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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Businessman says he was assaulted at Batu Caves

He says that he was allegedly beaten up by the son of the temple president, a claim which was denied by the latter

GOMBAK: A businessman has lodged a police report against the Batu Caves temple president’s son, claiming that he was assaulted at the temple premises on Sunday night.

K Ramachandran, a prominent businessman from Rawang, in his report lodged yesterday, claimed that the Batu Caves temple president R Nadarajah’s son, known only as Kanna, and eight other friends, had allegedly assaulted him at a convenience shop at the temple grounds.

Speaking at a press conference at the Batu Caves temple compound here yesterday, he claimed that he attended a special prayer session at the temple on Sunday alongside hundreds of other devotees.

“After prayers, I went to the area where food to the devotees was supposed to have been served. Since food was not given out, I questioned why it was not served although it was past 9pm. I had the right to ask this question because, I sponsored the food for the event.

“There were many children and old people waiting in line for food to be served.

“Suddenly, the temple president’s son came forward to tell me that food will only be served after the prayers are over. I explained about the children and old people… but he became angry. He and his friends pulled me to the convenience shop and started hitting me repeatedly.

“They also used foul language to degrade me. My intention was not to create a ruckus but just to give food for the hungry. What did I do wrong to get this treatment, especially in the temple vicinity?” Ramachandran asked.

Different twist

Meanwhile, the investigation into the matter took a different twist yesterday when the police asked Ramachandran to point out the shop where the assault allegedly took place.

Ramachandran was requested by the police to turn up at the temple but within minutes of his arrival, Nadarajah began hurling allegations, calling Ramachandran a liar, among others.

Nadarajah claimed that Ramachandran, being an opposition supporter, deliberately wanted to create problems.

“I have lodged a report against him (Ramachandran) for being a public nuisance. We will bring this matter to court,” he said.

Nadarajah also denied Ramachandran’s allegation that he was assaulted on Sunday night.

The temple president then warned reporters not to cover Ramachandran’s press conference.

The FMT reporter was also restrained from taking any photographs of the on-goings. His camera was also “confiscated”.

The camera was returned after one hour. All pictures and video of the event were deleted before it was returned.

‘Makkal Sakthi’ mantra abused by splinter groups in party

The party's former youth leader says there are three splinter groups within the party and this is confusing its members.

GEORGE TOWN: Depending on who you believe, Malaysia Makkal Sakthi Party (MMSP) is in disarray. Its former youth chief N Ramu says all is not well within the party.

Ramu says the party is riven with factions. The splinter groups in the party are led by RS Thanenthiran and A Vathemurthy and now there is a new player -Venason Michael.

He said when MMSP was originally formed by 14 Hindraf defectors in 2009, the party was meant to champion the Indian cause independently.

But now, he said separate factions formed by self-acclaimed leaders have strayed from its original goals.

He said each faction leaders have recruited and appointed their cronies into respective leaderships to strengthen their political positions and bargaining power.

“I am ashamed to say that the splinter groups have messed up MMSP and everyone wants to be the leader,” Ramu told FMT. He was accompanied by former MMSP Penang Youth chief K Apana Raja.

Ramu called on all MMSP factions to either close shop or unite under one umbrella organisation to avoid more embarrassment.

He blasted the faction leaders for hoodwinking the MMSP’s genuine members and Indian community as if they were serving the people.

“In reality they are all untrustworthy and dishonest,” he said.

A new team in the fray

He chided the faction leaders for blatantly abusing the magical mantra ‘Makkal Sakti’ (people’s power), which was Hindraf’s battle cry during the 2007 – 2008 period, to justify their crooked ways.

Shortly after its official launching by Barisan Nasional chairman and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in October 2009, MMSP split into two.

One faction was headed by its founder president Thanenthiran and another by Vathemurthy.

Vathemurthy’s group has also a filed a case in the court to challenge Thanenthiran’s legitimacy.

Thanenthiran’s group has remained Barisan National-friendly while the Vathemurthy faction is now backing Pakatan Rakyat after a brief spell of supporting BN.

Now Venason, a largely unknown former CWC member of the original MMSP, has formed his own faction of the party.

He conducted his faction annual general meeting in Seremban on Sunday. What irked Ramu most is that he has been unwittingly appointed as Venason’s faction CWC member.

“I have nothing to do with it and was caught unaware.I don’t even recognise Venason splinter group,” said Ramu.

HRP stages demo over shrine demolishment

However, the party is upset with the state government for not assigning an official to recieve its memorandum.
SHAH ALAM: Some 30 Human Rights Party (HRP) members staged a protest here yesterday over the demolition of the Glenmarie Muneeswaran shrine.
However, they were disappointed that no officials from the Menteri Besar’s office came to receive the memorandum.
The shrine was demolished for a second time on Nov 24, and this was the sixth such demolition under the Pakatan Rakyat government since 2008. The demolitions took place despite Pakatan promising not to tear down places of worship.
HRP central executive member S Thiagarajan told FMT that although yesterday was a public holiday in the state, HRP had given a written notice of the demonstration.
“Why couldn’t Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim ask one of his state excos or his assistants to receive the memorandum on his behalf?” he asked.
Citing the Bersih rallies as examples, he said it was common for memorandums to be handed on Sundays or public holidays.
“If we turn up suddenly to hand over the memorandum then it is wrong, but in this case we already informed the Menteri Besar’s Office via a letter.
“It seems like the Pakatan government in Selangor is no longer interested in hearing the problems of the Indian community,” he added.
Asked about the contents of the memorandum, Thiagarajan explained that the document urged the menteri besar to look into four areas.
  1. Criminal proceedings need to be initiated against the offenders (those responsible for the demolition)
  2. One acre of land to be provided to the temple by the state government
  3. Pakatan must renew its promise with regard to the demolishment of Hindu shrines
  4. The state government should make an inventory of all Hindu temples and shrines. A plan needs to be laid out to provide them with land
“Our intention is not to cause trouble, but rather to find a solution for this long-standing problem,” said the HRP leader.
Thiagarajan also lashed out at the state government over the reasons given for the latest demolition, such as it was not a temple but a shrine, it was not constructed according to the principles of Hinduism, it was being used by those seeking lottery numbers and cars being parked along the road caused traffic problems.
“It is extremely dangerous to make such conclusions without a proper understanding of Hindu worship practices,” he said.

