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Friday, December 2, 2011

Samy, not Palanivel, made me, says Subra

However, MIC’s No 2 dismisses rumours of a rift with the party president.
INTERVIEW

PETALING JAYA: MIC deputy president Dr S Subramaniam has again dismissed talk of a rift between him and the party boss, G Palanivel, but has not shied from rejecting the latter’s claim of responsibility for the rise in his political fortune.

In a recent interview with FMT, Subramaniam chose instead to thank former MIC president S Samy Vellu for his government and party posts.

However, he referred to rumours about him and Palanivel plotting the downfall of each other as the “creation of imaginative minds aimed at sowing discord”.

He said he had a good working relationship with Palanivel and accused the media of fanning rumours about plots and counter-plots.

“We’ve got no problems,” he said. “We communicate with each other quite well. We frequently discuss Indian issues and party matters.

“You can ask him. He will tell you the same thing.”

Asked whether he would consider vying for the presidency in the next MIC polls, he said: “I’ve never thought of that.”

However, he confirmed reports that there are groups in the party that want him to seek election as party president.

His decision, he added, would be based on what would be good for MIC and the Indian community.

He said the party’s current focus should be on the 13th general election.

Recently, Palanivel, while denying that his relationship with Dr Subramaniam was rocky, hinted that not everything was rosy.

Realities of politics

Speaking to FMT, the party president expressed confidence of emerging victorious if Dr Subramaniam were to go against him.

“I was the person who brought him in,” he said. “I made him a MP and secretary-general.”

Subramaniam said Samy Vellu was the one who brought all the current top leaders into MIC and gave them the opportunity to rise to their current positions.

“Everybody now, including the present president, are people who were supported, brought in, and developed by the past president. We can’t deny it.”

He also said that all the current party leaders were still close to Samy Vellu.

Asked to rate Palanivel’s leadership in comparison to Samy Vellu’s, Subramaniam praised the current president’s acumen as a “strategist and planner” and described his predecessor as a fighter.

“We can’t say who is better. At the end of the day, it’s the results that matter.”

Subramaniam also addressed criticism –by those who support him – that he was being too soft about making a bid for the party presidency.

“I think that is the wrong measurement” for toughness, he laughed. “Putting your neck out to challenge should not be the criterion on which you determine whether a person is soft or strong.

“It is more on a person’s ability to analyse ideas and do things in the correct manner, taking into consideration the realities of politics.”

Below are excerpts from the interview:

Is there a rift between you and the president?

We’ve got no problems. This is all is what you read in the media, you know. At present, the relationship between top MIC leaders is cordial. We communicate with each other quite well. We frequently discuss Indian issues and party matters. There are no issues. Rumours of a rift between us are the creation of imaginative minds aimed at sowing discord. In politics, there will always be people who pit one person against another, and that probably is the reason why that kind of perception is there. In reality, there is no such thing. The accusations of plotting and counter-plotting have no basis. You can ask him, he will tell you the same thing.

Ok. Is there a plan to “kill you off”, as some have put it? Have you heard of such a thing?

I have not seen real evidence that that is being done. So I don’t want to hear rumours from people who are not in official positions, trying to say things like that.

Will MIC be giving more opportunities to more of the younger leaders?

It is happening, isn’t it? With the present group, virtually all are new. In this election, more new faces will come out. That transformation and transition is an ongoing process.

Would you be vying for the post of party president at the next party polls?

I’ve never thought of that.

Never thought of that?

Yes. Of course, people will suggest all sorts of things, but we will make decisions based on the interest of the community and the party.

Have you been receiving a lot of support to go for the presidency?

Well, there are always, in politics, people who will say this and that. We live with it, and we make our own decisions based on what we think is right.

You’ve not given it any thought?

For most of us, the main concern is meeting the challenge of the next general election. To a great extent, the political future of the party and many people in the party will be determined by the results of the next general election. Only after that will the other things fall in place. So I think it’s important that everybody focuses on the election.

There are rumours that you are supported by the former president

I’m close to him, as all of us are. Everybody now, including the present president, are people who were supported, brought in, and developed by the past president. We can’t deny it. He gave us the opportunity. He gave all of us an opportunity, he gave me the opportunity, he gave the present president the opportunity, he gave the present vice-presidents opportunity. Everybody. He gave the opportunity, for us to be in whatever position in which we are now.

Palanivel said in a recent interview with FMT that he was confident in a one-on-one situation against you.

Because you guys asked him that question. So he had to respond. I’m not going to. I’ve already told you I’ve not thought of it. So I don’t want to give you the answer to the next part.

How do you see Palanivel as the party boss in comparison with Samy Vellu?

Different styles, definitely different styles. No two leaders are the same. Each will have his individual style and be equally effective. Samy Vellu was outspoken, the fighting kind, visibly fighting kind of leader, whereas the present president is more of a strategist and planner. And he goes for planning and implementation.

So I cannot compare two different systems. At the end of the day it is which produces the best results.

Of course, in the big portion of his political life, Samy Vellu was respected as the single leader of the Indian community. Of course, towards the last few years, when the political tide changed, the opposition to him grew, you see. But in the initial years, he came in as a change for Indians and MIC’s future. He did bring some major transformations. He gained the trust for a long time. Of course, the last few years, in the change of political climates, he faced some problems.

We can’t ask who is better. At the end of the day, it’s the results that matter.

So, based on the current results?

Takes time for us to wait and see because we are faced with the transformation of the community. Only time will tell to what extent we have been able to solve problems of the Indian community.

There are rumours of the return of former deputy presidency contender S Sothinathan to MIC.

He was a former vice-president, former deputy minister. Of course, he lost in the last election. I think he met the president and requested that he given another opportunity for the constituency of Teluk Kemang. And the president has suggested that he has a role to play in politics. The president has communicated with me that those discussions have occurred.

MIC has two full ministers. How has that benefited the Indian community?

