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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

'What are we doing on UN Human Rights Council?'

Despite being accorded a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) for the second time, Malaysia has thus far failed to demonstrate real commitments to international human rights conventions and implementation of universal principles of human rights.

Saying this today, Yusmadi Yusoff (PKR-Balik Pulau) recounted human rights violations in its own backyard and by the very government that purports to advocate protection of human rights elsewhere in the world.

"We rubbished the recommendations of our own Human Rights Commission (Suhakam)... We have leaders making allegations of communist threats. and new imperialist waves, from a former premier and ex-top cop, no less.

"Are we just sitting pretty as members on the (UN) council but failing to implement human rights in our own country?" asked the MP during question time in the House this morning.

Yusmadi had earlier asked what the government was planning to do to further human rights in Malaysia in view of its appointment to the HRC.

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Najib denies discussing polls at BN meet

Najib (right) shakes hands with BN leaders after the coalition’s supreme council meeting in Kuala Lumpur, November 11, 2011. — File pic
TANJUNG SEPAT, Nov 16 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak dismissed speculation today that his meeting with Barisan Nasional (BN) party leaders last night centred on preparation for the coming general election.

The BN chairman told reporters here he had merely called the meeting to “exchange ideas on current issues” with the leaders, adding his busy schedule only permitted him to hold the discussion last night.

“It’s just a normal meeting. Nothing on seat division,” he said after launching the National Blue Ocean Strategy 3 housing project at an Orang Asli village here.

“We can meet at anytime. The only time I had was last night. This afternoon, I have to go to Bali. Last night was the only time I had,” he added.

The prime minister smiled and shook his head when asked again if he had discussed seat allocations with the BN party leaders last night, saying, “Why are you so interested? No, not yesterday.”

Najib called for a meeting with BN component party leaders at his official residence in Putrajaya last night, shortly after he returned from the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Hawaii.

According to Bernama Online, the two-hour meeting saw the attendance of Najib’s deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and party presidents Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek (MCA), Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (PBB), Datuk M. Kayveas (PPP), Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon (Gerakan), Datuk VK Liew (LDP), Datuk Seri Dr James Jemut Masing (PRS) and Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (PBS).

The Malaysian Insider reported earlier yesterday the prime minister had summoned the meeting to finalise details on BN’s potential candidates and seat allocations for the coming 13th general election.

“Tomorrow’s (yesterday’s) meeting agenda is still unknown but Datuk Seri Najib wants to meet with us... possibly to offer his input and views on the question of candidates and division of seats,” a BN component party leader had told The Malaysian Insider. “The time of the meeting will only be made known tomorrow (yesterday) when Najib returns... but the meeting is not an indication that the election will be held this year,” the leader added.

After chairing last week’s BN supreme council meeting, Najib told reporters the 13th general election, which does not have to be called until 2013, will not be held this year.

The ruling BN coalition suffered its worst performance in Election 2008 when it lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority and ceded control of five states to the opposition. It won 140 of 222 parliamentary seats and 307 of 505 state seats.

The opposition led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has struggled to build on gains made in the 2008 polls but analysts expect the next election to be a tough fight due to voter frustration with racial tensions and slow political reforms.

Some analysts have said that Najib could call for polls sooner rather than later, to avoid a sharp slowdown in Malaysia’s trade-reliant economy as the global outlook deteriorates.

Popularity poll: Najib soars, Anwar plummets

According to a poll conducted by IIUM, the premier's popularity is rising while the glitter of the stars in the opposition camp is fading.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s popularity rating has been rising steadily since 2009 while those in the opposition camp are losing their charm, according to a poll conducted by the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM).

The study on the popularity of five Malaysian leaders, conducted by IIUM’s Media and Election Studies Unit, also found that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has maintained his popularity since leaving office in 2003.

Three other personalities in leadership roles – PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim, Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng – saw their popularity decline considerably, according to the study.

Prof Syed Arabi Idid of IIUM’s Communications Studies Department led the study, from March 2008 to July 2011, with his research coordinator Azrul Hisyam Wakichan.

An average sample of 1,500 respondents – Malay, Chinese and Indian registered voters – were asked how satisfied they were with the leadership qualities of the five leaders.

Syed Arabi attributed Najib’s improved rating to his relentless effort to touch base with the people and steer the country to a promising future.

The study clearly indicated that the Malays, Chinese and Indians now find Najib favourable, he said.

In October 2008, 35% of the Malay, 33% of the Chinese and 41% of the Indian respondents noted that they were satisfied or very satisfied with Najib but by July 2011, their approval increased to 59%, 45% and 62%, respectively, he said.

“In a nutshell, people are finding Najib more acceptable now as their leader,” said Syed Arabi, who has been conducting studies on the popularity of political personalities since 1989.

On the flagging popularity of Anwar, Nik Aziz and Guan Eng, he said it was probably contributed by current issues and their failure to achieve a common ground in many of the issues.

Mahathir still revered

Meanwhile, Azrul Hisyam, who coordinated the study, said Malaysians hold high esteem for Mahathir and his legacy.

An average of 74% of the respondents polled were in favour of Mahathir throughout the four-year period, he added.

He noted that Malaysians see Mahathir as a proven leader and a man who still speaks his mind without fear or favour.

“They see him as an exemplary leader,” he said.

- Bernama

What will Koh announce tomorrow?

There are not much options left for Gerakan president Koh Tsu Khoon as he is seen as the main factor in the downfall of Gerakan.

GEORGE TOWN: Tomorrow is decision day for Gerakan president Koh Tsu Khoon. The minister in charge of unity and performance is expected to announce a wide range of changes for Gerakan.

The beleagured president is widely tipped to announce his resignation as Penang Barisan Nasional chairman for starters, although his close aides deny this.

Yesterday, at the Parliament lobby Koh said he will make an important announcement on renewal and reform plans for Gerakan.

Sources say there are three options for Koh: either quit as Gerakan president, take a back seat and let his deputy Chang Ko Youn lead the party, or to cling onto the presidency till the party elections which must be held within the next 15 months.

Formerly a state executive councillor in Barisan Nasional Perak government, Chang lost in Beruas parliamentary contest against DAP strongman Ngeh Koo Ham in the last general election.

State Gerakan vice-chairman and Koh’s political secretary Ong Thean Lye is tipped to lead the state BN in the next general election.

If appointed as expected, Ong, the former Datuk Keramat state assemblyman, will eventually take over from Dr Teng Hock Nan as the Penang Gerakan chief.

Sources say that at a recent private meeting with party leaders, Koh was made to face reality that under him Gerakan was in the doldrums.

Sources said a party top leader has told Koh to quit now so that he would go out gracefully with his dignity intact.

Koh was also told that if he was to continue leading Gerakan, the party will be routed in the next general election.

“If you were to step down after the next election, you would go down disgracefully. Now you decide which way you want it,” the leader is said to have told his president.

Even though he was Penang Chief Minister from 1990 till 2008, there was always dissent within the party.

Lame duck leader

The electoral drubbing suffered by Gerakan in the last election, in which the party lost its Penang power base, accelerated the internal opposition against Koh.

Koh is seen as a politician who is like a fish out of water-especially with his indecisiveness over major issues.

Penang members recall Koh’s failure to solve the state leadership crisis which led to an extraordinary general meeting in October where there was an unsuccessful motion of no confidence against Dr Teng.