Umno/BN or Pakatan: No difference to M'sian Indians

The latest incident involving the demolition of a place of worship in Glenmarie, Shah Alam (a former rubber plantation estate) last month, is clearly another sad episode for Malaysian Indian worshippers.
Nothing really changes does it? Then it was Umno now it is Pakatan.

Please observe these three videos and see how incoherent Pakatan has become as they contradict themselves. http://youtu.be/hXhgtdr-AJg, http://youtu.be/pcu-5k9NxhM, http://youtu.be/4TVqqU9F00o .

As far as public knowledge is concerned, at least four other places of Hindu worshippers had been either demolished or defiled since GE12 in Selangor.

Now, let's look at history. The majority of indentured Indians labourers were brought by the British to tap rubber in their plantation and they created communities with schools, temples and recreational activities.

The landscape began to change after the infamous Dr Mahathir Mohamad came into power as prime minister, in his role as "Bapa Pemodenan".

His modernisation was welcomed but the Malaysian Indians faced the brunt of it as traditional estates made way for projects by the government and private sector without a safety net for the poor and marginalised Malaysian Indians.

In contrast if you look at the Malays, the political system and policies ensured their wellbeing.

The demolition of place of worship for the Malaysian Indians mushroomed in the Nineties and accelerated in last 10 years.
This has gone unnoticed due to the fact that the caretakers of these temples are mainly the downtrodden, poor, uneducated, ignorant and defenceless citizens of the Indian community within Malaysia.

As everyone knows, the Kg Jawa temple demolition in 2007 created such an uproar that it became the catalyst for Pakatan Rakyat to at least capture four states in the GE12 with the assistance of Hindraf.

Now back let's see what the law states, be it a temple, or a shrine.

In summary - Act 574, Penal Code, Chapter XV: Offences relating to religion injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class.

295. Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons, with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons, or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both. Also look at 298 as an extension.

I must say that we have decent domestic laws such as above, that protects the community in adherence to Article 8 of the federal constitution.

Let's not look at Umno and their mandores as it's a foregone conclusion how they will react.
But for Pakatan that we elected to change things, to act in similar fashion, is abhorrent.

Look, me or you cannot just state that it is not a temple; it is a shrine or it is just a place to see a datuk for 4D numbers.

If there is a community that holds it as a place of worship bearing the history and culture of its following, don't you think they should be afforded the protection of the law of the land and the benefit of the doubt.

Many have a perception that these lands are encroached upon, which is not true if you look at some of the temples and shrines that are over 100 years old.

The federal, state government may have sold the land for private developers but, isn't it their duty to ensure this segment of the community is provided with alternatives for the purposes of worship rather than sweeping it under the carpet just because only Malaysian Indians are affected?

Can we expect Hindu Sangam Malaysia or The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) to come out and issue a statement?

Do you think much coverage is afforded by mainstream media and opposition based media to raise this issue? Not likely.

As usual it is a Malaysian Indian issue, i.e. the minority, the forgotten society over the last 30 years through policies and silence of the Malaysian community on their predicament.

What more can I say.

A place of worship is the community's last place of solace to unburden their sorrows.
If even this is not available for the marginalised and discriminated Malaysian Indians, within the four states that Pakatan holds, then who do they turn to?

They have placed their faith in Pakatan and it is for Pakatan to buckle up and address their woes for what is fair, and not place politics above the need of the community.

I am sure many brickbats will come with endless justification and trivialise the issue.

Isn't that what we have doing for the last 30 years.
Whenever a Malaysian Indian issue is highlighted, Malaysian Indians always lose out when it fits the agenda for the rest, which includes affluent Malaysian Indians.

Friends, we don't need justification or armchair criticism, but we need to unify and act fairly and equitably towards the community irrespective of our origins and whether it is Umno/BN or Pakatan. - Human Being

Tuanku Abdul Halim Takes Oath As 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong


The Sultan of Kedah, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'azam Shah making the pledge before signing the instrument of office as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong before the Sultan of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullai (left), and the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah (right).Pic: fotoBERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 (Bernama) -- The Sultan of Kedah, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'azam Shah, today took the oath of office as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at a ceremony steeped in royal traditions at Istana Negara, here.

This is the second time that Tuanku Abdul Halim has been chosen as King, the first time from Jan 21, 1970 to Sept 20, 1975, having been appointed to the post at age 43, making him among the youngest Malay rulers to hold the post.

Tuanku Halim was chosen by the Malay rulers the second time for the post at the 226th (Special) Meeting of the Conference of Rulers held at Istana Negara on Oct 14, 2011 for a five-year period, effective today.

Tuanku Abdul Halim, 84, who was before this the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong since Dec 13, 2006, replaces the Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, who ended his term as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong yesterday.

The rotation system for the post of Yang di-Pertuan Agong among the nine Malay hereditary rulers began since the country's independence on Aug 31, 1957.

The ceremony today was the first held at the new, magestic and sprawling Istana Negara which bears Islamic and Malay architectural elements and located on a 96.52ha site in Jalan Duta, here.

The ceremony began at 11.15am, with the 227th (Special) Meeting of the Conference of Rulers convened in conjunction with the taking of oath and signing of the instrument of office at the Balairong Seri (Throne Room).

The meeting was chaired by the Raja of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail.

The Keeper of the Rulers' Seal, Datuk Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, presented the instrument of office to Tuanku Abdul Halim, who was in a Kedah royal attire called Sikap consisting of a short jacket with a high collar, tenggolok (headdress), long pants, sampin, bengkung (cummerband) and complete with a keris (Malay dagger).

Tuanku Abdul Halim then made the pledge and signed the instrument of office before the other rulers.

The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, and Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah, were the witnesses to the signing of the document.

The ceremony proceeded with the taking of oath and signing of the instrument of office as Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong by the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V, 42, followed by the reciting of the "doa" by the chief imam of the National Mosque, Tan Sri Syaikh Ismail Muhammad.

The Keeper of the Rulers' Seal then asked for the meeting of the Conference of Rulers be adjourned to another date to be determined later.

The ceremony continued with the signing of the proclamation of appointment letter by Tuanku Abdul Halim as Yang di-Pertuan Agong, with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then reading out the proclamation.