Still very early to see the results. It’s just been three months since we’ve had that. It definitely will create better opportunities for us to get the government programmes connected to the Indian community. Of course, it gives both of us the ears of the top leadership of the country, brings us closer to them. Obviously, it has given us a wider spectrum for putting forward the community’s agenda. This will, over a period of time, translate into bringing a more rapid transformation of the community.

Polis tutup pekung skandal lembu

Naib Presiden PKR N Surendran menyoal kenapa perlu mengeluarkan kenyataan sedemikian pada hal siasatan masih berjalan.

PETALING JAYA: PKR membidas kenyataan Timbalan Ketua Polis Negara Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar semalam bahawa siasatan polis sehingga kini tidak mendapati sebarang elemen pecah amanah dalam pengurusan National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFC).

Naib Presiden N Surendran menyoal kenapa perlu mengeluarkan kenyataan sedemikian pada hal siasatan masih berjalan. Adalah tidak masuk akal apabila pihak polis membuat kesimpulan sedemikian sebelum tamatnya siasatan.

NFC diurus tadbir oleh suami kepada Ketua Wanita Umno dan juga Menteri Pembangunan Wanita, Kebajikan dan Masyarakat, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, iaitu Datuk Dr Mohammad Salleh Ismail dan tiga anak mereka.

Surendran menyifatkan kenyataan Khalid ini sebagai percubaan untuk menutup pekung skandal ini ketika berlangsungnya Perhimpunan Agung Umno 2011 di Putra Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur dewasa ini.

“Lebih memeranjatkan apabila pihak polis mengesahkan bahawa mereka belum lagi mengambil keterangan daripada Shahrizat, tokoh utama dalam kontroversi projek lembu ini.

“Kenapa pihak polis tidak memanggil Shahrizat untuk memberi keterangan? Saya kira pihak polis mahu mencuci tangan dalam skandal ini. Sikap polis ini memeranjatkan kerana skandal ini melibatkan penyelewengan dana awam,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan media.

Menurutnya, tindakan Khalid mengeluarkan kenyataan itu ialah supaya orang ramai percaya bahawa tidak berlaku sebarang kes pecah amanah, walaupun dana awam itu digunakan untuk membeli dua buah kondominium mewah, lawatan ke luar negara, kereta-kereta mewah dan tanah strategik.

Semalam, PKR mendedahkan bahawa NFC telah membeli sebidang tanah yang strategik di Putrajaya dan sebuah kereta mewah dengan menggunakan wang pinjaman mudah dari dana awam yang berjumlah RM250 juta itu.

High Court upholds open verdict

The New Straits Times

SHAH ALAM: The High Court yesterday upheld the open verdict delivered in Teoh Beng Hock's inquest.

He said the coroner's duty was to decide whether there was any criminality based on the facts produced before him.

"His function is limited. He cannot make his own assumptions. The coroner had evaluated the testimonies of all the witnesses in the inquest and found there was not enough evidence  to lead him to a homicide finding."

Rahim said although there were suspicious grounds which might lead to homicide, suspicion alone was insufficient under the law.

"There was no fact which could lead the coroner to say 'Yes, he was the one who committed it'."

He said there was a lacuna in the case, for example who inflicted the "pre-fall injuries" on Teoh's neck.

Rahim said there was no evidence to prove there was a third party involved.  

"Hence, I agree with the coroner's decision in ruling out homicide. The deputy public prosecutor had also said there were no screams or defensive wounds to prove signs of struggle," he said, adding that there was also no evidence to prove Teoh had committed suicide.

"He showed no signs of depression and was normal and cooperative during investigations."

He said  an open verdict was not satisfactory as it was neither here nor there, but that was the only option the coroner had.

After proceedings, Gobind said he would need to take instructions from Teoh's family  whether to apply for leave to appeal against the High Court's decision.

On Jan 5, coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas delivered an open verdict in Teoh's inquest.

Due to public outcry, a Royal Commission of Inquiry was set up and on July 21, the panel ruled Teoh was driven to suicide due to aggressive questioning by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officers.

Teoh, 30, a political aide to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16, 2009, on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam here.

Umno General Assembly Continues With Debate On President's Speech

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 (Bernama) -- The 2011 Umno General Assembly continued on Friday with the debate on the policy speech of Umno President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Yesterday, eight delegates debated the motion of thanks on the president's speech tabled by Kok Lanas assemblyman, Datuk Md Alwi Che Ahmad.

Seven other delegates are expected to debate the motion today.

Najib, in his speech at the opening of the assembly yesterday, among others, called on party members to close ranks to face the next general election.

Apart from that, 14 other delegates are also scheduled to debate the motion on the economy tabled by Perak's delegate Datuk Idris Hashim and seconded by Puteri Umno delegate Jamilah Hanim Othman.

The five-day assembly began on Tuesday night with a simultaneous launching of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri Umno wing assemblies by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Umno Deputy President.

Lynas: Australian Opposition to raise issue

The Australian Opposition will be raising the issue of Lynas’ rare earth refinery in Pahang with the Australian government, which is “ultimately responsible for issuing the export licences required by the company”.
See letter from the Leader of the Opposition in Australia (click to enlarge):

Africa Investigates - Fool's Gold


With the price of precious metals surging on the world market, Ghana is experiencing a new gold rush as more people try and get access to its most famous export. Unfortunately, much of that effort revolves around unlicensed - and hence illegal - mining operations, known locally as galamsey, which are often funded by foreign speculators and criminals. The potential profits are huge but few if any of the groups and individuals involved will spare a thought for the environmental destruction illegal mining causes or for the safety of workers they hire, on pitiful salaries, to extract the gold on their behalf.

As Ghanaian investigative reporter, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has been discovering, the consequences of this indifference can be tragic. In June 2010 for example, one galamsey operation near Dunkwa-on-Offin, in central Ghana, went disastrously wrong when the mine flooded and 150 people were killed. It devastated the local community, but it was by no means an isolated incident. Often accidents occur when miners build unstable river dams to create a large pool of water, which they can then drain to allow digging down into the soft exposed soil. Unfortunately, the dams can burst and the miners are trapped in oozing mud without any means of getting themselves to safety. Or it can result in widespread local flooding, which devastates local communities.