Party members also criticized Koh’s political game in deciding on who should replace him in the state BN.

They accused him of deliberately pitting the younger Teng against Ong.

Observers predicted that whoever takes over from Koh as president would have a tough time in cleaning up political baggage left behind by the former chief minister.

PPP drops Taiping, eyes 3 parliamentary seats

Former deputy minister and PPP president M Kayveas believes 13th general election will only be called in June 2012, later than the much speculated March 2012.

PETALING JAYA: The People’s Progressive Party (PPP), which was almost wiped out in the 2008 general election, is seeking to make a stronger comeback in the 13th general election.

The party has returned the contentious Taiping parliamentary seat, which its president M Kayveas contested and lost in 2008, to Gerakan and is now eyeing a seat each in Penang, Wilayah Persekutuan and Perak.

Said Kayveas: “Taiping will never be a PPP seat again. We have surrendered the seat to Gerakan.

“We won’t ask for it and even if given I won’t take the seat. Its decided.”

The Taiping MP seat was one of the two constituencies (the other being state seat Pasir Berdamar) which PPP lost to DAP candidates in the 2008 national polls.

“Gerakan openly sabotaged me in 2008, with the Hindraf being an issue and MIC was also unhappy to see an Indian leader.

“It wouldn’t help anybody now if we continued to fight over the seat today. So after March 8, PPP officially handed over Taiping to Gerakan, and they have accepted it,” Kayveas told FMT.

He said that there was nothing to fight about now and unity between parties was the most important in helping Barisan Nasional do well in the coming general election, which Kayveas predicts would only occur in June 2012, later than the much speculated March 2012.

“Disunity in BN now will be fatal. Now we need to be working together,” said Kayveas, who said he had done his best to serve constituents during the past three and a half years in Taiping even though he had lost the seat.

PPP wants a seat in Perak

He said PPP was not demanding for seats which it could not deliver.

“We have made some proposals, without naming the candidates, to the deputy prime minister who is the BN election chairman,” said Kayveas.

He said generally PPP from all states have asked for about one state seats each.

“We are also very clearly asking for one Parliament seat in Penang and one in Wilayah Persekutuan.

“In Perak, since we returned Taiping, we expect a return of one seat too,” said Kayveas.

However, Kayveas stressed again that deliverablity was most paramount.

“As I said, getting a seat is no longer important, we want winnable candidates. There are certain areas where certain candidates can’t win.

“You must not only identify the area, but the correct candidate,” he said.

Right attitude important

As for himself, Kayveas said: “If given a seat that I would lose, I wouldn’t want to contest.

“I’m just going to stay out until really there is a seat that I could win and serve well in.

“If not I am prepared to stay out of election,” he said.

Kayveas said the “old way of thinking” where a stubborn X party demands that it needs X amount of seats no longer applies.

“The Prime Minister is very open this time, he said, talk among component, you cannot hold on to your seats, you give it to someone else who can.

“So I think ultimately, they can find a solution. It all depends on the right attitude. “

Taiping back to Gerakan

Kayveas is known to have a rocky relationship with fellow BN component party members, especially Gerakan, which gave up its Taiping seat to PPP in the 2004 general election.

Gerakan has never lost Taiping, a seat it held since 1969. In the 2004 seat arrangement with Umno, Gerakan’s women’s wing chief Tan Lian Hoe(now Grik MP) was given the Malay-majority Bukit Gantang seat, which she won.

Since 2004, Gerakan and PPP have been trading barbs over the Taiping seat.

Recently, at its National Delegates Conference, Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon said that the party plans to re-contest in Taiping.

“We, Gerakan, are a very generous one, you know, we accomodated our friend from PPP to be in Taiping, twice, but this time, we would like to take Taiping back,” Koh had said.

Cure the cause, not the symptoms

Therefore, reforms will need to be achieved outside the electoral process. It will have to be achieved through civil society action. Did India or South Africa achieve change through the electoral process or through civil society action? Did Europe 200 years ago achieve reforms through the electoral process or through civil society action? Did America achieve reforms in the mid-1900s through the electoral process or through civil society action?
Raja Petra Kamarudin

