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Friday, December 9, 2011

New group ABU gangs up against Umno

Scores killed in India hospital blaze

 At least 73 people die in Indian city of Kolkata after fire guts seven-storey medical facility.
 At least 73 people have been killed after a fire swept through a hospital in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, officials have said.

The blaze, which started in the early hours of Friday morning in the basement of the seven-storey AMRI hospital, killed mosty patients, who were trapped by the smoke and flames.

Satyabrata Upadhyay, a senior vice-president of the AMRI hospital company, confirmed 73 people had died, including three hospital workers.

Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister, said "it's a serious offence. We will take the strongest action", suggesting the fire was sparked by criminally negligent behaviour.

As rescuers scrambled to evacuate survivors, police filed a case against the hospital for violating safety procedures.

Authorities believe the fire was triggered by flammable materials such as oxygen cylinders that were stored in the basement.

Sadia Azim, a journalist in Kolkata, said the blaze was a "massive tragedy" for the people and the city.

"It was total chaos [when the fire began]. There was smoke all around," she told Al Jazeera.

Azim said there was was no fire-fighting equipment and that fire alarms did not work.

Moon Moon Chakraborty, who was in the hospital with a broken ankle, called her husband at home to tell him a fire had broken out.

"She had died by the time I reached the hospital," her husband, S Chakraborty, said.

Ahmed Javed Khan, the disaster management minister for West Bengal, told Al Jazeera the toll might increase due to suffocation and asphyxiation.

Smoke hinders rescue

A fire incident at the same hospital in 2008 caused damage but there were no deaths.

Local television channels showed patients being rolled out on stretchers and distraught relatives waiting outside the hospital as a thick layer of smoke engulfed the seven-storey building.

Two dozen fire trucks were sent to douse the blaze and evacuate the building, but thick smoke hindered rescue operations, officials said.

"The hospital is such that neither the ladders nor the fire brigades could get through ... so the rescue operations got a little delayed and in that time the smoke had risen up to the higher levels," Firhad Hakim, the state's urban development minister, told reporters.

In Friday sermon, Jakim warns Muslims against selling out to ‘others’

The sermon appeared to suggest that Muslims who associate with non-Muslims or stand up for non-Muslim causes were betraying their faith. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — The government’s official sermon delivered today suggested that the position of Islam and the royal institution was being questioned because Muslims were selling out the religion to “certain quarters” which it did not name. The sermon appeared to suggest that Muslims who associate with non-Muslims or stand up for non-Muslim causes were betraying their faith, and echoed a few racially divisive views espoused at the recent Umno general assembly.
It was delivered at all mosques today and was prepared by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim).
A copy of today’s sermon — sighted by The Malaysian Insider — appeared to hit out at Muslims who “conspire with certain groups in questioning Islam as the official religion in this country on the excuse of defending the fundamental rights of others” for personal gain.
It described those Muslims as “deviating from the teachings” of Prophet Muhammad, as well as “committing a big sin, oppressing Muslims and threatening national harmony” in the sermon that was to mark the end of Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin’s five year reign as Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.
“Remember, if Muslims lose their integrity, their pride and are manipulated by others, in the end, Islam in this country will suffer the same fate that has befallen other nations where their people were insulted and driven from the country of their birth,” it said.
The sermon did not directly refer to any one person in particular but appears to echo the political rhetoric heard at the Umno general assembly last week.
According to the Jakim sermon, purported attempts to convert Muslims also fall foul of Islam’s exclusive rights under the country’s Constitution.
It urged all Muslims to unite and uphold the constitutional monarchy system, reminding them that without a ruler, the administration of religion would be chaotic and would cause animosity.
“Avoid involvement in any action that could potentially threaten or pollute the royal institution and disputes what is contained in the Constitution, including that which pertains to Islam as the country’s religion,” it added.

Najib should not protect a fallen woman

'People First, Performance Now' has been replaced by 'Cover-ups in corruption'.

It is doubtful that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak believed a word of what he said, in the closing ceremony of Umno’s 2011 general assembly last week.

He claimed to have achieved his four objectives for the party conference: Umno was united, the party was geared up for the 13th general election, delegates fully supported the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Umno can be relied upon to provide a better future for the rakyat.

If Najib wants to earn the respect of the rakyat, he should assume leadership and address the financial irregularities which have embroiled members of his Cabinet.

The government website claims that the GTP would address “priorities that matter most to the rakyat”. With “1Malaysia” in mind, it is said to focus on “People First, Performance Now”.

Family, Women, and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil defended her role in the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal, where RM250 million of taxpayers’ money was alleged to have been misappropriated by her husband and three children.

Shahrizat’s denials and her cries of having “nothing to do with it”, will have cost Najib votes. Her arrogance has dented public confidence in Najib, despite the outward show of support by delegates.

The rakyat has been told to tighten their belts. However, it is the taxpayer who has subsidised Shahrizat and her family’s luxurious lifestyle – the RM800,000 on overseas holidays, two luxury apartments costing RM14 million, a RM534,000 Mercedes and RM30,000 for her husband and son to perform the haj.

Perhaps, at the end of this debacle, the taxpayer will have to bail her and the government out. Again.

Najib and his ministers rallied around Shahrizat at the party conference. Despite his claim of a united front, his avoidance of the issue may precipitate his own downfall. The drip-drip exposures of large-scale corruption, involving Umno-BN politicians is like a dam with large cracks in it.