This was followed by the signing of the proclamation of appointment letter by Sultan Muhammad V as Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the proclamation also read out by Najib.

The ceremony was attended by all the Malay rulers of the respective states except Terengganu, which was represented by Tengku Sri Temenggong Raja, Tengku Baharuddin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah.

Also present were the four Yang Dipertua Negeri, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, cabinet ministers and heads of department.

The ceremony which was broadcast live over RTM1, ended with the reciting of the "doa" by Federal Territory Mufti Datuk Wan Zahidi Wan Teh.

Tuanku Abdul Halim then met with the cabinet ministers and heads of department led by Najib in the Seri Mahkota Room of the palace.

Hindraf to participate in the “Anything But UMNO” movement

Recent developments seem to point in the direction of a hardening of UMNO’s political attitude. This is what we get reading what PM Najib has been saying and reading between the lines of what he has been saying.

He is creating a false feel good factor by handing out goodies to his target constituencies, the rural Malays, the urban poor and the civil servants as seen by his various pronouncements in the budget, the various handout schemes and various other subsidy maintenance programs. He has been talking a hard brand of racist talk to his core constituency. He has been mingling with organizations acknowledged to have questionable credentials. For the large segment of educated young and the middle class voters he is creating an illusion of liberalization and moderation when in fact the recent changes and additions to our laws – the amendments to the Employment Act, the new Freedom of Assembly bill are in reality detrimental to the people. Even as he is gearing up for the polls with all of this, he is also gearing up for more repression on the other hand in preparation for the unpopular and postponed actions post-election. It is clear what the future holds if left unattended.

Given all this HINDRAF has decided that the time has come to begin open activity to counter the trend which if unchecked will be detrimental to all of us. One of the key decisions that we had taken at our recently concluded National Convention on the 4th of December was to increase our engagement on issues of common interest with other civil society organization, NGOs and like minded political organizations.

It is therefore timely that the “Anything But UMNO” (ABU) movement is being mooted now. Since our inception our primary objective has been to remove UMNO from the seat of power in Putrajaya. The objectives of this movement dovetail closely with our own and this will enable us to create synergies that we believe has the potential to create another Tsunami – only this time a Tsunami that will completely sweep UMNO off its feet.

We perceive tremendous potential in this initiative. Anything but UMNO holding the reins of power in the country certainly will mean  an opening up of democratic space for all of us to operate more freely and for us then to be able to work to bring about the changes and reforms we all so seek.

We hope other organizations will begin to converge on this opportunity to let that fiercely wild Tsunami wave develop. HINDRAF’s core people will be present at the Taman Melewar meet on the 15th of December 2011 for the inaugural session of ABU.

P.Waytha Moorthy
Chair
Hindraf

Jirga justice: Mother killed for opposing vani

" Khursheed Bibi had refused to abide by a vani settlement requiring her daughter to be married in her son’s in-laws," FIR.
GUJRANWALA:  A woman was shot and killed in Pindi Bhattian on Saturday night allegedly by her son for refusing to allow her daughter to be handed over as vani.
An FIR registered against the suspect, Asif Ali Babar, a resident of Chaki Wali village, and six others at the Pindi Bhattian police station says that Khursheed Bibi had refused to abide by a vani settlement requiring her 12-year-old daughter to be married to a man from the family of a woman Babar had married without her family’s consent.
Complaint Riaz Bhatti, brother of the deceased, told The Express Tribune that the suspects had arranged the child’s ‘marriage’ with Mehdi Hasan, Babar’s brother-in-law, three months ago. The marriage was arranged to settle a dispute between Babar and his second wife’s family.
The complainant said his brother-in-law (child’s father) had filed a kidnapping case against Hasan after the child was forcibly married and sent with him. He said he had moved court for her recovery over police’s failure to take action against the suspect. He said a court bailiff had then recovered the child from Hasan’s custody from Chiniot some two and a half months ago and sent her to live with her parents.
The complainant said his nephew (Babar) and the former nazim had earlier planned to marry the child to a son of one Saifullah, who is also nominated in the case. He said the marriage could not take place as his sister had sent the girl to a relative’s house. “Babar brought her back and arranged her marriage with his wife’s brother,” he said. Babar’s second wife, who is also nominated in the FIR, has been arrested by the police. SHO Rana Sajjad said Ansar Abbas Bhatti, the former tehsil nazim who allegedly declared Babar’s 12-year-old sister vani, was abroad and could, therefore, not be arrested at the moment. He said raids were underway to arrest others.
Killed for dissent
In another incident in Gujranwala, a girl was killed allegedly by her brother because she had refused to marry a man he had selected for her.
An FIR registered on a complaint filed by the father of the deceased stated that she was interested in marrying a paternal cousin but her brother, Afzal Ahmed, wanted her to marry a maternal cousin. Ahmed allegedly shot her, killing her on the spot, after an argument over the issue on Saturday night.
SHO Zaman Mirza said the body had been sent for an autopsy. He said police were raiding potential hideouts for the arrest of the suspect.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2011.

Anwar: Ikut fakta, kes dah selesai

Anwar to have role in polls ‘one way or another’, says Dr M


Anwar is currently on trial for sodomy, the second time he is facing such a charge.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will still play a role in the next general election, but expressed confidence Barisan Nasional (BN) would still form the government.

The former prime minister, who sacked his then deputy Anwar in 1998, said the ruling coalition was in a good position to win the next polls, adding that the only question was the size of its majority.

“One way or another, he will play a role,” he said when asked if Anwar’s ongoing second sodomy trial would be a factor in the general election.

He said that in the 1999 general election following Anwar’s sodomy conviction, BN lost about 300,000 Malay votes, resulting in “Umno losing a lot of seats.”

“In 1999, he was very strong because he was in jail and he had his black eye and said that I conspired to get rid of him,” he told reporters in Putrajaya today.

Anwar’s sacking led to mass street protests in what became known as the Reformasi movement.

The 1999 election saw BN’s dominance of Parliament shrink from 162 to 147 of the 192 seats available.

But the ruling coalition recovered in 2004, winning over 90 per cent of the 219 seats on hand.

Anwar was released soon after the 2004 polls and led an opposition pact to win 82 federal seats and five state governments in Election 2008, denying BN its customary two-thirds majority in Parliament.