Sometimes, or maybe most times, it is quite difficult to have an ‘intellectual discussion’ with Malaysia Today’s readers. But then this would only be if you were to analyse the dozen or so comments in the comments section. Out of a readership running into the hundreds of thousands this represents less than 1% of the total. Nevertheless, this gives an impression that this reflects the ‘general opinion’ whereas less than 1% hardly represents the majority view.
But is this not so for other things as well? A few Muslims scream about Islam being under attack and a handful of Malays wearing the PERKASA T-shirts shout about the Chinese robbing the Malays of their birthright. And people take this as the general view of Muslims or Malays whereas 99% of the Malays-Muslims remain silent and say nothing because they do not share these views and feel that engaging the 1% is foolhardy seeing that nothing you say is going to do any good anyway.
I know some people lament as to why the silent majority amongst the Malays-Muslims remain silent. Is this because they support or agree with what this 1% say? Well, would you want to argue with a fool? Is it not a fool who argues with a fool? So why bother to engage them? Just let them scream and make fools of themselves and hopefully one day they will get tired and shut up.
There are white supremacists in Britain and Australia, Ku Klux Klan in the US, Nazis in Germany, etc. And they take to the streets and demonstrate and scream. But do these 1,000 screaming whites represent the 72 million population of Britain? Why are the other 72 million British citizens keeping quiet? Well, the 72 million other British think that the 1,000 screaming whites are nut cases. And why do you want to argue with nut cases?
Anyway, I am digressing. Let us get back to the issue of the comments in the comments section of Malaysia Today that I was talking about. As I said, this represents a mere fraction of the total readership. I can just ignore them if I want to. But I am going to address them and make a general reply to these comments. 
I am not suggesting that these comments are foolish. Some, in fact, are of substance and certainly add value to the matter being discussed. But many are talking about curing the symptoms rather than the cause of the disease. And this is what I want to talk about today. 
Why do you keep repeating what we already know? Do you think that repeating, again and again, that the government is corrupt and abuses its power, the government practices racism and discrimination, the government practices selective prosecution and manipulates the judicial system, etc., all our problems are going to be solved? We know all that. No need to tell us what we already know. Tell us what to do about it.
Sure, I know you will now tell me that we need to kick out the government, change the government, and so on. Okay, that is what we need to do. But how are we going to do that? And will kicking out the government or changing the government solve the problem? Many countries have done this but that did not solve the problem. What makes you think we can do what other more organised countries can’t seem to do? And has not more than 200 years of history in changing governments all over the world not taught us anything?
Most of you are focusing on and talking about the symptoms of the problem. All the comments you post are about the signs of the disease. And all your suggestions are about trying to cure these symptoms rather than getting to the root of the problem, the cause of the disease.
For example, when we talk about the nine United Nations’ Treaties and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (SEE HERE) you brush that off and say that that is not important. What is important is that we must first change the government.
But that is just it. These issues are important. And they are important because if they are not addressed then we will never be able to change the government. It is like saying that when I strike a lottery and become rich I am going to do this, that and the other. But you never go out and buy a lottery -- which means you are never going to win a lottery and become rich. So what’s all this talk of when I strike a lottery and become rich I am going to do this, that and the other? It is merely idle talk and daydreaming.
We need the correct environment and platform to see change. And I mean, of course, change through the electoral process or constitutional means. Of course, if you want to bypass the democratic process and effect change through non-constitutional means, such as an armed revolution, then that is another matter altogether.
But how do we see this happen if we do not have free, clean and fair elections? We have discussed this before. Barisan Nasional will be able to hold on to power even if they win less than 50% of the votes.
We need an independent judiciary if we want to file election petitions to thwart election fraud. We need an uncorrupted Police Force, Anti-Corruption Commission, Human Rights Commission, AG Chambers, Election Commission, etc., if we want them to uphold free, clean and fair elections. As long as all these agencies work for Barisan Nasional and not for the people, then free, clean and fair elections would be impossible.
So, no, the cure to all our problems is not to change the government. The cure to all our problems is reforms. And we need to press for reforms because without reforms Barisan Nasional will be able to hold on to power long after all of us have gone to our graves.
So, my question would be: can we see reforms by changing the government? I would say ‘no’ because we will never be able to change the government without reforms. Barisan Nasional will make sure of that.
Therefore, reforms will need to be achieved outside the electoral process. It will have to be achieved through civil society action. Did India or South Africa achieve change through the electoral process or through civil society action? Did Europe 200 years ago achieve reforms through the electoral process or through civil society action? Did America achieve reforms in the mid-1900s through the electoral process or through civil society action?
Learn from history, my friend. Hitler came to power through the electoral process. And tens of millions of people died because of that. Sometimes, elections without reforms will bring more harm than good.
So, can we stop talking about what’s wrong with Malaysia? We all know what’s wrong with Malaysia. You do not need to remind us about what’s wrong with Malaysia. I can tell you more than you can tell me about what’s wrong with Malaysia. We need to now start discussing what to do about it. 
And stop telling me that we need to change the government to see changes in Malaysia. I want to know how to change the government under the present electoral system that we have in Malaysia and whether by changing the government (if that is even possible in the first place) we will be guaranteed of seeing change or will it merely be, as more than 200 years of history has proven, just putting old wine into a new bottle? 
Maybe it is time to start thinking outside the box. Can we trust politicians to bring about these changes that we are clamouring for? Are, maybe, politicians too self-serving or selfish and are out for personal gain? Are they really working for the people or working for themselves? 
If the politicians were seriously interested in our welfare rather than serving their own interests then they would put aside their personal and party interests for the greater good of the people. But they are not doing this.
There are three parties in Pakatan Rakyat (and, of course, 14 in Barisan Nasional). Then we have PRM, PSM, SNAP, SAPP, KITA, PCM, PERSB, BERJASA, PASOK, SETIA, AKIM, STAR, HRP, and the UBF ‘coalition’ (did I miss out anyone?). Why can’t Pakatan Rakyat talk to the ‘non-aligned’ parties? Maybe I should ask: why can’t the three Pakatan Rakyat parties resolve all their inter- and intra-party issues (which should come first)?
Yes, many who voted opposition back in 2008 are beginning to question whether they still want to vote opposition this time around. We want to see ABU. But many are now asking whether ABU is good enough. They feel that it has to be more than just ABU. It should no longer just be about what we don’t want. It has to be about what we want.
If the political parties prove they are incapable of bringing about change then maybe we should forget about political parties (and therefore about seeing change through the electoral process -- which without reforms is not going to see a change of government anyway). Maybe it requires a different form of action to bring about change.
And what alternative form of action do you think this will require?
That is what we may need to talk about now.

BBC broke standards over paid-for Malaysia programmes

The BBC Trust has banned the World News channel from buying programmes for a low or nominal cost and accepting non-commercial sponsorship. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — A British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) channel was found to have breached its editorial guidelines and aired paid-for programmes that were favourable to the Malaysian government, its corporate watchdog said today. Several UK dailies reported that the BBC Trust has banned the BBC’s World News channel from buying certain programmes and accepting some sponsorship deals, after an investigation found serious breaches of the corporation’s editorial guidelines in shows about subjects including Malaysia.
One of them was a show called “Taking the Credit”, which featured carbon trading and was first aired in 2009.
According to British daily The Times, the investigation by the trust’s editorial standards committee (ESC) found a further 15 programmes in serious violation of the BBC’s editorial or sponsorship guidelines were shown across Europe and elsewhere.
The BBC internal committee ruled there had been conflicts of interest in eight documentaries about Malaysia because of an “apparent financial relationship” between the government and FBC Media, the production company, reported the Guardian newspaper.
The Guardian also reported FBC Media’s parent company, FBC Group, confirming to the BBC investigation that the Malaysian government was a client.
“Based on evidence before the committee of the apparent financial relationship between FBC Media (UK) Ltd and the Malaysian government, the committee concluded that FBC Media (UK) Ltd was not an appropriate producer for these particular programmes, being about Malaysia, its industries and Malaysian government policies.
“International audiences must be able to rely on the same integrity and independence in the BBC’s editorial decisions as audiences in the UK,” ESC chair Richard Ayre was reported as saying by The Guardian.
He added that the World News channel has been banned from buying programmes for a low or nominal cost and it will “no longer accept sponsorship from non-commercial organisations”.
TV company FBC Media has been found to be at the centre of the Malaysia news-fixing scandal facing broadcasters BBC and CNBC, and is facing collapse.
The London-based firm and its parent company FBC Group have gone into administration — a legal term that allows a company facing bankruptcy to carry on business — following reports it accepted £17million (RM85 million) from Putrajaya to burnish the Najib administration’s image on global broadcast networks.
FBC was set up in 1998 by award-winning US journalist Alan Friedman and other prominent media individuals who built a network of blue-chip clients that included the governments of Greece, Italy and Zambia, with contracts to promote tourism in Malaysia, Indonesia and Hungary.
FBC has been exposed to have also doubled up as a publicity firm for the Najib government and was paid millions of pounds to conduct a “Global Strategic Communications Campaign”.
But Putrajaya has ended its RM96 million contract with FBC, which started in 2009, after it was revealed Malaysian government leaders regularly appeared in paid-for-TV programmes.
The Malaysian Insider has reported of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak contracting a series of public relations strategists, including APCO Worldwide, to polish his personal image and his government’s locally and worldwide.
APCO’s time in Malaysia was marked by controversy after the opposition alleged the public relations firm was linked to Israel.
The most recent hire are members of the team behind former British PM Tony Blair’s “New Labour” campaign, who were reported to have started work to reinvent Najib as a moderate reformist.

New thinking on human rights

The Star

Compliance with human rights by a country must be examined both as to domestic conduct as well as international conduct, and theory must always be read in the light of practice.

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY is approaching and many organisations worldwide are putting forth their views on this noble, transcendental quest.

A few weeks ago, the Fourth Bei­­­-jing Forum on Human Rights enunciated a bold Third World perspective.

Last week, a Malaysian NGO co-sponsored The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World.

Scholars at the Beijing Forum pointed out that human rights were not born in the crucible of any particular culture or civilisation.

All cultures, religions and regions have a concept of the sacredness of human life and of some common aspirations and needs.

There is universal acceptance that humans are entitled by birth to certain inalienable rights.

These rights do not depend on the charity or generosity of the state but are inherent in the human condition.

