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Thursday, November 17, 2011

MIC faces ‘cremation’ in Port Dickson

MIC will have to deal with the issue of two 'forgotten' crematoriums if it is to move ahead in Port Dickson.

PORT DICKSON: The two “forgotten” crematorium projects in Negri Sembilan, which received government aid of RM270,000 in the 1990s, is set to haunt MIC, which is aiming for a comeback here in the 13th general election.

Apparently the crematoriums never got past the “artist’s impression” stage and the money is still unaccounted for.

Just over two decades ago, one of the choice locations between Port Dickson and Lukut was home to the district’s sole Hindu and Sikh crematoriums.

Then the state government divided the 10-acre plot of land along Jalan Seremban and separately allocated portions to the Hindu, Sikh, Catholic and Baha’i communities.

The Hindus and Sikhs received 55 percent of the land to build a crematorium each while the Catholics and Baha’i were given 30 percent and 15 percent respectively for their burial sites.

But the land turned out to be too swampy for a burial ground hence only the two crematoriums were eventually built there.

Both belonged to the respective Hindu and Sikh temples located in Port Dickson town.
When the mid-1990s rolled in, an MIC division leader proposed that the crematoriums be upgraded with gas cremators.

He also sought the state government’s approval to acquire the original plot of land and rebuild the new crematoriums elsewhere.

“The hidden agenda behind this proposal involved the commercial development of that prime land,” said Port Dickson PKR assemblyman, M Ravi.

Rusty sheds

He, however, asked that FMT withold the MIC leader’s identity at this point.

“The state government approved the project on condition that both temple committees agreed to it and that an alternative plot of land is identified for the new crematoriums,” Ravi said.

“The MIC leader then brought in a developer to survey the land and soon after that an artist’s impression of the new crematoriums was displayed at both temples.”

Pleased with the sketch, the temple committee chairmen and the devotees gave the project their blessings.

The crematoriums were subsequently demolished and a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the new site in Jalan Sua Betong.

Today over 200 shoplots stand in Jalan Seremban while in Jalan Sua Betong a rusty structure and a signboard bearing the crematorium’s name, hint at a forgotten project.

Ravi described it as “nothing more than a cowshed”.
And that is only the Hindu crematorium. Aside from the artist’s impression, there is nothing to indicate plans for the construction of a Sikh temple.

“During the groundbreaking ceremony, the MIC leader announced that the state government had contributed RM270,000 for the construction of the new crematoriums.

“But the current temple committees insist there is no record of these funds,” Ravi said.

According to Ravi, the then temple presidents did not question the disappearance of the RM27,000 nor did they protest the reneged promise of the new crematoriums, because the temples were helmed by MIC members themselves.

Jordan: Man cuts sister throat to cleanse family honour

(ANSAmed) - AMMAN, NOVEMBER 16 - A man from the southern city of Tafilah killed his sister in public by slitting her throat for being involved in a romantic relation, police sources said on Wednesday.

The 18 year old man attacked his sister in the main bus station of the town, before being arrested, said the sources.

Eye witnesses said medics arrived when the girl was making her last breath as investigation continued to determine other culprits in the brutal attack.

The killer told police he wanted to kill his sister to cleanse the family honour after the victim admitted involvement with a man who wanted to marry her, said the police sources.

The death brings number of women killed in the name of honour to nearly 15 since the start of the year, say officials.

The government promised to adopt an iron fist policy with such cases following campaigns from human rights groups.

But activists say strict social habits make it difficult to eradicate such phenomena.

Killers are often handed a sentence between six months to one year for the murder, say activists.

Cash belonging to robbery suspects goes missing

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Cash belonging to two of the men charged with robbing money changers at KL International Airport (KLIA) in September has gone missing from the Selangor police headquarters.
In a statement released last night, Selangor police said RM11,700 in cash and a wallet were reported missing on Tuesday evening.
File photo of ringgit notes. — Picture courtesy of mybursa.wordpress
The cash is not part of the US$300,000 that was seized in relation to the robbery. Three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) claimed trial last month for robbery and abetting a civilian in robbing three money changers of RM930,000 at KLIA in September.
The three officers, aged between 20 and 35, hold the ranks of acting assistant commissioner, senior assistant superintendent and assistant superintendent. The civilian, who had impersonated an MACC officer during the robbery, is still at large.
They allegedly robbed the money changers inside the satellite building at KLIA on September 15.
The trio were arrested two days later after they were picked out by the victim during an identification parade.
It was earlier reported that the money changers were at the airport intending to board a flight to Singapore when the robbery took place.
The three are understood to have been carrying foreign currencies amounting to about RM2 million, which they had declared to Customs.

Koh out of the 13th GE

The prime minister has accepted my decision, says the Gerakan president, and promises more dramatic events to unfold.

KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan president, Koh Tsu Koon, today announced that he will not be contesting any parliamentary or state seat in the upcoming 13th general election.

“This is a personal decision,” he told the media during a press conference at the Gerakan headquarters this morning.

“But it has been discussed several times within the Central Working Committee and the Central Committee. I have already informed prime minister Najib Tun Razak who has accepted and respected my decision.”

Koh clarified that he would retain his other positions as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Gerakan president and Penang BN chairman. He however added that his presidency post would be up for discussion after the general election.

“I have also made a decision on my Penang post which I will convey and further discuss with the prime minister,” Koh said.

“As for my ministerial post I look at it as an opportunity and responsibility to serve the people of Malaysia but I don’t cling on to this post for my own personal sake.

“But this is also the perogative of the prime minister,” he said.

The former Penang chief minister also waved off calls from supporters to battle it out with current Penang chief minister, Lim Guan Eng, for the Bagan seat as “unnecessary”.

When asked whether he would be seen as bowing out without a fight, Koh shot back, “I have fought seven elections and most of them very tough fights.”

“So go back to history and read about what happened in 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1995. I’m also the only person who has fought (Ipoh Timur MP) Lim Kit Siang twice – in 1986 and 1995.”

Koh said that his non-participating in the general election would allow him to focus on party strategy, strenghtening party machinery, deciding on the candidate line-up and coordinating publicity.

New agenda for Gerakan

He then unveiled the party’s new agenda, “Gerak Bersama Rakyat” (Move With The People), which will be implemented within a month.

The agenda, based on Gerakan’s ideology and track record and the 1Malaysia concept, is being formulated by a special taskforce led by deputy president, Chang Ko Youn.

“Gerakan’s transformation and renewal will now shift into high gear,” he said. “And I am leading by example and taking the first step toward this renewal by not participating in the general election.”

“The shift also means the start of the leadership renewel where our second echolons will be given more opportunities to play a bigger role.”

He however declined to name these young leaders and said that their identities would become apparent over the next few months as they began “walking the talk”.

“People will know that Gerakan is in high gear because there has already been an increasing tempo of activities from Kedah to Sabah,” Koh stated.

“And we have been taking stands on issues like electoral reforms, the Internal Securities Act (ISA) and the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA).”

Drama to continue

Koh also dismissed reports in a mainstream daily that has recently been attacking Gerakan as a “party full of problems”.

He reminded the media that every political party has its problems and pointedly said that if he chose to comment on other major parties he would have a lot more to say.

Koh further disputed any expected changes in party leadership positions ahead of the general election and emphasised that all leadership posts within Gerakan are elected ones.

“We are different from other major component parties where the state chairman is appointed by the president,” he said. “All our state chairmen are elected.”

Asked if his pulling out of the general election is the end or pinnacle of his political career, Koh laughed and replied, “Wait for more dramatic events to unfold.”

Konvoi ‘Titian Kasih ke Memali’

Tragedi berdarah Memali memperlihatkan kekejaman kerajaan Malaysia menyerang kedudukan Ustaz Ibrahim Libya di Memali, Baling, Kedah.