This resulted in Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi resigning as PM midterm, with Datuk Seri Najib Razak replacing him at the helm.

Not one shred of evidence, says Anwar’s lawyer

The defence team closes its case after arguing that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the opposition leader had committed the offence.

KUALA LUMPUR: The defence team in the Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy II trial today rested its case, after contending that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Anwar had committed the offence.

In its closing submissions at the High Court, Anwar’s defence lawyers argued that the complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, was not a credible witness; that the DNA evidence was flawed; and that the evidence adduced did not even prove that Anwar had committed the act or even had the intention of committing it.

“In the circumstances, it is respectfully submitted that Anwar ought to be acquitted and discharged,” said defence counsel, Ramkarpal Singh, who was the last to make his submission after Sankara Nair and Karpal Singh.

During Sankara’s submission, he said that the prosecution had not adduced one shred of evidence to prove “mens rea” (intention), which is a vital evidence in proving an act of sodomy.

“They have not provided any independent and/or corroborative evidence that it was Anwar who planned the whole alleged episode and procured Saiful’s specific attendance at Desa Damansara condo on June 26, 2008.”

Sankara said it was the duty of the prosecution to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, but it had not conclusively, or otherwise, proved that an act of penetration took place.

“Saiful was never in Unit 1511 or seen entering the unit. All the prosecution had is a bad CCTV recording which is not even in full real-time, allegedly indicating that Saiful was in the vicinity of Desa Damasara condo; this is grossly inadequate and has no evidential value,” said Sankara.

He added that the evidence of the KY gel, which seemed to be an afterthought by the prosecution, cannot be admissible evidence as it was never proven by lab tests that the contents were indeed gell.

“The prosecution has not adduced one iota of evidence to show penetration, a crucial ingredient… under the Penal Code,” said Sankara.

“The defence counsel has punctured holes in this case and has given birth to various unanswerable questions,” he said.

‘Devious conspiracy’

Sankara also stated that it is the defence’s position that the prosecution was part of a “devious conspiracy by the powers-that-be to destroy the political career of Anwar” and prevent him from ever becoming prime minister.

“It is as clear as daylight that the finger-prints of (premier) Najib Tun Razak are all over this sordid plot notwithstanding the desperate attempts by various quarters to smudge them.”

Sankara also said that Saiful’s meeting with Najib gave rise to a suspicion of some foul play, at the very least, and, at worst, of “some nefarious machination at work”.

He added that Najib’s contradictory answers compounded the matter.

“This begs the questions: Why did Najib not come clean the first time he was asked about this? What was there to hide? Why did he have to resort to lies?”

Earlier, Ramkarpal gave a lengthy summary of the prosecution’s DNA evidence, which he said raised more questions than answers.

Based on the defence’s DNA and forensic witnesses’ testimony, which he said the prosecution has failed to rebut, Ramkarpal raised some questions: “How can the court conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the DNA from male Y came from sperm cells? The evidence suggests that DNA was not retrieved from the anus of the victim but elsewhere.”

He also said that local DNA experts had failed to adhere to their own guidelines, adding that the court should not ignore the very real possibility that it (unidentified DNA profile) could have belonged to someone who handled the items.

“If the rectal samples were indeed taken from the anus of Saiful, why were they in pristine condition? No DNA would be in such condition if it has been in an anus for 56 hours,” said Ramkarpal.

The prosecution will make its final submissions tomorrow before the case is closed and a date for verdict is fixed.


Rama’s political future hangs by a thread

DAP's central executive committee is expected to meet tomorrow night to discuss the open spat between Ramasamy and Karpal Singh.
COMMENT

GEORGE TOWN: It is a very brave man who dares take on DAP party elders such as Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh or Dr Chen Man Hin.

Before P Ramasamy’s ill-judged outburst against DAP national chairman Karpal Singh, there were others who attempted a tilt at the leadership. Heavyweights like Lee Lam Thye (MP for Bukit Bintang) and Wee Choo Keong (MP for Kuala Lumpur Bandar) felt the wrath of the elders and had to leave the party.

Compared to the others, Ramasamy can be considered a novice in politics. The first-time Member of Parliament (Batu Kawan) is on the naive side when it comes to the internal workings of DAP which depends on Chinese votes.

The former academic has knowingly or unknowingly found himself in the centre of the Indian problem within DAP.

Barring any miraculous eleventh hour party leadership-initiated truce, Karpal’s fiery speech at the state party convention in Prai on Sunday has sealed Ramasamy’s political fate in Penang, and maybe in the party.

All this is because he took on the mantle of championing the Indians in Penang. Some, including Indian grassroots supporters, want his wings clipped.

On the surface, the spat between Karpal and Ramasamy, the deputy chief minister II, looks like a clash of personalities. But in reality it could be an attempt to play down the Indian mess within the party.

His outburst against Karpal surely could not have been vindictive. After all, Karpal was and is Ramasamy’s mentor.

Cronyism

Academician-turned-politician Ramasamy parachuted into Penang “at the right place and the right time” in the 2008 general election and won the Batu Kawan parliamentary and Prai state seats.

He was supposed to only contest Batu Kawan against Gerakan president and chief minister Koh Tsu Koon. But Karpal decided to give him Prai as well because the veteran parliamentarian thought Ramasamy may not have a chance against Koh.

Although Ramasamy was a newcomer, acting on views expressed by party grassroots members, Karpal decided Ramasamy should also be given a starring role in the newly elected DAP-led Pakatan Raykat state government.

He was also appointed deputy chief minister II to show the Indian face of DAP.

But nearly four years later, the perception is that Ramasamy failed to deliver anything worthy for Penang Indian community .

An observer, Hindraf Makkal Sakti CEC member S Thiagarajan, said Ramasamy has failed to implement permanent solutions to resolve pressing Indian issues such as land matters of Hindu temples, Tamil schools, settlements and cemeteries in the state.

He also alleged that Ramasamy had helped only his cronies, reflecting the sentiments of many delegates at the state DAP convention.

But the novice politician made a huge blunder when he tried to bypass the central working committee (CEC), the party’s supreme body, and announced a list of candidates for the next election.

This premature announcement on party candidature through Tamil daily Makkal Osai on Nov 28 was the final straw that made Karpal and party grassroots members to decide “enough was enough”.

