminal offences.

A 21-year-old friend of the Indian teenagers who tried to come to their assistance when they were set upon by the youths, was also allegedly attacked by the mob, who were said to have been armed with parang and iron rods.
He consequently had to be warded at the Intensive Care Unit of Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL).

Assisted by the education bureau chief of the Human Rights Party (HRP), G Ganeson, the frustrated parents and guardians of the five alleged victims called a press conference today and demanded that police release their children immediately and take stern action against those who had assaulted the teens.
Ganeson, who is also representing the families as their lawyer, said M Indran, 14, was on his way back to his house in a flat at Kg Baru Air Panas in Setapak late yesterday evening when some 10 Malay youths stopped him and kicked him in the abdomen, after accusing him of throwing an object at them from an upper floor of the flat.

"He was on his way home, so how could he have thrown something from an upper floor? This has no logic at all," Ganeson said.

Three friends of Indran - Ravitharan, Arvin Raj and Saativel, all of the same age - who came to his aid, were also beaten up by the mob, he said.

"The group of four ran away, and got to Saravanan's house at another block to ask for help."
Assaulted with parang and iron rod
When Saravanan, 21, confronted the mob, he was also said to have been assaulted with a parang and beaten on his head with an iron rod.

"When Indran, Ravitharan, Arvin Raj and Saativel went to the Setapak police station to lodge a police report on their attack, they were arrested and locked up.

"In the police lock-up, they were beaten up and told to plead guilty to criminal offences... the police did not arrest the 10 Malay mobsters they came to complain about," Ganeson said.

To rub salt into the wound, the police also took seven-day remand orders against the four and plan to arrest Saravanan, who is waiting for surgery at the KLH, Ganeson said.

The parents and guardians have lodged a total of 18 police reports against the police for their "racial bias" in handling the case.

HRP information chief S Jayathas has also written to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar asking for immediate action against the mob and the Setapak police.

"Just because you belong to a particular race group, you are above the law, is it?" asked a fuming Ganeson.

"For God's sake, why the need for the seven-day remand? They are the victims! Why victimise these children?"

NONEA neighbour who witnessed the incident, C Devi, 34, questioned the unfair action of the police.

"The boys were beaten up and arrested without reason, but the people who beat them are scot free. Why do police have such a racist and cruel attitude?" Devi (left) asked.

One of the parents, K Linda Malar, said police initially informed her that her son had been taken in for questioning.

"Only at the police station did they say that he would be remanded for investigation. If he is to be investigated, where is the need to remand him for one week? We won't know what will they do to him inside... beating?" the mother said, with teary eyes.

Another mother, M Letchumy, wanted an immediate answer from the authorities.

NONE"They (the mob) are the people who did wrong. But why is my son the victim? The police must explain," Letchumy (left) said.

Ganeson pointed out that this was not the first case of biased treatment by the police in handling disputes involving ethnic Indians.

A previous case in Nilai involved a Form Three Indian schoolboy who was severely assaulted, but no action was taken by the police, he said.

He also called on the prime minister to ensure that the recently announced legal aid of RM5 million would be provided to the needy people from the remand stage right up to the trial stage.

Polls panel to A-G: Tell us why indelible ink can’t be used

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — The parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms has summoned the Attorney-General to explain why the government cannot use indelible ink — a key demand by polls reform movement Bersih — in a general election expected soon.

The Malaysian Insider understands that while the nine-man committee unanimously agreed that marking voters to avoid multiple voting could be implemented, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (picture) believes the Federal Constitution does not allow the authorities to force a voter to be marked with permanent ink.

Election Commission (EC) chief Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof is also understood to have said in today’s committee meeting that the advice of the country’s top lawyer must be sought over the measure that was abandoned at the 11th hour before the March 2008 general election.

“The A-G is insistent that the constitution must be amended but everyone else says it is okay,” a member of the committee told The Malaysian Insider on condition of anonymity.

Panel chief Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili told reporters today that “the Attorney-General will be called to advise on legal and constitutional aspects.”