“People First, Performance Now” has been replaced by “Cover-ups in corruption”.

The irresponsible Shahrizat used the Wanita Umno platform to defend herself. She said, “I am being patient, as a woman I have to be calm… they (Pakatan Rakyat) are doing this because they are afraid of Wanita Umno’s strength.”

This project is not Wanita Umno’s doing but had all the fingerprints of Shahrizat and her family’s greed. She even tried to drag the integrity of women, into this scandal.

Covering up the mess

Shahrizat accused the opposition of scheming to undermine Umno. She forgot that it was the Auditor-General’s Report on the national audit which alerted us to the abuse of funds in the NFC.

Senior politicians – from Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, and former premier, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, right down to Umno Youth leader, Khairy Jamaluddin – were prepared to sink into the mire, to cover up the mess.

Even the police had a part in this drama. They claimed that there was no criminal breach of trust in the NFC scandal. Haven’t they jumped the gun by being investigator, judge and jury?

Umno is in a bind. Shahrizat must be protected at all costs. Najib knows that if one minister were to fall, the other ministers would be at risk, too. His own position is precarious.

Najib realises that his authority over the more recalcitrant Umno members, grows weaker by the day. However, as long as they stick together, their corrupt deeds need never be revealed. Najib knows that he cannot sacrifice anyone, just yet, because he has no control over them once they are out of his inner circle.

At best, Najib can only hope that the whole thing will blow over. But it won’t.

PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar charged Umno with scaring the Malays into believing that the DAP would erase Malay rights.

He said, “Don’t come to a point where we (Malays) become fearful of DAP, and then RM250 million disappears from National Feedlot Corporation.

“Afraid of DAP, RM52 billion worth of Bumiputera shares shrinks to RM2 billion… afraid of DAP, RM1.8 billion given to (former MAS CEO) Tajuddin Ramli goes missing… afraid of DAP, RM32 billion vanishes from the Hardcore Poverty Development programme (PPRT).”

In contrast, Ahmad Maslan, a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, warned delegates about the DAP. He said: “The Malay language will be lost, say goodbye to the Malay Sultans… say goodbye to Islam.”

Ahmad also claimed that should the opposition triumph in the 13th geneal election, the DAP would “not respect the royal institution” and that these “agents of Christianisation” would result in “Malays losing power”. He painted a portrait of a country where the Chinese monopolised the country’s politics and economy.

No jobs in kampungs

A village elder, who was asked to comment about the developments in the general assembly, said, “Despite being in power for over 54 years, Umno made only a few Malays rich beyond their wildest deams. But not the majority. Look around you. Look at this village, or what is left of it.

“This kampung was once a thriving community. Our smallholdings and agricultural produce sustained us. But it saw a decline in the past two decades.

“Homes are abandoned, there are no jobs in the kampungs. The old moved to the towns and cities to be with their children. This is a ghost village. Even politicians stopped turning up before elections.

“The leaders ripped up our communities. First, they took away our lands and gave concessions to the big companies. These big businesses expected us to be their cheap labourers. When we refused, they brought in the foreign workers. We are priced out of our own lands, our own heritage and our livelihood.

“We continue to give Umno our support. Why, I wonder?”

At the party conference, Najib claimed that the rakyat should entrust their future to Umno. Shahrizat said that the opposition was “jealous” of Umno. And Ahmad claimed DAP was racist while Muhyiddin said Umno was not.

Despite the assurances of Najib and the Umno high command, the party appears troubled and insecure.

Ahmad, the Umno information chief, referred to a “hung Parliament”. He sounds insecure and appears to lack confidence in his party.

Perhaps, when things really slide and his own position becomes untenable, Najib may want to save his own skin and only then discard some of the old baggage.

Mariam Mokhtar is an FMT columnist.