In the human rights discourse around the world, there are many commonalities, shared beliefs, core ideas and basic elements. These must be highlighted and honoured.

However, though the idea of human rights is universal, the substantive content of human rights may vary from society to society and from time to time.

As we move from the core of the doctrine to the fringes, cultural, religious, economic, political and historical differences become relevant.

Priorities begin to vary. Value pluralism manifests itself. Context begins to determine the content.

The ideal equality of nations and people requires that these diversities and differences be recognised and allowed to find expression.

The richness of the human rights discourse has manifested itself in the analysis of human rights into many conflicting or overlapping categories.

Among them are:

> The first generation civil and political liberties. These are referred to as the “negative liberties” which thrive best if there is non-intervention by the state.

> The second generation socio-economic rights or the “positive liberties” which require vigorous, affirmative action by the state to create the socio-economic conditions in which civil and political liberties may flower.

> The third generation development rights.

> Individual rights versus collective and communitarian rights.

There is universal agreement that the eradication of absolute poverty is necessary for the realisation of human dignity.

However, there is no universal agreement on the path to the goal of social amelioration.

To most Western observers, electoral democracy is the surest catalyst for the evolution of a regime of human rights.

Along with political democracy is the instrumentality of a free market economy.

Others feel political democracy and a free market economy do not always result in economic democracy and socio-economic justice. Various models of “social democracy” and “welfare state” are put forward as alternatives.

There are differences of opinion about whether the government alone should be responsible for supplying the welfare net or whether the family and the community must play a role to help their kith and kin.

Traditions and religion can be harnessed to involve the community in kinship welfare.

It is also agreed that without enforcement, human rights have no practical value. Rights without remedies are like lights that do not shine and fires that do not glow.

Traditional reliance on judicial remedies is inadequate because of the weaknesses of the judicial method and the unbearable expense for the development of Western style judicial institutions, hierarchies and methods.

Attention must therefore turn to development of remedies that are informal, inexpensive and expeditious.

There are many threats to human rights.

Among them are poverty and lack of human rights education. Along with state institutions, there are many private, religious and social centres of power that violate human rights.

Multi-national corporations often act like a state within a state.

The pervasiveness of Western global dominance in the economic, political, cultural, communication and educational fields is not always acknowledged.

Rating institutions like Moody’s exercise vast extra-territorial influence over a government’s economic policies.

Global institutions like the World Bank, the Security Council, the International Monetary Fund and the International Criminal Court consistently act to preserve the unfair advantages for the West.

Some aspects of globalisation, notably the patents regime and the selective way in which the war against terrorism is being waged, are deeply destructive of the rights of the peoples of Asia and Africa.

Realisation is growing that human rights are an evolutionary process.

New claims, demands and expectations are emerging.

The human rights theory must remain abreast of the felt necessities of the times.

We must be cognisant of the problems from environmental degradation, pollution of the rivers, de-forestration of traditional lands for “development” and the inequitable way in which the benefits and burdens of development are shared.

The problems of an ageing population and the right to privacy in an age of electronics call for attention.

In evaluating human rights, we must realise that human rights are not a destination but a continuing journey.

Nations must be judged by their direction and by their progress.

Theory must always be read in the light of practice.

Compliance with human rights by a country must be examined both as to domestic conduct as well as international conduct.

The Third World must not shy away from articulating its own concept or concepts of human rights.

The institutions, methods and procedures for the realisation of human rights in Asia, Africa and Latin America must reflect the priorities, peculiarities and existing resources of each country.

Third World countries must seek to banish the idea that human rights are incompatible with Eastern traditions.

They must articulate their problems, challenges and accomplishments. They must combat distortions and lies.

They must, if need be, reciprocate the “ranking exercises” of some Western nations that selectively evaluate the human rights record of Third World nations.

Throwing stones is a game two can play.

The significant link and occasional conflict between human rights and human dignity must be studied.

Human rights must go hand in hand with duties to the family, to the community, state and all humanity.

Shad Saleem Faruqi is Emeritus Professor of Law at UiTM and Visiting Professor at USM

Turkey threatens to cut electricity as Syria is more isolated

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, pictured in February, said Turkey may re-examine supplying Syria with electricity.

Istanbul (CNN) -- Turkey threatened to cut off supplies of electricity to its neighbor Syria Tuesday, as the Damascus regime found itself under growing pressure from Arab, Turkish, European and North American governments for its ongoing lethal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

"We are supplying them (Syria) with electricity at the moment. If they stay on this course, we may be forced to re-examine all of these decisions," Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Tuesday, according to Turkey's semi-official Anatolian Agency.

Turkey, once a close political ally and strong trading partner of Syria, welcomed a decision by the Arab League last weekend to suspend Syria's membership in the alliance.

Days after the humiliating rebuke, a senior Arab League official told CNN the group was floating a plan to try to send some 500 observers to protect civilians in Syria. According to the United Nations, more than 3,500 Syrians have been killed since anti-government protests first erupted in March.

"In a meeting headed by Dr. Nabil Al Araby, the secretary-general of the Arab League, held Monday, the Arab League and Arab human rights organizations decided on a mechanism to protect Syrian civilians which will involve sending a delegation of 500 representatives of Arab organizations, media organizations, and military observers to Syria with the objective of documenting the situation on the ground," the official said to CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official said the plan was to be presented at an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Morocco's capital Wednesday.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Juda confirmed to CNN that his government had received an invitation to contribute representatives to the proposed observer mission.

"We are studying it right now," Juda said in a phone call with CNN Tuesday. "It might be verified tomorrow," he added, at the expected Arab League foreign ministers' meeting in Rabat.

On Monday, Jordan's King Abdullah became the first Arab leader to publicly call for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down.

"If Bashar has the interests of his country, he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life," Abdullah said in an interview with the BBC.

Monday evening, a crowd of hundreds of Syrian regime supporters gathered for a protest outside the walls of the Jordanian embassy in Damascus.

Though several demonstrators tried to tear down the Jordanian flag, Juda said the protest was non-violent.

The scene was much different on Saturday. Hours after the Arab League suspended Syria's membership, pro-government mobs simultaneously attacked diplomatic missions of several Arab countries as well as Turkey in the Syrian cities in Damascus, Aleppo and Latakiya. Turkish media showed pictures of Syrian demonstrators tearing down a Turkish flag.

"You, Bashar, who has hundreds (of people) in jail, need to find those who attacked the Turkish flag and punish them," said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressing al-Assad. Until a few months ago, Erdogan typically referred to the Syrian president as his friend and brother. But in the wake of Saturday's embassy attacks, Turkey said it had no choice but to evacuate family members of its diplomats stationed in Syria.

"Bashar Assad should see the tragic end that meets leaders who declare war on their people," Erdogan added, speaking at a meeting of his party in the Turkish capital Tuesday. "Oppression does not create order and a future cannot be built on the blood of the innocent. History will remember such leaders as those who fed on blood. And you, Assad, are headed towards opening such a page."

Syria's foreign minister issued a rare public apology for the embassy attacks Monday at a press conference in Damascus.

But Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem also called the Arab League's decision to suspend Syria a "very dangerous step," according to the Syrian state news agency SANA. He accused the league of ignoring Syria's release of 553 detainees, as part of a peace deal that had been brokered earlier with the Arab League.

