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Friday, December 23, 2011

Khir Toyo gets 12 months’ jail for graft

Khir is seen outside the Shah Alam High Court before his trial’s verdict, December 23, 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
SHAH ALAM, Dec 23 — Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo was found guilty today of abusing his influence to buy a luxury home and land at a discount of up to RM3 million. The High Court here ruled that the RM3.5 million the former Selangor mentri besar paid for the property was “inadequate consideration.”
“The defence failed to raise reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case,” said judge Datuk Mohtarudin Baki
The judge sentenced Dr Khir, who appeared calm, to 12 months’ imprisonment and ordered the seizure of the property.
Mohtarudin agreed with deputy public prosecutor Masri Daud, who argued that the conviction under Section 165 of the Penal Code also invoked Section 36 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which mandates that the court seize property that is the subject of a graft offence.
“When public and private interests meet, public interest must be given priority. The accused abuse his position as the highest executive in the state. A fine will not be sufficient,” he said when delivering the sentence.
Defence lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamarudin had failed to convince the judge to give Dr Khir a lighter sentence in light of “his contributions as mentri besar of Selangor all these years which is not in dispute.”
However, Mohtarudin granted Dr Khir a stay of the execution pending an appeal that his lawyer, M. Athimulan, said would be filed this afternoon.
Dr Khir and his wife, Siti Zaharah Kechik, were all smiles as they left the courtroom and the former MB took time to shake the hands of dozens of supporters before getting into his car.
However, he granted Dr Khir a stay of execution pending an appeal that must be filed within 14 days.
Dr Khir was charged with illegally obtaining for himself and his wife two lots of land and a house at No. 8 and 10, Jalan Suasa 7/1L here from Ditamas Sdn Bhd through its director Datuk Shamsuddin Hayroni.
The property was purchased at RM3.5 million although Ditamas had bought it tfor RM6.5 million on December 23, 2004.
Dr Khir, the state assemblyman for Sungai Panjang, was alleged to have committed the offence at the official residence of the Selangor mentri besar at Jalan Permata 7/1, Section 7 here on May 29, 2007.

Jangkahayat BN pada penghujung jalan?

Terlalu banyak yang perlu kita kenang sebelum tahun 2011.
REWIND 2011

Afiq M Noor

2011 akan melabuhkan tirainya tidak berapa lama lagi. Tahun ini telah menyaksikan beberapa sejarah yang telah merubah lanskap politik Malaysia.

Ternyata tsunami politik pasca PRU-12 masih lagi menunjukkan bisanya walaupun pelbagai usaha dilakukan oleh kerajaan memerintah untuk menawarkan ‘bisa’ gelombang kebangkitan rakyat.

Mengambil ‘berkat’ rancangan Maharaja Lawak yang bakal berakhir hujung tahun ini, saya mengandaikan begitulah jangkahayat Barisan Nasional.

Sewaktu saya menulis artikel ini, Dewan Negara telah pun meluluskan Rang Undang-Undang Perhimpunan Aman 2011 hanya dalam masa sehari.

Hebat bukan? Satu Rang Undang-Undang yang dikritik oleh pengamal undang-undang bahkan oleh Special Rappoteur Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu boleh diluluskan dalam masa sehari oleh Dewan Negara. Ini lah uniknya Malaysia. Negara yang tiada apa-apa yang mustahil –‘Boleh Land’ . Benarlah kata orang Malaysia Truly Asia.

Secara peribadi saya merasakan Bersih 2.0 merupakan kemuncak bagi kebangkitan rakyat tahun ini.

Rakyat Malaysia yang prihatin dari segenap ceruk berkumpul dan berhimpun mendesak agar sistem pilihanraya direformasikan supaya ianya lebih telus dan bersih.

Rakyat sudah jelak dengan Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya yang diperkudakan seolah-olah ianya parti komponen Barisan Nasional. Usaha kerajaan persekutuan melalui media – media arus perdana yang cuba menakut-nakutkan dan menggertak rakyat yang ingin keluar berhimpun ternyata gagal.

Suasana Kuala Lumpur sehari sebelum Bersih 2.0 sangat luar biasa tenang dan aman. Rakyat tidak lagi takut dan makan kepada ugutan Kerajaan.

9 Julai 2011 adalah kenangan manis bagi rakyat Malaysia dan saya (kerana inilah kali pertama saya turun berdemo). Jika dahulu saya percaya hanya teh tarik dan nasi lemak (dan makanan-makanan lain) sahaja yang mampu meleburkan (transcends) sempadan agama dan bangsa (yang mana saya masih percaya lagi sehingga saat artikel ini ditulis).

Tetapi Julai 9, .2011 membuktikan sebaliknya, rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengenal bangsa, agama dan keturunan bersatu di jalan raya melawan regime kezaliman dan penindasan.

Rakyat sudah bosan dengan sandiwara dan tipudaya Barisan Nasional yang sanggup memperkudakan SPR, PDRM dan agensi-agensi lain yang dibiayai oleh wang rakyat demi untuk memastikan survival politik mereka.

Perang terhadap Agong

Sebulan sebelum Bersih 2.0, kerajaan ‘Transormasi’ 1Malaysia dengan kerjasama polis telah menahan 12 orang aktivis Parti Sosialis Malaysia yang kononnya berhasrat untuk melancarkan perang terhadap Yang Di Pertuan Agong. Tak masuk akal bukan? Ingat kita masih lagi bercerita tentang Boleh Land. Semuanya tidak mustahil.

Tahun 2011 juga merupakan tahun pertama saya berurusan dengan pihak polis (Ya! Saya masih muda).

Sewaktu tahun akhir di Sekolah Undang-Undang, subjek Prosedur Jenayah adalah antara subjek yang menjadi pujaan hati saya. Kami diajar apakah itu tangkapan, bagaimana tangkapan dibuat?, apakah hak-hak orang yang kena tangkap – termasuk mendapatkan khidmat peguam pilihan.

Malang bagi saya, subjek itu tidak langsung mempersiapkan saya untuk berurusan dengan pihak polis.

Teori-teori yang diajar di dalam buku-buku teks dan Kanun Acara Jenayah tak lebih dari bacaan sebelum tidur.

Pengalaman mengendalikan soal siasat polis menunjukkan sebaliknya. Anak guam langsung tidak diberi akses kepada peguam dan sudah menjadi rukun untuk para peguam terpaksa meninggikan suara kepada pegawai polis yang bertugas.