Inexperience laid bare

By making candidature promises, promotions and announcements, many members stressed that Ramasamy had usurped the power of the CEC.

They pointed out even Pantai Timur MP Lim Kit Siang, Karpal and other party stalwarts have never made such announcements by by-passing the CEC.

“Who is Ramasamy anyway?” Karpal’s punchline in his speech at the convention was clear reflection of the members’ sentiment.

However, some felt Ramasamy would not have dared to overstep his line without tacit support from certain top leaders.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is being blamed for giving Ramasamy too much rope.

Many accused Lim of closing one eye on Ramasamy’s alleged attempt to establish himself as the Indian chief within the party.

In a public spat with Karpal, Ramasamy’s inexperience was laid bare. Ramasamy’s reply to reporters’ querry that he could not understand the word “apologise” was seen as sign of “open defiance and arrogance”.

When Karpal ticked off Taiping MP and Pantai Remis assemblyman Nga Kor Ming to mind his language over his “black metallic” remark, and on the same day slammed Ramasamy as a “warlord”, Nga kept his silence.

When Karpal rapped the Penang government for recruiting Barisan Nasional discards into the state administration in 2008, Lim did not response. But Lim stopped such recruitments.

When Karpal roared against PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim for causing the downfall of Perak Pakatan government, the Opposition Leader settled the issue amicably through closed doors.

Ramasamy could have easily nipped this affair in the bud by calling on Karpal and apologising. But it never happened and unfortunately for Ramasamy, there is no turning back now.

Now, his political future rest in the hands of DAP’s elders with the party’s central executive committee set to meet tomorrow night in Kuala Lumpur over the matter.

‘RM99,000 a unit is not low cost housing’

Buyers of the stalled housing project in PJS 1 say some of them earn only RM1,000 a month and the Selangor government's offer is beyond their reach.

PETALING JAYA: Buyers of the stalled Block E low cost flat units in PJS 1 are livid over Selangor state government’s offer of affordable housing units at a discounted price of RM99,000.

In a meeting with over 200 buyers on Saturday, Selangor mentri besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim gave the following options to the 276 buyers :

two affordable housing project would be started, at the land near Taman Kanagapuram and near the longhouses, with the units being sold to the Block E buyers at RM99,000, from the original price of RM160,000.

free Projek Perumahan Rakyat Termiskin (PPR) flat at Lembah Subang 2 for the buyers and a cash payment of RM20,000 once all units of the affordable housing project are sold.

buyers can choose any PPR flat units in Selangor for free and a cash payment of RM13,000 once all units of the affordable housing project are sold off.

However, Block E residents action committee chairman M Sugumaran said some of the residents were furious saying they would not be able to purchase a house worth RM 99,000.

“Most of them are low income earners who get below RM1,000 a month. How could they possibly afford a house worth RM99,000?” asked Sugumaran.

If the project continues as planned, Sugumaran said the affordable housing units would only attract property investors who has the means to purchase the units.

“And we, who had lived here for three generations, would be driven out from the place we were born and bred,” he said.

He also said that many were also unhappy over the free Lembah Subang PPR flat offer, saying it was the same thing that they had fought against over the years.

“If we wanted the flats, we would have taken it years ago when the offer was made when our squatter houses were demolished years ago,” said Sugumaran.

Sugumaran said the MB should not be too proud of his free PPR flat offer, saying that he could make such pledge as no one wanted to stay in a PPR flat.

“Nobody wants to buy PPR flats. That’s why he can give it for free as even in Lembah Subang, there are many vacant units.

“And by dishing out the cash payments only after the affordable housing units are sold, they seem to forget that we are the victims here,” said Sugumaran.

Stalled project

The 276 buyers, formerly squatter residents, found themselves left in the doldrums when developer Peter Brickworks Sdn Bhd reneged on its promise in 2003 to build low cost flats for them.

The residents had paid deposit for the units and some are still paying instalment for the project which has stalled for the past eight years.

Some of the residents are living in Lembah Subang and about 40 families are living in longhouses erected by the developer at PJS 1.

Threatened with eviction, Khalid stepped in and promised the residents in June that the state itself would build their homes.

Sugumaran said that Khalid also failed to address their woes with the bank, who had pressed many of the residents to pay up their outstanding interest and instalments for Block E.

“And what about liquidated and ascertained damages (LAD)? Khalid did not address it in the meeting,” he said.

LAD is a clause that compels a developer to provide remedy to house buyers when a certain project is delayed or stalled.

Two weeks to decide

When contacted, Petaling Jaya City Hall councillor, Latheefa Koya dismissed the argument that it was bad offer and claimed many residents were keen to consider the free PPR flat offer.

“About 150 of them who are already living in Lembah Subang are considering the offer. Just the remaining balance who are still iving in PJS 1 are still sceptical about it,” said Latheefa who was present at the meeting.

She said the flats, although worth RM35,000, can fetch up to RM70,000 if they sell it later on.

Latheefa, who is also PKR supreme council member, said Khalid had never forced the offer down the residents’ throats and gave the buyers two weeks to decide on it.

“He told the residents that he will revert to building the RM35,000 worth of housing as per their contract with the developer at PJS 1 should they collectively disagree on the proposal,” said Latheefa, who added that Khalid had promised to resolve their payment issues with the bank.

Interlok dan MIC

Sekiranya masih ada perkara yang perlu dibetulkan dalam Interlok, mampukah MIC masuk campur?
COMMENT

Kontroversi novel Interlok Edisi Murid nampaknya masih berada dalam lingkaran syaitan – vicious circle – selepas hampir setahun diperkatakan pelbagai pihak.

Akhbar Makkal Osai pada 10 Disember 2011 melaporkan Presiden MIC, Datuk G. Palanivel sebagai berkata bahawa parti politik itu bersedia memberi kerjasama kepada Kementerian Pelajaran dalam usaha melakukan lebih banyak pembetulan terhadap perkara-perkara yang menyentuh sensitiviti kaum dalam novel berkenaan.

Khabarnya, sebelum ini, MIC sudah melakukan lebih 20 pembetulan untuk diserahkan kepada Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).

Saya tidak pasti jika 20 pindaan yang dimaksudkan itu sebenarnya sebahagian daripada lebih 100 saranan pindaan yang dikemukakan wakil kaum India dalam Panel Bebas.