PETALING JAYA: Tragedi Memali, peristiwa berdarah dan menyayat hati yang terjadi pada 19 November 1985, akan dikenang semula menerusi penganjuran konvoi ‘Titian Kasih ke Memali’ oleh Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM).

Konvoi yang diterajui sendiri oleh Ketua Penyelaras SAMM Badrul Hisham Shaharin @ CheguBard, akan bermula dari Seremban pada malam hari Jumaat, 18 November ini dan singgah di Pulau Pinang untuk berkumpul dengan komrad SAMM dari utara sebelum meneruskan perjalanan ke Memali.

Penyelaras SAMM Segmentasi Anak Muda, Yasir Sheikh Abdul Rahman, dalam satu kenyataan media hari ini berkata, konvoi ini dianjurkan bagi memperingati tragedi berdarah Memali yang memperlihatkan kekejaman kerajaan Malaysia menyerang kedudukan Ustaz Ibrahim Libya di Memali, Baling, Kedah.

“Kesudahannya, 14 pejuang Islam termasuk Ibrahim Libya telah syahid di medan demi mempertahankan Islam dan berpuluh yang lain telah ditahan serta dipenjarakan.

“Status mereka sebagai syahid disahkan oleh ahli Majlis Fatwa Kerajaan Negeri Kedah, Tuan Guru Haji Yahya Junid dan Ustaz Azahari Abd Razak. Tetapi pihak kerajaan telah menuduh kematian pejuang-pejuang Islam ini adalah ‘bughah’, iaitu penderhaka kepada pemerintah,” katanya.

Kebenaran disorok

Menurut Yasir, tragedi Memali adalah sejarah hitam yang disorokkan kebenarannya. Pejuang-pejuang Islam yang gugur syahid ekoran mempertahankan hak mereka yang mahu di tangkap oleh Kerajaan Malaysia yang dipimpin oleh Umno-Barisan Nasional, telah dituduh dengan pelbagai label supaya pembunuhan ini dihalalkan.

Tegas beliau, sudahlah mereka dibunuh dengan kejam, Ibrahim Libya dan pengikutnya dituduh pula sebagai penjenayah, mengamal ajaran sesat, pelampau, komunis, bughah dan sebagainya. Tuduhan-tuduhan ini kekal bersama sejarah dan seterusnya memberi kesan yang amat besar terhadap waris-waris as-syahid.

Bagi SAMM katanya, sejarah ini harus diperbetul dan maruah semua waris perlu dikembalikan. Selama 26 tahun lamanya waris Memali menanggung keperitan hidup, dicela dan dihina. Tidak keterlaluan untuk fail sejarah ini dibuka semula dan dikaji oleh pengamal sejarah yang ahli.

Beliau menegaskan, jika as-syahid yang terdiri daripada penegak agama Allah di bumi Memali ini sebenarnya tidak bersalah, maka SAMM berjanji untuk pastikan sejarah ini kembali diubah lantas waris wajib diberi penghormatan serta pampasan yang setimpal.

“Atas faktor mencari kebenaran, SAMM sendiri akan meredah belantara untuk menemui saki-baki beberapa waris dalam program konvoi ‘Titian Kasih ke Memali’.

Yasir memberitahu konvoi akan menghabiskan sepanjang hari Sabtu di Memali, salah satu rumah waris juga akan dipilih untuk diadakan bacaan Yasin dan SAMM akan turut bersama dalam program PAS pada hari yang sama sempena ulangtahun memperingati peristiwa Memali.

“Aktiviti konvoi membawa anak muda mengenali sejarah merupakan satu tuntutan demi melihat kekejaman yang dilakukan oleh sang penguasa penerus legasi penjajah. Dari pengamatan sejarah kejam ini akan membawa anak muda SAMM mencipta sejarah!,” ujar beliau.

‘Clandestine secret society’ operating govt businesses

Was Isa Samad appointed chairman so that PM Najib can have a 'trusted person to oversee' Felda's RM7 billion cookie jar?

A bigger rat has been assigned to look after Kumpulan Permodalan Felda’s (KPF) RM7 billion ringgit kitty. And that rat is Isa Samad.

Now why would anyone appoint Isa, whose track record of managing assets is suspect, as guardian to such a loot?

The answer – it’s the PM’s wish.

It is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s wish that Isa Samad, a close comrade in arms, be installed as chairman of KPF and ‘oversee’ the RM7 billion that it has.

Let’s discuss the PM’s wishes. It is an interesting subject in itself.

Remember Omar (Mustapha) Ong, an Oxford graduate and Eisenhower fellow from the 4th floor (of PM’s Department)? Let me jog your memory.

According to a 2009 report, Omar is the co-founder of his seven-year-old management and strategic consulting firm, which many have likened to the Malaysian version of McKinsey & Co.

Najib decided to appoint him as an independent, non-executive director to the Petronas Board.

Contradictions and hypocrisy

The appointment reportedly drew much flak from then Petronas board members including former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Pro-Umno bloggers aligned to Mahathir also put up a spirited objection to Ong being given a seat on the Petronas Board.

These very same people who objected to Najib’s wishes over Ong are now supporting putting up Isa as chairman of KPF.

Why? Because it’s the wish of the PM. Very pious indeed. But see the contradiction and hypocrisy?

The PM also wished for Ong: but his first wish was objected to vehemently while his wish to have Isa was warmly supported.

So, what this actually reflects is that the PM’s wishes isn’t relevant at all.

What is relevant is whether the person assigned gets the approval of the shadowy approval committee comprising of some pro-Umno bloggers. They didn’t approve of Ong but they endorsed Isa.

We can’t operate government business through some clandestine secret society.

Unlawful appointment of Isa

Isa’s position as chairman of KPF is objected on account of several reasons.

The refusal of some people in accepting the coup d’├ętat has prompted them to make a police report.

The appointment of Isa goes against the by-laws of KPF. KPF is subjected to its by-laws and rulings and Najib is also subjected to the law.

According to KPF regulations, nine of the committee members on the Felda Board must be elected by delegates at its general assembly.

The Felda Board then appoints three additional members subject to confirmation in the general assembly of delegates.

The three appointed members of the committee must either be a Felda settler or children of settlers, Felda employee, wife or their children. They also must have been a member of KPFB for at least 10 years.

Isa does not qualify

In addition, the three appointed to the board must also members of either the Felda settlers cooperative or the Felda employee’s cooperative.

Here too there is an additional clause, the appointed candidate must have been a cooperative member for a least two years. The rules, one can see for oneself is stringent.

Clearly by the terms of the bylaws and rulings governing cooperatives in Felda, Isa is disqualified.

Having said this, Isa’s track record of managing assets also does not justify his appointment as chairman of KPF.

When he was MB for Negeri Sembilan, large tracts of leasehold land were given to certain non-bumi corporate figures and converted into freehold land.

The state economic development corporation of which he was chairman also didn’t fare well at all.

This must be a new breakthrough in management science – the party that has fumbled is tasked to manage a bigger business.

The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman and a FMT columnist. This is an excerpt from his sakmongkolak47 blog.

Ini Pilihanraya Terakhir Najib Selaku Perdana Menteri

'Review laws on ethical issues'


Call to regulate practice of organ transplant, abortion and in-vitro fertilisation

Parliament should review laws surrounding complex ethical issues such as organ transplantation, termination of pregnancies and regulation of in-vitro fertilisation,  Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah said yesterday.

He said local healthcare and legal practitioners believed a review of current laws was necessary.

In light of cases in some countries where trade in organs was rampant, it would be important to outline rules in order to regulate the practice, he said at a conference on the conflicts and controversies in medicine, ethics and law organised by the Medico-Legal Society of Malaysia.

Raja Nazrin said Malaysian law imposed criminal punishment under the Penal Code on doctors and patients who terminated pregnancies other than for certain prescribed reasons such as to save the mother's life.

"Doctors and patients are then forced to circumvent the law."  