Dan selepas hampir setahun pengalaman saya berurusan dengan polis, saya perhatikan para pegawai polis mempunyai template jawapan yang sama untuk setiap soalan yang ditanya – “ Saya tak tahu, saya hanya ikut arahan orang atas…..”. (Mungkin itu polisi pelanggan mereka :-)

Pada bulan Oktober 2011, pakar perlembagaan, Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari telah digantung daripada menjalankan tugasnya sebagai ahli akademik oleh pihak Universiti berikutan kritikannya terhadap tidakan Sultan Selangor dan Jabatan Agama Islam Negeri Selangor dalam isu serbuan di gereja Damansara Utama.

Ramai ultra-Melayu dari kalangan Umno dan Perkasa mengkritik Aziz Bari, kononnya telah menderhaka kerana mempertikaikan titah Sultan Selangor.

Barangkali mereka lupa atau mempunyai ‘selective memories’ terhadap tindakan mantan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yang melancarkan perang secara terbuka dengan mengkritik Sultan-Sultan Melayu di media arus perdana suatu ketika dahulu sehingga menyebabkan pindaan terhadap Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Prof Aziz Bari juga telah dikritik oleh Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, kononya ingin berpolitik dan menyebelahi Pakatan Rakyat. Boleh jadi Menteri terlupa tentang istilah ‘Kebebasab Akademik’.

Kebebasan akademik

Tidak cukup sampai di situ, 31 Oktober, 2011 Mahkamah Rayuan telah mengisytiharkan Seksyen 15 Akta Universiti & Kolej Universiti 1974 sebagai tidak sah dan ‘ultra-vires’ dengan Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Keputusan 2-1 itu menggemparkan negara dan semestinya Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi dan Kerajaan Malaysia.

Perdana Menteri, yang sebelum ini mengumumkan pelan transformasi untuk meminda AUKU, Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) dan Ordian Darurat telah mengarahkan Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi merayu terhadap keputusan Mahkamah Rayuan itu ke Mahkamah Persekutuan. Ironi bukan?

Lebih ironi dalam pelan transformasinya untuk memansuhkan ISA, Kementerian Dalam Negeri telah menahan seramai 13 orang di bawah undang-undang zalim tersebut pada 15 September, iaitu tidak lama selepas Perdana Menteri mengumumkan transformasinya.

Gelombang kebangkitan mahasiswa terus bergerak dan mendesak agar kerajaan menghormati kebebasan akademik.

17 Disember 2011 yang lalu sekumpulan mahasiswa turun ke jalan untuk menyerahkan memorandum kepada Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia dan Timbalan Menteri Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

Saya hanya mampu ‘tabik spring’ kepada mahasiswa-mahasiswa ini, termasuk bekas mahasiswa UKM 4, yang berani berdiri memperjuangkan dan mempertahankan hak anda sebagai mahasiswa dan manusia.

Seperti kata Soe Hok Gie, “Mimpi saya yang terbesar, yang ingin saya laksanakan adalah agar mahasiswa Indonesia berkembang menjadi ‘manusia-manusia yang biasa’.

Menjadi pemuda-pemuda dan pemudi-pemudi yang bertingkahlaku sebagai seorang manusia yang normal, sebagai seorang manusia yang tidak mengingkari eksistensi hidupnya sebagai seorang mahasiswa, sebagai seorang pemuda dan sebagai seorang manusia” –(andaikan Soe Hok Gie sedang berbicara dengan anda, dan gantikan kalimat Indonesia dengan Malaysia)

Ingat! Mahasiswa bukan haiwan yang berhabitat di dewan-dewan kuliah dan bersempadan di pintu pagar universiti sahaja. Mereka adalah sebahagaian daripada masyarakat dan bertanggungjawab terhadap pencerahan masyarakat.

Terlalu banyak yang perlu kita kenang sebelum tahun 2011 melabuhkan tirainya. Artikel pendek ini tidak cukup untuk ‘recap’ setiap peristiwa yang berlaku. Tapi untuk berlaku adil, izinkan saya menyebut kata kunci bagi setiap peristiwa yang signifikan:

Ludah, tampar, kuning, doraemon haram, cincin, lembu, kondominium, kapal selam, Seksualiti Merdeka, katak dan Saiful.

Untuk tidak menimbulkan sebarang kontroversi dengan Jabatan-Jabatan Agama Islam. Saya ingin mengambil kesempatan untuk mengucapkan Selamat Menyambut Maulid* Nabi Isa (A.S) kepada rakan-rakan yang beragama Kristian dan Selamat Tahun Baru 2012.

(*Maulid ialah istilah Arab yang bermaksud ulangtahun atau birthday)

Afiq M Noor adalah ahli Lawyers For Liberty

Khir Toyo didapati bersalah

Beliau dituduh mendapatkan untuk diri dan isterinya, Datin Seri Zaharah Kechik, 46, dua lot tanah dan sebuah rumah di No 8 & 10, Jalan Suasa 7/1L di sini, daripada Ditamas Sdn Bhd melalui pengarahnya, Shamsuddin Hayroni.

SHAH ALAM: Bekas Menteri Besar Selangor Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo didapati bersalah oleh Mahkamah Tinggi di sini hari ini terhadap tuduhan mendapatkan untuk dirinya dan isteri suatu barangan berharga dengan balasan diketahui tidak mencukupi iaitu dua lot tanah dan sebuah rumah di Seksyen 7 di sini empat tahun lepas.

Beliau dihukum setahun penjara mulai hari ini. Mahkamah juga mengarahkan tanah dan banglo Dr Khir dirampas.

Dr Khir bagaimanapun mendapatkan arahan penangguhan pelaksanaan hukuman penjara dan rampasan harta sehingga rayuannya dikemukakan.

Dr Khir dijangka memfailkan rayuan berkenaan.

Hakim Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki (kini Hakim Mahkamah Rayuan) membuat keputusan itu setelah mendapati pihak pembelaan gagal menimbulkan sebarang keraguan munasabah ke atas kes tertuduh.

Dr Mohamad Khir, 46, dituduh mendapatkan untuk diri dan isterinya, Datin Seri Zaharah Kechik, 46, dua lot tanah dan sebuah rumah di No 8 & 10, Jalan Suasa 7/1L di sini, daripada Ditamas Sdn Bhd melalui pengarahnya, Shamsuddin Hayroni.