Galamsey also causes serious environmental problems and water pollution. Many mining operators are now focusing their efforts on the rivers themselves, using specialist imported machinery to suck up mud from the river bed. This is then treated with chemicals, including poisons such as cyanide, lead and mercury, to extract the gold before the waste is deposited back into the rivers. Aside from the dreadful consequences this has for aquatic life, the toxins are absorbed by humans because fish is a necessary food source and the rivers are often the only source of water for drinking and bathing. Dozens of people have died and hundreds more have been poisoned because of the after effects.

The problem of illegal gold mining has become so serious in some parts of Ghana that President John Atta Mills has said that he will take whatever steps are necessary to stop it. But somehow, despite the best efforts of the authorities, who occasionally launch high profile raids to shut the galamsey operations down, illegal mining continues to thrive. Indeed, as this investigation reveals, the operations have proved so lucrative that in parts of Ghana, a wave of Chinese speculators has moved in to provide the funds to hire the workers and import the necessary machinery. At one point Anas goes undercover to work in an illegal mine run by one of these groups, for less than $6 a day, and finds that children are being employed too and in the most primitive conditions.

Anas also discovers, the single most important reason for all this activity, aside from the promise of big profits for the mining operators, is that corruption is allowing it to flourish, even among those who are supposed to be stopping it. At one point, posing as a would-be mine operator who wants to bring in boats and machinery to dredge a river for gold, he finds it is distressingly easy to bribe local police officials to look the other way.

Muslim Love Jihadist brutally murdered his Hindu Wife.

Muslim guy chopped off his Hindu friend ghastly as the later did not lend money to him.

~Upananda Brahmachari from Kolkata.
Within the time frame of last posting in Hindu Existence up-till , the Bengal Jihadists have completed some of their assigned duties so successfully without any objection from police, administration or the so called secular media.

Irrefutable insurgency like iota in Islam and the multitude menace of Bengali Muslims in the last 72 hours made fatal to the Hindu victims in various parts of South Bengal in West Bengal, the perfected ‘Jihad Land’ by the blessings of Mamta Banerjee, the ‘converted Muslim’ (?) Chief minister of West Bengal. The aggrieved and persecuted Hindus in Bengal now a days call Mamta Banerjee as Mamtaz Banu Arjee. Her Trinmool Congress Party,

TMC is now dis-abbreviated as Total Muslim Congress. And the opposition Communist Party, CPIM is nothing but vacant on-lookers as these Muslim hooligans invading Bengal in the “CHANGE”  scenario, once were their own comrades.

In this span of last few hours and days, we have received dreadful news that :

1. Muslim Love Jihadist brutally murdered his Hindu Wife. (Case of Ankita Mondal of Sonarpur, District: South 24 Parganas, who was murdered by Mohammad Salauddin Gazi on 28th Nov. 2011).

2. Muslim friend chopped off Hindu friend out of negating loan. (Case of Samar Adak, a Cork Craftsman brutally chopped off  by Noor Islam Molla on 24 Nov. 2011 at Baramajhipara, P.S. Singur, District: Hooghly).

3. Muslim areas are made as arsenal. Huge arms and ammunition recovered.(Gun, revolvers, bullets, bombs have been recovered from Nalkar & Moukhali  Village of Jibantala Police Station in Canning sub-division).

4. Muslim Politicians want Madrasha Education to destroy secular education system in Muslim Community. (In a Minority Cell Conference organized by Indian National Congress at Diamond Harbour, South 24 Parganas, the Zilla Parisad Sabhadhipati,  South 24 Pgs. Samima Shiekh of TMC categorically expressed her views to expand Madrasha education with a very communal sentiments).

5. Muslim perpetrators planned to loot every Hindu Temple Treasure if possible. ( In Katiahati under Baduria Police Station, North 24 Parganas, Gold ornaments with a valuation over lac of rupees, were stolen from the Deity from an ancient Kali Temple. In the last three months, 100 of Hindu Temples were robbed off in the dead of nights. Police did worthless without almost any recovery of golden and Silver ornament, image of valuable black stone etc.).

Many thing more must not reach us, but 99% News of Muslim Menace and Mission Bengal Jihad are always uncovered by the purchased media of Bengal. Yes, purchased by the Muslim Operators in Bengal everywhere in every sector of Politics, Education, Business, Press & Media and Everywhere.

One can be traumatized to understand the ghastly Jihad Menace in Bengal rapidly coming to the surface without any hindrance. Read something.

Love Jihad wins ultimately.
Muslim husband murdered his Hindu wife brutally.
 
Ankita Mandal, Hindu woman of 19 years, had a love affair with Salauddin Gazi, Muslim guy of 28 years, 4 years ago that resulted to marriage daring all religious differences but little did she know then that her life would come to an abrupt end and the assassin would be none other than her better half. This tragic incident took place at 7 pm, Monday, at Milanpalli, P.S. Sonarpur, suburban area of Kolkata, District: 24 Paraganas (South) and Salauddin, in accordance with police, is at large.

As stated by Ankita’s parents, there was no dearth of mental and physical tortures on Ankita by Salauddin and his other family members. Ankita, what is more, owing to excessive torturing used to come to her parents’ house at regular intervals but thanks to her parents’ efforts, she would return too.

Since torments of alcohol-dependent Salauddin crossed all limits at this time too, Ankita, as usual, left her husband’s residence in Chakberia, Sonarpur and came to her parents’ abode. Salauddin, to take her back to home, came to his in-law’s house on Monday, November 28, 2010,  but Ankita was adamant to not to return anymore. Getting infuriated, Salauddin started black guarding in front of the house and finding no other option to stop this revilement, Mrs. Rekha Mandal, mother of Ankita, leaving behind her two daughters in the house, went to the police station. Father of Ankita, Mr. Dipak Mandal, was not in the house just then, unfortunately.