Penang DAP told not to lose sight of real enemy

Selangor DAP proposes a truce and a state level emergency meeting to end the Ramasamy- Karpal Singh spat.
PETALING JAYA: The Selangor DAP, saying enough is enough, wants an immediate truce to the fued involving Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.
Selangor DAP vice chairman Charles Santiago, along with state committee members senator S Ramakrishnan and T Kannan, made the call today.
“The fighting factions need to have an immediate truce. They should no longer wash dirty linen in the public,” said Santiago, who is Klang MP.
He said this in reaction to public spat between Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy and factions supporting party national chairman Karpal Singh.
On Monday, Karpal questioned Ramasamy, who is also party deputy secretary general, for announcing that the party had decided to field three Indian women – D Kamachi, Kasturi (daughter of the late DAP stalwart P Patto), and an unknown lawyer from Penang, K Mangleswari.
Ramasamy was also quoted by Tamil daily Makkal Osai as saying that parliamentarians M Kulasegaran (Ipoh Barat), Charles Santiago (Klang) and M Manogaran (Teluk Intan), and assemblyman A Sivanesan (Sungkai) were virtually certain of contesting in the coming general election.
Karpal also warned party leaders against becoming political warlords by circumventing the leadership to promise and announce seats for their cronies.
Ramasamy however denied that Karpal had targetted him but had said that DAP should get rid of not only warlords but godfathers as well.
State leaders aligned to Karpal had then started criticising Ramasamy for trying to undermine Karpal.
The enemy is BN
“The Penang state leadership should call for an emergency meeting to resolve problem immediately,” said Santiago.
In addition, the Selangor DAP leaders also reminded their Penang counterparts not to tarnish the position of the Deputy Chief Minister II post which was given to an Indian.
“The position (of DCM II) is an honour to the Indian community. Do not tarnish the position,” said Santiago.
He also urged the Penang DAP Indians to save their energy for a bigger battle against the Barisan Nasional in the upcoming general election.
“The spat only serves to reduce confidence in the state leadership and this is bad since Penang is a model state,” said Santiago.
Demo put off, table talk cancelled
Meanwhile a scheduled round table talk tonight at the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in Komtar, Penang, to end the ‘Ramasamy fiasco’ has been called off.
Seri Delima assemblyman RS Nethaji Rayer, who was called up to attend the table talk, said he had received a text message from Penang DAP secretary and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik confirming its cancellation.
“No reasons were given however. But the grassroots delegates will raise their grouses at the state DAP convention this Sunday. Ng, the Komtar assemblyman, could not be reached for comments.
Earlier, a group of DAP grassroots leaders and members cancelled a scheduled demonstration against Ramasamy outside the state office.
Rayer said the protest was cancelled following directives from Lim, Karpal and veteran Lim Kit Siang.
Instead the group was told that a meeting had been arranged tonight to reach a truce among warring parties and end the fiasco. But now it has been called off.

Is Malaysia’s public service bloated?

Malaysia has 1.4m public servants (ILO, 2008) for a population size of 28.7m. They make up 4.9 per cent of the population.
It is difficult to do cross-country comparisons because of the differences in definition of public servants, but let’s have some fun anyway and use the latest ILO figures for public servants against the current population obtained from Google. You can get the labour statistics by country from the ILO website.
The UK public sector has 6.1m employees (ILO, 2009) serving a population of 62.2m. That works out to 9.8 per cent.
Let’s look at Canada. It has 3.4m public servants (ILO, 2008) serving a population of 34.1m. That’s nearly 10 per cent.
Thailand has 3.4m public servants (ILO, 2008) for 69.1m people. Works out to 4.9 per cent. Almost similar to Malaysia.
Difficult to do a similar comparison for Singapore as the ILO only provides figures for the general government sector and not the entire public sector.
Australia has 1.8m public sector employees (ILO, 2009) for a population of 22.3m or 8.1 per cent.
Malaysia might not look half bad when we compare with these developed countries, but don’t forget we also have the staff in our numerous GLCs.
I suppose at the end of the day, the number of staff is one thing, but other factors that are equally if not more important are their efficiency; adequacy of funding (e.g. in education and health care); effectiveness and quality of the personnel and the delivery services; and how prevalent corruption and wastage is. For that, we have a long way to go to match some of the other countries mentioned above.

Let all hell break loose, says Ramasamy

(Malaysiakini) An embattled P Ramasamy has hit back at a party comrade who had accused him of “begging” for the post of Penang Deputy Chief Minister II after the 2008 general election.
NONERamasamy (right) said the question of begging for the DCM post did not arise as the battle for more Indian representation in the state government had taken place earlier - in the DAP’s central executive committee (CEC) right after the polls.
He admitted visiting Karpal in  hospital at that juncture, with party colleague RSN Rayer, as the veteran lawyer had not attended the CEC meeting where the matter was discussed.
“When I talked to him about the DCM post for an Indian, I did not mean it for myself. I asked it for the Indian community, I did not have to beg for it”, he told Malaysiakini.
“Whether Karpal spoke to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng or not after that, I do not know,” added the Penang DAP deputy chief.
“I am in DAP not for position or power but because I want to fight for a cause. I left my job as a lecturer because I spoke my mind. Is DAP going to take action against me because I spoke my mind?” he queried.
‘Personality cult must be eradicated’
Ramasamy expressed “sadness and disappointment that Rayer had stooped so low as to condemn him for a general remark about godfathers, just to curry favour with Karpal, the Bukit Gelugor MP.
“It is exactly this kind of personality cult and politics of intimidation that must be eradicated from the DAP,” said Ramasamy, who is currently in Kuala Lumpur for an official meeting.
NONEWhen told that Rayer (left) has vowed to raise the matter in an explosive manner at Sunday’s state DAP convention, Ramasamy replied firmly: “I will not bow to intimidation, I will stand firm. If all hell breaks loose in the state convention, as Rayer says it will, so be it. I will face it.”
The row between the leaders began when Karpal said that the DAP should not have warlords who would promise and announce seats for the general election for their cronies ahead of the central executive committee’s decision.
He said this in response to Tamil dailies that quoted Ramasamy as supposedly announcing seats for his supporters, to which Ramasamy replied that DAP too should not have “godfathers”.
This irked Rayer - a state committee member - and Bagan Dalam assemblyperson A Thanasekharan, who demanded that Ramasamy identifies the godfathers and retracts and apologise to Karpal for his controversial remark.
‘Being a godfather is not a bad thing’
However, Ramasamy warned that just as there were members upset with him about his remarks, there were also those who are “sympathetic to my cause”, and to his contributions to the Indian community in Penang.
Asked if he would apologise to Karpal and retract his statement, Ramasamy said the matter did not arise, and he denied saying anything wrong to upset the senior leader.
“I did not say that being a godfather is a bad thing. I did not mention anyone in particular when I mentioned the word ‘godfather’,” he said.
“Just as Karpal used the word ‘warlords’ generally (to mean those who promise seats for their cronies), so I used the word godfathers," he added.
Ramasamy blamed Rayer and Thanasekharan for kicking up a storm after the matter had settled down when Karpal said “godfathers were necessary”, and he had accepted it without response.
He urged the two leaders not to stoop so low, although they may need Karpal’s help as both leaders do not have grassroots support.
“These YBs do not do much constituency work and have to depend on senior leaders for support,” claimed Ramasamy.
It is understood that DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang has called on the feuding leaders to douse the crisis before the party’s state meeting on Sunday.
Ramasamy said that following the advice of Kit Siang,  he has decided not to prolong the issue any longer and would cease responding to any further debate.