The EC had initially planned to use indelible ink, bought at a cost of RM2.4 million, for the 2008 general election but backed out at the last minute, citing public order and security issues.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has claimed that the last-minute change cost his coalition 15 federal seats.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak pledged to form the bipartisan committee after over a month of international condemnation following his administration’s clampdown on the July 9 Bersih rally for free and fair elections.

The government also promised to adopt Bersih’s eight demands, which include cleaning up the electoral roll and extending campaign periods, as part of the committee’s scope.

The coalition of 62 NGOs has since gone on a nationwide campaign, demanding the government fulfil the eight demands before calling for a general election that is expected soon.

Opposition leaders, who strongly back Bersih, have also warned that further rallies will be held if the government fails to implement these demands.

Nazri: No Saiful-DPP love affair

The Attorney-General had probed the matter and found that the allegations were "baseless".

KUALA LUMPUR:  There is no proof to suggest that Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan had an affair with deputy public prosecutor Farah Azlina Latif who was part of the Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy II prosecution team.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz revealed this in a written reply to Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor), saying that the attorney-general had probed the matter and found that the allegations were “baseless”.

“There were no concrete evidence to suggest so,” added the de facto law minister.

Nazri said Farah was removed from the prosecution team to prevent any further allegations of impropriety and to maintain the prosecution’s credibility.

The affair allegation first surfaced in Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s Malaysia Today portal.

Opposition Leader Anwar had attempted to strike out the case in view of the allegation but the High Court ruled that Farah’s role was “limited” and she “had no access to any investigation papers, including any documents” which meant that there was no abuse of power.

The ruling by Judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah was made despite noting that the prosecution team had not answered the defence’s affidavit concerning the alleged affair.

He had also refused to call Saiful and Farah to answer the allegation about their “affair” during the trial.
The court has set Dec 8 and 9 to hear closing statements before ruling on the sodomy charge with a conviction possibly ending the PKR de facto leader’s ambitions of becoming prime minister.

Anwar has maintained that he is innocent and that the sodomy charge was trumped up to kill off his political career.

He openly accused Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor of masterminding the charges against him. Both denied the allegations.

Khairy: New social contract needed

Non Malays would not mind affirmative action to help Malays provided a clear deadline is worked out under the new agreement, says Umno youth chief.

PETALING JAYA: A new social contract is needed to help forge closer ties among Malaysians, said Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

Khairy said among the issues that could be discussed in the new agreement was a clear deadline for all affirmative action policies so as not to create animosity among various races.

Speaking at a forum titled ‘National Unity: From Vision to Action’ organised by the 1Malaysia Foundation, he said a referendum should be held to get masses to support the new deal.

Also present at the forum which was attended by about 70 people, were Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching and Balik Pulau MP Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff.

Touching on the Malay community, Khairy said he believed that the non Malays would not mind affirmative action to help the Malays, provided a clear deadline is given.

“And after its expiration date, we can start helping people based on merit. All this can be discussed in the new social contract,” said Khairy who is also Rembau MP.

Touching on the New Economic Policy (NEP), he said since its inception in the 1970s, about RM52 billion worth of shares were given to the Malays but only about RM2 billion is left in the hands of the community.

“Though effective, we can question its implementation as previously a lot of funds were used to bail out failed privatisation projects.

“This shows that transferring wealth alone will not help the Malays. We need to create capacity and the know-how in order to sustain the wealth,” said Khairy.

Quality education

On the school system, Khairy said it was best that the nation adopt a one school system for all to forge ties among children of all races in their formative years.

However, he conceded that the quality of education in national schools needs improvement and concerns of the non Malays must be addressed before implementing the policy.

“If the children wants to learn Tamil and Mandarin, we should give them the option,” he said.
Meanwhile, United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Party (Upko) central committee member Masiung Banah wants a second deputy prime minister position for East Malaysians.

“The appointment would ensure that the interests of Sabah and Sarawak would be taken care of,” said Banah.