When Rekha Devi returned with police, she found that Ankita, already murdered, was lying in a pool of blood. Aditi, her younger daughter informed, the moment she went for the police station, Salauddin and Ankita entered into a bitter squabble and Ankita was thrashed inhumanly once more. Salauddin had a sharp knife within his apparel and with it he chopped up Ankita and fled.

Police has found a chopper, believed to be Salauddin’s murder weapon, from the area. On the word of Kankarprasad Barui, Additional Police Super – District: 24 Paraganas (South), hunting is going on to find Salauddin out. Two brothers of Salauddin, alleged to be accomplices, have been picked up.

Ankita Mandal, without doubt, has become latest epitome of victims of Love Jihad.

Thus ends an inter-religious marriage with the death of a Hindu girl. Love Jihad becomes the greatest victor.

Religious bias overshadows longtime friendship.
Muslim friend chopped ghastly Hindu boy for money.
Friendship between a Kaffir and Momin is absurd. SAMAR WAS ATTACKED BY NOOR ISLAM WITH A SHARP SWORD TO SLIT A KAFFIR'S NECK. (Ref : Q : 47.4).

In the district of Hoogly, Samar Adak, a sholapith (Indian Cork)  craftsman by profession, became victim to a wild attack of his Muslim friend (of long duration) Noor Islam on November 24, 2011 evening who was hell-bent to have Rs. 15, 000 Samar was having at that time for his own job. Initially, Noor Islam frantically urged Samar to lend the sum as loan. But Samar could not allow Noor to get the loan as that was withdrawn from Bank by Samar from his own savings for his own business.   Being negated, Noor attacked Samar with a sharp sword targeting Samar’s neck.

The injury as a result of repeated sharp hitting by Noor Islam’s sword was so grave that Samar has been transferred to Calcutta Medical College and his condition is in the balance.

 

Noor Islam has been taken into custody, it’s true. Now the question arises whether Noor gets punished or police considering this as a prank continues to play with Hindu emotion remains to be seen. But the secular preaching of communal harmony by all the Bengal Political Parties and relay any Muslim friends like Noor or Salauddin are very dangerous in all respect to the non-alert Hindus in Bengal.

Arms recovered from Muslim Jihadists in last 72 hours from South Bengal. Report form Police sources : 
1. District-Murshidabad, Police Station-Khargram : Village Surhkhali : Recovered- 3 (Three) Maskets; 13 (Thirteen) Pistols; 8 (Eight) rounds of bullets. Arrested Muslim Criminals : Ainal Shiek (of Mahalandi village), Giyas Sheikh (Gaontala Village), Mansar Shiekh (Gaontala Village). [ Total recovery in November 2011 in Khargram Jihad Dane : Fire Arms 50, 37 bombs/home made grenades, 310 round bullets].             [brt29].

2.  District-South 24 Parganas, Police Station-Jibantala : (a) Village-Nalkara : Recovered- 1 long range Rifle; 25 rounds bullets; 7 live bombs : Arrested Jihadists – Najrul Gayen Molla,  Sayidul Gayen Molla, Saiful Gayen Molla & Sirajul Gayen Molla. (b) Village- Moukhali : Recovered- 3 Rifles; 23 rounds bullets; 7 swords : Arrested Jihadists : Lutfar Molla & Sattar Molla.

As a matter of fact the Muslim perpetrators have fertiled the land of Jihad in West Bengal in the last 34 years of Leftist regime in Bengal. In these last three years of Change phase the ruling TMC is helping the Muslim Jihadists to made a havoc upon the peace loving Hindu people here. Bengal is turning rapidly as a Killing Field of Hindu Kaffirs by the Bangla Jihadists. The graph of Jihad in Mission Bengal Jihad under the camouflage of political rift is so high and drastic, Bengal may be put into a severe situation than Kashmir in a very short span of time.      

“My uncle sold me for 170 dollars to be a suicide bomber”

A senior Afghan intelligence official said up to 60 per cent of the suicide attacks are by minors

By Subel Bhandari & Hares Kakar
Kabul - Sherzai was 13 years old when his uncle sold him to Taliban insurgents for 15,000 Pakistani rupees (170 dollars).

'Then the Taliban told me to carry out a suicide attack,' he said, now in a juvenile correctional facility in Kabul. 'They said I would be a martyr and I would go to paradise.'

Sherzai, a shepherd with no father and a bed-ridden mother, is from Gardez city, the provincial capital of Paktia province that borders Pakistan and is the focus of military operations.

Sherzai escaped shortly after he was sold to the Taliban. But he was arrested, and a court sent him to the centre where he studies and takes vocational training in carpet weaving, tailoring and computers.

He shares his room with nine other children who are in the centre for various offences.
Amanullah, 14, has been there for three months.

He said he was recruited for a suicide mission while studying in a madrassa in the northern province of Kunduz.

Amanullah surrendered to police at the last moment, just before he was to blow up a mosque frequented by Afghan security forces.

Amanullah, like Sherzai, was promised paradise through martyrdom.
'First, I believed but then later I lost my faith,' he told dpa.

'We have evidence that the Taliban have been recruiting children aged 11 to 17 to carry out a range of activities, from armed combat to smuggling of weapons across the Pakistan-Afghan border and planting IEDs (improvised explosive devices),' Dee Brillenburg Wurth, a child rights adviser with the UN in Afghanistan, told the IRIN news website.
On the eve of the Muslim festival Eid-ul Fitr in August, President Hamid Karzai pardoned 20 children, some as young as 7, who were groomed by the Taliban to become suicide bombers.
Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Nov. 30, 2011
Like Amanullah and Sherzai, many children have been lured or forced to become human bombs in the decade-long war, especially since the insurgents turned increasingly to suicide bombings after 2004.

Last year, 1,141 people were killed in 140 suicide attacks, according to the India-based Institute of Conflict Management.