Hartanah yang terletak di Seksyen 7 di sini itu diperoleh dengan harga RM3.5 juta, sedangkan ia dibeli oleh Ditamas pada 23 Dis 2004 pada harga RM6.5 juta.

25 saksi pendakwaan

Perbuatan itu didakwa dilakukan dalam keadaan Dr Mohamad Khir mengetahui bahawa Shamsuddin mempunyai hubungan dengan tugas rasmi beliau sebagai Menteri Besar Selangor pada ketika itu.

Dr Mohamad Khir, yang juga Anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri Sungai Panjang, didakwa melakukan kesalahan itu di kediaman rasmi Menteri Besar Selangor di Jalan Permata 7/1, Seksyen 7 di sini pada 29 Mei 2007.

Sepanjang perbicaraan kes itu yang bermula pada 6 Jun lepas, 25 saksi pendakwaan dan lima saksi pembelaan tampil memberi keterangan.

Pada 8 Ogos lepas, Mohtarudin memerintahkan ahli politik itu membela diri atas pertuduhan itu pada keputusan di akhir kes pendakwaan.

Indelible ink details under wraps, says EC TIGHT LID: Precautionary measures taken to prevent sabotage

The New Straits Times

A SOLITARY Election Commission officer has been tasked with procuring indelible ink to be delivered to polling stations a day ahead of polling in the next general election.

No one else in the country knows anything about the indelible ink.

Details ranging from the type of ink, brand, bottle design, colour to its characteristics, or even how voters are marked using the ink, are being kept under wraps, the Election Commission said yesterday.

EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said as an added security feature, its officers nationwide would use a uniform technique when marking voters before they collect the ballot papers.

"It could help EC officers detect if a voter was marked by an officer, or by someone with ill intent," he added.

Wan Ahmad said that the EC had looked into the possibility of using indelible ink in the 2008 general election.

He added that there had been police reports then on indelible ink being smuggled into the country several weeks ahead of polling day.

"Calling off the use of indelible ink at the last minute then was the best available decision and not because of government pressure," he said.

The ink option was one of the recommendations put forth by the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms, one that has been accepted by the EC.

Speaking at a media briefing here, Wan Ahmad said the EC would be ready to facilitate the coming general election as early as January, once all officers have completed their training.

At the briefing, Wan Ahmad urged the media to ensure that their reports on the general election were balanced.

He encouraged the media to publish the election manifestos of both sides.

"The media must not campaign, but report.

"They need to create an environment that would help voters cast informed votes."

French Muslim jailed for punching nurse who tried to remove wife's burqa during child birth

Veiled: Nassim Mimoune was jailed for punching a nurse who removed his wife's burqa. (Stock image)
Veiled: Nassim Mimoune was jailed for punching a nurse who removed his wife's burqa. (Stock image)

A Muslim man who punched a nurse for trying to remove his wife's burqa during childbirth has been jailed in France.


Nassim Mimoune, 24, had already been expelled from the delivery room for branding the midwife a 'rapist' as she carried out an intimate examination of his wife.

Then through a window he spotted the nurse taking off his wife's burqa as she prepared to give birth.

He smashed open the locked door and hit the woman in the face, demanding she replace the full Islamic face veil.

As his wife delivered a baby boy, Mimoune was ejected from the building by security men from the hospital in Marseille and arrested for assault.

A judge in the southern French port jailed Mimoune for six months on Wednesday, telling him: 'Your religious values are not superior to the laws of the republic.'

Orangi tragedy: Father confesses to murder of three daughters


The trough was only 2.5 feet deep, yet the father claims all three girls drowned without making a sound. PHOTO: EXPRESS 

KARACHI: The father of the three girls, who were found dead in a water tank behind their house in Orangi Town, was arrested for their murder after he confessed to the crime.

The three sisters, aged between eight and 15 years, were strangled to death before their bodies were thrown into the 2.5-foot-deep water trough on October 15. Uzma, 15, and Sumaira, 12, had polio. The youngest, Nisha, also bore signs of the condition.

The father, Sher Mohammad, was a milkman and ran a cattle farm. The family moved to Karachi from Punjab around three years ago. The investigators suspected Sher Mohammad’s involvement but could not find any evidence. The girls died when their mother were away. The investigators had hoped to find some clues when she returned but she backed her husband leading the investigation to a dead end.

Sher Mohammad also confessed in front of the media at a press conference held by the Crime Range Police on Wednesday evening. He admitted that he killed his daughters but did not acknowledge or deny the rape of Uzma, the eldest. He said that he was saddened to see his daughters suffer from polio and fight with each other every day. “I was sick of seeing them suffer and fight with each other every day,” said Mohammad. “I even had sleeping pills. I don’t remember if I raped my daughter or not.”  According to SP Khurram Waris, the police were able to crack the case from a lead provided by the medical store situated near the house.

“The girls were given sleeping pills before they were murdered,” he said. When the police interrogated the medical store owner he said that Sher Mohammad had bought them a day before the killings. He finally confessed when the investigators confronted him about it.

However, Waris said that finding out which medical store the pills were bought from was a challenge, said SSP Waris. There was delay in arresting the father of Uzma, Sumaira and Nisha because the police were collecting evidence against Sher Mohammad. Waris added that they believed that he also raped the two elder girls and will undergo a medical examination today (Thursday) to confirm it.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2011.

Bestino Bank Negara

Fearing persecution, ‘gay marriage’ student says won’t come home


Ariff (right) is seen during a civil marriage ceremony with his partner.


KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — A Malaysian who reportedly married his Irish lover in a same-sex civil union has said he would fear for his safety if he were to return home.

The Irish Times reported 28-year-old Ariff Alfian Rosli as saying he had never wanted to create any trouble or controversy, and that the reason why he could not return home to work was because of perceived attitudes towards same-sex relationships here.

“Returning home under the current situation is untenable... as I fear for my safety there,” Ariff told The Irish Times. “My thoughts are with my family and friends in Malaysia. I never wanted this to become a major news story.”

The controversy erupted after pictures taken at Ariff Alfian Rosli’s same-sex civil union surfaced on the internet last week, three years after the University College Dublin medical student was reported missing by his family.