“Sekiranya masih ada perkara yang belum dibetulkan, MIC akan masuk campur dan melakukan pembetulan,” katanya.

Tidaklah menghairankan jika ramai yang hairan dengan kenyataan itu.

Saya turut hairan memikirkan mengapa MIC perlu tampil menawarkan diri melakukan apa-apa pindaan tambahan pada novel berkenaan yang sudah pun dicetak semula dan diedarkan ke sekolah-sekolah di Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur dan Putrajaya.

Rasa hairan saya adalah berasas kerana MIC mengakui hanya sekitar 20 pindaan dilakukan pada novel edisi murid itu yang dijadikan teks Komponen Sastera Dalam Mata Pelajaran Bahasa Malaysia (Komsas).

Umum mengetahui bahawa Panel Bebas sudah memperakukan secara konsensus untuk melakukan lebih 100 pindaan yang dikemukakan wakil kaum India dalam panel berkenaan pada Februari-Mac 2011.

Seterusnya, pada 23 Mac lalu, Menteri Pelajaran, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin turut bersetuju bahawa kesemua pindaan itu akan dilakukan sebelum novel dicetak semula.

Perkara sama turut diumumkan di Dewan Rakyat pada keesokannya dan tentu sahaja lembu dipegang pada tali, manusia dipegang pada janji.

Tindakan licik

Hlm 209Namun, akhirnya, apabila meneliti novel yang dicetak semula (Interlok Kulit Biru), ternyata hanya sekitar
20 peratus kerja-kerja pemurnian dilakukan. Hah, lembu pun boleh dipegang pada tali!

Kumpulan Sasterawan Kavyan (Kavyan) mengeluarkan kenyataan rasmi yang objektif berhubung perkara itu pada 29 November lalu memandangkan masyarakat berhak untuk tahu perkara sebenar.

Keputusan dan pendirian Kavyan adalah bahawa Interlok Kulit Biru (2011) adalah edisi yang lebih baik daripada Interlok Kulit Merah (2010) tetapi bukan edisi yang dijanjikan oleh Menteri Pelajaran pada Mac 2011.

Dalam pada itu, pada Jun lalu, berlaku juga tindakan licik dan amat tidak bermoral yang dilakukan pihak tertentu dengan cuba meminda novel Interlok Edisi Murid (kulit merah) menggunakan pelekat.

Pada waktu itu juga, Kavyan menerima aduan daripada ibu bapa dan pelajar, lalu mengeluarkan kenyataan media membantah tindakan penggunaan “pelekat ajaib” itu yang bertentangan dengan janji Menteri Pelajaran.

Sekali lagi, tentu sahaja lembu dipegang pada tali …

Mungkin politikus mudah lupa tetapi saya masih ingat bagaimana pada 23 Mac 2011, Menteri Pelajaran menyatakan bahawa 87 perkara dalam senarai pindaan yang dikemukakan wakil kaum India dalam Panel Bebas bukan secara khusus berkaitan sensitiviti kaum India.

Sebaliknya, kebanyakannya berkaitan kesalahan fakta berhubung budaya kaum India dan agama Hindu. Tentu sahaja kesalahan fakta itu juga wajar dibetulkan kerana secara tidak langsung menyentuh sensitiviti kaum India dan agama Hindu.

Selepas diterangkan, dijelaskan dan dihuraikan – seperti menerangkan kepada kanak-kanak Tadika – akhirnya semua pihak yang terlibat faham hujah-hujah yang dikemukakan.

Namun, tiga bulan kemudian, bak kata peribahasa Tamil, “wahai wanita buta, bukalah pintu”, semua pihak terlibat sudah lupa akan apa yang dijanjikan Menteri Pelajaran kepada rakyat.

Bercakap mengenai peribahasa Tamil, apa yang dipaparkan di halaman 209 sebagai “pepatah Tamil” sudah dibuktikan salah dan perlu dibetulkan.

Namun, pembetulan tidak pula dilakukan dalam Interlok Kulit Biru yang dicetak semula selepas “diperakukan” MIC.

Mungkin juga politikus menganggap kesilapan pepatah Tamil itu sebagai perkara kecil dan kaum India tidak perlu bising. Bak kata peribahasa Tamil, “masakan keldai tahu menghargai bau kapur barus”.

Soalnya, alang-alang novel berkenaan dicetak semula, mengapa tidak segala kesilapan fakta dan kesalahan bahasa dibetulkan sekali gus? Mengapa hanya sebahagian dimurnikan?

Malah, mengapa walaupun selepas lebih 100 saranan pindaan diperakukan Panel Bebas, kemudian dipersetujui Menteri Pelajaran, serta diumumkan di Dewan Rakyat, akhirnya hanya sekitar 20 pindaan (pembetulan) dilakukan?

Itulah antara pertanyaan amat wajar yang diajukan orang awam kepada Kavyan sejak 29 November lalu. Mungkin perlu diajukan terus kepada MIC dan Menteri Pelajaran.

Tidak menjadi isu bagi MIC

Berbalik kepada “janji” MIC yang “bersedia memberi kerjasama kepada Kementerian Pelajaran dalam usaha melakukan lebih banyak pembetulan terhadap perkara-perkara yang menyentuh sensitiviti kaum dalam novel Interlok Edisi Murid.”

Soalan mudah yang boleh ditanya budak Tadika sekali pun adalah: Mengapa mahu berjanji sedia melakukan lebih banyak pembetulan sedangkan sudah terbukti gagal memastikan sekitar 100 pembetulan yang dipersetujui sebelum ini dilakukan sepenuhnya?

Apa yang boleh difahami menerusi berita yang disiarkan di akhbar Makkal Osai pada 10 Disember lalu adalah bahawa MIC sudah berpuas hati dengan Interlok Edisi Biru.

Maknanya, kesalahan pepatah di halaman 209 tidak menjadi isu bagi MIC.

Kesilapan yang amat memalukan dalam menggambarkan cara kaum India makan nasi dengan rasam dan saambar di halaman 234 tidak menjadi isu kepada MIC.

Cara watak Malini memanggil bapa dan suaminya juga ternyata tidak menjadi isu kepada parti politik ini.

Malah, ternyata MIC juga memperakukan serta berpendapat bahawa cara kaum India digambarkan di halaman 130 tidak menjadi masalah.