The United Nations in September said the number of civilian deaths caused by bombs and suicide attacks in the first eight months was 177 per cent higher compared to 2010.

The report also said the UN found 'anti-government elements' recruiting children to carry out suicide attacks, plant bombs and smuggle weapons and uniforms.

'We have evidence that the Taliban have been recruiting children aged 11 to 17 to carry out a range of activities, from armed combat to smuggling of weapons across the Pakistan-Afghan border and planting IEDs (improvised explosive devices),' Dee Brillenburg Wurth, a child rights adviser with the UN in Afghanistan, told the IRIN news website.

On the eve of the Muslim festival Eid-ul Fitr in August, President Hamid Karzai pardoned 20 children, some as young as 7, who were groomed by the Taliban to become suicide bombers.

'Our mullah told us that when we perform the suicide attack, everyone around us dies, but we would stay alive,' 9-year-old Ghulam Farooq said.

A senior Afghan intelligence official said up to 60 per cent of the suicide attacks are by minors.
Authorities arrested about 100 underage would-be bombers this year, said Lutfullah Mashal, spokesman for the National Directorate of Security.

'Militants in Afghanistan have been using children as suicide bombers and there is an increase in suicide attacks by minors in the last six months,' Mashal said.

The US-based Human Rights Watch described the phenomenon as an 'egregious affront to humanity.' It said the trend of recruiting children by the Taliban to use as suicide-bombers was 'increasing alarmingly in recent months.'

'Younger and younger children have been involved,' it said.

The Taliban denies using children in suicide missions. Their code of conduct, the Layha, also forbids the use of children in 'jihadic operations.'

Rebel spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid called the reports 'propaganda conspired by the intelligence network against the movement.'

'Yes, there have been many allegations in the media about children being recruited, but we have our own rules and regulations for jihad, and these rules do not give us the permission to encourage underage child for martyrdom missions,' Mujahid told dpa.

He also said they select only the 'fighters with full beard' to fight in the Taliban ranks.

'We have hundreds of martyrdom seekers waiting for their turn. Martyrdom operations are not the work of children,' he said.

Malaysia should be branded an Apartheid state, US lawmakers told


Malaysia should be branded an Apartheid state, US lawmakers toldWritten by  K Suresh, Malaysia Chronicle 

It was first Malayan Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman who once stormed out of a Commonwealth meet in London in May 1960 after thundering that he would not be seated at the same table as the President of Apartheid South Africa.

Ironically, fifty-odd years later, Hindraf Makkal Sakthi the NGO is lobbying Washington to classify Malaysia as an Apartheid state no different from that which once existed in South Africa and which ultimately degenerated into an international pariah.

This is the plea that went out to the US Government in recent days through the Human Rights Foundation Malaysia (HuRiFoM), a United Kingdom-based NGO newly set up by Hindraf to outsource its broader Malaysian Agenda.

HuRiFoM, like Hindraf, is headed by Kelantan-born lawyer, P. Waythamoorthy, whose elder brother P. Uthayakumar, is the pro-tem secretary-general of the Human Rights Party Malaysia (HuRiPaMa).

Waythamoorthy was granted political asylum in London after the Malaysian Government cancelled his passport while he was abroad – “on the grounds of him having terrorist links with the Tamil Tigers” -- and demanded the document be returned to it by whichever country received him upon landing.

Tracing the source of racism

The thrust of Hindraf’s message in a prepared presentation, “Institutional Racism and Religious Freedom in Malaysia”, for Washington is that “Malaysia is not that bubbling, bustling melting pot of races. In reality, it is a country based on a subtle, pervasive and increasingly aggressive form of racism”.

Three US Government bodies -- the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the US State Department, and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission - accepted the Hindraf presentation delivered by HuRiFoM through Waythamoorthy in late Nov.
The conflict that lies just below the artificial calm is so well concealed, according to the presentation, “that someone with not more than a cursory knowledge of Malaysia will find it hard to believe that there exists anything significant otherwise”.

Delving into the source of racism in Malaysia, the presentation belabours the point that the Federal Constitution of Malaysia defines a Malay as a Muslim who habitually speaks the Malay language and practices Malay culture, customs and traditions.

“In reality, as long as a person is a Muslim, he can be Malay, even an illegal immigrant and a foreigner who is a Muslim can be Malay,” points out the presentation.

Syariah Courts take over

At one stroke of the pen, it appears to HuRiFoM, that the Federal Constitution has dispossessed the descendants of the original Malay settlers in Peninsular Malaysia who came after the Orang Asli.

The Malay definition, according to the HuRiFoM presentation, goes hand in hand with a 1988 amendment to Article 121 of the Federal Constitution to make provisions for the recognition of Islamic Syariah Court and/or Laws, and in consequence by deviations and distortions, to implement Syariah laws on non-Muslims whenever there’s a dispute between Muslims and non-Muslims.

HuRiFoM claims that the Judiciary, where the 60 per cent majority Muslims in the country makes up 90 per cent of those on the Bench, “has abdicated its powers to the inferior Syariah Courts”.

The various state policies, in essence, have been creatively crafted and carved into a jigsaw of a reinforcing racist system, continues the presentation. “The state system operates under the protection of official secrecy and a tight hold on the various apparatus of the state”.

There are those who dare to cross the line and when they do, the presentation noted, “they are detained without trial or suffer malicious prosecution”. Evidently, this renders racism in Malaysia opaque and gives the phenomenon a uniquely Malaysian flavour.