On the practice of in-vitro fertilisation, he said there was no legislation regulating it, which had led to countless viable embryos being disposed of each day.

"By itself, law is not equipped to resolve medicine's difficult moral issues.

"However, moral conscience can also be the precursor to the development of legal rules for social order."

Raja Nazrin said laws pertaining to patient confidentiality must maintain a balance between individual interest in information privacy and public interest in information disclosure.

"Legal boundaries are often ill-defined and sometimes completely undefined due to challenges brought about by scientific advancement."  

In many countries, including Malaysia, conditions such as HIV and other infectious diseases continue to pose problems for healthcare practitioners who must find the middle ground between competing rights.

Raja Nazrin said some countries, like the United Kingdom, had developed extensive formal guidelines to address such issues of competing rights.

"There has never been a more appropriate time for the medical and legal fraternities to engage with policy-makers and the community to keep ethical and legal standards up-to-date," he said.

He hoped practicable solutions could be found during the conference to resolve current issues involving medicine, ethics and law.

The two-day conference, which began yesterday, features 18 speakers from the medical and legal professions.

The topics cover issues such as "HIV controversies in healthcare", "Termination of pregnancy: how practical is the law due today?" and "Organ transplants and its ethical and legal complications -- tackling difficult issues".

Best UPSR Results In Four Years, But Fewer Candidates Score Straight As

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 17 (Bernama) -- The overall achievement of this year's Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) candidates is the best in four years although the number of straight A scorers dropped slightly from last year's, it was announced here Thursday.

Director-General of Education Datuk Seri Abdul Ghafar Mahmud, in announcing the analysis of the 2011 UPSR results, said 55.45 per cent of the candidates obtained at least Grade C this year, up from the 54.38 per cent last year.

A total of 46,012 of this year's 485,160 candidates scored straight A's, he said, adding that this was a 0.54 per cent drop to 9.48 per cent from the 10.02 per cent last year.

"This year, the overall achievement of the 2011 UPSR candidates has improved and is the best in four years in accordance with the National Average Grade," he told a news conference at the Education Ministry here.

Abdul Ghafar said candidates with the minimum achievement, of a D or E grade, also dropped, by 0.51 per cent, from 3.39 per cent last year to 2.88 per cent this year.

Tsu Koon backs out of GE

Koh Tsu Koon has announced that he will not be contesting in the coming general election.
Instead he says he will reportedly devote his time to strategise and strengthen the party as well as decide the line-up of candidates.
No real surprise there. Perhaps the reason is to improve Gerakan’s prospects in Penang – though that is debatable whether his decision will have any effect on the party’s chances.
The question is, will he remain a ‘back-door’ cabinet minister after the polls now that he has opted out of the general election.
Tsu Koon has a lot to answer for and explain regarding PGCC, the Batu Kawan land deals, the Kampung Buah Pala land sale, the Tanjong Tokong land reclamation, the Jelutong Expressway-land reclamation swap deal, the near bankruptcy of the MPSP, etc.

Syrian deserters strike military target

Qatari Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani, right, speaks to Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi during an emergency ministerial meeting of the Arab League on November 12.
Qatari Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani, right, speaks to Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi during an emergency ministerial meeting of the Arab League on November 12.

(CNN) -- A fledgling force of Syrian military deserters said it struck an important government security complex on the outskirts of the capital overnight, a bold strike reflecting the resolve and confidence of the regime's opposition.

The assault came ahead of an Arab League meeting Wednesday to reaffirm a decision to suspend Syria's membership, a decision the group made over the weekend after President Bashar al-Assad's government failed to abide by a proposal to end a brutal crackdown on protesters.

Also Wednesday, France recalled its ambassador to Syria, the French Foreign Ministry said. The move followed attacks on French missions in Syria.

The defector group, called the Free Syrian Army, said it attacked an air intelligence base in Harasta and planted "powerful explosions inside and around the compound that shook its foundations."

Andrew Tabler, an expert on Syria at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said air intelligence has been deeply involved in the eight-month-long crackdown by the Syrian government against protesters, a grinding civil conflict that the United Nations says has left more than 3,500 people dead.

Tabler said the strike reflects the growing sophistication of the Free Syrian Army, which has brigades across the country and has been in existence since the summer.

"It opens up a new era of the conflict," he said, adding that the development represents "a bad direction" for the country. "Until now, most of the protests have been peaceful."

The Free Syrian Army said it "carried out special operations in various areas in Damascus in order to spoil the plan that the regime is preparing against our people and our homeland."

The regime should "take note" that the deserter force "is capable of striking them in any place and at any time we want," the group said.

Activists said the deserter army used rocket-propelled grenades and the intelligence complex was damaged. Activists also reported damage at the complex in Harasta, an eastern suburb of the capital, Damascus.

Free Syrian Army Lt. Abdullah al Odah, speaking to CNN in Istanbul, Turkey, called the late-night operation brief.

He said 20 defectors armed with rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikov rifles participated and that it involved people from inside as well as outside the security branch. He didn't know whether security forces suffered casualties but he said no rebels were hurt.

He called air intelligence "one most terrifying secret service departments in Syria" and said such security entities will be targeted by defectors.

"This branch is responsible for many of the crimes against Syrian people and political prisoners," al Odah said. "We will announce the whole story to the world in the correct time."

It was one of five actions reported by the opposition force, which has recently emerged as an important factor in the opposition movement as more and more soldiers have left the Syrian army.

The opposition force also reported clashes with personnel loyal to al-Assad in several areas. They include Qaboun and Arbeen, Damascus neighborhoods, and Saqba, a suburb.

There was also fierce fighting in Douma, a city in the Syrian countryside.

"A clash between the Free Syrian Army and Assad's criminal gangs and his mobsters (the shabiha) in Douma, our Free Syrian military caused the Assad's gangs a lesson that they will never forget and heavy losses at the roundabout in the Douma municipality," the army said. The shabiha are pro-government militias.

Tabler said the Free Syrian Army consists of soldiers who've left their posts instead of obeying orders to fire on protesters. They've also had active operations in and around Homs, Idlib and other areas recently, he said.

Opposition groups like the Free Syrian Army have been calling on the international community to help protect protesters. They have urged the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone, as it did in the Libyan conflict, and a naval blockade. Army leaders have said such policies could allow them to establish a base of operations to launch a campaign to bring down al-Assad's regime.

The group surfaced when seven military officers, believed to be original members of the Free Syrian Army, announced their defection in a video posted on YouTube in July. The group's leaders, who had been exiled to Turkey, say they're directing a guerrilla war effort against the al-Assad regime, which acknowledges an increasing number of deadly attacks on its soldiers, including a bombing of a Syrian army tank near Daraa recently.

Col. Riad al-Assad, a 30-year veteran of the Syrian air force, claims to lead a force in Syrian cities of some 10,000 mainly low-ranking soldiers, a number impossible to verify. But the opposition fighters are believed to have little firepower -- planting bombs and carrying out hit and run attacks -- and they're a small force in comparison with Syria's military, which numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

The group has a Facebook page, which calls on other soldiers to join it.

The Arab League, meeting in Rabat, Morocco, said al-Assad didn't stick by his pledge to release detainees, withdraw armed elements from populated areas, and allow unfettered access to the nation by journalists and Arab League monitors.

The league has also called for unspecified sanctions against Syria and called on member states to withdraw their ambassadors from Damascus, a decision that will be up to each nation.

The Syrian Arab News Agency, a state-run outlet, quoted a government source as saying that "Syria decided not to participate" in Rabat, where there was a ministerial meeting of the Arab League council and an Arab-Turkish cooperation meeting.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the Arab-Turkish group that the Arab League's move to suspend Syria's membership was "a responsible and well-timed step that put forth the gravity of the situation."

He said Syria hadn't fulfilled commitments to the league and the Turks to rein in the instability. A former ally of Syria, Turkey has threatened to cut off power supplies if Syria does not change course. Turkey's Energy Ministry said it has suspended negotiations with Syria over joint oil exploration.