In an immediate response, Rayer lashed out at Ramasamy for lying over the DCM post.

"He is a liar. I have witnesses who heard him begging, they are Thanasekharan and my bodyguard S Magen. He cannot deny that he begged the post for himself. He is lying now," said Rayer, who called Malaysiakini to give his response.

Martyr Maria Goretti of Pakistan on sale under Islamic sharia

Islamabad: December 5, 2011. (PCP) A Christian girl named Mariah Manisha killed by a Muslim on defying enforced conversion and Islamic marriage was put on sale under Islamic Sharia law of “Compensation” by rich influential family of killer and Islamic clerics in Pakistan.

A Catholic Christian girl named Mariah aged 18, was allegedly kidnapped on gunpoint by a Muslim named Mohammad Arif Gujjar on November 27, 2011, when she was on way to get drinking water with her mother.

Mohammad Arif Gujjar accompanied with his Muslim friends dragged Mariah Bibi in front of her mother shouting loudly “You are a beautiful girl and must convert to Islam to be my wife” which Mariah Bibi denied and cried for help.

Mohammad Arif Gujjar became furious on denial of Mariah Bibi to accept

Islam and shot her killing instantly and forced her mother Razia Bibi to run away to save her life.

Mariah Bibi was living in a village of Samundari with her five siblings, mother Razia Bibi and Father Manisha Masih.

The killer Mohammad Arif was arrested and local Muslim elders visited Manisha Masih to condole death of Mariah Bibi to express solidarity with grieved Christian family.

The Catholic Diocese of Faisalabad immediately called Mariah Bibi “Martyr of Faith’ and forward it to Vatican for inclusion in list of Martyrs.

The Christian media called Maria Bibi to be “Martyr Maria Goretti of Pakistan” to remember her martyrdom.

Shafi Nohammad Gujjur, father of Arif Mohammad Gujjur is influential landlord of the area and has contacts with politicians in government.

A delegation of Islamic clerics and influential Muslims is visiting Manisha Masih and pressing him to accept “Blood Money” according to Islamic Sharia laws to pave way for release of killer Mohammad Arif Gujjur.

Under Islamic Sharia law “Diyyiat” which means Compensation or Blood Money to victims family and forgiveness of crime and criminal.

Manisha Masih, father of Mariah Bibi “Martyr of Faith” had openly vowed punishment for the killer of her daughter but after frequent visits of Islamic cleric’s delegation to accept “Diyyiat” for her daughter has raised his agony.

Kontraktor ditembak mati: Suhakam digesa buat inkuiri

Fernandes says to exit as AirAsia boss ‘soon’

SEPANG, Dec 8 — AirAsia boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said today he may step down as chief of Asia’s largest budget carrier soon.
According to Bernama, he dropped the hint at AirAsia’s 10th anniversary bash here today but did not provide an exact timeline.
“Next 10 years (there) will be a new CEO. My time is coming to an end soon,” he told reporters when asked where the airline will be in 10 years.
“Yes, all three of us (chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar and deputy chief executive officer Datuk Kamaruddin Meranun) will have to go together.”
The trio bought AirAsia a decade ago from DRB-Hicom for a token sum of RM1 and its liabilities when it was just a two-plane operation.
Fernandes explained that leadership was about bringing new people onboard and that AirAsia was coming to a point where there would be an “inevitable” change in leadership.
“Good leadership is to know when to go and to refresh the organisation with young and energetic leaders,” he said.
The airline’s new bosses will have to keep to its aspirations to keep fares low and explore most of the Asian region, he stressed.
Fernandes said he has yet to identify a potential successor but hinted it would be an internal change.
Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad owns 10 per cent of AirAsia after a share swap with Fernandes’ company Tune Air Sdn Bhd, which now holds 20.5 per cent of flag carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS). Both Fernandes and Kamaruddin are also non-executive directors in MAS.
Loss-making MAS is now going through another turnaround plan with new management despite two earlier turnaround plans.
The new plan includes setting up a super premium regional airline which will not compete with AirAsia. The low-cost carrier also has operations in Thailand, Indonesia and soon in the Philippines and Japan.
Fernandes has used his fortune made from AirAsia’s success to venture into owning a Formula One racing team named Caterham F1 Team and the Queens Park Rangers football team playing in the English Premier League. He is also said to be looking to launch Caterham Jet, a premium business jet service, next year.