The presentation cites various examples of what happens to those who cross the line in Malaysia on religion. Three will suffice:

Rani, 56, was a 16-day old baby when her poverty-stricken Muslim parents gave her up for adoption to a Hindu couple.
When the authorities caught up with Rani several decades after her marriage, Her Hindu husband was forcibly taken away, circumcised and converted after being threatened with a jail sentence. Meanwhile, Rani’s children and grandchildren are all without birth certificates as they are practising Hindus and not Muslims as the authorities want.
S. Banggarma, a mother of two, was “unknowingly” converted to Islam, in contravention of Article 12 of the Federal Constitution, by state religious authorities at the age of 7 while she was housed at a Welfare Home in Penang.
The Civil Court refuses to hear her case and has referred the matter to the Syariah Court. Her marriage to a Hindu, Sockalingam, has not been registered by the authorities and her husband’s name has been excluded from the birth certificates issued to her children. The Syariah Court has yet to hear Banggarma’s case but the decision is expected to be a foregone conclusion against her.
Raimah Bibi is a practising Hindu adopted by Muslim parents.
Her Hindu husband was told 21 years after their marriage that his wife and his six children by her had to be separated from him and placed in a rehabilitation centre by order of the Syariah Court.

Explaining Article 153 and the NEP to Washington

Away from “the creeping Islamisation of Malaysia”, the bulk of HuRiFoM’s presentation is on Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and the New Economic Policy (1970-1990) which had a shelf-life of 15 years and 20 years respectively.
Both Article 153 and the NEP, according to the presentation, not only continue in a deviated and distorted form but cover every aspect of life in Malaysia. Hence, the parallel drawn by Hindraf and HuRiFoM with Apartheid South Africa.

Article 153, it was pointed out, reserves a reasonable proportion for the Orang Asli, the Natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the Malays in four areas only: intake into the civil service, intake into institutions of higher learning owned by the Government and training privileges; government scholarships; opportunities from the Government to do business.

The NEP, an offshoot of the “business opportunities” proviso, was meant among others to ensure that the target groups own, control and manage 30 per cent of the nation’s corporate wealth by 1990.

The reality, complains the presentation, has meant the denial of the legitimate aspirations of the non-Malay communities as pledged under the second prong of Article 153.

Elsewhere, the presentation raises the plight of the Christians in Malaysia, the domination of the civil service and Judiciary by Muslims, rigged elections, illegal immigrants on the electoral rolls, and the continuing disenfranchisement and marginalization of the people of Sabah and Sarawak and Indians.
Malaysia Chronicle

Corruption index: M’sia slides again

The downward trend has continued for three years, and corruption watchdog Transparency International says this is a cause for concern.

KUALA LUMPUR: For the third consecutive year, Malaysia has shown a decline in its Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score. Its 2011 score of 4.3 is slightly lower than the 4.4 recorded in 2010, and significantly lower than the government’s benchmark of 4.9.

Malaysia’s country ranking also declined to 60 of the 183 countries surveyed from 56 in 2010.

Although the CPI decline for the last two years is marginal (0.1 for 2010 and 2011), Prof Mohammad Ali Hassan, deputy president of Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M), opined that the lack of improvement is a cause for concern

“Although there are many things being carried out by the government, we are yet to see the perception index improve. Even with things like Corporate Integrity Pledge launched recently and other initiatives, there still isn’t a marked difference. I wonder why.

“Someone said this might have something to do with perceptions taking longer to materialise. But this is definitely a cause for concern for everyone,” he said.

The index scores 183 countries and territories from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean) based on perceived levels of public sector corruption. It uses data from 17 surveys that look at factors such as enforcement of anti-corruption laws, access to information and conflicts of interest.

Two-thirds of ranked countries scored less than 5. New Zealand ranked first, followed by Finland and Denmark. Somalia and North Korea (included in the index for the first time) were last.

‘A big wake-up call for MACC, Umno’

TI-M secretary-general Josie Fernandez said the score is a big wake-up call to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Umno leadership.

“For the last three years, we have seen a decline despite the efforts made by the government to address growing corruption in the country. This survey results will have implications on our economic development as a nation and country should the levels continue to dip.

“If you look at the countries at the top, you will find that many of them practise the Freedom of Information Act. Are we sending out wrong messages and that is why we are being perceived this way? There was an Arab Spring rising, I think we should be concerned if there is a monsoon here.

“We should be disappointed because previously Malaysia was a 5.0+ (in 2003 Malaysia stood at 5.3). We are in the company of Hungary, Kuwait, Cuba, Turkey, South Africa, Jordan – the 4- something club,” she added.

In the Asean grouping, Malaysia stood at number three while Singapore took top spot with a 9.3 score. At last place is Myanmar with a 1.5 score.

To this Fernandez, said: “Indonesia is moving up fast and showing good improvement mostly because of the political will of the country to improve itself in this area.”

The results were revealed at TI-M’s press conference on the release of the organisations 2011 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) Results and 2011 Corruption Barometer (CB) Results.

‘Haul in the big fish’

TI 1TIM executive council member Ngooi Chiu Ing explained that there is a difference between a CPI and
CB.

The CPI is an expert survey which gets the opinions of business experts and leaders. A CB, however, is survey of the public. The sampling process involved 1,000 people interviewed nationwide. All aspects of interviewees such as location (urban and rural), gender, and education level were taken into consideration. The survey was conducted between Sept 12 and Oct 8.

“The survey found that police and political parties were deemed the most corrupt and 1.2% of those surveyed said they paid bribes compared to the 9% surveyed in 2010. A total of 60% of those interviewed trusted governments leader to fight corruption.

“When we asked them about personal experience of bribery, several candidates said they paid bribes to land officers/registry and permit services for the service of registration of land transfers.”

In response to the survey results, TI-M mentioned its observations to include that penalties for corrupt practices were not severe enough.

“Companies are not held liable when their employees commit corrupt act and enforcement and prosecution of petty corruption cases are increasing. There is also limited access to information (existing Official Secrets Act and lack of a Freedom of information Act), which contributes to a culture of secrecy and lack of transparency,” said Fernandez.

“It’s time to bring the big fish to court and convict them. Doing this will send a very strong message that the country will not tolerate corruption. Stop going after just the ‘ikan bilis’ (anchovies).”

She added that TI-M wants a completely independent MACC.

“Sometimes it seems that they are turning one head and looking at Putrajaya,” she said, alluding to where the offices of the government are located.