He also wants the government to lead by example and politicians to understand what unity is all about before preaching to the public.

“During the ‘Allah’ controversy, the Cabinet at first agreed to allow Christians to use the word. Days later, they retracted it. Where is the integrity in doing that? We must remember that people are watching,” said Baniah.

Malaysia Bans Another Rally

Where did all THESE people come from?
This time, the authorities might have better luck in a conservative country
Once again, the Malaysian government appears to daring public opinion by banning a rally. On Nov. 2, the police prohibited a five-day festival that had been scheduled to begin on Nov. 9 by Seksualiti Merdeka, a coalition promoting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals that has been held in Kuala Lumpur since 2008.

As almost everything does in Malaysia, the issue has turned into a political football, with Ambiga Sreenevasan, one of the leaders of the Bersih 2.0 rally that police blocked in Kuala Lumpur in July, now one of the leaders of the Seksualiti Merdeka (translated loosely as “sexual independence”) festival. Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has also criticized the government for issuing the ban.

But despite the fact that Malaysia has been transfixed for years by explicit and lurid sexual allegations in trial courts against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and by a long series of publicly aired sex scandals on the part of political leaders, the country remains relative ly conservative, with an ethnic Malay Muslim majority population.

Parti Islam seMalaysia, or PAS, the fundamentalist rural-based Islamic member of the opposition coalition, has come out against the festival, which was scheduled to last until Sunday. So has Perkasa, the right-wing pressure group that advocates ethnic Malay political superiority. In all, more than 150 police reports have been filed by religious bodies and individuals demanding that the festival be prohibited.

The rally’s organizers, in a press release, quoted former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad as saying that “We don't need this sexuality thing. We don't need men marrying men, women marrying women and blatant exhibitionists here.”

Nonetheless, gay holiday directories say Malaysia “has a thriving gay scene (perhaps Southeast Asia’s most exciting) which, while still mostly underground, is basically tolerated by the live-and-let-live attitude of its people.” Several gay sites on the Internet show pictures of scores of gay men partying fiercely away in Kuala Lumpur.

Thus it remains to be seen which side will win the public relations battle. The planners complained in a prepared news release that “public officials and politicians have made inflammatory statements about SM, and the police have announced that they will detain anyone that participates in any such events on grounds including the disturbance of public order and threats to national security.”

Why now?

‘I think prior to this it was low profile,” said a United Malays National Organization lawyer in Kuala Lumpur. “I had never heard of it before. This time around they wanted to do it bigger, and they got Ambiga to support them. That means Bersih. That means news.”

Malaysia suffered a gigantic international black eye in July when police closed down Kuala Lumpur and arrested 1,667 mostly peaceful marchers supporting Bersih (clean) 2.0, a coalition of 62 reform organizations backed by opposition parties that are seeking electoral reform, blasting them with tear gas and water cannons.

That appeared to be a misstep. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s popularity ratings dropped to 59 percent after the attacks on marchers. In August, Najib, clearly on the defensive, announced he was forming a parliamentary committee to seek to reform the electoral system, and later held press conferences to announce that he intended to reform the country’s detested Internal Security Act, which allows for indeterminate detention without trial, and to loosen press restrictions as well.

As with the Bersih rally, the organizers of Seksualiti Merdeka have called on aid from the international community. Human Rights Watch has sent a letter to Najib, demanding that he rescind the ban on the event. The Global Forum on MSM & HIV, the PT Foundation, the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health and other organizations also demand that authorities to lift the ban on the event, which was to be called ‘“Queer without Fear.”

Front Line, an international foundation for the protection of human rights defenders, also issued a press release, calling for the Malaysian authorities to retract the ban and “declare the festival's importance, legality and validity as a legitimate event aiming to promote human rights;”

Front line also demanded that government officials or other public figures refrain from making statements or declaration stigmatizing the legitimate work of human rights defenders, that it guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of the organizers and members and :”guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Malaysia, especially those working on LGBTI issues, are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all undue restrictions.”