KLCC threatens flashmob organisers with injunction

The organisers however say they will urge their friends to wear yellow and shop for yellow items at the KLCC this Saturday afternoon.

PETALING JAYA: The organisers of a protest campaign against the Peaceful Assembly Bill have been forced to change their activity from holding a flashmob to shopping for yellow items this Saturday after a legal threat from the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) management today.

The organisers of the Free to Assembly campaign were issued legal notice via Facebook today by lawyers representing the KLCC management, stating that they will be applying for a court injunction to stop the flashmob from taking place this Saturday.

KLCC management – which runs the Suria KLCC shopping complex and the KLCC Park – is claiming that the two previous protest gatherings by the opponents of the Peaceful Assembly Bill have disrupted business operations of the tenants ot KLCC.

The lawyers for the KLCC management added that it has come to their knowledge that another gathering is to be held this Saturday at the KLCC shopping centre and that this had raised concerns among the tenants.

The lawyers urged the organisers – seven of whom they had named in their legal letter – to immediately revoke their invitations to others to participate in the gathering.

They added that they have noted that so far 3,555 people have been invited through the Facebook and have urged the organisers to similarly uninvite these people from gathering.

The lawyers said that if the organisers failed to do so in 24 hours, they will then take all necessary action, including filing an application for an injunction to restrain the organisers from proceeding with the gathering on Saturday.

Organisers unmoved, to buy yellow items

However in an immediate reaction, the organisers said that they will not be stopped from gathering at a public place.

They also said that the attempt by the KLCC management was perhaps the first time in Malaysia, if not also the world, “where a flashmob is seen as a major threat that warrants a court injunction”.

“We reject completely the KLCC’s accusation that our gatherings in the KLCC could have had “eroded and impeded the regular shoppers and visitors and members of the public to the premises and thereby disrupted the business operations of [the KLCC’s] tenants”.

“None of the tenants operate in the KLCC Park. Rather than disrupting their businesses, our friends who attended have supported them by spending in the mall,” they said in a statement today.

The organisers said that they will not stop inviting their friends to gather public places, adding that they will not respond to the 24-hour notice by the KLCC.

“They may feel free to apply for court injunction,” said the organisers.

The organisers said that they will not be calling their gathering as a flashmob but instead will invite their friends to wear yellow and shop for yellow items at the KLCC this Saturday afternoon.

“Until proven wrong, we believe that Malaysians are also free to take photos with their yellow purchases in front of the beautiful Christmas trees in the KLCC at 2pm without police permits.

“The Saturday event is therefore renamed as ‘Malaysians Can Go Shopping & Pose with Xmas Trees without Police Permit’,” they said.

The organisers also said that they will continue to organise creative public gatherings to create awareness of the rigid rules of the Peaceful Assembly Bill.

Shutters down in Brickfields for an hour tomorrow

The Brickfields business community says this is in protest at the sudden change in the flow of traffic along Jalan Tun Sambanthan.

KUALA LUMPUR: The business community of Brickfields is up in arms against the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for adding more confusion by changing the traffic flow along Jalan Tun Sambanthan.

Traders here are fed up with DBKL for turning part of Jalan Tun Sambanthan into a contra-flow lane without warning on Dec 1.

And to show their anger and frustration, businessess in Brickfields will shut down in protest for one hour tomorrow.

Little India Action Committee (LIAC) chairman S Pathavachalam said that the traffic flow change was one among many creating heavy congestion in the area, chasing away customers as a result.

“They have never consulted the business community in this matter,” the local businessman told a press conference, referring to the Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being Ministry.

Pathavachalam added that more than 300 businesses were expected to close down their shops from 11am to 12pm tomorrow.

He was accompanied by Lembah Pantai MP (PKR) Nurul Izzah Anwar, and several other businessmen.

The contra-flow change only allow buses and taxis to pass through part of the one-way Jalan Tun Sambanthan from 6am to 8pm everyday. Buses would not be allowed to turn into Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad.

Claiming that locals here were not informed of the changes, Pathavachalam said that many – including hundreds at the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB), and schoolchildren – were put at risk.

“We’re not against anyone, but we want to show our grievances… If DBKL doesn’t take action, then we will do it for more hours the next time, like half-a-day,” he said.

Improper planning

Targeting FT Minister Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin and his deputy M Saravanan, Nurul accused the DBKL of improper traffic planning in the area.

The lack of warning given to people here, she said, resulted in traffic accidents taking place.

“In any traffic dispersal plan, the needs of the locals need to be taken into account. But the needs of the people of Brickfields have been cast aside, at what cost?” she said.

Nurul also pointed out that five traffic accidents had happened in the 48 hours following the changes.

She then demanded that the government bring in an independent traffic dispersal expert to find a solution over the matter.

“We need a short-term solution because right now, (the situation) is not tenable,” she said.

Speaking to FMT, some of the traders have claimed that they have suffered as much as a 70% drop in revenue.

They attributed this to the transformation of Brickfields into Little India, a development undertaken by Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB) in mid-2010.

Slain businessman’s widow turns to Suhakam

S Janaky refuses to believe the police's version that her husband was attempting to rob a pub when a policeman gunned him down.

KUALA LUMPUR: The widow of a slain businessman has refused to accept the police’s version that her husband was attempting to rob a pub when he was shot dead.