Hitting a familiar defiant note, al-Moallem swore that "Syria will remain -- despite what some of the brothers throw at it -- the heart of Arabism and its impenetrable bastion."

Since being suspended from the Arab League, Damascus has called for a special summit to discuss the matter. That initiative was rejected on Tuesday by Gulf Arab countries.

"Holding an Arab summit at present is pointless," said Abdul Latif Al-Zayani, the head of the Gulf Cooperation Council, according to the Kuwait News Agency.

As it finds itself on the defensive both at home and abroad, Damascus has increasingly leaned on its historical ally Russia, which recently joined China in vetoing a proposed United Nations Security Council resolution to punish Syria for alleged human rights violations against anti-government protesters.

Leaders of the opposition Syrian National Council met with Russian diplomats in Moscow Tuesday, in a bid to drive a wedge between the two allies. That initiative appeared to have failed, however.

Council Chairman Burhan Ghalioun later told journalists in Moscow the talks were "very positive," but added that the Russian government had not changed its position, according to the Interfax news agency.

Amid the rapidly escalating diplomatic war between Syria and its foreign opponents, the cycle of protests and violence inside Syria continued unabated.

At least four people were killed by security forces, including two children, said the opposition Local Coordination Committees. Meanwhile, Syria's state news agency reported that two law enforcement members were killed by "armed terrorists" in southern Syria on Monday. SANA also reported that train tracks were damaged by a series of bombs planted along a railroad in northern Syria on Monday.

Observers warn the protest movement in Syria, which struggled peacefully for months, is growing increasingly "weaponized" as more and more Syrian soldiers desert from the armed forces and join the opposition.

The latest military officer to announce his defection was a uniformed man who introduced himself in a YouTube video as a colonel and military attorney named Arafar Rasheed al-Hamoud.

"I announce my defection from the Syrian Arabic Army, after it was turned into a gang at the hand of the regime committing the most heinous crimes, killing women, children and elders and torturing unarmed citizens," Hamoud said, holding up his military identification card to the camera.

Several Syrian refugees told CNN they had met with Hamoud after he recently fled to one of a series of refugee camps on the Turkish side of the border with Syria.

Hamoud went on to announce he was joining the Free Syrian Army, a group of military defectors who have declared war on the Syrian regime.

On Monday, the opposition-aligned Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 81 people were killed in clashes around the country, with many of the casualties occurring due to clashes between army defectors and Syrian security forces around the restive border city of Deraa. CNN cannot independently confirm these reports because the Syrian government has repeatedly rejected requests for journalist visas.

Meanwhile, the European Union slapped sanctions against 18 more Syrians accused of "organizing violence against demonstrators."

Most of the individuals named in a November 14 EU regulation were officers in military intelligence, as well as the head of a "family militia" and three members of the so-called "Syrian electronic army." All are now subject to an asset freeze in Europe for alleged "violence against protesters in Syria."

The move was applauded by Marietje Schaake, a Dutch member of the European Parliament.

"The EU sanctions targeting members of the Syrian Electronic Army show that the use of ICT (information and communications technology) as weapons is taken seriously," Schaake wrote in an e-mail to CNN. "The Syrian Electronic Army is operating not only within Syria, but acts globally. The EU can and should do much more to hold its own companies, who are providing ICT 'weapons' to the Syrian Electronic Army and their collaborators, accountable."

CNN's Rima Makhtabi in Abu Dhabi, CNN's Tracy Doueiry in Atlanta, Journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy in Cairo, and Journalist Gul Tuysuz in Istanbul contributed to this report

Arab League seeks solutions as 70 per cent of Arab youth want to emigrate

Around three quarters of Arab youth want to migrate to countries out of their region due to rising unemployment in Arab states, an Arab League official said Manama: Around three quarters of Arab youth want to migrate to countries out of their region due to rising unemployment in Arab states, an Arab League official said.
"Due to their poor participation in society and politics and to rising joblessness, 70 per cent of the Arab youth want to migrate out of the region," Khalid Al Wahishi, director of Population Policy and Immigration at Arab League, said.
Empower the youth
"We at Arab League have been warning member states at all our meetings to empower the youth. Unemployment, alarmingly high at 26 per cent, poor participation of youth and illiteracy are major hindrances to population policy development and implementation," Al Wahishi told delegates at a gathering of population experts from member-countries in Qatar.
The ratio of youth in the population of Arab countries is very high and requires efforts to empower them and raise their participation in politics, he said.
"The changes taking place in some Arab countries clearly show that it is the youth of these states who have played a leading role in the reforms movement," he said, quoted by Qatari daily The Peninsula on Tuesday.
According to the official, the Arab League has been arguing for several years that there was an urgent need to tackle the problems of unemployment in member-states and to empower the youth and raise their participation in society and politics.
The 13th meeting of the heads of national councils and committees of the population in Arab countries in Doha, opened on Monday, is bringing together delegates from Arab League and global agencies concerned with population to review the outcome of political and social developments, population and youth issues in Arab states.
The delegates will also discuss the demographic situation in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and review the activities of national population councils and committees in 2010.

Dakwat kekal: Pakatan akan sokong pindaan perlembagaan

Pakatan says will kick off election campaign next month

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) resolved today to launch a pre-election campaign beginning with a mass rally in PKR-led Selangor next month before sending out its top leaders to each state to identify key election issues.
The decision made by its leadership council this afternoon comes after The Malaysian Insider reported that Datuk Seri Najib Razak will meet Barisan Nasional (BN) component party leaders today to finalise the list of potential candidates and seat allocations.
PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim today said, “We have been ready for some time, that is why we are launching the December 4 programme.” — file pic
A component party leader said the meeting, a follow-up to last Friday’s BN supreme council meeting, will likely touch on preparations for the 13th general election as the ruling coalition leadership had set December as the deadline for a final list of candidates. “We discussed steps to prepare for an election that will happen soon beginning with a gathering on December 4 in Stadium Melawati,” Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told reporters today.
PAS vice president Datuk Mahfuz Omar also said at the press conference the event will aim to kick-start efforts to bring PR leaders closer to the ground.
“The PR secretariat will also be organising events to send top leaders to each state to understand local issues in detail,” the Pokok Sena MP said.
When asked about the prime minister’s meeting with his top leadership, PKR de facto leader Anwar said, “We have been ready for some time, that is why we are launching the December 4 programme.”
Although the next polls are not due until 2013, there has been growing speculation that Najib could call for snap elections this year or early 2012 while the country’s economic growth is still relatively strong.
In dismissing the speculation, Najib, however, said last week that the BN meeting had merely discussed ways to strengthen the pact ahead of polls but had not deliberated the timing of the election.
The ruling coalition suffered its worst performance in the last general election in 2008 when it lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority and ceded control of five states by winning 140 of 222 parliamentary seats and 307 of 505 state seats.
The Opposition led by Anwar has struggled to build on gains made in the 2008 polls but analysts expect the next elections to be a tough fight due to voter frustration over racial tensions and slow political reforms.
Some analysts have said that Najib could call for polls sooner rather than later, to avoid a possible sharp slowdown in the country’s trade-reliant economy as the global outlook deteriorates.
Malaysia’s economy depends heavily on global demand for its electronics and commodities such as palm oil and crude oil, and a global downturn is expected to hit growth.
Economic growth is officially expected to moderate this year from a 10-year high of 7.2 per cent in 2010 due to difficult global economic conditions.