“The MACC has to report to Parliament. An improvement should also be seen in the protective framework to encourage more whistleblowers to come forward,” she said.

Defiant committee to rebuild temple

The committee also points the finger at a particular MBSA councillor for last Thursday's demolition of the 25-year-old shrine.

SHAH ALAM: The defiant committee of a temple demolished in Glenmarie here vowed to rebuild the structure at the same site.

Speaking to reporters, committee secretary A Manamohan said: “We did not receive any instructions from the state government, so why would we want to move to a new location?”

Last Thursday, Shah Alm City Council (MBSA) enforcement officers had demolished the shrine which was built some 25 years ago when the area was still a rubber estate.

In 2009, MBSA had sent a notice to the committee and later demolished the temple but it was rebuilt after PKR’s Kapar MP S Manikavasagm brought the matter to the attention of Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

This is the second time MBSA demolished the temple despite the state government sending out a circular stating that local councils cannot act unilaterally on matters related to religion.

Manamohan said the state government should bear the cost of rebuilding the temple.

The committee secretariat also blamed MBSA councillor Izham Hashim as being the person responsible for the latest incident.

“We heard that Izham ordered to demolish the temple because he received complaint about the temple being used for prayers to seek four-digit numbers; this is not true,” he said.

“We want the councillor and the enforcement officers to apologise,” he added, urging the state government to take action against those involved.

Manamohan also took a swipe at executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar for defending MBSA, calling the PKR leader “useless”.

Jayakumar had blamed the temple committee for not checking the status of the land as the temple was sited on a road reserve area.

However, the committee claimed that the land was not for road reserve but designated for a landfill.

“It is a reserve land which is subject to MBSA’s usage. So the exco should check the land status before issuing any statement,” he added.

Earlier, PKR Subang MP R Sivarasa visited the site and promised to raise the matter during the next exco meeting.

“This is clear cut where MBSA is working against the state government’s policy,” he told reporters, calling the matter serious.

Sivarasa said the state government is waiting for MBSA’s report on the demolition.

Also present were Manikavasagam, PKR Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne and PKR Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

Bomb hoax delays journey of 1,200 passengers

Police found empty bottles wrapped in a mat buried close to a bridge.

TAPAH: A bomb hoax forced the closure of 76km of railway tracks between Tanjung Malim and Tapah Road for 12 hours today, halting several train services and delaying the journey of more than 1,200 passengers.

Police ordered Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) to shut down the stretch of tracks at 1.45am following a telephone call that a bomb had been placed at one of the bridges.

Tapah police chief Supt Roslan Bek Ahmad said a bomb disposal unit from the Perak police headquarters conducted a check on the 21 bridges along the stretch, its work hampered by the darkness.

The unit found something buried close to a bridge at Km259.25 near Slim River at about noon, but it turned out to be empty bottles wrapped in a mat, he told a news conference here.

The police then established that there was no bomb and the call was a hoax, he said, adding that police were tracing the caller whose identity they knew.

He said the case was being investigated under Section 505 of the Penal Code pertaining to public mischief which provided for a jail term of up to two years or a fine or both upon conviction.

KTMB marketing manager Mohd Nordin Kimi, when contacted, said KTMB made available 11 buses and four taxis to shuttle stranded passengers between Tapah Road and Tanjung Malim.

In KUALA LUMPUR, KTMB issued a statement saying that more than 1,200 passengers of the Intercity and Electric Train Service (ETS) north of Kuala Lumpur were affected by the incident.

Shuttle buses

The statement said the Ekpres Sinaran Utara (No 10) from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth was cancelled.

It also said that the Ekspres Senandung Langkawi (No 21) and Ekspres Senandung Mutiara (No 23) from the north stopped at the Tapah road and Kampar stations, respectively, and the passengers were taken in buses to the KL Sentral station.

The ETS, involving the ET02, ET24, ET62 and ET26 trains, terminated the service at the Tanjung Malim station and the passengers were taken in shuttle buses to the Tapah Road station, the statement said.

The ET21, ET01 and ET25 trains terminated their service at the Tapah Road station and the passengers were ferried in shuttle buses to the Tanjung Malim station, it added.

The statement said train services were expected to resume fully at 2 pm.

The public can call 1-300-88-5862 for details.

Hindraf wants proof Tamil schools received money

The cash never trickled down to the Tamil schools, claims P Waythamoorthy.

GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf Makkal Sakti has rapped MIC deputy president Dr S Subramaniam for saying that the Putrajaya administration had dispersed RM235 million to Tamil schools since 2008.

London-based Hindraf leader P Waythamoorthy demanded the Human Resources Minister substantiate his claims.

The Hindraf leader rubbished such routine annual announcements on piecemeal basis by MIC leaders as an attempt to enslave the largely Tamil-speaking Malaysian Indian community forever under Umno hegemony.

“This is an absolute lie. The cash never trickled down to the Tamil schools. I challenge Subramaniam to account how much went to which school,” Waythamoorthy said in a press statement.

Subramaniam revealed in an exclusive interview with FMT that the Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government had distributed RM235 million to various Tamil schools in the past three years.

Waythamoorthy said BN government had never resolved issues affecting Tamil schools in 54 years since the country’s independence in 1957.

If BN government was sincere and honest to help Tamil schools, he said it should first dismantle the fully-aided and capital-aided school policy.

He called on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to classify all Tamil schools as fully-aided schools on par with all national schools to ensure equal flow of funding.

“We no longer live in the colonial era where a school needs to be classified as fully-aided or capital-aided.”

‘Furnish evidence’

Waythamoorthy has also called on Subramaniam to furnish evidence to back his claim that the government had created an estate housing scheme to assist plantation workers to purchase houses below RM60,000.

He claimed he could not locate any information on the scheme on any website, including MIC website.

Subramanian has also claimed that 9,000 have registered with the government MyDaftar programme to obtain birth certificates and identity cards.

However, Waythamoorthy remained unconvinced with the federal government efforts to eliminate the stateless status among Indians.