In view of this, S Janaky together with Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvan, submitted a memorandum to Suhakam calling for an urgent public inquiry.

On Sept 14, P Kathir Oli, 31, was gunned down by policeman Cheah Yew Teik outside the pub in Ipoh.

Speaking to reporters here, Janaky rubbished the statement by Perak police chief Mohd Shukri Dahlan that the her husband and three of his friends had attempted to rob the premises.

“He was a famous contractor in Ipoh. All my four kids are studying in an international school. So why should he rob a pub?” she asked.

According to Shukri, the policeman had rushed to the pub after hearing the owner screaming for help and spotted Kathir and his friends armed with parangs and spanners.

Cheah had allegedly shot Kathir when the deceased lunged towards him with the parang. The other three suspects were remanded for 11 days and later freed without being charged.

Janaky asked how was it possible for the policeman to hear the owner’s cries for help when the distance between the police station and the pub was about one kilometre.

She also pointed out that the police had yet to produce the parang and spanners which her husband and his friends had allegedly used.

Apart from this, Janaky also questioned why the police did not charge the other three for attempted robbery.

“The police’s version creates the impression that the incident happened inside the pub but my husband was shot outside,” she said, adding that something was amiss since the pub owner had also refused to file a police report on the so-called robbery.

‘Same old screenplay’

Agreeing with Janaky that the police’s version aroused suspicion, Arutchelvan said: “It seems like the police always uses the same old screenplay every time they shoot someone.”

He also took the state police chief to task for issuing a statement within 24 hours of the incident.

“This is clear cut that the police released their version even before they investigated the witnesses and family members,” he said.

Suhakam commissioner Muhammad Shaani Abdullah, who received the memorandum, was also puzzled by the post-mortem report which stated that Kathir was shot at point blank range, with the barrel of the gun pressed against the deceased’s chest.

Shaani, who stressed that the police must adhere to the UN guidelines of using firearms against civilians, wondered how this was possible when the deceased was alleged to be wielding a parang.

Kita tetap bertanding pilihan raya

Parti itu akan meletakkan calon di kawasan di mana peluang Barisan Nasional dan Pakatan Rakyat untuk menang adalah seimbang.

PETALING JAYA: Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanan Air (Kita) tetap bertanding dalam pilihan raya umum ke 13 (PRU13) akan datang tetapi di kawasan tertentu sahaja, kata AJK Pusat Zamil Ibrahim.

Parti itu, katanya akan meletakkan calon di kawasan di mana peluang Barisan Nasional (BN) dan Pakatan Rakyat untuk menang adalah seimbang.

Sehubungan itu, Pengerusi Kita Kedah menolak laporan media bahawa parti itu tidak akan bertanding dalam PRU13.

“Saya dapat pengesahan dari Presiden Datuk Zaid Ibrahim dan beliau menegaskan parti tetap akan bertanding.

“Namun begitu sehingga ini, Kita di negeri-negeri tidak menerima apa-apa arahan dari pucuk pimpinan tinggi supaya tidak menggerakkan jentera parti dan mengenal pasti calon-calon,” katanya kepada FMT hari ini.

Menurut Zamil, Kita tidak akan bergabung dengan BN mahu pun Pakatan dalam menghadapi PRU13.

PRM has not confirmed on creating Third Force with NGOs, says President

(Malaysian Digest) - Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) President Dr Rohana Ariffin today said that the party has not confirmed any move to join forces with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to offer itself as the 'third force' for the next general election.

Referring to a statement made by PRM's vice-president Koh Swe Yong in the Sun Daily yesterday, Dr Rohana said it was a statement made in his own capacity, and not a statement by PRM's central administration.
"Not a statement made by the party... it's a statement made by Koh's own capacity.

"The authenticity of PRM comes from statements made by the party's three leaders – president, deputy president and the secretary-general," she said when contacted by Malaysian Digest today.

She said, as far as the party is concerned, the decision to work with other groups is still in the process of discussion. She added that the same goes for the decision on the three parliamentary seats in Balik Pulau, Selayang and Petaling Jaya Selatan as to whether it is just a suggestion or an open negotiation because the party wishes to avoid three-cornered fights.

"We are still in the process of negotiation and have not confirmed anything yet... We are still working it out," she said when asked to comment on the possibility of the party working together with NGOs and contesting in the three parliamentary seats.

Nevertheless, Dr Rohana said other parties should not misconstrue the party's suggestion to contest in the general election.

However, she said for now PRM is planning to reestablish the party again by reactivating the branches in few states of the country.

"But for now our main focus is to rebuild the party by activating its branches in various states including Kedah, Penang, Pahang and Johor," she said.

Yesterday, the Sun Daily reported a statement from Koh that PRM is planning to join forces with more than 10 NGOs to offer themselves as the third force in the next general election.

However, according to a report in China Press on Dec 5, the third force’s (parties not under Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat) candidates will be contesting under the PRM banner, and the party has identified three parliamentary seats in the Klang Valley to contest in.

Apabila Sistem Kehakiman Rapuh: Di Mana Keadilannya?