In the photos, the 28-year-old could be seen wearing a black baju Melayu with kain samping while his partner — known only as Jonathan — wore a black tuxedo and green tie.

Local criticism of the same-sex union has been swift and harsh, with mainly Muslim users attacking Ariff Alfian on Twitter for straying from Islam and dishonouring his family.

Muslim groups have also been quick to condemn Ariff Alfian, with the Kepong Islamic Youth Organisation (PBIK) lodging a police report yesterday over his alleged failure to adhere to Malaysia’s Islamic laws.

Other critics have taken a different tack, preferring instead to “rehabilitate” what they saw as a Muslim who had strayed far from the teachings of Islam.

This includes the Facebook group, “The Campaign to Bring Ariff Alfian Rosli Home to Malaysia to Save His Faith”, which was set up on Saturday.

The campaign’s description of its goal reads: “As Malaysians, Malays and Muslims, other than condemning and cursing, we also have the alternative to support Ariff Alfian’s return to Malaysia so his faith can be restored to the true and noble path.”

The Prime Minister’s Office has also pledged to investigate the matter, and an Umno official is expected to arrive in Dublin later this week to convince Ariff Alfian to return home.

Petronas, which stopped sponsoring Ariff Alfian in 2009, is reportedly demanding repayment for the RM890,000 it paid for his education in Ireland.

But Ariff insisted he has been in regular contact with Petronas representatives over the repayment of his college tuition.

“I want to continue to engage with Petronas in a private capacity, as I have been doing. I have no intention of running away from this responsibility or shrugging it off my shoulder.”

What about Tamil schools? PKR man asks MIC

Having taken credit for the removal of Interlok, it should not have a problem in getting the government to declare that all 523 Tamil schools are fully-aided.

PETALING JAYA: A PKR leader today challenged MIC to ask the education ministry to declare that all the 523 Tamil schools in the country are fully aided.

Now that the party has taken credit for the removal of the Interlok novel from the Form Five school syllabus, it should not have a problem in getting the government to acknowledge this.

According to Malacca PKR vice chairman G Rajendran, the conversion of all partially-aided Tamil schools into fully-aided ones is a “long-running battle” of Indian community.

“Despite MIC being the sole representative of the community in the cabinet for the last 54 years, it has still failed to achieve its target,” he told FMT.

“Isn’t 54 years not enough to change all vernacular schools into fully aided ones?” he asked.

“If MIC wields such a powerful influence in the cabinet, then it shouldn’t be a problem to get at least 15 Tamil schools switched to fully aided school before the general-election.

“But they are in cabinet just to fill the Indian quota and Umno gives them ministerial and other positions just to get the Indian votes during election time,” said Rajendran.

Out of a total 523 Tamil schools, only 201 are fully-aided and the remaining 322 partially-aided.

On a related matter, Rajendran claimed that PM Najib Tun Razak and his cabinet agreed to scrap Interlok after intelligence reports showed that the Indian community was still not in favour of BN.

According to him, Indian votes were still in the danger level although, MIC claimed the Indian voters support has swing to BN up to 63%.

Najib wooing Indian voters

Recently, MIC president G Palanivel confirmed that the novel, penned by national laureate Abdullah Hussain, would be withdrawn from the Form Five syllabus.

Interlok was opposed by National Interlok Action Team (NIAT) with support from Pakatan Rakyat leaders, Pakatan-friendly NGOs and the Indian community.

Rajendran said that the tidal wave of protest against Interlok was too massive to ignore and it forced the government to withdraw the Malay literature textbook from schools next year.

Citing several announcements made by the Najib in the last three months, Rajendran said it showed that Najib had to go down to the Indian community to woo them.

In the 2012 budget, for the first time, Najib awarded RM100 million to Tamil schools and another RM100 million to finance small Indian enterprenuer under Amanah Ikthiar scheme.

He also ensured the Tamil announcements will be made at KLIA, LCCT for flights to Chennai from next year.

Meanwhile, Rajendran said that Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has yet to make an announcement regarding the withdrawal of Interlok.

Muhyiddin, who is also the education minister, once remained adamant that Interlok will be used despite certain portions of the book being deemed offensive to the Indian community.

Fighting for a better Malaysia

We should remember the contributions made by both Hindraf and Raja Petra Kamarudin, says Zaid Ibrahim.
COMMENT

By Zaid Ibrahim

If we reflect on the issues that wrought cataclysmic change to the political landscape – culminating in the 2008 general election – we must acknowledge the important role played by both the Hindu Rights Action Force, or Hindraf, and blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

In different ways, both gave the opposition the impetus and dynamism it so badly needed then, the kind that outstripped even the BN juggernaut’s ability to contain the people’s march for change.

Hindraf’s contribution was their ability to mobilise the poor and marginalised Indian community. They were united and more importantly, they showed tremendous resolve and courage in pursuing their demands.

Some of these demands were questionable and perhaps even unreasonable, but it can’t be denied that they gave voice to pent-up grievances the Indian community had suffered for decades.

When such feelings have had no outlet for expression for so long, it’s not surprising that they can seem extreme and unreasonable in parts when they are finally unleashed.

Hindraf’s announcement last week that they too would support the opposition and do whatever they can to bring about more change in the political landscape is a gesture that we all should appreciate.

The Indian community still supports Hindraf and I have no doubt that their ability to mobilise this group in the upcoming general election will be as formidable as ever.

Fighting for a better Malaysia

Raja Petra meanwhile, may not be living in Malaysia any longer but as a friend I know he has sacrificed a lot for the cause of reform and political transformation.

He is still in the thick of things, and I hope his relentless assault on the Internal Security Act and tireless online campaigning for the opposition will not be forgotten.

He also took great personal risks back in 2008. More importantly, he is still with the forces of change.

Raja Petra is a maverick so he may sometimes say or do things we don’t approve of, but he will continue to fight for a better Malaysia. He would not be Raja Petra if he were so predictable, or always sang the right tune.

The political culture that we need to nurture in this country is that of inclusiveness.

That means we must learn to trust those who share our struggle even when they come in different shapes and sizes – we share the same destination in this long journey for change.

Differences are plentiful and we may even disagree on what we need to do to attain success. We must, however, appreciate and value those who have given their pounds of flesh in this struggle, warts and all.

Zaid Ibrahim is the president of Kita.