Pakatan: Excessive Vitamin A in KR1M milk

It's unhealthy for children as the powder contains eight times the permitted amount in contravention of the Food Regulations Act 1985, says Tony Pua.
KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat leaders continued with their attack on Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia (KR1M), this time alleging its milk powder has over eight times the legal limit of Vitamin A which may be harmful to children.

Speaking at a press conference in Parliament lobby here today, the bloc’s lawmakers said the 1Malaysia-branded Growing Up Milk Powder for children above the age of one contained 6,012 international units (IU) of Vitamin A per 100kcal.

“This is equivalent to a 802% excess over the legal limit set under Regulation 389A of the Food Regulations Act 1985,” said Tony Pua, the DAP’s publicity chief.

“This is also 588% more than the United States Recommended Daily Allowance,” he said, adding that excessive amounts of Vitamin A may lead to liver problems, reduced bone mineral density, skin discolouration and hair loss.

Pua also said the amount of calcium and iron in the milk powder did not meet the minimum required under the law.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak launched the first of three shops now operating in the Klang Valley in June as a response to rising inflation.

KR1M, operated by hypermarket giant Mydin, offers 250 generic products like rice, oil, flour, bread, eggs, milk powder and diapers at prices 30 to 40% lower than market rates, as well as branded goods.

Najib said more KR1M would be set up in other locations similar to the 1 Malaysia clinics his administration has established in states like Sabah and Sarawak.

The opposition, led by Pua, in recent weeks have consistently attacked KR1M, one of the many “election pushes” of the Najib administration and claimed that the shop was selling products at a price higher than hyper marts like Tesco and Carrefour.

Mydin yesterday denied allegations that KR1M sold higher priced but lower quality products.

Its managing director Ameer Ali Mydin merely conceded to one defect – that there was a misleading label on the 1Malaysia oyster sauce bottle which should instead have stated it was oyster-flavoured sauce.

Fellow Pakatan leader, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, called for an independent investigation to ensure that goods sold in the thrift stores met regulations.

The Malay Mail ceases publication temporarily

The 115-year-old newspaper will make a comeback in January and intends to make amends for 'letting our readers down'.
PETALING JAYA: The Malay Mail today announced it was ceasing publication temporarily – and promised its readers and advertisers that it would be back in early January with a new look, new content and renewed energy.

The paper carried an unprecedented advertisement on the front page of today’s edition. Running on the theme of “Survival”, the advertisement highlighted the historical events that the paper has witnessed since its inception in 1896 – including “Two World Wars, Japanese Occupation, Communist Insurgency and multiple editorial crises”.

The advert also carries a bold line that not many newspapers will readily acknowledge of themselves: “And worst of all we have let our readers down.”

The message, however, ends in a decidedly upbeat tone by saying ,“But we survived it all. Come January 2012, we shall return with a new look, new content and a brand new energy”.

In explaining the concept of “Survival” in the advertisement, The Malay Mail’s chief executive officer, Phillip Karuppiah, said: “When we announced we were changing the business model of the paper to a paid morning daily, we informed our readers and advertisers that we would position the Malay Mail as a content provider that reports the news truthfully and factually without any fear or favour.

“We believe therefore that we owe it to our readers to tell the truth about ourselves too. Yes, we have let our readers down in the past and we intend to acknowledge it and make amends for it,” he said.

“However, we also take great pride in the fact that The Malay Mail is one of the oldest newspapers in the country and is a national institution in the media industry. We have been through a lot over the years and survived. Ours is a story of resilience and we have that in our DNA.

“We intend to come back stronger than ever in January 2012 and we trust that our readers, advertisers and business partners will be very pleased with the final product,” Phillip added.


The Malay Mail’s edition today is the last as a free afternoon daily. The paper will return in January as a paid morning newspaper.

In an editorial in today’s edition of the paper, The Malay Mail says: “When we announced about two months ago that The Malay Mail was going to go through another transformation, we were not want of critics and nay-sayers.

“But they cannot be blamed for their doubts, as this newspaper had undergone more than its fair share of rapid changes over the years. However, on the flip side of the coin, the reaction from both readers and advertisers is enthusiastic, with high expectations for another chapter in the history of this 115-year-old institution.

The paper also announced that readers would have to pay a cover price of RM1 for the new Malay Mail in January.

“We feel this is a small token our readers would not mind contributing as it will go a little way to help this paper deliver all the news that matters to a larger audience,” said Terence Fernandez, the executive editor.

“This includes more comprehensive coverage of national, foreign, business, lifestyle, entertainment and sports news and wider coverage of community news as well as the award-winning Hotline that has become synonymous with The Malay Mail.

“More importantly, loyal readers of The Malay Mail can continue to expect the kind of investigative reports and exposé that the newspaper had built its credibility on,” he said.

Readership profile

“Here we hope to broaden our approach from being The Paper That Cares to a paper that caters to a more demanding and sophisticated readership by providing in-depth reports and alternative views that challenge current norms. In other words, we’re rethinking the news”.

“This is crucial in our current landscape of a more cynical public who seldom take anything at face value,” Terence added.

The paper also said that the transformation in editorial content and direction as well as a transition from a free to paid model will help better determine its readership profile and consequentially, offer advertisers a focused market audience.

As it goes off print for the next few weeks as work progresses on getting the new product off the ground, the paper will continue to maintain a web presence. A new website will be launched simultaneously with the launch of the new paid daily in January.

In the interim, readers can continue to get up to date news of the day from The Malay Mail website

Why I decided not to support Pakatan

By Paul Raj

I have decided not to support Pakatan Rakyat on three very important grounds.

First of all, as a civil servant, my rice bowl is at stake since DAP leader Mr Tony Pua has annouced that Pakatan will cut nearly 40% jobs in the civil service. Despite Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim saying that it is not true, DAP and its top leaders have not denied Mr Tony Pua's statement. Compared with the Barisan Nasional under Datuk Seri Najib which has extended the civil servants' tenure to age 60 and gave much monetary benifits to civil servants, DAP wants to sack 40% of us! How can we civil servants support such a party? If what Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said is true, that what Mr Tong Pua said is not true, then to show their sincerity, DAP must apologise to civil servants publicly, and promise not to field Mr Tony Pua as a candidate for the 13th general election. Otherwise, we will campaign against DAP candidates.

Secondly, PAS is insisting on achieving its Islamic state with the implementation of hudud. Can Christians honestly support Pakatan in view of this? Even Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has publicly supported hudud. It is too risky for Christians to support PAS, unless the party publicly promises that it will not implement Islamic law when Pakatan comes to power. DAP leaders like Mr Lim Guan Eng has been defending PAS, and keeping quiet on various PAS actions like banning a cinema in Bangi, and calling for the banning of Elton's concert. We cannot support Pakatan as it is too dangarous.

Thirdlly, the credibility of many Pakatan candidates are questionable. There are still DAP people who object to wearing songkoks at official functions, although they are prepared to wear hats and Japanese baseball caps. When Ms Hannah Yeoh wore the tudung during Hari Raya, she was attacked by DAP leaders and members. Also, DAP leaders are not that clean after all, they practise cronyism and nepotism, and some are corrupt too. DAP says they champion human rights and press freedom, yet Mr Lim Guan Eng bans Utusan in Penang. How can Christians support these hypocrits?