"The Syrian administration should read the message of the Arab League correctly, and by ending the violence it is inflicting on its people open up the way for the inevitable process of democratic transformation. It is not possible for any administration to win a struggle against its own people. It is not possible for an administration based on collective punishment and everyday killing people on the streets to be successful," Davutoglu said.

"The Syrian administration must know that public opinion in neither the Arab world nor the world at large can bear these heart-wrenching images forever. Time is working against the Syrian regime. All of the credit and the helping hands that have been extended to the Syrian regime to date have been wasted," he added.

The final communique Tuesday from the Arab-Turkish forum "emphasized the necessity of halting the bloodshed and violence against Syrian citizens, and the importance of taking urgent measures to assure the safety of civilians. The ministers stressed the importance of the stability and unity of Syria and the need for the resolution of the crisis without any foreign intervention."

The Arab ministers also "expressed their appreciation to Turkey for providing temporary protection on its territories for Syrian citizens who fled to Turkey."

Mohammed al-Ikhsafi, Morocco's ambassador to Syria, told CNN a demonstration occurred in front of his country's embassy in Damascus on Wednesday.

"There was some improper behavior in front of the embassy. The protesters threw tomatoes and rocks at the embassy and they brought down the Moroccan flag and raised the Syrian flag instead," al-Ikhsafi said. "I asked them to send in a delegation so I can listen to their demands and what they were protesting against. I explained to them Morocco's stance in the Arab League and then they left. The demonstration is over now. No one was physically attacked or injured." Morocco's Foreign Ministry condemned the attacks on its embassy, the country's official news agency reported.

The United Arab Emirates denounced an attack on its embassy and said it holds the Syrian government responsible for the embassy employees' safety. A Western diplomat in Damascus told CNN in an e-mail that windows were broken at the UAE Embassy.

On Saturday, pro-government protesters attacked Arab and Turkish entities in Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia. The Turks have demanded compensation for damage to their buildings and they have evacuated families of diplomats and some nonessential personnel. On Monday, Syria's state news agency reported that Syria's foreign minister publicly apologized for the embassy attacks.

And Jordan's King Abdullah said this week that a person in al-Assad's position would step down, a statement observers interpreted as a call for the Syrian president to do just that.

For its part, the Syrian government freed 1,180 detainees Tuesday as part of the Arab League peace plan.

But opposition groups said the gesture was too little, too late.

The death toll keeps mounting, they said, with at least 81 killed in clashes Monday -- making it one of the deadliest days of the uprising.

The number of civilians killed Wednesday was 20 -- 11 in Homs, 7 in Idlib, and 1 in each Daraa and Damascus suburbs -- said the Local Coordination Committee of Syria, a coalition of activists.

CNN is not able to independently verify claims of fighting and casualties because the Syrian government has restricted international media access to the country.

CNN's Joe Sterling, Ivan Watson and Saad Abedine contributed to this report

Sibling rivalries: Three men butcher and bury sister in courtyard

Police unearths the woman’s body after a servant told them she was buried under the marble floor.
BAHAWALPUR:  Three men were arrested on charges of having murdered their sister on Tuesday.
According to police officials, Patafi Colony Sardar Garah residents Abdul Sattar, Shakeel Ahmed and Mohammad Saleem allegedly butchered their sister Shameem and then buried her body in their court yard. Police officials said that a servant who worked at the house tipped them off and they arrived at the scene to investigate on Tuesday morning.
“He told us that he had been forced to help them dig the grave and then cover the courtyard with marble,” investigation officer Hazoor Buksh said. “We broke apart the marble in their courtyard and found the corpse. The woman had been mutilated and the body had been decapitated,” he said.
A neighbour, Irfan, told police officials that the accused suspected Shamim of having relations with another resident of the village. “They had been arguing about the incident for days. We heard them accuse her for several days and they had loud fights but eventually it all stopped,” he said. “On Monday night I went to visit Shamim to see if she was okay but Saleem told me that she had gone to see her aunt in Gujranwala,” Batool Bibi told police.
“They accused her of having an affair and told her that they would kill her and the man she was seeing. Saleem said that he had seen them walking together in the village and that she had dishonoured the family,” a servant at the house told the police.
“They took pains to cover up the body. They buried her in their own courtyard but covered the entire surface with marble. We would never have thought to look here if we hadn’t been told about it,” Rukanpur investigation officer Hazoor Buksh told reporters that police had filed an FIR under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code and had sent the body for an autopsy.
“The girl was brutally tortured and killed with an axe. They decapitated the body and then buried her,” said a DHQ Hospital doctor.
“We are conducting DNA tests and so far all the evidence points to the three brothers,” Buksh said. “The three men have been taken into custody but we are waiting for the full details of the MLC report to be released,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2011.

Hudud: The Aceh Experience

Covert attempt to convert Christian pre-schoolers?

Christian parents in rural Sarawak are uncomfortable listening to the pre-school children reciting Islamic prayers at home.
KUCHING: Parents in Sarawak are concerned about the subtle attempts at imparting Islamic teachings and practices to children in pre-schools in the rural areas.

Debating the 2012 budget in the current Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting, Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said there was a ‘very real problem’ because parents were complaining that their children come home from school reciting Islamic prayers.

“Many rural areas are predominantly Christian, and there is a very real problem of subtle attempts at imparting Islamic teachings and practices in pre-schools.

“There are reports from parents of school children that their children come home from school and recite the Islamic ways of praying at home.

“From my own constituency of Ba’Kelalan, I have personally received reports of such incidents that happened to children from two families,” said Bian, who is also Sarawak PKR chief.

According to news reports, the Kemas director-general Puhat Mat Nayan said that as at 2010, Kemas had established 539 new pre-school classes and will open another 2,000 new ones.

Last year, Kemas opened 150 kindergartens in the state and for this year, they have set up 300 more to increase the accessibility to early childhood education.

Ensure fair teachings

Bian said that the people are concerned that these pre-schools are staffed by teachers from outside the local community and worst if they come from Peninsular Malaysia, the majority of whom are Muslims.

“Added to this concern is the news that Kemas schools will be taking on the Permata syllabus, as announced in Sabah in July this year by National Permata programme patron Rosmah Mansor.

“I was informed that one of the subjects in the Permata curriculum is Islamic teachings in class.
“Can we be guaranteed that all non-Muslim children be exempted from these classes or lessons?

“What are the steps taken by the state government to ensure that teachers of different faiths do not impart or teach their beliefs to the children of different faiths or beliefs in these Tadika or Pra-Sekolah in the state?” asked Bian.

Bian said to ensure fair teachings in Kemas, teachers from the local communities should be recruited.
“I propose that local teachers from the local community be recruited to teach in these Tadika or pra-sekolah to avoid any conflict of religious beliefs.

“Secondly, I propose that allocations should be made to NGOs and religious organisations to start or support their own tadika or pre-schools to reflect our support of imparting knowledge to all notwithstanding their racial or religious backgrounds,” Bian said.

Re-direct Permata funds

On the teaching of mother tongue language, Bian asked the government to allocate an official budget every year for the teaching of languages of all the different races in Sarawak from pre-school to Primary Six level.

“The loss of our people’s mother tongue is a serious threat and the precursor to the loss of our culture and identity.

“The preservation of our languages must be given priority or our people will slowly lose their unique and distinct cultures.

“With the common incidences of inter-marriage between different races in Sarawak, this request needs immediate implementation, “said Bian.

He suggested that funds allocated to Kemas or Permata be used instead to train teachers to teach in their local languages or dialects.

[main photo from Kemas website]

10 Islamic activists arrested under ISA in Tawau

The 10, arrested on Monday, are either PAS members or supporters, including respected religious teachers.