Global depression could last several years: Medvedev

(AFP) -- President Dmitry Medvedev warned Thursday that a global economic depression could last for several years and require Russia to step up efforts to improve its competitiveness.

"We really are facing difficult times," Medvedev said in his last address to the nation before March presidential elections in which he will be ceding his place to his predecessor and mentor Vladimir Putin.

"The global economic depression could last several years, while competition for the minds, the ideas, the resources -- it will only get stiffer, and we are in the epicentre of this race.

"But even in these most difficult times, we have no right to stop our development. This work will require perseverance, effort and, of course, time."

Both Putin and Medvedev have taken credit for helping Russia survive the worst of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and insisted that only their team will be able to deal with current economic challenges.

Medvedev noted that "many politicians, heads of international organisations and leading economists and businessmen" have all warned of the onset of a global economic depression in the months to come.

"It is obvious that difficult times await us all," Medvedev stressed.

"I have already said that our country honourably survived the test of crisis. The current team passed this test.

"I hope that we will cope with the new challenges, whoever becomes Russian president or whoever heads the federal government," he added in reference to the premiership post he has been promised by Putin under his presidency.

Sejak 13 tahun, Dr M menipu rakyat untuk menjatuhkan Anwar


Sejak 13 tahun, Dr M menipu rakyat untuk menjatuhkan AnwarTidak ada peristiwa yang lebih tepat untuk mentakrifkan Malaysia daripada peperangan yang berterusan antara Anwar Ibrahim dan Mahathir Mohamad. Pertelingkahan mereka telah membentuk lanskap politik negara sejak tahun 1998.Pelbagai kiasah telah dimuatkan termasuk ‘character assasination’ paling keji, kemerosotan badan kehakiman, integriti pasukan polis yang tercalar dan pengongkongan media oleh kerajaan yang memerintah. Kesan-kesan persengketaan ini akan terus menentukan haluan negara untuk bertahun-tahun yang akan datang.
Sehingga kini, punca perbalahan tersebut masih diselubungi misteri. Menjelang pertengahan tahun 1990-an, ia telah menjadi jelas bahawa ancaman yang paling serius kepada kuasa Mahathir ialah kaliber dan kepimpinan timbalannya. Mungkin kerana dia mula merasai Anwar sudah mula menjauhkan dirinya dari Mahathir, lebih menyerlah dari segi pegangan agamanya dan menampakkan dirinya tidak menyukai sekatan ke atas kebebasan awam yang telah menjadi lambang pemerintahan Perdana Menteri Mahathir.
Namun begitu, Mahathir terus melantik Anwar sebagai penggantinya sehinggalah hubungan mereka betul-betul retak semasa krisis kewangan Asia. Pada Perhimpunan Agung UMNO pada tahun 1998, penyokong kuat Anwar, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, mengkritik kerajaan kerana tidak melakukan secukupnya untuk memerangi rasuah dan kronisme. Maklum balas adalah tidak ketara tetapi kesannya amat ketara.
Berminat dalam hal ekonomi

Mahathir mula berminat dalam polisi ekonomi Malaysia dan Anwar mendapati dirinya semakin dipinggirkan. Pada 2 September, dia dipecat dari jawatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan Menteri Kewangan, dan segera diusir keluar dari UMNO. Tiada sebab diberikan bagi pemecatan itu, namun, media telah membuat spekulasi bahawa ia berkaitan dengan dakwaan salah laku seks yang diedarkan di dalam "surat layang" pada perhimpunan agung '98.
Oleh kerana lebih banyak tuduhan-tuduhan jahat yang timbul, penyokong Anwar membalas dengan mengadakan perhimpunan jalanan besar-besaran yang jelas menunjukkan siapa rakyat Malaysia lebih mahukan untuk memimpin mereka. Tidak hairanlah bahawa pada 20 September, Anwar ditangkap dan diletakkan dalam tahanan di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA). Sekali lagi, tiada sebab yang jelas telah diberikan bagi pemecatan Anwar, namun rakyat dibuat untuk mempercayai bahawa ia adalah disebabkan oleh dakwaan salah laku seks semasa perhimpunan agung dan ini datang dari media yang dikawal oleh kepimpinan UMNO.
Kali ini buku 50 dalil Kenapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM telah diedarkan dan ia mengandungi penerangan dakwaan serta tuduhan rasuah terhadap Anwar. Buku ini telah ditulis oleh Khalid Jafri, bekas editor akhbar Utusan Malaysia dan bekas ketua editor majalah yang gagal, Harian Nasional kedua-duanya dikawal oleh kerajaan.
Anwar mendapat injunksi mahkamah untuk menghalang pengedaran buku dan memfailkan tuntutan mahkamah terhadap penulis kerana memfitnah. Polis mendakwa pengarang buku dengan penyebaran berita palsu yang berniat jahat. Antara dakwaan di dalam buku ini adalah bahawa Anwar adalah lelaki homoseksual. Pihak polis telah diarahkan oleh Mahathir untuk menyiasat kebenaran dakwaan-dakwaan buku ini.
Ironinya, walaupun penulis didakwa kerana menyiarkan berita palsu, intipati buku disiasat seolah-olah ia adalah benar. Namun, siasatan telah dijalankan dan ini membawa kepada perbicaraan mahkamah yang paling kotor yang dikenali sebagai Liwat I pada tahun 1998, yang juga melahirkan sekuel pada tahun 2008 - Liwat II.
Tiada satu pun yang di atas boleh berlaku tanpa pengetahuan Mahathir. Dan sesungguhnya, sedikit- sebanyak dia bertanggungjawab untuk membenarkan perpecahan berlaku didalam parti UMNO dan masyarakat Melayu dan menyebabkan kekacauan di dalam negara ini.
Menarik juga jika diperhatiankan sebab awal berlakunya krisi ini seolah-olah berkait rapat dengan cara Anwar - sebagai Menteri Kewangan - menguruskan krisis kewangan negara.
Kawal lwn liberal