For us, it is better to stay with Barisan which has shown that it can change and will give us a good life. Pakatan just talks and never delivers. Like Mr George Khoo has said before, DAP does not even care for the veteran leaders who build up the party, and now the new upstarts like Mr Tony Pua come in and take over. I was told that Mr Tony Pua wants to remove serveral veteran leaders like Dr Tan Seng Giaw, Mr Fong Kui Lum, Mr Ronnie Liu, and put his own people as candidates for next general election.

For these three important reasons, I urge all Christians to stop supporting Pakatan. All civil servants should also protest against DAP, especially to kick out Mr Tony Pua, who is out to break our ricebowls.

Electoral reforms and the quest for democracy in Malaysia: Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan

Muhyiddin dan Tahun Kebankrapan

Muhyiddin dan Tahun Kebankrapan Pendirian Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin "Pertama Melayu, Kedua Malaysia" telah pun merosakkan imej beliau di mata ramai rakyat Malaysia, tetapi beliau dan penasihat beliau sama sekali tidak percaya akan itu.
Mereka merasakan bahawa dengan memainkan sentimen perkauman, mereka masih boleh menang di Malaysia - sebuah negara yang mempunyai hampir 40 peratus penduduk bukan Melayu termasuk pribumi, Cina, India, Benggali, Pakistan, Eurasia dan banyak lagi kumpulan minoriti kecil yang lain. Ini boleh jadi sandaran beliau untuk membantu beliau merebut jawatan presiden Umno daripada Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, semasa pemilihan parti tahun depan.
Tetapi ia pasti tidak akan membantu mengubah arah penurunan jangka panjang Malaysia yang secara kebetulan bermula apabila ayah Najib, Abdul Razak Hussein mengambil alih sebagai Perdana Menteri kedua pada tahun 1970. Pada masa itulah dasar tindakan afirmatif bernama Dasar Ekonomi Baru telah dilaksanakan tetapi ianya telah pun berubah seraya mengkhianati maksud asalnya untuk mengagihkan kekayaan negara kepada golongan miskin, tetapi sebagai pemberi manfaat kepada Umno terutama golongan pemimpin, ahli keluarga mereka dan kroni-kroni mereka.
Berapa lama boleh Muhyiddin bertahan?
Setelah beberapa tahun berlalu, beliau masih belum kenyang dan berehat seperti ular sawa yang sudah penuh, tetapi, ketamakkan beliau menjadi lebih teruk. Beliau tidak lagi mengambil beratus-ratus ribu tetapi beratus-ratus juta. Dan kini, jika anda tidak mempunyai sebilion dua, anda tidak layak digelar golongan elit Umno.
Semasa menjadi ketua menteri di Johor, beliau dituduh menerima rasuah secara besar-besaran, tetapi kerana sokongan kuat di bahagian-bahagian Johor, beliau dinaikkan pangkat ke menteri Kabinet persekutuan dan bukannya diserahkan kepada agensi anti-rasuah. Inilah cara permainan dalam UMNO dan BN sejak 1957, setelah merdeka daripada jajahan British.
Ini juga menjelaskan kenapa Muhyiddin merasakan beliau mempunyai peluang baik dengan menghidupkan semula semangat nasionalis di kalangan orang Melayu di negara ini, bukannya membuka minda masyarakat dan meyakinkan mereka untuk menjadi yang lebih inklusif. Analisis beliau nampaknya salah sama sekali.
Beliau gagal menyedari hakikat bahawa kekayaan negara telah hampir habis untuk beliau rebut-rebutkan lagi. Beliau juga enggan mengambil iktibar daripada Perdana ke-5 Menteri Abdullah Badawi dan ke-6, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, yang kedua-duanya apabila sampai ke penghujung pemerintahan lebih kelihatan seperti badut kerana kebodohan mereka memilih untuk tidak memerangi pelampau tetapi minoriti yang berkuasa dalam Umno.
Berapa lama boleh Muhyiddin bertahan? Najib mungkin telah bersetuju untuk memberi laluan kepadanya tetapi jika Najib terpaksa membuat pusingan U dengan cuba menghidupkan dan meliberalisasikan ekonomi dan masyarakat, adakah Muhyiddin rasa beliau boleh berjaya dengan bersandarkan keengganan beliau mengakui hak-hak orang bukan Melayu? Adakah dia menyangka bahawa dengan melakukan itu beliau dapat dilihat sebagai pembela orang Melayu?
Jika dia berbuat demikian, pasti Malaysia akan bankrap sebelum 2019. Dapatkah dibayangkan sekiranya Muhyiddin dan geng sayap kanan beliau berjaya mengambil alih negara. Mereka ini masih hidup dalam dunia di mana mereka fikir tiada siapa pun boleh memberitahu mereka apabila mereka membuat tipu daya. Justeru tidak sedikit pun kredibiliti yang tinggal.
Umno-BN adalah seperti skim penipuan MLM gergasi. Yang terbaik dan yang menciptanya ialah Mahathir. Abdullah Badawi juga telah berjaya mendapatkan habuan yang baik, begitu juga dengan Najib. Tetapi Muhyiddin malangnya akan ditinggalkan dengan bayi! Dan, dia berhak mendapatnya.
Pada bulan Mac 2010, beliau menimbulkan kontroversi dengan menyatakan beliau "Melayu" pertama dan bukannya "pertama Malaysia". Beliau mempertahankan kenyataannya dengan menyatakan bahawa tidak salah untuk kaum-kaum lain merasakan yang serupa. Jadi, orang Cina boleh mendakwa diri mereka sebagai "orang Cina yang pertama, kedua Malaysia" sama juga untuk orang India.
Orang-orang yang berfikiran bahawa tiada apa-apa yang teruk akan wujud hasil daripada kenyataan seperti itu haruslah mempertimbangkan bahawa bagi setiap tindakan, terdapat reaksi. Sudah terdapat berjuta-juta cauvinis bukan Melayu di bandar. Jika anda menggunakan api untuk melawan rakyat anda, sudah tentu mereka akan menggunakan api untuk memerangi anda kembali. Kemudian, Muhyiddin mungkin akan memikiran bahawa tidak mengapa, kita masih boleh menang kerana kita melebihi mereka dan keris berada di sisi kita. Sekarang, fahamkah anda mengapa pelabur akan lari jika Muhyiddin menjadi PM Malaysia, manakala mereka mungkin tidak akan peduli jika dia hanya presiden Umno!
Bagaimana pula dengan membiarkan Najib untuk terus memerintah? Adakah anda sudah gila? Mungkin kita boleh lihat ia dengan cara ini - bagaimana rakyat Malaysia mahu mati? Kematian yang lebih perlahan, lebih menyeksakan tetapi pasti-sepasti fajar akan menyinsing, aka cara Najib dan Rosmah? Atau dengan cepat dan kurang menyakitkan seperti serangan jantung secara tiba-tiba, yang merupakan cara Muhyiddin? Masih ada lagi pilihan lain, iaitu Pakatan Rakyat, dan Umno hanya ada wira palsu seperti Muhyiddin dan Mahathir yang telah mewarnai parti tersebut. Lihat sahaja, tempat sudah menjadi semakin sempit untuk mereka.
Menghalalkan rasuah?
Jangan silap, Muhyidden Yassin sebenarnya menanti masa sahaja. Beliau menjarakkan dirinya daripada penipuan Najib dan Rosmah. Beliau mengambil dan memilih isu untuk diulas dan beliau memastikan dirinya kekal kukuh di sebelah kanan. Seperti yang telah dikatakan, ini adalah baik untuk menjadi presiden Umno, tetapi tidak untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia di mana hampir 40% daripada rakyat adalah bukan Melayu.
Salah satu kesilapan besar Muhyiddin adalah isu PPSMI, di mana keputusan beliau telah diolah semula oleh bos besar - Mahathir. Beliau telah membenarkan Matematik dan Sains diajar dalam bahasa Inggeris semula. Ini menunjukkan beliau sama sahaja seperti Najib. Peristiwa ini telah mendedahkan kelemahan Muhyiddin.Tanpa wajah perkauman, beliau tiada apa –apa. Mungkin tiada bakat malah lebih rendah inteleknya daripada Najib.
Tetapi TPM tidak berputus asa. Sudah dia mengarahkan audit dilakukan atas penggunaan Bahasa Malaysia dan kita hampir pasti beliau akan menyokong penulisan semula Sejarah, memburuk-burukkan LGBT dan juga menghalalkan rasuah demi memenangi hati pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO yang tamak.
Reformasi versi yang amat berbeza
Di bawah Muhyiddin, politik perkauman, agama dan seksual mungkin akan terus menjadi modus operandi Umno-BN. Satu kaedah yang berkesan untuk menakut-nakutkan orang Melayu justeru mengekalkan cengkaman kuasa Umno. Ini adalah taman permainan Muhyiddin, di mana beliau cemerlang sebagai oportunis induk. Taktik untuk menggulingkan dan menjatuhkan pesaing-pesaing politik bukan perkara baru kepada manusia ini. Bukankah dengan cara ini beliau naik dalam politik?
Beliau pernah mengatakan bahawa pelan peralihan Abdullah Ahmad Badawi pada 2010 adalah "terlalu panjang".Semasa pilihan raya umum 2008, TPM berjaya mengekalkan kerusinya, tetapi beliau terkejut dengan keputusan pilihan raya tersebut. Beliau kemudian melaungkan reformasi tetapi apa yang dimaksudkan sebagai reformasi sangat berbeza dengan reformasi Anwar Ibrahim dan Pakatan Rakyat. Reformasi Muhyiddin tidak bermakna demokrasi yang lebih besar tetapi yang kurang. Reformasi tidak bermakna keadilan sosial atau kesaksamaan kaum, tetapi lebih besar ketidakadilan dan ketidaksamaan.
Sekarang, kerana tidak ada orang lain lagi di minda ahli-ahli Umno, Muhyiddin bagi mereka adalah pilihan yang jelas untuk menggantikan Najib atau untuk menggulingkan Najib. Masih kurang jelas sekiranya orang Melayu dalam Umno akan bangun dan sempat untuk menyelamatkan diri mereka dari kejatuhan. Jika ini berlaku, kaum yang paling sengsara ialah orang Melayu.Mereka bukan sahaja membentuk sebahagian besar penduduk tetapi dengan melibatkan diri dengan sentimen perkauman, ketaksuban agama dan sebagainya, mereka akan menjadi kaum yang paling kurang mobiliti dari segi profesionalisme di negara ini.
Tidak, Muhyiddin tidak ada bezanya dengan rakan-rakannya. Sebagai permainan dalam skim MLM Umno yang dimulakan oleh ayah Najib dan diperbesarkan oleh pemain utama seperti Mahathir dan Muhyiddin - jika beliau berjaya menjadi PM – beliau akan berada di puncak bab satu dalam sejarah Malaysia yang baru - Tahun Kebankrapan.
Malaysia Chronicle