Demikianlah apa yang orang ramai faham menerusi kenyataan presiden MIC di Makkal Osai.

Sehingga artikel ini ditulis, Palanivel belum tampil membuat sebarang kenyataan bahawa wartawan akhbar Makkal Osai tersalah melaporkan kata-kata beliau.

Pada masa sama, dilaporkan bahawa “sekiranya masih ada perkara yang belum dibetulkan, MIC akan masuk campur dan melakukan pembetulan”.

Maka, bayangkan bahawa orang ramai (baca: penyokong) bertemu presiden MIC dan mengemukakan beberapa perkara yang secara terang-terangan belum dimurnikan dalam Interlok Kulit Biru.

Jangan kita lupa bahawa akhbar Makkal Osai sudah melaporkan Palanivel sebagai berkata bahawa MIC bersedia memberi kerjasama kepada Kementerian Pelajaran dalam usaha melakukan lebih banyak pembetulan terhadap perkara-perkara yang menyentuh sensitiviti kaum dalam novel Interlok Edisi Murid.

Lalu, bayangkan bahawa MIC mengemukakan senarai baru saranan pindaan kepada Menteri Pelajaran dengan alasan “masih ada perkara yang belum dibetulkan”.

Bayangkan pula saya berada di tempat Menteri Pelajaran.

Sekiranya MIC datang kepada saya dan mengatakan bahawa masih ada beberapa perkara dalam novel Interlok Kulit Biru yang perlu dibetulkan, saya (Menteri Pelajaran) akan bertanya:

“Bukankah kamu yang sudah meluluskan novel ini untuk dicetak semula tempoh hari? Tolong diam!”

Uthaya Sankar SB pernah dilantik menganggotai Panel Bebas Meminda Interlok Edisi Murid. Koleksi bahan berhubung kontroversi ini boleh dirujuk di www.uthayasb.blogspot.com

Maika’s white knight loses hero status

Tycoon G Gnanalingam’s G-Team is allegedly blocking water supply to Tumbok Estate to force residents to move out.

BANTING: G Team Resources Sdn Bhd, last year’s saviour of Maika Holdings Bhd, has allegedly denied water supply to the residents of Tumbuk Estate in a bid to force them to move out.
According to the residents, G Team has withheld payment of water bills amounting to RM2,500 and the estate has been deprived of water for three weeks.
Tumbok Estate is about 20km from Banting town and 5km from Tanjung Sepat.
It was among the Maika assets that G Team acquired in a deal that received a lot of publicity during the run-up to the Hulu Selangor by-election last year.
G Gnanalingam, the owner of G Team, was hailed as the white knight who saved the troubled investment arm of MIC.
The residents are former estate workers whose services were terminated in March 2006. Maika made an agreement with the National Union of Plantation Workers that it would allow the former workers to continue living in their quarters rent-free until houses were built for them.
Under the agreement, Maika would commence construction of the housing scheme in April 2008, but this has not happened.
Of the original 29 families, 17 have taken up G-Team’s offer to relocate after accepting RM25,000 each.
Of the remaining 12 families, G-Team only recognises eight. The other four households are families of retired workers.
According to retired worker L Ramalingam, 72, G Team had even removed their water meters. “We are now forced to get our water supply from the kindergarten and temple,” he told FMT.
He also said Gnanalingam had falsely promised to build 32 houses for the residents.

Unprecedented

Commenting on the issue, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvan said the action of cutting water supply to evict workers was unprecedented.
“This is the first time water supply is blocked to force eviction,” he said.
Under normal circumstances, eviction can take place only by court order.
“According to the Estate Housing and Amenities Act 1990, employers are duty-bound to provide water supply,” Arutchelvan said.
He added that the change of ownership of the estate did not affect the agreement made in 2006.
Three months ago, the residents obtained three caveats to ensure that G Team does not sell the land they live on.
G Team wants the caveats to be lifted, but its negotiations with the residents and the Labour Department are not going well, according to Arutchelvan.

DRB-Hicom May Win Bid For Proton Stake, Says Dr M

(Bernama) -- Conglomerate, DRB- Hicom Bhd, is likely to win the bid for Khazanah Nasional Bhd's 42.7 per cent stake in Proton Holdings Bhd, given its sound financial and management capabilities, Proton adviser, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said Monday.

"DRB Hicom is quite well run. They also produce cars for Suzuki, Mercedes and Volkswagen. This company also belongs to the Al-Bukhary Group, which has a lot of other businesses, including port operations.

"They seem to be able to do business," the former prime minister said in an interview with Bernama and Bloomberg.

Besides DRB-Hicom, Proton's major shareholder, Khazanah Nasional, had approached Naza Group of Companies, Sime Darby Bhd and several other local companies to buy the stake, he said.

Sime Darby rejected the offer, said Dr Mahathir, who is also Proton founder.

Dr Mahathir said Naza has come up with a proposal and appears to be interested.

Dr Mahathir said he was not backing any company and it was up to Khazanah, the government's investment arm, to decide (on the successful bidder).

"The buyer must have the capacity to finance the turnaround of Proton's finances. Proton has financial problems like other car companies. If they can't, it will be bad for Proton," he said.

At 4.30pm, Proton's shares gained 21 sen to RM4.15, but DRB-Hicom lost two sen to RM2.10.

Dr Mahathir hoped Khazanah would sell its stake at a reasonable price.

"Proton needs financing. So, it must have some people who can inject money into Proton. If the price is too high, it will become difficult for the investors to turn the company around," he said.

Dr Mahathir said Khazanah has no plans to sell its stake to foreign companies as Proton would lose its identity (as Malaysia's national car), but the company is currently negotiating with General Motors Company for a potential car assembly.

"Proton needs to remain as the national car and strengthen its engineering capability," he said.

Partnering with global car manufacturers was not the only solution to improve technology, he said.

"There are many other ways to acquire technology. Many established car manufacturers do outsourcing for design," he added.