Semasa krisis kewangan Asia pada tahun 1997, Anwar menyokong Tabung Kewangan Antarabangsa (IMF) dan World Ban dalam pelan pemulihan ekonomi. Beliau juga dimulakan pakej penjimatan yang memotong perbelanjaan kerajaan sebanyak 18%, seperti memotong gaji menteri dan projek-projek utama yang tertunda. "Projek-projek Mega", yang telah menjadi asas kepada strategi pembangunan Mahathir, banyak disekat.
Walaupun banyak syarikat Malaysia yang bakal menghadapi kebankrapan, Anwar menyatakan: "Bail out tidak akan berlaku dan mana-mana bank akan dibenarkan untuk melindungi diri mereka dan kerajaan tidak akan campur tangan." Anwar menyokong pendekatan pasaran bebas, termasuk pelaburan asing dan liberalisasi perdagangan.
Mahathir sebaliknya menyalahkan spekulator mata wang seperti George Soros dan menyokong kawalan mata wang yang disokong dan peraturan yang lebih ketat daripada pelaburan asing. Ia adalah jelas bahawa dia telah tidak gembira apabila pada tahun 1998, Newsweek magazine menamakan Anwar "Asian of the Year". Ia merupakan satu tamparan hebat kepada Mahathir, yang menganggap dirinya seorang pemimpin yang hebatt, berpandangan jauh dan berkebajikan.
Pada akhir tahun itu, pertelingkahan di antara Anwar dan Mahathir menjadi hebat semasa Perhimpunan Agung UMNO yang diadakan empat tahun sekali. Sayap Pemuda UMNO, yang diketuai oleh sekutu Anwar iaitu Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, memberi isyarat bahawa ia akan memulakan perbahasan "kronisme dan nepotisme".
Mahathir membalasnya, dengan memecat Anwar dan mengisytiharkan timbalannya itu "ejen barat". Beliau memberi amaran bahawa Anwar akan menjatuhkan Malaysia jika IMF dibawa masuk. Krisis antara 2 lelaki ini disebabkan oleh yang Mahathir yang lebih gemar akan ekonomi yang terkawal manakala Anwar menyokong liberalisasi ekonomi.
Hidup dalam penipuan sejak 13 tahun

Sejak beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini, lebih tepat lagi,13 tahun, Mahathir telah hidup didalam mimpi bahawa dengan menolak bantuan IMF, Malaysia telah melalui krisis kewangan tahun 1998 yang lebih baik daripada orang-orang yang telah menerima bantuan.
Sedih sekali bahawa ia adalah tanggapan palsu – nayta sekali, setelah dibongkar PKR, Mahathir rupa-rupanya telah mendapat bantuan kewangan dari IMF selepas pemecatan Anwar Ibrahim pada tahun 1998.
Jika benar, ia akan menunjukkan Mahathir sebagai munafik kerana mencerminkan dirinya lebih baik dari lembaga IMF, dan walaupun menghina George Soros, yang sebenarnya tidak sedikit pun membalas Mahathir. Namun, Mahathir sendiri tidak pernah teragak-agak untuk menyelar mereka.
Melalui dokumen Bank Dunia yang didedahkan oleh PKR pada awal minggu ini, ia menunjukkan bahawa selepas pemecatan Anwar, pentadbiran Mahathir telah menjalankan rancangan Anwar. Mahathir mendapat bantuan kewangan daripada organisasi yang sebelum ini ia telah disifatkan sebagai syaitan itu secara rahsia.
Dan ini menimbulkan soalan, siapa pula yang berdusta, atau pembohong yang lebih besar? Adakah rakyat Malaysia telah ditipu hidup-hidup oleh UMNO dan Mahathir? Adakah kita semua telah di ‘brainwash’ untuk mempercayai bahawa kerajaan UMNO-BN bersimpati dan mementingkan rakyat semasa ia ingin menghancurkan pembangkang?
Sehingga Mahathir boleh mengemukakan bukti yang menfikan semua ini, kita hanya boleh bergantung kepada maklumat yang datang terus dari laman web Bank Dunia, dan ini menunjukkan bahawa Mahathir telah meminjam dana, walaupun beliau enggan mengakui dan mencanangkan pada dunia bahawa dia menyelamatkan Malaysia tanpa menggunakan satu sen daripada wang "agen asing".
Terkini, yang keluar dari Mahathir adalah bahawa pinjaman itu telah telah diambil oleh Anwar ketika beliau Menteri Kewangan. Kemudian dia dipecat dan masih menggunakan pinjaman itu pula? Jika pinjaman itu berguna ke Malaysia, Anwar perlu diberi ganjaran dan pujian. Tetapi sebaliknya, Anwar yang disifatkan sebagai syaitan dan dipenjarakan.
Pada usia 86, tidak Nampak seperti Mahathir mahu berdamai. Atau mungkinkah telah terlambat, kerana sejak tahun 1998 dahulu dia sudah terlalu banyak menipu untuk menerima keampunan – daripada Tuhan mahupun kemaafan dari rakyat senegaranya selama 13 tahun!
Malaysia Chronicle

Political Bait and Switch Trumps Rights Reform in Malaysia

ImageHuman Rights Watch
by Phil Robertson


Published in:  Jurist  

DECEMBER 16, 2011

No one has ever accused Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak of rhetorical reticence, especially when the political spotlight is shining intensely. The leader who coined the "1Malaysia" campaign, which has done surprisingly little to ease the concerns of the country's non-Malay minorities despite its snappy logo and full government backing, has now turned his attention to political reform.

In his  Malaysia Day speech on September 15, Najib proclaimed that "The Malaysia which we dream of and one that we are currently building is the Malaysia which practices functional and inclusive democracy, where peace and public order are safeguarded in line with the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law and respect for basic human rights and individual rights." While activists held out hope for real reform, many political commentators viewed this as the opening salvo for possible early elections in 2012, which will be hotly contested between the government and a political opposition that made historic gains in the last election, held in 2008.

The  reform effort started  with the October repeal of the two infrequently used restrictive laws, the  Restricted Residence Act [PDF] and the  Banishment Act [PDF]. Pledges were also made to do away with infamous preventive detention laws like the  Internal Security Act [PDF], to rescind emergency proclamations underpinning the Emergency Ordinance that permit detention for up to two years to protect public order, and easing restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression.

The promises included a review of Section 27 of the  Police Act 1967 [PDF], which empowers the police "to regulate assemblies, meetings and processions" by requiring police permits. Najib stated that the review would take "into consideration Article 10 of the  Federation Constitution [PDF] but with a principle that is strongly against street demonstrations." Nevertheless, he said, "the approval to assemble will be given ... after taking into consideration international norms." Optimists said so far, so good, since Article 10 clearly establishes the rights to freedom of speech and expression, peaceful assembly and association.