Minister changes testimony, says Liong Sik’s letter not government guarantee

Nor Yakcop testified yesterday that Dr Ling’s letter of support was actually a “guarantee letter”. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop changed his testimony today, reversing his assertion made a day earlier that Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik’s support letter in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project amounted to a government guarantee.
The former second finance minister testified yesterday that only the Finance Ministry could issue a letter of support with the Cabinet’s approval, and that every time such a letter was issued, the government would have to bear the responsibility if anything went wrong.
Nor Yakcop also said that Dr Ling’s letter of support was actually a “guarantee letter” as it helped secure a top-tier rating for bonds raised for the construction of the scandal-hit Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) and was sold for a profit of RM40 million.
But the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department also stressed that the support letter from the transport minister had not received the approval of the Finance Ministry or the Cabinet.
“I got the impression that his (Nor Yakcop) evidence yesterday showed that the support letter is a guarantee letter,” said defence lawyer Wong Kian Kheong.
Wong proceeded to read out excerpts from the testimony given by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail in 2009 during a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiry into the PKFZ project.
According to the lawyer, the A-G had said that Dr Ling’s support letter was “not a government guarantee” as it did not give any assurance as to whether the government would ensure PKA would make any repayment on the project loan.
“I have shown the A-G’s opinion. You still hold to your view that P148 (Dr Ling’s support letter) is a guarantee letter?” asked Wong to which Nor Yakcop hesitantly answered “no”.
But the minister sought to explain himself later during the prosecution’s re-examination, saying that the reason why he viewed the support letter as a government guarantee was due to Malaysian Rating Corporation (MARC)’s triple A rating for the bonds issued after the support letters had been given by the Transport Ministry.
“Because we saw MARC had given the triple A rating for the bonds ... MARC saw the letters as a guarantee. When we looked at the support letters, generally we considered it as a letter of guarantee.”
Nor Yakcop also said that although the government listened to and often followed the A-G’s views, it was not “bound” to always abide by them.
Critics allege that the letter of support penned by the then-transport minister on May 28, 2003 — which coincided with his last day in office — and three others by his successor, Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy, were seen by the market as government guarantees to fulfil PKA’s obligations to landowner Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB).
Dr Ling was charged in July last year with knowingly deceiving the Cabinet into approving the land purchase for the PKFZ, which resulted in wrongful losses for the government.
The prosecution has argued that the additional interest of 7.5 per cent per annum, amounting to some RM720 million, had pushed Port Klang Authority’s (PKA) land purchase from RM1.09 billion to RM1.88 billion for the port project.
The former MCA president also faces two alternative charges of deceiving the Cabinet into believing that the purchase at RM25 psf and the 7.5 per cent interest rate were acknowledged and agreed to by the government’s Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) despite knowing that there was no such agreement.
Dr Ling faces up to seven years’ jail and a fine if convicted of the principal charge under Section 418 of the Penal Code.
The trial resumes tomorrow morning.

Najib Meets BN Component Leaders

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 16 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak held a meeting with leaders of the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties here Tuesday night.

The meeting is believed to have a bearing on preparations for the upcoming 13th general election.

The two-hour meeting, at the Prime Minister's official residence Seri Perdana, is also believed to be one of a series of meetings to be held by the coalition, amidst speculation by various parties that the general election would be held soon.

Among the first to be seen entering the Prime Minister's residence was Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He was followed by MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek; Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) president Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud; and People's Progressive Party (PPP) president Datuk M.Kayveas.

Others included Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon; Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Datuk V.K. Liew; Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), president Datuk Seri Dr James Jemut Masing; Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.