Saya tidak mengetahui apa yang sebenarnya berlaku, saya juga tidak tahu sejauh mana kebenaran pihak yang mendakwa mahupun kebenaran pihak yang membela DSAI. Tetapi saya beriman yang Allah Maha Mengetahui, Maha Berkuasa dan Maha Pemutus. Saya beriman yang banyak perkara di dalam hidupan dunia yang kebenarannya bersifat nisbi; kecuali kebenaran mutlak yang menyelamatkan , ianya berpunca dari perkhabaran Allah dan Rasul-Nya.

Bagaimanapun ketika membaca al-Quran dalam usaha mengkhatam al-Quran dalam bulan Ramadan yang mulia ini pada minggu yang telah berlalu, ayat ke 71 Surah Yunus terlekat di ingatan saya sehingga kini, ketika membacanya saya terlintas "apakah terdapat persamaan antara message terkandung di dalam ayat ini dengan keadaan yang dihadapi oleh DSAI?" - "Apakah sehinggakan perkara semasa sebeginipun, begitu jelas persamaannya dengan message di dalam al-Quran?" - "Atau kerana kecenderungan tertentu, maka saya pun sengaja mahu melihat dari sudut yang melegakan lantas mengiyakan perhitungan saya?" -

واتل عليهم نبأ نوح أذ قال لقومه ياقوم أن كبر عليكم مقامى وتذكيرى بئايات الله فعلى الله توكلت فأجمعوا أمركم وشركاءكم ثم لا يكن أمركم غمة ثم اقضوا ألى ولا تنظرون

"Dan bacalah (ya Muhammad) ke atas mereka (kaum kafir Makkah) berita tentang Nuh. Ketika dia berkata kepada kaumnya: "wahai kaumku, jikalaulah menjadi keberatan (ancaman) besar ke atas kamu dengan kehadiran (kedudukan) aku (di kalangan kamu) serta peringatan yang aku beri dari ayat-ayat Allah, maka kepada Allah lah aku bertawakkal. Maka (oleh itu) sepakatkan keputusan di kalangan kamu serta sekutu-sekutu kamu (untuk memusnahkan aku), kemudian janganlah jadikan perkara kamu itu kabur (terselindung; berterus terang sahaja lah tentang tujuan kamu ), kemudian laksanakan atas aku (apa-apa yang telah kamu putuskan itu) dan jangan kamu bertanggung-tangguh lagi".

Perkara yang sama juga telah dinyatakan oleh tukang-tukang seher di zaman Saiyyidina Musa, apabila mereka sudah tahu maksud perbicaraan yang mereka akan lalui, ugutan siksaan yang dikenakan atas mereka oleh Firaun. Mereka mengungkapkan dengan penuh keimanan dan ketegasan, kenyataan itu telah diabadikan oleh al-Quran dalam ayat 71-72 Surah Taha :

قالوا لن نؤثرك على ما جاءنا من البينات والذى فطرنا فاقض ما أنت قاض أنما تقىضى هذه الحيوة الدنيا أنا ءامنا بربنا ليغفر لنا خطايانا وما أكرهتنا عليه من السحر والله خير وأبقى

Mereka (tukang-tukang sihir yang kemudiannya telah memeluk Islam ) berkata: Kami sekali-kali tidak akan melebihkan (ugutan) engkau atas bukti-bukti yang nyata (tentang kebenaran Saiyyidina Musa) yang telah datang kepada kami dan daripada (Allah) yang menjadikan kami; maka berhukumlah dengan keputusan yang telah engkau putuskan, sesungguhnya engkau hanya berhukum pada kehidupan di dunia ini (sahaja; kerana kelak kamu juga akan menerima hukuman) . Sesungguhnya kami telah beriman kepada Tuhan kami, semoga Dia mengampuni kami bagi kesalahan-kesalahan kami dan apa yang engkau paksa ke atas kami dalam melakukan sihir, sesungguhynya Allah lebih baik (balasan -Nya) dan lebih kekal (siksaan-Nya)
Allah juga merakamkan kenyataan Saiyyidina Hud yang dimusuhi oleh orang kafir kerana mereka mengatakan baginda menghina sembahan-sembahan mereka, Saiyyidina Hud menyatakan dalam ayat 55-56 Surah Hud:

قال أنى أشهد الله واشهدوا أنى برىء مما تشركون من دونه فكيدونى جميعا ثم لا تنظرون أنى توكلتو على الله ربى وربكم ما من دابة ألا هو ءاخذ بناصيتها أن ربى على صراط مستقم

Saiyyidina Hud berkata: "sesungguhnya aku bersaksi kepada Allah dan bersaksilah oleh kamu sekelian bahawa sesungguhnya aku berlepas diri dari apa yang kamu syirikkan selain daripada-Nya, oleh itu laksanakan tipu daya sekelian kamu ke atas aku, janganlah kamu bertangguh lagi (laksanakan segera perancangan kamu), sesungguhnya aku telah bertawakkal kepada Allah Tuhanku dan Tuhan sekelian kamu, Tiada suatu binatangpun yang melata kecuali Allah yang memegang ubun-ubunnya, sesungguhnya Tuhanku di atas Jalan Yang Lurus.