TAWAU: Ten religious teachers and Islamic activists were arrested here under the Internal Security Act (ISA) by a team of police officers from federal police headquarters Bukit Aman.

The counter-terrorism operation by the Special Assignment Team was led by DSP Azman Omar. The police gave no information on the arrests.

The families of the detainees were informed on Tuesday that their relatives were being detained under the ISA which allows for detention without trial. They can be kept incommunicado for 60 days, after which the Home Minister can detain them for two years.

According to sources, those arrested were all PAS members or supporters, including respected religious teachers in the Tawau district.

Sabah PAS commissioner Mohd Aminuddin Aling questioned the arrests which he said were made without warrants, notice or any prior information. He also complained that the police operation was conducted in front of wives and children.

He said the police should “clarify the real situation so the news of the arrests will not be misinterpreted and raise negative assumption of those detained”.

He said the police were heavily armed and rough. They also seized several laptops and cash.

Mohd Aminuddin said the police operation was all the more shocking as Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had just announced in September that the ISA would be scrapped.

“People are shocked by the ISA detention,” he said.

“The cruel and inhuman act has caused chaos in the families of the detainees,” he said. He demanded the 10 to be immediately released without conditions or be charged in court.

Tawau police chief Ibrahim Chin declined to comment but the local media noted that there was a heavy police presence along the road to the Tawau airport in the Apas area where the arrests were made.

According to sources, the arrests could be for any number of reasons, including for terrorism threats in Sabah.

Bersih heroes’ plea to the King: Don’t dissolve Parliament now

Aunty Bersih and Rosni Malan, two unlikely heroes of Bersih 2.0 rally, want electoral reforms to take place first before Parliament is dissolved.

KUALA LUMPUR: Two unlikely ‘heroes’ of the July Bersih 2.0 rally, Annie Ooi Siew Lan and Rosni Malan have pleaded with the king not to dissolve Parliament until electoral reforms have taken place.

Rosni’s husband, Baharuddin Ahmad, died from heart complications during the rally. Ooi, nicknamed “Aunty Bersih” was seen being sprayed with chemical-laced water cannons and tear gas during the rally.

They are asking the king, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, to use his discretion to not consent to Parliament’s dissolution anytime soon.

Speaking on their behalf, their lawyer M Visvanathan said: “What we’re trying to achieve is to put enough pressure on the powers-that-be, especially the Yang Dipertuan-Agong, to invoke his discretion. He does have the discretion, it should be exercised in this case.”

“It is not a demand…(We ask) that the Agong use his discretion not to dissolve Parliament.”

Visvanathan added that he was confident that the Agong was not going to allow Parliament to be dissolved without electoral reforms being put into place first.

Petition launched

During the press conference, an online petition ( calling for free and fair elections was also announced.

Citing Article 40(2)(b) of the Federal Constitution, the petition said that the king had absolute discretion to withhold consent to a request to dissolve Parliament.

Rosni said that the petition would “strengthen the respectability and the position of the Agong”.

Adding that it was her family who came up with the idea for such a petition, she said the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reforms needed to finish its work.

This work, she added, included recommendations that would be approved by Parliament in a future sitting.

Ooi meanwhile said all eight demands of Bersih 2.0 must be fulfilled before the election is called.

“The power given to the king under the constitution to refuse to consent to the dissolution of Parliament, if so requested, is a power to be exercised for the well-being of the rakyat,” she said.

Visvanathan however evaded queries about the group’s possible link to the Bersih 2.0 coalition, headed by Ambiga Sreenevasan.

“Let’s just say we are Malaysians doing this for Malaysians,” he said.

Indelible ink: Constitutional amendment not needed

Amending the election regulations, says PSC chairman Maximus Ongkili, will allow the EC to implement it.

KUALA LUMPUR: An amendment to the election regulations will be sufficient to implement the use of indelible ink on voters, said the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reforms.

According to PSC chairman Maxmimus Ongkili, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail revealed this when clarifying his earlier stand that the move would require a constitutional amendment.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament, he said: “Gani explained that it can be done both ways.”

Ongkili added that the AG’s letter to the PSC and Election Commission two weeks ago was vague but the AG conveyed his views on the issue at the committee meeting this morning.

“We are satisfied with his explanation,” he said, adding that Gani had been requested to submit another letter by Monday and the PSC would make a decision after this.

The AG, however, declined to comment, beyond saying that it was a “good meeting”.

The EC mooted the usage of indelible ink for the 2008 general election, after purchasing it for RM2.4 million from India, but ditched the plan at the eleventh hour citing security concerns.

The opposition and election watchdogs, such as Bersih 2.0, believe that using the ink would curb electoral fraud.

Automatic registration

Maximus OngkiliMeanwhile, Ongkili said today’s meeting also discussed the procedure for automatic registration of

On this, he added, the AG opined that it would require constitutional amendments.

The automatic registeration of voters who reach the age of 21 was among the eight demands of Bersih 2.0, whose massive street protest in July led to the government setting up the PSC.

The PSC is scheduled to hold its next hearing on Nov 25 and 26 at Kompleks Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

It completed its two-day public hearing in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 11 and 12.

300 Orang Asli bantah depan SUK NS

"Kami juga kesal dengan kenyataan Menteri Besar yang mengatakan masyarakat Orang Asli di Negeri Sembilan adalah setinggan," kata jurucakap Ezuli Langkap.

SEREMBAN: Lebih 300 Orang Asli dari seluruh Negeri Sembilan hari ini menyuarakan bantahan selama tiga jam di depan bangunan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri (SUK) di sini berhubung Dasar Baru Pemilikan Tanah Orang Asli.

Sejurus selepas itu, mereka menyerahkan memorandum kepada Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan bagi membantah cadangan kerajaan negeri untuk melaksanakan dasar baru itu.

Jurucakap ‘Jaringan Kampung-Kampung Orang Asli Negeri Sembilan’ (JKKOANS), Ezuli Langkap berkata pihaknya membantah cadangan itu dengan sekeras-kerasnya sepertimana dilaporkan akhbar Utusan Malaysia 22 September lalu.

“Kami juga kesal dengan kenyataan Menteri Besar yang mengatakan masyarakat Orang Asli di Negeri Sembilan adalah setinggan.

“Setiap keputusan yang dibuat tanpa merujuk dan berbincang dengan kami. Beliau langsung tidak sensitif kepada masyarakat kami.

Sebaliknya beliau telah memperlekehkan masyarakat kami yang merupakan masyarakat asal Negeri Sembilan dan Malaysia”, kata Ezuli.

Tanah adat

Mengikut Ezuli, pelaksanaan Dasar Baru Pemilikan Tanah Orang Asli nanti akan menyebabkan mereka kehilangan hak turun-temurun ke atas tanah adat mereka.

“Semua tanah adat kami akan diambil alih kerajaan. Seterusnya kerajaan akan beri dua ekar tanah yang akan dimajukan samada oleh Felcra atau Risda.

“Selepas itu kami tak perlu lakukan apa-apa dan bayaran sebanyak RM1,500.00 dalam bentuk saham lot akan diberikan setiap bulan.

“Kami membantah langkah ini kerana dengan ini kami akan kehilangan hak ke atas tanah adat resam kami yang kami usahakan sejak zaman nenek moyang kami.

“Malah kami mampu mencari pendapatan melebihi dari apa yang ditawarkan oleh kerajaan negeri. Contohnya ketika ini ramai di antara kami menoreh getah, menjual petai dan akar kayu,” jelas Ezuli.

Ezuli mendesak kerajaan negeri agar membatalkan dasar pemberimilikan tanah yang dicadangkan oleh kerajaan pusat.

Beliau menggesa supaya keseluruhan wilayah tanah adat mereka diiktiraf mengikut Artikel 26 dalam Undang-Undang Deklarasi Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (UNDRIP) berkenaan dengan hak Orang Asal.