Fast forward two months and Najib's bold promises lie in tatters, largely discredited by the draconian Public Assembly Bill  rushed through the lower house of Parliament on November 29. Demands by the Malaysian Bar Council and other leading civil society groups for continuing consultations were ignored. Malaysia's Senate will probably consider the bill soon and there is little hope that it will seriously reconsider the broader implications of the measure on fundamental freedoms in a country where such freedoms have long been trampled upon.

The draft law is a cruel joke on Malaysian civil society, which was hoping for genuine reforms. In a classic case of bait and switch, the bill does away with the formal need for a police permit but sets out a blanket ban on "assemblies in motion" — such as marches and street protests — and provides such wide discretion for police to prescribe unilaterally the conditions and circumstances for public assemblies that it ensures the right to assemble will be even more tightly restricted.

General principles of international human rights law provide that restrictions on peaceful assemblies must not only must be necessary for public order, but also proportionate to the circumstances. The requirement cannot be met by a wholesale ban, but requires a case-by-case analysis. The bill fails that test and is significantly more restrictive than the law it replaces.

In addition to the outright ban on marches, the  Peaceful Assembly Bill gives district police chiefs broad discretionary powers to set the terms of any assembly, including establishing a balance between the interests of the assemblers and those who might be affected by the event and "any other matter ... necessary or expedient." Police may also use "all reasonable force" in dispersing an assembly, yet nowhere in the draft law is the term "reasonable" defined or specification made in what types of situations force would be considered legitimate.

The draft law also sets out that no one under age 21 may organize a protest. Those under 15 are even barred from taking part, silencing young voices and violating the right to participation under the  Convention on the Rights of the Child, one of the few human rights treaties Malaysia has ratified.

Exploitative employers of the literally millions of foreign migrant workers in Malaysia can also breathe a sigh of relief since the law bars non-Malaysian citizens from organizing or participating in an assembly. If that were not enough, the bill includes an escape clause for the government to ensure quiescence by providing the home affairs minister unilateral power to give the thumbs up or down on an assembly — a decision that should be reserved for the courts.

The draft law further prohibits assemblies at or within 50 meters (164 feet) of anywhere designated "a prohibited place." Prohibited places explicitly include gas stations, hospitals, fire stations, airports, railways, land public transport terminals on public land, ports, canals, docks, wharves, piers, bridges, marinas, places of worship, kindergartens and schools, dams, reservoirs and water catchments areas, water treatment plants and electricity stations. Try to find a spot within a modern city that is not within 50 meters of one of these places and it becomes clear that the intent is to make it virtually impossible to stage a protest in an urban area in Malaysia.

Evidently the Malaysian government has not learned that all-out attempts to stop citizen-organized marches can backfire badly. On July 9, the government was  roundly condemned abroad for cracking down on a march in Kuala Lumpur by Bersih 2.0, a coalition of 62 organizations calling for clean and fair elections. Despite a ban on the march and a barrage of police warnings and threats of arrests, tens of thousands peacefully marched in the face of police tear gas and water cannons. The police arrested 1,667 people, at times using unnecessary force. Media accounts, supplemented by the rapid spread of private video and audio recordings through social media like Facebook, effectively discredited the police version of events. Perhaps recognizing that it cannot control or monopolize the images and messages coming out of such protests, the government has evidently now decided to prevent people from demonstrating in the first place.

Malaysian officials claim they have borrowed legal models for the Peaceful Assembly Bill from democratic countries, but clearly respect for the right of peaceful assembly was left out of the mix. Najib said on September 15 that it is time to rescind the three emergency ordinances on the books and "forge ahead with a new paradigm based on new hope and not be constrained by nostalgia for the past." He added the time was ripe for this move because the government was "realizing the changing realities, taking the pulse of the nation and feeling the restlessness of the people aspiring for a more open Malaysia with a dynamic democracy where the views, ideas and concerns of the masses are given greater attention so that our system would be comparable to the other democracies of the world that are based on the philosophy 'of the people, by the people, and for the people.'" So why then is he promoting a Peaceful Assembly Bill that sets out a new set of draconian restrictions on core human rights?

When he made his Malaysia Day speech, the prime minister drew the kind of global attention that Malaysia so rarely receives, accompanied by hope that his words would mark the start of long overdue, serious and significant legal reforms to broaden respect for rights and deepen democratic practices, yet with the world still watching, he has now stepped away from his pledges.

Najib should heed the call of the Malaysian Bar Council, pull the bill back, and send it to a Parliamentary Select Committee where all stakeholders can have their say and a better bill can be crafted. It is not too late for the government to reverse course, recognizing that bringing the existing draft of the Peaceful Assembly Bill into law will constitute a betrayal of the prime minister's lofty words.

Phil Robertson is the Deputy Director of the Asia Division at Human Rights Watch.

Immigrants get more work options

The Sun Daily
by Alyaa Alhadjri


PUTRAJAYA (Dec 21, 2011): The Home Ministry is proposing that the government relax conditions for the legalisation of illegal immigrants who had registered under the 6P exercise in August.

It is also proposing that those who have registered be allowed to be employed in 10 new sectors and 11 sub-sectors under the service industry (see table).

Current regulations state that foreign workers can only be ­employed in the manufacturing, construction, plantation, agricultural, services and domestic help sectors.

Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Mahmood Adam said in a statement yesterday the decision to make the proposals was unanimously decided at a meeting of 6P Programme Regulatory Agencies comprising 18 ministries and agencies on Monday.

“The proposals are drawn up after taking into account responses from all stakeholders, including ­employers, management companies and foreign embassies who have urged the ­government to consider taking the three measures to allow for all related sectors to contribute to the nation’s economy,” Mahmood said.

He said the proposals will be submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who chairs the cabinet committee on foreign workers and illegal immigrants, for immediate approval and implementation.

“If our proposals are accepted, then the procedures for legalisation will be simplified,” he said, adding that several ministries had expressed willingness to relax their conditions for hiring of foreign workers.

Mahmood, however, noted that the Human Resources Ministry through the Labour Department has yet to shorten its JobsMalaysia application process from its ­current seven days, to only one day, despite having been requested to do so.