Political Motivations Easy to Find in the Dubious Case Against Anwar Ibrahim



Jakarta Globe
After nearly two years of conflicting and often suspect testimony, the so-called Sodomy II trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is scheduled to finish next week in a Kuala Lumpur High Court, with final summations by both sides.
It is a trial that has been condemned internationally by legal scholars and human rights activists as designed to take Anwar out of Malaysia’s political equation.
Political sources in Malaysia have talked about several possible outcomes. Given the tone of the trial so far, it appears likely that Anwar, the opposition leader of the three-party Pakatan Rakyat, will be convicted despite a vast number of prosecutorial missteps. That would probably make him a martyr in Malaysia because his followers — and many others — believe he is being railroaded into jail on false charges.
Under another scenario, the judge, acting under orders from the government, would declare him not guilty, which would be followed immediately by a prosecutorial appeal, keeping Anwar embroiled in more months of legal entrapment that diverts time and energy away from leading the three-party Pakatan Rakyat opposition. It would also give the Malaysian judiciary a thin tissue of respectability.
A then-24-year-old aide, Mohamad Bukyairy Azlan Saiful, made the charge on June 29, 2008, shortly after Anwar had led the Pakatan Rakyat coalition to a historic sweep of five Malaysian states, winning 82 parliamentary seats in national elections and breaking the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition’s two-thirds majority hold on parliament. He was arrested at his home on July 16 of that year by a contingent of 10 carloads of police commandos and locked up overnight in a Kuala Lumpur jail.
The trial, which began in February 2010, has been marred by what appeared to be egregious prosecutorial errors and a long series of prejudicial rulings by High Court Judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohamad Diah. Critics say the proceedings appear certain to once again tarnish Malaysia’s reputation in international circles and play a role in destroying whatever confidence there was in the country’s legal system.
The case has been condemned by the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union, 60 members of the Australian parliament, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch as well as prominent leaders from Commonwealth nations including former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.
From the very beginning, when Saiful sought to get doctors to certify that he had been sodomized, doubts began to surface. Saiful first went to a private hospital, where a doctor found no evidence of penetration and told him to go to a government hospital. At the first government hospital, doctors also told him they had found no evidence of tearing or scarring that would have indicated his anus had been penetrated. He was forced to go to a third government hospital where he finally found a physician willing to say the act had taken place.
In the intervening months, as the trial has droned on, an array of other doubtful factors have made the case look like it was manufactured to rid the Malaysian political scene of one of its most charismatic figures. It seems as if the country’s court system, never regarded as independent since former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad fired the Supreme Court in the 1980s, has been willing to do the government’s bidding.
Gordon Trowell, in a report for the Inter-Parliamentary Union, pointed out that the charges had been levied just as Anwar was making a spectacular return to the political scene from a long period in the political wilderness following his first sodomy trial in 1999, when he was jailed for six years on charges that have been universally condemned as rigged.
Mistakes made over DNA samples call into question whether the evidence could survive in a rational court of law. Police officials have testified that Saiful didn’t offer to be tested for DNA samples until 56 hours after the alleged incident, and he said he hadn’t defecated during those two days, which could have corrupted the sample.
Other testimony indicated that the samples taken from Saiful were kept unguarded in a police office for 43 hours without refrigeration before they were turned over to the laboratory for analysis. Chemists testified that as many as 10 different DNA samples had been found in Saiful’s rear, making the whole analysis process suspect.
That any samples could be taken from Anwar is also questionable. Under Malaysian law at the time, suspects could refuse to give DNA samples. However, the Dewan Rakyat, Malaysia’s parliament, passed a law repealing the consent requirement after Anwar’s arrest. In most courts, law cannot be applied retroactively.
Although Anwar refused to give a DNA sample, items issued to him during his overnight stay in jail were analyzed and a sample was found. Zabidin in March handed Anwar a major victory by throwing out the purported DNA evidence because it had been taken without his permission. However, a week later, after the prosecution demanded it, Zabidin reversed himself and said the evidence could be entered into the court despite the retroactive nature of the law.
Then there is the series of meetings that Saiful has acknowledged in court, at the home of then-Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, on June 24, 2008, two days before the alleged sodomy took place and others with Rosmah’s close confidant, including former track star Mumtaz Jaafar.
Saiful also acknowledged meeting secretly with Rodwan Mohd Yusof, a senior assistant police commissioner, before the alleged offense took place. Rodwan became famous, or infamous, in Anwar’s 1998 Sodomy I trial when he illegally removed Anwar’s DNA samples from forensic custody and planted them on a mattress allegedly used by Anwar for a homosexual dalliance. To protect the integrity of the prosecution’s case, the presiding judge, Augustine Paul, expunged the entire DNA evidence.
There is also the question of entrapment.
Saiful testified that on the day in question he had taken lubricant with him to Anwar’s condominium – hardly the act of an innocent aide who had no idea that the then-63-year-old Anwar was about to jump him for unnatural sex. Surveillance cameras filmed the former aide in a lift in the building but Anwar said he was having a meeting with a group of economists at the time Saiful allegedly showed up.
There was also the fact that Saiful was having a sexual liaison with Farah Azlina Latif, a female member of the prosecution team, which should have further disqualified him as a complaining witness.
The defense and prosecution have both finished presenting evidence and the opposing sides were scheduled to submit their oral summaries on Dec. 8 and 9. However, the summations have been postponed until next week at the request of the defense. After that the judge will probably take a month or so to deliver his decision.
If convicted, Anwar is certain to appeal. Whether he will be allowed bail remains to be seen. The process will thus probably go on for an indefinite period.
Unfortunately, what the evidence has shown most clearly is not that Anwar was guilty or not guilty of having what the government termed “unnatural consensual sex” with his former aide. It is rather that the trial was skewed so badly in the government’s favor that the opposition leader demonstrably did not get a fair trial.

Karpal-Ramsamy Spat To Be Discussed At DAP's CEC Meeting Tuesday

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 (Bernama) -- The ongoing "warlord-godfather" spat between DAP chairman Karpal Singh and the party's deputy secretary-general Dr P. Ramasamy will be discussed at DAP's Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting Tuesday.

DAP deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw told Bernama that the meeting, which will take place at the party's headquarters tomorrow night, would look into the issue including efforts to mend the rift between the two of them.

The two leaders had hit out at each other during the Penang DAP convention yesterday after Dr Ramasamy, who is also Penang deputy chief minister, was reported to have said that there were "godfathers" in DAP.

Dr Tan, however, refused to comment if the meeting would also look into the possibility of some sort of disciplinary action being taken against them.