Free-for-all for the corrupt in M’sia

Badawi and Muhyiddin are saying anyone who wants to be corrupt just has to siphon out everything using the family or friend’s names and they are not involved and cannot be blamed or prosecuted.
By Jackson Ng, Retired journalist
INVESTORS and the world, be forewarned. A new and deadly strain of “mad cow” disease has mutated in Malaysia. The outbreak of the “virus” (aka as corrupton) is cancerous and will demolish nations.
Yes. That is what is happening to Malaysia now over the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) financial debacle.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) government – led by both the prime minister and his deputy - has endorsed and legalised corruption by defending corrupt practices and the blatant abuse of public funds.
The alleged siphoning-out of RM83 million from the NFC coffers into firms controlled by the family of Wanita Umno chief and minister Shahrizat Jalil is so corruptly clear but because she is the ruling elite, action against her is being avoided.
The funds were allocated to NFC for a project to produce affordable beef to Malaysians.
Instead, the NFC funds were siphoned off to pay for a super-plush RM10 million condo in Bangsar and an RM800,000 overseas trip for the Umno Senator’s family.
Is it that difficult for the government and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to differentiate cows, trips and condominiums?
A host of Umno men leaders have since rushed to defend Shahrizat including Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin, Agriculture Minister Noh Omar and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamalauddin.
Khairy even went so far as to justify the purchase of the condo as a short-term investment so as to enable NFC to reap higher yields.
Not only is his attempt to justify the multi-million-ringgit condo buy insensible, it is outrageously irresponsible and nothing short of abuse of public funds.
Public funds are allocated for specific projects. In NFC’s case, the money is for breeding cows for beef to boost supply for Malaysians. To use the money for any other purpose is clearly unacceptable and untrustworthy by those given specific projects.
If Khairy’s justification for buying a condo is accepted by the BN government, then Malaysia’s corrupt practices have taken a new low.
It signals a free-for-all for the corrupt as any minister, politician or Malaysian, with access to public funds, can use the nation’s wealth for anything they wish. Sharizat’s family would have set the precedent and the MACC will not be able to act on any corrupt practice, irrespective of the political divide.
Malaysians. Don’t take my or anyone’s word for it. Judge for yourself, with conscience, the following bullshit:
* Khairy’s father in law and ex-premier Abdullah Badawi - and Muhyiddin Yassin have publicly insisted there was no reason for Shahrizat to step down; and
* “Ask the individual concerned. What’s it got to do with Shahrizat? It’s her husband … Shahrizat’s not involved, so don’t ask her. If Shahrizat were the CEO then sure [you can ask her] but right now she’s not involved and it is very unfair to label her as involved," Badawi had told reporters. Both Badawi and Muhyiddin seem to be trying to separate Shahrizat from the business dealings of her husband and children, reasoning that the scandal was not Shahrizat’s doing since the one directly involved are her husband and children.
* Badawi and Muhyiddin are saying anyone who wants to be corrupt just has to siphon out everything using the family or friend’s names and they are not involved and cannot be blamed or prosecuted; and
* Is corruption through proxies okay? and
* Is it above board for Shahrizat, being a minister, and her family members to secure a multi-million-ringgit government contract?
Malaysia, under the BN rule, is on course to economic destruction, faster than initially anticipated.
No sane investor will want to invest in a country with a government that does not respect the law, or has separate laws – one for the ruling elite and another for those out of the corridors of power.
That is why the likes of Robert Quok gave up on Malaysia and took his money to China. Today, he is investing US$10 billion into oil palm and palm oil activities in Indonesia.


1. Saya telah cuba menjelaskan berkali-kali bahawa penggunaan Bahasa Inggeris untuk mengajar sains dan matematik bukan untuk mempelajari Bahasa Inggeris atau memperbaiki penguasaan bahasa itu. Tujuannya ialah untuk menguasai ilmu sains dan matematik.

2. Sains dan matematik (hisab) bukan seperti mata pelajaran lain. Fakta sejarah, geografi, sastera tidak berubah dengan pengaliran masa. Fakta dalam sejarah, geografi dan sastera kekal dan tidak bertukar.

3. Sains sebagai ilmu berkembang melalui penyelidikan dan kajian sepanjang masa. Sains yang saya belajar di sekolah dan di universiti tidak sama dengan sains masa kini. Dahulu tidak ada sains elektronik, komputer sains, sains angkasa lepas, “nano” sains, sains pembedahan dada, sains perubatan stem cell dan berbagai-bagai lagi. Semua ini di kenali dan diperkenal dari masa ke semasa melalui penyelidikan oleh pakar-pakar sains.

4. Mereka merekod dan menulis hasil kajian dan kaji selidik, perkataan dan ciptaan mereka sepanjang masa. Hampir tiap hari dikeluarkan kertas baru yang ditulis oleh penyelidik yang memperkenalkan teori dan discovery baru yang perlu diteliti dan difahami oleh ahli-ahli sains untuk mengemaskini ilmu mereka. Tanpa mengetahui ilmu yang terkini maka pengetahuan dan penggunaan ilmu baru ini tidak boleh dimanfaatkan baik semasa mengajar atau untuk diguna dalam ciptaan dan rekaan produk yang baru.

5. Contohnya telefon. Dahulu dawai menyambung alat telefon dengan operator yang akan menyambung panggilan. Kemudian operator diganti dengan memutar dail yang menyambung panggilan secara otomatik, kemudian disambung melalui radio, kemudian diguna disk dan satelit yang mampu menyambung telefon bimbit terus kepada telefon bimbit di mana sahaja.

6. Kita hanya menjadi pengguna kerana tidak tahu teknologi untuk mencipta dan mengeluar telefon bimbit. Yang tahu hanyalah yang belajar dalam bahasa Inggeris. Sampai bilakah kita hanya akan menjadi pengguna semata-mata. Bolehkah kita jadi bangsa maju bertamadun tinggi selagi kita menjadi bangsa pengguna?

7. Kita akan berkata orang Jepun, Korea, Jerman tidak guna Bahasa Inggeris. Ini tidak benar. Mereka perlu ada ramai yang memahami Bahasa Inggeris untuk membaca kertas-kertas dari penyelidik walaupun untuk memahami perkataan-perkataan baru untuk bahagian-bahagian tertentu supaya dapat memahami fungsi dan mengguna perkataan itu sebelum ditulis dalam bahasa mereka.

8. Mustahil mereka boleh memahami makna sesuatu perkataan atau sesuatu proses atau fungsi jika mereka tidak faham secara menyeluruh ayat bahkan rencana berkenaan. Kita faham perkataan “nano” umpamanya kerana kita faham diskripsi dalam Bahasa Inggeris yang menyebut perkataan “nano”. Jika kita jumpa perkataan ini tanpa konteksnya kita tak mungkin faham apa dianya “nano” dan tak mungkin kita gunanya dalam bahasa kita. Demikian jugalah dengan perkataan-perkataan yang dipinjam dari bahasa-bahasa lain termasuk Bahasa Arab.

9. Orang Arab dahulu mempelajari Bahasa Yunani (Greek) untuk menguasai ilmu yang diterokai oleh orang Greek. Ilmu orang Greek tidak banyak dan akhirnya ilmu mereka diterjemah sepenuhnya kepada Bahasa Arab. Untuk mengalih bahasa mereka perlu faham bahasa Greek.

10. Lepas itu orang Arab menambah kepada ilmu ini melalui kajian mereka dalam bahasa mereka. Dalam jangkamasa seribu tahun, orang Arab berupaya dan dapat membuat kajian dan menambah kepada sains yang diperolehi dari orang Greek dan membukukannya.

11. Kemudian orang Eropah semasa Zaman Gelap (Dark Ages) mempelajari dan menguasai Bahasa Arab untuk mendapat ilmu yang dikumpul, diterokai dan dibukukan oleh Orang Arab. Dengan menguasai ilmu sains Arab maka sains dikembangkan pada mulanya dalam Bahasa Latin, dan kemudian bahasa-bahasa Eropah. Proses ini mengambil masa, walaupun jumlah ilmu yang diperolehi dari orang Arab tidaklah begitu banyak seperti sekarang.