(JobsMalaysia is an online portal set up under the Human Resources Ministry to match ­employees with prospective ­employers.)

“This is due to feedback from various parties, particularly ­employers, who claimed that lengthy bureaucracy is one of the main causes in delaying the legalisation process,” he said.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had said that statistics obtained from the 6P registration process showed a large number of illegal immigrants and foreign workers was found to be working in sectors not ­approved by the government.

Mahmood said 26,340 domestic helpers who were illegal but had registered under the 6P ­programme will be allowed to apply for legalisation.

However, he stressed that all illegal immigrants who have undergone the legalisation process will only be allowed to work for a maximum period of three years, after which they will have to immediately return to their home country.

Makkal Sakti To Help Publish 5,000 Tamil Books

SHAH ALAM, Dec 22 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Makkal Sakti Party (MMSP) will extend assistance to Tamil book writers in the country to publish their works, said its president Datuk R.S.Thanenthiran.

He said the move was in line with Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D'Cruz's call in wanting book writers and publishers to produce more works in Tamil to enhance the use of the language.

"For a start, the MMPSP through Yayasan Sakti will help publish 5,000 books in Tamil," he told Bernama.

Thanenthiran said all the 5,000 books, comprising novel and poems would be be distributed for free at a function to be held at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Malaya at 7pm tomorrow.

He said at the function, five Tamil book writers would receive cash rewards of RM2,000 each to encourage them to produce more books in the language.

Thanenthiran said the programme was supported by the Prime Minister's Department.

34,271 PMR Candidates Obtain Straight 'A'

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 (Bernama) -- A total of 34,271 students (7.7 per cent) out of 441,137 who sat for the PMR examination obtained grade A in all subjects compared with 30,863 (7.02 per cent) in the 2010 said the director-general of education, Datuk Seri Abd Ghafar Mahmud.

He said the result showed an increase of 3,048 pupils (0.75 per cent) and the PMR achievement was also the best in 17 subjects in the last four years based on National Average Grade (GPN) of 2.71 points compared with 2.74 points in 2010, 2.78 points in 2009 and 2.83 points in 2008.

"I would like to convey my appreciation to the teachers who worked hard to help achieve the improvement in GPN from 2.74 to 2.71 points.

"This is the product of the effort and hard work of teachers throughout the country including the administration and commitment of parents. I would also like to congratulate all PMR pupils for studying for the encouraging result," he said when announcing the PMR results, here Thursday.

Similarly the number of candidates who obtained grade E in all subjects had also dropped from 386 candidates (0.09 per cent) in 2010 to 346 candidates (0.08 per cent) this year.

In Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory education director Datuk Khairil Awang said the PMR results in Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory this year was the best in the last eight years.

He said the achievement of PMR candidates for the Federal Territory improved based on the GPN of 2.54 points compared with 2.59 points in 2010.

Out of a total of 22,449 candidates who sat for the PMR in Kuala Lumpur, 2,296 candidates obtained straight 'A' compared with 2,103 last year.

Six schools obtained 100 per cent passes, namely Sekolah Menengah (Sains) Selangor, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Aminuddin Baki, Sekolah Menengah Agama Kuala Lumpur, Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah Putrajaya, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Victoria and Sekolah Menegah Agama Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur.

In Kuala Teregganu, 1,746 (7.8 per cent) pupils out of 23,630 obtained grade A in all subjects in the examination which was an increase of 1.15 per cent.

Terengganu deputy education director Hashim Mohd Zin said the state PMR performance was better with a GPN of 2.57 points compared with 2.58 points last year.

"Sekolah Menengah Sains Sultan Mahmud tops the list of 26 high performance schools with the GPN score ranging between 1.00 - 1.8 points compared with only 25 schools last year," he said.

In Seremban, Negeri Sembilan education department evaluation and examination sector head Pkharuddin Ghazali said the number of PMR candidates who scored grade A in all the subjects in the state increased to 1,707 compared with 1,487 in 2010.

In Perak, 2011 was the best PMR performance in the state in the last four years with a GPN score of 2.74 points.

Perak deputy education director Mohd Idris Ramli said from 41,015 candidates who sat for PMR, 3,513 were straight A achievers this year compared with 3,017 in 2010.

Meanwhile in Penang, 2,348 students from 24,264 obtained grade A in all subjects in the 2011 PMR.

Penang education director Ahmad Tarmizi Kamaruddin said the 2011 PMR results improved with the GPN score of 2.65 points from 2.70 points last year.

In Alor Setar, there were 23,697 candidates who obtained the minimum passes in all subjects out of 35,829 who sat for the PMR in Kedah.

Apart from that, the gap between rural and urban students was also closer with a 12.70 per cent difference compared with 18.63 per cent in 2010.

In Kangar, the 2011 PMR results which improved by 3.95 per cent compared to the results last year was also the best in the last five years.

Perlis education director Dun Kasa said the state recorded 63.7 per cent passing rate compared with 59.75 per cent last year.

The state also had 327 straight A students and more than 20 schools produced at least one student who obtained grade A in all subjects compared with 17 schools in 2010.

Meanwhile in Melaka, the state education director Datuk Mohamad Yusof Osman said 14 subjects recorded improved results in the 2011 PMR.

"The GPN score was better at 2.64 compared with 2.65 last year," he said.

In Kota Baharu, 67.73 per cent of the 19,962 PMR candidates in 2011 obtained the minimum pass compared with 66.75 per cent last year.

State education director Hussain Awang said this was a 0.98 per cent improvement.

In Sabah, the state recorded a passing rate of 63.06 per cent involving 23,782 candidates as against 59.14 per cent with 21,829 students who sat for the examination last year.

State education director Datuk Dr Muhiddin Yussin said 2.72 per cent or 1,025 students scored grade A in all subjects compared with 2.39 per cent or 870 students last year.

In Kuching, Sarawak recorded its best PMR with a passing rate of 68.97 per cent in the last four years, said state education director Abdillah Adam.

He said 1,948 candidates also obtained grade A in all subjects while 26,946 students got through with minimum passing level.

Global economic crisis: In denial mode?


Somehow the government appears to think that the effects of the global economic crisis will have minimal effects on the local economy. Is it in denial mode?
 
This article by Dr Jeyakumar published by Aliran might prompt the government to think again about and be better prepared for any shockwaves next year.