Dalam rakaman kenyataan-kenyataan di atas , kita dapat perhatikan gambaran menyeluruh tentang suasana apabila sistem kehakiman (pemutus hukum) tidak lagi bersikap objektif; sudah ada hukuman yang telah sedia dirancang untuk dihukum tanpa mengira kekuatan hujjah bagi pihak yang dituduh. Kemungkinan juga pihak penguat-kuasa peraturan dan beberapa pihak lain bersekutu dan berserongkol dalam menentukan yang dituduh akan tetap dihukum dengan hukuman yang telah diputuskan sebelum perbicaraan. Maka ketika itu apa lagi maknanya penghujjahan dan segala pembuktian, kerana hukuman bukan lagi bergantung atas hujjah tetapi mengikut pihak yang berkuasa.

Dalam keadaan itulah Rasul dan orang yang teguh imannya meminta pihak yang sedemikian agar tidak bertangguh-tangguh lagi, berselindung di sebalik 'procedures', bahkan segerakanlah laksanakan hukuman yang mereka telah rancangkan itu. Mereka tidak merasa terancam kerana mereka telah sandarkan keyakinan mereka yang utuh kepada Allah. Mereka melihat hukuman yang akan dikenakan ke atas mereka oleh pihak penguasa yang zalim itu tiada tara berbanding dengan ganjaran pahala menegakkan Tauhid, kebenaran serta memperteguhkan kesabaran serta siksaan kerana kesyirikan, kemaksiatan dan kezaliman. Kalau tidakapun apa lagi ada pilihannya?

Ya Allah selamatkan kami dari bala yang dahsyat seumpama ini, atau sekiranya kami ditakdirkan menghadapinya maka Engkau perteguhkan iman kami, Engkau tinggatkan tawakkal kami kepada Engkau serta Engkau tariklah ubun-ubun kami ke arah keselamatan.

Ya Allah selamatkan pihak penguasa kami, tanahair kami dari bencana seumpama ini, Ya Allah suburkan keimanan, kebajikan dn keadilan di tanahair kami serta Engkau peliharalah penguasa kami daripada melakukan kezaliman dan kemaksiatan kepada Engkau. Y a Allah jadikan kami hidup mengikut Syariat Engkau dan di atas Sunnah Nabi-Mu, Saiyyidina Muhammad.

* Semoga saya masih memelihara pesan guru-guru saya agar mengelak diri dari menceburi politik, semoga catitan ini akan membawa manafaat kepada saya dan saudara-saudara seagama tanpa prejudice politik kepartian. Amin

Malaysia: new Bill threatens right to peaceful assembly with arbitrary and disproportional restrictions

ImageGENEVA (7 December 2011) – A group of United Nations independent experts warned that a new Peaceful Assembly Bill in Malaysia may “arbitrarily and disproportionately restrict the right to assemble peacefully.” The restrictions range from a ban on street protests and a prohibition on non-citizens and citizens under 21 years of age to assemble peacefully, to conditional access for media to public gatherings.

“Many of these restrictions are not justifiable under international law,” said the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, expressing his deep regret that “neither the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), nor civil society was meaningfully consulted in the drafting of this Bill.”

According to the proposed legislation, which contains a vague definition of assembly, there would also be broad restrictions and conditions on gatherings and a restrictive notification procedure. The Bill gives excessive authority and power to law enforcement officials and the Minister in charge of home affairs on matters related to assemblies, as well as full discretion to the police to make any form of recording of assemblies.

“The right to assemble and protest peacefully is an essential safeguard for the defence of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any pluralistic society,” said the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya. “I am particularly alarmed by the provision prohibiting citizens under 21 years of age to assemble. Political and social participation through peaceful protests are not only an educational experience for children, youth and students but also an investment for society as a whole.”

The Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression, Frank La Rue, urged the Government of Malaysia to seriously reconsider the adoption of the bill, which would contravene international human rights standards. “The ability of all individuals to express themselves freely, including in the form of peaceful assemblies, is a litmus test for the level of democracy in any country,” he said recalling a previous call of concern on the Government’s response to the Bersih 2.0 demonstrations in November.* 

“Under international human rights law, ‘everyone’ has the right to freedom of assembly and association, without distinction of any kind, including nationality,” said the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau. “I am deeply concerned at the provision of the draft law which prohibits non-citizens to organize or participate in a peaceful assembly. I appeal to the Government of Malaysia to urgently review the Bill to ensure its compliance with fundamental human rights.”

The group of UN independent experts warned that “with this legislation, people in Malaysia may not be able to express their dissent in public spaces without fear of being detained or sanctioned.”


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Sabah MIC To Ensure Indian Votes Go To BN

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 8 (Bernama) -- Sabah MIC tonight pledged to ensure that Indian votes in the state will go to the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next general election.

Its chairman, Datuk V. Jothi, said the state MIC would hold a meeting on Sunday to discuss the matter, particularly updates from the divisions and branches on the preparation for the election.

"Although the Indian community is a minority in Sabah, the State MIC recognises that every vote counts in the next election and we will make sure that their votes will go to the BN," he said in his remarks at a function to hand over a RM50,000 grant to the Sri Subramaniyar Temple in Lok Kawi near here.

Jothi said the MIC would work closely with the other BN component parties to secure maximum support from the people in Sabah, dubbed as the "fixed deposit" of the BN.

"Sabah MIC has been regularly going down to the ground to touch base with our members and the Indian community in general," he said.

Jothi said the RM50,000 grant was part of the RM400,000 special federal allocation approved by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during the State MIC Deepavali open house here on Oct 30 this year.