12. Kita berada diperingkat mencari ilmu bangsa lain yang dibukukan dengan begitu banyaknya dalam bahasa mereka. Proses penyelidikan dan catitan atau pembukuan ilmu baru ini berlangsung sepanjang masa. Hampir tiap-tiap ilmu baru diperkenalkan dan kadang-kadang ilmu lama diganti dengan ilmu baru kerana yang lama tidak dapat dipertahankan lojiknya.

13. Hampir semu ilmu baru ini diperkenalkan dalam Bahasa Inggeris. Ia terlalu banyak untuk diterjemah kedalam Bahasa Melayu. Tidak mungkin kita adakan penterjemah yang mencukupi yang fasih dalam Bahasa Melayu, fasih dalam Bahasa Sains Inggeris dan pakar dalam bidang sains berkenaan. Jika ada seorang dua, tak mungkin mereka sanggup menghabiskan hayat mereka menterjemah sains yang datang dlam bahasa Inggeris.

14. Sebenarnya universiti-universiti di kebanyakkan negara mengguna buku teks Inggeris untuk pembelajaran perubatan. Sebabnya ialah oleh kerana sukar mendapat buku teks sains diperingkat tinggi dalam bahasa mereka sendiri.

15. Untuk melancar sebuah kapal angkasa dari daratan supaya bertemu dengan Stesen Angkasa Antarabangsa (ISS) memerlukan perkiraan dan perhitungan yang amat kompleks. Ini disebabkan dunia yang menjadi tempat melancar sedang berpusing mengikut axis (paksi) utara selatan dalam 24 jam. Tempat pelancaran ada kalanya siang dan ada kalanya malam. Dimasa yang sama axis itu juga bergerak mengikut musim. Juga dunia sedang bergerak mengeliling matahari.

16. Stesen angkasa juga bergerak dengan pantas supaya lokasinya tetap relatif dunia. Demikian juga kapal angkasa perlu dilancar naik mengikut satu trajectory yang serong dengan kelajuan tertentu supaya dapat bertemu dengan stesen angkasa pada jam, hari dan saat tertentu. Jika tidak bertemu kerana perkiraan tersilap, kapal dan anak kapal akan hilang di angkasa.

17. Semua perkiraan ini memerlukan kecekapan dalam bidang algorithm. Siapakah diantara kita yang menguasai ilmu ini tanpa menguasai bahasa Inggeris yang mampu membuat perkiraan ini?

18. Pelajaran bukan hanya bertujuan menjadi fasih dalam bahasa pengantar – baik Bahasa Melayu mahupun Bahasa Inggeris. Pelajaran adalah untuk memperoleh dan menguasai ilmu. Hanya bangsa yang berilmu sahaja yang akan mendiri tamaddun yang tinggi.

Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa

Ilmu Menegak Bangsa

NFC Dibiayai Oleh Kerajaan, Tidak Pernah Membayar Satu Sen Kembali Kepada Kerajaan

Saya merujuk kepada kenyataan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dan mantan Perdana Menteri, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yang cuba memisahkan isu NFC daripada kebertanggungjawaban Dato’ Seri Shahrizat Jalil dan kerajaan Barisan Nasional. Kenyataan-kenyataan mereka memberi gambaran bahawa NFC adalah sebuah syarikat swasta dan tidak ada unsur percanggahan kepentingan (conflict of interest) apabila sebuah syarikat milik keluarga menteri mendapat projek kurniaan kerajaan.

KEADILAN ingin menegaskan bahawa sejak menerima sepenuhnya pinjaman mudah dari kerajaan berjumlah RM250 juta, NFC tidak sekali pun membayar balik satu sen kembali kepada kerajaan – baik dari segi pembayaran pinjaman pokok atau pun faedah 2% yang dikenakan. Sekiranya ia benar-benar sebuah pinjaman seperti yang didakwa pimpinan Umno, maka sekurang-kurangnya NFC perlulah membayar RM5 juta setahun kepada kerajaan dalam bentuk faedah pinjaman.

Semakan KEADILAN menunjukkan bahawa NFC bukan sahaja tidak pernah membuat sebarang bayaran kepada kerajaan, ia juga tidak merekodkan sebarang liabiliti bagi kadar faedah 2% seperti yang didakwa oleh kerajaan.

Hakikatnya, operasi NFC dibiayai sepenuhnya oleh wang rakyat melalui suntikan dana RM250 juta dan geran RM6 juta yang diluluskan kerajaan. Keputusan untuk menganugerahkan projek kebangsaan yang dikategorikan sebagai Projek Berimpak Tinggi dalam Rancangan Malaysia Ke-9 (RMK9) ini dibuat oleh kabinet Barisan Nasional yang dianggotai Tun Abdullah Badawi, YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dan Dato’ Seri Shahrizat Jalil.

Justeru, prestasi NFC sudah tentu menjadi tanggungjawab menteri-menteri yang terbabit, apatah lagi apabila syarikat yang mendapat projek dimiliki sepenuhnya oleh keluarga menteri.

Keadaan ini diburukkan lagi apabila NFC tidak diuruskan dengan baik sehingga tidak mencapai sasaran yang dipersetujui. Malah, transaksi NFC juga menunjukkan dana rakyat yang disalurkan melalui suntikan RM250 juta disalahgunakan untuk kegunaan keluarga dan ahli-ahli politik Umno.

Saya senaraikan transaksi berikut yang tidak sepatutnya berlaku jika kerajaan benar-benar memantau NFC:

Pada tahun 2008 (di awal penubuhan), NFC membayar perbelanjaan Dato’ Seri Shahrizat Jalil sebanyak RM26,400. Jika benar isu NFC tidak ada kena mengena dengan Dato’ Seri Shahrizat Jalil, sewajarnya beliau langsung tidak ada urusan dengan syarikat ini apatah lagi menggunakan wang NFC untuk membayar perbelanjaan beliau.

NFC membayar sejumlah RM398,640 kepada Dato’ Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail dan Wan Shahinur Izran Mohamad Salleh dalam tahun 2009 sebagai bayaran sewa pejabat NFC di Mont Kiara. Tindakan menggunakan wang NFC dari dana RM250 juta untuk membayar sewa kepada pengarah-pengarah NFC perlu juga dijawab oleh Dato’ Seri Shahrizat Jalil.

NFC mendermakan lembu-lembu yang dibiayai dengan wang rakyat kepada YB Dato’ Shaziman Mansor pada 1 September 2009 bernilai RM5,281.87 dan YB Yunus pada 30 November 2009 bernilai RM2,640.93. Kalau isu yang serupa menyebabkan SPRM menyiasat YAB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim sebelum ini, SPRM juga perlu tangkas menyiasat NFC, YB Dato’ Shaziman Mansor dan YB Yunus kerana mendapat lembu yang dibiayai rakyat.

NFC juga menjual lembu secara hutang kepada pimpinan Umno seperti YB Dato’ Seri Zulhasnan Rafique bernilai RM70,000 dalam tahun 2008, yang hanya dibayar dalam tahun 2009.

KEADILAN boleh sahaja mendedahkan secara terperinci setiap perbelanjaan yang melibatkan ramai lagi pimpinan Umno dan dana rakyat berjumlah RM250 juta ini.

Skandal NFC telah menunjukkan bagaimana bobroknya sikap pimpinan Umno yang menggunakan wang rakyat dengan sewenang-wenangnya atas alasan ia perbelanjaan sebuah syarikat swasta.

Malangnya, syarikat swasta itu dimiliki oleh keluarga seorang menteri dan dianugerahkan sebuah projek besar negara dengan suntikan dana RM250 juta.