He alleged that some 300,000 Malaysian Indians, including fourth and fifth generations, were stateless.

He took Subramaniam to task for not finding out why only 9,000 had registered under MyDaftar drive.

He claimed that the home ministry’s registration system had made it more difficult for Indians to obtain their rightful status, compared to granting citizenships to Indonesians and Filipino Muslims.

He added they were also denied retirement benefits such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Socso.

He recalled former Selangor menteri besar Khir Toyo had admitted in 2007 that some 20,000 Indian children could not attend schools.

He pointed out that thousands of deserving ethnic Indian students have been denied public tertiary education and scholarships.

Indians, Indonesians Meet in the Art World

Image
The Jogja Biennial
Jogja Biennale mixes art and religiosity
A blurry video in a darkened room, a small ficus bush and a partially obscured screen. Akiq Aw’s exploration of the shadowy world between faiths is both haunting and yet strangely banal as a nondescript and unremarkable man recounts his personal journey from Islam to Christianity. Later a woman describes her path in the opposite direction.

In another room, similarly darkened, the artist Krisnamurti has placed a hijab-wearing woman on the floor. A video is projected across her body. We look on as the ebb and flow of the tide appears to course over her silent, unmoving form. Meanwhile, the near-deafening soundtrack of water crashing on the shore is likewise mesmerizing.

In yet another room, the Indian artist N.S. Harsha has splattered paint on the raw concrete. It’s a diagonal gash that seems to represent both an artist at work (pace Jackson Pollock) as well as Creation itself, as the Big Bang unfurls across the cosmos.

Contemporary art biennales are often an exercise in confusion and dysfunctionality: strange installations, incoherent videos and ugly paintings, reveling in their manifest lack of artistry. But while the recently-opened Jogja Biennale, Yogyakarta’s 11th, has its fair share of non sequiturs, the event is held together by an unflinching curatorial focus, namely the decision to highlight only two countries — India and Indonesia — and one theme: religiosity.

The ensuing result is an exciting and eye-opening survey of art and contemporary concerns from two of Asia’s largest nations: one predominantly Hindu, the other Muslim, and both avowedly secular.

Interestingly, the art from both countries is resolutely centrist and plural. Fears of and concerns about extremism and bigotry are interspersed with pleas for tolerance and mutual understanding with a sideways glance at the gradual erosion and disappearance of the traditional, local myths and folklore. To my mind (but maybe I’m biased since I’ve long been one of the Biennale’s supporters) the ambition and sheer bravado of the venture are quite enthralling.

I like the way that artists, writers and curators from both countries have come together, dispensing with the accepted metropolitan centers of validation and supposed excellence. London, Paris and New York are forgotten as the art displayed creates its own intriguing linkages and juxtapositions between Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Mumbai, Mysore and Delhi.

According to the director of the Biennale Foundation running the operations, the next Biennale will focus on an Arab nation. As Egypt goes through the throes of its own reformasi, I only hope that it’ll be the chosen country, providing a fascinating counterpoint to Indonesia.

Of course, the bonds between India and Indonesia will be hard to equal. The ties between the two are profound and deep — deeper indeed than the bonds that link Indonesia with China. Moreover, on the south-facing plains of Central Java with Mount Merapi as a silent sentinel, the historical and cultural traces of the relationship — Prambanan and Borobudur — remain as haunting presences of an interaction that has spanned the millennia.

In more modern times, India and Indonesia supported each other’s independence movements. Furthermore, in the 1950s and ’60s, Sukarno and Jawaharlal Nehru were the twin pillars of the Non-Aligned Movement. Now, after decades of less intense relations, India and Indonesia are fast regaining interest in each other, as the Biennale demonstrates.

While I’m not sure if the artists themselves realize it, the Biennale suggests that India and Indonesia mean to also assert themselves both culturally and economically. This is going to be the beginning of a marked increase in engagement between the two Asian giants. Recognizing this trend, the Biennale’s organizers made a big point about stressing the documentary aspects of the collaboration and the need to increase Indonesian understanding of India.

Still, the real surprise was the enormous number of art lovers at the Biennale’s opening night. With literally thousands of people cramming into the Jogja National Museum (most of them young students) the city displayed its dynamism and openness to the arts. As the Indian co-curator Suman Gopinath told me, “The sheer number of people is amazing. Besides that, the Biennale shows what you can achieve with limited funds and infrastructure.”

The Jogja National Museum is not the Guggenheim or the Tate Modern. Nonetheless, it has both the art and the audience, an audience that believes in the centrality of human expression and creativity.

(Karim Raslan is a columnist who divides his time between Malaysia and Indonesia.)

Others are 100 times more racist, claims Muhyiddin

Defending an earlier speech which accused DAP of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam, Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin denied it was racist and hit back at his critics, describing them as being “100 times more racist”.

NONEAccording to the deputy prime minister, what he had said was not something different from the historical facts, and instead it could “consolidate the new awareness” among the Malays about the party’s struggle.

“Only someone who is too racist (would think it is racist). When some quarters say something about their own race, he will say it is racist.

“They don’t realise that they are 100 times more racist than us,” he told the media, without mentioning any names, during a press conference today at the Umno annual general meeting (AGM).
During his opening address for the AGMs of Umno Wanita, Youth and Puteri on Tuesday, Muhyiddin accused DAP as an anti-Islam and anti-Malay party which attempted to turn Malaysia into a republic.

He called on members of the three wings to join the party’s struggle which is a jihad for the religion, race and country.

The next day, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang hit back, saying that Muhyiddin’s speech was the “mother of all lies, falsehoods and racism”.

NONEDuring the press conference today, Muhyiddin echoed party president Najib Abdul Razak’s policy speech, in which the prime minister said Umno was not a racist party as it has been sharing power with other BN component parties.

“Although there was a time in history that Umno could form the government by itself in the first general election, we did not do so. We shared power.”

On the contrary, Najib had said, the opposition has shown no proof that its coalition parties can work together.