Tindakan yang lebih mulia ialah bagi menteri-menteri yang berkenaan memikul tanggungjawab dan mengambil tindakan tegas berhubung skandal NFC ini.


The 2012 Budget for a class of seven-year-olds… and voters — Shern Ren

NOV 16 — Tomorrow my younger brother is going to school to collect the RM100 that the government has promised him as a school-goer. It’s all well and good for him to get a bit more spending money, but what difference does it make in our national Budget? Here’s an imaginary conversation that will take place tomorrow in a school far too close to home...

Hi, and welcome to Class 1 Malaysia in SJK Pelancar(1). As you’re all aware, our class president (who’s also the class treasurer) has magnanimously decided to give RM100 to all schoolchildren — that’s you and me! But before you all line up to receive his magnificent gift, he’s asked me to make a little speech about how far we’ve come as a class.

There are fifty of us in this class, 1 Malaysia. Who’s bringing in the dough? Well, 21 of us are employed, but only six of us will have any qualification higher than the SPM. Only three working people earn enough to pay any class fees at all to the class fund, which makes it all the more interesting that two of you guys are actually working for the class and earning your living from that same class fund. Don’t get too comfortable in your job though — there are eight fellows from other classes like 1 Donesia willing to do our jobs for half the price, or two of them for every five of us.

Now the poorest 20 of you, on average, know what it’s like to live on only RM11.50 a day, or a monthly household income of RM1,500 — which you must stretch to cover your rent, loans, and utilities as well as the lousy canteen food.

The next 20 of you, on average, are a bit luckier to be getting by on RM27 a day, or a monthly household income of RM3,500 a month. But the richest 10 of you have RM73 a day to burn, or a monthly household income of RM9,500.

Among yourselves, you ten have concentrated 49 per cent of our class’s total income in the top 20 per cent of our class; the lowest 40 per cent have got only 15 per cent of our class’s total income. Good job, capitalists!

But the total household debt between you all is just over a million ringgit, while the total disposable income you’re hauling in is only about RM730,000, so you’d all better tighten your belts just the same

How’s the class fund doing, you ask? Oh, it’s in amazing shape. Our class currently owes various debtors something like RM773,800. Last year it was only RM720,500 — you really have to hand it to our class president to know how to spend.

Remember that there’s only three lucky guys earning enough to pay tax, and our current debt is going to be RM257,900 for each of them to fork up. Well, we’ve got a bit of time to pay off our debts I guess. but you three had better keep paying your class fees like there’s no tomorrow. After all, the interest repayments alone are costing us about RM40,000, or 10 per cent of our expenditure this year.

That’s right, the class president has promised us that we’ll spend about RM400,000 as a class this year. Good news is, that’s about as much as we’ve actually spent as a class last year. Bad news is, he promised us that we’d only spend RM373,000 the year before.

So if we keep spending more than our president says we’ll spend, we’re looking at something actually closer to RM440,000 of spending money for his pet projects this year. I guess you know now why our class owes so much money, don’t you?

It’s okay, the president promised that the class fund will rake in RM330,000 of revenue this year — a third of which will come out of a hole in the ground that his father’s Patronus managed to dig about thirty-five years ago.

Look, there’s only three guys paying about RM11,000 each in class fees — you seriously can’t expect us to actually earn the money we’re making, do you? Us spending more money than we’re making is business as usual by now, you know; we’ve been doing it for thirteen years now and our class is still here. It’s not like our debt is going to reach a million ringgit or anything. And even if it does, we’ll be a developed class by then! I’m sure we’ll think of some way to pay it off.

I guess you would have realised by now that we still have a long way to go as a class. With 15 of our 21 working people unqualified for anything more than filing papers and driving lorries, and eight fit strong 1 Donesians waiting at the door to undercut us, I’m sure you can imagine why the guy at the back is waving his hand and suggesting that we decrease our class fund spending and focus it on upgrading the workforce and reducing foreign labour. But don’t listen to him. (I hear he poked his pencil up his best friend’s nose, or something.)

But, you know, our class president has the perfect solution! He’ll start all kinds of magnificent construction projects so that you can all get paid by your own class fund to pour concrete in the hot sun if you can’t find a job on your own — and just to prove that he cares about education, he’ll even build schools too!

And even though you may each have a household debt of RM20,000 and a class debt of RM15,500 to pay off on only RM900 income per capita per month, I’m sure our class president will find a way to settle all our problems — as long as you give him another five years to do it.

That’s right, he’s going to need a bit more time. I’m sure you’ll give it to him, right? Think of the RM100 you’re getting today. And with that, can I get you all to line up for your money? That’s my good little boys and girls. Remember to kiss his hand!

This is what our workforce and Budget would look like if Malaysia were a class of fifty students. To find the real figures, simply divide by fifty and multiply by 28.25 million where applicable, which is the population of Malaysia as at 2010. (The World Bank estimates it to be currently 28.4 million; this is an upward adjustment of about half a percent.)

The size of an average household in Malaysia is 4.3 people. Both of these numbers come from Malaysia’s Department of Statistics here; the other budget figures come from insightful analysis by REFSA, especially its Budget and pre-Budget focus papers.

Also, SJK stands for “Sekolah Jenaka Kelakar”, which indicates that this is a work of parody.

To those who may take offense at the class’s president allegedly resembling a certain gentleman in power, I can only say that a bitten chilli is the surest cause of a burning tongue.

* Shern Ren reads The Malaysian Insider

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication, and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

Indonesia Officially Allows Domestic Maids For Malaysia Beginning Dec 1

By Ahmad Fuad Yahya

NUSA DUA, Nov 17 (Bernama) -- Indonesia announced officially that it will resume the sending of domestic maids to Malaysia effective Dec 1.

The decision on the matter was made jointly by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at a bilateral meeting, here Wednesday night.

"At the meeting just now, President SBY and I had decided together that the sending of manpower (in non-formal sectors) from Indonesia to Malaysia will be resumed beginning Dec 1.

"This news will certainly be well received in Malaysia because the people concerned have been waiting for a long time and this shows the determination and sincerity of President SBY in looking for a positive settlement to whatever problems that crop up between the two countries," Najib told Malaysian journalists at a press conference, here.

He said he had expressed the Malaysian government's and people's appreciation for the decision with the hope that its implementation would run smoothly in line with the amendments made to the memorandum on the recruitment and deployment of Indonesian work force which was signed by both countries in Bandung in May.

The bilateral meeting was a follow-up to the meeting between the two leaders at the Annual Consultation held in Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat, last month where both parties had agreed to make a joint decision in Bali on the issue.

At the meeting in Lombok, they had agreed to look at the report of the Joint Special Task Force on the implementation mechanism for the protocols to amend the Memorandum of Understanding on the Recruitment and Deployment of Indonesian Domestic Maids 2006.

Wednesday, both the Malaysian Human Resource Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam and Indonesian Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar had reported to both leaders on the implementation mechanism for the agreement.

Indonesia enforced the temporary freeze on the despatch of domestic maids to Malaysia on June 26, 2009 following several incidents of abuse by Malaysian employers on their Indonesian maids.

Subsequently, both countries had discussed the matter until a consensus was reached with the signing of a protocol to amend several provisions in the 2006 memorandum of understanding, held in Bandung on May 30.

However, the adoption of a suitable mechanism for the implementation of the protocol pertaining to the protection of the Indonesian domestic maids and their employers by the Joint Special Task Force had resulted in the withdrawal of the moratorium being delayed until now.

Dr Subramanian, when clarifying on the agreement, said among the major issues that were agreed upon were the necessity to have a working contract for domestic maid, the cost of recruiting Indonesian maid fixed at RM4,511, compulsory 200-hour course, one day per week holiday, besides allowing the maids to keep their own passport.

Employers, on the other hand, are allowed to take back RM1,800 from their cost in advancing to the workers by deducting their pay not exceeding 50 per cent per month from their salary.